This is default featured slide 1 title
This is default featured slide 2 title
This is default featured slide 4 title
This is default featured slide 5 title
 

Category Archives: Business

Business Etiquette

What’s the contrast between the rising star whose profession is grabbing rate and his partner who can’t get the motor to turn over? Frequently, the star has aced the subtleties of business manners – the inconspicuous yet basic practices that can represent the moment of truth an imperative meeting, impact an initial introduction or awe a potential customer.

As per Hilka Klinkenberg, executive of Etiquette International, a business manners firm, the fundamentals of expert behavior are truly very straightforward. Initially, comprehend the distinction between business decorum and social behavior. Business decorum is genderless. For instance, the conventional gallant behavior of holding the entryway open for a lady is redundant in the working environment and can even have the unintended impact of culpable her. In the workplace, men and ladies are associates.

Second, your guiding principle should always be to treat people with consideration and respect. Although this may seem obvious, Klinkenberg cites this basic decency as a frequent casualty in today’s workplace.

Here are a few of the specific dos and don’ts of business etiquette you are likely to encounter during your workday.

Introductions

The proper way to make an introduction is to introduce a lower-ranking person to a higher-ranking person. For example, if your CEO is Mrs. Jones and you are introducing administrative assistant Jane Smith to her, the correct introduction would be “Mrs. Jones, I’d like you to meet Jane Smith.” If you forget a person’s name while making an introduction, don’t panic. Proceed with the introduction with a statement such as, “I’m sorry, your name has just slipped my mind.” Omitting an introduction is a bigger faux pas than salvaging a botched introduction.

Handshakes

The physical connection you make when shaking hands with someone can leave a powerful impression. When someone’shandshake is unpleasant in any way, we often associate negative character traits with that person. A firm handshake made with direct eye contact sets the stage for a positive encounter.

Women take note: To avoid any confusion during an introduction, always extend your hand when greeting someone. Remember, men and women are equals in the workplace.

Electronic Etiquette

Email, faxes, conference calls and cellphones can create a veritable landmine of professional etiquette. Just because you have the capability to reach someone 24/7, it doesn’t mean you should.

Email is so prevalent in many of today’s companies that the transmission of jokes, spam and personal notes often constitute more of the messages employees receive than actual work-related material. Remember that your email messages are an example of your professional correspondence. Professional correspondence does not include smiley faces or similar emoticons.

Faxes should always include your contact information, date and number of pages included. They should not be sent unsolicited — they waste the other person’s paper and tie up the lines.

Conference-call etiquette entails introducing all the participants at the beginning of the call so everyone knows who is in attendance. Since you’re not able to see other participants’ body language and nonverbal clues, you will have to compensate for this disadvantage by communicating very clearly. Be aware of unintentionally interrupting someone or failing to address or include attendees because you can’t see them. And finally, don’t put anyone on speakerphone until you have asked permission to do so.

Cellphones can be a lifesaver for many professionals. Unfortunately, if you are using a cell, you are most likely outside your office and may be preoccupied with driving, catching a flight or some other activity. Be sensitive to the fact that your listener may not be interested in a play-by-play of traffic or the other events you are experiencing during your call.

Even if you have impeccable social graces, you will inevitably have a professional blunder at some point. When this happens, Klinkenberg offers this advice: Apologize sincerely without gushing or being too effusive. State your apology like you mean it, and then move on. Making too big an issue of your mistake only magnifies the damage and makes the recipient more uncomfortable.

Technique of Marketing Research

Organizations do Market Research to accumulate and examine information to comprehend and clarify what individuals think about items or adverts, to get some answers concerning consumer loyalty and to anticipate how clients may react to another item available.

Statistical surveying can be ordered under two subheadings – Quantitative Research and Qualitative Research. The inquiries asked with Quantitative Research are organized while Qualitative Research inquiries are considerably more open and can frequently uncover utilization propensities which the scientists hadn’t already considered. You complete Quantitative Research when you have to know what number of individuals have certain propensities and the Qualitative Research when you have to know why and how individuals do what they do.

Companies involved in Marketing Research include the Research Buyer and the Research Agency. The research agency carries out the market research in ways previously discussed with their clients – the research buyer. Sometimes companies only need their own data analysed, or are simply looking for advice on how to carry out their own research. Points that are discussed between the two parties can include:

  • The time duration of the research
  • The budget available
  • Who the target groups are
  • Predictions of results
  • How the results will be helpful
  • Street Surveys – stopping people in the street
  • Phone or postal – people fill in questionnaires and send them back
  • Internet surveys – a relatively new technique which functions in a similar way to other surveys except that a large number of people are interviewed at the same time
  • Am I asking the right groups of people?
  • How many people should I speak to in order to get representative answers to my questions?
  • Are my questions easy to understand?
  • How am I going to analyse the data?
  • Focus groups – discussion between a small number of people about a product, or advert etc. to find out their views or habits
  • Personal interviews – in-depth discussions on a one-to-one basis
  • CAPI – computer assisted personal interviewing where questions are ‘asked’ by the computer and the answers are typed by the interviewee directly into the database for analysis
  • Observation – this can be used as a complement to asking questions to see how people do what they do
  • Are my questions open enough to get personalised answers?
  • Have I restricted my target group?
  • Do I only need to find out ‘why’ people do what they do or should I also do some quantitative research?

Know More about Coaching

Coaching is a valuable apparatus in today’s difficult universe of business and trade. Organizations are cutting back, consolidating and rebuilding and there is significantly more employment move than some time recently. Infrequently directors are no more prepared to do their work in light of the fact that their employments have changed to such an extent. They were initially prepared to do one employment yet that preparation can’t be connected to the occupation they are doing today. Guiding is likewise a standout amongst the most capable apparatuses that a pioneer has so as to enhance the execution of his group.

Coaching is a partnership between an individual or a team and a coach. For the purpose of this article we will refer to an individual but the concepts are exactly the same for a team. First of all the individual identifies his objectives. Then, through the process of being coached, he focuses on the skills he needs to develop to achieve those objectives. In professional coaching the individual begins by leading the conversation and the coach listens and observes. Gradually, as the coach begins to understand the individual’s goals, he will make observations and ask appropriate questions. His task is to guide the individual towards making more effective decisions and eventually achieving his objectives. Coaching looks at where the individual is now and where he wants to get to.

Between the initial interview and an individual achieving the goals he identified, there is a process in which the two parties meet for regular coaching sessions. The length of time each session lasts will be established at the start of the partnership. Between sessions an individual might be expected to complete specific tasks. A coach might also provide literature for the individual to study in preparation for the following session. Most coaches employ an “appreciative approach” whereby the individual identifies what is right, what is working, what is wanted and what is needed to get there. An appreciative approach focuses more on the positive rather than problems.

An individual who enters into a coaching partnership will usually adopt new perspectives and be able to better appreciate opportunities for self-development. Confidence will usually grow and the individual will think more clearly and be more confident in his roles. In terms of business, coaching often leads to an increase in productivity and more personal satisfaction. All of this leads to a growth in self-esteem.

In a coaching partnership the coach first needs to listen carefully in order to fully understand the individual’s situation. He needs to support and encourage forward-planning and decision-making. A coach also needs to help an individual recognise his own potential and the opportunities that are on offer. A good coach will guide an individual to fresh perspectives. Finally, the coach must respect the confidentiality of his partner.

Coaching can bring out the best in workers, highlighting what they can achieve if they are given the right support. Both individuals and teams can enjoy an increased level of motivation after receiving the right coaching. When individuals are keen to make progress in their jobs, they usually enjoy being coached and find the experience extremely useful.

Important Marketing Tips

Follow these ten easy easy wins for an instant marketing boost :

# Write a marketing plan
Develop your strategy in the form of a written marketing plan, as this will ensure all members of your business understand the company direction. The plan is a comprehensive and well researched document which covers all essential aspects of taking your products to the customer, including the points listed above. When developing the plan, ask yourself the following questions.
Where are we now?
Where do we want to be?
What opportunities exist in the environment?
How will we get there?
Who will do what?
How will we know we’ve arrived?

# Design targeting advertising & customer communications
Placing a few ads just isn’t enough to get noticed any more. Consumers are bombarded with hundreds of marketing messages every day of their lives and take less and less notice. You need to do something pretty special to stand out, so make sure your messages are clear and appeal to exactly the people you are trying to sell to. Use both emotional and rational arguments to demonstrate what you are selling and why they need it.

# Understand your customers
Getting to know your customers is the most important stage of marketing process. The more accurate your information and knowledge, the more effective you will be at selling. Use all the information at your disposal to understand customer’s behavior, demographics, and requirements. This information should steer your major business decisions and allow you to write a marketing plan.

# Design your product or service around the customer
Once you have a marketing plan in place, you need to make sure your product or service is tailored to your customers – from the packaging to the way it is promoted. Entrepreneurs often fall into the trap of making the product they want to sell, rather than designing and presenting things in the way the customer wants.

# Observe the marketing environment
Knowing your customer is vital, but there may also be business opportunities which emerge as a result of changing global circumstances. For example, in recession budget brands such as camp sites or cheap food stores tend to flourish as people dial down their annual spending. Emerging technologies may make new products possible, and new legislation may shift consumers behaviors – a good example is the reduction in road tax for low polluting cars. Make sure you regularly ‘scan’ the external environment for opportunities (and threats).

# Ensure you are smooth and efficient
The process of conducting your business is almost as important as the product itself – make sure delivery is quick, returns are dealt with courteously, your staff greet customers with a smile and a cup of coffee. Surprise and delight your customers by going above and beyond the call of duty for them. Word of mouth is a powerful selling tool and this is exactly the way to generate it.

# Invest in your people
Your staff are your most precious asset – look after them and give them the training they need to do their jobs well. From your receptionist to your salesmen, make sure they are motivated, have the tools they need and understand their role in the business plan. If everyone works together, your business will look after itself.

# Make sure your shop front is immaculate
Good presentation is a huge influencing tool, it generates trust, motivates your staff and makes customers comfortable with their decision. If your front of house is messy, what does that say about your warehouse or filing systems? Even if things are chaotic behind the scenes, never lower the standards of your customer facing areas

# Have a pricing strategy
Don’t just set a price based on production costs plus a margin. Pricing is a powerful tool to achieve your goals – decide what you are trying to achieve and what message you’re giving out by setting your price at a certain level. High prices mean you’re likely to sell less, but can give the impression of a premium product. Low prices can allow you to break into or dominate a particular market, although this may mean low profitability in the short term. Ensure pricing is part of a greater strategy, and include this in your marketing plan.

# Respond to complaints well
Every complaint is an opportunity to turn around a dissatisfied customer – respond quickly and positively. Remember your brand is easily damaged, and the last thing you want is for people to be actively spreading bad stories about your business. A complaint that is dealt with well can often result in a loyal customer, they will have refreshed trust in your brand and the confidence to buy again knowing that if things do go wrong they will be sorted out quickly.

 

Business Startup Success using These Content Strategies

Business StartupThe vast majority have heard the expression “Quality written substance is the final deciding factor,” yet as of late with respect to content, there has been an unequivocal change of the watchman. The substance that worked for new businesses 10 years prior may not work so well at this point. Ten years back, online networking was in its early stages, and versatile was unbelievable. These days, not tending to portable or online networking can fate a generally encouraging substance methodology. Likewise, catchphrases are still applicable, yet they are not what they used to be, and the attention is on long tail watchwords and quality articles. A solid substance procedure from the primary days of your startup is one of the best risks for achievement.

Quality is the Key

Written content still drives traffic to websites but in different ways than it did a decade ago. It is still vital to achieving high ranking on search engine, but Google has penalized the keyword stuffing and useless links that characterized the poor content of the past. This has been an advantage for people who like informative, helpful articles, which is one of the reasons why Google implemented changes. To improve user experience, Google penalizes the overuse of keywords and links that are not helpful. The preference now is for longer, informative articles with long tail keywords. One way to succeed with written content is to create informative articles with a call to action at the end and promotional material at the bottom.

The Video Victory

It doesn’t look like the video will completely vanquish written content, but it is catching up to articles and blogs in its importance for a healthy content strategy. Many websites have short introductory videos. Sometimes these start playing whether the visitor wants them to are not, which might have seemed annoying at first, but many people have gotten used to it. Videos can improve user engagement and stickiness, in other words, the ability to keep users on a website for longer.

The advantage of stickiness is that while someone is watching the video, they may have time to look at some written content, advertisements and information about the products. That is why it is a good idea to have plenty of information on the site to catch visitors’ attention while they are watching the video. Users like to feel that the site or the company is giving them something back, so it is helpful to incorporate instructional informative videos along with promotional videos. Use one form of content to link to other forms, and include video in the mix.

The Mobile Revolution

Not only did content developers have to adopt a diversified approach that includes written content, video and social media, but they also have to make sure that it fits well on a small screen. Mobile is fast overtaking the computer as the main way people check their emails, read articles and look at videos. Every aspect of content creation must be checked for its easy translation to mobile in order to ensure success.

Just as you don’t rely on the same old blogs on your website that you posted five years ago, so your content strategy needs to be updated from time to time. Always stay ahead of the game by keeping up to date with news, including the development of apps, software and what is trending. Pay attention to what people are talking about and sharing on social media, and your own experience can be almost as effective as market research. Keep tabs on you are customers and see what kinds of activities they enjoy what opinions they hold. This can give you clues about how to reach them through engaging content and which direction to take your brand.

The Social Media Game Changer

Facebook and LinkedIn have gone from the way people can connect with others and share information to a basic means of communication and doing business. Some people find it is hard to be taken seriously as a company or prospective employee without a LinkedIn profile or a Facebook page. Social media is a great opportunity to share news about your product and to promote other kinds of content among visitors. A customer who is a fan of Hampton Creek, for example, may like the company’s Facebook page and may post one of the company’s instructional videos demonstrating recipes. Other shareable material may include informative articles or influential reviewers on YouTube giving their opinion about products. Shareability has influenced the way businesses creates content and is an important part of brand awareness.

 

Know More About Marketing Strategies using Facebook

# Use Your E-mail Signature to Display Your Fan Page URL

If you’re using e-mail as one of the ways to contact or reach your customers, using your e-mail signature to display your fan page URL will be effective. Having your social media pages URL beneath your e-mail messages or at your signature will make your recipient see it easily and probably click it, which can convert into traffic or a following.

# Send Out an E-mail Blast

Letting people know that you are on Facebook is the first goal you should achieve. Sending an e-mail blast is just one of the best ways to do this.

# Leverage the Existing Traffic to Your Site

Remember that it is advisable to have a website for every business since it will function as your sales transaction hub or storefront where people buy your products or learn more about your services.

You can easily leverage the existing traffic on your site by putting social media icons that can be seen and clicked, which are direct links to your Facebook page and any other social media account pages you have.

# Determine the Best Day to Post

Perhaps my favorite feature that Facebook Pages have is the Insights. By going to your Posts Insights, you will be able to see the average time when your fans are online.

In case you’re planning to schedule three posts, you might want to check the best hours that your fans are online and select those hours on scheduling your post.

You can access your Posts Insights by following the steps below:

  • Go to your Facebook Page.
  • You will see “See Insights” above your Page, click it.
  • You will see your Insights overview from there, find the Posts tab and click it.
  • Hover your mouse on the day you want your post to be scheduled and you will able to see the best hours that your fans are online.

Alternatively, tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social will help you find the data and metrics you need including what type of post you should be using for your social media copies.

# Promote Facebook Page In-store

Do your customers come to your store? Promoting your Facebook page and other social media accounts in-store is just another great way to let your customers know that you are on Facebook.

Remember that if you’re exerting efforts on your Facebook marketing online, you should also do it offline.

Use the Facebook Plugins

Integrating Facebook Plugins on your website will give you more advantages on branding awareness and followers increase on Facebook. For blogs or websites with sidebars, you may want to use the Facebook Like Box or Like Button.

For your website pages and blog posts, it is best to use the Like Button, although you can use them both! You may want to consider doing experiments on what’s the best Facebook plug-in for your website.

# Create and Schedule Your Status Updates

The average daily active user on Facebook is 757 million, according to a January 2014 report. And a certain percentage of those millions of people could be your next potential customers.

If you want to use Facebook to maximum advantage, you need to post contents for your target audience with consistency. Your goals should be either to educate, to entertain, or to empower them.

There are also some Facebook posting statistics that you might want to consider when creating your status updates:

  • Using emoticons increases comments by 33% and makes posts be shared 33% more often and get liked 57% more often than posts without emoticons (source: AMEX OPEN Forum infographic.)
  • Question posts get more comments (source: HubSpot).

Scheduling Your Facebook Status Updates:

Facebook has a built-in feature that allows you to schedule a post to appear on your page later. If you want to know more about it and the detailed steps on how to use it, refer to this link and continue reading below.

Use Facebook Ads

You may hate it, but investing on Facebook ads will give your business a lift especially if you’re a start-up or a small business.

Facebook ads aren’t expensive as you might think; you will love them once you tried to test them to get the best conversion that can impact your followers and your business growth. Consistent testing and experiments are necessary once you use them.

Facebook ads currently help you create your campaign depending on the results you want to gain:

  • Facebook Page Engagement— Ads that boost your posts and increase likes, comments, shares, video plays, and photo views
  • Facebook Page Likes— Ads to build your audience on Facebook
  • Clicks to Website— Ads to encourage people to visit your website
  • Website Conversions— Ads to promote specific actions for people to take on your website; you’ll need a conversion tracking pixel to measure your results
  • App Installs— Ads to encourage people to install your app
  • App Engagement— Ads that get more activity on your app
  • Event Responses— Ads to promote your event
  • Offer Claims— Ads to promote offers you created; you’ll need to use an offer you’ve created on Facebook or create a new one

The setup for each ad varies depending on what results you want to see. Below are few things you might want to consider when you set up your ads:

  • Target your desired audience (gender, age, locations). If you use Google Analytics display tracking, you can use the data from there and use it for retargeting.
  • Use an engaging picture if you’re planning to use Facebook ads for your page or external pages.
  • Use an easy-to-answer or an engaging ads description, here’s an example.

If you’re selling gift items, you might want to put something like this:
“If you think giving gifts can make someone smile, Like Us today!”

Since the text is easily answerable by Yes or No, those people who most likely say “yes” will be converted into your fans. Trust me, this is so effective.

Note: You can only use 90 characters for your Facebook ads text/description.

# Think Outside the Box and Create Facebook Contest

A 2013 report stated that 35% of Facebook fans like a page so they can participate in contests.

People love contest and free stuff. Doing a Facebook contest for your fans will give you higher engagement scores and activity. A simple “caption-this-photo” contest can bring in 5.5 times more connects than regular posts.

If you sell products, you might want to give one of your products as a prize; whereas if you provide services, perhaps a free 1-hour consultation, designs, or any of your service can be used as the prize. Make sure that everybody can join and don’t forget to promote it!

Use the “@ feature” in Facebook

Using the @ feature for Facebook will let your fans feel that they are important and are part of your business page. The Facebook @ feature will let you tag people or even other Facebook pages.

Show gratitude and enthusiasm by using Facebook @ feature whenever your fans appreciate or ask something about your business because it can build a fruitful relationship and loyalty between your business and your customers.

Develop a Facebook Customized Page Tab or Apps

A custom page tab/app is a great option if you want to offer an exclusive advantage for your fans. It allows new visitors to see details of your events, contest, opt-in forms, or deals, which can help you gain more fans and likes.

According to Socially Stacked, 42% of fans like a page to get a coupon or discount. Another study by Wildfire Interactive showed that coupon-based campaigns received the highest engagement rates.

Integrate Social Media Sharing

Using social media plug-ins or integrating social media sharing buttons on your website makes it easy for your visitors and customers to share your website pages.

Once a person shared your content through Facebook and other social media sites, their friends can easily see those links on their Facebook profile and news feed.

Engage with Your Facebook Community

Engaging and talking with your community on Facebook could build a strong relationship, trust, and loyalty. The most exciting result about this is that they can also turn into your repeat customers or potential leads.

Facebook can also be used as one of your customer support hubs.

Engage with Other Facebook Pages

You might want to engage with other Facebook pages using your Facebook page account. Find those Facebook pages where your customers hang out.

Your comment will serve as a link toward your page that can lead to an additional like or following (see below image). You could convert those “likes as fans” into “likes for conversions.”

Use Images and Videos for Your Content Updates

People love images and videos; they can also be seen easily on Facebook News Feed, which makes them easy to engage with.

Wishpond’s data says that posts that include photos receive 120% more engagement than the average post, while posts that include photo albums received 180% more engagement.

Create or Join Facebook Groups

Facebook groups have three types of privacy: open, closed, and secret. These different types also serve different functionality and ways to use.

  • Open Group. Anyone can see the group, who’s in it, and what members post.Open groups are mainly used to build awareness, authority, and interest in your brand. This is the best group if you want to establish yourself as an expert and to network with others in your industry. The main focus that you should do on open groups is not selling but rather participation and interactions.
  • Closed Group. Anyone can see the group and who’s in it. Only members see posts.Closed groups are best to use for customer support purposes. For example, we are using Closed Group for one of my clients’ current customers who want to share ideas with other users. We also use this for customer support and solve problems.
  • Secret Group. Only members see the group, who’s in it, and what members post.Secret members-only groups are great for higher-level discussions that need confidentiality. For example, since I manage lots of teams, companies, and businesses, we use secret groups for collaboration and follow-ups.Other companies find the secret group useful as one way to network with their clients or customers especially for those on coaching, training, or consulting industry.