Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at February 22nd, 2019
Our researchers at Credit Suite came up with these ten business tips for you! Be fierce and score in business with the best tips around the web. You can use them today and see fast results. Well-informed is well-armed, so we’ll go into some stressful situations and then hit you with abusiness stress detox.
Stop making stupid decisions and start powering up your business. Demolish your business nightmares and start celebrating as your business fulfills its promise.
And these brilliant business tips are all here for free! So settle in and scoop up these tantalizing goodies before your competition does!
Our first tip is all about writing better emails to your customers. Talk Business said this form of communication is “the most effective digital marketing channel in terms of ROI, with conversation rates as high as 50%”. Holy cow.
We really loved their first and last tips, and they both center around one of our favorite things to blog about – data.
The article first talks about a master emailing list, and we are all for that. Rather than keeping a dozen (or more!) separate lists, it does make a heck of a lot more sense to centralize everything. And, in truth, we think you’ll find undiscovered relationships by keeping it all together.
Which leads us to a conclusion we’ve drawn which is not in the article – you need a database.
Now, don’t panic if you don’t think you’re a data person. You are. You own at least one database already. Yeah, we mean it.
But you call it your address book.
Yes! In essence, here’s what we’re talking about. A database is a collection of related pieces of information with a degree of uniformity.
In your address book, probably everyone has a first and last name, even if the last name is just ‘unknown’ or the first name is just an initial. Every American phone number has and area code plus seven digits. And every US address has a 5-digit ZIP code (there are 9-digit ZIP codes but the shorter version will get your letter to its destination just fine).
If you lined up all of your addresses into one spreadsheet, you’d be able to sort them by ZIP code, yes? And you could aggregate them that way as well. So maybe you’ll batch all of the mail to Albuquerque for one day, for example.
Using a database just means automating that sort of aggregating. And it means drawing conclusions from such aggregates. Hence if you have 100 names on your mailing list, and 73 of them are from New Mexico, then you might want to concentrate your efforts there, in a place where you are having obvious success.
This really only becomes possible with a master mailing list.
And the other half is another of our favorites – measuring the hell out of everything. Measurements, of course, tell us where we are succeeding. And they let us know where we’re failing as well. Both are extremely useful pieces of information. This is another reason to have a master list – putting everything together makes it a lot simpler to make comparisons. If you hadn’t had all 100 addresses together, you might have missed the New Mexico trend. Food for thought, eh?
The next tip is about the myth of the paperless office. Brother busted this myth wide open. Truth is, a lot of people still print – a lot. And they feel it’s a more efficient way to get their work done. Sometimes, they’re right. After all, it can be difficult to compare two documents side by side, in particular if the parts you are comparing are in far different places within the document.
Also, contracts will always need to be signed. But after that – why are you still printing stuff? In truth, this article could have been written ten, nay twenty years ago. Of course scanning is on offer as a viable means of making collaboration far easier and reducing clutter. But who is unaware that scanning documents exists?
There was one tip which truly stood out for us. Did you know that if people are sitting near a printer, they are apt to use it more? So what’s the obvious solution if you want to save paper?
Move the printer.
Our following tip concerns a half a dozen things you should do before you start a company blog. Business 2 Community noted the first things you should do are to define your purpose and define your audience. We love this! For it makes a ton of sense. Otherwise, you’re just shooting in the dark.
So, what’s your blog going to be about? For a business blog, the short answer is likely to be either your company or your industry or both. You might also want to expand it to blogging about your customers or your prospects. But after that? It’s your decision.
And then there’s the audience, AKA the buyer persona. Are your readers male? Female? Trans? Are they retired? Teenaged? Middle-aged? Something else? Are they financially comfortable, or are they struggling a bit? The answers to these and similar questions will help you to create a far more laser-focused blog.
Get these specifics down and your blog will by definition be more compelling. And they may even help you with writer’s block, which seems to cluster more around too many content choices rather than too few.
For our next tip, we looked at how a business leader can accept not always having the answers to everything. Forbes stated it’s a great opportunity to lead better, and we agree. By sharing you don’t know something, you can lean more on others. And by hiring smart, curious people, they are more likely to have the answer or be able to find it.
Perhaps our favorite tips were related. One was to proactively seek input. And the other was to really and truly listen to people. We feel these make a lot of sense. You hired a CPA, or a professional engineer, or a superstar sales person for a reason. Seeking their input, and truly listening to it, honors that reason.
This tip is so intuitive, and it works! I Money said budget ambiguity is a big problem. No disagreement here! What we particularly loved was the idea of cultivating an attitude of hoping for the best yet expecting the worst when it comes to budgets. We would all love to think we’re going to have more cash leftover at the end of a week, quarter, or year. But we just might not.
Better to plan for that, than not to, eh? Otherwise, egad, you’ll need a business stress detox (see below)!
Grab this tip like a hot tropical vacation! It’s time for a business stress detox. Entrepreneur put together some great ideas on how to purge the poison.
If you have ever lived through a colleague leaving because of stress (or compromising their health or even losing their life due to it), then you’ll recognize some of these tips.
We have. It’s not pretty.
Of course your health is wildly important. But how many of us neglect it? And how easy or difficult is it to take care of ourselves? Even when working long hours, the article suggests walking around for a one on one meeting, and we are all for that. In particular, if your office is in a decent area and the weather doesn’t completely stink, then why not?
Of course it won’t be easy to take notes. But think of how a little fresh (er, fresh-ish if you’re in a city) air can rejuvenate you. And consider how this kind of a change of pace can positively affect both people in the meeting.
To this we add an old standby – pretend your commute is longer than it really is. What do we mean by this? If you drive, then park in the farthest-away spot you can find, always! Never mind if there are closer ones. Just pretend the only one is off in Oshkosh somewhere.
Don’t drive? Then walk in a more circuitous fashion, or get off one stop farther away if that’s safe. Give yourself more opportunities to move.
Also known as – ta da! – water. Drink it. Lots of it. How much? Generally a good ounce per pound you want to lose, if you’re looking to lose weight. If you aren’t, then consider the old standby of eight 8-ounce glasses. Water doesn’t have to be cold, and it doesn’t have to be utterly flavorless (so long as your flavorings are no more than 10 calories apiece and have little to no salt or sugar – try lime juice), either. Find a mug or thermos you like, something you know you’re going to use. Pro tip – make sure it’s dishwasher safe.
Often our hunger signals are actually thirst signals, so drinking water can cut out snacking or at least drastically reduce its frequency. And water drinking had obvious health benefits. This includes not just drinking water but also replacing other drinks with water. Hence this includes less alcohol, caffeine, and sodas.
And we’d like to add one more tip – get more sleep. Bingeing Netflix shows is no substitute for sleeping. If you are having trouble sleeping, then less caffeine and alcohol can only help you. And so can more exercising.
Also, if you are having trouble getting enough rest, might we recommend a new mattress? Or blackout curtains, or both.
An excellent side effect to all three of these little behavioral changes is, you’ll probably be a far happier person. And that, too, can help you to reduce the stress in your life.
Check out this tip, all about nine ways to prevent a data breach. Talk about the need for a business stress detox after one! Small Biz Daily noted that a data breach is the kind of nightmare which is still mainly preventable.
Our favorite was the first one, to update your software! We recall how that kind of neglect came around to bite Equifax in the nether regions. Software companies don’t send patches out for fun. They’re trying to help you prevent a breach in the first place. But one thing is for certain.
Software security patches don’t work if you don’t deploy them. So accept those updates!
It’s not your imagination: this tip can help female entrepreneurs get the most out of their businesses. Talk Business came up again, and they offered perspective on some issues female entrepreneurs must face.
Our biggest concern was with the idea of not being selective. And we are all over that.
Consider this: your intrepid blog writer is a lady-type person. And my youth was spent as a people pleaser. A lot of women end up the same way. This can become an issue in business when you just can’t say no to certain types of business.
Difficult clients which demand scads of your time and attention, but for very little financial rewards are the kinds of clients you should be getting into a position to fire if things don’t change right quick. But we can sometimes feel more of a commitment than the relationship warrants.
Furthermore, we have the biggest and best ability to say no at the very start. If a client seems like they wouldn’t pay, or would fight every step of the way, then walk away!
Saying no once is so much easier than saying it again. And again and again. And then you’ll really need a business stress detox.
Our second to last tip can give you a new perspective on succession planning for your small business. Idea Girl Media pointed out less than half of all businesses have any sort of a succession plan in place. And, family-owned businesses tend to die at about the second or third generation level. It’s a sad truth – Junior just might not be that good at taking over the reins of your business. And here’s a dirty little secret – Junior might not want to take over the family biz.
So what’s a conscientious business owner to do? Our favorite tip centered around the transition. There were actually two tips concerning it. One was to find an interim leader to help a new owner with the transition. And the other was to train your successor, and not just leave him or her holding the proverbial bag.
There was a related tip we also liked – put together a timeline! This blog post is dated in February. But could you perform an entire transition before December 31st? Maybe, maybe not. Still, you’ll never know unless you put it all down on paper or pixels and tried to figure it out.
No map means you won’t get there.
We saved the best for last. For our favorite remarkable tip, we focused on a positive – making creative sales contests. Sales Hacker offered seven great ideas for how to put some fun into the fundamentals of sales. Our fave part of this article? The concept of doing it over and over again.
Because once is not always enough.
So which one of our brilliant business tips was your favorite? And which one will you be implementing now?