Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My 7 step idea process | Entrepreneur

Read the danish version here: Min 7 trins idé proces


Getting from idea to results
Getting an awesome idea is just awesome but executing it and getting results, needs attention and work.
I'm differently better at getting ideas than executing them so it is important for me to go through a whole process so I know that I will be able to execute the idea as well as possible. In this post I will go through the seven step process I put together for myself.

1. Getting the idea

I usually get my ideas at strange moments and strange places but sometimes it also happens in a normal environment, like in the middle of a conversation or when I'm particularly trying to find an idea. Sometimes I will even dream them.

Ideas are different and they can be too early. They get categorized as: saving for later, execution right away, giving it away and in the trash.


2. Excitement

Getting a great idea is amazing and I get really excited. I work, walk, eat and sleep thinking about the idea. I will be forming it in my mind and as I find something unique about it I will write it down. This will probably take a week or so, depending on how complicated the idea is.

3. Testing

It's important to test all ideas otherwise you can loose a lot of valuable time and money. First I will start bouncing the idea off my family and friends. Then I will do some research and find out if it already exist or if it needs some modifications, then I will do it.
After I have the idea in place I will ask the potential customer about their thoughts and critic of it. It usually gives a new perspective and helps form the product.

4. Evaluating 

To evaluate I will use the Business model Canvas. See if it looks like it could be something.
If the idea passes I will try to make it as unique as possible and find the so called Blue Ocean, otherwise I will throw it in the trash. - Here it is very important to listen to your gut too. Learn to trust it because reaching your goals is not only hard work but your gut has to be with you too. May sound strange but if it doesn't feel right, you wont be able to give 100%.

5. Working on it

This is were I will work on getting all the necessary agreements in place, the different key partners involved and prepare everything necessary to launch the product. This process doesn't always go as planned. It can take extra time than expected and that is all right. Everything doesn't always go as you plan.

6. Execution

Just let i go. Even if it isn't perfect. Even if it's not all done yet. Don't wait for perfecting the product because when it hits the water you might have to change some things about it. If you keep waiting for the product to be ready, you will never be ready.

Don't put all your energy in one blow. Test the water little by little and then when you have done the necessary modification you can let the ship go. Normally I will go through step four, five and six a couple of times to get the best result.


7. Getting results

When the product is done and ready you can for example use Google Analytics to get an overview of your results. If you have launched similar products before, you can compare the results and see what you did better or worse. By doing that you can better your next product launch.

- Hafsa


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Sunday, December 20, 2015

The nine step business plan | Entrepreneur

Læs den danske version her: Forretningsplanen med de ni blokke.

I have myself been in the situation where I had to write a 20 page business plan otherwise my bank wouldn't open a business account for me. So I had to use my vacation from school on writing a 20 pages long business plan.

I got my bank account but the thing is, as soon as the bank account was opened there were already changes in my business plan. So it went straight into the trash. - I didn't want to waste my time on writing a new one thinking I knew exactly what I was going to do with my company, so I left it alone and focused on getting my online store ready for sales.

Using the Business model Canvas
Business Model Canvas
I don't remember exactly when but I guess it was the next semester, one of my professors told me to check out a model called Business model Canvas. At first I was very hesitant because he is my economics professor and for me economics is an important subject but it's differently not my strong suit. So I kind of though that the model would be like economics.

It is not. Trust me.

The model Business Canvas is a great tool to get a good picture of how the company's different processes work together. It can be used as a goal, as the company is now and for the different ideas that the company chooses to evaluate or carry out.

It is divided up in nine different blocks and is easy for the different departments to understand the whole picture and so to say, speak the same language.

Down under you can watch the short two minutes video about how to use the model.


The Business model Canvas is developed by Alexander Osterwalder, who has managed to simplify a very complicated process. He has also lead authored the best sellers: Business model Canvas and Value proposition Design. Both books gives you the opportunity to take your business to the next level. 

Using it
As explained in the video it is quite simple but using it and understanding it, has been a great progress in understanding and developing my own business. When you really get into it, you will be amazed how much you can actually learn from it.

Check it out before it's too late.

- Hafsa

P.S. If you don't want daily updates from my entrepreneurial journey, then don't follow me on my new Faceebook-page Entrepreneur: Hafsa Farooq.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Graduation at 46, never give up | Entrepreneur

SOSU C graduation hat
My mother just graduated or as we say in Danish "Hun har lige fået hue". It has actually almost been a month now. - And believe me it has not been easy for her but she made it by working hard.

This got me thinking... Since my parents moved here right after they got married, they have both been working really hard. It's not like they weren't educated when they came to Denmark but they just couldn't use their educations in Denmark. - Yes, it is as stupid as it sounds.
  • They both went to school to learn Danish and a little more but they still couldn't use their educations they had from Pakistan. They literately had to start over. 
Then they had me, so my parents had to start work. - Today my mother works in a kindergarten and my father is a taxi owner.

They are my motivation.

They showed my siblings and I that hard work pays off.

How I can see it pays off is not only the materialistic things but also in our upbringing. They have though us that not only education, helping others, appriciate what you have, always show kindness is all important, but having motivation to do your best at whatever you do, is your driver.

My parents motivation, are us. My siblings and I. - And they have literally done everything they could do to be where they are today. Giving that one percent extra everyday, being great parents and always do whatever has been best for us, no matter who they had to stand against. - And still, what my parents has done is nothing compared to what my grandfather has done for his family, friends, siblings, my grandmothers family and more.

That kind of motivation that drives them is what I want to drive me.

My motivation is to make a difference and I just started. - I am nowhere near what my grandfather and my parents have accomplished but with their support I am here today and I plan to work as hard as I can to make a difference.

Ask yourself
Do you need to reach a goal but are stuck? Then try to think about the following questions for a second.
  • Why are you here?
  • How did you get here?
  • Who helped you?
     
Now think about this.
  • What do you want to do? 
  • How will you get there? 

If you have answered the questions. Just keep going, until you reach your goals.

Importance of motivation
Being an entrepreneur I know how important it is to keep motivating yourself and how hard it can be sometimes. Either you give up or stay motivated, never compromise.

- Hafsa

For more motivation, follow my Instagram @HafsafarooqX2

Thursday, October 08, 2015

3 easy and essential planning tools | Entrepreneur

Planing is essential - 3 easy tools for planing.
Planing is essential for an effective workflow. Time is changing and technology is becoming a bigger part of our lives. We have so many distractions that we are becoming more stressed. Some are even getting depressed because they can't keep up.

I have been there myself. - I started to forget, lost concentration after 10-15 minutes, got ill all the time, got upset over the smallest things, a little depressed and so on. - Why? Well... I'm what you call a student entrepreneur, meaning I'm also studying on the side. I actually founded my company in the middle of my second semester and now I'm on my last and seventh semester.

I believe it was my fifth semester I went to my doctor with my symptoms and she said I had stress. I was already using a schedule I made for my self but it was only possible to plan on short term. I was getting stressed because my schedule was always staring me right in my face, with all the things I had to do and I couldn't do all of them.

Since then I have researched and tested a lot more and have come up with a perfect combination of three different tools. - The first two are free and the third is very cheap. You probably already own a stack.

1. Trello
Click on picture to enlarge
It's so simple and easy to use. You can use it for everything like teamwork, dinner, vacation, personal things and so on.

You list your task under the cards: To do - Doing - Done - or make others. You can click on each task and you will see a popup like the picture on the right. Just customize it as you need to. Using a checklist, you can divide the task into smaller tasks. When you do the smaller tasks and check them off, you won't feel stuck as you might do, when not dividing your tasks up.

Trello also have apps for Apple and Android.

I use Trello for managing as well as smaller and bigger projects. It's also easy to add other people if needed. - Click here to sign up for Trello.

2. Google Calendar
A very easy and simple tool. I use it every single day. If you click on the picture to the right, you will see my schedule for this week.
I use different colors for my activities:
  • Green is for education
  • Blue: work
  • Light blue: background work
  • Yellow: private
  • Purple is them all mixed
  • The faded colors are over with.

You can set it up for endless repeats or set a date for it to stop. Set it to repeat a certain event on fixed days or dates. You can invite others to your calendar and have many different schedules. - Sign up for Google Calendar here.

You can also get apps for Apple and Android.

3. Sticky notes
Yes! Sticky notes, they are awesome! They are cheap and you can use as many as you want. Take one daily, write down what you have to do in the morning before starting work. As you work trough the list and cross off the different tasks, you get some kind of satisfaction and get more motivated to do more work.

Tip
1. Put your phone on night mode so you wont get disturbed when working.
2. If you work in an office where you get disturbed a lot you can reinforce a sticker policy. If you have a green sticker on your screen it is alright to get disturbed, if you have a  red sticker, then you are not to be disturbed.

Follow me on Instagram for motivational quotes: @hafsafarooqx2

Thursday, September 17, 2015

STOP throwing customers away | Entrepreneur

Click here for the danish version.


Is your online store a maze or easy to navigate in?
Is your web store user friendly? Is your design nice to look at? - Does it make your customers want to buy or does it scare them away? Is it easy or a whole maze they have to go trough?

The questions above are critical for every web store owner to ask.


It doesn't matter if your target-market is B2B, B2C or B2G. - Usability and design means a lot! If you don't care you can just stop reading... and continue to loose customers.

Of course there are different levels of usability in the different markets but my focus is on the B2C-market because I have most experience on this.

Design

I see so many web shops, big and small - they have really old designs and look really cheap. Some are even filled with advertisements from other stores. These web shops are creating a great uncertainty with the customer and are therefore sending the customers away.

Why do you have a web shop if you don't want to put down €600 - €2,000 to get a better design for higher conversion? It is not even that much money.

It's like walking into a store and immediately tripping over something because there is stuff all over the place... and right after finding products that don't belong in the store.

Usability

So many web shops are centuries behind on usability. Have you ever tried to make an test-order trough your web shop? - Here are some questions you should ask yourself: Is it easy to navigate in? How many steps are there before and order is placed? Is the process complicated? Is it easy to put things in the basket? Can others do what you can in your web shop?

It is really good to use people from the outside to try the website and then get feedback from them, on what works and what doesn't.


One-page-checkout

... is just genius. From the basket-list, the customer clicks on the checkout button and has to fill out her information, fill in payment method information, choose shipping and complete the order. - Everything gathered on one page.
Why would you want your customer to click 4/5 times more? And it's not like there is much on the pages, when you use the regular check-out process. - It's just a waste of your customers time.

Credit cards

Be sure to accept all credit cards. Yes, it is a bit expensive but you wont loose so many customers. - Look at it like this: A customer has filled up her basket and she is now at the checkout-page. She just has to pay but you don't accept her credit card. - You just lost a customer more.

In my webshop, most cutomers pay with dankort, which is the danish credit card. A small percent of the customers pay with American Express. Guess what? The orders paid by American Express are the biggest. - It's one of the most important things to have in a web shop.


Advertisements

Advertisements from other web shops or the like is absolutely a no-go in a web shop! First thing is that it looks really ugly and two, you will be sending customers away. Yes, the one who was just about to buy something or register to your newsletter. That customer will you be sending to another shop and don't think she will be back. She wont.

For motivational quotes you can follow me on Instagram @HafsafarooqX2

STOP med at sende kunder væk | Entrepreneur

Click here for the english version.
Er din webshop en labyrint eller lige til?

Er din webshop brugervenlig? Er dit design pænt at kigge på? Giver det dine kunder lyst til at handle eller skræmmer det dem væk? Er det nemt eller en hel labyrint?

Ovenstående er spørgsmål som enhver webshop ejer bør stille sig selv.

Henvender du dig til B2B, B2C og eller B2G, betyder brugervenlighed og design rigtig meget! Er du ligeglad, kan du jo bare lade hver med at læse videre... og fortsætte med at miste kunder.

Der er selvfølgelig forskellige grader for brugervenlighed på de forskellige markeder - Jeg har valgt at fokusere på B2C-markedet, da jeg har mest erfaring med dette. 

Design
Jeg ser så mange webshops, store og små, hvor deres design bare er så gammelt, ser så billigt ud og er fyldt med reklamer fra andre, at det skræmmer og sender kunder væk. Det skaber en kæmpe usikkerhed hos kunden og kan betyde, at hun finder en anden webshop.

Hvorfor har du en webshop, hvis ikke du gider at ligge 5.000 kr. - 15.000 kr., for et bedre design og højere konvertering? Hvilket jo slet ikke er så mange penge.
Det er ligesom at åbne døren til en butik og gå ind i noget med det samme, for der ligger ting over det hele... og derefter finde produkter der slet ikke hører til i butikken.

Brugervenlighed 
Der er så mange der halter bagud på brugervenlighed. Har du nogensinde selv prøvet at lave en test ordre gennem din webshop? Er webshoppen nem at navigere rundt i? Hvor mange steps er der, før en ordre er gået igennem? Er hele processen for kompliceret? Er det nemt at ligge ting i kurven? Kan andre end digselv finde ud af det?

Her er det en god idé at hente folk udefra, til at prøve websitet og få feedback på hvad der virker og hvad der ikke virker. 

One-page-checkout
... Er genialt. Kunden trykker fra varelisten ind på checkout siden og skal udfylde alle sine oplysninger, vælge betalingsmetode, fragt metode og gennemfører ordren. Det hele samlet på en side. Hvorfor vil du have at kunden skal trykke 4-5 gange mere? Og det er jo ikke fordi at der står så meget på hver side, når hun skal igennem flere sider. - Det er bare spild af din kundes tid. 

Kreditkort 
Tag imod alle kreditkort. Ja, det er billigere at udvælge en slags, men så mister du også alle de andre kunder. Det koster selvfølgelig lidt ekstra at tage imod alle, men tænk hvis en kunde er nået helt til checkout-siden, hvor hun skal vælge betalingskort og hendes kort så ikke er der? Så har du lige mistet endnu et salg. Nu koster det jo heller ikke så meget igen, så der er ikke rigtig nogen grund til ikke at tage imod alle kort.

Hos X2Nails webshop, betaler størstedelen af kunderne med dankort, mens meget få betaler med American Express. Dog er ordrene størst ved det sidstnævnte betalingskort. - Det er slet ikke til at forstå at man ikke vil have alle betalingskort i sin webshop.

Reklamer 
Reklamer for andre webshops eller lignende er absolut no-go i en webshop! Et, det ser så grimt ud og to, du sender kunden væk. Ja, hende som lige var ved at bestille noget hos dig eller tilmelde dit nyhesbrev. Hende sender du videre til en anden forhandler og hun kommer nok slet ikke tilbage, da hun glemmer alt om din webshop. 

For motivation, kan du følge mig på instagram @hafsafarooqx2

Sunday, March 01, 2015

How to be more effective by sleeping right | Entrepreneur

Read the Danish version here: Pas din søvn og arbejd mere effektivt

Do you sleep enough or are you always tired? This is a very important question to ask yourself. Many forget how important sleep really is. New entrepreneurs are especially in severe sleep deprivation. In periods I have been sleeping when others were at work. I have been sleeping too little, too much and not at all. The last one resulted in nosebleeds and a sleeping time on 15-17 hours because of my brain getting way too stressed.
  
You may think that was pretty stupid of me, but do you not know the feeling of when you are so passionate about something that you just have to do? All the ideas are there right now. If you sleep, you will forget everything! It has to be now! I need to finish! Your brain is under high pressure. And you just need to do one more thing…

Notebook
Sleep on time and wakeup on time

For that there is a very good solution. You just need a small notebook beside your bed. In that way every time you get an idea before bed or after waking up, you can write it down, so you will not forget the idea. In that way you will be able to relax more and let go of things.

Caffeine
Stop excessive consumption of coffee and energy drinks. It is alright to drink it occasionally but replacing or partly replacing sleep with caffeine is just wrong.
Stop it!


Adults sleeping hours
Do you know how many hours you are supposed to sleep a day? It is not six hours… it is actually seven to eight hours. If you are a teenager you are supposed to sleep nine hours a day. If you would like to know how harmful it is for your body to have sleep deprivation, read Chris MacDonalds article, on sleep.


And no, it is not just another article. I tested this on myself. Six hours are just not enough, seven hours are not enough either and eight hours are too much. I have to sleep seven and a half hours before I can function. If I am very tiered after a busy day I will just take a power nap.
  

Power naps 
Power naps also called ”a grandfather” in Danish, is just genius. Power naps are not just taken by small children but also by successful adults. Down under you will find three types of power naps:
  • 15-30 minutes: If you just need a small boost, this one is really good.
  • 45-60 minutes: This one reboots your memory.
  • One hour and 15 minutes - One hour and a half hour: Rebooting creativity, memory and feelings.
It it different for each person how long we each need. In my case I need: 17 minutes, 50 minutes and one hour and 15 minutes.

Remember to put your mobile far away and set a timer on. This way you will not oversleep or just check another mail. ;-)  

Sleeping times
It is important to put down a fixed sleeping pattern. What time you should sleep and what time you should wake up. Are you going to do something that you do not usually do you can only move your sleeping hours one hour and no more! It takes a person’s body two whole weeks to get used to a routine. So if you change your sleeping pattern on the 15th day it will not be so smart, will it?  

Alarm clock
Once you get used to your sleeping pattern, you can stop using the alarm clock or just set it to ring 15 or 30 minutes after you are supposed to wake up. When your body has gotten used to your sleeping pattern, you will wake up on you own. It is better to wake up on your own than to be woken up by you alarm clock, as the ringing interrupts your sleep.
 
Some more advices
Ever wondered why you cannot fall asleep when you are trying?
  • Put your mobile and other electronics away an hour before bedtime.
  • Dim all the lights an hour before bedtime.
  • Do not be hungry, I know I cannot fall asleep if I am hungry.
  • Your bed is for sleeping only, do not use it as your workplace. 

Remember to sleep on time and take a power nap! ;-)


Are you on Google+? If so, you can connect with me here: Hafsa Farooq.

If you are not on LinkedIn, get on now! | Entrepreneur

Read the Danish version here: Hvis du ikke er på LinkedIn, skal du på nu!

The title says the most of it but down below I will explain why you should use LinkedIn and give you some good advice, which you can get very far with. ;-)

Me, without LinkedIn
Before I made a profile on LinkedIn, I thought I did not need it. I said to myself “I already have Facebook and a mobile. Why do I need LinkedIn?” Until the day that I needed a person whom I could not get in contact with. If I just had a LinkedIn profile at that time, I would have found that person before it was too late.
So I created a profile on LinkedIn. One should not make the same mistake again, right?

Visibility
Build up your business network with LinkedIn
Yes, LinkedIn is another social medium but your LinkedIn profile is not as difficult to maintain. I myself only log on a couple of times a week. I Share an article I have found or my own blog post. I like five to ten posts and write a quick comment. In that way your connections will remember you and people you do not know will check out your profile. I typically get somewhere between two and five new invitations a week, just by doing that.

Remember, if someone comments on your post it is important to answer back. People are generally not that active on LinkedIn, so if you just do a little extra, you can get a lot out of it.

Be Professional
I see this mistake over and over again. People think that LinkedIn is Facebook. No, LinkedIn is not a place for boyfriend troubles, wars, your bad day, strong religious beliefs, dating and other things which either are or can quickly turn into something negative. Would you in real life talk to a possible business partner about how your ex-boyfriend treated you, no right? Keep that on Facebook and other social media where you have people who care about you. The person who takes their profile just a little serious deletes the connections that focus on above negativity.

Fill out your profile
Your LinkedIn profile is your online resume and it is not even as hard to maintain as people think.
  • The profile’s language: It is very important to choose if you just want English or in English and your native language. You have to remember that LinkedIn is an international medium and by only writing in your native language your profile will not be very attractive.
     
  • Education: Whether you are a craftsman or a CEO, your education is an important part of your profile. Briefly write what classes you have taken. It gives others a sense of where you are on a theoretical level or just a confirmation of who you are.
    Subjects and courses you have taken should of course also be on there. It may be that you are not educated in that particular sector but you have taken a lot of courses or just single classes, which also belongs under education.
     
  • Jobs: A resume without job experience, no… just no. Write each job down and give a brief explanation of what you did or do there. Do not write too much then people do not bother to read it at all.
     
  • Follow: By following opinion makers and companies you will give your connections better pictures of what kind of people and companies you find interesting. At the same time, you can stay up to date with your favorite business persons and companies.
      
  • Groups: Join different groups which are interesting for you. For example if you are bad at SEO you can join SEO groups and thereby learn more about that. It is also a really good way to get more connections.
     
  • Languages: Choose all the languages that you can. It does not matter if you can talk them fluently or just a couple of words because you can choose different levels. For example in my profile it says that Danish is my native language, while I speak Japanese at a elementary level. When you know a language a little it is easy to learn if you for example need it for the next job.
     
     
  • Skills: You can have 50 skills in total. This means that you can show whole 50 skills that you are good at. Additionally you can get others to recognize those skills, which makes your profile more trustworthy.
Profile change message
Turn if off! I just do not understand why LinkedIn has made this feature. It is annoying and unnecessary. Why should it be interesting for all my LinkedIn connections to know when I make the slightest change in my profile? I do not know…
You can easily turn it off by following the path: Edit profile > Right side, the box at the bottom > No.

500+ connections
LinkedIn only counts your connections up to 500. Anything over 500 will be shown as 500+. By having 500 connections it will show that you are engaged in your profile and have used your time wisely. And who does not loved engaged people? ;-)
Try reading this… I have 580 connections on LinkedIn, which gives me access to 18,100,000 professionals. Yes, 18.1 million! I wonder if it just gives me a few opportunities.

Your connections
Now, if I need a SEO expert and do a search on LinkedIn, the results will show me multiple profiles. They will be divided into:
  • 1st degree (your connections): These are your contacts on LinkedIn.
  • 2nd degree (your connections connection): Your contacts’ contacts on LinkedIn.
  • 3rd degree (your connections connections connection): The contacts you have on LinkedIn, these are their contacts’ contacts.
  • Group members: All the groups that you have joined have members and all those members, you can contact directly.
  • Outside your network: These are the persons whom you can contact if you have their contact information or you are paying for a premium account on LinkedIn.

Use your network
Now you have a large network and what should you use it for? Let us take some examples. First: You are looking for a particular job. You find a person whom you get to know a little and you ask him to put in a good word for you. Second: Maybe you want to sell a product on B2B-market so you can find customers on LinkedIn. Third: You are looking for a new employee and will find a better match through LinkedIn. You get the point, right? :-)

Profile picture
No, not your profile picture on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. It has to be a professional picture, preferably a picture for the purpose of using it on LinkedIn. You will find “a few” advices for your profile picture.
  • First and foremost the picture has to be of you!
  • You are smiling, so you do not scare people. You can show your teeth.
  • Get your whole face, so people can recognize you. 
  • Do not look away from your profiles text as it expresses uncertainty. 
  • Do not show us your new weekend outfit, we do not really care. Do not show more than your shoulders.
  • Save your selfies for Facebook.
  • No pets!
  • No cigarettes in your mouth or anything like that.
  • No piercings.
If you click into my LinkedIn profile you will see that I use the same profile picture on all the social media which I am on. It is simply because I would like you guys to be able to recognize my profiles.

Last but not least, it is a great idea to keep your profile updated. You never know when you might need it.

If you follow these tips, you should be pretty good going on LinkedIn. Do you want to be my contact on LinkedIn? You can just add me here: Hafsa Farooq.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The best customer service is indispensable in your web shop! | Entrepreneur

Read the Danish version here: Den bedste kundeservice er uundværlig i din webshop!

Customer service

It has been important for X2Nails to have the best customer service, almost from the start. In the beginning we made a lot of mistakes regarding customer service, but gradually we have improved it a lot. In the last time, when a customer has been in contact with X2Nails costumer service, the customer always praises us.

Know your customers needs
I do a lot of online shopping, which I have done in many years. It has given me a good understanding for what good customer service is.
When I shop online, there have been times where I have though “How can I implement this at X2Nails?” other times I have thought “I am never coming back here again.”
Very often you have to “be” the customer. Ask questions as “How would I react if the company said that to me?”, “How would I want this problem solved?”, “Would I like it if someone said that to me?” and so on.

If you are not good at thinking like the customer, you should know someone who is.

Availability
The best customer service at X2Nails
Make it as easy for the customer to reach customer service. Place contact information, contact box, chats and the like, where the customer looks. I really hate the web shops where you have to click a number of times just to find their mail. If it is not on the site I am on, I always get so annoyed that I leave the website. The contact information should at least be in the bottom frame and as a link in the header.

Q&A site
A question and answer site is as gold. Many customers have the same questions and they almost always looks for a Q&A site, before they choose to contact the company. It should always be easy to find and remember to update it regularly. 

Be fast
If a customer contacts you, you have to get to work immediately. The customer is first priority! You probably think that your time is worth more, but if you want the customer to make a purchase in your web shop, you must help her immediately. Your customer is busy so you have to be ready, otherwise she can easily find other alternatives.  

I have a really good example from X2Nails. I woke up a little late in the weekend because I was feeling a little sick. I was eating breakfast when I got a mail from a customer. The evening before, she had ordered some products including a nail polish, which she wanted to exchange for another nail polish. In approximately 25 minutes I had done all the work and answered her back. She was so happy that she wrote a fantastic review and began to follow X2Nails on Instagram and Facebook. You can read the review here.

Send guides
If there are products that the customers have many questions about, then make easy guides for them. Put them on the product sites and send them with the customer’s order.

When the glow in the dark nail polish and crackle nail polish was completely new, there were numerous customers who asked about how the products worked. First I made product guides and put them on the product sites but there were still a lot of customer who just could not figure out how to use them. So I improved the guides and began to send them with the orders. The customers are really happy about that.

Write a message
The customers love to get a short personal message from the web shop with her order. It might save a bad day and she will feel appreciated.

Write blog posts, make videos, know your product
For example if your products durability depends on how the customer uses the products, it would be a good idea to write a guided to-do list. As an example you can see my blog post about how you get nail polish to last longer or how to care for your nails, there is also a video tutorial for the last one. To make these it is incredibly important that you know your product. Your business image depends on it.

Customer convenience
How does the customer prefer to contact your company and what is possible? If your company is small it might be hard to be on a lot of platforms. X2Nails uses telephone, text, mail and chat support.
If one customer have it easier by contacting you on facebook or Instagram, then do it.  

Returns
Is it easy for your customer to return her purchased products? Although X2Nails rarely gets any returns, there are a lot of customers who checks out their return rights before they place an order. Make it as easy as possible. It is especially important if it is a gift. There has to be a minimum of two links on each site and it should be completely clear how many days the customer has to make a return. The return site is easy to understand and the return form is clear and easy to understand.

In stock / sold out
Is the product in stock? The customer hates, when she needs the product and have to wait for the web shop to get the product back in stock. It is one of those things that makes the customer very annoyed. She will most likely cancel the order and she will defiantly never come back.
Is it a product that is very popular and you have not been fast enough to order a new batch, it is a good idea to let the product be active and write “Out of stock, available again in 14 days.”
It is incredibly important that your stock system is up-to-date with your inventory. If it says on the product site that the product is in stock, your customer expects to receive it within a few days.

Flexible shipping
Make sure that the shipping price is as clear as possible. This includes price, shipping time and shipping method. At X2Nails we have eight different shipping methods. The customer can choose whatever method she thinks is best for her. The customers are very different and they want as much customizing as possible.

No hidden charges
Alright, so your customer is on the payment site and is filling out her information, where she sees that she has to pay extra credit card charges. It is small a charge, typically between 0.5 DKK and 10 DKK. Do you know what most of you customers chooses to do? They leave the site and finds another web shop.
Many customers also experience that they are putting products in their baskets, but there are no shipping costs showing. The thing is that your customer automatically will think that the shipping is free. She will get to the payment site and there she will see that she has to pay 50 DKK extra for shipping. Guess what she does.

Delivery time
Make sure that the delivery time is as clear as possible. That way your customer will know when she will receive her order. If your web shop has flexible shipping, it is extra important that your customer exactly knows what her choice means for the delivery time.

Vacation
If you have a small web shop and you choose to ”close” it for a week for vacation, it is very important that you write it clearly on all sites, that the web shop is closed and all orders will be sent on date xx of xx. It is also a very good idea to be reachable, even if you are on vacation.

Admit mistakes
Have your web shop made a mistake then it is a great idea to admit the mistake and apologize as soon as possible. Right after the apology, you should give the customer two or three reasonable proposals. Always remember that is was your web shops fault. The customer will out of pity typically choose the best solution for both parties.

Constant improvement
The improvement of customer service must be constant. It can always be better, especially in a time when everything is getting more advanced so fast. The time changes and your customers change.

It does not matter if the company is big or small the customer service needs to be at its best.

I hope you can use if not all then some of it to improve your customer service. :)

You can contact me on LinkedIn.


PS. To the web shops I have shopped in before and I have not come back, I really hope that you will read this.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Pas din søvn og arbejd mere effektivt | Entrepreneur

Read the English version here: How to be more effective by sleeping right 

Sover du nok eller er du altid træt? Det spørgsmål er yderst vigtig at stille sig selv. Mange glemmer nemlig hvor vigtig søvn egentlig er. Især nye iværksættere er hårdt ramt af søvnmangel. Jeg har selv været det. I perioder har jeg sovet, mens andre var på arbejde, sovet for lidt, sovet for meget og slet ikke sovet. Det sidste resulterede nogle gange i næseblod og en sovetid på 15-17 timer, da min hjerne ikke kunne holde til mere. 

Sov til tiden og stå op til tiden.
Du tænker måske at det er ret åndssvagt af mig, men kender du ikke det, at du brænder så meget for noget, som du bare skal udføre? Alle idéerne er der lige nu. Hvis du sover glemmer du det! Det hele skal bruges nu! Det skal være færdigt! Din hjerne kører på højtryk og du skal bare lige en ting mere...

Notesbog
Det er der en rigtig god løsning til. Du skal bare have en lille notesbog ved siden af sengen, så hver gang du får en idé, lige inden du falder i søvn eller vågner, så kan du skrive den ned så du ikke glemmer idéen. Sådan kan du slappe mere af og får lettere ved at koble af.

Koffein 
Stop overforbrug af kaffe og energidrinks. Det er okay at drikke det en gang imellem, men at erstatte eller delvist erstatte søvn med koffein er bare forkert. Stop det! 

Voksnes søvn
Ved du hvor mange timer en voksen skal sove om dagen? Det er ikke seks timer... det er faktisk syv til otte timer. Er du teenager skal du sove ni til ti timer om dagen. Hvis du vil vide hvor skadeligt det er for din krop at få for lidt søvn, kan du læse Chris MacDonalds artikel, om søvn, i Berlingske.

Og nej, det er ikke bare endnu en artikel. Jeg har selv prøvet mig frem. Seks timer er bare ikke nok, syv timer er heller ikke og otte timer er for meget. Jeg skal sove syv og en halv time, så fungere jeg. Hvis jeg er meget udmattet efter en lang dag, tager jeg bare en powernap.


Powernaps 

Powernaps også kaldet "en morfar" er genialt og bliver anvendt ikke kun af små børn, men af succesfulde voksne mennesker. Herunder kommer der tre typer powernaps:
  • 15-30 minutter: Trænger du bare til et mindre boost, er denne rigtig god.
  • 45-60 minutter: Denne hjlæper på din hukommelse.
  • En time og 15 minutter - En time og 30 minutter: Kreativitet, hukommelse og følelser forbedres.
Det er forskelligt, hvor lang tid du selv har brug for. For mit vedkommende er det. 17 minutter, 50 minutter og en time og 15 minutter.

Husk at lægge din telefon langt væk og sæt tid på, så du ikke bare sover for meget eller lige skal tjekke en mail til. ;-)

Sovetider
Det er vigtigt at lægge faste sovetider, hvornår skal du sove og hvornår skal du stå op. Skal du lave noget du ikke plejer, kan du højest flytte din sovetider en time og ikke mere! Det tager en persons krop to hele uger at vende sig til en rutine og hvis du laver om på den på dag 15 er det jo ikke så smart. 

Vækkeur

Når du har vænnet dig til din søvnrutine, kan du lade vækkeuret være eller sætte det til et kvarter eller en halv time efter du skal stå op. Du vågner selv op til tiden, da din krop har vænnet sig til det. Det er bedre at stå op ad sig selv, end at blive vækket af en ringene lyd, da det faktisk afbryder din søvn.

Lidt flere råd
Her er et par råd til at få en god nats søvn:
  • Læg din mobil og andet elektronik væk en time før din sengetid.
  • Dæmp alle lysene en time før sengetid.
  • Hver mæt, jeg kan i hvertfald ikke falde i søvn, hvis jeg er sulten. 
  • Din seng er kun til at sove i, brug den ikke som arbejdsplads. 

Husk, hold din rutine og tag dig en morfar! ;-)


Er du på Google+? Så kan du fange mig her: Hafsa Farooq

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Hvis du ikke er på LinkedIn, skal du på nu! | Entrepreneur

Read the English version here: If you are not on LinkedIn, get on now!

Overskriften siger vel det meste, men herunder kommer dybdegående forklaringer og råd, som du kan komme rigtig langt med. ;-)

Mig, uden LinkedIn
Før jeg lavede en profil på LinkedIn, tænkte jeg at det var lige meget. "Jeg har jo allerede facebook og en mobil. Hvad skal jeg på LinkedIn?" Det sagde jeg til mig selv, til jeg skulle have fat på en person, som jeg ikke kunne komme i kontakt med. Se hvis jeg nu bare havde haft en LinkedIn-profil den gang, så havde jeg fundet frem til denne person, før det var for sent!
Så jeg oprettede en LinkedIn-profil. Man skal jo ikke begå den samme fejl igen, vel? 

Synlighed
Opbyg dit netværk med LinkedIn
Ja, det er endnu et socialt medie, men din LinkedIn-profil er ikke så svær at vedligeholde. For mit eget vedkommende logger jeg på et par gange om ugen. Deler en fed artikel jeg har fundet eller et indlæg som jeg har skrevet, giver et like til fem-ti posts og lige smider en hurtig kommentar. Sådan bliver du ikke glemt og dem der ikke allerede kender dig, kan tjekke din profil ud. Jeg får typisk et sted mellem to og fem nye invitationer om ugen, bare ved at gøre det.

Husk, hvis nogen kommentere på dit opslag, så er det vigtigt at svare tilbage. Folk er generelt ikke så aktive, så hvis du bare gør lidt ekstra, kan du få meget ud af det.

Hver professionel
Den her fejl ser jeg igen og igen. Folk tror at LinkedIn er Facebook. LinkedIn er ikke et sted for opslag om kærestesorger, krige, din dårlige dag, stærke religiøse holdninger, dating og andre ting, der enten er eller kan hurtigt drejes til noget negativt. Vil du måske i virkeligheden stå og fortælle om hvor forfærdeligt din ekskæreste har behandlet dig til en måske mulig forretningsparter. Nej, vel? Så gem det til Facebook og andre steder, hvor du har folk der holder af dig. Mange der tager deres profil lidt seriøs, sletter folk der fokusere på ovenstående negativitet. 

Udfyld din profil
Din LinkedIn-profil er dit online CV og det er slet ikke så svært som folk tror.
  • Profilens sprog: Det er vigtigt fra starten af, at vælge dansk og engelsk eller bare engelsk. Du skal huske på at LinkedIn er et internationalt medie og ved blot at skrive på dansk, vil din profil ikke være så attraktiv.
     
  • Uddannelser: Hvad enten du er håndværker eller direktør, er din uddannelse en vigtig del af din profil. Skriv kort hvilke fag du har taget. Det giver de andre en fornemmelse af, hvor du er på et teoretisk niveau eller bare en bekræftelse af hvem du er.
    Fag og kurser som du har taget, skal du selvfølgelig også smide på. Det kan være, at du ikke er uddannet indenfor den pågældende branche, men har taget en masse kurser eller bare enkeltfag, hvilket jo også hører under uddannelse.
     
  • Jobs: Et CV uden joberfaringer, den går ikke. Skriv hvert enkelt job op og giv en kort forklaring om hvert enkelt. Gå ikke for meget i dybden, så orker folk ikke at læse det hele.
     
  • Følg: Hvis du følger meningsdannere og virksomheder, giver du dine forbindelser et bedre billede af hvilken slags personer og virksomheder du finder interessant. Samtidig kan du holde dig opdateret på dine ynglings erhvervspersoner, samt virksomheder.
      
  • Grupper: Hver med i de forskellige grupper, som er interessante for dig. Er du dårlig til f.eks. SEO, kan du være i et par grupper der har med SEO at gøre og derved lære mere om SEO. Det er også en rigtig god måde at få flere forbindelserne på.
     
  • Sprog: Vælg hvilke sprog du kan. Det betyder ikke så meget om du kan dem meget eller lidt, for du kan nemlig vælge niveauer f.eks. står der i min, at dansk er mit modersmål, mens jeg taler japansk på et elementært niveau. Når du kan et sprog lidt, kan du lære det hurtigt, hvis du nu har brug for det, f.eks. til dit næste nye job.
     
  • Kompetencer: Du kan have 50 kompetencer i alt. Det vil sige at du kan vise hele 50 ting på din profil, som du er god til. Derudover kan du få andre til at anerkende dine kompetencer, hvilket gør din profil mere troværdig. 

Profilændring besked
Slå den fra! Jeg forstår simpelthen ikke hvorfor LinkedIn har lavet denne funktion. Den er irriterende og unødvendig. Hvorfor skulle det være interessant for mine LinkedIn forbindelser at vide, når jeg laver den mindste ændring på min profil? Det ved jeg ikke...
Du kan nemt slå den fra ved at følge stien: Rediger profil > Højre side, den nederste box > Nej.

500+ forbindelser
LinkedIn tæller kun dine forbindelser op til 500. Alt over 500 bliver vist som "over 500 forbindelser". Hvis du altså får 500 forbindelser, viser det at du er engegeret i din profil og har brugt din tid fornuftigt. Og hvem elsker ikke engegerede mennesker? ;-)
Prøv at læse her... Jeg har 580 forbindelser på LinkedIn, hvilket giver mig adgang til 18,1 millioner fagfolk. Ja, 18,1 millioner! Mon ikke det giver bare nogle få muligheder.

Dine forbindelser
Hvis jeg nu får brug for en ny SEO ekspert, laver jeg en søgning og der vil dukke flere profiler op. De vil være opdelt i:
  • 1. grad (din forbindelse): Dette er dine kontakter på LinkedIn.
  • 2. grad (din forbindelses forbindelse): Det er dine kontakters kontakter på LinkedIn.
  • 3. grad (din forbindelses forbindelses forbindelse): De kontakter du har på LinkedIn, det er deres kontakters kontakter.
  • Gruppemedlemmer: Alle de grupper du er medlem af har medlemmer og alle de medlemmer, kan du komme i kontakt med, direkte. 
  • Udenfor dit netværk: Dette er personer som du kan komme i kontakt med, hvis du har personens kontaktinformationer eller betaler for en premium konto på LinkedIn.

Brug dit netværk
Nu har du et stort netværk og hvad skal du nu gøre med det? Hvis du f.eks. søger et bestemt job, kan du sikkert finde en person fra den virksomhed og få denne til at ligge et godt ord ind for dig. Måske vil du sælge noget og du har et produkt til B2B-markedet. Du søger ansatte og kan bedre finde den perfekte profil gennem LinkedIn. Nu vil jeg ikke fylde hele indlægget op, men du forstår vel pointen? :-)

Profilbillede
Nej, ikke dit profilbillede på Facebook, Instagram eller Twitter. Det skal være et profilbillede, helst et der er blevet taget til LinkedIn. Herunder kommer der "et par" råd til dit profilbillede.
  • Først og fremmest skal billedet være af dig!
  • Du smiler, så folk ikke bliver bange, vis gerne dine tænder. 
  • Få hele dit hoved med, så folk kan genkende dig. 
  • Kig ikke væk fra din profils tekst, da det giver udtryk af usikkerhed. 
  • Vis ikke dit nyeste fredags outfit, folk er ret ligeglade. Vis højest ned til skulderene. 
  • Gem dit selfie til Facebook.
  • Ingen kæledyr!
  • Ingen smøger i munden eller lignende.
  • Ingen piercinger.  
Hvis du lige om lidt klikker ind på min LinkedIn-profil, vil du se at jeg bruger det samme profilbillede på alle de medier jeg er på. Det er simpelthen bare for at jeg gerne vil have, at i derude kan genkende mine profiler.

Sidst men ikke mindst, er det en rigtig god idé at holde din profil opdateret. Du kan aldrig vide hvornår du kan få brug for den.

Hvis du følger ovenstående råd, vil du være ret godt kørende på LinkedIn. Vil du være en af mine forbindelser på LinkedIn? Så kan du da bare tilføje mig her: Hafsa Farooq