Archive | September 2016

How Your Business Can Go Above and Beyond

Above and beyond.jpgIt’s time you took command of your company and the direction it’s taking. There are so many things you need to prepare yourself for. Think about how the company will change in the future, and how you can make it better.

Don’t Get Comfortable

There’s always a danger in business, and in life, of getting too comfortable. You should never settle. It’s so easy to get to a place in your business and then just settle for where you are. Sure, you’re satisfied with what you’ve achieved, and you’ll happily settle for that. Well, that’s just fear of talking. You’re just scared of stepping out there on the edge of the world and trying to make something of yourself.

Settling is one of the startup mistakes entrepreneurs like you have to avoid. Never settle for anything you’re not happy with. You also need to make sure you don’t let the company stagnate. Always be receptive to change, and always look at ways you can drive the company forward and break new ground. You should always want more for yourself and your business; this is what winners do.

Always Look to Break Boundaries

If there is one word you need to always be focusing on in the business world, its innovation. Constantly reinventing yourself and your brand is so important for keeping ahead of the game. You need to make your mark, turn heads, tear down walls and change the business landscape. Consider how much Apple has changed the world by daring to be different, and breaking new ground.

You should always be looking for ways of taking your company one step further. Always have your eye on success, and then further success. You can always develop, get better, and drive your brand further. But, you need to think about the best way to do this. And consider how to successfully protect your company while transitioning and daring to try new things.

Who Gives You Extra?!

It’s so important to ensure that you give your clients and customers more than they are expecting from you. You have to understand that, running a business, you are in the service game. Every business is a customer service business, but some of them seem to forget that sometimes.

So, you need to consider how you can do more and give more for your clients. This will, of course, vary depending upon the business you run. Restaurant promotion ideas for clients would be different too, say, marketing a building firm. But the basic principles remain the same. You have to look at what your customers want, and then give them extra. If you can take that extra step for clients you will ensure customer retention, repeat business, and you’ll boost your reputation.

It’s really vital that you look at how you can do more as a business. Too many companies these days reach a level of success and then just look to stay there. They don’t want to progress or achieve anymore for their brand. This is the wrong approach to take. You should always look to better yourself and move forward. Your business can always do more, and you need to put that into action.

 

Getting Your Customers to Come Back, Over And Over Again

 

customers.jpgAs any small business knows, it’s a heck of a lot easier to get business from existing customers than it is from new ones. So it would make sense that companies focus their efforts on making customers come back around like boomerangs. But do they?

Retaining customers is a tricky business. That’s why we’re going to look at some of the advice from people who have built companies based on keeping their best customers. Here’s what they suggest.

 Make Keeping Customers as Important As Getting Them

Noah Fleming is a marketing expert and author of books on keeping customer loyalty. Over the years, he’s built up an expertise in what counts for keeping customers, and what just doesn’t work. Over time he’s come to a rather counterintuitive notion. He says that companies shouldn’t bother focusing on trying to “close” the deal.

Instead, he says, they should concentrate on doing all the little things that turn client acquaintances into relationships. He worries that the word “close” is unwittingly an attempt to bring the relationship to an end. Rather he says, companies should focus on keeping their relationships open-ended. Then customers will feel as if they can come back whenever they need to.

Research Abandoned Shopping Carts

All businesses know that it needs to be easy for customers to make payments. But, as businesswoman Meagan Rhodes points, firms don’t always make it easy. Many businesses spam their customers with landing pages, hyperlinks, and annoying captcha boxes.

But Rhodes suggests that companies avoid all of this and take advantage of clients who want to make impulse purchases. It’s important that businesses install some kind of total merchant services to make payments seamless. If they do, Rhodes says that their customers will keep coming back.

 Focus On How You Make Customers Feel

With the rise of the internet as a global online market, businesses can’t rely on location anymore. Instead, they must use their brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors. A person who understands this more than anybody is Daryl Travis. Travis runs his own digital marketing research firm.

He’s seen hundreds of brands come and go. But he’s noticed that the most successful are all about the way that people feel when they come into contact with them.

One of the things he recommends is that the senior management team thinks carefully about what working with them is like for their customers. What are they looking for? And what emotional reality do they want satisfied?

He says that you have to internalize your customer’s feelings to understand where your brand sits. That means experiencing empathy and going through what customers experience when they interact with your business. It might sound new-age, but this exercise deepens your whole team’s understanding of the client experience.

Relate To Them

Keith Lee is a customer service manager at a technology company near Nashville. His advice is to cultivate relationships that feel meaningful and genuine to both you and your customers. His advice? Repeat their name when you meet them in person and over the phone. Mold yourself around their personality type and adapt if they are forthcoming or shy.

Reflect as much of themselves back at them as possible as a form of subtle flattery. And then try to find out some detail about where they live or what sports they like. These little snippets can then be used to build rapport and work out if you have any mutual connections.

Don’t Just Offer The Product

According to Calvin Brown, too many companies just offer one thing: their product. But if companies want to retain customers over the long term, they need to do more than this. Brown is the CEO of a property investment firm. His primary product is his portfolio of potential property investments. But this isn’t the only value he offers his customers.

He also offers them a range of free resources on property investments and educational materials. Thus, Brown’s business is actively helping customers make more money on the investments they make through him. This, in turn, helps to generate repeat business, since customers are both better off and feel better about his service.

Like many up-and-coming companies, Brown doesn’t focus on high-pressure sales. Instead, he focuses on customer experience and offering value at every step of the transaction. For instance, customers get a discount whenever they exit any of their investment properties.

The bottom line is that being a resource for your customers is important. Firms need to provide a pleasant buying experience, and if they do, their customers will keep on coming back.

 

Most Modern Companies Don’t Know What Their Employees Need

6-simple-strategiesHow many people do you know that are employees (not employers or self-employed) that are truly happy with their job? Is it a majority of them? Most likely not, most would admit. Why is that? Clearly, those at the top have forgotten how to keep those at the bottom happy and fulfilled. In doing so, they’re not getting all they can from their employees. To get, you have to give. So here’s what you give them.

Engagement

The first thing that all the smartest employers realize is that a paycheck isn’t enough. You’re paying them for their labor, but you should want more out of them. You should want them to be engaged. Most people want to be more engaged with their job, as well. Engage employees by getting them to participate more than labor. Get them to think of questions to ask at team meetings. Push for accountability. Spend more time on one-to-one communication.

Motivation

Engagement can be part of what brings about motivation, but it’s not the only method. You need to figure out what the employee really wants from their job. Is it to become better? To be acknowledged and rewarded? To be part of a team, there are plenty of different motivational tools to try out. It’s about finding those that work for your team.

Space

Regardless of how engaged or motivated your team is, if you don’t have the right space for them, you can’t expect the best work. What kind of work do they do and what space do they need for it? Do they have the kind of privacy they can get from spaces like an office phone booth? Do group meetings have a communal space they can happen in? Look at the setting of your office. Does it really meet their needs?

Direction

Another big problem with a lot of companies is isolating their employees. Not physically, but in terms of their work. People need to understand the whole that they’re a part of. A company culture needs to be there as a driving force behind every decision made. If people know the company, know the culture and know their role, they can find it easier to be satisfied with how they contribute.

Investment

You shouldn’t just expect people to be more invested in the company, either. The company needs to be invested in them. It needs to offer them mobility inside the company, a chance to do more and get more. It also needs to offer them development that can help them outside the company. Training and mentorship programs should be a key part of how you deal with your staff.

A leader

More than anything, a team needs a leader that can convincingly provide all these. Someone with the traits of motivation and dedication to the team that spurs them on to get great results. A company owner or employer doesn’t necessarily have to be a leader. Sometimes, it can be better to spot the traits in your own employees and raise them up to be your go-to guy for the others.

6 Simple Strategies for Making Your Staff Feel Valued Without Breaking the Bank

6 simple strategies.jpgAs a business owner, you might assume that you’ll have to pay top money to get the best people working for you. The truth is, money isn’t everything when it comes to hiring new staff. And, believe it or not, a salary isn’t the only reason people consider taking jobs with new employers!

Some companies use a variety of strategies to attract new talent and keep them on board. If that’s not something your firm has cracked yet, what can you do?

Well, it’s worth looking into these six simple strategies. What they will do is keep your staff feeling valued and appreciated. They’ll also be more likely to produce high-quality work for you at all times! So, without further ado, here are the things you should do in your business:

  1. Make sure you are paying them a fair wage

First of all, you should start by taking a look at what you pay your staff. The thing about salaries is they are not set in stone. What you pay your employees will depend on various factors. The location of your business plus their skills and previous experience are three examples.

Did you know that pay and salary surveys are useful sources of information on the subject? You could also check what local competitors pay their staff. Usually, the way to find out that information is through job board websites.

  1. Make your employees a part of the family

These days, there is a plethora of ways to make workers feel valued. One thing you could do is make them a part of your corporate family! How? The answer is simple: offer them share options in your business.

It’s an interesting yet effective way of boosting productivity as well. That’s because share dividends will be higher if the company does better than expected. And so, that will encourage your staff to work harder and produce better results.

  1. Recognize each worker’s efforts

All too often, business leaders seldom thank their employees for a job well done. Sure, they expect them to produce consistently good work at all time. But, it seems the culture in business these days is just to chastise people.

Instead of focusing just on the negatives, you should give credit where it’s due. You don’t need to hold award ceremonies for your staff. A simple “thank you” letter is often enough to keep morale high. If you are feeling generous, you could even take your team out for a meal one evening to say thanks!

  1. Help your employees work on their personal development goals

Yes, your staff will no doubt have the skills necessary to carry out their work each day. But, you can guarantee they might struggle with certain personal skills. One interesting way to keep your staff feeling valued is to work with them on their development goals.
For example, could they benefit from advanced customer service training? Perhaps they would like to learn more about IT and computers? It’s worth identifying what those personal development needs are and addressing them.

  1. Allow your staff to have a sense of ownership

Let’s face it; we all don’t like getting told what to do! Yes, I know, employees get paid to carry out specific tasks. But, you don’t need to bark orders at them. Instead, why not give your staff a sense of ownership? By that, I mean allow them to approach how they complete their daily tasks.

Each person has their own thought processes and way of doing things. You might not think it, but there is more than one “right” way of completing a task. Their idea of the correct method might differ to yours. But, if they carry out the work and achieve the desired result their way, life will be easier for everyone.

  1. Include your team in project planning exercises

It’s no secret that business leaders have a variety of strategies to manage their teams. For some bosses, one strategy might be to delegate without discussion. The thing is; such an approach doesn’t make your workers feel valued.

Consider letting your staff have a say when planning a new project they will get involved with. You could invite them to contribute ideas that could cut time and costs. You may even wish to ask them for their opinions.

When tasks get completed as a team, morale will be high. Plus, everyone will enjoy a sense of achievement and satisfaction. It’s much better than a hierarchical strategy where “orders” get filtered down the chain.

Make Customer Loyalty Your Number One Priority

 

customer loyalty.jpgFor your business to be a success, you only need to hit one target. You have to keep your customers loyal. It doesn’t matter whether you have the most efficient business model available or whether you are delivering the best product on the market. If you keep your customers loyal, they will always buy. If they always buy, you’ll never go out of business. Even in times of economic uncertainty, your business will be making enough money to stay open.

This is the only goal you need to strive for. Forget about expansion and focus completely on customer retention. Let’s look at some of the ways that you’ll keep customers coming back for more.

As we already said, you don’t need to deliver the best product on the market. You do, however, need to ensure that the product you’re selling is of high quality. This is true for any business, and it has to meet some basic standards if you want to keep customers loyal. For instance, if you’re working in manufacturing you need to guarantee a quality build. It should have a long lasting life and should not fall apart after a short period.

You can all but guarantee this if you use the right adhesive, such as Durus KS351. Remember, though; your quality checks shouldn’t stop once the product has been made. You need to make sure the packaging is of high quality as well. You will also want to guarantee that the delivery service is up to standards. All this should be quality controlled.

Of course, for other businesses it’s the service that needs to be of high quality. For instance, you might be running a cleaning company. Work to ensure that when you clean a room, it is left pristine. There shouldn’t be any sign that employees have completed a half dash job.

There’s only so much you can guarantee by delivering a high-quality product to your customers. You can guarantee they will keep buying if the product is affordable. If it is too expensive, you’re in trouble and your business close all too quickly. There are lots of reasons why costs are pushed up and price rises.

For instance, your business model might be completely inefficient. All but a guarantee if you are not using some form of outsourcing. Outsourcing is the simplest way to save money in the business model. Through outsourcing, you can pass on the costs to another business and just get the service. It’s a great possibility that we strongly suggest you do consider. It has become a fundamental part of the manufacturing business in particular.

Another way to cut the cost so that you can lower prices is to increase your market. If you can aim to sell to more customers, you can afford to lower your prices. You’ll still be making the same amount of money, selling to more people. Again, you don’t have to sell your product at the best price on the market. It just needs to be close enough to other key players.

How do you reward customers for staying loyal to your business? Some companies would argue that delivering a quality product at a low price should be a good enough reward. Customers might not be completely satisfied with this idea, though. They might demand something more from your business. Thus, you need to look for a different form of a reward, and we suggest a deal.

Every so often, loyal customers should be offered deals. You can keep this exclusive to customers who have already bought from your business, using mailing lists. Reward schemes are a great way to boost your brand and remind customers to shop with you. In particular, you should focus these rewards on when customers are more likely to buy your product. For instance, there’s no point advertising Christmas light prices in the middle of July.

Finally, if you want to keep customers loyal to your business, you just need to show them that you care. You have to make sure they know that their happiness if your top priority. It’s easy to do this these days by staying active and interacting with customers as much as possible. A lot of businesses now use social media accounts. However, you can also contact them directly through email or even calling. It’s not cold calling if you’re checking in rather than trying to promote a sale.

We hope you have found this advice helpful and keep your customers loyal as well as happy.

 

Injection Molding: Advantages & Disadvantages

injection molding.jpgToday, we’re going to talk about injection molding, and how it can be both a benefit and occasionally a detriment to any business. If you don’t know what it is, injection molding is one of the most used manufacturing processes in the entire world. It’s a very versatile method of producing parts and products, and it’s also very efficient.

Advantages

In general, injection molding is usually referred to as plastic injection molding. The plastic molding process has long been thought to be a fantastic option by industries across the globe. The effectiveness and low-cost nature of plastic molding mean that it’s very easy to implement. But, why is it so good? Let’s list a bunch of reasons.

Firstly, it’s fast. Cycle times aren’t slow, which means that more work can be completed in quicker times. It’s also very accurate, meaning that the work completed can turn out to be very precise in nature. Really complex designs are easy to create; that otherwise might have been far too expensive to manufacture.

Another major benefit is that you can use multiple plastic types all at once with the help of co-injection molding. You can also use fillers in the injection molds to enhance the strength of the part after it has been molded. There are lots of possibilities available with plastic moldings, making them a great choice.

Ultimately, in terms of finances, the automation aspect of plastic molding is what makes it so appealing. It only requires one operator to control the injection molding process. This cuts down labor costs to a considerable degree. It also helps to reduce manufacturing costs in a big way, adding up to some serious savings over time.

And finally, the waste that is made out of the process can be recycled. We all want to commit to a green lifestyle, and our business can certainly do that through this method.

Disadvantages

There honestly aren’t that many disadvantages for us to note about injection molding, but they do exist to some degree.

Let’s start with the most important one, and that is the restrictions that come with part design. You see, a mold tool is made in a specific way, and this means that you have to tailor your requirements to it. If you don’t do that, you’re not going to get the result you want. It means that some restrictions are placed upon you, and that could turn out to be a problem occasionally.

Also, if you’re looking to carry out the process yourself, it’s going to cost a lot of money initially. Injection molding machines are expensive things, and you also need the skill set in order to run it properly. If you’re outsourcing the responsibility, it’s not always easy to determine accurate costing.

Ultimately, however, injection molding is something that poses more advantages than disadvantages. There’s a reason why it’s so widely used in a variety of industries, and there’s no doubt that it will continue to remain popular for a long time to come.

Swapping Sectors: Make a Difference with Transferable Skills

Swapping Sector.jpgAs a recruiter, I often hear from candidates wishing they could swap industries or sectors. There are plenty of reasons why. Boredom and career burnouts are big contributors, of course. And sometimes, people will realize that other industries offer far higher rates of pay than the one they currently inhabit. For many, it’s an impossible dream.

However, for anyone looking to swap sectors, I will always tell them the same thing: it’s a lot simpler than most people think. The key to success is transferable skills – and this guide is going to outline some crucial points you need to know.

Choosing the right career

Some careers are more adaptable than others. Take mechanical engineering for example. There is an enormous array of work available in just about every sector, from aerospace to transportation. And the skills you learn at college or on further education courses can lay the foundation for entry to any of them.

It doesn’t take too much training per say, take you from working for a hydraulic fittings company to getting a job looking after hydraulic pumps on an oil rig. And in the vast majority of cases, employers will hire engineers from different sectors rather than training them up from scratch.

The only trouble with this is that not everyone knows what they want to do, until much later on in life. And in this case, there are plenty more generic, transferable skills that can help.

Generic skills

When recruiters and employers look at your CV, they go far deeper than just your current job title. They want to know about your relevant skills and experience that can improve their company. There are some core competencies that can be transferred to any industry, and it’s vital you can highlight your abilities in these fields. Skills such as communication, research, interaction, and management can be used in every sector.

Putting transferable skills into practice

Of course, its all well and good saying you are an excellent communicator and leader. But recruiters and employers need to know your communication and leadership can bring value to their business. You will need to look at your successes, but also explain how you achieved them.

You will need to remember the problems you solved, and how you overcame those challenges. You’ll need to consider your personal qualities – and how they helped you do your job in the best possible way. Can you see a pattern emerging here? It’s not about your skills as such – it’s about how you use them that will impress recruiters and employers.

Understanding the sector

Finally, there is a lot of work to do before you can even consider swapping industries. When you go for another job, finding out about your prospective employer is critical. But when you trade sectors, you’re going to have to learn a lot more.

Take your time to educate yourself, and look at the common denominators with your current industry. Once you understand the links, you can then start to apply for a new sector role – and expect success, rather than hope for it.