Never comprise on service over price

For those businesses and entrepreneurs search the deep pages of Google for that £10 extra saving let me tell you it might not be as worth it as you think…

Yes you will be saving money, but the lower the price the lower the expectations of the services you should have. The catering equipment industry is one of the perfect examples of an industry where service is valued more highly than the price of the item purchased.

If every business competed on price it would be madness. The key to success in businesses are offering something different, differentiated products and businesses are likely to be more appealing to those who need something of quality.

You can jump on Google and type in the product you need right now and find it for a reasonable price. However if you want it installed, delivered or any other extra services then you will be expected to pay through the teeth. This is not the case in the catering equipment industry, many local catering equipment companies will provide businesses with the highest level of services.

Not only will the offer a reasonable price on some of the top brands in the industry, but they will also be able to offer you better support than any box shifter out there. The great thing about having a brick based business vs online businesses is that you can get hold of an employee whenever you like… you don’t have to wait for an email reply.

Having a business at the other end of the line is something many businesses would pay hundreds for. Buying equipment from one kitchen can ensure all warranties and service contracts are kept under one roof. You can also ask your catering equipment supplier to help you with installation or installation guides. Installing equipment is not cheap, especially if you require a gas safe registered engineer to install your new 6 burner oven,

Buying equipment from a local catering equipment business can help you more than you would think as they are more likely to be free at times to best suit your businesses requirements.

If you need to save money and are not fussy about brands then you need to look out for the commercial catering equipment special offers pages where you can usually find a wide range of bargains from the most reputable suppliers from around the world.

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10 Interesting Business Facts

Here are a few fun business facts for your Monday morning:

  1. Steve Jobs’ annual salary was $1, just enough to keep company health benefits.
  2. The first owner of the Marlboro Company died of lung cancer.
  3. The most productive day of the working week is Tuesday.
  4. Yahoo! was originally called ‘Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web’.
  5. Warner Chappel Music owns the copyright to the song ‘Happy Birthday’. They make over $1 million in royalties every year from the commercial use of the song.
  6. The creator of the NIKE Swoosh symbol was paid only $35 for the design.
  7. Originally, Nintendo was a playing card manufacturer.
  8. It takes six months to build a Rolls Royce…and 13 hours to build a Toyota.
  9. Henry Ford produced the model T only in black because the black paint available at the time was the fastest to dry.
  10. Energy is being wasted if a toaster is left plugged in after use.

Karl Young

Guest Post: How to Keep Tabs on Your Shipment in Real Time

Real time means on-the-dot tracking of news updates, an object’s location, or a sequence of events. In the case of shipping and air freight services, real-time tracking is an added feature on the website of a local courier, customs broker, or freight forwarder. For shippers in Australia, the added convenience of Australia parcel tracking tools gives them peace of mind that their shipments are moving towards their destinations. Soon, these cargo containers will arrive safely at the airport or the seaport on time.

To use the tool for parcel tracking in Australia, all that a user needs to provide is the tracking code of the specific shipment. If you’re checking your shipment’s location through the website of a courier like DHL Australia or Australian air Express, then you’ll probably need a personal account as well as your cargo’s tracking number. However, if you’ve been using a third-party logistics company who arranged transportation for your goods, then you won’t have to log in to your account. Just enter the tracking reference number into the field reserved for the specific courier, click the button, and you’ll receive real-time news about your shipment.

Sometimes, you’ll receive a pop-up message that informs you that either the reference number you entered may have been incorrect or the courier company hasn’t picked-up your cargo yet. The tracking code normally consists of ten digits or in another format specific to the courier service. If you’re certain that you entered the correct code, then you may call the courier company’s customer service or use the online enquiry form at their website.

If you sent your cargo through DHL Australia, then you can contact them via phone on 131406 or you may use the contact form at their website. Their parcel tracking service usually delivers accurate results. Customers can track up to ten shipments at the same time by sending an email or by filling up the submission form. For international calls to DHL Australia, you may use (+1) 800 225-5345 to contact their customer service from Down Under. Finally, you may also inquire through SMS on +44 7720 33 44 55 and you’ll receive a response in less than a minute.

If your shipment was sent through Fastway couriers, then you may use their Australia parcel tracking page. The form at their website requires only the label number of your parcel or satchel for input. However, when an error occurs or you wanted to ask for more details about your shipment, you should submit your shipping information through the online enquiry form. For a speedier enquiry, you just call the Fastway office in Australia that you used to send your cargo and request to speak with one of their customer service representatives.

Lastly, if you were using a logistics company to arrange your shipment’s papers, process payments, and setup the pick-up and delivery schedules, then you should check the customer service department of that company. Freight forwarders and customs brokers ordinarily have partnership agreements with different couriers as well as shipping lines and aircraft operators. They usually have a direct line to the courier company’s operations. And so, they receive a faster response from the company regarding issues about their services.

About The Author:

Richard Taylor is a six-year veteran in the media and publishing industry, which depends largely on reliable couriers, like Australia Post and DHL Worldwide Express, to deliver magazines or newspapers throughout the country or for global distribution. Using an Australia parcel tracking service, delivery personnel can do early morning drops of these publications to subscribers who read them at home and to shop owners who sell them.

Business Growth Advice

Here are some important business growth tips I’ve learned in working with client over the years.

1. Business Growth is a mindset.

Yes, your growth may be influenced by factors like the economy or the market sector you have chosen to play in. But your growth is not fixed by fate. It’s driven by a growth mindset.

Right now, there are growth sectors that have failing businesses in them. And there are sectors that have reached maturity which have growth stars rising in them.

You decide to grow. You commit to grow. Growth follows the will to grow.

What’s the difference between someone who has a successful local restaurant and someone who has a chain of successful restaurants? Mindset. One wanted to expand, the other was content with the success at hand.

There is nothing wrong with being content with your current level of business scope and scale. But don’t deceive yourself that you cannot find ways to grow your business.

Consider this: The minute you see the economy or the market as the reason you can’t grow, you’ve surrendered control of your business to outside forces beyond your control.

The only way to regain control is to decide to grow in-spite of what others in your industry have decided to do.

2. You often grow faster by doing less

I often have an audience of business leaders make a list of all the ways they can think of growing their business.

Guess what…

I’ve never seen anyone put on that list things they are going to STOP doing.

There is something instinctive in human nature that makes us think of adding when we think of growth.

Yet, numerous times over the years I’ve helped clients grow by stopping certain products, marketing channels, sales processes, etc.

Imagine you have a bucket of water and 7 rose plants to water. Your water (resources) are now equally divided between those rose plants.  Now imagine that instead of watering all 7 of those plants, you only water two of them. Which scenario will create the largest, most beautiful roses?

One client I had discovered that their most successful clients all came from one type of lead source. They stopped spending time and effort on all others and only focused the sales team on that one channel. Sales doubled in a month.

Another client discovered that one type of customer was far, far more valuable than all the others. They chose to narrow their business focus to that one customer type and grew from $1 Million to $7 million and got on INC’s Fast Growth 5000 list.

I could go on, but I think you get the point. Stop thinking of all the things you might do. Do a 80/20 analysis on your business and focus your efforts on the best opportunities.

3. Listen to the market

Very often a business leader has a passion for a product, service or segment. Yet, if you do and 80/20 analysis on a business, you’ll find the profit and growth is coming from somewhere else.

You have two choices. Continue to swim against the current — or swim with the current.

I think you can guess which is going to help grow your business the fastest.

Just because we have a passion, an idea, a focus doesn’t mean the market is going to buy it. Sell them what they are buying!

4. Test, Test, Test

By helping companies innovate their sales and marketing processes, it’s not unusual to see their sales double or triple.

That growth doesn’t come from working harder, it comes from working smarter.

But often you cannot predict in advance what ad, what sales process or what product is going to be the big winner. So you have to conduct very careful split test.

And when you do, you’ll have uncovered the path to fast, low risk growth.

5. Follow the right sequence of growth steps

There are 4 ways to grow your business.

A) You can focus on market penetration and sell more of the same product to more of the same people.

B) You can sell different products or services to your existing customers

C) You can take your existing offerings out to new markets.

D) You can create new products and services for new markets and customers.

The highest probability, lowest risk strategy is “A”.

The second lowest risk, fastest payback is “B”

Yet, time and again I see business leaders by-pass these two steps and leap right into higher risk “C” and “D” strategies.

I strongly encourage you to find ways to increase the effectiveness and productivity in step “A” before moving on.

Many business mistakenly think they are doing all they can in step “A” but too many times I’ve seen new ideas and knowledge applied to existing sales and marketing efforts double sales.

And if you improve your “A” game it will make your ventures up the growth ladder even more sure and successful.

 

WANT A STRONG COMPANY CULTURE? TAKE OUT THE TRASH

Culture is a common buzz word among new and established organizations. It’s increasingly important in a startup to motivate employees to work the extra hours without the added benefits. It’s also the factor many companies rely on to attract and retain strong talent. But strangely enough some of the most successful companies don’t even consider culture, but rather stumble into it.

At Xconomy Xsite last week I heard a panel with some of Boston’s best known entrepreneurs commenting on how they fostered a positive company culture. Curiously they all agreed it was an afterthought since they were always focused on building their company. Instead they examined core values that they credit for the success of their organization.

Dharmesh Shah- CTO of Hubspot- He never considered culture until the organization got large enough that he had to actively seek to maintain it. He didn’t rely on overthought techniques but rather the finer details. For example, in the early Hubspot days they used to draw a lottery to determine who would sit where in the office. There was no special spots for the executives since they were all part of the same team. He recognized this and treated them all as such.

Gail Goodman- CEO of Constant Contact- Gail’s key culture driver? “The no asshole rule.” Her main objective in a potential hire was screening them to see if they were assholes. She asked them prying questions on their teamwork and if they always responded with “I’s” and “Me’s” instead of “We’s” and “Ours” she politely showed them the door.

Andy Ory- CEO of Acme Packet- Andy would interview every candidate before they joined his company. Seriously every single one. He made it a point to get to know each person and make sure they had the qualities he was seeking as a part of his organization. It’s a time intensive process, but one he credits for allowing him to have such a positive impact in his company.

Company culture shouldn’t be any one person’s responsibility. It should be a communal effort that naturally occurs when you bring great people in an environment. Think about it: Even if you had a party with a Jacuzzi, foosball and live music it would still suck if you didn’t invite fun people.

Focus on what matters: your work and your values. Only invite others that share them and don’t differentiate the management team with fancy perks. Have them be the leaders in the organization that work hard like everyone else, order the groceries and take out the trash. The rest of the team will notice and respect them more for it.

 This blog first appeared on Greenhorn Connect here.

How to Create, Market, and Maintain your Business Website

Originally posted on Small Business Web Design:

Setting up a strong online presence is not a simple task. Anyone who has been in the business knows that e-commerce does not end in designing and building a website, in fact, those are just the start. After some creativity for web designs and development, you need to make your website known for many visitors or else, all your efforts would be futile and business growth would be impossible.

Online marketing can be in different forms, but the most famous strategy done by many start up businessmen is search engine optimization (SEO). This allows any quality website to have greater search engine visibility thus increasing site traffic. The very purpose of SEO is to introduce your business to the online world, generate clients, and make good impression for first time visitors. Here are 5 simple ways to market your website.

5 Ways to a Successful Business Website

1. Format your…

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