How AI Can Help Improve Your Sales Team

AI

Ever wondered how AI can help with your sales? Check our blog to see the benefits your sales team will receive when you incorporate AI technology:

If there’s a profession that demands human interaction, sales is probably one of the top three. This is especially true since convincing someone to make a purchase is much easier if you’re pitching face to face. Because of this, you may have noticed that one of the best qualities of a successful salesperson is superior communication skills. Now, the question is, how can artificial intelligence (AI) help salespeople generate more sales since the job mainly gravitates around human interaction?

It may come as a surprise, but AI is very helpful for sales. In fact, in 2020, 54% of sales teams have incorporated AI into their strategies, which is a 155% increase from 2018. The number will grow for years to come.

Do note that AI doesn’t really replace the human touch of the whole sales equation. Instead, AI will provide the necessary insight and sales tools needed by your sales team to better establish connections with your customers. This will allow you to easily reach your business goals.

To paint a clearer picture, here’s how AI can help improve your sales team:

Provide training with AI

AI

Even though there are plenty of ways on how a sales training or coaching software can help improve your sales team, many business owners or sales leaders still don’t exactly understand how these types of programs work, especially the benefits they can bring to the company.

As a start, a sales training program will conveniently share your sales training ideas among your team members. This means that all your employees will have the same foundation, which will help any employees improve any specific areas that they find difficult. Additionally, since your sales training is uniform, you can quickly improve a representative’s performance, onboard new hires fasters, and build a team of top-notch salespeople seamlessly.

Moreover, since sales coaching software uses AI, it can identify what your sales team is doing right and what areas need improvement. This way, you can easily modify any aspects of the sales pitch, allowing you to close more leads.

Allows your team to prioritize selling

Ideally, since they’re hired to be salespeople, your sales team should live up to their name and focus on making sales. Unfortunately, that’s not the case since they often spend the majority of their time on time-consuming, menial tasks, such as entering email notes into the customer relationship management (CRM) software. Research even shows that sales representatives only spend a quarter of their work hours selling to customers.

Fortunately, with the help of AI, your sales team will be relieved from doing tedious admin work. This can be done by automatically tracking any communication made by your sales team. In this case, your sales team can now focus on building relationships with customers, as they’re no longer bothered by admin requirements. Your sales team’s morale will also increase as they’re now free from doing menial tasks, which translates to motivated employees.

Generate the ideal price

Did you know that 90% of consumers actually invest their time on the internet just to find the best deal for them? Now, coming up with a competitive price can be time-consuming as it involves plenty of research.

However, with AI, your salespeople will no longer guess an attractive price to offer your prospects. This is because machine-learning technology will crunch up the sales data about a particular customer to generate a recommended price, increasing your chances of a successful sale. AI will also make sure that your sales margins are safeguarded, especially if you incorporate a pre-approved price. The AI won’t suggest a price lower than your margin.

By using AI to generate the ideal price, not only will you hasten your sales cycle, but you’ll also shorten the time for new members of your sales team to make a sale as they can already start selling without worrying that they’re offering a deal that’ll hurt your company. Also, remember, an optimum price improves customer experience as you’ll no longer go through the whole negotiation process, which can be uncomfortable for most customers.

Improves sales forecasting with the help of AI

Since hiring, payroll, and the fact that a company will lose credibility if they miss their sales targets, it’s safe to say that sales forecasting is crucial for any business. Thankfully, with the help of AI, you can increase your sales forecast accuracy. This is done by giving you a real-time view of the status of every deal that’s in the pipeline. This will help sales managers make an informed decision when to park or advance any offering or deals.

As your deal is already supported by AI, make sure that your sales team will constantly monitor the forecasting process with relevant data. Doing so will ensure that the AI will always provide accurate forecasts. Remember, the accuracy of the AI will always depend on the quality of data you feed.

Increase engagement with AI

AI

Gone are the days when people are shown news in a specific order––from local news, international, politics, weather, to sports. As technology improves, companies are now using AI to filter what people want to see, which means that most of what’s presented to you is related to what you always search for. This is achieved by AI’s capability to learn a user’s interest and behavior. That’s why one social media giant’s newsfeed is always personalized.

So how can this help with your sales team? With the help of AI’s algorithms, you’re given the opportunity to advertise to the right target audience, especially when their searches are related to your products or services. Since you’ve already filtered out those that are looking for your offering, it’ll allow your sales team to have an easy opportunity to transform these prospects into paying customers.

Takeaway on AI

What was once thought of as only a product of science fiction, AI has now been helping businesses of all sectors to improve how they conduct their daily operations, especially how they make sales. With AI, businesses can now make informed decisions and provide a good customer experience. Thus, in this competitive field, AI should no longer be considered as something optional. For the sake of your sales team to work optimally, AI should be essential.

UX Design Tips & Services For Startups

ux-design-tips

User experience is one of the most critical parts of your success mantra. We have some UX design tips that can help.

No matter what industry you are operating in, what your goals are, cost optimization, conversions, traffic, or lead generation, user experience lies at the heart of it.

The problem?

User experience is a dynamic landscape that changes rapidly. What worked yesterday might not give you results that you were expecting to see.

But fret not. You have help.

In this blog post, we give you 11 tips to ensure your user experience design is on point in 2022 Why is UX Important For Business?

5 UX design tips for startups in 2022

Every successful user experience design runs on a single Northstar metric, conversions. This means the better you can convert your target audience into customers, paid or free no matter what, you create an opportunity of building a relationship. But if you have to know in depth, here is a user experience design guide that can help you with it.

The following section details about. Each of the tips ensures that you move one step forward towards achieving this core goal for your startup.

1.   Know your audience

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At the core of user experience design lies the target audience. After all, it is them for whom you are really building anything.

In order to design an experience that can hook your target audience to the product, you need to dive deep into the lives of your audience.

Start with empathizing with your target audience. Understand their lives in full. Research the demographics, psychographics of the profiles. Do a comprehensive situational analysis. Using an audience persona is often a helpful tool in such a scenario. But this is just the beginning.

You need to use this rich insight into action.

Develop versions of designs and content on the basis of your research to meet your audience’s expectations. However, it is practically impossible to get it right at first shot. Thus, developing a mindset of reiteration is a great way to ensure success in the long term.

2.   Create familiarity

If you want to create a viral product based on experience, the first thing that you would want to do is ensure that you create familiarity around it.

If your product is not pre-cognitive and user-friendly chances are it will fall flat on its goals. Agreed, there are some products that have some innate complexity around them. But your goal must always be to create simple yet functional and aesthetically-pleasing products.

One scalable strategy to do this is to ensure you have a consistent design across all your communication channels. It lowers down the friction and creates a sense of authenticity and trust around your brand. What follows is the higher engagement of users with your product.

3.   Understand accessibility

Accessibility is one of the most critical elements that a designer needs to think about. No matter how functional or beautiful your designs are, if they cannot be accessed by all your users in real-time, they are as good as non-existent.

Thus, ensuring that you build your products keeping maximum of the landscape of usage of your target audience can ensure your product gets noticed and used at its peak. Basically, it buys you the opportunity for brand-customer interactions.

There is a popular motto in the design community to do this right – “design for all”.

There are a lot of elements that you can consider. Is any significant chunk of your audience physically handicapped? If not, maybe they cannot use their complete abilities in the landscape of interaction. Do they interact during the night or morning? How is their average mood during that time of the day when they interact with your product the most?

You can always brainstorm and find answers to questions that can help you develop a rich experience.

4.  Create a logical content flow

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One of the core areas where your UX (user experience) can go wrong is the alignment of your content. If you cannot ensure to map your content according to the real-time need of your audience, chances are it will fail to meet your goals.

The worst part is your conversions are bound to drop at significant levels.

This makes information architecture an incredibly critical area for user experience. But creating a smooth and efficient content experience is more than just planning your site map.

There are multiple factors involved here. You can start with ensuring the content hierarchy has a logical flow in it. This means you can divide each section of your pages and content on the basis of a single fundamental criterion. This can be anything starting from functionality to most visited sites and more. But whatever you choose, stay consistent with these central criteria. Else, you would just end up confusing your online consumers.

These broad categories then are drilled deeper into specialized sections for information, transaction, engagement, and others. You can even cluster pages on the basis of topics and sub-topics. It gives a significant boost to your rankings.

The next critical element that you should look out for is the navigation system. Ensure that you out the navigation elements at the most accessible spots of your webpage. This means, your users must be able to take action on your pages with the least work to be done possible.

Again, while you are designing the experience for your target audience, context shall never leave your mind. Remember, quality content might be the most important factor but it is the context that helps to win the experience game.

No matter how irresistible your offers are, if your audience is still in the decision-making stage mentally, your communications will fall flat. Chances are you can even get bogged down due to misanalysis of the situation.

5.  Focus on building trust as you employ UX design tips

Although it is engagement that truly builds a raving community of users, trust is what truly ticks it. Unsure how?

Let’s demystify that for you.

Let’s assume that you create an incredibly engaging website experience for your target audience. Play by the book, customize everything that your dominant customer base wants, put interactive elements, develop unique content. Yet you notice there is very little engagement for your product. Does the situation overwhelm you?

If it does, then you might want to check if you have ever created any transparency about who you are as an organization in front of your users.

The internet is a noisy place where security is still vulnerable. With today’s modern consumers being hyper-sensitive about their data and privacy, it is natural for your audience to have second thoughts about your organization.

This is the reason why putting up your organization’s information in the most transparent and simple way possible is so critical. Ever noticed, why do all reputed brands have an about page irrespective of their colossal brand awareness in the market? It builds legitimacy and authenticity.

You should share the data collection policy of your website with your audience. This way you would abide by the global data regulations and keep inside the radar of good books of your audience.

Conclusion on UX design tips

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The above tips are sure to give you a foundation to start your user experience in the right direction. Yet, if you have to ensure sustainable success, reiterating on the basis of your customer feedback is critical.

You can use endless standard practices to deploy. But ultimately, it depends upon how well you can assess which practices align with your unique audience.

Do this right and you will witness your UX design venture transform into a grand success even before you know it.

Author bio

Atreyee Chowdhury works full-time as an Instructional Designer and is passionate about writing. She has helped many small and medium-scale businesses achieve their content marketing goals with her carefully crafted and compelling content. She lives in Bangalore, India with her husband and parents. She loves to read, experiment with different cuisines, travel, and explore the latest content marketing and L&D trends in her free time. You can reach her on Linkedin or write to her at atreyee.c@gmail.com for any content writing/marketing requirements.

Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click: What is Better for You?

search-engine-optimization-or-pay-per-click

There are two primary methods in regards to reeling in more customers: Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click. Several years ago businesses were mainly preoccupied with choosing the right retail points to attract more customers. As the reality has been changing, the principal things to consider when reaching the target audience refer to the online environment. Thus, businesses are willing to make their websites and social media profiles visible to users online.

There are several effective methods to reach out to a great number of customers online. The most popular ones are search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Both these methods are highly efficient but each of them implements different tactics to achieve the desired result.

Businesses use both SEO and PPC in their strategies, either separately or together. However, the particular sphere of business operation and competitive environment predict which of these two techniques would be more efficient for the particular company. This article talks about SEO and PPC, provides a comparison between them, and helps to define which of these methods would be more suitable for your company.

Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click

Comparing these two technologies would not be appropriate as there are more differences rather than similarities between them. However, to demonstrate all the positive sides of each method, it is worth having a look at its essentials first.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

seo

This abbreviation stands for search engine optimization – website promotion in the online environment. Most people use search engines such as Google or Bing to find the things they are looking for. To make your website visible to online users, SEO techniques are used.

SEO is a complex term that consists of multiple components that are aimed to improve the overall website ranking. These components could be classified into two main groups depending on the promotional method applied.

The first bunch of techniques is called on-page SEO and refers to on-site optimization. Performing keyword research, creating texts, taking care of technical characteristics of the website belong to this group of methods.

Other SEO methods are classified as off-site or off-page optimization. It means that the website promotion is done with the involvement of external sources. For example, link building and guest posting are the most common approaches used in off-page SEO. Owing to guest posting services such as Adsy.com, you may create articles with the description of your company and the link to your website on other blogs to let more people know about your brand.

What is Pay-Per-Click?

Another popular method businesses utilize in their marketing strategies is PPC that stands for pay-per-click advertising. This method is also implemented within search engines but in a totally different way compared to SEO.

PPC also known as paid advertising is the service offered by Google Ads for displaying your announcements over the organic search results. Marketers bid for certain keywords to get a chance for displaying an ad with the link to the website in the SERP top.

Even when the advertisement is displayed once a user enters a corresponding search query, businesses have to pay for it only in case the ad is clicked. The price for the click is determined while marketers place bids on keywords.

The benefits of Search Engine Optimization

Durable effect

When done properly, search engine optimization is supposed to improve the website ranking gradually. Otherwise, a fast leap in the website positions on search results pages might be considered suspicious by Google. Even though the results of SEO is not visible in the first few weeks, it brings long-term effect, which is the greatest benefit for any business.

Local search

Another advantage of SEO is that it could be the right tool for making the website highly visible for local searches. With the help of certain keywords related to the particular place and special SEO techniques, your website would appear high on the results page when a search is done on the corresponding location.

PPC reinforcement

The power of SEO is that it could also strengthen the effect of the paid advertisement efforts. When people see the same website both in the organic and paid search results, they would likely visit it.

Comprehensive analytics

Most SEO tools used for website optimization provide comprehensive data on its performance. That way some applications could depict how the keywords perform, while others show the amount of time that users spend on the web page. All this data helps to make websites better and modernize them constantly. For instance, if you notice that users leave the website quickly, you might consider creating graphic materials for websites or rewriting the text to make it easy to read for people.

The advantages of PPC

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Sales boost

The main benefit of paid advertising is its high potential for improving the company’s online sales. When an advertisement is placed at the top of the results page, users see it first. Thus, they would probably click on it and explore the website further. To make sure that a user stays for long on the website, design it properly by considering every minor detail.

Brand awareness

This aspect is interrelated with the first advantage of PPC as it also refers to the high visibility of the website. Users would likely remember your brand and recognize it further when it appears within the paid ad results.

SEO reinforcement

Similar to the SEO impact on PPC, the paid advertisement has a reverse effect as well. Paid ads help to reinforce the SEO effect by attracting other businesses and individual customers who would be interested in linking back to your website. Backlinks are powerful in improving the website’s domain authority and ranking.

What to choose for your business: Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click?

After exploring the main characteristics of search engine optimization and paid advertising, it is possible to decide which method would be more suitable for your company. Even if one of the approaches would be more applicable, it does not exclude the possibility to use another one. Thus, you can use both SEO and PPC but define the proportion of time and budget resources allocated to each of those.

If you are new to the market or have recently created a business website, then the first thing to start with would be SEO. It will help you to strengthen domain authority and lift the website on the search results pages.

In case you have been already using SEO for a while and want to boost sales or promote certain products, then PPC is the right thing to use. By creating paid advertisement you will pay the customers’ attention to the particular thing that corresponds to the keyword search.

When you consider using both PPC and SEO in your marketing campaign, keep in mind that the former is rather costly. It should be preferably used for a limited amount of time to achieve the desired goal. Meanwhile, SEO is the ongoing strategy that ensures the long-term results and requires fewer costs.

Conclusion on Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click

If you decide whether PPC or SEO is better for your business website promotion, you should define your business goals first of all. In case you want to have short-term results, then PPC is the right option to choose. In other cases, SEO would be the preferred method for website promotion. Anyway, you can use both methods in your marketing strategy to obtain the best results.

5 Best Text-to-Speech Solutions for Business and Personal Use

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5 Best Text-to-Speech solutions for business and personal use

Today, ease is defined by accessibility. Text-to-speech has become a very popular and important asset to many companies.

No matter the quality and quantity of the marketing material you put out as a business, it may not make as much of an impact if it is not accessible to your target audience.

In that light, text-to-speech solutions have emerged as great aids for businesses in reaching a wider audience as well as connecting with them on an emotional level. These solutions make textual media more accessible and are available on all major platforms.

If you are looking to add text-to-speech solutions to your business, this post is for you. Keep reading to learn more. 

text-to-speech

Text-to-speech (TTS) is a technology that reads digital text out loud by converting words on a device into speech or audio. It is also called ‘read aloud’ tech. Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are great everyday examples of technologies based on TTS.

TTS works on multiple formats such as Word, PDF, Doc, etc, and is available on all major platforms. As a business, employing such a technology in your media greatly helps in extending your outreach. It improves your user experience while saving you time and money.

TTS may have started with robotic-sounding voices that lacked a human touch, but they have evolved well with time. Today, the audio produced by them is top-notch in quality, natural, and something the end-user can connect with.

If you are looking to add such a software to your business, we have come up with a comprehensive list of the best solutions for you. 

1. Murf 

Murf text-to-speech software offers a versatile selection of AI voices that sound highly realistic. Murf converts text to speech with natural voices that are perfect to be used in videos and presentations. It offers you the choice of over 120 natural-sounding AI voices across 20 languages.

You can try out the different voices to get a feel of what the software is capable of. In their own words, they have ‘a voice for every use case’. There are some demos available on the website and you can also test out a file of your own once you create an account with Murf.

Murf is more than just a text-to-speech tool, however. It offers free background music that you can use in your videos and PowerPoint presentations. Simply pick any tune from the royalty-free tracks available in Murf’s own in-built library. All tracks are well segregated based on use case so you won’t have to look for long either.

You can also add voice-over to your videos and presentations.

What’s more, you can add emphasis on certain words or have pauses for dramatic effect. You can also adjust the pitch and speed of the audio to your liking. You don’t have to worry about simple mistakes and grammar too as Murf takes care of all the formatting.

Murf is available on all platforms and systems. It costs $13 per month to $26 per month, based on the kind of usage you have. There is a one-time pack also available for a steep price of $9 if you only have occasional use for it. 

2. Speechelo

Speechelo is a TTS software aimed at content creators. It is a cloud-based solution that is best suited to create voiceover.

While its range is admittedly not as wide as Murf, it is still quite impressive and can certainly be used in creating a wide variety of content. It offers 30 realistic, human-sounding voices.

All the voices come with all sorts of expressions. Furthermore, you have the option to have three broad tones for the voices. They are the normal tone, joyful tone, and serious tone. The voices are available in 23 different languages. You can simply create a voiceover with Speechelo and download it as mp3.

Once saved as an mp3 file, it can be used in a variety of ways as it is a format supported by all major platforms. The ease of use and accessibility makes Speechelo a great tool for content creators in general. The focus of this software has surely been on its ease of use.

Speaking of ease, you can create a voiceover with Speechelo with just three clicks. It is well-suited for use by beginners or marketers who may not have much background knowledge about TTS.

Interestingly, Speechelo is not available as a subscription service like most of its contemporaries. It is available as a product that can be purchased with a one-time payment of $47 (discounted price).

What’s more, it also offers a 60-days money-back guarantee. Both these aspects make it a valuable investment for budding marketers. 

3. Lovo

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Lovo is a DIY TTS software for content creators. Over 80,000 content creators from 41 countries have created more than 7 million voice overs using Lovo. The platform offers voices that can be used in e-learning, marketing, documentaries, games, explainer videos, audiobooks, news, animations, and IVR. Lovo’s voice cloning feature and customizable controls can create a personalized voiceover in a matter of minutes. The platform boasts of a vast collection of 150 voices in over 33 languages. As they state on their website, they have the most natural-sounding human voices ‘for every type of content’.

Not only are the voices available unique and authentic, but new voices are also being added every month. If you still cannot find just the right voice for your content, you can make good of the platform’s voice cloning technology to create your own customized voice skin. It will take only minutes.

To create a voiceover, all you have to do is choose a voice that suits your content best, type or upload the script you would want it to read, and there you go — the voiceover will be created instantly. Use it however you want in your content. You have the option to listen to various samples on the website before making a purchase.

Lovo is available on the web, Playstore, and iOS. Its packages range from $24.99 per month to $49.99 per month. All payment is charged annually. You also have the option of a free trial before committing to a plan. 

4. TTSReader

TTSReader is perhaps the easiest, the most hassle-free text-to-speech solution to use. It is a lightweight online text reader that is absolutely free of cost to use. You don’t need to install it anywhere. You don’t need to download it. You don’t even need to create an account to use it.

To create a voiceover, all you have to do is simply go to their website, write or upload a script, choose a voice and speed of your liking, and hit play. It’s as simple as that. The website functions smoothly on all browsers and all devices.

TTSReader remembers the last text you entered so you can always continue from where you left off without missing out on anything.

Though we recommend that you don’t leave anything unsaved. You can record the voiceover after setting a language, voice, and reading speed of your liking.

You can use TTSReader for not just creating media to share with an audience, but for your own research as well. Not only that, it is great for personal use too. Children can use it and it can be used to listen to content in the background while you work.

While it is available free of cost, you may consider going premium if you wish to support the makers. The move unlocks new features as well. You can also check out the demo available on the website to understand the controls better.

5. NaturalReader

text-to-speech

NaturalReader is an easy-to-use TTS platform that is available on Windows and Mac. It converts any and all kinds of texts into mp3 audio files that users can listen to on the go. It uses OCR technology to convert text documents into audio.

It can be used by everyone from students to working professionals. The website also recommends it to dyslexic readers and foreign language learners, claiming to aid them in their learning. You can use it both online or as a software that can be downloaded on a device of your choice.

You can add NaturalReader as a chrome extension to listen to emails and articles directly from the webpage. It consists of over 100 natural-sounding voices in over 16 languages.

The platform has recently added a feature called Plus Voices that allows more variety in the high-fidelity reading of content. 

The personal plan of NaturalReader comes in free and premium packages ranging from $9.99 to $19. The commercial plan offers a free trial. It costs $49 for individuals and $79 for teams. 

Conclusion on Text-To-Speech Technology

Text-to-speech technology has been a revolution in making media accessible to people. As a business owner, you stand to gain a lot by investing in this technology.

Not only do you gain a wider reach by making the content you put out easy to interact with, but you also get a helping hand in your internal processes. Make the most of the technology and boost your business today.

Let us know in the comments in what ways has TTS helped you achieve more with your business. 

How to Start Your Own Business in College

business-in-college

Start Your Own Business in College

Starting your own business in college can be a daunting task. Many entrepreneurs understand that devoting time and effort to a company venture is a full-time job in and of itself. Beginning a business at any age requires determination, but establishing your first company while still in college is extremely difficult.

Nonetheless, some of the most well-known CEOs came up with their great ideas while still in college; this includes Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Berkowitz, for example, set up the foundation for their companies in their dorms. Young entrepreneurs nowadays are keen to follow in their footsteps before graduating from college.

For students, balancing education and business goals can be difficult. Many people are hesitant to stick to their business goals because they believe it would result in wasted tuition money, but the two shouldn’t have to exclude each other.

Start Your Own Business in College

1. Your customer base

Starting your own business is rather simple; it does need a significant amount of effort, but most meaningful activities do. When it comes to launching a business, the first thing to consider is who will be my customer. You have a firm if you have a customer. That isn’t to suggest it won’t be a small firm, but the concept of business development is to attract customers. And how can you find customers? By having a product or service.

One of the most common mistakes young businesses make is devoting too much time to developing a product before attempting to sell it. Remember this! If you don’t have revenue as a small business, you don’t have a business. As a result, it makes far more sense to find revenue before investing a significant amount of time and money in building a product/service that may or may not be desired. Sell then construct.

2. Learn How to Prioritize

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Your next step is to prioritize and thus, learn what’s the most important for you and your business. You should know that in order to find your priorities, you’ve got to be organized. First, figure out what your goals are, as well as how college fits into them. Examine your motivation for education and work. Consider the following four questions:

  • Why are you establishing a business before you finish your studies?
  • Why is it important to you to continue your education?
  • Is it possible to use your academics to help you start a business?
  • Do you envision yourself working at your company after graduation?

When responding to these questions, be specific about your reasons. Then decide when it’s better to put your studies on hold in favor of commercial chances.

3. Help with education in college

If you want to improve your grades, narrow the gap of school and job. Choose a major or elective that will assist you strategy and will improve your business approach. Select classes to meet knowledgeable teachers and others who share your interests. Taking courses connected to your business enables you to save time and gain more experience in your attempts. If you don’t have enough time to complete your other school assignments because of business duties, get your assignment done by AssignmentBro. Students who connect with their education specialists end up boosting their college scores. If you need help with writing, don’t hesitate to ask.

4. Network with your fellow classmates

College provides you with precious spare time. Interact with school mates for recruitment chances while you’re establishing your company. Consider proposing the idea of collaborating and turning it into a learning experience for everybody. College is a crossroads for many disciplines. You’re more likely to discover people that are well-rounded and have a variety of initiatives, which can result in unique thinking.

5. Ask questions in class

business-in-college

Ask these questions to your fellow students when testing your product.

  • Would you use this company’s or service’s products or services?
  • What makes the company appealing?
  • What do you think could be improved?

Even if the business model is still in its inception phase, gaining reputation or generating ideas for your own education is critical. Professors will see your excitement, so that’s helpful. Plus, you’ll also learn about business growth. You could even be able to target specific demographics with your marketing efforts.

6. Find a mentor to help with your business in college

College helps you get access to a large network of people that can help you network with experienced professionals and broaden your perspectives. One of the advantages of collegiate networks is the ability to find mentors.

Ask your mentors if they can connect you with local business development departments or industry specialists. As a student, you will find that most individuals are eager to assist you. Mentors are available to provide sound advice, mentoring, and connections with companies for college credit.

7. Say ‘no’ when you have to

Understanding your limits is a crucial aspect of becoming a successful company leader. Make it a habit to finish all of your school stuff and business operations before doing anything else. Say “no” to anyone who tries to overcommit you. It’s fine to say “no” when friends ask you out for drinks, too. Make time on weekends to maintain contact or to enjoy a drink while socializing or attending a corporate event.

8. Create a schedule for your business in college

Do you feel stressed? Making a to-do list is beneficial to many students and businesspeople. Make a daily checklist and underline the most crucial targets you’ve developed. Checklists assist you in staying focused and achieving specified objectives.

Wrapping Up Starting a Business in College

You may feel like a disaster waiting to happen if you have a packed schedule. Don’t give up! Accept the premise that business and education can coexist and remain committed to both. School provides you with the ideal opportunity to develop and your company while also becoming a more well-rounded and determined person.

Author Bio:

Jeremy Raynolds is a B2B specialist and content creator. He writes on topics such as marketing, law, and digitalization. In his free time, Jeremy likes to listen to music and compose poetry.

Small Business Consultant – Guide to Small Business Consulting Services

small-business-consulting

Small Business

Consulting Services

Small business consulting services can be extremely beneficial to your company. Hiring a small business consultant can assist organizations in improving their performance and making the required changes for success. Small business consultants assist organizations in overcoming obstacles, increasing income, and expanding. As a result, before hiring a small business consulting service, be sure they have previous expertise and success with businesses similar to yours.

This article is for entrepreneurs and small business owners considering working with a business consultant. In this article, we will be covering small business consulting services – what it is, what they do, and how you can find a small business consultant for your business.

What is a small business consulting service?

small-business-consulting

A business consultant is one who assists business owners with their goals and has a unique skill set gained via education and prior experience. Business consultants can also help firms enhance their performance and efficiency by providing management advice. These individuals examine organizations and develop solutions to unique challenges, while also assisting firms in achieving their objectives. When business owners require assistance or perspective on their chosen course, or a catalyst for change in their organizations, they might consider employing a small business consulting service.

What is the role of a small business consulting service?

A small business consultant assists business owners in developing business plans, identifying marketing needs, developing marketing strategies, and imparting skills to improve management and efficiency in order to maximize earnings. As a result, they play an important role in the expansion of businesses.

Business consultants, to be more exact, are frequently connected with the following responsibilities:

1. Information Exchange

This typically explains why people seek out small business consulting services in the first place: they need information. Surveys, cost and feasibility studies, market surveys, and other techniques can be used to gather necessary information. The small business consultant brings to the table specialized knowledge as well as more current (up-to-date) information that can benefit the company. If the organization is unable to commit any of its resources to data collection internally, business consultants may be recruited. Data is everything in today’s ever-expanding technology environment, and small business consultants can collect it to help their clients build their businesses.

2. Solving Issues

Small business consulting services are usually able to solve complex challenges, and business owners and managers regularly turn to business consultants for help. This could include questions about purchasing a component for the business, acquiring a business line, strategies for restructuring the company’s organizational setup, determining appropriate financial policies to adopt, determining the most appropriate approach in dealing with compensation and morale issues, management succession, efficiency, and so on.

Attempting to solve these kinds of difficulties is undeniably a legitimate duty that ought to be compensated. However, the small business consultant must subsequently discover answers to such difficult issues. He or she must first evaluate whether the problem is one that needs to be solved. Rather than acting on synthesized problem statements, the small business consultant may need to assist in defining the underlying issue. The small business consultant may ask the following questions to learn more about the problem’s context:

  • What specific solutions have been tried to address the problem in the past? What were the outcomes of the solutions that were used?
  • What are the client’s ideas for solving the problem that haven’t been tried yet?
  • What components of the business aren’t doing well?
  • If a solution to the problem is developed, how will it be implemented in the business?
  • What steps will be taken to guarantee that the developed solution is accepted?

A small business consultant should not just accept or reject the business owner’s statement of the problem. Instead, he or she should examine the situation in a methodical manner and determine whether or not the business owner’s original evaluation is correct.

3. Diagnosis that works

The ability to successfully diagnose accounts for a significant portion of the value of a small business consultant. The diagnosis process can sometimes put a strain on the management-consultant relationship, because the small business consultant may find deficiencies in the company’s management, leading to blame.

Accurate diagnosis isn’t restricted to the company’s external environment, technology, economics, or employee behavior. The causes behind specific choices and decisions that appear to be blunders may also be probed by the small business consultant’s diagnosis. Such investigations will also look into activities that were judged inconsequential and thus were not taken.

4. Recommendation for Action

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A written report or oral presentation describing the business consultant’s lessons and some recommendations to the business is usually provided at the end of a small business consulting engagement. It’s critical that reports and data are presented in a way that makes them easy to understand and use. The above recommendations are based on the business consultant’s diagnosis. In most circumstances, the small business consultant’s job isn’t done until he or she has produced a consistent, logical plan of action with measures to address the identified issues. It is the job of the small business consultant to make recommendations, but it is the responsibility of the business owner to put those recommendations into action if he or she so chooses.

5. Implementing Changes

The business consultant gives a fresh perspective to the company and may play a key role in executing change. Now, the degree of flexibility for carrying out this duty may vary, as some firms may prohibit this function of the small business consulting service because it may be seen as infringing on management responsibilities. Being a proponent of recommendations for the business’s growth, on the other hand, implies implemented recommendations, which puts the small business consultant in the role of implementer rather than just recommender.

6. Building Commitment and Consensus

The success of proposed recommendations and diagnoses is determined by team members’ willingness to agree on the nature of problems/opportunities and come up with appropriate remedial activities, lest the diagnosis be rejected and recommendations be ignored.

A small business consultant is critical in motivating commitment and consensus around identified issues and recommended solutions. As a result, the small business consultant is persuasive and has fine-tuned analytic skills, which are required for eliciting consensus on necessary measures to be taken and building the momentum (zeal) to see these agreed-upon activities completed.

7. Improve your management skills

Small business consultants have the ability to improve a business owner’s ability to deal with immediate concerns as well as teach them strategies and procedures for dealing with future obstacles. This isn’t to say that when business owners gain these talents, they become obsolete. Instead, satisfied business owners will always refer and promote such small business consulting services to others, hence expanding the area of influence of the business consultant.

8. Improving Organizational Performance

The implementation of new ideas and objectives necessitates new management skills as well as a fresh viewpoint, which business consultants provide. Small business consultants assist organizations in achieving organizational performance by bringing the ability to adapt future strategy and behavior to environmental change while maximizing available human resources. This keeps the company current in an ever-changing world.

Types of Small Business Consulting Services

In general, there are five categories of small business consultants, each of which can provide value to your business domain. They are as follows:

1. Management and strategy

These small business consultants can help your company scale, obtain new prospects, and generate income by bringing industry expertise to the table. Small business consultants who specialize in strategy and management can assist your company in expanding into new markets or raising awareness in existing markets.

  •         Creating a cost-effective strategy by reorganizing your business model.
  •         Increasing the capabilities of your company.
  •         Getting a new company venture off the ground.
  •         Changing the structure of your company or merging with another.
  •         Taking on the role of middle management at a period of transition.

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2. Operations

Small business consultants who specialize in operations can assist business owners in improving the quality of their day-to-day processes. These business experts assess your present business model and determine the most cost-effective and time-effective strategy to achieve the same high-quality results at a fraction of the cost and effort. Quality control and understanding how to alter and optimize your production for better results are two more ways these consultants may help.

3. Financial

A financial consultant can show you the bigger picture of your company’s financial health. They mostly assist investors and business owners in determining the best strategy to manage their assets and debts. Financial consultants can also provide additional services, such as financial planning, in which they advise customers on taxes, daily spending, and retirement plans.

4. Human Resource

There are a variety of HR consulting organizations and freelancers who can help business owners with their HR needs. These consultants can handle day-to-day HR responsibilities like hiring and retaining new employees, payroll management, administrative tasks, and performance management.

5. Marketing

Marketing consultants assist firms in identifying and expanding on their brand’s strengths in order to increase brand awareness and visibility. A marketing consultant may help you improve your business’ reach, whether you need a new logo or a social media plan.

How to Locate A Small Business Consultant?

You can go on to the exploration step once you’ve defined the area where you need assistance. It may be difficult to discover the proper small business consultant for your needs, but there are several areas you may look into, such as:

  •         Investigate Consulting Networks on Google
  •         Make the Most of Your Personal Network
  •         Industry Events to Attend
  •         Participate in Online Communities
  •         Examine Online Advisors

Are you in need of small business consulting services? Then contact our certified small business consultant today. Click here to book a free strategy session here.

1. Do a Google search on small business consulting services.

You might look for terms like “management consulting for small firms” that are relevant to the company difficulties you’re trying to solve. Google is the quickest method of obtaining contact information. However, this will mostly identify small business consulting services with sufficient resources and motivation to pay for AdWords advertisements and heavily invest in SEO. Individual consultants and mentors may not be applicable.

SO, while this is a good starting point, you can supplement your list with the methods described below.

2. Check Out Small Business Consulting Groups

Clarity is a consulting network with a few thousand members who specialize in a variety of fields. Another choice is OnFrontiers, and there are a couple of smaller ones as well.

Mentorship communities and groups also exist. Small business bureaus are also available. This strategy is effective in niches where membership is virtually “required” and consultants apply and participate frequently.

The benefit of similar consulting networks is the ability to instantly contact a small business consultant without having to go through a lengthy “interviewing” process, contract signing, or arduous negotiations. You can literally call the next day and get started on your case.

3. Make the Most of Your Network

team meeting

Potential business alliances may be discovered by tapping into your existing network. The circle of “friends and family” is a good place to start; partners, vendors, and other industry peers. When in doubt, ask on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn; someone may be able to provide a referral who can assist.

It’s likely that you’ll be able to contact someone who has appropriate knowledge in this industry and is willing to work with you or connect you to someone they know.

This is when the rule of “top of mind” comes in helpful. When they think of a specific industry or a problem, some of your colleagues will propose the go-to person.

4. Industry Events to Attend

Meetups and seminars are popular gathering places for local small business consultants. Some give talks, some network, and yet others sponsor or assist other clients.

Even if you are unable to locate a consultant there, event organizers or volunteers may be able to assist you. A tiny group of people work as “networkers,” connecting different vendors with one another. You can spot them by the steady flow of exchanges and talks with everyone in the hall.

When it comes to finding niche experts, events are extremely effective. At comparable events, the majority of industry leaders speak. Alternatively, their employers may fund them. Or it’s where they regularly meet up with old friends, colleagues, and partners.

5. Participate in Online Communities

Whatever works in your field: social media, Quora, forums, Facebook groups, etc. Many people use Quora to promote themselves or their businesses. On Facebook, industry groups bring together all kinds of people, including small business consultants and advisors.

Quora is so effective that you can even connect with and pitch investors through it.

LinkedIn is also a good place to look for small business consulting services. If Twitter is a network you use sporadically, some people put a lot of money into it.

For seasoned and competent small business consultants, their online reputation is crucial. You can locate some great talent there if you use the appropriate search filters and join the right business groups.

6. Mentors and indirect small business consulting

People frequently overlook the source of the information they get on a daily basis from the internet.

In your browser, go to the History tab. Sift through the last 30 posts you’ve read to see what you’ve learned. Who penned them? Thousands of contributors work for sites like Forbes, Inc., and HuffPost. Look them up on social media or on their websites. Some of them are likely to provide small business coaching services; if you’ve benefited from their counsel, consider reaching out to them.

How to choose a small business consulting service to hire

Many people try to market small business consulting services without actually understanding what they are consulting on. It’s time to discover how to evaluate consultants after you’ve done your research and potentially made a list of potential consultants. Here’s a short checklist just for that: References, background, and public appearance.

Are you in need of small business consulting services? Then contact our certified small business consultant today. Click here to book a free strategy session here.

1. Look up References

This can include their client portfolio, CV, case studies, or recommendations from others in your network.

LinkedIn suggestions may be useful, but they are usually more optimistic than practical. However, 40 or more positive ratings for an advisor or consultant are quite rare.

Their curriculum vitae should show that they have worked in their respective fields.

Case studies can assist you in determining what they do, what they specialize in, and the types of problems they handle (including their strong areas of expertise which vary across consultants).

The power of being recognized in podcasts and guest pieces (or interviews) is undeniable. The same can be said for writing a book or hosting a podcast on the subject.

2. Do a background check on the small business consulting service

With only a few years of experience in the area or even after an MBA, it’s not uncommon for young people to offer consultancy guidance.

Needless to say, this will not provide the desired results. Sure, a small business consultant could have spent 15 years in the same company, with a limited understanding of the larger ecosystem, or even in a completely different area.

However, having worked with a variety of clients on varied projects allows you to validate your knowledge and change your approach across enterprises.

3. Consider public appearance.

Most small business consultants are involved in some type of public relations, branding, or marketing. This includes the following:

  •         Speaking in front of an audience (presenting at conferences, teaching courses)
  •         Appearances on television or radio, as well as podcasts
  •         Marketing with content
  •         Posts by visitors
  •         Interviews
  •         Books created in collaboration

 The most challenging component for the owner or management may be finding the right small business consulting service. The small business consultant should be enthusiastic about their work, have a strong desire to succeed, and have a keen sense of organization and detail. It’s critical to choose a small business consultant with experience in your field or with the types of difficulties your company faces. Check to see if they have any reliable recommendations.

In addition, check to see if the small business consultant has any relevant certifications for your field. You should check out the consultant’s website and resources. Examine their services for professional photos and well-documented material, as well as contracts and consulting rates. It’s a good idea to ask for examples of previous accomplishments and chat with such companies.

How much do small business consulting services charge?

having a meeting

Management consultants earn an average of $150,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, that is the amount of money that the employee “takes home,” and consulting fees are often larger to cover business expenses. Small business consultants don’t necessarily work on an hourly basis. According to Consulting Success’s consultant fee survey, the following are some of the most common fee schemes and the percentages of consultants that choose them:

  • Per project – 34.2%
  • Hourly – 27.3%
  • Monthly retainer – 15.1%
  • Daily rate – 14.1%
  • Other – 9.3%

According to the report, 43% of consultants earn less than $5,000 each assignment, with some earning more than $100,000. Obviously, the cost is determined by the project’s size, scope, and duration.

Small business consultants can be costly, but their advice and planning can help you grow your firm and earnings while also identifying difficulties and chances for future success.

Are you interested in hiring a small business consulting service? Do you desire your business to attain a height of progress and success unlike never before? Then, book a free strategy session with our certified small business consultant today. Find out more here.

Ways a Property Manager Can Help with Hassle-Free Property Rentals

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Ways a Property Manager Can Help with Hassle-Free Property Rentals

Landlords who hire property managers find that it makes their lives easier. A property manager assumes many responsibilities that a landlord would otherwise have to tackle alone. Being a rental property owner is a high-stress job, demanding a lot of time and commitment from the landlord. Recent events, including the Covid-19 pandemic, have made the rental business more complicated, leaving landlords feeling pressured and uncertain if they want to remain in the industry.

Hiring a professional property manager makes a significant difference for landlords who realize that operating privately is not working for them.

Here are ways that having a property manager helps landlords to profit from their rental homes without additional stress:

Marketing and advertising

According to managers at a Colorado Springs licensed property management company like Evernest, A Cut Above Property Management, or Around the Block Realty, marketing, and advertising rental properties is one of the most vital functions a property manager assumes on the landlord’s behalf. Evernest’s team of professional, licensed agents understands the importance of listing rental properties on platforms that reach the widest possible pool of potential tenants. They pay attention to advertisement content, including wording and photographs, to ensure several candidates apply to rent the home. Evernest has an established presence in Colorado Springs, Denver, Fort Collins, and Boulder.

Agents at large property management corporations like Pinnacle Property Management Services and Greystar Real Estate Partners LLC agree that a rental property listing either makes or breaks the transaction. Professional property agents know which platforms to use when advertising a rental home. Their experience also includes drafting advertisements that will attract suitable tenants. They use extensive resources to create marketing tools to get prospective tenants interested.

Tenant selection

property-manager

Having created advertisements that reach hundreds of potential renters, interested parties apply to rent the home. A property manager knows better than to accept the first person who applies to rent a home. They work with several applicants, allowing for selecting the best possible candidate. Property managers follow stringent processes to screen and vet potential tenants to ensure their suitability. It helps them find ideal tenants who will stay in a rental home long-term, pay their rent, and not incur undue damage repair expenses.

Among the things a property manager does during the screening and vetting process is contacting an applicant’s employer to verify their employment and salary. The agent also speaks to an applicant’s previous landlord to determine how they behaved as tenants at their last residence. An additional step is subjecting the applicant to a credit history check. This stage is critical as it impacts the tenant’s ability to pay the rent and paints a picture of how responsibly they treat debt. Someone who is overindebted or does not pay their debts is a risky proposition as a tenant.

Lease enforcement

A property manager’s core duty is to ensure that landlords and tenants adhere to their responsibilities as stipulated in the rental agreement. Among the tasks they must complete is ensuring that rent is paid on time each month. Many agents insist on scheduled, electronic payments to minimize how much time they spend chasing tenants to get their money. However, that is precisely what they will do if someone fails to pay. Agents are tasked with collecting rent and must do so by any legal means necessary.

A property manager also conducts regular inspections of rental homes on their books. They perform routine checks to ensure that everything is in working order by appointment with the tenant. Their most intensive inspections occur when a tenant assumes occupancy and vacates the premises. This process plays a vital role in determining whether a renter should get their security deposit back.

Repairs and maintenance

A property management company that oversees repairs and maintenance relieves landlords of their most burdensome problem. Most rental owners agree that the rate at which things go wrong on the rented property is alarming. Many fields call at all hours to deal with blocked pipes, leaking roofs, and structure damage. Having a property manager take care of this aspect of being a rental house owner gives landlords room to breathe.

Property agents responsible for repairs and maintenance ensure that everything at the rental is working as it should. They undertake routine maintenance to ensure that minor problems do not become massive, expensive ones later. Property managers work with contractors and providers who deliver outstanding workmanship at cost-effective prices.

Managing tenant relationships

Landlords and tenants often butt heads because they build a personal relationship instead of keeping their interactions professional. This tendency complicates the relationship, leading to much unpleasantness that can be avoided by hiring a property manager.

Property managers serve landlords and tenants, protecting their rights and ensuring they fulfill their obligations as included in their rental agreement. Agents work as a bridge between landlords and tenants, keeping emotions out of the equation. They maintain cordial relationships with both parties, behaving professionally throughout their interactions.

One Amazing Way to Boost Your Business in 2022

Ways Boost your business

Way to Boost Your Business

When you start your own business, it doesn’t take long to realize that there is a lot to learn – like gaining the skills to form strategies, budgets, processes, and a marketing plan. Business owners have to create a business card, brochures, website, and logo. To boost their business, they have to write a business plan, hire employees, find vendors and connect with their customers through social media and networking. It is a serious learning curve for most entrepreneurs.

Business owners want to know how to tackle these struggles by getting educated and mentored.  Asking for help can be a hard decision for some, though it’s unquestionably the wisest choice. The faster a business owner gets the essential skills and education, the sooner profits rise and the business owner salary grows!

The One Approach to Mastering Business Ownership

I believe there is ONE simple way that a small business owner can attain the necessary skill set to grow their salary and improve their business.

There’s never been a single independent business owner who could expertly perform the multitude of jobs needed to build, launch, and manage a small company – Marketer, Speaker, Graphics Designer, and Website Developer. Each has to be Leader, Interviewer, Project Manager, and Researcher. Each must know Customer Service, Finance, Sales, and Negotiations.

Remember when Hemingway wrote, “No man is an island”? Well, he may have been writing about a small business owner, because there’s no one who can successfully do it solo.

It’s All About Business Coaching

Business coaches can provide the training, mentoring, recommendations, and guidance which help entrepreneurs to learn the skills they need to achieve their desired objectives. They offer a tailored education along with support and accountability.

Coaching can take several forms … and can be over a brief period or a longer-term, depending on needs and budget.

Below are some options available to you in getting expert help. I personally have used the mentoring options below and have seen remarkable results. Since I hired my first business consultant many years ago and achieved amazing results, I have depended upon advisors to help me advance my business ventures. Here are a few options:

  • Boost Your Business With One-on-One Business Coaching

Meet with a professional business coach on a regular basis. Gain insights into performance, setting goals or strategy, or whatever is needed. This can be done in person, on the phone, or through meeting apps like Zoom or Skype.

  • One-on-One Small Business Consulting.

Use a consultant who is focused on a narrow area of a business for a short period of time. Let’s say that a business needs software to streamline processes. Just hire a specialist to complete this single task and you’re done.

  • Business Coaching Program Helps To Boost Your Business

A program is a series of activities with an end goal in mind. In this context, the business coach develops lessons or seminars for the client focusing on a certain area, like marketing. Coaching programs can be a one-time workshop or several teaching modules held over weeks or months. Programs can also be customized or bundled into packages that cover a wide array of topics and skills, regardless of the size, complexity, or age of a company.

  • Attending Group Business Coaching Can Help You Boost Your Business

Many issues and needs that business owners face are common. Group coaching can be an affordable and even fun solution. In this format, entrepreneurs can receive standard training modules while participating in a community (usually 5‑10 people) that shares successes, referrals, and lessons learned. Meet weekly online or monthly face-to-face.

  • Mastermind Business Groups.

A mastermind group (weekly or monthly) focuses on the sharing of knowledge from other business owners along with a coach. Information shared can be general or specific.

In addition to coaching, all business owners (like doctors and other professionals) should continue to develop their knowledge and skills through self-development:  books, magazines, videos, webinars, seminars, etc.

As you can see, there are many growth and learning options available to the small business owner who wants to improve themselves and grow their business owner salary. Any of these options can provide much-needed support while giving you a significant return on investment.

Tell us what coaching would most benefit you or your business right now?

Ten Company Improvement Suggestions in 2022

ten improvement suggestions

When you own your own business, it doesn’t take long to realize that there is a lot to learn. Many self-employed people ask me how a small business owner can improve their business and make more money. You may want to know the best ways to grow your business, how to hire and retain employees, how to be more profitable, or how to work fewer hours. There are many options available to you as a business owner. Here are the ten company improvement suggestions:

Use Some of These Ten Approaches to Grow Your Profits by up to 1,500%

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to lead a number of business mentoring approaches to pursue the improvement of my own businesses and my client’s businesses. Here are ten ways a small business owner can improve their businesses. Some of these options have grown my client’s businesses by more than 400% and their profits by more than 1,500%!

The Ten Company Improvement Suggestions

In this scenario, you are working with a professional business coach who will meet with you on a regular basis to review your business performance, help you set goals, and hold you accountable to your objectives.

  • One-on-one small business consulting.

A consultant is usually focused on a narrow area of your business for a short period of time. For example, let’s say that you need help with developing operational software to streamline your processes. You would hire the consultant to complete the job and then you’re done with them.

  • Business coaching program.

A program is a series of activities with an end goal in mind, and is one of the ten ways to improve your business. In this context, the business coach develops a series of lessons for the client that directs you to improve your business in a certain area. For example, let’s say that you are interested in learning about marketing your business so that you can grow. The coach would teach you how to market.

  • Business coaching packages.

Packages are a variety of services or products that are included in a “bundle.” In our case, we have packages that include coaching you in 36 areas of business in the categories of time, team and money. These are especially helpful to you as a small business owner as your business grows and develops through various stages towards business freedom.

  • Custom business coaching.

Custom business coaching is the ability to create a unique coaching solution for the varied needs you may have as a business owner. Some business coaches with little experience may be strong in a certain area of business, but quickly run out of helpful advice when they encounter a new type of business or a unique problem. The ability to customize coaching services is a helpful advantage to you as a client.

  • Group business coaching.

Some self-employed people may not be able to afford a one-on-one business coach. Additionally, many issues that business owners face are common. Group business coaching can be a good solution for you. Your coach meets weekly online or monthly face-to-face with 5 to 10 non-competing business owners and takes your group through teaching modules. Business owners can share their experiences with others in this format.

  • Mastermind business groups.

With a mastermind group, the focus is on the sharing of knowledge from other business owners and the coach in the group. Usually, the coach will include a one-on-one monthly session for you and the group members.

  • Business referral groups.

These are groups that meet on a regular basis for the purpose of giving and getting referrals. The largest, most well-known referral group is BNI. Sometimes an educational component is also included in these groups, especially in the area of networking.

  • Peer-to-Peer mentoring.

Improving your business does not necessarily need to be in a formal setting. If you are on a tight budget, you can simply meet with another business owner to share and receive knowledge and to hold one another accountable.

  • Number Ten on the List is Self-Development.

Ranking ten on the list is forming the habit of developing yourself through books, videos, seminars, webinars, workshops, and audiobooks. You can select offerings on any area of business you choose.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many options available to self-employed and small business owners who want to improve their businesses. Each of these options works, some better than others. But all can give you a return on investment. Which one of these ten company improvement suggestions worked best for you? And what didn’t work? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in our comments area below.

Why Measuring Results In 2022 in Your Businesses Is Crucial

Measuring Results

Why Measuring Results In Your Businesses Is Crucial

Measuring results is crucial! As a self-employed person, you know how business can be unpredictable. Since everything keeps changing and you need to keep adapting to every change, it is important to constantly measure your business results.

All businesses have ups and downs. And when you’re in a down cycle, there is nothing better to help you get up again than looking at the results and evaluating them. Conversely, when you are in an upcycle you want to measure what is working right so that you can repeat your success.

The Importance of Tracking Lead Indicators and Lag Indicators

There are two types of Key Performance Indicators: Lead indicators and Lag indicators. Lead indicators are measures of what happened today and this week. Examples include the number of today’s and this week’s prospects, the number of prospects you have converted into customers, recent customer reviews, etc. Lag indicators measure what happened in the past. Examples of Lag Indicators include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.

When you are looking to measure the results of your small business, there are many different methods or approaches that you can use. My preference is to use lead indicators and lag indicators. But in both cases, you want to track your results as quickly as possible. If you are using Quickbooks it is possible to have your income statement in real-time. That requires you or your accountant to enter all of your sales and expenses daily.

Here are some Key Performance Indicators to consider for your business:

#1: Determine Your Customer Satisfaction:

Measuring results is crucial with customer satisfaction. As a self-employed person, you know that the ultimate goal is to have good customer satisfaction. In fact, there are some business owners that only use customer satisfaction when they are measuring results. However, I’m not that extremist even though I believe this is a very important method.

The reality is that if a customer isn’t happy with the product or service they bought from you, they won’t buy from you again. So, how can you start measuring results?

Getting Online Reviews

One easy way is to have your customers to give you online reviews with Google, Yelp or other Social Media platforms. The rating scale is 1 to 5, with 5 being excellent and 1 being poor. You have to be pretty confident of your service or product because your rating will be posted for the world to see. The upside to doing this is if you have great reviews everyone will know it! One downside is that you may not be able to track certain aspects of your service that you may want to improve.

If you want more specifics you can use a survey with specific questions and ask for a review or feedback, or you can simply ask your customers directly. Doing this allows you to understand how certain departments in your business may be working such as reception, reservations, operations, billing, etc.

What if You Get a Bad Review?

One thing that you need to have in mind is that you won’t be able to make everyone happy. There will always be a couple of customers that won’t be happy no matter what you do. However, don’t let this affect you. Take note of their opinion and try to improve the services or products that you are selling. If the negative review is online always respond to the review with an online review and apology and an offer to remedy the situation. Finally, bury that negative review under a lot of positive reviews! Be proactive about asking for reviews; the more the better.

#2: Measuring Results With Your Financial Statements:

Measuring results with your financial statements is crucial; they tell a story. The story of your recent performance of how much you sold, how much you spent, and how much was left after doing your selling and spending.

While you may not be an accountant and don’t understand financial statements very well, you want to learn how to read them. After all, you need to make sure that you know how much money your business is making and how much it is spending.

Measuring Results Using a Cash Flow Statement, a Balance Sheet, and an Income Statement

The main documents that you really need to understand are the cash flow statement, the balance sheet, and the income statement. The cash flow statement will allow you to know how much liquid cash you have. The balance sheet is a great tool to see how much you own and how much you owe. Last but not least, the income statement will show your profits and losses in a specific period of time.

When you look at them all together, you’ll get a great perspective on how your business is.

#3: Determine The Number of Prospects That You Are Getting:

Measuring results with your prospects is crucial. You should know how many prospects you need in order to win a customer. Your marketing activities should bring you the number of prospects that you need in order to meet your sales goals. Begin to track every inquiry that you receive through phone, through email, and through social media. Find out how these prospects found out about your business so that you can measure the results that your marketing activities are bringing to you.

#4: Determine The Number Of New Customers That You Are Getting:

One of the best ways of measuring results in a small business is to look at the number of new customers that you have on average. While it is important to keep your current customers happy, it is also important to get new ones. After all, when you don’t have new customers or you have one or two new customers a month, you can say that your business is stagnant (in some industries, and depending on the products or services that you provide).

In case you have no idea about how to start measuring results in this field, you can start right now. Simply create a list with your current clients and their email addresses, for example. As you have a new client, add him to the list with the date. This way, it will be easier to know if you are increasing your average of new customers, reducing it, or if you are stagnant.

#5: Measuring Results With Your Employees:

While keeping monitoring your financials as well as your customers’ overall satisfaction, your employees’ input is also crucial. So when you’re measuring results, you can’t forget about them. After all, they are the ones work hard so that your business can reach the goals you defined.

One of the things you can do is to conduct performance reviews once or twice a year. These will allow you to see if employees are happy with their current job position, with their responsibilities, and with their payrolls as well as they allow you to determine if they are completing their tasks in an efficient way.

I also recommend reviewing all your Key Performance Indicators with your employees and getting ideas from them on how to improve your performance.

As you can see, there are a lot of alternatives to measure results. And the best thing is that you don’t have to choose one over the other. You can (and should) use as many methods as you can so that you can truly start improving your business results.

Conclusion

What measures do you use? Have you tried any that have not been helpful to you? Tell us in the comments below.