Networking events are a great way to meet new contacts but only if you’re ready to do so. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to get the most out of this event.
Before the event you should:
1. Learn about who will be speaking or who will be in attendance.
2. The day before the event you should post on LinkedIn that you’ll be attending the event. Provide a link for them to learn more.
3. Make sure you can tell someone all about you in a matter of just a few seconds. This is where it’s a good idea to have great VistaprintBusiness Cards ready to hand out to anyone who asks for them.
4. Review your Vistaprint business cards to make sure that all of your contact information is correct.
During the event you should:
1. Be confident.
2. Take notes to share on Twitter later.
3. Listen more than you talk.
4. When you do talk, be brief.
After the event you should:
1. The next day you should send a quick note to everyone you’ve met. Consider connecting on LinkedIn with some of those you feel you connected best with.
2. Update your LinkedIn with how much you enjoyed the event and how you’re looking forward to the next one.
3. Update your blog with information and pictures from the event then share it with others.
The job market today is extraordinarily competitive. Not only are there plenty of employees seeking work, but there are many different employers seeking quality staff. As a small business owner, consider it your job to be a beacon of light in the shadows of potential employers. As much as employees should seek to do their jobs well in order to keep their employment, employers need to offer incentives to keep great employees on board. This can make the difference between a great business plan strategy and a strategy which fails.
Trust Your Employees
There is always a fear as an employer of fraudulent employee claims and theft. This being said, there are many good employees who feel that they are automatically subject to being treated as untrustworthy. As an employer, do your best to give your staff the benefit of the doubt when it comes to being trusted, and treat them as respectfully as you can without turning a blind eye to warning signals. Always protect yourself by performing reference checks before hiring staff members, and you shouldn’t have to worry too much about issues at your small business.
Offer Employee Benefits
One of the premiere things that potential staff are looking for in an employer is the presence of a reliable group health insurance plan. If your company offers health coverage to your staff, even partially, it will set you apart from so many other employers in your industry. In order to keep useful employees, you need to show them that the health and wellness of their family is a priority for you as an employer. You can also offer other benefits, such as paid vacation days, a substancial discount on company products or services, and more.
Educate Your Staff
As a business owner, it’s important to you to be ahead of the game when it comes to business strategies and investments. As such, keeping your staff involved in furthering their education is almost always beneficial. Workshops, seminars, conferences and night school courses are an amazing way to keep your employees on the cutting edge of industry, as well as engaging them in staying interested in the field. Consistent challenges and learning create motivated, forward thinkers which stand to benefit your company in a big way. Consider partial funding for these programs as a long-term investment in your staff, as well as your business, and consider that this practice will be money well spent. These types of incentives are often tax deductible, so talk to your accountant to find out just what you can afford.
Allison writes with GroupHealthInsurance.org, which allows you to find an affordable plan that gives your employees great health coverage.
Marketing has long been critical to the very survival of the vast majority of businesses. Good marketing can ensure that a business is noticed by its target audience for all the right reasons and can direct potential customers to the company.
Conversely, bad marketing has the potential to damage the reputation of the company or at least fail to direct potential customers to the business. Every business should therefore be interested in improving their marketing techniques and making sure that they are taking full advantage of the marketing opportunities available to them.
Efficiency is essential to good marketing. The business wants to generate the most interest in its products and services for the lowest price. Services such as promotional texts and voice calls have the potential to reach a vast target audience at a relatively low cost. Once the message or voice recording has been created it is simply automatically distributed on a large scale.
It makes good business sense for companies to invest in marketing techniques which have access to significant global markets. For example, mobile phone networks and social networking websites have billions and millions of subscribers respectively. Making use of such potential would be more efficient and more beneficial than a technique with laser scope.
An indirect approach
While direct marketing does have its place, indirect marketing can also prove to be beneficial. By using modern avenues of telecommunications through techniques such as surveys and competitions the business can access a market which may not be as responsive to direct marketing. Such methods are more subtle but do provide the company with much needed positive publicity.
A personal touch
While attempting to personalise a marketing campaign can pull in the opposite direction to creating an efficient marketing campaign, an effective balance can be achieved. For example, if the company were to send voice messages a generic template could be used but with an element specific to each recipient. That way the business can enjoy the economies of scale of mass marketing but still make each recipient feel valued.
Follow market trends
While there is a general trend toward mobile communications within the field of business marketing there are more subtle trends within this general field. Currently, many businesses are focusing much of their energies toward marketing through social networking websites. With millions of users worldwide and access through mobile phones the potential market is impressive.
However, when it comes to business marketing it is important not only to be able to determine which means of marketing would be most effective at present but to also predict future market trends. By doing so, the company can remain ahead in the field of marketing and be able to react instantly when a different avenue of business marketing becomes more relevant to the company. In this manner the business can ensure that it remains at the very forefront of business marketing and can draw people to the company.
Article by Crispin Jones for Collstream. If you want to send voice messages or promotional texts, click here.
Knowledge of contact management is essential for maintaining leads. The first phase in the sales pipeline is identification of a person who can be a potential customer. This can be in the form of a person right in front of the sales representative, an address, an email address, or a simple mobile phone number. Such contact details of a lead are very important as this is the first step in the sales process.
There might be nothing that the business might know about the lead apart from his address or phone number. So being the single trump card of the game, the company has to be very meticulous and particular in storing the contact details of the leads.
Contact Management is the process of storing and finding contact information of leads. Such suites or tools are generally shipped with a central repository which would be responsible for storing all the contact details and all the sales personnel would have access to the database. This ensures a fully integrated approach and multiple sets of sales personnel can work on common and different sets of data without any dependencies. Such a contact management suite has to be always linked with activities that are conducted with these contacts.
Customer relationship management tools like salesforce.com come equipped with contacts and activity management modules which are fully integrated with each other. Some of the tools also include a calendar integration feature in which one can record details such as recording of dates such as appointments, birthdates of contacts etc. A contact management system provides lot of advantages and some of them are listed below:
Centralized database of contact information – With a single point of contact, a centralized database approach is very helpful given the geographical distances between the sales personnel. Business houses, these days are widespread across the planet and it often helps to have a centralized storage of information that can be accessed from anywhere within the organization.
Searching and Indexing – Storing of information really won’t solve any real purpose, unless this information can be fetched quickly and easily. A search feature is something that all contact management tools offer these days. One can search contacts on the basis of a lot of search preferences like name, phone, address etc.
Email & Calendar integration – Some of the tools today provide an out of the box integration with existing email clients like Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes. This sort of integration helps the sales personnel still use the tools that they are most familiar with and access the centralized database that the CRM suite provides.
Documents upload and indexing – With internet and multimedia on the forefront of technology, many contact management suites also provide a way to tag documents to the contacts. Such documents can be visiting cards, photographs of the contacts and so on.
A contact manager is typically useful when single sales personnel has to interact with a lot of clients and is responsible for performing various roles and responsibilities in the enterprise.
Once you utilize proper contact management, you can begin working on implement an online CRM system. This will definitely help you increase sales and find new prospects.
Magento E-commerce sites have been the most popular ecommerce platform in the last few years. The major problem with Magento websites is that they can be hard to SEO. To use Magento to your advantage you need to use specific keyword categories, titles and descriptions for your products. You also need to make sure your alt tags are being used with the specific keyword relating to that page. Your Magento SEO expertise will result in high rankings on search engine results with just a few SEO techniques.
The first and most important part of using SEO for Magento is to find a list of keywords that you can use within your website. These keywords are extremely important because they can make or break your website. Getting click-through traffic from search engines means using keywords that will be used by your visitors. Pick your keywords carefully and use them to your advantage.
Each and every category, title, or description needs to have a specific keyword assigned to it. The keywords all need to be different, but relate to the product you are trying to sell. Don’t overuse your keywords though, use them naturally in the content. Keywords within your content may also be linked to your homepage and other pages throughout your website. This gives your visitors an opportunity to check out other pages and gain more traffic to other pages of your website.
Using images is extremely beneficial to your Magento website, but beware that search engines can not read text within an image. For each image, make sure you are using the alt tags, SEO filenames, and descriptions as an opportunity to use your keywords for that page. Again, don’t overdue your keywords, use them naturally where they fit.
Magento SEO can be difficult if you don’t apply these basic principles to your website. Gaining click-through traffic from search engines takes a lot of work on your part, but will be well worth it in the end.
There are many things that you will need to do to perform online reputation management. One tool that can help you do these tasks is Google Alerts.
The reputation of your company is one of the most valuable assets that you company has. If it is a good reputation, then it can bring a large market share.
Meanwhile, if it is a bad reputation, it can severely diminish the size of your market share. It has such a big impact on the success of your business that it is critical that you monitor it and try to improve it whenever possible.
You can do this through online reputation management. Online reputation management is where you go online and look up what people are saying about you.
Then, you reply to them in an appropriate manner. For example, if they complimented something that you company did, you might tell them thank you.
On the other hand, if they criticize you, you will need to apologize and perhaps provide compensation. One of the best ways to perform search engine reputation management is to sign up for Google Alerts.
What an online reputation management company can do for you
A reputation management company might do this for you if you have hired them to perform your online reputation management services for you. Google Alerts is a free program that allows you to enter a keyword, such as your company name.
Then, every time that someone says that keyword, Google Alerts will send you an email containing what they said. This makes it much easier to respond because you will be able to know what they said and where they said.
When you know these things you will be able to reply to their complaint or their compliment. You can enter any keyword related to you or your company into this program that you feel may be effective in helping you manage your reputation.
After you receive an email containing a post that was critical of your product or services, you will want to make sure that you stay calm. If you are angry, you need to take a minute to walk around the office or squish a stress ball until you have calmed down.
One of the greatest mistakes you can make during reputation management is replying when you are still angry. Even if you try to be polite, your anger will come through and your apology will not sound sincere.
This will make a bad situation even worse because the commenter will not take you seriously. It is critical that you avoid arguments with others online at all costs.
Even if you end up winning the argument, the negative comments about your company will stand out more than the positive ones. Your best chance for resolving an issue quickly is to stay calm and reply in a polite and sincere manner.
Take a second to think about what would be the best way to reply before you begin typing. This could save you a lot of regrets.
Of course, you will want to make sure you act quickly in responding as well. This means that you want to check the email that Google Alerts is set up with at least every day, if not several times a day.
The faster you can respond, the less likely it is that the negative comment will take off and spread across the internet. You can avoid serious damage to your company reputation by responding quickly.
Too many people put off checking this email because they do not want to have to deal with all of the negative, hurtful comments. However, this will be even more damaging in the long run.
Do not give into the temptation to check this email only once a week. It will not bode well for your business.
Another thing you can do to protect your reputation is to make a website. When people hear about you, they are going to search for you online.
The first thing that should come up should be a website created by you. They should not see a forum where someone commented on a bad experience they had.
If they do see this, then they will be severely misguided concerning your company because you did not take the time to stand up for yourself. Every company has customers or clients that do not like them, no matter how hard they try to serve them well.
You should try to constantly update your website with positive, educational information so that people will like the experience that they have there. This will help them begin to trust your company more and perhaps decide to make a purchase.