Forklift History…

simms_1stForkliftOne of the first platform trucks ever used was produced in 1915, and featured power for both horizontal and vertical movements. A predecessor made by the same company the year before required the lifting of the platform by cranking away on a huge handle that turned a geared wheel only one foot in diameter — making lifts of 500 pounds almost impossible unless you were a blacksmith or a weightlifter.

What a difference a year can make!

Six Steps to Success

Host-beneficiary marketing is actually a simple and relatively inexpensive process that will deliver solid results if you follow a few basic rules:

1. Precisely define your target audience.

“Women 35 to 55″ might be a start, but it’s not enough. Create a detailed profile of your target customer. The more segments you can identify, the more potential hosts you can approach.

The women’s clothing boutique that marketed to BMW owners, for example, determined that their likely customers drove certain types of cars, patronized a certain class of hair salon, belonged to a health club, and were likely to play bridge. A birdseed store might come up with a list that includes consumers who shop at outdoor equipment outfitters or are affiliated with local conservation groups.

2. Identify local businesses that serve the same market segments.
That way, you can not only bring people in the door for your initial offer, but also increase the likelihood that they’ll return to give you repeat business.

For a cigar store, logical host partners might include better mens’ clothiers, upscale shoe stores, luxury car dealerships and country clubs. And don’t forget non-commercial organizations like Rotary or Kiwanis.

3. Develop a clear offer for each prospective partner.
Come up with a free or deeply discounted product or service that has a high perceived value for the consumer with a low dollar cost for you.

One new computer support business offered a voucher worth two free hours of computer repair to the small business clients of a local accountant. A jewelry store offered free jewelry cleaning to clients of a hair salon. A marketing consultant offered a free seminar on how to run sales to one local newspaper’s advertisers. A framing shop offered free photo framing to a photographic supply store’s top 200 customers.

4. Pitch the plan, highlighting the benefits to the host business.
Emphasize that it’s a way for the established business to reward their customers at no expense and with virtually no effort. It’s also a way to reach out to customers without overtly trying to make a new sale.

5. Supply a letter for the host’s use.
Providing a draft “offer” letter that can be sent to the host’s customers on the host’s letterhead will help put the plan into motion quickly. It will also show the partner how easy it will be for him to participate.

Some businesses will allow the letter to be inserted into their monthly invoices or newsletters at no cost to you. Others will charge or require that you pay for a separate mailing. It’s a small price to pay for access to the host business’ customer base.

6. Develop a strategy to convert redeemers to repeat customers.
This, after all, is your long-term goal. For the women’s boutique that gave away a kimono, the strategy was to encourage browsing and lure shoppers into dressing rooms to try the merchandise. For one new bakery that gave away a chocolate ├ęclair, the approach was to hand out a buy-five-get-one-free VIP card with the free pastry.

Whatever the specific plan, the host-beneficiary method is the single most effective way to quickly attract a critical mass of qualified customers to a new business. Instead of beating the bushes for customers with individual referrals or scattershot ads, you can tap into a targeted group of consumers en masse to jumpstart sales.

Best of all, you’re piggybacking on the success of another entrepreneur who has spent years building a solid customer base. In many ways, this eliminates the need to reinvent the wheel. For a start-up facing so many other challenges, it’s just smart business.

THE 3 Big Reasons…

When companies need to master their stock coordination and business needs, they choose SIMMS Inventory Management software for 3 major reasons:simms_3Reasons

  1. SIMMS Users save more over time because SIMMS Inventory both reduces stock losses and item replacement costs due to its precision and accuracy.
  2. SIMMS provides year-round creative interaction with you to address all your challenges and offers new feature updates multiple times each year.
  3. SIMMS grows by implementing solutions to your immediate concerns instead of you being stuck with software that will only ever be as good as it was when you installed it the first time. SIMMS goes beyond its competitors by becoming all-inclusive.

Our prices packages are designed to suit your budget, large or small, and our support is second to none! Contact us today to compare!

Do These Productivity Killers Sound Familiar?

Often you may wonder where the time seems to go each day. You remember fondly in the past when you had lots of time to complete the tasks that fell to you, but recently it seems that you seem to be scrambling to get even the most basic things finished. If you’re a manager or boss, you should be concerned with this effect in all of your personnel. Monitoring your own productivity should be at least a once-a-week thing.

Have a look at the following graphic and see if any of the details illustrated sound familiar, and then take steps to eliminate any such distractions: