10 Killer Tips To Make Your Start-up A Success

Perhaps you are launching a new business now that you have left college or you are putting together a sideline to earn you some cash to get you through your studies. Whatever the reason for launching your enterprise, you will need it to get off the ground pretty quickly and you won’t have time to make costly mistakes.

Here are 10 tips that help you to launch your business and start earning the income that will be very useful to you:

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  1. Read around your subject

Treat your start-up project like a high school essay. Read around the subject, identify key references and find out what others are doing. This means having a good look at the opposition. You can learn from mistakes that others have made and, hopefully, avoid them yourself.

2. Get some experience in your sector

Get some work experience before you start. If you have to volunteer as an unpaid intern for a few months then so be it. Look at it as an investment in your future. You will pick up valuable knowledge and skills and perhaps make a few useful contacts as well. It’s always good to give something back.

3. Write it all down

Don’t assume that you will remember everything! Start off by writing a business plan with clear goals and strategies. You can alter it as you go along but you have to start somewhere.

4. Start small and lean

Don’t start by launching a wildly expensive product or by giving your customers endless credit. Remember to check out the accounts receivables factoring rates offered by companies that will provide you with some much-needed cash without having to wait for it.

5. Accept help

There are plenty of organizations that offer help and support to new businesses. Large companies such as Google offer free workshops. Other organizations may offer free training and mentoring. Take advantage of it whenever you can.

6. Secure your finances

Take some time to find out what sorts of grants and loans are available in your area. It can be time-consuming, but the rewards are worth it as you may get excellent rates. Be prepared to fill out quite a bit of paperwork and to have a robust business plan in place.

7. Choose a great name

This is something that needs to say something about your product or your service. Choose something that is timeless and will grow with you. If it sticks in the mind, even better!

8. Social media is your friend

You may need to change how you feel about social media. It is no longer simply a place to socialize. Now you have to devise a social media strategy that is a part of your business plan. Try to cover all platforms, but focus on one at a time or you will be overwhelmed.

9. Get a great logo

You need a visual reminder of your brand so get a killer logo designed by an expert.

10. Review

Stop and take a breather every few weeks and review how things are going.

How To Motivate Your Staff into Great Customer Service

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Gaining customer loyalty is crucial to ensure the growth of our companies. We can have the best products in the market but if our customer service support falls short our customers will not return. Motivating our customer service team to provide the best customer service therefore is crucial to ensure the success of your company so here are our top tips on how to do just that.

 

Continual Training

 

We need to make sure that our customer service team is well trained and competent in all areas of customer support to make sure that they are prepared to deal with a wide range of customer enquiries, questions and complaints. Therefore, providing extensive and continual training programmes for your staff is really important.

Not only do you need to train your staff in how to provide great customer support but you also need to be training them, in an in-depth way, about your product or service so that they know the company inside out.

Providing regular training programs will not only ensure that your staff is on top of their game but that they also feel motivated to do a good job. Providing training for your staff will let them feel that their career development is important to you and that they also are supported within your company.

Create a Great Work Environment

Making sure that your staff are spending their day in an attractive and stimulating work environment is key to ensuring your staff are happy and motivated. Old, shabby and tired-looking offices can make work feel like a real grind so by simply improving the overall aesthetics of your office can make your employees feel much happier at work.

Keep offices light, open and clean. Update dark and old furniture and where possible upgrade electrical equipment so that your staff feel like they are part of a modern and exciting company. Speckle a few motivational customer service quotes around the office, bring in fresh flowers every week, add accent lighting and just generally find ways that you can whip your office up into an inviting and dynamic looking work space.

 

Reward Staff

Also providing little perks and rewards for your customer service team is a great way to keep them feeling like they are part of a fantastic company. Look at the little details that you can provide like free fresh, organic fruit every day or a free pub lunch on Fridays if they hit their target. Create a reward scheme whereby staff can work towards a specific goal that will push them to endeavor to provide the best customer servicing possible.

You can also take that one step further and actually encourage a little healthy competition within your customer support team. Provide a weekly or monthly competition, offering prizes such as a day at a spa, or a free dinner for two at a popular, local restaurant and then watch your team pull out all the stops to bag the weekly prize.

Also consider cash rewards, vouchers and little gifts like a nice bottle of bubbly to make your staff feel valued. Valued staff will feel happy and content in their job and will therefore be the best representatives for your company when communicating with your clients.

Good customers service really starts with you, the business owner, and how you make your staff feel. Happy staff, happy customers.

Fit to Succeed: What You Should Know About Running a Gym Business

Starting a new business is never easy. But what about if you have your heart set on starting a gym business? This is a startup niche that many entrepreneurs find appealing. The main reason for that is gyms are always appealing. And if you have spent any time in a commercial gym, you will start to develop ideas on how things should be done differently. Getting started and making a success of this kind of business won’t be easy, though. Here are some things you should know.

 

The Business’s Location Will Matter a Lot

First of all, you need to understand the importance of location when you are operating in this industry. There are so many things for you to consider, but this is one that definitely shouldn’t be forgotten about. People often find gyms by passing them. Yes, you can reach more people by having a strong online marketing plan. But there is no replacement for spotting a gym and giving it a chance.

Ideally, it should be by the road where people are likely to pass it by. One trend that is currently emerging is for small inner city gyms, so you might want to consider that approach too.

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Ensure You Have Clean and Safe Setting

When someone tries out a new gym for the first time, there are a few things that that they will be looking at in order to assess. The main factor for many people is cleanliness and safety. There is nothing worse than using a gym that is unclean and not being looked after properly. It makes the whole experience off-putting.

Why would you want to use the equipment if it’s covered in someone else’s sweat? It’s pretty disgusting, right? So make sure that your gym is kept clean throughout the entirety of the day. You should also have it cleaned at the end or start of each day. You can use commercial cleaning services to help you with this.

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Invest in Equipment People Want to Use

Starting a gym is going to mean spending money. That is something that you should already be aware of. The money you spend should primarily go on the equipment you buy. People care most about the equipment that they’re going to be using. All the other things that might matter don’t matter as much as the equipment. If people can find better and more up to date equipment at other gyms, what reason have they got for using yours on a consistent basis? It’s an investment that should be worth making.

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Give Everyone a Friendly and Warm Welcome

For many people who are not used to the gym environment, going there for the first time can be pretty intimidating. That’s why you should aim to give every single person a warm and friendly welcome when they walk into your establishment for the first time. It shouldn’t matter what their fitness levels are or what they want to achieve by using your gym; you should be there to listen and help them. That’s what customers really appreciate.

What Your Employees Really Think About You, And How It Can Boost Productivity

Small businesses can easily get stuck in a rut. Often entrepreneurs think that they’re doing the right thing with their employees, but all too often this results in problems in the workplace and resentment. Ultimately, your business suffers, and your competition starts beating you at your own game.

So what can you do about it? Check out some of these common employee complaints, and the secrets for dealing with them.

Complaint #1: “I’d Work Harder If You Cared About What I Was Doing”

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Lack of appreciation is the number one reason why employees don’t work harder for you. It’s hard to sink your life into a project for your boss if your boss fundamentally doesn’t care about you and your role. We all know the difference between a good boss and a bad boss.

Good employers see their role as coaching their staff so that they can achieve their potential. Bad bosses see colleagues as individual from whom they have to extract output (which is never good enough). Recognition doesn’t have to be formal; it just needs to be there. The occasional high-five or appreciative email should do the trick.

Complaint #2: “Your Feedback Sucks”

As a manager and a boss, you want your employees to perform better at work. You can see lots of problems in what they do, and this can leave you feeling tired and frustrated. Often your feedback involves little more than reeling off a list of all the things that you’d like your staff to improve upon. The problem with this is that it is all rather one-sided. By only ever focusing on the negative aspects of a person’s work, you ignore all of the things that your staff are doing well.

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It’s important, therefore, to have performance management solutions in place that allow you to both appreciate the good and the bad coming from each employee. For instance, you might have an employee who excels at generating new leads but who fails to deliver when it comes to clients signing on the dotted line. Granular feedback enables managers and employees to get a more holistic view of each team member’s performance.

Complaint #3: “Stop Sugar-Coating The Truth”

Ever heard this one? Often employers will try to make things sound nice for their employees, glossing over significant problems. Some delicate individuals will prefer this approach, but the vast majority want honest instead. Plus, it’s hard to have a thriving workplace where people can’t talk openly and honestly about their issues and their performance problems.

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To keep staff motivated and happen, it’s essential that your place of work has transparency. This means being genuine and tactful in your conversations with staff, It also means bring your team members along for the ride, keeping them up to date with what you’re doing and the direction in which you are taking the company. It also means bringing in people from your business to join in with brainstorming sessions and planning so that everybody has an input into the process. Open door policies help encourage communication.

Here’s A Bunch Of Reasons Customer Feedback Is So Important (That You Didn’t Think Of Yourself)

Customer feedback: it’s a scary thing. It’s where you find out whether your product really is as good as you think it is. In fact, it can be such a scary thing for entrepreneurs that many of them don’t want to face the music. They’d rather their businesses carried on humming along at 60 percent of their potential, just to avoid bad news from their customers.

We all know that feedback is essential. We need it to measure customer satisfaction and to improve our products and services. But there are a bunch of other reasons that you might not have thought of yourself of why feedback is so important.

Feedback Helps Identify Customer Advocates

A lot of businesses are scared to ask anything of their customers for fear that they might overload them with work and sour the relationship. But often you’ll have some clients who love your product so much that they’ll do anything to see it succeed.

Feedback helps you to find out who these people are. Often they’re the ones that give you five-star ratings in your surveys and wax lyrical about their quality of your product and the fantastic service you provided.

Smart businesses leverage these people. They ask them to write in-depth testimonials about their experience with the company, and they get them to pass on referrals, often offering a commission to boot. Having customer advocates is becoming more and more important. Search engines are now taking customer reviews into account when ranking businesses, and most consumers look for company reviews before purchasing a product. Use advocates wisely to dominate the internet.

Feedback Allows You To Make Smarter Business Decisions

Papa Murphy’s is the fifth largest pizza restaurant chain in the US. As a result, they are looking for ways to up their game and muscle their way into the top three. Currently, they’re asking their customers how they can improve their service which you can read now.

It turns out that the restaurant’s products are actually quite complex. Customers have to make many decisions before ordering a pizza, and so Papa Murphy’s is looking for how to offer customers better ways to order that are more convenient.

What the chain is trying to avoid here is making decisions about their product based on hunches. They don’t want to be in a position where senior management is just taking its best guess at the direction in which they should take the business. Instead, they want a data-driven approach, based on hard numbers. Through this method, they’re able to find out things like how customers prefer to order and which areas of their food their customers feel that they need to focus on the most.

For example, should the chain concentrate on improving the freshness of their ingredients, or should they improve the appearance of their food? The answers to these questions won’t just affect the products themselves; they’ll also determine how those products are marketed.

Feedback Improves Customer Retention

Why bother with a feedback survey? One of the reasons is so that you can retain customers. Customers will only put up with something that they don’t like about your service for so long – such as a slow website or a rude member of staff. As a result, surveys can be a life saver, giving you information about how to improve your services for your existing customers that clients would not voluntarily offer themselves.

Feedback Enables You To Create Better Customer Experiences

Over the last few years, businesses have moved away from the concept of providing a “service” to providing an experience. It’s a more holistic approach that aims to fully immerse customers in the business, changing the nature of what’s on offer entirely.

Companies like LG do this really well. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, the principle of customer experience was in action, for all to see. The electronics and display company showcased a bunch of new products, and with each product, their focus was on how to make people’s lives better.

Take their smart fridge, for instance. It allows customers to order food that they are running out of simply by speaking to the refrigerator door. The fridge has an inbuilt Alexa chatbot from Amazon that can understand what they say, place an order for food that they are missing, pay for it automatically, and have it delivered by the relevant courier.

LG built this product based on the feedback they got from customers who didn’t want to have to go to the effort of driving all the way to the store and sit in traffic, just to get the stuff that they wanted.