August 20, 2015

How Mobile Technology is Changing Small Businesses

While some small businesses have full embraced mobile technology, many small businesses are missing out on the opportunity that mobility benefits could bring to the profitability and generation of new sales. It is important for small and micro businesses to understand the rewards and keep up with the dynamic environment of technology or risk losing customers.

Billions around the world use their mobile device everyday, looking at products and services online. Up to 45% of the small-business workforce use Smartphone’s as part of their daily business activity. A recent study by Forbes magazine stated that the top 25% of SMEs are seeing big gains from mobile, with records reaching twice annual revenue growth and up to eight times more jobs being created.

In addition, adoption and spending across all mobile solution categories enables businesses to:

  • Use less office space: Through maximization of cloud-based data storage and software, the ability to cut down office space allows for greater efficiency to run the business.
     
  • Productivity software: cuts down the amount of time and effort needed to generate communication with customers or to create appropriate records or information and is available in your pocket 24/7
     
  • Expansion: Small business benefit most from instant connectivity with potential clients and buyers, as businesses can now broaden their customer base, whereas previously cliental was limited to local regions.
     
  • Save an average of 7.5 hours a week (nine weeks a year) using a mobile device

By offering a solid mobile experience smaller companies maintain a competitive advantage by meeting customer expectations on different devices.
 

How are you reaching to your customers? Have you jumped onto the mobile technology wagon?
 


July 13, 2015

What is Special About Your Small Business?

Many people ask “why we help small businesses?” the answer is simple. We really enjoy working with people who are passionately involved in the development of their business. To them their business is their life and will do anything to ensure it stays afloat and reaches their cliental. We are here to help them and ensure they can continue doing what they love.

Most of us think the larger the company the better due to additional resources invested and the ability to keep the cost low. However, you don’t know all the benefits you have as a small business.

Let us tell you why you have an advantage as a small business:
 

Flexibility

As a small business owner, you have the ability to be flexible for your clients you can change at the last minute when unplanned circumstances arise. You are able to change your direction quickly in response to meet changes within market demands. With small stock at hand it is easy to have a quick change in direction this will draw in new customers while also maintaining your current customers.

Providing your employees with a flexible working environment can give them bundles of support leading to long term commitment. This kind of family orientated atmosphere is critical when looking after employees in a small business. Employees that are offered benefits they value has shown to make them feel more satisfied, be more productive and have a better work life balance. You can also offer your employees benefits anytime of the year for excellent work resulting them feeling appreciated and work harder.
 

Quality

Quality service is paramount in a small business. Customers rely on you to provide top quality service as it is always something larger business’s lack in. Being friendly, polite, approachable and efficient will always maintain your customer loyalty. This is something you can specialise in with each individual, making it a real experience for your customer resulting in high customer satisfaction.  Remember their name, occupation and what they require will guarantee they will always feel as if are your number one priority.
 

Personal
Large companies are restricted by their limitations on personal interactions with their customers. Small businesses have an advantage to go out and personally get to know their customers and relate to them on a personal level. This is a huge advantage in providing great customer service which will always result in repeat business. The ability to get involved in local community groups, sporting events and schools is a great way of staying up to date with the local news and show you are interested as a business and you care.
 

Innovation

Innovation will increase income, productivity and efficiency. Being relevant to your customers is easy and assessable for small businesses to achieve. When you are connected to your community, it allows you to know what the current trends are and what to expect. By keeping on top of this, it will allow you to stay one step ahead of the larger businesses. Using community notice boards, meetings, social media and word of mouth is a great way of keeping your business connected to your customers is efficient and cost effective.

Focus on being effective and efficient keeping everything clean and tidy in regards to process and policies. Listen to employees as they are the ones speaking and actively relating to your customers on a daily bases and can provide you with valuable current information. 
 


"When you buy from a small business, you're not helping a CEO buy his 3rd holiday home. You're helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jumper, a mum or dad put food on the table, or a student pay for Uni." - Unknown Source.
 


June 26, 2015

Changes for Small Businesses in the New Financial Year

 

As June quickly disappears, new changes are brought along with the new financial year.  As small business owners, we are already in a hectic situation trying to get our taxes in order. However we need to keep in mind of these changes as it will affect the way you run your business.

The following changes will commence as of 1st July 2015. Here is a quick summary:
 

1. Increase in Minimum Wage
There will be a 2.5% increase in minimum wage from $16.87 to $17.29 per hour and $656.90 per week. Workers will have the entitlement from 1st July, ensure you are paying your staff the correct wage to avoid trouble by the Fair Work Commission.

For more information, visit Fair Work Ombudsman.

 

2. Unfair dismissal claims increase to $136,700 for high-income individuals
If you are considering dismissing one of your high-income employees, earning between $133,000 and $136,700, they are now covered by unfair dismissal laws.

 

3. Jobactive will better support employers and job seekers
Replacing Job Services, Jobactive will help employers find and train potential employees. The scheme will provide wage subsidies when you employ young, mature, indigenous and long term employed job seeks.

Find more information at Jobactive.

 

4. Easier to pay for super
For small business with $2 million or less annual turnover, Superannuation Clearing House can be used to pay super contributions in one place through secure electronic transaction processed online. This will reduce time sorting through paperwork and lowering compliance costs. See Superannuation Clearing House here.

All businesses with 19 or fewer employees must be SuperStream compliant by 30 June 2016. See more here.

 

5. Tax cuts for small business
The following tax cuts are for small businesses with less than $2 million annual turnover:

  • 1.5% tax cut for companies
  • 5% discount for other businesses
  • Asset  deductions on asset costing less than $20,000

More information


Get ahead in the game and take advantages these new changes have to offer.  It can save you both time and resources.

 

 

Sources:
http://www.smartcompany.com.au/finance/47361-a-guide-for-small-business-legal-changes-for-eofy-2015.html#

http://www.business.gov.au/news-and-updates/News-and-features/Pages/summary-of-the-key-changes-for-business-starting-on-1-july-new-financial-year.aspx

 

 


June 11, 2015

#Hashtags: Still Don't Understand?

Hashtags in social media are a guide to categorise posts so it is easier for people to follow and contribute to a certain conversation.

We have been searching all over the Internet for some good advice on hashtags. While many provide very useful information, most bombard you with way too much information (history, platforms, etc.) While this is all good, here we want to provide you a step by step of what exactly you need to do with hashtags.
 

1. Understand your business and your target market

Social media is about joining the conversation, and you want to be involved in the conversations your target market is undertaking. Your contribution doesn’t only have to be about your industry, it can involve anything that is trending at this moment. This is where you need to know what your business culture and values are. What is your stand point for the different events occurring around you? How do you want to portray your business to the world?

 

2. Find trending hashtags

People tend to search what is trending and follow these popular hashtags. Your posts are also more likely to pop up in their search feeds when your posts include a popular hashtag.

A particular article written by Michael Patterson shows you exactly which tools you should be using to find trending hashtags depending on the criteria you choose. Here is the link.

You’ll find trending tags are quite consistent for most social media platforms. For Instagram however, Tags for Likes is a good tool to use.


3. Contribute to a hashtag conversation

Generate posts that are interesting, thoughtful and genuine. Images are more likely to receive attention and it is convenient to link your posts to your blogs or website when relevant.

As for hashtags, #your #post #should #not #look #like #this. 1 or 2 hashtags can really enhance the chance of people viewing you post but any more than 3 can dramatically drop the engagement and can be seen as spam.
 

4. Start a conversation

Whether you have a new marketing campaign or just want to increase engagement with your customers, start a conversation by creating a new #hashtag so that you can get people to join your conversation. Just ensure your hashtag is not been used by someone else previously.
 

Things to watch out for:

General hashtags such as #food are overused and contain too many posts. You want to be specific and use trending hastags that people are currently searching for.

Another thing to remember is to understand the hashtags you are using. You really don’t want to state an opinion about something when it really means something else.

 

Got anything else to add to the list? Join us on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram or Google Plus!

 


June 28, 2015

Work Life Balance - Making it all work

Today is Sunday and here I am at work trying to understand the relationships between each of the social media options and how they maximise their potential to support small businesses. At the same time my children are working on the computer next to me doing their homework. Is this balance or compromise?

Times like this are teaching them a good work ethic and how to be independent with support. I hope we have the balance right.

Operating a small business is a challenge. There is all the admin work behind the scenes and then the actual service or product you sell. Managing all this is a juggling act. Then you have another juggling act on the home front! Did you see my logo – yes the jester is juggling! I want to send a congratulations to all those small business owners still in the game. Maybe you are not quite where you want to be but you are doing enough to still be here with a chance of moving forward – is that not success!

- Lorel
 


 

May 06, 2015

Who Do You Depend On in Life and Business?

Enterprise Business Services


“We are sure to get opportunities as we show ourselves capable of being trusted”  – Roy L Smith

Mother’s Day is coming up and the Chagall team wants to acknowledge all the mothers out there. We depend on our mothers for many things through life, care, love, support and a thousand more things.

But there are many other people we depend on in life and in business. So who do you count on for advice, support, service?

Do you have an accountant that you depend on for tax and business advice?
Do you have an insurance broker you know will be there to help when you need to make a claim?
Do you have colleagues and friends you can call on when you need help getting something done or when things are getting you down?

Every day, we trust a variety of people to help in our lives and in our business and sometimes we tend to overlook these little things.

Whether in business or in personal life, we all act as a community and live interdependent of each other.

Here at Chagall, our team depend on each other to get things done. It's our favourite aspect of our work. We know that if things get tough, we have our colleagues here in the office supporting us every step of the way. 

As a small business, who do you count on to ensure your business operates smoothly? Your staff? Your suppliers? Your outsourced service provider?

And who are you depending on to help your business grow?


 


April 23, 2015

5 Easy ways to keep your customers close

Business Management

 

In the previous post, we talked about why it’s important to invest in relationship marketing and now we are showing you how.

Relationship marketing is like friendship – if you don’t contact them frequently then the relationship dies out. Think about it from an investment perspective. Acquisition costs only occur at the beginning so the longer you keep the relationship, the more you get out of your initial investment.

 

Here are 5 tips to relationship marketing:

Have an updated customer database
Having a customer database is not a new idea but many smaller businesses do not keep them updated. Update your database frequently and if multiple users are working on the document, keep a notes section so everyone is updated.

 

Focus on customer service
To start off a positive relationship with your customers, you need to first satisfy or even exceed their expectations.  Many customers dislike a business not because of their products but is often because of inadequate customer service. Do you have a dedicated staff to solve customers’ problems? Do your front-line staffs have the authority to deal with potential problems?

Click here to read more about customer service

 

Keep in touch
Whether in person or through an email, ensure you make the effort to keep in touch with your customer base. Communication is the key to driving relationship growth so increase the amount, frequency and quality of your interactions.

 

Reward Loyal Customers
Why should your customers stay loyal to you? Is there a benefit for your customers to stay in contact with your business? Loyalty programs are a good way to entice customers for repeated business but it doesn’t always have to be financial benefits. A lovely mailed card during special events and celebrations shows that you care for your customers. The more personalised message, the more positive the relationship is going to be. Treat your customers as friends and not just as customers.

 

Feedback
Interaction is a two-way street; you not only have to talk to your customers but also listen to their problems and suggestions. However, you can’t just listen and not act. According to Lee Resources, 95% of complaining customers will do business with you again if you resolve the complaint instantly but if the problem is not resolved, every wronged customer will tell an average between 8 – 16 people about it. So, take your customers’ words seriously.

 

Use technology to your advantage
Whether it is blogs, social media, emails or e-newsletters, use it to your advantage when connecting with your customers. Ensure your message is consistent and is integrated with many communication platforms so you are at the top of your customers’ minds.

 

Relationship marketing is a process, not a one-time project. You will need an ongoing effort to keep the relationship going between your business and your customers. Remember, any interaction with your customers should add value to your brand and to your customers. 

 

 


April 7, 2015

Why do you need relationship marketing as it as a small business?

As a small business, one of the most difficult decisions is to decide whether to invest in acquiring new customers or retaining existing contacts. You need to grow your customer base but you also need your existing customers for repeating purchases.

‘The costs of acquiring a new customer is approximately 4-10 times more than retaining an existing customer’

The Chartered Institute of Marketing in 2010 calculated the cost of customer acquisition and customer retention. It was found that for most companies, the costs of acquiring a new customer is approximately 4 – 10 times more than retaining an existing customer. For some companies, the cost may even reach over 30 times (source).

Relationship marketing is focusing on the long-term relationships with customers rather than trying to encourage a one-time sale.

The goal is to develop an emotional connection with existing customers thus leading to customer loyalty and build repeating purchases. It will commonly involve repeated interaction containing information that is directly relevant and beneficial to their needs and interests. In general, you are trying to increase the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

Other than being cheaper than acquiring new customers, here are some key reasons, as a small business, you need to invest in relationship marketing:

Word of Mouth (WOM)
Businesses that mostly deal with one time purchases often forget about WOM. Just because your customer has already purchased, doesn’t mean it is the end of the road for them. If they are satisfied with your service, they are likely to refer your business to their family and friends. Your frequent interaction will remind them about your services and keep you on the top of their minds.

Long Term Business
The long-term repetitive purchases from existing customers keep the business running without investing in too much resources. As mentioned before, retaining customers are only a fraction of obtaining new ones, giving you a higher ROI and better profit.

Feedback
Customers who you have become friends with are more likely to suggest ideas and give feedback to your business as they feel more comfortable to share their thoughts with you. This allows you to see any improvements that can be made or any problems that may arise that you aren’t aware.

Easier to change prices
With a good relationship, your customers will stay keep in touch even if you make a reasonable price change. Disloyal customers are more likely to switch in order to find a cheaper option. Additionally, existing customers are more flexible, patient and understanding when things go wrong.

 

In the beginning you need to build your customer database through obtaining new customers. But don’t forget, you also need to hold on to your existing customers through marketing communication efforts.


Look forward to our next post:  5 Easy ways to keep your customers close

Did we miss something? Join the conversationon Facebook, Twitter,Instagram or Google Plus!

 


 

March 24, 2015

8 Things you should consider before buying promotional products

In addition to our previous blog “Are Promotional Products Worth It?”, we now present you 8 tips to ensure your promotional products don’t go to waste.


1. Define the objective for your promotional product
Many businesses hand out free promotional products without any marketing goals.  Is it to increase brand awareness or to encourage a purchase decision?

Your promotional product should always align with your marketing plan. It is not something you should consider on the side, but as a part of the overall plan.


2. Relevance is important
Every marketing action should add value to your brand, promotional products are not an exception. Your brand image should not just be the only thing reminding your audience of your business, the actual product should too.

Therefore, ensure your promotional product has at least some kind of relevance to your product, business or industry. For example, USBs for IT businesses and honey flavoured lip balms for a honey farm.


3. Make it useful
Why should your audience keep your promotional product? According to Product Association International (PPAI), the key reason for keeping any promotional product is usefulness. Higher ranking products are computer products, health and safety products and writing instruments. This is when you must know your target market well. What type of items would they use the most? What would they like to receive?


4. Personalisation
As a small business, you don’t need to purchase thousands of promotional products at one time. Think about personalising your promotional products or at least have the ability to write a personal note on them. People are more likely to keep a personalised item over a mass produced product.


5. The Right Place at the Right Time
Target the environment where your audience is likely going to make a decision about your product. Be there when they need you and you’ll score their attention.

 

6. Think About the Quality
Which pen will you keep, a good working pen or one that does not write properly? Most people are likely to throw away poor quality products, even if they have received it for free. Additionally, what does a poor quality promotional product say about your brand?

 

7. Don’t Just Follow the Crowd
Just because every other company is handing out fridge magnets, doesn’t mean you have to. To stand out from the crowd, doing what everyone else is doing is definitely not the way to go. Relevancy and usefulness of your promotional product is a much better consideration than following others’ footsteps.


8. Make Them Choose
What’s a better way than to ask your target market what kind of items they would like the receive? This way you will be sure they keep the items you give them. Just make sure you stick to your marketing budget and not overspend on unnecessary items.

 

If you are still unsure on what promotional product is best for you, give us a call on (03) 9893 7467 and we can do it all for you.

 

 


March 10, 2015

Are Promotional Products Worth It?

Will promotional products be a worthy return-on-investment (ROI) or just a waste of money?

Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) has published the following statistics:

  • 83% of consumers like receiving promotional products
  • 85% of consumers do business with the advertiser after receiving the promotional product
  • 58% of consumers keep a promotional product anywhere between 1 to 4 years
  • Promotional items increased the effectiveness of other marketing media by 44%
  • 8 out of 10 people say branded promotional product increased the brand awareness

Click here to see more


The statistics does sound promising but we can’t ignore the bias since the research was done by the Promotional Products Association. However, let’s analyse it.

Why would promotional products be effective?
 

Attract More Attention
People like FREE things, because it doesn’t cost them anything. If you have something useful they can use, you will find them charging towards your stall at an event or trade show. The more people you have at your stall, the more people you are likely to attract.


Less Expensive than Traditional Advertising
Think of TV, magazine or even billboard advertisement. You are spending thousands of dollars on a few seconds of your audience’s attention. On the other hand, a small useful promotional product, such as a business card holder, can accompany your audience for years; reminding them every day of your brand.


In Life Rather than In Entertainment
Social media, magazines, TV and many other marketing channels are all based on how people spend their time. If an individual don’t log in to social media then the advertising message is lost. On the other hand, promotional products are living with your audience every day, no matter if they decide to watch TV or not.

 

So is it worth it? Yes, it definitely is if it’s done right.

Don’t just give out free things to random people. Make sure you have the right marketing plan with an integrated communications plan to ensure you leave an everlasting presence in your target audience.

Like more statistics? Visit here.

 

Look forward to our next post: 8 Things you should consider before investing in promotional products

 

 


 

February 25, 2015

Too many social media channels? Here are some key differences

Social Media Channels


Wondering why there are thousands of social media platforms and they all look the same?  That’s because they all technically do the same thing: creating a space where users can interact and share information.

But as a small business owner, this can be particularly frustrating.
Which social platform should you choose?
Should you get involved in all of them?

Before you start registering for every possible social media platform in existent, you should firstly think about your business type and your target market. Do your research and find which platforms are most suited to your business.

Luckily, we have gathered the resources for you. Here are the top social media platforms and some information to help you decide.

 

Facebook
Currently, Facebook is the most popular and most commonly used social media marketing tool. With over 1.35 billion users, you want to get your hands on this platform. What’s special about Facebook is that it allows you to target specific audiences according to demographics and interests. It is best suited for B2C businesses but keep in mind that if you have great content to keep your fans interested, they are very likely to refer you to their contacts.

Remember, don’t get caught up in the number of fans you have, fans are useless unless they are actually within your target market. There is no use having followers in France if you are a local pizza shop in Melbourne.

 

Twitter
With over 140 million users, Twitter allows you to share quick and frequent updates to your followers. It is a fantastic platform to promote your blogs and updates to people you don’t or hardly know. By using #Hashtags, you can target specific audiences and quickly grab people’s attention with a short, sharp message. Make sure your message is attention grabbing or it will quickly be lost in the sea of other tweets.

For small businesses, it is useful to interact with thought leaders on Twitter. Thought leaders have thousands of followers, interact with them and their audience will become yours.

 

Google+
We all know Google is currently the king of the Internet. With the power of search engine optimisation (SEO), Google+ may well and truly be the next Facebook. When you have an updated and frequently used Google+ account, Google will bump up your position in their search engine and as a small business, this is definitely something you want to get a hold of.

Apart from SEO it is very difficult to determine the choice between Facebook and Google+ as many users still frequent Facebook more. However, it doesn’t hurt to have an account with Google+ to generate more traffic to your website.

 

LinkedIn
In short, LinkedIn is Facebook for professionals. It is a fantastic platform if you are a B2B business because you are connecting to other businesses rather than consumers. Don’t just set up a profile and leave it there, join groups and discussions so you can network with your potential customers.

 

Instagram
“A picture says a thousand words” and that’s exactly what Instagram is about. Unlike photo-sharing platforms such as Flickr, Instagram is more personal so it is best for B2C businesses. People want to see the culture and the behind-the-scenes of a brand, and this is what you should give them. Instagram currently has 100 million active users and increasing, this is a great platform especially when you have frequent events and product images to share.

 

Blogs
Whether it’d be WordPress, Blogger or your website, a blog is a place where you show off your expertise to your audience. As a small business, you want to show why your business is better than the larger companies. May it be the experience, customer service or just a different approach to business, you want to get your message out there and a blog is a brilliant way to do so. Our advice is to make sure you use search engine optimisation (SEO) to maximise the amount of people seeing your blog.

 

Our Tip
It is great having followers but remember, you need to provide some kind of benefit to your followers. Whether it is useful tips and advice or the chance to win a giveaway, get your followers excited about something. This way they are more likely to follow you on the long term.

Remember, social media is like a fashion trend, platforms change rapidly over time. It may be more costly to learn it yourself because once you mastered one platform, everyone else has already moved onto the next big platform. You may want to think about outsourcing social media to the experts who already have the knowledge.

 

Still don’t quite get the hang of it?

Give us a call on 9893 7467 and let us sort these problems for you.

 

 

 


 

February 16, 2015

5 Things you should be doing in 2015 if you haven’t done already


In a blink of an eye, it is already March. Where has January and February gone? If you haven’t already looked at your goals and planned for your business 2015, now is the time! Here are five simple things you should be doing if you haven’t done it already.

 

1. Ensure your website is at its best form
The first thing anyone wants to know about a business is through searching for their website. In today’s society, your website is your storefront and it is the first point of contact with your customers. If your website is tacky or lack the most up-to-date information, customers are likely to turn away from you and search for another competitor with a better website.

Therefore dress your website up as if it is going to an interview, ensure it meets all the criteria to persuade any potential customers to choose you.

 

2. Evaluate your progress in 2014
A new year is a fresh start but that doesn’t mean you are completed refreshed to the beginning. Go through the progress you have made in 2014, what has worked and what hasn’t. Learn from your mistakes and continue your successes into 2015.

 

3. Revisit your business plan
Your business plan is a crucial document that outlines the direction your business should be heading. Sometimes we get so distracted with day to day operations that we often forget what we aimed to achieve when we started the business. Revisit your original business plan and evaluate your business to see whether it is still on the right track and make the changes that need changing.

 

4. Never stop learning
No one is perfect, even in business. Conferences, workshops and networking effects are not only great at letting people know about you and your business, they are also perfect for learning from successful individuals in the industry. They just might able to provide you with the answers to the problems you were looking for.

 

5. Clean up and organise
Perhaps this was a task to be completed last year but it is never too late to ensure your workspace is clean and organised as it can be. Whether it is physically on digitally, employees can take a long time trying to find the correct file before they even get to the work they are supposed to do. Ensure all your files are correctly organised so that in future, you are not wasting your precious time searching for your files.

 

It doesn’t mean you have to do everything at once. See it as a new type of lifestyle that requires you to do step by step in order to achieve your goal. Don’t give up and before you know it, your business will flourish.

Unsure what to do for marketing in 2015? Check our Business Marketing list here. Alternatively, contact us on (03) 9893 7467 where we can do all that for you.

 

 

 


 

February 2, 2015

Do you really need to market your business?

You can have the best product offering and best customer service in the world, but if no one knows you exist, then it’s all for nothing.

Small to medium business owners are often so busy working in their business that they forget to work on their business. Just because your business is small, it does not mean you can avoid marketing altogether. You don’t need the fancy billboards and the expensive advertisements during prime time, but you still need to make an effort to introduce your business to the world. This is to ensure you continually gain new customers, whilst retaining your existing customer relationships.
 

1. Obtaining new customers
In order to obtain new customers, the first step is to understand who your target market is, the environment they operate in and how they behave. By creating the perfect customer profile, you can focus your resources more efficiently and effectively.

 

2. Increase awareness and build a powerful brand
Once you have developed the right message for your target market and if you execute your campaign correctly, your marketing efforts should result in increased sales. Every marketing effort should increase the customer’s awareness of your brand.

While small businesses may not need extensive brand awareness, it is still important to put your brand out there for any potential customers to recognise and understand your business. They may not need your services right now, but that doesn’t mean they won’t need you in the future. It is also important to be selective in how you target and interact with your customers, so you are not bombarding them with information, but instead providing them with valuable information and gentle reminders.

Developing a branded website is an ideal way to promote your business, and it’s a great way to draw in new customers.
 

3. Choosing you over your competitors
No matter what industry you are in, you will always have competition to keep you on your toes. This is where your message and point of difference is critical to differentiate you from your competitors.   As previously mentioned, building a unique, powerful and sustainable brand will help to make you more attractive than your competitors.

 

4. Retain your customers
So much effort goes into obtaining new customers, so it’s a waste of time and money to not retain your existing relationships. It costs a lot more money to gain a new customer than to retain your existing customers.  See our previous blog post: Are you engaging enough with your customers?

People are more likely to share, read, listen and engage with content from the people they know and trust.  Would you listen to a complete stranger or a close friend you know? The aim is to build a trusting relationship with your existing customer base and eventually you will find that they will recommend your services to others.   However, it takes time and effort to continually build the relationship with your customers. This is where marketing comes in. No matter what shape or size your business is, marketing is there to help you continually build the bond between your business and its customers. 

 

Find what works for you
Not all businesses are the same, they vary is size, shape and structure; therefore every business should utilise marketing strategies that are tailored to their specific business needs. It is not one size fits all. Marketing is a flexible tool to help you catch the right type of fish from the sea. But if you are not dipping your fishing rod into the water, it is impossible to catch the fish you want.

To find out more about our marketing model for small business, please click here.

 

 

 



December 1, 2014

Have you engaged enough with your customers?

Customer Experience Company

With Christmas just around the corner it’s time for many of us to move away from our desks and take a well-earned break.  However, if we don’t continue to engage and talk to our customers during this period, it’s likely that your business may not be in the forefront of their mind.  Keeping your customers’ interest is vital to the success of your business and it’s a lot cheaper to keep current customers than to gain new ones. 
 

1.  Take advantage of the technology
As technology advances, social media has become a vital aspect of our society. It has increased the effectiveness and ease in connecting with existing and potential customers. According to the 2014 Yellow Social Media Report, 95% of social media users use Facebook and 24% use LinkedIn. So don’t be shy, come out and chat with your customers online. The more they are interested in you, the more likely they will be interested in your business.

It is important to ensure a two-way communication between you and your customers. Don’t just post things about you and your business, learn about your customers and what’s going on with their businesses. Reply to their messages and create a personal bond with them. 
 

2. See your customers as friends, not just as the target market
Customers are not only the end consumers they are also an integral part of your business. With their feedback and support, they can become valued friends. As Christmas approaches, what is the best way to show your friends a sign of appreciation? Greeting cards of course! Send your customers a Christmas card and a gift to express your gratitude for their loyalty and support. This way, they will feel valued and appreciated. If your client base extends beyond the number of cards you can write, consider a simple, memorable e-card on Facebook or Twitter.  This is an effective method of putting your business at the top of your customers’ minds.

 

3. Offer ways to interact
Give your clients the opportunity to contact you in as many ways as possible.  Platforms such as social media (Facebook, LinkedIn), blogs and emails can encourage your customers to get more involved by simplifying the communication method.

 

4. Include customers in your celebrations&