Posts tagged " Marketing "

Tips to Use Referrals to Boost Your Business

October 4th, 2017 Posted by Smart business tips No Comment yet

In recent years, technology and the internet seems to have taken over the world. However, we cannot underestimate the word-of-mouth as this has always been the most powerful free form of marketing around. Since we trust the word of our friends and family, we’re more than happy to try a restaurant (for example) they suggest. Of course, we also have word-of-mouth online now with social media and review websites such as Yelp but how you do use this knowledge wisely?

Considering referrals are the cheaper and (arguably) most effective form of advertisement, we have some tips you can use to make the most of this resource. With your customers having direct access to more people in your target market, it’s time to take advantage.

Incentives

For customers to refer your new business to friends and family, they need to have a motivation and this could come from vouchers, gifts, or any other reward. As well as both parties benefiting from the referral, you’re saying ‘thank you’ to an existing customer while welcoming a new customer for the years ahead.

Ask

Often, we see businesses not knowing how to ask their customers for referrals when the easiest thing in the world would be to just ask them directly. As a restaurant, for example, you could ask whether the customer has anyone who would enjoy the food. As an IT solutions company helping businesses, you could ask whether they have a sister company or any other business who could benefit from the service.

If you have a range of services and your existing customers only uses one portion of your offering, make sure they’re aware of the whole range. This way, they’ll keep people in mind who could use the services even if they can’t themselves.

Emails

Do you send regular emails to your existing customers? If so, there’s nothing wrong with utilizing this opportunity and adding a line about referrals at the bottom. Whether it’s ‘referrals appreciated’ or ‘referrals rewarded’, you should see a reaction so long as the line is clearly shown rather than being hidden. With this line alone, they’re likely to think of their friends and family to see whether you could help them.

In the past, we’ve seen businesses adding paragraphs regarding referrals but we don’t think this is necessary. The longer the message, the less likely people are to read it because it’s not a part of the main email. With a short and sweet two-worded message, your existing customers keep it in mind for the future.

Networking

In case you didn’t notice, there are new businesses all around the world (and just around the corner!) in the exact same position as you. Why not get in contact with them and create a referral system? Of course, we aren’t talking about your competitors because you’re looking for the same customers. Instead, we recommend a complementary service.

For example, a car mechanic who specializes in everything performance-related such as engine, brakes, exhaust, and more. If they were to start networking with a bodywork expert, the two could refer work whenever the opportunity arises. Similarly, a hairdresser might have a relationship with a nail bar where work can be referred. For the customer, your two services might actually become more attractive as a package than alone, so the networking could be a great move.

Extras

Even after these superb referral tips, you could conduct surveys of how people found your business, ask followers to share your valuable content, and run competitions on social media with the hopes your customers will inform their friends, family, and colleagues.

As you can see, there are several ways to use referrals. Use these tips to start creating more referrals for your business today!

How to create a $10,000 marketing campaign for $0

September 27th, 2017 Posted by Bartercard, Marketing, Smart business tips No Comment yet

Most business owners are forever crunching return on investment figures and sizing up the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Thinking outside the box, Lisa McGuigan, with the support of Bartercard, increased her cash sales by 30% as a result of a marketing campaign that cost her business $0 cash.

After identifying a gap in the marketplace for unusually packaged wines with an edge, this innovativewine maker launched Lisa McGuigan Wines in 2010. Basing her split-based venture out of the Hunter Valley and Sydney, and sourcing grapes from Mudgee (NSW), Victoria, South Australia, New Zealand and Hungary, she focused on landing her label with stockists, today selling at retailers around Australia and the UK. Lisa said before launching the business, she was a seller for a vintage wine brand and already had the contacts, experience and insight into what worked and what didn’t. “My parents have a vineyard in the Hunter Valley and I love the whole process from growing to bottling, which gave me the confidence and knowledge to launch my own label,” she said.

“I’ve built my brand up to three collections – including an entry level range of wines that are clean and fresh and two more collections that show greater complexity. I source a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and a Gruner Blanc from Hungary, which I then customize and stabilize with a Semillon in Australia. This lets me put my own slant on a traditional variety. My collection includes international wines because for me, the world is a grape canvas.”

She said Bartercard started out as a test to sell older vintages. “When Bartercard approached me I decided to try it out with a couple of wines that weren’t selling as fast as I wanted – because you can’t sell everything to everyone. I sold the excess stock quickly and soon built up a considerable sum of trade dollars.”

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The campaign

“I decided to run a three month promotion in 10 retail stores that stocked my brand. I sourced everything for the campaign on Bartercard and boosted sales by over 30% over those three months.  The campaign would have cost me around $10,000 if I had paid cash.  It was called ‘On Ya Bike’ where customers who purchased three bottles of Lisa McGuigan Wine went into the draw to win a bicycle. I bought the bikes with my trade dollars. The Moscato we were selling at the time had a silver label so I found mannequins and spray painted them in the same color to tie my brand in. I covered posters, design and everything else in the campaign with my trade dollars. Bartercard essentially gave me a marketing spend off the back of excess stock.

It takes something different to really get seen!

After this initial success Lisa said she used Bartercard to run another marketing campaign at a wine outlet in the Hunter Valley that stocked her label.  I used Bartercard to create 1.5m tall bottle-shaped signs leading all the way along the road to the retail store,” she said. “I was able to offset $5,000 of the cash expenses on Bartercard. People loved them so much they were taking photos in front of them, which created user-generated content on Facebook. Bartercard allowed me to run this large scale, harder hitting campaign to really get cut-through in the market.”

Expanding local reach

“Bartercard can really help you break out of the local market to expand your reach and really get seen,” said Lisa. “I approached restaurants on Bartercard who quickly picked up my label to offset cash costs. It was as simple as curating and designing a wine list then blasting it out to bars and restaurants on Bartercard which helped me get on a lot of wine lists. It takes a lot of avenues to get business pumping but Bartercard is a direct line to businesses.”

Lessons learned

Lisa runs a successful wine company that’s pushing industry limits. Through edgy branding, larger-than-life advertising and campaigns which really step outside the box, these are the lessons she’s picked up along the way.

Deconstruct the market

“You have to really think outside the box, pull the market apart and look at it differently to everyone else. I leveraged off the fact that women purchase over 70% of wine in Australia and took the approach of looking at my brand like fashion. Consequently I put a lot of time and effort into the aesthetics.  Each range has unusual packaging, including matte black wraps, silver painting and metal labels. The result is gothically minimal bottles which really stand out on shelves!”

Lead don’t follow

“I love leading the market and I hate following. That’s why I took the initiative to launch marketing campaigns that are a little different. This has included life-size displays and signage attracting user-generated content – people share them on social media and consequently my brand is put in front of their followers.”

Look around you

“Rather than pouring all your effort into going global, look around your business and see what else is in front of you.Take a look at the opportunities available on Bartercard, like I did. I found there was business right outside my front door.”

Visit lisamcguiganwines.com

 

Article written by Klara Vida, Bartercard Australia.

Small business tips to boost brand exposure and sales

September 20th, 2017 Posted by Smart business tips No Comment yet

1. Fine-tuned customer targeting

The first step to boosting brand exposure is a clear-cut picture of who your customer is, so you can select the most effective channels to reach them. Do you sell custom-embossed tech accessories to females 25-40, working in corporate? You can do a targeted Facebook campaign to specifically reach these demographics. Trying to appeal to everyone will water down your brand, so have a clear picture of what your customers like and do, what their pain points are and what solutions you have.
Click here to read more about finding your online audience.


2. Do things differently 

Part of getting seen is doing things that stand out from the throngs. What pain points are you tackling, in what creative way, and what led you to launch? Brands like Dollar Shave Club mail out competitively-priced grooming supplies straight to customers while Coca-Cola appeals through clever emotive story telling. Think what you can do differently to impact the market – like Uber delivering ice cream – #ubericecream. As part of your brand story, everything in your business should be conducive. Are healthy deserts your specialty? Serve them in environmentally-friendly packaging to stay consistent. 

brand lighbulb.jpg

3. Build your brand

There’s over one billion websites world-wide and this number is growing daily. So how can you set yourself apart from a sea of competitors? The key is making your brand speak loud and clear. Branding not only comes down to your logo, design, fonts and colors but your businesses personality, the way you communicate, the approach you take, and the way you are seen and perceived in the marketplace. It’s a lot to take into consideration but it all shapes the direction of your business. Whatever industry you are in, building a solid and unique identity is vital to stand out and get seen.

 

4. Nail all branch touch points – website, social media, blog, shopfront (or e-commerce store) and advertising

Ensure your information and branding is consistent across the board – so that if a customer, influencer or journalist does check you out further, you’ve done everything you can to shape and leverage the message. If you work in a service-based industry like accounting or law, see what current issues you can lend your expertise to through blogs and case studies. On top of a quality website, other essential customer touch points and channels to align include social media, e-newsletters, e-commerce and a physical store.

Check out these valuable insights into touch points from Survey Monkey.


5. Get seen – take out advertising and get exposure through PR

Marketing and PR are both essentials in business, and work in tandem to achieve business goals. If you don’t have a cash budget for marketing or PR, use Bartercard trade dollars to land exposure without the cash bill. Bartercard has hundreds of media companies, including magazines and industry publications, where you can advertise your business and showcase your brand.
For extra tips, read how to get the word out when you don’t have a marketing or PR budget.

6. Copywriting

Effective copywriting inspires consumers to take action like subscribing to a newsletter, downloading an e-book or purchasing products.  Ensure your digital content is unique, high quality and optimized. Low-quality will cause your site to rate poorly in search engines. Incorporating SEO basics like keywords, links and mobile optimization will boost your site’s ranking. Read about SEO basics at Smack Bang Designs.

7. Make the most of SEO tech and tools

Various free online tools are available for measuring how your website is performing, which is critical in tracking and testing what works and what doesn’t.  Google Analytics allows you to analyze your website traffic – what parts of your campaigns are converting the most and at what points visitors leave your site – visit Google Analytics.  Google Search Console checks your site for search results, click-through rates and any errors like broken links, plus tests if Google can make sense of your content, which is essential for SEO. Click here to get started.

8. Mobile optimize your website

With the ever-increasing use of smart phones and other portable devices, it’s vital to ensure your website is mobile-friendly. If your website doesn’t render to mobile, it automatically loses credibility. Check your site here.

 

Plus, keep your established business thriving

Looking for inspiration to stay on track or take your business to the next level? Consider these tips to always keep your brand and business fresh.

  • Quality over quantity
    It’s a bit ironic that in this day of mass communication, people are showing a preference for personalized service and marketing. So focus on creating more customized experiences instead of a one-size-fits all approach. This may involve narrowing down your target audience and working on building rapport and stronger client relationships.
    4 ways you can make your business stand out.
  • Establishing partnerships
    Some businesses partner with others to deliver enhanced services and boost their brand – think Apple + IBM, McDonalds + Lego, and Uber + Spotify. To partner successfully, both parties should have similar target audiences and the arrangement should be mutually advantageous.
  • Focus on always evolving
    It’s a fast-paced world and no business can afford to rest on its laurels. Even large and established corporations have gone by the wayside from not adapting and remaining relevant. So stay on track in your business and strive to continuously learn and evolve.

Article adapted from Bartercard Australia Blogpost. Click here to read the original post.

How to get the word out when you don’t have a marketing or PR budget

September 13th, 2017 Posted by Smart business tips No Comment yet

You’ve invested all your dollars into your business, now how do you tell everyone you exist?

In this week’s blog, we’ve listed 8 tips to build up a market presence and really get seen – even when you don’t have marketing or PR dollars to outlay.

  1. Use Bartercard

    We’re cutting straight to the chase – if you don’t have a cash budget for marketing, use Bartercard trade dollars to land exposure without the cash bill. Bartercard has hundreds of media companies, including magazines and industry publications, where you can advertise your business and showcase your brand.Don’t have any print or digital assets?  Use graphic designers on Bartercard to create all your artwork and collateral, including a killer brand!  But take a step back – what’s your market positioning? Bartercard has digital marketing and PR agencies available too, so you can put your brand in the hands of experts to position and maximize its market reach.
  2. Research

    Get to know the journalists, influencers and publications (including newspapers, supplement lift-outs and magazines) in your industry.  Write a list including the journalist’s/influencer’s area of expertise/focus and add their contact details. Follow them on social media and like and comment on their posts before contacting them. Consider what valuable information and expertise you can contribute instead of focusing on yourself. At this stage you should also start positioning your brand and how you will pitch it.
  3. Tell a story

    Part of getting seen is knowing how to tell a great story that stands out from the throngs. What pain points are you tackling, in what creative way, and what led you to launch? Most critical, what’s your solution?Brands like Dollar Shave Club mail out competitively-priced grooming supplies straight to customers while Coca-Cola and Commonwealth Bank appeal through clever, emotive story telling. Others like Doughnut Time just know how to do their specialty – and market it – well.

    As part of your brand story, everything in your business should be conducive.  Are healthy deserts your specialty?  Serve them in environmentally-friendly packaging to stay consistent.

  4. What can you do differently to tell your story?

    Some brands have quirky personalities while others tackle the market through a stand-out identity, consumer-generated content or jumping on a trend really well. Put a narrative around your brand and weigh up how you can tell your story differently to make an impact in the market.
  5. Perfect all brand touch points – including website, social media, blog, shop-front (or e-commerce store) and advertising

    Ensure your information and branding is consistent across the board – so that if a journalist or influencer does check you out further, you’ve done everything you can to maximize the leverage and control the message.  If you work in a service-based industry like accounting or law, see what current issues you can lend your expertise to through blogs and case studies.
  6. Nail your pitch

    Once you’ve positioned your angle and approach, write the press release you’ll send to the journalists.  Just keep in mind they read hundreds of press releases each day – so ensure your pitch is clean and cuts to the chase.If you’re a retailer, send them a sample too, thinking of creative and stand-out ways to present it – like a customized Donutella Versace doughnut for World Chocolate Day.
  7. Send out your press release Customize your press release to make it relevant to the journalist and call them up to pitch it first. When you speak to them, keep it short and succinct.Tip: instead of attaching, paste your press release in the body of the email so the journalist can just scroll down to see it on their phone.
  8. Assess, rinse and repeat   Try to line up your PR with advertising to maximize your market impact.  See what worked and what didn’t, adjust and retry.

For other business tips and insight, visit Bartercard’s blog.

 

Article Written by Klara Vida, Bartercard Australia
You can read the original post here.

SME and start-up business tips

September 6th, 2017 Posted by Smart business tips No Comment yet

Does your brand lack direction or need a fresh start? Packed inside this week’s blog are the business staples, tips and insight to laying down the business groundwork and staying ahead of the curve. Whether you’re a start-up or established business that needs to hit reset, this week’s blog can help pack more punch into your brand. 


The concept
When it comes to thinking of a killer business concept, many people will tell you to ‘do what you love’ or ‘follow your passion’. These are definitely formulas for success, but in reality a business involves so much more – from strategy, finance, research, sourcing, paying your suppliers, ticking off mundane tasks like paying bills down to sheer stamina. So don’t just consider what you love doing, but also your personality type, how you work, what skills and abilities you already have, whether you buckle under pressure, what makes you tick and whether you can handle the many hurdles and setbacks just part of business. It’s also vital to consider whether your business idea is marketable and will convert to sales.

Research the market
Research is critical to test the feasibility of your business idea, and see where similar concepts thrived or fell over. Standing out takes a point of difference, so thoroughly research your competitors to see where you stand apart.

Stick to your core values and beliefs
Running a business and spinning a profit is a challenge at any given moment – it’s certainly not glitz and glamour which most start-ups will tell you. To keep sustainable you should stay authentic and true to your core values. Consistency and congruence across every aspect of your business is critical, or the stress, pressure and work will outpace you.


Three tips for getting research right

  • Define your market – who are your customers, what do they like, what hurdles and setbacks do they face and what solutions can you offer?

  • Research the competition – investigate who your competitors are, what they do, what their strengths and weaknesses are and how they price. Where are you different?

Map it out – pinpoint gaps in the market and do a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Determine your ‘why’ (the reason you’re in business) and fine-tune your market position or unique selling point (UPS).
You should be crystal clear of why you’re there, how you stand out and what you do differently.

 
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Write a business plan
A business plan is like a blueprint for your business, detailing your vision, strategy, budget, finances, marketing, competitors and contingency. Some people will tell you that a business plan isn’t essential – but apart from a tool to attract investors and talent, it makes you plan, review, breakdown and map out the way your business is put together which is really crucial to success.
A typical business plan should include:
»»  A cover page with contact details
»»  An executive summary – describing what your business does and what it solves;
»»  A company overview
»»  An industry analysis
»»  A customer analysis
»»  A competitive analysis
»»  A marketing plan
»»  An operations plan
»»  A management section, outlining the key company personnel (and who you need to hire)
»»  A financial plan and;
»»  An appendix including income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements.

A business plan also makes you accountable and keeps you on course, so start writing. 


Seek finances resourcefully
Even low-cost start-ups require financing to get started. Finance options include business loans, overdrafts, lines of credit, fully-drawn cash advances and many start-ups take the route of crowdfunding or private investors like venture capitalists.

Source easy finance through Bartercard
Sourcing finance isn’t always easy, but Bartercard members have access to an interest-free line of credit when they join. This can cover start-up, renovations, expansion or other business costs – visit bartercardusa.com and get started!

Tips from the experts
Speak to, follow and read about the successes and failures of entrepreneurs. Learning from their mistakes can save you from slipping up, while leveraging off their lessons and successes.

 

Written by Klara Vida, Bartercard Australia.
Click here to read the original post.

Entrepreneurs: Your Business Has Two Black Holes

August 28th, 2017 Posted by Smart business tips No Comment yet
Finding your edge in marketing and customer service

Entrepreneurs have to deal with every facet of their business. Running a successful business has many challenges. To be successful, you have to avoid certain things.

Marketing and Customer Service are two “black holes” of business. Both are critical, but neither is ever complete. Unlike more tangible areas of your business there is no “quota” to exceed, there is no “inventory” to manage, there is no “work order” to complete.

But no matter how much is invested in Marketing and Customer Service there is always more that can be done.

After all, who doesn’t want to be the best-known company, with the best logo and tagline, with the most fun events, and the most memorable ads? Who doesn’t want to receive praise from customers or have a reputation as the “good guys?” You want to know your service is more responsive and broader than your competition.

It makes us all feel good because Marketing and Customer Service touch our pride. This doesn’t mean those things are bad, or that you shouldn’t do them. Yet with our egos on the line it is easy to do “things” and forget purpose. They become simply an indulgence – something we do to please people.

Business indulgences are very costly over the long run. Have you ever stopped a product or service when you realized there was no business return? The negative impact is often greater than the positive gain. I admit I’ve done this myself. When a vendor ceased providing a service or product I enjoyed, my disappointment caused me to search for a different vendor, sometimes choosing one who never provided that service or product in the first place!

Marketing

Marketing’s core purpose is to attract new customers. If everyone knows your tagline, but no one knows what you do, that is a poor investment. If your marketing events are well attended but only by friends and not prospects – that is missing the marketing goal. Every dollar of marketing spend must have a specific target. The target is not simply leads. It should be qualified leads that have a high potential to become customers.

In today’s confusing world of social media (See this roadmap) so much can be spent on ‘being everywhere’ while accomplishing nothing. Every dime spent on marketing needs to have a specific ROI target.

Customer Service

Customer service’s core purpose is to ensure existing customers receive sufficient value and remain as loyal customers. If you continually receive praise that your team goes “above and beyond,” then maybe you should be wondering why that type of effort is required to do business. Every dollar spent on customer service is an investment in renewals or additional business. Return on investment (ROI) is the indicator as to whether you are doing the right things, the wrong things, or not enough. Or too much.

The Conundrum

Neither success for marketing nor customer service can be solely measured on operational or financial metrics. But it is a mistake not to measure them at all. Otherwise they easily grow into “black holes”, sucking up everything around them. If resources are scarce in the first place, pumping money down these black holes is a bad idea. never to be seen again.

 

**Portions of this article have been provided by contributing author Keith Okano, owner of ClosingStrong, a business coaching firm, specializing in helping entrepreneurs growing their business. Keith is an affiliate member of HeadwayExec and is a SilverFox Advisor.

 

BlogPost written by Doug Thorpe, Executive Business Coach   |   http://dougthorpe.com/

Want more loyal customers?

July 10th, 2017 Posted by Bartercard, Marketing, Smart business tips No Comment yet

A smarter alternative to discounting and vouchers

Every business owner wants to attract new customers, but this is why discounting and vouchers aren’t the best approach.

New customers are essential for every business to grow and flourish.

In order to attract new customers, a business owner could typically hire additional sales people, advertise, create incentives, reduce prices or discount, or sell online deals or vouchers.

What are you currently doing to attract customers to your business?

Attracting customers in the current economy can be a lot of work, especially when competitors are undercutting prices and advertising irresistible deals.  Whilst approaches like reducing and discounting might appeal to short term customers, it’s not only expensive for your business, but will compromise the integrity of your brand and reduce the price expectation for your market.  Dropping the price too low will almost always certainly devalue your business, and impact your reputation.  These approaches also don’t attract long-term customers…

Whilst they do attract clientele who will spend with you when you discount, you want customers who will purchase from you all year round to create consistency and even out cash flow.  Don’t be afraid to charge the full price when you have Bartercard.

Bartercard is network of 24,000 businesses world-wide that facilitates new business introductions, attracts a unique market of customers and provides a smarter way to reduce the costs in your business.  It allows you to attract new customers without reducing your prices.

Members of Bartercard are using the network to attract long-term customers and retain existing ones by…

  1. Joining a unique marketplace and a network of 24,000 business owners world-wide looking to spend
  2. Advertising their business to new national and international markets through Bartercard’s online directory, and using the services of their local Bartercard office to promote their business.
  3. Selling their products and services through Bartercard’s online trading platform MYBC which facilitates $600 million in transactions world-wide each year, offers a unique shopping experience and promotes business locally, nationally and globally.
  4. Selling at Trade shows.
  5. Obtaining leads/referrals at business to business networking events.
  6. Spending the Bartercard trade dollars they’ve earned from additional sales on advertising, sponsorship and public relations to attract customers and keep more cash in their business.
  7. Engaging the services of training and coaching organizations on Bartercard, without spending cash, to up-skill their staff.
  8. Packaging their goods or services with those purchased on Bartercard to create value and added benefits for their customers.
  9. Expanding their product line by purchasing new stock from Bartercard wholesalers to attract customers.
  10. Engaging in sponsorship using Bartercard trade dollars to promote their business within the local community. New customers create a busy environment and word-of-mouth referrals which will attract more business.

To attract new customers and feel energized by your business, talk to Bartercard about the solutions they provide.

 

Author: Klara Vida, Bartercard Australia

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.