Posts Tagged ‘plus’

Online boutique shopping set-up

Online Boutique Shopping Set-Up

Moving your boutique business from product face to online sales is a great step.  Online shopping is more popular than ever.  Sometimes customers want to browse eclectic boutiques, but sometimes they just want to get online, find something unique, and have a package show up later.  Not only is online shopping convenient, but getting packages in the mail is very exciting to a lot of people and shopping web sites is a fun way to make it happen.

As a business owner, you should be aware that online shoppers are savvier than ever.  You can’t just set up a cute site with pictures and prices expecting people to be “wooed” by graphics.  Customers want to see that you are divulging as much information as possible.   Having clear and concise product descriptions will help you to gain the confidence of your shoppers.

Turning browsers into customers is your main focus when setting up your online shop.  Consider everything that a customer may want to ask about a product and provide that information up front.  Furthermore, determine what the customer might notice if they were physically touching the product and divulge that information as well.  Sizing guides, fabric content, product care information, measurements, weight and feel are all important aspects.

However, you should be careful not to make descriptions too wordy.  Be clear and concise.  Links or balloons that pop-up additional information can be helpful.  Customer reviews and product ratings are weighed heavily by consumers.  Commonly asked questions are good to include on your product page.  Anything that increases the customer’s confidence will help you turn a browser into a customer.  Things like advertising your “no hassle return policy”, live chat customer service, or special deals for customers that leave reviews will help you to get the customers involved and comfortable with your business.

Try to give the shopper an in-store experience through your web site.  Use decorations in your store to inspire your web designs to keep the same look and feel that they get while shopping in-store.  Use pictures that actually communicate the uniqueness of the garment to the customer.  360 degree views, extreme zooms, and virtual store shopping experiences are a plus.  A really great idea would be if a shopper could virtually look around the store, click on the clothing racks they were interested in and shop that <a href=””title=”Clothing Rack”>clothing rack</a>.  In boutiques, surprises should lurk around every corner, clothing racks should be filled with interesting items and displays, and shoppers should experience a feeling that they don’t get in any department store.  Capture this with your web shop and you’ll be golden.

Perform due diligence when buying a restaurant

Perform Due Diligence When Buying a Restaurant

Everybody needs to eat to live, and over time we have turned this requirement into a social activity. Currently, a restaurant is – by far, one of the most popular businesses, and one which could be an even more desirable buying proposition if you happen to have a taste for a specific kind of food!

Conduct due diligence when buying a restaurant business even though your heart, or even your stomach, might tell you that this is the vocation for you. This industry is very competitive and there are many elements you want to consider. Allocate a period of time, experts recommend four weeks, to observe the operation of the business. This should enable you to get a good feel and to smooth out any peaks or troughs before you make your final decision.

You have several key areas to investigate including the premises, the financials, the equipment, lease, the operations and the employees. Do not be afraid to bring in experts, including an accountant experienced in the food business to help you, but as you go through your observation period, use your general business sense and a good portion of common sense to observe how everything works, especially from a client point of view.

For your paper and number crunching chores, expect to review the tax returns, profit and loss statements, cash flow worksheets, inventory records, employee records, equipment agreements, maintenance schedules, all necessary licenses, health inspections certificates and a history and copy of the lease.

When dealing with financials, you must know that the restaurant business has a large quantity of cash sales. Some business owners choose to siphon some of this off and not report it. Over time this is not a good practice as this money could have been used for marketing purposes, and when it comes purchase business assets, it can be very difficult to prove income and therefore worth.

When you are inspecting the property, look at it from an overall perspective as well as in detail. Can it be adequately seen from nearby major roads, is signage appropriate, well-maintained and presentable? Are there any other major competitors and are they overbearing? What is your first impression when arriving in the parking lot? Take a look at external dumpsters and trash removal areas to make sure that these are as well-maintained as possible and are unobtrusive.

Moving inside, what is your first impression of the decor. Is the waiting area pleasant and contributory to the overall ambience? Is there adequate signage for bathrooms, emergency exits? Pay close attention to the bathrooms. They should be in perfect working order, comfortable and impeccably clean and well-maintained. In a restaurant, everything, repeat everything should be clean, presentable and in full working order.

Most of the equipment contained in a restaurant and specifically within its kitchen is subject to certification, inspection and permitting. Check to see that this is all up-to-date and timely. While every element of the equipment should be operated according to the letter of the law, you must also ensure that regular maintenance and cleaning schedules are top-notch. For major items and appliances, see whether contractor warranties are available and can be transferred to you.

Very often a lease can be a potential stumbling block when looking at a restaurant for sale. The landlord will want to ensure that the business is being operated as efficiently as possible and may be wary of transferring or issuing a new lease to someone who does not have much experience. Look for terminology within the lease stating that transfers will “not be unreasonably withheld,” and aim to ensure that you get at least as favorable terms during your tenancy. This would be a good time to assess the overall viability of the environment within which the business operates. If in a strip mall of some kind, are the anchor stores in good shape and do the majority of other businesses also appear sound? You do not want to see an anchor store disappear and the overall visitor level to the area decline.

When you analyze the operations of the business, you want to learn how the current owner operates and whether there are any immediate issues or challenges that you will have to take into account. Look closely at any “special arrangements” or unique selling points that involve a particular individual, a style or presentation of food. You want to be sure that these elements are transferable or will be present when you take over.

A restaurant will likely rise and fall on the strength of its employees. While you can expect a high turnover in any kind of restaurant, if you see some loyal staff and a good “team spirit” this can be a definite plus. Check to see how people are hired, the terms and conditions offered to them and exactly how they are paid.

While you should insist on an observation period, before you are involved in formal discussions with the seller why not kill two birds with one stone and visit the restaurant for a few nice dinners or lunches with other companions? You don’t have to show your hand at this stage and can get a really good feeling by observing how the staff come and go, the operation within the kitchen ideally and in general get an opinion of whether everything is orderly and well-structured during the busiest times.

Online fax – why you never have to miss another fax again

Online Fax – Why You Never Have To Miss Another Fax Again

Copyright (c) 2009 Titus Hoskins

We have all been there, that important fax gets lost or misplaced, ending up on another person’s desk or it gets thrown in the waste basket by mistake. For any company or business which relies upon faxing to bring in sales and communicating with its customers and clients, these misplaced or lost faxes can have a negative effect on the smooth running of your business. In some cases, it may even negatively affect your bottom line.

Mainly because missed faxes can cost you or your company money.

That’s one of the major reasons why many businesses are turning to a new way of faxing: Internet or Online Fax. This new way of faxing works by using your computer and the Internet to send and receive all your faxes. And because you use your email system and your web connection – you never have to miss another fax again. Ever.

In order to use online fax, you must first sign-up to an Internet Fax Service Provider who will give you your own local or toll-free fax number which you can give out to all your clients and customers. You are also given an online site or interface where your faxes are stored. You can simply logon to your online account to send and receive all your faxes. Your faxes are sent in an email as attachments, usually in TIFF or PDF format, although there are countless other formats you can use so check with your provider to discover which ones you can use.

When a fax arrives, you are notified by email and you can read it immediately. These faxes can be stored on your computer and they will also be stored in your online fax account. Again, check with your fax provider to see how long your faxes are stored online, while your faxes are secure, many prudent users delete faxes containing sensitive company matters once they are read.

The reason online faxing is so beneficial, you can store all your faxes on your computer and you can view them at any time. No more scrambling through piles of paper to find that important fax from last month. All your faxes can be easily accessed and read. If you need a hard-copy of any important fax, you can use your computer printer to print it off. You can also send numerous faxes simultaneously, which is important if you want to reach a large group of contacts quickly.

Plus, since online fax uses your email system and the Internet, you can send and receive a fax anywhere anytime – as long as you have web service and these days that’s just about everywhere. You can do all your faxing via any mobile device such as netbooks, laptops, pdas, smart phones, cell phones… as long as these devices are connected to the Internet. No more trips back to the office at 10 o’clock at night to retrieve that all important fax.

Again, if your company or business, depends upon faxing to bring in sales and to communicate with your clients, one can easily see why using such a service will make your business more competitive. In these tough economic times, companies need every little advantage they can muster. Having a business that’s running and accessible 24/7, 365 days of the year is indeed an advantage.

In addition, online fax can make your company more competitive mainly because most of these fax services are completely scalable for business. If you have to quickly increase or decrease your number of fax lines, you can do this almost instantly because there is no hardware to install. Since everything is done via the web (cloud computing) you don’t need an extra fax phone line to receive your faxes. Also remember, with online faxing you don’t need a fax machine so you won’t have the expense of inks, papers, toners or even fax machine maintenance for that matter. It can mean significant savings for a company, especially over the long haul.

Online faxing is also relatively inexpensive when compared to the traditional way of faxing. As mentioned before you don’t need an extra fax phone line and monthly service charges run around $10 a month, but there are less expensive options out there, especially if your faxing needs are minimum. So it pays to shop around and check out the different providers and options available to you before you sign up. Always remember, by simply using an online fax service you will never have to miss another fax again.

Recessionary incentives

Recessionary Incentives

Offering incentives is a powerful tool to survive a recession by keeping existing customers with you. Plus, incentives will allow you to reach new clients who will grow your business even in a down-economic cycle.

What businesses, especially small businesses, want to avoid is discounting the cost of their products or services to the point that it hurts the bottom line.

However, if your incentives are designed to attract customers to your business because they want what you have to offer, price will be less important than value.

For example, many of the major U.S. makers of large cars and vans have offered discounts and incentives on top of ever more generous rebates. Yet, the small fuel-efficient cars that come with fewer incentives are selling more, because more consumers consider them a better value in the wake of rapidly-rising gas prices.

In a recession, there are three practical and psychological factors at play that can be your cue to how you want to use incentives.

Hundreds of studies point to: – The practical issue of consumers having less disposable income,

– The practical issue of our over-stressed, time-starved society, and,

– The psychological issue of general worries about the future because of the uncertainties created by a weak economy.

So first ask yourself: What incentives can I provide that will address money, time and general consumer worries?

– Can you offer “money-saving” values versus price cuts?

– Is it time to focus on how your services or products can save time?

– How can you solve a problem? Can you promote your products or services as the answer to one or more consumer concerns, including general economic worries? Can you position your business as the trustworthy choice?

Here are practical incentives strategies for businesses of any size:

– Bundle up to create money-saving values as incentives. Cell phone and cable companies profited greatly by bundling their services. Revisit your products or services and ask: How can I re-package two or more and promote this new package as a “new, money-saving value” that will save consumers time?

– Use “value” language. The focus should be on the words “value,” “money-saving” and “time-saving” versus the words “cheap,” “discount,” and “bargain basement.” If you are faster, more reliable and more comprehensive than your competitors, you are a “money-saving” value. Why? Because time is money, and you save clients time.

– Offer a gift. Who doesn’t like presents? Gift cards have been one of the fastest growing sectors in the incentives category. A “gift” doesn’t have to come in the form of a gift card. A business can offer a gift of a special white paper or article that will be useful to the client, or a free hour of your services for “x” number of hours billed.

– Focus on free as an incentive. “Free” is a powerful calling card. Instead of slashing prices that you can’t afford to slash, focus on what you can “add” that is free. Offering free subscriptions to online e-newsletters that offer valuable, practical information. In this Information Age, information is money, so offer information free.

– Reward your true-blue clients. When money is tight, consumers go comparison-shopping. Firms that don’t pay attention to their true-blue clients can become vulnerable if they take these clients for granted. High-end retailers offer their high-spending customers special values such as by-invitation-only events or gift certificates. What by-invitation-only information or event can you provide to your true-blue clients?

– Reward your first-time customers. You also want to make your first-time customers your future true-blue clients. Offer incentives geared toward first-time customers.

– Partner up to offer perks. Another way to offer incentives without slashing your fees or incurring extra costs is to partner up. This is also a smart way to expand your client base. A financial services firm can partner up with a law firm to offer a free online or on-site seminar on law and money. Hotels partner with wholesalers to offer wine or cheese tastings. Choose a partner with a compatible client demographic.

– Don’t forget your employees. In a recession, don’t forget that your employees are cash-strapped, time-starved, worried consumers, too. Offering internal incentives, like setting aside a perk being offered to customers as an employee incentive works well. Offer a day off, which can enhance your bottom line by allowing employees to relax and re-energize. Then, they too, can survive the recession.

Maximize your profits with adelaide display advertising

Maximize Your Profits with Adelaide Display Advertising

Display advertising is a type of advertising that has text, photographs, logos or any other images; for instance the location maps, outdoor as well as indoor banners. They are normally targeted towards increasing customers to your stall at an exhibition or leading potential clients to a certain area in a shop. It is necessary to think about this carefully so that you may know how to go about it and to have your budget in order. Display advertising is not only meant to draw attention but also it can be used in several situations and events because of its portability nature.

One of the things that you should put into consideration on display advertising is to include the products that are of high demand at that particular time. This will make the potential customers to see for themselves and know that you have the product they require. For instance if it is a certain trend of fashion, it should be well displayed and be the first product that the customer can see while they are at your booth.

Adelaide display advertising usually has their product in an easy to carry bag so you do not need to worry about the safety of the products while transporting. This is so because the materials they use to make them plus the ink can even be used outdoors. While designing display advertising it is important to put into consideration the things that can catch the eyes of the customers. You have to understand that you are displaying the products in either an enclosed place or an open one. Designing an advertising campaign requires one to be creative or else the potential customers may look upon the message you is trying to pass.

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