Customisation and How It Can Help Your Business Grow

As a business owner, you have two options – standardisation and customisation. If you want a one-size-fits-all solution, go with standardisation of your business process.

On the other hand, if you want to leave an impression on your customers, create an exceptional user experience, send a personalised message to your clients, or have a unique software developed just for you – start customising your products, services, and communications as soon as possible.

If you are constantly hearing about the importance of personalisation and customisation, but still wondering how that might help your business go sky-high, read on. You’ll find out what types of customisation can help your company grow.

Customise Your Offer

two man doing shake hands

You could say that you want everyone to be your customer, but pointing out to „everyone“ as your target audience is not such a good idea. As Brian Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb says, you should „build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like”.

So, define your audience more profoundly. Be specific. Get into details. Imagine your ideal client and create a buyer persona out of it. Is it a teenager thinking about their college education? Or a manager who needs a masterful project management tool? Or, perhaps, a senior who is thinking about settling in a retirement home?

Once you define a target group of people, go out there and talk to them. What are their needs? What kind of problems do they face? Can your product or service solve them? Yes? Great! Customise your offers accordingly.

Customise the Client Onboarding Process

Starting a new project with a client you have never worked before can be a challenging experience for both of you. What is this client like? Should you sign a non-disclosure agreement? Will they pay you on time? Will you be able to develop a long-term relationship with them?

The best way to stop playing the guessing game and start nurturing a trustworthy relationship right from the start is to have a customised onboarding pack.

You can prepare templates upfront and fill in the blanks when a new project arises. Make sure to include your work process, approximate timeline, cost estimate, payment requirements, NDA outline, project documentation, and your terms of use, all packed up and ready to be customised for every new customer you acquire.

Customise Your Business Relationships

Building a strong relationship with your customers will help you gain loyal clients in the long run. It will drive sales, bring growth, and make your business sustainable.

In order to develop such a strong partnership with your clients, you need to have a personalised approach to sales. What does that mean? It means you need to handle your customers with great care. Because “the best marketing strategy ever is CARE“, as a renowned entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk likes to say.

Every one of your customers is unique. So, treat them with respect and make them feel special. Nurture the relationship with your audience through social media profiles.

Answer every given question, share your knowledge, create giveaway contests, start a meaningful discussion, and try to personalise posts as much as you can.

Having Custom Software Designed For You

Custom Software

Let’s say you have a specific requirement for your business which is not solvable by any existing app.

Perhaps you want to create an innovative booking system, or you need a special kind of scheduling software that will create team shifts automatically, or you may want specifically tailored content management system to help you run your news portal.

Hiring software engineers and having a custom application designed and developed for you can easily solve the problem you are facing. If done right, such technology could level up your business and help it stand out among competitors.

Customise Your Brand’s Style

Your brand has its own personality. It can be bold and dramatic, calm and sensitive, fun and playful, elegant and sophisticated… Capture the uniqueness of your brand and have a tailor-made style guide written for your organisation.

Develop and nurture the unique voice and tone, and make your brand become instantly recognisable.

That said, you should start customising everything written for your website, sales pages, landing pages, portfolio, brochures, catalogues, apps, social media profiles, business cards, letterheads, greeting cards, and everything in between.

Customise Your Email Newsletters

Nowadays, having an email newsletter as part of a digital marketing strategy is almost imperative for all kinds of businesses. But, what kind of newsletter should you make?

Should it be with plain text, or should you go with a specific template? Our advice: go for a custom design and keep it consistent from volume to volume.

By using simple design tools like Canva, for instance, you can easily create a newsletter from template or use custom images, fonts, colours, and background. Either way, you can take a look at Really Good Emails to find inspiration in the curated list of best-designed newsletters from around the world.


No matter if you own a beauty salon, restaurant, travel agency, or a FinTech start-up, you get to work with people, for people. So, always try to put your users/clients/buyers in the centre of everything you do.

Listen to your customers carefully, try to empathise with them and understand their problems. Then craft your brand guidelines, personalise your communications, and tailor the offers to suit your clients’ needs.

Surviving Home Renovation When Working from Home

It is often said that moving is one of the most stressful events in somebody’s life, and I couldn’t argue with that. That is until I began the project of renovating my home. Considering I work as a marketing executive and have a home office, the balance between the ongoing project and my regular job was a very daunting task.

Before beginning my renovations, I was sure that I had everything under control. Unfortunately, throughout the course of the renovation and the impact it had on my business, finances, health, and relationships, I realised that I was wrong. I came to realise that a little more preparation beforehand would’ve definitely helped, which is why I decided to share my bits of wisdom with others, struggling the same fate.

Although every project is different, there are some common denominators you should look out for. And also bear in mind that, as someone working from home, you need to think about your business as much as you do about the house, if not more. Maintaining a balanced relationship is the only way to make sure your little project doesn’t have a long-lasting impact on everything else in your life.

Plan and be Ready to Adjust Accordingly

Notebook on the table

No home renovation project, no matter how small, should start with a plan. Detailing the course of renovations, delegating responsibilities and coming up with a budget should be your very first step.

If you don’t live alone, make sure to include everyone in the planning process in order to avoid any possible conflicts in the future and exhausting family drama over tile colours. Once everyone is on board with the plan, you can start the renovations, hoping to avoid any serious falling out.

Even if you create the most detailed, thought-out plan, chances are that some unpredictable event is going to set you off track. The worst thing you can do at that moment is to panic. If the shipment is late, a contractor cancels, a wall comes crumbling down… All of that is fixable, and you will manage it in due time. Focus on the highest priority first, and go from there.

Make a Rainy Day Fund

As we mentioned, the unexpected happens, even with the best plans. The biggest impact will surely be on the budget. Either you will need to replace something, pay for the overtime, or buy something new, that wasn’t in the original budget.

You might discover you can’t fit the fire ducts you have chosen in the desired space and need to shift things around. You might need longer wires to hook up the TV. There might be a broken tile behind the washing machine.

Although your budget might be tight, always spend less than you have, so you will have some extra space should a disaster happen. And if you defy all the odds and don’t have to dip into that cookie jar, you will have some extra money on the side to invest in renovations, or something else.

However, if you don’t leave yourself some room for sudden expenses, your renovations will surely turn into a nightmare.

Count on Interruptions while Working

Noise, workers in your private space, accidents, tools everywhere, and the inability to use most of your house are completely normal, typical, everyday occurrences when your home is being renovated. The first step is understanding that you can’t change that. So, what can you do? Adjust accordingly, and take long, deep breaths.

First thing you should do is try to work your schedule around your construction and carpenters. Schedule your conference calls early in the morning or late in the afternoon when your house is empty. Second, during the renovation period, delay everything that could get disrupted by the events in your home.

And finally, make sure that you have a backup plan. Your friends’ place, garage, or any other room that isn’t vibrating with power drills. Your clients, and ultimately your business, will thank you for it.

Embrace the Stress and Don’t Run from It

When it comes to home renovations, there is no such thing as smooth sailing. If you add the fact that you work from home in the mix, you know you are in a world of trouble. And, surprisingly, the best way to handle it is to accept it.

Don’t let the stress surprise you. You know it’s coming, so just come up with good strategies on how to handle it. Figure out something that works best for you and try not to get too disrupted.

No issue that comes up, related to renovations or your work will be made better by the stress. In fact, your decision-making skills will be severely impaired, since you won’t be able to think clearly. You might even do more damage than if you simply did nothing.

Apply that way of thinking to your colleagues, partners, and contractors, and this entire endeavour could be much easier than it was for me.

5 Small Investments That Generate Massive ROI

If you are a business owner, every resource is a valuable one. You surely have no money to waste, but the same goes for every other resource, especially time. Having that in mind, you need to spend in order to gain, and investments are a necessary part of any business. Unfortunately, not all investments pay off. So, since fortune tellers aren’t of much help, we have come up with a useful list. In order to make sure your business has a good, solid foundation, and all the means for sustainable growth, consider some of these investments, if not all.

Organise Your Business and Watch Your Productivity Sky-Rocket

The reasons why businesses fail are endless, but not having a good plan is surely at top of most lists. Having a good plan is the necessary step, but there is the other side of the coin most owners tend to forget – the delivery. Once the first day begins, employees tend to run around completely lost, and unsure of what they are supposed to do. The best way to ensure that your meticulously laid plan doesn’t fail is to invest in a good organisation tool.

Depending on the size of your business, you could use anything from an Excel spreadsheet to complex software. What is important is that it fits your needs and that your employees know how to use it. You will probably need to invest a smaller amount of money and some time into it, but once it is up and running, no innovation will wreak havoc amongst your workers. If everyone knows what they are supposed to do, you are already a huge step closer to success.

computer paper black and white flatlay

Treat Your Employees Better Than You Treat Your Clients

A customer-centric approach is a thing of the past. Even the smallest business owners nowadays know that all of your first investments should be for your employees. The royal treatment you offer your potential clients needs to be a direct result of even better treatment of employees.

One of the most famous anecdotes has CFOs asking – what happens if I invest in my people and they leave? Then, an HR representative responds – what if you don’t, and they stay? This illustrates the directions businesses are headed based on their two options. Use your resources to make sure that you are not losing good employees because you didn’t invest, or maintaining unmotivated, under-performing ones.

When it comes to what you do for your employees, start with providing them with solid education and training, good facilities and a team-building event at least once a year. Try to think outside the box, and instead of a worn-out company retreat in the woods, opt for an adventure in an exciting foreign capital, such as Prague. Find a DMC company like Prague Eventery that can help you out on the ground and put everything together for you. The appreciation your employees will feel will be rewarded.

Don’t Let Your Business Play Catch-Up with Technology

One thing that can seriously damage a company’s reputation amongst its current and potential clients is hiccups with new technology. Using outdated software often results in issues with the service, recurring bugs… Figure out where you should place your investment when it comes to technology and go from there. Don’t hesitate to spend even bigger parts of your budget in order to keep up with the latest developments. If your clients see that you are struggling to maintain the same level of service in the face of ever-changing technology growth, they will surely look for a better option.

Build a Strong Online Presence

Social media ads are one of the marketing techniques that offer the biggest ROI. You can very easily learn what the newest trends in the market are when it comes to online presence, and use them to your advantage. Don’t pop out of every possible app, but make sure that your brand is recognised, and that your image has positive associations. The world of digital media is increasing every day, and it offers way more possibilities that all of the other marketing techniques combined.

Never Stop Learning – Every Way You Can

One of the characteristics of modern companies is a culture that promotes the “always learning” attitude. The value of knowledge has increased significantly, and nowadays, you can have access to all sorts of sources easily. Use that in order to better your company and your employees. Not only is there a ton of free materials, the ones that you do have to pay for come at very reasonable prices. Sometimes, a simple Excel course can significantly decrease the amount of time your administration employees spend on a single task. Not to mention the ROI when an employee learns about the newest trends and best-case practices in the industry. Most importantly, gathered knowledge is something you need to invest in once, but can use countless times in every possible situation.

How to Get People to Dig into Their Pockets for a Good Cause

So you have a great cause that you really believe in? It may be saving the rainforest, promoting zero waste, funding education for underprivileged children… It could be anything.

It’s great that you want to gather the money for that cause but unfortunately, you may quickly find out that others don’t believe in saving the planet as much as you do.

It’s difficult to get people to dig deep into their pockets, and donate money for charitable goals. That’s why you have to make some extra effort to get people to put money where their mouth is and keep the donations flowing in.

You’ll be glad to know that you don’t have to flip your donors upside down to get some money out of their pockets. There are other, more traditional methods that will ensure you get the funds you need. Let’s see what you can do to get people to donate.

Create a Buzz Around the Event

There’s nothing more engaging than a good storyline. People just love a good story. That’s why you should make sure to create relatable content that will get people to donate for your cause.

Then you can promote it via YouTube, email and social media. One of the great campaigns about saving the rainforests, for example, motivates people to donate by showing a regular person with an ordinary life we can all relate to, and elaborating on how and how not to help the rain forests.

With a great sense of humour, that’s a necessary part of every successful commercial.


How many times have you checked your phone today? 20, 30, 100 times. In fact, you are probably looking at your phone right now and reading this post. An average person looks at their phone 80 times a day.

We stare at our phones while we eat, drink coffee, when we wake up in the morning and before we go to sleep at night. But what if I tell you that there’s a way to turn this smartphone obsession into your benefit?

It’s simple, really. All you have to do is to set up a text-to-donate campaign. Just use one of the mobile chatbots to send a bunch of text messages to numerous numbers and tell people about your charity.

Then ask them to send a message to a certain number to donate. When they do, the chatbot will automatically send them a thank you note confirming that their donation is received.

Hosting a Themed Event

Themed night event

Forget about a boring suit-and-tie galas, why not host a themed event and get your guests to show up dressed as Tarzan and Jane? Ok, that might be a little bit far-fetched, but a 60s-themed party might be just the thing to get more people interested in the goal you support.

Nothing like a hippie commune party to get people to give away their possessions for the greater good.

You can also choose to get them involved in a different way. Host a Strictly themed event and your guests will be more than just entertained. Seeing how much effort you have put in to putting the show together will make them want to be a part of it, and get them to reach for their pockets.

Direct Mail

You may think that snail mail is an ancient technique that should be left behind alongside pigeon mail and fax machines, but nothing can be further from the truth. Well, as the popular meme says, brace yourself, ’cause according to the Blackbaud Institute, the number of donations that comes through the direct mail is almost 90%.

This means that direct mail is not only alive and well, but also that the vast majority of donations come through direct mail. The easiest way to get donations via direct mail is to send a letter explaining your campaign alongside a payment slip that people can easily use to make a payment to your account.

And then sit back, relax and wait for all those donations to come in.

Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

If you want your donors to keep coming back and donating money to your organisation, you have to show your appreciation again and again. Why not send them a personalised thank you note, or give them a shout-out on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

By remembering to thank your donors, you will ensure for recurrent donations and build a loyal community of your supporters.

Getting people to dig into their pocket and contribute to a good cause might be tougher today than it used to be, but that doesn’t mean that it’s mission impossible.

With these few tips you will undoubtedly get people to care about your goal as passionately as you do, and they will gladly give away a part of their earnings to support it.

Do You Need to Have Branded Promotional Material?

Many business owners struggle with the various options of marketing and promotion offered on the market.

Fighting for your piece of the pie sometimes means hearing a lot of different information about various ways of attracting customers, and the problem is that you can very often find opposite opinions. It can happen very often that the info you receive isn’t based on research and lacks data-checking.

Precisely for this reason, we have decided to explore one of the most common marketing tactics used by companies and offer you more insight into its importance and relevance.

Branded promotional materials don’t fall into the category of the newest marketing trends. When it comes to exploring new ways of advertising, most people turn towards social media and various Snapchat filters and blue badges.

Although the dominance of the digital world can’t be ignored, there is still a lot of value in the physical, especially when it comes to items like stands used to promote your company that attract your customers and create a more personal connection.

What Is the Outcome of Sharing Branded Promotional Material?

Social media flyers on the table

Before we dive into this marketing tactic, let us see what the research says – how big of an ROI do these materials have? Well, as it turns out, a much bigger one than everybody thought.

A study done in 2012 has brought to light some significant info – as many as 87% of people keep promotional materials for more than a year and almost 80% have opted to work with the said business again.

This research also highlights that the return of investment for branded promotional materials is as high as TV or printed media. We might add that it is also far less expensive.

How Can Branded Promotional Material Help My Business?

Now that we have established the impact this marketing tactic has, let’s break down what it can actually do for your business. There are many benefits of using branded promotional materials, but we will focus on the most important ones. First of all, it helps your brand become more recognisable.

Seeing your logo and slogan on various products is one of the cheapest ways to get your message across. It is also a one-time investment that keeps bringing attention and awareness.

The best example is a T-shirt that a typical customer wears plenty of time in different settings, spreading your brand’s visibility without giving it a second thought. Another huge benefit is also the relationship you build with your customer.

Instead of asking for something from them, you begin your interaction by giving them something. They will be far more likely to buy your product or service, and you can start building the relationship and transforming a lead into a loyal customer.

What Kind of Promotional Material Should I Use?

Another research done on this topic shows that the most popular item when it comes to branded promotional materials are wearables. Like we said, this means mostly T-shirts, but also sweatshirts, scarfs, hats, etc. Other popular items include writing objects and drinkware.

Although any promotional material can help you, it is best to gift items your customers will use. Some of the typical examples are umbrellas, key chains, phone cases…

The last item that grabbed everyone’s attention was the fidget spinner, that became so popular even the Fortune 500 companies started using them to promote their businesses. Based on your industry, you should research the needs of your customers and then offer them something that adds value.

One important thing to consider – your materials shouldn’t be of poor quality. Giving someone a pen that stops writing after two days, or a shirt that loses colour easily, will not help your business at all and it can only hurt your brand.

Is This Kind of Advertisement Alternative to Online Activities?

This marketing tactic, although very useful, isn’t an alternative to other ways of reaching your customers, especially when it comes to your online presence. You should invest in up to five different ways of attracting your clientele, and incorporate branded promotional materials as one of them. Don’t neglect your presence in the online world or you can expect a significant decrease in revenue.

Every marketing strategy should be about giving your customers what they want and building a strong relationship with them. No approach is universal or has a guaranteed success rate.

You should incorporate this tactic into your established business practice and use it as a way to further improve your position on the market. Invest in promotional materials that convey the core values of your product and company, and that are of good quality.

Research the needs of your customers and offer them something they didn’t even remember to ask for. This way you will be ahead of competition and your budget will thank you for it.

How Best to Use Social Media to Promote a Local Business

Many people think that social media advertising is for big businesses only. “Why would I need a social media page, I’m just a local barber”, they say. But the truth of the matter is that in today’s digital age, every business no matter how big or small needs a good and effective social media strategy. Studies have shown that 29% of people use social media to find products to buy. That’s why it’s important to attract and engage people through social media. If you want to know how to leverage the power of social networks to attract new clients, this blog post is for you.

Identify Your Target Audience

people walking on grey concrete floor during daytime

The first step in creating a killer social media marketing campaign is determining the target audience. Before you even sign up for a social media account, you must consider who it is that you will be talking to and adjust your posts to meet their needs. Since your business is focused on the local audience, feel free to add expressions or slang that’s typical to the area you live in. Or mention local sites and landmarks that you think your audience will love. Also, identifying your target audience is essential if you are thinking about paying for social media ads. Every social media channel provides the opportunity to direct your ads to a certain audience targeted by gender, age, location, etc. This is particularly important for local businesses that can select to promote their business in the designated area.

Use Social Networks to Answer Inquiries and Complaints

Many people use social media as a perfect tool to ask questions about goods and services or to submit a complaint. In these situations, people are counting on an immediate response. That’s why every local businessman should make sure to answer all questions and complaints that arrive through social media ASAP. In many cases, your social media page is your first contact with the potential buyer. If you don’t leave a good impression online, they will likely turn to another company.

Engage Friends and Followers

Social media is all about communication and making connections with people. And this communication can go both ways. That’s why, to run a successful social media marketing campaign, you have to make sure to engage your followers to the fullest. This means keeping an eye on what they do and sharing their thoughts and opinions about your brand on your own social media page.

On Facebook, you can achieve this by organising quizzes, with free samples or discount coupons as rewards. Or by sharing other people’s experiences about your brand.

On Twitter, you can retweet other people’s tweets about your business.

Or join the LinkedIn business group and engage in discussions. Since your goal is promoting a local business, make sure that the people you engage with and groups you are joining have an impact on the local population.

Plan a Social Content Calendar in Advance

silver-colored iPhone 6 on white spiral nitebook

It’s not always easy to find content that will fit perfectly into your social media profile. Sometimes it just seems like no matter how many materials there are on the net, there’s simply nothing worth sharing with your audience. To avoid this last-minute scraping through the web, create a social content calendar and stick to it. There are many online social media calendars like Buffer and CoSchedule that you can use to organise your schedule. They let you pick which content you want to post, when and on what social network. Some of them even offer a scheduling option that will allow you to schedule your social media posts weeks and even months in advance.

Share Photos and Visuals

People are visual beings, and a good image, infographic or any other type of visuals is more likely to capture the attention of your audience than a block of text. Use the visuals to grab attention and intrigue your audience. You can use Pictochart to create awesome infographics or use Canva for visualising your quotes and important updates.

Don’t Forget About Paid Advertising

Though it’s important to improve your organic reach as much as possible, that doesn’t mean you should totally forget about paid ads. Most social media networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram offer the possibility of paying for ads to expand your reach. For just a few dollars, you can transfer your message to a much wider audience. And the best part is, you can target people in your area specifically, if you want to opt for promoting your business locally.

Hope these tips will help you make the most out of your social media marketing campaign. If you are still uncertain about the best way to use the marketing power of your social media pages, make sure to sign up for a social media training course, where they will teach you everything you need to know about how to use social media to promote your local business.

Top 5 Work and Travel Destinations

The number of digital nomads has exploded in recent years – with more people realising the benefits of leaving behind their 9-5 job and embracing their love of travel whilst earning money on the road at the same time.

And why wouldn’t it be? If you desire, you can work from a new office every day – on a beach surrounded by swaying palm trees, in the historical centre of a medieval walled city, or even on the side of a mountain (provided there’s good wi-fi – more common than you’d expect)!

Here are five best destinations in Europe to spend a few weeks as a digital nomad.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

The Portuguese capital has become one of the top destinations for expats and digital nomads alike in recent years, with an increasing number moving to this vibrant, beautiful, and hilly city each year.

Of the cities on this list, it’s the one with the best weather – the Mediterranean climate guarantees a lot of sunshine year-round. It’s a great place to work outside in an affordable café or restaurant, where the coffee is good and the wi-fi speeds are excellent. The thriving digital nomad scene means it’ll be easy to meet people you share something in common with at meetups.

Crime rates are low, English is widely spoken, and it’s one of the most affordable capital cities in Western Europe. When you want to get away from your laptop, Lisbon offers great surfing opportunities and has a varied nightlife scene too, from chic and upmarket bars to hedonistic clubs.

Lisbon is an especially popular base for travel bloggers. What also makes it so popular is the chance to pop down to the Algarve and get a bit of sun in, also while working.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

The highest-ranked city in Europe at #7 according to Nomad List’s best cities for digital nomads, Berlin is a popular destination due to its rich culture, great nightlife scene, and the progressive attitudes of its residents.

Germany’s capital is a very safe destination, and the level of spoken English is excellent, making it a really easy city to settle into.

The only downside the digital nomad life in Berlin is the cost. It’s the most expensive city on this list. Perhaps not a great destination to start off your digital nomad career, but after a few years’ of experience, it can be a rewarding and exciting place to live.

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania

There are a number of reasons to set yourself up in the Romanian capital. There’s excellent variety when it comes to restaurants, foreigners are almost always greeted with smiles and made to feel very welcome, and most importantly, the crime rates are extremely low. This will be a weight off your mind when lugging about expensive equipment like your laptop and camera.

The cost of living is low, and rent starts at just below $500 per month. You can find over 15,000 entire places to choose from on Airbnb.

The internet speeds in Bucharest are more than suitable for online work, 27Mbps according to the Nomad List. Amazingly, 9 of the world’s top 15 cities with the fastest internet are located in Romania. Bucharest is a fine choice, but if you fancy a smaller city, Cluj and Timisoara are excellent options too.

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn has been popular with digital nomads for a number of years due to a wealth of reasons. The cost of living is cheap, Estonia has the 2nd fastest public wi-fi system in the world, and there’s a large community, so it’s easy to make friends and socialise in the hours when you’re away from your laptop.

However, the most convincing reason for a digital nomad to come to Tallinn is the digital residency visa programme that the city launched in 2014, meaning that anyone can base their business and finances in Estonia, regardless of their birth country.

Putting working to one side for a moment, Tallinn is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe, and has UNESCO World Heritage site status. Its compact city centre hosts magical Christmas markets during the winter, while you can get out of the city to quaint, sandy beaches during the Summer.

Prague, Czech Republic


Prague is often compared with Budapest, and the cities are often regarded as similar due to the cost of living, intriguing architecture, and modern infrastructure.

Prague is ranked lower than some other European cities like Budapest and Belgrade on the Nomad List’s list of best cities for Digital Nomads, but due to better racial and LGBT tolerance in the Czech capital, it seems a safer place to go.

In terms of meeting other digital nomads and your social, Prague has several coworking spaces and social events, as well as an excellent nightlife scene and a number of foreign tourists visiting throughout the year. Good internet is available across the city, and there are a number of perfectly situated cafés in beautiful medieval squares.

For most of the year, the weather is good, but for a couple of months, you’ll have to tolerate temperatures just north of 0 degrees.

The Importance of Customer Service in Business

Excellent customer service is crucial for improving client satisfaction and loyalty. And the researches have shown that businesses are 14X more likely to sell a product to an existing loyal customer than a new one. Therefore, it’s fair to say that customer service can make or break a business.

But why is customer service so important?

Deals with Complaints

Deals with Complaints

First of all, customer service helps you deal with complaints. Regardless of how good your product or service you provide is, the odds are that you are going to have some negative feedback from your customers.

Collecting this negative feedback and using it to improve your product or service is of vital importance for keeping your customers satisfied.

Strengthens Brand Reputation

You know what they say about reputation – “it takes years to build it, but just moments to ruin it.”

The way you communicate with customers and reply to complaints, speaks a lot about your brand and reflects your ethics and values. In today’s age, many people rely on online reviews when deciding on a company, and receiving a negative review can destroy your carefully built brand.

To keep your brand’s reputation intact, make sure to provide the best possible customer service to your clients.

Increase Customer Retention

The better the customer service, the more likely it is that people will continue to use your goods and services. Great customer service results in maximum customer retention because it provides the notion of having someone to rely on and builds trust between you and your customers.

Okay, now that we all agree that customer service is very important for running a business, let’s take a look at a few ways to improve your customer service.

1. Know what You are Offering

two man doing shake hands

A key step in providing good customer service is knowing your products and services inside and out. Some clients may encounter a problem while using your products and services and they will need a little bit of guidance on how to solve them.

To help people in a most efficient way, and solve problems that they encounter, it’s important to have customer service that knows every aspect of the product. Having a customer service that’s more confused than the customer that reaches out won’t help at all.

2. Train a Team of People

Providing customer support can be difficult because you have to talk to a lot of people who can be confused, agitated or angry. But customer support team has to treat everyone with respect and can never let their emotions get the most of them.

That’s why you need a well-trained dedicated team of people for the job. You need a group of skilled professionals who know which questions to expect and how to best answer these questions. Also, your team has to be able to answer people’s enquiries in an eloquent and friendly manner. Be rude to a customer once, and you’ll never see or hear from them again.

3. Use the Advantages of Technology

Are you still relying on phone calls to provide customer service? Well if you are, it’s about time to try new stuff and expand your service. Though phones remain an important channel of communication, people are much more likely to reach out to you via email, social media channels or company website.

That’s why it’s important to have a social media manager on your customer service team. Social media management is not just about expanding your reach and engaging your followers. Your social media page can host your first encounter with your customers.

That’s why you have to make sure that your social media management team is equally knowledgeable about customer service as it is about marketing and promotion.

In order to answer the needs of your clients in a timely fashion, make sure to have a person in charge of email requests and complaints. This person should enable notifications and reply to inquiries as soon as they arrive.

Another way to provide customer service online is through chatbots on your site. Chatbots provide the best of both worlds. They combine the anonymity of online communication with the immediacy and the human tone of phone conversations. That’s why chatbots are a favoured form of communication for many users out there.

Let’s Sum Up!

It doesn’t matter if you have the best product or service in the world, the lack of good customer service can completely ruin your company. So make sure to provide your customers with an awesome customer service and enjoy the surge of happy, loyal clients.

The Multiphase Omnishambles of my 40th Birthday

I am not exactly what you’d call a miserable bastard. I am not far from one, though. As my significant other likes to put it – a borderline miserable bastard.

As such, I am not a big fan of birthdays, especially my own. Sure, I don’t mind having a few really good friends over for a nice meal, but anything more than that and it’s quite likely I’ll get annoyed.

A few years ago, with my 40th approaching, this birthday-averse nature of mine led to a multiphase omnishambles of a month which (much to my surprise) ended in quite a nice party, actually.

The following are not actual entries from my diary (I don’t have one), but I figured they make for a nice literary device.

Phase #1 – I’m feeling a bit blue

About a month before my 40th birthday

We get old. I get it. I’ve never had a problem with that.

I have been in a loving marriage for almost 15 years now. I have two kids who seem to be turning out to decent people (mostly thanks to my wife).

Sure, my knees and back take turns slowing me down and I have a bit of a paunch, but I’m mostly healthy.

I finally made that leap and started my own marketing agency (it’s still early days).

I know that a birthday is an arbitrary point in time. I know that there is not much difference between turning 40 and turning 39 or 41.

So, why am I feeling down?

I don’t think I’ll even celebrate my birthday. Maybe everyone will forget about it.

Phase #2 – The crisis is over

About 25 days before my 40th birthday

Crisis over. Not feeling blue any longer. Feeling a bit silly. Probably shouldn’t, but do.

I might actually invite a few really good friends over for a few drinks. We’ll have a little birthday meal, down a few bottles, talk well into the morning.

It will be nice.

Phase #3 – About those few friends…

About 24 and a half days before my 40th birthday

Talked to the missus about those few really good friends and she told me that’s not the best idea I’ve had. Today, not in general. I think I get it. It is a round birthday and I might want a bigger thing.

When I really think about it, there are quite a few people we don’t see as much and I actually miss them.

I told you I wasn’t a complete miserable bastard.

I might start looking for a place to organize the party.

Phase #4 – Behind schedule

About 20 days before my 40th birthday

I should really start looking for a place to have the party.

Phase #5 – Behind the schedule part deux

About 15 days before my 40th birthday

I should REALLY start looking for a place to have the party.

Phase #6 – A Eureka! moment. Or is it?

About 15 days before my 40th birthday, while looking for venues for the party

Hmmm… I got something here; I really think I got something here. What if I make this party a bit about my new marketing agency also? Invite a few business contacts from the past, the cool ones?

Nothing too pushy or daft, just letting them know I run my own agency now.

I’m there, they can talk to me.

I’m a nice guy, not a miserable bastard at all.


Phase #7 – Yes, a Eureka! moment

About 15 days before my 40th birthday, a few moments later

Talked to the missus. She likes the idea. It might actually be a good idea.

Phase #8 – F**k

About 15 days before my 40th birthday, another few moments later

F**k, how am I going to find a venue now!? Oh, and catering and all that. And letting people know and getting everything organized. Argh.

Wait a minute. Event planners. Yes, those wonderful, wonderful people who make parties materialize out of thin air.

What was the one we used… Ah, yes. Kevin Rowe Events and the team. Better give them a call.

Phase #9 – A spectacular sight of relief

About 15 days before my 40th birthday, twenty minutes later

They can actually do it. They can actually save this miserable bastard from himself. It’s going to be a close one with the invitations and all, but they can actually pull it off!

Phase #10 – S**t

The day of my 40th birthday, 9 a.m.

S**t! This is a bad idea. It will feel forced. Friends and business contacts in one place. Half birthday party, half this agency promotion thing. Who do I think I am?

Oh, and David. David is going to try and chat up one of the business contacts, I just know it. Is it too late to do a dry party?

Oh, my cousin Emma. She’s definitely going to try and chat up one of the business guys.

This is the worst idea ever.

Phase #11 – Well, this went well

The day after my 40th birthday, 3 a.m.

Well, this went better than I thought it would. The friends and the business folks really got on well. People might actually be nice. David wasn’t that bad. Emma… well… Emma is legally considered force majeure; you can’t really do anything about her.

But it went really well. The food was great. The band was okay.

I think I’ve even managed to set up a few promising meetings.

Wait, what’s that sound?

‘Emma! Emma! No, don’t… He’s trying to close up and go home! Ah, for f**k’s sake Emma… ‘

Home Upgrades that Will Boost the Value of Your Home

Selling your home is a complex and tiring process, but the biggest problem is that you can’t always get as much money out of your buyers as you’d like.

That’s why lots of homeowners who are planning to put their homes on the market in the near future start investing money in their property and actually trying to raise its value that way.

The point is, of course, ultimately making more money, and these home upgrades could do wonders for your home and the entire sale process. So, if you too are thinking about selling your home soon, here are a few upgrades you might want to check out.

Fix the Curb Appeal

Beautiful house entrance with trimmed grass

This is the first thing potential buyers notice when they come to your place – what’s more, if your curb appeal is anything less than perfect, they might not even get out of their car and actually walk inside your home!

Therefore, most people invest time into boosting their curb appeal and making sure it’s spotless. The best thing about this project is that it’s easier to handle than it seems. All you have to do is mown your lawn and trim your hedges regularly, as well as fix your front door and repaint your fence. This way, the buyers will fall in love with your place even before seeing all of it, and that’s always good.

Mind the Paving

Beautiful black gray and white paving

Once the potential buyers understand how amazing your curb appeal is and decide to give your home a chance, they’ll want to explore the rest of the outdoor space as well. Having a spacious backyard is instantly going to make your property appealing, and regular maintenance is going to make it even more attractive.

Don’t forget to pay attention to your paving, though, and opt for only the best choice of stones for this project – cobblestones, pebbles and gravel are all amazing options, so just find the stones that suit your garden, and you’re good to go.

Build a Deck

Deck with great view to ocean

All buyers are looking for cosiness and comfort in a new home, and nothing says cosy like a nice little deck behind the house. This space is perfect for spending your free time, hanging out with your family, entertaining your guests and even organizing barbecues and dinners.

Building a deck is therefore always a great idea, and you could probably do it on your own too, but be sure to consult an expert first, just in case. After all, this is the area where kids usually spend lots of their time, so it needs to be absolutely safe and protected against all weather conditions and other dangers.

Update the Kitchen

Update the Kitchen

Most people love being in the kitchen, and homebuyers are no different. They have a tendency of hating places that feature small, stingy and old kitchens, and simply opt to buy a home with a modern kitchen instead. So, don’t be afraid to dedicate some time to your kitchen and update it a bit.

Install some new cabinets, upgrade your appliances, add more storage space, build an island and lay some new tiles – most of these things are easy to handle on your own, so you’ll actually save some money in the process as well.

Upgrade the Bathroom


This is another space all potential buyers are going to check out, so you’d better be prepared. Updating the entire bathroom could be a bit pricey, especially if you wish to install a spacious bathtub, a new vanity and a few state-of-the-art fixtures, so plan your budget carefully and try to respect it as much as you can. At the end of the day, you don’t have to update every corner of the bathroom, but it needs to be clean and decluttered if you wish to attract more buyers.

Replace Old Windows

Replace Old Windows

Old homes are usually perceived as cold and unpleasant, and the biggest reason why that’s the case is those old windows they feature. No matter how big they are, they’re probably not as efficient as they should be, and that creates problems with regulating indoor temperatures no new owner is going to want to deal with.

So, replacing your windows might boost the value of your home more than you can imagine, particularly if you opt for those double-glazed windows that come with a number of various advantages.

In the end, most people don’t realize that you have to spend money now to make money later, and lots of them aren’t willing to do it.

But, if you don’t take these home upgrades seriously, you won’t be able to ask for more money when selling your home, and you might end up not selling it at all.

So, investigate these ideas, see which ones suit you the most, and start investing your money and time into them as soon as possible.