(Shared by Amanda Walter, Business Intern with OSU South Centers)
Written by Tim Berry of Palo Alto Software
About Direct Marketing
As we discussed in Direct Marketing Fudamentals, direct marketing includes various approaches in which the producer of goods or services directly contacts the end-user. Direct marketing encompasses face-to-face selling, direct mail, catalogs, kiosks, telemarketing, and more. Regardless of the form you choose, there are some critical considerations.
The criteria for direct marketing begins with a reliable customer database. Other factors include offering greater customer value through a more customized and personalized approach for product and service offerings, distribution processes tailored to meet the needs of customers, and the opportunity to build customer loyalty.
One of the first criteria for direct marketing is to have a consistent customer profile available which describes the dominant target markets. This information must have sufficient detail to support a customer database.
(Shared by Kelly O’Bryant, Business Advisor, OSU South Centers)
Effective communication is essential for both organizations and employees to thrive. College lays out several guidelines you can apply for better communications.
Communicate face-to-face. Digital communication tools such as email and texts have become embedded in most businesses, but they have their downsides. Think about it—when you’re engaging in an in-person conversation, much of the communication comes from nonverbal cues like smiles and gestures. The absence of such cues can make it difficult to decipher the intended meaning in an email, so communicate in person if you can.
Provide clear information. Much of workplace communication involves the passing of information, and inaccurate or ambiguous information can lead to confusion and mistakes. Take the time to ensure you are conveying correct information and in the right amount—neither too much nor too little.
Use both verbal and nonverbal communication. Your verbal and nonverbal messages should correspond. Make sure your nonverbal gestures jibe with your words, and provide nonverbal feedback such as nodding when listening to the other person.
Don’t just hear—listen. In other words, pay attention. To train yourself to listen better, paraphrase what you heard to show you’re listening and verify accuracy.
Exercise diplomacy. If you think someone has misunderstood you, follow up with him or her promptly to preempt unnecessary resentment and loss of productivity. When handling conflicts, respond with an open mind and don’t resort to personal attacks.
Avoid gossip. You must refrain from engaging when others gossip. Smile, and get back to work as quickly as possibly. You’ll earn your coworkers’ respect and gain credibility.
Keep some boundaries. Don’t share too much personal information with your coworkers. You can be friendly while still being professional. You also should strive to control your emotions around colleagues to avoid creating a negative impression or making them wary of interacting with you.
Avoid controversial topics. Similarly, you shouldn’t discuss controversial topics such as politics or religion in the workplace. You don’t want to risk offending anyone you see almost every day.
Give positive feedback. Don’t be shy about recognizing your colleagues’ achievements. If a coworker does a good job, tell him or her.
(Shared by Jennifer Dunn, Program Assistant, OSU South Centers)
Written by: Purusha Rivera
Starting a business can be an exciting and sometimes intimidating prospect, especially when you’re a mom.
But more and more mothers are taking the plunge and pursuing their dreams of entrepreneurship. 11.6 million women in the U.S. own their own business—it’s actually the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs, so if you’re a mom with dreams of being self-employed or starting your own business, you’re in good company.
As you navigate the world of being a business owner and juggling the demands of home and family, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
(Shared by Jennifer Dunn, Program Assistant, OSU South Centers)
Written by: Jacob Lunduski
Building business credit creates more financial opportunities for your business. Banks, lenders, and other suppliers all rely on business credit reports to assess the creditworthiness of your company.
According to the Small Business Administration, 46 percent of businesses used personal credit cards for business expenses. This statistic shows that many businesses fail to separate business and personal expenses, which is necessary to establish business credit.
Why should I use a business credit card instead of a personal credit card? Business credit acts as your business’s financial reputation. If you can borrow money as an individual, why go through the trouble of borrowing in the name of your business?
1. Business credit cards help separate personal and business finances
2. Business credit cards help establish a profile for your business
3. Business credit cards help build your business’s credit, as long as used with discipline
4. Business credit cards provide higher credit limits than personal credit cards
5. Business credit cards earn your business rewards
6. Business credit cards provide your business with certain benefits
Did you know 60 percent of small businesses that have been hacked go out of business within six months of the cyber-attack? With phishing scams on the rise, businesses need to be aware of the various attacks in circulation and how to be prepared if they fall victim to a malicious cyber-attack.
Take a look at the following ten phishing examples in 2017 that targeted small businesses.
The ‘Shipping Information’ Phishing Scam
In July this year, internet security company Comodo disclosed a new type of phishing scam specifically targeting small businesses. Phishing emails were sent out to more than 3,000 businesses, including the subject line ‘Shipping Information’.
The email noted a forthcoming delivery by United Parcel Service (UPS) and included a seemingly innocent package tracking link. When the recipient clicked on the link it contained malware, potentially releasing a virus.
On May 12, 2017, WannaCry exploited a weakness in Microsoft’s operating systems to deliberately infect computers. When the worm was infiltrated, it encrypted the infected operating systems, rendering them unusable. The hackers subsequently demanded a ransom for unlocking the encryption. Small businesses void of up-to-take IT infrastructure were particularly exposed to the WannaCry attack.