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bad-customer

Article Contribute by Dr. Joey Faucette

A certain airline stranded me. A lot. Once for 9 hours and another time overnight with no compensation. I told my associate, “We fly them just when they’re the only choice.”

And that was the case recently. So here I am unhappy about patronizing a poorly run company when the flight attendant asked me if I wanted some cookies.

The one thing I really like—okay love—about this airline is their cookies. So I said, “Yes.”

She said, “You know if you squirt a lime on them, they taste like key lime pie.”

How did she know key lime pie is one of my favorites?

“Would you like a lime?” she asked with a big smile.

I said “Yes” again. She waited for me to try it, and of course I loved it. We chatted some more and she continued to stop by for the rest of the flight and check on me.

Now I want to fly that airline.

She transformed my negative customer experience into a positive one…with a cookie.

Here are the 3 Ways she did it that you can implement to transform negative customer experiences to positive ones:

She Engaged Me

She asked more than, “Beverage? Pretzels?”

She looked me in the eye and smiled. She engaged me in a conversation. She even told me how to use the cookies to make pie crust.

This level of personal engagement is rare in customer experiences today. “What do you want?” is more the norm said with an air of “You interrupted me.”

Treat every customer like she is a person first. The engaging, personal transaction with him is Step 1 that leads to a lifetime customer relationship.

She Was Enthusiastic

She genuinely loves those cookies like me. She was enthusiastic about them. She met me at our point of common interest.

Be enthusiastic about every dimension of your business. Share it with every customer. Give every customer an opportunity to experience how much you love what you do. 

She Exceeded Expectations

She gave me 2 packs of cookies with 2 lime wedges.

Often, I have to beg to get one because they’re only standard issue during certain hours.

She checked back on my coffee several times.

Usually I have to ask.

Your customers’ expectations are rather meager in most cases. Mine involved cookies and coffee. You have an exceptional opportunity to remarkably and easily exceed those expectations.

So what will you do today for your customers that will transform their negative experiences into positive ones and keep them coming back for life?

Engage them. Share your enthusiasm with them. Exceed their expectations.

They positively will want to do business with you forever. 

About the Author

Dr. Joey Faucette is the #1 best-selling author of Work Positive in a Negative World (Entrepreneur Press), Success Coach, & speaker who helps business professionals increase sales with greater productivity so they get out of the office earlier to do what they love with those they love. Discover more at www.GetPositive.Today



 
  


blogger-outreach

Article Contributed by Kristen Matthews

Just like an outreach email should be easy to look at and digest so is this blog post!

1. Type with a purpose

Before you send that outreach email, peruse the blog, hone in on what you are asking for of the bloggers you’re pitching and what you are willing to give to them for their time and awesomeness.

Emails that are super short and to the point have the best response rates because, let’s face it, we are all slammed and time is too precious to read a lengthy email!

The first sentence of your email should state who you are and why you are reaching out.

2. Don’t overdo the subject line

When inboxes fill up, it’s common practice to delete a bunch based on subject lines. Something that is over the top or too “salesy” are the first ones to be clicked in to oblivion.

Try asking a simple question or having a conversational subject line like “Your latest post on xyz pain point was awesome” or something as simple as “let’s collaborate” is more effective that over thinking it.

3. Tweet or comment on a blog post after you send the email

Because of SPAM and the massive amount of emails that go out a day, we all know that emails get lost in the mix.

Of course your email should stick out with the subject line and the intro but just in case it didn’t get noticed it’s great to tweet at the blogger or comment in their blog post that you sent an email about working together.

4. Write like you talk

I think one of the side effects from the world becoming so digital is that we are left longing for some human to human interaction.

Because of that the most successful blogger outreach emails that I’ve seen are written very conversationally.

Talking about commonalities, posts you like and keeping it light are all fantastic.

5. Find a fun fact in the “about me” section

Along the lines of my suggestion to write like you talk I always recommend to take pitches one step above finding the name of the blogger and also finding a fact or blog post to cite in your outreach email.

Now, don’t be creepy and say something that is irrelevant. A fact that they say about themselves in the “about me” section that lines up with the values of your brand or makes it apparent that the two of you are a good match is a perfect fact to mention in your pitch.

About the Author

Kristen handles all things digital marketing and PR for GroupHigh and loves everything about it. Feel free to reach out to her anytime with outreach marketing questions because she loves to be a resource! kmatthews@grouphigh.com She loves life in Boulder and when she’s not in her marketing sandbox she can be found in the trees, at a local brewery, making art, listening to bluegrass or cooking up something yummy!


the-hidden-costs-o

Article Contributed by Dennis Hung

Starting a business is a noble venture, and regardless of how much advice you’ve received from experienced entrepreneurs, friends or family members, there will always be expenses that pop up when you least expect it. If the financial and budgeting aspect of your startup isn’t managed properly in the beginning and you’re working on a budget with no room left for errors, some of these mistakes could cost you your entire company.

The following 5 hidden expenses should be considered by every first-time entrepreneur.

1. The Biggest Expense: Idea Time

So you have this wonderful idea about inventing a new product or you want to offer a specialized service to local businesses, but you haven’t quite found the core business focus that you’ve been looking for.

This is a natural process for every startup. While you probably have a great idea in your mind, it takes at least one to two years of solid work, research and brainstorming to come up with a valid business and revenue model, and a solid value proposition that you can sell to potential clients. Make sure you have enough in the bank to support yourself for at least the first two years.

2. Additional Server and Website Costs

If you plan on scaling your business, you should always keep in mind that large web traffic amounts need additional server space. A shared hosting space won’t cut it, especially if you’re looking to build a business on hundreds of thousands of website visitors per day. Be prepared to pay $1,000 or more per month for a dedicated server or virtual private server.

3. Administrative Expenses

There are hundreds of daily processes that must be completed so that a business can run smoothly, and you likely didn’t think about them when you first decided to start your own company.

As the head of your own startup, you have enough on your plate to deal with, from taking care of tax paperwork and government forms to sending emails, attending meetings, raising capital and more. Hire a part time assistant to do all the mundane business tasks for you, such as writing correspondence, ordering supplies and speaking with individuals who want to sell you something.

4. Expenses for Additional Warehouse Equipment

If you plan on starting an e-commerce business that plans on shipping large quantities of items, it’s very important that you prepare for an overwhelming amount of orders.

Whether you want to sell books, shoes, clothing or food products, purchase the necessary conveyor systems to make the packaging shipping process much easier. Before your website really takes off, hire one or two more employees to act as warehouse workers, if you can afford it.

For many new businesses, it’s also important to have a company vehicle. Make sure you choose an affordable and reliable that will last for years to come.

5. Marketing and Market Research

Market research is an essential step to forming a startup. Double check and triple check your competitors regarding their services, pricing. If there is someone who doing the same thing as you, then you know it’s trouble and you can mitigate risk in the beginning by altering your product or service.

One of the biggest mistakes new entrepreneurs make is the failure to accurately advertise themselves in the beginning. Depending on the competitive nature of your company’s product category, you could be looking at tens thousands of dollars per month or more for PR help, written content, search engine optimization and more. If you have the cash, carefully budget the initial few months after your business opens its doors.

Simply put, failure to budget accordingly and failure to plan for unforeseen expenses will land you out on the street. Obsessively research other startups and see what type of expenses they’ve occurred over during their first few years to get a good feel of what you need for your company.

About the Author

Dennis Hung is an entrepreneur and product analyst specializing in mobile technology and IoT. He’s spent most of his career consulting for businesses in North America.


Building-Construction-Industry

Overview

The construction industry is one of the most important indicators of economic growth in the UK and around the world. Since the economy has been recovering from the recession several years ago, one of the biggest areas that economists tend to watch is the construction industry. Construction is generally a forward indicator of future economic growth, which means that when construction numbers are good, economists would project future economic growth will follow. In the UK, recent election results mean that the Conservatives have a large portion of control in the future decision making of the UK and many people are wondering how the construction sector of the economy is going to fare.

UK Economy

Many people wonder why construction is such an important sector of the economy. However, if they were to look at the numbers it would be easy to understand why. As a percentage of household net worth, homes are a huge make up of that number. For many people in the middle class, a large percentage of their net worth is tied up in their primary residence. This means that when construction is strong due to high demand, prices are rising and people see their wealth increase. However, when the opposite is true, people lose a large amount of their net worth through decreased prices on homes. There are many different policies that the government can put in to place in order to stimulate different industries on the economy

Economic Policy

There are many construction companies that are worried about what the new leadership changes are going to mean for the construction industry. With the recent changes at the top of the UK government, companies like Lagan Construction are wondering what these changes may mean for the construction industry. If the Conservatives that were recently elected decide to take a hands off approach to the economy, there could be some unintended consequences. One example of this is the reduction in home buyer programs.

There are many government programs for people that are buying a home for the first time. Many times, at this stage of life young people cannot afford to save up a down payment on a home so the government will help them out by supply loans that do not require a huge down payment. However, if these types of programs are reduced or eliminated this will hurt demand for new construction housing and will negatively impact the bottom line of the construction industry in the short term.


angelinvester

Article Contributed by Greg Dastrup

There are an estimated 300,000 angel investors currently active in the US, and a whopping 39.2% percent of the companies they invest in are considered “seed” or startup businesses, so the opportunities are definitely there for the truly dedicated business newbie — but don’t let these figures lull you into a false sense of security.

Convincing an angel investor that your new business is a good project for funding is difficult. Angel investors must be lured by an excellent sales pitch before they’ll invest in your startup company. Below are a few tips that novice entrepreneurs should take heed of in order to make a positive impression on an angel investor during negotiations.

Be Prepared

Company owners must not scout for angel investors until their product or service is genuinely ready to be immediately launched to the public. Readiness is crucial when approaching angel investors, and company owners should start out strong to persuade angel investors to invest in their business. Furthermore, entrepreneurs must have a sharp, unambiguous vision of their business strategy already laid out in their minds and preferably in text.

Keep No Secrets

As soon as you’ve discovered prospective investors, it is essential that you correctly touch on all aspects of your business and demonstrate that you are capable of “thinking outside of the box” in your first appointment with them. Besides talking about other investors and advisors, you should also discuss your administrative team to ensure that they are informed about everyone with an interest in your company’s achievements.

Pass on to angel investors your ideas regarding your possible customer base, as well as the industry size and timing. Talk about outside factors that might impact the all-around success of your enterprise. Point out rivals, laws, accessible technology, client wants, etc.

Know What They Expect

When it comes to negotiating figures, remember that you must first offer the money deal and its framework to them, rather than expecting them to pitch a figure to you. Angels usually tend to concentrate on the figures, particularly with respect to their share of initial ownership. They usually feel that will have the most significant effect on the potential worth of their investment, so a lot of them will stand strong in bargaining over what they believe their rights ought to be. They also tend to be very deliberate and take things at their own pace during negotiations, often with the desire that you will inevitably agree to their terms.

Until both sides are conscious of how the partnership will perform from the outset, there is a possibility of recurring problems. Entrepreneurs who lack negotiations training must work extra hard to understand all the requirements of angel investors and hold them in esteem.

Know Your Market

Angel investors typically prefer to invest in markets they have experience in. They are also always checking the market’s demands for new goods or services. The market of the new company’s products and creations ought to already exhibit large potential for expansion before an angel investor will think about supplying the needed capital. For an idea of the industries they are typically most interested in, consider that 30% of funds contributed by angel investors are to businesses in the health/medical industry, followed by 16% in software and 15% in biotechnology products and services.

Consider Your Location

Most angels are inclined to fund local businesses for a number of reasons. To start with, the ease of accessibility will enable them to regularly check out the businesses they have invested in, in order for them to routinely meet with the administrative team and to be present to watch their investment advance. In addition, being nearer to their investment allows them to source offers by means of referrals whom they know and have faith in. To be able to achieve this, they depend considerably on other nearby investors, accountants, lawyers and business affiliates.

Know Your Numbers

Angels are attracted to modest start-up businesses with the intention of expanding them into bigger enterprises with a high return of investment. These kinds of start-ups could demand a lot of funding to launch successfully, with further investments needed in the course of the company’s advancement. For that reason, angels usually prefer to invest amounts greater than $20,000 and possibly as much $500,000 or more.

When all is said and done, your angel investors’ participation in your company may be rather complex. From the moment angels make an investment, their function in your business can range from being a silent shareholder to a board associate. The good point concerning this monetary commitment is that all conditions are negotiable, and the ideal time to get involved in negotiations is prior to the paperwork being signed.

Author Bio: Greg Dastrup is a small business analyst and lead generation expert. He consults for brands in both the US and Australia and is currently a speaker at international business conferences.



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GetEntrepreneurial.com is a small business blog dedicated to providing business advice and resources to our community of aspiring entrepreneurs. Our specially hand-picked panel of GetEntrepreneurial.com Network experts regularly contribute entrepreneurial content and professional tips for small business owners worldwide.