We’ve all been taught that when we’re starting out, we should develop a business plan for our company. I’m sure when you started your business you spent countless hours working on yours. But have you looked back at it? Does it really form part of your day-to-day management and strategic planning? I doubt it. Don’t feel guilty. You’re not alone. I’ve spoken to loads of successful small business owners who haven’t given their business plan a passing thought in years; some have never even done one. That doesn’t mean they aren’t useful, just that they aren’t used properly. I’ve noted below a few suggestions on when to develop a business plan, and when to forget it. Continue reading
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO, is one of the most commonly used terminologies in discussions surrounding web design and development.
What is SEO? Search Engine Optimisation can be defined as the process of maximising the visibility of a website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of ‘natural’ or unpaid results returned by a search engine.
This process is important as it allows users to search for your website on popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Ask, Yahoo etc. Once your website is optimised properly, it should appear in the top 10 rankings in search engines.
Search engines use various techniques to rank websites. Google, for instance, uses a patented PageRank™ algorithm that considers over 500 million variables.
Here are some elements search engine algorithms consider: Continue reading
Any successful entrepreneur or business owner is fully aware that customer retention is an essential factor in the growth of their business. In fact, customer retention acts as the supporting lifeline of a long-term business.
For something this important in business, its definition is quite simple. Customer retention is the activity that a company undertakes to prevent customers from defecting to alternative companies, or rather to create loyal, consistent customers out of everyday patrons. Continue reading
Of course, by now many of us are frantic because of the ECCB’s decision to lower the interest rates on savings accounts at commercial banks. You may be wondering, how will I benefit from this or what does this mean? No need to worry! This article will shed some light on the basics of interest rates as well as what you can and cannot expect in the near future. Continue reading
If you own or manage a Facebook business page, I’m sure you’ve noticed something funny going on. All of a sudden less people are liking, sharing and even seeing your posts. You start asking yourself, what’s going on? Why doesn’t anyone like me anymore? What happened?
Well first off, it’s not your fault. Facebook has once again changed their algorithm, making it harder and harder for you to reach your customers or clients without ‘paying to play.’ No longer are these the good ole days when you could reach a significant number of your followers through organic reach. Despite this change, I’ve found a few clever ways to manage your page, allowing you to potentially reach your customers without using the ‘pay to play’ model. Once you develop your organic reach, boosting your odds of reaching more followers will become cheaper and easier. Continue reading
Today I received the most amazing customer service!
I walked into a store and was instantly greeted by a pleasant woman with a welcoming smile. She proceeded to help with my many questions and selections. When I told her that she had provided me with the best customer service since I had been visiting that store over the last six months, she simply said with a smile, “When I go to the other stores, I am a customer too. I want to give my customers the best service possible because I want that for myself.” Continue reading
In an interconnected world, it’s more important than ever to have a great website for your business. More and more people are looking for products and services online or to research and find out who’s offering the best deals and prices. For this reason, a website is a must-have for any company looking to attract new customers and stay ahead of the competition.
A website can be defined as a location connected to the Internet that maintains one or more pages on the World Wide Web. The site can contain text, images, video and sound.
Websites are an excellent source of information and a great marketing tool for small businesses. However, many small businesses do not appreciate the value of owning one because they may find it to be too costly or they don’t understand its importance. Continue reading
What are ethics and ethical standards? Ethics is synonymous with morality, honesty and integrity. Ethics means the basic concepts and fundamental principles of human conduct which guide a person’s behaviour. We all have some idea of right and wrong and the ‘rightness’ of any particular decision, so how does this apply to the business world and how do we establish a uniform set of rules to be followed? The truth is we can’t; the discussion of business ethics is a subjective one, for everyone brings different concepts of ethical behavior to the table. One’s moral standards are shaped by many different things, from home environment to religious background to cultural traditions, and this variation in attitude/belief/personality subsequently creates just as much variation in the daily decisions taken by the business world.
Ethical decision making is the process of assessing the moral implications of a course of action. All decisions have an ethical or moral dimension for a simple reason – they have an effect on others (employees, competitors, customers, the public, the environment etc). Managers and leaders need to be aware of their own ethical and moral beliefs so they can draw on them when they face difficult decisions. Continue reading
Not everyone is familiar with the term ‘cash flow’. However, many are quite familiar with the term ‘profit’. The two represent the difference between success and bankruptcy and they are often misunderstood.
Profit can simply be defined as revenue left over after all expenses have been deducted. Cash flow, on the other hand, represent funds flowing in and out of a company as a result of payments to suppliers and payments received from customers. Cash flow arises from operating, investing and financing activities. It gives an indication of the health of a company. The business can make a lot of profit but still have a negative cash flow, thus not being able to meet its financial obligations. Profits are seen as narrow, looking at revenue and expenses over a set period. On the other hand, cash flow is dynamic, and pertains to the time the movement of cash occurs. Continue reading
As economic conditions continue to threaten business survival, organisations are constantly pressured to find the most creative and cost-effective balance in order to remain competitive and profitable.
As most of us are aware, the business of business is to maximise returns on investments. In so doing, organisations must consider factors impacting both their internal and external environments, and try to address those factors in order to improve their chances of survival. Leading businesses continue to focus on mastering the art of leveraging their internal Strengths and minimising operational Weaknesses, while simultaneously trying to capitalise on external Opportunities (however minimal). They also need to devise strategies to circumvent the impact of external Threats. However, turbulent times call for more than just ‘SWOTting’!