How To Start Your Own Property Letting Business With Little Capital

Starting your own property business from home with little capital can be done, and this enterprise can be built into a substantial company in quick time if you really work at it, and go about it in the right way. If you don't have any property of your own, it doesn't matter, as initially we concentrate on letting other people's property.

But first things first. You need to decide on the name for your business, then set targets and goals, and thirdly you must carry out adequate Market Research (MR). All these are very important to the future success of your business. Don't skimp, and don't rush it. Your name first. What are you going to call your organisation? Most property agencies choose either to operate under the principal's name, e.g. Jack Jones & Co and then may add the word "Lettings" or "Property", or alternatively a completely different name to your own, such as Oak Properties, or Star Rentals, or Hufftown Lettings. Hufftown is where you live, for the purpose of this article.

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Take a little care and time over your choice, because it is very difficult and expensive to change the name at a later date. Have a look in the local papers and see who is operating already. You wouldn't want to choose Hufftown Rentals if there is already a Hufftown Properties operating locally. That would only confuse and annoy people unnecessarily.

Another thing to bear in mind is a website address. Sooner or later you will need a web presence and it would be nice if the name you choose were also available to register on the Internet. For example, imagine you were toying with the name Oak Properties. I've just run a check to see if Oak Properties is available on the net. As it happens it isn't, but Elm Properties and Ash Properties are, so it might be sensible to choose a name where you can immediately bolt on a website address.

If you find a still available web name you like, register it ASAP. You don't need to use it immediately, but once you've got it, it's yours. Names are being snapped up all the time, and you might be surprised at how few suitable names are still available. Once you have decided on a suitable business name, test market it on a few people. Ask the kids, or your family. They will soon tell you if it's too cheesy or naff! You want a name that is easy to remember, that you are comfortable with, and reflects what you do.

So we've decided a name. Let's call ourselves Little & Keen, Property Letting Agents. Onward, to setting targets and goals. Let's set ourselves a modest little target too. Let's aim to become the Biggest and Best letting agency in Hufftown! There is no point in setting targets too low is there? Set them high, aim high. No one wants to achieve a piffling goal. And a time scale too, what shall we say, 10 years? 5 years? How about 2 years max! That's it, our target is to become the biggest and best letting agent in Hufftown within 2 years. We'll start from home to keep costs down, and we may well stay at home, but that doesn't matter. It's a tough target, but by no means unachievable. So let's get started, time is of the essence.

Task 3: Market research. What are we researching and where? These are the things you need to know. Who are your competitors? What do they charge their landlords and their tenants? Where do they advertise? Do they have a website? What properties do they currently have available for rent? What rental cost are they? What are your competitor's weaknesses and their strengths? And how are you going to find out these things? You're going into mystery shopper mode, that's how.

Imagine you have applied for a job at the CIA or MI5 and as a test they have set you that same little task to complete, to obtain all that information within 3 days (always and only by legal methods.) You'd do it wouldn't you? Your job application depends on it; course you would. Get yourself a large sheet of paper and a ruler and make a chart. Primitive I know, but effective. Sometimes pencil and paper is still better than technology.

In the left column list all the competitors you have discovered in your area. Your local paper is a mine of information. Leave the bottom line free for your own business name. You can fill that in when you know what you are up against. Column two is for how much each agency charges their tenants. By the way you can only charge a tenant to process their tenancy application. You cannot charge a tenant just to register their requirements. That is illegal and a definite no-no. (That's the law in England, don't know about elsewhere, you would need to check that.)Column's three and four are how much the competition charge their landlords. Column five is their website address, and column six for any other relevant notes. Now you know what's required, let's dig! Do you perhaps feel a little uncomfortable prying into other business's affairs? Why? Don't!

It's normal business practice to strictly monitor the competition. To not do so would be foolish in the extreme. Tesco's monitor Sainsbury's who monitor Asda-Walmart every single day of the week. Indeed Tesco even boast of their website where they advertise and compare prices on thousands of products within their rival's stores. Do you think Sainsbury's and Asda willingly supply this information? I doubt it. It's market research, and it is what you are doing here.

The first place to find information is on their websites. You can glean an enormous amount of market intelligence through your rival's (and yes these companies will soon be your rival's) websites. You'll be able to fill in and complete quite a few of the boxes on your chart, but probably not all. You might then need to put on your best shoes and smile, and head down to the town and raid their shops.

Some agencies will pester the life out of you as soon as you walk in. They'll want to know everything about you, you might need to be creative, while others will let you pick up all their brochures and lists, and might not even look up from their vitally important work. When they do speak to you, what do you say? The truth of course. Tell them you are considering buying a buy-to-let property and renting it out, and do they have any information that you can take away and browse at your leisure. Most agencies have information in spades. You will be burdened with all the guff 'n stuff they'll give you. Take it all, the whole blinking lot and return home and read it thoroughly from cover to cover. You'll learn a great deal about property letting through these papers alone.

And is that a fib you told about buying property? Of course it isn't. You ARE thinking about buying and acquiring your own properties, and if you aren't, you jolly well should be, otherwise what are you doing in the property business? Your ambition must be beyond simply working for others. As soon as you have the necessary deposits you will consider buying, of course you will.

You return home and gleefully complete your chart. It's looking good, almost every box is filled, except yours at the bottom of the page. You now know how much all your competitors are charging for their main services, so how much are you going to charge? Undercut them of course, massively! NO, YOU ARE NOT, because you don't need to and no one ever made a great deal of money by massively undercutting. You have several important advantages coming your way, so make the most of them.

In England the first advantage is that you are not registered for Vat. You don't need to be until your turnover tops £60,000, and that's fee turnover not rental turnover. It will be a little while before you need to register for Vat, so make the most of your Vat holiday - it won't last forever. So if your competitor is charging 10% commission to their landlords PLUS Vat on collected rents, if you charged the SAME percentage fee, without the VAT, you already have a significant pricing advantage. Imagine a property is let at £1,000 per month, (nice easy figure) and you both charge 10% commission. The landlord would receive from you £900 net. But from Big & Swanky, your local puffed up rival, the landlord would only receive £882.50. A small advantage you might think, but over a year that tots up to £210, and if the landlord had ten properties, it's then £2100.

Landlords rent out property for one reason and one reason alone, and that is to make money. They notice things like that, believe me. If you are cheaper, they will start to become interested in you. You could in your initial period always reduce your price slightly by say 1% to attract extra instructions. You could do the management for 9%, that's perfectly possible, and it would make quite a difference to a landlord with multi properties. But be careful about reducing your fees too much. You'd be much better off thinking of ways to increase fees. It's your first USP, Unique Selling Point, courtesy of the Vat man. You're Vat FREE.

Most property Agents offer two separate services. Find a tenant only, OR Find a Tenant and Manage the property on an ongoing basis. Make sure you have the two distinct services clear in your own mind, for if you are confused, your landlord will certainly be too. Service A is to locate and reference a suitable tenant, prepare the paperwork, collect the first month's rental and deposit, book them into the property, take a fee and Bob's your uncle, that's it. (Yes I know there are other matters to think about like gas safety and reading meters but we'll come back to that). It's quick, it's clean, and you have no ongoing worries or responsibilities. But after your one-off fee, you have no ongoing income either.

Service B is much better from that point of view. Here you find and reference a suitable tenant, prepare the paperwork, you book them into the property, and then you manage it on an ongoing basis. That means collecting the rent forever, and a fee every month for doing so. Some tenants stay in the same property for twenty years, more than you might think. All you have to do is check the property occasionally, and generally oversee that the letting is running smoothly and satisfactorily for both parties. If you can keep increasing the number of properties you manage each month, you will see your fee total, your income, steadily rising. These regular fees will also provide you with fallback income which is especially reassuring when times are quiet.

Think back to your chart. Column 3 is for your competitor's charges to landlords for finding a tenant only; column 4, their charge for ongoing management. Two distinctly separate things. Don't confuse them. Once you have completed your chart, you can pencil in your own charges. You now know how much you will be charging your clients and how much you will be receiving on any particular let, from landlords and tenants, they BOTH pay you fees. Incidentally some agents charge a set fee for Service A, find a tenant only. Perhaps £300, or a fraction of the monthly rental, say half or three quarters of a month's rent. Half of a thousand pounds is obviously preferable to a set fee of £300. Make sure you set your fees as HIGH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN, while always remaining competitive.

Think about it, check and recheck what Big & Swanky charge, and Sleepy & Dull too. Then fix your prices accordingly, and remember they are NOT cast in stone. You are a small independent. You can always haggle and/or adjust your fees at any time as it suits you. Big & Swanky would probably have to have three board meetings and refer to head office before they could or would amend theirs. It's another advantage of being small and independent, of owning your own business, of controlling your own destiny. You can be quick on your feet, you can compete at all levels.

Look out for the next article in this series entitled "Finding Properties To Rent" and best of luck with your business.

How To Start Your Own Property Letting Business With Little Capital

You can read lots more about how to start and run your own residential letting agency and much more besides at David's new website: [] where you can join in, have your own say, create your own page, comment on other contributions, or simply read any of the many pages of property and real estate hints, tips, ideas and information.

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Market Research Techniques - How to Gather Data for Your Business

Market research is indeed a good step if you are deciding to put up a small business or if you want to improve the performance of your business. One of the mistakes of some businesspeople is to assume that they pretty know their market well and disregards market research as a very good step in knowing what your clients need and want.

Conducting a good research on your market will also help you outwit competitors as this will be a good way to learn firsthand from your target market on what they want, what they prefer so you can conceptualize on the improvements that you want to do with your products. If you are thinking of conducting a research for your business, and you want to explore the market research techniques and methods that you can use, here are some ideas that may be of help.

\"market Research\"

1. Surveys. Surveys are among the most common and one of the best ways to gather data for your research. Of course, aside from getting answers from direct from the individual, you can also solicit a good and specific answer especially if you can ask follow up questions.

You can however do the surveys in many other ways as well. You can do surveys through questionnaire form and interview the person directly, or you can mail them, although mailing them generates lesser response than doing the interview personally. You can also do it as an online survey or through telephone. Of course, your choice of these market research techniques can be based on the cost, the turnout, as well as the reliability of the data gathered.

2. Focus group discussions. This is also another way of gathering data for your business research. This actually involves discussing a certain topic in a group and collecting their ideas about it. The discussion is then documented, either by either videotaping or by observing. This is also a fast technique to get data as well.

3. Interviewing the respondents personally. Indeed, if you want to know what your market is like and what are their thoughts, you can go and interview them personally. With personal interview, you can also ask open-ended questions that allow you to gather more data. Unlike those with questionnaires, these are usually unstructured interviews. These however may be less reliable than surveys and focus group discussions.

Aside from these data gathering methods, you can also use other market research techniques such as gathering data from free secondary sources and then do the primary data gathering if you think you need more specific data. However, going for the primary data is a good choice in your research especially if you want to outsmart your competitors, as this will often give you good and accurate data on the behavior of your market.

With accurate data, you will also be guided correctly on what to do or improve. Indeed, if you want to move ahead of the competition, do your market research. Techniques, methods and strategies in doing so are readily available and you can even do so with lesser costs as well.

Market Research Techniques - How to Gather Data for Your Business

Carolyn Anderson did a market research to improve her business. If you want an easier way to market research, check out faster, easier market research. Also check out Niche Annihilation Method, where you can find tips on how to make money online by having your niche website.

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Fortune High Tech Marketing - Real Truth About Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing

Almost Everything You Read About Fortune High Tech Marketing May Be Junk!

Not that I'm a person who likes to oppose the masses. I just believe that you need to get the best of what a real review is like. Especially when it comes to considering an opportunity like Fortune High Tech Marketing. You must remember that your financial future is all too important to throw away. Get equipped with the right information about the whole truth about this company.


1) Starting At The Beginning

It all started with Paul Orberson. If you think this is a typical rags to riches story, it really isn't. I can see that you could relate to Paul if you have been in a corporate job before and dreamed of early retirement on certain days.

Paul hails from Kentucky and used to work as a high school teacher.

In 1990, he entered the network marketing industry as a representative and helped build it to a successful one. He felt challenged during his "retirement at 40" and yearned to actually do something of value. After contacting a few friends with some research, Fortune High Tech Marketing was born.

2) Products Versus Compensation

The products that Fortune High Tech Marketing currently include ranges from weight management products, Internet, long distance, satellite TV, health and beauty products, wireless phones and so on. This means you get a wide spectrum of choices though I felt that it makes it hard for you to really focus on one niche.

Your compensation plan can be described as a residual income stream. How does it work? You need to sign up 3 customers and then earn from their efforts to recruit others. This consists of a 2% commission earning from your "downlines" FHTM product usage. If you sell its true essentials products you gain 20% from the total sales volume.

3) Beyond Financial Freedom

Even though the opportunity with Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing looks attractive to you there are a few things to consider. Such as the "Stair Step Breakaway Plan" employed by the compensation system. When people in your organization starts performing as well as you, they "breakaway".

Leaving you the only option which is to recruit more people or "new recruits" to fill in their place. You need to do this so that you can maintain your monthly checks. Its cruel yes but its this kind of work you will need to consider.

The best option for you could be to pursue the art of marketing online. Choices to learn are practically limitless and you will be swamped with many paths to choose. Your sure path to success lies in you investing in a good marketing system for yourself.

Fortune High Tech Marketing - Real Truth About Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing

This article is the property of [] - you may freely publish it on a website as long as it is not modified in any way. It must include the author bylines; all hyperlinks and URLs must be made or remain active.

Vern How has been earning online since June 2006. He is a professional affiliate marketer who believes in giving back by helping others.

To find out how Vern can help you work from home, visit him today at Online Marketing Business []

For more information on a fool-proof strategy to profiting massively on the Internet, just check out your Fortune High Tech Marketing Online System []!

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3 Retail Sales Tips to Become a Better Sales Person

Getting good retail sales is not about just being there and in peoples faces enough for them to buy from you. In today's market competition is fierce from all sides and with the economy in strife it becomes harder and harder to convert those shoppers into buyers. So what can you do as a sales person in retail to make those customers buy and buy again? These 3 retail sales tips can give you an edge and make lifelong customers to sustain your business!

1. Be confident


As much as this seems a no-brainer and everyone tells you this tip it is important to restate and refine. Confidence is not being loud, or talking fast, or having a huge ego or "dressing for success". Confidence in selling is a state of mind you must achieve that will flow into your natural style of selling. Forced confidence can be picked up by savvy retail shoppers and turns them off. Instead of trusting you because you are confident and at ease with your style, product and approach, the shopper feels like you are trying to force something on them just as you are forcing confidence.

2. Be Natural

Too many sales people put on a completely different persona when retail selling much to their detriment. Some do this because they feel their 'natural style' is not good for selling and other feel that they get more sales with this made up sales person they inhabit while they work. The truth is your natural style infused with a confidence can sell anything and is more genuine and trustworthy than something that is made up. If you feel your retail sales persona is still better then here is a tip ... maybe you should be an actor not a sales person!

3. Be Genuine

Not to be confused with being natural. Being natural is just using your own personality when developing your sales style. Being genuine is about gaining the customers trust! Trust is one of the most important things in sales and business and one of the few things that guarantees returning customers. There is no point in hard selling something that a customer does not really want, the sale is not a lasting thing and does damage to your reputation and ongoing customer satisfaction. Remember there are competitors everywhere and you have to be better than them or your customers will flock to someone else!

While there are many ways to read customers and close in for a sales the truth of most sales in retail is that you need to respond to the needs of your customers. These retail sales tips will help you overcome obstacles that can distance yourself from their needs and push them away from the sale.

3 Retail Sales Tips to Become a Better Sales Person

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Essence Versus Attribute - What is Marketing?

"The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself."
Peter Drucker

Marketing. What is it? You hear the term used in a wide range of conversations: business, personal, and casual.


How do you define it? Pause and ponder a minute. Write the definition in your brain. Hold that thought and read on, because how you define marketing will define your small business.
Before I define what marketing is, let's clarify what it's NOT.

Marketing is NOT:

• Sales
• Public Relations
• Advertising
• Branding
• Messaging
• Management
• Communicating
• Networking

These preceding bullets are aspects of marketing, but ultimately, they are only means to your marketing ends. Think essence not attribute. The essence of marketing is the active and sustained process that delivers the product or service to your customer. An attribute, such as advertising, is a means to an end, but not the end. An attribute is a piece of the puzzle, but it does not complete the puzzle.

After working in corporate, high-technology marketing for over 20 years, I discovered that companies sometimes don't realize just how powerful marketing is as a tool to sustain revenue and grow market share. Some small businesses see marketing as an afterthought used only in good times. Furthermore, many companies don't understand that without marketing, sales engines don't fire on all cylinders. When times get tough and the economy goes south, marketing is often the first victim of downsizing. In reality, marketing is both your best offense and defense to sustain and grow your business during either tough or good economic times.

When times are tough, that's the time to expand and not contract your marketing efforts and budget. When your competition decreases their marketing, you should increase. When your competition decreases advertising, you should increase. When your competition is losing mind and market share, you should be growing mind and market share. When there is less media clutter, you should make your voice heard. When your competition is hiding in a fearful economic corner, waiting for the storm to blow over, that's when you strike-and strike with aggressive determination.

Now back to defining marketing. The word marketing is often used, but rarely understood. The following definition comes from the American Marketing Association. It's one of the best I've seen. It's not too academic and ethereal, but instead drives to the core of what marketing means:

"Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."

Marketing is thus an ongoing, dynamic course of action that delivers the products and services your customers need-products that add value and offer sustainable benefits.4 Marketing is continual and not periodic. It's a business lifestyle and mentality. We don't "do" marketing when we feel like it; we LIVE marketing. It's like breathing-it becomes second nature. Marketing is the active process you do every day in your business. Consistent response rather than periodic reaction is the key. If you make marketing into a continual, habitual process, then you don't have to play catch up. Recurrent marketing activity gives your business momentum. In the long run, it saves you time, money, and energy.

Marketing Applied

Bottom line: marketing is a verb and not a noun!

For example, every day I try to generate at least one marketing activity. Some days it may be something small such as a phone call to a potential client or a content update to my Web site. Other days may be dedicated to marketing activities such as writing a press release, article, or a post on Twitter or Facebook. The point is this: be consistent and be active. Don't let one day go by without doing at least one marketing activity. Let marketing become a habit.

Be active. For example, tell your story consistently and map out your press releases that fit your overall messaging; send out action-oriented e-mail newsletters on a regular basis; plan a long-term advertising strategy and stick to it; consistently contact your best customers; update your Web content and keywords. Marketing is thus an active process. An activity each day, whether large or small, builds up over time and becomes a habit that you initiate without thinking.

As a way of giving back to the community and keeping my "marketing mind" sharp and active, I teach a class called Principles of Marketing at a local university. I tell the students that marketing is simply the process and activity of delivering a product or service to the end customer.

On the far left you have the product, and on the far right you have the customer. The critical link between these two is marketing. It's the process and activity of connecting, delivering, and communicating that product to the customer. It's ongoing and should never stop. If marketing is taken out of the linear line, then the process stops. Marketing must always balance the center. No marketing equals no process. No marketing equals no activity.

Some companies mix marketing and sales together, as in, "Director of Sales and Marketing" or "VP of Sales and Marketing." However, "What's wrong with that?" you ask. It's not really a question of morality; it's a question of category and clarity. Marketing is at home with itself rather than sharing functions with other business departments. Sales is sales, and marketing is marketing. Both small businesses and large corporations are better off separating both functions. Sure, they work together and in many respects cannot function separately. However, since marketing covers such a wide umbrella of overall strategic business functions, it's unfair to lump marketing with the core of other business tasks. Real marketing exists to support sales and provide the necessary tools to communicate product features, functions, and benefits to customers.

The following is a partial list of marketing action items any small business should include in their marketing process regimen:

• Write a press release.
• Update your Web site keywords.
• Update your Web site HTML title pages.
• Post a Twitter update.
• Post a Facebook update.
• Plan your monthly e-mail newsletter topics.
• Call a dormant/past customer.
• Call a current customer.
• Create a list of articles you could write for your Web content.
• Write an article.
• Speak at a meeting or event.
• Post a blog entry.
• Update your business plan.

So remember: think process and activity. Think essence and not attribute. Live the marketing lifestyle, and the process becomes second nature. Now take a few minutes to cover some of the following questions and action items. I am sure there other items you will think of yourself, but the point is to get you asking and thinking about how your small business approaches marketing. Feel free to ask either yourself or your employees some of the following questions. These are perfect for group discussions, so apply them in whatever context best fits your business model.

Questions and Action Items

1. How did you define marketing before you read this chapter?
2. After reading this chapter, did your understanding of marketing change? If so, why?
3. What do you think of the other definitions of marketing by Philip Kotler in the notes section?
4. What marketing activity did you engage in today?
5. Are your current marketing activities consistent or periodic?
6. Are your current marketing activities reactive or responsive?
7. If you could pick one marketing activity to complete this week, what would it be?

Stuart Atkins
Copyright, 2010

Essence Versus Attribute - What is Marketing?

Stuart Atkins is an author, speaker, small business marketing consultant, blogger, and adjunct professor of marketing. He is the owner of Atkins Marketing Solutions, a small business marketing consulting company, located in Orange County, California.

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Market America Scam Revealed

Is Market America a scam or not? That is what we will determine in this article today. Market America is a one to one brokerage and internet marketing/sales company that specializes in Mass Customization. It is a franchise without actually being a franchise. It offers all the benefits of what a franchise does; However, it does not have all the fees and overhead expenses linked to a franchise. It was founded in 1992 by James Ridinger and its main headquarters resides in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The business model is a little complicated and it requires the business owner to recruit others into its network of other owners throughout the business. Market America is considered to be part of the network marketing industry, but in order to qualify your business you must purchase 200BV worth of the product. BV is approximately 80 percent per 1 dollar spent. Once you have bought the products, you then have to remain on a "transfer buy" of 50BV to 150BV each month. For example, lets say you bought 120 dollars worth of products, that would equal 100BV. As your business grows you then will start to accumulate points. Once you have accumulated a certain amount of BV points you will then start to receive commission checks for your efforts.


I want to give you some more specific details regarding the compensation plan that Market America uses. First, as I said before there are two sides to your business. These are called your "legs." One of your legs will sit on the left of you and the other on the right of you. Now once your finally qualified to begin making money with this system your sponsor will recommend you to research a list of people that you know and then began inviting them to home gatherings, parties, formal meetings, one on one meetings, and even hotel presentations. If this is something your interested in doing then Market America could be a good fit for you.

Now in order to qualify your business, you must purchase a certain amount of the products as well as get your two "legs" or sponsors you recruited to join your business. The amount to qualify is a ballpark figure of 300 dollars to 1000 dollars of their products. Once you buy the products, you will then be encouraged to buy a couple more hundred dollars worth of business materials. Then once your initial purchase qualifies you as your center you are then required to purchase at least the bare minimum of products every quarter, but this varies based on your position within the pay plan scale. Lets use a ballpark figure of the people you will have to recruit in order to make money. Let's use 300 people for example. Now once you have activated your center with the two other people you are networking with, you will then be able to collect commissions based on the amount of traffic or volume you create within your two partners you have recruited. The BV point will determine how much you get paid.

Even though Market America claims their products are far more effective then those similar products in their market, their products are focused on skin care and nutrition. Also, they call their main product line a "Mall without Walls", which is true since you can't buy it in retail stores. In addition, most of their products are based on health and wellness.

In my opinion, the real truth here about Market America is this. For the amount of sales you generate, the payouts are not very lucrative. It requires a lot of work, numerous people are involved, and there is very little payout in return. In conclusion, Market America is not to bad with there payouts compared to the other MLM companies out there; However, I personally feel that Market America's payouts are not for me. So is Market America a scam? No Market America is not a scam, but like I stated earlier the compensation plan is just not appealing to me.

Market America Scam Revealed

Timothy Cavalari is a highly successful internet marketer that works with the top marketers across the globe. If you would like to learn more about Tim you can check him out here at Tim is committed to helping those succeed in life and trully care about people's success!

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Internet Marketing - Free Marketing Wisdom

If you're a one-man operation in your internet business, chances are, you are doing all of the marketing yourself. You see with large corporations, they have different departments that can handle each aspect of an online business. They have a marketing department, a purchasing department, an IT department, a customer service department, and etc. It's definitely tough trying to operate against a large corporation like this if you're a one-man team.

But fret not. While the major corporations my have million dollar advertising budgets... you can get crafty with your marketing also, and still have a successful business without spending a lot of money on things. What am I talking about here? Well, I'm talking about FREE marketing.


Now before you start your rant about how ineffective free marketing is, let me tell you that it just flat out works... over time. Sure advertising can bring you traffic within a matter of hours, but if you're new... you will have to figure out how much you can afford to go negative on a new customer. How much your next product price will be when selling to your backend customers. And what the lifetime average value of a customer is in your business.

With free marketing, these things are important, but you don't have to shell out any money for it. You can earn 100% free profits, and when done long enough, you can have a thriving business that just makes you a lot of money - without the expense of paying for a new customer.

And when you couple this with a backend marketing strategy, you're sales will skyrocket. Free marketing definitely does work, and it doesn't take a long time to see the results that you are looking for from it. There are all kinds of free marketing techniques out there on the internet, but I personally like the idea of generating referrals.

This is like driving traffic without doing anything. Imagine if you have 100 people sending you referrals each and everyday. For 1, these referrals will more than likely have some sort of affinity to the niche. So their chances of buying things from you will more than likely be high.

Another free way to get traffic is with blogging. I personally enjoy blogging. It's my own space where I can share my ideas and connect with my readers all at the same time. It's a very powerful marketing medium. Some people's businesses revolve all around blogging. They've made it their main staple of their internet business.

When starting off with your blog, you will want to strive to write 1 new blog post per day. Make each post around 400-500 words long, and really give your readers a pleasurable experience when reading your information. Some people will leave comments on your blog. Interact with them and begin to build a following. All of this can happen with a blog.

Don't skimp on free marketing because it does work. It's not as fast as paid advertising, but you can definitely use it to get you more sales.

Good luck with using free marketing in your online business today.

Internet Marketing - Free Marketing Wisdom

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Randall Magwood is one of the most respected and highly-regarded online marketing experts on the internet. He has a website about internet marketing that helps small business owners learn how to market their business online simply and easily. To learn more, simply visit his website here:

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The Benefits of a Marketing Plan

What is a Marketing Plan?

Marketing is to do with matching the features and benefits that your products and services are able to provide with specific customers and then telling those customers why they should buy them from you. Your marketing plan details how to do this. A Marketing Plan is a document that supplements your business plan and brings together all your market research so that you can work out exactly where your business is going and how it is going to get there.

\"market Research\"

Your plan should include:

  • Objectives.
  • Details of the current market.
  • A full analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. (SWOT Analysis.)
  • Your plans for achieving your objectives.

The plan should be flexible and able to be adapted to meet the changing conditions in the market place.

Benefits of a Marketing Plan

Having a marketing plan will help you to focus on your target market and to find if there are any gaps in the market that will provide new opportunities for you. Your marketing plan will also provide you with something that enables you to measure how you are progressing. This can then highlight strategies that are working for you and those that are not.

A good marketing plan will also benefit you in that it provides your outside financiers with confidence that you know your market and that you know how to achieve your objectives.

A good marketing plan will deal with the matter of sourcing new leads as well as creating new networking opportunities for your business. The bottom line means your plan will define your business as well as your customers and your future plans.

What is a Good Marketing Plan

A good marketing plan is really a blueprint for the action that your business needs to take in order to achieve certain goals. It will identify the most cost effective ways of performing certain functions and should show the best way to present your business to your target audience.

A good marketing plan will save you money by cutting out unnecessary expenses while at the same time presenting you with new marketing opportunities. A good plan will work for your business to make sure that what you do fits into your budget and that your marketing drive reaches your target audience.

It will essentially keep all your activities and your budgets on track. If you don't have a good marketing plan it is possible that you are not taking full advantage of all the ways to reach your target audience. This will result in decreased sales.

A Marketing Plan must Reach People

Your marketing plan will provide you with a track upon which your business needs to run. It is similar to a flight plan for pilots. Their flight plan tells them the direction along which their plane is going to fly, where they are leaving from and the path they have to take to get to their destination.

A sports coach will have a game plan that sets out how the team is going to play the game that particular day. The coach will work on strategies that will effectively frustrate and win out over the competition so they can come out on top.

Your marketing plan should be designed in a similar fashion.

  • It has to be built with an end result in mind.
  • It should fit the specific markets you are aiming for as well as the people in those markets.
  • It has to be flexible to meet the needs of the people in the markets because those needs are constantly changing.
  • It must focus on people rather than on products.

Remember to always develop a marketing plan that is specifically designed to reach people.

The Benefits of a Marketing Plan

Copyright 2005 StartRunGrow

StartRunGrow ( is a global online information organization that specializes in creating, developing and marketing business help information specifically with the aim of "making business easier" for entrepreneurs around the world. The StartRunGrow objective is to become a dominant player in the business help arena providing end to end solutions for the millions of small and medium businesses worldwide who continue to struggle daily with the difficulties of starting, running and growing a successful business.

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Flea Market Business: How To Outsell Other Flea Market Vendors

Flea market business. Does that phrase make you excited, but anxious at the same time?

If it does it's probably because although you know that there is money to be made, you also realize how much competition exists in the flea market.


To make money with your own flea market business you need to have good quality flea market merchandise at low prices.

But the other ingredient that is often overlooked, is that you have to have the ability to outsell your competition.

How do you outsell your competition from other flea market vendors?

Think of what a dollar store would do to stand out from other dollar stores in the neighborhood.

You want to emulate this dollar store, and apply its strategies to your own flea market business.

Here are tips that you can use to outsell your flea market competitors.

Tip #1

Customer service is crucial. People want to be treated well, regardless of where they are shopping. Be the flea market vendor that is known for friendliness and helpfulness. Shoppers will be glad to buy from you, even if your prices are the same as other flea market vendors.

Tip #2

Always have an organized and pleasant flea market booth. Shoppers will enjoy visiting your booth if your merchandise is displayed nicely. Wouldn't you?

Tip #3

Keep track of other vendor's prices. Your prices always should be at, or below their prices.
Even if lowering your prices cuts into your profits you need to adjust them. You can always make up the lost profit on higher sales.

Tip #4

Be positive. Shoppers want to buy from positive sellers. Shopping at a flea market is supposed to be fun, make it fun for your customers.

Tip #5
Introduce a new variety of items. If shoppers know that you always have a nice variety of new products at your flea market booth, they will go to you first to see what new products you have.
Make sure that the products you introduce fit into your current merchandise. You want your customers to know you for a certain product category.

Flea Market Business: How To Outsell Other Flea Market Vendors

Donny Lowy is the CEO of the following wholesale and closeout businesses.


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Restaurant Sales Upselling Techniques

Opportunities for up selling come along all the time in your restaurant or cafe and unless you and your staff take advantage of them you are leaving money on the table so to speak. Today I wanted to give you some information on how to capitalize on these opportunities to make you more sales, combined with having the right restaurant management tools will get you the results you require.



There are basically three areas we can outline to up sell to a customer.

1. Set opportunities

2. Up-sell

3. Spontaneity (monitoring customers' needs)


A Set Opportunity means that there are set times that are suitable to suggestive selling, from when the customer enters the restaurant to when they leave.

There are three'-such Set Opportunities:

1. When the customer is initially taken to the table

2. When the order is taken

3. When dessert is ordered


When taking the customer to the table it is a good opportunity to let them know about drinks. Saying something like "Would you like a wine, cocktail or soft drink while you think about your order?" is a good way to have them make a decision as to what drink they may like.


When the order is taken, many waitpersons will make the mistake of asking a `closed' question like, would you like an entree? A better way is to `assume' the sale. Try something like "which entree would you like to try sir/ma'am?" If an entree is declined, proceed to the next opportunity, which is asking which main meal they would like, perhaps suggesting a favourite. Upon the customer choosing, it provides another opportunity to `upsell' to say a larger serve or a side order etc.


Asking for the dessert order can sometimes produce and obstacle for the unwary waitperson. Many customers will say no because they have just finished eating and feel a little full. However, the astute waitperson will see an opportunity. By `seductively' describing what desserts are available or describing `their' favourite, they can sometimes entice the customer to have a dessert.

Appearing' to accept the customer's `no' decision can create another opportunity. By suggesting that they bring the dessert menu back `later' will give the customer a chance to have the main meal settle and perhaps when they are approached later, they may be able to be enticed.


Probably the most famous up selling phrase is "would you like fries with that?" Many people nowadays actually refer to up selling by that phrase. So use it to your advantage - because it works!

As a general rule, when a customer orders one thing, ask if they would like another `thing'. It is a good idea to have set `up sell' items. Again, the most famous is fries with a hamburger.

After the meal for example, referring back to the dessert opportunity, if the `follow up' dessert offer is still declined, then offer after-dinner drinks.


A different (indeed opposite) approach to up selling is down selling. As the name suggests, it's a matter of suggesting a higher priced and/or quality product in the beginning and if the suggestion is not heeded they can then suggest a `down market' or less expensive item. This can be particularly effective when the customer is a little indecisive.


Similar to up selling and down selling, cross selling is about suggesting something of similar value but of a different range but perhaps with a better margin. For example, if your client managed to buy a quantity of say Budwieser for a special price, then they might have their team begin to `Cross Sell' it in place of the Molsen Dry that they had bought at regular price.


A spontaneous suggestion, as the name suggests, is when the suggestion is made from an impromptu situation.

There are many, many opportunities that may exist, far too many to list, however, an example of a spontaneous suggestive sell, might be a `top up' on a half full wine glass. Good bar persons are particularly adept at this. They assume the sale! Suffice to say, that Spontaneous Suggestive Selling will improve as product knowledge, confidence and team motivation improves.

There are a number of practical things that can be done when used alongside the various techniques covered in the previous sections.

Restaurant Sales Upselling Techniques

The Restaurant Management Center has a large selection of sales and marketing tools available designed specifically for restaurants and cafes. Restaurant Management Tools.

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SAP Sales Order Types, Configuration

In the initial screen of the sales order entry sales order type should be entered. Based on the order type entered system displays the subsequent screens. The below are the most important order types present in the SAP.

1. MTO Order
2. Parts Order
3. Returns
4. Credit memo request
5. Debit memo request
6. Invoice correction request


MTO order type is used for the parts which will be manufactured according to the customer requirements. To specify the customer requirements generally variant configuration is used. Once the sales order is created sales order creates a requirement in MRP. When the MRP runs (MD01/MD02), system creates a planned order. Planner converts this planned order into production order. After goods are manufactured, goods are received into the plant with respect to the production order. Sales order is delivered when the goods are available, and an invoice will be issued to the customer.

Parts order is used to sell the stock items from the plant. when the shipping date reached system creates a delivery note (VL01N). Shipping clerk ships the goods and do a post goods issue (VL02N). Post goods issue reduces the inventory and increases the cost of goods sales. An invoice is issued to the customer in the batch job or manually in VF01.

Returns: Returns order is created when a customer wants to return the goods. Return order creates the return delivery document (VL01n). When the goods reaches the plant or ware house shipping clerk receives the goods and do a post goods issue in the system. A credit memo is issued to the customer.

Credit memo request: This order type is used to issue a credit to customer. Generally a credit is given to the customer, when there is a over billing or duplicate billing. For this order there is delivery presents.

Debit memo request: Similar to credit memo request debit memo request is used to debit the customer. When the customer is less charged, to issue a debit memo, debit memo request is created.

In the order type configuration, delivery type, billing type controls whether a particular order type has delivery or billing. For credit memo requests there won't be any associated delivery type. Sales order type controls the following.

  1. Pricing relevency (whether an order is relevant for pricing or not).
  2. Billing type (Order related or Delivery related). Credit / debit memo requests are always order related billing
  3. Header text control.
  4. Header output control
  5. Variant for the screens.
  6. Eligibility for Billing
  7. Eligibility for delivery

Item categeory at the line level controls the flow of the order. One sales order can contain two line items, one with delivery and another without delivery. Item category similar to order type has similar controls. Schedule line category which is associated with the item category controls the movement type used during the delivery.

Ex: One line item can be delivered from consignment stock and another from unrestricted stock.

SAP Sales Order Types, Configuration

This concludes the different kinds of sales orders possible in SAP, and sales order controls. Please click here for SAP training. For SAP Access, please click here.

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Definition - Marketing

Everyone's idea of marketing is different. Each textbook defines it differently, and each professional will include different aspects of marketing. Marketing is a lot of things.

Merriam-Webster defines marketing as:


1 a: the act or process of selling or purchasing in a market b: the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service

2: an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer.
This definition couldn't be any more general, but that in itself is the point: marketing is anything used to promote, sell, or distribute a product or service. Marketing can be passing out flyers to promote. Marketing can be the way you complete a sell. Marketing can also be who will sell your products. Marketing must be an integrated process that combines a wide variety of activities to promote, sell and distribute your products or services.

Marketing starts with determining a want or need. You must identify a reason for your product or service in order to have something to sell. Once you determine the want or need, you must create or establish the product or service that will satisfy that need or desire. Although this sounds like the beginnings of a business plan, it is also the basis for your entire marketing plan.

There are many steps to marketing once you have established a product or service that satisfies and want or need. You must make decisions about your marketing mix (product, price, place (distribution), and promotion), and you must incorporate your marketing collateral with every step. You also must combine your sales strategies with your marketing strategies to design a successful business model.

Marketing is a lot of things, but ultimately, it is any technique or process of promoting, selling, and distributing your products or services.

Definition - Marketing

Nate Stockard offers free consulting at Stockard & Associates, Inc, a marketing and design firm in Houston, TX specializing in small business solutions.

His 13 years of marketing experience is also put on display at The Market Seedling, an informative source of information, articles, tips, and advice for small business owners and marketers.

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Good Ideas for Team Names - 4 Tips to Name Your Team Appropriately

It is an understood fact that a team is a composition of members who have varied thoughts, perceptions, interests and likes.

This heterogeneity is one of the important challenges every team has to wade through in order to emerge successful.

\"ideas For Business\"

Differences in opinion could begin right from the time when looking for good ideas for team names since consulting each member is important.

However, if some basic, effective and pragmatic ideas are followed by all, the procedure to arrive at a suitable team name becomes relatively easy.

Firstly, it should be understood that the team name has a critical impact on the goodwill and reputation of a team. When names are changed frequently, it could demonstrate the elements of disarray and instability amongst the team members. Consulting every team member before arriving at a decision might be crucial. Here are come to help streamline the otherwise chaotic process. 

  1. Considering the nature or function of the team is a good idea. In an organization, there are distinct functions. For instance, an HR team may focus on a name that is people oriented or the team comprising top management members may form a name that matches the business standards or a name that is in sync with the goal or vision of the organization.
  2. It is also a suggested way to make your team name resemble or sound like any other well known name of a team in that field. People usually take those names that have already witnessed success so as to pass on the tradition of winning in the current scenario as well.
  3. Alternatively, you can also have the team name taken after the name of the local or that specific geography and also suffix a color or adjective or some noun.
  4. If you want to instill a sense of belonging and unity in the team members, you may consider taking the initials of everyone and juggling them around to arrive at a fancy name. In this case, a befitting explanation can also be given for the name.

These are some of the ideas that could be incorporated. With a little creativity, arriving at suitable suggestions for team names becomes an easier task.

Good Ideas for Team Names - 4 Tips to Name Your Team Appropriately

Download your FREE report which reveals "The 5 Must Have Team Building Ideas That Get Results in 7 Days or Less ". Go to to find out more.

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First Step in Network Marketing - Get Organized, Part One

This is for all the newbie network marketers out there trying to grow a business on the internet. These are the tools I've used to get organized. What is the advantage of being organized? Isn't it all about buying into an opportunity, getting your turn-key website live and raking in massive amounts of residual cash?

Well, that's what I thought too. Five months later I've discovered that most internet "network" marketers earn their money selling products to people like you and me. The sell to newbie internet network marketers who come into the business wide-eyed and open to learning the best way to make a pile of cash as fast as possible.


Let me tell you about the people who earn piles of cash "overnight." Those people already built a massive list of people that they can market to. I know because I'm on almost every guru's list. I get all the emails about the next hot info product or marketing software must-have.

To be frank, almost none of them were worth a few pennies, let alone the hundreds of dollars I've spent. The more I research, the more I find out that my story is very common. MOST people that start a network marketing business hoping to grow it on the internet wind up spending loads of money on information products.

I'm glad I'm a fast learner, though. I'm putting up these resources in order of importance, relevance and effectiveness. I want to help other newbie marketers get focused and organized so that they know deep inside that they don't have to spend all that money on (predominantly) useless junk that won't help their downline grow.

So, the first thing that is common to ALL network marketing businesses is your 'Why' statement. Why do you want to open a business? What is it you're seeking? Financial freedom? More time with your family? The cars? The vacations? The ability to help lots of people? It's important to state your why as succinctly as possible, but also to have a story associated with it.

Here's mine: I have a burning desire to be of service to those that I care about, and I opened a network marketing business in order to have the resources to do so.

That's my primary why statement. You might think it's overly altruistic, but once you read my story, you might not think so. Here's the story that goes along with my why:

Last year, my boyfriend at the time was diagnosed with AIDS. He spent many nights in the hospital, but had a particularly close call in November of last year. He had just gone on the antiretrovirals (the standard AIDS drugs) and was having a very bad reaction to them - so bad, in fact, that he almost died. I was, and still am, a part-time massage therapy instructor. I wasn't starving, but wasn't rich either, and had no money to "spare". In the course of a very scary month, he was released from the hospital and began seeing an alternative healing practitioner. He had to radically change his diet and purchase many costly supplements. He'd been out of work for several months, and his disability had not kicked in, so he was broke. I found myself in a position where I couldn't help someone I loved and cared about because of money. I felt like it was a ridiculous and stupid reason to be prevented from helping him. When he had to go without supplements he needed very badly because neither one of us had the money, I was propelled onto this path. I made a vow to myself that I would NEVER find myself in that position again.

Now you might understand how urgently I felt I needed to become financially free. It was literally life and death - not my own, but of someone I love. I'm glad to report that he's doing much better now, but I'm still on a mission to achieve the kind of independence that only financial freedom can bring.

Now, what's your 'why'? Of course, it doesn't need to be as dramatic a story as mine, but it does need to fill you with passion and enthusiasm, for without those elements, the path to financial freedom can seem like a struggle.

Did you notice that my story makes me a credible leader? Don't you believe I won't stop until I achieve my goals? People will respond the same way to your story, as long as it's true. There's no need to embellish the story part of your why. People can sense falsehood and won't trust you. It's better to say what is and attract the people who resonate with your story.

My why almost sounds like the mission statement of a business - which is exactly what it is. Don't forget that when you join a network marketing opportunity you are opening a business! Every business needs a mission statement and you 'why' functions well in this capacity.

The first step to getting organized is to develop your 'why' statement. Every network marketing opportunity will have you create one. The reason? To keep your goals and desires right in front of your face as you begin to build your business. If you don't have a reason, why make the effort?

First Step in Network Marketing - Get Organized, Part One

Angelica Martinez is a newbie internet entrepreneur who is having success in her network marketing business. She is posting articles in order to help others save time and money as well as get into profit as quickly as possible.

Feel free to contact her at or visit the website for her primary business at


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Internet Marketing - Why Every Business Should Be Using Internet Marketing

Many traditional businesses are still not using internet marketing, yet wonder why they are not growing their businesses this year. Perhaps they blame it on the recession, but the fact of the matter is that if you do not have a presence on the internet, you cannot hope to have substantial growth this year or at all in your future. The internet has become a necessity to our society.

If you have any doubt as to why you should be using internet marketing, think about your own habits. When was the last time you looked something up in the yellow pages? How often do you order from the internet rather than going out on a shopping trip? The same thing that motivates you motivates your customers.


If you can take your business online, you should be doing so. If you have a website that is just sitting there doing nothing, you need to be promoting it. Most internet marketing methods are free or low cost, and you will not see nearly as much success with your other more expensive marketing tactics. If you have a small business, you can easily have yourself and your few employees trained in internet marketing skills and perform the tasks during downtime from regular business activities.

There is hardly an individual, and doubtfully a single business, in America without internet access. There are actually more people with access to the internet than access to a phone. Some people assume that anyone worth talking to can be reached online or through VoIP. If your business cannot be found online, you're not reaching your target market.

Internet Marketing - Why Every Business Should Be Using Internet Marketing

Do you want to learn how I build a list and make money online? I've just finished writing a brand new FREE ebook called '7 Steps to Profits and List Building with Article Marketing'.

Download it FREE here: Article Marketing Profits - Using Internet Marketing

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