Business Tips

Learning from the World’s Top 10 Businesses

For any small business out there looking to make some changes and sharpen things up, the following companies are all worth learning from.

1) ExxonMobil

This global giant was reported to be worth almost $486 billion in 2011, and has dominated the oil and gas industry for decades. Even amidst widespread international condemnation, ExxonMobil was able to survive the infamous Exxon Valdez environmental catastrophe, showing resilience and power that few thought existed in a corporation. In many ways, ExxonMobil is the ultimate corporation.

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Top 5 Online Retail Strategies for 2012

According to a recent study by PayPal and Forrester Research, online retail is expected to grow by 12.2 per cent in the coming year to reach $37.7 billion in 2013. Along with adjusting marketing strategies to suit the online environment and faster delivery times by using effective shelving systems, businesses can make it easier for customers to buy their products or services by providing simpler online payment options and facilitating smartphone usage. In this article, we look at some of the top online retail strategies for 2012 and beyond.

Simpler Payments

As more and more buyers grow accustomed to the online retail environment, they’re looking to simplify the process. The October 2011 report from Forrester Research (‘Secure Insight: Changing the Way We Pay’) mentioned above suggests that as many as 40 per cent of consumers are looking for simpler payment options when they shop online.

Many consumers are finding that they have to change payment methods depending on what and where they buy. This suggests that businesses could improve the customer experience by going beyond just providing an e-commerce site to looking at including payment options that simplify the entire process.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Just-in-Time Inventory Management

Just in time (‘JIT’) is a lean business strategy first developed by Toyota. While JIT encompasses a variety of strategies that have been applied to anything from manufacturing to logistics, this article focuses on the ‘lean’ aspect of the philosophy and how it applies to inventory management.

What Does Just-in-Time Inventory Management Involve?

In contrast to drop shipping, JIT inventory management does involve the receipt, storage, and dispatch of goods. Goods are delivered to the warehouse, whether from another business or from the manufacturing site or a factory in the same business. However, only the minimum stock amount that is required for manufacturing or fulfilling customer orders in any given period is kept on the premises’ warehouse shelving systems.

Under the JIT philosophy, storing extra ‘back up’ inventory is discouraged. JIT considers high volumes of stock to be a form of waste that contributes to overhead costs and results in unnecessary outlays to purchase the stock. Back up stock also has the effect of requiring extra staff attention to receive and store the stock, which is another form of waste.


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How to Build Customer Trust Online

Studies show that growing numbers are relying on the internet alone to find out about prospective products and businesses. In many industries, your business website will be the number one or first port of call to potential customers. Trust and credibility are also essential for a high conversion rate. It’s therefore vital to know how to build customer trust online. These are some useful guidelines to get started.

Shorten Response Times

Whether it’s an online order or query, a customer is much more likely to trust your business if you respond quickly. Quick turnaround times also encourage repeat business. The logistics of shortening response times will depend on your business and organisation, but having good shelving systems in your warehouse, a solid IT system, and sufficient staff numbers can all contribute positively to ensuring that customers get what they want as quickly as possible.

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4 Essential Pricing Tips for Online Business

Pricing can be a vital selling point for small businesses, especially for those selling online. Fixing your price range can be important when you’re just planning your business, and even well before you need to consider issues such as shelving systems and finding a storage space or warehouse. Balancing competitiveness with a sustainable pricing strategy is the key to making your business work.

1. Finding a Reasonable Price Point

Researching competitors’ pricing strategies is the first step in finding a reasonable price point. You can use the internet or visit physical stores to get an idea of market prices.

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Guide to Finding a Profitable eCommerce Niche

A common way for many online retailers and eCommerce businesses to start out is by carving out a niche, and then gradually expand their product selection. Like any other business model, online retail may require some trial and error and plenty of research, even well before you start thinking about finding premises or getting set up with pallet racking storage systems for your warehouse. Use these practical strategies for discovering a profitable eCommerce niche.

Benefits of the Niche Model

Paul Greenberg, the co-founder of the online department store DealsDirect, has stated that if he was starting from scratch today, he would focus on a niche opportunity.

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