Why IT Management is Essential for Growing SMBs
Operating and managing a growing SMB can take a lot of work. To reach success and optimize their digital infrastructure, small businesses need an IT partner that can handle even the most complicated tasks. From implementing new systems to handling security threats and data breaches, SMBs need to work with a reliable IT company that can manage all aspects of their technology needs.
Managing Your IT Operations – In-House or Outsourced?
Contracting out your IT management is an excellent way for small businesses to save money, improve productivity, and ensure their company’s continuity in the event of an unexpected outage caused by hardware failure or human error.
Outsourced IT solutions are available for those who don’t have the time, expertise, or budgets necessary to manage their systems effectively in-house. If you outsource this service, you can focus on running your business instead of worrying about maintaining all of its hardware and software systems, which often require ongoing maintenance to stay current. Outsourcing allows companies with limited resources access tools they might otherwise not be able to afford on their own. Building and maintaining an internal IT department can be expensive and time-consuming. With an expert IT management company like ConnectWise, you can rest assured that your digital infrastructure will be monitored and optimized for peak performance and efficiency.
IT Service Management is essential for business continuity. Business Continuity (BC) enables organizations to manage disruption risks due to failures or disasters effectively. BC planning aims to ensure that a business continues or restarts its operations following any unexpected event. BC plans are designed to minimize the impact of critical incidents on an organization’s viability and profitability while preserving its reputation and brand value.
IT Service Management helps you improve IT service delivery, quality, and security through a comprehensive set of objectives:
- Continual improvement of IT services
- Improved management of IT resources
- Automated service delivery processes
Productivity and Efficiency
Solving your business’ technology problems can help you improve your productivity and efficiency, which benefits employee satisfaction and retention. This can ultimately reduce the time spent on IT issues and costs. With an IT partner like ConnectWise, your business can access its state-of-the-art unified management software to access and manage your digital network quickly and efficiently. “Comprehensive endpoint remote monitoring and management (RMM), instant remote access and control, and secure and reliable backup and disaster recovery (BDR) let you deliver unmatched unified network monitoring services.” With these tools, your company can efficiently track customer data, projects, and much more. Stay on top of your network and continue to provide reliable service for your customers with ConnectWise.
Company Image and Reliability
You might wonder why having a reliable and experienced IT partner is essential. Well, it can have a positive impact on your company image, as well as save time and money. Here are some of the benefits:
- Improved business image: A strong IT strategy shows employees and customers that you care about their experience with your brand. It also helps prevent downtime or security breaches from damaging your reputation or slowing down productivity in the office.
- Improved productivity: A reliable IT strategy helps employees work more efficiently, allowing them to spend less time fixing problems and more time doing their jobs. It also reduces the amount of lost productivity due to downtime or security breaches.
- Improved security: A robust IT strategy helps protect your company from outside threats, including hackers, malware, and viruses. With a reliable and secure IT environment, employees can focus on their jobs instead of worrying about whether their information is safe.
The Right IT Partner is Essential to Growing Your Business
Growing a business means growing your IT, too. You can’t have one without the other. The right partner will help you reach your goals and ensure you get the most out of your IT investments.
IT partners can improve productivity and maximize ROI for their customers by providing expert management of their infrastructure, applications, and networks to drive increased efficiency and performance. They also offer strategic advice on aligning technology with business goals through services such as cloud computing, data center consolidation, and virtualization management. Consider your options for third-party IT providers today and start benefitting from this managed service.
Inflation impact on Retail Marketing
Every day, business magazines and news websites tell us that prices are increasing and that a recession is coming. Higher prices for everything we need affect our lives as consumers, but we also face commercial issues as providers of goods and services.
Retail shoppers have been through a lot in recent years. A breakdown throughout the supply chain, social isolation, or trouble getting products all contribute to negative customer experiences. Customers are nervous as the cost of living rises, and brands and merchants are acutely aware of this. As a result, 29% of retailers are fearful that any price change may trigger adverse consumer reactions.
Most corporate leaders understand that consumer price elasticity has limits and that difficult decisions must be taken to keep the proverbial “ship” afloat.
- How long can we continue to accept rising costs without increasing customer price levels?
- How many clients will we lose by passing on the increased costs?
- Where else can we reduce our operating expenses?
There are, of course, no easy, simplistic solutions to these concerns. But keep in mind that while this hurricane will pass, your actions to help you weather it may compromise the survival of your ship if you are not cautious.
When a firm is trying to trim operational expenses, investing in the retail customer experience is generally the first thing to go.
Actions and Consequences: Two Brands – Differing Outcomes
They say history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes. During the recession of 2008, most consumer brands did what they could to stay afloat. If you were looking to buy a sailboat at the time, computer graphics and magazine ads were the only ways to “experience” a product that sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. No dealer in the United States had a boat in stock to come on board and sail, except the dealers who signed with a European sailboat brand whose name begins with “B.” The manufacturer took out massive loans to finance boat inventory in the dealers’ showrooms when American boat manufacturers were waiting out the recession.
Consequently, practically every other boat on American bodies of water brandishes the brand “B” name on their sterns. Are these boats better made? Being a sailor with a few thousand miles of open ocean sailing experience, I can confidently state that the “B” boats are of significantly lesser design and build quality than the majority of the brands they decimated by betting on offering a better retail customer experience. No, they are not cheaper.
The second story is about an Asian automotive brand whose name begins with “H.”. They recognized what the term “brand” meant. To a consumer, the meaning of a brand is associated with trust. During the recession, other car companies cut the number of call center workers who helped and supported their customers. However, the “H” began a buy-back program. The program allowed Americans to purchase a new car that could be returned if their employment was terminated. Sales of the “H” model increased by 5% in January and February 2009, while the rest of the automotive market was losing money. This approach solidified their brand in the minds of Americans, where their name had previously been a popular subject of jokes for late-night TV clowns.
Customers are abnormally apprehensive as a result of product increased prices. But if a consumer has an excellent experience with a product before buying it, they may care less about price increases.
Customer Experience Is The Focus Of Retail Marketing Strategy
Rather than lowering the quantity or quality of your merchandise while retaining the price, consider an in-store product demo as a better retail marketing tactic. When you do this, you divert shoppers’ attention away from the amount and allow them to realize for themselves how the value outweighs the price. Use marketing events scheduling software to keep in-store demos an ever-present element of your retail experience, allowing your shoppers to focus on their new product experiences rather than the sticker shock of the things they used to buy.
According to Shopify, In Store Demo allows savvy retailers to test new brands or merchandise, boost in-store customer engagement, increase sales per square foot, and receive consumer feedback.
Before beginning in-store sampling, Shopify recommends the following steps: assess inventory levels, consider employing brand ambassadors, combine demonstrations with promotions to enhance sales, be choosy with demo products, and schedule promotional events during business peak hours.
The effect of inflation on customers cannot be underestimated. That is unavoidable; merchants must fight to maintain their financial health and viability. Price cuts and discounts have been proven to be ineffective techniques for providing the best retail customer experience.
A better way to deal with consumers’ inflationary responses is to show them how the product works in the store. Retailers can also keep an eye out for new consumer behavior by doing market research regularly.
When prices go up, it’s easy for businesses and well-known brands to make bad decisions, like selling less for the same price as before or cutting back on customer service. These decisions are made to protect their shrinking profit margins at the expense of their consumers’ experience. Yet, it is their earlier significant expenditures in their client experience that have made them what they are today. Betraying your consumers’ confidence creates opportunities for nascent firms obsessed with the cost of customer acquisition rather than the following fiscal quarter margin. In-store product demos are the most effective technique of experiential marketing strategy for stealing customers from established firms who are scared of inflation.
How to Anticipate Stock Shortage
A staggering 43% of small businesses don’t track their inventory, which explains why many of us struggle with stock issues.
Having a plan to combat stock shortage is essential for keeping your customers happy and improving your reputation in the industry. But, if you’ve never considered this aspect of your business, you could experience these problems. Maybe that’s why you’re here; you want to minimize the risk of stock shortages and need a nudge in the right direction.
Hit the nail on the head? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how to anticipate stock shortage issues.
Know the Main Causes of Stockout
Otherwise known as shortage issues, understanding the causes will tell you what to look out for.
One of the most common causes is disorganization. As a business owner, take the time to be accurate with your stock-taking so that you’re always prepared for missing items. Note, a reputable business owner should have a strong forecasting system in place, even in the face of erratic customer trends.
Another problem is poor inventory management. Regularly count stock so that items don’t run out; otherwise, it could disgruntle customers. This can be prevented by trying different types of inventory management and seeing which one works best for you.
Further, business owners should prevent poor cash flow problems. This happens if you need more products but don’t have the necessary funds. To prevent this from happening, constantly refer to your budget and build an emergency fund so you can access cash when needed.
But occasionally, stock issues are out of our hands. For instance, it could be because the supplier can’t get the right items or there has been a vehicle breakdown that has prevented goods from being delivered on time.
Understanding the Consequences
Familiarizing yourself with the major consequences will motivate you to take stock shortages seriously.
As you can imagine, the biggest cost of stockouts is a loss in revenue. Customers will simply visit your competitor’s store instead and could potentially forget your business altogether.
Further, it will cost you more to replace items in a shorter period of time. You’ll likely pay a rush fee for fast delivery, and, if you hire a team, an employee must work longer to deal with rushed shipments.
Increase Inventory Accuracy
Luckily, there are ways to prevent these issues from happening. Reducing human error is a major one because it could set you back. The best way of improving inventory accuracy is by using robust inventory management software where employees can scan items when received, which streamlines the process.
Set Reorder Points
You can prevent products from being out of stock by setting up reorder points. This nifty feature will inform you when a particular item is running low and you should contact your supplier. Before you upload a product onto the system, record the date and set automated reminders to prevent stockouts.
Pinpoint Stockout Patterns
Another tip when handling order inventory is pinpointing stockout patterns. Get in the habit of auditing and monitoring stocks to identify when stock shortages occur. If you notice that an item runs out on a particular day or at a similar time, you can adjust the schedules to keep customers happy.
Consider Customer Trends
Aside from stockout patterns, take customer trends into consideration. This includes checking out what’s trending on social media and identifying seasonal trends before they arrive. For instance, if you sell clothes and summer is approaching, make sure that the apparel reflects that.
Build Strong Relationships With Your Suppliers
Although it sounds obvious, many small business owners don’t have a strong working relationship with their suppliers. As a result, they will likely miss out on great deals and their loyalty.
A good rule of thumb is updating suppliers, especially if a product is running out. It will also give suppliers an insight into your industry so they can look out for the best prices. Make sure that you regularly communicate with your suppliers to prevent any issues later on.
In fact, business owners should have backup suppliers for peace of mind. This is essential during the holiday season when you’ll see higher sales volumes and demand increases. Aside from your regular supplier, choose a prospective who’s local so that you save on transportation and prevent logistical issues.
Liquidate Any Surplus Stock
An underrated way of preventing stockouts is by liquidating surplus products. Streamlining your inventory stops the surplus from taking up valuable space so that you can buy more popular products. Because of this, you’ll notice that many businesses will start liquidating their stock.
This means putting items on sale or bundling them with popular products to encourage a sale. Once you have the space, then replenish the necessary stock.
Update Your Customers
Sometimes you can’t escape stockout issues and it shouldn’t send you into a spiral. Instead, be honest about running out of products and informing your customers in a timely fashion. If you have a website, share how many items you have left so customers know to buy quickly.
How to Anticipate and Prevent a Stock Shortage
Hopefully, you’ll use these tips to help you prevent a stock shortage.
There are many actions to take, such as understanding why stockouts happen and pinpointing patterns so you can be proactive. Business owners should also liquidate any surplus stock and keep customers informed as it shows that you value them. Good luck!
If you’re interested in similar posts, check out the rest of our Business blogs.
Where To Shop Near Kings Cross Station
Where To Shop Near Kings Cross Station
You don’t need to make the time-consuming trip to Kings Road or Oxford Street to go shopping if you’re in the vicinity of Kings Cross Station. There are some great places to go shopping near Kings Cross that are just as good, if not better, and definitely more affordable than Chelsea’s famous retail street.
No, you won’t come across a cheap version of Harrods, but you will find pedestrianized streets where there are more boutiques than the department store has floors, markets with amazing atmospheres, and shopping precincts with a definite wow factor.
With all the new things you’re bound to buy, prepare yourself ahead of time and drop off all your luggage at a bag storage near Kings Cross Station. That way, your arms can carry shopping bags, not suitcases.
Best Places To Shop Near Kings Cross Station
You are not going to be short on choices when it comes to places to go shopping near Kings Cross Station. Put on some comfortable shoes as you’ll want to explore what each and every one of these shopping spots has to offer.
Coal Drops Yard
Walk for ten minutes along Kings Boulevard away from Kings Cross Station, and you’ll come to Stable Street, where you’ll find Coal Drops Yard. While it might not sound overly exciting, it’s the exact opposite.
Coal Drops Yards is a compact neighborhood in Kings Cross that’s crammed with independent retail outlets. Its cobbled streets and disused viaduct arches give it a unique character, and the regular monthly market just adds even more atmosphere. Find this shopping spot near Kings Cross Station, and you may not even bother looking for another one. It’s that good.
You’ll need to be strong-willed if you want to get from Kings Cross Station to the Coal Drops Yard. It may be only a ten-minute walk, but Kings Boulevard itself is lined with shops on either side. It’s easy to get distracted, and by the time you realize, you’ve spent two hours there rather than moving on.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Kings Boulevard is anything like the posh Kings Road. It’s not, and the shops are not high-end. The shops are much more affordable so expect to be browsing in:
- Sweaty Betty for sportswear
- Nike Central for more sportswear and footwear to match
- Marks and Spencers for clothes and underwear
- Boots for perfume and makeup
If you want posh near Kings Cross Station, then take a look in Fortnum and Mason in St Pancras. That’s as posh as Kings Cross gets.
St Pancras International Station
If you’re unlucky enough to pick a rainy day to go shopping near Kings Cross Station, don’t take it too personally. Rain is a frequent occurrence in the UK. If you don’t feel like trudging through the streets holding an umbrella, head over to St Pancras International Station, where you can browse quality stores and stay dry.
St Pancras International Station is now as much of a shopping mall as it is somewhere to catch a train. Apart from the aforementioned Fortnum and Mason, the flashy station concourse contains big-name stores, and you can always console yourself with a glass of champagne at Searcys. That’s one great way of brightening up a shopping expedition on a dull and miserable day.
It takes around 20 minutes to walk from Kings Cross Station to Exmouth Market in Clerkenwell, and it’s worth every step. Exmouth Market is an outdoor, pedestrianized shopping precinct that will give you a taste of shopping the old-fashioned British way.
Don’t expect market stalls; that’s not what Exmouth Market is about. This is a lively area with stores occupying the lower floors of historic buildings where, as if by magic, sidewalk cafes and street food vendors appear on sunny days.
Most of the shops here offer artisan-created goods, so if you’re looking for a unique gift or souvenir, this is the best place to go. There are also several jewelers showcasing some very unique pieces if you’re in the mood for spoiling yourself or that special someone.
Another good shopping spot to head for on a rainy day is Islington Square. Grab a cab from outside of the station, and you’ll be standing in front of this mall’s impressive facade in about eight minutes. Skip walking as it’ll take you half an hour.
While well-known brand names are sparse in this mall, you won’t miss them. The stores here offer creations made by upcoming fashion designers, beautiful handcrafted goods made by professional artisans, and homeware that would look amazing no matter what style of décor you have in your house. There are some pretty good restaurants here, so plan on spending a few hours under the roof of the trendy Islington Square mall.
Upper Street, Islington
If you decided to visit Islington Square because it was raining and then it stops, take time to have a wander along Upper Street. Upper Street runs in front of the mall and is also crammed with shops.
The shops on Upper Street are really varied, so one minute you could be browsing the window display of Toast or Reiss, and the next, a vintage store run by one of the numerous charities that have premises here. You’ll also come across well-known brands like the Body Shop, Oliver Bonas, Anthropologie, and Hobbs, so expect a varied shopping experience.
There really are so many different places you can go shopping near Kings Cross Station that choosing where to go first can turn into a proper dilemma. The ones you really shouldn’t miss, if you can help it, are Coal Drop Yards and Exmouth Market. Their individuality and great atmospheres put them a cut above the rest.
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