bookmark_borderStart and Grow Callshop Business

  • VoIP Service Provider: First thing you would require is a VoIP Service provider who will provide you Complete Callshop Solution along with Integrated Billing. There are several options are available who provide complete System however things you need to check before finalizing is how scalable their product is, from how long they have been providing the services in VoIP industry and most important thing is Customer Support, because for a Callshop business you would require instant Support otherwise you will end up losing your business.
  • Termination Provider: Second step will be to get best Termination provider, you will get many termination provider options however again same thing comes in the picture how good their services are, because quality of the call depends on the routes which provides by termination provider. You can test the quality and best thing to have multiple providers for routes so if you face any issue with particular one then you can jump on to another one at any point of time and your clients will keep on getting best quality which will be helpful for you to grow your business.
  • Required Hardware’s: To start you would require minimal investment on hardware, you need to have Server where complete system will be installed and accessible. If you go with your own Server that will cost you extra however there are options available to rent out the server as well which are less expensive and good option at the initial stage. Apart from server you will require IP Phones as well with which you can login with different Callshop login accounts and customer can directly make the phone calls by using IP Phones. Now coming over to last and important requirement and that is Callshop Booths.
  • Required & Important Characteristics: Features like Automated Billing, Auto Invoicing, Prepaid and Postpaid, Advanced Reporting System are main and required feature in a Callshop. It’s highly suggested and recommended to test a demo of the system and check the features, you may get several features by provider however you need to check which features are required for your business and which will never be used, because if any provider is providing you ample amount of features and charging you accordingly, there is no point to pay for those which is not going to be in use. So test the complete Solution before finalizing and then go for that.
  • How to Grow Your Business: Now this thing will come to your mind, what are the next steps once you have started, how to grow now. For growing in your Callshop Business first and foremost thing you need to take care of is Quality of your calls and competitive rates. At the initial stage of your business you need to provide services at very nominal charges along with the best quality. This is the most important aspect which will give a boost to your organization.

bookmark_borderEssential Franchise Information

Franchises have experienced annual growth of more than 50% – and are now also popping up in airports, railway stations and inside supermarkets.

There is intense competition for new franchisees -so don’t bow to pressure to sign on the dotted line – until you are 110% certain that your decision is the right one for you.

With the huge choice of what to go into – home services, personal services, financial services, retail, fitness, food, health and beauty, etc, etc – ensure that the one you choose is aligned with your existing skills and something that you have a genuine interest in.

Attend franchising seminars and collect all relevant information and data. Make sure you ascertain details on: upfront franchise fees; training fees; location fees; and ongoing franchise and advertising fees.

Find out how long the franchisor has been operating; what training and support they offer; what track record they have; are they f inancially stable; do they undertake demographic checks on potential sites; the success rate of existing (and past) franchisees; and how much control they exert.

Remember – there are no guarantees when purchasing a franchise – success in one location does not automatically ensure success in another! Your franchise may not become the immediate gold mine that you envisaged -it may take several years before you even reach breakeven.

Analyze your costs and know your numbers: what is the ratio of the rent to turnover; salaries to turnover; fixed costs to turnover. If you are borrowing the start up costs – make sure you factor in your loan repayments. Research the best method of borrowing the money – a business loan, a business mortgage loan, interest and principal, interest only??

Be aware that if you fail to follow the guidelines as laid out in the contract – the franchisor may, with warnings, terminate the franchise agreement.

Ensure that you get written substantiation to cover any earnings representation.

And – most important – seek EXPERT LEGAL ADVICE – before signing anything!

bookmark_borderSmall Business Grants

There are many types of grants offered by the Governments and other financial institutions that include individual grants for personal necessities, business grants for starting new business, education grants for funding education and many more. Grants are always a feasible option to support existing business or financing new business in all fields. While the United States government does not offer direct grants for supporting small business there are many state development agencies, non-profit organizations, intermediary lending institutions and local government, which offer grants to expand and enhance small businesses.

Small businesses always play a significant role in the economic growth of a country and that is the reason governments are always ready to offer financial resources to facilitate small business. You can receive small business grant to start up any type of business. From carpet cleaning, photocopying, private tutoring services to day care business you name any business and these agencies have the grants for you. All U.S. citizens and residents are eligible to receive U.S. Federal Government, State Government and Private Foundation-funded grants and loans. Apart from this these grant programs do not require credit checks, collateral, security deposits or co-signers. Small business grants are easily available. Anyone who is 18 year old and thinking about going into business for himself or wanting to expand his existing business can apply for the grant. Grants varying between $500.00 to $50,000.00 can be obtained from these agencies. Usually there are larger payments for business start up costs. If you are an entrepreneur than you can use the privileges provided by the government. Small business grants are the ideal way to fulfill your dreams of becoming a business owner.

bookmark_borderSources of Sales Leads

The customer who let your contract lapse or failed to include you in their selection process did so for any number of reasons. Yes, sometimes your company made an unforgivable mistake or did something equally fatal. Often, it’s subtler. Either way, if you give up on them, they’re likely to remain former customers forever.

If you take the initiative and reintroduce yourself, you might find out-

  • Your company was perceived to be unsuitable for a reason that is not currently valid. (Your prices weren’t competitive; now they are. You didn’t offer a one-stop-shop experience; now you do. The salesperson who used to cover that territory was abrasive; his/her replacement is well-liked.)
  • Or the decision-maker who blackballed you or was unshakably loyal to your competitor is no longer there.
  • Or the person who used to routinely include you in the company’s selection process has moved up or moved on, and the new person doesn’t know you to include you.

Possible outcomes: a renewed relationship, news that you truly aren’t a match anymore, or a frosty shoulder.

Similarly with failed sales, they may not have chosen you when a particular decision was made. That doesn’t mean they’d never consider you again, but it’s your responsibility to stay on their radar. If they are marketed to by a sufficient number of companies in your category, they might not include you the next time they open their selection process. By writing them off, you turn “no” into “never.”

Some companies are very good about asking departing customers for an exit interview and asking failed sales for a post-selection debriefing. Unfortunately, many of these companies assign this task to the salesperson or account manager the customer or prospect just rejected. That’s cruel! Think about it:

  • It’s very difficult for one adult to say directly to another, “This is how you disappointed me,” or “This is where you fell short.”
  • If a former customer or failed sale is willing to be candid, the average salesperson or account manager is likely to get defensive in response. In other words, they reward candor with an argument.

Instead, feedback from lost customers and failed sales is better solicited from the VP of Sales or Account Management (or Operations). What at first blush sounds like an unwise use of very valuable time turns out to be the best way to isolate root causes and reduce the number of future lost customers and failed sales.

You may ask why a former customer or failed sale would cooperate and offer honest responses to these questions. The answer is simple:

Companies need vendors.

If you lost the customer or the sale for reasons that can be addressed to their satisfaction, you might be the vendor that offers the best deal the next time they need your product or service.

Once your team members get past the understandable discomfort of asking for candid feedback and guidance, you might win (or win back) relationships you thought were lost forever.

Ann Amati, Principal, Deliberate Strategies Consulting, helps companies use guidance from their current and past customers to grow future sales. She has a 20-year track record of using deep-dive interviews to create positive turning points in her clients’ relationships with their customers.

bookmark_borderPlans For Business Venture

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Present the business mission statement here. Include as well the date the business was formed; the leadership team and other key management personnel; the credentials or experience that make you and the leadership team uniquely qualified to launch and successfully run the venture; the business legal structure (LLC, Sole Proprietor, or Corporation); the products and services; one or two key competitive advantages; a concise overview of sales projections; and the amount of capital needed if recruiting investors or obtaining bank financing is a goal.

BUSINESS DESCRIPTION

It’s traditional to present a brief description of your industry and its outlook, nationally and regionally. Give the details of your products and services and briefly discuss how they’ll be used by target customers. Identify whether the venture is B2B, B2C, or B2G. If the organization holds a patent, review the competitive advantages that it will convey. Have there been any technological advances that will help or hinder the enterprise? Divulge the details here.

MARKETING

This element is a big tent that encompasses sales, product or service distribution, competitors, advertising, social media, PR, networking, branding, customer acquisition and pricing. Plans written for a small organization will spotlight the role of marketing because for Solopreneurs, success hinges on identifying and reaching paying clients, as well as pricing the services advantageously.

FINANCE

Whether you’re wealthy enough to self-finance or the venture is small and not especially demanding of capital investment, the leadership team nevertheless needs to know with a reasonable degree of certainty how much money will be required to achieve important goals.

The plan might be written to support financing for the acquisition of new office space, additional staffing, or manufacturing equipment. Bank loans typically require a business plan to demonstrate how the investment money would be used and how the organization will generate funds for loan repayment.

If the goal is to attract investors, they’ll need to be convinced by the projected sales revenue figures (as will the bank), so they’ll know when their investment will be repaid and when to expect profits if they are made co-owners of the business. A break-even analysis, projected income statement, projected cash-flow statement and projected balance sheet are required by those who will need significant money.

OPERATIONS

How will day-to-day business processes function? Tell it here, along with providing the organizational chart, the business location, the method of producing that which you sell (if you are, for example, a freelance book editor or graphic designer, you produce the service yourself), your usual sub-contractors (if you are a special events organizer, who are your preferred caterer, florist and limo service?) and quality control methods. This element is about logistics.

bookmark_borderBrainstorming and Innovation

The only chance today of a brainstorming session coming up with a brilliant original solution would be to have someone in the group who is already a creative genius who can speak up, defend their concept against politically correct and status quo bias and personally persuade the group to yield to their idea. Still, this type of person is a true ‘Thought Leader’ and a legitimate thought leader hardly needs a brainstorming group or any group for that matter in the first place.

Brainstorming isn’t working anymore for innovation, and you can get better creativity from a YouTube Cat Video these days. Corporate R&D Departments aren’t producing much either considering the huge sums of money they spend on the innovative process. Those who predict the future so they can see into the looking glass aren’t much better using their methodologies.

Let’s take the Futurists of the World Future Society (WFS) as an interesting case study. The WFS has seminars to teach you how to think like a Futurist, symposiums with special emphasis on trend projections and innovation. Isn’t it interesting how all the members of the WFS are always on the same page, and how their predictions are nearly always incorrect (90% of the time)? Why is this? Maybe it’s because when you teach people to think a certain way, they lose the creative edge or ability to do high-level original thought, as you are confine their thought process to logical thinkin?g (left brain thinking) when the students who wish to focus on innovation need to be both left and right brain thinkers.

How are we going to get back to an America that is robust in original thinking and overflowing with new ideas – a nation that is so innovative that we can’t even hold back the rapid changes of our society and civilization? How can we lead the world into the future if we can’t even innovate our way out of plastic bags? Please consider all this and think on it.

bookmark_borderBusiness Intelligence

Ever changing marketing trends and targeting customers through their behavior and traffic patterns is the driving force for integrating business intelligence tools that provide greater insights than the way we previously used manual marketing forecasts. Actionable information that business managers and corporate executives can access in order to make informed business decisions can affect the organization’s overall performance and growth.

Yet how do you determine what is the best software to apply to your organizational needs? If you’re searching for a buyer’s guide for software services based on their merits, you can find some transparent and reputable review sites to help you uncover the best software tools for cloud computing, forecasting, benchmarking, mobile, predictive analytics, big data, and visualization.

Dashboard software creates data visualizations (graphs, charts, metrics) that monitor client interactions, revenue, reports, and scorecards. Although dashboard software monitors client reactions, customer relationship management (CRM) and BI Tools are not to be confused. CRM is a database that stores customer sales history and interactions, which you could segment for greater productivity and profitability. Business intelligence tools combine software for customer acquisition and retention. Together, the two can impact real-world numbers through testing and experimenting.

Business Intelligence technologies and analytic tools give more accurate reports while saving time and money. With the capability to analyze historical data and forecast a holistic view of their market, organizations need to understand analytics in order to make their company compete efficiently while understanding big data in real-time to deliver an optimal customer experience.

bookmark_borderAbout FOB

FOB origin indicates that the ownership of the goods is transferred as soon as in gets out of the hands of the seller. If shipping of the goods is required then it is the buyer’s responsibility and he or she has to bear the expenses. This type of transaction is often referred to the city name like FOB Boston, FOB San Francisco, etc.

FOB destination, on the other hand, indicates that ownership of goods is transferred to the buyer when the original products reach the doorstep of the buyer. Here, the seller has to arrange for the transportation of the goods for which either he pays or charges the buyer for the expenses. The seller also has to be liable in case the goods suffer any damage while en route.

FOB comes more into the picture when there are wholesale or B2B shipments of large goods.

There are four ways in which the FOB term is included in the documents for shipping:

  • FOB (place of origin)- Freight Collect
  • FOB (place of origin)- Freight Prepaid
  • FOB (place of destination)- Freight Collect
  • FOB (place of destination)- Freight Prepaid

It is important that the shippers understand the FOB designations well especially in case of damages to the goods. Some of the receiving docks totally deny the delivery of the damaged goods without accepting the damage notation. However, when a shipment is designated properly, it is clear that the damage risk has to be borne by the seller or the buyer. In such cases, there is no question of confusion.

The term is particularly important for those companies who are engaged in shipping huge quantities of goods. A clear concept of the FOB term helps in understanding the liability of the party regarding the safety in the delivery of the shipment. It also helps the buyer and the seller in knowing which party owns the materials at a particular point of the shipping cycle. This information is also helpful for the accountants who can maintain instant records of the transactions on the basis of FOB. Moreover, the term is also useful in proper logistics management.

If you are falling in the nexus of any state which charges selling taxes on shipment, then FOB can be your friend. For the packages which have FOB origin marked on them, the buyer pays the freight charges directly by contracting with a shipper. Thus, the seller has no role here. The buyer does not have to bear sales taxes as he has already paid the freight charges which most of the states consider exempted.

When people find the term quite complex to understand and interpret, they often take the help of professionals who are expert in the field. This ensures that you comply with the terms without any faults and the shipments get managed quite fast. FOB incoterms is another interesting aspect which the shipping industry must pay attention to and know about in details.

bookmark_borderStart a Service Business

First clients

You should understand that getting your first client is your first milestone. What you need to do is serve your first few clients very well. They should be happy. Moreover, if you want to develop a strong relationship with the clients, make sure you give them a discount.

Find a Focus

You should be different from other service providers who offer similar services. If you don’t be different, you won’t be able to make a difference. As a result, your product will not entice the potential buyers. Your clients should be able to differentiate your products from those of your competitors. This is what we mean by finding a focus.

Blogging and social media

For marketing, blogging and social media are your best tools. You should create and publish content that can validate your expertise. Today, your marketing is a lot cheaper than it was a few years ago. In the past, people had to get through strict editors and publishers in order to get the word out about their expertise. They had to write books and articles as well. Nowadays, you can post on Twitter, Facebook and your own blog. So, you don’t have to rely so much on editors and publishers nowadays.

Logo and look

We suggest that you choose your logo wisely and spend on it after a lot of thinking. Actually, your website and logo should be professional and this is really important. Nowadays, it’s not about stationary or business cards anymore. This is your representation.

Don’t overspend

It’s not a good idea to spend the money you don’t have. As a matter of fact, you will get tons of suggestions that can help you make more money later on, such as marketing programs and mail lists.

bookmark_borderBest Way to Promote a Business

Plan your attack. Define who your best prospects are, and then determine the best way to reach them. Be as specific as possible. Is the decision maker the CTO of the company, the director of human resources, or a 37-year-old working mom? Will you find them on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or Facebook? What about in-person networking at local business meetings? Will they be searching for your type of product on Google or Bing? Do you want to start promoting your business to them at the start of their buying cycle, or when they’re about ready to pull out their credit card and make the purchase? Write your answers down, and refer to them before you start any new marketing tactic.

If you don’t have a website, get one set up.┬áIf you can’t afford to have someone custom-design your website, put your site up using one of the companies like SiteSell.com, E-business Success. Simple. Real or Get a site, Get found. Get customers. That provide templates and tools that make it easy to create a basic website.

Set up a listing for your business in search engine local directories.

Google and Bing both offer a free listing of local businesses.

To get listed on Google, go to Google My Business.

To get listed on Bing, go to Bing Places for Business