December 5, 2020

How to Take Advantage of a Holiday Sales Spike

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For some companies and business owners, the holiday season is the best time of year in terms of sales and generating revenue. Whether you are an entrepreneur or a seasoned business owner, knowing how to take advantage of a holiday sales spike can significantly impact the overall success you achieve each year. Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing your business for a sale.

Keep Walkways Clear

If you are the owner of a storefront or a brick-and-mortar store, it is imperative to keep walkways outside of your property clear and free from ice and debris at all times. Ensure that you salt and protect each walkway surrounding your business during the cold and wet months to prevent injuries and encourage more foot traffic into your store.

It is also imperative to keep all walkways to your store or place of business clear from ice, damage, cracks and other risks as this may leave you legally accountable for any accidents or injuries that occur. Always verify that you have proper liability insurance for your business and storefront, especially if you live in an area where ice and snowstorms are common or expected each year.

Hire Seasonal Employees

Statistics show that holiday sales account for 20 to 30 percent of profits in most industries, which is why so many employers and companies hire seasonal and part-time workers throughout the busiest times of the year. Consider hiring temporary employees during your busiest holiday months to minimize full-time payroll taxes while also ensuring that your current employees do not become overwhelmed and too stressed out to continue working for you. Additional help on the sales floor and throughout your store can dramatically improve the overall environment and atmosphere in your workplace, especially during busy, hectic and stressful times of the year.

Get Creative Using Social Media

Social media is a great tool for promoting holiday sales and generating interest in your brand and business. Using social media is an effective way to generate brand awareness while also garnering support from new followers who may become loyal customers. Getting creative with the use of social media is possible by hosting contests and giving back, especially during the holiday sale season. Social media is also a great way to share special sale codes that can only be used if they follow your page or subscribe to your newsletter. This is a great way to bring in more attention for your business.

Big holiday sales can seem daunting. As a business owner, knowing how to take advantage of a holiday sales spike can make or break your company each year. With the right plan of action, you can expand your reach while maximizing the revenue you are capable of generating.

Looking for a great business and marketing consultant? Look no further!

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What Does It Mean to Build Your Tribe?

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An important part of any long-term business strategy is to build a loyal base, or tribe, that feels invested in the success of your brand enough to come back again and again. The pool of one-time customers available for your business is not enough to sustain it, so it’s essential to come up with ways to attract people who want to be a part of your business. This task of creating a tribe is not just about buying and selling—there’s a deeper connection that people have with brands and companies when they really allow those entities to become part of their lives. Here are a few of the best ways to establish your business within a community and construct a tribe out of it.

Establishing a Voice

What does your company stand for? Why should a customer come to you for their goods or services instead of another company? What is special or unique about your company? When you answer these questions, you can begin to establish a voice that speaks to what about your business stands above the competition. When there is a shared sense of purpose between the voice of the company and the customer, the reasons for being in business become self-evident, and you’ve begun to build a significant and sustainable tribe.

Making a Loyal Base

Remember that appreciation leads to loyalty, which is necessary for business success. The customer always has more choices than the business, meaning that if they become unsatisfied with the company, then they can simply leave the tribe and go elsewhere for their needs. Therefore, it is critical to never take your customers’ loyalty for granted. A good strategy to maintain a loyal base is to act as if you just established your business yesterday, even if it has been many years. This will keep you hungry to impress customers with your dedication to providing a great product or service and maintaining their loyalty.

Offer Incentives for Loyal Members of Your Tribe

Many businesses take the often-traveled path of focusing their marketing efforts on increasing their customer base while ignoring their pool of long-term customers. While attracting new customers is important for growth, it is equally important to retain the customers you have already in your tribe because they are its lifeblood. Offering discounts and special programs available just for long-term customers from time to time is a good idea.

Building your tribe is an important part of being successful in any business. If you take these tips to heart, you can achieve success in building a tribe around your business that means more than just dollars and cents in the long run.

For more tips on building your business, check out this article: How to Use Local Festivals to Market Your Business

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What to Look for in a Cleaning Service for Your Business

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Keeping your workplace clean and free from hazardous obstacles is an essential part of maintaining a successful business. However, hiring staff to clean each and every day can become rather expensive, especially for start-ups. This is why so many companies choose to go the route of simply hiring a cleaning service to come from time to time. However, before you sign on the dotted line, here are a few things to look out for.

Affordability

Although it’s much cheaper to hire a cleaning service than bringing in your own staff, it can still get expensive. It is important to consider the affordability of the service as well as what you get. Note that you should not choose a company because it is the cheapest option. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. So, in order to make an educated decision, always look at the level of service you get with each company. You will notice that some companies may charge a lot but will have certain restrictions, while others will go above and beyond for less.

Thoroughness

One of the most common reasons a company gets sued is because of an accident at work. This is why it is so important that you choose a company that is thorough with its cleaning. Slippery unmarked floors are no laughing matter, so make sure they don’t just clean but mark areas that might be dangerous. It is highly recommended to ask for references and talk with prior clients about their history with the company. A few calls can potentially save your company thousands.

Insurance

Simply said, accidents are going to happen. A computer will be dropped by accident or that expensive painting in your lobby might be damaged. Thus, one of the first things you should ask a cleaning service is what kind of insurance it has. You are going to want a cleaning company that can not only cover damages on objects within your office but also personal accidents. This is especially important because that worker can potentially file a lawsuit against not only the cleaning company but your business as well.

Business leaders have a plethora of things to do. However, hiring the right cleaning service is not a detail that should be thrown to the wayside. So, take the tips listed above into consideration and conduct your own personal research to determine which cleaning company is the right choice for you.

You might also be interested in this article: How Creating a Positive Work Environment Can Make Your Employees Happier

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Qualities and Actions That Help You Become a Successful Business Leader

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As a business leader, you’re responsible for correctly guiding those under you and delivering positive business results for the company. Being a business leader is rewarding when you approach it in the right way that is built on a set of solid guiding principles. Here are some of the most essential qualities to have and actions to take to become a successful business leader.

Treat Employees Right

It’s important to avoid different types of discrimination that can often take place in a work environment and focus on treating employees equally. You should create clearly defined rules and enforce them the same for all employees. This helps prevent the problem of appearing like you’re playing favorites.

When employees feel like you’re showing favoritism, they will become less motivated and begin to feel more resentment the longer the perceived unequal treatment of employees continues. If you ever chat with an employee about topics unrelated to work, then you’ll need to remember to talk to all employees that week. When you only talk to some employees about non-work related topics, it gives the impression that you favor them.

Show Integrity

Be honest with people in all facets of your business, including employees, customers, suppliers, business partners, regulators and investors. If you get caught lying just once, it can ruin your reputation and break trust not only with the person you lied to but others who must interact with you. Integrity goes beyond honesty. It also involves having morals and operating based on those morals.

Consumers increasingly care about where products are sourced, how employees are treated, and the ways that business leaders conduct themselves morally. Integrity is equally important to your clients as it is for your own employees, so always strive to stay focused and not deviate from your set of morals.

Master Self-Discipline

Discipline is what keeps you doing the things you need to do, regardless of how you feel. Thus, it’s one of the most important qualities you must have to become a successful business leader. Master self-discipline by committing yourself to lifelong personal development, schedule time for monthly reflection, monitor your progress toward your goals, and practice it every day.

Over time, practicing self-discipline every day and learning new ways to stay in control of yourself will help you master this key quality. You will also become a good example to others when you’re the kind of person who always keeps your word, shows up on time, stays calm in stressful situations and successfully executes plans.

When you focus on the above qualities and actions, you can shape yourself into a successful business leader. Remember that treating employees equally might require additional planning and awareness on your part. You may be genuine in your attempt to treat everyone the same, but certain actions, like only making small talk with some employees, gives the wrong impression. Also, act with integrity, and stay in control of yourself.

Check out our other business-related resources.

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How Creating a Positive Work Environment Can Make Your Employees Happier

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Giving your employees a fair salary, comfortable work environment, and good benefits are all great starting points for a positive work environment. Still, it requires more than that to really create a stellar company culture. To help employees feel like their employer truly cares about them, there needs to be regular attention paid to morale. These are some ways a more positive work environment can increase happiness among employees.

Fitness Challenges

Staying active and healthy is already a challenge for many people, but you don’t have to sit by as your employees struggle to stay in shape. Health and physical fitness challenges create greater well-being in the workplace. Your employees can be encouraged to do things like avoiding meat on certain days of the week. Send out reminders that they’re free to stretch or do anything else active that helps them stay alert. Mental health is another good thing to focus on. You need also to assess how your own actions could be leading to poor mental states, such as giving too much work with unrealistic deadlines.

Say Encouraging Words

Have you ever been given a sincere compliment or word of encouragement and not had your mood lifted at least slightly? Even if your employees aren’t showing any outward signs of duress or unhappiness, they could be dealing with these feelings on the inside. Talk to your employees in a personal way that shows you appreciate their effort and that you care about how they’re doing.

More Productivity

An employer who seems indifferent toward their workers isn’t going to inspire them to work more productively, and it especially won’t work if they’re constantly badgering them. People put in an effort when they feel appreciated, and a positive work environment allows employees to be productive without straining themselves. You can’t just throw compliments at employees when it’s the busy season. The positivity needs to be a constant fixture in your workplace and spread easily from one employee to another.

When you hire new people, they should quickly feel love all around the office and look forward to diving into their work. Going to work doesn’t have to feel like a struggle, but so many people clock in and out every day feeling like their employers don’t care about them. You need to create a positive work environment in authentic ways. This will let your company not only see more productivity, but it can also lead to employees coming in and out of work with smiles.

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How to Use Local Festivals to Market Your Business

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Local festivals and events tend to draw good crowds filled with people looking for adventure and fun. Many times, they present excellent marketing opportunities for small local businesses to attract new customers and put their brand on display. Attending local festivals is a smart business strategy that can be accomplished at little expense.

Find an Event

The first step is to find a suitable event. Usually, municipalities advertise their special occasions well in advance, and many will also openly court the participation of local businesses. One of the keys is to know who your target audience is and determine if it coincides with that of the event. While some businesses have more universal appeal, others attract specific niches of consumer demographics that may not overlap with the expected attendees of the festival. It’s also worth checking historical trends. If events are planned closely together, choose the one with the best draw and broadest appeal to your target audience.

Plan Your Attraction

You’ve found an appropriate festival and gained permission to have a booth or display. Now, you just need to plan the right way to get people to check out what you have to offer. Of course, you’ll want to be friendly and engaging, but there’s more to it than that. Put some thought into your presentation. There are so many unique attraction ideas that can draw all sorts of people to your area—the possibilities are endless! Your space should be clean and well organized, but it is helpful to have items that customers can interact with or that generate movement, which is an eye-catcher. Things like spinner wheels or other games interest people. Having branded freebies like mugs, pens or hats can enlist people to become brand ambassadors. Lastly, don’t forget the logistics. At an outdoor event, you’ll need a cover in case of rain. Determine if you require power or water hookups, and how far you will have to transport items from your vehicle.

Collect Information

These events aren’t just for giving things out; they’re also for acquiring important information, customer email addresses in particular. Smart email use can give you additional marketing opportunities far beyond the festival itself. Email is fast and cheap, and it allows for direct communication. Try incentivizing people to sign up by using giveaways or contests in exchange for their information.

If you are trying to sell locally, then it makes all the sense in the world to market locally. Festivals and events give you a large, ready-made audience. As long as you do the research and get the details right, your vendor booth could be a big potential boost for your business.


For more help with your business, schedule a coaching session today!

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Simple Online Strategies That Help Your Business Reach More Potential Customers

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The power of the internet is proven. It offers several solutions for those who are trying to develop a personal brand, grow a business, or receive attention for another endeavor. Additionally, there is a good mix of free solutions as well as paid solutions. Here are four simple online strategies that can help your business reach more potential customers that are worth trying out.

Google Maps

If your business has a location, whether it is a storefront or office, it should be listed on Google Maps. Approximately 154 million people use Google Maps each month, making Google Maps a phenomenal tool for business owners to reach a huge potential audience. This is a free service that only takes a few minutes to set up. When a user is searching for a mall, restaurant, or movie theater, they may accidentally discover your company when scrolling around the map. If they are searching for a specific address, Google Maps shows what else is next to it if those companies are listed.

Advertise on Social Media

When your company’s budget allows, consider advertising on social media. You can always test the waters and decide whether to continue or not based on the results that you receive. You can also pick the best social media platform to advertise on based on the market you are trying to reach. Ads on Twitter are great for those who can write witty banter with a limited amount of characters. Instagram is great for the beautiful photos and visual ads, while Facebook has served as a good catchall. You can pick from display advertising, pay per click, and remarketing campaigns as well as affiliate advertising and video ads. If you speak with professionals in the digital marketing sector, they can go over your options. Based on your goals, budget, and preferences, they can offer you a number of suggestions.

SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, used to be an afterthought and an add-on service for digital marketing firms. Today, everything that has to do with online marketing and advertising begins with SEO. When professionals build a new website or revamp an existing site, they will deliver the final product optimized for the search engines. It is very important to ensure all your digital assets are optimized for the search engines because it allows them to be indexed. Indexing leads to exposure, and if your SEO strategy is well-executed, it will rank your website in the top three results. Optimized websites are architecturally sound, contain no broken links, and are full of relevant content. The search engines feel it is their duty to protect their users from those trying to game the ranks, so their algorithms weed out the bad websites as well as potential scammers.

Subscriptions

To reach more people online, consider starting an email list. Subscriptions to a blog feed, email list, or social media account updates help your followers remember that your company exists. Ideally, you are going to email relevant content that they will share with their friends and family. When that email list begins to grow and you have solid open rates, you can become confident that your online reach is growing too. 

Given that 3.7 billion people have set up at least one social media account and that at least 80% of consumers conduct online research before purchasing a product or service, capturing clients online is to your advantage. There are several simple strategies that can be used to help you gain traction among potential customers including Google Maps, online advertising, and SEO.

Interested in learning more marketing strategies? Check out this article next!

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Should I Allow Cell Phone Use at Work?

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Cell phone use in the workplace is a hot topic. Some experts claim that cell phones in the workplace can improve productivity. Others, however, say that it reduces focus among employees. Here are some things to consider.

Wasting Company Time

Companies and individual employers want to create and maintain a workplace that values efficiency and output. Allowing employees to use their cell phones while working can have unintended consequences. Depending on the type of work your employees are engaging in, it might be acceptable to allow the use of cell phones during designated times and in designated areas. However, permitting workers to have their cell phones out while on the floor can result in wasted company time, which is a risk you definitely want to weigh before permitting employees to use their mobile devices at work.

Improving Internal Communications

With regard to internal communication, however, the intentional use of cellular mobile devices in a work environment can have a positive impact. Allowing cell phones at work can increase access to information that is relevant to the task at hand, which, in turn, can increase productivity. Apps can be designed to facilitate internal communication with employees, which can lead to greater employee engagement. This potential for increased engagement and an enhanced work ethic should be considered when you’re making a decision about whether to welcome cell phones in your workplace.

Striking a Balance

Just as no two businesses are exactly the same, cell phone policies are often unique and depend on the type of work being carried out. For businesses that rely on internal communication advances, a cell phone policy that allows for certain apps to run while others are blocked is a strong compromise. On the other hand, if the work carried out requires complete concentration and could be potentially hazardous otherwise, a stricter cell phone policy will probably make more sense for that specific business. There is no one-size-fits-all cell phone policy, just as there is no right or wrong answer as to what a cell phone policy should look like. Knowing what your workers need to be safe and productive is key.

When all is said and done, ensuring workers remain on task and in good spirits is what matters the most. Having a strong knowledge of your employees’ work ethic and individual needs will help you best determine what cell phone policy is appropriate for your workplace.

Develop a more focused, productive team with coaching by Shannon! Sign up today.

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4 Foundations of a Scalable Business Model

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If you have decided that you want to build a scalable business, you’ll need to quickly learn how to lay down the proper foundations to support it. Not all profitable businesses are able to climb up the business ladder quickly. To build up a business, you need a business model that can quickly multiply revenue at a minimal incremental cost. For example, a piece of software takes a lot of labor to develop, but once developed, it can be copied repeatedly with the same minimum cost. However, a family restaurant is vastly different. Labor and fresh ingredients are costly, and while a family business can grow well and be profitable, it would be a poor business model. Here are some ideas on how to lay the proper foundation for a rising enterprise.

Set Your Business Plan

One of the most crucial mistakes when building a scalable business model is not starting with a business plan. Eventually, businesses will need to begin searching for investors and having meetings with bankers. Your business plan should be ready to go. However, a business plan is more than just a description of your product. Your business plan should contain information about the problem you’re solving for your target market, your solution, how your solution will benefit your target market, and the financials and forecasts to back it up.

Automate Wherever Possible

One of the key requirements of a scalable business model is that there is a set system for accomplishing tasks, and everybody follows the same system. Automating as much of your mundane tasks, such as data entry, is one of the first things you should set up so that you can save on hiring additional employees. You can also automate email responses and appointment reminders. At instances where automating is not possible, consider hiring a virtual assistant instead of a full-time employee to manage routine tasks. This will save you time and resources so that you and your key team members can focus your attention on the clients, product development, and potential investors.

Intelligent Sales Software

Many software solutions such as CRM and POS can help generate more sales, improve customer experience, and scale your business. When searching for software solutions, try to search for those that have integration functions so that you can integrate as many applications as you need into an application suite. Not only are application bundles usually less expensive, but software from the same family are also usually more powerful when synced together. In addition, adequate training and education on existing software can help your retail stores save time and money at the point of sale.

The Corporate Shield

Setting up your business as the right business entity can save you a lot of hassle and headache. While there are many business entities types available to register as LLCs and LLPs are the main business types that can help protect your business assets in the event of legal proceedings.

Building a scalable business model is a hefty enterprise that requires a lot of preparation beforehand. If you are thinking of building a business or is interested in making your current business profitable, make sure you follow these tips to build with a solid starting foundation.

If you need help setting up your business, I can help! Contact me to learn more about my coaching services!

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3 Marketing Strategies That Are Easily Trackable

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Establishing a good marketing strategy is essential to running a successful business. A good marketing strategy will provide you with the right data to help you better understand your overall revenue as well as the type of clientele that is actually responding to your marketing strategy. To obtain this information, you will need trackable marketing strategies. But how do you achieve this? Take a look at our top three recommendations to find out.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the few proven strategies used by both small and large businesses to acquire customers. A well-crafted email marketing strategy can provide you with valuable data that can result in repeat customers. However, common mistakes such as buying an email list or simply making it very generic and forgetful can cost your company valuable time and money. One of the best ways to utilize email marketing is to test various sales pitches and visuals with your customers. You’ll also want to make sure you personalize your emails. You can do this by adding the person’s name as well as delivering your email within their time zone to increase the chance of it being opened.

Direct Mail Marketing

Who says physical mail marketing is dead? Direct mail marketing can be a very effective way to obtain new customers; you just need the right tools to take advantage of it. This means sending out a few hundred flyers to test out the effectiveness of your approach. Another thing to keep in mind is the length of your message, people are not looking through their junk mail, and when they do they read them, you want your message to be quick and effective. Outline any deals or discounts in a simple to understand format. Don’t forget to proofread before sending out hundreds or thousands of letters. Not only will this look unprofessional, but they will most likely never take a second look at your advertising again. In addition, don’t mail to everyone and anyone. You know who your potential customers are, so begin with them first. Roughly 5% of mail is undeliverable, so it might be helpful to utilize address verification to ensure that your mail is arriving where you want it to.

Direct Response Marketing

When people hear about direct response marketing, they often think of an email. Although that has been the traditional way to do it, technology has allowed us to do it in more modern ways For example, one method of direct response marketing you might see today is an e-commerce ad on Facebook or Instagram. With direct response marketing you can not only target your preferred audience, but once people start interacting with your ad, you can accumulate data. This data can then be utilized to track which of your customers are most likely to interact with your company.

Tracking the effectiveness of your marketing strategy is one of the most crucial things you can do to ensure the survival of your company. Therefore, it is vital that you understand not only the various mediums available to you but also how they can be utilized to provide you with the most effective results.

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