What Business Owners Need to Know – Customer Service is Everything

Customer service is everything. Indeed, if you don’t take care of your customers, someone else will… Yet, it seems that taking care of your customers is not even on the agenda with many management meetings.

Besides, the meetings are mostly about the sales performance against the budget or other trivial internal company matters. But, sadly, not about your customers.

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Pricing Strategies for Small Businesses – Competitive Pricing

The competitive pricing strategy is by definition a strategy that considers what happens outside the perimeters of a business. It is more sophisticated than the Cost-Plus Pricing Strategy that was discussed in an earlier post.

Indeed, competitive pricing decisions involve significant market risks and managerial attention 1. So, if your business does not have the structure and culture to keep an eye on what is happening in the market for your product, you’ll probably have no sales or have lots of sales, but at a loss!

Let’s look a bit deeper at the practice of competitive pricing…

 

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Pricing Strategies for Small Businesses – Cost plus Pricing

Cost plus Pricing (CPP) is probably the most suited pricing strategy for most small business startups. It’s also the most widely strategy used by businesses all around. This is so, because CPP is the simplest method of determining price, and it embodies the basic idea behind doing business.

That is, “you make something, sell it for more than you spent making it (because you’ve added value by providing the product)”, according to Vivian Guo, of Price Intelligently.

The Balance Small Business defines Cost plus Pricing as follows: “Cost-plus pricing, also called markup pricing, is the practice by a company of determining the cost of the product to the company and then adding a percentage on top of that price to determine the selling price to the customer.”

How do you calculate Cost plus Pricing?

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The Challenge with the Pricing of Products or Services

Pricing of products or services may have a huge impact on your business’s bottom line and its brand value. Indeed, price is the only element of the marketing mix that brings revenue and not costs. Even more, price is the element of the marketing mix that is the easiest and fastest to change 1.

The marketing mix refers to the set of actions, or tactics, that a company uses to promote its brand or product in the market. The 4Ps make up a typical marketing mix - Price, Product, Promotion and Place. ... Price: refers to the value that is put for a product. (https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/definition/marketing-mix)

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How to Advertise your Business during the First Few Months after Starting

“How to advertise your business during the first few months after starting?” is a question that many new business owners and entrepreneurs are seeking an answer for.

Of course they ask the question with good reason. In fact, without advertising your business, your prospective customers won’t know anything about your business. And, no business can start or grow without customers.

It’s usually a messy process, starting your own business…

How to advertise your business during the first few months after starting too

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How to use the SWOT Analysis and understand your Business Better

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A SWOT analysis is seemingly done during most corporate strategic planning sessions. To that end it’s not done without good reason. Indeed, using SWOT is simple, powerful and proven to be effective.

What is a SWOT analysis?

A SWOT analysis is a technique specifically designed to help with the identification of suitable business strategies for an organization to follow. It is a structured approach to evaluating the strategic position of an organization. Hence it is done by identifying its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

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Achieve a Sustainable Competitive Advantage by Adopting Service Marketing Strategies

Are you adopting service marketing strategies? If not, now is the time…

Consumer markets are more turbulent and unpredictable than a couple decades ago. Indeed, as Matthew Meacham and others reflected recently: “Twenty years ago, competition in the consumer products industry looked like professional tennis. You faced opponents with business models that were similar to yours. You had been playing against them for years. It was tough but predictable and manageable”.

But now, it’s different. After all, it seems that everything is disrupted. Advances in digital technology has changed the playing field and rules in consumer markets. As a result, most products can easily be copied and sold anytime and everywhere at ridiculous low prices. How on earth can SMEs differentiate themselves with same-old products and copycat competitors? The answer is right in front of their eyes – their customers.

The customers in the market have remained mainly the same. In spite of having more choices and access to multiple channels, they still have the same needs and wants. SMEs need to convince their customers that they are the best firm to do business with. So, if SMEs want to steady their ships to calmer waters, they need to pay much more attention to serving their customers better.

Indeed, they can be on course to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

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What will Enhance Online Customer Experience?

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Online customer experience matters. Indeed, survival in today’s competitive e-commerce environment where the competitor is only one click away means that firms have to find ways to provide customers with a unique experience much more than low prices 1.

Undoubtedly the competition for customers is fierce in the online retail channel. Yet many of you may think it’s a strange thing to say since there’re about 1.8 billion people worldwide purchasing goods online (Statista, 2018).  But there are also many online retailers.

Back in 2014 there were already more than 24 million active online stores (Internet Retailer). Sadly, only a small percentage of them does noteworthy business. So why are the majority of online retailers not doing business? One of the main reasons why these shops fail is because their customers are having bad online experiences when visiting their websites…

Nevertheless, online shopping is so popular because it offers more convenience. Furthermore, the store location is irrelevant and consumers can shop from any location, 24 h a day, seven days a week. But, just like the physical brick-and-mortar retailers, customers visiting the store want to have, apart from the shopping, a pleasant or useful experience. Indeed, online visitors may become loyal customers if they fancy the experience they get on your website.

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A Customer’s Online Buying Journey in the Retail Channel

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Here’s the online buying journey of Jack, who does most of his shopping in the retail channel. Indeed, retailers are eager to discover the online buying habits of Jack. That’s for a good reason, because of all the new media, consumers are dramatically shifting both their media usage patterns and how they utilize different media sources to get the information they seek 1. As a result, it influences when, where, and how Jack chooses his brands.

In fact, the online buying journey of Jack today is markedly different from his buying journey about a decade ago. About ten or more years ago, Jack had to search the local ‘Yellow Pages’ directory to find retailers who kept the products that he wants.  Jack’s buying journey at that time was a linear process with a beginning and an end with a couple of events, in sequence, in between.

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Is the Sales Funnel Relevant in Predicting Buying Behavior of Digitized Customers?

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For ages now, marketers relied on the sales funnel to get insight into their potential customer’s thought process, challenges, and decisions. Indeed, the sales funnel is academically grounded in the marketing funnel, AIDA model (Attention + Interest + Desire + Action model), and the hierarchy of effects model 1. It’s no wonder that one of the first models I’d to master early in my marketing studies was the AIDA model…

The ADIA model is thought of as a linear process which starts when the customer is becoming aware of a need and ends when he/she purchase a product or service to satisfy the need. The model derives from consumer psychology and specifically the cognitive journey a customer undertakes when buying a product.

The way that the sales funnel is commonly described graphically is shown below:

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