Life as a small business owner is one filled with peaks and valleys. There’s the rush received from an influx of new orders. The thrill of payments posting to your account. The disappointment when a customer isn’t happy and the despair when times are slow. Most realistic small business owners recognize that these experiences are not only possibilities, but each is likely to happen at some point. Yet, what so many seem to overlook or fail to prepare for are those pesky last-minute cancellations. The best way to tackle these is with an established cancellation policy.A well-written cancellation policy is like insurance for a small business in that it protects you when you’re most vulnerable. Concepting and drafting that cancellation policy template is also a lot easier than most people think. If a customer blowing you off has burned your business in the past, you’ll want to read our tips below on creating a simple but effective cancellation policy.
The most successful small businesses are usually those that stick to well-defined processes that run like clockwork. Whether it’s over the course of bidding, product development, customer service or invoicing, developing a proven and effective flow for how, when, where and why things happen can be the difference in a company thriving and not surviving.While many leaders of small businesses recognize the value in a referral program as a lead generation source, less will realize the importance of process planning. In the same way, a lack of control can cause chaos in product development or in customer service, let's say, the same can be said about a referral program. If you really want to do it right, here are four questions to ask yourself before starting a referral program.
As a society, there are a few things we do more than publicize our likes and dislikes. We love to leave glowing restaurant reviews on Yelp. Singing the praises of our favorite running shoes to friends at the gym. We vent about a car dealership mishap or rude cashiers at the grocery store on social media. And though we all seem to be talking all of the time, it turns out most of us are actually listening too.Statistics show that 83% of Americans say that word-of-mouth recommendations from a friend or family member make them more likely to buy something. That statistic is even more pronounced when you look at younger demos like Millennials. They are 115% more influenced by word-of-mouth than traditional advertising. Word-of-mouth marketing can lead to so many conversions. Many small businesses have looked for ways to capitalize on customers’ fervent fan-hood. The most obvious method is through a referral program. With most small business tactics, there’s hardly a one-size-fits-all approach. In hopes of spurring some ideas that might work for your business, we’ve put together a list of a few of our favorite referral programs.
Plenty of situations and circumstances can strike fear in the hearts of small business owners. There’s the potential for sagging sales and the reality of having to handle multiple roles. Also, there are the complexities of managing a staff of employees. Regardless of industry, most small businesses actually reside in the people business. Which makes it even more ironic that one of the most significant sources of dread among small business owners doesn’t even involve people. It’s the fear of automation and a hesitance to trust “the cloud.”As technology has evolved and cloud-based opportunities became increasingly available, the savviest of small business owners realized that the right move is to welcome automation, not fear it. If you’re someone who still isn’t sure if automation is for you, keep reading. We’ll explain automation and the cloud, why there’s nothing to be afraid of and how automation can improve your business.
There’s a reason why you’re more likely to find an old “Yellow Pages” phonebook in an antique shop than someone’s home. Like rotary telephones, black and white televisions and typewriters before it, new technology basically left the printed directory in the dust. We all know most people now go online to gather information, but did you know 90% of American adults use the internet? And they’re not just searching for phone numbers either.