Monthly Archives: August 2016

How To Write A Business Plan And Open A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

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A car wash that is attached to a gas station, or either a separate gas station or a separate car was all can be great businesses. These can be great businesses to franchise, and run as a family business if that is something that you would like to do.
Once a car wash or a gas station gets established in its neighborhood and with people regularly driving by them, it can be a nice and profitable business that is mostly run on cruise control (pardon the pun). And since you will be able to run a single location on cruise control, that will give you the opportunity to open another location, and then another. And pretty soon you can begin accumulating real wealth, owning many such locations.

Business Plan For A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

The business plan for a car wash or a gas station has to make a few things clear. The first of those things is how much money you will need to start this business and turn it profitable, and how you will come up with that money.

You will also need to explain why your gas station or car wash will have an advantage. Will it be from the skills or experience of your founding team, or will it be from an amazing location that you can get cheaply?

Here is a full tutorial on how to write a business plan.

Marketing Plan For A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

The marketing plan for a car wash or a gas station is pretty simple. First and foremost you have to make sure that you open your business in an area where there is a lot of traffic. The ability of many cars to see your gas station, gas prices, other offers and the car wash deals that you post will bring you the most customers.

Other than the location you choose, you will also need to do some basic local SEO marketing to make sure that when people are searching for gas stations or car washes nearby, they can find you. You will need to set up your own basic website to rank in Google, and also register it with Yelp, YellowPages, and other local listing sites that are popular in your area.

You can also do flier marketing for your car wash services.

Here is a full tutorial on how to write a marketing plan:

Social Media Marketing For A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

There isn’t a whole lot to do for this kind of a business on social media other than the general good-practice things typically done with social media marketing.

You want to keep and grow a list of local fans on social media. If you get people to follow you on Twitter or like your page on Facebook, you will be able to keep them updated with latest deals and promotions. Deals, promotions and discounts are a great way to get people to come back to your store.

Some of your fans will share your website or promotions on social media, which will help you reach potential new customers.

Here is a full social media marketing tutorial that goes over some advanced social media marketing strategies:

SEO Marketing For A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

The SEO for a car wash or a gas station is pretty simple. You must make sure that your business listing appears on the Google map that comes up when people are searching locally. To do that, you must register with a Google service called Google My Business.

After that, it would be a smart idea for you to create your own website. Your website would rank for all kinds of local searches in Google’s organic search, and you can add your website listing to local listing sites like Yelp or YellowPages.

For now, here is a full SEO tutorial.

Lastly, you should also add your website to Yelp, YellowPages and any other local listings website that is popular in your area. Some people bypass Google search, and search on those websites instead. And you want to be sure that they can find your business there as well.

Website For A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

You can create your own website, on your own and for nearly free. You can even get a free domain name if you don’t already have a domain name for your business. Here is a tutorial on how to create your own WordPress website, and get a free domain name.

Fundraising For A Hardware Store Or Shop

This business does require some serious start-up capital. So you will need to figure out a way to raise money to open your car wash or gas station, and then to keep it open until it becomes profitable.

Here is a fundraising tutorial with 15 different strategies to raise money for your business including grants, loans, getting an investment, or donations, and fourteen other strategies.

How To Choose A Location For A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

I already alluded to this earlier in the article, but you must  make sure that your business will be seen by many cars passing by. That essentially means that you should open your business along a busy street where many cars pass by.

Permits And Licenses For A Car Wash Or A Gas Station

To find out exactly what licenses and permits you need for this kind of business, in the US you must contact city hall for city-level requirements, and the Secretary of State office for your state to find out the state level permit and license requirements. If you have the money, it is also a good idea to hire a business lawyer who can find all of this out for you.

Get Business Help With My 4-App Business Starting Series

 Here is a link to the page where you can learn about my mobile apps to help you plan and start your business.

Even More Help With Business Courses And Books

For even more help on different aspects of starting your business, check out

My 15+ business books and 50+ online courses

Business Coaching Program To Help You Start Your

Do you want professional one on one advice where you and I discuss every question you have about starting your business? I offer business coaching in person and via Skype where I can help and advise you as you plan, start and grow your business. Learn more about me, and my coaching program on this coach where I explain how you can hire me as a business coach.

Books And Coaching To Help You Start Your

Here is a link to my Amazon author page. Here are some books that may be helpful to you as you start and grow your business:

Tutorial On How To Become A Better Entrepreneur

Here is my tutorial for you on how to become a better entrepreneur with 10 of the top strategies that will help you make your business a success.

 

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How To Write A Business Plan And Open A Hardware Store

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A hardware store can be a great business because once you get established in the neighborhood, you become the go-to place for all kinds of home fixing and home repair tasks. Plus, your hardware business can fuel a home repair business like roofing, flooring, handyman business, or any other kind of business because many people will come to you for advice on how to solve their home repair issues, and you can mention that you provide services that they need. Plus, your hardware store can be a good and steady source of income without too much work after the business gets established, and has a steady stream of customers.

Business Plan For A Hardware Store Or Shop

There are a few thing you must address when you write a business plan for a hardware store. The first and most obvious is how much money it will require to open and maintain until the store becomes profitable. It takes some time to get your lease, register your business, hire initial employees, get product inventory, do remodeling and actually get to your store opening. All that time and all those tasks take time and money.

When you open your hardware store, the first months will most likely be difficult, and your store will likely operate at a loss. It can take up to a year before your store becomes profitable.

What you must do in your business plan is to outline all the expenses your store will incur before and after opening, and explain how you will come up with that money. There will be more about that in the fundraising section of this article.

Another thing you must address in the business plan for your hardware store is how you will promote your store. I will cover that shortly in this article as well.

Lastly, you must address how and from where you will get your inventory, and why your founding team is the right founding team (the founding team might just be you) is the right one to open such a business.

Here is a full tutorial on how to write a business plan.

Marketing Plan For A Hardware Store Or Shop

The marketing plan for a hardware store or shop is pretty straight forward. It consists of these major components:

1) Online marketing with local SEO (I’ll talk about this later in the article).

2) Storefront location being in an area where there is enough passer by foot traffic.

3) Being helpful to customers when they are in your store so that they come back next time they need help. Providing a quality service also helps to build trust in your customers, which will help get them to also buy any home improvement jobs they might need to have done.

Here is a full tutorial on how to write a marketing plan:

Social Media Marketing For A Hardware Store Or Shop

There isn’t too much you need to do with social media marketing to promote a local hardware store, but there are some good practice things that might help a little.

You want to keep and grow a list of local fans on social media. If you get people to follow you on Twitter or like your page on Facebook, you will be able to keep them updated with latest deals and promotions. Deals, promotions and discounts are a great way to get people to come back to your store.

Some of your fans will share your website or promotions on social media, which will help you reach potential new customers.

Here is a full social media marketing tutorial that goes over some advanced social media marketing strategies:

SEO Marketing For A Hardware Store Or Shop

The SEO for a local hardware store is usually hyper local SEO, which usually focuses on the few surrounding neighborhoods. After all, any area further from that probably has a another hardware shop there that is closer for the people who live there to get to.

To rank well in search, you must put your hardware store on the Google map that comes up for local searches. It is pretty simple to do that. All you have to do is sign up for a Google service called “Google My Business” and go through their registration steps. Shortly after that, you should begin to appear on the Google map that comes up in search. If you have competitors, you must get good reviews to eventually rank higher than those competitors on the Google map listings.

You should also have a website to ensure that your website comes up in organic Google search. The next section of this article explains how to set up your own website for your hardware store cheaply, and on your own.

For now, here is a full SEO tutorial.

Lastly, you should also add your website to Yelp, YellowPages and any other local listings website that is popular in your area. Some people bypass Google search, and search on those websites instead. And you want to be sure that they can find your business there as well.

Website For A Hardware Store Or Shop

You can create your own website, on your own and for nearly free. You can even get a free domain name if you don’t already have a domain name for your business. Here is a tutorial on how to create your own WordPress website, and get a free domain name.

Fundraising For A Hardware Store Or Shop

Unfortunately, do you need to raise a significant amount of money to open your own hardware store. There are many things you will have to pay for before your business can have its grand opening, and eventually become profitable.

Here is a fundraising tutorial with 15 different strategies to raise money for your business including grants, loans, getting an investment, or donations, and fourteen other strategies.

How To Choose A Location For A Hardware Store Or Shop

The location for a hardware shop should be one which will have enough foot traffic for everyone in the neighborhood to eventually know that there is a hardware store in the area. They will remember your location when they will need it.

You should also make your storefront inviting for people to step into, and make sure that your staff is nice and friendly.

Additionally, make sure to open your hardware store in an area where there isn’t already an existing hardware store for quite a distance.

Permits And Licenses For A Hardware Store Or Shop

To find out exactly what licenses and permits you need for this kind of business, in the US you must contact city hall for city-level requirements, and the Secretary of State office for your state to find out the state level permit and license requirements. If you have the money, it is also a good idea to hire a business lawyer who can find all of this out for you. 

Get Business Help With My 4-App Business Starting Series

 Here is a link to the page where you can learn about my mobile apps to help you plan and start your business.

Even More Help With Business Courses And Books

For even more help on different aspects of starting your business, check out

My 15+ business books and 50+ online courses

Business Coaching Program To Help You Start Your

Do you want professional one on one advice where you and I discuss every question you have about starting your business? I offer business coaching in person and via Skype where I can help and advise you as you plan, start and grow your business. Learn more about me, and my coaching program on this coach where I explain how you can hire me as a business coach.

Books And Coaching To Help You Start Your

Here is a link to my Amazon author page. Here are some books that may be helpful to you as you start and grow your business:

Tutorial On How To Become A Better Entrepreneur

Here is my tutorial for you on how to become a better entrepreneur with 10 of the top strategies that will help you make your business a success.

 

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Tools That Help You And Your Customers Connect

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Businesses live and die on the buzz they generate in the community. Want to thrive? Start talking about what you’re doing and create great content for the community. Want to die? Give up on your customers and step back from making new connections.

In 2016, there’s no excuse for businesses that aren’t connecting with their clients. Today, we have so many tools at our disposal that it’s hard not to stay connected at all times. Here are some of the tools your business can use to bridge the gap with customers.

Online Communities

The statistics on this are quite clear. 25 percent of people enjoy engaging with brands because they want to be a part of a like-minded community. In many ways, this makes a lot of sense. Individuals who like certain brands often share common traits. And so there’s a big incentive for these people to want to gather around a brand.

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Of course, this sort of thing represents a tremendous opportunity for businesses. Companies can use online communities to monitor customer sentiment and get feedback. And they can also use them to grow their brands in exciting ways.

Now there are tools, like Community Cloud that help businesses grow online communities.

Customer Portals

Customer portals are an important part of the way companies engage with clients. Many service-based companies offer portals to customers who are on premium plans. But what exactly is a portal?

Essentially, it’s an area of the website that allows the customer access to personal or restricted content. For instance, each time you log on to Amazon and can see your purchase history, you’re in a client portal.

But the potential of the customer portal platform has grown enormously as technology has advanced. Now you can do a lot more than just store purchase histories and contact details. Services, like Clinked, allow businesses and customers to share documents in real-time over the cloud. Why this is useful might not be immediately apparent. But when you think about it, it’s ideal for B2B businesses. B2B companies often have to collaborate at a high-level, sharing confidential information and documents. Doing this via email or in person is slow and insecure. So it’s far better to use a portal where everybody has access to a shared platform. Documents can be shared in an instant, and it can all be done within a branded environment.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

The best businesses always want to touch base with their customers after they’ve made a purchase. They want to find out how the purchase went and whether the product has lived up to their expectations. There are loads of potential products to choose from. One of the best known is Customer Sure. This software allows your customers to leave reviews about your product as well as provide direct feedback. It also allows you to collect data with which to make important strategic decisions.

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Floqapp is another customer satisfaction app you might want to consider. This app allows you to drill down into the details of your customer’s responses and find out where you can improve.

Live Chat

If you’ve been on a corporate website recently, you’ll have probably noticed the live chat feature. It’s a little box that pops up in the corner and politely reminds visitors that there is somebody they can talk to. It turns out that this is a rather powerful tool. Offering support to any customer who visits your website is a great way to avoid losing them just because they get confused.

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It’s also relatively non-intrusive, but a good way to drive sales nonetheless. For instance, if you’re a clothes retailer, you can use live chat to offer styling advice. Chat is actually an excellent way to engage with customers and meet their needs in real time. And until recently, this just wasn’t possible on an internet shopping platform.

Online Crowdsourcing

By now, practically everybody has heard of Kickstarter. It’s inventors built the platform when they realized they could harness the power of online crowds. They realized that there were often big crowds that gathered on online forums and that they often had an agenda. The problem was that they couldn’t do anything about it because they didn’t have the means to raise money. Kickstarter found a way to leverage micro-investments from crowds of people to make big projects happen. And since then, it’s become a global investment force.

Like Kickstarter, companies can leverage the power of crowds. Crowds can be used to provide useful feedback and to crowdsource feedback. Sometimes, customers will demand the product that they want, all through the use of forums.

 

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Does My Medical Practice Really Need Marketing?

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People often see medical facilities as something that doesn’t need marketing. They understand that these clinics are businesses, but they don’t see them the same way as they see other businesses. How useful could marketing really be? If people living nearby get ill then they’ll come. If they’re not ill, then they won’t. If they’re not nearby, they’ll probably go somewhere else. When you put it like this, it starts to sound like owners of medical practices don’t have much control over failure or success. Everything is just sort of left to luck, outside of actual placement of your business.

It’s true that there are a lot of things about a medical business that sets it way apart from other businesses. But the fact is that these practices often have to engage in things that any other business would have to engage in. And that includes marketing.

Considering online inquiries

Much of the talk of modern marketing these days involves the Internet. Focus tends to be placed on the website of any business. It’s seen as the most valuable marketing tool any company can have. That’s because getting someone to view your website is often the best way of converting them into a customer.

Most medical practices have some form of inquiry system on their website. This allows people to interact with your business online before decided whether or not to make an appointment. It’s one of the best ways of getting people to come to your clinic, even if most people don’t actually come. You need to remember that this is a form of conversion. By getting more people onto your website, you’ll get more inquiries, thus more chances to convert.

The techniques you need to consider

Medical marketing is, in many ways, like marketing in other businesses. The key is getting the word out there as much as possible, often with your website at the center of attention. Website design will be considered, social media will be utilized, branding will be better defined.

Understanding these various techniques is important. You can, of course, outsource these sorts of jobs. But even if you outsource them, it’s still best that you understand them and their related principles. Consider the concept of conversion that I’ve been mentioning. This is a key concept in both SEO and CRO. It’s worth doing a little research so you can ensure you hire a worthy outsourcer.

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Marketing is needed because things have changed

People don’t usually think about medical practices doing marketing because it’s relatively new. It’s not just because medical professionals didn’t want to engage in these sorts of sales activities. (Though that was certainly part of it, and is a prevalent attitude to this day.) It was simply because they didn’t really need it.

It used to be that referrals were enough to keep a practice going strong. This was definitely the case if the professional in question was a specialist. But due to increased insurance complications and funding pressures, things have changed. While it’s doing a lot of good, the Affordable Care Act has seen sensitive changes to traditional business models. There’s now no question that marketing is required to help keep a practice going.

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5 Tasks You Must Do Before Creating A Business Website

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Thinking of getting a website for your business? If so, it’s likely you will hire a designer to do it for you. However, there are some essential things you must do before getting started with the hiring process. It’s not as easy as handing over a domain and expecting a designer to come up with the goods from scratch. Here are some essential tasks you need to do that will ensure your site build is a success.

Draw up a to-do list

The first step in the process is to write up a to-do list for your designer or developer. You need to sketch out a list of all the pages you want on your site and give them examples of the look you are expecting. Consider font styles, color schemes and graphic design. You should also think about the layout of sites you like – as well as the overall user experience. The more information you can give them, the better the result. It’s also worth pointing out that you will save money – and time – by having concrete examples to share.

Be specific

Designers and developers can create fantastic websites. But they need guidance to what you are looking for if you want them to deliver. Have a good think about the specific features you want for your site – and also have a reason why they need to exist. You might have membership access, for example, or a calendar for events. But now is the time to consider if you need them or not. Nothing on your site should be superfluous, and everything needs a purpose.

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Bring together your company info

Your next step is to bring together every vital piece of information that you have about your company. You should list all your services, for example, and draw up explanations and descriptions of any products you sell. Do you have a mission statement? Include that, too – as well as any consumer education materials and general contact information. Again, this is going to save you and your designer a lot of time.

Hire other services

Great website design is one thing, but your site will need much more than that. It’s a good idea to contact other services that you will need, too. A specialist web copywriter will be able to work with a designer to create more compelling offers. A professional photographer will be able to give you high quality, unique images for your site, so you don’t have to rely on stock photos. You should also check with the designer’s experience in SEO, too. It might be necessary to contact a specialist SEO firm to make sure your business can be found online.

Website creators

You should also think about the layout of sites you like – as well as the overall user experience. Also, think about the possibility of using a web creator to build your own website. Using a web creator is very easy. These tools are made to help non-technical people be able to create a website. With these tools, you can have a professional looking website within days, and much cheaper than any developer would cost to create a website for you. Take a look at the article, and give one of them a try.

Form a plan for the future

Finally, once your website is built, it’s essential to keep updating it with fresh content, new products, and seasonal offers. It is essential to have a plan for the future in mind, as it will help your designer come up with easy ways of letting you make these updates. Building the site is only the first part of the job – keeping it going, so it is relevant, has to be part of the bigger picture.

 

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Overcoming The Everyday Difficulties Of Running A Home Business

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Working from home can be a rewarding, low-cost way to start a business. Besides all the benefits of being your own boss, you have all the comforts of your own home. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. There are plenty of difficulties that those who run a home business can come face to face with. In this article, we’re going to look at methods to solve those problems and give you a much better chance at success.

Photo by Caio

Learning the basics of entrepreneurship

Not everyone who goes into running a home business is particularly well versed with running a business in general. Rather, it might be because you have a talent you can profit from or an idea that’s too good to pass up on. But you need to learn business sense quick. For example, treating yourself like a real entrepreneur. Carrying business cards to take advantage of chance meetings and creating or updating your LinkedIn bio for example. You also need to make yourself accessible by keeping contact details on your website. If you’re providing a phone number, it’s best to keep it separate from your personal number. You don’t always want to be open for business calls. Just make sure your website and voicemail message make your working hours clear.

Make the environment you need

One of the best perks of running a home business can also be one of the biggest obstacles. The home itself might not initially be the best working environment for you. The first step to changing that is communicating those you live with. If you set working hours in a space you need, then the others in the home need to know that they’re to be respected. Then you should go about making the home office a space less prone to distraction. For example, don’t sit facing the window, where any passerby can take your attention from your work. Get good seating support so you’re not causing your body damage as you work. Maximizing the light in the office is an important part of fighting the risk of eyestrain as well.

Create the prestige you deserve

Finally, you have to face up to the obstacle that is inherent in being a home business. You’re not one of the big players. You’re a small business. That can offer real advantages in that you’re likely to treat each client with more care. But it’s not always a reassuring sight for your clients. One option is to work to create the illusion of size and prestige. For example, if I use a businesses address for my home business, clients are less likely to make assumptions about me working from home. Similarly, if you have to meet them, come to them. Not only do they not see your office up close but you also show that you’re willing to take the extra step for your clients.

The last problem worth mentioning in this article is the difficulty of separating the business from the personal. Make sure that you give yourself real hours and know when to clock off. A home business has many advantages, but don’t let your business take your home from you.

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Kitting Out Your Salespeople To Boost Business

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Your salespeople are fundamental to the success of your business. Even if you have a fantastic product, without the right people to pitch it to buyers and inform potential customers it will never do as well as it should. So it’s important to make sure your salespeople are kitted out with everything they need in order to secure those all important sales and boost the profits of your business. Here are some of the essential things that can assist them in their job.

A Reliable Mobile Phone

In order to phone customers and keep in contact with the office, your salespeople will need a reliable phone for their work. Providing them with this means you are always able to contact them when needed, and there won’t be any distractions from personal notifications. Choose something high quality with a good amount of storage space. We all know batteries on smartphones these days are rubbish (even on the best phones on the market) and so a portable battery charger like these from http://dynamicgift.com.au is an essential bit of kit. No running out of battery when they’re out on the road, giving presentations and attending meetings.

A Laptop or Tablet

Laptops and tablets are great for giving presentations and showing information to customers, as well as for typing up invoices and doing general paperwork associated with the job. Choose a light machine that’s portable so easy to slip into a briefcase and take from place to place when your salespeople are out on the road. Don’t forget a good protective case which will protect it from scratches and damage while being carried from A to B. If you’re going down the tablet route, the addition of a keyboard will make typing up those important emails easier, and give your salespeople more versatility. Other gadgets such as a tablet pen to be able to take down notes easily will also come in useful.

A Company Car

A company car is one of the most popular benefits offered to employees. The advantages are plentiful, but mainly it means they get access to a high quality vehicle which they wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford themselves. This not only looks professional for your company but also equates to a more reliable car, and in a well managed scheme the tax benefit they receive should mean it’s cheaper to run than their own vehicle. If you have salespeople out on the roads travelling across the county or even country, providing them with the transport needed to do their job makes sense. This will also make your company more attractive to potential recruits, possibly landing you better employees.

Giving your salespeople access to great equipment allows them to do their job to their best potential. Great benefits like this can attract a higher quality of employees, and will lead to increased profits for you. You need to help them to do their best possible work which in turn helps you and your business.

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A Business Is Only As Good As Its Reputation So Work Hard On Yours

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If only it were so simple that a business could succeed off the merits of its services alone. Alas, that’s not the case. As a society, we are almost single-mindedly obsessed with public image. So as a business, you need to put as much care into yours. There are a lot of ways your reputation can suffer, so there are a lot of ways you need to protect and build on it. Keep reading to find out some of those methods.

Be good

We’ll start with the simplest of concepts, first. You have to be at least somewhat worth that good reputation. People can see through marketing talk easier than you think. Build your business on good, ethical practices. Act quickly on any customer complaints you got. There will always be detractors, but there will be plenty more people willing to change their mind on a business. Work to win yourself some good PR by getting more involved with the community. Local charities and campaigns need a lot of help. Being part of that help can build a solid base for a socially responsible reputation.

Distinguish your brand

If people trust that a business is inherently good, then the power of that business’s brand is going to be a lot more convincing. So put work into establishing a brand that communicates what’s good for your reputation. Professionalism, attention to detail and responsibility are some good aspects to consider. Distill what makes your services or products unique to add more value to it. Tell the story of why your company exists and what motivates your team every day. Www.dailyworth.com recommends that you be genuine, be emphatic and be creative. If you want a good reputation, you need to stand out for good reasons.

Stand out from your rivals

You also need to stand out in comparison to all the other big fish in the pond. Use more than just your values and unique selling proposition to stand out. Achieve total business domination by learning from others sharing the market with you. Look at their services as well as their marketing efforts. Adapt the good points with enough change to be distinguishing. Go the total opposite route of what clearly isn’t working for them. Set yourself up not only as another service but the service for those who want more than what’s already on offer.

Be more visible

There’s nothing worse for a business than not being talked about. So you have to take what opportunity you can to start the conversation. Bringing more visitors to your site through search engine optimization and using landing pages is a start. Building helpful content and distributing it through blogs and social media is another step. But you need to step outside the virtual world as well. Make real flesh and blood appearances. Attend trade shows and even host events of your own. Shake hands with people and dazzle them. Win them over. Be more visible and make more of an impact on the market. That will certainly get them talking.

Take the data-driven approach

As far as the virtual world is concerned, however, it has a lot to offer. Particularly in terms of data. Nowadays, it’s even possible to manage your reputation online. Www.chatmeter.com is just one example of how you can do it. How you can look at the kind of traffic and responses you’re getting, narrowing it down to different local areas. You can see where you’re doing well and where you need to pick up the pace. You can even find out how much more exposure and work you need to get your reputation up to snuff.

Ask questions

Data isn’t the only thing that’s going to help you improve, however. You need to get the human side of the story. You need to talk to your customers. Follow up after purchases, not only to thank them but to ask about their experience as well. Make it clear that you value their opinion. Tell them you want them to help you make it easier to do business with you. People like having their opinion heard. They can also help you identify problems from a perspective you might have missed so far. You can even incentivize surveys by offering discounts on the next purchase, adding a bit of goodwill to the process.

Welcome questions

You’re going to have customers who will be very happy to speak their mind even without being asked to. Setting up an online support center or support desk with services like www.desk.com  gives them the platform to do that. It also publicly displays your willingness to hear problems and help solve them. You can even take the questions that matter the most to them and make case studies out of them. Then you’re not only hearing and solving problems. You’re also showing the efforts you’re willing to go to improve your customer experience. The customer experience is what will make the strongest impact on your reputation in the end.

Prioritize the happiest customers

Yes, the customer experience is what can make or break a business’s reputation. As well as working to improve that experience, you should be presenting it in the best possible light. Get in touch with the happiest of your customers. The people who are already willing to talk about it. Utilize them for good word-of-mouth. Ask them to get involved in a referral system or even to provide testimonials. Create converts and ambassadors out of your customers. Similarly, in your marketing material, focus on positive social proof. The most obvious example is not to focus on the people who aren’t using your services, but just how many people are. The power of positive numbers has a big influence on people. If you have it at hand, use it.

Building a better reputation isn’t just about acting on information. It’s about the act of gathering it, as well. A company that shows an ear open to critique and genuine feedback is a company more people will trust. So make your efforts public. Your customers will appreciate you for it.

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The Fundamental Mistakes That Startup Businesses Often Make

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If you are going to start a new business in the near future, you need to know a few harsh realities. Above all else, you need to realize that the odds are stacked against you. That doesn’t mean that you cannot achieve great things, just like the various success stories that you’ve no doubt read about. However, it does underline the need to get things right from day one.

Another crucial piece of advice to take on board is that you don’t know everything. Nobody does. But by avoiding the most common errors, you’ll instantly have a far better chance than your competitors. Here are the traps to look out for.

No Direction

You will almost certainly deviate from the planned pathway along the journey. However, you cannot reach your destination if you don’t even know what you’re aiming for. Gaining a sense of control is vital from day one. Do not forget it.

The products and services offered is something you need to work out alone. But these aspects only form half of the battle. In truth, building your audience is the most vital element of all. Experts at Align Local can analyze your marketing strategies so that your efforts are targeted towards the key audience. After all, those efforts will be rendered redundant if your message doesn’t reach the intended market.

Perhaps most importantly, though, you need a plan of progress. Without regular, manageable targets, it’s easy to become distracted beyond repair. Tracking performances this way will ensure that you pinpoint problems at the earliest stage possible.

No Support

As the business owner, your innovations are what will lead the company to great success. But that doesn’t mean that you have to face the challenge alone. Surrounding yourself with a winning team won’t only ensure that every task is completed in a professional manner. More importantly, it will allow the company to grow at a quicker rate.

Very few startups will want to take on large numbers of permanent staff. But there are ways to work around it without sacrificing productivity or quality. Outsourcing jobs to external companies and freelancers can be particularly useful. Another option is to place your trust in the students at your local college.

As for the primary staff, the key is to ensure that you are getting value for money. Follow a quality recruitment strategy, and you’ll be just fine.

Poor Customer Care

When stepping into the world of business, you’re hoping to build a better future for yourself. Ultimately, though, it’s customers who will decide whether to back the business. If you want them to keep your business in great health, you’ll need to provide them with the best service possible. There is no other option.

Unfortunately, many new businesses fall into the trap of thinking it’s all about the first sale. But loyal customers are the foundation of any successful business. As well as showing your appreciation on a regular basis, you need to invest in great customer care services. Whether it’s through telephone, email, or human interaction doesn’t matter. You should always look to solve their problems in the quickest and most effective fashion.

Great customer care will increase the trust and, therefore, the loyalty. Moreover, a happy customer will tell friends and family about your business. So it could be the key to increased numbers too.

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Rookie Guide to Total Business Domination

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As a rookie, you’re going to be starting a business with no experience. So, you need to have an idea of what you’re going to be doing, and how you should proceed. That’s why it’s a good idea to look at what has come before and try to implement some sort of guide. It’s important for beginners to know the tricks of the trade, and what should be focused on when launching a company.

Beat Your Rivals at Everything

How do you beat the rest and come out as the best? Well, it involves coming up with a lot of different techniques. Marketing strategy plays a big role, as well as having great staff. But, you also need to make sure your company is running in the best possible way. Something like contract management software helps make it easier and more efficient to run the business. And this gives you an edge over your competitors as you have to spend less time and effort dealing with the minutiae of running a brand. And you can spend more time focusing on marketing strategies, and expanding abroad.

Get Your Marketing Working Around the Clock

Marketing is so often the name of the game when it comes to businesses. And that’s why you need to go to great lengths to make your advertising working for you. First, you need to understand what the most effective marketing strategies are. Studies have indicated that word of mouth remains the most effective, with over 60% of businesses citing it. Email marketing came second, with social media down in fourth. So it’s not as simple as you might think to choose the ideal form. You need to do your homework and look at what might work best for you.

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Always be Well Stocked

There’s nothing worse as a business than not being able to meet the demands of your customers. People are going to be making orders, and they will expect you to be able to provide them with what they want. That’s why it’s imperative that you keep your company well stocked as often as possible. You need to make sure you have everything your clients will want or need. Disappointing or frustrating them is the best way to make sure you lose them. There could be many reasons why you’re losing customers, but dissatisfaction is likely number one! Always go to great lengths to make sure you have all the stock you need as a business.

Manage the People Not the Business

One of the most important things you need to remember as a business owner is to manage people not the business. This means you have to focus on looking after your staff and making sure they are happy. As an entrepreneur, Richard Branson should be one of your biggest role models. And he has always said that if you look after your staff, they will look after your customers. Your employees are, after all, the heartbeat of the organization. Without the right workers, you’d struggle to achieve the outcome you want, and generate a relationship with clients. If you manage your people effectively, the business will end up managing itself as a result. For the best possible results, always try to bear this in mind.

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Corporate Hospitality

Business relationships work best when your clients feel like they matter to you. It sounds obvious, and yet so many people get it wrong. You’ve got to go that extra mile to treat your clients well, even when you aren’t doing business together. It’s proven that many deals are secured as a result of corporate hospitality events. You’ll also ensure that you secure more business this way as well. You know Bill Gates? The richest man in the world? Ring a bell? Well, he said that your most unhappy customers present you with the greatest source of learning. And this is an important lesson to learn. You need to try to pull out all the stops to make your customers as happy as possible. And a focus on corporate hospitality is the best way of achieving this outcome.

If you want to become dominant as a business owner you have to understand the corporate world. And this means you have to give people what they want all the time. The best way of ensuring success and total domination as a company is to focus on heightening your business ethos. If you can make use of all the awesome points on this list, you’ll be well placed to be able to do that.

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