Monthly Archives: December 2011

Now everyone can accept credit cards!

You don’t have to run a big business anymore to accept credit cards! Many small businesses loose sales everyday because they can’t accept them for whatever reason. They feel locked out because of the expensive setup and bulky system of card-reading equipment, contracts and transaction fees.

Not anymore. Mobile phone swipe-technology eliminates all those barriers and makes it easier for us little guys to enter the credit card world and improve cash flow. Your smartphone has now become your computer in your pocket.

The Phone Swipe reader is free and simply connects to your smartphone. The only thing you are ever charged is a minimal fee for each credit card transaction that is swiped. Even if you only use the reader once a year, you never pay any other fees.

Just imagine being able to swipe and pay your babysitter with her phone. Or, swipe and pay for that amazing garage sale find. Apply the same concept to any business transaction! No more running to the ATM machine to withdraw cash or dealing with checks.

Try it for yourself because the technology is here today and available to anyone with a smartphone. Go to Phone Swipe and use it on your iPhone. This particular reader is not yet available for the iPad, Android or BlackBerry but there are other readers that are.

Eventually as consumers begin to trust this new technology it will become more mainstream and no one will ever need to miss a sale again! Look for the plastic credit card to eventually disappear as well. All credit card information will someday be stored and transferred right from your phone to the merchant’s phone. Scary, right? Tell us what you think.

Charene Creative would like to wish all our […]

By |December 16th, 2011|Categories: Advertising & Design|3 Comments

How do you make time for social media?

The other day I did a short presentation on social media to a networking group. Eventually and predictably someone made the comment I hear most often regarding social media. She said, “I don’t know how anyone finds the time for it!”

She is not unusual and I hear this from many small businesses. I believe her frustration is a result of not truly understanding what social media is or how she can use it on a daily basis. Most small business are confused and overwhelmed trying to understand what they should be doing!

Social media is just one more way to get information from your customer. It is a powerful way to listen and understand what’s happening with them, their problems, what they plan on doing and where they plan on going. Every business should take the time to listen to clients and social media is a great place to start.

Yes, it can be a major waste of time if you don’t have a plan and carefully integrate it into your marketing goals and objectives. Below are a few tips on how to manage your time on social media.

Go where your customers are – Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, find out where your customer hangs out and spend time developing online relationships there.
Schedule your time carefully – Most everyone understands that there are only so many hours in a work day. Some days it may be easier than others to carve out time for social media. You would be amazed how much you can accomplish in just 15 to 20 minutes each day.
Find tools to help make social media easier – Take advantage of tools to update more than one social media profile, but be careful […]

By |December 9th, 2011|Categories: Advertising & Design|0 Comments

Bah Humbug, no client gifts this year!

Okay, so it’s been a tough year financially for most, but that is not a good enough reason to forgo Christmas gift-giving to your customers. As a matter of fact, it is probably more important than ever to recognize those loyal businesses who continue to come back to your company even though they might be struggling.

Figuring out what is appropriate to give can sometimes be more tricky than staying within your budget. You don’t want to give something too expensive that may cross the line as a bribe, go against corporate gift giving rules or the IRS. Yet you don’t want to appear cheap either.

The best way to approach corporate holiday gift giving is to think of things you would love for yourself but wouldn’t necessarily buy. Something they will appreciate and enjoy that will remind them of you. Skip the type of gift that will get shoved in a desk drawer and quickly forgotten.

Delicious edible gifts, whether they are homemade or gourmet items delivered in exquisite boxes or baskets, are always a great idea. These type of gifts appeal to just about everyone and many retailers offer you the option to custom design your own gift combination. Try to be sensitive about food allergies or other dietary limitations.

Stay away from giving promotional items with your company’s name on it. Those type of gifts should be reserved for special marketing promotions and NOT Christmas gift giving. And for heaven’s sake, stay away from any and all gag gifts! They are almost always never appropriate to send.

A little common sense can go a long way when choosing the perfect client gift. Keep things professional in tone and appearance and make sure gifts arrive at least a […]

By |December 2nd, 2011|Categories: Advertising & Design|1 Comment