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Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Power of the Network

Social networking has been enabling business in powerful new ways, especially for B2C products.  However, nobody is going to ‘Click to Buy!’ $285,000 of log management tools or $8000 of Active Directory utilities for their enterprise without talking to someone first.  The simple fact is B2B technology products need to be sold by someone and that’s why they just don’t fit in the B2C online world of Facebook or other online marketplaces.

The alternative – a direct sales force – is frightfully expensive and can actually be thought of as the brick-and-mortar equivalent of the sales function.  Amazon and, to a lesser extent, Barnes and Noble figured out that brick and mortar bookstores weren’t the future and Borders figured it out too late.  However, technology companies are faced with the dilemma of how to develop and fund that direct sales force when they have a new specialty product that needs to be sold.  The current brick-and-mortar way of doing it was to get lots of funding to build a direct sales team – and give up a lot of equity in the process if they are even able to get the attention of a venture capitalist.  Many products are in such narrow niches that they will never get the attention of a VC – even though their market appeal may be vast.

Our Social Nature

We are by nature social creatures.  Our first inclination when we want new information is to ask our friends and people we respect.   We trust others we know over strangers, over web sites and especially over pushy sales people.  This is not a new thing.  Several hundred years ago domestic help couldn’t get a new job without a letter of reference.  I have a copy of a letter from my great grandfather’s commanding officer from his Union Army unit recommending him to anyone needing “a sober and reliable man and a good soldier.”

Today is no different.  When we need to find a good plumber, a new job or information on a sturdy washing machine we first turn to our trusted network.  That query usually takes the shape of “do you know directly or do you know of anyone who…?”  If that doesn’t pay off then there are zillions of community boards, bloggers, etc. in addition to the vendor web site.

LinkedIn has laid the groundwork for keeping in touch with business contacts and is outstanding for finding jobs or job candidates and okay for industry conversations.  Facebook is great for sharing personal information but is extremely limited in value for business to business.  Both lack a marketplace or the ability to build your own private network of interested parties – beyond simple discussion groups – with the goal of doing business.

We Are Our Network

Humans have always identified themselves by the group, tribe, club, team, et al they belong to and I expect they always will.  For the last 100 years or so, professionally we have identified ourselves by the company we work for.  If you didn’t think of yourself as a company man, you at least identified yourself through your employer: “I work for MegaWidgets.”

As jobs for life have disappeared, average tenures at companies (at least in technology) are measured in just a few years.  Bump and other apps for iOS and Android are making even business cards seem quaint.  The rise in Groups on LinkedIn tells me that the need to identify ourselves through some commonality with others is as strong as ever.  The missing piece, however, has been a way to make money or sell stuff via that group or network.

Enter the Business Network

That’s where Biznet3 is fundamentally different.  I’ll illustrate this through an actual success story that happened recently.  The full story is here.  The short version is the CEO of a small company wanted to expand the business to cover selling to the US government but he didn’t know anyone directly nor did he have the money or skills to hire a direct sales rep and he didn’t want to acquire those skills.  So he did the next best thing: he asked a friend who knew lots of sales people and who could make a recommendation.  Shortly after the connection was made, the CEO had two sales into the government, a clear pathway onto the GSA schedule and someone who could take it the rest of the way – all without an expensive hiring and possible funding process.  He is going to develop his new private network further to create virtual channels for his other product lines.

The implications for product professionals and innovators are profound.  Innovators with brand new products can tap their first and second level networks to find people, resellers or other sales networks who WANT to sell their product to customers who want to buy it, all without having to hire an expensive sales team.  Product marketers and product managers can build a private network around a specialty product to reach more customers, faster and more efficiently than ever before.

The Network Is Us

Despite what Sun Microsystems said in the 1990’s, we are all the network now.  The tools are there on Biznet3 to create your own private networks around specialty products and services to provide sales, support and collaboration – and network members have a way to make money from their participation in that network.  The company of the future consists of all the private networks you participate in and Biznet3 is where you participate in and manage them.  It’s free to sign up and put your products in the marketplace.  The first 500 resellers to join will have their membership fees waived permanently.  Join now.

About Biznet3

Biznet3 is about Setting Ideas (and People)Free. Ideas for new products. Ideas for new sales networks. Ideas for working and making money through the power of the community.

As Amazon was a new kind of community book company, Biznet3 is a new kind of community technology company that provides a Meeting Place, a Work Place and a Market Place focused on specialty solutions.

Biznet3 provides those services by being a convergence point for buyers, sellers, and enablers working together in a business network to create value and drive innovation.

 

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Get ‘Er Done: Stop Procrastination

Procrastination is at the center of every college student’s life.  Let’s face it, if you didn’t procrastinate every now and then, you wouldn’t have any life at all.  Of course, if you want to continue attending college, at some point you are going to have to do some work.  When you’ve been having a great time it can be hard to trick yourself into really wanting to get back to work, but it can be done.  As with everything else, there are a few tricks that you can use to get yourself back into work mode.

Reward Yourself For Working

While the eventual goal of a good grade and graduation is lofty and appealing, it really isn’t a great in-the-moment motivator.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t be motivated – you are just going to have to find something that does work.  Try to reward yourself after a certain amount of work with M&M’s, movies that you like, or just a break to walk outside.  Of course, you have to stick with your plan.  If you struggle for control, ask a roommate or friend for help policing it.

Start With The Easy Stuff

Staring down a problem that you don’t understand is only going to make your legs give way and you flee from the room.  That doesn’t mean that the problem can’t be solved, it is just easier to do it once you have your momentum.  Try to find aspects of the work that are easy and start there – whether it is formatting your page for the essay, or writing a section you understand really well.

End With The Easy Stuff

Just like the beginning, the ending of a huge project is murderous.  You stare at the remaining space to be filled, or the problems left to be done, and they loom huge and intimidating.  If you are prone to giving up at the end, save yourself a little something for the end as well.  Maybe it is just reviewing the work or re-formatting the paper, but there is bound to be something light that you can use to keep yourself going at the end.

Plan Ahead

Sometimes we get so caught up in procrastination that we forget that we have real commitments going on in our lives.  Unfortunately, those commitments only ever seem to rear their head just when you need to get work done.  Take into consideration future events and move your deadline up accordingly, so that you don’t wind up writing your thesis during your cousin’s wedding.

Remove Distractions

Even when you have the best rhythm going, it can all be shattered in a single instant through the sound of a good friend calling, or just the friendly ‘bing’ of Facebook.   Life is going to do it’s best to keep you from getting work done.  When you sit down to work, eliminate those temptations – turn off your phone and log out of Facebook so that you can focus on the task at hand.

About the Author

Pan B. is a writer for Mycriminaljusticecareers.com. Becoming a police officer can be a challenge. But if you visit this website, it can help you stay informed with this great career.

 

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Please Stop Printing Paper – Think of the Savings instead

You’ve been watching your inbox for the last half an hour waiting for that vital email with that important attachment to arrive. What is the first thing you do when it does?

Most likely, you’ll hit CTRL+P and print it. That’s if AiMM’s findings are anything to go by. Nearly 62% of vital business documents are being archived in their paper format.

Think about it, pretty much every email you receive these days from business organisations come with a “please don’t print” statement attached to their signature in each mail. Check your own inbox, how many can you count, so it’s not as if most environmentally conscious companies aren’t trying to stop such activity.

Usually though, this simple, obvious, environmentally conscious request will fall on deaf ears. Staff will print their files first using reams of paper and worry about saving the planet later.

Of course, there is thankfully another way, document management and imaging software technology will help any organisation to file, index, track, receive and distribute business critical documents with a few button presses on the computer all the while dramatically cutting costs, improving efficiency, freeing-up document storage space, Reducing paper waste which helps support your green agenda, forming part of the disaster recovery plan and helping to aid complicance.

Despite there being a trend towards all things virtual and social, document management and imaging is still a priority for the majority of global CIOs. Analyst Gartner says that document management is 7th on a list of most important IT spending for CIOs

The reasons are obvious. As companies are becoming increasingly aware of expenditure, they must consider ways of increasing efficiency of their processes. Document management software is a way that companies can address these issues

A company should seek out an enterprise wide solution that works seamlessly with your existing accounting software, ERP system and HCM solution. For a relatively small initial outlay, your company will be able to store, manage, retrieve and distribute business critical documents, including contracts, personnel records, purchase orders and invoices.

Research has suggested that over half of senior decision makers are looking to invest heavily in document management and document imaging.

Looking for the right technological solution now, will not only help you save time and money, but address some of the enviromental concerns and lower your carbon emmisions. And just think of all the extra space you’ll have.

V1 Document Management is a provider of paperless office systems using award winning document imaging and document management systems.

 
 

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Start-Up Business Advertising – Online or Offline?

In the past, advertising was regulated to television and print media. However, with the invention of the internet, there is an entire new sphere with which to consume content and advertise to clients. For business with a website, there are an abundance of advertising and marketing tools at your disposal for generating new business.

It doesn’t matter if you sell products online or not, the internet is still an excellent way to attract new business. In fact when it comes to online versus offline advertising, research shows that using the internet is far more advantageous for new businesses than traditional methods.

Creative Versus Directional Advertising

Creative advertising involves billboards, radio, television, magazines, and newspapers. These are considered offline methods, and have traditionally been known as “creative.” This is not to imply the advertising is imaginative or artistic. Creative in this sense means creating interest in your product. As the consumer had never intended to come across your product, you are in a sense creating interest.

Directional advertising is a term used for online advertising, as the intent is typically to direct your marketing efforts at a particular group that has either made a search query or visited a particular product page. In other words, contrary to creative advertising, the consumers here are already interested in purchasing something, and are looking for a relevant item.

Targeted Marketing

With offline advertising there is some targeting involved, as you can market to a particular base or genre. For example, if you sell women’s hygiene products, you would advertise in magazines that have a large female subscriber base as opposed to a men’s health magazine. Nevertheless, this is an imperfect strategy, and you are never going to target the specific client you are looking for. On the internet you have far more specialization and can place your advertisements only on relevant websites. Furthermore, you can use search functions to find clients who are actively searching for your product.

What the internet provides is a more efficient advertising strategy that markets by location and keywords as opposed to casting a wide net and hoping to find potential clients. This also presents a cheaper alternative given that the number of people you are advertising to will be less, even as the number of relevant consumers you reach increases. For example, a magazine or television show will charge you based on the number of readers or viewers they receive. There is nothing to distinguish how many of those people are potential customers, yet you will be charged all the same. Conversely, with online advertising, the numbers will be much smaller but will also be better targeted. Moreover, online content itself is cheaper to produce. All of this adds to being able to advertise more effectively in terms of cost and strategy, something that is essential to new businesses.

Content and Research

In addition to more efficient advertising, in recent years the amount of content that is shown online has rapidly increased. Newspapers and magazines are even making the shift to the world wide web, and more consumers are using the internet to consume news and entertainment.

However, the internet also serves as an important reference for those looking to research products before buying them. 9 out of every 10 consumers will visit a product page and read customer feedback on an item before purchasing them offline. It is important that you monitor what people are saying online and address any concerns your consumers may have. Using a company page on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter will help you market and provide customer service directly, and avoid having to fight to display your business at the top of search engine. Conversely, you would have to pay a substantial cost to get premium advertising space offline.

Cliff Hill writes on behalf of PublicLiabilityInsurance.org (Click here to visit) an online resource for business owners providing self employed insurance.

 

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Writing Style Tips for Marketers

Writing is the most influential tactic you can employ as a marketer. You can have pretty graphics, but the words you write are what will inform, educate and entice your customers to take action.
Before you can write effectively, though, you need to decide what type of writing style you want to incorporate. Your style needs to remain consistent throughout all of your collateral, as this will help create brand recognition among your customers. If you continue to change voices and styles on every new marketing collateral you generate, it will leave your customers confused.
The following are writing style tips for marketers.

Choose your style.

Take a good look at your company and what you have to offer. Then, take a good look at your target market. When you decide which type of style to use, you need to consider your audience first, as these are the people who will be reading your marketing collateral. Determine what type of writing style is most effective to your target audience. Do they prefer persuasive pieces, informative pieces or maybe even narrative pieces? Once you know what your readers want, you can start writing to this desired style.
Keep a consistent voice.

Determining your writing style is only a part of the battle. You also need to pick a voice. Do you want to be informative, or do you maybe want to be more lighthearted and funny? Again, you need to look at who your audience is and what they are most likely to relate to.
Be clear and concise.

Your audience doesn’t have all day to read your collateral, so you need to grab their attention, inform them and get them to take action in as little sentences as possible. Don’t talk around your topic, and don’t say the same thing in multiple ways.
You also need to make sure that your sentences make complete sense. If you use fragments or run on sentences, or if you mess up the subject/verb agreement, it’s going to make your writing harder to follow. The more work your audience has to put into understanding your collateral, the less likely they will be to read more.
Know your topic.

If you don’t have a good handle on the topic you’re writing about, your message is not going to be effective. Before you can offer advice or inform your readers about a topic, you need to know a good deal about it. The purpose of your writing is to come off as an expert. If your content only includes the basics, your readers aren’t going to take action.
Having a good grasp on your writing style will help your messaging become more consistent while reaching your target audience. Having a consistent writing style will also help give you some brand recognition. If you don’t have a consistent style, you will not effectively reach your audience, and you run the risk of losing some business. Using these writing tips will help you achieve a writing style and start reaping the benefits.

Andrew Malak is a business student at the Univeristy of Texas. He is obsessive about his grammar usage and refuses to submit any writing or homework without first proofing it with a grammar checker. Most of the time he has no problem remembering grammar rules but he likes to use the software to double-check.

 

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What Does A Great Promotional Product Say About Your Company?

Many differences in life – value, opinion, etc. – can be whittled down to perception; we all perceive things differently, and perception tends to be subjective in most cases. Determining value of an object or idea in the world of business can be a divisive issue – ask the financial manager what defines a valuable promotional product, and they will likely say getting the most mileage for the lowest possible investment cost. Pose the same question to the head of marketing and they’ll probably tell you it’s a promotional giveaway item that sells your brand via word of mouth.

Finally, ask the recipient of the promotional gift, and they’ll tell you that it should be something that’s useful and/or entertaining.

With a multitude of differing opinions, where does the truth lie? Here’s the thing – a great promotional item should meet all three requirements, not simply cater to one of them. The trick is to find something that encompasses all three. Keep the following in mind when you’re looking for the next great promotional item to assist in building your company’s reputation.

Familiarity – Research Your Target Market

Having a great promo item doesn’t mean much if you don’t know who to give it to. Knowing who you are specifically targeting with your promotional items, and why, is very important – ask yourself two questions when considering a promotional item:  Will the product capture the recipient’s attention and/or interest? Will it establish a positive association between the recipient and your business?

Spending some time researching your target market may also help you come up with additional ideas. For example, your research may indicate that your target market enjoys the outdoor activities. You can then focus your search for promotional products accordingly by choosing things that cater towards those interests.

Spare No Expense Or Come In On Budget?

It doesn’t help to covet a fantastic promotional product if it’s ultimately going to crush your budget. If you’ve just got to have it, what will happen is that you can only order half the quantity of a similar but lesser priced item and your campaign won’t be able to reach as many recipients as you’d planned. There is an enormous amount of promotional items available to today’s business owners – you can almost certainly find a great promotional product that fits within your budget if you are persistent and willing to search. Adhering to a budget is just as important (*if not more so) as selecting the right type of item. The bottom line – a great promotional product is one that fits your budget requirements while doing an effective job of promoting your company simultaneously.

Can You Effectively Brand The Promotional Item?

Thanks mainly to ever evolving technology; virtually all promotional products can be branded with your company logo or slogan. While there are still limitations – some items may only be available in limited colors, sometimes it may not be possible to print with more than one color – you should strive to reproduce your logo with total accuracy. If single color branding is all that is available, consider getting the promotional item made in equal numbers that are divided by the same amount of colors used in your company logo. The point is, your logo should always be instantly recognizable, even when small compromises are made.

Does It Properly Represent Your Company?

The perception of the promotional item, your company identity and the marketing campaign are all tied together – if you are a business that specializes in emerging tech and has a reputation for quality service, you will not want to use a cheap plastic promotional product that can be ordered by the thousands. Promo items are meant to bolster your reputation, brand and ultimately, your revenue, but it can be effective to present yourself, and your business, as though you have already attained these goals – in other words, be what you want others to see you as. Let that be reflected in your choice of promotional product – make it something useful that will show you anticipate their needs. Promo items that are trending or very of the moment should be avoided, but even a gimmick can be effective sometimes.

Will Your Promotional Product Be Highly Visible?

Never lose sight of the fact that marketing and promotions are all about building your brand, creating awareness and expanding your revenue. While you of course will want the recipient to actually like and use the promotional product you’ve given, a truly effective promotional product will be one that is seen by your target or intended market. This will meet your goal of giving your business greater exposure to your intended target market.

AblePromos.ca is a trusted provider of unique promotional items Canada. Create strong, lasting brand recognition with high quality corporate gifts for your valued clients and potential new customers. Choose AblePromos.ca for your next brand marketing campaign.

 

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The Benefits of a VIDEO Job Board for Search

When searching for a candidate, companies generally use one of two venues, either a recruiter or a job board.

The Recruiter

If the Employer is looking for a specialized individual in a specific field or if he doesn’t have the time, the Employer will probably use a recruiter. However, his pockets better be deep, as recruiters will charge anywhere from 15% to 30% of the candidate’s gross annual income. The percentage that the recruiter charges depends on each individual recruiter’s fee schedule.

The Job Board

If the Employer has the time to search for the candidate himself and wants to keep the cost of the search low, then the Employer will use a job board and perform the search himself. The costs of posting a job(s) and/or searching resumes vary from job board to job board, but these costs are without a doubt much more economical than the use of recruiters.

The VIDEO Job Board   This is a link to an actual candidate, and his video!

Ideally, the best solution in finding a candidate would be a job board that didn’t cost anything for either Employers or Candidates. Even better still would be a ‘no cost’ job board with Videos where the Employer could see the personality, presence, and qualities of each individual needed for a specific career requirement, something that paper resumes alone can’t do. This ideal solution is “CareerFlick”.

“CareerFlick” is a Worldwide Video Resume Jobsite that is FREE for all Employers and all Job Seekers.  This Job Board/Jobsite lets Employers post ‘unlimited’ jobs and view ‘unlimited’ Video Resumes of Job Seekers for FREE with NO time constraints and NO recruiting fees. Job Seekers can upload their own Video Resume or have a staff member of CareerFlick help them create it for FREE. Like Kijiji and Facebook, CareerFlick earns its revenue from advertisers.

Video Resumes are a thing of the future, but are here now. The use of Video Resumes is a valuable time-saving asset for BOTH Job Seekers and Employers by allowing Employers the opportunity of pre-screening candidates. Video Resumes help Employers see the “real” candidates in order to effectively select the very best candidates for a more extensive and formal ‘in-person’ interview. In short, Video Resumes save time and money for BOTH Employers and Job Seekers.

The Choice

In summary, if the Employer wants to save HIS time and can afford it, he should use a recruiter. If the Employer wants to save ‘time’ AND ‘money’, he should use a job board/job site, ideally one that is FREE and has Videos, such as “CareerFlick”.


 

 

“CareerFlick” IS A WORLDWIDE VIDEO RESUME JOBSITE THAT IS FREE FOR ALL EMPLOYERS & ALL JOB SEEKERS.

“CareerFlick” lets Employers post ‘UNLIMITED’ jobs and view ‘UNLIMITED’ VIDEO RESUMES of Job Seekers for FREE with NO time constraints and NO recruiting fees…totally FREE!

“CareerFlick” has Job Seekers from all around the World and EVERY Job Seeker has a personal VIDEO RESUME. Job Seekers can upload their own VIDEO RESUME or have us help them create it for FREE!

 

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