December 5, 2020

How to Avoid Holiday Sales Issues This Season

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Holiday shopping can bring your business significant sales. But with added customers, you may encounter added issues. Forecasting specific issues that you could encounter during the holiday season will help you best prepare in order to be able to fill all the orders that you get.

Prevent Shipping Roadblocks

Make sure that you have an adequate shipping infrastructure for your products. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be an even greater influx of customers doing their holiday shopping online.

And when customers do their shopping online, one of the most important factors that goes into buying a product or not is whether or not they can get that product in time for a holiday.

One of the best ways to make sure that you will be able to process your orders quickly and get them to your customers as soon as possible is by converting to cloud-based software. Using updated software will help you streamline your process.

Keep Accurate Inventory

One of the main issues that companies encounter during the holidays is having a popular item sell out when there is a high demand. This can have huge repercussions for companies. In fact, inventory issues cause 39% of consumers to leave stores empty-handed due to an item that was out-of-stock.

Take steps early on to predict which products will be popular and plan to have extra inventory to be able to fill high demand.

Use Effective Discounting Strategies

When it comes to holiday sales, you’ll want to consider adjusting your approach from what you normally do throughout the year. When you do normal sales throughout the year, it’s easy to simply discount items that aren’t selling well in order to break even.

But when it comes to holiday sales, only discounting less than popular items will probably leave customers disappointed or at least more willing to shop at other stores with better sales. Think specifically about how to discount items in a way that will maximize profits.

You could consider discounting one or two popular items in order to attract more customers to buy other items that are not discounted to quite the same extent.

Navigating the rush and bustle of holiday shopping is hard enough. Figuring out how your company can be best prepared to address customers’’ needs can be even harder. Thinking about some of the specific issues that you may encounter during the holiday season will help ensure that you’re able to successfully make it through the holiday sales season.

Looking for help to get that little bit more out of your business? Check out our coaching services!

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How to Reduce Your Business Insurance Costs

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Running a business is expensive. Paying for insurance is just one of the necessary costs of doing business. Failing to carry adequate insurance could result in higher costs down the road in the event of a lawsuit, so while it’s expensive it tends to be considered a worthwhile expenditure. That said, there’s no need to pay more than you have to. There are things you can do to reduce your business insurance costs.

Bundle Policies

You’ve probably heard about how you can save money by bundling personal insurance policies. Did you know that you can do that with business insurance policies too? There are multiple benefits of bundling business insurance policies. Among them is the chance that you’ll be able to take advantage of multiline discounts. Of course, it’s important to do your research before jumping into bundling your policies. You should carefully look at what each of the policies you’re paying for cover. You don’t want to be paying for redundant policies or have gaps in your coverage that will leave your business vulnerable.

Implement Safety Protocols

Risk plays a significant role in how insurance companies price their policies. The greater the risk, the higher the price. As such, taking steps to reduce the level of risk in the workplace can help reduce how much you’re paying for insurance. There are multiple ways to do this, some more effective than others. Administrative controls are lower on the scale of effective workplace hazard reduction measures. Security systems, fire sprinkler systems, worker safety training programs, and driver training programs are just a few practical measures that may help lower the cost of insurance.

Shop Around

Bundling isn’t the only way to get competitive pricing on your insurance. In fact, jumping straight to bundling all your policies with one insurance company could mean you miss out on savings you could get by shopping around for insurance. It can take a lot of time to compare insurance quotes, but you could end up with significant savings as a result. Don’t be afraid to ask if the price they’re offering is the best they can do. Ask for discounts. Just make sure that you aren’t exchanging the level of coverage you need for better pricing.

If you want to reduce your business expenses, it might be worth your time to take a closer look at your business insurance. You can save money on the cost of insurance by bundling policies, implementing safety protocols, and shopping around to find the best deals. You owe it to your business and yourself to get the right coverage for your business at the best price.

Read this next: What You Need to Consider Before Moving Ahead With Your Business

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What You Need to Consider Before Moving Ahead With Your Business

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Have you had an incredible business idea? One that you think will take you far and leave you feeling fulfilled? Maybe you’ve started having doubts asked whether you have everything you need to move forward with your business. It’s true—there is so much to consider when deciding if your business is feasible and profitable, but there are many resources out there to help you decide. Start with these basic questions to get you started.

What Problem Are You Solving?

Ask this question before you move forward with your business. To have a business, you need customers. To have customers, you need people who need your product. They will not need your product unless you are solving a problem that they need help with. Approaching your business idea with this perspective will help you know whether your business will be successful.

 It is of the utmost importance to consider whether you are meeting the needs of your potential customers. According to the Montreal Chamber of Commerce, it’s a good idea to get to know these potential customers and find whether your business idea solves a problem that they have.

How Will You Fund It?

Starting up a business can be very expensive, so it is important to consider all the costs that you might encounter and plan for how you will fund your business. Besides considering the costs of getting the supplies or space to start your business, think about your employees’ pay and benefits, unexpected loss, insurance, legal fees, permits, utilities, supplies for your employees, software, and hardware.

Even with all these costs, you have many options for how you will fund your business. You can take out a loan or search for a grant from the government. You also take things into your own hands by raising money yourself. Consider crowdfunding, asking for help from friends and family, and searching for investors as well. According to Franchise Gator, retirement accounts can be another source of funding for your business. However you decide to fund your business, consider if you will have enough funding for your particular business idea.

How Will You Market?

You already know that you can’t have a business without customers, but how are you planning to find and draw in those customers? According to Vendasta, much of the money that goes into starting up a business should also go into marketing. Think carefully about your target audience, their needs (like you read about above), and how to best reach them. Is the product that you have developed marketable to this audience, and do you have a good way to reach them?

Starting a business isn’t for everyone or every idea, but these questions should help you know whether it is for you. If you have a plan and a way to move forward, go for it. There are few things more fulfilling than building a successful business that meets your customers’ needs. But it’s okay if this isn’t the right path for your idea. Maybe modify your idea and plan slightly, and you, too, will be able to start a successful business.

Need help figuring out how to market your business? Sign up for some coaching!

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How to Boost Your Brand’s PR Early On

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You might think that PR is just for businesses who have messed up and have to fix their reputation with the public. That isn’t the case though. Public relations can do really good things for all businesses, especially early on. You don’t have to wait for PR opportunities. You can take action now to create them yourself.

Build Media Attention

Media attention can be a great way to get your business in front of a huge audience very efficiently. It probably won’t come to you at the beginning. You’ll need to be proactive in seeking out opportunities to get media attention. Consider reaching out to your local news outlet. They may be willing to run an informational on your business. Local newspapers and radio stations are also worth reaching out to. You can also include social media into pr strategies to further build your brand’s image.

Hold an Event

Holding an event as a business gives you an avenue to introduce your business and what it’s all about to everyone. You’ll have a chance to simultaneously market your business and build relationships with attendees. 84 percent of business leaders believe their brand’s success is due to event marketing. Take advantage of this opportunity to showcase the value of what your business offers. Remember to frame it in terms of the problem it solves, rather than just the product or service, in order to resonate with your audience better.

Volunteer In Your Community

Few things build goodwill and positive relationships like giving back. Volunteering in your community as a business puts you in a position to showcase your business in a positive light. Those you help will be more kindly disposed towards your business and feel good about referring others to you. Find volunteer opportunities that line up well with your company values and your brand. Volunteering helps you build a good reputation and increases your visibility within the community. If you really want to capitalize on the visibility aspect, have those volunteering wear shirts and gear with your logo visibly displayed on it.

Making PR work for you is a really good way to boost your business, especially at the beginning. Building media attention, holding an event, and volunteering in your community all get your business in front of potential customers. They can also help you foster positive relationships with the public. Take action now to take advantage of the boost PR can provide to your business.

For more business tips, sign up for some coaching sessions!

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What Your Business Needs for Long-Term Success

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Business owners have a lot of things they need to consider for long-term success. Every owner want’s their business to succeed and they need to remember what will ensure that success. Things like a solid foundation, a plan for the future, and a strong online presence will help business leaders to plan for long-term success.

A Solid Foundation

A solid foundation for your business will make sure that you can last a long time. A weak foundation obviously won’t do much for your long-term success. Your strong foundation can consist of a well-thought out product or an emergency fund and can help ensure profitability in the long run. Your foundation is one of the most important things to consider when you start a business and can give you peace of mind if things start to slow down.

A Plan for the Future

If you want to succeed in anything, a detailed plan will help you understand what steps are needed. A business needs a plan just like anything else. A business plan details the future expectations of your company in three to five years. Creating steps or goals for your company will ensure that your business doesn’t start to fail or fall behind your expectations. Your plan can help you stay on top of everything that you need to do as a business owner. A plan will help you feel more organized and you’ll start to see success.

An Online Presence

These days, it’s important to have a strong online presence. That can be done through a well-crafted website, social media, blog, or positive reviews. Potential customers will always do a little research into your company and if they can’t find you online anywhere, they may start to think that you’re a scam. Having a strong online presence will show customers all the great things you have to offer, and that other people have enjoyed using your company. You don’t necessarily need to be on every online platform, but it can only help your business grow.

Every business is different so there aren’t any set rules for creating a new business and how to succeed in the long run. However, a solid foundation, a plan for the future, and an online presence are great places to start. These will ultimately help your business to succeed and you’ll start to reap the rewards of your hard work.

To help your business succeed even more, sign up for some coaching!

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How Your Business Can Develop a Stronger Connection With Customers

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Every smart business knows that it is reliant on its customers to stay in business and be successful. Customer loyalty is a huge factor in this. If you want to build customer loyalty to your business, you need to develop strong connections with your customers. How should a business go about doing this?

Dedicate Time to the Customer

Customers want to feel like businesses care about them. One of the best ways to do this is to dedicate time to them. There are multiple ways you can dedicate time to your customers. You can take steps to improve your response time. During the initial interaction, take the time to ensure that they are satisfied with the service they’ve received. Add personal touches to the interactions where appropriate. Avoid doing things to make customers feel rushed. Customers can tell if you’re rushing them through a process, and it doesn’t leave them feeling positive about the experience.

Give Your Business a Human Face

Businesses have a tendency to feel faceless to consumers. This can make them difficult to connect to. If you want to build a stronger connection with your customers, you need to give them something to want to connect to. Give a human touch to your business with quality photos of your employees on your website. Of course, you want to present the best image of your business. You want to remain professional and avoid certain distractions that detract from the purpose of the shoot. That’s why these photos are best left to professionals. They know how to make the most of a setting and the lighting.

Reward Them for Their Loyalty

Virtually all businesses want to expand their customer base. It’s an essential part of growth. That said, repeat customers provide more profits to businesses than new ones. They are more cost effective to retain than new ones are to attract as well. As such, it pays to reward them for their loyalty. Develop a quality customer rewards program to encourage repeat business. Consider what perks your customers will value the most and incorporate them into your program. Your customers will better feel your appreciation for their loyalty when you take steps to reward them for it.

Building strong customer connections is essential for businesses who want to thrive. You can do this by dedicating time to your customers, giving your business a human face, and rewarding your customers for their loyalty. This will help them feel positively towards you and want to continue to give you their business.

For more great business tips, sign up for some coaching!

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How to Design Your Checkout Process for Maximize User-Friendliness

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Maximizing user-friendliness in your checkout process can be difficult, but here are three things to get you started. Providing a customer service chat, minimizing steps, and providing easy modification will ensure a smooth checkout process for all your customers.

Provide a Customer Service Chat

Creating a good relationship with your customers is important. One of the ways you can reach out to them and make sure they are getting answers to their questions is to provide a customer service chat that can be accessed in real time. This gives them an opportunity to talk with people in your business and get immediate answers to all their questions. This can lead to greater customer retention. This great customer service experience will make them want to tell all their friends about your business and then they’ll want to come back.

Minimize Steps

As technology is growing, customers are growing less patient with things that are slow. They want things to be fast, easy, and accessible. Minimizing steps required to checkout an item on your site is a great way to minimize the difficulty of online shopping. Making a one-page checkout ensures that people won’t have to spend a ton of time checking out and will be able to get back to their lives quicker. Also, allowing shoppers to checkout as a guest helps capture more sales. Many first-time customers don’t want to have to create an account if they don’t know much about your company. Letting them check-out as a guest will let them get to know your company and then they’ll want their own account.

Easy Modification

Once again, there are many customers that want their online shopping experience to be super easy. Otherwise, they won’t do it. It’s common for customers to put the wrong thing in their shopping cart. Many put the wrong quantity or color and want to easily remove it from their cart. Providing a delete button or a quantity modifier will help them to change things in their cart quickly and easily without having to go back to a different page. Customers are happier if they can make quick changes to their order.

Online shopping is rapidly growing and creating a page that is user-friendly is something that every business needs to consider. Providing a customer service chat, minimizing steps, and easy modification will help make your site easy to manage and make customers want to return.

For more business tips, sign up for some coaching sessions!

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Corporate Trends That Are Making a Comeback

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Workplace trends come and go. What is trending in the workplace has a tendency to reflect a blend of employee and employer values. Some trends make repeat appearances throughout the years. Here are some corporate trends that you could see making a comeback soon.

The Cubicle

Open office floor plans have been popular recently. They have the ability to improve morale, among other benefits. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the cubicle may be in a position to make a comeback. Many offices are putting up such barriers to try and reduce the spread of illness. This could become more common as more people come back to work.

Quality Circles

Quality circles could also be making a comeback. These groups consist of anywhere from three to twelve employees within a company. Ideally, those in the group have the same jobs, or at least ones that are similar or related. They meet regularly to discuss work-related problems and identify solutions to them. Those solutions are then presented to leadership within the business. There are many examples of quality circles from the 1970s among corporate giants. These businesses found that quality circles benefited their business. An effective quality circle can reduce costs. It can also improve productivity, efficiency, and morale.

The Traditional Office Setting

One recent trend is the desire for an improved work-life balance. Employees don’t want to live to work; they want to work to live. The current pandemic climate may be changing this perspective. 4.7 million people are currently working remotely. While the overall perspective on it is positive, not everyone is having an easy time of it. Some employees will embrace a return to an office setting. When they do, they’ll be trying to create a clear separation between their home life and their office life. This means there will likely be a return to the more traditional office setting. The home-like couches and communal spaces will give way to a more office-like setting .

There’s no denying that the workplace is undergoing a period of transition. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many people do business. Businesses may soon see a return to cubicle workspaces. Quality circles may become more prevalent as companies recognize their value. There may even be a return to a more traditional office setting. These trends are coming back, so it’s time we embrace them.

For more tips on how to run your business, schedule some coaching sessions with us!

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3 Strategies for Setting Better Business Goals

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Creating a successful business takes a lot of work. However, if you don’t make a plan for how to succeed then your business won’t go anywhere. It’s important to make goals for your business so you have something to work towards. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Focus on Continuous Improvement

Developing a successful business isn’t really about having an end goal. In a constantly changing world, it’s important for you to keep up and constantly be improving your business. Take stock of your business and see what does and doesn’t work. Address the areas of concern and reinforce what’s already working. Look at the market and see what strategies others are using. Adapt to new technology. Continuous improvement can help you stay up to date with the business world and help you streamline your business.

One great way to start is by making a continuous improvement strategy. Establish a schedule for when and how often you’re going to evaluate your business. Make sure it’s regular enough for it to be effective. Decide ahead of time what you intend to evaluate.

Make S.M.A.R.T. Goals

In general, making goals is always a good start. However, many people don’t follow through with their goals because they don’t make a solid plan. Making S.M.A.R.T. goals, on the other hand, helps you to clearly think through your goal and make a plan. S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. There are many different ways you can apply this process. For example, you might want to get more clients or increase profits. On their own, those aren’t smart goals. You need to be more specific. Determine how you will increase profits or clients. Quantify your goal and set a time limit. Using the S.M.A.R.T. method helps you to make a plan while establishing what your goal is. As you use them, you can stay on track and actually see progress when you stick to your goals.

Hold Yourself Accountable

When making and keeping goals, it can be easy to fall off the wagon. Reinforce your commitment by holding yourself accountable to others. You can tell your employees about your goals or even just a business partner. Depending on your goal, you could even advertise it to your clientele. Ask whoever you tell to check in on your progress regularly. By letting other people know about your goals, you’re more likely to stick to them.

As you move forward with your business, make some detailed goals. Establish a solid plan for your goals and get other people involved as work towards them. Having a good plan is the first step to improving your business.

Need help setting goals for your business? Schedule some coaching sessions with us to get started!

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Why You Should Hire a Business Consultant to Save Money

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If you’re feeling stuck in your business, it may be time to hire a business consultant. A business consultant is a trained professional who can help you analyze your business and see how to best succeed and save money. They can offer new perspectives and insights while also keeping you on track to succeed.

Eliminate Waste

One major benefit of hiring a business consultant is that they offer an outside perspective. Oftentimes it becomes difficult to find where money is being lost because you are too close to the situation. A consultant can help point out areas of waste that may not have been obvious. They can help you see what is unnecessary and how to eliminate the waste. Your consultant can go over your budget with you to make sure you are not allocating more money to operations than you can afford. They will also make sure you aren’t wasting money on services you don’t need. Your consultant can make you more aware of good financial practices so you aren’t wasting your money.

Manage Risk

A business consultant can help you identify and manage risk. In any business, there are risks. An advisor can help you keep track of economic trends so you can have a plan in place in case there is an economic downturn. You can also be made aware of any laws that may impact your business. Your consultant can help to make sure you are following all the necessary regulations. They can also help you avoid lawsuits. You can reduce your risk by hiring an employee with a certification.

New Insights

A business consultant is typically well versed in current trends and practices. They are well aware of the market environment. Their expertise can help you give your business a boost with some new ideas. Perhaps there are some new practices that other businesses have tried and found success with. Your consultant can inform you of these practices and teach you how to best utilize them. It could also be possible that your business isn’t aware of the technology or practices that most businesses are already following and your consultant can help keep you up to date. No matter what’s going on in the market around you, your consultant has the necessary skills to keep you up to date and even ahead of the curve. Their insights can help you to reinvigorate your business.

If you’re trying to save money, it might seem counterintuitive to spend money on a consultant. However, it is well worth it! A consultant can help you spot problems, manage your risk, and even discover new ways to improve your business.

Looking for a business consultant to help you with your business? Contact us to schedule some coaching sessions!

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