You Don’t Need to Be Mark Zuckerberg to Gain Business Insight

As an ambitious entrepreneur, you want your business to become as successful as physically possible. This is why you’ve already analysed the stories of Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, and other world-famous entrepreneurs. But there’s no reason to limit your source of inspiration to those people. In truth, you can often gain even greater ideas from companies that are far closer to yours in both size and industry.

You must accept the fact that your company is far from perfect. With this fact established, you must make the necessary upgrades in a host of business areas. Focus on the four areas below by borrowing ideas from others, and the results will begin to show in no time.

Cashflow Management

Money is the most important to any modern business, and yours is no different. The early stages require immense maturity, especially when you spend money. For starters, this is why you must always go the extra mile to find the best deals on all investments. Take this approach when you hire staff, choose insurance deals, and purchase key assets. However, you cannot afford to stop there.

There is a huge desire for ownership in this world, but it isn’t always needed. This is especially true in the world of business. Learn when to lease key items rather than buy them, and you’ll see a major boost to efficiency. In turn, that should allow you to grow the business with an increased volume of additions and reduced level of danger.

The ability to utilise assets to their full potential separates the good business owners from the great. Rent out some of the equipment or business spaces to other companies to recoup some of the investment. It’s another source of revenue that can make a world of difference. Many of the best startups make good use of those ideas. Yours should too.

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Marketing

Zuckerberg and company work wonders in the realm of marketing. Your business probably doesn’t have the resources to emulate their campaigns. Still, there is an opportunity to gain huge inspiration from previous success stories. Before doing this, though, you must acknowledge the need for individual personality. Take 30 minutes to search social media for the best performing businesses, and you’ll notice that the bond with an audience is key.

You must avoid the trap of focusing solely on marketing firms. After all, their goals vary from those of every other company. It’s far better to analyse the success of companies that aim to grow visibility and awareness in the same way that you do. Le-Vel have achieved huge progress over the past few years by utilising multi level marketing. Take note of their methods, and put a unique spin on them to win over your unique market.

It’s easy to assume that a lack of funding spells disaster. It doesn’t. Instead, you must use this as an opportunity to get more creative. You’ve seen stories about graduates hiring billboards to land careers, and that type of ingenuity is key. The competition out there is fierce. But with the right approach, you will find a route to increased sales.

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Staff Development

Every business owner appreciates the need to build a great team. Many companies focus on the quality of staff members on day one. However, you can achieve far greater results than most. Hire capable employees and sculpt them through staff training. Do this, and long-term success is virtually assured.

Facebook, Twitter, and other tech giants use this idea. The ability to empower staff has helped companies from Bleacher Report to local restaurant chains. Invest in the best staff training for your employees, and they’ll drive the company to a far better destination.

A lot of business owners worry that they’ll lose talented staff to competitors. On the contrary, your investment will inspire positivity. Employees love feeling valued, and that loyalty is another incentive to stay. Besides, show them that they can climb the career ladder while working for you, and they’ll have no reason to leave.

Customer Care

One sale is great. However, if you can convert a one-time customer into a loyal one, the long-term results become far greater. Show that you see clients as more than a sale, and those gestures will generate sustained success for the business. While you cannot compete with the global giants in many aspects of business, this is one where you can surpass them.   

Take note of the bad businesses as well as the good ones. You’ve probably stopped using at least one company in your personal life due to a bad experience, and those sentiments could harm your venture too. Fit Small Business has produced a guide on the don’ts of customer service. Avoid them at all costs, and you’ll instantly stand a better shot.

You must also do the right things to keep customers coming back for more. Use telephone and email support to give clients a way of contacting you at all times. Combine this with a friendly nature and a fair returns policy for guaranteed success.

Marketing Your Business Effectively Involves These Three Things

As a small business owner, it can be hard to compete with the larger businesses that already have the client base that they want. Building the trust and reliability with new customers is a difficult task, and this article is going to show you how you can market your business in the most effective way so that you can begin growing your business into the most successful company possible.

Create your social media footprint

If you haven’t already created your business footprint in the world of social media, it’s time to do so. With the vast amount of people who use social media each day, it’s the easiest way of getting your service or product in front of people. The best part about it is that it’s completely free (unless you choose to pay for adverts to get your name further.)

Sign up for each social media platform and take some time to learn the algorithms of each so that you can use them to their full advantage. For example, with Facebook it’s best to be posting regularly so that your posts don’t become lost in people’s newsfeeds. If you’ve not posted for a few days, your content will be less likely to appear.

Put your business name on a sign

One thing that all successful business owners believe, is that having your business name and aim on signs and adverts will drive customers straight to you. Consider getting Coreflute Sheets for Signs | Eurotech so that you can begin to distribute your name around. These signs can be places on the exterior or interior of buildings and you can have your logo and design printed on them.

Adverts come in all different shapes and sizes, so make sure you’re exploring every option. From having signs, in newspapers, on the internet, news articles, and even on flyers that are posted around, you have so many options so take advantage of them to attract as many clients as possible. Another idea would be to put your company name and logo onto advert spaces that buses use, or in train stations.

Networking is an opportunity to market yourself

Whenever possible, attend networking events with specifically designed business cards and a display of what you can offer so that people attending these events can easily see what you have on offer. Create a pitch that doesn’t sound too “salesy” to ensure that people don’t feel like they are being bombarded and hassled. People like to go for businesses that are more down to earth.

Try and be clever with your business cards too, so that your company sticks in people’s minds. For example, if you’re running a tool shop, make your business card in the shape of an easily recognisable tool to catch people’s eye.

These three ideas will help you market your business in the most effective way, so that you can begin to further grow your business. Remember, believe in what you’re selling and your customers will too.

Adding a More Personal Touch to Your Business with These Four Tips

Owning a company comes with so many options that are as exciting as each other — like branding, sales, marketing strategies and so on. Each new venture is a joy, and each task completed makes you feel so proud. But there are some things you could be doing to give your company a more personal touch which will make your employees happy and will, hopefully, increase your customer return.

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Personalised Product

Branding isn’t just about sticking our logo everywhere. It’s about being memorable. The more people are familiar with your name and logo, in a positive way, the better. You can do this in a few different ways; the first is to sponsor local events — but make sure that it makes sense with your company.

Like a beer company at a festival — it makes sense, and you are going to be surrounded by your chosen audience. The second is to make your own products — whether that’s merchandise or flavors. Most coffee roasters will tailor make a flavor unique to each coffee company.

Specific Training

Training up your employees is an integral part of running a business — but how you go about it matters. With a store that deals with a particular product, the higher ranking employees at least should have product specific training that goes further than the basics.

This detailed training will allow your employees to give more care and attention to your customers. Training like this can include going to the brewery, to the roastery, the bakery or wherever your product originates so that your employees will be able to know more.

Product Specific Software

Sometimes you need more software that is more geared towards your actual product. If you own a brewery, then beverage software would be perfect for you. This sort of personalisation will help you to organise different aspects that might not exist with another product, like where you source the base materials or ingredients from.

Customer Interaction

Whether you run your business from an office or a store, your customers are everything. Customer care and customer service is something that every business should have at heart — if you have a great product but treat your customers badly then you’re still going to fail. But more than just treating customers right, you should also encourage them to talk back.

Client reviews will help you to improve areas that you might not have realised need improving – sometimes things in theory in the office might not work well on the ground in a store. Customers will always shape your business and if you ignore them is the worst thing you can do.

There is also the opportunity to get your clients involved — if you run a coffee store then have an evening where your staff teaches the public latte art, if you own a vineyard then wine tastings are an avenue you should be tapping into.

Here Are Four Tips to Help Boost Your Product or Service

You might have created an excellent product or service, but that’s not enough if you want to see success. You need to think beyond that and work out what else you need to do to make people want to choose your brand and be happy with the results. There are several essential elements you need to consider before you pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

A Strong Online Presence

Any business today that doesn’t exist online is going to miss out in comparison to other businesses. People use the internet to find what they’re looking for these days, so you need to be there. A quality website should be your first step to establishing your brand online.

Read also: Let’s Get Visible! Your Quick Guide to a Great Online Presence

Clever and Original Marketing

If you want to get your brand noticed, you need to have the right marketing strategies. You need your brand to get people’s attention using smart methods, not by making them annoyed, baffled, or even offended. Select your marketing firm carefully.

A Unique and Recognisable Brand

It can take a lot of work to develop a brand. When you work on your brand, you need to create something your customers can recognise and identify with. If only people who work for you notice when something doesn’t gel with your brand, your branding probably isn’t very strong.

Superb Customer Service

Don’t forget to focus on creating an excellent customer service experience. You should aim to deliver on your promises and even go beyond what your customers expect from you.


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Maximising on the Potential of Your Target Market

Every business has to work hard to reach their target market. First and foremost, in fact, you need to ensure that your company knows who its target market includes. That can be exhausting, can’t it? Offering a wide range of products and services and trying to figure out whether different products and services might reach different corners of the potential market is tough.

You also have to consider whether you can widen the number of consumers to whom your company and brand will appeal. That’s going to the be the topic of this article because there are always ways to maximise the potential of your target market and to reach a wider range of people. Here are just a few ideas that might give you some inspiration to rethink your approach.

Observe your competitors

If you feel that you might not be harnessing the full potential of your target market and there are customers within the realm of your industry that you could also be reaching then it’s time to do a little “research” (essentially, do some more digging). Take a look at your competitors and see what they’re offering.

If they’re reaching people that you can’t reach but still offering a very similar product or service then you need to figure out what their gimmick is. Once you do, you need to find a way to undercut them; offer a better discount or deal if customers come to you instead. Find your gap in the market. Gather as much information as you can. It might seem sneaky… and that’s because it is.

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Marketing

Every type of marketing that matters in the modern age takes place online. Come on; scrap the posters and billboards. They’re relics now. If you want your business to truly maximise the potential of your target market then you need to make sure you’re reaching them in every place possible.

The majority of consumers aren’t browsing for goods on the high street anymore; they’re browsing on the internet. Everything is virtual now and that means your business needs a great online presence if it wants to make an impact on its target market.

The goal is to create a massive marketing campaign for a modest amount of money and the vast majority of online resources available to you offer just that; in fact, most of them are free, so why on earth would any company want to pay for advertising these days? Starting a company blog is a great way of getting information out there and reeling in new customers from your market with content that ranks well on search engines (of course, strong content on your main business website will help with this too).

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Customer service

This is the area in which so many companies with great potential end up falling short of the mark. You need to remain connected with your customers so that you can help them and find out what your business is doing well or not so well. Yes, I know — negative feedback can be hard to hear but do you know what’s worse?

Not hearing what’s wrong with your business and losing customers. The way to get customer service just right is to make it clear that you value every single person who buys or wants to buy from your company. Don’t silence the complaints your business gets —you need to welcome consumer opinions.

This isn’t just about proving that your business cares about hearing what your customers have to say so you can keep them interested in your products or services; it’s about knowing what’s wrong with your company so you can improve your standard of service.

It’s a win-win situation. Customers are happy that they’ve been heard properly and your business will be happier when it starts to deliver an even better service to people. Not all suggestions will be overly negative. Sometimes, you could simply invite customers to offer ideas as to things they think your company could do to provide an even better service.

The best kind of market research you can do to find out what your customers want is to directly ask the customers themselves. That’s a certain way of beating the competition, so don’t be scared to start an open discussion. A strong connection with your client-base is a good thing (they won’t always bite).

5 Creative Marketing Tips to Get People Talking about You

In business, marketing is everything! You won’t reach new customers, or make a profit if you don’t find ways to push your business out into the wider world. You have probably grasped some of the marketing tactics yourself, from arming yourself with business cards to harnessing the power of social media. However, I have some creative marketing tips that will really get people talking about you and your business. 

Become an expert

Okay, I’m telling you to go to university and take a master’s degree in your chosen field. Or go the route of working for five years to a decade and pick up some useful knowledge along the way. Your advice will be beneficial to others. Contact your local newspaper and see if you can write a weekly column or start a blog or guest blog on an established platform.

Try and get airtime on local TV and radio. Take part in debates. Speak at industry events. By broadcasting your name and face to the world, you also have a platform to market your business at the same time.

Enter awards ceremonies

Put yourself up for an award, or encourage your customers to put your name forward. Winning an award is free publicity for your company, and you will gain a lot of credibility, to boot. People are more likely to buy from somebody who has a few awards to their name.

Aggressive branding

If you don’t have a brand for your company, you really need to get to work on it. You can easily design a logo with WithOomph, and there is advice online in forming a company slogan. However, when you have created a brand, don’t limit it to your website or flyers.

Put it everywhere — pens, pencils, clothing, packaging, transport, banners, posters, business forms, mugs, water bottles, tote bags — the list can be endless. You want to be seen and heard, so brand absolutely anything and get it into the hands of everybody.

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Go green

We all need to be eco-friendly, and you may attract more customers than your competitors if you can prove your eco-credentials. Have a page on your site devoted to your ethical policy. You don’t want to be seen bragging about it, but showing you care for the world will make your business stand out.

From using recycled materials in your products to using non-toxic substances in your manufacturing process, you will make a difference to the world and in your credibility.

Launch an e-book

Another way of proving your ‘expert’ credentials, launching an e-book is an effective way to digitally market your business. You need to make it interesting, so consider hiring a freelance writer if your writing skills are below par.

Include tips on how to use specific products, or offer an insight into your chosen industry. To gain kudos, make it free, and promote it through social media and through your regular newsletters to customers and clients.

Making Your Business a Success for Less with These 4 Tips

If you run your own small business, then you know how stressful it can get. Not only do you have to deal with running and managing all aspects of your business, but you have to try to make a profit while doing so. Setting up your own business can be incredibly costly, but keeping it up and running is the important part. Try these simple changes to help reduce your costs and, in turn, increase your profits.

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Bulk Buy

No matter what it is you intend to buy, whether it be chocolate chip cookies or printer ink, you will always find that you can buy things a lot cheaper if you buy them in bulk. Make sure you sit down and plan what it is you are definitely going to need to buy.

There’s no point in buying in bulk if you don’t intend to use all of the product. Furthermore, figure out the cost of each individual item.

It’s also often most cost-effective to go straight to the supplier of the item, such as an online supplier or a warehouse, rather than a third-party, so ensure you do this to save the most money.

Outsource Where Possible

A sourcing company will save you money on production by locating sources for supplies and products at lower prices. You could theoretically look for these lower prices yourself, but it’s just another stress added to your never-ending pile of things to do as a business owner.

It would also be a lot easier for a sourcing agent to find you the best deals, as they have connections with a variety suppliers, and will know how to negotiate to get you the best rates.

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Hire Capable, Not Experienced

If you have a choice between two potential employees, both with similar capabilities and positive attitudes, but one who has more experience, you should go for experience, right? Not necessarily.

Of course, if the extra experience will make the candidate better at their job then it certainly makes sense to hire them, but if it doesn’t, then don’t. Less experienced people often just need to get their foot in the door and will be willing to get paid less for the chance. Everyone needs to start somewhere, right?

Do Your Own Marketing

Advertising is easy in the technological age of today. It’s relatively simple to set up a Facebook page for your business, which you can then use to inform your customers of any special offers or promotions that you have running. If you have a great advertisement written up, you could also utilise free ad directories, such as Gumtree, to get your products out there.

If you’re not the most tech-savvy person on the planet then brochures, catalogs, and flyers through doors and in restaurants and pubs are also all great marketing options. Although this may seem like another expense, it will cost you a lot less to do this yourself than hire a marketing company.

Keeping a business running is never going to be cheap, especially if you want it to remain successful for years to come, but hopefully, with these simple steps, it will cost you a lot less.

Here Are Some of the Basic Building Blocks of Business

When you’re first starting a business, it can be very hard to make sure that you have everything under control. With a lot of new things to learn about, a lot of startups will miss out or forget some of the most important parts of their building journey. Of course, though, while you will save time during this, you will also find it a lot harder to keep your business afloat without everything it needs. To help you out with this, the post will be going through some of the elements your business won’t be able to live without. With this in mind, you should be able to take all of the stress out of your new company.

Finance and Law

When it comes to money, a lot of small businesses think they have everything they need to get started. In most cases, though, simple accounting software like Freshbooks isn’t enough. Along with this, you also need an expert to be able to monitor, manage, and make changes to the money within in your business.

Of course, though, at the start, you probably won’t have a budget which will enable this sort of recruitment. So, instead, you’ll need to find a bookkeeping firm to help you. This sort of business can handle every aspect of your business’s money, without having to take your attention away from the work that matters.

Alongside money, a lot of start-ups also neglect the law in their area. In most cases, it will be unlikely that there are any rules which stop you from selling your products or from operating in a way which makes sense. But, it’s still worth getting some help. Like your bookkeeping, you can have this sort of area handled by another company.

Legal advice comes in lots of shapes and sizes. The free options you can find online are great, but won’t protect you from things which you miss. Instead, it can be much better to have a professional who already knows what will have to be done.

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Brand and Marketing

With so many competitors out there, modern companies have a harder time than ever when it comes to getting customers to notice them. This is where your brand comes in. Companies with poor or inconsistent branding rarely manage to be successful. Unfortunately, most customers will completely ignore you if you don’t have a good logo, color scheme, and house style to go from.

Along with this, though, your brand also represents the way you act and communicate with customers. To avoid issues in this area, it’s a good idea to get the help of both a PR and a graphic design agency. With these under your belt, it will be easy to tailor your user’s experience for the better.

Once you have a good brand in place, you can start to think about the marketing your business will get involved with. In most cases, it will be essential to at least be posting to social media platforms every couple of days. Along with this, though, you could also start to think about ideas which other companies don’t use. Most websites have mailing lists, giving you an excellent chance to collect customer data. With this data, you can do things like host competitions or sweepstakes, drawing more and more people to your company.

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Products and Services

With a strong sense of control over money, along with branding and marketing perfectly in place, you can start to think about the products and services you offer to your customers. In most cases, customers will expect the best-quality regardless of what they pay for something. So, to make sure you can meet people’s needs in this area, it’s always worth looking at mid-range options which offer good value for money.

Along with this, you should also make sure that the products you choose meet the legal requirements for safety where you’re based and selling to. When buying items from other countries, it can be very easy to overlook factors like this. But, in most cases, it will be hard to prove to customers that your products are worth their money if they don’t work within the law. Instead, it’s best to make sure you understand the regulations you have to follow.

Running a new business is usually a lot of work. With all of the new skills you have to learn, it can feel like you don’t have any time to focus on your actual company. But, with a little bit of help, you can solve this sort of issue before it even impacts you. It just takes some hard work and dedication.

Assertive Marketing Strategies to Get You Essential Brand Exposure

Assertiveness is defined as being confident and occasionally forceful. When you’re trying to grow a brand or become a better business, it takes a lot of courage to exert your force and influence on consumers. This is because there’s a delicate balance between treating your customers well and giving them all kinds of trouble that will eventually force them to stop doing business with you.

Assertiveness can be shown in your marketing campaigns and also how you react on social media. If you’re going to try to improve your brand awareness, then you need to understand when to be aggressive and when to hold yourself back. In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the ways that you can be assertive in your chosen industry without being overbearing.

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Define Your Target Market

One of the biggest problems in business is being unable to define your own audience. There’s a difference between trying to meet the demands of your consumers and setting trends. Although the line may seem thin in some cases, there’s a huge difference that needs to be understood if you want to use assertiveness as a positive quality that will help grow your brand.

One of the best ways to define your market is to look for business sales leads. With these at your disposal, you can target your marketing at people who you know will make use of your products and services. If you try to appeal to a wider audience, then you risk watering down your brand and alienating the customers who have a need for your niche.

Define your own audience and set trends if you want to be successful in business — don’t let the market define you.

Too Little, Too Late

Taking advantage of situations in the industry is a quality that not many marketers or business owners have. Being able to read data and keep up with social media is the job of a dedicated community manager that understands how the internet works.

Fail to capitalise on situations that could be beneficial to your business and you run the risk of doing too little too late. When your customers are dissatisfied with a specific product or service, it’s your job as the owner to identify what is causing these issues and fix them immediately before it’s too late.

If there’s an opportunity in the industry then it’s also your responsibility to take advantage of it before another business beats you to it.

Differentiating Assertive and Aggressive

Being aggressive is nicer way of saying being annoying. We’ve all seen those annoying marketing campaigns that try to get in our face at every opportunity. While it’s actually a good strategy to get your brand name into people’s minds, it’s also expensive and not good for long-term growth if you’re a small or medium business.

In order to be assertive, you need to understand when you’re being annoying to the consumer and when you need to pull your advertising or promotional campaigns to prevent your business from becoming a nuisance.

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Getting the Reaction You Want from Your Marketing Efforts

If you have any mind for business, you ought to know how important marketing is to success. However, that isn’t enough to succeed. If your marketing feels like it’s getting your business nowhere and providing nothing, you have to take a closer look at why that is. Here, we’re going to look at four essential components of successful marketing to help you figure out what’s missing.

Focus

All forms of marketing, online and offline, are about communication. Communication isn’t just about delivering a message, it’s about making sure the message is crafted to the one who sees it. People in different age categories, economic brackets, needs, lifestyles, and so on use different means to communicate and have different values.

Doing market research can help you better narrow down who exactly you’re communicating with, finding out their values and their wants. Marketing is about appealing to those wants, so knowing your customer is crucial to shaping your message.

Unify and conquer

That’s not to say that your marketing should blow whichever way the wind is going, as far as growing customer awareness. Marketing needs some consistency to it. Your business can’t profess that it has one core value above all others, then another core value above others in a different message.

Your audience will see this as a mistake at best, as willful representation at worst. Neither particularly makes your brand seem like it’s worth trusting with their money. Brands can evolve, and giving yours a facelift if business isn’t going well can be your chance to reintroduce the business. But if you find a successful brand message and imagery style, stick with it.

You’re no expert

It’s not just the message you use but how you use it. If you’re trying to port the exact same content from Facebook to Twitter and to Instagram, it’s going to come up with immediate issues that get in the way of its impact.

Take the time learning different marketing methods and finding out how to create specific content for each. If you don’t know how to use a certain platform, don’t just start pushing on it blindly. Using a digital marketing agency is worth considering not only for the immediate increase in quality your marketing sees.

It’s a good opportunity to watch the experts and see how they approach the task. Pick up some points and, eventually, you’ll be able to do it yourself.

Have a goal

Saving the most important for last. You can’t get where you want to go if you don’t know where you want to go. Not all forms of marketing are the right way to reach the same end. Set your marketing objectives and go from there.

If you want to increase sales within a certain demographic, you need to use attention catching marketing methods like PPC and video advertising on other sites. If you want to improve visibility and brand awareness, then social media and search engine optimisation might be better. If you want to build leads, then networking and using surveys might be the way forward. Find what you want your marketing to do.

Marketing has to be relevant, it has to fit the methods used to it, it has to be focused, and it has to be consistent. If you can’t master these four aspects of spreading the business’s brand, you will never get the return on investment you want.