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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Marketing Strategy: The Use of Cheap Promotional Pens to Get Customer Loyalty

The following is a guest post provided by Supreme Pens: The King of Promotional Pens.

Promoting your products and services is a must if you wish to get ahead of the competition. It is not enough that your target customers know your products and services exist. You should also be sure that the consumers will choose you among all other products and services out there. One of the best marketing strategies is providing promotional items to the consumers. Everybody loves getting free items. This is a fact that you should take advantage of. By giving out freebies to the consumers, you can get customer loyalty. If you are thinking of the best promotional item to use, you should go for cheap promotional pens. This is really recommended, especially if you are on a tight advertising budget.

The first thing that you need to do is to set your marketing budget. You don't have to set a huge budget with cheap promotional pens, so you have nothing to worry about. Once your budget is already set, the next thing that you need to do is to look for a company that could manufacture cheap promotional pens for you. Choose a company that could offer you cheap branded pens, fast turnaround time, and good service. There are many companies who offer cheap promotional pens. You can start by looking online.

Once you have already chosen the company that you would hire, provide your design so they could print it out. Remember that the design is really important. It should be something that can easily be remembered. Your design could include your company's logo or the name of the product or service you are promoting. After this, you could start planning for the logistics. You need to determine how you would distribute the promotional items. This is another good thing about the use of cheap promotional pens. Since pens are very useful and very handy, point of distribution will not be a problem because you can distribute it almost everywhere.

Doing these things will surely help your company in positioning your products and services. Promotional pens can reach a lot of people. This is why pens are considered one of the best item when it comes to promotional merchandise. If you have a bigger marketing budget, aside from the promotional pens, you can also include promotional mugs, bags, fans, lanyards, and calendars. These are other great promotional merchandise that you could use. If you wish to know more about how you can use promotional items in advertising your products and services, look for providers online. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Meet Patty Dole, Blogger

Abigail (Patty) Dole lives on a boat with her husband (who is a retired sea captain) and their cat named Daxxy. They live a fairly simple self-sufficient life on an old Tjalk that is about 130 years old. Visit Patty online on her informative blog at www.LadyLivingonaBoat.com.

1. When did you first start living aboard a boat, and what inspired your decision?

I was strictly a land dweller until I met my husband who has basically lived and worked at sea since he was about 17 years old, so he was my influence and I have to admit I love it!

2. Why is self-sufficiency so important in your life?

Self-sufficiency means freedom to us. We just want to be free to live our lives on our own terms, not being dependent on any entities. For example, in bad weather if you have a solar wind, or a good generator and some batteries, you are all set if the electricity goes out and the electric company can't get to you for a few days or weeks. People who live in houses that don't have any of those things are at the mercy of the electric company that may not be able to reach them due to circumstances beyond their control. That is something that people like us don't have to worry so much about.

3. How did you select your top five products that you recommend for saving money?

We are not wealthy people. My husband is retired and living on a pension which isn't as much as we would like; so saving money is important to us. I have found that often the more money that people make, the greater the debt that they get into because they haven't altered how they viewed their money or their time. We love spending time together and doing the simple things in life, so the products that I recommend are actually coming from how we are learning to live our lives. We actually save more money this way, and it frees up our time to do the things that we value in life.

In other words, we really believe that managing the money that we have is far more important than making more money that we don't adequately manage.

So I am making these recommendations to anyone who wants to learn to manage what they have and learn to live within their means. That is very empowering.

4. What do you say to people who don't believe that couponing is an effective way to save money?

I say that they are really missing out on an effective opportunity to not only save money but get top brands. I have found that effectively using coupons frees up my income so that I can pay more on debts that I owe, and yes we still have debts.

It makes our lives less complicated. For example, if I use buy "ones or twos, get ones or twos for free" on things that we use like laundry soap, razors, toothpaste, deodorant, dish detergent, etc for three months straight, then I don't need to spend any money on those products for the next six months to a year, and that frees up at least $40 to $100 per month on those products alone. It is not about being a hoarder; it is about being prepared. Notice that I have not even mentioned how much we save on our pet products or food. Also remember, we are only two people with a cat. A family has the opportunity to see even more savings because they tend to spend more money.

5. What do you enjoy the most about living on a boat--and what do you find most challenging?

The things that you don't really think about living in a house, you have to think about while living on a boat. How and where to dispose of your waste, generating your own power, keeping your batteries up to date are all challenging, but at the same time, it is these very things that keep me independent. It makes me think that there is and has always been a high price for our conveniences, and I would not trade the life that I have.

Thanks, Patty!

How to Make Sure that the Coffee Business Will Work for You

The following is a guest post provided by Cafe2U, a pioneer of the mobile cafe industry in countries all over the world.

Why is the coffee shop business worth investing in? Because nowadays this is the place to be, next to one's home and office, where people spend time to relax and unwind. It is estimated that one out of five people all over the world are coffee drinkers, and most of them consume an average of two or three cups a day. People frequent coffee shops for varying reasons, of course, but you can summarize it into three.

  • They love coffee, and they can't survive a day without a dose of caffeine.
  • They feel relaxed in the ambiance of the cafĂ© with a homey interior and classy, jazzy music.
  • A coffee shop is a perfect place either for solitary moments or for a chill night out with friends.

So when you think of a new business venture, the coffee shop business should be at the top of your list. With proper management and the best marketing strategies, you can surely earn a satisfying ROI over a year. Like any business, though, a coffee business requires a lot of hard work, research, and determination. You'll have to check twice on everything from location, menu, and employees, to your counter's layout and the preferred coffee shop ambiance.

Before you decide to buy coffee shops for sale, you should carefully deliberate first and analyze the situation. You can always find the best coffee shop for sale, but the question here is whether you're ready to take the next step.

First, you need to smooth out your business plan. It's cool to have a unique concept for your coffee shop, but will your financial capability allow it? Is the idea feasible? Once you clearly map out your venture, then you can start digging for information that will help on your endeavor.

When you're already at the stage of looking out for the best coffee shops for sale, always make the location a primary consideration. The success of a business majorly depends on the potential of its location. Check out the foot traffic in the area. Make an ocular around the vicinity. There might be other enterprises of the same line that can greatly affect the sales of your business. Also, do research on whether there are plans to develop the area in the future.

Never compromise the design of your coffee shop. This is often the strongest selling point of the business next to the coffee itself. People drink coffee to relax and find relief from the stress of daily demands. They need a cozy place that will make them feel better. So when you're looking for coffee shops for sale, always consider the quality of the interior and if it's possible to renovate it according to your desired looks.

Using TurboTax Online in 2015

If you're more organized than I am, you're already thinking about your 2015 income taxes. In fact, instead of reading this right now, you could be using software to enter your 2014 financial data so that you can get your taxes filed right away and get your refund as soon as possible in 2015.

To that end, check out TurboTax 2015 online for more information about e-filing with TurboTax. The site also covers what's new with TurboTax in 2015, as the popular tax filing program is always offering useful updates in line with the ever-changing federal tax codes.

TurboTax is well-known for its "personalized interview" feature which gives you an easy way to make sure you're getting all the deductions you should be getting. I've used it in the past and found it to be straightforward and simple. The program is intuitive and includes a good built-in help feature, too.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Meet Ritoban Chakrabarti, Author and Internet Marketer

Ritoban Chakrabarti has loved the internet since he first got an internet connection in 2005. He studied computer science in Chandigarh, and he became a full-time internet marketer in 2008. More recently, he published his first novel, When She Smiled. Learn more about Ritoban's fiction writing at www.WhenSheSmiled.com, and on Goodreads. And learn more about Ritoban on his website.

1. How did you first become interested in internet marketing?

It all started when I was in college pursuing my engineering degree. We had a lot of free time, and while most of my friends would go out to parties, I was never too fond of partying. I decided to sit at home and work on my passion, which at that time was making websites.

There's something about making websites that brought out my creative side, and I loved it. Soon, I started freelancing and started making websites and doing graphic designing for clients. I started making a proper livelihood out of it, and as soon as college was over, I got more and more into it.

Soon, I realized I was taking on more projects that I could handle, and that's when I started my first company. It's been an amazing five-year journey since then, and we have done some remarkable things in the field of internet marketing.

2. Have you always had an interest in writing and publishing fiction?

I used to be an avid reader as a child, but since college my reading habits had been suppressed because I got busy with engineering studies and my internet marketing work. But recently, I started reading again, and I had an epiphany a few months ago about writing a novel, and I followed that dream.

To be completely honest, it has been on my dream board for a long time, but I seriously considered it only a few months ago.

3. What's your novel about?

The novel is about a teenager who grows up in the mountains of Shimla, in India. It describes how he meets a girl in a school and falls in love, and how she changes his perception of feelings, hope, and life altogether. It's a very simple story, but I believe everyone can relate to it because we have all gone through first love, and we know it changes our life.

4. How are you utilizing your background in marketing and entrepreneurship to promote your novel?

I noticed a big trend in the publishing industry, especially in India. Most of the authors here don't do much marketing of their books. Essentially they are authors, not marketers. My marketing background helps me to claim that uncharted territory because I know how to promote any product using websites, online ads, and email marketing.

I'm using all my knowledge and more for marketing this novel. Since I have about three months more before the launch of the book, I'm pretty sure I can create enough buzz around the book to get it on some bestseller lists.

5. What's your advice to independent entrepreneurs--and/or indie authors/artists!--who are facing a lack of encouragement from family, friends, etc in their pursuit of their goals?

To be honest, I didn't have much support from my family when I told them I wouldn't pursue an MBA degree, and that I wanted to open my own company. They were very reluctant, but I was more stubborn than they could handle. I kept following my passion, and slowly they got to be a part of my success. Now, they proudly tell everyone they meet about what I do and how I got there.

I have always believed in "hustling." No matter how adverse your situation may be, if you're somebody who can hustle long and hard at what they believe in, no one will be able to stop you. Your success is in your hands. Your failure is also in your hands. So keep hustling, and you'll see how each of your goals will keep becoming a reality.

Thanks, Ritoban!