4 Tips for Strengthening Your Team

4 Tips for Strengthening Your Team

No matter how good your product or service is, a lack of team strength can really begin to affect its success. Therefore, it is no surprise that so many companies around the world are trying to constantly make sure their teams develop strong communication and organizational skills. So, how can you have a strong team in your own business?

Know Your Team

You should never allow a six month period to pass before evaluating your employees. This doesn’t mean you have to evaluate them through personal meetings every week, but you should still be attentive to their daily work. By observing how they approach small and large issues, you can quickly develop a clear report on their strengths and weaknesses. This information can allow you to distribute tasks for future team projects in a way that ensures everyone is assigned a task that matches their strengths.

Communicate

Some of the biggest business blunders seen in history could have been avoided if teams simply communicated with each other. Thus, one of the first things you must do when preparing your team is to facilitate effective communication amongst its members. Encourage communication about everything that is happening with a project to provide a healthy level of transparency. Effective communication can also help everyone to feel like they are truly part of the team.

Adjust Goals

If your team doesn’t know where to aim, they won’t know how to direct their work. Adjusting your goals on a timely basis is so important. In business, things change all the time. So, one part of a project could quickly become obsolete. You don’t have to set up an entire powerpoint presentation outlining every single goal, but short, regular scrum meetings can help gather the team to discuss current progress and adapt. This, along with the introduction of agile training, can really begin to create a focus that is aimed toward a unified and up-to-date goal.

Don’t Be Afraid to Celebrate

Your team, as professional as its members may seem, still wants to feel valued for its hard work. Therefore, when your team performs well or the product is a success, make sure to celebrate it. A small speech and maybe some cake or pizza can truly go a long way.

The foundation of a company is only as strong as those working in it, which is why it’s so important to focus on strengthening teams. If you are facing issues with your team at the moment, following the tips above can help to make things better.

4 Ways to Make Your Marketing Foolproof

4 Ways to Make Your Marketing Foolproof

How is your marketing strategy going? Not so well? Marketing is often the number one problem area for a company. Although the components are easy enough to comprehend, the overall strategy is a whole other matter. Here are four concepts to help you organize a foolproof marketing approach.

Making the Plan

In order to ensure that your marketing budget is being utilized to its utmost potential, you need to create a plan. After all, you don’t want to be throwing money out the window, especially if you’re a small business. This is why it is so vital to set up a strategic approach. Pinpoint areas of weakness with your team and identify solutions. Effective communication must be utilized throughout this process. Clearly communicate not only your wants but also the needs of your customers, and solicit any concerns or suggestions your employees may have.

Determining Failsafes

Previewing your marketing campaigns before sending them out live can help prevent accidental discounts and misinformation. These issues might seem minor, but the consequences can truly be gigantic. Mistakes happen. It’s a fact that after a while people tend to grow numb to certain images or blind to glaring errors. This is especially true if they’ve been working on the project for a while and fatigue sets in. You should always conduct a full demo of your marketing campaign before fresh eyes. This can be accomplished through a focus group or simply asking other employees what they think about the promotion.

Knowing Your Audience

The most effective and persuasive marketing strategy won’t work if you are not targeting the correct audience. The right audience consists of the people who are most likely to interact with your ads. That’s why it’s paramount to have this information on hand prior to even developing a marketing plan. The most effective and rapid method of finding your audience is to test ads on similar groups through social media.

Improving Your Content

To make your marketing strategy foolproof, there is something you must incorporate into it. You want people to click on your ads and interact with your company, but what happens after they’ve arrived on your website or social media page? Boring and out-of-date content will have your customers leaving before you can implement effective sales tactics. Therefore, it is imperative to crank up your content prior to the launch of your marketing campaign. This will make sure that your potential customers are engaged, even if they don’t purchase the first time.

Creating a foolproof marketing strategy can seem like a daunting task to accomplish. However, the tips above demonstrate how simple it is to get started on the right track. Bear them in mind and adapt them to formulate an approach that fits your particular business.

Here’s another article you might like: 3 Ways to Expand Your Business When You’re Ready for the Next Level

5 Methods for Strengthening Your Team

5 Methods for Strengthening Your Team

When it comes to running a successful business, having a strong and capable team can often make or break your efforts. If you sense a weakness in your current team, whether it be a breakdown in communication or general inefficiency, working on that weakness as soon as possible is vitally important. On the other hand, even if you have an already strong team, taking steps to strengthen it can mean taking that team from acceptable to incredible. Here are some of the steps you can take to boost the strength of your current team.

Adaptability

The key to survival for any species is being able to successfully adapt to change, and a business is no different. In the cases of some teams, everything goes swimmingly when the team’s mission goes according to plan. But as soon as something goes wrong, the whole objective falls apart. You can help your team reduce the risk of this happening by focusing on adaptability. Talk to team members about what to do if something goes wrong or if complications arise. Of course, one of the best ways to learn is to do so while on the job. Rather than scolding teams or only offering suggestions after the fact, be prepared to offer constructive advice if something gets in their way.

Focus on Collaboration

One of the most important parts of being a team is, of course, teamwork. Some people are naturally better team players than others. If your team is full of hardheaded independent thinkers, introduce collaboration tools to help them get accustomed to working with one another. Finding appropriate tools for collaborating with your team can help keep everyone on the same page. These collaboration tools will look different depending on what your team is working to accomplish. They may look like online platforms where employees can communicate and share progress. They can also take the form of a general strategy for brainstorming and task delegation. Either way, devoting a little time helping your team collaborate will go a long way when it comes to results.

Form Sub-Teams

There is some research to suggest that small workplace teams work better than larger ones. While some projects may need to be all hands on deck, others are easier to accomplish with a divide and conquer approach. If a given project seems to call for it, separating your team into smaller groups may be wise. For instance, if a given project involves several discrete tasks, you can save your team time by assigning a small group to each task, rather than simply asking them to divide the work themselves. However, make sure you don’t do the dividing randomly and take time to consider employee personalities and who will work together best. If your sub-teams have major personality clashes (or are made up entirely of your least motivated employees), this approach will likely be less efficient.

Have Regular Meetings

This approach can help your team quickly identify what’s working, what isn’t working, and how to improve. However, not just any meeting style will work. If you want honest collaboration, you’ll need a meeting that is free of judgement. Many people, especially those who are anxious or have a tentative idea, will avoid speaking up for fear of being dismissed or ridiculed. Make sure to host team meetings that give everyone an equal opportunity to speak. It’s important to emphasize that you are looking for input from each team member, whether that input is positive or negative. While it’s good to have regular meetings, make sure you don’t overdo these. Many people view meetings as a chore, and if you’re having your team meet every other day, this might decrease the quality of the input you get. Leave a reasonable amount of time between meetings and consider bringing refreshments. This will encourage your team members to relax and enjoy the time sharing.

Make Sure Your Team Communicates With Other Departments

Making sure your team members can effectively collaborate with one another is a very important focus. However, some managers end up getting trapped in a state where they can’t see the forest for the trees. That is to say, they focus so much on strengthening their team that they forget to make sure their team communicates with others in the company. After all, few company endeavors are a one-team job. Your team will be stronger if its members are integrated into the office. Be sure to introduce your team to other teams working on the same project. This will help avoid mistakes and ultimately make your team stronger.

Working to strengthen your team doesn’t only benefit your company, it also benefits your team members themselves. When they feel confident working with each other and taking on tasks, they will have significantly less stress while on the job. Be patient, try different strategies, and watch your team build its strength up.

For more ways to be a great leader to your team, read on, here!

3 Ways Your Business Needs to Improve its Customer Service

3 Ways Your Business Needs to Improve its Customer Service

When it comes to running a successful business, keeping customers happy is key. Therefore, it is no surprise why some of the most established companies in the country spend so much money on researching and innovating their customer service experience. There are several ways your business can improve on customer service.

Be More Personal

A huge advantage that small businesses have on some of the more established is the ability to make service personal. Even if you run a large business, you can make the experience feel more personal for your customers. Implementing technology can help you improve relationships as there are several benefits of outbound calling services and live chat buttons. All these can be programmed to use your client’s name, thus giving it a personalized touch. Another way to improve your customer service by being more personal is to add thank you notes to customers who repeatedly shop with you. People like to be valued and thanked, especially when they are spending money. These types of strategies can truly go a long way in building confidence and trust amongst your customers.

Ask for Feedback

Understandably, being told that you are doing a bad job can hit a nerve. No company wants to hear that they are causing a customer to have a negative reaction. However, the best way to fix these pain points for customers is to simply ask. Asking for feedback is a win-win situation; not only are you receiving valuable information that can help your company improve, but customers are seeing that you care. Feedback can be obtained in a variety of ways, such as through anonymous surveys, social media polls, suggestion boxes within your store, or even a phone poll.

Engage On Social Media

The best way to improve your customer service experience is to engage your customers on social media. Social media provides you with the opportunity to see what people are saying about your company, both the good and the bad. Social media can also be used to ask customers what they want to see in your store. Polls, questions, and much more can be utilized to achieve this goal.

Building your customer relationships all begins with how you run your customer service. No person is going to feel the urge to do repeat business with a company that doesn’t care about their experience. Thus, business owners should carefully research and implement the tips listed above.

3 Topics Businesses Need Their Leaders to Be Up-to-Date On

3 Topics Businesses Need Their Leaders to Be Up-to-Date On

Business leadership must have an eye on the horizon for multiple opportunities. At the same time, they need to understand the dynamics of their team to make sure that the business can put those opportunities to use. Here are three topics that businesses need their leaders to review on a regular basis for continued success.

Leadership Skills

New strategies constantly emerge in leading cutting-edge teams, creating traditional backbones, and enhancing diversity in smarter and more inclusive ways. Bold leadership is different in every industry, but there are a few challenges that are the same in any business. For example, diversity is a growing, hot topic that is also extremely subjective. According to this source, striking a balance of diversifying workplaces without sidelining talent that doesn’t fit diverse profiles is vital. You may want to seek leadership workshops for best practices and lessons learned in having diversity discussions in a way that inspires your staff.

Technology

Big data, the internet, the cloud, and ransomware—they’re all big topics that you need to be aware of. There’s always something around the corner that you need to keep an eye on. The problem is that a lot of technology lacks clear payoff. It’s hard to be an early adopter without a solid plan, and it’s hard to make a solid plan if you don’t have a competent tech team. For now, keep an eye out on automation and artificial intelligence (AI). These two fields are changing businesses in massive ways and will either make your business options more efficient or put you out of business if you don’t have plans to restructure. 

Changing the storefront is important as people enjoy new ways to spend money, better information at the Point of Sales (POS) system, and less stress for the cashier. According to this source, retail software providers are constantly updating and upgrading their products, and some will offer client conferences or user groups to educate their customers on new features, products, and integrations. Consider upgrading to a system that has touch screen capabilities, emailed receipts, and networked kiosks away from the register. POS systems aren’t just about the front desk; sales and customer information can be delivered for coupon printers, membership research, and other details that take potential customers away from online competitors and into your internet offers.

Science

Distant scientific discoveries are important as well. According to this source, quantum physics is becoming more relevant and applicable as better ways to commute, faster ways to transfer information, incredibly small ways to generate power, extremely dense ways to store information, and other breakthroughs that could deliver new products and services overnight. Tie your research department into grant proposals and government projects. Grants aren’t just for nonprofits, so don’t be afraid to look into research money that could benefit you and your benefactor at the same time. Start small by tasking a creative thinker to find projects that could help the business, and consider giving them a leadership role that doesn’t take too much time away from hunting science headlines.

 

Enhancing your own knowledge, delegating research to others, and creating new departments all comes at a cost. Time is limited–at least, until a researcher figures out a way around that–but you can figure out a profitable or less-costly way to build your future. Contact a business leadership professional to discuss tech and scientific advances for your team.

All the best businesses have great visibility online. Contact us today so we can help you!

3 Tips for Correctly Utilizing SAP Software

3 Tips for Correctly Utilizing SAP Software

SAP is a software company that produces popular enterprise resource planning(ERP) software and associated applications for businesses. SAP’s ERP system allows its clients to execute all of their business processes in an integrated environment.

ERP integration is extremely beneficial because it ensures that information flows between individual SAP software components without data entry redundancy. It also helps with the enforcement of legal and process controls. In addition, ERP allows for more efficient use of key resources, such as manpower and equipment. This article will discuss how to get the most out of your SAP software.

Understand its Usage and Limitations

The benefits of SAP software are only limited by the SAP-specific skills and abilities of your workforce. Many small companies lack the financial resources and time to adequately train their employees to properly use this powerful software.

SAP software is complex, and it is best to slowly implement individual functions or features. This will give employees enough time to become proficient with the software. Another limitation of ERP software is that it can’t be customized on a deep level. Typically, customizations involve modifying a software’s structure, which is prohibited with SAP products. This is an important factor to consider before purchasing if your company wants to tailor the software.

Understand Your Licenses

It’s important for business leaders to have a clear understanding of the terms and conditions specified in their contracts, as this can help them avoid indirect access violations. Also, individual vendors charge annual licensing fees that can be pricey. These fees are typically not based on the size of the company or its profitability.

It is also important to remember that any use must be licensed regardless of whether a fee is charged. Direct access of the SAP software is defined as human use of the software. Indirect access is defined as any access not made by humans but that is automated, such as by using bots or software.

Understand its Flexibility

SAP software is very flexible and allows businesses to make their own rules within the guidelines of the ERP software. Companies can also limit employee access to certain areas in the ERP environment. For example, you could restrict access to pay and other sensitive data to specified employees only. SAP can also integrate its data into most databases.

In closing, SAP ERP software offers a host of benefits for businesses, but it is important to know the limitations and licensing of the software. In addition, employees must be adequately trained to maximize the benefits of the software.

For more ways to improve your business, you should be utilizing website data and analytics. Let Flash Forward Sites help you take your business farther!

5 Ways to Set Up a Reviews Page on Your Website

5 Ways to Set Up a Reviews Page on Your Website

Picture this: you work for a major network marketing brand. You have the highest quality product in your industry, sales are up, and recruitment is at an all-time high. But there is trouble in paradise; a small but vocal contingent of disaffected mommy bloggers has declared digital warefare on your reputation. These ladies have spread unfair, unbalanced, and even untrue information about your products across the blogosphere and social media, and their content is starting to get some buzz. This problem has gone from an annoying sideshow to an existential branding threat. As an experienced marketer, you know it’s vital to combat the misinformation with honest and positive reviews, and you need to do it NOW. So what’s your game plan? We’re not going to cover the entire range of reputation management techniques available to you, but we will give you the place you need to start: your reviews page.

1. Visually Engaging

One of the primary methods of setting up your customer review website is by ensuring that it is visually engaging. You should ensure that most of the information on your site uses descriptive language that will create a picture of what customers will get after they purchase your products and services. Codeacademy’s website has the best review website when it comes to visual engagement. Their review website contains pictures that explain what they do.

2. Simplicity

Being simple and minimal is one aspect that you should incorporate when developing a review website. You should ensure that your review page is simple to navigate and that there is no unnecessary information that you can’t find on the website. Rules of Renovation has one of the simplest reviews pages you can ask for. You can use this example to make your review site to look attractive and straightforward.

3. Aligned

Your review page should be aligned such that all the testimonials highlighted can be connected with the specific features present in your brand. For example, you should ensure that the particular characteristics of a brand have been connected with a product so that customers can see what they have just read. The Bluebeam website aligns product features with the content on its websites.

4. Specific

This is where website owners make a mistake. They include general information such as “I love” which does not expound much on the product under consideration. As a business leader who wants to attract customers, you should ensure that the information present on your review page should only contain specific information about the product such as why they love the product. ChowNow’s website is an excellent example of a website that includes accurate information. Customers, through short videos, highlight why they like the products rather than just saying they love the products.

5. Creativity

A website review page is your marketing platform that needs to be creative and attractive. You should not develop a customer review page just for the sake of it. Clear Slide’s testimonial platform presents one of the most creative sites you will ever see. Instead of just telling you to read about customers reviews, it understands “What They’re Saying.” This demonstrates creativity and deviation from the norm.

As a business leader, you should incorporate these strategies so that you can have a testimonial page that is aligned, specific, creative, and visually engaging.

Need help building a reviews page, or looking to take your website to the next level? Check out what we can provide you with!

5 Ways to Improve Your Business Social Media Profiles

5 Ways to Improve Your Business Social Media Profiles

Hundreds of millions of users log into their favorite social networks every day. While there, they interact with their family, friends, associates, and brands. So, if your business is on social media, you have a fantastic opportunity for growth. However, you may not achieve your full potential unless you take intentional steps to improve your social media profiles.

Finish your profile

Your social media usage should begin by creating and completing a profile on each of your chosen platforms. Make sure that your profiles include your logo and consistently reflect the design and voice of your brand. Also, give each profile a consistent appearance, so users can recognize your brand as they move from one site to another.

Check your images

Improve the way your images a appear on social media by correctly sizing them for each particular platform. For example, Facebook has published recommended dimensions for your profile image, cover photo, timeline, event cover photo, and advertisements. You also want your photos to engage the consumers and your target audience. It is about reaching a group that you want to come back to your site or your store and purchase things from you over and over again. So, make sure your images appeal to your target market.

Engage your audience

Although you naturally want to use social media platforms to advertise, always remember that users expect to have a social experience. This experience means that you should engage your audience on a personal, human level. When you do this, you demonstrate that your brand is more about people than profits. So converse with your audience and feel free to share content that other people post.

Add value

Establish the authority of your brand by posting content on social media that provides valuable information and solves real-world problems. Doing this will help establish the authority of your brand and give your followers a reason to keep coming back. Also, when people see your valuable content, they will willingly share it with people they know outside their networks who may be able to use and enjoy it.

Remember video

Use a variety of content on your social media profiles to accommodate the wide-ranging preference of your audience. Although some people can learn by reading text-based information, most are visual learners. Although your profile should include graphics and photos, be sure to add video. Consider making short clips that demonstrate how to do things as well as provide behind-the-scenes coverage of your business.

Now that you know five ways that you can improve your business social media profiles put to use what you have learned. With a little planning and effort, you can make social media and the world a better place as you build your brand.

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What Are You Doing to Improve Your Brand’s Recognition?

What Are You Doing to Improve Your Brand’s Recognition?

What Are You Doing to Improve Your Brand's Recognition

Brand recognition is one of the most important marketing strategies you can undertake. Brand recognition is worth more than product quality in terms of your marketing ROI and profit margin. What are you doing to improve your brand’s recognition? Let’s take a look at some of the best strategies.

Establish Yourself as an Expert

If you are the premier intellectual talent in your industry, people will trip over themselves to buy from you. You can do this by becoming a staple in your industry’s blogosphere, and you can also write how to e-books to give away as loss leaders. Do not worry about giving away too much information. People do not want to take on solutions themselves – they simply want to know that you are actually an expert before they give their money to your company. Having a clean, well-presented website can go a long way in making yourself look like an expert to your audience.

Be Everywhere

There is a reason that companies spend so much time on search engine optimization. The more visible your company is, the more people trust you. The more people trust you, the more that you can charge for your branded items. Search engine optimization gets you in front of a potential audience of millions. These are people who would otherwise not see you, because you would not have the ability to market to them through traditional means of advertising.

Get Involved in Your Community

One of the best ways that you can improve your brand recognition is to start with your local community. If your brand gets involved with local charity events and business initiatives, you will find that people will spread the word about you in a positive way. If there are any business associations that you can join in the local area, do so. Participate in the meetings and expand your brand by going to local and regional business conventions.

The tactics above are only a few of the ways in which you can improve your brand recognition. You may be doing some of them already, and others you may not be participating in. Brand recognition involves a holistic strategy, so make sure that you are involved in as many of the above activities as possible. You should also try to increase your product quality so that as you draw people in, you do not turn them away with the actual performance of your solutions. Keep all of this in mind, and you will certainly find improved profit margins in your future.

What’s a Sales Funnel, and How Can I Make One Work for Me?

What’s a Sales Funnel, and How Can I Make One Work for Me?

What's a Sales Funnel, and How Can I Make One Work for Me

You gather lots of information about your target audience, and you’ve organized it perfectly. But if you do not understand your sales funnel, then you will have a much harder time making that data work for you. Let’s take a quick look at what a sales funnel is and what it can do for you.

What is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is an organized layout of the steps that your prospects take into their conversion. It is called a funnel because it starts out wide at the top and becomes narrow at the bottom. You will access many prospects at the beginning of the funnel, and that number will naturally taper down the deeper that you go.

How do I know if my sales funnel is strong?

Your sales funnel is strong if the percentage of prospects that follow you down match or go above the average within your industry. For instance, the industry standard follow up rate for most email marketing blasts is around 2%. If your email blasts are getting better than this rate, then you know that your email marketing strategy is doing well.

How can I make my sales funnel work for me?

The sales funnel is a wonderful tool for analysis. It can also help you to identify shortcomings in your sales process. Where are you losing prospects that you feel should turn into customers? If you have your sales funnel organized, you will be able to pinpoint these areas much more closely. For example, look at this essential oil sales funnel — how does this marketer cater to her target audience?

Will I ever need to change my sales funnel?

You will probably need to change the look of your sales funnel quite often. The modern business landscape is not a static thing. Your prospects will do different things as the market changes; new competitors may force your process to change, or you might seek advice from a marketing consultant. There may be a new technology that gives the entire industry a lift or threatens to disrupt it. You should always analyze your sales funnel for results against the industry and against the results that you expect from your process.


Defining and organizing your sales funnel is essential to to the success of your business. Never let yourself become complacent, and stay on the lookout for ways that you can make that funnel more effective. Who knows — maybe you’ll stumble on a brilliant approach that revolutionizes the world’s understanding of sales strategy.