Add to Flipboard Magazine.
Going the extra mile, giving the additional effort is the way to excel in business, life or school. It’s not about doing more than what is needed from you; it’s about giving more than what those around you expect. Whether you work harder than others doesn’t matter in itself. What matters is the positive reaction that you receive from giving extra. From a business perspective, this means that you need to forget the essential WIIFM question – What’s in it for me? _ and play the long-term game. Going the extra mile is the key to success in the business world, but it’s not a phenomenon that has clear and immediate results. So, it appears, therefore, important to highlight the different ways in which giving a little more of your time, energy, and attention can create a positive Return On Investment.
The extra mile
Happy Employees = Happy Customers
Steven R. Coley suggests treating your employees exactly as you want them to behave with your best customers. In other words, your team matters as much as your customers. Indeed, while it may seem easy to assume that every employee can be replaced, in truth each employee should feel indispensable and valued. Whether you work in a service sector where you are facing customers, or in a sector where you may not need to face clients, what keeps your company alive is the fact that customers are buying. For their purchase to be a successful and positive experience, you need the team to care. At the core of it, caring about your employees is a long-term strategy that brings motivation to the team and the desire to give the best possible output. In short, if you care about your team, they will care about your customers. If you don’t, two things will happen: It’s likely that you will spend a lot of time and money in recruitment; and, on another note, your employees’ unhappiness will affect the customers.
Share Your Customer Service Values With The Whole Team
Naturally, not every role in the company is in a customer-facing position. While the team who deals with customer complaints and queries is trained specifically for it, it doesn’t mean that the only contact point goes through the customer service center. Customers may need, for a variety of reasons, to get in touch with a technician, the accountant, or even the marketing team. You can’t train everyone to know how to engage with a customer, but you can make sure that everyone in your company shares the same values. Often, when a customer gets in touch with the company, it’s to solve an issue, whether technical, delivery-related, or financial. Therefore the team needs to know how to empathize with their issues and persist to get everything sorted. At any level in the company, people who are passionate about what they do and who want to improve their output are you best allies to deal with customer-related issues.
The Free Gift That Boosts Loyalty
When a customer receives a delivery, the experience they have with your brand can be positive, neutral or negative, whether the delivery exceeds, meets or misses their expectations. Naturally, you can’t control everything in the process of shipping and delivering, but what you can do is find a cost-effective way to build a relationship with your customers within the package. For customers, it’s called a free gift. Businesses prefer to talk about package inserts. Customers of big brands, such as Amazon, are used to package inserts as a cross-selling opportunity. But they don’t realize that an insert can dramatically increase their loyalty by making them feel special. Commonly, retailers like to insert discount offers – such as 20% off the next order – to encourage customers to purchase again. But there are other ways to use package inserts, such as adding samples to introduce your customers to new lines of products. Other businesses prefer to add a little gift – a small bag of candies is always a hit – to surprise their customers with a sweet treat. Whatever you choose, making your customer feel special establish a positive relationship that will transpire in future purchases and online reviews.
You Are Still Responsible For The Delivery
With more and more businesses selling only online, it can seem easy to assume that your work is done once the item has left the warehouse. In truth, as a business, your customers will hold you responsible for the delivery too, even if you work with a courier. Why do they do that? At a customer level, the interaction is minimum with your business: They clicked and bought. Now they rightly expect that you can fulfill your part of the deal, which is the delivery of their items. If your courier service is unreliable, this will not reflect badly on the supplier but yourself. A disappointed customer, whether it is with your product or with the courier, will stop buying from your business.
Go Green And Help Customers Do The Same
Trade shows and loyalty events are the ideal platforms for businesses to get in touch with their customers. Whether you are a B2B or B2C business, meeting end buyers is always a great experience. The best thing you can do is naturally to impress them with your knowledge of the market and to collect their feedback for future improvement. But you can also give them something to keep from the meeting – consider tote bags which offer a great alternative to plastic bags and are reusable. There’s a double advantage in providing your customers with a tote bag at the end of an exhibition. Firstly, this allows you to add all the marketing and commercial information that you couldn’t share otherwise. Secondly, with the cost of plastic bags, you are more likely to spot your customers walking to town with their new tote bag – and that means free advertising for your business.
Take The Customer Seriously, Not Yourself
Finally, it’s important to know when to be serious and when to entertain. If you are able to make the most of your communication without losing your cool, customers will form a positive image about your business. But it’s more than humorous messaging: Keeping a tongue-in-cheek attitude makes your business more likable and a lot more memorable to customers. In short, people who laugh, buy more often.
Add to Flipboard Magazine.
Being a landlord is a viable vocation. Despite what the naysayers may say you can earn a living from renting out properties. You can go full time in the venture and quit the day job. But if you do choose to go all in on the venture you should know how to do it right. There is not one set way to do this, but there are small things that you can do to optimise your potential for success in the renting game.
And a good place to start is to know your customers. When you know what type of audience you are trying to attract to your property then that’s half the battle won. When looking for a property to buy-to-rent you need to look at it through the eyes of those who will be renting it. If it is a young couple who are moving in with each other for the first time that you are targeting then you need to look through their eyes. You need to fight your own tastes and consider what they would like. For example, as a young, loved up couple they may want a small living room space. They may prefer a cosy area with the sofa planted right in front of the TV rather than a bigger area. It is thinking in this manner that will make your buy-to-let property irresistible to house-hunting tenants.
Sometimes it is a case of letting the geographical location do the work for you. If you buy-to-let in a college or university town then you have a whole host of clients on tap: students. The student housing sector is a very niche one to business in. This is of course because of the fact that there is only one type of colleague to deal with. And because it is a niche sector you have the opportunity to make the property quite niche too. If you’ve never done business in this sector before you should seek help from designers and manufacturers who have, such as Offsite Solutions. They will know exactly what students want and need, evidenced in the student accommodation bathroom pods that they provide. They know exactly what needs to be provided and what you can get away with not providing. Basically, even though being a landlord may feel like a very solitary profession, it doesn’t mean you can’t get help from time to time.
Before you enter such a niche area like the student housing sector you should be aware of some important aspects of it. One of which is that crime is going to follow students. This isn’t because they are necessarily the criminals. No, you could rent your place out to the most squeaky clean student in the world yet still find that they attract trouble with the law. This is because students are at high risk of coming into contact with criminals.The places they rent, and the expensive equipment they keep in them to be able to do their work, are big targets for thieves. But, if you take the necessary steps to protect them and your property you are winning in a number of ways. You are winning because you are protecting your property and investment from harm, of course. But you are also winning because by showing that you look out for the safety of your student clients you are building a bond with them. The college students that you rent to have a right to feel safe in the place that they live in. If you show that you are taking this into serious consideration you show yourself to be a trusted landlord. And when your students graduate and leave your property behind, they will then be more likely to recommend it to others.
The most important thing to remember when you are a landlord is that it is not personal, it is business. Despite how much you like those that rent off you if they miss a rental payment you have to come down hard on them. Even if you are renting to a friend you have to ensure that you are not taken advantage off. When you get into that mindset being a landlord is a piece of cake.
Add to Flipboard Magazine.
Most of us move house at least once or twice in our adult lives. There are dozens of reasons why this would be necessary, such as starting a family or moving jobs. There are also dozens of reasons why it would make sound financial sense to move house. Of course, there are so many costs involved in moving out of one property to move into another. Is it still possible to make a few bucks as you go?
Yes, it is. Savvy moves can pay for themselves. Start by detailing each cost you might incur and where you can drive that cost down. Start with the purchase fees for your next place. You could spend less on your new house purchase than the sale price for your old property. Did you know that you can do this without downsizing?
You might pick an area where property prices are a little deflated. Speak to the most qualified property experts in that area – the realtors. This is really important if you’re looking to invest in realty but you’ve never lived your area of interest. It’s essential you get a local’s point of view. They’ll know the neighborhood reputations, they’ll know the commute times, and they’ll know the schools. Most importantly, they’ll have their pulse on market fluctuations to help you make the soundest investment financially. The price may be deflated now, but local developments may bring a surge soon.
If you’re not moving far, why not handle the removals yourself? Hiring a van is always cheaper than hiring a professional removal company. Sure, it’s tough labor, but it’s just for one day. Of course, if you don’t have large furniture, pack it in the car and make a few trips. Enlist the help of a few friends, and this move could be even easier. How is this making it pay? The money saved here can go into decor, renovations, or any other home improvement investment. This could add value to your home straight away!
If a cheaper property and savings on removals aren’t enough, then consider the annual savings you could make on commuting. Moving closer to your place of work could certainly save thousands in cash each year. Imagine being able to give up your car! No more rental payments or fuel costs or maintenance. Even if your new property is a little more expensive as you move closer to the city, your savings could soon add up to a sound move.
Moving house means you have to clear out and pack it all up. Take this opportunity to sell as much as you can. Not only will it prevent clutter in the future, but it could also tally up to cover your lawyer costs for the purchase. Perhaps it will enable you to downsize your property and pocket the cash from your home sale?
Buying a new home will come with a few stressful moments. It might also come with a sound financial investment opportunity. Best of all, it gives you a chance to make some money with a savvy moving plan. Enjoy your new home.
Add to Flipboard Magazine.
Buying a property seems like a great investment from the outside. Everyone that invests also seems to make money, don’t they? Sure, they might tell you that is the case, but it isn’t a sure-fire way to make money. Investing in real estate takes a lot of hard work and effort. Landlords that assume that the money will keep on turning are the ones that aren’t successful.
To become a wealthy landlord, you have to cover all of the bases. Here are a few to get the juices flowing.
Research The Area
Landlords that let out their properties rely on keeping tenants in the house. If no one lives there, no one will pay the rent. It’s that simple. One of the reasons people don’t opt for your property is the cost. In layman’s terms, they can’t afford it, so they go to another area. To be successful, you have to either lower the cost or increase the demand. By researching the area, you can tell whether people want to live there or whether they are passing through. Also, you can figure out what other owners charge and make your rates competitive.
Tenants hate property owners that are rigid and resistant to change. Are you one of these people? If you are, try and let the little things slide. It’s amazing how much difference it will make to their lives, and how that affects your bank balance. People will stay in a place that they like as long as they don’t get any trouble. If the owner doesn’t let them paint the walls, they’ll move somewhere that gives them more flexibility. From your point of view, a splash of color doesn’t make a bit of difference. To them, it’s the difference between a house and a home.
You’re in competition with the other landlords, which means you are almost like a business. Even if you don’t buy the logic, it’s essential that you treat the idea with respect. Quite simply, you have to ‘outsell’ all of your rivals in your area for the best results. To do that, you need to give your ‘customers’ originality or incentives. For example, you can include PRS furniture in the deal. A couple of chairs and a table might not seem like much, but it means the world to tenants with a small budget. It also means you can charge a little extra without looking like a conman.
Organize The Books
Property investors don’t always like to rent because it classes as taxable income. But, you might not have a choice if you need to pay off the second mortgage. The good news is that there are ways to offset the tax against the property. For instance, the rent is taxable, but mortgage interest costs and realtor costs are exempt. If you have enough costs that aren’t liable to tax, you can organize the books so that you don’t lose money.
Follow these tips, and your stint as a landlord will be a success.
Add to Flipboard Magazine.
You need to be a sharp tool to run a factory. You need to know how to manage people, resources, new technology, and risks. But you don’t have to go it alone. In fact, if you try, you will likely fail. A factory needs some friends to fill in the gaps and here and some of the friends you might consider inviting along for the ride.
Image by MarkoLovric
A support network
Manufacturing businesses, plants, and factories make up an important core of most countries economies. That’s why you will find most states offer more support to businesses in that sector than most others. Keeping in touch with state representatives in your area could see you benefit from grants, research and development support, skills training and a lot more. You might not think you need the help, but it doesn’t take a genius to see the opportunity in asking for it.
Image by tpsdave
Not everyone else in the industry is your competition. There are others who operate in completely different niches and different skills from you. Those skills and the tools they use could prove very beneficial to you if you are trying to expand into new territory, whether temporarily or permanently. There are a lot of manufacturing sub-contractors who offer things like plastic injection moulding, cleanroom environments, and much more. A few friends in the industry can give you the equipment you need to take on work that might otherwise be impossible under current circumstances.
Image by blickpixel
Even if you have all the tech you need, you don’t yet have the green light to keep producing as ever. Manufacturing machinery is heavy duty stuff, but they also operate in some of the most hostile and demanding environments in business. A connection with suppliers of hydraulic hoses and fittings, gauges, mill parts and the like is vital. Without understanding the likelihood of malfunctions and the need for replacements, you can expect to see plenty of downtime.
Image by andreas160578
Many manufacturers will take the logistics of their business in-house, but if you haven’t scaled up to that level yet then you need to look carefully at which transport services you hire. You need to make sure they have the right vehicle size for the kind of loads you need shipped, that they’re making use of logistics to ensure the most efficient transportation possible, and a full awareness of where they can deliver so you also know your own business’s potential reach.
Image by MikeBird
The backbone of the economy as it is, a lot of factories are seeing drops in the level of new recruits. Attracting a workforce in this day and age isn’t as easy as it once was because manufacturing simply isn’t as attractive a choice for young workers as it once was. Skilled recruiters can help you turn the spin, however, showing the reliability and the learnable skills of the job as opposed to just a demanding workload.
Like most businesses that want to excel, a factory relies on a strong network of people who can help improve the quality, efficiency, and customer satisfaction in their operations. Hopefully, the points above have given you a few ideas of which hands to start shaking.
Add to Flipboard Magazine.
Great businesses are made by leaders who know how to rely on themselves and what they have at hand right now. But resourcefulness isn’t always about getting what you need to ‘do it all yourself’. It’s about recognizing when it could be a lot smarter to look for what you need as well.
Perhaps the most obvious way to look outside the business is to look at outsourcing. However, you need to think about how and when, exactly, you should be outsourcing. There are a few good questions to ask yourself. Are you unequipped to carry out an action to the most legal and compliant standard? Could your lack of experience or quality with a process do damage to the business as a whole? Do you only need the process to be carried out on a short-term basis? If the answer to any of those is yes, then it’s safer and a better investment to outsource than to try it yourself.
Implementation and maintenance
When it comes to all the different tech and tools that your business deals with, that’s another time you should be looking at bringing in help from the outside. Internalizing maintenance is a good idea, but while you’re still training towards that goal, then you’re not going to have the experts on fields like replacement hose fitting in hydraulics. That means that any fixes or implementations you’re likely to carry out yourself are likely only going to be creating a bigger problem down the line.
Nowadays, there are businesses that offer rentals on all kinds of equipment, from simple tools to computers and heavy machinery for construction and manufacturing. Again, if you’re not in a position to buy your own equipment or you worry that the amount of use you would get from it wouldn’t justify a buy, then use someone else’s instead.
Training is best internalised as much as possible. For instance, if you’re training new staff, then you should have gotten to the point where the knowledge and methods they need to know are standardized within the business. But if you’re scaling to new areas, then by all means, don’t try and train yourself then train them. Instead, look at those who already have a full understanding of the skills your employers need from outside the business.
If you’re looking to offer new ideas to the marketplace, then you might not get very far by solely looking inside the business or even looking inside the industry. Instead, some of the most revolutionary practices can come from entirely different fields of work. For instance, looking at software companies started looking at rental models for equipment and entertaining to create the software-as-a-service industry.
True resourcefulness could help you save time and money and find new ideas by looking beyond your own business and even your own industry from time to time. Besides offering the answers you need when you need them at less cost, it also introduces you to new skills and new ways of thinking you can pick up from those contacts you make.