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6 Things That Can Undermine Your Small Business

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business success

It’s not easy running a small business, as anyone who has undertaken that challenge can attest to. You need to work harder than the bigger companies around you, with a smaller budget and a smaller team. However, while there are plenty of external aspects that can make it difficult to build success, sometimes the damage happens internally, too. Many small business owners end up inadvertently undermining their business, without realizing it. Below, we take a look at some of the more common mistakes that company owners make, as well as provide some tips on how to overcome them. 

Jack of all Trades

You might know that you’re a small, one-person operation, but there’s little value in shouting it from the rooftops. Your customers don’t need to know that, or at least not from their very first interaction with you. It just doesn’t always look so great if a person is the receptionist, accountant, support person, and expert in the company. If you’re handing out business cards, put your name and your main role as the title. You may also consider outsourcing your receptionist duties to another company. Both these things will make your small venture look bigger than it really is.

A Bad Employee

However, it’s not as if you’re out of the woods just because you’ve got a team of staff. The more people that you add, the more potential there is for something unprofessional to occur; at least when it’s just you, you’re aware of what’s going on. Because of the impact that your employees can have, it’s really important that you take steps to develop a robust hiring policy, one that’ll lead to professional and courteous employees coming on board. Don’t forget: everyone at your company has the potential to undermine your professionalism. 

Inconsistent Branding

It’s important that you’re firing on all cylinders if you’re going to make the most of your business. As we said earlier, you’ll be competing against bigger companies, so there’s little margin for error. In your quest to deliver your best, your branding will be key. If you get this aspect of your business right, then you’ll appear much larger than you really are. However, in many cases, business owners don’t take their branding as seriously as they should, and it shows. The message and the visuals used to portray that message can be used inconsistently. As such, it’s recommended that you use a Corporate Identity Management platform, which will help ensure that all your visual assets are used correctly. Ultimately, it’s all about creating a solid image of your business in the eyes of your potential customers.

Lack of Updates

You might have worked hard to develop an excellent website when you first got your business up and running, but alas, it’s not as if you can just sit back and enjoy your work. If your business is going to stay relevant, then it needs to be updated. This doesn’t mean changing everything; it just means showing that the website is actively managed, rather than dormant. You could have a blog, for example, or slightly change your design to match whatever is happening seasonally (such as Christmas or Halloween). The same principle applies to your social media channels. They can be excellent tools for your business, but only if there are regular updates. There’s nothing sadder than seeing a company’s Facebook or Twitter page that hasn’t been updated in months. It can make people doubt if the company is still in operation.

Untidy Environments

So far, we’ve talked about the things that you pump out into the world, such as your website and branding and so on. But from time to time, you may find that you have visitors to your work premises. This is another area where things can be undermined, so it’s important to look at your environment and ask some questions, such as: is it tidy? Does it reflect your company well? Is there anything that would give someone an unfavorable impression of our business? People do, rightly or wrongly, make snap judgements about, well, everything. If your offices fall short in any way, then it could be a mark against your business. 

Suppliers and Practices

Finally, it’s always worth interrogating your working practices to ensure they’re in line with modern standards and expectations. If they’re not — say, you’re using practices that harm the environment and/or people — then there could be a backlash. It pays to have an ear to the ground and move as times change.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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4 Ways to Improve Your Customer Experience

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Customer experience is much more than a one-time interaction. It’s an ongoing process that requires your business to think critically about how you can improve every interaction with your customers. Your customers should feel valued and understood at every step of the way, from first contact to the final sale. If you’re reading this, you know that customer experience is essential to the success of your business. It goes beyond surface-level niceties like “hello” and “thank you.” Instead, CX involves a 360-degree view of how customers perceive your company from beginning to end. These customer experience tips will help you streamline your interactions and give your customers the kind of service they want to return to.

Make it easy for customers to do business with you.

Never make your customers feel like they’re jumping through hoops to interact with you. Instead, make it easy for them to find and use your customer touchpoints—your website, social media channels, or physical storefront. Don’t forget about accessible payment options for your website and store to allow for multiple payment methods. Whether you include options to pay via PayPal or you need high risk merchant services due to poor business credit, pay attention to what you offer.

This applies to your customer service interactions as well. Make sure you have a clear way for customers to reach you through email, phone, a contact form, or some combination of the three. Be sure to include your hours of operation and any steps customers need to take to resolve their issues as swiftly and painlessly as possible.

Make sure your contact channels are functioning well.

Make sure you have a way for customers to reach you both during regular business hours and after business hours (if applicable). Ensure your phone system is working correctly, your emails are always sent, and your website or any other online contact form is easy to use. Additionally, make sure you’re responding to customers promptly. If you’re doing everything else right, but if your contact channels are a mess, you’ll end up with many frustrated customers. No one likes to feel ignored.

Offer solutions to problems, not just products or services

It’s essential to offer products, services, and solutions to your customer’s problems and concerns. When speaking with customers, focus on their challenges and how your products or services can resolve them. Remember that customer service isn’t just about sales. It’s about resolving customers’ concerns about your company, products, or services—even if they aren’t ready to buy yet. Your goal is to create a lifelong relationship, not just a single transaction.

Establish trust through transparency and authenticity

Trust is crucial for building a strong customer experience. Be transparent about your policies and your products—this means disclosing any potential risks or downsides as well. Be authentic in how you interact with your customers. You should always be yourself, even if that means you’re not the best salesperson or occasionally make a mistake. Customers will respect your authenticity, which builds trust and loyalty.

Summing up

If you take nothing else away from this article, this is the one thing you need to remember: your customer experience dictates your business’s future. Your customers don’t just experience your products or services once. They experience them throughout their entire relationship with you. Make sure you’re paying attention to every single touchpoint and listening to how you can improve. Put in the effort to improve your CX, and you’ll see the results in no time.

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David Faraco and Aquarius will create the First NFTs in Solidarity with Nature

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When it comes to the environment, we often think about ways to reduce our carbon footprint or recycle more. But what if there was a way to actually support the environment while also supporting your favorite artist? With NFT, now there is! NFT, or non-fungible tokens, are a new way to collect and trade digital art. And because they’re stored on the blockchain, they’re completely secure and immutable. That means that when you buy an NFT, you can be sure that you’re getting the real thing and that your purchase will support the artist directly. Plus, NFT are a great way to show your support for environmental causes. Aquarius and David Faraco are teaming up to create the first-ever nfts in solidarity with nature.

What is an NFT?

An NFT is a digital asset that is stored on a blockchain. The term NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. NFT are unique, unlike traditional cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, which can be exchanged for goods or services. NFT have been gaining in popularity due to their ability to represent digital assets in a more secure way. For example, an artist could create an NFT of their work and sell it as a digital collectible. The benefits of using an NFT include the fact that they cannot be counterfeited and are tamper-proof. David Faraco Heredia, will be creating the first ever NFT in solidarity with nature. This project is aimed at helping to preserve our planet’s natural resources.

How will David Faraco’s NFT help nature?

In David Faraco’s native country of Costa Rica, nearly a quarter of the land is protected in some way by the government. This includes rainforests, national parks, and biological reserves. Now, with the help of blockchain technology, Faraco is hoping to do even more to protect the environment. Faraco is the founder of Aquarius Crypto Universe, a company that creates non-fungible tokens (NFT). NFT are digital assets that can be bought, sold, or traded like traditional cryptocurrencies. However, unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, each NFT is unique and cannot be replicated. Aquarius will use NFT to create digital certificates of ownership for land and wildlife. These certificates will be stored on the blockchain, making them tamper-proof and impossible to forge.

What are the benefits of using NFT?

  1. According to David Faraco, the benefits of using NFT include “the ability to show provenance, the immutability of the data, and the trustless nature of the technology.”
  2. He claims that by using NFT, we can “create a more sustainable future for our planet and its inhabitants.”
  3. Faraco believes that NFT “have the potential to revolutionize how we interact with and value Nature.”

David Faraco, CEO of Aquarius Crypto Universe, has announced that they will be creating the first ever NFT in solidarity with nature. This comes as a response to the growing environmental crisis and the need for new ways to support and protect our planet. NFT are unique and cannot be exchanged for another currency. This makes them ideal for supporting causes and organizations, like Aquarius, that are working to make a difference. These NFT will be available for purchase on Aquarius’ website and will help support their environmental initiatives.

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How to segment your customers for better results

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email marketing

Segmentation is classifying your audience by a relevant characteristic. This makes the strategy target prospects that could buy your product and increases the effectiveness of the campaigns.

Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy where segmentation is possible, as the best managers offer this possibility.

Why segment?

Segmentation is one of the marketing challenges facing companies today, because many are not used to it.

Until a few decades ago, advertising possibilities were limited to television, radio and newspaper commercials. These commercials reached all audiences equally. If the commercial was about women’s clothing, it was seen by men and boys alike. But the internet changed that.

Today, digital marketing offers great possibilities to segment the audience, so that everyone receives the information that is of interest and useful to them.

Some examples of segmentation are the following:

  • An appliance shop sends a special discount only to customers who are finishing paying for a product purchased in their shop.
  • A department store sends a toy catalogue to parents subscribed to its mailing list for the Christmas season.
  • A bookshop sends a newsletter with a discount coupon to parents with school-age children at the beginning of the academic year.
  • Invitations to an event on shop in a specific city, but only to subscribers who live in that city.

With these strategies you want the message to hit the target and get a lot of conversion, for this Mailrelay offers tools to segment the list in an easy and effective way. Thanks to this mass email software, you will be able to successfully segment your users in just a few minutes.

How to get a segmented mailing list?

At the time of the campaign, you can include some questions to find out some characteristics of the customer. For example, the name and surname, city, interests, etc.

Be careful with the questions, because they can dissuade the customer from subscribing, so you should only include the most important ones.

After subscribing, the customer may be asked to answer a survey, in which additional questions may be asked, but this should also be done with care, as it may be uncomfortable. It should always be optional and if the subscriber does not answer it at the first attempt, do not insist.

Another strategy to get the information we want is a contest. For this, you have to establish a very attractive prize that the subscribers appreciate very much.

Finally, purchasing habits can provide information. If a customer regularly buys products for cars, we can intuit that they own one, and we can design offers for them.

What are the advantages of audience segmentation?

The main advantage is that you gain in effectiveness, with segmentation you reach the specific customer who is in a position to buy. This allows you to design a direct message that speaks to the customer according to their needs and facilitates the sale.

It also happens that the message does not reach people who may consider it inappropriate. For example, if we have a mailing list with customers from a department store, and we are going to launch a campaign for women’s clothing, the men who receive it could mark it as spam, which would affect the company’s marketing plans.

In addition, segmentation generates greater engagement, as the customer feels that you are talking to him or her about his or her needs and concerns. Talking directly to subscribers is the best way to get closer to them and make them loyal customers.

Recommendations for segmenting your customers

  • If you are planning an email marketing campaign, it is very important that you do a proper and effective segmentation. For this, it is very important that you choose a mailing manager that has good segmentation tools.
  • Establish strategies for each segment of your audience, so that you get new niches to develop your business. Knowing the possibilities of your brand and the needs of your customers is fundamental to design strategies that will be profitable.
  • Combine the segmentation of the email marketing campaign with an excellent social media management, in order to achieve the appropriate proximity to make the relationship between the brand and the public strong. Social media is booming and is also a form of direct communication that can be very cost-effective.
  • The conformation of groups should be established strategically, this can be by gender, location, preferences, socioeconomic level, activity, etcetera. These groups should be very well differentiated and their distribution should be related to the business in question.

How to get better results from a segmented campaign?

If you have established an email marketing campaign for one of the groups you have defined in your list, the following tips can help you achieve better results:

  • Choose the right frequency according to the product and the characteristics of the group. A poorly chosen frequency can be counterproductive, if there are too many messages, it could lead to unsubscribes and if they are too infrequent, the message could be lost.
  • Analyse the metrics provided by the email marketing manager, with this information you will know if the campaign is giving results and have clues about what the problem may be, if there is one.
  • If it is a campaign of several newsletters, you can place a button for the subscriber to indicate if they are not interested in the campaign, that way you can remove them from the campaign and prevent them from unsubscribing from the list.
  • Surveys are a great tool, as they capture relevant information from customers. If they are applied, they should contain only one question, maximum 2, and always a selection by clicking on an answer option. Do not overuse surveys because they could generate unsubscribes.

If you are going to implement an email marketing campaign, segmentation is necessary to get the best possible results. We recommend you start researching today the most appropriate segmentation of your customers. You will be able to achieve great results with just a little effort. 

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