Are You Making These Five Business Mistakes?

Having business systems in place is crucial to the success of your business.

The question is: How can you make sure your business processes actually help rather than hurt you?

Let’s discuss five mistakes many businesses are making.

Mistake #1: Not having an overall goal.

It’s common for people to focus on the details of the business but not on specific tasks that they need to perform. If your business doesn’t have an overall goal then your details would tend to be fuzzy. This can cause a disconnect.

Every business should have a goal and a model to follow. You may have a goal for instance of hiring team members. If that’s the case it’s more important than ever for you to make sure that you have goals and systems in place.

Your employees will be looking to you for guidance and direction so you need to make sure you have your goals clearly defined before you tell others what to do.

Having an employee handbook will help new hires understand their responsibilities.

Mistake #2: Not using technology properly.

All businesses need to use technology to some degree. That being said no business should rely 100% on technology. Why? Technology can break down. Relying too heavily on technology may weaken your business model.

For example: A grocery store looses power. That meant they can’t use their cash registers. The employees need to write the items down that were purchased and figure out the exchange of money. If the staff isn’t trained to do this prior to this disruption it could wreak havoc on the business.

Mistake #3: Not being detail oriented

You need to document the details for performing various tasks in your business. This helps a new person who comes onto your team know how to operate the system with little guidance.

The best way to handle this is to have two systems in place. One would be written the other would be via technology (software).

Mistake #4: Having too much clutter.

Not everything in your business needs to be written down word for word. You can write down the main idea. Having too much documentation can cause confusion and more clutter. Make sure that necessary directions are documented.

Remember when documenting various tasks make sure those tasks are refined and proven so that your business is running efficiently. Think split testing. Try performing the task one way. See how that works. If it doesn’t then go on to plan B. The point is you want to know what works and then utilize that strategy.

Mistake #5: Interaction with people

There may be times when certain processes of your business will need that human touch. For example let’s say you have a product that needs to be shipped a certain way. You need to document the specific details in order to make sure that the shipping and handling of your product is done in an efficient and thorough manner. You may also have to train people on how to handle customer service for that particular product.

When you have a team it’s extremely important that you train them properly so that they know what’s involved in the processes so that you have a well-oiled machine.

One of the best practices you can put into place is having an employee handbook which was mentioned earlier. This handbook will also contain procedures and policies that you expect to be followed. Having this in writing will help your employees to see in black and white what is required of them. Make sure they not only read the employee handbook but also sign off that they read, understand and agree with it.

Even if you decide to use a virtual assistant make sure you have it in writing what you expect of them. This will help with any type of confusion that may arise during a specific task you have assigned them.

If you are a solopreneur it’s important that you set guidelines for yourself as well. Having things written down and in an easy to follow format will help you be more efficient.

Once you know your business inside and out and it will be easier for you to write the employee book of policies and procedures mentioned above. If you do that in advance of hiring any team members you will be ahead of the game should your business experience a major growth spurt.

Put these systems into place and you will find your business is more productive.

Make It Or Break It With Your Home Business

To make it or break it on the Internet you might use something you never even thought of. Making it isn’t always about the physical content. Making it or breaking it isn’t always about SEO or just the content. I was in the auto motive retail industry for over 25 years, and there are more similarities than you think.

One of the most important things I learnt in sales was people had to like you, I know what you’re thinking. What does that have to do with the Internet; there is no face to face or direct contact. I believe that’s all the more reason for you to get them to like you. You can share with people your experiences and even the funny things that have happened to you. Everybody that starts in the Internet home business does just that, starts. I believe that you being on the same level as the beginner is important and not just suggesting to them to try this or try that.

There were some words of wisdom I picked up a long time ago from a man named Joe Verde. He said if a client likes you they will listen, if they listen to you they will probably believe you. If they believe you this increases your chances of them buying from you. Makes sense doesn’t it. If this is true then so is the opposite, If they don’t like you they probably won’t listen and if they don’t listen they definitely won’t believe you and if they don’t believe you I’m pretty sure they won’t buy from you.

Have a little fun with it, If 50 people jumped of a cliff would you jump to? You can be yourself and still be successful. If your different than everyone else your unique, If your unique that’s not a bad thing.

Always remember if you think you’re going to fail or you think you’re going to succeed……… you’re right.

Article Marketing: 5 Top Customer Service Tips (Especially For An Internet Business)

For a business owner, customer service can be like marmite: you either love it or hate it. Customers can be both challenging and rewarding, but if you pay enough time and attention to your customer service, you can turn a nagging problem into an art form. However, when it comes to an online business, this becomes an even bigger challenge.

If your business is internet-based, you lack the face-to-face experience that can often help establish a rapport. You may be communicating with someone on the other side of the world, and time and distance barriers can put pressure on your business relationship. Communicating via text-based forms such as email and instant messaging can often make it more difficult to convey warmth and friendliness, so providing excellent customer service is a huge challenge.

With that said, I think it is possible for a web-based business to give great customer support. I’d like to share some of my strategies and observations in working with clients, and I welcome any insights that you have about doing online support in your own business.

Here are my top 5 customer service tips:

1. Individual Treatment

Your customers are people, not numbers – so treat them like individuals. Although templates can save you time, the personal approach makes for much better customer service, and only takes a few minutes longer. Use an autoresponder for holding emails, but try to always send a proper, hand-crafted reply.

2. Give Them What They Want

You know your business inside-out – so try to anticipate what they need. You’ll likely get the same questions again and again, so try to predict what your customer wants, and give it to them.

Steering your customers towards a helpful FAQ page can help with this, giving them the feeling of personalised service quickly and easily.

3. Encourage Questions!

Make your customers feel welcome to ask questions or contact you, no matter what the issue or inquiry. Being aloof is off-putting and can seem arrogant. Always give a friendly response to establish a rapport with your customers and make them feel appreciated.

4. Money Doesn’t Matter

Whoever you’re talking to, make sure you treat them with respect and courtesy – whether they’re paying you or not. Even if someone has seemingly no interest in ever becoming a customer, you should still treat them with the same interest and personal attention as a paying client. This improves your reputation overall, and may even lead to a sale.

5. Give Something Back

The best gift is one you’re not expecting, and the same goes for customer service. If you can give your customers something useful without them asking for it, you’ve just given them the best customer service experience they’ll ever have.

Every niche has its online community, so write articles that teach that community valuable information. By investing back into the community in this way, you are producing marketing material for your company, whilst giving your customers something they will love – for free! By sharing your knowledge, your customers will appreciate your insight – and really feel like they’ve got a bargain by benefiting from it.

What about you? Are you a small business owner who is hanging out in the customer support trenches? What are your strategies for providing excellent customer service?

And here’s a fun question: what is the best customer service experience you’ve ever had in your life?