5 Ways for Small Business’ to Succeed

With so many small businesses trying to succeed in today’s troubled economy, you want to be sure that your small business has what it takes to succeed! You can improve your chances at success by following these five tips that I am going to offer you. Learning to effectively lead your team, paying careful attention to your finances and putting the integrity of your business first are all going to go a long way towards helping your small business grow to be prosperous in the future. As

The Importance of Happy Employees

A happy and productive staff will go a long way towards your business’s success. In order to keep your staff happy and loyal you want to always be sure to treat them with respect and be aware of how your actions affect their reactions. You want to form interpersonal relationships with your staff so that they feel as if they can trust you. Although you always need to maintain authority, you also want to be someone who they consider a friend. As Alfred A. Montapert once said; – All lasting business is built on friendship.  This is an important thing to keep in mind when dealing with clients as well as employees.

Think Outside the Box

I believe that one thing that many small business owners do not consider is that you want to think outside the box in order to determine the target market which you are going to market your product or services to. Marketing is a huge part of any small business and it is essential that you take the time to narrow down your target niche in order to determine which marketing methods are going to best appeal to them. If you take the time to understand what the target niche responds to it will allow you to target your products and services around their needs. This personalization can do a lot for the growth of a small business.

Be Aware of Your Business Finances

You need to always be aware of all of the incoming and outgoing finances of your small business. In business you need to take account of every financial transaction both big and small. Unless you have taken previous classes in business management or finance; this may be a new process for you which will take some time to master. Although there is no need to worry; once you get a system down that you are comfortable with you will quickly be able to budget your books in order to help your business be financially stable.

Practice Makes Perfect

A good way to look at it is this; while it may at first seem easy to learn piano music you will find as you sit down to play that you may need to take classes in order to learn piano chords correctly. You will find this same sentiment hold true in the world of small business. In order for you to properly understand how to effectively run a small business you will need to take the time to learn all of the elements of running a small business such as how to be an effective leader. The more time that you invest into your leadership skills; the better you will become at properly leading your business to success!
Hire Quality Employees

A final tip which is essential to the success of any small business is to be sure to take the time to hire the best employees to assist you. The salary of these employees is going to play a huge role in the finances of your business; so you want to be sure that this expense is justified. Make sure that the employees that you hire are productive and efficient. It may be more cost efficient to hire one employee at a higher rate that is talented enough to produce a high volume of work then it may be to hire two employees who produce mediocre work. Keep the bottom dollar of your business in mind when hiring employees to assist you with the needs of your business! As Arnold H. Glasow once said – One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency. There is a lot of truth in this statement.

To wrap things up, let us recap on the five things that are essential to the success of any small business:

    • Keep Your Employees Happy
    • Think Outside the Box
    • Keep Track of Your Finances
    • Practice in Order to Improve Areas of Your Business Which are in Need of Improvement
    • Hire quality, Efficient, Productive Employees

 

1 5 Tips to Use Pinterest for Business

Pinterest

Using different Social Networking sites have become very common in any kind of business and personal agendas. There is no doubt if your company has its own Facebook Page and Twitter account to attract customers and widen your reach in the market. Now, have you heard about Pinterest? Nope? Well, you’re missing a lot of opportunity if that is the case.

Pinterest may not be as popular as the top two social networking sites but mind you, it is building a reputation faster than its creator think of. This is why you should go and be “pin addict” because your business could get lots of benefits from it.

Personally speaking, I found Pinterest as a black hole. You spend time browsing, pinning and re-pinning without knowing how much time you used. Now, if you use Pinterest for your business, I’ve got 5 tips for you to take the most out of it:

1. Get into the black hole- Pinterest is a time consuming social networking site and you should use it wisely. Do not limit yourself from exploring different kinds of Pin boards. Before you know it, in every likes and re-pins you did, new target market had been reached and your business can be easily noticed.

2. Do not be overwhelmed by what you see on other Pinterest users- it is best to keep all things on your board unadorned and straightforward. Just keep in mind to put links back to your main site to get that increased traffic.

3. Be virtually as well as physically present- while the Internet does the most part of promoting your business, it is still highly recommended to let your market know you’re also available in real time. In your physical store, create ads and promotions in relation to your Pinterest account then do it vice-versa to your online representation.

4. Do not be self-centred- nobody would want to see an “all me” pin board. While your main purpose is to promote your business and products, being versatile and sociable is proven to be effective. Do not just focused on your own stuff, explore and be generous in giving others your “likes” and “re-pins”.

5. Follow the leader- this is a perfect start if you want to gain more audience. Admit that you are just a beginner and there are already leaders in the Pinterest world. What you should do is to follow them and expect the chain reaction.

Advertising and promotion now comes in handy with the rise of these social networking sites. But no matter what kind of sites you use religiously, to give the outmost service and high quality products is what every business should think of to gain loyalty from customers and new patrons. 

Social Media Sites Are Empowering Consumers And Businesses

There are now more than 700 million people on Facebook which makes it the most important social networking site. However, using social media sites is no longer just a great way to socialize with friends and family. Social media has become a valuable tool for businesses seeking to use social media to reach and interact with their target customers and consumers have the ability to find a product or service and learn all about it before they make a purchase. When a company leverages the power of social media, it enables consumers to effectively find, learn about, and purchase their products or services.

According to a study performed by OTX Research, about 2/3 of customers use the information they find through social media to influence their buying decisions,  67% of customers are likely to pass this information on to others, and over 60% trust information they find through social media more than traditional advertisements. These statistics show that social media is now an important tool empowering consumers shopping for products and services, and consumers are not just making purchases, but they are spreading the word about products and services they like.

Understanding the Power of Social Media

One important household device every homeowner needs is a water heater. Manufacturing and suppliers of water heaters can greatly benefit from using social media and social media users benefit using social media to find water heaters. When a manufacturing and supplier of water heaters effectively use social media, they can get their water heaters in front of their target audience. However, to effectively leverage the power of social media it is important to understand how to use social media to connect to a target audience.

Reach a Target Audience

Social networking involves sharing information rather than engaging in marketing tactics. To reach a water heater target audience, manufacturing and suppliers use LinkedIn to do a search on groups to find interest groups that might be interested in water heaters. They then add insightful comments to discussion threads and include a link to their website at the end of a comment. When using Facebook, they search for relevant groups or Pages where they post insightful comments and include a link to their website. One of the newer social media sites, Pinterest, is ideal for businesses that have a lot of engaging photos. A company can “pin” individual photos of water heaters onto Pinterest to attract potential customers. Blogging is another effective way to create informative content to share. This is a great way for a company to target audiences interested in subjects relevant to water heaters. A supplier of water heaters can blog about such subjects as water heater issues, furnace issues, plumbing issues, etc.

The Main Goal of Social Media Networking

Due to the growth of social media sites, consumers no longer just search for a product and buy it, they use social media sites to learn all about a product and they are heavily influenced by others’ experiences with the product. Tagging, sharing, pinning, and liking, are all tools consumers use to pass on information. Referring back to the water heater example, using social media to find a water heater is easy when a manufacturing and supplier of water heaters utilize all available social networking tools to proactively engage and inform targeted social media users. Today, social media is empowering both consumers and businesses.

 

How Much Time Does It Take To Be A Virtual Assistant?

In every type of career there is a certain amount of time you can expect to work in order to be successful. When it comes to running your own business and being fully self employed, that time usually goes up rather than down. So how much time does it take to run a virtual assistant business from your home? How many hours should you expect to work every day and every week to keep things running smoothly without burning out from a work overload? The answer is that it depends what you expect to get out of the business, but let’s get a little more specific here.

Ideas and Concepts

The thing that sets most entrepreneurs apart from other people is that their heads are constantly filled with new ideas and new concepts that can be applied to their work. It’s like their mind never shuts off; they have ideas popping up 24/7 that could be put to use in some application of their business. If you look at it in this sense, I guess you could say that a self starting virtual assistant never stops working. Personal life and business life eventually blend together until one is inseparable from the other.

Slow Start

It’s also important to remember that the first few months, even the first year of owning your own business is going to involve a lot more work than you would normally need to do once you settle down into a routine schedule. Obviously there’s the excitement aspect that comes along with following your dreams for the first time, and that is what is going to keep you up until 3 in the morning as you finish up a specific project, but you can’t ignore the fact that there is just a lot of work that needs to be done.

Budgeting

If you are going into your business as a sole proprietorship, which means that you are the only person working on it, you are in charge of every single thing that happens. From finding new clients, to doing the work, to figuring out your budget, to promoting your business, all of it falls squarely on your own shoulders.

Scheduling of Hours

Once you get into a schedule though, you can definitely expect the number of hours that you are physically at work in your business to drop quite a bit. This is especially true if you decide to take the route of hiring other employees to work under you. As a general rule, you can probably expect to work somewhere between 4 to 8 hours each and every day of the week. Some people manage just fine with only 4 hours per day, but that is usually once they secure some high profile clients who can pay quite a bit. If you are working 8 hours each day, remember that you are still working just the same amount of time as you would in a normal business, except you are the one who gets to set when those hours happen.

Shannon Ross has over 20 years of experience in the Virtual personal Assistant industry and Client Relationship Management. She has got a team of experienced virtual personal assistants and offers a variety of business and personal services. To know more about Shannon’s services please visit her website.

1 Using Modern Technologies to Keep Your Customers Posted

You may think that because your customers are familiar with your business you don’t have to remind them of changes and up coming offers, but you’d be wrong. The fact is that many people are always looking for the business that gives them the most benefits. When you are marketing your company you should always emphasise the benefits and as your business changes you should remind them of any new benefits.

Let People Know what’s Happening with Your Brand

You spend a lot of time building your brand and if you want your customers to remain familiar with it then you need to inform them of updates and changes. One of the best ways to keep your customers informed and to reinforce the idea that your contact with them is personal is through voice broadcasts. You probably don’t have the time, and neither does your workforce, to send out individual voice messages, but a tailored service can do these things for you.

Voice broadcasts are a great way of keeping your customers up to date with what is happening in your business and what if any special offers or competitions you are running. If you have a customer request in response to your broadcast then it is possible for a specialist company to generate a bespoke application where you can generate a call back at a specific time or in answer to a certain question.

Modern technology means that you can market your business on an ongoing basis without having to do very much at all. Take advantage of the technology that is available to make sure that your message is out there and customers are on the ball when it comes to what’s happening in your business.

Let People in on the Current Benefits

From time to time you may want to offer further benefits to your customers and a promotional sms concerning a particular product and its benefits, even a special offer, is the best way to get your messages out to the whole of your customer base. Your personalised message is likely to be well received by your customers as everyone likes to feel that they are getting this type of extra benefit. Whether you need to use a promotional sms to advertise the fact that you are contributing to an exhibition in your business area or whether it is to promote a new product, sending the message is a key part of getting attendees and buyers.  It takes a lot of time and energy to run a business and so it pays to get whatever help you can when it comes to marketing and promotion.

People like to know what is happening with a business when they have benefitted from that customer relationship, keeping them informed sends out the message that you really do care about your ongoing relationship with them. Let people know about your latest offers and what benefits they have for the customer. Keep your customers up to date with what is happening in your business if you want them to remain loyal to you.

Written by Crispin Jones on behalf of promotional SMS and voice broadcasting experts, Collstream.

Five Ways to Make Your Job More Enjoyable

If your job is boring, unfulfilling, or miserable, you don’t necessarily need to search for a new one or just go along with the status quo. You spend so much time at work, and you deserve to experience at least some pleasure and contentment in it. Even if you like your job already, it’s possible to make things even better. Everyone is capable of improving their job situation if they desire. It’s easier than you’d think. Here are some ways you can make your job more enjoyable.

Make Your Desk More Homey
Your desk is your home away from home, so treat it as such. Utilize your workspace to create the vibe you want. Put up pictures of your family or friends. Decorate however you want. You can put a couple nice candles, a cute little trinket from your last vacation, a funny daily tear-off calendar, or anything that will give it some color and life. Consider a tiny potted plant, cactus or bamboo. Seeing things around you that make you happy will help brighten your day.

Socialize with Your Coworkers
If you develop better relationships with your coworkers, you may feel more like you’re hanging out friends rather than just going to work. Make an effort to socialize with your coworkers. If you can have some normal conversations that aren’t related to work it will help break up your day. Engage in the water cooler discussions and enjoy them. Use opportunities to talk, especially during lunch hour, to get to know your coworkers and get a break from worrying about work by discussing something light.

Look at the Bigger Picture
Even though your work may seem like the daily grind, try to look at it from a different point of view and find meaning in it. What purpose does your job serve? Who are you helping? If you can try to think of your position as important to someone, even if it’s just to your company, you may begin to enjoy it more. Find the significance in your job, and look at the bigger picture. This job may just be a stepping stone in your career, or you may longtime employee who demonstrates loyalty and reliability.

Propose Something New
You can always consider suggesting ideas to your boss that would make your job more enjoyable. For example, if you really prefer one type of project or responsibility, let that be known by offering to take on more of the same. If you can think of a better way to do something, suggest a new policy or procedure. If it’s accepted, it could improve the quality of your job or make things easier for you. Look for creative ways to alter your job performance or routine.

Alter Your Commute
Your commute is a significant part of your day, so see if there is anything you can do to make it better. It’s the way you start and end your job, so it has the possibility to alter the quality of the beginning and end of your workday. If you drive, is there a more scenic route you can take? Or can you find a way to get you there faster? Consider carpooling so you can spend more time with a friend. If it’s within a reasonable distance, bike or walk. The extra exercise will improve your mood.

 

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