No matter what industry your business may be in, managing your internal company projects are always a real issue that must be dealt with. With the explosion of outsourcing and overseas company offices, it is harder than ever to collaborate on a project along with completing the project on time. Many companies try to collaborate [...]Read more
Creating and managing an effective Google Adwords account can be a daunting task. There are so many items to think about when trying to maximize your spend, while increasing your conversions. Once of the hardest task for most websites that run adwords campaigns is how to effectively manage bids. Google Adwords allows advertisers to change [...]Read more
This is a guest post by Michael Evans. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here. Do you remember the old saying – Time is Money. This rings true when you are at the helm of a small business. Being a small business owner means you will have to be exceptional at [...]Read more
As a small business owner, it can be hard to continue running without some additional funding. It is never a good idea to fund your business with credit cards because that will come with a large interest rate that needs to be paid back quickly. funding for small business is necessary in many businesses for expansion, inventory, hiring, and much more. It is important to find the right place to that will fund your business with the most appropriate terms.
Many small business owners have looked to private investors to gain more funding. This can be a tricky process, but it can be very rewarding. You can get good terms for paying back the loan and you can make it easy when you deal with only a handful of private investors. Whatever you can do to make the funding process easier on yourself is advisable.
There are always ways to find loans for small business. Owners might try a bank or credit union, but you may have to put up some collateral if you try this route. Depending on your balance sheet, this route could end up costing you the most with unfavorable terms. Each business owner has to take all of the terms into account and find the best that works for them.
Don’t let your business struggle because you can’t get the appropriate funding. There are many options out there that will allow you to gain quality funding without disrupting the flow of your business. Don’t be afraid to check it out in depth before you make your final decision. You don’t want to regret your decision by getting funding from the wrong place. A small business owner needs to worry about running their business, not continually trying to find funding for it. Do what is best for your business.
In the world of online business, you’re only as good as your worst review. Customers are fully aware they can sully a business’s reputation by leaving a negative review online. This one review could turn away hundreds, possibly thousands, of potential customers. The only way to turn off a negative review is with reputation management.
Get Them Talking Positively
Word of mouth is proven to make or break online businesses. Oftentimes, the only reason someone chooses a product or service is because someone they trust recommends it. If there’s a negative review for your business online, how many people are going to see it and avoid your product or service altogether? Probably more than you think.
Intuit’s cofounder, Scott Cook, says, “Word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing.” Knowing who’s talking about your business is essential, if you’re trying to steer clear of a bad reputation. Having lots of positive reviews is going to ensure you make money, but a single negative review can cost you everything.
The first step to ensuring you’re customers have nice things to say about your business is quality customer service. The second step is online reputation management, wherein you make sure search engines are highlighting all the good customers are saying about your company and avoiding the negative stuff. Negativity can spread like wildfire, especially if customers are complaining on social networks and their friends and family are leaving comments.
These days, more and more people are checking up on businesses online. In fact, a whopping 87% of Internet users will search your company before doing business with you. Most often utilizing Google, a customer will search for your business name. In order to know what customers are saying about your business, you’ll need to perform a similar search.
You’ll need to Google your name, your company’s name, and any other identifying information. Keep a notepad handy. If anything negative comes up, mark down where it’s located and what it says. You may find inaccurate information on your company’s CrunchBase profile. You can edit this information yourself, or hire a third party reputation management company to make the changes for you.
Make sure to also take a look at any Google images associated with yourself and your business. If you’re the male head of your company, you don’t want images of your college days showing up. Any frat boy antics will only make you seem unreliable to your customer base and anyone you hope to network with. Despite the fact that nearly everyone has a bad picture floating around, these images still garner unwanted negative attention.
Take Control of Your Reputation
So, you’ve done some research and found some things you’d prefer not show up in search results. Maybe a customer reacted negatively to your product, or maybe there’s a bad picture of you floating around. Either way, you need to suppress the negative stuff and highlight the positives.
Online reputation management companies, like Reputation.com, work diligently to control search engine results, ensuring that only the best things about your company show up. Their research will lead them to any, and all, negative or inaccurate customer reviews. They manage your photos, ensuring only business-related and appropriate photos come up in a search for your brand. They also work to keep your private information secure and all online directories have the correct information. If Yahoo is listing an old phone number for your business this can result in hundreds of dollars of lost revenue. You can learn more about the particulars by reading the Reputation.com CrunchBase profile.
The only way to ensure that your company has a stellar reputation is to manage it. Companies often overlook this key part of online marketing and that can be very destructive. Instead of hoping your company has a positive Internet presence, ensure it does with online reputation management.
What if it were possible to enjoy all of the benefits of carrying a Visa card without the accompanying risks of accruing excess debt or paying high interest charges? Does it sound too good to be true? Fortunately, these benefits are possible with a pre paid Visa card. Prepaid Visa cards work much like regular credit cards but they are preloaded with money that has been deposited into an account. When the money runs out, the card can no longer be used. This service helps consumers to create a responsible habit of avoiding debt and overspending. There are several additional benefits associated with using prepaid Visa cards.
1- Available even if you have poor credit
As anyone that has traveled or who has purchased items on the internet knows, credit cards have become a necessary commodity. It is almost impossible to function in today’s society without access to one. When working or shopping online, it is often necessary to have a credit card to make purchases or to set reservations. While many people solve this problem by simply applying for a traditional credit card from a financial institution or bank, other individuals may be unable to qualify for a traditional credit card due to poor credit history or lack of credit history. For them, conducting business or making financial transactions can be very difficult or even impossible. For people in these situations, a prepaid Visa card may be a fantastic option.
A prepaid card that carries the Visa logo is a safe alternative to carrying cash. Visa, in fact, offers a zero liability policy when it comes to fraudulent purchases. While terms and conditions may apply, there is a great deal of peace of mind that comes from carrying a card with this type of protection.
3- Accepted Everywhere
Prepaid cards are often identical in appearance to regular credit cards. They can also be used just like any other card and anywhere that accepts Visa cards. With a reported 24 million locations worldwide that accepts Visa, a person’s buying power increases greatly when they carry any kind of Visa card.
4- Easy To Manage
Most prepaid card companies make loading money simple and easy. Not all companies are the same, though, so consumers should look for one that offers options that are convenient to them. Some companies allow customers to add money to their accounts using direct deposits, from credit cards, direct transfers from bank accounts, or even from online PayPal accounts. It is important that consumers research options available from different companies before selecting a prepaid card so that they can manage their accounts with very little hassle.
5- Save Money
In many cases, a prepaid card can save consumers a great deal of money. First of all, people who routinely face overdraft fees on their checking accounts may find that a prepaid card is a wise financial decision. While there are often monthly and transaction fees associated with prepaid cards, they tend to be significantly lower than the average $30 overdraft fee charged by banks when customers spend more money than is deposited in their checking account. In addition, fees charged in connection to prepaid Visa cards may also be considerably lower than the cost of paying interest on a high credit card balance.
Clearly, the benefits of using prepaid Visa cards are many. For some, prepaid Visa cards may be a convenience; for others, they may be an absolutely requirement for living in an economy where credit cards have become a necessity. With so many reasons to get a prepaid Visa card, they have become a popular and beneficial way for millions of people worldwide to use their money today. Visit the Kaiku Visa Prepaid website for more information.
Serving The Customer
With Proper Telephone Etiquette
There is nothing more frustrating to a consumer than speaking with a representative who isn’t knowledgeable, pleasant or customer-centric. Customer service training that focuses on style, demeanor and knowledge can significantly improve a business’s performance. If your company has been looking for ways on how to improve customer service, training in proper and effective Telephone Etiquette can give you the boost you need to meet your goals.
The principles for good telephone etiquette are simple. For some employees, certain positive behaviors come naturally. For others, they may not. Having consistent customer service delivery through speech, style, tone and product knowledge provides a strong selling capacity for any business.
Telephone Etiquette Principles
- Your voice should smile: Presenting a positive demeanor to the customer can provide untold sales opportunities, soften displeasure if the caller is unhappy and increase potential for repeat business. While it may be hard to ‘smile’ at times after a long day on the phone, remain as bright and positive throughout the day as when you began.
- Efficiency: This can occur in two ways. First, by answering the phone by the third ring, you are providing efficient customer service. Second, if you need to put a customer on hold, do so for only 30 seconds or less. If your task requires longer than 30 seconds, ask the caller if you can call them back once you have gotten the information they have requested.
- Be Knowledgeable: Solid customer service training always reinforces the necessity to know what a representative is talking about. Become well-versed in product, service or technical support tools so that you can adequately address the customers questions or concerns. If necessary, keep reference books or information sheets at your desk to be prepared if a question arises you are less equipped to handle. Note: if you are new on the job, always advise your caller of this fact. Tell them you appreciate their patience.
- Remain Calm: We’ve all been customers and will continue to be. If you should get an angry customer, remain calm and do not take it personally. Let the caller vent, explain their dilemma/displeasure but turn the dialogue towards a solution. If you remain calm, your customer will likely follow-suit, cool down and begin focusing on a positive outcome.
- Remain Customer-Centric: Do not engage in side conversations with co-workers while on a call. Also, do not eat, drink or chew gum while on a call. It can be irritating to the calling to hear mouth sounds or distracted conversations from others around you. The customer is the purpose for your having the job you have. Your attention should always be focused on them.
- Resolutions: It is important to know language that resolves problems. Using statements such as “I’m hearing you say…” and the like, lets the customer know they are being heard. Find ways to satisfy their request. If unable to do so within the context of one phone call, take adequate notes and inform them you will get back to them with a solution.
For additional information about how to improve customer service through effective telephone etiquette, please visit www.impactlearning.com for further details.
In the past, businesses and government always had access to the latest and greatest technological marvels. Today that has all changed. Most new technology is available in the consumer market first. Many of these devices include smartphones, laptops, and the increasingly popular touchscreen tablet computers. The majority of these devices were designed for consumer use first, and because of their popularity they eventually make their way into the workplace.
A recent Trend Micro Consumerization has revealed that over 56% of all businesses in the United States are now allowing their employees to use their own personal mobile devices for work purposes. The 56% of all businesses that are allowing their employees to use personal mobile devices for work purposes is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. Analysts are predicting that 100% of all businesses in the United States will be allowing their employees to use their own personal mobile devices within two years.
While companies are excited about the cost reduction of a bring your own device program, workers in the IT department are not so excited. Before employees were allowed to bring their own personal mobile devices to work, the IT department issued all of the computers. This gave them the upper hand in choosing which computers each department had. This also gave them easier control over these computer systems. It also made it much easier for the IT department to manage hardware and software. Allowing employees to bring their own personal mobile devices changes all of this.
The IT department no longer has a choice on which devices an employee uses while they are on the clock. This makes the IT departments job much more difficult. Now the IT department must try to find a way to manage and monitor all of these different portable devices. One employee smart phone might have a completely different operating system than another. There may be employees whose personal mobile devices use the same operating system, but one employee might have an older version of the operating system installed, and one employee might have a newer version of the operating system installed. The expense that the company saves by allowing their employees to use their own personal mobile devices, might quickly be absorbed by the IT department as they try to determine the best way to manage all of these devices safely.
Mobile device management is a concern for more than the IT department. Company management understands the dangers of all of these mobile devices accessing their network. Security is always a concern in determining how much data is stored on employees mobile devices and it is a top priority. Luckily there are solutions in place that allow an IT department to remotely manage these devices. There are apps for smartphones that allow people in the IT department to disable the smart phone if it gets lost, or completely erase any company information. There is also software for laptops that will do the same thing.
With newer smartphones, laptops, and tablet computers arriving on the market every single month, employees that work in the IT department have their work cut out for them.