The Killer Tactics That Will Give Your Customer Base A Boost

Are you a new business just starting out, or perhaps an older business that has, all of a sudden, noticed a drop in customers? Whichever it is, if your business is lacking customers, you need to do something about it. Without a solid customer base, your chances of success are low. The question is, of course: how can you go about boosting your customer base?

If you don’t have enough customers, the worst thing that you can do is ignore the problem – it won’t get better on its own. What you need to do is actively attempt to give your customer base a boost. For this, focusing on the needs of your customers is key, as SmallBusiness.chron.com states.

To help you do that, and also to hold onto the customers you already have, below are some killer tactics that all the most successful entrepreneurs swear by when it comes to business success. Implement these, and your customer base should start to increase.

 

Ask for opinions

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One of the best ways to retain the customers that you have and ascertain new ones is to ask your customers for their opinions about your brand, products or services. You can also ask prospective customers as well.

By asking your customers and prospective customers for their feedback, this shows them that you value what they think – consumers like to feel valued. The easiest way to get feedback is to set up an online survey via your website or social media channels. You will get extra brownie points if you offer an incentive to people who fill out your survey – such as a prize.

 

Run competitions

Talking of prizes, another simple way to boost your customer base is to run competitions. What you want to do is run competitions that require people to subscribe to your email newsletters and follow your social media channels to be entered. This is a great way to increase your online reach and to grow your customer base.

When it comes to the prize that you offer, this can be something linked to your business, such as a selection of your products, or it could be a prize such as a weekend away or a spa day. For a prize that doesn’t break the bank, such as a short stay away, perhaps using sites like DontPayFull.com could be worthwhile. These deal sites always have great discounts on offer, which make them ideal for using to source prizes for any competitions that you run.

 

Make customer service a priority

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If there’s one thing that consumers love, it’s a brand that puts customer service before anything else. If you want to up your customer base, aim to make providing quality customer service a priority. This means handling complaints in the right way, with grace and understanding. It also means being easier to contact – a lot of consumers prefer to use instant messaging to contact brands rather than waiting on hold on the phone, for instance.

Get your customer service right, and your business will be much more likely to succeed; that’s a fact. So, there you have it: all the best tactics for giving your customer base a boost. Good luck!

Critical Questions To Ask Before Investing In IT

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Investing in IT systems is pretty much a given for modern businesses. However, it’s not as simple as looking in a catalog and choosing something that looks nice – you need to take a slow and steady approach before you line up a system that matches your direct business needs. Let’s take a look at some of the critical questions you should ask yourself before spending a cent on new IT.

 

Is it necessary?

We live in a world where there are a bewildering amount of technologies to invest in if we wanted to. But this enormous amount of choice can often lead to bad decisions. It’s important to remind yourself that technology is there for one reason only – to make things easier for our business.

So, unless you can identify clear improvements in productivity, efficiency, growth or any other business-critical reason, the likelihood is a new IT system will not be worth the time or money.

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Is it easy?

 

As we mentioned above, technology should make your life easier. So, while you might, in theory, be able to invest in something that should give you massive productivity gains or build consumer trust, the tech has to be simple enough for people to use it. Over complicated systems that promise the earth but take an age to set up, use, maintain, and update will often lead to loss of time, not productivity improvements.

 

Who is going to run it?

It’s all well and good saying you will invest in IT equipment – but who will look after it for you? Unless you are an IT security expert as well as a successful entrepreneur, you will need help. DRaaS for businesses and tech-heavy workplaces are an option, of course.

And, you should also consider building up an in-house IT team to look after your systems. Ultimately, the choice is down to you, but it’s one that you need to cost, consider, and measure to ensure you make the right choice for your company.

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What are the risks?

 

Never, ever, embrace a new IT system without knowing about the risks involved. The threats from cyber criminals and hackers have never been higher than they are today, and your business will be in danger. It is vital that you have the right knowledge of those risks if you want to avoid severe disruption and a lot of damage being caused to your company.

And, while hiring a third party IT service to deal with security can help, it’s also important to understand that you need to invest in training – for yourself, and your employees.

 

How will this benefit the business?

There are many ways that tech systems can help your business. But you must have an idea and focus on what those benefits will be. It is vital for you and your board to discuss the reasons why investment is necessary, and how it will help you compete, grow, and take on the new tech.

Frank conversations are required, and unless you have valid reasons that match your business needs, it’s always best to hold off on making a decision until everyone is on board. 

Tips to Keep IT Projects Under Control

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Most modern businesses rely—at least to some extent—on IT infrastructure, and since technology changes so rapidly, it is only a matter of time before any company has to think about upgrading their IT systems. This can be a very frustrating process, particularly when costs and the length of the projects run over.

If you are planning an IT project in the near future, and you want to keep it under control, here are some tips to help you bring the project in on time and within budget:

 

Make a Realistic Plan

 

The IT project management process can be a long, complicated and arduous one, which is why it is important that you plan extensively before you get started. Think about the scope of the project, what needs to be achieved and how big the budget is and then work out a tight strategy for achieving your aims. This plan should be realistic with at least a small buffer period so that if any problems are found, you can still complete the project on time.

 

Identify Who the Project Will Be Helping

When you’re planning an IT project, and you want it to be delivered in a timely manner, you should always identify the prime end-users who your project will be helping. If you don’t know who they are, then you don’t know exactly what your objectives should be. You could end up not completing the project to their standards or forgetting to do something that is key to the whole project, forcing you to run over in time and spend more of your budget.

Schedule Regular Project Meetings

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There will be multiple people involved in the average IT project, so unless you want it to descend into complete chaos with no joined-up thinking and no one really knowing what they’re doing, it is vital that you schedule and keep regular project meetings where you can track your progress, discuss any problems and ensure that you are all moving forward in the right direction.

 

Don’t Overload the Staff

 

If you’re managing an IT project, you should try not to overload any one of your staff. They might be specialized in a particular area, but if you put all the burden for one part of the project onto one individual and they have more work to do than the rest, it is more likely that mistakes will be made. So, as far as possible, distribute work evenly, don’t overburden anyone and listen to any concerns your team might have.

 

Use the Right Software

Project management software is essential if you want to be able to track and manage your IT project accurately, but there are lots of different packages available, which can make it tricky to find the right one.

Ideally, you should use a tool that is available online so that it can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and you should try to choose a product that enables collaboration between your team.

The bottom line: If you plan well, and keep track of your staff and your project and team your team, you will keep your next IT project under control.

Five Ways to Make Your Website More Trustworthy

Despite the fact that so many of us shop online today, we are still skeptical regarding where we spend our money. This is something that has got even worse due to the abundance of cyber attacks and phishing scams hitting the news.

Because of this, it is so important to create a website that is credible and trustworthy. You may know that your business is a genuine one, but you need to prove to potential customers that this is the case.

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  1. Make it easy for anyone to contact you – There is nothing more frustrating for customers than being unable to contact a business. If you are a company to be trusted, why are you making it difficult for customers to get in touch? Make sure your email address and telephone number are visible on your website. Clearly state your opening hours and how long it takes for you to respond to emails – you should aim to reply to all emails within 24 hours.

  2. Choose a reliable hosting provider – Next, you need to make sure you choose a reliable hosting provider. If your website goes down, it can have a negative impact on your SEO ranking and lead to a loss of revenue. Not only this, but a poor hosting provider could lead to cybercriminals finding a way into your website, and nothing damages your reputation more than a security breach. Do extensive research online before choosing a provider, and make sure you spend plenty of time reading reviews on independent websites.

  3. Use secure badges – Another way to show that your website is safe is to display secure badges, for example, your SSL certificate symbol. There are plenty of other badges that you may have access to, and if you use a third-party provider, you could simply place a sidebar note, informing all users that your website is secure.

  4. Make sure your website is up-to-date – The overall health of your website will determine whether users view it as credible and trustworthy. Make sure that all of the information on your website is up-to-date, including details regarding products, contact information, and shipping. You should also ensure that your website boasts a fast load speed and is easy to use.

  5. Add a hint of personality to your site – Last but not least, branding is so important when it comes to building trust. Customers want to feel like they know your business and what you are about from the moment they visit your website. The only way to achieve this is by adding some personality to your site – make it different from the rest. Through providing exceptional content, you will be able to achieve a higher level of loyalty and trust. This is guaranteed to make your customers smile. For more tips on how to do exactly that, check out this blog post: https://tamarhela.com/2017/05/11/the-little-things-that-make-your-customers-smile/.

If you follow the five tips that have been mentioned above, you will be able to give off a trustworthy and credible image via your website. This can lead to improved brand exposure and, ultimately, more sales.

Wear Your Business Wherever You Go

When you first start a business, you have to commit. There’s no point doing things half-heartedly. At the start, everything you can do to promote your business and get it established increases the chances of survival.

Experts recommend that entrepreneurs spend at least an hour a day on promotion and getting the word out about their business. It’s not enough to rely on your product or service. You have to make sure that people understand what it is that you offer and why it’s important.

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Fundamentally, it’s about “wearing” your business, both metaphorically and physically. Every time you leave the office and go out into the world and meet people is an opportunity to sell your product. In other words, you need to have your business’s needs in mind whenever you meet new clients. It should be business first, small talk second.

Here are some ways to promote your business wherever you go:

 

Turn Your Car Into A Mobile Billboard

Billboard space is expensive. But mobile billboard space is essentially free (the cost of the wrap is usually relatively cheap). So long as you’re willing to turn your vehicle into a moving advertising platform, there shouldn’t be a problem.

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Mobile billboards are particularly effective if you travel to work and regularly get stuck in traffic. People have no choice but to look at what you’re selling and think about whether it’s something that they would want. Plus it’s a way to spend your time in traffic efficiently. Even if you can’t get to the office quickly and start work, you’re still using the time to advertise to other road users.

 

Identify With Your Business

 

Lanyards Factory points out on their site at lanyardsfactory.com.au that lanyards can be used for promotional purposes. It’s important, they say, to wear something that helps to identify you with a particular company when you’re out and about.

In other words, it’s a form of branding you can use to help cement the idea of your business in the minds of other people. Often, you’ll see representatives of top companies at events wearing lanyards when talking to potential clients. It helps to make your company appear more official and important.

Use Buddy Marketing

Your business might not have the resources to launch its own promotional campaign. But you might know a business in the local area which is willing to work with you for marketing purposes. Often, buddy marketing ventures have far more reach than individual campaigns and help to extend your reach.

One way to do this is to agree to send out promotional material from another company along with your own. In return, the other company will send out your marketing material with their promotions. In other words, you agree to pool your customer base in return for universal marketing.

 

Give Out Freebies

Finally, to promote your business wherever you go, try giving out freebies. Things like giving away a free coffee to the first fifteen people in your coffee shop in the morning can really help to get people interested in what you’re doing.