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Business ideas worth sharing

Meny Hoffman

Planning Ahead & Thinking Big: The Bill Gates Technique

I spent this past week in Arizona – and it wasn’t for vacation or relaxation purposes. Rather, it was to take part in a special mastermind group.

People flew in from across the USA to attend. The group seemed to be made of entrepreneurs of all ages… and in similar growth stages of business. We sat together in a big room and got right to work. Everybody spent hours learning, analyzing, discussing and strategizing how to go about advancing their business goals and career objectives.

Perhaps you think that leaving the office for nearly an entire week might be a little bit too intense. “Was the whole trip really necessary?” you may be asking yourself. To say it was productive would be an understatement. Truthfully, it baffles me as to why every single businessperson in today’s marketplace doesn’t spend just one week out of a whole a year attending a mastermind group to focus on planning ahead.

Of course, when I talk about planning ahead, I don’t only mean technical things like crunching numbers or crafting contingency plans.

I’m talking about thinking big.

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Let’s Stop the Negativity!

I like posting inspirational quotes on my twitter feed. These quotes often give me a quick boost of enthusiasm and I enjoy passing along that feeling to others.

So it should come as no surprise that I recently posted the following line: “Far too many people have no idea what they can do, because all they’ve been told is what they can’t do.”

It did come as a surprise to me, though, when a prominent media publication reposted the above quote. While I was pleasantly amazed, I was also slightly perplexed. Why would they feel the need to repost a quote from Meny Hoffman? But after thinking about it for a few moments, the answer became obvious.

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So Tell Me, What’s New?

I just came across a fascinating article on CNET that I wanted to share with you.

Formally known as The CNET 100 Leaderboard, this eye-opening commentary chronicles the 100 hottest hi-tech products sold this month. A quick look at some of these items – ranging from the HP OfficeJet 8600 printer to the Samsung Galaxy S5 phone to the Nikon D5300 digital camera – really got me thinking.

Why are these objects selling so quickly? Don’t people already own printers and phones and cameras? What’s with the remarkably high demand for so many clone-like products already owned by nearly every human on the planet?

The answer, of course, lies within ourselves.

Generating Warm Leads With The Ice Bucket Challenge

Would you enjoy having an ice cold bucket of water dumped over your head? Apparently, there are thousands of people out there who actually do. Or so it seems based on the many viral videos circulating of people dumping water on each other in support of something called the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Conceived by the ALS Association – an organization dedicated to the research of Lou Gehrig’s disease – this inimitable challenge requires participants to have a bucket of ice water poured on their head or donate money to the cause. Those participating can nominate others and post a video online showing how they joined the movement.

Although you may be very familiar with the Ice Bucket Challenge and have already laughed your way through dozens of clips showing people getting drenched in all sorts of hilarious ways – from former president George W. Bush and Mitt Romney to celebrities, camps and sports teams, you may not be as aware of the serious debate this campaign has caused in the world of marketing.

Articles in The New York Times, Fox News, Yahoo, and dozens of other media outlets are all dissecting the outcome of this seemingly successful campaign to establish if it indeed was a winner.

Let’s have a look at the hard facts.

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Be The Unexpected One

The month of July has proven to be a very busy on for all of us here at Ptex Group.

After weeks of intense planning and exhausting coordination, we successfully pulled off an amazing LTB 2014 mega-event. Hundreds of community business owners and entrepreneurs walked away inspired, ready to put the wealth of knowledge dispensed at this conference to good use. (You can check out the live LTB blog to get a real-time feel of what happened during the event.)

The very day after LTB 2014 ended, my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Needless to say, I was overjoyed and thankful. Did I mention exhausted? I spent the next few days juggling my hours between work and enjoying the newest family addition – and I learned an extremely valuable marketing lesson in the process.

One morning while working at the dining room table, there was a knock at the door. It was from a man holding a beautiful breakfast platter. I automatically assumed it was being delivered from a family member or close friend. After all, a number of baby gifts had already been brought over by relatives and who else would be bringing my wife a fancy basket with breakfast inside?

A quick look at the attached card revealed who it was from: the local grocery store.

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Do you know our new address?

This article is being typed on a desk that’s surrounded by stacks of cardboard moving boxes, rolls of sticky packing tape and mounds of jumbled papers.

The wonderful moment has finally arrived: after so many years at our modest headquarters on 13th Avenue and 39th Street, Ptex Group is moving to a brand new office.

I cannot help but think about how much we’ve accomplished here over the past eight years.

We arrived at this location with only a handful of employees who were looking to make a difference in the world of business. Fast-forward to today, where over thirty full-time professionals work hard each day to create innovative marketing solutions that allow Ptex Group to shine.

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Keeping Business Hot When It’s Cold

It’s been a very long winter season, right?

Snow. Rain. Wind. Ice. Followed by more snow. The United States has experienced one of the most coldest, harshest winters in recent memory. An intense cold front – which meteorologists are calling the “Polar Vortex” – has sent icy an Arctic air jet streaming downwards into Canada, the USA, and even Northeastern Mexico.

But just because the weather is freezing doesn’t mean your business has to go the same route. Stores need to stay open; companies must produce real work; and the business marketplace will go on as usual, snow or no snow.

The analogy here is very relevant. If your business experiences a cold snap, don’t close up shop and blame the weather. Here are some timely Ptex Pointers you can use to keep your business hot, regardless of what the economic forecast calls for that day.

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Did your parking ticket disappear?

Picture this scene: You walk up to your car parked along a New York City street and there – tucked neatly under the windshield wiper arm – sits a fresh parking ticket, compliments of New York’s Finest.

There are now a few options for you to consider.

1. Just pay it immediately and view it as a gift to The Big Apple.

2. Stash the ticket in a drawer and hope it magically disappears.

3. Post it on eBay and ask a complete stranger to pay it for you.

You probably never thought of posting a parking ticket on eBay, right?

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Forget UPS, Forget FedEx: You Need A USP

I like to ask lots of questions. Especially when meeting with new clients and learning about their business challenges. My inquiries are always direct, to the point and easy to understand.

Well, almost always.

There’s one particular question I ask that often confuses the client sitting across from me. Here it is: “Can you tell me your company’s USP?”

For those working in the marketing world it’s a simple inquiry. But to the unacquainted, it can sound downright perplexing. The client will generally stare at me for a few moments with a bewildered expression and finally respond: “Are you asking if we deliver with UPS?”

And that’s when the fun really begins.

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