Your DMO Can Save Your Home Based Business – Are You a Tortoise Or a Hare?

Most of us know the tales of “The Tortoise and the Hare” and “The Ant and The Grasshopper”. We may have even told them to our children, grandchildren or god children. But do we realize that the lessons on focus, priorities, planning, diligence and goals in these stories are the same principles we need to succeed in our home based businesses? Both the Tortoise and the Ant had Daily Methods of Operation (DMO). Whether you’re in direct sales or network marketing you need the same: a solid DMO.You may be wondering how many direct sales people or network marketers have even heard of DMO and if they have, how many use it. Who can be sure, but top earners in direct sales and MLM say that a Daily Method of Operation can be the difference between success and failure for home based businesses. It can prevent information overload, anxiety, guilt and even shut down. This article defines DMO, tells why it’s important and provides a simple framework for crafting one.DMO DEFINEDA Daily Method of Operation(DMO) is a time management tool that has you focus on regularly completing small, simple tasks or components of complex tasks that directly contribute to your mastery of skills and your attainment of overall direct sales or MLM goals. It is a checklist you complete on a schedule you create. You chip away at the tasks you must do and skills you must master to succeed in your business.DMO IMPORTANCEA Daily Method of Operation is meant to be habit-forming. We are creatures of habit: the better our habits, the easier and better our success in what we do. There is a lot to do to have a successful home based business. And the more there is to do, the more you need a plan of action that not only manages the chaos, but moves you closer to your goals. That is what a DMO does.DMO FRAMEWORKYou’ve joined the network marketing business of your choice and have visions of being a home based entrepreneur. Better yet, you imagine being a SUCCESSFUL home business tycoon. This is the time to craft your DMO. Consider the following when you do:* Set the goals for your business, reflect on them and get feedback. You can amend them as time goes on
* Decide what tasks will reach those goals
* Decide how many days or nights per week, and how many hours per day or night you will work on those tasks. Take your business seriously, but build in days off. You can burn out if you go 24/7 month after month
* Be realistic. If you have other obligations, allow time for them. But be ruthless and focused during the time you set aside for your business. Turn off the phone and email, close your door, etc.
* Once you decide your time commitment, divide it between learn, execute and follow-up tasks. You don’t have to do all three every work day, but devote half your time to execution tasks like generating leads, writing articles, doing presentations, etc. Sharpening pencils, organizing papers doesn’t count
* Prioritize your time. Eliminate some activities so you can add business tasks.
* WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN AND KEEP IT HANDYYour DMO is personal so the framework here is basic. However, emphasize process oriented tasks over outcome based ones. For example, your task may be to follow-up on ten leads daily. If you decide you must get seven recruits or customers out of the ten, you are focused on outcome. You can set yourself up for failure that way since your best efforts may not yield those results. If you decide to do follow-up day after day until you have seven new people, are you deviating from your DMO if you should be doing other tasks on those days that would move you forward? Consistency of your effort and process over time is what pays off…along with the right mental attitude.A simple spread sheet works fine for a monthly DMO. You can create it by hand, but a computer does it easier and faster. Plus you can create blank forms for later use. The chart should be large enough to post in a conspicuous place in your office or work area. Why posted? It’s helpful to pass or look at it regularly.List the tasks you plan to do that month across the top of the sheet. Some examples are: write five articles, do regular blog and forum posts, attend trainings, update your website and social media sites, follow-up leads daily, prospect, etc. Down one side, list the days of that month by weeks. This will give you a grid. Mark off tasks as you do them each work day. Give yourself gold stars on particularly productive days.That’s it. Your spread sheet visually represents what you accomplish. Use it to gauge progress and correct omissions. Keep it simple. You’ll be doing it for some time.Finally, realize there will be distractions and slow days. Forgive yourself and start fresh the next work day. Be the tortoise or the ant. And remember, you can work your business part-time with success but you can’t work it sometime and succeed. Following a DMO can stop the sometime.

The Best Home Based Business Ideas

A few of the best home business ideas that might be beneficial to you are online auctions, freelance writing and affiliate marketing. These jobs all provide you with an excellent opportunity to make a steady income, work from home and be your own boss. “A home based business will give you the opportunity to make a steady income, be your own boss and work whatever hours you please. Starting a home business will give you a chance to experience a new, income earning life.”If you are crafty and love spending your spare time painting, sewing or knitting, online auctions may be one of the best home based business ideas for you. Online auctions allow sellers to post their items up for sale, where a large number of individuals will bid on it, in hopes to make a purchase. Once the deadline you have posted ends, the highest bidder will win and be able to purchase your item. Some people are able to maintain this type of business using their smart phone or iPad.Expressing yourself with writing will open your creative side, and expand your imagination to the fullest. One of the best home based business ideas for a creative mind is freelance writing. There is a variety of websites online that purchase writing content for their clients and pay you in return for the article. With any business, you must provide a resume or a sample of your writing. Your sample will provide them information on your potential to work with them and how unique your writing style is.Affiliate marketing is among the best home based business ideas to ever become available. There are two ways to work in affiliate marketing, one being you as the affiliate. As an affiliate, you will link your client’s site to your website or web content. This will bring their business site more traffic, leading more customers to them. If you are looking as a client to promote your business, you yourself can hire affiliates to bring traffic to your site and write web content for your business.The best home based business ideas including freelancing, affiliate marketing, and online auctioning are all revolved around independence and determination. Working at home gives you the chance to promote your business, start a business or work for an online company. All these tactics give you the opportunity to make a steady income and a new way of living. Anyone with the right amount of motivation can work from home and live a comfortable, supportive life.

Home Based Business – How to Be Successful

The main difference in setting up a home based business and a physical business is the work space. In the former you operate out of your home and in the later you operate out of an office. To underestimate the power of any business whether from home or otherwise is a mistake. There are many home based internet ventures whose profits have sky rocketed!Setting up a home based business can be quite challenging because you need to clearly understand the transition required in terms of moving from the conventional business world to a home office environment.The internet is filled to overflowing with resources and tools that you can use to make your home based business a success. However, this success will depend on your personal level of dedication and commitment. You will find below some useful tips to guide you in establishing your business.Goal setting: is of supreme importance. Without a proper road map of where you are going and what you plan to do, you will be lost. In fact it is not an exaggeration to say that planning and goal setting are key to a successful home based business.Before you start setting up your business make a plan which includes all of the resources and tools you will need. What kind of investment are you looking ti, things like upgrading your computer, getting some office equipment; setting up a dedicated work space should all be part of your plan.The internet has a wide variety of resources and tools that can aid you in getting started. You will need to do a lot of research to find the tools that will be most beneficial to your business needs.Get noticed: once you set up your home based business you will need to concentrate on advertising your presence. Just setting up a business and sitting pretty will not bring in the dollars! You can use a number of mediums to advertise online from article marketing to link backs, banner ads and more. Join forums, post website ads and write about your products. Whatever method of advertising you choose, make sure your focus is on driving traffic to your site.Search engine optimization is a must for any online business and you need to become knowledgeable about this area. When you optimize your search engine rankings you are increasing the number of visitors to your site. More visitors equal more potential customers and sales.Customer base: you cannot operate a successful home based business with a customer base. To develop a customer base you need to generate sales leads which you can convert to sales. Set up a blog and put useful information about your product or service on it. Customers use to the internet to either find a product/ service or to get information. When you address the customers’ problems and provide solutions through your articles, you are attracting them to your site and repeat visitors have the potential to become paying customers.Click on the link below to learn more about Home Based Businesses.

Home Based Business Rules That Every Network Marketer Should Embrace

There are rules in everything that we do. We are structured beings, and we thrive off of organization and protocols. In your home business, it’s all the same. There are home based business rules that every networker should embrace, and here we are going to detail four major rules for success.These are the 4 home based business rules:1) Don’t just get feedback; use itThis is similar to a previous post that I discussed about the importance of customer testimonials. Feedback is something that can be a great asset to your business no matter if it is negative or positive. What people don’t realize is that when it comes to home based business rules, the idea of feedback expands more than just testimonials.As far as home based business rules are concerned with feedback, a common complaint that most people voice is that they are always asked the question if their business is a pyramid or they get associated with “one of those things.” They are looking for the golden answer, but there really is none. You just need to ask more questions and dig deeper to solve that riddle.But the point is that if every prospect you are talking to is asking you that question, then it’s something you are saying or purporting. Feedback is not always voiced; sometimes you need to self-evaluate and find the non-verbal cues. Once you understand how to pick up the non-verbal and verbal feedback, you need to learn from it and adjust your approach.2) Not every part of your business is sacredThis is important amongst home based business rules. Some people get too hung up on thinking that their products are superior to everyone else, and that nothing can touch them. Or their business has so many products that they think that every one of them is amazing. There are two flaws in that thought process.One is that if your product is so unique and wonderful, someone is going to make something that is less expensive or better. The second is that if you have a vast range of products, chances are that not every single one is going to be top tier. What’s worse is that some people get the notion that they have to excel at everything, and thus become lifelong students trying to be experts in every facet.You are in this business to make money, so the key is to simplify. Not every facet of your business is sacred, which means that you need to focus on one skill, one or two products, and one specialty. Focus, hone, and craft that skill in to money. Then, when you are making money, you can decide to add-on another skill or specialty to diversify.3) Technology + Marketing = Unstoppable DuoThis is the rule of all home based business rules. If you cannot embrace all 4 of the rules I’m discussing, then at least learn to become a professional at this one. Why? Because this is the formula for instant and prolonged success.I’ve always found it funny how offline marketers chastise internet marketers because they say that they are wasting their time online doing nothing. But what they don’t realize is that the ones that get it, and understand the power of internet leverage, learn to build their businesses faster. What’s easier: talking to 50 people a day or sending out a targeted solo ad to collect 50 opt-ins with just a few minutes time? The odds of success are about the same; the difference is time spent.Marketing offline and online should be utilized hand-in-hand, and coupled with the leverage of technology so that your lists get built faster, with less manual labor, and you get your message across more channels. 4) Don’t forget home based business rules 1-3It’s cliche, but it’s true. The downfall of most network marketers is the inability to duplicate, or create a repetition of successive action to create a sustained momentum. Most people are able to fly high off one big decisive action that produces massive results, but cannot re-create that same result. The outcome is that they fizzle out, like 90-95% of the network marketing populace.Thus, rule #4 is simple: figure out what worked in #1-3, and make it happen again. And when you have found the systemized protocol, hold on to it and spread it throughout your organization.While these home based business rules seem overly simple to the trained eye, they are specific representations of the pillars that require discipline in our craft of network marketing to be successful. Most people fail in this business because they are unable to heed one or all of the rules mentioned above. But that’s not you, because you’re here and reading this article. Therefore, you’re going to go out and ensure that the past failures don’t affect you.Arm yourself with this knowledge and proceed on in to the fight for your future.Was this article insightful? Is your business adhering to these 4 simple home based business rules? Do you have another rule that you would like to share? Comment below!

Modern Financial Management Theories & Small Businesses

The following are some examples of modern financial management theories formulated on principles considered as ‘a set of fundamental tenets that form the basis for financial theory and decision-making in finance’ (Emery et al.1991). An attempt would be made to relate the principles behind these concepts to small businesses’ financial management.Agency Theory
Agency theory deals with the people who own a business enterprise and all others who have interests in it, for example managers, banks, creditors, family members, and employees. The agency theory postulates that the day to day running of a business enterprise is carried out by managers as agents who have been engaged by the owners of the business as principals who are also known as shareholders. The theory is on the notion of the principle of ‘two-sided transactions’ which holds that any financial transactions involve two parties, both acting in their own best interests, but with different expectations.Problems usually identified with agency theory may include:i. Information asymmetry- a situation in which agents have information on the financial circumstances and prospects of the enterprise that is not known to principals (Emery et al.1991). For example ‘The Business Roundtable’ emphasised that in planning communications with shareholders and investors, companies should consider never misleading or misinforming stockholders about the corporation’s operations or financial condition. In spite of this principle, there was lack of transparency from Enron’s management leading to its collapse;ii. Moral hazard-a situation in which agents deliberately take advantage of information asymmetry to redistribute wealth to themselves in an unseen manner which is ultimately to the detriment of principals. A case in point is the failure of the Board of directors of Enron’s compensation committee to ask any question about the award of salaries, perks, annuities, life insurance and rewards to the executive members at a critical point in the life of Enron; with one executive on record to have received a share of ownership of a corporate jet as a reward and also a loan of $77m to the CEO even though the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the US bans loans by companies to their executives; andiii. Adverse selection-this concerns a situation in which agents misrepresent the skills or abilities they bring to an enterprise. As a result of that the principal’s wealth is not maximised (Emery et al.1991).In response to the inherent risk posed by agents’ quest to make the most of their interests to the disadvantage of principals (i.e. all stakeholders), each stakeholder tries to increase the reward expected in return for participation in the enterprise. Creditors may increase the interest rates they get from the enterprise. Other responses are monitoring and bonding to improve principal’s access to reliable information and devising means to find a common ground for agents and principals respectively.Emanating from the risks faced in agency theory, researchers on small business financial management contend that in many small enterprises the agency relationship between owners and managers may be absent because the owners are also managers; and that the predominantly nature of SMEs make the usual solutions to agency problems such as monitoring and bonding costly thereby increasing the cost of transactions between various stakeholders (Emery et al.1991).Nevertheless, the theory provides useful knowledge into many matters in SMEs financial management and shows considerable avenues as to how SMEs financial management should be practiced and perceived. It also enables academic and practitioners to pursue strategies that could help sustain the growth of SMEs.Signaling Theory
Signaling theory rests on the transfer and interpretation of information at hand about a business enterprise to the capital market, and the impounding of the resulting perceptions into the terms on which finance is made available to the enterprise. In other words, flows of funds between an enterprise and the capital market are dependent on the flow of information between them. (Emery et al, 1991). For example management’s decision to make an acquisition or divest; repurchase outstanding shares; as well as decisions by outsiders like for example an institutional investor deciding to withhold a certain amount of equity or debt finance. The emerging evidence on the relevance of signaling theory to small enterprise financial management is mixed. Until recently, there has been no substantial and reliable empirical evidence that signaling theory accurately represents particular situations in SME financial management, or that it adds insights that are not provided by modern theory (Emery et al.1991).Keasey et al(1992) writes that of the ability of small enterprises to signal their value to potential investors, only the signal of the disclosure of an earnings forecast were found to be positively and significantly related to enterprise value amongst the following: percentage of equity retained by owners, the net proceeds raised by an equity issue, the choice of financial advisor to an issue (presuming that a more reputable accountant, banker or auditor may cause greater faith to be placed in the prospectus for the float), and the level of under pricing of an issue. Signaling theory is now considered to be more insightful for some aspects of small enterprise financial management than others (Emery et al 1991).The Pecking-Order Theory or Framework (POF)
This is another financial theory, which is to be considered in relation to SMEs financial management. It is a finance theory which suggests that management prefers to finance first from retained earnings, then with debt, followed by hybrid forms of finance such as convertible loans, and last of all by using externally issued equity; with bankruptcy costs, agency costs, and information asymmetries playing little role in affecting the capital structure policy. A research study carried out by Norton (1991b) found out that 75% of the small enterprises used seemed to make financial structure decisions within a hierarchical or pecking order framework .Holmes et al. (1991) admitted that POF is consistent with small business sectors because they are owner-managed and do not want to dilute their ownership. Owner-managed businesses usually prefer retained profits because they want to maintain the control of assets and business operations.This is not strange considering the fact that in Ghana, according to empirical evidence, SMEs funding is made up of about 86% of own equity as well as loans from family and friends(See Table 1). Losing this money is like losing one’s own reputation which is considered very serious customarily in Ghana.Access to capital
The 1971 Bolton report on small firms outlined issues underlying the concept of ‘finance gap’ (this has two components-knowledge gap-debt is restricted due to lack of awareness of appropriate sources, advantages and disadvantages of finance; and supply gap-unavailability of funds or cost of debt to small enterprises exceeds the cost of debt for larger enterprises.) that: there are a set of difficulties which face a small company. Small companies are hit harder by taxation, face higher investigation costs for loans, are generally less well informed of sources of finance and are less able to satisfy loan requirements. Small firms have limited access to the capital and money markets and therefore suffer from chronic undercapitalization. As a result; they are likely to have excessive recourse to expensive funds which act as a brake on their economic development.Leverage
This is the term used to describe the converse of gearing which is the proportion of total assets financed by equity and may be called equity to assets ratio. The studies under review in this section on leverage are focused on total debt as a percentage of equity or total assets. There are however, some studies on the relative proportions of different types of debt held by small and large enterprises.Equity Funds
Equity is also known as owners’ equity, capital, or net worth.
Costand et al (1990) suggests that ‘larger firms will use greater levels of debt financing than small firms. This implies that larger firms will rely relatively less on equity financing than do smaller firms.’ According to the pecking order framework, the small enterprises have two problems when it comes to equity funding [McMahon et al. (1993, pp153)]:1) Small enterprises usually do not have the option of issuing additional equity to the public.
2) Owner-managers are strongly averse to any dilution of their ownership interest and control. This way they are unlike the managers of large concerns who usually have only a limited degree of control and limited, if any, ownership interest, and are therefore prepared to recognise a broader range of funding options.Financial Management in SME
With high spate of financial problems contributing to the high rate of failures in small medium enterprises, what do the literature on small business say on financial management in small businesses to combat such failures?
Osteryoung et al (1997) writes that “while financial management is a critical element of the management of a business as a whole, within this function the management of its assets is perhaps the most important. In the long term, the purchase of assets directs the course that the business will take during the life of these assets, but the business will never see the long term if it cannot plan an appropriate policy to effectively manage its working capital.” In effect the poor financial management of owner-managers or lack of financial management altogether is the main cause underlying the problems in SME financial management.Hall and Young(1991) in a study in the UK of 3 samples of 100 small enterprises that were subject to involuntary liquidation in 1973,1978,and 1983 found out that the reasons given for failure,49.8% were of financial nature. On the perceptions of official receivers interviewed for the same small enterprises, 86.6% of the 247 reasons given were of a financial nature. The positive correlation between poor or nil financial management (including basic accounting) and business failure has well been documented in western countries according to Peacock (1985a).It is gainsaying the fact that despite the need to manage every aspect of their small enterprises with very little internal and external support, it is often the case that owner-managers only have experience or training in some functional areas.There is a school of thought that believes “a well-run business enterprise should be as unconscious of its finances as healthy a fit person is of his or her breathing”. It must be possible to undertake production, marketing, distribution and the like, without repeatedly causing, or being hindered by, financial pressures and strains. It does not mean, however, that financial management can be ignored by a small enterprise owner-manager; or as is often done, given to an accountant to take care of. Whether it is obvious or not to the casual observer, in prosperous small enterprises the owner-managers themselves have a firm grasp of the principles of financial management and are actively involved in applying them to their own situation.” McMahon et al. (1993).Some researchers tried to predict small enterprise failure to mitigate the collapse of small businesses. McNamara et al (1988) developed a model to predict small enterprise failures giving the following four reasons:- To enable management to respond quickly to changing conditions
- To train lenders in recognising the important factors involved in determining an enterprise’s likelihood of failing
- To assist lending organisations in their marketing by identifying their customer’s financial needs more effectively
- To act as a filter in the credit evaluation process.They went on to argue that small enterprises are very different from large ones in the area of borrowing by small enterprises, lack of long-term debt finance and different taxation provisions.For small private companies, these measures are unreliable and textbook methods for judging investment opportunities are not always useful in organisations that are privately owned to give a true and fair view of events taking place in the company.Thus,modern financial management is not the ultimate answer to every business problem including both large and small businesses.However,it could be argued that there is some food for thought for SMEs concerning every concept considered in this study. For example it could be seen (from the literature reviewed )that, financial records are meant to examine and analyse corporate operations. Return on equity, return on assets, return on investment, and debt to equity ratios are useful yardsticks for measuring the performance of big business and SMEs as well.

Introduction to Marketing – Part One

Part One: Marketing, an overview of the basics

Marketing: What is it?

So, marketing- what is it? Basically put, it is the process of meeting a customer’s need for gain or trade, usually profit in the context of most business organisations. Of course, this is a basic definition, as it involved many steps and can vary from organisation to organisation, consumer to consumer, market to market, and so on.

The Marketing Cycle

The process of marketing revolves around a few different aspects that act as a continuous cycle: Firstly, there is a need, want or demand by consumers which, in turn, create a market. This market is evaluated for its potential, and an organisation creates a solution to it, in the form of a product. This product is designed with specific features that satisfy the market’s requirements to a certain extent, creating a value. An exchange takes place, and then the process repeats.

Consumer Choice and Value

Marketing directly affects the way a consumer judges the value of a product and the level of customer satisfaction they receive.


Just because an organisation creates a product to meet a market’s need, doesn’t mean it’s the only one, nor is it the best or worst. All consumers judge the value of a product, both before and after the purchase. As stated above, marketing is based on an exchange or trade: this means that a consumer parts with something for the product in question. This ‘parting’ gives the consumer the ability to judge the value and the level of satisfaction they experience.

It’s important to remember that the trade doesn’t always solely involve money. Of course, the majority of products are paid for with money, however there are other costs, such as time, that also go into the transaction.

Customer value can be calculated, conceptually, by dividing total benefits by total costs.

Total benefits include all of the tangible, physical gains of a product (known as the functional benefits), as well as the emotional benefits that go with the purchase. For example, a new pair of jeans provide the functional benefit of clothing and comfort, and the emotional benefit of being fashionable and making the wearer feel good.

Total costs include the obvious monetary cost, but also costs of the consumer’s time, energy and even emotion. If a consumer is stressed about a purchase, this would be considered an emotional or mental cost.

Therefore, the benefits divided by the costs gives a consumer’s value of the entire product purchasing experience. Of course, not all of these turn out positive. The consumer may want the product, but if they believe the monetary or time cost was too high, outweighing the benefits gained, they will value the product very low. Consumers often experience what is known as the ‘turmoil of the purchase’ which is the cost they experience in acquiring the product, whether that be frustration with queues in a store, or not having the correct size, and so on. ‘Buyer’s remorse’ is the emotional conflict that a customer experiences after the purchase where they start to analyse whether there was enough value to justify their purchase- a good marketing strategy is to always reassure the consumer and create enough value for them to never associate this feeling with your product.

A good example is the Harley Davidson motorcycle. There are many different alternatives of motorbikes on the market more powerful and cheaper, however the brand Harley Davidson still presents a lot of value to a certain group of avid motorcyclists, simply because the brand carries more weight than the simply functional benefit. The customer gains more value from the prestige and image that the brand represents.

Customer Satisfaction

How expectations are met dictate the level of customer satisfaction in relation to a product. If a product over-delivers in comparison to what a consumer expected, satisfaction will be very high. The opposite is true from a low level of satisfaction. Marketing aims to ensure that customer satisfaction is high to ensure that their product has a positive reputation in the market place, as the resulting repeat purchase of a happy customer as well as the positive word-of-mouth is very profitable.

The market place is forever increasing their expectations with the rapid evolution of technology, competitors and social media. Modern marketing is not just the creation and delivery of the right product: it’s also about managing expectations. A product will never please everyone, and it’s important to ensure the greatest satisfaction within reasonable confines.

Relationship Marketing

Managing value and customer satisfaction has created what is known as customer relationship marketing, sometimes shortened to CRM. This basically means that organisations view the consumer as the ultimate judge of their product, and therefore, creating a good relationship whilst satisfying their needs leads to customer loyalty: a goal, all good marketers strive for.

Retaining customers in a market is a key driver in organisational success. Losing customers results in less demand for a product, and significant financial loss. Often, an organisation will encourage feedback, especially complaints, as this means that they can evaluate the weaknesses in their offering and attempt to employ a recovery strategy to retain the customer. It has been shown that making a mistake and then correcting it, be that via an apology, a refund or sending free stock, etc., can greatly increase customer loyalty.

With the rise of social media, bad feedback can reach further than ever before. Employing a customer recovery strategy can result is avoiding significant losses associated.

The Evolution of Marketing

Basically, the modern practices and concepts of marketing and promotion began roughly in the 1960s to 1970s. From that time to now, the view on marketing has shifted and evolved.

The first philosophy was called the production concept which focused on mass production of products and selling them to a market as is. However, organisations started to discover that just one product didn’t always fit the demands of a versatile group of consumers. This is how the product concept developed, and it saw focus on differentiating a product’s features. Following this came the selling concept, which revolved around utilising promotion and a sales force to drive sales through communication with the market.

The next step diversified marketing further, which, funnily enough, was called the marketing concept. This involved conducting business through connecting far better with consumers, segmenting the marketing, investigating their individual needs and maximising consumer value and customer satisfaction by tailoring the product to match, setting an appropriate price, communicating effectively and ensuring delivery was convenient. Basically, it put the consumer first, and answered them with production, selling and product concepts, rather than the other way around. This was a very internally focused concept and was extremely effective, employed by most organisations even today.

There is one last stage. Whilst not all organisations do this, the benefits of an organisation that focuses on what’s known as the societal concept are quite high. This is basically taking the above marketing concept and adding a socially responsible aspect to it. The societal concept looks externally and not just internally within an organisation. For example, products can be environmentally friendly, contribute to charities, sponsor events and so on that benefit the larger community. It revolves around making profit by simultaneously satisfying consumers and acting in a way that benefits society. The positive repercussions of this can be very beneficial for an organisation as consumers seek more from them than just a good product.

The Marketing Mix

Here it comes- the obligatory 4 Ps of marketing. Considered by some to be slightly out dated, the four Ps are the real pillars of all marketing practices: Price, Product, Promotion and Place. Often, a fifth P, Positioning, is added to this marketing mix.

Price refers simply to the cost of the product. As already mentioned, this is monetary cost, as well as other costs such as time.

Product revolves around all attributes of the offering that are created by an organisation to satisfy their needs.

Promotion is about the communication techniques that educate and persuade customers to be interested in the product.

Place, also known as distribution, are the logistical practices employed in bringing the product to the consumer.

Positioning refers to the marketing technique of where your product sits in the market and how it is viewed by consumers. It’s basically a product’s reputation: is the product a low cost alternative, or an expensive luxury item with lots of prestige and so on.

When the product is an intangible service, there are three additional Marketing Ps that are added to the marketing mix: People, Process and Physical Evidence.

People refers to the human element of the service being carried out, such as relationships, personability, experience and expertise.

Process is exactly what it sounds like: the steps involved in carrying out the service to produce a gain for the customer.

Physical Evidence are the associated tangibles that the consumer will experience during the service that have an impact on how a consumer rates the service. For example, the way a lawyer dresses or the quality of the tools a builder uses.

The Wholistic Marketing Approach

Also spelled ‘holistic’, this approach suggests that a perfect marketing organisation unites the four key elements in one united operation: The marketing mix (the Marketing Ps, above), Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM), Internal employee satisfaction and the external Societal marketing concept, all discussed above.

By conducting organisational operations with these four elements, a business ensures that its main priorities ensure the greatest potential for success and profit.

How Does Marketing Do This?

The marketing function of an organisation lends itself heavily to how successful an organisation is. This is because the marketing function investigates the current position, and develops strategies, formulates tactics and executes actions that all produce the benefits an organisation strives for.

A marketing plan is a living document that outlines marketing’s analysis and proposed efforts over a particular time frame in achieving organisational success. It involves the following elements.

Overview and Executive Summary
As the title suggests, the first section is a quick snap-shot of the entire marketing plan that will follow this section.

Current Position
This section outlines everything to do with the organisations position as it stands currently, both internally and externally. It analyses the current market and its trends, current competitors, all external related environments as well the organisation’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Ethics in Advertising


Ethics have always been an important aspect of every business activity, although the term has meant different things at different times in different lands to different people. Nonetheless, as ethical concerns are an inseparable element of business, advertising can not ignore them. Sadly, the advertising industry has rarely cared to look beyond immediate marketing objectives. The argument in the industry is that it is the government’s job to judge what is right and what is wrong. Shirking its own responsibility for regulation, the industry has belittled business values and agencies have harmed their balance sheets.

For any business, customer is very important, and businessman attempt to communicate to all their target customers using means of communication like advertising and sales promotion. Advertising is a very powerful and most commonly used tool.

Benefits of advertising

o Communication

The organization has to attract the customer and create a market for its products. For this purpose, advertising is the most powerful and widely used tool for communicating message regarding products/services to a large target audience.

o To raise the standard of living

In our developing economy, adverting with its micro and macro level influences, exerts vast and varied influences that have played key role in raising the standards of physical and material well being of the Indian society.

o To make market competitive

In India, one finds many innovations being introduced which has changed the market structure from seller’s market, and thus the result is more competitive market conditions.

o Product differentiation

It is a fact that advertising brings about products variety through real and psychological product differentiation.

Critical evaluation of advertising

Though many benefits are achieved through advertisements, the ad message is becoming more and more exaggerated. To achieve competitive advantage, advertising magnifies unimportant differences, resorts to clever, tricky product promises, and claims more and more unbelievable benefits. The customer finds many advertisements as false, deceptive, or misleading. Consumers are uncertain regarding whether or not the performance of a product purchased will in fact meet their needs. If they find that the product lacks in quality, advantage, durability etc., as advertised they might not buy it again, and develop an aversion to every other product of that company.

Unethical advertising

Advertisement is considered unethical in the following situations;

o When it has degraded or underestimated the substitute or rival’s product.

o When it gives false or misleading information on the value of the product.

o When it fails to give useful information on the possible reaction or side effects of the product. And

o When it is immoral.

Ways of misleading the consumers

o Many a time, traders entice the customers into their stores by advertising goods at a very low price, but they stock only a handful of such sale items in the store. When the advertised goods are sold out, consumers are steered towards the higher-priced stock or lower quality goods.

Retailers must ensure that reasonable supply of products is available during the sales, and retailers should not purposely avoid it. Retailers should make it clear in the advertisement that how many items on sale are available or when the sale ends.

o Sale offer should be for a limited period. Advertisement should declare that sale offer is for a limited time period. The period of the offer should be made clear in the advertisement only when the advertised goods are available for a limited period or stocks are limited.

o Traders often offer insignificant price reduction. To illustrate, a trader may advertise that the price of product is reduced to Rs.99.95, when the normal selling price is Rs.100.. The trader must include the normal selling price and discounted price in his offer .The trader sale offer is misleading if the trader claims the product is below cost , when the price is not below cost after discounts, rebates and other allowances it is misleading if the trader simply shows a fictitious higher price as normal selling price in the advertisement.

o Advertisement must clearly indicate the total price of goods or services. All price comparison must be truthful and must not intentionally or unintentionally mislead the consumers. Under the Fair Trade Practices Act, retailers have an obligation to ensure that they do not mislead or make false representations to customers with respect to price of the goods. The consumers who shop around and compare the prices of various products are less likely to be deceived by misleading claims consumers should also be aware of what is a reasonable price of goods and not take any advertised discounts at face value.

o While many sales are legitimate or genuine, the consumers should not get attracted to such sales offers i.e., “Hurry…very few days remain for sale”. The consumers should be aware of what to expect when retailers place items on sale and how to avoid being misled by discount advertisements. A marketer should take care to ensure that when goods or services are advertised to be available at a discount or as being on sale, it is a genuine discount or sale.

The Finer Points of Internet Auctions


Penny auctions have exploded in popularity with the massive growth of the internet. However, few people know the true origins of penny auctions.Beginnings actually stretch back to the Great Depression. Those were hard times for everyone, but even harder for farmers. Farmers struggled to bring in steady income because of droughts and crops not selling as well as they had previously. As a result, the banks would foreclose on the farmers who couldn’t keep up with their mortgage payments.

The banks weren’t satisfied with just repossessing the house, they wanted to raise as much capital as possible, so they resorted to selling off the possessions of the owners of the repossessed houses. There was not much the farmers could do about it so they began bidding ridiculously low prices, pennies, on the items while threatening others who dared to bid higher than a few pennies.

The auctions of today hardly resemble their tremulous beginnings. Being part of a penny auction today is exhilarating, fun, and addictive. It combines the selling format of auctioning with a little bit of chance factored in.Auctions are a game of strategy but also a game of luck.

The premise behind penny auctions is giving people the chance to win an item at a drastically reduced price.Auctions make that possible by spreading out the cost of the product among multiple bidders. In order for a person to take part in an auction, they must pay a set price for each bid. For example, if a person wanted to bid on a fifty dollar Amazon gift card then he would spend a dollar for each time a bid placed. If he ended up winning the gift card, then he would only have spent a few dollars for a fifty dollar gift card. Usually penny auctions sell bids in packages.


The main foundation of penny auctions is the pay-per-bid format. It is the key that allows bidders to win items at the fraction of their retail value and allows the auction owners to keep their site profitable. Most y auction sites run on the same premise: people pay a set amount for each bid, whenever a person places a bid within the closing seconds of the auction time will be added, the last person left with a unique bid after the clocks runs out will win the item. There are a large variety of items that can be won, but they tend to be popular electronics or gift cards to popular stores.

There are two types of auctions: lowest unique bid auction and highest unique bid auction. Lowest unique auction sounds confusing but it is actually quite simple. A unique bid is when only one person has a bid at a certain price. Bids usually start at one penny, a bidder can then place a bid at two pennies. Until another bidder places a higher bid, the most recent bidder will be the lowest unique bid because that was the only bid at two cents and nobody bid higher. However, penny auctions generally don’t stop at one penny. It is not uncommon to find auctions that end up at a couple hundred dollars based on the popularity of the item being auctioned. However, the same principles apply for those auctions. Highest unique bid auctions follow the more traditional auction format such as eBay. The person with the highest bid at the end of the auction wins the item.

Auction site owners turn a profit by selling bids. Say twenty people are bidding on a ten dollar gift card at one dollar per bid, at the end of the auction if there were twenty bids placed in total then the site owner would have made twenty dollars with a ten dollar profit.Auctions do seem like a win-win situation:The site owner makes money while the bidder gets an item for dirt cheap. However, not everyone wins in penny auctions. The people who paid one dollar each bid but left with nothing to show for their investments will not be so happy.


Penny auction has a lot of chance mixed into it, but one can incorporate strategy that will help raise the chances of winning. Playing smart can make all the difference between gambling and auctioning.

The first crucial tip to winning penny auctions is to know how to manage your bids. Your goal should be to win as much as possible without spending a ton of money buying bids. Managing your bids means that you should already know how much you are willing to risk in order to win an item. The amount of capital you are willing to risk will determine how many bids you can use. Once you know how many bids you have to spend on an item, then you will be better able to manage how and when you place a bid. That will keep you from blowing away all of your bids in the first few seconds of the auction.

The next tip is to practice time management. When fighting in the trenches of penny auctions, you have two enemies: other bidders and time. Knowing when to bid is a must if you want to have success. Placing a bid when there is a lot of time left on the clock is never a good idea. You have to remember that the key to winning a penny auction is being the last one standing when the clock runs out and that each bid increases the amount of time left. It would be a good practice to wait until the last few minutes of the auction before you begin to bid.

The final tip for successful auctioning is to keep your emotions under control.Auctions have a lot of similarities to gambling, and just like gambling, your spending can get out of control. If you keep your emotions level, it will keep you from making rash decisions and blowing loads of cash. Keep your mind clear so that you can gage the behavior of the other bidders and outsmart them.


Penny auctions are a great addition to the web whether you want to win an item that otherwise you wouldn’t be able to afford or if you simply enjoy the thrill that comes with bidding in auctions. Unfortunately, scam sites have tarnished the reputation of the legitimate penny auction sites. However, there are ways that you can protect yourself from scamers and enjoy your auctioning without having to worry about losing your money due to dishonesty.

Checking the reputation of the auction site before you start spending your hard earned money is always a good idea. Chances are other people have tried the site before you and some of them have left reviews. The reviews are your way to gage whether a auction site is trustworthy or not. If a site is getting overwhelmingly negative reviews, then that is a clear indication that you should steer your business elsewhere.

Another tool you can use to protect yourself is checking the Alexia ranks of the auction sites. Alexia rank will give a solid view of how much traffic the auction is getting. If you see a huge difference in the amount of traffic Alexia is projecting and the amount of active bidders on the site, then warning signals should be ringing in your head. Some auction sites have been known to set up robots that automatically bid on projects in order to keep the auction going and inflate the price. That is known as shill bidding. You can sniff out those sites by comparing the traffic the site should be getting to the amount of users using this site.


New legislation may come out later down the road that will officially make penny auctions gambling, but until then, it is a fun, exciting auction that allows one to win the item they’ve always wanted but couldn’t afford.Auctions are also quite lucrative for the site owners because of the pay-per-bid strategy they’ve incorporated. Penny auctions had humble beginnings with farmers who just wanted to get back at the banks who kicked them out of their house. More recently, auctions have enjoyed an explosion in popularity with the rise of the internet.

There are two main formats fora auctions, lowest and highest unique auction, however they both run on the same premise where the last unique bid wins the item. Winning a penny auction will require a certain amount of mental tactic and a bit of luck. However, you can increase your odds of winning by practicing certain techniques such as managing your bids wisely, learning how to work with the time, and keeping a level head and your emotions under control. When you combine those three strategies to your bidding plan, you will find that you win a lot more often.

It is important that you do your due diligence to protect yourself when participating in auctions. Not every auction is run by honest and trustworthy people. There are people out there who just want to take your money. You can protect yourself by ensuring that you only bid on sites that already have a very positive reputation from real users.

How to Find Great Live Auctions for Resale Items

Hi, my name is Walt. I’m an auctioneer with 25 years of experience in the auction business and licensed in the state of MA. I own Quick Auction Service, a company that specializes in building and running custom auctions, I’m also the webmaster of my own site and have been on eBay for 8 years. Besides eBay, the types of auctions I run most frequently are antiques and on-site estate auctions, although I’ve run everything from business overstock auctions to charity & special event auctions.

I enjoy sharing my knowledge and stories of the auction business. My goal for article is to help folks get the absolute most out of their auction experience.

Whether your fresh out of the package or a seasoned dealer I think I can offer something in this article to help you with your auciton adventures.

There may be as many reasons to attend auctions as there are types of auctions to attend. Maybe you want to attend an auction to buy items for re-sale on eBay, or some other market. Maybe you want to furnish your home with wonderful antiques, or you want to furnish your home as inexpensively without sacrificing quality.Some folks are just looking for a fun night out. With a little perseverance all these things are possible.

There are antiques and estate auctions, auto auctions, overstock auctions, absolute and no reserve auctions, real estate auctions, specialty auctions where only one genre of items are sold, tailgate auctions, live auctions, online auctions, sealed bid auctions, silent auctions, charity and fund raising auctions and many more.

Can you really buy for pennies on the dollar at an auction? You bet! Many times I’ve seen folks buy and re-sell at the same auction on the same night for a good profit, although be advised, this should only be done after the auction is over.

There are a lot of ways to find an auction, but here are some tips on how to find and attend the best ones.

Visit the genre of shops in the area that apply to the type of auction you want to attend. IE: If your looking for a good antique auction to attend, stop in the local antiques shops and ask for what there are for good auctions in the area. Sounds obvious right? But listen to what they don’t say as well as what they do say. Oftentimes when a dealer speaks poorly about an auction he or she attends, it may be likely that they are trying to keep a good thing secret. Think for a moment, why would a dealer keep attending a lousy auction?

Newspaper ads: I personally like to find ads in the classified ad section rather than flashy display ads. Flashy ads are usually indicative of an auction that will be high priced, may have reserves, (a set price on an item), and usually an enormous crowd. While any auction can be profitable to attend, it is usually best to steer clear of the glitzy ones, at least for the beginner.

Here’s the minimum you want to find out before you go. If there is a phone number in the ad, call and ask for the terms of the sale. What forms of payment do they accept? Is it an absolute auction? An absolute auction is one that has no minimum or reserve bids on items. These are the best auctions to attend! Is there a buyers premium? A buyers premium is like a tax that everyone who makes purchases at that auction must pay above the winning bid price. Most auctions these days do charge a buyers premium, 10% is not unreasonable but I feel much more than that is greedy, and the auctioneer that charges over 10% is counting on most bidders not doing the extra math as the bids quicken in pace.

A fair auction will have ample time to inspect the merchandise, usually at least 2 or 3 hours. Find out when inspection starts and make sure to attend! Never attend an auction if you can’t make the inspection, not unless your prepared to gamble. Most auctioneers sell at a rate of about 100 items per hour, which is why they sell “as is”. They simply don’t have the time to give a detailed description of all the items. Since almost all items at auction are sold AS IS, there are sure to be some damaged, refinished, fake and incomplete items at any given auction. Beware of any auctions that offer very little or no inspection time.

Good auctions will usually have 150 to 400 lots. A lot may be one item or a group of items. The exception to this are specialty auctions, auto auctions, real estate auctions etc.

When you attend your first sale, take note of the 1/2 dozen or so dealers that buy the most often. See if you can find out about other area auctions they attend.

When you do find an excellent auction, attend it as often as possible. By frequenting good sales, you help increase the bottom line of that business. It’s difficult for many auctioneers to keep the quality of merchandise consistent, so good attendance certainly helps. And when an auctioneer gets to know you as a buyer, he/she will go out of the way to accommodate you, to keep you coming back.

Hiring An Auction Company

Estimating your assets value:

Typically, one of the first questions a business owner will ask me is, “how much will the assets bring at an auction”. After taking the time to review the assets, the auctioneer should give the client a conservative estimate of the sale based upon his experience and the current market trends. It is important that the company give realistic expectations so the seller can make informed decisions based on their best interest.

Compensation and Expenses:

Is the company you are considering working for you or against you? The agreement you decide may determine this.

A business owner should carefully consider how the auction company is compensated. The most common commission structures include: straight commission, outright purchase of assets, guaranteed base with a split above to both auctioneer and seller, guaranteed base with anything above going to auctioneer or a flat fee structure.

In a straight commission structure, the company is paid an agreed upon percentage of the total sale.

In an outright purchase agreement, the auctioneer simply becomes your end buyer. The company purchases your assets and relocates them. While this can be an option in some unique situations, keep in mind that they will want to purchase your assets at a very reduced price to make a profit at a later date.

In a minimum base guarantee, the auction company guarantees the seller that the auction will generate a minimum amount of sales. Anything above that amount either goes to the auction company or split with the seller. While a seller might feel more comfortable doing an auction knowing that he is guaranteed a minimum amount for his sale, keep in mind that it is the best interest of the auction company to secure a minimum base price as low as possible in order reduce their financial liability to the seller and secure higher compensation for the sale.

In a flat fee structure, the auctioneer agrees to show up for the sale and call the auction. There is no incentive for the auctioneer to get the best prices for your assets. The auction company is compensated regardless of the outcome of your sale.

What is the best option for business owners? In my experience, an agreed upon straight commission structure. This puts the responsibility on the auction company to offer the best outcome for everyone involved. There is an incentive for the auction company to work hard for both parties, set up and run a professional sale, get the highest bid and sell every item on the inventory. Successful auctions translate to a higher bottom line for both the seller and the auction company.

Auction Expenses:

In most auction agreements the expenses to conduct an auction are passed to the seller. If the auction company pays for the expenses, it is simply absorbed in higher commission rates.

All expenses should be agreed upon in advance in a written contract. Typical expenses will include the costs of advertising, labor, legal fees, travel, equipment rentals, security, postage and printing. A reputable auction company will be able to estimate all expenses based upon their experience in previous auctions. An agreement should be actual costs charged as expenses, not an estimated amount.

Advertising is typically the highest cost in conducting an auction. The auction company needs to set up an advertising campaign that will promote the sale to its best advantage and not overspend to simply advertise the auction company.

Once the auction is complete, the auction company should provide a complete breakdown of all expenses to the seller, including copies of receipts within the auction summary report.

Buyer’s Premium:

What is a buyer’s premium? If you attend auctions regularly, you are very familiar with this term. The auction company charges a fee to the buyer when they buy an item at auction.

The buyer’s premium has been around since the 1980′s and is standard auction practice. It was first used by auction houses to help offset costs of running brick and mortar permanent auction facilities. Since then, it has spread to all aspects of the auction industry. It is prominent in online auctions and allows auction companies to cover added expenses incurred from online sales.

It is the responsibility of the auction company to provide clear disclosure of the buyer’s premium to both the buyers and the sellers. Those not familiar with auctions are often taken back by the buyer’s premium. They looked upon it as an under handed way for the auction company to make more money. Reputable auction companies will provide full disclosure within the auction contract, advertisement and bidder registration.

Typically, an auction company will charge online buyers a higher buyer’s premium percentage than those attending an auction in person. Extra fees are incurred with online bidding and are charged accordingly to online buyers. This provides the seller a level playing field for both online buyers and those attending the auction in person. Without the buyer’s premium, there is no way to do this.


We’ve all been there. We’re looking forward to attending an auction only to find that some items were sold prior to the auction date.

As an auctioneer with over thirty-six years of experience, I can honestly state that pre-sales will hurt an auction. When a company decides to liquidate their assets, it is easy to sell off high-end pieces of equipment through online sources, equipment vendors or to other businesses. The seller receives instant cash and avoids paying a commission to an auction company.

Auctioneer’s find themselves appearing to acting in a self-serving capacity when potential clients say they are planning to sell off parts of their inventory prior to an auction. It’s hard not to consider the auctioneer’s commission when they warn you not to pre-sell anything. Yes, the auctioneer wants to earn a commission on those sales but it is more important that the auctioneer protect the sale from potential negative backlash that comes from pre-selling. The buying public knows when an auction has been “cherry picked” prior to the sale and it reflects in their bidding. It becomes a sale of “leftovers” and that impacts prices.

A buyer who purchases prior to the auction usually does not attend the sale. They already bought equipment at a good price with no competition. If they do attend the auction, they tend to let others know of their great pre-sale purchases which again, impacts prices and the overall excitement of the sale.

It is important to understand that auctions work best with a complete inventory. You want competition on your higher end equipment. The easy to sell items make it possible to gain respectable prices for hard to sell items.

When a business owner decides to liquidate their equipment assets, there is only one opportunity to do it right. Hiring a reputable auction company will assist you with a professional, orderly and timely liquidation.