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4 Strategic Tips to Starting a Business

by Guest Author 12 November 2019 07:30

Many people dream of owning their own business. They can pick the jobs that they do or the products that they sell. They can work when it suits them (and not the other way around). However, most people don't get any farther than that.

Here are some tips for starting a business.

Choose the right business. If you are not passionate about your business, it will show. You will struggle to put in the work that it takes to be successful. If you aren't excited about your products, others won't get excited about them either.

Make it a priority. You are going to be the only person who is going to get your business off on the right foot. If you don't make it a priority, you won't put in the work, and there is no way that it is going to be successful.

You can do this by setting a schedule. A lot of people think that they will just work on their business when it suits. However, if you wait until everything else is done, you aren't going to have the energy to put into your business (even if you find the time). Instead, you need to set a schedule for your business and sit down to do the work!

Make sure that your family and friends are on board. Nothing is harder than starting a business without a support system. Your family and friends are going to need to help you as you get started on this adventure. If you are opening a shop, you are going to need help getting everything off of the ground. If you are planning on working from home, they need to make sure that you have the space that you need to work, when you need to.

The best way to have a successful business is by choosing one that you love. Then, you need to make it a priority and get your family and friends on board!

Three Effective Tips For Customer Service

by Guest Author 5 November 2019 09:24

In today's business world, many companies, both large and small, need to make sure that their customer service practices are wowing customers and consistently adding value to their organizations. A company that fails to put a premium on high quality customer service is not only doing itself a disservice, but more importantly, its inviting undue trouble. Just to give you an idea of how poor customer service hurts business, it is estimated that bad customer experiences costs U.S. businesses $75 billion a year. To help you and your business avoid the pitfalls of providing subpar customer service, here are just a few tips that will aid you and your organization in getting back on the path to world-class customer service:

TIP 1: PROVIDE CUSTOMIZED CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING

To ensure that your customer service staff effectively deals with your customers and clients in a manner that wows them and leaves them with a great experience, it's highly important that your company provide a well-designed or tailor-made training program. To learn any skill or develop any ability, including customer service, it requires a training method that is not necessarily fancy or flashy, but rather, gets results. Here, the idea is for your company to analyze your respective training needs and then use those methods that are tried and true when acclimating new recruits to the process of providing world-class customer service.

TIP 2: MAP THE CUSTOMER'S JOURNEY

Next, it's important to chart the customer's overall experience. Doing this will help your business understand and identify the various touch-points throughout the customer's journey. From the origin of the initial sale or service experience to the customer making a decision to return a product, switch their service, or ultimately end their relationship with a company, it's critically important that you determine what your customer experiences or senses before, during, and after doing business with your company. Identifying this information puts you in an advantageous position where you can pinpoint specific sources of customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction with your product or service. Armed with this information, your company can make targeted product or service enhancements that can wow your customers.

TIP 3: PERSONALIZATION IS KEY

Lastly, it behooves you and your business to personalize your customer's experience. By doing this, you can show your existing customers or prospects how much you value them. A simple way of providing your customers with a personalized experience is to remember their name and to continue to using it whenever communicating with them. Another thing that your business can do to personalize their experience is to provide your customers with special discounts or promotions on their birthday or customer anniversary. Or, maybe your company can cross-sell products and services that align with your customer's previous purchases. You'd be surprised how much of a difference taking these simple steps can make with regards to improving your customer's experience.

How to Use Facebook's New Ad Library

by Guest Author 29 October 2019 09:41

Interested in advertising on Facebook, but aware that your competitors, perhaps larger or better known, also advertise, there—and spend some big bucks?

One counterattack to consider is the trade-off between spending and effort. By effort, I mean an in-depth, persistent attempt to understand messages, strategies, and volume of your key competitors' advertising campaigns—as well as how much they spend, with what results. Based on solid knowledge of what your competitors are claiming, the gaps in their pitch, and even what complaints they are receiving, you can be far more precise in targeting your own ads.

Facebook Provides an Amazing New Tool

But it does sound like effort, doesn't it? It is, but as recently as May 2018 Facebook handed you a seriously important tool called the Facebook Ad Library. Almost certainly acting under pressure after the 2016 Presidential election, which brought accusations that social media hosted "fake news" and extremist rhetoric, Facebook opted for "advertising transparency." It created a "comprehensive, searchable collection" of all ads on Facebook. Anyone can access this library and all active ads—even those targeted at a restricted audience.

Germane to Facebook's motive for the library, the company emphasizes that all ads related to "politics or issues of national importance" will be available when active—and will be kept for seven years.

The Library is a treasure trove for anyone investigating and analyzing ad contents, trends, and audiences—in fact, an entire content and statistical profile—of any Facebook advertiser. Just enter the company's name, brand name, or other identifier and the information is yours.

Just A Few High-Impact Moves

Let's look at just a few specifics:

Build an ad "swipe file" of your competitors' Facebook ads. Several choices of software to create such files can be found by Googling "Swipe file." Someone at your firm could be delegated to do the collecting.

  • Once you have a healthy sample, you can run custom searches and formulate such variables as brand-messaging changes, best-selling products, and pricing updates for each competitor. Is a competitor trying to recover from a hit to its reputation? Conducting a fire sale of a product about to be discontinued?
  • If you write an ad targeting an apparent weak spot in a competitor's ad claims, you can run it on Facebook targeted specifically at those who "like" and "follow" your competitor's Facebook page. That's right. When Facebook asks you to specify your ad's target population, you can specify the followers of… [name of your competitor's page].
  • Partly in response to the Ads Library, there are a host of online tools for analyzing the nature, source, and volume of ad traffic. SimilarWeb lets you see how much traffic your competitor's ads are getting from which social media. An excellent article in Social Media Examiner tells us: "Using Ahrefs, you can view all of the pay-per-click (PPC) keywords your competitor is targeting." And also view other traffic statistics like the cost per click. Company spending on keywords and other paid advertising tools, of course, can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • It could be worth tracking statistics on your competitors' Facebook blogs to separate out the dozen or so with the most hits. This is the kind of content that is succeeding for your competitor-- a consideration in crafting your own ads.

Your initial investment in "effort"--if you persist long enough to spot trends, cycles, strengths, and weaknesses—can guide your decisions about financial investment. In the trackless reaches of cyberspace, strategy is all about targeting to achieve carefully defined goals. The Facebook Ad Library gives you a free and remarkably powerful new tool.

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