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Business

Customer communication protocols

People running businesses sometimes fail to understand how inter-personal skills and business etiquette can help or hinder the acquisition and retention of customers.

Why?

Dealing with some types of business problem is relatively easy. 

Obtaining capital injections can typically be achieved through people such as www.wongaforbusiness.com and it’s always possible to take business development advice from centres such as your local chamber of commerce or even the government’s own websites.

Yet business protocols are less frequently discussed – sometimes with potentially disastrous results. 

So, here are a few basic business courtesy tips that it might be advisable to adopt:

  1. stay polite but formal with customers unless you have worked with them for a long time.  That means avoiding immediately starting to use forenames. In fact, you should normally ask the customer if they mind you calling them by their forename before doing so; 
  2. be cautious with humour.  Unless you know the other party well, it is easy to offend or be entirely misunderstood; 
  3. switch your mobile phone off when you are dealing with a customer.  Nothing infuriates people more than when you keep checking your mobile and pushing buttons while they are trying to talk to you about business matters; 
  4. dress smartly.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is old-fashioned. Looking as if you have just come straight off of a demolition site when dealing with customers is hardly likely to fill them with confidence – even if you are trying to sell them demolition services; 
  5. respond promptly to email and phone messages. People typically understand you may not always be able to respond immediately but they will expect at least an acknowledgement of their communication within a sensible time period; 
  6. don’t horse around. You may think your antics are amusing but you may be perceived as being either juvenile or flippant – neither normally considered to be desirable characteristics by customers; 
  7. under no circumstances should you lie to your customers. Leaving aside the ethics of telling lies, human beings can frequently detect when someone is lying to them by their body language, voice patterns or logical inconsistencies / implausibility in the story being told. If something has gone wrong, tell the truth, apologise and put it right quickly – but don’t lie! 

Even in our typically modern and informal world, the above practices will normally be very well received.

Business

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Working For A Larger Corporation

Choosing a career path is not as easy as many may believe at first glance. It is very important that you consider all the advantages and disadvantages of all the options that are in front of you. Obviously, you will want to think about the large corporation. This is something that is usually associated with stability so you will take it into account. However, what is mentioned below may change your mind, although for some the Nordstrom careers or similar are the best.

Advantages to Consider

For starters, out of the many advantages we can mention, we should say that some of the smartest people in your industry will work for the larger corporations. This can give you access to a lot of knowledge and you are practically forced to end up thinking bigger. You will not be faced with many resource limitations and opportunities are many for growth. Various trivial problems appear every single day but there is a great possibility that you gain access to various employee perks.

People will actually respect you more when you work at a large corporations. It may not seem fair but this is the case. You will gain access to some of the best technologies and you will definitely learn about the products and services that are launched before others.

Disadvantages

Work and even life quality will vary a lot based on the team that you are currently a member of. If the team is really good, you will enjoy what you do but if you are not, you may end up feeling miserable. That will have an effect on your career and unfortunately, the impact that you actually make in a project will seem to be really small when you look at the magnitude of the project that you work on.

In most cases we are faced with an internal technical culture that is idiosyncratic. You most likely never worked with some tools that are used before and you will have to go through a learning curve. To make matters even worse, you will not be offered a lot of documentation and even if you do know about the launch of a product before others, hefty fines appear if you leak the information.

Conclusions

Consider the advantages and disadvantages that were mentioned above in order to make your choice simpler. For most people working in a large corporation is the best career choice but in various situations individuals want to focus on smaller companies. Ultimately, the choice is yours!

Business

3 Important Points for New Businesses Regarding International Money Transfer

When you are starting a new business and have suppliers and customers both at home and abroad, the odds are that you will need to make multiple international money transfers in short time frames. In fact, the odds are that as a new entrepreneur, you may have to order your supplies in bulk least you lose your local market due to a paucity of your products, even before you commence making inroads in the Australian market.

One of the most important things to do is to compare the various agents, agencies and financial institutions that specialise in such money transfers. In fact, this is why you should firstly research the leading global money transfer providers.

You should always rely on the mainstream: At least in the beginning

Of course there are many ‘ad hoc’ money transfer agents that rely on peer to peer networks to bypass the mainstream financial institutions to send money abroad. However, from a new business or an entrepreneurial start up point of view, it would make sound sense to stick to the tried and tested routes. The last thing you want is for your precious monetary resources to disappear in some sort of black hole, with irate suppliers refusing to extend you any credit, while you try and track your money or in any way figure out a way from this unfortunate impasse.

Don’t make banks your ‘default’ setting

Just because you are running a business, it is not necessary that you only opt for a well-known bank for all your international money transactions, per se. Yes, it is certainly true that it is more convenient to work with a bank, especially if you already maintain an account there and can use your online banking account to make transactions, but remember that such convenience comes attached with a hefty price tag and that is why you may not be interested in making such transactions multiple times, in a single month.

Moreover, it is also prudent to note that many banks have a minimum transfer requirement. This means that the amount that you want to send has to equate that that stipulated limit or the transaction will not be allowed. Many banks in Australia have a minimum 500-dollar threshold.

On the other hand, should you be a high-volume customer, they may give you some special discount, depending of course, on the volume of profit you generate for them. There are various online sites where you can compare rates in different currencies all over the world.

Economies of scale

As a rule, it will always be more cost effective when it comes to transferring money in bigger amounts than smaller ones. Larger amounts mean ‘economies of scale’. Therefore, you may well be able to take advantage of significantly larger discounts, should the same be offered to you. You may also consider bundling your online orders together and send the money en masse to avail such discounts.

Ultimately, it is up to you to do your research well before opting for any specific service provider.

Business

6 Important Barcode Scanner Features You Need to Think About

barcode scannerThere are a lot of options to pick from when trying to find the barcode scanner that best fits your business. Considering the saturation of barcodes and barcode technology in general across most commercial and industrial fields today, it’s not surprising to see so many different choices and options to dig through. Picking the device that will work best with your business might seem daunting at first, but it’s actually not that difficult to distill your prime needs and significantly narrow down your scanner options.

So, before you even think of hitting the marketplace on the hunt for scanners, you need to sit back and consider what your business could use barcodes and their scanners for. While the final decision is yours, taking these six particular features into account can drastically help you in deciding what your business needs.

Symbology

This is arguably the most important feature you think to think about. A barcode scanner’s symbology is simply a fancy term for the type of barcodes the scanner can read. There are a lot of separate barcode symbologies you can find in use today. Barcoding provides a list of well over 30 disparate code types. But wait! Before you despair of never being able to decipher all the nuances and differences between the myriad symbologies, you need to understand that all barcode types can be concentrated into two main categories (technically three according to barcoding, but stacked barcodes are not nearly as ubiquitous as the other two). Those categories are 1D and 2D. 1D codes are like the common UPC codes found on products everywhere, while 2D codes are like the QR code squares found on advertisements and the like.

If you use a 1D symbology, it doesn’t really matter what type of scanner you get as just about every type can read them. If you use a 2D code, however, you’ll need to find a more advanced 2D imager scanner.

Speed

While important when dealing with bulk scanning, the speed of a barcode scanner isn’t a top priority. It’s still important and should be taken into consideration when out shopping. Business Solutions states that scanners can have one of three scan engine types. These engines are responsible for the speed of scanning. There are laser, CCD, and imager scan engines. Laser engines scan the fastest but they are unable to scan 2D codes. Distance from the code can affect scan speed as well.

Size

Like speed, size is one of the less important facets to think about when picking your scanner. However, it’s important to know that scanners come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. From the small, wireless scanner eCommerce vendor Shopify sells, to the large, fixed scanners found in big retail stores, the variety can be astounding.

Ease of Use

Training takes valuable time away from your business. Until your employees are properly trained, they are a drain on your businesses resources instead of being beneficial. When looking for a barcode scanner, you should definitely think about how easy the device you’re looking at is to learn. You don’t want a device that requires a great deal of practice on. Business Solutions suggests looking for a device that is ready to go and easy to use right out of the box.

Integration Capability

Unless you’re doing an entire overhaul of your business’s systems and software, you’ll want to make sure the scanner you’re buying is capable of working with your current point of sale software and any other programs you use in running your business. Make sure you carefully review your current systems and their requirements along with the requirements for the scanner and any barcode software you’re looking to get.

Connectivity

Connectivity is definitely up there in importance, and it’s actually somewhat related to integration. Your first decision regarding connectivity is whether you want to get wireless or wired scanners. Wired scanners can connect to PCs and other devices using USB, PS2, and other cable types. While wireless scanners can come with Bluetooth or radio transmission and reception capabilities. You might want to test the devices connectivity capabilities before purchasing. One of the most important reasons to get a barcode scanner that both integrates well with your current system and can reliably connect to your other devices is for the sake of real-time updates on inventory and other important data points.

Getting barcode scanners for your business is an excellent idea for a few reasons. For one, using scanners reduces the chance for human error in inventory counting and other mundane recordkeeping tasks by astronomical proportions. For another, centralizing all your product data and sales information into a single databank via barcodes makes multiple aspects of business life much easier to handle. Depending on the POS system you use, connecting a barcode scanner to it is an excellent way to gather data about consumer purchasing trends and sales figures right away, without any need for frustrating counting and figuring.

Business

The Future of Business

As businesses struggle to cope with an ever changing world it can be hard to predict what the future holds. In any three month period there are normally dozens of political, economic, social and technological changes which can affect the way we do business. 

In March this year Yahoo produced an interesting article (full article click here) where leading journalists from The Telegraph and social media experts were asked to predict where SMEs would be in the next ten years. An almost impossible task you may think but the results were fascinating. Before they started to think ahead they took the time to look back over the last ten years and realised that SME’s in the UK had dealt with some unprecedented challenges including: Eurozone crisis, birth and explosion of Social Media, growth of online shopping, change of government and VAT rates, collapse of the high street banking industry, natural disasters affecting trade and the optimism of London 2012 Olympics.

In the next ten years businesses will certainly face similar challenges and as legislation increases regarding data protection, online shopping continues to grow and managing personal debt becomes an essential problem to tackle it’s bound to affect trade. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges is the growth of interactive media solutions in the home, touch screen technology and digital devices evolving at home and in the palm of your hand will increase pressure on businesses to perform. 

The evolution of Twitter, Facebook and instant messaging has made consumers more demanding and impatient than ever before. Businesses must monitor these new channels of communication carefully and decide on their approach to ensure they can preserve their reputations, deliver excellent customer service and offer choice and depth of products to satisfy consumer demand. As the world becomes more advanced the ability to source products globally will increase, this in turn will put pressure on UK businesses to ensure they can keep up on a worldwide stage.

So what can we conclude from these predictions? It seems clear that the business that manage to survive turmoil have several qualities in common; excellent fiscal management, ability to embrace new technology, wisdom to only adopt change when there’s a clear financial or strategic advantage to their business, insight to predict future trends and adapt their business to ensure they survive.