Online businesses have a distinct cost advantage over brick and mortar businesses – they don’t need to rent out a storefront at a good location. Their owners can save on rent overheads by running their business out of their homes.
Businesses that have a physical presence, though, have a distinct advantage in another way – people trust them more because they can see them. People buying from physical stores know that they are there for them, should a problem turn up.
They can look at the store assistants and the manager to see if they trust them through the buying process. If there’s a quality issue, it’s always easy to go back to the store for a return or exchange. They know that storefront retailers are serious businesses. They’ve invested money in launching a store and hiring people.
Obviously, we struggled a little bit with the letter X. There aren’t a lot of topics that lend themselves well to this particular letter, so unless we wanted to discuss the ins and outs of running a xylophone business, we had to expand beyond our normal vocabulary. Enter xenodochial, a long word that essentially means being nice to strangers – a quality that businesses must exhibit if they ever hope to attract new customers! But for simplicity’s sake, you can also think of X as standing for (e)Xcellent customer service.
Truly the most confusing letter.
There are a lot of theories on how to best serve your customers, but in reality there is no one answer on how to provide good customer service. Instead, there are multiple factors that have to built into how a business interacts with its customers. Continue reading →
Business profitability moves in a cyclical pattern. Typically, the first quarter of the New Year is the slowest, and is often the most difficult to survive, particularly for small businesses. It’s natural that sales taper off during this time of year – customers are recovering from their holiday spending, they’re preparing to pay Uncle Sam what they owe and the winter doldrums have set in as well. However, there are a few things that you can do to help ensure that you keep your business moving forward. Continue reading →
Every minute of every day, there is always a customer that isn’t entirely pleased with the service that he is getting. Whether it is about food, some clothes, internet service, or anything else, it is practically written in stone that someone will find something to complain about at some point. And whenever a customer gets angry and things get hairy, it is the customer service team who has the job to address the problem and keep everybody happy. Part of that role is being able to understand the customer’s woes and knowing what to do in order to fix them; yet another part is simply knowing what NOT to say so that things don’t get even worse. Here are a few lines that are best left unsaid during customer service interactions.
Author’s Note: This is the second in my series of “Marketing From The Front” blog posts for MyCorporation.com. If you missed the previous blog post: “How to Get Started With Your Marketing Planning”, click here to find it.
Once you’ve accumulated your knowledge about the specific business you intend to start, you’ll quickly realize that there are a number of ways you can go to start creating some revenue.
As small business owners become increasingly uneasy about the removal of tax breaks, increased taxes and potential new costs for employee health care benefits, there are a plethora of articles cropping up everywhere on how to tighten the belt on the budget. Cutting costs on your insurance policies, voice and data plans, and credit card processing are always advised on the “to do” list and companies are often told to avoid cutting costs on customer service, marketing and employee perks.
These are all viable ideas, but they all miss the target. Instead of only concentrating on reducing expenses, why not focus on what you can do to shift your mindset over to increasing revenue? Continue reading →
The traditional sales funnel is dead, at least according to McKinsey & Company – a global management consulting firm. Replacing it is a circular sales cycle. It used to be that marketers could rely solely on direct mail and other marketing initiatives to “push” information to consumers. Since consumers’ information channels were limited, and research avenues were often hidden from the public, consumers relied on various marketing initiatives to make decisions about future purchases. Today, consumers can easily “pull” information to them online through social media websites and review-based sites like Yelp. This diminishes the power of focused marketing initiatives by companies. Consumers now rely on strong word-of-mouth over a corporation’s advertising campaign so if you want your small business to succeed, you’re going to have to change the way you reach your customer base. Continue reading →
You’re bound to make more than five mistakes as a neo-entrepreneur (young and fresh entrepreneurs who are less experienced than their older, more established counterparts), especially during the startup years. Entrepreneurship means going through a lot of uncharted territory and interestingly enough, many of these mistakes stem from characteristics that make a person an entrepreneur.
Starting and maintaining a business, no matter the size, is a lot of work and can be quite expensive and finding the right tools and processes that are both cost and time effective can be challenging. Through careful research, I’ve found a few online tools along the way that are easy to use, quick and produce great results. Here are my five favorite online tools, and best of all, most are free! Continue reading →
You’ve just finished the end of your business quarter. Yes, it was busy and stressful, but thankfully very unlike the scene one of your colleagues described for his quarter’s end. He relayed a tale of sales staff pulling out their hair, piles of unsigned contracts, sales slipping left and right, emails unanswered and phone calls unresponsive. Fortunately for you, you not only met your sales numbers, you exceeded them. As a matter of fact, you’ve met your sales goal for the last three quarters. Your boss is pleased, your colleagues are envious, and your customers—they love you! What makes your clients different than the guy one office over? It’s no secret—happy customers are not only loyal, they will increase your overall success. How can you maintain this satisfaction? Let’s take a look: Continue reading →