The First Customers: The Determinant Factor of Your Success in Running Your Business

Are you now starting your business? Is your on-going business your first business at all? When pioneering a business, most beginners will encounter some obstacles that hamper their business. One of them is the limited stock inventory, the inability to determine the ideal selling prices, and the most difficult often encountered, thinking about how to get the first customers. Yes! Getting the first customers is the most crucial stage that will determine the viability of a business! The above problems of course are some classic problems for anyone who starts a business. To help the beginners, on this occasion we will inform you on how to get your first customers. Getting the first customers is the same as getting your first chance of success. Check out the following points!

1:- Target potential customers around you

To build a market, at first you can start by targeting the people around you as your potential customers. For example, you can introduce a winning product that belongs to your family, close friends, colleagues, campus friends, or bring your product samples to some activities or communities you follow on a regular basis. If you are active in prayer meetings in your church, giving your product samples to your peers is a simple but effective way.

2:- Differentiate your customers based on their characters

After targeting the people around you as potential customers, the next step you need to consider is to divide the category of the customers in accordance with the characters they have. Here you can divide the consumers according to their age (children, teenagers, or parents), gender (male or female), profession in cultivation, and so forth. This step will make it easier for you to plan the most effective marketing strategies to get consumers’ attention.

3:- Establish good relationship to expand market opportunities

As a business actor, building a network of harmonious marketing becomes one of the obligations that you should not rule out. If necessary, hold regular meetings to strengthen your relationship with customers, as well as to introduce the latest products you have to loyal customers. This is an important thing as your proximity to the consumer is the starting point for you to succeed.

4:- Capture new customers from your loyal customers

Having a lot of customer turns out can bring good opportunities to you as a seller. Very likely, your loyal customers can bring in new customers for the company you run. For example, they can recommend your products to their relatives or close friends they have through “word of mouth way.” Therefore, do not hesitate to offer exciting bonuses to your loyal customers as they play an important role for the growth of your business. If necessary, invite them to join as reseller or agent of your product by offering special bonus which is quite interesting.

5:- Looking for more information by surfing on the Internet

You need to broaden your horizons about the market you are dealing with. The Internet is the best information warehouse and you can get useful tips and tricks that are not disclosed here. You are strongly encouraged to read the reviews provided by Feras Antoon to get your first 100 customers.

The core of these five points above is to please your customers. By making them happy then by itself your sales will increase. Easy enough right? After discussing some of the marketing tips you can run to bring in your first customers as it’s your turn to practice them directly on your niche. May the luck be yours!

Ecommerce Shipping Strategies: 3 Companies To Learn From

The world of ecommerce is best known for its wide variety of products, low prices, and ‘click to buy’ business model. The lesser aspect that we all take for granted is the shipping. Where data-driven analysis has turned the lowering of prices into a backroom art form, shipping them becomes a universally hated add-on charge at the checkout; what was an incredible deal instantly becomes average at best. However, there are a number of companies who have been turning the shipment of items from something slow, shady and wasteful, into the very embodiment of effective, conscious consumerism.

Modernizing a Material Process

Many of us have heard the news that Amazon plans on managing its enormous number of deliveries by drone, and perhaps this is a future we should expect. Yet in the meantime, delivering goods remains a puzzle for many ecommerce companies. There are three key areas in which current shipping strategies fail consumers: they are slow, wasteful, and expensive. Crucially, most online purchasers are savvy and not afraid to abandon their cart at the final stage. This is why many young companies are coming up with new ways to make their delivery system appeal to busy, young, ethical customers.

Free and Easy

Modern technology has already given us so many advantages when it comes to shipping products. Tracking a delivery enables customers to watch every step of their item’s journey, as well as being able to select exact delivery dates and times. Yet many people simply don’t want to have to pay for these types of benefits; shipping should not be a luxury, it is a necessity. In this example, free delivery has been known to make the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart at the checkout.

This is especially true for those who are looking to purchase a large and bulky item. For instance, British company Eve sells high quality mattresses (which arrive in a small box) and guarantee free delivery anywhere in the UK. Pitched alongside their reasonable prices, for many people this delivery option demonstrates a company who puts their customers’ needs first.

Keep it Speedy and Local

The race to deliver items as quickly as possible is what defines the advantage of online shopping from the physical experience. With the advent of Amazon’s same-day delivery service, the market has become even more competitive. In order to ship quickly, you need to have local fulfilment centres where the sorting can be done instantly before being packed up for shipping nearby.

Where large companies rely on their financial might to operate these vast centres across a country, smaller outfits such as the lauded We Deliver Local instead form partnerships with the shops in a local area and coordinate their resources between them. The outcome of this is that not only do your items get delivered straight to your door – We Deliver Local assures you of a strict 90-minute deadline – but there is the added benefit of knowing you are supporting local businesses.

Go Green

It’s become the least funny joke that we all have come to expect: a three-metre parcel turns up outside your door, within which five layers of packaging conceal a small pair of earphones. The level of waste is extreme, especially concentrated on cardboard and plastic materials. Indeed, it has been reported that Amazon has received over 33 million complaints about their packaging since 2009. In reaction to this, many companies have sought an alternate route that focuses instead on finding environmentally friendly ways to get your items from A to B.

The beautifully named Tiny Box Company is one such brand that has adapted its shipping methods in order to minimise the environmental impact of the business. By using eco-friendly packaging and recycled boxes for their jewellery, huge amounts of waste is reduced, and anything that can’t be recycled is given to schools for arts and crafts projects.

Make Money Dog Walking – There’s one smart way to get started

We all need a few creative ways to supplement our income.  Maybe you’ve already made this list, and you are not thrilled with the idea of picking up a few shifts at your local cafe.  Wouldn’t it be great to actually love what you’re doing while you’re earning a few extra bucks?  Consider this: become a dog walker.

If you’re great with dogs and their pet owners, it’s a fun and easy way to expand your wallet too.  There are two ways to make this happen: 1. Figure it out yourself, but who has time for that?  2. Join and get connected to the nation’s largest network of pet sitters and dog walkers.

Rover has made the job of walking dogs and getting paid incredibly simple for you.  If you’ve never thought about it, chew on this:

  • It’s flexible and based on your availability.  Whether you have the summer off or a specific schedule to work around, dog walkers set their own schedules.
  • You are your own boss.  How often do you have the opportunity to determine your own paycheck?  With Rover, dog walkers set their own rates and services.  When you fall in love with this job, you have the space to grow this into your sole business.  Get your business cards ready.
  • It’s worry-free work.  If there are any complications or emergencies while you are on duty, you have 24/7 support from Rover including vet services.  Plus, Rover provides insurance coverage.
  • Enjoy some time outside.  This could be your best excuse to get out and about this summer.  Your office has no walls, and your colleagues are dogs.  Does it get any better?
  • It doesn’t require a degree or certification.  If you love dogs and know how to make pet owners happy, you’re ready to apply.  Rover also provides resources to help you develop your business.
  • It’s tech savvy.  With Rover’s online platform, you have the ability to showcase your dog-loving qualities, set your availability, book clients, and have pet owners share their rave reviews.  The Rover app allows you to communicate directly with pet owners about the details of your walk and send photos.
  • Getting started is easy.  After you create your profile, Rover requires a background check and takes the time to review your profile.  The moment you’re approved, you’re open for business.

Rover is a community of dog lovers like you.  Sign up via Become a Sitter–grab a leash and join us.

5 Old School Marketing Tricks that Still Work

As the world becomes more and more centered around digital, you may think this is where you need to be focusing your marketing efforts. And yes, of course, you should have a website, blog and social pages. But, there are many old school marketing tricks that still really work and shouldn’t be disregarded.

These tend to take place offline which means they can reach places your online marketing can’t and at the same time can also be used to back-up and support your digital efforts.

Here are just five of them:

1:- Flyers and leaflets

Flyers and leaflets are effectively mini brochures – they can include a menu, dates, price list – ultimately plenty of useful information together in the same place. These can be handed out or placed where your target market hang out and are ideal for the consumer to keep and refer back to when they need it. Check out these folded flyers from Phroom Print to see the various options available and understand exactly how it could benefit your business.

2:- Networking

You can, of course, speak to both current and potential customers and clients online, any time of the day and no matter where they are in the world. There is no doubt that this has made it easier than ever before to connect. But, there is a distinct and unique value to engaging with customers offline that you simply can’t ignore. This is why networking is still so important – it puts you in front of the right people and by meeting face-to-face you are able to form relationships in a way that you can’t when talking via a keyboard.

3:- Business cards

Handing out a business card seems quite old fashioned now, you just connect on social media, don’t you? Yes, you can and probably should try to connect on social but your business card is a great place to include your Twitter handle to ensure you are found. If you just verbally share your details with someone you would like to work with at a busy event it is likely they will forget them very quickly and this is then a missed opportunity. Your business card is important because it is the perfect place to include your phone number, email address and so on, to then hand out to the right people who can slip them into their wallets and refer back to them later and hopefully get in contact.

4:- Public speaking

Standing up and talking in front of the right people might be the last thing on your mind when you are deciding the best way to market you, your business and your product or service. But, this puts in you at the forefront of many people’s minds and ensures they see you as an expert in your field and allows you to establish your credibility.

5:- Posters

Posters can be strategically placed to attract the attention of those you want to aim at. For example, if you are organizing an event you can put posters up around the venue so passers by know it is happening and can make a decision there and then if they would like to attend. If this information was purely online they may never have even seen it. It is important to remember that, even though it might seem like they are, not everyone is online. These posters can be used alongside your social media campaign to back up and reinforce each other.

Improve Your Time Management Skills Using Time Tracking Software

Time management is a skill that you just don’t learn overnight. It is something that you have to work really hard on if you want to arrive at a result. There are people who easily get frustrated when they don’t achieve their goals, but they don’t do anything to change themselves.

If time management is the issue, you might want to consider using time tracking software. This helps a lot in making sure that you can get your tasks done on time. It is different from an alarm clock in the sense that your every action can be tracked. For instance, if you are working on a task, you will know how much time you have spent on it and what you have actually accomplished in a given time. This gives you a clear picture of what exactly it is that you need to do to improve in the future.

Furthermore, it is also easy for you to change if you have already identified your weakness. You might want to work faster the next time around. You could also drop some activities that delay your movements. Anything that distracts you from improvement is unhealthy and should be removed from your daily routine.

It takes time and conscious effort

It helps to have time tracking software. However, you should also make sure that you learn from your mistakes. Software is just a tool to help you improve. You will still be the one to make the necessary adjustments if you want to be better at what you are doing.

It does not matter how you are going to make use of the software. You can use it in order to improve your personal life or you can also use it to grow in your professional life. The point is that you become better at using time to be a better person in the long run.

Don’t be frustrated

You should also remember that changing yourself for the better does not happen in the blink of an eye. You need to give yourself a pat on the back if you feel like you have done something great. You should take note of the things that you have done well and what else you can do to further these improvements.

Over time, you will realise that you have already changed. You can see it in your time tracking log. For now, it might still be difficult to visualise how a simple app can change you. Later on, you will understand that it is something you can really work hard on.

Check out for more information on time management software and how you can maximise it for your personal and professional growth.

Marketing Strategies for Software Companies and Developers

There is no denying the fact that we live in a digital world. From the computers we use at work to the devices we watch for entertainment, to the smartphones that we use in every aspect of daily life, the future is obviously promising for talented developers with meaningful applications and software to offer. However, if you believe that this is all that is necessary to have success in the world of business, you will quickly find that there are countless other elements and factors that will determine success aside from creating a beneficial product.

Independent developers and small software companies also need responsible business practices, careful financial planning, realistic expectations and constant evaluation and improvement to keep up with the fast-paced world. Additionally, no matter how respectable your business model and no matter how wonderful your product may be, you also need effective marketing strategies to help the world find out about your business.

This guide is designed to help developers and software companies understand a few basic strategies that are necessary for growth and success in today’s competitive world of applications and software development. It is almost cliche now for a person to try and come up with the next great app, and everyone (with every possible skillset and speciality) is trying to get in on the seemingly limitless potential. If you already have a great product or a great business, the following steps will ensure that you are able to reach more people and grow your company according to its worth.

Developing Your Goals

No matter the business, industry or product, the first step to any effective marketing plan involves developing realistic goals. For developers, this can be difficult, as there may be few precedents or available data on a product that is like yours. But you should try to be as specific as possible, defining goals in several areas and the metrics that will help you determine success.

If your company is brand new or your product has very little precedent, you still need to come up with some general guidelines about what you hope to achieve with each individual marketing effort. For instance, your latest email campaign may have the general purpose to sell digital downloads; your social media efforts could be intended to generate more leads; CTAs on your website could be geared at higher conversion rates; and so forth.

Modern Word-of-Mouth

Obviously, people still communicate and share buying experiences verbally, even in today’s digital world. However, modern word-of-mouth marketing is not necessarily the same literal type of consumer to consumer communication that was once so crucial to a company’s reputation and growth. The vast majority of Americans use at least one social media platform every day, and this is where experiences are shared, brand evangelists can be created and modern word-of-mouth takes place.

In many ways, social media was God’s gift to advertisers, as it allows them to directly communicate with existing customers and potential customers while also marketing their own brand, interests and values. If your customers appreciate your product, service, brand and values, they will naturally begin to share this appreciation and positive information with friends and acquaintances who have similar interests– and in turn, may have a similar need for your business.

Additionally, you should create intriguing, interesting and helpful content on a blog that will have the same type of impact but allows you to communicate in a more intimate and in-depth manner. Your blogs should not appear to be blatant marketing or promotion, but always geared at helping your customers with issues and interests that are relevant to them. Using social media and well-developed content to create dialogues and relationships will begin a type of organic growth that will increase exponentially over time.

4 ways to improve your business’s customer service

Small businesses have an advantage over larger businesses when it comes to customer service. Since there are less levels of workers between the manufacturer of the product and the head of the company, nearly everyone is involved with every aspect of creation, marketing and sales of the company’s products.

The larger the corporation, the more separation there is between the workers who create the products and the people who sell them. That separation makes it more difficult for large businesses to maintain customer service without hiring experts to do the job. For businesses that are concerned with their customer service abilities but want to grow larger, it is an ironic Catch-22.

Growing with customer service in mind

To make your company truly successful, customer service will have to grow at the same rate as the company. At no point do you want your customers to feel that they are not important to your business.

Your goal is to make customer service an ongoing process that continuously makes small adjustments at every level of your company. For every action taken by your business, or by your customers, there should be a corresponding action to keep your customers happy and satisfied with your service.

Although it sounds difficult, the sheer amount of data available about your customers, both as a group and individually, makes it easy to keep track of what is important to them and how well your company manages it. Analyzing and correlating the data is the challenging task.

Strategies to improve your customer service

Although every company is unique, there are several strategies that can be taken to improve customer service and make your company truly customer centric:

  • Customer Experience Management (CXM). CXM, simplistically, is a management philosophy that runs your business based on customer analytics. By maintaining and compiling data about the customers, CXM takes the philosophy that the customer is always right to a higher level. Not only is the customer always right, the wants of the customer base provide the direction for the company to go in.
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM). Directed marketing aimed to get your products in front of the people most likely to buy them is the theme behind the social media marketing boom. Again, customer data plays a large part, but instead of relying on existing customers to decide your direction, SMM aims at specific groups to increase sales and establish your brand.
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM). The reverse of SMM, search engine marketing makes your company more attractive to search engine algorithms to make your website the most popular according to your search criteria. SEM and Search Engine Optimization expand your customer base while still retaining brand identity and customer expectations.
  • Virtual Call Centers (VCC). Although the VCC is primarily designed to answer customer queries and complaints, the call center software is a handy tool to survey and analyze what your current customers think of your business and what you can do to make their experiences better. It also gives you a built-in platform for advertising for your current customer base.

None of these strategies are mutually exclusive, allowing companies to mix-and-match methods to find what works for them. These strategies are also flexible enough to grow with your company.

For the small business on a budget, any of these options are better and less expensive than trying to manage customer interaction within your company.  Outstripping your resources is the primary concern as you add levels to your organization.

How Technology can Improve Window Opening Systems

To keep any building secure, all points of entry must be considered. Aside from the main entrance, the emergency exits and windows need to be safe too. At first sight, doing that may seem like a lot of work, but that isn’t always the case. Windows in particular need a lot of attention for a variety of reasons – fire safety, ventilation and entry for burglars.

Burglary is a crime that most businesses will worry about, and with good reason. Statistics for 2016 in the UK show that 83% of all crimes committed against retail businesses were some form of theft. Keeping windows secure can help, starting with locking them at the end of each working day. A modern system for opening and closing them will make this far simpler.

New Technology

The technology behind such a system involves use of such tools as WiFi and smartphone apps. Together, they allow whoever is in charge to open and control the windows, doors and shutters at whatever time is convenient via a remote control or app. This can be done both inside and outside of the business’s premises at a moment’s notice.

For emergencies, being able to open windows to let steam or smoke escape is vital. Use of smoke ventilation technology through Window Openers can make this quick and simple. From a central hub or control panel, it shuts or opens the windows all at once, saving time that would otherwise be spent doing each window one by one.

There is also technology that can instantly sense smoke in one part of a building, then relaying a siren sound to the rest of the premises. As far as safety is concerned, this is extremely helpful in emergencies, as it alerts everyone straight away. Also, if the premises are closed and there’s a fire or burglary happening, an app can help the business owner to act quickly.

Extra Security

To make sure the window opening system is completely secure, access to it should be in the hands of a few employees. Persuading several employees to download an app that lets them monitor and control the windows will mean that at least one person can control them as and when needed.

Aside from the actual windows, any blinds that are present need to be controlled too. Use of a gadget to control smart blinds like Blind Engine will do the job effectively. It can be used at roughly the same time as a window opening system too, providing an extra layer of security by deterring would-be intruders.