Systemise Your Business With The 7 Key Systems Every Service Provider Must Have

As a small business service provider, systemising your business can be a daunting task. From not quite knowing where to start, to hitting a brick wall once you get some momentum, to creating a system or a process and then realising that it is not really working for your business, or that you have outgrown it.In this article I would like to share with you my top 7 business systems that I believe are essential for service provider success. Why? Because fundamentally these systems all have something in common: they guarantee consistency with clients each and every time, and they all contribute to increasing your bottom lineSystem 1: A client intake system: This is important because you’ve done all the hard work in getting the client, now you need to deliver on your promise and that starts with an efficient, and simple intake system to get all the details you need from them in order to provide your service.System 2: A system for collecting client leads: If you’re not collecting client leads automatically you’re are letting money slip through your fingers. Set up a form on your website to automatically collect information from potential leads so you can get back to them.System 3: A system for communicating regularly with your leads so they can get to know you and trust you: Just because someone may initially give you their details doesn’t necessarily mean they will choose to do business with you. It takes at least 7 “touches” of communication with that person before they feel they know and like you enough to part with their cash.System 4: A system for managing projects in your business: If you have no set standard for the way you scope, plan and deliver projects in your business, your results will be inconsistent, unreliable and not to your expectations. A system for managing projects is key even if you think your service delivery model doesn’t revolve around project management. If you have clients, every time you do something for one of them, that’s a project, even if its small!System 5: A System for seeking client feedback immediately after you have concluded the service: Don’t wait 2 weeks, a month, or 3 months to ask the client how they found your service, ask them while it is fresh in their mind so you get honest feedback. Who knows, you may even discover some areas where they can help you to implement other systems or tweak existing systems.System 6: A system for getting client testimonials: If you know that you have provided great service, or delivered on a particular tricky project, ask the client for a testimonial. Most times they are only too happy to oblige, particularly if it means they are getting recognition for their business such as their name and website included on yours!System 7: A system for creating systems in your business: It makes it so much easier to create systems in your business is you have a “system for creating systems”. This doesn’t need to be complex and can in fact be as simple as having a procedure template ready to fill in, or a checklist that you can tick off to let you know you’ve considered all the elements of the process.The Wrap up: Systems are key in a serviced based business. In fact without systems, your clients will move on to your competition without a second glance. So, to systemise your business, start small, pick one system and focus on that, document it out step by step, and trial it a few times, make any necessary tweaks and the refine it and move onto the next one.

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Letter Writing Techniques – Good News Vs Bad News Letters

There are different strategies and techniques to be discussed when writing good-news and bad-news letters. In good-news letters a writer is conveying good news to the receiver. The first paragraph (introduction) provides the good-news topic (reason for the letter). The second paragraph (discussion) provides the details of the good-news and the third paragraph (conclusion) calls for action.

Bad-news letters use the indirect approach and opens with a neutral idea while providing facts and supporting evidence. The second paragraph presents the reason for the bad news letter. The third paragraph ends with a neutral close. Tact and politeness is required when writing a letter of bad news. A writer of a letter of bad news must pay attention to tone and structure throughout the letter to avoid future problems. Writers must prevent themselves from offending the reader.

All writing is a form of persuasion. A writer tries to persuade their reader to understand his, or her point of view. Attention to wording is essential in a bad-news business letter to prevent breaking the code of ethics. An example for a reason for a bad-news letter is:

A company I work for has been advised to downsize labor cost by any means possible. The only choice I have is to terminate all temporary positions within the company. This decision requires that I write bad news letters to each of the temporary employees, terminating them and explaining to each one the reason for termination. I must take care to use tact and politeness throughout the letter while making it clear that their job performance was excellent and had no bearing on my company decision. When writing to the employee, I should offer a severance pay and to write a letter of recommendation to help the employee with job search. Additionally, medical benefits should be extended for a short time after termination. Additionally, letting the employee know that with his, or her given qualifications and proven abilities, I am confident that he or she will find another position in the near future. End on a calm and upward happy note.

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The Art of Digital Photography With Your Cell Phone

There are a few people out that own an Apple iPhone, and as you may have guessed that results in there being a lot of pictures being taken with the camera found on the phone. While the camera on any current cell phone is far more advanced than a pocket point and shoot camera from a few years ago, it doesn’t mean you are going to get a great picture or that you should rely on it as a camera instead of having a camera as well.If you insist on taking pictures with your iPhone, or that you want to start taking pictures with it, hopefully I can help you take BETTER pictures with the not-that-great camera that resides in your phone.If you want crystal clear images with larger resolution for easier editing, you will want to use a DSLR or at least a real point and shoot digital camera instead of a phone. The allure of shooting with the iPhone and using apps to edit photos is the ability to create stylized and unique looking images of highly photographed locations and objects. If you want to experiment and get creative, this is a great way to go.When using an iPhone it would seem as though every shot has the same shutter speed etc. due to the sound made when you snap the shot. The truth is though that if you examine the metadata of the images, they have different aperture and shutter speeds as well as white balances.If you want to make as clear and sharp image possible, you will want to use an iPhone tripod mount adapter to hold your phone steady. If you are doing HDR, low light or stitched panorama shots then this is the way to go even though spontaneity may be sacrificed due to the time required to setup. When shooting outdoors in bright light, no tripod will be needed in most situations. No matter how bright or how steady the shot, it’s not going to rival a DSLR, so editing will always be required.There are all sorts of apps available for iPhone photography, ranging from simple to very advanced. You can work with layer masks, overlay images and more. One of the most important thing to look at when digging through the huge pile of apps available is to select ones that MAINTAIN THE ORIGINAL FILE SIZE. I emphasize this point because once you decrease the file size of the image you lose quality and you can never go back.Hipstamatic: A very cool app that allows you to select different types of ‘lenses’ and ‘films’. You can see the effects created immediately and change your settings as you see fit. One popular combination is the John S lens paired with the Kodot film setting. Shots from Afghanistan with this setting combination have been shot on the iPhone and printed in The New York Times.ProHDR: I’ve been trying to get good HDR photos from my $400 digital camera, and nothing has been as easy and cool as this on the iPhone. A tripod is recommended here, though not always required if you have a steady hand and plenty of light. Try using the Auto setting to combine two photos easily or Manual to choose either highlights or shadows. Using Library HDR you may combine any two images in your library.Perfect Photo: A great app to help sharpen your images is Perfect Photo. You get a large split screen view of the before-and-after sharpening so that you may see the final result before it’s done and make adjustments. Even on the small screen, the adjustments are easy to see due to the view being zoomed in for detail.Impression: Last but not least, you will want to put your name on your images if you are uploading them to the web. Yes people can crop or edit it out, but it’s worth the effort anyway. Impression allows you to control the font size, opacity and color as well as where it appears in the photo.If you break, lose or forget your camera, the iPhone could be there to save the day in a pinch. If you want to get creative, the iPhone is great for that too. Just remember, you will never get professional looking photos from an iPhone, but you can still get some pretty cool stuff you would otherwise miss because you don’t have a regular camera long for the ride.

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