Growing Your Business From Local To Global

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It’s hard enough to create a successful business on a small, local level, but taking that business to a global level and still achieving success is an entirely different story. Maybe you’re running a small store on the high street or maybe your small team is operating its business from a tiny office as part of a huge, overwhelming complex. Whatever the case, it’s easy for a local business to feel small against its huge competitors. If you’re struggling to step up your game and grow your business to that global scale, here’s some advice which might help.

Be confident about your brand.

The key to stepping out of the local playing field and entering the internal ring with big corporate players is understanding how to define your company. If somebody asks you what makes your business different to all your competitors within the same industry, you need to have a clear, sharp and defined answer. If you don’t have that, then your business can’t yet hope to stand out from the crowd or being anything more than ‘that local business’ offering a certain product or service on a small scale.

Customers care about the brand voice in a competitive business environment. They see the same businesses offering the same products over and over again, which means there’s an over-saturated market and far too many options for your potential target market. People can choose whoever they want for whatever product they want, so you need to give them reason to choose your business over competitors offering similar things if you really want to step out into the competitive business world and climb the ladder within your respective industry.

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Physical growth.

Whilst physical marketing has almost died out in a digital world, there is still a lot to be said for understanding your target market in certain locations. If you look at your business’ statistics, you will still see clear trends and spikes in popularity with regards to certain locations. Your business model might simply be more popular in certain towns or cities than others, and the key to growing your organisation from a small firm which is ‘getting by’ to a global empire is to harness the power of those places in which your products and services are garnering the most attention and success from your target market.

You could work with a services office broker like London Offices, for example, to help find your company a new office in a location better suited to your business. The best way to understand your potential customers for areas in which seem your company seems to have delivered more goods or services is to move to that area. To grow into a successful organisation, as mentioned throughout this article, you need to be using a strong clientbase as the foundation for a successful marketing platform. You need to be building from the ground up in a place which seems to be attracting lots of interest for your business and using those intrigued and loyal customers to help spread the net and build a more successful following through word of mouth.

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Do the research.

Going international requires a certain mentality, and your business needs to do its research if it wants to be reaching customers from all manner of towns, cities and countries foreign to your headquarters. Going global is a complex process, and you need to understand the difference in your target market within different regions along with competitors within new territories and the way to market your business within new territories in order to stand out. Payment solutions need to be available for all manner of customers from all manner of countries, and your brand needs to be a little wider in scope and accessibility in order to broaden your target market on an international level.

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Important Client Visiting Soon? Here’s How To REALLY Impress Them!

When you have clients that like to spend lots of money with your company, you want to do your best to impress them and keep them interested in your products and services. That’s because they naturally provide a lucrative source of income for your business.

You want to ensure that your relationship with them never sours and only ever flourishes. You’ve no doubt given your client the right impression of your company the first time they met you and used your products and services. But, when they next come to visit, how can you keep them impressed with your brand always at the forefront of their minds? Here are a few ideas to give you some inspiration:

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Give your office a spring clean

The last thing you want to do is invite your client to visit you when your office is in a state of disarray! That’s why it makes sense to have the office professionally cleaned before your important customer comes to visit you!

You should also ensure that your employees tidy up their workstation and get rid of any unsightly mess such as loose paperwork strewn across their desks.You may also wish to consider some ideas to improve the looks of your office, such as getting some new plants or framed pictures installed.

Have a plan of action ready

Another important thing to do is have a timetable of what you wish to do with your client during the day. For example, you may want to have a morning meeting with them, breaking up for lunch and then a tour of your production facilities or demonstration of your new products and services. Once you’re done, you could arrange to meet with them for dinner to strengthen your social bonds with your client.

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Arrange to have them picked up and dropped off at their hotel

Is your client visiting you from another part of the country or, indeed, overseas? If so, it would be a kindness to arrange their transportation to and from your premises. Now here’s where you can REALLY wow them: you could have an executive chauffeur drive them around!

Believe it or not, the costs of hiring a limousine or executive transport aren’t that much higher than say booking a similar service through a local taxi firm. It will give your client a sense of status and importance. Plus, it shows them that you are not afraid of treating them well and that you value their business.

Don’t be late

One of the bugbears of any customer visiting a supplier or partner organization is waiting around for the people they have to meet! Punctuality is crucial with both people you meet for the first time and existing clients. With that in mind, don’t be late for your important client meeting!

Be prepared

Last, but not least, you should ensure that you prepare well in advance for their visit. Have all the necessary agenda items available at your disposal. Make sure your technology is working (i.e. computers, Wi-Fi, projectors) and that you have staff available to explain things of a technical nature that you can’t.

Good luck!

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An Essential Tech Guide for Law Firms

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When people imagine law firms and the lawyers in them, they don’t tend to think much about the technology that actually comes in useful for them. They think about equipment and stacks of paper and expensive suits, almost as though lawyers needed nothing else to keep their business going. Perhaps that was true, once.

These days, law firms need to get engaged with technology in some capacity. The same goes for any business out there, right? If you’re starting up a law firm, or just want to know more about the inner workings of one, then take a look at this guide to the technology concerns of your average law firm!

Desktops, laptops, or tablets?

Desktop computers aren’t exactly under threat, but many newer law firms do seem to be opting for laptops, especially with how mobile lawyers often find themselves. Which, of course, raises the question: was a move from a desktop a good idea? And, given the required mobility, shouldn’t all lawyers be using tablets now? Well, desktops should certainly be mainstays of the office. If it can be afforded, then a desktop at the office and a laptop on the go is probably the best approach. As for tablets, they can be useful in some scenarios (especially reading documents on the move), but they’re not great when it comes to typing at length.

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Software

People often underestimate the importance of software to the legal industry. One thing to remember is that a lot of the software that other businesses use are also required in law firms. Good examples of this are accounting, communication, billing, and calendar software. Of course, law firms also have their own needs that can only be dealt with using pretty specific software tailored for this industry. When you think about it, the need for interactive legal accounts, practice and document management software becomes pretty clear.

Social media

Yep, just like every other business out there, social media is useful in this field, too! But it may not be quite as important as it is for other businesses. Social media is great for increasing outreach, making it an extremely useful tool when it comes to marketing. But law firms don’t tend to engage much with people unless they’re directly linked to cases or potential cases. So it’s better to take more of a marketing approach if you decide to use social media as a law firm. It’s not absolutely essential – after all, it’s worth remembering that many profitable law firms in the U.S. don’t use Twitter!

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Cybersecurity

If there’s one thing that law firms should know, it’s that security is paramount. They have access to extremely sensitive data, and leaks to unauthorized individuals or even the public at large can not only severely disrupt a case, but also bring heavy and expensive legal repercussions on the firm itself. So as you consider the technology infrastructure and necessary gadgets and software for your firm, you must always keep cybersecurity firmly in mind. Only work with trusted manufacturers and developers!

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Thinking Of Outsourcing? Avoid These Potential Pitfalls

Hopefully, there will come a time when the business has to consider outsourcing. Outsourcing is an excellent sign because it means the firm is growing. Plus, there are plenty of benefits to bringing in an outside team. But, there are also plenty of pitfalls you have to watch out for, too. They don’t mean that outsourcing is bad and you should avoid it because you shouldn’t. What they mean is that you have to be extra vigilant before you sign on the dotted line.

Here are the things to watch out for when you go from in-house to out-house.

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Using An ‘International’ Firm

No one wants to seem xenophobic, especially in the Trump era, but this has nothing to do intolerance. Instead, it has everything to do with communication and a smooth transition for the firm. Although businesses in India are cheap, they are thousands of miles away. It’s for this reason that companies are choosing sites like http://www.rouge-media.com because they know they will have a better connection. If they need something doing, they can get on the phone at any time of day and figure out a solution. That isn’t possible when your ‘partner’ is five and half hours in front.

Failing To Develop Goals

It’s amazing how many companies choose an outsourcer and think that the hard work is over. As a result, they do none of the important tasks like coming up with business targets. After a few weeks, the partnership hits a snag and they have no idea why. Without goals and objectives, there is no point in hiring an outside firm in the first place. If you don’t have any way to measure their effectiveness, you might as well throw the money down the table. Plus, it means the out-of-house company won’t understand their role according to www.workforce.com.

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Underestimating Participation

Implementing your goals and targets means you will have to use up a lot of time and energy. Yes, you read that right – you! The outsourcer will do most of the heavy lifting, but they need help before they start. For example, they need all of the relevant information to hit their objectives. Otherwise, the agreement will fall flat. So, you will need to copy files and pass them along, as well as sitting down and thrashing out both parties’ roles. Then, there is the obligatory meeting every month or so to make sure everything is on track. And http://www.businessnewsdaily.com says don’t forget that you have to talk to the workforce. Outsourcing affects them, and they deserve an explanation. Regarding outsourcing, you should always be ready to spend time and energy.

Picking Blindly

What does this mean? It means that there is a temptation to choose the first company you see. As soon as you see them, you think ‘oh, they are great – they have everything we need!’ And, they might be the perfect addition to the payroll, but it is a bad idea to give them the job without further inspection of the market. Even if it doesn’t seem likely, there might be a better firm that is cheaper and more productive. You will never know unless you do extensive market research.

Avoid these mistakes and the partnership should work a treat.

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Resurrecting Your Business: From A Slowing Spiral To Going Viral

Many businesses hit the wall at some point. Perhaps you’ve run out of new ways to impress your existing customers or perhaps the constant evolution of your specific industry is moving too fast for your company to keep up. As hard-working and determined as you and your team may be, it’s easy for the slowing spiral to take hold and your business’ potential to start dwindling, even if you think you’re doing everything right.

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Resurrecting a business after a rough and unexpected turning point might seem like an insurmountable task on the surface, but that’s only the case if your company continues operations in exactly the same way as it is currently. The key to bringing your business back to life and transforming it into a viral sensation both online and offline is to start thinking in a new way. If you’re giving your company new life, then that means doing things differently. Here are some pieces of advice to help you bring your organisation back from the brink and help turn it into a sensation with your target audience.

A strong website.

In the modern age, every business has a website. You likely already have one. If not, it’s impressive that you’ve built a company in the modern day without one, but the days of old marketing and traditional promotional tactics are out of the window now. It’s time to start from scratch, either way, and build a strong, captivating site for your business. Whether you hire somebody new to do it or simply tell your IT and designing team to think outside the box and start again, there are a few keys to success here.

Mainly, you should be focusing the redesign of the website around SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques. That means a layout which is responsive to all manner of devices, whether it’s a laptop or an iPhone, and keywords which are linked to commonly-searched terms by the potential customers you’re targeting. This has the effect of pushing your business higher up the search rankings and helping you go “viral”, whilst also impressing any visitors to your website. You’ll come across as a professional brand which surely must offer goods and services as neat and modern as its homepage.

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Use online platforms correctly.

This is a big one in the online world. Your business might have social media profiles, but it might not be properly utilising them. You could research SMM (social media marketing) to better understand how your business could be using social networks to reach its vast audience of potential customers. It’s easier than ever to find your target market, even if that means there’s more competition than ever.

You need to focus your efforts to find the right consumers. Facebook advertising and live videos on Instagram are all things which could help to make a human connection with your customers. If you make your mark, people will share your content and do a chunk of the marketing for you. If you’re a restaurant, you could share succulent Instagram pics of your meals. It’s about marketing without being pushy.

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Keep up with your existing customers.

Going viral as a business in the digital era is about making a real impression on the client-base you already have, whether it’s small or large. That means monitoring any mentions of your brand on social media and getting stuck in with the conversation so as to prove that you’re a friendly and approachable company. It might also involve rewarding the loyalty of customers with discounts or other deals if they refer their friends to your store.

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Guide Your Own Destiny By Controlling Your Marketing

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A lot of businesses can hardly afford to pay for professional marketing. But, in the world of modern business, it’s important for a company to market themselves well. Otherwise, they won’t be noticed by customers. Handling your marketing yourself doesn’t have to be difficult, though. If you’re willing to put the time into it; you can reap some serious rewards. And, to help you out, this post will be going through some of the critical areas you need to be considering.

There are loads of social media sites out there. Some, like Facebook and Twitter, have millions of active users. Most of these sites are free, top. So, the provide an excellent platform for advertising; with the potential to allow you to reach thousands of customers. To use social media well, though; you might need some help. First, you have to make sure that you post regularly. The best way to do this is by making posts ahead of time, and scheduling them to be posted using a service like Buffer. You also need to think about consistency between your posts. They all have to be unique and interesting. Otherwise, they won’t be popular.

A lot of businesses like to have printed items to market themselves. This sort of approach works well for companies that sell consumables, like food places. And, it’s good for local companies. The prices of printing can be very high, though. So, it can be best to simply buy your own printer. You’ll need to get something that’s professional-grade. But, the price of printers has gone down massive in recent years. It’s not too expensive to get something that can serve you well for years. But, when you have printers; you’ll also need ink. Having a good supplier for something like this is important. A company like Dublin Cartridge is a one stop solution for all home and corporate printing needs and can be what you need to start printing. Always make sure the company you choose has a good track record.

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Marketing can be difficult when you don’t have much experience. This leaves a lot of businesses relying on other companies to handle it from them. But, this doesn’t have to be the way. You don’t always have to pay for help like this. Instead, you can get it from people who don’t mind helping people for free. There are loads of communities and blogs dedicated to marketing. It doesn’t take long to find websites that can help you. Always make sure that the people who give you advice know what they’re talking about. People will usually post their credentials on sites like this. And, you should only trust the ones with proof of their experience.

Hopefully, this will give you a helping hand when it comes to taking your marketing into your control. It’s worth doing this sort of thing when you’re starting out. It will limit your reliance on other companies. And, it will help you to make sure your business has the tools and practices in place for when it grows.

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Ratchet Up Your Mechanics Business!

The running of any company that deals with the public is always a challenge. Running an auto mechanic business is a dandy of a customer service industry because they are entrusting you with their vehicle, and we all know the issues that arise when we put our car in for a service! We always end up getting charged more than we think and there’s that barrier between the customer and the service. This is because there are so many things we don’t know about fixing a vehicle that we worry about getting swindled in the process. So what can we do to set up an auto mechanics business that delivers what it promises?

Organization Is Essential

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It may sound blatantly obvious, but keeping this type of business organized can be quite a task. The layout of the shop floor is something to think about in this respect. Health and safety in an environment where there are tools and heavy machinery is priority number one. Having lubricants and oils out in the open can cause hazards. Keep all your tools in a secure place after they have been used will reduce the amount of trip hazards, and having your layout in such a manner that it is appealing to the customer will help too. Another method to keep your business organized is to use various technology, like computerized accountancy tools. Suppliers of oils, lubricants, and other essentials are an essential part of keeping organized, and instead of going for various suppliers, you can work with just a handful to keep your costs down. This is a better way to keep track of your outgoings. This is especially useful if you are a one-man band and you find yourself doing many different roles in the company.

Customer Service Is THE Skill You Need

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While it is possible to make repairs and charge through the nose for them as much as any other auto mechanic, the issue many customers have with these types of businesses is the trust factor. People feel that when they go to get their car fixed that they are going to get done over in one way or another. What is the answer? Communication! This is the key skill to build a bridge with the customer. A lack of communication is the reason many people begin to distrust because they are not being kept updated on the car and this lack of trust can begin to fester. Before you know it, they will not be bringing their car to you ever again. A few ways to counteract this lack of trust is to let the customer know how long you will be with their car, or give them an estimated time frame. Honesty is the key to building effective customer/business relationships. You could put a statement or a promise on your wall that sets out your aim to provide trustworthy and honest services. Ultimately to run a business like this effectively you need to promote trust and loyalty from your customers, and this can only be done if you are trusting, honest and reliable first.

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You Won’t Believe How Technology Can Help Your Manufacturing Business

Small-scale manufacturing businesses have become highly popular in the last couple of years. People like the idea of local companies manufacturing products for other local businesses. As such, the industry is booming, and you can easily get involved if you want to.

The main reason so many manufacturing startups are popping up is thanks to technology. Technology does a lot of good for these businesses, and it can help yours too if you have a small manufacturing company. Just look at these points for more info:

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More Hands On Deck

What’s great about technology is that it can be used to help you do more work without having to hire more staff. For example, look at some large-scale operations where they’re using robotics to carry out certain jobs on the production line. This means they save loads of money by not having to hire hundreds of workers. Then, on a smaller scale, there are things like 3D printers that you can programme to carry out a task without you having to do much. You just create a design, and the 3D printer gets to work. This means things can be created by machines and affordable equipment rather than having to employ lots of people to make them by hand. In essence, you can have more hands on deck at all times.

Extra Precision

One of the beauties of using technology in your manufacturing business is that you can utilise things that make your work more accurate. There are loads of companies like Mills CNC that sell equipment which uses computer numerical control technology. Essentially, this means the equipment uses a computer to turn a digital design into a physical product by converting it into numerical form. It converts the design to numbers, and the numbers are used as coordinates for a cutter to find the perfect path and cut out the exact shape that was in the design. Sounds complex, but it really makes life much easier for small manufacturers, particularly ones that cut shapes out of metal or other sheet materials. You can be more accurate, which means you can provide products that are as close as can be to your client’s specifications.

Saves Money

As alluded to in the previous points, manufacturing technology can actually save your business a lot of money. How? Well, it comes down to numerous factors that add up to make technology a really sound investment. For example, as mentioned earlier, you can use technology as a substitute for human employees. What does this mean? It means you don’t have to worry about their salaries, sure, but it also means you don’t have to worry about so much more too. There are no employee benefits to pay for and, perhaps most importantly, you won’t need that big of a premises to conduct your work. If all you have is a few machines, then you might get away with running your business from your garage. As a result, you save thousands every year on premises costs.

You see, technology can work wonders for you and your small manufacturing business. What are you waiting for? Take advantage of it today!

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The Most Efficient Ways to Get Work Done on an Airplane

Anyone who’s spent sufficient time at 30,000 feet can tell you that there are two types of travelers: those who use their time in the air to lounge, and those who recognize it as an opportunity to log work hours without the distractions of a typical office.  For the latter, air travel can provide the perfect environment in which to expeditiously knock out some of those tasks you just know you won’t get to on your own time, but finding the sweet spot for working on a plane takes some preparation. From investing in the right technology to timing your trip right, here’s how to make the airplane your second office.

Invest in noise-canceling headphones: Perhaps the single best piece of advice for those eager to make the airplane their second office is to invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones. While flights are often full of loud announcements, crying babies, and seatmates eager to comment on the in-flight movie choices, a pair of noise-canceling headphones can keep all of those distractions to a minimum.

Prep your space: While home may offer plenty of space to spread out, from spacious in-home offices to communal work space, like the library lounge at Manhattan luxury tower 53 West 53rd Street, airplanes aren’t exactly known for being roomy. To make sure you can work efficiently on the plane without having to reach for your bag every two minutes, bring a few accessories that will make it easier to turn your seat into a sky-high office. Use the seatback pocket to hold documents, make use of the tray table as a desk, and keep any odds and ends, like pens or paperclips, in a pencil case tucked into your seat.  

Plan around the flight schedule: Knowing when you’re allowed to use your electronics can make a huge difference in how much work you actually get done on the plane. Instead of starting your work and having to close up shop when the stewardess says so, wait until you’ve reached cruising altitude to bring out your computer — otherwise, you’ll only waste time packing and unpacking it.

Make yourself comfortable: Airplanes may not be as comfortable as a traditional office, but there are plenty of ways keep working on one from being torturous. Bringing little accoutrements that make things easier and more comfortable, like an inflatable neck pillow, wrist rest, or even just your reading glasses to use when your contacts start feeling dry, can keep you from burning out.  

Give yourself a break: Being productive on a plane doesn’t mean keeping your nose to the grindstone from takeoff to landing. Taking a few breaks to stretch your legs, have some water, or reading a chapter of a book, can help spur your creativity and keep the temptation of in-flight movies and duty-free shopping at bay.

Don’t let those precious hours on the plane go wasted. Taking just a few small considerations before boarding can make even the most turbulent trip the perfect opportunity to get some extra work hours in. Happy travels!

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Client Communication Is More Complex Than You Think

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There’s more to client communication than equipping the sales team with the right information and message. It goes much deeper than this. Client communication impacts each point at which you connect with your clients and potential clients. It starts at pre-sales and continues right through to delivery and beyond. Here’s how to nail each step of the funnel.

Connection Points

The first step is to identify all points at which you connect with your customers. This includes future customers you’re trying to attract. Think of all those points at which you communicate in some way and make a list. This includes your website, social media, email newsletters, general correspondence emails, ecommerce emails, premises, signage, ads, staff interactions, blog, forums, meetings, events, etc. It’s likely to be a long list. The key is identifying the connection points, creating a powerful and on-brand message, and then ensuring it is shared consistently at each connection point.

Get Your Team On Board

Many fledgling companies fail in one basic element. They put together a beautifully crafted message but fail to convey this to their staff. Communication includes everyone, including your team. If staff are not aware of your business objectives and your communication strategy, you won’t be able to project a consistent message.

Digital Communications Including Those Forgotten Areas

When businesses think about communication, they tend to think about spoken or written words. However, it incorporates much more than this. Branding and design make up a big part of your communication strategy. If you look at examples of great digital design, you’ll see that they project a clear and powerful message to their intended audience. This is something that all great design shares.

Often it’s those areas that we forget about that have a surprising effect on their intended audience. For example, 404 error pages. These are the web pages that are displayed if you click on a broken link. Rather than opting for a boring or standard page, use this as a creative opportunity to connect with your customers. They’ll remember you for your creativity rather than the broken link.

Another area that is often forgotten or woefully underused is in e-commerce messages. If you have an online shop, there will be many instances in which you communicate with your customer. These include receipt pages. These are the pages that tell customers that their order has been submitted, etc. Also included are the emails that you send to customers to let them know that their order has been received and dispatched. Often companies use templates for these messages, which is a wasted opportunity. Don’t revert to default text, think of ways to make the information more interesting.

Social Media

Social media is an art. It’s about being sociable, emotionally intelligent, quick to spot opportunities, polite, calm, funny, etc. Your intern who has no commercial experience when it comes to social media is not the best person to manage this for you. You need someone with expertise in this area. They need to be able to sell your company and services, without appearing to do so. They need to like and get on well with people and have bags of common sense.

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Premises

What does your office say about you? You may not have business premises yet and work from home, but rent meeting rooms for client contact. Or you may have taken that next step and moved into a serviced office space. Depending on your situation, you may have limited scope in terms of customising that space. However, there are simple steps you can take to create the right impression and communicate your ethos, brand, and message to customers.

  • Ensure premises (both inside and out) are spotless and tidy at all times
  • Display your signage prominently so that people can find you
  • Choose furniture, artwork and other accessories that reflect your company ethos and values
  • Ensure your dress code is consistent and portrays the company image
  • Be creative and find ways to make customers smile or take note

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Personal Contact

The contact you and your staff have on customers will be vital to your success. Even the tiniest details count, such as how you answer the phone, your voicemail messages, and how the staff interacts with each other. When a customer visits, if staff members are gossiping openly about inappropriate subjects without getting on with their work, this will be noted. So too, will be the smart receptionist who greets them with a smile and arranges a coffee while they wait. How well your waiting area is arranged will also be noted. Grab their attention at the earliest possible opportunity. Make them feel welcome and comfortable.

And Finally

When a customer has purchased a product or service, it doesn’t end there. Always follow up. Ask questions to find out how you did and whether you can help with anything else. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Find out what customers thought went well, and ask for suggestions for improvement. This information is invaluable and will help you to readjust and improve your offering.

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