Eliminating Profit Robbing Telemarketing Calls to Your Business

Most of us small business owners don’t have the luxury of having a secretary or office manager to screen our calls for us. It can become overwhelming when answering sales call after sales call from telemarketers prevent us from doing what makes us money. To top it off, we can sometimes be talked into spending our hard earned money on products or services that are often overpriced and/or not needed in the first place.Each time we add a new business telephone number or change the business location of the ones we currently have, our telephone numbers are placed on a telemarketing list as a “new business.” Our business phone lines are then overrun by harassing telemarketers that want to be the first to sell a new business what they don’t need. You see a “new business owner” generally hasn’t fine tuned their decision making skills to the point that they can just say no and hang up. These skills come with time and experience. Telemarketers know this and target these new business owners because seasoned owners won’t fall for their tactics.I am always adding or changing toll free and regular phone numbers. To prevent this constant barrage of calls (I call it “the first wave”) or to at least limit them, I have developed a strategy that is working right now. You, as a small business owner, can take what you need from this and add to it your own ideas that you have found that work.First, the “Do Not Call” list! This list was set up for consumers and not businesses. We as consumers are afforded a lot more rights under the law than we are as business owners. Either way there is no mechanism the government can use to determine whether the number you put on the list is a business number or a residential number. I am not telling you to put your company’s number on the list. I am simply explaining that if you did, it would work. Any number that is put on this list almost instantly sees a drop in calls from telemarketers. You can find this list by doing a search for “do not call list” on your favorite search engine.Secondly you must accept the fact that if you need something for your business then you will seek it out and find it yourself! Train yourself to never buy “spur of the moment!” Spontaneous purchases can kill a business. Once you realize this then you will never change your phone service just because someone called and was nice to you. You’ll never buy twelve dozen light bulbs or two thousand feet of extension cord. If you need a first aid kit then go buy one at the Home Depot and don’t buy a dozen from a con man on the other end of the phone. First aid kits, extension cords, light bulbs and phone service are all the top sellers to the construction business, your industry may differ but I am sure not by much. You must say no and it is absolutely OK to be rude and to hang up mid sentence. The point is that once you have trained yourself to say “no,” then you can follow step three.Third, you must tell the caller that not only are you not interested but you want them to remove your company and phone number from their list. You must do this every time.
Watch out for “free” items, “we want to save you money” or “can I ask you why” because these are their favorite tricks to get you to spend. I try to be as polite as I can so that they will actually remove my phone number. Sometimes you may need to call an 800 number that they will give you in order to be removed from further solicitation. I recommend that you call and have your business’ phone number removed right away because these companies can actually sell your name to other companies as an “active” number and that will only make matters worse. The problem then spreads like a virus. The bottom line is to tell them no and to ask them to remove you from their list before you even hear what they have to offer.Another way that I minimize the distractions of telemarketing sales calls is to use caller ID. Unfortunately, only local companies that acquire work locally can utilize this method. My concrete cutting company services customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, so when I get a call from California or some odd area code, I will prepare myself to be firm and up front before I answer the phone. If my calls are forwarded to my cellular telephone and I find out the call wasn’t from a vendor or supplier then I will simply program the number as DNA into my cell phone. This stands for “Do Not Answer!” You can program up to ten numbers under one contact name in most cellular phones and give it a distinct ring tone. I have DNA1, DNA2 and so on and I am up to DNA9 right now. If I see or hear one of these numbers come in I just push the button that sends them directly to voice mail.Lastly and very important is the use of a device that is called the “TeleZapper.” The TeleZapper sends a digital tone through the phone line telling automatic dialers used my many telemarketers that the line is currently disconnected and or not in use. The automatic dialing computer subsequently removes your phone number from its list. This not only stops them from calling back it also prevents them from selling your phone number as an “active number.” This device became almost extinct once the “Do Not Call” list became a reality because who needs to “zap” a telemarketer if you are not getting any calls? It still works great for the small business and you will see a dramatic drop in telemarketing calls if you use it correctly. This device will not work if you forward your calls to another phone or if you use a voice mail provided by your phone company and your calls are sent to that voice mail box. It will work when a call is picked up by an answering machine in your office. The TeleZapper is very difficult to find anymore in retail stores but it is still readily available new on eBay or online.© 2007 Affordable Concrete Cutting Massachusetts, MA All Rights Reserved

Why Good Nutrition and Physical Fitness Is Vital to Good Health?

Health, nutrition and fitness are the three interrelated areas that determine an individual’s sense of happiness and well being.

Health
Health involves the physical, mental and spiritual levels of the individual. A physically healthy person is one who can carry out normal daily physical activities and respond to emergencies with out undo fatigue or pain. The health part of health, nutrition and fitness is achieved through a balanced program of good nutrition, healthy physical activity, continuous education and mental activities, and social and spiritual activities. Your choices of the food you eat and your physical activities affect both your short term and long term health (how you feel now and in the future). You may be getting plenty to eat, but if it is not a proper balance of choices from all five of the basic food groups you may be adding fat to your body without generating the energy to burn the calories and energy to the cells to carry out their functions. Healthy physical activity helps burn off any excess calories you consume, and keeps muscles and joints flexible and strong. Your efforts of continued education (reading, attending seminars, as well as attending formal education classes), and spiritual activities (social activities, attending devotional services, meditation, etc) provides you with a sense of accomplishment and well being. An important part of good health is being physically fit and maintaining proper body weight. Maintaining good health requires following a nutritional diet, and exercising to build and maintain muscles, and to burn of any excess calories.

Nutrition
The nutritional health part of health, nutrition and fitness deals with the food we consume to maintain our health and provide energy to carry on our daily lives. Nutrition is the process of nurturing or being nourished; the total of all the processes that a plant or animal uses to take in and process food substances to maintain a healthy life. A healthy nutrition life style requires a balanced diet of food selected from the five basic food groups, fruits, vegetables, naturally calcium rich dairy products or calcium enriched products, whole grains, and protein (lean meat fish, peas and beans). Other nutritional factors should also be considered. Most fruits and vegetables are better if they are consumed raw because heating destroys some of the healthy nutrients. Steaming and broiling food is better than boiling or frying foods. Preparing fresh fruits and vegetables is better than processed or prepared foods.

The prepared foods generally contain more salt (sodium) than necessary and other flavor enhancing substances. Some of these additives do not add any nutritional value to the food and may even be harmful to your health. More nutritional factors to consider are the variety of the fruits and vegetables in our diet. Nutritional data shows that dark green vegetables (romaine lettuce, kale, broccoli, etc.), and orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and summer squash) provides more nutritional value than some of the less colorful vegetables. Here are even more nutrition facts. Some foods contribute to burning fat. Green tea contributes to fat burning by increasing the body’s metabolism and increasing energy level. Foods high in protein are more difficult to digest so they require more calories in the digestive process. Good nutrition practices may not be sufficient for some people they may require unique supplements such as CoEnzimeQ10 or others.

Physical Fitness
Physical fitness part of fitness, health and nutrition is the ability to carry out daily activities, enjoy leisure activities and have a healthy immune system to resist disease and infection. Developing and maintaining good physical fitness requires a balance of good nutrition and varied physical exercise. There are there elements to physical fitness: specific fitness the ability to perform daily functions related to work or recreation, general fitness the ability to enjoy leisure time and a sense of peace with the environment, preparedness the ability to over come or avoid emergencies.

There also three factors in achieving good physical fitness good nutrition, physical exercise and restful (sleep). The nutrition maintains the health of the cells and provides the energy to perform the exercises. Physical exercise may be used to accomplish work to earn a living, participate in athletic events, develop and maintain healthy cardiovascular system, or control body weight. Physical fitness and how physical fitness is achieved varies depending on individual. If a person is involved in an occupation that requires vigorous activity and has good nutrition possibly no other exercise is needed to maintain a fit body.

However, even people who are who work hard at their occupation may need additional cardiovascular exercise to keep their heart and blood vessels in optimum condition. People whose profession does not require vigorous physical exercise special effort is required to achieve and maintain physical fitness. A good nutritional diet is the obvious starting point. Some easy things are use stairs rather than elevators, park a little farther from the office or store entrance, throw away the television remote, change channels the old fashion way, and walk to near by offices or neighbors rather than using the telephone. These efforts will help, but more vigorous physical exercise is needed for good physical fitness.

For cardiovascular health a routine of physical exercise over a period a minimum of 20 minutes three times per week is required. The best and generally most convenient cardiovascular exercise is walking. Another good cardiovascular exercise is swimming. Swimming will also help in building and toning muscles. The other factor in developing and maintaining physical fitness is strength exercise to build and tone muscle and to burn fat. Strength exercises are good for weight management because they stimulate muscle growth even after the exercise has been completed. This means that the body continues to burn fat for an extended period of time.

Mental Health
Mental health, as it applies to health nutrition and fitness, is the way we think, how we feel and how we act as we interact with our surroundings. Our mental health contributes to our relations with other people, how we make decision, make choices and how we cope with stress. People with good mental health are able to control their emotions, feelings and behavior. Keeping the mind active through reading, playing games, and an active social life contributes to good mental health.

Spiritual Health Spirituality can be defined as sensitivity or attachment to religion, or as a state condition of being spiritual. Some people ignore or overlook the importance of spirituality in relation to health nutrition and fitness, because they relate spirituality only to religion. Through out history man has struggled with the concept of spirituality. Basically spirituality is the struggle to become the most perfect person or individual. The path to achieve this goal may be through seeking external help through religion of some form, or internal through meditation and study of both present and past human interactions. The above is based on personal study, experiences and observations through out my life.

Importance of Branding for E-Commerce Businesses

E-commerce businesses are becoming a reliable way to buy products online. Branding plays a direct role in improving chances of e-commerce business success. An increasing number of global customers are switching to e-commerce sites to purchase everything from groceries to apparel, and electronics to lifestyle products. The e-commerce industry has completely transformed the way in which consumers around the world access products and services. It has suddenly brought a world of options to the fingertips of end users. The future seems bright for the e-commerce industry, with major players branching out into newer product categories frequently (thus setting the standards for smaller brands).

For e-commerce businesses, things are going well enough, but the competition is also fierce. New e-commerce brands are launching every day and persistently trying to get a foothold online. When it comes to branding, e-commerce companies are leaving no stone unturned. In this scenario, it is vital that you build and implement a high quality branding strategy for your e-commerce business.

Branding Strategies For E-Commerce Businesses

By having a result-oriented, effective branding plan for your e-commerce business, you can stand out amongst your competitors. To achieve that, you must determine what makes your e-commerce business a unique player in the industry. Are you offering high quality products at the best available rates? Do you organize regular discounts and offers for your customers? Are you adding new product categories to meet more customer demands? What are the factors that would convince customers to choose your brand against others? E-commerce business owners must strive to highlight the unique selling points of their brand. Only then can an e-commerce brand be boldly promoted to larger audiences.

As an e-commerce brand, you have to be at the forefront when it comes to attracting product vendors as well as consumers to your e-store. Vendors would be interested in using your marketplace, if it has a strong brand that keeps providing value to customers. The number of sellers and customers you bring in to your network depends on the strength of your e-commerce brand, and how well it delivers on its promises. If you are intelligent in your branding, and consistent in your service quality, your e-commerce brand can achieve considerable success.

E-commerce branding, like all branding, is influencing the perception of your brand and its services, in the eyes of the customer. Effective e-commerce branding will make marketing easier, retain more customers, drive up loyalty, and create better potential value for steady, long-term success.

The way you must approach an e-commerce branding strategy is by highlighting some key points. With branding, you must uphold your business’s core mission, the problems you aim to solve for your customers, standards that it adheres to, and proof of the quality of services you provide. What are the factors involved in business branding and their importance?

E-Commerce Branding – Methods and Importance

1. Your Brand Image - A stellar, uniquely identifiable brand image helps customers attach value to your e-commerce brand’s personality. This includes various things such as logos, banners, taglines, marketing captions, social content etc., which should always represent your brand the best. This is quite important if you want to create value for potential customers and convert them into loyal customers. A good brand image goes a long way in retaining customers, by continually generating interest for your e-commerce brand’s offerings.

2. Customer Satisfaction - Customers are everything, when it comes to e-commerce or any other type of business. You can actually enhance customer experiences and drive up satisfaction (and loyalties). This is a big part of establishing your e-commerce brand. Put your best foot forward while marketing, deliver on your promises you make, and provide unmatched service and support to enhance your brand’s potential value. Remember that satisfied existing customers can and will bring in newer customers to your e-commerce business. Maintain your integrity and keep reinventing to bolster your brand’s chances of business success.

3. Find Your Unique Selling Proposition - As an e-commerce business owner you must determine the USP of your brand. This will help you brand and promote it better to larger groups of potential customers. Think about what sets you apart from dozens of competitors vying for true e-commerce glory. Is it your service quality or support? Is it the trust of your customers and your track record? Do you provide innovative offers, discounts and promotions on special occasions? Do you house the widest variety of rare products? You must determine why customers would choose your e-commerce site. What extra value can you offer to your potential customers that convince them to use your platform again and again? Find your USP and use it to strengthen your brand.

4. Utilize All Channels - Technological advances in the past decade demand that your e-commerce business maximizes its presence on all social, web-based and mobile platforms. More and more potential customers buy and sell through handheld devices, and almost all of them are on social websites. All your competitors are doing it, and so should you. It will help you make your brand easily accessible to larger audiences, which in turn will bring more conversions and significantly better revenues. Social and mobile should be the front and center of your branding strategy.

E-commerce sites can benefit from the above mentioned branding strategies. By using the concepts provide here, you can establish your e-commerce brand and take your business to the next level.