How to avoid the big bank fees!

11 11 2011

When banks announced that they were going to start charging people to access their money, the response was anything but favorable. It seems as if banks didn’t realize that if people have been accessing their money for free for years and then you start charging them, they are going to be a little pissed. Not to mention the whole occupy wallstreet thing that alone should be a hint to the financial institutions that maybe people don’t agree with your business practices. I don’t fault the banks for wanting to collect more money since the legislation was put into place to cap the amount they could charge per swipe. Those who think that banks are just going to write off billions of dollars a year in income do not know America’s financial system very well.  Luckily no one is forcing you to use your current bank so shop around and try and find one that better suites your needs.

Credit Unions, typically offer cheaper rates and services for clients and may be a good route to go.

No banks are giving out stellar rates on any saving accounts so shop for a bank that has good checking rewards, these will likely add up to more than a tradition savings account would earn.





Consolidation is key

10 11 2011

Don’t be a brand that has seven or eight Twitter handles for each division of your company. In order to effectively manage that much social conversation you would need quite a few members of the team.  The last thing you want as a company is to have feeds that get no attention and have no content. This makes a company look really bad. It’s as if they don’t care and if a consumer does not get immediate attention then they are unlikely to use that medium of communication again.
Use just a couple of handles for your company and show that you want to have the conversation with customers. If customers know that the will get attention than they will keep using social media as a means of communication. It’s better for the business to wow its customers on the social sphere so consolidate and use your few handles effectively.





Community Outreach

5 11 2011

Looking good in the public eye is something that all businesses should strive for. Those businesses that are out volunteering and participating in community events are not only getting good press, but it is also a great way for coworkers to bond and live company values. Plus you never know what potential clients or potential employees you may meet in the process. Companies should encourage and provide incentives for employees to get involved in the community and it is so easy to get involved.

Have United Blood services bring thier truck to your business and have employees donate.

Start a company softball team and sponsor a charity to go along with it.

Allow employees to have paid time off to go volunteer at a local food shelter or other community event.

Get you business involved with the local college, its a great way to scout potential employees and market your brand.

Partner up with a local charity and do fundraisers at events within the community.

It is important that as a business you foster a culture of people who care and give back to the community and the business will be more successful as a result.





Social Customer Serivice

4 11 2011

Social media is not going away, it continues to get bigger and more useful. As a business you need to be on social media and integrate it in with all of you other online channels.  In addition to using social media to create conversation and expand your brand, it should be used to better the customer experience. Customers who are used to getting customer service over the phone, are used to waiting on hold for a while and being transferred a bunch of times, but what f your company avoided that whole mess. By using social media to delight customers, customers can get an individualized customer service experience that will lead to great retention. If a customer reaches out for support via the social web, you can have them message you all the information up front, so if they need a call back, the right department can do so. This cuts down on hold time and transfer and will lead to an overall great customer experience. Any company can have success using social media it just takes time and diligence. Here are a couple tips on how ensure success.

Be personal; always have a face to go along with what someone is saying. It is great to have your company brand also, but customers tend to like having a personal feel to it.

Diversify the people who are allowed to use your brand, if part of your brand is customer support, then the customer service people should team up with the social media team for better results.

Be sure to encourage employees to engage in social media and share their passions for the industry with the customers.

Some other great tips can be found on the Mashable Blog and they explain





Maximize your online presence

3 11 2011

Having a great website is crucial in this day and age. But just having a great website that customers can go view is not enough. Websites also need to serve as a place to purchase your goods or services. Not enough websites are accepting credit card payments for items and this is such a great way to increase sales and business ease. There was a study done by Intuit at http://blog.intuit.com/trends/the-expanding-small-business-web-infographic/ and the info graphic that follows was created by Intuit as well. Be sure that as a small business you utilize the tools that you have available!





Adapt to changing times

29 10 2011

Adapting to changing environmental can be one of the hardest things to do. Employees do not like to change anything about what they do because it is what they are used to and comfortable with. It is also hard to find a way to motivate employees to change processes if it adds any more work to their already stressful job. As a company though, if one is not changing then they are dying. As a company if you are not utilizing social media to increase customer service or client retention than something is very wrong. Here are some tips to motivate employees to change with the times and be on board with any new policies.

1. Be collaborative with all levels of employees so that they truly believe in what is trying to be accomplished.

2. Establish goals that align with the company’s current values

3. Provide intrensic incentives for employees by providing excellent growth opportunities and more pay for more work

4. Do not overwork employees with new objectives and be sure that they have the tools necessary to complete the proposed changes





Protect your Assets

28 10 2011

Protecting a company’s assets is one of the most integral parts of doing business and if done improperly one can lose valuable information or valuable employees. Assets can be anything; data, monetary items, and most importantly people! A company’s most valuable asset is the people and they need to be protected mentally, physically and emotionally. The physical part is easy, a business needs to provide a safe environment for employees so that they can feel comfortable when showing up to work everyday. If they feel comfortable at work than they are going to be more likely to perform at their best. Some simple steps is a building in a nice area with good parking and security. These simple things can put an employee at ease if they are leaving late at night or arriving really early at work where it may be dark. Managers should be in constant touch with there employees so that they know how they are doing mentally. Stress can be overwhelming for some people and if it is not dealt with than you could lose good employees. Some simple steps to track how employees are doing.

  • Meet with employees on a regular basis to see how they are doing
  • Allow employees to provide feedback to managers and the organization
  • Be sure to address any issues that an employee is having, more than likely another employee is having the same issue
  • Always remember that employees that are happy, make customers happy!