Category Archive : Uncategorized

Social Media sites are here to stay. It seems like everyone has a Facebook and a Twitter account these days. People are following the tweets and posts of anyone who they want to hear information from whether it’s  politicians, news organizations, or their favorite celebrity. So there is no real reason not to tap into the resource of social media.

If you haven’t created a page on Facebook or Twitter yet here are a couple of reasons why you should consider it.

But you don’t have to create an account on these sites to reap the benefits. One of the ways this is possible is with your Save Local Now app. You could easily create a deal or event that promotes sharing on social media without actually having a page.

Imagine a deal or event that offers 20% off to those people who share the discount on Facebook, and an additional 5% for every friend that shares the deal from their page. All they would have to do is come in to the store and show you their Facebook page on their mobile phone.

By doing this even once could create a huge outpouring of your business name on people’s computer screens. With Save Local Now you can edit the deal or event anytime you want. So if you get overwhelmed you can take the discount down or if you expect too big of a rush you can include the disclaimer “while supplies last” or “only valid for the first 50 customers.” The real benefit here: People seeing your business name on their friends pages will check out your company and what it’s all about.

Also as I mention my article about SEO the more your name is re-tweeted, posted, shared, the more your search engine ranking will go up. This is a  because it makes your business easier to find and more likely to get business over your competitors. So by increasing your own shares, you encourage others to share as well.

A QR Code is short for a Quick Response Code, and if you don’t know what it looks like it’s the picture above. It’s a matrix type bar code that can be easily scanned by smartphones to take the user to a website or destination on the internet. It is the simplest way for a consumer to check out what they are looking at without searching for the correct information to type into their browser. They simply scan the code.

On the business end of things, a QR code can be a powerful marketing tool. You can use it to direct customers to any page you want from an email sign-up on your website, to your facebook or twitter page, or better yet, to your deals and events page on $LN! They are inexpensive to create (actually they are free for Save Local Now members) so you should try to put them on things like business cards, flyers, pamphlets, and price tags.

If you don’t think anyone is using the QR code system, think again. The app to scan a QR code is easy enough to download but most smartphones have them already installed.  According to a report by emarket, a market research firm, “nearly 20 million US adults will redeem a mobile coupon this year,” and that number is expected to double by 2013. If you need more incentive, AisleBuyer found that 82% of mobile couponers ages 25-34 said they would switch brands if they received a mobile coupon for a competing product while shopping. It’s not just the younger shoppers though, over one-fourth of all scanned QR codes were scanned by 35-44 year old consumers. The numbers are only expected to increase as well as smartphones become the norm and retailers become mobile saavy. As it is already 75% of online retailers use QR codes.

So why aren’t you using them? Not only stores, but services and restaurants can also use these codes effectively. If you think it’s hard for a business like a dentist to create a deal or event on Save Local Now, try slapping a QR code to your $LN page on a poster about what you’re offering. The number of deals redeemed might surprise you.

Just so you know you can create your QR code for free to your $LN page, or any other page of your liking in your business profile on $LN’s website. You’re welcome! We’re happy to help!

One of the most daunting tasks of any business owner can be telling people what you quickly while still setting yourself apart. Unless you’re a huge company with people to do this kind of stuff for you, or you’ve been doing it for years, or maybe you’re a company of poets, the task of talking about what you do is never easy. Yet, it is necessary to get it right in places like on your website, or on marketing materials, or even in conversation. The description of your business could be the make or break of whether a person decides to check you out.

First thing you should do is write down everything you want to say on a piece of paper. I mean everything. Go ahead, now’s your chance, write a whole page if you want to. Make sure you get everything in there. Doesn’t it feel great to unload all that? Now comes the hard part.

We’ve all heard of the elevator pitch concept in which you should be able to pitch your company’s concept and qualifications in the time it takes to ride in an elevator? Let’s try for 4 sentences. Yes, four sentences. Just try it and you can always go over by a sentence or two if you HAVE to. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

  • Be Honest- if you are small, say that you are small, if you are deliberately slow, say that. Whatever it is, you obviously chose to do business a certain way for a reason and by putting it out there, you will find the right customers for you. Someone is looking for that quality which you have so tell them about it.
  • What do you do for whom and how? This is the real definition of your business. You can play it up with descriptive words in the other sentences, but one of these sentences needs to say just what it is you do. Your company does A for B by doing C.
  • Differentiate yourself. What makes you different from your competitors?  Use keywords to make yourself stand apart. There is something you do differently and you should play to that point.
  • Use a personal tone of voice and speak directly to your customers. It’s important to sound professional but it’s more important to relate to the every day client. Using a bit of humor or speaking in first person can go a long way to draw customers to your company’s personality.
  • Use keywords and be descriptive. Always use words you think people might use in search engines to find your business but you can also be descriptive. Words like distinguished, substantial, and flourishing can sound a lot better than new, small, and great. So get out the old thesaurus and be creative!

The reason I say to stick with 4 sentences is because usually people stop reading after 4 sentences, or keep reading but stop retaining information because they are still processing what they just read. You also don’t want to be too brief as you want to make sure you get the point across that you really care about what you do. So take your original description and just start cutting back using the guidelines above. Be patient and take your time…go ahead…I can wait…

So how did you do? If you really get stuck my last piece of advice is to take a step back from it, ask someone who is familiar with the business and see what they have to say about it maybe even your best customer. After all, it’s their opinion that makes the difference.

Every business needs a definition. When you created your company, you didn’t set out to do the same thing everyone else does in the exact same way and with the same prices. No, there was a mission at hand, a goal, an identity to your idea that made you want to start your story as a business owner. But you already knew that, you don’t need me to tell you, or else you wouldn’t have started the business in the first place! Now what I am here to tell you is that branding that company is one, if not the single most important things you can do for your company. I mean it, you need an image, a look, to help you show your customers in one glimpse what the important message, idea, feel of your business is, and more importantly, to help them remember it.

Let’s face it, the information world these days is a lot more like a picture story than a novel. Everywhere you look are logos, icons, and color schemes that you know better than the company that they represent. Don’t believe me? See if you can name any of the companies here:

First thing is to get an idea for what you want. Even if you have decided you want to hire a designer for your logo, you will save yourself a lot of money by doing a little brainstorming before hand. Who knows? You might surprise yourself and decide you don’t need anyone after all.  Basically there are three types of logos:

The first would be a logo that describes what the product or service is. So for a pizza company that would be a pizza or a book for a bookstore etc.

The second is a text based logo that uses a special font on the name of the company to make it more attractive.

The third is an abstract image that has nothing to do with the company name or product. An example of this is the Starbucks logo you see above. The image itself is not something one would normally associate with the name Starbucks or coffee but years of great marketing placement and repetitive branding have created the association we all have with the image.

As a small company or start-up the best thing to start with is one of the first two types of logos. As years go on and your business grows there are ways to add small changes to your logo and get it to something trendy and abstract but for now maybe it’s best to stick with something that tells the customers exactly who you are and what you do.

So now let’s start by defining what exactly you want to say about your business. The best thing to do is to sit down with a blank page and write your company name at the top. Write 8 words you can associate with your company and what you do. These can be anything from adjectives like “quick” or “vintage” to nouns you associate with your companies job such as “books” or “contracts”. This will help you to create simple word image associations in your head. If you think of an actual image for a word make sure you write that down too.

Now it’s time to narrow down your choices.

  • Decide what it is you really want to focus on, what sets you apart, and what sends a good message to the customers. If you know a certain quality that people look for in your business try to stick with imagery that will capture that idea.
  • Check out the competition’s logos. What works for other businesses in your industry and what doesn’t? How do you want to set yourself apart?
  • Remember the mediums you have. If your logo is mostly going to be on your business cards make sure it looks best at that scale. If you are planning to buy a big neon sign of your logo, make sure whatever you pick will look good in lights.
  • Don’t do what’s been done. Avoid using clip art images as they are easy to copy and unoriginal. Remember to stick with what you know and what says something about your business but get creative with it!
  • Watch the amount of detail. Too many lines or pieces and parts might not look good on any size logo. Remember your customers want to know what they are looking at. Also too many colors can be expensive when you go to print flyers or business cards. Try to keep it to a maximum of 3 colors to start.

Come up with a few sketches, or if I just scared you with the thought of drawing something even a few very key ideas with notes will do. Be specific and think about all the things we just discussed.

Then, if you don’t want to take the risk, hire a designer. By narrowing down your ideas you’ve already eliminated the back and forth in the concept stages and probably saved yourself a ton of money. Yes, design firms can be expensive but there’s probably a lot of freelance graphic artists in your area who will work for anywhere from $15 to $100 an hour depending on their experience level. Ask around and get the recommendations from other business owners you know. It’s always best to find someone who is more familiar with your field. Even if you are happy with what you designed, my recommendation is always to get a graphic designers final say on it, even if just to put it in the correct file format for printing or for a second opinion. They are the professional after all!

Once you have a logo, make sure you take steps to protect it and use it. You can trademark it at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Then use it on all mediums you have. You’ll want your customers to learn it and associate it with your business at first glance. Use it on shopping bags, business cards, menus, brochures/flyers, bills, your sign, and most importantly, your Save Local Now business profile! That is why you created it right? Good luck!!

Privacy

Privacy Policy Statement

Effective as of June 1, 2011.

 

INTRODUCTION:

This Privacy Policy Statement (this “Privacy Policy”) describes how Save Local Now, LLC (“SLN,” “us” or “we”), will collect and use your personally identifiable information (“PII”) (that is — your full name, email address, mailing address, telephone number and credit card information) as well as data that can, under certain circumstances, indirectly lead to PII (“Related Data”).

This Privacy Policy applies to PII and Related Data received by us from customers when they visit, obtain information from, register with or acquire software from SLN’s web site http://www.savelocalnow.com or otherwise, and related services or sites that link to this Privacy Policy.

From time to time, SLN may revise this Privacy Policy.  If we make revisions that change the way we collect or use your PII or Related Data, those changes will be posted in this Privacy Policy and the effective date will be noted at the beginning of the Policy. Therefore, you should review it periodically so that you are up to date on our most current policies and practices.  If we make material changes to our practices regarding use of your PII or Related Data, your PII and Related Data will continue to be governed by the Privacy Policy under which it was subject prior to those changes, unless you have been provided notice of, and have not objected to, the changes.

 

INFORMATION THAT WE COLLECT:

Generally. When you download software or other information from our website, or use coupons or other promotions offered through our website, we collect PII and Related Information from you. We also may collect PII and Related Information from you when you contact us about products or services offered through our website, or for any additional information. When you visit our web site (or use a mobile app related to our services), we automatically collect non PII such as IP addresses and web site usage information from you.

When you provide PII to us, we will make sure you are informed about the types of uses we will make of the information to the extent it is being used in a manner that differs from what is allowed pursuant to this Privacy Policy. Business sites accessed through our service are not controlled by SLN, and will have their own usage policies.  You should check the privacy policy of the business whose site you are visiting to see how it will use your PII.

Cookies. Cookies are small bits of information that our web site places on the hard drive of your computer or mobile device. We use cookies to, among other things, facilitate our login processes; allow you to personalize and store your settings; collect usage information; determine our total audience size and traffic; and help us improve our sites by measuring which areas are of greatest interest to users.

Third party advertisements displayed on our sites, if any, may also contain cookies set by Internet advertising companies or advertisers. We do not control these cookies and visitors to our web sites should check the privacy policy of the advertiser to see whether and how it uses cookies.

You can set the browser on your computer to warn you each time a cookie is being sent, block third party cookies or block all cookies. However, by blocking all cookies you may not have access to certain features on our web site.

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”).  Google Analytics uses cookies to help the website analyze how users use the site.  The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States.  Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage.  Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google’s behalf.  Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

We may use cookies and similar tools to relate your use of our web sites to PII obtained from you or a reputable third party. For example, if you’ve asked us to send you information about our upcoming products or promotions, cookie and/or click stream data about your activities on our web sites may allow us to limit the materials we send you to items we think you will find interesting, based on your prior online activities and preferences. However, if we wish to combine your personal and cookie or click stream information in this manner, we will obtain your express affirmative consent.

NOTICE:

Third Party Web Sites. Our web sites link to web sites operated by other companies. We’re not responsible for the privacy practices of web sites operated by third parties that are linked to or integrated with our sites or for the privacy practices of third party Internet advertising companies. Once you’ve left our site via such a link or by clicking on an advertisement, you should check the applicable privacy policy of the third party or advertiser site to determine how they will handle any PII they collect from you.

USE: HERE’S HOW WE USE PII

Generally. We may use information in the following ways:

·         For the purposes for which you specifically provided it including, without limitation, to enable us to process and fulfill your requests.

·         To send you information about your relationship or transactions with us.

·         To notify you about our products, services, and special offers.

·         To otherwise contact you with information that we believe will be of interest to you.

·         To enhance or develop features, products and services.

 

Information about your activities on our sites and other non-personally identifiable information about you may be used to assist SLN in determining your interests and what, if any, follow up would be appropriate and consistent with your desires. We may combine the information that we collect from you with information that you provide to us in connection with your use of other SLN products, services and web sites, or information we collect from third parties.

Sharing your Information

Except as set forth herein, or if we inform you otherwise at the time of data collection, we will not share your PII or Related Data outside of SLN.

 

Affiliates: We may share your PII with companies that are affiliated with us.

Service Providers: We may use other companies to perform services including, without limitation, facilitating some aspects of our web site, processing and gather information received from you and other prospective customers, sending e-mail, fulfilling purchase or information requests, serving, customizing or delivering marketing, and auditing.  These other companies may be supplied with or have access to your PII and Related Data solely for the purpose of providing these services to us or on our behalf.

Special Circumstances: There may be instances when we may disclose PII or Related Data without providing you with a choice in order to protect the legal rights of SLN, affiliates of SLN, or their employees, agents and contractors; to protect the safety and security of visitors to our web site; to protect against fraud or for risk management purposes; or to comply with the law or legal process.  In addition, if SLN sells all or part of its business or makes a sale or transfer of assets or is otherwise involved in a merger or business transfer, we may transfer your PII to a third party as part of that transaction.

Social Network and Interactive Tools. Certain features on our web sites give you an opportunity to interact with us and others. These may include forums, message boards, social networks, etc. When you use these features you should be aware that any information you submit, including your name, location and e-mail address, may be publicly available to others. We are not responsible for any information you choose to submit through these interactive features.

When an individual chooses to post information that will be publicly disclosed, he or she is responsible for ensuring that such information conforms to all local data protection laws. We are not responsible under any data protection laws for user posted information.

Non PII. Anonymous click stream, number of page views calculated by pixel tags, and aggregated demographic information may also be shared with our business partners.

CHOICE: WE WILL PROVIDE YOU WITH CHOICES ABOUT THE USE OF YOUR PII

Outreach Messages. Outreach messages are email messages that we occasionally send to visitors to our web site that are intended to assist you in understanding and staying up to date on the value, use and features of SLN’s products and services.  Each one contains a link that you also may use to opt-out of receiving further outreach messages. To opt out of receiving these messages contact Customer Service at info@savelocalnow.com.

ACCESS: HOW TO ACCESS, CORRECT OR UPDATE YOUR PII

You may review and update the personally identifiable information that you have provided to us by contacting Customer Service.

SECURITY: WE PROTECT THE SECURITY OF PII

We use commercially reasonable administrative, technical, personnel and physical measures to safeguard PII and Related Data in our possession against loss, theft and unauthorized use, disclosure or modification.

DATA RETENTION

We retain your information for as long as necessary to permit us to use it for the purposes that we have communicated to you and comply with applicable law or regulations.

TRANSFER TO US OR OTHER COUNTRIES

Your information may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country where SLN or its affiliates have facilities, and by subscribing to and/or using our web site, you consent to the transfer of information outside of your country.

YOUR CALIFORNIA PRIVACY RIGHTS

California Law permits our customers who are California residents to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their own direct marketing purposes.  To make such a request, please email us at info@savelocalnow.com, and include your name and the address to which you would like us to respond.

REMEDIES AND COMPLIANCE: HOW TO CONTACT US ABOUT PRIVACY CONCERNS

If you have any questions, comments or concern about our Privacy Policy, you may contact us at info@savelocalnow.com.