Top Ten Tips for Retail Business


Good afternoon and welcome to today’s webinar
— Top Ten Tips for Retail Business. My name is James Flaherty and I’m your facilitator
for today’s webinar. Alongside me, I’m delighted to welcome from the Department of Tourism,
Major Events, Small Business and The Commonwealth Games, Caitlin Baumann, who’s here to present
the majority of today’s presentation. Welcome along aitlin.
Wonderful, thanks James. As James said, my name’s Caitlin Baumann and I’m a Customer
Experience Officer within the Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and
The Commonwealth Games, known as DTESB. My main role is to manage the department’s
webinar programme within Business Online Solutions. The webinar programme is one of many online
services delivered to business and industry customers through www.business.qld.gov.au.
Other services include business licence and permit information, diagnostic tools and information
guides on nearly all aspects of managing and running a business.
Just a few housekeeping issues. You’ll notice on the right hand side of your screen you’ll
see a panel. There’s a couple of functions on this panel that I’d like to direct your
attention to. If you could all find the hand raising function please and see if you can
actually pop up your hands for us. Excellent. I can see that some of you are putting your
hands up, that’s great. On another option that I will allow you to interact with us
is the questions panel and also the chat function. I do invite questions; as you go through the
webinar today I’m sure that you’ll have questions, so rather than interrupt the presentation
and perhaps even something that I’ll already cover, I’ll want you to either write those
questions down with a pen and paper or pop them in that chat box there. I’ll answer them
at the end of the webinar if we have time. Great. That’s just a few quick tips to get
the most out of today’s session. We’ll be on air for around 45 minutes to an hour and
following on from the presentation, later on this afternoon, we’ll send out to everybody
who’s registered a link to the webinar recording, also a copy of the presentation slides and
a really useful workbook that will allow you to build on the tips that you get from today’s
session and imbed those insights into your business.
As Caitlin mentioned, there’ll be a Q&A at the end so please do use the text panel, send
through the questions throughout the presentation, we’ll collect them all at the end and answer
as many as we can online. Caitlin, it’s fair to say that retail is one
of the main drivers of the Queensland economy. It employs huge numbers of people and is vibrant
across the state. However, it’s been faced with numerous challenges in recent years;
there’s been increased competition from overseas and from online, there’s be reduced margins,
there’s been increases in rent and rate payments. Combine that with a weak consumer confidence
where we’ve had people with actively closed wallets, it’s really important that business
gets the tips and insights it needs to grow. Caitlin, over to you to help our listeners
today navigate the challenging times and grow their retail businesses.
You’re right, James, we need to equip ourselves with the tools and the information to move
our business forward in this time and with this economy. Hopefully today you’ll be able
to take a lot from our Top Ten Tips. What we’re going to be covering. We’re going
to be looking at strategies and improvements that you can make to your business now that
can deliver major results. We’ll then look at the benefits associated with understanding
both your market and your customer base. We’ll also briefly touch on money flow. The second
half of the webinar will focus on creating a good impression; we’ll look at the importance
of online reputation and how you can maximise the benefits associated with social media.
As mentioned, there’ll be a time for questions at the end of the webinar so please make sure
you keep a notepad handy to jot any questions down you may have for the end. This also covers
us in case I end up answering your question during the rest of the presentation.
Tip 1 – Looking At Minor Improvements That Can Deliver Major Results
A businesses turnover is determined by six factors that are in play during any particular
sale. • First we look at your prospects. These
are the number of potential buyers that come into contact with your business during a given
period. • We then look at conversion rate. This
is the ratio of prospects who convert to customers. For example, if you have 50 prospects and
five of them become customers, your conversion is five out of 50 or 10%.
• Retention rate. How many of your existing customers choose to continue to purpose from
your business rather than from your competitors. For example, if you have 500 customers on
your data base and 300 of them purchase from your business during the year, your customer
retention rate would be 300 out of 500 or 60%.
• Frequency of sale. The frequency at which your customers buy from you. For example,
in a coffee shop you have customers who buy from you every day or five times per week.
• Then we look at size of each sale. The number of items your customers buy each time
they purchase from you. • Finally, your sales price. This is the
dollar value of each sale. As business owners, in order for you to maximise
your sales you must understand and manage all of these six factors that I’ve just mentioned.
One of the most significant profit drivers is sales revenue or turnover. When looking
to increase turnover there’s a number of simple factors that determine turnover for a business.
They consist of the following: • Firstly the number of customers, which
includes the elements of new customers and retained customers added together to make
up the entire customer base. • Secondly is the average of frequency or
number of transactions per customer each year. • Finally, the average size or value of
each transaction which includes the element of price.
If you look on your screen, this diagram, which demonstrates the relationship between
each of these factors and their impact on your turnover and therefore profit. An increase
of any or on all of the turnover drivers will produce an increase in turnover. Which, in
turn, should result in an increase net profit. Let’s look at an example. Let’s say a retail
business was achieving the results in the top diagram. Let’s say we can achieve just
1% improvement in each six of those factors by implementing a range of appropriate targeted
strategies. Now look at the diagram at the bottom of the screen. You can see that those
small 1% improvements will together produce increase of over $53,000.00 to the business.
That’s an increase of over 5%. That’s impressive, isn’t it?
Tip 2 – Retaining Your Profitable Customers There’s a number of strategies on your screen
that will help you retain your customers. Let’s look at a couple.
• We’ve got loyalty programmes and initiatives. These help build customer relationships, so
think membership cards, frequent buyer cards, satisfaction surveys, follow-up phone calls
and welcome and thank you letters. • Another strategy is to ensure that you
are prepared to modify your product and service mix. The needs of your target market will
often change and evolve over time and you may need to alter your offering in order to
meet expectations and maintain your competitive edge. As a basic example, a coffee shop may
need to introduce a lactose free or almond milk in order to meet the growing needs and
expectations of their customer base. • Finally, ensuring that you deliver outstanding
customer service is imperative. Great service delivery will make your customers feel that
you care and this will also contribute to developing long-term relationships with them.
Now we’re going to move on to your 80/20 Rule. Those of you who are aware of this rule, can
you pop your hands up please. Seems that only a handful of you are aware of this rule. The
80/20 Rule is really quite important when it comes to sales forecasting and planning.
Also known as the Pareto Principle, it means that you will generally make 80% of your profits
from 20% of your customers. To maximise your profit you need to grow the profitable lines
and customers. You may need to stop servicing certain customers or remove certain product
lines or services so you can focus on the ones that are most profitable and bring most
benefit to your business. Studying your market, identifying, targeting and focusing on the
needs of that profitable 20% will help you achieve successful sales.
I’d like you to look at a case study that applies a couple of these strategies. Joe
runs a landscaping business and is renowned for his personalised service that he has given
to his customers. Joe puts all of his customers’ information into a database onto his computer.
This information includes a customer’s name, address, phone number and any other useful
information such as number of pets, type of lawn, side access to the backyard etc. When
Joe deals with any previous customers he’s able to recall things, for instance, like
the name of the owners; endearing himself to the customer, where they live so he doesn’t
have to ask again – this implies that they’re a special customer, and also details of any
previous work that he’s done for them. This makes Joe’s service much more personal and
also gives him a competitive advantage and contributes to customer retention.
Tip 3 – Knowing Your Market As a business owner you need to be well aware
of the trends within your market. Firstly, you need to be aware of your competition.
What are you competitors doing? What are their strengths, what are their weaknesses? By conducting
a competitor analysis you’ll be able to identify your competitive advantage; what is your leading
edge and what sets you apart from your competitors and what you can actually do better.
Secondary, you need to review your products and service offering. You may decide that
it will be necessary for you to develop a new offering or expand on your current service
or product offering to keep you and your business competitive.
We’re just going to move on to another case study. Accor is a global leader in hotels,
with more than 4,000 hotels in 90 countries. One of their most popular and successful brands
is their budget brand — Formule 1. Formule 1 sets the benchmark for budget hotel accommodation
as one of the fastest growing hotel brands within the country. Formule 1 offers consistency
and value with hotels located in key locations, conveniently close to airports, transport,
food outlets, making it a good value choice for customers. By looking at the features
offered by other one and two star hotels and determining which ones were the most valued
by customers, the Formule 1 business developed a value curve which indicated that the features
most desired by customers were bed quality, hygiene and room quietness. They then ensured
that all of these attributes were a key feature of all of their Formule 1 hotel rooms. Formule
1 success illustrates how you can innovate on your product offering by rethinking the
existing rules, practices and traditions of your industry.
Tip 4 — Knowing What Your Customers Want Knowing, understanding and meeting a customer’s
needs and expectations is one of the key components of any successful business. Customers are
more loyal when their opinions are valued. Ask your customers what they want and how
you can better serve them. Some techniques of doing this are:
• Use customer feedback forms. Place these in a prominent public position in your business
to get more customers to give their opinions. You can offer some sort of incentive; give
them an opportunity to win a dinner for two for instance.
• Do regular customer surveys. You can do this either by the customer feedback form
or ask the customers to respond to a questionnaire by post, email, phone or online.
• Simply ask your customers. A lot of information can be collected purely by asking customers
for their opinions when you’re dealing with them during an informal conversation, at the
register for instance. • Look at focus groups. Get a group of typical
customers together and ask their opinions. This is a good opinion gathering activity
for new products, services and will help towards identifying any service gaps, product gaps
or any areas in need of certain improvement within your business.
• Finally, look at perhaps holding customer councils or advisory panels. Ask a group of
regular and special customers to meet and discuss how you can better meet their needs
and
the needs of other customers. Tip 5 — Keep On Top of Numbers
I cannot emphasis how important this is. At the grass root level financial management
is about understanding what brings money into your business and what takes money out of
your business. What brings the money in? Your three main sources are:
• Sales. This is what you received from selling your goods or services.
• Owner’s capital. This is the money you or your partners invest in the business with
the aim of making a profit. • Loans. These can be from financial institutions
such as bank or credit unions or from investors. In some cases owners, shareholders or proprietors
of the business can also lend money into the business as well.
What takes money out? Major items are: • Stock. This is the money you invest in
products to resale or use in your manufacturing. • Operating expenses. This is the money
you spend to operate your business on a day to day basis; you’re looking at rent, power,
wages etc. • Assets. These are the things that you
keep such as fixtures, fittings, machinery, vehicles etc.
• Repayments. These are your loans that your business has received; maybe to banks,
credit unions, owners or other investors. • Dividends or profit distributions. This
is a great part of owning and operating your own business. When you make a profit you may
choose, if required, to take some of that money out of your business.
Let’s look at financial ratios. Once your clearly understand where your money comes
from, where it goes on a day to day basis, it’s time to look at your ratios. Financial
ratios are calculated by using figures extracted from financial statements, such as your profit
and loss statements and your balance sheets. They can provide very detailed information
on the performance and activity of a business. Ratios show whether things are improving or
deteriorating and can help guide and quickly point out any areas that are in desperate
need of improvement. A ratio is a means of relating one number to another. In financial
analysis ratios may be expressed as a ratio, rate or percentage, depending on your own
preference. To provide useful meaning, financial ratios need to be compared with:
• The trend of your results over a past year or so; so that’s conducting a trend analysis.
• The results by other competitors — if you can get your hands on that sort of information.
• Industry benchmarks or general business standards — you can get these from industry
associations. • Look at your budget results and compare
them to your actual results. • Finally, the effect of economic conditions
as well. After calculating and interpreting your ratios
you can identify business performance issues, investigate and take appropriate corrective
actions when necessary. Tip 6 — Creating A Good Impression
Strategically presenting your products in your retail space helps you create a unique
identity for your business. You can set yourself apart from your competition by making your
retail space warm, friendly, inviting and approachable. Retails displays can help your
business to achieve sales because these visual elements make a really good first impression
on your potential customers. Retail displays are a key element of your branding. If customers
like the way your store looks and if your products are made to look appealing through
the window, shelf and stock displays, they are more likely to spend more time and more
money at your business. • Looking at your window displays. You need
to create themes for window displays that reflects your store’s style and personality.
Use your window display to make a statement about your business, for example saying that
your elegant or sophisticated, edgy or contemporary. • Shelf displays. Plan how you’ll use your
shelf displays to the best of their abilities; feature your good products, decide how much
shelf space each product will get. • Look at your stock displays. Group related
stock items together and use your premium spaces, for example the end of aisles or at
your register, to feature profitable products. Tip 7 — Managing Your Online Reputation
Reputation is one of the most important tools your business can have. It generates repeat
business, referrals and increases your standing in the industry. We must remember that in
the online environment word gets around very, very quickly. Interactions with businesses
is tweeted, blogged or posted about almost instantaneously. Where previously we might
have shared our experiences with a product or a service or a business, with family, friends
and neighbours, we’re now doing it on an online level which makes the network much more larger.
We need to look at reasons why we need to monitor our social media. Firstly, one of
those is brand awareness and image. Your customers can now influence a much wider audience’s
perception of your business through online media, blogs and email.
Another reason to monitor is your sales opportunities. People constantly ask for recommendations
from other online users. You need to think about are you marketing to the right people,
is there a space that you’ve missed, is there an opportunity that you haven’t identified.
You also need to look at customer services and feedback. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook
are hotbeds for discussion about service and they’re very simple and very immediate. Someone’s
going to say “I’m not happy right now, right this minute, so I’m going to vent it on Twitter”.
Another thing to monitor is your content analysis. Social media is often the first you’ll know
whether your performance is hitting the mark or not.
Another thing to keep an eye on is your marketing campaigns and your event analysis. Online
monitoring through social media allows you to track comments about your campaigns, are
people picking up on your taglines, is your marketing effected, do they find your ads
funny, interesting, relevant. As a business owner you have three choices:
• Firstly – you can choose to ignore the fact that a lot of people are talking about
you, your brand, your product, your services online.
• Two – you ban be aware that people are talking about but choose not to do anything
proactive or anything about it. • Three — you can not only observe but
actually participate in the conversations and resume some control and be proactive about
your brand, your business and you online. What should you monitor for when you’re online?
• Firstly — you need to monitor your business name and your URL. Do a Google search of your
business name and see what comes up. Are you easy to find? What’s the first impression?
What are customers seeing first and foremost when they Google your name?
• Search your personal name. The reason for this is make sure that there are no negative
connotations attached to your personal name that’s linked to your business and remember
it’s creating a brand, so it’s really important that your name is associated to your business
in a positive way. • Three — the names of your key employees;
depending on your social media policy and again, as I said with your personal name,
just making sure that there’s no negative relationship to your employees to your business
as well. • Do a search on your products and service
names as well. Again, what’s your first impression, what do customers see when they search for
your product and your service name. • Five — your industry. This is really
important; keep on top of your industry. Read blogs, message boards, key people, read consumer
reviews, industry posts, that sort of thing. • Six — personal interest. Have a look
at the personal interest that will be related to your target demographic or your target
market. What interests your target market? You can then post about events or products
or services that will interest your particular target market. As an example, Queensland Rail
often post about knitting surprisingly. This is because they’ve identified that their target
market, so the older female demographic, is more interested in that particular topic.
• Finally — keep an eye out and do regular searches on your competitors. Track everything
related to your competitors including your company name, your products, key employees.
This is great competitor intelligence gathering and it will also really contribute to your
competitor analysis which really should be done on a regular basis, to make sure that
you’re maintaining a leading edge over your competitors.
Moving on to another case study. This is a really great example of just how powerful
social media and the online space can be. Dave Carroll, as some of you may know, is
an award winning singer, songwriter, professional speaker, as well as an author and social media
innovator from Halifax in Canada. In the spring of 2008 Dave’s band, Sons of Maxwell, were
travelling to Nebraska for a one week tour. Sitting on a United Airlines plane in Chicago
Dave witnessed his $3,500.00 Taylor guitar being thrown from United Airlines baggage
handlers. He later discovered that his guitar was actually severely damaged. United Airlines
did not deny that the damage occurred but for over nine months various people Dave talked
to kept palming off the responsibility over and over, and then finally no-one would help
him. They also said that they wouldn’t compensate him for his loss and the damage to his guitar.
He promised the last person to say no about the compensation that he would write and produce
songs about his experience with United Airlines, and make videos for each to be viewed online
by anybody in the world. The resulting You Tube music video, called
United Breaks Guitars, became an instant viral hit. The video was posted on July 6, 2009.
It amassed 150,000 views within the first day, over half a million hits by July 9, 5
million hits by mid August 2009 and as of the beginning of June this year, I just checked,
and the video has just hit over 14 million hits. Numerous traditional media outlets come
to the story as well, so your LA Times, your Today’s Chicago Tribune etc. It was You Tube,
Twitter, social media and blogs that fuelled the flame. The result was an absolutely public
relations nightmare for United Airlines; they were humiliated. With staggering numbers of
You Tube views and Twitter retweets, Dave Carroll’s video did a lot to undermine the
reputation. As I said, this is such a clear example of
how powerful the online environment can be and how social media can have such damage
to a particular brand. Tip 8 — Maximising The Benefits Associated
With Social Media We’re just going to discuss the benefits associated
with social media and look at why it’s so important in this day and age.
• Firstly — it directs more traffic to your site quite simply. You can use social
media accounts to promote or send people to your site. You can include links of all of
your posts; you can even include them to specific products or services or announcements that
you may have. • You can grow your online community by
building a group of online followers or customers and social media that will interact with your
business, your other social media accounts and share their own experiences with your
brand. • Social media also provides the opportunity
for instant customer service and feedback. Chances are that if a customer has an issue
with your product or business, they’re going to be complaining about it somewhere. At the
moment it seems to be social media. It doesn’t matter whether or not your business is there,
people are still going to complain about it, so wouldn’t you prefer to be there so you
can directly address it in front of everybody else. There’s no cost for social media except
for your time. • Social media is such a cost effective
marketing tool. It provides targeted marketing and allows you, as business owners, to get
a message out to your customers about a particular product or sale, opening hours, extremely
quickly. There’s also the potential to have a viral effect. I’m sure that many of you
have seen a campaign on social media that’s picked up really well; shared amongst friends
then those friends share it amongst their friends. A clean, well thought out, catchy
campaign can have the potential to go viral with your customers. It’s best to develop
a social media community first and then encourage them to share your campaign or competition.
• Another thing is to network your heart out through social media, it’s so important.
Connect with likeminded business, clients, potential clients, suppliers and interact
with them. Be conversational, be approachable, be friendly and more importantly just have
fun with that interaction. • Another benefit to social media — it
helps you build your profile and your credibility. Essentially you want to create a social media
account, establish who you are, what you want to do, what you’re going to do and show people
that your account is a reliable source of information; that they can depend on that
account for entertainment or customer service or product or service information.
• Finally — the search engine optimisation benefits that are associated with social media
are endless. This helps linking your channel back to your website, so it definitely helps
to keep this in mind when you’re posting via social media.
Now we’ll look at our final case study for today. This is based on Coastal Cruises Mooloolaba.
This company is a tour boat company which has launched itself into the online marketing
and it’s already reaping the rewards. Coastal Cruises Mooloolaba operate lunchtime and sunset
cruises as well as cruises for special functions and events. The company’s vessel, the Pacific
Star, can carry up to 30 people. Director, Darren Smith, said that company used to rely
on your traditional media outlets for marketing including local newspapers, letterbox drops,
that sort of stuff. The company now though uses five different social medical channels.
As Darren says “Social media is a massive part of strategy as we grown and we are expanding
our digital presence. We set it up that you can come through any portal, any social media
channel to find us.” Darren uses social media management software Hootsuite which creates
a dashboard for posting and managing multiple channels. It can also auto post at specific
times and also provides quite in-depth traffic analysis. Booking for cruises at Coastal Cruises
Mooloolaba can also be made through all of its social media channels.
Darren believes that all small businesses need to use the internet and social media
as a powerful marketing tool. It’s going ahead in leaps and bounds and it’s such a great
way, and easy cost effective way, to do business. If you’re not on or in the social media space,
you’ll become the last in your market place and you don’t want to be in that place.
Tip 9 — Utilise Your Local Search Marketing Despite the core driver of local business
being local clientele, local search marketing is one of the most underutilised and less
understood online marketing strategies. Perhaps this is because local search marketing is
a relatively new concept within the sphere of online marketing which has left business
owners with little time to get their heads around the concept of it and its powerful
potential. Also referred to as local search or local
internet marketing, local search marketing relies on the use of internet search engines
to submit geographically constrained searches. Typical local search queries include not only
information about what the site visitor has searched for, but also the where information
associated with that search. In other words a local search is any search conducted by
a consumer aimed at finding something within a specific geographical area. For instance,
four star hotels in the Surfers Paradise region. Using a standard search engine such as Google
or specialised search engines as True Local or Yellow Pages, local search marketing refers
to the optimisational methods and strategies used by businesses in order for their business
to rank optimally within these search results. Essentially your main goal when someone searches,
for instance, a coffee shop in the Spring Hill area, you as that coffee shop you want
to be coming up at that top in that geographical search.
In comparison to other marketing options, local search marketing is one of the most
cost effective adverting solutions for small business owners who are seeking more foot
traffic and more local business. This is due to the low barriers entry to this particular
marketing tool and generally speaking there’s low levels of competition as of the moment.
Tip 10 — Be Sales Focused You can have the best product, the best location,
best prices, best promotional campaign, best marketing strategies in existence but if you
and your team are not competent sales people, then you’ll only ever realise a fraction of
the potential sales that are available to you. Being sales focused and sales savvy is
imperative to business success. Yet, despite the fact that this is a blindingly obvious,
most businesses don’t even realise just how much of a difference this ingredient can make,
and therefore don’t pay nearly enough attention to developing a high level competence within
the sales field. Good sales techniques helps generate word of mouth and word of mouth,
as you all should know, is one of the most powerful and cost effective ways of advertising
you, your business and your brand, so it’s so important. Furthermore, good sales techniques
increases the number of prospects dealt with. It does result in a high conversion rate of
prospects. In addition, a competent sales person will
automatically provide a high level of service, so the retention rate tends to be higher.
For the same reason, a customer will tend to give a greater share of their business
to an organisation or business which best serves them, so the frequency of transaction
will be higher as well. Of course a sales professional will maximise the size of each
transaction by actively looking for companion sale opportunities; think “Do you want fries
with that”. That’s what your companion sale is. A good sales representative will also
achieve the highest possible price by keeping the customer focused on the value, rather
than simply on the amount that’s being charged to them.
In summary, we’ve covered a lot of ground. Remember that you’ll be receiving the workbook
after this webinar. The workbook does cover each of these tips in a lot more detail and
provides further examples and case studies. It will be quite a good reference tool for
you to have and also refer back to when you’re looking at areas in need of improvement, or
any sort of activities that you could do to increase your productivity and your profitability.
In summary, today we looked at how small changes within your business can potentially deliver
quite significant and major results within your business.
We then looked at customer retention strategies and also touched briefly on the 80/20 rule.
If you’re not familiar with that rule, look that up in your workbook because it is quite
an important, powerful rule that you can adopt in your business to help with that profitability
and your sales. We then discussed the important of understanding
your target market, the market that you’re in, doing a competitor analysis and also looking
at your customers and the importance of meeting their needs and expectations.
We then briefly touched on financial ratios. We then looked at creating good impression
and brand and how you can manage your online reputation.
We then wrapped things up by looking at the benefits of social media, utilising local
search marketing and, finally, the importance of being sales focused and sales savvy.
Fantastic, thanks very much Caitlin. There’s some fantastic tips in there that I’m sure
all our listeners can take away and implement into their business. I would encourage everyone
to have a look at the tips, have a look at how you can use them and have a look at how
other organisations — whenever you’re out in the retail sector, go out with the view
of being a consumer but also as a business owner, and have a look at how people use the
tips that Caitlin has talked about today to engage you and to end up with you opening
your wallets and handing over your cash in return for their products or services.
Time for questions now. Feel free to send questions through to Caitlin using the text
box on screen. We’ve had a few coming in already, so shoot them through and we’ll answer as
many as we can as we go through. The first question we’ve had is from Marie
and it’s really around what tactics can people use to get to the top of local search marketing
rankings. As mentioned, local search marketing is quite
a new and emerging technique when developing your marketing strategy. What I suggest, in
regards to working out what tactics you can use to get to the top of it, I suggest that
you have a look at our business and industry website which is www.business.qld.gov.au.
That has some information around local search marketing. Furthermore, you can access our
You Tube channel via the business and industry portal as well, and there’s a webinar recording
that we’ve held previously — the title of that is called “Search Engine Optimisation”.
That will enable you to get a bit more understanding of how to better rank yourself in those search
engines. : The next question is from John “Social media
seems to be very complex. Where should I start to brand as a retailer and move forward from
there?” It can be quite daunting and particularly
with all the different channels that are offered now for social media. What I suggest to start
off is do your research. If you need to start small, start small. Look at which social media
channel your customer base will be more likely to touch base with. So if you think that your
client base is going to be more interested or more active in Instagram, for instance,
start off there first. If you think they’re going to be more interested in Facebook, start
off there. What I do suggest is do this in a planned and quite a strategic way. If you
don’t do that you can get off in all different tangents. What I suggest is look at putting
together a digital strategy that you can roll out your activities through. There’s information
on the business website, as I said earlier, in regards to the digital strategies and there’s
also a recorded webinar on how to put yourself in the digital space and how to manage that
effectively. I suggest that you check out our You Tube channel for those recordings
as well. : John if there’s one tip as well I could
give you, is even if you are unsure as to which channel you’re going to use across social
media, make sure you register your assets on social media channels first of all. Even
if you’re not going to use Facebook and your business is, I don’t know John’s Hat Shop,
make sure you register facebook.com/johnshatshop to stop anybody else getting there first.
The classic example of that will be CCIQ’s social media is CCIQLD and that’s simply because
of the fact that the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Quebec got there before us. They
took all of the CCIQ social media endings and we’re CCIQQLD.
The next question we have had is from Mark who’s confused about financial ratios and
where can he go to get extra help. I’ll recommend our business and industry website
again for any sort of information in regards to the financial ratios that I’ve mentioned
during this presentation. It does provide a list of different ratios and a few examples
of how you can use them. I’d suggest that be your first port of call. If you still require
further assistance you can also check out — I know that the Australian Taxation Office
has financial ratios available on their website also. Finally, if you’re not 100% confident
talk to a financial advisor; I cannot recommend that enough. It can be daunting and it can
be hard and if you don’t have the right tools and the right foundation in place for your
financial strategies, you can topple over. If in doubt, talk to a financial advisor,
talk to an accountant and get the best information first to ensure that you’re on the right path.
: A question from Melissa. This is relating to negative feedback on a Facebook site. What
do you do, do you leave it or do you respond to it or do you just delete it?
I’ve been asked this a lot. Don’t delete it. What people generally do is when you deal
with a problem on Facebook and if someone complains and if it’s not looked at and if
you’ve not been shown to fix that problem, it can get blown out of proportion. If you
address that and say to the customer “Please provide me with your details I’ll be more
than happy to discuss your problem with you and find a solution”. If people see that you’re
actually addressing those problems, it shows that you’re proactive, you’ve got that two
way of communication and you’re encouraging people to provide that feedback. Negative
feedback helps you improve your business activity so that’s really important and, as I said,
just address it. Contact the customer, say that you’re more than willing to find a solution
to their problem. : In terms of search engine optimisation,
can you explain it a bit further. Sarah wants to know, you briefly mentioned it, but is
there areas where she can get some more detail on what does really it all mean.
Search engine optimisation is the process, and I did touch on this briefly, it’s the
process of improving the visibility of your website or webpage in search engines such
as Google, Yahoo and Bing. For instance, if my business name was Caitlin’s Bookshop and
it was Googled. My ultimate dream would be that my bookshop comes in the top rank of
those searches. It involves making sure that your website is optimised, it’s got the right
tags associated and built within in so it ensures that it’s the most efficient way that
search engines know exactly what you are, what your content is target at, what you’re
delivering and what your service offering is. Search engine optimisation is essentially
what will make the difference between your site being noticed and not being seen at all.
Again we have information available through our business website on that. We also have
a webinar that’s been pre-recorded; we’ve hosted it live at a previous date and that
webinar itself has lots of hints and tips on how to actually get yourself ranked up
in the top of those search engines. : The final question we’ve had in today is
from Shan who wants to know where can she go to get sales training and where can she
find information and different methods of selling.
In regards to sales training, you can — I’ve recommended our website a lot — go to our
business website, it does give you some hints and tips in regards to how to effectively
sell your product or service. There’s plenty of online learning, training programmes that
you can attend so just do a search on sales training. Look at your Local Industry Associations
or your Chamber of Commerce, your local councils. A lot of organisations do provide sales training
through workshops and seminars. That being said, you can pick up a lot of information
via our website. You can also pick up a lot of information just by doing your own research
in regards to sales techniques. There’s a handful of techniques in regards to sales
and if you can master those handful, you’ll be on the right road. That covers your different
selling methods as well. : That’s all the questions we’ve had time
for today. A lot of the questions there related to search engine optimisation to how you go
about marketing your business online and so on and so forth. We did recently the digital
learning series and covered a number of those issues as part of that series. What I’ll do
is I’ll include links to all of the recordings of the webinars on those topics in the follow-up
email that we send out, so that you can all review the Facebook introduction sessions
and the advanced Facebook sessions that we did, the search engine optimisation sessions
and be across all of that in detail. On behalf of CCIQ I’d like to thank Caitlin
for coming along and presenting some great insights today. I’d also like to thank the
Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games for partnering
with us on this webinar. A quick reminder for everybody who’s Brisbane
base, that next week we have a breakfast on Thursday in partnership with Workcover Queensland.
This breakfast is really important; it’s going to give all attendees some real insights into
the return to work and workers compensation processes that we often get a lot of feedback,
a lot of questions and a lot of concerns around. For CCIQ members who’ve got entitlements as
part of their membership, the breakfast is actually free. For non members it’s $50.00.
Head to cciq.com.au/events or call 1300 731988 to register your place.
Thank you to everyone who’s joined us today. Don’t forget to check your inboxes later on
today where you’ll receive a copy of the email, some links to additional information, a copy
of a very useful informative workbook plus a link to the recording of today’s webinar.
Thank you all for attending and we look forward to seeing you on a CCIQ webinar in the near
future.

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