Loneliness In A Home Business Four Good Ways To Guarantee Repeat Business How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Business
Working a business from home can at times be a lonely endeavour. One of the main problems with a home-based business is the lack of personal contact and interaction with others in a normal business environment. I really enjoyed the random conversations of a busy office in my last place of work.
Sure most people who work from home belong to many networking sites… but it is not the same… or is it?
After a while I did get used to working alone when I made some changes & learnt to break up my working day.
I invested generously in ensuring that I have all the creature comforts in my home office. There is nothing worse than working in a cold room without all the amenities! I have been blessed with an amazing view that really helps… when I look out of my office; all I see is the garden and the river Tay.
I have a regular schedule that gets me out of the office daily. I try and pop out for lunch and meet some friends or people that I do business with. Sometimes I might just go for a short brisk walk to my favourite deli. I occasionally work in the summerhouse when the weather is fine.
I tend to pop out around 4:30pm to do 30 minutes of shopping before resuming work again. These breaks help to keep me sane. I play a variety of music in the background but sometimes I find that it breaks my concentration especially when I am trying to focus on something complicated.
The biggest challenge I have now is to remember to try and stop working. Isn’t it great that when you can work no more, you can leave your home office and sit in the lounge and relax until work mode grips you again?
I used to take my lap top with me in the sitting room, but eventually I stopped doing this as I found it far too stressful! Just seeing that machine out of the corner of my eye, even though it was switched off made it hard to relax! Now the computer mostly stays in the office and is not allowed in my relaxation areas.
I still break this rule occasionally like first thing in the mornings when I am writing or responding to mail and blogs that I have written. I like writing and sharing my experiences / knowledge and I hope some of you enjoy reading them.
My family often complain that even though I spend a lot of time at home… I am really not there. I don’t get it! I guess they mean that I am in my own world and sometimes hardly notice them. I know what I should do to change this but it can be hard to separate home life from work especially when business is thriving.
I do not have any problems with neighbours, primarily because I run an internet business and as such have no stock requirements apart from basic stationary. The only way they know I am working at home is when they see my car parked in the drive or I have some visitors.
Business should be fun and if you are not having fun working from home then perhaps it is time to make some changes? You might even really start enjoying your business once you have strategies in place for dealing with working alone at home.
At the backbone of every successful business is the repeat customer. While it is great to get referrals, it is important to realize that a referral may result in an interested individual taking a look at a business or store, but by and large curiosity rarely translates into sales. On the other hand, a customer who already knows what to expect, who understands your way of doing business, and who comes back for more is an almost guaranteed sale! Yet in a day and age when customer service is virtually and certifiably dead – have you ever approached a store employee only to have the person shrug her or his shoulders and tell you it’s not their job? – it becomes harder and harder to entice customers or clients to come back.
Nonetheless, here are four ways to guarantee repeat business:
1. Be careful whom you hire. He might be your Cousin Betty’s favorite nephew, but if his attitude leaves something to be desired he will be more of an albatross around your business’ neck than an asset. Business and family sometimes do not mix well, and it may become rather awkward if you have to fire your kid sister, but the bottom line is simple: whoever is working for you is representing the business, and this representation needs to be made in such a way that the customer will love to come back. Personable, kind, and polite service are a must!
2. Know your business just a little better than the competition knows theirs. If you are a carpet cleaner, you will want to keep up with the latest and the greatest innovations. Think of the termite companies that have since time immemorial tented homes in order to eradicate termites with poisonous gasses. The new innovation was orange oil and most companies simply scoffed at the idea – until one or two companies took up the challenge and learned all there was about this new product. These companies are now running circles around the competition and repeat business is guaranteed!
3. Treat your client or customer well. Friendly customer service, superior product or service, and a personalized attitude to the business are a must. Yet so is the ability to apologize and rectify a situation that might have gone wrong. If you are a dog groomer and instead of giving the Bichon Frise its special Bichon cut, you went ahead and mistook it for a poodle and gave it a poodle do… While this is a big oops, the fact that you are not charging for the service, but instead will make weekly appointments at the customer’s home to even out the cut as it grows out; with complimentary nail clippings and shampoos to boot will go a long ways to ensuring that this customer likes the way you correct a mistake. The odds are good she or he will come back.
4. Last but not least, do not nickel and dime your customers. Many businesses have taken to charging late fees, electricity recovery fees, fuel fees, and a host of other surcharge, fees, and other sums – all of which leave the customers with a bad taste in their mouths. Instead of allowing yourself to follow this questionable business practice, make sure that the price you quote is the price you charge, and rather than trying to keep posted prices low by not factoring in your operating costs, incorporate them in your prices even if this makes you a bit more expensive. When consumers realize that you do not charge extra fees they will love you!
A website’s domain name (also know as a website address or URL) is an important consideration when developing your online presence. Choosing an appropriate domain name is the first step in the process of building online credibility. Remember to choose carefully because this online address may be where your business resides for the rest of its operating life. Now, some important tips to consider before choosing your domain name:
Choosing Your Domain Extension
A domain extension or top level domain is simply the suffix of your website address: (.com, .net, .org, .ca, etc.) Most Internet users are familiar with the “.com” extension, and will generally use this extension by default when typing an address into their browser. Choosing a “.com” extension should be your fist choice in case your potential customers forget that your address is “www.mybusiness.NET”, and visit your competitor at “www.mybusiness.COM” by mistake. Choosing the “.com” extension gives your website the most credibility in the eyes of your customers.
If your business only caters to the local community, then it makes sense to get a country specific domain name, such as the “.ca” extension. A country specific domain benefits you in two ways: both your customers and search engines such as Google will know that your website is registered to a Canadian and operates in Canada. Potential customers will feel more comfortable knowing that they are dealing with a Canadian company, and not a U.S. based business pretending to be a Canadian company. Also, search engines will give your website higher placement in the search results when a user is performing a Canadian specific search.
I personally recommend that my clients, if possible, register both the “.com” AND “.ca” extension. This way, your Canadian based website will benefit from using the “.ca” extension, while at the same time ensuring that they reach your website if they accidentally type the “.com” extension into their browser.
Using Your Business Name
The first choice for any domain name would be your business’ name. This ensures that your customers will remember your website’s address. You can’t expect your potential customers to remember a phrase that just relates to your business.
Choosing Choice Keywords
Including specific keywords in your website’s address will help your rankings in popular search engines such as Google or Yahoo. It is best to choose a keyword that you think your potential customers will use to search for your business. A search engine optimization (SEO) professional such as Cost Effective Design can assist you in choosing your keyword(s). These type of domain names are used in instances where the client does not want to use the business name because it is either already registered by another company, or the company name is simply too long. Any company that is serious about generating traffic through search engines should acquire a domain name with a keyword in addition to your business name.
Don’t Confuse Your Customers
If possible, try not to use domain names that include: “2” for “To” or “4” for “For” or “u” for “You”. These may make your domain look “cool” or “hip”, but in reality they are not very practical. These domain names create a problem when directing your clients to your website verbally or over the phone. For example, if you owned https://www.coolwebtips.com every time you verbally directed someone to your website, you would have to specify that the URL uses the actual number 4, and letter U.
To Use, Or Not to Use Hyphens
Given that more and more businesses are registering domain names every day, getting the website address you want is becoming increasingly difficult. One or two word domain names are usually already registered, forcing new registrants to choose URLs containing three or four words. To some people, these URLs can look like a big mess of words. Using hyphens in between the words can make them visually more appealing. For example, “www.used-cars-for-you.com, looks better than “www.usedcarsforyou.com. The jury is still out on hyphenated domain names. The advantages are that they look better and search engines can easily distinguish the separate keywords for better search placements, but the disadvantages are that they are difficult to verbally communicate and type.
The best solution would be to register both the hyphenated, and the un-hyphenated version of the domain name to ensure that there is no confusion.
Domain Name Length
Even though you are allowed to use 67 characters for a domain name, the general rule of thumb is: shorter is better. Although, in some instances, the website address may be more memorable if it is more descriptive. For example a domain consisting of initials only, such as “www.waa.com”, may not create a lasting impression compared to the domain name “www.windsorautoassociation.com”. Therefore, it is best to choose a name that, while short, contains enough description for your customers to easily remember.
Buying an Existing Domain Name
Maybe the domain name you really want is already registered, either by a legitimate company, or by a “domain squatter” who merely registered the name to sell for a profit at a later date. You can make an offer for these types of domains, although they make cost several hundred, or even thousands of dollars. There are advantages to purchasing an existing domain name. In addition to getting the domain you want, it may also rank highly in the search engines for certain keywords and / or generate topic specific traffic that you will benefit your business..
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