Struggling with Shipping Your Products? Try This

Have you ever been up late night, utterly exhausted with a pile of shipping labels, products, and envelopes ALL OVER your living floor? Yep, that's called 'delivery day' in the business world.

If you're running a small business but dread THIS part of your business, then I've got life-changing news for you! 2 words: Pitney Bowes. Heard of them? If not, they are a MAJOR company that helps businesses small and large get a serious handle on their shipping/packing needs.

If you want to save time AND money on the shipping logistics part of your business, listen up.

Did you know you can get discounts on shipping as a business owner from USPS, UPS, and FedEx? Yep. Stop paying retail and sitting in the god awefully long postal office line.

Wanna know another secret? You can even be lazy and have all three of these shipping companies come to you and pick up ALL (yes hunny ALL) your deliveries. Big facts. You can schedule delivery pickups online.

So there's an easy way and a hard way to do this. I'm only going to share with you the easy way because NO ONE wants to suffer and do things the hard way, right?

This is how you become a smartie pants boss: Sign up for Pitney Bowes. They have products and machines they can send you to weigh, print, and pay your shipping labels right from your home. Yes! And you can even track all of your packages and get notifications right on the machine when they arrive! No more stalking people in Facebook Messenger about if they got their package! LOL.

If you want to become a logistics guru boss, check them out at pitneybowes.com.

If you wanna know more on exactly what product will fit your business needs, chat with me in Messenger.

Why It’s Important To Run An Ethical Business

We live in a man's world as James Brown once sang. If you're a woman, this unfortunately has not been a world of joy, security, nor comfort. Going from the #MeToo movement to #EqualPay in the workplace, it really seems like the business world is just now getting #woke.

Let's think about this for a moment. Let's imagine there were more companies that did the following business practices:

  • Equal pay for men in women in the same job positions
  • Merit-based promotions tracked by actual data on attainment of work goals, additional certifications/education obtained and/or sales objective goals exceeded.
  • Maternity & Paternity leave for at least 1 full year with pay. 

Now to some big business owners, this small list is asking a lot and is very expensive. And that's the problem. You're looking at your bottom line and not the people line. What do I mean by the 'people line'?

Everyone has a limit when it comes to everything. Job satisfaction is no different. A company needs employees to do tasks that keep the business running. Yes, employees are replaceable but if you've already invested time and money into good employees, then any HR person knows that if they leave the company too quickly, the company just lost all that value they've built up in that employee. Now they have to come out of pocket again to recruit, train, and retain another employee. HR will tell you, top talent is hard to find.

So what's the trick to keeping employees happy? Running an ethical business. Let me tell you a true story.

I used to work at a small Wi-fi service provider in Los Angeles as a network engineer. At the time, they were expanding their reach like CRAZY across the U.S and into the world. It was definitely an exciting time to be there. As an employee though, we had to work our asses off.

Since we wore many hats and only had one office, often times I would go straight to the other engineers and directors in the office if I needed a favor to move something along like YESTERDAY. Since we all we're putting out fires and were swamped, we all understood that if we didn't work together, nothing would get done. Our work depended upon each other.

We didn't have time to judge one another or do the office politics, water cooler gossip thing. We had work to do, customers to keep happy, and contracts that needed signing.

You would think this fast-paced enviroment would be stressful to work in, right? Well let me tell you about the perks.

We had a basketball arcade game in the office. Two of them so you can play against other co-workers (or their kids when they bring them to the office and talk smack...silly kids.) We also had a ping pong table in the middle of the floor over by the engineering group. Then there's Bagel Wednesdays. Who doesn't like free food and coffee to start your day off right? Even those few people that worked from home brought their hungry ass to the office that day for the free bagels!

We also had a high floor office which had a great view of the city with floor to ceiling windows. Just looking outside on those bright, sunny L.A. days definitely helped lighten the mood.

To top things off, every month, our HR director would promote our monthly charity activity open to all co-workers to participate in the community. We also had fun events around the office on random days, like a sports day where we played different sports around the office against different departments for prizes, and holiday dress-up competitions. Working there was HELLA fun because we played hard and worked hard.

Now, this blog post isn't just about creating a fun culture for your employees. This was the one thing people GOT at that company. We did work that brought meaningful moments to our customers. I remember our customer care department mentioned that a customer was using our services to video chat with his family back home for Thanksgiving. It was the only way he could see them and that made his holiday.

Can you imagine being in a place, alone, for Thanksgiving? No cellular service, just Wi-Fi. And luckily it's fast enough that you can video chat to see your family, through tears of loneliness and sadness because you can't be there. (Yes he legit was crying.)

We had several customer stories like that which made our work meaningful. We busted our asses for a reason. Since we all worked in the same office with low wall cubicles and open space, we could hear EVERYTHING going on which created a transparent, community environment.

There were no boys' clubs here. Everyone could hear and see everything. We talked across departments, across the hall and around the corner. Hell some people shouted down the hall or swung an occasional golf putter and ball. #shithappens

The point is if you create a fun, respectful culture that values hard-work and collaboration as absolutely necessary to business functions, you'll see a different workplace. An ethical business means treating employees and customers in a way that prioritizes their human needs.

If employees get to hear that the work they actually do impacted customers in a profound way, it makes them feel valuable. Like they are actually doing good work in the world! If feeds that 'I'm a good person and I want to feel good' need we all have.

Even something as simple as feeding your employees and providing fun spaces for them to de-stress goes a long way in job satisfaction and fighting hangry moments. #needAsnickers

Stop focusing on the bottom line so much and prioritze what people need to be happy. You won't get everything perfect and people will ALWAYS complain so focus on the basics. Food, water, shelter, positive well-being. If you do that, employees will think about how you've treated them when they get poached by another company.

It's like a personal relationship. If you treated someone well, why would they want to go anywhere else if their needs are getting met? People promise a lot of things, but if you actually DO good things through actions that people experience themselves, nothing is more real than that.

What to avoid when using Facebook Messenger for business

Facebook Messenger is a great and easy way to get in touch with new leads for your business. It's super tempting to just blast everyone on your friend's list with you're latest sale or promotion because you think everyone likes a sale, right?

Wrong. People like a sale ONLY when it applied to something they actually are INTERESTED in. I wish I had a dollar for the amount of times people sent me a DM about weight loss services and products.

I'm a size 6 with a flat stomach! I don't need to lose weight!

Insane. And honestly, people know when you're blasting them. The message isn't personalized and comes across as you're just trying to sell them SOMETHING without asking what they NEED. Sound familiar?

We live in a world that's very self-centered. When a business approaches us, we're already on the defense because we have a limited amount of money and it seems like everyone wants OUR MONEY. As a business owner, it's important you understand this and know your audience. Without keeping this in mind, you're not going to sell anything.

Think about it. Let's say you're running a beauty business doing makeup services. It's prom season and you blast your Facebook friend list with your sale about makeup services for prom $50 per face. You even put a picture in there of a client you did recently. You wait...then you wonder why you're Messenger isn't blowing up or why people haven't responded. You have a great deal and the perfect time, right? While that maybe true, you didn't make it personalized and failed to hone in on your IDEAL customers.

Who IS your ideal customer? In that situation it would have been either teenagers attending prom or parents of teenagers that are going to attend prom this season. This is how you hone in on those ideal customers on your friend list: set up a lead magnet. No, it's not an ACTUAL magnet you stick on your fridge. It's a marketing tool used to attract your IDEAL customers.

Let's say that you post a Fenty beauty video tutorial on Facebook and Instagram titled, "How To Get A Beat Face For Prom 2018". Now, people LOOOOOOVE video tutorials when it comes to the beauty industry and it's a great way to get people's attention. The video gets 100+ likes and a few comments with emojis. Cool. You're feeling good. Now what? Turn those likes and potential leads into customers.

Here is where you insert your lead magnet. This can be another video that leads them towards an action you want them to take but it has to lead towards an ACTION. For example, let's say the next day you create another video. In it you talk about and show the types of beauty products and brands you use that are available to people when they book their beauty service with you. You drop popular brands like M.A.C and Fenty Beauty in there. At the end of the video, you also have a call to action for people to send you a message on Facebook Messenger to book a beauty service with you.

BAM, you just created a lead magnet. You are leading people towards an action to take if they are interested in your services. You really soft-sold them. Soft-selling means you sold without LOOKING like you sold them. Ninja stuff, see.

Now, this is a MAJOR thing most people are doing wrong in Facebook Messenger. Copy and paste. Responding to people one-by-one on your phone. Did you know there's an app for that? Seriously, there's a tool called ManyChat. You can create automatic messages and resources in Facebook messenger using ManyChat and it will respond on your behalf without you having to type a thing. Cool huh? Wanna see how it works? Watch the video below if you're curious or never heard of it.

Everyone and their grand-mama are on Facebook. It's the BEST way to reach people these days. Over 2 billion people are on it every single day. Insane how addictive it's become, huh? Also, messenger bots like ManyChat are becoming the instant way to grow your business and reach your customers FASTER. Their are so many businesses right now that do not know this secret. Don't you wanna be ahead of your competition? Get a chatbot. ManyChat is absolutely free and fairly easy to set up. Definitely check it out here.

If you're not a techie person, I can help you set up a Messenger bot for your business in ONE DAY. If you're interested, click here and chat with Ari. I'll put you on!

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