What do you prefer? Online job search or face to face meetings?

As I have mentioned, a personal, face to face meeting in a job fair is always preferable vs online job searching, at least if the engineers you send to handle interviews are any good with people skills. If all you want is a tech guy that you can lock up in a cubicle in the corner of the office and have him grind out assigned projects, then I guess I would agree that an online job board would be the best choice since no people skills will be required to apply online.

I would much rather hire someone who can contribute, not just the skills that you are looking for now, but add value to your company in the future. I know that my thinking is old fashioned and not acceptable in today’s business world where the average tenure of a technical or computer type guy or employee may be only 2 or 3 years.

Also, keep in mind that a student who attends a job fair may be able to get in front of 2 or 3 companies in a short period of time, maybe more if they are lucky. I would think that type of face time is much more preferable than just having your HR person do a keyword on resume search and basically choosing a candidate at random.. As a plus, a face to face meeting gives a student a little interviewing practice. This job fair may be the first real world exposure a student gets in their quest for a career type job, rather than just a part time or summer job interview where the manager asks if the student has a pulse.

To me the online job search is kind of like reaching into a barrel full of online resumes and pulling one or two out for consideration. Hiring the right people is sometimes a make or break decision for a company. Chose right and projects get done correctly, on time. Chose wrong and all plans go out the window, plus how much may have to be spent correcting mistakes? How much are you going to be paying a new hire? $50,000? $100,000? More? Are you really that worried about spending several hundred or perhaps a few thousand on recruiting?

build a team, hiring, management, online job search, startups
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What are some of the biggest challenges Website owners face?

I think the top three challenges faced by website owners are.

1 . Product selection- You have to find the right product, service, content, or message to get people interested in what you have to offer.

2. Marketing- How do you drive traffic to your website so customers can find your product, service, or message?

3. Competition- How can you stay ahead of your competition to maintain your edge? How can you keep your website “Fresh” with new products, new services, or new content to keep potential customers coming back for more?

There are currently over 1 Billion websites on the internet now. Figuring out how to get people to visit your site is the problem.

How many pieces should I sell in a retail package?

Retail packaging is a strange animal. There are many factors that determine how many pieces are sold in a retail pack These include things like shelf size available, competition, price points, marketing, and tradition.

Here are some details retailers use:

  1. Shelf size- Retail shelf space is very valuable. Retailers measure shelf value in sales per inch. Grocery stores and mass merchandisers use pretty standard metal gondola shelves with height adjustable shelves. They normally come in 48 inch lengths and vary in depth from 12 inches to about 36 inches deep. Some are more, some are less depending on the retailer or product type. Retail merchandise must fit on those shelves.Manufacturers ship merchandise to retailers in what they call standard packs. 2 piece, 6 piece, 10 piece, etc whatever fits into a convenient size shipping carton. Retailers order merchandise in multiples of these standard packs.When retailers order merchandise they try to make sure everything fits on the retail shelf. They don’t want to keep merchandise in their back room or warehouse.
  2. Competition- In products like diapers, manufacturers pack quantity to meet or exceed their competition while still maintaining a competitive price point and preserving profit margin. The standard pieced pack must also fit on the shelf. Remember, for many retail items the packaging may cost as much as the contents of the package. Examples are perfumes in fancy bottles, liquor in fancy bottles, product packed in theft resistant clam shell packaging. Adding one more piece to a package may not cost anything additional.
  3. Price points- Retailers used to like to maintain what they call charm pricing, $9.99, $12.99, $19.99, $24.95, etc. Now this has been changed a little by retailers like Wal-mart that have change pricing strategy to non standard price points, but it is still factored into piece count quantity.. If a competitor sells 16 pieces for $19.99, a different manufacturer may try and sell 17 pieces for $19.99 to offer a better value and hopefully still be profitable. It’s all about perceived marketing value and profit margin.
  4. Marketing- Manufacturers want to sell product and maintain and grow market share. They use quantity to attract customers. Think about how many products you see with new improved packaging, 2o% more product for the same price, bonus sample bottles with the purchase of a full size bottle and so forth. It also works the opposite way. Look at canned vegetables. The cans used to be 16 ounces, now most are 15 ounces but sell for the same price as the 16 ounce can. Marketers hope the customers don’t notice the smaller sized can, and bank on this being more effective in preserving profit margin, than raising prices on the 16 ounce can.
  5. Tradition also plays a role in packaging, 6 packs for beer or soda, 100 pieces per bottle for aspirin, a dozen donuts, and so on.

To summarize and answer your question, packaging is all about shelf size, competition, marketing, tradition, and profits.

What Do “Newbies” to the world of e-Commerce want to know?

People always want advice on where to buy products cheaply, or the names of drop shipping companies. They want to start a business because they have read ads telling them how easy and profitable it is to start a drop shipping company.  It seems they never get to the fine print that some actual hard work may be required to succeed.

The world is full of legitimate wholesalers that offer drop shipping services. Unfortunately, without knowing your product catagories you are interested in, it is impossible to recommend any at all. I would suggest using a search engine to begin your research into your niche. Narrow your search and look for specifics. Next I suggest you search for trade shows in your area of interest. There are trade shows held all over the world, and for all different product categories. Just about any product you could possibly be interested in, there is a trade show for it. If you attend a tradeshow, you will meet hundreds, if not thousands of manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors, all in one place. You get catalogs, company information and contacts at a huge selection of companies.

There is no way you can place a value on having a face to face contact when it comes time to select products and negotiate prices. Some exhibitors drop ship, some only sell in quantity, but it is a great way to learn. I am a firm believer that knowledge and research are the keys to success when it comes to developing unique selling copy and marketing approaches.

Remember, you want to go into business to make money. To make the best use of your time and effort, you must sell unique products, or at least use unique approaches to selling your products, that makes you appear different than all of your competition.

I will add my usual disclaimer to my answer. Drop shipping costs you money. You pay for the convenience of having someone else pack and ship your orders for you. You pay for the convenience of not having to carry inventory or have warehouse space. You sacrifice customer service if the drop shipping company fails to ship on time. You have no control over the level of service you receive. These extra charges you pay means that it will be very difficult to make a good profit margin on your sales, because you will be competing with companies that import direct, or that buy larger quantities from a distributor and then ship from their own warehouse, usually at a more cost efficient way. Use drop shipping as a low cost no inventory commitment, way to test the market. Once you see sales patterns try and buy in quantity and ship by yourself.

Disclaimer # 2  I am a firm believer that the companies that want to charge you for access to lists of drop shippers, or access to their inventory, are poor investments for you to make. Companies like I have described will sell to anyone that wants to pay their fee. That means that the products they sell will be offered in just about all markets by many, many sellers. The competition will most likely, prevent you from making much of a profit and , again, the opportunity to make a profit is the entire name of the game.

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