Innkeepers Newsletter - Volume 2 Number 1 - Jan/Feb 2006
From The President

Welcome to another issue of our newsletter, now known as "INNformation". This month has been quite exciting for the Innkeepers Guild. Since our Annual General Meeting in October, your Board of Directors have been quite busy developing various initiatives.

One of the most positive steps that we have finalized over the past month is the development of the Office of the Managing Director of our organization. We are pleased to announce that our past-president, David MacDonad, has been chosen to lead the administration function of the Guild as our new Managing Director. I believe that as you read through this newletter that you will definitely see the advantage of having a person solely dedicated to developing the services and benefits of the Guild, as well as the profile of independent operators throughout the Province. There will be many more announcements in the next few months regarding our initiatives.

During our recent constitutional amendments, we have added several other possible categories of membership, which allows various industry partners to belong to the Innkeepers Guild of Nova Scotia in a non-voting capacity. This includes various suppliers and out-of-province accommodation properties, which should allow for better networking possibilities for our members.

Recently, we have sent out some renewal notices and a few people have asked about the changes. You will first notice, that the price of membership has been reduced significantly. The Innkeepers Guild had operated and managed it's own affairs from 1939 until 1995. In 1995, a contract was entered into whereby TIANS managed the affairs of the Guild and there was a joint-membership agreement reached, so as Innkeepers Guild members could access the benefits that TIANS had arranged for its membership (lower phone rates, health plan, etc.). Over the past few months, we have been working diligently at establishing our own member benefits and we believe that you will find this list to be quite extensive and in many cases more extensive than those offered by any other association. To access these benefits, a simple introduction from the Guild to the provider, or a show of your 2006 membership card is all that is needed. We are presently negotiating additional benefits that we believe will be exceptional.. You can look for such announcements over the next couple of months as they are finalized.

The Guild has positioned itself to be the premier voice of the small and medium-sized independent fixed-roof accommodation properties in the Province. Our Board consists of a wide range of talent from all across the Province... all of whom own and operate their own accommodation business. As an opportunity, we have specific committees that are developing policies and positions regarding several issues that are directly affecting the bottom line of the independent innkeepers in the Province. We ask that you get involved in helping in the process, if you can. Many hands make light work....

We hope you enjoy this issue of our monthly electronic newsletter. If you feel that we can help out in any way possible or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send an e-mail to express your concerns.

Best Wishes,

Terry Grandy

Managing Director's Report

Dear all,

I wish to express my sincere thanks to the Board of Directors in having faith in allowing me to administer and develop the exciting course ahead for the Innkeepers Guild of Nova Scotia.

Since our re-dedication to the independent fixed-roof accommodation industry in the fall, we have had tremendous response to our many initiatives and we are well on our way to exceeding our goals.

I believe that with the renewals that are coming in daily, and the new members that are joing the Innkeepers Guild, we will have a huge increase in our membership numbers. If you have not yet renewed or joined IGNS, please visit our website or send your renewal documents (and payment) back to us.

If you have any issues that you would like to discuss or need advice or help with any aspect of your operation that you believe that your trade association should be aware of or participate in, please do not hesitate to drop us a line by e-mail at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

David MacDonald

 

Your 2006 Board of Directors

President - Terry Grandy, Yarmouth

Sectretary-Treasurer - Sebelle Deese, Lunenburg

Past-President - David MacDonald, Halifax

Director - Hotels/Motels - George Faddoul, Dartmouth

Director - Hotels/Motels - Jim Dyer, Tatamagouche

Director - Country Inns - James LeFresne, Tatamagouche

Director - Country Inns - Bob Benson, Yarmouth

Director - B&Bs - Marlene Hubley, Antigonish

Director - B&Bs - Peter Sheehan, Margaree Harbour

Director - Cottages / Lodges - Jack MacIntosh, Petite Riviere

Director - Cottages / Lodges - Ray Tudor, Brier Island

Managing Director - David MacDonald

 

IGNS President Terry Grandy (right) of the Manor Inn in Yarmouth speaks with David MacDonald at the recent IGNS Board of Directors meetting held at the Coastal Concorde Inn in Dartmouth on January 21st.

 

The 2006-2007 IGNS Member Registry and Travel Guide

For the 2006 Summer Season, the Innkeepers Guild will be producing a spectacular electronic database, listing all of it's members, by accommodation type and location. Prominent display advertising is available starting at $80 per.

This will be regarded as an internet based registry and travel guide, with the ability to link to member sites and other sites of interest in the region, including our out of province referral partners.

IGNS Loyalty Program

The Innkeepers Guild is presently exploring an opportunity for it's members to participate in their own Customer Loyalty Program throughout Atlantic Canada. We are presently looking at a system that would enable guests to provide a loyalty card (similar to AirMiles) which would gather points at participating independent properties and would offer rewards such as restaurant vouchers, free night accommodations, etc., and would also include an e-mail marleting program to participating guests. Interested??? You must be a member of IGNS and you will be rewarded by being an early participant.

Hospitality Property Assessment

Subject: Reminder re 2006 Assessment

The deadline to appeal your property assessment is Monday February 6th. This is a reminder that if you have concerns about your assessment you could/should file a "protective appeal" and Turner Drake (TD) suggests the following wording; "The assessment is excessive, unfair, not uniform with other assessments and any other grounds that may appear"

This is the only opportunity to reduce your property tax and by placing a protective appeal, with the above wording, you will have time to discuss with your broker or advisor. If you have an outstanding appeal from a previous year - you must appeal the 2006 assessment.

Hospitality properties should not have any business occupancy assessment for 2006 - you must appeal if that error is present on your assessment.

Your 2006 assessment is based on your 2003 financial results - Industry downturn due to SARS etc is relevant for assessment purposes. TD states that close to three quarters of hospitality properties ( accommodation / restaurants) will see an increase in assessment for 2006 and particularly owner managed properties and properties outside HRM, in their opinion, are significantly over assessed

 

JBC &Associates, Tourism Solutions & Environmental Advocacy

Safety and First Aid

This section of INNformation is presented not to provide advice or training but to make you aware of some of the important procedures and training that is available to you and your staff, and the benefits of knowing what to do when an incident arises... We urge you to ensure that you take the time to receive whatever traing that you believe that you should have to ensure the safety of your staff and guests. In this issue, we present information regarding the Heimlich Maneuver given the fact that so many of our member properties offer food service.

The Heimlich Maneuver

How You Can Assist the Conscious, Choking Guest

By Gale Carli, RN, ED.D.

 

A typical night in your restaurant; the atmosphere is lively and jovial. Guests are enjoying their meals, exchanging conversation and laughing. The festivity is disrupted by a commotion at TAble 16. One of the patrons is surrounded by his companions, his hands grasping his throat, his face bright red. He cannot talk, and can barely make a sound. His airway is blocked and he is slowly suffocatinf. What to do?

And if you consider this a worst-case of a choking scenario, you'd be wrong. If that same diner hurriedly left the table and ran into the restroom, minutes might pass until his companions considered there might be a serious problem. by then, the guest with with the obstructed airway might be found unconscious on the floor, not breathing and maybe without a pulse.

While an airway obstruction crisis can occur anytime and anyplace someone ingests foor or an object becomes lodged in the esophagus, these medical emergencies are especially common in foodservice settings. People eat and talk, often trying to do both at the same time. Overindulgence of alcohol increases the liklihood of the problem, since we can become less careful about chewing and swallowing when we are inebriated. In some cases, airway food obstructions happen to diners who have dentures or are otherwise unable to adequately chew their food, such as infants and toddlers who are fed foods meant for adults with a full set of teeth.

Ideally, everyone would be cautious about thoroughly chewing their food, and wait until their mouth is empty before speaking. Ideally, there would be more people in the general public who are trained to respond to a choking emergency. But we don't live in an ideal world. That's why it is important that your staff understand how to recognize and respond to a choking emergency.

The Heimlich Maneuver The Heimlich maneuver is a technique used to dislodge a foreign object from the airway of a choking victim. The worst foreign objects include large masses, such as meat, fat or gristle, which can create a seal. Since the Heimlick maneuver is best taught in a classroom setting allowing practice of the positioning and movements, ideally your staff would learn technique in a basic first-aid course. That said, here are the basic techniques (with photo illustrations).

Time is of the Essence If you witness a person who appears to be choking or hear people summoning assistance (e.g. calling for help), immediately go to the table or wherever the person in distress is at the time. A person who is choking will be unable to speak and may only be able to wheeze if breating at all. It is important to intervene immediately, since often a choking victim will attempt to run to the restroom to avoid embarrassment. Always follow a choking victim into the restroom or outside to offer assistance.

Stay Calm In an emergency, your guests need direction. As the person in charge, you will control the emotion of the environment. When you stay calm and exude confidence, the onlookers will stay calm. Speak in an assertive, yet calming tone. Do not yell. Give presise directions to identified people who may be able to assist you.

 

Assess The Situation Before you act, you need to know what you will do. Is the person choking? In some cases, the person can breathe and talk, but is simply trying to clear a mass of food himself, by swallowing and sipping water. Stay with this person and determine if he is in control. Don't assume that he can regain a clear airway on his own. Is the person breathing? If the person can speak, it usually indicates that the airway is not completely obstructed, even though food or an object is uncomfortably lodged in the esophagus. Again, remain with him and provide immediate attention when it appears that he cannot breathe or manage his own airway. Is the person conscious? If a person is unconscious and not breathing, you will need to use artificial respiration (AR) and cariopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the absense of a pulse. AS and CPR are beyond the scope of this article, but all people, especially those who work with the public, should have these skills. It is important to note, however, that before AR can be initiates, you need a clear airway, otherwise attempts to provide respirations would be futile. Part of your training would be how to do this, including performing the Heimlich maneuver on an unconscious person. This article addresses performing the Heimlich Maneuver on a conscious, choking victim.

Abdominal Thrusts When you approach a choking victim, identify yourself, tell the choking person what you want to do and ask for permission. If the person is choking, they may only be able to nod their head. If a person is coughing or wheezing, encourage them to attempt to expel the foreign matter.

"Are you choking? My name is Gale and I know the Heimlich Maneuver. May I help you?" When the choking victim ceases to cough, wheeze or breathe, you must take immediate action. If the choking victim is conscious, take the following steps; "I am going to apprach you from the back and wrap my arms around you. Please do not become alarmed or frightened by these actions." At this point, you should; 1. Approach the choking victim from behind. 2. Find the choking victim's navel. Men's navels are higher than women's on the abdomen. Men's navels are usually above the belt line. Women's navels are usually below the belt line. 3. Wrap your arms around the choking victim's abdomen between the navel and the "xiphoid process". The xiphoid process is at the bottom of the sternum, where the rib cage meets. 4. Make a fist and place the thumb side toward the abdomen. 5. Place your other hand over the outside of the fist. 6.Press into the upper abdomen with quick upward and inward thrusts. Do not squeeze the rib cage. Bend your arms and elbows outward to avoid squeezing the rib cage. 7. Continue these thrusts until the matter is expelled. 8. Have someone call 9-1-1 if the person loses consciousness at any point or appears to be in medical distress after the matter is dislodged. 9.Encourage the person to seek immediate medical attention after dislodging the foreign matter.

Chest Thrusts How will you act if the choking victim is pregnant or obese and you can't get your arms around their abdomen? The process changes a little. "I am going to approach you from the back and place my arms under your armpits. Please do not become frightened or alarmed".

 

1. Approach the choking victim from behind.

2. Place your arms around the body under the armpits.

3. Find the xiphoid process. Again, the xiphoid process lies at the bottom of the sternum, where the rib cage meets.

4. As a landmark, place your middle finger and index finger at the xiphoid process.

5. Make a fist, as above, and place the thumb side above the middle finger and index finger on the breast bone (sternum).

6. Place your other hand over the outside of the fist.

7. Press into the breast boe (sternum) with quick inward thrusts, and avoid putting pressure on the rib cage.

8. Continue these thrusts until the matter is expelled.

9. Have someone call 9-1-1 if the person loses consciousness at any point or appears to be in medical distress after te matter is dislodged.

10. Encourage the person to seek immediate medical attention after dislodging the matter.

Post-Choking Considerations Choking victims often feel embarrassed by the commotion created. REassure the person, and provide privacy if possible. People who receive abdominal or chest thrusts should be encouraged to seek medical attention from their health care provider. Choking could simply be an incident due to eating, drinking and talking, or the precursor to other medical conditions. Also, the thrusts can cause injuries to ribs and organs that might need medical attention, although proper positioning by the rescuer should minimize this risk.

Seek Training For You and Your Staff A choking emergency can happen in a split second. Knowing what to do will provide you with peace of mind as well as a life-saving skill. You can practice hand placement for abdominal and chest thrusts, however, NEVER practice the maneuver on a person because the technique can be life-saving for a choking victim, but can cause injury in the process.

If you or one of your employees encounter a conscious choking victim, this procedure can be of assistance. however, if the choking victim becomes unconscious, additional ssteps will be necessary. For practice and additional training for unconscious or pediatric choking victims, you are encouraged to contact your nearest first-aid training organization. Additional information can be found at www.heimlichinstitute.org/howtodo.html

 

Is Procrastination Holding You Back? by C.J. Hayden

When you look at your marketing to-do list, do many of the items on it look all too familiar? Have entries like "call Donna Sanchez" and "follow up with Floyd Corp." been copied from a previous week? Putting off unappealing tasks may be human nature, but for an entrepreneur, procrastination can be deadly.

Delays in contacting a prospect can lose the business to the competition. Failing to get the word out about an upcoming event may forfeit dozens of opportunities. Wasted marketing time can never be recovered. By the time you realize you might not make your goal for the month, quarter, or year, it may already be too late.

Finding tasks on your to-do list week after week is a clear sign you are procrastinating, but it's not always this obvious. Can you identify with any of these situations?

1. Feelings of overwhelm. You have a backlog of work that seems insurmountable. You wake up in the morning already thinking about everything you must accomplish that day. It seems impossible to get it all done. If you are routinely unable to complete what's on your list in the time available, you may be creating the problem yourself by putting tasks off week after week.

2. Making excuses. You find yourself constantly having to make excuses to your business buddies, referral partners, potential clients, or even your coach about why you never followed up on that great referral, that important sales call wasn't made, the marketing package wasn't sent, or the proposal wasn't written. After a while, the excuses begin to sound flimsy, even to you.

3. Trivial pursuits. You notice that you are doing unimportant chores -- rearranging your desk drawers, filing old business cards, shopping for just the right desk, surfing the Net -- while neglecting crucial marketing activities.

4. Overflowing pipeline. A form of procrastination unique to entrepreneurs and salespeople is continuing to develop new leads instead of contacting the prospects you already have. If you are spending more time attending networking events or reviewing lists of names than getting on the phone, putting your fingers to the keyboard, or driving to appointments, this problem may be yours.

If you ARE procrastinating, what then? Begin to change this habit by getting in touch with your motivation to do better. What rewards, tangible and intangible, do you get from your work? Remind yourself of that payoff on a daily basis. Post a picture or note that represents those rewards to you on your calendar, phone, or dashboard.

Break down each of the activities you are having trouble with into small steps. Pick what seems like the easiest place to start, and block out time on your calendar to make a beginning. You may find that once you are taking action, the rest seems much less difficult than you had feared.

If you find that you really do have too much on your plate to have enough time for marketing, it's essential that you cut back on some of your other activities immediately. A business without marketing isn't a business; it's a hobby.

Create more accountability for yourself by telling a buddy, support group, or coach exactly what you plan to get done each week. Ask them not to accept any excuses from you, and to remind you why you said you were doing all this in the first place. You can partner in this way with a colleague by setting up a weekly check-in where each of you reports to the other.

It may take time to break the procrastination habit, so give yourself permission to fail a few times. Remember that even a small amount of progress may be allowing you to achieve more than you ever have before.

C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients NOW! Thousands of business owners and salespeople have used her simple sales and marketing system to double or triple their income.

 

Some Of Our MEMBERbenefit Partners

If you would like for us to approach any of your suppliers to see if they would offer a special committment to IGNS members as part of our MEMBERbenefits package, please let us know by e-mail and we'll make contact.
Also send us an e-mail message if you are interested in making an offer to your fellow trade association members.

 

Membership Drive

We want to thank all those Innkeepers who have been sending back their renewal documents and payment as they have been receiving them. Your support of our organization will only make us all stronger as independent operators.

We wish to thank all of those MEMBERbenefit partners who have been supplying us with various prizes for a draw that involves all renewals and new applicants received in December, January and February. Thank-you for your kind support.

Relationship Networking by Sharon Housley

What is Relationship Networking? Relationship networking is simply the art of meeting people and benefiting from those relationships. Often the benefit of these relationship is to obtain information and leads to further grow your business. Any successful relationship, whether a personal or a business relationship, is unique to every pair of individuals, and it evolves over time. Effective relationship networking is all about building those relationships and maintaining long lasting connections with other professionals.

The Internet is an excellent vehicle for networking. Relationships can develop in newsgroups, forums, and via email. Though nothing really beats good old-fashioned face-to-face networking to start the process of building a relationship and trust, which is why industry conferences can be so important.

Not all contacts will be useful or worth pursuing. There will be leads that don't provide much information. Use your judgment on whether the information and relationship is worth spending more time on.

Relationship networking opens new doors, often it's "who you know, not necessarily what you know".

Tip to Build Network Relationships:

1. Provide genuine assistance to others.

2. Be open-minded.

3. Remember personal details.

4. Respect cultural differences.

5. Research people and companies. Know their goals and interests.

6. Reciprocate.

7. Introductions.

Where to Network: So many people wear multiple hats; everyone and anyone could possibly be a networking opportunity. However, just like targeted search engine traffic, the more targeted the networking the higher the chance of success. 'Targeted' networking offers the most potential.

1. Trade associations or industry specific organization.

2. Trade shows.

3. Friends.

4. Schools.

5. Focused newsgroups and topic specific forums.

6. Customers.

7. Suppliers.

8. User groups.

Constantly refine and grow your network of relationships, as they are valuable and need cultivating. If you are perceived as someone who is only trying to get something your network will likely not increase. Networking is about building relationships and mutual interaction benefiting both parties. Share information and help others grow their businesses.

In many ways relationship networking and partnering overlap, and on some occasion's relationship networking will lead to synergistic partnering.

Partnering Partnering is an attractive flexible way for companies to develop new markets and additional revenue. Working together, partners can combine strengths in critical areas. Often a larger well-known vendor provides small vendors with credibility, while the smaller vendor contributes specific industry knowledge unknown to the larger vendor. Synergistic relationships come in all shapes and sizes, but the best relationships and partnerships are the ones that benefit everyone. Partnering is a good way of tapping into related customer bases. Often the partners complement each other in such a way that they can provide a combined solution that neither partner could deliver alone.

Expectations In order for a relationship to work you must have a clear understanding of both your companies and product(s) strengths and weaknesses. By being aware of any deficiencies, you will find partners with strengths in the areas of your weaknesses.

1. Know what you have to offer.

2. Know what you are looking for.

3. Don't waste yours and your potential partner's time.

Different relationships/partnering that works:

1. Product bundling.

2. Newsletter exchanges.

3. Integrations.

4. Link exchanges.

5. Technology or knowledge exchange.

6. Revenue share.

7. Ad exchange.

Win/Win Only when each partner is successful can the partnership itself claim success. Partnerships are genuinely a win-win. Developers, who master the art of strategic partnering and relationship networking, will obtain long-term profitability and success.

Final Tips

1. Qualify sources.

2. Adage - you are who you hang with.

3. Not every relationship is a good one.

4. Evaluate potential partners.

5. Make it personal by taking the time to say thank you.

6. Results are not always immediate.

7. Carry business cards everywhere you go.

Being proactive and following up, you can have a network of contacts that you will be able to access quickly when you need them. Whether by more traditional means, such as in person or over the Internet, personal networks are essential for furthering your business. Relationship networking is give and take, be sure to help others in your quest for help.

IGNS

has been working hard to develop product and services for independent fixed-roof accommodation operators. We are working hard to organize and to have people come together to work on projects to drive business to your doors. We ask that you make a committment to be involved and to help out.

"We are not there yet...", but with your help we will all reach our profitability and hospitality goals.

IGNS Committees

We have some very exciting committees that are looking for volunteers. If you are interested in participating in the committees of IGNS, we'd love to hear from you. Examples of our present ad-hoc committees are; Constitutional, Government Affairs, Canada Select, Tourism Marketing Committee, and Membership )others are also being developed). Please contact us, if you are interested in being involved in any committee work

You Bored Me at "Hello" - Top Three Strategies for Networking Your Brand by Kevin Kearns

"You had me at hello," those famous words from the movie Jerry McGuire let Tom Cruise know that Rene Zellweger's character was hooked from that point and the rest of his talking was unnecessary. When in networking situations, many small business owners leave people with a slightly different feeling. If questioned for the truth, what would likely be said is, "you bored me at hello!" That is definitely not a great way to grow your business into a powerful name brand. Networking works, but not if you leave your prospects bored.

Networking opportunities are everywhere. You can find them at Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau events, not to mention when you are in line at the grocery store. There are even groups of people who regularly meet solely for the purpose of networking. Unfortunately, all of the networking opportunities in the world will not help grow your business unless people remember you and your company after you are gone.

Here are three strategies to avoid boring people during your next networking opportunity:

1) Gone in Thirty-Seconds - Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Any longer than thirty seconds for your "elevator speech" and you will be tuned out. People cannot sit through a thirty-second commercial without changing the channel on the television. Your business will be treated the same way. They will start thinking about what they need to pick up on the way home or other random thoughts. Many times, they are simply waiting for you to stop talking so they can try to sell you on their business. Your brand message must be short, simple and to the point. If you ramble too much, the person will start feeling like Charlie Brown in school - "wahwah, wah wah wah," "yes ma'am."

2) Red or Black - Pick a color. Roulette gives you the option of betting on red or black. If you bet red, you win when it hits on any red number. Winning is good. If it hits on any black number, you lose. Losing is not so good. However, when you "hedge" and bet on red and black together you are guaranteed to not win. In a networking situation, limit what you talk about. Sure, you are risking leaving out something the prospect would like to hear. However, unless you get lucky and mention it first, the odds are that you will lose their attention by then anyway. Limit the scope of your brand, or say everything and be remembered for nothing.

3) Listen - That's right, you are remembered more when you listen. Most of us go through our day fighting to be heard. It feels really good to be acknowledged and understood. So good that we automatically think highly of the person listening to us. Listening demonstrates that you value the person talking. Sincerely listen to what the other person has to say and they will leave with high regard for you and your business.

There ya have it, networking success as simple as 1, 2, 3! Follow all three strategies and you are sure to notice a sharp improvement in your networking. Before you know it, you will leave your future clients saying "you sold me at hello!" Now, those types of responses build a powerful brand!

 

How To Create A Niche - And Grow Rich by Roy J. Primm

"Niches are like bathrooms; you never notice one until you need it!"

1. What is a niche?

A niche fills an unmet customer need. Niches are at the heart of every successful industry, business, product, or service.

Niche marketing is the opposite of mass (general) marketing. It targets specific people with specialized needs.

Niches build industries, businesses and jobs.

Having a niche is the only way to eliminate direct competition.

2. Why are niches so important?

Niches solve specific customer needs that have been ignored, overlooked, or neglected by others.

The ability to create a niche is the quickest way to financial success. It's a skill that's easy to develop-if you follow my simple plan.

A niche levels the playing field - if you have no money, zero connections, or limited experience.

The highest paying skills are the ones that focus on a niche segment of their market, rather than the mass (general) market. People who specialize are paid the most.

3. How Can I Out-Niche My Competition?

Make it more convenient for your customers, by learning how to create niches? Then you'll soon make it more inconvenient for your competitors to compete with you.

Don't just wait to find a niche, create one! That's the key.

There are always prospective customers that you or your competitors have never seen. The first one to create a niche that appeals to them - will win them.

Increased profits are waiting for the person or business that can create the next niche in their chosen industry.

People want products and services that cater more to their personal needs. The person or business that can be the first to cater to these specific niches (needs) will win this new breed of customer.

Focus on what niche you can fill or improve on, that others won't, can't or haven't filled yet. This could fling you ahead of your competition before they know what hit them.

4. How Can I Use Niches To My Benefit?

You can benefit by focusing on smaller (specialized) segments of your market. This is niche marketing at its best.

Take the bow and arrow approach, not the shotgun.

Remember, your competitors are constantly looking for ways to steal your customers, by appealing to the special needs you're not filling. Your priority should be to find or create the niche first... and steal theirs.

Avoid trying to be all things to all people; this carries the most risk. The key is to "specialize."

Create a niche-and grow rich. Specialization (niche) in all fields of endeavor earns the most, including the business you're in.

5. What's The Easiest Way I Can Create A Niche?

Listen to people's problems, complaints, and irritations. They're signs of niche opportunities.

Does creating unique market niches demand huge spending? No. But it does demand focused attention on your customers spoken and unspoken needs, problems and complaints. Doing that cost nothing.

Get in the habit of seeking customer problems and complaints, about your product or service.

These complaints and problems are your golden seeds of opportunity for creating niches - if you know how to work them.

Potential niches are everywhere; it often takes a customer complaint to make a specific niche come alive in your mind.

Take the time to think about the power of a niche, you'll suddenly find yourself creating more each day.

How to Communicate with Prospects All Over the World Who Speak a Different Language by Jeff Mills

I discovered a free service online, that allows me to communicate with people and watched my international sales begin to go through the roof. Did you know that over 50% of all Internet traffic is from non-English speaking countries? Companies like Adobe, Baxter Healthcare, EDS, GE, Microsoft, NetGear, PepsiCo, Socratic Technologies, US Government, XE.com are relying on this type of service already to get more done, with no language barriers.

As the Internet grows in popularity, more users will want to access websites in their native languages. According to a report by the World Intellectual Property Organization, two-thirds of all Internet users by 2004 will be non-English speakers.

Website translation demands total accuracy, specialist cultural knowledge and a high level of organization.

www.freetranslation.com is my best tool for bridging the language gap, making friends and customers around the world, and it also helps increase my international business profits too!

Here is what I do when I get an email from someone in Spanish. I take the Spanish content, from the email, and I copy it. Then I go to www.freetranslation.com and in their entry box, I paste the content, and I select which language I want to translate from. For example they offer doing the following languages:

• English to French : French to English

• English to Italian : Italian to English

• English to German : German to English

• English to Spanish : Spanish to English

• English to Portuguese : Portuguese to English

• English to Dutch : Dutch to English

• English to Norwegian

Once I select the languages, I press a button and instantly, I receive a new translation in the language of my choice.

Now, one thing you must know, this is not a perfect translation word for word, but it does get the point across so you know what your international customers are asking. You will really get a good idea of what the most important questions are.

Now, you can type your response in English, and then hit the "translate" button and turn it into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, etc. Take the new content, past it into your email as a reply and then send! You just typed in a foreign language you did not even know how to pronounce it or even spell it!

Freetranslation.com offers other premium services too, that are for really small fees. For example, their Platinum service only costs about $8.00 a year, and with it, you get access to a human translator, can customize the "feel" in business language, standard language, or tech speak. Wow!

They also offer a desktop translator, or a chat interface translator which will translate your chat messages right out of Outlook, with a toolbar translator.

Take your business international, and reach 50% more people than you could before by using this great free translation service.

"Name This Newsletter" Contest Update

Congratulation to the Brier Island Lodge in submitting the name "INNformation" to be used as the name of this newsletter, the official voice of the Innkeepers Guild of Nova Scotia. For the successful submission, the Brier Island Lodge will be featured in free display advertising in the newsletter over the next 6 issues - please think of Brier Island and the Brier Island Lodge when guests ask about special places to visit in Nova Scotia.

 Wonder If You Can Help...

Just as Innkeepers are the "engine that drives economic activity in many parts of our Province", the volunteers of the St. John Ambulance are always available to serve at community events that help promote our accommodations businesses.

St. John Ambulance provides first aid traning to Boy Scout and Girl Guide participants and to students at school at no charge as part of their community service. Often times, the delivery of this program involves bringing instructors in from other communities and having them stay overnight. During recent discussions, I suggested that it may be possible that some of our friends may be quite willing to provide a few free nights (or reduced rates) to help promote this special training of our young people to ensure a continuous supply of first-aid personnel in our communities to help ensure the long-term viability of our many festivities, exhibitions and sports events that count on the volunteer services of the St. John Ambulance. We are also looking for a prize that they may use for a promotion to their instructors (weekend get-a-way) that will be promoted to over 1,000 people in a contest in Nova Scotia and PEI.

Personally, I believe that this is an excellent opportunity for the Innkeepers Guild to use as a promotion for the independent operators of our region..... Please let me know if you are willing to help - email David - once I receive a list of those who are interested, we'll go about working out the details....