3 Ways to Maintain Your Integrity in Business and Be True to Your Word

In life as in business, sincerity and honesty can exist, and it all begins with the person staring back at you from the mirror. There are many reasons that people choose to travel in other paths that lack integrity, but there’s no reason for it. Having a great company, making money and treating others well don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Life hardens us all.

Challenging circumstances can create doubt.

And, especially in business, we all want results. I get it because I’ve had doubts and I’m someone who expects achievements at work and nothing less than the best in performance.

But, sometimes it feels as if anything goes.

The question here is, how do you maintain your integrity in life, and by extension, in business?

Want to know my honest answer?

It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. I do it every day–no matter what happens–and so can you.

I’m one of those people who thinks he’s heard it all and when people have been “caught” not having a high level of integrity, I’ve heard the excuses. I’ve listened to stories of “a tough life,” and I’ve had someone tell me once that integrity is not a value he has because “every day is a great day to make money.” In his mind, capitalism is a higher value, and capitalists can’t have integrity in business. I’ve also seen a lack of motivation or desire to take the higher ground, always. If you had to review your life, where would you place yourself on the scale?

I may be old school, but I believe that in business and in life, your word is your bond. Period. If you do business with me or if you’re a member of my team, then when I say I’m going to do something, you can take it to the bank and consider it done.

It would be refreshing if everyone tried to operate in a similar fashion, but I also understand that life is made of all kinds of people.

So, my question to you is, how do you want to live your life and operate in business?

Presuming that you want to follow the path of integrity, what are the immediate steps you can take right now to ensure that everyone who comes in contact with you understands that what you say, you will do? As you know, your reputation takes a lifetime to build, and in today’s world, only minutes to ruin. One bad review or scandal, especially in the digital world where news can spread like wildfire, is all you need to see everything you’ve built in your life come tumbling down like a pile of toy blocks.

    • Sincerity always has a place at the table: I’ve often heard, especially in business, and maybe you have too, that honesty places you on the wrong end of a negotiation. Many professionals believe that sincerity is not recommended. I disagree. The people you work with will appreciate knowing your authenticity and honesty. I think you have everything to gain if you’re sincere. I’m not saying that in a tough negotiation you have to put all your cards on the table. That doesn’t make any business sense, but you have to be sincere in what you do reveal.

 

    • Surround yourself with others who have integrity: Have you ever recommended someone for a job or professional opportunity only to find out that they’ve blown the chance and made you look bad with your colleague or friend in the process? As a business leader, I hold myself to a high-level of integrity, and as I have said, when I say something, my word is golden. But, I also expect the same from those who work with me or with whom we partner. Make it a point to maintain high-quality people around you who also believe that integrity is a prominent value. And, the next time you have to give a recommendation, you don’t ever have to worry about getting an email or phone call that reflects on your judgment.

 

  • Learn the art of saying “no”: One of the reasons that many people often get themselves into all kinds of trouble is because they don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or give someone “bad news.” They also think that they could jeopardize a relationship if they say no. This is a mistake. If an idea, partnership or opportunity does not fit with your agenda, then you have no choice but to decline. By taking the band-aid off early and saying no, you will prevent something that will only grow bigger and lead to awkwardness, disappointment or even anger later on because you didn’t deliver on what you said you would. Know when to walk away from something and always make it as early as possible.

No matter your position in a company as a member of the team or a leader, realize that you always want to be as transparent as possible, especially in today’s world where it’s demanded by customers, the public, and employees. Sincerity is a great competitive advantage because when someone knows you’re true to your word, guess who they’ll want to do business with now and in the future. Yes, you.

Business Poisons – Know the Things That Are Poisonous to Your Business

FRIENDS: I know you have heard this question “WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR?” but have you really thought about it? Have you ever pondered on what it really means? What is the impact of a friend in your business? Is their impact positive or negative?. I saw something on Facebook that really caught me. A friend of mine (who is also a blogger) posted something on his wall. He said something about a blogger and his friend he said “a blogger once had a friend. His friend is a musician. His friend is always telling him to promote his music online. Whenever he has an upcoming show, he will quickly contact his blogger friend. But this musician guy has never taken time to promote his friend’s blog. Yet he always contacts his friend for assistance. He never cares if his friend has data to run his blog effectively or not, he doesn’t want to know if his friend is in need of any assistance or not.” So what am I saying in essence? Your friend should share the same motive with you. They should not be the one crashing you instead; they should assist you and take you to your glory days.

YOUR ATTITUDE: Do you have the attitude of a business minded person? If no, then you need to work on yourself. You should always see the bright side of thing. My senior, Okon Joseph said that don’t follow your passion if you are not ready to suffer. Your attitude towards your business determines if you are going to be successful or not. Always be smart, cooperate and always out on the look for opportunities. They say too much of everything is bad. I agree with this saying but only in some cases. Your marketing should not have an end. You should have an aggressive marketing strategy that will leave your clients in awe. You should always think of a new marketing pattern in order to rejuvenate your business. Donald Trump said “success is not a result of luck; it is result of applied intellectual ideas put together all with the motive of success”. You should not feel that success is as a result of luck. Bill Gates said “if you were born poor, it’s not your fault; but if you die poor, then you are to be blamed”. So therefore, any asset you have that doesn’t pay should not be considered as an asset, but a liability.

STRONG BUSINESS PATTERN: This should be a result of constant deliberations on your newly birthed idea. At this stage, you should know what is good and bad for your business as an individual. You should also know the Pros. And Cons. Of content marketing. At this stage you should have a business pattern of Idea>Strategy>Test run>Implementation>Management. So now the question is “Are you ready? Will you go the extra mile? Are you willing to make superficial sacrifices like giving up on your friends (the ones that are crashing you)?”. The decision is up to you to make now.

 

How Your Business Can Ensure Success in the Experience Economy

Way long ago in 1998–yes, that long ago–B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore published a piece in Harvard Business Review (link at the end of this article) that the experience economy had arrived. And, sure, in 20th Century terms, it had. As they explained in their article, the progression began with families buying items, such as Betty Crocker, because there was less kitchen time to prepare the ingredients for a child’s birthday cake. Then parents started going to the bakery store to pick up cakes for their kids and no longer making the cake at home. And, eventually in the late part of the 20th Century, with more work and other demands, families started to outsource the entire birthday to soup-to-nuts groups that did everything, such as Chuck E. Cheese and the Discovery Zone.

And now we’re in the 21st Century, and experience matters even more and companies are beginning to try out different technologies, for instance, virtual reality and augmented reality. Major corporations, such as Facebook and Apple, have made substantial investments into those technologies because the future is coming quickly and I wouldn’t be surprised if in 2018 we see some other global experience, such as Pokémon Go.

Smart marketers understand that creating an experience–with technology–is essential to being able to sell a product or service in today’s world. So, how do you do it?

Customer Experience Continuum

An essential activity to create an excellent customer experience program is not only to have excellent customer service but to go further and understand what your customer experience is from start to finish. From the moment a prospect sends you an email, places a call to your office or messages you in some way, what is the experience your company provides? Understand the entirety of the customer experience from the moment they initially reach out and to what happens after the purchase.

Words Matter for Customer Experience Principles

Once you understand the experience that occurs, and more importantly what you want to make sure your leads experience, you have to ask yourself (and your team) to help you develop principles that will guide the experience from start to finish. In this case, words matter. For example, are you looking for your clients to have “fun” while they partner with you? Are you looking for “excellence in communication”? Whatever the words are that matter to you, develop principles around them and ensure everyone on your team is onboard.

Data In and What Comes Out?

When you’re talking about data, your CRM is everything. You want to make sure your CRM captures everything that is essential to know about your leads and clients. If your team isn’t inputting every touchpoint with your customers, accurately, then you’re not going to be able to anticipate their needs. Part of the customer experience is to know what your prospects and partners are going to want, even before they want it. As an example, in one of my companies, our former partners get reminders at regular intervals about scheduling their next fundraiser with us.

Provide a Sensory Experience

Everyone is used to having many experiences throughout the day. If they’re scrolling social media, your leads and clients are being “marketed” to with live streams, videos or images. Corporations are moving toward providing people virtual experiences and with technology tools. Granted, we’re in the early stages of these types of moments, but it’s already started. If you want to buy a diamond ring, you can see the ring virtually on your hand by supplying a photo. You can also see how furniture will look in your home with apps and a VR headset. Think out of the box and discover creative ways to bring your products and services to market.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

If you’re not using it already, consider looking into your Net Promoter Score, or NPS. This measuring tool goes beyond simple customer satisfaction. The index calculation, based on the responses of your customers regarding how likely they would be to recommend you to others, helps you understand and predict future revenue growth. The best type of sales you can make are those based on the recommendations of others, particularly if you can predict revenue growth.

Humans haven’t changed since the publication by Pine and Gilmore in the HBR article. The only thing that has changed significantly is how technology has transformed our lives and the world writ large. Humans, however, have always wanted the same thing in a product or service. Consumers want the experience they have with your business to match the expectations they had in their mind when they first inquired about your product or service.

 

The Top Business Trends You Must Keep in Mind

As you know, we live in an environment where it’s “blink,” and you missed it. Still, there’s always an urgent need to keep on top of what is happening so that you can stay ahead in business. I own several companies and, candidly, I don’t think there’s a single day I’m not thinking about how to make things better and improve our competitive advantage in our industries.

A couple of days ago I read an article about a luxury yacht company that had been in business for generations, and although they had client orders on hand, in the tens of millions of dollars, they fired everyone and shuddered their doors. They were hemorrhaging money and not paying attention to the changing winds.

The reality is that I can sit here today and write what you want to be looking for in business trends and then a year from now, write the same sort of article with different ideas to keep an eye on as business and society evolve. Still, there are some areas that I think will remain constant and you should pay attention to in your company.

Always Pay Extra Attention to Millennials

For decades and decades, the “darling” of generations were the Baby Boomers because of their sheer size and buying power. As the Boomers are now seniors, the same can be said about Millennials. They will be, and already are, a force for years to come and they are the first generation that is pure digital natives. Your products and services should be marketed to them and how they think. By 2020, Millennials will have an estimated $1.4 trillion in spending power.

Get Comfortable With AI, IoT, and ML

What used to be buzzwords such as AI, IoT, and ML, are not anymore. They are not the future; they are the present. Most of you know about AI (Artificial intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things), but maybe you have not heard about ML (Machine Learning). Machine learning is when computers do things without being programmed to do it because they are learning it for themselves. Through machine learning, we are given self-driving cars, excellent web search tools, practical speech recognition programs and a host of other platforms. As technology evolves, all of these elements will play a more substantial part in life and business.

Remote Workforce

I have a preference for my team to be onsite, but for some functions and aspects of our work, these elements are outsourced. Currently 40% plus of American workers are doing some work remotely, without having to be present at their place of business all the time. This trend creates demand for adequately training remote employees through video conferencing platforms, especially for social media and programming positions. All that is required is a computer and Internet.

Get Past the Clutter

The way you brand your business is essential. People are drowning in data and information, and you have to be able to cut to the chase immediately. Branding, which encompasses the name, logo, etc., creates instant identification. With excellent branding, you are perceived as an authority, successful and trustworthy because you pay attention to the details. Also it makes prospecting easier. Customers find you. You can hire better talent. Candidates seek you out rather than looking to apply for a position with an unknown company. Because of branding, it is easier to create more businesses under the same name.

Opportunity Exists in Buying Businesses

There are more businesses for sale due to the retirement of the Baby Boomer and Millennials will be buying them and then reinventing the companies they buy. Keep an eye out for your competition because there’s always an opportunity in looking to buy an existing competitor. For instance, you can buy their entire client base, or perhaps they’ve excelled in e-commerce, and you’re able to bring that into your portfolio. I’ve successfully purchased some of my competitors, and it’s only helped my businesses grow.

 

4 Tips To Pick A Reliable Courier Service Provider For Your Business

In today’s world, high-quality production and efficient employees are not enough to survive the hard-hitting business atmosphere. Business houses need to be the fastest when it comes to delivering the final goods. The faster your products reach the market, the higher will be your profit margin. Hence, depending solely on the company’s labor resources for either transporting the raw materials or distributing the final products would not be a smart decision to pursue by any production manager.

Entrusting the job of delivering your goods to a courier service provider will not only make sure a hassle-free production but will also help you concentrate only on the core manufacturing processes. However, before you select any random courier service provider for business deliveries, make sure that the particular vendor is your correct choice. But how?

Here are 4 necessary factors to consider before moving forward with any courier service provider:

#1 Availability on a single call

If your service provider sets restrictions on its availabilities for picking your parcels or items, then you need to say no and start seeking a better option. A reliable courier company is one who is readily accessible 24*7 and has several local delivery branches. If it has an efficient chain of agents then you can rest assured that you will have on-time delivery of your products.

#2 Know the weight limit in advance

Most of the times service providers do not clarify the maximum weight of parcels they can deliver. This creates a lot of confusion at the time of packaging and final delivery. Thus, one should clarify the limitation of the package weight before signing the final agreement.

#3 Ability to track your delivery

Since time management is the most dominant factor in the process of production, any kind of delay and lack of access to delivery updates are completely unacceptable. As the customer, you should be able to get minute-to-minute updates of your parcels. Tracking your delivery via app, website, email or phone will help you know the exact time when your product will be delivered.

#4 Get insurance for your package

Insuring your deliverables is must to ensure that even in worst case if your package is damaged, is misplaced or goes missing, you can claim for the loss. Also, as soon as a company provides insurance for your package, its accountability towards you is ensured and you know that your products are now in safe hands.

In this tough competitive business world, managing everything single-handedly starting from purchasing raw material, manufacturing goods to delivering the final commodities is near to impossible. According to business experts, managers should delegate the task of transporting their final products to a courier company and focus on other important business functions. However, one needs to compare and evaluate first to pick the best service provider for his business.

 

5 Ways Courier Companies Help Businesses In Goods Transit

There is really no business segment that doesn’t rely on courier and delivery transportation. From consumer goods manufacturers to retail stores, automotive and parts repairing houses to offices, hospitals to educational centers, courier services are an integral part of all. While there are hundreds of courier companies reigning everywhere to provide assistance to them, there are myriad types of delivery services to cater to each of the organization’s specific requirements. However, here are illustrated the five most common types of courier delivery solutions offered by the transit companies.

International Courier Services

It is the primary and most common form of service found in every advanced or commercialized area. It refers to the transportation of goods/services across the geographical borders. As the companies offer transportation from one country to another, irrespective of the distance between them, the charges are obviously very high. The users of these services comprise of multinational organizations, manufacturing business brands, retail brands, and even households.

Same-day delivery services

This is the newest form of delivery services that came to the forefront with advancement in transport vehicles and reduction of freight charges. Moreover, it was brought into action to pay heed to the last-minute needs of businesses, hospitals and for other emergency services. Delivery is deliberately made on the same day the order is sent, and it is mostly availed for the transit of crucial documentations.

Online Shipment Services Booking

While everything is moving to online and mobile space, why not courier and delivery services? Users no longer have to wait in long queues to book services from the front desk of the courier companies, nor have they to take their packages to the nearby service outlet. They can now book their shipment online via their mobiles or desktops directly from the company’s website.

Pallet courier services

This service assures the fast and prompt delivery of goods using the pallets at extremely reasonable rates. It is availed mostly by the businesses or clients who have strict delivery rules and have fixed time limits.

Warehouse courier services

A much new concept in the delivery and logistics industry, warehousing services soon left a profound impact on the goods manufacturing businesses. It is helping companies or manufacturers to store goods, inventory at a warehouse and supply them to customers or dealers as and when required. This is found extremely useful for companies who do not have warehouses. Besides helping businesses to speed up their delivery service to customers, they also manage stocks, help in picking, packaging and dispatch and keep tracks of stock levels.

However, with so many options of courier services available, you need to opt for the right form of services for your needs and also meet up your budget expectations.