When 3D printers were first invented there were a lot of excited people walking around. Could it be possible to make anything you want from the comfort of your bedroom after you’ve hit a few letters and numbers into a computer? At the moment it’s getting used for some amazing things that would take your breathe away.
That’s great, but the problem is if it can roll out on a bigger scale. It’s OK listening to what some random scientists are printing, though if you can’t do the same then what’s the point? Some people don’t think it’s going to be as big a deal as we first thought. Let’s take a look at some of their reasons and see if you agree with them.
Simple costs more
With manufacturing you’ll find that something is more expensive to make when it’s more complicated. This is the opposite with 3D printers and simple designs are more expensive. It’s because you’re only paying for ink and with more complex designs there will be more air between the parts. How can someone charge more for something because of the perceived value when everyone knows it doesn’t even cost too much to make? What you’ll find is that people would manufacture the normal way and keep their costs up.
At the moment we have a complicated way of manufacturing firearms and it involves giving each one a special serial number. If everyone was just allowed to print their own guns and bullets it would cause carnage. Imagine if someone used it to hurt another person and they get away with it because the police couldn’t trace it. While there’s the possibility that anyone could print their own gun it’s going to take a long time before someone could do it in their garage.
It very slow to print
If something is getting printed it takes much longer than usual to end up with the finished article. This isn’t too good if you’re busy because it means you’ll not be able to sell as much products. When something is very hard to scale it means there’s not many places you can go if you want to earn more money. You’re going to find it much easier to increase production than raise the price. Regular manufacturing allows you to do this easily.
No moving parts
You might sell something with moving parts and it’s difficult to get right on a 3D printer. You’ll probably not waste your time and stick with regular manufacturing. This could of course change in the future and when the printers are more advanced they could be able to print anything. You’ll just need to wait and see, but don’t hold your breathe because when you think about trying to print moving parts it seems very complicated.
Cheap printers don’t do much
Most of us who would buy a printer would go for a cheap one. The more advanced ones will be very expensive until the price eventually comes down. If you only have a cheap 3D printer they don’t really do much. You can’t print anything too advanced, so they’ll only be good for little decorations. At the moment people are using them to print phone covers, so that gives you an idea of the kind of things you can do with them.
Things going wrong
You’ll start seeing problems and will need to call someone out to fix them. As with any new technology there’s always a teething stage in the beginning and you shouldn’t expect them to run smoothly all the time. If you are calling someone out all the time you’ll be paying lots of money to have it fixed. With normal printers I’m sure you’re skilled enough by now to fix them yourself. Can you honestly say you would know what to do with a 3D printer once you opened it up?
Todd Jones is the owner of a mat board selling company which specializes in wholesale mat boards. He loves to blog during his free time.
If you are new to owning a business, getting your products out quickly and effectively can seem like a major stress. There seems to be so much information on the web these days and in textbooks but it is a lot of information to sift through. While you may have studied up, maybe things still aren’t working as effectively as you’d like. We are glad you found us because today we are going to talk to you about a few simple ways to display your products so people want to buy them; many business owners seem to miss these steps and their sales show it.
Have Fun with Mannequins
Using a mannequin to display your clothing or accessories may seem like breeze but there are ways to do it wrong and ways to do it right. While it’s true that if someone wants something, they will buy it; if that item isn’t properly displayed and grabbing attention, you are losing sales. Many people who shop are in a hurry and you want them to notice things that maybe they didn’t stop by to purchase so they leave with more than they intended and leave happy.
Instead of simply lining up your mannequins in a row at the front of your store, why not place them sporadically through your shop? Maybe you’ll have one or two near the hat section, and a few by jewelry in places that makes the room pop. Instead of placing them side by side in a symmetrical manner, try placing them more freely. This is going to give the room more personality and depth. It is going to interest your buyers much more than a predictable pattern would.
Let Your Personality Run Wild
Since you are the business owner, you have complete creative control so take your passion for the products you sell and let your imagination run wild. Maybe you want to take some of your display t-shirts and instead of having them for sale, take the loss and fold them into fun shapes and place them on the wall as if they are a piece of art. Things like this are unexpected and customers are going to love it. What other shop have you seen do that?
Don’t forget to make the most of your wall space. Hang shirts, hats and anything else you think will grab attention on your walls. If you want to take it a step further, organize things by color; Of course, change is important. If every time someone comes into your business things are the same way they were before; they aren’t going to be as inclined to buy. Make them search a little for what they want and surprise them with new items. Things that you want to sell the most should always be the front of the store, near the cash registers, fitting rooms, bathrooms or anywhere that you are going to get the most foot traffic such as facing isles.
Jason smith is an avid business blogger. He is a business consultant by profession. He is of the opinion that the internet is a great place to shop for good quality and affordable Display Stands.
Running a successful restaurant is one of the toughest challenges in business, no matter where in the world the restaurant is located. If a restaurant is devoid of customers, it does not matter how good the cuisine is. Effective marketing can help ensure that customers want to try out your restaurant at least once. Here are 4 very helpful marketing tips for restaurateurs.
Never underestimate the power of free samples
When it comes to effectively marketing a restaurant, giving out free samples has always worked like a charm. However, it is a technique that is being implemented less often than it should. Part of the reason is the misconception that your restaurant is too good to indulge in such a marketing technique. In reality, some of the best restaurants in the world indulged in giving out free samples when first looking to establish a strong foothold in the local market. Triple Michelin Star winning chef Gordon Ramsay recommends food sampling sessions as one of the best ways to reach out to new customers.
Attend food and wine festivals
Most repeat customers to any restaurant are often food lovers who appreciate good cuisine. Such customers do not mind paying to enjoy good food and frequently dine out. It is every restaurateur’s dream to have a client base that can boast of such regular customers. However, in order to draw in such customers, it is important to adopt a marketing strategy that allows your restaurant to reach out to them. The best way form of outreach, when targeting food lovers, is by attending various local food and wine festivals. It may be a bit expensive to attend one of these, but it is an investment that guarantees massive returns; the best money on marketing a restaurateur can ever spend.
Reward customers to advertise your restaurant
Word of mouth advertising is one of the primary ways that restaurants are able to find new customers. However, it is not the most efficient method and you cannot depend on every customer to recommend your eatery to other people they know. However, you can encourage customers to tell their friends about your restaurant by providing certain incentives. There are numerous restaurants that experiment with different “special offers” that reward their existing regular customers for bringing in new ones.
Incorporate QR codes in menus to boost social media profile
Every restaurant needs to have a strong social media presence in order to generate a good buzz about itself. The simplest way to make your customers follow you on Twitter, ‘like’ your Facebook page or check-in with Foursquare is to add QR codes in the menu. All the customer has to do is scan the QR code using their smartphones and they will instantly be redirected to the relevant social media profile. It is a much better way to ensure that customers do end up on the restaurant’s social media profiles than hoping that they remember to do so after getting home to their computers.
The 4 helpful tips mentioned above will ensure that you have a fine marketing strategy in place to promote your restaurant.
Mathew Donald is a well-known marketing and advertising expert and is also the author of this post.
Most small companies usually do not include the signage in their marketing plan, and this is definitely a mistake. It is necessary to highlight the fact that the signage is the first thing your customers will come into contact with and hence, it plays a key role in creating their first impression on your business. In addition, because modern clients are highly attuned to marketing messages and they have learned to pay attention to the details, your company’s signs’ design and message is critical in creating a positive imprint.
Essentially, this array of factors has forced even small business to raise the standards of their presentations in the past few years. Let’s summarize the signage essentials that can help your company remain competitive.
1. Establish the goals of the signs
Although clearly defining the reasons why you need the signs should be a natural first step, you would be surprised of how many small businesses do not perceive this task as a priority. Nonetheless, without a comprehensible purpose your signage marketing campaign will be compromised from the start. Therefore, take the time and decide on what you are trying to achieve, be it to improve brand awareness or to inform people about special sales or discounts.
2. The audience and the message you want to send
After determining the target of the signage, the obvious next step is to identify the characteristics of the main audience in order to address them properly. In regards to the message you are sending, the key aspect to remember is that it has to be clear, short and to the point. For instance, if you are offering holiday discounts, then you message should include details such as who you are, what you are, your special deal and how people can find you.
3. Signage must reflect your brand
It is equally important to include the logo and maintain consistency in terms of fonts and messages in all the signs, as they are these factors constitute the string that wraps everything together nice and tight. In general, people tend to observe the logo and color schemes long before they start reading your message.
4. The best locations for your signs
A further noteworthy reason why the message needs to meet the aforementioned characteristics is that it should be easy to read, irrespective of whether you opt for a static sign or place them on a moving location. On a side note, don’t forget to check the legal requirement before you place the sign to avoid potential fines and lawsuits.
5. The amount you are willing to invest
Lastly, irrespective of the reasons you created the signs, you cannot expect them to produce results unless you settle on an appropriate budget beforehand. In general, the sum of cash you allocate for this task should be in accordance with the goal you are trying to achieve. It is important to note that this budget refers mainly to the quantity, materials, design and location, rather than the dimensions of the signs. And, even if you have to pay more, keep in mind that a solid message and a good location will recuperate these initial costs sooner than you think.
Martha Blue is a senior executive with Sassy Signs, an Australian Signage company helping both small and big businesses get better presence via different type of illuminated and printed signs.
Ask ten different people what makes a good manager and you might get ten different answers. What many people don’t realize is that the secret to truly effective management lies in those things that aren’t necessarily apparent on a superficial level. Simply put, good leadership comes down to substance, whereas many managers get caught up in style. What does substance versus style mean to you as a manager? Here is some food for thought:
Elements of style. A manager who fulfills the basic elements of managerial style might fall into a number of plain-to-see categories. These can include things like dressing the part (that suit and tie sure does look impressive, doesn’t it?), portraying confidence (whether real or of the “fake it ’til you make it” kind), communicating well (written, verbal, and body language), and always taking the leadership reigns. There is no arguing that some of these are good qualities for a manager to have. However, they are just the bare minimum of what it takes to look like a good manager. Managers who lack substance also lack a firm foundation on which to build lasting careers.
Elements of substance. In order to achieve true, ongoing success, managers must elevate themselves above style and into the realm of substance. Elements of substance include vision, conviction, character, consistency, accountability, a genuine desire to see others do well, the ability to understand human psychology, an openness to the ideas of others, flexibility, accountability, and an interest in modern advances in technology that can improve workplace productivity. As you can see, these qualities go far above and beyond the more shallow elements of style.
How to improve on substance. If while reading over the elements of substance you came to the realization that you are lacking in certain areas, there is no need to fret. You can develop substance with conscientious effort. You must be willing to look at yourself honestly – no holds barred – and make changes as necessary. It is a good idea to ask your employees for their input, and to pay great attention to what they say, as well as the implications of what they don’t say. For example, you may find that a considerable number of your team members use ambiguous terms like “I’d like to be able to offer more input,” or “sometimes my good ideas are not used,” in which case the real problem (and what they are NOT saying) may very well be that you need to learn active listening skills in order to improve your relationships.
Substance development is an ongoing process that requires some trial and error. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, as the biggest mistake you could make would be to not try at all. Your career in management depends on it.
About the Author: Joane Uzdygan is a small group manager with a flair for guiding her team. She uses simple project management software to avoid complicating their tasks and makes sure the group takes time out each day to breathe and socialize.
I don’t know if you’ve run your own business your entire life. If you have then you might not have experienced what it’s like to work in lots of different places. Although it sounds horrible it’s actually great for picking up small pieces of wisdom. Not many places get everything right. They all have some sort of flaw that makes them less productive than they should be. But individual places come up with one or two genius solutions for doing things. Once you start working in different places you learn about each of those cool solutions that will save time and help a business run more smoothly.
Then you can put them all together and start a hugely successful business. That’s the plan anyway. Sometimes all that’s lacking in a business is some sort of system, or using something that will save everyone time. If you have more time it means you will make more money. It doesn’t really matter if you haven’t had the pleasure of picking up tips from different places. We’re going to look at some now and you can steal them from here. Implement them in your business and watch it take off.
They only use mobile phones
A mobile phone number isn’t very professional if you’re trying to run a business. Start asking people to spend lots of money on a phone call and they might get a little annoyed. There’s an easy way to fix it and all you have to do is acquire the services of a company like Grasshopper. They will give you a proper phone number, so nobody can’t say you’re not professional. You can still run the business from your iPhone and life will become easier. You can even have extensions if there’s more than you in the company.
They don’t open their mail
If you’re a big company then you’ll have a mail department. That means everything is taken care of and the people who should be doing work are actually doing it. Smaller companies can get their mail dealt with from an outside company. If you use as special mailing address you mail with get sent there. After they receive it you will be sent emails of the mail. It just means you don’t need to open or destroy it. Everything is dealt with on the computer.
They use a whiteboard
There’s too many people sitting about when they should be hard at work and it’s usually because they procrastinate. When a small workforce has their jobs written up on a whiteboard for all to see it means they know what they should be doing. They can’t just sit about wasting time because they’ll be found out. Something so simple works fantastically well.
They don’t multitask
Since when did multitasking become so popular? It’s the most unproductive way to work in the world. In small companies where they want to actually do some work they task someone with a job that they work on until complete. You don’t start swapping between jobs every few minutes otherwise you will be there all day. Do yourself a favor and when doing work you should concentrate on the same job for at least a few hours.
They use two computer monitors
You only have one set of eyes, so I guess that means you can only look at one screen at the same time. That doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from having more than one monitor. Nobody is expecting you to look at both of them at the same time. It’s not about sitting there cross-eyed until you get dizzy. The reason you use two is because it stops you having to flick between windows every 2 minutes. It will save you lots of time.
Stanley Cooper has a strong sense of business acumen that has helped him achieve success in a very short span of time. He is a big fan of the service provided by the http://www.frankingmachine.net.
Channel Marketing Management refers to the process of creating formalized programs meant for servicing the needs of customers within a given channel. It’s also meant for selling a given product or service to the customers in a very positive way.
Actually, there are diverse kinds of channel management solutions out there. They also offer specific programs in several forms. In any case, there’s always the right channel management program that can suit your needs. You just need to discover how such a program works.
A good channel marketing program comes with unique features. Let’s examine some of them.
• The Program is usually similar to running a small business. It involves knowing your company, your customer’s issues and your channel partner’s business. • The program also demands an implementation plan. This contains the way you want your products or services to be marketed. It also includes how you intend to develop and grow your revenue base, how to identify target customers and communication channels. It also involves how to create an ongoing value for your business.
For a channel Management program to work effectively, you need to have a working plan on ground. The key points you have to consider include:
• Segmenting and Recruiting Process • Revenue Stream Development • Getting your companies properly aligned and • Growing the Relationship
Let’s examine each of these points further.
Here, you have to segment all the available channels according to the various characteristics that are vital to your business. Among such characteristics includes, the buying pattern, customer needs and other necessary factors. You’ll then go ahead to determine the specific function of each partner. You need to put the specific skills of each partner into consideration. You’ll also consider the revenue patterns you expect from them, the number of the partners, the place you actually need them and the impact they will make on your business. With these considerations, you can start customizing your channel management program.
You have to device avenues of generating enough revenue streams in your program. Two major revenues can be considered here. They include your channel sales plan and your channel marketing plan. The channel sales plan involves how you’ll address several opportunities, how you’ll build preferences and also share information. On the other hand, your channel marketing plans involves how you intend to create awareness and generate interest for your products and services.
This involves linking various customer roles and processes together. It also involves research, sales, marketing, finance and other aspects. You have to align all these properly to suit your business needs.
This involves knowing how your partners are organized, understanding their key business processes and knowing the major decision makers involved. They have to come together to form a synergy.
In all, your channel management program will always work if you take time to create it according to rules. You can also locate reliable clues from various channel management services.
Walt Robertson has immense knowledge on the subject of channel management program, CRM. He regularly guides business managers on how best they can take advantage of channel marketing management, Partner relationship management and PRM software to enhance their sales. To find out more about how you can be benefited and grow your business & sales read Relayware Blog
Of all the skills needed to effectively run a small business, it’s leadership skills that are arguably the most important. A business needs direction and if there isn’t a leader at the helm, where is it supposed to get that direction from?
Here are seven examples of the leadership skills necessary to guide a small business through the perils of the current economic climate. If you’re a small business owner and you don’t have them, you better hope that you can find someone who does.
Be a Good Listener
If you want to motivate those around you, you need to genuinely listen. If you want to solve problems, you need to listen to people as they explain what is causing them. Understanding the importance of listening and taking the time to actually do it is an essential part of being a good leader.
Be a Mentor
Your employees are the lifeblood of your business. When you invest in them, you are investing in your business. Being a leader isn’t just about telling people what not to do, it’s about educating them so that they know what to do before you tell them.
Lead by Example
The easiest way to lead is to do so by example, it also happens to be one of the most important. You can’t expect those under you to behave professionally, if you are not a professional. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and don’t be one of those leaders who can never actually be found when you need him.
Know when to Delegate
Some business owners confuse being a leader with being the person that does everything. Effective leadership requires delegation. If you are going to do everything yourself, why exactly are you paying people to turn up everyday?
The most important thing to remember when delegating work to people is that you must give them ownership of the task. Let them know that succeed or fail, it’s on them.
Know Your Employees
If there are less than twenty people working under you, there’s no excuse for not knowing who they are. You don’t need to socialise with your employees outside of work but you do need to know more than just their names.
Where do they want to go career wise?
What are their skills, and more importantly, their weaknesses?
How do they respond to encouragement/criticism?
If you want to get the most out of your employees, you need to know these things. Demonstrating that you know such things is also an excellent way of motivating them.
Be Open and Honest
Cultivating a work environment in which people are honest and open, requires that you be honest and open too. When you make a mistake, own up to it. When there’s a problem or confl
ict, don’t ignore it, tackle it head on. Don’t allow tensions to grow under the surface.
Keep Your Ego in Check
Nobody wants to work for a know it all. Treat every one of your employees as an equal. Nobody likes being talked down to and in most cases, the person on the other end simply stops listening. The best leaders are humble individuals. The best leaders are those who are willing to take advice from anyone, regardless of their position in the company.
Jim Conners is a retired real estate consultant. He is also fond of blogging. For strategic business matters like mergers and acquisitions he advises people to consult only accredited business consultants.
Showcasing your business or professional organization at an industry-specific trade show is an important part of the modern marketplace. These events give large and small vendors a chance to interact with their customer and client base in an organized and effective manner. Small companies are given the same amount of floor space as large ones; large companies get to interact with their clients in a very personal way. There’s really nothing else quite like a trade show and industry exhibition.
While a trade show has many advantages, there are certain drawbacks inherent to these events. The space allocated to each exhibitor is perhaps the most important consideration of all. Some trade shows will offer vendors some flexibility in booth space by offering double or half size booths, though most events will allocate s strict booth space to every presenter. The space offered is typically only ten feet x ten feet for each registered vendor.
Because trade shows and exhibit halls have to enforce highly specific size restrictions on their vendors, it’s important to use that space to your best advantage. Tables usually form the centerpiece of vendor space. There’s nothing wrong with using a table; whether it’s one you bring for yourself or one that’s provided by the venue a table is going to come in handy. That said, you may have more materials to display than space available on the table. Now you’re going to have to get creative.
Consider the display possibilities of:
- Spinner racks
- Tiered brochure displays
- Modular shelving units
- Magazine racks
All of these display options utilize vertical space rather than horizontal. A table offers only one useful plane of display – horizontal. Modular shelving units provide useful horizontal and vertical space. Each shelf unit can be stacked on top of each other so that additional display space is created without using up any more floor area.
Modular shelves and collapsible racks are advantageous because they are fairly lightweight and are designed for easy transport. A team of three or four people can move and assemble all these items in a short period of time.
Most businesses offer a range of goods and services but within the confines of a small exhibit space it may be impossible to give adequate attention to everything you have to offer. Consider choosing two or three services to emphasize. Bring materials that relate primarily to those services instead of trying to give equal space to everything you do. Dedicate some space to materials that give a broader view of your offerings though don’t let this material dominate the booth. Giving people a few key pieces of information to focus on helps your message come through loud and clear instead of muddled.
Exhibiting or vending in a limited space presents several design challenges. These challenges can be overcome with the help of creative space use and the integration of items such as vertical racks and modular shelving. Think about the potential of the vertical space within your booth area; don’t be afraid to experiment with hangers or tall banners. And finally, choose an informational emphasis that you want to focus on. Trying to give equal space to all the work your organization does can dilute the message and make your space appear cluttered. Streamline your offerings to most appeal to the people attending that particular trade show.