Archives for February 2013

Going Face to Face With Consumers

 The rise of internet and social media networks has provided companies with more opportunities to directly engage with customers. From tweeting to answering questions on live-chat, businesses have been able to interact with customers on daily basis.

Despite the increasing means of communication technology, going face to face with customers still acts as a strong strategy to produce leads, sell products and generate revenue. Companies like Cydor are still using this communication model, and company clients who follow Cydor on Twitter: @cydcor get the latest updates which includes tips on going face-to-face with consumers.

Being a face-to-face seller is possible through acquisition of some skills.

Here are some of the skills that are required;

1. Courtesy

Consumers are different. Some may be easy to handle, while others will be difficult. The salesperson needs to show courtesy all the time. If the consumer is upset due to some reason, the salesperson needs to understand the cause and convince the consumer the issue is going to be resolved as soon as possible, while informing about a satisfactory solution.

2. Listen

Listening to consumers is another important skill required for going face to face. Consumers are going to come up with queries, feedback, problems, suggestions etc. The salesperson needs to listen to varying requests, and tailor his/her response to meet specific needs in order to gain satisfied consumers.

3. Understand body language

Understanding body language of the consumers is one of the indicators of attitude and how interested they actually are in making a purchase. If the body language of the consumer is not being matched with what is being said, the salesperson should try to present a different angle. The salesperson should also be able to analyse posture and facial expressions and interpret them into different signals and gestures.

4. Knowledge about the product/service

Consumers are often looking for considerable detail about a product or service they’re looking to buy. This means the salesperson should have in-depth information about the features, the advantages the consumer can expect to receive. Knowing information about delivery times, maintenance plans and payment options is also necessary. Salespersons should keep on updating their knowledge about the products and services of their respective companies.

5. Confidence

Confidence matters a lot when going face to face with consumers. A confident sales person gives the consumer confidence to invest in the product or service. The consumer has a high chance to contact the sales person again, which gives opportunities later on.

These skills are required in order to be a face to face salesperson, generating leads and driving revenue.

Spread Betting on Carbon Emissions

One of the options available to people spread betting in the UK is now spread betting on carbon emissions.

The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme was the world’s first large-scale emissions trading scheme and is still the largest. It was launched in 2005 to address climate change and is a major element of EU climate policy. It is a “cap and trade” system.

As of June of this year, the Scheme covered over 11,000 factories, power stations and other facilities in the 27 member states of the EU in addition to Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. Together, these installations generate almost half the CO2 emissions of the EU and 40 percent of its greenhouse gases. Australia, one of the world’s leading emitters of greenhouse gases per capita, will join the scheme in 2015.

The cap is a limit to the quantity of greenhouse gases that can be emitted, which reflects the industry of a company. The trade aspect occurs when companies reduce emissions by more than required and can save the unused allowance for the future or sell it. If emissions are not reduced below the given limit, a penalty is imposed unless an organisation buys an allowance.

It grows ever more difficult to reduce carbon emissions. Market forces will determine whether an organisation modifies equipment or merely purchases an allowance.

There is no such thing as an experienced trader in carbon emissions. Everybody has to learn as they go along. Large investment banks including JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Barclays are said to be becoming interested in carbon trading.

The market is highly volatile and illiquid, and subject to the whims of politicians. When spread betting on carbon emissions, you should study charts to identify resistance and support levels and trend lines. You can test a trading plan on historic data and then on a demo account for a week or two.

You should keep abreast of government intervention. Periodically, auctions of carbon credits cause the market to move dramatically. It is safest to refrain from betting in the run up to an auction, but gamblers will place a bet on how they believe a government will act.

The EU recently modified its Scheme, although by less than campaigners and green businesses had demanded: the timing of auctions will be changed. After changes were announced in July, the price of carbon fell, because analysts had expected greater change. The current price is around £5.40 per tonne of carbon, well below the price of £20 to £32 believed by analysts to encourage companies to change their actions. Connie Hedegaard, the climate chief of the European commission, said further, greater reforms would be forthcoming.

Because economic activity in Europe is depressed and possibly because emissions forecasts were overstated when allocations were set, there is a surplus of carbon permits – Certificates in Emission Reductions – of six or seven percent. Many companies will pay no price for carbon emission for years. The EU could cut credits dramatically.

If alternative source of energy such as biofuels become more productive, emissions will reduce and so will the price of carbon credits.

There is, however, pressure in the other direction. The EU members, Germany, Belgium, France and Italy, have declared that they will move away from or phase out nuclear power. Throughout the EU, expensive carbon capture and storage (CCS) mechanisms will be fitted to power plants that use fossil fuels. These systems remain untested on a commercial scale.

There are people who say that within ten years, carbon will be a major, globally-traded commodity like oil.

The Best Online Business for 2013 Part 2 of 4

Welcome back for Part 2 of our online business 2013 Blog series.  We hope you liked Part 1 and, without further ado, here’s Part 2 and more great online business ideas that you can use this year to start your own online business. Be sure to come back soon for Part 3.

  1. Online Marriage coaching.  Today sadly over 50% of all marriages end in divorce, indicating a very big need for this service. If you have experience in this area and tips / advice that will help a struggling couple to work things out you could become quite comfortable.
  2. Start an Online Survey Company and create, conduct and post surveys for companies that need the data but haven’t yet taken the time to do it themselves.
  3. Power Point Presentation creation services are very valuable.  Who hasn’t had to sit through a truly horrible PP presentation?  If you’re a PP expert you could make some real money as many people today need the services.
  4. Open an Online Interior Decorating service.  If you have an eye for colors, fabrics and styles you may be able to turn that into a great online business.  If you can create sample designs and sell them online for affordable prices people may start using you to decorate their homes.
  5. If you love candy and have a knack for finding the truly special or unique an Online Candy Specialty Store may be the next best thing to a sweet tooth in your future.
  6. Local Travel Guide services, especially if you live somewhere exotic, different or special, may be your 2013 ticket to online success.  Be a personal tour guide and sell your services to people from all over the world who want to see what your neck of the woods looks like.
  7. Custom gifts are very big these days and, if you’re a gifted arts and crafts person who loves to create unique packages you may find that there are a lot of people out there who envy you and use you to package their special gifts, especially during big holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s, Mother’s day and even birthdays.
  8. Children’s custom book writer.  If you’re a gifted writer what would be better than a book that star’s the child of one of your clients?  You just need their name and the names of some of their friends, their favorite things and places and you’re off. To the bank!
  9. Digital Scrapbook and Photo Album services could be just the ticket for you if you’re great at scrapbooking and love to help people keep their memories and share them with loved ones.  This is a service that many people would truly love.
  10. EBay and other online selling tech support services would be an excellent idea if you have the experience yourself with eBay or another online selling tool.

Top Ten Places to Study Abroad

Studying abroad is a great idea on so many levels. If you’re lucky enough to get the opportunity, there are plenty of incredible cities to choose from, each offering a unique experience for the adventurous student. Here are 10 of the best in Europe.


With the biggest student population in Europe, students are very well catered for in Manchester, with half the expense of London and twice the convenience. Manchester is home to two of the best football teams in the world and after hosting the Commonwealth Games, the sporting facilities throughout the city are excellent. Students are spoilt for choice with nights out and shopping and make sure you check out Curry Mile for the best curry this side of the Himalayas. Manchester not only has a long and illustrious musical history, with the Happy Mondays, Oasis and The Smiths to name a few, but it also remains at the cutting edge of youth culture.


Amsterdam really is totally unique, where you will find canals instead of roads and the bike is king. Language will not be a problem as the Dutch speak English beautifully and everyone has heard about the liberal atmosphere and the coffee shops. If you want, ‘laid back’, there is nothing to beat it.


If you like clubbing and hanging out on the beach, then head straight for Barcelona. You can go clubbing until 6 every night of the week and then nurse your hangover at the open-air market, La Boqueria. Spend your days swimming in the Mediterranean, lazing on the beach or being inspired by the Gaudi architecture.


Is spending an issue? Then Budapest is the place for you, as it’s cheap as chips for a night out. Don’t forget to check out Szimpla, the third best bar in the world, as voted for by Lonely Planet.


People in Germany love drinking beer and Munich is their unofficial capital. The best place to drink outside is the English Gardens and don’t miss ‘Surfers Wave’ or Oktoberfest, a festival dedicated to beer.


Prague has everything Budapest can offer, being a bit more Westernised, however and slightly more expensive. The Prague Beer Museum is worth a look; who knew museums could be so much fun?


Get past the snobby attitude and Paris has a lot to offer. Some excellent bands are from Paris – Daft Punk and Justice to name a couple. The French love their food and Paris has plenty to offer in terms of culture; this is the city of the Mona Lisa after all.


Guinness tastes better in Ireland and there is live music in nearly every bar for that perfect drinking atmosphere. The Temple Bar District is the place to go and sample the famous Irish hospitality.


On the Costa del Sol, Malaga has the beach and better weather than Barcelona, with less of the culture. Be warned, however, as you will need to brush up on your Spanish to get by here.


The original party island and still home to a hippy commune. Party in one of the superclubs and then watch the sunrise at Caff del Mar. You will feel like you are on a permanent summer holiday; your wallet won’t, though. Ibiza is not cheap.

Lloyd is a marketing blogger who is currently working on behalf of SO Switch, visit them if you’re thinking of travelling abroad and want to buy your travel money online.

The Best Online Business for 2013 Part 1 of 4

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur but you don’t know where you should start there are literally hundreds of businesses that you can break into online today, many with an extremely low start-up cost that can be done right from home using a laptop or other computer.  With that in mind this 3 Part series gives you a look at some of the best. If you are keen on starting an online business in 2013 start here. Come back soon for Parts 2 and 3.

  1. Affiliate marketing isn’t new by any means but it’s still a very viable way to make a living online.  It’s also one of the easiest online businesses to start by far and requires practically no overhead at first. 1 caveat; if you’re not a good salesperson or you don’t particularly like selling this may not be for you.
  2. Virtual assistant.  Many people feel that there are already enough VAs on the market but they’re wrong.  There are plenty of niches that you can explore that will give you a competitive edge.  Do what you like and find people that like the same thing and you’ll be set.
  3. Copywriting services for niche companies.  If you have a certain set of skills and experiences that lend themselves to niche copywriting there are still plenty of opportunities out there.
  4. Ghostwriting services can be niche also and, if you have a particular writing style, you may do well with this one.
  5. Graphic design seems to be chock full of competitors but again a niche may just serve you well here. You may even want to launch your own online graphic design firm that specializes in your niche.
  6. This one may not make you rich but it could pay the bills nicely.  An online beading service with video tutorials about beading techniques may prove very popular.
  7. Vintage clothing, much of which you can get for nothing down at the thrift store, is very big these days.  Find them, clean them up and sell them online using eBay or a Yahoo store.  If you’re really good at picking out great vintage clothes you’ll make money and get paid to shop.  Yay!
  8. Start an online research company.  Yes, if you have a computer anyone can search for info online but the fact is that it takes time and energy.  If you offer a service to do it you may be surprised how many people will seek your services.
  9. Online business consulting is growing by leaps and bounds and is very viable.  If you have a specialty that few others share you can take that specialty online and help others.
  10. Life Coaching is an excellent way to earn a living and, as with many of the other choices above, it helps to have a niche here also. Dating, clothing, procrastination problems, organizational problems and many more things are out there that people need help with.  Help them and earn a living online at the same time.

European Patent Office Search

Business is now, perhaps more than ever becoming highly competitive on a number of fronts. This is something I found out from personal experience a little over a year ago when working with an independent electrics company. The affects of the recession were beginning to show signs, and, although we were used to having to compete with the big guns in the market this was almost a stretch too far.

Despite such bleak circumstances however, we did have a glimmer of hope. We had managed to create a unique design for an electric plug adaptor, a moment that would shape the future of our business. Having created such a design we knew that we had to try and find some way to protect it, which obviously means going down the patent route, something that we really knew very little about in all honesty. If we wanted to make the most of this opportunity we had made for ourselves, we had to make sure it was done right.

After a couple of weeks of deliberating we eventually enlisted the services of the London based firm Withers and Rogers, who specialise in Intellectual Property law. From the very moment we affiliated ourselves with them they immediately began work and advising us on the most stringent steps to take in order to acquire the most effective and suitable patent for our product.

One of the first things they advised was to carry out a European patent search which involves online research through the European Patent Office database to find patents and applications from major companies in the particular field you are looking into. The idea is to help you gauge the repertoire of patents out there, and more importantly, to see if yours isn’t already taken. So it is an important step in the entire process. It was aspects like this and many others along the way that we had no idea even existed before we collaborated with the firm, so it not only enlightened us on the legislation and processes involved but also helped forge a successful patent.

I can sit here now and write wholeheartedly that they helped us no end in the entire process, using their expertise in the legislations and patent laws in Europe to ensure high quality service and results in a knowledgeable manner.

The Beginner’s Guide to Starting an Online Business

Today we’d like to present a guide for the budding entrepreneur who’s not exactly sure where to start.  There are a lot of things that you need to do in order to start an online business, to be sure,  but there are scarce resources for telling you what they are.  This guide will help you to get started and, with that in mind, we hope you find it useful and a good read. Enjoy!

First things first, you need to focus on what’s truly important when you start your new online business. One of the top things you need to do is simply this; take action.  In the beginning it’s easy to get lost in all of the tasks that you need to accomplish and end up getting nothing done at all.

Don’t get caught in the paper chase.  Hey, it’s an onlinebusiness. Do you really need a letterhead, business cards and brochures printed?  Maybe in the future but certainly not now so don’t get them until it’s absolutely necessary.  Save your money to invest in the business and,  if you meet someone in the ‘real’ world, do it the old fashioned way and write their email down on a napkin or other piece of paper.  Just make sure to follow up ASAP.

While it’s OK to save money on some things educating yourself shouldn’t be one of them.  If you’re going to become an expert at something you will sometimes need to spend money to learn the trade.  The internet is no different.  If you want to make a living as a Blogger buy an eBook about it from an expert.  The same goes for affiliate marketing, eBay selling and everything else.  Spend money on your business education now and it will pay of down the road.

While we’re on the subject of education, one of the most vital things that you need to learn is marketing. Whether online or offline once you know how to market a product or service you can do it from anywhere with just a few tweaks and changes.

Education doesn’t have to come from an eBook or a seminar either.  If you know someone who is successful online ask them for their help, their advice and their expertise.  Yes you may feel a little embarrassed to need help but I’d rather be a little embarrassed and successful than broke and quiet. The truth is, many people will gladly give you their time and advice if only you just ask.  Most people love talking about what they do, especially to others who are keenly interested in listening.

By the way, if and when you ask for help by email make sure to follow the ‘5 sentence’ rule and keep your query to no more than 5 brief, concise and understandable sentences.  You’ll be much more likely to get a response if you do.

Finally get out into the community and let people know who you are and what you do. (Even if you don’t have cards.) The more people you meet and mingle with in the ‘real’ world the more successful you’ll be online. Good luck!


How to Advertise Your Business and Save Money Doing It

It doesn’t matter what industry or market you may find yourself in, it can be tough to save money and still find the financial opportunities available to advertise your business. As such, it’s important to understand how you can effectively and cheaply advertise your business while saving money, ensuring that you get the best of both worlds: a loyal, returning and growing customer base, and a good budget and balance sheets that keep you from dipping too far into the red each month!


Here are just a couple major ways that you can advertise your business on the cheap, and pick up customers without having to take out massive advertising budgets just to do it:


Get social, get social, get social

It bears repeating one more time: GET SOCIAL! Social media is free (except, of course, for the time you spend doing it), and marketing your business on social media can be an amazing way to get out to the customers without spending money on costly moves and advertisements. With social media, you can speak directly to your customers without worrying about middlemen, answering their questions and improving their experiences over time.


Word of mouth marketing still works

Incentivize your current customers by providing reasons for them to get out there and talk about your business to other potential future customers. Whether it’s a special deal or a free product, word of mouth marketing works, and it gets your customers out there talking to their friends about you and your business. No marketing is better than the marketing somebody hears from their friend; they are more likely to trust it, and in turn, more likely to try the business out for themselves.


Customer service is still king, at the end of the day

It doesn’t matter what industry you may find yourself in, customer service is absolutely and completely the king at the end of the day when it comes to advertising your business. If you go above and beyond for your customers, they turn around and tell everyone they know about their great experience; focus on providing the best customer experience that you possibly can to those around you, and watch the new clients and customers roll in to see it for themselves.


All in all, it can be incredibly cheap to advertise your business, depending on the industry in which you work. Think outside the box, build relationships with customers, and listen – truly listen – to your clients and customers, and they will tell you not only what they want, but how they want it, and how you can improve your business on their behalf. Good luck and enjoy!

Why It’s Important to Invest Back in Your Business

When it comes to business profits, any small business owner will tell you that they sometimes live week to week, and month to month, so that when a nice profit comes through, it can be difficult not to take it right out and use it to pay the rent or a mortgage on your house, or to buy some much needed and much overdo things like, say, groceries, or your car’s mechanical bill. That’s all good and fine, of course, but it’s also critical to invest back into your business to ensure long-term success of your company as it grows and diversifies.

In fact, it’s critical to invest in your business just so it can grow and diversify over time, and here’s why:

Investment Means Long-Run Strategy

When you invest in your business, you do so with the long run in mind. Whether that investment looks like adding employees, or developing infrastructure to better help your business run, it call comes down to one thing: making sure that, over time, your business runs much more smoothly and your company develops strongly to avoid recessions and the pitfalls of the economy.

Investing Shows You Are In It For The Long Haul There’s nothing better than a business owner who invests money back into the business, if only to show the employees, contractors, clients, and customers that he or she is here for the right reasons, and not looking out for only themselves and a big, fast payday. In fact, investing in your business in the long run can make you even stronger to close clients and loyal customers, who see your organization as the long-term go-to business to work with over time.

Investing Makes You Recession Proof

Well… almost recession proof. While we can’t guarantee you will over come every single recession or major economic obstacle thrown your way, we can guarantee that your business will become significantly stronger when it comes to dealing with economic downturn if you have invested back into it wholeheartedly. With money and assets in the business, you can ensure that you can wisely and moderately navigate through rough economic patches, and come out strongly on the other side, no matter the financial outlook or your specific industry.

In all, it’s critical to invest back into your business. Your business is not just a place where you can cash a paycheck, but a place that you can build, grow, and improve the lives of the community and your clients and customers around you. Investing in it proves you care for your company, and you want to see it do well as you move forward with your businesses goals, hopes, and dreams. Invest wisely, and good luck with your financial stakes in the company!

Energy in Canada

After Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, Canada has the third large crude reserves in the world. However, Canadians still face the energy dilemma along with the rest of the globe. There’s lack of planning on how to put the natural resources of Canada for optimal use.

Tar sand lands are going through extraction process that has a negative effect on the environment. The methods are not sustainable, and the process needs to be revised to reduce or eliminate the negative impact. Alberta Heritage Fund is an example of such processes.

Transmission of renewable energy from remote to urban areas is facing difficulty due to ageing electrical infrastructure. The demand for natural gas is expected to rise by a double amount till 2035. The demand will be composed of use of natural gas to produce local bitumen in oil sands and electricity as well as LNG (liquefied natural gas) for exports. New entrants are required for deregulation of storage services in states like Alberta. A list of energy providers for respective provinces can be obtained from the web. For example, people living in Alberta can visit websites like, while residents of Ontario check out Ontario energy providers.

A warning has also been issued by International Energy Agency that rising use of fossil energy along with planned policies will lead to severe effects on the climate. According to Megan Leslie, NDP MP (Halifax, N.S.), all the focus is on oil industry and even the investment in green technology is geared towards this particular industry. Other industries are being neglected.

The implementation of solar energy will depend upon technological investment and infrastructure changes. For reducing the harmful effects on the natural environment from traditional electricity production, solar photovoltaic energy will allow for a more sustainable production system that doesn’t compromise the well-being of the society. Solar is still an untapped and an immature area in the country, and by achieving economies of scale, the cost can be taken from within the system. The behavior of ordinary citizens, such as votes for alternative energy, and installation of solar panels, will also play a major role in determining the future of solar energy.

Wind energy has seen an investment of CAD $2.5 billion for giving electricity to 300,000 houses, with ‘per years’ employment provided of 10,500 according to CanWEA. The provinces leading the way in wind energy projects include Nova Scota, British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. CanWEA also predicts 2013 to be a record year for the wind industry in Canada.

GHG emissions are also a result of rising energy demands, and they’re expected to rise by 1.5 percent per year.

The solution lies in making adequate investments, public engagement and timely decision making. These solutions can help to overcome many challenges and expand the groundwork beyond conventional supply for improvements in energy efficiency.

Regional differences in terms of energy and efficiency need to be considered, along with the changing environment. To replace the aging infrastructure and develop new methodology, a balance will be needed between decision making and public investment.