Dealing With Tough Times in Business: What You Should Know

Tough times come often and hit hard in the world of business. Wanting to get things back on track when they start going wrong is a natural urge, but many people don’t know how to do it the right way. It’s up to you to make sure that you keep your head and focus on what matters. There are, however, some things that you should know about before you rush into action. These things will help you approach your situation in the right kind of way, so read on and find out more.

Strong Team Spirit Becomes More Important Than Ever

Having a team of people around you is always important because no business can succeed on the back of one person. It’s a team effort, and it’s your job to keep spirits as high as possible when your company is having difficulties. If everyone caves in and accepts defeat, you’re never going to be able to get yourself out of this situation. That team spirit and togetherness only matters more when times are tough.

The Market Does Fluctuate

The market fluctuates and you should remember that when your business is going through a rough patch. Just because things aren’t really going your way right now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that things will stay that way forever. Of course, you need to explore the reasons behind your current problems, but don’t always assume the worst because it’s usually not true.

There is Always Help Out There

No matter what kind of problem your business is currently dealing with, there is always advice out there for you. Whether things are really bad and you need something like business insolvency advice or you simply need help with improving your online brand; you can get the assistance you require. There is always somewhere you can turn to get the right help, so don’t feel like you’re alone.

Knowing When and When Not to Deviate From Your Plans is Vital

There are times when moving away from your plans for your business can be a good thing because when something’s not really working, it makes sense to ditch it. However, you also need to know when to persevere because those plans might eventually come good if you stick with them. It’s tricky, but it’s a skill you should try to master.

Cash Reserves Will Really Help

It’s never a bad idea for your business to start building cash reserves when the times are good. In fact, this is what you really should be doing if you’re serious about making your business go far. Having cash to fall back on during the tough times could make the difference between success or failure for you.

In the world of business, nothing ever goes as smoothly or as according to plan as you want it to. That’s just the way it is and there is no way around that. However, it’s often possible to rescue a dire situation for your business, so you don’t need to give up hope just because things aren’t going your way right now.

Image: madsmith33

Small Businesses: It’s Time To Start Turning Heads In Your Industry

It’s hard to make an impact in the modern business world, whatever your line of business. It might be easier than ever to become an entrepreneur and start your own company, but the fact is that it’s easier than ever for anyone and everyone to do the same thing. That means there’s a lot of competition in the current business landscape. A small business trying to make its way can find that the marketplace is tricky to navigate. At the end of the day, your goal is to stand out from the crowd. You don’t want to be like the hundreds of other small businesses – you need to be different if you’re going to gain customers and recognition in your industry. It’s time to start turning heads. We’re going to talk about some ways in which you can do that.

Image: Caio Resend

Develop a better online marketing campaign.

The first step towards turning heads in the industry is to develop a better online marketing campaign for your small business. You need to get the word out if your company is going to match the big brands in the industry. You might run a small organization, but that doesn’t matter if you spread awareness of your brand well online. You might want to check out Crowdfire pricing if you need help with developing a successful social media campaign to market your business. Social networks can be a powerful tool to spread the word about your small business if you use them effectively.

Build a better brand.

We talked above about marketing your company, but you need to truly know your brand before you can do that successfully. There’s no point in promising that your company can deliver outstanding customer service if that isn’t the case. Of course, you also to build a better brand so that you can promise better things to the target market. Start by focusing on your company values. What statement is your small business trying to make? You could strive to be the most eco-friendly company in your industry, for example. You don’t have to sell an innovative product to make an impact on the market. Sometimes, you can turn heads if your brand stands out from the crowd.

Adopt a customer-centric focus.

If you want your small business to start turning heads in your industry then a customer-centric focus is the final piece of the puzzle. Your business won’t impress customers until you figure out how to personalize your brand to fit their needs. That means you need to know your consumer inside and out. If you only have a vague concept of your target market then you’re always going to struggle to target your goods and services as effectively as your competitors.

People want to buy solutions to their problems, and consumers will always choose the business that they feel truly understands what they need for the money they’re spending. In the modern age, you could achieve this by running a Twitter poll. Find out what customers like or don’t like about your company by asking them directly. If you can also figure out what they don’t like about your industry as a whole then you can start to figure out a solution that will set you apart from your competitors. Turning heads is all about finding a gap in the market.

How to Reinvent Customer Experience for Better Results

The rapid growth of the experience culture in recent years means that an increasing number of consumers now care as much, if not more, about the quality of their day-to-day interactions with the companies that govern their lives as they do about the material possessions in their homes.

The companies best placed to succeed in the future are those which provide an enhanced level of customer experience that boosts levels of both loyalty and satisfaction. If you want your own business to remain competitive, you need to closely examine and, if necessary, reinvent the experience your customers have during their interactions to improve the results of your business overall.

Start at the top

The CEO of a company sets the tone for the entire enterprise. If you want to reinvent the customer experience, the driving force behind such a change must come from the very top.

Part of the reason for this that customer experience is almost always directly related to employee experience. A workforce with positive attitudes and high morale will create a far better impression in their day-to-day interactions with customers than employees who harbor negative feelings towards their bosses.

Make it personal

Traditional forms of marketing and advertising take as broad an approach as possible in order to ensure the broadest possible appeal. Today’s consumer demands a far greater level of personalization and are showing increasing intolerance for content and material that is irrelevant to them.

The vast amount of data that can now be gathered and analyzed about customer behavior make the task of leveraging an understanding of the preferences of individual companies easier than ever. Technology such as machine learning and artificial intelligence can all be used to bring a variety of strategies together to that will result in increased conversions.

For example, the Omnia product suite, available from Weaveability, runs within an organizations existing SAP landscape requiring zero integration. Omnia benefits from utilizing existing SAP processes which enables it deliver positive benefits in multiple business areas. Therefore, your customers benefit from a consistent real-time experience regardless of which channel they use to connect with your business. The result is increased customer satisfaction and engagement, both of which can have a positive effect on your bottom line.

Look outside your industry

There was a time when consumers were content to compare like with like. Weekly shopping would take place in a particular supermarket because they preferred it to another, but the factors they used to make such a choice would not spill over into other areas of their lives.

Today, with more commerce being conducted through digital channels and a combination of channels, this is no longer true. Consumers will now judge the offerings of a company against both its competitors and all the other service providers they interact with. Your company will be judged in terms of its ability to provide customer satisfaction against every other enterprise out there.

This means that if you want to find the best possible ways to make your customers happy, you need to look outside your own industry and take inspiration from elsewhere. For example, one dentist provided a whole new experience for her customers by redesigning her surgery to create a more comforting, familiar environment, more reminiscent of an upmarket sundries store than a traditional dental clinic.

Photo by Rob Bye on Unsplash

Providing A Company Car – What You Should Know

Being a great boss often means that you should invest in your staff. This can be more or less intensive depending on the strength and level of the staff in question. One of these more luxurious benefits you might allow your higher-ups to receive is a company car. This means that you provide them with the automotive and they are responsible for its good maintenance and fuel usage. This company car is a symbol of confidence, of the willingness to invest in their travel responsibilities, and the general willingness to show them they are a valued member.

Of course, we’re not here to help you out with buying strategies and what models of car to go for. Anything you deem functional and within budget should be down to your discretion. We can however help you with a few small considerations that allow you to ensure everything here is set up to the best of your ability:

Fill Contracts

The contractual obligation of an employee receiving a free car should be laid out. The extent to which you’re willing to provide ownership, the length of the company usage, what to do in the event of a necessary service or repair, and how to respond and report damages should all be taken into account before you even gift the vehicle. If you’re willing to afford a certain allowance in fuelling costs, you must embed that fact into the overall necessity of the contract.

You must also provide a method for them to notify you of any issues, and what your investment limit is with that. A small crack in the windshield might be worth you investing in to keep up morale for example, but replacement tyres and simple service work might be the responsibility of the employee in question. When you have this laid out perfectly, there will be no room for error or strange legal proceeding in the event of an odd circumstance. Have your lawyer pour through this contract many times.

Transport

Often, safe transport of the vehicle from the lot to your business or to the home of the individual can be the most pressing matter. After investing in the asset for your employee, you’ll most likely need to protect it. If you can, ensure that you use a service such as Shiply to get their vehicle where it needs to be safely. This is also important when scheduling vehicle repairs, allowing for prompt and safe travel to regular maintenance.

Insurance

It’s best to go for the most comprehensive insurance package you can. Protecting your asset is important, even if you trust your staff member. Leaving nothing to chance works well here. For example, if you notice that your staff member lives on steep or dangerous roads, or that they have points on their licence, it might be that you have them contribute to the insurance plan or that you make it more stringent.

With these tips, providing the privilege of a company car will be met with gratitude, safety, and peace of mind.

Image: Mike’s photos

Gaining Ground: 4 Ways to Improve Your Marketing Knowledge and Boost Your Conversion Rates

You can create the best product or service in your industry, but unless you effectively make the consumer know about it, it won’t sell. That’s where marketing comes in. And since every competing business is doing all they can to rank at the top of Google’s first search engine results page (SERP), you have to be on top of your marketing game to beat them. That’s why you need all the marketing knowledge you can get.

There are a whole lot of things you can do to improve your marketing knowledge. Here are four of the best.

1. Take a marketing class

Today you can take marketing courses both offline and online – but I’d recommend the latter. This is because online marketing classes, like any internet-based studies, allow you the flexibility to run your business or continue your day job while taking your classes. Consider it the proverbial killing of two birds with one stone (the stone being your time).

Marketing classes provide you with the formal marketing knowledge that is imperative for successful interfacing with customers. You could specialize is any area of marketing such as brand management, executive-level marketing or integrated sales and marketing – or an amalgam of these. Whatever you choose will give you the grounding you need to make successful inroads into the world of marketing.

2. Read a book or more about marketing

There are lots of books, eBooks and audiobooks with rich marketing content. Thanks to the World Wide Web, a good number of these are now available online – even for free. The beautiful thing is, most books of marketing are loaded with case studies that you can learn from. They also typically contain actionable tips that can give you a good head start.

In essence, both the classics such as Marketing 101 books and newer ones have something to add to your marketing acumen – so it is best not to ignore either category.

3. Talk to fellow marketers

When two or more minds come together to share, there’s learning taking place. You can learn so much from someone who, like you, practices marketing. Start a casual talk and slowly learn what they do, and how they do it. Ask them what their thoughts are about certain things related to the industry; this approach can give you a ton of new insights. To meet such people, consider attending industry events such as conferences and organized talks.

4. Keep up with industry trends

Read blogs, follow the news; just make sure you are up to date with what’s happening in your industry. That way you’ll know what the latest customer preferences are or when Google makes a significant update that impacts your marketing strategy.

Even better, consider identifying a few leading brands and start following their marketing practices keenly. You can learn a lot from what they are doing and be able to pick something or two from their methods.

Final thoughts

Marketing is dynamic. Sometimes all you need is to pay attention to your environment. The best secret to being the best is to always keep learning, and there will be nothing to stand on your way.

Image: TeroVesalainen