It is quite often that small entrepreneur who end up making small mistakes which in the future turn out to be messy. The fact is that, if you are not careful, these little financial errors can lead to some serious cash flow problems. Take a look at these 3 worst financial mistakes that every small business owner must avoid.
1) Avoid late payments
Pay the bills when they are supposed to. Avoid late payments. Some keep the bills aside till the due date has arrived. This is applicable to both account payables as well as receivables. When it’s your client’s turn to pay you, then give them an extended window of time to make your payments so that you can foster more sales.
Tip: Give your client an extra 14 day period to pay an invoice. If you provide quality goods within the given duration of time, your clients will have no issues regarding the payments they have to make you.
Solution: Use online payments gateways that offer online invoicing and accounting features. This way all your bills will be organized and can be accessed anywhere and at any time.
2) Always keep an emergency fund aside
The first quality that defines an entrepreneur is the tendency to have foresight. A business owner should have the instinct because you never know what is going to happen.
Tip: Every business owner should have at least a three-month emergency fund. The majority of the startups fail due of the misuse of the capital they have. Having an emergency fund makes you feel stronger even during your weak moments or probably when your startup fails. Also separate your personal finances from your business finances, avoid mixing these two expenses.
Solution: Start putting money away as soon as the cash comes in. Use your business credit card for your business expenses only.
3) Avoid spending too much time on non-cash generating activities
Yes, avoid spending your valuable time on noncash generating activities. This doesn’t mean you need to stop living your life and work like a machine. When it comes to time management, it is important to pay close attention to your productivity levels.
Tip: Distinguish and find out which activity has the highest chance of eventually generating cash flow.
Solution: Spend 80 percent of your time doing these cash generating jobs and rest of the time spending for all miscellaneous jobs. Work on these 3 simple tips and try avoiding them in your future.
Why Good Customer Service Is Important To Your Brand
In today’s competitive world, entrepreneurs, new businesses and even seasoned companies face a serious problem: that of the constantly changing world of expectations. Those who know how to adapt, survive the dark times and those who don’t, end up failing in their walk toward a brighter tomorrow. One of the key ways to avoid failing is by providing great customer service to your clients. However, if you are still not convinced why your company needs good customer service, then these tips could help!
1. Customer service improves customer satisfaction
On an average, it costs almost five times the average amount to attract new customers. However, when you have a great customer service in place, your team will make sure new customers come to you without all the extra investments. Further, a seasoned customer service team helps in reducing the costs that come with selling to a new customer as well!
2. You are remembered through the service you provide
While all your customers may not be with you on a long term basis and only stay with you for a particular time period, they will remember you for the service you provide. It is easy for people to remember the bad service and when good things come, they aren’t hard to forget either. A bad image takes a long time to fix and a good image takes a long time to build. This is where good customer service can be used!
3. Customer service provides value
A great customer service helps in getting all your questions answered and in ensuring all the expectations are met to perfection. Furthermore, an added advantage of this is, your customer service team can also help in building and maintaining relationships with your clients!
4. Customer service helps in ensuring differentiation
Satisfaction is a rare commodity in the business world. When two companies provide the same service, there are a few things which can differentiate one service from the other. Your customer service team helps in ensuring this differentiation is maintained.
5. Increases the customer lifetime value
According to a recent study conducted by a business service company called InfoQuest, it was proved, a happy customer increases the revenue earned by the company by 2.6 times! When you have a team which knows how to maintain satisfaction levels of your customers, your revenue automatically increases by leaps and bounds!
6. Good customer service helps in solving problems
More often than not, when you are busy running your company, you forget to take into stock all the different problems your clients are facing. A good customer service team helps in avoiding and solving exactly these problems. If your customers know they can reach out to your customer service team with their problems and questions, the situation is likely to be solved quicker than earlier!
When it comes to your business,it is extremely important to have your customer service in order. If you think we missed out on mentioning any other ways in which good customer service is essential to a brand, comment and let us know!
How To Market A Small Business
Marketing is expensive and if you are a small business just entering the ring, there is no denying that basic fact. While you may have a marketing plan in place, the costs might just turn out to be too great to handle. Here are some great ways you can push yourself and still make a mark, no matter how strapped for cash you are.
At a time when people rely on what the world is saying, networking is a really good tactic you can use to build the presence of your brand. While your network may trust the person you are, they may not trust your business in the initial stages. Let them know you are open and reach out to the large circle around you. Afterall, everyone always needs someone who can get things done and instead of them going to a random person, why not let them know you are available?
2. Create a space for yourself in the industry
More often than not, people forget to realise the importance of trust. As a new company, this factor is all the more important as it will help in propelling you to the front. Find the opportunities where your business can be of use and leverage the trust people have in you to build your company’s worth. Use your content to your advantage and make the most of your network to cement your place in the industry.
3. Work with other businesses
With digitization being what it is today, most of the ideas are no longer original. To avoid being pigeonholed into a certain corner, start collaborating with other businesses working with the same idea. Put together a group of non competitive, like minded people and make the most of these relationships with redirection and cross promotions. A major advantage of collaborating with people is, it helps in increasing your network and in letting people know you are a new force in the field!
4. Let your content talk about your business
With the world moving the social way, it is important to use the right words to make the right impact. When introducing your business to the world, using social media to the most is one of the best ways to achieve success. Through the use of catchy taglines and hard hitting messages, you can say a lot about your brand. Your content can reach a large audience and when you use the right words in the right way, your brand can be easily discovered.
5. Let the presence of your business be felt
Your business can’t reach people unless you start talking. Hold events, meetings, sessions and invite potentially interested people to learn more about who you are and what you are doing. Every business needs an audience and when you start spreading the word about yours, that is when the world will get ready to sit up and listen!
Establishing your business may be a dream come true. However, marketing the business may be harder than you think. If you feel there are other ways you can market your business, comment and let us know!
How To Build Trust With Clients
For new businesses to grow and have their marks felt, the most important factor is trust. When you are working at a company, your reputation is everything and when that does not work the way you want, things can get messy. With your entire future at stake, building and establishing your trust factor is definitely the most important thing. Here’s how you can get people to not only take you seriously, but also believe in what you have to offer to the world.
1. Show your clients your human side
More often than not, one of the biggest mistakes a company makes is the way you approach your clients. Have a human touch to your messages and make sure people understand what you are saying.
2. Show your clients you trust them as well
One of the primary things to learn about trust is, it has to be earned. You need to let the other person know you trust them as well and that can only be done if you put everything about you as a company on the table. It is also important to know that your clients are not stupid. They know what they are doing and saying, so make sure you give them the benefit of doubt in these cases.
3. Stick to your commitments
The moment your clients realise you are a company which sticks to your word, trust is not far off. If you can’t keep to your commitment, then explain the situation and let your client know why something didn’t happen as planned. The more you give your client an insight into your ways of working, the more validation you get from the client. Always a good rule of thumb for building trust!
4. Display competence
When you show your clients you are in the business for the long run, one of the key ways to do that is by displaying competence. Know what you are talking about and when you don’t, understand the situation and get complete clarity on what is happening. Make sure you are completely honest about what you are saying because while people can understand lack of knowledge, a lie is harder to forgive.
5. Value feedback
While you may know what you are saying and doing as a company, it is important to understand the other person is only saying what they are because they have constructive feedback. The feedback may be obtained in the form of a quick survey or through pointers received from the client. Take what makes sense to your business and let your client know you appreciate what they have to say in a manner which does not come off as defensive.
6. Create an experience
Treat your clients in a way which lets them know they have your complete attention. Always remember the saying, “Marketers don’t make the brand, people do.” Make every interaction with your client memorable, in a manner that ensures longevity in memory!
While building your company in itself is a hard task, establishing trust is harder. If you think there other ways you can build trust between you and your clients, comment and let us know!
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