A deck with a great view

How to Develop a Reputation as a Niche Business

A good reputation is very important for every business because it is one of the factors that attract new customer and help retain the current ones. A strong reputation is one that does not change easily despite having an occasional negative review or despite you making a certain mistake. Building a good reputation can be less challenging but maintaining it can be overwhelming because people can have different opinions and perceptions about your business. Some of these perceptions may lead to misinterpretation of something related to your business and if not handled well can ruin your reputation. Therefore, you can use the following tips to ensure that you develop and maintain a good reputation on both online and offline platforms. 

1. Gain More Knowledge About Your Niche Business

When customers approach you either physically or from online channels, they expect you have all the details about the products and services you are offering to them. It is your duty then to gather and enhance your knowledge in the industry you are operating in. Attend business seminars and conferences relating to your niche business, do your research online and form positive networks with like-minded people. This way, you will be fully equipped with all the answers that your customers may have for you. For instance, if your niche business involves dealing with dock supplies and a homeowner or a contractor wants to know something about lumber, lighting, railing or any other accessory, it is good to have this information handy. Also, be willing to share this knowledge with other people in meetings and also through online blogs or social media posts. Having the knowledge and being willing to share with others will build your reputation and attract more customers to your niche business. 

2. Invest in a Good First Impression

The first impression can either build or prevent a strong relationship from happening. Always remember to present yourself the way you want people to see you because either way, they will judge you before you even open your mouth. The first impression is sometimes one of the undervalued aspects in business, but it is very important when it comes to the development of a good reputation. There are different ways to impress customers, and it includes everything from your attire to the way you receive or greet your potential customers and your confidence when you talk. The success of your niche business will depend on how you represent it. 

3. Communication Skills

Communication is key when it comes to developing and maintaining a strong reputation for your niche business. For example, if you’re working to install a deck for a client, even if they have not requested an update about the progress of their decking project, send an email to let them know you care. You will not only start building a strong relationship, but you may trigger placement of a new order for other products like dock accessories. However, do not keep on emailing your customers after every five minutes because that will become a nuisance to them and most probably make them block your emails. Also, consider asking for feedback about your products or services from your customers, as this will prove that you value their opinions and are willing to improve based on these opinions. However, when you get this feedback, stay on top of responding to them. This form of interaction will drastically improve your relationship with customers and hence build a strong reputation. Ensure that you can communicate effectively with your current and potential customers and this will build and maintain your reputation. 

4. Promise What You Can Provide

Everything you promise your customers should be provided as promised and within the time promised. If you are not available to deliver something in the timeframe you promised, delegate that task to someone else to avoid disappointing your customers. Sometimes an emergency can lead to a delay of delivery and if this happens to you, alert the customer in advance to avoid looking like a scammer or a flake. This is one of the strategies that companies such as Decks & Docks Lumber Company have been applying for the last 20 years, which is ensuring rapid delivery of dock supplies to their local and international customers. Apart from valuing delivery time which is very important, deliver the exact product or service that you promised or which the client requested. Everyone wants to work with a supplier who values their time and needs, and if you can master this trend, your reputation will remain strong throughout. 

5. Consider Helping Other People Achieve Their Goals

This is a very important technique when it comes to building the reputation of your niche business because when you help other people succeed, they will look forward to continuing their work with you. This is one of the reasons why most successful businesses use customer success to attract and retain customers. Help others, and they will be willing to help you in return. This includes your customers, employees, friends, relatives, and business associates among others. They all play a big role in your business success. 

6. Improve Your Online Presence

If you have a website for your niche business, make sure that it is friendly, easy to navigate, fast and compatible with mobile phones. This is your first step in developing a good online reputation. Also, use social media platforms to tell people about your brand and when doing this, ensure that you post regularly, publish up-to-date content and interact with your online commenters. Your online presence is very important for the development and maintenance of a strong reputation in today’s digital world.


How To Turn A Hobby Into A Profitable Blog

Hobbies have found a new channel of exploration, thanks to blogging which allows people to try out their hobbies as online businesses. There are thousands of bloggers who are currently making a living out of their websites because of their hobbies. There are people who have shifted from their blue-collar jobs to pursue their photography hobby which has become a full-time business.

For people who turn their hobbies into a business, they tend to enjoy what they are doing every single day. It seems like a far-fetched idea to some of us, but it is possible for you to get there with a plan of how you can start.

Kola Adesina would like to share with you 5 steps on how you can get your hobby started as a business through a blog. Let’s begin.

Identify your area of interest

When you identify and establish your niche, you are going to define your target market and this is the most important aspect that you need to focus on as you start. This will help you to know what you need to learn, what you need to purchase and what you are going to base your content on. What sparks passion inside of you? What would you want people to know? Are your interests and hobbies marketable? Are you sure people are interested in reading about it?

You need to figure it out. Your niche may be sharing parental tips, photography tips or you just want to sell some of your work. Once you figure out what you want, talk about it on a blog several times in a month, and ensure that it is something people want to read about.

Be the host of your blog

When you start creating content for your blog about your hobby, go for free websites like WordPress or blogger. But once you have enjoyed the first few months of blogging and you have a solid plan about how you are going to be updating content, you should go to the next step of purchasing a domain name from a hosting site. You can check around for website hosting services until you find one that has a plan that fits your needs.

Decide on the income plan of your business

Just like any business, you need to understand the amount of money you should be making and then figure out how you will get there. You need to do research and find out how bloggers are making money and how you are going to make money from your website. Once you have established that groundwork, you need to figure out what you will offer in order for people to consume.

Create your brand

Branding is what makes your business stand out from the crowd. Choose the colors you want to use and also select what is attractive to your target market. Kola Adesina states that you should be intentional in all these parameters because you want your website visitors to get a particular feeling when they log onto the blog.

Come up with an official logo

logo is an important piece of branding because it is the label with which your business will be identified through. The logo is the only item that can make your brand be recognized within a few seconds. Companies like Coca-Cola, KFC, and others get easily recognized because of their unique logos which in turn represent their products.

Once these steps are covered, you want to ensure that you have an email signature, you are able to track your finances and you have already set a schedule for your business. These steps will help you turn your hobby into a business.

 


Arturo Alvarez-Demalde Interview on FiveHundo.com

Arturo Alvarez-Demalde Interview on FiveHundo.comManaging Partner Arturo Alvarez-Demalde gives FiveHundo.com an insight into his life and personal interests, as well as offering brief insights into his success. Insights include his favorite TV show, a love of culture and travel, and a little description of a typical day in the life.

The Harvard Business School alum also describes his thoughts on inefficiency and overreacting in the business world, along with the collaborative process. As a leader in his area of expertise, Alvarez-Demalde contributes even more by sitting on the board of ARIS and as a committee member for Harvard University’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.

Read more: http://www.fivehundo.com/arturo-alvarez-demalde/


The Templates at Proposable.com and Other Ways to Ensure Business Proposal Success

proposable cardsEven businesses capable of providing the most exceptional services will find it difficult to thrive or even survive if they are unable to effectively secure clients through the use of an effective business proposal. At Proposable.com, businesses in all manner of industries can find useful templates for use in drafting an exceptionally effective proposal, and there is also the added benefit of the cloud proposal software that allows businesses to create, deliver and track the proposal through the entire process of securing the client.

It’s worth noting, of course, that a template and advanced technology can only do so much to secure a prospective client. While there are countless benefits to using the proposal templates available at Proposable.com, it remains the case that the onus is very much on the business drafting the parts of the proposal that must be customized with the specific prospective client in mind. In conjunction with an exceptional template and cloud proposal software, a business proposal can be highly effective through adherence to the simple guidelines that follow.

Proposals Should Remain Concise and to the Point

Business proposals should be rich with relevant data and thorough analysis, but all of the information delivered in theproposal should be provided in the most concise way possible. Prospective clients will appreciate the fact that the information is supplied in such a direct manner, particularly since a lack of concision in a proposal often reflects poorly on the business seeking to secure the client. A good template will help businesses avoid including too much unnecessary information, but it is an issue that is nonetheless worth noting.

Focus on the Prospective Client

A proposal ought to impress the client, but this is not necessarily accomplished just by bragging about the company’s prior accomplishments or awards. The proposal has to be about the client and how the company will be able to best meet the needs of the client. It is therefore important for a proposal to abide by the simply principle of “show, don’t tell.” Rather than telling the client about the success of past endeavors, it is more important to focus on how the company intends to achieve a specific set of outcomes for the client.

While it is certainly helpful to make note of any past successes, it is simply most critical to lay out a clear plan designed to deliver the result the client is seeking. Ensuring that the focus remains on outlining how the specific objectives will be accomplished for the benefit of the client will make it more likely that the business is able to secure the prospective client through the proposal and negotiation process.


Effective Leadership in Business Requires Decisive Action and Contingency Planning

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The most effective business leaders are capable of accomplishing a great deal regardless of the outside influences that might otherwise shape an outcome, which is why so many other business leaders as well as aspiring business leaders take such an interest in how these leaders are able to remain so consistently effective in the face of even the most dire of circumstances. The key, as Behrman PR strategists have found, is to be able take decisive action due to thorough advance planning to develop multiple contingency plans for any circumstance that may arise.

The main reason that business leaders are unable to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances that will influence the company’s overall performance is often due to nothing more than a simple lack of foresight. There’s an old business maxim that the aforementioned business leaders are likely to cite, that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. What the maxim doesn’t detail, however, is that the kind of preparation necessary to ensure the greatest degree of success independent of outside circumstances involves accounting for an incredibly wide range of possibilities.

It is worth noting that it is not always practical to develop a contingency for every possible circumstance, but rather for those that exist across the broadest part of a spectrum and represent situations that exist within the most probable range of possibilities. Accounting for these potential circumstances ensures that decisive action can be adopted in short order, which obviously is not entirely possible if a plan must first be developed before it can be implemented. With contingency plans in place, business leaders are able to enjoy the kind of consistent success to which others so frequently aspire.


John Ross Jesensky Advocates Forward-Thinking Business Hiring Practices

hand-648448_960_720The strength of a business idea or concept is often inconsequential without the right people in place to implement the company’s specific vision for that idea, further underscoring the importance of focusing on hiring those who are most qualified to handle the responsibilities they are given. In the overwhelming majority of cases, a human resources manager will refer to the strategies they employ during the recruitment process as “best practices,” which are undeniably important in the most critical sense. According to John Ross Jesensky, it is of equal importance to be aware of the idea known as “next practices,” a concept recently popularized by the Aspen Institute.

As Jesensky has outlined on a fairly regular basis, the idea behind “next practices” is grounded in the necessity of understanding how market trends will influence future operations. In analyzing and adapting to these trends before they begin to have a significant influence, businesses are able to avoid the need to constantly shift their focus on the fly or to attempt to do so in a haphazard sort of way. When it comes to hiring, it is simply much easier to get the right kind of people in place before the demand for their specific skill set skyrockets to a significant degree.


Best Investment Advice Unlikely to Be Found From Television Pundits

For the overwhelming majority of investors, there is very little to be gained from watching any of the pundits on television offering their advice on how to “play the market like a pro” in order to achieve rapid wealth accumulation and long-term financial security. The truth is that timing the market is unbelievably difficult and unlikely to be consistently done well by even the shrewdest of investors, and picking stocks on an individual basis is similarly difficult. This runs counter to the advice given by the advisors screaming at investors through the television, and the main reason for this is that the truth about investing is not really entertaining enough to make for “good TV.”

“The reality is that most investors would benefit most from low-fee index funds, but that is not really exciting advice and it will certainly not keep you tuning in day after day,” said Arturo Alvarez Demalde. “There is a caveat, of course, that every investor is different and therefore has different needs, but in most circumstances investors would be wise to investigate low-index funds rather than following the advice of someone on TV.”

Many shrewd investors would likely agree with Demalde, and Randi Glazer might be able to shed some light on the benefit on taking a pragmatic approach to investing. After all, the television pundits have a sort of carnival barker quality that should make anyone hesitant to follow their financial advice. When it comes to getting the best possible return, low-fee index funds are certainly not the most exciting, but an investor seeking excitement can turn to a number of entertainment activities that are far more thrilling than anything that can be accomplished through the stock market.


A Few Words From Business Expert Ralph Slaske

Dave Ramsey, Zig Ziglar, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison; these are just a few names linked with the brilliant business minds that changed business and America forever. “If you want to change the way you think, study those who think differently than you,” said business expert Ralph Slaske. To add to Slaske’s quote, I’d like to add a few words of my own: If they are in life where you want to be.

Studying business geniuses is a great idea, but why would you? What can you learn from these people? For one thing, you’ll learn principles that aren’t taught in school (but why?!), and you’ll also learn how to look at failure and loss differently. The majority of people believe that if something doesn’t work, then we need to run away from it and find something else that will. Someone with a business has learned that if something doesn’t work, try again, then try again, then try again in a different way. Attack the problem in different angles. If your solution didn’t change the problem, change your thinking about the problem.