The Life of Warren Buffett: One of the World’s Most Successful Investors

Berkshire Hathaway.

          Perhaps, you’ve heard that name—it often makes appearances in newspapers on the financial section at page 4, or more possibly, a dedicated article by TIME or Forbes in one of its monthly releases. But most importantly, Berkshire Hathaway is the 5th largest public company in the world, with almost $500 billion in market capitalization. Its financial services earn more than any other banking firm on the planet, making it one of the most powerful corporations to have ever existed, employing—and affecting the lives of—more than 360,000 employees across the globe. Truly, Berkshire’s success is tantamount, all credit is due to its Chairman and CEO, the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett.

Who is Warren Buffett?




          Born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1930, Buffett demonstrated exceptional instincts of a businessman at a young age. After studying business and graduating at the University of Nebraska, he started taking entrepreneurship seriously by forming the Buffett Partnership Ltd. in 1956.

          Warren is the only son of a congressman and stockbroker Howard Buffett. His mother, Leila Stahl Buffett, was a homemaker. By the age of 13, Buffett was running his own business as a paperboy, filing his first tax return that same year. He attended Woodrow Wilson High School in D.C., where he continued growing his little business empire by purchasing a used pinball machine for $25. Buffett and his friend installed it in a barbershop, and within a few months, the profits enabled them to buy other machines. His co-owned gaming business grew to three different locations before it got sold for $1,200.

Establishing Berkshire Hathaway

After setting up his first firm Buffet Partnership in Omaha, he began purchasing and identifying undervalued companies that he thought was an investment. Once such enterprise is the now almighty Berkshire Hathaway, which was once a textile company. Through Berkshire, Warren Buffet began accumulating stock in the early 1960s, and by 1965 he had assumed control of the soon-to-be mega-enterprise.

          What happened to Buffett Partnership? Warren decided to dissolve the firm in 1969 to focus on the development of Berkshire Hathaway. The company’s manufacturing division was phased out and instead shifted to what Buffett is good at: investments. It expanded by buying assets in media (The Washington Post), insurance (GEICO), and oil production (Exxon). Later in 1987, Buffett steered Berkshire’s then-burgeoning success into saving seemingly failing companies—metaphorically turning rocks into gold. Most notable is his purchase of the controversial investment bank Salomon Brothers.

          Eventually, under Buffett’s leadership, Berkshire had numerous deals with other mega companies, including a 7% stake in The Coca-Cola Company worth $1.1 billion in 1988. Warren became director of the company from 1989 until 2006. His flirtations with financial firms made him into one of the directors of Citigroup Global Markets Holdings, Graham Holdings, and The Gillette Company.

          Today, Berkshire Hathaway completely owns staple brands like underwear maker Fruit of the Loom and ice creamery Dairy Queen. As a minority stockholder, the Buffett led holding company owns a part of Apple, Inc. and American Express.

Becoming the World’s Most Successful Investor

          As of 2018, Buffett is the third wealthiest man on the planet. He has an estimated net worth of $84 billion.

          I know people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them,” said Buffett. If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster.”

          Warren Buffett is no doubt the world’s most successful investor, but he’s also a business icon who can deliver the gift of wisdom and truth when we need it most. As a self-made billionaire, Buffett can attest to the fact that the amount you are loved for – not your wealth or accomplishments – is the one, true measure of success in life.

5 Proven Ways that Will Boost Your Social Media Engagement Without Spending Money

Here’s an observable truth: hundreds of businesses stagnate because of failure to acknowledge an inevitable fact— that the Internet has become the world’s most powerful mechanism. And within this mechanism is a platform of boundless influence, one that reaches even the remotest sector of society. Social media has overcome traditional media as the main stage of information; equipping itself with bleeding-edge tech and bypassing conventional channels of communication through creative yet radical means—memes, vines, vlogs, to name a few. It is here to stay, for better or for worse, and businesses must adapt or else they might be jeopardizing their own market growth.

                Interestingly, expanding your social media presence isn’t as costly as setting up a new store—and definitely not as demanding. A solid social media strategy can drive growth for your business by fostering lasting and loyal relationships with customers and prospects—a much better compromise than putting up branches or pouring out thousands of dollars on traditional marketing. That leads to another interesting proposition: how can you boost your online presence in social media without spending money, or at least, not too much? We list down five proven ways.

  1. Choose the network that caters to your needs
  2. Since the world witnessed the cultural explosion brought by social media and its catalyst, Facebook, back in the early 2010s, it has brought unprecedented change to the landscape of commerce and marketing. More and more people flock to social media for their information needs than reading the newspaper or watching CNN. And because this technological phenomenon generated so much traffic online, businesses naturally flocked to social media as well, bringing their products and services online which in turn, produced additional revenue through e-commerce. Facebook was and still is at the center of it all, garnering over 2 billion memberships in just a span of a decade. The many milestones of Facebook in transforming the commercial landscape made it a universal top-of-mind choice for every marketer. Other social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram, target a more specific market, although synchronization of these platforms is always possible.

  3. Religiously respond to your customers
  4. Boosting your social media presence doesn’t just mean getting into the right platform and setting up an account. Let your audience see a softer side. This means interacting on social media accounts on a regular basis. Respond to posts or comments from your followers and interact when they show interest. Show them who you are, whether as a business entity or as a person and surely your audience will feel more connected to you. Eventually, they will follow your activities and start promoting you—a momentum much need for growth.

  5. Know what they need
  6. Getting more intimate with your audience is key to successful online marketing. Understanding what they need will help you be able to determine the products or services you will offer them. Once you’ve become fully aware of your audience’s needs, countless opportunities await for your business as they will definitely take interest on what you have in store for them, and what your business is all about.

  7. Pay attention to what’s in
  8. One of the best ways to reach a bigger audience and create a larger social media presence is to milk every popular trend. You can get ahead of these trends just by taking a look at what’s going on around the world—sporting events, blockbuster hits, or viral videos. For instance, staying active on Twitter can give you an overview of what is trending in the online world. Hashtagged events are also becoming a thing, like #NationalCoffeeDay, #NationalBestfriendsDay, #NationalWhoCaresDay—you get it. This simple technique will get your profile in front of a ton of users who never knew your business before and could even help your posts go viral.

  9. Use dazzling visuals
  10. Mediocrity has stagnated some business pages across Facebook and Twitter. They use re-uploaded photos of their products, posted with an old blurb without anything to drool for. You need to up your graphics games and have your page stand out. Try to avoid using too many boring stock photos. Instead, focus on sharing images that will resonate your vision. Share high-quality, well-polished, and if necessary, out-of-the-box graphics with exemplary short phrases that will connect with your followers. Sometimes, sharing your customers’ photos of them interacting with your product or service—with their permission—will also create proof of your loyalty to your fanbase.

                If you want to create a social media presence, your social media accounts must imitate real-life communities wherein people gather with a unifying purpose. This means positive interaction and appreciation. Engaging with your followers will not only increase your online presence; you will develop real relationships with customers as well. In an ever-changing world of business and commerce, adaptability is ultimately the main ingredient for a well-brewed formula of success—hot-served and well-stirred.

Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs

Looking for a decent job that pays well used to be a painful, terrible process. Back on the days when the Internet was just a concept, job hunting can take weeks or months, costing you a lot of resources.

Fast-forward to 2019 and you can now filter job postings according to your preferences and skills. It’s a masterstroke of IT developers to create useful search functions and filters for such complex directories like job listings. Most importantly, information technology helped job hunters to know what vacancies pay a good sum of money. Glassdoor, one of the world’s biggest job listing sites, is the best place to start.

Last year, Glassdoor published a list of the highest-paying jobs in the United States.

The survey pointed out several factors such as annual base salary, number of jobs opening available, and active job listings. Data for the research were submitted by employees from across the continental United States.

The top 10 highest paying jobs according to Glassdoor are listed below:

  1. Physician
    Doctors of medicine got the top spot—comprising of physicians and surgeons. And hey, they should get paid nicely. They will definitely save your life one day.Median base salary: $195,000+
    Job openings: 3,000+Companies hiring:
    Zumedic, Caresouth Carolina, InnovAge, Team Health,
    GoHealth Urgent Care & more
  2. Pharmacy Manager
    Thanks to our pharmacy managers, medicines in our local pharmacy store are well-kept and stored.Median base salary: $146,000+
    Job openings: 2000+Companies hiring:
    Albertsons, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Johns Hopkins
    Home Care Group, Soliant Health, Costco & more
  3. Pharmacist
    Our friendly pharmacists supervise medicine supply chains and ensure that we can get the right medicine for our condition.
    Median base salary: $127,000+
    Job openings: 2,500+Companies hiring:
    Chewy, Inova, Woman’s Hospital, divvyDose, Safeway,
    Health Mart Pharmacy & more
  4. Enterprise Architect
    Someone who’s responsible for the stability of a company’s business strategy, an enterprise architect gets paid well for implementing tech systems to achieve the company’s goals.Median base salary: $115,900+
    Job openings: 1,000+Companies hiring:
    The Nerdery, Allianz Global Investors, NorthBay Healthcare,
    Fiserv, ProHealth Care & more
  5. Corporate CounselCorporate lawyers work in law firms, where they counsel clients and handle business transactions.Median base salary: $115,500+
    Job openings: < 700Companies hiring: AppFolio, Dynamic Signal, Experian, Sleep Number
    Corporation, MailChimp & more
  6. Software Development Manager
    The great SD (software development) manager leads a team of professional software developers working in industries that require IT support.Median base salary: $108,800+
    Job openings: 1,000+Companies hiring: Conduent, CSG, MoneyGram, Wi-Tronix, American
    Management Association & more
  7. Physician Assistant
    Every doctor needs a right hand, and that’s the role of physician assistants. They are medical professionals who operate under a doctor’s supervision.Median base salary: $108,700+
    Job openings: 8,600+Companies hiring: Urgentmed, Lifespan, SCL Health, Intercept Youth Services,
    Magruder Hospital & more
  8. Software Engineering Manager
    Responsible for assembling a team of software engineers that can work quickly and successfully on software products.Median base salary: $107,400+
    Job openings: 1,100+Companies hiring: Juniper Networks, Nexon M, Medidata Solutions, Rubicon
    Project, FINRA & more
  9. Nurse Practitioner
    An advanced registered nurse, a nurse practitioner is trained to assess your needs as a patient, order and interpret diagnostic and laboratory tests, make initial diagnosis and prescribe medications.Median base salary: $106,900+
    Job openings: 14,900+Companies hiring: Team Health, Dominion Youth Services, Petaluma Health
    Center, Marathon Health, Assurance Health System & more
  10. Software Architect
    Much like a software developer but is more concerned with high-level software design and dictates technical standards, including coding, tools, and platforms.Median base salary: $105,300+
    Job openings: 1,100+Companies hiring: Dynatrace, Payfactors, Leidos, General Dynamics
    Information Technology, NextCapital & more

Interestingly, roles in the medical field and IT industries continue to deliver impressive, eye-popping salaries. These are very valuable positions, as top Glassdoor analyst Amanda Stansell described the demand, “That fact that employers are paying top dollar for many tech and health care jobs reinforces how demand for these valuable skill sets continues to outpace the supply of talent with these expertise.”

So if you have the expertise and the experience that these jobs require, say thanks to the developers who made it easy for us to enumerate this list.

 

Always Open Commerce is an IT solutions company that provides web services for sites like Glassdoor.

Why 2019 Should Be the Year of Success

Congratulations, you survived 2018. Pat yourself on the back, it’s no small feat.

Aside from being the fourth hottest year on record, 2018 saw numerous declines, particularly countries which were already struggling for the past couple of years. Worldwide pollution and traffic indices have worsened, according to statistics by Numbeo. Cyclones have become nastier; inflation rates skyrocketed in some economies, and headwinds of political and religious instability barraged the world in 2018. Is there any reason left to stay positive in 2019? Yes, a lot! Never mind those New Year resolutions; we list some of the good things to expect this 2019 and why it should be your year of success. Let’s go!

2019 is going to be the year of crazy techs

Self-driving cars? Foldable phones? Augmented or virtual reality? They’re great, but not revolutionary. What will define 2019 in the field of tech is 3D printing. Expect this awesome tech to come into the mainstream on later quarters of the year. And hey, we’re talking about 3D bioprinting—for your new arms or whatever parts you’re missing; advanced 3D metal printing which will *gasps* cancel out traditional manufacturing in the long run, benefitting not just our rivers and streams but our lungs as well; and an even more accessible 3D printing at home. A new industry is about to be born.

What can this mean for you? As the famed lyricist and poet Paulo Coelho said, everything around you “conspires” to help you achieve success. You might open up your own business anytime this year, with all this tech popping out from nowhere—there’s a gazillion of ideas waiting to be picked up. Daring the odds are not without its risks, but success never comes to those who just wait for the apple to fall. Take advantage of the new techs and industries rising up, and let time do the unfolding.

2019 is going to be the year without a recession—most likely

2018 was the year the world felt for the last time the crippling effects of ’08 global financial crisis (GFC). This year will be a fresh start for most economies affected by the ’08 recession. Steve Rick, chief economist for insurance and investment firm CUNA Mutual Group, retains a bullish forecast for the world economy in 2019. “Global economy will grow at around 2.3 percent. It may not seem much, but that is still above the long-run average,” he said. “So 2019 will be a very good year.”

The ongoing U.S.-China trade war could have some effect on capital spending by companies in 2019, but that wouldn’t hurt the economy overall. There is a growing purchasing power in the middle-class sector, consumer confidence is high, and consumer spending will finally gain momentum throughout the year. “Right now there is so much momentum behind the economy that there is very little chance of a recession coming before 2020—barring a ‘black swan’ event that can’t be predicted or forecasted,” Rick assured.

Yay, that’s really great news! It could mean better circumstances for your career shift or higher yields for your business expansion. There is technically nothing to worry about the economy; no signs of an imminent recession are being observed. Risks of falling into debt due to higher interest rates are at their lowest since the peak of the global financial crisis in 2008. The US stock market remains robust, jobs are growing, and real estate markets are finally picking up the pieces of what’s left of the 2008 housing market meltdown. To be precise, 2019 will be a return to normal.

And that is one big reason to believe that 2019 will be your year of success. As a bonus, we’ll give you five practical tips on how you can take advantage of these positive forecasts.

  • Get up early – most successful people follow a strict schedule. Getting up early gives you time to get ahead.
  • Get in touch with someone you have not spoken to in a while – being too consumed in our daily lives is never healthy. Be it a friend or potential business partner, giving someone a call may reduce tension, research shows.
  • Read news daily – our brain is thrilled every time we learn new information. And no better way to stay mentally sharp than to read at least 3-4 articles of new every day, preferably early.
  • Write a note – keeping a personal journal update would be nice, but just writing something down can relieve piled-up stress. You might be surprised how it makes you think differently about what you’re writing.
  • Stay connected with your inner child – go out and do some arcade games, or run with your dog while crunching autumn leaves under your feet. Chances are, you still find this remarkably satisfying.

 

Photo credits:
www.eyeopener.accutome.com
www.finance.yahoo.com

5 Motivational Quotes from Successful People Who Failed Before

When life gives you lemons, it can pretty much suck out all of your energy. But taking some time to read motivational messages from friends—or even successful people—whom by themselves didn’t have a smooth ride either, make the weariness a little bit more easy to bear. Here are some driving words from people who didn’t give up on life.

  1. Stephen Hawking
    “Black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up—there’s a way out.”

    Known for his superior intellect and great scientific endeavors, Hawking also had a way with words. For him, his ALS was never a true black hole—albeit it was his personal one. He thought of his condition as an opportunity to motivate people that no matter how hard a situation can be, there’s always a way out.

  2. J.K. Rowling
    “It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.”

    The Harry Potter creator knows about failure just as much as her famous boy wizard do. Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone in the US and India) was rejected by publishers 12 times until Bloomsbury and Scholastic Corporation green-lit the manuscript and published the first of seven books in 1997 and 1998. Rowling’s real-life Potter-esque ups-and-downs will teach us to live life without fear of failure.

  3. Walt Disney
    “First, think. Second, dream. Third, believe. And finally, dare.”

    All it took was a single leap of faith for American cartoonist Walt Disney to change the world of entertainment. His empire grew from Mickey Mouse to integrated resorts, movie studios, and altogether a powerful media conglomerate. He dreamed about how his pet mouse can make animation be known not just in America but in the whole world—and that he did.

  4. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do…keep moving forward.”

    American civil rights’ most important figure Martin Luther King defied the odds and persevered to solidify equality between races in the United States. He never stopped fighting for his cause, even at the cost of his own life when he was assassinated in Tennessee in 1968. Even at the face of many adversities, he strived to move forward—believing that one day, the world will remember him with a grateful heart.

  5. Paulo Coelho
    “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.”

    Enlightened by his many ‘ pilgrimages’ around the world, Coelho’s rebellious personality was suddenly overturned when he wrote his first book in Spain about a boy whose dreams are prophetic. Readers of Coelho’s books are often inspired, awakened, or rejuvenated after reading his works. He believes that everything around us is in synergy with our desires, as long as it is proper and selfless.

These people went through difficult times but outmaneuvered the obstacles. As long as you stay positive, having a healthy mindset, and equipped with the right motivation, you can make lemonades from the lemons life throws at you. Add sugar to taste, if you will.

5 Reasons Your Website Isn’t Ranking

“Why is my website not ranking at the top yet?” Like you, many business owners ask themselves this question at one point.  To discover the reason why this happens, read on:

Newly-Created Websites Doesn’t Rank Overnight

You might think that your site will rank the minute you’ve created it but, this is never the case. Search engine optimization (SEO) is not an overnight process. For one, it takes time for Google to crawl your site. The design, social activity, and trends could impact the results, too. If you want to see your website on the first page of a search engine, you need to wait and be patient.

Your Website Design is Not Search Engine-Friendly

Your website looks nice. Many shoppers applaud you for its look; however, Google doesn’t appreciate its design the way you and your consumers do. Here are the reasons why:

– Insufficient content

– Confusing navigation

– Incomplete basics

– Stale pages

Outstanding web design doesn’t mean flashy pictures or well-made call-to-action images. An exceptional layout covers everything from its balance to the page’s intuitiveness. Incorporating these elements in your site can increase your ranking. Thus, enhance your page’s look as well as its efficiency.

Your Competitor’s Site Outranks You

SEO is not a secret technique. Almost all businesses in the world use this strategy. So, if you are using an SEO strategy, your competitors are probably doing the same – with even better methods.

If you want to land high on search engine results, you need to track the activities of your competition. You need to determine why other sites are more visible than yours. Is it because of their design? Maybe their content? Track your competitors’ sites, learn from them and improve yours.

Your Site is Not Responding

People want instant results. In a world run by the internet, we want a fast connection and responsive website. Google want that as well. If your site is not loading acceptably, Google won’t boost your page’s ranking.

Remove or change unused posted images on your site as they can add to your loading time. If it doesn’t work, hire an I.T. specialist to fix the lurking issues behind your unresponsive site.

Your Site is Not Unique

Have you ever browsed a website and thought you’d seen it before? But on a closer look, you’ve realized the site is new to you? It wouldn’t be the first time.

Generic images and web designs make a site look like every other’s site. To ensure you stand out and boost your ranking, be unique. Hire a team who can design, promote and maintain your website.

In today’s competitive marketplace, offering the best products or services is not enough. To earn a higher profit and boost customer base, you should focus on digital marketing and online visibility as well.

Having a visible online presence will help you expand your market and boost your sales.  So, consider these reasons and find ways to land a higher spot in search engines, as well as gain the trust of your target market.

5 Effective and Useful Tools for Successful Content Writing

Are you set to level up your love for writing but confused on how and where to start in publishing your articles online? Worry no more, in this article are helpful tools you can use to get started on the right foot.

Whether you’re a newbie blogger or an already seasoned writer, your work output still and should always be relevant, valuable, and grammatically correct. Poor content construction, spelling errors, and broken grammar can make your content less appealing and credible to your readers.

For successful content writing, here are effective and useful tools you can use to help you out:

Buzzsumo

One major concern of writers is to always have a new topic to write about. With millions of content being posted online daily, it’s quite difficult to find a topic and create content that will stand out.

Buzzsumo, an online platform where you can determine which content performs well online. This content marketing tool features content research, competitive research, and influencer mining (for paid version) features. With this tool, you can search for what’s hot and what’s not in your niche.

Personally, I use Buzzsumo to search for the trending articles in my niche. From there, I can find helpful resources, ideas, and see article topics no one has written about that I can make use of.

Coschedule

Next to having an interesting topic to write about, you need to create a compelling title to go with it. Sans a good title, your article won’t be enticing for people to read; your effort will go to waste.

Coschedule boasts of different tools you can use for all your marketing needs – blog management, marketing projects, and social media and content marketing. Regarding title creation, Coschedule’s headline analyzer is a great help. It’s designed to help writers and marketers write headlines (for blog posts, email subject lines, and social messages) that drive traffic, shares, and search results.

This free tool will analyze your headline’s word balance, length analysis, keywords, and previews.

Grammarly

No matter how interesting your content is, if it’s filled with grammar and spelling errors, your readers won’t read them anymore. Any article with complex writing errors can put your credibility at risk.

Grammarly, the world’s leading automated proofreader, helps its users find and correct spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and grammar errors in articles and content. More than that, this amazing tool also features vocabulary enhancement suggestions, and a plagiarism checker.

With Grammarly’s help, mistake-free writing will just be an arm reach. But, it will also help if you review your content a few more times before publishing it. Reading it aloud will help as well.

Pexels

Text-heavy articles can be a pain to read, especially to readers with a short attention span. So to make your content and articles more reader-friendly, insert relevant and high-quality images.

Pexels provides bloggers and designers high-quality stock photos that can be used everywhere without a cost – all of which are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. With Pexels’s easy-to-navigate discover pages, you can search photos by tag, search, and by color.

I personally use Pexels to search for and download images I can use for creating article inserts, hero images, social media posts, and other marketing materials that require high-quality photos.

Canva

Today, content isn’t only found in articles; it can also be in the form of flyers, social media graphics, ebooks, and the like. Successful content writing is a combination of great content and graphics.

Canva’s tools include a free online photo editor, color palette generator, font combinations, and thousands of professional and beautiful layouts. Anyone, even those who aren’t highly-skilled design, can create stunning graphics, layouts, and presentations with its drag-and-drop feature.

With Canva, you can create professional graphics without the hassle and complexities of other design tools and platforms. More than that, you can enjoy these features even with a free account.

With these basic content writing tools, you’re all set to take that big leap of conquering online publishing. With the help of these tools, you can be successful in content writing in no time.

How to Retain Customers According to Business Experts

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. Without them, businesses wouldn’t exist.

Businesses and customers coexist. The other won’t exist without the other one. Customers play a vital part in any business’s growth, success, and survival. That’s why it is essential for business owners to retain and establish a healthy and long-lasting relationship with their customers. But, retaining customers seem to be the greatest challenge for business owners – whether on a physical store or online.

According to the latest customer support statistics, here’s how the customer landscape is today:

  • One happy customer can produce nine referrals.
  • One unhappy customer can make 26 other angry customers.
  • One angry customer can make 16 anti-referrals.
  • Just a 5% increase in retention can generate up to 95% increase in profits.
  • 86% of customers are willing to pay more for better customer experience.
  • 82% of customers leave because of a bad customer service experience.
  • Empathetic support results in customers who are 9x more likely to be engaged.
  • Failing to respond promptly to customer complaints and inquiries can lead to a 15% increase in churn or attrition.
  • Engaging and responding on social media can make customers spend 40% more.
  • The #1 most important factor in a customer’s loyalty is reducing customer effort.

To make your customer service strategy even better, here are expert tips–from business experts themselves–on how to improve your business’s customer service to retain your customers:

Allocate enough budget and resources for customer service.

“Let’s take most of the money we would’ve spent on paid advertising and paid marketing and instead of spending it on that, invest it in the customer experience/customer service, and then let our customers do the marketing for us through word of mouth.” – Tony Heigh, Zappos

Determine the need of your target customers.

“Get closer to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” – Steve Jobs, Apple

Prioritize your customers over everyone else.

“Put the customers first, the employees second, and the shareholders third. If the customer is happy, the business is happy, and the shareholders are happy.” – Jack Ma, Alibaba

See things from your customer’s perspective.

“I’m not a tech guy. I’m looking at the technology with the eyes of my customers.” – Jack Ma, Alibaba

Customer service must be practiced by everyone in the company.

“Customer service should not be a department; it should be the entire company.” – Tony Hsieh, Zappos

Make customer experience a little bit better each day.

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little better.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon

Always treat your customers with high esteem.

“It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.” – Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company

Personalize customer service and experience.

“Going above and beyond involves making customers feel special and helping them out even when it may not make sense.” – Neil Patel, KISSmetrics

Treat your customer the same way you would treat a boss.

“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” – Sam Walton, Wal-Mart

Meet and exceed your customers’ expectations.

“The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them – preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.” – Richard Branson, Virgin Group

Consider the above tips in planning your next customer service strategy. Do what it takes to retain your customers to keep your business up and running. Don’t drop the ball!

Magento: Through the Years of E-Commerce Innovation

It has been a good run for Magento 1 since its launch in March 2008, but all journeys must come to an end. The leading e-commerce platform will reach its end-of-life in June 2020, after over a decade of commitment to merchants worldwide. The Magento 1 platform will finally give way to its successor—the Magento 2.0—offering a new array of possibilities and unlocking the gateway towards a more efficient e-commerce experience. Let’s take a quick look at Magento 1’s humble beginnings and celebrate its journey to success.

Magento’s beginnings

Magento’s history stems from one man’s desire for innovation. Roy Rubin, a man of technology and one of the harbingers of e-commerce revolution, founded in 2001 a web development agency that will, later on, specialize in developing solutions for merchants across the globe. Varien, Inc. leveraged the power of Open Source technology and harnessed its capabilities to help business owners fulfill their goals—at a fraction of the cost and time of propriety e-commerce solutions that came before it. One such platform is the <em>OsCommerce,</em> also a propriety of Varien, which was leading in market share at the time. However, the true power of open source was inhibited by OsCommerce’s lack of flexibility and the colossal amount of money it requires for further development and polishing.

Eventually, after careful planning, Rubin and his team of seasoned e-commerce experts set about to develop a platform that would require less time to market for merchants and, most importantly, reduce the overhead costs Varien was experiencing during the development of its previous flagship product. Rubin initially explored the idea of splitting the OsCommerce platform—a move that would prove risky even for Varien itself. Strategic deliberation produced more desirable results, as Rubin and his company decided to develop their next flagship platform, Magento, from the ground up—addressing every limitation provided by the previous platform.

Varien launched the platform on 31st March 2008, under the name "Bento." Eventually, Rubin consolidated all the legal names and trademarks under the Magento brand, changing the name of the company itself, reflecting its primary focus and ultimately establishing a single, powerful identity that will become a force to be reckoned with in the e-commerce industry. Shortly after its release, Magento started to gain the attention of merchants using different existing platforms, mainly due to its rich, out-of-the-box features designed to convince online business owners to migrate to open source technology.

Becoming a part of something ‘big’

In 2010, shortly after its brand integration, Magento made a merger with e-commerce giant eBay, the latter acquiring a 49% stake of the company before eventually purchasing the rest in February 2012. The cost of the buyout is reported to be $180 million. It turned out to be advantageous for the Magento brand, as eBay at the time also owns PayPal, Inc., one of the largest 3rd party payment providers, which was already supported by the late Varien, Inc. To further boost this integration, Magento, then owned by eBay, streamlined its payment process by launching support for multiple PayPal product offerings. This move by Magento enabled merchants to choose from a wide and flexible range of payment options that are configurable right out-of-the-box.

July 2015 witnessed another change in its corporate governance with London-based investment firm Permira Global buying out Magento and its assets from eBay—a deal made to ensure Magento’s autonomy as a company even up to this day. This marked an exciting point in Magento’s history, with it being a subsidiary of eBay further strengthening the company’s product offerings and then gaining significant capital investment from Permira. These years of experience as a technological entity culminated in the release of Magento’s finest product yet: the Magento 2.0.

Now spearheaded by chief executive officer Mark Lavelle, the new Magento operates independently of eBay, having greater control of its products and as a result, can respond to market demands faster without getting clogged up by corporate bureaucracy.

Magento’s continuing legacy

The e-commerce world was graced with the release of Magento 2.0 in November 2015. It was the platform’s biggest release since its inception in 2007 when it succeeded OsCommerce as the primary product of Varien, now also under the legal name Magento. Whilst the 2.0 is a complete reimagining of the platform, it still remains true to its principal concept of reducing the time and lowering development costs for online merchants. Magento’s second iteration of its world-renowned platform adopts a <em>true open source</em> architecture built with the needs of the modern merchant in mind. Its intuitive administration interface is fully equipped with powerful marketing, merchandising, and content management tools. This simplistic approach enables merchants to create sites that are tailored to their unique business needs. Backed by an extensive support network, Magento offers no compromise and promises the ultimate e-commerce solution.

And with Magento 1’s inevitable end already looming at the horizon, there are more reasons to celebrate than to mourn. There is still time for merchants using Magento 1.9 or older to upgrade to Magento 2.0 before the former completely expires on June 2020. Undeniably, the first generation of Magento had a <em>very</em> good run, and thanks to it we now have a whole new platform accessible to all kinds of business. With the commerce sector growing at an unprecedented rate, we’re looking forward to seeing how Magento 2.0 can replicate the success of its mighty predecessor.

How to Use Negative Customer Feedback to Your Advantage

Amidst all your effort and hard work in giving your customers the best shopping experience, you’ll mess up at least once and make an unhappy customer. What should you do then?

According to Bill Gates, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” True enough. Although negative customer feedback is hard to accept, you can extract as much value from it to further improve your business or your customer service.

In today’s era of social media popularity, when someone posts a negative review about a business, service, or product, anyone in the world can read it too. And, ignoring or deleting such negative feedback or review may not be your best move as a business owner.

So how should you deal and respond with an online complainer then? To help you out, here are some tips on how you can use negative customer feedback to your advantage:

  1. Respond while angry or defensive.

It’s a natural response to get angry or defensive when someone says something negative about your business. However, there’s no room for growth and success for a raging entrepreneur that can’t handle a negative review or feedback professionally. It can only lead to more problems.

Responding in anger or a defensive mode won’t do your business any good. Don’t let a negative feedback worsen and turn into an online battle with the complainant.

  1. Ignore or delete negative reviews.

According to statistics, 68% of consumers are more likely to trust a business if they see both good and bad reviews about it. Consumers are smart enough to know that mistakes happen and no company or business is perfect. So, don’t delete negative reviews from your feedback page.

Visitors or potential customers stumbling upon a negative comment are more likely to shop or do business with you if they see that the issue has been addressed well.

A negative review gives businesses a great opportunity for you to turn unhappy customers into loyal customers. Never ignore nor remove negative reviews and feedback.

  1. Pause. Take a step back.

If you don’t pause or take a step back, you’ll most likely just worsen the situation. Make sure that before you respond to any negative review or feedback, you’re free from negative emotions –to keep you from responding defensively or angrily.

Responding to a negative review on a knee-jerk impulse will only make you look unprofessional.

  1. Give them a sincere apology.

Review the negative feedback. And, if you find it legitimate, own up to the mistakes on your end and give the reviewer a sincere apology. Apologize both privately and publicly. Let other customers see how you are resolving the complaint.

But you need to be reminded that a sincere apology isn’t enough. You must offer a resolution.

  1. Offer a resolution.

After owning up to your mistakes, find and offer a solution to turn a customer’s bad experience into something good. You can either give the customer a refund, a discount coupon for a future purchase, or a product replacement, and other freebies.

Sending a personalized letter and gift after the mishap is also effective in retaining customers. Also, don’t forget to socialize your solution. Let your followers and potential customers see how you’ll go great lengths to correct a bad customer experience.

  1. Don’t lose contact.

Dealing with an unhappy customer doesn’t end after you’ve fixed the problem. You need to go the extra mile and follow them up to show you really care. Ask what they think about the steps you did to correct their negative customer experience.

Doing so can help retain customers – regardless if they started with a bad customer experience.

  1. Learn from the experience.

Before you completely move on from a negative customer feedback, analyze and find value in it. Review the errors you made and determine how you can avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Use the negative feedback to improve for the better.

Refrain from taking negative feedbacks personally. Instead, treat them as constructive criticism.

Negative feedback can make us bitter or better,” says Robin Sharma, one of the top leadership experts. We hope you choose the latter. Use your unhappy customers’ experience as a great learning experience, and use it to better your business!