4 Great Online Marketing Ideas for Your Pet Business

pet business

Are you a pet business owner who has been relying on traditional marketing techniques for some time, but want to try using digital channels to find and attract more customers? Are you looking for online marketing tactics to grow your business and get ahead of your competition in the pet industry?

Whatever reason you have for exploring new online strategies to promote your pet business, read on below. This article will help you learn about four effective marketing ideas that can help boost your online presence, connect with your target audience, and grow your customer base.

Host an Online Giveaway Contest

One of the most effective ways to promote your business and get noticed by pet parents is by holding a contest. The contest can require netizens to perform easy tasks in exchange for the chance to win gift items. For instance, you can ask your pet business’s social media followers to like, share, or comment on specific posts to qualify for the competition. By doing so, you can increase your social media presence and improve awareness of your brand.

Make sure you build interest and get your target audience excited to participate in your contest by offering irresistible prizes, like items that will appeal most to pet lovers. Stylish pet accessories and clothes, fun pet toys, and tasty pet treats are good examples of enticing giveaways. You can also hire a pet industry influencer to promote your giveaway and help you broaden your audience reach.

Leverage Photos on Social Media

Social media accounts featuring cute images of cats, dogs, and other pets often see incredibly high organic engagement rates. People actively search for pictures of pets and share them enthusiastically with family and friends. As such, why don’t you jump on the bandwagon and regularly upload cute photos of pets to your social media accounts? This is a surefire way to boost engagement among both your existing customers and new ones who will happen upon your brand’s social media posts.

pet business

Instead of only posting explanations of your product and service offerings through words, you may also want to use the power of photography to get more attention. For instance, if you run a dog grooming business, you can upload before-and-after grooming pictures of dog clients to showcase your employees’ grooming skills. Make sure the photos are cute and eye-catching enough to attract more social media users to your brand. Don’t forget to include your contact details or a link to your website in the description to help potential clients reach you more easily.

Make Your Social Media Account Relevant

Do you want to convince your target market to follow your social media accounts and learn more about your business? The best way to do so is to make your social media content more relevant. Keep in mind that social media users subscribe to or follow certain accounts because they gain some benefits from doing so. If you keep pushing your products and services with every post you make, you will probably turn people off instead of enticing them. Even your existing customers may lose interest with this constant “hard-selling” approach.

That said, you may want to limit your promotional posts and instead focus on creating content of value for your audience. If you’re running a pet training school, try posting video demonstrations showing how dog owners can teach their furry friends basic commands such as “sit” and “roll over.” You can also share training tips, answer follower questions, and provide compelling information about pet training schools and similar topics. When you focus on addressing the needs of your target market, there is a greater chance that you’ll increase your following and build a good brand reputation.

Include a Blog on Your Official Website

Including a blog section on your website is another effective way to build a solid brand reputation, connect with potential customers, and create share-worthy materials and content. Make sure to align your topics to your product or service offerings so that you can market your business indirectly.

pet business

Let’s say you’re running a pet pharmacy. You can try blogging about first aid for pets or how to manage common pet health problems at home. These topics will help you attract pet parents who are interested in caring for their beloved animals better. At the same time, you can use these blogs as opportunities to discuss medications, supplements, medical equipment, and other products available in your store, all without coming off as too “salesy.”

Make it a point to include a brief section encouraging readers to check your company website or to patronize your store at the end of every article. More importantly, promote your blogs on all your social media accounts to boost traffic and generate interest in them.

The tips discussed above are just some of the most effective online marketing strategies you can adopt to help connect with your target audience and build a solid customer base. Try to include them in your marketing plan, and see how you can adjust and make the most of these techniques to suit your business needs, goals, and situation.

Remember, these marketing ideas are meant to complement your current business strategy and not drastically change whatever you have in place. Your pet business will benefit the most when you use a good mix of traditional and online marketing strategies. Find out what works for you, and use this knowledge to build your business’s value.

small business coach

 

7 Ways To Improve Your Content Writing Post-Google Core Update

content strategy

Google has always focused on providing its users with the best and most relevant results and content. For this, Google has introduced several updates in the past, and recently, it has raised another core update. 

A Google core update, unlike earlier releases, includes major and comprehensive modifications to the company’s search algorithm and services. While most launches go unobserved, core changes are noted because of their impact on search results. 

All you have to do to soar above the competition in the SERPs is create high-quality content. Well, that’s what Google wants from you with its core update.

Isn’t it simple? There is, however, a challenge with this. Everyone feels that their content is the greatest on the market.  

Furthermore, one of the most challenging components of SEO to describe is high-quality content. People frequently focus on not-so-crucial things, such as word count, keyword density, or formatting.

Although there is no fixed formula for writing high-quality content, here are seven core, tried, and tested ingredients for writing effective and balanced content to justify Google’s update without losing the customer-centric approach.

1. Focus On Quality, Not Quantity

When Bill Gates predicted that the internet’s future would be content-driven in the 1990s, he didn’t mean just a collection of words and sentences. He was referring to high-quality, relevant information.

It’s tempting to keep churning out stuff. Your audience, on the other hand, is looking for high-quality material that’s fascinating, valuable, and instructive. High-quality content is comprehensive, practical, helpful, educational, accurate, and the best answer for the searcher’s query.

 Potential clients become paying customers because they trust you and believe your product or service will fulfill their wants and solve their issues. A profusion of low-quality material will merely take up space, and viewers will ignore it.

High-quality postings will garner more attention, interaction, and shares, all of which should be the aims of a well-planned content strategy.

2. Have A Plan

Creating a plan may appear to be a no-brainer. However, with Google being more rigorous on content quality, having a plan before you begin writing will make your content more focused and consistent. A well-planned and executed content strategy not only increases traffic but also identifies your business and aids in the formation of strong bonds between you and your target consumers.

Begin by creating an editorial content calendar. Determine the types of material you want to distribute and the best platforms for you, then plan each frequency. You must consider providing the most satisfactory reading experience possible. 

Consider how you can provide the best reading experience possible—choosing the best mix of text, infographics, and even videos. That’s what Google will concentrate on today and tomorrow.

3. First Human-Centric Content, Then Search-Engine 

Everything you publish should aim to answer your readers’ queries.

When you try to create valuable material for your readers, they’ll show their appreciation by commenting and sharing it. That demonstrates trust. When consumers trust you, they’re far more likely to purchase from you and remain loyal to you.

The human-centered content approach relies on three critical factors: people, business, and technology. Incorporating these elements into your content marketing will generate more leads and sales than you think.

content search marketing strategy

While including keywords into content is still crucial in gaining internet visibility for your website, you need to handle them correctly. Keyword-heavy content won’t help you. Not only will your target audience see right through your advertising pitch, but search engines will be ready to penalize you. The same words don’t strike a chord with everyone. To guarantee that your message is clear, you should tweak or unscramble the words to make your sentences more effective for considering the persona you are targeting. Finding and using alternative words will also help with SEO, enabling you to broaden your keyword phrases.

It’s essential to remember that having too many B2B business personas might be detrimental to your sales team’s ability to focus on a single pitch and clear goals. Amylase your audience by analyzing their requirement, and their expectation from your company. Then you can create a buyer persona addressing your current and prospective consumers desire. This approach will help you come up with focused content that identifies and addresses the challenges faced by your potential customers.

4. Consider Creating An ICP or Buyer Persona 

When you ask marketing or sales experts to describe their consumers, they often mention their pain areas. On the other hand, understanding someone’s pain spots don’t convey the whole picture. Creating your buyer personas and ideal consumer profile (ICP) would be best. It helps you create segmented content to make the most of your written content.

A buyer persona is a set of characteristics with a potential client’s challenges, routine, position, source of research, and more.

Ideal customer profile is the template designed after analyzing your past customers and the potential target customer where your solution resolves its business challenge.  ICP is a fictional account with all the characteristics that make it an excellent fit for the solutions you offer.

ICPs and buyer personas are distinct but related concepts. You may have an ICP with a few personas for whom your marketing team develops content, and your sales team feels at ease communicating.

For example, ABC company is a B2B data provider. A business-to-business organization with a sales process and a CRM system will be its ideal customer profile. Within these organizations, typical buyer personas include salespeople and others who enable them, such as sales managers, marketing managers, sales and marketing operations, and data or analytics teams.

5. Use Topic Clusters

A topic cluster is a collection of related web pages. All the topic clusters are created around a single pillar content concept that focuses on a broad topic and is linked to multiple associated sites.

Let us define topic clusters in a more general manner.

The majority of bloggers create individual blog entries that rank for specific keywords. If you want to rank for the term best fitness apps, you’ll probably create exclusive content using “best fitness apps” as the primary keyword.

What happens when you write many blog entries on the same topic?

It simply results in your URLs competing against one another in search engine results pages (SERPs), which is generally considered duplicate content and unsuitable for your website’s SEO.

Here’s where the solution of topic clusters comes into play: you pick the broad topics you want to rank for and then write articles based on specific keywords relevant to that topic to improve your search engine visibility.

6. Use Videos in Your Articles

Videos are the best to drive engagement and trust. Most marketers believe that video is an excellent lead-generating investment. According to 86% of video marketers, video has proved efficient in generating qualified sales leads

content

Anything worth blogging about is definitely worth making a video. One way of doing it is creating and adding video tutorials when introducing any feature or functionality of your product/tool in the blog. 

Another way to use video is by creating a video summarizing the essential points of your content, then expanding on those topics in the text. This method is effective because short films receive the most significant attention, and you can publish your summary on YouTube and link to the extended version.

7. Keep An Eye On Readability

Long and information-heavy content may cause people to stop reading and click away from a website you want to promote in search results. This results in a more significant bounce rate, harming your SEO.

A readability score can approximate the degree of knowledge required for someone to comprehend a piece of writing quickly.

The importance of readability has been acknowledged by many industries, from digital marketers to medical writers. Tools like Semrush give you a readability score and ideas to improve the score to reach the ideal range.  

By assuring the readability of a piece of writing – whether it’s a patient care guide, a promotional piece for a particular brand, or a policy – you enhance the likelihood that your reader will comprehend your message.

These seven core ingredients would significantly differentiate your masterpiece from the daily flood of information. Start establishing your authority in your field, engage your audience in the issues that are important to them, and optimize your website for search engine success.

Pro Tip to Conclude

Always aspire to be the best version of yourself while writing. You don’t have to go for skyscraper content, 10X content, or whatever else the newest buzzwords advise you to go after. You need to develop material that is superior to that of your nearest competition.

Put yourself in the position of a searcher. Would a searcher be satisfied with how your post answers their inquiry, solves their problem, and adds value and utility to their life if it ranked first?

Don’t chase algorithms… or waterfalls. Or something else. The key to creating high-quality content is to write for your target audience. It is a success if your content can connect with your audience and encourage them to take action!

small business coach

4 Tips for Encouraging Employee Productivity in Your Small Business

Several factors contribute to employee productivity in a small business. One of the most important is having a clear and concise business plan that everyone understands. Employees need to know the company’s goals and how their roles contribute to achieving them.

Additionally, employees must feel employers hear their voices and value their suggestions. An environment of trust and mutual respect is also essential for fostering productivity. 

Here are some more tips on encouraging employee productivity and enhancing your small business.

Monitor remote employees

While some challenges come with managing a remote team, there are also some benefits. As more and more businesses move towards remote work, it’s becoming increasingly important to know how to monitor remote employees effectively. 

The ability to attract top talent from all around the world is one of the most significant benefits of remote work. With a remote team, you don’t have to hire employees who live in your area. Remote work gives you a much larger pool of potential candidates.

Another benefit of remote work is that it can help reduce costs for your business. You can save a lot of money without office space or equipment. Additionally, remote employees are often more productive and take fewer sick days.

To monitor those remote employees, use screen monitoring software. This software allows you to track your employees’ online activities in real-time during working hours. Screen monitoring can help ensure that employees are working on their assigned tasks and not wasting time on personal activities.

Encourage self-development at work

Encouraging self-development at work can have many benefits for both employees and employers. When workers feel that their employer is interested in helping them grow and develop their skills, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work.

Improved self-development can lead to increased productivity and creativity, as well as improved morale and job satisfaction. Employers who encourage self-development end up having a more skilled and adaptable workforce, which can be a significant asset in today’s ever-changing business landscape. 

Here are some tips to encourage self-development at work:

  • Develop a clear and concise plan for each employee outlining what you expect of them and what they need to improve.
  • Encourage employees to take on new responsibilities and challenge themselves.
  • Hold regular performance reviews and development meetings with employees to discuss their progress and goal.
  • Offer training and development opportunities to employees.
  • Provide feedback to employees on their performance.

A personal development plan for work can help your employees set and achieve goals, identify areas for improvement, and track their progress over time. You can create a more engaged, productive, and successful workforce by investing in your employees’ personal development.

small business coach

Establish clear goals and objectives

Setting clear goals and objectives is critical to improving employee productivity. Without a clear sense of what you expect, employees will likely become frustrated and less engaged in their work. By communicating expectations upfront and providing regular feedback, managers can help employees stay focused and motivated.

Employees are more likely to be productive when they feel that their efforts align with the company’s goals. Establishing clear goals and objectives is key to improving employee productivity and engagement.

Here are some tips to help you with establishing goals and objectives as a small business owner:

  • Create a written business plan that outlines your company’s goals and objectives.
  • Share your goals and objectives with your employees and ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Communicate your goals and objectives to your customers and clients.
  • Evaluate your progress regularly and make necessary adjustments to ensure that you are on the right track.

Ask and provide regular feedback

It’s crucial to provide regular feedback to ensure employee productivity. This feedback can be in the form of performance reviews, one-on-one meetings, or simply informal conversations. The goal is to be clear, concise, and honest.

employee

Providing feedback will help employees understand what they’re doing well and where they can improve. Additionally, regular feedback will help to keep employees on track and motivated.

Also, asking for feedback from time to time will help your employees be more effective. Requesting feedback will help you identify any areas where they may be struggling and help address them accordingly.

Besides, employees may have suggestions for improving productivity in the workplace. You can create a more positive and productive work environment by soliciting this knowledge from your employees.

Final thoughts 

The most productive employees in small businesses are those who feel invested in the company’s success and understand their role in achieving it. When employees feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves, they are more likely to go above and beyond to ensure the company’s success.

By creating a working environment where employees feel valued and appreciated, small businesses can produce a culture of productivity that will help them achieve their goals. Implementing the above methods can result in a noticeably more productive workforce, so there’s no excuse not to start making changes today.small business coach

Manage Time Like Money and Profit Through Time Management

Manage Time Like Money and Profit Through Time Management 

Why did you get into business for yourself? Was it to be your own boss? Choose your own hours? Have more time with the family? Spend more time doing what you love? How do you manage your time? Chances are, you answered yes to all these questions.

These days, you probably wonder where the time went. Why you spent 12 hours at work and barely make a dent in your to-do list? We already know that time is a key resource for you and your business, but it’s also a key resource in your life. Harnessing and leveraging time is the only way to enjoy life, and have a profitable business at the same time.

A few years back I was working with a client who told me that he hadn’t had a date with his wife in years! He was running a million-dollar business with ten employees but he didn’t take any time off for himself. We were able to restructure the business that made him more profitable and he was able to get regular dates with his wife.

The Pareto Principle in Business

time management

You may be familiar with the Pareto Principle; 80% of your results can be attributed to 20% of your efforts, while 20% of your results can be attributed to 80% of your efforts. As the leader of your business, you want to focus your efforts on the activities that yield the greatest results.

Most business owners carefully manage their financial and personnel resources, and pay due attention to their performance. Marketing plans and budgets are created, people are hired and fired. What most business owners don’t realize is that time – and the time of all employees – requires the same attention and diligent management.

Time will never manage itself.

Time is invaluable when you are running a business. That is why it is important to manage your time like money and profit through time management. Time will never manage itself. The decision to make a pro-active effort to manage your time must come from you. Once you have committed to taking ownership for your own time management, there are a host of tools available to you. But first, you must understand how much your time is actually worth, and where you are currently spending it.

What is Your Time Worth?

Ever wonder what your time is actually worth? Here’s a quick way to figure it out:

Target annual income A.

Working days in a year B. 235

Working hours in a day C. 7

Working hours in a year D. 1,645

A/D = YOUR HOURLY WORTH (before tax + expenses) E.

This is a very simple calculation intended to put your time in perspective. In reality, no one is productive for each of the 1,645 hours. Various studies have put actual productivity at anywhere between 25 minutes and four hours per day. Either way, there’s a lot of room for improvement.

How Many Days Do You Have Left on Earth?

Let’s look at it another way:

Your age A.

Days in a year B.

Days spent on earth to date (A x B) C.

Average life expectancy D. 70

Total projected days on earth (D x B) E.

Estimated days left (E – C) F.

This exercise isn’t intended to scare you, but bring your attention to the importance of choosing how you spend each hour you have available. It is a choice! By developing the skills required to manage your time, you will not only have a profitable business but rewarding and balanced life

Pro-Tip: Grab 30 minutes on my calendar to ask any questions you have about small business coaching. I’ve been a business coach (and business broker) for over 20 years. I also have a business coach of my own, so I know what successful coaching looks like on both sides of the table.
~ Alan Melton, Small Business Coach Associates

The Five Culprits of Time Theft

Chances are – if you’re like most people – you have no idea where your time goes. You’re likely frustrated by the fact that you can spend 10, 12, even 14 hours a day working, and not make a dent in your to-do list, or only bill half of those hours.

When we’re too busy and overloaded with work, we often switch into reactive mode. We can’t make it to the bottom of the pile and end up handling issues and making decisions at the last minute. One of the great benefits of choosing to become proactive in time management is that you can become proactive in all other areas of your business. When in a proactive mode, you can take steps to grow your business through networking, building programs, and establishing systems.

Before you investigate where your time goes, let’s take a look at the top five culprits of modern-day time theft:

1. Time Management and Your Email

Make profit through time management and managing your email. How many times a day do you check your email? Is Outlook or Mail constantly running on your desktop? Email – internal, external, personal and business – clogs up your day like no other communication channel. For many of us, it is possible to spend the entire day writing and responding to emails without even glancing at our inbox. The number of emails sent and received each day by the average person in 2007 was 147. Multiply that by an average of two minutes per message, and you have spent almost five hours on email in a single day.

2. Time Management and Your Mobile Phone

Cell phones have created convenience, security, and the luxury of telecommuting. PDAs and cell phones have also created a society that expects to be able to reach you at any moment or at least receive instant responses to their calls. Your cell phone or PDA not only robs you of your time during the day but also during the evenings and on weekends when you are not at work.

3. Time Management and Your Open Door Policy

If you make it easy for your staff and associates to interrupt you, they will. Too often, open-door policies are set up by human resource departments to create clear communication channels. Instead, they create a clog of employees lined up at your door seeking immediate answers to non-emergent issues.

4. Time Management in Meetings

You can profit through time management if we also manage our meetings well. How many times have you been to a meeting that was scheduled to be an hour, and ended up lasting three? How often do you attend unnecessary meetings? Or meetings that run off-topic? Meetings can be a huge source of wasted time – your valuable time that is why it is important to manage your time. In a senior management or ownership position, your day may consist of back-to-back meetings, leaving only your evening hours to complete the tasks that should have been done during the day.

5. Time Management: YOU!

Every person has daily habits that sabotage their ability to work productively and efficiently. Many entrepreneurs and business owners can’t separate business hours from leisure hours. Some get caught in a time warp while surfing the internet. Others – mainly overachievers – can become paralyzed by perfectionism or procrastination. Mainly we just don’t have the tools to schedule and structure our time in a way that fits with our working style.

Where Does Your Time Go?

So far we’ve seen that time is a resource that should be as carefully managed as cash, we’ve figured out what your time is worth, and looked at the top five culprits of time theft. You’ve committed to taking steps to become a better time manager. What now?

time management

Personal Time Management Research Exercise

The next step is to take a good, (and honest!) look at how you spend your time. Once you understand your patterns and habits, you begin to implement the strategies in this chapter that will make you manage your time better.

Step One: Time Audit

Use the Time Log Worksheet at the back of this chapter to record how you spend your time for three working days in a row. Be honest, and be specific. Include time spent in transit, surfing the web, interacting with clients and colleagues, as well as how your time is spent at home in the evenings. The more information you can record, the easier it will be to analyze your time management skills in step two.

Step Two: Time Categorization

Once you have recorded your time for three days, sit down with all three sheets in front of you and identify the following using different colored markers or highlighters:

  • Driving, public transportation or other travel
  • Eating, including food preparation
  • Personal Errands
  • Exercise
  • Watching TV
  • Sleeping, including naps
  • Using the computer, personal use only
  • Being with family/friends
  • Emailing, including checking, reading, and returning messages
  • Talking on the phone, including checking and returning messages
  • Internal meetings
  • External meetings
  • Administrative work
  • Client work
  • Non-client, non-administrative work

Step Three: Time Analysis

Now that you have identified how you have spent your time, go through the worksheets one more time and identify if you have spent enough, too much, or too little time on each main task.

Then, based on your observations, answer the following questions: Download the Template Here

  1. What patterns do you notice about how you spend your time during the day? (i.e., When are you most productive? Least productive? Most or least interrupted?)

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Write down the four highest priorities in your life right now. Does your timesheet reflect these priorities?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. If you had more time, what would you do?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. If you had less time, what wouldn’t you do?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Could you remove the items in question four and add the items in question three? Why or why not?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Is procrastination a problem for you? How much?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Strategies for Profitable Time Management

There are many ways to curb time theft and refine your time management ability for you to manage your time well. Through a solid understanding of how you currently spend – and waste – time, you can determine which strategies you need to implement to correct unproductive behavior.

Here are 17 ways you can turn less of your time into more money:

1. Set Clear Priorities

The foundation of time management is a clear understanding of what your time is best spent on. Once you accept that you can’t do everything, you need to decide what needs to be completed now, what can be completed later, and what someone else can complete in this way you can manage your time effectively. Each to-do list you create should be put through this filter, and reorganized so the highest priority items are on top, and the lowest priority items are less visible, or on the bottom.

Once you have established your priorities – which will also naturally reflect the priorities and goals of your business – stick to them. Just because someone else feels something is of a high priority doesn’t mean it holds the same status next to your other tasks.

Prioritization is also helpful in your personal life and leisure time. Your spare time is precious – so make sure are clear on how you would like to spend it.

2. Use Your Skills – Delegate Your Weaknesses

As a business owner, your day naturally consists of tasks you dislike doing. Some are essential – signing checks, reviewing financial statements, and other business maintenance – while others are simply not within your skill set.

If you are a strong public speaker but struggle with report writing – delegate to a copywriter or editor. If you own a retail store and have no experience in design – outsource your signage. These freelance professionals often cost half as much as you and take half as long to complete the task. It is a great idea, especially if you struggle with time management. Your time is saved for tasks that use and strengthen your skills effectively, your stress is managed, and ultimately a better product is produced. Delegating your weaknesses or tasks that can be delegated to your team is one of the best strategies for you to manage your time effectively.

3. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

As a small business owner, the only way you will ever get everything done is by delegating. Delegation is a vital skill that needs to be refined and practiced, and once mastered is the key to profitable time management.

time management

Too often, owners and managers believe that it will be “faster” or “more efficient” to complete the task themselves than to train and monitor someone else. Other times, there are no internal resources to download assignments.

As a result, the following trends can be seen in many small companies:

  • Owners and senior staff are stressed and overworked, while junior staff is underutilized and under capacity.
  • Staff members are not given an opportunity to grow and develop in their roles and may perceive a lack of trust or confidence in their ability. The company loses good people.
  • Owners and senior staff are always in a reactive state, instead of a visionary or proactive state.
  • Delegation happens at the very last minute, and junior staff has little understanding of either the overall project or expectations for the task.

The easiest way to fix this problem is before it starts. Create a solid team of staff members around you who are well-trained and prepared to support the business. Attract and retain qualified and quality people who can be cross-trained and promoted within the company. Ensure that communication flows throughout the business, so everyone has the product and service knowledge to step in and assist when necessary.

4. Learn to Say “No”

It’s easy to fall into the habit of saying yes to everything. You are, after all the business owner, right? No one can complete these tasks as well as you, right? You’ll lose that customer if you don’t help them with their garage sale, right?

Wrong. The most successful business owners have a keen understanding of time management and delegate the remaining responsibilities to trusted others. It’s too easy to say yes to every request in the moment, and later feel overwhelmed when it’s added to your to-do list. You may not ruffle any feathers, but what toll does it take on your stress level? Your workload? Your time is valuable – so manage your time well and protect it!

Remember that if it is too challenging to say no immediately, you can always request some time to think about it. This way, you can evaluate your workload and realistically decide whether or not you can take on a new project. Then, stand by your decision, or assist in bringing in the necessary resources to get it done. 

5. Create (and keep!) a Strict Schedule

While multi-tasking is a desirable skill, it is also often a time thief. Attempting to do too many things at one time ensures that nothing gets done. As a business owner, you need to be able to focus and concentrate on essential projects without interruptions.

The only way to do this is to commit to a strict schedule. Once you understand your work style and concentration patterns, you can allocate periods of the day to specific tasks. This includes personal and leisure time – schedule it, and stick to it.

Doing a time management by creating a schedule time for list-creation + prioritization, email messages, telephone messages, internal meetings, client meetings, meeting preparation, “me-time”, family time, recreation + fitness, daily business tasks, and blocks for focused work.

Remember that there is a training period involved in beginning a new routine – for yourself and those around you. Use your voicemail, out-of-office email message, and a closed-door to begin to let people know when you will not be disturbed.

6. Make Decisions

The choice to not make a decision is a decision in itself. The most successful business owners have the ability to make good decisions quickly and efficiently and do not waste time deliberating over simple choices.

In leadership positions, often people are afraid of making the wrong decision or looking foolish if they make a mistake in front of junior staff. What they don’t realize, is that hesitating or avoiding decision-making impacts their leadership just as much or more than making the wrong decision. Not only can being indecisive be personally stressful, but it is also stressful for those around you whose tasks are waiting on your choices.

Remember, you must make the best decision with the information you have, in the time frame you have to make the decision. No one expects you to be a fortune teller – be decisive, make some mistakes, and learn from them.

7. Manage Telephone Interruptions

This is a huge source of time theft that can easily be managed and avoided. If you are available to take phone calls at any time of day, you are setting yourself up to take work home in the evenings. The phone will always ring when you are focused on an important task, and this is something that can easily be avoided.

Figure out when you are most productive. Is it in the morning or the afternoon? Before, during, or after lunch? Once you have identified this time period, set your phone on “do not disturb” or have your calls directed to voicemail. If you do not have a receptionist, a variety of automatic answering systems are available for a nominal fee. To structure your phone time further, let callers know on your voicemail what specific time of day is best to reach you via phone. Then, set that time aside to receive and return phone calls.

8. Keep Your Work Environment Organized

Have you ever tried to make dinner in a messy kitchen? More of your time is spent looking for (and cleaning) dishes and tools than actually spent cooking the meal.

The same goes for your work environment. If your desk and office is in a constant state of chaos, then your mind will be too. In fact, some studies have revealed that the average senior business leader spends nearly four weeks each year navigating through messy or cluttered desks, looking for lost information. Does that sound like a productive time for you?

Once you make the initial clean sweep, it’s easy to maintain order in the chaos:

  • Tidy your desk at the beginning and end of each day. Attach pertinent documents to your to-do list, or have clear and organized folders for loose papers.
  • Organize your supplies drawer so you have easy access to stationery like pens, post-it notes, staplers, and highlighters. Every minute counts!
  • Only have the documents and files you are working on, on your desk. The rest should be neatly filed on a side table for later retrieval.
  • Keep personal items (like photos or memorabilia) out of your primary line of vision. These can be distracting and encourage daydreaming.

time management

As for your office or store, there are many ways to make its layout more conducive to effective time management. Try:

  • Minimizing the distance between the reception desk and electronics like photocopies and fax machines.
  • Keep a clear line of sight between your office and the most productive area of your business, so you are aware of what is happening amongst your staff.
  • Organize shelves and filing cabinets so files are not only easily accessed, but out of sight when not being used. Consider putting sliding doors or cabinets in storage areas, and remember that the floor is not a storage cabinet.

9. Keep Your Filing System Organized

If your data isn’t organized properly, you will waste hundreds of hours searching for documents you need on a regular basis. This includes both electronic and hard copy files; they need to be organized and up-to-date.

Customer databases and inquiry records are worth their weight in gold. You can’t afford to get behind when updating this information, or poorly store it for later retrieval. There are many easy to use software programs that will manage and organize customer databases for you; it doesn’t need to be a time consuming or tedious exercise.

A simple way to manage information is to keep it in short, medium, and long term files for both hard and electronic copies. Create shortcuts on your desktop for folders or files you constantly access. Have short-term files available on your desk, medium-term files available within an arm’s reach, and long-term files stored in cabinets.

10. Clearly Communicate – Never Assume

One of the biggest issues for time management in business – and likely the world – is miscommunication. This is a dangerous issue that can cripple any business, including yours. Establishing and enforcing clear policies on things like accurate note-taking, task assignments, and phone messages will ensure your staff understands the importance of clear and accurate communication.

The easiest habit to start to curb miscommunication is simple: write everything down. Carry a notepad, and jot down key points, figures, agreements, and deadlines. Don’t assume you’ll remember later – you have at least a hundred other things to remember.

Some other simple strategies are:

  • Return all communication promptly, including email, letters, faxes and phone calls
  • Repeat back phone messages, phone numbers, and other figures to confirm you recorded the information correctly.
  • Record appointments in your PDA or agenda the moment you make them. Otherwise, you will forget.
  • Double-check and confirm everything – addresses, phone numbers, meeting locations and times.
  • Maintain accurate customer contact logs with dates, times, and phone numbers.
  • Post checklists in your store or office for routine operations procedures.
  • Announce any changes to the policies and procedures manual immediately.

11. Stop Duplicating Efforts

This is a key element of time management that is closely related to effective communication. Studies have continually shown that many businesses often duplicate and triplicate efforts that need only be completed once.

When you have clear systems and procedures in place, your staff will not need to “reinvent the wheel” each time the task needs to be completed. Meeting minutes and individual task assignments will ensure everyone is on the same page and understands their personal responsibilities.

Simple examples of this include re-reading your to-do list each hour to determine what the next important item is. If your list is already structured by priority, this is a needless task. If two staff members are working on similar projects, but unaware of the other, the work will not only be inconsistent, but the efforts will be duplicated. These are easy problems to fix, once they have been identified and communicated.

12. Say Goodbye to Procrastination + Perfectionism

If you want to manage your time effectively, then, procrastination is something you need to get rid of. We all face procastination at one time or another – and likely have since our school days. However, given the pace that the world operates at today, you will only fall behind your competitor if you allow procrastination to rule your day. So how you do avoid it? It’s simple. Stop, and just get started, no matter how boring, tedious, or painful the project may be. Reward yourself by crossing each step off your to-do list.

Many small business owners also fall victim to perfectionism, which can be paralyzing. The fear that there isn’t enough time or resources to “get it perfect” will sometimes stop you dead in your tracks. Perfectionism can also hinder your ability to delegate and say no to tasks you believe no one else can complete “better”. Do the best you can with the time and resources you have – and just get started.

13. Avoid Needless, Impromptu + Unstructured Meetings

This may seem like a time theft issue that is out of your control, but it’s not. You are in control of your own time and able to manage your time, and through strict scheduling can establish a structure for internal and external meetings that everyone around you can work within.

Minimize impromptu internal meetings by letting your staff know when you’re available for a “quick chat” and when you are not. If it is important, ask them to schedule a time to meet with you that works with both of your schedules. This not only saves you time, but encourages staff to find solutions to their own issues, and only approach you with more urgent or challenging matters.

You can’t avoid having meetings, but you can avoid having unstructured meetings. Ask for or create an agenda for each meeting you attend, with a clear objective and an amount of time allocated to each item. This will keep your meetings focused and on task. If a meeting does run late, give yourself a reasonable buffer, and politely leave for your next appointment. You can always follow up with a colleague to catch-up on the pertinent items you may have missed.

14. Establish Clear Policies + Procedures

A clear policy and procedures manual is like a marketing or business plan – it takes time to create, but ultimately saves everyone in your company time, money, and effort. A step-by-step guide to “the way we do things here” is an invaluable resource for your existing and new staff, and provides clear expectations for how you like things done.

Too many businesses make up policies and procedures on the fly – creating dangerous scenarios where mistakes are made and expectations are not clear. Some items that should be included in a comprehensive policy and procedures manual include:

  • Recruitment
  • Customer relations
  • Customer inquiries
  • Customer complaints
  • Returns
  • Exchanges
  • Late Payments
  • Salary structure
  • Bonus structure
  • Employee review
  • Theft
  • Harassment

15. Keep the Right Set of Tools

The equipment your business needs to operate (and grow!) effectively should always be on hand, or easily contracted out. This is specific to each company, and closely related to costs – including the cost of your time.

Whether you are a high-tech business or local retailer, knowledge of the latest advancements in technology will increase your efficiency. It will help you stay on top of the competitor, maintain your position as an expert, and perhaps provide an easier way of getting things done.

Always ask yourself if these purchases are essential to your business –could you perhaps make these purchases from a second-hand dealer to minimize cost? Is it more cost-effective to outsource or sub-contract the tasks to someone with access to this equipment, or to buy the equipment yourself?

If your business relies on tools and technology for daily tasks (such as the trade profession) then obtaining the best quality you can afford is crucial.

16. Maintain Your Equipment

This may seem obvious, but you’ll understand the importance of your network server has ever crashed, or point of sale system has malfunctioned. Your business can be slowed to a stand-still if your equipment is not in good working order. Of course, there are instances that can’t be predicted, but regular maintenance of your essential equipment will reduce these occurrences and help to anticipate when old equipment needs to be repaired or replaced.

Personal Time Management Strategy

Choose one from the top five tips that you think will help you the most, given your personal time management study. This time management study will help you finish all your important tasks and appointments on time.  Write them below, with three corresponding actions that you will start tomorrow.  For example, if you are going to set a strict schedule, three actions might be to establish the schedule, communicate it to your staff, and re-record your voicemail message. Download the Template Here

1.

a._______________________________________________________
b._______________________________________________________
c._______________________________________________________

2.

a._______________________________________________________
b._______________________________________________________
c._______________________________________________________

3.

a._______________________________________________________
b._______________________________________________________
c._______________________________________________________

4.

a._______________________________________________________
b._______________________________________________________
c._______________________________________________________

5.

a._______________________________________________________
b._______________________________________________________
c._______________________________________________________

Timesheet | Day Three Download the Template Here 

Timeslot Activities More/Less/Enough time?
7:30 – 8:00
8:00 – 8:30
8:30 – 9:00
9:00 – 9:30
10:00 – 10:30
10:30 – 11:00
11:00 – 11:30
11:00 – 11:30
11:30 – 12:00
12:00 – 12:30
12:30 – 1:00
1:00 – 1:30
1:30 – 2:00
2:00 – 2:30
2:30 – 3:00
3:00 – 3:30
3:30 – 4:00
4:00 – 4:30
4:30 – 5:00
5:00 – 5:30
5:30 – 6:00
6:00 – 10:00

(Evening)

Daily To-Do List | Business Download the Template Here

Task Priority (1-10) Deadline Delegation?

Weekly To-Do List | Personal (Family, Leisure, etc.) Download the Template Here

Task Priority (1-10) Deadline Delegation?

There you have it, then. I hope this post will help you manage your time so you can attain the results you were hoping for.

Do you need help taking action on all this information? Then book a free call with one of our small business coaches today.

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Key Principles Of Instructional Design

instructional design

Excellent digital training is the outcome of a structured, methodical development cycle; it does not simply occur by accident. Being a specialist in a given field is insufficient to build an eLearning program. Apart from being a specialist, you must be familiar with instructional design principles. The Principles of Instruction by Robert Gagné will be discussed in more detail in this article. 

Here we not just discuss the principles but also the terms related to the instructional design process. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Instructional Design

Instructional design is the scientific development of instructional resources that assure quality in educational training, by making use of learning theories. It encompasses the complete process of analyzing learning objectives and needs to build an educational system that will satisfy those demands. Moreover, it encompasses learning resources and activities, as well as testing and assessment of all training methods and learner activities.

The production of learning materials can be summed up as the goal and foundation of instructional design. However, this process goes beyond merely producing instructional materials. It also pays close attention to employee experience and what tools and strategies would enable them to attain their learning objectives. The concepts of instructional design primarily take into account how learning resources should be designed, developed, and distributed.

Terms Related To Instructional Design

Learning Experience (LX)

In the field of instructional design, the phrase “learning experience design” (LXD) is still relatively new. LXD is the method of developing learning opportunities in a person-centered and purpose-oriented manner that enables the employees to attain the targeted learning goals.

LXD primarily concentrates on the individual who will undergo the training. What needs do they have? What are they aiming for? What obstacles stand in their path? These questions are the focus of this process.

While User Experience (UX) and Instructional Design are equally important components of a holistic approach, Learning Experience (LX) is mainly concerned with satisfying the needs of a learner. 

Educational Technology (EdTech)

Education technology or EdTech makes use of IT tools to improve learning and enrich training. The broad category of EdTech includes learning management systems, instructional podcasts, video conferencing technology, and social networking learning tools.

Education technology was not what it is now over twenty years ago. The dynamic between learners and instructors has fundamentally shifted due to its quick development. It provides training and instruction to learners through the use of computers, software programs, and educational networks. 

EdTech streamlines complicated work and adds interest to routine chores. Instructors no longer need to personally grade a large number of test papers, register new users, or tediously organize assignments through several methods. Through the use of computerized grading systems, EdTech handles these and numerous other responsibilities.

Key Principles Of Instructional Design

Grab Attention (Reception)

Making a conscious effort to guarantee receptivity in learning is necessary to hold attention. The employee’s participation level can be predicted by this first-impression method. For example, getting someone’s attention piques their interest and creates expectations in their minds.

Your program should begin with an introduction or exercise that causes the learner to put aside other activities and concentrate on the information you want them to consume. The most typical strategies for drawing attention at the start of training are:

  • Discuss a surprising fact or information
  • Make interesting inquiries
  • Provide a training exercise that engages the participants

Tell Learners About The Objectives (Retrieval)

The course objectives are communicated to the learners as part of an instructional approach that essentially engages them in the process of learning. It would be easier for the employees to concentrate on their learning efforts and arrange their ideas if you let them know what they will be able to do after participating. Employees are better able to determine whether they are learning something successfully if they comprehend what you need them to learn.

You can use a PowerPoint to provide a listing of the aims for a program that is taken online. It is important to explain the necessary performance, provide the expected level of achievement, and define what a successful conclusion would be for each target.

instructional design

Recollection Of Previous Learning (Expectancy)

When designing a successful eLearning program, you simply cannot ignore this principle. When working on Instructional Design, one may ask themselves, “what would be the most effective method for conveying this information in a way that is engaging and easy?” before learning about this principle. 

This mentality creates room for original thought. Following the learning goals and desirable results, you can use narration, branching situations, role-plays, gamification, and dynamic films. To prevent cognitive overload, keep in mind to break up knowledge into manageable pieces. 

Connect your material to what your audience already knows or can do. They will be able to approach the new content with confidence. You can include a brief recap of facts or ideas that employees have already learned to reinforce their understanding or have them take a test to see how much they remember.

Give Out New Information (Selective Perception)

This is where you impart fresh information, expertise, and abilities to your learners. Incorporate pertinent photos, infographics, charts, and illustrations in your program to assist the learner in the picture and comprehend each subject rather than relying just on words to communicate ideas. 

Distribute and arrange your material in a manner that enables learners to take in new material without becoming overburdened.

Give Guidance Concerning Learning (Semantic Encoding)

Support your learners by offering advice on how to master the skill. Cite some examples or mentoring tips for learning material, and direct learners to the best resources available.

By including research papers, graphics, user guides, mind mapping, and other learning items in your educational program, you may improve the learning outcomes for your workforce.

instructional design

Assess Performance (Responsiveness)

Your learner should be able to exhibit or express the skills or information they have acquired from your training course at this stage of the process. Include interactive components that demand the learner to apply what they have learned. This idea helps learners reflect on the material they have consumed. 

Be aware that the focus of feedback regarding the correct or incorrect answer should be on enhancing learning. Use word puzzles, drag-and-drop exercises, story tasks, training games, and flashcards to make your evaluations interactive and interesting. Based on the educational goals, you might decide to give your learners another chance to take the test.

Offer Feedback (Reinforcement)

It is essential to provide learners with detailed and insightful feedback on how they’re doing. Effective feedback will present viewpoints that will affect training presumptions. Do not however limit the headers of the feedback to right and wrong. To enhance their learning process, try employing more descriptors that are pertinent to or specially tailored to the course or module’s content. 

After a learner exhibits new knowledge or abilities, give them feedback right away. What he is doing well will be reinforced by positive feedback. The learner will be assisted in identifying and correcting any faults in abilities or knowledge by kind and constructive criticism.

Conclusion

We hope that this article helped you learn about the major principles of instructional design. Engage your learners throughout the program to carry out an excellent eLearning assignment. Be adaptable, make things straightforward, and consider design from the perspective of your learners. Above everything, adopt an instructional approach that assumes that learning must happen. All this is possible with an effective instructional design. 

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7 Tips For Growing Your Company Online As New Business Owner

new business

Growing a company online can be challenging, especially when starting as a new business owner. There are so many things to consider, from building the company, website design and SEO to social media marketing and email marketing, that it can be hard to know where to start.

Over the past few years, the online business landscape has changed dramatically. What used to work a few years ago – no longer does, and new strategies are constantly emerging. New services and technologies are making starting and growing a business online easier and more affordable than ever.

If you’re new to the business and looking to take your company online, here are seven tips to help you get started:

new business

1. Take your product shipping to the next level

Long gone are days when customers were happy to wait weeks for their product shipment. In the era of Amazon Prime and other two-day shipping options, customers expect to receive their orders quickly and are willing to pay for them.

 

If you want to stay competitive, consider offering expedited shipping options for your customers. You can use already existing services to automate your shipping process and get discounts on shipping rates. Companies like Rakuten Super Logistics offer e-commerce shipping software that can help you save time and money on shipping. Check out their website to learn more about all the options that can help expedite your shipping process.

2. Use data to your advantage

 

Data is one of the most valuable tools at your disposal when growing a company online. By tracking your website’s analytics, you can see which marketing strategies are working and which need to be tweaked. Google Analytics is a free tool that every online business should be using.

In addition to website analytics, tracking customer data is essential. This includes customer purchase history, email engagement, and social media interactions. Knowing exactly who your customers are and what they’re interested in will help you better target your marketing efforts.

Data is the new king when it comes to online business growth. In recent years, data-driven marketing has become one of the most effective tools for driving online growth.

 

3. Invest in SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is still one of the most important aspects of online business growth. It’s what helps you get found by potential customers when they’re searching for products or services like yours.

Many factors go into SEO, from on-page elements like keyword optimization to off-page aspects like link building. It can be quite a lot to take in and keep track of, but it’s worth investing time and resources into SEO. The better your content ranks in relevant search results, the more likely you are to get found by potential customers.

SEO is an ongoing process, so it’s crucial to invest in it regularly. As your business grows, you may need to hire an SEO specialist, agency, or SEO company in Melbourne to help you keep up with all of the upcoming changes and trends.small business coach

4. Get active on social media

Social media is becoming a more and more powerful tool for growing a company online. It allows you to connect with potential and current customers, build relationships, and create brand awareness.

Regarding social media marketing, it’s important to have a strategy. You need to know which platforms your target audience uses and what kind of content they’re interested in. Once you have all that data, you can create content that will appeal to them and engage them with your brand.

In the era of influencers and social media marketing, it’s crucial to consider working with people who can help promote your brand on social media. They have a large following of engaged users interested in what they have to say.

5. Create compelling content

Content is still one of the essential tools for driving online growth. To get found by potential customers, you need to create content that is relevant and interesting to them. This could include blog posts, infographics, eBooks, or even videos.

Creating compelling content isn’t always easy, but it’s worth investing the time and resources into doing it right. Once you have a library of high-quality content, you can use it to drive traffic to your website and generate leads.

Good content marketing is an integral part of any online marketing strategy. If you’re not creating compelling content, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to reach and engage potential customers.

new business

6. Invest in paid advertising

Paid advertising is still a great way to reach potential customers who are already interested in your offer. It allows you to precisely get your ads to specific audiences and even track how effectively they drive website traffic and generate leads.

There are a lot of different paid advertising platforms out there, from Google AdWords to Facebook Ads. It’s important to experiment with different types of ads and see which ones work best for your business.

Paid advertising can be expensive, so tracking your results and ensuring you’re getting a good return on investment is crucial. If done efficiently, paid advertising can be a great help to jumpstart your online growth.

7. Analyze and test your results

It’s important to often analyze your website traffic and conversion data to see what’s working and what’s not. This will help you fine-tune and tweak your marketing strategy and ensure you’re making the most of your efforts.

There are a lot of different online marketing tools out there that can help you track your website traffic and conversions. Google Analytics is an irreplaceable tool that provides detailed information about your website visitors. You can use this information to see where they’re coming from, what they’re interested in, and how they interact with your website.

Testing is also an essential part of online growth. You can use A/B testing to test different elements of your website, from the headline of your landing page to the color of your call-to-action button. By testing different variants, you can see which ones are more effective at driving conversions.

The world of online marketing is still growing and constantly changing. It’s essential to stay up-to-date on the latest trends to adapt your strategy and stay ahead of the competition. Following these tips can create a solid foundation for online growth. It may seem hard at the start, but with a little effort and dedication, you can get to your target audience and achieve your marketing goals.

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How Automation Can Actually Improve Customer Experience

automation

There is no doubt that automation is changing workplaces as we know it. It is simplifying workflows, reducing employee time spent on mundane tasks, lowering costs, and boosting efficiency in general.

Even though it is only in its relative infancy, it has already left its mark on the business world, and will only become more usable over time. But in addition to being great for businesses, automation also has the potential to help customers, as well.

For example, using the right digital customer experience management platform can help not only your business but also build better relationships with customers. But how else can automation benefit those who keep your business afloat?

With that in mind, this article is going to go over a few different ways that automation can actually improve the customer service that your business provides.

Allow for Better Communication

One of the biggest ways that customer service can be improved by automation is by allowing for better communication. Communication is at the heart of any relationship with your customer, so it needs to be top-notch. If you communicate poorly or ineffectively, many customers will go elsewhere, even if your products are great.

The main way that automation can improve communication is thanks to chatbots. Chatbots can make a customer service agent’s job much easier, while still providing customers with satisfactory information and responses. They are essentially robotic customer service agents, and they are getting quite robust with what they can do.

Sure, some customers will still need assistance from an actual person which can take longer, but the ability for many people to get their questions dealt with quicker is a real win and will help drastically improve their experience.

Improve Customer Feedback

Another way that automation can improve customer experience is by making it easier than ever for customers to deliver feedback effectively. Whether it is a form that is emailed to a customer or a popup that comes up on their screen, automating your customer feedback process is a good idea.

It ensures you ask them to rate their experience when it is still fresh in their mind, and not hours or days later once they have moved on. Trying to manually gain feedback can also be difficult, and not as simple or quick as sending out requests automatically.

Not only are many customers happy to give feedback, and love it when it leads to changes, but feedback is also very important to businesses. It allows you to learn exactly what your customers like and dislike and can help you make the right business-related decisions.

For best results when it comes to gaining feedback, you want to ensure the forms you provide are as simple as possible. If you ask a ton of questions, many people will simply click away before finishing or submitting their feedback.

automation

Provide a More Personalized Experience

The importance of personalization cannot be ignored, as companies who excel at customizing and personalizing their experiences often find more success and make more sales than those who don’t.

Automation can often help create more relevant targeted ads, make the right product recommendations, send the right deals and discounts, and so much more. People love to feel like a company is reaching out and speaking or selling to them directly, as opposed to feeling like just another customer.

You can also use automation and things like artificial intelligence to personalize your interactions with customers and build a relationship over time. All in all, your business should be finding ways to strengthen bonds with your customers at every turn, and personalization is a great way to do just that.

Vastly Improved Resolution of Issues

A big part of customer support is dealing with customer problems. Many people will never reach out to a company directly unless they either have a question or have an issue that they need to get fixed.

Resolving conflicts quickly is often what customers want most when reaching out, so being able to deal with one quickly and effectively can provide a major boost to customer experience. Unfortunately, manual conflict resolution can be challenging.

Many departments may not have instant access to the information they need, which creates a potentially long wait for customers. The knowledge of every agent is also different, so who a customer connects to can often have an impact on how well their issue is dealt with.

By automatically building a knowledge base that is always full of up-to-date and accurate information from all departments, you can ensure every interaction is great and doesn’t rely on the exact knowledge or skills of that particular agent who is in the call or chat. This will stop people from needing to be transferred from department to department, and the entire ordeal will likely be resolved faster than ever.

Offers a More Consistent and Predictable Experience

One thing many people love from a company they work with or purchase from is consistency. Many of us love a predictable and consistent experience so we always know what we are getting and are never surprised or let down. If every time you reach out to a company your experience is different, it can be a little jarring, especially if one or more interactions are bad.

If you can ensure that everyone reaching out to your business has a good experience, every time, it can work wonders for your reputation and help create much more loyal customers. In many cases, all it takes is one bad interaction to ruin dozens of good ones, so be careful.

The way automation can help with this is by sending canned responses to popular questions or queries, and even by helping you come up with these responses by using data and analysis. This means every customer support agent will be able to provide a similar experience to customers who reach out to them.

In conclusion, we hope this blog post has been able to help you see how automation can improve the customer experience within your business or online store.

 

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Here’s How To Start An Online Store In 6 Simple Steps

online store

Are you looking to start an online store? If so, you’re in luck! In this blog post, we will walk you through the 6 simple steps that you need to follow to get your business up and running. It’s important to remember that starting an online store is not a quick or easy process – it takes hard work and dedication. But if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can succeed! Let’s get started.

1. Choose your niche

The first step is to choose the niche that you want to focus on. This is an important decision, as it will determine what kind of products you’ll be selling and who your target market is. Take some time to think about what you’re passionate about and what kinds of products you would like to sell. Once you’ve narrowed it down, you can start researching your niche further to see if there’s a demand for the products that you want to sell. The storefront that you create should ideally be appealing to your target market. If you’re not sure what niche you want to focus on, that’s okay! You can always start by selling products that you’re passionate about and then branching out from there. The important thing is to just get started and not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. It’s also worth noting that you can always change your niche later on if you find that it’s not working out for you.

2. Research your competition

After you’ve chosen your niche, it’s time to do some research on your competition. This will help you understand the market and see what kind of products are already being sold. It’s important to find a niche that isn’t too saturated, as this will make it harder for you to succeed. Take a look at the other online stores in your chosen niche and see what they’re doing well and what could be improved. This will give you some ideas on how you can make your store more successful. Another important part of research is understanding your target market. This includes figuring out who your ideal customer is and what their needs are. Once you know this, you’ll be able to create a marketing strategy that resonates with them. For example, if you’re selling products for mothers, your target market might be women who are looking for quality items at a good price.

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3. Choose a platform for your store

Now that you know what you want to sell and who your target market is, it’s time to choose a platform for your store. There are many different eCommerce platforms out there, so it’s important to do your research and find one that’s right for you. Some factors that you should consider include the cost of the platform, the features that it offers, and how easy it is to use. Once you’ve selected a platform, you’ll need to set up your store. This includes adding products, creating categories, and setting up payment methods. The good news is that most platforms come with tutorials or support teams that can help you through this process. Also, be sure to take advantage of any free trials that are offered so that you can test out the platform before you commit to it. Bear in mind that as you set up your online store, consider the significance of reliable internet connectivity, especially if you want to switch to fiber internet. Seamless internet access is essential for managing your eCommerce platform efficiently and ensuring uninterrupted communication with customers and suppliers. Prioritize a stable internet connection to optimize your online store’s performance and enhance your overall business operations.

4. Create high-quality product listings

The next step is to create high-quality product listings for your store. This includes writing compelling descriptions, adding beautiful photos, and providing helpful information about your products. Your goal should be to make your listings as informative and appealing as possible. Remember, you’re competing with other stores in your niche, so it’s important to make sure that your listings stand out. You can also use this opportunity to build up your brand identity. For example, if you’re selling eco-friendly products, you might want to use green colors and natural fonts in your listings. This will help people identify your store more easily and remember it for future purchases. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available online that can help you with this step.

online store

5. Set up shipping and delivery

The next step is to set up shipping and delivery for your store. This includes figuring out how you’re going to get your products to your customers and how much you’re going to charge for shipping. There are many different shipping options available, so it’s important to do your research and find one that’s right for you. You should also consider offering free shipping or delivery for orders over a certain amount. This can help increase sales and encourage people to shop with you again in the future. Once you’ve figured out your shipping strategy, you’ll need to set up the delivery process. This includes creating labels, packing boxes, and arranging for pickups. Also, be sure to keep track of your inventory so that you can restock your products as needed. It’s a good idea to set up a system for this so that you can stay organized and efficient.

6. Promote your store

The final step is to promote your store and start attracting customers. There are many different ways to do this, but some of the most effective include social media marketing, search engine optimization, and content marketing. You should also consider running ads on Google or other platforms. The key is to experiment and find what works best for you. Also, don’t forget to track your results so that you can see what’s working and what’s not. Promoting your online store can be a lot of work, but it’s worth it if you want to succeed in the eCommerce world. It also takes time, so be patient and keep at it. Some people see results quickly, while others take months or even years to build up their business.

 

That’s it! These are the six simple steps that you need to follow that you can take to start an online store. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember that there are many resources available to help you. Just take things one step at a time and soon you’ll be well on your way to success. Thanks for reading!

 

small business coach