Get Ahead With Market Research

If you are currently or looking to start offering some type of product or services it is essential that you conduct some type of market research. Entrepreneurs must know everything about their customer based, whether it be an individual customer or a company that is a customer. You must analyze the buying behaviors of your customers. What they want, what they believe in, what they need and how they are currently supplying those needs.

It is vital to your success that you understand why customers are buying specific products and services from you or your competitors. With proper market research you can easily succeed in lowering risks within your business since your products and services are geared towards market demand.

Market research is the process that gathers information from the market and then extracts the specific data related to customers behavior in order to prepare an effective marketing strategy. The main purpose of the collection activity is to give an understanding of your customers behaviors in the market your business operates. Basic market research gives you the answers to the following questions:

  • What customers should you target?
  • How frequently do customers buy your product or service?
  • How much do competitors charge and how much is a customer willing to pay?

In order to get the required quality and quantity of data for your market research you must pursue a number of different sources. Getting customer feedback from your current customers is usually the best way to start your market research. Customers will be able to tell you a lot about the strengths and weaknesses in your current business process. Surveys via email, telephone or interviews can be used to collect information about people and their opinions about products and services.

The internet has unlimited amount of data along with finalized analysis that can be extremely useful for any type of market research. Google’s trends offers  valuable information about what internet users are most likely to be searching for. The list goes on and on for where to collect data but the important thing is that you use many different types of sources to get your information needed when doing your market research.

In order to succeed in business you need more than the right equipment, financing, talent and experience. You must have that stream of information coming in that tells you why people buy your product or services. Hiring someone else to do your market research can save you time and uncover valuable information that is often overlooked. Get a free quote!


Marketing Basics for Small Businesses

In today’s market there are so many things involved with marketing that it can get overwhelming really fast. From branding to advertising to social media a lot of small business owners are getting lost in the question of “where do I start?” In order to answer that question you must first understand the basic goal of marketing: Reaching customers. Potential customers need to hear your message several times, so when the opportunity arises, you are the first company they think of.  It is extremely important that you get your brand across multiple platforms in order to have a successful marketing campaign. So where do you start with marketing?

Like anything in business or life in general, the first thing when it comes to marketing is to get organized. Put time aside to thoroughly brainstorm and come up with a plan on what you would like to tell people about your business. Come up with a less than 30 second spiel that will get people interested and wanting more of what you offer. The goal here is to make sure you will have a great first impression.

The first time someone hears about your company they are going to jump on Google and view your website. If you do not already have a website  for your business then it is strongly advised you make that one of your first priorities in your marketing strategy. There a ton of do it yourself website services where you pay small fee then basically setup the website on your own. This do it yourself approach is not advisable since you usually “get what you pay for” so leave the website building to the experts. Your website needs to be mobile-friendly with search engine optimization to have the best chance at being viewed by internet surfers. A website not only shows you are real and legitimate company but it also gives you an opportunity to offer information to your potential customers.

Marketing on the internet definitely should not stop with getting a website that shows up on Google. Social media branding could be the most effective marketing strategy being used today. Pretty much everyone has a Facebook account so take advantage of the free marketing they offer by creating a business Facebook page. In fact, you should create a page for your business across all of the most popular social media sites like Youtube, Twitter and Linked-In.

Remember the key to marketing is to get your brand across a variety of platforms and hope that enough of your name makes it through to your customers. Business marketing starts with putting together a plan on how to gain that good first impression , getting a functional and professional website built and increasing your company’s presence on social media.

Mobile Apps for Business Operations

Development of mobile apps continues to get bigger and bigger thanks to a new generation of development frameworks, server hosting services and affordable UI design tools. Consumers are using mobile apps in massive numbers and downloaded approximately 197 billion of them  in the year 2017. Usage of mobile applications in the enterprise sphere is also rising since companies are under extreme pressure to accommodate mobile work styles and increase customer engagement.

Organizations are relying more and more on mobile solutions to facilitate business processes, provide training and communicate with employees and partners. Mobile apps are used to assist service and sales personnel in the field and serve as way of accessing business intelligence. Mobile apps have become the standard for operations and business processes in companies around the world. In fact companies that have implemented mobile applications in their operations immediately see increased productivity, reduced paperwork and an increase in revenue.

Mobile applications give businesses continuous access anytime and anywhere to employees and customers over any type of mobile device. When adopting a mobile application it is imperative that the app performs exactly as it is designed to. Mobile apps need to be responsive, reliable and stable. The first impression is everything to prevent the application being downloaded by the user then used once then deleted. This download and drop event occurs in about 70% of mobile applications.

Organizations of all sizes are not doing enough to properly test and monitor their mobile applications before releasing them to the public. 47% of mobile users encountered a problem when accessing an application on their phones or tablets, the most common being slow load times. Poor mobile user experiences has a severe impact to the bottom line by losing customers, losing revenue, increasing marketing costs and receiving negative reviews on social media.

Ensuring quality mobile user experiences and returning customers has never been so critical to a business’s success. In the United States alone about 90% of adults are using their smartphones multiple times throughout the day. 68% of adults are actively using mobile applications every day.  A mobile app is probably not going to save a business from going under but it definitely secures a strong presence in the company’s perspective industry. The convenience factor coupled with taking advantage of cool rapidly evolving technology places businesses on the forefront of the industry. In today’s day and age it is a necessity that businesses have some type of mobile application that is tied to their company.

Streamline Customer Service

No matter the industry, how a company handles their customer service will always be vital to their success. There are so many websites and blogs that are dedicated to catching reviews of businesses that with just one bad experience the bad review reaches thousands of potential customers.  Delivering top of the line customer service can get extremely costly with the rise of labor costs. Technology advances also increases the manpower needed to be able to provide more options for customers to contact the business. Customer service needs to be available via phone, email and live chat support. Businesses around the world have found the most efficient way to reduce customer service costs without losing quality is to outsource all or a portion of the customer service activities.

If done correctly, delegating customer service allows companies to streamline their operations along with being more responsive to their customers.  Outsourcing is not a turnkey immediate solution to customer service needs and companies still need some involvement in the process to prevent losing customers  and negative brand impressions. In order to maintain quality and efficiency all processes require at least some ongoing management and oversight. Outsourcing projects aimed at only cutting operation costs are usually the ones that tend to not do well. Customer service outsourcing needs to have a primary goal of giving the best service to customers followed by reducing the companies expenditures.

For the companies whose primary motivation is increased customer service, not cost cutting, outsourcing provides multiple opportunities for service enhancement, including issue tracking and reporting, backup coverage during peak call times, 24/7 coverage availability and multilingual support. When outsourcing customer service, companies get access to proven world-class  service providers with advanced technology, proper training and manpower that provides efficient and effective service. Benefits of customer service outsourcing can be significant when done correctly.

Customer service outsourcing tends to work better with certain types of companies and challenges. It is easy to justify the cost-benefits when outsourcing customer service responsibilities during holidays and after hours to save the company from paying the overtime salaries. For small to medium-sized businesses that cannot afford additional offices  it is beneficial to outsource customer service so the company appears to be larger and is operating 24/7. Call centers offer a range of service options from fulltime outsourcing to emergency back up support. Most companies elect to use in-house customer service representatives for the high demand issues and leave outsourcing to handle the routine inquiries.

Outsourcing continues to be an effective way to streamline customer service operations. Outsourcing firms are able to provide enhanced customer service support for a lot less than an in-house call center. Companies are able to increase their budget for their core business functions when they save money with customer service outsourcing.

Real Estate Virtual Assistant for 2018

As the U.S. economy starts to really show signs of growth the real estate pros are generally optimistic about the housing market for 2018. Even with the relatively low inventory for available housing the overall demand still remains strong. There are still some rising fears tied to global events with North Korea and how President Donald Trump’s policies would impact the housing market. Still the general consensus is that people are looking to buy so the real estate industry will continue to expand.

The risky but optimistic global economy of 2018 has most real estate firms under pressure to increase their revenue while controlling their costs. Real estate companies are looking to add more agents and support staff to be prepared for their increase in business in 2018. It is key that the additional staff added is done so in the most cost effective way to both take advantage of the growing market and support the back office needs of the organization.

It is no surprise that the combination of these factors have led to real estate firms reaching out to outsourcing companies across the globe to leverage some of their added workload. Tens of thousands of real estate firms are already outsourcing their back office work which in return drastically cuts costs, increases production, improves their service consistencies along with gives main staff more time to focus on their core competencies.  All sorts of smaller jobs can be lifted from the shoulders of the firms agents and handled by an outsourcing company or virtual assistant for a more than reasonable fee. This frees up time for the real estate agents to do what they do best – list and sell property.

In order to truly be in the best possible situation to catch an opportunity, agents need to be able to immediately reply to a request to view a listed property  or respond to an information request. In the real estate industry it is expected that agents be available at all times so any of these requests left unanswered can be the difference between closing a deal and losing a customer. Technology and telephone answering enables real estate firms to say they are open 24/7, someone is always available whatever the time of day or requirement.  Outsourcing the simple tasks of appointment setting and basic reception is just the surface of how the real estate industry is preparing for the expected growth in 2018.