5 Ideas that Will Help Your Boss See You’re Ready for Management

If you are wanting to move into a management role, it is crucial that you show your boss that you’re ready. They are the ones that have the power to reward you with that new position or keep it just out of reach. In order to demonstrate your ability, you need to use the right strategies. Here are five ideas that will help your boss see that you’re truly ready for that coveted management role:

 

1. Burn the Candle at Both Ends

If you want to become a manager, you should not just clock in right at the start time and clock out right at 5pm every day. This will show that you are only going to do the bare minimum. Managers often have to work overtime and they aren’t paid for it. The benefits like extra pay and insurance can balance this out, but you need to show that you are prepared for it. When you clock in early and stay later than others around you, you are showing that you are committed to the company and willing to make sacrifices. This is something that your boss will love to see and it can put you on the fast track to success at your company.

 

2. Lead Your Fellow Workers

Being a manager means also being a leader. You need to show that you can lead others even before that is your official job title. One way to lead is to contribute to other departments when they need help. Don’t just do what you’re paid to do, but be willing to get your hands dirty in sales, accounting, marketing, or any area of the business. This is also great training for when you are a manager because you can hit the ground running by understanding how the whole picture works.

 

3. Innovate

Come up with creative solutions that make the company better. Whether it is an employee incentive program, better sales process, or cost cutting program, it will be noticed by your superiors. Don’t hold your creativity back for your personal life, unleash it in the workplace and watch as your promotions increase in size and frequency.

 

4. Ask Questions

When you are in a job interview, you are supposed to ask questions and not just answer them. Well, if you don’t have a manager title yet then you should view every day of your work as a kind of job interview. It shows that you have an interest in advancing.

 

Ask questions about finances. Ask questions about management rules. Ask questions about anything that you want to know more about. Again, you will not only learn the actual information that could help you but also demonstrate that you’re a manager caliber person who could really help the company if you rise up the ranks.

 

5. Avoid Negative Actions and Talk

A positive attitude is essential for a manager. The personality of the management team has a lot to do with the success of the total company because everyone around them will be taking cues from them. If you are getting involved in gossip or other negative activities you need to stop. Not only are these activities time wasters but they cost the company money and your bosses aren’t going to like it. Put a firm personal policy in place that you will only use the workplace to promote positives like worth ethic, compliments, and new company initiatives that cut costs and boost profits.

 

Becoming a manager requires a lot of hard work and smart thinking. If you want your boss to see you as someone who is ready for a position like that, you need to go above and beyond your job description. Put the tips above into action and then before you know it you will get the attention and promotion that you deserve, no matter what market you are working in right now.

 

Here’s How to Get A Head Start Planning for Retirement

Retirement planning sounds like one of those things you do when you’re older, but it’s something you must start doing when you’re young. You don’t wait until it’s time to leave for the airport to venture off on vacation to start packing for a family of six. You won’t finish packing, you won’t be ready to go in time to make your flight, and you’ll miss vacation. The same concept applies to retirement. If you wait until you’re almost ready to retire to start planning for it, you’re not going to be ready to retire. You’re young, you’re just starting your family, and it’s time to think about your future.

 

Think About What You Want

This is the most important thing you should do as a young couple and new parents. What do you want for your future? Do you want to retire early and spend time with your kids? Do you want to retire on time so you can keep your grandkids for your own kids while they fulfill their own dreams of building their businesses and futures, or would you love to travel the world, live on the beach, or have multiple homes in all your favorite locations?

 

Would you like to help your kids pay for college or make a down payment on their first home? Is your dream to pay for your little girl to get married to the man of her dreams with a picture-perfect wedding day to remember it by? Whatever you want for your future is what you need to know. Write it down, budget it, and don’t forget to account for inflation and the rising cost of living. This helps you learn what you need to save and how you need to save it to make all these dreams come true.

 

Max Out Your Benefits

If your employer offers a retirement benefits package, use it. This is more important if your employer also has an employer-match program. Does your employer allow you to save up to $5,000 per year in your employer-offered retirement account and they match up to 25 percent of what you contribute? If you aren’t contributing the full $5,000, you’re losing free money. If you save $5,000 per year, your employer is matching that up to 25 percent, which is $1,250 per year.

 

Over the course of 10 years with your company, your employer is going to give you $12,500 in free money with which to retire. That’s a lot of money you didn’t contribute, and it’s a lot of money that can make you more money. Max out your retirement benefits right now.

 

Get Rid of Your Debts

If you’re living debt-free already, you’re doing well. However, you have other debts. Your car and your home are both debts, and they’re easy to forget if you don’t have credit card debt. One way to help you pay these things off faster so you have no monetary obligations when you retire is to find savings anywhere you can and apply that money to your debts. See about cheap auto insurance quotes with a new company so you can save money to apply toward your car payment. Lower your cell phone bill, get rid of cable, and cancel magazine subscriptions. You can save money anywhere so you can apply it to your other debts and live a life of financial freedom when you retire.

 

Your retirement will be here before you know it. If you’re a new parent, you are about to learn that every adult who told you time passes so quickly when you have kids is the most truthful statement ever made. It flies by, and you don’t want to be caught unprepared and by surprise one day when you’re ready to retire and you haven’t done what you needed to prepare for this moment.

3 Cyber Security Threats You Need to Take Seriously

As the Internet becomes an even greater resource and the home of most businesses, new cyber security threats are also on the rise. Hackers and other cyber criminals are well aware of the important and confidential information stored on servers. They know the value of hacking into hard drives and stealing company information. These are the top three cyber security threats you need to take seriously as a business owner.

 

External Threats

Hacking is typically the first thing that businesses think of when they think of a cyber security threat and this is a valid concern. Hackers use web applications, which lack important security measures, to get into your sensitive data and exploit it. In fact, 73% of all incidents flagged were a result of web application attacks. A web application firewall is critical when it comes to protecting your business from cyber attacks. Using third-party web applications leaves businesses vulnerable to attacks. The rest of the business can be highly secure and armed with cyber security protection, but weak security from third-party web applications can give hackers the entrance they need to get into your system and wreak havoc.

 

Human Security Practices

When running a business, there are numerous contractors and employees involved in the day-to-day operation of the business. However, many times the security practices for the people involved in the business are limited. Creating security practices for every member of your team and extended team is vital to keeping important information secure. You are only as secure as your weakest link and one employee with a weak password can be enough to allow cyber criminals access to your system.

 

To safeguard your security system, you need to set up policies with your employees and contractors. Any individual who has access to your system or other sensitive data should know and follow the security practices and guidelines set up for your business. These should include different levels of access and password guidelines. Teaching employees about the basics of using the Internet and similar applications securely is also important. Employees need to know, for example, that by clicking on an email from someone that they do not know – they may be allowing a cyber criminal to hack into their system. The U.S. Small Business Administration speaks to the importance of having security policies in place to “protect sensitive information.”

 

Backups

When data is stolen, having a copy of the data that has been stolen is critical in terms of solving the problem. While some cyber criminals try to hold data ransom in order to get you to cough up a large sum of money to get it back, other cyber criminals will simply steal the data. In both scenarios, it is unlikely that you will get your data back.

 

Choosing a backup system and then regularly backing up your data is an important step in preventing possible cyber attacks. To create backups, you will need to have a system in place. The data should be stored in a minimum of two different places. Some businesses prefer to have three or four copies of their data in a variety of different places including an internal office server as well as a cloud-based server with a reputable cloud security business. Forbes reminds business owners that encrypting this data is also key to keeping cyber criminals at bay. If they are able to steal information but the information is encrypted, they will have a difficult time actually viewing the data and doing anything criminal with it. Encryption can protect your data even in the event of a system breach.

 

There is nothing that can be done to offer you complete protection against cyber attacks and cyber criminals; however, by taking these cyber security threats seriously you can better protect your organization from potential threats.

How To Utilize Technology Without Being Tech Savvy

Modern business requires that you use the power of technology to compete. However, if you want to stand out from the competition then you need the right approach and strategy. This can be overwhelming if you don’t understand technology that well. But you can still utilize technology without being tech savvy in the following ways:

 

High Level Software

Not all technology is created equal. There is some technology that is very low level. This is complicated software and hardware that is at the core of every application. They use C, C++ and other programming languages that require years of training and trial and error to master. It is no wonder that most business people don’t have a clue when it comes to these technologies. They are what power IT infrastructure, security, and deeper web frameworks. However, this is not the low hanging fruit that you should be focusing on if you want to utilize technology in your business. Instead, you can use the alternative: high level software.

 

High level means that there are multiple layers of abstraction from the actual source code. In other words, it is easier for humans to read and manipulate instead of machines. These higher level software packages often come in the following forms:

 

CRM

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) suite is a piece of SaaS that allows you to keep an active database of your customers. It still leverages deep code and lower levels of programming but comes with an interface that is drag, drop, type, and click. It is easy to use and powerful at the same time.

 

A CRM can help you transform your business by letting you organize your approach to your customer in a whole new way. You can store their contact information, notes from meetings (or sales calls), and any other pertinent information, such as how long they have been a customer for.

 

Marketing Automation

Another example of high level software that you can use without being a programming wizard is marketing automation. This takes the busy work out of marketing. It also has a friendly user interface that is no more difficult than using social media.

 

Instead of spending hours manually sending out emails to your entire list, you can line them up and schedule when you want them to go out. You can even let the algorithms in the software space out when they send the emails so they are hitting your prospects at the right times of day depending on where they live.

 

A truly great marketing automation suite will let you integrate with your other software, such as your CRM or even testing software that does A/B marketing analytic tests. You can see your open rates, conversion rates, and sales numbers right from the app for each email you send. You can quickly edit and design the email templates with beautiful images with drag and drop functions as well.

 

Consultants

Sometimes, you don’t need to personally use any technology but your team does. Even the higher level softwares can take some training to get used to. In this case, it may be best to bring a consultant in who can train your team and get them up and running faster.

 

Hire an Agency

The method that saves you the most time for technology usage is an agency. Someone like an email marketing agency can take control of the whole process of writing, marketing, and tracking emails or other marketing elements for you. That way, you or your internal team never touch the SaaS or any line of code.

 

Even if you don’t have a grip on the latest technology you can use it for successful outcomes in your business. By hiring the right people and using the right software you can beat the competition to the punch when new market trends take hold. So put the tips above into practice and enjoy better profits and lower overhead than ever before.

What It Takes To Update an Aging Business

Technology is changing everything. Every business on earth will need to adapt or die. This is especially the case with older businesses that didn’t come up in the recent startup boom. They don’t have as much experience with technology, social media, or the new ways of marketing online. Here is what you need to know about how to update your aging business and prepare it for the future:

 

Get Secure

Security threats are real, whether you run a tiny business or a Fortune 500. This is because of the secret sauce you have. If your process is leaked to the public, any company would gladly pay the black market a hefty price to learn how to take what you do and apply it to their business, especially competitors.

 

Furthermore, every business has a customer list. If the recent news have taught us anything, it is that personal information about consumers is valuable. It doesn’t even have to be their credit card information, it could just be their hobbies, interests, and purchase tendencies.

 

One of the ways that hackers will target you is through phishing. This is a method where they send an email and pretend to be someone else. They spoof the end address and send a fake link that has malware. Once this infects one computer on your network, they can access the rest and get your data.

 

If your data is leaked, you could be in big legal trouble. And the costs associated with fixing a data leak are much more than preventing them in the first place. So make sure your security protocol is updated. Get new servers with modern frameworks. Install a firewall. And hire an IT firm or someone internally to monitor your network. That way if any suspicious activity pops up you can stop it before someone destroys or leaks your data.

 

Be Social

Consumers today want to see their favorite brands embracing social media. You may think that you don’t have time for it. In reality, you can’t afford not to use it.

 

Being on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is a great start. You should post success stories of your customers, new promotions, and your mission statement so people can get an inside and authentic view of your company. This will go a long way in getting attention to your company as well, which is becoming harder to get each passing day with so much information online and short attention spans.

 

Embrace Automation

Long gone are the days where you had to do everything yourself. In today’s world, you can leverage AI and other technologies to automate many processes in your business. This includes marketing, email, and even inbound calls. By creating scripts in advance for every part of your customer facing assets you can remove the busy work that costs you time and money in terms of extra labor and repetitive tasks. Then, you can reinvest the profits you save into other things.

 

Get External Help

Sometimes, it is worth it just to save your time and effort and hire external sources to manage the updating of your core processes. This is especially the case for things like marketing, that take time to write emails, track them, and analyze the results. If you want to free yourself up to focus on the higher level aspects of your business, hiring an email marketing agency can be a smart move.

 

If you want to succeed in your industry, you cannot live by the rules of the old world. Today’s digital technology is disrupting every industry and even the giants in your market are not safe. So it is vital that you adjust now and plan for the future. If your business is aging, the good news is that you realize it now. Then, you can simply apply the tips above and position yourself to dominate your industry going forward.

3 Threats Facing Business and How to Be Aware of Them

There are digital security threats everywhere today. And you need to know them in order to protect your company’s data. Here are three threats you should especially be aware of:

 

External Threats

Your business faces cyber threats from external sources such as hackers. They will find a way to get into your network with either software or by manipulating TCP/IP protocol. Once they do this, they will attempt to steal or damage your information.

 

One example of an external threat is advanced persistent threats. In these cases, an attacker gains access to your network and stays hidden. All the while, they are actively stealing your data. Or sometimes, they will stay in hiding long enough to plan a way to extract very large amounts of your data all at once. The method through which they do this mass data extraction is stealthy and difficult to avoid.

 

This is what makes these persistent attacks so dangerous. You won’t usually notice them at first. This is the importance of having tools like network monitoring. Network monitoring will tell all of the IPs on your network and how much traffic they are sending and receiving. Then, you can tell if something strange is happening and shut down nodes or kick the intruders off before it is too late and they have all of your data. Do not think you are safe from this kind of attack. Every business in the world is vulnerable to hackers that use this method as all they have to do is gain entrance from a good network sniffer or powerful hacking tool.

 

Disgruntled Employees

One of the biggest threats that your business faces is actually from the inside. In an ideal world, none of your employees would do anything to harm your company. However, the fact is that employees are the number one cause of theft in a business. And they can become disgruntled in a number of ways. They could not like their boss, not like their pay, not like their coworkers, or simply be set off by some other policy in the company.

 

They might even be paid by an outside competitor that has offered them money or a job if they hack you from the inside. Employees have access to your network, to devices, and to power supplies. If they choose to, they can disconnect or destroy your data in seconds. The way to prevent this is with thorough background checks and monitoring of your employees. Ensure they are in good spirits, and if you notice something wrong, be sure to act swiftly and remove them from vulnerable projects where they have access to data.

 

Internal Threats

One of the cyber threats that you should be aware of isn’t hardware or software manipulation in this case, it is an attack from the inside of your network. The hackers don’t even have to bypass your firewall because they trick your employees into letting them right in.

 

The way they do this is called “phishing.” It is the act of impersonating another entity, such as a bank or high level manager to the company, and asking the user to open their email or click on the link. They mimic the email address to look official, so it can be difficult to tell that something is wrong.

 

Once the employee clicks on the link, secret scripts run in the background. These scripts infect the computer. It can cause major damage to the device, the network, and even the email system you are using. The hacker could either be trying to collect data or to destroy it. Either, make sure to train your employees to beware of the links they click and also verify email sources before following instructions.

 

In today’s day and age, you have to be diligent with your company’s security. Hackers are attacking businesses of all sizes. The threats come in a number of forms. The three versions above are something to watch out for and protect yourself from at all costs. That way, instead of recovering data, you can have peace of mind that your information is secure.

What is The Future of Retail?

Like most systems, retail is evolving. No longer is it so necessary to get off your couch to do a good portion of your shopping. Apps and mobile devices have made it possible to basically shop any time anywhere. As the methods used by mobile devices become more integrated and seamless, shopping will have reached a point where bricks and mortar stores may be reduced to mostly pick up hubs for product aggregation services. The following are some more ways retail is evolving to make our shopping experiences more futuristic.

 

Online/Digital Retail

To compete more directly with online retail stores, bricks and mortar stores are introducing a hybrid shopping experience known as omnichannel retailing. The idea involves using more than a single channel of device referencing to enhance the shopping experience. For example, you might start out browsing products on a desktop computer. At the same time, you may be acquiring price telemetry through your smartphone. Once you identify the products you want and the prices you want to pay, then you can head down to the bricks and mortar store to execute your purchasing options.

 

Moving to Omnichannel Experiences

While omnichannel for retail is a great way to engage consumers, employing omnichannel approaches to other industries can be equally modernizing. Integrating channels into a single tool for your next trip, for example, will make things move much smoother. The mobile tool you use may interact as a hotel key, a photo storage unit, a reservation manager and fast pace processor all at the same time. This type of integrated service tool helps to keep all your trip-related transactions in context with what you are doing on your trip. This also allows you to keep everything you are trying to accomplish on your trip all at your fingertips.

 

Ultra Fast Delivery

The one area where online shopping outlets need to compete stronger with bricks and mortar stores is in the area of ultrafast delivery. As consumers continue to push for one day delivery or else, companies like amazon are looking to provide drone delivery that takes around 2-hours. Although, Amazon has commented that it would like to cut this time factor down to around 30-minutes. That would truly be ultrafast product delivery from the online retail giant.

 

Smart Inventory

With automated inventory features, many POS systems help retail stores stay on top of consumer demand by utilizing the power of smart inventory methodologies. Since a computer can keep track of how low inventory is easier than a human, the computer can also order inventory automatically when the number of units of a product dips below a trigger point. Also, consumers can have access to inventoried items to determine what is available through an app before ever hitting a store. This saves consumers both time and money in gas when they can determine ahead of time if a store has what they want in inventory.

 

AI Bots

With the advent of AI personalities like Watson and Pepper being integrated into business applications and retail experiences, consumers will become more intimately engaged by bots with sophisticated AI capabilities. This will help to eliminate the need to go searching for a store rep to obtain information on products and their whereabouts The AI bots can answer these questions and provide a customer with all kinds of additional product information. These bots may even take more of the human element and contact out of the retail experience. For some shoppers, this might be viewed as a positive thing.

 

Conclusion

With more electronic connectivity available today, retailers are providing consumers with a more elaborate and engaging shopping experience. While the future of retail may take a more ecommerce centric approach, the reality is that bricks and mortar stores will always be a part of our shopping experience. Going to a physical store still provides consumers with the enjoyment of touching products and obtaining immediate satisfaction from quickly purchasing products. The experience is not quite as fresh when you have to wait for a product to come through the mail, but faster delivery options may soon cut this wait down significantly.

3 Aerobic Workouts to Try This Month

Whether you’re looking to supplement your weight lifting routine or just burn off some extra fat, high-intensity workouts do the trick. Fortunately, there are lots of different aerobic exercises to choose from that help the body sweat, increase heart rate, and metabolize stored fat. Jump roping, circuit training, and intervals are just a few of the options available.

 

Jump Rope Training

With just a pair of sneakers and a rope, you’re on your way to a whole new workout. Speed ropes can be used a variety of different ways in order to stimulate heart rate and blood circulation. The activity is relatively simple in terms of coordination, requiring a little hand-eye coordination to turn the rope under feet as they jump off the ground. Comparatively, jump roping is inexpensive and relatively convenient, considering a rope is fairly portable and a gym is not required. The activity burns calories, promotes endurance, strengthens muscles, and enhances coordination.

 

Most people envision jump rope singles when thinking about the activity. There are other exercises that are possible with the jump rope, including doubles, triples, side to sides, and one-leg jumps. Doubles and triples entail jumping high enough to spin the jump rope under feet two or three times before feet hit the ground again. Side-to-sides are accomplished by alternating jumps to the left and right. One-leg jumps are relatively self-explanatory; the jumper uses one leg for an allotted number of jumps or period of time and then switches to the other.

 

Circuit Training

A circuit is a group of exercises that are done one after the other in a particular order, typically for multiple rounds. Sometimes, exercises are geared to work the same muscle groups while other circuits are designed to work the entire body at once. Often, one exercise will work multiple muscle groups at a time. The person exercising will perform a set number of reps during each exercise, and pause for an allotted number of seconds between exercises or rounds of the circuit. Similar to burpees or jump roping, circuit training raises heart rate, encourages circulation, builds strength and endurance, and burns calories.

 

Sometimes circuits utilize one particular piece of equipment the entire way through, and sometimes the equipment switches for each exercise. Alternatively, calisthenic circuits can be done with merely body weight and no extra equipment. Push-ups, sit-ups, planks, running in place, and different core exercises are just a few examples of calisthenic options.

 

Interval Training

Interval training yields many of the same benefits as jumping rope and circuit training with the same option of using equipment or forgoing it altogether. Interval training can be adapted to all different sorts of aerobic exercises like walking, running, spinning, biking, or even combined with jump roping. The person exercising performs the activity at an intense rate (think high resistance, high speed) for a set period of time, and then lowers both resistance and speed or one of the two, depending on the workout.

 

For instance, a runner might run at an eight mile per hour pace for two minutes, and then slow to a six mile an hour pace for one minute. He or she would repeat the intervals a set number of times. There are no limitations to how intense or relaxed an interval workout might be. Intervals are completely customizable to any individual and their fitness comfort zone.

 

Jumping rope, circuit training, and intervals are a few aerobic exercises that are sure to get blood pumping, heart rate pounding, and body sweating. These sorts of exercises are not only good for maintaining physical strength and endurance, but for balancing brain chemistry. Mental health is positively affected by aerobic activity in terms of regulating neurotransmitters. Explore your options, find what works for you, and jump into a new cardio routine.

8 ways to get yourself to workout

Working out is obviously one of the key parts of having a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is good for the body and can help you stay in shape. While most of us want to workout, a lot of us simply do not have the motivation to get ourselves to do so. Without motivation to work out, it is very hard to get into the habit of doing it. In this article, we are going to discuss 8 of the best tips you should consider in order to get yourself motivated to get to the gym.

Pick a workout that fits you

Don’t feel obligated to follow a preset workout. When you go to the gym, do what you want to do. Think about what muscles you want to sculpt or where in your body you want to lose some pounds. Doing what you want in the gym can make it more enjoyable while you are there.

Pre-workout diet

Be sure to eat a well-balanced diet before you go to the gym. The last thing you want is to be sluggish when you get to the gym because you just ate a bunch of junk food. Eating properly before you go workout will help you have a better overall workout and will improve your desire to come back. One supplement to consider taking before working out is an endurance supplement specifically designed to give you more energy and focus in the gym.

Go straight from work or in the morning

One of the worst things you can do for your urge to work out is to go home and sit around after a long day of work. The second you sit down on the couch, it is going to be very hard to get up and find the motivation to hit the gym. In order to prevent this, go straight to the gym from work. Or, you can get up early in the morning to do so. Doing this can make sure you have no time to think about how nice it would be to relax instead of working out.

Meet people in the gym

Nobody said you couldn’t talk to the other people in the gym. For a lot of people, the gym is a place where socializing and meeting new people is the norm. If you struggle to find a motivation to go to the gym, consider talking to some unfamiliar faces while you are there. Chances are, you will find someone who you enjoy and it may help you to be consistent with your workouts.

Set goals

Setting goals is one of the most impacting factors on your motivation. Setting goals is a good way to get yourself to work out more often. Think about where you currently are in a physical standpoint. Then, think about where you want to be and how long before you want to be there. Write down your goal and make sure it is visible to you every day.

Have a good attitude

Understand that making gains in the gym takes time. Do not get discouraged if you aren’t seeing immediate results. Have a good attitude regarding your work out and understand that it will pay off over time.

Reward yourself

A lot of people find motivation and respond well to rewards. Rewarding yourself is a great way to ensure that you are consistent with your trips to the gym. When you are rewarding yourself, really reward yourself. Whether it be a cheat meal or a new outfit, reward yourself for meeting your workout goals.

Pick a good gym

The final tip for getting yourself to workout is to find a gym that works for you. Not all gyms are the same when it comes to crowd and overall theme. If you are into loud music and slamming weights, you may want to pick a different gym than someone just looking for a relaxed and quiet gym.

3 Ways to Increase Your Customers

There’s millions of businesses worldwide. But despite the differences in business model and product and offerings, one universal truth remains – any business that hopes to compete and succeed needs a steady stream of customers. Obviously, the more customers you have coming in and out of your storefront and the more users you have renewing subscriptions on your eCommerce platform, the more revenue you bring in for the company. But oftentimes, any attempts of inexperienced entrepreneurs to increase their customer base backfire, either aggravating customer acquisition costs or losing existing customers due to a new but poorly executed sales model. Here are three foolproof ways to increase your business’ customers.

 

Expand to New Territories

If you’re a brick and mortar store operating in your local neighborhood, the simplest way to get more customers is to expand to new territories. But while this comes with new opportunities, it also comes with new challenges. Expanding to a second branch, for instance, means drastically doubling your business’ costs. Plan your expansion months in advance to avoid stretching your resources too thin.

 

Consider expanding to the digital space as well. Both brick and mortar stores and eCommerce sites can benefit from expanding to each other’s space. As an eCommerce site, you can connect better and in a more intimate way with their customers by renting shelf space. Meanwhile, physical stores can gain worldwide brand presence by getting a website.

 

Use Technology To Your Advantage

The tech space is redesigning the brick-and-mortar space through retail innovation including IoT, new retail channels, and AI-driven customization. With technology rapidly evolving, new innovations are creating new opportunities for businesses to interface with their shoppers. A good example would be voice-operated applications and home devices, such as Alexa.

 

Another example is virtual reality and augmented reality. People could argue that it is perhaps the age of virtual reality, with last year’s Game Developers Conference kicking things off with the launch of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. These technological advancements can either be integrated into your existing hardware or software products, used to streamline operations, and improve overall customer experience. For instance, you can have remote VR showrooms that let customers experience your product line without needing to stockpile it at any given location.

 

Refine Your Product/Service

Even if your initial product release was received well by your target audience, you should make it your business’ mission to consistently improve its product/service offerings. Businesses who try to play it safe often plateau in sales or eventually lose to competitors who do evolve and adapt to their market’s needs. Start by talking to your existing customer base. Ask for feedback through a rating and comment system on your website or hand out survey forms in your retail space. The feedback you get can tell you, from a high level perspective, what your product/service is missing and what your existing customer base wants.

 

Another simple technique to find out what your product/service lacks is to read your competitor’s feedback. If you have an app, for example, you can look at the comments section of a similar app and see what it lacks and why it’s being given a low rating by customers. That being said, you should avoid changing the parts of your product/service that works. Again, figuring out what works and what doesn’t involves asking your customers for feedback and using analytics to decipher which services or features are most used and subscribed to.

 

Bottomline

Increasing your business’ customers is all about exploring new marketing channels, geographic locations, and technologies to use. Bear in mind that increasing foot traffic and account registration is only half the equation. As much as you need to pump new blood into your business, you also have to treat your existing customer base delicately. In fact, according to experts, signing up a new customer is seven times more expensive than keeping an existing one.