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Are you thinking about CSR?

World map with protecting hands depicting CSR

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Corporate social responsibilities. Well is it sounding too demanding?

CSR is not restricted to bigger companies, but each and every company right from a small size firm to mid-size to the bigger ones. It is our responsibility towards our environment.

Many multinational firms hire CSR consultants as it is a lot of media coverage and a lot of publicity which in turn results in larger revenues, however, small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) always stay in the perception that it isn’t for them. They have nothing to do with CSR. Why? Aren’t you responsible for your environment?

We are into the 17th year of the 21st century.

We need to consider environmental factors as well. The big corporate companies hire consultants to face the demanding and ever changing climatic conditions and other factors like law, regulations, government, political issues, press release, global warming, pollution to name a few. However, SMEs often neglect and keep on focusing on the growth of the company.

CSR for a smaller business is of much more importance as they truly undertake changes for the environment and not only for the media attention. Many SMEs have started taking these social responsibilities on a sincere scale.

IConnect POS is a very proud practitioner of CSR.

At IConnect POS, we believe, CSR is not only for big companies but, for all and we need to do our best for the betterment of the environment.

IConnect POS pledges to be caring. Be it clients or environment. Keeping this responsibility into consideration, IConnect POS promotes CSR to their clients as well, in the means of using more of technology than of paper. The POS system has many features like email and text message marketing which highly promotes CSR to their clients. Inventory management is inbuilt in the system which keeps away the clingy paperwork and helps you focus on business growth as well as betterment of the environment.

CSR is definitely important for the SMEs as it benefits them the same way as it does to the bigger corporates i.e. it helps develop trust from their clients. It builds a feeling of prosperity into the company and motivates positive bond among the employees.

I strongly believe, every corporate company should undertake CSR. Even the minimalistic of effort will sum up to greater results.

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What are your plans for 4th July?

American flag with fire crackers for 4th July celebrations

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Americans spend millions of dollars on 4th July!

We celebrate our nation’s independence day in the most American way possible and that is by spending lots of money. Be it on food, shopping or fireworks. We love to follow the traditional norms of barbecues, the American flag, and a lot of fireworks.

During the earlier days, 4th July was one of the critical days for small retail businesses. They used to plan for months for this big day. Planning up inventories, managing the staff and the crowd was a tedious task unlike now when a single point of sales system handles it all in just a few clicks.

Are you a business owner?

Look around you, be it a coffee shop, sandwich shop, grocery store or a spa and beauty salon; almost every street has one. My point is, there is competition. You have to always be on your toes to bring something new to the clients.

With 4th July around, are you wondering how are you going to manage your business and how will you cope up with the heavy competition around? Well this independence day, I have some handful tips to sustain and grow your business.

  1. Create a theme: Well foremost and the most important task is to build a background theme around your business. I personally believe in going the classic ways in this tech-savvy era that is by involving your entire team to contribute their thoughts. So, loosen up the work environment for few hours, discuss this with your team over a coffee or beer and create a theme and list of agendas.
  2. Make them feel independent: As we know it’s independence day, so let’s make our clients feel that. On this 4th July, let’s serve the feeling of independence. Now, you must be wondering, how can we serve independence? It’s simple, with goodies and discounts.
    Let’s not make everything business oriented, we can focus on being patriotic and creating awareness for a good cause. Speak with your team, what good cause will they like to work on and how can you implement all these great ideas? I know with the cutting budget it sounds all unrealistic. Well, not really, try with something as small as giving some part of the earnings from 4th July as a donation or maybe distributing small brochures with the information and importance about the day to children visiting.
  3.  Encourage flags: Flags are always the favorite part of the entire celebration. It gives us the feeling of pride and happiness. You can keep a surprise gift or discount for customers who visit you with flags with them on 4th July. You can promote this on social media and I am sure this will give some unpredicted contribution.
  4. Photo contest: We are blessed with social media and its impact on our clients is unimaginable. Plan up some small contest like discounts or goodies on posting their photos with the products. You can get as creative as you want. Use Instagram hashtags, tagging feature on Facebook and much more. You can use Twitter to promote such offers and fun things as well.
  5. Must haves on POS: There will be clients in your spa who would have planned for this day and this pampering session since months and I believe you should be fully prepared to provide the best of your service. Plan and introduce new special 4th July packages and schemes and place them right there on your POS screen. Talk about your special product of the day and its benefits. We are into impulsive shopping era. We love the idea of pampering, and special offers excite us.
    It is very important to have a good pos system. IConnect POS offers a wide range of pos customized for your business. They specialize in POS system for Salons, Spas, retail, QSR and have a wide range of features.
  6. Handouts: This may sound old school again, but we should never underestimate the power of classic marketing. The first thought we get thinking about 4th July is a parade. Focus on making the best of every opportunity you get to do good for the society and directly or indirectly, it will be reflected in your business. Distribute small samples of your product based on demographics or maybe just water. It will be a sunny day and idea of distributing any cold beverage works best.

Get creative, look beyond the regular ideas and agendas you normally plan.

Play with the numbers. Introduce discounts based on the year, day etc. for instance, cell phone numbers ending with the numeric 74 gets a discount and so on. There may be thousands of articles and ideas on managing and planning your big day, but, it depends on you and your team to find originality and connect with your audience by selecting wisely of which plan suits best for your business.

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We are into impulsive buying era.

shopping bags and money indicating impulsive buying

courtesy of Pixabay

Are you an impulsive shopper?

Take a minute, and think about how many products, items, and services you recently purchased which you no longer intend to use? I am sure there are many.

Mankind has entered an impulse buying generation. We want everything at one click, be it daily supplies, new commodities, services or be it as small as a cup of coffee; we want it all easy and quick. We demand more for valued discounts and coupons for our loyalty towards the brand.

My point here is to prove how important it is for a service provider to consider all these factors for their business development.

With the growing competition in the materialistic world, we need to make sure our marketing and sales are to the point. Be it a retail business, salons & spa or be it a coffee shop, trained staff, right ambiance for our clients and a secured reliable technology, we need it all.

When it comes to technology, it is really important to have a correct point of sales system and we need to consider various factors suitable best for our business. Each and every business is unique in its own way and when we are actually looking for options, we end up wishing for a customized version. We want something, which reduces our workload and manage our services and business.

The smart system provided by IConnect POS is something to look forward to. It is every business owner’s dream come true.

Their smart register understands the importance of impulse buying and the growth of competition. IConnect POS system provides features including customer management, royalty reporting, central management, gift cards, email, and text message marketing. These are just to name a few. IConnect have a wide range of customization options available and the products are highly secured.

So the next time you consider opening a new franchise or a business and you wish upon a perfect system to withstand this impulsive buying era, don’t let the pressure of managing your business worry you. At IConnect POS, they got you covered.

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Don’t forget to be classic

a message in a bottle

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Are you tired of your low business turnovers?

Are you watching motivational videos lately? Are you bored of your daily schedule and business is no more fun? Well everyone of us goes through this phase and it’s up to us how we tackle these drawbacks.

We, humans, have a very funny way of tackling our problems, and that is, we ignore them. We try to avoid them by focusing on all the fun part. We think boring part of our business like, email marketing, text message marketing is old school and no more necessary in this tech-savvy era. We forget that old way is always the classic way and these small boring tasks eventually sum up for much-unnoticed profit.

We read thousands of articles about how to focus on social media marketing and how to improve our digital presence, but all this while what about the bond with our clients? That happy feeling of emotional connection with our clients still remains a mystery. Various companies have started targeting customers based on this and have made large revenues in the very short period of time and that is what we find motivating. But, when are we going to understand this and start working on those boring tasks again?

I personally believe, if we focus only on the fun side we miss the roots of understanding our clients. This entire system is like a tree, it is very important to water our roots to have a firm base and only then we can focus on the growth of the tree. So besides using various social media and many more business analytics tool, it is very important to focus on client meetings, keeping them updated with your upcoming business ventures and growth and making them a part of your journey.

Now, you might be wondering, if I engage myself in all these tasks how will I manage my business? well, it’s simple, we are into a digital world where technology has an answer to all our problems and at IConnect POS we provide you a solution for this obstacle in your business growth. This point of sale system comes along with various features like employee and client management, marketing tools, analytics tools and much more. Basically, we cover all those boring tasks in one smart system to give you and your client a perfect service and experience.

I realize eventually when we ignore these small ways to improve our services by focusing on the other more important and big tasks, we end up in frustration and somehow loose enthusiasm for our business and start investing more on paid campaigns and advertisements which I see a no good deal.

 

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The Valentine’s Day Business

Valentine’s Day is finally upon us! Hopefully everyone’s business has geared up for this love filled day. iConnect has many features that makes businesses run a lot more efficient on busy days such as today. One way that we make things a little smoother for business owners is through our point of sale system. With our technology, you’ll have the right tools to enhance marketing, keep accurate counts of inventory, time-clock management system, end-of-day business reports, and many more.

On top of our highest rated POS systems, we have the hardware to go along with that. iConnect iCR register system provides the sleek looks to go along with your business. Our devices were engineered to take up little space and function in various settings. iConnect currently empowers businesses in many verticals such as retail, food, salons, and many more. If your business requires a self-checkout kiosk, iConnect can provide that system for you as well.

We’ve recently covered the basic tips on how to set your business up for success during Valentine’s Day. With our modern tools, you’ll have the power to generate more business during the other busy days during the year. Be sure to talk to one of our experts and find out if your business is ready to take the next step with iConnect.

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Interacting With Your Community

A community is the life support for local businesses. They buy, interact, and market your business on a daily basis. And to keep your business going you must be able to provide them with the essential points of growth. Here’s an impactful plan that can help your business keep a good reputation in the local community.

Being friendly

Let your community and local customers know that your business is a place that provides great customer service and friendliness. This is a paramount point to make to the people shopping at your store. Statistically speaking, a dissatisfied customer is three times more likely to tell friends about their negative experience. It takes 12 positive experiences just to make up for that one dissatisfied customer. On top of that, 80% of people will not buy from a business with negative reviews. Overall, unhappy customers add up to $537 billion in losses every year.

However, happy customers contribute 14 times more revenue than a “mixed feeling” customer. With great customer service, you’ll see happily satisfied customers contribute 2.6 times more revenue than a normal customer.

Retention

You want to do whatever is in your power to retain your currently satisfied customers. It statistically costs 6-7 times more to acquire new customers that’ll be satisfied of your business. There was a funny story reported about a guitarist named David Caroll who was flying with United Airlines. During the unloading process an employee tossed his guitar on to the tarmac which resulted in his $3,500 guitar breaking. United Airlines refused to pay for repairs so David Caroll wrote a song about his dissatisfaction with the company titled “United Breaks Guitars.” The music video got 14 million views in a short span of time which resulted in its stock falling 10%, the equivalent to $180 million dollars. While this is an unusual case, it did happen. If you have to, make sure that your customer receives a good experience at your place of business.

Ask questions

Make sure that you ask your customers about their shopping experience. This is critical in the education process and also gauging their level of satisfaction. If the customers feel as though that they aren’t being treated “well,” make sure they get the proper attention and service. Also, understand their shopping habits. If a customers comes in frequently, shopping for the same product/good, make sure that it’s kept in stock. When customers find that you are missing a certain item, this can lead them to venture elsewhere and become a loss for your business.

With these tips, you’ll have a good starting point for your business to hold support in your local community. Remember to keep your customers happy and provide them with the best customer service possible.

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Here Are Some Of The Latest Retail Businesses That’ll be Opening Across the U.S. in 2017

2017 is the year many experts in the retail industry believe will see some dynamic changes. There are always new retail concepts popping up and below are some of the latest trending stores to open in the U.S.

MUJI

muji retail store

MUJI is a minimalistic retail business that sells the concept of self advertisement through customers’ word of mouth. Founded in Toshima, Tokyo, Japan, the company believes in quality of products and clean living. The name MUJI derives from the word Mujirushi Ryohin which means “No Brand, Quality Goods.” The company’s products have zero MUJI labels or logos on their products and focuses on delivering a “Good enough Living” lifestyle concept.

While the business isn’t yet popular in the U.S., they are starting to break ground and eyeing locations to open their new stores. Their most recent location was opened in Boston on Newbury Street.

Lidl

lidl grocery retail store

A retail grocery supermarket called Lidl is making its way to the U.S. with the similar mindset of Ikea, they look to deliver the ideal products and groceries to consumers across the nation. Lidl is famous across Europe with 10’s of thousands of locations.

The company originates from Germany where they developed the concept of quality goods at competitive prices. While the bargain grocery shopping idea isn’t all that new, they look to include unique experiences with many brand names at their stores. Lidl looks to open their first store in the U.S. no later than 2018.

Shinola

shinola retail store

A company called Shinola is starting to make a splash in 2017 by offering consumers a retail space where they can purchase high-quality watches, bicycles, and leather goods. The company was founded in 2011 in the heart of Detroit and have expanded to the major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Not only that but Shinola will be launching their own hotel in 2018 where they take into account their signature quality experience. Shinola looks to expand further in 2017 in United States and Europe with this modern upscale idea for people looking to buy quality products.

While there are a lot more retail companies to rise in 2017, these are a few that’ll make an impact in local communities around the nation.

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How To Increase Foot Traffic To Your Business

A lot of entrepreneurs have a hard time grasping why their business isn’t seeing much foot traffic come through their stores. It isn’t magic. It isn’t some hocus pocus. It’s actual work to get people to come through your business. Here’s how you can increase foot traffic.

Social media presence

You want to create an influx in foot traffic to your business. What do you have at your disposal to instantly create awareness about what your store? It’s social media. With platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat you can reach a wide audience in a short duration of time. By using their business backend platform you can schedule events, promote posts, and strategize campaigns to reach a large audience base. The concept and idea is quite simple but manually configuring everything can be quite time-consuming.

Say for instance that your business serves ice cream. Well, you can geo-target your audience base and make sure that people who are interested in ice cream can see your advertisement on the three social media platforms listed. Snapchat even gives you an option to create a cool filter in a geo-targeted area. So if someone was to come into proximity of your store and was on Snapchat, they can use that filter to snap a picture and video to their friends. This creates awareness and almost works as a word of mouth tool.

Events

Another amazing way to increase traffic to a store-front location is to hold special events. It can range anywhere from Barbeques, slip n’ slides, educational sessions, to even having someone famous come through your store. You want to make sure that people are aware that your business is throwing an elaborate event and that they are welcome to join. From there, the goal will be to convert those visitors into loyal customers.

Giveaways

Have giveaways. This is a big deal. If you want to attract new customers, you need to create an incentive for them. And it has to be a rocking deal that’s relatable for your business.

For example:

You own a restaurant. You are seeing a lack of customers. You want to increase your customer base. Put together an awesome giveaway such as free burgers for a year (It must be huge like this). Then you advertise this on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Most of our partners have been seeing a lot of success using this method. You can too. If you want to see growth in foot-traffic towards your business, you must take actions such as these.

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