Archive of ‘Events & Promotions’ category

The Rules of Bartering

Bartering is a great way for small businesses to save money and  potentially gaining new clientele. But you me be careful when you barter!   Mstete Ross, founder of Creative Eye Branding,  shares a a few things you must take into consideration before getting started with batereing. 

Bartering Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s

Have a contract. Get everything in writing. Be clear and concise as what it is you are offering and the value of your service/product.

Have good intentions. Bartering with someone who needs your services just as much as you need their is a win-win situation.

Do your best work. Doing so can lead to a long-lasting business relationship as well as new clientele.

Communicate. Communication is everything.

Research the business and the person you are bartering with to make sure they are reliable and trustworthy.

Ask for referrals. Word of mouth is still a strong marketing tool. 

Don’t

Have bad intentions. If you have bad intentions the end result won’t be a successful one. Someone will feel short changed or cheated.

Don’t be a Yes MAN. Just because you are bartering doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything your partner may want to include. Set limits.

Don’t be afraid to put re-negotiation dates in your contract. Projects may take longer than expected.

Click here for Sample Barter Contract: http://www.kristonica.com/sample_barter_contact.pdf

Check out this free bartering community: http://www.skills2barter.com

3 Ways to Successfully Launch a Product

When a new product is introduced to the market, what do you think the chances are that it will be a success? Try 3% or less. That’s right – 97%+ of all new product ideas flop, either before they even make it to market or shortly thereafter.

The reasons a product might not be a success are many and varied. There are a few mistakes however, that are consistently made by inventors and product developers that often contribute to an unsuccessful product launch – or a product not even making it to the launch phase. Below are the areas where many products go wrong. There are never any guarantees, but avoid these, and your chances are a whole lot better.

3 Reasons New Products Don’t Make It

1. The Product
This is by far the most common reason for a product launch’s failure. If you don’t have a product that people want to buy, you’re doomed. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for many product developers to be objective. In your eyes, your product is fantastic. Who wouldn’t want one? It’s always a good idea to get other opinions on your product. Market research is the key here. That doesn’t mean just asking friends and family. You need objectivity and real, honest feedback. For no more than the price of some donuts and coffee, you can convene a focus group (who have signed confidentiality agreements) to find out if your product really is as cool as you think it is. Smart inventors and developers do this a few times, just to cover their bases.

2. Production
Even if you have what would have otherwise been “the next big thing,” handling the production phase poorly can sink your launch. Horror stories abound of people whose products were produced in all sorts of configurations, sizes, and colors not specified in any production order. And often, by the time the disaster is uncovered, money has been paid, and the expense and time to find a new production solution is too great. Take the advice of those who have gone before you. As easy as it is to research and find advice online, there is no excuse for not performing plenty of due diligence prior to picking a production solution. Get recommendations and referrals – a lot of them. Talk with people who have had similar products produced, and use the people they used. Especially if you’re having something produced overseas, don’t make the mistake of trying to handle this piece on your own. This is the time to put pride aside, admit you don’t know what you don’t know, and ask for help.

3. Distribution Channels
Once your product is produced, how will you get it to market? Depending on the nature of the product, you might have a number of options, ranging from brick and mortar retail stores to online channels, to direct response and mail order. This is something that needs to be in place and ready to go prior to the first item being produced. If you have product and no way to move it, you’re in trouble. Negotiate all your distribution channels ahead of time, and make sure their expectations for product quality, delivery schedules, packaging, and all other pertinent factors match exactly with what you’ll be providing. Don’t make promises you can’t keep, and don’t rest with the channels you secure. Always be on the lookout for new ways to move your product.

Yes, there are a lot of other reasons products don’t make it, but if you nail the above three factors, you’ll have a much better chance of success with any product launch. Do you have experience launching a product? Share what you’ve learned in the comments section.

How To Create Buzz About Your Small Business

Want to create a buzz about your small business without spending a fortune? Alison Burke, president of Impressions Public Relations, works with start-ups and small businesses to help engage the media and tell their stories.

Here are 10 tips for entrepreneurs looking to make a splash:

1. What’s your story? Take time to map out what your company offers to your community. What do you bring to the table? What makes you stand out from competitors? What do you offer that is new? Answering these basic questions will help create your story.

2. It’s not all about you. PR is not an ad or a commercial. You need to offer something to your audience – teach a new trick, share a range of new products, offer advice on a subject matter of interest, etc. This will give you credibility and make them feel the need to learn more about you.

3. Find the emotion. People like to connect to the product or service. What’s yours? Does it help someone? Is it good for the environment? Is there a charitable component? Be honest in what you are saying, but create a need that only you can fill.

4. Know your target audience. Spend time researching the needs and motivations your target audience. There’s no point in creating a campaign that does not speak to the people who would purchase your product or use your service.

5. Press release versus pitch. You don’t always need to write a press release to get media coverage, especially if you’re a small business and cash flow is an issue. A press release follows a specific format and has a journalistic tone. It is newsy and can be published as is. A pitch is used to catch a journalist’s attention and can be used for a new product, an interview or a call to action.

6. Write concisely. Media releases and pitches should not be long. Journalists are busy and want to read clear and accurate information. Choose your language wisely. Make it interesting and easy to skim quickly.

7. Know your target media. Take the time to research the media and find the outlet that best suit your product or service. Clearly state why your story is right for their audience.

8. Personalize. Spend time identifying the proper editorial contact. Spell their name correctly. Read or watch their pieces. Over time, develop a relationship. Twitter and other social media tools are great for this!

9. Adhere to deadlines. Find out the cut-off dates or times for an outlet to receive your information. There’s no point in sending timely information if you’ve missed their deadline. If they ask for further information by a certain date, make sure they get it.

10. Timeliness. Is your information being released at the right time? Certain media work months in advance while others only a few days. Your information should reflect their deadlines and their needs.

Tips like these will be presented to small business owners and entrepreneurs at the Women in Biz Conference in Toronto on May 30, 2011

Mompreneur Gallery

Mompreneur Gallery

If you are a mompreneur or thinking about becoming one, you should check out the Mompreneur Gallery! This new online community gives you nationwide power to meet phenomenal women who are independent and small business owners, who work from, away or at home and support the businesses within the group by encouraging one another, sharing wealth of business information and ideas, participating in group sponsored teleconferences/seminars/motivational speakers (related to topics on how to boost our businesses) and most importantly, are serious about having financial freedom and flexibility with how and when we work!

They are a vibrant, passionate community of women who create connections on multiple dimensions (personal, professional and business) throughout our life stages. This social network strives to provide an atmosphere of encouragement and support to empower members to succeed based on their own personal definition of success and support the “whole woman”.

Your membership allows you premier directory listings, discounted event prices, and full access to resources.

The Mompreneur Gallery is all about building relationships and our businesses with people who are just like us – Moms. So take the time out to meet your fellow Mompreneurs!!!

SitterSource-The Social Network Community for Sitters

SitterSource.org, a social network community, just launched as a place for sitters to get advice, make friends and become better child care providers. The community is free to join yet provides valuable insight for babysitters into what they can do to add value to their services.

 At  SitterSource.org you will find articles, crafts and games, and most importantly a network of other sitters ready to share their knowledge and expertise. Sitters new to providing child care can find valuable tips and answers to their child care questions. Seasoned pros can share their experiences and provide much needed advice. In either case, sitters get the benefit of networking, forming friendships, and sharing their experiences—both those that are trying and those that make being a child care provider a rewarding experience.

Sheryll Pang started the social network forum to provide a place for sitters to educate one another and to benefit babysitters in training. Pang believes that the more a sitter is informed, the more capable they are at keeping the children they care for safe.  She believes that “Being a sitter or child care provider provides so many unique challenges that often only other sitters can appreciate or understand. SitterSource.org is a great place for sitters to meet, exchange ideas or experiences, and find answers to common questions”.

SitterSource.org allows sitters to find answers to child care challenges, and learn new and fun ways to keep the children they care for entertained. Babysitters in training can gain insight into the responsibilities of being a provider and locate babysitting jobs.

If you are looking for some fun and creative  ways to become a better babysitter, you need to register at SitterSource!  Your free membership allows you to network with other sitters and share you experiences, both good and bad.  You will also find articles and tips to help you become the best sitter ever!

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