Posted by Carl Gould on May 26, 2016
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Some Guerilla Marketing Techniques for Your Small Enterprise

Posted by Carl Gould on May 17, 2016
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Guerilla marketing is not an animal it’s a technique used to create a buzz in the market using all powerful methods of advertising. It’s the most creative and amazing marketing tool to help relieve the susceptible audiences from trap of high cost advertising and brands. Guerilla marketing is known for generating effective results within budgets using standardized concepts and marketing methods. If you’re an emerging business and the one, certain guerilla marketing strategies will be of great help to color your entrepreneurship with success.

Stay Pleasing

Start promoting your product using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Invite your friends and family to like your page and then use those numbers as leverage to gain some credibility with outsiders. Tweet and follow people whom you think are the right consumer for your business keeping your conversations pleasing yet enticing. Reach out to media by posting many colorful statuses and   videos of your business/workplace. This will help identity you and brand in the market.

Grab Attention

Go for offline advertising methods. Rent a projector and a wall projecting massive branded videos of your product/services to grab audience’s attention. You can too utilize street walls for pasting stickers and posters and display your commercial existence in the market.

Amaze By Moves

Ask for help from a renowned dancing or musical band to promote your product. Here, the dancers will wear t-shirts with your company’s logo during their performances. It could be more like opting for a road show and make it amazingly gripping.

Target Admirers

Though this one sounds like an out of the box thing for an emerging business kind but if you could just spend a little money on cinema and advertising can help expand your business. Your product will be advertised in a movie to reach out to the audiences. Basically, when people watch a movie they somewhere associate themselves with their favorite character and try adopting his/her behavior and utility of products they incline buying that product no matter if they like it or not. This type of guerilla marketing is more useful than mere TV advertisements as it has an indirect appeal on consumers being movie viewers and not ad viewers.

Use powerful and most intriguing ways of guerilla marketing mixing along branding and other technical tools for rigorous outputs. Take help of The 7 Stages best business coach for your small business today. Visit http://the7stages.com/ for more details.

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4 Simple Ways to Improve your Business

Posted by Carl Gould on April 14, 2016
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Starting any type of business can be quite interesting, challenging and exciting. However, the initial enthusiasm that every business owner feels can quickly fade away in case they don’t know how to get the most of their business ventures. As we all know, there is always space for improvement and business is not an exception. Whenever a company reaches certain goal, this success should lead to creating and executing more objectives and goals and improve business performance in general. These improvements can refer to different elements including boosting profits, cutting potential losses linked to new operations/ventures, growing the number of clients, strengthening market influence and increasing authority and value.

The good news is that there is more than one relevant way to improve your business and achieve these goals. In this article we will present four ways that have proven to be efficient regardless of the size of the company.

Assess your business plans

First of all, you must assess the business plans you have and check their efficiency. Did they help you achieve the goals you have? Do you witness the results you have planned? See whether you can complete your plan completely and evaluate the success rate you have so far. Check how many of your projected goals you have realized and perform some research to see whether there are some more convenient and effective ways that can replace your existing business plan or some parts of it. We should not forget that the way people are doing business is changing all the time. For instance, the technology is changing very fast (1), businesses get better or worse access to certain resources, the economic trends are changing etc.

Assess the pricing

Every business has products and/or services in their offer and their prices can significantly affect the overall success of any business venture. So, it is crucial to perform assessing of the services and products you have. In case the business is doing well, you can use this period of the year to increase the prices and increase profit. Never increase the rates suddenly and drastically (2). Of course, you should never overprice what you are offering because customers will notice this. Modern customers have access to many resources that can help them make the right choice, in other words – they are well-informed.

Cut the operational costs

This is a very important advice even for business owners who believe that their company is making good profit. Smart business owners must always look for ways to lower operational costs. Sometimes, these changes can look too simple, but they can bring changes. For example, you can use different paper for documentation, buy larger amount of materials in order to get a discount and any other thing that will make these costs lower and increase your profit.

Eliminating or improving weaknesses

Finally, you must analyze every process separately and determine the ones that are not doing well. Regularly write down the success rate of departments and figure out how to maximize productivity. Sometimes it is the best idea to simplify certain processes in order to increase productivity. Avoid having weak links because as we have already mentioned, only when all the links are strong you can claim that your business is strong and has a bright future.

(1)    http://study.com/academy/lesson/how-the-technological-environment-affects-business.html

(2)    http://www.consumerpsychologist.com/intro_Pricing.html

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5 Branding Mistakes Your Mid-Size Business Should Avoid

Posted by Carl Gould on March 18, 2016
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Branding is definitely one of the most important elements of any business regardless of its size. When someone mentions branding people usually think about small businesses trying to make their company name and logo recognizable. However, branding is an ongoing process and this means that mid-size and big businesses should constantly take care of this activity. By using proven branding tactics and strategies you can guarantee the much needed growth and success of your company. Even though many mid-size business owners are aware of this fact, they still make some mistakes that can be quite costly in the long run. Now let’s highlight the 5 most common branding mistakes, so you can avoid the negative effects that they create.
1. Bad Visuals
As you are probably aware, visual appeal is one of the crucial elements of your company’s branding and in case you don’t have unique and good visuals (logos, banners etc.) in your advertising strategy and even in your web design, your brand won’t be recognized as serious. In case you have a logo that was made by someone who doesn’t have professional experience in this field, then potential clients will look for another option. If you run a mid-size business, then you must hire a professional designer that can at least evaluate and modernize/stylize your logo. So, you don’t have to come up with a completely new logo, but making it look more professional is always a good idea. Perform some research before you hire a designer because not all of them provide the same quality. (1)
2. Lack of consistency
When we say lack of consistency, we mean the visual aspect of your brand and the way your brand looks on different channels. Your brand must follow the same principles and represent the values your company has. In other words, you can’t opt for funny commercials in one marketing channel and serious on another especially not at the same time. Your brand must be consistent and show a certain degree of quality. Your existing and prospective clients must be sure that you will deliver what you have promised (2). So, next time when they see your logo, they will know that they are looking at a sign of quality. For example, if your business belongs to the pet food industry, you can’t discuss foods in general on your website or social media channels. In this way you will only confuse your targeted audience and you will lose their interest. Lack of consistency also means delivering products with high quality for one month and delivering products with very low quality in the following month. Keep consistency and follow your mission and vision.
3. Lack of introspection
If you are trying to maintain your brand and make it even stronger, you should be focused on the way the audience perceives your business. If you want to get the best results, you must be realistic and objective. This means that you have to put yourself in the shoes of clients from time to time. By performing introspection and improving self-awareness, you will be able to get closer to your loyal and potential clients and customers. Even large corporations are trying to improve the bond with their clients. No one wants to deal with a soulless corporation that looks like it doesn’t care about their clients’ opinions.
4. Not using your logo enough
Your logo is not there just to use it in ads or on your website. Using your logo on your business cards, invoices, email messages, social media profiles and promotional materials is a must. This is one of the basic elements of your brand so use every chance to highlight it. Just think about this – what is the first association when someone mentions some of the big brands? – Their products and their logos.
5. Not providing sufficient space for growth
Most businesses have two goals – success and growth. When we are taking care of our branding, we usually think about the things we have now. This is good basis for brand building and developing, but the fact is that we must look in the future too. In case you have recently turned your small business into a mid-size business, you should definitely consider rebranding. This is the simplest way to provide space for growth.
Finally, we should remember that branding in general is a complex and rewarding process. However, if we are doing this wrong we risk hurting our businesses.
(1) http://www.8waysin8days.com/8-reasons-appearance-everything-brands/
(2) http://www.northstarmarketing.com/2015/05/07/the-difference-between-a-good-brand-and-a-great-brand-consistency/

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What’s Keeping You From Happiness in Your Business?

Posted by Carl Gould on February 17, 2016
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Are you prepared for success in 2016?

A lot of factors can influence how successful (or unsuccessful) you are as a business owner.  Owning a business can be challenging and stressful, and most certainly can take its toll.

During the path that you are trying to build for “a happy business life” you’ll hear about ideals and decisions that we all wish we could aspire to but often fail to comprehend or even implement them to our goals. Which ones do you have or have already implemented:

  • Be Fearless
  • Avoid using negative words. Stop using negative phrases:  “I can’t,” “It’s impossible,” or “This won’t work.”
  • New Changes always bring New Things!
  • Understand Finance
  • Grow As A Leader
  • Decide that you MUST achieve your goals.
  • Create monthly, quarterly and yearly goals
  • Never forget to be a team player
  • Use Your Leverage
  • Acquire Partners
  • Acquire Coaches
  • Having the Right Attitude
  • “failure” has only one definition “failing to take action”
  • Showing Appreciation

(Photo by @kautsar)

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2013 Global Report, prepared by Babson College and other universities and released in January, underlines something that I’ve noticed in my own reporting for years: Entrepreneurs really are happier than other people. And in innovation-driven economies like the U.S., women entrepreneurs are even happier than their male counterparts.

Related topics:

11 Shocking Employee Happiness Statistics That Will Blow Your Mind

Carl Gould is a business strategist, and growth expert. He has written 5 books in the area of creating business success, and is the co-host of the weekly radio program, ‘Quit and Get Rich’ (www.gteamradio.com). Carl and his team of experts advise companies and organizations to grow to the next level. What is the next level for you?

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Year-End Assessment:

Posted by Carl Gould on January 20, 2016
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Did You Meet Your Business Goals This Year in 2015?

The New Year is upon us!  While we are all eager to start making resolutions for our business in 2016, we now need to STOP and look back how our company did this past year. Did it meet the goals that were established 12 months ago?  Now is the perfect time to assess results so you can set next year up for even more success.

Did you accomplish a goal for each section of your business:

SALES:

  • What percentage of your service, retail, and client count goals did you accomplish? List them:
  • What did you do to achieve the results you have?
  • What did you not do enough of? Why?
  • What lessons can you learn from this?
  • Based on the above answers, what actions can you take to help you achieve your sales goals for 2016?

MARKETING

  • What percentage of your marketing goals did you achieve?
  • What promotions were successful? Why?
  • What promotions were not as successful? Why?
  • Based on the above answers what goal can you replicate for 2016?
  • What practices and/or actions can you eliminate?

FINANCE:

  • What were your budgetary goals for the year? Did you meet them?
  • What helped you to achieve your financial goals?
  • What action hindered your financial progress?
  • Based on the above answers what goal can you replicate for 2016?
  • What impact will this have on the business?

OPERATIONS:

  • What new systems did you implement this past year that helped you run your business more efficiently?
  • How did this help you?
  • What is missing operationally (technology, tracking, software, staff, etc.) that if you added it, would help you run your business more efficiently this year?

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

  • Write a list of everything you are proud to have accomplished professionally this past year.
  • From the above list, what are you most proud of professionally? Why?
  • How does this make you feel?
  • How will this help you moving forward?

Carl Gould is a business strategist, and growth expert. He has written 5 books in the area of creating business success, and is the co-host of the weekly radio program, ‘Quit and Get Rich’ (www.gteamradio.com). Carl and his team of experts advise companies and organizations to grow to the next level. What is the next level for you?

SALES:

? What percentage of your service, retail, client count goals did you accomplish? List them:

? What did you do to achieve the results you have?

? What did you not do enough of? Why?

? What lessons can you learn from this?

? Based on the above answers, what actions can you take to help you achieve your sales goals for 2016?

MARKETING

? What percentage of your marketing goals did you achieve?

? What promotions were successful? Why?

? What promotions were not as successful? Why?

? Based on the above answers what goal can you replicate for 2016?

? What practices and/or actions can you eliminate?

FINANCE:

? What were your budgetary goals for the year? Did you meet them?

? What helped you to achieve your financial goals?

? What action hindered your financial progress?

? Based on the above answers what goal can you replicate for 2016?

? What impact will this have on the business?

OPERATIONS:

? What new systems did you implement this past year that helped you run your business more efficiently?

? How did this help you?

? What is missing operationally (technology, tracking, software, staff, etc.) that if you added it, would help you run your business more efficiently this year?

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

? Write a list of everything you are proud to have accomplished professionally this past year.

? From the above list, what are you most proud of professionally? Why?

? How does this make you feel?

? How will this help you moving forward?

Carl Gould is a business strategist, and growth expert. He has written 5 books in the area of creating business success, and is the co-host of the weekly radio program, ‘Quit and Get Rich’ (www.gteamradio.com). Carl and his team of experts advise companies and organizations to grow to the next level. What is the next level for you?

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Strategies That Fit Emerging Markets

Posted by Carl Gould on December 09, 2015
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CEO’s and top management teams of large corporations, particularly in North America, Europe, and Japan, acknowledge that globalization is the most critical challenge they face today.

An emerging market is a country that has some characteristics of a developed market, but does not meet standards to be a developed market. This includes countries that may be developed markets in the future or were in the past.

What are the Emerging markets in 2015?

Global market research agency, GfK, has released part of its 2015 forecasts for sales of technology devices, showing that the stable global forecast hides multi-billion dollar changes at country level. According to a recent GfK report, the Top 10 growth markets in 2015 will all be emerging economies.

China’s slowing. Russia’s flailing. Is any emerging market worth putting your money in? We’ve found seven of them. In an article written by, Ian Bremmer in a FORTUNE article, he mentioned

Here are the lucky seven:

  1. 1. India
  2. Indonesia
  3. Malaysia
  4. Mexico
  5. 5. Colombia
  6. 6. Poland
  7. 7. Kenya

(Bloomberg) — In its 2015 Annual Guide, Bloomberg Markets spoke with six investors and strategists on what they’re expecting from various sectors of the financial markets next year.

1. Don’t Bet the Farm on China

Frances Hudson’s investment horizon stretches to decades. One reason, says the global thematic strategist at Edinburgh-based Standard Life Investments Ltd., is that demographics and other long-term drivers of securities markets are easier to predict with accuracy than factors that affect markets during shorter periods.

For example, many market watchers expect that China’s growth will lead to an increase in global demand for food commodities, Hudson says. The thesis is that the world “needs more food to satisfy growing middle-class appetites for meat—which I think is wrong,” she says.

2. Put Half Your Money in Emerging Markets

Eighty-five percent of the people in the world live in emerging markets, Jerome Booth says. They account for more than 50 percent of global gross domestic product, more than 50 percent of energy consumption and more than 50 percent of industrial production. So the emerging markets are not an asset class, he maintains: “It is the bulk of humanity, the bulk of economic activity on the planet.” They’re collectively huge and individually multifaceted, he says, and should be treated as such by investors.

3. Beware of Regulatory Risks

Sonia Kowal, the president of Zevin Asset Management LLC, says her firm’s focus on environmental, social and governance factors has helped reduce risk in client portfolios. Analyzing ESG factors, she says, can help flag companies likely to fall under regulatory scrutiny for polluting, for example.

Managers and analysts at Boston-based Zevin begin with companies’ self-reported ESG data, but that’s just a starting point. “It also has to be counterbalanced with an external view,” she says. To do that, her team checks news stories and consults with nongovernmental organizations.

4. Make a Run at Frontier Markets

Heidi Richardson is preparing for an ascent in Kenya. Richardson is training for the Kilimanjaro Marathon, and as a global investment strategist at BlackRock Inc., she also expects stocks to climb in the east African nation. “For longer-term investors, I like the frontier markets very much,” San Francisco–based Richardson says, singling out Argentina, Kuwait and Nigeria as well as Kenya. “Those are the truly emerging of the emerging markets.”

5. Count on Another Strong Year for the Dollar

The U.S. dollar’s world-beating rally has only just begun, Sue Trinh says. The senior currency strategist at Royal Bank of Canada says the greenback’s surge in 2014 was driven mostly by investors exiting bullish bets on other currencies, including the euro, yen and Australian dollar. The second leg of the U.S. dollar’s gain will come when the Federal Reserve begins its tightening of monetary policy, she says. “That’s going to be the only game in town, really, with the rate hikes that we expect from June onwards,” says Hong Kong–based Trinh. The dollar climbed against all its major counterparts in 2014, and the Fed’s actions in 2015 will continue to ripple through currency markets, Trinh says.

6. Prepare for a Big Drop in U.S. Stocks

The surge in market volatility that saw $5.5 trillion in global equity value wiped out from September to October in 2014 is just a harbinger of things to come, Gerald Buetow says. Stock valuations are still too rich and are artificially supported by central bank stimulus in the U.S. and Europe, says Buetow, chief investment officer at Innealta Capital.

Article by:  Jon Asmundsson Rocky Swift

Related Topics:

Top trends facing the world in 2015

Carl Gould is a business strategist, and growth expert. He has written 5 books in the area of creating business success, and is the co-host of the weekly radio program, ‘Quit and Get Rich’ (www.gteamradio.com). Carl and his team of experts advise companies and organizations to grow to the next level. What is the next level for you?

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The Franchise Expo

Posted by the7stages on October 29, 2015
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What’s the difference between Strategy and Tactics?

Posted by the7stages on October 14, 2015
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Many small business owners and operators do not spend much time planning for their business success. 

Examples:
To illustrate, here’s some specific examples across different industries of how strategic goals can be communicated with clear tactical elements, in a linear and logical order:

  • Strategy: Be the market share leader in terms of sales in the mid-market in our industry. Tactics: Offer lower cost solutions than enterprise competitors without sacrificing white-glove service for first 3 years of customer contracts.
  • Strategy: Connect with customers while in our store and increase sales. Tactics: Offer location based mobile apps on top three platforms, and provide top 5 needed use cases based on customer desire and usage patterns.

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”—Sun Tzu

Strategy Sets the Stage In real world business usage, the term Strategy actually is the thinking process required to plan a change, course of action, or organization. Strategy defines, or outlines, the desired goals and why you should go about achieving them.

Strategic Planning Process to understand the differences better, here are some notable points to consider, with respect to strategic planning. When doing strategic planning, you need to determine, specifically, what outcome you want to achieve (These are your Objectives) and how you will measure the results.

In Summary To sum up, strategic planning relates to issues pertinent to the mission of your small business—the purpose of its existence. The responsibility for strategic planning rests with you (and your partners and investors, if any). No one else is ever going to do that work for you, or without your involvement!

5 Major Differences Between Tactical and Strategic Intelligence

Carl Gould is a business strategist, and growth expert. He has written 5 books in the area of creating business success, and is the co-host of the weekly radio program, ‘Quit and Get Rich’ (www.gteamradio.com). Carl and his team of experts advise companies and organizations to grow to the next level. What is the next level for you?


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Apps that make international business travel easier

Posted by the7stages on September 09, 2015
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Business travel is already a hassle, but international expeditions add an entirely new layer of  frustration.

Six main apps to always look for are:

  1. Exchange rates
  2. Translation
  3. Public Transit
  4. International Clock
  5. Seamless airport transportation
  6. International etiquette

Fortunately, apps for business travel are making it easier for professionals to stay at the top of their game in the international office. For international business travelers, mobile technology is a saving grace. There are plenty of apps that help travelers and fresh faced backpackers get around, but which apps should professionals working abroad have in their arsenal?


XE Currency: It’s safe to say that you likely won’t see prices in US Dollars when traveling internationally. With conversion rates for more than 180 countries, this app will come in handy no matter where you’re headed. Why we love it: It’s easy to use and updates frequently so you’ll always have access to the latest conversion rates – and avoid overpaying for that mid-morning latte.

Expensify: Whether you run your own business or travel for your employer, it’s important to keep track of your expenses. This useful app keeps track of them in one place and allows you to categorize expense reports separately. You can also scan receipts right from your phone and add information about cash transactions. Why we love it: It even has a tool to automatically convert currency after uploading a receipt.

Business Behavior – The International Guide: Every country has different policies when it comes to etiquette, and it can be hard to keep track of the customs when you’re jetting around the globe. The app itself is free and provides universal rules for over 40 countries as well as a complete guide to Japan. Each additional guide is $0.99, but is worth the splurge. Why we love it: The guides cover information such as dress codes, dining, how to act during business meetings, protocols on gift giving and more.

Skype: While most of us already have Skype on our phones, it remains the most popular calling app and with good reason. This app allows you to make international video calls and phone calls for free when connected to Wi-Fi.  In addition, Skype is constantly improving the messaging feature to make it easy to chat with all of your long distance contacts and keep in touch with your colleagues back home. Why we love it: With the latest updates, you can have a video conference with multiple users at once for no additional charge.

Hipmunk: This is still our go to app for trip planning because it allows you to quickly search for flights based on the things that matter to you.  The app doesn’t automatically sort by the cheapest flight; rather, it allows you to filter by things like number of stops, airline or flight duration. In addition to flights, you can search for hotels using “heatmaps” which allow you to choose a location based on restaurants or nightlife in the area.  Why we love it: The information is easy to read and organize, and the rates you find on the app are often offered at a discount.

Google Translate: Conducting business can be difficult if you’re unfamiliar with the local language. The latest version of Google Translate has automatic language detection while in conversation mode, allowing the app to recognize the language being spoken and translate in real time. Why we love it: In Camera Mode, you can take a photo and have the text instantly translated.

Smart Traveler: This official app of the U.S. State Department offers immediate access to country information, including U.S. embassy locations and detailed maps. It also provides you with the State Department’s latest travel alerts and warnings. Why we love it: You can enroll in the STEP program directly from your phone, which allows the State Department to better locate you in case of an emergency. Need assistance during any travel emergency? On Call members can call us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

New apps are released every day, so before you travel make sure you research cultural differences and prepare to manage your business while overseas.

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