Tuesday, October 6, 2015
You are probably well aware of the fact that people tend to spend more money during Christmas than they do at any other time of year, and if you are running a business, one thing you will want to do is figure out how you can maximize this opportunity for yourself; of course, while this seems simple in theory, you also need to realize that every other company is likely thinking the exact same thing, and your goal will need to be figuring out how you can attract customers your way even better than those other companies are! Giveaways and contests are a great way to get people into your store, but the main thing you need to realize about running giveaways and contests is that the Internet is your best friend; rather than running a contest in your store, come up with a contest that you can run using facebook and Twitter, and incentivize spreading the word, as you will be able to simply set up the contest and then allow others to spread the word for you! Having a Christmas blowout sale is one thing that a lot of companies will be doing, and while this is certainly a great idea to consider yourself, there are a few specifics you will want to keep in mind in order to maximize these efforts: firstly, you will want to have the sale over a short period of time rather than stretching it out over weeks, secondly, you will want to advertise aggressively so that people know you are having the sale, and thirdly, you will want to make sure you are discounting items people will actually want, as this is more likely to drive crowds your way! And sometimes, one of the best ways to boost your sales during Christmas is to work with another store. One idea for doing this is providing advertising space for each other in your own store, or even coming up with some sort of promotion - such as "a receipt from one store gets you 5% off your next purchase at the other" - as this will keep business booming for both of you!
Monday, October 5, 2015
These days, it seems like Groupon is everywhere – with people always talking about it, with ads for Groupon always showing up online, and with many of your favorite restaurants or shopping stops offering great deals through Groupon – and if you own a small business of your own, you might have started wondering how you can use Groupon yourself. Signing up for and running a deal through Groupon is really a very simple process, but setting up your deal in such a way that it is successful is a bit more complicated, so make sure you read this guide to help you get started! When some people run a deal through Groupon, they make the mistake of offering people something that is a “throwaway item,” but you need to realize that it is extremely important to offer something that people actually want; even if you only break even through the Groupon deal you are offering, this is still advantageous, as you will be bringing in new customers – many of whom will keep coming back! Another thing that will be very important is that you are fully aware of what day the Groupon deal is going up on the Groupon website, as there will be many people who want to call with questions; be prepared to spend the day by the phone the first couple days that the ad is up so that you can answer any questions that come in and can keep the purchases rolling! And if you have other deals in place as well when customers start coming in to use their Groupon coupon, it will go a long way in securing these new customers as regular customers; come up with some deals that will appeal to customers, and advertise them in your store, as this will stick in people's heads and make them much more likely to continue coming back so they can keep getting “great deals” from you!
Sunday, October 4, 2015
One thing that you are probably aware of if you run a small business of your own (that you are perhaps even painfully aware of!) is the fact that, within your business, you will always be competing against others, as it will be inevitable that some of your competitors will thrive while others of your competitors will not survive; because of this - and because you will certainly want to be on the "thriving" side, rather than on the "not surviving" side - it will be important that you look for every edge you can find in order to experience success, and one edge that you should pay attention to is learning how to promote your business through pictures. You probably have a website that you use for your business - either as a promotional tool, or as a storefront in its own right - and you may even have come to the realization that one of the most important things for you to do in order to achieve success with this website is for you to make the website visually appealing, but what you may not have realized is that having pictures that pertain to your business is one of the best ways to make it visually appealing! Another thing that will be important is to have pictures that pertain to your business in print ads of yours; having a print ad that gives the viewer information is one thing, but it is another thing altogether (that is, it is a much more effective thing!) for the print ad to tell the viewer something all on its own, through a well-placed picture. And if you have a storefront, or (to an even greater degree!) if you have an office that customers or clients come to for meetings, having some pictures on site will go a long way in drawing these customers and clients in; have some of your favorite pictures (of those that relate to or pertain to your business) blown up and mounted on the wall, and this will give your offices an extra, useful flair. And when it comes to these pictures, the most important thing of all is that you make sure you are hiring someone who knows what they are doing to take these pictures; if you plan to use pictures as a "face" of your business, you will want these pictures to look professional - and the way to make this happen is to have a professional take the pictures!
Saturday, October 3, 2015
If you are a small business owner or working in some sort of entrepreneurial capacity, there is a good chance you took this step in your career because you wanted to eventually be able to work fewer hours while making more money than you were making before; while this is certainly something any small business owner or entreprenur can attain, however, this tends to end up being the opposite of reality for most entrepreneurs and small business owners - and this is largely because they do not know the steps they need to take in order to dominate online. The first step you need to take in order to dominate online as an entrepreneur is using search engine optimization to dominate search engines; some people simply use SEO as a means to gain a bit of extra exposure on search engine rankings pages, but when you take the time to learn all the ins and outs of SEOs, you can cause your site to gain a top ranking, and to gain tons of new traffic as a result! On top of making sure you learn the ins and outs of SEO so that you can take full advantage of its power, you will want to use social media to get people to swarm to your site; social media is a great way to connect with people you would otherwise never be able to come in contact with - and these connections can often lead to a great boost in profits for you. And finally, realize that your website will not do you much good - unless you have this site optimized for sales; do not be shy to make it obvious that your site is in place in order for sales to be made, as this will enable you to make a lot more sales to the people who come your way! Realize that small business and your entrepreneurial efforts are games that can certainly be won - and you can be the one to win in these games once you understand how to take the right approach, and when you implement this right approach in your efforts!
Friday, October 2, 2015
The idea that it can be too difficult to separate "work life" from "family life" causes many of people to advise you to never work with family, but if you are already involved in a family business, this advice does not do much to help you; instead, you should acknowledge that conflicts are inevitable in any form of business - and when it comes to participating in business with your family, it is essential that you know how to resolve these conflicts, as they will otherwise be able to injure relationships in both work and family. Having a structured plan in place that you can follow whenever conflicts arise is the best way to resolve conflicts within the confines of a family business; you need to wait until a time when no conflicts are occurring in order to come up with this plan, as this will enable everyone to give their input into the process without a current issue getting in the way. If the conflict that you have run into is about something of a minor and/or interpersonal nature, the two people involved should work it out between themselves whenever this is possible, avoiding the need for mediation from someone else in the family or business; for such conflicts, a designated room or area should be set aside for the two involved in the conflict to have their discussion, as this will allow the rest of the work space to remain a peaceful environment that is conducive to work while the two in conflict resolve their issue. On the other hand, if the issue in question deals with the entire company or family, having a process that will allow both sides of the argument to be heard by everyone will be useful, after which everyone in the family can vote on the issue to complete the resolution. Once these processes have been agreed-upon and put in place, it will be easy to follow these processes in order to resolve conflicts at work, and to do so without allowing these conflicts to trickle over into your regular family life.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
If you are in business, you understand all the reasons why it is wise to carry your business cards with you everywhere. When you are out, you never know who you will meet; furthermore, when you meet someone, you never really know who they are, and you never really know who they might know. You are always ready to pass your business card along to someone who might be a future client or customer if you have a stack of your business cards with you. But while most people in business know the benefits of carrying business cards with them, and practice this sound business practice without any problems, far fewer businessmen and businesswomen ever think to carry around business cards that belong to someone else. The practice of carrying around business cards that belong to others can be extremely beneficial; here are a couple reasons why. As a businessperson, you understand that any conversations with strangers are golden. Any opportunity you have to talk to someone you do not know might just be the opportunity you have been waiting for. But oftentimes, people will be turned off if they think you are starting a conversation with them strictly because you wish to sell them some sort of product or service. People are protective of their money; they are less likely to talk to you if they think you are trying to exchange something for their money! But with business cards that belong to others, you are always equipped with great conversation starters. You might be at the movie theater when you hear someone talking about how they really need a plumber. If you are equipped with your favorite plumber's business card, you have an open door to slide into the conversation. "Excuse me, but I heard you say you need a plumber; here, take this business card - it's for the guy we use on our house; we have always been really happy with his work!" You have now entered their conversation without trying to sell them anything at all. The conversation is sure to cycle back around to you, and to what you do for a living. Also, people are inclined to remember someone who helped them out without any promise of something in return. As your conversation has turned back around to you, and to what you do, you will likely end up unloading one of your own business cards as well. And you will have yourself a new customer the next time something arises in this person's life that you might be able to help with. This might seem like a small step in improving your business, but you never know what "small step" might turn into your next big thing.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Anyone in business surely has learned the importance of making sure their customers keep coming back for more. After all (and you have surely heard it said before, but it is always worth repeating!), 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. Because of the fact that a small percentage of your customers keep you afloat, it is absolutely vital that you understand the best ways to keep these customers coming back for more, and then to also understand how to turn new customers into repeat customers. A lot of businesses fail before they get any serious traction because they focus so much of their energy on gaining new customers before they ever take the time to focus on the customers who are coming back. New customers should not be your first priority, because - although new customers are important - they are not your main source of profit. There are several ways to keep your repeat customers happy, but the best way is to find out what they say! As you get to know your customers, you will also get to know their opinions regarding the things you are doing with your business. This is a great benefit, as you can find out what they like, and you can also find out what they dislike! Although large businesses are unable to get to know their customers as individuals, there are still a lot of ways for them to "get to know" their customers; of course, good customer service is one way, but also consider having customer surveys and online response forms. You can begin to go after new customers once you have made sure that you have built a foundation for keeping your current customers happy. Advertising is a great way to get new customers in, but advertising alone will not help you keep new customers; you need to also create a sense of loyalty. If you are a small business, you will continue to grow as long as you take the time to get to know your customers as individuals. And if you are a large company, create a sense of familiarity and community with your new customers, and they will keep coming back. It is not difficult to make your business fail; but if you learn how to keep your customers coming back, it is also not difficult to succeed!