Tag Archives: Business

How to Promote Your Junk Car Business

There is no easy way to promote a business, especially if your business is still a starting business. Putting things in context and in the right perspective, let us focus our promotional examples in the premise of a junk car business. There are, of course, various ways to promote your junk car business. But I have summed up a few promotional ideas to get you started. These are just the most common methods, but they work just as well. With the right creativity and resourcefulness, you can even make these promotions without spending much.

With a catchy slogan

With this promotional method, creativity is not enough. A simple “we buy junk cars for cash” might do the trick for some people, but it is just not enough to convince others. You also have to know the preferences of your target market-which, in this case, are car owners with wrecked or old and beaten up cars in their garages and back yards. Your slogan or tagline or whatever you want to call it has to be creative and at the same time relatable to these particular group of car owners. Always keep that in mind when you plan a new tagline or slogan for your business.

With an effective marketing campaign

Of course, a slogan is part of a marketing campaign. But if you lack the necessary funds for an all-out marketing campaign, a simple slogan is your last resort. If, however, you have the funds to execute a campaign, you have to make sure that you do it right. If you start a campaign without proper research and planning, your efforts won’t give much of an impression to your target market. And you will end up wasting precious cash and resources. In order to execute an effective campaign, research and planning must go hand in hand with your creativity.

With freebies

I always say this and I will say this once again. Everybody loves freebies. I love freebies. I would buy a product or service (even if I do not need it at the moment) if I can get a little extra for it. That is the same in any product or service. If you can, say, add a little freebie along with your mediocre “we buy junk cars for cash” slogan, perhaps your promotion and marketing can still have a chance.

With a great service

Your business is operating on service. A junk car company with great service will encourage satisfaction among its customers. If you do not have enough money to pursue a full-pledged marketing campaign for your junk car business, you can just invest in your customer service and satisfy as many customers as you can. According to experience, customers will willingly promote your product or service if they are satisfied with the service or product that they receive. Your satisfied customers can do your promotion for you. Word of mouth is a very effective marketing method. Do your job well, and your customers will do all the marketing. Play this right, and you won’t even have to spend much on marketing.

50 Surefire Business Card Tips

Business cards are one of the most powerful and inexpensive marketing tools you can use. Here are 50 surefire tips to make the most out of your business cards:

  • Your business card must communicate more than just your contact information. Make sure that your card includes a tag line that explains what you or your company do.
  • Order them in large numbers. By ordering 1000 your cost per card will be significantly lower than if you ordered 500.
  • Even if you can produce your business cards at home using an inkjet printer, have your business cards professionally made by a printing company. Your business card will be the first impression your prospects receive of your business, so let them convey the best possible one.
  • Avoid using standard clip art as your business logo. A logo brings credibility and brand awareness, so before you invest in business cards have a logo professionally made for your business. Nowadays, there are online companies that can produce a professional logo for as little as $25, so there is no excuse for not having one made.
  • Put up a website and use the URL in your business cards. If you don’t have a website, people will notice the absence of a web address in your business card and, depending on the business you are in, it may make you lose credibility.
  • Keep all the information in your business card current. If you changed address or phone number, don’t scratch the old number and write down the new one by hand; get new business cards.
  • Keep your business card simple. Don’t use too many fonts or try to cram too much information in it. Try to use a pleasant layout and make sure that your main message (your tagline or your unique selling proposition) doesn’t get lost.
  • If you live in the US, limit your business card size to 3.5″ x 2″. Anything bigger will not fit in standard card holders and your card may end up in the trash. Business cards in Europe tend to be larger, but so are the wallets and card holders.
  • Make sure that your business card reflects your image. If you are an artist or a graphic designer, it is OK to use trendy colors and fonts. If you are an investment banker, a sober layout and colors such as blue or gray work better.
  • Your business card is an integral part of your brand or corporate identity strategy. It should follow the same graphics standards as the rest of your communications material (stationary, brochures, letterheads, etc.).
  • Find a way to make your business cards stand out. I’ve seen business cards with one of its corners cut in an angle, or with an interesting texture, all of which makes your business card stand out of the crowd. The best one I’ve seen is from an interior designer, who used a hologram to show a room before and after a redesign.
  • Make your business card easy to read: use high contrast between the background and the type. Light background with dark type works better.
  • After your logo, your name should be the largest piece of information on your card.
  • Make sure that all the information on your card is printed in a large enough typeface to be easily readable.
  • Run your business card copy through a spell checker and double-check your contact information.
  • Keep your business cards with you at all times. Keep a stack in your car, in your house, in your office, and in your wallet.
  • Leave your business cards in billboards at supermarkets, schools, stores, libraries, etc.
  • When giving away your card, give two or three at a time, so that your contacts can in turn distribute them to other people. This will not only help you distribute them faster, but will generate a beneficial “endorsing effect”.
  • Include a business card with all your correspondence. People may throw away the letter, but will usually keep the business card.
  • Make your business card go the extra mile: use the back of the card to print more information: special offers, checklists, schedules, etc.
  • Throw in a business card in every product you ship.
  • Send a business card with any gift you send, instead of just a card with your name.
  • Scan your card and use it as an attachment to emails.
  • Use your business cards as name tags. Get a transparent plastic cover with a pin, and attach it to your lapel. Wearing it on your right side tends to make it more noticeable.
  • Use your business card as a name tag on your briefcase. Make sure that your company logo and tagline are visible. This way, your business card will turn into a “conversation piece” during plane rides, which may help you meet interesting people and good business contacts.
  • Use your business card as an ad: many publications offer “business card size” classified ads. If you design your business card properly, it can double up as an ad in those publications.
  • Don’t give your business card too quickly. It may be perceived as pushy. Try to establish a conversation with your prospect first. For example, ask them what do they do. That will usually prompt them to give you their card. That is the perfect moment to give them yours.
  • Don’t try to give your card in situations where many people are giving them to your prospect. Wait for a moment when you can capture your prospect’s attention span.
  • Another tactic you can try when your prospect is overwhelmed and can’t pay you enough attention is to send your card by mail. Pretend you ran out of business cards and ask for theirs. Then, mail them your card and take the opportunity to drop a follow up note.
  • If you have a mobile phone number or a direct phone number that is not listed in your business card, write it at the back of your card before handing it out, and tell your prospect that you are giving them your direct number. This will make your card more important, and less likely to be lost or thrown out.
  • Another way of increasing the chances that your prospect will keep your card is by printing valuable information on the back, for example important phone numbers (local police, hospitals, etc), a calendar, or a football schedule.
  • Offer to hand out cards of complementary (non-competitive) business people in exchange for them distributing yours. An example of non-competitive businesses is real estate brokers and mortgage brokers.
  • If somebody gives you their business card, you should give them yours in return.
  • Always give your business card face up.
  • Take a cue from Far East business people, who hand out business cards with both hands. It helps give the impression that your business card is something very important.
  • If you conduct business internationally, use the back of your card to print a translated version of your business card in your customers’ language. Even if they have no problem reading English, it will be a classy touch and they will appreciate it.
  • If you sell different product brands and want to put their logos on your business card, print them in only one color. Using each logo’s brand colors could make your business card look chaotic and busy.
  • Create a business card in magnet form. Magnets are widely used, to hold important papers on the refrigerator door at home and on file cabinets at work. They are always visible and always get read.
  • When receiving somebody else’s business card, don’t put it away immediately. Instead, keep it in your hand for a while you talk to your prospect, or place it neatly over the table, and try to develop a conversation based on the information on the card.
  • Use the back of the cards you receive to write down important facts about the persons who handed them to you. It will help you enormously when you follow up with them.
  • If you are in a profession where relationship selling is important, it may be a good idea to include your picture in your business card (i.e. real estate brokers).
  • Even if your business is a sole proprietorship, you can still use “account manager” as your title instead of “owner” or “president”. If you do sales (and we all do) “account manager” is a perfectly appropriate title, and it will give the impression that you work for a larger company.
  • Use logos of organizations that you or your business belong to in your business cards. They are an easy way to provide instant credibility to your business. For example, if you operate a repair shop you can display the logo of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) or the Triple A (AAA). (Check with them first about the terms of use).
  • If you participate in affiliate programs online, you can still use business cards to promote your affiliate links. Use the name of the affiliate company as the company name, use ‘partner’ or ‘associate’ as your title, and the URL of the directory or web page where you have placed your affiliate links as your web address. Just because affiliate programs are online doesn’t mean that you can’t use off-line marketing methods to promote them.
  • If you need to give cards to different kinds of prospects (for example if you are a student looking for work), make business cards with just your name and contact information, and attach custom made self-adhesive labels at the back with information of interest to each specific prospect.
  • Include an information email address (for example: [email protected]) that is set in autoresponder mode, that automatically triggers an email message with full information about your product, service or company. This will increase the effectiveness of your business card since you will give your prospect much more information that you can fit in a card.
  • Take good care of your business cards. Keep them clean and crisp in a cardholder. Don’t give away cards that are bent or damaged.
  • Try to get a cardholder with two pockets. That way, you can use one for your business cards and the other one for the business cards you receive.
  • Keep all the business cards you receive neatly organized in a rolodex. It will save you time and will provide you with a database of contacts with whom to build positive business relationships.
  • Collect all the business cards you can find, even if you don’t need them. Together, they will act as an “idea file” that will provide you with valuable tips that you can use to design your business cards.

Home Based Franchises – A Whole World of Opportunities For Your Own Business

If you’re looking for a way to start a business out of your own house but aren’t sure what you could do to become an entrepreneur, you may want to consider some home based franchise opportunities. These are ways for you to enter into a ready made operation with less risk and more profit potential if you’re interested in working from home.

Before you make a decision to jump into this option, you’ll want to learn a little bit more about what’s available for you. However, we should start at the beginning.

What is a Franchise?

Before you can decide if his is how you want to start working from home, you need to understand what a franchise is. Most of us have spent money at a franchise before. If you’ve ever bought a Happy Meal or a Subway Sub then you’ve been to a franchise operation.

Although these are not home based franchise opportunities, they are examples of franchises that have been operating for a long time and doing quite well. They are proof that franchises can be big money makers not just for the head of the company but for the individual owners of the restaurants.

How Does A Franchise Work?

Basically, here’s how a franchise starts. Company A opens its doors in one location. The company has a great service or product, as well as an effective marketing plan, which makes it successful at that location.

Maybe the owners of Company A decide to add a few more locations in their community and those also do well. It’s clear that people in other parts of the country would also be interested in what Company A is selling but they don’t want to be responsible for all of the locations in all parts of the country.

Instead, they make a deal with Person B who is looking for a way to start a business but aren’t sure what to sell. They create a partnership. Person B agrees to open up a location for Company A. In exchange, Company A supplies the business and marketing plans, as well as the product or service being sold.

Of course, Company A doesn’t do all this for free out of the kindness of their heart. Person A is usually charged some upfront fees for the service (this would vary from company to company) and must give a portion of their profits back to Company A regularly.

Of course, the benefits are clear. Person B is going to get a great deal with a ready-made company that could literally start making profits immediately. Company A gets a stream of income and is able to spread their company around the country easily. It’s a win-win deal for everyone involved.

Working from Home Franchise Options

A work from home franchise is essentially still a business, but one that you can run from your home based office or one that does not require investment in commercial premises. Although if the venture really takes off, then sometimes renting an office can be an option.

If you’re interested in starting a franchise from your home, you may be surprised at how many different choices are available. Below are a few ideas that are worth considering.

Local Directories and Magazines

These are essentially either a written publication or an on-line directory. Revenue is generated from these types of franchise predominantly from advertising.

It is entirely possible to start your own on-line directory but unless you are prepared to do a significant amount of software configuration it is probably best to purchase a franchise for this so you can concentrate on income generation as opposed to development

Education and Learning Franchises.

Ideal if you are keen on education. With these typically you will be selling online courses for either children or adults or even both. Overheads are low but you will need to be happy contacting cold customers or concentrating on generating referrals.

Training, marketing material and brand name normally form part of this home based franchise opportunity from the likes of ComputerXplorers for example.

Cleaning Franchises.

There is a whole host of home based opportunities in this market across a broad spectrum of industries.

This could range from home and office cleaning opportunities for example Merry Maids. The key here is to realize that you won’t be doing the cleaning but would be developing and winning cleaning contracts and then recruiting employees to fulfil the contracts. Your income is the difference between the contract rate per hour or job and the employee rate.

Automotive Franchises.

Another huge market for the home based entrepreneur is the automotive field. Franchises here will require a certain amount of mobility so would not be suitable for a stay at home mom for example unless they were employing a managerial strategy and outsourcing or recruiting.

Typically automotive franchises could include bumper repair, dent removal, mobile valeting and windscreen replacement to name but a few.

The list of home based franchise opportunities is almost endless and if you are a true entrepreneur there is no reason why you cannot find one that is suitable for almost anyone if you want you own business bad enough

Just make sure you do your research and know what you’re getting involved in before you make the commitment. Then you’re going to be on your way to becoming a successful working from home entrepreneur.

U.S.A Import Data – Intelligent Business

United States of America has proved itself as the largest and finest importer in whole world. USA import data is very handy tool for the traders around the globe. It has made its position in top traders of his world and can be called as intelligent business. US Import data is based on Bill lading, a shipping document filed at US Customs before entering the US ports. It is available on any Product exported by sea way to all US Ports. Data includes US Importer name address and Overseas Suppliers. Some of the important data fields have to be taken into consideration to receive imports from US:

• US Consignee Name, Address, Tel, Fax.

• US Notify party, Address, Tel, Fax.

• US Bankers Name, Address, Tel, Fax.

• Suppliers Name, Address, Tel, Fax.

• Date of Arrival.

• Actual Product Description as entered in Bill of Lading, Marks and Nos.

• Quantity and Unit of Quantity, Measurement.

• Overseas Country.

• Overseas Port.

• US Port.

• Bill Of lading No, Container No, Seal No, Voyage No, Vessel No. and Many more data fields.

USA Customs Import Trade Data Intelligence make a report on the importers in USA to find active, genuine US Importers, This report is based on authentic, actual import transactions filed at US Customs. These reports are compiled from Bill of Lading, Shipping Manifests filed with US Customs at US Ports.

Commonly, USA imports import goods like marble, cartons, handicrafts, glass art ware, woolen fabrics, yard woolen fabrics, Iron, wood seap, stone, Indian drass, copper, glitter plastic, ball pens, woven blouse, automotive components, storage bags, dolls clothing, ornaments, pictures, furniture, kitchen wares, books, clothes, compact discs, tables, storage devices etc. US update its goods regularly and give notification to traders for any new coming goods in the market.

The various advantages of USA import data are:

• Excellent directory to look for active USA importers and buyers.

• Consistency.

• Best quality products

• Pocket sized price.

• Latest market trends.

• Discover new market.

• 24*7 availability.

According to US census Bureau of import export “The import statistics consist of goods valued at more than $2,000 per commodity shipped by individuals and organizations (including importers and customs brokers) into the U.S. from other countries.

The above statistics of USA import data and the subsequent export data itself divulges the prospect for the importers in USA. Importers must remember some basic requirements of USA-

• Custom clearance, it includes- entry, inspection, appraisement, classification and liquidation.

• Declaration of dutiable value of goods.

There are certain things need to know before starting import business from USA like some technicalities, detailed requirements etc until and unless the pros and cons of USA business doesn’t occur, it may create some problem in getting the desired result. There are many online directories available offering the complete information of importers in USA, USA import data and their current trends.

The Benefits of Using a Business Directory

At some point in time every one of us needed to find information or the contact details for a company to have a specific job done or service rendered. Maybe you just moved into your new home and were still unfamiliar with the surrounding area and the local businesses.

When we need to find a specific company or service, we turn to a business directory of some sort. Business directories are especially useful when you’ve moved into a new town or city and are not yet familiar with all the businesses in the area.

For a consumer, a business directory is a very valuable book or website to have in a time of need. Regardless of who you need or what you need them for, chances are you found what you were looking for in the yellow pages, telephone book or even an online directory. Whether you were in the market the buy a car, renovate your home, or maybe you just needed a plumber; the business directory was what you turned to for answers, for a solution.

Regardless of taking book or website form, a business directory is very useful to consumers and business owners alike. It does not matter what type of service you need assistance with, or which company you need, you will find the information in a business directory such as the yellow pages or an online directory. They come in handy when you need to buy a car, when you are doing home improvements or even when you need the services of a plumber or technician.

In a nutshell, a business directory is a list of companies and the services they provide, along with any additional information that might be relevant, such as their contact details. Some directories even include a map with the company’s address and exact location. These directories are usually categorized, making it easier for you to find what you are looking for. Categories could include medical, automotive, rentals, even property and development. This will minimize the time spent looking for something specific, as you would know exactly where to find it. With so many online directories making an appearance, business directories are no longer confined to paper and ink. The world wide web provides a plethora of sites where you can find anything you need, simply by entering keywords and hitting the “search” button. This saves a lot of time, as you would not need to page through business listings thick enough to compete with Shakespears’ complete works. With a website directory, the searches are done automatically, also saving you a lot of time and effort.

In its simplest form, a business directory is a list of businesses and services plus all the information you will need, like contact details. Most directories, like the ones found online, even has a map so that you can pin point the exact location of the company. The companies listed in a business directory are also categorized, minimizing the time you would spend searching for what you need. These categories could be motor and vehicles, property or equipment rentals. So regardless of what you are looking for, you just page to the correct category. Business directories are also not confined to yellow pages and the printed word anymore, as the majority of searches are conducted online. Online business directories are also more convenient in the sense that they do all the hard work for you. Simply enter the keywords and the website will give you the most probably results. This automotive service will save you a lot of time.

Every business owner should put themselves in the consumer’s shoes to realize the importance of listing their services in a business directory. The exposure you receive by listing your company’s details in a directory will far surpass the charges associated with such a listing. However, many online listing directories are free as long as you abide by the terms and services. Regardless of whether you are paying for the listing services or not, your company will benefit from the advertisement and wide spread exposure. Every one will agree that money spent on advertising, is money well spent.

From a business owner’s perspective, a directory listing could be a valuable and profitable aspect to consider. Once a business owner realizes the importance of such a listing, the benefits will far outweigh the drawbacks. Some directories may charge a once off fee, or a minimum monthly fee; others are free of charge. Regardless of the costs involved, the exposure you receive will cover any expenses. It is important to read the website’s terms of service and abide by their rules. Consider the exposure to be free advertising, and no one can argue that advertising is a wise investment for any company.

If you are a business owner and you are considering to give your company exposure by means of a business directory, there are some points to keep in mind. Before you start, it might be beneficial to see how other companies and businesses in your area are promoting themselves. The aim of this exercise is not to copy what they are doing; it will merely give you an idea of the competition you might face. Remember, if a consumer is in need of a specific service and turns to a business directory for possible establishments to contact, the consumer will most likely go for the company that offers the best service. Make sure that your listing catches the eye, with professional wording and all the relevant information.

A few important points should be considered when looking into listing your services in a business directory, be it online or in printed form. First of all, take a look at how other companies in your niche are advertising their services. This is not to copy their ideas, but to keep up to date with the competition you might face. Again, put yourself in the consumer’s shoes: if you need a specific service, you will most likely contact the company who has the best advert, and who offers professional service. By researching your competition, you will be aware of what to avoid, and what to include in your ad. By having an eye catching listing that stands out, you can ensure that your ad will rise above those of your competitors.

Also, make sure the information stays relevant by updating addresses and contact details when necessary. By listing your business in a directory, you expose your services to more people, thus gaining more customers and clients.

It is also important to keep the information updated and relevant. These could include address and contact details. You will gain more exposure, and thus more clients, by listing your services in a business directory.

5 Steps To Building An Online Business Directory

Starting an online business directory can be pretty easy, but if you have no clue of where and how to start then by reading this article it will help you to get started.

Step One:

The first thing you need to know about starting a business directory online is what is your target market going to be, in other words what kind of businesses do you eventually want to include in your new business directory.

If you already have a current business online or offline then you will already know your target market, and you can move forward to step two in this article.

However, if you have no idea what your target market will be, then you will need to do some research, I would recommend starting a business directory about something popular and which is going to earn you an income down the road or. That will gradually help grow your current business.

Here are some very popular and profitable niches for an online business directory you could start.

1: RealEstate Directory

2: Travel Directory

3: Online Dating Directory

4: Automotive Directory

5: Fashion Directory

There are so many more and to find them just go to eBay.com or Amazon.com and see what is popular on those sites, or you could go to Google and do a search for keyword terms like “Hot Niches” or “Popular Niches” or “Popular Business” get the idea..

Then after you have decided on the niche for your new business directory, you will need to either buy or register your domain name.

Step Two:

Buying or registering the right domain name for your new online business directory will be the most important thing, so you need to make sure you get this correct from the start.

A good domain name should be no longer than two to three words, and it should contain the name of the niche and the word directory in it and should always be a .com if you can help it other wise you should go for the .net domain if the .com for the domain you want is already taken and is not for sale.

Therefore, for example if I was going to start a new business directory about the niche real estate the ideal domain name would be RealEstateDirectory.com or RealEstateDirectory.net but all good domain names like this have already been taken, but they may be up for sale so just visit the website and see.

If you find the domain name is not for sale then you could also try adding a dash between the two words.. Like this RealEstate-Directory.com or RealEstate-Directory.net and see if they have been taken or not, and if they are taken see if they are for sale.

If you have to go with a three word domain name you could enter something like your town or city name in front of the domain so it could be.. Like this NewYorkRealEstateDirectory.com or NewYorkRealEstateDirectory.net and see if it has been taken.

A great free online resource I have found to help brain storm a new domain name and see if they have been taken or not is RegistrarStats.com, give them a try.

Once you have found the domain name for your new online business directory it is time to register it, I recommend Godaddy.com for this as they are the cheapest and offer the best services.

Step Three:

Now that you have got your domain name for your new online business directory it is time to find a hosting company, and I have tried many and the best I have found is SeoHosting.com which is owned by HostGator.com, and they have been around for a very long time and they have thousands of happy customers.

Step Four:

Now that you have got your hosting account for your new online business directory it is time to build the directory.

Now you could do this a number of different ways but it all comes down to the amount of money you wish to spend.

If money is not an option for you, then I would recommend hiring a PHP coder from a website like RentaCoder.com or ScriptLance.com or eLance.com and get them to build a custom solution for you, this way you will make your new business directory stand out from all the other cookie cutter directories that are online these days using an off the shelf PHP directory script.

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with these types of scripts, and we use one our self for our own Link Directory, but we have gone a step further and have had a custom template created for our directory which has turned out to be a very good investment.

The directory script we use and recommend if you are on a very limited starting budget is PhpLinkDirectory.com.

Step Five:

Now we come to the final step and which is promoting your new business directory, this can be done with or without spending money.

I will list five free options and five paid options below you can start to help get the word out about your directory.

Free Options:

1: Join online forums and discussion groups related to your new business directory and make a post inviting business owners to list their website/business in your directory for free or at a discounted rate.

2: This one is related to 1: make sure you add a Sig line linking to your directory in all the posts you make in the forums you have joined.

3: Submit your business directory to other free link directories online, just do a search in Google for the key word Link Directory.

4: Link to your business directory from your other websites that you already own or run this way the search engines will find your directory and index it.

5: Send out and email to friends or customers and ask them to link back to your business directory and in exchange link back to their website from your directory if it is relevant.

Paid Options:

1: Start a Google AdWords campaign to instantly start driving traffic to your business directory, but be careful because if you do not know what you are doing with AdWords you could end up spending a lot of money without any results.

2: Buy some paid links from other websites or directories that are similar to your own business directory.

3: Submit your business directory to the Yahoo directory at a cost of $299 per year. Being listed in the yahoo directory will make your directory more creditable in the eyes of the search engines and your visitors.

4: Buy some advertising in offline news papers if your directory targets businesses in your local area.

5: Buy banner ads on other websites that relate to your business directory and try and to negotiate for a 6-12 month period because your can greatly reduce you’re over all banner advertising costs.