Archive for Advertising

RAISING EXPECTATIONS (AND THEN DASHING THEM) by Seth Godin

Posted in General Management, Life Management, Raising Expectations (And Then Dashing Them) with tags , , , , , , on January 21, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

In addition to the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, my own personal and business blogs, the recommended reading list, and information on my consulting business, I would like to share some of the writings of various thought leaders…in particular, one of my favorites, SETH GODIN.

RAISING EXPECTATIONS (AND THEN DASHING THEM) by Seth Godin

Have you noticed how upbeat the ads for airlines and banks are?

Judging from the billboards and the newspaper ads, you might be led to believe that Delta is actually a better airline, one that cares. Or that your bank has flexible people eager to bend the rules to help you succeed.

At one level, this is good advertising, because it tells a story that resonates. We want Delta to be the airline it says it is, and so we give them a try.

The problem is this: ads like this actually decrease user satisfaction. If the ad leads to expect one thing and we don’t get it, we’re more disappointed than if we had gone in with no real expectations at all. Why this matters: if word of mouth is the real advertising, then what you’ve done is use old-school ad techniques to actually undercut any chance you have to generate new-school results.

So much better to invest that same money in delighting and embracing the customers you already have.

– Seth Godin

If you’d like a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with me, for more information, please refer to my Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email me at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. I welcome your comments below. Thank you.

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Great Ways to Save Money in Your Business (Part 4)

Posted in General Management, Ways to Save Money in Your Business with tags , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Saving moneyI trust you’re finding these ideas helpful. Some of these suggestions, when implemented, will provide immediate savings. Others will yield results over time. Whatever you do, don’t sit back and watch money being thrown away because your business is not being well managed. It’s hard enough making it in the first place. Let’s work on holding on to as much as possible.

Office Supplies
Office expenses1. Buy used furniture, computers and equipment. You can save a ton and not give up any quality. Look in your local Yellow Pages, Craigslist and on eBay for great deals.
2. There are ways of saving a lot of money on supplies, like printer cartridges. Look into recycled ones. You can buy them directly online or, and I wouldn’t recommend it, refill them yourself. It can be quite the mess.
3. Instead of buying forms for your business, you can download most from the Internet…and they’re customizable. Might take a little searching, but they’re out there.
Supplies4. Another area to look into is free software. Usually, it’s downloadable. It might come with all the bells and whistles, but it might be all you need for your business.
5. Watch how much printing is being done. Make sure your not wasting paper. Don’t disregard the idea of printing on both sides, when appropriate.
6. Don’t buy more supplies than you need. I know this wouldn’t happen with your office team, but cabinets full of supplies are very tempting to employees. Keep them locked up and the supplies distributed by an office manager. Besides, why spend the money before you need to.

If you’re interested in a consultation or have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. If you have any comments, please write them below.

Great Ways to Save Money in Your Business (Part 3)

Posted in General Management, Ways to Save Money in Your Business with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Saving moneyLet’s continue to explore ways to save you money in your business. Thus far, I’ve offered up ideas for staffing, promotions and location. Depending upon your business, different suggestions will resonate more or less with you. Find what makes sense, and give it a try. I’m confident you and your bank account will be grateful you did.

Internet
Internet business1. Set up your website for less. Even if your pockets are deep, you don’t have to spend money unnecessarily. Check out Elance for great web designers who will bid for your job at a fraction of the traditional cost.
2. If you just want to try out your products online, sell them via auction websites like eBay and Yahoo Auctions before building a website.
3. “If you build it, they will come.” That might work in a movie, but not on the Internet. Do you homework. There are free sites out there that will help you find the keywords that people are searching for. If you want traffic to your site, make sure you’re on the map.
4. Don’t underestimate the power of the social networking websites. Nothing out there is stronger than Facebook. Create a profile and a Fan Page for your business. Trust me, your competitors have. Find other sites that may for more specific to your niche and get on them. If you’re focus, it will be time well spent.
5. Similarly, there are chat rooms for everything. Just search online for the ones that would benefit you the most. Get in there, or have someone do it for you. It’s generally free and a great way to promote your online or business.
6. Make sure your domain name is on all printed materials – business cards, receipts, fliers, coupons, etc.

Come back tomorrow for more suggestions.

If you’re interested in a consultation or have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. If you have any comments, please write them below.

Great Ways to Save Money in Your Business (Part 2)

Posted in General Management, Ways to Save Money in Your Business with tags , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Saving moneySaving money in this economy is no easy task…although, if you use some of my suggestions, you will definitely keep a few more dollars in your piggy bank. Yesterday, we looked at ways of managing your team, outsourcing, utilizing independent contractors and other solutions. Today, we’re going to tackle two different areas that if managed properly can have a huge impact on saving money in your business.

Promotions
Promotions1. Get referrals. Ask friends and satisfied customers for their help…and it’s free.
2. If you send invoices, make sure to include advertising with them. This is called piggy backing. At the point-of-sale, make sure to have offers on the receipt, coupons in their bag, fliers and anything else you can come up with.
3. Get testimonials from happy customers. If you have a website or do presentations, they’re a great help.
4. Local TV/Cable channels often offer inexpensive advertising rates. Check them out. Might be worth doing.
5. Share advertising with neighboring businesses (not competition). Databases, sales promotions, business partners, vendors – make it a win/win for both of you.
6. Offer free trainings and classes. Talk to your local Chamber of Commerce or community centers. There might be opportunities. If you sound like a leading authority, people will take notice.

Location
Location1. Make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Lessees are negotiating right now. A lot of properties are going unrented month after month. You should be able to get a very good deal. Don’t accept the asking price.
2. Depending upon your business, consider using an executive suite. Rent it when you need it for much less than a permanent office. It’s great for you homebased entrepreneurs out there.
3. If you’re starting a small retail business, consider a mall kiosk, rather than a storefront. Much smaller investment, easy to get in and easier to get out of…but hopefully that won’t be a concern. Don’t forget that location is important here too.

We’re just getting started. Lots more to come.

If you’re interested in a consultation or have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. If you have any comments, please write them below.