Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Helpful Tips to Overcome Procrastination

By Zaak OConan

Many among us, on many instances, have the habit of putting aside to a later time or day some things that needs to be done or acted upon like a project, work, job, or duty. For purposes of discussion, we will confine ourselves to procrastination on repair works typically at home. It equates to other circumstances as well.

Procrastination is one habit that is hard to beat. We procrastinate for various reasons:
1. When we think that the work that needs to be done can afford to wait or be delayed.
2. When we are busy with something else we think is more important.
3. When we do not like the work involved or when it is difficult to do.
4. When we are not sure if the work that needs to be done will be effective.
5. When the things needed in the work are not yet available or incomplete.
6. When we forget about it.
And many other reasons like laziness or a combination of the above.
Hard to beat as it is, we stand to gain more and virtually loose nothing if we overturn this habit.
Check out these helpful tips:

1. When we think that a work can afford to be delayed, it can also afford not to be delayed. By having the work done without further delay, we feel a sigh of relief making the load of work on our back lesser or lighter, which eventually makes us feel better.

2. After being busy with something more important and you have time to spare, this spare time can be used to attend to the things on the pending list.

3. Delaying work that is difficult makes the work even more difficult. A leak on the roof may not be harmful if it doesn't rain; but once it rains, water goes into the house resulting in wet floors and carpets and eventually, the extent of damage could be more than can be imagined.

4. When we are not sure if work that needs to be done will be effective, we must seek advice from people who are more knowledgeable on this field. Procrastinating won't help.

5. Delayed work due to incomplete materials will remain delayed unless we fill in the incomplete items. Again, procrastinating won't help.

6. Make a list of all pending work in the house and post it on the refrigerator door to constantly remind us about them.

Bottom line is:
We may feel lazy at times and tend to delay some work that needs our attention. It's understandable that 'starting' to get a job done is the most difficult part, but once you have started, half of the job is already done and the second half will be easy.
Every time you feel like procrastinating, picture yourself as the job that needs to be done - like a prisoner wherein justice being delayed results to justice being denied.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Getting Paid - Why Does It Have To Be So Confusing?

By Hamish Hayward

There are many different reasons why people choose to get involved in network marketing. Although it may not be the primary reason for many people, getting paid will be rank high on most people's list.

So it makes sense that, when you are deciding which of the many available network marketing opportunities to get involved in, that part of your evaluation process will consider the payment, or commission scheme in place.

At this point things can get a bit complex. Unsurprisingly, almost every network marketing company in business today will claim to have the best pay plan available. They probably genuinely believe this (and they might be right) and will usually devote several sheets of paper or screens to show this to you in all its glory. Expect to see the word "revolutionary" used at least once.

Some of these schemes can appear a bit complex to say the least. There will almost certainly be a matrix of some kind involved and there will probably be some kind of "ladder of success" where you earn new ranks and titles as you progress in the business.

It can seem a bit daunting, trying to work out how long it will take you to get from Space Cadet to Star Fleet Commander and what it all means in terms of money - but focus on a few simple questions and you can cut through the mumbo-jumbo.

1. What will you get paid for?
2. How much will you get paid?
3. When will you get paid?
4. How will you get paid?

** What will you get paid for? **
Surprisingly enough, this is a (slightly) more important question than "how much?" - for one simple reason. If your main, or only, source of income results from recruiting other people into the business, then there's a very high possibility that you may be involved in a pyramid scheme.

Your main income should arise when you sell a product or service to a customer, not when you recruit someone. There's absolutely nothing wrong with profiting whenever someone who you have introduced to the business makes a sale - but you shouldn't be making significant income just for recruiting them.

You should also check if there is a "qualifying" level of sales that you need to make each month in order to get your commission. It can be very frustrating if, having built a large customer base and a healthy downline team, you miss out on your monthly cheque due to an insufficient amount of personal sales.

** How much will you get paid? **
Having satisfied yourself that you're getting paid for moving a genuine product or service, you can now focus on how much you'll be earning. Obviously you want to make as much as you can - but how much is enough will depend upon the type of product you're going to be marketing.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Corporate Blogging: 7 Best Practices

By Kari White

Blogs have become one of the hottest communication tools on the Web. Offering the opportunity for anyone to create their own free Web site, encouraging opinions and interaction, blogs provide forums for individuals to create their own highly personal presentations to the Web audience. They also provide for consortia of all types to experience the sort of online community feeling that was pioneered by early newsgroups and by the phenomenal success of AOL in the 1990s.

Blogs have reached into the corporate and government sectors as well. What started out as an outlet for teenage expression and grassroots journalism has turned into a lucrative communications tool for small and large businesses alike.

Corporate Blogging refers to a company producing or supporting a blog that it uses to accomplish business objectives. As with anything, there are certain “best practices” to be followed to ensure your company reaps the maximum benefits. These seven tips guidelines will help make your blog a success.

1. Fine Print. Blogging can lead to legal issues. Companies should have real concerns about liability, exclusions and limitations, and indemnity. Although there are laws that protect against libel, misappropriations and other injuries suffered as a result of posts on the Web, companies can still be held “vicariously” responsible for statements made by employees that are harmful to others. Since there are so many legal issues surrounding blogs, it is imperative that the site has some sort of disclaimer and limitation of liability.

2. Know What You’re Doing. Senior management should be educated by the corporate communications and legal department about what blogs are and how they might affect business. That way, they can be contributing members of the blog, further improving employee relations. Their support and participation is often what makes a blog more effective.

3. Create blogging policies. In any medium where an employee is sharing information, there is the possibility of leaking trade secrets or financial information. Blogging also has a tendency to become personal. A company should have a list of policies regarding blogging to ensure that trade secrets are kept secret and personal lives do not become public. Policies may include keeping financial information from being posted, as well as severe consequences for anyone using the blog for negative publicity.

4. Avoid the Marketing Blog. Making your blog into a blatant marketing campaign is a bad idea. Customers are looking for real answers and honest opinions. They will pick up on insincerity instantly. Use the blog for what it's for, transparency. This is an opportunity to make a real connection with your customers. Don't ruin it by filling it with empty advertising.

5. Keep It Fresh. Blogs are usually judged by their amount of new content. Easy to add on to, they are designed to be updated constantly. To keep your readers coming back, make your content relevant and timely. Don't forget, content can include anything from product releases to job openings, recent news to thoughts from the CEO. It's practically impossible to run out of material.

6. Reinforce the company’s core values. Use your blog to reflect your company's inner soul: its mission, goals and direction. A blog is just another medium by which you interact with your customers and employees. It's another part of the brand experience. It should be consistent with the impression the company wants to make.

7. Encourage employees to use it. Create an atmosphere where they are comfortable asserting their opinions and concerns. You’ll be surprised how the quietest employees will speak up when given such an opportunity. With all communication, blogging can become negative, so remind employees of the public nature of the blogs and the ramifications for their actions.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Easy Methods For Church Fundraising

By Peter Crump

Church fundraising has got to be one of the easiest ways of fundraising that is out there. Everyone is willing to give to the church and is more than willing to help in any way possible. Church fundraising is fun and is a way of getting the whole congregation in the mood to help. Depending on what you decided to have as your fundraising product, it should go over very well.
Whether it is baked goods, crafts, candles, hot suppers served, a quilt sale or one of the many choices that are out there it is sure to be a hit.

Another good idea for a Christian fundraiser is a cookbook. However, this type of church fundraising takes more time and effort, but it is well worth it. Collect all your congregation favorite recipes and get them together. Pick out the amount you want to enter in your cookbook and designate someone in the congregation to copy them off. You can have these pages tied together with pretty ribbons and depending on what time of the year it is you can make your cookbook for that season. This is one fund raising idea that always goes over well.

There is no other fundraiser like a Christian fundraiser. You will get all the support you need in getting your fundraiser together and going over smoothly. The congregation is a wonderful place to find the help you need that goes into getting a church fundraising event together. A Christian fundraiser is like no other where there are so many people pulling for the same cause.

If you choose a hot supper as your church fundraising idea, selling the tickets in advance gives you the money to buy the supplies and you know how many to cook for. Many times the congregation donates the food for this type of Christian fundraiser so that the church can keep all the profits. If your idea for a church fund raiser is a craft sale, everyone will make a few crafts and donate them for the cause and will be there to sell them also. Any Christian congregation enjoys getting together for a fund raiser regardless of what work is involved because they are doing it for their church.

The joy of giving will give you a very profitable Christian fundraiser. Not only from the congregation, but from anyone that happens to come by. If your church fundraising event is well advertised, it should be a big success. Any fund raiser needs to be organized and can be easy or difficult depending on the amount of people you have access to. Just be sure it is clear what each individual is expected to do before you begin.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Database driven web site. Do you need it?

By Julia Ramyalg

Many of site owners still don’t realize all advantages of database driven web sites and don’t use all abilities they give. So when do you need a database driven web site and how it will make your web-life better?

What is a database driven web site?

Database driven web site is one that uses database for collecting and storing information. What information it can be? Various. Email addresses, contact info, clients list, products list, listings of real estate property, trade offers, images, and links, etc.

How does it work?

For example, you have a static HTML web site for your business with posted information about the company, products or services, clients, and there is contact form.

If you have strong HTML skills you update your site without problems each time you need it. Otherwise you hire a webmaster or use maintenance services of a web design company. You write info in text document, send it to your webmaster, he manually inserts it to the site.
You store your products, clients, and contacts info in Word or Excel files.
Probably you store emails that you receive from contact form in Word or Excel files.

Is it handful and easy? Is there an alternative?

In the database driven web site all information is stored in table format of databases on the server, script generates pages that are showed on the site as usual HTML ones.
Usually database driven web sites have admin panel with user-friendly interface where you can manage the site content, i.e. add, edit, or delete info by yourself, create new pages or delete old ones. You can update your site easily each time you need it.

Requests sent form contact form can be saved in database for further use, you can edit them, group, and sort.

You can create pictures gallery on your site and update it easily.

You can have news box at your site and update it easily each time you need it.

Is it expensive?

No, if you order the site from a web design/development company that has good experience in database driven web sites design that means elaborated and tested development process, time and cost saving methods which give high-quality work within short timeline and at affordable price.
Ask your web design company do they make database driven web sites, if yes, look at the examples of such previous works, ask references of the customers – are they satisfied with their web sites? – and if the price is acceptable move forward to your new web site. Or search for another web development company using the same criteria for choice.

What else you should know?

Probably, you will need to change hosting plan or even hosting provider to host your new database driven web site. Usually there are such requirements for hosing:

Friday, 2 July 2010

Customer Service Warning—What to Watch for That Indicate We Have a Customer Service Problem

By Alan Boyer

Do you frequently hear that customers are unhappy about something, and sometimes they are downright frustrated.

Yet, what you hear from your employees is, “Stupid customers! They just don’t understand how to use the product”?

As the owner, or manager, what has been your response? Has it been to back up your employees, or do you go find out what the customer is really saying?

WARNING: you’ve been given an indicator of what is going on in the organization. The customers aren’t getting what they thought they paid for, and the employees are actually blocking access to what the customer wants.

Let’s look at it from the customer’s view:
You’ve just bought a new XYZ that is critical to your business operation. You get it back to the office, and can’t make it work as advertised. You call customer support, with hope that it is just something that can be quickly fixed. After waiting on the phone for 30-40 minutes you finally get a live person who immediately says, “Oh sure. Everyone makes that mistake. All you have to do is ……[stand on your left foot while pushing the button with the right index finger]. No problem. Thanks for calling…click.”

You didn’t even have the chance to tell him that you aren’t one of those everyday customers. You are actually quite knowledgeable and already tried that, but it didn’t work. So, since he didn’t listen, you’ve got to make that call again. Another 30-40 minutes waiting and finally get someone else whose immediate response is….[exactly the same as the last time] but you are trying to get him to listen before he cuts you off list the last one. You finally get him to stop and listen, but his response is, “You’re using it wrong. It wasn’t meant to do that, at least that way. When you are using it THAT way you have to stand on the right foot while pushing the button with the left index finger. Geeeeee!!! …..click.”

And after you try it on the left foot it starts working. In the meantime you and your business were off line for how long at how much cost?

What did it cost you to buy that product that was supposed to save you money?

And chances are that there will be another 20-30 calls for other issues. In the meantime it’s costing you tons of time and money while you are trying to fix THEIR product, and, in some cases, because your business is dependent upon having the product working, the entire business is down.

So, what’s the answer to this?

Although many customer service reps, managers, and business owners think this is a technical problem that can be fixed by fixing the technical issue, please listen carefully IT IS NOT. It is a management problem. It is up to management to fix the fact that the person directly in contact with the customer is more concerned in proving that the product really does work and the customer is too stupid to know it instead of helping the customer get what he really wants. The employees must be informed, maybe trained, to understand their real job is to help the customer and that requires listening to him thoroughly. Otherwise they are probably answering the WRONG question.

Sometimes there really is a good technical reason to stand on the left foot instead of the right when pushing the button. And if a customer doesn’t know how or when to do that, isn’t the problem with the instructions, not the customer.

Keep good records on what customers are calling about. Even if an employee has what he thinks is a justifiable answer, if that question just keeps coming up over and over it is time to find out what the real base cause is.

I also believe that most customer service people actually are trying to do a good job for their boss, but they don’t understand what the goals of their job really are. So they are doing a good job delivering the wrong service. Most feel that their job is to protect the boss, the company, and maybe their own job, from that “stupid customer.” That makes it a losing situation for the customer.

If they change their perspective to, “My job is to help the customer get what he wants. I’m the expert on company policy, the technical issues, and I’ll use those tools to help the customer get what he really wants, which usually is a product that works.”

I was traveling to the Middle East last year and saw a perfect example of how the perception of an employee might affect his customers. When arriving at the counter where they check passports there were two people that were there to facilitate faster movement through the different lines.

One considered themselves as someone to help the people get what they wanted. They walked up to the arriving passengers, asking them if they were citizens or not and guiding citizens quickly to the right line. If they were not citizens, then they asked if they had each of the several papers filled out, checked those papers and then suggested that they correct line XYZ before getting up to the counter that they were now being pointed toward.

The other considered himself a policeman. He was preventing people from getting in line, preventing them from getting in the wrong lines, and sending them over to a work table to fill out the papers themselves. When they came back the “policeman” would check the papers again and send them back to do them over. No offer to help other than to say, this isn’t filled out right, do it again.

The difference between these people: mainly in their vision of their job, what they perceive as their job. They both have the same job description, making sure that the agent at the counter doesn’t have to deal with improperly filled out forms and to make the lines move through faster.

However, one sees his job as catching mistakes and taking them out of line. That might actually make things easier on the guy checking papers at the counter, but certainly not on the customer, the guy trying to get in to the country. The other sees his job as helping the customer get through this tough process and guiding him to get the answers on the paper, and into the right line.

So, ultimately how can this be used in your company? Make sure that the employees in direct contact with a customer have a vision of their job that is clearly defined as:
Your job, if you decide to take it, is to make sure that customer gets what he wants. You are the expert in company policy, and possibly even technical issues of the product so use those tools to facilitate, smooth out, getting the customer what he wants.

Many times the responsibility of the employee is not to find a technical reason (standing on the left foot while…..). The employees should be trained to think beyond the fact that some technical aspect of a product is or is not broken. He should be asking the customer why he is struggling, it could be in the instructions, it could be customers are buying it to do something that it wasn’t intended to do (marketing, advertising, are saying the wrong thing, or not saying it clearly enough).

Frequently the employees need to be trained to think out of the box, and help the customer in ways that are not quite as obvious. The employees can better help a customer if they have the skills to probe find what is the real cause that is well beyond a technical “it’s broken” response from a customer.

About the author:
Alan Boyer, CEO of The Leader’s Perspective, LLC is considered one of the world’s leading breakthrough specialists.

With over 35 years of business experience, he has catapulted businesses lightyears ahead in weeks. Some double, some jump 10 times.

He helps companies worldwide reach further than they EVER thought possible….FASTER

Thursday, 1 July 2010

CRM Business Relationship

By Rasmus Nielsen

A business relationship is different from any other kind of relationship, being a personal or a social relationship. However, to understand what a business relationship means, it is necessary to identify what a relationship is. 
A relationship is according to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary “a connection between things”. A different definition is that it “is a memory of past interactions”. Both definitions say something about a relationship even though that they do not say exactly the same. However, the definitions do not differ between business relationships and personal relationships, which is important because there is a different objective between the two kinds of relationships. Therefore, a business relationship can be defined as:  “A bond based on a rational objective, which is to do business with each other”.However, as the interaction between the two actors increases, a certain relationship evolves and the knowledge about the other part is increased. Together they create a combined understanding and view of reality. The more common output of the relationship is a decrease in transaction costs, as transactions becomes routinely and the bond between the two companies is strengthening.
 When talking about a business relationship, trust comes to mind, because relationships build on trust. However, can a relationship survive without trust? It is possible for a professional relationship to exist without trust, though in most cases trust is a part of the professional relationship. Various authors, such as Paul Greenberg in CRM at the speed of light, 2000, has argued that relationships build on memories of past interactions, because on the first encounter you do not know each other, however, on the second encounter you build the relationship on the previous encounter . He believes that it is the previous encounter that counts in the eyes of the customer. It is true that a need can create a genuine relationship, however, a long-term relationship needs trusts to be able to survive. Furthermore, the better one get to know the other, the better conditions the relationship has to succeed, if there is a honest approach to build the relationship. To some degree the two approaches towards creating a business relationship agree, however, if the objective is to create loyalty both the successful encounter and trust must be accomplished in order to create a successful long-term business relationship.