Wintertime has its ups and downs. For one thing, there is the Christmas rush when customers spend money hand over fist without the usual scepticism. For another, the snow, wind, and rain can pose a major danger to small and medium-sized businesses. Sadly, SMEs don’t have the resources to dig them out from underneath an avalanche when it hits. The good news is that quality leaders only need a handful of things to ensure the show goes on and output isn’t interrupted too much. Here’s a look at the risks and how you can manage them by being proactive and flexible this wintertime.
It’s not nice to think about, but people do slip, trip, and fall over in icy conditions. When it happens on corporate property, the owner is liable for compensation. Therefore, you or the company might end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit that costs the business thousands of pounds. One way to manage liability is to make sure everything is as clear and as ice-free as possible. Putting down grit and digging out the snow should be enough. If there are still hazardous spots, be sure to put up signs warning people of the danger.
With rain falling at a higher rate than usual, offices are open to flooding especially if they’re on the ground floor. Even a cold snap can be a problem as water in the pipes freezes and causes them to burst. A simple solution is to install the correct fixtures and fittings so that the load isn’t too much to carry. Stainless steel weld fittings are usually heavy duty enough, plus they won’t rust either. Alternatively, keeping the heating on at low temperature should stop the water from freezing. As always, an insurance policy will come in handy if the worst happens.
Snow is a productivity killer as it stops people from travelling. Or, it gives them an excuse to blame the weather and take a day off. Thankfully, slacking off isn’t an option any longer thanks to remote work software. By uploading documents and files to the cloud, employees can complete tasks from anywhere in the world at any time. They might be as productive as normal, but at least half of the office isn’t sitting at home watching daytime TV. Create a work-from-home policy to ensure everyone understands their responsibilities.
Being snowed-in is one thing, but illness is another. Unfortunately, workers who are ill won’t be able to do anything until they are better. Therefore, there should be an emphasis on preventing coughs and colds and the flu from spreading. Get your employees to use tissues when they sneeze and then dispose of them properly. Don’t recycle them. Also, encourage people to go and get a flu jab so that they are immune from the virus. If you have to give them half a day off, it’s a good trade-off because you’ll win in the long-term.
What poses the biggest problem for your business during the winter?
All businesses need to brand themselves. Without that unifying design, they will seem ephemeral, ethereal and almost less present than they might otherwise be. This can be a challenging scenario to experience, and when you’re trying your best to establish your business life, it’s hardly one you want. But the presence of branding and the presence of good branding are two completely different things. Good branding could be defined by many ideals. Magnetism, the ability to represent yourself and your ideal at the same time, and being understandable are all pointers of a great self-branding effort.
But none of that would be worthwhile without relevancy. Catering to the modern market is essential, because it’s the only market you can ever cater to. Does this mean any slight twinge of historical reference will tank your business? Of course not. But staying updated and vibrant, even in your aesthetic callbacks, will be essential.
But what branding choices to modern customers and consumers truly respond to? Consider:
Minimalism has taken on a life of its own in recent years. This is because while color explosions, vast reams of text and a range of other eye-catching designs could be considered artistically viable and well-worth-it, sometimes your brand does not require it for success. Does your brand of paperclips truly need the most artistically excellent packaging? Or does a simple, clean, efficient package seem much more identifiable and less ‘busy?’ It can be worthwhile to consider how your firm’s artistic presence might best be understood and digested. Minimalism is popular because almost any firm can make use of it, almost anyone can appreciate how easy it is to understand, but if done well you needn’t sacrifice aesthetic professionalism or magnetism.
Intelligent design always be responded to. For example, if you’re opening a barbers and looking for a wonderful storefront banner, the name of your business written in barbering tools such as scissors or straight razors could be considered novel, interesting and intricate. This is just one small example of course, but a little forethought in design like this can certainly help you stand out, and it provides that ‘wow’ factor you might be looking for. This is where using a professional branding service such as Designed By Duo designedbyduo.co.uk could be the most appropriate, especially as they have an excellent proven track record for smart design.
The best branding is digestible. It’s memorable. It will be instantly recognizable when a customer once again sees your logo, or is reminded of your establishment. For that reason, your branding needs character. It needs to be a entity all on its own that supports your brand. This is why more and more forms enter mascot territory, or will often streamline their branding efforts over time. A solid logo, a simple slogan, a simple name for your business and a navigable website UI that conforms to all of these choices will seem cohesive, supportive, but most of all digestible.
With these tips, you’re sure to brand yourself effectively.
I was just having a chat with a friend over our WordPress frustrations. She had the most amazing responsive theme in terms of how the site looked but it was really affecting the speed of her website.
So why does it matter?
The speed and security of your website is super important. Think about it from your customer’s perspective. If they want to view something on your page and they just find the whirling wheel of death, chances are they won’t stick around and you’ve just lost a potential customer.
I think a slow website is like being on hold for ages, it’s just poor customer service and a reflection on you. It’s almost like you don’t care.
You don’t want to compromise on security either. Think data breaches, theft of data and credit card details in the wrong hands. One word – headache. And probably some big fines, don’t forget about those.
Our good friend Google also loves a fast site. It picks up on abandonment, so basically if someone loses all hope on your site and buggers off then Google doesn’t like it. You then get scored in the abandonment section. The more Google doesn’t like you, the less you show in search results. Not helpful.
So what can you do?
Well first of all you’ll want to check the speed – is there an issue with your website? You can use tools such as this one from Pingdom.
While there is a very romantic notion associated with working from home, when you apply the perks of this to someone who runs a business and has to treat the bedroom like a boardroom, can it be done effectively? For those people who are looking to run a business, but they don’t have the funds to hire an office, what does the average entrepreneur need? And is it physically possible to keep a business going with just a remote workforce?
Outsourcing Is Your Ally
If you don’t have the money to rent physical office space, and you’re relying on your employees staying at home to complete the tasks, you’ve got to start thinking about running the business as loads of different external aspects working together as one. If you need to improve your marketing, you can very easily hire a digital marketing service to ensure that they are working on that aspect of the project effectively. The big difficulty in outsourcing when you are as external as the other components is that you have to be comprehensive in how you communicate with them all. It’s important that big picture thinking form part of your ideals but it’s very difficult when you don’t see the results in front of you as they are being developed. This requires you to make the most of the next point…
Communication Is Key
Improving your communication isn’t just beneficial for the business, but it’s a way to keep your external workers feeling like they’re part of the process. People like the idea of working at home because they are away from the business, but if you want them to feel part of the organisation, you’ve got to work harder at the most beneficial communication tools. It’s all grist to the mill as each person has their own preferred communication method. It all depends on the duties they undertake. If you have someone who has to stay focused for long periods of time, it’s unhelpful to contact them regularly throughout the day because it will distract them. On the other hand, if you’ve got delegates that you need to communicate with, they need to be easily accessible, but they also need to give you the information you need quickly. In which case the instant messaging approach wouldn’t work; pick up the phone!
Working Extra Hard At Maintaining The Feeling Of A Team
Because each aspect of the business is remote, segregated, and don’t see where they fit into the big picture, this is your responsibility to ensure they are part of the entire process and feel like a team. If you have workers dotted all across the world, this won’t be easy. But if you work at regular contact, but also doing what you can to highlight your personality, either through video conferencing or video messages, it works at providing the personality, rather than making each employee feel that they work for a faceless business.
Can you run a business with just a remote workforce? You can, but you have to realise that you may save money although you will have to expend your efforts in other ways to ensure that morale stays up.
Right now, it seems like it’s harder than ever to grow your Instagram organically because it’s not easy getting followers. That’s why many turn to buy them. But once you learn how to grow Instagram followers organically, you will find out the difference between a paid follower and a real one.
Well, nothing is impossible, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’re going to focus on 6 techniques to grow Instagram organically, without buying followers, using bots, or any other shady practices.
1. Optimise your Instagram username
First of all, did you know that the words in your Instagram username are searchable? If you can, try to add your specialty / industry / passion / locationin your username. Think about what people would type on Instagram if they wanted to find an account like yours.
2. Optimise your Instagram name
It is very important to focus on your Instagram name because the name is searchable on Instagram too. Try to use important keywords related to your business/brand in your Instagram name. Write something that your audience would use to find your account.
3. Optimise your photos to grow your account
Keep your photos clean and good quality. It doesn’t mean you can’t be creative anymore. Just make sure it is easy to see what your main subject is.
People don’t typically follow accounts that post low-quality pictures. They want to be inspired by what they see.
Instagram is using a technology called “image recognition”. This means that this technology can “scan” your photo to figure out what’s on it.
4. Use hashtags as keywords
Hashtags are keywords. People can search for a hashtag on Instagram to find you. And Instagram checks what hashtags you are using to show your posts to people who like the same things as you.
5. Interact with people on Instagram
Make sure your followers know you’re listening and that you genuinely care about their comments by interacting with them or even liking their comments.
Spend a few minutes a day liking and commenting on other people’s posts. Interact with people outside of your feed is key.
6. Post at the right time.
Before you post your photo to Instagram, there are two important things to keep in mind: your audience’s time zone and what time they’re most often checking Instagram.
If you want to get the results on Instagram you need to keep up with your audience.
If you want to improve your results in business to the next level (think full time income) click here. It’s a 34 page download filled with amazing tips and strategies from a business coach perspective!
Being able to provide your team with a conducive working environment is an easy win; it allows you all to be more productive, do all that you need to, and be comfortable and happy. But is it possible to create such an environment without having to spend a lot of money? Here are some of the things that you can do to make sure that the work environment that you create is the most conducive to working as possible.
In work and business, the ‘chicken coop’ theory is often talked about in many ways. There are chickens that live in cages all cooped up and squashed together. Though it is uncomfortable and in many ways unethical, they do still produce eggs. But there are also chickens that roam around, have plenty of space, and they also produce eggs. They both still get the job done, so to speak, but which are the happier ones producing better quality work? The ones that have space to roam and a little bit of freedom. So think about how much space your team have in the office, as well as considering the option of flexible working from time to time.
If we are comfortable and happy then it means we are much more likely to get on with the job that we have to do. If we aren’t comfortable then we can keep adjusting and putting off doing work, as well a generally feeling frustrated. So the comfort of your team is something that is important to think about. What are their general working areas like now? Do they have comfortable and adjustable desk chairs? How about a restful break area with comfortable chairs for their break time? If you look at a site like Civic Australia you can see the wide range of tables and chairs that you can get for offices, so it is worth seeing what you could improve upon.
We live in such a digital age and we have access to a whole heap of technology at our fingertips. But are you using technology in your workplace to really impact and benefit your team? For starters, you could look for tech that will help to make things like conference calls or meetings simpler and more effective. Are you using software that allows internal communications and messages much more easily and quicker than emails? Team collaboration tools and tech to help with HR can all be good ideas to think about as well. Are you using all that you could, at the moment?
No tool is perhaps going to be more effective at helping to boost productivity and performance much more than incentives. Bonuses or rewards for things, even small things like finishing early on a Friday can be just the incentive that a colleague needs to get their work done in a timely manner. When they are performanced-based incentives then it can be one of the best ways to do things and keep it all fair.
Are you looking for help and support in your business but either don’t know where to start or would love a business coach but can’t afford one? Start here! My free 34 page guide gives you 6 proven strategies to supercharge growth and profits!
Running your own business is a lot less champagne fuelled launches and lot more hard daily graft than people think – but you already know that. From chasing up unpaid invoices to managing employees performance, trying to keep the lead generation flowing to balancing the books, applying for funding and developing your marketing strategy – your to-do list is never ending. You already know you have persistence, creative vision and sheer hard work to thank for getting you this far. But could technology be giving you more of a helping hand? By using software to automate business processes where possible then you’ll free up valuable time for high value tasks such as creative thinking or networking, plus free up yourself and your employees to work from any location at any time, giving everyone much greater flexibility. The right technology can make your entrepreneurship so much smoother, so if you haven’t already got on board, here’s what you should be using this year…
Manage Tasks On The Go
Does your day to day just feel overwhelming? With so many competing priorities and tasks needing your attention, it can be quite easy to never feel on top of things. A good task management solution like OneNote can be the answer to your prayers. It operates like a tabbed digital notebook. You create as many sections as you like and you can set up lists, import graphics, set reminders and generally plan out your current workload. You can also share a notebook with other people, and it all works on any device, meaning you can clip items from your browser to a notebook which you can then access on your phone or tablet. The lists sync automatically in real time, so whoever is looking at them always has the most up to date version.
The Ultimate CRM Solution
Any company worth its salt needs a best in market agile CRM system to take care of your most important asset – your customers! A system like Nimble gives you the insight you need to make guiding business decisions and plan marketing promotions and customer events based on sales data and segmentation. Any contact you input can be updated automatically from their social media profile and you will also have full access to analytics and reporting in real time on the move. A great way to make smarter, informed decisions and keep your contacts to hand.
Financials In A Snap
In business, money is equivalent to energy. If you don’t have money matters sorted, you’re stalling the energy flow and inviting all kinds of problems. Get sorted with a one stop solution like Cloudpay. Using Cloudpay Payroll ensures that everyone gets paid on time without a whole lot of paperwork – just a seamless, easy to use online interface that will make it much less of a monthly hassle.
Streamline Your Documents
Did you know that up to two billion business related documents are created globally every single day? That is an awful lot of time spent on what is probably a lot of needless duplication. If there are certain types of documents you and your team create all the time, remove the hassle by using an app like Templafy to create fully adaptable, professional looking templates that anyone in your business can access. Your next professional looking sales pitch or wrap up report is just around the corner.
Are you looking for help and support in your business but either don’t know where to start or would love a business coach but can’t afford one? Start here! My free 34 page guide gives you 6 proven strategies to supercharge growth and profits!
If you’re serious about Pinterest marketing, scheduling on Pinterest is very helpful, especially if your target audience is in another time zone or you just want to save your time. Hashtags are necessary, long pins are out, and pinning daily is more important than it has previously ever been.
So, if you love Pinterest and use it for your business like I do, relax because I’ve got some cool features to share about the best tool for making a schedule –Tailwind.
Tailwind is a scheduling tool that you can use to schedule pins on Pinterest. You can see when is the best time to pins, use it for analytics and that is not all! Using this tool you can save time and grow your blog traffic.
Scheduling on Pinterest with Tailwind
Tailwind has a great feature where you can automatically schedule pins for specific times weekly. When you join on Tailwind, it will begin to analyze your account and figure out the best time to pin. Tailwind will suggest times, based on when your audience is most engaged.
An important thing is the Browser extension
Tailwind Browser extension – It’s the easiest and fastest way to schedule Pins on Pinterest. And it’s available via Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. This also allows you to schedule pins from anywhere around the web, including blog posts.
Fastest way to schedule pins to several boards at once!
If you use Pinterest for your business and you’ve realised how important group boards are, then with this tool you can reduce the time invested and increase the effect. Board lists on Tailwind are the best way for you to schedule one pin to many boards at a time. One click, multiple boards. You will see how much of a time saver this is.
You can use it for analytics
This tool gives you in depth analytics and insights so you can see what’s working and what’s not. It’s helpful to know how your Pinterest account is performing and what content your followers like to see.
You have ability to compare your best performing pins and see how many repins and likes each one has garnered.
I know how important it is to be well organized in your own business, therefore Tailwind has helped me a lot. This tool saves my time and makes my job easier.
Use Tailwind, find your flow and hustle with ease!
If you want an in-depth guide and 6 proven strategies to take your business to the next level (think fulltime income) click here. It’s a 34-page download filled with amazing tips and strategies from a business coach perspective!
Let’s face it, as businesswomen, we are busy busy busy. Throw into the mix a family, or maybe you still have a job alongside your business, we need all the help we can get. Automaters are our best friends. From Tailwind for Pinterest to Facebook’s own scheduling tools. Automaters and schedulers automatically post and take action on behalf. Set them up and let them run!
Instagram, if you aren’t already familiar with it is a brilliant way to reach potential customers, but we rely on a few strategies to really leverage Instagram. You need as large an audience as possible, you need great content and you need to be consistent with posting.
Doing all that yourself is hard!
But I have discovered an automater which really take the effort out of Instagram. Meet….Unsocialise! I was originally asked to test the software. After testing it I fell in love with it. It just does everything I need so effortlessly. I walk you through some of my favourite features, and I’ll also share the ones I WOULD NEVER use!
The scheduling tool
Unsocialise comes with a scheduling tool. It’s easy to use. Just drag your pictures in, write your captions and select the time you want it posting and wooosh! Unsocialise automatically posts. Not only that but you can put in the first comment. Currently (Jan 2019) I recommend putting 4 hashtags in the caption and 26 in the first comment.
You can tag the location – great for people who want to promote to a specific location. I recommend at least putting your country in as Instagram tends to like it when you use its different features. (Get yourself a boost in the old algorithm!)
It has a calendar and photo editor built in. To be honest I don’t use the photo editor as I really like VSCO for editing. The calendar is useful to make sure you have a post every day or as required.
I love love love the insights tool on Unsocialise. From the insights section you can manage all the automaters you have at your disposal, you can see how they’re performing and you can see your engagement level (aim for over 5%!). It’s really useful for at a glance account performance and also managing the account through Unsocialise all in one place.
Smart Follow Feature
This is like a little magic wizard in the Unsocialise box of tricks that finds your ideal customers for you. Well with the help of hashtags and your competitor profiles of course! Just give it a clue and it will automatically run at a speed that doesn’t endanger your account.
I liken following my target audience to leafleting through people’s doors. You’re simply letting them know you exist. It’s up to them to follow you back or not. I then use the unfollow tool to unfollow anyone who chose not to follow back. Otherwise, I’d be following about 30K!! It’s clever enough to know who it’s followed through the program and to only unfollow them. You can also set it on different speeds if you are confident your account can take it.
Smart Like Feature
This is probably my favourite tool on Unsocialise. You can set it who to like for a start. I have people who I support on Instagram and it’s really important to me to like their content, however it’s difficult to always get to it in my feed and I’m worried I’ll miss their posts if Instagram doesn’t even put them in my feed. So my Unsocialiselikes them specifically for me. A must if you have clients!
You can also use it to encourage growth by setting it to like certain hashtags. For example, if someone uses the hashtag #shehustles, Unsocialisewill automatically and instantly like their post! The hope is they then come and check you out and like what they see gaining you a new follower.
The final thing I use Smart Like for is to like my feed. It keeps on top of it so I don’t have to. This works in my favour as Instagram feels I’m an engaged member of the community. Believe me with the hours a week I lose on Insta I truly am, but this just makes sure everyone gets a like and my engagement levels are high!
Smart Message Function
The Smart Message function sends a DM when someone follows you. Now sometimes I find these spammy, but it’s receiving them, its the content inside the message. I personally like to have a bit of fun with it, like “here’s your spammy DM, no but seriously get yourself a brew and have a read of this….” that kind of thing. Entertain them and share your latest freebie or blog post. My Facebook Group grew mainly from including it in DMs believe it or not!
Just don’t be a Spammy Pammy!!
Functions I don’t use
I don’t use the Smart Comment function. I have never seen an auto comment that isn’t spammy, I’m terrified it’ll land on the wrong post. Once I posted on my personal feed about my darling cat passing and I got the most inappropriate comment. I’d hate to do that to someone I just find them really spammy and they’re not for me, but if you know a way to use them in a non spammy way then do let me know. Maybe owning it and having a hint of humour/sarcasm is how to do it!
The other one I don’t use is the repost function. My feed is curated or colour co-ordinated to the max! So I wouldn’t share other’s content on my main feed – only in my stories so I can’t tell you much about this function either.
Why I trust Unsocialise over other Insta automaters
What I really like about Unsocialiseis how “caring” it is for your account. It’s a very considered automater. Due to the monitoring, auto function and speed settings, my account has never been restricted by Instagram on it. They monitor Instagram’s terms and make sure the automated behaviour is compliant for you. It’s nice to know they have your back but also help you to get the most out of Instagram!
It’s now bringing in a DM manager so you can manage all your Direct Messages in the program which I love as it means I can do it on the laptop and I’m a far faster typer on there!
I have hit a few snags and technical errors along the way, and if I’m honest if it weren’t for how amazing it is I probably would have defected, but each time customer services dealt with it super fast and they’re honestly so nice. I think a few other companies could learn from them to tell you the truth!
I’ve been using it for 4 months and I haven’t found another program as safe, that has all the functions I need in one place and that is so bloody useful!! Happy Instagram growth!!
Oh and did I forget to say – it’s only £10 a month!! Check out Unsocialise here!
Are you looking for help and support in your business but either don’t know where to start or would love a business coach but can’t afford one? Start here! My free 34 page guide gives you 6 proven strategies to supercharge growth and profits! Enter your details to receive an instant copy!
In the past, I’ve posted snippets of my story and how I got to where I am now in business, but for the first time ever I thought I’d tell the story from the perspective of how you might be able to use my failures to help you on your journey.
The first thing I’d like to point out however is;
THEY’RE NOT FAILURES – THEY’RE LESSONS
It’s only a failure if you give up right!
Let’s take it back to the start
So let’s go back to the start, well the uni days at least. I actually studied Forensics and Analytical Science at university. However, I didn’t complete the course. A group of 8 girls on a night out had other ideas for me and unfortunately after a lovely night out with a friend we were attacked walking for a taxi. My skull was fractured in two places. They attacked for the sake of it, they didn’t take my phone, purse or jewellery.
I wasn’t very well for a while after and so I struggled to keep up with uni, with my bills and life in general. At the time I worked in marketing for a night club, this meant working the evening, and the noise and lights were too much with my head injury. I slipped into debt. By the time I could be around actual lights again, I owed so much money I needed to work full time and so I couldn’t manage my degree..
And that was that. Welcome to being an adult!! But so began my interest in marketing and sales!
An so the obsession began
What I love about marketing and sales is the psychology behind it. It’s not luck that you get a sale. It’s about understanding people’s behaviour and predicting it, and even shaping it. However, I didn’t know this at the start.
I loved working in marketing, I worked for a German engineering company, I worked for a entertainment business. I got to travel and studied and perfected my craft. Now you have to remember I did all this just as websites were really getting popular for businesses, Facebook was a mere twinkle in Zuckerberg’s eye at this point.
Then 11 years ago I had my first side hustle that was all mine. I started dog walking. The business had a small website but Facebook was the main place I got the business from. Boy was it easy to get business on Facebook back then!! I dog walked whilst on maternity. I put Kaitlyn in a carrier and earned extra money to make maternity leave a little more comfortable. When I went back to work, however it was hard to give time to the business, a 1 year old and my job, so the it was the business that gave way.
Rinse and repeat
Over the years this happened a few times. I’d want extra cash, maybe for a holiday, maybe a new car. I’d start a business, earn what I needed then pass the business on to someone else and resume my neat employed life.
I sold jewellery, I trained for 2 years (alongside my fulltime job) to be a personal trainer, I made handmade children’s clothes (still do!), I blogged. I tried Avon, looked into Forever Living and more!
But over time I wanted more. I’d got the bug. Structuring my own time, no earnings bracket. The decisions being all mine. Not disagreeing with a boss but having to do their bidding anyway.
I didn’t know it at the time but I’d been learning all there was to know about marketing and sales, and I’d been practicing on what I call my “mini businesses”. And all this was there ready for what came next.
The horror bag
One of my best and worst qualities is that I give give give. This is usually to the detriment of myself. And then when you can no longer give I find people get really annoyed with me and treat me quite poorly. When you have some one that is fair and doesn’t take take take the relationship works well. I’m not sure what you think, but I find many people are happy to exploit your good nature.
In the last job I was in the boss went one step further. She didn’t just take advantage. She was an outright fruit loop! She took great delight in making me feel as degraded as possible. I felt sorry for her really. She was in her fifties, and it makes you wonder what happened to a person to make them so mentally cruel?
At this stage in my life, mid thirties, two children, bills to pay, responsibilities area driver, especially in the work you do. I felt I SHOULD have a 9-5, I SHOULD go out to a job. My status was measured on my job title. My happiness certainly was not.
And boy did I start to slip. I got really down. I would sit at my desk in floods of tears before my boss arrived at the office. I would have to ring my sister or my other half to get help in stopping the sheer unhappiness pouring out of my body. You know that crying where you can’t breathe and it’s overwhelming – yeah that.
Life became empty
It was like coffee didn’t have any taste, like the sun had no warmth, my children’s happiness was a necessity but I no longer felt it with them. I was going through the motions lost in the routine of the mundane and the SHOULDS.
And one day I broke. Now don’t confuse matters. Was I severly depressed and broken – yes. Did I have half an eye on my dignity – thank God -yes also! I calmly told my boss if she wanted the document finishing that I was working on then she’d have to do it herself as she wouldn’t be seeing me again. Got my coat and left. For good. Mid day.
Sheer panic kicked in. What had I done? How would I pay the bills?
For one month I existed. That was all I could manage. I prayed for the anti-depressants to kick in so I could feel something again. I waited and waited. And after 3-4 weeks the clouds parted and I felt the warmth of the sun again.
Welcome to the new and best chapter
So there I was, it was like I’d climbed out of the pit of depression and I was sat perilously on the edge. I could sink or I could try to get away. And I crawled away with every single fibre of me. I started writing for people. I made a decision that this was the time. This was the time for my own business I just felt it in my gut. It would take me away from the precipice, I just knew it. The business began “As Acorns Grow” – why was me growing and placing down strong roots. I didn’t feel it was quite right so I changed to Female Entrepreneur Hub, but then not long after discovered the Female Entrepreneur Association so thought I’d better change again and I became She Hustles Inc!
The official launch
I officially launched in May 2018 and I knew what I wanted from the business. I wanted to work from home. My home is my sanctuary. I was still having panic attacks from the episode in February and I just felt like when I was home I was safe and comforted.
I wanted to be able to choose my own hours as much as possible. I had learnt from all my service based businesses that in working for clients they dictate your hours, so ideally my business would be around a passive income model. And obviously, I knew that I wanted to share my passion for growing businesses. I wanted to share my 14 years of working in marketing and sales, and all the lessons from my side hustles.
The business grew… and grew… and grew!
Within 3 months the business was fulltime. A mixture of courses, products, paid blogging opportunities and clients was bringing in money, not just enough to pay the bills but to enjoy life again.
In October I was invited to speak at an event in London. That’s around 3 hours from me in the North of England. It took me about three weeks to say yes as my anxiety really kicked in. It was the thought of leaving the kids and my home – AKA the sanctuary. But something said to take the opportunity. And I did. My other half came with me for support and the last of my anxiety ebbed away.
I started the trip clinging to his arm. Trying to be brave. I ended it thinking I could take on the world!
What can you take from this?
Well, I’ve been a rock bottom. Crappy jobs, no money, the depths of depression. But that doesn’t define you. What defines you is how hard you climb. How hard are you willing to fight for your goal? What will you do for your dream?
Find your fight then make a plan. (I can help you with that bit! But the fight, that’s on you my lovely!)
I decided recently I wanted to give my fellow ladies a real boost in business. I know what it’s like trawling around Google looking for all the answers so I wanted to give you a head start and skip that part.
You can get my 6 best performing strategies here for your business
I hope it helps you to know that you’re not alone, that it can be done and that we don’t all have shiny perfect Insta lives! I’m always here if you ever need help!
Pop-up shops are taking over the retail world and really are rethinking traditional brick-and-mortar and big-box shops. As an up and coming business, a pop up could be a fantastic way to push your business to the next level. Here’s what you need to know.
What exactly is a shop that ‘pops up’?
Pop up shops are simply temporary retail spaces that sell merchandise of any kind. Since the vast majority of purchases are made online, pop ups help to drive sales through the highstreet and also have a novel and ‘cool’ factor. They can sell anything from art to baked goods to clothes, meaning if you’re the kind of business that sells products then you’re able to utilise a pop up store.
How long do pop up shops sell for?
Pop ups tend to stick around from anywhere between three days and three months. They’re very short term which is what makes them interesting. For the customer, it’s great news as they always have something new and interesting going on. For you as a business owner, it gives you the chance to promote your brand and awareness, if you’re currently only selling online and looking to get shop space, it gives you an idea of how things will eventually work.
Why are pop up shops good for business?
They can generate a lot of hype just as they’re novel, the feeling of ‘it won’t be around for long’ can encourage interested customers to take the plunge and buy something as they know they won’t be able to return at a later date. Pop up shops are usually in malls or on streets of busy towns and cities that get a lot of foot traffic, and so can mean a lot of exposure for your brand. The location is something you wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford as a permanent spot as a growing business, instead it enables you to utilise the location for a short time and generate awareness. In fact, pop ups tend to be up to eighty percent cheaper than a traditional retail store, which is exactly what you need as an upcoming business.
What do you need to set up a pop up shop?
First things first, you need to find the right space. Pop ups come in different shapes and sizes, and you need to be properly showcasing your items. Cram massive items into a small space for example and it’s going to put people off and feel crowded. On the other hand, you don’t want tiny items to feel lost in a vast room. Work on your branding, you’ll want to have signs and banners made up, as well as things like leaflets or business cards that you can hand out to customers while they’re there. In most cases, things like rails, shelving and the till will come with the space but you’ll need to check this out. If not, you could utilise an app like PayAnywhere.com. Think about the decor too, you won’t be able to start painting walls but you should create an atmosphere that suits your brand. How about interesting plants, large glamorous mirrors against the walls or colourful accessories?
Computers, laptops and tablets are at the core of everyday business interactions and processes. Whether you’re connecting with customers or preparing your accounting period, everything happens at a keyboard. From a business perspective, it makes no doubt that IT has become a definite part of your growth and success. The days were job applicants would state on their CVs that they can use a computer are long gone. Today, everybody in the business world expects employees and customers to be computer-savvy. While the market doesn’t bargain on individuals mastering complex programming and coding skills that are out of the scope of their expertise, there are fundamental processes that are taken for granted, such as using computing technologies to share and store data, to target and interact with your audience, and to run everyday business tasks. That’s precisely because IT is inherent to business activities that it is the best-suited investment strategy for growth. Without reliable IT solutions, there can be no growth.
Because you’ve got better to do than google your IT problems
Ah, the blue screen of doom. It can freeze your activities on an individual computer, or even on a while server for good! While it’s likely to be the result of a faulty update, you can’t know for sure without expert knowledge. More importantly, you can’t fix it without painfully troubleshooting your issue via Google Search and hoping for the best. If it doesn’t work, you’re just left with no other option that googling further. Ultimately, scheduled maintenance, dedicated support and software patches and updates should not be the responsibility of your team. You need to save everybody’s time by investing in managed IT services http://www.intelligis.com/our-services/managed-it-services/ that can deliver the expert IT strategy you need. At the end of the day, your computing system is one of the tools your employees use to complete their tasks. Leave the tool repairs to professionals!
There’s no digital marketing without robust tools
A computer is a physical tool that a company can use as part of daily processes. You need it to access your virtual tools, namely the solutions used in house to interact with your audience. Digital marketing, as a result, is constantly growing in performance. It’s easy to understand why; when your customers engage with the brand in the online sphere, you need to invest in the best solutions to support these digital interactions, https://www.shehustlesinc.com/how-should-your-business-spend-its-marketing-budget/. Your marketing budget should encompass investments in popular and effective online tools, from email automation to mobile-friendly websites.
Data breaches happen all the times
It didn’t even take 24 hours for 2019 to register its first data breach in the state of Victoria in Australia, where the data of 30,000 civil servants were stolen from a directory. While large-scale data breaches are becoming a trend, it doesn’t mean that small businesses can’t be affected. On the contrary, 43% of cyber attacks directly target small companies, forcing 60% of the targeted brands to go out of business within 6 months. In other words, cybersecurity is not something you can afford to ignore. Investing in your digital safety combines both educative approaches and protective measures.
Small businesses have limited funds to dedicate to their growth. Consequently, they need to be money-savvy when it comes to investment and to target elements that are fundamental to their sustainable expansion. Every penny you spend to make your IT greater has the potential to make your company more effective, relevant and secure in the future.
It is so important that your business brand gains a little more recognition. At the moment you’re running a small business that not many people have heard of. It is your job as the entrepreneur to make sure everybody in your target demographic has something to say about your brilliant brand. You need marketing strategies that actually work so that your brand name is shining strong even if the most crowded industry. Making your business brand stand out from your competitors is always going to be tough to achieve, but with some of the following ideas you will be able to get one step closer to success.
Find Innovative Ways to Get Your Name Out There
When your business is relatively new it can seem like a huge uphill battle trying to get your name out there into the world. There are some clever ways in which you might be able to achieve this, but you need to be creative and think outside the box. Check out the following range from the Pin Factory. You can design your very own pins, badges, coins and keyrings that represent your business brand. If you choose this option you can be sure that your idea will be completely unique to anybody else’s, because it will have your own design and your brand name printed right on there.
Don’t Blow Your Budget
When you’re trying to get your business off the ground it can be very easy to lose track of your budget. Getting over excited with your ability to spend money will land you in hot water eventually so make sure you are keeping track of everything you are buying. From start-up equipment to marketing methods, you will soon find that your hard earned savings are being eaten up by these day to day expenses. Monitor your income and outgoings carefully so that you never have to worry about running out of money.
It is very important to ask your customers for feedback once they have spent their money on your product or service. This is the only way you will be able assess how good your services really are. Once you have gained some useful feedback from your loyal clients you will be able to start making much needed improvements so that you can make everything bigger and better than before. Feedback will help you to stay on top of any glitches or errors that might arise along the way too.
Always Keep Improving Your Methods
You should never feel settled with your business strategies; there will always be a way to keep improving them over time. As soon as you feel as though you have mastered everything, something better will come along. Stay on your toes and keep changing up your way of working so that you are challenging the norm.
So allow your business brand to be seen and heard amongst your target audience, using your very own creative ideas. As soon as the word starts spreading you will be proud of everything you have achieved so far in launching your new business.
If you are hosting a business meeting then the first thing on your agenda needs to be finding the perfect venue. There are lots of meeting venues all around the country, and it is your job to whittle down your search to be left with the best of the bunch. Read on to discover how to do this effectively…
Firstly, you should look for the best meeting venue online. This is where you will find the best selection of venues to choose from. You will be able to search on venue finding websites via a convenient search box. And it will take you a mere few seconds to be left with a screen filled with meeting venues relevant to your criteria.
When searching for a venue, the first thing you need to bear in mind is availability. There is nothing more frustrating than spending time considering a venue and falling in love with it, only to discover that it is not available on the date needed.
After availability has been taken into consideration, the next thing on your agenda should be the location. Is the venue convenient for everybody to get to? Not only do you run the risk of people not turning up if the venue is in a troublesome location, but you almost guarantee that people will arrive late due to getting lost. This will push the meeting back and can end up costing you more money. Furthermore, don’t forget to take into account the public transport routes.
Aside from this, you will need to discover the capacity of the room in question. There is nothing worse than being crammed into a small room. Your guests won’t appreciate it and it will take away from the successfulness of the meeting.
In addition to this, ask yourself whether the venue reflects your business? You need to remember that the venue you select will have a direct impact on how those in attendance view your company. You obviously want them to be impressed by your professional choice and the effort you have gone to. Think about how you would feel if you were walking into the venue for someone else’s meeting.
Do you need any facilities for your conference? If so, make sure the venue can provide them. You may need an Internet connection, a projector, a whiteboard and alike. You may want to bring in extra facilities, which you can get at trimleaf.com, but you will need to make sure the venue will allow it.
And finally, do they have the option to add on any extra event services? You may require extra staffing on the day if you are holding a big conference for instance. Alternatively, you may wish to hire a caterer to provide snacks and refreshments for your attendees. There are even companies who offer conference production aid.
If you follow this guide in a step-by-step manner then you should easily be able to find the perfect venue for you. Check availability, assess location, make sure capacity is correct, examine the venue’s image, and enquire about the facilities and extra event services too. This is the recipe for success.
When you first go into business for yourself, you can feel a little green. Whether you’ve gone freelance or you’re trying to build a startup alongside your current full-time job, it’s easy to feel like an imposter. Like someone that shouldn’t be doing the work that you’re doing. As if you’re just not the big shot businesswoman that you are aiming to be. And that does often happen when you have a home business. It’s easy to believe that, because you’re operating from home, that you’re not a real business. But mostly, it’s all about what you think and feel. If you don’t feel professional, it’s going to impact on the image you put out. But if you feel like a real business, that will all change. So let’s take a look at how you can start to much a much more professional spin on your startup.
1. Set Up A Schedule
First of all, you need a business schedule. You need working hours. A calendar. An Office. You need to treat your startup like the corporation you want it to become. The more professional your approach can be, the better your mindset will become. This will then help you to get the company to where you want it to be.
2. Be Accountable
It also helps to hold yourself accountable. Set deadlines. Tell yourself that you’re going to have certain jobs done by set dates. Launches. Deadlines. All of it helps. The more accountable you are, the more professional you will feel.
3. Hire Experts
One thing’s for sure, and it’s that you’re just not going to be an expert at everything. Instead, you will have a set of key strengths. And this is why you should outsource everything else so that you’re able to get expert work done on each area of your business. From a specialist Google Adwords management agency or a graphic designer to a virtual assistant or an accountant – these experts an add value to what you’re doing. And then, you get to free up your time to push the growth of your startup.
4. Register Yourself
Something that will really help you here, is for you to have a registered business address. If you are worried about putting your home address on things, then it’s time for you to find a registered office address provider that will make you look more reputable and like you have an office. So think about what kind of location you’d like to have, and find a service that can give you an office address, but then redirect and business to your actual physical location.
5. Think Bigger
But then finally, taking the idea of the last point to the next level, you need to start thinking bigger. Do not just think of yourself as who you are today. Think about what you want to be and then start mirroring your actions to that. Plan in the steps you need to take to grow your startup and get to where you want to be. The bigger you think and the more you change your approach to mirror this, it’s going to help you to become the professional brand you want to be.
Before the internet existed, marketing was a whole different ball game. Some of the strategies that were once a necessity for all businesses have since become useless – for example, nobody wants to pay for phone book advertising now that everyone is using Google to search for business. Whilst online marketing has killed off several forms of marketing, there are still some offline strategies that are useful to this day. Here are just seven offline marketing strategies that could be worth trying to help boost business.
Host marketing events
Event marketing is still hugely popular and effective. Whilst the web has tried to simulate this with webinars and live videos, nothing can replace the sensory experience of a physical event.
Sales conferences are a common form of marketing event. These involve promoting your brand to a focused crowd of people. When hosting the ultimate conference, it’s worth finding an exciting venue and making the event interactive so that people can ask questions and possibly test your product for themselves.
You could also try attending a trade show. These are events in which multiple businesses gather to exhibit their products and services. Such events are usually centred around a niche and so are great for attracting your key consumers. The downside is that you are competing against other businesses for attention, so you may want to try and make your booth stand out by using branded signage such as pull up banners and flags. You can also draw people to your booth by offering one-off promotions or hosting competitions.
Other events to try could include launch parties, seminars, workshops and clubs. You could even sponsor someone else’s event in exchange for being able to display signage of your brand at the event. Because events can be a lot of work to put together, you may want to consider hiring some help from an event marketing company – they may be able to arrange catering, branding and all other aspects for you.
Attend other people’s events
You can also attend conferences, trade shows, seminars and other events as a guest. Such events can be great networking opportunities, allowing you to form relationships with other business owners who may be potential customers or who may be able to spread word of your business.
Even non-business events can be a chance for networking – you never know who you’re going to meet at a wedding or a party. You don’t have to treat every social event like a business opportunity, but you should be prepared to make the switch from leisure to business mode if the situation arises.
Join local business groups
It’s also worth seeing if there are any business groups in your area that you could become a member of. Such groups are ideal for networking and often allow you to become involved in community projects, helping to raise your personal profile.
Business groups are also great for finding out news about events as well as getting advice from others. You can search for business groups in your area online.
Business cards are still a reliable way to quickly exchange contact details. It costs very little to print off a stack of business cards. These can be carried around with you whenever you go out just in case you meet someone who could be interested in your business.
On top of giving out business cards at events and on social occasions, you can also leave them strategically in places. Waiting rooms of hairdressers, dental surgeries and solicitor firms are great places to leave business cards as people are likely to be sat here bored and are more likely to pick up your card out of curiosity. You can also display your card on public noticeboards (although flyers can sometimes be more noticeable and better suited for this purpose).
Use physical mail
Many people have ditched physical mail in exchange for email – it’s faster, cheaper and eco-friendlier. Whilst email is the sensible option most of the time, old-fashioned snail mail can still have its advantages on the odd occasion. Given that fewer people now use it, it’s a less competitive market.
Most businesses post flyers through people’s doors, but these can sometimes end up straight in the trash. Try to consider creative forms of leaflet that people are more likely to engage with. You can also attach vouchers as an incentive to get involved in your business – by giving people a discount they may be more inclined to use your service.
Choosing the right places to target is important and you should do your research to find areas in which your key consumer is most likely to be based. If you’re a business-to-business company, you’ll want to post your mail through the doors of shops and offices rather than homes. If you offer a luxury service, you may want to post to addresses in wealthy areas.
Get featured in your local paper
You can also attempt to get featured in your local newspaper. The easiest way to do this is to pay to create an ad – many local newspapers dedicate space for advertisements. Another option is to approach a journalist and get your company featured as a story. This option is best suited to when you have a good story – perhaps you’ve just opened your business or are celebrating your 5th anniversary with a party. You can use a PR company to help you find a suitable angle.
Get featured on your local radio.
Newspapers aren’t the only form of local media that you can try to get featured in. Your local radio may also be able to promote you. You could create your own radio advert – this can be expensive but effective at spreading brand awareness. You may even be able to set up a radio interview – this could require finding an angle just like landing a newspaper story and may require hiring a PR company.
Launching a home-based business is certainly beneficial. It allows you a tremendous amount of flexibility, providing the kind of work-life balance most of us yearn for. Unfortunately, however, it isn’t without its difficulties. While the advantages of this kind of venture are appealing, the unique challenges you must face along the way certainly aren’t. To make your professional life a little easier and keep your business up and running, here are six major mistakes you can’t make.
You may be running your startup from home, but that doesn’t make it any less of a business. With that in mind, it’s vital that you create a business plan, just like you would if you were working elsewhere. This should include both short and long term goals, as well as details on what you should do to meet them. You should also plan each of your days to ensure you stay productive.
Many homeowners associations and landlords have strict rules on what you can do in your home, including some prohibiting running any sort of business. Because of this, you should ensure you check with yours before launching your startup. If you don’t and start your home business anyway, you could find yourself evicted or even facing legal troubles.
Advertising Your Home Address
People take home-based businesses a lot more seriously than they did a few years ago. However, you’ll still face the odd customer or client put off by your workspace. To appear more professional, you should consider renting a virtual address, from a site like Grosvenor St Pauls. This also means you won’t need to advertise your address, reducing your security risks.
Sharing Your Personal Accounts
When you first start your business, it may seem convenient to keep your company and personal finances together in one account. However, when tax season comes around, you’ll soon realize you’ve made a mistake. By doing this, you make it almost impossible to separate your finances, which is why it’s more sensible to open a separate bank account and get a new credit card.
Your home may not be particularly big, but it’s crucial that you have space dedicated to your work alone. This could be a room you barely use or empty corner in your living area. This allows you to separate work and home in your head, allowing you to concentrated on your business when you need to. It also helps to set boundaries with your family and limit interruptions you may face.
One of the biggest complaints entrepreneurs have about working from home is the loneliness and isolation they often feel. However, just because these emotions are common, it doesn’t mean you should put up with them. Instead, make an effort to combat these negative feelings, by spending as much time out of the house as you can. This could be for work or fun.
Running a business from home isn’t easy, but, hopefully, with the tips above, you can avoid some of the biggest mistakes often made.
It’s no secret that the people you employ are the most important part of your business, and that you need to make sure you are looking after them and making the best use of them possible. Learning how to effectively manage your employees is something that can take a very long time indeed, but it is worth doing for the kind of effect it can have on the future of your business. Of course, if you really are struggling to work out how to manage your employees, there are plenty of things y6ou can focus on that will help you out, and those are what we are going to look at in this article. Here are a few of the key things to consider if you want to better manage your employees from here on out. Following these will ensure your employees are looked after much better and that they are managed more effectively as well.
It is hard to carry out all of your HR needs without any kind of software at all, but it is equally hard to know what software you should actually aim for. If you are struggling to know what kind of software you might need and which would just be superfluous, it might help to take a look at a number of distinct and different HR software modules, to help you get some clearer idea of what might be worth looking into. As long as you have the right kind of software inhouse, you will find that it is considerably less challenging to be able to keep on top of your HR, and that an easy management of your people will necessarily follow from that. As such, this should be one of the first things you do when you are hoping to manage your employees better.
You will also find it especially useful to have someone who can be something of an HR leader for your business, as that takes much of the hard work out of your hands and ensures that there is someone who is fully responsible for all things to do with your employees. Now you would obviously not want this to be just anyone, and in fact you should make sure that you are on the lookout for someone who is likely to actively and passionately lead the employees in question. But as long as you find someone like that, you will find it makes a huge and welcome difference to how HR is carried out in your organization.
It is pretty challenging to lead people if you are not communicating with them well, so this is something that you will want to think about as much as you can as well. By developing a strong communicative link with your employees, you will be able to make it considerably clearer what you expect of them, and that will mean a much stronger management system on the whole. Make sure you don’t overlook this essential quality.
Today’s modern businesses rely on their networks; systems of IT equipment which allow employees and software to communicate with each other to move the firm towards its goals. In the 21st century, systems networks play a fundamental role in website performance, internal communication, customer management, and customer service. In fact, it’s hard to think of an area of business that is not affected by it.
But over time, networks can slow down and fail. Networks don’t last forever and need to be updated to remain useful and productive. Here are some signs that your business’s systems network might need an overhaul.
Employees Aren’t Happy With It
When the goals of management and employees align, the results can be extraordinary. But, as happens so often in business, the needs of employees are sidetracked because of management’s objectives. Management might like a particular network solution because it offers value for money and it does the job. But employees might not like it because it’s unresponsive or doesn’t provide the feature set they need to carry out their job effectively.
When workers start complaining about the network, it’s usually a sign that there’s something wrong. Employee feedback can give you essential information on how to improve your systems for higher productivity. Workers who can rely on the network to do their work effectively are happier and get more done.
When you first installed your network, it ran quickly. It was easy to share files and collaborate with others. But over time, as you added additional computers, you found that the network slowed down. Now, it runs so slowly that it’s hampering your basic operations.
If that sounds like you, then what can you do? Sites like https://caslec.com.au recommend looking at your cabling. It could be that your existing cables aren’t providing the bandwidth you need to cope with the data travelling through the network. You may also need to upgrade your servers. Although servers are powerful pieces of equipment, there’s a limit to have much information they can process in a given period of time, just like a regular PC.
Your Network Doesn’t Facilitate Business Processes
Ideally, your network allows you to perform all your business processes (or at least those which are relevant). But all too often, firms persist using systems that don’t meet their needs.
A common problem is that of unnecessary steps to perform a simple process according to https://www.startupdonut.co.uk. For instance, let’s say that you want to share information about a client with somebody else in the company. Ideally, you could do this kind of thing with a single click, but if you’re using third-party software over an ineffective network, you may have to go through a long-winded process.
Another common problem involves not having enough space on the network for all the people who need to use it. For instance, twenty people in your firm might need concurrent access to CRM software, but the system may only support fifteen computers at a time.
Within any industry, operating a business can always present its challenges. With the business industry continually changing, it can be hard to keep up no matter how established the company is. It’s good to develop, grow and evolve, especially when so many of us now have the opportunity to create a business from scratch. So how does one find new opportunities?
There are so many ways to promote your business and promotion is what’s going to boost the awareness of your product or service to the masses. It’s now more important than ever to show off; otherwise someone else will do it first. Customers are getting trickier to impress, so it’s certainly wise for any company to find new ways of promotion.
First up? Social media of course. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are still pretty new even though they feel like they’ve been around forever. That’s because we’ve become pretty reliant on it for pretty much everything. From finding out the latest in the news, tweeting your disgust at a parcel delivery service or liking the photos of your favorite celebrities. Social media really is a great tool that you can use to your advantage when promoting your business.
Think about campaigns that you can run to reach new audiences and monitor these using analytical software to tailor your future marketing. Engage with your customers directly and create a much more personalized service and relationship. Create a following on your profiles so that loyal customers can drive more sales and spread the word. The options are unlimited, so use social media to your advantage.
Depending on your business, you may benefit from showcasing a product or service at a roadshow. With so many being hosted across the globe, there’s plenty of industry only or public events, where you can promote your business. Make your space stand out with an exhibition gantry and think creatively of how you can draw the crowds to your stall. Industry only exhibitions are great for promoting the business to potential investors and other businesses. It’s also a great way of scoping out any competition and getting a close up of what they’re doing to promote their products.
If you have the staff available, a good way of promoting the business would be to get them to a networking event or places where they can be a speaker on behalf of the company. These tend to be great opportunities to have a sole focus on the company or at least to feature as a panelist. You never know who might go to these events, so it’s certainly worth investing a little money in this area of promotion.
Creating a website is another great opportunity for directing new traffic. If you have the social media platforms, you should be directing them to your website and vice versa. This, along with the same branding across all your channels, creates more visibility and awareness.
Now employees for a business are essential to the success or failure. Why? Well because they’re the ones putting in the work to keep the business afloat. A lot of big companies tend to care a little less about their employees, particularly those at the lower end of the company hierarchy. However, that’s only allowing for potential jeopardy to occur for the business. If an employer doesn’t care about an employee, they’re less likely to stick around. But they could have the skills or passion that could rocket your business to a new level. Every employee should be valued and they should be hired with the intention of building them up into the company.
New opportunities can arise from the development and training of employees. If there’s a weakness in the company, then there will be someone in the organization who has the ability to learn a new skill or digest some new knowledge. Actively seek to send your staff on training courses so that they can develop and invest that learning opportunity into potential opportunities for the business. Having 1-1 discussions with your employees on a regular basis is beneficial for knowing what they want to achieve in the company and how you can go about helping them get there.
Seek Collaborations With Others
Heard of the phrase, many hands make light work? Sure, working on your own may be effective for some time but seeking out collaborations with other people might be much more beneficial. Whether that’s collaborations with your competition or for those who may be able to offer something in return for what you could give. Working together is much better than working apart. If you have a new idea, look at what you can do as an organization and then outsource the rest of it. It saves time working with those who can help rather than doing it individually through trial and error.
Collaborations can also help with your reputation within the industry. If you’re a company willing to branch outside of the business, you’ll likely get a lot more recognition, and that can lead to more opportunities.
Focus On Your Customers
No matter if you’ve been running for a month, a year or ten years, customers provide you with profit. So it’s important to keep them happy so that they remain loyal to you. Plenty of opportunities can come along by listening to your customers. Don’t ignore their concerns or suggestions because there could be something of potential from the issues that are presented to you. Customers can lift you up but they can also be your downfall as word of mouth can travel fast.
Take Protein World as an example. They provide protein supplements, powders, and shakes that help customers lose weight, tone up and gain muscle. Back in 2015, they released an advertisement across the UK and US which featured a slender woman and the words ‘Are you beach body ready?’. Suffice to say it rubbed their customers and everyone else up the wrong way. The social media world reacted by trolling Protein World and slating their brand. One wrong move could kill the business, so think about what you’re putting out and consider all the choices you make and the potential backlash you could suffer.
It’s good to utilize what works best in the business, but it’s also wise to identify the problem areas or weaknesses of a business too. Think about what works and what doesn’t and try to work out why it’s not benefiting you. Perhaps it’s to do with too many staff or not enough. Maybe it’s a strategic plan that you’re using for a campaign, and it’s just not working. It might even be a money issue, and you, therefore, need more funds. Whatever it is, pinpoint it and try to fix it as best as you can.
Some opportunities might not work well with your brand and could potentially cause problems too. They might come from new technologies or methods of selling or advertising that have had a limited trial run and therefore might not be the best option. Trust your gut when it comes to these opportunities because they can often be too good to be true.
It’s All About Timing
Everyone achieves different things at different points in their lifetime. When it comes to success, there really is no right or wrong time to achieve it. Just because your competitors are successful now, doesn’t mean that you won’t be even more so a few years down the line. It all comes down to timing and sometimes, it won’t be your time. Timing should always be considered when evaluating a business opportunity. Do you have the right resources or funding to take it on? Everything has to line up, for it to be as successful as possible. So bide your time and be patient.
Actively Look, Don’t Just Sit Around
And finally, when it comes to anything in life, you have to be actively looking for the opportunities. Unfortunately, it isn’t always a case of an opportunity just landing on your lap. You have to work hard for it, in order to get it. Those who are successful have put in the hours, the sweat and tears, to get to where they are, and you’ll need to do the same thing. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from those already in a position that you want to be in. Everyone has to start somewhere, and the right advice or recommendation can make all the difference. Set yourself a goal to do something new every day, whether that’s dealing with a customer complaint, working on a new product or creating a sales pitch for a new client.
Running a business is only getting more difficult, but with the passion and perseverance, hard work and believing in your company will eventually lead to the results you want. Use these tips to find new opportunities for your brand and most importantly, don’t wait for it to come to you.