promotions http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/799/all en-US How to Improve Your Finances Using Social Media http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_phone_text_94856801.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to improve finances using social media " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Social media is about more than just looking at friends' baby photos, posting what you ate for dinner last night, and watching the most recent viral videos. It can actually help you improve your finances, land a new job, and reach your savings goals more efficiently. That's why we've found some of the best ways to improve your finances by getting the most out of social media. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money?ref=seealso">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>&quot;Friend&quot; Your Credit Cards and Bank</h2> <p>Add your credit card issuers and bank to your social media accounts by &quot;friending&quot; or following them. Large institutions usually offer deals to followers, so you can enjoy a lower APR, higher savings interest rate, or other money-saving promos. In fact, according to U.S. News, social media is often the first outlet that banks choose to <a href="http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2015/06/03/why-the-financial-services-industry-started-tweeting">share news about upcoming deals</a>.</p> <p>Social media is also possibly the best way to get in touch with customer service quickly, as it will allow you to get their attention more easily. Just make sure to keep your account information, address, and any other private information off the message boards and social media pages.</p> <h2>Enjoy Travel and Shopping Deals</h2> <p>There are endless travel and shopping deals available through social media. Retailers often choose social media as the first outlet to announce upcoming sales, so their friends and followers are able to take advantage of the biggest discounts first. Followers are frequently offered early deals, as well.</p> <p>You can find Twitter-specific deals that can save you on everything from rental cars and vacations to eating out and even buying gifts. Before going out to make any purchases, check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to make sure there aren't any deals that you're missing. You can even check social media hashtags, such as #deal, to find the best deals in your area.</p> <h2>Share Goals</h2> <p>Many financial experts recommend sharing your financial goals online. By setting your goals early and sharing them with the people you love, it can help you articulate what you really want and hold you accountable to achieve your goals. In fact, research has shown that making <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3047432/work-smart/why-sharing-your-progress-makes-you-more-likely-to-accomplish-your-goals">public statements about goals</a> can help you achieve them more efficiently. However, you never want to reveal anything too personal, such as private information that fraudsters can use against you.</p> <h2>Get Money-Saving Tips</h2> <p>By following your favorite finance site on social media, you can find endless free money-saving tips and updates. You can also find forums and group discussions with unique money-saving ideas and encouragement from others. You can even find good financial and investment advice online.</p> <p>Seeing these tips on a daily basis on your social media pages can also be a good reminder each and every day to protect your hard-earned income. After all, we all need a reminder once in a while that we don't really need that new top or expensive latte in the morning.</p> <h2>Find a New Job</h2> <p>LinkedIn can be an invaluable tool when you're searching for a new job. You can apply for jobs directly through LinkedIn, perfect your resume, and even reach out to potential employers and former colleagues. Contacting them through Facebook or Twitter won't be as effective or as professional as contacting them through LinkedIn.</p> <p>With LinkedIn, once you have created a professional profile, employers and recruiters can even reach out to you with potential job offers. You can also join LinkedIn groups within your field so you are the first to know about potential opportunities. You can even add examples of your work, recommendations from current or previous coworkers, and any honors you've received to better build your online portfolio.</p> <h2>Make Connections</h2> <p>Networking through social media can result in better face-to-face communication, potential job offers, and endless contacts in your field. Simply following someone or sharing their social media posts can be a great first step in networking and making connections.</p> <h2>Build Your Brand</h2> <p>Whether you're promoting your personal business or services, or just want to build your reputation as the best in your field, posting on social media can be a great start. Just make sure to stay consistent so that you can reach as many followers as possible.</p> <h2>Research More Efficiently</h2> <p>Gone are the days of asking for financial suggestions from friends and coworkers. Whether you're looking for a new financial planner or would like information on which investments to make, you can find more information quickly through social media. With a simple social media search, you can find detailed research on the investment product or financial adviser you're interested in.</p> <p>You can also find suggestions for dentists and other service providers in your area through social media. This will ensure you get what you're looking for and don't waste money.</p> <h2>Sell Your Items</h2> <p>If you create and sell items privately, such as through Etsy, social media can be a great free platform for you to advertise your products or services. This can help you bring in more revenue, reach new customers, and show off your work to a limitless audience.</p> <h2>Make Some Extra Income</h2> <p>There are even ways to make some extra income using social media. If you have a large following, you can publish sponsored tweets or sign up for affiliate accounts, where you will receive your own unique link to earn some extra income when followers make purchases using that link. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-extra-money-using-social-media?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Make Extra Money Using Social Media</a>)</p> <p><em>Have you followed Wise Bread on social media yet? What are your best tips for improving your finances through social media? </em><em>Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-finances-using-social-media">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-one-vacation-day-and-save-thousands">How to Take One Vacation Day and Save Thousands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-money-secrets-of-the-amish">9 Money Secrets of the Amish</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-save-on-7-everyday-buys">Easy Ways to Save on 7 Everyday Buys</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Technology advice blogs deals extra money Internet job hunting promotions saving money selling shopping social media travel Mon, 25 Jul 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1753337 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_excited_hands_74632665.jpg" alt="Man making money moves after getting a promotion" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So your company finally recognized your hard work and gave you that promotion you've been wishing for. And it comes with a nice bump in pay!</p> <p>What should you do now? Do you immediately go and buy a new car? Celebrate with a trip to Saint Tropez?</p> <p>No. If you'll notice, exactly none of the suggestions below involves buying any material items. Celebrate your promotion if you want, but your new money is best off being used to secure your long-term financial future. Consider addressing these eight things if and when you are fortunate enough to get a promotion.</p> <h2>1. Build That Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Are you prepared if something big happens in your life? Do you have at least three months of expenses available in liquid savings? The new income from your promotion can be partially set aside to prepare for the inevitable disaster, whether it be a health emergency, car accident, or flooded basement. Once you get that emergency fund in place, you'll be able to invest and save for larger goals with a clear mind.</p> <h2>2. Get More Organized</h2> <p>If you're not making a lot of money, it's often hard to do anything more than deposit your checks and pay your bills. But with a bump in income, it may now be possible to be more strategic about your financial situation. Rather than having just a single bank account, open distinct accounts for specific savings goals. Begin using an account aggregation platform, such as Mint.com, to see a single view of your finances and track your spending. You may also benefit from meeting with a financial adviser to come up with a plan for short-term and long-term savings goals.</p> <h2>3. Evaluate If Your Expenses Will Increase</h2> <p>Getting a promotion usually involves more money, but it may also mean more expenses for you. Maybe now you will have to work longer hours, necessitating more child care expenses. Perhaps you will no longer be able to work from home, and will incur commuting costs. You may even have to spend more on professional clothing if you've moved into a high-profile position.</p> <p>Make sure to take these new expenses into account when determining how much your net income will increase from the promotion.</p> <h2>4. Bump Up Your Retirement Contributions</h2> <p>If you get a raise, you should strongly consider taking all or most of your increase and boosting your regular retirement contributions. (Or begin making contributions, if you haven't started.) If you have a 401K but aren't contributing enough to get the full company match, see if you can get to that level. If you've been saving more but are just shy of maxing out your annual 401K contributions ($18,000 for most people), try and see if you can reach that threshold. The same goes for making the maximum annual contribution of $5,500 into your individual retirement account (IRA.)</p> <p>Even if you can increase contributions by a mere 1% or 2%, that's additional money that can grow substantially over time.</p> <h2>5. Check Your Tax Situation</h2> <p>There's a dark side to earning more money: You may end up giving more to Uncle Sam. In some cases, a raise may even put you in a higher tax bracket, thus wiping out any salary gains. So before you go making any major lifestyle changes, check to see what your actual take-home pay will be. You may be able to avoid a big hit from Uncle Sam by boosting contributions to your 401K, contributing to a health savings account, or making other adjustments that reduce the amount of your income that is taxed.</p> <h2>6. Target Your High-Interest Debt</h2> <p>If debt is weighing you down, now's time to start tackling it in earnest. Use your extra income to go after the debt with the highest interest rate &mdash; usually, this is a credit card. Once you have that debt paid off, keep it up. You'll be amazed at the financial freedom you'll obtain through the extra income and the reduction in debt payments. It's almost like getting two salary increases! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso">The Fastest Way to Pay Off Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>7. Ask for a Credit Limit Increase</h2> <p>This may seem counterintuitive, since we just suggested you get your credit cards paid off. But with new income, you can ask for a higher credit limit which will then improve your &quot;debt to credit&quot; ratio. That ratio compares the amount of debt you have to the amount of debt you can incur. Generally speaking, a low ratio of debt to credit is what will help your credit score, as long as you don't increase the actual amount you are spending.</p> <h2>8. Consider Refinancing Your Mortgage</h2> <p>You may have been wanting to lock in a lower interest rate on your home for some time, but found the upfront costs to doing so a hurdle. Now that you have some extra income, you might find it easier to pull the trigger on refinancing the loan, thus saving money in the long run. Interest rates are still historically very low, and your higher income may even help you get a higher credit score, making you even more attractive to lenders.</p> <p><em>Get a promotion recently? What did you do with your extra take home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-lessons-i-learned-selling-office-supplies">8 Money Lessons I Learned Selling Office Supplies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-best-free-financial-learning-tools">9 Best Free Financial Learning Tools</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-obstacles-that-are-especially-tough-for-women">5 Financial Obstacles That Are Especially Tough for Women</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today">12 Easy Ways to Wake Up Richer Tomorrow Than You Are Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-financial-moves-you-will-always-regret">9 Financial Moves You Will Always Regret</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income emergency fund investing mortgage promotions raises retirement saving Mon, 11 Jul 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 1747766 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Score Free Food at Chick-fil-A http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-free-food-at-chick-fil-a <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-score-free-food-at-chick-fil-a" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chick_fil_a_20495862.jpg" alt="Learning ways to score free food at Chick-fil-A" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before they put a Chick-fil-A in my neighborhood, my taste buds and waistline didn't know what they were missing. Now that I have a Chick-fil-A nearby, it is hard to resist the delicious food, but even more so the amazing customer service.</p> <p>As much as I love Chick-fil-A, I do not love that it costs almost $30 to feed my family of four. So I have rounded up the best tips to get discounted and free food at Chick-fil-A. No need to send me a thank-you note &mdash; a Chick-fil-A gift card will do just fine.</p> <h2>1. Use the Calendar Card Once a Month</h2> <p>At the end of each year, Chick-fil-A sells calendars for the upcoming year. These calendars have promo cards attached to them. Each month, they offer one free food item. These cards come with six mystery offers (usually for a full-price salad or sandwich) and six disclosed offers, which are usually for a large drink or fry.</p> <p>I did not find out about these counter cards until last month. However, I was still able to hop onto eBay and purchase two calendars and cards for $15.99. Despite only having them for two months and missing January through April's offers, I've already redeemed $20 worth of food and drinks.</p> <p>You are only able to have one card per customer, and to use one card per order. But, you are able to get a card for every member of your family! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-secret-fast-food-menus-revealed?ref=seealso">14 Secret Fast Food Menus Revealed</a>)</p> <h2>2. Download and Use the New Chick-fil-A One App</h2> <p>Chick-fil-A just released their new app, <a href="https://one.chick-fil-a.com/">One</a>, which allows you to earn points through your mobile phone. Also, if you download and sign up for the app before June 11, 2016, you will get a free sandwich. Not only will you be rewarded right away, but the app is very similar to Starbucks' rewards program. Scan your app every time you order Chick-fil-A, and you will earn credit toward free food. Also like the Starbucks' app, you can order ahead and pay with the Chick-fil-A app.</p> <h2>3. Dress Up for Cow Appreciation Day</h2> <p>This is one of the most well-known ways to get a free Chick-fil-A meal. Chick-fil-A holds a cow appreciation day each year in July. Individuals that dress partially like a cow will get a free entree. Those who don a full cow outfit will get a free meal. It is speculated that cow appreciation day 2016 will happen on July 8th.</p> <h2>4. Check Your Local Chick-fil-A Social Media</h2> <p>Check in with your local Chick-fil-A to know what special offers are going on. For example, many locations gave away free food to active and retired military during Memorial Day. Currently, my Chick-fil-A is giving away a free breakfast item every Wednesday morning in June, whereas the<a href="https://www.facebook.com/CFAWilloughby/"> Willoughby, Ohio Chick-fil-A</a> gave out free breakfast every Friday morning in May. Be sure to follow your local Chick-fil-A's social media accounts to be in the know, rather than the general Chick-fil-A accounts.</p> <h2>5. Buy a School Fundraiser Card</h2> <p>Chick-fil-A is also a big contributor to local schools and charities. Many times, they will contribute a free drink or another small freebie to fundraiser cards. For my area, Chick-fil-A offers a free frosted coffee with any purchase with the use of the school fundraiser card. I did pay $10 for this card, which also has many other local deals on it, but even if I just used it at Chick-fil-A, the card would have paid for itself in three trips.</p> <h2>6. Ask About Senior Discounts</h2> <p>Chick-fil-A's are individually owned and operated, but many locations have a senior discount for individuals 55 and older. Typical offers are a free drink or coffee, or a 10% discount. Check with your local restaurant to confirm.</p> <p>Not only is Chick-fil-A generous with their free food offers, they are one of the top restaurants that contributes to local communities. Take a closer look at Chick-fil-A, and you will see that they contribute quite a bit of money to local schools, charities, scholarships, and more. So while I will enjoy my free Chick-fil-A food, I will also gladly give them my &quot;dining out&quot; budget over another restaurant.</p> <p><em>What is your favorite thing to order from Chick-fil-A?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-free-food-at-chick-fil-a">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-kids-eat-free-restaurants">Best Kids Eat Free Restaurants</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-cheap-food">The High Cost of Cheap Food</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink apps Chick-fil-a discounts Fast Food free food freebies promotions Tue, 21 Jun 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1733680 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways Confidence Makes You Better With Money http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-confidence-makes-you-better-with-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-confidence-makes-you-better-with-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/rich_man_with_money_000067124067_0.jpg" alt="Man learning how confidence boosts his finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to managing your money, there's a piece of the puzzle that some don't consider: If you're determined to improve your personal finances, you can start by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-even-shy-people-can-fake-confidence-and-get-ahead">boosting your level of confidence</a>. You might be thinking one has nothing to do with the other, but low confidence can stand in the way of financial success.</p> <p>Here's how boosting your confidence can also boost your pocketbook.</p> <h2>1. You're Not Afraid to Ask for What You Want</h2> <p>About 10 years ago, I had a friend who had recently graduated college and found his first &quot;real job.&quot; He became frustrated with the pay after only six months and felt he deserved more because he finished college with a high GPA and had prior experience through internships. He told me that he was going to walk into his employer's office on Monday morning and ask for a $15,000 a year raise &mdash; &quot;negotiable, of course&quot; (which got the side-eye from me) &mdash; but wouldn't take anything less than $10,000.</p> <p>We looked at him like he was crazy. He was only 24 years old and fresh out of college. We told the dummy to slow his roll &mdash; because that's what friends do. Let me rephrase that &mdash; that's what negative, house-poor friends do.</p> <p>He didn't listen to us, and that's a good thing, because he got exactly what he wanted &mdash; a higher salary and a better position. I don't remember what he said to his boss, but I learned a valuable lesson that day: Don't be afraid to go after what you want, and don't listen to naysayers. If he had listened to us, who knows how long it would've taken him to move up in the company.</p> <p>The point: Lack of confidence can cause you to doubt your abilities. And when there's doubt, you might miss opportunities that can result in a higher salary. A confident person, on the other hand, believes in himself. He's not afraid to ask for what he wants and deserves. From a financial standpoint, confidence gives you the strength to negotiate your salary and get paid your worth.</p> <p>Just imagine what you could do with an increase in income. You could stop living paycheck-to-paycheck, open a retirement account, or finally put a dent in your credit card debt. And you'd also pick up the tab for your idiot, low-paid friends the next time you go out. That goes without saying, of course.</p> <h2>2. You'll Appear More Competent to Employers</h2> <p>Even if you don't ask your employer for more money, she might notice your confidence and feel you're the right fit for a challenging position when she's ready to offer promotions.</p> <p>Employers don't only look for people who have a particular skill set or level of experience. They also assess an employee's boldness, poise, and assertiveness. Being confident can get you to the top faster than someone who's unsure or second-guesses himself. This is especially true for women, who tend to demonstrate less confidence in the workplace, suggest Katty Kay and Claire Shipman, authors of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/006223062X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=006223062X&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DHDAQQDLAV2FV7TQ">The Confidence Code</a>.</p> <p>If your employer thinks you lack confidence, he might unfairly conclude that you're not ready for certain responsibilities. And when you're constantly passed over for promotions, you might stay stuck at the same pay grade living paycheck-to-paycheck for much longer than you'd like.</p> <h2>3. You Don't Have Anything to Prove</h2> <p>It's sad, but some people will risk serious debt just to prove they can maintain the same lifestyle as their friends. I understand not wanting to be left behind when your friends eat at nice restaurants or take exotic vacations together. But under no circumstances should you get into major debt or end up flat broke from supporting a lifestyle you can't afford.</p> <p>It all goes back to confidence. A confident person isn't going to sacrifice their financial wellbeing so they can rub elbows or kick it with the Joneses. They don't get in over their heads financing expensive cars or houses, and they certainly don't rack up credit card debt to give the appearance that they're doing better than they actually are.</p> <p>Confident people know that financial success isn't about material possessions, but rather how well they manage their money. Someone can earn a lot and be broke, whereas someone who earns far less can have a bigger bank account. When you're a confident person and have absolutely nothing to prove, you're more apt to keep your personal expenses low and enjoy more disposable income. Thus it becomes easier to save a three to six-month cash cushion, and you're able to reach other financial goals, such as paying off credit card debt, saving for a kid's education, or making home improvements that can boost your property value.</p> <p>Life is better &mdash; and cheaper &mdash; when you're not trying to be someone you're not.</p> <p><em>Are there other ways you think confidence can improve your finances? Let us know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-confidence-makes-you-better-with-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-celebrities-with-shockingly-low-net-worths">6 Celebrities With Shockingly Low Net Worths</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-money-savvy-rap-stars">The 5 Most Money-Savvy Rap Stars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-finance-tips-you-wish-you-could-tell-your-younger-self">11 Finance Tips You Wish You Could Tell Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career Building accumulating wealth confidence money promotions self esteem Fri, 11 Sep 2015 13:00:19 +0000 Mikey Rox 1553987 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Millennials Can Become Bosses Sooner http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-millennials-can-become-bosses-sooner <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-millennials-can-become-bosses-sooner" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/millennial_woman_at_work_000020810378.jpg" alt="Millennial woman learning how to become a boss sooner" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our generation receives a lot of flack for being spoiled and entitled, but there's no denying that we're ambitious. We want to be in control of our lives and careers, and for some, this means becoming the person who calls the shots. The best way to do that is through entrepreneurship (I had to slip that in there), but if you're hellbent on taking the corporate path, here are five ways you can claim your rightful position at the top faster than all those naysayers think you can.</p> <h2>1. Volunteer for Leadership Roles</h2> <p>To move up faster and become a boss sooner, you have to show your employer from the very beginning that you're capable of a leadership role. This isn't the time to second-guess yourself or hide in the background.</p> <p>Jonathan Coughtrey, content manager of the personal finance blog <a href="http://www.actioneconomics.com/">Action Economics!</a>, advises volunteering for leadership roles whenever there's an opportunity.</p> <p>&quot;I became a supervisor over a crew of six people in my company when I was 23,&quot; he says. &quot;This year &mdash; at age 28 &mdash; I was promoted to management and I am responsible for the day-to-day implementation of all the work on our project, which encompasses 75 people per shift.&quot;</p> <p>If you're young and fresh out of college, your boss may underestimate your ability and unfairly question whether you can effectively lead or manage a team. Volunteering for leadership-type assignments, however, showcases your abilities, giving your employer the opportunity to see you in action. You might have knowledge and traits that some senior employees lack, putting you in line for promotions sooner.</p> <p>&quot;I had to learn more about our procedures than the other crew members, and this knowledge helped me become a subject matter expert and go-to person,&quot; Coughtrey continues. &quot;Upper management noticed this and when opportunities opened up, my name was on the top of the list.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Develop the Qualities of a Boss</h2> <p>It takes more than education and stellar performance reviews to become a boss early in your career; you also need to act like a boss. Employers look at the big picture when deciding whether to promote an employee to a management or supervisory role. Do you think you have what it takes to lead people and contribute to the company's success?</p> <p>Some Millennials make the mistake of only setting their eyes on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-successful-millennials-do">becoming a boss</a>, and they fail to consider what it actually takes to get to this point.</p> <p>&quot;Focus on what traits and accomplishments are needed to get to where you want to be,&quot; says Brock Murray, co-owner and director of web marketing with seoplus+, a digital marketing agency. &quot;A good boss leads by example, communicates well, shows passion, discipline, organization, creativity, and goes above and beyond the status quo.&quot;</p> <p>Learn how to embody these traits and you'll not only win the boss title, you'll also win respect and become an effective leader.</p> <h2>3. Learn How to Build Face-to-Face Relationships</h2> <p>As a tech-savvy generation, you're a pro at e-mail, text messaging, and social media, to the point where you might not remember the last time you picked up the phone and had an actual conversation. (I'm with you, brothers and sisters; I rarely use the phone for voice activities myself.) However, while knowledge of technology and the digital world is highly beneficial in today's corporate world, being a boss requires familiarity with all types of communication. People of older generations often prefer face-to-face communication, so you have to be adaptable.</p> <p>Tim Elmore, founder and leader of Growing Leaders, a leadership prep program for students, explains the danger of relying too heavily on technology.</p> <p>&quot;Leaders of younger generations are from the most social generation in history,&quot; he says. &quot;They are in constant contact with peers and family through iMessages and social media. But, they are also highly isolated because so much of their relational contact is through technology. This has led to poor people skills, low emotional intelligence, and the inability to handle interpersonal challenges.&quot;</p> <p>This doesn't imply ditching social media or text messaging, but at the same time, don't be afraid to take advantage of opportunities to meet face-to-face or network, which can improve your communication and people skills, and help you become a well-rounded boss.</p> <h2>4. Ask for What You Want</h2> <p>Because of your age, your employer might think becoming a boss is the farthest thing from your mind. So even if he knows you're capable of this role, he might hold off offering you a promotion. Additionally, you might hesitate expressing your desire to move up for fear of coming off as overconfident or arrogant. But according to career and leadership coach Kamara Toffolo, who's also a Millennial, you're only holding yourself back by keeping quiet.</p> <p>&quot;Often your own boss has no idea you want to be a boss yourself, so have the conversation,&quot; she advises.</p> <p>Toffolo also believes it's important for Millennials to realize they don't have to sit idly on the sidelines and think hard work alone will get them to the top. This doesn't always work.</p> <p>&quot;Ask them how you can groom and prepare yourself for a management role and become an attractive candidate,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>5. Pave Your Own Path</h2> <p>Of course, advancing up the career ladder at work isn't the only way to become a boss. If you're feeling unfulfilled, boxed in, or like you're losing your mind, don't be afraid to jump ship and become the boss of your own company.</p> <p>&quot;The biggest mistake most Millennials make is assuming that the path their parents took will still work for them. Starting in the mailroom and working your way up to CEO just doesn't work anymore,&quot; explains Nick Fox, career coach and founder of <a href="http://www.successhacking.com">Success Hacking</a>. &quot;It wasn't until I jumped ship to run my own business that I realized that the greatest way to become a boss is to forge your own path.&quot;</p> <p>If you're living at home or have minimum expenses, or if you don't have a spouse or children, now might be as good a time as ever to build a business from the ground up and be in complete control of your income and time. It's much harder to take a leap when you're older and carry more responsibilities.</p> <p>&quot;When you're young, you have a lot of leeway to make mistakes,&quot; says Fox.</p> <p>In other words, the time is now.</p> <p><em>Are you a Millennial who's making moves to become his or her own boss? Share your story in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-millennials-can-become-bosses-sooner">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs">8 Life Skills Every Freelancer Needs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-one">How to Find Freelance Clients - Part One</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-youre-sabotaging-your-next-promotion">5 Ways You&#039;re Sabotaging Your Next Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-skills-that-helped-your-boss-get-ahead">6 Skills That Helped Your Boss Get Ahead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-confidence-makes-you-better-with-money">3 Ways Confidence Makes You Better With Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building bosses entrepreneurship millennials promotions self-employment young Wed, 09 Sep 2015 21:00:29 +0000 Mikey Rox 1547923 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Skills That Helped Your Boss Get Ahead http://www.wisebread.com/6-skills-that-helped-your-boss-get-ahead <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-skills-that-helped-your-boss-get-ahead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_triumphant_000038262530.jpg" alt="Man using skills to help him get ahead like his boss" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you ever look at your boss and wish you had his or her job? Or maybe you wonder how in the world they got to where they are, given the fact that you are struggling with your own position.</p> <p>The fact of the matter is, somehow your boss got ahead. They stood out from the rest. Here are some of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-life-skills-every-freelancer-needs">skills</a> that helped them land that big promotion &mdash; and that can help you, too!</p> <h2>1. Cut the Negativity</h2> <p>No one likes being around someone who is always negative. It's hard, and eventually you either get dragged into their negativity, or you have to put distance between the negative person and yourself. So don't be that person!</p> <p>Yes, every workplace probably has something to be negative about. Maybe it's a rough time of year, or you're currently being asked to do someone else's job on top of your own. But keep the negativity to yourself.</p> <p>Being negative drags everyone down, and companies don't promote people who are going to make teamwork harder. When your boss got promoted, it's likely that he or she was known for being positive or, at least, for keeping negative comments in. Do the same if you want to get ahead.</p> <h2>2. Line Up the Right Support</h2> <p>Most of us can't be the lone wolf at work. We need some sort of support to be able to do our jobs successfully. When we aren't getting that, we won't perform as well and, therefore, will be less likely to get ahead.</p> <p>In today's work environment, it often falls to the individual to find the support he or she needs to get the job done. Be proactive and ask your boss for a meeting. Go over expectations, especially if you feel like these aren't clear. Ask your boss how they prefer to manage and work from there. For instance, a boss who prefers weekly check-in meetings may be willing to let you have two weeks between meetings, especially if you've proven yourself trustworthy and can show how the extra time would help you do your job better.</p> <p>Getting the support they need is something your boss most likely excels at, and one of the skills they used to do their job well enough to get ahead. Figure out what you need in order to exceed expectations and ask for it.</p> <h2>3. Take on Challenges</h2> <p>Taking on something that is new, different, or difficult is scary, especially when you feel like your livelihood may depend on it. However, being willing to take on a challenge, being the person who steps forward and says &quot;I'll do it!&quot; makes a huge difference when it comes to getting ahead.</p> <p>Think about it this way: When you are considering who you want to lead something, do you want a person in charge who isn't daunted, who can outthink and outmaneuver obstacles, or do you want someone who is afraid, stuck in an old way of doing things, and who can't think outside the box? Most of us want the first kind of person.</p> <p>Even if your boss seems stuck in her ways now, it's likely she was once willing to innovate and take risks. Be the person who steps up to the challenge, and you can be the one who gets ahead, too.</p> <h2>4. Understand the Current Goals</h2> <p>If you want to get ahead, make sure you understand your organization's current goals and how your job fits into those. See your work as part of the whole and make sure you are doing your best to make the whole function well.</p> <p>It's easy to get lost in the details of your job and to forget about the role you are playing in the overall company. It's also easy to misunderstand where your company is currently focused. For instance, you may think that your company is trying to land new accounts, when the current focus is actually on giving existing clients a better experience.</p> <p>Most people who get ahead in a company do so because someone thinks they will be able to help the company achieve their current goals. You boss probably focused on these when he was working to get ahead, and doing the same should help you, too.</p> <h2>5. Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes</h2> <p>It may seem counterintuitive to think that owning your mistakes will help you get ahead. However, taking full responsibility for yourself and your actions generates trust, and so it helps you build stronger relationships with both your coworkers and your clients/customers.</p> <p>Before you can take responsibility for any errors, you need to know your own role. Make sure you really know it, inside and out, so that you can honestly tell someone whether a mistake was yours or whether it occurred elsewhere. If you did make a mistake, be sure to apologize and, if necessary, change the way you do things so that it doesn't happen again.</p> <p>Most managers have, at some point in their career, demonstrated their ability to own their role, including any mistakes that are made. If it helped your boss get to where she is today, it can help you get ahead, too.</p> <h2>6. Find the Right Communication Style</h2> <p>Different people communicate in different ways. We use different words, different tones, and even different body language when we talk to one another. When you use your boss's communication style, you are more likely to get ahead because you'll be more likely to persuade him of the points you try to make and because he will see you as compatible with the overall company.</p> <p>Before you do this, you have to determine how your boss communicates. Listen to the words he says, whether he speaks quietly or loudly, quickly or slowly, and how he uses his hands, face, and body when he is speaking. Then try to do some of these same things when you are communicating with him and with your team.</p> <p>Matching communication styles probably helped your boss get ahead, and working to do it will help you, too. Don't worry about being false, because the ideas you want to communicate will be the same as they would be if you were using your natural communication style.</p> <p><em>How are you trying to get ahead at work? Is it helping you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-skills-that-helped-your-boss-get-ahead">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-transition-to-a-new-career-after-30">6 Ways to Transition to a New Career After 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-better-workplace-body-language">7 Tips for Better Workplace Body Language</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-youre-sabotaging-your-next-promotion">5 Ways You&#039;re Sabotaging Your Next Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ace-your-next-performance-review-with-these-7-tricks">Ace Your Next Performance Review With These 7 Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-bug-your-boss-for-more-money-and-get-it">4 Ways to Bug Your Boss for More Money – and Get It!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building boss jobs Office promotions skills success Thu, 09 Jul 2015 17:00:11 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1478349 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways You're Sabotaging Your Next Promotion http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-youre-sabotaging-your-next-promotion <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-youre-sabotaging-your-next-promotion" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_saying_no_000035683416.jpg" alt="Man sabotaging his next promotion" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's no way to know when or if you'll be promoted at work. And as promotions happen to others, you might wonder why your boss never offers you the job. Sure, some employees are more qualified and a better fit for a position, but there's also a chance that you're sabotaging <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-times-youre-better-off-without-a-promotion">your next promotion</a> without realizing it. Give yourself a better shot at a cushier position by avoiding these five moves that sabotage your chances.</p> <h2>1. You're Constantly at War With Your Boss</h2> <p>Since you and your boss work closely together, it's safe to say that you won't see eye-to-eye on every single issue. Having a minor argument or disagreement with your employer doesn't necessarily signal the end of your career. Most employers are reasonable and forgiving, and able to look past small issues with no hard feelings. On the other hand, if you're always getting into battles with your boss, your attitude and behavior could hold you back.</p> <p>If there's an employee with the same qualities and skills as you, who is also able to work well with others, your employer may feel that they're a better candidate for the promotion. You have to learn how to pick your battles and realize your employer is not your equal. In other words, slow your roll, feisty, and good things may come.</p> <h2>2. You Have a Negative, Toxic Attitude</h2> <p>Not only can arguing or fighting with your boss sabotage a promotion, but being a negative person can have similar consequences. You might not back talk to your employer, but if you're known as the &quot;office complainer,&quot; or if you constantly voice how much you hate your assignments, don't expect any promotions to come your way. Even if you're only speaking out of frustration, too much negative talk can get back to your employer. He might conclude it's safer to promote someone who's happy on the job, since this person will likely stick around longer than you.</p> <h2>3. You're Too Emotional</h2> <p>Every job has good days and bad days, and sometimes you might have to hide in your office and have a good cry. Yeah, we've all been upset or overwhelmed by work at some point, but if you've had more bad days than good days, or if you have a reputation for being fragile or too sensitive, your boss might think you're unable to handle a promotion. This is especially true if the new job is demanding and stressful. He might feel the position is a better fit for someone with a thicker skin. Plus, if you're crying in your office, there's a high probability that you'll come off looking emotionally unstable. Grin and bear it as best you can, then eat your feelings when you get home (not really, but pizza and ice cream always make me feel better). If it's a chronic problem, it may be a new job that you need, not a promotion.</p> <h2>4. You Hide in the Background</h2> <p>When the time comes to promote within, employers look for employees with the best qualities, skills, and drive for the position. Unfortunately, if you're the type of person who likes to hide in the background, your boss might not recognize your desire to move up or see you as a go-getter. As a result, your name doesn't pop into mind when it's time to promote someone.</p> <p>If your future plans involve moving up the career ladder, you have to go the extra mile and take the initiative. This is how you get noticed by employers, especially when working for a large company. You might not advance if you do just enough to get by.</p> <p>Even if you're an introvert or a low-key person, you must be willing to step outside your comfort zone. For example, you can volunteer for projects, or accept assignments that give you the opportunity to use your leadership skills and show your boss what you're capable of. The rest of the office might think you're a suck-up, but will you care when you're getting paid the bigger bucks? One, there's nothing wrong with being dedicated and enthusiastic about your job, and two, I didn't think so.</p> <h2>5. You're Not Teachable</h2> <p>It doesn't matter how much you know or how well you do your job, there's always room for growth. Moving up in the company isn't just about having the necessary skills and experience &mdash; you also have to be teachable.</p> <p>If you're a know-it-all who doesn't listen to instructions or suggestions, your employer might feel you're not the right person for a particular position. Additionally, you might miss out on new opportunities if you don't keep your skills up-to-date. Moving up within an organization might require taking a course or a workshop and gaining an understanding of new software and technology. If you're not willing to continue your education, your employer will promote someone who is.</p> <p><em>Do you have other examples of how we might be sabotaging our chances for a promotion? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-youre-sabotaging-your-next-promotion">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-bad-habits-that-are-ruining-your-career">6 Bad Habits That Are Ruining Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-better-workplace-body-language">7 Tips for Better Workplace Body Language</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-times-you-should-speak-up-at-work">10 Times You Should Speak Up at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-unmistakeable-signs-youre-slacking-at-work">5 Unmistakeable Signs You&#039;re Slacking at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ace-your-next-performance-review-with-these-7-tricks">Ace Your Next Performance Review With These 7 Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Office promotions raises sabotaging work Mon, 22 Jun 2015 09:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1462212 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Times You're Better Off Without a Promotion http://www.wisebread.com/12-times-youre-better-off-without-a-promotion <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-times-youre-better-off-without-a-promotion" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000062383406_XXXLarge.jpg" alt="business woman window" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've been with a company for years, and have received excellent performance reviews. You may even be due for a promotion. Maybe it will come with a bigger paycheck, a larger office, and a fancier title. But should you automatically accept a promotion if one is offered? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-finally-get-that-promotion-this-year?ref=seealso">12 Ways to Finally Get That Promotion This Year</a>)</p> <p>Moving up the corporate ladder seems like a no-brainer, but there are many reasons why you might be better off declining.</p> <h2>1. You Wouldn't Be Doing What You Want to Do</h2> <p>You went into engineering because you really love using technical skills to build things and solve problems. But now you're a manager, and you spend more time in budget meetings and strategy sessions than actually working on projects. Promotions can bring some extra money and influence, but what's the point if you're not doing something you enjoy &mdash; or worse, if you're being derailed from your intended career path?</p> <h2>2. Your Job Might Actually Become Less Secure</h2> <p>It seems a bit counterintuitive that a promotion would actually make you more vulnerable to a layoff, but it is possible. It's often more cost-effective for companies to get rid of a layer of management than lay off workers in the lower rung. There's also a perception &mdash; right or wrong &mdash; that <a href="http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/caught-in-the-middle-rising-unemployment-takes-its-toll-on-older-managers/">middle managers aren't tech savvy</a>, and are therefore more dispensable.</p> <h2>3. You Would Have No Real Authority, But Would Be Accountable</h2> <p>So you got that promotion and now have some employees reporting to you. But you may find it frustrating to learn that while you're accountable for your department's performance, there are outside factors that impact your ability to control outcomes. Before accepting a promotion, try to gauge how much input you will actually have on key decisions.</p> <h2>4. It Would Require a Relocation</h2> <p>You've been offered an opportunity to move up in the company, but there's a catch: You need to move to Portland, Oregon. Now, Portland is a lovely city, but you're from Baltimore, and so are all of your friends and family. Living in Portland may be a little pricier, and the city doesn't even have a Major League Baseball team! For some people, moving for work is a fun adventure, but for many others, the change in location might not be worth it.</p> <h2>5. It Would Be a Promotion in Name Only</h2> <p>Some companies like to add &quot;senior&quot; to your title and give you a lot of extra responsibility. But does it come with extra pay or other perks? Is it really just a &quot;lateral&quot; move? If you're being saddled with extra work and stress but aren't being compensated for it, it may be the wrong kind of &quot;promotion.&quot; Occasionally, this is okay if you're learning some new skills that will pay off down the road, but it's important to make sure your employer isn't taking advantage of you.</p> <h2>6. You Don't Plan to Stay With the Company</h2> <p>Let's say you've been fantasizing for years about opening your own gourmet donut shop, and are about six months away from having enough money saved for it. Then your employer calls and offers you a big promotion. Do you accept the offer, knowing that you were on the verge of leaving to pursue your dream? Taking a promotion when you're a short timer is pointless &mdash; and is unfair to the employer. This is also good advice for someone who is considering leaving a company due to its shaky finances. If you weren't confident in the company before, getting a new title and bigger paycheck isn't going to change matters.</p> <h2>7. You'd Be Asked to Fix the Unfixable</h2> <p>I once had a friend who took a job to turn around a struggling division. He saw it as an opportunity to show off some leadership skills and execute his own vision. In a short time, however, he learned that the division's problems were so deep that they were beyond his ability to repair. Occasionally, higher-ups might give credit to an employee for making the best of a bad situation, but it's often just misery with no happy ending. Don't accept a promotion to &quot;save&quot; something that is beyond saving.</p> <h2>8. Your Work-Life Balance Would Suffer</h2> <p>Is this new job going to require longer hours at the office? Will you be on the road constantly? Will you constantly be on call? You may be at a point in your life when you need to be home more often to care for kids or an elderly parent. Or maybe you just want more time to pursue various interests. CNBC last year reported on some&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/101755874">dads who declined promotions</a> because they wanted to spend more time with their families. You should not be so reliant on that extra paycheck that you're willing to sacrifice the quality of your non-work life.</p> <h2>9. You're Not Qualified</h2> <p>It's great to take on a new challenge, but it's important to be honest about your own talents and experience. We may be conditioned to fight off a fear of failure, but there are instances when those fears may be valid. If you enter into a job without the right skill set, you could find yourself with no career at all.</p> <h2>10. The Only Reason You're Considering It Is for the Money</h2> <p>A better paycheck is great motivation to climb the corporate ladder, but if it's the only reason you're even thinking about taking the job, turn it down &mdash; assuming the money isn't really needed.</p> <h2>11. The Job Doesn't Align With Your Values</h2> <p>If you're a vegetarian, would you enjoy being in charge of a marketing campaign for the beef industry? If you're a Quaker, could you be an engineer of a major weapons system? We all have values and beliefs that guide us, and working in any job that's contrary to those beliefs can make us miserable.</p> <h2>12. It's a Dead End</h2> <p>You may think that moving up the ladder is always good thing, but it's important to also think of the next step. Do you see a potential path to other opportunities within the company? Does this new job really add anything to your resumé? If you lose this job, will you be able to easily find a new one in the same field?</p> <p><em>Have you ever turned down a promotion? If so, why?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-times-youre-better-off-without-a-promotion">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoiding-grass-is-always-greener-syndrome">Avoiding grass-is-always-greener syndrome</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-depressing-jobs-that-arent-worth-the-money">10 Depressing Jobs That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-you-are-more-than-your-job">3 Reasons You Are More Than Your Job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income careers job market jobs promotions Wed, 25 Feb 2015 10:00:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1304052 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Simple Ways to Market Your Side Business http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-market-your-side-business <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-simple-ways-to-market-your-side-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman-marketing-notepad-desk-Dollarphotoclub_70821536.jpg" alt="businessman marketing" title="businessman marketing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you run a side business &mdash; especially when you're first starting out &mdash; you usually don't have very much money. Most advertising is out of reach for people running businesses on the side, and many free marketing techniques require so much energy that they aren't worth it, either. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-generate-new-leads-for-your-side-business?ref=seealso">7 Ways to Generate New Leads for Your Business</a>)</p> <p>However, there are some fabulous ways to generate customers for your side gig without killing yourself in the process. Read on to find out what has worked for me &mdash; and countless other folks.</p> <h2>1. Word of Mouth (Referrals)</h2> <p>This is the simplest way possible to get more business. If you do good work, your customers will put other people in touch with you, and your business will grow organically.</p> <p>Word of mouth is one of the best ways to grow your business, because people trust their friends and loved ones more than they trust a website or a listing in the phone book. However, it can be slow.</p> <p>If you want to speed things up, it's quick and easy to ask your customers to be sure to tell their friends about you. You can even create incentives &mdash; maybe offer a discount on their next purchase if they refer two people to you who actually buy something.</p> <h2>2. Make Real Connections With Customers</h2> <p>If you want your customers to connect you with their friends and family members, you'll want to forge a solid connection with them. If your business allows you time to interact, be sure to make the most of that. As appropriate, share your story and that of your business &mdash; let them know why you do what you do.</p> <p>Even if you don't have the chance to talk, you can find other ways connect with people. It's easy to include a handwritten note if you're sending a product, or a &quot;thank you&quot; card when you're finished working with someone. Anything that shows you spent a little extra time and energy to personally interact with them will make them feel closer to you.</p> <h2>3. Social Media</h2> <p>Having an active social media presence can help almost any business. It usually takes some trial and error to figure out where your customers are hanging out online, when they're there, and what they'd like to hear from you. Spend some time experimenting, so you can maximize your time and energy later.</p> <p>Most businesses find customers via Twitter and/or Facebook, though some (such as clothing, art/design, or food businesses) find that Instagram is a better choice. You may even find that LinkedIn is the best place to find your customers &mdash; especially if you're in a B2B or professional services field.</p> <p>The beauty of social media is that it can potentially find customers for you, so the more viral or shareable your content, the better. Before you post to social media, ask yourself: &quot;Do people want to read or look at this? And would they want to share it with their friends?&quot; If you can answer those two questions in the affirmative, you're on your way to building a successful social marketing program.</p> <h2>4. Give Something Away</h2> <p>People are often reluctant to purchase something the first time they hear about it, but they usually aren't hesitant to try something that's offered for free. What you give away depends on what your business offers. In general, it's simple to compile some blog posts into an ebook, create a downloadable infographic, or make a template that potential customers can try for free.</p> <p>Offering something for free not only allows potential customers to get an idea of the expertise you offer, but also gives them just a taste of how you work and what you might be like to work with. This can go far towards reassuring them that doing business with you is worth their while.</p> <h2>5. Join a Chamber of Commerce</h2> <p>Most cities offer chamber of commerce networking events. Some will bring in a speaker, while others will offer cocktails at a meet-and-greet. Joining these groups is usually cheap or free, and can connect you to people in your community who might need what you're offering. Even if they don't need it, though, making the connection means you'll be closer to the top of their list when they meet someone who <em>does</em> need what you offer.</p> <p>It can be hard to get to these meetings if you're still working full-time. But a few of these groups offer online networking as well, and some entrepreneurs opt to take time off from work to attend. It's worth looking into it, and if you find yourself getting a lot of business via your contacts at the meetings, you can decide how to invest yourself further.</p> <h2>6. Offer a Groupon</h2> <p>Some side businesses find that offering a deal via <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10788528">Groupon</a> or <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-11429060">LivingSocial</a> is a great marketing tactic. It gets new people in the door, where you can <em>wow</em> them with your amazing presence, products, or expertise.</p> <p>The idea is to keep people coming back for more. In reality, there are a good number of pros and cons to <a href="http://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/should-your-business-offer-a-groupon-deal/">offering a deal</a> like this. You will need to decide whether you can structure a deal so that you will still make money, and what you will do to bring people back after their first interaction with you. If you think you can make it work, the actual offering of the Groupon is an easy process.</p> <p><em>What's your side gig (or your dream side gig)? How do you, or would you, market it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-market-your-side-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-i-learned-about-money-after-i-went-freelance">7 Things I Learned About Money After I Went Freelance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-side-jobs-for-athletic-types">9 Side Jobs for Athletic Types</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-freelance-jobs-that-pay-surprisingly-well">11 Freelance Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-money-by-starting-a-blog">Can You Really Make Money by Starting a Blog?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-great-side-jobs-for-outdoorsy-types">12 Great Side Jobs for Outdoorsy Types</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income marketing promotions side gig side job Tue, 17 Feb 2015 10:00:07 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1289849 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is How You Win Sweepstakes http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-win-sweepstakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-how-you-win-sweepstakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tablet-461535927.jpg" alt="excited woman" title="excited woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The idea of winning something for nothing is appealing. As an avid enthusiast of entering sweepstakes and contests, I have over 15 years of experience and plenty of wins, I can vouch for the hobby as one that can help you obtain cash, trips, gadgets, and more with just the investment of time and patience. For many people, however, a lack of both time and patience leads them to frustration. &quot;Why haven't I won?&quot; many ask &mdash; even after just a few weeks of starting the hobby. Here is what I've learned over the years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-win-big-in-online-sweepstakes?ref=seealso">How to Win in Online Sweepstakes</a>)</p> <h2>The &quot;Sweepstakes&quot; Cycle Can Be a Long One</h2> <p>Back in 1998, when I started entering sweepstakes, most promotions were administered the old-fashioned way &mdash; with a stamp and an envelope. The Internet was relatively new, so most contests were done via postal mail. The time it took to enter, win, and find out about your win could be six months or more. Today, even with the web hosting most promotions, there is still a timeframe of eight weeks or more for people to get their entries in, two weeks for the sweepstakes administrator to draw and verify winners, and eight weeks for the prizes to be mailed out. Before you start complaining that you never win, check to see if it is even possible for you to have been picked and notified yet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andbreathe-become-more-patient-in-9-easy-steps?ref=seealso">9 Steps to Become More Patient</a>)</p> <h2>Odds Can Vary by Promotion</h2> <p>Every year, HGTV holds its &quot;Dream Home Giveaway.&quot; Millions of people enter the sweepstakes (sometimes every day) to get their chance at being the lucky winner of an amazing property worth millions of dollars. If you were to enter just these types of high-profile promotions, you would likely never see any wins. The odds of winning are so astronomical that you could enter and enter and enter&hellip; and wonder if it was worth your time. By entering a promotion that hits the &quot;sweet spot&quot; of many prizes of moderate values, however, you can increase your odds of winning. Examples of this type of promotion could be one that offers 20 prizes of $1,000 savings bonds, a 50-state promotion that gives out restaurant gift cards to one entrant per U.S. state, or an instant win sweepstakes with thousands of prizes each valued at $20 or below. Sure, you won't be a millionaire by the end of it, but even winning a prize with a value of $100 makes you a winner (and can improve your quality of life somewhat).</p> <h2>Disqualification Can &mdash; and Does &mdash; Happen</h2> <p>It's super important to read the rules of any promotion and make sure you are following them <em>exactly</em>. Most contests and sweepstakes have common regulations that require the entrants to be a certain age, meet residency requirements, and sometimes even have a certain occupation. Other rules include how many total times you can enter and how many people per household can enter the same sweepstakes. Some companies won't let the same person win more than one time in a given timeframe, as well. If you are entering, but also disqualifying yourself with your entries, you will never see a win.</p> <h3>Use a Form Filler</h3> <p>I highly recommend using a form filler, either as an add-on or extension to your web browser or as a separate software feature, to save time and ensure accuracy for each entry. Using any automated &quot;bot&quot; however, can be detected by most sweepstakes sites and can result in your entry &mdash; and all further entries from your IP address &mdash; to be disqualified. Reliable form tools include Roboform and the Form Filler extensions for Chrome. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-time-and-money-saving-apps-for-freelancers?ref=seealso">16 Time and Money Saving Apps</a>)</p> <h2>You Could Be Missing Your Win Notifications</h2> <p>As a blogger, I run two to three giveaways on my site each month. Each time, I notify the winner at the email address they give in their entry. One out of six times, however, I send multiple notifications and never hear back. This tells me that winners are either typing in the wrong email on their entry forms, or they are not checking their email on time, or emails are going to spam and being tossed. Make double-sure that you are providing the correct info on your entries, and always check daily &mdash; even in your spam folder &mdash; for winning notifications. Nothing is worse than finding that special email after the timeframe for claiming your prize!</p> <p>While I personally don't enter giveaways that don't notify winners (but rather rely on the winners to come back and check a winner's list to claim their prize), notifications can be lost. Setting up a Google Alert with the name you use to enter giveaways, as well as the word &quot;winner&quot; can help ensure you get an email when a website lists you as a prize winner. You can then contact the sponsor to see how to get your prize.</p> <h2>A &quot;Winning&quot; Habit Helps</h2> <p>It's much easier to do anything in life if you do it consistently.</p> <p>Many of the &quot;lifelong&quot; contesters I know have a special schedule to their entering that they follow religiously. While the time of day may not have as much importance as the fact that they commit to just doing their entries, the fact remains that developing a habit ensures many entries. In addition, many entries mean a higher chance of winning. Make entering fun instead of being a chore by tying it to something else you like to do like watching your daily newscast or listening to tunes. The more regular you are with the practice, the more wins you'll see coming in later! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/habits-arent-boring-theyre-the-secret-to-happiness-heres-why/ref=seealso">Habits Are the Secret to Happiness</a>)</p> <p>Some things I've done to help me develop a regular habit include:</p> <ul> <li>Sign up for Online-sweepstakes.com's &quot;<a href="http://www.online-sweepstakes.com/mysweeps/">My Sweeps</a>&quot; tracking tool. This feature is free for lite users and allows you to save your favorite sweepstakes, as well as check off each time you've entered, along with what time of day your entry took place.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Subscribe to email reminders for the most coveted prize giveaways, alerting you to the fact that you haven't made your daily entry yet.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Tying your sweepstakes hobby to a favorite pastime you do each day (watching reruns of &quot;Burn Notice&quot; or catching up on the news, for example) gives you a way to do your entries at the same time each day, as well as multitask in a relaxing way.</li> </ul> <p>Luck has something to do with winning, but most people I know that &quot;never&quot; win don't understand the concepts above. &quot;You can't win if you don't enter&quot; holds more truth than any other advice I know on sweepstakes and contests. You can win if you don't give up too quickly.</p> <p><em>Are you a sweepstakes regular? What have you won?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-win-sweepstakes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-win-big-in-online-sweepstakes">How to Win Big in Online Sweepstakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-scream-you-scream-i-m-lovin-free-ice-cream">I Scream, You Scream… I’m Lovin’ FREE Ice Cream!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/be-a-winner-with-your-dinner-or-not">Be a Winner with Your Dinner (Or not)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-ease-into-a-day-job-after-freelancing">5 Ways to Ease Into a Day Job After Freelancing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks contests promotions sweepstakes Tue, 11 Mar 2014 10:36:33 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1129913 at http://www.wisebread.com Easter Eggs Aren't Only For Easter http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/easter-eggs-arent-only-for-easter <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/easter-eggs-arent-only-for-easter" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/easter-eggs-arent-only-for-easter</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/easter-eggs-arent-only-for-easter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012215816Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know about you, but I've always been drawn to products that have that extra little <em>something</em> in them.</p> <p>It's always interesting to hear when people discover nifty little built-in &quot;easter eggs,&quot; or extra hidden features that only a few people may notice inside of a product. These easter eggs might be hidden tracks on an album, special hidden features in a game or web application, or a special prop in a TV show. There are plenty of ways easter eggs are added into lots of things we watch, use, or listen to.</p> <p>It may seem frivolous, and yet one more thing to think about, but hiding an easter egg in your product or website can help you build a better relationship with your customers.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Reward the TRUE Fan</strong></p> <p>Sometimes adding a little unexpected something to your site or product can give your fans something to look forward to. The producers of the TV show <em>Psych </em>have included a pineapple in nearly episode to give fans &quot;in the know&quot; something to look forward to.</p> <p>The true fans are the ones you want to reward, and giving them a little extra something lets them know that you care.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Break the Monotony</strong></p> <p>Google <em>loves</em> to <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/217752/googles_top_easter_eggs_gags_and_hoaxes_2011_edition.html" target="_blank">add easter eggs into their products</a>: nifty logos, funny error messages, and April Fool's Day pranks every year. For a company that specializes in something as monotonous as search, they can get away with adding lots of fun extras.</p> <p>When you have a web company that does mundane things, it can be a refreshing break from the monotony with fun, unexpected &quot;treats&quot; for users.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Can Add Much-Needed Humor</strong></p> <p>Easter eggs may not be applicable to every type of &quot;boring&quot; company: you probably wouldn't want a fun or comical easter egg on, say, on the <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/" target="_blank">Mayo Clinic website</a>. But companies have learned that humor can go a long way to adding a bit of fun. And easter eggs are a great way to add humor.</p> <p>Humor is being used more and more to market more traditional, no-nonsense types of products like <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndHOmYCMaXQ" target="_blank">insurance</a>, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0GsNhLt9Ds" target="_blank">online stock trading</a>, or even <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE" target="_blank">soap</a>.</p> <p>Look no further than Google's famed <a href="http://google.about.com/od/experimentalgoogletools/tp/aprilfools.htm" target="_blank">April Fool's Day jokes</a>. Fake products like Google Translate for Animals or the Google Copernicus Center, a fake hiring center on the moon, make people laugh every year.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Add Intrigue</strong></p> <p>When you hide easter eggs in your product, you give the user a reason to wonder what else might be hidden.</p> <p>The PC computer game <em>Myst</em> of the mid-nineties was almost solely based around finding easter eggs and clues hidden on the mythical island. The game centered around the excitement of exploring the unknown and poring over every detail within the game for easter eggs.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Give Your Team a Fun Project</strong></p> <p>Teams who work hard every day appreciate being able to cut loose and create something that doesn't necessarily have the pressure of (directly) influencing the bottom line. It's good for team morale.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Can Be a Marketing Tool</strong></p> <p>J.J. Abrams is the master of using easter eggs to sell something. With Abrams' blockbuster film <em>Cloverfield</em> Abrams created <a href="http://www.1-18-08.com/" target="_blank">1-18-08.com</a>, a site with pictures that the viewer could move around and try to interpret a series of events. Viral sites for a drink Slusho! and a Japanese drilling company Tagruato were both created to add to the mythology of the Cloverfield story. Abrams used these sites to tell side stories and add even more mystery and interest around the movie.</p> <p><strong>Easter Eggs Can be Viral</strong></p> <p>Easter eggs are inherently viral. What's the first thing you want to do when you discover an easter egg? You want to tell your friends. We humans don't want to share the mundane; we want to share the unique. We're drawn to it. Easter eggs are natural viral tools.</p> <p>At the end of the day, easter eggs show an attention to detail to your customers. Sure, it's all fun and games. But sometimes it's the little things that make the difference to the person using your product.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/glen-stansberry">Glen Stansberry</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/easter-eggs-arent-only-for-easter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-market-your-side-business">6 Simple Ways to Market Your Side Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center customer rewards Easter eggs marketing promotions small business Sun, 20 Nov 2011 19:47:20 +0000 Glen Stansberry 788828 at http://www.wisebread.com Sweetening the Deal on Small Business Saturday http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/sweetening-the-deal-on-small-business-saturday <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/sweetening-the-deal-on-small-business-saturday" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/sweetening-the-deal-on-small-business-saturday</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/sweetening-the-deal-on-small-business-saturday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000017986821Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>On Small Business Saturday, American Express will be giving a sweet deal to customers of small businesses. Those who register their American Express cards, shop at participating businesses, and spend $25 or more using the registered card on Saturday, November 26, 2011 will earn a $25 statement credit.</p> <p>Small business owners and their marketing teams are spreading the word to their customers through in-store signage, fliers, email blasts, Facebook updates, tweets, interviews with local media, and more. In addition, many are collaborating with other small businesses including their vendors, referral partners, locally-focused bloggers, and shopping-center neighbors to publicize and celebrate the event.</p> <p>The statement credit itself is compelling. But many small businesses will be <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/30-ways-to-boost-sales-without-discounting" target="_blank">sweetening the deal with additional promotions</a> of their own.</p> <p>Retailers with brick-and-mortar storefronts will be marking the start of the holiday shopping season with storewide sales and special events. <a href="http://www.percys.com/" target="_blank">Percy&rsquo;s TV and Appliance</a> in Worcester, Massachusetts, will be featuring door buster items plus an across-the-board sale on most items. <a href="http://www.carolinacreationsnewbern.com/" target="_blank">Carolina Creations</a>, a fine art and contemporary craft gallery in New Bern, North Carolina, will be hosting a Christmas open house. Guests will be served traditional wassail and coffee cake while they fill out their holiday wish lists. <a href="http://shopthenestegg.com/" target="_blank">The Nest Egg</a> in Fairfax, Virginia, will be offering gifts with purchase and hourly giveaways throughout the day in partnership with its small-business vendors.</p> <p><strong>How Small Business Is Leveraging Small Business Saturday</strong></p> <p>Service providers, restaurants, and ecommerce businesses will also take part in Small Business Saturday with all sorts of packages and deals.</p> <ul> <li>Free yoga or dance class with purchase of a spa day and mention of the promotion at <a href="http://www.thelamar.com/" target="_blank">Spa Lamar</a> in Scottsdale, Arizona;</li> <li>$100 discount for customers who enroll in the financial-coaching class, <a href="http://www.turnonmyfinanciallightbulb.com/" target="_blank">TurnOnMyFinancialLightbulb.com</a> and use a discount code plus three months of free &ldquo;after class coaching&rdquo; sessions;</li> <li>Free dip sampler at <a href="http://newtownbistro.com/ntbnew/" target="_blank">New Town Bistro</a> in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for Amex cardholders who mention the Small Business Saturday promotion;</li> <li>70 percent off coupon code for a Seeds Club subscription from <a href="http://averagepersongardening.com/" target="_blank">Mike the Gardener Enterprises, LLC</a>;</li> <li>Free shipping with a discount code for online orders from <a href="http://betterbatter.org/" target="_blank">Better Batter Gluten Free Flour</a>, which sells gluten-free flour and packaged mixes.</li> </ul> <p>A few are adding to the excitement by featuring special products.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://eatatverde.com/" target="_blank">Verde</a>, a salad- and wrap-oriented restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, will sell specially designed &ldquo;Small Business Salads&rdquo; for $5.00, more than 40 percent discount off its normal price for signature salads;</li> <li>Better Batter Gluten Free Flour will be re-launching several products that have been out-of-stock since April;</li> <li><a href="http://www.alwaysfits.com/small_business_saturday" target="_blank">Alwaysfits.com</a>, an online seller of whimsical gifts, will include a &ldquo;Charge It&rdquo; coin purse with every order over $10.</li> </ul> <p>At least a couple of businesses will be issuing coupon-less offers.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://toys-dolls-miniatures-dollhouses-calico-critters-mighty-world.com/shop/" target="_blank">The Doll House &amp; Toy Store</a> in Scottsdale, Arizona will be giving a 26 percent discount on plush toys (the discount percentage reminds customers that Small Business Saturday is on the 26<sup>th</sup> of November) through a promotion that will be delivered via a QR code on its mobile website;</li> <li><a href="http://www.matatraders.com/" target="_blank">Mata Traders</a> in the Chicago area will have a coupon-less offer at its booth in the Andersonville Galleria, where Mata products will be discounted by 30 percent.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Small Business Saturday Is Just the Beginning</strong></p> <p>Jonit Bookheim, part-owner and marketing director of fair-trade fashion business Mata Traders, is busy getting the online and retail shop ready for the event.</p> <p>&ldquo;We are spreading the word about Small Business Saturday through our <a href="file:///C:/Users/Lars/Dropbox/Freelance/KillerAces/OPEN/2011_11_15/%3chttp:/www.matatraders.com/%3e," target="_blank">website</a>, <a href="file:///C:/Users/Lars/Dropbox/Freelance/KillerAces/OPEN/2011_11_15/%3chttp:/www.matatraders.com/blog/%3e," target="_blank">blog</a>, <a href="http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/manage/optin/ea?v=0018aaLHdu4GfTDrQjLKjLghA%3D%3D" target="_blank">mailing list</a>, <a href="file:///C:/Users/Lars/Dropbox/Freelance/KillerAces/OPEN/2011_11_15/%3chttp:/www.facebook.com/matatraders" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, and <a href="file:///C:/Users/Lars/Dropbox/Freelance/KillerAces/OPEN/2011_11_15/%3chttps:/twitter.com/#%21/MataTraders" target="_blank">Twitter</a>. We will have a special offer on that day of 30 percent off purchase, plus the first 50 orders will get a free gift of a tote bag that says &lsquo;say no to plastic.&rsquo; The customer would just use the [discount] code at checkout on our website for the discount.We will also be creating our own YouTube video for the Small Business Saturday competition to win a $5000 marketing campaign and a front page spot on YouTube the day before Small Business Saturday. &ldquo;</p> <p>For Bookheim, some of these promotional efforts are new and she&rsquo;s not sure what to expect.</p> <p>&ldquo;We received $100 in free Facebook ads for signing up with the American Express Small Business Saturday campaign on Facebook. That means that we'll be featured in ads for Small Business Saturday. We have had an increase in &ldquo;likes&rdquo; in the last week, but we attribute that to one of our staff members becoming an admin of our page and inviting her friends to like us. We haven't ever advertised on Facebook before, so I'll definitely be watching to see if we get any increase in traffic and likes.&rdquo;</p> <p>Like Mata Traders, The Doll House &amp; Toy Store will be involved in Small Business Saturday in many ways. Plus, the seller of miniatures, dolls, and toys will extend an offer beyond the traditional holiday shopping season. Small Business Saturday shoppers will be eligible to earn a $25 bounce back coupon, redeemable with a minimum purchase of $100 from January 1, 2012 to January 31, 2012.</p> <p><i>What are your plans for events, special offers, and promotions on Small Business Saturday?</i></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/sweetening-the-deal-on-small-business-saturday">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-market-your-side-business">6 Simple Ways to Market Your Side Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center marketing promotions small business Small Business Saturday Sat, 19 Nov 2011 20:23:57 +0000 Julie Rains 788931 at http://www.wisebread.com 30 Ways to Boost Sales Without Discounting http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/30-ways-to-boost-sales-without-discounting <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/30-ways-to-boost-sales-without-discounting" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/30-ways-to-boost-sales-without-discounting</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/30-ways-to-boost-sales-without-discounting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000014527125Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You don't have to cut profit margins just to make the sale. Discounts can be a great tool, but they're also expensive. Worse, if your customers start to wait for you to discount, they're counter-productive. Fortunately, there are <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/how-a-14-gift-increased-sales-by-669-percent-1" target="_blank">lots of other tools</a> in the sales toolbag. Here are 30 of them.</p> <h2>General Methods</h2> <p><strong>1.</strong> <b>Future-use coupons</b>: Use wording such as &quot;For every $50 you spend tonight, you get $10 off your next purchase of $50 or more.&quot; Your customers have an incentive to spend at least $50, and you'll get an additional $50 in purchases when they apply their future-use coupon.</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> <b>Product packages</b>: Package a selection of products according to a theme (color, season, gift idea, topic, whatever) and sell as a special package.</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> <b>Seasonal specials</b>: For restaurants, this translates into promoting food that is in season. For others, use whatever major holiday is approaching. Promote the products or services &ndash; or create new ones &ndash; that somehow connect with the season, and put them front and center.</p> <h2>For Restaurants</h2> <p><strong>4. </strong><b>Free meal night</b>: One day or night of the week, pick a random customer who gets an entire meal for free. People will come for the chance at a free meal, and for the cost of one free meal, you increase sales on a slow night.</p> <p><strong>5. </strong><b>Live music</b>: entertainment not only draws people in, it makes them want to linger, have another cup of wine, maybe some dessert, coffee...</p> <p><strong>6. </strong><b>Contests</b>: Any kind of contest can draw people in, but smart contests also make them want to purchase. Feature a new sandwich, at regular price, and hold a &quot;Name that Sandwich&quot; contest. The winner gets a free sandwich, but everyone else pays.</p> <p><strong>7. </strong><b>Bring-Your-Own night</b>: For delis or cafes that don't serve alcohol, have a BYOB night. Extend your hours and provide glasses.</p> <p><strong>8.</strong> <b>Family entertainment</b>: Hire a clown, a magician, some dude who makes balloon animals. Let him wander the restaurant, or rope off a small area for &quot;the stage.&quot; Publicize the whole thing as family night and have your staff promote kid-friendly selections from the menu.</p> <p><strong>9. </strong><b>Upsell</b>: Have you trained your staff in the power of suggestion? Many restaurants do, but you might have overlooked it. Wait staff or counter staff should always have an upsell suggestion at the ready. &quot;Would you like fries with that?&quot; is only the beginning.</p> <p><strong>10. </strong><b>Offer samples</b>: Customers who are afraid to try something new will try a free sample, then, often, purchase a full order.</p> <p><strong>11. </strong><b>Offer a take-home option</b>: Sit-down restaurants could easily increase sales by promoting take-home packages. Put together a &quot;take-home lunch&quot; offer. It could include an entree, side, and dessert, be packaged for travel, and include heating/serving instructions. You're saving customers the trouble of figuring out lunch the next day. Try a &quot;take-home dinner&quot; option, too.</p> <h2>For Online Sellers</h2> <p><strong>12. </strong><b>Free info products</b>: Digital information products like ebooks and white papers can be distributed without additional cost. Make them a bonus for purchasers.</p> <p><strong>13. </strong><b>Shipping</b>: Offer free shipping or faster shipping for purchases made within a certain time or over a certain dollar amount.</p> <p><strong>14. </strong><b>Bulk order rewards</b>: Customers who buy in bulk get a reward of some kind, such as a free customer club membership or a free t-shirt or other promotional item.</p> <p><strong>15. </strong><b>Features</b>: Highlight a particular item and put it front and center. Sales will increase just because it is &quot;the featured item&quot; even though it isn't discounted.</p> <p><strong>16. </strong><b>Customer reviews</b>: <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/marketing/article/5-ways-to-make-review-sites-your-new-best-friend-1" target="_blank">Gather positive customer reviews</a> and put them beside the product or service being offered. Testimonials are powerful.</p> <p><strong>17. </strong><b>Cross-promotion</b>: For B2B businesses, offer a cross-promotion opportunity, such as a directory listing or advertising spot for customers who purchase within X hours or over X dollar amount.</p> <h2>For Retail Stores</h2> <p><strong>18. </strong><b>Freebie night</b>: &quot;Every Monday, our 117th customer gets a free t-shirt!&quot; Or a free coffee mug, or <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/how-to-leverage-an-economy-of-giving-and-profit-annie-mueller" target="_blank">a free gift of your choosing. </a></p> <p><strong>19. </strong><b>Trade-in night</b>: &quot;Bring in your old ____ and get $X.00 off the purchase of a new ____.&quot; Or, &quot;Bring in your old _________ and we'll dispose of it/recycle it for you for free.&quot;</p> <p><strong>20. </strong><b>Charity donations</b>: &quot;For every $50 you spend tonight, we'll donate 5 percent to ABC Charity.&quot; Or give them a few charities to choose from. Or make it based on the total sales for the day or night.</p> <p><strong>21. </strong><b>Personal shopper service</b>: Take your staff through some training on assisting customers in making their shopping decisions, and then allow customers to make appointments with these newly trained personal shoppers.</p> <p><strong>22.</strong> <b>Club membership</b>: Create a customer club with particular benefits (newsletter, coupons, special events, extended hours) and offer free membership with any purchase over a set dollar amount. Otherwise, membership should cost something.</p> <p><strong>23.</strong> <b>Free gift with purchase</b>: This promotion alone nets those beauty product companies thousands of dollars.</p> <p><strong>24. </strong><b>Express check-out</b>: have a dedicated check-out line for purchases over a fixed dollar amount.</p> <h2>For Service Providers</h2> <p><strong>25. </strong><b>Give a guarantee</b>: Make it risk-free for your customers. &quot;Buy today, and we'll give you a 90-day money-back guarantee.&quot; Risk prevents people from buying. Remove the risk and you increase the sales.</p> <p><strong>26.</strong> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/how-to-make-your-business-irresistible-to-strategic-partners-1" target="_blank">Partner up</a>: Find a related, complementary business and put together packages that include your service and their products.</p> <p><strong>27.</strong> <b>Make it convenient</b>: Working people often find it difficult to get things done during &quot;business hours&quot; because they're working, too. So offer an &quot;at your convenience&quot; option for those customers. For an additional fee, you'll extend your hours or make special arrangements for weekends, nights, or holidays.</p> <p><strong>28. </strong><b>Free consultation</b>: This is the service provider version of the free &quot;personal shopper service&quot; that retailers might offer.</p> <p><strong>29. </strong><b>Add-ons</b>: Have a list of add-ons for every service purchase, and make them quick and easy. &quot;For only $10 more, you can add on XYZ service. Would you like to do that?&quot;</p> <p><strong>30. </strong><b>Rewards and levels</b>: Offer rewards, but tie them to dollar amounts or commitment levels. The greater purchase or commitment garners the greater reward.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/30-ways-to-boost-sales-without-discounting">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-free-food-at-chick-fil-a">6 Ways to Score Free Food at Chick-fil-A</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-shouldnt-order-on-amazon">5 Things You Shouldn&#039;t Order on Amazon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-to-maximize-your-savings-at-home-depot">6 Surprising Ways to Maximize Your Savings at Home Depot</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center discounts gifts marketing promotions sales small business Sat, 03 Sep 2011 22:27:36 +0000 Annie Mueller 677374 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Pitfalls of Price Promotions http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-pitfalls-of-price-promotions <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/marketing/article/5-pitfalls-of-price-promotions" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/marketing/article/5-pitfalls-of-price-p...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/5-pitfalls-of-price-promotions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000004089013Small_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone loves a sale, right?</p> <p>Everyone, that is, except for the businessperson who watches as the competitive advantage that he or she thought would result from a price promotion turns into a competitive <i>DIS-</i>advantage.</p> <p>What happened?</p> <ol> <li>Price promotions can train your customers that your prices aren&rsquo;t real. Customers then tend to &ldquo;wait for the sale&rdquo; and are less likely to buy at full price.</li> <li>Price promotions can cost more than they bring in. Higher volumes are nice, but not at the expense of profits. Unless the promotion creates new, loyal customers, you may not have gained anything but some extra work.</li> <li>Frequent price promotions can signal weakness to your competition.</li> <li>When done too frequently, consumers may assume there is something wrong with your product and that it is not actually worth full price.</li> <li>Your ability to deliver quality goods or services may suffer if you become known only for promotional pricing.</li> </ol> <p>As with the rest of running a business, there's a right way to run your price promotions and a wrong way. Let's start with the wrong way.</p> <h3>The Not-So-Profitable Price Promotion</h3> <p>As a young professional, I worked for a small family-owned retail chain whose tagline was &ldquo;Only the Best for Less&rdquo;. This business owner always had several brand name items on sale at a better price than the other stores in the area. The remaining items in the stores were priced just barely under, or the same as, everyone else&rsquo;s prices. Each week, the promotional items changed.</p> <p>The hope, of course, was that consumers would come in for the specials and purchase the remainder of their needed items at the same time whether those items were on sale or not. The success of this strategy varied widely, depending on the items that were on special, how deep the discount was, and whether or not the other local store owners decided to match the sale price. Frequently, they did.</p> <p>In the end, the strategy backfired and the business decided to drop their tagline and change their marketing approach, but not before some damage was done.</p> <p>What happened?</p> <p>Price conscious customers caught on pretty quickly, and it wasn&rsquo;t unusual for someone to complain that the claim of &ldquo;Only the Best for Less&rdquo; was not always true. While the business owner had a policy of meeting other pharmacy&rsquo;s prices if a customer showed him their ad, he couldn&rsquo;t compete with the big box stores when they started opening in his area. He had never established a reputation for service and quality, only for price, and making that change was expensive, painful, and not very successful.</p> <h3>Price Promotions Done Well</h3> <p>One of the best-known examples of a successful promotional pricing policy is the one used by Nordstrom. They have managed to avoid all five problems.</p> <p>To begin with, Nordstrom has many different value/price levels for their regularly priced merchandise &mdash; you can buy a pair of shoes for $50, $500, or anywhere in between. In this way, they appeal to consumers at all price levels.</p> <p>In addition, they have three widely anticipated sale events per year. These events are not closeouts of leftover merchandise &mdash; they are true sales on new merchandise, much of it brought in for the sale. However, not everything in the store is on sale at those times &mdash; far from it.</p> <p>A customer who shops during non-sale times knows that they have to purchase at full price, or take their chances with the once-in-a while season-end clearance rack, because it&rsquo;s highly unlikely that the item they like will ever be available at a less than full price.</p> <p>In addition, the sale events themselves are great marketing vehicles. They bring lots of customers into the store, and many of them buy non-sale merchandise while they&rsquo;re at the sale. But better yet, many of those customers return at non-sale times because the quality of the sale event turns them into loyal Nordstrom customers.</p> <h3>Keep Your Price Promotions Proper</h3> <p>The ultimate goal of a price promotion is to get and keep new customers, and to encourage existing customers to buy goods or services they may be buying elsewhere from you instead. Ultimately, you want both types of customers to come for the price, but stay for the selection, quality, and service.</p> <p>These principles apply to all businesses, not just retail businesses. Whether you sell goods or services, and no matter what type of customers you serve, you can benefit from promotional pricing &mdash; as long as you keep that ultimate goal in mind.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/joanne-berg">JoAnne Berg</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-pitfalls-of-price-promotions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sign-up-for-half-price-flights-and-free-hotels">How to Sign Up for Half-Price Flights and Free Hotels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-market-your-side-business">6 Simple Ways to Market Your Side Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-oh-where-are-my-worms-be-on-your-toes-when-ordering-from-small-web-businesses">Where Oh Where Are My Worms? Be On Your Toes When Ordering From Small Web Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center business strategy customer service marketing pricing pricing strategy promotions small business Wed, 27 Apr 2011 19:49:35 +0000 JoAnne Berg 528211 at http://www.wisebread.com Double Coupons – They Could Cost You! http://www.wisebread.com/double-coupons-they-could-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/double-coupons-they-could-cost-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cash register.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p> <meta http-equiv="CONTENT-TYPE" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" /><br /> <meta name="GENERATOR" content="OpenOffice.org 2.3 (Win32)" /></p> <style type="text/css"> <!-- @page { size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --><!-- @page { size: 8.5in 11in; margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --> </style></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">I recently tried (and failed) a recent Super Double Coupon promotion at my local Kmart. The bad news: I was unable to check out due to a glitch in their system, and I left all my items at the register. The good news: I shopped elsewhere and (surprisingly) saved so much more money.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">To make a long story short, I prepared for the Super Double Coupon promotion at Kmart for days. I cut, sorted, stacked, and planned. I was so stoked to be able to double all my manufacturer's coupons up to and including $2. There was money to be saved! After hours of shopping, however, I was faced with not being able to check out (details to come at a later date.) I left the store dismayed and headed over to Walmart, where they gladly accepted my coupons, my preferred method of payment, and my gratitude.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">The experience was trying, but valuable. I learned a lot about store promotions and coupons in general. Here's the dirt on a (sometimes) dirty practice:</p> <ul> <li>Stores that double are often higher priced to begin with. An example is the $4.98 bottle of shampoo that I was going to buy at Kmart with a $1.00 manufacturer's coupon (which doubled, would have made the shampoo $2.98.) At Walmart, this same shampoo was only $3.89. With the same coupon (not doubled), it was only $2.89, and I didn't need a special &ldquo;promotion&rdquo; to get it. Another example is the &ldquo;sale priced&rdquo; candle kit for &ldquo;only&rdquo; $8.99 at Kmart. With my $5 coupon (which didn't double), it still cost me $3.99. Across the street at Target, they were selling it for an every day low price of $5.99. With my coupon, it was 99 cents. (No kidding.)</li> <li>Stores that offer select promotions don't always keep product in stock. I was so pumped to see a particular body wash on sale for $2 at Kmart. With my $1 off coupon, the product would have been free. I say &ldquo;would have&rdquo; because they only carried a few on the shelf at a time. Less than a few hours after the promotion began, they were all gone. (It does me no good to get a &ldquo;great deal&rdquo; on something out of stock.) Rainchecks don't help in this case, either.</li> <li>These same stores can sometimes be selective in the sizes and styles they offer. An example is my favorite pain reliever, which comes in 24 caplets, 40 caplets, or 100 caplets. With a doubled $2 coupon, I should be able to buy the smallest sized bottle (priced at $3.98) for free &ndash; if Kmart even carried it. Walmart, on the other hand, carried all 3 sizes, and even had an exclusively-packaged size that included another sample for free. It was only a few cents more for this bonus package, and I walked away with far more product, for less money.</li> <li>Some stores are not equipped to deal with coupons. The most aggravating part of the Kmart experience was how the register rang up the coupons. For about 50% of the coupons, they wouldn't &ldquo;attach&rdquo; to the product they were being redeemed for. This prompted a little screen to pop up, asking the cashier which one of the 100 products it was intended for. She would then ask, &ldquo;Was this for the bodywash, toothpaste, diapers, etc, etc,&rdquo; going down the whole list. I would simply reply, &ldquo;look at the coupon. It has a picture of diapers on it.&rdquo; Walmart, on the other hand (and stores like Target) just scan the coupon and they are done.</li> </ul> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Are there advantages to stores like Kmart offering Super Double Coupons? Sure, if you can go in for a few odd items and be satisfied. I, however, like to buy all my goods at one location. I tend NOT to stockpile 56 bottles of shampoo. I prefer to use coupons only on things I'm buying anyway. I'm simple like that.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">So for now, I'll stick to my old couponing ways. These ways actually SAVE me money. They don't lead me into buying hundreds of dollars of overpriced stuff to begin with.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><em>For those of you who were able to take advantage of the Kmart deal and made out ahead, I'm really happy for you. Seriously. (But did you have to take ALL of the bodywash?)</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/double-coupons-they-could-cost-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-cant-save-if-you-dont-try">You Can’t Save if You Don’t Try</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-a-dental-discount-plan-save-you-money">Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Budgeting Consumer Affairs Shopping coupons promotions shopping Wed, 03 Dec 2008 05:31:50 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2619 at http://www.wisebread.com