Don’t Let The Line Go Dead With This Advice

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“Hello, sir. I was just wondering… hello. Is there anyone there?”

All you can hear is the sound of a dead phone line and it’s because of a missed deadline. As soon as the business makes a promise and doesn’t deliver, the clients bounce quicker than you can blink. They aren’t prepared to put their reputation on the line; plus, there are dozens of businesses that will provide a similar service.

They can afford a mistake, but you can’t which is why you should never let your aim err. If you find this a difficult target to hit, then below are a handful of tips which will help.

Create Alerts

It sounds simple, and it is in the grand scheme of things. But, nothing is straightforward when the human ego is involved. Believe it or not, some bosses don’t create alerts or write things down because they trust their memory implicitly. It’s a source of pride, yet it costs them thousands in revenue when it fails. If this sounds familiar, take the ego out of the situation with a Google apps integration system. An experienced hand such as ClearFuze Networks will install the service and keep you up to date. Set them a couple of days in advance to keep your finger on the pulse.

Add Liability

People are productive when they know they will get blamed for a failure. Because no one wants to be the reason the company suffers, they’ll work extra hard. Yes, it’s a little exploitative yet it’s basic psychology anyone can use to their advantage. You can do this by including a tracker in the team’s everyday work, and Teamweek has five of the best. Not only does this tell everyone the time frames, but it shows them their job. So, if there is a break in the chain, you and the whole office can apportion blame. Leaders prefer the carrot but the stick works too.

Have A Contingency Plan

The truth is that things will happen and they will set you back but the clock will keep ticking. In these scenarios, it’s essential to have a plan B, C, D and E all the way through to Z to give yourself some breathing space. Then, you can limit the damage and still produce a quality product or service on time. There are lots of options, but the easiest one is not to promise the world. If you can complete a job in two days, say it takes three. The client will be impressed when you deliver early.

Define Definitions

A specific date isn’t a clear enough definition. You should also set out what you expect from your employees on a daily basis from an output perspective. By doing this, nothing will get lost in translation when there is an important deadline to hit. Put it in writing and post the document on the website so that they can refer back to it. Also, check in with them to make sure they’re not getting behind. Asking them to reply to an email is a simple yet effective to know they have read the T’s & C’s.

Can you use this advice to deal with one deadline at a time?

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Getting to Grips with Digital Advertising

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Traditionally, advertising has been relatively tangible, with companies investing money into marketing campaigns focused around billboards, posters, leaflets, and other similar advertising methods. However, we are now living in the digital age and increasing numbers of small businesses are focusing their ads where the majority of people’s attention is placed – online. So, in order to get the most out of your campaigns, it’s time to start considering digital advertising. Here are a couple of areas to familiarise yourself with!

Header Bidding

Now, relatively few people tend to have heard of header bidding, but it is something that any savvy small business owner should be aware of and understand. Header bidding (otherwise known as advance bidding or pre-bidding) is a method that ad publishers are making more revenue out of their ad inventory. It is a programmatic technique that allows ad publishers to offer their inventory out to multiple ad exchanges at once. People who want to use their ad space will then bid on it, with the individual or company who make the highest bid taking the ad space. As you can imagine, different ad spaces are worth different sums of cash. Ad spaces that will be seen by higher numbers of people (ads on high traffic websites or blogs, ads on popular Youtube videos, and ads on television) are going to come with a much higher price tag than ads that will be seen by more niche audiences. However, header bidding can see you grab a bargain. If others aren’t paying attention, you could get a decent bid in before the deadline and bag a prime spot for a low price. You just have to be vigilant! You can learn more about header bidding at https://www.mopub.com/2018/02/05/header-bidding-insights-sega.

Crafting a Presence on Social Media

Chances are that you are familiar with social media. Now, while we may automatically associate social media with the younger generations and think of it as a mere pastime, the truth is that nowadays social media is proving popular with older generations too. Just take a look at how many people are active on different platforms at any given time – most people you know will have a Facebook profile, an Instagram account, and a Twitter account. Well, in order to make profit, you should pay attention to the platforms that the masses are engaging with. Social media could provide you with significant exposure. It’s a place where you can showcase what you have to offer and make a name for yourself. What’s more? It’s free!

These are just two different aspects of digital advertising that you should focus on as a small business owner! It really is time to take to digital platforms in order to benefit your brand as much as possible.

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Pardon? How To Deal With Hearing Loss Without Becoming Anti-Social

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Losing your hearing can be a horrible thing at any age. You suddenly can’t listen to your favourite music anymore and you can struggle to hear what your friends and family are saying to you. It can be easy to become antisocial when you are hard of hearing, however this can be damaging to your friendships and relationships with people as a whole. Here are some ways to make sure that you don’t struggle with your social skills when you are hard of hearing.

Use technology

You can use lots of helpful technology such as a hearing aid to make sure you can still listen and join in with conversations with the people you love. You can use adjusting hearing aids to make sure that you can always stay part of the conversation and that you are never left out of anything.

Use visual aids

When you can’t hear as well as you would like to, you might need to start using visual cues to make deciphering what others are saying a little bit easier. Even if you don’t lose your hearing completely it can be helpful to learn sign language for watching your favourite TV programs, and you can learn how to read lips so that you always know what people are trying to talk to you about even if you can hear small fragments of it already. Visual cues can be a lifesaver for those who cannot hear every well so make sure that you take the time to learn some of them.

Network with similar people

If you are hard of hearing and you are struggling to cope with it all, you can actually help make a difference by networking with other people who are also hard of hearing. You will find that you make some great new friends by attending different events and meeting with other people who struggle with hearing and you will also likely be able to gain some tips and tricks to make your life easier in the future.

Stay online

If you struggle with your hearing it might be much easier for you to stay online and use things such as social media to stay in touch with you family and your friends. It can be a great tool to use because you can still talk to people without having to make phone calls and it will make it easier for you to stay in the loop with your family and things which are going on in other people’s lives.

It’s okay to be independent

If hearing loss makes you be more solitary and independent, there isn’t anything with that. The loss of your hearing might force you to be more independent as a person and this might actually make you feel so much more strong as a result. You don’t have to rely on the help of others, however you should at least make sure that you stay connected with your friends and your family for the best possible life.

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Decrypting The Emotional Arguments In Each Transaction

It doesn’t matter how often you’ve heard that business and emotions don’t mix. In truth, they do. Emotions are a crucial part of each business transaction for the excellent reason that you can’t buy without creating a trust bond. In the Chinese culture, for instance, there can be no business discussion with new partners or clients without first establishing a personal relationship between parties. For many who are not used to working with China-based companies, the approach appears like a waste of time, but ultimately there is a real need for buyers and sellers to understand how emotions affect a transaction. Indeed, the correlation between emotional engagement and finances is often used as a joke – don’t we all know the story of a shopaholic who responds to crisis with a trip down the shopping mall – but the better you understand the principles of emotional purchase, the better you can control financially unhealthy urges – or encourage them if you’re a seller.

Shopping frenzy  

The ‘OMG I need this so much right now’ shopping: All emotions, no financial sense

According to Ryan Howell, PhD at Psychology Today, emotional and compulsive shoppers shop in response to negative emotions, whether it’s stress, anger, low self-esteem or even anxiety. Ina society where the consumerist message conveys that shopping equals happiness, it’s easy for individuals to internalize the message in their everyday lives. As a result, feelings such as instant gratification, escapism and social competition dictate a lot of purchases. But more importantly, they can also create significant debts and financial stress, which can lead to further emotional shopping. The good news is that you can get a handle on emotional spending through budget strategy and digital detox.

Surprisingly, cars are the least emotionally involved purchase

We love cars. In fact, for a lot of people, the car is an extension of your personality. As a result, it’s natural to think that buying a car is an emotional decision. In reality, most buyers narrow down their research through finance-based criteria from price with Bob Ford inventory priced to sell to age – we all know that old vehicles have high maintenance needs. From the selection that matches their requirements, the last choice is often an emotional one, namely defining which car they prefer out of a carefully selected list of vehicles.

You buy a house with all your heart and all your brain

Buying a house is both a financial and emotional investment. It’s not only, for most homeowners, the place that ties them up to a mortgage, but it’s also the place where they can watch their family grow. In other words, if you’re selling your house, you need to understand how to address financial and emotional arguments best. For instance, a lot of buyers can pass on an otherwise fantastic property because they dislike the seller’s attitude. Similarly, bringing too many personal decor touches in display can discourage buyers to imagine what the house would be like if it were theirs. The secret is to manage the balance between a well-maintained property and a cozy but not overwhelming home feeling.

Home sweet home

In short, shopping is a rollercoaster of emotions. From stress relief to feeling at home, your emotions guide your decisions. But don’t let them get hold of your credit card!

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How You Should Communicate In A B2B Relationship

The main concern for any business is to keep a lock-on on the consumers. Public opinion, feeling and directional attitudes are something that continually change. It’s almost too much to keep up with at first because you’re trying to constantly read what the industry and customer moods are. But just as important as communicating with consumers is, so to must you be adept at conveying your message to other businesses. Companies that are especially in your industry will have a culture that is not beholden to any other. Certain semantics and industry jargon will need to be used in your email and phone calls as to get straight to a point. However, there are certain issues that small businesses run up against. Entrepreneurs that want to give off an image of them running a smooth ship should follow some standards of communication when it comes to B2B. These techniques will help you to look and sound more professional which in turn elevates your image and trustworthiness.

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The chain of importance

There’s a mixture of things that require communication with other businesses. Some of these issues will be important for the upper management, other things will be delegated to the lesser staff. For the sake of the things that are important such as contracts, deals, shipping orders and meetings you should have a chain of important. For example, if you’re communicating with a business about a potential partnership deal, any emails and phone calls will of course first be sent to your reception desk. The relevant senior staff that are involved in the final say about the deal, must be CC’d in the emails before you send them out so when the receptionist gets a reply, you’re already in the message. All that’s needed is it to be brought to your attention. The same thing with phone calls. If the receptionist gets a phone call from a business partner, it should be patched straight through to the department that it concerns. The manager should be sort after so that he or she can deal with it. If they cannot then it goes further up the chain of importance to you as the owner.

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Maintaining a consistent image

As an entrepreneur, it’s a daily battle to stand out from the crowd. You have happily taken on much larger businesses than yourself but that’s the thrill of it. But things change, business logos and addresses change. If you don’t update all of your staff on these changes they will inevitably confuse the businesses they communicate with on a daily business. Say you are talking with a distributor such as a supermarket in order to sell a cheese product. If you send two different emails with two different logos at the top, they may not reply or get lost in the confusion. That’s why maintaining a consistent image is crucial to maintaining good B2B relationships. Using something like https://www.templafy.com/brand-management-software/ allows you to update all your offices with the latest logos, company addresses and overall public image. Since everything you update is stored on their cloud system, the updated templates used for emails and formal letters are just a few clicks away.

A close working relationship with companies that are vital to your growth is just as important as the public persona with your customers. Without each other, you will be trying to do everything yourself. Make a good chain of importance communication line and keep your professional look consistent in all online contact.

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Things You Should Never Say to a Deaf Person

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Communicating with someone who has hearing loss can be difficult. The key is to speak clearly so that the individual can lip-read you. While it may be tempting to shout, this rarely makes a difference; it is all about being clear and talking at a slightly slower pace so that it is easy for the other person to follow your lips if they cannot actually hear you. Aside from this, you will obviously want to make sure that you do not offend the person with hearing difficulties. Of course, you would never intend to hurt their feelings, but it can be hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. With that in mind, read on to discover some of the things that you should never say to a deaf person or someone with any hearing problems…

Don’t speak to them like they are unintelligent – We have all been there. You are conversing with someone who comes from another country, and you start talking to him or her like they are from Mars, or like he or she is a young child that has only started to speak. People often have a tendency to do this when they are speaking to someone with hearing problems too. Yes, it is a good idea to speak slightly slower so that you make it easier for the other person to lip-read you. However, try to avoid speaking to them like they are stupid. You probably don’t realise you are doing it, but there is a difference between talking slow and dumbing things down.

What’s your friend’s name? – Talking about someone with hearing loss in front of him or her is incredibly rude. Just because they may not be able to hear you does not mean that they won’t feel uncomfortable, even if what you are saying is completely innocent and harmless. Rather than asking someone else about his or her friend, ask the person. If you then struggle to converse with one and other, you can always ask the interpreter, but make sure you try first.

HI, HOW ARE YOU TODAY? – Okay, so you can actually ask that question, but the point is that you shouldn’t shout! You do realise that speaking louder does not make a difference! For most people with hearing problems, it’s not the volume that is the issue. Speak clear and pronounce your words properly, and this will make a much bigger difference.

Never mind, I will tell you later – Don’t give up. Yes, it can be frustrating for both of you, but giving up on the conversation is the worst thing you can do. The other person will really appreciate it if you keep going and tell them what you were going to say.

Have you tried a hearing aid? – Yes, you are trying to be helpful. But if a hearing aid was going to make a difference, don’t you think your friend or loved one would have tried this already? It may be that the person already has a hearing aid, and so you decide to question whether it is working effectively. Again, this is something you should not do. You can learn more about hearing aids and their effectiveness here. While hearing aids can be extremely beneficial for some people, for others they aren’t helpful at all, and then for some people they can help in certain situations but not all. It all depends on the degree of hearing loss, the environment, and a number of other issues. Think about it; if you had a disability or an illness of any sort, and someone asked you an obvious question that implied you hadn’t made any effort to help yourself, you would be pretty irritated, right?

Turn your hearing aid up – This goes back to the volume thing; making something louder is not a cure for hearing loss. Not only this, but this impatient attitude can make a deaf person feel incredibly uncomfortable.

So there you have it: some of the things that you should never say to someone with hearing problems. Don’t worry if you have said any of the above phrases or sentences before, or even if you accidentally say them in the future. After all, this is a learning curve for you as well as the person who has hearing problems. Simply apologise and move forward. And, never give up on a conversation! Don’t assume that the other person is frustrated because they cannot understand you, and so it would be better for you to give up altogether. In fact, this is likely to cause more upset, as the person will be disappointed that you cannot communicate with one and other.

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What Changing Your Image Could Do For Your Business

If you’ve been in business for a while and you’ve noticed a plateau, a few things could be at play. If you’ve been thinking about this for a while and how you can improve, it could be time to change your image. These pointers will give you a few things to think about if you feel like this could be a good step for you to take:

Conducting An Audit

Take a look at your current branding and try to see things through your customer’s eyes. You want to take a close look at your logos, web design, marketing campaigns, and even the colors that your brand is using. Colors can have a psychological effect on your customers, so changing those could make a big difference to your success. Check out your competitors side by side and analyze what they’re doing too. You need to have a picture of exactly where you stand in the market at present.

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Take Your Business Mobile

Taking your business mobile is key if you haven’t already. A mobile website will appeal to those who prefer to use their phones for browsing. You can quite literally take your business mobile, too, with wraps for cars and trucks to advertise your services wherever you go.

Changing Your Company Name

Your company name is a huge part of your identity, so deciding to change it can be pretty monumental. Your company name tells people a lot about the kind of business you’re conducting, and it can also reflect a focus change or change in the market if you do decide to change it. If you know your business needs to take a new direction, then changing your business name could be a good idea. Just don’t take this decision lightly, as you will need to rebrand and overhaul pretty much everything to do with your business.

Listen To What Your Customers Want

Through the business makeover process, you should make sure you pay attention to things like customer feedback and analytics. Do this before you make a single change to your business. Keywords will help you to figure out what people are really looking for when they find your site.

Get Involved In The Community

As well as the efforts you make online, it could be a good idea to do face to face marketing too. Getting involved in local events could be a wonderful way to do this when you start to rebrand your business. How about sponsoring a local charity or football team? You want your business to make an impression!

Be Consistent In All You Do

As you want to grow your business, you need to make sure you’re consistent in your efforts. You can’t alienate your existing customers by treating them too differently to new customers.

Be Willing To Make A Drastic Change

If you want to start all over again with a new customer base, you’re going to need to change absolutely everything. Perhaps you’ve gone too far in the wrong direction, or your business just isn’t as viable as you thought it was.

Changing your image could help your business to appeal more to a younger generation, or a totally new market. It could help you to build a better reputation and a sturdier customer base. Make a change now!

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