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Archive for the ‘What You Need To Know About Small Business’ Category

How Do You Build Confidence In Your Brand?

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on July 17, 2019 at 8:52 am

Smaller businesses tend to be at a disadvantage when it comes to the never-ending battle with big companies for the hearts of customers. The giants have instant attraction; everyone knows who they are, customers can have confidence that their service is at least real (if not perfect), and that there’ll be some action taken if not everything involving the process runs smoothly. Smaller companies, on the other hand, face an uphill battle — but it is one that they can win, if they take the right steps. Below, we take a look at a few tried and tested ways you can build confidence in your brand, even if you’re the equivalent of a drop in the ocean. 

Get the Look

When it comes to creating their company, many people focus almost exclusively on the products and services that they’re going to provide. This is an important aspect of your business to get right, but there’s something else you’ll want to focus on, too — your branding. There’s a reason why larger businesses take so much time to ensure their branding is watertight throughout the organization; it conveys trust. It’s memorable. It makes the business look professional. The beauty of branding is that any company can do it, no matter how big or small they may be. Take care of it!

The Power of Other People

It’s all good and well telling potential customers just how good your business is, but it’s much better if other people, ones who have no vested interest in your company succeeding, are the ones doing the talking. You’ll want to first solicit reviews from customers; if they respond favorable, post them onto your site. You should also keep an eye on the popular review sites, too; you can use review tracking and monitoring services to do so. Studies have shown that people are more likely to use a company if they read positive feedback from past customers — make sure your potential customers are reading the right things. 

Handling Issues

You can’t really judge a company — or a person, come to think of it — on how they act when everything is going well. It’s how they act when things aren’t going so well that counts. If a customer has an issue, big or small, make sure you’re handling it as if it were a personal problem. Ultimately the only way to gain the trust of a customer is to act in the right way when the moment calls for it. If you handle problems as and when they arrive, you’ll be showing them that it’s not all about the bottom line.

Always Improving

There are two reasons why people trust Apple. They’ve got decades of excellent results under their belt. But they’re also going places. You can’t match Apple when it comes to their history, but you can with how you view the world. You should always be improving and looking for ways to better tomorrow than you are today. Eventually, it will be noticed by the public. 

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You Need To Convince B2B Customers Of Your Data Security

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on July 16, 2019 at 12:46 pm

Entering into any sort of partnership with another business is always a battle of reassurances. You want to know, the business you’re now dealing with is trustworthy. You want them to be reliable and show you how they are going to honor their obligations. Businesses that want to work together must also take their security practices very seriously. Perhaps this is the most important area of which you will discuss with your new client. Business-to-business (B2B) relationships will ultimately boil down to data security. Everything from product designs, marketing campaigns, customer details and infrastructure capabilities will all be shown in graphs, bar charts, facts and figures. So convincing the other side that you have great security practices that will keep their data safe, will make the other party more likely to share with you. Inevitably, this strengthens relationships and paves the way for long-lasting cooperation.

The basic on-site practices

Data security isn’t just about 1s and 0s on a coding screen, it’s also about the physical on-site practices. It may sound rather basic but businesses that wish to work with you will want to know what the office behavior is like. Do your employees logout and make their machines secure before they go off to the bathroom? Does a manager of each department, project or team make sure everyone has safely logged off when it’s time to go home at the end of the day? Is there security in the building that patrols the offices at night or during the day? Do you have CCTV cameras in and outside of the office? The more physical layers of security there are, the safer the customer will feel.

Away from prying eyes

There’s a hierarchy in the world of business for a reason. Only the top level employees should be privy to any kind of sensitive data another business shares with you. This could be things like new product details. A low level employee should not be able to access data that could spark disaster for the customer, unless they are specifically on a specially selected team authorized to work on it. Therefore there should be a practice which makes sure data is tightly sealed among leading employees and kept away from prying eyes. Business espionage is not as serious as governments spying on each other, but it certainly does happen.

Just in case

In case your business is hacked and your servers have been breached, you should be able to continue working with your customer. By using Cloud-based Backup Solutions, you can instantly recoup any loss of data you have endured. This method is safer than on-site hardware options, because servers have firewalls and data is encrypted. The other benefit is that you don’t run out of size either, so you can upgrade to larger servers and files as and when you need to. The data files are also password protected..

Physical security of customer and B2B client data is just as important as the digital realm. Businesses you work with, should be left in no doubt that you have on-site practices that keep their data close to your chest, if you wish to build a relationship that will last into the distant future.

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Four Powerful Tips To Boost Your Small Business

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on July 16, 2019 at 9:20 am

Once you’ve managed to get your small business off the ground, your next challenging is making your business as successful as possible. These tips will help you adopt this forward-looking attitude and turn your business up a notch. 

Vision

As a small business owner, the most important mindset to cultivate among your team is vision: the ability to imagine what your business will look like at intervals into the future. Will your business go global one day? What will an international version of your company look like? Is your current branding in line with where you’re going? Rather than get bogged down by small day-to-day challenges, business leaders tend to look ahead. 

Get Used to Delegating

When you first got your business up and running, you probably wore a lot of hats! Until you hired your first employee, you did everything that needed doing, from writing website copy to ordering stationery. But as your business expands, your role as a strategic leader becomes more important. Eventually, ‘CEO’ will be the only hat you’ll have time to wear. Between now and then, it’s important to work out how your time is most profitably spent, and either hire people, employ freelancers, or outsource to do the rest. For example, hiring an seo company makes a lot more sense than spending hours fiddling with the copy on your website if there are more important things you could be doing. And if you’re reluctant to hand over control of the things you used to do, remember that if you hit burnout, you won’t be able to do anything! 

Push Boundaries By Setting Goals

Goal setting is a powerful tool to help you gain clarity, take stock of productivity metrics and track your progress. Goals are also great for providing motivation and opportunities for celebrations (when you smash them). Another benefit of goal setting is that anyone with a competitive streak sees every goal as an opportunity to push beyond expectations. If you’re looking for ways to push yourself out of your comfort zone, a goal is a brilliant way to dangle the carrot. When it comes to goal setting, the key is to break your long-term vision into smaller, manageable, and measurable steps. Why must the steps be measurable? You know where you’re trying to go, don’t you? Because on a bad day, a record of how far you’ve come towards your goals will give you a motivation boost when you need it most. 

Get Laser-Focused on Customer Service

For your business to keep smashing the targets you set, acquiring new customers, and retaining them, is crucial. Enhancing your customer experience means you are more likely to develop a loyal base of repeat business, and your happy customers will tell others about the amazing service you provide. In that sense, investing in your customer service team is akin to investing in your marketing. As well as addressing customer concerns promptly and to their satisfaction, you’re missing an opportunity if you don’t actively solicit feedback about your product and service. A quick survey at check-out or an in-person conversation does wonders for your relationship with your customer base and promotes trust in your brand. 

When your business has leveled out after the initial rush, these tips will help you step it up a gear.

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The Best Ways That You Can Enhance The Customer Experience In Your Business

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on July 16, 2019 at 8:43 am

When it comes to your new business, the ideal scenario would be that you have an array of customers ready to buy your products or services that your business provides. But at the beginning of every business journey, this just simply isn’t the case. It cakes work, effort and investment in your brand and output to gain a decent customer following and for it to continue to grow. The experience your customers have is part of that, so how can you ensure that your business delivers? 

Many business owners and entrepreneurs will make their customers a priority. After all, they are the life that keeps your business running. However, with a lot to think about the general day to day running of your business and brand, you can sometimes take your eye off the ball when it comes to your customers. In some cases, when business is good, you can even take them for granted. But this shouldn’t be the case. The customer experience is of utmost importance, and so with that in mind, here are some suggestions to help you enhance it for your business. 

Having a step by step plan for the customer experience 

There is no denying that planning is key when it comes to thinking about the customer experience. This is where you can start to think about all of the elements that are important to your business and to your brand. These elements will be part of the customer experience and also the customer journey that they will embark on. From their initial contact with you right through to delivery and receipt. It is important to think about customer mapping, knowing your ideal customer and also what the journey is from start to finish. This source has some great tips to help you achieve that within your business model. 

Working on your brand

One of the best ways you can enhance the customer experience would be to take time to overhaul your brand and what your business stands for. This goes a long way to helping and managing a customer’s expectations of your business. Your brand is important, so you may want to think about not only how it looks but also things like the website and the ease of management to deal with your business. The brand is one of the first recognizable elements of your business, so you will also want to think about whether it is memorable for a customer and also has the message you want your brand to portray. 

Keeping up to date with social media

So many people use the internet these days for answers to things. They may have found you through a Google search, or browsing online, but also you need to ensure that your business and internet platform speaks volumes about what your business is all about. Social media is a great way to share your business. The offers you have, what your business is all about and a little about who you are as a business owner. A decent social media can add to the experience a customer will have with your business. This is when coming up with a content strategy can be hugely beneficial., not just for you as a business but also for your customers. It gives you the chance to not only share your business offers and have a more sales focused approach to posts, but to also share things of interest and of a more topical nature. This can help to keep your audience engaged and interested in the content you share and ultimately in the long term your business. 

Making your website easy to use

It is also important to take some time to work on your website and the experience your customers will have with it. So much is done online these days that you only have to think about your own habits when it comes to the internet to understand the need for a decent and responsive site. This is when you will want to think about the images, and the content, but also ensuring that your website is quick and easy to load. When it comes to the eCommerce side of things, you will want to make sure that all stock levels are correct, that the right pricing and information is there for each product, and that delivery methods and any discount codes work appropriately. It can often be the small things that make the biggest difference to the customer experience, and your website could be a big factor. 

Being contactable 

There is nothing people dislike more than not being able to get an answer or to make contact with someone they have done business with. You will know yourself how frustrating this can be. So make sure you take some time to think about how contactable you are as a business? It doesn’t always have to be by phone call, although having that option can still be preferred for some people. It is about things like email and even an instant messenger service where if an answer can not be automatically found contact will be made within a set time frame. Again it is the small details like this that can help a customer to feel valued. 

What is your USP?

Does your business have a unique selling point? This might not be very specific to the customer experience, but as a business, if you are aware of what your USP is, then you can take advantage of that when it comes to the customer experience and also as a way of attracting more customers. A USP is significant, especially if your business is in a saturated market. You will want to make sure that you do all you can to attract the customers to you, and finding out what puts you ahead of the competition is a great way to achieve that. 

Making sure the physical experience is just as good 

It isn’t just about the digital experience, it is also about the experience a customer will have physically with your business, so you may want to ensure that any customer facing areas and where you may talk business is going to match up to the expectations. If it is a shop, then you may want to think about the design, the brand and the layout of the shop floor. This can also be an attractive feature and work very well alongside your USP. If it is an office environment, then think about adding light and air to ensure that the place feels comfortable will also be suggested. Any business location also needs to live and breathe your brand, so this can be in color scheme or certainly in terms of literature being advertised.  

Following up

Once a sale has been made or a deal agreed, the follow up element is just as important. It helps a customer to feel valued about what you are doing for them, and also helps to keep them informed. There are many different ways you can do this, from phone calls to emails and even using social media updates for a more up to date method. 

The delivery element 

Finally, you may want to think about the actual delivery element and the package. From how long it will take to arrive to how it will look on the doorstep. Pretty packaging, time taken to ensure that it is carefully packaged for safe delivery, these things can make all the difference. 

Let’s hope that these tips help you to enhance the customer experience for your business.  

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Small Business Ideas for Anyone Who Wants to Be an Entrepreneur

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on July 15, 2019 at 12:12 pm

Becoming an entrepreneur can be a rewarding and challenging career choice, but you’ll need a great idea to get you started. If you want to work for yourself, build your own company and create something truly unique, finding the right type of start-up is essential. If you’re struggling to think of the right business opportunity for you, take your pick from the following small business ideas…

  1. Landscaping

Whether you offer gardening services to residential homeowners or external maintenance to corporate clients, being a landscaper is a great option for a small business if you prefer working outdoors than being cooped up in an office. Although you’ll need some equipment to get you started, this can be purchased in refurbished condition or hired, if you want to keep costs down. Whilst you may need a little experience before you can start working on other people’s land, there is plenty of advice, information, and assistance available online, so you needn’t spend large amounts on training.

  1. Property management

Landlords and property owners often require property managers to ensure their buildings remain in good condition. You may spend your time responding to client queries, arranging regular maintenance work and ensuring timely responses to urgent situations, as well as handling rent payments, applications and deposits. If you’re organized and personable, launching a career as a property manager could be the right small business idea for you. 

  1. Computer technician

Depending on your experience, you could offer a range of services as an IT specialist. With professional or academic experience, you could launch right into IT consulting for commercial clients, for example. Alternatively, you could deliver set-up services and maintenance for individuals aren’t tech proficient. Providing you have a good understanding of a variety of systems, software, and hardware, you could use your experience to become a tech entrepreneur.

  1. Residential and commercial cleaning

Businesses and residential homeowners are routinely looking for reputable cleaners, and there’s a significant amount of money to be made. With professional cleaning equipment, such as Steamaster start-up business package, you can launch your services quickly and respond to the needs of potential clients swiftly. What’s more – using professional equipment to launch your cleaning business ensures you’re delivering top quality services and get the job done quickly. 

  1. Catering

Before you get started as a caterer, you’ll need to obtain the appropriate certifications. However, proving that your facilities adhere to regulatory health and safety standards isn’t difficult, and it doesn’t usually take too long either. Once you’ve got your documentation in place, you can offer catering services to corporate clients, event planners, and individuals who are planning upcoming celebrations, such as weddings and parties. In addition to this, you may want to tap into the latest trend of healthy eating and provide delicious, home-cooked meals to families who are too busy to shop, prepare and cook meals at home. 

With a range of options out there, it’s easy to find the right start-up opportunity. Choose an area you’re interested in, and let your passion drive your business forward.

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