Reasons to Postpone Marketing Strategies

Bmarketing strategiesy Ericka Simpson

It sounds like an oxymoron, putting off marketing to grow sales. However, there are times when it’s a good idea to postpone marketing strategies.

As a small business owner, it’s not a stretch to see you wearing multiple hats. You might lead product development, communications, customer service, shipping and handling and marketing at your organization. The way that you juggle minute as well as large tasks is truly admirable. But, how do you handle the product development stage after you’ve looked at the accounting and realize that, if sales don’t pick up within two weeks or less, you are going to be headed deeper into the red?

Pushing for sales doesn’t always work

Does your focus switch from developing the best new products to speeding up the development phase, so that you can start pushing marketing strategies? Unfortunately, it’s a common panic routine.

 

Creatives complain about how they are pressured by managers to hurry and finish a new album, book, painting or movie or television script. They know that their name is on the work. Rushing could make or break their personal brand. Pushy managers, including pushy finance and marketing managers, could hide should the product not be up to par and flop due to lack of quality.


Allow engineers and designers to focus on developing the best products. While they are working, hold off on giving tentative release dates to the media, especially if product development teams are a long way off from finishing new products. Develop products that surpass other offerings in your industry and market and that achievement alone can become a key part of your marketing strategies and tactics.

More reasons to postpone marketing strategies

Besides giving developers time to create your best products, other reasons to postpone marketing strategies include:

  • You’re still building teams
  • Processes and procedures are not finalized
  • Compliance officers are still reviewing policies
  • Loans and other financial resources are yet to be agreed upon and signed
  • Branding templates are still being worked on

If you postpone marketing strategies until your teams are built and processes and procedures are fully vetted, you could avoid problems down the road. For example, you could avoid under or over hiring. If you under hire, employees or contractors could feel pressured and start to lose work/life balance. Let that happen, and don’t be surprised if workers start exiting.

Of course, hiring too many team members will have a negative impact on the bottom line, forcing you to push for more sales. Both under and over hiring can have a negative impact on morale.

Perhaps even equally important is the lasting impression you could leave on consumers should you market too soon, sales take off and your teams cannot keep up with the demand. It’s called having to deal with too much success too soon. So, pace yourself smartly. Build out your teams. Finalize processes, procedures and legal aspects your new offerings before you open the door to the public.

Posted in Business Management | Tagged | 1 Comment

Your greatest guidance comes from within

inner guidance center

By Moyan Brenn

It’s true. Connections are key to your success. If you only seek guidance from your physical senses, you’re missing out on limitless benefits. Instead of relying on what your body sees, hears and perceives, start taping into your inner guidance. It’s your greatest connection.

 

Personal revelations, insight, accurate hunches and wisdom come from your inner guidance center. Believe it or not, your inner guidance counselor speaks to you all the time. You don’t hear it because of the ego’s endless chatter.

The ego often promises a resolution to something that you are afraid of (i.e. sickness, death, job loss, poverty). Follow ego guidance and you may end up in a worse condition than you were in before the ego tempted you to listen to its promises.

Tap into inner guidance

So, how do you receive inner guidance?

Practice stillness and mindfulness. Live in the present second. This means that you don’t dwell on past experiences and don’t waste time fearing future experiences, which may or may  not occur. Following are a few actions that you can take to practice stillness and mindfulness:

  • Start the first five minutes of your day giving thanks for events and experiences that you appreciate. For example, you could thank Source for birds singing outside your bedroom or kitchen window, a new suit that you bought and love how it looks on you, your family and a great song you heard on the radio.
  • Close your eyes and meditate on a positive message for two minutes at the top of each hour.
  • Focus on your breathing, inhaling and exhaling slowly for three minutes at the top of each hour.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Spend at least one uninterrupted hour walking, bike riding, swimming or engaging in another physical activity while outdoors.
  • Listen to soothing music or watch a light show an hour before you go to bed. Better yet, sit outside on the porch or front stoop for an hour before you go to bed.
  • Soak in a bubble bath at night.
  • Act on inner direction. Write the results of your actions in a journal.
  • Ask for inner direction when you start to feel anxious, depressed or any other form of fear.
  • Do three things that you love and appreciate every day.
  • Catch yourself engaging in negative talk. Stop acting yourself and speak out 10 things that you love about yourself.
  • Write down your dreams. Pay special attention to dreams that find you waking feeling happy, at peace and empowered.


Trust your inner guidance center. You’ll notice a distinct difference between messages received from your inner guidance counselor and the ego. The more you trust and seek inner guidance, the more you may be aware of its messages, which can help you in your personal, social, business and family relationships.

Posted in Staying Motivated and Inspired | Tagged | 1 Comment

Home office setup that increases productivity

home office setup pictureBy Rhonda Campbell

Home office setup designs could have a greater impact on your organization’s bottom line. This applies whether you work for an employer or work from home as an independent contractor or freelancer. Your home office setup directly impacts your (or your employees’) agility, mood, energy, focus, creativity and organization, all of which impact worker productivity.


Drab home office furniture does not inspire. It could leave you feeling flat and drab. Worn, old furniture that is unbalanced, squeaky or, better yet, that pokes your side when you lean or sit at a certain angle, could make you dread working in your home office. You could take your laptop and work in your living room or you could head to a local coffee shop that has Wi-Fi, but is that why you really wanted to work from home?

Home office setup ideas that inspire creativity and increase productivity

Try these home office setup ideas to increase productivity. Some of the ideas are long term changes, others work best when implemented on a short term basis.

Explosion of colors – Marketers know this. Psychologists know this. Colors influence mood. Choose home office furniture colors that inspires intelligence, balance, optimism, clarity and reliability. Mix colors when creating or buying items like posters, flyers and plaques. Pay attention to how you feel when you walk into different colored sections of home design stores. Your feelings could give you clues on which colors boost your energy most.

Treat yourself to privacy – If you’ve ever worked in an office cubicle, you know the value of office privacy. You know how uncomfortable it is to make an appointment with your gynecologist, discuss a personal matter with your partner or tell a lender that you’ll make a payment in a few days while you’re at work. You feel like colleagues are listening in, maybe even judging you based on what you say as you try to whisper into the telephone. Live with a roommate, children, a spouse or extended family? Use an extra bedroom, the basement, attic (make sure that there’s sufficient insulation) or another spare room at your apartment or house as your home office. Don’t have an extra room? Install sliding doors, portable room dividers or panel screens to section off your home office. Place the dividers far enough away from your home office desk to create more privacy.

Home office desk size – Choose a home office desk that is the right height, so you don’t have to lean over or stretch upward just to reach your computer keyboard . The smallest misalignment could create back, shoulder or neck pain, and sooner than you think. Want extra storage space, opt for a desk that has filing and storage cabinets built into it.

Home office chairs – Your home office chair should easily fit inside the front opening in your desk. It should also support your body’s structure. Adjustable, swivel chairs have lots of functionality. You could sit in swivel chairs and file papers in cabinets, eat a meal that’s placed on a serving tray, multi-task between watching a teleconference and typing memos, all with the turn of your chair. Material choices include mesh, leather, fabric, faux leather, wood, plastic, memory foam and vinyl.

Encourage fitness and good health – Ergonomic chairs and desks that make it easy for you to move from sitting to standing encourage activity. A sit/stand workstation could help you to avoid packing on pounds or developing high blood pressure or heart problems due to sitting for prolonged periods. Looking for more health risks associated with sitting too long? Check out this Mayo Clinic article.

Stay organized – Place filing cabinets and office supplies in your home office so that they don’t block the flow of natural light. Also make sure that cabinets don’t block the opening and closing of your home office door. Metal filing cabinets may last longer than wood filing cabinets, as some metal filing cabinets have stayed in good working condition for decades. Go for filing cabinets that have dividers and connectors that you can hang file folders on.

Lighting matters a lot – There may be no better source of vitamin D than sunlight. By placing your home office desk in front of a window, you’ll get to soak up some vitamin D and feel connected to your outdoor surroundings.

Spacing – Leave enough open space in your home office, so that you don’t start feeling cramped or confined. Place furniture against walls. Also, avoid adding furniture and accessories to your home office that you don’t need to get your work done.

Home office supplies – Most of your home office supplies should fit inside your desk drawers if you bought a multi-purpose desk. You could store extra supplies in the bottom or top drawer of a filing cabinet or on top of a filing cabinet. Add decorative book ends to each end of the supplies for a pick-me-up.

Entertainment – Brain enhancing music could have a long term positive impact on you. Rather than surfing the Internet during work breaks, consider listening to brain enhancing music.


Get decorative – Flowers are a short term basis home office setup item. Treat yourself to a bouquet of flowers during holidays and the week of your birthday. You could also pick up a bouquet of flowers to award yourself for closing a new client account or reaching a sales goal. To stay motivated, print and hang motivational quotes in a frame that you hang above your desk. Change the quote once a week, once a month or once a quarter.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Movies Out Now vs. Old Movies

By Angela Benson

movies on netflix carlitos wayWhich are better, old movies or new movies? Movies out now are loaded with high speed chase scenes, explosions and violence to the point where it’s as if the violence and the speed are replacing great dialogue, deep plots and complicated characters.

Old Movies Had Great Characters

Over the last eight to ten years, it’s rare that I’ve caught a flick that didn’t use violence or car chase scenes to carry the script forward. Even old gangster movies like The Godfather, Once Upon A Time In America and Carlito’s Way were built upon great characters. believable conflict and tension and realistic dialogue.


Years ago, you walked out of a movie theater wondering if the script might have been based on real life experiences. I can still hear Penelope Ann Miller’s character, Gail, begging Carlito (played by the great Al Pacino) not to go on the boat trip. Was she ever onto something. Kleinfeld (played  by Sean Penn) couldn’t have been more of a bottom feeder if he tried.

12 Angry Men, The Color Purple, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Claudine, Shawshank Redemption, Cooley High and the Women of Brewster Place are great old movies. Watch any of these movies on Netflix or on a classic movie channel and see if the characters aren’t multi-faceted, complex, fully developed.

Their motives, personalities and inner torment are what you remember. The best of them are troubled, yet resilient. Even when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, the star players in old movies don’t give up. But, not only that. Their resolve is realistic. It’s believable, not trite and unconnected to anything else in the movie.

Movies Out Now Push for Money

movies out now on netflix the color purpleHow many movies out now or movies coming soon can you say that about? Sure. There are modern movies like Castaway, Traffic, The Pianist, Seabiscuit and Amelie. But, even these movies came out over a decade ago.

Could it be free movie downloads, cheaper movies on Netflix and broader entertainment options that are pushing studios to put out try to appeal to the baser parts of us? Makes sense, especially when you consider that the average cost to make a major motion film today is about a whopping $100 million. Figuring out how to cover expenses may take precedent over quality.

That same push has filtered into the literary world. Produce-produce-produce quicker and faster. Appeal to human triggers. Forget developing a great story. Funny how this push for fast money could be costing us the very thing that we go to the theater for — great entertainment.


So, what do you think? Are old movies better than movies out now? When’s the last time that you saw a movie that you just knew would become a classic, the type of movie that stands the test of time the way flicks like The Wizard of Oz, Sounder, Boyz In The Hood and It’s A Wonderful Life have.

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Easy YouTube Tricks

By Avery Baxter

youtube tricks for online marketing

 

 

These simple, easy YouTube tricks can help you reach more prospects. The tricks can also help you to deepen connections with existing clients. Even if you only apply these steps once a week, you should see results. Consistency is key.

Video, Audio and Editing Equipment

There’s no promise that you will attract thousands of viewers at your YouTube Channel. But, the more work you put into these easy YouTube tricks, the more you could deepen your impact.


If you’re new to the world of online videos, to save costs, consider using your laptop or computer camera. If you’re computer has a webcam, you should be set.

Ready to upgrade your taping equipment? Think about investing in a quality video and audio recorder. Video editing equipment tends to be pricier. A complete video recording and editing station can run from $1,000 to over $6,000. As an alternative, you could pay for editing software. you can get video editing software for as little as $20. But, again, if you’re just starting out and watching expenses, your computer camera can do the job.

Show Viewer’s Your YouTube Channel Is Worth Their Time

Create a video recording, editing and publishing schedule. Identify and research keywords to use in your video descriptions. This may be one of the most overlooked of the easy YouTube tricks.

Search engines love keywords. It’s no mystery. People plug in keywords and phrases to find online content. Try to think of keywords and phrases that your content’s audience searches on to find the type of content that you provide.

You can get a clue about this by researching top keywords that pull up competitor’s YouTube videos. As a tip, take one or more courses at the Google Analytics Academy to identify actions needed to measure the results of your marketing efforts.

To finish developing a description for your YouTube video, write a three to four paragraph description for each YouTube video that you publish. Save yourself time and write enough descriptions to align with several weeks of videos.

If you have keyword SEO tools on your blog, plug keywords into the tool and use relevant results in your video descriptions. Publish videos on different days of the week and at different times of the day. Measure the results to see which publishing schedule works best for you. The more frequently you publish content rich videos, the more traction you may gain from these easy YouTube tricks.

Add YouTube Annotations

Enhance YouTube videos with annotations. You’ll find annotations under “YouTube Video Manager”. Click the “Edit” button for the video that you want to add annotations to. Then, click “Annotations”.

Identify where you want to place annotations. For example, you could create “Subscribe to this YouTube Channel” annotations at the start and end of each of your videos. Other annotation examples include the name of the video presenter, your website URL or where viewers can sign up for a training program that you offering.

Market Every Single YouTube Video

Market every YouTube video that you make. Post the videos with a teaser message, question or humorous tidbit at your social media channels. Other easy YouTube tricks are to add new videos to your blog, direct emails and online newsletters.

That means adding your new videos to LinkedIn, Facebook, ScoopIt, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Google Plus, Tumbler and more. At the beginning and end of your videos, ask viewers to subscribe to your channel. Also, consider asking viewers to like and share videos that you create.


Comment on popular videos that other people create, especially people who focus on content that is similar to yours. As a note, the more videos that you create, the more of your videos can go into YouTube’s rotation. If you’ve spent an hour watching different YouTube videos, you know that videos will continue to pull up and rotate for you to view until you log out of YouTube. You want as many of your videos to get into rotation as possible.

Posted in Growing Business | Tagged | 1 Comment

Volunteer work that leads to a new career

By Avery Baxter

volunteer work sign pictureVolunteer work could open the door to a new paying job. There is no shortage of volunteer opportunities that you could step into. In fact, the National Center for Charitable Statistics reports that there are more than 1.5 million registered non-profit organizations in the United States.

Volunteer work that leads to full-time jobs

Forget getting bored. Jobs that you could perform while volunteering range from English teacher, counselor, grant writer and youth ambassador to marketing manager, fund raiser, tutor, consultant, legal advisor, tax agent or web developer. These jobs rely on your existing work experience.


But, there could be a chance to stretch the jobs and grow your skill set. As an example, volunteering as a counselor could lead to a paying job as a learning and development trainer at a corporation. You could also volunteer as a counselor, deepen your development and coaching skills and use the experience to start your own consulting firm.

Similar to how it’s important to be assertive during an internship, to get the most out of volunteer work, take on projects. If you see needs at the organization where you perform volunteer work, ask how you could help to fill the need. Be prepared to discuss in what specific ways you could use your skills to fill the needs.

Exposure counts with volunteer work

By attending networking, team building and other social events that are sponsored by the organization where you perform volunteer work, you could gain exposure. Other ways to gain exposure include asking questions at the end of webinars and conference calls. You could also lead group discussions. You may be surprised at how open managers are to having someone lead a meeting or a project discussion.

Great organizations are not intimidated by people who want to continue to develop and grow their career. They welcome vision and assertiveness. You may even find a mentor where you volunteer work, someone who could advise and support you, telling you about opportunities that you may not otherwise have become aware of.

Places to find volunteer work

If you want to get started with volunteer work, connecting with large organizations like Volunteer.gov and Volunteer Match may be a good start. Local volunteer directories also list opportunities that you could take advantage of. Your current employer may also have a list of volunteer or non-profit organizations that you could learn more about.


Make sure that you add your volunteer work to your professional resume. Doing so, could lead to a paying job. But, you could also get hired by the nonprofit organization that you perform volunteer work for. Don’t overlook that opportunity if you love the work that you do at a non-profit.

Posted in Employment and Finding Jobs | Tagged | 1 Comment

eBusiness ideas that work

By Rhonda Campbell

ebusiness ideas work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re a serial entrepreneur, eBusiness ideas that you could turn into full-time jobs probably pop into your head regularly. But, ideas alone are not enough. If you don’t know this now, you’ll discover this fact soon enough.

Lackluster eBusiness ideas simply won’t work

To succeed as an industrialist, you have to pursue the right ebusiness ideas before you can step away from traditional jobs. When cash flows aren’t positive, when it’s tough to attract and retain the talents of skilled contractors and freelancers and you get tired of working 12 to 14 hour days, passion and purpose (not to mention an iron will) can keep you going.


So, a first step to picking the right eBusiness ideas is to consider your passions, your beliefs and your purpose for taking on your physical expression. Align the business that you pursue with what you believe in most. It’s these beliefs that you’ll need during hard times.

Other things to consider are:

• Your specific job experience as well as your industry and market experience
• Professional and job connections that you have and the areas that these connects specialize in
• Resources to manifest your ideas, bringing them outside your mind into the physical realm
• Legal knowledge that you have as it relates to the eBusiness ideas
• You’re ability to market eBusiness ideas

eBusiness ideas that work

These eBusiness ideas have helped make entrepreneurs thousands, some millions while working jobs they absolutely love. Operating the businesses online and offline could increase your brand exposure, putting you in contact with more consumers.

• Consultancy firm – Establish competitive rates and advise business leaders on practical ways to push up their profits, retain top talent and gain an edge on the competition.
• Marketing agency – Use your strong writing and marketing skills to create an agency that develops the very copy that strengthens other brands. If you’re good, you’ll need to hire other writers to take on client growth.
• Editorial agency – Add proofreading services to your company offerings to gain more customers.
• Web designing firm – Graphic arts and web design certifications add validity to your business. Showcase web designs (i.e. mobile websites, social media pages, brochures, catalogs) that you have created to gain clients.
• Wedding planning – You’ll need relationships with photographers, DJs, caterers and designers to implement this idea.
• Virtual psychology – Offering therapy to clients virtually has grown. Regardless of the state you live in, you’ll need to a degree and licensing to start this business. A deep care for people is also needed. People absolutely need to be able to trust you for this job to pay off.
• eCampus training – If you have a teaching degree, you could teach online college courses. You could also offer customized training (i.e. sales strategies) independently.
• Personal coaching – Firsthand experience equips you with the knowledge and the abilities to pass what you have learned to others. Succeed at a job (the bigger your success, the better) and you could coach others, offering them practical steps to achieve their short and long range goals.
• Financial advising – Series 7, Series 66 and other approved licenses are needed to offer professional financial advice. Earn your chops working as a financial advisor for an established firm. This is one of the ebusiness ideas that you need credentials for before you get started.
• Career counseling – Similar to personal coaching, career counseling gives you opportunities to give practical/actionable steps to adults, including college students, that will shorten the time it takes them to find jobs that they love, jobs that pays well.
• Online retail store – Ebay is just the beginning when it comes to the type of online retail store that you could profit from. Bookstores, jewelry shops, shoe stores, fashion boutiques and print companies are other online retail stores that you could earn a full-time income operating.
• Dietician / nutritionist services – A nursing degree and/or weight loss experience are backgrounds that could enable you to help people avoid diseases like diabetes, hypertension and other food related illnesses.
• Virtual assistant company – Administrative, data entry, time management, organizational and communication (both written and oral) skills are a must to run a successful virtual assistant company. Offer jobs to the best assistants, people who have worked for demanding start-ups and/or C-suite level executives.
• Call center – Start a call center and you could respond to customer inquiries, technical issues, etc. Adults who you hire into call center jobs need strong customer service experience, not to mention loads of patience.
• Bookkeeping / accounting firm – Software makes it possible for you to manage small business payrolls, taxes and other bookkeeping and accounting deliverables for individuals and companies.
• Employment verification firm – Many businesses conduct background investigations on new hires. This involves reviewing credit, employment and criminal reports on each new hire. Contracts with a few large firms could keep your verification company in the black for several years.

Posted in Business Management | Tagged | 1 Comment