Sales and Marketing

What Is a Market Forecast?

A market forecast is a core component of a market analysis. It projects the future numbers, characteristics, and trends in your target market. A standard analysis shows the projected number of potential customers divided into segments. This example of a simple market forecast defines two target market segments and projects the potential customers in each...


Understand Your Competition

To truly understand the strengths of your own business, you must understand your competition and your positioning. Who competes with you for your customers’ time and money? Are they directly selling competitive products and services, substitutes, or possible substitutes? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How are they positioned in the market? Your competitive analysis...


Getting Noticed on a Shoestring

Here are a few ideas to get your business noticed if you are on a tight budget: Write and distribute press releases that are newsworthy, and send them to newspapers, magazines, and television and radio stations. If only one media outlet airs the story, you’ll have free access to thousands of people. Renting space at...


Local Marketing Ideas

The best way for you to get known is to use a mixture of conventional advertising and shoestring marketing techniques. Here are several ideas: Order a listing in the yellow pages if you haven’t done so already. You may have to wait for several months before the next edition is published, but at least call...


How to Accept Credit Cards Online

To accept credit cards online, you must establish a merchant account with an online credit card service provider. Your “merchant account provider” (MAP) will verify the credit card, process the transaction, and deposit the funds into your bank account, usually within a few days. Of course, your MAP will charge you fees for this service....


Privacy? I don’t need no stink’in privacy!

Seth Godin has some great insight about consumers and the “privacy” we so often hear that they are demanding. Seth makes a great point that when you delve down and really look at it — what people actually want is to have their information “left alone” and they don’t want any person or company using...


“You Aren’t My Customer” Works!

My “heart of the plan” thinking has a lot to do with targeting well and focusing, which often starts with what ‘Chelle Parmele calls A lesson in saying “You aren’t my customer.” There was a video report on MSNBC recently about a campground in the Great Smoky Mountain Park, Punkin Center Campground, that caters exclusively...


Smart Phone Sales Accelerating

Sometimes a well-publicized new product pulls an entire market with it. Since I bought my iPhone last summer, I seem to see more and more cool phones popping up on the market all the time. By cool phones I mean nice integration with GPS, mail servers and even nice music and video, the kind of...


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