Business Plans…

Month: October 2020

What is the marketing mix and how can you use it?

There are principles and overall strategies that govern marketing for brands and businesses. The marketing mix offers guidelines to promote a brand and its products in the most beneficial and profitable way possible. It determines the brand’s place in the market, helps it effectively target its key demographics, and assists the development of marketing strategies. Modern marketing is dominated by digital channels, but selecting the best digital approach for your brand is crucial to converting leads to sales. And don’t discount traditional physical marketing materials – for certain products old school techniques can still prove extremely effective. Let’s look at the marketing mix, and how it could benefit your business. 

What is the marketing mix?

The concept of the marketing mix dates back to 1953, originally made up of the four Ps – namely product, price, promotion and place. This covers most of the different factors which can influence a consumer as they decide whether to use a product or service. By mixing these factors strategically, brands aim to elicit responses from their demographic, essentially directing their behaviour through their marketing message. The response could be a sale, or it could be signing up to a mailing list or filling in a survey. The four Ps also help businesses understand their own products and services, their appeal and the best way to market them. 

Product

This means your physical product, or your service, but it means more than that as well. We’re talking about the customer’s experience with your product – why did they choose it? What will it offer them? A good idea is to draw up customer profiles to define your target demographic – age, location, gender, profession, socio-economic standing, education etc. This way you can really get to know your customer, and learn to think like them. Knowledge is power, so learning as much as you can about your target audience will help you tailor your brand experience for them.  

Price 

Choosing the price level for your product can be a stumbling block. Of course, you need to turn a profit, but there are many things to consider. Price too low, customers may view it as a cheap and nasty or disposable market option. Price too high and you won’t make any sales. It’s important to think about your customer demographic and their earning power – if you’re selling to the midrange market you need to price as such. Pricing strategies include bundle, subscription, psychological – pricing as £599 rather than £600 to give the illusion of a cheaper price – among many others.  

Promotion

Contrary to what some think, promotion is not the same as marketing. It is a part of it, sure, but promotion is the process of how you communicate your product, your brand and their value to your existing and potential customers. It is important to identify which communication channels are appropriate and optimal for your target demographic. Digital channels are by far the dominant routes, but working out which to use depends on who you are trying to reach – social media communications can be tailored to fit almost all groups, such is their ubiquity these days (although much older people may not engage). Platforms such as SnapChat and TikTok are geared towards young adults and teenagers – those more likely to engage in viral marketing or user generated content. If you believe your product needs a lot of copy, a printed booklet is an ideal tool, and can easily be ‘digitised’ as a PDF and used in an email marketing campaign. Again, knowing your customer is critical when it comes to promotion. 

Place

Now you’ve got to know your customer base, priced your product and promoted it, how are you going to distribute it? Can you conduct sales purely online, or will you aim to place it in retail outlets? Wholesalers / re-sellers such as Amazon and Walmart have revolutionised placing products, leading to widened availability – if your product was aimed at a narrow demographic in the past it would have been much more difficult to find leads and generate sales. But on the other side of the coin, using those big, faceless companies takes away something from the customer experience, losing the intimacy and personal touch many consumers favour in this increasingly globalised world. 

The marketing mix may be almost 70 years old, but its principles are ageless, and by applying them you could more effectively develop your customer base, and turn leads into conversions. 

 

Continue Reading

How to Sell Remote Working to Your Boss

If you’re seeing the benefits of co-working and trying to decide whether it would be a good move for your career, one of the biggest barriers that you may face comes down to the idea of convincing your boss to start working remotely. Here are some strategies on how you can sell the idea of remote work to your boss:

Consider Your Position

List the items of your job that can be done remotely and how you can work most effectively in a remote location. Consider the framework of the local co-working space and if you’ll be able to get the best results with the job you have. Taking a look into the system and if you be able to effectively perform your job can often be the first sell for your boss.

Present The Research To Them

Doing the research yourself and take a look into a few co-working spaces in the area. Presenting them with real data on success stories on a specific co-working space, the costs, and what you can access will be important.

Consider It From Their Perspective

Even though working in a coworking spot may be highly beneficial for your ongoing work process, consider how it is going to bring value to your boss over time. Tie in why it is going to be important to the organization and how costs can be saved through coworking.

Have A Timeline In Place

Considering a trial or a one month short time period to try it with an evaluation period will always be an easier sell to your boss. Suggesting a trial of 3 days a week with coworking may also be an easier soft sell over permanently changing your location as well. Having a flexible attitude throughout the trial period can be an important way that you can keep your options open with your boss and make the transition easier with them.

Consider these top ideas as you are working to sell coworking to your boss.

This post was written by Tara Kintz. Tara is a director at Signature Workspace which is a work space rental. Signature Workspace, owned and operated by Cantor Fund Management, offers services and amenities such as private offices, flex space, co-working space, virtual offices, meeting/conference rooms, and more.

 

Continue Reading

What Options You can Have if You Want to Opt for VAT

The heterogeneity of the determining elements for the taxation of goods or different types of services (e.g. taxation to the beneficiary or to the provider of the service itself), the double allocation for taxable services and those excluded from the scope of tax, and finally the inclusion of “benefits” without any real counterpart (eg donations, subsidies, dividends).the heterogeneity of the determining elements for the taxation of goods or different types of services (e.g. taxation to the beneficiary or to the provider of the service itself), the double allocation for taxable services and those excluded from the scope of tax, and finally the inclusion of “benefits” without any real counterpart (eg donations, subsidies, dividends).

  • Do not neglect the international dimension

For companies with international activities, national VAT regimes, which are sometimes very different from one another, can lead to distortions (multiple taxation or, on the contrary, absence of taxation). This is true even within the EU. Indeed, although the 6th European Directive on VAT – recently revised – harmonized its regulations in 1977, significant differences remain both between the rules as they are included in national legislation, and between practices of each of the Member States. In addition, the United States, the world’s leading economic power, does not know VAT, even though a large number of States in the Union levy a sales tax. All these differences result in distortions of competition, both internally and in cross-border trade – in services in particular. For the business calculator this is essential now.

  • The VAT Solutions in EU

For years, multiple efforts have been made within the EU to simplify and strengthen the harmonization of VAT. A few years ago, the OECD also began to take a very serious interest in this consumption tax: first because of the boom in electronic commerce observed since the mid-nineties, then out of concern. to harmonize the rules relating to the collection of this tax, in particular for the provision of cross-border services, the volume of which is constantly increasing. It goes without saying that this is a long process, in which States must begin by understanding the reality in which businesses struggle, faced with increasing globalization and interdependence; they also need to understand the complexity of the multiple electronic cross-border services that are offered today.

  • A third of the VAT burdens businesses

Calculations by the Federal Department of Finance show that around a third of total VAT revenues in Switzerland correspond to a non-chargeable and non-refundable tax on goods and services purchased by businesses and communities. This cannot therefore be passed on openly to the finished product and to consumers. This is mainly due to the restrictions which affect the deduction of input tax, in particular for transactions excluded from the scope of tax. The current VAT law has many such exceptions. One of the stated goals of the overhaul initiated today is to reduce the number to the politically feasible minimum. The hidden tax payable by businesses currently stands at around 6 billion francs per year, or roughly the equivalent of what all businesses pay in direct federal income tax.

Continue Reading