Small Business Marketing Solution – Is Database Marketing Right For You

Database marketing sounds like something Wal-Mart or Amazon.com is fantastic at. And they are. But so are many small businesses down the street. My local coffee shop has one of the best database marketing systems in the world. Their order processing machines remember my favorite cup of joe and serve it up to me hot, on sight, without my even asking.Of course, their order processing machines are bipedal, with organic computers known as brains and eyes in lieu of optical scanners. Database marketing essentially seeks to emulate what the baristas at the Coffee House do naturally.So, how can you know if your company is a good candidate for database marketing? There are three essential questions to ask:1. Do you have best customers? Do you possess a group of customers that clearly drive more profits–not gross sales, remember, but profits–to your bottom line?2. Can you identify those customers?3. Can you reach those customers? Can you communicate with them, individually, and treat them special?It is extremely valuable to you, then, to answer the above three questions…after you answer this one:Are you already a successful database marketer?Many sole proprietors already are. So are thousands of sales reps. They are familiar with their customers, they understand their preferences. If they have under a hundred customers, maybe even fewer than 500, they know their names and their likes and dislikes and know which ones contribute the most to their pocketbook.But once a business achieves a certain size it becomes impossible for any one person to know all the customers. This is where the aid of the computer comes in. But, we don’t want to discuss tactics in this article. Rather, let’s simply focus on whether or not your company is a candidate for a database marketing program. And that means we need to devise some questions that help us answer each of 1, 2 and 3 above.Payment. Can you capture their individual financial contribution? Does everybody pay with cash or credit card, and then scoot out the door? Or do you invoice your customers?Communication. Do you know their name and address? Can you acquire their name and address? How about email address? Can you acquire it?Acquisition Method. Do you know how they heard about your company in the first place? Can you track and quantify how much it cost your to acquire that customer?Decision Maker. Does the person who actually buys from you control the purchasing decision? If you sell to consumers, the answer is probably yes; but if you sell to businesses it can get a bit more complex. In some industries even finding let alone reaching the true decision maker can be tough but–that’s the person you need to market to for you to be effective.OK, the above are entry-level questions to ask when evaluating if your small business is a candidate for a database marketing program. Again, the key advantage the application of a database marketing program affords as part of a small business marketing program is the ability to target best customers. You find those customers that send the most to your bottom line, and spend more of your advertising dollar on them.If you can’t identify and communicate with a best customer segment, then it is probably best to look at a mass marketing program, where you essentially spend the same marketing promotional dollars on each prospect.If you can identify these best customers, then you are ready to learn more about specific database marketing techniques.Remember: Brand (who you are) + Package (your Face to the Customer) + People (customers and employees) = Marketing Success.© 2006 Marketing Hawks

Rhode Island Family Law – Children, Schools, Schooling And Education

Though not specifically addressed within the realm of Rhode Island divorce proceeding, a particular issue has raised its head several times in my practice over the years in the form more of a particular factual set of circumstances rather than as a direct legal issue itself.A recent call presented this scenario from a Rhode Island lawyer and colleague who was endeavoring to assist clients with a preplexing issue. It went something like this.Two parents who have not yet become a divorce statistic have moved across the country. Their minor child has remained with a friend (unrelated by blood or marriage to either parent) here in Rhode Island to provide consistency with the child remaining in his current school system, etc. The parents would like to have the child remain with the friend through the remainder of his or her schooling. The friend is presumably agreeable to his as long as the parents continue to provide the financial support necessary for the child and that the friend is not held responsible for any liability of the child. The friend also needs the authority to be able to act in the best interests of the child and take legal action as necessary to enroll the child in programs, receive confidential health care information regarding the child, etc…This of course causes a variety of questions to arise that the colleague wanted my input on. The general question was, how should this be done properly (i.e. legally) to be able to accomplish what they would like to do.The tremendous number of Rhode Island family law questions that this factual situation presents is remarkable and therefore, I will end this particular blog post with the questions it raises rather than simply providing the answer I believe is appropriate under the circumstances.Now you may be saying…. huh . . . Chris, what the heck are you doing? This is a Rhode Island Divorce Tips blog. What you’ve set your self up for is to give us TIPS and HELP on these issues, not to give us the darn questions and have us figure it out for ourselves!This may or may not be a semi-useless exercise but it is one that I wanted to try. True, this is a Rhode Island Divorce Tips blog and that it is my intention to give at least some general guidance regarding the issues presented as opposed to any specific legal advice. Yet the one common thread that I have found in writing this Rhode Island divorce and family law blog is that when people contact me about these issues they rarely appreciate the nature and depth of the issues or the true value that are getting by some insight from a legal professional who is trying to assist in the understanding of these issues.In truth, it seems that Rhode Islanders, divorce and family law clients, and even other Rhode Island lawyers who don’t practice in the areas of divorce and family law have a greater appreciation of the the depth and complexity of these legal problems and issues if they at least consider the questions. . . .or by considering the number and type of questions that present themselves to a legal practitioner when he or she either endeavors to provide some helpful information on a Rhode Island legal issue
relating to divorce and family law.Ultimately, is you consider the Rhode divorce and family law questions presented before receiving the answer directly, you gain a better understanding and appreciation of what legal professionals offer in their services and perhaps why their education is so costly which often necessitates rates that seem out of whack with today’s minimum wage.All this digression from the topic aside, consider these various questions that this scenario presents:1. Can an unrelated person be given legal authority over all aspects of their minor child’s life?2. Can custodial rights be given or assigned to another person?3. What are the bodies of rights that a parent has with respect to a child?4. How would you absolve people who take in your child from any liability for decisions relating to your child?5. If you have your child stay with an unrelated person iin a particular school district n order to keep the child in a particular school system, is this perpetrating a fraud upon the school department.6. If you can place your minor child with another person voluntarily and you do so, what are your obligations to support that minor child?7. If place your minor child with an unrelated person voluntarily and with the person’s consent and agree to continue to support the child but assign the child’s care to that unrelated person, who is responsible for the minor child’s transgressions if he or she decides to damage school property?The questions are truly endless. What are your thoughts? What else should you consider? These are all questions that are very specific and your matter is factually driven. There is no real set answer to any general questions such as these that could be included in an article such as this. In my opinion, the best you can hope for is to be informed and to think about all the concerns that need to be presented to the Rhode Island attorney that your approach to seek guidance about your factual situation.When approaching an attorney about these issues, list all the issues and concerns in the form of questions and present to the attorney a detailed picture of all the facts and relationships based on all the possible scenarios that may be encountered both by you as a parent or as a caregiver for the child. It is only be identifying all the facts and the anticipated issues that you want the caregiver to address and/or be protected on when executing those duties that a good Rhode Island family law practitioner will be able to provide you with sound legal advice to address your particular facts and circumstances.

For Fat Loss and Improved Fitness You Need Exercise, Not Just Activity

There are many different opinions about fitness and fat loss, but one of the more common viewpoints suggests that all you need to do is increase your activity level and/or decrease your caloric intake to be successful. While this may have some truth in theory, it does not always hold true in real life and it is certainly not the best strategy for improving long-term fitness and fat loss.Note: For the sake of this article I will only discuss fitness and fat loss as it relates to activity level and I will not address anything related to nutrition or calorie intake. I will cover the calorie intake component of this viewpoint at a later time.If you only take one thing away from this article, I want it to be that increasing your activity level and exercising are definitely not the same thing. While they are related, the difference between them is often the difference between success and failure when it comes to losing fat and improving your overall health and fitness.Exercising is obviously a way to increase your activity level, but there are many ways to increase your activity level that should not be classified as exercise. Webster’s defines exercise as: bodily exertion for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness. The key point in this definition is that activity has to affect fitness to be considered exercise.A good exercise program will always be designed to improve various aspects of fitness (strength, endurance, flexibility, etc.), as opposed to being designed just to burn calories. Having the goal to increase your activity level will increase the number of calories you burn, but it will not necessarily improve your fitness level. This is incredibly important, because increasing your fitness level is essential to long-term fat loss and improved health.It is common to start a new program with the goal of increasing your activity level and burning more calories to lose weight, but this approach usually only results in short-term success. You may have experienced this at some point yourself, if you ever had initial improvements, which were followed by a lack of further results. Personally, I went through a period where I was doing cardio workouts once or even twice a day to increase my activity level and lose fat, but soon after I started, I stopped seeing any improvements whatsoever.My problem was not that I needed to increase my activity level more, but rather I had to stop focusing on doing activities to burn calories and start exercising. In other words, I needed to perform activities that were designed to improve my fitness level and not just burn calories. There may not seem like a big difference between the two, but this small change in approach will lead to a huge improvement in results.Let’s go back to the scenario where someone initially sees results by increasing their activity level. I would argue that, especially for people who have sedentary (non-active) lifestyles, the initial increase in activity should be considered exercise. If someone is out of shape, almost any type of activity will improve their fitness level. I believe it is the improvement in fitness level and not just the increase in activity level that ultimately is responsible for the initial positive results.To further illustrate this point, let’s take a look at probably the most common scenario for increasing activity. Walking is a natural choice as a starting activity, because it is something people already know how to do, requires essentially no equipment (although appropriate shoes are recommended), and it can be done almost anywhere. For people who are not used to walking, it will be somewhat challenging at first, and their body will be forced to adapt to the new stimulus, thus improving their fitness level.However, as the person’s fitness level improves, chances are they will not make changes to their walking routine. It is very common for people to walk the same distance and speed, often taking the same route whenever they walk. Over the course of time, what was once a challenging walk that stimulated improvements in health and fitness, becomes a walk that just burns calories. More importantly, when the walk stops being challenging, it is also the point when fat loss usually stops occurring.Another important point is the more you perform an activity, the more efficient your body becomes at that activity. For example, take the person who goes for the same walk every day. After the initial fitness and fat loss improvement from starting the walking routine, not only will the walk stop being a challenge, but the amount of energy required to perform the walk will decrease as well. In other words, the same walk will result in fewer calories burned than when the person first started walking. This is another reason why walking or doing any activity just to burn some extra calories will not work in the long-run.I should point out that I am not trying to say there aren’t any health benefits to increasing your activity level and if you are currently not very active, doing anything to become more active is a good thing. However, if you want to lose fat and improve your fitness over the long run, just increasing your activity level will not cut it. You need to exercise and challenge your body if you want to experience continued improvement over time.One final note: Nutrition plays at least as big of a role as exercise in health, fitness, and fat loss. Even the best exercise program cannot make up for poor nutrition, but this article is only meant to address the activity level component of an overall health and fitness program.


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