StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Essential Ingredients Every Business Needs

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
 
Unfortunately, you can’t simply launch a company and expect business to be booming overnight. There’s a framework you need to put in place, and essential ingredients you’ll want to include that will help you succeed and get through the rough times.

It’s not a wise idea to move forward blindly without specifics in place from how you’re going to get from one point to the next. Always be forward-thinking and coming up with ideas for how you can be improving as you go. Include the following key requirements you need to experience long-term stability, and you’ll be quickly heading down the right path.

A Solid Business Model & Objectives

If you want to make money with your venture, then you’re going to need to have a sound business model in place with a list of critical objectives you’re going to tackle. Pay attention to what sources of revenue you have available to you and if you feel you’re competitively priced or not as you work on your roadmap. Set goals for what you’re going to work toward in the coming years and include specifics for how you’ll achieve each one. This is an instance where you do want to obsess over the details and make sure you’re putting yourselves on a solid course to victory for the long-term.

Policies, Processes & Procedures

Every business needs to have policies, processes, and procedures in place to function optimally. It’s not a wise idea to launch your company and simply hope for the best without documenting and communicating out your rules and expectations. You’ll need this type of structure in place as you begin to hire on more staff and expand your offerings. Efficiency and speed will become even more important as you grow and the only way to do this is by coming up with a framework of best practices. There will be less confusion on a daily basis and more communication occurring between departments and individuals when everyone’s on the same page.

Technology Solutions

Doing your work manually isn’t a good solution for the future because it slows you down and provides more opportunity for errors to occur. You can read more about what your options are for how technology can improve your business such as tracking time and individual projects. This way you’ll know exactly who’s in the office when you’ll save yourself money and can quickly take note of who’s working on what projects. Adopting more technology solutions will allow your employees to be more productive and you’ll be happier because you’ll be achieving your goals at a quicker rate. Bring more of what you’re doing online, and you’ll likely notice that your business runs a lot more seamlessly and there are fewer complications.

Talented Employees

Every successful business needs to have skilled and talented employees who are ready to work hard each day. Hire wisely by taking the time to come up with specific job descriptions, read through resumes and participate in the interviewing process. Be very careful and mindful of who you hire and bring onboard because it will cost you even more money to keep replacing people. Your company will progress nicely when you can depend on the staff who you’ve hired to complete their tasks correctly the first time around and not have to constantly be babysitting and correcting mistakes. Hold regular company-wide meetings and assign your employees individual coaches to ensure everyone feels valued and connected.

Strong Leadership

No business ever made it too far without having a strong team of leaders and management in place to guide employees and execute on the company’s objectives. Surround yourself with good people who have experience working in high-level positions and understand and can help you achieve your vision. Your company needs direction and people who are committed to building a bright future filled with a lot of positive outcomes. This will be especially important in difficult times or when your staff isn’t feeling very motivated. Your business will require strong leaders who will step up in the face of adversity and never give up or quit.

Paying Customers

Your business won’t survive too long without a long list of loyal and paying customers who you can depend on in good times and in bad. It’s essential you pay attention to your clients and offer them consistent and outstanding customer service. Reach out and seek feedback and listen to their viewpoints so you can make any necessary changes going forward. Focus on delivering quality products or services that are innovative and meet the needs of your customers. Engage with them on social media and be available to answer their questions or talk through any concerns. What will help you out the most is continuously testing out new products or services with small groups of people before you go to market with them, so you can guarantee they’re a hit.

A Plan for Problems

You should never expect all to go smoothly and as planned when you’re running a business. There will always be roadblocks, obstacles and unexpected happenings that you’ll need to deal with and manage. Think ahead by planning for problems and determining what it is that could possibly go wrong, so you’re prepared for these hiccups when they do occur. Always spend within your means and have resources available to you should anything get steered in another direction, and you need to act fast. Focus on problem-solving your way out of sticky situations instead of flying off the handle or giving in to these inevitable issues.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the essential ingredients every business needs to truly thrive in a competitive and cutthroat landscape. Work on achieving success in these areas, and you’ll be a lot better off as you continue to develop your company. What will help you to accomplish this goal is if you make a list and then prioritize what you believe is most important that you get done first and continue to work your way through the remaining items.

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article

Customer Service: Are You Doing Enough?

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management ArticleBelieve it or not, customer service is the backbone of any successful business across all industries. It only takes a few minutes searching the web for leading causes of customer dissatisfaction and you will clearly see that insufficient customer service tops the list. It is a given that customers will have questions or issues with any product or service but it’s how you deal with those issues and questions that makes a difference. When it comes to customer service, are you doing enough? Here are a few checkpoints you may wish to analyze to see just how well you are doing on that front.

Time is of the Essence

If there is one cardinal rule in business, it would be that time is money. When it comes to customer service, it is vital that anyone running a help desk has instantaneous access to any information the customer may need to resolve their issue. How many times have you been transferred from department to department only to find there is only one person who is able to answer your question, even though it may not be something they would ordinarily handle?

With an IT solution such as SysAid’s help desk, this would not be an issue. It’s only a matter of accessing a user-friendly dashboard to find the solution or department necessary to answer the customer’s question or resolve their issue. Rapid resolution is a way to save time and, consequently, money. Time is money and every minute lost equates to dollars and cents down the drain. Don’t forget that the customer’s time is also valuable. Are you resolving issues or answering questions in the quickest, most direct manner? If not, then you are most definitely not doing as much as you could.

No One Likes Getting the Runaround

One of the most important tools you can give your customer service reps is the information they need to handle calls quickly and efficiently. As mentioned above, altogether too often customers call in to a help center only to be transferred to a wrong department or person. Are your customer service reps equipped with the IT they need to efficiently route calls where they need to go? Do they have the information at hand to answer questions which are not overly technical?

Given the right help desk platform, any customer service rep should be able to answer tier 1 questions quickly and accurately without the need to transfer a call unless the question is beyond what they are legally or professionally allowed to answer. While wasted time is the number one customer service complaint, being given the runaround with repeated transfers comes in at a close second. No one likes getting the runaround which is both frustrating and time consuming.

The Value of Customer Retention

Unfortunately, altogether too many businesses are so wrapped up in customer acquisition that they fail to realize that customer retention is even more important. It takes a lot less marketing money to keep a customer than it does to find a new customer, and this is why customer service is so vitally important to any business.

If you are experiencing a higher than average turnaround in customers or clients, you probably aren’t doing enough in terms of customer service. Although no customer service rep can be expected to be an expert on every level of a business, there are IT tools to give them what they need to satisfy incoming calls. Get this right and you will notice a growing customer base, higher profitability and a customer service desk that does just what it’s supposed to be doing – serving the customer to keep them happy and loyal. In the end, that’s the key to success.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Becoming a Notary Public

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleWhile the specific laws vary from state to state, there are a few basic steps you can expect to encounter on your journey to becoming a Notary Public. Whether you are required to obtain your Notary certification as part of your job or you are interested in starting your own Notary signing business, a Notary certification gives you the authority to sign mortgage documents, marriage certificates, trust documents and perform many other civil duties. If you have ever wondered how to become a notary, here is an outline of important steps.

In order to become a Notary, you should be at least 18 years of age with no criminal background. Some states require background checks, and most states charge a set fee on top of exam costs, application fees, supply costs and background screening charges in order to become a Notary. Most states require that people holding the Notary Public title always have certificates, stamping seals and a detailed journal on hand for documenting jobs for your protection.

Your state’s secretary office will often have all of the information pertinent to courses, specialized training and exam information on becoming a Notary. Most standard notary courses only take about three to six hours to complete, and exams are often scheduled immediately following the completion of the course; not all states administer exams.

Most states also require that you obtain a Notary bond. Surety bond amounts vary, but this type of insurance protects both you and the consumers if you should happen to make a mistake that damages someone. It takes about seven to nine weeks to become a Notary, depending on your state’s laws. Certification and exam requirements also vary from state to state.

A standard notary term is four years, but many states have five or ten-year terms. Once you are deemed a Notary Public, you can generally notarize most documents that come across your desk. Some legal documents may be restricted, but most legal requests for notarization that are accompanied by acceptable forms of identification may be notarized by you once you are certified. You provide an essential civil service as a Notary Public.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

How do You Drive Website Conversions?

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleHaving plenty of fresh visitors to your website is all well and good, but if you’re not converting those site visits into sales then you’re not actually accomplishing what you need. Having low conversion rates is one of the key signs that there is something wrong with your website service, and sometimes it takes just one factor to convince a potential customer to abandon your site in favor of one that is easier to use. If your conversion rates are lackluster, then it’s time that you gave some thought to the proven strategies that will encourage more sales and reduce your rate of site abandonment.

Calls to Action

Asking your site visitors to do something specific is known as a call to action (CTA). What you’re asking them to do will depend on your current marketing strategy, but usually it entails things like signing up for a newsletter, registering for a special offer, or voting in a poll. These are critical, because the longer that a customer stays on your site, the more chance you have of making a sale. It really is that simple. You want to provide something in return for their time, so make sure that your CTA results in unique content or offers that can’t be accessed without the action being taken. Your landing pages will be critical here, and need to be the right blend of simple to understand and a gateway to other pages on your site.

Use Testimonials

When up to 64% of consumers read online reviews before committing to a purchase, your testimonials are clearly important. Businesses that fail to make use of positive reviews are missing out on a vital marketing tool. Testimonials are effective because of a few factors. They add credibility to your brand, and by doing so, they also promote the right level of trust that may be the deciding factor when a site visitor is hesitant about finishing the sales process. In 2018, reviews have started to change in terms of consumer trends, and video testimonials are becoming much more prolific. These are particularly useful if your business is relatively new, and by making use of professionals to review your product, you are giving your testimony content an incredibly fresh and exciting new format for customers to enjoy.

Quality Content

From product descriptions to blog posts and white papers, content is one of the most important tools when it comes to boosting your conversion rates. This is largely because the best content will have the effect of boosting your SEO rankings, making it far easier for consumers with a specific need to find you. If you struggle with content or SEO marketing, then make use of www.blackbeltcommerce.com, who can design a content and marketing strategy that will see your SEO rankings rise and your conversions see a vast improvement. Mix up the type of content that you post, and assess your analytics to check which types work best for you.

Your conversion rates are a good indication of the health of your business, so it’s vital that you keep working at them to keep them as high as possible. If you follow the above advice, you will stand a much better chance of encouraging customers to commit to that all-important final click.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

A Must-Read Guide for Starting a Warehousing Business

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleIt’s common for both small businesses and independent contractors to have limited storage space for their products. To accommodate the growth of their business, they might turn to large warehouse facilities to house their ranges.

A warehousing business could potentially be a lucrative venture, but you’ll need to identify the products you want to store and the right building size for your needs. Below are some top tips for starting a warehousing business.

Understand Your Startup Requirements

Never enter a new business without doing your homework. Not only will you need to establish your startup costs, which can range from $10,000 to $50,000, but you must review the competition in your area. Review local business listings to see how many industry rivals you need to compete with. You should also visit their website to determine the various services they provide, target demographic, and price ranges.

Call Other Warehousing Businesses

Your local competitors will more than likely not be willing to share the key to success, or the common pitfalls they face. However, companies far away from your destination might be more likely to offer advice and tips on how to make your first venture work, so give them a call.

The Correct Licenses & Equipment

If you are confident you have what it takes to make a warehousing business work, you’ll need to register for a DBA (doing business as), which you can obtain from either your local county or city administration office. The good news is, this will only cost between $25 and $50.

Most of your money will be spent on your warehousing equipment, such as shelving units, crates, forklifts, and storage units (such as freezers and refrigerators). It’s also vital to invest in highly efficient LED lighting. A truck might also be an essential investment for your company’s distribution services, as it will enable you to deliver products locally to clients.

Purchase Inventory Software

Effective organization is an important element for a successful warehousing business. If you want to accurately keep track of every item in your warehouse, you must buy inventory software. This will monitor the entrance, product location, and exit of each item, so you’ll never misplace an item or cause a delivery delay.

Hire Your First Employees

Of course, you cannot run a warehousing business without employees. Improve efficiency and professionalism by hiring candidates who have extensive experience in logistics, if you plan to provide distribution services to your clients. They will be responsible for organizing shipping and tracking the products to a final destination point.

You must also hire a person to check items in as they arrive, set-up the product locations in the warehouse, and label sections from A to Z. Not forgetting you’ll need to hire staff to both lift and operate forklifts for picking.

Find Customers

To generate leads for your business, you should sign up to the International Warehouse Logistics Association. The local listing could help you to secure nearby clients to start storing your first products. You should also call local companies to promote your services and explain the key benefits of working with your business.