Constant Contact or Send Out Cards which is better?

Over the last week this question has been raised to me over and over.  I am amazed at the answers I have seen given and confused on how so many people can get this one wrong.  This is like comparing apples and spinach.  Neither have very much to do with each other but when used correctly both will serve their own purpose.

So lets see if we can settle this by explaining what each of these companies products do and what they are best used for.  Constant Contact is a program used to keep a business in front of the masses.  It is a tool that you can use to get information once delivered by direct mail campaigns out to a large number of people letting them know about your services and products.  If you read Constant Contacts information they tell you that if you are sending out a campaign that achieving a 40 percent open rate, or 40 percent of your emails that were sent were actually looked at, is a high number and should be considered a success.  One of the biggest downfalls with Constant Contact is the limitation that you cannot put purchased opt in email addresses in their system.  So if you decided to take your email marketing to the next level do not use Constant Contact to deliver paid leads.  Other than that restriction which is enough for me to look elsewhere Constant Contact is a great program and something every business owner needs to put in their marketing plan.

Now to what Send Out Cards is and what function it provides.  Send Out Cards is a very personal way to build business relationships and track these communications through a very nice Contact Manager.  Send Out Cards is the perfect tool for most small business owners today to implement in their daily routine capturing all the prospects and leads they come in contact with on a daily basis that before they just let slip away.  It is amazing that the majority of business owners will pay thousands for 200 clients but they let that many and many more slip through their fingertips daily when a program such as Send Out Cards is cost-effective, time effective, and gives them the platform to never waste another lead the come in contact with.  For more information on Send Out Cards go to

Send Out Cards and programs such as Constant Contact should not be competing against each other since as I have shown they serve 2 totally but important services to business.  Business Owners need to think very hard about where their dollars are going and need to start taking advantage of programs such as both of these to maximize their results.


Now is the Time to Go Into Business!!!!

I have noticed over the past several months a shift taking place in our economy.  specifically with people who have the financial means to go into business and finally it appears that we are getting to the point where people are getting used to this economy and willing to take a chance and go into business with their money.  This group of people I am speaking of are very conservative with their money and do not just jump into business without doing their homework.  They have either been succesful in business in the past or they are employees that have determined that trusting someone else for their income is not the wisest thing to do.

Financing in this country is really a thing of the past for the most part.  The days of the average American being able to finance anything they desire is over and now very carefull planning needs to go into our financial planning understanding that cash is truly “King”.  When leverage is available and when it can be used to preserve “Cash” it needs to be taken very seriously.  Also understanding the benefits of having the leverage available is huge.  I was about to venture into several other business activities over the next few years untill I realized that by doing so I would be leaving a Golden Opportunity sitting on the sideline and ignoring the obvious because I have the ability and resources to obtain positive leveraging while keeping my money on the sideline and producing great income year after year.  Not doing so would have been very foolish so now I will leave my money on the sideline and instead of using it for another business venture continue to add to it as long as I have the ability I have now to buy businesses with the right terms that will cash flow their first year and produce positive cash flow from the beginning.

Educating ones self on business and what the true current conditions are in respect with your situation is key and have to be studied daily.  I have quit my reading books concerning business today because I do not agree nor do I trust most authors ability to properly read what is actually taking place in business today.  Instead I have started reading books by Authors in the early 1900s to 1950s who went through the same kind of problems were facing today who faced a lot of the same credit issues we are facing right now.  This has allowed to me see the real picture and take advantage of so many items I would have overlooked in the past.

Are you looking to go into business but not quite sure you are ready?  There is one trait that is consistent throughout all successful Salespeople and Business owners and that is an ability to organize and utilize a system to stay in front of prospects and clients so that you waste no opportunity.  If you in your normal life have not developed a plan such as this I urge you to read my Blog on Send Out Cards and go to and consider starting this very important habit today.  Do not waste a second and by starting today you will be ahead of 99.9 percent of the people you are competing with!!!!  Once this habit is created you will be able to fly past people who have been in business for years attaining results you only dreamed about.

Buying a Franchise? Step 1 – Understand the Financial Aspects of the Business!

So, you’re considering purchasing a Franchise!!!  Great, now before you get to exited lets ask ourselves a question.  Do you understand the financial side of the business you are going to start?  I understand you understood what you were told by the franchisers but have you sat down and went through a budget?  If not then I am going to tell you right now without any question you are not ready to buy this franchise and you are definitely not ready to open!!

I am amazed by how many franchisees I speak with that have never been able to get a grasp on their budget, even after operating a franchise for multiple years and most do not see this as an issue of why they are struggling or in some instances failing.  If you do not understand what it is going to take to get you to an acceptable profit margin then you are going to either hit it and be extremely lucky or you are going to struggle year after year wondering why you ever bought into a franchise in the first place and wonder what on earth are you doing incorrectly.

Lets clear up a common misconception out in the franchise world today.  I do not care what franchise you are with, the franchisers and the franchisees goals and objectives are not always going to match up and in some cases are going to be opposite of each other.  Franchising is not one big happy family where everyone is working for the common good and everyone’s goals and objectives are in perfect alignment.  If you think that is the case you are in for a rude awakening sooner or later.  franchisers are not nearly concerned about your profit margin or your cash flow as you think and a lot of what you are being told has to be evaluated carefully because franchisers and franchisees objectives are sometime different!!!  The vast majority of franchisers make their money off of Royalties which are a percentage of sales.  The more sales you make the more money they make.  Now if you make more money but your profit margin goes down does it hurt the franchisers?  No, not at all as long as you are not endanger of going under.  If the franchisers encourages the franchisees to do a certain item but it lowers not only your profit margin but your cash flow, does it hurt the franchisers?  Not if the sales at least stay the same and if they go up then they will profit even more off of the royalties.

What I am saying is not to distrust or turn against the franchisers.  I am saying you have to take the responsiblity for your own financial health and educate yourself to know your side of the business inside out backwards and forwards.  I guarantee the franchisers does!!!  In franchising it is a game of give and take.  I as a franchisee cannot always have it my way and sometimes I have to give in and do whats best for the team.  But when I do that I must have the ability to know why I am doing it and instead of it being  blindly following the leader it is an educated thoughtful move.  Sometimes I have to do whats best for me because I have a lot shorter time horizon than the franchisers.  While the franchisers have the finances to wait 5 years for a plan to succeed and to start producing good income I have to be sure my business is solid now and my time horizon has to be much shorter by nature.

Budgets are not complicated items and do not have to confuse everyone like they do.  In my business I have simplified my budget down like this.  Number 1 item that affects my budget is what I charge clients.  If I under price myself I can lower my profit margin very quickly to 18 percent but if I charge what I know I can get I will be right at 40 percent.  Know what your charging and know how it affects your business.  2.  Labor – You have to have a control on your labor or this will kill your business.  Your plan has to produce the right labor percentages no matter what and there is no excuse for the percentage to run out of control.  Labor is controlled differently in different businesses and in another post I will go into some labor management systems but you have to get a handle on this today!!!  3.  Marketing – Your marketing dollars have to be a set amount and has to be distributed in a logical effective manner.  The trouble I see here is people putting on a blindfold and throwing darts at a dartboard hoping to hit a bullseye.  First you must have a specific amount of money you are going to spend on marketing and not a “when I have some money I will spend it”  attitude.  You also need to know what works and what doesn’t and limit yourself greatly to spending 95 percent on what you know works and the other 5 percent on items that may work.

After you get a handle on those 3 items then your business is nothing but execution and operations, something that should be the most natural thing for you to focus on and something that you should be spending the majority of your time on.  With the budget issues settled and a clear path to run on you can execute much more efficiently and also your operations will run at peak performance driving your sales upwards!!!