Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Improve Your Business by Listening to Your Customers

Why Customer Feedback is Important to Your Business

home business, customer service tips
Remember "Good" Customer Service?
Like we have so often been told, the customer is always right. Because of this, it is vitally important to make sure to listen to what customers are saying and take their feedback into serious consideration. Often, listening to customer’s needs and wants can lead to improving your business practices and even your products and services. Not to mention, showing customers that the business cares about them and their opinions will help to improve customer retention and help to gain lifelong business from them. Customer feedback is especially important for small business, so encouraging these types of comments, good or bad, can have a huge impact on a business’s success and also their customer relationships.

Know Your Business’s Strengths and Play to Them

One thing that small businesses have that many larger businesses do not is personality. Customers truly appreciate being able to interact with actual people and getting to know them on a first name basis instead of interacting with a website or customer service representative over the phone. This is one of the most powerful strengths of small business, so it is important to play to that strength when it comes to customer comments and feedback. When dealing with a customer face-to-face, consider polling them live on the spot – ask them what they think about a service or product and ways they think you can improve your business or customer service. Asking them in person will show that you care about what they have to say, making them more likely to be honest and also do business with you again.

Use Social Media to Gather Information

Social media is a treasure trove of great information – customers are more likely to post their thoughts online, from the safety of their computer screen, instead of expressing them in person. This is especially true for negative feedback. Do not be afraid to ask customers to post their thoughts online, but make sure you or someone in your business is actually monitoring and addressing these comments. A hair salon, for example, could ask happy customers to post before and after photos on the business’s Facebook page – this will help to gain more exposure through word of mouth, especially if the customer goes on and on about how much they love his or her new hairstyle. It is important to note, however, that negative comments are also useful. Make sure you handle negative feedback in a proactive and positive way and work toward making changes to eliminate those issues within the business.

Understand that You Do Not Know Everything

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to gathering customer feedback is that you, as a business owner, do not know everything. Make sure to really listen to what your customers are saying and take their opinions into serious consideration. Customers see your business from a completely different side of the counter, so the comments and feedback they give may be true for a large majority of your customers. Making changes that make customers happy makes them more likely to make purchases as well as much more likely to recommend the business to friends, family, and colleagues. Word of mouth is the number one way that a business can market itself, so make sure the words your customers are saying about your business are good ones. In our next blog post, we will discuss what you can do with customer feedback to take your business to the next level.

If you found this tip useful, you may want to talk to Stacy O'Quinn in person! Stacy has helped dozens of small business owners using the techniques he learned during Dani Johnson training seminars. Stacy created a six figure small business and can help you do the same! For more information about Stacy and to learn how he can help you, click here

Friday, October 17, 2014

Where You Should and Should Not Spend Money Starting Your Own Business

When to Scrimp and When the Spend

dani johnson, stacy oquinn, first steps to success
Stacy at Dani Johnson Training
Starting your own business is an exciting endeavor, not to mention a very expensive one. While it is important to acquire the things the business needs to operate, it is also important to stay within a budget and make sure you are not over spending on unnecessary items. When starting a business, many business owners have to cut back on their own personal expenses and trim back their lifestyle to help get the company off the ground. While this may be what needs to be done to get started, there are some things you should keep in mind when it comes to spending money to start a business. Here is an outline of when you should consider scrimping and when to spend when getting your company going.

Spend on Quality

For most businesses, certain materials need to be purchased in order to deliver products or services to consumers. When it comes at acquiring these items, quality wins over quantity every time. When consumers purchase anything, they want something of quality, and quality products are made from quality items. When a consumer purchases a product or service from a business, use it and see how well-made it is, they are more likely to do business with that company again in the future. It is important to note, however, that quality is not equivalent to expensive. Make sure to take the time to test different materials in all price ranges and even market-test them – this will help you decide what the best materials are for the price as well as choosing materials that will make your customers happy.

Scrimp on Office Space

There are many different types of businesses, so choosing the right office space for your company is going to be a potential money-saving decision. Chances are, unless the business needs a storefront right when it starts, the company can manage with little to no official office space. There is nothing wrong with starting a business in your home office, basement, or garage to get off the ground and moving to an external office space when the business is showing a profit or high success.

Depending on where the business is based out of, some rental office spaces can run thousands of dollars a month! This expense can really cut into a business’s overhead, especially when it is not making a lot of profit in its infancy. Even if you must have an office at times to meet with clients, there are "rentals" available when needed that will provide you with the equipment, personnel, and atmosphere needed.

Spend on Website Services

In today’s market, it is tough to start a business without a Web and mobile presence. Although this may seem difficult to attain, the truth is that the Internet is overflowing with affordable, accessible tools that can help make the business’s presence known. It is important, however, to make an investment in quality Web programs and tools that will help to make the business look professional.

Some companies offer the ability to build and maintain a website for less than $10 a month – keep in mind, though, that you often get what you pay for when it comes to Web services. Many of these inexpensive contractors are often outsourcing the work overseas. Simply put, the quality of work is not there and it will reflect on your business. If you unable to do the work yourself, you are much better off putting up a respectable template website with quality content and Internet marketing services and then upgrade as the business begins to enjoy some success.

How is your small business doing? Could you benefit from a small business mentor? Stacy O'Quinn has been using Dani Johnson training to help business owners succeed for years. In fact, it is this very training which enabled him to create his own six figure business that is still operating today and growing in income every year. For more information about Stacy and to find out how he can help you, click here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Save Money on Christmas Time Shipping for Your Small Business

Simple Packing and Shipping Tips to Help Your Business Save Big this Holiday

customer gifts
One practice that every small business owner should have is purchasing and sending Christmas gifts to their best customers. This is a great way to show how much your customers mean to you, and that appreciation will go a long way when it comes to future sales and referrals to family and friends. When it comes time to package and ship these items, it can often become a costly, headache inducing process – making sure the items get there in one piece as well as keeping on budget can be very difficult. Luckily, there are some simple tips to help you make the most of sending Christmas gifts to customers.

Saving Money on Shipping Boxes

Sometimes, the most expensive part of shipping Christmas gifts is the materials to get them in the mail. One area where you can save some money is with shipping boxes. First, consider recycling old boxes and using them to send out your gifts. Before reusing old boxes, always remember to remove the old shipping label – if the old barcode is scanned by mistake, the gift could end up at the wrong address. Additionally, many major shippers and the U.S. Postal Service do provide some free packaging and box options. Depending on the weight and dimensions of what is being shipped, the box may actually be included in the price of shipping it. Always make sure to explore these avenues before purchasing boxes.

Include Business Information in Your Package

While this may not be a money saving tip for shipping Christmas gifts this tip work two-fold - including a greeting card and a business card in the package is a great way to help establish relationships and possibly boost sales in the future. Not only is this a great way to connect with customers and encourage them to contact you, it is also a way for the shipping company to be able to return your package to you in case the outer label is removed in the mailing process. In the event that a package is damaged or the shipping label is damaged or misplaced, some shipping companies will open the package to look for a secondary label or other return information. Having the package returned to you will give you the opportunity to try and ship it again and will stop the package from being lost in the mail forever.

How to Properly Package Baked Goods

Many business owners send customers cookies or popcorn tins around the holidays. A great way to save money on holiday gifts is baking these homemade goods yourself. If this is the route you choose, make sure you know how to properly package baked goods so they can arrive to your customers in one delicious piece. Cookies and other baked items should always be placed in a tin or food container first and then packaged into a shipping box. Second, line the bottom of the box with your chosen packing material and place the food container in the center. Finally, fill in all the sides of the container, making sure to shake down the material so it is firmly packed to help ensure it does not move around in transit.

What do you mean you don't have any small business customers to send out gifts to? Are you ready to find an opportunity that can help you create a second income, or possibly become your main stream of income? If you have ever been to a Dani Johnson seminar, you may have seen Stacy O'Quinn on stage talking about Dani Johnson training helped him create a six figure income. Now, Stacy tries to help other business owners create their own six figure income. For more information about Stacy and to find out how he can help you, click here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Basic Marketing Tips for Your Online Business

3 DIY Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

stacy oquinn, dani johnson training
Stacy speaking at Dani Johnson Seminar
When it comes to running an online business, the marketing strategies that are employed and utilized by the business can be vastly different than those business owners who work out of a storefront. The majority of marketing for online businesses is digital, and digital marketing can be very costly in today’s modern world. If you do not have a large marketing budget, it can be easy to get discouraged by the amount of money it could cost to get your business’s name and branding out there into the market and launch campaigns that are meaningful. But, before resigning to doing little to nothing with your business’s marketing, there are some do-it-yourself strategies you can use to help boost sales.

Develop a Plan

One of the first and most important steps in any marketing campaign, especially a digital one on a budget, is to develop a good marketing plan. Planning out what you’re marketing will look like and what the desired outcomes should be is a crucial key to success. In reality, your marketing plan can make or break your overall efforts. Although this is imperative, it does not mean you need to go overboard – the most important thing is to have for your marketing plan is a set of actions and goals that you can stick with, working hard to meet or exceed the campaigns expectations. Sticking to a good marketing plan will also help to keep your efforts on budget and will help to prevent overspending in unnecessary areas.

Establish Your Business on Social Media

A great way to digitally market a business and build a brand is to do so through social media. Social media reaches hundreds of thousands of people every day, on the web and on smartphones, and what makes it even more effective for marketing is it is often free. Setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account for your online business costs nothing, unless you want to splurge on additional advertising or special account features. Although this may seem simple, it is important to keep some key points in mind – most importantly, make sure to keep your marketing and branding the same across all platforms. Consistency is so important in all marketing and branding, digital and social media efforts included.

Take a Hard Look at Your Website

When running an online business, your website is one of the most important assets that your business can have. This is why it is so important to make sure it is fully flushed, fully functional, and useful for your customers. Take a hard look at your website and determine what is working and what is not and where the site may be lacking when compared to your competitors. Additionally, evaluate the usefulness of your Content Management System, or CMS. What are its limitations? Can you easily make changes when needed? It is vitally important to make sure the website’s CMS system is search engine friendly as well – customer use search engines look Google and Bing all the time to find what they are looking for, and if your business does not show up in those searches, you are missing out on  great opportunity.

Do you need more help with your small business or are you looking for opportunities for a legitimate home business? Stacy O'Quinn was like you only a few years ago. What happened to change his life? He found an opportunity and started using Dani Johnson training techniques to create the financial freedom he needed to get out of debt. Stacy would love to help you do the same thing, and all you have to do is click here for more information.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Take Control of Your Future

Be the Boss in Your Own Life

Stacy and his brother with Dani Johnson
Who is the boss in your life? Who controls your movements and strides to success and who or what is holding you back? When it comes to being successful in life, many individuals believe that a higher power guides them to where they need to be – God, a higher spirit, Karma – whatever that entity may be, they take the guidance and when they reach a goal, they try to change the plan and takeover. Dani Johnson discusses just this topic in her latest blog titled “Who’s The Boss in Your Life?” Ms. Johnson relates this concept to the story of David from the Bible and goes on to explain how you can gain control in your own life and the importance of humility when you do soldier forth and reach your goals.

Identify the Enemies in Your Life

Much like David had enemies in his life, which were barriers between himself and his goals and successes, so do many of us in our own lives. Some enemies are people, those with negative outlooks who try to bring us down, and others are different circumstances, such as stress, financial problems, and debt. What many of us may not realize is that the same enemy may be taunting and stopping our successes over and over again. The first step in defeating these circumstances is to identify that reoccurring enemy and recognizing how exactly it is stopping us from moving forward. Recognizing these enemies is important, because chances are, you will see these same enemies come up in your life over and over again and they will continue to make you feel as though you are not in control.

Develop a Strategy to Keep Moving Forward

Once you have identified the enemies in your life, Ms. Johnson suggests you come up with a strategy to help keep you moving forward, or as she puts it, “soldiering on.” Hard times, heartaches, and challenges are a common occurrence along the path of life, so knowing what you can do to handle them instead of simply avoiding them is key. There is no set answer for what this strategy should or should not be – the most important aspect of it should be that it motivates you, lifts you up, and gives you the strength and willpower to keep moving through the hardest of times and rise up and defeat even your toughest enemies. Prayer, counsel or leaning on the advice of others are all great ways to keep moving forward.

Do Not Get Cocky

When an enemy or challenge is defeated, it can be an easy course of action to become overconfident or cocky, especially if you are soon faced with another road block. While getting through something difficult feels great and is a great accomplishment, Ms. Johnson stresses how important it is for us to stay humble. Although David was successful against the Philistines, he never allowed himself to become cocky and always sought counsel from God after victory and before his next challenge. It was this humility that allowed him to experience success over and over again. An overconfident attitude often sets individuals up for failure and causes them to stumble more than others along the path of life.

Stacy O'Quinn has followed lessons and experiences from Dani Johnson to create his own financial freedom. Today, in addition to running how own legitimate home business, he helps new entrepreneurs start their own business and mentors them along the way. To learn more about Stacy, his opportunity, and how he can help you, click here.