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Four Rules To Follow When Selecting A Business Name

Coming up with a memorable, eloquent business name truly is a work of art. In this article Dave Clark from bond-branding.com gives us some bad examples: Wok n’ Roll, Kids Exchange and Pu Pu Hot Pot are all truly unfortunate. Sometimes the owners select these names on purpose, as a way of gaining notoriety. Other times, it is a mistake, and owners realize what they have done only after it is too late. A company name is important, and it often takes the combined effort of many professionals working together to come up with something appropriate.

While the name is essential, it is crucial not to let it overshadow other elements of your business. Do not become so caught up with the name that you forget about providing good customer service or a solid product. Still, to make sure your name accurately reflects what you are trying to do, these four rules are a great guideline for business owners.

Think About the Future

Where do you expect your business to be in ten or twenty years? It is important to consider the future when selecting a name. For example, you do not want to tie yourself to a certain region of the United States if your ultimate goal is to expand globally. By the time your business finds success, you may not have the resources to change your name. Follow Jeff Bezos’ example instead; he picked the name Amazon for his company, rather than something with local ties.

Keep the Naming Process Simple

While it is good to get a few different opinions during the naming process, having too many people involved just makes things confusing. Everyone has different opinions; one member of your panel may love a name while the other thinks it is terrible. It may be impossible to settle on one name that everyone agrees on. Certainly get opinions on your choice, but remember that there will always be dissenters. Go with your gut.

Make Sure You Can Legally Use the Name

A lot of business names are registered; in fact, hundreds of thousands of new names come in every year. Make sure that the name you choose does not overlap with another company. Because there are so many registered names already, this can be difficult to do. Remember, you don’t want to establish your company, only to find that you have to change the name because someone else thinks you infringed on their rights.

In addition, make sure you get a copy of the sensitive words list. This list has words on it that can’t be used unless you have permission. For example, your business cannot have the word “Olympic” in it unless you have approval. One little company in Stratford, originally called Café Olympic, found this out the hard way when the Olympic Committee targeted them. They eventually had to change their name.

Avoid Offensive Monikers

This “rule” may seem obvious, but do you have aspirations to expand globally? If so, it is important to keep in mind that words that seem innocuous in your country may be offensive to those in other areas. For example, the word “frog” refers to a little green, jumping amphibian in the United States. However, that same word is a negative way to refer to people from France. Therefore, any businesses with the word “frog” in their name may not be welcomed with open arms in that region of the world.

Ultimately, a good product can overcome an unusual business name. After all, Google originally seemed like a strange name for a search engine, but now it has become part of our culture. Still, do not leave anything to chance. Do everything you can to come up with the best name possible for your business and put yourself on the road to success.

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Amy Rice enjoys writing about business startup, when not writing she enjoys visiting the cinema and playing adventure golf.

How To Get Customer Feedback Right

IT support teams do not always get the respect they deserve. They sometimes get blamed by customers for problems that the system is having and also for not getting the problems fixed right away. Many of us have worked at companies where the ‘f’ word is used to describe the IT department. If they are lucky, the ‘f’ word is mostly referring to feedback, Liam Atwood from CapeConsulting.com explains how to get the best from our customer feedback, by simply asking a range of clever questions.

How To Ask For Feedback

When it is done correctly, an IT support team can be strengthened by the customer feedback system. It can also help to create a connection that is very positive with the other parts of the business. It allows customers to vent their frustrations over technical problems they are facing, enables the support team to identify areas that can be improved, and also helps to develop valuable conversation between departments. When it isn’t done correctly, it just ends up being another source of resentment.

If you do want to solicit customer feedback, as either a manager employing the IT support staff or as the support team itself, how can this be done correctly?

Closed Questions

The difference between closed and open questions is very fundamental to the feedback system. Closed questions have limited answers- no or yes; choose three items from the list; rank from one through ten.

Closed questions can be very useful in managing and measuring performance. Consistent feedback is provided across a broad ranges of responses. This enables you to measure performance and also make comparisons over time between staff.

Taking these measures also offers you a way to inform senior management and customers how the IT team is performing. You will be to show if customer satisfaction is increasing or decreasing in percentages. You will also be able to measure whether problems are currently being solved less or more quickly than they were one year ago. The questions not only generate statistics but accountability as well.

Open Questions

Closed question do not provide you with the why and how. They might be able to indicate that customers are more or less happy now than they were at another point in time, or that you have more or less problems with Microsoft Office. However, they can’t provide you with any insight into what may be causing it or offer information that can help you improve the situation.

Open questions can help in these kind of situations. These are questions that don’t have fixed answers. It allows customers with plenty of room to say what they want to about a subject. Customers might be asked to describe their feelings regarding your service. Or it could also be something more specific such as asking why their answer was no to a specific question.

Because open answers vary so much, they can’t be measured or quantified. However, they do let you know why customers are unhappy, so the feedback can be used to help you improve things. They are absolutely critical to being able to move forward.

How To Deal With Results

No matter what kinds of questions you ask, it is critical to act on the feedback you are given from the answers. Then you need to let your customers know that you are taking action. If you don’t let them know, they might think all you did is ask for their opinion but are now ignoring them.

This doesn’t always mean you will be able to give them exactly what they want. As an example, maybe customers will want you to permanently fix a problem they are having with their email. However, if the problem is due to a glitch in the software, you might not be in control of the budget or have the means to replace the software. In this situation, you will need to explain the situation to your customers. They may be unhappy about not having the problem solved for them. However, they will at least feel you listened to them. This can help to improve how they view you and your team.

There are always things you can improve or act upon. You may discover that everybody working in the office would like an upgrade on a database they use, or maybe they want more information regarding how soon you will be able to fix a problem. These kinds of things can help provide your support team’s work with focus or help build the case that a change is needed.

Customer feedback is an excellent tool to have at your disposal. Just be sure to get the maximum benefit from it.

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Amy Rice writes about customer service, when not writing she enjoys walking in the countryside and cycling with her daughter.

What Are The Most Common Tasks For Companies To Outsource?

Outsourcing is a great way to keep your expert staff focused on the tasks that matter by clearing their plates of the day-to-day fluff that can take up so much time. This can lead not only to more efficient employees but also more satisfied ones who remain engaged and interested in the tasks at hand. It will also save your business money while allowing you access to the highest level of service from the most skilled experts in a wide variety of fields. By taking advantage of the operational expertise of these outsources workers, you will also lessen the chances of errors and omissions.

Information technology is the fastest growing outsourcing industry thanks to the high numbers of businesses now requiring these services as well as the relative ease of finding a freelancer in this field. Everything from programming, design, development, administration, maintenance and repair of computer systems to training and support can be outsourced to a company with experience and the necessary skills to keep everything running smoothly. Tasks that are frequently outsourced with great success include:

  • Installation of required programs or hardware upgrades;
  • Maintenance and repair;
  • In-depth training on specific programs or hardware;
  • Applications development;
  • Consulting and reengineering; and
  • Mainframe data centers, just to name a few.

Internet marketing is another fast growing field for outsourcing a variety of tasks and skills. From AdWords and SEO campaigns to social media to content creation, many companies are opting for the services of Internet Marketing agencies rather than hiring somebody in house to fulfill each of these roles. Content creation in particular is a huge market for outsourced labor due to the limited amount of content required for each individual company: by choosing freelance labor you only pay for the work you need and have the option of hiring different writers for different projects based on their particular talents or knowledgebase.

Customer service such as telemarketing and telephone customer support lines have long been outsourced by many large companies due to the availability of overseas workers as well as call centers throughout North America and Asia. Telephone based customer service is not the only type that can be outsourced, however. Your business may wish to consider outsourcing the following tasks as well:

  • Field service technicians;
  • Field service dispatch;
  • Customer service information systems; and
  • End-user support.

Distribution and transportationservices are a much cheaper alternative for most companies than purchasing and maintaining their own fleet of delivery and transportation vehicles and many businesses entrust their goods to shipping companies who will often handle all necessary paperwork related to shipping merchandise across borders. These business transaction processing services can essentially include:

  • Freight brokering;
  • Freight audits;
  • Leasing;
  • Consulting and training;
  • Fleet management and operations including maintenance;
  • Shipping documentation services;
  • Logistics data support; and
  • Warehousing.

Office support is another common field which is commonly outsourced and can include everything from general office work to human resources and finance. Data entry, payroll, relocation and workers’ compensation, recruiting, tax filing, and purchasing can all be done by outside contractors rather than in-house staff.

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  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source: shutterstock

I am working as a consultant for finance and business in one of the firms in Canada. I am largely dedicated in giving expert analysis and advisory in business, finance, bankruptcy and credits to individuals, entrepreneurs as well as firms and business organizations. I do more research on finance, business and outsourcing techniques so that I get in depth knowledge about latest trends in finance and business. Gordon Wolfe