A wholesaler is a company that acts as a go between between businesses and customers. In recent years, some companies have chosen to act as a wholesaler in a traditional retail setting. In other words, companies like BJ’s and Sam’s Club combine a wholesale warehouse within a conventional retail space. The process might seem straightforward, but it still has its quirks.
1: The Gallon Size Apparently Is Too Small
Unless you happen to be Undercover Brother, you probably won’t be eating enough mayo to justify buying it in tub size. People assume that just because you are getting a cheaper price per unit that you are getting the best value. However, if you don’t use the product, you are not getting a deal at all. Keep the wholesale purchases to tube socks and hope the grocery store hasn’t run out of mayo.
2: Some People Don’t Understand That A Wholesaler Is A Warehouse
Yes, and this means that there is nothing in the back room. If you go to a wholesale store and ask an employee if they have more ketchup in the back, you are doing something wrong. As Bill Engvall would say, “Here’s your sign.” There is a reason why the product goes straight from a truck to the sales floor. It is for your convenience and to make the employee’s life as easy as possible.
3: Novelty Items Are Overrated
Sure, nothing is cooler than having that light up pen, or the gun that unrolls a sheet of paper with the word BANG on it. The funny thing about novelty wholesaling is that there is actually a market for it. Google “Funny Novelty Items” and you will end up with thousands of hits. On second thought, have you ever used a Bongo Flasher? Those things are fun.
4. Marketing Can Sell Anything
Why is there such a novelty market? Good PR and advertising. A Silly Band wasn’t just a piece of rubber, it was a dinosaur shaped piece of rubber! A pet rock wasn’t just any rock, it was a rock that kept you company and was almost as good as a dog. Ten dollars for a rock may seem like a lot, but at least it doesn’t need trips to the vet.
5. You Need To Bring Friends To Buy From A Wholesaler
You can’t buy from a wholesaler if it is just you. It is the law in all 50 United States. To buy goods from a wholesaler you have to have 39 kids, or be attempting to set a Guiness World Record for most rolls of paper towels bought in one package. Hopefully you have given up trying to find a normal size jar of mayo by now.
September 1, 2011 No Comments
If you are trying to make it in the current economy, then you understand the importance of online marketing. A blog is one of the best ways to build visibility for your website. Here are six reasons your small business needs a blog.
1. Blogging Is Good for Search Engine Optimization
When you write about your business in blog posts, you will use common keywords and phrases. The search engines will see these keywords and send searchers to your site. The more posts you have, the more chances you have that the search engines will show one of your posts to a searcher using your business keywords.
2. A Business Blog Tells Your Story
People respond well to stories, and in your blog you will be able to tell the story of your business. Over time, readers will see how your business has grown and how you have responded to the challenges you face. Long time readers will become invested in your success and will find it hard to imagine doing business with anyone but you.
3. Your Blog Shows You Are an Expert
As you write about your customers’ challenges, you will be showing readers that you are an expert in your field. Readers will turn to you when they have questions because they trust you to give good answers. You can then use those answers to write new blog posts that continue the cycle.
4. You Can Test New Ideas on Your Business Blog
Sometimes businesses have great ideas, but after they spend the money on development and they bring new products or services to market, their customers fail to respond as these companies expected. On your business blog you can test your ideas to see if what you are considering will actually appeal to your customers. You will save a lot of money when you take the time to learn in advance what your readers think will be a hit. Sometimes, the feedback you receive will make your good idea even better.
5. Blogging Creates Interest
Of course, when you have a great idea, your blog will help you get the word out and make your customers hungry to buy. Because they will have had a part in advising you, these customers will be eager to become your advance promoters.
6. Blogs Make It Easy to Add Fresh Content
Content is king on the Internet, but not everyone has the coding skills to create a website from scratch. Fortunately, with a blog on your site that has a visual editor, you can add new posts as easily as writing a letter in a word processor. Even if you only add one post each week, at the end of the year your site will have 52 pages of content that keeps your website fresh and searchable.
Every small business needs a blog to compete in this economy because blogs increase online visibility while communicating with customers. Plus, once published, each post remains a permanent advertisement for you and your business.
August 31, 2011 No Comments
Frugal, or the F word, has beaten down so many people dealing with this awful economy that more and more people are searching for ways to use Win, or the W word. Facebook questions about what to do on a day off with no money can get answers like window shop for fall fashions, feed the ducks in the park, or search online for silly jokes. Sometimes, though, it’s not about having no money, but about ideas. Stress over today’s economy has affected people and left them dazed, so ideas are a commodity in great demand right now.
Remember What Fun Means?
Somewhere around us all is a college. Watch those kids and you’ll see thousands of them having fun on no money at all. They live on a strict budget because once their classes are paid for, they have little left, aside from donations from their families, to live on. You’ll see them sitting under trees on campus talking, walking around the river or lake nearby, cruising the mall or playing ball after their classes. They are spending time together, shaking off worries and stress by socializing with friends. These kids share ideas using sites such as collegenet.com, which not only gives them a forum, it makes them feel less alone. Win.
Online research will net the stressed out ideas offered by families plus those who read the site, then send in their own ideas. Sites like simpledollar.com take an idea for a “no money at all” weekend and turn it into what is fast becoming a family tradition. And a good one it is, too, for individuals and families have forgotten what it feels like when people concentrate on each other. Zeroes in the checkbook doesn’t give people a warm and fuzzy like shared laughter and hugs do. Win.
Going Green – Literally
Have you ever wondered what the Earth looked like before mankind happened to it? What did the trees look like, what did truly pure water look like, taste like and sound like? Could you eat snow without getting sick from its passage through the atmosphere? Well, grab a tent, my green friend, but before you do, check out survivalspot.com and click on How to Live on Virtually No Money. The piece includes articles written about people getting back to nature, but literally. These folks are an inspiration to us all. Win.
The stress of everyday life, not to mention everyday life in an economy gone severely south, can kill people. It makes them ill in a hundred ways, but they never understand why. Ditching the causes of the stress, even for a weekend with those we love, can save our lives and bring us closer to each other. Sharing ideas with those suffering equally extends the caring while possibly generating more, and possibly better, ideas. In the end, that’s what it’s all about – helping each other, caring and sharing with each other. So forget the F word and get out there and win.
August 30, 2011 No Comments
Email marketing remains one of the strongest ways to ensure small business success. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 92% of online Americans use email, with 61% checking their email every day. If you can build a strong email list, you will have an audience you can market to for years to come.
Email Success Versus Spam
One thing every email list struggles with is the perception of spam. You can overcome this perception by controlling your list with an opt-in requirement. By using an auto-responder, you can ensure that every subscriber has chosen your list and confirmed his subscription. In addition, every email received will contain a simple unsubscribe link.
Once subscribers sign up to your list, you should monitor your unsubscribes to get a feel for when your emails are too frequent or promotional for the taste of the audience. If you overdo the promotion, some people will mark you as spam rather than merely unsubscribing.
How to Get People to Opt In
You can encourage email sign ups by offering a freebie that entices prospects to give up their email address and take a chance on letting you into their inbox’s. Popular freebies include:
* White Papers
Once you have a desirable gift to offer, a good sales page will ensure the highest conversion rate. Also known as a squeeze page, this page emphasizes the benefits of your offering and overcomes any objections to subscribing. You will not want to lose interested prospects to poor sales copy, so this page deserves the best copywriting you can afford.
Keeping Your Email List Active
Look for ways to offer good information on a periodic basis to your subscribers. This will:
* Overcome their perception of your emails as spam;
* Increase the chance that they will open your emails;
* Keep them aware of your brand.
One thing you should not do is let your list go quiet for several months and then suddenly spring a bunch of promotional emails on the list. This can do more harm than good if people have forgotten your brand and think you are spam.
Useful Email Information
If you want to keep them reading your emails, offer information that helps them succeed. Of course, the best information sells your products while helping them succeed. You might give them tips about:
* Seasonal activity (gathering info for taxes);
* Maintenance schedules (how often they should rotate tires);
* Troubleshooting common problems.
Any information you can provide that benefits the reader will raise the value of the emails in the minds of subscribers, and you can always include a promotional message at the bottom of the email.
Rinse and Repeat
Once you have a list of email subscribers and have found the mix of information and promotion that works for your list, you will have a money machine you can keep reusing. Email marketing costs very little more whether you send to 10 or 10,000 subscribers, so your costs actually go down while your revenues increase.
August 29, 2011 No Comments
If you are a teacher, you know that back to school time means purchasing things for your classroom. Here are some things that you might want to think about purchasing to keep your classroom well stocked and to keep you ready to handle anything!
You can never have enough tissues, even if you do get a supply of them from your school each year. Even if you are lucky enough to have a school budget that includes tissues, you probably have to make due with the flimsy quality tissues that fall apart when they are used. Because of that, you might want to purchase your own tissues to keep in your classroom.
2. Paper Towels
Teaching a classroom full of kids is an adventure. It doesn’t matter if you teach kindergarten or if you teach high school, chances are that eventually someone will spill something. Keep a roll of paper towels on hand for spills or for wiping up messes on the floor. You won’t regret it.
Many schools recommend that students bring their own hand sanitizer to school. However, it is a good idea to have your own supply. You can keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on your desk and one by the entrance of your room just in case students need to use it. Keep the germs at bay and hopefully you and your students can stay healthy throughout the school year!
Using stickers is a great way to reinforce positive behaviors or to reward students for a job well done. You can purchase a large roll or stickers to be used throughout the school year.
Although you may have a rule that each student needs his or her own pencil, it is best to be prepared. Leave a supply of pencils on your desk for students to borrow during class and you will minimize classroom disruption and distractions drastically. Of course, chances are that you may not get all of the pencils that you loan out back. For that reason, it is best to buy a large supply of pencils.
Having a line of students waiting to sharpen their pencils at the start of class can be annoying and distracting. Instead, you can just supply students with pencil sharpeners. That way, you can guarantee that they will be prepared for class.
7. Red pens
You can never have enough red pens. Whether you use the pens to correct your papers or just to edit student reports, you should definitely have a supply of red pens.
8. Glue Sticks
Glue sticks are very handy to have around the classroom. They are great to use for classroom crafts, bulletin boards and displays. However, they also get used up quite quickly. For this reason, you might want to keep a supply of glue sticks on hand in your classroom.
August 25, 2011 No Comments
When you’re trying to save money and to embrace a frugal lifestyle, there may be many challenges that you face. Fret not. Here are a few ways to save money will still enjoying your favorite products and services. Host an in-home party and get your friends in on the action. You’ll find a lot more money in your wallet at the end of the month.
Have a Clothing Swap Party
This idea works especially well for families with babies or young children who outgrow their clothes quickly. Gather your gently used clothing and accessories and invite a few of your friends to your home to do the same. Give each party-goer a tag with a number equal to the amount of pieces they contributed to the party. Then swap your clothes for their duds, and get an almost-new pair of shoes for your little ones. Host a clothing swap party at the end of each season and gear up on clothes and accessories for the next few months. You will be surprised at the treasures that can be found in your friends’ closets.
Have a Toy Swap Party
The same concept as the clothing swap, the toy swap party will save you hundreds of dollars on new toys. Dust off those dolls and give those teddy bears a new fluffing and put them on display at your toy swap party. Tired of the same song from your baby’s crib mobile? He’ll enjoy a new tune and a change of scenery when you get a new one at your swap party. Invite the children to participate and make a fun day out of it.
Host a Craft Party
Are you good at making soap? Do you have a friend that’s a whiz at baking or one that sews beautiful aprons? Host a craft party in your home and have fun while earning a few extra dollars on the side. Set up your living room to resemble a boutique display table and allow your “vendors” to sell their wares. Serve light refreshments and pocket some extra cash in the process. Collect one freebie from each of your guests as their “vendor fee.” Craft parties are great at any time of the year, but are especially popular during the holiday season when people are shopping for gifts for friends and family.
Host a Spa Day
Tired of spending hundreds of dollars every month on spa treatments, manicures, pedicures and hair-styling?
Purchase low-cost bottles of nail polish, facial masques, and makeup. Treat yourself and your friends to a day of pampering and skip the salon. Try out different styles and colors and experiment from the comfort of your living room. As an admission fee, ask each guest to bring their favorite nail polish or makeup to share with the group. A spa day is a great way to bond with your friends without the expense of the salon. No tip necessary!
Hosting a home party is a great way to enjoy the company of friends while saving money on clothing, toys and beauty treatments. With just a small investment of time and space, you can save hundreds of dollars every month while enjoying your favorite luxuries.
August 25, 2011 No Comments
When your business is small, you look for ways to manage costs. Some small business owners settle for website solutions that have them renting space on someone else’s domain. Even when the space offered is free, you should proceed with caution. Your long-term business plan should involve a domain you own for the following reasons.
#1 – No Shortcuts
It can take up to a year for a small business website to gain traction with the search engines and routinely rank for competitive keywords. You cannot abbreviate this process by building a site on someone else’s domain. You may see traffic on their site to your space, but at some point when you decide to make the switch you will be starting from day one on your domain. All the content and referrals you have already amassed on another’s domain cannot transfer to the new site and grow your influence any faster.
#2 – Terms of Service Change
If you read the terms of service for a site that offers free or low cost hosting (like an online storefront, for example) you will see that the provider has reserved the right to change their rules without notice. It’s their way or the highway, a daunting proposition once you have come to rely on their traffic or have built up significant content on their domain.
#3 – Landlords Control the Pricing
You may sign up for a great deal today, but what prevents your landlords from changing their pricing at a later date? Nothing really, according to the terms of service. Maybe you can lock in a low price by buying years in advance, but still you risk a day when the old terms or pricing no longer apply. At that point, the more deeply invested you are in their site, the harder and more expensive it will be to extract yourself and start over.
#4 – Landlords Control the Content
YouTube famously cancelled the account of Problogger, Darrin Rowse, when they decided they didn’t want to carry video content in the “make money online” niche anymore. While you may agree that much of the content in this category was useless or misleading, the thing is, one day this content met YouTubes standards, the next it did not. Online landlords have the right to make these reversals at will.
#5 – Landlords Sell Out
Finally, websites and platforms change hands all the time. New landlords bring new rules and new pricing. These new stakeholders have no loyalty to long-term customers or co-creators, which makes them even more likely to exercise their rights to change policy at will.
Your best defense against the changing whims of online landlords is an offense that includes a domain you own with website content you control. You will start gaining credibility with the search engines from day one, and over time, your online real estate will increase in value. Use free or low cost sites to help send traffic to your site, but do not put all your eggs in one of their baskets.
August 24, 2011 No Comments
Enter your school to win one month of premium SAT test prep for the entire Junior class!
DollarDays.com has teamed up with Boston Test Prep’s Online SAT Program to help kids score higher on the SAT. Each subscription by itself sells for $59. Total value depends on the number of students in the Junior class.
The winning school will have access to the online preparation from September 1, 2011 – September 31, 2011. The big SAT test is October 1st!
August 23, 2011 No Comments
Many people find it hard to survive in a stunted economy while inflation flourishes, but that doesn’t mean it’s not impossible. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to live within your means. You need to set up a budget and stick to it. This way, when you’re in a bind, you won’t be wondering how you’re going to pay for that emergency car repair or medical bill.
A good rule of thumb to live by would be to split up your earnings into categories. Only 30% or less of the money you take home should go toward rent or a mortgage. You should always put 10% away in your savings account to build your retirement, and you should only dip into your savings in an emergency. The last 60% of your income should go toward other bills, food, gas, and entertainment. Entertainment is the last on the list for a reason. It is not a necessity. You should always make sure your money goes toward necessities and savings first. If there happens to be any money left over, you can play. Otherwise, find fun free activities.
In order to follow this budget, you have to save money on everything possible and sometimes just not spend at all. First think about your dwelling place. Is this as cheap as you can rent? Maybe there is another apartment a few blocks away that is $100 cheaper. If you have a mortgage, ask your lender if you can get a lower interest rate. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. If you are able to sell your house and not lose on it, try downsizing. Downsizing is hard because you end up having to get rid of some of your stuff, but it can be invigorating to throw out or give away the items that you really don’t need or use. The other positive side to having a smaller place is that you’ll end up saving even more money because you’ll be less likely to buy more stuff. You know you don’t have the space to put any of it.
Next, figure out how you can lower any of your other bills, like electricity. Only use high-powered electrical devices if you really need to. Set your AC thermostat to one degree higher and you’ll save quite a chunk of change each month. Put your electronics on a power strip so you can turn it all off at once when you’re not using any of it. Does your trash company have the lowest price in town? If not, switch companies. You shop around for all the things you buy, why not shop around for your bills, too? You can save lots per year by shopping around for gas prices. If you have a commute, figure out where the cheapest gas station is along your route and stop every other day to fill up.
Remember to save before you spend and you’ll never be in a pinch when that imminent emergency takes place.
August 23, 2011 No Comments
This post was written by guest blogger Michael Dolen.
You’ve probably heard the quote “take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves”. This especially holds true in business. Sometimes the difference between a failing business and one that’s wildly successful is just a few percentage points of profit. Walmart is an example of this, with a net profit margin of only 3.77%.
Obviously though, none of us have a Walmart-sized company. Not even close. However the lesson still holds true whether you are a one-member LLC (like I currently have) or a corporation with hundreds of employees. If you don’t seek out the absolute best deals on your inventory and supplies, even the slightest differences can add up to real money over time the difference between being in the red of not.
Are you buying enough online?
One simple way that just about any business can reduce their expenses is to buy online. Of course, the impact that will have on your bottom line will depend on your industry, but here are 5 examples to demonstrate how this approach is something all of us must consider.
Toilet papers, seat covers, paper towels; they’re not the most pleasant items to think about, but you should because you’re probably overpaying big time if you buy them from a brick and mortar store. Take these wholesale Health Gard seat covers. At the time of writing, DollarDays is selling them for only $78.87 per case (that’s 5,000 covers total) to Platinum Members. Compare that to the retail price of $219.80! Doctors’ offices, restaurants, and just about any business with a heavily-trafficked bathroom will save a lot of money here.
#2. Shipping/Packaging Supplies
Years ago I used to run an eBay business and as you can imagine, I was buying quite a bit of packing supplies (my Staple’s credit card bill each month was quite high!). Doing that was a big mistake, because I can buy envelopes, bubble wrap and more for only a fraction of the price online. Compare DollarDays wholesale envelopes to what the office supply stores charge and you will be amazed at the difference!
It may be 2011, but fax machines are still a vital accessory for many businesses. When I started my website for credit card reviews, I assumed a fax machine would never be needed since it was an online business. However the credit card companies I work with like Chase, American Express, and Discover often ask for the advertising agreements to be signed and faxed back. All those trips to Fedex Office where I had to pay $1-2 per page for faxes really added up. Eventually I caved in and bought a cheap fax machine, but after checking out the ones on DollarDays it looks like I could have gotten it a lot cheaper. As I write this there are good, name brand wholesale fax machines for less than a hundred bucks.
We all know how expensive coffee has gotten over the past couple years. If you provide free coffee to your employees, that increased cost really adds up. Of course, the solution is to not to do away with it, because that coffee can help invigorate employees (boosting productivity). A better solution would be to buy it online. Not only will you find it’s a lot cheaper than the stores, but you can also snag additional savings with the closeouts found in DollarDays wholesale coffee and tea section.
A good friend of mine is a property manager for a fairly large complex of 80 or so apartments. Whenever light bulbs, tools, etc. are needed, the higher-ups at corporate tell him to go to Home Depot and charge it to the business credit card they provided him. This is a huge waste of money considering that many of the same items can be bought online for much, much less. Check out the wholesale hardware section and you will see just how significant the savings can be.
Michael Dolen is the founder of Category Media LLC, which is the parent company of CreditCardForum.com. He started this forum/blog in 2008 as a place for consumers and business to ask questions and get answers. Speaking of credit cards, he uses the Chase Ink and AmEx Business Gold for his company, but stresses that there’s not a “one size fits all” answer when it comes credit cards.
August 18, 2011 No Comments