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THE ROLE OF BUDGETING IN FINANCES

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Introduction 

Being a graduate of a prestigious university and making a considerable income does not guarantee your financial safety. According to Parkinson’s law of spending, which states that expenses rise to meet income, people’s expenses will always increase proportionally to their income. This law validates the idea that people do not end up poor only because of the absence of money but also because of a lack of financial literacy. 

Financial literacy is the effective knowledge and understanding of using financial products, such as savings accounts, investments, and insurance, and skills, such as budgeting and debt management, to manage money and save individuals from financial unaccountability, fraud, and scams. 

To be financially literate is to have an intricate understanding of how money behaves; by doing so, you have established a life-long profitable relationship with money. Most people don’t get financially trained in college, but thanks to “Effective Business Idea,” you are about to gain the power to control your finances with a free financial education. 

The most fundamental knowledge you must acquire when working towards financial independence is the skill of budgeting. Budgeting plays a vital role in ensuring adequate money inflow and outflow, helping to increase accountability and prudence.  

What is a budget?

A budget is a planned estimate of anticipated income and expenditures for a certain period in the future, and it is created and reevaluated regularly. Everyone, from individuals to families of varying means, as well as governments and corporations, may benefit from developing and sticking to a budget.

Budgeting helps you control your monthly spending, prepare for the unexpected(rainy days), and buy luxury goods and properties without debt. Keeping a budget can be a smooth process; it doesn’t restrict you from buying what you want, but rather, it gives you the freedom to maintain a grip on your finances and a clearer picture of where your money is going.

Introduction to Budgeting

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Are Online Banks Trustworthy?

Are Online Banks Trust worthy

Online banks are financial firms that provide banking services mainly or totally through the Internet. Their services range from account opening to bill payments and CD investments. 

Online banks operate 24/7 and offer lower fees, fewer time limits, higher savings and CD rates, and cashback rewards.

The main drawback of Online banks is their exclusive virtual operation: Customers will be unable to deposit or withdraw cash due to this. Some online banks offer ATM services, like Capital One 360, blending physical and virtual operations, widely recognised as online. However, these developments still do not entirely remove the doubt many still have about online banks. 

In this blog post, you will get a very definite understanding of how online banks handle security and if you can trust an online bank to keep your earnings.

FDIC’s role in bank security

In 1933, Congress inaugurated the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to keep the country’s banking system stable and the public’s trust in it. This was an urgent and highly needed move because, in the 1920s, spanning into the early 30s, a national bank failure resulted in a severe loss of many American savings. 

The FDIC has been saddled with the responsibility of Insuring financial institutions, bringing accountability, and increasing customer protection. Part of the duties is to make significant economic issues easily resolvable. Since its inception, the FDIC has proven its capacity over the years by changing the US banking security trajectory. 

Aside from federal government funding, the FDIC collects premiums from its members to cover expenses and compensate depositors at failing banks. The bank deposits the money into a Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF), with banks paying based on insured deposit balances and risk levels.

Related blog post: What are online banks? Features, Drawbacks & Reputable Banks.

Achieving Financial Success: Five Habits of Self-Made Millionaires

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Wealthy people are popularly known for one thing: money. However, only a few people discuss the challenges they face daily to attain the success we celebrate today or the lessons we can learn from their journey through thick and thin. It’s important to remember that ‘When it comes to making big money, it’s not always about luck or inheritance.’ You need to understand that many self-made millionaires share common habits that help them achieve financial success.

Who are self-made millionaires?

These are individuals who have achieved remarkable success through their expertise and hard work without relying on substantial inheritances or trust funds. They made it on their own, earning applause because they truly worked tirelessly for it. Approximately 70% of millionaires worldwide are self-made. Notable examples include Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon; Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft; Warren Buffett, the owner of Berkshire Hathaway; Oprah Winfrey; and Bernard Arnault, the founder of Louis Vuitton. You can learn more about the world’s top self-made millionaires and Billionaires through this link.

If you have been desiring a change in your financial status for good, this is the perfect blog post for you. Let’s explore five simple yet powerful habits that can put you on the path to becoming a self-made millionaire.

1. Budget Like a Pro

Don’t tell me what you value; show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” Joe Biden

The skill of budgeting holds immense importance in an individual’s day-to-day decision-making. It involves financial projections, which means the ability to evaluate one’s current financial situation and plan for improvement. Self-made millionaires excel at task and project planning, particularly when it comes to prioritising finances on tasks and projects that will yield maximum results. This is the essence of smart planning and budgeting. They are also deeply aware of their various income streams—their daily, monthly, and yearly earnings—and know where every dollar goes. It’s this discipline that earns them the title of millionaires. They budget and save wisely, ensuring that they don’t spend more than their income. 

Self-made millionaires Budget Like A pro

As an individual looking to learn this art, you need to “make a budget that works for you and stick to it. This way, you can save more and invest in opportunities that can grow your wealth over time.

2. Invest in Yourself

Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

 Jim Rohn

Self-made millionaires make critical decisions, and their commitment to continuous self-investment is a key reason why they keep moving forward. They understand the potential costs of stopping, which can include failed projects, business ventures, and even a decrease in wealth. 

When you invest in yourself (mentally, physically, financially, and emotionally), you not only appear more knowledgeable and smart in the room but also build meaningful connections with people, clients, prospects, and customers.

As an individual looking to imbibe the habits of a millionaire, Investing in your mind will help you set “SMART GOALS ”, understand the mechanics of money, and grasp the intricacies of building a business. Self-made millionaires excel at spotting opportunities when others do not and navigating failures, bad investments, poor stocks, and debt while staying ahead. They achieve this because they’ve enriched their minds with books and learned from those who’ve travelled similar paths before them. 

  • Investing in yourself can take many forms, such as acquiring new skills, gaining financial knowledge, exploring investment opportunities, connecting with customers, and pursuing side hustles, among other strategies.

Reading books is a vital way to invest in yourself. It allows you to understand the importance of goal setting, the value of gathering knowledge before embarking on a business or idea, and the ability to learn from both the successes and mistakes of others who’ve walked the same path. This enriches your capacity for growth and success.

Reading is a key habit for financial success

Books I will recommend that can help you on your journey:

1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

This book simplifies financial concepts and highlights the importance of investing and asset-building.

2. The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

It provides insights into the habits and behaviours of self-made millionaires, making it relatable and actionable.

3. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

A practical guide to managing money, getting out of debt, and building wealth step-by-step

4. The Richest Man in Babylon, by George S. Clason

This book offers financial wisdom through parables set in ancient Babylon, making it easy to grasp important money lessons.

5. Your Money or Your Life, by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

It helps you understand the relationship between money and life choices, encouraging a more mindful approach to finances.

6. Automatic Millionaire by David Bach

This book simplifies the path to wealth-building, emphasising the importance of automation and consistency.

Happy reading and learning! 

3. Set Clear Financial Goals

How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case.” 

Robert G. Allen

Robert G. Allen’s quote emphasises the importance of having well-defined financial goals. Self-made Millionaires set both short-term and long-term financial goals, which help maintain motivation and focus on what truly matters. Whether it’s debt repayment, saving for a home, or starting a business, having a specific target can drive you forward.

Establishing Precise Goals:

Wondering how these self-made millionaires craft precise goals and how you, too, can?

  • Articulate Your Desires: Begin by clearly articulating your desires. Define your long-term goals, and then break them down into achievable short-term milestones. For instance, if your ultimate ambition is to attain millionaire status, it’s crucial to identify your passions, define your business objectives, and diligently acquire the necessary knowledge and skills.
  • Identify Key Tasks: Identify core activities that support your goals and can bring you maximum results. For instance, launching a business idea and generating an income exceeding $100,000 within a specific time frame can be among your essential tasks.
  • Outline the “HOW“: Identify the strategies and steps required to achieve your business goals. While doing so, consider your current financial situation, ensuring that your objectives remain realistic and attainable.
  • Monitor Progress: Continuously track your progress and actively seek opportunities for improvement. Regularly assessing your journey helps you refine your approach and achieve better results.

By setting and pursuing clear financial goals with determination and strategic planning, you’re on the path to financial success, just like self-made millionaires.

4. Work Hard and Smart

Oprah Winfrey once said, “The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.” Dean Graziosi echoed this point of view by highlighting that countless self-made millionaires began with nothing but determination and self-discovery. These people are proof that success doesn’t come on a silver platter; it’s earned through hard work, risk-taking, and unwavering determination.

What sets Self-made millionaires apart is their unending commitment to their dreams. Even when faced with setbacks, they chase their goals relentlessly; for instance, Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first media job during her early media career but didn’t give up, still pursuing her dreams with strength. 

Moreover, many self-made millionaires share another common trait: their eagerness to give their own quota to the world. They show empathy for others and often become significant contributors to various foundations.

Here’s a closer look at the key characteristics that propel them to success:

  • Effort and Efficiency: They invest both hard work and smart strategies in their endeavours. It’s not just about working long hours; it’s about finding efficient ways to achieve their goals and seize opportunities to increase their income. 
  • Focused Mindset: Self-made millionaires possess the ability to concentrate their energy on specific goals. They outsource tasks they can’t handle themselves to well-experienced individuals or team members who are also open to learning. 
  • Determination: They identify their core strengths, eliminate unproductive distractions, and maintain a high level of concentration on their objectives.  They are able to identify their core strengths, eliminate distractions and tasks that are not very productive, and their concentration level is very high. 
  • Delayed Gratification: This involves forgoing immediate pleasures to achieve long-term success.
  • Saying No: Self-made millionaires learn to say “NO”, showing their strong critical thinking skills and ability to foresee possible future mistakes and results. 
  • No Procrastination: They take immediate action, understanding that laziness won’t yield great results. 

5. Diversify Your Income

Warren Buffett once said wisely, “Never depend on a single income.” Relying solely on one income source can expose you to significant financial risks. 

Self-made millionaires understand this principle well; they often cultivate multiple streams of income to safeguard their financial future. In addition to their primary business ventures, they explore side hustles and delve into stock investments, real estate, and other investment opportunities, thereby creating robust wealth from different sources.

Here are some fundamental rules they follow, and you, too can imbibe them:

  • Knowledge is key: They avoid investing in areas they don’t understand, ensuring that their investments are well-informed and calculated.
  • Balance Your Resources: While having other side hustles or investments, they avoid funding them from their major income, capital, and profits.
  • Seek Knowledge: They actively invest in their financial education by reading books and consulting financial advisors.
  • Build Your Core Business: Continual investment in their primary business is crucial. It ensures their wealth keeps increasing.  
  • Value Your Team: Treating team members and employees fairly and with respect fosters a loyal and productive workforce. It’s an important part of sustaining and expanding their income streams.

Conclusion

The path to financial success is achievable for anyone willing to adopt these habits. So, start today, and who knows, you might be on your way to becoming a self-made millionaire in the future!

How to Start Your Real Estate Business with What You Have

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Introduction to Starting Your Real Estate Business

Starting a real estate business can be very intimidating when you don’t have a lot of money to invest in it. In fact, the thought of starting a real estate business when you are broke can be so disheartening that you will dump your ambitions of becoming an entrepreneur or a business owner.

The real estate business sphere is an ever-booming sector that has made many rich and still does. It’s a very fruitful field with opportunities for many, ranging from buying properties to their full development, leasing, and selling. All these are viable streams in the sector, and the easiest way to be involved in this business is to have a huge amount of capital that you can invest in the sector. This, however, does not mean it’s the only way to invest in the real estate sector. 

Cash is not the only thing that you can bring to the table; your skill, time, and even professional expertise can help you acquire a portion of the wealth in this booming sector. Let’s look at a few ways to take advantage of this fruitful sector and earn an income without breaking the bank, even if all you have is your knowledge or a relevant certificate. 

How to secure a position in the Real Estate Business

  1. Discover your niche

In the real estate business, there are specific niches in the market you can choose to focus on, and the number you can carve out for yourself is endless. However, when choosing a niche for yourself, especially when you do not have huge capital or even anything to invest in the sector to begin with, your options might be limited. This does not mean that the remaining options are not still able to help you scale up until you can raise enough funds to enter the deeper part of the sector. Let’s look at a few niches in the sector:

  • Location-based real estate

This involves narrowing down on a particular neighbourhood, town, or county. This will help you provide deep knowledge of that area to customers who might be willing to purchase or lease a property there. 

  • Demographic Real Estate 

This involves rendering your real estate business service to a particular group of people, such as first-time buyers, celebrities, military personnel, etc. This is an excellent opportunity to get a referral from those who have patronised you since you started your business.

  • Property rental real estate niche

According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, at least 44 million households in the United States rent their houses. This means that landlords who have properties will contact you if you decide to work hard and be prominent in this niche. You will also constantly get offers because it’s easier and more affordable to rent than to buy a property. 

Other real estate niches are Agriculture, New construction, Ageing and Historic properties. 

  1. Write a business plan for your real estate business.

Do not forget that even though you are starting with what you have right now, which could even be nothing, it doesn’t mean that you will remain like that forever. This means that you have to ‘plan to get big‘ and not ‘get big to start planning‘. 

Having a concrete business plan will help you go from where you are to where you plan to be. A business plan also helps you be able to confidently pitch your business goals to anyone who might be willing to put some dollars into the success of your business. A proper business plan will definitely provide answers to the vision, core values, uniqueness, and business model of the company you are willing to run. 

Have a BUSINESS PLAN FOR YOUR REAL ESTATE BUSINESS

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  1. Find a Mentor 

Learn from a professional around you, send your dream realtor a gift, and ask for a time in his or her schedule to grab a Coffee. It is true that the more you learn, the more you will earn. A mentor walks you through the process and can save you a tonne of losses or problems that can arise from making the wrong deal. 

If you plan to get to the top, you will need to build strategic relationships with people who have gone before you and have a track record of profiting from the business. Some mentors have built a brand that cannot take business deals below a profit margin. They might just recommend you to such clients, and a referral from one industry figure can be a breakthrough for you. 

Have a Mentor for your REAL ESTATE BUSINESS

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  1. Get on social media even if you cannot maintain a website.

One way to increase your potential for securing new customers is to meet new people. A social media account that is not only built around your business but also around your person puts a face to your business, especially in its infancy, and allows customers to trust you better. Don’t be a 21st-century businessperson who isn’t tech-savvy. Be bold and energetic, talk about your business, and land more customers. 

  1. Get into Partnership

If you have a big idea, you will need a lot of money. However, with a great business plan, convincing experience, and a good proposal, you can secure a partnership with someone or a group of people who are willing to invest in a real estate business. This will mean that the angel investor(s) will fund the business while you manage and operate it. 

A big mistake is to enter into a partnership without discussing how you will share profits with your investors. This will ruin the company’s future, and if it doesn’t, it will cause a lot of contention as the company grows. So talk about it before starting off, and if you have already started the business, it’s not bad to do that now. 

A partnership could also mean that you will work with different professionals who are your friends or business partners to develop a property. Then, after selling the property, you will pay them for their service and give them a share of the profit as compensation. 

  1. Be an affiliate

An affiliate is more like a middleman or woman who helps sellers locate buyers or the other way around. The amazing thing about affiliate marketing is that you don’t get to do anything so expensive other than reach the realtor or seller directly and agree on a percentage commission on any invited customer who buys leases or rents. There are other online affiliate realtors like Realtor.com, All Things Real Estate, Avail.co, and Foreclosure.com that pay you for any customer who patronises using your designated affiliate link. 

  1. Sell properties for desperate sellers.

There are many reasons why people choose to sell their properties urgently, such as bankruptcy, divorce, relocation, or diversification of funds into a very promising business deal. This, however, can be complex because a desperate seller might be selling a huge problem to you. The way to avoid this is by doing a diligent search on the reason the seller wants to sell so desperately and having done that, you can reach out to people who will be willing to buy or borrow some funds to buy the property and refurbish it so that you can give them back the capital and an interest after selling it. 

  1. Build relationships with your customers.

Don’t forget that the most effective referral is one that comes from someone who has patronised your business. They are your strongest advocates in the business world for your next customer, especially in a business field like real estate, where a false deal can lead to a loss of millions of dollars.

Follow up on your customers, constantly send them emails, and even if they haven’t patronised you, you already treat them as though they have. This will give you a long-term thinking faculty. A good way to follow up with customers is to employ a CRM tool

Also, Read – Understanding Customer Relationship Management 

Final Note on Real Estate Business

Achieving success in real estate is not merely a matter of getting rich quickly; rather, it is a long-term endeavour. In order to achieve success, you need to be willing to put in the effort and continue to develop by continuously acquiring new knowledge.

A Mortgage: Its Meaning? Pre-approval, Types and Examples

“Mortgage” is a word coined from an old English word used in French law, “death pledge.” It is a type of loan that “dies” when it is either fully repaid or if the borrower defaults.

A mortgage - Title Image

What Is a Mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan used to purchase or maintain real estate. The borrower pays the lender over time in regular payments that cover the principal and interest. Mortgages help individuals and businesses buy real estate without paying the entire purchase price upfront. A Borrower is to repay the loan and interest over a given number of years, after which they own the property free and clear. 

In order to secure a mortgage, a borrower must apply through a lender of their choice and have met the requirements of the lender, some of which are:

  • A required down payment
  • A good credit score 
  • A series of paper processes

Having completed a thorough process, the borrower, if found worthy, is then granted the loan to perform the intended purpose of applying for the mortgage.

How mortgages work

Most mortgages are paid in a specific amount over a period of time, with regular payments staying the same but with different proportions of principal vs. interest. Most mortgages are usually paid over a period of fifteen to thirty years, and in the event that the borrower refuses to make payments as agreed, the lender can foreclose on the property acquired. In a foreclosure, the lender may evict residents, sell the property, and use the sale money to pay off the mortgage debt. 

Mortgage: How mortgages work

When a buyer is applying for a mortgage, some of the required documents of interest are bank statements, tax returns, and employment documentation, A credit check is also done in order to validate the buyer’s ability to repay the loan. Following a document review by the lender, a loan amount is determined along with an associated interest rate. Buyers can apply for a mortgage before deciding on a property to buy through a process called pre-approval. This can provide you with an advantage over competing purchasers by demonstrating to sellers your seriousness and readiness. It also helps prevent delays and unpleasant shocks during the financing process.

What is a pre-approval? 

Pre-approval is a conditional commitment from a lender to lend you a certain amount of money for a home purchase based on the accredited paperwork. It usually lasts 60 to 90 days, depending on the lender and market conditions, and is not a guarantee but a strong indication of your borrowing power and eligibility.

The process of preapproval begins with an application to a lender or a mortgage broker, where you will need to provide some documents that prove your income, assets, credit, and debt. The lender will ascertain the validity of your information, check your credit score, and then give you a pre-approval letter, which will contain the loan amount, interest rate, and the conditions that surround the offer. Comparing different lenders and their preapproval results will help you make the best decision.

Why do you need preapproval? 

  • It provides an advantage by narrowing down the search for a property, which provides the buyer with a realistic budget and pricing range.
  • It may increase your chance of getting approved by sellers, who favour buyers with preapproval over those who do not. 
  • The closing process can be fast-tracked because paperwork and verification have already been completed. 

What to do with a preapproval

After you have successfully gotten pre-approval for a mortgage, you can confidently start reaching out to sellers. With your pre-approval letter as a bargaining tool, your real estate agent can begin to search for a property that meets your taste and budget. 

A pre-approval does not close the deal and is liable to change depending on factors like income, inspection, debt, or market conditions. Major financial changes, such as changing jobs, could affect your pre-approval status. Once you find the home of your dreams and have an accepted offer, submit your final loan application and documents. However, Stay in touch with your lender and update them on any changes that might affect the approval. 

Mistakes to avoid during pre-approval

Pre-approval for a mortgage can be a rewarding process. Still, it’s crucial to avoid potential mistakes like getting pre-approved for more or less than needed, only getting pre-approved by one lender, assuming pre-approval is a guarantee, changing financial situations, or disclosing relevant information. Avoiding these mistakes will ensure a successful transaction.

What is the reason for securing a mortgage?

A mortgage is very helpful because the price of acquiring a home is always beyond the realistic earning capacity of most households. This allows individuals, groups, and families to acquire a property with a relatively small initial payment of about twenty percent of the purchasing cost. If the buyer defaults, the property’s value can cover the remaining percentage provided by the lender or mortgage broker.

Types of Mortgages

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are three examples of government agencies that offer potential buyers access to mortgages through various programs that are tailored to meet the needs of particular groups of people.

Below are a few types of mortgage options:

  • Fixed-rate mortgages: Also known as traditional mortgages, a fixed-rate mortgage’s interest rate is predetermined and does not vary over the loan period.

This mortgage plan shields the borrower against rising interest rates, and the predictability of payments simplifies budgeting and financial planning. Qualifying for a fixed-rate mortgage is easier for lower-risk borrowers than for higher-risk borrowers. 

  • Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs): An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is a house loan with regular interest rate changes based on benchmark performance. ARMs, also known as variable rate or floating mortgages, have ceilings limiting annual interest rates and payments. ARMs are suitable for individuals who plan to maintain the loan for a limited period and can tolerate future interest rate increases.
  • Interest-only mortgages: An interest-only mortgage requires instalments covering only the interest part of the mortgage’s balance for a certain period of time, as opposed to paying both the principal and interest. These payments with only interest might be needed for a fixed period of time, offered as an alternate option, or prolonged throughout the whole loan term, requiring the return of the principal balance at the loan’s completion.
  • Reverse mortgages: They are designed for homeowners who have already clocked 62 years or more and are designed to convert part of their home’s equity into cash. These mortgages can be borrowed against the value of the property and receive the money as a lump sum, fixed monthly payment, or line of credit. The entire loan balance becomes due when the borrower dies, moves away permanently, or sells the home.

How to compare Mortgages

In the past, mortgages were mostly available through banks, credit unions, and loan organisations. However, in today’s expanding market for mortgages, we now have nonbank lenders such as Better, SoFi, and Rocket Mortgage. 

If you want to gain insight into how mortgage rates work, try out an online mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payments. This estimation is based on the type of mortgage, the percentage of the down payments, and the interest rate. It can also check the cost of the property you can afford. 

Can I get more than one mortgage?

It is only normal for lenders to give you an initial mortgage before you can secure another mortgage. The additional loan is usually called a home equity loan. Technically, there is no restriction on the number of sub-mortgages you can get as long as your equity, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio are intact. 

10 Essential Factors to Consider When Outsourcing Freelancers

10 Essential Factors to Consider When Outsourcing Freelancers

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Introduction

Outsourcing freelancers has become a common aspect of working in the ecosystem of business practices, an effective strategy to save costs and increase profit. However, ensuring quality and efficiency when working with freelancers requires careful consideration and planning. 

In this blog post, we will discuss ten crucial factors to consider when outsourcing freelancers. These factors will help you maximise the value they bring to your projects while maintaining high standards.

Benefits of Outsourcing Freelancers

Outsourcing Freelancers can be beneficial to your business for reasons such as: 

1. Access to Specialised Skills

Outsourcing freelancers allows businesses to tap into an enormous pool of specialised skills and expertise that may not be readily available in-house. Whether it’s web development, graphic design, content writing, or digital marketing, businesses can find skilled freelancers who excel in their respective fields.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

Outsourcing freelancers can be more cost-effective than hiring full-time employees. Businesses can save on expenses related to benefits, office space, equipment, and other overhead costs. Freelancers often work on a project basis or at hourly rates, enabling businesses to scale their workforce according to their needs. 

3. Flexibility and Scalability

Outsourcing freelancers provides businesses with greater flexibility and scalability. Businesses can quickly onboard freelancers during peak periods or when handling specific projects to meet the demand. Conversely, when the workload decreases, they can reduce freelancer engagements without the burden of long-term commitments.

Consider Reading – 9 to 5 or freelancing: How do you balance the two? 

10 Factors to Consider When Outsourcing Freelancers

1. Define Clear Project Requirements

After outsourcing freelancers, define clear and detailed project requirements. This will save you a lot of time and money.

  • A comprehensive brief ensures that both parties have mutual insight into the project scope, objectives, and deliverables, minimising the risk of misunderstandings or misinterpretations.

It is good that you also include your Success metrics, like

  • Timely project delivery
  • Quality of work
  • Client satisfaction and long-term business impact 

Having your success metrics written down will help you and the Freelancer focus on holistic outcomes rather than just short-term gains. 

Also, identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) will vary from business to business and even from project to project at enterprise-level companies. 

2. Assess the Freelancer’s Expertise and Experience

Thoroughly evaluate the freelancers’ expertise and experience related to your project. 

  • Check their portfolios, reviews, and past work to gauge their abilities.

Hiring freelancers with relevant experience increases the likelihood of delivering high-quality results. You can also take advantage of recruitment venues like  Online job boards, Fiverr or UpworkNewspapers and Magazines.

3. Review Work Samples and References

Ask for work samples and references from freelancers, especially those related to their previous projects and client satisfaction levels. 

These samples and references provide valuable information to assess the freelancer’s reliability and the consistency of their work quality.

For large or long-term projects, consider assigning a small test project to evaluate the freelancer’s performance and compatibility with your team’s workflow. 

This minimises the risks associated with committing to a freelancer without prior experience.

4. Create a clear Service Agreement

A service agreement is a written agreement or contract between a service provider and a client. This document provides protection for both the provider and the client. Verbal agreements can be unrealistic and unreliable. 

It is a legally binding, written document/contract that regulates services between a service provider and a client and provides necessary protections. This kind of agreement usually outlines the nature of the work to be done and the price of the work being done and tends to give assurances for both parties to avoid future problems. It also usually includes the contact information of both parties.

Here’s a link to a sample template. It includes what’s needed to complete a project and the obligations of each party in the contract.

5. Set Realistic Deadlines

It is vital to agree on realistic deadlines when working with freelancers, considering the project’s complexity and scope. 

Let’s take the example of a Photography Company that outsources Photography editors. In this scenario, if there is a large batch of photos to be edited, discuss with the freelancer the amount of time they need to complete the editing process effectively. So they don’t end up with an overwhelming number of unedited photos, leading to dissatisfied clients or customers. 

Hence, it’s crucial for both parties to have a thorough understanding of the expected delivery timeframe and to communicate openly about any potential challenges that may arise during the project. By doing so, you can maintain the quality of the work while meeting your business’s requirements effectively. You might want to check out this blog post, “How to Set Realistic Expectations When Outsourcing Creative Projects.”

6. Communication and Availability

Open and effective communication is vital when working with freelancers. Establish preferred communication channels and ensure the freelancer is available for updates and clarifications throughout the project.

Embracing remote work technologies and project management tools will facilitate seamless communication and coordination, bridge geographical gaps, and maximise productivity.

7. NDA and Intellectual Property Rights

When outsourcing critical or proprietary projects, consider having freelancers sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to protect sensitive information. 

Additionally, clarify intellectual property rights to ensure you retain ownership of the work produced. When sharing sensitive information with freelancers, implement robust data security measures, such as encrypted communication channels and access controls. Regularly review and update these protocols to mitigate potential risks. 

intellectual property - 10 Essential Factors to Consider When Outsourcing Freelancers

8. Budget Considerations

Cost-effectiveness is a significant advantage of outsourcing; avoid choosing freelancers solely based on the lowest bid. Quality often correlates with pricing, so strike a balance between budget constraints and the freelancer’s capabilities.

9. Cultivating a Collaborative Environment

When outsourcing freelancers, it’s vital to foster a collaborative environment. Consider freelancers as an extension of your team, ensuring they feel valued and integrated into the project. 

Engaging them in discussions and team meetings and providing the necessary resources enhances their sense of ownership and commitment to your project’s success.

10. Feedback and Performance Evaluation

Provide constructive feedback throughout the project to help freelancers improve their work. Additionally, a performance evaluation system should be established to identify areas for improvement and celebrate successful outcomes.

If a freelancer’s performance doesn’t meet expectations, analyse the root causes and implement corrective measures. Continuous improvement is crucial to refining your outsourcing strategy. 

Consider reading- Boosting Your Freelancer Productivity: Essential Tips and Tools for Success. 

Bonus Tip

Fostering an environment of mutual respect, trust, and continuous improvement is important to creating a network of dependable freelancers for your business needs.

Conclusion

Outsourcing freelancers can be a game-changer for businesses, offering access to specialised skills and resources. To ensure quality and efficiency, defining clear project requirements, assessing freelancers’ expertise, setting realistic deadlines, maintaining open communication, and implementing feedback mechanisms are essential. Considering these ten factors, you can maximise the value freelancers bring to your projects while maintaining high-quality standards and achieving success in your ventures. 

Mastering Amazon KDP: Strategies for Self-Publishing Success

Text by the left states: Master Amazon KDP and become a successful publisher , while the imagery logo of Amazon by the right

We see how the digital world is giving many creators opportunities, and  Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) hasn’t been removed from the discussion. It is a fantastic platform for authors to publish and sell their books and ideas to a global audience and make tonnes of money. Do you aspire to become a self-published author? Then, this blog post is here for you. This comprehensive blog post will guide you through the strategies to succeed on Amazon KDP.

Let’s discuss everything about it. 

Understanding Amazon KDP: 

Amazon KDP is a powerful self-publishing platform that empowers authors to upload their books in various formats, including digital Kindle books, paperbacks, e-books, hardcovers, and audiobooks. Authors can upload their work to Amazon and connect with millions of readers and potential loyalists who, if they enjoy reading your books, might recommend or evangelise it to others, generating consistent revenue.

The simplicity and user-friendliness of their tools and resources, a wide range of distribution channels, and affordable royalty rates are among the numerous Amazon KDP features that stand out. Who wouldn’t be interested? 

It is essential to be aware of the KDP formatting guidelines, which help authors get their works ready and formatted for publication. However, after formatting your manuscript and uploading your book, you can move on to setting the pricing and picking the distribution channel that best suits your preferences. Can you access your account’s backend? I don’t mean the backend of the programmers (lol); I am referring to tracking your sales, keeping an eye on the marketing, and deciding when to make it accessible to readers. 

In addition to enabling authors to self-publish e-books and paperbacks, Amazon KDP offers various other programmes to cater to different readers’ preferences. These include:

1. Kindle Unlimited: This platform allows readers to view a vast library of e-books, audiobooks, and magazines with a monthly subscription.

2. Kindle Owners Lending Library: This is available exclusively for Amazon Prime members; this programme enables them to borrow e-books for free, providing an added benefit to their Prime membership.

These programmes offer readers more options, allow authors to reach a broader audience, and increase their book’s visibility and potential earnings.

How much does it cost to own an Amazon account?

Regarding the cost of starting up on Amazon KDP, publishing books on the platform has no initial fee or charge. Signing up and publishing e-books and paperbacks is free, allowing authors to get their work out to readers without any upfront expenses.

Amazon KDP deducts a portion of authors’ royalties from each sale to generate revenue. The price, format (e-book, paperback, or hardcover books), and sales region all affect the royalty rates. Up to 70% of the royalties from e-books with a price between $2.99 and $9.99 go to the author. The maximum royalty rate is reduced to 35% if the cost exceeds that range. Authors can receive royalties for hardcover and paperback books up to 60% of the list price.

While there is no initial cost to start publishing on Amazon KDP, authors can avail of paid services like expert editing, cover design, or advertising to improve their book’s quality and promotional efforts.”

How long does it take to earn on Amazon KDP?

The time it takes to start earning on Amazon KDP varies depending on “when sales are made” and “the payment threshold being reached.” Royalties are generally paid monthly, around 60 days after the conclusion of the month in which the sale was reported. However, for expanded distribution, the payment period is extended to approximately 90 days after the end of the reported month. Payments made via direct deposit may take 1 to 5 business days to show up in the author’s bank account after the payment date.

How much time does it take to publish my book on Amazon KDP? 

The time it takes to publish a book on Amazon KDP can vary based on the book’s length, formatting, and the review process. However, a general timeline for publishing a book on Amazon KDP is “Manuscript Preparation.” The time required to write, edit, and format your book can vary greatly depending on your writing speed and the complexity of the content.  

Important Factors to Consider: 

  • Cover Design: Designing an attractive and professional book cover may take time, depending on the complexity and revisions needed. Remember this famous quote, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” However, with marketing, the first impression of a book is the “book cover.” Make sure it sells itself. 
  • Uploading your book: Uploading your manuscript and cover files to KDP takes only a few minutes. However, please ensure you follow the KDP guidelines. 
  • Setting up the KDP account: Creating an Amazon KDP account is straightforward and usually takes less than an hour.
  • Reviewing and approval: Amazon KDP’s review process may take up to 72 hours for the e-book and a few days for the print version. During this time, Amazon checks to see if your book meets its content guidelines and formatting requirements.
  • Availability: Once approved, your e-book should become available on Amazon’s Kindle Store within 24 to 48 hours, while the print version may take a few days to be listed on Amazon.

It’s important to note that the timeframes provided are estimates, and individual circumstances can cause them to vary. Be sure to check Amazon’s KDP website or forums for the latest information.

Royalties Payments on Amazon KDP

Amazon KDP pays royalties to authors through various payment methods, including Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), check, and, in some regions, Amazon Gift Card. Authors can select their preferred payment method in their Amazon KDP account settings to receive their royalties accordingly.

It’s important to note that payment frequency may differ based on the payment method and location. For instance, authors residing in the United States who receive payments through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) can expect to receive their royalties approximately 60 days after the end of the month in which the sales occurred. However, please note that payment schedules may vary for authors residing in other countries.

So, before selecting a payment method, please check the specific payment options available in your country and the associated fees or minimum thresholds for each technique. Amazon KDP provides detailed information on royalty payments and payout options within the KDP dashboard or help documentation. 

Preparing Your Book for Publishing:

Before diving into the publishing process, ensure your book is polished and ready for publication. Amazon’s algorithms are specifically engineered to highlight and promote recently published works, which gives authors of new books a chance to increase their visibility and sales. As a result, new authors can benefit from this increased exposure and gain traction on the platform.

  • Invest time and effort in professional editing, proofreading, and cover design to make a solid first impression on potential readers.
  • Pay attention to formatting: Ensure your book looks visually appealing and is readable on various Kindle devices.

Choosing the Right Keywords and Categories:

Optimising your book’s metadata is crucial for its discoverability on Amazon.

  • Conduct keyword research to identify relevant and high-traffic keywords for your book.
  • Incorporate these keywords strategically in your book title, subtitle, description, and backend keyword fields.
  • Choose the most appropriate categories to maximise visibility within Amazon’s browsing system. AI tools such as ChatGPT and Writersonic can help you with that, so check them out.

Pricing Your Book:

To determine the correct price of your book, you need to make decisions based on its purpose and why you created it in the first place. If the objective is profitability, you must consider factors such as genre, audience wealth, book length, market trends, and your author’s brand. 

Tips

  • An in-depth understanding of your book niche and market will help you decide on your competitive pricing, which will help attract readers and increase sales.
  • Check on several book websites to see how many writers are putting up your type of book and the reviews to see whether there are any complaints or discussions about the pricing.
  • Experiment with price promotions, limited-time discounts, or free giveaways to generate buzz and drive initial sales. 
  • The simplest way is to ask your friends, audience, and social media followers how much you think they can afford to purchase this book.

Here are the Amazon KDP strategies and secrets I promised you in the introduction: 

1. Establish a robust author platform for long-term success:

To get excellent traffic, establish a robust author platform for long-term success. You should additionally build your social media presence and own a blog. 

This way, you can share your thoughts and journey and build social proof. That way, you have a community that can vouch for you, help repost your book, and be your number one fan and, later on, buyer for your e-books.

  • Display your books, give readers updates, and interact with them.
  • Leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Twitter to build a connection with your target audience.
  • Share book-related content and run targeted advertising campaigns.

2. Gathering Reviews and Social Proof:

Positive reviews are vital for building credibility and driving book sales.

  • Include a call to action in your book, the author’s website, or social media channels. to encourage readers to leave honest reviews
  • Engage with readers by responding to reviews, thanking them for feedback, and addressing any concerns or questions.

 3. Marketing and Promotion:

To effectively market your book, create a thorough marketing strategy.

  • Leverage online and offline channels, such as book blogs, author interviews, guest posting, book tours, book signings, and local events.
  • Leverage Amazon’s advertising platform, Amazon Advertising, to run targeted ads for your book on the platform itself.

4. Continuous Learning and Improvement:

It’s always advisable to stay up-to-date with industry trends, new publishing tools, and marketing strategies. 

  • Join author communities, attend conferences, and read books and blogs on self-publishing to continually enhance your skills and knowledge.
  • Analyse your book’s performance using Amazon KDP’s sales reports and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Resources

Also, you should check out our blog posts on guest blogging for tips and tricks to help you earn a lot as a guest blogger. By clicking the links below 

Conclusion:

Amazon KDP has changed the publishing industry, empowering authors to take control of their publishing journey. By understanding the platform and implementing the effective strategies I stated above, you can maximise your book’s visibility, attract readers, and achieve self-publishing success. Follow these strategies, adapt them to your unique author brand, and embark on a fulfilling self-publishing journey on Amazon KDP. Happy publishing!

FIVE FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE FOR STARTUPS AND ONGOING BUSINESS

Types of Funding you can secure as a startup

There are now several means for businesses, especially startups, to access funds and scale up their operations, moving away from the traditional culture of getting capital. Business funding has become more abundant in recent years, but knowing where and how to access it is essential.

Usually, the money is for essential projects, business growth, buying equipment, renting space, or paying staff during slow times.

If you have been considering expanding your business, this article presents the perfect opportunity to learn about the options and make a significant turnaround for your company.

5 “common” types of funding available to businesses: 

You need to know that different businesses operate at varying levels and capacities, determining the accessibility and availability of funding opportunities. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each funding option is crucial to securing funding, especially as a startup. Let’s explore the five most prominent ones!

  1. Angel Investors
Angel investors are a great option for securing funds for your startup

Angel investors play a vital role when it comes to raising initial capital for startup businesses. They typically invest in exchange for a percentage of ownership in the company. This investment can be a one-time injection of funds to kickstart the business or an ongoing infusion of capital to support product development and market entry.

Angel investors are often more accessible to startups than grants and loans. They can be individuals running successful companies or professionals involved in various projects. They may also have a personal or familial connection with the entrepreneur.

Unlike traditional lenders, angel investors do not focus primarily on lending money. They invest in promising ideas and expect a return on their investment if and when the business becomes successful. Depending on their preferences, they may be hands-off or actively involved in the startup’s early stages.

Pros:

  • Funding is not a loan, so it does not require any repayment if the business fails. If the company succeeds, they will get a share, but if it falls flat, they will not require any repayment from you.
  • Startups backed by angel investors have a higher chance of long-term success and significant growth. A study conducted by Harvard Business School proves that startups supported by Angel Investors have a greater chance of longevity, maintain substantial increases, and experience a higher return.  1

Cons: 

  • Angel investors usually expect equity or a percentage of profits, reducing the founder’s control over the business.
  • If you have an investment from an angel investor, there is a high chance that you will not have full control over the business. 
  1. Grants

Grants are financial assistance provided by granting entities, which can be public organizations, charitable foundations, specialized institutions, or socially responsible businesses. These grants are given to individuals, non-profit organizations, businesses, or local government bodies.

Grants are a great option for businesses because the business owner does not have to worry about repayment, and some grants offer substantial amounts of money based on the company’s idea or investment objectives. 

Detailed information about grants, including conditions, deadlines, and application requirements, is freely accessible through official government sources and related websites.

Pros:

  • Grants provide businesses with a convenient source of funding that doesn’t require repayment. Moreover, certain grants offer substantial financial support, depending on the company’s concept or investment objectives.
  • Receiving a prestigious grant demonstrates recognition for your work, serves as a valuable promotion, and enhances credibility with organizations, investors, and potential clients.

Cons:

  • Numerous innovative businesses aspire to obtain grants for their promising ideas, leading to intense competition for one or another. Anticipate challenges and obstacles, but remain resolute in your pursuit.
  • When seeking a grant, it is crucial to precisely outline the intended allocation of funds. After being awarded the grant, adherence to the proposed plan is mandatory. Hence, there is really no room for creative diversification of grant funds.
  1. Bank Loans
Bank Loan - One way to secure funding for business.

Photo Credit: Upklyak on Freepik

Bank business loans are a stream of commercial financing available to qualified businesses. They include long-term loans, equipment loans, microloans, and lines of credit. These loans can help cover operating costs, purchase equipment, pay staff, or aid the business’s growth.

Lenders (banks) assess a borrower’s financial flow, credit score, and debt levels before deciding to offer a loan. Traditional banks charge interest rates based on the venture’s risk level. In recent years, online lenders have also started offering loans, which were once rare.

Conventional business loans differ from loans offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA loans can be gotten through banks or online lenders; they usually have longer reimbursement terms and lower interest rates. 

A loan, unlike a grant, must be paid back, even with an agreed-upon percentage interest rate.

Pros:

  • Attractive Interest rate: Banks usually give loans to businesses and would give larger amounts of money as loans than most online funding platforms. On average, small businesses pay 6 percent to 7 percent for loans from traditional banks, while the average borrower pays 13.5 percent interest for SBA loans.
  • Flexible Use: You can use the loan proceeds for any business-related expenditure in most instances. Even if your spending deviates slightly from what you indicated in the loan application, the lender won’t object if you make timely loan payments.

Cons:

  • Strict requirements, including good personal credit score and substantial business revenue, may limit approval.
  • Extensive documentation is typically required, and startups may face difficulty qualifying for loans. Banks do not readily offer loans to businesses or ventures that haven’t been operational for over two years and show a huge chance for profit.
  1. Venture Capital

According to Forbes Advisory, the definition of venture capital is this: 

Venture capital (VC) is a type of private equity that provides financial backing to startups and early-stage businesses with limited or no operating experience but substantial potential for success and expansion.

A venture capital firm is an investment body that takes care of venture capital funds and makes the funds available to startups. Venture capital organizations invest in a variety of sectors, although the majority of the investments made by venture capitalists are focused on the technology industry. Many of the most well-known venture capital organizations are headquartered in Silicon Valley, though they can be found across the United States of America. Prominent venture Capitals include companies like Andreeson Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, and Y-Combinator.

Stages of Venture Capital Investment:

Seed round funding

Seed round funding marks the initial stage of venture capital investment, where investors offer a modest amount of capital to support a newly established company in formulating its business plan and developing a minimum viable product (MVP). The purpose of this funding is to help the startup validate its concept and progress towards attracting further investment in the future.

Early-stage Funding

Early-stage funding, sometimes called series A, series B, and series C rounds, assists startups in their initial stages of growth. As startup owners scale their enterprises, the funding amounts are higher than in the seed phase.

Late-stage Funding

Series D, E, and F rounds are late-stage venture capital funding. Startup companies should be producing income and growing rapidly at this stage. While the company is not yet profitable, the future seems bright.

Pros:

  • Venture capital provides substantial funding for scalability and growth.
  • Venture capital firms offer expertise, mentorship, and guidance to startups.

Cons:

  • Venture capital investments often come with a loss of control as investors demand equity in the company.
  • Founders face high expectations and pressure to achieve specific targets quickly. This results in a situation where the founder cannot make a long-term plan for the business.
  1. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is collecting small investments from many people to launch a new business venture. It uses the enormous reach of social media and specialised crowdfunding platforms to link investors and entrepreneurs, thereby increasing entrepreneurship’s chances. Crowdfunding expands the financing possibilities for new businesses by reaching a wider range of potential investors beyond the conventional circle of owners, family members, and venture capitalists. 

With crowdfunding, entrepreneurs can secure significant funding, ranging from thousands to millions of dollars, from individuals willing to invest. It allows anyone with a compelling idea to present it to enthusiastic investors without needing a physical presence. 

The two prominent types of crowdfunding are reward-based, where backers receive non-financial incentives, and equity-based, where investors gain a share of the company.

Hundreds of individuals aspiring to develop or endorse the next groundbreaking innovation are drawn to crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe. Platforms like Patreon and Substack have expanded the scope of crowdfunding by providing a means for creators such as artists, writers, musicians, and podcasters to support their creative endeavours through consistent financial support.

GoFundMe was regarded to be the largest and most notable crowdfunding platform in the year 2023. 

‘Notable crowdfunding feats’

  • Palmer Luckey started a Kickstarter effort in 2012 to raise funds to produce virtual reality headsets made especially for video game developers. The campaign exceeded its initial objective and raised $2.4 million, ten times its $250,000 goal.
  • M3D, a company established by two friends specializing in the production of compact 3D printers, serves as yet another compelling illustration of a business that achieved remarkable success through Kickstarter campaigns. Back in 2014, David Jones and Michael Armani managed to secure an impressive $3.4 million in funding on Kickstarter for their revolutionary Micro 3D printer.

Below are the Pros and cons of raising a business fund through crowdfunding: 

Pros 

  • The main benefit of equity, reward, and donation-based crowdfunding is the potential exemption from repaying the funds. However, in exchange for crowdfunding contributions, you might be required to give up a portion of your company’s ownership. Some businesses prefer crowdfunding over loans to avoid concerns about loan default. Nevertheless, if you decide on debt-based crowdfunding, you must reimburse the backers.
  • Credit checks are usually not necessary. In most cases, crowdfunding platforms do not conduct credit checks, meaning your personal or business credit score will not be affected. However, if you opt for debt crowdfunding, which involves obtaining a loan from multiple investors, there is a higher chance that a credit check will be required.

Cons

  • Business loans can be expensive due to fees and interest. Crowdfunding can help you avoid interest payments, but fees are still involved. For example, Kickstarter charges a 5 percent fee on all donated funds, along with payment processing fees ranging from 3 to 5 percent. However, these fees are only applicable to successful campaigns. Alternatively, platforms like GoFundMe do not charge a fee for donations, but there is a payment processing fee of 2.9 percent.
  • Your business concept might be stolen. Establishing a crowdfunding platform also involves promoting your business during its initial phases. If your idea has not been copyrighted or patented, someone could steal it. If a competitor converts that idea to a product or service before you, your business could face negative consequences.

Conclusion

Businesses can make educated decisions about the most effective means of securing the necessary funds to support their growth and development if they first investigate and understand the five potential funding sources listed here.

6 Effective Customer Retention Strategies to Retain Your Customers

6 Effective Customer Retention Strategies to Retain Your Customers

How to make customers become loyal to the brand

The sustained prosperity of a company relies on the ability to cultivate strong connections with customers over an extended period. Are you looking to enhance the performance of your business? Consider focusing on your customers and the way your organization interacts with them. 

Modern customers consistently assess their rapport with the brands they engage with, and even minor mistakes can lead to losing a customer’s interest. Implementing various approaches to establish solid connections with your customer base can significantly impact your overall business success.

What Is Customer Retention?

Customer retention refers to the strength of a business or organization to help it retain its existing customers over a specific period. It is an integral part of business performance. It is frequently assessed by the customer retention rate (CRR), which reflects the percentage of consumers that stay loyal to the organization or continue to make purchases repeatedly over a set period.

Customer retention is a good sign of customer happiness, brand loyalty, and the general well-being of the company. According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of a company’s future revenues come from 20% of its consumer base. The more committed customers are to a company, the more inclined they are to try new items or bring in prospective consumers. It will be great to learn how to obtain customer retention metrics in order to plan the business’s growth properly. 

How to account for customer retention and critical metrics

As a business owner, monitoring Customer Retention Rate Metrics to gauge customer loyalty is crucial. To begin calculating the Customer Retention Rate (CRR), determine the time frame (which can range from a month to beyond a year). Supplementary factors used to obtain the retention rate include the following: 

How to calculate customer retention rate

How can this be achieved?

To begin, understanding the importance of cultivating enduring relationships with customers is crucial, as is identifying the necessary adjustments required to facilitate this objective while it is left to the customer to choose whether to patronize or not. These keys will ensure that you can multiply the chance of securing a lifetime interest of a customer. Let’s look at a few effective strategies to increase customer retention.  

1. Exceed expectations with unparalleled customer service: 

In a world where mediocrity is common, strive to deliver extraordinary experiences that leave customers in awe. 

  1. Surprise them with prompt responses, personalized attention, and genuine care. 
  2. Anticipate their needs before they even realize them. 
  3. Exceed their expectations at every touchpoint, going above and beyond to ensure their satisfaction. 
  4. Treat each interaction as an opportunity to create a lasting impression.

By consistently surpassing customer service expectations, you’ll forge strong relationships, inspire loyalty, and become your industry’s benchmark for exceptional service. For instance, Emirates Group has set the standard for the airline logistics business because of its undiluted customer experience. Indeed, this has played a significant role in her ability to record a whopping sum of three billion US dollars at the close of her financial year in March 31st, 2023. 

“Customer service is an integral part of our success as a business. Whether you’re one of our helpful Dnata and Emirates check-in staff, Marhaba meet and greet agents, or Contact Centre representatives, we all work together to provide the best customer experience day in and day out.” – Emirates Group

Let’s take a look at the second strategy to enhance customer retention.

2. Take advantage of Emails to foster relationships: 

Securing a place in a new and existing customer’s heart is like “wooing a woman.” It requires consistent visits, texting, and calling. While you may not be able to visit your customers or call them all, emailing might be the perfect opportunity to establish that tête-à-tête relationship. For several reasons, sending emails can be an effective tool for fostering customer relationships. 

First, emails allow your business to maintain regular communication with customers, informing them about new products, services, or promotions. This consistent contact helps build trust and keep the brand in mind. 

Secondly, personalized emails tailored to individual customers can make them feel valued and appreciated. By segmenting the customer base and sending targeted messages based on their preferences or purchase history, your business can demonstrate that it understands customers’ needs and is actively committed to meeting them.

Furthermore, emails provide an opportunity for two-way communication. Customers can efficiently respond to emails, provide feedback, ask questions, or seek assistance. Prompt and personalized responses to these inquiries show a commitment to customer satisfaction and will surely enhance the customer experience.

Lastly, emails can serve as a platform for delivering valuable content, such as educational resources, helpful tips, or exclusive offers. By providing relevant and engaging content, your business can establish itself as a trusted advisor, further strengthening the customer relationship.

Let’s consider the third strategy to enhance customer retention rate. 

3. Use social media optimization: 

Social media optimization (SMO) refers to utilizing social media platforms to effectively manage and expand a brand’s online presence and reputation. Its primary objective is to actively and positively engage with customers through various social channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Thread, YouTube, etc. 

SMO involves tracking the brand’s presence on these social media outlets as well as customer behaviour and interactions.

Social Media Network Logos

Photo Credit- Freepik, “Vectonauta”

Research shows that there are more than 4.55 billion active social media users globally.” By implementing SMO strategies, your business/brand can publicize new products and services and swiftly address customer inquiries or concerns. The ultimate goal is to foster a continuous connection between the brand and its customers. This proactive approach to social media management helps establish a favourable brand image, enhance customer satisfaction, and build a loyal customer base.

4. Take advantage of CRM tools.

CRM, an acronym for “Customer Relationship Management,” with the most crucial part of the acronym being the letter “R,” which stands for relationship, has become a modern strategy to optimize customer relationships.

Without customers, there is no single reason to be in business. How a company handles its customer database points to the potentiality of the business’s success. This is because the connection established between the business and the customer is a major part of the customers’ decision-making. With a CRM system in place, the business can enhance customer relationships because of the following:

  • Definite and better knowledge of your customers: Gathering the correct data and developing a comprehensive consumer image can be a challenging aspect of business when creating customer connections. CRM is known for providing a deeper knowledge of every customer. 

CRM is a dependable communication tool that stores every customer contact/information in a single location and provides quick access to essential information. Its ability to track more client interactions is one of the reasons why businesses are beginning to consider it as an important investment. A CRM system allows your team to gain access to a contact’s information easily:

  1. Name
  2. Email address
  3. Mobile Phone Number
  4. Website
  5. Social media handles
  6. Job description
  7. Mutual relationships across contact lists 
  8. Language
  9. Date of Birth (DOB)
  • Better customer retention: CRM is an effective tool for keeping your customers happy, and it can locate and nurture potential and new customers. A CRM system ensures several “customer retention” benefits, such as alerting you when you need to send follow-up emails and contacting clients who haven’t been contacted over a long period and are likely to feel abandoned.
  • Better protection of data privacy: Data protection has become a very integral part of business in the 21st century, especially with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), impacting organizations under the jurisdiction of the European Union and those who deal with data from people under their jurisdiction. 

5. Deliver High-quality Products and Services: 

Delivering high-quality services and products is essential for attracting and retaining customers. This is simply because it has the highest effect on customer satisfaction and loyalty. This will also lead to several benefits for a business. Some of these are:

  1. Customer satisfaction drives loyalty and causes repeat purchases.
  2. Happy customers spread positive experiences, fueling the effectiveness of word-of-mouth marketing.
  3. Superior products/services create a competitive edge and appeal to customers over rivals.
  4. High quality builds trust, credibility, and forgivable and believable brand promises.
  5. High quality leads to fewer defects, fewer complaints, cost savings, and a better experience.
  6. Customers may be willing to pay a premium for high-quality products and services. 
  7. Satisfied customers are more inclined to leave positive reviews and high ratings online. 

Final Note:

Delivering high-quality services and products directly impacts customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. Businesses that consistently prioritize quality are more likely to thrive in competitive markets, achieve sustainable growth, and establish themselves as reputable brands within their industries.

The Top 10 Ways To Earn A Living Online As A Pro Gamer

In a world where the boom of entrepreneurial spirit amongst the masses is rather amazing, the most common tip from top successful individuals when asked the best career path to pursue is “do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

While this is absolutely true, it’s also a fact that a whole lot of individuals, both genders alike, wouldn’t mind sitting indoor all day long whenever a video game is in sight.

If you happen to be such an individual, there’s a high probability that you play video games for the fun and the “escape-from-reality” feeling it brings. Or you simply find it to be the most relaxing routine after the daily struggle.

But in our digital age where work-freedom is rapidly taking over the workforce, how amazing would it be to learn that you can actually turn your love for games into a livable career?

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