Understanding Consumer Buying Trends – Building Dynamic Product Lines

The ability to detect trends and to interpret that knowledge can tell you what consumers want now, but also help you predict what theyíll be looking for tomorrow. This can really give a retailer a big edge, particularly when it comes to selecting product lines.

What is a Trend?

A trend is not a group of popular items that everyone is buying. A trend is an expression of what matters to consumers at the momentóitís a sign of what theyíre excited about. A trend can actually give you many ideas of what products might be popular in certain groups. The trend towards natural living, for example, could inspire a whole line of products because thatís what people are concerned with and are thinking about. And trends grow and evolve and morph, but they have rhyme and reasonóunlike fads, they donít just come out of nowhere.

Trend Analysis

Lisa Suttora of http://WhatDoISell.com defines trend analysis as ìlooking at a definable group of customers that you can get coming back time and time againÖYouíre not sourcing products in a vacuum, because you know exactly what types of products people are looking for.î Though it may initially take you more time to study market trends in the beginning, it will save you a lot of time in the long run. You wonít be trying to figure out why you canít move products, and you wonít be wasting money on just guessing at what you think will sell.

How Do I Become a Trend Spotter?

Spotting trends is a learned abilityóit doesnít require you to be trendy. It requires disciplineómake it a habit to research trends daily. There are many avenues you can use to help you research:

ï Most major search engines offer keyword tracking tools that show you how many people are searching for a given item. Worldwide Brands offers a Market Research Wizard that can show you how likely a product is to be successful based on market statistics.

ï Consumer magazines and websites are great sources for gathering information.

ï Check out trade shows, associations, and publications. Though trade publications tend to be pricy, the information in them is the result of millions of dollars of research and projects out from 12 to 18 months, which really gives you a jump on buying trends that havenít even evolved yet.

ï The media can provide some really valuable trending statsónewspapers often give numbers and demographics. Look for indicators of growth and decline. You want to get in on the upswing of a trendónot when itís on its way out. Document everything so that you have it all in front of you and donít forget anything important when you sit down to analyze the results of your research.

The key is to be consistent and do your research daily. Says Suttora, ìTrending information is not something you do once and then stopÖEvery successful business owner is going to continually be reinventing their product lineÖon an ongoing basis.î

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Tips for Entrepreneurs Opening a Restaurant

As entrepreneurial enterprises are concerned, opening a restaurant is by far one of the hardest endeavors to undertake. While the rate of restaurant failure isn’t nearly as bad as it’s purported to be, restaurants do fail at a much higher rate than many other types of self starter business. For that matter, even franchised restaurants (usually the smaller “fast food” variety) have a failure rate just a few percentage points below self starters.

So what, you may ask, can entrepreneurs do to increase their chances for success?

Here are three tips to succeeding in the restaurant business that successful owners adhere to. The first of these is location. Yes, there are some restaurants located in out of the way areas that do succeed on word of mouth, but those instances compared to the instances of restaurants failing because they are in bad locations are miniscule by percentage. The safest bet is to always make sure there is plenty of traffic where you want to open up. Established areas are best, but consequently, most expensive. Don’t get in over your head with a lease that will bury your chances for success from the get-go, but don’t choose an out of the way location because it is cheap. Try to find some middle ground.

The next tip is to concentrate on solely on the things that will make people want to come in, and more importantly, want to come back. I know this sounds a little too simple, but it involves a lot more than just good food and a nice atmosphere. The key is to turn out great food, provide a great atmosphere and to have exceptional customer service, day in and day out. Whether you run a sandwich shop or a high end bistro, getting these three elements together and doing so consistently is paramount to success.

The third tip is to find and culminate good business relationships with your suppliers. Having a supply chain you can count on will allow you to concentrate on what’s important, which is running your business while at your business. You’ll need to find food distributors and a restaurant supply distributor you can count on. Food distributors that are able to deliver on time and are committed to bringing you quality products every time will help you to produce consistently good food that your customers want and eventually come to expect. A good restaurant supply company can make all the difference between having a smooth operation that allows you to run youíre back of house effectively and having to deal with subparts equipment.

Of course, there is a lot more to the restaurant business than these basics, but in the end, the basics are what separate successful restaurants from failed restaurants.

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Design Your Business Card Online

A business card is an ideal partner to getting your business recognized by potential clients. Business cards can be created online through a variety of templates for you to choose from. This makes the process a lot easier when you can choose a business card template and then customize it to your business. It is a fun and easy way to create your business cards online and can actually save you time and money because you do not have to consult a graphic designer. You are the designer. It is less stressful and it puts you in control of your business card needs.

Business card printing will allow you to first choose a template and then change the font size, color, layout, or even add additional text if you need to. Business cards can be customized through templates, but these online sites will also give you the option to add your company logo or a photo without having to use their designs. With this option, you still can change the font color or size, and add text to complete the desired look for your business card. A black and white style business card has the look of professionalism and is easily read and understood by all who see it, as all business cards should be. Color business cards created online will give your cards just the right amount of color that will catch a potential clientís eye. The color is not the only decision when it comes to designing your business card; you also have to look at whether you want a vertical or horizontal business card.

Business cards are presented to you to create in a number of ways. A magnetic card is ideal for your customers to keep on their refrigerators so they will not lose your number. Color raised ink will make your company logo or your name stand out on a white background. How about a metal business card that resists fading, scratching, or a plastic one? Business card templates can be business professional or be the ones that have clip art to choose from to give your business card an artistic edge.

Business card printing online is fast and easy. It will give your business the card it deserves with a design that will give people a visual perspective of your business that may just set your business apart from other companies out there. With a color business card, consumers can keep your card around after using your company’s services and then hold pass it along to someone they know who needs a service that your company offers. Your business cards are like printed word of mouth that travels from one customer to the next.

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