Monthly Archives: November 2018

Business Services

Maintaining good relationships with your clients is critical for business growth. Many prosperous businesses are built on favourable word-of-mouth. Strong client relationships mean more repeat business and more referrals. Dissatisfied clients tell their associates and subsequently ruin the business image in the marketplace. There is the risk of an unsatisfied client bringing their complaints to public attention which can be detrimental to business.

At the heart of all client dissatisfaction is a disparity between client expectations and the service provided. The key to maintaining good client relations is in understanding and managing client expectations.

How to Handle Common Root Causes of Client Dissatisfaction:

Service does not live up to client expectations: In your clients mind, he or she, has an internal representation of how a service should perform. They have a preconceived idea of the benefits they will receive, the problems your service will solve and the quality of work that will be delivered. If a service does not live up to these expectations, they will be dissatisfied. It is important to engage in a constant dialogue with clients to ensure the service meets their internal representation. Since services are intangible, client expectations are more subjective. Demonstrate the tangible aspects of a service to create more objectivity. Show your clients the deliverables that you produce. For example, as an Accountant, I can show samples of financial reports, business plans, business models etc. This way the client has physically seen the outcome of the service.

Over promising:  Managing client expectations plays a key role in long term satisfaction. Over promising may help win the business in the short term, however, if a company does not deliver on their promise it creates disparity between the client expectations and the service. Over promising and can often occur if there is a breakdown in understanding between marketing and the staff executing the service. Marketing departments may promise the world in advertisements but may be unaware of limitations arising from the practical day to day aspects of executing the company service. To solve this problem marketing communications needs to be coordinated with service staff.

Misunderstanding client needs: This can be prevented by doing a thorough needs analysis, active listening and empathising with the client. Misunderstanding client needs can lead to mismatched service specifications. Work closely with the client to ensure that the service is on track. Get their feedback along the way. Make an effort to obtain accurate information about the clients evolving expectations. This provides an opportunity to take corrective action before it is too late. Companies can use technology such as databases to track important events in the client relationship, new needs that arise and changes expectations.

Essential to maintaining client satisfaction is the early detection of service gaps. If a company is unaware of their client dissatisfaction, they have no opportunity to make amends. Many clients do not report dissatisfaction, so pro-active steps need to be taken to ensure that the client is happy with the business service.

Using Business Service Management to Succeed

Whether the economy is booming or facing a crunch, one factor plays a critical role in business: IT. In today’s business environment, almost all business activities are tied with the IT department. However, most of the departmental heads have no idea of the impact of complex technology on their respective business processes. Many a times, department heads have no means of identifying and preventing bottlenecks within applications so that end users are not affected. In today’s tough economy, Business Service Management can come to the rescue of many IT managers as well as departmental heads to ensure a smooth running of business processes.

The importance of knowing end to end performance is not only applicable for large enterprises, but smaller entities too. In fact, monitoring end to end performance of applications is more important for small businesses, considering that they function on a very tight margin. In order to stay on top of any performance issue and to effectively solve it, business owners need application monitoring tools through which they can monitor whether their business services are functioning properly. Such application monitoring would also inform them of any bottlenecks in advance and prevent any large scale impact on end users. Business Service Management enables both the teams to do just that.

Business Service Management solutions help bridge the gap between the departmental heads and the IT team. When a BSM solution is put to work, the business department can work in coordination with the IT department to ensure that all the services are available and any potential problems may be solved before they start affecting end users. BSM helps in detection of IT issues, tracing their root problem and solving them quickly.

With Business Service Management,

o Issues related to business-critical applications can be dealt with proactively
o Departmental heads can start prioritizing tasks according to their importance
o Information can be presented according to the role of the person concerned
o IT Service Management is easier to put into practice

Businesses hence need to consider Business Service Management as a necessary component in order to know the end to end performance of all their critical applications. However, businesses are sometimes forced to choose between two extreme BSM solutions: one which is inexpensive but lacks functionality, and another, which is expensive and needs a lot of manpower to support it.

An ideal Business Service Management would be one which is integrated, affordable and easy to use. A business should not have to make a compromise in quality due to the cost of the BSM solution. An ideal solution would allow end to end performance monitoring as well as management Service Level Agreement. It would also not require any manpower to manage it.

Until sometime ago, only larger APM vendors used to offer BSM solutions; even then, these solutions were expensive and complicated. But now, with the popularity of Business Service Management, other vendors have started offering affordable and easy to use solutions which can be applied in small businesses as well.

The increased dependency on IT for business critical functions has made Business Service Management as well as IT Service Management a must for any business. Both IT managers and departmental heads can work together to ensure that business services are available to end users without a problem.

Internet Business

There is a perception, created by unscrupulous Internet marketing “Gurus”, that anybody can make a fortune by starting an Internet business. It takes wisdom, experience, patience and persistence to create an income generating Internet business following a solid business plan, just like any other business in the real world. Well, at least for us ordinary folk!

The good news is that being over 50, you have all of these qualities and you can start and maintain a profitable Internet business by enlisting an Internet business service that suits your requirements. Here is how I learned the hard way to find an ideal Internet business service

1. Research

Undoubtedly the backbone of any venture. To become an expert in research read, learn and practice everything a good search engine provides. Stick with a market leader and use all they have to offer and you wont need anything more. Good search engines offers many excellent and easy to use research services that are not well known as they do not as a rule market their capabilities aggressively. Go to their home page and read everything they have carefully.

2. Stick to what you know

Good Internet marketers try to enlist you in business that “follow the money”. This sounds quite logical as the Internet provides the means to follow booming market niches. But you are over 50. You are an expert in your area, be it in business or a hobby. You can start all over again ( I have encountered several people over 50 that did), but it will take many years to get to your current level of expertise in a new field. Stick to what you know best and use what you have acquired over many years to dominate a market niche in your field.

3. Use Established, Credible and Accountable Companies

There was a time when I mastered searching to the point that I was totally overwhelmed with information. To cope I decided to work with established, credible companies that have a track record of accountability. Once you have become a good researcher using the research engine of your choice you will find companies that can provide you with services and products suited to your needs. Stick with the ones that meet your needs. Do not be tempted to switch to new companies no matter how good the deal sounds. A good company will adapt.

4. If it is too good to be true, it is

Not much more to say about this tip. Being over 50 has the great advantage that we can spot unrealistic claims a mile off. Beware of the “amazing easy way to…anything” marketing hype.

5. Beware of “silver tongue” marketing

I still fall into this trap. Some marketers are just so good. They know just how to hook you and reel you in. Its actually an amazing example of how you can get almost anybody to part with their money following proven marketing systems. If I follow my first tip above, research, I seldom buy unless it turns out to be of value. Resist the immediate temptation to buy and just do some research. Rather invest the money you would have spent in your future business.

6. Lots of free offerings? Beware!

Free offerings are always attractive. All you have to do is provide a name and e mail and you get some great free information. But then you have “opted in” to receive endless amounts of e mail, some tempting marketing and information overload. I must have about 100 000 free e books saved I never looked at. But to make sure I do not lose out, I…research, of course. And never miss out on the good stuff.

7. Unobtrusive marketing

A good Internet business service will respect your privacy and provide you with good but low intensity information dispersed over a period of time. They also leave the decision up to you without pressure and will eventually either check with you if you are still interested or stop the process. I like this approach and research usually shows that these companies are in a class of their own.

8. Two page web site test

Over the years I have correlated good Internet business offerings with sites that have just two pages I need to read. A good Internet business service provider will reveal all their offerings in detail on their home page including price. The second page is the purchase or buy page. (some sites give the price details here). With a good home page and research to confirm all the information and claims stated, its easy to make a decision to buy into the service or not.

9. Try then buy and short notice subscription cancellations

A company that has confidence in their product will offer a trial period, usually 3 months and an opt out option if the service does not work for you. Some even offer immediate cancellation if you do subscribe and once a company even refunded my advanced payment the same day. Money back guarantees are not as good as they sound as its a well known marketing tactic because people do not bother to claim back their money in the short time the guarantee is available.

10. Solid track record

It takes time to build a good service on the Internet and of all the tips, this is perhaps the best measure of a companies worth. The Internet service companies I deal with most of the time has been active in their market at least 8 to 10 years.

11. Good reviews

Good reviews are helpful, but be aware that a lot of companies write their own reviews and their customers also will write glowing reviews to promote their own business as they are coupled to these companies. I have found good and well known neutral sites that write balanced reviews very helpful.

12. Structured, in depth training courses

As an over 50 web entrepreneur I have a hard time keeping up in my area of my expertise, let alone trying to keep up with the ever changing world of Internet business marketing. My ideal service provider must have easy to use, well written courses I can follow and practical examples and exercises. Different levels and regular updating of content is also a must for me.

13. Good tools to do the complicated work

An Internet business is driven by statistics. Word counts in articles, use of key words, density of key words, what words or phrases people use to search and many more vital information. Service providers worth their salt have many tools that not only gives you the information you want but also makes recommendations as to what works and what does not.Displaying all relevant information regarding your marketing campaigns in an easy to read format is also essential.

14. Active and helpful forum

If a site has an extensive forum with a large amount of active members willing to share their experiences and willing to answer any questions you might have, then you are on to a winner. Lately I have discovered the very productive means of forum activity and my productivity has improved markedly.

15. Easy to contact

One would think that this is a basic requirement. To my dismay, I have found out the hard way that some companies deliberately make it very difficult to communicate with them, especially if you have account problems. A well known and prominent company I joined on a trial basis have been taking money off my account now for 4 months after cancellation and there is no way I can contact them. Lesson learned.

16. Low cost entry

Good service providers have lots of satisfied and loyal customers that ensures a good and steady revenue to the company. As result their prices are very reasonable. Paying out a huge amount of money upfront is always a risk and puts one under pressure to get up and running fast, not an option if you want a stable profitable company that will serve your needs for the long term.

17. Read the fine print

Everybody knows they should, but nobody does. As I have a good grounding in legal matters, I always read the fine print and a lot can be learned about a company in doing so. In any case I have found that the good companies have good, understandable and uncomplicated terms and agreements.

18. Ask Questions

I ask my questions on formal business social sites. The best ones to join do ask a small monthly fee but its an investment. I have also found sites that provides you with an expert who quotes you for answering your questions and it was not only reasonably priced, but the answers were just what I needed

19. Trust your instincts

If you have read this far, you must be over 50! Only those over 50 still value the fact that good information cannot be conveyed in a few sentences, right? And at 50 and over one does have the advantage of good instincts. Use them. Listen to them. You will be more often correct following your instincts than not.

20. Are you in control?

The final test. After you have done your homework the final test is to make sure that your service provides you with the means to be in control of everything you want to be. By using the above methods I have finally found the ideal service partners I need to start building a lasting and profitable Internet business. Its exciting and now I am confident that I will make it. I wish you the same.

How to Outsource Business Services

Outsourcing has become an increasingly popular aspect of modern businesses. With a bit of planning you can easily learn how to outsource your Business Services and reap the benefits that it holds for your company.

There are a lot of quality freelance provider companies worldwide that provide a variety of Business Services. With adequate planning and management you can easily find a suitable provider to take over your work. So what exactly does it take to successfully outsource your business?

Two of the most important aspects when you want to successfully learn how to outsource your Business Services are:

  1. Project Planning
  2. Project Management

When you have decided how to outsource your business services you need to spend some time on these points to ensure that you receive value for your money and successfully grow your business.

Project Planning

For any project to be successful you need to plan accordingly. You need to assess your needs and know what you expect from your provider. In order for your project to be a success you need to be able to provide your provider company with adequate information and training and ensure that they are suitably qualified to handle the work. Before choosing your provider request references and samples of previous work completed; this will provide you with the information necessary to confirm if they will fit your job description.

Another factor to consider is the location of your service provider. Keep in mind that they might be located in a different time zone than yours and you need to arrange for a suitable time on a weekly basis to arrange for a conference call to stay updated with their progress and also ensure that you communicate all your needs to them to avoid any misunderstandings.

Project Management

This is an essential part of your success. When learning how to outsource your business you need to keep a constant eye on their progress and ensure that the results are satisfactory. That is why it is important to select a qualified provider company; when your business is in good hands you can focus on other areas that need your attention. When you have selected a suitable provider you need to keep an open line of communication and ensure that your providers know exactly what is expected of them. You also need to be open to suggestions and be able to deliver constructive criticism.

When your time is limited and you need to manage your project you can always make use of an experienced Project Manager and focus on other areas of your business. Your outsource partners need to know exactly what is expected of them and have to maintain a high standard of work. This is where your Project Manager comes in. It is important to have communication from both sides and this will ensure that your project runs smoothly.

When your business is growing and you need additional hands, learn how to outsource. The decision to outsource Business Services will be one of the best ones you can make to ensure the growth of your business and using freelance providers can help you reach the success you strive for.

Make Good Income With Business Services

There is absolutely no doubt that a lot of people know that a lot of money can be made on the internet. Do you know that you can make good money by providing business service online? Online business service covers a wide variety of jobs and thankfully, a lot of these jobs are pretty easy to learn and execute.

There are a lot of small and medium sized online businesses that do not have marketing coordinator in-house and there are lots of businesses that also do not have an offline marketing coordinator as well. These two fields are quite profitable – but, let’s focus on online marketing. Marketing on the internet usually consists of a lot of things ranging from design of websites to providing search engine optimization service. A lot of small and medium sized business owners are often looking for this online business service (SEO service) in order to help them get much needed exposure or to simply generate a lot of traffic for their website(s). Designing a professional website sure requires a lot of skill which makes it a little bit complicated, but providing internet marketing and search engine optimization service is quite simple and profitable as well.

The amount you can earn from providing business service online can be very encouraging even if you do not have any other source of income. A lot of online businesses put aside a generous amount of their budget in order to pay online business service providers who will help them gain a lot of exposure whether on or offline. It is quite easy to earn about $700 to $800 each month from a single client. There are even businesses that will pay up to about $2,300 to $2,500 each month for the services that you provide. If you have more than one client, you can make up to…you do the math!

So you can see how you will benefit if you choose to provide business service online, all you have to do is to figure out what you are very good at. You do not have to worry about overheard – this is the part that scares a lot of aspiring business owners. As an online business service provider you will often get paid up front due to pay per click (PPC) campaigns. Getting into the online business service provider game is certainly not difficult to achieve. All you will have to do is to acquire the necessary skills in order to professionally perform the job, and you will be on your way to making good money.

There are so many materials you can get on the internet in order to help you learn how to provide profit making services. Many of these materials are free and downloadable and there are some that will require that you to make a small payment in order to get all the necessary step by step guide on making money on the internet. There are forums where you can become a member and get tips on how to make money providing online services.