Marketing Practical Products

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Not every product can be a jet-ski a treehouse in the forest or a superfast motorbike that quite simply sells itself due to the excitement and interest in generates. In fact, most of the products we manufacture, buy and sell are practical products that are not all that exciting.

From air filters and air tight access panels to pencil sharpeners and paint, there are lots of practical products that are absolutely vital to many of us for many different reasons, but which due to their practicality, can be more difficult to market. However, they also have an advantage in that we do need them.

So, it is possible to market practical products, but how do you do it? Here are some ideas:

Have a Sense of Humor About It

So, you know that accounting is about as boring as it gets, but you have a great accounting apps to sell – use your sense of humour. Poke fun at the abject boringness of accountancy and how dull it all is and not only will your audience will laugh right along with you, but you’ll be laughing your way to the bank too.

Make it Seem Exciting

So, you have some pimple cream to sell, and it’s the least sexy product you can possibly think of, you’re absolutely at your wits end about how to market it. I mean, showing someone with spots and then without them will show the product’s effectiveness, but there will always one those people who doubt that you’re telling the truth, right, so what do you do? Instead of doing the same old boring before and after, you shake it up. You show a young guy using your pimple cream before heading out on his motorcycle to a great party where he ends up meeting a beautiful young girl, and they ride off into the sunset together – you make it sexy and exciting – it’s basically marketing 101.

Hire a Celebrity

If you don’t have the big money, then it doesn’t matter how practical your product is, if you can find a celebrity who is willing to endorse it, they will help you to draw considerable attention to your product, and you will see an increase in sales. If you can’t afford a top-end celebrity, then asking social media influencers to promote your stuff will work in a similar way.

Focus on Safety

Image: stevepb

If your product offers a lot of safety, then you really cannot go wrong by focusing your marketing efforts on that fact because consumers love products that make them feel safe. So, you might think it’s a pretty standard product, but if it helps prevent someone being robbed or their house going up in flames, play up to that, create emotions and tell the consumer exactly how your product will save people – they’ll lap it up.

Instead of worrying about how you’re going to market your most practical products, start thinking about all of the reasons why they are so great, how you can use the above methods to make other people realize that and start acting. People need these things and they will buy them regardless, so make sure they buy from you!

Family And Business Do Mix, And Here’s Why

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Mumpreneurs hear one sentence all the time: “business is bad for the family!” Do horror stories of families getting ripped apart exist? Of course. Does it mean the same will happen to you and your loved ones? No, not at all. There are pros and cons and they need your full, undivided attention seen as you are glue holding everyone together. But, even if issues do raise their head, mums can find the solutions which should keep both parties running on an even keel. To show you how here are four reasons family and business do mix. Let’s go!

Relationships Come First

So, you’re in business with your other half and everything is going smoothly. Sorry to burst the bubble, but it may not stay that way for the long-term. In the beginning, there is a honeymoon period and reality begins to set in and cause small rifts. It’s nothing a rock solid relationship can’t handle, but it’s essential to maintain perspective all the same. For instance, never let the company come in between you and your loved one. When arguments do occur, remember that the important thing is coming to a compromise. Some couples even like to write a “clause” into a contract for extra security.

Don’t Take It Home

When a disagreement does happen, please don’t hold a grudge. At least, don’t do it at home when there is a different atmosphere. Yes, it’s hard to separate business from pleasure as a family because you’re intertwined. It is doable, though, as long as there is a line in the sand. As a rule, it’s savvy to agree never to take a problem outside of the office. That way, the house becomes a haven and a retreat. And, it may help you think of answers to questions because there is no pressure or tension.

Image: DavideGorla

Money Security

Families aren’t in business together and still pay the price. Why? It’s because a decision impacts everyone from a financial point of view. Consider taking out a loan to create a new business. Should the agreement sour, there is a chance the family may lose the house. Homelessness is a heavy price to pay for kids that had nothing to do with the company in the first place. The good news is that unsecured credit cards for fair credit can help. In fact, any loan that isn’t “secured” is an advantage as bankruptcy will wipe out the balance. It’s a last resort, but at least it’s an effective contingency plan.


Another thing mums have difficulty with is spending less time at home. As the boss, you have to set an example for everyone else to follow. But, you can do this by working from nine to five and being productive during work hours. To eliminate overtime, you should use outsourcing companies. Thanks to the low costs, outsourcing is just as cheap as doing a task in-house but without the time wastage. Customer service and marketing are two examples yet there are plenty more.

What do you think – can mums mix a family with a business?

On the Road Advertising: The Look of Your Trucks is Part of Your Image

Businesses regularly expense marketing, customer service, and advertising in hopes to providing customers greater satisfaction. In today’s globalized economy, businesses are forced to add value to products, services, and experiences through such processes.

When most people think of advertising, they think of television commercials, pay-per-click advertisements, banners on YouTube videos, and watching videos to play mobile games for free, and commercial radio broadcasts, among others.

Although these forms of advertisements currently dominate the market, out-of-home advertising is certainly just as effective – if not even more effective.

A Less-Common, More-Effective Form Of Advertising

According to Statista, out-of-home (OOH) advertising amounted to $9.2 billion in 2016 in the United States alone.

That same year, the whole of American advertising was collectively worth roughly $207 billion. At just 4.5 percent of the United States’s total advertising, OOH advertising certainly has room for potential.

The potential of fleet and transit graphics is largely underestimated, especially with modern organizations’ obsession with ads geared towards mobile devices. While pouring so much money into ads on smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and other mobile devices certainly makes sense, as – combined with the proliferation of social media throughout modern society – they’re rapidly taking up more of device owners’ days.

How Much Does Fleet Advertising Cost? Surely, Vehicle Wraps Are Expensive?

The Outdoors Advertising Association of America indicates vehicle wraps cost just 4 cents – $0.04 – per 1,000 impressions. In other words, for every one million people that see a vehicle’s advertising-friendly wrap on the road, only $40 is spent. That’s objectively cheap, and far cheaper than outdoor signs – $3.56 per 1,000 impressions – and ads in newspapers – $19.70 per 1,000 views.

Vehicle wraps don’t cost that much in terms of initial investment. Some sources site the cost of both a vehicle wrap itself and its professional installation between $1,300 and $4,000 – of course, the cost hinges on the size of the vehicle being wrapped – with others suggesting the cost ranges between $1,500 and $3,000.

Advertise Your Drive Ventures sponsored a piece of advertising research that calculated how many impressions a vehicle with an exterior advertorial wrap could garner. On average, a reasonable average number of daily impressions is roughly 15,000. Driving through the costal areas or bustling cityscape areas of Miami, Florida, for example, draw roughly 2,070 impressions per hour.

Traveling the highway brings about 1,311 impressions each hour, whereas residential areas brought in 1,656 consumer views. Simply parking a vehicle wrapped with a company’s advertising brought 414 impressions each hour. Talk about cost-effective, huh?

Either way, on-the-road (OOR) advertising is remarkably cheap. These statistics consider the life of an average vehicle, and how many drivers, pedestrians, and passerby are exposed to such advertisements per mile driven.

Businesses Care About Image – Yours Should, Too

The outward appearance of a wrapped vehicle invariably, unstoppably makes impressions on those who see it. When designed appropriately and professionally, the look of cars, trucks, and vans reflect positively on businesses that own them.

Let’s assume, for example, that you own a local cable television, Internet, and phone business. When customers setup installation appointments, they look out for the vehicle carrying the installation professional. How would an outdated, beat-up truck reflect on your business? Obviously, not well, at all.

What about a newer vehicle, like a modern lightweight work van? It certainly wouldn’t count against the goodwill of your business, but it wouldn’t reflect as favorably as a professionally-wrapped vehicle.

The look of your business’s trucks is an inherent reflection of your organization’s image. Treat OOR advertising with its true potential in mind.

Image: Mike’s Photos

How Technology is Being Used in the Property Market

Technology has changed the business world, from using social media to connect with customers, to holding video conferences. The property market has not been immune to these changes, but in this industry, technology is paving the way for further innovation.

The first change came in 2007, when properties were first listed for sale online. It was a huge leap forward that has revolutionised the search process. But in 2018, technology is going to change the property market again. Here is how.

Virtual Viewings

Although the majority of property searches are now conducted online, looking at photos and floor plans alone is not enough. This means potential buyers are faced with a problem: trying to schedule viewings around their busy work schedules and estate agent opening hours. But technology has come to the rescue in the form of virtual viewings.

Using high resolution cameras, a property can be filmed and photographed in high definition, allowing viewers to move virtually from room to room. This allows people to view properties from any location and could help to speed up the selling process.

Virtual Reality

In addition to virtual viewings, estate agents may soon utilise virtual reality. Using VR as part of a virtual viewing would create a new, immerse experience. Viewers would be able to walk through a property, providing a fuller, more realistic tour. This could remove the need for conducting initial viewings and help properties to sell faster. It could also be beneficial for properties sold at auction house, preventing blind buying.

Use of Apps

Most people now use apps for everything from social media and games to banking and shopping. Many estate agents have now started to create their own apps, making it easier and more convenient to search for a property. These apps store searches and information, allow users to save properties, and can provide notifications and updates.

3D printed houses

While flat-pack or prefab houses have been used for decades – many self-builders prefer this method – technology has taken it one step further.

In 2014, a Chinese firm Chinese firm printed and completed 10 3D printed houses in less than 24 hours. Astonishingly, each property cost less than $5,000. If used more widely, this technology could hold the key to the housing shortage, providing affordable and quick-to-build homes.

Flexible Working

Telecommuting and flexible working have been embraced across a range of industries, providing employees with a better work-life balance and saving businesses money. The same is true for the property market, where more online-only estate agents are appearing.

This type of estate agent allows employees to work from home, conduct viewings at times that are more convenient for potential buyers, and create their own working hours. Using technology in this way and not operating from a company office also means lower fees, making them appealing to sellers.

Buy Online

Buying a house can be a long and complicated process but technology is helping to change this. For example, buyers can apply for a mortgage online, upload supporting documents and get a decision. They can also read legal documents and provide e-signatures. This allows the process to move much quicker.

Social Media

Social media has changed from a way to communicate with friends to a realm for business. As well as adverts and company social media pages, people have now started to sell their homes on Facebook.

In 2017, the first sellers took to Facebook, providing a virtual viewing via the websites live stream option, answering questions and taking offers via messenger. Using social media in this way has the potential to sell in a matter of minutes or hours, boosting the property market.

To surmise, technology has already changed the way we search for and buy property, but with the uptake of virtual viewings and the prospect of 3D printing, the industry could see more innovation. As such, this is an exciting time to be part of the property market.

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Why You Always Seem To Be Running Out Of Workday

Running a small business is tough, no matter what it is. Your days might be spent without a second to spare for some time until you can find your feet, expand, and get into a schedule. But if you have trouble managing your workload and hitting your objectives for the day, you might have bigger problems. Here, we’re going to look at a few reasons why you might feel like there just aren’t enough work hours in the workday.

You’re not planning properly

You might think that you’re giving yourself more time to get stuck into your work by skipping the planning process at the start of the day. However, all you’re doing is ensuring that you’re working without direction. When you do that, you might end up spending a lot more time on the stuff that doesn’t matter over the actions that are urgent. You should use more than a to-do list, you should spend the first half-hour of the day prioritising your workload and finding out which items on that to-do list are most important. Measure them by both urgency and importance. Some items might not be as urgent, but you still have to get them before the day is done. When you’re laying out your schedule, try to set items that require similar skills or tools closer to one another. That way, you can shift from one task to another without having to get into an entirely different mindset.

You’re doing everything manually

Manual labour is way overrated. You might think that doing everything yourself means giving it the detail it deserves, but the facts show that businesses that use automated software more end up making fewer mistakes. That’s because they eliminate human error as well as giving you more time. Tools like accounting software, HR software, and so on still need a little supervision. But they can take some of the most monotonous and time-consuming work off your plate entirely, leaving you free to get stuck into things that are more engaging.

Image: Startupstock

You’re ignoring the team

If you can’t automate it with software, ask if you can instead pass it off to another team member? A lot of employers can feel uncomfortable about delegating because they’re worried they might adding more work than an employee can handle. That’s a valid concern, but it shouldn’t stop you from asking. When delegating, ensure that it’s not a responsibility that should fall directly to you, that it offers some benefit or experience to the employee, and that they’re the person for the job. Everyone has weaknesses, and if you turn out to be less effective at the task than your employee, you could end up transferring the duty to them. Just make sure it comes with a bonus, benefit, or even a title change. They need to feel like it’s a career progression, not just having more work put on them.

You’re getting bogged down by tasks outside your field

In the same vein as delegating, outsourcing can be more than helpful, it can be crucial. Virtual assistants can help you with the little admin or communications tasks that might otherwise take up your whole workday, but there are services you should rely on for the sole fact that you might not know how to do it yourself. Small business IT support is one such service. As, too, might be online marketing advice. Or fulfilment services. Identify the core processes of the business that you’re not yet equipped to handle on your own and consider outsourcing them. In the future, you may be able to scale to equip your business with those skills internally. Until you do, however, trying to handle them yourselves can be incredibly time-consuming, not to mention ineffective.

You’re communicating inefficiently

How much time a week do you spend having to explain something, or dealing with requests for information? If the answer is “a lot”, you have a communication problem. When it comes to sharing information specific to a goal that the team shares, there are few tools better than project management software. Systemising processes, the act of creating documents that detail the specific steps of doing a task, can save you a lot of time training employees in tasks that have already been done in the business, just not by them, yet.

Time management is more than just a neat trick, it’s an essential skill for anyone running the business. Not only can you apply what you’ve learned here to your own workday, but you can use the tips of prioritising workloads, communicating better, and finding automating solutions to your team as well.