When it comes to being in business, it’s safe to say that so many weird and wonderful things can happen. Whenever you start your own company, you do it with the very best intentions. You have dreams of what you want to achieve and you’ll do what you can to make that happen. Even when it seems a little scary or you’re not really sure of the future, you’ll definitely do what you need to do to make sure that you give it your all. And a huge part of that is preparing for anything. Just like you’re planning your marketing month to month and year to years, it’s a great idea to make sure that you’re planning for the unknown too. This can sound a little crazy, but it’s just something that you can do to protect your business.
And how do you do that? It can seem very alien to you to try and prepare for anything when you have no idea what anything looks like. You won’t always know what it is that you have to do or put in place, but anything that you can do is always a good idea. And sometimes, it’s not always things that you put in place in a what if kind of scenario. Sometimes, it’s the thing that you do on a day to day basis and how you approach business in general. These can be the things that you do that help to save your business. Let’s take a look at what you can do to prepare for anything.
Have A Business Plan
To start with, you’re going to want to make sure that you’ve got a business plan in place. If you want to make sure that you’re as prepared as possible, it’s good to think over what could happen in business and plan and prepare for it.
Know Your Brand
From here, you’re then going to want to make sure that you know your brand. When you are aware of your brand and what fits into it and what doesn’t, you will be able to ensure that you can make decisions based on that. It’ll help you to ensure that you can grow in the right way.
Hire A Coach
It could be that you need to get a coach or mentor. When it comes to helping you to make the right decisions and get to where you want to be, you may not always be able to do this yourself. Hiring someone to advise you can be exactly what you need to do to be prepared.
If there’s one thing that you can look to do to make sure that you are prepared, it’s for you to make sure that you’re always coming up with ideas. It could be that you put aside different business ideas or ideas for products or services. Or maybe even marketing ideas for the future. Having a bank of ideas gives you something to fall back on should you need it.
Prepare In Case
Of course, it’s also a really great idea to prepare for things to happen too – just in case. Here, we’re talking having insurance in place should you need to fall back on it. Having a diesel generator or some kind of secondary supply to ensure that you can operate should you need to. Even making sure that you have first aid supplies in case you need to look after staff or customers. These little things can help.
Have A Safety Net
From here, the next thing that you might want to do is consider having some kind of safety net in place. It’s safe to say that if there were to be something that goes wrong, it’s great to be able to have money behind you. Maybe it’s collateral or cash in the bank? Or maybe you have a great credit rating and you know that you have access to a line of credit should you need it? This is always a great idea and will make you feel protected.
Always Put Your Customers First
Finally, you’re going to want to make sure that no matter what you do in business, that you’re always putting your customers first. It’s the best thing that you can always do for the success of your business – but not only that. In case things go wrong with your business or the market, you’re always going to want to have your customers on your side. So always put them first, because they’ll stand by you when you need them to.
Marketing is a continually evolving industry. Just when you think you’ve got your strategy sorted, in comes a hot new trend to shake things up. To enhance your marketing in 2020, try focusing on the following areas.
1 . Enhance UX
To boost your marketing, begin by improving your UX. It’s advisable to focus on enhancing all stages of user experience. Providing highly engaging content is the easiest way to improve the UX on your site. This year, many marketers are using animated videos to express their brand stories. Ensuring that your layout is neat, concise and easy to use is another crucial step. Providing users with ‘micro-interactions’ is also a beneficial way to enhance user experience. For example, you might offer simple ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons on your website.
2. Intelligent Content
Intelligent content refers to an approach to your content; the approach involves treating it as a business asset and ensuring that it is semantically rich and structured. The end game is that the content is discoverable, high performing and engaging. Content marketing is of crucial importance to businesses across every industry. To help you to create high performing and intelligent content, there are a number of platforms available.
SEMrush is a top piece of content marketing software. It’s a platform which allows individuals to create a content roadmap by discovering topics, questions and headlines. You can also organize your marketing activities and keep track of your progress. Another option is StoryChief, the great thing about this platform is that it has some top collaborative features. Using StoryChief you can streamline the process of working as a team on content.
3. Use Stories
To forge a deeper connection with their audiences, many brands are using ‘Stories’ on Instagram. Using Stories is a top way to increase engagement and reach out to new audiences. There are plenty of ways that your brand can use Instagram Stories. For example, NASA often uses polls to ask their followers questions about science-themed topics. The Museum of Fine Arts Boston likes to add memes and funny quotes to their art history videos. When it comes to Stories, it’s all about using creativity to draw people in. Using video content in general is the best way to improve your branding this year.
4. Use a PR Agency
Investing in a professional PR agency takes the work out of your marketing, and delivers amazing results. A great PR agency will be able to pitch stories that generate a real buzz amongst both influencers and journalists. You’ll be able to get yourself some top-notch creative content, without putting in the hours yourself. It’s best to choose a PR agency who has experience in your industry specifically. For example, law firms can try Elitelawyermanagement.com.
5. Use AI
Artificial intelligence can help you to improve your marketing in several ways. First up, using chatbots on your website is a fantastic way to boost your customer service. Chatbots can serve a large number of customers at the same time, plus they can answer queries 24/7. Another way to use A.I in marketing is by using remarketing tactics. With remarketing you can show potential leads your ads on their social media accounts.
When trying to boost your business’ efficiency and reputation, you need to look at the tools that you use. For small businesses, it’s tempting to try and get by using services that offer free trials or are at the very best stripped down and basic versions of the most essential programs. Sometimes, you even need to resort to cheap imitations. While this can be beneficial in the financial short term, it can have adverse effects on the potential for growth.
Because of this, you must make the necessary investments to push your company forward. But if you are straining to stick to a budget, it can be difficult to justify such expenses. Still, here are 3 reasons to invest in the best business tools.
They Are Something You Can Trust
High-quality products and services, whether software, IT support, or devices will come with a level of trust and dependability that you will not get with cheap alternatives.
Using something that you trust will put your mind at ease. Neither you nor your staff will worry about what could go wrong. Instead, you can glide through projects or meetings with ease.
Even if there is an issue at any point, the customer support directly from the merchant will be clear and thorough. You will have the information to overcome any problems immediately, while the risk of losing out on essential data or work because of breaches or system failure will be minimal.
They Will Boost Efficiency and Productivity
As the best business tools are so easy to get used to and take advantage of, you will find that your office is much more efficient and productive. The best tools cost more money for a reason. They are typically packed with features that are designed to make your life easier.
Because of this, you can automate programs to do the menial tasks for you, and this frees up time in the day to focus on more critical parts of the business.
Furthermore, as the program or service is robust, you will experience minimal downtime, even when there are scheduled updates.
They Make Your Business More Innovative
A business that uses the latest tools and technology will be considered an innovative company by customers, clients, and investors. It shows that you are thinking ahead and you want to stay on top of any developments.
Innovative companies are more attractive than those who prefer to stick to what they know. By embracing innovation, you can also provide a better experience for everyone who works with you. If you want to take your business to the next level, the best way to do so is to work with the most recent technology to demonstrate how you are focusing on the future.
What’s Best for Business
Doing what is best for your business should always be at the front of your mind. Sometimes, you need to make big decisions to help increase your company’s chances of growing within your industry. If you use the best business tools, you will find that such success and growth comes much more naturally.
If your business needs to scale up and start growing as demand grows, it’s vital that you go about doing this in the correct and proper way. There are lots of ways of doing it that aren’t particularly safe and you don’t want to take any unnecessary risks with your business at this point in time. That’s why we’re going to cover some of the steps you might want to take and why they’ll help your business scale correctly. Find out more below.
Start by Clarifying What You Want Your Business to Be
First of all, you should be clear about what you want your business to do and what you really want it to be going forward. It’s impossible to scale up your business if you don’t yet have a clear idea of where it’s going and what you expect it to look like going forward. Try to talk these things through with your colleagues and come up with a plan of action that way.
Look at How Rivals Have Grown
If you want to look for ideas of how to achieve the right outcomes when scaling your business, you should look to businesses in your industry that have already managed to do it successfully. It’s not about imitating their success; it’s simply about learning from successes and failures of other companies and enacting a strategy that you feel is likely to succeed for your business.
Find the Resources and Equipment You Need
If part of the process of scaling your business involves the use of new resources and equipment, you should tread carefully. Investing huge sums in expensive equipment can backfire quickly if you’re not careful. But if it needs to be done, it needs to be done. Things like Ute Van Hire can allow you to hire for a while and you can then think about investing in purchases later if it still feels necessary to do so.
Make it a Team Effort
It needs to be a team effort if you want it to be a success. That’s one of the most important rules of growing and scaling any kind of business. It’s not something that you can do alone, so you really need to bring your team with you and ensure they’re onboard with it. Discuss what you’re planning on doing and tell individuals what role they can play in the changes about to take place.
Don’t Compromise Values, Quality or Consistency
When it comes to growing and scaling your business, there’s always a risk that certain things, such as values, quality levels and consistency might be compromised along the way. If you want your business to achieve lasting and sustainable success, you can’t allow those kinds of compromises to take place.
Getting this part of your business’s growth and development right is always going to be really important. If you want to ensure everything goes to plan, take into account the tips and advice above because they’ll serve you well.
This pandemic has been quite a shock for most of us. Businesses have come to realize that partnerships and deals with clients don’t always work out as one might think they would. What happens when you can’t rely on others? What happens when you simply cannot deliver to your customers because your B2B partners are unable to operate? We’ve seen what happens during this lockdown, businesses simply collapse. Customers turn to someone else to fulfill their needs and before you know, your brand is but a distant memory. You can stop all this from happening, but you have to be willing to commit to taking business firmly into your own hands.
Invest in local marketing
One day this lockdown will be over. But what if similar circumstances happen during ‘normal’ working days? Right now, you can’t deliver products to far-flung customers. The highways are shut. But really, it’s the same when they are full. Your products don’t get anywhere fast. Instead, you have to rely on the locals. This is why you need to invest in local SEO. These solutions will include claiming a Google business listing. This way, customers can find you on Google Maps on via quick local or ‘near me’ searches. Create a social media image that is both national as well as local by setting your location settings to your real-world location. Use hashtags of the cities, towns, and villages you’re near. Interact with locals online. It only takes one click to see someone’s bio or post and see where they are posting from.
Forge your own fleet
This lockdown has shown how small businesses have come on leaps and bounds. SMEs are incredibly flexible and many retail businesses have resorted to making local deliveries themselves. Local restaurants have begun to deliver restaurant-quality meals to customers at home, as well as local retail stores for beds, furniture, and cake shops to name a few. But what if you didn’t have to use your own car to make these deliveries? What if you could create your very own fleet? Speak with a trusted Truck Dealer to see what kind of options you have for haulage requirements. They will show you a range of models that are used by all major companies as well as more affordable but just as reliable truck brands. There’s something emboldening about having your own fleet because you are able to bridge the gap between you and your customers at ground level.
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Keep staying relevant
Don’t sit back and wait for this lockdown to blow over, it’s time you started to hold live streams on social media. Customers are blown away when they see business owners of the businesses they use, speaking to them, and answering their questions. This is something that CEOs like Tim Cook from Apple and Elon Musk from Tesla have been doing for quite some time. Show your face, speak directly to consumers and you’ll find you slowly become a part of their normal daily lives.
We’ve all woken up to the fact that when push comes to shove, the majority of business owners are on their own. You need to take a firm grasp of your business, everything from the marketing, deliveries to the social media interaction.
Moving your office to a new location can be an overwhelming task. There are all the computers and furniture to pack up, moving companies to negotiate with, and the risk that something important will get lost or broken in transit. Not to mention the fact that you have to keep business running as usual as you move from one office to another.
It’s a stressful time for any business, especially if you are working to a limited budget. The costs of moving locations can rack up if you are not careful. To make things a little bit easier, here are five handy tips to help companies move offices as quickly and cheaply as possible.
Getting a headstart on the moving process is one of the best things you can do. Booking moving companies or hiring vehicles in advance is often cheaper than calling up at the last minute. Creating a detailed timetable and strategy for moving office a few months in advance will enable you to save money and make the whole process more efficient. Start packing everything up with plenty of time before the moving date so you won’t need to resort to costly hired help when you realise you’re in over your head.
Relocating your company is a perfect opportunity for a spot of spring cleaning. You don’t want to bring all your old and unwanted rubbish into your shiny new office. Have a clearout of all your broken computers, battered furniture and any other inessential items you have lying around. Selling unwanted items on sites like eBay or Gumtree is a great way to add a bit of money to your moving budget.
There is a good chance that several of the costs incurred in moving will be tax-deductible. Transportation, packing materials, and shipping are just a few of the things that could count as deductible business expenses. Keep a record of all moving costs and check with an accountant if you’re unsure what could constitute a tax saving.
The most significant way to save money when moving office is to take care of the transportation process yourself. Hiring movers, although much more efficient, will set you back financially. A few employees with cars could do the same thing themselves for almost no cost. Most staff will generally be happy to help pack up and move the office. Rather than hiring manpower, it is much cheaper to rent a flatbed trolley or similar to help transport the load. Just ensure that safe manual handling procedures are followed when moving heavy equipment or furniture.
One of the most common complications when moving office is transferring technology between locations. Disconnecting and reconnecting IT equipment always leads to problems, so make sure you plan ahead to ensure a seamless transition. The business may not be able to function until the computer and phone systems are up and running. Get your technical department to create a plan for the move, detailing everything they need for the process to be as efficient as possible.
Moving offices can be daunting, but it is all about efficiency. As long as you plan ahead, you can ensure that the process is pain-free and budget-friendly.
How you manage your warehouse has a direct impact on the success of your business. When you impose effectively inventory management protocols, you can look forward to increased efficiency, less waste and higher profits, so it’s certainly worth refining your current warehouse management strategy.
To ensure you’re operating at maximum productivity levels, take a look at these essential ways you can improve your warehouse management inventory:
A well-organised warehouse needs to be planned in detail. Regardless of how much space you have access to, you’ll want to ensure that incoming goods and outgoing shipments can move through the warehouse without delay. In addition to increasing the speed at which goods can be processed, this also ensures that you’re not wasting the space that’s available. By creating a strategic plan for your inventory storage, you can even minimize the amount of space you need and reduce your costs accordingly.
When you’re consistently hitting your sales figures, you’ll have goods moving in and out of your warehouse at rapid speed. This means you’ll need the appropriate equipment to ensure that you can keep up with demand and operate with increased efficiency. Remember – having goods sitting idle costs money, so having access to the relevant equipment and keeping things moving is critical to improving productivity.
There are plenty of options when it comes to inventory management equipment, so you can find bespoke solutions to suit your needs. From an industrial trolley to forklifts and racking, the right equipment maximises the space and streamlines your picking and packing processes.
Cross-docking is a fantastic way to drive up efficiency and reduce the amount of space you need to house your inventory. Instead of moving goods from an incoming delivery into your warehouse and then on to an outgoing shipment, cross-docking enables you to move them directly from the incoming delivery to the outgoing shipment. This effectively bypasses the need for storage solutions and means your inventory is constantly being moved.
While cross-docking isn’t a viable option for all businesses or shipments, if it can be incorporated into your business model, it’s a great way to ensure you’re maximising efficiency and productivity.
All businesses are trying to increase automation wherever possible and the logistics industry has been at the forefront of these developments. While it’s highly likely you’ll still be reliant on some human staff, automating your inventory management systems can reduce errors, increase efficiency and minimise your costs.
Once automation is in place, you’ll find that you can operate with a reduced number of core staff. As salaries and wages are often the biggest cost for businesses, being able to reduce this expenditure could result in significant gains for your company.
Implement safety protocols
Any warehouse or stockroom can be a dangerous environment, so it’s vital to implement effective safety measures. Depending on your location, there will be minimum safety standards that you need to adhere to. Failing to do so increases the risk of work-related injuries, exposes you to unnecessary liability and could constitute a breach of the law, so it’s essential that you stay up to date with the regulations that apply to your business.
However, you don’t have to stop at the minimum safety regulations. By enhancing your health and safety protocols and doing more than what’s required, you can minimise the risk to your staff and cultivate a happy, safe and healthy working environment.
Train staff regularly
Even if you’re operating with a few, core staff members, it’s still important to provide them with regular training. While all staff should be given induction training when they first undertake the roll, regular training will ensure they operate more effectively and, therefore more efficiently.
Your warehouse design and protocols will change as your business grows, so implementing regular training regimes will ensure your staff have the knowledge they need to operate safely and productively. In addition to this, offering your staff additional training opportunities enables them to develop a wider range of skills and means your business will benefit from their increased knowledge and abilities.
Implementing Warehouse Management Systems
If your company holds stock, it’s vital to have warehouse or inventory management systems in place. No matter how much or how little stock you hold at one time, you’ll need to ensure that it can be processed, stored and shipped safely, quickly and securely. With the right management systems in place, your business can benefit from the increased productivity and profitability that well-honed inventory management offers.
When you start your new business, there are many things you need to get off the ground before you can start to see the benefits and rewards. It is certainly something you need to ensure that you do, and often. At different stages of your business, you will find that you are going to need to do new things and need new things at different times. This is down to many things. It is believed that more than ever there are new people trying out businesses in both the warehouse industry and the marketing industry, the two have proven very popular in recent times. You will want to ensure that your business is efficient and working successfully but this is not always easy.
In the initial setup you will need to find some of the most essential parts of business to latch onto, such as looking at finances and marketing. Let’s make a short checklist:
Select a Name and Legal Structure – this is vital and must be registered as you go and that the government is well aware of you for tax purposes when it comes to April.
Write a Business Plan – this is also important because it is the first stage of putting your business into motion, you will need to determine everything in your business plan and some of the big decisions come here.
Open the Company Bank Account – this is used as a main account where all business funding comes in and out and this makes it easier when looking over your statements.
Lease Office, Warehouse or Retail Space – this may be one of your biggest outgoings. It is also vital because not only will you need the space but also all the equipment that goes inside it. Including any programs that you need to rent to use.
Obtain Licenses and Permits – you do not want to operate any business without the permission. You will need to have all the documents near you just in case anybody needs to access them quickly.
Hire Employees -make sure that you hire the very best team and people who are motivated and want to work for you.
Set up an Accounting and Record-Keeping System – this can be done online but it can be done with databases and other services. You may want to hire someone to help you with this but it is important that you keep your records up to date.
Once your company is up and running, you will want to ensure that it has the necessary extras that it may need. You may need some extra help with your work, in the office or outdoors if you are working in a factory or in any type of construction. You may want to use labour hire. You could also look into new types of marketing campaigns and things that may help push your business forward. There is a lot to look forward to in business so make sure you have your checklist and keep on top of it, for a fruitful and successful future.
Catering to an international audience immediately boosts your business and your brand’s exposure. You never know where a hugely interested market could lie. So, take the simple step of adding international shipping and you could generate more sales around the world, becoming a globally recognised company. Just make sure you can take international payments and make refunds without spending too much money on fees. Multi-currency accounts are a good idea and some accounts will allow you to Send money to the USA and other countries at a minimal cost.
If you want your business’ reputation to grow then you need to focus on making your customers happy. In order for that to happen, you need to really connect with your audience. It’s all about creating a relatable brand. You need to keep updating your branding on a regular basis to make sure that it’s in keeping with the needs of the market. The industry is always changing, so you have to change to make sure that your company changes along with it. Otherwise, you won’t have a business that’s relevant to the market. You need to meet the needs of consumers. That’s the key to continuous business growth.
Of course, you need to make sure that you develop a genuine brand for your business. You can’t connect with your customers if you do so in a surface-level manner. You need to focus on the core values of your business. What statement are you trying to make? Maybe you could donate to charity or create an environmentally-friendly business model. That’ll show your audience how much you care about certain issues. If you create an engaging brand then you’ll start to turn more heads in the market and become better known. You’ll build a reputation as a caring and grounded business. That’s the kind of reputation which leads to business growth.
Warehouses might not seem like the sexiest business idea on the planet. Still, they’re vitally important to the modern economy, especially during this time of crisis.
eCommerce companies don’t operate in a vacuum. Sure, their websites are essential, but they also need physical assets to store and distribute all the goods that they sell. Without vast facilities, many would be stuck.
Entrepreneurs know this. That’s why so many are pulling out of traditional ventures and ploughing money into the warehouse industry. There’s a huge need for companies that can throw up structures fast, offer tenants flexible spaces, and expand when needed.
Of course, the spike in online shopping isn’t the only reason why entrepreneurs are picking up on the warehouse trend. We also see the continued growth of self-storage. Companies like Self Storage Construction that construct these projects are seeing tremendous growth in their business contracts. Customers want services that allow them to store their goods indefinitely away from their properties. Businesses need something similar, especially at a time when many of them have no idea whether the office working model will return or not.
When it comes to the warehouse business, there are several ways in which entrepreneurs are making their presence known.
The first is dedicating scarce capital to various construction projects. Entrepreneurs are stepping up to finance these giant construction projects, expecting that trends underway right now will provide them with handsome returns. After all, there’s going to be a massive demand for warehouses in the future.
Second, they’re looking at starting businesses that construct these facilities.
Warehouses are, in many respects, right at the forefront of construction technology. Relatively few are built from the ground up. Most are pre-fabbed off-site and then brought to the site by truck where workers assemble them quickly.
Being so close to the technological frontier is what attracts entrepreneurs and visionaries. The lower you can get the costs of construction, the greater the return on the unit across its lifetime, and the more money you make.
Finally, there’s a growing number of entrepreneurs who are more concerned about what happens inside the warehouse than how it is made. These guys are looking for ways to increase the role of robots and make more efficient use of internal space. Ideally, they want to create a situation in which multiple firms can share a single facility, lower their costs, and increase revenue.
The Road Ahead
At a time when economic opportunities seem limited, warehousing is a splendid example of what you can do at a time like this. The nature of the lockdown and epidemic means that the demand for warehouse services is going to rise much more rapidly – even fast than it was doing. There will be a host of companies out there, all looking for premises in which to store their goods and distribute them around the country.
The road ahead, therefore, is uncertain. Still, we can be confident that warehousing will continue to offer opportunities for those prepared to grab them.
Your business might have to be put on hold for a while during a move, and often enough, there’s no way around this. Sure, you can work remotely for the time being, and try to stay in touch with your employees as much as possible, but nothing beats being in the office and collaborating effectively, does it?
So, with that in mind, let’s go through a little checklist of how to keep yourself feeling sane, and how to speed up the moving process, when it’s time to expand or change locations in your business. After all, things can move fast and effectively, especially using the tips below.
Start with Communications
You’ll want to start by ensuring that everyone who works for you and/or with you knows about the move. You’ll want to get the word out as soon as you know it’s happening for sure, and it’s key to make sure you don’t forget about anyone here.
Make sure your employees are aware first of all, then contact any freelancers or remote workers, as they’ll be less impacted by a new physical location. Make sure you get in touch with local suppliers as well – if there’s a closer vendor to your new location, or better deals in your new area, you’ll want to settle early and with good will in mind.
Work out Where to Trim the Fat
Trimming the fat means working out what’s going to be needed in your new place, and what isn’t. After all, you don’t want to pay to have everything packed up and shipped across to the new office, and you could make a bit of money selling off some unnecessary assets here. So look around you; what haven’t you used since setting up the office in the first place? What could do with upgrading? Take a quick stock list.
If you’re not sure about a few items, and you want to bench them for later, be sure to look into Easy Access Self Storage solutions. There’ll be more around you than you first think, and they’re great for saving money, compared to trying to carry all of those spare desks and chairs with you, whilst still being as safe and secure as you need them to be.
Determine a Reliable New Layout
And finally, you’ll need to spend some time thinking up a new layout for your new office. You’ve got the time as the move is going on, once all other admin is out of the way, and it’s a productive way to stave off boredom.
Talk to your employees and ask for their opinions; take into account what setups they’d work well in, as well as the most user friendly and collaborative of standard office plans. Try to be as detailed as possible, to ensure you’re not wasting time trying to figure it out when you get into the new office for your first day of work.
A move can be a healthy time for business!
If you’re starting a restaurant, then it might seem the sensible priority that your food is the most important thing to your success. However, that might not strictly be the case. A restaurant is much more than just the food you serve, it’s the experience that comes alongside it. It’s the brand, it’s the look, and it’s how you make you patrons feel. As such, you’re going to need to nail a strong brand, and here are seven ways you can do just that.
Make a big statement
People don’t just come to the restaurant because it’s a good place to eat. To many people, restaurants are also physical destinations and a place to go out to and be seen at. As such, it’s important to invest in making it as appealing a destination as possible. Finding a good location to appeal to foot traffic and catch attention and key. From there, you need also invest in some visual merchandising, whether it’s displaying some items that adequately advertise the “vibe” or aesthetic of the place, or simply a high-quality, unique sign that helps to divert eyeballs towards it. It’s a good idea to make use of the same kind of furniture and aesthetic inside and extend it outwards, such as having an outdoor dining table.
The customer service is key
A big part of the restaurant experience is just how the customer feels like they are being treated by your staff. People go out to restaurants to be treated well. What this looks like for you depends on the kind of atmosphere you want to create, whether you want a more relaxed and friendly eatery or want a formal, or even pampering experience. What’s crucial is your team is a) given the kind of restaurant hospitality training that they need to consistently deliver a great experience and b) that they are given the respect and good treatment they deserve. Happy employees are much better able to invest the energy into ensuring happy customers.
Create the right scene
Of course, that dedication to the visual aspect of the restaurant should continue inside, not just be something you hang at the front door. A great dining atmosphere is essential, so having some unifying thought and design behind it crucial. A lot of people tend to go with the theme of the cuisine, such as a specific nationally, and reinforce it with the decor. Others go with a certain period of decor, and others come with more unique twists still. Investing in high-quality decor materials such as hotel quality tablecloths from Richard Haworth is essential. Otherwise, take the term to find your own unique typography, wall art and light fixtures to really nail the style.
Your own branding materials
When people come to the restaurant, you want them to leave with a very memorable experience of not just the food, but also the brand. The better they remember it, the more likely they are to not only come back but to recommend the place to their friends, as well. As such, think of locations and items on which you can thoughtfully place the brand. Having it on your menu is obvious enough, but you can also have custom glassware printed with your logo on them from teams like HelloPrint. The brand is communicated by more than just the visuals, as well. For instance, what kind of music you select can either reinforce or clash with the aesthetic of the restaurant. For instance, playing Caribbean originated or inspired music in a Caribbean restaurant only makes sense.
The online experience
Some restauranteurs have trouble creating an experience on the internet that has any ties to the kind of experience their diners can expect in the restaurant itself. The lack of a 3D space and the inability to engage the important senses of smell and taste might make it seem like your options are limited. However, you can’t skip the online world when it comes to marketing, nowadays, and your website is the most important online marketing material of all. Working with a professional web designer to create a website that is bespoke and takes inspiration from the design and spirit of the restaurant is important. However, your online experience can go a lot further than just how you market to your customer, nowadays. It can also include ways to tie the service you provide to your customer, too, such as allowing them to make reservations online.
The social experience
Social media is undoubtedly one of the most potent tools when it comes to making your restaurant more visible, growing a supportive community, and fostering real customer loyalty. As such, you shouldn’t hesitate to make use of it and to start getting in touch with your customers. Social media management tools like HootSuite make it easier than ever to be engaged on not just one account but multiple if you have multiple platforms. You can share interesting content, boost positive reviews, and even offer customer support all from the one platform.
A balanced reputation
Restauranteurs will rightfully fear the critic, but there’s never a situation in which you should try too hard to “take down” a review. If it’s patently false, only then it’s worth trying to take down. Mishandling a poor review can quickly become a major hassle for the business. If you provide a great experience and great food, you can still expect some negative reviews but the overall should skew in the positive. As such, you should do what you can to attract reviewers, short of offering so many free meals that you operate at a loss. For instance, you can encourage customers who engage with you on social media or who visit your website to leave a testimonial, serving as the positive social proof that can be a very convincing tool for potential patrons in future.
Naturally, on top of all of the aspects that your restaurant needs to nail, as described above, you do still need to serve some top-quality food. You can brand the business however you want, but you’re going to need to back it up with the eating experience, too.
There are nervy days during the months following the initial launch of a new business. You’re wondering if people are going to respond to what you’re trying to do, whether you’ll find your little corner of the market, and so on. Once you’ve overcome these initial challenges, it’s tempting to think that your business will continue to rise and rise and rise. However, while we can hope that this is the case, it may not be the reality. That’s because there are always things that can derail a business, even when it appears to be doing well. We take a look at a few of these issues — and offer some guidance on how to overcome them — below.
If you’re doing well, then you can rest assured that sooner or later, someone else will notice that you’re successful and try to copy your success. Before you know it, you could find that there’s more competition than you’d like — and they’re seriously beginning to hurt your profits. While there’s little you can do to prevent other businesses from opening, you can ensure that they’re unable to hurt you by continually improving and offering the best service around.
An Unmotivated Workforce
You will obviously be the most important figure in your business, but if you have a team of staff, then you won’t be the only person that determines whether your company enjoys long-term success. In order to be successful over a long period, then it’s important that you have a motivated and all-around high-quality team of employees. It’ll all begin with your hiring process (it’s much easier to lead people who are right for the job). From there, it’s about how well you can motivate and inspire your staff. Don’t let things just tick along: instead, actively work on getting the best from them,
You would hope that everyone that interacts with your business would bring nothing but positivity. Alas, this isn’t the case. Crime against businesses is a real problem, and as such, it’s important that you take steps to prevent anyone from doing your company harm. This will involve protecting yourself online and in the real world. You can protect your work premises with a CCTV installation; often, a potential criminal is deterred by the presence of cameras, but they’ll also help track them down if they do break-in. For your digital security, it’s best to work with an IT company that can ensure your data is kept safe and secure.
Cash-flow problems are one of the leading causes of businesses running into real difficulties. Even if you have a lot of customers, you can still have cash-flow issues, and when you do, it’s not long before you’re in trouble. You can get around this by keeping a close tab on your financial situation, and also by building up a cash reserve so that you can weather those slightly leaner periods. Other methods, such as encouraging your customers to pay early, can also be effective.
Does it ever feel as if your company is on a leash? It’s something that many business owners can relate to. You know that there’s a lot of potential out there, but somehow, it feels as if you’re operating in the slow lane. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, since you’ll likely still be moving forward, but it can be a little dissatisfying when you know what you could be achieving more. In this blog, we’ll take a look at a few ways that you can supercharge your business and make more progress.
Make Plans For the Future
It’s generally considered to be a good thing to find your working rhythm. Once you do that your business can effectively work on autopilot; you know how to operate and to get things done. The issue with this, however, is that we run the risk of becoming too comfortable. One of the most effective ways to give your business a boost is to set a new target, something to aim for. It’ll help to squeeze out an additional 20% of effort, and will keep your business moving forward.
Hire the Best Talent
Your employees are going to have a huge impact on the overall operations and success of your business. If they’re B-squad players, then you can expect a B-squad level of effort and results. If they’re A-squad players, then things will be different. So take a look at your hiring process, and ask yourself: does it really result in the best employees for your business? If not, then make some changes. Some business owners don’t even give themselves a fair shot at hiring the best candidates, because they write a job description that only appeals to the bottom of the barrel applicants.
Free Up Your Time
There’s a lot of tasks that have to be taken care of when you’re running a business, but no-one says that you’re the one that has to handle them. Rather than spending too much of your time on the time-consuming tasks, look at outsourcing them to another company. An IT support company can handle your tech needs, an accounting firm can handle your money matters, and a marketing expert can manage your social media pages. Through outsourcing, you can free up time that you can use to do the jobs that will help push your business forward.
Invest In Your Business
You’ve got to spend to make money, is what they say. From time to time, take a look at your business operations, and see what could use an injection of cash. It could be that you need new computers, or that your staff need to go on a training course. These things are investments that will pay off.
Look After Yourself
Finally, take a look at your work/life balance, and make sure that it’s fairly balanced. You can do much more for your business if you’re well-rested and thinking clearly, as opposed to trying to do tasks when you’re feeling close to burnout.
Unfortunately, cyber security threats come from all angles, which is why businesses need sophisticated and effective solutions in place to combat them. A lot of business owners are shocked to discover that the biggest threat actually comes from their own staff. Often staff members are not responsible for intentional breaches, but a lack of security awareness can lead to serious problems.
There seems to be a distinct disregard for data security, with a Cisco survey uncovering that a massive 62 per cent of employees felt their behaviour only had a low impact on security; whilst 39 per cent of those interviewed did not even realise that their company had a security policy. Of the 61 per cent that believed their company did have a policy in place, 48 per cent said they weren’t concerned about it, as it did not affect them. This shows that more education is needed regarding network security, which is why security consultancy services are recommended.
Of course, insider attacks and breaches are only part of the problem when it comes to cyber security threats. Cyber crime is a big issue, with hackers becoming more sophisticated and intelligent all of the time. They use a whole host of tactics to try and break into systems, from malware to attacking via third parties. With regards to the latter, this shows why you need to choose a reliable provider for cloud services, like https://www.simplyclouds.com/cloud-services/microsoft-office-365. From spam to finding loopholes, such as weak passwords, hackers have many tools at their disposal when trying to breach a system, which is why network security needs to be extremely tight.
Hire A Cyber Security Consultant
SC Magazine predicts that almost 60 per cent of small businesses fail within six months of being hacked. A lot of people tend to assume that data breaches only happen to big businesses. We have already established that this is not the case and sadly when small companies experience a data breach they often find it much, much more difficult to retain lost ground. After all, they don’t have the resources to deal with the financial implications, and as their consumer bases are often much smaller, the damage can be significant if the relationships are shot to pieces. It really is not worth the risk. The only real motive for not hiring a cyber security consultant is to save money.
However, whilst you will need to make an initial investment, you will be saving your company a considerable amount of money in the long run. You protect your business, your customers and your profit. In truth, you should start looking for a quality cyber security consultant sooner rather than later. Not only can these professionals advise you on the best steps for moving forward, but also they can perform security tests, such as penetration testing. These tests are designed to find weaknesses within your system. By finding vulnerabilities, the company can then show you their findings, with a list of prioritised steps on the best way to deal with the weak spots so that a hacker does not exploit them.
Many of us are currently working from home as we fight to beat the coronavirus. For many people, it’s their first true taste of working from home, which has caused a lot of issues for both businesses and individuals. There are some key lessons to be learnt about working from home, and what your business can do to help make sure it’s a practical and simple solution for your teams in the future. Providing flexible working and home working has proven to be effective for many businesses, and this time could be just what you need to see how it can benefit your business’s future.
Here are some suggestions for how you can make working from home a more effective permanent solution going forward.
Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons
Without the right software, working from home becomes very difficult. This is why more and more businesses are moving towards cloud working. With a cloud system, you can help your employees share documents, work collaboratively and feel more connected. Microsoft teams is a great example of collaborative software that can work for your business, helping you to chat, work seamlessly across files and work seamlessly with your other Microsoft applications. Find out more about whether Microsoft Teams is right for your business to help you find an effective solution.
It’s important that your teams have the right equipment to work remotely. Nobody wants to have to lug a desktop around with them, so if you’re looking at upgrading your equipment anytime soon, then consider giving your colleagues laptops. Having remote access to email and files can also help your teams to work effectively from where they are.
IT issues can happen at any time, whether in the office or outside of work hours. With staff being able to work remotely, you need to make sure your IT teams are capable of monitoring performance and responding to issues around the clock. A managed IT service at capstoneitinc.com can be useful for handling all of your IT operations, ensuring the smooth running of your services at all times. Should something happen outside of office hours, you know your business will be in good hands.
While working from home can be great, and necessary at times, it can be a challenge as well. Teams can find it difficult to stay connected, which is why it’s important to share advice on protecting mental health while working from home. Checking in on your employees is important, and will help them stay on top of their workloads too.
When social distancing is over, working from home will still remain an effective option for businesses wanting to provide a more flexible office environment. As a way of modernising the workplace, it could be exactly what your business needs to attract the best talent and future-proof your business.
Office renovations can be very advantageous for your business. By improving your office setup, you may create a better work environment for your employees. As a consequence, this can lead to improved efficiency and productivity in the long term.
Unfortunately, an office renovation can present some immediate and short-term disadvantages. Primarily, you’re unable to work properly in your office while work is being carried out. Having people fixing things and working in your office can be a huge distraction. Or, the work may be so extensive that you’re kicked out until further notice.
Now, you’re in a position where your productivity levels plummet. This is a concern as it means you miss out on work, which can also lead to a loss of clients and money. Do you have to just suck it up and hope that the benefits after the renovation make up for this? No! Here’s what you can do to maintain productivity during this period:
A lot of businesses will realise that they can still keep productivity levels high by working from home. If anything, you may discover that your employees actually work better from home! If that’s the case, then you’ve gained a huge advantage as your output will increase. Of course, not all businesses can make this work, so there are other ideas to try.
This is an excellent idea if you can’t work from home and depend on a physical office for the running of your business. Instead of trying to work around all the construction and renovation workers, you can hire portable buildings to turn into a temporary office. If you look at construction sites, you see these all the time. They can be surprisingly spacious, and you can connect them to each other to create a vast office space during the renovation period. Is it perfect? No. But, it will definitely serve a purpose and help you retain and maintain your productivity until the office is ready.
Alternatively, you can try and get the renovation work done when you’re not in the office. A good example of this is to pay for the workers to renovate on the weekends. This tends to cost more money, and you will drag the work out for longer. However, if you can’t work from home and can’t get your hands on any temporary buildings, then this might be the only option for you. It allows you to carry on as usual in your office, so productivity should still be high.
Realistically, you’re hoping to use either of the first two options as they are the most effective. Staying in your office does allow you to carry on being in your work environment, but it drags the renovation out for much longer than necessary. Still, consider all three options as every business is different and the last one may be the only one you can try. Regardless, this proves that you can still maintain productivity levels even while your office is being renovated!
Trade shows can often seem like an exciting opportunity to attract new business. But as many companies discover, you’re likely to only generate a handful of direct customers. This begs the question: are trade shows worth the time and money?
After all, trade shows are a big investment. Companies can spend and sometimes thousands on a trade show and may pour hours into preparing for these events.
While it’s true that you generally won’t get many direct customers via a trade show, they can still be useful in other ways. Providing that you choose the right trade show and take full advantage of the opportunity, such events can in fact be very beneficial for your business. Here are just some of the reasons why trade shows may not be such a waste of time and money after all.
While you may not always get customers buying your product or signing up on the day, trade shows can be a great form of brand exposure. This could encourage consumers to become familiar with your brand and buy from you at a later date – or recommend you to friends.
An eye-catching booth is often essential for ensuring that your brand is memorable. Bespoke exhibition stand contractors are worth hiring for creating a brand that people will remember. Doing a demonstration of your product or using videos could also help to make your booth memorable.
You can also give away business cards and promotional products to help people remember your brand. This could encourage people to look up your company or get in contact at a later date.
Trade shows are also a great opportunity to research your competition. There will likely be other companies present at the trade show offering a similar service to you. You can take some time out to see what they’re offering – you may be inspired to borrow a few ideas or it could help you to solidify your USP.
A trade show can also be a valuable opportunity for networking. There could be companies attending the trade show that are not direct competitors that you can build a relationship with – and possibly cross-promotional opportunities. There may even be other companies there that could be potential clients.
When it comes to motivating employees, trade shows can also be great opportunities. You can get your whole team involved in organising the trade show. They can then come along and be a part of the buzz. It could be an opportunity to get employees out the office and make them feel more passionate about your brand.
Taking part in a trade show is also something to show off about. You can post about it on social media and post pictures of it on your website – this could help to boost your credibility as an exciting and successful company and could help to generate more customers. Don’t just look at it as a single day of marketing but a long-term form of marketing that can boost your company image.
Increased traffic to your site matters. It matters because it is these visitors that you can convert into actual sales. Fortunately, there are some easy ways that you can boost the number of site visitors your business has. Read on to find out what they are.
The first tactic is to use onsite SEO. This means search optimisation techniques that will allow you business’s website to be found more easily. The first of these you should be concerned with is using keywords. The reason being that organically placed keywords will help your site show up higher on the search engine results pages (SERP).
However, it’s important to remember that it is not just single keywords and short phrases that are useful here. In fact, it’s also what is known as long-tail keywords as well. That is longer phrases that directly answer common questions that are associated with your business and product.
In fact, by using longer tail keywords, you can gain a significant SEO advantage in two ways. The first is that you can up your chances of being featured in a Google Rich Answer Box, which will appear at the top of the page. While the other is that you can be more easily found via voice search facilitated by services like Siri and Alexia as well. With both these things contributing to a higher SERP placement and so increased traffic to your site.
Use shareable content
Next, if you want to increase the number of visitors to your site, then you need to be creating shareable content. Of course, there is a wide range of content to choose from here such as video, animation, written posts, ebooks and guides.
However, for your content to be popular and shareable, it needs to be executed in the most professional way possible. In fact, if you are considering using video or animation, investing in corporate video production is usually the wisest option. After all, few people have the specialist skill needed to create a genuinely effective and professional-looking video that will be seen and shared by thousands of people.
Use email marketing
Finally, when it comes to getting more people to visit your site, you need to also consider email marketing. In fact, sending a targeted email to those in the demographic most likely to but your product is one of the most effective ways of increasing traffic.
Of course, there are some critical considerations to abide by here. The first of these is that you use personalisation wherever possible. One way of doing this is in the email subject line. A tactic that will make it much more likely that your message will get open and read.
Additionally, you can also use personalisation when it comes to the landing pages you create for visitors to be directed to via the link in the email as well. Something that makes the likelihood of conversion much higher and so ensures that the whole email marketing system for traffic is as effective as possible.
Running a business is no simple task, and no day is ever quite the same. You’ll already know that efficiency is essential to make the most of your money and time. Improving your efficiency as a business relies upon continually analysing the performance of your operations and seeking to do better. Beyond this, there are many simple ways that you can seek to improve the efficiency of your business.
1 . Managed IT Services
Managed IT services are an excellent investment to improve the efficiency of your company. For a reasonable price, you’ll get some top-notch IT experts ready to fulfil all of your technological needs. The best external IT providers offer features such as 24/7 support, meaning zero downtime and increased productivity. Modern businesses need to keep up with advancements in tech plus access high levels of cybersecurity to achieve efficiency. With a top managed IT service, you can access these benefits and more. Prosum are an excellent provider of such services, and you can find detailed information here.
2. Project Management Software
Project management tools are perfect to improve the efficiency of your business. With a great project management tool, you’ll get full digital visibility of each project, plus enable staff to access projects remotely and on the go. A quality project management solution usually features social platforms, tracking project hours, to-do lists, Gantt Charts and more. Some strong platforms include Basecamp and Monday.com. Most project management tools arrive with excellent collaborative features, making it easier for your staff to work together on a variety of sub-tasks.
3. Increased Automation
Technology has allowed us to automate many of our essential processes to save us time and reduce human error. For instance, payroll software is useful to automate some of the common tasks of your HR employees. Most modern payroll software includes a self-service login so that staff can access their W-2 forms or reports with ease. Such systems also make it easier to onboard new members of staff. Technology which allows increased automation can improve the success of your business.
4. Remote working
Enabling remote working can improve the efficiency of your business because you are no longer restricted to one office. When employees can access the system via the cloud, they can work from home or while travelling for business purposes. The hours that you can operate are extended, and you’ll be providing your employees with a sense of freedom and creativity. Some studies have indicated that remote workers are generally more productive and satisfied within their roles. When you are enabling remote working, ensure that you have strong IT security measures in place.
5. Employee feedback
Your employees know their roles and the business inside and out, which is why their feedback is so valuable. Make it part of your working week to have regular feedback sessions. Find out what’s working and what isn’t in terms of the processes and tools that they use to complete projects. You can use valuable data such as this to keep on making improvements.