Noodle Making

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yogi
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by yogi »

It's all about two things: advertising and profit. I never did understand why companies can spend so much on advertising. There must be more to it than meets the eye. A huge part of the product's cost is in fact marketing it. Then, that same company who hires high priced marketing jocks will fight down to the .001 of a cent for the cost of a label. Manufacturing is a different department than marketing, I guess. Truth is that I'd buy those Green Giant veggies whether they were in a brown paper bag or gift wrapped with gold ribbons. The brand is etched into my brain, of course, but I think their products are consistently better tasting than the rest of the crowd. Taste is my criteria for buying.

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Kellemora
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by Kellemora »

Same here, when I find a food product I like, I normally only buy that particular product.
I also have several products that although OK, I don't like them as well as others, so avoid buying them.

I honestly believe that advertising really does not help all that much for most things.
You do have to advertise to get your product known if new, or if sales are in a slump.
But for known products that everyone already knows, I don't see advertising as helping to increase sales.
It's more like an Ego Trip if you ask me!

In an already flooded market, where folks have thousands of options, you do have to advertise wisely.
However, as I said, it really doesn't do all that much good for some items. It takes word of mouth for folks to buy.

Example: Since late 2014 I have run an advertisement to certain select group of people for an average of 80 to 100 ads per day. This means my ad appeared over 350,000 times, about once a month or more often to the same individual person of the select group. The place I have my ad running is stopping that particular type of add program because they are not making enough money from it. The ads appear in the right margin of your computer screen at certain websites that have them located there. But as I said, they are geared to a select group, so most of the people who visit those website won't see the ad. My product is not geared to them anyhow. But those who buy my type of product, they see the ad at least once every month or more often.
Hasn't made much difference on sales I don't think. I will see when the ad stops running if sales drop.

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yogi
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by yogi »

Part of the intention behind advertising is to establish a reaction to a brand. If done right the buyer will not need to think about what to buy because it's already burned into his permanent memory. It appeals most effectively to impulse buyers. Your product being specialized probably would not benefit from any brand saturation campaigns. However, if there is competition and you do not advertise, it's likely the more visible brands will be purchased. People do become loyal to a particular brand of a product, but you need to be in their face to remind them you are still there waiting for their order. LOL

I'm pretty sure ego doesn't play into advertising, although it certainly appears as if it could. Money spent on bragging is wasted. You need to get a return on your advertising investment in order to justify the expense. If you lose revenue when your ad disappears, you need to calculate the cost of lost sales verses the cost of the ad. If the ad is more expensive than what you lose in sales it's not worth continuing. I don't know how to get to a group of people who have special needs. Losing the advertising platform is a tough situation.

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Kellemora
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by Kellemora »

When I used paid advertising for my AZ-NO3 product, I did so in reef aquarium magazines, and also on a couple of reef websites. But what really boosted sales in those early days was a totally free article written by one of the editors of a major magazine. He liked the product!

As far as my book sales go, they have remained fairly steady, which is actually unusual in the book industry.
I had a click-bait ad running on GoodReads since 2014, but purposely wrote the ad in such a way it would not cause people to click on it. When they do click is when it costs me money, hi hi. The ad itself only shows my book cover and logo in one panel, and a larger version of the logo in the other panel. My logo is what I really wanted folks to see, because it appears on all of my books.
The reasoning behind the way I advertise is to both save money, and have my ad appear to as many people who read that genre book as possible for the lowest possible cost.
As you call it, In Their Face advertising. You can't help but see what is in that right column on a website, and if my ad appears enough times, it will become embedded in their sub-conscious mind.
This way, when they are someplace to buy a book, and they may be looking at four or five books trying to make up their mind which one to buy. Since my books all have the same logo on them, seeing it will seem to them as something familiar.
They may not remember why, or where, but that logo is familiar to them for some reason, which is an incentive for them to pick up my book as something they feel more comfortable about buying, even if they don't know why.
My ad appears in only three different genre, so folks have to be on those pages to see it, or be listed as a buyer of that genre. As a user of that website, they will not be inundated with the same ad each day. But they may see my ad at least once a month or more often, in some cases once a week if there are fewer ads in that genre.
I believe this ad with my logo appearing there for over 350,000 times is what has kept my sales steady.
But I won't know for sure until they turn off our click bait style advertisements.
Although I pay 2 bucks for a click through, it has only cost me about 10 bucks per year so far. Not many click throughs but sales are doing OK, although I don't make much from a sale, they do add up over time. Much more than I've paid for advertising anyhow.

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yogi
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by yogi »

All I know is the theory. You have actually benefited from the type of advertising you describe. I have a friend who pays Google to be visible on their search pages. He claims he pays 50 cents for each click. I'm surprised you are paying $2.00, but then it's been a few years since I've talked about it to my buddy. At the time he was not sure it was worth the expense.

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Kellemora
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by Kellemora »

I started out at either 10 or 20 cents per click with a limit of 10 per day, because I didn't know if I would get swamped with clicks. To keep someone from burning up your bank account, they only limit an IP address to ONE Click. Well, they can click as many times as they want, but I'm only charged from unique new IP address clicks.

Why did I raise mine to $2.00, simple. At $2.00 you average 100 ad placements per day. At $1.00 only 50 ad placements per day, at 10 cents you only get 1 ad placement per day, at 20 cents I think it was 3 ad placements per day.
Because my ad is not click bait, very few will click on it, which is how I get an average of 100 ad placements per day, and it has only cost me about 10 bucks a year. Can't beat that since the ads are targeted to the types of people who read in the genre my books are in. About once every 4 to 6 months, they will run a wide spread ad promotion of 1000 ads for a single day, to everyone. However, I only pay for those who click that have my extended selection genre in their own checkboxes. The extended selection is just for these widespread occasional ad placements.

If your friend is only paying 50 cents per click, his ad is probably only shown to 20 to 25 people per day.
But it all depends on how they do it where his ads are placed.
He might be using it to get direct customers from the ad, where I used it only for exposure to my logo first and book second.

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yogi
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by yogi »

The click on my buddy's Google link takes you to the website of his business. I presume he is hoping to increase sales by doing that. Then again, I'm not sure he is still paying Google. He recently moved down to Franklin, TN, and is just getting his basement based business going again. They guy is old as I am and runs this business with his wife. She's the one who retired first and started it all. I guess that's one way to keep yourself occupied. He certainly isn't in need of the income. They made me retire early. I took the hint, walked out the door, and never looked back.

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Kellemora
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by Kellemora »

I had five different income streams at the time I semi-retired at age 55. But two of those were work I did myself all the time, by hours worked. All of them except one ended when I moved south, because they were land locked type of businesses. I didn't intend for that to happen. Before I made the move south, they agreed to reciprocate on my trades licenses, but after I made the move and got settled in, they refused to do what they promised.
The one tabletop business I kept active after I moved was doing fairly well, around seven big orders per year.
This gave me time to work on a house I bought, up until Debi's dad, the healthy one, up and died.
Then I stopped everything to take care of her mom, who was in ill health, suffering from bone cancer for years and was on a rapidly declining downhill slope. She did end up living much longer than anyone ever expected, and your's truly was her caretaker until the very end when we had to call in Hospice.
Then of course, during all of this I sold the house I started on and began working on the house we are in now.
Also, sales of my product started going downhill as technology and equipment in the aquaria industry advanced.
Now I'm lucky if I get two major orders per year, and these are now broken down to small individual orders so create much more work with little to no profit, since I no longer buy the ingredients in large bulk sizes. Heck, a couple of the ingredients I actually pay retail for because I can't use up even a wholesale size order before they expire. Smaller orders of all the ingredients means I pay more for them. Even so, I hate to discontinue the product even though I no longer make enough from it to make it worth my while. Must be my ego, hi hi.
Had I not remarried, my SSI would have been up around 1200 bucks a month instead of down around 700 bucks a month, because my late wife made a fairly high salary. Also, had I not moved south, it would have been a little higher because down here they have Tenncare which I don't have, but part of SS goes to fund it. Just to clarify here, because your SSI is federal it does not change if you move to a new state. However, the amount you get assigned at the time you retire does have minor differences for each state due to supplements by the state. The Federal SSI is $771.00 for 2019. Because of Tenncare we get no additional state supplement.

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yogi
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Re: Noodle Making

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We have three company pensions and two SS checks coming in every month. Sounds like a lot until you look at the numbers. Those pensions aren't worth much, but every couple hundred dollars helps. Then there is the interest on the investment funds we have scattered about. That too changes with market conditions, plus we never draw that down. It's all reinvested. If we total it all up, it comes to roughly the income I was making on my own when I had to retire. That was 17 years ago. Each year expenses increase but income doesn't. Well, yeah, SS benefits do increase with inflation ( :rolleyes: ) but all the others are more or less fixed. I revised my end of life scenario so that moving down here where the cost of living is less will allow me to break even if I live to age 93. If the current federal administration is allowed to continue up to 2024 I don't expect the SS benefits to stay at their current levels and have grave concerns about Medicare. Although, I must say I am surprised when it comes to my supplemental health insurance. I'm giving them just under $500 a month for me and my wife. We just got notice of premium increases for next year which will total about $7/month. Everything else seems to be staying the same. I was expecting a larger increase.

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Kellemora
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by Kellemora »

I too have a retirement account. It pays a whopping $41.02 each and every month. It is out of sync with when the bank runs their statements, so it appears as two payments of $41.02 each every other month 30 days apart from each other.
My bank statement is always done on the last Friday of the month regardless of the numbered date.
My wife's bank statement from her bank is generated on the 7th of the month if a weekday. If the 7th lands on a weekend it is generated the Monday following the 7th.
My SSI check is the third Thursday of the month, so always appears on my statements every month.
Along with my Supplemental insurance I pay out, which lands like four days before the SSI check is credited.
Some day down the road that is going to cause me problems I'm sure, since I'm running out of money now, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by yogi »

There are a lot of theories about what is happening in the financial markets. Nothing is normal these days and nobody has a solid explanation. The inflated stock market plays into the hands of folks who had investments there before Trump took over the Oval Office. The consensus seems to be this hyper market won't last forever; well duhh. Nothing does. The secret to success is in the timing. You know, buy low and sell high. Well things are pretty high at the moment and I personally have taken advantage of it. Some of my retirement funds were put into stock funds which are currently overpriced. But, did they reach their peak yet? Events in Washington will determine that peak, but like the stock market nobody knows what's going on in Washington either. LOL So, I took some of those stock profits and put them into a bank CD. I suppose the banks could crash, but CD's are insured. The government would have to crash too for me to lose out, and that's not entirely impossible at this point. Anyway, it's that unexpected long term profit that will allow me to live to age 93. Fortunately we have not had a need to draw on the investments, but we are still young. I can imagine a scenario similar to the one you had to face which would wipe out all my assets. My SSI income would keep me from starving, but not even too sure about that if I can't pay the real estate taxes.

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Kellemora
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by Kellemora »

We all wish our grandpa would have happened to hit the right movie studio.
He had stock in over 20 different studios, but not in the ones who flourished, hi hi.

I rarely messed with stock, except for a few OTC stocks and a lot of penny stocks.
Even though I bought low, and the prices did go up on most of them, back then transaction fees ate up a lot of what I made.
The ones I made the most money on were the penny stocks. Most of these companies we know will probably not make it. Also, a lot of them are frauds you have to watch out for. Fake companies going public.

I would have made more money had I not spent so much investing in start-ups I had not thoroughly researched.
They all sounded like good solid investments at the time. But they trick you by offering stocks for a certain phase, and the normal stocks for the rest of the business start-up. Too long ago to remember any details, but the company did good, but the initial penny stocks had a short lifespan and not converted to regular stock. Basically, what I invested in was the start-up inventory, not equipment which was done using regular stock. And even this was outside the owners own stock.
The more I learned, the more confusing it got, so I just backed out of stocks and only invested with folks on a one to one basis, no stock per se, but contracts were used instead. Never lost on any of those!

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yogi
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Re: Noodle Making

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I played with penny stocks for a while but knew it was a losing proposition. It's a lot like betting at the horse races. All you need is one big win to overcome all the losses. But, it's a lot easier to pick a winning horse than it is to get all the facts behind a startup company. There are indeed different classes of stock to be used for different purposes. Most of the companies I researched, and it wasn't a lot of them, were only offering about 10% of the total stocks to the public. The owners and the lenders had the rest and depended on the unwitting public offering to inflate the price of what the hidden owners already had tucked away. The price won't change unless the stock is traded and that's why they offered it to the public pool. Of course, those big holders could become very wealthy as us little guys manipulated the prices of stocks. But, when it comes to the end of the day the wealth holders had to pay the bills. They needed that inflated stock to stay in business. Many, of course, are in business just to cash in on the initial public offering and then file bankruptcy. When I found all that out, I stopped investing in penny stocks. Should have moved my cash to Apple computer back then. I'd be a mega millionaire today if I did.

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Kellemora
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by Kellemora »

One of the stock I did buy that I thought would do good was Atari, but the stock was only on ONE System and one game board for video consoles. These types of stocks were not in the company itself, but only in a specific product.
Been so long ago, I don't remember how it worked. I think it was Common Stock, since I could sell it or buy more. But it seems like there was a payback agreement as part of the contract. Or then again, maybe I'm remembering all wrong too.
By the way, I lost on that deal anyhow so it didn't matter. They did not have enough sales of that product to generate a profit, but when they liquidated that item, we did get a good portion of our money back.

I probably would have never messed with stocks at all had I not been an active member of Junior Achievement, and then became one of their group directors. The group I was in, and later the groups I managed, we all made money for our shareholders. You should have seen peoples faces when we brought them their money. Most figured it was just a donation, not that they would make money from their investments. A lot of them said they didn't keep their paperwork, but we still had to pay them back just the same, and oddly enough, we could not take it back from them as a donation at that time. If they did want to donate, we did have an envelope to give them to send a donation to the HQ on our locations behalf.

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yogi
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by yogi »

I never got involved with Junior Achievement but Motorola was into it big time. I think I actually invested in one or two companies but none that were backed by Motorola. I don't recall ever getting money back. Like you say, most people consider it a donation. Oddly enough, even today stock purchases to large corporations are often just contributions to the executive management's bank account. Okay, maybe not directly, but if the company does well there are stock options to be paid.

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Kellemora
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by Kellemora »

The company I was working for had on their employment application a question "have you ever belonged to Junior Achievement" They asked about a few organizations. I checked the yes box.
About a year after I was working there, here comes a couple of suits from the main office to talk to me.
They asked about my experience with Junior Achievement. I told them it was great, and that we made small fire extinguishers. Lot of work getting them approved, but we did and sold a ton of them.
All the guy said was, that's great. Then asked if I would like to lead a group session? They didn't stop talking after asking and said they pay a bonus for taking outside assignments, not as much as my salary, but it has other benefits too.
I asked at which of their offices, as I wouldn't like to go to ones very far away from me.
But you'll do it, if close to you right. I said sure.
And that's how I ended up doing two sessions at JA.
Now dig this, besides my monetary bonus which was separate from the reimbursements and about 1/4th my hourly pay.
They covered the estimated amount of fuel and vehicle maintenance I would incur, much more than it cost me.
Provided me with one paid meal for each session meeting, for at least double of what I usually pay for a meal.
And not that it benefited me in any way. They bought paid for ten shares for each of the guys in my department. Who also earned money back both times, and they did not have to reimburse the company. A share was only a buck.
When those guys got like 14 dollars each at the end of the session, they all became my friends, even the ones who did not like me, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by yogi »

Ohh, that sounds like a marvelous experience working with JA. I think you were the right guy to do it too given your family background. 40% return on investment is nothing to shake a stick at. That is an amazing accomplishment. All those perks you got, however, sound like the kind of things they would itemize on their tax returns. LOL I'm sure it didn't cost them much to pay you for your extra work.

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Kellemora
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by Kellemora »

You are right. Many big companies get government grants or kickbacks of some type for having their employees do things considered community service, or something to do with education and the like.
Can't complain about that, because later on when I had my large planting facility downtown, I got a huge grant for hiring almost all handicapped workers. The grant covered the ramps, special fire escapes, and making our work area wheelchair friendly. Where they filled the inner pot with my special growing media, and where they added the plants themselves, was all built special using some of the grant money.
Before I say something else, all the grant money HAD to be used for improvements for handicapped workers. Not general improvements.
But then along comes OSHA and made us tear down and rebuild our already massive sized bathrooms. This had to come out of our pocket. And the sad thing is, when all was said and done, every single one of our wheelchair bound workers said they like the old bathroom better. These new bathrooms supposedly designed for the handicapped are much harder to use.
So, besides the brand new handicapped bathrooms, we built two more bathrooms on the other side of the building, almost exactly like the old bathrooms were set up. Guess which ones they all used? The original style!
There were other nonsense things OSHA made us install they didn't like at all either. Two of the requirements made their work harder to do, because they had to reach further to do their job. However, as long as I had the required bar and trough at each workstation for them. I didn't have to force them to work at that work area, so they would move to the side of the work area and do their work there instead.
These guys and gals were not afraid to tell the OSHA guy off every single time he came by. Telling them this and that makes their day so much harder, they don't like it.
Although we never had the handicapped in wheelchairs work above the main floor, we still had to have a handicap fire exit on all three floors, at least the grant money paid for that.
I had better stop on that, before I blow a gasket. I'll tell ya though, city laws and OSHA about drove us nuts, every month it was something else they wanted that no other building had to have.
Yes we got a payroll subsidy. For every 40 cents over the special pay rate we paid, we got a dime to add to it. We paid well so this little incentive gave them two dollars an hour more, 1.60 from us, and 40 cents from the subsidy, so they all got around 9.80 an hour. Which was already over two dollars above minimum wage at that time.
The only person getting more was the nurse/foreman who kept them all in line and working hard, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by yogi »

OSHA, the EPA, and all the rest never get a good rap. It's their mission to force people to do things they normally would not do. It's like seat belts. People protested for years about being required to wear them, but I think the numbers show fewer fatalities and injuries because of them. I know you are going to dispute that, and I know a young kid about 17 years old who is dead today because he was wearing a seat belt that his mom instructed him to do. I think to this day she still feels guilty about it, and I have to agree it's a very sad case. It's hard to see the overall picture when you are down in the pits and forced to be compliant. People will always do what is easiest and not necessarily what is safest. Thus Big Brother has to tell them how to save themselves from disaster.

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Kellemora
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Re: Noodle Making

Post by Kellemora »

I had an uncle who worked in a machine shop, actually a metal stamping shop.
Osha came in and made them put GUARDS on all the machines to keep their fingers out of harms way.
After the guards were in place, a company that only had like 1 accident every 3 years, suddenly have 5 that same year the guards were installed.
Osha came out to see why. The owner of the place was showing the Osha folks what the problem with the guards were.
With them in place you cannot see the machine cycling, so you don't know if it is on the way up or on the way down.
And when he went to put a sheet in, his timing was off and it sucked his hand into the machine and smashed it. Not just his fingers, about 2/3 of his hand.
You'll never guess what solution Osha came up with. They now required Start and Stop buttons on the stamping machines.
This reduced production from around 1000 pieces per day to under 250 per day, quadrupled the electric bill, and caused much damage to the machines.
Rather with deal Osha any further, he simply shut down his business, putting my uncle out of work.
I should say he did not shut down overnight. He shut down those machines permanently first, and sold them to a competitor in another state, then began selling off the rest of his equipment. Didn't actually close until he sold most of the machines. But since he shut down the stamping machines first, that ended my uncles job there.

Oh, in the florist business we use pocket knives for cutting the flower stems.
Osha wanted a guard on these knives also. A couple of companies made Osha approved knives, but they were impossible to use. Each of us had to keep one laying on our desk, just in case an inspector came by. But we went on using our own knives to get the work done. One design of these Osha knives would actually cause the pins on the end to stick in your thumb or finger when you tried to slide a stem under the guard. Flower stems must be cut at an angle so they will continue to draw water. Osha didn't know this either, so how they showed us to use the knives wouldn't work. They finally decided to leave the knives alone, hi hi.

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