Favourite Fictional Businesses – Sci-Fi Special Edition

Favourite Fictional Businesses - Duff Beer
There are many wonderful fictional businesses, but only the best ones can teach us some real business lessons. Continuing with our series on our favourite fictional businesses, we’re taking a look at some of the best fictional businesses from the sci-fi world. Continue reading Favourite Fictional Businesses – Sci-Fi Special Edition

Mumpreneur – Love it or Hate it?

Mumpreneur - mother's day

Personally, I’m not a fan. So at this poignant time of year – I thought I’d explore exactly why the term has continued to grate on my nerves.

Over recent years, I’ve been at many a business award ceremony – where a range of awards are being given out to both women and men – but, then the ‘Mumpreneur of the Year’ award comes up – and of course, only business women who happen to be mums need apply. Continue reading Mumpreneur – Love it or Hate it?

Why Customer Complaints are absolutely GREAT!

Michelle Carvill, our Marketing Director, explains why complaints can be a positive thing.
Whilst it’s important to look ahead at new markets and new audiences to generate new business and customers, it’s also really important to nurture the customers you already have. After all, your current customers are 7 times more likely to purchase services from you than a ‘cold’ audience.

Listening to your customers is key to understanding how your products and services are working in the real world. And staying close to what customers think, good or bad is absolutely necessary.

Smart businesses are those that actively encourage feedback and welcome complaints. Receiving complaints is truly GREAT – here’s why:

• The average business never hears from 96% of its unhappy customers. For every complaint received, the average business has 26 customers with problems, of which 6 are ‘serious’. So if you gauge the standard of your service by the number of complaints you receive, you’re only dealing with the tip of the iceberg. By welcoming complaints from customers and making it easy for them to complain – you are opening up the opportunity to take action to resolve issues quickly. Remember, one idea shared by one complainer may fix an issue that saves you hundreds of future complaints. Continue reading Why Customer Complaints are absolutely GREAT!

Tips From The Made Simple Team: Why You Must Monitor Your Competition

Business success does not happen overnight – well mostly not. It takes time, effort, some bumps along the way and most importantly (in my opinion at least), research.

The Great Aristotle once said ‘The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows’ and this is the type of thinking one should apply when going through the research process; scrutinise and examine what others are doing, and from that, understand what isn’t yet being done. This could ultimately set you up with a winning strategy.

It is imperative that you monitor competition in your chosen industry; fortunately there are many ways in which this can be done. Online tools such as Google Alerts, TalkWalker and Mention (all free!) are great for monitoring activity of your competition in terms of what type of marketing material they are putting out. Continue reading Tips From The Made Simple Team: Why You Must Monitor Your Competition

Tips From The Made Simple Team: Why You Should Show Reviews On Your Site

It is very seldom that I buy a product, book a holiday or use a service without first checking customer reviews. And unsurprisingly I am not alone in this. We want to know what real people, just like us, think. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, these reviews and opinions are readily available.

However, reviews are not only beneficial to customers; they also help businesses too. Here’s how:

Reviews on your site

Your potential customers will search for reviews on you. So why not make it easy for them? Include reviews and testimonials on your site to make it simple for your customers to find out what others thought of your service/product. This could be feedback from emails, surveys or your social media platforms. It is important however to keep these reviews transparent and honest… Continue reading Tips From The Made Simple Team: Why You Should Show Reviews On Your Site

Tips from the Made Simple team: Managing your projects

Not all small and medium sized businesses can afford to employ a full-time project manager, and it is becoming increasingly vital that entrepreneurs develop the skills themselves, and feed them down to their teams. One of the main attributes anyone needs to develop is the ability to coordinate and manage tasks, activities, and people simultaneously.

There are many software packages on the market, which have been developed to help achieve just this, and they can prove to be an invaluable tool when it comes to ensuring that every aspect of your product or project is delivered on time, and on budget. However I often hear people complaining about an overload of functionalities within these software packages, making the task of learning how to use them a project in itself. If you feel that this is the case for you, then I would not hesitate for a second in recommending a useful tool such as Trello. This can help you draw up a tangible representation of where you stand with your project, or even with a series of projects. Continue reading Tips from the Made Simple team: Managing your projects

Tips from the Made Simple team: Understand your visitors

Analytics are great for understanding basic information about your website’s visitors, but to really find out more about your traffic, why not ask them? Adding a simple survey to pages on your site can be enlightening. Asking questions such as ‘why aren’t you buying today’ can help you understand what people think of your offering and stops you guessing.

We were concerned putting a survey on our website would have a negative impact on our conversion rate, but I didn’t impact at all. We got great insights on our customers and can now tailor our service and offering to meet their needs.

An example of where we have implemented a survey in the past is on our sole trader v limited company tax calculator page. We did this because we wanted to know if the information provided in the calculator was useful helping potential customers decide whether to form a limited company.

We use Qualaroo for our onsite surveys, however, there are plenty of options out there so search for the one that suits.

My final tip, if you really want to dig deep into the responses, leave the response field on the survey open. As time consuming as the analysis can be, it’s often very illuminating.