Invest in a Customer Review Software to Boost Your Business

In business, decisions and time cost money. Not having sufficient information about or not keeping in touch with customers can cause you to make disastrous choices. For example, every time a business starts a new marketing campaign, it is always important to understand whether the techniques used in the campaign are bringing the desired benefits. This is where effective review software for website comes in. Research shows that customer reviews are essential in business and marketing.

Here are some of the benefits of investing in customer review software for marketing purposes:

1. Cost effective
The primary concern for any business running a marketing campaign is usually whether or not the campaign is worth the money going into it. But just think of it. Investing a few dollars into customer review software helps you not only keep in touch with your customers but also helps you collecting customer reviews and feedback. By providing you with the knowledge of what your customers are looking for, helps you make wiser decisions. It also helps you strategize on how you can improve and deliver what your customers are asking for, resulting in happy customers. And what is that to a business? It’s priceless.

2. Easy to interpret the message
Marketing campaigns strive to put across a message that the target market can easily understand and identify with. review software not only help you gather reviews but also help you actively ask your customers for their feedback. This in turn helps you strategize and improve your business to keep your clients satisfied. For example, it’s no accident that more people buy your product after reading positive reviews written by other clients.

3. Flexible
Today, businesses are searching for customer bases across a wide range of demographics. To realize this goal, they must use their marketing strategies in various platforms. For instance, a realtor will want to advertise to say people between 28-40 who tend to have established a good bank account and are ready to buy. This is one of the areas where reviews come in handy. So look for a good, flexible customer review website that you can use to help you achieve this.

4. Great for networking and making connections
One of the key aspects of marketing which reviews provide is by helping you connect your products with your target market. Reviews and comments left by previous clients provide you with far-reaching results.
So implementing reviews into your marketing campaign can translate into incredible growth for your business. For best results, use the best review and commenting systems and learn how to use it to your benefit.

6 Reasons Why Businesses Fail

6 REASONS WHY EARLY STAGE BUSINESSES FAIL…

Statistics published by the SBA (Small Business Administration US) indicate that 70 percent of new business ventures survive for at least 2 years while the percentage reduces to 51 percent for survival after five years. When starting a business, the last thing that comes to your mind is its failure. However, if you identify and solve its potential reasons for failure well in advance, the business can survive for quite some time, if not forever. The following paragraphs describe some potential reasons for failure of a business and tips on how to avoid them.

1) Starting the business with the wrong objectives

You should never start a business for the sole reason of making a lot of cash quickly. There is also a misconception that if you start your own business, you will get more time to spend with your family and that you will always answer to yourself. However, this is unlikely to be the case. You should start a business because you’ve got a deep passion for what you want to do and strongly believe that your products and services will respond to the needs of the consumers. You should have a firm understanding of why your product is unique and why people will buy from you and not from your competitors.

2) Lack of proper planning

Success in business can be achieved by careful, systematic and strategic planning as well as hard work and determination. Most small businesses fail due to a lack of proper business planning. A good business plan needs to be realistic and accurate. It should contain all aspects of the business such as the unique selling proposition, competition, workforce needs, potential challenges and solutions, financial details and so on. You should prepare detailed and realistic estimates of revenues and costs for three years. Determine if it will all be worth the effort several years down the road before you invest your time and money and your friends and family’s money.

3) Poor Management

Many studies indicate that poor management is the major cause of business failures. Most businesses often lack the proper expertise in vital areas such as marketing and sales, finance, human resources, procurement, production, etc. You need to put the right management team in place; a team that has the ability to study, plan, organize and control all aspects of business operations. Recruitment can be an onerous, expensive and time consuming task. If you have open or weak areas in your management team, consider the use of contractors/consultants to strengthen weak areas or fill vacancies. There are many benefits to using consultants both financial and effectiveness related.

4) Insufficient Capital

Most business owners tend to underestimate the amount of money required to run a business and end up operating with insufficient funds. Others may also expect unrealistic profits from the sales. Remember, the customer determines the price not you.Therefore, it is important to establish the actual amount of funds you will require to start and run your business. In the case of very early stage pre-revenue companies, it is important that the management team maintain their focus on the first release of a saleable first version of the product. You need revenue to survive. In my experience it always takes longer and requires more funds to do anything. Don’t try to ‘boil the ocean’ with your first version of a product. Focus on getting those first cheques coming in the door. I have seen many CEOs doom their company to failure as they chase all opportunities that come their way. Instead of focusing and delivering high value to the segment that they initially targeted. They end up doing nothing well for a broader market.

5) Lack of a Proper Website

With the rapid increase of internet users today, you need to register a strong online presence to operate a business. In a recently released survey, (January 2012), Cisco found that 74 percent of consumers turn to the web to conduct research before making a purchase in store. The findings place a premium on digital content marketing campaigns that can help answer shoppers’ questions and point them in the direction of a brand. At the start of a business, a professionally designed website is recommended to enable users to find you and get well acquainted with your products and services. Those of you that saw the movie “The Dirty Dozen” will likely remember the line spoken after the soldiers were inspected by a visiting officer: “Very pretty, General. Very pretty. But, can they fight?” Your Website has to make a good impression and look professional that’s a given, but having a good looking website isn’t enough. It also has to be functional and do its job of making the market aware of you and your products. Creating and maintaining a website is complex and time-consuming. Unless this is your strength and/or your line of business, get help!

6) Overexpansion

Overexpansion is often triggered by the failure of business owners to balance between success and how quickly a business can be expanded. To avoid this business failure, the expansion of a business should be gradual and steady. Many bankruptcy cases are often triggered by rapid expansion. Once you capture a solid customer base, use your success to set the right expansion pace.

I hope that this gives you some food for thought when evaluating your plans for your company regardless of where you are in the process.

Good Luck.

Roy Leahy

5 Stages of Growth To Bring In The New Year With A Bang, A Buck, And A Brand New Attitude

With the New Year upon us, it’s time for all Business Owners to put new, effective plans in place for 2013.

Letting go is something humans are challenged by. Perhaps you lost a business and are wondering if you’ll ever run another business again, or your business has been threatened by the economy, and you’re doing everything possible to hold on. Or maybe business is booming for you, and you are looking forward to even more growth in the New Year.

Whatever your situation, understanding the 5 Stages of Growth can help move you and your current or future business forward!

Here are some tips to get the New Year in clear focus, with all arrows pointing to “GO!”

I came up with 5 Stages of Growth while working through some recent personal upsets. It reminded me that problems arise when we hold on to sinking ships, get sidetracked, overpromise what we can deliver, or simply fail to put the right systems and processes in place to successfully run our businesses.

That’s all about to change. By understanding The 5 Stages of Growth, you’ll be able to reflect, let go of past disappointments, avoid the bartering trap and put your efforts toward focusing, understand the role of frustration in growth, and be confident enough to take action.

Here is a chart to help you better understand The 5 Stages of Growth.

INTERPRETATION:

STAGE 1: REFLECTION

We often reflect by sweeping poor decisions under the rug. But, to truly grow, we will use Stage 1 of Growth: Reflection to our advantage and LEARN from our mistakes. As part of your reflective process:

* Review your end-of-the-year “Track and Measure” reports. What areas did you exceed your goals? Where did you fall short? In the areas where you fell short, what could you have done differently? The data and observations will help you move forward into 2013, and will help you put together more effective, solid plans.

* Take a look back at the beginning of last year. What were your short-term goals? Were you successful in reaching them? How about your long-term goals? Were you able to stay focused, or did you get pulled off track. What can you do differently next year to help stay focused?

STAGE 2: LETTING GO

* Letting go often goes hand-in-hand with anger. Anger can rear its ugly head in different ways. Maybe you’re angry with your team, your situation, or even yourself. Well, it’s time to practice a little detachment, and to let go of any anger you are holding inside. Channel that energy into something positive. To start:

* Growth involves increasing your customer base. Review any profiles you did of existing customers, and also evaluate any surveys you got back from potential ones. (If you didn’t profile or survey customers, this would be a good time to start.) What did you learn about your customers? What can you do to strengthen customer relations based on their responses? Can your new ideas be put into an ongoing campaign?

STAGE 3: BARTERING

Temptation in Stage 3 of Growth is bartering. The temptation here is to make silent deals. “If you overlook all those mistakes, Oh Great One, I will do this or that or the other.” Sound familiar? Instead, for Stage 3 of your Growth:

* Own up to your mistakes and grow from them. Remember that many a “mistake” throughout history led to some amazing inventions! Wishing something didn’t happen doesn’t make it go away, so instead, FOCUS on what needs to be done to move forward. This takes the begging and guesswork out of the equation and helps you focus on what needs to get done.

* Look back on 2012. What are you most proud of? What do you know needs addressing? This is a time to let go of guilt and accept change and renewal with anticipation.

STAGE 4: FRUSTRATION

What? Did you think The 5 Stages of Growth wouldn’t involve a little sweat? Frustration is not a bad thing. As a matter of fact, it is simply an indicator that change is or needs to take place! Frustration therefore is a good thing. In this stage:

* Evaluate: have your goals or vision changed? What will you keep as a goal moving forward, and what will you revise? Have you planned your goals clearly enough to identify milestones? How will you celebrate when those milestones are reached? Yes! Plan celebrations, too!

STAGE 5: ACTION

Action is our 5th Stage of Growth. To take positive action:

* Put together a 90-day plan for the 4 quarters in the New Year. Either plan out the whole year now, or plan each quarter and build on the success of one to create the next. Break down big goals into smaller parts, and then apply an action toward the greater goal in each quarter.

* Remember you are not alone. Be sure to include your team members in decision-making. Once you’ve revisited your vision and mission, make sure everyone is clear about each, so everyone is on the same page where your company’s vision and mission are concerned.

* Give yourself a gift that pays itself forward. This could be an investment in your business, or a business coach that can help you put effective strategies and processes in place, or other positive steps toward personal and professional growth.

Don’t wait. The time to begin growing is now!