Customer Retention Marketing

Customer Retention Marketing is a somewhat over complicated phrase for something pretty simple really. Direct marketer’s have known all along that the easy money is found in your existing customer base.

It’s for this reason that we all see very low cost products for sale in the national newspapers and niche magazines. Sometimes called self liquidating offers, there is probably zero profit in it for the business doing the advertising.

Why do they advertise a product that doesn’t make a profit?

I know it sounds a bit crazy but it’s not at all. What is happening is that they are using a mechanism to attract people to buy from them with a very good offer. Once someone has bought something they can then offer them other associated product’s and services and this is where they make the real money.

It’s between 5 and 15 times less expensive to sell to an existing customer than find a new customer. All the big businesses that have become household names know this and that’s why they introduce membership cards, special customer VIP schemes and that’s also why they keep on adding more and more products and services.

Customer Retention Marketing

It’s a reasonably low cost way for them to stay in touch and provided they deliver a great service people will keep coming back to them.

Smaller business can of course easily do this themselves provided they know what to do, how to do it, had the luxury of time and sufficient funds to set it up.

Talking of funds, a basic system can be set very cheaply and even an all singing all dancing system which includes al the bells and wiggles wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Perhaps the most difficult thing to grasp is the knowledge necessary to implement these strategies. Simple though they are, one needs to understand how the various parts fit together.

What should a business owner in a small to medium sized company consider as part of their customer retention marketing strategy?

I would recommend you start by measuring the Life Time Average value of your customers. You can work out this figure by; Looking at all your customers, calculate what they spend per invoice over their time as a customer with you. Then divide the total spent by the number of customers and you will get an average figure.

There are other figures that you should look at and one in particular is called the customer retention rate. What percentage of your customers leave or move away each year. You may be surprised that most customers leave a company because of indifference to them. They get courted by a competitor and jump ship.

Customer retention has more impact on profits than almost any other measure. Did you know that improving customer retention by 5% could increase profits by between 23% up to around 82%. Apart from joint ventures or strategic alliances it’s one of the fastest and easiest things any business owner can implement and it has a massive benefit to the bottom line.

Beyond this, it’s worth thinking about how a customer retention strategy could be further enhanced through referral systems and VIP customer strategies, something we shall talk about in the future.

Online Business Accounts

The internet has made a huge difference to the financial world in the last ten years, and one of the biggest changes revolves around the way customers carry out their banking. Rather than going into a branch to check their balance, or to transfer money around their accounts customers are now able to do the whole process online, without having to leave their sofa or office.

Customers can even send money to people at other banks, with the money reaching them almost instantly. Online business accounts allow businesses to carry out similar sorts of transactions, completely online. With a huge range of different transactions and actions available online, many customers no longer need to visit the bank, which in turn means banks need less staff and reduce their costs.

What are online business accounts?

Online business accounts work in much the same way as a standard business account, but the majority of the work is carried out online. Whilst customers may still need to visit the bank to pay in cheques, they can encourage clients and customers to pay them by bank transfer, and can pay other customers and clients in the same way, checking their balances and carrying out various transactions online.

Online Business Accounts

Because online business accounts involve less work for the staff working in the banks, many banks tend to offer them at a cheaper rate than their standard business bank accounts, so you can save money, and gain added convenience with an online business account.

Where can I find online business accounts?

Find a site were they allow you to compare the costs, features and benefits of a range of online business accounts from both the main high street banks and also from smaller independent business bank account providers.

By allowing you to compare the accounts next to each other, from monthly or annual cost, to the cost of carrying out transactions, like paying in cheques, customers are able to make an informed decision about the best online business accounts for their company.

How To Pick A High Quality Cleaning Service

Over 5 to ten million houses all around the world make use of a cleaning service to help them manage their day-to-day jobs. This quantity is predicted to rise by ten percent every single year, essentially till absolutely everyone is utilizing some kind of external cleaner to help with housework. With there being no shortages on firms that provide this type of service, it might be tough to find a top quality and reliable service to clean up your house.

Discovering a high quality maintenance business may be overwhelming, however it just isn’t unachievable. You have to be ready to take out some time to look at the industry. You’ll find a good deal of distinctions that separate a respected business that engages in cleaning tasks from a firm that’s not reputable. Support services, price, and the general track record in the business ought to be researched prior to choosing them for the job.

You must put together a list of queries to ask every firm that you find. Don’t be hesitant to touch base with several companies at one time. Also, don’t be afraid to interview the companies on their own. Browsing content that the business publishes on their internet site is just not going to help you establish their legality or their quality.

Maybe, among the starting concerns you ought to pose to these firms is how many years they have been doing this. A business which has longevity in the field will generally possess a verified reputation that you could examine. You should always employ companies which have been around for at least five years.

Most of the firms aren’t going to have photographs or anything that shows their work activities, so you need to constantly ask them how many homes they generally clean on a weekly or monthly basis. This can provide you with an idea of the kind of workload that the business has. Firms that do not have a significant amount of clientele are commonly smaller businesses that might not have the right amount of manpower to handle the project.

One crucial concern that a lot of people forget to ask when signing on with a company for their cleaning work is the number of employees the business has operating for them. Far more employees equates to increased reliability. If the firm features a big clientele list but not a lot of workers, you could possibly begin to question the quality with the company’s services.

The supplies that the company utilizes should also be something that you just ask. The great part here is you can find a great deal of firms which are beginning to use natural products when cleaning homes. Even so, businesses that have not been in existence for an elongated period have a tendency to use cheaply priced items that could possibly be hazardous when utilised around children. As an example, bleach could be a common product that residential house owners use, but this product must only be utilized in dire circumstances by cleaning groups.

Finding a top quality cleaning service can be a job within itself. Nevertheless, as soon as you have positioned a company that meets your demands, the rest is actually a cakewalk.

Top Tips for Loan Applicants

The tips presented below are designed to help you make the right decisions when taking out finance through small short term loans companies and will hopefully enable you to avoid any problems down the line after taking out your short term loan.

1. Make sure you can afford the repayments

First it is very important that you find a suitable loan term and amount with an affordable sum to pay back every month. You may want to write up your current income and outgoings and make sure you have enough left over to stay up to date with your payments (ideally with a bit more to spare for emergencies, more about this later).

2. Only apply for what you need

When you take out a loan make sure you know why you are taking it out (we refer to this as your loan purpose) and only borrow what you need. This may seem like an obvious point but it is very easy to be tempted into getting a bit of extra money to play with on top of what you need.

If you are buying a car, take out the exact amount you need to buy the car. If you are consolidating some other debt then only take out what you need to pay off your debtors. The same can be said for any loan purpose. An extra £500 may seem tempting at the time but remember it will increase your monthly payment and total amount repayable.

Loan Applicants

3. Avoid Broker Fees

If you apply directly through pay day loan UK provider Uncle Buck you will not be charged any additional fees for your loan. If you apply through a broker then a broker fee will be added to your loan amount. Without a broker fee you will be paying back less overall for your loan saving you money. (more…)

Top 3 Reasons Why You Must do a Patent Search

So, you’ve had an idea.  It’s a widget, a gadget… something with moving parts made up of technical bits and bobs. You’ve scoured Google and the high street to see if anyone has beaten you to it, but you’ve failed to find anything on the market that is quite the same. You know you need to protect it, to have something to license, something to attract investment, or even to deter copycats. You know that you need a patent.

So why should you bother to do a patent search, before you get shifting with making it look the business, and before you instruct your patent attorney to prepare and file a patent application?

Here’s our top 3 reasons why an patent search can be invaluable for any idea at this early stage in the development process.

1. The requirements to achieve patent protection for your idea in the UK and Europe are that is must be novel, and therefore it cannot exist anywhere in the world prior to the date that you file your patent application. There’s a wealth of ideas locked away in patent literature. You’ve bothered to search products through Google and in high street stores, so why not invest some time in searching patents too. We’ve heard the stories where people have skipped over this stage, only to discover downstream that their idea has been done before. Whilst this doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the road for an idea, wouldn’t you rather find out before you’ve raided the piggy bank and spent considerable time and money on the project?

Patent Search

2. A patent search can help to support the design development process. You need to grasp whether your idea really is new, and steer around any pertinent prior art that you uncover when patent searching. The patent specifications that you find might help to pad out the development process, and trigger new ideas for optional extras or modifications. Patent literature can be an invaluable resource during the product development process.

3. A patent search at an early stage can help save you money. The going rates for preparing and filing a patent application in the UK through a patent attorney tend to be in the region of £2k to £3k. Add this to the fact that to reach this stage you’ll have no doubt spent a fair bit of money refining the design and being sure your widget will work. Imagine if you waited for the UK IPO to do their searches against your patent application, only to discover at this late stage that someone had thought of your idea before. Worse still, that it is disclosed in a patent that is granted and in force in all of your key countries, and to proceed with the idea you risk infringing another’s rights. It’s certainly a long way back to the drawing board!

So to save yourself time and money, provide support for the product development stage, and provide reassurance that chances are you can achieve worthwhile patent protection for your idea, you would be mad not to delve into the depths of patent literature prior to making any considerable investment.

Vonage Dials Up New Sponsorship for the National Business Awards

Now entering its 13th year, the National Business Awards has established itself as a major fixture on the UK’s business calendar. Designed not only to celebrate enterprise excellence and highlight the work of fledgling businesses, the awards also seek to encourage promising start-ups through a year-round thought leadership programme. The thing that makes the NBA event so special is that it’s truly open to anyone – any company within the UK, whether public, private or third sector, can enter the National Business Awards, regardless of size or industry.

National Business Awards

This year, VoIP communications specialist Vonage has lent its support, joining the likes of Blackberry, Santander and the Daily Telegraph in sponsoring an award at the annual business event. The Duke of Edinburgh New Entrepreneur of the Year Award celebrates the potential that exists within leaders of the UK’s most promising start-ups.

The award will focus on how start-ups have performed within the first 18 months of trading, how initial targets and KPIs have been exceeded, as well as looking at companies’ vision for growth. Vonage managing director Simon Burckhardt will be on the judging panel, alongside Betfair co-founder Ed Wray, Guy Rigby of Smith & Williamson, and Michael Hayman MBE, co-founder of Seven Hills.

Vonage Dials Up

It’s a particularly apt award category for Vonage to support. As a VoIP business specialist, the company already helps small businesses around the globe keep communication costs to a minimum. Giving a boost to home businesses through its affordable communications products like home business landlines and inclusive international mobile plans, it also lends a hand to start-ups via its helpful business blog. Sponsoring the Duke of Edinburgh Award is sure to bring the firm wider recognition for its own services among the 1,200 business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians and media reps in attendance.

The five Duke of Edinburgh Award finalists at this year’s event are:

  • Emma Cerrone of tech education company Free:Formers
  • Alistair Smit of renewable energies start-up The Magic Thermodynamic Box
  • Ben Weaver of digital publishing firm Outlook Publishing Ltd
  • Kathryn Birch of translation services specialist Translive Global
  • Jay Radia of e-commerce tech firm Yieldify

The winner will be announced at the National Business Awards Final, which will take place on 11 November 2014 at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

An Introduction to Remit – Regulation on Wholesale Energy Markets Integrity and Transparency

What does REMIT mean?

REMIT stands for the Regulation on Wholesale Energy Markets Integrity and Transparency. Pertaining to the gas and power markets, it requires market contributors to report agreements with regard to the supply and transportation of electricity and gas within the EU. Reports will be made to the newly formed ACER (Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators).

The purpose of the directive is to deliver a deeper clarity and transparency in the wholesale energy business, therefore lowering any chance of manipulation within the markets and highlighting any evidence of falsified pricing.

Although the exact date has not yet been confirmed, the approximate time frame for go-live is 2014-2015. It will affect all companies or participants who have involvement with wholesale energy markets.

Regulation on Wholesale Energy Markets Integrity and Transparency

You and REMIT: five key points

In essence, the five key pieces of information that must be disclosed by companies / participants are:

1) Identification of the purchase and trade of market products

2) Price

3) Volumes

4) Details of the negotiation, with date and time

5) Details of the dealings with the seller, buyer and recipient

REMIT covers all contracts for the supply of electricity and natural gas to areas of distribution within the European Union, including transportation contracts. In addition, REMIT is responsible for maintaining both contracts for actual delivery or monetary agreements. The regulation’s requirements, which include data collection and recording, refer to every type of wholesale energy product on the market.

One key area to take note of within REMIT is Article 4’s general rule. It requires market contributors to openly reveal, both clearly and within the time criteria, any inside knowledge that they might have regarding business or facilities that affect the market participant, its architect contract or associated contract. The information must be a detailed account pertaining to production, containment, usage or transmission of electricity or natural gas.

There are dispensations that can be made in exceptional circumstances – especially if the material has not been printed within the required time frame.


Hottest Feature of Ivy Exec – Mentor Network

Ivy Exec is popularly known for its job recruiting services among all the leading companies and qualified professionals. It has been successfully meeting significant need of countless companies by helping them in screening the applicants. Ivy Exec has launched the new Mentor Network, which allows members to search, browse as well as meet willing mentors online.

What to Expect – Mentor Network

This hottest addition to Ivy’s suite of ground-breaking career resources has developed to a great level particularly to match budding stars directly with experienced executives in a purposeful way. The Mentor Network of Ivy is the very first such involvement which interacts directly with potential mentors for significant interactions online. The firm conceived the idea as a way for aspiring members of the firm to gain essential career intelligence and advice. Very soon, the firm received an extremely enthusiastic response from the seniors of the firm, who were keen to take the position of mentor. The mentors are the senior executives, counting Managing Directors, CEOs, and CFOs from the list of Fortune 500 companies.

Thoughtful Features of Ivy

Ivy Exec offers a great forum under its mentorship program combined with thoughtful member matching along with precise video chat technology. Such features set this firm apart from the other websites as they form a professional community, which is mainly centered on finding jobs versus building careers. The Mentorship Program offers the senior executives the opportunity to share their perspectives and insights with others people who seek success and personal growth in their professions.

Each member of the firm can schedule a mentorship session online with a new mentor every month. This is the first career community created online that is exclusively designed for high qualified professionals carrying an executive job hunt. Ivy helps the qualified professionals to find exclusive MBA jobs, $100K jobs, jobs in finance and consulting jobs with the leading companies. These companies utilize Ivy’s services to recruit the top tier applicants from the Ivy’s exclusive talent community. The firm offers exclusive facilities to its members along with quick notifications about latest vacancies throughout the world.

Should You Just Depend On A Cost-Free Construction Environmental Plan Sample?

Construction officers searching the Internet for sources on designing a construction environmental management plan may find document samples that they can utilise for free. Should they just go on and use the samples as their own CEMPs and keep the money for other demands of the project?

Designing an environmental plan is indeed time-consuming and expensive, especially if you use conventional methods like hiring a specialist (who will ask for a high professional fee), or making one yourself (which may require considerable efforts since you need to touch up your writing skills and be knowledgeable with current legal guidelines and regulations). Writing an in-depth management plan is a juggling act: you must explain very technical and legal references, but you must do it in a very clear and concise manner to make the document completely implementable in the construction site. Thus, using a construction environmental plan sample for your needs may actually seem like a realistic option.

Nevertheless, not simply any document you can find on the internet can satisfy the legislative requirements and also the environmental safety standards of your construction company. It may have been composed when present environmental laws were not yet in effect, deeming the articles irrelevant and useless. The material may be basic but not flexible, making you not able to tailor-make it according to the requirements of your project and the regulations of your organization.

If you’re trying to find a fast and easy way of getting your environmental management plan composed, why don’t you try a downloadable format you can fill in with information adapted for your necessities? These templates are accessible from reliable construction management experts who have thought of a strategy to make 100% legislatively updated, easy-to-read and simple-to-understand environmental plans readily accessible with out the high charges. It may not be free, but the affordable value can already ensure conformity with current laws, ready-to-implement regulations and assurance for the construction team.

If you’re still unsure of your decision, you can hire a CEMP team that gives risk-free, money-back purchases. You can pay for the plan, download it and determine its significance to your requirements. In the event that you cannot entirely utilise the product, you can give it back for a refund and look for other alternatives. This would ensure every investment you make will be suitable for your construction team, the consumer, the community and the environment.