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Tips to Ensure You Stand Out at Trade Shows

Trade shows can be a fantastic platform for entrepreneurs and budding new businesses to get their names out there, but it isn’t easy to make them work for you, especially because the average trade show will have around 300 stands all vying for attention!business-meeting

At a trade show, you will usually only have a few seconds to make an impression and attract customers over to your stand, and only a few minutes to convince them to buy from you, which is why it is so important that you work hard to ensure you stand out at trade shows.

Here are some foolproof things you can do to attract attention and make more sales at trade shows:

Let People Know You’ll Be There

If you have an email list of customers, clients and people who’ve expressed interest in your business, well in advance of the event, you should let them know that you plan to be there, and offer them incentives to show up, such as money off vouchers.

This will help to ensure that there is some immediate interest in your booth, which will ensure you’re not sitting there sad and alone as potential customers pass you by thinking you’re not worth the effort.

Less is More

You might think that, if you want all eyes to be on your trade stand, you should go all out to decorate it and make it eye-catching, but actually this is rarely the case because a stand that is too loud can be overwhelming and off-putting.

So, sure, decorate your stand and make it look interesting, but do so in a more minimalistic way by using simple design features, informative text and perhaps a slogan that encompasses your core message and tells the customer what you’re about in a few words.

Wear Lanyards

It’s never a bad idea for you, and any members of your staff who are attending the trade show with you, to wear lanyards with your business name printed on it, like the ones you can find at this page. By doing this, you will be maintaining your company’s visibility even when you aren’t at your stand, thus getting more eyes to see your message.

Give Free Gifts

It’s a trade show, and people are there to check out the goods you offer. It is, therefore, a no-brainer to let them try out your stuff for themselves by giving away a few free gifts.

Not only will this please the customers who are handed the gifts, but it will help your company to stand out when they are carrying that product around the show with them. Offering free gifts in return for information is also a great way to collect market research in what has to be one of the best places to do just that.

Be Informed

If you’re manning your booth yourself, you will undoubtedly be well-versed in all of your products and services and what you have to offer customers and clients who choose you over the competition.

If, however, you’re staffing your stand with employees or people you’ve hired for the day, this might not be the case. So, before the event, you will need to take the time to train them in your business.

This will help your company to stand out for all the right reasons, rather than for being the booth manned by in competent know-nothings!

Print Coupons

Using this site to print out coupons and then handing them out to people at the trade show so that they can get a discount on your goods is a great way to boost your booth and make it a more attractive proposition.

There are very few people who do not like a bargain and giving them one could be enough to make you very busy and once your booth is busy, other attendees will be intrigued to know why and come flocking over themselves.

Hold a Raffle

Holding a raffle is another good way to make your business stand out from the competition at trade shows. Like I said above, most people love a discount, but they love free stuff even more, So, if you can give them the opportunity to bag a freebie on the way, you will be on to a winner.

Ensure You’re Accessible

No matter how good your products are and how hard you’ve worked to make an attractive display, if it’s awkward for your customers to get to you, then they probably won’t bother.

So, ditch the clutter, keep the doors open and ensure that there are no obstacles between you and the people attending the event.

Have Fun

If you want to have hoards of people gathering around your trade stand at your next event, inject some humor into the proceedings.

Everyone loves to have a laugh, and if you can provide them with the opportunity to do just that with your unique sales patter or a funny display, you’ll have them eating out of the palm of your hand.

Scope Out the Competition

If you can, scope out the competition to see what they’re doing, focusing on the biggest players in your niche if you can. If they’re offering candy, offer cakes, or if they’re raffling a toy, you raffle a whole chest of the things.

 The big boys really know what they’re doing at trade shows, so if you can outdo them in even one small way, you will attract attention and hopefully make a lot more money as a result.

Shoot a Video

Shooting a video that showcases your brand is a great way to get people interested. A lot of people are more visually inclined that they are verbally, so by using this medium, you will be able to reach more people and create a good impression, providing you don’t skimp on your video’s production, of course.

Stage Stunts

Last, but definitely not least, staging a stunt is sure to get you the attention you crave. Organizing a flash mob outside your booth, bringing your cute puppy along to show off the merchandise or hiring a local celebrity to come and do something for you is pretty much guaranteed to create a buzz.

 

9 Easy Ways To Increase Traffic To Your Blog

networkingIt can be very disheartening when you’ve spent a long time creating your blog and you’ve meticulously written a blog post (or twenty) and your blog still isn’t receiving any impressive amounts of traffic. You’ve got the content, so why aren’t people reading it?

 

How do I drive traffic to my blog?

Luckily, there are many different things you can do. Some of them may show an immediate difference, and others will show over time.

Pinterest

If you get Pinterest right, then your blog will be flooded with views. You need to make sure you use the correct sized image for your pins, interesting pictures and a catchy, keyword friendly title. Here is an in-depth guide to using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging can bring in tons of traffic for your blog. Establishing yourself on other websites to your own will get your name around and it may give you the opportunity to link back to your blog. It may sound like a strange one, so check out this guest blogging guide.

SEO

Use SEO (search engine optimization) to attract viewers. Using specific keywords and using your blog post to display your keywords will help Google index your site when it’s crawling the internet.

The more you’re indexed by Google, the more likely you are to show up when someone Googles your keyword. Plugins like Yoast are brilliant for helping out with SEO.

Schedule

Don’t just write willy-nilly. Form a schedule and stick with it for your blogging.

Use Social Media

Go further than Pinterest. Other forms of social media will also drive traffic to your blog. You want to be regularly using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Stumble-upon and YouTube if you vlog.

Understand your Audience

Know who you’re writing for. There’s nothing you can write that will please everyone, so pick a niche to write about and make sure your blog posts are interesting and useful to that niche.

Host a giveaway on your blog

The prize doesn’t have to cost the earth. Something as simple as a gift card that’s relevant to your viewership. You can host the giveaway using a program like Rafflecopter, just make sure you follow the rules they’ve laid out.

Everybody loves a giveaway, and if your giveaway is shared, then more people are likely to visit to enter. Make it so that people can enter once per day too, it means they will return to your blog and maybe even check out some other posts too.

Make your content shareable

Add sharing buttons to your blog so that people can share your content if they enjoyed it or feel it would be useful to their friends.

Reuse old content for social media

You could write a caption saying something like “A blast from the past [link goes here] – tell me what you think”.

Don’t forget to not post too much on your social media. It could come across as spammy and you will end up losing followers. Interact with people if they speak to you over social media, it will show that there is an actual person writing and not some mindless robot.

Remember, you may not see a difference in your views straight away, but keep at it and you will soon see the figures rising!

 

The Secrets Behind Some Of Today’s Newest Top Brands

 

good-businessWhat goes into a successful consumer-facing brand? A lot of thought, work and effort, and a little bit of luck.

Today’s market is full of new brands that are now becoming an everyday part of our language. But what makes them so successful?

 

Beyond Meat

Everybody knows that eating meat is bad for the planet, animals and our health, and yet we continue to do it for reasons many of us can’t articulate. But now a company has come along and said that we can have our animal products and eat them too!

The company, Beyond Meat, has come up with a way of making meat in a factory (not a factory farm) which is pretty much indistinguishable from the real thing.

The company, founded by a bunch of food scientists, has managed to create a food product with the flavor and texture of meat, but without using a single animal product.

Instead, it uses ingredients sourced directly from the plant kingdom and combines them in a way that fools most people’s taste buds.

Mark Bittman, a long-time food reported for the troubled New York Times says that he couldn’t tell the difference between the company’s fake chicken and the real thing.

The great thing about companies like Beyond Meat is that they represent what could become the next step in human food evolution. Now we’re actually making foods in factories that are good, not bad for the environment.

Beyond Meat estimate that their product uses around 99 percent less land, 95 percent less fresh water, 90 percent less energy and 100 percent fewer animals than traditionally raised meat.

Curves International

Curves International is a weight loss company for women. It’s a great example of the importance of trademarking and franchising.

Secure Your Trademark, a trademarking company, says that if companies want to grow fast, they have to protect their trademark and use it to its fullest effect.

This is precisely what Curves International did. The company went from just a couple of outlets to more than 6,000 in less than 10 years.

Its rise is twice the speed of other famous franchises like Subway and McDonalds, illustrating the importance of making a brand approachable. Curves international accepts that curves are a part of life. It celebrates being a woman.

Dollar Shave Club

Has there been a more successful business venture in recent times than Dollar Shave Club? What began as an internet marketing stunt soon developed into a multi-billion dollar company, going up against industry stalwarts like Gillette and Wilkinson Sword.

Thanks to its clever advertising approach, Dollar Shave Club is now a household name, and it was all made possible with guerrilla advertising and subversion of the existing industry.

For years, razor manufacturers have been charging enormous markups for their razors. Dollar Shave Club said “enough of that, we can sell you razors for a fraction of the price while keeping quality high.”

Some men, sick of spending $50 a month on shaving equipment, decided to give it a try. When they found that they were saving money, they told their friends who told their friends and so on. The brand really snowballed from there.

 

How to make a successful investment abroad work for you

businessDeciding to start up a business and investing abroad can be a daunting thought, it takes a lot of effort and hard work to accomplish success.

Although it seems like it can be difficult and a long road of challenges lie ahead take the time to research.

 

Seeking growth for your company is a fantastic entrepreneurial opportunity. Willingness and hard work get great results.

Have a strong business plan

Uprooting abroad and expanding the business without a business plan is incredibly risky. The best way to ensure success is to create lengthy goals, start with a small 6-month plan along with a longer plan of 10 years.

Developing a strategy is crucial to ensuring you have a solid concrete plan to on the road to success. Creating weekly budgets to ensure you are on the right track money wise and to keep attainable analysis on the progress of the business plan.

Also, give yourself time to set aside research allowing you to see what bumps in the road may come up. Remember that this won’t happen overnight.

Investment

Investing your money in the correct bonds or property can be a confusing situation if not fully aware. Stocks and shares are however the easiest and most popular method to making money, invest wisely and compare your currency with the conversion of the country’s stocks.

Being able to invest in stocks and share without losing your hard-earned cash can be simple with research, reading up on the subject can increase your chance of making more money.

Get the right documents

The legal aspect in other countries can bring up lots of issues it’s crucial to have the correct documents before proceeding with starting abroad. Investing in business abroad comes with different guidelines.

Ensure you get the right help by getting an EB-5 Lawyer. They guide you through the correct strategies and to help get your green card running smoothly. Allowing you to begin your journey to being a successful entrepreneur.

Marketing

The most effective way to branding your business abroad is to have a checklist marketing strategy to achieving a high-level success rate. The checklist needs to be an in-depth list of whether the structure fits the mold designed for an abroad market.

Simple boxes that need to be ticked are branding of the company along with the delivery to the potential distributors.The top 5 tips to various marketing strategies to suit your business model.Depending on the country you plan to distribute  ensure the pricing model is fitting of their economic environment.

Make new networks

Starting up a new network of contacts is crucial, the current network residing in your current country can only help so far. Traveling to the country you plan to set up a business is by far the best strategy to ensure you’re making the right decision.

Whilst out in the country it gives you a great opportunity to test your product in the environment of origin but a general idea of how it will be perceived.

You will also be able to return home with a lot more research and get an idea of how the social norms of how the country work. Be sure to go with a partner in the business or even a translator, the extra effort will pay off in that you aren’t going alone and less likely to fail.

Get to know the competitors

Conducting research in the foreign field such as the difference in culture and if your business infrastructure will uphold in a different field. Conducting market research into your product and your potential target market allows you to see the potential success that can come from abroad.

Ask yourself plenty of questions such as has the market already seen this business before, if not then this can open exciting business opportunities leading to expansion.

Uprooting your business to another country requires you to know the culture and ways of the working environment of the country. Learning the basics shows mutual respect to the country’s heritage and getting comfortable with your potential business partners.

Allowing plenty of ways to make an impression on business partners abroad.Also, take the time to learn basic words of their language it shows you’re making the effort to understand their country.

Following up with these steps sets you on your way to succeeding. Choosing to take your business abroad shouldn’t be taken lightly. Most abroad opportunities are a great way to expand business and growth. Understand as much as possible about abroad markets that you choose to do business with to taking your time to getting it correct.

 

Business Essentials: Brand Cohesion

 

When it comes to creating a recognizable brand for your business, the process in and of itself is tough enough. First you have to find a name that isn’t already in use, which manages to describe your company and have a sense of “wow” about it. Then you need to figure out what your business stands for and how you want your customers to perceive you.brand cohesion

You would think, when all that is done, that you’ve mastered the branding side of a business. However, though you’re definitely close to having done so, you’re not quite there yet – there’s one essential tool that you’re missing.

Ensuring you know the secrets of brand cohesion and how to apply it to your business is the missing link in your strategy – so it’s definitely time for a catch up.

What Is Brand Cohesion?

The idea that your brand – your business, in fact – should be cohesive across all platforms is an enduring one, and for good reason. Put simply, you want your brand to have an identity, a personality, in just the same way that a human being does.

You want your company to be recognizable, identifiable by customers, associated with certain areas of business or products that you offer.

This aspect of business doesn’t just happen overnight. It has to be a concerted effort to guarantee that you’re projecting the same image of your business, no matter what the medium may be. This is something you have to strategize rather than having it evolve naturally.

Where Do You Begin With Good Brand Cohesion?

The first step is a digital one. You’re going to need everything about your online presence to relate to one another. So if your business is Amazing Things (LTD), then you’re going to want:

  • To focus on choosing the perfect domain – www.wizzhosting.co.uk has some great tools that can help you with this. You need it to be as close to “www.amazingthings.com” as possible, too. Sometimes your name might already have been taken, in which case, “www.amazingthingscompany.com” or “www.amazingthingsonline.com” are good solutions.
  • Your Twitter username should be as close to your domain as possible, so @AmazingThings or @AmazingThingsCompany
  • You Facebook vanity URL should be much the same; facebook.com/amazingthings – www.dummies.com has a great guide for setting up your vanity URL.
  • And so on and so forth, keeping to the same – or as close as possible – wording to connect all of your online presence.

How Do You Brand Cohesively Offline?

Many companies utilize color for cohesion. If you stick to the same color scheme (two or three colors works best), then all of your material and promotional items will look the same. Continuing the same font is also important.

What Is Important Both On And Offline?

By far the most important thing for brand cohesion in any sphere is the language you use. You need to decide on how you’re going to present your business through both your website and other presentation items.

Are you going to be fun and quirky, always using emoji, an engaging personality that would be considered the life and soul of the party? Or are you going to be more straightforward, businesslike, efficient?

Continuing this theme through all of your online and offline work can help make your brand more identifiable and create a perception that is definitively “you” – and it might just be the best marketing tool you have at your disposal.

Low Capital? Slash Those Startup Costs with these Tips.

It’s a myth that you need a lot of capital to start a business. Indeed, there are many ways in which you can get started in many sorts of business with virtually no capital at all.

It may mean that your business won’t have the head start you want it to, but it does mean you can get some very important foundational work completed instead of not making any progress at all!start-up

We’ve got some essential advice for startups that have a fairly limited budget.

Know your budget – and its limitations

This may seem too obvious to point out, but a failing here is what causes failure for many businesses. If you don’t have a detailed understanding of your expected incoming cash flow as well as your outgoings, then you’re going to find it difficult to come up with a good budget in order to save as much money as possible.

Calculate a budget and then stick to it. This is how you’ll best establish the limitations of your business.

Staying at home vs using an office

Starting a business doesn’t mean you need to get an office. Many businesses make the mistake of spending a lot of their budget on office rentals when they could have easily done the work tele-communicative project, at least for the time being.

If you definitely need an office, however, you need to make sure you’re smart about what sort of office you select. Even in thriving business cities, there are office options out there, such as serviced offices, that allow small businesses (or even big businesses) to save a lot of money.

Still, you must remember that getting an office is only something you should do if it will genuinely benefit your business and if you can comfortably afford to do so.

Get open source software

A lot of money goes into licensing business software. Many business owners make the mistake of assuming that all of their employees need a Microsoft Office license when everyone could have worked with open source software instead. Free alternatives to Microsoft Office can be found online.

OpenOffice, for example, is an open source software suite that can be used for free, providing you with word processing software as well as spreadsheet, database, and presentation options.

There are also web-based solutions such as Google Drive which rely on the cloud; these can be great for collaboration and multi-user document editing.

Outsource

There are, of course, several pros and cons to outsourcing. But one of the pros, if you’re smart in how you go about it, is that you can save a lot of money. Instead of hiring full-time employees for given tasks, you can go to an outsourcing agency to get the task done at a much cheaper rate.

The costs of recruitment are high, and that’s true even if you take that employee’s salary out of the equation. While, in many ways, it’s ideal to have an in-house employee for a given task, it’s not often necessary.

Things like IT support and web development, for example, can be done expertly at a fraction of the cost of recruitment.