If The Product Is Only Half The Battle, What’s The Other 50%?

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By now, you’ve probably heard someone tell you that the quality of a product is only half of the battle for customers. There’s no doubt that high standards must be kept if you are ever going to land long-term rewards. Nonetheless, no entrepreneur can overlook the other key factors.

So, what exactly are the other aspects that need to be considered? Let’s take a closer look at the additional elements you must master.

#1. “Getting The Audience”

Modern consumers don’t just look for great products; they want a winning connection with the brand. Therefore, showing that you ‘get them’ by appreciating your niche and place in the market is key. When clients know that your business is accommodating to their tastes, needs, and backgrounds, it will make a big impact.

Apart from helping your tweak the products and services, it can stop you from wasting energies on outside audiences. Given that their reactions are fairly irrelevant anyway, this is certainly the best way to go.

#2. Customer Care

Even in today’s climate, people buy people. As such, the way you treat customers will often see them pay you back in kind. Assuming that you want them to do so in a positive, manner, upgrading your client care game is key. Whether this means training your employees or using better facilities, such as using virtual assistants like Call Ruby, is up to you. All enhancements are good news.

Transparency and fairness are vital elements to consider too. Return policies and similar tools can remove confusion while underlining your commitment to the cause. Without it, some clients will have doubts about the trustworthiness of the business, and that could cause big issues.

#3. The Sense Of Value

Most customers are happy to pay for quality, but their purchases should still offer value. Nobody likes the feeling of being ripped off, but simple gestures and attention to detail can combat this issue. Experts like C.L. Smith can open your eyes to the need for better packaging. Likewise, going the extra mile to have items delivered in the quickest time can generate smiles.

Ultimately, though, pricing will be one of the central features at all times. There’s nothing wrong with charging premium rates, but you must provide premium quality. Deliver more than is expected time and time again for guaranteed success.

#4. Reaction Of Loved Ones

In theory, our personal opinions about a product or brand should be all that matters. In reality, though, the vast majority of your clients will care about what others think. Therefore, seeking positive reviews on your site as well as external platforms is vital. When there is a genuine sense of excitement about your items, audiences are far more likely to view them in a positive light.

Influencer marketing has become an increasingly important aspect too. Nowadays, having an internet celebrity endorse your products can be the greatest marketing tool at your disposal. Once again, knowing that it fits in with the demands of your core demographic is everything.

 

Why You Absolutely Must Monitor Your Past Business Trends

If you’re a business owner, it’s important you realize just how important monitoring your past business trends is. If you don’t monitor these trends carefully, you’ll struggle to see what’s worked for you and even where you should take your business in the future. Here’s why you absolutely must monitor your past business trends:

Know What Your Clients Want

Wouldn’t you love to have a crystal ball and be able to tell exactly what your clients want? Good news, you don’t need a real life crystal ball to do this at all. You just need to monitor your past trends. By keeping a close eye on these trends, you should be able to figure out what you clients will need in the future. You may have to think outside of the box, but if you’re smart, you’ll be able to work something lucrative out.

Work Out Where To Go In The Future

Monitoring past business trends will also help you to figure out where to go in the future. Comparing these trends can help all kinds of businesses to figure out the right path to take. However, you’re going to need all of your trends easily accessible and comparable in one place. One popular place to do this is Excel. The spreadsheet format is easy to use and you can import files here so everything is exactly where you need it. Take a look at the infographic below if you want to learn 7 Excel tricks all office workers should know:


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Meeting The Requirements For A Business Summit Revealed

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“Wait, businesses still have meetings in 2017?”

Yes, yes they do. Although it seems archaic, a summit of minds is a fantastic way to generate leads and investment. Even in today’s culture, there is nothing more productive than a face-to-face. However, setting up a time to convene isn’t all a business has to consider. For it to go smoothly, the firm has to meet specific requirements.

What are they, you ask? Well, you can find that out by reading the tips and tricks below. These are the hacks which may transform the way you do business.

Don’t Assume Liability

The chances of a third-party slipping and falling on the premises aren’t high. Anyway, the majority of organisations don’t bother with an insurance policy. Just because the competition is taking a chance doesn’t mean you should follow suit. As soon as you invite a person(s) through the door, you assume the risk. The good news is public and employers liability insurance from Qdos Contractor means you don’t have to take the fall. Should there be an accident, the insurance policy will cover the company in its time of need. Play the percentages and always have a contingency when clients visit the office.

Invest In Tech

Meeting in person is better than conversing via Skype. The thing is both parties are busy and circumstances change. When this happens, it is essential to adapt than to cancel the pow-wow. As always, the best option is to carry on as planned rather than push back any arrangement. With the right technology, it isn’t hard to conduct a meeting digitally from anywhere in the world. Skype is a favourite of the industry, yet other suppliers are catching up. For example, both Facebook and WhatsApp have video calling features.

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Encourage Dialogue

How many times have you been in a meeting where one person spoke? Usually, the man or woman at the front says his or her piece and the summit concludes. Although you get your point across, you miss out on valuable dialogue. When people talk, it’s far easier to gain an insight into their thinking. Sure, they may nod and laugh when appropriate, but they aren’t signs they are impressed. Encouraging participation is the only way to gauge their views and alter their mindset. The key is to ask open-ended questions which need more than a single answer. Also, ensure your body language is warm and friendly.

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Avoid The Afternoon

A cliché yes, but people view business meetings in the afternoon as a doss. Whether they do it consciously, the people in the room won’t focus. To get results, you need their undivided attention. Honestly, no manner of pyrotechnics and PowerPoint accessories will keep them engaged. The key is to schedule important gatherings during the morning or early afternoon. Why? It’s because people are productive during these times of the day. Another tip is to avoid Mondays and Fridays because they’re too close to the weekend.

A meeting is essential, which is why you need to make sure you’re on (power) point.

3 Tiny Bumps That Can Break Your Business

A small British eCommerce company, M&M Direct, was enjoying an exponential expansion onto the German market until during one weekend their online customers transformed the successful development into a market debt by claiming the pay the difference twice guarantee for finding a cheaper product elsewhere. Indeed, M&M Direct was proud of its claim of presenting customers with the cheapest alternative on the market. Unfortunately, the tool they used to check market prices was not up-to-date anymore. On the wake of this tragedy, the company dropped the best price guarantee and subsequently lost the trust of German customers. Years later, they still haven’t recovered their market position. Of course, every business is doomed to hit a few bumps along the way. But sometimes, the issues are only the tip of the iceberg!

The office issues that need organisation

A simple issue such as getting your staff holiday mixed up is the result of poor organization within the company. At first, it seems harmless. All you need to do is call back your staff or call the clients to apologize. But it can be damaging in the case of a significant mix-up, such as what happened the Ryanair recently that forced the company to cancel several hundreds of thousands of flights and to face legal pursuits for the lack of support they show to the customers touched by the plane cancellation. A small issue can cost them their market position.

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Keeping an organized business

 The growth issues that need planning

Picture the scene: You’ve got a fantastic business idea; all you need is to make it happen to get rich. Except that investing all your savings in the realisation of the concept didn’t work. You may be smiling, but this is very common for newcomers to the world of entrepreneurship. The first lesson that everyone needs to learn is that funding your business needs strategic planning, that’s why business financing solutions such as swiftfinancial.com offer customizable loan options and active capital alternatives to help entrepreneurs tackle a variety of growth scenarios. Requesting fundings without a growth strategy is the best way to waste money and go bankrupt before you’ve even started.

The expansion issues that need addressing

For a lot of companies, recruiting is the most crucial part of your expansion. It is also the part that is the most likely to fail, according to socialtalent.com, if you’re not careful about your strategic approach. Indeed, recruiting is not only a matter of increasing the number of employees in your team but also meeting measurable business objectives, such as nailing a 2% revenue growth with the skills of new employees for example. Not defining your goals means that a company could be investing in employees who are not delivering the appropriate results. Would you be surprised to know that too many companies are still not using the best interview practices for their recruiting process? In fact, for a lot of employers, the interview should be about selling the role to a candidate and showing why your company is attractive. However, the interview time is still primarily spent on going through the CV of a candidate section by section. This poor interview management leads to the potential loss of relevant candidates.

 

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Improve your interview skills

Are you having troubles keeping an organized business, finding the funds you need or recruiting new employees? It’s time to address the underlying issues of these problems before they crash your business.

Why Don’t Consumers Like My Business?

It can be quite frustrating when you feel as if your business is doing everything right and your sales either remain stagnant or begin to decline. You might be selling a fantastic product or service, hiring hard-working and passionate people, and offering a 24/7 service to help customers or potential customers. However, if you’re not marketing that product well, offering something unique that separates your service from all your competitors who offer an identical service, and professionally addressing complaints of your customers then you’re not going to beat the competition in your industry.

In answer to your question, the reason as to why customers don’t like your business is probably less of a personal attack against your brand and its services as a whole and more of a minor flaw with one or several aspects of your company and its current mode of operations. That’s good, however, because it means there’s room for improvement. It means there’s the potential for your business to paper over the cracks in order to better impress customers and increase its sales. If you’ve no idea where to begin on such a venture then here are some reasons as to why customers might not be sold on your business and how you can improve things.

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You don’t know your target market.

You can scoff at that statement all you like but think about it for a second. Are you sure you’re targeting the right portion of the market for your industry? And even if you are reaching the consumers you want to target, are you really offering them what they need? You need to know your target audience if you want to market your goods to them appropriately. It’s not enough to simply tell people what they should want to buy, whether it’s “innovative” or a “great deal”.

People know their own minds, and a successful business is one which attempts to fit itself into the market rather than the other way around. Essentially, you’re looking for a gap that your competitors haven’t seen. You’re not looking to solve problems that don’t exist; you need to listen to customers, find out what they want that they’re not currently getting from your industry, and dive in with the answer to their problems.

You don’t use your existing client-base.

You shouldn’t just sit and twiddle your thumbs whilst you wait for customers to find you. You need to be a little proactive. Of course, the solution isn’t always to shove adverts in people’s faces and say “buy from our company”. Take the human approach and think about the clients you’ve already gained because these people are your business’ most useful resource.

Getting people to give referrals for your company is the best way to draw in new customers because people are likely to believe the word of somebody who says they were impressed by a product or service they bought from a specific company. Of course, you can find ways to incentivize customers to give referrals for rewards such as discounts but we’ll talk about that later.

You don’t work with other businesses.

This doesn’t mean you need to start working with your competitors; obviously, if you’re running a gym then you’re not going to help out nearby gyms in the area. However, collaborating with businesses who sell different goods but to the same target market as your company is a very smart way for businesses to help one another. For example, a hairdresser’s might work with a nearby clothing store so that customers who walk into either store get discounts for the other. Your business doesn’t have to steal customers from competitors; you can find them through companies in different industries who target the same market as you.

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You’re not advertising your brand effectively.

It doesn’t matter how exciting your product is or how much you care about customers; if you’re not promoting your brand effectively then nobody’s going to know that your amazing company exists. You need to utilize the internet to your advantage in this modern, digital age. Use search engine optimization techniques to get your website to rank more highly on Google and Bing; you should use keywords, responsive layout, and concise design to impress not only visitors to your website but the algorithms that search engines use to rank websites. Of course, you might also want to check out companies such as Falcon Digital Marketing for help with marketing options such as PPC management services. This advertising method often involves directly placing your company website at the top of search engine result pages through adverts.

Essentially, you can cut out a little bit of work if you’re willing to spend some money. The point is that SEO is only one of many ways in which you advertise your brand online. The modern age offers many more marketing opportunities than the days of traditional media but the key thing to remember is that you’re trying to smartly place your business in places that will be seen by customers. You don’t want to force your brand in their faces; people like to search for goods and services they want and find businesses for themselves. Adverts can be useful, as mentioned above, but be smart about the places in which you put them.

You’re not giving customers an incentive to stick around.

Even the most ethical and high-quality companies won’t retain all their customers if they don’t have a hook. If a competitor comes along with a better deal then your clients will buy from them instead; you need to build loyalty and trust so that clients want to stick with your business rather than risking the competition. Your company should give its regulars the VIP treatment. Show them that it means something to your business that they choose to stick around and buy from your company repeatedly. That’s the way to build loyalty with your client-base.

If people feel that their purchase was nothing more to your company than a simple transaction then they’ll shrug their shoulders and simply buy those same goods or services from whichever competitor offers the best price. However, if you give your customers great deals and discounts for sticking around then they’ll know that there’s a real reason for them to continue to buy from you. Your brand will become more favorable to them than any competing brands because customers will know that they’ll keep on getting better and better offers by maintaining a long-term relationship with your business.

Unique Ways To Attract Customers To Your Business

There are many articles out there that discuss ways to attract customers to your business when you first open up, but not many that tell you how to keep the customers coming so that you have more profit rolling in for you. Attracting an entirely new line of customers to boost the income from your regulars is not easy, but you can take the time to be innovative and unique with the way you do things.

Customers are often at the heart of a business, especially if you are offering a public product or service. You want people to buy into you, not just your product and customer loyalty comes from believing in what you are offering. People leave reviews on sites like this one to encourage others to a service or to deter them, so as a company you have to offer everything you can to ensure that people want to keep coming back to you and not run from you.

Sometimes, you have to offer something that they will appreciate, whether that’s event voiceover services for customers who are from the other side of the globe and other times, it’s holding community events where your customers can be wowed with local circus performers! If you are looking for ways to bring in new people, then you’ll love the suggestions we’ve got for you.

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  • Friendly Competition. It’s important for you to understand that you need friends in the right places. If you have other competitors on the same street as your business, collaborating with them so that they can make referrals on your behalf is a smart idea. This idea is a unique one, as companies don’t often rely on their financial competition to get them noticed.

  • Hold Events. You may have held a large event to launch your business but that shouldn’t stop you holding more local events. If your product is one that is interactive, then holding a learning event for the local community is a brilliant way to showcase what you can do and invite the community to learn about you. Don’t forget to include a freebie bag – everyone loves a bit of swag!

  • VIP Treatment. Along the same line, think about how you would launch a new product. Social media is a fantastic space to gauge interest in a new service or product you could offer, and you could have VIP treatment at the ready for your regular customers. Hold a small event for the regulars so they can try your new product first in exchange for feedback – which can be invaluable for a company!

  • Offer Alternatives. When you want to bring in new customers, you need to offer fresh new things. Look at what your people have said to you about your service, then adapt to suit the feedback. Hold your horses though – you don’t want to change your entire product or business just to appease one or two people!

Be unique with your marketing for a new product or service and do what you can to tighten up the way you do things so that people know you can offer them what they want!

What A Potential Client Wants To Hear You Say

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The medium in which you are your own boss doesn’t matter. Freelance, contractor, entrepreneur, business leader – it doesn’t matter. What matters is your relationship with your clients and getting to the stage where you hear those truly dreamy words of, “You’re hired!” It is getting to this stage, however, that is so darn tricky.

Luckily for you, that is where we come in.

We have been doing the rounds, speaking to businesses, business leaders and bid specialists to find out exactly what a potential client wants to hear you say before they’ll start doing business with you, and here are the very best of the bunch:

“I Couldn’t Be More Excited By Your Project”

The way you project your interest is going to have a huge amount of influence over your potential clients. Just think about it from their point of view for a second. Do you think they will want to work with the person that says, “I can squeeze you in, sure, it’s pretty slow at the moment anyway,” or the person that says, “This project sounds incredible because of such and such reasons and I would love to work on it.” Show you are interested in their project and tell them why; there is just no better way to prove you are genuinely excited.

“No One Can Do This To The Same Standard As Me”

There is a huge difference between arrogance and confidence, but if you truly believe that your skills and abilities would get their project done to a super-high standard, then tell them that. Every client wants to know that their project is in safe hands and that the person they pick is more than up to the task. Of course, if you aren’t confident that your abilities match up with this specific project, then be honest up front. They will appreciate this and return to you as a result of your honesty.

“Your Security Is Our Number One Priority”

Every client is concerned about the information and data they share with you. What’s more, the bigger the potential client the more concerned they will be. That is why you need to fill them with confidence on this front. It could be that you have just been to get office 365 security for your network, in which case tell them. It could be that you have key cards that allow you to monitor who enters your office building. Perhaps you work with a top-level IT security firm or have restricted access on your server or even security guards. Whatever you can use to fill them with confidence should be mentioned.

“You Can Call Or Email Me At Any Time And I’ll Answer”

Effective communication is one of the most important areas of a relationship in the eyes of a client. They want to know that they can communicate with you at any point, whether it be to discuss the project, check in on your progress or through some feedback your way. They may want to know about your delivery schedule and make sure you will still meet the deadline. T could just be they want to be kept in the loop so they can still take responsibility. Whatever it is, make sure you communicate efficiently and professionally.

No Business Is Too Small To Succeed!

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There was a time when the idea of starting a business was reserved pretty much exclusively for those who were already well established or, at the very least, had a great deal of money to throw around. This was because a business usually needed a premises, employees, infrastructure networks, and a whole host of other things. And sure, that’s all still very important to a lot of businesses, but the reality is that thanks to the rise of the internet, there’s been a pretty radical shift in the possibilities for smaller businesses. Now, all you really need to start your own business is a computer, a great idea, and the drive to make it happen.

Get online

If you want to start your own business and you don’t have huge amounts of money or power to throw around, then there’s only one place for you to go: the internet. The internet really has revolutionised the process of starting and running businesses in a way that no one could have predicted. Whether you want to become a freelance copywriter, you want to set up a retail store, or you simply want to promote a crafts business that you run out of your home, all of these things can be done online. With little more than some cheap WordPress hosting, a decent knowledge of web design, and a few simple resources, you can create your own business in a matter of days. Sure, it’s going to take much longer than that to actually get it off the ground, but the barrier to entry really is that much lower now.

Crowdfunding

For a long time, if you wanted to get some capital for your business then you had to either sink a great deal of your own money into it or go courting investors. Both of these were perfectly viable strategies but they did come with their fair share of drawbacks. The first being that, if you didn’t have money to put into the business in the first place, you were kind of stuck. The other being that, if you wanted an investor’s money, you often had to give up a certain degree of control in your business up in exchange. Now, thanks to things sites like Kickstarter, you can fund your business with the help of your customers. Customers can donate to you in exchange for treats and bonuses which can help you finally get your business the funding that it needs.

Free marketing

Of course, however important funding is to any business, there are plenty of ways in which the internet has made things far cheaper. One of the best examples of this is marketing. Thanks to social media, it’s never been easier or cheaper to reach a huge potential audience. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are totally free and give you access to the kind of potential customer base that businesses in the past could only have dreamt of.

Sure, there are always going to be roadblocks in the way of creating a successful business, but in the modern era, it’s now more possible than ever before for people to start businesses that can become incredibly successful with the kinds of s

4 Methods To Make Your Business More Responsible

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For many entrepreneurs, running a business isn’t all about the bottom line; it is also about giving back to the community and other charitable causes. And the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Consumers tend to trust companies which have a high level of social responsibility and therefore their profits increase naturally. To give you a kickstart, here are five basic ways that you can change to run a more socially responsible business that you can look at implementing today.

Create a Mission and Establish Goals

Aligning yourself to a particular cause is a great way to give your business a purpose. It should become part of your company DNA and a cause that you are your staff wholeheartedly support. You may have a chosen charity and set yourself a particular donation target to reach every month. You may be looking to run a completely environmentally friendly company through recycling programs and responsible commercial waste disposal. Whatever your mission, you should seek to regularly communicate it with your staff and customers alike. Setting yourself attainable goals is a great way to motivate people into achieving your aims.

Employ Responsible Staff Members

If you are looking to create a more responsible business in general, it makes sense that you employ responsible staff members. So, rather than simply focusing on ambition, you should also look what sort of other activities they are involved in. This way, you are all much more likely to be on the same page and it will be a good fit between employer and employee, which is so important in creating a harmonious business environment.

Establish Charity Rewards and Bonuses

Nothing helps to get people more motivated than the prospect of a reward or bonus, so you could try offering incentives that encourage people to meet your aims. For example, you could offer the whole team something like a trip out together or even an extra day of holiday if they hit a certain fundraising target. Alternatively, you could offer a reward if a member of staff has an idea that you implement regarding environmental stability.

Collaborate with Similar Organisations

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As a responsible business yourselves, it makes sense that you collaborate with other companies which have similar ambitions and value to you. For example, your policy may be to only work with local suppliers to show that you are committed to supporting the surrounding community. Creating your own network of socially responsible businesses is an impressive sign for all types of potential client.

Running a business that does more than just generate profit is something that you should look to be doing. Not only will you be supporting some valuable causes, you will also help to show customers that you have values and morals. In an increasingly competitive consumer world, people are becoming more and more choosy about where they buy their goods and services so this may be what differentiates you from your competition and helps you to stand out from the crowd.

 

Customers Don’t Care About Your Business. It’s Time To Change That

Here’s some hard truth that a lot of small startups simply aren’t prepared to hear: customers don’t care about you. That might sound harsh but the sooner you get used to that fact the better. There are now so many businesses out there that customers are completely spoiled for choice. This means that the traditional ways in which many businesses were able to get the attention of potential customers aren’t working anymore. It’s no longer enough to have a great product or an effective marketing campaign since the competition is so much stronger than it was even a decade ago. If you really want the attention of customers in the modern age, you’ve got to embrace some different elements. Here are a few ways to make sure that customers are going to actually start to care about what your business has to offer.

Strong branding

As harsh as it might sound, customers are generally pretty shallow. That’s not actually a criticism. In fact, in the modern business landscape, it’s become pretty necessary. Because of the rise of the internet and the explosion of new businesses onto the marketplace, customers are presented with more options than ever before. This means that if they want to find the perfect business for them, they don’t really have the time or the patience to pay close attention to many businesses. The reality is that a lot of customers are simply looking at a business’s branding and making their decision based purely on that. Make sure to look at the kind of branding that your successful competitors are using and take inspiration from that. Companies like Apple are a fantastic place to learn from since they’ve managed to create an entire technological revolution out of their branding and aesthetics.

A powerful online presence

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There was a time when there were plenty of different places that customers would look when it came to finding the right business or product for them. They might watch adverts on TV, look in the phone book, or simply talk to their friends and family. These days, if a customer wants to find a business, there’s only one place they go: Google. The vast majorities of businesses are found online these days, and if you’re not embracing that fact, then your business is going to end up getting left in the dust. Not only do you need to make sure that your SEO is up to scratch so that you’re always at the top of Google’s search results, but you should work alongside a web design company to ensure that your website always looks as professional as possible as well as functioning smoothly no matter what. The last thing you want is for customers to arrive at your website and for it to stop working under the increased traffic.

Company ethics

There might have been a time when a business could stay out of social movements, but that age is long gone. These days, people want to know if the businesses that they’re engaging with share their values. It’s important to have some kind of ethics policy that is publicly available so that your customers can see the attitudes that your business takes on things like sexism, racism, transphobia, homophobia, and any other forms of discrimination. You might think that your attitude towards these things should go without saying, but it’s important to take a stand with these things and show your customers that your business won’t stand for discrimination of any sort.

Personal engagement

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One of the best things about the modern age is the rise of social media. Not only does social media allow people to communicate more effectively with each other but it also allows businesses to connect directly with customers in a way that has never been possible before. You can talk to your customers directly rather than using your marketing as a blunt instrument. You can help to solve their problems, let them know how important they are to you, or simply make jokes and create an emotional bond and sense of loyalty between you and them.

Sure, these things aren’t the only secrets to success in the modern business world. The classic aspects of any business are still just as important as they ever were. The difference is that customers are less concerned with those things. As good as your business might be, it really isn’t worth anything if it can’t present itself in a way that’s going to engage customers in an effective way. However, if you can hook in your customers then you already have an advantage over the competition. Of course, after that, the biggest challenge is actually keeping them!

What is a Niche and Why is it Important?

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If you’ve set up your own small business, or you’re in the process of doing so, you’ll probably have heard a great deal about niches and how important it is to carve out one of your own, but what exactly is this niche business all about?

What is It?

A niche is basically a very focused area of the market your business is operating in. In order to have a niche, you must specialize in a particular, targetable field of the market and do so in much more detail than the average mainstream business in your field.

Why It’s Important to Have a Niche

There are numerous reasons why it’s important to have a niche of your own in the business world, but here are some of the most compelling:

You Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a budding entrepreneur is to spread yourself too thinly and try to take on more than you can handle. It’s easy to do this by trying to offer a very wide selection of products to cater to everyone, making it difficult for you to do any one thing well.

If, on the other hand, you focus on one particular thing, whether that’s SEO marketing for attorneys rather than SEO marketing for everyone, or selling Lenses for just Nikon cameras instead of all the cameras on the market, you can really get to grips with your niche. This will enable you to offer your customers and clients a much better service, that is also easier to manage.

It Makes Marketing Easier

When you’re super focused on doing one particular thing well or offering one kind of product only, it’s also easier to market your business to the right people. It is after all. A lot easier to identify customers who would be interested in marketing for attorneys than it is to narrow down your search for potential marketing clients out of the hundreds of thousands of businesses in operation, and of course, when it’s easier to identify the most interested parties, it’s a lot easier to make sales more quickly, efficiently and with a lower advertising bill, too!

You Can Become an Expert

In business, it always pays to be an expert in your field. If you are recognized as someone who really knows their onions, then more people in the field will respect your opinion and they will naturally start to gravitate towards your business. Obviously, it’s a lot easier to become an expert in a narrow field than a huge pond, which is why  finding a niche is so important for the average small business.

Less Competition

Of course, if you are able to find a very specific niche, you are not likely to have nearly as much competition as those individuals who are running less focused companies, which can often make it easier for your business to gain momentum in the early days, and help you to corner your specific market, so that you are never short of business – something that should be a primary aim of any company old or new, big or small.

Better Referral Rates

When you have a strong niche, your customers and clients will really get what you do and as a result they will feel better able to recommend you to others who are in need of the goods and services you provide. The fact that you are likely to be a lot more visible within your small corner of the field will help with this too.

Repeat Business

Repeat business is the holy grail for any company. It’s normally a lot easier to convince someone who has bought from you before to do so again, and when you’re working in a small niche where everything you do is aimed specifically at meeting the exact needs of the clients, it’s a lot easier to get that repeat business and build long-lasting, trusting business relationships.

The bottom line: Basically, having a niche means that you are a big fish in a small pond, rather than a small fish in a big pond, and this naturally has many advantages in terms of your visibility, ability to find good clients and how many sales you can make.

It isn’t always easy identifying a niche within your chosen field, but it is certainly worth taking the time to do so if you want to give your new venture the best possible chance of succeeding and thriving for many years to come.

Selling To Eyes And Not To Minds

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Humans are incredibly vain creatures. When you see something you like, you are drawn to it a lot more than items which don’t catch your eye. For this reason, businesses have been using visual techniques for many years to encourage their customers to spend, with varying degrees of success. Of course, the way your business looks is very important for many reasons. But, people rarely consider how it could impact people’s decision to spend, and this post is here to help you out.

  • Online

The internet is where you’re most likely to sell goods to your customers, and is one of the most important places to consider when you’re thinking about visual marketing for your business. Nothing sticks out more than a bad website, especially since they have become a lot easier to make. It’s entirely possible for you to create a business website by yourself, nowadays. But, instead, you should be looking at the idea of going with a professional developer. This will almost always ensure that you have a better result at the end, and will also guarantee that your website looks as good as it possibly can.

  • In-Store

If you have a physical store which you use to sell your goods, you will also have to think about this area of your business. There are loads of companies out there which can design and fit your shop for you, taking a lot of pressure out of your hands. Of course, though, you may have to get some of the pieces yourself. In modern stores, options like those found on http://www.fireflystoresolutions.com/c-1053-gridwall-displays.aspx are becoming increasingly popular in modern stores. From the way that you decorate to the displays you use for products, this part of your business has to be done right.

  • General Marketing

Once you have the inside of your shop sorted out, you can start to think about the different ways you market the business. A lot of companies rely on marketing to make sure that they get enough business to survive. So, it’s likely that you will have to deal with this at some point in your career. To help you out, a graphic designer can design all of your materials for you, with the results being much better than if you did the work yourself. Along with this, though, you could also look into getting some help from a marketing company, too.

  • The Rest Of Your Business

Most customers won’t want to buy items from a company which looks bad. But, likewise, you can often convince people to make a purchase with looks alone, if you do it right. Of course, most companies don’t put the right level of effort into this work, though. When you’re designing different parts of your business, you should always try to look at it from a customer’s perspective. This will give you a good idea of the work which you’ll need to do to improve, while also giving you an idea of the other work you could do.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start selling to eyes instead of minds. This sort of approach can do good things for a business, especially in a world dominated by speed and the need to get things done fast.

The Smarter Way to Fund a New Startup

Everyone has ideas, but very few people manage to convert those ideas into successful businesses. Unfortunately, not everyone has the means to do so and you’d be surprised at how often fantastic ideas go to waste due to a lack of action. Taking action is perhaps one of the most important things to do when you have a good business idea. Even if you only think that you have a good idea, it’s vital that you don’t let them slip away or else you’ll be kicking yourself because you noticed that someone else is using your ideas and making millions off it.

If you want to turn your ideas into a company, then you’ll have to look for ways to fund your startup. Even if you’ve had failed ideas in the past, it’s a good idea to look at how you can secure the funding required to try again, and here are just a couple of examples to help you get started.

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Business Loans

Sometimes, the most straightforward method is often the best method. In this case, going straight for business loans from a company such as smallbusinessloans.co is perhaps the safest bet if you don’t have much to start with. If your idea is purely at a conceptual stage, then it’s better to look for advisors or assistance and then go the standard route of taking a business loan. Yes, it sounds boring, but it’s usually the best way to get started unless you already have quite the following through previous endeavours.

Crowdfunding

Whether you want to create a restaurant or a tech company, crowdfunding is usually a solid bet to go for especially if you can offer something amazing back to the consumer. Take a look at this article from entrepreneur.com to learn of 10 different ways that you can crowdfund your very first project. Even if it’s something small, it’s possible to do so with the help of the public who believe in your ideas. In a sense, they almost become like investors because they believe in your ideas and want to give you something to help get started, but they are also like your very first customers that believe so strongly in your cause that they’re willing to pay money months or even years in advance for your product.

Before you crowdfund your business, it’s a good idea to try and bring out a sample product or something that can whet the consumer’s appetite in order to convince them to give you as try. For example, before you start a restaurant, consider setting up a street food stand to give samples to people while still making a bit of cash to fund your startup. Yes, it does take a bit of money to hire a food truck and rent space, but every business is going to need some form of monetary investment, so it’s a cost that you’ll have to deal with. Plus, it’s better than starting a crowdfunding project with absolutely nothing to show.

Making Money From Street Food: Is It Really Possible?

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As an entrepreneur, you are probably always on the lookout for a new and exciting project in which you can invest your cash. If you want to get involved in a current trend and are interested in the food industry, then thinking about starting an exciting street food project could be just the thing for you! Even if you don’t want to get your hands dirty and spend all day cooking on a market stall, it’s a really good idea to look into investing some of your money into an up and coming street food company.

But is it really possible to make some money from these street food stalls? It certainly is, you just need to remember these important factors.

Invest In Top-Quality Equipment

When your employees are out on the streets cooking up food, it is important that they can rely on their equipment. After all, if their cookers or truck break down half way through the day, then you will lose a half day’s worth of profits! Rather than buying equipment cheaply on eBay, you should look for specialist suppliers. Kickstart My Coffee Trikes are known for their coffee machinery, trikes, and small vans, and are highly regarded within the coffee industry. If you want to serve food rather than drinks, you’ll be able to find lots of other specialist street food truck manufacturers. It’s a good idea to ask other vendors for their recommendations.

It’s All About Location

Location really matters in this business. When you are deciding where to go with your stall or truck, you need to choose an area or street that will get lots of passing trade. This will greatly increase your daily sales. Once you start to get a good reputation, you will be able to place another truck in a location that doesn’t get as much passing trade. But, as long as people know you are there and they know that your food is good, they will go out of their way to visit you! But you really do need to build up an established reputation first.

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Safety First

Your van or stand will be super important to your whole business. Without it, there is no way you can trade. So, it is absolutely necessary to ensure its security whenever it isn’t in use. The best way to keep your van safe is to store it in a garage overnight. You should be able to rent one out for a reasonable price in your local area.

Establish Good Relationships With Suppliers

Once you find a good supplier, it is a good idea to establish an excellent relationship with them. That way, you can work together for a very long time, and this will save you the hassle of continually trying to find a new, reasonably priced supplier for your ingredients. If your supplier is also well established, they might be able to give you a few handy hints and tips about the business too!

You can make money from street food – just bear in mind these useful tips!

Bridge The Gap To Get To Know Your Customers Better

Working in the office all day long, it can seem like you have a better relationship with your desk and computer, than you do with your customers. For businesses that don’t keep up with customer demand or don’t know even know what they want, it’s a slippery slope downward. Getting concrete proof of what your customers love about your business and what they hate, is extremely difficult. There is no magic bullet any business owner can use to get a list of all these things, but there is a list of how you can. It’s possible in this day and age, to leverage crucial information about individuals and implement solutions in the right way that correlates with the key data. The people in businesses that don’t treat their demand, i.e., the consumer, as robots, who just want to be wooed, builds something that not many things can destroy; and that’s a relationship.

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From the horse’s mouth

Part of being a leader is to have thick skin. Never be afraid of someone telling you that you’re wrong. Modern businesses rely on their customers telling them what they could improve on, in plain language. You could improve customer service, by improving customer relations first. Be honest when you’re on social media as if you were having a chat with all your customers at once, in their living rooms. When you get a complaint on social media, your marketing team should log the precise details of the issue and how this is affecting customers. Reply back in a humane manner and never let your emotions get the better of you. You should also encourage customers to leave reviews for you on your website as well as the website where your products are distributed. Customer reviews with a negative tone, should be logged, categorized and then solutions to these problems should be thought up with the utmost priority.

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Have a sixth sense

Consumer shopping trends are a very useful to any business that wants to know what they could potentially improve on to take advantage of a short term rise in interest. However, it’s not so far-fetched to know what each customer or client may want from your business when they contact you. Many business leaders are now wondering, Is Visual Visitor Worth Signing Up For? It’s a tool that allows you to know the exact interests of those who are contacting yours by displaying information about the pages they have visited. So before you pick up the phone, you can log the details of the individual, take an educated guess as to what they might be interested in with regards to your products and services, and have an increased chance of finalizing a sale.

Knowing the future

Nobody knows what the future holds, but you can prepare for it. By conducting customer satisfaction surveys with you customers either on your website or on social media, you can ask them what they may want to see in the future from your business. Rather than responding to negative feedback about your current products, you can ask specific questions on how to improve the lives of the public. The same can be applied to clients, who want to see your services improve in a specific way that would help them personally. Pretty soon you can form a trend and take this information back to the boardroom and decide how to utilize it.

Bridge the gap, and get to know your customers better. They’re not walking dollar signs; they’re intricate and unique. Every individual must be listened to, so your marketing technique can be pinpoint accurate, equalling in a stronger chance of converting their curiosity, to purchase.

Simple Tips For Boosting Sales And Growing Your Business

Working in Sales is not an easy game; it’s competitive, the market always changes, and even when you think you’re successful your fortune can change overnight. This is especially humbling when your business lives or dies depending on how much product you sell. Fortunately, there are many sales strategies available to help your business to grow; some are as old as the sales business itself, and others have developed alongside technological advances. There are so many strategies at your disposal, that you only have to find the few that work for you and your business.

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Have a clear customer in mind

You might want to believe that your product is universal and therefore everyone will want to buy it. Unfortunately, that is never the case, and you will miss out on profits if you don’t sell to the right customer. Ask yourself; who is most likely to buy your product immediately? How old are they? Are they male or female? What is their lifestyle? What problems do they have that can be solved by your product? The more specific you are about your potential customer, the better you will be at marketing your product for a target audience, therefore increasing your profits. It also saves you valuable time; when your target is smaller, you don’t have to work as hard to make your product relevant to as many people.

Always work on your pitch

While it’s important for any business to have a clear mission statement, it’s also important to recognise that not every customer will have the same response to the way you present your statement. For example, if you want to sell an anti-ageing cream to women over 40, some might respond well to a declaration that your product will prolong their youth, while others who are happy ageing gracefully will have a different reaction. You always need to update and practice your pitch to win over as many clients as possible, while also remaining true to your original purpose. If you’re not making sales, then your pitch might be falling flat and you need to keep working on it.

Website

Most new businesses get launched on a website nowadays, so it’s in your best interests to make sure your website is engaging, connects to all the social media platforms for your business, and that your customers can find it. Having a website is a form of MSP marketing for a multitude of industries; other forms include email marketing, speaking events, and telemarketing. Whether you’re selling products, promoting services, or setting yourself up as an industry expert with valuable advice, your website can reach out to thousands of people if you market it correctly. Give yourself a domain name that is unique, yet still gives an idea of your services – the easier it is to find when someone types a certain phrase into a search engine, the better.

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Make your website mobile friendly

These days, there are very few people in the world who don’t spend at least two hours a day online. Smartphones and mobile devices are incredibly convenient, and most people browse the internet when they’re out and about. A successful marketing strategy would take advantage of this; drive up your website traffic by making a mobile friendly version of your site. By doing this, you can ensure that your customers stay updated on your products and business news, even on their morning commute, during their lunch break, and on the long bus ride home.

Build relationships

Even in an age where business is mostly conducted online or over the phone, there are still plenty of opportunities to build relationships with your customers. Usually, the best way to do this is to include links to your social media pages or a company email address on your website – although anything that might include an instant response would be better. Chatbots, for example, are featuring more frequently on websites because they’re an instant way of communicating with customers, and they don’t have to wait for someone to respond to their queries or complaints. Make yourself open to feedback from customers regarding your products, services, and the ease of use with your website. Their feedback improves their experience, which in turn improves your business. You can also build relationships in person by attending industry events and trade shows.  Remember, the easiest way to destroy a relationship is to overpromise and underdeliver; it’s best to set the bar relatively low so that customers always feel they have experienced the best service.

Avoiding Bankruptcy: Life Jackets For Your Business

Business is like a game of Monopoly. One minute you’re riding high and the next the Chance card is telling you to go to jail without passing ‘Go.’ There are some things that you can’t foresee, but others you can prepare for. In a bid to safeguard your business against financial ruin from the unlikeliest of causes, consider the following as life jackets that will keep it from sinking if the unexpected happens.

Assess risks

Risk assessment from a health and safety perspective can prevent accidents. For businesses, risk assessments help you to identify potential threats that you can mitigate with the right controls. Before launching any project or undertaking an expansion or drastic decision, assessing the risk could be the factor that decides whether you fail or success. Risk analysts are commonplace in major financial businesses, and their approach to assessing risk could benefit you too.

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Insurance

If your business employees anyone insurance is a must. Even sole traders or small business owners should consider getting business insurance. Not only does having insurance show that you are serious about your business but it also helps by covering you against property damage and any potential liability from a customer or a client. You should revise all types of business insurance available to make sure you’re covered against all possible outcomes that could devastate your business.

Legal help

Business lawyers are essential for registering your business and helping to get it off the ground. They are also vital for managing contracts between employers and employees or suppliers and clients. Other ways you may find yourself needing legal help include facing a personal injury lawyer should an employee or a customer decide to make a claim against you. Lawsuits and legal action can be taken against anyone from a contractor to a large corporation, so it’s best to be prepared for whatever is lurking around the corner. Forming a good relationship with your lawyer will make them an asset to your business that can be relied upon to help you avert a crisis.

Internet security

If you’re a business that operates online or even uses online systems, internet security is a critical business need. It’s important that you make your website a safe place for those who access it and your systems also need to be protected. It’s estimated that $400 billion is lost because of hackers each year, a risk your business cannot take. Having someone steal your customer/client data is one thing, but the reputational damage can be the thing that causes people to lose faith in your company and see your profits nosedive. It’s something you won’t want to scrimp on and will become a growing concern as hackers become more sophisticated in their methods.

A marketing team that knows what it’s doing

Internet fraud and hackers are one thing, but business losses could occur from a fault within the walls of your organization. One false marketing move and your reputation could be damaged in a blink of an eye. Where social media is concerned, where public falls from grace spread like wildfire – the damage caused to your business through one misguided tweet or Facebook post could be catastrophic. To sit alongside your marketing team, a communications or PR team to manage any crisis communications could dig you out of any holes that happen because of an error in judgment. As well as a capable and experienced marketing team, you should also put social media policies in place that employees must adhere to so that public mistakes can be avoided.

Investments and contingencies

If your business were to suffer significant financial losses due to a poor performing quarter or as the result of a wider financial crisis, could you survive? Safeguarding your business by investing when the profits are up and setting aside contingency funds can help you to cushion the blows. Doing this will mean that you won’t need to rely on credit and also allows you to take some risks from time to time. Good relationships with your bank and accountant can help you foresee issues before they become full-blown problems.

In business, nothing is certain. Even the largest of businesses can be affected by unexpected events, and those that suffered during the global financial crisis can teach you some valuable lessons. By doing all you can to protect you and your business from risk, you’re managing your finances better and safeguarding your assets. From the legal requirements to the smaller considerations you should take on board, being prepared is better than being caught off guard.

Let It Grow: Expanding Your Business Doesn’t Need To Be A Challenge

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If there’s one thing that you can guarantee to be the death of any business, it’s stagnation. The moment that you decide that you’re happy with where your business is and that you no longer want to push it forward is the moment that you’re officially doomed. In the modern world, you simply can’t afford not to constantly push your business forward and grow at every opportunity. However, a lot of business owners really struggle with knowing how to expand their business in a productive direction. After all, you can’t just push your business forward without having something that you’re aiming towards. Here are just a few things to think about in order to take the challenge out of growing your business.

Think about what you want to achieve

When thinking about growth and expansion in your business, ask yourself what your goals are? These goals should relate to the overall goals that you have for your business as a whole as well. Do you want to attract new customers? Then you need to start thinking about the ways to extend the reach of your marketing through things like social media. Are you attempting to increase the level of manufacturing that your business is capable of? Then you may need to reach out to companies like http://armstrongsteel.com/ with help creating new buildings and warehouses to achieve that. If you’re just trying to make your business “bigger” without any real understanding of what you want, then your business is just going to end up becoming bloated.

Think about what you need to achieve it

Once you know what the goal the next step is to figure out what are the things that you need to do in order to make them happen. After all, just having a goal isn’t going to do you any good if you don’t actually have any way to achieve it. The biggest barrier to your goals is, of course, likely to be a financial one. It’s important to think about how you’re going to be able to afford to push your business in the right direction. There are plenty of ways to do this. You could reach out to investors for help, try to maximise your profit margins, you can even use crowdfunding as a way to both market your business and bring in extra investment.

Be realistic

Of course, there’s always another side to every story, and it’s important that you’re aware of the dangers of trying to grow your business too much too fast. Many businesses failed because they got too ambitious and collapsed under their own weight. The most common issue is that businesses often fail to realise that with extra investment comes a great deal of added pressure. If you don’t grow your business carefully, you could end up with more pressure than you’re actually able to handle. Not only could this lead to problems in your business but it could end up with you being unable to bring in enough money to offer your investors a return, causing you to lose out on an incredibly important source of financial support.

5 Business Areas To Outsource For Efficiency

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When it comes to running your business, what’s the one thing that you’re always aiming for? Efficiency, of course. If your company is running as smoothly as it can, you will definitely be feeling like things are on track. But, when you’re running at a mile a minute just to get everything done, it can feel very stressful indeed. So, if you’re serious about making the day to day running of your business a lot better, you may want to think about doing one thing in particular – outsourcing. By outsourcing some of your business activities, you may find that running it becomes a little easier.

Administration

You probably find that general administration tasks often drag you down. Whether you’ve got lots of email responses to send, letters to draft, or even research to do, it can take up a significant chunk of your day. So stop doing it. Instead, hire a Virtual Assistant (VA). You’ll find that a VA can take a lot of tasks off of your hands and get them done more efficiently, leaving you more time to focus on more important things like growing your business.

Social Media

Then there’s also the social media to think about. Even if you enjoy doing this, the actual everyday management of social media marketing can be tedious. Composing posts and uploading them can take a lot of time. So, instead of doing it yourself, hire someone skilled in marketing to do it for you. That way, you won’t ever have to think of a catchy tweet or a compelling blog post title again!

SEO

You may also want to think about outsourcing your SEO. Making sure that you rank well on google can be tough work. It can often take a lot of time, planning, and effort too. And when you’re a business owner, you don’t always have that. If you want to make sure that it’s done right, you may want to think about hiring an SEO agency to do it for you. With more experience and time available to make it happen, it’s more likely that they’ll get your SEO to where you want it to be quicker than you can.

IT

If there’s one area of your business that you might want to think about outsourcing to save yourself a lot of time and hassle, it’s going to be IT. IT is one of the areas of business that can cause us the most trouble. When your computer breaks or you just can’t get a piece of software to run, you don’t want to spend hours looking at it yourself. So, outsource your IT. It might be one of the smartest things you do for your company.

Finance

Finally, you also want to think about outsourcing your finance too. When it comes to ensuring that your business is running smoothly, finance is definitely one of the crucial areas. You’re going to want to make sure that your finances are always done right, so outsourcing it to an accountant or finance professional is always a good option.

Become A Marketing Guru With These Easy Tips

Do you need to be more familiar with the world of marketing for your businesses success? Then read on, because whether you are at the beginning of your marketing journey, or have some experience already, it is a field that is always changing and updating, and there is always more to learn.

Get the lingo down

One thing you will need to have down pat if you want to become a marketing guru is the language and terminology that is used. From an outsider’s perspective, it can seem like there is a lot of lingo to get your head around. But once you start putting definitions to the term you will realize it’s not that difficult.

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For example, A/B testing might sound like something out of a science project, but it’s really just about comparing two forms and seeing which one is more effective. For example, you may compare two differ e-mail headers, or images and see which one get the most responses.

Then there is PPC or pay per click marketing. Something you can read in detail about at https://www.forbes.com/sites/neilpatel/2016/06/30/4-tips-for-mastering-pay-per-click-marketing-right-now.

However, in its basic form, PPC refers to paid online advertising where your page is promoted when someone types in a key worked associated with it. This is crucial in marketing because it’s known that most clicks through to commercial sites come from the first page of a search engine results. So by paying for yours to be placed above the natural results, you maneuver your brand into the best place to get the most visits, that you can convert into sales.

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Do your research

Also before you can become a marketing guru, you need to know about what works and what doesn’t. The best way to do this is to study the textbooks on the subject, as well as research previous iconic and effective marketing campaigns.

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It’s important to do both though. This is because, while it’s good to know the theory, seeing it being put into practice in the real world like the ones mentioned at https://smallbiztrends.com/2017/05/integrated-marketing-campaign-examples.html, can really help you get a good sense of what works and what doesn’t. Something that you can then apply that to your own brand.

Get some training

Of course, in such a specialized field as marketing t can really help to get some training like the courses provided by Cisicon mentioned at http://theprauthority.com/insight-intelligence-influence-one-platform-need/. This is because there is no point reinventing the wheel. In fact, it’s better to learn from those professional that are already in the field, as they know what they are doing.

Also, by using a single platform company for you training needs, you will also have access to other information and service that will allow you to create the best marketing campaign to get your products noticed.

Get your planning skills in order

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Lastly, to be a marketing guru you have to have amazing planning skills. This is because a good marketing campaign is planned right down to the last detail.

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Planning isn’t just about scheduling things in either, it’s also about having achievable goals that are broken down into action points. So you have an easy map to follow that will result in marketing success.