Archive | January, 2017

When Collecting Unemployment Isn’t Enough – What You Can Do!

Maybe you are or know some one who is currently collecting unemployment and chances are that you probably realize that to many this money is just not enough. In the article I am going to give you some fairly simple ways that you can make some more money to add to your unemployment checks or completely replace them.

I am writing this article because I am fully aware that just because ones income is cut the bills that they have still have due dates and food still needs to be put on the table. All you got to do is turn on the news at any given time and you will see exactly what I am talking about if you are not currently going through this yourself. It seems that collecting unemployment is one of the best jobs out there these days.

Look, if you are getting sick and tired of being limited to just sitting back and collecting unemployment checks or want to know some ways that you can add to it you can start doing one of the things listed below to start bringing in a part time or full time income.

Most of these things require using a computer and  I know that a lot of people are afraid of the computer, but everything that I am recommending takes very little computer skills to do. So no, you don’t have to be a computer nerd to do this stuff.

1. Sell on eBay. I know you probably heard of eBay, but are you aware of how much money you can make selling on eBay? You can start of by selling old things that you no longer want. This will definitely put some extra cash in your pocket, but if you are looking to make some serious money you can get hooked up with a wholesaler where you will be able to sell all sorts of things on eBay and create a consistent stream of income.

2. Try affiliate marketing. Basically affiliate marketing is when you promote someone’s product or service and for every sell that you generate you will receive a commission. This is primarily done online but in my experience I figured out that you can market these products offline pretty effectively as well. You can do this using simple things like business cards, flyers and newspaper ads. Find products to promote that you feel comfortable promoting and that people want and you can really make a killing.

3.Freelance work. If you have any kind of skill such as writing, graphic design, editing or transcribing you can easily find someone who is willing to pay you for that skill. All you need to do is sign up with sites like  Elance and Freelance to set up a profile and you’ll be on your way.

These are only a few of the many ways that you can start bringing in some more money. The really cool thing is that all of these methods can be started pretty quickly. There are fairly inexpensive course out there that will help you maximize your earning potential so you really have no excuse not to make this work for you. Collecting unemployment does not have to be your main income stream. All you really need to do is take action.

Posted in Affiliate Marketing0 Comments

12 Tips and Reminders for Team Members To Enjoy Their Team Experiences More

Warning: The ideas that follow work. Don’t be fooled by their simplicity. For experienced team members and team leaders some of these tips may seem obvious. Sometimes however it is the obvious things we forget about or don’t apply. As you read the list think about your past experiences and determine which of these ideas would have made your team experiences more effective and productive.

1. Know your roles, purpose, boundaries and resources. Teams need to first know their purpose, the role of each team member, what they are responsible for (and what is outside their scope) and what resources they have at their disposal. Once they know these things they need to remember them! Team Leaders can help by setting a clear purpose up front. The team can build processes to keep their roles and scope in focus. And as a team progresses, the resources required may change. Teams should try to succeed with their original resources, but should engage the team leader to provide additional resources when needed.

2. Assume the best about people. People on teams will do and say things you don’t understand or agree with. Always start from an assumption that their motives are team-based and their goals are consistent with team goals. Too often a comment or action will be misinterpreted leading to rifts, factions and dysfunctional behaviors. If you don’t understand a person’s perspective or comments, ask them for clarification rather than making your own assumptions based on your biases.

3. Be patient and caring. Teams sometimes need time to get going or get unstuck. As a team leader or any member of the team, be patient. Individual members of the team might not get on board with an idea or decision as rapidly as you so be patient and give them some time.

4. Maintain a sense of urgency. Patience is important, but teams also need to maintain a sense of urgency. Too often teams get bogged down in the process, spend too long on small points, or languish for any number of other reasons. Give the team time to work things out, but always keep the timeline in mind – and move towards completion.

5. Take time to plan your meetings. Want the best way to increase the productivity of your team? Spend more time planning your meetings. Meetings cost time, money and emotional and physical energy. Improve the return on that investment by having clear objectives and plans for every meeting – and by letting everyone see that plan (agenda) before the meeting so they can be prepared to succeed.

6. Be willing to ask for and accept help. Being on a team means being a part of the team. Be willing to ask for help on a particular task or decision. When help is offered don’t be proud – let people help. It will build relationships and help the team succeed more quickly.

7. Share. Your ideas, your thoughts, your experiences. Sharing these things are critical to a team developing synergy. Without the willingness to share, a team is just a collection of individuals. And as the work is completed, be willing to share the accolades and success as well.

8. Be willing to give feedback. Sometimes people will do something that bothers you or other team members. Be willing to give the person feedback on their behaviors. Equally important, when people shine or have done something very valuable, let them know that too! Effective timely feedback helps a team avoid breakdowns and provides the information needed for continuous improvement.

9. Fix the problem, not the blame. Problems will occur. Use them as a way to assess progress and as an opportunity for learning, rather than as a chance to assign blame. After learning what can be learned, let the situation go and focus the team’s energies forward, not on the problem or issue.

10. Involve the right people at the right times. Sometimes teams need outside help and expertise. Go get it! Get the right people involved to make decisions and the right people involved to implement those decisions.

11. Keep the big picture in view. Teams often get lost in procedures, small problems or on any other sort of “rabbit trail”. Don’t lose track of the big picture. Remember the goals and purposes for the team and continue to bring yourself and the team back to those purposes. Keeping the big picture in view will smooth out many of the bumps in a team’s road and reduce the time and effort required to reach success.

12. Be proactive. These tips are for team leaders but not just for team leaders. Everyone on a team has a responsibility for team success. Be willing to ask the hard question, encourage the team to have better meeting planning, give the feedback and more. Highly effective teams are made up of highly effective, proactive team members.

As I mentioned at the top of this article, think about which of these tips you could apply with the greatest immediate impact. Resolve to take the appropriate action based on that determination and you will be taking positive step towards more effective teamwork.

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Customer Service – Marketing Extension

While it is true that consumers do not have to shop online it is equally true that many consumers like the convenience of online shopping and would continue to make it a part of their shopping experience.

If you, as an online business, can provide a quality product at a competitive price you have waged a significant battle in a much larger war.

An online business cannot conclude that simply because a consumer sought out their products and made a purchase that they can be reasonably assured this customer will return.

You spend a great deal of time and resources on front-end marketing, but surprisingly many online businesses are missing out on a key element of consumer retention – Customer Service.

This function in an online environment is different than brick and mortar counterparts simply because you are dealing with someone you will likely never see. However, the reason customer service is so important to online business is that it is an extension of your marketing activities.

If you were to break marriage down into the most basic marketing efforts you find that many men and women pour enormous amounts of time and resources into finding a spouse, yet once the ‘I do’ has been said, sadly for many, the marketing exchange is over. This should not be the case in marriage and it should not be the case in online marketing.

The same effort you put into gaining a customer is the same effort you need to put into keeping that customer happy and willing to return to your ecommerce site.

One of the ways to advance quality customer service is a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. This will help answer common questions before and after the sale. You should also make sure your customer can access contact information quickly from any location on your website. Make sure to answer all correspondence in a timely manner.

Comprehensive instructions are another means of quality online customer service. If your customer has a hard time completing a transaction, finding products or feeling as though they have missed some key element in the process it may signal a decrease in their personal trust factor, which equals fewer online sales.

Customers aren’t especially happy to conclude they have been subjected to a classic ‘love ’em and leave ’em’ scenario. No one likes to feel the only value they have is in the money they spend with a company.

You serve individuals with lives that are important. You convey a distinct lack of care when you treat customer service with casual disregard.

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10 Priorities For Every Leader

There is nothing as wasteful as a leader in a position and is ignorant of his/her priorities. I have always shared the notion that in every human being is the craving and desire to lead. Everyone is potentially a leader. However, some are very successful at thwarting and suppressing the leadership potential through various well-crafted excuses. I have discussed some before in another article. Now that you know you are a leader in your team, I need to acquaint you with your priorities. Mixed priorities normally create concoctions which are detestable and whose results go against organizational thrust and direction. Below are the 10 Priorities to keep close to your chest.

1. Inspire and motivate your team – Keep them motivated and energized to tackle the tasks at hand. Reward good performance and celebrate the bright sparks in the team. Create healthy competition. Build a strong team based on trust and transparency. You don’t need to be a motivational speaker to say to John “Hey John, I have seen your diligence, I see you go an extra mile, I am giving you time off on Friday to be with your family”. Simple gesture that will give you incredible results you will get.

2. Delegate; do not abdicate – Do not do all by yourself. You can never manage without having a spinal disorder. You are called a leader because there are people behind you. You have followers who break your responsibility down into smaller manageable chunks. They are not below you for decoration or to show off how powerful you are. Be clear in your delegation what level of authority you are giving your subordinate. If they have authority to act then you still take responsibility for whatever the outcomes of their decisions are.

3. Communicate and over communicate – Sometimes you may have a team whose view of the Vision, goals, expectations and values is skewed. Where there is no vision, it is left to assumption and personal opinion and views. Get people to share a common vision. A leader who has poor communication skills will always achieve less. There are by far too many means and ways to communicate in this Information age than in other time past where there was no email, internet etc. Find creative ways to over communicate without bringing monotony.

4. Training and Leadership Development – A good leader is always developing and mentoring leaders below to avoid yawning gaps when the leader leaves. Create a culture of always creating a leader in every follower. That way the organization is very strong as everyone knows they are being setup for leadership success and when the time comes, people are not panicking and wondering who is to take over as everyone is ready.

5. Model good character and integrity – Your character is what most followers will learn from not necessarily what you speak. If you as leader come to work late all the time, you should not be surprised when the team starts doing the same. They do what they see their master do. Avoid the old statement “do as I say, not as I do”. They will always do as you do and don’t blame them. It only makes sense to do so.

6. Mobilize human and financial resources – financial and human and others- As the leader, you are the one that hires the people you want to work with. You know the skill gaps you have or the intellectual matrix in your team. Don’t just get people who think and act like you. Find those who know and think differently. Team members must complement each other. Avoid duplications. Also realize that you are the one that makes sure that your team is raising enough finances to sustain itself and other areas of the department or organization. You are to mobilize all the time. A resourceful leader gains the respect of followers. They feel they can depend on you.

7. Protect those who follow you – As leader, you exist to cover your followers from prowlers. People from outside your team can easily damage your team members if they take it upon themselves to rebuke, correct etc. You must correct your leaders out of the relationship you have built. Outsiders never take the liberty to check the extent of the damage from their own utterances. You will always be the nurse over your wounded soldiers hence your time is wasted mending what others did. If you do not protect them, you lose them and lose time doing what is not core business. Every human being desires a sense of security in whatever position or team they belong to.

8. Personal Growth and Development – As a leader, you need to grow. As you have a drive to train and develop others, you too must be in a position to dish out what you have learned. If you do not stay abreast with the ever changing trends, you will derail organizational effectiveness, success and excellence. Today’s “wow” is familiar territory by tomorrow. Create new “wows” for your team. Be the hunter for new information, latest gadgets, latest methodologies and tools for the trade.

9. Plan and Strategize – As leader, you need to sharpen your planning and strategy skills. You are not supposed to always worry yourself over operational issues all the time. You have teams who are hand on while you take an eagle’s view of the whole department or ministry. Regular review of achievements against set strategy and objectives will show you the progress and impact you are making. Where there is no strategy, chaos is the order of the day. Where there is no plan, excellence hides or shies away.

10. Discipline and Order – Everything must be done decently and in order. Follow the system. No shortcuts. As a leader you have a role to ensure you have disciplined followers who take responsibility for their actions. Where someone has gone against the code of conduct, the relevant action must be taken for others to learn. There is an expected behavior in the workplace. Refer to my article on Office etiquette. Just like a parent uses a rod to drive foolishness from a child, you have to institute corrective action lest you groom rebels that will haunt you.

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Sell Dog Pictures Online

Do you know that you can sell dog pictures online for cold hard cash?

Let’s face it if you have a dog there is no reason why you shouldn’t make some money from it.

I’m sure you consider your dog as a good friend but he/she can cost you a lot of money.

If you never sell dog pictures online before you must read on the only thing you need is a digital camera and a connection to the internet.

If you have a crap budget you can buy a digital camera on eBay or borrow one from a friend.

At the end of the article I give you four tips to make sure that your dog picture looks better then the rest.

How to sell dog pictures online.

Stock photography sites.

The best place to sell pictures of your dog online is trough online stock photography sites.

This is very simple you submit the pictures of your dog to the stock photography sites.

Once they are accepted people can buy them from the stock photography sites and you earn money.

Yes people do need pictures of your dog.

Think about webmaster who make sites about dogs;

they are very busy with promoting and designing their websites but they don’t have time to take pictures themselves.

Some webmaster spend actually thousands of dollars on digital photos.

You save them time and they make your money, call it a win-win situation for both parties.

If you do a Google search for stock photography sites you can find a lot of results.

The first thing you must do is learning how they will pay you.

With some sites you can set your own price for dog pictures with other sites

you earn a fixed amount for your pictures or a set of pictures.

Your own website

It is also possible to sell dog pictures from your own website as well.

Of course you have to learn how to drive traffic to your website and how to write ad copy that sell.

If you have a budget you can buy advertising trough pay per click but if you don’t know what you are doing you can actually lose money.

Another great way to sell dog pictures online with your own website is trough link exchanges from other dog websites.

Just email the website owner a polite email with some information about yourself and your website.

Most of the time they will do it.

Dog picture photography tips for maximum earnings.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to earn money from this

but let’s face it; the better your pictures are the more people will download them

and the more money you will make.

1) Make sure that your dog is relaxes; take the picture with him in his favourite hangout.

2) Outdoor lighting is the best for taking great pictures of your dog.

3) Take close up pictures mostly they are more beautiful than shots from a distance.

4) Dog toys are good to make it your dog comfortable.

I hope you will try it out to sell your dog pictures online for profit.

If you submit only a few pictures you won’t earn much but if you submit hundreds of pictures you can earn a decent amount of money.

Thousand of people are earning a second or even a full time income selling pictures online.

Posted in Make Money Online0 Comments

Christian Team Building Activities, Games, and Ideas for Fun

Christianity promotes unity and hence team building is an essential activity of the church. To foster unity and enhance the values taught by the religion in the congregation, some Christian team building activities for adults can be organized by the church. Such activities will also help develop leadership skills, reinforce social commitments and co-operation amongst the church goers.

To develop the activities for building a team of church goers, the Bible is undoubtedly the best source. It contains numerous sermons on the importance unity and teamwork hold, in building a strong human race. So before embarking on devising activities for adult church goers, consult the Holy Scriptures thoroughly.

1. Hunt a Bible Verse: Based on the game of Treasure Hunt, this game is a great team builder that will renew interest in the Bible amongst your congregation. Get the people into groups of three to five members. Give a Bible and a list of clues for a verse in it, to each group. Some of the clues could be easy pointers to the verse. Each group should hand in their list of verses within the stipulated time.

2. Do as Jesus would do: Divide the people into groups as in the previous game. Here you will need a few facilitators. They will depict a scene or situation to each group separately. One member from the group will react to the scenario thus presented in the manner he thinks Jesus would have reacted to it. Each and every member of those taking part should be allowed to enact a scene. The chief facilitator will judge the performances.

3. Serving the Needy: Charity or helping those in need is the most Christian of all human activities. An outdoor camp could be organized at a place where people are suffering. You could serve people suffering from accidents and natural calamities, or the sick in a hospital or take care of destitute and homeless children. Here too divide the people into smaller groups and assign them different tasks.

These and other activities that instill the essence of Christianity could be regular activities in a church to build a team of people with genuine human feelings.

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Tips On Church Banner Making – Choosing Fabric for and Making the Background

Thank you for returning to read more on expert banner-making tips. For more than 20 years, the Lord has taught me many things that I have applied to the art of making fabric banners. So far, I have shared my life experience in 1989 of losing my husband and rearing four small children that served as my inspiration for starting a small home based business of making Christian banners for churches. Next, I wrote on how to choose a design; make functional patterns from it; and transfer the patterns to your fabric. Now we will discuss choosing the background fabric and making it into the basic banner background. This article explains two ways to create the background: 1) without lining and 2) with a lining.

Either way, choose a fabric that will hold its shape. That means a heavy-bodied fabric that is not drapey or stretchy. Examples are bridal satin, canvas, linen or upholstery fabrics. These will hang flat and nicely and hold the basic. Later, in future articles, we will discuss fabrics for waving flag-type banners that will require a different type of fabric.

You may need a carpenter’s “square” tool or any other right angle tool to make sure you have 90 degree angled corners and straight lines. If you have an Olfa quilter’s mat, that works very well. I use two large mats side by side, a rotary wheel fabric cutter, and a metal yard stick to line up my fabric to get straight edges and squared corners. You don’t have to go to that expense; just improvise and measure, measure, and measure again before cutting.

1) Making the background without a lining. Before cutting, be sure to allow extra fabric at the top to sew in a finished casing large enough to accommodate whatever size dowel you intend to slip into the top. The dowel may be a wooden closet dowel or PVC tubing or metal rod. Also allow for 3/8 inch to ½ inch for side hems and extra at the bottom if you want a smaller casing. I like to add a small dowel to slide into a bottom casing so that it helps the finished banner to hang nice and straight. Use a small liquid line of Fray Check on just the very cut edges of the sides of your cut banner fabric. Fray Check is great to keep the fabric from fraying, especially for satins. Allow the Fray Check to completely dry ( 15 minutes or so). Now Iron in a hem to the back side of the fabric. Place a small beadline of Fabric glue (ie: Aleen’s glue) where the folded hem is. Then iron the hem down. This is how you will get a nice straight edge without stitches showing and puckering of the material from stitches.

Now you can iron in the appropriate size top casing; first a 3/8 under and then the amount needed to accommodate the dowel rod. Sew the casing. Do the same for the bottom edge if your banner is large and needs a smaller dowel at the bottom so it hangs straight. If it is a smaller size banner, you probably do not need a bottom dowel. In that case, you can either iron a glue-in hem or Fray Check the bottom edge and glue on fringe or trim. Be creative. You can sculpt the bottom to be rounded, or pointed or notched or other. Just make sure the finished product always has a clean finished edge.

2) Second alternative is to line your banner. One way is to double the same fabric, using the top for the fold. Or you can use a different sturdy fabric suitable as a lining. If you chose to line the banner, allow enough for side seams and top and bottom seams. Of course if you double the fabric with the top as the fold, there will be no seam at the top. With both right sides together and wrong fabric sides facing out, sew all the seams. Be sure to leave 4 inches or so open at the top of each side seam to allow you to slip in the top dowel rod. Trim the bottom corners carefully before inverting the banner so the corners push out to a sharper finished corner. You are ready to pull the banner through one of the top side openings to invert it so the right sides are facing out. I call this “birthing the banner” Then Iron the seams on medium high heat using a damp thin cloth over it for a nice crisp edge.

Note: If I am applying a quilted design on the face of my banner, I do that before sewing the back lining onto it. We will discuss 3 dimensional quilting designs in future articles on more Advanced Tips.

Now that your banner background is complete, you are ready to apply the cut out pattern designs and letters to the face side of your finished banner background. My next article will be tips on how to apply your designs.

Posted in Affiliate Marketing0 Comments

The Best CFD Trading Books Available – Find the Top 3 Books to Learn About a Contract For Difference

I’m going to take a look at the best CFD trading books available on the market today so you can be an informed CFD trader instead of taking pot shots in your CFD trading.

I have read all the CFD trading books on the market and have listed what I believe are the top 3 available. Here they are in no particular order…

1. Real Traders 2 by Eva Diaz

2. SuperCharge Your Trading with CFDs by Jeff Cartridge

3. Making Money from CFD Trading by Cat Davey

Let’s have a look at each of the books in a little more detail.

1. Real Traders 2 by Eva Diaz

How would you like to learn the tips and tricks that enabled Australia’s most successful CFD trader (Dave Limburg) to make a staggering $110,000 or 441.79% in 9 weeks? Real Traders 2 by Eva Diaz takes us on a journey to uncover exactly how Dave Limburg managed to make those incredible returns with realatively small drawdowns.

Back in 2007 CMC Markets ran a trading competition which involved over 440 budding CFD traders for a winner take all $100,000 cash first prize. Unbelievable I know but Dave Limburg managed to pocket the $100,000 and during the 9 weeks that the competition was run he actually made $110,000 in his own account.

In Real Traders 2, Eva Diaz actually interviews 7 of the top 10 placegetters and uncovers the day by day strategies these gun traders employed to hit the top 10 in a nationwide trading competition. You’ll find a mixture of fundamental, technical, discretionary and mechanical trading systems employed to catapult each of them to the top including a husband and wife duo. Just for the record the wife came 2nd and the husband came 7th!

2. SuperCharge your Trading with CFDs by Jeff Cartridge

Jeff Cartridge has been educating traders for over a decade and has been actively involved in trading for longer than that. Further to this, Jeff started trading CFDs when they first launched in Australia back in 2002.

In his CFD book, Jeff runs through the most common uses for CFDs and outlines the key CFD trading strategies both himself and others employ. The types of strategies that Jeff goes into include: Day trading, short term trading, medium term investing, pairs trading, dividend plays, hedging, index stripping/tilting and seasonal patterns.

For those that want a well rounded, educational CFD book that uses everyday language that all new comers can understand, then this is the CFD book for you.

3. Making Money from CFD Trading by Cat Davey.

Whilst this isn’t considered your typical CFD instructional book, it rates very highly in my opinion for one reason. This is live trading at its best and Cat Davey takes us through the emotional roller coaster that full time trading offers as she turns her $13,000 stake into $30,000 in 3 months.

The key highlights in this book are the day by day round up of how Cat Davey makes her better than average returns plus she explains clearly the technical analysis methods she used to get there.

If you like the idea of learning from a real CFD trader and you understand how valuable it is to have a 3 month trading journal of a successful trader then grab this fantastic CFD book. You’ll be glad you did.

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A Comparative Marketing Strategy Analysis Between Starbucks and Caffe Nero

Starbucks portrays itself as a high quality coffee for the high class and is priced slightly higher than the coffee of Caffe Nero. It stays true to its American originality and emphasizes solely on its wide range of coffee drinks with only a few snacks and desserts. Apart from that, Starbucks distinguishes itself from other cafes by providing a very comfortable atmosphere with facilities like Wi-Fi so their customers can enjoy surfing the web while drinking their coffee.

On the other hand Caffe Nero emphasizes on its Italian blend and portrays itself as not only a café but also a bar and restaurant. It has quite an extensive menu with a variety of popular Italian dishes. Due to this many people visit Caffe Nero to have meals rather than just a cup of coffee. They have brought a pure European vibe to their cafes thus remaining true to their originality. For the convenience of their customers and to add to their attracting they have also launched loyalty cards.

MARKETING STRATEGY:

Marketing strategies help businesses in promoting their products and services in a certain way that they want to. While cashing on their most important points they try to create an image of their brand in the minds of their target customers so as to achieve their target sales and a favorable market share. Marketing strategies help businesses in gaining a competitive edge by catering to those specific niches that others fail to identify. Marketing strategies devised by organizations vary in duration from one year plans to those extending well over many years. A lot of factors are taken into consideration when devising marketing plans and strategies that are defined by the environment within which the company operates. This is most often referred to as a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis which helps businesses in pinpointing the areas which they can take advantage of and the areas which they need to be careful of.

The most important factor that any business has to take into consideration, when creating its marketing strategies is its competitors. Competitors’ actions have a huge impact on what an organization should do. In the coffee chain industry there are now plenty of independent coffee shops in UK like the most popular Starbucks, Monmouth Coffee, Coffee Aroma, The Apple Tree and Caffe Nero. In this assignment the marketing strategies of both Starbucks and Caffe Nero will be reviewed after which a critical analysis will be given of the both.

STARBUCKS

The first Starbucks outlet was opened in Seattle well over thirty years ago. Today Starbucks proudly stands at $4.1 billion with thousands of outlets not only in the United States but all over the world. Many companies have studied the secrets and strategies adopted by Starbucks in an attempt to learn how Starbucks grew so fast. The marketing strategies being adopted by Starbucks at present will be discussed in this assignment (voteforus.com 2011).

Unique marketing strategy:

The marketing strategy adopted by Starbucks has remained unconventional. They didn’t adopt the common styles of advertisement using billboards, newspaper ads or television commercials. Rather they relied on word – of – mouth to promote their brand name.

Product quality:

The most important thing that Starbucks never lost control of is the quality of their coffee beans. They were the first ones to introduce the true Italian “burnt espresso” flavor to the Americans. They justify their high quality by charging a slightly higher price than most other cafes.

Comfortable environment:

Another focus of Starbucks outlets is the environment they provide in their cafes for their customers. Starbucks has always been promoted as that perfect place to relax when out of home and out of the office. They have started offering Wi-Fi connectivity in their outlets so that their customers can browse the internet as well while they enjoy their cup of coffee.

Customer satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction is the strongest favorable point of Starbucks. Each customer that enters a Starbucks outlet is given such a special treatment that they truly feel like they are in a special place.

The Starbucks community:

Starbucks has truly taken full advantage of the latest hype of social media. They have adopted their latest marketing strategies around social media websites like creating fan pages on Facebook and Twitter where they actually respond to all customers and keep in touch by posting pictures, videos and all the latest promotional information.

Innovation:

Starbucks has always kept its menu fresh by constantly coming up with new items and different blends and flavors in their coffee. Some of their latest hit drinks have been the Green Tea Latte considering the health conscious consumers along with iced tea and Frappuccino for their outlets in warmer climates.

Brand Marketing:

Starbucks has always portrayed itself as a high quality product and thus decided to rely on word – of – mouth promotion only. This served to be a quite useful marketing strategy as comparison to going for promotional ads in magazines, newspapers, billboards etc. They have recently begun utilizing the social media websites in the most effective manner ever. Their Facebook and Twitter pages have proved quite useful in promoting the image of Starbucks while also enabling them to have direct communication with all their customers on one platform

CAFFE NERO:

According to chairman of Caffe Nero, Gerry Ford (2008), Caffe Nero Group Ltd is ‘the largest independent coffee retailer in UK, with over 400 stores in the UK’. It was founded in the year 1977 and today has its outlets open overseas as well in Turkey and Middle East. They distinguish themselves from other café’s in UK by emphasizing on the fact that they are an Italian Coffee Company. Their main aim, as in the words of Gerry Ford (2008), ‘is to provide a European style coffee house experience offering premium espresso – based gourmet coffee, authentic Italian food products and a relaxing atmosphere in every store’.

Caffe Nero has been given many awards for its high quality coffee over the years and for its outstanding experience that they deliver in their shops. Tatler has rated Caffe Nero as ‘The best espresso this side of Milan while Egon Ronay has labeled it as “The Traditional Italian Café”. Caffe Nero has also been given the label by UK consumers as “The best UK Coffee House” in nine consecutive years (Allegra Report, the UK’s definitive guide for the coffee industry).

CAFFE NERO’S USP:

The Caffe Nero’s marketing strategy mostly emphasis on its unique selling point which is a pure Italian theme. Caffe Nero portrays its self from more than just a café. Rather it has created a perfect blend of a café cum bar and restaurant. Therefore Caffe Nero is not limited to only providing a place for coffee and snacks rather you can go there just to enjoy a meal. They have a wide range of exquisite desserts along with many Italian dishes like the Italian wraps, soups, sandwiches, pasta and paninis.

CAFFE NERO’S TARGET MARKET

Caffe Nero mainly targets tourists in UK or the Italians searching for their Italian taste in cuisine. They are targeting the middle – income group of people who are middle – aged, students or business people who prefer to go to a café during their lunch breaks. Furthermore, Caffe Nero has formed a partnership with the famous chain retail store, House of Fraser, due to which around 145 cafes opened up, many of which were located within House of Fraser stores (James, Situation Analysis of the Caffe Nero Group Ltd – Festive City

Critical Analysis Between the Two Companies

Now that a basic review has been given on the marketing strategies being used by both Starbucks and Caffe Nero, an analysis will be done on what differentiates them from each other.

  • Caffe Nero and Starbucks are direct competitors but Caffe Nero distinguishes itself from Starbucks by selling cheaper coffee than Starbucks.
  • Caffe Nero offers a wider range of food items along with its coffee beverages which makes it stand apart from Starbucks which does not have such a wide range of assortments.
  • Caffe Nero adopts a strong brand positioning by emphasizing on its European – style coffee shop as compared to Starbucks which is of American origin. Caffe Nero has a unique selling point which emphasizes on the cafes continental – style whereas Starbucks is of American style.
  • Starbucks has successfully opened thousands of outlets overseas and in the international market whereas Caffe Nero still lacks in international expertise and has just recently opened its stores in Turkey and the Middle East.
  • Starbucks has plenty of outlets all over UK whereas Caffe Nero does not have sufficient outlets in Central London.
  • Caffe Nero has a lot of potential of growing because it enjoys many unique selling points like its pure European authenticity.

References

1. Ford, G (2008), ‘THE BEST ESPRESSO THIS SIDE OF MILAN’

2. Voteforus.com (March 29, 2011) Starbucks Success Is It’s Word Of Mouth/Social Media/Viral Marketing Strategy

3. James, S, Situation Analysis of the Caffe Nero Group Ltd – Festive City

4. VoteforUs.com Starbucks Marketing Strategy Unconventionally Effective

5. Kembell, B, Hawks, M, Kembell, S, Perry, L, Olsen, L 2002, ‘Catching the Starbucks Fever’, Missouri State University. Unpublished.

6. Rajul (2010), ‘Starbucks vs Caffe Nero vs Costa: who wins?’

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Website SWOT Analysis – A Real Life Example

Do you wonder what is happening to your Internet Business? Why is that you cannot get traffic to your website; the conversion rate is too low; or opt-in visitor is too few?

I was faced with a similar situation lately and I attempted to use what I knew about SWOT Analysis into my Internet Business. I use the same technique to perform a SWOT on a website and had surprisingly discovered some valuable facts for my Website

In this article, I share with you my real-life example of my Website SWOT Analysis. You are invited to use it as a reference to your won Internet Business.

Below is a sample website SWOT Analysis performed on my own Total Quality Management website I published in year 2001. It was written based on a knowledge-based approach. The ranking for this website is on Google page # 9 and has a PR=2. After 8 years published, it has never moved up to within Google page#3. Some of you may know that my newly published 3 months old SWOT analysis Blog has ranked Google page#1 for the last 3 months. This success story has prompted me to wonder why my Total Quality Management website page ranking is so far behind.

My objective is to move my Total Quality Management website to Google page# 1 – 3 and I performed a Website SWOT Analysis using the SWOT Analysis template and example as my guides. Below are sample my Website SWOT analysis:

The SWOT Factor – Strengths

S1 – 8 years old website – matured

S2 – website contained focused practical examples and case studies of Total Quality Management

S3 – website ranked Google page#1 on Google.com.my with single keyword – “tqm”

The SWOT Factor – Weaknesses

W1 – design of the website is not professional

W2 – website content remain static for several years

W3 – navigation of the website is not comprehensive

The SWOT Factor – Opportunities

O1 – online research on Total Quality Management has high demand

O2 – availability of TQM case studies and report are limited on website

O3 – online website builder software are commonly available

The SWOT Factor – Threats

T1 – website with fresh contents and blogs have moved up to top Google page

T2 – visitor to this TQM website is very low (from awstat)

From the four SWOT factors, I continue to evaluate the seriousness and impact of each factors as a way to prioritize as I continue to use the SWOT template to formulate strategies. Once the strategies are formulated, then only I can take action. I encourage you to take this sample as a case study for your own Internet business or website and Application SWOT Analysis

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