Microfinancing captured the minds of big companies because of the solid financial discipline small-income workers have, and the high interest rates in every transaction. But is it really all it is cracked up to be?
Here’s Smith Clark, a Microfinancer from Wessex:
I’ve been wondering where to put my money ever since I had saved it when I was 27 years old. A fund is highly important especially if I am to retire within 30 years afterwards. However, I had money too low for hedge funds, and I found the stock market highly risky. Properties never return profit quickly, until a friend gave me an idea.
He told me he’d borrow money from me and pay it back double by an appointed date. I learned this was microfinancing, then I got interested.
I lent money from different neighbours, from those who needed roof repair funds, to those wanting to purchase a new car. I set an interest rate depending on how much I knew the person in the community, and they all paid back quickly.
However, there are those that had escaped paying for their own money. Most gave an IOU note before they left the community.
The upside of microfinancing is that the returns are great. You get to help your local community too. The more you earn their trust, the more they introduce new people, and your money continues to grow.
The bad news is that you deal with people’s credit based on how well you know them. Making things worse, the risk is very high because some people you think they are, may not really be who they seem to be.
It takes one to know one in doing business, and interacting with people, the right people, is very important. It is estimated that only 20% of the people you interact with will give your business the boost it needs, and the remaining 80% are people you made an effort to interact with, but to no avail. Finding the essential people in social and corporate events is imperative, and here are a few ways to help identify them.
1. Ten Minutes
Limit yourself to talking to people for 10 minutes, and avoid handing out your business card too early during the discussion. Before you hand it out, make sure you have asked the other person for their business card. Focus the conversation on the potential relationship and contribution they could provide your company.
Take notes behind the business cards of the individuals. By the end of the day and the next morning, you would have forgotten the qualities of the person in the business card. The note will help you remember the approach you used talking to them and their potential aid for your business.
3. Mutual Help
In the first four minutes, analyse whether your business could help bring business to the other individual, and if their business could give help to yours. A good partnership starts with mutuality wherein the two parties recognise they can elevate the other’s business. However, you will need to differentiate yourself from the individual’s other potential takers; make sure to make a good impression with the people you meet in 10 minutes.
Every business wants to have patrons, but there is no easy way except to earn their trust and be consistent. These are two simple things, but both are very difficult to accomplish. However, you could turn your customers into patrons instantly by just doing the following.
1. Done With Passion and Precision
Every customer loves to open a box of a product that has been manufactured with his or her every expectation of the product met. Meeting expectations is a big deal simply because it shows the passion and capability of the company to deliver substantial produce. This creates an atmosphere that the business is serious. However, this will need consistency.
2. Always be Genuine
If consumers recognize that you have created a good product that solves a problem and one that is a luxury to have, it is important to remind your business to not get over their heads. Remaining genuine and treating consumers fairly, protecting your patent rights, not raising prices without reason, and other things, will help bolster your patron population.
Offering patrons something in return for their loyalty will make them feel exceptional and special. Providing them exclusive access to new products or discounts will help you create a large patron population.
Productivity is held in high value in business and productive personnel companies consider as assets. However, as humans, they also have their own “down days.” To encourage productivity in your workplace, here are a few things to help your employees.
1. Block Social Media
Social networks have become the biggest distractions since its inception a few years ago. When your employees take a break, having them go for a walk or meditation is advisable to calm down their senses. Social networks and the information they hold could ignite certain thought patterns, which could tire or burn out employees.
2. Focus on the Task
Telling your employees not to feel bad about their procrastination but they should consider they do not need to feel like doing something in order to do it can help set their mind to work. They can get focused when they realize that all they need is to do something, not to perfect it. What is important is that they deliver something by the end of the day.
3. One at a Time
Doing one thing at a time is an important part of productivity. If you are drinking water and taking a break, do not think of work or check your email. When you are focusing yourself towards work, never open social media and instead be interested in the details of the work you are doing. If you’re focusing on networking with new clients or business partners, then focus on these, and not about how much you want the entire event done already.
Quality, consistency and support are three things consumers want business to give them in providing their product and service. A satisfied consumer becomes a patron especially if the business achieves consistency with their products and service. Develop your consumer relationships effectively through the following:
Allowing critics to bash or praise your products or services while you are still a start-up or small business can draw industry attention to you. When critic communities see the business trying hard and improving, they can write a comparative analysis of the two products and highlight where the earlier failed and the recent succeeded, drawing consumer’s trust regarding your passion.
2. Consumer Help
An efficient after-sales team providing information to your consumers about their products or services helps achieve consumer satisfaction on so many levels. It also increases your reliability. A consistently-helpful consumer help department also helps you find the problems present in your products and services, paving the way for design improvements.
Sales personnel could just approach the consumer and know next to nothing regarding a product or service. However, a sales person that welcomes a consumer and tells them about the product in the most honest manner can convince a consumer about why they need the product. This personal interaction, if perceived by consumers as honest, can win you patrons and increased product or service reliability.
Most business encourage employees to register the official business page in casual social media as their workplace. Indeed, social networks can improve brand recognition if the employees themselves interact with consumer queries and post their own updates regarding the different areas of the company. However, casual or consumer-oriented social networks are not enough for search engine marketing.
Search engine specialists perceive search engine algorithms to value credentials before validating a business’ legitimacy. This is why press releases, interviews and involvement in other blogs allow search engines to recognize the valid existence of the business. With professional social networks, search engines could also see the credentials of employees working in the business.
If your employees register the business profile as their workplace, their position in the company, educational attainment, industry achievements and other information will help boost the company’s credentials.
The same effect for employees could be attained if a brand-name business creates a professional social network profile and recognizes the employee as part of their company.
However, it is not enough for employees to register themselves. The business’ company registration information will also verify its official existence to other companies and networks that recognize their existence. Continuous company activities are also an essential part of any search engine and internet marketing campaign.
I’ve been a business consultant for decades and I’ve worked with many different companies and still counting. One thing they often ask me is that regardless of their marketing strategies and outstanding record information investors are not flocking their business. I told them the answer is simple: investors want tangible performance.
Tangible performance in this sense is the assurance that the business does not only perform will today, this month, this year or in the next five years. It is assuring investors that your long term plans are coming to fruition, and all the latest business reviews are saying the same for your plan as well. A few margins of error here and there will not shake investors, but they are looking for results and sustainability.
Put your shoes to an investor’s. As an investor, you will be pooling money to a business that you understand has great sustainability for the next few years. However, what will happen after these next few years? If the business banked on a trend as a business, you would not put your money there simply because the fad can just fade out. The risk here is that will your business become a classic, a commodity, or just flop in the next decade?
Your performance based on your long term goals count. Even if your marketing strategies are working, there’s a high probability that your business is seen by investors as just a “passing fad” or, based on currently available resources, will just fade out over time and even depreciate in value as it continues.
Create your short-term, mid-term and long-term plans, and you will find investors cheering for your business if they find it compelling.
With the increasing legal troubles in the United Kingdom, no win no fee claims companies have begun to sprout everywhere in the country. However, some of these are scammers and may take your money up front without even delivering the product due. Here are a few tips that could help you find the right compensation claims company for you.
Near Your Location
You will want to know more about your claim regardless whether if for an accident or injury. It is a useless deal to work with a claims management company offering a better deal an hour’s ride away from your home than working with a claims company near your place. You can get yourself updated better in the process as well.
Claims Regulation Number
The Ministry of Justice regulates the activities of claims management companies through their claims regulation number. You could find most claims management company websites displaying this number in a small part of their website. You could also ask their claims hotline for the number.
Only work with a claims company with experience. I once worked with NoWinNoFeeAdviceLine and got what I paid for because they had a good track record and actually got me my compensation in just three weeks from where we started. Look for customer reviews regarding the claims management company and see if their methods can work for you.
Many educational institutions grant businesses a chance to involve soon-to-be graduates with first-hand experience in the industry by granting them mentorship through on-the-job trainings. However, this could also be a chance for a business to develop their business brand. Here are a few ways mentorship could help in business brand development.
1. Creating Good Future Competition
Employees who had broken off from their parent company for known or unknown reasons build many great companies today. This might be due to a management or benefits issue, or that the employee has a good idea of how to run the same type of company in the industry but in his or her own way seeing the possible shortcomings of the parent company. Mentorship also breeds the same type of personality in interns.
An intern learning from a good mentor will know about the quality of product and results needed from an employee as set by the company itself. Interns will learn hands-on the required precision for processes, managing their own priorities and seeing how their work contributes to the bigger picture of the company’s system. The business’ brand grows as interns continue the same discipline working or competing against their internship company.
Mentors also teach interns entrepreneurship and innovation. Some interns may have useable ideas that the company could use with their permission. In a way this helps develop a company’s business brand with the release of such ideas and will help cultivate entrepreneurial ideas for interns in their future profession.
Businesses intending to spread their products to different areas of their local will need to develop a vendor and supplier list. Vendors render services that help your businesses in different aspects such as advertising and manufacturing. Suppliers can provide you the material you need for building the products your business provides.
1. Make a Posting
Your business’ resources team can create a posting to attract the attention of potential vendors and suppliers interested in working with your projects. As these individuals or groups will be working independently from you, observe their portfolio carefully and mind the smallest details you see.
2. Repeat Performances
If the business benefitted from a healthy working relationship with the vendor or supplier, continue to work with them with future projects because this will strengthen your working relationship. It can also open new doors for you especially when you need other vendors for other projects.
3. Try Other Vendors
There is more than one kind of vendor for one type of task. Businesses must try out other vendors in the same field and gauge their work performance. Other vendors may do some tasks better than others. It is also helpful to provide a peer assessment review of the vendors and suppliers you work with for their benefit in the future.