Monthly Archives: December 2015

How To Gain More Attention From Your Local Market

gThe Internet has made it incredibly easy for companies to conduct business with consumers all throughout the world. This is just as true for small, micro and developing businesses as it is for major corporations with massive amounts of capital to invest in their operations and growth. Sadly, however, this has led many local businesses to overlook the benefits of cornering their nearby markets and building robust customer basis in their own geographic territories. Following are several, simple strategies for gaining new interest from a local market.

Take a niche specific focus that sets you apart from your competitors. This is especially important to do if there are a number of similar services or products being sold in your area. If you feel like the local market is already saturated, simply change up your approach and provide something that other companies cannot. Being flexible is key to making your small business grow and it can help your company stay afloat even during times of fierce competition and inconsistent profits within your primary industry.

Make sure that there is ample parking at or near your establishment so that it’s comfortable for people to stop in. A lot of local businesses start pursuing web-based customers simply because they cannot lure sufficient web traffic in for garnering the profits that they need. In most instances, this is largely due to the fact that people have a hard time accessing their physical locations and opt to use companies that are easier to work with.

Invest money into ensuring that your storefront and the entirety of your physical location is both clean and secure. If your shop isn’t visually appealing or if it feels unsafe to visit, you aren’t likely to get a lot of conversions. Simply cleaning things up a bit can make the individual consumer experience far more pleasurable, which will in turn lead to new word of mouth advertising.

Consider the benefits of investing in vehicle wraps for your commercial fleet or your own personal car. This will introduce your brand to consumers everywhere you go. For a very nominal investment, products like these can help you build your brand, market your products and make non-stop conversions. They can more than pay for themselves over the long run.

Implement a mass mailing program that introduces your company to the community and explains what you do. This can be a simple postcard or brochure. Not only will it increase local exposure, but it will also keep your company fresh in the minds of the consumers who have already purchased your services or wares. Regularly engaging with your existing customer base will strengthen and preserve these important connections.

Submit a well-crafted press release to all levels of local media announcing something interesting about your services or products or offering a high-value, limited-time offer. The benefits of outbound marketing campaigns like these are widely overlooked. These can help build your brand image while inciting a sense of urgency among your targeted market.

Never underestimate the benefits of good business signage. This is a great way to attract a lot of attention from passersby who are patronizing other local companies. You can use a retractable banner, sidewalk signage or other visible forms of advertising to share information about services, products and prices and further establish your brand.

Strategies For Enhancing Company Profits For Greater Financial Health

sSmall and growing businesses are often tasked with the challenge of making do with inconsistent profits. While their overhead costs remain fairly static, they may not have enough regular money coming into pay their bills on time. With the right strategies, however, these entities can bolster and build their bank accounts for greater financial health overall. Following are several tips that owners of small-sized companies can put to use right now.

Stop paying your bills long before they are due. Although you might feel hard pressed to resolve these debts, keeping your money in your own bank account until bills are actually due is a much better way to manage your funds. This way, your cash can continue earning interest and actively working for you for as long as possible.

Make sure that your investments in new equipment and other resources are actually adding value to your business. New investment decisions should be entirely data driven in order to ensure wholly positive outcomes. When they are, all new tools will increase your productivity and overall capabilities so that you are primed and ready for expansion. Buying resources that grow your business will help you enjoy greater consistency in your profits over the long term.

Take inventory of the tools and equipment that you currently own and eliminate any redundancies. You may have a number of resources that all perform the exact same function. Equipment rental costs and maintenance fees for the goods that you own outright can add up fast. Make sure that your are only maintaining what you need by conducting a full equipment inventory on a regular basis.

In addition to lowering your overhead costs by inventorying your goods, you can also find items to sell. The resulting monies can be stashed away in your savings account where they can collect interest. Should cash flow issues ever arise, you can always fall back on these savings in order to quickly and easily resolve your money troubles.

Determine whether or not there are any redundancies in your workforce. These are evidenced by multiple employees who are performing the exact same job but who are not providing any additional benefits by doing so. You can streamline your team by redistributing job duties are by letting unnecessary positions go. While this might be a tough choice, it could be essential for the ongoing health of your organization. Remember, unnecessary overhead costs can diminish your profits considerably.

Consider going paperless so that you can control or even eliminate unnecessary supply costs. This is a fast, easy and wholly convenient transition given the expedience of scanning equipment and online data archival systems. Taking your documents to the cloud can also boost your public image by showing the world that your company is an environmentally-friendly one.

Align yourself with a good debt collection agency in order to clear out your delinquent accounts. Many growing businesses have financial troubles simply because they are unable to get large numbers of clients to pay for the services they have already received. These agencies can use proven collection tactics to help you collect on old invoices while continuing to maintain comfortable and profitable relationships with your existing customer base.

Asking for Help Is a Great Way to Get Information

3sEveryone loves to be helpful. Because of this, you have a great opportunity to learn more about your prospects and clients if you learn how to ask the right questions at the right times.

Here are some examples of how asking for help, at the right time, can give you a treasure trove of useful information you can use to position your product or service to the right person.

When prospecting, if you don’t know the person or department you need to speak with, there is no better opening then:

“Hi, I need a little bit of help please… ”

Now the crucial thing here is not to then ask a question. Instead, what’s important is that you actually wait for the other person to offer to help you first. As soon as they say, “What do you need?” or “I can help you,” that’s when you reply with something like:

“Thanks. I’m looking for the person who handles your lead generation, who would that be please?”

If they don’t know the name, then be prepared with:

“Perhaps you could point me to the right department then?”

Asking for help in this way is also useful when you ask for someone and they aren’t there any longer. Also, it’s great for when you do reach someone and they turn out to be the wrong contact. When that happens use:

“Oh I see. Perhaps you can help then. Who would be the best person to speak with… ”

OR

“I see. Can you point me in the right direction please?”

OR

“O.K., perhaps you can help me: who would be the best person for me to speak with in terms of ordering your XYZ supplies?”

These techniques are great for finding the right person or department to speak with. But the power of this technique goes far beyond that. Use the following types of “help” questions once you do reach the appropriate prospect:

“Perhaps you can help me understand how you handle your XYZ process. How do you get involved in that?”

AND

“__________, we have a lot of solutions that may be a fit, but I don’t want to bombard you. Perhaps you can help give me a brief understanding of who handles what, and then I’ll be able to know who would be the best person for some of this. Let’s start with you – what do take care of there?”

AND

“_________, could you help me understand how this flows at your company? Who handles XYZ… ?”

AND

“_________, help me understand how the decision process works over there. How do you get involved?”

AND

“__________, I need a little bit of help to understand your org chart – who do you report to?”

AND

“Perhaps you can help me: I’m sure you’ve got a lot of people handling different things, let’s start with the part of the process you handle: what is that?”

Layer with:

“And who handles the other parts?”

As you can see, there are a lot of applications for the “I need a little bit of help, please” technique. Now a word of caution: don’t underestimate how powerful this is. While it seems simple, it is actually a very effective technique if used appropriately.

When asking for help, genuinely mean it. Use your voice inflection and timing. Remember to always wait for them to offer to help you!

If you master this technique you’ll find that you won’t have to work so hard to find things out. People, because they sincerely want to help, will help you – if you ask.

 

How Did Trump Make Himself Judgment Proof

jUnfortunately, litigation has become a way of life in this country. There are over 16 million lawsuits filed each year. More than 70% of the world’s attorneys live in the United States. Contingent fee arrangements encourage lawsuits. Many times the defendant still has to pay his legal bills, even if he wins.

I am sure that Trump found the best safeguard against lawsuits is not to have any attachable assets. He has accomplished this by transferring them into judgment proof entities.

I believe he created an estate plan whereby the vast majority of his assets were transferred into a Family Limited Partnership (FLP) to eliminate or reduce his exposure from future lawsuits.

How did this non-fraudulent transfer protect those assets? The key is the vote. Creditors may get a charging order on a limited partnership interest, but they cannot direct its affairs. Only the General Partners can.

Transfers that are fraudulent can be put aside and creditors can proceed against the debtor’s property. Fraudulent conveyance is judged on a case-by-case. Below are some of the criteria used to make this determination.

1. Consideration paid.

2. Solvency of debtor before and after transfer.

3. Pending claims at the time of transfer.

4. Intent of the debtor.

If the creditors do get an attachment against his limited partnership interest, they have to decide whether they want to expend additional time and money overcoming the following formidable obstacles:

1. Obtain judgment against the debtor.

2. Prove the debtor has an interest in the Limited Partnership.

3. Have the courts issue a charging order.

4. Obtain appointment of a receiver.

5. Apply for foreclosure.

6. Attempt a forced sale.

7. Secure judicial dissolution of the limited partnership.

8. Upon dissolution, receive what is left after priority paying claims.

Once creditors know, the position they are in, they will want to settle claims as soon as possible. If he decides to settle, he will use the following strategies:

1. Start off with 10% of the amount due and go up in increments of 5%.

2. Extend the payments out as far as possible.

3. Don’t offer any collateral or co-signers.

4. If they want to charge interest, prime rate is okay.

5. Have them erase any negative marks on your credit rating.

The most significant advantage of a FLP is that it protects his assets from creditors. The revocable living trust doesn’t. As part of an estate plan, the FLP will accomplish the same probate and tax protection as the living trust plus give him the additional asset protection.