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Small Business

Could Your Business Be Better Off Without The Hard Sell?

Could Your Business Be Better Off Without The Hard Sell?

Much to many consumers’ chagrin, the hard sell is commonplace in a lot of industries. But is it still effective in the digital age? And is there a better alternative? In this article, we’ll show you how your business may be better off without pushy sales tactics. The stigma of ‘old-school’ sales tactics Due to the public’s negative perception of pushy sales tactics, customers are often guarded whenever they feel they’re being given the hard sell. This is more the case in industries that are notorious for their ‘cowboy’ firms, as consumers are likely to be even more on guard if you’re trying to push them into a sale. This can make them totally unresponsive to any efforts on your part to get them to hand over their hard-earned cash for your product or service — if the hard sell is your only ... »

Meeting Consumer Need for Speed: In-Store and Online

Meeting Consumer Need for Speed: In-Store and Online

Consumers today expect multiple options for how and where they can shop: from browsing online or on the high street, to paying with cash, card or a contactless device. Responding to these demands can be particularly difficult for small businesses, which often work within constrained budgets and with limited resource. However, understanding how to meet customer expectations is essential to attract new and repeat custom, and ultimately boosting the bottom line. To help smaller businesses keep up to date with the changing expectations of shoppers, both in-store and online, Greg Liset, Head of eCommerce – Small Business at Barclaycard, has the following recommendations. Payment technology: the key to success on the high street Card payments have transformed the way we shop on the high street, ... »

The Rise of the Conscious Consumer

The Rise of the Conscious Consumer

Consumers are expecting more from the companies they do business with. They want to go further than just a transaction, they want a relationship; a human, authentic experience. Today, we are consumers who are ethically motivated and conscious of how the decisions we make as shoppers impact society. In fact, 90% of global consumers are now more likely to switch to a brand associated with a good cause. The conscious consumer is on the rise and wielding influence on businesses like never before. Companies have traditionally implemented Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives to convey their social values to consumers. Until recently a company’s experience with CSR tended to be reactive; frantically trying to repair trust with customers when something has gone wrong (think VW’s 2015 ... »

Brexit: Small Business Owners React

Brexit: Small Business Owners React

In a move that has sent shockwaves across the nation and the wider world, the UK has voted to leave the European Union after 51.9% of voters opted to ‘Vote Leave’ compared to 48.1% who chose ‘Remain’. With the final polls indicating a small Remain victory, many small business owners were no doubt shocked upon hearing the result this morning and have contemplated what exactly the future will hold for them. Here, is4profit has compiled the views of some prominent figures in the space and what they think of Britain’s future outside the EU. The uncertainty will only continue Alex Littner, managing director of Boost Capital: “In the lead-up to the referendum, Boost Capital saw a rush of small businesses applying for bridging finance, anxious about what the vote might mean for their businesses i... »

5 Tips to Increase Productivity (And Profits) in Your Small Business

5 Tips to Increase Productivity (And Profits) in Your Small Business

Regardless of how many efficiencies you believe you’ve built into your new business, at some point, you’re going to be looking for increased productivity and/or some general cost saving. When this time comes, before you do anything, ask yourself some key questions … 1) What lessons can you pick up from your best performers? The productivity of the individuals within your workforce will likely vary considerably. Instinct may draw you to directing effort into boosting the effectiveness of your worst performers. There’s nothing wrong with that, but be careful that course doesn’t lead you to lose sight of the excellent performance of your best staff members. You might find that obsessing over avoiding your worst workers from costing you money gets in the way of examining how your best workers ... »

The Highs and Lows of Running a Family Business

The Highs and Lows of Running a Family Business

Starting any business is always an adventure, and it can be extremely exciting and extremely nerve-wracking all at once. However, starting a family business comes with a whole selection of fabulous perks and unforeseen challenges; making it the perfect platform to learn a few lessons about the complex world of business. Having owned a family-run business for the past six years, we understand just how complicated this can be. However, we also know what exciting and rewarding experiences running a family business can bring and have had so many ups and downs along the way. In order to prepare anyone considering starting a family business for what’s to come, we’ve decided to explore just a few things that we think sets a family business apart from any other… There is usually a greater le... »

Raising Finance: Overcoming the Barriers Created by Stereotypes

Raising Finance: Overcoming the Barriers Created by Stereotypes

I launched Frugl, a London-aimed bargains and deals platform for people on a budget, back in 2014. In this age of austerity, it was an idea I truly believed in and backed it with my own risk, funding our initial app by selling my house. One year on and we now have close to 20,000 active users, regularly list more than 200 activities per month and have just launched a marketplace for small and medium enterprises and event promoters to list and manage their own events and offers. We are ripe for growth, which is why I am crowdfunding new investment using a platform called Syndicate Room (SR). This, however, is not without potential pitfalls such as finding investors, revising and adjusting financial forecasts and spending a lot of time in meetings. Today’s funding environment The idea ... »

5 Ways Business Owners Can Protect Their WordPress Site

5 Ways Business Owners Can Protect Their WordPress Site

An estimated 23% of all websites on the internet are now hosted on the WordPress (WP) platform. And with thousands of plug-ins and templates that make it easy to create a tailored website, WP is extremely appealing to businesses. However, its accessible and the fact that anyone is free to edit its code means that security risks can be high. Lack of training and application of security precautions amongst WP users means they are increasingly becoming vulnerable to threats. WordCamp London welcomed hundreds of WP professionals last month and I was amongst the attendees, and took the opportunity to chat to WordPress experts about how users can safeguard their sites. Check your business website’s coding Phil Wylie, WP developer at ecommerce specialist, iWeb, has come across a lot of premium Wo... »

5 Ways to Build a Strong Customer Base

5 Ways to Build a Strong Customer Base

Customer endorsements and advocacy hold the key to future business growth. Research shows that the majority of a business’ revenue comes from just 20% of existing customers. This is good news for you as the probability of selling to an existing customer is around 60 to 70%, compared to just five to 20% for a new one – and therefore costing your business five times less than acquiring new customers too. So for most businesses, whilst growing your customer base is indisputably important, keeping your existing customers happy is arguably more so. Here’s fives ways business owners can solidify their firm’s customer retention strategy. 1. Showcase your customers’ happiness Businesses believe only a fraction of their customers leave because of poor customer service but in fact the figure i... »

5 Ways to Make it as a Successful Entrepreneur

5 Ways to Make it as a Successful Entrepreneur

While the amount of new businesses starting continues to rise, almost half of the new companies created in any given year fail within their first five years. So what does it really take to leave the security that comes with a regular pay check and become your own boss? Here are five key traits that have made me, and others, become a better business leader and as a result have helped my company thrive… As a business owner you need to be a go-getter The ability to self-start is perhaps the most important feature of successful entrepreneurs. From a very young age I knew that working for someone else wasn’t for me and although initially launching a company can result in long hours and low pay, it enables you to start and grow something you have created. This was enough to motivate me to work t... »

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