If large, publicly-traded corporations can have a goal to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction, can small businesses have the same goal? Of course, businesses on a smaller scale can still strive for ultimate customer satisfaction. Most likely, their market will not target a global audience like an international company, but the target market of a small business certainly might be a specific audience, a specific geographical location, or even a national market. Therefore, the goal is the same only with a smaller market.
Achieving the Goal
What is the mindset, what is the philosophy that must be developed by owners and managers of small businesses to achieve the goal of ultimate customer satisfaction? One only has to look to successful leaders
All types and sizes of businesses sell products and services of all different qualities. Competition is intense for almost any business. With a limited supply of buyers and a multitude of businesses and their products or services to choose from, buyers generally have their choice of which business to patronize.
Stand Out from the Competition
A perplexing question and marketing objective for any business is how to stand out from the competition. Why will a purchaser buy from one business over another…quality, uniqueness, brand awareness, benefits, or pricing? Of course, there will most likely be many factors for a purchaser to consider.
An overriding philosophy contributing to the success of many businesses is being the “best” or
One of Your Best Resigns
You think it will never happen and then it does. One of your best employees just resigned. You’re stunned. You never thought this would happen. Of course, it does happen all the time. Movement between jobs is a natural progression as employees seek increased pay, more responsibility, and flexible working conditions. Effects of the global pandemic have added to job movement with companies allowing employees to work from home, have more flexibility with on-site work schedules, or even relocating from one city to another.
Courses of Action
So, the unthinkable happens when a star employee resigns, and now you have to figure out what to do. There are several courses of action to take. Some are good; o
Marketing Works If Done Correctly
Small business owners who understand marketing, also, comprehend the importance of having a well-defined marketing strategy and objectives. Simply stated, effective marketing creates a “buzz” and demand for a company’s products or services. It’s an opportunity for a business to identify potential customers, retain current customers, and convince both that what the company offers has inherent value to satisfy their needs and desires. At the same time, marketing enables a business to distinguish itself from its competitors.
Market research is worth the effort.
Unfortunately, most business owners are so busy running the normal day-to-day operations that they never take time to engage in market research
Despite what you may have seen online and from various experts in the field, it is certainly possible to rank your website without backlinks.
The following techniques will focus more on on-page SEO, creating valuable content, and off-page mentions.
So, what are these techniques?
1. Create valuable content. When you answer a search query thoroughly, then you’re giving your readers what they want to know.
Technology changed the world. Walmart and Amazon changed the world. And, COVID certainly changed the world, as well. It wrecked businesses and countless lives around the globe not to mention the devastating number of wide-reaching deaths. Although a sense of normalcy has returned in some parts of the world, other parts are still reeling from the negative effects with many experts predicting a bleak fall and winter before vaccines are available and the pandemic starts to really subside.
Today’s reality has forced businesses to examine their entire operations and, in many cases, make radical changes to what was once standard operating procedures. Products and services offered to customers have changed. Methods of doing business have changed. Marketing has changed. Work hours
We don’t want to do the hard things. We like to do the enjoyable things. If something isn’t enjoyable, then we at least want it to be easy.
Yet, the enjoyable things often aren’t very helpful. And the easy things usually don’t provide a lot of return for our time.
The ability to make yourself do the hard things is a big determiner of how successful you’ll be.
Communication in business should be quite straightforward and an easy concept to understand. A customer asks a question and receives a response. An employee has a question or offers a suggestion and expects a reply.
Hopefully, these are both answered with some type of positive response rather than deflected with a negative phrase that does little to motivate a customer into making a purchase or an employee from doing the best job possible.
Just one negative phrase can produce an undesirable attitude from any customer or employee. With a slight change of words, however, the phrase can become positive. The right chosen words can encourage customers to become loyal and act as goodwill ambassadors for a business. Likewise, carefully chosen words
Business is good or, maybe, not so good. Perhaps, it’s somewhere in the middle and just stagnating. When business is not falling into place like it should, maybe it’s not what is being done but, perhaps, what is not being done. The answer is planning but, also, taking planning one step further.
Planning – The First Step
Businesses plan in a variety of ways. Obviously, some businesses don’t plan at all. Assuming some planning takes place, it might start with a basic business plan, a more detailed strategic plan, or a SWOT analysis highlighting the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business.
The planning process should incorporate the internal resources or lack of resources in a business aligned with the bu
It is an interesting phenomenon to think how difficult it is to gain customers and build brand loyalty, but how easy it is to lose customers without even trying. Building a brand, acquiring new customers, retaining old customers, and maintaining loyalty are all interrelated. It can be a fragile relationship that a business shares with its customers. In a competitive world where businesses are vying for market share, a small mistake can mean disaster. When a dissatisfied customer moves to a competitor, the word-of-mouth displeasure can be a stimulus for other customers to leave, as well. Of course, the opposite is true. Satisfied customers communicate satisfactory buying experiences with others.
Consider for a moment the large impact one small sale can mean to a business when repe
Growth and success in a small business is not accomplished overnight or by accident. A business owner must prepare for growth and eventual success by focusing on five basic “P” principles…plan, people, prioritize, processes, and pace. When these are mastered, you’ll see a business headed in the right direction.
Owners must prepare for growth by planning regardless of where the business is in its life cycle. Many small business owners have one thought in mind…sell more and get bigger. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with this philosophy, and a goal that every business owner wants to achieve. Growth, however, requires careful consideration in many different areas of the business such as operations, staffing, facilities,
It is imperative for a small business to make the most of every dollar spent on marketing. Various sources of marketing must be thoroughly analyzed for the immediate return on investment, subsequent return on investment, and general branding.
Unfortunately, many small businesses do not take full advantage of resources available that can stretch the amount of marketing dollars. In addition to traditional marketing efforts, the following are inexpensive ways to obtain customers and increase sales:
Leads and Follow-Up
Following up on leads generally produces positive results. To the contrary, when leads exist in a business but nothing is done to follow-up on a prospect’s interest, money is left on the table.
Businesses should track leads. These
Keeping Your Business on the Right Track
A business plan is a roadmap that sets out your route for the development of your business. It doesn’t tell you just about the current state of the business, its strengths and its weaknesses, it will also show up the opportunities and what needs to be done to stay ahead of the competition.
You might think you know all this now and don’t have to write it down. But what if something happened to you and someone else had to take over the operation? What would they need to know so it was still there and profitable when you returned? This is the kind of information contained in your business plan and its good insurance against the unknown.
It clarifies your objectives
What are your goals? These will be in your bu
Get Out of the Rat Race
We’ve all worked jobs we hated. We were underpaid, underappreciated and bored out of our minds. We either quit these jobs or were fired for poor performance because we just gave up. Instead of taking that approach you need to consider every job an opportunity to learn something new that you can apply down the line to find success.
When you give people the tools they need to come up with unordinary solutions, you are enhancing their lives for the long run. You need to take this approach. What if one of your terrible jobs had been one with no pay at all and you needed to come up with some ingenious ways of making money? I bet you could have found a diamond in that rough. This idea can also be used in your own company.
Put it to Work!
In the last post we talked about how to conduct word of mouth research and then put that research to work. Today we’re going to give you some great tried and true ways to use word of mouth when building and executing your campaign.
We’ve done it in a list form, so you can go through and highlight the ones you want to put into action. These are offered by George Silverman which you can find in his amazing book The Secrets of Word of Mouth Marketing.
Here they are:
Search & Implement
People only remember the extraordinary, strange, wild, surprising and unusual. You need to make sure your ideas and marketing reflect these reactions. This doesn’t mean you have to have a product or service that is completely out of the norm, in fact, this could easily drive customers away. You need to have a product or service that is high quality and easily marketable, then you need to market it as extraordinary and new.
As you’re research word of mouth, there are some questions you need to ask along the way:
What are the users willing to tell the non-users?
Science of the Memes
Today I’d like to discuss the science of the memes and how spreading ideas around and through society is ingrained in humans.
This refers to types of ideas that spread the fastest through society, why they spread fast and how that affects consumerism. You can use this same information to create a lasting positive impression about your company, products and services. People are more likely to try a new product or services when they feel protected and reassured by the masses.
It’s been determined that spreading ideas is essential to the survival of a society. There are 5 main situations where this occurs. They are:
Think of evang
Decoding WOM Messages
Today’s lesson will talk about how word of mouth messages are delivered and how you can influence those messages.
There are essentially 3 methods of word of mouth:
When experts are talking about your products or service you will usually receive an amazing rush of sales and new customers, so obviously this is one of the best things that can happen. You can also help to facilitate this by offering free products to experts for them to review.
Expert opinion can also bring about new ideas that help to fuel new products, services and operating systems within your company. If you take the time to change or develop the opinions of even a small gr
WOM Meets Customers Head-On
Today we’ll cover the idea of shortening your customers’ decision making process with positive word of mouth. There are essentially 5 stages in the decision making process.
Harness the Power of WOM
Today we’re going to talk about how to harness the power of word of mouth. Including the six step process to success and the 30 (that’s right, I said 30) ways to harass the power of WOM. So, let’s get started!
There are six steps to harnessing word of mouth:
Word of Mouth Tactics - Part 3
Last time we talked about the second part of word of mouth tactics which help you put together a system to help shorten the purchasing decision time of your customers which can increase your profits immensely.
Today we’re going to talk about the nine levels of word of mouth which gives you a tool to measure the word of mouth circulating around your company, products and services. You can then see where you are getting negative or weak word of mouth and find ways to correct it.
So, launching into the nine levels of word of mouth-it should seem relatively obvious that the negative levels are, well, negative and the positive levels are positive.
This is the worst of the worst a
Word of Mouth Tactics - Part 2
In the last post we started our series on word of mouth and talked about how to make your customers purchasing experience a short, easy one. We are going to continue with that theme a bit today. We’re going to talk about the power of word of mouth and how to mold it to your advantage.
The reality is everyone needs an advisor to guide them to decide. We rely on the expertise of others to make the right decisions as they are explained to us. When you take the time to understand exactly what and how word of mouth works, you will see all the great advantages it has to offer you. Remember this path when working to understand word of mouth:
Email Campaigns to Help A Business Through A Pandemic
Email campaigns, sometimes referred to as nurturing campaigns, refer to the cultivation and growth of existing, potential, and/or prior prospects in order to create new opportunities and business growth. Although email campaigns have been around for a long time, utilizing proper email approaches during this current pandemic can prove to be a sustainable method of developing and converting connections to sales. Email campaigns allow a business to not only communicate with current and/or local customers but allows for connecting with potential customers and the expansion into untapped and underserved markets that might not even be in close proximity to the business’ main place of operations.
Word of Mouth Tactics - Part 1
Today we’ll start a new series talking all about Word of Mouth and how it can make or break your business in an extremely short amount of time. In this first lesson we’ll get a feel for what exactly word of mouth is.
Word of Mouth is easily the most powerful form of marketing and is absolutely free. People talk about ads they see, experiences they have and the products they purchase. If you treat people right and spread the word about your new products/services in a positive way, you’ll attract the right customers and client who will sustain your business for a long time.
Now, as positive as word of mouth can be for your business, the other side of the coin is how negative it can be as well. Bad news
Acquiring and Managing Leads
The process of gaining new customers can be summed up in two steps - ‘getting leads’ and ‘converting leads to customers. Although the first step is the responsibility of marketing and the second is the responsibility of the sales function, the two must work together to optimize their effectiveness.
Generating the leads themselves is always the first task of any successful marketing exercise. Leads can be purchased, as in buying a mailing list of prospects, but gaining your own is not difficult. Just know that you should be prepared to use a variety of ways to attract qualified prospects rather than depending on just one source.
Promote yourself and manage inquiries – Think about how some co
Multiply on Your Maximizing Resources - Part 4
The last few posts have talked about how to multiply the resources that you’ve worked hard to maximize. So far, we’ve covered:
Today we’ll finish up this series with the last three ways to multiply your maximized resources. We’ll cover:
These areas are all key to keep up the momentum
Multiply on Your Maximizing Resources - Part 3
Over the last few posts, we talked about how to multiply the resources that you’ve worked hard to maximize. So far, we have covered:
Today we’ll cover the next three:
Go Big Online
There are businesses who solely operate online, there are those with only physical addresses and there are those who do both. Those who do both are by far more successful than the previous two. When you ta
So Now You’re Working Remotely
Certainly, the world has changed since the beginning of the year. Countries have closed, opened, and closed again. The same holds true for cities and states in the U.S. Office buildings are closed, brick and mortar businesses shuttered, and the lives of employees materially changed.
There are enough negative and positive predictions to fill a novel-sized book. Whether the prospect for a somewhat return to normal is in the near-term or further into 2021, many employees who started working remotely during the beginning and height of the pandemic are still working remotely with many planning to do so in the foreseeable future. Twitter and Facebook stunned the business world when they announced that there would be permanent
Multiply on Your Maximizing Resources - Part 2
Last time we talked about how to start multiplying on the resources you worked on maximizing. We covered the following areas:
Today we’ll talk about the next three:
Olympic-Size Sales Staff
Now we all know you can’t have a sales staff of 10,000 who work around the clock for free, but there is a tool that will do exactly that-direct mail marketing.
Direct mail is a written piece of sales and informative copy that offers information about your company and your