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Archives for August 2017

Fun and easy ways to increase your sales

Attention small business owners! Complete Accounting-Fun and easy ways to increase your sales

Are you looking to increase your sales, but don’t want to spend a fortune doing it? We are going to show you a low-cost way to increase your sales. You may even have some fun along the way.

The main reason small business owners find it difficult to increase their sales, is that they forget about the client experience in favor of technology and other costly answers. If you want to hold onto your clients for the long-term, you need to give them a reason to keep coming back.

Would you return to a supplier that despite charging a low price, were hard to deal with and produced a poor product? Contrast this with a supplier that although charging slightly more, treated you well and had an excellent product. You would return to the second business and would refer them to family and friends. This is because the second business created an enjoyable customer experience.

Here is a list of ways you can create an exceptional customer experience.

1. Make the customer feel wanted
2. Listen more, talk less
3. Answer questions in a way they can understand
4. Offer something extra to the main sale
5. Respect their children
6. Make it easy for them to buy more

Make them feel wanted

The customer has come to you to spend their hard-earned money. So, make them feel welcome. Greet them with a smile and a hand-shake and invite them in. Once they are seated, give the customer adequate time to explain their situation. Don’t rush them. With adequate time, there is opportunity for the customer to tell you about any additional needs they, or their family/friends, have. The service also starts to shift from the transactional to an experience.

Listen more, talk less

Following on from the previous point, if you talk less, the client will tell you more. You can also create a very powerful position – silence. Why is silence important? Because people can’t handle silence. They will want to fill the silence, usually with even more useful details and information.

Answer their questions in a way they can understand

The key here is to use your skill and expertise to answer questions is a way that is both technically correct but doesn’t drown the customer in industry speak and technical jargon. There is no point showing how clever you are, if it makes the customer feel dumb and small.

Offer something extra to the main sale

At this point in the meeting, your customer knows and trusts you. Give them something extra that is relevant to the main sale. This could be a free pen, notepad, a book, a copy of an article that you have written. The free gifts will make you memorable, and your customer will be more likely to talk about your business to their family, friends and colleagues.

Respect their small people

If your customer can bring their small people (their children) along to your business, make sure you treat them with as much respect as the parents. By showing interest in the customers children, you are acknowledging an important person to them, and increasing the warmth of the experience. You may even be laying some ground work for a future long-term customer (both the parent and the child).

Like the playground at Bunnings, if you can make it convenient for the customer to bring their child to an appointment you will be making their lives easier, showing a human side to your business and removing an excuse that may be stopping the customer from enjoying the experience you have created.

Make it easy for them to buy more

If you have successfully implemented the last five points, the customer now knows, likes and trusts your business.  As a result, they are ready to buy. At this point, some businesses either loose the business or don’t receive the full value of the sale.

Some common reasons for this include;

  • Not listening for the real value of the sale
  • Over- complicating the sale with terms and conditions and small print.
  • Not offering the full solution, or missing companion sales
  • Forgetting it should be about helping to solve the customers problems not selling the big sale.

Some ways to avoid these sales destroying situations are;

  • Making notes during the meeting about the customer’s specific needs and about the result or changes, if they buy your solution.
  • Don’t put a contract in front of your customer that is written so small that they need a magnifying glass and a Latin speaking lawyer. Service guarantees should be clear and straightforward.
  • Identify how you can bundle multiple services into a package, that will give the customer a full solution.
  • If the solution requires a large response, ask permission from the customer to prepare a service agreement that will fully address their needs. You can either send this agreement to them for review or meet with them again to discuss further.
  • By preparing a detailed service agreement you will be given the opportunity to offer options. You could offer a premium package with a premium price, a middle offer with a middle price, and a lower basic option with the lowest price.  Each offer should address the customer’s needs, but the higher up the offer, the more value you will provide. Apart from providing the customer with the opportunity to buy more, you are also offering them more value, the option to spend more and the ability to say yes easier by giving choice.

A business that offers an experience, can demand a premium for its service or products.

You don’t need to worry about clients and customers looking elsewhere. Clients buy from businesses they know, like and trust, and where they have an enjoyable and interesting experience. If you don’t believe me, think about why Apple and Amazon are such mega successes.  Also see our article on how the Build a Bear business creates a engaging customer experience.

Now that I have convinced you that offering your clients and customers an experience is a great idea, what do you do next? Your first option is to use the points I have discussed and attempt to implement them by yourself. If this is your choice, thanks for reading, please tell others where to find this useful article and I wish you and your business the best of luck.

Your second option is to enter your details on our Contact us page. Complete Accounting will contact you to arrange an obligation free meeting to discuss how we can help your business build an amazing customer experience.

 

 

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Business lessons learnt from Build a Bear

Lessons all business owners can learn from Build a Bear Complete Accounting-Business lessons learnt from Build a Bear

You can learn valuable business lessons in some unusual places, take this scenario as an example.

My lovely daughter dragged our family to a toy-store called Build a Bear. She had a significant amount of birthday money and was ready to spend!

Build a Bear is your one stop shop to create a  teddy bear customised with its own clothing and accessories.

The first thing you notice upon entry to the store, is that Build a Bear is no ordinary toy-store. You find yourself immersed a fully interactive and personalised experience of creating your bear from start to finish, as though you are in Santa’s toy factory!

Facing my daughter was an abundance of product choices; how does a cashed up 6-year-old make all these choices? Meeting my daughter was a helpful team-member, who guided her through each option, step-by-step.  Not only was my daughter spoken to in a respectful manner and her responses were quickly actioned, she was actively involved in every aspect of the bear making process.

Once my daughter had finished stuffing, dressing and accessorizing, Build a Bear further enhanced the customer experience by providing a ceremony to include her new bear into our family.  Finally, my daughter received a birth certificate for her bear that was placed into a special box, prominently displaying the company’s logo.

Here are the lessons a business owner can learn from Build a Bear

  1. Create a positive impression on your customers/clients the moment they enter your premise.

  2. Help the customer buy more of what you are selling by;

    • Creating add-ons to your core product, and making it easy to bundle together

    • Displaying your offerings in a way your customer can easily see the increased value they receive by purchasing additional items

    • Price the add-ons so that you make a profit margin, but the customer feels they have received good value.

  3. Create an experience! Engagement with the customers helps them learn about your products/services, which increases the likelihood of purchasing both the core product and the addons.

  4. Capture your customer’s vital details. As cute as birth certificate process was, it is also a practical way for Build-A-Bear to obtain customer information. Now, as a result, build-a-bear now have valuable customer information so they can  gain useful insights about their customers and target advertising.

  5. Capture other potential customers. I didn’t just take my daughter to Build a Bear, I also took her two brothers. The Build a Bear experience and processes also engaged my two sons, who added an additional 45% to the original sale. Imagine what your business could do if its processes could add an additional 45% to sales this easily.

The point of this story is clear. A business owner can learn lessons from a diversity of places, people and situations.  They just need to be willing to learn the lessons, whether the lessons are coming from a Build a Bear business, or from the guy who has just finished  unclogging your drain.

If you would like to access a team of entrepreneurial, innovative, forward-thinking business growth advisors, please enter you details below.

 

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Capital gains withholding

Capital gains withholding: Impacts on foreign and Australian residents

Foreign resident capital gains withholding are applied to vendors disposing of certain taxable Australian property, under contracts entered into from 1 July 2016. A 10% non-final withholding was applied to these transactions at settlement.

capital gains withholding - complete accounting services

New rules for foreign resident capital gains withholding (FRCGW) apply to vendors disposing of certain taxable property under contracts entered into from 1 July 2017.

The changes will apply to real property disposals where :

  •  the contract price is $750,000 and above (previously $2 million)
  • the FRCGW withholding tax rate will be 12.5% (previously 10%).

The existing threshold and rate applies for any contracts entered into from 1 July 2016 and before 1 July 2017. Even if the property is not due to settle until after 1 July 2017.

Background

Australian resident vendors selling real estate property must obtain a clearance certificate from the ATO prior to settlement. This will ensure they don’t incur the 12.5% non-final withholding tax.

This existing withholding legislation assists the collection of foreign residents’ Australian tax liabilities. It imposes an obligation on purchasers to withhold 12.5% of the purchase price and pay it to us, where a vendor enters into a contract on or after 1 July 2017 and disposes of certain asset types (or receives a lease premium for the grant of a lease over Australian real property).

The foreign resident vendor must lodge a tax return at the end of the financial year; declaring their Australian assessable income, including any capital gain from the disposal of the asset. The vendor may claim a credit for any withholding amount paid to us in their tax return.

  • Australian resident vendors can avoid the 12.5% withholding by providing one of the following to the purchaser prior to settlement:
    • for Australian real property, a clearance certificate obtained from the ATO
    • for other asset types, a vendor declaration they are not a foreign resident.
  • Foreign resident vendors may apply for a variation of the withholding rate or make a declaration that a membership interest is not an indirect Australian real property interest and therefore not subject to withholding.
  • Purchasers must pay the amount withheld at settlement to the Commissioner of Taxation.

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