Furniture Store Marketing – When Everyone Is Your Customer, No One is Your Customer!

One of the biggest challenges home furnishing owners must overcome, in order to be successful in this new economy, is the dreaded I-offer-everything-for-everyone syndrome. On the surface this looks like a sure-fire way to get more customers, but it is already proven time and time again that it is not always the most successful way to prosper in your store.

If you are an independent home furnishing retailers, then chances are you have a limited budget and limited space to work with. So, if your store offers several contemporary collections, several ultra-modern collections and some eclectic pieces as well as some early American collections scattered through you store, do you really think that you have enough of any of those styles to satisfy the type of customers who are looking for a specific style? However, style is only one way to target your customer.

In fact, the most successful furniture retailers in my area focus on a couple of things to attract a specific type of customer:

  • Complete living room packages for under $ 2,000 or furnish your entitlement home for under $ 5,000.
  • Long-term low or no interest financing
  • Fast delivery within 3 days or less
  • Lower prices for packages

So, by narrowing down their advertising, they attract a customer that wants to purchase multiple pieces, which in turn, drives the average ticket sale and profits up. They then offer attractive financing terms which attracts customers with good credit and income, while enticing them to spend more money because the customer has longer to pay for it.

Most importantly, they save the customer money by buying more and can get it in their homes in a couple of days. There is also another twist to these retailers. They reward their salespeople handsomely for NOT selling the financing, but getting customers to pay off their balances in less than 90 days.

There is a common slogan in marketing statute, "There are riches in niches." Simply put, this slogan means determine who your most profitable, enjoyable and easy to attract customer is, and then specialize in getting more of those customers to come into your store and buy. You do this by creating a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that compels your most profitable customer to come back into your business again and again.

What if you reviewed your business over the last couple of years and discovered the following trends about your customers and prospects:

  • Wives initially visited the store without their husbands.
  • Recently married
  • Had three kids
  • Lived within five miles of your store
  • Spent between $ 800 – $ 1500 on sofa, loveseat and tables.
  • Paid by Visa, MasterCard or Discover

Once you have this information, you can redesign your store and business to cater to more of the same types of customers that are currently spending good money in your store.

However, you can only use this information to your advantage if you take the time to find out who your customer is, what is important to them and what they really want.

It may come as a surprise to you, but your customers want more than just a sofa. If you are just selling a sofa, you are missing out on a ton of business. Here are a few of the keys I have discovered over the years:

  • Do not sell mattresses, sell relief from back pain.
  • Do not sell home theater seats, sell the entertainment experience.
  • Do not sell sofas or loveseats, sell comfort and warmth.
  • Do not sell furniture, sell status and prestige.
  • Do not sell interior design, sell ENVY and the WOW factor!

Once you know what your customers really want then, you could use that information to create a USP that attracts more of the same type of customers. For example:

  • "Do not hire expensive interior designers, use our 23 point design checklist and give your home a million dollar look for FREE!"
  • "Discover how to give your home an extreme $ 20,000 makeover, on an $ 8,000 budget."
  • "Your family and friends will say" Oh my gosh! Your home is simply amazing! "In 27 seconds flat … we guarantee it!"

Top 11 Reasons to Use Social Media in Business

Over the past few years, to say social media has exploded would be an understatement. Members of social media sites have discovered it's the easiest way to find, learn about, and share information that directly influences their purchasing decisions. It is this reason alone that every business should be on multiple social media sites in an effort to reach as many people as possible.

Below are the top 11 reasons to use social media in business:

  1. Build relationships – personal and professional; connect with all types of people – past and present coworkers, current clients, prospects, vendors, competitors, and marketing professionals to build your network
  2. Share your blog posts; share interesting and useful articles, other blogs, webinars, podcasts, presentations, and poll / survey results with your fan base
  3. Gather valuable information – research similar products / services, competitors, prospects, marketing tips, blog ideas, create your own poll / survey – the amount of information available is endless
  4. Join a social network of like-minded individuals or start a new interest group where you can further brand your product / service, build relationships, and share ideas and information
  5. Stay current with the latest trends – write a blog or join a discussion on a trending topic; become aware of new social media sites that might fit the needs of your business
  6. Land a great new job – using your new connections on various social media sites, you can get the inside scoop on companies that are hiring, as well as resume and interview tips
  7. Discover a new passion in life, become a volunteer, or start a fundraising event
  8. Get found by prospects by using inbound marketing tactics – spread the word about your product / service through social media sites; to form a complete marketing plan, combine this with outbound techniques (interruptive marketing)
  9. Build business reputation and brand – constantly add value to all your posts and become a trustworthy leader in your industry; to quote Bob Burg, "All things being equal, people will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like, and trust."
  10. Build a marketing department inexpensively – for start-ups, employing inbound marketing tactics is a cheap way to start marketing your product / service; most social media sites are free to join, while others have a minimal monthly or annual fee
  11. Help increase conversion rates – use social media and inbound marketing to steer more organic traffic to your website and convert more leads into sales; the average conversion rate is 2.3%, but varies by industries according to ClickZ, Marketing News & Expert Advice, http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1691779/benchmarking-average-conversion-rate .

I recommend choosing a useful of sites to manage and start getting your feet wet. Not every social media site available will be right for you or your business and it would overwhelming to try them all. For example, consistently maintaining a blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ pages, a YouTube channel, as well as a Twitter account might be a great place to start. Depending on the type of business, a Pinterest, Tumblr, or Flickr account might or may not be worthwhile, but obviously they are great certain brands.

If you need help getting started, there are countless different types of resources. I have used the An Hour a Day book series on Facebook Marketing, Twitter Marketing, and Social Media Marketing. They address each entity in a step-by-step fashion that is very user-friendly. I also find Hubspot to be extremely helpful. They are continuously publishing user guides that contain valuable information, tips, and tricks. Lastly, when creating your profile on the various social media sites that best fit your marketing plan, it's a good idea to connect with other marketers to check out what they are doing to boost business.

Do you have a tip or trick to share with newcomers to social media? Share it with us; you are more than welcome to post questions and / or comments here!

The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Real Estate Attorney

When one one gets involved in a property dispute in their city, why is it that the last resort happens to be the real estate attorney? Well, this is because most of the cases involve great professionalism and sometimes legal proceedings to help you get what you deserved, or protect you from the intricate lawsuits. While no property agent and adviser can guide you with total solicitation, the lawyer comes with greater benefits from all perspective. Every good thing has some flaws, and that goes same with the property lawyers as well. Let's find out what are the pros and cons of the real estate lawyers.

You can not be the master of all trades! No person is self competent to handle all the issues of his life, and especially when it comes in dealing with property related issues, which require higher professionalism, experience and legal expertise in dealing with the lawful proceedings. Moreover, you have higher chances of falling prey to the vandalism and deceit of the real estate agents. So, why do not you leave it to the more experienced ones, the real estate attorney!

Advantages of hiring the real estate lawyer

  • If you are a beginner, property dealing business can be quite complex and deceptive. You are unaware of most of the laws relating to the real estate industry, and various local laws. The property attorney comes as a rescue in guiding you with relevant solicitation. For all your property transactions and transactions, the lawyer will make you well versed in all the intricacies of the property business.
  • You are not an expert in understanding various terms, legal issues, nuances and intricacies of a purchase or sale contract. A lawyer helps in preventing you from blindly signing it without fully understanding the terms of contract. He prepares and reviews all the necessary property documentation on your behalf, and takes the necessary actions.
  • A large number of tax issues, environmental restrictions, condo association by-laws and other petty issues can make your property a deal into a distracting deal. A proper lawyer takes you out of such dungeon.
  • Helps you get the best deals and prices for your transaction. Protects you from fraudulent property lawsuits. If you get to purchase a damaged property without your prior notice, and if the seller is aware of it, with the help of your lawyer you can file petition against such lawyer and get restitution for such damage.

Disadvantages of hiring the real estate lawyer

  • Hiring a lawyer can involve higher service charges and contingency fees, adding an extra burden to you transaction.
  • Reliability and competency of a lawyer comes as a question. While all the lawyers would promise greater quality service and 100% success rate, the same may not be the case. You can end up paying more charges for such fraud and misery.

However, it is recommended to hire a competent property attorney for your property issues, or you can end up to more vandalism and fraud.

Making Money – Get Paid to Refer

Sounds simple, making money by getting paid to refer, but is it really possible to make money by just referring people. Well the simple answer is yes you can. I came across this about 18 months ago and have been slowly but steadily seeing my earnings from it grow.

We all actually play a part in this chain. I'll give you an example:

Not so long ago I was spending a lot of time on Twitter and Facebook seeing what my buddies were up to, when one of them stated that they managed all their social profiles as well as all their email addresses in one easy desktop application called Digsby. I thought that was a pretty smart idea so I downloaded the free software and now use Digsby for handling all my social networking accounts.

Now even though I did not have to pay for Digsby my buddy who referred me was able to make money by referring me, so he was 'paid to refer', and there are 1000's of really useful software tools like that you can get paid from forseeing. Also there is a digital information warehouse that you can join for free, make money get paid to refer any of the 10'000's of the products and services that you refer of their. People can download whatever they buy straight way and you get paid money for referring them straight away too.

I know people who make 1000's a month getting paid to refer, and the ones that do not are the ones who think they are there to sell, selling does not work it's as simple as finding a group of people really eager for a solution say one on "how to train Labrador puppies" and then referring the to a digital product at ClickBank to solve their problems, it's a win win situation.

The best place to learn how to 'make money money paid to refer' is from the someone who does it every day, well the people who do it every day are called affiliate marketers.

Affiliate marketers get paid a commission on everything they refer and it does not stop with digital downloadable products either, you can take a look at company's like Commission Junction, Linkshare or even Amazon just to name a few, and make money getting paid to refer tangible goods of all kinds, it really just depends on what your into.