Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at February 1st, 2019
Our researchers at Credit Suite brought 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. Get your sound business tips right here.
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 the future in customer service. Ujet looked into their crystal ball and discovered 10 fascinating ways customer service should continue to grow, expand, and evolve, in this (still!) new year.
We have a special place in our hearts for measuring stuff, so we were excited to see the trend about using data to better improve the customer experience.
Truth is, there is more information on customers than ever before (how do you think ad retargeting works?). Customers are tracked, followed, and scrutinized. All. The. Time.
But that’s not necessarily such a bad thing (some of the time). Consider this.
Unless it’s a scarf, the store has just blown it … big time! Sue might feel insulted the store thought she was heavier than she is. Bob might feel hurt because the store emphasized to him how he wishes he was taller. Either way, no one goes away happy.
Now let’s rewind and do that again. But this time, even though Bob and Sue both want to buy the same thing (say, a 100% cotton white turtleneck), the store of course offers them the item in their correct sizes. You know, like a normal store.
Now let’s put the cherry on the sundae. Same people, same sizes, same item to shop for, same store. But there’s one difference. What’s white? Is it pure optic white? Cream? Light beige? Very, very pale yellow? White and off-white are different.
Don’t like that example? Then substitute blue. Navy and aqua aren’t like Carolina blue or indigo, now, are they?
With information on how Bob and Sue differ from each other in size and taste, the store can give them what they truly want. And with information on how Bob and Sue differ from every other customer or prospect, the store can repeat their success with Mary and Jeff.
That’s what data does. Customer data is one of the most valuable kinds of information you can amass. So long as you use it!
What fascinated us was the idea that customers will want to either use AI or find their own answers. Or, they’ll want to get service. And they’ll want to contact customer service directly.
While it may feel as if the list is hedging its bets, this makes sense when you look at customers individually and not like a monolith. Millennials might be more independent. Female customers might prefer AI. Married customers might want to contact customer service on their own terms.
Whatever your data (yes siree Bob, we love data!) says? Do that.
The next tip is about content calendars. Now, we know we’ve written about content calendars before. But please bear with us.
Social Media Today put together a round table where a number of opinions were laid out about content calendars. We saw two ideas we really loved.
How can far-flung teams be (literally) on the same page if they have no idea what the content calendar says? Is your team celebrating the invention of the macaron, or remembering The Maine? Get that calendar out there so everyone knows what’s going on.
And the other idea we adored was about flexibility. There is a good reason why, unless you’re an ancient Mayan, your calendar is made of paper or pixels, rather than stone.
It’s really simple. Calendars are made to be changed. And that includes social media calendars.
If your current plans aren’t working, make new ones.
Our following tip concerns creating the perfect project plan. While we just talked a bit about planning, this article really brought everything home for us. Noobpreneur said a lot about project planning. But we truly loved the first point the most.
That’s the gist of it. Why is a particular project being done? And why is it being done now? If you can’t define the immediate need or objective of a project, then it may be a good idea to table it for when it is more immediate.
Prioritization is a lesson every manager has got to learn. After all …
“Time is nature’s way to keep everything from happening all at once.” – Misattributed to John Archibald Wheeler (we’ll probably never know who really said it).
In other words, do what matters now. And for stuff that matters later, do it later. Now that’s some sound business judgment, eh?
For our next tip, we looked at content intelligence. Red Website Design put it all together for us. The main idea is to continually audit and check your content.
What works? What doesn’t? And what are people asking for?
We were pleased to see a pair of tools we currently use on the list! They are BuzzSumo and Answer the Public. To sum it up: give the people what they want, find out why something isn’t working, and be flexible (We’re big on flexibility. It must be Yoga Day).
This tip is so logical, and it works! Small Business Bonfire explained it all.
How can you use technology to streamline your business? Our favorite idea was all about ‘try before you buy’, where you can check out how your website will look with a new plugin or read the first few pages of a book before plunking down some coin.
We also loved product inventory management. Remember when people would go running to the back to see if something was in stock? Well, they still do. But with the right technology, they don’t have to anymore.
Grab this tip while it’s hot!
And by sound business tips, we really mean sound! As in, did you know music can help with productivity? Impact put together a dozen ways music can make you more productive. And they stuffed them into a pretty nifty infographic. We highly recommend you check it out.
So… what does it say?
Truth is, a lot of the tips centered around headphones. Not earbuds. Headphones. Why? Because the very in-your-face nature of headphones means everyone knows you’re not to be disturbed when you put them on. Not so with earbuds, which are far too easy to miss.
In a way, we’re a little saddened by this. After all, it’s really just a means of coping with not having an office with a door. Eek!
These are actually two separate reasons to listen to music. But we feel they are similar enough to combine them. Flow is a lot like an athlete being ‘in the zone’. You get a feeling of connectivity in a way. Say what?
What we are describing (probably not too well) is how one thing can lead to another when you’re in the zone. You don’t have to consider what you are doing. You just go and go and go. Whether that means typing paragraph after paragraph without stopping to consider the next bit of information to add, or just stacking box after box, music helps.
And the same is true for repetitive tasks. Talk about stacking box after box.
We loved this one! Creating content is, of course, a very creative pursuit. But sometimes the words just won’t come. If music can get us into the mood of creating and keep us there, then it’s well worth it.
For this one, we confess, we’re a little on the fence. Does music eliminate distractions? Maybe. After all, it may simply eliminate distractions and replace them with new ones.
What if you find you just drop what you’re doing to dance or sing along? Oops.
But we did like that it drowns out annoying colleagues. You don’t really need to hear your office mate as she whistles during her repetitive tasks. And you so don’t want to listen to your team mate on the other side of the cube wall talk to his divorce attorney.
Yeah, we’ve got experience in dealing with listening with that. You don’t want to know.
Check out this tip, all about capturing qualified leads via mobile landing pages. Smart Insights showed us how.
What we really loved was the idea of using lower-commitment calls to action. Hence instead of ‘buy now’, the idea was, instead, to use a CTA such as ‘explore’. And that makes a great deal of sense to us.
After all, we just met! Don’t get on one knee immediately. We won’t say yes. We’ll just find that creepy.
It’s not your imagination: this winning tip can give you your life back. Entrepreneur told us all about delegating and more. For the boss, it can seem like everything needs your attention, RIGHT NOW!
It probably doesn’t.
Unless you’re on the bomb squad or trading on the market or transplanting a heart, the clock may not be ticking as loudly or as urgently as you think. Yes, yes stuff has to get done. You’ll get no argument from us about that. But it might not have to be done ohmyGodrightnowthisverysecond.
Not every task can be put off forever, of course, so can you delegate some of them? These are bigger tasks which are repetitive, and smaller ones which are easier. And we’re not just talking about assistants here. We mean every type of employee. And there’s another reason to delegate – an employee is better at a task than you are. Or maybe they have more or better training or experience.
Your ego will survive. You’re not perfect at everything you do. None of us can be.
So learn to let a few things go to others, and then you’ll have the mental bandwidth to tackle the harder stuff. And you’ll be able to do two other things which the Entrepreneur article stresses are important (and we agree!). They are: get enough sleep and put a fence around your away time and not allow work to get in.
You don’t have to work 24/7. You do not have to dig an early grave with your stylus.
Our second to last tip can give you a new perspective on communication mistakes. Entrepreneurship Life made sure to tell it like it is.
Probably the biggest (and we feel most vital) piece of advice was all about listening.
How often do you listen? We mean: really listen, as in you drop what you’re doing and pay full attention. Really? If you’re listening with one ear but are formulating your response at the same time, guess what? You’re not truly listening.
So, how do you fix this when you’re busy as all get-out, 24/7?
Start with not being so busy. Sounds silly, right? But hear us out!
This actually dovetails with another tip, to act rather than to react. So let’s look at the United flight 3411 incident. In April of 2017, Dr. David Dao was forcibly dragged off a United plane by law enforcement because the flight was overbooked.
On April 9, the first response, purely reactive, was, in part, “…We apologize for the overbook situation…” Then on the following day, the CEO said, in part, “…I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers.” After being skewered on social media (Dragging is re-accommodating? In which universe?), on the twelfth, the CEO said, “We’re not going to put a law enforcement official … [onto a United aircraft] to remove a booked, paid, seated passenger.”
While the incident might or might not have been predicted or prevented, the company was reactive rather than proactive. How do you fix this sort of reactive communicating? By being prepared – and even with graceful business apologies.
We saved the best for last. For our favorite remarkable tip, we focused on whether it’s a good idea to fix a broken company, or throw in the towel. Eric Siu of Growth Everywhere shared his experiences in turning two rather different troubled companies around.
Siu’s stellar advice centered on a few things. One great idea (a necessity) was to figure out just what the heck is going on. And that makes sense. Going around and outside the finger-pointing, there is some reason why a company is stalling. And guess what? Our favorite – analytics – is the key to determining what’s really happening. Because with measurement, you get a handle on where the bleeding is, and how to stop it.
His other concept was to not put all your eggs in one basket. This dovetails rather well with measurement. Why? Because when you measure and test, you can figure out if, say, Facebook ads work better for you than Twitter. You will never know unless you measure!
So which one of our brilliant business tips was your favorite? And which one will you be implementing now?