Business Relationship Building – Handling "Sticky" Situations with Clients and Peers

Recently a friend of mine, who is also a member of an active discussion group to which I belong, asked us all for advice. He had a contract for a three-week school program for which he planned to take off time from his regular employment. What he hadn’t known at the time the three-week commitment was made was that he would be receiving a promotion in the company of his regular employ that would not only mean a better income for him and his family, but also many more hours of work and no chance of being able to take off three weeks.

He felt terrible and guilty, but knew that he would have to “face the music” so to speak. He found a fine substitute for his program and then contacted the teacher with whom he had made his initial contract and was dismayed by her reaction to his dilemma. As you might imagine, this well meaning man stirred up a variety of feelings among the discussion group members.

The numerous interchanges made me consider what went wrong and what might have been a more workable solution. But, most of all, it reinforced the importance of realizing that there are three sides to every situation – my side, your side, and the real side, somewhere in the middle. Following are some of my thoughts and opinions on ways to handle sticky situations with clients – and all others, for that matter.

Start by dealing with your emotions. When the teacher was informed of the change, it appears that she overreacted and sent my friend an e-mail accusing him of “non-professional” behavior. This is when he overreacted and told us all the story, including references to “sleepless nights” his “22 days and nights” working away from his family due to the extra work of the new position. Now, I am not passing any judgment because I only heard one side of the story.

Many others in our group, however, reacted – because they respect and know my friend well – with a number of critical remarks about the unreasonable and “hardened” teacher. Then a couple of group members tried to look at the whole situation from the teacher’s point of view, and everyone became even more emotional. It is so natural for us to let feelings – especially if we have a passion for what we do – take over. This whole scenario caused angry words among the members of our usually congenial group. And, it most certainly didn’t solve anyone’s problems.

Many in our group condemned the teacher and suggested that my friend talk to the principal. Personally, I felt that this might worsen what was already a far from perfect solution. I guess that I might have apologized profusely to the teacher in question – even in person – and admitted that I was the one in the wrong.

I realize that we all have our side of the story. Yet, if we take time to put ourselves into the other side, our relationships will grow instead of shattering.



Game Truck Business – Not a Turnkey Operation

A new type of birthday party has arrived for kids. No longer are kids going to be content with cake and ice cream followed by outside games in the yard, such as kickball or volleyball. Today, kids have a new type of birthday party request, a Mobile Game Truck birthday party.

This type of birthday party is when you hire the owner of a mobile game theater in your area to arrive at your home for 1 to 2 hours to host your kid’s birthday celebration inside the truck. Most units sit between 14 to 20 kids and have up to 5 TV screens. Every video game imaginable is included for each of the main game consoles, Xbox, Wii and PS3. The kids can all play the same game or all play separately. No matter what they decide, it’s the fastest 2 hours of their lives, I assure you. What a lucrative business for the mobile game theater owner, if he can find birthday parties to host, that is.

This leads me to the main point. Now that I’ve explained what a game truck is and it’s main function, now I want to shift and concentrate on potential owners. It is impossible not to consider purchasing a mobile game unit when you can see how lucrative it can be. These types of birthday parties typically fetch around $300.00 in two hours. If you have 6-8 parties a week, you an easily earn six figures per year owning a game truck. But, getting started is not as easy as it might seem.

When purchasing a one, you will find manufacturers who want to sell you on the idea of a game truck franchise, like Subway or McDonalds. They claim the business is a turnkey operation, that you will be successful immediately. All you need to do is pay $20,000 for a franchise fee, plus $1,000 per month for their marketing you will given an exclusive territory within the company. Meaning, they will not sell another unit to anybody else in your area.

Well, that leads to a slight problem. There are multiple companies selling the game trucks. So, if your neighbor wants to enter the business and your company will not sell him a game truck, nothing is going to stop him from buying from one of the other companies who sell game trucks. In that regard, is there really any such thing as exclusive territories?

With that in mind, there is no reason to buy a franchise. All you really need is the game truck itself and the proper marketing, which leads me to the final main point. Marketing your unit should be a very serious consideration when purchasing it. If the manufacturer tells you that the business is turnkey, but fails to mention marketing, then they are not being truthful. There is nothing turnkey about the game truck industry.

Owning a game unit alone will not get you calls or book you parties, as some game truck sellers would have you believe. When buying a game theater, you will have to invest between 65,000 to $110,000, without a franchise fee or marketing fee. With this much invested, you will want to begin earning income with your game theater as soon as possible.

Finally, be wary of any company that builds in monthly maintenance fees for marketing beyond the purchase of your unit. What guarantee to you have that the marketing will work? Even if you were to check a few references, who is to say the sources are legitimate or that the same marketing that worked in that area will work in your area. We think, instead, you need performance based marketing, where you only pay a certain percentage of the business you actually get from the marketing. That means you only pay the marketing when you get business, which is paying for performance, not promises.

Finally, to sum all this up, there are two main points. When choosing the right manufacturer for your game truck, be sure there are, 1. no franchise fees and 2. no built-in marketing fees.



Business Is A Lot Better With A Consumer List

If there is anything that is so difficult in this world today, it’s getting in touch with the beat of consumers. Public tastes and perceptions can change rapidly in one year, and a sales company that fails to put this in consideration could place themselves in a precarious position. Even if they employ telemarketing, they’d still be stuck in figuring out the best way to get to the heart of the consumers. One good strategy employed by firms is through the use of a consumer list database. It’s an excellent source of information, which includes a calling list that professional telemarketers can use to improve their sales capabilities. There are so many potential customers that can be reached by the sales company with the use of a consumer list database. You might want to take advantage of that as well to improve your sales.

We are all aware of the power of telemarketers in turning the tide of affairs. There are many companies in the brink of closing down who have acquired a new lease in life when they used the services of professional telemarketers for their sales campaign. As the people at the forefront of events, telemarketers are the people can establish a warm relationship between you and your prospective customers. You will have to rely on their skills to make the right calls and give prospects a good impression between you and your company. How a potential customer views the products and services offered by a firm depends entirely on the ability of the telemarketers to paint a positive picture of them. A bad telemarketer can permanently ruin a company’s reputation, so it pays to choose your telemarketers well. A little caution and preparedness can go a long way for you and your firm, if the truth is known.

With the aid of a calling list, there are better chances for the firm to make a sale with their telemarketing team. Take note that a telemarketing team’s success hinges on the quality of information that they possess. If the calling list they have is not complete, then chances are that they don’t have what it takes to make a lot of good consumer leads. Poor lead generation can result to poor sales. That is something that is seriously considered by many firms. This makes it even more important for them to have a reliable source data for their telemarketing campaign. One of the best sources of this is from a consumer list database. There’s so much to be gained for the sales firm once they use such an effective database to augment their telemarketing campaign. You should try this technology to gain more sales.

Sales are an integral part of any telemarketing campaign. If there is a way for such a firm to increase their chances of making a sale, then they should be doing so. That’s why it pays to use consumer list database to support their strategy. You can be more able to manage your company with the increased flexibility and higher amount of consumer leads generated that is made possible with the use of a consumer list database. There’s so much that you can do with a calling list that is provided to you. With a calling list, there’s a higher chance that you can get in touch with the right prospects in your sales campaign. All this rests on your ability to work with a reliable consumer list database.

Why don’t you give such a company a try and you might realize the differences available for you? There’s really nothing for you to lose when you work with such a firm.



Own Your Own Business and Live Happier

If you have dreamed of owning your own business then you can succeed at it. It is possible for you to be your own boss, acquire more out of life, and feel more satisfied and fulfilled every single day. Often we pursue career opportunities only to realize that we aren’t fully satisfied with what we are doing. We desire more out of life but are not quite sure what it is. And it can seem as if something is missing. If you feel like you are missing something in your life then it doesn’t have to be that way.

Being your own boss might seem intimidating but it shouldn’t be. You can actually achieve that goal in a step-by-step fashion that provides you with an opportunity to grow and excel, and then coach and teach others to do the same. Being your own boss is an amazing feeling because it puts you in control of the income you generate. It also gives you the tools and strategies to create the life you desire and deserve.

When you own your dream business that means you own a business that is built around your passion and purpose, a business that allows your gifts and talents to shine, and a business that makes a difference in the lives of others. And you can become your own boss for a very affordable investment.

Now it is important to understand that becoming your own boss takes a lot of work and dedication. But it is extremely rewarding. If you are willing to put in the work and stay dedicated until you manifest your desired results, then you can be a very successful business owner.

Many people dream of owning a business but are not sure how to bring that dream into reality. But that doesn’t have to be your story. You can launch and operate the business of your dreams and have dedicated support along the way. It is your time to get off the fence about becoming a business owner and make it happen. An abundance of hidden possibilities are waiting for you.



Have You Been Making Use Of Tribe Pro Within Your Home Business?

With the strategy that I am about to share with you, you can have your content shared and syndicated by hundreds of people all at the push of a few buttons. What this will mean for your business, is lots of instant traffic from interested prospects, lots of backlinks which will give your site more authority plus you will look super popular to your prospects. Using a system called Tribe Pro all this is possible.

Tribe Pro is a platform that is designed to distribute content through the sharing process, essentially everyone shares each other’s content, it was founded by Ronnie and Stacy Gauny and is becoming increasingly popular. The more the network grows the more effective it becomes, it’s almost unstoppable. It will be most useful to those network marketers who are building their business using the internet, especially if you have your own website which contains content that needs promoting.

Everyone in Tribe Pro has a common objective and that is to generate more traffic, leads and sales for their business. Its perfect for network marketers as we operate on a similar principle in our business model, help others to help others and make a ton of money in the process. So to make the most out of this system you are going to need to share other peoples content in order for them to share your, makes sense really.

Major search engines like Google like to see social action on your sites and are going to give you more exposure in the search engines. Imagine if you are receiving exposure over say 100 peoples Facebook account, who each have 200 friends (most have more), that’s an incredible 20,000 people that could see your content. Add to that the extra ranking boost that it will give to your website in the search engine listings, its plain to see how Tribe Pro can transform your business.

Leverage is the name of the game in internet marketing and with Tribe Pro you won’t need to manually share content. By using the higher membership level automation kicks in and the sharing is done using systems, which is very effective and frees up your time. List building is made easy with Tribe Pro thanks to integration with Aweber & Getresponse, you can create a ‘double lead’ when someone joins your tribe they can also be subscribed to your list.

It’s also a very easy to operate and requires no special skills, plus there are training videos that will show you everything you need to do to get started. Another thing to consider with this tribe marketing concept is the fact that it’s getting tougher to market on sites like YouTube & Google AdWords, plus the recent Panda update affecting the visibility of article directories carrying retarded content (most of them). It really is a win win situation.



The Easiest Way To Grow An Affiliate Business

There are many ways to help your affiliate business grow, but one of the easiest and most overlooked ways is through building a strong mailing list. When building your web site, you should make sure to add a sign-up button where visitors can register their email addresses to receive email updates, newsletters, or other freebies you may want to offer. Affiliate programs are based on the number of sales you can make by enticing potential customers to visit your site and buy from it. Enticing people who have already visited the site or who have made purchases before is much easier.

There are two ways you can create an emailing list:

– Use a ‘sign-up’ button that will automatically save the customer’s email address without the hassle of filling out a small form.

– Create a small form that includes their name and email address.

You can use either one you want, but make sure that the sign-up button is always working. Visitors that find links that are not working will get discouraged and will leave the site without signing up. You could lose many potential customers this way.

After a few weeks, you may notice that your email list is growing. This is a great time to think about sending out an email to your customers prompting them to visit the site again.

In your email, you may want to mention a new product, sale, or simply thank them for signing up and invite them to visit the site again. In order to make money online, you should try to be as personal as you can in your email. You should write an email that is conversational in tone and has personal touches.

Using your customer’s first name is an excellent way to establish a relationship. Most people do not like reading generated email that went out to a thousand people. This can be perceived as cold and uninviting. While you may want to invest in an autoresponder program when sending out sales information, you will want to keep other types of email correspondence as personal as possible.

When sending out email, you do not want to write what is called a ‘hard sell’. This type of email will turn people off. The ‘hard sell’ is a very persuasive letter that instills fear, anxiety, and a sense of urgency into the customer. You want to go with the ‘soft sell’, which may involve mentioning the benefits and features of your products, testimonials, or pre-selling items that will be available soon.

You should send three emails in total during one email campaign. Any more and people may opt-out of your mailing list. You should create an email campaign two or three times a year. This will keep customers interested and visiting your web site when you have something new to offer.

The key to running a successful affiliate program is to stay in contact with customers through email campaigns and newsletters. Returning customers are easier to sell to and will allow you to keep making money online if business gets a little slow. Customers on your mailing list will also recommend your web site to their friends and family, which means free advertising for your site.



News Blogs Vs The Newspaper

Grapevine has it that the paper boy may soon be out of   business  with the emergence of  news  blogs on the internet. Conventionally, most home owners, especially those belonging to the older generation are used to reading the daily newspaper in print in order to stay updated with current global news. However, this trend is experiencing a change where the newer generation now looks to the internet when it comes to staying updated with the latest happenings around the world.

This shifting trend poses a threat to many of the conventional print newspapers. So much so that many of them have initiated the move to go online. Many newspaper companies have experienced a drop in their sales due to this new emerging trend. However, the danger for news agencies is far from over because they are being rivaled by another creation of the web that comes in  the form of news blogs.

These are basically online websites that deliver round the clock updated breaking news from around the world. These news aggregation websites do not only give you the daily news as quoted from other news sources  but they also give you the opportunity to watch original news programs covering your favorite niches. Many of these blogs feature separate sections, writers, videos and original programs on politics, business, sports, entertainment, biz and tech and much more. In essence a news blog is everything that a newspaper could ever wish to be.

There is no denying the fact that news blogs offer the news seeker a much more enhanced experience. At the same time however it has had a significant impact on journalism. This is because readers are given the opportunity to comment and give feedback on anything they read, see or hear on these blogs thus keeping the journalists in check. Unlike conventional media where it is difficult to identify a twisted agenda, with news blogs intentions are always kept in check.  

When examined in detailed this phenomenon comes across as a very important and vital development of our century. In an era where the media is being blamed for promoting vested agendas, news blogs deliver impartial breaking news and headlines from around the world in an unbiased, unprejudiced and informative manner.

The newspaper in print can never even dream to match the value that news blogs have to offer. This is why you will find them to be increasing in terms of popularity all over the world whereas the sales and popularity of the conventional printed paper seem to be dwindling fast.



Web Design Guidelines for the Perfect Business Website

Whether you’re a start-up or an established enterprise, your most important asset for marketing your products or services for little cost is your website – a web domain can be picked for just a few pounds.

Despite a new trend for “drag and drop” website builders, the best way to ensure your website is of a high-quality and, consequently, as attractive as it can be to potential customers is to employ the services of a professional web design agency. Web design specialists will have extensive experience working with businesses like yours and will be able to ensure your website is as effective as it can be.

When consulting your web design agency, it’s important to keep in mind the following:

REDUCE THE CLUTTER

No one wants to be bombarded with pop-ups, adverts, and buttons the minute they land on a website. When having your website designed or re-designed, be sure to keep everything clean and clear – content should be concise and to-the-point and you should aim to have plenty of white space, too. Years ago, it was considered essential to have hundreds of pages with in-depth information about every aspect of your businesses, however, times have changed. Potential customers landing on your website should be able to clearly identify the purpose of your website and what you’re offering within just five seconds – any longer and you’re at risk of losing the prospective customers’ attention.

DO YOUR RESEARCH FOR A WEBSITES

Before consulting a web design agency, it’s important you research, looking at your competitors, to get an idea of what your website should look like. Your web designer will be able to advise on the aesthetics and usability of your site; however, the process can be made easier and, sometimes, cheaper if you have a thorough outline of what you would like before you get started. However, always try to keep your website unique, taking it to a new level above your competitors – getting inspired and taking small features is fine but you don’t want to replicate your competitors’ entire website.

KEEP YOUR WEBSITE FONT SIMPLE

It sounds juvenile; however, many business owners go wrong at the first hurdle with their website by choosing an unclear, stylised, or incorrectly coloured font. When choosing the typeface used on your website, remember to keep everything readable – font size 10 is a good standard – and clear. Popular website fonts that are also contemporary looking include Open Sans, Arvo, PT Sans, and PT Serif. Generally, always choose black font for a white background and white font for a dark background.

REMEMBER THE “VISUAL HIERARCHY”

Here is a little technical information for you. Your web design agency will be experts in implementing the “visual hierarchy” properly, however, it’s good measure for you to be aware of why your designer is laying your website out in a special way. The visual hierarchy is consumer research that proves, as customers, our eyes move from the top to bottom of a website before scanning left to right, which means you should position your call-to-actions effectively to ensure maximum conversion. For instance, to push customers to call you, display “call now” with your number top left of your site.

OPTIMISE A WEBSITE FOR MOBILES

More than ever, having an effective mobile website is essential to converting customers on the go. Plus, mobile optimisation gives your website a green tick for SEO, too. A recent study suggests that 51% of online sales are made using a mobile phone or tablet so, especially if your business is in e-commerce, it will pay to optimise your website for mobiles – allowing your customers to shop on the go.



How to Start Your Own Mobile Shuttle Service Business

You can start your own business, running your own mobile shuttle service relatively inexpensively, if you already have a van or SUV to cut down on start up costs. You could also use a sedan, or mid size car, but we don’t recommend using to small of a car, unless of course, if gas prices continue to stay sky high, then disregard that. By all means hook up a side car to a motorcycle and be the cheapest guy in town, if you have to, whatever ever it takes to get the business up and running! Not really, but you get the idea.

For this type of business you would really want to make sure you had all your bases covered, as far as passenger insurance, and local permits, and so forth. This is a business that can make you good money, if you handle it, and build it up right.

After making sure you have a safe automobile to use, it is time to start your business. It is also nice to have a passenger van, because you can fit more “paying passengers” into a van. Most of the time, passengers travel lots with lots of luggage. You will need a van, or sport utility vehicle to fit all the luggage and in together. If you can set up your own pick up places on a regular basis, and have a regular schedule to certain destinations like, airports, thyme parks, tourist attractions, etc., then you can pick up more than one paying passenger, since the more passengers you take, the more money you will make. It still takes you about the same amount of gas, and same amount of time driving, so the trick is to have more passengers for each destination you drive to.

A lot of cities and towns have “car pool” or “park and ride” parking lots, along freeways, and entrance and exit ramps, to make it easy for commuters to park their autos, and car pool. These are excellent places to organize some pick up points. You could have several pick up points, and drive your own route around. By the time you get to where you want to go, hopefully your van will be full of paying customers!

Make sure you have nice signs on your automobile, so it’s easy for customers to contact you. Try to have a modern automobile with air conditioning, DVD player, and lots of storage room. Nothing would deter a repeat customer from ever using you again if the trip was a hot trip, in a hot automobile, with no air conditioning. Try to get the best vehicle you can afford, it’s a sign of your business.

Make up some fliers, and pass them out to the various hotels and hot spots around town. You can make this a better business if you can find out niche markets that no one is serving right now. The most common shuttle would be the door to door shuttle, mostly to the airport and back. You can also try various new tactics, to see what brings in the most clients, and makes you the most amount of money, at the same time.

Later, you can increase your fleet and hire a dispatcher, or do it yourself in the beginning. There is not a limit to what you could actually do, if someone puts their mind to it, and figures out what the customer needs. Give the customer what they want, and you could be on your way to owning a nice profitable mobile shuttle service business.



Top 10 High Achievers in Business

They are men and women from various cultures and from different backgrounds, some have an impressive academic record while others barely made it through high school; however, the one thing that is common is the sheer grit and determination of these people to achieve their dreams. Here is a look at the accomplishments of ten such extraordinary people.

Bill Gates

The co founder of software giant Microsoft left Harvard to pursue his dream of creating a software program that would be used by nearly every computer owner in the world. Windows is the most popular operating system in the world today along with several other applications and tools that are Microsoft products. Gates has held on to the title of the richest man in the world for over a decade with his net worth dwindling from $60 to $50 billion and back.

Oprah Winfrey

Another story of how determination can take a person to the pinnacle of success, Oprah’s story is one of courage in the face of adversity. Her program the Oprah Winfrey Show has been the longest running and the most successful show of its kind. Winfrey, who had to face abject poverty growing up in rural Mississippi, is one of the richest entertainers in the United States today with her fortunes running into the tune of $2.7 billion.

Warren Buffet

The CEO of Berkshire and Hathaway, well known as the ‘Oracle of Omaha’, Buffet is often changing first position on the Forbes list with friend and fellow philanthropist Bill Gates. While he showed a marked reluctance for investing in tech companies, which did save him from the dot com bust, he has had a remarkably successful run with his strategy of holding the stocks of fundamentally strong companies. His hold on the stock market can be gauged by the fact that the smallest divestment in a company by Warren causes a veritable panic on Wall Street and a selling frenzy.

Zhang Yin

A true rags to riches story, Zhang Yin went from collecting waste paper in the streets of the United States to being the richest woman on the Forbes list. Her empire was built on her system of recycling paper and shipping it from the US to China. Today her company is the producer and exporter of several tons of paper and she is popularly dubbed as the Empress of Paper.

Carlos Slim Helu

The telecommunications magnate from Mexico is currently at the number one position on the Forbes list of the richest people in the world with a fortune of $60 billion. His is a story of cashing in on the development of emerging economies. Through his conglomerate Grupo Carso, Slim Helu owns a sizable number of shares in several Mexican companies in the retail, manufacturing and telecom sectors. He controls 90% of the telephone lines in Mexico through his two companies.

Dhirubhai Ambani

Hailed as the ‘Polyester Prince’ of India, Dhirubhai Ambani was the founder of Reliance. In his lifetime, he went from being a blue collar worker with Shell Corporation to establishing one of the largest petrochemical companies in the world. A man who had barely managed to finish tenth grade yet shook the business culture in India as he scaled the peak of success with his company that changed the way the normal man on the streets viewed corporate stocks. Had he been alive today, he would be worth over $50 billion.

Indra Nooyi

An alumnus of Indian Institute of Management and Yale, Nooyi took on the reigns as the CEO of Pepsico in 2006 from Steven Reinemund. She was earlier the CFO of the F&B giant. Nooyi has been responsible for the restructuring of the company; its divestment in the restaurant brand ‘Yum foods’ and the acquisition of Quaker Oats and Tropicana. Since she became the CFO of Pepsico and eventually the CEO, the company’s profits have doubled while the annual revenues have increased by a whopping 72%. Nooyi constantly figures on the Forbes list of the most powerful women in the world.

Lakshmi Nivas Mittal (LN Mittal)

The steel magnate garnered world attention at the hostile acquisition of Arcelor by Mittal steel to form a conglomerate, Arcelor Mittal, the largest producer of steel in the world. With his personal wealth valued at $28.7 billion, LN Mittal is no stranger to the Forbes richest list. Although he started out in the family steel making business, he soon chose to establish his own steel making venture and its international division. Starting with a rundown steel plant in Indonesia, Mittal went on to create the largest steel making establishment in the world.

Steve Jobs

The prolific co-founder and CEO of Apple, Jobs is the man who added momentum to the personal computer revolution. He was the first to envision the impact that a mouse based GUI would have on the computer market and this led to the introduction of Macintosh. While he did leave Apple after a tiff with the board of directors and found the computer platform development company NeXt, he came back to Apple as the CEO after the acquisition of NeXT by Apple. After pancreatic cancer related health concerns, Jobs handed over the day-to-day workings of Apple to acting CEO Tim Cook and is now only involved in strategic decisions.

Mark Zuckerberg

He is the youngest billionaire in the world who revolutionized the social networking scene while in his freshman year at Harvard. The social networking phenomenon created by Zuckerberg, "Facebook" amassed a massive fan following with an astounding 500 million members. At 26, Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in the world with his net worth estimated to be well over $5 billion.

The success stories of many of these business magnates are studied in Ivy League schools; the most notable thing to be learnt from their examples is the fact that a person can achieve anything that he/she wants, as long as the individual has the courage to dream big and willingness to strive hard to achieve the dream.