If you’d asked anyone 10 years ago about how important technology was in running a successful café, they probably would have responded: not at all!
But today, we are increasingly seeing small businesses embrace technology to grow and be more relevant to their clients.
Raw data describes the facts and figures that a business processes every day. Over time, every business hoards a certain amount of data and it only becomes information to a business after it has been processed to add context, relevance and purpose.
I've learned a number of valuable marketing lessons over the last few weeks and I thought I'd share three of these with you.
In more than 20 years of writing for and about a wide variety of companies, I’ve noticed something important. The businesses that flourish are the ones that truly understand their customers – who they are and what they want.
As a merchant or a person acquainted with ecommerce, you might have heard such terms as “cross selling” and “upselling”. But if you think these are some sort of sophisticated novelties – they are not. These techniques have been used by many generations of traditional retailers and are still considered to be the keys to profit generation.
Are you a retailer (or retail sales associate) who’s struggling with how to approach shoppers? Worried that you lack the magic touch, or that you’ll come off as an annoying salesperson? Would you rather be awkwardly staring at your store’s point of sale software screen than actually talking to the customer in front of you?
The beginning of a relationship is always the best. You laugh at each other’s jokes, you look forward to every phone call, and you truly enjoy getting to know one another.
This guest blog is by Tim Campbell, the first winner of BBC TV’s The Apprentice and co-founder of the Bright Ideas Trust, a charity that helps people start their own businesses.
What ‘simple things’ can you do to improve sales?
Regardless of what is going on in the economy there are always simple things many businesses can use to improve their sales and profits.
Sometimes making more sales is as simple as talking to more potential customers about what you sell.
You offer a valuable service, a skill set or a must-have product. Whatever your business, your customers obviously turn to you for a reason. And when it comes to sharing a little knowledge, your customers will be ready and waiting to read something from you, in your own voice.
Back in the day, retail pricing was relatively straightforward. Customers would walk into a store, browse products, look at their price tags, and if they like what they see, they would move on to checkout.
When deciding how to price your products, you need to understand how – and where – your business fits into the economy.
In the past, having honest scales were key to doing good business. Today, for many service-based businesses, our scales are our timesheets. Keeping our timesheets honest is not only good for our customers, but necessary to grow your business.
A popular topic these days is how to hire the perfect candidate for your business. Many industries seem to be suffering from a candidate shortage. When you can’t hire a quality candidate with a lot of experience, the focus quickly turns to hiring people straight out of school. So, how do you identify the diamonds in the rough? How can you give them what they need to grow and turn them into the best they can be?
Making your office a little greener is not just a great way to do your bit towards a healthier and more sustainable planet, it can also give your business a point of differentiation, while also helping your bottom line.
Job Management Software is a new market. Anyone using it is ahead of the game. Those that have adopted it name three key reasons for abandoning their old ways. ‘ Needless extra admin’, ‘Scheduling the workforce was painful’ and ‘We have had poor visibility of job progress’ are the top three.
A cloud inventory solution is one of the most important tools for an ecommerce business. Cloud inventory is the core of your operations, providing the infrastructure and technology needed to manage goods. There are many great cloud solutions which integrate with multiple marketplaces, shopping carts, and accounting platforms.
It’s no question that data is a godsend for many retailers. Analytics can help you get to know your business better and can enable you spot trends, identify problems, and plan for the future. Data also empowers you to make more reliable decisions in just about every area of your business, including sales, inventory, staffing, and more.
Congrats! You just finished setting up your online store. You’ve created winning product pages, put up some killer product photos, and you’re ready to start selling to the world.
We live in a social world. As much as some of us hate to admit it, social media plays a significant role in our everyday lives – from news updates to obscure selfies – the world is documented through social feeds.
Ever get that one product in that you just know will sell if people just get a chance to buy it quickly and easily?
You started your own business to do something you love and make money. But how much should you pay yourself? Too little and you may struggle to survive. Too much and your business might be at risk. So how do you strike the right balance?
Small businesses often start out using Excel – but that’s only doable up until a point. Like every teenager eventually becomes an adult, your business needs to evolve and grow. Find out why the smartest organisations are using online accounting software instead.
Accountants can help out at various stages during the growth of your business. They can handle much more than just your payroll and tax returns. So when should you consider hiring an accountant for your small business?
If you want your business to work smarter and faster, cloud accounting software is a wise investment. Working in the cloud will give you a better overview of your finances, and improve collaboration with your team.
One of the marketing e-zines I find particularly helpful is called ‘The Likeable Expert’. It is written by Michael Katz the owner of Blue Penguin Development.
One of the big opportunities for many businesses is the huge ‘hidden market’ for what they offer.
Invoices are a necessary evil. It’s what your agency needs to get paid! As your agency’s financial manager, ownership of this monthly responsibility falls to you.
While this likely isn’t news to your agency, as with any service business, there is a constant struggle to retain and grow long-term client relationships.
With the digital age in full swing, it’s no surprise that your employees’ personal and professional lives are becoming more and more intertwined.
Starting out afresh – either creating your own accounting practice or regenerating one from within – can be a daunting venture. It is a leap of faith, but also a tantalising opportunity to journey down a different path.
We asked you, our customers, to share with us the pain points that made you turn to GeoOp and had you try and quantify the savings you’ve made.
The traditional argument about Intellectual Property has always been whether it is a sword or a shield
In the desktop world that we are rapidly leaving behind, updates are infrequent and painful. If there was something you didn’t like or didn’t quite work in your accounting software it could be years before you got a fix for it.
What’s the word customers most use to describe your brand? Don’t do any fancy research or hire any consultants. Just go listen. Listen with an ear to the words they use in the first sentence. Then keep score.
There is no question that an IP strategy should be aligned with business strategy.
But, what needs to be better recognised is that IP issues can actually drive most strategic considerations in an organisation
Do you know who an incredible advocate for hard work was? Mary Poppins.
If there was an option to make things easier for yourselves…would you take it?
Inventory management can be hard for any business to do well. Whether you're in manufacturing or retail, your business can suffer if you have too little stock – or too much. Here's how to get it right.
Busy offices can generate a lot of paperwork. But too much paper can reduce the efficiency of your business – and cost you money. So what steps can you take to cut the amount of paper your business uses?
We understand that SEO can be a bit of a mysterious beast. So we reached out to our friends from Alpha Digital, to share some of their best practice tips to help you make your product descriptions SEO friendly.
Women all over the world are becoming entrepreneurs and building successful businesses. What lessons can they teach the rest of us? Here, seven famous female entrepreneurs share their tips for success.
Human beings are overwhelmingly visual. How could I say that? 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. Why are high-quality photos important for online retail?
There a simple creative thinking system that you might like to use to increase your sales fast. It’s called the 20 idea method.
It’s very rare for consumers to make purchase decisions without doing any research. Save for impulse buys, people generally take their time and consult several sources when they’re trying to decide what to buy and who to buy from.
What is your ‘Unfair Marketing Advantage Strategy’ going to be for the next 12 months?
In other words, what will you change (or do differently) so you get much better business results in the next 12 months with a lot less effort?
Successful agencies are constantly on the hunt to attract and retain top talent through recruiting and networking. But making a hiring decision isn’t easy, and it’s important to hire the right person—the first time around.
Agency-life can be a whirlwind. With client requests, impromptu projects, and ever-looming deadlines, simply retaining your sanity can be tough. But all hope is not lost.
Getting organized is the second most popular New Year’s resolution, according to a study conducted by the University of Scranton. Are you still sticking to yours?
Often it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. You begin to doubt yourself and your ability to perform your job at a level that you see fit. But you know what? It’s okay.
We all know the colleagues we love working with every day. They usually have a few common characteristics, including…
When Heraclitus said “the only thing constant is change” in the 5th century BC, he probably didn’t have the internet in mind, but his words couldn’t apply more closely to any other field than to this one.
No industry is exempt from change. Change is inevitable. It affects everyone within a business, from the CEO and director through to front line employees. It’s important to keep in mind the implications of change that can occur if it isn’t managed appropriately.
If you're running a small business - and there are nearly 30 million of you in the U.S. alone - then you know the old adage rings true: Time really is money.
Change. Whether you’re someone who welcomes it with open arms, or you’re the type who tries to maintain the status quo as long as possible, change is inescapable. As the cliché goes, change the only constant thing in the world. And in retail, this statement couldn’t be more true, especially in the last few years!
Cashflow management is vital for a growing business. We spoke to Ed Castaño of BlueVine, a provider of working capital to small businesses, to find out how to manage cashflow. Here are his thoughts.
Small businesses win work by using sales quotes (also known as price quotes). Yet they often don’t realise that how they prepare and create quotes can cost them business. Many lose revenue by not following up on quotes or turning quotes around fast enough.
Over the last five years, blogging for business has become an industry unto itself. With numerous companies all over the world vying for the top talent and the most pageviews, it’s no surprise that the top business blogs are those which can adapt and respond to the changing landscape of the digital world.
From cupcake-crazy home bakers to fitness addicts and artistic dreamers, more and more entrepreneurial Britons are turning passions and pastimes into money-making enterprises. In fact, latest studies show there are 600,000 more micro businesses in the UK today than there were during the onset of the financial crisis in 2008*.
Rust never sleeps’ was supposedly the tagline for a 1970s advertising campaign for a rust-inhibitor product called Rustoleum. Although the phrase found far more traction as an album title for legendary Canadian rocker Neil Young, it resonates with us here at Debtor Daddy because it echoes one of our favourite sayings that “Debt never sleeps”.
What do modern customers expect from retailers? How can you increase revenues per transaction? How can you ramp up word-of-mouth for your business? Our latest retail roundup answers these questions and then some.
We live in a globally connected, digital economy. In this world the all-pervasive force is data. So much so that is has become to the digital economy, what oil was to the industrial. There has never been a better time to use data to drive your business performance.
This is a good time of year to review various parts of your business. Payroll is sometimes neglected in reviews, yet it's an important topic. So here's how to make payroll work perfectly for you this year.
Retail stores have long been collecting basic details (i.e. name and email) on their customers. Now, with the help of some nifty retail cloud solutions, it’s possible to collect so much more.
There’s some truth to the saying “You have to spend money to make money.” When you’re running a business, shelling out without seeing an immediate return is part of the territory.
Your website or LinkedIn profile will often be the first thing about your company that a prospective client sees, and as we all know, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
No matter what products or services they produce, businesses need two essential things to succeed: employees and customers.
I’m sure we all remember using acrostic poems growing up. This week we’ve chosen to discuss the topic of customers in acrostic form!
As an agency working with brands to create engaging marketing and digital content campaigns, it’s important to keep up-to-date with the trends in the market.
Is THIS the year that you are going to concentrate on your inbound marketing and commit to creating a blog that generates results for your business? Great news!
In the race to attract the best staff, and always have a talent pool ready to fill any immediate gaps at short notice, more employers are turning to non-traditional recruitment channels, using social media.
Take a moment to imagine you’ve been given the task of being a mystery shopper for one night. Your job is to go in and assess multiple aspects of a venue: its employees, its food and beverage, the decor, the atmosphere – the works.
Retailers and consumers alike are huge fans of loyalty programs, and for good reason. For merchants, loyalty programs drive repeat spending and encourage customers who buy once to return again and again.
Xero accounting software is designed to revolutionise the way small businesses manage their finances.
WorkflowMax is a web based workflow management solution used by creative agencies, accounting and consulting practices and even tradesmen to manage their businesses from quoting and job costing, through to invoicing and reporting.
Stockouts almost always make it to the “worst nightmare” lists of retailers, and for good reason. Not only do they lead to lost sales, out-of-stocks also result in poor customer satisfaction and lower loyalty levels.
Many of us procrastinate, but how many of us are chronic procrastinators? Negatively affecting not only our own performance but the people we work with.
We don’t need a crystal ball to see that the future of retail involves frictionless shopping experiences. Today’s consumers (and those in the near future) want not only to shop across multiple channels (i.e. online, mobile, brick-and-mortar), but to do so quickly and seamlessly.
Here in the goRoster office we’re all about helping others. So, in keeping with that theme we’ve put together some useful tools that all of you can use no matter what type of hospitality business you work for!
“Data, data, data. I cannot make bricks without clay.” So said the irrepressible Sherlock Holmes in one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic stories, and so echoes thousands of business analysts and statisticians the world over.
When you first start a business, you’re often not thinking more than a couple of years ahead. Your motivation might simply be, “I need some work to put food on the table,” or “I don’t want to work for someone else, so this is what I need to do.”
I had a conversation with a good friend last week that got me thinking. She has recently started some contract work after having a baby. She’s working from home; juggling motherhood and meetings, feeding and phone calls, and managing suppliers in between managing nap times.
For more than 85 percent of males and 66 percent of females in the United States, the workweek extends longer than 40 hours.
So much reading on the internet today revolves around what makes a good leader, what characteristics a good leader has, and ultimately, how to be a good leader.
Why is it that in our always on, always connected world where we take fully automated self service consumer experiences for granted – everything from online shopping, to banking, to theatre and movie ticket reservations – that we’re happy to function in manual mode in the workplace?
More than just a search engine, Google offers a whole host of free tools for using the web. By far one of its most popular is gmail - Google’s free web client that allows users to choose their own email address and send and receive unlimited messages.
Replacing paper based forms with Paperless Onboarding Systems and Paperless Induction Systems is the fastest and easiest way to make employment administration more efficient and cost effective.
As a manager, how you deal with employee conflict is crucial and it’s important that you have processes in place that set a standard.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record…Bad rostering will hurt your business. A lot.
The level of employee retention within a business is always a good testament to the management team.
You’ve got a little creative agency, and it’s doing quite well. You’ve landed a few high profile clients, and your reputation in the community is growing. You’re even in line for a couple of awards this year.
Spring has arrived down here in the southern hemisphere, but wherever you are in the world, now is as good a time as ever to give the office a seasonal spruce-up.
As the economy recovers, employers are beginning to see more employees leaving again. According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey..
One of the most difficult decisions for any business owner – professional service or otherwise – is how best to effectively price his or her product or service. And with good reason, too.
Employment management has evolved rapidly in the past few years. Its changed so much in fact that what you think you know about how to manage employment is probably already wrong.
Many small and medium business in the trades and services sector such as plumbers, electricians, cleaning organisations and maintenance and repair services to mention a few, express the annoyance that they spend far too long performing menial tasks that bear little or no relation to the core process of the service that their business actually offers. For new owners, it’s particularly challenging as they’re suddenly expected to become accountants, HR managers and advertising specialists all at the same time.
A recent article came to our attention which got us thinking. This article was written by Ryan Lazanis of Xen Accounting, a virtual accounting firm based in Quebec, Canada.
As a business owner, Lazanis understands the importance of providing exceptional service. He has also seen the frustration of his clients when faced with paying for his services at an hourly rate. If providing the best customer experience is important, then why not apply customer-first thinking to pricing?
Unfortunately, when a business owner is always in “firefighter” mode, it’s impossible to work hard on winning new clients or tackling more providing that extra special service. By working with your team to put an infrastructure in place to deal with future issues, you’ll have help in dealing with the issues that emerge each day. Once your team is able to respond to problems without escalating it to you, you’ll be able to gradually shift your focus to building your company. Here are three tips on how you can make that happen.
Embracing new technology can be difficult for many companies.
They want to make sure that it will be easy to integrate into the workplace and that it is a value added alternative to existing ways of performing tasks or producing items.