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StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article

How to Make Your Shipping Parcels Look More Professional

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales ArticleWhen sending out packages to clients and customers, you want each shipment to bear the name of your company in a neat and professional manner. In fact, your shipping parcels need to make it obvious that they are coming from the same place. You can make professional shipping practices into a habit by utilizing shipping labels. Make your shipping labels look uniform and crisp by using a bold font, high quality envelopes and closing your envelopes neatly.

Why Your Company Needs to Print Each Shipping Label

A hastily written shipping label is not very legible, which could lead to delivery delays. If the delivery person can’t read the zip code or make out the name of the intended recipient your shipments may end up getting returned and being marked as undeliverable. Time is crucial when shipping parcels to customers, business partners, and vendors. If you want them to have a professional impression of your place of business, you need to have each shipping label printed up neatly which you can do if you buy a printer and a shipping label set.

Ensure that your labels have your company name and address as well as the name and address of the recipient printed out and aligned prior to sending your packages.

Envelopes Count When Shipping Parcels

The envelopes your company uses to send parcels help to keep the contents of each package intact and undisturbed. Not all of your shipments are going to be made up of papers. If your company is sending a package that is fragile, use padded envelopes that won’t tear or easily be compromised. All shipping boxes and envelopes also need to be thick so that their contents aren’t visible from the outside. Include packing peanuts for added security if you think that the items inside of your shipments may shake or move around in transit.

Professional Methods for Securing Envelopes

There should be a strong security tab for securing envelopes when sending out parcels professionally. In other words, you may want to avoid using the type of envelopes that you moisten and apply pressure to close the tab. Use envelopes that peel and stick so your recipient will know if it has been tampered with prior to delivery. You can also use security tape to ensure that your parcels are never opened before they get to their destination. If your company is sending out confidential papers or packages that are private in nature, your shipping methods can help to deter tampering.

When parcels that come from your company arrive looking professional and completely intact, your clients will easily identify all of the efforts taken to safeguard their mailings. Professional mailing efforts will also enable you to track packages and learn when a shipment has been diverted. Start with neatly printed labels and your workers can confirm that they have included the correct shipping information prior to dropping off packages to be delivered.

Use the best quality envelopes and package all parcels appropriately and they will arrive on time to the designated party. Your customers will make more purchases knowing that their shipments always arrive securely and professionally packaged.

StrategyDriven Cusstomer Relationship Management Article

The Only Guide You Need For Creating Strong Customer Relationships

Creating strong customer relationships is positively key if you’re going to keep them for the long run. If you don’t mind whether they run off to your competitors, go ahead and leave this article. If you want to make sure that your customers love you and stay with you for the foreseeable future, then you need to know how to create a strong customer relationship. Read on to figure out how you can go about this!

StrategyDriven Cusstomer Relationship Management Article
Photo courtesy of Pexels

Be Honest About What You Can Do

If you’re not honest with your customers about what you can do, you’ll likely tarnish your reputation in the process. You might really want to do what they’ve asked of you, but if you know that you can’t or it won’t be very good, just be honest about it. They’ll respect you far more and you may even be able to come up with a solution. Always be as honest and authentic as possible.

Go Above And Beyond Expectations

Make sure that in every customer interaction you have, you go above and beyond their expectations. Doing more than they expect will make them remember you and come back to you again and again. Look at what your competitors do and figure out what you can do that will set you apart. Always aim to offer incredible value for money, unrivalled customer support, speedy delivery, and other things that will make you stand out.

Keep Things Lighthearted

Keep things lighthearted with your customers and they’ll feel more ready to open up to you about what they need. If they feel you are rude, indifferent, or unhelpful, they’re going to go somewhere else and ask questions. Be as helpful and happy as you can.

Learn As Much About Them As Possible

Learning as much about your customers as possible is important. After all; each one is individual – they are far more than just a number. You can learn about them in various ways, and there’s even software you can get that tracks the visitors who come to your site and gives you information about them so you can start building a strong relationship right away. One option is visual visitor. But is visual visitor worth signing up for? You do your research and decide!

Email Marketing

If you’ve met a few potential clients recently, perhaps at a conference or expo, you need to make sure they remember you. Often, no matter how friendly you are, they won’t remember you or what you do right from the get-go. Make sure you follow up after a meeting immediately, so that you stick in their minds. Personalize your emails to them if possible. Remember though; people are rarely ready for what you have to offer when you first meet them. This is why getting their emails and giving free insight is a great way to stick around in their brains for when the right time comes.

Remember that happy, loyal, engaged customers will be the best free marketing you will get. They will become like sales people for you, raving about your business and making sure everybody knows what they think. Make sure you use these tips to build strong customer relationships and you’ll create exactly this for your business!

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article

Why Your Clients Won’t Pay Up On Time, And What To Do About It

One of the most frustrating things in business are clients who won’t pay on time. Your accounts receivable might be making your balance sheet look healthy, but if the money doesn’t actually arrive in your account, it’s no use to you whatsoever.

How Slow And Non Paying Clients Put Your Business At Risk

Slow paying clients aren’t just a nuisance. They can cause your business serious financial harm. First, customers who pay late can cause serious cash flow problems. You may have made decisions in advance, such as taking on a new employee or signing a new contract, banking on the fact that you would get paid by a specified date. But when clients don’t pay up, you can experience a cash flow shortfall, even if your underlying business is healthy. Not having cash on hand in the present can lead to serious relationship problems with your staff and suppliers, especially when they go unpaid.

The second issue is the extra administrative burden non-paying clients place on your business. Not only do you not have the money you’re owed in your account, but you also have to pay out extra administrative costs to chase people up. What’s more, the repercussions of non-payment can affect people at the senior level – the very people who should be focusing on moving the business forward. Wondering whether you might get paid takes your mind off other tasks, reducing your creativity and causing additional stress.

If you find that late invoice payments are a perennial problem for your business, then it might be time to revamp your payment collection process. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to remedy the problem of late-paying clients. Here’s what to do.

Make Invoicing More Convenient

One of the reasons why your clients might not be paying you on time is that your invoicing process is complicated or antiquated. In a world of instant gratification like ours, people don’t want to have to jump through hurdles to do something as simple as making a payment. What they want is to be able to quickly and easily pay you the money you’re owed and move on. Thus, friction in the payment process can be a real problem.

The good news is that technology has made it easier than ever to pay. Paying for your business services needn’t be any more difficult than ordering a new pair of shoes online. So long as your business has a merchant account, many accounting software packages now come with the option of sending a card payment option along with digital invoices, meaning that your customers don’t even have to do a bank transfer. If you use a cloud solution, you can make the process even easier by allowing people to pay using mobile devices.

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Use Spot Factoring

Small and medium-sized businesses regularly find themselves in the following situation. They’ve just completed a large order and used a significant amount of their capital in the process. They get another large order in from a different client, but they’re unable to fulfill it because they still haven’t been paid for the first. In short, they have nothing in the bank to pay their suppliers and vendors.

In situations like this, companies need advice on slow paying clients. One of the best pieces of advice out there is to use spot factoring, a process where a third party company buys up the invoice and immediately pays out a cash value for it. This process provides your company with immediate funding and passes on the hassle of chasing up late payments from a client onto somebody else.

Create A Better Relationship With Your Client

Another reason why clients don’t pay up on time could be to do with your relationship with them. They might not be conscious of your existence, or worse, they might not like you. Customers will find all sorts of reasons not to pay on time, or at all, including what they think about you personally.

To really get clients on your side, you need to create personal relationships with them. Ideally, you’d generate a creating great business partnerships tips, empathy, and understanding which would make it uncomfortable for the client to make a late payment. Having a close relationship with a client also makes it easier to broach the issue, should they fail to pay on time. Being able to call them up and discuss it over is often a lot more productive than simply sending them a threatening letter in the post.

Ask For Money Up Front

In some industries, the sellers of a new product or service have the luxury of asking for payment up front. But even if that isn’t how your industry typically operates, there are still options open to you.

One idea is to break up a project into chunks. Get clients to pay for small chunks of the project as you go along. This way, you have the security of getting regularly paid before spending resources to carry out work, and your client can test the waters, rather than paying for everything up front before knowing whether you’re going to do a good job or not.

Some clients might actually prefer to pay up front. By paying up front, they know that they’re not going to get smacked with a big bill later on.

Settle Payments Terms In Writing Before Carrying Out Work

Late payments or non-payments can sometimes arise out of confusion. Often, clients simply don’t know when they’re supposed to pay, and so they wait and wait until something happens. If your company is relying on good cash flow to pay staff and suppliers, then you want to avoid this situation at all costs.

When you get down to the matter of payment, establish a payment timetable with your client in writing. Although formal relationships like this might seem a little extreme, they can actually be very effective at building trust. Your customers will take the arrangement more seriously if it is in writing and will get the impression that you’re not messing around. You run a tight ship, and you expect them to pay on time.

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article

Why You Should Consider Switching To a Direct Debit Service

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution ArticleDirect Debit is one of the safest and most cost-effective methods of conducting a financial transaction. It is an instruction from customers to bank or building society to collect specific amounts from their accounts after giving an advance notice of date and value of the transaction.

You give the authorisation by completing a Direct Debit Mandate form that can be either in paper or in the form of an online web page. Post-authorisation, the organisation can automatically take payments from you in accordance with their scheme rules.

Direct Debit makes sure all bills are paid automatically without delays or any hassle. It saves businesses plenty of time meaning they can focus on the importance of staying concentrated on their core competencies.

Use of Direct Debit

Direct Debit is mostly used for payments along with:

  • Paying regular bills of variable amounts. You will be assured with direct debit that all your bills are paid timely every month.
  • Safest and easiest way to make recurring payments like magazine subscriptions or membership offers.
  • Companies provide Direct Debit services as an option for spreading costs or paying on an account.
  • Other than regular and recurring payments, it is also used for one-off payments.

Direct Debit Payment

It’s hard to remember when bills have to be paid, but matters can be made easier using Direct Debit that allows hassle-free payments. It is the most preferred method of payment in the UK. It is not only used for paying household bills, but also by businesses to pay their day-to-day transactions and commitments. Payments are automatically taken from your account on a regular basis.

Direct Debit Collections

Direct Debit is the easiest way for an organisation to collect payments from customers and businesses. It reduces the cost of collecting funds directly from a bank account.

Here are some reasons why you should consider switching to a paperless direct debit service:

  1. Ease of use

It is very easy to set up. Once your business signs up with a direct debit provider, customers can get ready for payment collections through a one-off process. Customers receive a link where they enter bank details online giving customers the authority to make payments from their bank accounts. Direct Debit services are also optimised for mobile so customers can sign up on the move, making it very simple.

There is also an option of paying variable amounts at different intervals without having to do anything more. This feature makes it perfect for paying those bills where you are charged depending on monthly usage. The company AccessPay offer a Cloud-based Direct Debit solution (which you can view here) that adds an advantage and ease that I found few other competitors do. With their service, they make collecting funds faster, simpler and more efficient for you. With the cloud-based debit solution they allow you to set up a number of Bacs direct debits, which will help to manage the entire payment process with ease.

  1. Saves precious time

It is very challenging for some people who lead busy lives to find time to stay on top of their bills and other finances. Setting up Direct Debit can help you pay on time without having to remember the deadlines. Everything will be done efficiently and automatically. Once your payment mandate is set up, your job is done. Forget all about setting reminders for your payments because direct debit will do all that for you without you having to lift a finger.

  1. No more late payments

If you are running a business where customers are making credit payments and you are fed up of those people who never seem to pay on time, a direct debit service can make your life a little easier. With Direct Debit, your customers will pay on time every time. The entire payment process is taken care of automatically, so your customers will not miss a payment again. You can also give better customer service this way without any disruptions or awkward chase up emails. Save yourself from embarrassment and also from the cost and effort associated with tracking your debtors.

  1. Safe and Secure

Direct Debit Services are secure and protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee. It has modern encryption and secured firewalls to protect all users personal and private information. When the information is transferred from the bank, it is encrypted at the source so customers can be assured the safe security of their data. The Direct Debit Guarantee gives customers complete coverage of payments in case of unforeseen circumstances like fraud or payment errors. From all the payment methods in the UK, this is by far the safest for users. It also guarantees to give you the rights to immediate refunds for any incorrect charges that have been added to your account.

  1. Cost effective

Direct Debit Services gives you ample time, admin and cost savings. This money can then be further invested in the business or passed on to customers in the form of incentives or discounts. This will make your services/products more attractive to existing and potential customers. At the same time, it will improve your business standards giving you an edge over your competitors.

  1. Attractive Packages

More attractive payment packages can be made for goods that are expensive so that customers can pay back easily through affordable instalments. This will also avoid late payments and the added bank charges for exceeding the overdraft limit in banks. You can make more flexible payment plans for a faster, more efficient payment method.

Switching to a Direct Debit Service reduces the complexity of payment handling, saving your time and giving you peace of mind. So, start improving your cash flow and handle your finances smoothly.

Photo courtesy of Grace Stroke

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

So You Created A Product, Now How Do Your Get It To Your Customer?

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
Photo courtesy of Pexels

When you come up with a great idea for a product, you can often find that you spend so much time putting your all into its creating, to then be left stuck wondering what to do when it’s complete. Well, even though it may not feel like it now, you’ll be glad to know that the hard part is over. You managed to come up with a product that was not only worth creating, but that was actually able to be made – so give yourself a pat on the back. So now, you’re going to need to work out just how you’re going to get it to your ideal customer – and that can involve a few different processes.

During the planning stage of creating your product, you would have identified the ideal audience that would be interested in buying from you. So now it’s all about getting your product in front of them and making those sales. Using a combination of marketing, sales, and operations, that can be easily arranged. As long as you’re ready to put a bit more work in and not aim for retirement just yet, your product will find a bunch of happy homes in no time at all.

Marketing

First up, you’re going to want to work on a proper marketing strategy for your product. This will not only get it in front of your customer but also help to create a brand image for your product and your business overall.

Deciding On A Strategy

Before you start with any kind of activity at all, you need to make sure that you decide on the right marketing strategy for your product. Now, this will entirely depend on what it is that you’ve created. But, it’s not always easy to know what strategy to formulate. As long as you have your intended audience at the center of your decisions, you should stay on the right track.

Creating A Brand

You should also think about your branding. It’s so important for every business to establish the right brand for themselves, but it’s especially important for startups or small businesses. Branding is often a way to assert your mark and differentiate yourself from the competition, so be sure to create a brand that will work for your product.

When To Launch

As apart of your marketing process, you’re also going to want to establish a set launch date for the marketing activity that you intend to carry out. This will often depend on the launch date that you also decide for your product to enter the market on. You may wish to coincide the two together or to start your marketing beforehand to work up some buzz around the launch. Either way, you need to have both dates in your mind to work towards.

Packaging

Next up, you’re also going to want to think about just how you’re going to get that brand onto your product and ensure that your customer receives it safely via the packaging you design and produce.

Incorporating Your Branding

One of the first things that you’re going to want to think about during the packaging process is your branding. As we established in the marketing section, you’re going to need to decide on a brand for your product. So, with that on its way to being created, you should also aim to add it into your product or your packing in some way. Again, this will depend on what product it is that you’ve created, but it should give you some food for thought.

Practical Packaging Design

However, at this stage, it is also very important that you think about the logistics of getting your product to your customer. You need to be sure that it is packaged safety and securely, so looking options. You may need a box for your technological device, foam padding for your breakable designs or even specialist intermediate bulk containers for your food product. Either way, be sure to do your research into what will protect and transport your product safely.

Supply Chain

But that’s not all; you’re also going to want to think of the operational ways in which you’re going to physically get your product to the customer. Not only does this involve how your customers will get their hands on it, but also where you will sell it.

Choosing Suppliers

To make sure that your product gets in front of your intended audience, it’s highly likely that you’re going to want to find the right suppliers for the job. Whether you have a B2B product or something for a consumer audience, working with retailers can provide useful to your sales forecast and for your growth. So you need to make sure that you choose the right ones to reach your customers.

Negotiating With Suppliers

With some ideal suppliers in mind, you’re then going to want to approach them. Sometimes, you can find it hard to get on their radar. However, if you’re looking to attend trade shows with your product, you might have better luck at accessing the right people. When you do get in touch, you then will have to work your way through negotiations so that you can get the best deal for your business.

Selling Online

You may also want to think about selling online. Going into ecommerce isn’t going to be for everyone, and it may depend yet again on what exactly your product is as to whether it will be a suitable option for your business. But, it’s often worth looking into. And if you’re not planning on having an operations ecommerce website, then be sure to have an informational site that allows interested customers to contact you.

Delivery Options

Whether you’re shipping to suppliers or directly to your customers, you then also need to think of another side of the supply chain – transportation. To physically get your product for your warehouse or manufacturing unit, you’re going to need some form of haulage, or a consumer delivery service. Or, you may even want to fulfill this yourself. Either way, they are all important decisions to make if you want to get your products out to customers.