Discover The 5 Pillars of A Successful Company


What happens when you apply the 80:20 rule to the activities required to be completed for any business to operate?

Extraordinary Profits

A Positive, Low Stress Working Environment

Continual Progress At A Rate That Far Outpaces Your Competition

How do you achieve these goals? Well just take a look at how most companies are run and don’t do what they do. People in most companies spend the majority of their time on activities that have little or no impact on building revenue and profits. Let’s review the components of how to solve this.

First there are only five (5) areas of business that need your attention. Hold out your hand and look at your fingers and thumb – 5. Now follow with me on this because I am not in a room with you to reinforce the point. Hold out your hand and assign each of the (5) pillars as follows:

1.Sales – thumb
2.Gross Margin – index finger
3.Expenses – your “flip em” finger
4.Working Capital – next finger
5.Employees – pinky

80% of your time as an owner or CEO should be spent on these 5 pillars and 80% of the 80% should be spent on Sales and Gross Margin – the first two. When you spend the majority of your time on marketing the right balance of products and services that bring you optimum sales volume and gross margin, normally there are no issues recruiting and training the best people, there are minimal issues with managing liquidity and if any area of expense begins to be out of balance, it doesn’t hurt much while you are bringing it back in line.

If you are considering making some adjustments in how you allocate your time, you are invited to review my FREE course “How To Increase Profits By 30% or More In 90 Days or Less” which can be found at www.stevepohlit.com This is a sequential step-by-step process based on the exact programs I use when I help companies implement a management system on site(not software, simply very clear methodology for running the company).

Nearly every article published at www.stevereports.com expanded upon the management of components of the five pillars. In most cases, the information contains practical advice that you can implement beginning today. I have found that if the concepts are not actionable quickly and do not yield positive results quickly, people lose interest. It is no different than an exercise program. If the exercise is too rigorous, too demanding or takes too much time, it will not be sustained over time. Running a company is no different. The process must result in continual positive feedback as to progress toward achieving measurable goals.

Author: Steve Pohlit is a Business Consultant and publishes articles focused on helping companies increase revenue and profit.

Live Chat Is Not The Answer To Improved Customer Service – The Issues Run Deeper

Live Chat Is Not A Solution For Customer Service ProblemsLive Chat Is Not The Answer To Improved Customer Service – The Issues Run Deeper

(The following comments are in response to comments and and article on the benefits of Live Chat. The entire thread is posted here as a convenience. Since this is my blog I am starting with the most important information – mine.)

Live chat, like most programs, can point to a stable of success stories. However, many people offering live chat, do not implement it well.

The reasons live chat does not work well in many instances include all the standard ones that a person experiences with a help desk ticket system, direct email contact and phone support. Those issues include: support not being available, support wasting a customer’s time with irritating questions based on a script, support not being properly trained and finally, unusually long delays in response time due to support attempting to multi-task customer communication or needing assistance from their supervisor.

In an article I recently published at www.stevereports.com details of study by Jupiter-Research show companies are slower and slower to respond to emails directed at customer service and an increasing number of companies do not even respond at all. Customer dissatisfaction with phone support is well known.

Live chat is another tool for customer support. The issues go much deeper than installing this technology. Most customers want accurate answers fast to their questions. The companies that figure out how to do that will be rewarded with people continuing to spend increasing sums of money on their products and services.

Steve Pohlit is a Business Consultant and publishes articles focused on helping companies increase revenue and profit.

Using Live Chat To Service And Sell

The Email Marketing Whiz – Erik James

Dear Friend,

Did you know that Forrester research recently reported that 1 out of every 2 customers on the Internet is unhappy with the service they are receiving?

Think about your own experience as a customer of these companies. How many times have you requested support, only to wait days for a response? How many times have you submitted a question by email and didn’t get a single reply?

Well now there’s a simple, cost-effective solution …

Live Chat software is the cost effective tool that helps you sell your product online and give superior customer support service. With just the tap of the mouse, your web site visitors contact your support team for live assistance through a live chat system.

I recently started using a Live Chat system, and many of you have sent me some incredible feedback.

Now you chat with my support team using our Live Support console right from your own web browser, and you get your important questions answered immediately by a real person, in real time.

The following article, written by Paul Demery, explains the incredible benefits of using a simple solution like Live Chat on your web site …

How Live Chat Increases Satisfaction and Reduces Costs

One thing the Internet didn’t do away with is the demand for customer service. Even though some early e-retailing visionaries saw a brave, new world where customers didn’t need to talk to retailers, that hasn’t happened. And so the challenge to online retailers has been how to fill customer service needs at an acceptable cost. Offering live telephone support is an expensive step backward from the lower operating costs that were part of the web’s promise. And in most cases, pure self-service doesn’t work.

Now a small but growing number of retailers are turning to live chat for customer service. “Live chat is right for the times because consumers still want that assurance of live communication,” says Jim Okamura, retail analyst with consultants J.C. Williams Group. “But it’s only starting to become really effective, so it has a lot of upside potential.”

Taking care of business

Forrester Research Inc. projects steady growth in consumer use of live chat in customer service. In 2003, 30% of online buyers turned to live chat for customer service, up from 19% in 2001, Forrester reports. Acceptance of live chat will grow “as online chatting teens grow up,” Forrester says, to 59% of online buyers in 2007.

“Live chat takes care of business,” says Scott Shulman, director of e-commerce at athletic shoe retailer K-Swiss Inc.’s K-Swiss.com. Although K-Swiss also offers self-service customer service options as well as easy access to telephone customer service agents, it offers live chat as a way of filling the gap between the two. With lower operating costs compared to using telephone call center agents, live chat enables K-Swiss to provide personalized service around the clock. “It makes our site more personal because customers can have their questions answered 24 hours a day, 365 days a
year,” he says.

The measures of the overall market use of live customer service chat may be small, but some retailers who have begun making live chat a prominent part of their customer service strategy say it has grown in popularity with customers. Although K-Swiss.com makes its 800 number easily available through a customer service link that appears on every page, the more prominently placed live chat button on each page is increasing as customers’ first choice for customer service. “Why not? All they have to do is click and get an instant answer,” Shulman says.

Double Duty

Simply making the live chat option more noticeable than an 800 number will cause more consumers to naturally move toward live chat, experts say. If you make the 800 number too available, the tendency of today’s consumers is to use it, but having a live chat button on every page instead will encourage
customers to use that.

Most retailers put live chat to work first as a selling tool, deploying it at crucial times, for example, when a shopper takes an excessive amount of time in checkout and appears to need help making a decision before abandoning a shopping cart. Now more are giving live chat double duty: as both a selling and customer service tool.

Serving and Selling

Customers in a live customer service chat session are greeted by customer service reps trained to respond with coordinated responses intended to both help and sell.

There’s a further way that live chat can be both a customer service and a sales tool, experts say. By using the live chat tool as part of a customer analytics system, K-Swiss builds customer profiles based on shopping behavior, click stream history and conversations recorded in past customer service live chat sessions and telephone calls, Tisdel says. “Then when the customer comes back, the system’s business rules proactively engage her with an appropriate offer in a live chat session,” he says. The offer might be a coupon for a product in which the customer has previously expressed an interest, or an offer for free shipping to satisfy a concern expressed about delivery costs, he adds.

In addition, K-Swiss has used live chat as part of the customer analytics system to turn customer service communications into a merchandising research tool. “For example, K-Swiss learned that many of its customers had a high demand for children’s apparel, which they now offer on their site,” Tisdel says.

Despite live chat’s multiple abilities to help serve customers, it’s still misused or underutilized by many retailers. “Some web sites have a live chat service that says ‘We’ll be right with you,’ but that makes customers wait too long,” says Elizabeth Harrel, analyst with Forrester Research. “That can be worse than not having live chat at all.”

Estimates vary widely as to the costs related to live chat and other forms of customer service, though several vendors estimate the cost of an average live chat session at about $1, compared to estimates of average telephone customer service calls ranging from $6 to $20. Costs vary widely partly because of the diversity in customer service needs related to different types of products, experts say.

Moreover, Harrel figures that live chat costs nearly as much as, or about 90% of, telephone customer service calls. While live chat will provide savings in the cost of telephone lines, they tend to require higher salaries, she says.

Others put the cost of live chat far below telephone reps, mainly because live chat agents are trained to handle multiple chat sessions simultaneously. “A live chat rep can usually do a minimum of three sessions at a time, but I’ve seen them do eight”, says Tisdel of InterSight. “But even if they do only two at a time, that cuts the cost in half.” He figures an average live chat session costs $3-$5, compared to $10 or more for an average customer service telephone call.

This article was written by Paul Demery.

Article Source: ArticleFeedster.com – Free Reprint Ezine Articles and Article Feeds

To browse other Live Chat articles, visit ArticleFeedster.

Warmest Regards,

Erik James
List Marketing Expert, LIST BUILDER Pro
“The Most Trusted Name In List Building.”
www.listbuilderpro.com

How To Protect Your Blog From a DDOS Attack

How To Protect Your Blog From a DDOS Attack

Any server hosting domains and blogs can be a victim of a ddos attack. When a website or blog is hosted by a service focused on a specific niche, the vulnerability to attack appears to be greater.

The recent ddos attack on blogs could be related to commentary posted by someone on their blog that offended someone with the skills to orchestrate a ddos attack. When you have your business blog with a major service where a wide variety of themes are published your risk increases.

For quite some time, I published a blog using two major services with programs for bloggers. Generally, they worked well. However, there were some issues that left me with an unsecure feeling as I really didn’t have complete control over my blog and I felt more vulnerable than I do now.

My blog operates from the domain name www.stevereports.com It is hosted by a company with software built into my hosting account that makes it fairly easy to set up a blog.

I have backups off that server for all content that I publish on my blog. In the event of a problem with that host provider, I simply move my domain to another host and my blog is back in business.

I am also now using the blog software platform to create web sites. This is brand new technology that is also very easy to use. For an example of a site nearly complete see www.lasiklasereyesurgery.us I can tell you I am really excited about this particular software and if you want to learn more visit www.theprofitexpert.com/rapidnicheproducts.html By the way, if you visit www.theprofitexpert.com you will find many free resources including a mini course to help you if you have an interest in developing an income stream on line.

I strongly recommend investing the time to learn how to register a domain name, set up a domain name on a server, use an html editor,and ftp content to your domain. I avoided learning those skills for many years even though I started in the Internet business more than 10 years ago. Now with a few basic skills, I can set up blogs, create web sites for business or fun.

I am not a design expert as anyone can tell by visiting my sites. However, my skills improve daily I am pleased with my progress. Like I advise all my business clients, clearly define what it is you are trying to accomplish, set a time line for achieving it, roll the completion date back to what you have to begin doing today to achieve the goal on or before your targeted completion date, hen do one more very important thing – take action.

(Steve Pohlit is a business consultant whose primary site is www.stevepohlt.com He writes on topics designed to help companies and entrepreneurs make a lot more money. All articles can be found at www.stevereports.com Unless otherwise noted, he invites everyone to use his articles with the only request being to include this resource box.)

Time Management for Maximum Performance


Time Management for Maximum Performance

Several of my articles have focused on the importance of developing a customer and prospect database, a communication strategy and executing that plan. I will periodically remind you of the extreme importance of doing this and how that one area of your business will result in extraordinary profits.

This article is about your daily task list. I fined tuned my approach to my list during my completion of Dan Kennedy’s course on time management. Essentially this process is the same one that you should use for your business. The steps include defining your overall strategy of what it is you want to accomplish, assign a time-line to that strategy and then bring it back to what you have to do today to achieve your objective.

Since everyone has responsibilities outside of their career, this process should be extended to the spiritual and personal dimensions of your life. Achieving a balance can be very demanding because of the increasingly intense level of distractions. They include, cell phone, email, mail, newspapers, magazines, TV, Radio, iPod and more. Then there are the time required for your personal relationships.

My best days are when I plan them out in advance, make my list of intended accomplishments, check off the items on my list that I complete and don’t go nuts when there is something left undone. Uncompleted tasks are simply reprioritized and then added to a subsequent list.

My most productive periods are when I have a clear focus on defined near term goals that support the achievement of a measurable strategy. In addition, there are time lines for achievement and other people know and are tracking my progress. At the daily task level, the greater the sense of urgency, the more that is accomplished.

In summary, approaching the management of your own time is no different than the process of optimizing business performance. The principles of time management is the same. The free course “How To Increase Profits by 30% or More in 90 Days or Less” found at www.stevepohlit.com teaches these principles for companies. The free course “The Internet Profit Roadmap” found at www.theprofitexpert.com teaches these principles for entrepreneurs working to create successful businesses on line. For personal time management training as well as business development training, I recommend you get your hands on everything published by Dan Kennedy. I recommend starting with 3 month trial subscription of Dan’s No BS Marketing Newsletter. Click Here for Details

Steve Pohlit is a CPA, MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies. Today Steve is an expert business consultant focused on helping companies improve their business performance including growing profits, revenues and customers. For a FREE 6 week mini course where you will receive 10 easy to implement action steps guaranteed to increase business revenue and profits by at least 30% in the next 90 days, please visit www.StevePohlit.com All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.