If you think attracting new customers is tough, try retaining the ones you have. Not only must you have enough brand cache to get them in the door, but you have to offer a quality product and a good enough experience to make them want to come back. Hit on one or two of those, and you might have a customer on your hands. Hit on all three, and you might have a customer for life. With the rampant rise in popularity of online shopping, some brick and mortar locations have found a need to constantly angle for new ways to increase traffic into the store.Given the fact that some estimates peg the cost to attract a new customer at up to seven times the cost of what it takes to retain one, the smartest brick and mortar businesses put a heavy emphasis on deepening customer loyalty. If you’re looking for new ways to jumpstart your own customer retention efforts, you’re in luck. We’ve put together a list of three of our favorite methods below.
Cash will always be king, but credit cards are the ace for millions of Americans across the country. In fact, more than 70% of American households have at least one general credit card. Despite the credit card’s place in today’s society, the widespread popularity of “charging it” is actually a relatively new phenomenon. Retailers in the 1970s were hesitant to accept credit cards. Consumers balked at embracing them out of fear of being on the hook for unauthorized charges. But that all changed with the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) of 1974.This amendment to the Truth in Lending Act instilled consumer confidence. It provided protection from unfair billing practices and identity theft. FCBA was also responsible for the creation of what we now call a “chargeback.” As a small business owner, you might have heard the term before, but you might not be sure how to handle them. Read on to learn more about what a chargeback means for your business and how to avoid them.
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.
Paperwork has long been a mainstay of the business world. Documents, reports, contracts, bills, invoices, protocols. It's a never-ending list, and it all eventually turns into skyscraping stacks of files. Those files cost businesses a surprisingly steep amount of time and money to produce, store and keep track of. Businesses and their executives are becoming increasingly aware of these costs, and many are setting their sights on paperless operations. In fact, according to Device Magic, 80 percent of small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) want to cut paper processes out of their workflows. Because they have fewer employees and less large bureaucratic structures in place, small businesses are in a unique position to embrace a paperless business model. Here are a few reasons why the paper-based processes are costing your business more than you know.
Business software today does more than just automate the various recurring tasks that come with managing a workforce. These platforms can show small business owners how to better market their business. By 2023, it's projected to be worth more than $600 billion. Because the industry is always introducing new technology, it can be hard to get a firm handle on the basics. Small businesses sometimes struggle to make sense of how they fit into the complicated world of new technology.
2019 is as good a time as ever for small business owners to start getting familiar with new technology. There are more options with greater functionalities at more reasonable price points than ever before. As the competition in industries, such as HVAC, retail, and utilities, becomes more aware of how these solutions can help their businesses, the case for seriously considering them only gets stronger. Below are several frequently asked questions about business and home service software—with a focus on their value for small businesses.
Many businesses have peaks and valleys, but few understand the gravity of these swings like those in a seasonal market. For instance, a landscaping company in a cold climate doesn't have the same type of work lined up in late January than it does in late July. If you’ve been racking your brain for a few ways to increase awareness during your downtime, we've got some ideas to help you. Here are three ways for your business to stand out in a seasonal market.
For small businesses, one of the keys to success is establishing consistent cash flow. Whether you own a three-man plumbing company or a small bakery, you need monthly revenue. Some small businesses can't afford to maintain a dedicated billing and invoicing department. As a result, the work of drawing up and sending out invoices falls to the owner, who already has a ton of other priorities to juggle. In other cases, small businesses may dedicate a specific time of the week to creating and sending invoices. The billing process can get slowed down, and maybe even delayed or overlooked altogether. Not getting those invoices out in a timely fashion can choke up cash flow and can cause stress. The latest small business software can bring major relief.