How can you Send Consistent Message to your Customers

In earlier post we showed how sending inconsistent messages to customers through your actions can harm small business owners greatly. Many small business owners don’t pay attention to how customers perceive their business as a result of actions they take and end up confusing the customer who keeps wondering what your business stands really stands for. Is it low price vendor like Wal-Mart or high quality, easy-to-user products like Apple?
To provide consistent message to your customers all departments within your business have to work in harmony like well-oiled machine. The departments you have to pay particular attention to are customer service and marketing. The list below gives specific actions you can take to achieve this:
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Smart Cash Flow Strategies for Small Business Owners

Cash flow management is one of the most important tasks small business owners need to pay attention to. If you are not paying attention to how your business generates and spends cash you may end up in real trouble, real fast. Cash flow management touches many parts of business, including inventory management, accounts payable, accounts receivable and so on. Below we provide you with insights that will help manage your cash flow better.
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Are you sending consistent messages to your customers?

Sending inconsistent signals to customers through your actions can harm your business greatly. After your customers do business with you for some time they expect to receive certain “treatment” from your business. They will probably forgive you for a slip-up once or twice, but they will not accept it beyond that. Three strikes and you will be out!!! So what do we mean by sending inconsistent messages to the customers? Let me give you an example:
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Not All Customers are Equal – Which ones are Right for your Business?

As mentioned in the earlier post it is crucial to pay attention to the types of customers your business wants to attract. Most small business owners do not pay sufficient attention to this subject and end up leaving money on the table or not making money at all, as a result. That is why it is important to not try to sell everything to everyone and instead think about what types of customers are the right fit for your business.
But how do you go about finding the “right” customers? We think this should be a two-step process. First you should think introspectively about your business and then identify what types of customers will be attracted by the value offered by your business. We explained these steps in detail below.
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Tips for Setting Up Merchant Account to Accept Credit Cards

This blog post is written by Shannon Martin.
Most small businesses are overpaying for credit card processing. In our conversations with number of small business owners we have not come across a single owner who does not hate credit card processing companies for the exorbitant amount of money they charge. That is why it is important to do your homework before you sign up with the merchant processing company. In this post we provide useful tips you should keep in mind when talking to credit card service providers.
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Not All Customers are Created Equal

Most small business owners do not give much thought to what types of customers they serve. They are happy to sell to anyone and everyone who walks into their business. This can be a mistake, and it can lead to either leaving money on the table or, even worse, not making money at all. When you take a careful look at your customers you are likely to find that some customers bring significant profit to your business, while others may not bring as much or even make you lose money on them. Why would you want to keep those later type of customers or at least treat both of them equally?
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How can you Beat the Larger Rivals at their Own Game

In the previous post we mentioned that it is possible to beat your larger competitors and own a successful small business. Many small business owners are scared of their large competitors because of their wrongful perception that large companies can use their size and vast resources to drive smaller rivals out of business.
We described why this is not true in the last post. Here we will take it one step further and show how you can beat those larger rivals.
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Yes, You can Beat the Larger Rivals at their Own Game

Many small business owners are scared of competing against their larger rivals. After all, large competitors have all the resources at their disposal to put you out of business, right? It is a battle of David versus Goliath! What chance does David stand against the Goliath?
While it is true that Wal-Mart has put number of mom-and-pop shops out of business in the last 10 years, there is hope for small business owners. In fact, we believe you can beat them at their own game and become a very successful small business owner. You probably are thinking we are nuts and don’t know what we are talking about, but allow us to explain.
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4-Step Approach to Deal with Difficult Employees

Every business owner encounters difficult employees – commonly referred to as jerks – in the course of running his business. These difficult employees are easy to spot in an organization. They complain about any task you give them, spread around rumors, slack on their jobs and bully their peers and subordinates. In general, they drain lot of energy from everyone, particularly the managers and business owners.
How you deal with them can help you minimize the impact on you and your business. As a business owner, avoiding them is not an option for you, as much as you would like. This will only delay the problem for later and make it even more challenging to address. Rather than avoiding them it is better to nip the problem in the bud and address the situation head on. From our own experience and after talking to fellow business owners we have come up with a 4-step approach that can help you deal with this problem in an appropriate manner.
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When is a Good Time to Increase Your Payroll?

This blog post was created by Bert Deorhoff, CPA, who specializes in small business bookkeeping in Jefferson City.
If you are running a small business, then you are making a lot of big decisions daily. As your business grows, you will need to start thinking about increasing your payroll and hiring new employees.
The first thing you need to do is start planning. You will have to do quite a bit of number crunching in terms of how another employee will affect monthly, quarterly and yearly expenses.
Ask yourself, “Do I have enough work to justify hiring another person? Am I meeting the needs of my customers?”
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