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Best Practices for Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding1

Crowdfunding, though still a new concept in the realm of small business funding, has proven to be a successful way to get their companies started or advance them forward. Basically, it is when you get a large amount of people to donate a small amount of money for any fundraiser or project. Crowdfunding sites—Kickstarter, Crowdfunder, etc—all have different models and focuses. So which platform is right for you? Check out some of the best crowdfunders for small businesses below.

Kickstarter: This Brooklyn-based site is a great place for creative people, from musicians to filmmakers to designers. If you’re trying to launch an innovative creative project, write a book or shoot an indie film, Kickstarter might be the place to… well, start.

Indiegogo: One of the most flexible crowdfunders, you can be a hobbyist, an entrepreneur, or a charity and still use Indiegogo! Their flexible approach is what enabled their international growth, along with their early start in the field.

Crowdfunder: This platform is for raising investments; its community of investors is growing quickly. Recently, Fox News presented it as the “new breed of crowdfunding” because of a company who’d earned $2,000,000,000 through it.

RocketHub: Marketing professionals and campaign owners can work together through RocketHub, using their unique FuelPad and LaunchPad programs.

Somolend: This site has actually partnered with banks, and gives investment funding by lending to small businesses in the United States. Small business owners also have the chance to bring their loved ones into the endeavor.

Microryza: This Seattle-based crowdfunding site aids science and technology related projects. It’s also perfect if you’re looking to fund academic research contributing to knowledge about global warming, or the professional knowledge base at large.

If you are going to go the crowdfunding route, it’s especially important to make sure you are prepared—that you have a staggered strategy, rather than assuming the platform will do the work for you. Here are some excellent strategy and preparation tools from Porter’s. In addition, be sure to promote your campaign imaginatively!

Ways to Go “Back to School” in the Office

Oh Hiya,

Meg here! Fall will always hold a special back to school excitement for me; no matter how long it’s been since I walked through those hallways. Even if you’re no longer in school, fall can still bring the start of new things. These are some of my favorite ways to put a little joy into the back to school season.

back to school

When was the last time you bought back to school supplies for yourself? Fall is the perfect time to update your supplies while taking advantage of some great sales. I’ve already started a list! This fall I’ll be stocking up on 3M Yellow Note Pads and a new Swingline Desk Stapler. Nothing like some new desk accessories and supplies to get you in the spirit!

One of my favorite things about starting a new school year was the opportunity to meet new friends. Grab a few office friends and join a club or pull together a team to play in a local sports league. It’s a great way to get to know your office-mates outside of work while exploring a new hobby or staying active.

I used to always look forward to decorating my locker for the new school year. Now I look forward to sprucing up my desk with a few new accessories! This season I’m brightening up my desk with a new HON task chair. I’ve also had my eye on a cute new desk plant to bring a little more color to my space. There are so many options to update your office and these ideas from Porch are just perfect.

Back to school excitement shouldn’t go away now that you’re out of school! There are so many ways to celebrate the season, big or small.

Until next time, Meg

Manager Specials

Every so often you have to make room for new inventory. The products become slightly aged and there is a new generation of the products reaching maturity. It’s the way of life for all things. But that doesn’t mean that these items have lost their usefulness. It doesn’t mean they don’s still have value. The trick is to know when to discount these products and how deeply to cut the price.

Doing a selective inventory sale is also a good way to show appreciation for your customers and give them a chance to get some good products at a better price. It’s always a good thing when you show customer appreciation. After all its why every business exists, to solve a problem or need for people.

Porter’s wants to show that we appreciate all of our customers so we are starting a new Manager’s Special list. This will be  list of items that we’ve lowered the prices on with a limited inventory available. It’s one more way we ant to show we’re serious about great service. One more way we show Blue Cow Service. So drop by our Rexburg location to see the furniture marked down for the Manager Special.

manag_special

Promo Items Done Right

It sounds great: hand out a product with our company name and web address emblazoned on it. People will love us.

Wouldn’t it be great if it was that simple? But is it ever that simple? How do you know what kind of ROI you get from the promotional items you so generously handed out?

That’s when the doubts come creeping in. Did I give the product to the right people? Did I pick the right item? Will they actually like and use that item? How long will it be before it gets tossed?

 

Target Demographic

 

Let’s clear away the fog a little and get a better view of how promotional items work with your marketing plan. The best way to start a promotional item campaign is to look at your target demographic. Who are they? What do they do? What are their needs? What are their habits? Gather that information first. Nothing comes before this step—it’s step number one.

 

Choosing What to Give Away

 

Once you know everything you can about who you’re targeting you can more accurately pick the item you want to use as your giveaway. It’s not always about price or quantity. That’s all in your head. Yes, you can get 50,000 times  more pens then fleece jackets but if your target market rarely uses pens then it doesn’t really matter, does it? It’s better to reach 5 of the right people than 500 of the wrong people. This doesn’t mean you should spring for the nicest, most expensive item you can find—it means you pick the right item for the right person. It also has to work with the budget you’ve laid out for the campaign. For example, if your target sits at a computer all day, get them a mouse pad with a gel wrist rest. That’s something they will keep and use. This leads to our next point.

Select an item that they will use when making purchasing decisions. Being remembered is good, being remembered when it comes time to buy is better. If your customers purchase your product online and you gave them a mouse pad the odds of them noticing or thinking about your company over your competitors just took a huge leap forward. 31% of the U.S.  is more likely to do business with you after receiving a promotional item then before receiving it.

 

A few last thoughts

 

Promotional items work best as part of a full marketing campaign. Look at is as a section to a jigsaw puzzle. It’s not all the pieces but when paired with your radio spots, direct mailing and web ads it is a powerful tool. The trick is to make all these things work together.

If you can narrow your prime targets to a small select group it can be well worth the effort to customize the items to with the recipient’s names. It’s just a small touch that has a stronger impact with your customer or potential customer and increases their likelihood of holding on to it.

Make the promotional item appealing in design and esthetics. People want something that looks good. Try to avoid tacky or color clashes with your logo. It’s the little things that take a good effort to the level of great.

 

Get a FREE dispenser today!

Buy two of the following Pop-up Post-it Note Value Packs and  get a FREE pebble Pop-up dispenser (a $15.00 value!) Just add coupon code POPUP2 when checking out online. Click on the images below for product information and to place your order.

-Offer expires 9/30/12

Clean Sweep Promotion

Start shopping for your office cleaning essentials by clicking on the products above. Promotional pricing is valid until July 31, so starting ordering today!

Get your FREE Dymo LabelWriter!

The Dymo LabelWriter 450 Turbo could be yours when you purchase 10 Dymo LabelWriter labels! That’s over a $199.99 value! Offer is valid April 1, 2012-June 30, 2012, please see list below for qualifying labels and rebate form. View all qualifying DYMO labels here!

 

 

The Choice Is Yours!

Choose the gift card you want when you purchase HP Toner! Click on the ad for full details and rebate information!

 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE YOUR TWO LASERJET PRINT CARTRIDGES TODAY! Offer Expires 3/31/2012

Suggestions Please!

We want to hear from you! As apart of our current HP Printer giveaway here we are offering YOU an additional entry by writing on our Facebook wall suggestions for any product demos. Need some ideas? Browse our online catalog at www.portersop.com for your favorite items. If it’s pens, sharpies, computer accessories, filing or storage solutions that you love- we have them and we want to show them off! Make sure to post to our Facebook  for your ideas and an additional entry (‘like’ our page, and write on our wall your favorite thing about Porter’s for TWO more entrys.. it doesn’t get any better)! 

Want it? Enter to WIN IT!

Back to School!

It’s almost August… have you thought about school supplies? Beat the crowds now for some amazing deals! How about earning a surprise supply pack for your FAVORITE teacher plus a $10 gift card for YOU? Hurry and shop for everything you need, offer is valid through September 30th!

 Click here to view all Sharpie products!