Friday, November 21, 2014

How Do You Measure Success?

As part of PPAI, Promotional Products Association International, access to tips, training an inspiration are provided to distributors. Here is a blog post from Cassandra Johnson, writer for Promotional Consultant Today.

If you own your business, do you consider yourself to be a successful entrepreneur? How do you measure this success? Promotional Consultant Today shares these key metrics for success as defined by members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC).

  1. Cash on Hand. Cash is the life-blood of any startup, and you should always have a pulse on how much of it you have left and how long it’s going to last. It is incredibly easy to let this slip by the wayside. – James Simpson, GoldFire Studios
  2. Lifetime Customer Value. While everything having to do with your income and expenses is important for any entrepreneur to understand and monitor, the most important number to know by heart at any given time is your LTV: Lifetime Customer Value. How much do you earn per customer? Per lead? If you know that, you will know how much you can spend to find them. – Cody McKibben, Thrilling Heroics
  3. ROI Per Marketing Channel. It’s crucial to keep a handle on ROI per marketing channel in order to optimize marketing spending. It’s not enough to check this every quarter. You should check it monthly or weekly. – Josh Weiss, Bluegala
  4. Renewal Rates. If you’re selling anything, understanding renewal rates is absolutely critical. If, for some reason, you’re not getting repeat customers, that’s a major problem and you need to spend as much of your time on it as possible. – Mitch Gordon, Go Overseas
  5. Gross Margin. It is crucial for entrepreneurs to understand their costs of goods and services. Keeping track of gross margin assures you know the value of each additional sale. Keeping track of gross margin by product offering will help you determine what balance of products and services will be best for your business. – Doreen Bloch, Poshly, Inc.
  6. Profitability Date. Knowing when you expect to be profitable will influence every other business decision you make. You need to know when your company will start making money to know how to manage the money you have in the bank. This impacts every decision related to your business, from hiring more staff to expanding product offerings to investing in marketing. – Ben Rubenstein, Yodle
  7. Burn Rate. This is the rate at which a company uses up its capital to finance overhead before generating positive cash flow from operations. As a measurement of negative cash flow, the burn rate is what you need to compare all your forecasts to so you don’t run out of money prematurely, and by lowering operating costs appropriately. – Phil Chen, Systems Watch
  8. Income to Expenses Ratio. All other metrics eventually lead back to this one. Are you earning more than you spend? All other decisions hinge on whether or not you’re in the black or in the red. – Colin Wright, Asymmetrical Press

Source: Scott Gerber is the founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs.
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Compiled by Cassandra Johnson


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Stand Out All Year Long

There will be many celebrations in the coming month, but now is a great time to tuck away ideas for standing out, creating goodwill and adding some spice to your marketing efforts in 2015. When asked about company events, most respondents will say a little fun in the office builds friendship, improves office culture and improves team building. Events for your client base are held for similar reasons. Besides demonstrating new products or services, fun events or promotions help develop relationships and shows off your personality!  

Here are some tips for planning your next event:
1.   When planning an event, build excitement. - invitations, references on social media, photos behind the scenes for what to expect; approach promotions the same way. Incorporate a theme for the event, tease attendees with images, videos or clues about what to expect for the upcoming promotion. 

2.   Record the memory– take photos during your event to share on social media as well as to print and frame for employees or clients.

3.   Make events interactive to allow for team building. For example if you are hosting an ice cream party, have a variety of bowls, spoons, toppings and flavors to allow attendees to be creative and “judge” the best presentations, the most unique toppings, etc. 

4.   Plan for a “take away” from the event that ties into the theme, but promotes your brand or your message after the event is over. 

Quirky Dates for Fun in 2015- Ask us for ideas for every month! 

Jan 15– National Hat Day– Give out a custom cap to business partners. Maybe beanies or ear wraps for employees or clients who are into fitness, or make it crazy hat day at work with donations to a favored charity for those that want to wear a hat for the day. 

The 5th of April is Tweed Day– best office “Tweed Twins” could be a winner, or offer a discount to customers that come into the business in tweed that day. 

Go Fishing on the 18 of June for new sales with an internal fishing contest among the sales team. Post fishing results on a white board to track the most caught and the largest catch.  

Did you know the 13th of July is Embrace your Geekness Day? Post and share stories of employee or clients geeky side; capture photos in frames to remember long after the day for office morale or as part of a morning office open house with your best clients. 

November 17– take a hike day– a great way to promote fitness, at work or invite customers out for an evening event; tie the hike into a fundraiser for a local charity. 

Dec 13– ice cream day or Dec 28 is playing card day– custom playing cards can be educational and fun with custom faces showcasing images of your companies history or products. 

It's never too early to jump start your plan of interaction and brand building for 2015!