Archive for February, 2008

Outsourcing Life

February 27, 2008

timferriss1.jpg  Tim Ferris – 4 Hour Workweek

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.” — Henry David Thoreau, naturalist

After listening in to Tim Ferris on the Duct Tape Marketing Coaching Excellence Series last week, I’m curious as to how many ways small business owners are finding to outsource their daily demands.  Most folks I talk with are more in a constant state of overwhelm by the barrage of daily information and tasks thrown their way.  What about you?  Will you comment on what’s working for you in unloading your demanding work plate?  And, what still, is not?  Resources you’re using … and more can help busy entrepreneurs get closer to that dream of the 4 hour work week.  Thanks, in advance for your posts!


Tim Ferris – Duct Tape Marketing Coaching Excellence Series

February 17, 2008


Featured Session:  February 21, 2008 Noon Central

Tim Ferris is the author of the wildly popular 4-Hour Workweek.  He is the featured speaker on this month’s Duct Tape Marketing Coaching Excellence Series.  Tim is a serial entrepreneur and ultravagabond and has been featured by dozens of media, including the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, NBC and MAXIM. 

Join us by simply going to and use the easy sign up box to be added to this program list.  We’ll send you everything you need to log on for Tim’s programs and other great speakers in the future !

And, bookmark this spot to return with your comments following the program.


Sandra – Business Presentations Great Resource!

February 8, 2008

Check out  It’s great for business owners making professional Power Point presentations.  This site is dedicated to helping business presenters improve their presentations.  It’s a great resource for ideas, seeing examples of what to do and not do to polish up your talks.  And, best of all, it’s free! 

4 Marketing Ideas to Generate More Profits on Valentine’s Day

February 5, 2008



Ideally, you’ve got your marketing strategies already in place for this upcoming holiday.  But if not, or you just want something new to generate some buzz and extra profits, this will give you some fresh ideas. 

Critics say Valentine’s Day is just another scam by American businesses to try and get more money out of consumers.  And, so what if it is?  The holiday benefits businesses.  This is good for our economy.  More important, it reminds us to celebrate the people we love because all too often we forget.

So, in the interest of tapping into extra profits in your business this year, here are some ideas to help you attract more customers and clients on this heartfelt holiday:

1.       Give the Gift of Service

This offering can be given directly from your business, or gifted by strategic partners that already refer business to you, or jointly.  Create a gift certificate for services (or, a loss leader product).  Let this be a “gift” from your client or strategic partner to others they care about.  The gift is “compliments” of the giver, as if they bought this certificate for the person receiving it.  You provide the service (or, combined with a strategic partner’s offer).  The giver receives the “credit” or “thanks” for the gift.  It’s a win-win for all involved.     

2.      Pictures

Hire an inexpensive local photographer (maybe one that’s just getting started so that you help their business and yours) to come to your place of business and offer Valentine’s pictures of couples, kids, or family shots for free or a very small fee.   

Dates for shooting can be as many as you and the photographer agree before Valentine’s Day (or, other future Holidays like Mother’s Day).  Your customer or client receives one photo (size that you decide with the photographer).  Additional reprints are at the photographer’s regular fees.

Have a fun holiday theme background for the pictures and make sure your photographer uses a digital camera. That way, you can email the finished product to the customers.  And, you advertise your business (and the photographer’s) a second time.  The email prints can be “overwritten” with “proof” to require the actual photo be produced by the photographer.

3.      Contests

Advertise a greeting card, love song, poetry or short story contest.  This one is for next year or a later holiday this year, as it’s too late for Valentine’s.  You want to be sure to start things around 30 days before the actual holiday. 

Give a deadline the week before the holiday:  Valentine’s, Easter, Mother’s Day, etc.  Announce the winner on or just before the day of the holiday and provide them with a special prize, such as a gift certificate to your business and dinner for two at a great local restaurant.

Other smaller scale contests could be the couple that has been married the longest, the couple married the shortest, who proposed in the most creative way, etc.   You get the idea because this is for Valentine’s Day.  The same idea applies to other holidays like Mother’s Day.  i.e. Why my mom is the greatest ever!

Again, personal short contests are what you promote.  On Valentine’s you could even have couples registered for a make-shift newlywed game and have them compete for a prize. It depends on your particular business, location and facility layout. The couple that knows each other best wins.  There are lots of creative twists to using the contest idea.

4.      Giveaways

Consider having a drawing for a larger giveaway, sponsored by your business or in conjunction with a strategic partner of yours (one who already refers to you and/or vice versa).  It could be a cruise or 4 day/3 night getaway.  It could be an overnight stay at a 4-star local hotel and restaurant with dinner for two. 

Couples are entered when they spend a certain amount with your business (check your local regulations on this as each municipality differs) to enter.    It may be a $10-$25 fee to enter the drawing.  That way, you don’t have the whole town trying to get in on the fun for free, and you make some money back from your investment for the giveaway offered.

Also, if your business provides products or services that are often used by a specific target group, consider giving away a package that appeal to that group.  And, you can include more than one company, sharing in this offering.  Again, use your strategic alliances versus only making offers alone.  Get creative!

Examples of strategic alliances:  For weddings:  photographer, catering, wedding coordination, etc. for engaged couples.  For cosmetic makeovers:  cosmetic dentist – teeth whitening, Lasik surgeon – designer sun glasses, spa packages, etc. 

These will generate interest in your product/service.  And, though you’ll only be giving it to one couple, or person, it will bring in potential clientele who would be willing to pay if they don’t win because they like what they saw and experienced while visiting your business to register.

Regardless of how you wish to take advantage of the extra revenues and profits Valentine’s Day offers your business, be sure you advertise whatever special event you choose.   

Pick your best local sources.  The local newspaper and optimizing your local web presence are both great options.  Another good venue is local radio stations.  Rates vary.  Check into off hour rates and last minute spot rates (remnant rates) with both radio and TV ads.  Independent Cable TV channels are quite affordable in some markets. 

Invest in some air time to advertise the special contest or giveaway, and your business with strategic partners.  This will likely reach the biggest audience in the shortest period of time, with Valentine’s only days away.  And remember to call your local TV stations to let them know what’s going on.  If it’s exciting enough, they’ll want to be there to see who the big winner is, and you’ll get even more advertising for your business!

I realize this blog posting today is only a few days before Valentine’s Day, so the above ideas may not help you as much this year as next.  February being our shortest business month, planning ahead to insure higher revenues is the best practice.  So starting now will get you well on your way to bringing in the profits and business you desire in the future.  Enjoy Valentine’s, the Day of  Love.  And, let me know how I can help you with more strategic marketing that sticks to your future profits!


Sandra Lee

Founder & Head Coach – Advance Associates Inc

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