New Year starter-pack for every business owner

Business starter pack

For the umpteenth time – Happy new year all!

We are still super excited about 2018, and all the dopeness its about to bring all of us!

Before business activities get into full gear, It’s important to decide how you will be doing business this year.

Look back at where you have been, where you are and on to where you want to be. Click To Tweet

Choose what to improve, continue or probably stop doing, it’s important to go through the year consciously.

Here’s a routine to help you get your business off to a good start…

1. Review your financials to determine how well your business is doing or not doing…Take a close look at your financial records and ask yourself these questions.

  • Is my business making profit or loss?
  • Is my cash flow positive or negative?
  • Do I have loans from the business to repay?

 

2. Review your business operations

How have you been delivering goods/services to your customers/clients?

What can you do to improve on that?

How will your business serve customers/clients better this year?

These are questions you need to ask yourself and provide answers to, before moving forward.

3.  Review your customer base, profile your existing customers, determine the ones that bring in the most income and the ones that can potentially bring in more. 

With this information, you can get more out of the market, and you’ll be able to know what kind of customers you should be advertising more too, how you can provide more value and sell more to them.

 

4. Service your most vital equipment(s), put them in order. This can be a good way to reduce sudden breakdowns during the year.

 

5. Sort out your personal/ company taxes; so many opportunities these days are tied to taxes, its best to have it sorted so you don’t miss out on great opportunities.

 

6. If you did not already do this at the end of the previous year, create your vision for the year ahead (you can do this using a vision board); based on your vision, set goals, write down your action plan and ways you intend to implement these plans as you go through the year

In all, stay positive, keep an open mind and don’t start the year without a plan.

Cheers to a great business year!


Got a business experience to share with us? Share your experience with us here.

6 low-cost ways to thank your customers this festive season

What better time to thank your customers than the festive season. After all, they’re the ones keeping your business up and running.

Children wait in anticipation for Christmas ‘cos they know candy is coming their way. For parents, it’s family time. Customers, on the other hand, look forward to getting something as a reward for their loyalty and service.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone thank you for your patronage? Imagine you go to refuel your tank and just before you leave, you’re handed a hamper or a ‘thank you’ card.  How would you feel? I bet you’ll want to come back again.

Why? They recognize and appreciate you. After all, isn’t that what we all want?

Now you get the picture, imagine the excitement and love your customers will feel when you thank them.  Remember, little acts of kindness goes a long way.

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business Click To Tweet

 

Happy customers equal loyal customers.Your customers are your central focus, and without them, you wouldn’t exist! Simply put, your customers are the lifeblood of your business. It’s important you take care of them.

Whether you operate a large business, an SME, or a start-up business, there’re ways you can still thank your customers. In this article, I’ll share with you ways you can thank your customers even with a tight budget.

The festive season is all about giving and receiving. Here are some ways you can thank your customers this festive season:

 

Thank You Note          

Contrary to the belief that ‘thank you’ notes are old-fashioned and out-dated, it’s still as effective as ever. It adds some personal touch. This Christmas, go out of your way and write a thank you note to a customer. A simple note like:

Dear Chris,

The entire team of She Leads Africa would like to thank you for your loyalty and support throughout the year. We look forward to a great and awesome time next year.

Sincerely,

She Leads Africa.

Points to remember when writing a ‘thank you’ note:

  • Include personal greetings along with the customer’s name
  • Be clear about why you’re thanking them (loyal service, purchase of a product or                 simply referring a friend to you)
  • Leave your business card out, remember, it’s about them and not you

This isn’t the time to talk about special promotions; focus on thanking the customer for his business. Help Scout offers tips on how to write a killer customer thank-you note.

 

Give them a treat

Who doesn’t like a holiday treat? Looking for a way to thank your customers without having to empty your bank account? Give them a treat. I don’t mean a fancy treat though. You could bake some homemade cookies or get some ‘small chops’ for them.

Everyone likes freebies, and the holiday season is all about giving and receiving. Send them freebies like their favorite playlist, a ticket to see a movie, coupons, their favorite bottle of wine, customized mug, hamper, shirt or notebook, or offer a free month of service the following year.

It’s the thought that matters. After all, customers want to feel loved and appreciated.

 

Help customers learn something new

Christmas is a wonderful time to hold events, especially if you want to attract prospects and loyal customers to your business. Customers need to feel that you care about them, that you’re interested in them acquiring more knowledge about your product. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate event.

Are you a makeup artist? You can hold regular events or organize free training for your customers. Invite an expert to talk about ‘how to contour your face’ or how to draw your eyebrows.

Do you bake? You could host a training session where you teach them baking tips to spice up their Christmas celebration.

Are you a content marketer? Offer free coaching services on writing killer contents.

You could also host a free webinar or create an eBook, something to boost their knowledge and add to their skill. The more educated they become, the more they’ll appreciate your product.

 

Give your customers a special feature

A little spotlight wouldn’t hurt. This Christmas, go out of your way and thank your loyal customers.

The idea is to make them feel valued and special and to feel a sense of pride in doing business with you. So yes, put them in the spotlight.

You could decide to write a blog post dedicated to the customer, or include a shout out to them in your email newsletter or on social media. Post their picture on your page, write a bio or a case study.

Surprise a highly engaged customer with a free product and just watch their reaction Click To Tweet

 

“Wow” one customer

Didn’t see that coming? I know. Want to say ‘thank you’? Pick one customer that really stands out – one who’s purchased several of your products and give a delightful customer service experience.

The idea is to surprise a highly engaged customer with a free product just to watch their reaction.

 

Host a Customer appreciation day

While this might not be part of your plan this Christmas, you can opt to host a customer appreciation day. We all know what it feels like to be appreciated.

It makes us feel valued, to think that the other person noticed your good work. It’s the same for your customers. While they may not make it clear to you, they want to feel like you see all they do to promote your brand.

Depending on your budget you could decide a dine at a banquet hall, a fancy restaurant, at the park or even your house. Get your customers trooping in! They’ll remember your hospitality and generosity.

Remember, it’s the thought that counts. Having your customers in mind and going out of your way to show it speaks volumes. It improves customer satisfaction, plus, people get to know about your company through word of mouth.

Don’t hold back this Christmas, thank those loyal customers of yours. You’ll be glad you did!


How do you show appreciation to your customers?

You vs Them: Staying relevant in the dawn of rising business competition

Never, ever, lose sight of your business game because of the competition Click To Tweet

Competition is everywhere. These days, everything is basically a competition in business, from online DIY blogs and vlogs giving clients all the information for the same services you render to the new enemy in the block rendering the exact same services or product your offer.

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On the bright side however, competition can be healthy for your business and customers too (they literally pray for it). Every customer loves to have a wide range of options and the universe is big enough to accommodate you and a million others to do business.

So rather than putting all your energy in prayers for your competitor(sss) to fold up pretty soon, it’ll be much better for you to start pouring all that energy into keeping your business relevant and on top the lighthouse, and here’s how:

First things first, avoiding irrelevance is the first major step to take in staying relevant

really? gifSo at every point, always halt and ask yourself (with or without the competition) if your business is still relevant. You should also ask if your relevance is slowly fading out. This helps you understand and reinvent your business better to fit the changing times.

Keep your eyes on the game:

cookie empire gifNever let your competitors get you all jerky and stuff. Stay focused on your business, consolidate on your strengths, and work on strengthening your weaknesses. Think about:

Build integrity for your business and keep it that way. Say what you have and offer what you can give, this will keep your customers coming back to you even after checking out a new competition. Never, ever, lose sight of your game because of the competition.

Do a Lil’ Checking Out: Eyes on your game all right, but a lil’ spying never hurt anybody.

cookie eyeing gifTake a moment to check out your competitors, do some quick research, find out all you can about them especially their greatest strength and weakness. Leverage on their weakness and see what you can do about their strength.

However, don’t panic and copycat the enemy in desperation. Don’t go slashing your prices when you clearly don’t need to, because your competitor has done so.

Do Not Be The Last To Trend:

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Time waits for no one and so does technology. Whether it’s a start-up or full grown business, don’t stay sleeping on your achievements and get left behind. Be innovative, research on the latest technology, (and the ones to come) and constantly build your brand to fit in before you walk into a Kodak moment.

This also involves understanding that diverse locations have diverse customer needs. Know your customers and know what is in trend for them, like if they more concerned about service or quality, or price.

Spice Up Your Marketing Strategy:

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Constantly make an effort to spice up your marketing strategy. It could be with a re-branded logo or a new tag line, loyalty discounts and promotions on your services and products, collaborating with other products or services related to yours, anything to customizing your bottle with individual consumers’ names (we know who did this one).

#MotherlandMogul key word: Keep it spiced up, don’t hang on stale strategy (even if it was once a major hit).

Take Care Of Your In-House:

maryj-gifTreat your employees great and make them understand the goal, cause employees can make or mar your business, sista. You don’t want your employees telling your clients (through words or actions) why patronizing your competitor might be a better idea.

We know the competition can be fierce sista, but so are you. So, put on some stilettos, and get to work; today is for good business *raises glass*