Reap The Profits Of Spending On Custom Promotional Bags

Although they are one of the most put to use corporate giveaways in the market, custom promotional bags require careful selection. Doling out the wrong item can lead to your investment burning up and the item being ignored by your customers. This can have a boomerang effect on your business as the customer might spread the word about what they be acquainted with and you could risk losing other potential customers.

Due to the costly nature of general advertising tool such as billboards or tarpaulins, custom backpacks have also been proliferating in the market nowadays. There are several premises why companies prefer corporate token over billboards and other conventional advertising tools. The most obvious being it is more cheap than setting up colossal billboards which have limited customer reach in the first place.

Manipulating custom logoed computer bags in promotional work is a potent method of advertising. Allocating on bag products can give you a long term solution to your advertising necessities. Every time the purchaser is employing the product, your company is achieving free advertising. As a result, you can enhance your brand much faster and on a broader scope than traditional advertising.

With logo promotional cooler bags, you can cut down your advertising price. In installing a billboard, you need to dish out a funds of around a thousand dollars. On the other hand, silkscreening your company name or pattern only require basic investment.

In addition, custom promotional tote bags can enlarge your prospect base to all walks of life. A stationary billboard can expand your brand for around 3 seconds while a corporate remembrance can result to longer time of exposure. Custom made products also give you the leverage of being customizable in order to meet your company’s advertising cravings.

Custom travel bags are purchasable in various sizes and colors. You can find a wide lot of suppliers specializing on different varieties of corporate giveaway. You can order them in bulk so you are free from having to being vexed about generating treasures from time to time. Most suppliers have now made use of the technology of the Internet so obtaining the item can become hassle-free.

Jacques Shooli is a promotional products writer for custom promotional tote bags and custom logoed computer bags. Read more articles by Jacques Shooli here.

Web Tools for Business Profit Enhancement

Page 10 of the Fortune Magazine published on 6th September 2010 has this subtitle – The growing power of technology and social media has made starting a business simpler than ever. The magazine has listed 5 areas where costs can be reduced substantially by referring to the experience of a media veteran.

She bypassed lawyers for her company incorporation and did form filling and filing online by herself. We can easily do the same in many countries such as New Zealand. The New Zealand Companies Office charges NZ$10 inclusive of GST for reserving a company name and NZ$150 inclusive for incorporation of a new company. We get our shareholders and directors to sign with pen on paper and this is about the only piece of manual work to do. The process may take 30 minutes total. To do the same 10 years ago would take 3 weeks and a lawyer fee of $1000 plus disbursements

– Brand Logo Design –

She needed a logo for her new retail business. Instead of getting an advertising agency to design the logo, she posted her brief on Crowdspring dot Com and chose from 65 submissions. Similarly a new start-up in the video surveillance business in New Zealand used 99Designs dot Com and chose the best logo design from over 200 submissions. The cost is US$200. A percentage of it went to the website operator and the bulk went to the winner of the design contest. We are free to offer a higher or lower price (prize) and every price (prize) level will attract a corresponding quantity and quality of submissions. We can be quality or budget driven.

– Marketing & Services –

How to do marketing? This aspect has never been easy or cheap. We need signage for our presence. We need sweet words to attract customer attention. We need to provide a comfortable path for customers to walk in. For sure, we need good products and good pricing as the fundamental premises. She created a website for her presence. She used social media to obtain mind share, and Google AdWords to attract customers to her website. She spent US$1000 over the period. If she did something else for a similar effect, she would have spent 10 times more. By the way, to register a website domain name in New Zealand costs $27.90 plus GST per year.

Can she do so much by herself? She is not a multi-arm person and she employed assistants. To get from Day One to where she was over a three month period, she spent $19,800 for engaging freelancers and paying workers on the go. If she wanted to achieve the same 10 years ago with in house resources, she would have spent 10 times more on consulting fees and committed staff wages.

Lastly she ran her retail outlet business from her home office but without getting any interruptions from customers to her privacy. She used virtual and occasionally physical shopping malls for marketing and selling. For a high traffic physical location, the rent would be $175,000. For a high traffic virtual location, she spent 5% of the amount.

She successfully started up her business to a trading position with an investment of $40000 which is a small fraction of what she would have incurred 10 years ago.
Website Design and Maintenance

The above example seems to put all bets onto the website and the Internet. How do you design a website and construct one that is effective to operate and easy to maintain and upgrade? There are many people offering website templates. The same video surveillance start-up company in New Zealand mentioned above purchased a template for NZ$279 and suddenly obtained the design and a content management tool overnight. There are 2 big savings in design and construction respectively. Obviously, the template will require some fine tuning but most features are there and are right. The start-up company just needs to furnish their specific product and service information and decide which information to communicate with customers.

– Employment of Staff –

At some point every business will need to employ staff to do daily operations and to relieve the manager to work on higher value functions. The manager can use a recruitment agent or a human resource specialist to handle the recruitment. Irrespectively, the manager must define what jobs the new staff should do, how much to reward the person, and what the career path is for the staff member. Once this is done, she can use the web again. For NZ$200, she can place a full page recruitment notice on a high traffic employment website for a month instead of placing a 4cm single column classified advert in a regional paper for one day. To her surprise, she obtained the first applicant almost instantaneously as soon as she posted the advert on the website. This is due to the website carrying out a matching of profiles. Recently the writer’s company obtained 130 applicants and successfully picked the best person for the job within 3 weeks including 1 week of physical interviewing.

– Grab a Seat –

“Grab a seat or a room” is a popular way of selling services which have a margin cost structure. If an airline flight is not full, why not grab a few more customers by selling a few seats cheap. Will this upset other customers who have paid a lot more for the same flight? Not likely. Other customers may not know about this, or may not have time to do this, or cannot live within the limitations associated with this. The airline and the seat grabbers see themselves as the winners and other passengers are not the losers. The same situation applies to hotels and motels and to any business which has a high operating overhead but low cost of sale.

– More Food for Thought –

The Oxford English Dictionary has sold about 30 thousand sets in total over the last 20 years. Its online version gets 2 million hits a month from subscribers who pay US$295 a year each. Which one will do better over the next 10 years?

Printed newspapers will disappear by 2020, journalism will be crowd sourced, and phones will be predominantly based on VOIP (voice over IP). Do you believe these predictions?

– Guidelines for Business –

Whichever tools a business uses should have the following characteristics: it is easy to use, not expensive to use, fast to produce results, and produces accurate results.

– Email versus Snail Mail- Email won
– Company incorporation- Online won over going through a lawyer or accountant
– Logo design- Web contest won over paying a marketing agency
– Website construction- Web template won over in house resources or consultants
– Vacant Position advertising- Web won over printed advertising via newspapers
– Online sale versus a physical shop – there are many success stories but the jury is not unanimous
– Online Advertising versus other means- the jury is still out but online advertising revenues are on the rise day by day

In all the above cases, we get what we want and do not give up any right or ownership.

How To Use YouTube Marketing To Profit From Your MLM Opportunity

YouTube is an excellent advertising medium all network marketers should utilize. By utilizing YouTube marketing, you can practically guarantee success for your MLM business. In order to truly obtain astounding success, you need to create a video that can easily go viral. If you would like to learn how to create a great YouTube advertisement, you should read the following paragraphs.
The very first step you must take to create a great YouTube video is the step of creating the video itself. While the process of creating a video is rather simple, there are many special features you can include in your video to make it special.

By creating a professional quality production, you can be certain that everyone who sees the media you have created will find the information you provide to be reliable and they will also find you to be trustworthy. By making your production of a professional quality, you can also increase the likelihood that people will move on from your video to make a purchase from your website.

If you have never created a video before, let alone a professional quality advertisement, you are likely interested in the methods you can use to improve your content. By simply wearing nice attire as you address your viewers, you can be certain that the quality of your productions will be improved as a result.

Once you have a nice outfit on, you are ready to start searching for locations to shoot the production. You can make your production in a variety of locations, but if you can avoid making the mistake of shooting your video in an area that your viewers will not find to be attractive, you will greatly improve the success of your advertisement. Nothing can destroy the success of your advertisements like a cluttered office in the background.

After you have found a great location to shoot, you should do your best to maintain a professional demeanor as you try to convince your viewers that your program is the right program for them to join. If you create your ad while you are not in a positive mood, or you create your ad while you are not feeling pumped up even, the quality of the advertisement will likely suffer as a result.

The final step you must take to ensure success for your advertisement is the process of promoting your video. By promoting your video through social networks and a variety of other mediums, you can increase the likelihood that a large quantity of viewers will see your production and will be interested in the program you are promoting.

Last but not least, once all of these steps have been completed to the best of your ability, you should repeat them time and time again. By making more videos, you will increase the amount of viewers you maintain and you will also increase the chances that people will be interested in the MLM opportunity you are promoting. If you utilize all of these YouTube marketing tips, you will likely see a tremendous amount of success as a result of your video advertising campaign.

You can get tips and help about marketing on the YouTube MLM Channel. Use the social networking site to recruit MLM reps and grow your business.

Article Marketing – Reasons Why Article Marketing is a Beneficial Tool For a More Profitable Busines

Face the reality that if you want to utilize the internet to promote your product or services, article marketing is one of the most beneficial tools that you can greatly benefit from. This method of marketing is capable of bringing more traffic to your website that would mean additional help in increasing the sales of your product or service. There are still other benefits of using article marketing; below are some of the most significant ones:

1. Article marketing helps you become an expert in your chose field. This happens when a reader finds your content valuable enough with the information it offers. Creating something that could answer their queries would result in a positive way wherein they will pay respect to your opinion and consider it as a valid answer to their questions. With foundation of trust, they would keep coming back to your site in search for answers to their queries because they pay high regards to your opinion.

2. It basically serves as an effective pre selling of your products and services. Writing articles and marketing completed ones offering information about the products or services is just like informing them the benefits of using the products and the manner of using them effectively. This will help readers and potential clients to make their decision resulting more sales on your part.

3. It can be considered as a long-term money making weapon. Why? This is because written articles that are posted online would serve as a constant and permanent source of information. As long as they are not deleted, these articles would continuously bring traffic to your website.

Do you want to learn how I build a list and make money online? I’ve just finished writing a brand new FREE ebook called ‘7 Steps to Profits and List Building with Article Marketing’.

3 Easy Steps to More Profits in Your Business

Most service professionals know that they need to market their business consistently to get great results. But knowing and doing are two very different things. It can seem challenging to market consistently when you’re so busy serving your clients, actually running your company, and trying to take care of and enjoy the other aspects of your life.

Without a doubt, effective marketing does require your time, energy, and consistent effort, but not to the point that it should be draining for you. It actually should be really easy. And in fact, once you build momentum and get the right systems in place, you’ll find that your marketing runs like a well-oiled machine, and support you in filling your practice with ideal clients and creating more visibility for the solutions you offer, and generating the income you need to enjoy the lifestyle of your choice.

Then you might be thinking, “that all sounds great, Sydni, how do I do that?” Let me answer that question for you.

First, you want to build a strong foundation for your marketing. This includes:

• Getting really clear and focused on what exactly you want to accomplish in your business.

• Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals – goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive.

• Making over your mindset. Many times, what hinders us from taking consistent action with our marketing is that we let our limiting beliefs get in the way. It’s really important to embrace a mindset for marketing success.

• Identifying who is your exact market, who your ideal client is, and what specialized niche of services you’re going to offer that individual.

• Learning how to talk confidently about what you do in a way that is compelling to the person that you’re speaking with.

• Looking at how you’re packaging your services so that you’re creating options and solutions that are really appealing to your ideal client.

• Finally, you want to create a simple marketing plan that’s going to, week after week, create visibility and awareness for the work you do.

Once you have your foundation in place, it’s time to focus on creating visibility! And there’s a number of ways that you can do that:

• Educating those in your network who already, those people who already know you and like you and trust you. This includes family members, friends, ex-colleagues, other individuals in your professional services industry that may serve a complimentary service. Everyone who knows about what you do needs to be educated about how they can refer business to you.

• You also want to look at ways to create referral relationships.

• You want to network strategically.

• Look at ways online that you can create a lot of visibility for your work such as through social media. Of course, there’s the BIG three, Twitter, and Facebook, and LinkedIn. However, depending on your profession, there are also may be social networks that are specific to just what you do.

Now that you have built a strong foundation, you built up some momentum, and created some visibility; you want to maintain that momentum. This includes:

• Having regular interactions with your audience, such as via webinars or teleseminars or of an email newsletter.

• Consistently publishing great content on your blog.

• Leveraging the power of social media so that you can consistently create visibility for what it is that you do

The fact is that consistent, effective marketing creates awareness. It creates awareness of the problems that you solve, and who exactly you solve them for. So when people who are looking for those solutions discover what you have to offer, you become the natural choice and hiring you is almost automatic. They don’t over think it or hem and haw. They whip out their credit card or form of payment because they need exactly what it is that you have to offer. And it’s maintaining a full practice of client that creates a consistent and reliable income for you month after month.

Sydni Craig-Hart, expert marketing coach and consultant, supports service professionals in creating success – in both their businesses and their lives. Known as “The Smart Simple Marketing Coach,” Sydni uses a results-focused, “how to” approach in implementing simple and customized strategies so clients realize their professional and personal dreams. She has worked with hundreds of clients in over 50 different industries to help them attract more clients, develop multiple streams of income, discover untapped profit centers, gain national recognition, and create profitable businesses in which they enjoy the lifestyles they choose. By teaching specific “how to” steps that implement a successful strategy, Sydni eliminates marketing overwhelm and helps clients breakdown difficult projects into simple tasks that get results. Says Sydni, “Every person who goes into business for themselves has a vision of what it will look like when they start. If you’ve been an entrepreneur for a while and your business doesn’t quite look like your vision, it would be my pleasure to help you use simple marketing strategies to bring that vision to life.”

Powerful Home Based Business – Announcing 7 Priceless Secrets to Supercharge Your Home Based Busines

Home based businesses have become really common these days. This was not the case only one or two decades back. In those days it was considered that home based businesses are meant only for those who due to some disability or commitment cannot work in offices. The internet has changed the way we think about home based businesses today.

Every one today wants to work from the comfort of their home. Home based businesses are something which may prove really profitable and still very easy to manage. This is something really interesting and intriguing. This is the reason that now many more of the people are getting into home based business. If you want to make good money out of your home based business activities, you need to note certain things.

1. Be sure about the kind of business you want to get into.

2. Note the target market. You will need to locate the people from your target market to highlight and promote your business.

3. Be quality conscious. Whatever you do, it will not be high selling if you will compromise on quality.

4. Be sure of your self. You must be sure that your home based business has all the potential of growth.

5. Promote your business properly. All the web based businesses need promotional backing, and so does your home based business.

6. Do what you know you are good at. The selection of the kind of business is very important ion this regard. Do not get into stuff which you cannot handle with the growth of your business. Merchandising business may not be a very good idea if you cannot handle the growth.

7. Being consistent is important in home based businesses. You need to know that your home based business is to be taken seriously by others as well as by you your self.

In Busines You Cannot Compete Against Your Own Team and Still Win Every Time

Franchise operators are generally the fiercest sharks in the sea in any local regional market place. This is because the franchisor’s business model has been time tested and proven successful in many different markets, sometimes with thousands of franchised outlets. If there were any inefficiencies in the business model, they have long been removed, and what is left is a perfectly evolved business operations model. After a while, most of the local businesses that compete against any given franchised outlet will go out of business, or their competitors will come and go.

Perhaps, it is for this reason that as a franchisor founder, I often noted that our franchisees would begin competing against each other. After all, over time they had wiped out all their competition due to better pricing, better customer service, and a better marketing and business plan; one which I created, and helped evolve thanks to the benefit of having so many franchisees discovering new methods of operation.

It wasn’t that I didn’t mind a little friendly competition for store sales, or to get each of them to perform at their optimum level; that to me was all good. What bothered me is when they would encroach on each other’s territory or try to draw customers from neighboring franchisees to do business with them. I tried to explain, that we are all on the same team here. You see, your fellow franchisees are not your competitors, they are your allies.

Running a franchise system is a lot like running NATO, I would suppose. Everyone works together to build up the brand name, make customers happy, ensure that everyone makes a profit, and defeat the competition. As a franchisor, I knew that if our franchisees were busy attacking each other and stealing each others’ customers, then I would lose in the end with decreased royalties. That seems very unfortunate to me. When franchise systems allow their franchised outlets to compete against each other it turns out to be a lose-lose-lose. I hope you will please consider this.

Cost-Crunching Counsel: Nine Keys to Controlling Costs and Improving Legal Services for Your Busines

Attorneys are all about money, right?

We’re the ones who cue our families for photographs with, “Everybody smile and say, ‘Fees!'” Go ahead. Insert your own joke here. We can take it. But despite the jokes and our reputation, most of us are businessmen, too. We understand the need to control costs. We don’t like wasting anyone’s time, either.

We’re just like you. We thrive on referrals and return business. If we gouge clients, a lot of people hear about it.

So I’m here, as an attorney, to tell you how to keep your legal costs under control. I’ve enjoyed twenty years in my career with firms ranging in size from more than 500 lawyers to firms with less than five attorneys. It’s this simple: When companies follow these nine keys for hiring and using legal counsel, they crunch their legal costs–and actually increase the quality of their legal representation.

Key #1. Get the right lawyer for the job.

Get the lawyer whose practice focuses on the narrow area of law in which you need assistance. (This almost always means you need more than one law firm doing your legal work, by the way.)

Choosing the right lawyer can save you big money in the long run. The focus of my practice is international dispute resolution. Many times, the best way to collect a debt owed by a foreign company (particularly if that company is based in an emerging market country) is to seize an asset of that company in a foreign country. Suing these companies in the United States is very expensive. Many countries do not fully recognize U.S. judgments. You sue here and take the judgment there, only to learn you essentially need to sue again and win in your debtor company’s home country. Seizing your debtor’s valuable asset in a neutral third country can oftentimes be the best solution.

The problem is that many, if not most, of the contracts my clients or their attorneys ask me to collect on outside of the United States weren’t written with that in mind. Why not? Because they weren’t written by an international lawyer. In these cases, I’m only brought in as the specialist to do damage control long after the agreement is executed. Many of these contracts state very explicitly that the client’s home city is the only jurisdiction in which any lawsuit might be brought. So what happens? Such a provision can preclude action in some foreign countries and make seizure in all of them more problematic.

I had a recent case where I am certain we could have collected a million dollars for the client in an overseas jurisdiction had there not been a provision requiring litigation in an East Coast state. My East Coast client may have saved a few hundred dollars by having his regular lawyer draft the contract, but in the end, it may have cost them a million dollars.

Choosing the specialist usually saves money in the short term as well. My next door neighbor asked me to be her lawyer in purchasing a house from her parents. (A reminder: I do international dispute resolution.) I made clear I had absolutely no real estate background and that this transfer would be far more complicated than she probably realized.

My neighbor needed an attorney with experience in these deals. I knew such a deal should be structured to legally minimize various taxes and I told her that if she used someone without experience in this specific area–like me–she increased the likelihood of missing out on some tax benefit. Still, the clincher was when I told her that it would take someone like me around 30 hours to do such a project, while someone who was familiar with the legal territory would probably get it done in half the time.

I recommended a top-flight real estate lawyer with a tax background and told my neighbor she should expect legal fees of at least $3,500. She mentioned that the lawyer I’d recommended had completed the job, tax benefits intact, for much less.

I was shocked by the low fees and called the real estate lawyer for an explanation (I actually thought he had cut my neighbor a break as a favor to me). The lawyer told me it had taken him only three hours for the job because he does about twenty of these transactions a year. That means there is no need for him to research the tax laws each time so what would take me 30 hours takes him three.

This illustrates an old adage about the best way to find the best lawyer for your particular matter: solicit suggestions from your regular lawyer, or a friend who is an attorney. However, you need to ask for more than, for example, someone who has ever done a trademark registration. In that case, you’ll probably be passed off to another lawyer in his firm that has handled a few trademarks rather than getting the name of a well-respected trademark lawyer outside the firm. Using the in-firm corporate generalist for your trademark work will prove mighty expensive if that generalist misses something in the registration.

Key #2: Stay in constant communication with your lawyer.

It may seem completely counter-intuitive that constantly communicating with your lawyer will save you money, but it almost surely will.

In reality, staying in good communication with your lawyer is the rough equivalent of regularly changing the oil in your car. It costs money each time, but a blown engine or (in the case of legal services) a big lawsuit is going to cost you a lot more in the long run than a few oil changes or phone calls along the way.

This brings me right to the next key:

Key #3: Know your goals and tell your lawyer [WHAT THEY ARE}.

This is an “ouch” item. Remember the old Rolling Stones song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”? With your counsel, “You Won’t Ever Get What You Want” if you don’t know what you want to achieve through legal representation.

It’s your lawyer’s job to explain various possible outcomes of a case or transaction, but it’s your job to know what your goals are. You are always going to know your business better than your lawyer.

Many years ago, a client came to me about six months into some highly contentious litigation with his business partner. The client had already spent around $50,000 on this case he had brought, but he had a vague sense of uneasiness about it. His regular corporate counsel had referred him to me for a second opinion regarding the litigation.

I met with the client for a few hours and learned that he wanted me to make sure his lawyers were handling the case properly. During this conversation, the client must have told me at least ten times that he never wanted to do business with his partner again. I told him I would review the entire case file and get back to him in a few days.

When we met again a few days later, I told him that his lawyers had been doing a fine job. Again, he kept mentioning how he never wanted to do business with his partner again.

I then asked him whether he realized that no matter what happened in his lawsuit against his business partner, they would still be partners at the end. Here’s the “ouch”: it turns out the client had thought that victory in his lawsuit would remove his partner from the partnership. The client had fifty grand into this process, and that goal of dissolving the partnership just wasn’t going to happen.

I then spoke with litigation counsel who confirmed the lawsuit could never achieve that objective. The lawsuit was just to seek compensation from the partner for business he had allegedly diverted to another of his companies that should have gone to the partnership. We met a few times with his partner (who actually wanted out of the partnership). Within a few weeks, we achieved a settlement that removed the partner from my client’s business–and ended the litigation that should never have been started in the first place.

Key #4: Avoid Litigation.

Being sued or finding yourself in a position where you have no real choice but to sue should almost always be avoided. This is easier said than done, but by living up to your agreements (and getting them in writing), spending a little up-front in legal fees and consulting with lawyers, you can go far in avoiding most lawsuits.

However, litigation is often necessary and should even sometimes be employed to further broad strategic business objectives. Nonetheless, once litigation has begun it is time consuming, difficult to control, and very expensive.

Regular communications with your lawyer will better enable her to head off problems before litigation becomes the only solution. It will also enable her to better position you to prevail in any such litigation, if it cannot be avoided.

I have found that the clients who are best at communicating with me have gone through litigation and truly understand the need to avoid it. Concentrate your efforts close to home. While great time and effort are spent on protecting against injury lawsuits (hot coffee and the like), that risk for most businesses is relatively small and, more importantly, can be insured against. For most businesses, employee and contract issues present a greater danger of getting out of hand. Ironically, these are precisely the issues that are easy to avoid up-front with proactive employment policies and clear written contracts.

Key #5: Use a law firm that appropriately outsources.

The big firms are usually set up in such a way that the profits of the partners come from the work of their associates. These associates are often recent law graduates who are likely to be far less efficient than a more senior lawyer. Put simply, 20 hours at $200 will cost you more than 10 hours at $300.

Associate time is often a lousy value. Law firms love having their associates doing legal research. The associate conducts highly profitable legal research and the law firm avoids having an inexperienced lawyer making strategic decisions. In the meantime you are paying to help train that associate. In seven years or so, he’ll be ready to become a partner and use a new associate to do the same thing to some other client.

How can you avoid putting too much of your legal budget into associates? On each matter ask your lawyer whether it would be possible for her to subcontract out some of the research work by using a part-time contract lawyer or even an overseas research service.

In Seattle there are many lawyers who, for whatever reason, do not wish to work full time and so contract out their legal research services for anywhere from $30 to $70. Though your law firm will justifiably mark up these charges to cover their normal overhead, you still should expect substantial savings. There is even the possibility of using overseas lawyers to assist in initial research of some matters. With competent lawyers in India charging as little as $7 an hour for computerized legal research, there is no reason not to give them the first crack at research that your lawyer will have plenty of time to review and supplement.

The outsourcing used by your law firm should not be confined just to lawyers, either:

  • Good Japanese translators are in great demand in this country and so they are quite expensive. For years we have been successfully e-mailing Japanese documents to excellent translators in Russia who charge 1/5 as much.
  • We realize substantial savings for our clients by having our Chinese documents translated in China, rather than here.
  • We have used Korean engineers for initial engineering review on cases, saving at least 30%.

We even encourage Vancouver or Toronto, Canada, arbitration provisions in our client’s international contracts because Vancouver arbitrators, though quite competent, generally cost about half of those in the locales most commonly used for international arbitration (London, New York, and Stockholm).

Key #6: Explore alternative fee arrangements.

It almost always makes sense to at least discuss with your lawyer billing arrangements other than straight hourly fees.

Perhaps you’ll both benefit from a fixed fee arrangement. Here, you and your lawyer agree on a fixed fee that covers legal services. The real advantage in this arrangement, for both counsel and the client, is the ability to budget in advance and so limit billing “surprises” for both of you.

Contingent fees are another alternative option. Simply stated, the law firm is paid contingent upon the results they achieve. Although you often hear “If we don’t win, you don’t pay” on TV commercials, the more common arrangement in business cases is to use contingent fees in combination with cost-reduced or limited-number hourly fees.

There are also a number of hourly billing variations to consider. One common option is to negotiate a reduced hourly rate plus bonus. Here, an agreement can put your counsel at a reduced hourly rate plus bonuses to be paid for meeting or exceeding deadlines you agree upon.

Key #7: Have your lawyer give you an estimate of the fees and costs.

It’s in your best interest to get an estimate of your legal fees.

An estimate is just that: an estimate. Legal fees are often difficult to predict, particularly in litigation where the opposing party’s tactics greatly influence what your lawyer is required to do. However, you still need an idea of the legal costs you’re about to encounter.

From my perspective as counsel, I have learned that it is always a good idea to give an estimate because sometimes clients truly have no idea exactly what is involved in handling a particular matter. Years ago, a client called me wanting to seize the assets of a Russian company that owed his company about $350,000. Because this was the first time I had worked with the company, I wanted to impress the client and I told him that I would use my contacts throughout Asia to determine whether this company had any assets there that could be seized. I also told him I would be working with a Russian law firm to explore the likelihood of success if we needed to sue in Russia. When he agreed to that strategy, my firm did all of these things, incurring $5,000 in fees and costs. About half of that went to lawyers/agents in Korea, China, Hong Kong, and Japan and to the lawyers in Russia who had written a very good four-page memorandum outlining what would likely happen if we were to sue in Russia.

I reported back to the client within a week and gave him very clear directions on what we needed to do to recover the debt. I then sent out the bill for approximately $5,000, believing we had done a great job very quickly and efficiently. I assumed the client was very happy with our work and would gladly pay the bill. (I can assure you that my clients for whom I regularly do this sort of work would not have batted an eye at the bill.)

My assumption was wrong. The client called and said he had no idea that it would cost so much. This struck me as curious, since the client was a rather sophisticated business person whose company uses one of the big firms in town. Yet he told me that he thought that my search for assets, and my working with Russian lawyers, would basically consist of one afternoon’s worth of phone calls. Because the miscommunication regarding fees was more my fault than his, I drastically cut the bill. But from then on I’ve tried to always give an estimate up front and then continue to update that estimate as the work progresses.

Key #8: Don’t focus too much on the attorneys’ hourly rate.

An in-house counsel for one of the largest corporations in America once told me that, no matter what the hourly fees were at the various firms used by her company, in the end, most of the firms tended to charge similar amounts. According to her, the firm whose partner billed out at $250 per hour simply billed more time than the firm whose partners billed out at $350. At the $350 per hour firm, more work would go to associates.

So here’s the principle behind the key: Focus on lowering your total bill, not on the fees charged by individual lawyers.

Key #9: Don’t forget about insurance.

One of the best investments against monumental legal fees is insurance.

Carry liability insurance and, if feasible, carry directors’ and officers’ liability insurance. Discuss your various insurance options with both your broker and your lawyer. Then, if you do get sued for any reason, have your lawyer check your policy to see if you have coverage. Too many times, companies have assumed their policy could never cover a particular matter when in fact it either might or it does.

These nine keys combined can form a powerful strategy to significantly control your legal costs. You may never be able to smile with your lawyers when they say “Fees!” for the firm’s holiday photo, but you’ll know you’re making the most of your legal budget.

Profitable Home Business – Declaring the 5 Effective Ways to Earn More Money With Home Based Busines

How does a struggling business ensure that his business endeavor becomes successful and strongly profitable? Are there really techniques and even secrets that a businessman should discover to attain assured success on his business? Well, you may want to call the enumerated lists below as mysteries or techniques, but what is emphasized on those is that ensuring that these guidelines are followed shall result into a half-guaranteed success on any business.

1. Study the current trend in the market. You should have a clear picture on what the current market situation is giving you. Make sure that you get to understand the demands that potential clients are asking.

2. Determine your targeted clients. You have to know if there is an existing market that you can target or is there a need to develop and create your own market. This is an integral component of any home based business that you need to focus on.

3. Design a plan on how you can capture these targeted clients. If there are existing clients that you can target, what methods do you have to catch their attention and switch into what you are offering? You have to make sure that you have a strong mechanism to attract and entice these existing clients.

4. Create a product that is something novel and has never been attempted to be discovered. In the online business, novelty is one factor that drives people towards patronizing your own product. When people know that your product is something that has never been tried by the majority of consuming public, the more that this product becomes enticing and appealing.

5. Create a marketing plan on how you will market and promote your company and your products. This may seem to be very scary at first but getting used to it is part of the business. So, get used to it and do not be afraid to engage. The marketing techniques that you can use will be based on your target market. If you are targeting a rather small, specific geographic location, you can advertise on local TV, radio or newspaper. If you are targeting the global community, then advertise online.

How to Recruit & Build Top Managers – Top Six Things For a Company Wanting to Scale-up Their Busines

The entrepreneur faces a moment of truth when he and his partners have grown the company to a sufficient degree to take it to the next level. At that stage it becomes imperative to hire a professional as a functional head say a CFO. Obviously the top manager needs to fill in the skill set the founders may lack. It must also be recognized by founders that this skill set is absolutely vital to succeed.

The founding partners find it difficult (esp. when founders are friends and family ) to cede control to the CFO designate, since it also means giving up certain powers and also business secrets (which the entrepreneur is paranoid about).

The Top Six Things to consider while setting up a top management team are outlined below

Try and first source from professionals in your network.

They might not be the best person suited for the job, but ‘trust’ is an important criteria at this stage, esp. for a CFO. In circumstances where you cannot find individuals who match at least 50% of skill set required, then use a professional head hunter and do an extensive reference check.

Have an extensive interview process to determine fit

For a business at an early stage, it is important that the top manager can hit the ground running fast. To do this the prospect should broadly agree with the vision of the founders, should have a first hand experience of the company culture and should be exposed to the business model. After both sides are convinced , then the prospect should be made an offer. One cannot over-emphasize the need to make the interview process extensive and lengthy.

Have a defined job role and also outline the powers that will be delegated

The entrepreneurs are very task/activity driven. So they are not great in putting down detailed job description that outlines the scope of work, key responsibilities, key success factors and powers that will be delegated to the top manager. The top manager typically will be coming from the environment where he expects the job description to be given. Entrepreneurs could take consulting help to map out the various competencies they need and how they need to develop. Implement a performance management system like a Balanced Scorecard, and explain to the senior managers what role they play in value creation and what will the measures to track the value being created by an individual, team, function and the business.

In many businesses that are working in a fast changing environment it is important to tell the senior managers that business tactics may change on a frequent basis, which will impact the requirements of the job and also the key success factors. It is useful to define ‘flexibility’ as a key competency and sound out the senior managers at the outset.

Work out the compensation and a credible risk-reward equation

Most firms at early stage may not be able to attract talent by paying best-in-class salary or perks. Besides they also do not offer the security of a good established brand name. So any top manager joining firms at this stage is taking some amount of risk. The compensation should have a significant upside in case the top manager is able to achieve the desired business objectives, and the business achieves a desired scale. Although ESOPs are a good tool to tie-in the top managers with the company’s future, most entrepreneurs do not have a disciplined approach to work out the company valuation , capital structure etc. Some consulting help can be used to work this out and communicate it to the top managers. External help makes the process objective and unbiased and gets greater buy-in from the top managers.

A useful practice is to look at valuations of listed companies in the domain, and peg your company valuation accordingly. This benchmarking is also easily understood . Typically a pool of 5-15% is necessary.

Founders need to spend a lot of time with their top & middle managers

Typically founders are fairly passionate about their products and their customers. They are not used to spend a lot of time on their managers. This can seriously affect alignment and motivation of senior managers in an growing company. The founders need to put up certain disciplines of touching base (30 minute meeting or at worst a phone call) with their top managers on a daily basis. They need to work on consciously at program , which gets the team to spend quality time together, plan together, review together and often resolve issues that are causing confusion/conflict.

Most founders will be shocked by my recommendation of at least 33% of their time committed to senior management team . But there is no point in hiring professionals if they are not aligned, motivated and guided by founders.

Consciously Work at Soft Issues of Culture, Employee Morale & Organizational Climate

While a lot of example abound about great working culture being consciously created (like the Google college culture) every organization will have its own value system , have its own cultural context determined by the vision, beliefs and the personality of the founders. Most founders are not very aware of the culture that they have created and are not very equipped at following a strategy to develop rituals , events, activities that supports the culture of the company and boosts the employee morale. They may need to use outside help to define and manage the cultural environment and map the organizational climate.

Founders need to know that senior managers work for myriad of motivations esp. at early growth companies. One of the key motivations is to work in a vibrant, exciting and a motivating company environment. Besides, it also acts as a significant draw for a potential recruit (an oasis to a desert-starved corporate monotony) .Simple practices such as an open-door management policy, company news board, company night outs, interesting design of work spaces, opportunities for interaction (company cafe, gym etc), flexibility ( telecommute, timings etc.) encouraging volunteerism for non-profits etc. can make a big difference to employee morale and top management motivation.

It is important to institute practices that the founders are comfortable with and define their vision of the company and its culture.

Sarvajeet Chandra writes on the following topics : Execution, Strategic Planning, Sales & Distribution, Brand Management, Operations Management , Customer Service, Manufacturing, Change Management etc.

How to Double Your Profits by Tweaking Just Two Business Levers

So, you want to double your turnover, eh? Here is a way to do just that by focusing on just two key levers of your business. let me refresh your understanding of the five key levers you can manipulate to grow your business.

  • Number of Leads – Get more customers coming through the doors
  • Conversion Rate – Convert more enquiries into sales
  • Number of Transactions – Increase the frequency a customer purchases
  • Your Profit Margin – Increase the profit margin per sale
  • Average Dollars per Sale – Increase the average sales amount per customer

By pursuing a regular marketing campaign based on networking, referral gathering, direct contact, writing, public speaking,advertising and promotion you can explode the number of leads pouring into your sales funnel.You can also push your conversion of leads into customers up by 5-10%. This takes a little bit of work but is well worth it.Now a quick method for expanding you profits is to increase your prices. This can be across the board or applied to a select few high volume, high profit services or products.The effect is instant! Combine a price increase with higher lead numbers and better customer conversion rates and the results are very pleasing.

All the above strategies work to improve your profits, yet to obtain the best bang for your buck you cannot beat the following one two punch:

Increase the number of transactions

If your customers usually make 4 purchases per year, then stretching this to 5 per year will have a profound effect on your bottom line. This is a strategy to use on your existing customers. How do you get them to come back more often and buy? Here are just some of the tactics you can use:

  • Customer Loyalty programs
  • Invitations to special promotions
  • Email marketing or newsletter ( keep in touch or else they will stray to your competition)
  • Customer appreciation nights and notifications of exclusive offerings

Increase the average dollar amount of each transactionIf you are not already actively encouraging your customers to spend more via the following tactics you should be, for example:

  • Upselling – Guide them to the $400 suit rather than the $200 one
  • Cross Selling – Would they like a shirt or tie with that suit? (Buy the $400 suit and we will throw in the shirt and tie for a bundled price)
  • Down Selling – OK so you don’t want the more expensive suit how about the cheaper one?

To appreciate the impact that adjusting these two levers makes to the net profit of this example business let’s look at the following lists. The amount of transactions is increased from 4 to 5 and the average dollars per sale rises from $100 to $125. Everything else remains the same.

  • Customers
  • Transactions Per Year Per Customer
  • Units Purchased Per Transaction
  • Average Sale Price
  • Gross Revenues
  • Return %
  • Bad Debt %
  • Net Revenues
  • Gross Profit Margin
  • Gross Profit
  • Fixed Costs
  • Pre-Tax Profits
  • Pre-Tax Margin

Figures Before450
4
1
$100
$180,000
2.00%
3.50%
$170,100
50%
$85,050
$50,000
$35,050
21%

Figures After

450

5

1

$125

$281,250

2.00%
3.50%

$265,781

50%

$132,891

$50,000

$82,891

31%

The bolded figures in the after list are what you should be interested in. The net profit has more than doubled.

Brian is a Melbourne based Business Coach and Consultant specializing in Marketing and business building strategies for professional service providers and the small business entrepreneur. Using a proven six step methodology Brian empowers business owners to increase their sales, profits and cash. Visit Brian’s Melbourne Business Coaching site or his Business Blog for free business tools and downloads.

Profitable Home Sewing Businesses

If you’re interested in home sewing businesses, you’re onto a good thing. Home based sewing businesses have benefited from tremendous improvements in technology in the last few years.

The opportunities for home sewing businesses range from sewing specialty clothing to monogramming to commercial sewing. There are some absolutely fabulous machines and software out there that do everything from intricate embroidery to monogramming shirts, jackets, and caps for all sorts of businesses and sports teams.

So how do you go about starting a sewing business? First you have to decide on the type of home sewing business you want. As mentioned earlier, you can make specialty clothing such as wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses on a machine you likely already own.

You may, however, want to break into the commercial area where you embroider on caps and such for local sports and Little League teams. Before you can have any home based sewing business, you have to know what exactly type of sewing service that business is going to provide.

The next thing you want to do when looking into sewing businesses is to look at the costs involved if you are going to be purchasing equipment. There’s a wide range for you to choose from, and you can likely find exactly what you need at exactly the right price for your budget. Just make sure you deal with reputable companies. This is especially important if you’re going to purchase used equipment for your home sewing business.

Now develop a business plan for your sewing business. It should include a budget and how you’ll use profits to grow your business in the future. You need to consider who the target market is for your home sewing business, and develop a plan for how you’re going to reach it. Also, you’ll want to look at accounting needs, tax requirements, and liability insurance.

You also want to decide whether you want to have a partner or not. Often, it’s a good idea to have a partner, but make sure that person shares your vision of what you’re doing. Also where you want to take your sewing business over time.

Once you have a business plan, follow it. It takes effort and determination to establish and sustain all businesses, whether they’re home sewing businesses or Fortune 500 corporations. There will be bumps in the road, but your business plan will help you manage them when they pop up. Be vigilant, and you can be the owner of a successful home sewing business.

And, please, don’t forget to consider your family when considering home sewing businesses. Talk about how having a home based sewing business will affect them. Make sure everyone understands what it will mean to them. You’ll be home, but you’ll be working.

This can make it hard for family members to know when you can stop and chat or go out for a bite to eat. Having everything out in the open will be a big help in the future when you’re going crazy to meet a deadline and your family wants to go out for ice cream.

Once you’ve considered these aspects of home sewing businesses and have taken the plunge to actually start a home based sewing business, you want to get the word out. How much advertising you do depends on your budget, and you may not be able to do the type and amount you’d like when your first start your home sewing business.

Some simple, inexpensive advertising and marketing materials you should consider are flyers and business cards. You should also look into placing small ads in your local newspaper.

Websites are something else you should look into for advertising and marketing your home sewing business. They aren’t nearly as expensive as you might think-and are well worth the investment for the amount of business one can bring your way.

Carpet Cleaning Franchises Are Profitable Businesses Today

You may be feeling dubious about whether or not to go ahead and buy a carpet cleaning franchise. Concerns about profit margins and covering equipment costs could be holding you back. Bobby Walker has a proven strategy he is prepared to share with a limited number of applicants that will guarantee you to take advantage of today’s market opportunities.

All over America every day thousands of people are having their carpets cleaned. The reason so many carpet cleaning franchises don’t make it big is because they lack well thought out targeted advertising. Just having the biggest spot in the local telephone directory isn’t enough any more. Whether at work or home, more people turn to the internet to find who and what they are looking for and over 200,000 schedule carpet cleaners online every month!

The problem for you is that if you are thinking of starting a carpet cleaning franchise, you probably aren’t a qualified internet marketer. Sure you need basic computer skills to run a business, but learning about keywords and graphic design was most likely never your thing. Bobby Walker has already tried, tested and appraised all the information and possibilities for you, and he knows exactly what works for those in carpet cleaning franchises.

Bobby has an income of over $100K per year from his carpet cleaning business, advertising only online. He has recorded in a step by step process precisely what you need to do to succeed just as he has. It really is a blueprint to your carpet cleaning franchise’s success.

He will show you everything you need to know. It won’t be a long winded learning process like network marketing courses, but is instead to the point, specific instruction. You will maximize the potential of your carpet cleaning franchise if you do what he has done and take away the stress of worrying about expenses and sufficient work flow. It will instead be a matter of how big you really want your business to grow.

Don’t waste time or money trying to do it the hard way. As soon as you are running your carpet cleaning franchise, you should be following Bobby’s lead. Outlaying a fortune for web designers or computer courses is not your answer, and will only take more time and money, leaving you in the red. For a small fee, you could be one of only two hundred people with access to Bobby’s blueprint. It’s like being given a valuable and precious gem!

Don’t be thoughtless and let this chance slip through your fingers. Don’t be left looking back in years to come wondering if you could have been more successful if you used the blueprint. It costs under two hundred dollars, and you get 13 videos, “Adwords” and advertising secrets (harder than it sounds!) and training on how to keep a close watch on your competitors every move, so you never get left behind. You will know exactly how to have your website appear at the top of any carpet cleaning business search a customer does in Google and also set up simple ads that will have your business flourishing.

Go right now, before Bobby reaches his limit. He can’t share this blueprint with many carpet cleaning franchises and you don’t want to be one of the ones who are left out. It is under two hundred dollars to have you raking in up to $100K more per year! You would have to be mad to miss out and unless you are already an internet marketing specialists, the carpet cleaning business blueprint is your answer.

Little Known Forum Online – Marketing Strategies Build Your Reputation And Profits

Many people frown upon forum online marketing strategies. The concept of marketing to your friends seems offensive.

Forums and chat rooms are a place for people to “hang out” and have conversations with like-minded people. It’s a way to get and give advice and information to help solve problems, have casual discussions regarding your favourite hobby and find resources that are hard to find.

People who participate in forums feel like they are part of a community. It’s a social gathering place where the rules of politeness and good manners gets you lots of friends and boorish behaviour gets you banned from the forum.

Blatant attempts to market your products and services on forums are considered bad manners. In fact, subtle or sneaky attempts to sell your wares are not acceptable either.

On the other hand, if you have some useful information and you are willing to share it for free you will be welcomed enthusiastically.

By giving away useful, valuable information for free you will make a lot of friends. You will also gain the respect of the community and make connections that can come in handy in developing your business.

Getting a good reputation on the forums can be really good for the ego, but is there a way to cash in on all the good publicity among a very targeted group of peers? How do you market your products and services to these people if you are not allowed to promote directly or indirectly?

This is the art of doing forum online marketing correctly.

We know that people on the forum are looking for free advice and information. There are two ways of providing that information. One is to post a comment right in the forum, in response to a question. However, sometimes the answer to a question can’t be given in a few short paragraphs. This is where the second technique comes in and is the first step to a successful forum online marketing campaign.

The way to run a proper forum marketing campaign is to provide some good information right in the forum then offer a longer “free report” as a download. Some forums won’t allow this in the main body of the forum post, so you can put the download information in the signature area.

When people go to get the free report you can have them sign up for it with their name and email address. This gets them on to your autoresponder email list.

After they sign up you can send them to a download page to get the free report. You have some marketing options here:

Some people will send people to a “one-time-offer” sales page right after they sign up. This is a direct attempt to sell your goods. If people are used to you offering free advice on the forum and are interested in the free report you offered, sending them to a sales page before you provide the report can be a little jarring. Some people may get offended and it could affect your reputation on the forum.

I prefer to give people the free report right away and make them happy that they followed the link I provided in the forum. This makes me a good friend who is willing to help where he can. When I provide what I promised without any hassles people will be willing to follow my direction in the future. This is good for business.

On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with providing additional links on the download page where they can buy things.

This is the approach I prefer.

After you have provided the free information you promised you can tempt them to click on other links that lead to related, useful resources that they can buy.

By providing this additional, useful information related to the question being discussed in the forum you become a hero. Not only did you provide some valuable free information, but you also led them to a more comprehensive solution to their problem. “Wow, what a helpful guy!” they’ll say.

Forum participants will really appreciate your style. These people will buy from your links again and again. They will also say good things about you on the forum which builds your reputation and ultimately, your profits as well.

That’s the right way to do forum online marketing. It treats people with respect, builds respect for you, builds your list for additional marketing opportunities and gets you a following of real, live human beings who will provide a high lifetime value for your business. You will have tremendous financial security in the process of helping a lot of people.

Automating Your Affiliate Business Will Double Your Profits

Automated tools, services, and outsourcing will allow you to free up more time and make your online affiliate business more profitable. Not only will it do this for you, but also it will free up more time so you can spend it doing things you love. We all know working 14 hours a day is no fun. That’s like owning a job rather than your own business.

Here’s 2 ways that will allow you to automate your business and free up your schedule.

The first is to get an autoresponder.

Working online becomes easier and your business runs smoother when you take advantage of the automated tools and services put at your fingertips. The most important part of online business is to build a list and send them messages with an auto responder. An autoresponder allows you to pre-load a set number of messages that will be sent out over time, allowing you to set it and forget it.

The second is to outsource any tasks that you are weak at or just don’t want to do.

If you don’t have the time to write articles and content or you are just not good at it, outsource it. If you can’t create your own graphics for your website or you just don’t want to learn, outsource it.

Outsourcing is becoming more popular by the day because smart entrepreneurs know that it is easier to hire a freelancer rather than hire an entire business team. By outsourcing your weak points to a professional, it frees up time for you to work on what you are good at, without damaging your business in any way.

It also allows your business to stay more credible and expand because you are staying on top of all the things you need to be doing with an online business, and we all know how much there is to do.

Those are just two ways you can automate your business to increase your profits and expand to new horizons. Use them wisely and you will see the benefits with the increases you see in your affiliate commissions.