Categories for Ideas

What To Know To Grow Your Small Business

April 30, 2014 9:14 am Published by

Saw this answer to a reader question the other day from an entrepreneur (@yaneekpage) and it got me to wondering how many people have the very same question. How do you get a new business off the ground? Growing a business is a perfect topic for this time of year, the season of rebirth and renewal… where we all feel just a bit reenergized.
According to Inc, the best time to start a business is when you’re young, the younger the better. That’s the time of life when it’s easier to pour yourself, heart and soul, into a business. You have fewer responsibilities, plus the time and energy to give to something — not always true as the years pass.
According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs see their dream of business ownership fail within 18 monthsObviously there are essential steps to startup a business, just as there are essentials for promoting, and building that business.
(more…)

Spring Cleaning: Essential For Business Too

April 8, 2014 11:58 am Published by

It’s finally o.v.e.r. The longest, coldest, most stubborn winter in recent memory is at last drawing to a close. A March Madness champion has been crowned. Baseball season has begun. Spring is fighting to take hold, and with it, the natural urge for cleaning out, clearing up, airing out. We do it at home and about the yard, why not at work?
After all, spring is about new life… getting things in order… rebirth and renewal. Apply this to your business and you’ll feel that same sense of accomplishment, of pride you do at home. And it will be good for your business too.
Let’s start out with tried-and-true business spring cleaning ideas supplied by Paul Spiegelman a few years back for Entrepreneur. These are still right on the money. (more…)

In Business, Make Your Own Luck

March 12, 2014 11:29 am Published by

Some people say you make your own luck. Some people think there are those who are just born lucky, or in the right place at the right time. When it comes to luck in business, Bill Gates is an example of a business success who was smart, educated, hardworking and lucky early on. Luck was one of many things he had going for him.
Of course you cannot rely solely on luck in business, you also need plenty of heart, smarts, determination and guts to make it. The good news is that you can adopt the lucky habits of successful business people and put them to work in your own life, your own business.
In researching this post I came across the most amazing story of luck playing out in the career of Michael Mauboussin (25 years in business investing, author of the new book The Success Equation, adjunct professor at Columbia Business School) — his first job was won by a conversation about a football logoed trash can — a lucky break to be sure. The combination of logo-bedecked item and luck was impossible for me to resist. How lucky is that?
(more…)

How Your Business Can Support The 2014 Olympics

January 24, 2014 11:50 am Published by

Once again the world is waiting for the start of the Olympic Games, set to begin February 6th on NBC. The games are to be held this year in Sochi, a place so precariously secure that some athletes are asking their families NOT to come. Yikes.
With that in mind, the games are still an event that draws a lot of popular attention, where we can see some incredible competition. This makes the games a great way to build connections between your business and the people around you. The competition and spirit remain and must never be overshadowed by hate.
(more…)

Promotional Products For When It's Cold Outside

January 10, 2014 11:26 am Published by

By now we all know what winter is made of — it’s the time of year when heated car seats are worth their weight in gold, when a warm cup of coffee is welcome at any time of day, and paying for someone to pump your gas seems worth it.
About 200 million of us (the eastern two thirds of the U.S.) have been affected by the record-breaking cold — keeping businesses closed and consumers huddled at home, away from work, school, restaurants and malls. 
Here are bigpromotions, this nasty (but not surprising) weather got us thinking about all the products we know that are suited to this blast of winter — quality items that will reflect positively on your business or brand for years to come. Affordable items that people actually want — helpful ways to deal with the discomforts of winter and get your business noticed at the same time.
(more…)

Three Helpful Hints For Holiday Shopping

October 29, 2013 8:58 am Published by

Yes, it IS that time of year once again… Halloween is this week and the holidays are coming on fast. If you aren’t already, you’ll soon be seeing decorations in every retail establishment you visit. Cooking and baking will soon be underway and then there’s the shopping… lots of shopping.
While we can’t help you much with you personal gift giving, we have put together some hints on holiday business gift giving. Start by…
(more…)

In Business, It Pays To Be Nice

March 11, 2013 11:35 am Published by

Our self-centered, get ahead world often seems like a place where being “nice” isn’t going to get you very far. Just look at what you see on TV or in the movies, never mind the persistent myth that, “Nice guys finish last”, that women only like the “bad boys”.
Strange then that being humble is a core value of one of the most rapidly growing businesses of the last decade, Zappos.com. Today the company’s annual sales are over a billion dollars, and part of the reason is that they are nice to customers and employees.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
(more…)

Yikes… It's Time To Think Back To School

July 16, 2012 12:20 pm Published by

It seems wrong to be talking back to school in the middle of summer. Kids, in fact students of all ages, would cringe at the very thought, but if you’re in business, it’s never too early to start thinking about events that will be here before you know it. And August is the month of “back to school” selling that’s so important to retailers.

This year, ShopperTrak, the largest counter (tracking at 45,000 retail locations in 74 countries) and analyzer of retail foot traffic, expects parents to be spending more, and visiting more places than last year. Retails sales are forecast to rise by 4% with an increase in foot traffic of 1.5% from this same time in 2011.
Now is the perfect time to plan to surprise a customer (or prospective one) with a useful back to school item — you’re giving them something that they need, just when they need it. You can’t beat that.
(more…)

Reinventing the Refridgerator Magnet

June 14, 2012 11:54 am Published by

It’s cool when simple things, often overlooked, wow you with what they can do. That’s just what’s happened to the lowly refrigerator magnet. It’s been given a high-tech makeover by water giant Evian according to our favorite Adweek blog.
Shaped like a water droplet, this magnet can communicate your need for a water refill to delivery people with the push of a few buttons. You go about your day and your water is restocked without further involvement on your part. The magnet has been developed to promote Evian’s new water delivery service and will be given to faithful consumers by 2013.
It’s hard not to be impressed by the gadgetry. By the simplicity of design, the innate practicality and the absolute perfection of placement.
This is yet another example of the power of magnets when it comes to promoting. Even the biggest companies see it. Magnets are one of the few items that’s always in the right place at the right time… a lasting way to keep your name and message right where people can see it.
(more…)

Good Manners Are Good For Business

May 10, 2012 12:25 pm Published by

Let’s face it, being rude can ruin a business, yet these days it seems that good manners are quickly going out of style. Anyone who’s worked in the real world for a bit can probably come up with at least two examples of co-workers who are rude and inconsiderate, yet maddeningly successful. While these types might make careers for themselves, you know that people prefer to work with (and for) those who treat them with both consideration and respect. This same holds true for businesses who are embracing good manners as a foundation for growth.
While it is your expertise, service or product that brings clients to you, they stay because of your ability to establish and maintain a relationship. We’ve talked before about how effective (and affordable) promotional products are when it comes to showing a customer how much you value their business, but these items can’t work alone. You’ll need to support those efforts with courtesy, kindness and respect for others.
In other words, good manners — you know the things your mother probably tried to teach you… those times when you weren’t listening.
(more…)