Categories
Branding

4 CUSTOMER SERVICE STRATEGIES FOR STARTUPS

Whether it’s developing support channels or investing in a visitor check in app, there are so many things startups can do to improve how they interact with customers.

Here are four of them:

CREATE LOYALTY PROGRAMS

Just how important is customer loyalty?

Reports by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs show that loyal customers are worth up to ten times more than their first purchase. That’s a lot more bang for your buck if you consider that acquiring a new customer costs six to seven times more than reengaging an old one.

Reach out to old customers via email and advertising channels. Keep them up to date with your latest products and services. Chances are, if they liked you the first time, they’ll be happy to do business with you again.

INVEST IN DIGITAL SUPPORT

According to Harvard Business Review, the number one most important factor in customer loyalty is reduction of customer effort.

Rather than adding more customer service reps or beefing up your phone lines, focus instead on reducing customer friction–that is, by providing multiple channels of support that facilitate problem solving without having to pick up the phone.

It could be as simple as a chatbot, an FAQ section, or a visitor registration app like Greetly. Whichever the case, this strategy is bound to improve customer interaction and reduce spending customer service spend.

OFFER VALUE, NOT DISCOUNTS

Discounts are the best way to make a quick buck…but also the fastest way to kill your branding.

Notice how premium brands like Apple, Lululemon, Rolex, and Starbucks rarely offer discounts?

Why? Because they believe their products are worth the price.

When you sell a product for less, it signals to consumers that: (1) your regular margins are too high, (2) you’re desperate to get rid old inventory, or (3) you lack confidence in your brand. Whichever the case, you’re bound to hurt your brand in the long run.

Not to mention that discounts are addictive. Offer a discount now, and customers will keep asking. It’s a vicious cycle that eats into your margins over the long run.

Need an alternative strategy?

Reward customers with value ads.

Selling industrial equipment? Throw in a sweet five-year warranty for FREE.

Selling footwear? Offer a pair of socks for every $200 purchase.

Unlike discounts, value ads increase the perceived worth of your brand by expanding the range of your offers.

Pay less attention to price and emphasize value instead. The greater value you place on your products, the more your customers will realize that what you’re selling is worth paying for.

Besides good value shouldn’t come cheap, right?

PUT YOUR EMPLOYEES FIRST

The great Sir Richard Branson once said, “Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business”. Truer words have never been spoken.

Genuine customer service starts with your employees. The happier they are with your company, the happier they’ll be serving your customers and clients.

Want a quick tip?

Treat your employees well and give them more than they deserve. More often than not, whatever goodwill they receive from you will be paid forward to your customers.

How’s that for compensation!

Ready to grow your business for the long haul? Consider these customer service strategies your first step.

Categories
Finance

SMART INVESTING: 5 COMMON INVESTMENT MISTAKES TO AVOID

Successful and fruitful investing is not always about the money you make. Investments are also about how much money you keep. And most of the time, people make mistakes in the investment process.

Either you are new or have been long-time investing, it is easy and simple to make mistakes. And avoiding these mistakes can suggest better returns and keep your losses minimum. Allowing your assets the possibility to grow and develop over time.

Of course, nobody is perfect. Still, some of the errors you may make are common. To help you out, listed below are seven common investment mistakes you should avoid.

EXPECTING TOO MUCH

Investing alone will not clear up or resolve all your problems financially, whether you like it or not. It is simple to think that because you are now starting to invest, everything will be flawless and exemplary. But it is not applicable in the real world.

You cannot easily beat the earnings of the stock market over the short term or long term. Do not be unrealistic. Always keep your expectations in the real world. Examine and review what the stock market truly does over the years, and utilize those numbers for your anticipation and expectation.

SHORT-TERM THINKING

Short-term investing might not allow your investments to grow and develop over time potentially. Long-term thinking is especially critical if you aim for long-term investments, like college education of your children or your retirement.

A lot of investment professionals suggest that for long-term growth,  it is very crucial to invest in the stock market. Although, there are times when the prices of the stocks decreases and your investments lose value.

It is not easy and simple to invest. However, by being attentive and observant, you can avoid making this investing mistake and eventually raise the potential of your investment growth for a long period.

INVESTMENT MINUS THE PLAN

Just like any endeavors, you need to have a plan before you start investing. The more you plan, the higher probability of success. Not having a reasonable and precise idea of what you want to accomplish is like building a house or any other establishments without a blueprint.

Before you invest your money in bonds, stocks, or any other investments, you should take some time to plan of where you want to proceed. Consider your objectives and your overall goals.

Be specific. Furthermore, you also need to evaluate and determine the level of risk you are most comfortable to deal with along the process. You should also need to consider the kinds of assets you want to invest your money in and which assets will help and assist you to reach your goals.

In every type of assets, such as stocks and bonds, you need to consider and examine the amount of diversity included to assure that you will have an excellent balance of investments. Lastly, a written plan provides you a way to record and track the developments and progress of reaching your objectives.

If you’re still doubtful about investing, you can seek advice from credible advisory firms such as Ashe Morgan to help you out and consider the options that you might want to take.

RESTLESSLY EAGER

Either you are investing big time or small time, you want your investments to work and execute well, and produce great returns. It means creating a long-term strategy and adhering to it.

If you are relentlessly changing your assets around in an attempt to pursue great returns, then you are not allowing your investments a shot to exhibit what they can truly do.

Take heed that investing requires and demands you to have a considerable amount of patience. Because on the contrary, making careless and impulsive decisions can be very troublesome and complicated.

Look at the complete history of the investment you prefer because it will provide you with more excellent ideas of what you can anticipate in the future. Use your sound judgment to become a successful investor and know where the possible lapses may appear to make sure that your investment strategy works.

EMOTION-BASED DECISIONS

Decisions created entirely by your emotions can lead to detrimental and devastating results, like the computer made decisions that can cause a problem. Emotional-based choices sometimes contain biases.

For instance, when a potential investor purchases a specific investment, and it rises afterward, they might embrace the idea that they were confident and definite that it would occur. On the other hand, if it declines, the investors may persuade themselves that they had a feeling that it could happen as well.

This situation arises because of the human behavior. Human behavior has a likelihood to organize our thoughts to suit the assumptions of the moment. Do not let your emotions command or tell you what you should do. You will just need great decisions and human reasoning.

Takeaway

In conclusion, when investing, there are mistakes that you can commit. However, there are common investment mistakes most investors make such as expecting too much, short-term thinking, no plans, impatience, and emotion-based decisions. To lessen your mistakes, always remember to be patient and do not make rash decisions out of emotions. Get rid of these elements from the equation.

Categories
Law

ONTARIO DIVORCE LAW: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

The law governing divorce in Canada also applies in Ontario. Anyone living in Canada, citizens or non-citizens, can apply for a divorce provided they meet the following eligibility criteria. Hiring a divorce lawyer is very important.

ACCEPTED REASONS FOR GETTING A DIVORCE

You must prove that your marriage is on the brink of breaking down and there’s no way back if you want a court to officiate your divorce. According to the marriage law, marriage has broken down if:

  • One year has elapsed since you lived together with your spouse and you consider/believe your marriage is over.
  • You are not ready to forgive your partner after committing adultery.
  • Your partner has been subjecting you to physical or mental torture and you can no longer live together. However, the burden of proving this is on your side.

ONTARIO DIVORCE LAW: BEGINNING A DIVORCE PROCESS

You should seek a legal redress from a divorce lawyer before embarking on a divorce case. The expert, among other things, will bring to your attention the specific law that applies to your case and how you can protect your fundamental rights. You can either do your own research or ask for referrals from the Family Law Information Center.

THE DIVORCE PROCESS IN ONTARIO INVOLVES:

  • Filling out a divorce application form
  • Submitting a completed application form at an Ontarian courthouse
  • Paying the stipulated court fees
  • Following all court rules as well as procedures.
  • On average, a divorce application in Ontario can cost $450.

ONTARIO DIVORCE LAW: THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

If you need to officially end your marriage via an Ontario court, you can file a divorce if you meet the following three eligibility requirements:

  • You and your spouse were lawfully married in Canada or any other country.
  • You’re decided to separate permanently from your partner or have already left him or her, and you don’t believe you’ll ever get back together.
  • You and your spouse should have lived in Ontario for at least twelve months before applying for the divorce.

In Canada, divorce matters are resolved under the Divorce Act. If you aren’t officially married, divorce law doesn’t apply to you.

There might be exceptions to the residency requirement if you and your spouse stay outside Canada. In that case, you may end your marriage via the Civil Marriage Act and can file for divorce in Ontario.

If you aren’t legally married and your relationship has broken down, people say you have “separated”.  Though the federal law doesn’t apply to unmarried spouses who separate, you may still negotiate by signing a separation agreement under Ontario laws.

Separation refers to a situation where one or both of you decide to stay apart with the intention of bringing your marriage to an end. Once you’re separated, you might need to resolve certain issues like child support, property, and spousal with your spouse. You can settle these issues by negotiating a separation agreement, coming to an informal agreement, or seeking a court order.

Categories
News

3 STEPS TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR

Are you tired of working for someone else? Do you have a passion you’d like to pursue? If you answered yes these questions, then being an entrepreneur like Paul Gravette could be a great job for you. Here are three steps to start your journey.

1. PICK A PATH

There are many different ways you can become an entrepreneur and you should choose the one that fits you best. Some questions to ask are:

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I have a passion for? (What gives me energy, what would I still do even if I didn’t get paid for it?)
  • Who will my service or product benefit?
  • What is unique to my approach/talent/skill?
  • What is the belief/promise/core values of my mission?

If you do not have a clear idea of what you want to, you can always learn about other businesses that interest you and exemplify their ideas. Another way is to look for a gap in the market. Notice a problem that needs fixing, and then find a way to establish a business that fixes it.

2. MAKE A PLAN

Making a business plan will help you visualize your goals, and it can be very simple. A single sheet of paper where you write down your goals, your strategies to meet those goals, and your action steps to take is a good first step in your business plan.

Before you invest, you should find out if there is a market for your product or service. Ask questions such as:

  • How old is my target customer?
  • How big or small is my market?
  • Is my product relevant to their lives?
  • Why do they need MY product specifically rather than others?

To answer these questions you can do some research online, but most importantly you should ask your target customers. Create a survey, or poll, or ask examples of your target demographic for their input. What do they need? How much would they spend for it? How do they want to access it or hear about it?

3. GET TO WORK

To get started you will need money and support. Take a realistic look at your finances, since you will be the main investor in your company. Ask for advice from a qualified professional, and keep in mind that the type of business you want to start will determine how much money you will need to get it started.

Creating a support network is essential. You should network locally and nationally, and someday internationally. Give yourself patience and a realistic expectation of growth. Entrepreneurs like paul gravette history will tell you that it takes time, but it is worth it.

Categories
Marketing

DO YOU REALLY NEED DIGITAL MARKETING?

Coming from someone who works in digital, this question may seem an odd one. However, with everyone planning their digital campaigns, a question needs to be raised – who is left to do the offline ads?

As a business owner, you will want to explore every avenue. And while I can throw some serious statistic around, claiming that digital marketing drives better ROI than offline ads ever could – and even if that is true – you still need to analyze your target market first, and make decisions later.

What if your audience simply doesn’t like to be sold to online? Is there another way to reach them, without spending tons on digital campaigns that don’t work?

Of course there is.

THE DEATH OF OFFLINE MARKETING

And while many have claimed that there is no longer any point in advertising offline, this is obviously a very wrong perspective to adopt.

Depending on the industry you work in, people might be much more ready for an offline form of marketing – be it a business card, a flyer or a banner – than a click here type of sales pitch.

When you invest in an offline item – you can choose to distribute it any way you want to. Have the abovementioned business cards made and use them at trade shows and networking events. Talk to Printroom who can make you any type of banner or board, and have them spaced around your premises. Organize a charity event in your local community and make sure your brand is clearly identifiable.

Interacting with people in the real world can have some unexpected benefits too. You never know why someone chooses to abandon their cart or leave your website. Maybe they need a question answered, and you never even thought they might be asking it. In person, it is much easier to explain what your band stands for, and why your service or product is better than the competitions’.

FORGOING DIGITAL?

While you may now be thinking that you should completely abandon your digital strategies, and focus on the real world, that is not quite what I had in mind.

Even if you don’t make your first contact with a customer online, and even if you don’t have an online store, you still need to have a website. People need to be able to find you, if they want to be reminded of what you offer, and how they can get in touch. Also, we all seem to expect a brand to have a website, so not having one is not a mistake you want to make.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to keep your brand consistent across all channels. Don’t let customers be confused by your online presentation – you still need to be spreading the same message, using the same colors and branding, and trying to speak to the same people.

THE DEATH OF DIGITAL

The one thing no one ever tells you about digital marketing, especially if they are trying to sell you a service – is that with any kind of competition, getting to the top of the search results page not only takes time, but can be a pretty insane effort, and it also may not even pay off.

With thousands of companies and the agencies they hire aiming for the same three spots in search – you simply can’t always compete. It is true that every online asset you have will always bring you in some sort of value. But still, you need to have a well thought out campaign for it to work.

With offline marketing, you need to adopt a different approach – and you can often reach a wider audience. The trick with both is to find the people who actually need your services, and sell to them.

And the best way to do that is with a synergy of online and offline tactics.

Categories
Loans

3 KEY STRATEGIES THAT WILL ALLOW YOU PAY YOUR LOANS WITHOUT SELLING YOUR ASSETS

The flexibility of banks these days when it comes to the provision of loans has reached where we can say it’s reasonable. Although many banks have stepped up their risk assessment and mitigation, they are still doing whatever they can to open credit facilities for businesses that need them. But of course getting a loan is not the hardest part. The job starts now when you have to pay. As a business, you can borrow money using business assets as collateral. Even if you are a small enterprise, you still have some assets and the bank will be interested to know what you can put up as security before your request is approved. Failure to pay loans leads to sale of assets. When it reaches a point where you are selling assets to service debt, your business is basically dead. You need to avoid this and here are three key strategies you can use to pay your business loans without necessarily having to sell your business assets.

BORROW BASED ON CASH FLOW

Do not over borrow money from a bank. Although you need a loan to get your business where it want to be, ensure that you understand the projected cash flows over the next few years and how you can structure loan repayments based on that. After all, in an ideal situation, a loan must repay itself. In other words, if you are borrowing money, it should be for investment so that the returns can be used to repay the debt and further help accelerate the growth of your company. The rule of thumb here is to always borrow an amount that can be easily paid with the projected average monthly cash flows in your business over the next few years.

YOU HAVE TO BE HONEST IN YOUR FINANCIAL ASSESSMENT

The repayment of your loan will be based on the money or the revenue your business will bring in at the time of the loan repayment period. As a businessperson, you need to be realistic when you are assessing financial health in your company and projected financial performance. After all, cash flow will determine whether you will pay loans without selling assets. If you have overestimated your Cash flow, you are likely to find yourself in a cash crunch with debts staring at your face. It’s better to actually underestimate and air in the side of caution knowing that there is some risk involved in your business and projected cash flows may not always turn out as good as you’d hoped for.

LOAN REPAYMENT HAS TO BE PRIORITIZED

Repayment of loans has to be prioritized in the company if the sale of assets will be avoided in the long run. You have to look at the loan repayment as part of the daily operational expenses so that there is money set aside every month to pay the debts. This will ensure that your payments are on time.

Repaying your business loans is not as hard as it seems. Talk to Nordax Bank today and get flexible business loans.

Categories
Finance

HOW TO SET UP A FINANCIAL ADVISORY BUSINESS

The prospect of having your own company can be appealing. With recent legislative changes around tax, pensions and financial planning, financial advisers are expected to profit over the next ten years. Growing numbers of households are now seeking advice on investments, pensions, and insurance. Here are some tips on opening an advisory business.

1. Qualifications

The Level 4 Diploma of Financial Planning is the benchmark qualification, but people set up by themselves from many different routes. Be warned that advisers leaving firms to go it alone may face restrictive covenants and lose their client bank.

2. Name Your Business

Lots of financial advisers employ their own name when dedicating the business. This works if you stay as the sole provider, but should you want to grow the business and add new financial advisers, you might want to employ a more neutral name. Consider a name which clarifies the nature of the business, such as ‘123 Financial Advisory Service’.

3. Arrange Your Office Space

Some financial advisers prefer to phone their clients, while others see clients face-to-face. If you plan to work over the phone, you can set up a home office with a computer, internet service, desk, filing cabinet and business phone line. If you like to see clients in person, you may need to rent a commercial office for client meetings.

4. Write a Business Plan

Decide on your niche market, establish your marketing strategies and set out your objectives in your business plan.

Make contacts at product companies and request their marketing information. As financial advisers liaise with providers over the sale of insurance, mutual funds and other financial services and products, you need these marketing documents to share with clients, plus application forms for when a client agrees to purchase your service or product.

Useful software for IFAs includes https://www.intelliflo.com/, which will streamline your administration.

The Guardian offers advice on how to become a financial adviser here: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2002/oct/18/workandcareers.drwork.

5. Build a Website and Online Portal

Make a website for your business that contains all of the financial services you provide to clients and their benefits. Share your experience and background to build an online CV which advertises your services. Add a blog as well as informational articles to boost your credibility as an expert.

Categories
Advertising

WHY TV ADVERTISING CAN BE VERY EFFECTIVE?

Any successful business should always decide to investigate true benefits related to TV advertising. This should allow them to take first steps to gain faster profits and more sales. Many businesspeople have been using TV advertising to significantly grow their profits. With the appearance of many locally established TV stations, small and medium-sized businesses are also flocking to this advertising method. Unfortunately, some companies come away bruised and battered, while others are gaining great opportunities. However, it is important to know how the TV industry as an advertising medium works.

This should be a perfect time for businesses to use available TV advertising options to improve their sales significantly. Airtimes have become quite affordable and there are specialty channels that allow us to better focus on our preferred market segments. TV also adds a degree of credibility to our business, unlike radio and various print methods. People tend to trust video-based content more because they can directly see and hear the products. Many people have achieved success through YouTube and we should also apply the same trategy to our local TV stations.

The most important thing is to send s clear and unique selling message. This should apply to all our marketing material, but it is especially true, because there’s a shorter window of opportunity. People can’t replay our advertising and re-read our copy. We need to provide our potential customers with very compelling reasons to learn much more about our services and products. In fact, it is perfectly to leave a lasting impression with only a 30-second TV advertising slot if we know how to design it properly. We should be sure that our messages are well designed and properly planned.

This can’t be achieved if we don’t have a very clear message. As an example, we should be able to show consumers that our products can delivers so many benefits and they could also solve many problems. In this case, we should define our unique selling propositions. Without this simple step, it would be difficult for consumers to differentiate our offers from those of our competitors. Boiling our information down to really clear messages can be both easy and difficult. We should start by asking ourselves why consumers want to buy from us. We could also ask why some people refuse to buy products from us. Make a list and be honest to ourselves.

We may also explain why consumers can get amazing benefits if they do business with us. Some products are really well designed that consumers can gain true benefits, so we need to convince them we are offering such products. We could directly show what our services and products will do for consumers. It is important to incorporate emotional appeals by showing reactions of actors or actresses on the TV screen. It is also a good idea to make sure that our products could deliver a sense of relief. In general, TV should be a perfect media to appeal our potential customers.

Categories
Branding

FACT OR FICTION? THE 5 MOST POPULAR MYTHS ABOUT BRANDING!

Undeniably, a brand is more than a logo as it represents the operations of the business. This is the reason why the primary goal of every market is to enhance the value of their brand with a unique identity.

However there are many rumors about branding which you circulate in the market. In this article, we are going to discuss the 5 myths about branding to help you maximize the popularity of your brand.

Assignment service shares with you some of the most common myths about branding.

1.  BRANDING IS USELESS, THERE’S NO REAL OUTCOME OF IT

It’s true that branding is a tough process but it doesn’t mean there is no outcome of it. A great number of popular brands use branding tactics to stay in the mind of consumers002E

However, you too can use this tactic to make the mind of your customers to recognize and connect with your brand without any hassle.

The reason behind this is that strong branding leads to brand loyalty so that you could easily take your brand to the next level.

2.  BRANDS ARE ONLY FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS

This is another popular myth that is very often associated with consumer products. In today’s competitive economy it’s crucial for every sort of businesses to focus on branding.

Every customer wants to invest their money on a developed, well-managed brand whether it is service based or product based.

That’s why it is must for you use this key element of growth to compete effectively on a global stage. Branding will help to increase the number of followers for your intangible product as well as create a strong relationship with the customer.

3.  BRANDING MEANS LESS PROFIT

The majority of the businessmen think that branding eats a great proportion of business profit. This is totally a wrong approach as it helps the business to bring more customers for their product for better sales.

It is crucial for every brand to create a budget for branding as it will easily cover the cost of brand awareness with the noticeable increase in the sales.

Thus, if you want to enhance the ROI of your business then you must focus on branding. Else, you will miss a great option that will help you to achieve your business targets in an effective way.

4.  BRANDING MISGUIDES CUSTOMERS

It is also a very popular myth that has stuck the growth level of many enterprises. Branding is the best way to showcase your product’s features in front of customers. When customers are familiar with your product, they will easily invest on it.

The more efforts you will make to promote your business the more clearly you will highlight it in front of customers.

So, you should make some branding strategies to help out your potential customers to learn more about your product and services.

5.  BRANDING MEANS MORE TAX

Many entrepreneurs fail to promote their business due to the fear of more tax. If this is the case then you might surprise to know that many countries offer tax-free advertisement opportunity to start up firm.

You can also get this opportunity by exploring the rules and regulation of your country regarding tax on the advertisement.

By doing this you will not only reduce the burden of tax but also maximize the brand awareness. Otherwise, you will truly miss a great chance to that will take your business to the next level.

Author Bio

Teresia Clark is the author of this blog. She is a veteran Academic Consultant, and a Career Coach. Apart from being an expert educator, she also guides students about their academic projects and how to tackle them. She is a fitness freak and performs yoga on a daily basis.

Categories
News

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!