For small business owners, there are many challenges to introducing and growing a new company. How can you establish yourself in a new market? How can you attract clients? One tactic that can help address these questions, yet often goes overlooked, is corporate gifting. Corporate gifts are small tokens of gratitude that, given on appropriate occasions, remind the individuals important to your business that you value them. Done efficiently, it can benefit every aspect of your business. (more…)
I graduated with a degree in accounting so I had to take a lot of business classes in college. Sadly, very little of what I learned in class helped prepare me for business life. I did learn the basics in college but I really got educated at the School of Hard Knocks. The tuition was high but well worth the cost. Here are the 5 most important lessons I ever learned that helped me grow a successful business.
1) Stop Thinking About Myself
In order to be successful, a business has to have clients or customers. People become clients when they believe you can help them get what’s important to them.They don’t care about the business owner’s problems or fears.
When I first started my business I made plenty of mistakes that almost sank me. I was steeped in fear. I was in debt, my income was meager and I had a young family to provide for. I didn’t consciously share my angst with clients but I’m sure they could sense it because it was all I ever thought about. I saw potential clients as potential solutions to my problems and that made it far more difficult to grow my business. Who wants to hire someone like that?
In today’s marketplace, branding via company websites and social media pages is the name of the game. By engaging in conversations with real people online, you take control of your brand’s web image and make your customers feel confident that they can expect great service and individual attention from you both in the physical and digital worlds. However, when you start to interact with those real people, you’re also going to find out very quickly that some of them are a bit more… colorful in the way they express themselves.
This kind of thing didn’t matter when it happened in a one-on-one interaction in a store or over the phone with customer service, but the internet works differently. A profane or otherwise inappropriate comment is something that lives on your site or company page once someone has posted it there. Leaving it there for the world to see is a way of saying, “I’m okay with having my company seen like this.”
Depending on the goals of your business, that may be a big mistake. Here are several ways that profane user content can impact your brand.
It’s a common joke among small business owners: I’m the CEO and the sales guy and the billing department and I make the coffee. As the founder of multiple successful software companies, including personal finance management service MoneyStream, I’ve certainly used that line more than a few times.
Of course, we don’t complain about making the coffee. Hey, someone’s got to do it. But there has to be a limit.
I’ve been fortunate to work with numerous entrepreneurs over the years. One of the pitfalls they fall into is the wasted timed on low-payoff work like running to get office supplies. Meanwhile, they short the activities that drive growth, such as negotiating a lucrative contract or persuading an existing client to grow their business.
Managing your personal and business finances is not low-payoff work. But it’s not your core competency either. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a CPA to properly manage your finances. Here are a few tips for saving time on financial management.
Drop shipping is one of the many strategies that you can use to fulfill orders for an online store. It is a relatively simple strategy, but it has some real benefits to it. One of the biggest benefits is that you don’t have to keep nearly as much material in inventory which is extremely helpful as many online storefronts are run by one or two people out of their home. Their garage or a shed probably serves as their inventory space. This means that they may not have enough room to hold many items in stock, but drop shipping can eliminate that hindrance and make keeping inventory stocked much easier as well as provide the additional benefits to the home-based business.
Get to Market Fast
As Practical Ecommerce points out, having a drop shipping arrangement is a great way to make certain that you can get products to market faster. This is because you don’t have to wait for the items to come in and, even more importantly, you don’t have to gamble on how many of those items you need to hold in stock to keep customers satisfied. You simply send the order to the manufacturer or a different warehouse and they’ll send the article out for you, with no risk involved.
You can easily imagine the scene. A summer barbecue, meeting new friends and you tell them about your online store that sells your recently written e-book. Impressed, they pull out their smartphones to see your site only to find that your store pages don’t load properly. Don’t get caught unprepared by a situation with such a simple fix. Run through this list of steps and you’ll be proudly displaying your store and making sales at your next social event.