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Green Up Your Office – 5 Tips March 7, 2012

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Business owners are obliged these days to conduct business in a way that is earth-friendly, whether it is a small family-run business or a large conglomerate with several branches. Any company can make less of an impact on the planet by going green, while at the same time saving money just by changing a few simple things. The two biggest ways to make an office green are to save on the amount of power used and to produce less in the way of trash and waste. The following few measures can help to make your office green.

Save Energy by Turning Off Unused Office Equipment: Depending on the type of business, there is a good chance that most employees use a computer for at least part of their job. Each person can do his or her part towards saving energy by using that computer wisely. There is bound to downtime during the workday when the computer is not in use. During these periods computers should be put in stand-by mode. Computers should be completely powered down at the end of the day. It takes an insignificant amount of power to restart a computer.

The same is true for other electronic equipment used in the office like printers, fax machines, and copy machines. Make sure they are turned off or in stand-by when not in use during the day and turn them all off at the close of business.

Recycling Program: Every office should have a recycling program. This can be as simple as having separate bins for paper as well as for cans and plastic bottles. In this day of single-stream recycling, adding a recycling program to an office is even simpler. Everything that is recyclable can go into the same bin. Some larger companies even supply each cubicle and office with its own mini two-part bins, the large side for recyclable items and the smaller for waste.

Cut Back on the Use of Paper: Cutting back on the use of paper can begin by reusing as much as possible, which is not only earth-friendly but a cost saving measure as well. Many companies keep a scrap bin for paper that can be used to print on the blank side or that can be cut into squares to be used as note pads. Limit inter-office correspondence to emails that can be read without printing them out.

Use Green Cleaning Supplies: Many standard cleaning supplies contain ingredients that can be hazardous for the environment. There are a number of green cleaning products available that can clean effectively without the use of toxic chemicals.

Purchase Office Furniture and Supplies that Have Been Recycled: The big-box office supply stores can help your office become eco-friendly. They sell recycled paper for printers and copiers and may even carry printers made from plastic that has been recycled. You can even find green office furniture. This means furniture that was constructed using recycled material or sustainable wood that has the least environmental impact. Purchasing office furniture that is used means that you are getting completely recycled furniture and it will cost considerably less than new furniture.

Every time you make one of these changes to how you run your office, you are a little closer to your office being “green”.

You’ll Sell More if You Journal More

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Journaling to Improve SalesI once worked with a commercial insurance agent who has had unfortunately a string of potential accounts that week in and week out have died their natural death.

Each scenario brought its own unique challenge. Let’s explore one sales challenge and offer a solution.

The challenge: A competing agent provided additional customer service that provided industry reports and legal reports pertaining to liability. This winning agent also provided a workshop on sexual harassment as part of their program. The losing agent admitted that based on conversations with his boss that he at this point could only compete on price and offer no additonal services.

Marketing Budget Basics with Numbers

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1. Measure how many invoices were generated by the campaign.  I.E. – 100.
2. Measure the total revenue of the invoices.  I.E. – $100,000.
3. Measure the Net Profit of the invoice.  I.E. – $14,000.00
4. Divide the net profit amount by the amount spent on the campaign.  I.E. – $14,000/$7,000 = 50% of Profit.
5. Divide amount spent by invoice number – $14,000/$100.00 = $140.00.

Result – For every $70.00 we spent on advertising we made $140.00.

This is a great campaign.  Keep it up!

How To Focus Your Marketing Budget and Implement It

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Lowering Marketing Costs for Small Business

I’m sitting before a client. The client is visibly frustrated with the state of his business. The gentleman has sold products all over the world for many years. He holds an advanced business degree. He works with business owners just like I do but his business is out of control. He’s spiraling. I say to the client, “You’re here to grow your business. Before we start our discussion, tell me, what will you do tomorrow to grow your business?” Agitated, he replies after a brief pause, “COLD CALLING!” “Okay, cold calling, very well. Do you have your sales flow chart? Have you pin-pointed your targets? Are you providing them with a print brochure? Informational sheet? What are you using for your sales kit? What kind of scripts do you have prepared?” He replies, “I can’t even nail my 30 second infomercial let alone write scripts.”

Before I added anything more to his frustration, I intervened by asking him a series of questions regarding his existing relationships. I asked about friends, sports teams, clubs, events, boards, networking groups, philanthropic associations, and other life activities. By the time I finished my barrage we had identified anywhere from 800 to 1,600 warm leads that already existed in his current network.