Tips for Designing an Effective Outdoor Banner

March 6, 2019

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Getting an outdoor banner is one of the most effective ways that you can use to promote your services and products to the local people at different events. They can also be used at shops or even trade shows to inform them about your brand. You can easily reach your audience with minimal effort. When you make a careful choice, then you will definitely boost the brand and sales will go up.

The design

Designing is the most important part of it all. It is the design that determines how colorful and visible the banner is. It is also the determinant of the message that is to be used. As such, it is important to choose a design company carefully.

This method of advertising can only make the desired statement if designed in the best and most effective way. There are practices that have to be incorporated to make it the best. Some helpful tips include:

  • Define its purpose: you need to think carefully about what you want to convey to the audience. You need to think of the result that you want to accomplish by using it. This is the only way to settle the ultimate goal as well as the entire process.
  • Strategic placement: one of the most important things to do is to make a strategic placement. You need you be intelligent about the way you place them. You need to be strategic about it. That is the only way that you can make it effective. You may choose to place it somewhere where you will get most views or you can place it in an area where you can get you the targeted audience.
  • Grab the attention of your audience: regardless of where the banners are for outdoor or indoor, the design has to get people’s attention. You need to make people want to read them. Sometimes this part of designing that is overlooked. You need to make sure that they are noticed so that they can drive action.
  • Simplicity: one of the important things to consider is simplicity. You should always keep the design and the message as simple as possible. It should convey the idea effectively. Do not use too many fonts, as it may look confusing. Choose the colors very wisely. When it is colorful, then it will definitely attract the attention of your target audience. Give the message as much space as possible so that it stands out.
  • Match it with the clients and the business: you need to think carefully about what kind of business that you are running. You also need to know what the clients want. The design should allow people to understand the kind of business you are in as well as the work style.
  • Call to action: this is an important selling point. It is important to guide people on what you want them to do with the information that you display. Should they donate, sign up, apply, ask, call, book… ? You need to have a call to action that is very clear, visible, and simple.

Selecting the Ideal Roll Up Banner Stand

March 6, 2019

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Stand up banners are an efficient and very useful way that you can use to display a message regarding the business that you operate in. this is mostly in cases of events, promotions, or even showcases. These are the appropriate mode of communication if at all you want to stand out and tell people more about your brand without saying a word.

It is important to think about the design and the message to arouse interest in the target audience. It only works well if the people respond and give you the attention that you need to grow your brand.

The right choice

There are several things that you will need to think of when you are picking the most appropriate banner. If you want an affordable and simple method of advertising, then this is the most sensible decision. They are convenient, attractive, and durable as well.

Flexible

To ensure that you made the right choice, it has to be flexibility. There are designs that can be used for both outdoors and indoors events. However, there are specific choices for whether indoors or outdoors. Make sure that the choice you make will not be discarded after one use.

Usage

If you plan to use it more than one time, then it needs to be durable. Consider the material quality.

Size

You need to come up with a size that can attract attention. However, it should not overpower any others. Make sure that the size is appropriate for the space that you have been allocated.

There are so many styles, sizes, and shapes. When you know the space, then you can work on coming up with one that compliments the area. To make it stand out, you should use a company brand or logo at the very top. The best thing is to use images that are exceptional to help people understand what your area of expertise is.

The message

If you want it to play its purpose well, then you need to have a message that will deliver the objective in a very clear manner. If you want to promote, then you need to include the advantages of your brand and the different features that can be enjoyed. It is also important the message remains as simple and as short as possible. This is because you need to capture your audience in the shortest time possible.

Color

When selecting, you need to think about the colors. When a color is chosen carefully, then you can make your banner even more effective. When you settle for the bright colors and make the message colorful, then it will definitely stand out. One can even spot if from a distance and may want to know what it is all about. You should also consider using the company colors to help people make the quick link or start associating the logo with you if you are dealing with a new brand

The Need for Financial Translation Services

March 6, 2019

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Has it ever struck you that Ugandan banks could be alienating potential customers by not considering financial translation services and having their transactions done in the English language? Every Ugandan bank you go to has its receipts written in English. In fact even most of the tellers and other staff in these banks speak only the official national language – English.

It’s ironic that banks that are at the forefront of preaching the gospel of developing a savings culture are the ones doing all their official business in the English language yet they know that most Ugandans are not well-educated and even some of those who have attained formal education up to university level are still not fluent with the Queen’s language and prefer communicating in the local languages.

This situation in Uganda’s financial sector justifies the urgent need for financial translation services. In the capital city, Kampala, the local newspaper Bukkedde sells more copies everyday than Daily Monitor and New Vision. Even in western Uganda, Orumuri newspaper which is written in Runyankole-Rukiga sells like hotcakes because people generally prefer reading something written in their mother tongues.

This also explains why the glut of radio and television stations that saturate our country since the liberalisation of media in early 1990s are popular for broadcasting in local languages. Radio stations like Sanyu Fm, Radio One, and Capital Fm (to mention only three) which broadcast exclusively in the English language are only popular among the urban elite who are the minority compared to stations like CBS in Buganda or Radio West in Mbarara who have more listeners but broadcast in the local languages.

Need for a paradigm shift

It goes without saying that we need a paradigm shift in Uganda’s financial sector as far as communications is concerned. Those who cannot speak English language fluently don’t deserve to miss out on messages of financial and economic empowerment. Thus the time is now for banks and other financial businesses to hire financial language translators to always translate their documents into local languages for accessibility of those not articulate in the English language. Other translation services offered in various languages include;

Oromo translation services

Kinyarwanda translation services

Malagasy translation services

Somali translation services

Kirundi translation services

Chewa translation services

Tigrinya translation services among many others.

The other day a lady from one of the big insurance companies in Kampala came to persuade me to sign up for one of their educational insurance packages. She was Ugandan with a Ugandan name but she was speaking fast like a rapper and in a foreign accent that made it hard for me to grasp what she was saying. I asked her to speak in Luganda but she said she was not fluent in it though she was born and raised in Buganda. In the end I never signed up for the package she was selling because I just could not keep up with her foreign accent and fast speech.

This is another example of how the language barrier is costing business owners and financial corporations many potential customers. The proletariat who are the majority would rather keep their money in piggy banks or stash it under their mattresses than save it with banks because the banks and other companies are not speaking the language these ordinary folks understand. If they did, many banks would be booming because many people would be saving with them and we would have a robust economy. As a common saying goes, a word for the wise is enough!

15 Business Etiquettes Professionals Should Know

March 6, 2019

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“A man without a smiling face must never open a shop” or so the Chinese proverb goes. Truly, smiling goes a long way to lighting up the mood for a friendlier, more understanding conversation. This is true in business as well, especially when trying to make a business partnership. However, there are more business etiquettes beyond smiling and demonstrating these will show others that your customers and your business are worth respecting.

* Introduce everyone, even when in doubt – There is a proper way to introduce people to each other. First, introduce the person who is the most senior, using their full name and their job title or responsibility. Next introduce that person to the person who has lower authority. Make sure to also mention his or her full name. To end, you may mention some details about each other as a topic of common interest. When being introduced to someone, always stand up if you are sitting.

* A firm handshake – The way businessmen shake hands more often than not sets the tone between them. Giving a good, firm handshake will set a good first impression as it may eventually end up in a successful business partnership. If you are the host or the senior member, you should be the one initiating the handshake.

* Admit if you forget their names – Forgetting the names of people you were recently introduced to is not uncommon. If it happens, admit it and ask for it again as this shows that you give them importance.

* Sitting down for a meeting – Whether the meeting is in a restaurant or in an office, in a group or a one-on-one, it is best not to pull out the chair for anyone. In a business setting, everyone should dismiss social gender rules and treat everyone equally. When seated, never cross your legs as it may be distracting and disrespectful.

* Meeting in a restaurant – Contrary to business instincts, do not use your knife to break bread. Tear it off with your bare hands as this signifies your openness to your potential business partner. When finished with the meal, never push your plate away nor stack the plates. Try not to have any left overs as well. If your guest orders appetizers or dessert, you should be ordering as well. This avoids the potential awkwardness of having other people in your party eating and you have nothing on your plate. If you are the host, you should pay for your guest unless he or she insists otherwise or is against their company’s gifting policy.

* Dress properly – The way someone dresses is a form of nonverbal communication. Dressing appropriately for a meeting shows an automatic sign of respect for either the guests or for the host. Additionally, always check the dress code for an event as some events may require either more or less formal attire.

* Keep cellphones in your pockets – Never place phones on the meeting table and don’t use them during the meeting. Only answer calls that are urgent and excuse yourself from the meeting and take your call outside so you don’t interrupt the meeting.

* “Please” and “Thank You” – These two phrases show politeness in any conversation and it is all the more important in a professional setting. Saying “please” can be used as much as needed. “Thank you”, however, should be used once or twice as saying it too many times may lower its impact. As much as possible, give thanks to everyone individually after a meeting.

* Stay sober – Businessmen have lost reputations and careers because drunken behavior. Although none of the things said or done while drunk were meant, it is a clear sign of disrespect towards either the host or guests. Don’t embarrass yourself or your business. Know your limits and control your pace.

* Be genuinely interested – Always make eye contact in a conversation and make sure to pay attention to every detail the guest says. Take the time to ask questions as this shows that you were listening and interested.

* Double check emails – Simple mistakes can be made to derail a meeting or blow a deal. You may have date and time wrong for a meeting, left out some paperwork to be signed, or worse, your emails were sent to the wrong person and may potentially endanger the company.

* Use professional photos – When using your or anyone’s photos for business matters, always use a proper headshot. Businesses would need to look credible to other businesses.

* Greet everyone anywhere – Regardless of seniority, always greet people. You may never know that he may actually be your next business partner. When people greet you, it is imperative that you greet back.

* Don’t forget to smile – Just like the Chinese proverb, smiling works wonders in any occasion, whether in a meeting, during introductions, or in a business social gathering.

The Top Business Trends You Must Keep in Mind

March 6, 2019

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As you know, we live in an environment where it’s “blink,” and you missed it. Still, there’s always an urgent need to keep on top of what is happening so that you can stay ahead in business. I own several companies and, candidly, I don’t think there’s a single day I’m not thinking about how to make things better and improve our competitive advantage in our industries.

A couple of days ago I read an article about a luxury yacht company that had been in business for generations, and although they had client orders on hand, in the tens of millions of dollars, they fired everyone and shuddered their doors. They were hemorrhaging money and not paying attention to the changing winds.

The reality is that I can sit here today and write what you want to be looking for in business trends and then a year from now, write the same sort of article with different ideas to keep an eye on as business and society evolve. Still, there are some areas that I think will remain constant and you should pay attention to in your company.

Always Pay Extra Attention to Millennials

For decades and decades, the “darling” of generations were the Baby Boomers because of their sheer size and buying power. As the Boomers are now seniors, the same can be said about Millennials. They will be, and already are, a force for years to come and they are the first generation that is pure digital natives. Your products and services should be marketed to them and how they think. By 2020, Millennials will have an estimated $1.4 trillion in spending power.

Get Comfortable With AI, IoT, and ML

What used to be buzzwords such as AI, IoT, and ML, are not anymore. They are not the future; they are the present. Most of you know about AI (Artificial intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things), but maybe you have not heard about ML (Machine Learning). Machine learning is when computers do things without being programmed to do it because they are learning it for themselves. Through machine learning, we are given self-driving cars, excellent web search tools, practical speech recognition programs and a host of other platforms. As technology evolves, all of these elements will play a more substantial part in life and business.

Remote Workforce

I have a preference for my team to be onsite, but for some functions and aspects of our work, these elements are outsourced. Currently 40% plus of American workers are doing some work remotely, without having to be present at their place of business all the time. This trend creates demand for adequately training remote employees through video conferencing platforms, especially for social media and programming positions. All that is required is a computer and Internet.

Get Past the Clutter

The way you brand your business is essential. People are drowning in data and information, and you have to be able to cut to the chase immediately. Branding, which encompasses the name, logo, etc., creates instant identification. With excellent branding, you are perceived as an authority, successful and trustworthy because you pay attention to the details. Also it makes prospecting easier. Customers find you. You can hire better talent. Candidates seek you out rather than looking to apply for a position with an unknown company. Because of branding, it is easier to create more businesses under the same name.

Opportunity Exists in Buying Businesses

There are more businesses for sale due to the retirement of the Baby Boomer and Millennials will be buying them and then reinventing the companies they buy. Keep an eye out for your competition because there’s always an opportunity in looking to buy an existing competitor. For instance, you can buy their entire client base, or perhaps they’ve excelled in e-commerce, and you’re able to bring that into your portfolio. I’ve successfully purchased some of my competitors, and it’s only helped my businesses grow.

Be The Water

March 6, 2019

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A couple of weeks ago, I was reading an article about how Uber has essentially almost pulverized the New York City taxi industry. If you speak to any cabbie these days, you know that they realize their days are numbered. And, even Uber drivers understand that they will lose their jobs once the government and private industry have the opportunity to make driverless cars scalable.

Every day there’s an article about artificial intelligence and the advancements in technology. There’s fear, particularly with older workers, who wonder if they’ll have the chance to retire before the business landscape changes so significantly that they won’t have a job and will be considered too old to be retrained. Some countries have already started to test the idea of a basic living income as they look ahead at the displacement of significant amounts of the population from the workforce.

Be the Water

Change can be very scary for some people, especially as you begin to get older and more set in your ways. However, it doesn’t have to be. In Eastern traditions, there’s a thought about being like a bamboo tree, which can bend with the winds, as opposed to a brittle tree branch. There’s also a famous video of Bruce Lee who aside from being a master martial artist was also somewhat of a philosopher who said, you have to become the water. Still, change is not always easy, and it’s just more apparent and significant now.

The Future is Now

In today’s world, it’s essential for everyone to take stock of what they can do now and into the future. The reality is that in many ways, the future is now. Let’s take, for instance, artificial intelligence. Not too long ago, I called a company for service and low and behold, I realized that I was in the process of engaging with a bot. The experience, candidly, was frustrating because I wanted to speak to a live person quickly but the bot would not allow me to proceed and because I didn’t want to play with it, it eventually hung up on me. I was a client, so that’s not the right way to treat your customers. But, artificial intelligence today teaches itself.

Artificial Intelligence Is Learning

Despite the experience, I know that artificial intelligence is infinitely smart and faster than humans and I expect that maybe as early as this year, when I call that company again, the bot will be much more focused on customer service and I will have a seamless experience, never once speaking to a human. As much as we are in a debate about immigrants taking jobs, a lot of the reality is technology is driving business productivity as evidenced in the car, energy and retail industries. It’s also happening in traditionally white collar jobs such as medicine and law.

Adapting to Change

One of the essential skills all humans now have to have is to adapt to change–quickly. So, how can you develop these skills so you can thrive in the digital age?

  • Keep learning: There’s a lot to learn. Keep learning. Immerse yourself in tech. The excuse that you’re too old to learn technology does not suffice in the digital age. You have no choice but to learn it. So keep ahead of your peers, especially in business, and learn as much about technology as you can.
  • Stay confident: Play “connect the dots” a little and see how much you’ve been able to overcome in the past. Have confidence in yourself that you can successfully evolve and adapt to change. The most important part of change comes from your attitude and how you think of your abilities.
  • See the future: Knowledge is power. Make it a point to read a lot about the societal changes that are happening, including your career. If you know, for instance, that you work in a field that is losing jobs quickly to technology, start thinking about how you can retrain or learn new skills–and then do it.
  • Stay outside your comfort zone: People who have a fear of flying are encouraged to get on a plane as often as they can. The more you face your fears, the less significant they become. If you want to develop your skills for change, then put yourself in situations that are always forcing you outside of your comfort zone.
  • Never give up: Challenges are a part of life and reinvention is part of it in the digital age. Keep moving forward one small step at a time. And, even when the chips are down, don’t give up. Keep chipping away and seeing how you can overcome the obstacles.

Motivation With Mark Knopfler

March 6, 2019

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The word universe means the one song or poem: uni-one and verse-sound or poetry. So sound (so music – so poetry) has an inherent capacity to change our mood, and from this our motivational energies. What we listen to, and when, is significant. As Shakespeare wrote in The Merchant of Venice, “The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils”. So it is that all highly motivated people listen to music often, and should do more so.

Personally I love the music of JS Bach, which I listen to on an almost daily basis, but I also love a small number of great rock/pop stars of the last 40 years. I wonder who your heroes are?

For me Mark Knopfler, erstwhile Dire Straits (with as many great tracks solo as he had in those earlier, halcyon days) is one of the greats. His music is simultaneously melodic, intricate and epic. The epic comes from those great guitar finales he plays – think, ‘Tunnel of Love’. A few years back at the Bournemouth International Centre I had the pleasure of seeing him live. My wife, my son Joe, and I were all swept away with an awesome performance of music that had us spellbound. His live version of ‘Farmer Blues’, for example, was just staggeringly great. I could go on – but you get my drift.

As we walked back to the car, I said to my son: Joe, well, what the three important lessons from Mark Knopfler that anyone could apply to becoming mega-successful and possibly mega-happy? If being a member of a rock and roll band is analogous to running a business, what do you think they might be?

Before sketching the three core lessons we might like to reflect that even doing all the right things does not necessarily lead to success – things go wrong whether you like it or not. As it says in the good book, Time and chance happens to all men. In the case of Mark when I saw him live, he revealed to us why he wasn’t standing up and playing the guitar: he had pulled a nerve in his back and that had plagued him for five weeks. Now that’s what you call irritating – and life!

The lesson from watching Mark is the lesson of creativity: all the songs were his songs, and so everyone followed his tune. Being creative is an essential component of being human: essential – of the essence. Peter Drucker observed that only two things made money for a business: marketing and innovation – everything else was a cost. We need to run businesses where we give full scope to human creativity, especially our own. In the long run it helps make us more stress-resistant.

Second: be an expert at whatever you do! Watch Mark play that guitar – in fact several guitars – and you see an expert at work. Without overdoing it they had cameras which for short periods of time enabled us to see Mark on the stage, and behind him a close up of his fingering and fretwork. And it wasn’t only Mark who was a superb musician – they all were. So, if you are going to be a plumber, nurse, director, manager, shop assistant – be the best. I was amused and impressed recently when the plumber fixing a problem round our house said, “My brother is the best plumber in Dorset”. I said, Well, get him here then – I don’t want the second best!

Finally, get a tight team round you. Towards the end Mark introduced his team and we learnt nearly all of them went back 15 years of playing with him, and one even to the ’80s. He trusted them and they trusted him; the synergy and teamwork were apparent – the great Knopfler could achieve far more leveraging their talent alongside his own. Where are your key team players? Who’s with you on a journey to change the world with your product or service?

7 Vital Ways to Master the Art of Delegating

March 6, 2019

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Somewhere along the way in my career, I picked up a good nugget of advice, and it was to focus as a leader on those tasks which were unique to me and delegate the rest. One of the toughest things about being a leader and manager is mastering that ability. It’s not easy for a variety of reasons, including the idea that only you can do something better and faster, impatience, or lack of awareness.

Unfortunately, there are many managers out there who have not developed enough to follow the advice of focusing on what is unique to your position. And, if you’re an entrepreneur, there’s a higher chance that you could be someone who might have a hard time delegating. In start-up situations, many entrepreneurs end up wearing many hats, and it becomes difficult to let go, but it is crucial to the ultimate success of your business.

As your company begins to take off and grow, one of the most important skills you can master is to learn how to delegate.

  1. Think about those responsibilities that are unique to your position.As a leader and manager, one of the first activities you should do is to carefully consider all of the tasks that you do on a given day. Then, ask yourself if you should be the person doing it. When you go through this exercise, it will help you prioritize the issues you should be taking care of and will ultimately have more time to focus on doing.
  2. Consider the dollars and cents.Once you’ve decided to delegate, you will open up more time that was spent doing the busy work. Like most people, you probably think in terms of dollars and cents or profit margins. Hiring someone, even part-time, that will take over a lot of the process work that you’re doing is going to free up your time to dedicate it to the areas that will grow your business.
  3. Don’t fall into the micro-management trap. Micro-managers love to say that they are delegating their non-essential responsibilities, only to micro-manage their teams. Proper delegation does not mean that you are absolving yourself of any of the accountability for the work. Delegation just says that you are giving the responsibility to someone else, and you have to give them the opportunity to do the job and rise to the occasion.
  4. Maintain a strong feedback flow with your team. When you’ve delegated responsibilities to your team members, an essential aspect of proper delegation means keeping an adequate communication channel open for any questions, comments or concerns. Again, it doesn’t mean that it’s a chance for you to micro-manage a one-way feed system. It’s a two-way feedback flow and an easy tactic to ensure it’s done correctly is to request regular updates on the work.
  5. Make sure that you provide clear directives or instructions. When you’ve decided to create a productive delegation system, one of the essential aspects of delegation is to deliver clear instructions or direction from the outset. If you’re expecting a certain project to look a certain way, have elements you deem important or are looking for a specific outcome, it’s vital that you express those thoughts from the outset.
  6. Remember that your team members are learning how to do something you’ve delegated, and learning is not a linear process. Be prepared for mistakes or a learning curve. You should also expect to be pleasantly surprised when someone has done something in a way you wouldn’t have thought but is still excellent. Learning is not linear, and as a manager, you have to be prepared for some bumps and pleasant surprises on the road.
  7. Let it go.The final aspect of mastering the art of delegation is to stay out of the way and let go. When you’ve assigned responsibilities and informed your team members what they need to get done, then you have to allow them to do the work. Focus on the duties you should be focusing on as a leader and let your team do what they have to do to meet your goals for success.

Remember that delegation is not something that often comes naturally, especially if you’re a business owner and you’re looking to get a new company off the ground. However, whether you work in an established firm or start-up, understanding how to be a self-aware manager who delegates is going to reap many rewards. It will help empower your team, and it will give you the ability to truly focus and concentrate on the aspects of the job that crucially need your undivided attention.

Product Design and Development Firms

March 6, 2019

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There is a common saying about the devastating loss that strikes when an idea dies in the mind before its actual fruition. It is, therefore, largely advocated that all ideas must be put into action and with the help of product design and development firms, individuals have been able to realize their dreams.

Who are these product design and development firms? These are designed to help turn ideas into tangible products. Many brilliant minds choke with ideas that they cannot bring to reality simply because they lack the manpower, the resources and the maybe lack some few essential basics. Product design firms help you design the product to meet the taste of the consumers as well as compete well market wise.

Benefits of hiring a product design and manufacturing agencies

Some of the innovators as discussed above lack some key essential requirements to manufacture their products. These firms take away these troubles and guide you all the way to the end to see your brilliance in action.

For a new product to succeed in this competitive market certain factors must be considered and this requires professionals to conduct market research and other studies. Product design and manufacturing companies carry out these market studies and provide strategies that help the product do well and be as profitable as possible.

In the manufacturing process, certain requirements must be met such as engineering and prototyping the product before the actual final product. This is one of the key roles played by these firms.

With the right firm, certain future problems may be avoided as they help with projections and prediction of the market and will help in redesigning the product to suit the market at all times.

Lastly, these firms help you deal with patent issues and offer guidelines pertaining to the set regulations on your product. This can save the innovator from a lot of legal issues that may arise along the way.

What to look for in a great product design and development company

Their client base, this helps you to know a lot about their level of professionalism and how great they are. The testimonies and reviews can help you make an easy judgment.

The number of years that the firm has been in operation, this helps you to understand its ability to give right market projections.

The company workforce, they should comprise of all the necessary minds such as market researcher, engineers, and all the right professionals. The right firm will always have the right people for you with experience and workmanship that complements your ambitions.

9 More Tips to Significantly Improve Your Purchasing Profitability

March 4, 2019

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1. Ignore the term “discount”

When you hear this term your warning bells should go off. Ask the questions. Discounted from what? Discounted compared to what prices, over inflated starting prices?

Discounted prices may not be discounted at all. They may be establishing the list price and then telling you about the discount off of this price that they are giving you. What do you care about the list price? You should care nothing about the list price. The only thing about the list price that you should care about is that it’s the price that you will never pay.

Don’t assume a discount is giving you the best price or the best value. You want to compare the prices and all other factors of the sale with other sources. Do not just start dealing with a supplier who claims to give you discounts or calls themselves a discount supplier.

You must compare. A discounted price from one source may be higher than the normal prices of another source. How good is a 30% discount on a product that they list as selling for $100 when you can buy it from other sources for $50? You have actually overpaid for this “discounted” product by 40%. A 30% discount from $100 leaves the price at $70. This is 40% higher than the $50 you can buy it at elsewhere. Quite a deal don’t you think?

2. Never tell a supplier who got the order how much lower his bid was than the other bids

If you do, you can expect a higher price from this supplier the next time you have them bid. No one likes to leave money on the table. The bidding process always contains a certain amount of educated guessing as to what price to come in at. If they find out they came in at a bid that was much lower than the competition, then you can reasonably expect them to increase the price next time.

After all, why come in so much lower than the competition when they can come up in price and
still have a good chance to get the job since they were so much lower last time? If they know
they underbid by 15%, the next time they may feel they can come up 10% and still be well under
the other suppliers.

3. Never tell a losing bidder how much over their bid was

You always want them coming in with their lowest price. If they find out that their bid was only slightly high, the next time they may only lower it slightly. If they think they came in much too high, you may find the next bid they come in with to be much lower thereby providing you with an overall greater savings.

For example, if I know my bid was 5% too high, the next time I bid on this job I may bid 5% less; figuring this will match the winning bid last time and this time that winning bidder will come up somewhat. On the other hand, if I think my bid was much too high and I decide to bid again next time, I may lower my bid by 10% or even much more. The end result could be that you get a much lower winning bid.

4. Never tell a supplier what you now pay for an item

You want a fair process of competition and you want the best possible price. You do not want to give one supplier an unfair advantage over another supplier and you don’t want a supplier coming in just under your current price, when without prior knowledge of your prices, he may have come in much lower than this.

5. When you have an employee that has done an exceptional job in purchasing something at a significant savings, give that employee immediate recognition

Also, let others in the company know of the employee’s fine efforts. Not only should the effort be recognized but you also want to reinforce this type of activity with all employees. You want them striving for this type of sincere, visible recognition. This should be done for both large and small purchases.

6. Use ink jet recharging dispensers instead of buying new cartridges for your ink jet printer

You can purchase the refill kits in most office supply stores, direct mail office and computer supply sources and computer stores. Ink jet printer cartridges are extremely expensive at a cost of $30 and up per cartridge. Re-inking your existing cartridge will cost you 1/10th of that amount. Depending on the number of cartridges you use each year, this can easily save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.

7. Use recycled laser printer cartridges

They are not only environmentally sensitive but they will also reduce your costs in this area by 25% to 50%. This can add up to significant savings over the course of the year.

8. Want a simple way to save 25% or more on your laser and ink jet cartridges?

When your printouts start fading or streaking with inconsistent ink coverage, instead of replacing them, simply take out the cartridge and gently shake it from side to side a few times.

Before I discovered this trick my laser printer cartridge was good for about 2,500 sheets of paper. Now it will print excellent copies for over 3,000 sheets of paper. You see, since most of what you print has margins on it, the ink on the sides of the cartridge is never used. By shaking the cartridge you are moving this ink into the middle where it can be used.

9. Don’t buy a brand name unless you have to

You can easily save up to 50% or more when you purchase generic supplies instead of brand name supplies. If you are buying paper clips why would you possibly want to spend twice as much to purchase a name brand of paper clip? I do not know, but I do know that millions and millions of boxes of brand name paper clips are bought every day.

There are hundreds of items for which you could choose a generic or house brand at a savings of 50% or more, with no loss in quality or usefulness at all.

Always look to purchase generic brands of office supplies. You will almost always pay more for name brands and almost never will this added cost be justified. How could you possibly justify buying brand name pens, pencils, paper, paper clips, note pads, tape, forms, and any one of a hundred other items that are for internal consumption?

At least be willing to try them.Test them on a limited basis and compare the quality and effectiveness of the product to the brand name equivalent. By testing a limited quantity of generic products while continuing to use the brand name product you will have no risk in the event that the generic product proves to be unacceptable.

In many cases, the generic product is actually manufactured by the same company that makes the brand name product. The products are simply distributed and sold under a different label.

One note here, do not assume that a generic name item is always lower priced than a brand name item. In the vast majority of the cases this will be true, but nevertheless you must compare prices to ensure this. There will be times when the brand name may actually cost less than the generic item. This is especially true when a manufacturer or distributor is offering specials or running a sale. Never assume anything.

This edition of The Welch Report has been provided by Derrick Welch the author of ‘In Pursuit of Profits: How to at Least Double your Profits Without Increasing Your Sales’. Including 1,000 Cost Control, Expense Reduction, and Income Producing Strategies You Can Start Using Today To Dramatically Increase Your Bottom Line.