GROW YOUR BUSINESS. The Power of Synergy GYB 2013 IN THIS ISSUE: Enough to Go Around Cash Flow Tips

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1 The Power of Synergy GYB 2013 GROW YOUR BUSINESS IN THIS ISSUE: Enough to Go Around Cash Flow Tips Client Acquisition Takes a Back Seat to Old Fashion Customer Service The Interview Process - Do's and Don'ts Big Data Analysis - What Is It For Starters?

2 Enough to Go Around Cash Flow Tips When it comes to cash flow, just like every other aspect of your business plan, setting goals and working towards them are the most efficient means to an end. Often small business owners pass off the importance of cash flow in lieu of the looming pressure of branding, generating leads and following up with clients. But when the cash flow well dries up, so does the business. Use cash to build cash. Cash flow forecasting is one of the most efficient management systems to implement. Staying ahead of the game is the only way to effectively prevent a crisis. When forecasting, consider the following five concerns: Know your expenses like the back of your hand. In particular, when attracting new clients, remember that selling anything at a loss will negatively impact cash flow. When strategizing, employ online tools such as break even calculators to assist, or better still, involve us! Timing issues can play a real part in cash flow crises and we can factor in real life a lot better than software products. Bundle up! Packaging products and services together gives the perceived notion that they are intrinsically of higher value. Psst! A little secret - these are of very little cost to you! Lowering the risk by offering guarantees can allow an increased price point. Balance the offer by boosting the back-end. Offering a free/low cost initial deal? Cover your cost by boosting the back-end for example charging premium for off-hour services. Buy, sell, and repeat! Loyalty is king when it comes to clients and repeat business is considered the holy grail. Contracts and long-term agreements are your friend, and can also offer stability and ease to the client, when proposed in the right light. Consider loyalty programs, club cards, VIP offers, special sales for repeat clients, etc. Offer something the competition does not. Encourage clients to prebuy new product lines or accept their returns on old products, with a discount on their next purchase. Ideally, you should be retaining 10-20% of monthly revenues to be reinvested back into the business. This revenue is a vital investment in the growth of your business and could allow you to continue improving your systems and overall performance. Also remember to use your cash to build cash. Ensure you are utilizing your cash balance to its potential. Again, professional advice could save you a lot. These tips come down to one simple thing: perception. The client is resistant due to their perceived notion of risk. The more you can reduce that risk and deliver goods as promised, the more likely it is that you will engage in long-term relationships, and therefore boost cash flow. 2 GROW YOUR BUSINESS

3 Client Acquisition Takes a Back Seat to Old Fashion Customer Service Who has not wanted to throw their phone out the window while frustratingly trying to navigate an automated voice system? Some may say that we stopped caring about customer service when we started to replace the human jobs with machines. Recently though, industries have begun to listen to the masses once again. Backtracking from the technical advances, many big businesses have reignited the value of the human connection and that good old-fashioned customer service. While it will always be important to reel in new clients, the majority of your focus should be placed on client retention. What s the best way to retain a client? Provide them with a top-notch, above the rim, out of this world customer service experience! Need a crash course? Yeah, we probably all do. Start small The workday should never be about punching in and out. True entrepreneurs will be the first to tell you that hard work is a 24/7 job. Find out when your clients need you most, the times that they value more than others, and look to fill that gap. If that means creating an overnight position to handle the incoming client needs, then seriously consider it. Let your personality shine. Real people go home from work to their family, friends, hobbies, and interests. But at work, they tend to shy away from being themselves and bringing their personality to the table. Trust us, clients pick up on this! Encourage team members to remember the value of a smile, to answer questions with honesty and to provide empathy. Always use names, not account numbers and actively, actually, REALLY listen. A small dose of realness goes a long way - a robot can never do this! If you have to (like, really, really have to) use an automated service on your support line, then make these small adjustments. Stop it with all the choices! Make the system quick, efficient and to the point, taking the client to a real voice ASAP. Making a client run in circles almost guarantees they will run out the door. Respect your clients time. Respond immediately. Get to them as quickly as possible, whether it is on the phone or in person. Ever been victim to the service window trap? And how quickly did you switch services, after they failed to show up and wasted your time? You bet. Use common sense and decency at all times - sounds silly, but the real joke is how often these things are forgotten. 3 GROW YOUR BUSINESS

4 The Interview Process - Do's and Don'ts We all know the deal - the right team is tantamount to a successful business. Okay. But what does this really mean? How do you go about ensuring that the team you put together is the right one? It all starts with the interview process. As we are not all specialists in HR, it is important to take note of some of the dos and don ts when it comes to building a cohesive team. The interview begins before the actual interview ever begins. Take advantage of the extra research time and answer some major questions before the initial contact. Red flags can be discovered and save you valuable time, simply with the use of the World Wide Web! Brush up on the legalities of the interview itself. There are always appropriate and inappropriate ways to phrase the same question. Be wary with enquiries involving marital status, age, race, ethnic background, disabilities, citizenship, gender, education, criminal records, religion, and many more. Due diligence will ensure you avoid a potential lawsuit. Develop a list of crafted questions related to: Past jobs Motivations Stability (in the past, and currently) Resourcefulness Experience working with authority/under the direction of others Experience working as/with a team Self-evaluation of strengths and weaknesses Aptitude and decision making skills Drafting official interview guidelines is recommended. You will find that interviews can be quite the game of semantics and consulting with an HR specialist or bringing a contractor in to complete the initial process might behoove any first-time employers looking to hire. A lack of consistency is a fatal flaw in the interview process. Each candidate must, without fail, be measured by the same criteria. Drafting official interview guidelines is recommended. During the actual interview, pay attention - to everything. You are hiring the whole package and must be as detail-oriented as possible. Do not disregard body language; it can be a key indicator in how well this potential team member handles future interactions, with you, other team members and most importantly, clients. SEASON FOR EVALUATION! As the year comes to a close, it is time for business owners to take stock and self-evaluate. End of year means taking a closer look at finances and rethinking strategies for what worked and what simply created more work. A look at the past years financial and economic trends will help in building a new and improved strategy. Be objective when it comes to admitting the successes and failures of the past months. Motivate your team to wipe their hands of past mistakes and reevaluate their own goals so you are all ready to move forward into the New Year! 4 GROW YOUR BUSINESS

5 Big Data Analysis - What Is It For Starters? Big data analytics is the process of examining large amounts of data of a variety of types to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations and other useful information. Such information can provide competitive advantages over rival organizations and result in business benefits, such as more effective marketing and increased revenue. Whoa. Sounds like a foreign language to most small business owners! After all, it s called BIG data analysis, so why would the SMALL business owner be concerned? Small businesses should be concerned with the results as the ongoing power struggle between big and small is a delicate game with dangerous end results. At the root, the concept here is simple, and applicable, to businesses of all sizes. Simply put, analyzing large portions of data to ascertain information, establish patterns and predict trends can be employed at all levels. Likelihood is, you are already engaging in this analysis, without much effort. Using Google Analytics? Welcome, big data analysis! Don t let the verbiage throw you - just work at your level. Clients are creating data points almost non-stop, asking to be analyzed. The big in big data is actually referring to the amount of information that is being processed. Example: a case study of your client base, involving 100 participants cannot possibly provide the insight that a case study of 100 million can. Case and point, more info = better results. To get an idea of the scope we are talking about here, consider this: your clients are creating data points almost non-stop. From social media updates to downloads, and GPS signals to credit card purchases, we as tech-savvy people are creating point after point, asking to be analyzed. Now you see how big we are talking? On any level, the end game here is improvement. But be wary, on the small business level, of the oversaturated market of competitors, vying to harness your data and boost your business. The key is to pick the analysis service that works with the type of data you are hoping to analyze. Mostly, they come down to two markets: large-scale or niche. As always, do your research here and prospect multiple vendors before making a choice. Every organization has a tipping point and most organizations regardless of size will eventually reach a point where the volume, variety and velocity of their data will be something that they have to address. Mark Troester, Global Product Marketing Manager, SAS 5 GROW YOUR BUSINESS

6 The Power of Synergy For more information contact your RAN ONE Business Advisor: Richards Consulting & Accounting, LLC 164 Meeker Street P.O. Box 31 Delta, CO t f e While every effort has been made to provide valuable and useful information in this publication, this firm and any related suppliers accept no responsibility or any form of liability from reliance upon or use of its contents. Consider any suggestions within your own particular circumstances and contact us if you want more help. Terms Of Use All rights to the content in this publication are reserved by Bullseye. Any use of the content outside of this format must acknowledge Bullseye or its licensee, RAN ONE, as the original source.

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