Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
It’s no secret that successful companies are the ones with satisfied customers. But while many executives claim to understand the importance of customer experience (CX), it often falls by the wayside as resources are channeled into product development. Yet as we wrestle with a global recession, how you interact with your customers is more vital than ever before. Customer experience is, in fact, the single ingredient that will determine the success of your company.
According to Adobe’s 2020 Digital Trends report, the majority of companies stated that their key focus this year was on customer experience. CX was ranked higher than content marketing, video marketing and even social media. It’s really no surprise, considering that focusing on customer experience can vastly increase a company’s bottom line.
Research by the Temkin Group found that companies with a turnover of $1 billion annually can expect to earn an additional $700 million within three years when they invest in CX. A further report by SmartInsights revealed that businesses offering better customer experience earned between 4 and 8 percent more than their competitors. And a survey by Deloitte found that 88 percent of companies now prioritize customer experience in their contact centers.
The Use of Technology in Customer Experience
Technology plays a key role in creating a memorable customer experience each time a client interacts with your brand. This can include simple tools such as the use of dedicated landing pages and customized emails, as well as more complex CX technologies such as intelligent live chat and AI-based algorithms that can help companies understand customer preferences.
Netflix, for example, uses AI to mine the data of its subscribers and provide highly personalized experiences to more than 180 million subscribers worldwide.
“We own the Netflix customer experience from the moment they sign up, for the whole time they are with us, across TV, phone and laptop,” stated Todd Yellin, Netflix’s VP of Product Innovation, in an interview with The Guardian.
The content-streaming platform invests in making customers happy by eliminating friction from the customer journey. In 2016, the company revealed that it used hundreds of A/B tests each year to see how subscribers responded to recommendations. Running these types of experiments allowed Netflix to master the content-delivery algorithm and improve customer retention.
Between 2016 and 2020, Netflix doubled its number of users worldwide. That was possible through attracting new subscribers, but also because the company was obsessed with providing excellent customer experience that encouraged continued subscriptions.
Brands that create a company culture focused on customers help their employees work together to achieve the same goal: making customers happy. Two decades ago, in an interview with CNBS, Jeff Bezos gave the recipe for creating a successful global company, saying, “If there’s one thing Amazon.com is about, it’s an obsessive attention to the customer experience, end-to-end.”
Amazon is known for delivering unmatched customer experience and making its clients happy. The number-one online retailer has been innovating in the industry for more than 20 years using advanced technology to create the ultimate shopping experience from highly tailored recommendations to effective delivery strategies.
Why Brands Should Optimize Their Touchpoints
Customer experience impacts the way they make buying decisions. In fact, even as far back as 2006, a study by McKinsey found that 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. This means your company must focus on more than just providing a high-quality product, and consider the customer experience at every touchpoint with your brand.
You don’t necessarily have to invest in additional staff members of expensive algorithm software. CX technology is accessible to brands of all sizes and allows any company to gather and use data to better understand its users. Moreover, the need to focus on customer experience isn’t limited to online retailers or streaming services. All companies can benefit from optimizing their CX.
According to Adam Hasaik, for example, founder of Access Jet Group, one of the easiest ways to improve customer experience is to give clients options and comfort. “There’s nothing restrictive about what we offer to our clients,” he explains on the company’s website. “Therefore we secure their business repeatedly. We give traveling clients maximum convenience and comfort. They can hail a charter flight, choose the jet size, and select among add-ons such as sleeping quarters and cabin hosts.”
Access Jet puts the client in the driver’s seat, which increases customer satisfaction and reduces complaints. The results are increased loyalty and positive reviews. Better yet, satisfied customers become advocates of a brand, as they make recommendations and spread the word about a company’s quality services.
Customer Experience in Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a good example of how excellent customer service can help secure business growth. Using affiliate marketing, a company can collaborate with third parties to reach the right audience in a personalized manner, all while providing an excellent customer experience.
An affiliate program allows companies to connect with warm leads that have already been engaged in conversations. That’s because the third-party service has already spent hundreds of hours learning about their audiences and their expectations.
Services like Affiliate Institute show how affiliate marketing broadens the field of who can play and allows more companies to access rich data about their targeted audience. Marketers can then use this information to optimize touchpoints and treat customers well at every interaction.
The principle is similar to that used by Netflix or Amazon, with the difference being that you don’t do the A/B testing yourself. Affiliate marketers test the audience to see what works and what needs to be improved. Then, they apply the right strategies to market your product and consolidate your relationships with prospects and customers.
Related: How to Earn Customers’ Trust
Customer experience is vital to business success, with more than two-thirds of companies competing primarily on this factor. When you nail your company’s CX, you can establish your brand as the go-to provider, even in a tough market with established competitors. It may seem like an additional cost at a time when many companies are trimming their budgets, but investing in customer experience is vital to your long-term success.
How to Use ChatGPT For Blogging 2023: 15 Time-Saving Tactics!
ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is a language model designed to chat in a conversational manner; ChatGPT is on everybody’s lips lately. How to use ChatGPT for blogging is usually the first question people think of. This article will give you some ideas, and I will also point out a few other tools that may help you.
ChatGPT is a chatbot. It is the primary tool for brainstorming today, and before I forget, it is free – for now.
Here are a few facts about ChatGPT: It was launched in November 2022 by OpenAI, trained on top of GPT-3.5, and its knowledge is limited to events up to 2021.
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, was behind the development of ChatGPT. And no, Elon Musk does not own ChatGPT; he was only involved at some stage with OpenAI. Joseph Weizenbaum did not create ChatGPT either – he was a professor at MIT and is considered one of the fathers of artificial intelligence.
The Latest News: ChatGPT in Real Time with WebChatGPT! This open-source extension adds current and relevant web results to ChatGPT’s answers for more accurate and up-to-date conversations.
Now let’s get back to how you can use ChatGPT for blogging.
15 Ways You Can Use ChatGPT for Blogging
Chat GPT has been trained to participate in conversations using the Reinforcement Learning through Human Feedback (RLHF) technique. It is your task to instruct ChatGPT creatively, try and retry till you get results that you are happy with, and then use Grammarly, the Hemingway editor, and an SEO tool like Semrush whenever you need to.
ChatGPT can help with ideas for titles, generate content ideas, help with keyword research, and generate FAQs. It can also write articles and even write Schema for your FAQ section.
Other tools available from OpenAI can generate images for your blog and plugins for your website, but we will just be discussing ChatGPT in this article.
Content strategy encapsulates your business goals, objectives, target audience, and includes your content plan. A well-defined and implemented content strategy can help to improve brand authority, generate leads, and increase sales.
1. Content Planning
Content planning is an important part of positioning yourself as an expert in your niche. By consistently providing valuable content, you can establish yourself as a credible and reliable source of information in your industry, ultimately leading to increased brand loyalty and authority status.
To build out your content, I suggest the following steps in terms of addressing content gaps:
- Make a list of keywords already covered by your articles.
- Sort the keywords into clusters.
- If you find weak clusters with insufficient articles, ask ChatGPT to suggest more keywords for that cluster.
- Go through the process of writing the articles with ChatGPT.
Note: Remember to check the keywords with an SEO tool and fact-check all the generated text.
2. Keyword Research
ChatGPT can help you develop long-tail keywords to use in your blog posts and improve your organic search engine traffic.
3. Keyword Clustering
As we saw, you can get ChatGPT to generate keywords. Then, since it remembers your conversation, you can ask it to cluster the keywords.
4. Finding Search Intent
This AI assistant can help you if the search intent behind some keywords needs to be clarified.
Given the right input, you can get ChatGPT to write a whole article for you. I suggest you follow your usual process of writing a blog post and ask ChatGPT for suggestions and help at any stage, for instance:
- Blog title
Note: Don’t forget about on-page SEO (refer to the “ChatGPT and SEO for Content Writing” section of this article).
Your instructions must be detailed enough for ChatGPT to understand you better. You will find that ChatGPT is always eager to help!
Let’s go over a few examples.
5. Blog Post Title
You will need a catchy title for your blog that includes the keyword. I instructed ChatGPT to use the keyword “ChatGPT for Blogging” and got the results below.
As you see, not all titles include the exact keyword, but ChatGPT does a pretty good job!
6. Blog Post Outline
Now you can ask the AI tool to generate ideas for an outline.
You would need to optimize the outline for SEO (according to the section “ChatGPT and SEO for Content Writing” below).
And if you need some help, read our article on how to write a blog post outline.
You can ask ChatGPT to compose an introduction based on your blog title and include the keyword in the first or second sentence.
Now that you have an outline, you can get ChatGPT to expand on each section. Remember to tell him what keywords need to be included and how long you want each piece to be.
In the same way, you can get ChatGPT to write the rest of the blog post.
Having written the body of the post, you can ask ChatGPT to write a conclusion.
10. Image Ideas
Ask for ideas, for example: “Can you provide three image ideas for each heading of the above blog?” (To illustrate this, we’ll just ask for ideas for one section.)
And if you want to try another new tool, use DALL-E 2 to generate your images.
DALL·E 2 is a new AI system that can create realistic images and art from a description in natural language.
In my opinion, DALL-E 2 is an incredible tool for generating images for a blog post. Its cutting-edge AI advanced technology can create unique and captivating images that will help your blog stand out.
Just imagine: you give DALL-E 2 a text description of the image you want, such as “a photo of a young man hiking in the mountains” or “a painting of a group of friends having a picnic under shady trees,” and it will generate an image that matches that description perfectly. This means you can rely on something other than stock images, which are often overused. And you can have images that are truly unique and fit the style of your blog.
Also, DALL-E 2 allows you to be really creative and make images that might not have been possible with traditional methods. The powerful software can help you create beautiful images to convey the message of your blog post.
In short, DALL-E 2 is a game-changer for creating images for a blog; it can help you create truly unique and captivating photos and convey your message more powerfully.
11. Using Copywriting Frameworks
Copywriting frameworks are a set of techniques and strategies used by copywriters to structure and present information to effectively communicate the intended message to the target audience.
These frameworks provide a step-by-step process for organizing and presenting information, from capturing attention, arousing interest, creating desire, and prompting action. Examples of copywriting frameworks include AIDA, PAS, USP, Soap Opera Sequence, Monomyth, and more.
The framework selection depends on the message and the audience you are trying to reach. It helps make the message more relatable and keeps the audience engaged, making it more effective and persuasive.
Note: The three paragraphs above are AI-generated content. Originality.AI classified it as 100% original, but it had some grammar errors. I corrected the errors with Grammarly, and it is now classified as 94% original. No doubt ChatGPT is powerful, as you can see!
As for writing copywriting frameworks, here is an example.
12. Writing the Meta Description
Now you can ask for interesting ideas for meta descriptions for the above blog to attract more traffic from search engines.
If the meta descriptions are too long, you can ask it to read them and rewrite these to be at most 160 characters long.
Or initially ask ChatGPT to stay under 160 characters.
13. Creating a WordPress Schema
Say, for example, you have the following question in a FAQ section.
You can ask the AI assistant to write the FAQ Schema for the same question.
The example written by ChatGPT passes the Rich Results Test.
Promoting Your Blog
Promoting your blog is essential to building an audience and driving traffic to your website. Share your blog posts on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and engage with your followers.
Remember to also promote your blog through guest blogging on other websites in your niche. This can help you get a new audience and establish yourself as an authority in your field.
SEO tactics such as keyword research and meta tags can help your blog rank higher in search engines, making it more visible to potential readers.
14. Promoting on Social Media
With Chat GPT, you can create all the promotional material for social media, from Twitter to FaceBook.
Or for a promotion email, you can ask the tool to: Create a promotional email for my blog “Becoming a Pro Blogger with ChatGPT: Best Practices to Follow.”
15. Writing a Newsletter
And you can get ChatGPT to write a short newsletter.
ChatGPT and SEO for Content Writing
Let’s assume you have a list of competitors with relatively low DA/DR on the first page of Google that you hope to beat.
By now, you know that ChatGPT can suggest most of the information needed to write a blog, but it does not take the SERP into consideration. We can’t count on the outline suggested by ChatGPT.
We need to know the best structure for our article based on what our competitors have, for example:
- Number of H2s and H3s (H4, H5, H6 are not as strong signals)
- Density of exact keywords, LSI, NLP words
- Keywords used in headings
- The structure of sections
Surfer SEO, on the other hand, gives us most of this information, but as much as it tries to break it down for us, it misses important points.
PageOptimizer Pro covers the points missed by Surfer, but it can sometimes be confusing.
It is beyond the scope of this article to get deep into statistical calculations, but here is a list of Youtube videos that will help you.
At this stage, you should have the right outline and additional necessary information.
Now you can start utilizing the power of ChatGPT: ask for headings and specify exactly what keywords should be included. Ask for an introduction and paragraphs and specify exactly what should be included.
If you follow these steps (which is not an easy or fast exercise), you should have the perfect article.
Latest News: Try the new ChatGTP SEO Extention – AIPRM for SEO. With this extension, you can do things like create a keyword strategy and even generate SEO-optimized content to outrank your competition. This video explains some of its features: How To Rank First Page Google With ChatGPT SEO Extension (New Strategy 2023).
Here are a few additional programs and chrome extensions that may help you:
- Thruuu – paid or free. It is used for scraping the top 10 up to the top 100 articles on the SERP. Thruuu will give you the number of words, H1, H2s, H3s, number of images, and more for each article that it can scrape.
- SEOquake – Semrush chrome extension
- SEO Pro Extension
Bonus Tips on How to Use ChatGPT for Blogging
Keep in mind that while ChatGPT is a powerful tool, using it does not mean you can neglect the human touch. You should always review the content generated by the model and add your personal touch.
Catchy domain names are essential for any website – they help you stand out from the crowd and attract attention.
ChatGPT can help you generate a list of ideas for your next domain name. For example, you can ask for ten domain names for a site dedicated to “How to Use ChatGPT for Blogging.”
Of course, you must check availability.
As we’ve seen, ChatGPT can be used to generate content ideas. But you can also use it to generate ideas for:
- High-quality product reviews that will help you monetize your blog.
- Persuasive sales copy that will encourage your readers to make a purchase.
- Infographics that will make your content more engaging and shareable.
- Video content that will increase engagement and drive traffic to your blog.
Sentiment analysis is important to bloggers because it allows them to understand how their audience reacts to their content.
By analyzing the sentiment of comments and social media posts, you can gain insights into what your readers like and dislike and then use this information to create more engaging and relevant content.
Additionally, sentiment analysis can help you identify potential issues or concerns your readers might have so you can address these promptly.
Overall, sentiment analysis can help you improve engagement with your audience and better understand readers’ needs and preferences.
Convert YouTube Videos to Blog Posts
A few applications, like Jarvis, can help you with this task. But you can also do it manually using ChatGPT. Let me show you how.
- Go to your video on YouTube and click CC to enable captions.
- Click on the three dots and then on “show transcript.”
- Click on the three vertical dots to disable Time Stamps.
- Select all the transcript text, and copy and paste it into the editor of your choice.
- Divide the content into logical paragraphs.
- Ask ChatGPT to rewrite each paragraph (you can ask for a few versions) and suggest a few headlines.
- Do some formatting, and your blog is ready.
Note: During my research for this article, I discovered an extension, “YouTube Summary with ChatGPT,” that will summarize a video.
Rewrite Old Content
Here are several ways to improve old content with the ChatGPT AI tool:
- Rewrite paragraphs or certain phrases and add new ideas.
- Change the tone.
- Update the information: Ensure all the post’s information/data is still accurate and relevant.
- Add new information: If there’s further information or research on the topic, include it in the post to make it more valuable to readers.
- Update meta descriptions if needed to improve the post’s visibility.
- Use social media to promote the post again: Share the post on your social media channels to reach a new audience or even your old followers.
- Use the post for email marketing: Use the post as an opportunity to provide value to your email subscribers and promote your blog.
- Use the post as pillar content and expand it by creating more content around it, such as new blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc.
In summary, update old content by adding new information.
AI Detection Software
AI-generated text detection uses artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to identify or classify text generated by a machine or computer. You can use such a utility to detect fake news, identify plagiarism, or filter out automated spam messages.
The technology is based on ML, which allows it to improve its performance over time as it is exposed to more examples of AI-generated text. AI-generated text detection aims to accurately identify machine-generated text and distinguish it from human-generated text.
Applications for the detection of AI text are:
Those tools still need to be proven.
Every way to spot AI-generated text becomes outdated very quickly. It’s an arms race – and right now, we’re losing.
During my tests, I found that tools generated to detect GPT-2 were very reliable in detecting code generated by ChatGPT. But let’s remember ChatGPT is not Open AI in which one can change parameters like Temperature and Frequency.
Originality.AI is still in beta and was sometimes confused, giving false positives. I had only to add one or two characters to a paragraph of about 100 words, and AI content was reassessed as original content.
Google’s Position on AI
As a blogger, you should be interested in Google’s opinion. Google is sending mixed messages, and for now, “Google does NOT seem to reduce organic traffic to a piece if you use more or less AI to help you write it.” according to Gael Breton from Authority Hacker.
Soon we will really be able to judge Google’s position on AI-generated content. Matt Diggity, the creator of The Affiliate Lab course, said in his video “How ChatGPT has Changed SEO Forever” that he built a whole site using AI. He will disclose the results in one of his future videos.
Note: If your content is detected as AI, try a rewrite in the style of Dale Carnegie, Mr. T, or some other celebrity.
In Closing: How to use ChatGPT for Blogging
As we have seen, there are endless ways bloggers and content creators can use this AI tool for inspiration. From generating ideas and outlines to writing entire blog posts, ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can help you save time and increase productivity.
The 15 tactics we’ve discussed here (and the bonus tips) can help you make the most of ChatGPT’s capabilities and grow your blog in the process. Whether you want to improve your SEO, increase your traffic, or write better blog posts. ChatGPT is a versatile tool that can help you achieve your blogging goals.
Just ask this AI chatbot, and he will help you!
My advice? Embrace, experiment, and step confidently forward into the future!
5 Important Steps To Take in 2023
If you want to know how to start a delivery business, then now is a good time to start.
It’s no secret that the trend of online shopping has skyrocketed during the pandemic and continues to do so.
Organizations like the National Retail Foundation (NRF) say that the increasing demand for online shopping is mostly due to its convenience.
After all, everybody appreciates the luxury of placing an order from the comfort of their homes and receiving it directly to their doorstep with minimal delivery fees. It’s because of this that delivery services are booming these days.
However, with industry giants like FedEx, USPS, and DHL, you might wonder how to start a delivery business with a bang and outpace your competitors.
But don’t worry. If you’re someone who’s seeking a guide on how to start a delivery business then this article is just for you!
In this post, we’ll talk about everything you’ll need to know to start strong and staying firm in the competitive delivery business world.
Let’s dive in.
Step 1: Hone Your Idea
Every business begins with an idea. You brainstorm about a business type and assess the opportunities it has in store for you. Sometimes, your passion for a business may cloud your judgment.
Here’s how to start a delivery business that will actually be a good investment and make you money:
Why? Identify an Opportunity
With millions of people purchasing online, from household products to personal care items, and books to groceries, the delivery service market has the potential to let you dream big.
The soaring demand for online shopping (an $8.1 trillion dollar industry) is enough to consider a delivery service business. Because more people purchasing online products translates to a proportional increase in your target audience and business demand.
Who? Identify Your Target Market
Finalizing your target market depends on your personal preferences. Maybe you want to partner with a local flower shop or collaborate with popular pizza places.
Likewise, cake shops, household furniture stores, and fumigation services could be other businesses to work with.
As a rule of thumb, opt for a market with high consumer demand. For instance, the demand for online grocery shopping has surged in the past few years and is potentially one you could target for your business.
Turning to and targeting an audience more likely to drive your business sales and discarding the rest will boost your chances of success.
Step 2: Create a Business Plan
The second step in how to start a delivery business after honing your idea is to develop a business plan.
The experts at Harvard Business Review believe that the biggest factor in the success of a business is whether or not it has an efficient business plan in place. Therefore, it’s essential to have one in place before getting started.
Here’s how to start a delivery business with an effective business plan:
Define the Scope and Pricing Strategy For Your Delivery Business
What do you want to offer your customers, and how do you plan to price your delivery services?
Without thinking about and addressing these problems before getting started, there’s never going to be a guarantee of your survival in the highly competitive business world.
Define the Scope of Your Delivery Business
Another important question you’ll need to address when brainstorming about how to start a delivery business is the scope of your company.
Not all delivery services are the same. An efficient one tracks the order from when it’s dispatched to when it’s delivered.
It keeps the customers in the loop to make deliveries more predictable. So, what do you plan to offer, and how far are you willing to go for the customers?
Considerations that will define the scope of your business.
- Will you take responsibility for damaged products, or do the customers bear the loss?
- How about when the order gets delivered past the delivery date?
- Are you only going to work on a local scale or do you plan to make your service a national or international service?
Develop a Pricing Strategy
After determining the scope of your business, another thing you should be on top of is your pricing strategy.
Here’s how to start a delivery business with a pricing strategy that works for you and your customer base:
- Conduct customer base surveys to understand your target audience and how much they’re willing to pay for delivery services.
- Study and examine your competitor’s pricing model.
- Take into consideration the demographic factors of your service area.
- Carry out A/B testing to check your pricing model and design the perfect setup for your business.
Develop a Marketing Plan and Establish Your Brand Identity
Business without marketing is like a car without an engine. It will exist, but it won’t work.
Here’s how to start a delivery business with an effective marketing plan and build a reputation in the industry.
Create a Marketing Plan
With over 4.26 billion social media users, social platforms serve as excellent marketing tools. A robust social media campaign on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter will catch your audience’s attention.
Instagram, with its one billion active monthly users; Twitter, with over 368 million active users; and Facebook, with a whopping 2.69 billion active users, present countless opportunities to target your ideal audience.
From enticing images to catchy headlines, anything has the potential to go viral. Make sure you hire a skilled copywriter and graphic designer to make your ads stand out.
Top Tip: you can also go the traditional route – hanging flyers in public areas and giving business cards and coupons to local businesses.
Establish Brand Identity
Staying active on social media is one thing, but you must also establish your brand identity to add credibility to your delivery business and gain customer trust.
Starting with building an appealing, professional logo to give your business a unique brand image.
Additionally, you must also develop your delivery business website. Publishing high-quality, SEO-optimized content is bound to drive traffic.
Adding customer testimonials and reviews to it is also a good idea as new customers may find it a reason to pick your business for the next time they need something delivered. After all, 95% of consumers read reviews and use them to make decisions before buying.
Identify and Evaluate Your Competition
When developing a game plan, the next thing is to learn about your competition and the secret strategies that give them an edge in the industry.
Conduct comprehensive market research and use forums and social media to derive helpful insights. You can also reach out directly to customers to learn about their preferences and tweak your strategies to align them with their interests.
Determine Your Start-up Costs and Create a Financial Plan
Sorting finances is crucial to ensure your business doesn’t fail before it gets off the ground.
Here’s what you should consider and figure out before you start wondering about how to start a delivery business.
Determine your Start-up Costs
The primary business expenses include vehicles and insurance. The vehicle doesn’t need to be snazzy, but it must be reliable and capable of handling deliveries regularly. Secondly, you’ll need commercial auto insurance for delivering packages.
Other startup costs are relatively minor, usually costing only a few hundred dollars. They may include the following:
- Equipment costs
- Fuel costs
- License fee
- Marketing expenses
- Software (fleet management software, accounting software, and website builder)
Create a Financial Plan
Write down your goals and see how much you can afford to achieve them. As a rule of thumb, begin small and climb the ladder eventually.
A smart business owner creates an effective financial plan to manage finances like a pro. For instance, you can use your personal vehicle to minimize upfront costs.
Once you make enough profit, you can always purchase a business vehicle.
Top Tip: Consider opting for free marketing strategies like social media and door-to-door marketing if you’re a bit strapped for cash in the early stages of your business.
Develop a Growth Plan for Your Delivery Business
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Business growth sounds enticing, but you must have a robust and realistic growth plan to flourish.
Here are a few tips that might help when coming up with a plan for starting a delivery business.
- Always try to retain existing customers. The Harvard Business Review highlights that acquiring new customers is 5-25% more expensive than retaining an existing one. So, save your money by making existing customers happy.
- Keep conducting regular market research to stay ahead of trends. It helps you maintain a customer-centric approach and identify growth opportunities. Staying abreast with the latest trends will always benefit your delivery service business.
- Stay active on social media. When nothing else helps, social media does. It’s a place with your target audience; you only have to grab their attention. Be relatable, informative, and helpful; the audience will be yours.
Top Tip: Read 9 Best TikTok Ads That Can Help You Level Up Your Marketing.
Step 3: Understand and Comply with the Legal Requirements
When wondering how to start a delivery business, the last thing anyone wants is to get sued or stuck in legal matters. Complying with the legal requirements is crucial for a smooth business operation.
Determine the Appropriate Legal Structure for Your Business
Your needs and preferences will determine the legal business structure you want to pick. The popular ones include the following.
- Partnership. It involves two partners who own the business and shares the risks and profit.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC). This setup is where the owner isn’t directly responsible for liabilities and debts. It enables business owners to manage new investments and risks easily.
- Sole Proprietorship. This holds you liable for debts and liabilities since you own all the operations. The only perk is that you get to keep all the profit.
Check out our ZenBusiness review to learn about a great service you can use to get this done!
Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits
You cannot just own a vehicle and expect to run a business seamlessly. Most regions and districts require additional licenses, like a commercial driver’s license (CDL) besides a driver’s license.
So be sure to reach out to your state’s specific authority, like the Department of Commerce or Secretary of State, to learn about the administrative legalities and clear any hurdles that may keep you from operating your business smoothly.
Obtain Insurance Coverage
Another administrative point is getting insurance coverage from a legal business entity. It is worth noting that your personal vehicle rarely covers insurance for business purposes. So you’ll need additional coverage for a successful delivery service.
Business insurance is another consideration. It protects you in case of damaged and lost packages.
Register for Taxes
You’ll also need to register for various state and federal taxes before you start your business. To begin with, you’ll need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.
The business structure you pick will determine the precise taxes. For instance, some LLCs can benefit from being taxed as an S corporation.
Registering for taxes is crucial to building authority as a business and fulfilling your responsibility as a citizen.
Protect Your Intellectual Property
Guarding your intellectual property is essential to reap the rewards of your creative business efforts and keep people with malicious intent from stealing your work.
A reliable way to protect your intellectual property is to enforce your ownership rights by registering it with the government.
Top Tip: You can also protect your intellectual property by documenting your discoveries, creating strong credentials, and using rights management.
Open a Business Bank Account and Credit Card
Opening a business credit card and bank account is essential to protect your business assets.
When business and personal accounts are mixed, your personal assets are at risk in the event your business gets sued.
Plus, building business credit from the get-go can also help you avail of other financing options and credit cards in your business’s name further down the line.
Step 4: Choose the Right Vehicle and Equipment for your Delivery Business
Without the right tools, you’ll struggle to load and transport parcels. This means reduced business and more complaints.
Determine Delivery Needs
Do you plan to deliver small and mid-sized items or larger products? Generally, a pickup truck is suitable for small items. However, appliances and furniture require heavier items like a cargo van or a box truck.
Research and Compare Vehicle Options
The Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster, Nissan NV, Chevrolet Express, and Toyota Prius are some popular names in the industry.
Before purchasing a delivery vehicle, make sure you consider the size, loading capability, and fuel efficiency before purchasing a vehicle. That’s primarily because these factors will affect your running business costs, and whether or not you’ll be able to make short-trip deliveries or long-haul routes.
Invest In Necessary Equipment and Supplies
Buying a vehicle is only one side of the story; you must also purchase numerous pieces of equipment to keep your business up and running. These may include items like:
- Stretch wrap
- Moving blankets
- Ratchet straps
- Bungee cords
- Packing materials (based on the products you want to deliver)
Maintain Vehicles and Equipment
Vehicle maintenance ensures safety on the road and boosts fuel efficiency. It also helps maintain your vehicle’s value and makes up for timely deliveries.
The same goes for other equipment needed to get the job done. Ensure your equipment is in shape and available for efficient delivery processes.
Step 5: Build and Manage an Effective Team
Teamwork makes the dream work; the same goes for your delivery business. Hiring capable members is one thing, but you must train them to help them stay on top of the latest industry trends.
Using a Delivery Service vs. Creating an In-House Delivery Team
The problem with using a third-party delivery service over an in-house team is that it doesn’t give you quality control over your business.
So, in the event the third-party messes up, the blame will be yours to take. This means a mistake on their end can take a toll on your reputation.
Plus, it won’t help you save much money either because your income will be shared with a third party.
Building an in-house team gives you greater control over quality and lets you keep all the profits in your wallet – a win-win.
How to Train and Hire Staff
Here are a few tips and things to consider when hiring employees if you’ve decided to opt for the in-house delivery team route.
Develop a Job Description and Hiring Process
Highlight all the roles and responsibilities of delivery drivers and other employees in the job description. These may include the following.
- An understanding of navigation systems
- A valid driver’s license
- An understanding of handling materials safely, like chemicals and food items
- Punctuality and time management
- Physical strength to load and unload cargo
- Excellent vision to drive safely
Establish Clear Expectations and Policies
Every business has its unique policies. Ensure you share your business policies and salary structure during the hiring process. This will eliminate misunderstandings down the road and leave no room for confusion.
On top of that, it’ll help you form a healthy workplace relationship with your employees, which naturally boosts their performance.
Measure and Evaluate the Performance
Have your employees been making timely deliveries? Did they pick and pack the correct order? Was the delivery made to the right address?
Finding out the answers to these questions will help you evaluate their performance. You can also hold weekly training sessions to share valuable tips and help them hone their delivery skills.
Eye-Opening Delivery Business Stats
Still on the fence about whether or not the delivery business is a good fit for you? Maybe these statistics will help you realize the potential of this industry.
- With more consumers turning to online shopping, the demand for delivery services is accelerating.
- Creating a business plan is likely to contribute to your business growth and boost sales by roughly 30%.
- With over 4.26 billion social media users, popular social media platforms can serve as excellent marketing tools for aspiring delivery service business owners.
- Knowing your competition is important to thrive in the competitive business world.
- Vehicle, equipment, fuel, and marketing costs are primary business expenses.
- Retaining existing customers is 5-25% more expensive than hiring new ones.
- Building an in-house team gives you greater control over quality and lets you add to your revenue.
That just about sums up how to start a delivery business and thrive in the industry!
Remember, the success of your business significantly depends on the effort you put into the new venture.
So, be sure to take everything you’ve learned in this article today and start applying it with determination to build a strong foundation for your delivery service business.
Next: Read our 21 Tips for Starting a Profitable Furniture Flipping Business.
11 Best Email Forwarding Service for Free and Premium Users in 2023
As an entrepreneur, you know that time is money. So why waste it dealing with emails from a dozen different accounts? Using the best email forwarding service, you can easily control your inbox and manage all your messages in one place.
Whether you’re looking for something free or premium, there are plenty of great options out there. From advanced filtering tools to automated responses, the best email forwarding services provide powerful features that make managing multiple accounts easier than ever before. This article will look at some top contenders and help you decide which is right for your business needs.
11 Best Email Forwarding Service Options For Entrepreneurs
If you want some help with your productivity, this list will help!
1. Simple Login
Simple Login is an open-source email forwarding service that provides users with online privacy and security. You can create email aliases with custom domain names to subscribe to different services instead of providing your actual email address.
With Simple Login any email received on your alias will instantly be redirected to your original inbox. This allows you to compartmentalize and prioritize emails that are important to you. You can also create a reverse alias and reply to emails without leaking your identity.
You can opt for a premium or free email forwarding service on Simple Login. The features included in the free version are:
- 10 aliases
- Unlimited Reply/Send from alias
- 1 mailbox
- Manage aliases through Browser extensions of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari
- Easy to access from iOS, and Android App
- Secure your account with Time-Based One-Time Passwords (only you can access the emails)
If this doesn’t fulfill your business needs, you can enjoy the premium service for $30 a year. The following features come in addition to the free service:
- Unlimited aliases
- Unlimited custom domains
- Initiate a new email from your alias – create a reverse alias
- 5 subdomains
- Unlimited number of mailboxes
- PGP Encryption
Founded in 2010, MailGun is a transactional email service provider designed for software developers. It uses APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to send, receive and track bulk emails; an email marketing feature that is not present in email clients like Google and Outlook.
Mail Gun aims to remove fake and invalid email addresses from your email lists so that you can efficiently send your marketing messages to the right audience and increase conversion rates.
It is simple to register to the site by activating your account and adding a few DNS records. Then, you can use templates to send and forward emails and gather insights into email performance.
Mail Gun provides a free trial service for a month. You can use the service to send 5000 free emails, access email tracking and analytics, detailed documentation, and 24/7 ticket support.
Once the trial ends, you can subscribe to different premium plans, with the Scale plan offering 100,000 emails for $90/month. It includes the following features in addition to the basic trial plan:
- 5000 email address verifications
- Live Phone Support
- Instant Chat Support
- Dedicated IP Pools
- 30 days of Log Retention
With 1.8 billion active users worldwide, Gmail is a free email forwarding service powered by Google. The easy format and accessible account settings make it a popular choice for individuals and businesses.
Forwarding emails from your Gmail account is effortless. However, Gmail doesn’t have the option to create an email forwarding group to send emails to multiple email accounts at once.
You can, on the contrary, set up an automatic forwarding service to forward chosen emails to a particular email address.
Entrepreneurs can also use Gmail to set email filters and sieve through thousands of emails. It saves time and automatically forwards filtered messages to your destination email address.
Gmail values privacy and verifies the destination account before forwarding any emails. This prevents any third party from accessing your emails and personal data.
Need to forward multiple emails at the same time? Look no further. You can use the Multi Email Forward Extension on the Chrome browser to forward up to 50 emails.
Namecheap is a domain hosting website offering users a free email forwarding service.
You can use Namecheap to create a personalized email address for your domain name and exhibit professionality to your clients. Any incoming emails are forwarded to your chosen email address for free.
The website also gives the feature to create 100 forwarding email addresses on BasicDNS, PremiumDNS, and FreeDNS name servers.
5. Forward Email
With a majority of users regarding it as the best email forwarding service, Forward email is an open-source platform launched in 2017. It aims to provide online security to businesses, developers, and creators where it does not store any emails or chat logs.
Members can create unlimited disposable email addresses that direct emails to their chosen account and help keep them safe from phishing and spam messages. Moreover, you can send messages as an “alias” from your regular inbox.
Another interesting thing to note is that Forward Email declares that they will not increase their prices ever! This makes it worth checking out.
The free plan provides unlimited email addresses and aliases along with:
- Spam protection
- 50MB attachment limit
- catch-all email addresses
- Works with Gmail, Outlook, and more
- Multiple recipients per alias
You can also go for an Enhanced plan for $3/month or choose the Team plan for $9/month if you are a part of an organization. Premium features include:
- All features of the free plan
- 30-day refund guarantee
- Unlimited team members
- Custom spam filters
- Custom recipient verification
- Priority support requests
- Manage and import aliases
Mailtie is a free email forwarding service created by Devro Labs. The makers are committed to providing innovative products and services to increase email productivity.
Through Mailtie you don’t need to set up an account; add a few TXT and MX records to your DNS management system, and you’re all set.
The email forwarding services available on Mailtie include:
- Forward emails to one or multiple email accounts
- Easily Forward emails to another domain name
- Forward a single email address to single external or multiple email addresses
- Set auto response to single or all emails
- Disable an email address from being delivered
Launched in 1995, Pobox provides solutions to users who are passionate about their privacy and emails. It lets you set smart filters to protect your account from spam trigger words and fraudulent messages, resulting in a “lifetime email” for your domain or one provided by Pobox.
One of the distinguishable features of Pobox is the Mailstore. It is a Pobox mail inbox that offers 50GB of storage. You can access this with webmail, IMAP, or POP. The only downside is that it can only forward emails to 5 destinations at once.
Pobox offers three plans: Pobox Basic for $20/year, Pobox Plus for $35/year, and the most popular option Mailstore for $50/year.
The Mailstore plan provides:
- 50GB of storage
- Upto 20 aliases
- Forward mail as an alias – encourages easy, anonymous email forwarding
- Customize spam filtering
- Easy import of existing mail
- Plus, all the features of Pobox Basic and Pobox Plus
DuoCircle provides users with a comprehensive set of email services to increase productivity and ensure that your message reaches the intended audience.
Even though the service charge is a little pricey, the benefits outweigh the cost for any business enterprise. You can choose from a 3-month plan for $32, a 6-month plan for $76, and a yearly plan for $135.
The email forwarding services include:
- Unlimited number of email aliases
- Use each alias to forward emails to 10 other email addresses with no limitation in the message volume
- Send emails to multiple recipients using forwarding groups
- Forward emails seamlessly on other hosted email systems such as Gmail or Office 365
- Activity logs – to verify the email is forwarded to the destination address
- Spam filtering
- 24/7 chat, email, and phone support
The organization ForwardMX is a Singapore-based company dedicated to providing the best email-forwarding solutions for your business.
It offers 3 different plans with a slight variation in the number of domains and domain aliases allowed per account:
- Starter at $60/year
- Pro at $99/year
- Business $179/year
However, with each plan, you can forward an unlimited number of emails, add unlimited team members, and enjoy SMTP access to send emails.
The popular ImprovMX promises users a “lightning-fast” email forwarding service. You can send mail to multiple addresses and set up a “catch-all” alias. This ensures you do not miss a single important message, and everything is redirected to your domain.
The service is best suited for businesses that manage small projects. They can easily extract benefits from the free plan, allowing 25 aliases/domains with a 10MB attachment limit.
The Premium Plan at $9/month and Business Plan at $49/month provide:
- Priority support by chat and mail
- Greater number of domains and aliases per domain
- Faster and priority delivery
- 50MB attachment limit
- A high number of emails sent per day
The popular company EmailForward.MX is a family-owned Singapore-based business that offers a secure, fast, and easy-to-manage email forwarding service. You must only change a few MX records and start receiving and forwarding emails.
This brand values privacy and uses two-factor authentication as an additional layer of security to ensure the messages are delivered to the desired inbox.
The blackhole feature further adds to the authenticity of the service and catches all the email aliases that do not forward.
EmailForward.MX is a reasonably charged service and offers 3 premium plans. The starter plan starts at $5 a month and allows 25 domains and up to 5 domain aliases.
You can also send an unlimited number of forwarded emails. There is also no restriction on the file types and attachments you can send, making it a suitable choice for most businesses.
The Bottom Line: Best Email Forwarding Services for Entrepreneurs
Email forwarding services have become integral to any business’s digital communication strategy. With the right email forwarding service, entrepreneurs can save time, money, and resources while ensuring their messages are delivered securely to their intended recipients.
The services mentioned here provide a reasonable return on investment with great features like unlimited aliases, domain aliases, priority support by chat and email, spam filtering, and two-factor authentication.
Choose the best fit your business requirements and get going on your emailing journey!
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