Furniture Store Marketing – When Everyone Is Your Customer, No One is Your Customer!

One of the biggest challenges home furnishing owners must overcome, in order to be successful in this new economy, is the dreaded I-offer-everything-for-everyone syndrome. On the surface this looks like a sure-fire way to get more customers, but it is already proven time and time again that it is not always the most successful way to prosper in your store.

If you are an independent home furnishing retailers, then chances are you have a limited budget and limited space to work with. So, if your store offers several contemporary collections, several ultra-modern collections and some eclectic pieces as well as some early American collections scattered through you store, do you really think that you have enough of any of those styles to satisfy the type of customers who are looking for a specific style? However, style is only one way to target your customer.

In fact, the most successful furniture retailers in my area focus on a couple of things to attract a specific type of customer:

  • Complete living room packages for under $ 2,000 or furnish your entitlement home for under $ 5,000.
  • Long-term low or no interest financing
  • Fast delivery within 3 days or less
  • Lower prices for packages

So, by narrowing down their advertising, they attract a customer that wants to purchase multiple pieces, which in turn, drives the average ticket sale and profits up. They then offer attractive financing terms which attracts customers with good credit and income, while enticing them to spend more money because the customer has longer to pay for it.

Most importantly, they save the customer money by buying more and can get it in their homes in a couple of days. There is also another twist to these retailers. They reward their salespeople handsomely for NOT selling the financing, but getting customers to pay off their balances in less than 90 days.

There is a common slogan in marketing statute, "There are riches in niches." Simply put, this slogan means determine who your most profitable, enjoyable and easy to attract customer is, and then specialize in getting more of those customers to come into your store and buy. You do this by creating a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that compels your most profitable customer to come back into your business again and again.

What if you reviewed your business over the last couple of years and discovered the following trends about your customers and prospects:

  • Wives initially visited the store without their husbands.
  • Recently married
  • Had three kids
  • Lived within five miles of your store
  • Spent between $ 800 – $ 1500 on sofa, loveseat and tables.
  • Paid by Visa, MasterCard or Discover

Once you have this information, you can redesign your store and business to cater to more of the same types of customers that are currently spending good money in your store.

However, you can only use this information to your advantage if you take the time to find out who your customer is, what is important to them and what they really want.

It may come as a surprise to you, but your customers want more than just a sofa. If you are just selling a sofa, you are missing out on a ton of business. Here are a few of the keys I have discovered over the years:

  • Do not sell mattresses, sell relief from back pain.
  • Do not sell home theater seats, sell the entertainment experience.
  • Do not sell sofas or loveseats, sell comfort and warmth.
  • Do not sell furniture, sell status and prestige.
  • Do not sell interior design, sell ENVY and the WOW factor!

Once you know what your customers really want then, you could use that information to create a USP that attracts more of the same type of customers. For example:

  • "Do not hire expensive interior designers, use our 23 point design checklist and give your home a million dollar look for FREE!"
  • "Discover how to give your home an extreme $ 20,000 makeover, on an $ 8,000 budget."
  • "Your family and friends will say" Oh my gosh! Your home is simply amazing! "In 27 seconds flat … we guarantee it!"

Fractions and Rational Numbers – What is the Difference?

Most of us go through years of school math courses and still are confused about some basic things. For example: Why can not you divide by zero? Why is .999 … equal to 1, and not a bit less?

There are loads of these kinds of questions, that would not be a cause of frustration at all, if they were taught reasonably and clearly.

Unfortunately most of these things are supposed to be covered in elementary school, and most elementary school teachers do not have a good understanding of basic math concepts. Instead they are supposedly to teach just a collection of "skills."

One of the simplest concepts that is usually left inadequately explained is the difference between fractions and rational numbers. Let's see if we can clear it up now.

A fraction is a number that expresses part of a whole as a quotient of integers (where the denominator is not zero).

A rational number is a number that can be expressed as a quotient of integers (where the denominator is not zero), or as a repeating or terminating decimal. Every fraction fits the first part of that definition. Therefore, every fraction is a rational number.

But even though every fraction is a rational number, not every rational number is a fraction.

Why? Consider this:

Every integer (all the whole numbers, including zero, and their negatives ….- 3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3 …) is a rational number , because it can be expressed as a quotient of integers, as in the case of 4 = 8/2 or 1 = 3/3 or -3 = 3 / -1 and so on. So integers such as 4 or 1 can be expressed as the quotient of integers.

But an integer is not a fraction . 4 is an integer, but it is not a fraction. 4 is not expressed as the quotient of integers. The difference here is in the wording.

A fraction is a number that expresses part of a whole. An integer does not express a part. It only expresses a whole number.

A rational number is a number that can be expressed as a quotient of integers, or as part of a whole, but fraction is a number that is (must be) expressed as a quotient of integers, or as part of a whole – there is a difference. The difference is subtle, but it is real.

There are slightly different variations of the definition of a fraction, including, "A fraction is the ratio of two whole numbers, or to put it simply, one whole number divided by another whole number."

That definition also shows that an integer is not a fraction, because an integer is not a ratio. It can be expressed as a ratio, but it is not a ratio in itself; it can be divided by another whole number, but it i s not being divided.

In a nutshell, the fractions are a subset of the rational numbers. The rational numbers contain the integers, and fragments do not.

But I Don’t Feel Like Working Out!

Do most people actually feel like exercising? Think about it. Who do you know actually loves to work-out as often as they can? Probably not many because if most people felt that way there wouldn’t be an obesity epidemic.

As I write this, even I’m putting off the inevitable. I have to work-out. I’m a Personal Trainer. Shouldn’t I be counting down the seconds until I get to hurt and sweat to the classic rock channel and my dumbbells? Nope. I have spent the last hour or so lollygagging around the couple of sites I tend to frequent, posting a few status updates and commenting “great pic” here and there while working up the motivation to get moving! I have a holiday party to attend tonight and I can promise you…the food will probably be pretty good. So how can I take my love of fabulous cuisine and my obvious Sunday morning laziness and somehow use this combo to get me up off the sofa and into the work-out room? Well I’ll tell ya….

I’ve been fat and I’ve been fit and I promise you that fit feels better! I just typed a paragraph or so about my own vulnerabilities above to let you know that I relate to your lack of desire to exercise. We aren’t that different from each other. I live in the same fast world with the same fast food and email vs. snail mail and instant gratification benefits as everyone else. The only problem with this is that permanent and healthy weight-loss and weight-management take time, perseverance and yep, hard work.

I know what happens when we put important tasks off. They either never get done or if they eventually do, there is usually a hefty late penalty. It’s no different with our bodies. To develop and keep a fit physique, consistency is the key. To stay consistent, we have to change our minds.

The truth is that the next hour or so WILL go by regardless of what I choose to do within that time. The last hour is over and I chose to sit on the computer. Now even though I really did more productive things other than post silly stuff online, the fact remains that there is still a work-out to be done. I will have calories to burn off for later. I have a metabolism to speed up for the indulgences I will partake in tonight. I can choose to sit here for the rest of the afternoon and not get my strength training session in and I probably still won’t put on any significant weight from tonight’s foods. The reason for this is that while most often I would prefer not to work-out, I do it anyway because I ALWAYS feel a sense of pride, joy and power by the end of that hour of exercise than I would feel by not doing it. I feel AMAZING when I finish an exercise session. Did it happen overnight? NO! I had to make myself continue to experience it for a good long time until I realized the power behind a regular fitness routine. The result is a faster metabolism which burns my calories for me while I do nothing at all. In real estate, they would call this cash flow from a rental property. The investing, rehabs and negotiations are done yet the pay goes on. Brilliant!

Think about where you are right now. Do you have any regrets over the things you didn’t do? Have you noticed any negative circumstances in your life that could have been kept small and insignificant if only you had tackled them sooner? What about any goals you would have accomplished had you acted sooner (or at all)? When you take a moment and honestly think about any of these regrets, are you convinced that if you only had the chance to make a different decision you would have done it and then you would have everything you’ve ever wanted by now? How much would you give to change the outcome of any of the scenarios I just mentioned?

It’s been 2 hours since my last paragraph. In that time, I worked-out AND prepared all the vegetables needed for my few days worth of healthy salads. I’ll be honest here. I absolutely didn’t feel like doing ANY of that. It’s time consuming and labor intensive as far as I’m concerned. Given that thought process, here’s another one which is equally true. I just finished my work-out and prepared my lean and nutrient dense post exercise replenishment not just for today, but for the next several days to come. It was labor intensive, but I FEEL AMAZING! The hard work is done and I’ll reap the benefits of 2 hours worth of work for the next few days! The technical term for this is delayed gratification. Let’s say it together. DELAYED GRATIFICATION. It’s a way of life we don’t experience much of these days and I believe it’s why our bodies suffer from malnutrition and limited physical capabilities.

You see, most of us don’t feel like doing a lot of the things we need to do and I’m no different. The only way to experience the other side of this particular coin is to just do it. Whatever it is. With exercise, the more often you muster up the strength to get it done, the more you’ll understand the rewards. Don’t get me wrong, you still may want to put it off, however, you’ll have a valid sense of what you’re missing out on if you do. You’ll get how powerful it feels to spend that hour or so doing what you’ll feel proud of rather than nothing at all, which you could easily regret much longer than a measly hour, possibly the rest of your life. This way of thinking creates pride and a healthy self-esteem. It also helps to abolish any feelings of restriction since when we take care of ourselves the majority of the time, we can enjoy our indulgences without guilt.

Well, now that I’ve done the hard work, I’m gonna relax. As I had mentioned earlier, it’s Sunday. The only day of the week that I don’t have to be something to someone. The day that’s reserved all for me. Rather than spending all of it vegging, I gave myself the best gift I could….peace of mind from good work well done. I took that hour, doubled it and now I feel free!

So what about you? What did you get from this?

Wishing you a lifetime of smart choices and self-pride!

Fast Weight Loss Diets That Shrink Belly Fat

Getting a Firm Belly

A lot of importance is placed upon tight flat stomachs. Marketing campaigns are always promoting items that will accomplish this. Although many individuals want to lose their belly fat, due to appearances, one main reason to reduce this fat is your health! However, experts are now saying that it is okay to have a little fat, as long as you are not overweight.

Belly flab and high blood pressure, as well as high cholesterol, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes have been linked to belly fat. In order to be at no health risk, men should not have a waist measuring more than 40 inches, and women must have a 35 inch waist or less.

Below are some good techniques to help you reduce dangerous abdominal fat and get a firm belly:

· Exercise More, Eat Better

Calories do not have to be burnt at a gym or workout class; this can be done when you participate in everyday activities. For example, yard work burns several hundred calories per hour. Whereas organized sports, like football, burn even more. Another great activity to burn calories is swimming. Still another way to burn calories is to engage in walking.

Your fat-burning metabolism will kick into overdrive with Cardio exercise. All you need is persistence and perseverance; the trick is to find an activity you like. If you stick to it, the pounds will melt away. It’s also imperative to alter your routine to ward off boredom, as well as to get maximum calorie burning results.

In order to get a firm belly, there are different exercises that you can implement into your schedule. The American Council on Exercise did a study to find out the best types of exercise to incorporate into any weight loss program. Their findings included supine bicycle, captain’s chair leg lifts, and vertical leg crunches. These exercises are thought to work the abs more than any other exercises. Other good exercises include twisting crunches and exercise ball crunches. These activities should be done several times a week in order to obtain a slimmer waistline. Detailed step-by-step tutorials for each exercise can be found on the internet. However, if you are an outside person and your yard needs mowed, this activity will move all those muscles in the right way. However you must engage in this activity at least 20 minutes, non- stop.

Different foods can help you get a firm belly. Foods high in protein and fiber are slenderizing, however sugary carbs increase belly fat rather quickly. You should look for a diet consisting of complex carbs, unsaturated fats, and lean protein sources; a classic example is the South Beach diet. The diet solution has a high success rate and is a natural way of losing weight.

· Reduce Stress

The reducing of stress can be accomplished at the same time that you are losing belly fat. This can be done through the implementation of yoga. Yoga has a two-fold effect on our bellies, as follows:

1. It reduces stress levels. Stress very often leads to weight gain. Stress-induced weight gain often results in belly fat. In this way, stress reduction can give you a flatter stomach and at the same time, actually lower your risk for many diseases.

2. Yoga also tones the muscles in your stomach. A yoga routine that includes supine poses and other postures will work the abdominal muscles. You might want to check out a yoga DVD or video tape, or you can also try to go through some yoga tutorials.

All in all, it takes time and effort to get that dream belly, but it sure is worth it!