Most successful businesses have their conflict resolution and customer loyalty procedures down to a science. Managers and employees with good systems in place respond to both complaints and positive reviews properly and immediately. This is a crucial part of customer retention and satisfaction.
Sadly, many of these same business owners are neglecting the digital equivalent of those customer reactions; they have yet to claim their Google+ page.
When prospective customers search for a business on Google, if the first listing isn’t a direct website, it’s likely a Google+ Local listing (previously Google Places). Not only can customers follow the link to find directions and contact information, but they can read reviews from across the web. What used to be Google Reviews has combined with Zagat to create an all-encompassing hub for each business, and many of these customers are finding an incomplete listing – or worse – a listing full of damaging reviews if the page is mismanaged or neglected.
As much as business owners would like to demand customers to remove poor reviews, it’s neither ethical or easy to pursue. The best thing to do is a combination of addressing concerns and increasing positive ratings/reviews. Customers are much more likely to seek out a review forum to post negative things about your business than they are to actively seek out the same forum for a positive review or pat on the back. That said, many clients and customers would be willing to review your business with a little encouragement.
Stay tuned for tips and tricks in the 2nd half of this post. (Coming soon.)
With March wrapping up and April 15th soon to be here, it’s no doubt that small businesses have the tax man on their minds. Tax preparation can really put a damper on any small business owner’s spring season, but if you can manage to kick procrastination to the curb and follow these tax tips throughout the year, preparing those taxes for your small business can be a painless process.
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Have you already filed your business taxes? What are your tips and tricks for this less-than-exciting process?
You’d never wear a stained shirt to a business meeting, and you’d point out to a colleague that their shoe is untied. Why is it that in many situations, professionalism remains to be questioned when it comes to grammatical and spelling errors?
I see them all the time in status updates – “there” instead of “their”, “to” instead of “too”, and even “wants” instead of “once”. They drive me bonkers! Errors aren’t limited to homonyms, either. I’ve come across several instances where businesses make failed attempts to sound intelligent. Using words with 4+ syllables doth not a scholar make. Using 4+ syllable words incorrectly because you right-clicked your way to a synonym in Microsoft Word makes you look ridiculous.
Does the occasional typo happen? Absolutely.
Does that mean those errors should be laughed off or marginalized? Never.
Click here to see the collection of “professional” business cards that drove me to write this post. Can you spot the error?
At risk of being called “stuck up”, “uppity”, “snobbish” or a “grammar Nazi”, Continue reading →
7 Deadly Sins, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, 7 Dwarves, 7-Eleven, and now…
7 Small Town, Small Business Mistakes you don’t want to make.
1. Jumping on the bandwagon
2. Being too casual
3. Taking criticism personally
4. Failing to shop around for vendors
5. Sticking to local customer markets
6. Making competition personal
7. Not taking advantage of the local Chamber
Jumping on the bandwagon. One of our biggest pet peeves is finding businesses and organizations using Facebook profiles instead of pages. Small towns break this “silly rule” all the time. (See Terms of Service and the definition of a Facebook Page.) Counting out ignorance? Betty asks Joan, who asks David, who asks Tina how she got her business on Facebook. Tina boasts how easy it was to use a company email address to set up a new Facebook account and profile. Now, David’s Lawn Service, Joan’s Flower Shop and Betty’s Bridal have all followed suit. Had they done a little research themselves or contacted a marketing specialist, they would know the complications involved in going about this the wrong way. Small town small business owners belong to a tight-knit family, and that’s one of the greatest things about working, shopping and living in a suburban or rural area. Setting that aside, family members do not always know best. Take no blind leaps. Research solutions, prospects, programs and vendors yourself before playing copycat. Continue reading →