How Can Small Boutiques Compete Against Big Name Stores?

In today’s rotten economy, it seems as if everyone is flocking to big-name stores like Wal-Mart and T shirt Philipp Plein to shop for cheap clothes. If you are the owner of a fashion boutique, you may have started to feel the pressure of these corporate giants.

There are tons of ideas to maintain relevancy in these tougher economical times. Here’s one word to get you started on your way to recovery: Avatar. That’s right, James Cameron’s blockbuster film is an ideal example of what you can do to help keep your profit line up and your store in business.

What should Avatar mean to you? Think about its lush gardens, bright colors and adventurous, romantic atmosphere. This idea spoke to everybody’s heart, an idea that everyone desperately wants to have a good time and burst with joy no matter about the sluggish economy and wars.

So how can you bring a bit of magic to your customers without having to alienate anybody?

You need to understand that you are selling good quality clothing that is not offered at the big-name stores. However, while these stores have all the stock, advertising, and cheap prices that people are looking for, they fail in customer service. Therefore, you need to keep in mind that you are not only selling unique clothing that can improve people’s lives, but a service that can make people smile.

Read the latest trends in fashion, network like crazy, or even get a fashion degree. These should be your foundations to help you grow in your business and style income.

One great tip is to use your boutique as a hosting place for parties, and have these parties often. Wine and cheese events, for example, are a great idea to bring people into your location to start discovering new items. Use your store as a venue for bringing friends and new customers into your store. Most will buy something eventually, and it’s a great boost for your soul to see your store full of happy people.

Always remember, one thing that the big-box stores don’t have: Style.

The Best Way To Use A Chainsaw Safely!

So, you’ve purchased your brand-new chainsaw after doing a small market research and are happy that your hard earned cash continues to be well spent. If you purchased your power saw from a local shop you may have received a short run through of the way to use your chainsaw. On the other hand, you could have ordered your chainsaw online, in which case, if you’ve got never used a chainsaw before, you’ll not be acquainted with chainsaw security or the way to get the best performance out of your new purchase. In this article we are going to attempt to talk you through the fundamentals of using your chainsaw in a safe and efficient manner, ensuring that with only a little practice, you become confident and competent at carrying out a variety of domestic tasks.

Working surroundings

Lets presume you that you purchased your new chainsaw to prepare firewood for the winter months and that logging will be your chief occupation when using the tool. If you have not already done so, it is advisable to purchase a top quality sawhorse to hold timber in place whilst it is being logged. Before you even commence work, think about your working environment and where best to find yourself and your tools. Ideally, a clear, level space with at least 5 meters of clearance in all ways will be greatest, and don’t forget to advise others of where you are or what you will be doing.

Get to know your chainsaw

It really is critical that you just read fully the instruction manual that’s provided with your chainsaw. Some manufacturers may even provide a chainsaw security video or DVD; see this too. With your saw on a seat or table facing you, familiarise yourself with all of the controls, in particular the safety controls that are there to prevent accidents from happening. All power saws from different producers will change but most will have the following safety features, whether the chainsaw is electrical or petrol:

At the underside of the tool there is a little metal bar running under the chain, that is the chain catcher. It’s there to catch the chain in case it either breaks or derails.

The accelerator lock and trigger controls are vital in the running of the chainsaw. Both will be located at the back handle of the chainsaw, the throttle lock preventing inadvertent depression of the throttle trigger.

A stop control button or lever is set at the rear of the saw, within reach of your thumb to allow you to quickly stop the engine should the need arise.

Along the bottom of the back handle you’ll discover a broad, flat guard. This guard is designed to protect your right hand should the chain break or derail. It is also used when starting the chainsaw, permitting you to put your foot across the guard whilst pulling the recoil rope to turn over the engine. A vitally important safety feature on your own chainsaw is the chain brake. It’s the lever found before the top handle and is activated either manually by pushing it forwards or by inertial forces that are the result of dangerous kickback, encountered when the top half the chainsaw bar nose (the kickback zone) makes contact with something unexpectedly, forcing the chainsaw upwards and backwards.

What are you really wearing?

An unusual question you might think when you are about to use a chainsaw but one that you must save somewhat thought over. Chainsaw safety clothing is vitally important in protecting you should an injury occur. In a perfect world you would be wearing the proper safety gear from top to toe, but this really is not always practical or within your budget. At the very least, do make sure you happen to be wearing clothing that’s made from heavy, tough fabrics and a sturdy pair of boots with a heavy-duty toecap. Gloves should be thick but you must be capable of transfer your fingers freely to use the chainsaw security controls properly, and quickly if needed. However, if you just purchase one piece of chainsaw clothing, make certain it’s a built-for-goal chainsaw safety helmet. Facial harms from chainsaw accidents tend to be the most severe and a chainsaw helmet will go a ways to preventing anything serious. They can be fitted with a face guard and ear defenders and are not always as expensive as people frequently think. Buy one!

Getting started

Now that you are familiar with your chainsaw and have the proper safety equipment, you are able to get it began! Before best chainsaw for the money do, assess the chain. On a brand new tool the chain will be sharp but after only a little use it will stretch and slacken. You must understand the chain-tensioning apparatus on your special tool and learn to how use it. Also of great significance is chain sharpness. You must learn how you can use a chainsaw sharpener or file to keep the chain in peak condition, before you use the chainsaw. A few more safety tips are recorded below:

Follow the manufacturers fuel-mixing guide if you’re using a petrol machine and be careful to not overfill the tool.

Read the consumer’s manual and follow the start up process for your specific model of chainsaw.

Be sure you check the safety brake is functioning correctly by squeezing the accelerator and applying the brake at the same time, it should stop the chain instantly.

Test the chain lubrication by holding the chainsaw bar over a light coloured surface (e.g. paper]. Run the power saw, a thin trail of oil should be apparent.

Using your chainsaw correctly

If you’re not knowledgeable about operating a chainsaw, acquire some practice in. Start off by cutting some small logs before progressing onto the larger stuff, and remember, it can be tiring work. Don’t try to do everything at once, quite start off in small blasts and slowly increase your working time. Hold the saw firmly on both handles and do not be afraid to keep the chainsaw close to your body. This will provide better balance and also place less stress through your back, as will a wide stance with your feet apart and your knees bent.

Beyond logging…

Once you might be familiar with your saw you’re able to move onto other projects around your property such as tree pruning or construction work. Attempt to learn the way to use either side of the chainsaw guide bar. You are going to see that when you’re using the upper edge of the bar, you fall upon what is known as a shoving chain, with the chainsaw actually being pushed towards you. The normal manner of using the bottom edge of the chainsaw bar pulls the tool away from you, known as a pulling chain. Mastering these techniques will give you much confidence when using your chainsaw and slowly decrease time it takes one to finish certain tasks.

Three good reasons why your business should allow free business calls

Unfortunately, many business owners believe that providing free business calls is just another unnecessary expense on their list, but they are wrong. In fact, hundreds of business, both small and large, can confirm that having free phone numbers for business phone lines provide a wide range of advantages. While we are talking about these telephone numbers it is good to mention that various prefixes are used for these numbers, but we can agree that 0800 phone numbers are used most frequently.

These phone numbers that allow free business calls which are also known as non-geographic numbers are not connected to a particular landline. In other words, they are portable and they can be redirected to nay line you want. If you choose a certain 0800 phone number, you can use it forever as long as you pay the bill. It’s good to know that you can rent such numbers too for a specific period of time. Now let’s check the reasons why your business needs to use such number and allow free business calls.

  1. Flexibility and portability

First and foremost, providing free phone calls through free phone numbers allows you to connect these numbers to your existing landline or mobile phone. In some cases, you can link it to international landlines too. Many business owners redirect their 0800 numbers to mobile phone numbers when they are not at work so customers can reach them at any time of the day. In case your company is relocating and you must use a different landline, you can easily point your 0800 number to the new landline and your clients won’t have to use a different number.

  1. Enhancing your business image

Many people believe that companies that provide free business phone calls are more professional than the others which ultimately mean that they have a better business image. In their mind, only successful, reputable ad profitable companies use phone numbers like this. This is a cost-affordable way to show your customers that you care.

  1. Marketing and advertising

Finally, another reason why free business calls are good for your business is that they can improve your marketing and advertising efforts. You can use the same number in all your advertising campaigns and they can also help you track marketing data from your marketing campaigns.

We hope that these facts will encourage you to provide free business calls for your customers.

The Internet-shop and the customer need the free number 0800

Today, the tendency to attract the clients using fee communication becomes especially popular. So, many companies (especially lately) and Internet-shops of different profiles install the number 0800,free for the customers, on their websites, thereby enabling many clients from different regions to make free calls to the Internet-shops of the other cities.
Where is the free number 0800 especially relevant?

The activation of number 0-800 will be especially relevant for the localities, remote from the major cities, but having the densely populated surroundings. So, the residents of villages, settlements and small towns are also the customer, often even less pretentious and more compromise, which makes them more interesting for the sellers. The number 0800 helps the client to get advice and make a necessary order without paying for the call.

In the suburbs, 30 and more km away from the cities, there is a shortage of large shops, where the customer can consult a wide range of goods, and choose the product, optimal in terms of price and quality, and, of course, buy it. It is more profitable for the customer to buy the goods in the Internet-shop for a number of reasons. However, it is more difficult, and often also very expensive, to reach them. That’s why the number 0800 will be a real panacea for the customers who wish to choose the product and Internet-shops wishing to sell their goods, as the call to the number 0800 is free from all the country’s numbers.
For whom is the number 0800 free?

But the call to the number 0800 is free only for the one side- the customer. But what about the Internet-shop? Does it assume all the costs? Pay more than 1 hryvnia for each minute of the conversation? If every 10 caller will become your client after making a purchase, and the consultation will last 5 minutes, then it will be necessary to pay extra money (apart from the advertisement and other costs) only for the sale, in order to ensure the quality of service to anyone who wants it. It turns out that the number 0800 is not so profitable, if a lot of calls come from the customers who buy the products with minimum marginality or income.
Connecting the number 0-800, you must keep in mind the cost of call forwarding to your mobile number, city phone number or directly to IP ATS.
We recommend you to create optimum conditions for the call processing, using the number 0800 and not paying for the minute of call forwarding. That could be achieved through the use of function “Call back”, realized by IP ATS.
“Call back” is the function of IP ATS, which allows calling the client back automatically in response to his/her call. The function “Call back” will be especially useful when connecting the free (paid for the company) phone numbers like 0800, 0 800, 0-800, 8800, 8-800, as “Call back” helps to connect with the client without answering his/her call, but calling him/her back instead.
What’s the use “Call back”?

The function “Call back” realizes the call back to the client to reduce the cost of conversation, as the receiving of incoming calls to the number 0800 is paid for the owner of the number.

Quick Lane

Our last blog article introduced you to Eric Delgado, the manager of the Quick Lane in Acton, owned and operated by Acton Ford. This article will take you more in depth into the business that is Quick Lane and what sets it apart from other local service and repair options.

On the corner, adjacent to the local Acton Ford, you will see a service garage, Quick Lane. It hasn’t been there long, about a couple of years. It seems to add just another option to the many choices of service and repair centers locally. Read on to learn what sets Quick Lane apart.

As a continuation to my interview with the manager, Eric Delgado also educated me on the many services and special perks of Quick Lane of Acton. I will start with a brief history of the Quick Lane brand. Recognizing the need for “while you wait” service,

Ford decided to expand into the world of general automotive service and repair for all makes and models. Thus, the Quick Lane brand was born. In 2001 there were just a handful Quick Lane centers. Today there are over 670 centers located throughout the United States. While Quick Lane is owned and operated by independent Ford Dealers, it is in no way limited to one make of vehicle. Servicing all makes and models of vehicles, foreign and domestic, Quick Lane is a desirable option for those that require ease, knowledgeable technicians, and a fair price for their automotive repair and maintenance needs. According to Quick Lane Manager, Eric Delgado, about 80% of the vehicles that he sees at the Quick Lane are non-ford vehicles, with Honda and Toyota being the most frequently serviced vehicles.

The Quick Lane of Acton has been in operation for the past two years. In this time, manager Eric Delgado says that they are beginning to see a lot of return customers and get great word of mouth from current customers that has resulted in many new clients as well. The staff would love Quick Lane to be the auto center for local families and their friends. It seems they are well on their way with the positive feedback from many.

Upon entering Quick Lane of Acton, you will find a bright, clean, and comfortable waiting area complete with a coffee bar, free wifi, and no appointment necessary! Along with these perks, a shuttle service is also offered if you must leave your car for an extended period of time. You will be dropped back off at home or work in the local area, and even picked back up when your car is ready. In the unlikely event that your vehicle must remain overnight, car rentals are offered through Quick Lane with Avis or Enterprise. They also provide a night time drop box for early drop off, complete with envelopes to leave a description of service needed, possible repair issues and your contact information. They will then contact you and go over your vehicle’s needs.

In the garage area you will find a clean, organized space with technicians trained in all makes and models of vehicles.

Many services are offered at Quick Lane:



Suspension service



Oil changes & wiper blades

Schedule maintenance

While Quick Lane does not offer body work or a car wash, owners of most makes and models of vehicles will find the service they need. Offering price matching, even on internet pricing, Quick Lane will match the price on any tire in stock. They also have a fully stocked parts room with many common parts such as oil filters, break pads, batteries, just to name a few. This means most repairs and maintenance can be completed in the same day. Even if a part needs to be ordered, with connections to many local vendors, most part repairs can still be completed on the same day. On the rare occasion that your vehicle may need to be kept overnight, Quick Lane of Acton offers the option of a rental car.

While this all sounds great, let’s explore further what makes Quick Lane a top option for your automotive needs. While the staff does take part in ongoing training to keep up on new technologies, and up to date diagnostic software is used to diagnose and suggest service needed, they also offer excellent customer service. Not only are they friendly, but they also have a goal to educate the customer. Let’s say you are hearing a noise somewhere in your car that you want to get checked out. You take your car to Quick Lane and try to explain the problem. One of the specially trained technicians will offer to go for a ride with you in an attempt to duplicate the issue so they fully understand what you are experiencing. Many places will take your car, take down the issue, and stick it on the lift without actually exploring the issue first. Many of Quick Lane’s basic diagnostic services are complimentary, such as check engine light scans and battery tests. In certain cases when more in depth diagnostic exploration is necessary and might incur additional fees, the staff will discuss all diagnostics and repair issues with you before progressing.

Once the issue is discovered, the technicians at Quick Lane will not only explain what they have found, if at all possible, they will lead you into the garage area and show you what is going on with your vehicle while educating you on the various systems in your vehicle that are associated with the issue. You are also provided with a detailed, easy to read printout of the condition of your vehicle with the multi-point inspection that is done on all vehicles. What this means is that while you may bring in your vehicle for an oil change, they will also check out your tires, brake pads, filters, etc. This allows them to spot additional issues that you may not know about from just changing the oil. Even with this more in depth inspection, you will never feel pressured to make purchases or do repairs. But you will be offered an honest professional opinion, along with fair prices, to ensure the safety and best performance of your vehicle for your and your family. Quick Lane will also work with you to offer a competitive price on maintenance or repairs quoted from other automotive centers or dealerships.

In the even that your fees for repair or maintenance are more than you can comfortably fund at the time, Quick Lane offers financing for 6 to 12 months, interest free. This allows you to perform important upkeep on your vehicle without having to wait for more funding, or to tie up other credit cards you may use for everyday purchase.

Call-center for your business

Phone calls are one of the main sales tool. It is very important to track the number of calls were made by you or your staff, their duration, frequency, and most importantly, performance.

All this information is mostly written in the Excel tables or notebooks, long and boring recorded in CRM, and often simply ignored.

But everything can be much easier and faster. Using the integration of IP telephony with the CRM (customer relationship management) no one of your contacts and calls will be lost again. Everything is integrated into the system in a beautiful, convenient and understandable manner.
What does the integration of IP telephony gives to your business?

Outgoing calls

possibility to call straight from the CRM system by finding the necessary customer in the list;
you are not tied to the phone and can call from any place that has an Internet connection;
the contact information of the customers are stored in a single system, and not in the separate files of each staff member. You’ll have no problems sharing the necessary contact with your colleague;
CRM has a flexible system of access rights. Limit an access to the contacts that you want to hide from the public eyes.

Incoming calls

You will always know who is calling you. In CRM, when you receive the incoming calls, you see the card of contracting partner and the call history, displaying the history of dialogs with your customer. For example, the unpaid bills or sent commercial offers.

Besides, if the specifics of your business involve only the incoming calls, you can use this service for free.

Additional opportunities

management of statuses straight from CRM;
call forwarding from CRM;
gathering of statistics on the incoming and outgoing calls of managers;
record of all calls and viewing the call history in CRM with the tapping of chosen calls;
fixation of missed calls;
calling the subscriber in one click;
IP telephony allows you to create the new contracting partner during the receiving of free phonecalls, if he/she is not recorded in database of CRM system;
IP telephony automatically creates the leads on the received calls, if this number is not in the base of CRM system.
And now, a little theory. We should not that there are 2 versions of PBX: office and cloud.

The office PBX is the machine, physically located in your office, which is your property.

The cloud PBX is the property of provider that you just rent.
So, we get the system of automated communications.
And as a result- no one customer is lost!