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What “Know Your Customer” Means To Entrepreneurs

 

The idea that entrepreneurs should “know their customer” is not a new one. From the very earliest days of enterprise, business owners have sought to understand their customers; to try to anticipate their needs, and to engage in behaviours that will encourage customers to return to their company again and again.

 

However, while most entrepreneurs are aware – in an abstract sense – that they should “know their customer”, it’s well worth investigating this phrase a little deeper, and especially how the concept has developed in the modern world.

 

Why should business owners seek to “know their customer”?

 

There are two primary reasons a business should seek to know their customers:

 

  • The theoretical: The first is a simple matter of efficacy; to be able to sell to someone, you have to know what they want. Much of the psychology of selling is based on the identification of needs and understanding what customers expect.
  • The practical: The second is a legal necessity; many businesses are required to undertake measures that comply with anti-money laundering legislation. When used in this way, the ability to know a customer is more about a company’s ability to act within the law rather than drive towards sales.

 

How can business owners get to know their customers?

 

  • Knowing your customer in a theoretical sense tends to involve market research, user surveys, and focus groups. All of these tactics can provide insight into what customers want, which in turn is used to formulate plans that allow for effective selling to that customer.
  • Knowing your customer in a practical sense is far simpler, and is usually best outsourced to a specialist company who can perform an ID check on your behalf. While this is simpler than more abstract concepts like focus groups and surveys, it is still important if you wish to comply with legislation that is relevant to your business.

 

How does “know your customer” work in an ever-more privacy-focused world?

 

This problem is most often encountered when trying to get to know your customers theoretically, using surveys and focus groups. In a world that is hyperfocused on security, many customers don’t want to provide data to a company – and realistically, there’s very little you can do about that.

 

The best option for overcoming this barrier is to offer incentives for those who choose to engage with your company via surveys, focus groups, and market research initiatives. This could be a literal financial incentive, in that you pay them for their involvement, or could mean providing a discount code on their next purchase. Provided that customers feel they are getting something for providing information, you should be able to collect the information you need to increase your knowledge of your customer base.

 

In conclusion

 

The concept of knowing your customer still has a place in modern business, albeit expanded and tweaked beyond its initial purpose. Hopefully, the above considerations will benefit your own approach to knowing your customer in your own business.

 

Blog Away: Success Comes With These Five Tips

Blogging may seem like the new hot thing, but there’s a good reason for it. A blog gives a company a way to reach their customers and clients while simultaneously giving their business a personality. Deciding to start a blog is in itself a big deal because you’re making a conscious decision to do more for your business. You’re saying that you have things to say and you have an opinion to give and you want to say them all to your customers: and they love it.

 

Customers love to be able to connect with a business, but a blog has to be more than just content written in blocks on a website. It needs to be engaging and pretty to look at and you need to be marketing it correctly. Before you can dive in and get writing, you have to decide whether your blog is going to be attached to your business website, or if you want to have a standalone website to use for your content that will link through to the main site. Whichever way that you decide to do this, you need to be able to be successful and here are five tips to get you there:

 

 

Design It Right. Your blog needs to look good, sure, but it also needs to be well-supported. Checking out www.webdesignreview.co.uk/ to figure out which web design agency you should start using for your blog can be monumental in helping you to make decisions. The agency you choose can help you set your blog up to be designed perfectly to reflect your brand.

Make It Optimised. Your site needs to be accessible to customers on a range of platforms, which means that they need to be able to access your site from their smartphones, tablets and computers. It has to be fast and it has to be optimised for mobile to harness the traffic!

Know Your Audience. You need to market your website correctly, and to do this you need to know who your marketing to. Learning about your audience and what they like can help you to market to them effectively, making your blog a place they want to click.

Go Bold. You need bold titles to capture the attention of the readers, and when it comes to your content, it’s the bold and the brave that gain the clicks and the conversions. Always go for the best, most attention-grabbing titles. You won’t regret your effort.

Social Media Splurge. You need to have calls to action and share button on all posts so that people will share them on social media for you. If you have these easily accessible buttons on your web pages, you’ll find more and more people sharing them on. A successful blog comes with shares because shares bring people and people are what you need the most.

 

Your blog needs to kick off nicely and with the tips above this is exactly what could happen for you.

 

No Need To Be A Legal Eagle! Coping With The Complexities Of Legislation As A New Business

As if it’s not complex enough when you’re developing your business. Not only do you have to contend with maintaining productivity by continually reevaluating the processes and ensuring that your staff are happy, but there are numerous rules and regulations that we have to comply with, come hell or high water. Business legislation is an incredibly complex part of any business and it can be very overwhelming when faced with this momentous task, in tandem with your business needing to maintain a level playing field, how can we cope with everything that is thrown at us?

 

Embracing The Change Wholeheartedly

If governments implement a whole new way of operating, this can be very overwhelming, but rather than digging your heels in, and complaining about these changes, this is only stalling the inevitable turnaround that will have to happen anyway. It’s far better for everybody to embrace the process quickly.

 

Putting In Place Educational Tools

It can be helpful depending on the industry you’re in, to have extra help on board. The industry that you are in, they are ways around the overall complexities of legislation. If you work in the construction industry, there are resources like the CIS that could help make for a smoother transition. In essence, a lot of these resources are commercial contractors, and when you are working at educating your employees, having a few contractors on board that can steer the ship in the right direction takes the pressure off you, but makes sure that your employees know exactly what is expected of them. Educating your employees is a vital process, and it’s your responsibility to ensure that they have the information at their fingertips. This means the usual implementations, combined with deft communication.

 

Act Fast

There’s no time to waste when legislation is announced as a way to bring about change, or you are starting up a business that requires you to hit the books hard, the bottom line is that you cannot get around legalities. You have to comply, and so you can either resist the change, and wait until it is enforced on you, or worse, you are penalized, or you can use this as an opportunity to bring about change. Ultimately, change in any form can be stressful for a business, and when you are bringing about change, it’s your duty to provide the positive aspects and communicate this effectively. Change is always viewed as a bad thing, but these sorts of processes make will result in a better outcome for everyone.

 

Coping with these changes can be a lot of hard work for you, but this is why you need to have a network of resources that can help you adapt. On top of this, you should never underestimate the power of a good piece of advice that a mentor can bring you. Mentorship is one of those things that, although underestimated in the modern day, can help you to weather the changes with aplomb. While changes something that can be resisted at first, it is essential, because it’s a legal confine, but use this to your advantage.

 

6 Steps To Start Your Own Healthcare Practice

 

Starting a healthcare practice of your very own is a dream for many trained doctors and medical professionals. Unfortunately, it’s one that rarely comes to pass. The process is long, daunting, difficult, and often expensive, with a number of things needing to be bought, considered, and planned. Naturally, this can put a lot of individuals off the idea. If you’re not one of them, and still want to build a practice of your own, then here are six steps that you’ll need to take.

 

  1. Figure Out Your Budget

Like any other business, a medical practice has startup costs and needs money to get it up and running. This is usually a substantial sum, often going into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unless you have a bucket of gold stashed away somewhere that you can use, you’re going to plan your budget carefully, write a business plan, and seek funding from outside sources.

 

  1. Handle The Legal Aspects

Never wait until the last minute to deal with the legal aspects of opening your practice. It can easily take months to earn the credentials you need, so you’ll want to get the ball rolling right away. You’ll also need to acquire appropriate insurance cover, choose the legal structure of your business, and register for taxes. Hiring a healthcare attorney can be incredibly useful here.

 

  1. Find The Right Location

You need to consider locations carefully before you settle on any one area. It’s always sensible to research areas you’re looking into to understand the local market. You’ll want to be accessible to and in close proximity with your targeted patients, but also far enough away from any similar practices. You’ll also need to find a property that works comfortably with your budget.

 

  1. Purchase Furniture And Equipment

Once you’ve found the perfect office space for your healthcare practice, you need to start to fill it up. Of course, you’ll need medical supplies and equipment, like medicines, examination tables, DNA extraction kits, and more, but you’ll also need chairs for the waiting room and typical office furniture and equipment, like desks and computers. Different types of software are also required.  

 

  1. Hire The Right Staff

No one can run a medical practice completely on their own, no matter how hard you try. You’ll need a few more doctors, nurses, and reception staff at the very least. For this reason, you need to take some time screening and hiring the right people for your office. To attract appropriate candidates, you should offer a competitive wage, as well as benefits, like insurance and sick pay.

 

  1. Attract Plenty Of Patients

Without patients, your practice simply isn’t going to succeed. With that in mind, you should focus on marketing your business, like you would any other company. You should implement a plan that advertises your office across a number of networks, including TV, radio, local print, social media, and more. It may not work overnight, but, eventually, you will soon see some patients.

 

Building a successful healthcare practice isn’t easy, but, hopefully, with the advice above, you have an idea of where to start.

 

Sorry But I Don’t Want To Work Here

A lot of companies make the mistake of assuming a position of power in the recruitment and personnel management process. The idea – perpetuated by ill-informed managers – is that the company is the only interlocutor in this exchange who can decide of the future of an applicant or an employee. But in reality, personnel management is a two-way conversation in which the employee – or applicant – also has the opportunity to take control.

To put it simply, businesses need to understand that their main asset is their employees. Negative attitudes from a distant past that claim that employees can quit if they’re not happy with the company’s strategy or approach are not applicable anymore. When an employee or a candidate chooses not to work with your business, it’s not about how many others fishes there are in the sea. It’s about the skills and specific experience that your business loses. Therefore it’s essential to understand what your company is doing that is putting off talent.

You put candidates off

If you need more candidate applications, the first explanation – once you’re sure that the ad displays a clear job description – is that candidates might not be using the same platform. Indeed, there are many job boards around, and it can be tricky to identify the most relevant ones for your audience. However, more often than not, a lack of applications doesn’t mean lack of visibility. It can be linked to your brand reputation – if candidates have access to negative reviews from previous employees, they’re unlikely to want to work with you. Similarly, a long and complex application process can also cause the most enthusiastic candidates to drop. Finally, a company that promotes itself as being a great employer but whose careers site is lacking personality and information will be deemed untrustworthy by potential applicants.

You’ve struggled with scandals

If your company name has been recently involved in business scandals that made the front page of the newspapers, you might find that applicants are cautious about working with you. From applying environmentally unfriendly approaches in your day-to-day work to having been exposed for unfair levels of pay, if the company is not beyond reproach, most applicants might prefer to send their resumes to a competitor with a better reputation. Similarly, existing staff who may not have been aware of the scandal at the time can be pushed to resign once they learn about it.

Your management style doesn’t work

Everybody knows what a bad boss looks like because everybody has experienced working with a difficult manager. But when you’re the bad boss, it can be more difficult to notice your errors. Not all bad bosses are intentionally mean. But the failure to communicate your expectations and goals can affect teamwork and morale.
Similarly, if you fail to provide recognition for performing employees, your attitude can inspire them to look for work elsewhere. More often than not, a bad boss is an inexperienced manager who could gain in asking for direct and honest feedback. However, bad bosses tend to develop in work environment where the opportunity for input and support for managers is non-existent.

Unattractive companies exist. But the failure to notice their mistakes means that they can’t correct issues that occur during the recruitment process or in everyday operations. When an employee or a candidate reject an offer to work with you, swallow your pride and ask the reason why. It can be the beginning of a great self-improvement journey.

Turning Your Blog Into a Money Making Business

 

Back in the day, blogging was a purely personal pursuit. However, nowadays, it can actually develop into a full-time career and is the main source of income for increasing numbers of people around the world. So, if you want to make money from something that you actively enjoy doing and are probably already doing for free, read on!

 

Increasing Traffic

 

The first step that you need to take if you intend to make money from your blog is to increase traffic through your pages. No matter how you intend to make money, you need to make sure you have mass exposure, and boosting your traffic ensures this. Here are just a few ways to get as many site views and page views as possible.

 

Choosing a Specialism

 

When you are blogging as a hobby, you can write on whatever subject you please. Why? Well, it doesn’t matter if you don’t get many views on a post and it doesn’t matter if you have a large readership or not – you are simply writing out of personal interest or investment in whatever it may be that takes your mind at any given time. But if you want to maintain a regular and loyal readership, you really do need to narrow things down and choose a specific area of specialism. If someone is interested in beauty and makeup and you always post around the topic of beauty and makeup, they will regularly check in to see what you’ve posted. However, if you only post about beauty and makeup for one in every ten posts, they’re likely to feel that they are wasting their time when they log on to find a post about another miscellaneous subject and are likely to stop visiting. So, know your readership and ensure that you’re providing them with what they want.


Blogging Regularly and Consistently

 

People lead busy lives and they don’t have time to waste regularly checking your site just in case you’ve posted something new. You should ensure that you blog regularly and consistently. This will allow readers to check in on specific days or at specific times, sure in the knowledge that they will have new material to read. So, decide when you want to post and stick to a routine.

 

Linking Your Social Media

 

Remember that your friends and family members can all prove to be valuable readers too! You can encourage people you already know to read your blog by posting on social media with links to new posts. These people already have an interest in you and what you have to say, so many will click the link and begin regularly reading your posts. This can significantly boost your traffic levels in and of itself!

 

Collaborating With a Social Media Influencer

 

If you want fast exposure, consider collaborating with a big-time social media influencer. Social media influencers often have tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of followers. Every time they post, their posts are seen far and wide. If you can encourage one to name drop or promote your blog, you are likely to see increasing numbers of people visiting upon their recommendation.

 

Ads and Sponsorship

 

Once you’ve got a whole lot of traffic passing through your blog’s pages, it’s time to start making some serious money. Now, the most common way that bloggers make an income is through advertisements and sponsored posts. If you have a lot of traffic, a wide variety of businesses will start to see your blog as a brilliant potential advertising space. If all eyes are directed on your posts, they want their products and services to be listed in a banner, at the side of an article, or part way between an article, as this will boost their own brand exposure. You can charge them to use this space. The amount that you should charge will largely depend on just how popular your blog is. If you have thousands of people viewing every post, they’re going to have to cough up a fair bit of cash. Another way to make money through ads and sponsorship is to directly review or namedrop products within your posts. Many businesses will pay you to directly review or endorse their goods.

 

An Online Store

 

Another way to make money through your blog is to create an online store within your blog. This will be a section of your website where you will be able to sell products to readers and make a little extra cash on the side. Here’s everything you need to know to get the ball rolling!

 

Creating a Store

 

Generally speaking, it is best to collaborate with a web designer to create a store within your shop. This professional will be able to create a professional looking space where you can list products, display photos and product descriptions, receive reviews on stock, and take secure payments through a payment gateway like BlueSnap.

 

Product Photography

 

You need to appear professional for people to feel comfortable spending money with you. So, it’s worth invest in professional product photography. This will ensure that your wares are displayed in their best light, and that customers know exactly what they are investing in. Product photographers have the high-quality cameras, lighting, and aesthetic know-how to achieve this.

 

Product Descriptions

 

If you’re a blogger, chances are that you’re already pretty good at writing. Spend a little time curating interesting, convincing, and appealing product descriptions. Not only will they give potential customers more information on individual products, but they could really help to secure a sale.

 

As you can see, there are various ways to turn your blog into a money making business! Just remember to focus on building a large and loyal readership first and everything should be relatively plain sailing!

 

Narrow isn’t narrow in a niche; get more customers by targeting less

The ever elusive search for more customers. We all have a bottom line in business. A financial line. Even if you don’t depend on earning money from your business, if you’re in business you need to serve people in your niche for the business to be successful. But what if, despite your best efforts, the customers and clients aren’t forthcoming?

You post on social media, you may blog, you are in ALL the Facebook Groups (are you in mine – The Hustle Hub!?) but you’re still not getting customers! You even planned and scheduled content. You were consistent. But still no sales. Why?

 

Content leads to relationships – but relationships with who? Identify your niche.

So you are putting the content out there. But who are you aiming it at? If you cannot answer that question specifically then if we were to have a consultation session together I would tell you that you are marketing to the world! Yes, the whole. Entire. World.

There will be key points of your business – the selling points. There will be aspects about you that will connect you with people. After all, it is you they are also buying into. These points are what people subconsciously pick out in your content and connect to. That’s where the relationship starts.

If you are marketing to the world, let’s take even just a small cross-section – say 100 general people in the world, you may appeal to just 1 of that 100.

Then will that 1 person buy, maybe, maybe not.

You just put 100 posts out and you didn’t get one sale – sound familiar.

 

Relationships Build Trust

So we narrow down who we talk to and we aim our content at them. Now take a cross section of 100 people, all 100 should now technically be interested! Out of 100 interested people, how many might now go on to make a purchase – yes, you guessed it, more than 1 person that’s for sure.

Use your specific content to build relationships with your audience. People need to trust your business before they buy from you. Don’t force a sale, work on building the relationship with people in your niche.

 

Trust leads to sales

Once people trust you they are far more likely to buy. All this starts with meaningful content and forging connections with your audience. Without knowing who you are talking to how can you ever build this relationship.

 

Don’t be afraid of narrowing down your niche. Done correctly it shouldn’t hinder you, only help you.

I hope this helps you with this topic. For me, it’s an integral part of meaningful marketing. The best marketing should be almost hidden. The customer shouldn’t know they are being sold to and you shouldn’t feel like you are selling. You should feel like you are serving. If you want to chat more with me about this I offer 30 minutes free to think about this for your business.

Feel free to share this post if you loved it and found it helpful!!

Contact She Hustles inc here!

 

niche

 

Road rage – I brake for airplanes

Road rage is, sadly, something experienced to one degree or another by all of us. Let’s be honest. How many times has a four-letter word popped out of your mouth after being cut off at an intersection? Granted, the “rage” in the phrase “road rage” may be a bit over-stated in most cases, but we’ve all been there to some degree.

I brake for airplanes

I actually had to hit my brakes for an airplane the other day. Yes, you read that right – an airplane! I was heading down the highway and saw an airplane about a half a mile ahead take a dive that I was sure was going to result in an explosion. It was around a bend, and I honestly waited for the BOOM as I approached.

A few seconds later, I saw it climbing again and passing over the highway, only to repeat the pattern. I kept driving, hoping it was done with its little flight show, only to see it rapidly approaching me from the left… at about head level! I literally ducked and hit the brakes. Frankly, I was so stunned at that point that I was speechless, so no unfortunate potty-mouth words escaped.

Once it passed by, though, it was game on. I’m not sure this was technically “road rage” considering it was an airplane, but I was NOT a happy camper.

I found out later it was a crop duster. I’m told that a few years ago there was a crash and fatality of another crop duster in the same area. Well, considering the dives this one was taken, I’m not terribly surprised.

The words our kids learn

The town I commonly work in has a roundabout. It’s amazing how many people can’t navigate a simple roundabout…

road rage

I confess to struggling with these new versions found around the interstate, but I’m talking a simple yield and continue forward roundabout here.

When my youngest was about three or four, we were driving through this particular roundabout and I was nearly hit by an out-of-towner who evidently didn’t understand the concept of “yield.” Bad mommy moment here, as I slipped and called the driver a bad word. My son immediately asked me what a “shash-hole” was.  I worked harder after that to bite my tongue.

Reverse your thinking

Confession… I tend to cuss like a sailor at bad drivers.  Just keepin’ it real here.  That pattern is changing, though, as I’ve started to take a different approach to the driver who cuts me off or the one who hasn’t figured out that it’s the pedal on the right that makes the car go.

The next time you get aggravated with the “granny” driver, stop for a second and think. What if that person just found out that a loved one had passed away? What if their car isn’t operating right and they’re just trying to safely make their way home or to a mechanic? What if they just got their driver’s license and are just overly-cautious?

There are so many variables. It is highly unlikely, however, that they are driving slow just to tick you off. (Granted, this does happen… although more of an “if-you, then-I” sort of thing.  For instance, if you want to ride right up on my bumper, I’m probably going to slow it WAY down until you back off!)

Take a moment and give them the benefit of the doubt and count your blessings. You’re safely traveling down the road in a vehicle that is operating well and there is no emergency in your life at that moment. Those are blessings to remember. Send happy thoughts to the person… just in case they are having some personal issue. Simply put, give them a break.

Road rage anonymous club

There are people out there that just should not be on the road. There are people out there who don’t care that you’re on the road. We have to share the road with them all, so why be miserable when you do it? Keep your eyes open, drive defensively, and try to keep the four-letter words to a minimum! It’s a process, but if you want to get from Point A to Point B without having a road rage meltdown, you need to learn to let it go.

Don’t forget to watch for rogue airplanes along the way.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
From columnist to blogger, Tina Bosse began writing in 2015. She blends the various bits of her life — professional, entrepreneurial, and personal — and shares her experiences with you. Tina’s Coffee Break became the means for her to express herself on seemingly random subjects, but subjects that are on her mind and in her heart at the moment — things we can all relate to many times. Simply put, Tina writes about life’s moments. Tina has managed her court reporting business for over 20 years. She owned her community newspaper for several years where she first discovered her love for writing through her weekly newspaper column, “Tina’s Coffee Break.” She’s been a member of her community’s town council for six years, the last three presiding over it as president. Drawing from all facets of her life experience, Tina now provides business strategy guidance to her essential oils team. A mother of two, wife for 32 years, and businesswoman of 25 years, a piece of Tina is in everything she writes. 

Read more by this author at Tina’s Coffee Break.

 

Roundabout Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

If you don’t believe it why should they? Why mindset in business can make or break you

How do you get customers or clients? Well, one way is showing that you know what you are doing, that you’ve studied, that they’re in capable hands with you, that you have proven experience and results, you have happy customers. Social proof. But for them to believe it you have to believe it. Mindset in business matters.

Let’s be clear, I’m not trained in anything to do with the brain. I definitely don’t have a qualification in human behaviour. Getting humans to engage with your business, however, I can do. Understanding the psychology of sales – well I have a diploma in that. I actually genuinely do have a diploma in that!

 

Your products or services are worthy

No matter what your business is you will be selling something, whether it’s services or products, you need people to part with their cold hard cash to keep you in business.

Now that makes it sound kinda gross!

Okay so let’s rephrase that. You have got a fab idea for a service or a product, something you have invested time, effort and a little bit of your soul into. Something that will add fun, happiness or value into a person’s life. Or something that will save them time or help them hit a goal. How valuable is that? Well to the person with a need, very!

 

business strategist

Understanding a principle in successful sales

So now that we’ve got around the fact that your product or service is worthy, you need to understand why people will buy it from you rather than the next person. Because you know what you are talking about.

You are an authority, a leader, you have experience, you have good results, others have used you or bought from you successfully with good results or a happy outcome. Whether you sell essential oils or life coaching, you need to exude confidence in what you are offering the world. Be confident that it will make a difference in some way in your customer’s life. That you have the answer to their problem.

Need an oil for migraines, you got that. Need coaching for imposter syndrome, you cover that. Need a bow that matches that cute dress your daughter has, you can colour match like a pro. Exude confidence! Confidence will lead to the right mindset in business.

 

Prove it!

This is a key principle for making a sale. You need to be seen as someone as who knows what they are talking about. A pro. An experienced seasoned pro. However, you can prove this (without being deceptive!) do it. Testimonials, reviews, certificates, likes, comments, statistics, you talking about your subject matter. Don’t presume people will just know you are an expert. They won’t. Tell them. Don’t be cocky or arrogant, but put it out there so they know.

 

Why mindset in business ultimately matters

You tell the world you’re an expert, but ultimately if you don’t believe in yourself as a businesswoman, you cannot expect anyone else to. And it’s, for this reason, a positive mindset in business matters. If will seep through in everything you do. You have to believe in yourself. And if you don’t right now, then my love you need to act until it’s real. I’m talking Oscar-worthy acting here. No one can know any different.

Before you know it, it will be real. Then you can all believe it.

You are good enough. What you are offering the world is good enough. You are trying to improve people’s lives in one way or another, even if you offer a product purely for fun. Fun is a ray of sunshine in your heart. Everyone needs sunshine.

 

Do you believe in yourself and your business? How do you stay strong? I’d love to hear how you feel this affects you in business? If you liked this post I would be over the moon (and much more confident in myself obvs!) if you shared it!! Or you can tell me more about your business here.

 

Hannah is the founder of She Hustles Inc. A marketing specialist who helps women to grow small businesses through meaningful marketing. Find out more and have a complimentary session to find out how to make your marketing work for you by clicking here.

 

mindset in business

Making Sure Your Business Flows Efficiently

Your business is your livelihood, and so the best that you can ask for is that your business flows efficiently. It can often feel like you are spinning a lot of plates at any one time, and so it can feel like there is always something to think about. However, there are things you can do to ensure that you manage to make sure that your business flows more efficiently on a day to day basis.

 

 

Taking care of the accounts and financials

 

One of the biggest factors of running a business is the accounting side of things and the financials. If you don’t have a grip on this area of business, then you really might not have any business to run after a while. The best advice is to ensure that this area of your business is running smoothly. That forecasts and projections of profits and losses are accurate, that your invoicing is being kept on top of, that you know when payments will be received versus when payments need to be sent out. Keeping a track of the cash flow and making sure your business is kept above water is an essential element to keeping an efficient business.

 

Managing software and documents for ease of work

 

The next thing to think about would be regarding software and documents, not just for you but for the staff that you have. There will be many documents that pass through your business on a day to day basis. It is important that you ensure that you keep a track of those documents and often having a document management system in place could be the best idea. Websites like https://www.templafy.com/document-management-software/ have a lot of information on what could be suitable for your business empire.

 

Keeping your staff happy

 

If your business has become successful, then the chances are you’ve staff and employees on hand to keep your business afloat, and so you may want to consider what you can do to keep those employees happy. It could be simple things like a decent working space, ensuring that the temperature is right or that you offer decent facilities. But it can also be about communication and ensuring that you speak to employees regarding performance and the direction in which they want to take their career.

 

Having a plan and knowing the direction you want to take

 

Finally, having a plan for your business is an essential element, so you may want to ensure that you do what you can to really harness the direction in which you are taking your company. You may, of course, have a business plan in place, but you might want to think about looking back on it to see what has changed etc. You may also want to think about making new plans, having direction and communicating this with people such as investors or any employees you have working for you. It can make a big difference to have everyone working towards the same goals and targets.

 

I hope that these tips help you to make sure your business flows efficiently.

 

4 Reasons Why Events Are Vital In Your Marketing Strategy

 

With thousands of businesses competing for consumer attention, creating a marketing strategy that allows you to stand out can often seem impossible. This is what leads many business owners to pay unnecessary amounts of money on sponsored posts, expensive advertisements, and buying followers and likes. Rather than waste your cash, you should focus on event marketing. This means planning or joining an exhibit, convention, seminar, or talk where businesses and potential customers can network. Here are four reasons to use event marketing.

 

Events Build And Maintain Relationships

With the technologically-minded world we live in, more and more businesses are embracing the use of social media for communication with their customers. However, as convenient as this tool may be, there’s nothing better than a face-to-face chat. This helps to humanize your brand and lets your customers see who is working behind the scenes. Hosting a marketing event provides the perfect opportunity for you to engage with lots of your customers and obtain their feedback.

 

Events Boost Your Brand Recognition

Events play a huge role in brand recognition, as everything about and involved in the event will have been planned by you and around your company, from the exhibition stands you display to the food you put out. For this reason, it’s crucial that you consider every decision carefully and get professional help whenever you can. For example, you could use a professional custom exhibition stand builder. An event planner would be a great help to ensure that nothing goes wrong.

 

Events Generate Sales And Leads

The very purpose of marketing is to generate leads and sell your product or service. With that in mind, it makes sense that your event help you do just that. Being there in person means that your potential customers can ask you questions there and then, which should give you a much better chance to close a deal. If you don’t manage to do this for one reason or another, you can still add potential customers to your database, which could result in a sale later down the line.

 

Events Establish Credibility And Leadership

Hosting an event shows potential customers and other businesses that you know exactly what you’re doing. In fact, it shows them that you know so much that you can teach and educate others. This will help to establish your credibility and leadership role in your industry, which should, in turn, lead to a greater level of trust and more sales. This is especially true if you offer a class or talk of some kind as part of your marketing event.

 

Events Offer Experiences To Remember

The purpose of event marketing is to generate strong word-of-mouth. For this reason, it’s vital that you give your audience an experience that they will remember and want to share. Of course, this is going to be limited slightly by your budget, but, by thinking outside the box, even the smallest funds can create something worth talking about. This will build brand affinity, which will inevitably lead to loyalty and sales.

 

Business events are vital in your marketing strategy, so make sure you consider hosting or attending one sometime soon.

 

Staying Ahead Of the Crowd In An Ultra-Competitive Field

In the 21st century, there are more opportunities than ever for proactive self-starters with an entrepreneurial mindset. The digital age allows us unparalleled access to online learning sites to help us build our skills, business mentors to help us to build and refine our business plans and a wealth of business lenders who can give you the funding that you need to make your business a reality even if the banks slam their doors in your face. The trouble is that while you may have access to these digital boons, so to do your competitors. If you’ve set up shop in an area that’s rife with competition the good news is that there’s significant interest for the services and products that you offer. The bad news is that your competitors will resort to all manner of underhanded and devious means to get the jump on your fledgeling enterprise.

 

Here’s how you will stay one step ahead of the crowd…

 

Take appropriate steps to boost your SEO

We all know that search engine rankings are an important way to position yourself ahead of your competitors but the logistics of doing this elude some businesses. Some are aware that posting regular content to your website is a great way to get an organic SEO boost yet this can lead them to spam their own websites with low cost, low quality blog posts outsourced to third rate overseas content farms. If you want to outsource your content at least use a reputable agency.

 

Specificity is hugely important for SEO. Let’s say you’re a lawyer with years of experience in personal injury claims. You know that “personal injury lawyer” is SEO kryptonite with so many competitors out there, but advertising yourself as a truck accident lawyer is more unique and will allow clients who have been involved in truck accidents to find you and get valuable information to help them.

 

When it comes to SEO it helps to decide whether you want to conquer the local market, the national market or the international market as each option will affect how you approach your SEO. The sites you approach for link building opportunities, where and how you list your site and even the languages you write in can play a huge part in influencing your SEO at home or abroad.

 

Optimize your landing page

If you operate in a competitive field and people land on your online presence, you have a very limited window of opportunity to engage the user. One way to do this is with a quality landing page. The copy you post on this page can make a huge difference in whether users engage with your site or simply bounce away from you. Your landing page should be easy to navigate, easy to read and explain succinctly what you can offer users that your competitors can’t. It should also have a compelling call to action to encourage users to contact you, sign up to your email newsletter or make a purchase.

 

Never take your eye off the competition

Finally, as important as it is to keep your eyes on your own work, you should always check in on your competition every now and then. Find out where they are ranking above you in SEO terms and take steps to find out why. Find out what they offer their customers that you don’t currently offer yours. You can’t be the best if you’re working in a vacuum!

 

Staying Productive When Working From Home

Working from home makes a lot of sense, particularly if you’re setting up a business, as it saves a lot of money and time.  In fact, even if you have a job, working from home is a much more efficient way to work, as you’re not having to waste time in traffic in rush hour or have the expense of peak travel.

 

That said, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, there are downsides to working from home, such as the feeling of isolation and subsequent loneliness that can inevitably kick in if you are by yourself all day, in your home office.

 

Then, there’s the productivity cost.  For some people, working from home makes them much more productive, as they don’t have the idle gossip by the water cooler, pointless meetings, and colleagues interrupting them whilst working on a critical assignment… yet, for most of us, productivity suffers due to various distractions and a lack of accountability.

 

In this article we’re going to look at the two most important aspects for staying productive when working from home:

 

  1.  CREATE A GOOD WORKING ENVIRONMENT

It’s important to create a good working environment, one that has comfortable office furniture along with the peace and tranquillity required to concentrate.  In an ideal world, your home office will be separate from your home – perhaps in a little annexe, or even the garden shed, as this way there’s a disconnection between “home life” and “work-life” which might sound silly, given it’s a few feet away, but the psychological difference is profound.

 

People that work from home tend to suffer more with procrastination and guilt; the procrastination comes from the number of distractions and lack of accountability – meaning, it’s much easier to just sit and watch Netflix at home than it is in the office, whereas the guilt comes from a feeling of pressure that we should always be working… unless there is a clear divide between working time and non-working time.

 

You obviously want a clutter-free environment that is light and airy.  This way, you’ll feel much more focused and clear.  That said, if you have a tendency to work late at night, you might want to invest in some mood lighting in order to not feel out of sync with the rest of your family… as there’s nothing worse than getting into bed, feeling wired, from work and the bright lights of your home office.

 

  1. HAVE A ROUTINE

Routine is important to good mental health, and especially productivity, as long as your routine is helping rather than hindering your progress.  For instance, you can have a routine of leaving things to the last minute and having to wake up at 6am to finish work that is due for a 9am meeting.

 

You want to make sure your routine supports you.  

 

Furthermore, there’s something to be said with rituals such as getting dressed into work clothes, rather than lounging around in your dressing gown as this puts you into a more focused emotional state to work.

 

Then, it’s imperative you give yourself a lunch hour, and get out of the house – even if this is just for a few moments walking to the local shop.  If you stay in the house all day, this will affect your mood and therefore productivity.  It’s important to not isolate yourself away, in your home office, as this will lead to a feeling of loneliness.

 

4 Big Business Scandals You Must Avoid At All Costs

Thinking about marketing, it’s important to know that there aren’t any issues lurking in the shadows that are causing bad buzz for your business. This can happen on social media, in ratings and reviews or it could simply be spread by word of mouth. Whatever the case, an issue like this could create a serious problem for your company and lead to reduced profits as well as sales. Typically, you should make sure that you are investing in a service that will allow you to keep a check on the buzz around your business online. But you should also know about the scandals that you should avoid if you want your company to remain profitable. Here are the top four.

 

Environmentally Unfriendly

It’s true to say that customers and clients these days are far more concerned about the planet than they were before. They want to know that they are purchasing from or dealing with a company that understands and takes environmental concerns seriously. You can guarantee this is the message your business sends in a number of ways.

 

Are you sending out products to customers? If that’s the case, you should make sure that you are using materials that are recyclable. Generally, this means avoiding plastic packaging and focusing on cardboard instead. Amazon are one of the main companies that has committed to this idea and even used it in marketing.

 

Of course, environmental concerns can be bigger. You might have a large level of waste in your business model. It’s crucial a business like this uses a plant hire to deal with it in a way that is eco-friendly and does not harm the planet.

 

Unfair Levels Of Pay

You might have noticed various news stories addressing unfair levels of pay. While this comparison began in Hollywood, it has now spread to various other industries including the media and teaching. It’s important that your business does not get wrapped up in this issue. Anyone completing a job should be getting the same level of pay as another person completing the same job regardless of gender, race or any other demographic. You won’t just face a bad buzz if you have this issue. You could actually find yourself dealing with a nasty and expensive lawsuit.

 

Issues With Harassment

Another issue that has been in the media lately is harassment. While the MeToo movement seemed to focus on Hollywood, it quickly spread across the globe with various individuals coming forward in different industries and sectors. You can avoid an issue with harassment in your business by making sure that use HR to keep track of worker concerns and guarantee that there are no problems with anything like this or bullying. Adopt a zero tolerance policy to eradicate the issue from your office.

 

Security Trouble

Finally, a lot of customers are now scared about whether or not their data is secure when entrusted to a business. Again, this isn’t surprising. Just look at how many companies have been exposed from BT to British Airways and Equifax. Now is not the time to be cutting corners with cybersecurity.

 

4 Questions You Need To Ask Before Outsourcing

Outsourcing has become something many businesses commit to, for any number of reasons. But the question we have to ask you today is this…

 

Is outsourcing right for your business?

 

While there are the advantages, there are some questions that you need to ask yourself before deciding to go down this popular route. Consider the following as examples.

 

  1. Do you need to outsource?

While an outsourced firm will offer you its special level of expertise, can you justify the expense? Especially when you may have staff able and willing to take on those tasks that you are considering outsourcing, there is little point in spending money on things that can be done in-house. For the long-term, it may make more sense investing in training for your staff, particularly in those areas that businesses usually outsource, such as marketing and web design. So, consider training providers for such things as marketing and SEO training before spending over the odds on the services of another firm.

 

  1. How trustworthy is the company you are considering?

You are handing over elements of your work to another company, but you need to be able to trust them. Are they going to complete projects on time? Will they provide good quality work? Will they pay attention to any needs and demands you may have? In some cases, you need to trust them and hope for the best. But you can reduce the risk of a job badly done by asking them to prove their credentials. Do they have references from previous customers? Do they have anything to showcase previous work done? And before hiring anybody, you can further reduce risk by asking for recommendations of people you are already in business with, and by reading customer reviews and testimonials online.

  1. Can you manage the relationship?

You are entering into a contract of business with another, so you will need skills (or have specific staff) to deal with the relationship you are creating. You need to communicate what it is you need from the company. You need to be willing to listen to their advice, even if they say things you don’t initially agree with. There may be the need to chase up work, especially when they have gone over the deadline. There are many facets to the relationship, both good and bad, and you will need to be in the position to manage it. From collaboration to creating a contract, ensure you have the necessary skills at your disposal.

 

  1. Do the positives outweigh the negatives?

It’s about weighing up the pros and cons. You can find out more by following the link, but know that the pros include increased efficiency and speed of delivery, while the cons include loss of control and issues around privacy. You need to work through each pro and con, calculate the risk, and then make a decision. While there are undeniable advantages to outsourcing, you don’t want to commit to something that may harm your business in any way. Still, if worried about any aspect, you can quiz the company you are considering before signing on any dotted line.

 

Thinking about outsourcing? Then ask yourself our questions first. And if we have missed out any vital aspect of the decision-making process, please let us know, and share your thoughts with us. Thanks for reading.

 

 

Vital Elements Of Any Landing Page

 

A landing page is a critical part of any website. It is often referred to as a destination page or a lead capture page. No matter what you call it, there is no denying that it is one of the most important parts of your online presence when it comes to generating leads and driving sales. However, to achieve these goals, your landing page needs to be expertly constructed, and there are a number of different elements it needs to consist of. These are as follows…

 

Simple design – There is only one place to begin, and this is with the actual design of the landing page. If you stay abreast of industry trends or you even look at the different types of websites that are popular at the moment, you will have noticed that minimalistic web design has certainly taken over. This simple style of web design is effective because it packs a powerful punch and ensures that your brand image does not get confused. This is a necessity!

 

Trust signals – Not only does your website need to have a simple design, but it also needs to contain different trust signals. What is a trust signal? This could be anything from customer reviews to security badges. It is anything that indicates to potential customers that your website and consequently your business is one to be trusted.

 

Quick page load speed – Aside from the two elements that have been mentioned above, your website also needs to be quick to load. If your landing page is slow, you can be certain that potential customers will simply hit the back button and look elsewhere. There are so many studies that have shown that bounce rates increase dramatically with every second longer a website takes to load.

 

A strong Call to Action – A strong CTA is another necessity for any type of landing page. Your CTA must be evident from the moment someone lands on the landing page. This must be the first thing that their eyes divert to. Colour is a powerful tool in this regard. For example, you can use the colour red to create a sense of urgency and to encourage people to take action. However, you also need to be careful and make sure the colours you choose fits in with your brand image.

 

As you can see, there are a number of important ingredients that your landing page needs to have. If you make sure your landing page consists of all of the elements that have been mentioned above, you can go a very long way to ensuring that it not only looks good but that it operates well too and achieves the leads and conversions you are looking to achieve.

 

Memorable Marketing Hacks For Goldfish Businesses

There is so much competition that a marketing strategy has to stand out from the crowd. Anything which isn’t memorable will go in one ear and out the other. Customers are like goldfish and you’re like their keepers: constantly feeding them little pellets.

 

Memorable marketing seems easy in this day and age. Just create a viral video which will get millions of hits on YouTube – easy. Or, use SEO to propel your site to the top of the Google rankings. What’s the problem?

 

The issue is that a business can’t create a plan without understanding the dynamics of making it unforgettable. Here are four you should remember for a long time.

 

Invest Emotionally

Think of the times when you were hooked – what is the common pattern? The answer is an investment. You had skin in the game and that’s why you couldn’t turn away. The same thing applies to marketing, but it’s tricky to get an audience to invest emotionally. After all, they don’t care about the brand or the business. So, it’s essential to add an element which is close to their heart. Plenty of savvy companies are doing this with pollution. Plastic is harming the planet and eco-friendly firms are reminding their customers that they are part of the solution.

Flip The Script

What viewers want to see is something funny and witty and clever. Granted, there are difficult features to include in a marketing plan, but it is possible if you flip the script. Take McDonald’s. One of the biggest corporations in the world, they sell coffee and competes with the likes of Starbucks and indie, boutique stores. Because they can’t target the hippy crowd, they appeal to the masses instead. Their current ad which mocks pretentious coffee-lovers is funny and simple and relatable. Plus, “it’s like a latte but stronger” is a solid tagline.

 

 

Leave Ego At The Door

You’ve had an excellent idea and now want to put it into practice. So, you devise a plan which you think is thorough and effective. There’s only one problem: you’re not a marketer. Without the necessary skill and experience, there is going to be holes in the strategy and the boat will sink. This scenario is when bosses have to be diplomatic and realise an event production team will do a better job. Also, don’t overestimate the cost factor. Usually, a quality gig or advert or sponsorship will bring in more money than it costs.

 

Be Short And Sweet

The basic rules of marketing still apply today. Therefore, supply and demand are vital to success. You control the supply element, yet you need to boost demand. One way to do it is to pop up for a short time and then disappear into the background. Although it sounds counterproductive, it works because people get excited about the shops which appear out of nowhere. The fact there is a time limit means customers have to grab their opportunity now or risk losing it for a long while.

 

Are these hacks memorable enough to make your business stand out?

 

Business Travelers: Stay Safe on Your Trips

Being a travelling business person can sometimes be a little lonely, although it’s often exciting too. Whether you’re always on the road or waiting for your next flight, something is waiting for you at your destination. It can be tough to get your work done while you’re travelling, even if you’re doing so purely for business. But it’s also important to pay attention to other aspects of travel, such as how to stay safe. All travellers need to keep themselves safe, and it’s not different for business travellers. Take a look at these tips to stay safe while you’re getting around.

 

Do Your Research When Traveling Internationally

Visiting a new country can be thrilling, even if you spend a lot of your time working. However, every country is different and might have various safety concerns for business travellers. One of the smartest things that you can do is to research your destination before you go. Check your own country’s travel advice to see if there are any warnings, areas to avoid or anything you need to pay attention to. You can find useful information in lots of other places to, including guidebooks and blogs.

 

Make an Effort to Blend In

Sticking out when you’re travelling isn’t a great way to stay safe. If you’re immediately recognizable as a tourist or a visitor, you could get spotted by pickpockets or others who want to take advantage of you. It’s not always easy to blend it completely, but it can help to dress like a local. You should try not to be too flashy and show off your possessions because you could attract people looking to steal from you. It’s also helpful to learn some of the local language. While you won’t pass for a native, it can help you out if you’re ever in a sticky situation.

 

Be Safe on the Roads

If you travel by road for your business, staying safe on the roads is a huge concern. You’re many times more likely to experience a road traffic accident than anything on a plane or train. As well as being careful of other drivers in cars, you need to be careful of other people driving for work – such as truck drivers. Ask any truck accident lawyer, and they will tell you how devastating getting into an accident with one of these beasts can be. It’s essential to be aware of the dangers you face while on the road so you can try to avoid them.

 

Stay in Contact

When you’re travelling all over the place, it’s a good idea to make sure that people know where you are. If you were to get hurt or go missing, would your friends and family or your colleagues and employees know where you are? What if they need to get hold of you for something important, but they’re not able to reach you? Make sure you keep in touch with people so they can contact you if they need to.

 

Stay safe as a business traveller by being aware of your surroundings and potential dangers.

 

Why Your Legal Practice Needs A Blog

You might think that companies in the legal industry do not need a blog. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. At a time when the industry is booming, and there are more law firms than ever before in the marketplace; you need to work hard to ensure you can stand out from the crowd and attract lots of clients. Having an excellent website is the first step, but sometimes you have to go a little further by adding a blog and publishing lots of relevant articles that will help your audience. If you’re not convinced about the idea; take a moment to read through some of the benefits listed below.

 

 

Blogs help with link building and SEO

 

Firstly, you will want to make sure your website ranks within the first couple of links on Google whenever someone types a relevant search phrase. While you can pay SEO experts to conduct an assessment and make improvements to your site’s design; publishing lots of relevant blog posts should also help you to make some headway. Ensure you include many of the keywords you wish to target within the articles without stuffing them. Make sure everything you post is valuable so the people who read it will gain something from the experience. If you do that; you might get a lot of social media shares too, and that will help.

 

 

Blogs help you to attract the right clients

 

Legal firms tend to focus on particular areas of the law, and so you won’t want lots of phone calls about family issues if you’re an injury lawyer or something similar. You get the idea, right? By publishing lots of relevant blog posts; you can make sure the people who contact your firm know they’re getting in touch with a truck accident lawyer rather than someone who specializes in business mergers. You get the idea, right? It’s all about refining your market and making sure you don’t waste time dealing with people you can’t assist.

 

 

Blogs help you to become an authority

 

One of the best things about writing informative and accurate blog posts is that your readers will begin to feel like you are an industry authority. That can benefit your brand in many ways. You might become the go-to company for people who have questions about a particular area of the law. At the very least; the people who read your blog posts are going to think of your company if they ever need the type of services you require.

 

With all that in mind, it should become clear that launching a blog section on your law firm website is a top priority. You can take a look at legal blogs and websites for ideas if you get stuck when it comes to choosing the best articles to write. You could also use freelancing websites to pay talented writers to create the articles on your behalf. The best thing about doing that is nobody will know, and so everyone will think you wrote the piece. Onwards and upwards!

 

Every New Business Needs Exposure, Here’s How

 

Exposing your business to the world is often the final frontier when beginning to set up your operation. You may have existed on word of mouth thus far, or an odd advertisement here and there in your local environment, but sometimes, it’s time to try and hit the big leagues. Thankfully, the options for doing so are much faster than they have been even decades ago, meaning that almost any business can gain fame (and notoriety,) both accidentally and purposefully. While we have often all heard the adage ‘any publicity is good publicity,) we’re going to pen this article with the assumption you are interested in showing the best side of your operation to the world and to draw people through organic interest alone.

 

Every business needs exposure, but there are only a few ways to catch eyes well in the modern, social media-saturated environment. Here are some tips to achieve that:

 

Great Graphic Design

Great graphic design has not been outgrown. It likely never will be. We are intensely visual animals, much more quickly able to recognize aesthetic forms than read words, even in languages we have been speaking since childhood. This means employing great graphic design will always be a visceral and important habit to begin, and this can take time to accomplish. No matter who you are, a little effort in these realms can help tremendously.

 

Hiring an excellent and reputable freelancer, a large branding firm or internally developing your best brand makeover could help you. Great logo design, a snappy name, understanding your branded colours and considering the influence of your aesthetic are all essential matters for being recognized on a large scale. Also, consider how you’ll try and reach with this branding effort. It could be that digital signage offers you exactly what you hope to give, targeted social media ads help you distribute your image quickly, or even cryptic flyers posted everywhere through a city. No matter what platform you choose, great graphic design should be the neat little bow your content is delivered in.

 

Quick & Snappy

Quick and snappy advertising efforts will often dictate how easily people remember your offering. Remember that platforms like YouTube will allow a viewer to automatically skip an advertisement after five seconds, so establishing the core of your content within that time might influence someone to watch the entire ordeal. People often make fun of the millennial attention span, but that might be for good reason. Refining the vital information you need to convey in a small time frame can help you explain why people should pay attention to you in seconds, allowing you the potential to gain more engagement from your goods.

Reinforced

It’s one thing to tell people how they should think of your business, it’s another to make them see. Taking the time to reinforce personal perceptions is possible if you cater for your image, but be certain to ensure this process is respected and you actually conduct some good. Working alongside charities might just be one option out of the many possibilities. Without this effort, you may find your business lacking something vital.

 

With this advice, exposing your business to the public is sure to become beneficial for your brand.

 

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