The business world is constantly changing and anybody interested in getting the most out of their company desires to be ready to adapt immediately. Several business owners find it tough to keep up with new technology and what they miss most is the capability to alter direction so as to get the most sales from their audience. Marketing techniques need to be regularly updated so as to ensure that their impact will not reduce. In this atmosphere of pressure, reliable global marketing research is vital.

Doing analysis on a global scale is crucial if you want to obtain the marketing insights you have to operate your business on an international platform. Different cultures require different varieties of marketing, so by performing effective marketing research you may learn how to adapt your marketing strategy to the stress of an international business. Good and accurate research could furnish you with affordable global marketing insights which will allow you to create new strategies of promoting your business to people from totally different cultures. Without these insights, which analysis provides for you, any marketing strategy might be misinterpreted or a financial waste of your business's investment cash.

Marketing insights could teach you important factors regarding your potential clients elsewhere within the world. While you have set up a small online business, it is simple to forget that your country isn't the center of the universe which different people could have totally different expectations to your own. For instance, simple global marketing insights such as the fact that few Asian countries view reduced items as being tainted or near to an expiration date, whereas within the US it's normal practice to market an item by offering a certain quantity off the sale price. If you were to try and market your business in China, for instance, by reducing the worth, you could lose sales or make people unsure about your products.

Very important global marketing insights like these should be fully understood in order to ensure that you effectively promote your business all through the world with good website. Errors like them are simple to make but very difficult to rectify, therefore you may find yourself losing business unless you take the time to research your audience thoroughly. By giving yourself an insight into the business traditions of a culture, you can set your marketing strategy with those traditions in mind. Performing accurate research will assist you to stay further of your competition in the global marketplace.

In today's business world, no one achieves results without proper market research. Every sector of every market is crammed with competing businesses, all trying to get some kind of advantage over the other businesses working in the same area. Tailored research into a market is the only way to claw a little extra ground for a company – a space in which it is able to start attracting customers that may otherwise have visited the sites or services owned and sold by similar enterprises.

The basic unit of marketing research is the individual consumer – a group of which, or whom, are referred to as the marketing demographic for the product or service in question. Basically, what market research does is to work out what kind of person, or kinds of people, are most likely to be interested in a particular type of product – and then direct advertising campaigns and actual marketing efforts towards attracting those people. The logic is simple and very effective – indeed, marketing research has been formally conducted with a great deal of success since the 1920s, when radio advertisers first found that the products they were selling sold better when their adverts were placed on stations that targeted the same audience as the product.

What happens is this. A market research company takes a product and brings it to the marketplace as a whole, whereupon it gathers significant amounts of data regarding people's reactions to that product. Once enough data has been amassed, the successful demographics for the product become clear. So a product that reacts very well with teenage girls develops a demographic in the teenage girl sector of the market, and its advertising campaigns are conducted accordingly. There's no sense in marketing multi coloured flexible hair curlers to balding middle aged men.

Every business house needs a good advertising agency to be a success in the market. A good advertising is a key element for a successful business. For quality advertisement, taking services of a well known advertising agency is very important. You can say that advertisements are one of the most important marketing tools in the market nowadays. Because of rising demand of advertisements for developing business, there has been a significant growth in the number of media advertising agency. There are many advertising agencies in the market today and each of them promises to give you quality services. You should select an advertising agency for your business very carefully because advertising means a lot for successful running of your business.

If you plan to get great results, then it's always advisable to go in for a reputed and experienced advertising agency that is in business for quite some time. Because of their experience in the world of advertising, they will give you good services when it comes to creating eye catching and interesting advertisements for your business house. There are many ways to choose a good advertising agency. Word of mouth is one of the best options to gather information about advertising agencies. Ask your friends and relatives who are already employed services of advertising agencies. Ask them what quality of services they are getting and are they satisfied with the results? Listen to them carefully, for this will help you decide as to which advertising agency's services you can go in for.

Browsing through internet is also a very good option. You can read reviews of various advertising agencies, visit websites of various advertising agencies, check them and then accordingly opt for the best advertising agency whose services are in accordance with your budget. Many a times there is a public relations team in an advertising agency which helps business house build goodwill in the market and also provide information about the business house and their products and services in the market. In these advertising agencies, there are employees who work for different departments. These employees work in the best possible manner so that the advertising campaign for your business house is a success in the market. The medium of advertising is based mostly on the product and the target audience.

The ultimate goal of marketing is to improve the visibility of a product or business by increasing its presence. In online marketing, the main objective of an advertiser is to get more Internet users to view the webpage containing the information about the product or services being promoted. One of the leading methods to increase online traffic to a certain webpage is search engine marketing.

Search engine marketing is an online marketing technique that involves promotion of websites or web pages by increasing their ranking or visibility in search engine results pages. The concept of concentrating on search engine came from the common knowledge that a large number of internet users go to search engine websites rather than or prior to going to other forms of websites. It is like placing billboards or posters in places where most of the potential customers go. The search engine results serve as a platform or channel toward the website or web pages.

How exactly does it work? A search engine website provides a connecting platform to databases where independent and dependent websites make searcheable articles available. The articles are like doors or openings of a conduit toward websites, since they contain hyperlinks that connect to specific web pages.

Search engine marketing should not be used interchangeably with search engine optimization (SEO), since it is often used to refer to any online marketing technique that involves search engines and increasing ranking and visibility, including SEO. Search engine marketing also encompasses contextual advertising, paid inclusion, and paid placement. The methods and metrics of optimizing websites through search engine marketing can be categorized into keyword research and analysis, website saturation and popularity, back end tools, and Whois tools.

Local marketing is marketing online while targeting your local market. Although it does not necessarily means that your online campaign is strictly limited to local viewership, it only means that you are taking advantage of a local listing being provided by websites that are now providing local directories to help their users fine-tune their searches.

Ideally, local marketing is the best way to find more relevant results. By using these localized directories, users are getting all the benefits as search engines are being able to provide them a more marginalized search results.

Here is how local marketing works. By providing these local directories your online information, they will make a profile of whatever detail you provided them. Normally, you need to provide them with the information about your business, your product, physical location, owners, etc. You have to give them everything there is about you. The initial part is somehow tedious as there will be long application form that you will need to fill out.

local marketing

If you want to transform the look of your bathroom, kitchen or office without costing you too much pressure in terms of money, try quartz countertops cost. Fabricated with a mixture of natural quartz crystal and human ingenuity, quartz countertops can furnish an elegant style, a sense of constancy and beauty to your home improvement at a very affordable cost. The cost of quartz countertops depends from one manufacturer to another, however in general, the cost of countertops ranges from $50 to $100 per square foot.

In order for you to have the best deal on the installation as well as materials of countertops, it is advised that you compare quotes of every provider you have in your place. Make a comparison of the quality as well as the physical look of some products they furnish and you may also want to check the credentials and experiences of some providers together with the prices of the countertops they offer. The more you know about the quartz countertops you love to have, the better prepared you will be to select a product and supplier that is right for you.

Next we have synthetic solid surface countertops. The most widely known solid surface countertop product is Corian. Solid surface countertops are composed primarily of plastics with flecks of glass, plastic and other materials to provide color and pattern variations. While solid surface countertops livermore do not look like natural stone, the do provide a seamless look. Because solid surface countertops can be custom fabricated to near any size and specification, long or oddly shaped countertop areas can be covered with one solid piece. Solid surface countertops are scratch and scorch- resistant, and can be repaired if damaged. Many people believe that solid surface countertops are a 'step below' granite from an aesthetic perspective, and therefore its pricing may surprise you. Pricing for solid surface countertops; starting at about $40 per linear foot; is actually higher than many granite styles.

Many people may want to enter the medical field these days however it may be difficult to do so. But these days, Practical Nursing Program is now offered to people so they can easily get to the world of health care. It has various benefits that will surely help people get the most out of their health care career. For instance, the courses are more affordable than other courses while giving them the full benefit of learning things about health care. These courses are offered at different community or technical college. In addition to community colleges, there are hospitals that tie up this program with other universities. But typically, their focus is to improve their hospitals so they would also try to remove these programs and just leave it to the universities.

With the help of Practical private colleges with nursing program, it's possible for you to immediately enter the market and be suitable for many job opportunities that will help you get a good paying career than before. In fact, the health care industry is looking for lots of care providers who can provide one-on-one care among individuals. Having the knowledge when it comes to patient care so you can play on personal health care so be part of hospitals. This course will teach you about the different health items and equipments that you need to use during the course of taking care of patients and others so you'll e an expert on it.

If you are a person who is planning for a budget based trip to Paris, this could be the right content for you. Here you will be able to find some necessary information on the Trains to Paris. Eurostar is considered as one of the best train services provided to Paris. It operates from three different stations in UK. Some of the stations where Eurostar is operated include Ebbsfleet International, St Pancras International as well as Ashwood International. It also has three major stations in Europe such as Paris Gare Du Nord, Brussels-Midi/Zuid as well as Lille Europe. However, there are some important factors, which you have to consider before looking for these train tickets. Some of them are mentioned in the article, which can help you to book the tickets easily and save a great amount of money.

A few days ago, I came across a social media marketing agency who called themselves "gurus" in online marketing. When I took a look at one of their clients' Facebook page, I noticed they had been using a profile page rather than a fan page. This is not only against the Facebook statement of rights and responsibilities, but it's also very ineffective when it comes to online marketing. As a result, I designed this test to help you determine if the agency you've hired actually knows what they're doing. Simply check off the questions that apply to your digital agency and find out how they score at the end.
Remember, how your agency represents themselves is directly related to how they'll represent you. If they aren't using social media (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr) effectively to leverage their own business, what makes you think they'll use it effectively to promote yours? If your agency did not fair well on this test, they may lack an understanding of how to use online marketing effectively, which should raise a red flag for you.

Maintaining a carpet is more complicated than it looks. For most households, carpets stretch the entire living floor area, so rolling it up and sending it for dry cleaning is not really an option. You could buy an armada of Carpet Cleaning Tampa compounds in the hardware store, but chances are you may not be able to mix and match the right type of cleaners for your carpet's specific material or spot you want to clean. Simply put, you may end up ruining it, making it look worse and depending on what you used you can cause allergies to your family or pets.

It is hard to clean your carpets by yourself. There is just not enough time in one day to cover the entire carpet area. Furthermore, chances are that even if you do, you won't be able to reach the dirt stored deep under the surface of the carpet material. So all your efforts, plus the cash you spent on cleaners, will have been gone for naught. Not to mention all the electricity you used running the vacuum cleaner or the rental carpet machine all day. It is just not worth it. With just one phone call you can get a carpet cleaning professional to come and clean your carpets in less time, provide a deeper and healthier cleaning service and be sure you received what you need.

In order to have your skin looking and feeling as good as possible, what you are going to need are professional skincare anti aging formulas.

Most every company in the industry advertises their products as being the highest quality formulas available, and many consumers simply take these companies at their word on this.
Be careful about trusting what cosmetic companies tell you.

The fact is that there are very few anti aging skin care products available that can even be remotely considered high quality formulas.

The fact is that the vast majority of the ingredients used to develop these wrinkle reducing formulas are not effective in smoothing and firming your skin, and many of them can actually do you harm.

It is simply amazing what the cosmetics industry gets away with including in their products.

Would you consider a formula developed mostly from synthetic compounds to be a professional skincare product anti aging product? Of course you wouldn't, because most people know that what is most effective for firming and smoothing the skin are all natural compounds.

Incentives work. I have been trying monthly sales contests ideas lately and they are working - even if only to light some fires and charge up the team a little. Try some version of them with your sales team if you don't already. Notice some of these sales contest ideas are designed for group rewards for total sales while others are designed for rewarding individual achievement. Also, the contests are designed for various goals that should be kept in mind throughout the year anyway so another function of these contests is to remind salespeople what is important.

The prize does not need to be giant; just something interesting and worthwhile. You might even offer a list of rewards (or a grab bag) they can choose from. I also listed some sales contest reward ideas at the bottom.

\"ideas For Business\"

In case you were wondering, "why twelve?" it's because (A) I resent even-numbered lists where the last two were obviously forced and (B) for my case I am using monthly contests and years happen to be broken down into 12 fairly equal parts.

12 Sales Contests Ideas - Reward Given to...

#1: All if total sales are above $X at a minimum of X% margin.

#2: Salesperson with greatest month to month sales increase.

#3: Salesperson with highest sales volume from NEW customers.

#4: Salesperson who revives the most PAST customers. I love this one.

#5: All if each salesperson on the team meets or exceeds sales goals.

#6: Salesperson with highest single sale or shipment (choose and be clear).

#7: Salesperson who sells the highest PRE-PAID order.

#8: Salesperson with largest sale in a region.

#9: Salesperson with the highest total Gross Margin (regardless of dollar value).

#10: Salesperson with highest margin on NEW customer.

#11: Salesperson with the highest average margin on an EXISTING customers.

#12: Salesperson with the highest sales in a certain product line/category.

These sales contest ideas might not all apply to your business for a variety of reasons from the type of products or services you sell to how your sales force is structured but hopefully they will spur some ideas for you. I love these ideas for what makes a good sales contest from Simplenomics.

Sales Contest Rewards Ideas

Sales Reward #1: Day(s) off.

Sales Reward #2: Gift certificate for two at a NICE restaurant.

Sales Reward #3: 1 month of 1 free lunch per week.

Sales Reward #4: 1/2 day Fridays for a month.

Sales Reward #5: Movie/park/event tickets

Sales Reward #6: Cash!

Sales Reward #7: Choice of additional training (boondoggle) of their choice.

Give your salespeople some choice in the matter. Let them choose the reward and let them give ideas for the prizes. Listen to them and try to pick up on those little things they say they want and choose gift certificates from places that sell those things. Some say cash is the most effective reward - here is an interesting article from Online Conversion & Beyond about Sales Incentives and ROI.

Have fun selling. Be creative with your sales contest ideas but you don't need to re-invent the wheel.

12 Sales Contest Ideas For Your Sales Team

Chris Denny is the president of Lead Optimize Outsourced Marketing which was created to help small businesses generate more sales leads from their websites and use those leads more effectively. Lead Optimize helps small businesses create sales lead generation and sales solutions.

Thanks To : How to time management Management Concept Style

Marketing environment is made up of all the factors and forces that influence marketing. These forces can be internal like departments (other than marketing such as finance department and human resource department) or external like competitors, suppliers, economic or political situation. To understand them better, marketing personals divide them in two categories namely macro environment and micro-environment. Let's have a look at some of the important factors involved in marketing environment.

Internal factors:

All the departments involved in business management affects the process of marketing as well, for example the finance or research department in large enterprises. Marketing department is bound to keep their expenses under the budget set by the finance managers or to consider recommendations from the research department. Similarly the supplies and collections can have an impact on marketing as well.


Customer markets:

Different types of customers markets include consumer markets (B2C), business markets (B2B), government markets (B2G), also a new type of customer market has emerged as a result of globalization i.e. international market. Where most other departments will treat these markets similarly, marketing team has to treat them all in different manner. Though most advertising campaigns are targeted to consumer market, the type of customer market does affect marketing decisions on the whole.


Competition is becoming more and more influential in a company's approach towards marketing. Competition stems from the business that is offering the same product as yours. A business has to counter this competition through marketing; some times businesses do try to have a hit at their competitors in advertisements (though not candidly). The level of competition is also a decisive factor when planning on how much to spend on marketing.

Different types of publics:

Another important microenvironment factor is the publics (government, consumer associations, financial or media publics). All of them can have an affect (positive or negative) on company's reputation and marketing.


Good marketing managers tend to spend plenty of time in conducting demographic research for their targeted consumers. Demography is the research of gender, age, race or anything else related to consumers. International businesses are concerned about various races (Asians, Hispanics, etc) and their different set of demands. While the terms like "baby boomers" or "generation X" were invented to reflect the specific age groups of consumers.

Economic Factors:

All the variables of economic markets like inflation, rate of exchange, fiscal policies and monetary policies fall under macro environment factors. They affect all businesses, and needless to say their marketing efforts as well.

Other Factors:

Other notable macro and microenvironment factors are marketing intermediaries, political stability (or instability), new technologies or natural forces.

Marketing Environment and the Factors Involved

William King is the director of Designer Clothing Wholesale Suppliers and Canada Wholesale Suppliers & Manufacturers. He has 18 years of experience in the marketing and trading industries and has been helping retailers and startups with their product sourcing, promotion, marketing and supply chain requirements.

Friends Link : Motivational Techniques The Global Marketing Management Concept Style

  • What are the obstacles that hamper successful decision-making?
  • What are the downsides of group decision-making?
  • How does our management style affect the process of decision-making?
  • And why is rational thinking overrated?

The following article discusses tools for the management of decision-making processes under changing conditions.

\"ideas For Business\"

Decision-Making with Style

Try to recall an important decision which you were a part of in the past 6 months. Think of the most significant choice you had to make in your organization. How was this decision taken? Did the senior manger make the call after consulting with several assistants? Was it a majority rule? Was it a consensus decision? Were objective facts and information the driving force behind it, or intuitions and feelings? How long did it take to make the final decision?

Some of us tend to make our major decisions on our own, while others prefer to do it after hearing the opinions and exploring the options with others. We also differ in the time we take to make a decision, and in our need to base it on factual analysis or on intuition. In other words, each of us has a characteristic personal decision-making style.

The managerial decision-making style may be mapped using three axes:

  • Decision-making speed: on the one end you have the impulsive decision-makers, who do no stop to consider the results of their choices, while on the other extreme you'll find those who postpone and avoid making any decision in fear of taking responsibility for it.
  • Collection of information: to what extent does the manager base their decisions on an analysis of data as opposed to intuition and an internal compass.
  • Sharing: the extent and manner by which managers involve and include others in the collection of information and in the making of the decision itself.

Usually, when we think of the first axis - decision-making speed - the common view about postponing a decision is negative ("How long must we wait for his decision?"). Indeed, some situations call for an early resolution before things get out of hand and a greater problem is faced. However, on other situations a hasty decision may very costly. In other cases things may be resolved by themselves (one may say that it is better "to decide not to decide" then).

The second and third axes (collection of information and sharing) provide a framework for describing five typical managerial decision makers:

  • The Lone Wolf: this manager never consults with anyone and decides on everything by himself.
  • The Surveyor: this type of manager does not hold a discussion before the decision, but rather samples the views of people involved (in a kind of referendum), and decides according to the majority view.
  • The Authoritarian: this manager consults and listens to others to draw ideas and directions, but makes the final decision by himself.
  • Semi-Democratic: this manager holds a discussion and strives for a collective decision, yet keeps the right of veto on certain decisions.
  • Harmonic: this manager consults and reaches a common agreement, usually through a consensus (e.g. where others have the right of veto as well).

Flexible decision-making - according to the situation

In order to improve the quality of decision-making, we should begin by recognizing our typical decision-making style and that of our co-workers. In addition, as managers, we must understand that different situations call for different decision-making strategies and techniques. Therefore, we have to acquire new mechanisms for making decisions, so that we may choose the way we tackle a situation according to its characteristics.

There are three central questions we need to ask ourselves whenever we are about to make a managerial decision:

  • Is it vital to make a decision, and if so - how urgent is it?
  • What information is required in order to make a calculated choice, and when is it necessary to go ahead even with partial information?
  • Who need to be a part of the decision-making process, and to what extent?

Let us demonstrate the use of the above questions through several examples:

Example A: The organization has grown and needs to be moved to a new office building. The Operations Manager is required to choose the location for the new building. His decision will probably have a direct influence on all departments, and it is desirable to make them a part of the process. This will often contribute to the quality of the decision (providing a more holistic view of the implications of the decision), and will also lower levels of resistance once the decision is made (as everyone had a chance to express their concerns and suggestions and where involved early in the process).

The decision does not seem to be an urgent one, as well. In such a scenario the Operations Manager may prepare initial information on available choices, costs, and considerations. Later - others may be made part of the decision buy presenting three or four acceptable options, to be decided by the majority. The Surveyor style is most appropriate.

Example B: One of your employees was caught stealing company equipment. Your decision will not directly affect other employees (they might learn from the way you handle the case). The best tactics in this case would be a thorough investigation of the facts, and if in fact the employee has committed the theft, it should be handled without delay and in an authoritarian manner - discharging the employee. It is advisable to consult with the HR department and the legal department, to make sure the dismissal adheres to all legal procedures.

Example C: You come across a significant business opportunity for your organization, but a quick response and action is needed in order to grab it. It is obvious that others will be influenced by the decision, and must therefore be a part of it. In order not to lose time you may call an urgent interdisciplinary meeting, collecting vital information from all participants before making a common and more balanced decision, taking into consideration the various risks and benefits. A group decision will also allow other the chance to agree and support the new business direction.

The Age of Rationality and its dangers

If we seek to improve the way we make decisions, understanding the situation and adopting the appropriate decision-making style is hardly enough. The crossroads in which we choose the directions to our future carry with them quite a few traps and obstacles that may fail us. Following is a discussion of some well-known pitfalls of decision-making processes, along with relevant tools and measures to face those dangers.

The modern age has seen the rise of rational thinking to a position of supremacy. This has gone so far as to lead to the illusion that human can and should try to be perfect decision-makers. The unequivocal belief in the rationality of man is based on the modern view of man, on western philosophy and on the rise and achievements of science in the past two centuries. However, there is still a lot of evidence of the limits of human rationality. We know of the limited ability to collect and process decision-related information, the subjective interpretation of facts, and the effects of personality and culture on decisions.

Consider, for instance, a meeting in which the participants have to make a certain decision. In most cases, they would voice arguments supporting different views, using logical explanations to support their point of view. The underlying meaning of making a decision in such a setting is that one explanation is logically correct while other arguments are logically false. This process fails to face the truth of limited information that participants have. It completely ignores the emotions and egos affecting the course of discussion.

One of the tools that are used in organizations to broaden the scope of thinking and decision-making is Edward De Bono's method of Six Thinking Hats. We used it in numerous organizational settings and training sessions as a tool for an effective and thorough discussion of complex issues. It helps map different aspects of the subject towards making a decision.

The principle of this method is to direct the thinking and the debate of all group members to six different thinking directions. Thus, the entire group moves forward in the same direction, instead of clashing and arguing on the correct way to address the issue altogether. For instance, early in the discussion participants should put on their "Red Hat" - encouraging people to express feelings, hunches and intuitions - without the need for logical explanations. This minimizes hidden influence of negative or positive feelings later in the discussion. Wearing the "White Hat" (focusing on facts, information and missing data) soon afterwards prevents the dangers of ignoring crucial facts and ensures that a decision can be made based on available information. The use of other thinking hats may provide an answer to other typical decision-making errors - such as wearing the Black Hat to investigate potential problems when the entire group is enthusiastic about moving forward with a certain decision.
Overcoming group pressure

Another well-known hazard characteristic of group decision-making is the Groupthink effect, discussed by Janis & Mann (1977). The Abilene Paradox also describes how group decisions can actually be opposite to the views of its members. This phenomena was observed by Jerry B. Harvey and it denotes a process that leads a group to make an irrational decision, mostly because each member tries to adjust his/her opinion to what they consider to be the view of other group members.

Numerous studies have shown that this type of failure has lead to crucial decisions - such as the US misinterpretation of the Japanese maneuvers before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the invasion to the Cuban Bay of Pigs, the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters and lately - the American invasion of Iraq.

Janis lists a number of symptoms that help identify when groupthink occurs - the illusion of unanimity, self censorship, avoidance of criticism, pressure on non-conformists, etc. He then points to the typical characteristics of decisions made under these conditions - insufficient examination of alternatives, partial understanding of the purposes of the decision, ignoring of significant risks involved, lack of vital information and no contingency plans.

We offer two tools for a structured discussion in order to reduce the dangers of groupthink. The first tool is called "Devil's Advocate" and is used to force the participants to examine the arguments against a decision that is about to be made. Before or at the outset of the debate one of the group members is given the role of questioning the underlying assumptions and major arguments of the team. When someone is trusted with this official role, there are greater chances that they will not fear*to express their criticism, opening the way for others to raise doubts and disagreements.

Another tool for overcoming the risks of groupthink is based on the Delphi Technique for situational analysis and decision-making. The views of each group member are written separately and collected in advance (and in sensitive decision - anonymously). The results are then collected and discussed in the group. Due to this seemingly technical procedure participants don't know the opinions of others when they have to make their own recommendation, and a wider range of views is usually produced.

We used this technique for an expert committee that discussed and rated product innovation ideas. The meeting is opened with a general discussion on the criteria that should be considered when rating the ideas. Participants then personally rate dozens of innovation ideas (produced beforehand) on a scale of 1-5. An average rating for each idea is calculated from these individual judgments and the highest ranking ideas are discussed. In such a way, a certain idea may be highly rated by most members, yet one participant might have noticed a major flaw in the idea, and his reservation is revealed through the low rating given to the idea.

The trap of commitment (to preceding decisions)

The last aspect of decision-making we turn our attention to has to do with emotion and ego. Whenever we make a personal decision, or are involved in a group decision, we become emotionally and psychologically committed to the choice we made. As time progresses and we invest more resources in the execution of our chosen path, our individual and organizational tendency to support that direction grows. Even if we are faced with signs that indicate that the original decision was wrong, we usually find it hard to admit the mistake, conquer our ego and pride, and change it. This kind of situation may lead to a magic trap, driving people and organizations on a path of deterioration and escalation of a single mistake, leading to more and more wrong choices (see Drummond, 1994).

An interesting way to expose managers to this type of danger, so that they may learn to avoid it, is by letting them experience it. This may be accomplished, for instance, through a decision-making simulation and analysis through board games. Such exercises require participating managers to make personal, small team and entire group decisions in a variety of game situations. Most partakers fall into the trap of sticking to an initial game plan, and find it hard to exert strategic or tactical flexibility. Following this demonstration through play, is an observation and discussion of the emotional and inter-personal causes of this escalation. Finally, work related examples of similar decision patterns should be discussed and tools are offered for breaking those patterns.

Improving the quality of personal and organizational decision

In this final section, we suggest ways to cope with the dangers listed above. The suggested measures may be implemented by the management of the organization, and especially the Human Resource Department:

  1. Raising the awareness of managers and employees to their decision-making styles through the use of personal test or surveys, observations, management consulting or workshops.
  2. A systematic placement of different types of decision-makers in key positions and in task forces.
  3. Encouraging the use of decision-making tools such as Delphi, consensual decision-making, Devil's Advocate and the Six Thinking Hats.
  4. The analysis of cases of good and bad decisions in the organization itself - aiming towards learning rather then blaming.

Personally, each one of us may learn to improve our decision by observing the ways other people make decisions, asking feedback on the way we make decisions, and intentionally trying out decision-making styles which are different from our typical style. All of this should eventually contribute for improving the way we make decisions and the quality of the decisions we make. In the long term - this is what every organization and person must do in order to advance in today's challenging world.


  • Harvey, Jerry B. (1988). The Abilene Paradox and Other Meditations on Management. Lexington, Mass: Lexington Books.
  • Janis, I. & Mann, L. (1977). Decision Making: A Psychological Analysis of Conflict, Choice and Commitment. New York: The Free Press.
  • Drummond, H. (1994), "Escalation in Organizational Decision Making: A Case of Recruiting an Incompetent Employee", Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 7, 43-55.

Lone Wolf Meets Devil's Advocate -- Situational Decision-Making

Amir Elion is a management and innovation consultant and facilitator. He was a part of a group that developed a unique method for training diverse skills through the use of board games. He has a degree in Philosophy and General studies and an MA in organizational behavior. He maintains and updates the website on creative ideas for business, workplace and personal uses

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The direct sales industry has got to be one of the leading industries that most entrepreneurs are choosing to get involved with for the following reasons:

1. Lower Start Up

2. Independent Hours

3. Boss Free

4. High Commissions

5. Passive Income

6. Time Freedom


Lower Start Up:

Most direct sales businesses are much cheaper to start compared to franchise models that require 0,000 plus capital. However some direct selling compensation models have the potential to make up to 10 times the profit than most franchises.

Independent Hours:

Independent direct selling distributors work independent from the company & are in position to set their own hours.

Boss Free:

People who have a hard time working for other people tend to do very well in this industry. They do however have to be able to function well without constant supervision & this takes a lot of self discipline to accomplish this.

High Commissions:

This is one of the main reasons why most entrepreneurs are choosing to get involved with the direct sales model. The direct selling companies save a lot of money by eliminating the retailers so they can afford to inflate the compensation plan highly in favour of the distributors who after all are doing most of the work. In this industry you are paid for your efforts instead of your time. The more you put into your business the more you will be rewarded.

Passive Income:

Most direct selling companies will reward distributors who are good team players or leaders with an infinity bonus. This is basically an extra income stream that you are able to receive each month without your constant extra effort. Passive income is what most wealthy people have used as leverage that made them wealthy.

Time Freedom:

In direct selling you can use the power of leverage (team efforts) to leverage your time. The result is more income in less time. When someone gets paid by the hour there is a cap on how much money that they can make. When you are paid for your efforts you have the potential to make a lot more.

Direct Sales

Rory Singh is a Business Development Coach and Professional Marketing Consultant. To learn how to Make More in One Month than Most Make in One Year visit:

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Impact of oil prices on the stock market is inversely proportional. A shoot in oil prices leads to a nose dive in the stock market. And a decrease in oil price on an average leads to a higher stock market return. So, the effect of oil prices becomes predictable in the stock market. The effect is profound when the oil prices increase in the magnitude of 50% to 100% annually. The reasons being:

1. Any movement in the oil prices results in uncertainty in the stock market.


2. Higher the oil prices, higher the transportation, production and heating costs.

Say, a decrease in the oil prices by 10% in US will result in the expected return to double up on the stock market in the following month. The waves of the impact on the world market index will make its presence felt significantly. Though the stock market moves in the opposite direction with respect to oil prices, it is basically a one way traffic. The stock market returns has no impact on the crude oil prices.

The entire stock market does not get equally or at the same time affected by the fluctuation in the oil prices. It is rather subtle. The US industrial sectors that get most affected with rise in oil prices are:

1. The cyclical Services sector gets most negatively influenced. They constitute the general retailers, support services, media, entertainment, leisure, hotels and transport.

2. The sector which follows next in order is Cyclical Consumer goods. These include household goods, textiles, automobiles and parts.

3. The next negatively influenced sector is the Financials. They comprise of investment companies, banks, life, assurance, insurance, real estate, specialty and other finance.

During an oil price rise, it is advisable to hold on to energy stocks shift focus from the mass market general retailers. It is a rather straight forward approach. Rising oil prices results in the escalation in the prices of fuels and lubricants along with passenger transport mediums either by road or air. For example, it takes a cup of crude oil in the production of the plastic for a single disposable nappy.

With the gradual fading of the interest rates and the rapid diversion of the disposable incomes in catering to the ever rising household energy bills, there is actually little scope for any discretionary expense on the high street. That is the reason why mass market retailers ought to be avoided with respect to stock investments

Impact of Oil Prices on the Stock Market

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Widnes market, to my memory, has always been a thriving market. I remember as a child going to the indoor and outdoor (the old not the new!) market stalls with my mum for whatever bargains were available. Often I have thought of markets as a thing of the past, and indeed they are a dying trade in a lot of areas. But Widnes, for whatever reason, has managed to not only stay afloat but is very much a mainstay of the community.

Selection is nothing short of excellent, with pet stores, carpet and DIY stores, hairdressers and even bodybuilding stores! And for anyone who travels for this market it is plain to see that there are bargains to be had that are pretty competitive to high street prices.


Business days are as follows

Monday - Open

Tuesday - Closed

Wednesday - Open - OUTSIDE FLEA MARKET!!

Thursday - Open, but not a very busy day

Friday - Open

Saturday - Open

Sunday - Closed

Widnes Market is situated opposite Morrisons Supermarket and the Greenoaks Shopping Centre, and is a short walk from both Widnes High Street and the new Widnes Shopping Park.

Most days from 930 onwards Widnes market is busy, surprisingly busy for most of the time, and most of the days it is open. There are a couple of cafes in the market and on busier days (Saturday and Mondays mainly) there are some food vendors who set up selling hotdogs and burgers etc. A nice touch to the market is during festive periods where they set up small rides for children, usually pretty cool ones and not the usual run of the mill rubbish you see.

To end this, I can honestly say that Widnes Market is one of the best, most thriving and busy markets still around and certainly in the region. Highly recommended!

Widnes Market

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Marketing research "The systematic gathering, recording and analyzing data about problems relating to the marketing of goods and services".

Market research on the other hand, is only a part of marketing research that covers a few of aspects of marketing. It is only the sub function of marketing research 'some companies use "market research" for describing research into markets the size geographical distribution incomes, and so on. However it fails to cover the idea of research into the effects of marketing efforts on markets, for which the term marketing research is the accurate. Elements of marketing research.

\"market Research\"

1. Market Research. It covers the aspects regarding size and nature of the market including export markets dividing the consumers in terms, of their age, sex, income (market segmentation), economic aspects of marketing etc.

2. Sales Research. This relates to the problem regional variations in sales fixing sales territories, measurement of the effectiveness of salesman, evaluation of sales methods and incentives, etc.

3. Product Research. This relates to the analysis of strengths and or weakness of existing product testing problems relating to diversification, simplification, trading up and trading down (all product line decisions), etc.

4. Packaging Research. In essence, it is a part of product research. But the recent development in packaging and its contribution in the advertising made it to occupy an independent position. This necessitates a separate study concerning the aspects of package to know its impact and response in the market.

5. Advertising Research. It undertakes a study relating to the preparation of advertisement copy (copy research), media to be used (media research) and measurement of advertising effectiveness.

6. Business Economic Research. Problems relating to input output analysis, forecasting, price and profit analysis, and preparation of break -even charts are the main fields of the research.

7. Export Marketing Research. This research is intended to study the export potentials of the product. In such cases any or all kinds of research mentioned above become necessary.

Marketing Research & Elements of Marketing Research

Elements of the Marketing Research

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Every Sales call is as unique as a customer. A Sales person gets to detail how a product or service works and why it is better than what the customer uses already. Though selling is all about Detailing Features and Benefits, a Sales call has its own Grammar. Grammar to a sales call? Yes. A sales call has many parts to it even if it is a 2 minute sales call. Honing in on those two minutes is very important.

After Greeting a customer appropriately, the first statement becomes crucial as it helps in getting the customer's attention 100% and gets the customer interested in the conversation. This Opening statement helps in leading the customer into the sales call and hence it is very vital.


Once the customer's attention is with the sales person, he should use a set of Closed or Open Ended questions to understand the needs of the customer. The choice of an Open or a Closed end question will depend on what needs to be learnt. Closed ended questions will normally elicit a "yes" or "No" answer. Open ended questions should be used when the sales person needs to explore more and need to know more. These are called probing techniques to know more about Customer's needs and wants.

Basis the answers to the probe used, the sales person has to choose the product or service. The features of the product(s) chosen should address the understood needs of the customer. This has to be detailed by converting Features into respective Benefits. Generally the customer interest will grow at this point and signs of agreement can be seen when this detailing is done correctly.

The sales person should summarize the understood needs and Solutions offered.

The sales person should look for any objections or clarifications, if any.

If there are objections, the sales person should handle it. The objections could be real or false. A real objection generally arises out of a misunderstanding of either the needs by the sales person or the solutions by the customer. Going back to the detailing of Features and Benefits and setting right the misunderstood part will help overcome this. A False objection arises when the customer is not yet ready to buy the solution(for whatever reasons). Restating the Features and Benefits and requesting the customer to think over it will help overcome this.

If there are no objections, the sales person should immediately close the call by taking a commitment from the customer towards buying the solution. It is generally an order to buy the product/service.

In any part of the call, if the customer gives a commitment to buy, irrespective of what stage the call is in, the sales person should close the call. This is very important.

Close, Close, Close---it is very important in Selling.

You can look forward to my future post on "Grammatical mistakes in a Sales Call". Till then......Happy Selling!

Originally posted on

Grammar of a Sales Call

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The stock market ticker tape is, now, a computerized unit that relays information about a stock's trading activity to investors around the world. The stock market ticker tape's information includes the stocks' symbol on the exchanges, the latest price per share, and its trading volume. Before computerized methods, stock market ticker symbols were printed out on a thin piece of paper that continuously streamed out of a ticker-tape machine. The stock ticker-tape machine was invented in 1867 in the aftermath of the development of the telegraph machine. In those days, "pad shovers" were employed to feed the tape to brokers in their offices; brokers would set up offices as near as possible to the New York Stock Exchange, etc, so that they could get the feeds via wire as quickly as possible. With globalization and computers this sort of setup is clearly no longer needed.

Stock market ticker symbols are the letters (once in a while also numbers) used to denote a particular security that is being traded publicly and/or on stock exchanges. This symbol is chosen by the company when it begins issuing shares for public trading, and it's what is used to track stock activity and place buy or sell orders by investors. These brief symbols are necessary to streamline the vast amount of activity information that flows through stock exchanges on every business day. Without the stock market ticker symbols, confusion and turpitude would reign in the stock market.


People who tune into TV shows like MSNBC Business will see streaming stock market ticker symbols going across the bottom of the TV screen. These can be tricky to understand unless you know what they are all about; how to read the symbolic language.

Investopedia comments, "Stock symbols are the most recognized type of ticker symbol. Stocks listed and traded on U.S. exchanges such as the NYSE have symbols with up to three letters. Nasdaq-listed stocks have four-letter symbols. Ticker symbols for options are structured to represent the underlying stock ticker they are based on and also their expiration date and contract type (either a put or a call option). Mutual fund ticker symbols are usually alphanumeric and end with the letter X to differentiate them from stock symbols."

"Ticker" comes from the conceptual word of "tick", which is any activity of a stock whether it be up or down. A stock market ticker symbol readout will include, in order from left to right: the unique call letters of a specific security; the volume or number of shares traded (K = 1,000, M = 1,000,000 and B = 1,000,000,000); the last bid price for that stock, which is considered its price until there is a new bid; an up- or down- arrow that indicates if the stock's price is down or up from where it started the trading day; and the change amount, or the difference in price from the previous trading day's closing price.

Once you know what you are looking at and looking for, the stock market ticker symbols become easy to read and bring you a wealth of information you need if you are going to successfully trade in stocks.

Stock Market Ticker Tape

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The measurement of marketing phenomenon is fundamental to provide meaningful information for marketing decision making.

Measurement transforms the characteristics of an object into a form that can be analyzed by a research. Normally, scales are used to measure response and classified into following four categories:

\"market Research\"

1. Nominal

2. Ordinal

3. Interval

4. Ratio

1. Nominal:

A nominal scale is one in which numbers are only used as labels and have no quantitative or numerical significance. Variables such as sex, geographic location, occupation, religion, brand awareness are studied under nominal scales.

2. Ordinal scales:

Ordinal scales are used to measure attitudes, preferences, occupation, social classes etc. Ordinal scales help to place different entities like objects, individuals or responses in relative position with respect to a particular aspect.

3. Interval scales:

This scale is used to measure common statistical measures such as range, standard deviation and correlation. A researcher gauges preference, liking or importance of a particular aspect of brand on a continuous basis and distance between one point of scale to another is the same.

4. Ratio scales:

These are the most powerful of the above scales. Unlike interval scales they have a zero point. They can be used for all kind of statistical calculation. They are used for variables such as age, number of customers, sales, costs, height, length etc.

Selecting the appropriate scale to use: Before finalizing on the scale usage, it is advisable to consider the following aspects,

1. Type/details of information required.

2. Time and cost constraints.

3. Literary level of target respondents (for easy communication)

4. Stimulus characteristics

5. Analysis methodology to be used

6. Past experience to be used

7. Rural vs. urban context

8. Expected and desired response

Types of Scales in Market Research

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In this next installment of my keys to success series, I want to touch on three more keys to success which are establishing a routine, understanding buyer psychology and doing market research. These are just as critical as any other for having success online.

Establishing a routine may be one of the hardest things for a marketer to do even though it should be one of the easiest. This really comes down to how disciplined a person you are. Personally, I get up every morning at 7 AM and get right to work, even before I have breakfast, which I eat while I work. I have everything typed up in a spreadsheet as far as what I have to do for the day. As i complete each item, I cross it off and move on to the next item. I do this until all the items for the day are completed. This is not something I even have to think about anymore. After establishing this routine now for over 4 years, it just comes naturally. This is one of the main reasons I am earning a five figure a month income.

\"market Research\"

Understanding buyer psychology is critical to being able to make sales. If you don't understand why a person wants something, you can't sell to them. This is one of the areas where expert copywriters are king. They know all the hot buttons to push when it comes to selling to their target market because they know what makes people tick. While I can't give you a complete course on buyer psychology in an article, I can tell you that the main reason that people buy things is to relieve pain or to make themselves feel better. We don't buy things because we need them. We buy things because they solve some kind of a problem and make us feel better because of it. If your product or service can tap into this, then you're ahead of the game.

Finally, there is market research. This is so important because without it you won't even know if there is a demand for your product or not. Doing market research is time consuming, but it's not hard. The best way to do market research is to go to forums in the niche you're targeting and see what people are looking for. This way you can tell if the product you are selling, or thinking of creating, actually has a market. Also, look on the Internet and see if products like yours are already being sold. If so, then there is a good chance that the market exists.

Establishing a routine, understanding buyer psychology and doing market research are three keys to having success on the Internet with your business.

To YOUR Success,

Steven Wagenheim

The Keys To Success - Routine, Buyer Psychology, Market Research

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Home mortgage is a complex field to understand. It simply gives you the option to acquire a particular home or piece of land on debt basis. It is certainly a viable option for some landowners. Applying for home mortgage is always a daunting task for everyone. But applying online can be a bit easier for you. So, further in this article we are going to talk about some of the tips and guidelines that could help you apply for home loan on the net. So, if you are looking for some relevant information regarding this topic then make sure you read this article properly.

I would like to tell you that there are quite a few online firms that proffer online submission for house mortgages. Online home loans have certainly developed a lot. This is an easy way of securing a great deal in home mortgage. Internet makes quite a few alternatives come obtainable as you don't have to stopover any financial institution. This even allows vital loan documents to be noticed with a neighboring attorney in the retreat of your own house or residence.

\"market Research\"

Now, given below are some of the essential guidelines to follow in this regard. Make sure you consider them at least once.

1. First of all, you need to understand that online home mortgage is just like other types of home mortgages. Here you need to do ample market research and assemble all the vital information regarding your home mortgage options.

2. The second thing to do is to make a complete listing of your assets. This list should also include all your liquid assets. It is of utmost importance to do so. These listings can be used as legal proof to attest with your other essential documents.

3. Now, you need to decide upon the right mortgage lender online. This can be a difficult task. So, make sure you only opt for some reputed names in this industry. You also need to consider their experience and expertise in this field. Once you select them just download their online form and submit it after filling in the necessary details.

4. Once you get an access to all the official quotes, make sure you negotiate their entire fees. There are some additional fees that you must avoid paying. Some reputable banks and institutions would not ask for such a payment.

So, this was all about applying for home mortgage on the internet. Make sure you consider all these options. Don't forget to read this article once.

Applying For a Home Mortgage on the Net

Larry Martinez is a registered California Mortgage Advisor. He offers excellent deals in San Rafael Mortgage. He can be reached at 415-258-1691

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Originally when Starbucks began they targeted the young college students, with slightly higher than average income levels. After this initial target market Starbucks has since realized that they could target specific neighborhoods and social classes. Different customers are more willing to pay for luxury good now more than ever. With that in mind, through Starbucks aggressive expansion techniques they have begun targeting almost every demographic.

"McDonald's is planning to capitalize on the public's willingness to pay for a cup of coffee by hiring baristas and dropping espresso machines in 14,000 of their fast-food outlets. Meanwhile, Starbucks, with business lagging, is fighting back with an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" strategy, by offering heated breakfast sandwiches and adding drive-through windows to some of their locations." (Tancer, 2008)


As McDonalds and other chains realize the money in luxury coffee more companies will begin to enter the marketplace. One the other side of the spectrum you have the small local coffee bars that were around before Starbucks took over the marketplace. These smaller coffee shops have their core customers who will not give their business to anyone else. These smaller coffee shops can offer specialized products and services or serving to the local markets needs. However Starbucks has a much larger buying power then the local smaller coffee shops giving them a competitive advantage. Coming back to our original quote, we believe that McDonalds has a customer base that is extremely large that now has the option to get their coffee where they get their breakfast already. McDonalds also has an extremely large bargaining power and runs each franchise with impeccable automation. McDonalds cup of coffee costs a lot less money than Starbucks and tastes the same in a lot of cases. One of Starbucks biggest competitors is the economy; Starbucks provides a luxury good that will be a good that people cut out when they want to save money. This has been witnessed with the recent closing of over a hundred Starbucks stores.

Tancer, B. (2008, January 10). Brewing Battle:Starbucks vs. McDonalds.

Starbucks Target Market and Management

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While there are no firm statistics, professionals have noticed that the majority of businesses that close within the first two years did not have an official grand opening event. Those same pros continue to surmise that if you create a successful grand opening, you'll set the pace for the weeks and months ahead. This has never been truer than it is today, as we see company after company closing its doors or downsizing. But what can be done for your particular business? Which types of grand opening ideas can draw the attention of customers as well as the media?

Bring in the Big Guns... or Cups or Tacos or Puppies or...

\"ideas For Business\"

Here's a phenomenal grand opening idea: Create a giant inflatable balloon of your product or logo and place it on the rooftop of your business. For instance, a Mexican restaurant could place a giant, inflatable taco on its roof with a banner that reads, "Now Open." A local veterinary clinic could put a massive, inflatable puppy or kitten on their rooftop with signage declaring, "Grand Opening!"

Why giant inflatable balloons? Because they attract attention of all sorts. People busily going about their routines don't even notice most of the advertising that comes their way. According to the Newspaper Association of America, Texas A&M University and the Journal of Concerned Scientists, Americans are exposed to well over 3,000 advertising messages each day from a variety of sources. Our senses are on overload and, therefore, most of the ads we view are blocked out.

However, place a 30-foot-tall giant taco up on the roof (higher than most of the other clutter like billboards, storefront banners, etc.) and drivers down your street suddenly wake up and smell the guacamole.

Gain Press Coverage

Your business can make good use of this second grand opening idea: Use inflatables to bring the press to your location. Inflatables are an exceptional way to garner media coverage. While yet another Mexican restaurant grand opening might not be considered news, a restaurant with a giant taco on its roof that drew in massive crowds is.

Likewise, while a photo of a restaurant storefront isn't an overly exciting picture, that massive taco is definitely a photo opp just waiting to happen.

Bring the Crowd Inside

Unless you're hosting a sidewalk sale, having a crowd of customers outside your door won't do you much good. You have to bring the people inside your business. Grand opening idea number three is to use smaller, sealed inflatables as giveaways.

For example, sticking with the same Mexican restaurant theme, you might say the first 100 customers get a free, miniature, inflatable taco. You could create practically anything you want: inflatable mariachi singers, inflatable sombreros... the list is endless. Because everybody loves to get something free - and because they can be branded with your business name and address - sealed inflatables make the perfect giveaways.

As a business, you can't neglect the importance of your grand opening. Use ideas that create a buzz in your community and that will attract the press. When you do it right, you'll find that word-of-mouth advertising kicks in and the business just keeps on coming!

3 Grand Opening Ideas That Set the Stage For Your Business

Stephanie Meacham is Vice President of Landmark Creations who has designed and manufactured custom inflatables since 1986. Looking for business grand opening ideas? Visit Landmark at today.

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I remember when I was just starting in my sales career, my boss had recommended that I read "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. At the ripe age of 21, I knew it all. I gave him all of the excuses that most people say when they are presented with the idea of reading a book. Whether it was having no time, not wanting to take a break from my sales momentum, or solid ego of not wanting to believe that I did not know everything; I was fighting it all the way.

He then said something that will stick with me forever. He said, "Dave, I have read 11 books so far this year." He then pulled out a notebook which listed the books and ideas that he was able to pull from those books and act on. Then he had another column that displayed money, health, relationship, or other goals. Being that I was 21, money was paramount to me and I quickly added up the numbers listed on the page and came up with nearly 5,000.


"Did these books earn you 5,000?" I eagerly asked.

"No. What I did with the knowledge that I learned from those books did. Knowledge is not power. Knowledge combined with action is power." He sat back his chair and eagerly looked at me smiling.

I don't know what I looked like at that moment, but I guarantee my mental wheels were spinning at lightning speed. I rushed to the book store and purchased a number of books that I thought I would never read. After a couple of days, nothing changed in my world. However, after about 10 days new ideas and ways of thinking crept into my everyday life. I began to realize the importance of constantly learning and applying what I learned.

My business grew geometrically and I began to accomplish more and more with less and less. Let's face it; great ideas do not care where they come from. My challenge to you is to pick up a book or two and dive into your personal development. The greatest way to predict your future is to create it. Let reading be the genesis of your journey for success!

Read Your Way to Riches!

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The United States fast food market has seen a healthy rise in growth within the last three years which forecasts can be sustained. The fast food market is forecast to maintain its current growth expectations, with an anticipated Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 2.3% for the five-year period 2005-2010. This is expected to drive the market to a value of .6 billion by the end of 2010. Drivers of growth include increasing numbers of Americans in the workplace, which reduces the amount of time spent on preparing meals at home. In 2010, the United States fast food market is forecast to have a value of .6 billion, an increase of 12.1% since 2005.

Forecast Volume


In 2010, the United States fast food market is forecast to have a volume of 37 billion transactions (Figure 1). This represents an increase of 5.3% since 2005. The CAGR of the market volume in the period 2005-2010 is predicted to be 1%.

Success Factors

Success factors for fast food franchisees will include products and marketing targeted to healthier menu selections, brand consistency, low start-up costs, franchisee support, and consumer convenience. Subway ® represents a poignant example of a fast food franchisee ready for success in the future fast food market. Their strategies transcend the fast food market and apply to many other markets and products.

SWOT Analysis

Subway sandwich shops are well positioned to leverage their strengths and address reasonable threats, weaknesses, and opportunities. The table below highlights these Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.


  • Size and number stores and channels
  • Menu reflects demand for fresh, healthy and fast.
  • Use of non-traditional channels.
  • Partnering with the American Heart Association.
  • Worldwide brand recognition.
  • Customizable menu offerings.
  • Low franchisee start up costs.
  • Franchisee training is structured, brief and designed to assure rapid start-up and success.


  • Décor is outdated.
  • Some franchisees are unhappy.
  • Service delivery is inconsistent from store to store.
  • Employee turnover is high.
  • No control over franchise saturation in given market areas.


  • Continue to Grow Global Business.
  • Update décor to encourage more dine-in business.
  • Improve Customer Service Model.
  • Continue to expand channel opportunities to include event wagons.
  • Improve franchisee relations.
  • Experiment with drive-through business.
  • Expand packaged dessert offerings.
  • Continue to revise and refresh menu offerings.
  • Develop more partnerships with movie producers and toy manufacturers to promote new movie releases through children's menu packaging and co-branding opportunities.


  • Franchisee unrest or litigation.
  • Food contamination (spinach).
  • Competition.
  • Interest Costs.
  • Economic downturn.
  • Sabotage.
  • Law Suits.

Competitive Analysis

Subway is not without competitive pressures. Chief competitors include Yum! Brands, McDonalds, Wendy's, and Jack in the Box. Yum! Brands are the world's largest, with 33,000 restaurants in over 100 countries. Four of the company's highly recognizable brands, KFC, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver's and Taco Bell, are global leaders of the Mexican, chicken, pizza, quick-service seafood categories. Yum! has a workforce of 272,000 employees and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.

McDonald's Corporation (McDonald's) is the world's largest foodservice retailing chain with 31,000 fast-food restaurants in 119 countries. The company also operates restaurants under the brand names 'The Boston Market' and 'Chipotle Mexican Grill'. McDonalds operates largely in the US and the UK and is headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois employing 447,000 people.

Wendy's International (Wendy's) operates three chains of fast food restaurants: Wendy's (the third largest burger chain in the world), Tim Horton's, and Baja Fresh. Wendy's operates over 9700 restaurants in 20 countries, has been included in Fortune magazine's list of top 500 US companies, is headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, and employs about 57,000 people.

Jack in the Box owns, operates, and franchises Jack in the Box quick-service hamburger restaurants and Qdoba Mexican Grill fast-casual restaurants and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

Target Markets

The increase in sales of the sandwiches has been a result of decreases in consumer interest in hamburgers and fries and increases in demand for healthier options. Sales of sandwiches are growing 15 percent annually, outpacing the 3 percent sales growth rate for burgers and steaks.

Current Marketing Program

A new breed of restaurant is making big gains against the market-saturated hamburger establishments. Termed "fast-casual," these restaurants are dominated by Mexican chains, and sandwich restaurants offering fresh-baked breads and specialty sandwiches.

Responding to evolving consumer expectations for health, fresh, custom-made sandwiches; Subway's marketing program addresses these expectations through a number of approaches. The most notable were the television commercials featuring Jared. These commercials emphasize the healthy aspects of a Subway sandwich by highlighting the 245 pounds Jared lost by eating a Subway sandwich diet. Subway also markets through a national sponsorship in events such as American Heart Association Heart Walks and local events such as triathlons, and children's sports teams.

The Subway example represents marketing and product strategies that are classic examples of focusing on market demand, consumer trends, product leveraging, and innovation. The marketing strategies of creating clear brand recognition, brand and product association, and market demands, have strategically positioned Subway to advance market share into the near future. These marketing strategies are also repeatable fundamental marketing strategies transcending the fast food market. Does your marketing strategy bind brand recognition to products that support your market's future direction?

Fast Food Market Forecast - The Subway Example of Strategic Product Positioning


Datamonitor Industry Market Research, (July, 2006), United States Fast Food

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Michael McCarty C.C.C.E, MBA

Mr. McCarty has a proven record of accomplishment in strategic leadership roles for fortune 500 companies. He is an award winning performer in the areas of large-scale operations leadership, strategic planning, senior project management, and significant contributions to the bottom line. Michael has successfully leveraged his leadership skills to provide keen insight, vision, direction, and executive support to financial services firms, information technology firms, and the automotive, credit, and insurance industries. He has been particularly effective in start-up and turnaround situations.

Insisting on integrity, self-reliance, resourcefulness, and ingenuity, Mr. McCarty is an action and solution oriented leader capable of making strong financial contributions to the bottom line. Operational leadership in the areas of process improvements, cost analysis, and innovative revenue generation characterize soundly this veteran executive's distinguished career. For more on Mr. McCarty, please refer to

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How examples of good Customer Service lead to exceptional service

The number one rule to remember in running a successful business is to develop a culture of providing exceptional customer service or you will over time struggle in a competitive market. The best process to find out how service is to learn can be provided is to learn from both your own experiences and other peoples examples.

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Earning a reputation for excellence

To help your business obtain a reputation for providing excellent customer service there are a number of essential trade secrets that need to be followed. One scheme many businesses use these days is to arrange brain storming sessions during staff meetings and training programmes to discuss the type of service delivered by other successful companies. By discussing examples with staff it helps your own organization to deliver quality superior customer service. Also by recognizing the positive contribution staff make for the business morale and team spirit is boosted. This can be done through bonus or incentive payment schemes or introducing for example a 'salesman of the month' award.

The following are some questions that may identify whether your business is providing just basic or excellent examples of good customer service.

Background knowledge. Is the employee trained to know the core business and can effectively supply the customer's with what they require?

Image. Is the employee friendly and project a good image and manner to the customer?

Difficult customers. Does the employee deal with difficult customers with courtesy and respect?

Helpfulness. Is the employee helpful and ensures customer requirements are met?

Going the extra mile. Does the employee regularly exceed standards by going the extra mile to provide outstanding customer service?

8 Examples of Good Customer Service

Friendly staff
Ensure employees who are hired to deal with customers on a daily basis especially at first point-of-contact or in reception areas have a friendly, positive and helpful personality. Employees should have a good knowledge of the business. Engaging employees who already have customer service credentials is an advantage as it indicates they already have the skills and a commitment to customer service.

Appreciating employees
A happy employee will feel valued and provide customers with good service. A salary that offers staff discounts and other incentives will appeal to employees and indicates the company cares about them. Providing opportunities for staff development through training programmes encourages and motivates staff.

Modern technology
Customers can become annoyed and frustrated when put on hold and left waiting by automated phone systems. The overuse of this type of technology can sometimes be counter productive and cause losses to the business bottom line.

Customer issues
Complaints need to be dealt with swiftly. By delaying dealing with customer issues can lead to your business losing a valued customer. By sorting problems out can unlock the door to sales and help your business gain an edge over the competition..

Improving service
Always treat your customers with respect and courtesy. When dealing with issues find out as much as you can about the problem as it could help you to refine and improve existing services.

Thanking the customer
Always thank your customers for dealing with your business. Most customers' appreciate being valued and will remember the helpful service your business provided that will result in customer loyalty and repeat business.

Going the extra mile
Some customer's may be in a hurry so ensure they are dealt with promptly as it could be the difference between selling and not selling a product. Consumers appreciate businesses going the extra mile by taking care of their needs and can result in repeat business.

Customer feedback
Look at canvassing your customer's through online satisfaction surveys to determine whether your existing services are working. By asking customer's for feedback about your business you will be able to measure and improve your internal systems and services.

Examples of Good Customer Service

Brandon has written a number of article on customer service and has outlined some key examples of good customer service at his site: Customer Service Skills

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When it comes to choosing a creative name for a photography business you need to expand on your own ideas by seeking inspiration from somewhere.

There are many ways to do this. Below we have outlined some of the ways that you can get photography business name ideas for your new or existing studio. We have also put forward some ideas on how you can come up with some great words to incorporate into a company name.

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Photography Business Name Generators

It would be great if there were such a thing on the Internet but sadly there is not. A great business name has to come from the human mind and cannot be generated by a computer. These mythical online business name generators that you may have heard of simply don't work well in photography or any industry for that matter. They produce results that are far inferior to what you would come up with by yourself.

Seek Professional Advice

Most business owners take on a major role in the decision making process for choosing their business name. However, smart entrepreneurs are now starting to understand that they may not be the best people to make this crucial business decision. It is definitely not a decision that you want to make without seeking advice from a variety of people.

While most business name consultants are way overpriced and will be way out of budget for a small photography startup you may find an experienced local business person or marketing consultant who will offer you some advice for a reasonable price.

Get Inspiration from Other Businesses

To get ideas for naming a photography business you can look at your competitors as well as other creative businesses such as design firms or advertising agencies for inspiration. With the Internet these days you can even look at business names that are in use on the other side of the world.

Avoid Cliches

When you first start brainstorming ideas for photography business names you may come up with some ideas that seem creative, natural or clever. Be careful here though as there are probably dozens of other business owners who had the same idea. Many names like 'A Thousand Words Photography' or 'Picture This Photography' may seem great when you hear them for the first time but they have really been overused in the photography industry.

Getting Creative Ideas from Words

One creative way to come up with some great name ideas is to come up with some relevant words, write them down on pieces of paper and then practice putting them together in a variety of combinations. Here are some ideas for coming up with a great selection of words.

1) Photography Related Words - Start writing down words that you may like to incorporate into your business name. These may include 'photography' related words such as vision, shots, images, media, studio, focus or pictures. 'Photography' is an obvious choice for a word but it is not absolutely essential.

2) Service Related Words - You may also consider words that describe your products or services or the benefits that customers gain from choosing your photography studio over those of your competitors.

3) Emotional Words - Many niches in photography are all about capturing special memories and moments. If you need a good name for a wedding photography business for example then you might consider using some of these words. Words like 'Moment' or 'Memories' may stir up a prospects emotions and attract them to your business.

4) Location Words - If you are really stuck for name ideas then one option is to simply use the name of the area or city that you are working from. A local landmark can also work well. If you are targeting clients locally and feel that you would be unlikely to expand far beyond your immediate area than geographic words can be appropriate in a title. At the very least, your business name will be relevant and appealing to people in the area that you are targeting.

5) Unrelated Words - Sometimes businesses choose words for no particular reason at all and they work well. Strong words that attract attention or stimulate curiosity can be some of the best choices. Think of some random words that you come across in your reading or day to day activities. Take a random word like 'Butterfly' for example and think about what kind of image would come to mind if people saw an advertisement for 'Butterfly' Photography.

Inspiration can come from all around you if you keep your eyes open. Get the naming process off to a great start be getting lots of creative photography business name ideas to build upon.

How to Choose Creative Photography Business Names

For more information on choosing creative photography business names visit -

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