Three Reasons Your Sales Figures Are Low This Month

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.

Whether we like it, or not sales can often seem like the be all and end all of any business no matter the size, and if sales are low it can spark a panic from the top to the bottom of your organization. However, there are some ways that you can improve your sales figures. In fact, identifying the reason that they aren’t where you would like them to be and addressing these each, in turn, can be hugely helpful. Read on for more information.

Loss of motivation of your sales team.
One reason why you sales numbers may not be where they should be is that your sales team members are not working up to their potential. Of course, you will need to determine whether this is a serious issue or just one of the natural lulls you can expect in a month.

If it is the former than a shakeup of the team may be necessary? Perhaps accounts need to be swapped over to see if others can do better with them, or maybe some additional training is in order?

However, if your low sales figures are likely due to a lull, then it might be better to put a motivational strategy in place. To do this, you might consider offering percentage bonuses, although even earning points that can team members can exchange for tickets in an end of month raffle can also do the job.

Poor user experience.
Next, your sales targets may be low because the shopping experience that you are providing for your customers isn’t right. In fact, this is something that can affect online sales, and well as purchases made in your real-world stores.

Of course, while the general principle to improve these this is the same, the specifics are a little different. In particular, to enhance a customer’s experience online (UX) it is often necessary to create compelling stories and personas on your website.

However, regarding real-world customer’s experiences taking care of the way your store looks with ff&e logistics is more of a priority. After all, if you cannot provide them with a pleasant and enjoyable space to shop in, they will not want to spend time in your store and you will be fighting a losing battle with sales.

Fitting your shop out properly is essential to sales.

Your paid advertising isn’t landing.
Lastly, you sale figures may be suffering because the advertising you are paying for just isn’t landing correctly. What this means is that it is not appealing to your target demographic and convincing them to buy your product over your competitors.

, there are some things you can do about this. First of all, consider the platform that you are advertising on. Are you paying through the nose from print publication when you could reach your audience better through online adverts?

Also remember the power of personalization, in that by customizing what each shopper sees, something that it is possible to do online, you can help to tip them from an interested party to confirmed sale. Something that will definitely help to boost your monthly sales figures.

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Essential Apps And Tools For Your Business Website

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.

There’s more to a business website than pretty pictures and a contact page. Your business website will become far more useful if you add a range of apps and tools to improve its effectiveness for your operations. From generating more leads to boosting your SEO, here are some of the applications that will both improve your website and bolster your profit margin.

Generate more leads using this cost-effective B2B sales tool. It allows you to track those anonymous visitors who visit your website but never reach the end game (making a purchase). Who are they? Why did they visit? How long did they stick around? This lead generation tool will provide you with the answers, giving you an opportunity to both chase them up (if appropriate) and make improvements to your website to help with future sales.

Improve your search engine rankings with special plugins to help you with your SEO. These are some of the best WordPress SEO plugins for example, with customized options to help you optimize your website accordingly. These tools will help you place the right keywords, create backlinks and give you the ability to analyze your site visitors behavior. Don’t have WordPress? Some of the linked plugins will work across other website builders, and a little bit of online research will help you find further options to fit your site.

Enhance your customer support with helpdesk tools, giving you the ability to quickly respond to your customer’s concerns and queries. No longer will they sit twiddling their thumbs waiting for you to answer the phone, and no longer will you face the prospect losing them to someone else because you didn’t respond fast enough. Examples of customer support software include Freshdesk and HappyFox, with robust ticketing systems to help you improve the efficiency of your support.

Make the shopping process easier for your customers using designated e-commerce tools. By making their experience simpler, with smarter ways to add items to the shopping cart and faster payment processes, your business will profit as a result. We recommend Shopify, but other tools are available. Not only are these apps fast and efficient, but they are secure as well, something that will bring added peace of mind to any worried customers.

Save time traveling to business meetings by using a virtual conferencing app, be it Skype, Zoom, or ReadyTalk. You can sit in the comfort of your office and speak with anybody through your computer screen, be they in the same building as you or halfway across the world. You can share your screen with others, collaborate on projects, and transfer essential files, all with the click of a button. What’s more, some of these apps will work from your mobile devices too, so you can easily make those conference calls when you’re at home, on the train, or indeed anywhere (provided you have a good wifi signal).

There is a tool and an app for almost everything these days, and we have only touched the surface. Consider what it is you need to improve your website, and continue your research, using the latest tools and apps to enhance your business, and improve your customer’s experience.

Make time to read biographies and autobiographies

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.

There are many different things that ambitious people do when they want to have the best possible chance of success These can range from pursuing certain types of educational qualifications, or consulting with expert analysts, to buying an expensive suit and rehearsing potential interview questions in front of the mirror for hours.

But while doing an MBA in strategy online, or working on your personal presentation can be excellent ways of ensuring your success down the line, there are some much simpler and more fundamental steps that you can take first.

One of these — often overlooked — is simply taking the time to read through the biographies of successful people, in order to glean lessons from the experiences of those who have walked the path before you, so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel yourself.

Here are some reasons why you should begin making time to read the biographies, and autobiographies, of successful people, today.

Success leaves clues
Every time you read about someone who has been dramatically successful in a certain discipline, or area of life, you can rest assured that he or she has done a few things — or maybe a lot of things — right.

Sure, luck plays a part in everything, but it is truly rare to find a highly successful person who can attribute all of their success — and their ability to hold onto that success — to luck alone. At some point, good habits, wise decisions, and a winning strategy all become crucial factors to consider.

It’s for this reason that the old saying; “success leaves clues,” rings true.

In any given instance, it can be difficult knowing what the best course of action is in order to ensure the greatest possible chance of overall success and prosperity. Thousands, if not millions of articles and books have been written about the fundamentals of success in various endeavors, and your own experiences may drag in yet other directions.

Seeing what successful people have done, that’s worked for them, is an excellent shortcut to obtaining good, tried and tested ideas about the best ways to act.

Failure leaves clues
For every example of a fantastically successful business icon, who kept their cool and consolidated their resources and victories against all the odds, you will find examples of the sample people making bad mistakes and errors of judgment, and sabotaging themselves in the process.

All humans are bound to experience their fair share of failure in life — and even the super-successful don’t get it right all of the time.

Just as success leaves clues, so to does failure, and you can avoid many potential failures of your own by learning what not to do from those who have made those mistakes first.

Some failure is inevitable, of course. This is part of learning and growth, and it builds character. Having a bit of help in avoiding the major missteps, however, can’t hurt.

Understanding a “success mindset” is essential
The practical business decisions and productivity habits of the rich and successful, as well an overview of their professional blunders, are by no means the only things you have to learn from reading their biographies.

Just as important as all the other stuff, is understanding the mindset that underpins success. It is simply an axiomatic truth, that no one is successful over the long-term, either in business or in life, without developing a mindset that contributes positively towards that success, and helps to drive away despair, doubt, and negativity.

It’s no great surprise that so many successful people, in a diverse array of fields, from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Richard Branson, have endorsed practices like mindfulness meditation, positive affirmations, and various other forms of self-care.

Those who are perpetually scared, sad, bitter, and withdrawn, simply can’t thrive until they change their thinking.

Give yourself a shortcut to success, and work on understanding the “success mindsets” of the high achievers.

Getting some perspective, and staying inspired, is essential
Even if you manage to internalize the right habits and mindset for success, and do a pretty good job of not sabotaging yourself in the most obvious ways, your motivation and energy levels are bound to wane sooner or later.

Another key benefit of reading the biographies of successful people is to give yourself a boost of motivation and inspiration. You should remind yourself that anything is possible, and great rags to riches stories really do happen.

Then, with renewed purpose, get back out there. 

Pixie Dust and Mickey Mail

We recently spent five days and four nights on the Disney Dream and it was just as magically memorable as you can imagine. Though we planned our trip about a month before we set sail, we were too late to join a Fish Extender group. You can read more about Fish Extenders in the post I wrote for the DCL Blog but a quick summary is these are small gifts from family to family that people put in a bag or tiered hanging box outside of your stateroom on the fish (hence Fish Extender) or seahorse depending on which side of the ship you are on.

Here’s ours:

(Somehow I forgot to take a picture of it outside our stateroom.)

Even though we were too late to join an official Fish Extender Group, we found about 16 families to Pixie Dust. Pixie Dust is just like a Fish Extender only surprise and with less obligation. I liked the ability to add some surprises and not feel like I needed to have something specific to each family member.

We ended up creating some ship cheat sheets, personalized postcards and small items for the children like silly face glow sticks, coloring books and silly bands.

These are the ship cheat sheets:
These are the postcards:

The first day we arrived on the ship we spent about an hour delivering our gifts, which our daughter affectionately named Mickey Mail. It was a great way to begin learning our way around and see the ship.

For the next four days, our daughter checked every time we came back to our room and before we left to see if she had received any Mickey Mail of her own. She was thrilled with everything she received and particularly appreciated a Princess Sophia playdoh set and an Elena of Avalor hooded towel.

I highly recommend participating in a Fish Extender or at least finding a Pixie Dust group if you’re planning on a Disney Cruise.

p.s. If you’d like to purchase the Dream Cheat Sheet or the personalized postcards, let us know!

What’s Holding Your Business Back?

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.

Does it feel like your business is going nowhere fast? If so, the chances are you’re not moving forward with a dedicated plan. There are a few areas that may be slowing down your business. 

Being Stuck in the Past
Businesses that are still stuck in bygone eras never last for very long. You should try to make sure that your business keeps pushing in the right direction if you want to make sure that things improve at a steady pace. Make sure that your use the best technology and target your customers through modern channels. Determine your idal customer and make sure you are reaching them where they are spending time. 

Poor Work Ethic Within Your Team
This might sound like a pretty basic thing, but a strong work ethic can actually go a really long way in the world of business. You should try to make sure that everyone is working hard for your business and pulling in the right direction. If you can do that, you will find that your team achieve more and you don’t get left behind by more united and cohesive rivals. One way to do this is to let each person know the goals for the quarter and year and how to achieve those. Each person should have objctives that will allow them to help reach those goals. 

Bad Company Structures
Companies that are structured in entirely the wrong kind of way will always find it difficult to progress and achieve great things. It’s up to you to make sure that when you structure your business, you keep the future in mind. You want the structure to make the most of the talent as your disposal, while also making sure that everyone is accountable.

Not Understanding What Your Customers Want and Need
When you’re not offering your customers what they want from you, it’s going to hold you back and make your job of selling to them almost impossible. So it’s time for you to start learning more about exactly what it is your customers want from you. Getting this right really will pay off in the long-term. Explorer Research shopper research is a good place to start. It’ll help you learn more about habits and wants of your target customers.

A Lack of Ambition and Urgency
If your business is simply not ambitious enough in what it’s trying to achieve, you will end up holding it back in unnecessary ways. How can you expect it to go further if you’re not really reaching for the stars? That’s something that you should give some thought to. Injecting some urgency into your business can really help you to push on faster, which has to be a good thing.

Just because your business is struggling now, that doesn’t mean that it has to continue to do so. It’s up to you to make sure that you improve things and help your company find success going forward. Once you know where your problems lie, you can start to take action rectifying them so you’re not held back for a second longer.