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Small Business Achievement – Thinking Through Pre-Action Not Reaction

You want to be one step ahead. Small business leaders often need to work incredibly hard to maintain everything. Reaction to events is commonplace, but it is pre-action that is truly the way to grow your small business. Pre-action is a great strategy to grow your small business.

Anybody can react to a situation. The truly exceptional people will take positive, preemptive action: pre-action. You want to take action before your competitors. Rather than reacting to market conditions, you want to predict marketing conditions. By taking the correct action before your competition does, you will create a competitive advantage for yourself.

How can you do this? Educate yourself about your industry. Stay knowledgeable about trends. You can do this by doing research yourself, hiring a researcher, or directly asking your clients. Let me provide you an example of how I did this for the creation of my Aspirations book.

I directed my book designer by providing them a general theme for the creation of sample book covers. I really liked one more than the others, but I am market focused. I wanted to create a book cover that people would like. A reactive person would have published a book with a specific book cover, and if it did not work, they would have tried another cover.

I created a simple website and slides of the various samples that I had. I emailed my client and potential clients and had them participate in an online survey. I showed the slide to my business college students and had them comment as well. People appreciated the opportunity to participate in the creation of a book. With their comments I was able to make a pre-action oriented decision.

By substituting pre-action steps for reactive, you are creating a powerful strategy to grow your small business.

How to Acheive Business Growth Through Inbound Customer Service

The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry is booming despite the negative threats caused by the global economic meltdown. Because of this, the demands for inbound call center services have grown remarkably and have remain as one smartest choices a business can focus on to augment sales and achieve maximum revenue.

Inbound customer care, or support, services allow large companies and even small-to-medium sized businesses to excel in a very competitive market, regardless of what that market may be. This type of service is a pivotal tool when it comes to retaining customers, attracting new ones, and generally enhance overall customer satisfaction. High quality inbound customer services provided by outsourcing companies have proven to be one strategic and solid mechanism in maintaining successful customer relationships at a price that it digestible and acceptable to all business sizes.

The types of services are general offered by either Indian or Philippine based call center corporations. However, over the last 3-5 years, the Philippines has become the destination of choice, over the Indian competitors because of the higher quality of American-English and understanding of American culture in general.

Filipino inbound customer representatives continue to provide professional 24/7 billing, technical, and product support to various clients around the globe. Add to that, Filipino call center agents are able to maintain world-class and highly rated customer service because of their natural ability to communicate with customers with ease, confidence, and tested professionalism.

Furthermore, these highly trained call center agents are also described to be polite, helpful, excellent English communicators, and with unparalleled business ethics. Truly, the army of customer service representatives plus the state-of-the-art facilities in the Philippines make up a very good package for outsourcing services!

As well as inbound call center services, a few Philippines call centers also include specialization in appointment setting, lead generation, help desk solutions and inquiry handling, email and blog management services, interactive voice response, product technical information, telemarketing, and the list goes on and on.

Getting started in outsourcing has never been easier than it is today! Do some research, pick up the phone and try talking to a few choice providers, you’ll find that, price varying, if they are solid and well established that they should be able to answer any questions you might have on the subject!

Online Marketing for Small Business Websites in 2012

Well, 2011 is over and 2012 is here. And unless you believe in the Mayan prediction that the world will end later this year, as a small business owner you are probably going over your sales and marketing strategy for the coming year, making sure you have covered all of the bases and beginning to implement it in full force. All signs point to virtual double-digit growth in online sales volume in 2012, so hopefully your small business has online marketing as a significant part of your overall strategy. Below are a couple of areas that all small businesses should be focusing in on to maximize their online revenue stream.

Mobile Sales

Mobile sales are any sales where the actual purchase derives directly from a cellphone, smart phone or tablet device. Sales from mobile devices are a boon to small businesses because they break down the traditional geographic barriers and increase their potential customer base. They are also important because in today’s world, where decisions are made on the go and consumers are constantly being bombarded by additional input, small business owners need to capture sales at the time when the customer is ready to buy. If they don’t, life will intervene and delay that purchasing action or worse, drive it toward your competitors.

Estimates predict that mobile sales will account for a whopping $11.6 billion dollars in revenue in 2012. Are you positioned to get your piece of that pie? Taking advantage of mobile sales means using all of the tools at your disposal to convince customers to buy and then giving them the power to act on that decision immediately. It means designing your website from A to Z for useability and readability on smart phones and tablets. It means choosing typography that is attractive and readable on smaller screens as well as large home computer monitors. It means having an overall website design that is fluid… one that looks and works great on any screen no matter what the size. It means having navigation that works just as easily with thumbs and forefingers as it does with a mouse. It also means taking advantage of the power of Social Media to present your company, brand and products in a timely and effective way.

Social Media

It should be no surprise that the rise of Social Media Marketing and Mobile sales are closely related. Last year, Facebook estimated that 350 million of its 800 million users (40%) accessed the site via mobile devices. More and more consumers are using Social Media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to research different products and make buying decisions. More importantly, Social Media provides THE SINGLE BEST opportunity to engage with your customers and potential customers on a regular basis. Social Media networks are available 24 hours a day, meaning that you can present marketing to your potential customers 24 hours a day. Just as important is the opportunity to increase your brand awareness, and build and reinforce your relationships with your customers. Offering discounts, coupons and other promotions to people that visit your Facebook business page on a regular basis is a great way to get people coming back over and over again. Is your business on Google+ yet? Don’t discount the potential power of this relatively new social network. Many are speculating that companies who utilize the new platform will automatically do better in Google’s search engine rankings, regardless of how many people actually visit the page!

Replicate the Retail Experience

I believe this is one of the greatest opportunities for small businesses to capitalize on the mobile and social marketing trends of 2012. While many customers will continue to shop online for the sake of convenience (among other reasons), they still want the responsiveness and service available from taking to a live person. The traditional customer service vehicle of a small business online presence has always been email or the website form. However, there are a variety of live chat options available that can greatly improve a small business’s response time for customers, which will lead to greater sales now and better customer retention in the future. Given the relatively small cost of some of these options (some are even FREE), the Return on Investment is phenomenal. Any time you can give the customer what they want, when they want it, you are putting yourself in a great position to succeed! Finding ways, like implementing a Live Chat system for both and pre- and post-sales situations is just one way to provide the best possible customer experience.

2012 – Great Promise for Small Businesses

Those small businesses that learn how to effectively extend their traditional brick and mortar presence into the online marketplace will enjoy the greatest success in 2012. A seamless integration of these strategies will produce more customers, greater customer retention, and open up even more opportunities through word of mouth, links back to your website and more followers on your social marketing accounts.