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10 business tips for 2014

1.Have a plan: Too often, small business owners get so caught up in day-to-day operations that they neglect long-range planning. If you have a business plan, update it to reflect your current goals. If you’ve never written a business plan, do so—it will force you to think about what you want to achieve in 2014 and beyond.

2.Take action: Don’t put that business plan in a drawer and forget about it. No matter how busy you are, set aside at least one hour a week to assess your progress toward the goals you’ve set. Together with your partners and key employees, create action steps and set deadlines for accomplishing them.

3.Give your website a makeover: Does your business’s website reflect what you do, or is the information outdated? Does it look current, or is it sporting a design template from 2003? Does it load easily on mobile devices so customers can access your business wherever they are? Make the necessary changes to modernize your website.

4.Take charge of your finances: If you’re not already using accounting software, make 2014 the year you upgrade. A program such as QuickBooks is inexpensive, easy to learn and makes budgeting and forecasting simple.

5.Plan ahead for financing: How will you finance your business growth plans for 2014? If you can’t fund growth from profits, investigate options for outside financing, whether from bank loans, private investors such as angel capital groups, or your friends and family.

6.Start socializing: No matter what your industry, almost any business can benefit from social media. If you aren’t currently using social media, resolve to try at least one social network in 2014. If you are active on social media, step it up a notch by learning more about your favorite social network, posting more often or adding more videos and photos to your mix.

7.Delegate: It’s tough for small business owners to give up control, but delegation is essential for business growth. Give employees more autonomy so you don’t become a bottleneck in your organization. Try to structure operations so you can focus on your strengths and delegate the rest.

8.Assess your HR needs: Do your employees have the skills your business needs to grow in 2014? Whether you need to provide additional training, hire new employees or outsource to independent contractors, think about how you will fill the gaps.

9.Upgrade your equipment: Whether it’s technology tools like tablets and smartphones or a new delivery van for your supermarket, small changes can make a big difference to your bottom line. Decide what investment would have the biggest impact on your productivity and profits, and figure out a way to make it happen.

10.Celebrate success: No matter how busy you are, be sure to celebrate when you, your employees and your business achieve important goals. Taking time out to recognize results will re-energize you and your team for the next challenge.

I hope you find these tips helpful and use them wisely 🙂

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Biz Tip.

BIZ TIP

Biz Lessons, Video

good customer service.

Before you proceed, you could download this page in pdf format for offline viewing here: mybizzcentre

 

Good customer service is mostly taken for granted in many business establishments. Provision of fast, friendly and reliable service on all customer issues should be a major priority to any business that wants to succeed.

When customers contact you by phone, email, or chat, you are provided with an opportunity to reinforce and grow the relationship between your business and that customer . Attention to customer service will go a long way in helping you to satisfy your customers and make them feel they are truly special, because, without them your business will fail.

Good customer service skills can be learned. There are some who are having difficulties learning these skills and there are also those who easily learn them. Nevertheless, with proper training and practice, you can develop good customer service skills. Below are two major important customer service skills:

。Communication;

Communication is one of the most important skills in customer service. You need to practice speaking clearly so customers will be able to understand you. You must also be good in explaining things to make it easier for them to understand. Communication is not just about talking. you should also listen to the customers carefully so you could understand their concerns and address them accordingly.

。Patience;

Patience is another skill, which may be hard to master for some, especially if you do not have this characteristic by nature. However, this is very important in customer service as you will encounter difficult people. But no matter what, you need to control your emotions and never talk back to your customers or disrespect them. Remain calm and composed during the whole interaction.

Mastering these skills would surely put your business on the toplist of success.

what should i sell?

Let’s take a look at how we can identify the best products or services to provide or sell to customers.
In most cases, it will be best to sell or provide the services that customers want. However, if it is an innovation, they may not know they want it, yet. But even within the scope of what they know, different customers want different things. For example, think of reasons why people would buy clothes:

。long lasting;

。warmth;

。lightness;

。fashion;

。good service;

。allure;

。quick delivery;

。brand…etc.

Okay, this is a long list of reasons and counting. No clothing supplier could satisfy all those needs, which is why different suppliers address different segments of the market.

One of your first jobs is to identify the segment(s) you are aiming to serve, then sell to them.

Sometimes the buyer is buying for him/herself, sometimes too it could be that him/her is buying for someone; sometimes the decision is influenced by others.

Right! Now lets think about who takes the decision to buy from the following example suppliers:

。Toymaker – children, parents, grandparents, friends or relatives?

。Building contractor – householders or architects?

So a question- do those different audience want to hear the same message from the suppliers? Look carefully how it is in your chosen trade. Observe your market carefully, ask around, investigate – find out how people buy where you plan to operate and gear your plan accordingly. Following these steps should point you in the right direction.

what firm is best to start?

This question is understandable. whatever firm you wish to start, it is quite likely to change with the passage of time as new opportunities arise and are explored.

Success stories include people who stuck to a field they knew, as well as those who broke away into something completely novel. What i can say is this – take time to investigate every aspect of the business before committing yourself.
There is a story about a couple who went on early retirement because of the husband’s health. they took a big loan and sank their savings into a restuarant. Only once they had started did they realize it required from each of them 16hrs a day, six days a week to run.

However, it is possible to come to a decision. Try the following starting points if you have not already decided what to do:

。acquire knowledge of an industry, sport or game and seek ways to supply others with that interest profitably;

。look at stuff for sale on eBay and grab the opportunity of selling almost anything on there;

。get a job in a small or medium-sized enterprise and learn how they operate.

Remember also that, it is worth forming a relationship with a business adviser so as to have someone to positively bounce your ideas off. This must be someone with a fine balance of imagination and realism as well as experience outside a narrow professional field:)

men in business

To stay focused, early stage CEOs need to remember that there are just three important things that need to get done in a business. That is:
1. planning,
2. selling and
3. executing.
These tasks require three different mindsets. Some entrepreneurs can excel in all three roles, but the best ones are aware of their strengths and weaknesses and build their teams accordingly.

Although the gap is closing, men still start more companies than women. In comparison, firms run by men tend to:

。grow faster;

。get bigger;

。be more ambitious;

。be technically based;

。be better at self promotion;

。have trouble keeping staff;

。have more crises along the way.

Well, the facts of numbers clearly shows that male dominated firms continue, for the moment, to be the backbone of the small and medium business enterprises. i leave it to the social psychologists to explain why:)

Check back soon for our next interesting article.

CHEERS!:)