How to out power the competition
Every business has competition. Even if you are in the niche market, there can be only a small amount of time until others jump into your market. This is a usual strategy to wait until someone succeeds in the niche market. Being in the competitive environment brings many positive and negative aspects. From the positive side we have several factors that actually help us succeed and develop better business by perfecting products or services. From the negative side we have factors that are not allowing us to gain the higher market share because our competition does things to become better as well. Here are several positive and negative factors about being in competitive environment:
· Better product or service development
· Enhanced customer service
· Competitive advantage
· Marketing strategy
· Employee engagement
· Tougher to compete
· Competition does the same
· Competition advances (more resources)
· Many players
Competition is one thing that makes it more challenging to any business to survive on the market. Unfortunately, every market has at least several players who are taking out the majority of clients. New businesses have to compete with minimal resources in order to have a chance to become a bigger firm at one point. Company’s growth fully depends on the owner’s ability to strategically rationalize goals and plan out good tactics to achieve them. A good leader must understand the business he is in and needs to understand the competition. It is very important to do a competitive market research
in order to establish competitor’s advantages and weaknesses. It is also important to do a competitive analysis on your own business to understand what might be the potential treats and opportunities. SWOT analysis might be very helpful in this situation as it defines: strength, weaknesses, opportunities and treats.
SWOT analysis can be used at any growth stage of the business to rationalize what can be done to strengthen the business. It is important to use competitive research in order to know who you competing against, without knowing you are shooting in the dark.
Increasing website’s traffic and customer flow
I’d like to start by explaining why you as a website owner should be looking into every opportunity to increase your website’s traffic. Being a business owner you should be relying onto several different sources for gathering leads and creating potential customers. One of a very good ways to pick up new customers is to create a lead funnel from your business/corporate website. Employing your website for customer gathering is a very cost effective and useful way. You have to realize that they’ve spent some time looking for a product or service online and were able to find you as a source. At that stage it is very important to keep your customer at your website and make sure he delivers the needed action of conversion. It is important to understand that every visitor to your website is a potential customer. This is the main reason why you should be increasing the amount of visitors on your website. By increasing your website’s traffic you are increasing your chances to better and higher conversion rates, such as: check-out, newsletter subscription, service subscription and other types of website conversion. There are multiple ways to increase your website’s traffic; the most useful is to perform internet research
on the needed topic before implementing any internet marketing. Internet marketing is very broad and holds many different strategies, techniques and practices. Everyone involved in the internet business or even having a website and wanting to be found must employee if not all, at least some techniques to “advertise” online, in order to attract the needed audience.
Here are the most used online internet tactics to increase traffic to your website:
· Article, PR and online writing
· PPC and SEO (Search engine optimization)
· Link building and Blog posts
· Video making (YouTube)
· Campaigns and landing pages
Employing all of the above techniques should give you a great chance of increasing the customer’s flow to your website. Please keep in mind that in order to convert your customers into buyers you have to have a good website design and user friendly navigation. As mentioned above there are multiple practices to increasing traffic: you can buy YouTube views
, optimize your website in search such as Google and Bing; however in order for those techniques to succeed you have to really optimize your website for user’s benefit. Optimizing your website for user friendly browsing is the key in making customers want to stay on your website. The more time they spend on your pages reading the information the higher chance they will convert to a customer. Different studies have shown that “sticky” content makes reader or visitor willing to come back and interact with you. Even if they don’t buy right now, but they’ve spent some time on your website and theoretically enjoyed it they might come back. Another theory is that when the need for your product/service arises they will be more willing to go back to your website. Optimizing online marketing activities
and optimizing your website are two key components of a successful online business.
Internet is one of the best sources to find almost any information that you need. It really doesn’t matter if you are a college student or a business owner. All it matters is that you need to find specific information for your project. Let’s say that you are thinking about exporting some of your goods into a different country and you need to find out who is your competition, what is the competitive product and approximate amount of demand for your product. It is very costly to go out and live for a while in a foreign country to make all those researches, however with the power of the Internet you as a business owner can pretty much answer the majority of questions you have. Internet research
is a practice of researching specific topics that interests you whether for personal or business knowledge with the use of Internet technology. To be able to distinguish between numerous sources of information, you have to spend some time online in order to find appropriate resources. With a rapid internet expansion and higher numbers of internet access than ever before, people create websites and post information of their interest. It is wise to mention that some information might be bias and based only on writer’s opinion. Therefore, the researcher has to make sure that when the information is found it provides the proper data. Also, it is very good if that data is supported by the facts and statistics of the initial researcher. Market research
has to have several sources to deliver the most relevant result to the researcher. Internet research is just one of the sources where one can pick up many helpful sources to broaden a scope of activities. Use Internet to power your business
! Internet technology offers many benefits to the business; therefore it is wise to make sure it doesn’t go to waste. Use internet every time it is possible to gain competitive advantage and to deliver highest possible results for your business. Your business is important for you therefore you have to use what you have.
Internet for Business
Internet use for Business Operations
Internet provides many different opportunities for business operations. Business can tremendously grow by employing internet means and discovering the full potential of social networking. Every day more and more businesses select internet as their main source for many different practices, such as: contacting customers, offering customer service, generation leads, finding and creating new customer and constantly advertising their services. It is now known that many companies select internet as one of their primer source is for advertising and media relationship building
. Traditional forms of advertising such as television, radio and billboards are very expensive and usually can only be afforded by the large organizations. With that said internet offers a much lower price for “its service”. When compared with how much needs to be spent on producing just one TV or radio ad versus internet spending’s one can clearly outline the price difference and the outcomes.
Here are several ways of how the internet can be used to achieve your business goals, strategies and lead generations:
· Internet marketing
· Search engine optimization (SEO) and Google Pay-per-Click (PPC)
· Article and PR writing and distribution
· Social networking and social media
· Use of forums, blogs and communities
One of a great ways that internet might help you is by giving you an ability to find out what the client want or need, and the best part is that the internet gives you an option to use it almost for free. You will not be paying money for your online marketing research and target development
as internet is not as expensive as traditional forms of marketing research.
Internet offers great ability to find new customer and directly contact them by constantly delivering a unique message that can appeal to the needed market. An ability to develop a good communications message
is a MUST, as you have to make sure that you target audience is interested in what you are planning to deliver to them. Internet offers a wide variety of sources to provide business with support they need and bring cost effective solutions.
Maximizing office employee productivity
Office productivity is the key element in business life. Without productivity there are no goals, tasks and objectives to achieve. Anyone working for the company must be productive in order to successfully move business as an organization to the new level of business growth and development
. If employees are not motivated enough there is a problem as the productivity level won’t be efficient enough to support daily business life and operation. There are several factors playing a major role in human productivity, here they are:
· Work tools
· Achievable goals and objectives
· Proper time frames
All factors play vital role in one’s ability and will to achieve what needs to be done for the company. With all major factors listed above let’s review one by one defining and speculating on how they can be used and what they will do for your company. Motivation
It is well known that motivated employee does better job
in attaining set goals. When your employees are motivated they are willing to spend more time at work and do better job. In addition, as several studies shown employees show more respect to their bosses if boss motivates them and pays his respect to the employees. There are many ways to motivate your employee: going from increasing salary for a good work, giving flexible hours, enhancing workspace, providing free holidays and days off to serving free lunches, taking teams out for fun things and etc. Motivation is a key player in every organization, you can use it to motivate people to work for you or you can use it to make people willing to quit and never come back. Work Tools
For any employee to achieve what’s needed for the job you have to provide needed tools. As silly as it might sound by not all employees can provide the right tools for the right employee. For example, you hire a good graphic designer and give him 5 year old software to produce graphics. With that software he will be able to achieve something but it will not be at the same level as if would’ve given them a current version with new features. In addition, it is not ration to even ask to work at the same level without given the right tools to work with. It’s the same as giving a screw driver and telling to screw the nail. Achievable goals and objective
All tasks that are given to the employee must be achievable and rational. You as a management link in the company have to establish an approximate time of delivery. It is important to provide your employee with the right task to match his/her abilities. You cannot give tasks that you know your employee will fail as he/she lacks the knowledge in the area. Also, you cannot give tasks that are not related to the person’s area of expertise expecting them to successfully complete it. Make sure that all goals are attainable by the person you’ve selected for the job. Time frame
When giving person a task make sure the task is set within a set time frame. The time frame has to be measured at the reasonable rate. You can measure time that’s needed to complete the task by reviewing how long it took someone to complete it. If the task is fully new you have to assume time approximation, however it is necessary to keep in mind that employee might take a little bit more time to accomplish it. Environment
You have to realize that the work environment that one works in fully reflects on his/her ability to be motivated and ability to finish the job. If you place your employee into a friendly environment
where people work hard, create friendships, help each other, and stay focused on achieving high goals individual will be motivated to produce at the same level; opposite will happen if the environment shows negative behaviour. Training
Provide training and learning materials for your employees to stay focused and to learn more about the tasks, industry and skills. With more training people learn more about what can be achievable; in addition they learn how to achieve tasks in shorter time with better outcomes. Ergonomics
Office ergonomics is extremely important as it provides employees with comfortable place to work at. It is known that well implemented ergonomic practice at the workplace can significantly enhance worker’s productivity. Provide your employees with comfortable workstations for better job performance.
Keep your employees motivated and happy, because they work trying to achieve goals you set.
5 Tips to Stay Secured and Private Online Business Blog
offers you great tips and techniques on succeeding in your business. Every week we have 5 Tips of the Week for you where we summarize 5 tips that we think are going to help you with your projects and business developments. This week we’ve decided to talk a little bit about protecting yourself and your employees in the internet space.
All tips are easy to use and will help you to protect yourself while browsing online, checking emails, login in through the Wi-Fi or in any other internet contact. Unfortunately, internet world is not as safe as we want it to be, there are many offers that are not true, viruses, Trojans and other illegal activities. With all those you have to watch out for yourself and make sure that your employees stay current on the online news.
Here are 5 Week Tip for staying safe on the Internet: 1.
Make sure to update you employees on what’s happening in the online world. Send them information about the cyber-attacks, spam, and any other information that will guide them and make them cautious about illegal activities on the internet. 2. Notify your employees not to share any important information with anyone on the web and clearly outline that it is prohibited. By making sure important information is not shared without your acknowledgement you protecting yourself from those who are looking to hijack important details about bank details, transaction numbers and other money related information. 3.
For all mobile workers carrying corporate cell phones, laptops, tablets and any other work related devices, make sure they are protected enough to avoid break-in and extraction of all the data in the case they were stolen. Mobile devices usually first in line for being stolen or lost, therefore make sure that they are protected. 4. Use
passwords that are high on security, use a good combination of capital and lower characters including several numbers. In addition, make passwords with at least eight characters to make sure they are complex and secure enough. 5.
Do not keep any valuable data, such as passwords, accounts, and bank information in the easy accessible areas. Also, make sure that your employees are aware of the consequences they will face if any private corporate information will be breached and transferred to anyone without your knowledge.
Please, make sure your data is safe and being treated in the right fashion.
How to improve Customer Service?
Customer service is one of the most vital and essential department’s in any business organization. You must have a customer service personal if you sell or provide any type of service. Even though you might assume that you have a great product that doesn’t have any failures, you might be wrong. Real life examples show that companies with great products and services have a very well trained customer support personal. Every product or service is destined to fail once in a while, and it’s not always due to product/ service infringement. There are numerous reasons for product/service failures in addition to customers having different questions about billing, shipping, term of use and etc. Customers might not call in regards to product technical issues but rather to find out how something works or to deal with issues such as when they think something is broken but it was actually misused.
Customer service is a vital resource of customer satisfaction! You have to think about it not in terms of the department which deals with problems but rather as the department who’s initial job is to satisfy customer’s needs and wants with the benefit to both them and your company. Ability to provide professional customer service
is a very hard job, as the personal has to be very well trained and must have a support from all other department of the company. Every other department has to provide key terms and resources to provide customer service with things they require. Good customer service must be aware of all things listed below:
· Current promotions and discounts
· Company policies and code of conduct
· Return policies
· Product process
· Most common technical issues
· Customer satisfaction techniques
The list can go on and on. The main skills that every customer service employee must have are a good attitude and a will to help buyers/users in their difficulties. It is essential for any customer representative to be very polite and to have a control over him/herself when engaged in the conversation with the customer. Customer must feel that the company cares about him or her even after the buying of the product. Being transparent and deliver excellent customer service after the product is sold is the key to having a success in the business. Many companies forget about the post buying process and post buying promises. One of the promises that every company makes unintentionally, is that once the transaction is complete and the product appears in the hands of customer, the seller must have an interest in the customer in helping out on learning or providing customer care. Buyers don’t want to be left alone after the purchase has been made. If there is something that worries the customer, they must have support from the manufacturer or the supplier.
Be nice and patient to your customers as they are the reason behind your existence, without them there won’t be you.
Unified Business Communications
Having a Need for Unified Communications? Telecommunication industry
is filled with many positive surprises. Now customers have more support in their communications strategies then they ever did before. With many support rich technologies, applications and software’s customers are open to the whole new age of telecommunications. Although traditional PBX’s and traditional technologies are still around and being sold they are quickly replaced by the new robust phone systems that help making more productivity for businesses. With all the technology getting into office environments and messages being sent across different platforms there has to be something to unite them!
Unified Communications for business clients offers a great way of uniting all the necessary messages coming from different places into one source of receiving them. Now employees get messages from all different places, such as: telephone, voicemail, email, fax and other. You can also do text-to-speech and have Unified Messaging (UM) Access via Web Interface. There are almost limitless possibilities to what can be done with the Unified Communications to support business and organization needs from the communications prospective.
So who needs Unified Communications? Who doesn’t need it?! Every employee gets many messages on the daily bases. Many corporate offices straggle in being inefficient without the unified communications solution as they cannot see and respond to important messages when they are out of the office and on the road. However, being able to receive all messages at one place is not only important for those on the road, office workers who spend most of their day in the office show higher response rate when all messages are united in the mailbox as it is more efficient and easier to use. Shoretel Unified Communication Solutions
is truly a great feature for many businesses and organizations. It offers a great way to support your daily needs in receiving, managing and sending communicate to your business partners, customers, employees and vendors. It offers a fully rich operation menus and easy setup features. In addition, to UC Shoretel offers great VoIP solutions to enhance business communications process and cut down unnecessary costs while driving productivity.
There is also a great solution from AVST which is called AVST CX-E Unified Communications
which has great capabilities of delivering multiple benefits to the business and end user. It provides one of its kind ability to work with all phone systems so you can extend their life rather than replacing them. This feature allows you to save lots of money without replacing your phone system and at the same time having the technology working for your benefit.
Selecting Business Name
5 Tips on Selecting Business Name
At Business Blog
we always strive to make the most use out of your read, every week we come up with 5 Tips of the Week to give you a little support on how to do different things. We try to find suitable topics to satisfy the need of several audiences at once, business owners who’ve been in the business for quite a while, people who are just about to open, marketers, analysts and researchers
. Every week we have something different for you, it creates a great experience for us to find something suitable and interesting and for you to pick up new tips and trick.
This week we’ve decided to post 5 Tips on Selecting a Business Name, those techniques are not only made for selecting the business name, you can apply them to any creative name or brand name development.
Here we go, 5 Tips for Selecting Business Name:
1. Don’t make it too complicated or too long! Complicated or long names are not recognized as user friendly and are very easy to skip and forget. You need something short, nice and memorable.
2. Make it relative to your business, practice or tool. You have to make the name relative to what you do. Customer or users in general have to make the connection between what you are naming and the actual business, tool or product.
3. For any future purposes, such as growth, brand development, and etc. you have to make sure that the name can be trademarked and is available for you. This move will secure you from battling in the future with the competition or anyone else who will want to take the name.
4. When creating name think of the internet
. When developing a name remember that internet has a very big and significant role in our lives now, especially in the business life. Therefore, make your business name so that it can stand out and make sense about the product so that when someone sees it on the internet in search such as Google or Bing
they can easily be reminded about the product.
5. Make the name clean, quick and memorable! This is your only mission when it comes to creating a name for your business.
We truly believe that those techniques will help you select the best appropriate name for your business, service, product, website or any other entity of yours.
Identifying new leads and opportunities
Every business is determined to live upon finding new leads and opportunities
and converting them into customers. Without customers and sales there is not business. Business can only be successful if all sales cycles are met and the customer is willing to buy service or product. Depending on the business you might have different challenges with one remaining constant throughout all organizations striving to get more sales through acquiring new lead and generating new customers. Generating new customers
is somewhat challenging especially at the beginning stage of business. When you are in the early stages of business it is hard for you to get a constant customer flow and big numbers of sales, but don’t worry it’s almost the same for everybody. At the early stages when you don’t know many tricks and pitfalls you are destined to make business mistakes. It is better to do them now with lower amount and lower risks then when you have big sums and big deals.
Now, let’s come closer to identifying how to get new leads and where to find new opportunities.
First of all, let’s not forget about the oldest way of unintentional marketing that is transferred by your customers – word-of-mouth. It is the oldest and probably one of the most influential forms of “marketing” that the world knows. Each customer’s reference is a powerful tool and has a very high chance of converting into a sale. People trust each other and share information. Therefore, if your product is good and reliable be ready for some customer references. However, to be successful in word-of-mouth you have to be sure that you have a good solid product or service; otherwise people will be sharing their negative experience with their friends!
Second, there are many and many business/professional directories where you can find business names including contact information such as phone and emails, or at least you can get the name of the person or persons you want to reach. Having a name of the person your contact is critical. You can always find out extra information such as email or phone number from contacting the firm directly and talking to the reception and telling them that you’d like to send something to Mr. or Ms. so and so but don’t have their email. One of good business directories is Jigsaw
. Certain information is free such as: name, position and title; however the information that you need the most such as email and telephone number is paid.
Third, traditional forms of marketing. For a very long time marketing played a very important role in any business, its primer role is to create awareness, attract customers and communicate with them through the means of marketing messages. If this is applicable to your business you should be trying traditional newspaper and magazine advertising, billboards, direct mail, radio ads (if the budget allows you) and other forms of traditional marketing.
Fourth, online forms of marketing. With the internet expansions there are many different forms of marketing that you can engage yourself into, they range from email marketing, banner advertising, paid targeted websites ads, Pay-per-click by Google
, SEO (search engine optimization), affiliate programs with other websites and other types that would suite your business.
All those sources should work cohesively to create a good funnel and a fresh flow of leads and opportunities for your prospect to customer conversion.