6 Ways to Keep your Law Firm Afloat in these Difficult Times

The pandemic has affected every business in a very different way by placing limits and restrictions on the things that you can do meaning that many changes have had to be made. These changes often result in a reduction in the amount of business you are able to conduct on a daily basis as you are only able to interact with small groups of people at a time. The law industry is no exception to this and for those of you that own your own law firms, you will be aware of the hardships that the industry as a whole has undergone. 

As is the case with many different businesses all over the world the stress that has been pl; aced upon them as a result of the pandemic would have to be unlike anything else we have ever seen in our history. Companies and law firms have had to work very hard to make sure that their company stays afloat and that once the pandemic is completely over and we can get back to normality there will still be a law firm to come back to.  

 

Marketing

How you market your business and the services that you have on offer is directly responsible for the outcome of your business success and the number of potential clients who are aware of your existence. In the pandemic especially it is very important that people know of your company name and reputation as you will need to bring in as many customers as possible to bring in a healthy profit. You should spread the word of your company on a number of different platforms such as physical advertising as well as virtually on platforms like social media.  

Securing Contracts

The best way to secure your law firm’s future would be to increase the number of contracted clients you have on your books so that you have a reliable income for your business to grow from. During the difficult times that have been caused by the pandemic, it is now more important than ever that you are able to secure high-end contracts that will ensure you have long-standing relationships with public figures and business owners. Your legal team will be able to source contracts by finding strong legal leads and widening the search within your marketing strategies.  

 

Choosing the Right Cases

The pandemic has put a lot of stress onto many businesses and the biggest effect that it has had on law firms would be heightening the importance of public image, this has meant that law firms and legal representatives have had to take extra consideration when choosing which cases to take on as they want to portray themselves as honorable businesses who are out to help people win their legal battles. Although it is true that you should be considered as much work as you can to ensure your law firm’s success if you want to stay afloat during these troubling times you should be choosing cases that are going to make you look good in the public eye.  

Cutting Costs

It may seem like a simple thing when you consider the work law firms have to do but by simply cutting your everyday running costs you can save yourself a lot of money that can be put towards securing your law firm’s future. By doing things like cutting the office expenses or saving energy in the workplace your monthly savings could add up to a nice sum that would have otherwise been wasted.  

Special Offers

A great way that you can bring more income in for your law firm would be to offer a deal on your services, for example, you could offer a fee reduction for first-time clients or a discount if you refer a friend to your firm. Doing a small deal like this will not only make more people likely to choose you over the competition but will also make them more likely to leave a positive review of your work and they may even come back for some repeat business or contracted family legal representation that could bring in some serious profits.  

Expanding Your Services

If after trying all of the tips above you are not satisfied with your profits or you are fearing the damage that could be done by the pandemic then a great thing to think about would be to expand your services to attract more clients. Lawyers can be very helpful in a number of situations so if you start to open yourself up to things like educational sessions to teach the public about contracts or environmental law, you are opening your business up to making more money. Teaching sessions are a great idea so many people do not have a lot of knowledge in the area so there is a real demand for a service of this nature.  

Real-Estate Business: How to Shift a Property Quickly

In a situation where you need to sell your house quickly, it can become very stressful if you do not receive as much interest as you would have anticipated. There are many things that can be done to help speed up the sales process and many of them are at little cost or inconvenience to you so you should definitely consider doing them. Preparation is key with shifting your property quickly and you must ensure that all of the necessary paperwork has been completed to ensure a smooth transition between owners is achieved and you receive your money as soon as possible.  

Depending on the property you may want to consider ensuring any small maintenance jobs that could be required within the house are done, doing this will attract people how are looking for an immediate move-in date as they are much more likely to choose a property that doesn’t need anything doing to it over one that has a lot of work required, especially when you consider people with small children who cannot afford to spend time doing up the house before they can move in and start building their home. 

Presentation 

One of the best ways that you can increase interest in your home and speed up the sale of the property in the case where you need to sell your house urgently would be to ensure that the house looks well presented and that any maintenance has been completed. If a house looks ready to move in you are going to attract people who are also looking for a quick sale which is a great combination for you. Even if you spend an extra few days just making sure that the house is clean and presentable and that all of your belongings are moved out, this is going to be much better in the long run as it will attract more potential buyers to the property.  

If you wish to go that extra step further you may consider doing extra decorations, of course only do this if your scheduling permits it. However, if you have the time available you could increase the value of the property and the interest further by sprucing the place up with a lick of paint or new floorings, this will give you a reason to increase the asking price as well as helping with convincing any potential buyers who are unsure to follow through with the purchase.  

Advertising

 If people are not aware that you are trying to sell your property then it is likely that you will only receive minimal interest, if you want to sell the house quickly then I would recommend that you spread the word over a variety of platforms by placing advertisements in local newspapers and shops, posting on social media and registering with a local estate agents. The more people you attract into buying your property then the more likely it is that someone will go through with a sale.  

Group House Viewings and Events

As mentioned previously, selling your house quickly relies heavily upon getting potential buyers over to see the property, it is unlikely that someone will buy the property without seeing it first so it is crucial that you are doing everything you can to advertise. A great way to do this effectively would be to host a few events in the week where you host group viewings of the property to m multiple people at once, this not only saves you a lot of time but increases the probability that someone will buy the house.  

 

Pricing  

When looking for a quick sale you need to consider the pricing of your property, it is very common for selling a home to be a long process and a real waiting game for buyers who want to get a certain price for the place. If you want the sale to go ahead in the near future you need to use the pricing to attract more people to see the property by offering a slight reduction and stating that you are looking to sell very soon, if people think they are getting a  bargain they are much less likely to wait around.  

How Do Broadband Providers Actually Work

Broadband has become something that is seen as a basic human right. It’s so important for day-to-day functions that it’s seen as a necessity that everyone should have. As technology has developed and become such a huge part of society the need for broadband is much more important than it used to be. Although broadband is such an important thing in today’s society, not many people really understand what it is, how to pick the best broadband provider as there are there are a lot of great broadband deals and how it actually works to provide us with the service we need. Keep reading as we’re going to cover all the basics and important things you should know about broadband.

What is broadband?

Broadband is used to connect people to the internet so they can experience everything the internet has to offer at a particularly high speed. Before broadband, to access the internet people had to use something called a narrowband dial-up, which many people won’t even have heard of anymore as they’re rarely used. Broadband took its place as the dial-up provided a much slower connection than broadband does. Broadband is never switched off which means you have 24/7 access to the internet, if you wake up at 3 am and want to watch YouTube, thanks to broadband you can. Another thing that makes broadband much better is that back in the day of dial-ups you couldn’t use your telephone at the same time because of the frequencies, but with broadband, you can use anything you want without interrupting the connection. This is why broadband is the US’s most popular way to connect to the internet, it is definitely the most reliable and is found in the homes of millions and millions of American’s.

What are the types of broadband?

There are several different types of broadband, but there are 3 main types that you should know about. The first is ADSL – Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, this is the most popular type of broadband and the most widely used. This type of broadband is delivered to your home via the copper wired buried within your phone lines. Whilst is it widely accepted to be a speedy type of broadband, some people may have a much slower experience with it as if you live further from your telephone exchange then the max speed it can operate out is decreased significantly. Cable is the next most popular way for broadband to be delivered to homes as it is unaffected by distance so for many people this is a better choice than ADSL. The final type of most commonly used broadband is fiber, this is by far the fastest connection as it uses fiber optic cables to deliver the broadband, it is even faster than ADSL.

How does broadband work?

The most difficult thing to understand about broadband is the technical part – how it actually works. We’ve tried to simplify this for you as best we can to answer this question. Broadband works because of the copper wires that run through your phone lines, as they are used for phone lines most of the frequencies are used for that purpose, but broadband uses the other frequencies on these lines to deliver high-speed internet. In this process something called microfilters is required for it to run smoothly, they are responsible for keeping your broadband running whilst using the telephone. Fiber-optic broadband uses fiber optic cables instead of copper wires, this is why it is a much quicker form of broadband. This type of broadband sends data that has been encoded in the form of light, all the way to your house. Most fiber optic isn’t pure and most of the distance traveled will be by this, but small sections of the journey may use copper wires, however, as it is such a short distance it doesn’t affect the speed very much.

Mobile phones also have a type of broadband that works differently. It works in the same way that making calls from your phone does, microwaves are used to send data back and forth between your device and the nearest phone mast, from here the data reaches a wired network which allows it to connect with the rest of the internet. Satellites again work differently, they are much simpler, data will bounce from a satellite on your house, up to a satellite in orbit and then come back to a satellite that is connected to the rest of the internet network.

What broadband should I choose?

Different homes will be best suited for different types of broadband as this is based on the area and the distance to a telephone exchange. However, there are some great tips that apply to anyone who is looking for a broadband provider as there are so many options it can be a difficult choice. You’ll have to decide what your requirements are from your broadband, if you only need for simple tasks and won’t use it much then you definitely won’t need the highest speed broadband and can save some money and get a mid-range one. If you use your broadband to stream films and play games then you don’t want them pausing or lagging so it’s worth investing in faster broadband. If you are a student or you work from home then there are usually specific packages for these purposes.

7 Tips on How Best to Improve your Company’s Bottom Line

Your company’s bottom line is basically the amount of money that you have made after you have paid any business expenses, otherwise known as your net profits or revenue. It is very important within any business that you are doing all that you can to make sure your bottom line is as high as possible. If you are not happy with the amount of money your company is making then there are many different things that you can try to help increase your overall profits.

 

Marketing

How you market your business is crucial in making huge amounts of money and growing your company to the point that it becomes a household name. If you feel that your marketing techniques are not paying off in terms of providing large amounts of traffic and custom within your stores and websites then you may want to think about making some significant changes to how you advertise your products and services. Many people believe that marketing is a waste of money but when you make the right investments and choose the correct platform for you and your customers you should see success.

 

Choosing the Right Products to Sell

The products you decide to stock have a direct correlation with your sales, if you are not stocking items that are popular and unique then it is likely that you will see a decline in your sales rate. I would highly recommend that you research new and innovative products that would be willing to trade with your company, and switching up the products that you retail is a great way to increase interest in your business.

 

Social Media

Social media is a great tool within any business, it is not only free to make an account but you also have the possibility to contact a large number of new people without having to invest money or time into putting together an effective marketing strategy. If you have not at least set up a business account on one of the various popular social media platforms then I’m afraid you and your company y is seriously missing out, by simply making regular posts you are advertising your company and spreading the word about the services you offer to a much wider clientele than a business who doesn’t use social media.

 

Selling Platform

It is common practice within all businesses no matter how small to sell your products and services on an online platform, either by using social media or setting up your own company website you will definitely see a huge increase in sales by making sure you are present online. In this day and age, it is more important than ever to have access to your favorite brands at the click of a button, if you are not working online then you are limiting your customers to those who are in your immediate area which is extremely detrimental to your company’s bottom line.

 

Special Offers and Multi-Buy Deals

When times are tough and you see a real decline in your sales and overall profits you do not have time to waste and you should be doing everything possible to encourage more people into your store. Although offering a big sale may not seem like the best idea when you are trying to improve your company’s bottom line but a reduced sale is better than none at all. If you are going to try and move a significant amount of stock with a big sale the opportunity to rebrand and introduce new products is also available.

 

Encouraging Luxury Customers into Your Stores

As a failing business, you may want to think about ways that you can take your company in another direction, if you want to increase profits then a tried and tested way of doing this would have to be to target a higher class of customer who has more money to spend. With the huge increase in the use of wealth management firms for the ultra rich individual, it seems that people are investing in luxury service providers more often recently. Targeting a client of this caliber also increases the chances of repeat business especially if you are able to leave a positive impression on your customers.

Trying New Things

It can be very easy to get into a rut and to feel fed up with your business especially if you are not seeing the profits you desire; however, it is vital that you persist with things as every business goes through a rough patch at some point in its development. It can be a huge relief both mentally and in terms of profits to try something completely new as you will once again be interested and passionate about building your business and it is likely that customers will show more of interest also.

How to Set up and Properly Maintain your Company’s VPS

If you are someone that owns a business that operates online, then you may be in between what kind of server you want to run your business from. There are plenty to choose from, which can make it difficult to know where to launch your business’ website from.  One of the most popular options available to you is a VPS, which is a virtual private server.

What is a virtual private server?

A virtual private server is a kind of server that hosts more than one website on an individual server, however, it gives the user an experience that is the same as using an isolated server. Though a VPS is shared, each separate server has access to its own individual resources. This includes things like their own OS, CPU, and RAM. Again, though it is on a shared server, only that user has access to the individual resources.

A lot of people favor the use of VPS as it is a middle ground between a dedicated server and a shared server. If this is something that appeals to you, then you may be looking into managing your very own VPS. But to be able to do this, you need to first start-up by uploading the correct software, as well as getting your head around the inner workings of a server environment.

Should you manage your VPS?

Because a VPS is a web-based service you can get a pre-managed VPS plan. This would include the server setup and maintenance being handled for you. This may be appealing to some of you out there that don’t really have the time or know-how to manage your own VPS. However, there may be some of you that are more experienced in the area and may want to manage the server yourself.

If you choose to do this, you essentially have full control of all elements of the server. This means that you can pick the operating system, as well as uploading any software that you may believe will be beneficial to your server. Not only will you have complete freedom when it comes to your server, but you will also save yourself a lot of money.

However, even for people with some knowledge in the area, it can still be a confusing task to take on.  Here are some of our tips on how to successfully set up and manage a VPS.

How to set up a VPS

If you are someone that wants to set up a website by using a VPS, you will first need to find a reliable VPS to work with.  This is actually very straightforward. If you pay a VPS hosting platform, they should give you the login within the same day, and then you can really get the ball rolling. Arguably a good vps hosting company is essential to ensuring that your own website runs without any sort of problems.

Getting started on the system

Setting up a site on a VPS is not as straightforward as just logging in and publishing your work, in fact, there are a lot of steps you have to follow before your website can even function.

First of all, you need to connect your website to the server. Now, this isn’t as intimidating as you may think, as it can actually be as simple as just rooting your login and entering the right code. The VPS company that you go for should give you all of the data that you will need, so this isn’t a step that you should worry about too much.

Update your system and install the necessary tools.

You should update your system’s package before you start the process of setting up your website. When you have a VPS, you are going to have a lot of dependencies to work with, such as your operating system as well as all of the data that you will need to store. If you don’t have the right base to be able to do this, you may suffer.

There are a lot of things that you are going to need to download in order for you to successfully be able to run, this includes Apache, database applications, and even code interpreters that will help you with the work.

How to manage your VPS once you have it

Know your control panel

Again, using a VPS can be an extremely difficult task. One of the best ways that you can maintain control of your server is by getting to know your control panel. Your control panel is how you will control and access all of your important data and so it is in your best interest that you are familiar with the control panel.

Getting to know your control panel will make sure that you are always in control. Your control panel is where you can shut down, reboot, and control your server. Not only this, but your control panel also stores all of your analytics, which means that you will have a better understanding of how your website is working.

Continue to update your software

You may think that you only need to download the software needed for your server once, but this really isn’t the case. You will need to constantly update the software that you use, as well as downloading brand-new software often.

What Will Banks Accept as Business Loan Collateral? 

The last couple of years have hit us all extremely hard in terms of our finances. As a product of the pandemic, many of us have unfortunately lost our jobs while others had their businesses foreclose. It would be hard to find anyone right now that hasn’t taken a hit financially. Though we have all taken financial hits, the bills that we need to pay and the food that we need to pay for haven’t become any cheaper.  Because of this, a lot of us have unfortunately found ourselves in difficult positions, which means the amount of loans taken out every day has drastically increased.  

With the vast increase of people that need loans, it has also become increasingly difficult to acquire a loan. In fact, most banks require some form of collateral before they will even accept a loan. This is especially the case if you are someone that has found themselves in a difficult position with their business, as banks require larger collateral in order to offer up a business loan.  

It can be extremely confusing when trying to learn information about online title loansand to know whether or not you have the property to make you eligible for a loan, but to make it easier for you we have compiled a list of items that banks will accept as business loan collateral.  

Property  

One of the most common things that people who want a loan will offer as collateral is property that they own. Pretty much any bank will immediately accept property as business loan collateral.  Property is so quickly accepted due to the fact that it is usually worth a lot and can increase in value over time. If the person that has taken out the loan fails to pay the loan back, property can be resold at a price that is higher than the loan itself.  

Banks usually take preference in people using their own personal homes as property collateral. This is because people are more likely to repay their loan if there is a personal attachment to their collateral, so if you are in a position where you can offer your own home as collateral, it would be recommended that you do so- if you can repay the loan. 

Guarantors  

Though it isn’t necessarily considered to be collateral property, banks are very eager to accept guarantors when you are applying for a loan. Sometimes physical property can be a tricky thing to depend on, as physical collateral can decrease in worth, which could result in the bank losing out on money.  

Having another person dependent on you completing your loan is very appealing for banks, especially if it is someone that you are close to – like a family member. Having a guarantor means that the bank will be able to source their money if the person who took out the loan is unable to pay.  

Having someone that you know as a guarantor is also very encouraging in terms of making sure that you make the payments of your loan as you won’t want to let down one of your friends or family members, which the bank depends on. 

Inventory  

If you have a business then it is likely that you have inventory that you either sell or use to complete your offered service. Using your inventory as collateral is very common in the world of business loans, this is because your business usually depends on this inventory and so if you don’t pay your loan back, then you won’t make the profit that you need to in order to allow your business to thrive. 

 

Why Vaping is such a Business Success and How to Get in on It

In the last decade, vaping has really taken off. It is difficult to go outside these days and not be surrounded by a cloud of scented vapor. Vaping seemingly started to take off out of nowhere and now every mall has a different vape shop on every floor.  Lots of entrepreneurs have noticed the popularity of vaping and have taken it upon themselves to seize the opportunity and go into the vaping business. Many places have had brilliant success, but why is vaping so successful and how can you get involved in the success?

The creation of vaping

Before we get into the business side of vaping, it is first important to understand where vaping came from.

Though vaping was first created in the mid-1900s, it wasn’t until 2003 that it became mass-marketed.  Vaping has released into the mass market thanks to the work of a medical pharmacist called Hon Lik. Hon Link was a very heavy smoker at the time but was quickly put off the idea of smoking after the passing of his father. His father’s unfortunately premature death was caused by his own smoking habit which led to him developing lung cancer.

Hon Lik was afraid that he would fall victim to the same fate as his father and tried lots of different methods in an attempt to rid himself of his addiction. However, he found that all of the techniques that he used didn’t seem to be working and he was worried that he would fall back into his same habits. Because of this, he decided to try and make his own method to quit. After testing the vape privately for a while, he realized that he had a product that he could potentially sell on the mass market

Since then vaping has been thriving on the mass market, and so there is no wonder why so many people have taken the opportunity to throw themselves into the vaping market. But why is it such a good business to go into?

Versatile

One of the main reasons that vaping is such a good business to go into is because of how versatile it. Vaping first started off with the intention of being a way for people to quit smoking, but since then it has evolved in many other ways.

With the legalization of marijuana-related products in the last few years, vaping has branched out into a wider consumed and more profitable business. In the last few years, vaping has surpassed only being used with nicotine products. These days, people also choose to buy CBD cartridges to use with their vape or just straight-up marijuana vapes, depending on their location. The trend of integrating CBD into the world of vaping has been extremely popular in the last decade, so much so that you can access plenty of instructionals on how to mix CBD oil with vape juice in order to be able to vape it.

Any business person knows just how large the profit margins can be when it comes to the sale of CBD products as the consumer market is only increasing every day.

The appeal to nonsmokers

Though the cigarette industry managed to gain the following of a lot of people, the one group of people that they couldn’t reach were the nonsmokers. However, even people who were once against smoking have come around to the world of vape.

The main reason that people chose not to smoke was because of the nicotine and also the effect that smoking can have on the lungs. However, there are a mass group of people these days that choose to vape without nicotine and just for the flavor. Vaping also does less harm to the lungs, which is why it’s so appealing to so many people.

Because of the lack of unappealing aspects that are associated with vaping, going into vaping can be an extremely clever business move. This is because you have a higher amount of consumers that you can sell to, which means you have the opportunity to make more profit.

Inexpensive

Like with any business that you can go into, you should be looking at whether the costs of the business are lower than the potential profit.

Vapes are very cheap to make and you can sell them at any price above ten dollars. Even making extremely high-quality vapes can be a very affordable process, as all the components needed to create a vape are very easily accessible and the manufacturing process is also very easy.

If you are someone that isn’t too familiar with the manufacturing process, this isn’t a problem either. You can actually buy bulk vapes from a manufacturing company and customize them to fit with your brand. Though buying in bulk may seem more expensive, you will actually save yourself a lot of money in terms of manufacturing spaces and the wages of further employees.

Easy distribution

Though vape shops are becoming the norm, there are endless ways that you can distribute your vaping products. Vapes aren’t a product that needs to be tried out, in fact in a covid world they are probably the last items that should be tried out.  Because of this, if you wanted to, you could distribute your vapes entirely online.  This would save you money in terms of hiring a premises, as well as having to hire in-store workers

Because of the kind of product that vapes are, as long as they are not sold with the vape juice included, there are very few limitations when it comes to distributing them. This means that you could sell to multiple locations and you are not limited to your local area.

Due to being able to sell to a larger consumer market, you are able to reach more people that would be interested in your product, which can only lead to you being able to make more profit in the long run.

Why the Canadian Business Landscape in Calgary is so Different from the US

As more and more regions around the world become more industrialized and business rich we can now see more and more differences in how businesses in specific parts of the world operate in a more unique way to others. Within Canada, you may have noticed that the way in which many businesses are made and how they operate is much different when you compare it to the way that many successful US businesses are run.

It seems that the social lifestyle factors which are significantly different across the US and across Canada have a significant effect on the techniques that businesses must use in order to accommodate the customers in their location. As there are many differences between the demographics and customer groups that are present both in Calgary, Canada, and the US it makes total sense that the businesses would have to operate in different ways so they could be successful in their locations.

A business landscape is defined as the fundamental components of a business and the methods that a specific company uses to become successful and how they operate. As you can expect certain environments and locations require a more specialized marketing and operating technique that will attract the right kind of people to your business and increase the chances of them going ahead and investing with your company.

 

Advertising and Marketing Methods

One of the main differences between the business landscape in Calgary in Canada would have to be the way in which certain companies advertise their content and the services that they provide. Where many retailers rely upon lavish methods such as television adverts and huge LED billboards to show off their brand, the methods that are used within much Canadian advertising is through the innovative use of free social media platforms

Where many US businesses are spending a fortune on getting the most high profile spaces to advertise their services much of Canada’s business success has come from the innovative use of funding. The main benefit of using social media as a marketing tool is the fact that it is free to create an account on social media, and by simply posting a daily post you have the opportunity to reach a hugely diverse customer group and make them aware of your brand. Sensible allocation of funding seems to be a higher priority within the world of Canadian business rather than the mainstream attitude that a fortune needs to be spent on advertising, although advertising and effective marketing is key to any business when there are strong opportunities that are more affordable it makes sense to focus your efforts on this aspect.

 

The difference in The Types of Sectors

Another big difference between the Canadian and American business landscape would be the areas where the most important sectors and retailers differ in certain areas. In the more rural areas of America, we see a huge increase in the amount of smaller businesses offering more natural products, such as farmers’ markets and other independent fresh food retailers. In the main cities, you will find that the focus is on more luxurious goods such as technology and expensive fashion items. Whereas in Canada there is generally a more varied range of businesses each offering a variety of different items with a mix of expensive and more affordable price ranges. It seems that the more unique independently owned businesses do much better in terms of success rate and profits in Canada than they would in the US due to the huge amount of big mainstream corporations that small businesses have to compete with.

An example of a smaller company that has done very well for itself would have to be the image line painting company in Calgary, their focus on offering an affordable yet professional service with interior painting has made them one to watch in the industry. It is arguable that this painting and decoration business would not have seen the same rate of success if they were to open in the US, due to the fact that there are already some very well known and trusted brands in existence that would be strong competition.

 

Trade

Another reason why the business landscape is so different in Calgary than what it is in the Us is the difference in trade routes and the fact that Canada has such a variety of trade and import options available to them. Canada is very lucky to have access to over twenty-four international airports, seventeen seaports, and over one hundred and seventeen different border crossings into the US. With all of these resources at their disposal, it is very clear that Canadian companies do not have to worry about their trade routes as much as those in the US.

 

Levels of Education

A final factor that has contributed to the difference in business is the standard levels of education which are very different in the US and Calgary, Canada. It seems that there is more importance placed on higher education in Canada with almost fifty-eight percent of Canadians between the ages of 35 and 64 entering higher education at some point in their lives. This would mean that a higher percentage of the population is educated to a higher level making a more talented workforce more accessible, the graduate rate in America is not a sign and the number of self-starting business owners is also much higher.

The Free-to-Play Model: Understanding How it Works

Free-to-play games have risen over the years from humble beginnings to now occupying a huge chunk of the entire video game market, to the point where the most well-known game around right now is the free-to-play portion of Fortnight. But this begs the question; How do these games make enough money to sustain themselves with so many players and how do they profit?

 

Historical Enterprise

There are many ways developers profit from offering their games for free. “Free to try” or “soft” free-to-play games are the most basic of these. A preferred method in the older industry, with games like Runescape and Adventure Quest offering huge games for free, with the option of paying for a membership which unlocks huge amounts of additional content.

While this may seem a lot like a simple demo like in the olden days, it is subtly different in that it is a method employed almost entirely by Massively Multiplayer games. This skews the developer’s design philosophies towards having huge swathes of content for players to enjoy and allows even a small percentage of this to occupy players for dozens of hours when offered for free.

 

Modern Business

In more recent times, the most preferred business model is a result of a few other models which have popped up other the last few years mixing together in a few games to create an intensely monetized homunculus. Be it on mobile or console, most high-profile free-to-play games hit the same spots when it comes to their general business model.

Such games will include a season pass, a premium currency with an item’s store, and very often some sort of “surprise mechanic”. The season pass in free-to-play games asks players to pay money upfront at the beginning of each development cycle in return for additional cosmetic and in-game upgrades while they gain progress along the season.

 

You must be this rich to play

Premium currencies in games are often only acquirable in return for the digits on your card. In return, the items you can purchase with them will often have some level of exclusivity and will help you stand out against other players in whichever game you play. Slightly on the darker side of this idea are games that allow players to buy powerful upgrades to get an edge over other players, like in the old days when you could just look up the latest working cheats for lots of modern games.

 

Shocking Tradesmen

Usually purchasable with the aforementioned premium currency, we have the ever-controversial Loot-boxes, infamously referred to by an EA representative as “Surprise Mechanics”. These are an extra step on top of a premium currency store, in that you can no longer choose what you buy.

When it comes to buying a loot box, they are often cheaper than the potential asking price of any given item, in return for the customer receiving a random item or items. From the customers’ point of view, this often means on average receiving less than their monies worth, but with the possibility to receive something many times the worth of what they spent.

 

Whales

From the developer’s plinth, on the other hand, this taps into humanity’s natural gambling instinct and can encourage people to actually spend more than they would like on getting less than they hope. This leads directly to people who have large amounts of money to hand spending insane amounts of money on these “free to play games”, leading to these people being described as whales by several game developers.

Free-to-play games are essentially a way to encourage a few people to provide the funds to keep a huge game going for many thousands of people who don’t have the facility to pay. When done right, they provide brilliant entertainment for all players, with some players getting that little bit extra out of a game they enjoy. At their worst, they can be horridly exploitative and borderline evil. But either way, the existence of such a model speaks to the greatness of the modern gaming industry.

Bringing in New Customers: How to Create the Perfect Call Script

A few years ago I took the plunge and set up my own business. It took a lot of time, money, and commitment. It was not easy, as any business owner rightly knows. But after a while, I had gotten past all the tiresome setup and was finally ready to start bringing in clients. So I thought.

I spent countless nights searching all over the web where i could buy exclusive final expense leads. For anyone who isn’t in the know, these are potential customers that you can contact. And them being exclusive means you aren’t going to have any competition when contacting them.

But there is where I made my blunder. I thought I could just call them up and wing it. And I found I was bringing in no customers at all. Because I was missing a key ingredient. A call script.

The Script

We all know the pain of sitting down to dinner with the family and suddenly getting a cold call. Someone working in a call center reading off a pre-written script, which they will stick to with a passion. And this might seem like it is ineffective and repetitive. But believe me when I tell you there is a method to the supposed monotony.

A typical call script for a cheap call center is not very long. But for a proper business, a call script is more like a manual than anything else. It aims to contain all the possible questions a customer could have and gives the caller the correct answer to it. They take a lot of work to make, so we are going to unpack what you need to do and why.

Information

The easiest way to lose a potential customer is not knowing your stuff. If they ask you a question and you can’t instantly answer it for them, they have immediately lost confidence in you. So your script needs to anticipate what they will ask.

The best way to do this is to bring in fake customers. Instruct them to try to think of as many questions for you as possible and note them down. Then you can start constructing your script to contain all the needed information to make sure you secure the sale.

You also want to make sure the information you are giving the customer is accurate, but not too boring. Try to simplify the responses. Remember you want to keep them engaged while on the phone. If you start rattling on about specifics you could lose them. Unless they ask you to be specific.

Language Matters

Not everyone is a born writer. And there is a huge difference between a working document, meant to convey information to your staff, and a script meant to bring in new customers. The language you use in the script needs to be friendly and engaging, while also being informative and straight forward.

To that end, we recommend you seek out a professional writer to work with you in creating this script. They will better understand the flow and pacing of language and will be able to construct a script that will put your potential customers at ease and help reel them in.

Flexibility

It might not always be you making these calls. Instead, it may be your staff. And no two people are the same when it comes to how they talk or interact with others. It would be easy to tell your staff to stick to the script word for word, but a better idea is to leave room in the scripts for your staff to ad-lib or banter with the customer.

In any given section you will have information that the staff member must recite exactly. But you can have sections in brackets informing the staff they can wing it and try to build a more authentic relationship with their client.

People don’t like talking to machines. It’s impersonal. And if your staff is just repeating text word for word, you’d be better of using machines. Customers want that human connection. They want to feel heard and they want to banter. So don’t be afraid to let your staff engage with them.

Honesty

There is no quicker killer of your business reputation than lying. Even if it was an honest mistake, your customer won’t see it that way. So you need to make doubly sure that everything you are relaying to the customer is 100% correct and true.

It is tempting to try to sneak in hidden costs or trick your customer into signing up. But trust us, this is a one way street to failure. Treat your customers as you would your closest friend and they will be as loyal to your business as you need them to be.