Traditional Print Advertising vs Online Advertising

As fashions and other trends reflect looks and styles of times that some might prefer to forget, the term “everything old is new again” has never rung more true. This adage can also be used when marketing your business.

While it is true that the Internet has become easier and more accessible to marketers and advertisers, never underestimate the power of a well printed and well placed brochure, postcard or flyer. In fact, with many companies focusing their marketing online, print advertising has the advantage of remaining the “tried and true” method. In addition to including online marketing in your advertising budget, utilize the Internets search options to find an online printing company to affordably produce your full color brochures, advertising flyers and other print collateral to round out your marketing efforts.

Including traditional print marketing allows for a cross section of advertising on a variety of levels. For example, direct mail is an ideal, cost-effective way to target specific neighborhoods quickly and easily. Use flyer printing or postcard marketing to announce new services, special offers or grand openings. Postcard printing is easy and affordable and will ensure your name reaches your local area quickly and efficiently.

Full color brochures are an ideal follow-up for networking events, sales meetings and cold calls. Include brochure printing with your direct mail efforts to double your impact. Brochures and advertising flyers can be mailed directly to prospective or existing clients to further illustrate your products and services and drive sales. Consider using one panel as a registration or order form to round out your marketing push while also creating a multi-purpose collateral item.

Just as there are multiple levels of learning, so are there multiple levels and options in advertising. For example, a well-known performance group maintains a very consistent website, advertising upcoming shows and events. To advertise upcoming events, they utilize direct mail and postcard marketing. When attending local festivals or other public events, you will find full color brochures and advertising flyers on the table for patrons to review and keep. All of these efforts are enhanced by regular email newsletters and all print collateral drives traffic back to the website; definitely a case of one hand helping to feed the other.

Rather than sinking your entire marketing budget into Internet advertising, spread the wealth. You might be pleasantly surprised at the handsome return on your investment.

Car Leasing Guidelines – How To Lease A New Car

Whether you lease a car to get into the latest models or have better purchasing flexibility, getting a good deal is always bound to give you a lift. Use these guidelines to help you spot one:

Check incentives:

Be on the look-out for factorysubsidized lease car deals. Car manufacturers realize that consumers who lease vehicles from them are more likely to be repeat customers than those who simply purchase vehicles. Through their leasing companies, they adjust the residual value and offer low financing charge. Other auto-manufacturers are also starting to give incentives on leasing, called leasing subventions. They offer these subsidies to put slow-selling models on the street, saving you even more money.

Set up a competitive:

Bidding environment to get the lowest price. If you already have an idea in mind of the make, model and trim level of your desired car, attempt to calculate your own lease payment before you go shopping to avoid paying through the roof. Check online comparison tools or use a lease calculator to check your lease payment based on purchase price. This gives you greater negotiation leverage as you solicit quotes from various leasing companies.

Make sure you know all the fees involved at the beginning of your lease: you may have to pay fees for licenses, registration and title. Other fees include acquisition fees, freight fees and local or state taxes. At lease-end, you may have to pay a disposition fee and charges for extra mileage and any excess wear. Be aware that some of these fees like acquisition and disposition fees are negotiable.

Know your mileage needs:

Almost all leases limit the number of miles per year by imposing typically 10 to 20 cents per excess mile over 15,000 miles a year. If you are the kind of high-commuter who puts 40,000 miles a year on his car, then you might end up running thousands of dollars in hefty penalties at the end of your lease. Be smart and negotiate a higher-mileage limit or pad you excess miles at the beginning of your lease to avoid robber tax rates for excess miles.

Almost all leases limit the number of miles per year by imposing fees typically 10 to 20 cents per mile over 15,000 miles per year. If you are the kind of high-commuter who puts a lot miles on his car, then these costs can add up quickly. Negotiate

Include GAP coverage:

Make sure your car lease includes GAP coverage. This covers you in the event of the vehicle getting wrecked, stolen or totaled. Without GAP insurance, you leave yourself wide open to thousands of dollars in leased obligations. Check if the GAP coverage is included so you dont pay it twice.

-Breaking into Tour Management

One of the most diverse and multifaceted jobs in the music industry is that of the tour manager. As the person responsible for making sure everything on tour runs smoothly, this position may seem daunting, and it is not for the timid. But, for the right candidate, this can be a very rewarding, unforgettable job. The tasks performed by a tour manager are extremely diverse, and vary from band to band. One tour manager I spoke to described her duties as: “Basically, my job was to manage the band on the road. Anything from babysitting them, making sure they got to their press on time, dealing with managers of clubs, collecting money, handling promotion, driving, finding hotels, and making sure the rooms were ready for us; you do a bit of everything. Also, with smaller bands, I would set up the merchandise, so doing inventory before and after – just taking care of selling their stuff.”

Before we get too far into what the job entails, we should actually discuss getting the gig in the first place. Again, this varies from person to person, but everyone agrees that amazing networking skills are the single greatest asset an aspiring tour manager can have. Speaking from experience: “It all started just with local bands. I went to a show, in my hometown, for a local band that I was friends with. They ended up doing a show with My Chemical Romance, before they were signed, and I had kept in contact with them, so they hooked me up when they were going on tour. Networking is key, though; if you don’t know people in the industry, you can’t be a tour manager.”

Once you’ve landed the job, get ready for the real fun and excitement to begin. Travel is going to be your new middle name, for the next few months. While seeing new cities, meeting new people, and watching amazing shows every night are definitely some of the perks of the job, don’t forget you’re there to work. The band may go out partying after a show, but keep in mind you’re the one who has to be responsible and get them all up and moving, come morning. I asked one tour manager what the most challenging aspect of the job is: “Being on the road for that long of a time, especially, with smaller bands. Being in a cramped van with no privacy, and being away for long periods of time. It’s survivalism, bare necessities, you shower when you can. But on the flip side, that’s my favorite part: seeing different cities and being able to go see good live music every night.”

As far as the economy goes, tour managers need not worry. As long as bands keep on making and performing music, and people keep on listening, then this is one industry that won’t suffer. As one tour manager puts it: “A friend of mine just got into tour managing, and she picked something up pretty fast. Bands are still touring so there’s still a need for it, the same if not more.”

What’s the best advice for all the up and coming tour managers out there?

“Have a passion for it, you can’t do this job without complete passion and hard work. You can always learn along the way. Start as an assistant or merchandise person. With small bands, you’re learning with them, so it’s a nice learning curve you have together. So networking skills are key. Get to know your local bands, go to shows and start talking to people.”

Are You Planning To Take Up Hotel Management Course in India

When it comes to judging the infrastructural development of a country, hotels mainly take into consideration. As this industry is closely connected to the tourism development of any country, the tourism departments of every nation generally wish to make their restaurants the best in such a way that the best service can be offered to the foreign tourists visiting their nation. The revolutionary growth of this sector is further enhanced by the recent liberalization. Furthermore, entrepreneurs belonging to this industry also take steps to make sure that they appoint the best staff for ensuring the good service to their customers. They wish to recruit the talented staff for their management department in such a way that smooth functioning can be assured.

Due to the great demand for hotel management personnel, students belonging to Kolkata and even from other parts of the nation are looking for the best hotel management college in Kolkata. The best college offers courses like Bachelors in Hospitality management, Hotel management and Catering Technology, Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Hotel Administration and several other certificate courses as well. For admission of students to these courses, an entrance examination is conducted by some of the colleges. Here, the students are offered with both practical and theoretical knowledge in restaurant management, which will be of great help to them to shine in this booming industry.

The UG degree courses in this branch of student is for students, who have completed higher secondary level education. As mentioned earlier, people who are interested in kick starting their career in this booming field can take up certificate courses in housekeeping, front office, food production, food & beverage service and restaurant operation. The best thing about the best hotel management college in Kolkata is that campus placement opportunities are offered to students for ensuring that they can get jobs in the best restaurants even before they complete their course from the college.

Students completing either certificate or degree courses from these colleges can find employment opportunities in different departments of the hotel like operations, front office, housekeeping, sales, engineering/maintenance, etc.- This is because hotels generally look for candidates with training in effective hotel management for each of their departments. So, candidates with a degree in this branch of study can get good job opportunities in the future. As they gain more and more experience, their salary will also increase since this industry pays well for its employees.

Guru Nanak Institute of Hotel Management is the Best hotel management school in kolkata under the JIS Group Educational Initiatives. GNIHM has one of the best and biggest infrastructures and is affiliated to National Council for Hotel Management and Catering Technology, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India, New Delhi. It is also affiliated to West Bengal University of Technology (WBUT) and approved by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). The objective of the college is to create future leaders in the Hospitality industry. For more info on Hotel management colleges in kolkata, visit us.

Saas Pricing Model

In many industries the pricing models are as old as the industries itself, and the rules of the game were set a long time go and are well known by everyone. This is not the case of SaaS. Being a young software delivery model, the key factors of a good pricing strategy are not that clear.

It seems, just by taking a look at the pricing models of many SaaS offerings, that traditional licensing model of the on-premise software is not the best idea for OnDemand software.

Also, the traditional services (like consulting) model “I charge for the time you are using my resources (professionals) and their value (junior, senior, etc…)” doesn’t seem to be the best way to approach the SaaS pricing problem (probably fits better when talking about cloud computing). We are not talking about traditional services, we are talking about pricing a subscription business.

In SaaS, the change from offering “products” to “services”, from “acquire” to “subscribe” implies the need of defining the best way for charging for the solution offered.

So, any SaaS provider faces the problem of fixing the right price to its solution / services. There are many alternatives and factors that should be considered when dealing with this.

Most of the proposals out there use some (or all) of this ideas:

* Pay periodically: This means charging the customers on a regular basis (usually monthly).

* Pay for each user: Very widely used, from Salesforce to that new SaaS start-up that two college students just started.

* Pay for the resources: This usually means computing resources: CPU/hour, GB, Bandwith, etc… it is used very often in IaaS or PaaS.

* Pay for the features: So the customers pays just for the features in our solution they really need. Maybe new functionality or maybe simple using ‘more’ of the tool (for example more applications in a PaaS offering).

Each of this ‘ideas’ have its own pros and cons. For example, ‘paying for each user’ has the problem of generating fear in the customer about adopting the solutions widely, or ‘pay for the resources’ has the problem of the customers not knowing what they will pay the next month…

In one word, usually SaaS pricing models are more flexible than in the traditional license-based on-premise software, and mean less risk and a wiser spending. This can, though, lead to a problem of complexity that should be taken care of.

Let’s take a look about something one should always keep in mind, the goals that any pricing strategy for SaaS should pursue in order to sustain a profitable business model.

* Make it interesting for a new customer to start using the product. Having a free version, a trial version, or simply a ‘pay-as-you-go’ strategy starting low, usually solves this.

* Make the costs for the customer predictable. Everyone likes to know what to expect when talking about paying… some SaaS offering have this problem (specially those that have cost based pricing models). One should let the customer know, and decide what they want to spend. Though we should keep in mind the next goal.

* Try to increase the customer share once the customer is using the tool. This can be achieved in many different ways, most of them related to the ‘pay-as-you-go’ model (features, users, resources, etc…). The customer should feel that spending more really means extracting more value from the tool.

* Don’t make the pricing model too complex. This is a problem very often found in SaaS offerings, and that can make the adoption of the tool by the market slower and harder. Let’s keep in mind that many companies are not used to SaaS yet.

* Make sure that the customer does not abuse in the use of the solution. This can happen quite easily in solutions where lots of data are involved, like those that use video, business intelligence tools, etc… the provider should be protected against this.

So, how would this goals and the main ideas explained in the first post be applied when defining a SaaS pricing strategy?

Let’s take a look at a real world example: coghead

Coghead is a very good, and quite veteran PaaS offering that distinguishes itself by giving the chance of developing an application on their platform mostly by visual “drag and drop” operations. They are well funded and should be considered as a strong competitor to companies like Intuit with quickbase or Salesforce’s force platform.

So, let’s analyze their pricing model without talking about money, we are interested in the model:

* They charge basicaly on three different concepts: users, records and file storage.

* They offer a free account with: 1 user, 2000 rows and 100MB of space.

* From there you have two options to scale: the workgroup bundles (with discounts) or the ‘pay-as-you-go’ more flexible depending on your needs.

* There are four different workgroup bundles: plus, pro, premium, business, each one with a fixed price for a certain number of users/records/space. Of course a bundle is cheaper than having the same amount of usage via ‘pay-as-you-go’.

* The ‘pay-as-you-go’ model basically charges you for each user/10000 rows/1 GB you use.

You can take a deeper look at Coghead’s pricing model here.

Let’s talk now about how does this pricing model relates to the “model ideas” and goals we talked about:

* They, obviously have a periodic (monthly) payment. Something that makes perfect sense for a PaaS offering.
* They charge both for the users and for the resources used. This is very often used in PaaS offering, that can be very easily overused. Charging for number of rows or space is a way for Coghead to make sure nobody abuses the platform.
* They have some feature pricing also: Limited users and acces point for applications that wish to be public.
* They have both ‘pay-as-you-go’ and a ‘package’ alternatives.

So, they seem to use all of the ideas we talk about, this, of course brings a problem of complexity but gives the users a lot of flexibility.

And now the final question, does this pricing models achieve the goals we wrote about in this post?

* It is certainly atractive for a new customer/developer to start knowing/using the platform via the free basic account.
* About making the costs for the customer predictable: They offer this through their bundled-workgroup choices. You know what you pay for. This is not true in the ‘pay-as-you-go’ option, which is also more expensive, so their pricing model tends to bring customers to the ‘workgroup’choices.
* Increase the customer share: This true for the ‘pay-as-you-go’ , but not so true for the ‘workgroup’ option, where de customer could hesitate before buying the next and more expensive bundle.
* Don’t make the pricing too complex: We really think Coghead fails at this one, their pricing model is quite complex for the average user. We didn’t even talked here about their partner offerings or the concepts behing the different kind of users. We asume that, for a PaaS offering whose customers are both business and technically skilled, complexity is not such a big problem.
* Avoid customer abuse: This is quite covered there is no easy way that a customer could make a very extensive use of the platform without paying for it. Maybe they could have a problem with bandwidth, something they don’t charge for (they actually have limits at least for public/web users of an app).

We consider that the usual behaviour of a customer would be to:

1. Try the free account.
2. Go for the first bundle.
3. Then the second, third, and finally the ‘business’ option.
4. If the customer has further needs they wouldn’t have any option but going for the quite unpredictable ‘pay-as-you-go’ model.

So, in the end, increasing the complexity of their pricing model by using most of the usuall ideas in SaaS pricing, (they made some changes recently) Coghead has been able to cover most of the goals. We think they have an strong pricing model (complexity is not such a big trouble for this kind of PaaS tool) that supporting their excelent flex-based tool, should help them in becoming a big player in the PaaS area.

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