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communications Tag

How to Lose the Trust of Your Customers

We don’t live in a very trusting world, at least at the moment. Cynicism abounds, and as soon as people have cause to doubt another person’s/company’s trust levels, they’re pretty quick to move on. That’s why it’s very important that you work hard to retain your customers’ trust. It can take years to establish, yet can be lost in a few moments – and for a number of reasons, some of which aren’t entirely fair. Below, we take a look at some things that will cause your customers to lose faith in your business, so you can avoid making these mistakes.

Squabble Over Their Complaints

Who’s to blame for the current emphasis on customer service? It’s not that it’s a bad thing in itself, but, like most things, it goes too far. Even if a customer is being ridiculous, and making demands that can’t be justified, do you have to give in? The simple answer, for keeping the piece, is yes. Of course, the ridiculous customers are a minority. Most people only complain when they have to. When that happens, it’ll be worthwhile swallowing your pride and admitting your fault. A company that tries to downplay a customer’s complaint clearly doesn’t have their customers’ best interests at heart!

The Disappearing Act

We live in an age where patience is in low supply. When your customers want to know something or get in touch, they don’t want to search too hard or wait too long. But sometimes, business’s inadvertently make them. If customers have a question about their order, and you’re not picking up the phone or responding to their messages, then doubts will begin to creep in. It’s even worse if they visit your website and it’s not working. That gets them very nervous indeed! Ensure these things don’t happen by replying promptly to messages, and by working with a company that offers managed IT services; they’ll ensure your website is always up and running. If you’re there when your customers need you, they will have little reason to lose trust.

Dreams v. Reality

Promising customers the moon and the stars is great for drawing them in, but if you can’t deliver, then it would have been better to have set realistic expectations. It’s a trick you can only play once. If you make grand claims about your products or services, and then they don’t live up to that expectation, the trust will be lost, and your customers will be gone. Instead, just be honest. If you don’t think people are going to be interested in what you’re offering when you’re telling the truth, then it’s time to rethink your business.

Online Reviews

People really do pay attention to online reviews. If you’ve received too many one or two-star ratings, then you’ll find it difficult to attract new customers. So to begin, listen to what those reviews are saying. And second, if you suspect them of being fraudulent – it does happen – then fight back.

Who You’re Dealing With

What you do behind the scenes of your business matters too, so do your due diligence to ensure that your supplies and other companies you work with are trustworthy. If they’re not, the public will find out eventually, and that won’t reflect well on your company.

What steps has your business taken to build a trustworthy brand? What have you learned along the way? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!

Packaging Your Products Correctly

As a small business owner, you are likely to spend most of your time during the startup of your business focusing on the actual products you are going to supply to the consumer market. You spend hours mulling over the product development process – coming up with concepts, conducting market research to see if they are desirable and have selling potential, and manufacturing the product in order to bring it to life. But you can’t simply hand the product over to a customer as it is.

Nowadays, everything that is sold has some sort of packaging. Whether the packaging is absolutely necessary (in terms of cosmetics or pre-made food items, which wouldn’t be able to get from A to B without packaging) or a little less necessary (such as plastic toys for children that can survive the wear and tear of journeys to suppliers without any protection). Packaging can serve an extremely important role for any item – it offers a space where you can showcase your goods, protect them from the elements around them, and give a little more information about them.

So, let’s take a moment to figure out to package your own products correctly and effectively!

Conduct Market Research

You’ll have already conducted market research for your product. But you should remember to conduct market research around different types of packaging too. Packaging really can heavily influence a sale, so see what the wider market thinks about different types of packaging before settling on any style or design yourself.

Finding a Manufacturer or Supplier

Once you have an idea of the type of packaging that you want, you’re going to need to find a packaging supplier or a packaging manufacturer. A supplier will provide you with basic, unbranded packaging. It is generally best to go for a manufacturer who can provide you with custom packaging to meet your products’ specific needs. This will also ensure that your packaging isn’t the same as anything else on the shelf next to your products!

Be Environmentally Friendly

Packaging tends to be disposable. People will remove their item from packaging and throw the packaging away immediately, or use the product from the packaging and dispose of the packaging once the product has been used up. This, of course, creates a lot of landfill every year. So, you should try your best to make your packaging environmentally friendly. Avoid plastic at all costs, and if you need to use plastic for health and safety reasons, try to use a type that is easily and commonly recycled.

These are just a few steps that you should take when it comes to packaging the products that you are providing the consumer market with. For the best results possible, incorporate them into your business plan today!

7 Ways You Should Be Keeping Your Customers Happy

Keeping your customers happy isn’t as difficult as it may sound, and it’s absolutely essential if you want to build a successful business from the ground up. You can take a look at many businesses that have failed and you will likely spot things that they could have done much better when it comes to customer service and interaction with their audience.

If you don’t want to fall into the same traps as these kinds of businesses, below you’ll find 7 ways you should be keeping your customers happy. Take a look and see what you can implement today:

  1. Giving Your Staff Consistent Training

Training your staff is a benefit to both your business and your customers. Staff who are better trained provide a higher quality of work and service, and feel more confident when interacting with customers. You can then give them more power and flexibility to rectify any customer issues, which can leave your customers feeling like they have had all their needs met.

  1. Keeping Your Website Up And Running

Your website is your 24/7 storefront, so keeping it up and running is key to keeping your customers happy. However, it simply isn’t enough for it to be there. It needs to look good, be easy to use, contain relevant information, and more. You should have a simple check out process, and monitor the way your audience uses your site so you can make any appropriate changes. Having IT Consulting and Strategy talks with a reputable company will ensure you can avoid any downtime. Speaking to a marketing company with happy customers and experience should help you to ensure your audience can actually find you when they are looking for you.

  1. Going Above And Beyond To Fix Their Issues

Always go above and beyond to fix your customer’s issues. You don’t just want them to just be content, you want them to be ecstatic with the service they have received from you. One bad experience can stop a customer from ever coming back, so if they do come back and tell you about it, make sure you’re willing to do what it takes to keep them as a customer.

  1. Giving Them Incentives To Come Back

Make sure you’re giving your audience incentives to come back and work with you again and again. Not just by offering a great service, by by giving them things like loyalty points and discounts.

  1. Being Consistent With Your Service

Make sure you’re treating all of your customers fairly and equally. This is why consistent training for your staff is a must!

  1. Asking Them For Their Feedback

Ask your customers for their feedback and really listen to what they tell you. They will feel valued and like you truly care about what they think. If something is mentioned multiple times, you know it’s a trend you need to pay attention to.

  1. Providing Fantastic Communication

Communication is key. Keep your customers updated when they have made a successful order, when the order is on its way, if there are any delays, and even if you make a mistake. Admitting your mistakes makes you a much more trustworthy company than a company that attempts to shirk the blame.

What steps have you taken to make you customers happy? Maybe a better question is what more could you be doing to take your customers from content to loyal brand ambassadors for your business? Share your ideas – and questions by leaving comment below!

The Biggest Legal Battles That Companies Face

Looking in from the outside, you might think that it’s fairly straight forward to run a business. You just need to continually look for new clients while ensuring your products and services are kept to a high standard, right? Well, that isn’t always the case. In fact, there are often a lot of problems happening behind the scenes of which many clients and customers are unaware. For instance, if a company is in a legal dispute with another party, they don’t usually want anyone finding out, as it could damage their reputation.

In fact, there are quite a few common legal cases that companies face. It doesn’t mean they’re a “bad” business, per se. But they are something that must be dealt with swiftly and professionally in order to resolve the issue and save face. Here are some of the common cases you, as a business owner, should be aware of.

Employee Injury Compensation Cases

Any business that operates in a potentially dangerous environment, such as a factory or warehouse, will need to have adequate insurance coverage in case any of their employees end up hurt in an accident. In fact, it’s even worth it for office-based companies to take out plenty of insurance too as the compensation and legal fees could be extensive. It can be difficult to fight a great worker’s comp lawyer on your own. So, your company might want to hire a legal expert in this field just in case you are unexpectedly taken to court!

Immigration Audits

Whenever you hire an employee from a different country, you need to make sure that they have the right to work in the country. You will have to carry out a lot of background checks in order to try to find any potentially forged paperwork. It is necessary to be really thorough with these checks or else you could end up in a lot of trouble when you undergo your immigration audits. If you are found to have employed anyone who should not be working, then you will be the one that ends up prosecuted.

Angry Clients

Did you know that clients can file lawsuits if they are ever disgruntled with bad work from a contractor? It’s true, and these cases often end up coming out in the client’s favor. This can be especially troublesome for your company if a number of clients come together to fight your company. So, it’s always important to stay on top of your company’s output to make sure that the quality never dives. If you do ever get any complaints, be sure to deal with them as soon as possible in a very professional manner to prevent them from escalating.

Discrimination Cases

Discrimination is a huge legal offence, whether it is on race, gender, or age. It is of paramount importance that this never occurs within your company and that you never use any discrimination in your recruitment process. If you do, you will likely find yourself in court at some point in time. Not only that, though, but discrimination cases often attract a huge amount of publicity, which could spell the end for your business’s good reputation.

Hopefully, you and your business will never be affected by any of these big legal battles, but if you do find yourself facing a challenging case, be sure to seek professionalism representation first. Beyond legal representation, brand reputation is also important. An experience Public Relations professional can ensure your brand is not negatively impacted by what may transpire during your case.

Simple Ways To Refresh Your Brand

When it comes to updating your business to fit with the times and to fit with your taste, you might think that you need to completely overhaul your branding and start again. However, a complete rebranding effort can be a big task and you will always run the risk of losing followers due to them not realizing recognizing or resonating with your new brand. If you feel as if you need some fun and life injected back into your business, here are a few simple ways to refresh your brand.

Makeover your website

The easiest and one of the most effective ways of adding a bit of panache to your brand is to take some time to redo your website and make it a better place to visit. For example you can completely redesign the theme for better navigation, play with the colors and even add a blog section to create content which will pull even more people into your brand and to your website.

Create a new logo

Logos are a huge part of a successful business and they are like a little nugget of information which seems to get stuck in everyone’s heads as soon as they see it. This is why companies with the big M and that infamous swirl C design  can be pictured by people all over the world with a simple thought. You can make a big impression with a good logo and therefore it is always worth trying out new things and seeing if you can make it iconic. You can look at to make your own logo and stand out from the crowd. Though keep in mind, there is immense value in working with an experienced and professional public relations firm and graphic designer to determine the look and feel of your new brand. Not every job is best tackled as a DIY!

Create a fun branding event

When it comes to either rebranding or refreshing your brand, there are differences. You can read here and see what it takes to rebrand entirely rather than refreshing which is much easier and carries less risk. For a branding event, you can create a giveaway on social media and invite people to share to enter. You could hold a competitor for designing your next logo or simply just post a few “teaser” messages to let your followers know you are about to update a few things. All of these things will get them involved in your refresh and it will make it much less risky for you to change because your followers will already know you are going to.

Get influencers to sell you

Influencers such as bloggers and celebrities are the perfect tool to use for your marketing, especially if you are looking to rebrand and change things up. If you are looking to change a logo, it can be easier to keep your following by asking an influencer to review something of yours. Make sure the product has the new logo on it and this will be seen by many and they will likely come to find out more about you and your business. It can be just the boost you need to set you up for rebranding success!

Giving Your Business The Edge: Simple Strategies To Outshine Your Competition

In business, you’re always in a race. It doesn’t matter whether you own a clothing store, an ecommerce empire, a medical clinic or an accounting firm. You’ll always encounter competitors. The key to success lies in being able to win the race, but how do you do this? If you’re looking to outshine the competition, here are some simple strategies to employ.

Customer service

There are few things more crucial in business than customer service. We’re all familiar with adages like ‘the customer is always right,’ but do you and your employees live by this rule? Outstanding customer service will not only increase the chances of clients returning and recommending you to friends and family, but it will also help you distinguish your brand from rival businesses. Focus on putting your clients first, go the extra mile to make sure every customer is happy and offer a personal touch. Every customer wants to feel valued. If they don’t, there’s every chance they’ll look elsewhere. One of the best ways to improve customer service is to ask for reviews and feedback. Take comments on board, listen to opinions, and work on bringing those review scores up. Listening is an essential skill in modern business.

Technology and equipment

Most businesses in this day and age are reliant on technology and equipment. When buying machinery, instruments or gadgets, look for quality, and focus your search on investments that will save you time, money and effort, and separate you from the crowd. Keeping up with new inventions and systems may enable you to produce better products or offer a wider range of services, for example. Whether you’re looking for new computer programs, medical supplies from sites like or catering equipment, it’s vital to buy high-quality items that will improve the way you work. Buying is an excellent option for items you plan to use on a regular basis, while renting may be more appealing for equipment required for one-off projects. Keep an eye on emerging trends and an ear to the ground so that you’re familiar with innovations that may benefit your business.


Marketing isn’t just about getting your brand name out there. It’s also about convincing buyers that your business represents the best choice for them. Your marketing strategy should highlight your USP, and provide answers to the question, “Why should I buy from you?” Tailor your strategy to the target market, make the message clear, and shout about your USP from the rooftops. You want everyone to know how you are different to your competitors. If you’ve got a campaign up and running, monitor its efficiency using analytics and market research. If the results aren’t as positive as you hoped or anticipated, consider making adjustments to extend your reach and make your campaign more persuasive. For more useful information about revamping an existing strategy, take a look at this article

In business, you’re always going to be competing against other companies, and you need to make sure you give yourself the best chance of winning. If you’re keen to leave your rivals in your wake, hopefully, this guide has given you inspiration and ideas.

5 Things To Think About When Setting Up Shop

When you want to go into business for yourself, you’ll often think about just how great your future will be. Because many believe that the flexibility and income possibilities of an entrepreneur are often quite glamorous – and it’s very much glorified right now. But the reality is that taking the entrepreneurial leap is quite serious and you have to be really practical about things, especially in the beginning.

If you choose the entrepreneurial path, you’re going to want to make sure that you know exactly what you’re doing and that you have a great foundation to build from. But at the same time, you don’t want to overwhelm yourself and end up putting things off because you feel like it’s too much of a big job for you to take on. So let’s break things down and work out what top five things you should focus on when you first “set up shop.”

  1. Where

The very first thing that you should think about here is where you want your business to be located. Do you want to have a physical shop or do you want to work virtually? If you want to be in a traditional brick and mortar space, then where will that be? Will it be in your own town or will it be somewhere else? And you need to choose well here. You’ll want to make sure that your target customer base is going to be able to find and interact with your business wherever you set up.

  1. Marketing

The next thing that you should do, is think about your marketing because there are a ton of marketing ideas for small businesses that you can work on. So you should think about what options are going to work for you, and what will be the best ways to promote your company so that you get in front of the people that want to buy from you. Spend some time here! It will be the most important strategy you can focus on right now.

  1. Equipment

Then you will want to make sure that you have all of the equipment that you need to run and operate your company. This could be technology like a laptop and phone, or it could be uniforms where you look at a catalog to choose them, or it could even be software or machinery. You need to make sure that you’re finding suppliers that you like, and who can get you the equipment you need while staying within your budget.

  1. Sales

It’s also important for you to be able to close a sale. You’ll either want to be confident enough to push sales for yourself, or you will want to make sure that you hire someone that can drive this for you. Because without driving sales, you simply won’t have a thriving business.

  1. Growth

And finally, you need to make sure that you’re thinking about how you plan to grow. This is often the most important part of all. Because if you only ever focus on the four things above, you may not be able to make the business work – or you’ll just get stuck. Instead, you really need to know where you’re going and how you can scale your product or services. You’ll want to figure out what you’re planning for and where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, etc.  so that you can start putting the plans in place to make it happen.

Are You Ready To Go Global?

When it comes to your company, you’re always going to want to make sure that you are poised to grow strategically and in the way that best fits your goals. When you’ve got things off the ground and you’ve worked out where you’re going, you need to make sure that you’re pushing off to the next level. But how do you work out what that next level is, especially since it can be hard to figure out where you should be going next with your company. One option that may seem “pie in the sky,” but could also be the right goal is to go global. If you’ve already grown your business to a national level, you might find that you’re hitting some limits that are strangling your business growth. So, the next step may be to expand globally. Here are some initial considerations you should have, if you’re thinking about this option.

Be Technically Ready

To begin with, you absolutely have to make sure that you’re technically ready to expand into foreign countries. If you want to go global, you need to be sure that your website and your company can handle the influx of new business while maintaining your high level of customer service. Without this, you’re not going to succeed. So the first thing you need to do is to make sure that you have a payment system in place, like BlueSnap, and that you can handle the traffic that might come your way. After all, if you are targeting a new market, you have to be ready for them to buy from you.

Know Your Markets

From here, you need to make sure that you’re getting used to your markets and you know them inside and out. So do your research! Know what international markets want from you and why they will buy from your business. If you can, make sure that you know to wants and behaviors of your audience. In doing so, you will be able to meet their needs and this is often the most crucial part of making your global expansion a success.

Market Early

Next, you need to get your marketing on! You will need to promote your business as much as possible to your new markets. Beyond traditional marketing, think about how you can harness some PR, paid advertising, and even the power of social influencers to help to raise awareness for your brand in the international markets.

Decide On Your Approach

It’s also important for you to work out how you’re going to handle growth at the global level. Do you want one, multinational website that detects where your audience is based? Or do you want to set up a new website for each country? There are benefits to both, but you will need to determine what works best for your unique business.

Learn As You Go

Finally, you need to launch! There’s only so much planning and preparation that you can do; the rest you need to learn as you go. This ensures you don’t waste time and resources spinning your wheels, waiting for the “perfect” moment that will never come. As Neil Patel explains, you even get to learn from your mistakes too. There’s nothing like first-hand experience to help you understand what works. Simply put, you cannot plan for everything. Work to get the basics in place and then get to it, because you’ll find your feet along the way!

Are You Really Ready For A PR Campaign?

A good PR campaign can be the making of your business. But as with many other things in life, timing is crucial. Many small business and startup owners look for help with their marketing and PR as soon as possible, in the belief that the earlier they get the word out on the street, the better.

The trouble is, there are a few things you need in place before you even contemplate PR, marketing and advertising campaigns for your business. But what are they, exactly? Read on to find out more about how to know you are ready…

Can you prove it?

No PR campaign can take a product that no one has ever seen before and make it sell like hotcakes. You need to ensure you have a grassroots movement on your product at the very least to prevent yourself from throwing money at something that simply doesn’t capture the public’s imagination. Feedback, prototype reviews, customer surveys – all these things need to be in place before you can start scaling out and finding your success.

Do you have the capabilities?

Let’s say you are a small company that hopes to double your sales over the course of 6 months, taking you from 500 units per month to 1,000, for example. You hire a PR professional to help you with your strategy and spread the word far and wide. It’s successful – wildly so, and your sales go through the roof. But you don’t have the products to sell immediately due to lack of finances and resource, your new customers get angry, and you never see them again. Don’t let this happen, as it can be tricky to pull yourself back. Sort out your cash flow, look for a business loan(s), and make sure you have the ability to scale if need be. Many businesses have crashed when they are overwhelmed, so don’t let yourself add to that number.  

Do you have something to say?

A good PR campaign can be explosive when the company it promotes has an awesome story to tell. But unless you are lucky, the chances are that even the best PR agency in the country will be unable to make a dent in your market if you don’t have a compelling message. And make no mistake about it – it needs to be compelling. The reality is that there are somewhere in the region of 11,000 startups created every single hour of every single day around the world. If you haven’t got a story, why do you think journalists will care? Or anyone else for that matter? While a PR expert can undoubtedly help you refine your story, flesh it out, and make it compelling – you need at least the kernel of an idea to base it on.

Are you in a race?

None of this is to say that you should wait until everything is perfect. If you are in a competitive industry, for example, there may be a necessity to get your name out there as soon as possible. If you need to scale fast – and have the capability to do so – then hiring an agency or PR professional could be critical to your success, not to mention your survival!

Do you feel your business is ready to implement a comprehensive public relations campaign? Or do you need to get some other items in line first before you hit the ground running?

Don’t Try To Build Your Empire By Yourself

There’s a myth that surrounds many a modern entrepreneur. It’s a common assumption that the famous people who lead successful companies – Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and so on – built their empire by themselves. This is not the case! While they may have had the original idea (or maybe not, in Zuckerberg’s case), they were smart enough to bring in people to help take their company to the next level. So if you have eyes on being successful, you’ll need to know when to add new people to the fold. Below, we take a look at the other people who will help you.

Identifying Your Strengths and Weaknesses

But before you get to bring people on board, you’ll need to figure out what skills are needed. If you’re an entrepreneur, then you’re probably a pretty confident person, but there is such a thing as being too confident in your abilities. So it’s time to be honest with yourself. Take a look at the tasks that need to be done, and compare them to your strengths and weaknesses. Are there tasks that you probably shouldn’t do yourself? Remember, it’s about what’s best for the company, not what boosts your ego!

Hiring Employees

Many new entrepreneurs try to save money by doing everything themselves, but keep in mind that hiring employees isn’t charity: you’re bringing them on board for a purpose, and that purpose is to boost your company’s revenues. Of course, there’s a process to hiring the right person. You’ll want to find people that are capable and can do things that you can’t, and then make sure that they fit in with your company culture. Once they’re part of the team, you’ll need to have the presence of mind to let them get on with the job you hired them to do, and not micro-manage.

Outsourcing Work

You’re unlikely to have the money in your budget to hire an employee for every task that needs to be done, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to figure out how to do everything on your own. Small companies can get access to the latest and best practices by making the most of outsourcing. You can work with SEO experts to take care of your marketing. For your IT needs, there’s XCare Managed Services by Xirtix. You may also want to export your HR and accounting needs, and any other specialist tasks that can make a big difference to your company’s chances of success.

Working With Other Companies

You exist in a system that’s populated by many other companies. Make the most of them! If collaboration seems like the sensible path to take, then take it. Everyone’s stronger when they’re working together toward a shared vision!

Customer Feedback

Finally, don’t forget the customers. There’ll be an invaluable source of advice and guidance, but you’ll have to ask them for their opinion first. Have an open dialogue, engage on social media, and ask for reviews after they’ve used your service. It’ll help you to tailor your business to meet their needs.

Are you in a place of potential growth for your business? What strategies have you considered using to take your business to the next level? Join in the conversation!