How To Make Your Business Customer Friendly

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

Keeping your business customer-friendly is important to longterm success. If you focus on your customers and giving them a great product or service with additional support, you’re far more likely to have repeat business than if you created a slapdash product or service, took your customers’ money and did nothing else.

Having The Right Marketing Strategy
Marketing is a big part of owning a business. It’s your advertising and follow-up process so you’re going to want to make sure that it’s done right. It’s the way that the world sees you, and arguably how they will all judge you. As we know, first impressions are everything in the business world so we need to make sure our advertising is as customer-centric as possible. Customers are much more likely to use a company if the advertising is based off a promotional standpoint rather than a “putting other businesses down.” Just because this tactic works for fast food places does not mean it would work for you.

Have a look here for the best sales promotion examples to give you an idea. If your marketing is aggressive then your company may give off an arrogant vibe which people won’t likely respond to in the way you’d like them to respond, but if it’s a friendly advert that is offering promotions then people will be much more likely to begin the purchase process with you.

Customer Service Team
Good customer service is essential to being able to say your business is customer friendly. It refers to the way that your company interacts with your customers, whether this be to sort out an order issue or just a general inquiry. If you’re after one of these teams fast you can hire them here, however it’s often better to have your own in-house customer service. If you have a problem with an order for example, and you’re wanting to sort it out, if you get in contact with the company and their replies are slow and uninformative then you’re not going to have a very good experience with them at all and are going to probably never return back because you’ve had a bad time with them. However, if you have a good experience with a fast response rate you are likely to do return business.

24 Hour Call Service
We don’t always have time to pick up the phone in the 21st century; whether it’s in the business world or the personal one, you’re not always available to pick up the phone, which is why you should invest in a 24-hour call service or web-based chat. If you can’t pick up the phone when it rings, it means that you’re going to miss one of two things; you’re either going to miss a call that is to do with a purchase, meaning that you’re going to miss out on a sale, or you’re going to miss out on a business related call which will make the process that the call was regarding much slower. These issues can be mitigated by a call service as they’re going to pick up every call for you that you miss meaning that business is never lost. But it comes with another benefit: for people from different time zones calling you, you’re going to often miss out on them because you’re not going to be awake when they’re calling, so by having a 24-hour service it opens up to a whole new market meaning you can become more successful!

There is more to keeping your business customer friendly and focused. You can learn more marketing-related tips here.

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Things to consider for your Business IT

Business IT Solutions

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

No matter your business size, if you have a bad marketing strategy, you’ll alienate more clients than you bring in. If you have a bad IT setup or none at all, your chances for success become even more difficult. 

It’s important to understand just how important a speedy, reactive IT solution can help your business. Life moves online these days at a dizzying speed, and with that comes many untapped resources for marketing and exposure. Business leaders who fail to implement a sound IT strategy are making things more difficult in the short and long term.

Large Bandwidth
The bandwidth your firm has will allow for a better internet connection speed around all of the computers you use on your network. It will allow you to keep on top of the whole business strata without any of your employees experiencing downtime. This is super useful if your firm has high upload or download requirements, such as working in content creation or marketing. It will also allow you to perform VoIP calls and video calls without a hitch. To learn more, check this useful article on bandwidth here to find out how a higher allowance can benefit your business. 

Reliability
Finding budget IT equipment is akin to hiring bad staff. For some reason, people don’t translate this logic to getting online with a form of IT, and try to save money on cheap equipment. What’s unfortunate is that no matter how well you save, the less money you spend, the more likely you are to need advanced repairs doing on your equipment. Not only that, but old equipment may not be compatible with the demands of modern software you’re going to be using to manage your business.

Retreating to older operating systems often leads computers away from modern security fixes to prevent viruses as well, so even if the old computers you’ve acquired are working well, for the time being, they will be ill-equipped to defend against the most malicious of hacks. This can wreak havoc on your daily functioning, and even make your private documents or employee details public. There’s nothing quite as toxic for a business environment as for one of these things happening. 

Employees
Your employees need to understand exactly what you require of them and how to stay up to date and trained with new equipment. Using software and processes from the past will only serve to make them feel alienated in their job, and like they could achieve a better and more technically satisfying job elsewhere. Employees often know what the best IT solutions are for their jobs, and will understand when they’re being provided with equipment that isn’t up to par. It will feel like a cheapened investment and limited trust in their skills, or they’ll question your understanding of the relevancy of their department. Treating your employees well means giving them the tools to do their job with speed, efficiency and ability. No employee wants to come to work and struggle with the tools they are given, so make sure this is never an issue and spend the requisite investment keeping them happy in this regard.

Storage
As businesses develop in size and structure, their storage requirements will go through the roof, and the demand on this will only increase in time. If you’re wise, you can overcome this immediately by enacting always online cloud storage solutions, and paying for a larger storage capacity as needed. In order to access this, you’re going to need to enact always online solutions for you and your team to access this. If possible, consider using wise suites such as the Google Drive & Documents capabilities. While having speedy computers is needed to run Google Chrome and access these devices with the least issues – Google Chrome is always reliable, is low on bandwidth, and many computers are able to run it, so it form fits with all of the suggestions above.

 

Three Popular Ways To Fund a Startup

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

If you’ve got a business idea, it can be hard having to wait for the right moment to launch. After all, you’ll be passionate about what you are sharing and want to get going. But in a lot of cases, you can only really get started when you have baseline funding.

One of the best things to do to start is to analyze your business goals and where you want your business to go long term. This can give you an idea of the kind of funding that may work for you and what funding will help you start your business the right way.

As it isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, you need to have an understanding of all of the options available to you. Do your research and your calculations, you may also want to get an advisor to help you assess the various implications of each type of capital. Don’t get sucked into doing something just because someone is offering you money if it isn’t going to be right for your business.

  1. Crowdfunding: With the wonders of modern technology, we now have a modern way of crowd funding online to start a business. Using an online platform, anyone can donate money to help your business get started if it is something that they can see working or are passionate about it themselves. Generally, the donation comes with a pledge that they’ll buy your product when it comes out, for example. Sometimes shares in the business are offered for donors, depending on what they give. So if you have a business that is something that will appeal to a wide range of like-minded people, then it is something that you might want to consider. Though this can sound like a fun and modern way to do things, you do need to bear in mind that there are many of these that go unfunded each year. So it can be worth a try, but it does need a big push and a well thought out and executed plan.
  2. Small Business Loan: One of the more obvious ways to get funding is going down the small business loan route. Going to a bank and presenting them with your business plan can be a good way to get a loan. Your idea and business plan need to be viable, though, as the bank wants to make sure that they are going to be able to get their money back. You should be wary of interest rates, though, and work out how much you will actually be paying back in the end. Then consider if it is a good option for you and something you will be able to pay back, You may also want to consider a traditional bank loan if the interest rates are better. Be wary of payday loan centers. While there is more and more checking and regulating the use of paycheck loans, these should be a last resort and only under the advice of a trusted advisor. 
  3. Angel Investor: Unlike a bank, where there is a lot more ‘red tape’ and regulation, you could approach a single person to be your angel investor. Often, it will just be a private, wealthy individual who will want a stake in your business. It is likely that they will want a large stake in your business, though, so you’ll want to think carefully once they have given you an offer. But it does mean you can get your business up and running and starting to make money. Over time, you could buy them out, but to start with, this can be a good starting option. 

So there you have it, three ways to fund a startup. There are more options, such as self-funding, or going through a venture capitalist. You ultimately must choose the right option for you and your business. 

Three things to consider before jumping into a new business

New business Research reports

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

At some point, everyone wants to dive head-first into a new industry with a new product by using funds and a reputation that is built on your current offerings. For instance, we’ve all seen brands such as Microsoft and Apple try to compete on each other’s grounds, and we constantly see large companies such as Amazon develop new services to meet the needs of all consumers. However, it’s safe to say that these large companies didn’t take a gamble and suddenly decide that they wanted to try something new. They tested the waters first with small production runs and conducted considerable market research before deciding to invest in a new endeavour.

This is important because the last thing you want to do is bankrupt your startup because you had too many crazy ideas that were destined to fail. Below are a couple of important tips to keep in mind that will help improve your success rate.

Don’t underestimate the market
The first thing to keep in mind is your complacency. If you think that it’s easy to break into another industry with zero experience, then you’re setting yourself up for dismal failure and that arrogance could cost your business a lot of money. If you do manage to dive into a new industry using your company’s assets without burning out, then consider yourself lucky if you didn’t take the time to plan. Do ample research on whatever new industry you plan to take part in and make sure you’ve got the means to attract a new audience or convert your current customers to try out your new products and services.

Secure funding
Thanks to companies such as smallbusinessloans.co, securing the funds for a new endeavour in your business is simple but making the pitch isn’t. You need to convince your investors or the funding company that your new ideas are suitable for the current landscape of the market and that you have a fairly high chance of making it a success. This is difficult because you essentially only have 5-minutes or less to convince an important figurehead to give you money, but as long as you focus on the important details (such as letting them know what you plan to do different or how you plan to separate yourself from the competition) then you’ll have a fairly decent shot at convincing investors.

Get onto social media
Don’t ignore the impact of social media and influencers can have on your newest products. This informative article from socialmediaexaminer.com goes into a lot of detail about how you can promote your products on social media. If you plan to test the waters of a new industry, then it’s essential that you first do plenty of research and ask yourself if those people on social media will appreciate your product or not.

Do You Have What It Takes To Run A Business?

Paper Boat example of leadership.

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

So, you think that you have what it takes to run a company? Well, you’re not alone. A lot of people love the idea of running their own business, and you can certainly see the advantages of this career move. There will be no boss breathing down your neck throughout the day, and you can make your mark in the business world. As well as this, you’ll be able to decide how many hours you work each day and determine how much time you will spend on your business. It sounds like such a fantastic opportunity that it’s amazing more people don’t become entrepreneurs.

As it so happens, they do, they just tend to fall flat on their face rather quickly. Around 97 percent of new startups fail in their first year, and there is a significant amount of debate surrounding why this occurs. One theory is that it is simply far too easy to start a business these days. Anyone can do it, and you don’t need cash in the bank either. You can borrow a business loan, perhaps dodge a high level of interest, and you are ready to hit the market running.

This has lead to a number of people starting a company who don’t have the skills required of a business owner. That leaves us with two important questions. What skills do business owners need and do you possess them?

Following The Leader
Top business owners often have a long history of being a great leader, and you can often see evidence of this, dating as far back as their school career. Business owners might have been captains of sports teams, head of the debate club or possibly just involved in school social activities. In college, they could have taken an active role in guiding the student population and campaigning for changes to the school curriculum.

Of course, it’s equally possible that a business owner has never shown any signs of leadership throughout their life. Luckily, this is a skill that can be taught. That’s why budding business owners should pursue a leadership degree before they start a company. With an Organizational Leadership online degree program, it’s possible to complete this type of training without it taking up too much of your spare time. On a course like this, you will learn key business leadership skills such as problem-solving as well as how to fill a role in executive management.

Remember, leadership will help you motivate your staff, get them on your side and boost levels of productivity in your company.

Promote, Package, Profit
The rule here is simple. If you can promote and package your product or service effectively, you will be able to make large profits. You might wonder whether you need to know how to promote your business. After all, you could rely on an outsourcing marketing company to complete this job for you. While it is true to say that many businesses these days are relying on outsourcing for promotion, you still want to know the basics yourself.

You need to understand how to reach the target customer because ultimately as the business owner, you should be making the decisions for how to market your business. The sector of your company for marketing might fill in the details, but you should be creating a marketing strategy, determining where to focus most of your resources. Relying on others to make these decisions for you puts you in a weak position. Creating a great marketing strategy is going to help you generate the level of sales you need to keep your business afloat.

Communication And Connections
One of the key roles for the business owner will be to generate leads and make connections with individuals who can strengthen their position on the market. For instance, you might want to expand your business. To do this, you will need people to invest in your company. That means that you will have to get these key individuals to sign on the dotted line and provide the cash injections. How do you do this?

You need to know what they want to hear so that you can adopt a strong position of negotiation. Investors are just one of the groups of individuals who you will need to be able to communicate effectively with when running your company. You will also need to connect with your customers, your employees and your business board members. Excellent verbal and written communication skills will ensure you can be effective here.

It is worth pointing noting that communication is not mainly verbal. 55 percent of communication is based on nonverbal gestures such as hand movements while 38 percent is formed of other vocal factors such as tone of voice. An example of this would be folding your arms. Folding your arms often suggests that you are closed off and not open to new ideas. That’s why in meetings business leaders often have their arms resting on each arm of the chair, to represent an open demeanor while holding an authoritative position.

Delegating
Or, to put it more bluntly, ‘you do it, I’m going home.’ Contrary to popular belief most business owners are not lazy and do not spend days of the week on holiday or at the golf club. Many business owners are the first one in at the start of the day and the last ones to leave. But this can be an issue because business owners can’t do everything and trying could lead to serious issues in the company model. You’ll quickly find that things you’re trying to retain control of start to slip through the cracks. That’s why you need to learn the skill of delegation to the business owner.

You need to be able to trust someone else to complete a job, ensure they are trained effectively and then let them run with it. Being unable to let others handle certain aspects of your business will diminish the productivity levels of your company.