Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at October 4th, 2019
Our researchers at Credit Suite smuggled out ten amazing 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. Your work downtime won’t know what hit it!
Start powering up your business and 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 dealing with bad data and better visualizing sales performance. HubSpot says there are all sorts of ways for data to go a little, shall we say, ca-ca.
In the interests of full disclosure, your intrepid blog writer used to work in data analysis. And this article brings it all back.
Excuse me while I crawl into a corner and cry for a few minutes.
Okay, I’m back.
Or so it seems.
The biggest issue with bad data is that it wastes time. And we all know what time is.
So, what’s wrong, and how do you fix it?
One should be obvious-ish. Human error. For every time a human must touch data, there are opportunities for error.
Another issue is not having what they call ‘one source of truth’. Hence, your sales figures from Des Moines (for example) should have but one origin. That origin can be fed from several places. That part’s no problem. After all, you get online sales data from a different place from where you get the offline data. But it’s up to the Des Moines office or someone in charge to put that data together and make it the one number – the sales figures.
Another issue was not accounting for seasonality – and yet another was not accounting for differences. You might be expecting, say, $100,000 from Des Moines, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. Don’t go into data analysis with preconceived notions of what the answers are going to be. That way lies madness.
While this isn’t in the article, it should be.
Hire a data professional.
Once your business gets big and you start making regular money, you might want to make a data person one of your hires. This person can be part time and they can be a junior person. But with a person who knows what they’re doing with data, that can make all the difference. It can also save you time and money, because that person will oversee tracing down errors and cleaning up data to make it usable.
Let them have those headaches, so you don’t.
The next tip is about lead scoring. Opt in Monster notes lead scoring is a way to rank your prospects to better understand their sales readiness.
Wait, you don’t do this?
Er, you probably should.
More accurately, this more like separating the mature wheat from its seeds.
What’s the difference between someone who got on your mailing list three years ago and never interacted again, versus someone who did that, plus follows you on Facebook and retweets you?
If you don’t see a difference, you might want to reconsider this entrepreneur thing, mmkay?
The difference, of course, is that the second person is far more engaged in your brand. So, it should follow that you want to concentrate your efforts more on them than the other.
This doesn’t mean abandoning the other person! It just means treating them differently.
Scoring adds an objective angle to this. It’s hard to argue with hard numbers.
Our following tip concerns building an ecommerce dashboard. Sumo lays it all out for us. Dashboarding is a great way for you to see how your business is doing at a glance. Specifically, this tip is all about setting up one within Google Analytics.
We were so happy that this article has step by step instructions. Hence, we highly recommend reading it in its entirety. Heck – print it out and make a poster out of it.
Google Analytics is an exceptionally powerful tool, and it’s 100% free. It would be a shame for your business to not use it to its fullest capacity.
For our next tip, we looked at presenting business proposals to win clients. Succeed as Your Own Boss says that leading with stories is helpful. This is as opposed to facts and figured – stories are compelling!
A lot of this article concerns relating to your proposed clients. You want to show them data as a backup, yes. After all, without data, you have no proof that anything you do will work. But then dovetail that with a story.
Make it personal, and make it relate to your prospects. And talk to your prospects – ask them questions and show an interest in them and their business.
If you don’t, then someone else will.
This tip is so unexpected, but it works! The Self Employed tells us there are ways to save money with accounting.
So, of course this article starts with our old chestnut tip – separate your business and personal money. Keep the spending in separate buckets.
You will not only be more organized; you’ll be so much happier at tax time.
But it was with the third tip where we really felt the article hit its stride.
Now, how many times have you dealt with someone just getting started who was wishy-washy about the due date for getting paid? You may very well have.
That person may even be you.
So, cut that nonsense out. Yesterday.
The best way to be clear about payment terms is to put them in writing. Not just on your website. Slay a tree and put those terms on paper if your clients are at all local. There’s just something about getting a paper bill in the mail which can help to spur people to action.
This should be in addition to electronic billing, and not in place of it. Clear bills are also 100% vital if you find yourself in court.
Date of service. Add whatever your terms are (say, Net 30). And add the due date for the invoice. Make it clear which percentage is due when, if you do that. So, for example, if you own a construction business, you will probably want a percentage on the first day, more in the middle if the job goes on for a while, and the balance upon delivery.
Why? Because you’ll need cash to buy materials. And you’ll need income to hold you over until the final payment comes in. Protect yourself with clear billing and payment terms.
With less time spent chasing payments, you might get some work downtime, which we’re covering next.
Grab this tip while it’s hot!
Every single one of us has work downtime. Find out how to make the best possible use of yours and your employees’.
The Work at Home Woman says there are a lot of great ways to fill up those unexpected moments when suddenly everything is clear.
Not like we would know what those look like. So, in theory ….
We loved two separate tips which certainly go together well. One was to take on a new challenge. The other was to learn something new. Take the time to learn a new skill.
So, for example, if you’ve always been mystified by mail merge or how to best set up your email folders, do it now! It’s a great use of your work downtime.
Heh, just kidding. We find them kind of regimented and often not well-written at all.
Therefore, why not edit and improve and update them during your work downtime? Or write them if they don’t exist at all.
How do you lock up for the night? Make it a procedure. How do you answer an angry customer on social media? Write that down, too.
You will be so glad you did this.
One thing which wasn’t mentioned in the article was something we highly recommend during work downtime – getting organized. Change up your email rules (or add them in the first place) and get incoming mail foldered before you ever see it.
Personal pro tip: you know all those emails which you need to get to but not at this very moment? If you’re keeping them unread, then you might be messed up if you accidently convert one from unread to read. Or, heaven forbid, all of them.
So, this is what I do.
Create a separate email folder and name it something like Inbox Overflow or Almost Urgent or whatever works best for you. Place those emails which require attention but not right now in there. And, please remember they’re in there, of course.
This way, you can pluck them from the stack without having to worry about keeping them unread. And email folders are sortable and searchable in every system. Hence you can get a handle on which of those emails are more pressing than others.
It also beats pawing through your entire mailbox to try to find these emails.
Check out this tip, all about tracking website traffic the right way. Success Harbor notes that tracking the wrong data does you no good. It’s almost a subset of tip #10, above.
We loved that this article discusses Google Analytics (tip #8, above) – but it doesn’t stop there. The article adds several other helpful sites to track valuable metrics.
However – a caution – the article was originally posted in 2017. And at least one recommendation (Attention Meter) seems as if it is no more. So, take it with a grain of sale.
It’s not your imagination: this tip can help you increase Instagram engagement. Foundr tells us all about Instagram stickers.
Oh, we so loved these! What amazing ideas these are.
Seriously, collect the whole set. They’re that awesome.
Oh, wait, engagement on Instagram doesn’t involve getting down on one knee. Ah, well.
Rather, engagement on Instagram (or any social platform, for that matter), is all about who comments, who likes, who swipes, etc.
Consider how engaged your followers would be if they could buy your products and services directly in the ‘Gram. Or how you could do a bit of informal customer research with a quick one-question poll. Another idea is to ask a simple question. You might get unexpected answers, and they could give you more ideas of how to better serve your customers.
Read this whole article. It is exceptionally helpful.
Our second to last tip can give you a new perspective on creating holiday emails in your business. Sleek Note reveals all about it.
Yes, the holidays are coming. And faster than you may think.
As of the posting of this blog, it’s 10 days to Columbus Day, and it’s just under 8 weeks to Thanksgiving and 11 and a half weeks to Xmas. So, if you’re going to send out holiday emails, you’d better get cracking.
The examples are all related to gift products, and they tend to be great examples of concepts we’ve gone over before. For example, separating gift givers by price or recipient, the email effectively divvies up your customers. This gives them far better user experiences. Plus, you don’t waste their time. If I’m shopping for my hairdresser, I’m probably not getting her a new car (sorry, Katie).
By the way, their best tip was the last one.
No, it’s not salesy. And that’s 100% okay.
We loved the idea of giving people a heads up in case they want to opt out of some emails. The example was a stellar one – allowing an opt out of Mother’s and Father’s Day emails. Consider the people this helps. It’s not just people who are childless by choice. It’s especially helpful and kind to those who aren’t childless by choice.
In this and in all areas, kindness goes a long way.
We saved the best for last. For our favorite remarkable tip, we focused on social media branding. Women on Business says there are a few simple ways to stand out on social media.
We really loved the first tip.
What does that mean? It means, your business isn’t suited to every single social platform out there. So, stop trying to fit your square peg business for seniors into a Snapchat round hole. And quit trying to force your business for tweens onto LinkedIn.
Neither will work very well. They’re just a waste of time. And time is the one thing you never have enough of.
So, which one of our brilliant business tips was your favorite? And which one will you be implementing now? Thank you for reading during your work downtime!