Archive for September, 2010

PR for small companies too?

Posted in Business start up, Marketing with tags , , , on September 4, 2010 by virtualcitypa

Size really doesn’t matter when it comes to PR. Any size company can benefit from publicity, but the practice is commonly misunderstood in the business arena. Most entrepreneurs think of it as something that only large corporations have a budget for and don’t realise the power of publicity and what it can do for a business to blow it through the roof.

Marsha Friedman of Event Management Services, says that when a story is written in a newspaper or magazine, it lends credibility to you and your company’s products and services beyond anything you could attain with advertising. And, it provides immediate positioning of you as a recognised expert in your field.

Give away information that people normally would pay you for and submit it to daily and weekly newspapers as well as other newsletters in your area.

You may think that giving away valuable advice will hurt you by tipping off your competition, but it is quite the contrary. It will establish you as someone who is a specialist on the subject and you will find that people will start to seek you out for business. People will be more likely to hire you if the media is writing about you or quoting you as an authority.

“Anything written is perceived to be true,” she advises, “therefore articles you’ve written that get published or articles with quotes from you, give you immediate positioning as the “go-to guy” in your field.”

A few different ways to approach the print medium are:

1) Write a “tips” or “how to” article – this is one of the best ways to get free publicity in newspapers and magazines. Offer lots of valuable advice and make sure it’s written well enough for a publication to run it without having to make any edits. Be sure to include your credentials and other boastful information to support your position as an expert – but be careful not to make the article a promotional piece. Editors are looking for content that will be informative to their readers, not a brag piece about you or your company.

2) Write an “opinion letter” – take a stand on a controversial issue or comment on an issue in the news and sent it to the Editor of your local paper – or to the Opinion Editor at other newspapers around the country. Don’t forget to put your credentials at the bottom of the letter so you get the recognition of being a published expert.

3) Create photo opportunities – local newspapers are always looking for interesting photos and images. Create a local event – a fundraiser, an art show, a local or national contest, etc. Then make sure to invite the local press to attend. But even if they don’t show up, get them a photo and press release right away while it’s still news!

4) Recycle your print coverage – turn one media hit into multiple hits by sending a reprint of a weekly newspaper story about you or your company to an editor at a daily newspaper, along with a pitch letter offering an angle different from the angle the weekly pursued. Send articles in trade publications to editors anywhere. Post articles on your website.

Marsha Friedman is the CEO of Event Management Services, Inc., (www.event-management.com) a leading US publicity firm.

Karla Jo Helms is the Vice President Public Relations for PostcardMania, (http://www.PostcardMania.com) named one of the fastest growing privately-owned companies by Inc Magazine

Budgeting effectively

Posted in Finance with tags , , , on September 2, 2010 by virtualcitypa

Business budgeting is very important in every company regardless of its size. Good business budgeting plan can business owners and executives achieve their goals and stay in competition despite difficult or unexpected financial situations.

Business budgeting is basically financial planning. It can be simple or complex depending on the nature of your business but it is best if you keep the budget presentation simple and clear. Above all, use caution when creating your budget. Make sure all information is accurate and up-to-date for effective business budgeting.

Below are several budgeting tips that you can try:

• Be realistic

Business budgeting should be based on numbers that is backed up by sensible expectations. These expectations should be based on both previous business financial performance and projected business developments.

• Business budgeting should be time-bound

Business budgeting should be prepared under a specific timeframe. The budget is most of the time based on the company’s fiscal year or you can also project a budget on a monthly or quarterly basis.

It is recommended that you break down your budget on a monthly basis even if you have already prepared it on your business’ fiscal year. To make your business budgeting easy, consider using a financial program or software.

• Make an estimate on your income and expenses

Business budgeting relies on your expenses and income within a specified timeframe. Your income should include the payments gathered from sales, interests, accounts receivable and other sources. For the company expenses, all funds that leave the company should be included. Such expenses include payroll, materials, utilities, real estate so on and so forth.
Regardless of how cautiously you plan, there is not doubt that you will come across with unexpected expenses as you run your business. This makes it very important for you to save some allowance for them in your business financial plan.

Also, it is a good thing to consider the time when both income and operating costs will be incurred. For instance, if you run a business that is seasonal, there are months wherein your sales will definitely go down. In this case, it is important to make sure to adjust the budget accordingly for the lean months.

These are just some business budgeting tips that you can try. To be honest, business budgeting is not easy but if you master it, you can be sure that you will encounter lesser financial problems in your company.

http://www.linkroll.com/budgeting/tips-for-an-effective-business-budgeting.php

Corporate Travel

Posted in Event Management, Marketing, Virtual Assistance with tags , , on September 1, 2010 by virtualcitypa

Corporate travel is a time consuming and logistically testing proceedure. Jigsaw Conferences highlight the nuances involved in this piece.

Corporate Travel is one of the leading sectors of the travel industry today. Business people are constantly flying around the country and indeed around the world to attend conferences, meetings, PR events, training courses, team building events, annual general meetings, parties, seminars, exhibitions, corporate hospitality events, product launches, award ceremonies and so on.  

Where vacationers have the flexibility of waiting for off-peak days of the week to arrange for their flights and get the lowest rates for that season, business people have fixed schedules. Travel agents recognise this important sector and make special arrangements to improve their market share and competitiveness in the industry.
 
An organisation staging an award ceremony or an annual general meeting, for example, at a central location, would need to provide transport and accommodation to their VIP guests. Corporate travel agents help ensure that details like these can be taken care of smoothly and efficiently.
 
Corporate travel planning can be a task on its own. Rather than have one of the company’s head secretaries spend all of her time on the arrangements, many companies prefer to hire corporate travel planners to take care of event management, and meeting planning in addition to making all necessary travel arrangements.
 
Many corporate travel agencies offer specialised services for their clients. They offer to track and report the company’s travel expenses, negotiate special rates, track air miles and reward points and offer 24 hour support from corporate travel agents. Each individual agency would have other benefits to attract clients to their program.
 
As a result of their daily negotiations and partnerships with travel suppliers, like airlines, car rental agencies and hotel chains, a corporate travel planner has the ability to use their discounts to offer the lowest possible rates that are usually not open to the general public. Contracting the company’s corporate travel department to an independent planner can produce large savings for a company whose representatives need to travel as part of their job. More time could be afforded for sales presentations, PR events, product launches, exhibitions, seminars, conventions and parties anywhere in the country or around the world.
 
Corporations have the added advantage of receiving heavy discounts and rewards for making bookings for large groups or making several bookings within a period of time. PR events, product launches, exhibitions and conferences would require large groups of staff and guests to be invited to a central location. Travel, transport and accommodation arrangements would all be necessary for these kinds of events and tend to solicit lower rates due to the large number of attendees.
 
Corporate travel agents who offer event planning services will often locate the right venue for the organisation’s event through a comparison of all appropriate venues that fit your budgetary and space requirements. They would arrange for the catering, accommodation, set up of equipment and business centre. Many times they also offer on-site support. Other services could include meeting and greeting guests, distributing event-related portfolios and other relevant material, registration and so on.
 
Some agencies are further specialised and work with specific types of industries. For instance, the pharmaceutical industry may have special requirements for some of their seminars and events, requiring a certain layout or special equipment. By providing detailed attention to these, corporate travel agents are at the forefront of the competition in the travel industry.
 
Corporate hospitality events, annual general meetings and product launches each have different aspects that need special attention and must be taken into consideration in order to ensure a successful event. Hiring an independent agent, who is an invaluable source of information and advice, saves both time and money, whereby the management is able to spend more time concentrating on more pressing matters. Thus, corporations are poised to receive the best value-added services from a full range of options in travel solutions and event management which caters to the event’s specific requirements for the most competitive prices.
 
Corporate travel has also spawned a new industry in the way of corporate travel safety. Seminars are available to advise individuals of the best way to protect themselves and their belongings to ensure a hassle-free journey. 
For a businessman, protecting the information he’s carrying can be of vital importance. Numbered locks, security waist packs and portable travel safes are all available to the cautious traveller.
 
With the high level of importance given to the corporate travel sector, it’s little wonder that corporations receive premium services and excellent rates. Travel agencies are all vying for their business and outdo each other with the nature of the services and rewards they provide. With competition fierce and demand strong, the quality of service provided is easily world-class.
 
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