To Be Successful In Business You Need To Be Strategic

The problem that many business owners have, is that they tend to think very tactically i.e. how can they can get more clients. This is very important – however – you must always be working tactically, from a strategic focus. Let me explain: for you to have any chance of being perceived as the expert or authority in your industry, you must look at the bigger picture, and ultimately be able to answer the question, “What do we want to be known for?” or “What is the ultimate position we want to hold in the market place?”.

In other words, focus on how your ‘tactical’ activities can impact on your strategic or positioning objectives.

Why is it that so many businesses look the same or do the same without making any real impact? They merely survive, as opposed to thrive. Very often this is because the business is centred on the wrong thing: the product or service. Instead, focus on serving the needs of your clients better than anyone else in your industry.

That is the key: making someone else’s life better in such a profound and purposeful way, such that it differentiates and lifts you above the competition. The durability of any business, and for that matter the resilience and robustness of any business owner, is to focus totally on making the lives of your clients better.

You see many business owners start up in business and unfortunately get it wrong from the very beginning. For example, they will focus on a specific product or service that they might have previous experience of, or may have worked a similar role before, or simply want to try something new. They will then scrabble around trying to find clients, without ever giving any real thought to what makes them different – what ultimately are they offering to the market – what position do they want to take – what is their overall strategy?

Do not design the business around you – instead – design your business around the needs, wants and desires of your client. This is what will ensure longevity; this is what will ensure you position your business in a category of one.

Of course the purpose for running your own business is to improve your life – you’re putting a lot at stake here. However, your ultimate strategic focus should always be client led. Build your business around what your potential client wants. Or even better, build your business around the client, such that, it removes some form of pain, frustration or problem. You’re not just in the business of marketing; you’re essentially in the business of solving problems. Never forget this, especially when crafting your marketing message.

With so many businesses all looking the same and offering the same, it is vital that you are able to offer a clear, competitive edge; something that clearly resonates with your audience and is a point of differentiation. In fact, it might reasonably be assumed that the reason many businesses have gone to the wall, it simply because they were never able to offer a compelling and persuasive edge; or literally were too inwards looking and did not see their business from the point of view of the client. A tactical, ad-hoc approach, as opposed to a strategic focus.

However as with most things, this is much easier said than done. Trying to identify a key competitive edge is difficult and can take time. Most business owners will never attempt this exercise, and that is why most business owners do not create the impact they want in their sector. They have set themselves up to be an also-ran, as opposed to striving to make any real impact.

So let’s now explore three key areas that collectively, will help you discover your strategic objective – what you want to be known for – and enable you to stand out and become the expert in your field. Each of these areas, when explored in detail, will offer you plenty of insight as to how best to out-market your competition. We’ll start with the obvious one first.

Study the competition:

Examine your competition closely, and get a good grounding in how they market themselves. For example, what do they do well and more importantly, what don’t they do so well. What areas are your competitors falling short on? You will need to remain reasonably objective at this point, however, by observing the opposition you will become a lot clearly on how to better market what you do. So areas you might want to focus on include:

Does your competition keep in regular contact with their prospects i.e. do they use opportunities to build a list?

Is the marketing client-focused, or focused on the product or service?

Is it obvious when reviewing their website that the company comes across as an authority in their field? If so, how? And can you borrow some of these ideas?

Perhaps you could even go as far as ordering their product or service and see for yourself how they deliver? Is your competition providing ‘value’ at every stage of the interaction?

I’m almost certain there will be key areas where your competition is falling down on. So exploit and utilise this is your overall strategy.

Study the commentary:

Part two of the exploratory phase now consists of looking at, and analysing the commentary that is used in your sector. This can be a very powerful form of research, especially with regards to establishing a strategic goal.

Start to pay closer attention to trade magazines and periodicals, as well as online platforms. Look at the thought leaders in your field, and if they have a blog, see what posts are frequently made. What are the reoccurring themes that your industry comments on or discusses? What problems, issues and concerns are frequently focused on?

Because you are able to tap into a rich theme of ongoing thought processes, you can use this in your marketing messages and talk directly to your audience.

Study your prospects:

The third and final phase of the research process will involve the most important: your prospects. We have already highlighted how every business should be client-led; therefore never underestimate how critical this is to your success.

What are your prospects fears and frustrations? Try and develop a mental image of your prospect. Try to imagine who it is you’re going to be talking too.

Appreciate that your prospect is not buying your product or service; they are buying the results of your product or service. So try and get into their mindset and get an idea of what they really want, or what issues, problems and concerns they want to solve. For example, visit relevant forums or bulletin boards in your sector; what topics of discussion keep coming up? Having a clearly picture of what your prospects want, will give you a clearer idea on what you want to be known for.

By reviewing the competition, the key commentators in your field and gaining a deeper understanding of the wants and needs of your prospects; you will have a much clearer idea as to how to position yourself strategically or in other words, be able to answer the question “What do we want to be known for?”

Andrew Ludlam is the owner of Maverick Marketing Consultancy, and is recognised as a leading expert on advanced marketing strategy and tactics. As a marketing consultant, trainer and author, he has advised many hundreds of business owners one-to-one, and many more have attended his private training programmes. Andrew also publishes a fortnightly newsletter which has some 2,000 subscribers.

Unique Promotional Gifts For Marketing and Business

Corporate promotional gifts play an important role in the current business marketing events. Personalized gifts can push up the advertising prospects of a business brand through utility value. They can be in the form of a variety of products like T-shirts, bags, caps and more. Desktop accessories, mobile covers and acrylic novelties designed with business logo can increase customer base.

Customized bags in the form of back pack bags, office bags and shoulder bags combine utility with brand value. Automotive accessories work for great promotional value magnifying brand visibility. Safety kits, CD holders and seat organizers with contextual imprint of the brand are popular. Key tags and automotive tools can bear the concerned business logo while providing high utility value.

Promotional gifts in the form of roadside safety kits, travel adventure gifts and pressure gauge tools can work for higher end customers. The above gifts can be handed over to customers during regular business events. Custom made badges, balloons and inflatable objects with company logo have established marketing benefits. Company advertising events can take advantage of personalized table skirts for brand promotion.

Crowded business meetings provide ample opportunity for high brand exposure through branded carry bags. The recipients carry the business name and logo beyond conference halls with company bags.

Products like games, toys with imprinted logo are largely popular with customers. They provide a joyful and thorough way of brand management.

Fun programs like electronic Sudoku, puzzles and football games can be incorporated with your logo and brand information. Games, inflatables and balloons work to advertise restaurants and eateries.

Stuffed animals with customized business design can promote veterinary centres and animal shelter. Personalized indoor games can be employed with birthday and anniversary parties.

Custom designed piggy banks are great for new banking customers. Wooden and Metallic toys can be handed out to customers with trade shows and business events.

Travel printed items include luggage locks, book lights and electric adapters. Brand products that enhance the recipients comfort and lifestyle are more favourable. They should be creatively imprinted with company logo, motto and address. Giveaways work synergistically with trade shows that work to advertise business brands.

Tradeshow and business event gifts can be designed to accentuate the unique brand value of business ventures. Promotional gifts can work as aesthetic and rich corporate gifts. Bag packs as brand tools can be custom printed or embroidered with business logo. These can be customized to initiate brand management in outdoor business events.

Travel is essential for competitive business development and expansion. Employees of a company interact with prospective clients and counterparts in trade shows. Branded travel products provide a significant marketing opportunity for brand expansion. Customized travel bags accompany recipients with business and personal trips increasing brand exposure.

Promotional gifts for travel include duffel bags, umbrellas, map kits and luggage accessories. Solar light, escape tools, travel clock and radios are popular travel accessories. Electronic items like calculators, currency converters and detectors have long term utility value for customers. All types of branded giveaways are an essential marketing tool for most business owners.

Lottie Carrot works in the promotional gifts industry for Argon Promotions, the leading company in terms of innovative business gift ideas. Lottie works closely with businesses to help market their products and services by providing information and help in the selection of suitable promotional gifts for their advertising campaigns.

Chief Universities and Educational Institutions Suggesting Interior Design

The university provides a greatly exhaustive 5-calendar year Bachelor of Science program which will offer its students learning everything concerning the field if Interior Design. Due to the suggested courses a future designer will be able to understand different perspectives of interior style and what is the most important -a student will be able to master all of these aspects in order to become a really wonderful internal designer. Further you will be presented the examples of the best universities and educational institutions offering interior design where each person gets a nice opportunity to develop his or her talent and skills.

The major goal of the Interior Design University is to suggest each and every student willing to study interior design a great possibility to apply to any field of Interior Design. Before entering it you receive all the needed information concerning studying with true details. You are offered several best universities and educational institutions in design. You are welcome to make a comparative analysis of them and choose an institution that would suit you best.

The first one is the College of Cincinnati which proudly carries the title of best interior design university. It suggests a Bachelors degree system in Interior Design. The University of Cincinnati offers students a harmony of educational excellence and real-world experience. Annually, as research demonstrates that university graduates 5,000 students, adding to more than 200,000 living alumni all over the world. It should be mentioned that although there are many other different outstanding universities all over The United States of America, The University of Cincinnati is really a new stage in one’s career because it sends interior design college students to universities from all more than the nation. Therefore, the students get an opportunity to variegate their academic experiences and to encourage their intellect for development via modifying university software programs. It is an important fact that The University of Cincinnati suggests quite comprehensive system right from the beginning up to the very end. Besides, the finest instructors in the area of Design come from different parts of the world to present their expertise at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.

The American Intercontinental College in London takes rightfully the first place in the total UK as an institution having the greatest Design plan. If you’re searching a college in London where you can balance your vivid life and numerous responsibilities with your desire to pursue a career-focused degree, you have come to the right place. Here college students have the choice of completing an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s Degree software in the field of Interior Design. It is better to know that the coursework is very difficult for all the career plans, but this certainly makes it one individual of the greatest software programs out there. Pursuing your degree at The American Intercontinental College in London can help you learn more about and understand different cultures and societies. Besides, it is also a perfect institution to develop your point of view upon the world tendencies in culture and society and make up an excellent meaningful resume. All of this is of great importance to the students studying Interior Design. After finishing this college graduates have a thorough understanding of different Design principles as properly as when to use them. Each student has the responsibility of making up a unique portfolio of their function via the perspective of their specialty.

The Thane Institute of Art was established in the year of 1998 and it is notable for its great Interior Design software program. The latter is really particular among the other ever known and available. This was the first Interior Design institution in Thane and it was of great help to the students who had to travel to Mumbai before it was founded. The curriculum is prominent for its offering a number of principles that can be used for houses, organizations and corporations. All of the students have the right to create their personal Interior Design expertise while applying the fundamental ideas to their operation.

The Raffles Design International is the first design training centre in India, thus, the most nicely recognizable Interior Design institution in Mumbai. The design centre suggests its students studying and preparing for examinations in multimedia design, graphic design, fashion design, product design and, of course, interior design courses. The Raffles Design International embodies both the principles of interior design with developing the intellectual abilities of the person. It offers them the possibilities to obtain an Interior Designer Degree as effectively as the communication and organization abilities in order to productively use their skills and talents in future business. Those students who successfully pursue the Interior Design course noticeable develop their skills in creativity, issue solving, and vital considering as well as their professionalism in addition to the urgent creative concepts of Interior Design. It should be mentioned that studying with Raffles Design International is a right way to obtain publicity in the international creative and business environments. Besides, the students can transfer or continue their studies at most of other colleges. All classes are taught in the English language and the curriculum is truly international. The Raffles Design International suggests the students experienced teaching staff focusing on building a strong foundation and the necessary skills required in further career.

The Burg Giebichenstein University of Art work and Style has been a recognized institution of higher education since 1958. From this year the fine and applied arts, study, research and development capacities were broadened in the fields of interior design, industrial design and environment design. It is an outstanding university with one of the greatest Interior Design applications in all of Germany. It suggests a greatly detailed system that embraces all the fields of Interior Design. The student needs to study during three years in total. While pursuing the course of the last 12 months of the system pupils have to make their choice concerning certain area of interest they want to study in future. In this university you will be pleasantly surprised by the interweaving of free and applied disciplines and a wide range of fields of art and design. This, no doubt, suggests students the opportunity to obtain theoretical knowledge and practical skills in various fields of art and design. It’s just great that it also enables them to develop an individual approach to designing the environment.

The Cornell University is a very selective university which is considered to be one of the most tough to get into. While admission to Cornell is competitive, Cornell’s admissions personnel try to pay more attention to the equality of the competitiveness. The admission members are looking for students with high intellectual abilities, strength of character, and desire for learning. The price of education is about $41,717 per 12 months overall.

Promotional Mouse Mats For Your Business Design

Promotion or advertising is one of the key elements in business. In marketing, promotion constitutes the first step to entrepreneurial success. Both small and large business enterprises benefit from advertising.

However, it is a fact that advertising can be expensive- far too expensive for some people. Getting a contract for a television commercial is no small joke for small business, and airtime in multiple radio stations is also costly.

In hard-pressed times, promotional mouse mats can be used in the place of more traditional modes of advertising. Designing mouse mats is easy.

What you have to remember is that they are mostly six to seven inches across. Larger designs are also available, and some of these also have other accessories like calculators.

To make your advertising striking, make sure that you make full use of your business’s logo. If your business is relatively new, and you only have a few ideas, it’s time to think of something really attractive and eye catching to place on the product.

Your logo for example, which would be placed at the centre or as a banner on the upper or lower portion should be striking. Bright colours should be used, and the shapes should be congruent and should flow smoothly into each other.

Take the logo of Windows for example; the small squares use light colours and yet it’s recognizable no matter how small it is. If you can think of something this effective, then the gifts you would be distributing would be effective in advertising your business.

Remember also that not everyone pays attention to free things so if you wish to inform a potential consumer of the whereabouts of your business, place the information centrally in the mouse mat. If you have exclusive offers, emphasize the texts that carry these offers and use dialog balloons that would catch the eye of the potential customer.

The texture of the design also counts. Remember that there are three main groups of mouse users: those using traditional magnetic ball mice, those using inexpensive optical mice and those using high-end optical mice. Make sure that the surface of the chosen design can be used by all the recipients.

Lottie Carrot works in the promotional gifts industry for Argon Promotions, the leading company in terms of innovative business gift ideas including all your best promotional mouse mats and branded merchandise.