Does Your Small Business Need Live Chat?

Live chat is becoming a quintessential part of small businesses globally. It is much like an immediate interactive mail-in design. The job of live chat is to sit at the bottom corner of your website waiting for customers who need help.

Live chat supports your customers who need help instantly. Live chat can also increase your sales drastically. When people can gain immediate access to an answer, they are far more likely to buy the product in question.

Many small businesses love it for closing sales and increasing revenue. Perhaps you have seen the possibilities of live chat, but you don’t have the staff count to warrant it. However, live chat doesn’t always need staff 24/7 to work.

Find out how live chat can help your business and whether you need it or not with this article from Reviews for Corporate Business Solutions.

Does your small business need live chat?

When it comes to live chats, you need to decide if your small business needs live chat. Here are some great examples of small businesses that can use live chat:

  • Hospitality and medical- A business that takes bookings or reservations like hotels or restaurants
  • Online retailers- A business that sells products online
  • Consultants and service providers- A business that offers business services 

If you run one of the aforementioned businesses, live chat is a great tool. However, if you get very little website traffic, life chat likely isn’t the best thing for your business. If you’re unsure, many businesses are offering free live chat trials. You have nothing to lose.

Set specific hours

If you run a smaller team, manage your customers’ expectations by setting specific hours for your live chat. Unless you run a large eCommerce store, people don’t expect small businesses to run 24/7. However, they don’t want to open a live chat only to be left with no response.

To ensure your customers aren’t disappointed, post your live chat business hours on the live chat as well as your website. You can ask the person to leave a message for you to reply to later. While this may defeat the real purpose of live chat, it is still a helpful business tool.

Either way, you’re making it easy for your customers to get in contact. This is far quicker than composing an email or trying to find your contact details. Just make sure that you reply to the message as soon as possible.

Create a FAQ page or knowledge base

Once you have been running your business for a while, you will develop an understanding of the types of questions people ask. If you can’t have a 24/7 live chat, give your customers a FAQ page or knowledge base to consult if they are confused.

If they are stuck, they can then message you on the live chat.

Live chat can be a great tool for small businesses to harness. There are no downsides. If customer service matters to you, live chat is a great next step to take. 

 

 

 

 

5 Examples of Small Business Goals

Setting goals is an essential part of every single business. It can help you focus on your business. In turn, achieve the results you have worked hard for. If you start setting goals now, you will be able to achieve them far faster. 

The importance of setting goals cannot be overstated. This does apply to companies as well. Though, it is far more applicable to small businesses since they have fewer resources available. By setting goals, you can optimize the few resources you do have available to you.

Setting goals is the perfect way to improve your focus. Then, you can use that focus to keep everyone motivated and increase morale in the workplace. Check out these 5 examples of small business goals from CBS-CBS.com to get the ball rolling.

Create a new product/service

Creating a new product or service is the perfect way to push your business. One great goal you can set is to create a new product or service within a specific amount of time. Usually, a good time frame is six months or a year. 

It will excite your existing customers while also attracting new ones.

Open a new location

If your business is doing well, this goal is great for you. Opening a new location is an exciting and fruitful time. However, to succeed in your location, you must remember how you first got there. 

Perhaps create a template to outline where you went wrong/right the first time. It will help you determine your next steps.

Increase your response time 

Depending on the size of your customer base, you may be able to set a goal to increase your response time. It is certainly attainable for many businesses. If you run a small business with local customers, it should be as easy as 1,2,3. 

You may struggle if your business is slightly bigger. However, there are many ways you can automate the process as well. 

Reduce ongoing expenses

This is a very fitting goal for many small businesses. After all, who doesn’t want to reduce their ongoing expenses? When setting this goal, make sure you are incredibly specific about how you plan to reduce your costs. 

You may be able to reduce ongoing expenses by:

    • Paying off debt
    • Automating more of your business
    • Changing the way your business operates

Increase productivity within your business

Productivity can certainly make or break your business. That is why it is always a good idea to search for new ways to improve it. You can become more productive by eliminating any distractions or improving the way you use technology. 

Productivity apps are also a fantastic way to increase your productivity.

Once you have put together some goals, you can inject them into your small business. A good goal is one that is attainable, measurable, and relevant. Don’t forget, achieving goals is always something that should be celebrated.

When you tick a goal off your list, take the chance to celebrate the success. 

How to Use Facebook to Promote Your Small Business

 

Facebook is one of the best free marketing tools for small businesses. If you are looking to engage your customers or attract new ones, Facebook is an outstanding platform. However, it isn’t as easy as simply posting a photo and leaving it at that. 

You must follow the guidelines to ensure that you get the best out of your advertising. Facebook offers many great promotion tools. To maximize your promotion efforts, you should use them as much as possible.

Every small business should use social media as much as possible, especially Facebook. It has several great advertisement options, groups, statistics, and paid promotions, among other things. Though, with so many ways to promote your business, it can be hard to find a starting point.

To help you out, Corporate Business Solutions Consultants have three easy ways to promote your business on Facebook.

 

  • Post regularly

 

There is nothing worse than finding a business on Facebook that hasn’t posted since 2018. That is why posting regularly is so important. Using Facebook to promote your business is far more than just making a business page. You need to ensure that you are posting regularly for your customers.

Once per day is a good rule of thumb or every 2-3 days is a great option. It is a fine line when it comes to posting because both too much and too little can be bad for your business. Posting regularly is incredibly important. Though, it is just as important to post good quality content.

If you can only post good quality content 1-2 times a week, that is better than posting bad quality content every day. As stated before, it is a fine line. 

 

  • Post high-quality content

 

What you post on your Facebook page is highly important. Nobody wants to visit your Facebook page and see low-quality photos. Even worse, nobody wants to read captions that are riddled with spelling errors or are hard to read. 

Here are some great ways to ensure that you are posting high-quality content:

 

  • Post different content- Don’t always post the same thing. Make sure you have a variety of posts on your Facebook page. Including gifs, photos, videos, blogs, and even press releases. Your audience will be far more captivated when you post different things all the time.
  • Ask questions- People love to feel included. That is why asking questions is a great way to engage your audience. At the end of each post, try asking a question. For example: “Check out this great blog that outlines the importance of stress management in the workplace. How do you manage your stress at work?”
  • Run a giveaway or contest- Your page will become far more engaging when you run contests or giveaways. By offering the opportunity to win a prize, you can boost sales while increasing your engagement levels.

 

  • Create a strategy- When posting on Facebook, try creating a strategy. It should complement your marketing, sales, and public relations activities. Content calendars are a great way to create a strategy that works for you.

It can also help you understand your strategy better to get the best out of your promotions. Things to add to the calendar should include important holidays, sales, business announcements, and other important dates.

 

Starting Your Dream Business – A Step-by-Step Guide

Starting a new business is an exciting and uplifting process. There is so much to do, think about, and plan. However, you must know where to start and how you plan to achieve success. Otherwise, your plan for success may not reach the heights you first thought it would.

Creating a logo or business plan is obvious, but people rarely remember the equally important parts that aren’t often spoken about. Rather than playing a guessing game or ‘going with the flow’, you need to have a detailed plan. That way, you can ensure that you have given your business the best chance at success.

Check out these three steps compiled by Corporate Business Solutions to start your dream business properly.

 

  • Build a great team

 

A business is only as good as the team running it. Unless you plan to run your business by yourself, you need to gather a great team. Many successful CEOs will tell you that you need to spend just as much time on your employees as you do your products.

A good team should be:

  • Efficient
  • Reliable
  • Educated
  • Productive
  • Organized
  • Supportive
  • Good at communicating
  • Cooperative
  • Respectful

These are all great features of a team that will see success.

 

  • Refine your idea

 

Your first plan should always be considered a rough draft, not a final copy. There will be things from your draft that are still relevant, though you will likely need to add some things in whilst taking some out. To refine your idea, you can do things such as:

  • Look at what current brand leaders are doing
  • Figure how you can be different
  • Research businesses offering the same (or similar) service
  • Ask for feedback on your idea
  • Do your research
  • Consider the current markets

A good place to start is to consider why, who, and what. Why you’re doing it, who your target customers are, and what your business solves.

 

  • Assess your financial situation

 

Every business will need a start-up cost. By assessing your financial situation, you will gain a clearer understanding of what that cost may look like. Consider if you will need to borrow the money or if you can cover your start-up cost. 

Then, you will likely have to consider whether or not you plan to leave your current job. If so, you will need to ensure that you have enough money to get by until you make a profit. That is why it is best to figure out your start-up costs straight away.

Many businesses fail because they run out of money before they can turn a profit. It never hurts to overestimate your start-up costs because it can sometimes be a while before you turn a profit. If you overestimate, there is always room if something goes wrong.

If you follow this guide, your business has a good chance to succeed. When starting, make sure you don’t cut corners. Cut corners will always come back to haunt you. 

 

4 Golden Points Every Home-Based Business Should Remember

Being an entrepreneur looks different for everyone. For some, the dream of running a large corporation that employs hundreds of people with offices across the country. Other entrepreneurs, though, prefer something small-scale that they can run from their homes.

Home-based businesses aren’t anything new. They’ve actually been relatively popular over the years, especially during the global pandemic. Recent statistics saw a record number of start-ups, with a significant portion being home-based companies. Going the route of a home-based business allows you to set a flexible schedule that works for you, minimal to no commute, and brings in another income source.

Because of the appeal of home-based businesses and how popular they continue to be, reviews for Corporate Business Solutions have four points that every home-based business should remember.

Keep Business and Personal Finances Separate

For your finances, it’s a good idea to have a separate business account right from the start. Although it’s tempting to merge everything together and save on banking fees, it’ll come in handy for tax season and to track your business’ financial situation.

Have a Separate Space

There are many convenient perks when working from home, like no commute time and working wherever you want. As lovely as it can be to set up shop in the backyard on those warm days, it’s essential that you still have a separate space for your business.

Depending on what your company does, you may have confidential information about customers and clients. If you don’t have a designated space for your work, that information could be accessible to anyone around. You may not have to work strictly out of your home office, but it’s still a good idea to at least have a space you call your office.

Marketing Matters

Home-based businesses rely heavily on marketing. There is no storefront that people can drive by and see what you offer. You’re tucked away on a residential street.

You’ll rely on marketing to get the word out about your company and drum up new customers. Especially when first starting, the budget might be tight to spend money on a marketing plan. However, social media is an excellent (and free) tool for home-based businesses to help spread the word.

Set Boundaries

Many soon realize that working from home (whether employed or in your own business) is more challenging than people believe. One of the most difficult parts of working from home is setting and maintaining boundaries.

When you commute to a job, it’s much easier to leave work at the office so you can enjoy your personal life. For those whose work is only a few steps away, it’s easy to “squeeze in” a bit of extra work after supper or on weekends.

Set yourself boundaries right at the beginning. These can include having a set time to turn your business off for the day, being careful when you schedule appointments, and setting a timer for your breaks.

In today’s world, almost any idea could turn into a small, home-based business, which could lead to a large company. Home-based businesses have unique challenges. However, don’t let that shy you away from taking your idea and starting your very own company.

Setting Up for Success: 5 Tips to Prepare Your Business for the New Year

Welcome to December – where every business owner has experienced the overwhelming feeling that comes from year-end. There is the extra pressure to finish any lingering tasks before the year wraps up. Because of everything racing through your mind to finish in the remaining weeks of the year, many entrepreneurs miss an excellent opportunity to prepare their business for the upcoming year.

During your year-end wrap-up, you can do a few things to help prepare your business for a prosperous new year. Add the following five tips to your year-end to-do list from Corporate Business Solutions to help you prep for success.

Analyze the Past 12 Months

The best way to prepare for the upcoming year is to analyze what happened in the last 12 months. All of the data you collect from January through December provides valuable information on where your business is at and where it’s heading.

If you’re a goal setter, drag out the goals you set last January. Did you achieve them? What step did you take to reach your goal? Don’t just focus on the goals you achieved and forget about the rest. For any goals you set that you and your business didn’t hit, what happened?

Perform a KPI Analysis

Have you ever done a KPI (key performance indicator) before? If not, now is a good time to do one. KPIs help you measure your company’s success. You may want to focus on your business’s finances or choose to analyze other aspects like customer and employee retention.

Set Goals for the New Year

You want to start with data analysis first so you can set realistic goals for your business. Before the new year, write out a list of short-term and long-term goals. They could be anything from increasing your revenue by a certain percentage by quarter two or that you’ll implement a new routine for employees to help with efficiency.

When making goals, make SMART ones – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Many people end up setting themselves up for failure right at the start, which is discouraging. By following the SMART goal method, you can set a goal you’ll achieve.

Clean Up Your Mailbox

How often do you open your business email to have a mini freak out because your inbox is almost full? Don’t bring that unnecessary stress into the new year. Block off a few hours to go through and organize your email. You’ll be thankful you did when you start work again in the new year with a clean inbox.

Have a Year-End Meeting With Employees

What better way to get a pulse on how your business operates than to ask those who help keep the doors open? Schedule a year-end meeting with all of your employees. Ask them questions like how they felt the past year went, what didn’t work, any ideas they have for the new year, and what could you do differently as a boss? Just make sure to give them advance notice so they can all come prepared.

Simple tasks that have the most significant impact are the way to go when wrapping up the year. Start the new year off with a bang by preparing ahead of time.

Find Your Competitive Edge: 6 Tips to Stand Out In Your Field

As a small business owner, you soon realize how important it is to stand out against your competition. If you don’t, what’s stopping clients and customers from brushing past you and going to someone else?

Having competition is part of the business world. There are many benefits to having friendly competition in your field. It pushes you to achieve greater goals and helps you move your business in the direction of success. However, focusing solely on the competition can become overwhelming and quite stressful.

Don’t let your business fall behind and ultimately live in the shadows of your competitors. With the following six tips from CBS-CBS.com, you can find your competitive edge and get your business at the forefront.

Price Adjustments

One of the main reasons a customer will go to one place over another is due to the price of goods and services. Adjusting your price is one way to gain a little edge over your competition, as a lower price is more appealing.

There’s a fine line when it comes to pricing, however. Going too low, and ends up destroying the quality of what you’re offering. If your goods are significantly cheaper than other places, it begs whether what you offer is truly worth the price.

Exceptional Customer Service

Many individuals will stay dedicated to a company regardless of the price difference because of its customer service. How you handle customer complaints and issues can shoot your business to the top. So, spend time focusing on how you can improve your customer service experience to make it better than your competition.

Quality Matters

The quality of what you offer is another significant way to give you a competitive edge. We live in a world where quality means something. Usually, customers are willing to spend the extra few dollars if they know it’s worth the quality.

Your Environmental Impact

Going green has never been more popular than it is now. If you show your clients that you’re economically conscious about how you conduct business, it will mean something to them.

Sustainability is more expected from companies today. However, that doesn’t mean every business follows suit. If you’re one of the few companies in your field focusing on being environmentally friendly, you’ll have the edge over your competition.

Creative and Original

Your business is there to solve a problem or provide a valuable service to your customers. For your company to stand out, you need to show your customers why you’re the best choice and how you differ from the rest.

Get creative with how you run your business. Originality is important, so you don’t look like you’re simply copying what everyone else is doing.

Have a Message and a Purpose

Why did you start your business? When you have a story and a message behind what you do, it creates a powerful connection with your customers. That is an easy way to build up trust and keep customers dedicated to you. Just make sure it’s an authentic message.

The above six tips are simple ways to help you gain a competitive edge. Notice how these points tend to revolve around the quality of your business. Show the value of what you have to offer and enjoy the increase in customers strolling in.

Like your reflection.

4 Tips to Help You Run a Successful YouTube Channel

YouTube – the second largest search engine available (second to Google). It’s a powerful tool that many small businesses forget or think the platform isn’t for them. However, we’re here to tell you that you should utilize YouTube to reach your audience.

We’ve said it before about the benefits of starting a YouTube channel. Today, we’re here to help you be successful. It’s a tricky platform to gain traction on. With dedication and planning, though, you’ll be able to utilize YouTube to promote and grow your company.

Try the following four tips from CBS-CBS.com and running a successful YouTube channel.

Create a Content Calendar

A content calendar is what it sounds like – a calendar you create that keeps track of all your content. YouTube likely isn’t the online social media platform you’re using (nor should it be). With so many avenues to take, it can get confusing and overwhelming.

Create a content calendar that maps out what you will post on social media and videos you plan to upload throughout the month. Have a separate section that breaks down your YouTube videos so you can plan them out ahead of time.

Consistently Upload

One of the worst things you can do for your YouTube channel is to upload periodically. If you want it to be successful, you need to have a consistent upload schedule.

A good idea is to start with weekly videos, if possible. Don’t set an unrealistic schedule for uploading multiple videos each week. Start at a reasonable level and work your way up if you want to.

Add Call to Actions in Your Video

Call to actions (CTAs) are a powerful statement that tells the viewer what you want them to do. You likely add them to your video description, but have you thought about adding them to your video?

Many YouTubers begin and end their videos with an introduction and a CTA to subscribe to their channel. Throughout the video, you can add CTAs to go to your website or social media accounts. YouTube has the option to add cards that allows the viewer to click and direct them to where you want.

Spend Time on the Title and Description

When searching on YouTube, the first thing you see is the video’s title, a few lines with a brief description, and its cover graphic. These are essential elements of uploading a video and are not ones you should quickly whip up.

Your title should include keywords related to your video. Remember, YouTube is a search engine. That means people are searching for specific words like they would on Google. To get your video recognized, include those keywords in the title and description of every video.

The cover graphic of your video should somewhat resemble what it will be about. It doesn’t have to be anything flashy, and sometimes less is more. However, it does need to grab the viewer’s attention and entice them to click on your video.

Have fun as you create and upload videos. YouTube has the potential for your business to reach a wider audience across the world, and eventually increase your revenue.

Worried About the Survival of Your Company? 5 Tips to Revive a Struggling Business

How often do you hear this – over half of new businesses will fail in their first year. That’s a scary statistic. However, it isn’t entirely true.

The recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that in the first two years of operation, 20 percent of businesses will close. That number increases as the years go on, but it does show that you have a fighting chance.

Every business will go through some rough periods. Unfortunately, some companies can survive those difficult times while others end up closing their doors for good.

Is your company during those difficult moments and wondering how you’ll move forward? CBS-CBS.com has a few tips to help you revive your struggling business.

Take a Step Back to Identify the Issue

Before you can begin moving forward, you need to identify the problem. If you try to revamp your entire company without first determining where the issue truly lies, you could end up in the same position relatively quickly.

Look at when you were the most profitable compared to right now. What has changed since then? It could be the market is changing, and your company hasn’t, your management style shifted, or maybe it’s the economy, and your customers can’t afford to spend right now. Once you have that reason, then you can develop a plan.

Revamp Your Marketing Plan

When’s the last time you’ve taken a look at your marketing plan and seen those analytics behind it? Sometimes, all you need to do is freshen up your marketing strategy to engage with your current clients and reach new ones.

Adjust Your Business Model

Adjusting your business model can bring business back to life. However, it isn’t an easy task. As the world changes year after year, your business must adapt to these changes. If you’re still doing the same thing you did for the last few years and noticed a decline, it could be time to adjust your business model to keep up with modern times.

Boost Internal Moral

What happens behind the scenes of business eventually spews out into the public. That means, if your company culture is negative, your customers will soon pick up on that.

The consumer often wants to support companies that provide a happy, healthy, and encouraging work environment. If your team struggles to work together or simply don’t want to come to work, a morale boost could be what your struggling business needs to thrive once again.

Make Cuts

In some circumstances, cutting costs can help a business get back to thriving. Maybe you were once spending extra dollars on luxuries to make life a bit easier for you as the owner. If those additional costs are coming at the expense of your success, it’s time to make some cuts.

In other circumstances, though, making cuts is only a band-aid solution and not addressing the root issue. However, making cuts could give you the time to determine the actual problem that needs fixing.

Failure to control costs is one of the primary reasons a business fails. If you are aiming to have a 10 percent profit, that means you have to run your business so that your expenses equal 90 percent of every dollar you take in.  You need to create what is called a managerial accounting system that pays yourself first. You are entitled to the salary of what it would reasonably cost to run the company if you were hiring someone to run it for you as well as your predetermined profitability.  Together, your salary, plus your planned profit becomes the Total Ownership Return. By paying yourself first rather than getting paid what is left over after all the expenses are paid, it will create the internal management discipline to make the necessary decisions to cut costs so that your business can pay your what you deserve while becoming a profitable business for the long-term.

The tips above could help you get your business back to where it used to be and even more profitable than before.

5 Tip to Help You Reinvent Your Business During the Pandemic

There’s no denying that our world has drastically changed in the past couple of months. You could even go as far as to say that our work lives have changed as well.

How so? Well, many companies were forced to adopt a remote-working policy to cope with the pandemic or, ultimately, close doors. If you’re faced with that situation, wouldn’t you want to go the route that kept your business alive?

Has the pandemic made you take a step back and evaluate your business model? If so, the following five tips from CBS-CBS.com reviews may help you reinvent your company.

Make a Note of What Was Successful

You most likely have particular aspects of your business that works. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to operate. As you reinvent yourself, don’t completely shy away from what’s made you successful.

Make a note of all aspects of your company you’re happy with and has gotten you to this point. This isn’t to say you don’t touch them. However, it can help put things into perspective and also find ways to fine-tune them to be even more successful.

Make a Note of What Wasn’t Successful

On the other hand, you want to make a note of what wasn’t working. Every business will have some aspect of it that they could improve on. Those are the ones you want to focus on as you reinvent yourself.

Parts that need tweaking may not be obvious, so take time to genuinely evaluate your company. Even the simplest of things, like your hours of operation or your customer service policies, can make a significant impact on your success.

Start Brainstorming and Get Creative

Spend a day brainstorming different ways you can boost your business. Let yourself get creative here. You don’t want to restrict your creativity just yet. Any idea that pops into your head write it down. Later on, once you have a good list of ideas, then you can be more critical of them.

Discuss it Without Fresh Eyes

As the owner, you tend to be biased to your business, and rightfully so. It’s hard to take that step back and see where you need to improve on. Not only that, once you have your ideas for improvement list, but you may also think each point is the key to success when maybe it’s not.

Having a fresh set of eyes and ears to discuss things that can provide you with a valuable perspective you don’t have.  That’s the benefit of bringing in a professional business consultant to give you an objective, third-party view.  Business consultants also can share with you ideas that have worked in other businesses to save you from making the mistake of implementing an idea that is likely to fail.

Make a Plan

A big mistake to make is thinking your idea is the key to everything, and it’s time to dive in headfirst. What if that idea blows up, then what?

Make a plan before implementing any changes. Spend some time testing it out to ensure whatever you have planned will work. Start small and work your way up. You have a better chance of succeeding that way.

Reinventing a business isn’t an easy task to take on. Not every reinvention will be successful, either. However, the more time you spend thinking, brainstorming, and researching, the more set up you’ll be for a successful reinvention.