Improve Small Business Profit with Corporate Social Responsibility

Improve profit with corporate social responsibility

Many small business owners once dismissed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a public relations stunt used by large corporations to look good in front of customers and governments. However, over last few years an increasing number of small businesses have started implementing CSR policies.

Why? The simple reason is because CSR can help to improve profits no matter what size of business you are running.

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Do not Undersell – How to Set Prices for Maximum Profit

How to Price for Maximum Profit
The goal of pricing a product or service for any small business owner is to charge the maximum amount that customer is willing to pay and maximize profit. If you charge lower than what customer is willing to pay you leave money on the table. If you charge higher customer will walk out the door and you will lose profit.

To some it may seem like Black Magic, but pricing is combination of art and science. Big corporations, such as Wal-Mart, do lot of research and number crunching to figure out to the pennies exactly how much they should charge so that they get the maximum profit. This is the science side of pricing. No matter how much number crunching and data analysis you do human behavior and psychology plays a big role in customers determining whether a given price is a good deal or not. This is where art comes into play. There are number of ways in which business owners can convey the message about good deal (aka pricing) and take advantage of how customers react to that message.
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How to Improve Sales 5X by Focusing on Customer Needs


In the previous post we discussed how you can find the “right” customers for your business. By segmenting your customers based on their needs you can not only identify the customers that best fit the value your business provides, but also it provides you the action plan to target those customers. This is one, and most important, reason why we prefer to segment and target customer based on their needs. Once you have identified the “right” customer base you don’t need to spend extra effort to attract them to your business.
So, how do you go about finding the customer needs? While there are several approaches you can take to find out what customers are looking for, you can start with a set of attributes that are universally valued by various customer segments. These attributes give you a good starting point towards the path of finding right customer base.
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Is Groupon and other Daily Deals Good for your Business?


Daily deals have proliferated in the last year like dandelions during spring time. I am receiving at least 4-5 deals from one well-known daily deal company alone. Are you feeling left out because you still have not run any daily deal yet? While many businesses and consumers have taken advantage of this latest marketing tactic, I don’t think you need to feel sorry if you have not jumped on this bandwagon. This is because for every business that has seen great success with daily deals, there is another one who can share horror story from his experience. Just look at the experience of one particular business.
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What you do NOT do is more Important than what you do DO


The most difficult decisions you will ever make are the ones where you decide NOT to go ahead. We live in a world full of constraints – there are only 24 hours in a day, the bank is only willing to give you 50% of requested loan, you can only hire 5 employees. The list goes on and on. Given that there is only so much you can do with the limited amount of resources it is imperative that you pick your battles wisely. Decide to fight all the battles and soon you will run out of ammunition.
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A Systematic Approach to Cost Reduction for Small Business Owners


A penny saved is a penny earned. This age-old saying is relevant to small business owners now more than ever. The great recession of 2008 has squeezed consumers and businesses alike and continues to do so. They are reluctant to spend their hard-earned money on anything but basic necessity. This has made direct impact on the revenue, particularly for small businesses.
Given that there is less money coming in, the obvious step small business owners need to take is to watch the money outlay. Only those who can reduce their expenses to a sustainable level will be able to survive the ongoing economic challenges.
Now, it may be tempting to take a machete and start cutting your expenses; however instead of going about this willy-nilly you should try to use surgical knife and make systematic cuts that will keep your foundation intact and help you take advantage of the upturn when it happens. We have come up with a systematic approach to looking at your expenses that will help you find “low hanging fruits” for expense reduction without impacting your operations and customer service. You should study and deploy these steps in the order described to minimize the damage, while still achieving your expense reduction targets.
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Why Embracing KISS Principle Leads to Happiness


KISS -Keep It Simple Stupid.
Many small business owners like to take the road less simple. If a task takes 2 steps to finish they will manage to stretch it to 10 steps. They are wired to think complex. We have pondered on the question for some time – when you are running a small business should you opt for a simple operation or a complex one?
You can see the examples of simple and complex operations in franchises as well. On one hand you have a pizza franchise such as Little Caesar’s – home of $5 Pepperoni Pizza with no delivery. On other side there is Pizza Hut with large number menu items and toppings and it not only has carry out; but also delivery and dine-in. Which one is easier operation to run?
There are number of reasons why you should try to keep things as simple as possible.
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Improve your Sales with Up Selling


“Would you like fries with that?” – We have all heard this while ordering burger at a fast food place. How many times have you answered it with – “sure”? Well, this is the power of up selling. In its simplest form, it is just a matter of asking customers if they want to add more items to their order. In a more subtle form, it could be something like placing a complementary item to the one that you intend to purchase in a grocery store and enticing you to buy it.
If you are not taking advantage of up selling and cross selling opportunity in your business you are probably losing 20-30% of potential sales. Some companies have really mastered the techniques of up selling by making customers buy additional items at a high price. For example, Ford has increased the average selling price of its cars by making customers want and pay for the extra options in their basic cars. When Apple introduced its next generation of iPad on March 3 it also showed a screen cover that will be sold for $39 for basic model and $69 for leather version. Can you imagine what their profit margin is on these items?
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Demonstrate Confidence in Negotiations to Get an Edge


Post from Guest Contributor Chris Blanton, editor of Ingenious Business Guide.
Many business owners leave money on the table by reacting to pricing pressure by haggling or discounting.
Seasoned deal makers assert in a negotiation that the first person to name a figure loses. Information has value, and the one who possesses more of it is better positioned to come out ahead in a transaction. When one party is ignorant of their opponent’s expectations, the best strategy is to get the other party to name a starting price.
When, as in retail sales, the seller publishes the price, buyers are forearmed with the seller’s expectation but the seller is not similarly equipped with the buyers’. Thus a seller who exhibits price flexibility puts herself at a disadvantage because she better arms her buyer.
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How to make more money while giving customer discount


Post from Guest Contributor Chris Blanton, editor of Ingenious Business Guide.
Here is the situation. A loyal customer walks into your business and gets whatever he wants. While paying the bill he asks for a discount. So what do you do? Do you: 1) give in and feel uncomfortable; or 2) refuse and risk losing a client.
The other day I was at the service station D & S Auto in Santa Paula, California where I took my car in for an oil change. When Denny, the owner accepted my payment I inquired “Are you running any specials?” He admitted he wasn’t. So I pushed him: “Can I get a discount?” He looked down at the floor, obviously uncomfortable, and then caved agreeing to knock $5 or 8% off the normally $40 job.
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