Why Loyalty is Essential in Marketing

September 28th, 2012

The traditional marketing tenants of yesteryear have put business owners and operators in a perplexing situation; in a very short span of time, the marketing tactics and strategies that had worked for decades (think mailers, for example) have become obsolete. The customers of today are responding to a different type of sales pitch–one that comes not from strangers representing the product, but from other clients, buyers or individuals like themselves. The most effective tool you can utilize in growing your business is maddeningly difficult to pin down, but incredibly effective once harnessed, and that tool is a movement.

The first and most difficult task in executing a movement marketing strategy is building brand loyalty. Have you ever had service so good you told your neighbor about it? Have you ever jumped in a discussion about what type of computer a friend should buy because you feel drawn to one particular brand?

That feeling of personal connection–of loyalty–to a brand, is what causes you to do the marketing legwork for the companies that receive your business by telling other people why you love the company. This is particularly true of companies and products that reflect our participation in a movement. Consumers enjoy products and service providers that say something positive about the consumer; for example, using visibly eco-friendly or “green” products or brands tells people that you are a member (at least in a small way) of the environmental movement.

So how can you create loyalty to your product or business? Offer incentives for talking about your company. Use social media to keep up with who is, for instance, “checking in” to your establishment on Facebook, Foursquare, and Yelp. Offer a small discount for checking in, and make this visible. Encourage your customers to engage this offer by posting obvious but non-invasive signage in common or high-traffic areas. Utilize a referral program by offering discounts for new clients and clients who refer business to you. Be sure to continue taking care of your existing clients–the incentives they receive must be merely bonuses in addition to a consistently stellar product or service.

Building loyalty can only be possible with the right team working for your company. The employees who orchestrate the marketing strategies must be top notch. Contact Olympic Staffing today to begin evaluating the vast potential in growing your business!

Networking Advice You Haven’t Heard Of

September 19th, 2012

Everyone knows that networking is vital, regardless of one’s specific goals, interests or career aspirations. And in the days of increasingly impersonal connections, it is important for those wanting to make lasting impressions to consider tactics that will set them apart from others by creating positive associations with influential individuals. Consider doing the following to increase your chances of building a lasting, beneficial network for yourself:

Prepare to spend money. Courting network connections is like dating, and dating costs money. A coffee meeting here, a couple of sports event tickets there, and those costs can add up. Plan accordingly in your monthly budget for these costs, and consider them expenses in building a network for yourself, which will benefit you in both the short and long term. Sacrificing a little in the present in order to court connections could put you in a position of opportunity for a better position, larger salary, or most comprehensive benefits package, and the payoff will be well worth it.

Remember the details. Take note of what people say in conversations, emails, even anecdotes in their presentations.  Review these notes later, and add reminders in your calendar for making contact based on those details. For instance, if someone mentioned that her child was raising money for a charitable organization, send a donation and a card. Or perhaps you find out that you share a birthday with a connection; don’t forget to send him a card. (Again, this is where costs can add up!) Remembering and reviewing details in a thoughtful, organic manner is an excellent way to create positive associations.

See the big picture. Networking does not frequently produce instant benefits. It can take months of putting concentrated effort into making connections before any observable progress is noted. However, it is imperative that you not waste time being shortsighted in your quest for connectedness and opportunity. Networking is also about sitting back and allowing things to be set in motion. Immediate benefits are often outweighed by long-term benefits that can create even more fulfilling, enriching opportunities.

Setting yourself apart from other similarly able, similarly educated people can seem daunting, but with a little bit of work, and persistence, and trust in the process, you can create a large network of people that can benefit not only yourself, but everyone in it as well. Contact Olympic Staffing today to connect you with the perfect position!

Managing Your Contingent Workforce

September 12th, 2012

In the last three years, there have been significant changes to tax laws regarding the payment and treatment of contingent workers, or independent or freelance workers. Most notably, this change eliminated interns from working without compensation. This reaction from the U.S. Department of Labor was a response to the increasing number of instances in which companies were beginning to exploit the cheap or free labor of eager interns. Without being fully fluent in the new policies on contingent workers, companies fall into a dangerous ignorance that could be extremely costly.

The priority of understanding the newer guidelines pertaining to contingent workers is to define “contingent worker” against the more traditional definition of “employee.” Very simply, classifying workers into either of these categories comes down to management. If workers require specific training, instruction or management in order to complete the tasks to which they are assigned, these individuals are traditional employees. On the other hand, if a worker requires no guidance as to how, when or where to complete a task and is hired specifically to complete tasks or projects that require their expertise, s/he would be classified as a contingent worker.

The U.S. Department of Labor released a factsheet to help managers determine if their interns can remain classified as unpaid interns, or if they must be moved into the contingent worker classification.

Companies who are found to be out of compliance by inaccurately classifying individuals as contingent employees when they are fulfilling the tasks and duties of full-time employees will be charged significant fines and can be forced to pay back taxes of its misclassified employees to cover lost dollars for Medicaid, Medicare, social security and federal and state taxes. Many companies who are found guilty of misclassifying employees deny any malicious intent, but rather state that the definitions of contingent workers versus employee are too vague and even misleading.

Using a qualified staffing agency can help take the guesswork out of hiring and maintaining a contingent staff, including a pool of interns. Contact Olympic Staffing today to find quality candidates and the peace of mind that comes with insured compliance!

It Pays to be Competitive: How Offering a Competitive Salary Can Increase Your Profits

September 10th, 2012

The adage is mostly true: you really do get what you pay for. But are most business owners and managers translating this knowledge to their payroll? Maybe not–and that could be the reason for increased turnover, lower job satisfaction and decreased productivity. It really is worth paying for quality talent, and doing so could save your company big money in the long run in three main areas:

Healthcare. Job satisfaction is associated with better health, according to data recently obtained by Aflac. In this study it was found that employees whose employers offered wellness programs not only had a substantially higher rate of job satisfaction, but they also feel more positively about their employers and feel more protected. Employees in better health are less likely to exacerbate the health care afforded to them, thus decreasing healthcare premiums for the company overall over time.

Recruitment and training. Employee retention via salary could be the easiest way to shave vital dollars off the budget: nearly half of all employed adults are “at least somewhat likely” to look for new jobs (according to Aflac). If your employees are pleased with their benefits, and subsequently the company, the turnover rate in your office will decrease, and your costs for candidate recruitment and new employee training diminish.

 

Productivity. Gallupdata indicates that there is a connection between workers who report that they are “highly satisfied” with their jobs and their productivity: the poll shows that there can be up to a 50% increase in productivity in workers who are “highly satisfied.” If high job satisfaction increases productivity, profits will follow a similar trend. With companies facing the difficult facts regarding time theft, eliminating unproductive habits in employees is a boon to any budget.

Paying your employees a competitive salary will benefit your company exponentially. To get started finding candidates in your area who would be great fits for your company, contact us today and see how easy it can be to hire capable, qualified employees.