Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 14, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page B:5



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 14, 2013 


The latest on Business News, Trends and Techniques

By La Quetta M. Shamblee, MBA



As the month of September reaches its midpoint, business owners still have time to plan and put 
things in place to capitalize on the increased spending that comes with every holiday season. Every 
business can benefit from some type of promotion focused on the holiday season. Two important 
questions are, what type of promotion and what will it cost? A simple four-step process can be used 
to help answer these and other questions to set the stage for increased sales during the busiest and 
most profitable time of the year for many businesses, and particularly for retail establishments.

Pick Your Product: Identify the specific product (or service) as the central focal point for your 
campaign. This may be a single item, or it may be represent a line or family of products. Think of the 
green milkshakes at McDonald’s around St. Patrick’s Day or the special hot cider beverages sold by 
coffee houses during the Christmas season. 

Primp Your Place of Business: Whether you conduct business in a physical location or through an 
online store, be sure to make it as appealing and as comfortable as possible for customers to check 
out your selection of goods and/or services. It is important to spruce up your space by incorporating 
color palettes and items associated with the holiday season. Holly berries, ornaments, reds and 
greens, and holiday music are among the things that may be used to help your customers tap into 
their holiday mood and increase the likelihood of them spending money at your place of business.

Promote Products & Packages as Holiday Gifts: In addition to preparing creative displays in your 
store or on your website, be sure to have signage that informs customers of special items available 
for purchase as gifts. “You’ve shopped for everyone else, not take a moment to stop and pamper 
yourself” might serve as a useful promotional message for a spa or massage therapist. It is to every 
business owner’s benefit to have gift certificates readily available year round, but particularly during 
the holidays to make it easy for people to purchase as gifts. By all means, be sure to post signage that 
indicates “Gift Certificates Available” along with informing customers of this option.

A seemingly mundane gift can have a “wow” factor if it is beautifully wrapped. By the same token, a 
business owner can create a more festive atmosphere that encourages more customers to stop, browse 
and spend some of their holiday budget.

It’s an understandable conundrum: sellers believe their home is worth more than it is, and buyers 
think that it’s worth less. So where is the proverbial “sweet spot” when it comes to the single most 
important aspect of marketing your home - setting its price?

Consider how many homes are for sale in your neighborhood. Is that number high? Then your listing 
price should be lower than the competition if you want to generate the most interest. Obvious, 

But how many of those rival listings are foreclosed properties or short sale listings? The most critical 
factor in evaluating this type of competition is the condition in which they are offered. Neglected 
homes aren’t likely to affect you, but if they are in good shape and presented at prices 20% below 
market, you’ve got some hard thinking to do.

If buyers aren’t making appointments or showing up at an open house event, you probably priced 
too high at the start. Don’t hesitate to make an adjustment, however, because properties generate the 
most interest in the earliest stage of the listing.

Finally, give any offer strong consideration. You may counter, but these days, buyers won’t engage 
in extended negotiations - they’ll just move on to the next property. You can avoid these bitter pills 
by practicing a little preventative medicine through competitive pricing right from the beginning.


(StatePoint) For many Americans, reaching their financial goals seems like a near impossible task. 

If you are looking to retire younger or are seeking a fresh approach to achieving financial freedom, 
you may need to change your attitude towards money and make changes in how you spend, save and 

“So many of us are on a hamster wheel of earn and spend that doesn’t allow for growth,” says entrepreneur 
Jack Bosch, author of “Forever Cash: Break the Earn-Spend Cycle, Take Charge of Your Life; 
Build Everlasting Wealth.” “Regardless of how much you earn, if you spend all of it, you are no better 
off than you were if you never had made that money at all.”

Bosch offers some tips to help make and save money:

Spend on Investments

After necessary expenses, spend your money on things that will make money.

A typical pile of savings can disappear in a market crash. Look for investments that produce a stream 
of revenue, such as a business, rental property or intellectual properties, so that the income from 
these investments helps pay for your regular expenses.

Break the Spend Cycle

Break the cycle of earning to spend. The truly wealthy use their investments to pay for their lifestyle, 
not their active income.

Think about how much money you would need to pull in each to live the way you want. Then consider 
how you can use the money that you currently make, whether from a job or other income sources, 
to connect it into additional cash-flow streams.

Avoid Destructive Patterns

Many people don’t think about what spending money now means for the future. Just because you are 
bringing in a certain amount of money doesn’t mean you need to spend it.

“A new luxury car today could mean the difference between having a quarter-million dollars or even 
half-million dollars in the bank 30 years from now,” says Bosch. “Most people would think twice 
about buying that item if they knew the future ramifications.”

Don’t Restrict Too Much

There is still room in a budget for things you enjoy. If you really like to buy a cup of coffee every 
morning, don’t stop. Cutting out everything you enjoy from your budget is usually not sustainable.

The best way to save is to sensibly cut back on the things that don’t make a huge difference in your 
life and then use that excess money to invest in something that brings in more cash and ideally cash 
flow. Do that again and again, and the cash flow from your investments can quickly make a substantial 
difference in your life, even potentially allowing you to retire earlier than you thought possible.

For more tips on breaking the spend cycle and building wealth, visit

The first step to saving more money is to change your attitude. Making smart choices today will pay 
off tomorrow.


Email marketing helps you stay in touch with current customers and prospects. 
As a business owner, it’s important to be where your customers are and connect 
with them on the tools they use. Email is definitely one of those tools. Many people check their emails 
around the clock; some people even check it before they get out of bed!

How often you send an email campaign will depend on your business. Some restaurants can get away 
with a daily email that announces the lunch specials. I know a realtor who sends out a weekly email 
with her favorite new listings. In my business (B2B) we send out a monthly email with social media 
tips and our current schedule of workshops.

It’s important to deliver what you promise. If you ask people to sign up for your emails and you 
promise to send them a monthly email, make sure you do it. If someone signs up to get your emails 
and you promise to send the monthly schedule but you never get around to it, you are missing out on 
business. When people join your email list, they are asking you to remind them about what you offer. 
It’s your opportunity to stay top of mind with people who are important to your business.

Here are 5 ideas for your next email campaign:

1. Send a simple thank you email to your current customers. Tell them what their business means to 
you. Maybe you include a customer loyalty coupon for their next visit.

2. Promote your social media. If you want to get more people to “Like” your Facebook page, send out 
a simple email announcing your page, let them know how it will benefit them.

3. Promote a product or service. Keep it simple with one call to action. Don’t give them too many 
choices. Include a discount to make them feel like your email subscribers receive exclusive benefits.

4. Leverage a holiday coming up. Remind people “it’s time to fall back” and change their clocks. Wish 
people a happy Halloween and include a spooky coupon with monster savings. 

5. Simple announcements. Do you need to announce an important change in your business? Maybe 
you have new holiday hours or there is a new person who joined the team. Think of these as press 
release types of emails. 

Because more and more people are checking their emails on smart phones, keep your emails simple, 
bigger fonts, one column with a simple message and one clear call to action. What do you want them 
to do? Print a coupon, click on a link that goes to your web site, “Like” your Facebook page. After you 
send the email, measure the results. Did they do what you wanted them to do?

About MJ: MJ and her brother David own HUTdogs, a creative services business that specializes in 
Internet Marketing strategies. They are known for providing valuable information at their Social Media 
and Email Marketing classes. “Like” them on Facebook for trending news in social media, internet 
marketing and other helpful tips,

Sign up for their upcoming classes and presentations at: 

Ask jai……

Ask jai is a weekly column that will strive to honestly answer your job search questions relating 
to job searching techniques, networking skills, resume writing and interviewing. The employment 
situation is getting better, however, it is still a challenge finding were the jobs are located and how 
to get pass the “gate-keepers”. As an Executive Recruiter I was privy to working directly with Corporate 
Recruiters and understanding their process in selecting which candidates to interview and 
hire. I will candidly answer your questions, possibly bluntly answering your questions, but I will 
be totally honest. My objective is to help you achieve your employment goal.

Dear Jai:

About a month ago I had my resumé critiqued 
and revised by a professional Resumé Writer. 
The resumé writer charged me an arm and a leg 
to write it. I felt the final resumé was a waste 
of my money. The resume was awful! She 
removed all my work history and reduced my 
resumé to 1 page! The end result was a useless 
piece of paper. I originally had a great 3-page 
resumé that included all my work history and 
described everything I had ever done for an 
employer. I have over 20 years’ experience as 
an Administrative Assistant in the Healthcare 
industry. I was with my last employer for 10 years 
and worked in several different departments. 
Previous to that I was employed by 5 different 
employers. The Resumé Writer explained to 
me that she felt that the resumé she had written 
would better represent me to employers and that 
the employers did not want to receive nor read a 
3-page resumé, especially for an Administrative 
Assistant position. She re-formatted my resume 
as a Functional Resumé. I really feel like my 
previous work history was meaningless and 
as she put it…”totally irrelevant to my future 
employment”. Don’t employers want to know 
that I am committed to long-term employment, 
that I am loyal, and not a job hopper? I don’t 
want to post this resumé on any job board or 
send to any employer. Should I go back to using 
my old resumé? Really Upset

Dear Really Upset:

 A Resumé Writer’s objective is to write you 
an effective resumé that will get you results. 
Employers and recruiters really do not want 
to read a three-page resumé. Any information 
on your resumé that is older than ten years is 
considered obsolete. A resumé is basically an 
introduction regarding your work history, skills, 
and accomplishments. The key objective of 
a Resumé Writer and the resumé is to get you 
an interview. The goal is to make the resumé 
interesting and content oriented enough for 
the employer to invite you to interview for 
their position. I expect the Resumé Writer 
composed you a functional resumé instead of 
a chronological resumé. This sometimes is a 
shock to their clients. A functional resumé 
summarizes your past ten years of experience 
and accomplishments in a summary format 
and then list the job title, company and years 
of employment separately. This really is the 
best format for someone like yourself who has 
worked for one company over ten years and in 
similar positions. It is a shock sometimes when 
you have your resumé revised, updated and 
re-written, especially by a professional resumé 
writer. However, they have your best interest at 
heart and their goal is for your resumé to “grab” 
the attention of the employer and to contact you 
for an interview. Submit the revised resumé and 
see you if start getting results. I bet you will.