Small Business Discusssion

Discuss hurdles of small business

Why Hire a Broker

Commodity investors hire a commodity broker to help with their trading. Others will invest in commodities on their own then use an online broker. It is in the best interest of new traders to find a full service commodity broker who can help them learn the mechanics first of the markets and achieve profits.

Benefits

  • A broker does a lot of research on the markets, so they are able to spot regular trading opportunities that new traders miss.
  • Many new traders will get caught-up in the emotions of the markets and get reckless with their trading. This is a main reason why investors lose money in commodities. A commodity broker’s job is to provide you with a trading plan and make certain you to stick with it.
  • Experienced commodity broker provides invaluable advice on the markets, accelerating your learning curve.
  • A broker can prevent you from making a lot of the foolish mistakes that new traders are prone to making.

Disadvantages

  • The major concern of most commodity investors are the funds. When you hire a broker, you have no certainty if his/her clients consistently make money. Commodity brokers will not give you a track record of client performance, as it is almost impossible since every client might have a different trading strategy.
  • Commissions for full service commodity brokers are higher than online brokers.
  • The broker might make bad trade recommendations and consistently lose you money.
  • Commodity brokers typically have many clients and they are usually prospecting for more. Therefore, how much time can they devote to you? It’s a common complaint in the industry that brokers do not communicate with their clients enough.

New commodity investors are usually better off hiring a full service commodity broker. Take the time to evaluate a broker thoroughly before you open an account. And, if you are not satisfied with a broker you hire, do not be afraid to look elsewhere. Remember it’s your money not the brokers.

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Marketing to Existing Customers

All too often, small business owners ignore marketing strategies to build revenues from their existing customers. Any business that has successfully served clients for a period of time should explore methods to keep known customers coming back to buy again, buy more and buy more often.

It’s a well-know marketing fact that strategies designed to reach existing customers are far less expensive than strategies to attract new customers. Why? You’re preaching to the converted. Existing customers are already familiar with your business through prior experience, and – hopefully – trust your products or services. New or ‘non’ customers have no such experience with you, and therefore it requires more energy and money to attract them.

Here are some easy strategies to help build revenues from your existing customers:

  1. Help your customer to buy more. Considered a ‘volume’ strategy, it is always easier to encourage a customer to spend a little more at the time of purchase. Use suggestive selling to offer an additional product or service that complements their purchase, for a nominal price. McDonald’s famous expression, “Would you like fries with that burger?” helps that company to increase the sales value of each customer transaction.
  2. Help your customer to buy more often. ‘Frequency’ strategies keep customers coming back to buy from your business again and again. For example, Mr. Lube reminds you to change your automobile’s oil and filter every 5000 kilometers, by placing a simple sticker on your windshield. Coffee shops offer “coffee cards” with your 12th cup free.
  3. Show your customer appreciation. It’s just common sense – treat your customers like you want to be treated. Let your customers know how much you appreciate their business, again and again. ‘Loyalty’ programs can include some kind of tangible gift, offer, rewards card, special event, free service, or a simple note to say “thank you for your business.”

The value of just one customer over the lifetime of your business can be enormous. By developing and following simple strategies to keep and delight your existing customers, you will reduce your marketing costs over time.

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How to become a Successful Commodity Broker?

Many who become commodity brokers do not survive past the first two years. The brokers who work hard and understand what it takes to be successful tend to have long and prosperous careers as commodity brokers. Are you one of them?

Being a commodity broker is not just about trading commodities. You have to be a salesman, a market analyst and you have to provide customer service to multiple accounts on any given day. Some days will be absolutely exhilarating and other days you will just be feeding that soon-to-be ulcer. You have to be always on your toes on the current trends.

First, you need to find out what objective the prospect has in trading commodities. Some are just curious and will never open an account, while a few will already have their checkbook in hand when they contact you. However, most of the prospective clients you will have contact with are serious about trading commodities and it is up to you to give them a comfort level where they will open an account with you.

I highly recommend that you do not hype any markets or fill your prospects with fantasies of getting rich through trading commodities. This will only lead to problems down the road – both legally and the fact that you will have a lot of explaining to do if / when things do not work out.

Make your goals reachable are realistic. Above all else - be honest. Answer their questions and equally explain the opportunities and risks. If the prospects like you and believe you are capable of making money for them, you should be okay in this department.

You should be researching the markets daily. People do not consistently make money in trading commodities without a lot of hard work. Read every book you can on trading commodities and design a thorough trading plan for yourself and your clients. Most importantly, you do not have to make your clients rich overnight. You should be shooting for a respectable annual return.

Remember to use the golden rule and treat your clients the way you would want to be treated. One of the main complaints of commodity brokers is that they don’t keep in touch with their clients. Many clients feel they only get a call when the broker wants something – like placing a trade and generating commissions.

Believe me, a phone call once a week to each client for an account update goes a long way toward your success as a commodity broker. Create a bond with them.

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