Whatever your industry sector, it remains a truism that if you’re not moving forward, then you might as well be standing still. The need for constant yet logical progression is integral to your business success, and by including the need for growth into the foundation of your company, you can take advantage of the opportunities that come with growth. Constant growth should be part of your long-term strategy, and failure to do so increases your chances of failure. Improvement of your business is not an option, it is a necessity, and only by keeping aware of its need can help your company grow. Continue reading
Do not assume that you know everything there is to business and your industry. Always be open to new possibilities when you own a business. Otherwise, you risk falling behind everyone else. Being close-minded will cause you to be stuck in your ways and miss opportunities for growth. Take a step back and review your current situation and where there are gaps for you to fill.
Making improvements takes time and effort, but the alternative is falling behind because you weren’t willing to take a risk. Keep in mind all the good that will come from cleaning up what’s not working and trying new approaches. Doing what you’ve always done is easy, but it won’t get you to new levels that will indeed take you places. Continue reading
I have been writing a bit more about business growth, development, and structure. As a business owner for many years now, I have experienced some growing pains, fantastic growth and so much more. I want to be able to share the knowledge that I have gain over the years to help others. As you can see in the 21st century, we’ve seen growing concern for business ethics among the general populace. As social media and other digital innovations broaden people’s awareness of the world around them, it becomes ever more critical that we maintain ethical business practices.
In this age of awareness, ethics go beyond making a positive contribution to the world at large. Consumers are increasingly interested and invested in the companies and products with which they do business, and unethical practice, real or perceived, has far-reaching effects on your company.
Don’t let your business get behind as progress leads everyone – the business world included – into a more ethical period. Continue reading
I have been enjoying writing lately about business and getting more detail in those aspects every day. Just like the recent one on how to understand your customer. Looking forward to continuing more of these so others can learn what we have learned over the years building ‘corePHP’
Every entrepreneur will want their business to thrive and will strive to both attract and retain top talent. Many companies are holding on to traditional processes and technologies, which could be inhibiting growth. To ensure you are on the right path, read the four most important qualities of modern business. Continue reading
So you want to build a successful business in today’s world of fast-moving commerce and innovation. But with every new startup popping up claiming to do the same thing, only better, it can be difficult to find room to make your company’s voice heard. To become successful, take a deeper look into carving a niche and strategically navigate to stand out from the competition. Continue reading
The performance of your customer contact service center is more crucial than ever to your eCommerce success, judging by the results of Deloitte’s latest annual Global Customer Contact Survey. According to the survey, 85 percent of organizations now view customer contact experience as a competitive differentiator.
Need for Speed & Modern Code Fuels Massive Growth of paGO Commerce
‘corePHP’ is pleased to announce paGO Commerce for Joomla! now powers over 1,200 eCommerce sites. A majority of that growth has come from VirtueMart users and integrators, followed by first-time entrepreneurs and e-store owners. The main reasons for the move to paGO Commerce has been for performance and code flexibility, followed by security and responsive support concerns over other brands.
Image via Flickr by Nguyen Vu Hung
Looking to launch a startup? Here are five mistakes to stay clear of to keep your business from crashing and burning.
Not Planning is Planning to Fail
Any new startup that’s about to launch should have a well-written plan in place with goals that are expected to be achieved. By not making a plan for your startup, you’re planning to fail.
You have created that great idea, and now you need to come up with some realistic goals and expectations that you plan to meet in order to achieve success in the future. Setting goals is hard but imperative when it comes to defining what your startup is working toward.
Without a clear definition, it’ll be harder to determine when something is going wrong or when you need to say no to something. When setting goals for your startup, use the S.M.A.R.T. goals technique. This will help you to create goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Continue reading
Customer feedback may seem like a double-edged sword, because if you’re going to rejoice over positive experiences then you have to pay attention to criticism as well. What every business needs to realize, however, is that all customer feedback is beneficial. The key is to take what your customers tell you and make it work for the betterment of your business.
Use Feedback to Encourage Engagement
Image via Flickr by Andy Piper
One of the most effective ways to use customer feedback to your advantage is to encourage customer engagement. To begin with, you must give your customers the opportunity to share their experiences. Both new and established clients may distrust a business that doesn’t give them a way to vent or share their positive experiences. Your best options include:
- Setting up a feedback submission form
- Publishing an email address devoted to customer experiences, with staff dedicated to reading and responding to emails
- Creating pages on review sites, such as Foursquare and Yelp
- And setting up profiles on popular social media sites—especially Facebook, Twitter, and Google+—where a social media manager responds to fans and followers who share their stories
Test Solutions to Different Problems
Do you have an ongoing problem with your business? From slow shipping times to crashing websites, your customers will let you know. Don’t get offended or defensive, because this is the perfect opportunity to test new solutions. Invite your customers to share their ideas. You can’t listen to every possible solution, but actively listening to what your client base wants can help you raise your standards and deliver a better product.
Use Positive Feedback as a Marketing Tool
Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising. Your business garners positive feedback, doesn’t it? Use that as a marketing tool. Blurbs from happy customers will show others that your business is the best. Seasoned business veterans and MBA business school graduates will both tell you that high-quality and transparent customer service goes a long way to building customer retention.
While it’s true that customers are always willing to share criticisms, they’re just as eager to share their positive experiences—especially when you have active social sites that invite participation. You can use the positive feedback to show new and would-be buyers that you take pride in satisfying your customers. You simply have to use authentic, honest feedback for your marketing plans.
Correct Mistakes Using Negative Feedback
Image via Flickr by Horia Varlan
Your customers know what they want. If you see poor reviews that mention the same problem over and over, that gives you a fantastic opportunity to correct any problems. The negative feedback you receive can lead to the creation of those all-important solutions. If you have an app, for instance, and a high percentage of reviewers complain of crashing, inappropriate ads, or other glitches, take the opportunity to correct your mistakes.
You can use negative feedback to correct bad advertising gimmicks, low-quality materials, or issues such as fading colors in clothing, odd tastes in foodstuffs, and breaking clasps in jewelry. Whatever your business, pay attention to the biggest complaints and find a way to correct your mistakes. Some people will complain simply because they’re unhappy or cantankerous. However, you can easily separate the legitimately unhappy customers from the people who complain for the sake of it.
Grow Your Reputation
As you become known for glowing reviews, high satisfaction rates, and your willingness to listen to your customers, your reputation will grow. Your customers buy from you for a reason. They want you to hear them. The best companies earn their reputations through hard work and customer service. Engaging with your customers, even when they aren’t happy, and using reviews to improve your business will reflect well on you.
Monitor Your Results
However, none of this is possible if you don’t monitor your results. Follow up with the customers who come to you with problems. Ask them how they like new layouts, improved products, and updated websites, apps, or services. This, too, will have a positive impact on your reputation.
Customer feedback is one of the most valuable tools at your disposal. Once you know how to use it, the benefits are limitless. How do you respond to positive and negative feedback?
No business gets to be big and successful without overcoming a numerous challenges along the way.
Some of these challenges might seem so complicated that the mere thought of them brings you out in a cold sweat. However, the most common ones can be resolved painlessly with a bit of planning and a bit of IT expertise. Continue reading
TRUE STORY…BEWARE! A business hires an inexperienced freelancer or an offshore development company at $20 an hour, and the company estimates the project will take 50 hours to complete. OVER 100 HOURS LATER, the website doesn’t work and no one knows why. The developers keep adding hours and demanding more money. The business pays through the nose, then gives up on the developer and hires a more qualified, experienced company that charges $85 / hr. The company reviews the code and discovers the problem: The website has built-in errors deep in the code. In the end, it takes the new company only 75 hours to create the website…and it works perfectly.