Category Archives: Home Blog

Pros Cons of Direct Mail Advertising

direct mail AdvertisementDirect mail marketing can include cooperative mailings, where a company’s ad goes out with other companies, or a solo advertising piece that just includes info from one company. Cooperative marketing conserves a business money, however solo ads are more reliable in creating leads and orders. However, compared to all the different types of advertising readily available to companies, there are particular advantages and disadvantages of direct mail advertising.

Highly Targeted
Direct mail marketing is highly targeted, which is a huge advantage for business that understand their target market. Simply puts, business can send out direct mail pieces to specific purchasing groups, based upon vital demographics, such as gender, age, home income, home size and occupation. If a business really wants to promote family trip plans, it would likely target households with several family members. In addition, the business would look for households that have actually already acquired family trips in the past. Sending by mail list providers offer all kinds of newsletter. The Direct Marketing Association is among the largest purveyors of these lists.

Easy to Track
Direct mail marketing is also easy to track, which enables a business to quickly calculate their roi (ROI). Companies that send direct mail usually include an order form or application. If the business creates leads or orders by mail, all the business requires to do is key the order type. A mailing that goes out on Jan. 8 can be keyed: 18, which is 1 for January and 8 for the date. That way the company will understand exactly which mailing elicited the feedback. The business can then figure out the variety of sales from the mailing, deduct expenditures and compute its earnings.

Highly Informative
Business that send out solo mailings often consist of a sales letter, brochure and order kind. Companies typically supply an image and detailed information about the item or service in the brochure. In fact, company frequently makes use of the sales letter to provide special offers, especially at the end of the letter.

One downside or con with direct mail marketing is cost. It costs a great deal of cash to send direct mail in volume. Many little companies send out 10s of countless pieces a month. Postage and printing can be extremely pricey. Companies that utilize direct mail count extremely on repeat business from consumers as they invest so much per lead, or for each order in getting their clients.

Mainly Unread
Regardless of the effort that enters into designing and writing a direct mail plan, 44 percent of all mail recipients throw away their “scrap mail” without reading it. Just 1 percent or 2 percent of all recipients respond to any direct mail offer, whether they are purchasing or asking for added info, according to the post labelled “Typical Direct Mail Response Rates”. That is why it is so vital to develop and compose an extremely persuading direct mail piece, then send it to the best target audience.

Direct mail marketing can consist of cooperative mailings, where a company’s ad goes out with other companies, or a solo marketing piece that just includes info from one company. Compared with all the different forms of advertising readily available to companies, there are particular pros and cons of direct mail advertising.

Direct mail marketing is also simple to track, which enables a business to easily calculate their return on financial investment (ROI). Companies that send out direct mail typically include an order form or application. If the company creates leads or orders by mail, all the company requires to do is vital the order type.

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8 BIG Small Business Mistakes

Do you realize that there are mistakes you can make at various stages of your business’ growth that can be slowly killing it for months or even years if you don’t watch for them?

Well, these mistakes do exist and they are not just reserved for the rookie companies.  Many working businesses, including those you might think are “successful” because they’ve been around for 10+ years, are often still making them…and are possibly losing a lot of money and/or wasting a lot of time in the process.

Here’s an interesting notion:  Do you realize that there are mistakes you can make at various stages of your business’ growth that can be slowly killing it for months or even years if you don’t watch for them?

Well, these mistakes do exist and they are not just reserved for the rookie companies.  Many working businesses, including those you might think are “successful” because they’ve been around for 10+ years, are often still making them… and are possibly losing a lot of money and/or wasting a lot of time in the process.

Although some of these big and sneaky mistakes seem aimed more at service type companies, they really do fit the bill for almost any type of industry.  I’ve done my best with the listings below to give examples to prove it.

Underestimating Project/Service Time- This is a big one and it pertains to service companies as well as companies that sell a product. This is a service company’s bread and butter. If you don’t estimate your time to perform each and every service in your repertoire, you will get burned and there is little you can do about it but bite the bullet and learn from it.  The best way to estimate time is to do it once yourself or watch your best employee do the task and then throw in a little fudge factor on top of it. For product companies, time becomes an issue with logistics so be aware!

Not Knowing YOUR Company Numbers/Incorrectly Setting Prices- Notice I emphasized the word “your”. It’s a common mistake to use a competitor’s as your pricing gauge without actually knowing why they use those numbers.  Think about the nightmare you will get yourself into if you take a competitor’s price, cut it by 10% and then start selling. What if the competition has a bad pricing structure and is barely making money or even losing money?!?!  What if your costs are more than theirs?!?!  You can use competitor as a starting point but you can’t base your whole strategy on it.

Different industries have their own variables as far as costs go and you need to be aware of them for your project or product pricing.  What you pay for a product you are going to sell is not the only cost to have in your head when you are pricing products.  How much your labor and materials cost for a service is only a piece of an hourly rate.  Employees cost more than just salary and not every employee is part of your labor cost. Every company has insurance to pay for. There are tons of overhead expenditures that need to be part of your price. Oh, by the way, the big one that many people forget about in their price is the quality factor. What you include as “standard services” or “standard product features” as well as job site etiquette or in store service or warranties all need to go into your pricing. I’ll get to more on why in the next segment.

Not Charging for All of Your Time & Costs- This seems like a stupid statement to some but I bet most business owners will admit that they have given away a little too much of the farm at times. Hey, there is nothing wrong with giving a little extra here and there to show you care. But either way, that’s not what I’m talking about here. What concerns me are those that put a lot of quality into their work or products or stores and do not cover the cost for it. As an example, say you run a service company and your competitors don’t do a certain standard service that you do. You can’t just undercut their price to steal a job; you need to have that cost covered in your rate and advertise the fact that it comes with the price upfront. Stores undermine themselves, for example, when they put more people on the floor for customer service but don’t charge for it. These things cost you money and when your competitors don’t do them it costs them less money.  Put out better service and then under price them, and your competition just has to wait a little bit for you to fall on your face so they can swoop back in.

As a business owner you need to believe that you are providing your clients worthwhile wares that deserve to be paid for. If you get the chance to explain why your prices are higher, then take that opportunity and do it.  If they don’t like the fact that you include things that others charge extra for later or that you treat them better, then they are most likely completely price shoppers.  You don’t want them as regular customers anyway.  Trust me.

Not Getting Paid Fast Enough- That’s right, the old cash flow issue.  As long as you are actually making enough money to pay the bills, this problem can be solved, prevented or at least made to be not as bad as it could be.  Here’s the deal:

First off all, bill customers very promptly. It is very common for a small business to not have the procedures or systems in place to get invoices generated and out the door in a timely fashion (see the next segment for more). Again, this would seem unlikely since that’s the reason why we are doing the work- to get paid. But it is very easy for the people responsible for getting this info to the billing people to be too busy to get it there or not have enough organization to give it to them the right way.

The second part to slowing down or stopping a regular cash flow crunch is to make the quickest payment deals possible with customers and the slowest possible with vendors and employees.  If there is any way not to pay employees any more than twice a month, you better do it.  Contractors always have an issue with this. If you must pay weekly, then tell them before they are hired that they will be getting the first week held back, essentially buying you a week. It will help, I promise.

Part three involves credit. If your company can get a credit card, then get it. This allows for certain important things to be bought (that you can afford) that might come up during a cash flow crunch.  Better yet, especially if you have no choice but to deal with 45+ day customer payments, do your best to get a company line of credit.  This is a must if you plan on selling to the government or doing commercial service work. These clients often have 60 to 90 day wait periods.

Failure to Have Solid Systems and Procedures in Place- Too many procedures (known as “red tape”) is the reason why many people start their own business in the first place. Unfortunately, having no procedures and systems in place at all is not an alternative. Depending on the type of industry, business owners must come to a happy medium or chaos and the unknown will ensue. Some basic examples where procedures or systems are needed include billing, collections, payroll, hr (interviewing, hiring, vacations, benefits, job responsibilities, etc.), manufacturing, operating equipment, maintaining equipment, inventory, sales calls/visits and logistics to name a few.

Even a one person show needs to have some admin procedures in place.  This will make it easier to hire temps and subcontractors and control what they are doing for you.  Without at least a watered down version of a system or procedure to do everyday work, you will be to blame for causing many major headaches as your company grows. I can’t emphasize how important this is for when you bring on new employees. I’m sure you heard this before, but I am also a big proponent of having an employee handbook even for one employee. It’s amazing the trouble people can cause business owners just because they allow you to pay them.

Spending Advertising Money Just to Say You Advertise-  I would almost rather see my clients not advertise then to spend without regard to tracking the results. There is no point in a marketing campaign if you do not put things in place that allow you to measure how well the plan is working.  The other wasteful part of marketing that many people make the mistake of doing, is not tracking their previously successful campaigns.  Why some people think that just because a $400 dollar a month ad worked once very well for one busy season, that it will automatically work every year after that is beyond me.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin- This is a classic mistake made by every entrepreneur. The key is to figure out when you are at that “wearing too many hats” point and start getting some help.  The solution here is to know your strengths and to be able see when you are not performing the duties that demand these skills. If you are the best sales person on the company, you can’t get caught up in day-to-day operations. If you do, sales will slip and eventually you won’t have any operations to worry about.  Think about this to help you figure out if you are spread too thin: Did you really go into business for yourself to work 80+ hours a week?

Not Getting Help Soon Enough- Set goals to know when to hire people to take over where you are light on knowledge. Not getting help or waiting too long can kill a company. Most people who start a business do it because they are good at the technical end or the sales end.  If you know the best way to make a widget, then your strength is in production and that is where your time should be spent. Hire an outside company or consultant to take care of the sales and marketing and then hire inside when you can afford someone full time.  Don’t be something to your company that you are not. It will only hold you back.

The three big issues people like to tackle themselves but usually are least knowledgeable about are legal issues, accounting/bookkeeping issues and daily operations issues.  The odds are that these three things are your weakest link so if you don’t have a partner that has the background for these subjects, then be prepared to get help as soon as possible.  It’s preferable that you do this before you start a business.

Although looking for these problems at any time is a good idea, the end of a year or season is an excellent business interval to make sure you are not making these errors.  Take the time, or make the time, to fix these problems. If you don’t know how to reverse the problems, then get some help.  If you really don’t have enough time to either figure out if you have these issues or know they are there and can’t break away long enough to do it right, then get some help.


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Surveys – Paid
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9 Top Stock Picks


DailyTradeAlert’s “9 Best Stocks to Own Right Now”

Trade Alert
Top Stock Picks from Today’s
Leading Analysts

The 9 Best Stocks

to Own Right Now

After sifting through the
recommendations of dozens of the nation’s leading investment advisors,
we’ve hand-selected the stocks that appear best-positioned to beat the
market over the long-haul…

Analysts Featured

in This Report

Many of these experts have PhDs and MBAs… have authored best-selling
books on making money in the market… have appeared on CNBC, Fox
Business News
, Bloomberg TV, CNN Radio…
and have been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, The
Washington Post
and more.


we’d never guarantee that these stocks will outperform the general
market, we CAN say with 100% certainty that the advisors recommending
them have remarkable histories of picking winners.

During the past few years, many of their recommendations have led to
outsized profits in stocks, bonds, commodities and precious metals like
gold and silver.

With this in mind, we’ve dug through their latest research and compiled
what we consider to be a list of The 9 Best Stocks to Own Right

Stock #1

This Dividend Champion is
On Sale…

Now Looks Like a Great Time to Buy

The current situation for “Stock
#1″ can be a dream for savvy investors focused on the long-term.

In short, thanks to a recent pullback, “Stock #1″ — a high-quality
growth stock with 46 consecutive years of dividend increases — is on
sale at a hefty discount.

As a result, we’re now
looking at a rare opportunity to buy shares of solid Dividend Champion
at a bargain-basement price. There’s no telling how long you’ll be able
to pick up shares at this price though, so if you’re interested, we
suggest you act soon.

Stock #2

One of the Safest Stocks in
the World is a “Buy” Right Now


“Stock #2″ is the perfect dividend stock. It’s
also one of the safest stocks in the world.

In short, the company is a cash-gushing powerhouse with thick,
consistent profit margins and a huge competitive moat around its

And not only does it pay an above average yield and a dividend that’s
growing, but it continues to buy back its own stock as well. Despite
this, however, “Stock #2″ is currently dirt-cheap… making right now
an excellent time to

Stock #3

The One Stock to Own in ANY

“Stock #3″ is the kind of stock you can
hold forever, no matter how the market does.

only has it held up better than the average stock during downturns,
but it also pays ever-rising dividends like clockwork.

In fact, it’s boosted payments for 18 years straight… its 10-year
dividend growth
rate is an astounding 19.4%… and its payout ratio is just 25%
(leaving PLENTY of room for future increases as well).

On top of all this, shares are currently trading at a discount. Buy
them… hold them… and potentially collect dividend after dividend
for decades to come.

Stock #4

Warren Buffett Just Bought
Another 300,000 Shares of This Stock


world’s most successful investor has purchased another large chunk of
“Stock #4.” According to the latest quarterly SEC filings, Buffett now
owns 49.5
million shares worth some $3.8 billion!

What’s the attraction? For one, this dominant stock looks undervalued
and is flashing a compelling “BUY” signal.

In short, the company is making more money than ever today, yet its
share price isn’t keeping up. In addition, if you buy now, you can lock
in one of its highest yields in history.

top of all this, in both good and bad economic times, “Stock #4″ has
able to deliver ever-increasing payouts to its shareholders. It’s paid
dividends through wars, recessions and bear markets… it’s one of the
strongest, safest companies in the world… and it could pay one of the
safest, largest dividend streams on the planet.

Bottom line? If you’re looking for both safety AND a
dividend you can depend on, then this Buffett stock could be your
number one bet. And at today’s prices, right now could be a great time
to buy it

Stock #5

This is One of the Greatest
Dividend Stocks of All Time… And The Ideal Core Holding For ANY

#5″ is legendarily profitable… it’s legendarily stable… it’s one of
the greatest dividend stocks of all time… and it’s the ideal core
holding for ANY portfolio.

As a “Double Dividend Champion” with 57 consecutive years of dividend
growth under its belt, “Stock #5″ has survived the Vietnam war,
hyperinflation in the 1970s, the ’87 stock market crash, the bursting
of the “dot-com” bubble, the “Great Recession” and more.

It’s no wonder then that one of our favorite dividend growth
investors is loading up his personal retirement portfolio with
dependable, high-quality dividend growth stocks like this one. If
you’re a long-term investor, you should seriously consider following
his lead.

Stock #6

Bill Gates Now Has About
$1.3 Billion in This One Stock


only is “Stock #6″ a significant holding of billionaire investors Bill
Gates and Warren Buffett, but it’s one of the world’s greatest
companies… it could be a perfect inflation hedge for your
portfolio… it takes its shareholders seriously… and it can produce
high returns on its assets without requiring large and ongoing capital

On top of all this, considering the fact that the company has raised
dividend every year for the past 52 years in a row — and that it
generates plenty of cash each year to pay it — its
dividend is as rock-solid as it gets.

Stock #7

Inflation Worries? This
Dividend Champion Could Be Your #1 Defense AND Offense


#7″ is a dominant player in its industry…
and it can sell its products no matter what’s going on in the overall

It’s one of the safest stocks on the planet… it has a strong history
of paying dividends through thick and thin… and it’s been growing its
payout by margins that have well exceeded inflation year-after-year.

Specifically, the company has increased dividends for 42 consecutive
years, boosting its payout by an average of 13.7% a year for the past
10 years in a row. And with a payout ratio of just 60%, it should be
able to continue boosting dividends in the future as well.

Stock #8

Now is a Great Time to Own

“Double Dividend Champion”


a “Double Dividend Champion” that’s posted 51 consecutive years of
dividend growth, “Stock #8″ is one of the world’s best businesses and
the kind of stock that has outlasted wars, recessions and financial

In fact, there have been 10 bear markets since 1961… and “Stock #8″
has increased its dividend, without interruption, through all 10 of

That said, if you’re looking for a true “sleep-at-night” investment
that you
can hold through ANY kind of market, “Stock #8″ should be near the top
of your list.

Stock #9

A “Recession-Proof” Income Stock For Both Good Times and Bad


Even with uncertainty in the economy, people
should keep buying the products that this company sells.

As a result, it has been able to raise its dividend payments each and
every year since it first started paying them 38 years ago. And these
aren’t small increases either: the company has boosted its dividend by
an average of 22.8% a year for the past 10 years and has a payout ratio
of just 58% (which leaves room for future increases as well).

But “Stock #9″ has offered its shareholders much more than a
predictable dividend stream: assuming you reinvested your dividends,
every $10,000 invested in this company 20 years ago would be worth
about $589,000 today.

No wonder Bill Gates just bought ONE MILLION shares for the Bill
and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust. All told, he now owns 10.8 million
shares of this Dividend Champion.

the Names of These Stocks Now!


Just send us an email to Get a FREE Copy of:“The 9 Best Stocks to Own Right Now”
This report will be emailed to you within 24 hours.

Book Fans Special

Dear McBOV The_Missing_Pieces_T_Cover_for_KindleFans,

It took a lot of money and time to make available “The Missing Pieces to Your Home Business”. For a limited time I’m offering you the opportunity to read my book for $1. If you don’t like it then that’s all you pay and will become a member to receive access to all products/services offered on this site. Otherwise, if you find it helpful please recommend it on and keep it as a reference guide.



Biz Opps

Introducing The Ultimate Plug & Play System
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How to Make an Extra $1,000 or More per Month Online

For most people, an extra $1,000 or so per month could really make a big difference. What would $1,000 extra do for your lifestyle?

Could you payoff some credit card bills, drive a nicer car, upgrade your home, or take a great trip here and there?

Regardless of how you’d spend it, focusing on making an extra $1,000 per month is a great way to get started online. Sure, you may want to quit your day job, but you have to start somewhere.

What’s the old phrase? You have to walk before you can run, right?

Where to Start

I recently stumbled across a program that’s made exactly for someone that’s looking to make $1,000 or more per month and scale things up from there.

It’s called Clickbank Pirate.

Here’s a link if you want to check it out:

The really great thing about this program is that it takes failure out of the equation completely.

You Can’t Fail…

Most people that decide to promote Clickbank affiliate programs fail because they’re looking for a magic button.

Let me tell you right now… Clickbank Pirate is NOT a magic button. You will not get rich overnight. Most of the “gurus” promoting those get rich overnight type of programs are lying to you. They’re either leaving something out, or they’re blowing smoke.

Big money can be made online, but it takes work to find a successful campaign.

That’s where Clickbank Pirate comes in. They’ve spent countless hours testing and tweaking to come up with campaigns that are proven to convert. Instead of just teaching you how to do  it, they give you a business in a box with all of the tested and proven campaigns, squeeze pages, and giveaway reports they’ve used to make money.

You don’t have to write a single word. All you have to do is send traffic to the squeeze pages using the exact methods they teach.
Many of the methods to generate traffic are free and can have you making money in as little as a few minutes.

No Technical Skills Required

If you’re relatively new to internet marketing, you’re probably nervous about putting a website online. One of the best things I discovered about Clickbank Pirate is that they host everything.

After you get started, you get access to a unique member’s only area that has all of your tools. You simply click a few buttons, utilize the free traffic resources they provide, and you can literally be earning money in as little as 15 minutes.

Clickbank Pirate is, by far, one of the easiest to use programs I’ve seen to start generating money right away.

On top of getting multiple proven campaigns and everything you need to start making money, they’re giving a lot of bonuses right now for the first few people to get started.

Go check out the reviews and learn more about Clickbank Pirate before they close the doors.



Franchising-Home Based

Startup Costs
Jan-Pro Franchising Int’l. Inc.

Commercial cleaning

$3.15K – 50.9K

Commercial cleaning

$6.15K – 37.75K
Vanguard Cleaning Systems

Commercial cleaning

$9.85K – 35.83K
Snap-on Tools

Professional tools and equipment

$143.67K – 307.7K
Jazzercise Inc.

Dance-fitness classes, conventions, apparel and accessories

$4.28K – 76.5K
Cruise Planners-American Express Travel

Cruise and tour travel agency

$2.09K – 21.98K

Anago Cleaning Systems

Commercial cleaning

$11.18K – 66.84K
Matco Tools

Mechanics’ tools and equipment

$88.87K – 243.71K
Chem-Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Carpet, drapery and upholstery cleaning; tile and stone care

$29.95K – 131K


Travel agency

$4.61K – 26.27K

Novus Glass

Auto glass repair and replacement

$44.27K – 227K
Home Helpers/Direct Link

Medical/nonmedical personal care

$64.5K – 125.8K

Heaven’s Best Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

Carpet and upholstery cleaning

$44.9K – 65.9K

Printing and promotional products

$19.47K – 50.2K
Weed Man

Lawn care

$67.05K – 84.11K
CertaPro Painters Ltd.

Residential and commercial painting

$129K – 158.5K
Buildingstars Int’l. Inc.

Commercial cleaning

$2.19K – 52.38K
Steamatic Inc.

Insurance/disaster restoration, cleaning, mold remediation

$127K – 204K
Tutor Doctor


$65.5K – 168.69K

Padgett Business Services

Financial, payroll, consulting and tax services

Kona Ice

Shaved-ice truck


Pop-A-Lock Franchise System

Mobile security, biometrics, locksmithing, related services

$75K – 133K
American Leak Detection

Concealed water, gas and sewer leak-detection

$76.75K – 259.54K
Sears Home & Business Franchises Inc.

Carpet, upholstery, air-duct & dryer-vent cleaning; garage solutions

$11.02K – 191.55K
American Poolplayers Association

Recreational billiard league

$16.71K – 19.88K
WSI Digital Marketing

Internet services

$64.34K – 171.64K
Coffee News

Weekly newspaper distributed at restaurants

$9.43K – 10.43K

Lawn Doctor

Lawn, tree and shrub care; pest control

$81.55K – 100K
Seniors Helping Seniors

Nonmedical home care

$86.77K – 123.88K
Griswold Home Care

Nonmedical home care

$93.83K – 116.44K
Always Best Care Senior Services

In-home care & assisted-living placement services

$56.22K – 104.09K
Mint Condition Franchising Inc.

Commercial cleaning, building maintenance

$4.88K – 45.4K
SuperGlass Windshield Repair

Windshield repair

$9.9K – 31K

Wood floor and cabinet refinishing

$30.5K – 130.85K

Club Z! In-Home Tutoring Services

In-home tutoring

$27.64K – 51.59K

Plumbing, drain and sewer cleaning

$46.75K – 137.6K
Budget Blinds Inc.

Window coverings, window film, rugs, accessories

$89.23K – 187.07K

Residential cleaning

$21.88K – 114.51K
Caring Transitions

Sales of estates and household goods

$49.79K – 78.48K

Soccer Shots Franchising LLC

Soccer programs for ages 2 to 8

$18.73K – 25.5K
Mr. Sandless/Dr. DecknFence

Interior and exterior sandless wood refinishing

$11.94K – 62.54K

HappyFeet Legends Int’l.

Soccer programs for ages 2 to 18

$19.79K – 23.7K
ShelfGenie Franchise Systems LLC

Custom shelving and accessories for cabinets/pantries

$70.09K – 125.25K

Window Genie

Residential window cleaning, window tinting, pressure washing

$81.25K – 131.1K

Children’s identification and safety products and services

$21.39K – 38.7K

Commercial cleaning, facility services

$17K – 119.94K
High Touch-High Tech

Science activities for schools/parties

$59.88K – 63.59K
Aire Serv LLC

HVAC services

$77.59K – 201.39K
Bricks 4 Kidz

Lego-engineering classes, camps, parties

$33.79K – 51.04K

Fresh Coat

Residential and commercial painting

$47.34K – 74.94K