Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at December 14th, 2018
Our research elves at Credit Suite put together ten festive 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. Pass around the holiday motivation while you deck the halls!
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! Get holiday motivation now.
Our first tip is all about customer segmentation. PostFunnel makes it easy to understand. But what the heck is customer segmentation to begin with?
Gather ‘round, ‘cause it’s story time. About sixty years ago, personal service was the norm and not the exception in a lot of industries. Merchants tended to know their customers by name, and when the customer came back over and over again, the merchant got to know that person’s preferences.
These days, the number of customers, and their locations around the globe, make this virtually impossible for many businesses. Hence the business owner needs to divide the customer base into chunks, and handle each chunk instead of the individuals within it.
If there are 1,000 customers, then if there are 5 separate chunks, averaging 200 customers apiece, the job is easier. But randomly putting customers together doesn’t help. What helps a lot more – a lot! – is if the customers in the chunk (AKA the segment) are all somewhat similar.
Now, you could spy on everyone and figured out who prefer mint to cinnamon. Or you could just ask your customers to separate themselves.
Have you ever seen a website which gave you a few choices and depending on what you chose, you would be directed one way or another? That’s customer segmentation. When you tell the site that you’re female, or under the age of forty, or you prefer salty snacks to sweet ones – congratulations! You’ve just segmented yourself.
The next tip is about saving money with e-commerce marketing. GetResponse leads the way. Now, cheapskate might sound like a dirty word. But with GetResponse, it’s an acronym.
Our favorite was the ‘P’, for proof.
The idea is to prove to your customers and prospects that what you are offering is the real deal, and that it’s what they would love. Amazon in particular does this splendidly. For every kind of product out there, the customer can review it.
That’s not just movies and books. It’s also air conditioner brackets, car sun shades, camisoles, and tea.
When prospects see what others think of your product or service, they will tend to trust such reviews. By the way, as an aside – negative reviews are great if they are constructive and you can learn from them. If your tennis racket becomes unstrung after three volleys, then you’d like to know that, now, wouldn’t you?
Our second fave was ‘E’, for easy.
Nobody’s got the time to wrestle with your website or your checkout process. Make them painfully easy to use. That’s the best way to get anything done online.
Our following tip concerns augmented reality. Small Business Trends gathered together 15 of the best examples to show how AR can work with smaller businesses.
Augmented reality is when the real stuff out there is supplemented with computer-created content.
Our favorite example was Ikea. They use AR to allow customers to visualize their furniture in their own homes. Then you’ll really know whether that easy chair is the right shade of brown for your living room. And you’ll know before you take it home or pay a dime for it.
And speaking of money….
For our next tip, we looked at managing money. Success had some excellent tips for keeping solopreneurs on the right track when it comes to finances.
We really loved the last one – ‘you can always earn more’. True story: we know a lot of independent artists. And a lot of them suffer from imposter syndrome, where they wonder if they’re any good enough.
For a lot of these people, keeping their prices low feels like the right thing to do. But the fact of the matter is, that just feeds right into imposter syndrome.
You know what happened when a lot of those people raised their prices? They didn’t lose money or clientele. Sure, some customers may have balked. But many did not, and the artist could often replace a recalcitrant former client with someone new.
It’s also a nifty way to banish imposter syndrome for good.
This tip is so smart, and it works! NextGen Wealth asks: do you need a financial planner? We get so caught up with budgeting for work, that we might forget to do it at home. NextGen put together an easy to follow infographic which helps show what you need to know about working with a financial planner. And it’s got some sobering statistics on how people plan – or, more often, not – for their financial futures. It’s well worth a look.
Grab this tip while it’s hot! It’s almost like senioritis (remember that?), when everyone s…l…o…w…s down during the holiday season. There are industries where December is essentially one non-stop holiday. Or at the very least, it’s a work slowdown. Not a great thing for your fourth quarter numbers, eh?
Over at Lifehack, they came up with four great effective ways to motivate employees when the eggnog, reindeer, candles, and sleigh bells all come calling.
We especially liked the idea of using a differential bonus system. What’s that? So glad you asked.
The truth is, in retail, it kinda really is combat pay. So what are we talking about? An extra bit of sweetness for those who have to work during the holidays. And that means even if it’s not their holiday. You’re still putting them out.
Seriously – don’t decide that Jewish or Buddhist, etc. employees who work on December 25th are somehow happy to be there. Between holiday train and bus schedules, slow-moving touristy crowds, and knowing everyone else is having fun, it’s still a tough day to go to work. Hence be a little extra generous to those folks.
One option we really loved, particularly if money is tight, was to offer more vacation time for some other time of year. For an employee who works on Thanksgiving and Christmas days, a couple of days off to take right around Diwali or Eid al-Fitr or just for a little me time can be priceless.
While your office isn’t a party 24/7, there is no reason why you can’t have good times when it’s not the fourth quarter. How about a company picnic during the summer, or a retreat during the off-season? Holiday motivation can happen when you celebrate at other times of the year.
If December is the only really good time for your employees to socialize and catch up, then they will. But if you can get everyone away for a day in June or September or March, then they won’t have anywhere near as much catching up to do in December.
Check out this tip, all about creating an exceptional holiday gift guide. Thrive Hive put together a wonderful way to make use of a holiday gift guide to entice your customers.
Perhaps our favorite tip was to share the spotlight and not make all of the gifts about your business. And that makes sense on a ton of levels.
Consider a company that makes dollhouses. They may be beautiful and custom-made, perfect for any child or collector. But those collectors and children enjoy holiday sweets, gift cards, and scarves, too. And what about people who want something truly unique? A dollhouse making company might add places to buy dolls and their clothing, yes. But they might also include gifts like exotic foods or modern art.
Know your customer – that’s another tip. And it’s perfect, really, for everything that you do. Know your customer and understand what drives them. And then you’ll be able to get them what they want, and speak directly to their interests.
It’s not your imagination: this tip can show you how to create and lead high-performance teams. Leadership Thoughts is here to help you when you’ve got this kind of an embarrassing richness of talent in your business.
Spoiler alert: this is not a bad problem to have.
We loved two particular tips. One was about open and honest communication, and the other was about nurturing a supportive environment. It’s a lot like #1, below.
Together, these two pieces of advice work wonders. When employees can show their skills, when they can stretch, and when they’re being given an opportunity to succeed, most of them will.
Our second to last tip can give you a new perspective on how a brand-new employee becomes a leader – when they’ve never actually been an employee before! Entrepreneur tackles this uniquely modern issue.
Our favorite truism is that there’s only the one CEO. So while the company can scale, they cannot. And that rang really true with us. Hence a company might turn out, say, 1,000 sweaters in a two-year period. And then in the following year, it might be making 1,000 sweaters a day. The CEO can’t check them all by hand!
And that’s okay. The boss needs to learn to delegate that responsibility.
We saved the best for last. For our favorite remarkable tip, we focused on creating a feedback culture within a company. Feedier offered some awesome ideas on how to bake feedback right into a business.
One concept we really loved was to make feedback the norm. Because if feedback is only elicited occasionally, it becomes far more fraught with meaning. Yet when it’s given and received all the time, that can take the sting out of it – and this brings up to another favorite idea – to keep it from getting personal.
Hence when these two ideas are combined, the magic happens. Your company creates a culture driven by feedback. That is, everyone feels they can offer up ideas and suggestions, and corrections. And this is true no matter what level they are in the organization.
In addition, on the other side, everyone knows they will receive feedback, so they come to expect it. It doesn’t blindside them.
And this last part is key – the feedback has got to be constructive. Saying, “It stinks!” does no one any good. But saying, “I think the following can be changed and then it’ll be fantastic.” – that is the kind of feedback that is specific and actionable. And it doesn’t destroy the recipient’s ego in the process. When the recipient feels supported, guess what happens? They actually act on the suggested feedback, instead of pushing back.
Pretty brilliant, eh?
So which one of our brilliant business tips was your favorite? And which one will you be implementing now? Back to you.