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Best Marketing Strategies, A Bread Baking Recipe For Business Owner Success

Business owners everywhere know: it takes policies and strategies to make a business succeed. The idea of owning a business has become so competitive, that most business owners will spend a lot of time trying to find new ideas to implement along with different strategies to use. Finding businesses that know how to succeed are essential in learning what the formulas are. By doing this, you can master your own formula to success!

If you want to look around at the businesses that succeed, you will find one thing in common with all of them. They understand that the most important thing to success is customer satisfaction. If the customer isn’t happy; no one is.

Getting customer satisfaction doesn’t mean that you will need to be nice to everyone who comes by and is interested in your business. Unlike past businesses, you can’t sell with only a smile. Like everything else in the business world, there is a direct formula that you can use and implement for ensuring that you have customer satisfaction every time!

How do you guarantee customer satisfaction? This involves putting together a mixture of ingredients that ensure success. The steps include preparation, working well during a sale, and the after math of doing business with a customer.

Making sure that your customer walks away and you know that they will walk back in, possibly with more customers for you is all it takes to accomplish your goals as a business. The idea is to create a well-rounded meal for customers with their experience with you.

Following some simple guidelines and looking at the other examples available to you will give you everything that you need for customer service, allowing your business to soar above the rest. The result is that you will be able to become a business owner who understands the necessity of good customer service. Individuals and past customers will help to support your business, and everyone will walk away at the end of the day, happy with the levels of satisfaction that you have been able to provide.

Ingredient #1: Why Do I Need to Worry About 1 Customer?

It doesn’t matter if your product or services are good. It doesn’t even matter if you are at the point where you have found that your customer is interested in buying something from you. Most likely, they aren’t going to walk away thinking about your product or service. They are going to walk away thinking about YOU and what your company is like, especially in comparison to others. Their big question is: “will I ever go back there again?”

If you walk into a business, you will most likely do the same thing. You pick up a product, you ask for a service, and if someone responds to you in a negative way, you remember. Not only do you remember, but you are going to make sure that everyone around you knows that they don’t want to do business with you. They are positive it will put a negative edge to their day.

On average, an unhappy customer will tell up to 10 people that they are not satisfied with your service. A happy customer will most likely tell one or two people.

How does this relate to your business? If you know business, you know that one of the ingredients is to market correctly. One of the most well known ways is through word of mouth. Worrying about the customers is also worrying about one of the major marketing strategies you use in your every day business.

What kind of business will you be losing if you don’t have the correct customer service? Let’s begin with the neighbors and the family that ask where they bought a particular item or service. Beyond this, look at the possibilities for complaints. Things like technology and the Internet allows individuals to have the ability to go out of their way to make sure everyone knows how bad or good something is.

An easy market is your customer. Making sure that your customer has received the best possible customer service, without any complaints, is the first and major ingredient to mix in for ensuring your business success. Without it, nothing else will have the ability to mix together.

Ingredient #2: Make a Strong Guarantee

You most likely have heard this slogan before: Satisfaction; guaranteed. This is an important part of your complete mix to making sure your customer is happy.

There may be a time where the product is a little off from what it should be. Maybe something went wrong with the services you provided. Maybe nothing went wrong, but the customer just isn’t happy. Maybe your business ideal and goal is to make sure that you provide all of your customers with the best quality in the products and services you offer.

Your most essential way of communicating all of these things with a customer is through a guarantee. Nothing is a problem, as long as you stamp your guaranteed sign on your business.

A guaranteed stamp means two things to a customer. One is that you believe in your product or your service as being the best. Two, you know that sometimes things go wrong, and you understand your customers when they say that they want high quality.

A strong guarantee means that your company is focused on what it means to offer a quality product. It also means that you want the best for the customer, and you won’t settle for less.

How do you work guarantees? If you have a product or a service, you give your customer the room to return what they don’t like. Any larger corporation, or even smaller, understands that not only will this help with happier customers, but it can also mix in with the first ingredient, meaning that a guarantee will help you market by word of mouth.

One of the specific tools to use with your guarantees is by taking advantage of time. For instance, if you offer a six month or one year guarantee, you will be less likely to have returns than if you offer a thirty day guarantee. This is a psychological way of telling the customer that you know your product is good and will last for at least as long as the guarantee says it will.

Say that a customer turns to your company with an item that they bought then decided they didn’t like. At some point, you may recognize that the item may not even be from your store! But, you take it back anyway. Why?

The customer will then turn around and use word of mouth to say that they can ensure your business offers 100% satisfaction, guaranteed.

You may have heard stories like this, where a customer feels like they have outsmarted the company. They returned a product, got a refund, and got something that they really wanted. They then turned around and told all of their friends. Not only is it a key ingredient to the formula of customer service, but also ties into the strategy of word of mouth marketing.

The one condition on making sure that the guarantee works is to stick by it unconditionally. This means that no matter what the situation is, or the circumstances, you give your customer the benefit of the doubt, knowing that in return, you will be promoting your business.

What are the specific results of a guarantee? First, you take away the risk of losing up to ten customers from one unsatisfied one. Second, customers that haven’t used you yet will find that you are credible and that you stick by your products for the best quality. Third, you are making a strong statement about your products and services. You believe that you can offer the best.

When you aren’t sure about how to reach your customers, just let them know you stick by your products with the slogan, “Satisfaction ;guaranteed!”

Ingredient #3: Put In the Extra Sugar

Every customer knows what to expect when they get to a company. They know that they will be offered certain items or services in return for their cash.

Why should you stop there?

One great way to keep customers happy and coming back is to give them extra from what they would expect to get. This is the same as putting money into marketing. The more you give a customer, even though it may mean some extra cost for you, the more likely you will be to get referrals.

By giving your customers something for free, you can make up to ten times as much back because of the word of mouth marketing. However, there are more advantages to this than just getting referrals.

The more you offer, the higher you can put your prices. The great debate is whether you are going to get a lot of customers, or customers that you know you can offer good quality to.

For example, you have a business that offers a particular service, such as lawn mowing. Instead of just mowing the lawn, you tell your customer that you are going to do some extra yard work with cleaning, trimming bushes, or watering flowers. What is the result? Not only do you have the ability to provide extra services, allowing the friendly neighbor to tell all of their neighbors, but you can also ask for a higher price for the extra work.

A business owner who does this understands two things as part of the ingredients. The first is that extra services make customers happy. The second is that customers are willing to pay more so that their lives can be easier, without them having to think about the extra work that has to be done.

Providing a great service or product doesn’t just mean selling something. It means tapping into what the customer needs. You want to think about things such as what it means to provide a service, what the customers need, and how to help customers with making their lives a little easier.

All successful business owners will let you know that by giving the customer a few extra dollars or a little extra service for free, it will amount to them wanting to give you the extra few dollars back. By putting a small investment in them, you can expect that you will be able to receive a large return in a variety of ways.

Ingredient #4: After Sales Support

A careless business owner will sell you an item then forget that you existed. The result is that a customer will feel like the company didn’t really care about the hard earned money that was given to them. You can then expect the customer to feel completely detached from your company and to go somewhere else next time.

How do you really care about your customer?

Paying attention to the after sales and providing support for what customers have already bought will ensure that your customer will return. This is another way of communicating with your customer to tell them that you believe in your product and you want to make sure that they are happy with what they have received.

It is as simple as checking in with your customer. An e-mail to make sure that everything was satisfactory or a phone call to ask how they liked the service is a great way to keep on the same page with your customer.

Another great after sales support is to simply say thank you. This is one of the easiest ways to check in, letting all of your customers know you appreciate their service. The result is that a customer will begin to see that you care that they are your customer. There is no better way to keep customers coming back and bringing other customers with them.

The result of this particular part of the formula is that you will be opening a door to communicating with your customer on several levels. First, it will remind them that you are a good company and that you believe in what you do. The result? It ties in to the first ingredient again, where they will let others know that you are a company that stands by your product and really cares.

The second thing that it will do is relieve any problems with the product. If they are not satisfied with the product, you will be a step ahead of them. You can change your product or marketing in order to make it better. You can also stop complaints from happening because the customer doesn’t have time to build them up in their head.

Adding in the extra ingredients of communicating with your customer, even if they don’t have their pocket book pulled out, will guarantee that they will remember you and will be willing to keep coming back for more of what you have to offer.

Ingredient #5: Add In the Personal

One of the greatest parts of being a business owner is the ability to network with all types of people and personalities. The difference between a business owner and a friend is that every person you meet is a potential sale. This means that your customers are your friends.

The spice of your mixture for a successful business through customer service is by making it personal. You don’t have to be a ‘mom and pop’ store in order to remember who your customers are and make sure that they feel welcome and at home when they walk in.

All you have to do is remember a name and one association with that name. If you have employees, tell them that they want to learn the customer’s name. This will make all of the difference in them coming back.

All you have to do is simply say, “Hi Joe! What will you have today?” Doing this instead of “How may I help you?” sounds much more inviting and friendly, as well as personalized.

Why not go the extra mile? Most of you have heard the phrase “You will have your usual, Jim?” Remembering the little things, such as what your customer likes, will help your customer feel welcome and at home, even though they are responding to your business.

You don’t have to have an extremely personal relationship. But, remember that it is your job to make sure your customers are happy when they walk in for service in your area of town. This means building and establishing a personalized relationship that always welcomes them in the front door.

Ingredient #6: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Some customers don’t just live to find the best quality product or service. Some live to make sure that they find the worst. They want you to know what is wrong with what you are doing. This doesn’t mean that you have to shrug them off and tell them to go away. Instead, make sure that you are responding correctly.

A customer is more likely going to get mad if you don’t respond to them than if you do. Look at a restaurant scenario for a good example. If a customer tells you that they don’t like the fries because they are too cold, you have a few choice of how to respond.

The first way is to tell them that they are wrong. You know that they are fine. You can then take a fry off of their plate and see how it tastes. The second way is to completely ignore them, and ask if they would like more water. With both of these responses, expect your restaurant to shut down.

The best thing to do, no matter what type of business you have, is to fix the problem as soon as you can. Most customers understand. They have been in similar situations, have worked on the other side, and know that not everything is perfect all the time.

What do they want? For you to simply say, “Okay. I understand and I will fix the problem. Thank you for caring enough to tell me.”

What happens if you don’t respond by balancing things out and providing better service? It’s like putting vinegar in sugar cookies. Your business will simply be gone as quickly as it started.

Along with this particular ingredient for good customer service in response to complaints are ways that you can make sure that the scenario doesn’t accumulate into something worse. If a customer complains, remember this formula response:

1. Acknowledge the mistake.

2. Remember the famous slogan that “the customer is always right.”

3. Apologize for the mistake.

4. Balance out the situation. There is nothing like a little extra something in order to put everything right again. For instance, a free product for the one that wasn’t quite right always makes everything good again.

5. Be fair with the remedy.

The major idea with these complicated situations of customers not being satisfied is to reverse their complaints to them being happy about what your business has to offer. This makes it so that they will turn around and tell their friends that even though you made a mistake, you stuck by your business and made sure that the customer was happy.

Even with the bad and the ugly, make sure the customer knows that you believe in your product.

Ingredient #6: Let the Oven Do the Work

Keeping your customers happy doesn’t mean that you have to work over time. It would be like building a fire out of twigs to cook your bread when there is an oven sitting in the kitchen. You can use strategies, technology and tools to help you implement good customer service.

Technology is one of the great tools that you can use in order to make sure that your customers stay satisfied. Things such as auto-responses and confirmations will take away a large amount of time while allowing customers to know that you remembered them and you are grateful for them, even after you are not dealing with their money transactions.

Having tools of information available when someone is working with your company is also important. Providing the basics of what your company is about, what their history is about and things such as what you know customers will want to know will help you to communicate with your customers and personalize the atmosphere of your company. This is important because it lets your customer know that you are thinking about their needs first. Everything from information desks to FAQs that are given can be used to implement better relations.

Another important thing to do is to be available. This tool is an easy one to follow, and will help you to create a personalized place for every customer. This is as simple as creating contact information. This can be on a receipt, on a website or any other convenient place that a customer can easily find. Keeping things personalized, as one of the key ingredients, can easily be done by simply providing your information.

Another thing to keep in mind is that all of the ingredients in your customer service plan can not be mixed together enough. Everything from being responsive to customer satisfaction levels, to making sure that your customer pool is increasing, is important with your business.

What are the tools for this? Simple things such as putting together surveys, double checking on what is important to the customers and continuously working on creating new tools for customers to correspond with you will all guarantee that you keep the business coming in for a well-done tool kit for customers.

After the Bread Has Baked

The mixture is all in simple steps towards creating an overall masterpiece of good relationships as a company and to customers. By putting together simple acts and gestures that benefit the customer, you will have a strong return of benefiting from customers that feel welcome in your business.

You can expect that if you don’t pay attention to your customers, your business will burn. All it takes to prevent this is to watch the bread bake with some simple tools and the idea that you want to make sure your customers are treated with respect and service. The results will speak for themselves.

If your business grows, you know that you have a good response to the service that you offer to each individual customer. If your business starts to die, you might want to examine the way that you are putting things together. There may be one missing thing with what you offer for customer service, but it will cause the entire business to run into problems.

Your work as a business owner is to put together the ingredients for happy customers. This will allow you, and everyone who uses your service to keep a good mixture of relations, resulting in a feast for your business.

Six Proven Remedies to Cure the Home Business Blues

You’ve been putting in long hours in front of your computer, working hard to get your home business off the ground. Or perhaps you are in direct sales and have been on the telephone to promote your business. You are excited, passionate, and filled with anticipation. You bask in the glow of your home business vision, thrilled to be creating your dream. It’s an exciting time!

Then suddenly, one day, it hits you. Maybe it’s the third week, the third month or the third year of your business. You sit down at the computer, or pick up the telephone, and there is a crashing sound of silence in your brain. Everything looks different. It is as though someone dimmed the lights in your office. Your excitement about your business is a distant memory, and you feel terrible! You’re frustrated, anxious, depressed or even hopeless about your business.

What happened?

Dear reader, you just caught yourself a case of the Home Business Blues! This little known malady quietly affects thousands of home business owners at all stages of business. Anyone from beginners to mature business owners can contract this nasty and persistent affliction.

The Home business Blues can sneak up upon you at any time. What are the symptoms?

  • A sudden interest in “Desperate Housewives” which begins to look more appealing than your business.
  • Frequent need for Kleenex when you total your sales.
  • Watching “Dr. Zhivago” is more uplifting than reading your sales reports.
  • Looking at your “to do” list inspires you to take a nap.
  • You need double espresso and chocolate ice cream to jump start your day.
  • You experience an overwhelming desire to toss your computer out the window.

The Home Business Blues can appear at any time. Perhaps your sales are slow, your computer crashed, one of your business partners quit, your direct sales company went out of business, or you just discovered you owe the government $3,000 of self employment tax. The Home Business Blues is a sneaky affliction and can even appear, unbidden, when things are going well.

New business owners are especially vulnerable to the Home Business Blues. It is highly contagious, and can be contracted even from non-business owners. Spouses can pass the Home business Blues along to a new business owner in the blink of an eye.

The Home Business Blues creates depression, irritability, misery, low productivity, and in some cases even causes unsuspecting home business owners to “throw in the towel” way before towel throwing is called for!

Thankfully, the home business blues is not a terminal condition. There are several proven strategies that can help lift you out of the dregs and move you forward to a more energized, productive, and Kleenex free business experience!

Surefire Cures for the Home Business Blues

  1. When you find yourself at the “Dr Zhivago” stage, get out of the office and take a walk. It is difficult to stay overwhelmed, discouraged, or hopeless when you’re moving about in the fresh air. If the weather is bad, take a walk on the exercise bike, or put on some music and dance. Get yourself moving!
  2. When sitting at the computer inspires you to visit the Yahoo personals instead of working your business, it is time to change the energy in your office. Open the windows, clear off your desk, change the desktop image on your computer, get a new mouse pad, and get rid of clutter. Remove everything that is not absolutely essential to your business. Make space for the new!
  3. Make yourself as comfortable as possible in your office. Get a really good chair that helps you to sit effortlessly. Get some plants and inspiring posters or paintings. These will help you to visualize positive results in your business. Create your office environment as a warm, uplifting and inviting space, and avoid fluorescent lighting which drains your energy.
  4. Seek the advice and support of your business colleagues. No home business owner is an island! You need to be connected with other successful home business people who understand the challenges you are going through. Find some business networking groups that you feel connected to, join them, and introduce yourself. Discuss what is going on in your business with a trusted colleague, coach or mentor. There is an old saying, “two heads are better than one” and this is especially true in the world of business. Brainstorm solutions to your business challenges, write them down, make a plan, and then be accountable! Some home business owners find a “business buddy” that they speak with daily for 15 minutes, to keep them motivated and inspired.
  5. Turn off the TV! OK, there is a time and a place for “Desperate Housewives”, but this is not going to help you to prosper. Instead, pull out your original business plan, which has the mission statement of your business. Read it! See and feel the vision and passion that originally motivated you to create your business. Spend some quiet time within your own heart and re-commit to your vision! If you have difficult doing this alone, set aside some time to do this with a colleague, coach or business partner.
  6. Don’t make ANY changes while you’re under the influence of the Home business Blues! Sometimes the blues are a sign that you need to make changes in your business, but other times, the blues are simply a normal part of the ups and downs that accompany any business.

By taking steps to combat the Home Business Blues, you will discover the secret treasure hidden within each bit of adversity that you go through in your business. Tomorrow, the sun will shine a little brighter and you will feel a renewed sense of excitement and optimism. Once your positive frame of mind has been restored, you can make decisions with a clear perspective.

The Home Business Blues can sneak up on you at any time. Following these suggestions can help you to persist through the rough periods long enough to realize your home business dreams!

Business Plan Software for Small Businesses

Business plan software for small businesses refers to those sets of computer programs that help you in planning your business. Good Business Plan Software can open several new vistas for the development of a small business. A mega corporate has the convenience of a separate department exclusively for the planning of the business. However, small businesses cannot afford such huge expenses. Therefore, growth of several small businesses suffers because they do not have good business plan. Once you understand the importance of a good business plan then you will easily realize how significant business plan software is for the small businesses.

Important Features of Business Plan Software:
Business plan software makes business planning much easier. No matter how small size your business is, business planning is always a complicated matter and involves several steps. Significant pieces of information, analysis and many other things combine to form a business plan. Business plan should be capable of showing every minute detail regarding the smooth operation of business activities. In addition, it should also outline the essential items for the success of the business. Manually handling all this important information in so many parts is very tedious. Business plan software lets you enjoy the difficult and complicated process of business planning by making it easy to implement.

Good Planning Takes You at the Top: Bad Planning Kicks You Out:
There are many types of Business Plan Software for Small Businesses are available in the market. However, you should choose one very carefully. Do not waste your hard earned money on software that makes your work more difficult instead of making it easier. Wisely chosen Business Plan Software can take your business on the path of prosperity and success. With careful planning, you have every chance of not only earning name for you but also reaping big profits. On the contrary, if your planning is poor, you will not be able to stand against your competitors ultimately resulting in getting out of the scenario.

Good Business Plan Software for Small Businesses puts several alternatives before you. It can tell you several different methods for implementing the same business plan. Software can also put before you several examples and sample plans. These examples and sample plans give you clear picture of the procedure adopted by the Business Plan Software. Every business owner wants to reach the goals set by him. If you feel that you lack the expertise to achieve that goal, business plan software can guide you also about how to compensate this weakness.