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Showing posts from 2021

Be the Best at Customer Service

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We all work in customer service to some extent…it just depends on who the customer is. If you’re in an office, it’s your boss who is the customer. If you’re in retail, it’s the shopper who is the customer. And the list continues. So, it bears repeating that customer service is important. Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that our customer service skills could be honed a little bit. Or, maybe you have a new employee who doesn’t see how valuable good customer service is. Well, either way, here are a few ways to brush up on your customer service. The Importance of Caring for Your Customers Customer service, or customer care, is vital to us all. It’s the difference between keeping and losing customers to the competition. One wrong move, and we might lose a valuable customer. Customer service is how we respond to customers, and it entails a lot of duties. It’s not just how we answer the phone. It’s how we help them when they return items or when we explain policies to them. It

Spot UV Coating Makes Your Images Pop

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Business people collect a lot of business cards; in fact, there are so many that sometimes these items get lost in the shuffle. But there is a way to print business cards to let your message not only dazzle the recipient but help you get truly noticed.   Let’s take a look at spot UV coating! It is a magical way to make your images and message pop and get noticed. What is UV Coating? UV coating is a clear compound that is applied to wet paper, then instantly dried by ultraviolet light. The UV portion of spot UV comes from the ultraviolet light that is used to instantly cure the glossy varnish. And there’s no need to worry about toxicity because UV coatings are environmentally safe. They are free of solvents and do not emit volatile organic compounds or VOCs when cured. It dries at a fast speed, making it easy to add detail to your marketing materials. Due to its eye-catching appearance and versatile applications, spot UV is one of the most popular printing techniques availab

Are Your Meetings Worth Attending?

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When asking employees what makes a meeting worth attending, 62% said “clear,” “specific,” “defined,” and “concrete” information should be given. This may sound like basic information, but many bosses hold meetings that are contrary to these terms. So how can you ensure you’re not making this mistake? Here are 10 tips to keep your meetings effective and productive. 10 Tips to Make Your Meetings More Effective 1. Determine why you are having the meeting. Try to pinpoint exactly why you are holding a meeting for these particular people. Start by identifying the purpose and desired outcomes of the meeting, then include it in both the meeting invitation and the meeting agenda. 2. Determine the appropriate attendees. You won’t hurt anyone’s feelings if they aren’t invited to the meeting. In fact, people don’t want to waste their time if they aren’t the appropriate people to handle the topic of the meeting. Only invite people who can implement the changes you seek or offer a

How to Flourish: Focus on Personal Growth

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We don’t always talk about personal growth, but it should be the topic of conversation or at least the topic of thought. How do we flourish in such a busy world? Here are ten steps to encourage your growth. 10 Steps to Encourage Your Personal Growth Volunteer. We don’t always want to add another thing to our to-do list, but this is important to give you a different perspective. By volunteering, you will feel good about yourself and learn new skills and get different views of the world. Experience new things and places. Take a short day trip on your day off. This is the perfect time to break out of your comfort zone and try something new. Enjoy learning about new places, and don’t be afraid to take part in local activities. It will do your brain good. Prioritize your health. Take a health journey by starting to walk, joining a gym, or taking up a new sport that you can do regularly. Your health is an important part of personal growth. Evaluate your life. Use a private

Re-evaluate Your Time Management Skills

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Time management is something we all strive to improve. When you think you have it down to a science, a big project comes along and stretches us. But we all know that time management is the key to being successful.   These tips will help you re-evaluate your time management skills in case you have been bombarded by stress. Delegate. Okay, we said it. Delegation is key but make sure you give the job to the right person so you don’t feel like you have to micromanage them. Don’t multitask. It feels like we are being more productive, and people often applaud it but don’t fall into the trap of multitasking. Studies show we are actually less productive when we spread our attention among several projects. Instead, make a list of things you need to do and cross them off as you go. That way, you won’t forget a project, but you can get it off your mind right away. Deal with stress positively. We all get stressed out at times, but it’s how we handle it that counts. Exercise helps us d

Re-evaluate Your Time Management Skills

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Time management is something we all strive to improve. When you think you have it down to a science, a big project comes along and stretches us. But we all know that time management is the key to being successful.   These tips will help you re-evaluate your time management skills in case you have been bombarded by stress. Delegate. Okay, we said it. Delegation is key but make sure you give the job to the right person so you don’t feel like you have to micromanage them. Don’t multitask. It feels like we are being more productive, and people often applaud it but don’t fall into the trap of multitasking. Studies show we are actually less productive when we spread our attention among several projects. Instead, make a list of things you need to do and cross them off as you go. That way, you won’t forget a project, but you can get it off your mind right away. Deal with stress positively. We all get stressed out at times, but it’s how we handle it that counts. Exercise helps us d

Be a Showstopper at Your Next Trade Show

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Trade shows can be tricky. They can cause a lot of anxiety when you are preparing for the unknown. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to ensure you are successful. Here are a few to add to your to-do list. Start early. It should go without saying, but sometimes we procrastinate starting to plan for a trade show because it seems daunting. This is to encourage you to start as soon as possible so that you will be prepared for any problems that might arise. Prepare your team. Be sure to have team meetings regularly and at least a week before the trade show to discuss items such as dress code, hotel, transportation, duties, and responsibilities. Make sure everyone knows their schedules at the booth and contact information in case they get lost or have questions. Be active on social media. This is important to do before, during, and after the trade show. Include your booth number and hashtag so people can find you easily. Tweet about the upcoming show and give glimpses of

Using Public Relations to Your Advantage

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Public relations help your company look good in the eyes of the public and create more sales. PR can be a powerful marketing tool because it is regarded more highly by consumers, given that it is a third party advertising your business. Even better, it can sometimes be possible to use unpaid tools, such as media, the internet, and business networks.  Marketing vs. Public Relations On the surface, PR and marketing may appear to be the same; however, there are key differences. Marketing promotes your businesses’ products and/or services. Public Relations focuses on promoting a positive reputation for your company. The goal of marketing is to increase sales, while PR’s goal is to generate a positive reputation. Marketing generally targets the consumers, while PR aims to reach the public, especially stakeholders and media.  3 Tips for Developing a PR strategy A good PR campaign will cause the public to think more highly of your business, increasing their likelihood of d

Your Mini-Guide to Business Branding

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Branding helps your business create the desired image of your company by clarifying and expanding what your company stands for. According to Kotler and Keller, "Branding is endowing products and services with the power of a brand." It helps put your business above the competition by giving customers an idea to attach themselves to. It affects consumers, employees, and shareholders.  Brand vs. Products Branding can be challenging to understand, but it helps to know the difference between a product and a brand. A product is an item or service your company is selling. Although unique products or services are excellent, they can usually be easily copied by other aspiring entrepreneurs. A brand is the idea and image behind the product. It is the promise made to the customers regarding what the product can deliver. It fulfills the customers' desires while creating an emotional appeal for customers to attach themselves to.  Why Focus on Branding?  So, what's

Hard vs.Soft Selling

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Selling isn’t easy, no matter what you’re selling. How do you know which tactics work best and in which situations? Check out the difference between a hard sell and a soft sell below to determine which approach will work best for your business. In Corner One: The Hard Sell The hard sell is used to close a sale quickly and is often pushy and aggressive. It’s not uncommon for the salesperson to keep pushing until the customer has said no three times. The hard sell method has actually fallen out of favor with most businesses because it can leave the customer feeling unsatisfied and regretful, causing them to share their negative experiences with their friends and acquaintances. Despite this, the hard sell is still utilized today because it provides immediate rewards and is great for 100% commission jobs. Hard sells also minimize the competition because the customer has little to no time to compare your product or services against another business.  Despite its potential drawba

5 Ways to Reconnect To Your Audience

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The last year and a half with the COVID pandemic has been highly disruptive, breaking relationships and forcing distance between people in all facets of life. Business hasn't been excluded from that effect. That's why it's more important now to reintroduce your products and services to clients and remind them that you exist, you can help, and you're available for them. Remember, out of sight is out of mind; clients forget why they used a service when there's a lack of contact and frequency. And that leaves room for your market to erode and someone else to fill the gap if they happen to be present. 5 Ways to Reconnect To Your Audience 1. Be Proactive Part of reconnecting means being proactive and reaching out again, even without an invite. A client will be fine with communication most of the time, noting they forgot how much they relied on your service. Use that opener to remind them how valuable your support was for their needs. Even if they don't

Your Guide to Advertising on TikTok

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TikTok is a fast-growing social media platform that your business can incorporate into its marketing strategy. TikTok is an optimal marketing platform because it has a large, highly invested user base. For example:  In 2018, 5% of global internet users had TikTok. In 2020, that number grew to 18%. That number is projected to grow to 26% by 2024.  Currently, TikTok has 689 million monthly active users spanning 150 countries worldwide, making TikTok the 7th largest social media app. 50% of TikTok users are aged 18-34. The other 50% are ages 35+ TikTokers are highly invested, spending an average of 52 minutes per day on TikTok. This makes TikTok the best platform for audience engagement, meaning your business will have a good ROI (Return on Investment). TikTokers have the money to support your business. 51.8% have a yearly salary of $75,000+ TikTok users will most likely be swayed by advertising. The majority of them agree that they tend to buy brands they see advertised. 

Are You the Best Leader You Can Be? 10 Questions to Ask Yourself

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Are you a new manager? Or an old pro? Or somewhere in between? It really doesn’t matter because there’s always room for sharpening your edge as a leader. Here are ten things you should ask yourself to determine if your leadership needs to be honed. 10 Leadership Questions to Ask Yourself 1. Do I treat my employees like friends or employees? When it comes to employees, you may have once been a part of their team, but as a manager, you are a part of the management team. This means you should not treat your employees as friends in an informal way. You can have fun with them, but maintain your leadership role and keep things professional. 2. Do I use situational leadership? There is no cookie-cutter answer for dealing with people. Employees need to be handled individually. Each one has different strengths and weaknesses, and your leadership should involve a tailor-made interaction with each of them. You will need to coach some people in one area, and other people may be str

Business Writing Made Easy

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When it comes to business writing overall, how do you measure up?   Overall, businesses spend $3.1 billion on remedial writing training for their employees annually. We’re not offering a class, but we have compiled a list of professional writing tips to aid you in your business communication. Even if English wasn’t your favorite subject in school, using these tips will make you look like a pro. Writing Like a Pro with These Tips Know your audience. Think about who you are writing to. Is it a customer? A potential customer? A coworker? Your boss? There are different ways to communicate with all of these people. Keep the audience in the forefront of your mind when you start your composition. Think about your tone. Think about how formal you want to appear. Do you want to sound like a corporate store or a friend? Do you want to be lighthearted or more serious? Think about this as you write; then, keep your tone consistent. Watch your punctuation and grammar. Some peo

Boost Your Productivity in 10 Steps

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Employees lose an average of 581 hours a year to distractions, such as cell phones, emails, and other social media, to name a few. This is over 14 weeks, per person, spent not actually working. You might be wondering if there is anything you can do to become more focused. We’ve compiled a list of 10 steps you can take to ensure you’re working smarter, not harder. 10 Steps to Boost Your Productivity 1. Limit how often you check your email.  According to The Economist Intelligence Unit report In Search of Lost Focus, 70% of critical-thinking employees disrupt their own progress in order to check email at least once an hour. And 18% check their email every few minutes. Try to use email as a reward for accomplishing a large task. Set a time limit so that you don’t get caught up in social media. Then, go ahead and turn it off until your task is done.   2. Get up and move around.  Getting a little exercise is shown to improve concentration. So, get up and make a cup of coff

The Key Components of a Good Brand Strategy

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Developing a strong brand isn’t as easy as others think. It’s no secret that consumers purchase based on trust, but how can businesses develop that trust if no one knows who you are? That’s the power of a brand strategy. If you don’t have a strategy in place, it’s like driving on the road with no destination. The ultimate goal should be getting customers to connect with you, not your logo, not the website, and not the name (even if it’s catchy). A good brand strategy works behind the scenes, providing value that continues after they buy. Key Components of a Good Brand Strategy Purpose What is the promise to the customer? Why are we in business? Why is it important to us? These are the driving factors that set businesses apart. Thinking of it in terms of monetary and also non-monetary makes the difference. Emotion While it may sound weird, it’s true. Customers are emotional about the brands they support because those brands can fully engage with like-minded audiences w

How-To Tips for Pain-Free Print Ordering

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When you're ready to bring your creative ideas to life in print, these tips will ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.  Always Include High-Resolution Images If you have specific images you want to be included in your print marketing, you need to use high-quality photos. If the images are not clear enough, they will not turn out well when printing. A few tips to keep in mind include: Stay away from random images you find on the internet, as these usually do not show up clearly on the final print. Use JPEG or TIFF files for your prints because these are easy and familiar file formats for the professional service. Take advantage of preflight tools that can help you catch issues with your images before you submit them. If you use high-resolution images, you place your order in the best position possible to be successful.  Do Not Drag Logos Off of Your Website If you are ordering branded content, you need to think carefully about where your logo comes from.

How to Conduct a Competitive Analysis

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Whether you’re starting a business, you’ve been around for 100+ years, or you’re somewhere in between, it’s important to conduct a competitive analysis. A competitive analysis allows you to see gaps within the market that you can take advantage of. You can find ways to improve your business, create a better marketing strategy, and ultimately produce a stronger business. Although time-consuming, breaking down the process into steps will make it more manageable.  Tips to Help You Analyze the Competition Find Businesses Find businesses similar to your own. These competitors will help you learn valuable information. When scoping out the competition, try using such tools as web searches, social media, and websites specifically geared to help answer your questions about other businesses.  When looking for competitors, keep in mind that they can be divided into two categories: direct and indirect. Direct competitors sell the same products as you to a similar customer base.

Improve Your Business Through Atomic Habits

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James Clear’s widely successful book Atomic Habits breaks down habits into four parts: the cue, craving, response, and reward. This method shows readers how they can also form habits. Luckily, Clear’s formula can be applied to business. 4 Habits That Will Improve Your Business The Cue When developing a habit, Clear suggests making the cue as evident as possible. A cue is an outside stimulus that reminds you of the habit you wish to form. Therefore, your goal is to make your business as obvious as possible. With your advertising, you want your prospects and customers to see your ads and then associate them with the habit of buying from you. To do this, make your ads big, bright, and hard to miss. Use large banners to capture attention with design that pops. The Craving After your customer has seen the cue, they then need to want your product or service. Therefore make it as attractive as possible. Clear writes, “Every behavior is preceded by a prediction… every purc

3 Profitable Strategies for Building Customer Engagement

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Want to know your biggest asset? Engaged customers.  The depth of relationships between a business and its clients is one of the best predictors of lifetime value. Companies with improved customer engagement cross-sell by 22%, drive up-sell revenues from 13% to 51%, and increase order sizes by as much as 80%.  Tailor Engagement Strategies for Your Customers What might engagement look like for you? The strategies are as unique as your business! Here is one example: Recognizing the power of holiday hospitality, the Penha Longa resort makes December travels extra special for its guests. While Christmas decorations might brighten the mood for lonely people, celebrations are even better for engaging guests. To get travelers involved in the festivities, Penha Longa gives guests bare, shrub-sized trees for their rooms, along with crafty kits full of everything needed for creative decorating. This is just one magical, zero-tech model of connecting with customers. Instead of buildi

5 Low-Cost Customer Appreciation Strategies

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“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down simply by spending his money somewhere else.”  ~ Sam Walton (Founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club) They say every business has three types of customers. There are price-conscious people – clients who will leave if they find a better deal. There are fence-sitters – those who like your brand but could be persuaded to go elsewhere. And there are loyalists – people who are willing to pay more to maintain a relationship. If you move people toward loyalty, your bottom line will thrive. The success rate of selling to new customers ranges between 5-20%, while that rate soars to 60-70% for existing customers. And a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by as much as 125% . With limited time and energy, devoting some of your marketing budget to customer appreciation makes good sense. Here are five simple ways to build loyalty by showing customers you care: 1. H

Turn Prospects into Clients with Unforgettable Envelopes

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In a world besieged by digital noise, there is something refreshing about collecting your mail. Tangible and memorable, print media leave an emotional footprint in the psyche. Like a waft of perfume from a love letter, the experience of receiving and opening mail is one of life’s simple pleasures. Want to increase the impact of your message? Non-traditional print envelopes are sure to make a strong impression. When you’re ready to think outside the rectangle, here are some creative custom options: Colored Borders When you want an envelope to pop in the mail pile, a colored border sets your piece apart. Like a beautifully framed photo, edge accents bring extra attention to your message. Your design should flow with the shape and features of the interior message. For example, pair bold borders with a more modest typeface. Or compliment an embossed label with gold accent trim. Side Splash Accents A side splash is a print style that covers a significant portion of one side of

3 Powerful Tricks to Learn New Skills Faster

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“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy Though few people like it, change never stops. Success in life requires the ability to adapt. As one Chinese proverb quips, “the wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher.” Whether you enjoy change or not, the pace of change marches ahead at an ever-increasing pace. Here is a statistical snapshot of what that looks like: 94% of the internet workload will be processed on the cloud by the end of 2021 It is estimated that 70% of all automobiles will be connected to the internet through the Internet of Things by 2023 By 2030, the fully and semi-automatic car market will be worth $26 billion Artificial Intelligence is slated to replace around 85 million US jobs by 2025 The world has produced 90% of its Big Data (or extensive data sets) in the past two years Does that feel overwhelming? It can be. But humans