Seven secrets to successful e-commerce

Ultimately, making a success of e-commerce depends on the way you think about it. People who treat it as a hobby will have a (potentially profitable) hobby. Those who treat it as a real business could build a way to generate all the income they need. So what, precisely, is involved in treating your e-commerce website as a ‘real business’? 1 Think big You may see yourself as the online equivalent of a lemonade stall. But if you think of […]

Want to show a little more customer love?

Customer love? Nice idea, but let’s face it, we’re all busy. That’s why we call it a ‘business’, after all. Which sometimes means we don’t have as much time as we’d like for the little things. The trouble is, it’s the little things that make a difference. (Oh. You forgot my birthday. Again…) They certainly make a difference to your customers. And it starts from the moment you answer the phone. Or, of course, the moment you don’t… ‘Universal Sprockets, thank […]

How goes it with the resolutions?

So – you started the year with a new burst of energy. And some new resolutions. You’re going to get things done. Be efficient. Get organised. Get sorted, in fact. All good and praiseworthy goals, of course. But then real life kicks in. You know how it goes. You’ve set a whole day aside in your diary to look at the way your business works – and how you could improve it. You’re full of ideas, and full of enthusiasm. […]

Why Santa needs VAs…

Santa needs VAs? Of course he does. Have you ever tried to imagine what’s really going on up there at the North Pole? Especially these days? Let’s face it, when Dickens’ A Christmas Carol life was published way back in 1843 life was a whole lot simpler. For one thing the entire world population had only just topped 1 billion. And Rowland Hill’s brand new postal service was doing an excellent job – especially in London, of course. And these […]

Does e-commerce bring fulfilment?

On the face of it, e-commerce sounds like a great idea. You build your website (or, preferably, get an expert to build it for you). You add the necessary online gizmos and gadgets. And then you sit back and wait for the money to roll in. Except, of course, there’s just a little more to it than that… Picture the scene in the run-up to Christmas. You’re up to your rapidly receding hairline in orders. The phone is ringing off […]

CRM for the nervous

CRM? Let’s face it, when people (especially computer people) start throwing initials around, it’s natural to expect trouble. But in this case the news is good – as you may have seen in a previous blog. So to recap: CRM stands for Customer Relations Management. A CRM program can save time and effort (by keeping all your data in one place, so you only need to enter it once, rather than multiple times in different programs) The program can connect […]

Don’t lose a fortune on the follow-up

‘The fortune’s in the follow-up.’ A hoary old business adage – which happens to be true. So – how well do you follow-up your leads? How easily can you keep track of them? And how often (come on now, be honest) do you miss out because you forgot that last, vital call? Or – just as likely – because something came up that you couldn’t get out of? OK – how would it be if you simply couldn’t forget to […]

Don’t you just LOVE data entry?

‘Love’ data entry? Really? Well, it seems that rather a lot of us do. We must. After all, we keep doing it. Just stop for a minute and consider… Do you keep all the information about your clients in just one place? If you do, you’re one of a fairly select band. (So well done!) If you don’t, you’re more like the rest of us. Because most people have emails in one filing system. Contact details in another. And account details […]

‘Just’ a telephone answering service?

So what would you expect from a ‘telephone answering service’? Well, someone to answer your phone calls, obviously. Which is, of course, an improvement on even the friendliest voicemail message. And – yes – you’d expect that person to be helpful. To give intelligent, informed responses. And to be proactive on your behalf – arranging meetings and updating your diary, for instance. But – let’s be honest – you’d really like them to do much more than that. Wouldn’t you? […]

We don’t like making excuses – so you need to trust us…

Seriously. We don’t. But if a client doesn’t trust us, we don’t have much choice. ‘I’m very sorry, madam. Of course we’ll tell him you called. But I’m afraid I don’t know if the scintillator valve on your SP193 has a bifurcating dongle…’ So it’s great when clients trust us – and give us full access to their systems. Recently we covered for the owner of an executive courier company who was going on holiday. He gave us the details […]

Help your Virtual Assistant to help you…

You’ve taken the plunge. You’ve decided to hand over work you don’t want to do to someone else. In fact, you’ve decided to outsource. To a Virtual Assistant. Your business coach (if you have one) will applaud you. Your family (if you have one) will thank you. But now you’ll be facing several important questions. So you might want to have a few answers. And we’d like to help. (After all, that’s what we’re here for!) You’re the expert… If you run […]

Hire a Virtual Assistant and Reorganise Your Workload

Developing your business is something that all directors and team members should spend time doing. Growing custom, creating contracts and delivering an excellent service or product is key. Thinking about the future is also something that people spend a lot of time doing, but really only you know what needs to be done to make your business successful and what you need to be getting on with to make this happen. So where does all your time go? If you […]

Invoicing Systems save time and money!

In the modern world of business, electronic invoicing has become a common tool. It makes for seamless transactions and the benefits towards a positive cash flow are fundamental to small businesses. Are you yet to utilise this and are you aware of the advantages of doing so? Convenience and time Most importantly for some, invoicing systems can save you and your business time. This will give you the freedom to do what you do best. Remembering each client’s outstanding balances […]

Why do you need a Virtual Assistant

Are you overwhelmed running your business? Are there not enough hours in the day? The more your business grows, the more administrative tasks you have; the more time you spend on administrative tasks, the less time you have to generate new business. How much is your time really worth? Is it worth £50 an hour or £100 an hour? YOUR time is most valuable because it is your responsibility to generate new revenue for your business. Doing small and often […]

CRM – What does it mean and how can it help me?

You’ve probably heard the term “CRM” if you are a business owner or sales manager. But what does it really mean? C-R-M stands for Customer Relationship Management. At its simplest, a CRM system allows businesses to manage business relationships and the data and information associated with them. With CRM, you can store customer and prospect contact information, accounts, leads and sales opportunities in one central location, ideally in the cloud so the information is accessible by many, in real time. […]

Getting to know Rachael Tate

Welcome to Rachael Tate – the latest addition to the Purple Haze team. We thought it would be nice to spend some time getting to know her, so you’ll be on familiar territory when you speak to her. So, Rachael – tell us a bit about yourself. I was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, not long after my birth the hospital was demolished. Read into that what you will! I moved to Grantham when I was 2…where I did my growing […]

Zen and the art of customer service – Purple Haze

Customer Service Excellence Keys Research shows that for customers the following 5 parts of service are key: Delivery – Doing what you say Timeliness – Doing it when you say you’re going to Information – Holding and using customer information that is correct and relevant Professionalism – Deal with customers in a courteous and polite manner Staff attitude – Having a Positive and determined attitude to care for all customers every day All of which ‘sounds’ fairly straight forward – […]

Image is Everything

Your company image is one of the most critical elements to get right. Failure to implement a consistent, professional brand across all of your materials could result in people not taking you seriously. Of course image starts with your logo, but that’s only the beginning; The typeface (or font) you use will say a lot about your business approach and philosophy The style of photography you use (or illustrations) and in what context all help to set the scene And […]

Is there still a place for the skill of minute taking?

With recorders now allowed in court rooms and every Tom, Dick and Harry having a smart phone with a voice recorder, is there still a place for the skill of minute-taking? The average person speaks at three words a second – imagine being able to take down 100 words a minute and get absolutely everything that is said in a meeting with a client, either face to face or on the phone, then having it readily available whenever needed, without […]

Parcel delivery service

One of the most frustrating things we experience, according to a recent survey, is having to wait in for a parcel to be delivered. It’s made worse when the courier company give you no indication of whether the delivery will be made at 9am or 6pm – it’s practically impossible to plan anything that involves setting foot outside your door until that parcel has arrived. It even affects whether or not you can go for a lie down in the […]