Manas Kumar, Thinking out Loud

my thoughts & visions for technology

What’s for lunch today?

with 2 comments

Eating Lunch

I don't know these people. They too, probably spend $4k/yr on lunch and coffee.

This morning I took the liberty of doing a little research along the 50meter or so walk from where I park to the office. In this short distance there are a number of cafés and as I ordered my coffee, I ask the Barista how many coffees a day would her regulars have? “2 – 3” was the reply. After finishing my coffee I decided to ask the same question in a few other cafés along my walk, I also asked how much they would spend on food. I even plucked up the courage to ask the same question of a few professional looking people walking up the street with coffee in hand. I don’t think I have to tell you the type of, ‘are you a freak,’ looks that I got as a result.

Hardly scientific I know but enough for my purpose. Here’s what I discovered with my little survey;

On average inner city workers will purchase 2 coffees per day and spend approximately $10 on food. Now let’s do some maths. When you minus leave and public holidays we work around 46 weeks per year or approximately 230 days. A flat white coffee costs around $3.80 per cup, times that by two and that’s $7.60 per day. Wow! That’s $1,748 a year on ‘coffee!’ Add to that the $2,300 we spend on something to eat and you have a total of… $4,048 dollars.

That’s $4k per year that’s going in the top end, dropping out the bottom-line and providing no investment value in the middle. In accounting terms I believe that’s called a deficit.

So let’s look at ways that you can take this deficit coffee money and turn it into profit online for your business.

First, when was the last time your website got an overhaul? If your site is older than 12 months and hasn’t been worked on in that time then you need to invest here. $4,000 would be enough to give you a basic ecommerce website if you are not already trading directly online. If your website is designed more as an informative site but hasn’t any content management component then invest in this. The ability to manage content and add new content regularly is one of the key aspects of search engine optimisation. Many people don’t realise that you have to keep the interest of the search engines. An alternative to this would be to add a blog to your website.

Here are two basic pointers to creating a website.

1) Develop the site on two levels.

a) The top level is where you provide solutions to the “specific right now problem” that your market would be searching for. Understand this one simple statement and you will completely transform the way you communicate online. This top level is where you have your business and service offering information (but don’t present this information in an internalised fashion. It has to be customer focused and specific).

b) Your second level is where you drive depth to your content. This could be some research material about your industry, articles, white-papers anything that supports your business or industry that would be of interest to your clients. For example are there legal requirements your clients need to know about? As a builder or trade professional include a breakdown of by-laws etc that impact your clients. Remember, He who educates the market, ends up being the “guru”.

2) Ensure you work with a website developer (not a designer) who understands Search Engine Optimisation and can help you to maintain your website’s optimisation… This is a critical ongoing aspect of website functionality

O.K so you are happy with your website… How about email marketing? Is your website geared to capture leads via an opt-in mechanism? Newsletter and email marketing are the most cost effective forms of advertising and promotion available to businesses today. I know that many businesses are shy about email marketing for two basic reasons;

1) Because they don’t feel confident in their ability to produce a professional newsletter or email campaign. Or,

2) Because they don’t want to be labelled as spammers and on this note there are a number of misconceptions. The basic rules of thumb are these; if the customer has provided you with their contact information it is reasonable for them to expect that you will use this to communicate directly with them… and provide an opt-out option with every email communication.

Take a look at what the Department of Internal Affairs says about SPAM.

Now this is what may surprise you… A good email marketing application like Maxmail for example will leave you enough of your $4,000 to take a fairly good holiday during Xmas.

When it comes to the specifics of how to create a good email campaign or Newsletter the internet has a vast amount of resources on the subject. As a start point check out this Email Marketing website.

Email marketing is not that difficult if you do a little homework first, stay within the general guidelines and make it a communication medium of value to your customers and prospects.

In part two we’ll look at CRM, integration and social media channels to turn Lunch Money into profit.

Be waiting for the second instalment of this article tomorrow…

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2 Responses

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  1. This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

    matt

    March 29, 2009 at 11:47 pm

  2. So you mean stop eating and invest on websites??

    Manas

    June 25, 2009 at 9:56 pm


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