Archive | June, 2010

CRM for Small Business

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Small businesses are learning that they especially need to focus on maintaining customers. Multiple studies have shown that retaining customers is more cost-effective than finding new ones. One way for small to medium sized businesses to retain customers is to implement a CRM system.

CRM stands for customer relationship management. This process really got its roots in the 1980’s when databases were first starting to really be utilized by companies. Some companies found that they could store basic information about their customers in these databases. This information was very basic for the most part: items like name and address were stored.

As databases and the software to interact with the databases evolved in the 1990’s so did CRM programs. Companies were now able to track more pertinent information about their customers, like needs and desires. Armed with this information companies were able to offer services or products that appealed more to customers. In addition they were able to handle customer support issues more effectively. For example instead of calling everyone Mister or Ma’am they were able to call them by their names, Henry or Kate.

Although these changes don’t seem revolutionary, they had a big impact for some businesses. Knowing what products to offer and how to treat an angry customer makes a big difference.

Those looking for CRM for small business need to realize that CRM is more than just software, it is a mindset. The software is simply a tool that carries out the mindset. A company needs to find out the needs of the customer, and unfortunately software still can’t do this for you.

Sure software can track how many blue widgets John buys in a year and this does give your company some insight into John’s needs. However, you’ll need to go deeper than that in most situations. To find out about John, you’ll want to have him fill out a questionnaire and you’ll want to interact with him using social media. You’ll want to rub shoulders with him and talk to him about his needs. Obviously this probably isn’t possible to do for all of your customers, but you’ll want to schedule time to do this occasionally.  If your business is fairly small then have your employees try and figure out what the customer’s are satisfied or dissatisfied with.

There are plenty of CRM packages out there that are geared towards small businesses. Find one that your comfortable with and buy it. Note that a lot of them will have trial versions so you can see if the particular package is a good fit before purchasing.

CRM may have started out very primitively, but that doesn’t mean that your company needs to only track basic information about your customers. Use CRM software to track key metrics about them and use this information to make more sales and keep them happier. However, remember that CRM isn’t just buying software, it’s a customer based decision making mindset. Find out more CRM consulting tips.

Work from Home Ideas

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With the advances in technology today and the availability of computers, people can now work from any place they want to be.  Telecommuting is an option that some companies offer to those who want to work yet have kids that needs to be taken cared of.  Also, there is a lot of other work from home ideas that you can do so that you cans still earn and contribute to the household budget while staying at home.

Computer Savvy People

Since the Internet has allowed us to be connected to other people even if they are located at the other side of the world, there are a lot of companies that offer jobs that you can do from your own home.  These outsourcing companies offer varied jobs like data entry and encoding jobs to people.  This is one of the many work from home ideas that you can try out if you want to have a job that will allow you to be at home the whole time.

Another work from home ideas that have a big income opportunity is to design a website. There are a lot of available jobs for those who know how to make one.  You just have to be on the lookout for opportunities posted over the Internet because there are a lot of companies or individuals who advertise this requirement. You and your possible client can discuss everything online either through chat or email with regards to the specifications of the site.

For those who have a knack for writing articles and press releases, you can explore the possibility of looking for clients who has the need for writers.   You can post sample articles or sign up with an outsourcing website that lists job opportunities.  This is one of the many work from home ideas that many people are now earning from.  This allows them to use their skills in writing and earn at the same time.

E-Commerce Possibilities

The Internet is a virtual marketplace.  For sure, you will be able to find here almost everything that you need.  If you are a baker looking for suppliers or a restaurateur who is looking for fresh produce for the restaurant, for sure, you will be able to find one just by surfing the Internet.

You can surely take advantage of this and make into reality your work from home ideas of establishing an online business.  This is the best place to post your products so that you can reach more people.  You can take advantage of the many social networking sites that allow you to post pictures of your products.  Since most of these sites are free, it is like having a store where you don’t have to pay for rent costs and you need not worry about overhead expenses like utilities and salaries.

Having an online store is also a great way to start your business.  You can start small because there is no need to maintain a store and manage people.  You can concentrate on developing your products and making sure that it gets known.  Also, you need not need to spend a lot of money on marketing your products because you can just post pictures of them and have the networking capabilities of these sites do the rest for you.

You will be able to find the job that lets you stay at home and earn at the same time with the many work from home ideas shared here.  You can spend more time with your family and not to worry about finding ways in earning your keep. Want to learn more on this area of interest, how to invest in Forex and other subjects.  Please login to The Biz Hunter.

Scorecards: Keep One And Achieve An Increase In Profitability

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Japanese looks at business as war; but Americans prefer to look at it as sports. In both cases, the objective is to win.

In this sense, Americans, contrary to their global image of ruthless aggressiveness, are not inclined to draw or shed blood over the prospect of a fine bottom line. I think this goes with other businessmen wherever part of the world they reside.

They don’t want a gladiatorial match to enjoy the sight of maimed, lifeless bodies being dragged out of the coliseum. Businessmen, though, enjoy monitoring the score of a competition and, preferably, a spectacularly bountiful victory when their team wins.

Yes, business people and institutions like to keep scorecards.

It is a convenient way to know where you are in a particular point in time, especially when the deadline for the quarterly sales report nears. A well-kept scorecard that is in black gives shareholders a good, sound sleep in the next three months, at least.

But not all businesses keep one. And I bet most of the single proprietors are the singles biggest sector who are guilty of this neglect.

That is why, perhaps, the fatality rate of sole proprietorship businesses are the highest. Once money comes in terms of sales, the proprietor assumes his or her business is profitable. And increased sales means to increase profitability with that.

Not necessary so. Of course, the money from sales are not all profit. Part of it will go to overhead expenses like rent, salaries, supplies, etc.

But this is easily overlooked because of the lack of proper recording of business transactions. In other words, no scorecards.

I know somebody who dislikes paper works (who does, anyway?) but just so happens to be a businessman. He has a gift shop, which is run by a store manager with several other workers around. Customers come, well, not in droves, but they do enter the door regular enough, I thought.

By pure perception alone, the business is doing well. My friend lives in a relative comfort, taking the liberty of enjoying some luxuries every now and then.

Last year, however, the bubble burst! After two years, the business was gone and he was bankrupt.

He was down, but not out, he pledged to me. He learned some important lessons, he said. Heck, he even told me this apparent “tragedy” might be the best thing that ever happened to him as a businessman!

I asked him what is the most important lesson he learned out of the rough experience, and he said: “From now on, I’ll keep a scorecard.”

The Beauty of a Badge Holder

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Badge holders are valuable for displaying ID cards and securing them from getting lost and from wear and tear. A lot of organizations need ID cards require that these cards be worn on the individual’s person in such a way that it is obviously visible. As such, it assists to have badge holder that unite functionality with great looks like promotional lanyards.

The most well-known of all badge holder is the lanyards. The lanyards are a cord attached to the ID card that wears across the neck. The ends are attached jointly with a rip ring or a metal hook. The end grips the ID card and this hangs liberally from the neck. Lanyards are usually made from nylon. The lanyards comprise of a feature that breaks away when pull at. This is to keep away from physical injury in a condition where the person wearing the lanyards might get trapped. Companies are coming out with a range of lanyards from environment friendly ones made of renewable or recyclable materials like bamboo to antimicrobial ones for hospitals and other germ-free surroundings use. Some lanyards even come with cell phone and pen holders.

Another frequent way to wear your badge is with a badge clip. The vinyl band is inserted through the hole in the badge holder and snapped in. The metal clip connected to the holder of badge can be clipped on to clothing. Armband holders are for use at airports and government or military organizations. The lanyards are a badge holder with a Velcro strap.

For instance, those working at a building site or in other rough working situation want a badge holder that holds firmly even when thorough work is being done. The perfect way to wear the lanyards in such conditions is to add it to a hard hat. Such badge holders are recognized as hard hat badge holders.

The Wonder of Retractable Badge Reels

Vistaprint Name Badges

VistaPrint name badges photo

Photo by University of Exeter

Retractable badge reels are probably the new breed of ID holders that do not look like the standard ID holders but have the same use and function. They are stylish than lanyards but more eye-catching although smaller in size. The basic purpose of badge reels is to allow us to display our identification whenever necessary through easier method.

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How it works?

Retractable badge reels can be attached to our clothing or belt because they have clips in them. Their basic parts are composed of the swivel hook, bar pin, wire cord, vinyl strap clip or key ring. Their distinctive characteristic is their retractable cords that release their hold on the case for easy pulling and retracts back to its case whenever the cord is released. Unlike lanyards that put its whole yard on display, the retractable badge keeps its cord inside its case when not in use. They are also so compact and very attractive just like key holders.

More Uses

The nice thing about retractable badge holders is that they are very usable especially to those who need to swipe their magnetic cards frequently for access to computer rooms and other secured facilities. Their cords have different lengths that are strong and durable because they are made either from nylon or wire. The heavy duty type can also last for years without stocking and breaking.

Making Identity Exclusive

Whenever you walk in to an establishment or office, you will notice that the staff’s badges are unique from other businesses. This is because each business or organization has a custom name badge made exclusively for them. This is a standard procedure that each business entity or organization to have these made for those who are affiliated to them for recognition and security.

Each custom name badge bears the name and logo of the business or organization that it was made for. It also has the name and other details such as the department and identification number of the bearer on the surface of the badge. Some of these have disclaimers printed at the back while others have emergency contact details of the person who will be using it.

Choosing a Name Badge for You

Printing is a business that has successfully reached the limelight due to the increase of interest in the products of the said field. Mainstream stalls have garnered enough financial profit from this line of business, and the customers still multiply everyday. If you need to find a name badge printed just for you, you may consider the following suggestions:

Buy from less famous stores:

Designs from known stores can reach so many persons due to its influence. If you want custom name badges for you, you can find a rare design from less famous stalls. Their designs can also be unique from those popular choices and buying a piece from them could make your badge standout from the rest.

Personalize:

Custom name badges can increase their uniqueness if you would apply some personal touch in them. Use some of your creativity to do such.

Advantages to Using Internet Website Marketing

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Are you a business that doesn’t have a website? Internet website marketing is something then you should seriously consider. You do need an online presence as your current customers will look for you online and people curious about your products and services will check you out as well.

Marketing help is available to businesses just starting out just by searching for it on the internet, and Google is a good way to do this. Some information will be free while there are other companies there to help you at a price. The free help will be through other internet marketing sites and blogs.

Internet website marketing isn’t difficult if you use relevant keywords for your business so the search engines, like Google, can find you to refer prospective customers to your website. Write about your company and its benefits and offer solutions for people’s needs.

Also an advantage is participating in message boards and forums related to your products and services. You can create a profile of the company and add a signature so when you comment it shows up on these boards or forums and entices the reader to click on those links.

If you haven’t set up a website as yet, then you can get it done professionally or if you have knowledge of computer code you can set it up yourself. You can also have banners and text links produced to lead customers to your individual products and services. Marketing help through graphic artists is always available on the internet to help you with this.

Internet website marketing can be a campaign that can catapult your local business to the world. It can also streamline that campaign to your target audience wherever they are either locally or internationally, and getting is always just a keyboard click away.

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