1.888.662.1135 Login

ZenboLife

It's your life. Plan it. Live it.

Join today!

ZenboLife is a life planning & personal productivity tool. It is a holistic application to help store all your contacts, tasks and notes as well as guide you through the process of planning your life. It is designed to cover all areas of your life to be your all in one source.

Blog

  • Management

    If you are in the business of selling products, you most likely will carry some sort of inventory. Inventory management it crucial to cost savings and running an efficient business. One of the worst things that can happen is continually wasting inventory, it is just cash out the door.

    Inventory can be one of the biggest expenses for a company. The goal is to use up 100% of inventory.

    Inventory is an asset of your business but too high inventory and you are wasting money. Too low and customer has to wait for item to come in and may go somewhere else.

    Record keeping

    You will need to manage on-hand quantities to ensure you have enough to do business but only keep the minimum you need to do business. This reduces costs and takes up less space. The amount of inventory depends on customer demand for your products.

    You should keep good records of all items and once you have built up a history you can get a good idea of how much you will need. Watch for trends throughout the year.

    Managing items

    You should know your inventory turnover rate. Depending on your industry it could be a few or several times per year. Food items are perishable and must have a higher turnover. Luxury items on the other hand most likely will have a lower turnover.

  • Marketing

    For small business owners every dollar must count. Large companies can afford large marketing budgets. There are many methods you can use to stretch that small budget.

    When using any marketing method it is important to try to engage customers and track your marketing efforts. Digital marketing including social media marketing are among the low cost effective methods that a small business can use.

    Email marketing

    Can have high ROI. Many sources report $30+ return for every dollar spent on email marketing.

    Elevator pitch

    Whenever or wherever you meet someone new you have just a minute or two to sell them on what you offer.

    Cross promote

    Think of other businesses that complement but do not compete with what you offer. Collaborate your efforts.

    Think local

    Opportunities to market locally. Be where your customers are.

    Network

    Look for networking events that your customers may attend. Do not just hand out your business card ask how you can help?

    Public speaking

    Many organizations and non-profits are constantly looking for speakers. You might be doing them a favor by making their job easier by coming to them instead of them looking for someone.

    Referrals

    Do not let your customers keep you a secret. Ask for referrals. Most will be happy to refer you.

  • Sales

    Good customer service makes the difference between growing your customer base or not. You cannot afford to lose customers from a bad experience. What can you do to ensure excellent customer service?

    Know your customers

    Develop a strong relationship with customers. Ask for feedback and show you are listening. Keep an open dialogue.

    Plan for trouble

    Make sure you have standard for what steps your employees need to take if something goes wrong for a customer. Do you have a customer service policy?

    Be genuine

    If a customer is having an issue try your best to be understanding, treat them like family or better.

    Use the right tools

    Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools keeps track of all interactions with your customers. This helps to resolve issues faster for customers and keep notes on a customer’s file.

    Audit your customer Service

    You need to benchmark where you are now. How does your staff interact with customers? Have a friend test them out. What are online reviews saying about your service?

    Offer multiple communication methods

    Some customers will remain silent and will not let you know if there is an issue in person. Social media allow others to reach you.

    Resolve issues quickly

    Don’t ignore them. Don’t delay, the faster you react the better they will feel.

  • Sales

    Cold calling can be stressful and you can receive lots of rejection. It can feel defeating and unproductive. With enough practice, it can be an effective marketing strategy. Many sales people fear cold calling this can only mean that if you do it and well you can reap greater rewards. A phone call is a much richer medium than an email or mail that is easy to delete or toss in the trash. Most people are too polite to just hang up and if you use the right words, you just might get their attention.

    Prepare

    Prepare a script of what you will say. How will you convince them to buy? Think of any possible responses that a prospect may have so you have a reply. Make sure you have a goal in mind. Have a good strong hook to your opening statement. Know your script so well so it sounds natural.

    Do Research

    Do not be random about whom to call. Develop a targeted list of prospects. Know who makes the decisions. Know when to call, the time of day or if it is seasonal the time of year. Do internet research including social media. Learn as much about prospects. Speak their language of the industry. Personalize the call know their business and industry and why they may need your product or service. Spending the time upfront researching and targeting ideal prospects leads to greater success and less frustration.

  • Teams

    Teams are when a group of people come together to with the same goal. Teams go through five stages of development Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning. Team conflict is most likely to occur in the storming phase when team members are competing for power and relationships have not yet developed.

    When conflict does arise, there are styles to handle conflict: Competing, Avoiding, Compromising, Accommodating and Collaborating. (Daft, R. L. 2014 P.317). Competing using power to pursue your own interests. Avoiding when you ignore the concerns of others. Compromising to find mutually acceptable solution. Accommodating by ignoring your position and satisfy the other individual. Collaborating by working with the other individual to find a solution that satisfies all concerns. Depending on the situation, the leader must make the decision as to which method to take.

    If the leader decides to fix the issue, they have several methods to alleviate through bargaining, Negotiating, Integrative Negotiation, Distributive Negotiation, Mediation and Facilitating Communication. Each depends on the severity of the issue and the communication level between those involved.

    We all come from different backgrounds and experiences. It is amazing that we can communicate and get along in any form. The leader needs to be aware of the differences of the followers and try to build team cohesiveness.

  • Leadership

    An example of Hard Power is the carrot and stick philosophy also known as Reward and Coercive power. Reward Power is when the leader has power to give or take away rewards. Coercive Power is when the leader has power to punish. I believe that a Theory X leader would be much more likely to use hard power as it is aligned with their belief that people do not like work and need to be motivated. I see this working only followers who respond well to rewards. It can also lead to followers who do not think for themselves and do not develop.

    Soft Power on the other hand is the use of persuasion and logical argument to attract followers to your ideas and goals. Types of soft power include legitimate, referent, expert and informational. Legitimate power is given to those leaders based on their position or title CEO or police officer for example. Referent Power is derived by the likeability of a leader. Follower’s lookup to the leader and either unconscious/consciously begin to imitate the leader. Expert Power is from unique and valuable skills and expertise. Informational Power when someone has specific knowledge that is valuable to others. I think this should be separate from expert power.

  • Strategy

    Retailing is an old business model that goes back a few thousand years. Only in the last hundred years has there been some drastic changes. Customers today have more choice than ever before. They can buy from small to giant retailers. They can buy local or buy from the other side of the planet via ecommerce. The growth of giant retailers, shopping malls and technological advances have put a lot of pressure on the small retailer.

    Giant retailers make it hard for small retailer to compete. Giant retailers have become so powerful that most of consumer spending is done in a handful of large companies. These giant retailers have strong purchasing power to buy their inventory for less than the smaller retailer does. They also have collected an incredible amount of information on their consumers. Big Data allows them to analyze trends so they know exactly where to place items in their stores and get the consumer to buy.

    Online retailing is another growing trend set to take away small retailer business. Sites such as Amazon, eBay and even the retail giants have their own websites that offer more products than a small retailer can handle. Over the last several years, online retailing has grown quickly taking a larger piece out of total retail sales.

  • Leadership

    The servant leader’s first priority is to serve the organization. They put the needs of the organization and their followers before their own. They assist their followers to grow both personally and professionally.

    Leaders encourage trust between themselves and their followers. Unlike traditional management style which uses different types of power the servant leader shares power through collaboration.

    Leaders must have good vision of where the business is going. They provide goals for people to focus and this gives them a sense of purpose.

    Servant leadership style is my favorite leadership style. I like how it treats the follower in a homeopathic way by treating the whole person.

  • Marketing

    Social media has changed the way people review and recommend products and organizations. It has changed the way we interact with organizations. How we get help and report issues. If used right social media can boost an organization’s reputation.

    An organization can post news and initiatives that promote a good image. It can increase the transparency of organization. Since social media is incredibly fast organizations also have less control of what gets out there. Organizations may have policies that do not allow employees to post to social media however employees can post about their organization using anonymous accounts to get the word out. Organization information can be leaked and once it is out there it is there to stay, be coped, forwarded and re-tweeted. Rumors spread. Consumers can backlash.

    Consumers use social media to talk about the brands they use, like or dislike. They rant. They blame. It is important for an organization to stay on top of their internet presence. An organization must act quickly to resolve complaints.

  • Strategy

    For the last few years, online shopping has taken off but with smart devices, local presence has become important. Google search ranks results of local higher and it is based on the location of the user. In fact, many websites and applications are asking the user to reveal their location to give a better experience.

    Business must be aware of their online presence. How their website appears and functions on a user’s device. Mobile technology is thriving. In developing markets, the use of mobile technology is far easier since there is no setup of the entire infrastructure. It is likely in these markets that online browsing and shopping will be done on a mobile device.

    Social Media such as Twitter and Facebook give another medium for customers to give feedback whether it is wanted or not. Businesses must pay attention to what others are saying about their business and brands. They must take an active part in keeping the conversation going so that consumers know that they are being listened to.

    The online world also offers more markets and potential customers. Business must look to selling their products and services not just locally but also great distances. This also introduces marketing to different cultures and in languages. They must make their online presence, written materials and offer customer support that communicates to these markets.