When you become a mom, it’s easy to stop focusing on yourself. Your priorities shift to your children which is of course the natural order of things, but it doesnt mean you need to give up on you. You’re still important, and self development can keep you reaching your own personal goals along with benefitting your family. Here are some ideas for going about it.
As a busy mom, chances are you’re already pretty organised- you have to be when you’re running your own life along with your children’s (and maybe even your partners if hes particularly disorganised!) However, there’s always room for improvement, you’ve probably dropped the ball once or twice by missing appointments or getting to 5pm and realising you’ve not no ingredients in for dinner. Better organisation will avoid all of this. Utilise a big wall calendar in the kitchen so you can see everything you need to do that month at a glance. Get into the habit of meal planning and batch cooking when you can so you always have meals ready to go. Get things like clothes, packed lunches and school/ work bags ready the night before to avoid a rush in the morning.
Health and wellbeing
Health and wellbeing is important for everyone, but when you’re a busy mom with others to look after as well as yourself, it’s crucial that you feel well and are energised. Eat well by cooking homemade meals, get active and get all of the family involved, you could go on long walks, bike rides, days out where you’re naturally doing a lot of walking. Try and get a good sleep too, avoid caffeine after midday since it can keep you up and aim to get most of your daily tasks done earlier in the day so you can wind down and have a more relaxed weekend.
Education is a great way to practice self development. You’ll improve your skills and knowledge, make yourself more employable and it gives you a boost of confidence too. As moms, there aren’t all that many things we do which are just for ourselves since we’re always busy looking after others. But spending a few hours each week studying from home can be a great way to remind yourself that you still matter and your knowledge and skills are important.
Starting a business
Working while raising a family is always going to be difficult as your family are your priority when your children are small. This can mean jobs with set hours can be tricky where you need to take time off for school holidays and child illness. But running your own business is the best of both worlds as it allows you to earn money while being completely flexible. You could set up a virtual office from home which would allow you to grow without having to spend money on physical premises, and simply outsource the work that you cant or dont want to do to third party companies or freelancers.
In today’s world, we live in a much more technologically inclusive age. This has impacted and changed the way we shop, the way we travel and many more aspects of day to day life. However, one place it has really transformed is the workplace. More and more, businesses from small to corporate are embracing a more flexible, open and collaborative way of working. This can also be seen in their offices and work environments. But, how is this achieved, and also most importantly, what are the benefits of a business adopting this? This article hopes to answer those questions.
What is the similarity between the offices of the world’s biggest and most successful businesses? What about arguably the world’s most creative and innovative companies? The main similarity you will see is the types of offices that their employees work within. They all may have different colors and layouts, but the truth of the matter is they all work within open-plan spaces. These are spaces that have limited walls separating spaces and embrace an open and airy culture. They often promote collaboration and teamwork because of their open and airy nature.
What are the benefits of this office structure? Well, the main one is that it promotes higher productivity and creativity within its workforce. The reason behind this is because there are no real separated offices, people do no feel enclosed, and their office and workspace is open and free. This is subjective but this also symbolizes what this office design is doing. It is not limiting their thoughts and creativity to four walls, it is making their employees feel open, and at one with the business.
Although the benefits are great, this is not without saying that this type of office design comes with some disadvantages. One of the main ones is the lack of privacy. These types of offices usually do away with private offices, and everyone shares one space. This has been seen to often lead to higher stress-related illnesses within a companies workforce due to the lack of privacy, as some people prefer working that way. So, regardless of how you want to modernize the workspace for your business, always remember that there will be many advantages but keep an eye out for the disadvantages as well.
Along with being open workspaces, these workspaces also operate a high amount of technological enhancements too. Along with wifi and more emphasis on networking and connectivity for remote working and fixtures like a wifi temperature sensor, modern offices will be taking technology further.
Technology is being seen to be fixing one of the biggest disadvantages of the open office space trend. A sector that has grown in popularity as networking has become more advanced, and people seek more seamless technology, is home automation. Opening your phone and clicking a button to pull the blinds down, or put the kettle on. All the way to press a button at the gate, and as it opens your house starts to change and adjust itself ready for you to enter the door. The kettle boiling, the lights on and dimmed for the evening, curtains drawn, TV on your favorite channel, the works. So, what does this have to do with modern workspaces? The future may lay in the world of workspace automation.
Picture this, a pod located inside an open-space office. It can be used as a meeting room, and then if someone else comes and it’s free, taps a few buttons and within a couple of seconds, the room becomes a group meeting space, or a private solo office, or a board room. The technology is already here, with glass that can frost and de-frost, switching from being private to open. We have the networking capabilities proven by the more and more advanced home automation systems that we can control using the smartphones in our pockets and tablets on the coffee table. This could add that need for privacy, whilst keeping the open-plan office space, alive. Technology gives us the tools to do that.
Focus on Wellbeing
A subject that has dominated the recent news when it comes to company workspaces, is wellbeing. Mental wellbeing, in particular, has been a buzzword with more and more employees suffering from poor mental health. One reason is due to the workload and poor workspaces, hence the growth of open plan, new and modern offices that are springing up around the business world. Collaboration and being able to be open and speak to people has been said to improve mental wellbeing, and being included in an open space will sure help relieve stress.
Something Google was made famous for was its infamous offices. From ball bits, to ‘seclusion pods’ or ‘napping pods’. Terf inside, and there was a story of free donuts.
These, although they would want you to feel that way, is not just Google being trigger happy with the buy now button whilst shopping for office furniture. These are calculated moves. All of these things are simply designed to relieve stress within their employees. Take a little nap in your lunch hour, free gifts and more. These all show the employees that one, Google is caring for them and thinks of them within the huge remit of products they manage. But also, by doing this, they have been able to achieve a huge level of workspace productivity which has been the main driving force of their success in the technology industry.
These changes in workspaces and new ways of making employees feel comfortable in the place they work have all been the byproduct of studies for many years, showing that the way of working before simply does not work today.
And that point leads nicely into this one, and that is why comfort has been the main focus for new collaborative workspaces that are in force today. If you have worked in offices of the ’80s and even the ’90s, the structure would normally entail rows and rows of desks and computers. Mutes colour schemes and a focus on function rather than form. However, today, if you walk into the corporate office of somewhere such as Google or a trendy new start-up, the picture is very different. It is far more reminiscent of the inside of a coffee shop, mixed with some play centers and a dashing of office space. The primary reason for this is to enhance comfort whilst working. If the employees are comfortable, then they will be more willing to work, produce high-quality work, and henceforth increase workspace productivity. All of the numbers have a financial benefit for the business in the long run, so these changes really are beneficial to implement.
Catering for all
As more and more people are working later in life, today we have found ourselves with offices that now support possibly two or even three generations of people. From generation X, who knew of the ‘80’s office space very well, to the Z, who live and breath technology. Offices, in order to cater to their employees, must take this into account as everyone will have a different way of working to their fullest potential. However, some have argued this is not as big of a deal, with people like Jeremy Myerson saying;
“Research suggests that the common needs between generational cohorts at work are far greater than the differences between generations, so intergenerational conflict at work is over-hyped,”
So, this is a fact that is definitely being spoken about, and something that should be in the back of your mind when thinking about your office space.
How will Data Impact Business Workspaces and Workplaces?
Lastly, something that is really informing and making a huge impact on the way offices are built and used, is big data. Firms and companies around the world, are using more and more data taken from their employees to inform their workspace choices.
Something mentioned quite often in this article is productivity levels. This is a figure that a company would love to raise, as this means more work, quality work, for their money which means value. With the world that we live in today, with data being collected all the time from many different sources, expect more and more reliance on big data when companies want to make big decisions.
So, this is how many businesses are modernizing their workspaces. Although there is more and more reliance on technology, there is one topic that stays true through all of these modernization techniques, and that is human contact. The reason more and more people are using co-working spaces like WeWork and others is that even though they are using multiple forms of technology to finish their work, as humans we still crave contact. A quick chat at the coffee station, speaking to the barista, having a chat with those around you. No matter how much technology we have in our workspaces today, the importance of face to face contact has never changed and will not change going forward.
Regardless of the business or the kind of workplace that you are working within, you need to make sure that you are always doing whatever you can to keep it as secure as possible. This kind of security is the kind of thing that can take a lot of work, and which is going to always be a concern of some kind or another, but as long as you are keen to work at it you should find that you can really make a difference this way. Keeping the workplace secure is likewise going to be a lot easier if you have considered the following specifics things which you should do.
One of the major concerns is that you want to avoid any unwanted personnel entering the building in the first place. There are a lot of ways that you can make sure of this, but the most powerful is to simply equip every member of staff with an ID card which they have to present in order to enter the building. Ideally, it will have their photograph on it so that your security team can identify them as they enter. It might also have functionality to open internal doors, for extra security. Visit website for more on these ID cards and how to get hold of them.
Install Security Systems
A lot of the time, we rely on technology to keep us safe, and that is certainly true when it comes to the workplace. If you want to make sure that your workplace is as safe as possible, you will likely have to think about installing security systems within it. That could be as simple as a CCTV system, or it might have a burglar alarm attached, or whatever else you might think is necessary. Basically, the more that you are willing to spend on it, the more likely it is that you are going to feel you have a secure workplace, so it is up to you how far you feel you need to go.
Having a dedicated, on-site security team is one of the best ways to make everyone feel considerably safer. You need to be able to trust them, and you need to make sure that they take it seriously, so it is worth shopping around as it were until you find someone that is going to do the job well. Outsourcing this kind of thing is generally the way to go, as you still get the same people every day, but they are also answerable to their own employer as well as you. That ensures that they take it much more seriously, and that they are much more likely to know what you want from them and deliver on it.
As long as you have thought about all of this, you should find that you are able to keep your workplace much more secure indeed. That will feed into the working culture and make for a better business.
A healthy work-life balance is a priority for a growing number of entrepreneurs and employees. People are looking for opportunities to progress and boost their earnings, but they’re also searching for jobs that allow them to live, as well as work. If you run a business, and it dominates your schedule, working smarter is the way forward. Here are some top tips to help you tip the balance in your favor.
Learning to delegate
If you are a company owner, learning to delegate is incredibly valuable when it comes to striking a healthy balance between work and pleasure. It’s not possible to oversee every element of the business every single day. It can be difficult to take a step back if you’re heavily invested in a venture, and you’re desperate for it to succeed, but it’s important to have trust in your employees. If you have a management team in place, or you have supervisors or line managers, let them assume responsibility, and have confidence in their abilities to deliver. It’s positive to be actively involved in the day to day running of your business, but it’s also beneficial to let others do their jobs and to take time out.
Running a business requires an incredibly diverse skill set. As a leader, you can learn continually, honing your skills and developing new strengths. If you have areas that you view as potential weaknesses, or you feel that there is room for improvement, don’t hesitate to investigate training programs, join your staff to take part in workshops or seek expert advice from experienced business coaches. Sometimes, a fresh pair of eyes and an outside perspective can provide new ideas and help you find more effective, efficient ways to manage your company.
Investing in technology
Technology is advancing at lightning speed, and it has revolutionized the way we work. Investing in technology is an effective way to save time, effort and money, and it can make all the difference if you’re short on time and you want to streamline your business operations. Consider the impact of automated programs and features compared to manual data inputting or sending out emails or video calling compared to flying to different states or countries to meet clients.
Working on the go
The rise of mobile technology has enabled us to work on the move, no matter where we are. Remote working can enhance quality of life, enabling you to balance working and enjoying time off. With access to the Internet, you can still send emails and call into meetings if you’re on vacation, or you’re spending time at home. You don’t have to worry about wasting time commuting and you have control over where you’re based.
For many business owners, striking the right balance between work and play is difficult. The key lies in learning to work smarter and taking advantage of technology, and new, more flexible ways of working. Hopefully, these tips will help you to take control of your schedule and enjoy increased job satisfaction.
Work processes within a business are something that can be improved and made better with a little attention to certain areas. By bettering these work processes, everything your business does can be more efficient and effective. Here are some tips to make your work processes more efficient.
IT support is important for every business, and if you’re focused on making sure that your employees can work without encountering problems, then that’s helpful. There can often be a lack of IT support for businesses, and this is usually because the response time for help with IT problems can be slow and that’s not fun for any employee who is trying to do their work and to get everything done that they need doing within their working day. Network support is something that’s worth looking at to see how your business can improve it, and perhaps it’s something that needs more of a budget towards or outsourcing to a better company who can fix problems a lot quicker than what is currently being done.
Make Sure There’s Communication
Communication is important for everything in life because if it’s not there, then things are misheard and can go wrong as a result. It’s important that your staff are speaking to one another in regard to everything to do with their work so that they’re on the same page. If they’re both not listening to one another or using their initiative without considering what’s been done, you’ll have a lot of the same work overlapping, and then you’re wasting precious time. So think about what platforms or things you can put in place so that your staff are speaking more. It might be through online task management platforms or simply more one to one meetings.
Work On The Weaknesses
All businesses have a weakness or two, and it’s important to acknowledge these because they certainly make a difference in how effective your business can be and how successful it might be going forward. Try to pinpoint those weaknesses within your business and then explore how you can make the necessary improvements to transform them into strengths. There’s always things within a company that need some attention, so always be looking out for new things that crop up.
Improve Employee Work Loads
Your employee’s workload is different for each person. Not every employee is the same when it comes to what they can handle, and some might be able to take on more than they currently have. Assess each individual workload and look for the opportunities to add more or remove where needed in order to make each staff member more efficient in their day to day tasks. It can certainly help improve this area of the business by focusing on what each person can do.
Making your work processes more efficient comes with attention to detail and focusing on those areas that need the work. Look at what your company needs and start working on it immediately.
Modern entrepreneurs opt for contemporary ways to run a business. For the most part, this means opening an eCommerce and selling products and services online. Without an office space or multiple employees, it’s an excellent method to cut expensive costs and turn a profit.
However, owning an eCommerce company doesn’t have to be the only option for entrepreneurs. Investing in a physical store continues to be a viable and lucrative method for success. Although it might not sound correct on the face of it, it’s undeniably true if you delve deeper.
Here are the reasons why a physical store is better than an online business.
Websites are designed to catch the eye and shift units, but stores are built on this premise too. And, it’s a feature which helps them to succeed where an online shop might fail. Why? It’s because custom specifications ensure the company revolves around an efficient and productive layout and structure. Whether it’s Perfect Practice and healthcare solutions or Oakwoods for retailers, there’s a solution for your specific requirements. Web design is important, but it’s becoming less so thanks to general themes from the likes of WordPress and Wix.
Once upon a time, it would have been unthinkable to say that a physical store would be more secure than a website. Today, however, it’s often the case as eCommerce sites don’t take safety seriously. Hackers can target your platform and steal sensitive data, undoing all of your hard work in the process. What’s more, it’s not as if you can insure your data. Stores are different as the majority of them come with fully-fitted safety measures, from shutters to alarm systems. Plus, you can add seemingly small features that have a massive impact. Outdoor lighting is one such installation that does wonders concerning thieves and burglars.
Sales for eCommerce sites are on the rise and show no signs of stopping, yet that doesn’t mean they are prefered. Sure, the accessibility and ease factors play significant roles in consumer decisions. However, customers are fickle and flirt with several online stores for the best deals. Progressive Grocer points out that this is different with bricks and mortar shops. In 12 months, 99% of people will use a physical store, while the high street is prefered four out of five times for popular shopping methods. The stats say that a store is what the customers want, and it’s essential to give it to them.
An eCommerce Site Is Integratable
Take all the best points of an eCommerce site and what do you have? You have features that are instantly integratable regardless of your business type. With a website, it’s straightforward to funnel online browsers to your store to bump up sales. And, you can offer them the things that they enjoy concerning an eCommerce experience. Therefore, it makes more sense to open a store and use eCommerce tools to supplement your business model.
When customers enjoy shopping in person and it’s more secure, a physical store is well worth considering even if an eCommerce site is more popular.
Going paperless can have lots of benefits for your business.
It can firstly save you money. A paperless office means no more printing – which means no more printing costs.
It could also save you space. Without the need to store paper, you won’t need filing cabinets. Your desk will also look a lot tidier.
Finally, it can help save the environment. Less paper consumption means less trees being cut down. This itself can be good for your company image and your morale.
The question is just how do you go paperless? What about receipts and contracts? This short guide explains it all so that you can take the necessary steps to going paperless.
Make digital copies of important paper documents
It’s possible that you may have legal documents such as contracts that are only in paper form. Creating digital copies of these documents could be necessary so that you can throw the original physical documents away. This could be done simply using a scanner.
It’s worth talking to a solicitor before you do this – while digital copies of documents are now generally accepted as legally binding, there may still be clauses that state you need the original paper document. You may be able to talk to the party that issued this document in the first place if you’re unsure – they may be willing to write you a new digital-only contract to replace the physical contract.
Choose the right digital document storage solution
Next, you need to organise your digital files so that scanned versions of paper documents and digital documents are all in the same place.
It could be worth embracing cloud storage in order to keep your files secure and in order to access them from any device. New technologies such as data room hosting have become popular for keeping all files in the same place. Don’t just store files on a local hard-drive.
Switch to online bills, receipts and statements
If you currently receive your company’s bills and bank statements in the post, you may want to consider contacting your providers and bank in order to switch to digital methods. Online billing and banking has many perks – in most cases, you can check your balance at any time from any device.
As for receipts for business transactions, you should ask for digital receipts whenever possible. Paying solely by card/mobile payment instead of cash could prevent you needing to keep paper receipts for bookkeeping purposes as you can simply refer to your bank statements.
Start using e-signatures
It’s now also possible to sign signatures digitally. Using an e-signature app on a touchscreen device, you can get clients to sign contracts this way. There are a few different e-signature apps out there, so you may want to take your time shopping around.
Any enterprise rests upon good decision making, the same way that a masterful painting relies on the skillful brushing techniques of the painter. While some may have an alternate or widely differing views of how the craft can be practiced or what decisions may lead to the best fruition, there is a truth here in that decisions need to be correct, and informed by many variables in the environment to be successful.
Furthermore, being able to select the correct priorities within your business structural development is essential, as they provide the overarching systems that will lead to the results you aim for. This means defining your business in the best sense is a task that is not only performed once, but is a flexible and constantly updated process that aims for the best outcome. This is further emphasized and helped by a competent leader with a vision, yet one still able to respect the natural law of how business correctly functions and optimizes itself.
As a new business leader hoping to follow in those footsteps, the following advice may be useful to you:
Where To Cut Costs?
Learning where to cut costs is a vital strategy to learn, because you’ll have to perform this practice many times over the course of your enterprises’ history. However, it’s also important that you ensure careful management and worthwhile prioritization when protecting certain elements of your operation in this light. For instance, you may decide to use the most cost effective yet premium quality process chiller systems to better your manufacturing supply, especially in order to curate products that are reliable and safe. This is a worthwhile investment. However, in response, you may decide to cut back on the refined nature of your packaging to ensure that you can gain the maximum value from each unit sold. Balancing this art is key to ensuring a corrective path forward.
How Quickly To Expand?
Figuring out how quickly you should expand can be difficult, particularly if you’re met with routinely large orders that seem to signify a true demand on your production capacities. It’s worth developing a cost-benefit analysis to ensure that you know where you’re going and why, and to slowly, peaceably build the departments and policies within your structure before hiring dedicated staff in that direction.
What Social & Ethical Priorities Do We Have?
Understand the social and ethical priorities you feel are most appropriate can help you move towards an intended and worthwhile result, better yet if this assists problems within your industry. For instance, perhaps you’re tired of corporations using social rights as a means to market themselves, and instead, you’re focused on donating or providing services to those in need, appropriate to your market approach. Maybe you wish to show just how sustainable your industry can be by taking a cost-hit to market your environmentally conscious approach. The more companies that consider their impact and make changes, the better.
With this advice, we hope you can correctly set the best priorities within your business structure.
Your business will have a much better chance of succeeding when you’re able to build a book of loyal clients. Winning customers over isn’t always easy, especially with all the competition that’s out there.
Learn what elements that customers want in a business so you can make these aspects a reality at your workplace. The more you cater to them, the more likely it is that you’ll be profitable and receive positive reviews for your business. Take time to understand their needs and wants so you can adjust your business plan accordingly and deliver on your promise every time.
Without quality products, you risk ruining your reputation and having a lot of customer complaints. For example, if you work in the furniture or sport and leisure industry, then you may be in the market for purchasing suitable, quality plastics. In this case, find a company with a versatile plastic extrusion profile that can provide you with the custom materials you need to satisfy your customers. You want to work with a reliable company that will get you the items you require in a timely fashion.
Your customers want to work with a business that’s responsive and easy to deal with overall. You and your team should be capable and eager to help customers who have complaints or issues with their orders. Offer multiple customer service outlets for getting in touch with you, such as social media, chat, and email. Come prepared to offer up solutions so that your customers feel valued and appreciated and walk away from the conversation satisfied. It’s your chance to listen to your customers and make changes based on the feedback you receive. Exceptional service is one of the core components of a likeable brand and will take your business far.
Furthermore, your customers want to do business with a company that is innovative and forward-thinking. It’s vital to be on your toes and not get too comfortable in one place as a business owner. Customers want to see you growing and maturing as a business and making an effort to continue rolling out new products and services that make their lives easier. Get together with your team and always be brainstorming ways you can improve your products and services and surpass the competition by applying your creativity. Bring new perspectives and ideas to the table to show that you’re on the cutting edge of producing excellent and impressive outputs.
Authenticity & Trustworthiness
Customers also want to work with a business that’s authentic and real. Build relationships with your customers and treat them like people instead of a number. Be open and honest in your interactions and conversations so you can foster trust with them and gain their respect. Be personable and friendly both online and offline and help them to understand why working with your business is the right decision on their part. Always address problems or issues that arise professionally and proactively to keep all you do transparent. Also, have confidence in your ability to achieve the results your customer’s desire.
Hiring new employees can be a rewarding part of managing any business. Providing new employees with the opportunity to come and work for you is very positive. However, there are times when this can go wrong.
Getting the wrong person for the job can leave you having to deal with performance managing them. You may even need to sack them if it does not work out. This is, of course, going to come out of your business’ budget. It is also not great for the company as, during this time, productivity will be lower because nobody is fulfilling that missing position, added to this, you will have to deal with the stress of finding a replacement.
There are ways that you can get this right on the first attempt. Here are some tips for recruiting the right person for the job in a manner that is efficient for your business.
Make Sure Your Job Ad Covers Everything
If you want to make sure that you are getting the right person for the job, then make sure you specify what exactly the right person is.
If you don’t provide a thorough job description, then you will find that you will get lots of applications from people who may not be relevant for the job at all.
However, by stating all of the necessary skills and experience that your applicants will be required to have, along with a sense of what personal traits will benefit them in the role, you will be able to get a much better employee fit applying for the job.
Do Your Due Diligence
Find out as much about the person who is applying for the job as possible. This will mean reading through all of their application thoroughly and looking to find out as much of their background and employment history as possible.
The more you know about how someone has acted in a previous role, the better. Check their references.
Next up you should hire a background check company to make sure that they do not have an undisclosed criminal record. Having spent convictions that they have declared is acceptable, however, they should be informing you about their criminal record.
Check to make sure that they are allowed to work in the country. You could get fined as a business if you do not take the necessary steps to check all right-to-work documents.
Vary The Interview Process
Some people perform better than others at interviews. Formal question and answer interviews can be very overwhelming for some people. If they are not going to be working in a situation where they will be put in that situation, you should avoid putting them under that kind of pressure.
Instead, vary up the process. Find some practical tests that they can do to demonstrate their abilities. Give them an assignment that will test the necessary skills for the job. Work trials can be a very helpful way to see what level people work at.
If you’re an entrepreneur, then you know that a business’ brand matters. In fact, everybody knows that. Consumers know that branding matters, and that’s why we lean towards bigger companies with established reputations when buying the goods we need. Still, building a successful brand isn’t as simple as putting on a big smile and waiting for potential clients to come to you. It’s a competitive marketplace, and you have to put time and effort into cultivating a reputable image for your business. So, with that in mind, here are the core components of a likeable brand.
As mentioned in the introduction of this post, your business will need more than big smiles to impress its target audience. Still, that doesn’t mean the likeability of your workers is irrelevant. Obviously, consumers know that a brand is comprised of more than individual employees, but their interactions with individual employees still affect the way they perceive companies. You need likeable staff members if you want to build a likeable brand. So, treat your workers in the way you’d like them to treat your customers. Give them perks such as a pool table in the breakroom. Give them regular bonuses for working hard. Celebrate their achievements with ‘employee of the month’ awards and other similar forms of recognition. If they feel appreciated, they’ll be happier, and that will improve your customer service. Obviously, the hiring process is essential to finding the best candidates, but creating the right working conditions is crucial, too.
An exceptional service.
Of course, customer service depends on more than happy employees. It depends on the quality of the goods that you provide and the timeliness of your service. A customer will still be irritated about slow service or a low-quality product, even if the workers are friendly. You need to focus on quality control. In fact, you need to exceed expectations. For example, you could surprise clients with free gifts whenever they make a purchase. Firebox is a gift site that includes sugary treats with every order, for instance. And you should go the extra mile when packaging products, as well. You might want to include foam polystyrene in packages to provide extra protection for the products that you deliver. This would show your clients that you take great care in delivering goods securely, and that would make your brand more likeable.
If you want your local community to accept you, then you have to integrate with it. Nobody likes a money-hungry business that views its customers as nothing more than a means to an end. In order for your brand to be likeable, you have to show your human side. This goes beyond the first point, regarding likeable employees. This is about showing that you value more than your profits. Obviously, your company needs money to keep the lights on, but you need to show that you got into the business world for bigger reasons.
You could donate to local charities in your town or city, for starters. That would also give customers a reason to buy your products or services because they’d know that some of the money from their purchase would go towards a worthwhile cause. Perhaps you could give something back to the community by offering free business classes to aspiring entrepreneurs, as well. That would demonstrate your generous nature, too. Every small act of kindness will help to improve your company’s reputation and create a more likeable brand identity for your business. You might also want to improve the sustainability of your operations. That would reduce your company’s costs, help the planet, and impress consumers in your target market. That’s a win-win-win situation.
When starting up a business, the sky’s the limit. You got so much ahead of you that the first 12 months can be some of the most exciting moments of your entire professional career. But those first 12 months can come with a lot of trial and error, not to mention frustration. When you are trying to find your feet during those first few months you may start to think about the best ways to develop your product or think about bringing new people on board that can help boost your brand. But you’ve also got to remember to make a significant impact in the right areas. What are the best ways to make sure that during these pertinent few months you make a substantial impact that you can build upon?
Setting Up An Exhibition At A Trade Show
A trade show is one of the best ways to make a very quick impact. Trade shows consist of people that are already in business or people looking for something different. When you’re trying to acquire custom or clients, a trade show is, arguably, one of the most successful methods. But in order to make sure that you truly make a splash at these events you’ve got to have everything fully realised. There’s also a lot to consider with regards to the exhibition itself. And while there are companies like Infinity Exhibits that can help you to create a trade show booth you still need to remember that you’ve got to go in all guns blazing. It’s not just about the image of the stall at the event, but it’s about the complete package.
Creating A Functional Business Operation
Learning what works and what doesn’t is par for the course during the first 12 months. Once you understand where everything fits it’s now time to put processes in place to make everything as productive as possible. Creating a functional business operation is partly to do with the legalities. There are many legal firms like Peters & Peters that can help you with business law but when you feel like you are flying by the seat of your pants all the time it’s important that you have a structure and process in place. This is what will help keep everything on track even though you think it’s all falling to pieces. You need to cover your back in a regulatory sense but also have a process in place to follow, rather than winging it.
Working On Your Networking Capabilities
Networking is one of those skills that we all need. During the first 12 months, you may struggle to come out of your shell but you have to remember that the first 12 months is about trial and error. Once you begin to work on your networking skills and realise what your personal strengths are, you can use this to your advantage and begin to build the right image. This is as important as building the image of the company.
The sky’s the limit and when you start to realise your ambitions you’ve got to ensure that you put the key things in place to reach then.
Anyone in the business world knows the importance of earnings forecasts. Indeed, it’s these forecasts that are used to make the financial investments that can make or break a company. Alas, it hasn’t always been the most reliable of tasks, and that’s why the process of coming up with these forecasts is always developing.
In recent years, it has been crowdsourcing that has been used to create these forecasts. The rise of technology has made these possible, and they’ve been shown to create forecasts that are more reliable than older models. So what is crowdsourcing, exactly? It’s a term that is used in many different professions and forms, but broadly speaking, it’s a system of obtaining information from large numbers of people. Because it uses information from a large group, it can be better than relying on the system of smaller sources.
Companies have adopted this type of forecasting model because it gives them an advantage over companies that do not use the model, and can be used for a variety of accounting tasks. It can have an effect on things such as investment timing and stock prices, and also helps to make forecasting more equal and diverse, since it takes the task out of the hands of the traditional companies. In other words, there’s a lot of value in this model.
To learn more about this forecasting trend, take a look at the infographic below, which is based on research conducted by professors at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Collat School of Business.
When you are starting out your own small business, money is often too tight to mention. Unfortunately, when it comes to business though, you do need to speculate to accumulate. If you are to create a successful business, you may need to spend a considerable amount of money.
However much you have to spend though, you will need to create an accurate budget for your new business startup. If you don’t work through all of your costs before you start spending money, you may end up spending your money in the wrong area.
When it comes to working out where to spend your money in your business, you need to determine your priorities. Work out what the most important areas that you need to spend your money are. Do you need premises to work from? If customers need to come to you, then you will need a professional venue. However, if you are not a customer-facing company then your options are much wider and you can make some savings by taking cheaper spaces that are not suitable for other companies or even run from home.
If the place you are working from is not a priority, think about sharing space with another company for a while and focus your attention on the things that you will really need to get your moving. Anything else can wait until you start bringing in revenue that can be reinvested in growing your infrastructure.
You Don’t Need To Buy Everything New
If you need a vehicle, you should look at Used Vans. You don’t need to buy a vehicle that costs the earth or has never been used. Instead, get a van that does the job you need from it for as little as possible.
Obviously, when buying a vehicle you will want to make sure it is one that is not going to end up needing lots of repairs or have excessive running costs. Do some research into the insurance prices and fuel consumption of the vehicle before parting with any cash.
Wage Costs Are Important
It is a false economy to not spend money on wages. You will need people and they do deserve to be paid an appropriate wage. Often, you will find if you are not willing to pay this, then you will not get productive employees.
If you reward people then, they will work harder and you will be more likely to achieve your goals. Cutting money when it comes to your wage bill should be avoided if at all possible. Instead, think about reducing money from other areas of the budget.
Don’t Forget To Allow For Things To Go Wrong
When creating a budget for your business, don’t forget that things do go wrong from time-to-time. Something may cost you more than you anticipated. For this reason, you should always keep some of your budget set aside for this. Having something to fall back on may make the difference between your business’ success and failure.
If you’re somebody trying to make it in the business world, you need to look at reality for what it is, not what you would like it to be. Other companies aren’t there providing you with an excellent service just because they’re nice people – they’re doing it for the money. The same goes for your employees: not all of them will be as committed to the cause as you are. Many just want to get paid so that they can feed their families.
But when it comes to the government, many people have a different view. All of a sudden, the people who seek official state power have a special moral status. They’re often perceived as acting in the best interest of the people they serve, not because of their own ambitions or desire for power.
Successful entrepreneurs need to understand that this is not always the case. While there are examples of politicians throughout history who have worked for moral causes, they’re not the norm. Most will use whatever tools available to them to get ahead.
If you’re in the world of business, you need to see the world for what it is if you want to make headway. You need to understand that the authorities regularly deploy propaganda to further their ends, often putting you at a disadvantage if you can’t see it for what it is.
The following infographic shows how various governments, particularly the US, have used information warfare against its own citizens in the past. Some of what follows will shock you.
At some point, your side hustle may grow to the stage where you have no choice but to take on new people to satisfy demand. If you don’t, you could be leaving profits on the table.
Hiring people, however, is challenging. Not only do you have to contend with a mountain of additional regulation, but you also have to invest a lot of time finding the talent that you need. It’s a significant drain.
There are, however, a variety of strategies that you can employ to make the whole process a heck of a lot easier. Check out these tips.
Tip 1: Hire People You Know
Going out into the marketplace and finding people with the skills that you need is a challenge. The available pool of workers is small, and the competition for them is fierce. Recruitment agencies often charge high fees and rarely provide you with people who really fit your criteria.
A better option might be to approach someone you know. Not only is it free, but you probably have a rapport with this person already, making the initial conversation easier.
Don’t use this as an excuse for hiring friends and family. In general, that’s a bad idea. You want to maintain a professional distance at all times.
Once you take on new people, you suddenly have to get to grips with the world of HR. Employees aren’t robots who tirelessly do your bidding, day in, day out. Instead, they’re regular people like you and me, who need time off and to take sick leave.
Managing all this is a time-consuming process that can cut into other activities. Fortunately, HR function companies can take over a lot of the burden for you. These agencies assist with payroll, attendance, benefits, and onboarding, so you don’t have to.
Tip 3: Hire Professionals To Write Your Job Descriptions
If you take a look at popular job sites, you’ll notice that the majority of job descriptions are both comprehensive and well-written. There’s a reason for this: most businesses don’t bother writing them themselves. Instead, they hire people who do it all day, every day.
Outsourcing this task has two critical benefits. First, it saves you time, just like outsourcing other HR functions. And second, it makes your brand appear more professional. The more precise you can be in your job descriptions, the more prospective employees will trust you to provide them with a positive work experience.
Tip 4: Create A Remote Workforce
Setting up an office and providing all the facilities that you need to keep people happy is a massive administrative challenge, not to mention the overhead. Many innovative firms, therefore, are experimenting with remote working.
Implementing effective remote working is surprisingly easy with modern tools. A combination of cloud services and chat tools means that you don’t actually have to have people come to an office every day for them to be productive. Remote working also expands your potential talent pool, allowing you to hire people overseas.
All businesses rely heavily on communication every single day. Quite frankly, the quality and clarity of interactions will go a long way to deciding whether the company succeeds or fails. As such, mastering this part of the operation should be a priority at all times.
While there is a huge list of contributing factors to consider, here are some of the most pertinent issues that require your full attention.
It’s the oldest cliché in the book, but time is money. Therefore, finding ways that allow your remote workers to stay effective without the threat of mixed messages is vital. Group chats and cloud collaborations can be used by staff members across all workspaces too. When supported by simple ideas such as running shorter team meetings, employees will stay on task. This increased sense of clarity is sure to enhance their workflow. If you cannot perfect the internal communication, there’s no chance of mastering the external ones.
Focus On Branding
Your brand story has a telling role to play in business communication. Crucially, getting it right will ensure that prospective clients enjoy positive first interactions. The right logo, colour schemes, and slogans are all vital. Meanwhile, shop signage and packaging materials deserve a lot of attention. When consumers trust the brand, they are more likely to complete a purchase. On a side note, a clear brand story will support employees on a daily basis, especially in relation to customer care.
Redevelop Your Website
Whether you plan to generate online sales or not, you must not ignore your website. Most prospective clients will actively conduct research on your site. As well as a clear design and easy navigation, you need to present the info in a winning manner. Using an animated explainer video is the perfect way to share your message in an engaging manner. Whether providing support to clients that have made a purchase or trying to convert more sales, the results can be huge. The info will be retained while it becomes very unlikely that the user will gain a mixed message.
Use Modern Tech
The company website isn’t only a source of info. It also gives clients a chance to contact the firm directly. Fielding their queries in an effective way is one of the most significant steps to success. Chatbots are a very effective tool. Other modern forms of modern tech include call redirecting services. This ensures that calls make their way to you without the need for a dedicated telephone support team. Therefore, it can be one of the best tools at any startup’s disposal.
Good communication is the most integral feature needed to stop internal problems from surfacing. However, you aren’t a mindreader. With this in mind, building a robust employer-employee bond is vital. When your staff members have the confidence to speak up about mistreatments, including from colleagues, you can stamp out the issues far sooner. Subsequently, then, the entire business venture runs smoothly while the positivity can extend to other teams and customers. Conversely, when the team are too shy to speak, problems will persist.
More and more of us are buying products and services online, but having a website for your business is not always a blessing. While a seamless, visually enticing, interactive site can work wonders, there is a chance that your website could turn buyers off. If you’re getting a lot of visitors, but you’re not converting leads, here are some common pitfalls to be wary of.
You only have to look around you when you catch a bus or grab a coffee to see that mobile phones have taken over the world. More than 50% of online traffic now comes from mobile devices. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on valuable opportunities to attract customers and generate profits.
Too much information
It’s vital for websites to provide information about the services and products a business offers, but if your pages are packed, and there are text boxes, flashing banners and adverts all over the place, this can put customers off. Your pages should be attractive, information should be easily accessible, and passages of text should be broken up with images, infographics or video clips.
Drab, dull aesthetics
Your website is essentially a virtual shop window. If you owned a store on the high street, you would probably dress that window to encourage passers-by to pop in and take a look. If your homepage and landing pages are dull and uninspiring, you might find that online shoppers are inclined to look elsewhere. If you’re not a design guru, it’s well worth considering working with a professional web design agency. Your site should embody your brand and really showcase your business in its best light. Injecting colour, adjusting the format, changing the theme and diversifying the content could make all the difference.
No clear call to action
When you design a website, every page should have a clear objective. If there isn’t an obvious call to action, you may find that your site isn’t delivering the results you anticipated. Make it easy for your customers to achieve their own goals at the same time as maximising the chances of hitting your targets. If you want web users to buy products, for example, take them to the page they need to get to via a bold or coloured link or include an add to cart button. If you’re encouraging people to join your mailing list, add a box or banner to enable them to subscribe in one click. It’s important to find the right balance between promoting your brand and being too aggressive. You want to include a clear call to action without bombarding people with offers or links.
There are few things more frustrating when you’re trying to buy a product or book a table or a hotel room than slow-loading pages. Your website should be slick and seamless. Customers should be able to make a purchase, find contact details, ask a question or sign up for emails or a callback in a matter of seconds.
A website can send sales soaring, but success is not guaranteed. If your site isn’t delivering, look out for these common errors and take steps to improve your chances of converting leads and boosting sales.
There is no denying that all retail stores need to make a positive impression, especially at this time of year. To do that, you need to make sure that your store is laid out and designed in a beautiful manner. You want to represent your brand and show of your products in the best possible way. So, with that being said, read on to discover some useful tips and suggestions.
Show Off Your Products
Firstly, you need to remember that it is all about showing off your products. Sometimes this can become a bit lost because we get wowed with glitter and shiny colours and all of the different decorations. However, it’s all about enticing the customers to want to buy your stock, so consider this with every move you make. Start off with buying mannequins and ensuring that they are perfectly designed in your most valuable garments. You can easily get a male mannequin or female mannequin online.
Carefully think about how you are going to put these outfits together. Layering and considering the outfit as a whole can tempt people to purchase the entire lot. Why not design something that’s perfect for an office Christmas party? There will be a lot of people looking for this sort of thing right now!
Consider Using Wicker Baskets
Retail display wicker baskets are definitely worth considering for your business. No matter whether you sell luxury food items, cosmetics, or home accessories, you can be sure that wicker baskets will make a positive impression on your customers.
There are many wicker basket companies providing a wide range of products to cater to all requirements. Thus, no matter what type of products you sell, you can be confident that you will be able to find wicker storage baskets for them. But, why should you choose wicker?
Well, wicker has a classy appearance, and it certainly looks better when compared with the likes of plastic and other common materials. It will show your business in a more professional light. After all, branding is of paramount importance nowadays, and your brand needs to be considered with each and every decision you make. This includes the display solutions you select. If people walk into your store and they see your products displayed in lovely wicker baskets, they are certainly going to be impressed. There are many different ways to display your products too. You can get wicker hampers, which are great for filling with luxurious foods and drinks. There are also display stands, which you can use to store your products. This works well with small items, for example, cosmetics, soaps, and body products. Wicker also has a natural feel too, which makes your business feel more homely and environmentally conscious.
So there you have it: some suggestions that you can follow if you are looking to make a great in-store impression. Good luck!
There is no hiding from the fact that many people have decided to start a business online. It can be an easy way to strike that balance right for home and working. You can do it from home, which gives you low overheads and flexibility, and it can often be an easy way to get to the market fast. But are you doing all that you can to make your online business fly? Here are some suggestions to help you make your online business fly off the charts this year.
The first thing you may want to think about would be to outsource and put some value on your time. When you run a business, you feel responsible for every aspect of it, but there will be areas of that business that you just don’t do justice. It may be worth thinking about outsourcing to a digital marketing company to help you strategize with advertising and social media. This can really help your business as it frees up your time to focus on the areas that you can make a difference in.
Humanising your social media
The next thing you may want to think about would be your social media pages and what you put out there. It can often feel like some businesses are just too much of a scrolling sales pitch, and this can put off your audience. Instead, try and humanise your business a little. Use instagram stories to showcase your business from a different angle. Give behind the scenes looks into things, like production or planning. Perhaps even look at ways to put your face in the camera and talk to your audience, engaging with them and responding to messages. It can make all of the difference.
Having a great responsive website
Your website is what people will look to the most these days. people search online for answers to questions, they seek out websites and online stores when they see things, even in person or online, so your website needs to be responsive and stand out from the crowd. Things like slow page loading times, and incorrect content can really put off a potential client or customer. Make sure your website is doing its job properly. It might also be worth working on your ecommerce site to ensure that shopping online is quick and easy. If things are too difficult to navigate, people just tend to look elsewhere rather than stick with it.
Online reviews and recommendations
Finally, online reviews and recommendations are a great way to seek out new business. They are a great advertising tool, asd people look to seek guidance from others that have either used your products or services or recommend you as a brand. It is worth trying to get your current and previous customers to leave feedback, either through an online questionnaire or return email.
Let’s hope these tips help you to move your online business forward.