Monthly Archives: May, 2017

8 tips and tricks to sharpen your emails

May 25th, 2017 Posted by Online Business, Smart business tips No Comment yet

Read this before you press send.

Follow these eight simple tips and tricks to sharpen your emails and get the response you want.


1. Tailor to the recipient

Don’t spray and pray – mass blanket emails just don’t get read beyond the first line.  Taking the time to tailor your emails to the receiver is worth the extra time and effort.  Use their first name and understand what they want so you can structure the email around a solution.


2. Lead with your main idea

Start with the crux. Tell the reader why you are contacting them in the first line, then flesh out the rest of the details.


3. Keep it concise

No one wants to read a long, convoluted email. Remove unnecessary words and keep it to the point.


4. Use active voice

Instead of writing ‘The meeting will be held in room 2’, write ‘I’ll be delighted to see you at the meeting in room 2’. The active voice is clear and direct to elicit the response you want.


5. Proofread and edit

Check your email is clear, concise and error-free.  Stick this checklist in your workspace to wipe out email mistakes:

Email Checklist

  • Subject line
  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Dates
  • Times
  • Links
  • Pricing
  • Image copyright

Check each point twice to eradicate errors.


6. Add a catchy subject line

Give the reader a reason to open the email. Pick the most relevant, catchy and pertinent information and avoid clickbait – it might boost the open rate but it will also boost unsubscriptions.


7. Be polite

You can make any point politely and it won’t come back to haunt you down the track.


8. Don’t hit send

Sending an email is a simple way to tick off a task, but according to Collective Hub, it takes asking six people face-to-face to achieve the same effectiveness of a 200 recipient email blast.  See where you can wipe out email and communicate in real time instead – especially when asking for a pay rise, pitching to investors or asking to meet a superior.

 

Useful tools to improve your email:

As with most things in life, there’s help on the internet. These tools will help you get the most out of your emails:

  • Easy Word Count will check the length of your emails, ensuring that they aren’t too long. You can also check your spelling too.
  • Boom Essays: Want someone to check your emails before you send them? Send them to this service, where they can proofread them for you.
  • Paper Fellows: This writing community will help you get the most out of everything you write at work.
  • Assignment Help: If grammar’s not your strong suit, this writing service will help you get to grips with it.
  • Cite It In will help you get the right citation for any source you use in your writing.
  • Essay Services: Got an important email to write? This service can put it together for you.

Use this advice the next time you are writing an email. It’s amazing how much a simple message can improve when you implement these simple steps. Send effective emails to receive the response you want!

 

Blogpost by Mary Walton on May 24, 2017
You can read the original post on the Bartercard Australia Blog

1 million pizzas sold on Bartercard

May 17th, 2017 Posted by Bartercard, Marketing No Comment yet

This week we feature a Pizza story from Queensland, Australia.  Maries Pizza is a popular Gold Coast brand which recently sold 1 million pizzas on Bartercard and plans to expand across Australia.

Bartercard Australia spent five minutes chatting to its owner, Kate Biglands, who’s used Bartercard to attract new customers and boost sales.

Maries Pizza is a home-grown success story. Founded on the Gold Coast in 1981, the company has grown to seven stores covering most areas of the Gold Coast.

The brand was founded when Marie and Ted Sherman moved their five children from Bathurst to the Gold Coast in search of warmer weather. The first store in Palm Beach soon became a hangout for local surfers and residents, and a legendary pizzeria was born.

THE SECRET TO SUCCESS

Maries Pizza CEO, Kate Biglands said the brand’s secrets are customer loyalty developed over the past three decades, and its ability to adapt and remain proactive.

“We were one of the first take away outlets to introduce home delivery as an option on the Gold Coast,” said Kate. “We had a much smaller competition base at the start but the number of outlets in takeaway [to-go] food has exploded over the years.”

She said the biggest challenge for most businesses is to remain competitive and profitable when costs are rising and margins are being squeezed. “Our strategy in this environment is to stand firm and not compromise quality in the pursuit of profit; even though the competition is fierce in delivering price points under $5 per pizza.”

BOOSTING BUSINESS ON BARTERCARD

A Bartercard member since 2006, Maries Pizza now attributes 5% to 10% of its turnover to Bartercard sales. It recently used Bartercard to pay local contractor, Watmar Electrical to install lighting and a switchboard in one of its stores. Print costs for advertising material, shop cleaning, tilers and shop fitters are also paid for in trade.

Kate said the move to Bartercard started as an experiment to increase customers.

“The Bartercard system does what it promises and will attract additional customers,” said Kate. “The key to success is management and a willingness to adapt your usual spending habits to complement a different system. There are Facebook communities, websites and networking opportunities. There’s a lot of potential to connect with like-minded people who are all members of a community interested in doing business.”
Kate said adjusting to Bartercard trade required nothing more than setting up a new bank account, while in-store accounts are much the same.

“It was quite easy to incorporate and similar in theory to other income receiving systems.”

A BIGGER SLICE OF THE MARKET

Maries Pizza recently celebrated its millionth pizza sold on Bartercard, although Kate admits bartering is made easier with such a popular commodity.

“We are very lucky to sell a product that, when done well, sells itself!” she said. “We have many loyal customers who have been purchasing from us for years, not to mention decades. Pizza is so easy to share and much cheaper than a lot of other takeaway [to-go] options.”

What sort of businesses are looking for pizza on Bartercard?

According to Kate, service oriented industries, property developers, accommodation providers, investment companies, trades people and training providers are all lining up for what Maries Pizza delivers. The secret is in the company’s niche market.

“Dominos is a marketing machine owned by foreign interests with a massive investment in technology,” said Kate. “We don’t compare ourselves with them. We have a much more personal attachment to what we do. Our roots are family based, we are Aussie and proud of it and we have grown up on the Gold Coast alongside the business. Our customers will happily support a local brand if it’s quality.”

Kate said Bartercard helps her business conserve cash and increases people’s standard of living. Her advice is simple: “Before you spend anything, whether it’s business or personal, you must ask yourself “Can I use trade dollars to make this purchase?” If so, look through the directory on MYBC or contact your Trade Co-ordinator and ask for assistance. It’s that easy.”

Now that Maries Pizza reigns supreme on the Gold Coast, the company has its sights set further afield.

“We have plans for expansion not only to Brisbane, but Australia-wide,” said Kate. “Opportunities are being considered and it’s only a matter of time before this becomes a reality.”

 

 

Article adapted from a Bartercard Australia BlogPost

How to boost e-commerce and sales in 2017

May 10th, 2017 Posted by Bartercard, Marketing, Online Business, Smart business tips No Comment yet

Every day more traders are becoming aware of the potential and power of selling within Bartercard’s online trading platform MYBC. Many members are achieving sales within just a few days, if not hours, of creating a new listing and are recognizing a real opportunity to boost business growth.

In this week’s blog we see what actions successful members are taking every day to make thousands in online sales to achieve growth. We also look at simple e-commerce mistakes to avoid.

 

Take these following steps for online success.

1. Communication

It’s important that if someone has trusted you enough to purchase one of your offers, you make contact within 24hrs. Just because you are selling electronically, where you often don’t see or speak to the buyer, doesn’t mean general business communication practices go out the window.  Making contact with a buyer in a timely manner builds trust, puts their mind at ease, and they believe that you intend to follow through on your promise. Ask yourself how you would like to be communicated to if you were the buyer?

2. Transparency

You want to position what you are selling in the best possible light without misleading the buyer. Be clear, honest and reveal as much detail as possible about an item you are selling. If the item you’re selling has a scratch or a ding, make it clear. Your buyer will appreciate the honesty and want to transact with you in the future.

3. Detail

Providing as much detail about your listing as possible is vital for converting a lead into a paying customer. You will be amazed at how many people view your listing and decide not to buy, because there just wasn’t enough information included. If you are creating a listing with the intention to sell it, take the time to provide detail, otherwise there is no point slapping up something quickly with not enough information included.

4. Images

If you want to increase online sales, you must have high quality images. The more clearly you can show a product, the better. Try position it near a window, turn all the lights on, shine a spot light on the image – anything to remove shadows – so a buyer can clearly see what you are selling. If using MYBC, make sure you provide a minimum of four images. Click here to discover more photography tips and tricks.

5. Delivery

Take the guesswork out of the costs involved in postage/delivery. Try and include delivery in the price if possible and/or offer a flat postage rate on smaller items. It might seem better for you (the seller) to state that shipping is the buyer’s responsibility, but it may cost you sales. If selling something large that you could potentially drop off locally on your way to work, consider listing it as free local delivery. Doing this makes it easier for the buyer to receive the goods, and they are more likely to buy from you again.

6. Think laterally and create packages

If you are a mechanic, offer a bundled package that includes oil change, wheel alignment, suspension and engine clean. If you are a restaurant, package a dinner for two with a bottle of champagne. Give people ideas! MYBC is free advertising for your business. Don’t wait for customers to come to you. Create value for others and bundle your product/service into attractive packages!

7. Make your listing ‘Featured’

It’s worth investing an extra T$5.95 to get your listing featured on MYBC, which will place your offer in the prime position on the home page. This will place your listing in front of thousands of Bartercard members when they first login, as well as catch them when they are in a buying frame of mind and looking to spend.

8. High Standards

It is clear that the people who are making thousands in online sales have incredibly high standards.

The standard of their offer, listing or presentation is representative of their attitude and the results follow. For example, the best restaurants who attract the most customers and make the most sales, generally have the best standards. From the moment you walk in, the premises is exceptional and attention has been applied to the finer details.

This is exactly the same when creating a listing online, if you maintain high standards and take the time to present an exceptional offer, whilst paying attention to the finer details, you are guaranteed to attract high quality customers and increase your sales success.

Following these simple steps will help you succeed in online sales and attract new customers to your business.

MYBC is free for Bartercard members and will attract new customers who are actively looking to spend.

Visit mybc.bartercard.com and start your listing today.

For more information about growing your business, visit bartercardusa.com.

 

 

Article adapted from a Bartercard Australia Blogpost.

Why building business relationships is important

May 3rd, 2017 Posted by Smart business tips 1 comment

In every business, it is vital to build solid customer relationships, but building business relationships, even with your competitors, can help you succeed.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH COMPLIMENTARY BUSINESS PARTNERS

Perhaps you are an orthopedic surgeon and focused on your patients from a diagnostic and treatment perspective.  Your patients will have ancillary needs, including rehabilitative services.  It is important for a surgeon to build relationships, even partner with a physical therapist or Athletic Trainer to ensure a patient’s needs are met even beyond the capacity of their services.

Similarly, a restaurant owner would benefit from building solid business relationships with partners in the food supply chain, beverage suppliers, and people in the music and live entertainment community.

No matter what your business is, you will always benefit from having solid relationships with complimentary businesses. 

 

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE COMPETITION

Unfortunately, many business owners keep an “arm’s length” approach to competitors.  Although it is difficult to understand why one would need to be close to the competition, it is imperative that any successful business owner keep their fingers on the pulse of the competition.

In the hotel business, property owners compete for room sales.  When one hotel becomes booked beyond its capacity, keeping a relationship with neighboring hotels is a great way to keep your guests close to friends and family.  In many instances, a wedding or function may require several rooms for accommodations following an event.  Having a strong partnership with a neighbor hotel can provide the additional rooms you need to keep large groups happy.

In addition, tennis and golf facilities often host tournaments and events.  In many instances, this requires the use of additional courts and sometimes an additional course to play on.  Having a solid relationship with a “sister” facility could be the difference between having a smooth event and having a scenario of organized chaos.

Having a strong business is the foundation of success, but having strong business relationships can provide a business owner with additional tools necessary for the highest level of success.