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30 Do’s And 20 Don’ts In Starting A Small Business

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

6.5 Hard Truths On How To Provide World-Class Customer Service

The urge to deliver world-class customer service is the differentiating factor between you and your competitor. Your customer service representatives hold the ultimate power to attract or push away your customers. Good customer service leads to satisfied customers. In turn, this provides a snowball effect as your client base grows the more satisfied customers you have. A good customer experience will translate into a better reputation for your business.

Below are the hard truths about customer service that should never be neglected.
1. Customer service impacts customer trust
The only reason you still have a business to put your name on is that people are willing to pay for it. The day your customers stop paying for your service is your last day as a successful business. If you, as a customer representative, fail to earn the trust and respect of your customer, he won't be coming back. It's really that simple!

2. Bad experiences may be forgiven but not forgotten
According to a research study conducted by the Dimensional Research Centre, 39% of the people who have had bad customer experiences are more likely to wait two or three years before doing business with you again. This means that even when companies make up for the wrong they did, chances are it will still not be forgotten and will impact future buying decisions.

3. Customers won't come back if you fail to satisfy
It's not up to you to decide whether your business will prosper or not. It's in the hands of the customer. If your customers aren't satisfied with your offerings, they will switch to alternatives the first chance they get. The most loyal customers at times turn disloyal - often as a result of poor customer service. Fail once and you may never be able to recover fully.

4. The power of social media can't be ignored
Social media and customer service are a match made in heaven. Another hard truth that can't be ignored is not monitoring what others have to say about you on social platforms. It has become imperative for companies to respond to both the good and the bad to engage with their customers on a one-on-one level.

5. Customers don't like to explain things repeatedly
One of the most important facts that simply can't be overlooked is that customers hate it when they are repeatedly asked to explain their issues to multiple people over the phone. If the ultimate goal is to offer world-class services, companies must approach the trifecta: a trained employee, a satisfied customer, and more sales.

6. Bad experiences will branch out more quickly
Bad customer experiences can destroy a company's reputation. In addition, a bad review is trusted and looked at more often than a positive one. In today's technologically driven world, people are more likely to believe in a stranger's words than a business's word.

6.5 The secret to offering world class customer services
Companies who wish to provide world-class customer experiences have to stay focused, vigilant, knowledgeable, responsive, honest, and cooperative. As long as you continue to "be there" to pick up the phone and facilitate your customer with what they want, you will continue to prosper.

By Michael Donell Brown

Business Not Growing? Employees not delivering world-class results? Need more Profit?  Solution: 52 Customer Service Tips @ http://www.52CustomerServiceTips.com

The Solopreneur’s #1 Lifeline To Business Success


Passionate about a niche? Know a lot about it (or willing to learn)? Congratulations — that takes you a looooong way to building a successful online business!

It does not take you all the way there, though!
The next thing to get right?
You may love one particular aspect of your niche. You may even believe it’s what your audience most needs. Slow down…  
You are not the boss of your visitors and customers. You’re there to serve. And who serves what they like? No one, not if they want to be loved!
What you think customers need is probably what YOU like. It isn’t necessarily what they actually need.

A Real-World Example

Meet successful SBI! owner Suzanne Vennard of DanceClass.com

Suzanne was crazy about ballet, long before she built her successful dance website. She often took her ballet bag to work so she could rush off to class in the evening.
People inevitably asked, “What’s in the bag?” When Suzanne told them, she learned three things…
    1. They were not only curious…
    2. Their attention showed her that they wanted to learn to dance themselves.
    3. They were afraid of dance classes!

Suzanne could have taken the topic she knew and loved (dance) and “positioned” it in any number of ways that she “felt” were right. Many of those would be wrong. She knew the right way because she had talked to her prospective audience.
Getting these type of decisions correct, before you even name your domain, is critical. As a result, DanceClass.com’s traffic has been growingexceeding 99+% of solopreneurs.
Don’t Be Lucky – Be Smart!
It is amazing how many startup online businesses depend on “gut feel” or  “intuition.” It starts with data from sold keyword research. That reveals the content opportunities and that demand vs. competition is a “just-right” niche. Enough demand, but not too much competition!
Talking to your prospective reader/follower/customer tells you even more ifyou ask the right questions, and if you listen!  Don’t hear what you want to hear. Listen!
By focusing on a specific group (Suzanne’s work colleagues who didn’t dance but wanted to) and discovering what was really holding them back (lack of confidence), she could build a website that she knew people needed… rather than guessing and trusting to luck.
Have a big decision to make? What kind of business to build? What kind of product to develop?…

Ask Your Audience First!

Suzanne was lucky – she had easy access to a real-world audience for her market research. But you can do this online, too…
Hang out on social media. Join a niche forum, a Facebook group. Tell them you are thinking of starting up an online business and the ask what you need to know.  Simple!
More techniques…
  1. Read customer reviews on Amazon. Terrific needs will emerge, no need to ask.
  2. Already have a business, but are struggling? Ask your subscribers (if you have an email list) and/or social followers.
  3. Taking it offline can be the most useful way to get to the bottom line.  It takes a bit more courage to visit tourists who are visiting your destination site, but you’ll get sheer info-gold back…
Talk to people face to face. Do not put words into their mouths. Ask and then listen…
Prepare to be surprised! It’s like Suzanne said…
“Go in the direction that the research tells you. It’s often not the one you think.”

Bottom Line Takeaway?

This incredibly simple piece of advice is practiced by few, yet can make or break the success of an online business. This is also a growth hack technique, one of several new steps built into the Solo Build It! Action Guide.
Remember…
No matter how clever you believe your gut to be, the collective wisdom of your audience is your #1 Lifeline to Success.

Written By: Ken Evoy (CEO, SiteSell) 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

How To Create An Amazing New Customer Experience

You know what the most important thing about a new sale is? What happens AFTER the sale.

Whether you sell flowers, watches, subscription boxes, coaching, healing services, or anything else in between, you need a strong onboarding process and new customer nurture campaign.

Why?

Well, because it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. Here's another statistic **: the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.

What that means is that loyal customers are more likely to buy again and again, and it's cheaper to sell to them than to try to sell to a brand-new person.

The best way to make a customer a loyal one is to start out strong from the get-go with a clear onboarding process and a delightful customer journey.

Let's start first with how to onboard new clients. This might be a welcome letter, a welcome phone call, a welcome packet, a series of emails... it could be a lot of things. Here are some questions to think through to help you create a strong onboarding process.



What experience do you want your new customers to have?

How do you want them to feel?

What do you want them to be able to do?

What are the logical next steps?

How much of that experience can be automated?

How can they get more support if needed?

What do they think they need?


To see what all the pieces you should address, what are all the things they get?

Each piece can be a touch, which allows you to show how invested you are in them and offer extreme customer care.

But it doesn't just end with welcoming them onboard. What can you put in place so that your customers feel well taken care of? What can you do so that people come back to you and your company again and again for what they need?

One of those ways is a nurture campaign. In the onboarding process, you've told your new customer what to expect and some of her next steps, but now let's support her at a high level and make her happy and successful.

Things to think about when creating a nurture campaign:



You want to keep the excitement of the purchase going

How can you ensure the success of the new customer in your program or with her purchase?

----Case studies

----Social proof

----Opportunities

Basically, you want customers to use the service or product. How can you make that easy?

Make them want more!

The most important take-away for you is to design an amazing customer care experience for your new customer... think about what you want your new customer to experience and feel, and then put those pieces into place.

**(Source: http://www.invespcro.com/blog/customer-acquisition-retention/ )

Want to see how systems can actually give you freedom, get you more clients, and grow a business that knocks your socks off? Of course, you do! Download your free Business Tree of Life and Sacred Systems Guide at [http://www.SmartBusinessFromYourSoul.com]http://www.SmartBusinessFromYourSoul.com.

By Dawn Shuler

A Surprising Discovery About Work-Life Balance


On any given day, ask just about anyone the question “how’s it going?” and the response is likely to be…
Oh… life has been very calmI’m feeling so peacefulIt’s been kind of quiet.
NOT!!
More often we hear…
Crazy busy!Don’t know where the time is going!Great to see you! Gotta run! I’m late!
Most of us live our lives at break-neck speed, always “on,” rushing from one place to the next, working, taking care of family, and all the myriad activities and tasks that tend to be greater in number than hours in a given day. Whew! Even that run-on sentence is exhausting. 😉
It’s no wonder the topic of “work-life balance” is so popular. But why do so many of us think in terms of “balance”?

Work-Life Balance Is a Myth

Wikipedia defines work-life balance as “a concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation).”
Question is… who decides what “proper prioritizing” is? What you prioritize might not be what your spouse / parent / son / daughter / brother / sister / friend / employer would prioritize for you.
The thing is… work-life balance doesn’t really exist.
It’s a myth. A fantasy. There’s nothing to “balance” because life is… life. Life is all of whatever makes up your existence. “Balance” implies that your work and your life(style) are separate. It creates sort of an opposing expectation, doesn’t it? But work is a part of life, and life includes working.
So instead of talking about a nearly-impossible-to-achieve concept…
Let’s. Get. Real.

The Solopreneur Life

When you live your life, which includes work, there’s no balance. Even if you work at home and are present and available to those who may need you at any given time, things are never going to be balanced.
Whatever you’re doing in any given moment means you’re not doing something else in that same moment. And when you’re passionate about your work, like most solopreneurs are, the rest of your life may become “out of balance” at times.
Even with the occasional imbalance, when you love your work and are passionate about what you’re doing every day, you’ll feel a wonderful sense of satisfaction. Why? Because part of what you would choose to do in your “off time” is the same as what you’re doing when you work.
You plan, think, strategize, imagine, daydream, solve problems in your head. And you love it. Your passion for your business begins to weave into and become part of your life.
Solopreneurs think about their business not in terms of a constant need to give their business their all every single day, but as having the ability to temporarily pause or pivot as life directs. It’s understood that there will be ups and downs due to the sheer nature of life. Some days will call for attending more fully to family, others for attending more to business.
Of course this freedom could become a slippery slope when you’re trying to build and grow a business. Discipline, dedication and making enough time to have an impact on your business must be factored in when you make those family-centric decisions.
One way to make sure you’re moving toward your life goals is to ask yourself “will the choice I’m about to make be best for my business and family in the long run?”
The solopreneurial path is one that calls for constantly reassessing what is the best decision you can make right now for long-term success. Solopreneurs have more options about when to work, what to work on, how long and how hard.
There’s real, intrinsic value when you’re able to design a business to accommodate your life, and not the other way around.
You create a business that works within your life. If you have a family situation that requires more of your time, being able to work from home (or just about anywhere) provides flexibility and control.
Your business can “work around” the hours your children are in school or sleeping. It can work around time spent helping an aging parent, a sibling with health issues or a friend who just broke a leg. Whatever is going on that’s not related to your business can potentially be attended to all while you continue to grow your business.
According to the Women’s Business Center, 61 percent of women business owners use technology to integrate the responsibilities of work and home. The use of technology to manage all responsibilities is potentially even higher than 61% for solopreneurs. Think desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smart phones, video monitors, synced calendars and so on.

The 9-5 Life

Conversely, others believe a 9-5 job gives their life “balance.”
Note: for the purposes of this article, “9-5” means working full-time for someone else.  For many, this is a soul-sucking exchange of dollars for hours, 8 hours per day of wanting to be somewhere else.  For the lucky few who love their jobs, it is another form of the best kind of  balance.  
For most, there’s “the work day” and then there’s “the rest of their life.” That’s great, provided there’s that deep level of (job) satisfaction. And also provided the 9-5 is not actually 9-6, -7, -8 or later.
If you find yourself working long hours (especially if you don’t like it) for someone else, eventually things will begin to feel less balanced. Something will suffer. You’ll need to figure out how to combine job success and satisfaction with your desired level of commitment to family and other obligations. Easier said than done, right?
The reality is, some things are sacrificed whether you’re building your own business or working a traditional job. Solopreneurs integrate work and everyday life. 9-5ers are away during the day (or night if working night shift) and are more available to family and friends after work. But options for taking time off are typically very limited when outside needs arise during 9-5.

Work-Life Integration

Did you notice the word “integrate” in the last paragraph? Doesn’t that sound more achievable than “balance”?
Integration. Or fusion, merging, blending — use whatever term makes the most sense to you. The point is, for solopreneurs, work and life become integrated. Work is eventually woven into every area of your life. There’s no work vs. life. There’s simply “life,” in which the people you love and the work you do blend together.
The more all parts of our lives merge, where work and home are no longer separated by some imaginary wall, the quest for an unreachable balancing act dissipates.
If you’re currently in a “9-5” job, integrating work and life might not even appeal to you (at least at first). Why? Because as many folks think, at the end of the day, work can be shut off and the rest of your life can be enjoyed until the next shift.
Or it may not seem possible to do anything other than the 9-5. It’s all you know, what you’ve always done. What your parents did.
But what about the time spent commuting, being gone all day from little ones, putting in extra hours, wage freezes, downsizing threats and all that comes with “working for the boss”? Is that really what you want? Until retirement?
Are the job choices and resulting sacrifices you’re making today moving you towards a goal or vision for your future? Sometimes, you have to walk away from “what you’ve always done” in order to achieve goals in other areas of your life. We’ve all heard common regrets from folks who stayed in a job they disliked for many years…
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life I designed, not the life others expected of me.
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard for someone else’s gain.
If your work is just a “job,” eventually it will “feel” like it’s pulling you away from someone or something important. If you work at a job that you care deeply about, however, then the 9-5 life may be perfectly suitable for you.

Is Solopreneurism Right for You?

Frequent evaluation of priorities, goals, family needs, personal health and all the rest of the areas that make up one’s life will help identify whether the solopreneur journey is right for you. After all, isn’t this about making choices that are the best for the time and circumstances of your life? And living in a way that makes you feel happy and fulfilled?
As a solopreneur, you can approach each day with excitement and enthusiasm, having the option to work long hours as you launch a new product, or tend to a child home from school for the day. You’ll find more satisfaction in whatever you’re doing at the moment — weaving work and life together like a beautiful hand-stitched quilt. Each choice you make brings you closer to the life you want.
We need to go for a work/life merge, where we’re honoring both worlds without feeling burdened by either.”Kara Baskin, The Six Work/Life Balance Habits Of Resilient People

Changing Paradigms Even in BigCos

Even BigCos are taking a hard look at the way employees are required to work, especially those who care about the health and well-being of their workforce (yes, there are some).
Most 9-5 workers today feel overwhelmed, like they’re just trying to survive (rather than thrive), struggling to manage the boundaries between work and the rest of their lives.
One of the upsides of the technological advances we touched on earlier is being able to connect anywhere, any time. Because of this, telecommuting is on the rise. Sure, not all jobs lend themselves to working at home some of the time but for those that do, businesses are looking at it, testing it, or already allowing it.
Productivity reports about telecommuters are encouraging. Workers report less stress, getting more work done, improved family relationships, and gaining a new perspective that helps them become better workers. The jury is still out when it comes to conclusions on effectiveness but the point is…
The culture of work/business has evolved into a new paradigm — which supports a different human paradigm.Meghan M. Biro,5 Reasons To Kill The Work-Life Balance Myth

So What’s Your Ideal Lifestyle?

The possibility of becoming a solopreneur essentially revolves around your goals and life circumstances. And the beauty of being alive today is that this route is more possible than ever. It can be a truly wonderful way to…
1) own your life
2) earn enough, and
3) be happy
We all have a thermostat that’s set to an ideal lifestyle, and we all know that includes working. The solopreneurial path gives the best chance for achieving maximum flexibility, independence, control and freedom. Is it for you? Only you can answer that!

Wrapup

So you might be wondering how to improve on this irresistible quest to achieve the near-impossible. Bottom line is, you can’t. BUT, you can maximize efficiency in the way you work. And that efficiency means time saved that can be used to better monetize and grow your business.
The solution? Solo Build It!.
Solo Build It! (aka “SBI!”) is the only all-in-1 package of step-by-step process, software tools, comprehensive guidance, 24/7 support and “auto-updating” that enables solopreneurs to build profitable online businesses.
In short, auto-updating delivers 100% business-focused efficiency. SBI! saves you hundreds of hours per year, time that you put into your business!
Doing it right and staying focused are why SBIers succeed way more often than other solopreneurs.
The roads we regret are not the ones we try. Wondering what could have beenis what causes us to regret.  Wishing you the very best in the outcomes of your work, family and life decisions.

Written By: Ken Evoy (CEO, SiteSell) 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

How To Create Top-Notch Customer Service In 5 Easy Steps

We all know that it's true - if you increase the quality of your customer service, you can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. What many companies haven't figured out is exactly how to do that. You can't just pay lip service to the idea of improving your customer service. You have to take dedicated action to do it right.

1. It all starts with hiring.
When you hire, at all levels of your organization, you have to look beyond the required skills and find employees with the right personality to fit the culture you want to cultivate. Bottom line, does the potential employee and your company mesh? Is there a similar philosophy that you all share about how work needs to get done and how you should communicate with a superior? Look at Apple. They hire based on potential and enthusiasm, not necessarily on your track record. They simply hire based on the fit of philosophy.

2. Make customer service everyone's focus.
Everyone from the IT person to the frontline customer service representative should have the same focus. You don't have a business without customers. Providing friendly, timely service within and without your organization should be made a priority from the first day an employee walks through the door. It should be well understood from everyone involved, bottom line, the customer comes first.

3. Training happens every day.
At most companies, training takes place the first few days on the job. At companies with the highest rated customer service, training is ongoing. There is always room to learn and grow. Your employees can thrive on continuing education if you give them the opportunity. Another important aspect is asking and valuing your employees opinions on what can be tweaked or changed completely to improve the customer service experience. It helps to listen to them!

4. Your employees are your biggest asset - and they are people!
If you want your employees to give your customers great customer service, then you have to treat your employees like valuable human beings. Happy employees will lead to happy customers. Take some time to show your appreciation to your employees and you will create loyalty. The kind of loyalty that cannot simply be bought through a paycheck. The kind of loyalty that will make an employee turn down an outside offer from another company because they have bought in to their current situation.

5. Make it fun for everyone!
No one wants to dread going to work every day. When you foster a rewarding environment, your employees with reflect that in their interactions with each other and your customers.

By Jason Thomas

At [http://www.PristineScreens.com]http://www.PristineScreens.com, great customer service is our priority. We help small businesses increase their brand reach with customized sticky screen cleaners for trade show giveaways and customer gifts.

Get FREE Samples at our site or call 800-540-5971 to experience great customer service for yourself!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

How To Start Your Business, And Your Day, Off Right




Pour yourself a cup of coffee and find out what the beverage of choice for many early risers can teach us about starting a business.
People have been greeting their day with a cup of coffee for, oh, hundreds of years. Roasting and boiling of those delicious beans began in Arabia and by the 1600’s, had spread into new coffee houses throughout Europe.
In America, coffee consumption began in earnest, not surprisingly, when the British cut off tea imports during the War of 1812. It has since exploded to the rate of 1.6 billion cups consumed a day!
Notwithstanding British sailors who thought to use stale bread and water to substitute for coffee, the last century and a half has firmly entrenched coffee as the preferred beverage for many early risers.
And everyday solopreneurs as well.
Armed with a Starbucks caffè latte and available WiFi, new businesses and ideas are being launched every 1.6 minutes, it seems.
Of course, today’s challenge is not so much whether or not you have a cup o’ joe, as it is what kind of coffee you drink. Drip or French Press? Steamed Milk or Foam? The choices are varied and interesting.

Tap to Expand

Similarly, if you’re thinking about starting an online business, choices abound. 
What kind of business do I start?
Should I blog?
What kind of website do I need?
Where will I host it?
How will I grow my business?
Where can I learn about building an online business?
Do we need one office coffeemaker, or a Keurig for every desk?
Google any of those questions and the results will pour in, overwhelmingly so, like a barista gone mad with the cappuccino machine’s milk steamer.
Yet, there are certainly many ways the smart solopreneur can proceed.

Focus On What’s Important

First, like the businessman on his way to work, concentrate on what’s most important. In his case, all he wants is a cup of coffee to get the caffeine flowing, and isn’t going to spend time frothing and foaming and fussing over something fancy.
When it comes to your online business, make sure that you’re prioritizing where you’re spending your time and what it is that you’re expending precious energy to learn or do. Is it important for you to learn the mechanics of building a website? Do you really need to type up invoices one at a time in Word? Or perhaps there are tools or processes you can adopt which will reduce some of that burden.

Invest In Quality Where It Counts

On the other hand, while it might be convenient to stir up some instant coffee, are you really enjoying it? Wouldn’t you rather spend just a little more time and money on good, quality coffee that you can enjoy? You can still keep the brewing process relatively quick and simple, while savoring each drop.
Most startups are bootstrapped and can’t afford to waste precious time and resources on unnecessary expenses. Every dollar counts, and the priority is on those investments that are going to help the business grow, like development or marketing. That $1000 course on “How To Write A Winning Business Plan” might seem like a good idea, but are there less expensive alternatives that are just as effective?

SiteSell Helps Businesses Get Started

The good news is that you’re already on the right path by reading this article. Whether you’re a long-time reader or first-time visitor, you’ll find this blog to be filled with articles and information that can help guide and direct you in your online business building activities.
What’s more, SiteSell offers a solution specifically designed to help you get started:
SiteSell SBI!
Solopreneurs and small businesses choose SBI! for its unmatched process, guidance, community, and a complete suite of tools that together, outperform any other website building solution, guaranteed.
SBI! is the business and site building solution. And you can build an online business that will work for less than $1 a day – everything included. Hosting, domain, all modules and unmatched business building knowledge that has solopreneurs raving…
I do not believe there’s a better set of tools on the web to get you started with a website / online business.Antoinette Sawyer
The community and support is worth its price alone.David Ralph
I chose SBI! because you learn step by step not only how to build a website but how to make a business out of it.Darlene Abarquez
That’s less than the price of a cup of coffee, and you’ve positioned yourself, and your business, to get the best possible start.
Dates and Image Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee

Written By: Mike Allton

One Simple Way To Improve Your Customer Experience By 100% Immediately

SHUT UP!

I know... it sounds harsh but it makes the point.

The key is to stop talking. It has become a "knee-jerk" reaction today to come up with excuses or reasons why you couldn't deliver an awesome customer experience. Employees are well armed today to do battle with any customer over why something didn't work the way they wanted. It's become the norm, not the exception to refute, excuse away, or simply deny the situation.

Go back in time... maybe 100 years and you would see the exact opposite of what we see today. The corner General Store would never allow an employee to treat a customer the way they are treated today. Customers were valuable and the owner of the store knew it so they did whatever they could within reason to make it right for the customer. They weren't armed with excuses... they were armed with solutions and friendliness.

The service was personal and it was designed to find an agreeable solution for the customer and have them leave feeling like the store cared about them. The customer was important to the general store owner. It wasn't until mass production that this world changed. When companies started to believe they could get could simply get more and more customers easily, the game hanged. Companies started to feel they could get more customers just by making a certain product or doing something a certain way. This was the point where the company took control and the customer became secondary. This became the basis of the Industrial Revolution... which we all know is long gone and dead today.

Fast forward to today and we are seeing a huge shift away from "product centric" and "commoditization" to trying to figure out a way to retain the valuable customers we have. Why? Because the customer is back in control and they have lots of choices they can make which can make or break a business quickly. We are back to the General Store mentality... the customer is actually right and has an opinion that needs to be heard.

Unfortunately, we are out of sync today. While the customer may be in control, companies and employees still haven't gotten the memo about this change. They are still treating customers as if the company is in control and the customer needs to do what they want them to do.

This is a path to extinction!

One of the keys to building "totally awesome customer experiences" is to teach employees how to listen, how to ask "helpful" questions, and to giving them a specific process to truly understand what is going on with the customer. For example, one of the first places to start is the "emotional" side of the conversation. When the customer has an issue, the first part an employee needs to address is the emotional side of their concern. This is showing empathy and demonstrating that you truly care how it is making them feel or how it is impacting them in some way. This isn't technical or understanding the problem with the product or service, it is helping understand where the customer is coming from emotionally.

I can almost guarantee you that if you are having issues with customers and they aren't having an awesome experience, this is one of the issues going on in your company. Giving employees a process and training in this area can make a dramatic improvement almost immediately after training.

Another key area is how they try to uncover the true issue that is going on at the time. This is where teaching your employees good listening and questioning skills is absolutely critical. If they are able to dissect the issue with care and great questions, the customer will feel like they truly want to help them get to a solution and will be extremely cooperative and forthcoming in offering helpful information. This moves the conversation from a "battle" to "collaborative"... which is a huge step.

For example, what if your employee simply asks, "What went wrong?" This will create a plethora of unfocused comments. But if the employee asks, "What specifically happened at the particular time the problem occurred?" This is now focusing the customer on a very specific question and a specific item where you can start to get deeper into what actually happened.

The bottom line is that your employees need to be trained to SHUT UP, listen, and then ask some "emotional" and "helpful" questions. This will reduce the emotion and allow you to come away with a solution (collaborating with the customer) that is a win-win for everyone. When this happens, the customer not only gets their problem solved but they now have even more respect and admiration for your organization going forward. This is what causes them to TELL OTHERS how awesome you are to deal with how helpful you are in solving problems.

If you just did this ONE THING in your company, you could dramatically improve your customers' experience. IT WORKS... and it can completely change the mindset of your employees to one where they feel they are truly helping their customers. And the morale of the company increases because the employees aren't thinking in terms of "doing battle" any longer but they are now thinking in terms of a "collaborative win-win" discussion. This will leave them happier and much more positive in the workplace.

Will you take on the challenge as a leader in your organization? Will you start investing in helping your employees have a much more successful and positive outcome with their customers? Will you arm them the processes and tools that allow them to design solutions rather than simply sending them in to do battle? These are the questions and commitments leadership needs to make if they want to become more CUSTOMER OBSESSED and improve their customer experience by at least 100%.

If you want to know more of how this can work in your company, shoot me a message and I would be happy to explain just how this works... all for the price of a cup of coffee. After all, I would love to see your company improve your customer's experience by 100%... wouldn't you?

If you found this helpful, please share it with your friends so they can also learn from the material. It not only means a lot to me but it helps other people see the story. And if this resonated with you, please visit my http://www.WOM10.com site and read more posts like this one.

We used to get excited about moving our companies from being GOOD to being GREAT... but today, being GREAT isn't good enough... it's a commodity. Today, if you aren't on a path to move your company from being GREAT to being REMARKABLE and MEMORABLE, you don't get talked about.

My PASSION and MISSION is to help INSPIRE, GUIDE, and HELP you move your company from being GREAT to being REMARKABLE... and create Word-of-Mouth on STEROIDS so you get talked about... a lot.

I have a model that helps get you to REMARKABLE. In the core of the model is creating unbelievably incredible amazing and awesome Customer Experiences... you can learn about it in my book, "Creating and Delivering Totally Awesome Customer Experiences." With this as a foundation, you are well on your way to being REMARKABLE.

I get to SPEAK about it, WRITE/BLOG about it, and HELP leaders understand it, aspire to it, and achieve it. There are four key components to help get you to being REMARKABLE... getting talked about in the market... and ultimately letting your CUSTOMERS DO YOUR MARKETING FOR YOU.

Are you ready to become REMARKABLE? Shoot me a message... we'll have an awesome conversation!

By Blaine Millet

How To Know If Starting An Online Business Is Right For You


So you want to start an online business but you’re not sure where to begin?
That’s not surprising. The internet is full of advice, some of it good, some not so good. How do you sort out the wheat from the chaff?
You’ll find lots of articles advising what to do. For example you may read somewhere that:
  • You should start by buying the latest high specification computer
  • You need  a state-of-the-art home office
  • You’ve got to write an “all-singing, all-dancing” business plan
  • All you need is to register a domain, install WordPress, and start publishing content
  • You should join a Mastermind group, network with others and then focus on joint ventures
  • …. and so on.
The list can seem endless, expensive, and overwhelming. Some advice might just raise alarm bells in your mind. You know how it goes, “that sounds too good to be true.”
In reality, there are questions you need to ask yourself before you do or buy anything. They are questions that many solopreneurs wish they’d asked themselves before starting their businesses.
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And you may be surprised to know that they’re not governed so much by the “how” of starting a business online, as they are by the “why.”
Here are eight of the most critical questions for you to consider before you start an online business.

1. What is your passion?

Real passion, that is, not just something you once thought you might be interested in but now you’re not so sure. Something that catches your imagination, excites you, makes you come alive when you think about it.
Running and managing an online business sounds (and is) exciting, but it’s also hard work, and can be quite isolating. It takes stamina, determination, and persistence. Having a business in a niche you’re passionate about is critical if you’re to sustain long-term commitment and see your business succeed.
So think about it.
  • What energizes you?
  • What invigorates you?
  • What would motivate you to carry on even when it’s difficult, or when you feel tired, or when you have the impression no-one cares about what you have to say?
Make sure your online business reflects your passion. Your fans, followers and customers will certainly latch on to your enthusiasm and reflect it straight back at you.
Don’t gloss over these questions. Take your time. Mull them over. Brainstorm yourself. And when you find your passion, hold onto it. Your creativity will flow, and your enthusiasm will help shape your influence in the online world.

2. Why are you different?

You may have decided where your passion lies, but there are likely to be many other websites and blogs covering the same subject.
Think about it. In time you’ll attract  people to your site who have dozens of choices for other websites to visit. Your website will be competing for attention in a string of browser windows. How do you ensure your site is the one that stays open and active?
You’ll need to answer that question quickly and surely, before your audience—your potential customers—have the chance to hit the back or close button.
This is nothing to do with coming up with the next big idea. Having your own “Eureka” moment means working out what it is about you and your brand that adds value to the world. So what will make your site stand out from the crowd?
The short answer is simple — it’s you!
You are individual, and your perspective within your niche will be authentic. You have a story to tell, knowledge to impart. Your unique voice on your subject is what will set you apart.
It will give you the confidence not to become intimidated by the success of others. You’ll be fearless in your wish to communicate what you know, and that fearlessness will be a key your success.
So think about it. What is your story?

3. Do you have the foresight to listen to what your customers want?

You have passion. You have thought about your story. Now, you can’t wait to tell the world.
But wait just one moment. How much do you know about your potential customers? What are their most pressing issues? What are they most interested in learning about?
Some businesses fail because they solve the wrong problems. Imagine trying to sell a new and improved pencil sharpener to a group of digital artists. Oops!
On a niche website about dogs, you may write the most knowledgeable content about how to present your prize dog for showing, but if your audience wants to know how to teach a puppy how to use a crate, it will not be of much interest.
On an e-commerce shopping site you may have the most stunning jewelry on offer, but if it’s out of the financial reach of your client base, you will not sell it.
You may be the most highly accomplished dentist in your area, but if you talk about teeth whitening when your clients need to know how quickly they can get an appointment to cure their toothache, they will go elsewhere.
You might find certain topics interesting, but unless you’re meeting the needs and desires of your audience, your website is unlikely to attract return visits, and the products/services it eventually sells will remain unnoticed and unsold.
How do you know which is the most important content to write? How do you persuade your site visitors that you’re a person to be trusted to answer questions that are critically important to them?
The answer to this question too lies within you. Your passion about your subject must be communicated in well written, easily understood articles based on your knowledge of the subject and your customers. No doubt you will know some of the questions that need to be answered—after all, you have personal experience of the problems.
But you also need to have the confidence to know that your site visitors are the best people to ask about what it is they need, what solutions they’re looking for, what would make their life easier, or more enjoyable, or safer.
How to find out? Be wherever your customers are. Use the same social media they use, visit the same forums. And, once you have your website and you start to build loyal visitors, build your email list and ask them!
You don’t have all the answers—but they may be able to help you to help them!.

4.  Do you want to build a business, or pursue a hobby?

The best websites begin with publishing  well written, accurate, high quality content. There’s no fee, no catches. You are building loyalty and making your mark as an expert in your niche. You’ll delight in seeing your website grow, and the numbers of people visiting it increase month by month.
But publishing free content is not in itself a business. It’s the foundation for a business, certainly, but, even with the addition of a passive income stream such as Adsense, it will never make you a regular income.
For many people, that’s not a problem. Their website is a hobby, created simply to give them, and their readers, pleasure. Its purpose is not to make money but to communicate their passion about a particular subject to the world.
Other people know from the start that building an online business is exactly that—a business. They may enjoy it, and they hope their readers will too, but their goal is to create a sustainable profit.
There’s another group that falls between these two: would-be website owners who don’t really know which they want to be. They start writing as a hobby and, after some time, want to change tactics and become e-commerce business owners.
Which can, of course, be done. A website full of quality content is a good launching pad for selling because it likely has  loyal and trusting followers.
The problem with this switch is that, if you give away content for free and without strings for any length of time, your visitors will become used to it. When they’re then asked to pay for the content you’ve decided you want to sell as a Kindle book, for example, it comes as a shock. And an audience who is shocked may not be inclined  to buy.
So consider this question carefully. Which do you want? Try to project into the future. Do you genuinely not care about making money, so that for you, a hobby website would be fine? Or do you recognize that you want to be financially rewarded for the time you’ll spend writing content, answering questions on social media and writing newsletters?

5. Are you prepared to take risks?

You have your passion, unique voice and knowledge in place. You know you want to make a profit. Now ask yourself how prepared you are to take risks. Not risks with money—you don’t need to outlay a large amount of money to start an online business—but risks related to your own self-belief.
Why? Because one of the greatest uncertainties you’ll face in business is whether anyone will like what you have to offer, whether free content or paid products.
Even if you decide you want to run a business for profit, it’s easy once you’re in a routine of creating content to carry on doing it without ever offering something for sale. You’ve created a comfort zone, and it can be difficult to move outside it. You’ve spent a lot of time building content and engaging with your readers, your readers appreciate your passion—and you don’t want to fail.
It’s a fatal trap. If you’re building a business, it’s an issue you need to address head on.
Your first Kindle book may not be the best one ever. Your carefully painted silk scarves may sit on the shelf gathering dust. Your first yoga class may not be very well attended. But the sooner you put something out there, the more you learn and the closer you come to creating a sustainable business.
How do you avoid the mistakes? First, remember that your site visitors are a mine of information about what they want and need (see #3 above).
Second, and very importantly, accept that you will make mistakes. No-one’s perfect. Don’t use any failure as a reason to stop moving forward. Use it as a way of learning what works and what doesn’t. Next time, your product will be more appropriate, your content more focused.

6.  How much time and energy can you invest?

Creating a website, if you’ve never done anything like it before, is a big undertaking. It involves a steep learning curve. There’s technology to be grappled with, hosting to be found, platforms to be understood.
Writing well researched, good quality content doesn’t happen overnight. It evolves over the weeks, months, and years of your website’s existence. It requires time and energy, and a big chunk of commitment.
Working from home is many people’s dream, and it can be your reality. But you need to ask yourself honestly how much time you have. Work out how best this can happen for you.
  • Do you have a family? Can they help with tasks around the home which would normally fall to you? Do you have a spare hour (or more) during the day which you’d normally spend watching T.V.?
  • Do you have a day job? Can you grab an extra hour by getting up earlier each day? Can you work on your business during your lunchtime? Are weekends available to you?
Do a self-audit. Take two or three typical days during one week, and log the time you spend doing different tasks. In particular, make a note of any time you have which is your own – even if it’s just an hour. You may be surprised by the opportunities you have.
Don’t be put off by what may look like a very short space. A successful website can be built from only an hour or two a week – it just takes longer.
But do be realistic about this. If your expectations are too high, it will be hard to sustain your passion and enjoyment.

7.  What support can you rely on?

Remember: if you’re a one-person business, you’re about to be both a business owner and a member of your own workforce, quite often working in isolation. It can be lonely at times.
Don’t expect that everyone you know will automatically be pleased with your decision to start an online business, or be as enthusiastic about it as you are.  They may not understand what you’re about to do, or they may understand and think it’s foolhardy. “How can you possibly think you’ll earn any money using your computer?” is a fairly common reaction among friends and family.
Family and friends are important, of course, and it’s crucial to have the conversation with them before you launch into the online world. How much do they understand of what you’re planning to do? How supportive are they of the fact that your time with them may become more limited than it has been previously? What practical household support can you expect?
Unfortunately, there will always be doubters. Your true close friends will always be there for you, but if you experience constant negativity, it may be time to change your support group. Their negative attitudes will undermine your confidence, wear down your optimism and make you doubt yourself. Starting any business is hard enough without having to deal with that.
Instead, find support from solopreneurs who are at a similar stage to you, and from others who have more experience and are further down the line. They will  understand the struggles and celebrate the achievements. You’ll no longer feel you’re crazy for wanting an online business, and you’ll know that they’ll be there to share the struggles and goals, and to give advice and feedback when it’s needed.
So, surround yourself with a like-minded group of people you can relate to and who offer positive reinforcement. Post on forums, join platforms like Linkedin or Twitter to make connections, identify groups in a similar niche on Facebook.
Find encouragement in places like the Solo Build It! (SBI!) community, who will share your ups and downs, provide you with genuine support, and cheer you on when you most need it. And remember, you’ll be able to offer them support and encouragement in return.

8.  Finally, how much belief do you have in yourself?

Make no mistake, there will be times when you think: “Maybe I don’t have what it takes, after all.” Someone may criticize your content; your product may not sell as well as you’d hoped; your family may complain that they never see you; your energy may wane.
At times like these, your mindset will be critical.
You need to know that not everything has to be perfect, first time round. Stop over-analyzing and procrastinating. Know you can rely on the support of others to help you through the difficult times. Most of all, have the confidence to keep moving forward.
If you’re sure of your passion, you know the unique voice you can present and what makes your site different, you have ambition and drive, and you can offer something to your audience that will make their life easier.
Roll up your sleeves. You’re ready to do some work.
We at SiteSell are here to support you in every step of your business building journey.

Written By: SiteSell Content Team