It’s no secret that providing customer service options can be a drag when you’re running a business. This will be especially true if you work on your own, as you are likely to struggle to be able to manage all of the messages, phone calls, and other communications you receive. There are loads of tools and services in the modern world that can help with this, but you will need to find and use them to be able to feel the benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to achieve this.
Automating customer contacts is an excellent way to take the pressure off of your shoulders. People are used to using tools like instant messenger nowadays, and this means that they will respond well to live chat tools with chatbots to take them through the basics. Options like this won’t be able to cover all of your customer service needs, but they will be able to get you on the right track. You can also use automation to help with your email services, though this can be more challenging.
Outsourcing your customer services can be another good way to handle this feature of your business. Most people have access to companies that can help with communication, making it nice and easy to put this work into someone else’s hands. The cost of a telephone answering service has steadily gone down over the last few years, with people across the world using tools like this to push their company forwards. This can make your customer services much easier to handle.
As a one-person team, you need to make sure that you have flexible policies in place for your communications. You should always aim to respond to people within a certain window, but this won’t always work and your customers need to be aware that you will sometimes face delays. As long as it doesn’t take more than a day or two for you to reply to the messages and emails you receive, you can take your time with this aspect of your company, letting people wait for their responses.
Using What You’re Comfortable With
People often getting overwhelmed by their customer service offerings. It can be all too easy to find yourself juggling the different methods you offer, creating a challenge when it comes to answering everyone quickly and professionally. Sticking to tools that make you feel comfortable is a good way to combat this. For example, if you don’t like talking on the phone, you could stick to live chat and email as your contact methods.
With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of making customer contacts work when you are operating within a one-person team. This can be a big challenge, but it will be worth putting the time in to make it easier for yourself. Of course, as time goes by, this will only become simpler and simpler.
It is not the number of hours that we have available to us, but how we use our time that counts. You have only so much time, so think about what you can do in the available time. Most of us are so busy that we cannot spare the time to do some of those things that we like to do and which are important to us. You have to be selective about what you do with your time. You cannot afford to do everything. I know some people who are always on the computer playing games, watching videos or chatting on the internet. They spend their time away from work. What this person fails to understand is that without the internet, their work would not be possible. These same people would not be able to afford a video games, they may not even have a video games as they would not have the money to buy the games, so they would be using the time that they do have doing the minimum amount of work that they have to do. They also fail to realise that by doing those things that they are doing, they are also taking away time from other things that they could be doing.
If we want to use our time wisely we have to realise that there is only so much time in a day. How we utilise the time we have and utilise it well is how we will be able to achieve what we want to achieve. You cannot waste time. We have to use our time well.
"You must have a clear, definite, intense, and productive aim in your life. Only thus can you avoid all lapses and all waste of time. If you aim at nothing, you will merely drift on without doing anything, and drift on without noticing the passing hours and hours."
Starting up a business is no easy feat. Expect financial loss, energy exertion, and heavy competition. With that said, it is important to start your business with the best possible chances. These simple steps will guide you towards developing a successful start-up.
1. Consider the market you are going into
Think about any market niche your business applies to. Gaps in the market will generate higher consumer demand, which you can capitalize on. Familiarize yourself with competitors and find out what they are doing, and more importantly, what they are not doing. Carrying out competitive analysis is crucial if you want your business to succeed.
2. Devise a business model
Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. You may aspire to one day expand your start-up into a franchise. You may want to offer a subscription-based service to maintain loyal customers. Or, perhaps you are going for a direct sales business model. Whatever the case, modeling your business will fortify your vision and assist with potential problems. The nine building blocks of a business model are customer segments, key resources, value propositions, client channels, key partners, customer relationships, revenue streams, activities that create value, and cost structure.
3. Consider your employees
Once you have established your business model, think about what kind of working environment it will create for employees and how you can implement systems to benefit them and improve efficiency. For example, if you have lone workers or employees that perform paging and alarm management, Motorola radio rental offers specialized two-way systems and communication solutions.
4. Work on your final product
Many start-ups' common downfall is assuming they can offer a wide range of products from the outset. Doing this will deplete the limited resources you have. Instead, pick one or two products you can perfect. New customers will appreciate your service quality and be inclined to positively review, repeat purchase, and recommend to a friend.
5. Gather customer feedback
After launching your business and getting those initial sales, it is important to review your customer feedback. Positive or negative, it will demonstrate where to alter your business. If the reviews are mostly positive, look specifically at what worked well. Recurring themes in feedback signify consumer habits. Analyzing this data may reveal opportunities for expansion within that area.
6. Carry out market surveys
If you are trying out a new product or service, it is a good idea to collect data from your targeted audience before launching anything. You can do this through online questionnaires like Survey Monkey. You could put the question to online forums. Or, you could organize a focus group. Each method has its benefits. Online surveys and forums can target a wider demographic, while focus groups may offer more in-depth feedback on a product or its branding.
It's a given that start-ups need a fair amount of initial planning. But with savvy preparation and research, there is the opportunity to succeed. Remember: start small, think big.
When your business is operating at maximum efficiency levels, your productivity should increase naturally. As a result, you can boost your company’s profitability by enhancing efficiency at every level. However, finding the most effective ways to improve your efficiency can be tricky. To give your business the best chance of success in 2021, take a look at these top tips for maximizing efficiency now:
Set Firm Goals
Unless you have clear goals in place, you won’t be able to monitor or optimize your efficiency levels. When you know what you’re working towards, you’re able to implement effective strategies that will help you to achieve your targets in the quickest timeframe. By using SMART goals, for example, you can ensure that your business targets are specific, measurable, achievable, time-bound, and realistic.
When you automate business functions, you can reduce the amount of time it tasks for tasks to be completed. In addition to this, increased automation eradicates potential inaccuracies caused by human errors and reduces the need for staff, thus reducing your costs.
People tend to assume that automation is only relevant in specific industries, such as manufacturing, but this isn’t the case at all. Every business can benefit from implementing automated processes, regardless of what sector you operate in. From invoicing and marketing to customer service and quality control, there are numerous ways you can increase automation within your business.
If you aren’t outsourcing already, it’s time to start. When you outsource certain tasks or functions, you can operate more efficiently. Outsourcing gives you access to specialist expertise that you don’t have in-house, but it also enables your core staff to focus on their main roles. By taking advantage of outsourcing opportunities, you can also minimize the need for full-time, in-house staff, which can enable you to operate with fewer outgoings.
There are plenty of ways to incorporate outsourcing into your business model. Using third-party managed IT services or professional translation services is a form of outsourcing, for example. Similarly, working with an SEO agency or a content production company enables you to outsource important business functions and improve your efficiency levels.
When your To-Do list is getting longer by the minute, don not simply work through it starting at the top. Instead, grade tasks based on how important and time-sensitive they are. By doing so, you can tackle the high-value tasks first and leave the less important issues until last. Using scheduling software or a task management platform is a good way to plan your working day, as it enables you to modify your schedule quickly and grade tasks according to their priority.
Becoming More Efficient
People tend to assume that maximizing efficiency means working harder but it doesn’t have to. By altering the way you work, you can significantly increase your efficiency and productivity, without working harder. In fact, you might find that making modifications to how you work allows you to reduce your working hours while still boosting your efficiency levels!
No matter the side of the educational system you’re on, you cannot ignore the importance of cloud-based learning management systems (LMS). From the student struggling to catch up with school work to the teacher looking for a way to deliver educational material across to your students. Cloud-based LMS is an
e-learning platform that assists educators, students, as well as instructors to create, access, manage, as well as organize different learning materials online. The world of education has taken advantage of the several benefits of such platforms to build capacity. In this article, we will take a closer look at the top four cloud-based learning management systems for training purposes.
Google Classroom is one of the web services developed by Google and available for free for e-learning and teaching purposes. Aside from assisting instructors in creating, organizing, and delivering assignments for students, the platform also allows for sharing ideas, trends, and innovations among a group of instructors or teachers. In addition to that, Google Classroom synchronizes easily with other e-learning tools, software, or apps such as Canvas. This means, for example, that a person can connect their Canvas app to their Google Classroom platform in order to help keep all materials in sync. However, Google Classroom is best used as a group platform because of the efficiency it offers when it comes to sharing files and communication between other users.
Canvas contains a set of learning materials and special features that have been integrated in a way to allow teachers and students to make the best out of it. The platform offers several benefits for both teachers and students. And this is especially true when you consider the fact that teachers have to create different learning materials from subject to subject. The platform also makes it very easy for instructors to engage with students. Plus, it integrates pretty nicely with a lot of teaching tools used in a classroom.
Blackboard Learn is also one of the main platforms where education and learning materials can be centralized efficiently, organized, distributed, and accessed with ease. This learning management systems platform is also best used between several instructors, students, or both. Blackboard Learn allows its users to share learning materials, learning trends, as well as other e-learning materials. Perhaps the only disadvantage this platform has is the fact that most of its users do not consider it to be very user-friendly. But it shouldn’t take too long to get the hang of it.
If the Mindflash LMS reviews are anything to go by, then they show just how many users are benefiting from the platform. Although the platform is used a lot by business-minded people, it also offers several educational tools that both teachers and students can take advantage of. It is an ideal platform when it comes to delivering online learning materials and courses. Plus, using this platform helps to reduce the amount of time a teacher spends on preparing and delivering educational materials to students.
What is microlearning? Well, ‘micro’ is derived from the eponymous Greek word, which means ‘small’. And microlearning refers to online learning that is delivered in small chunks. The upsides? Learners find it easier to absorb and retain knowledge -- in contrast to traditional macro-learning classes, where trainees are compelled to consume information in huge amounts. Content-heavy modules are not only boring but lead to wavering attention spans. After all, the modern, time-constrained working populace is used to consuming concise, brief chunks of knowledge -- on the go!
To shed more clarity on the concept of microlearning, here are a few pointers:
Microlearning is delivered in short spans of time
It requires minimal effort to deliver microlearning sessions
It involves simplifying topics and narrowing down subjects into manageable chunks
PlayAblo’s mobile-optimised microlearning methodology is the best fit for your forever busy workforce. Of course, this does not mean that microlearning can be delivered only on smartphones. You can optimise our courses to fit any screen size as per your convenience and requirements.
If you'd like to know more about how to choose the perfect microlearning LMS for your organisation. You
can check out the PlayAblo's blog here!
Running a business is hard work. Many entrepreneurs or small business owners find themselves wearing many hats. They spend so much time working in their business they never get the opportunity to work on their business.
Using automation intelligently can not only improve your business processes, but it also frees people up to work on core business priorities. A study in the UK showed that business owners spend up to a third of their time on business admin.
Automation can be used in most areas of a business, but here are a few of the main ones that will make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time.
HR & Payroll Systems
Even businesses with only a few employees have a number of legal and financial obligations to their employees. There are a number of great cloud hr systems coming onto the market which can run your day to day recruitment, HR and payroll services. These are cloud-based so won’t need to invest in any IT or data storage systems.
They’ll save you time, money and make sure that you stay legally compliant. Employees can update their personal details, access policies, request holiday or communicate feedback all directly through an online platform.
Running payroll through one of these systems can save your money on accountants and still let your remain compliant with the government tax systems and online banking facilities.
An efficient, well-organised team can do wonders. Rather than relying on emails and handwritten scribbles, why not run all of your tasks and projects through specialist software like Asana or Trello.
These programmes both have free versions that you can use to set up recurring tasks to keep your team and your business on track. The amount of time saved on unnecessary meetings or emails will transform your business.
A great deal of your marketing funnel can be automated through software such as Hubspot or Zoho. Once you’ve set up your campaign materials, you can rely on your software to push prospective clients through your marketing funnel without the need to manually trigger actions every step of the way.
Content, email and even social media content curation can all be automated in line with your campaign goals.
A well-designed chatbot on your website can drive enquiries through without you needing to speak to people.
The good news for small businesses is that you don’t need huge huge budgets to begin automating your business. Most of the larger software companies offer a freemium model, allowing you to access a range of features for free in the hopes that once you expand, you’ll move directly to the paid version.
Automating processes in our business can save you time, money and allow you to spend your precious time on actually running your business.
Increased productivity leads to better margins and an improved bottom line. Not adopting an agile approach to your business can lose you that competitive edge if your competitors do embrace automation.
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.