Practical tips you can apply now to improve retail store sales

Practical tips you can apply now to improve retail store sales

You want to increase your retail sales, that’s a given. The purpose of any business is to bring in paying clients, and the best way to accomplish this is through marketing. If sales are low, then perhaps there’s something wrong and you must figure it out fast.

In our competitive world, getting results is all that matters. Take note that successful retailers aren’t more intelligent or talented that you are, they just learned to do things effectively while making money in the process.

Check out the practical tips below that you can apply to improve your retail sales.

Start advertising more. Sometimes businesses cut on spending for their marketing when they should actually be spending more. It’s good to increase your marketing efforts during slow periods of sale since the entire industry will be looking out to get the most out of a decreased market share.

The best way to do this is through social media that’s connected to your business website. If you still don’t have social media presence, then now is the best time to create pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube – basically the channels that your business will benefit from.

As to your website, all promotions from your social media channels should directly go to a specific page on your website. Any business owner worth his or her salt knows that a website is a necessary investment. Start by doing a domain name search to help you name your businesses’ website name and address. A good domain name and hosting provider should be able to guide you throughout the entire steps of taking your business online, so don’t hesitate to ask for their assistance and to make use of their other tools and integrated guides.

Assess your pricing strategy. When buying and pricing your products or services, always consider the cost of goods and that your retail shop is constantly making a profit at the price point. Your product price must always be competitive while still making a profit for your business. At the end of the day, the appropriate price is the price that your clients are willing to pay for your products or services.

Improve your store’s looks. Consider leveraging on cross-merchandising techniques and impulse sales opportunities. Small changes like different lighting fixtures and creative displays may be added to attract passing customers. Try playing videos for product or service education, entertainment, and any other promotional or upsell tie-in. A lively store is always a customer magnet.

Aren’t we forgetting something? Of course not – it’s practising good customer service!

Great customer service has always been a major factor to increase sales regardless of the season. Be sympathetic to your customers to know their wants and needs. The next step is to educate them about your offerings. Lastly, let them know that you appreciate their loyalty or business. Consider offering value-added products and services.

Next, educate them about the products. Finally, let your customer know that you appreciate their business. Offer value-added services and products. Create a mailing list by asking for contact information from each customer. Remember, the customer is looking for an experience and not just a product.

End Note

That’s it! Apply these practical tips to retail store and watch as your sales improve. Best of luck! Have any other tips to share your fellow business owners? Share it with us.

Cyber Crime and How to Handle it

Cyber Crime and How to Handle it

Cybercrime is a hideous type of crime, and a poorly understood one, because it is one that causes no physical injury. But it is everywhere and it encompasses everything from having your identity stolen to see your children bullied. This has even ended up in suicides, in fact. Cybercrime is an easy crime to commit, but it has a huge impact on individuals and on society as a whole. And because it can be done in so many different ways, it seems to truly have taken over the world. All that someone needs is a computer, and they can attack anyone they fancy.

Technology has some fantastic advantages, but these advantages are also curses. The fact that so much data can be stored in such a small place, for instance, is both a blessing and a curse. The easy accessibility the internet gives us to people and businesses, is both a blessing and a curse.

There are logic bombs, email bombs, denial service attacks, salami attacks, data theft, viruses, web jacking, and so on. And nobody is safe from it either. Women, children, the elderly, and others who are often classed as the most vulnerable in society are targeted, but so are the huge corporations, celebrities, conglomerations, and so on.

Then, there is the issue of intellectual property right. When someone creates something, such as a song, a video, or a piece of art, it becomes theirs. But as soon as it is posted online, people feel they have the right to use it, share it, and change it. And sometimes, elements are stored online, but they are not supposed to be accessible to all. For instance, cloud storage enables people and businesses to store all their data off-site, but this data is meant to be protected, encrypted, and secured.

So what can be done? According to experts like Matthew Knouff, the key lies in having proper cyberlaws in place. His particular area of focus is on social media ethics and on eDiscovery procedures, both of which are very important in terms of cybercrimes. He believes that, when proper regulations are put in place and adhered to, the situation will become much better for everybody involved, and it will actually become possible to simply enjoy the advantages technology gives us. Only blessings, no more curses, in other words.

eDiscovery, for instance, is about ensuring that data is stored properly (safely, securely, and in a way that can easily be searched). In so doing, it ensures that when something does go wrong, and litigation follows, it becomes possible for businesses to clearly demonstrate who did what, when, where, and how. And it will also show exactly where the breach came from, in case of cybercrimes. eDiscovery has many other benefits, but this is one of the key elements of it that will help people the world over in terms of being safer online. This is something that should be applauded and that everybody should work towards.

How to Find the Right Vehicle for Your Business

How to Find the Right Vehicle for Your Business

If you are running a sizable organization, you will have to soon consider buying a vehicle solely for business purposes. This is particularly important in companies where the employees are expected to constantly be on the move. Here, having to rely on taxis is not only costly, it can be time-consuming as well. If you are on the hunt for the perfect car, you know how difficult this endeavor can be. After all, you don’t have to be a car fanatic to know just how many options there are out there for you. To help you narrow down the list, here are some guidelines to stick to:

Assess the Business’ Needs

When looking for a company car, you need to assess the needs of the company and its employees. A good starting question is, how much space do you require? For instance, do your workers travel independently or do they sometimes have to journey as a group for presentations? The other thing to consider is storage space. Just how much room is there to store pamphlets, documents, and anything else your workers may need to carry with them? If you don’t need a lot of room for people or storage, you will find that a good-sized car such as the Toyota Corolla will suit your needs perfectly.

Figure Out the Budget

Of course, you will need to determine how much you are willing to spend on transportation each month. This doesn’t just refer to the amount that you need to shell out for the loan or insurance payments. It also alludes to the maintenance as well as the fuel consumption of the car. Now, if you are looking to keep this types of costs to a minimum, you should look at the Honda Accord. This vehicle is reliable, affordable, and has a decent fuel economy as well.

Consider External Factors

When choosing a vehicle, you will need to think about the environmental factors that the car will have to withstand. For instance, does the area in question experience extremes in temperature? If so, you will need to find a car that is suited to the regional conditions. The other thing to consider is the terrain that the vehicle will have to drive over each day. Is it smooth, paved roads, or does the car have to overcome rugged terrain and uneven roads? The reason that this is such an important factor is because getting a vehicle that is suitable to the right conditions will ensure that it will last longer.

Determine the Effect

To a certain extent, your business car is more than just a way to get from one place to another. It is also a style statement and a representation of your business. So, it is a good idea trying to decide just what statement it is that you want the car to make. Do you want something comfortable and relatable or are you looking for something sleek and sophisticated?

These are the elements that you will need to look at when you want to purchase a company car.

Avoid Scams When You Call Nigeria

Avoid Scams When You Call Nigeria

The Canadian government considers Nigeria one of Canada’s “priority markets” – it’s one of the largest English-speaking countries in the world, its economy is developing rapidly, and the two countries trade nearly a billion dollars worth of merchandise every year. But if you’re doing business in Nigeria, importing Nigerian products, or working with partners there, finding a reliable, high-quality long distance calling service isn’t always easy.

Calling card companies are often a frustrating and unpredictable way to make business calls. They’re unreliable, offering little to no customer support. They often come with hidden fees that will eat away a considerable chunk of the time you thought you’d purchased. These hidden fees are how most of these companies earn money, and there’s almost no way to directly compare card providers. Sadly, these cards are a great opportunity for fraudsters; one report Scam Detector reports that prepaid calling cards offer, on average, only 60% of the promised talking minutes. Just about anyone can set up these companies as long as they can sell enough minutes to afford their technology provider, and they go in and out of business easily.

When you have business partners, suppliers, or clients in Nigeria, calling Nigeria from Canada is a necessity, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. There are alternatives out there that are more affordable, offer no hidden fees, and that give you a high-quality calling experience. How can you tell the good companies from the bad?

#1 Reputation

With international calling companies, reputation matters. Expect your provider to be accredited with the Better Business Bureau and read online reviews from customers. Thanks to online reviews, you no longer have to make purchases in the dark.

#2 Superior Partners

International calling companies are third parties that buy routes from telecommunication companies that own infrastructure, either through VoIP or the major carriers. International calling companies like G3 Telecom provide carrier-quality phone calls because they partner with major global carriers to offer better routes for your phone calls.

#3 Transparent Rates

When you’re calling Nigeria from Canada, you should get what you pay for. You should know exactly what rate you’re paying per minute when you call Nigeria, something you can find on G3 Telecom’s website by looking it up ahead of time. Using their app also gives you automate rate calculations right on your smartphone.

#4 A Free Trial

With so many scams out there, a free trial is a zero-risk way to find out whether or not the company is the real deal or not. If they’re just out to claw back as much money as possible in hidden fees, they probably aren’t even offering a free trial. It’s a great way to test the waters, compare the phone quality, and get used to the service before committing to it.

#5 Mobile App

Last but not least, mobile apps are finally beginning to change the way that people manage their international calling accounts and call their friends and family. The mobile app from G3 Telecom removes the need to dial your PIN when you’re calling, all you do is tap your contact list. It also offers rates as much as 90 percent cheaper than your ordinary mobile phone provider, but otherwise offers seamless calling from your smartphone. Mobile apps make calling Nigeria from Canada easy for businesspeople and professionals. You don’t have to deal with companies that try to keep you in the dark. Transparent, affordable rates and quality long distance calling are available.

Things to look for in a good business lawyer

Things to look for in a good business lawyer

Running and maintaining a successful business is wrought with continuous difficulties and ever-changing approaches, these difficulties and changes are what makes business both exciting and challenging. There are many areas that can be covered and observed from within a business model, but there are often areas which need outside ideas and help and one of the most important of these is in the legal sector. This is one of the most important aspects of a business no matter how big or small the business is. There are always some legal areas which will need attention and the help of a good business lawyer. These can save you head-aches in the future and help to resolve disputes that may arise throughout the life time of your business, however, choosing the wrong lawyer can be as bad as not having one at all. There are always a few things you should look out for in any lawyer but particularly in a business lawyer.

Versed in the areas where you need attention

There are many different aspects to business law and you want to ensure that the firm and lawyer you choose are versed in the areas that are most important to you. You can check this out in a number, consulting with the firm, asking businesses who have had dealings with them and by looking at their track record. Commercial lawyers should be versed in all aspects of your business from initial purchase to negotiating deals and sales.

References and experience

If you are a new business owner you want to ensure you have chosen a lawyer who has a good track record in getting the best results for his clients and who can work to the schedule that your business requires. It is best to ask other business who have worked with your chosen firm and see what they thought of the professionalism and outcome of whatever legal process was taking place. This will allow you to make and informed decision on the correct firm to approach.

Established firm

You will need a firm that can work to deadlines and take on multiple tasks when required. Your business may be dealing with an array of issues such as employee disputes, commercial purchases, tax issues and a whole host of other events. You want to choose a firm which is large enough to take on these challenges and can see it out to the end. The size of your business should also correspond to the size of the firm you task with dealing with your legal issues.

Commercial lawyers should make you feel as if your business is the most important to them. It obviously may not be true but it at least shows their involvement and professionalism in holding your business in the same high regard that you do. Looking at some of these areas in a good business lawyer will allow for a better choice in lawyer and a better legal approach to your business.

Is IT Enough to Handle Cybersecurity?

Is IT Enough to Handle Cybersecurity?

The stereotypical corporate information technology department is seen as overworked and underappreciated; until some part of the business’s technology environment is inoperable. In this event the IT staff is then cursed for being unable to fix the problem immediately. IT staffers often feed this stereotype by professing an ability to solve all problems, including cybersecurity issues that threaten to shut networks down with ransomware or that can expose a business’s data to hackers. Cybersecurity has become such a specialized and complex environment, however, that a business will be better served either with an internal cybersecurity staff or by outsourcing its cybersecurity needs to specialists that devote their full time to monitor the ever-changing cybersecurity threats that businesses face.

The following arguments will dispel doubts about this recommendation:

Cybersecurity involves more than just technology.

IT specialists create and implement technology solutions that help a business grow. Cybersecurity specialists evaluate and understand the value of a business’s data assets, the regulatory compliance issues faced by businesses in different industries, and the threat levels that data in different industries can raise. For example, health care businesses are exposed to HIPAA violations if their patient data is stolen, whereas companies in the financial industry are more exposed to Graham-Leach Bliley or Sarbannes-Oxley violations.

IT focuses on optimizing the technology operations of a business.

A good information technology department will devote all its time to creating the smoothest network operations that keep the business moving forward and making money. Cybersecurity personnel train employees in best practices, develop response plans to potential threats, and monitor external attempts to derail the network. Adding cybersecurity responsibilities to an IT team’s workload only impairs that team’s ability to maintain a robust network while shortchanging the amount of time that is required to maintain proper cybersecurity defenses.

Cybersecurity specialists are in short supply.

Cybersecurity is a separate and distinct field from information technology. Industry watchers have observed that there is a severe shortage of specialists who can manage a business’s cybersecurity operations and responses. A business which assumes that its IT staff has the training and expertise to take on cybersecurity responsibilities inevitably overestimates the IT staff’s expertise and underestimates the severity of the threats that its network faces.

Employees adopt tools that are not installed or supported by IT.

An IT department will be charged with implementing the software and mobile applications that a business needs to conduct its operations. Notwithstanding policies and warnings to the contrary, employees will install unapproved software and apps on their devices, and those apps can expose a business network to multiple different cybersecurity problems. A dedicated cybersecurity team will be better able to monitor and control employee-installed software applications that have not been authorized by IT.

Network intrusions are all but inevitable.

An IT team might respond to elevated cybersecurity threat levels by adding more and more technology protections while ignoring a broader approach that involves risk mitigation across the entire business. Dedicated cybersecurity specialists know that Denying the inevitability of a data breach is a prescription for disaster, and in recognizing the likelihood of an attack, those specialists will adopt strategies that involve recovering from an attack and making resources available to rebuild internal systems and compensating third parties that experience losses as a result of the attack.

Cyber insurance is one of the most direct and effective strategies for that purpose. Cyber insurance carriers will work with a cybersecurity team to identify and assess data that is most vulnerable to a cyberattack, and to implement strategies to mitigate those risks and to insure against losses when those strategies fall prey to a hacking attack. Even a small or midsize business can suffer tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of losses and third party liabilities from a successful cyberattack. Cyber insurance is frequently the difference between recovering from the attack and going out of business altogether.

The Biggest Investment Mistake and How to Avoid it

The Biggest Investment Mistake and How to Avoid it

Have you ever been skydiving? Most people haven’t but most people do know some of what it involves. Mainly, they know that, on your first few dives, you will be jumping in tandem, rather than being thrown out of a plane by yourself. The reason for this is that, whenever you start something new, you have to have an expert to hold your hand while you do it.

Gregory Lindae isn’t a skydiving expert, but he is an investment expert. And the biggest mistake he sees people make again and again, is that they believe the can read a little bit of information online, such as on Wikipedia, and believe they suddenly know it all. The reality is that you can read as much as you want, you will never have real life experience unless you have an actual go. But, just as with skydiving, there is no room for mistakes. They say that, if at first you don’t succeed, you should simply try again, but this, for obvious reasons, isn’t possible with skydiving! Similarly, it is not really an option with investing, because you will lose all your money if you don’t succeed.

The Other Key Mistake to Make

The reason why so many people who invest for the first time do things wrong, is because they are driven by their emotions. Did you know that studies have shown 96% would prefer to burn their mouth than to wait for food to cool down? And that 50% of people hang up the phone if they have been on hold for a minute? We want instant gratification, something that simply doesn’t exist in the world of investment.

Gregory Lindae also warns that we are no longer in the 1999 or 2000s, when stocks just grew and grew and people made millions overnight. At the start of 2000, there was a 15.6% drop in shares, and people panicked, selling everything that they had. Had they hold on to their stocks, they would have been sitting on quite a lot of money today. But that would have required patience, something that beginner investors in particularly do not have.

Similarly, those without experience often miss golden opportunities. Take solace in the fact that even Warren Buffett has been guilty of this. He once recommended people didn’t invest in big tech, including Amazon and Google, something that he now feels a lot of guilt about. He didn’t believe in tech systems himself, and that was a mistake.

Key to being successful, clearly, is to work together with an expert, someone who knows the ropes. But even that isn’t enough. It is best to have things checked and double checked, because even the experts have emotions. This is why people like Gregory Lindae always get second opinions on any decision they want to make, and they recommend their clients do the same. By building on the success of others, you have the greatest chance of becoming successful yourself.

How to Make Your Office a Much Greener Place

How to Make Your Office a Much Greener Place

When you are working on creating a more eco-friendly life, it is ideal to extend your efforts to the office. You have spent a lot of time making your home greener, but you can do a variety of things at work to help reduce the entire company’s carbon footprint. Look for inspiration from projects, such as the Cadiz Water Project, and others that are helping to make life more sustainable on a larger scale. Starting with a few basic ideas, however, is sure to make the process relatively simple and smooth.

Check Your Electricity Usage

In an office, you often have bright lights on all day and this can result in dramatic electricity usage. Consider putting smaller lamps at everyone’s desks and whenever it is daytime, take advantage of the natural light. Open all blinds or curtains so the sunlight filters in and shut off the overhead lights. This can result in a significant decrease in electricity usage. It also allows for a more ambient and pleasant environment that might help folks to feel less stress while they work.

Be Mindful of Office Water Usage

Using too much water is one of the biggest factors in an office that is not eco-friendly, but there are methods you can employ to change this. For example, look to do something similar to the Cadiz Water Project, but on a smaller scale. This means you can look for ways to reuse water so that it is renewable in your office environment. For example, get a bucket for the community refrigerator and instead of tossing the leftover water in people’s bottles, put it into the bucket. Once it is full, you can use it for cleaning the office.

Create an Office Recycling Program

Between office supplies and lunch items, you probably accumulate a lot of waste every week. You would be amazed how much less waste you would have if you recycled. This is relatively easy to implement in an office environment. Start with the lunch area and the room where you keep your supplies. Take three small bins and put a set in each of these rooms, with one bin for glass, one for plastic and one for paper. At the end of the week, you just need to quickly bag it up and drop the recycling off at the local center.

Switch to Recycled Products

There are multiple office supplies that you can find that are made from recycled products. These also tend to be relatively inexpensive, so it will not add much to the budget of the company. You can find products, such as refillable ink cartridges, recycled paper and non-toxic highlighters for this purpose. In fact, between non-toxic and recycled items, you should be able to replace most of the items in your office with more eco-friendly ones.

Consider the Office Food Choices

If you do a lot of potlucks and similar events in the office, be careful about the foods you choose. Look for produce that was grown sustainably and reduce how much meat is served. You should also avoid serving it on products, such as paper plates, and opt for those that can be washed and reused instead for a greener environment.

Switch to Cleaning Products That Are Non-Toxic

Most of the cleaning products used in the office environment are incredibly harsh and this can have a major impact on how eco-friendly everything is. There are products that you can switch to that do not contain any harsh chemicals. They allow you to fully clean your office without the risk of harsh fumes or degrading any of the surfaces. You might also consider basic items, such as white vinegar and baking soda, since these are non-toxic and can be used to clean an array of surfaces.

Work on an Office Carpool

One of the biggest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to reduce your reliance on your vehicle. Since driving to work is likely something you cannot skip, if you share a ride with your coworkers, you are decreasing how many cars are on the road during your commute. You can switch off who drives each week, so that factors, such as vehicle wear and tear and fuel, are evenly split between everyone who joins the carpool.

You might also talk to the boss about creating telecommuting opportunities if this is possible. This means that people can spend one or more days a week working from home to avoid having to drive their vehicle at all.

You can see that it is not too harder to make your office much greener for yourself and everyone else. Once you start implementing changes, it will not be too hard to get your coworkers to join in. Just start small so that the process is not too overwhelming for yourself and everyone else that wants to lend their help and support.

Top Tips for Marketing Your New Counseling Business

Top Tips for Marketing Your New Counseling Business

Source

It can take a lot of time, energy, and soul-searching to find that perfect career path to take in life. For many people, the field of counseling is one that is extremely attractive and rewarding. There’s also the fact that it’s going through a stage of serious growth, 19% growth between now and 2024 to be exact. These numbers are straight from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics.

With more and more companies and insurance policies now covering counseling services, it seems that more people are looking to make use of these family, marriage, and mental health counselors and therapists.

You’ve Got the Educational Background but Not the Marketing Skills

If you’re just earned your online masters in counseling from a school such as Regis College and you’ve decided that the private/public sectors aren’t for you, then you may instead be considering opening your own practice. While your online counseling degree programs prepared you from a knowledge standpoint, it would not have taught you how to market your own business.

Not to worry though, just because you haven’t been formally trained in marketing, it doesn’t mean you can put some standard tips to good use that will help get your name out there and start bringing in the clients. Here’s a look at some tips that you can use to get your business off to a good start.

Set Up Free Wellness Seminars

There are so many different ways to advertise a business, but the problem with advertising is that everyone else is doing it too. This means you need to have a unique, eye-catching, and memorable campaign that sets you apart from your competition.

Why not aim to become an expert in your town/city? This can be done by setting up wellness seminars that are open to the public to attend. The seminar can be free to all and you can make it an interactive experience so that attendees can ask questions and get a real feel for you. Of course, there will be a cost you’ll need to put out for renting the space, but the idea is that you will be able to garner a host of new clients through this seminar.

Be sure to put together a small information packet about what you discussed and include a business card or your contact information.

Set Up a Website

Another tip is to set up your own website. If this is outside your realm of expertise you can always hire a web developer to do it for you. The website should be engaging and informative to bring traffic to it.

Become a Blogger

To increase traffic on your website, you’ll want to start blogging. You can even bring in guest bloggers that add substance to the website and talk about subjects that are of interest to your readers. To get your name out there further, you can offer guest blogging services to other websites.

Stick with It

Marketing your new counseling business will take time, energy, and a lot of work, but if you stick with it, you’ll find that you will start to build a steady flow of new clients.

Cyber Attacks a Big Threat for Networks

Cyber Attacks a Big Threat for Networks

Internet users are vulnerable and exposed to different online threats. Many users are prone to cyber attacks each day. Cybersecurity has become one of the most important aspects at the moment. A group known as OurMine hacked HBO’s social media accounts and leaked unwatched episode of Game of Thrones Season 7. This is a major blow for the satellite TV network. Recently HBO was hacked by another group, hackers entered HBO’s servers and browsed through its internal documents and unreleased TV shows.

Hackers who name themselves “Mr Smith Group” have also threatened to leak the finale of Game of Thrones Season 7 before its air date after they released HBO social media passwords. The group is demanding a huge payout amounting to $6.5 million as ransom.  On the other hand, reports from the Pentagon states that cyber threat to national security is growing. Pentagon is looking into an option of using cyber security shield to safe guard its military information. This shield is called Blockchain Technology.

Blockchain Technology

The Blockchain Technology is regarded as a secure firewall for networks, especially where a lot of financial transactions take place like internet gambling services. Blockchain Technology is a technological innovation of Bitcoin. Bitcoin uses this technology to protect its accounts from hacks.  It records valuable information especially transaction between two parties into incorruptible blocks not only financial information but any essential information. Once the block is created it is stored into permanent data and another new block is created. Blockchain is designed to be secure and these blocks are resistant to any changes without altering all the blocks.

Therefore make information safe from any threat. Blockchain is useful in recording health information, events, financial transaction processing, and records management including documentation and identity management. It is designed to protect the company’s units and departments. It is also usable on aeroplanes, connected vehicles, and satellites.