Running a business from home certainly has its advantages but without the credibility that larger businesses possess, it can sometimes be difficult to get taken seriously.
Still, this doesn't mean a home business owner can't find success, and this doesn't mean the business won't have the capacity to grow. Just look at Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, for example, two entrepreneurial luminaries who eventually grew out of their homes and into (for want of better words) the big leagues!
So, if you're working from home, in whatever capacity, here are some tips to help you get taken seriously. You might then experience the growth that those now running multi-million companies have attained or, at the very least, make yourself a tidy income from whatever type of business you are running.
#1: Benefit from a virtual office address
If you are using your home address on your mailouts, your clients and customers might fail to take you seriously. Especially if you are trying to convey a professional image, it will be a direct giveaway that you are probably working from home in your pj's. This is where a virtual address comes in handy as it can give the impression that your business is bigger than it actually is. You can also benefit from a telephone answering service with the services of a virtual office provider, and again, this will do much to convey a more professional image. Follow the previous link for one example, and consider the benefits for you.
#2: Be careful with your video calls
If you're speaking to clients through Skype or any other type of video communication tech, be sure to dress well before making a call. While working from home can give you the opportunity to wear your pj's or slacks, your dress sense will reflect poorly on your image. Dress smartly then, and consider wearing a suit for those you are really trying to impress.
Be sure to make your calls in your home office too. This is far more professional than chatting with your clients in your living room, and it can also convey the image that you're not working from your home. We have some tips on designing a successful home office, so have a read of our article.
And finally, take note of this BBC news interview that was conducted with one esteemed professional. If you want your clients to take you seriously, be sure not to let your children interrupt you when you're having a serious business conversation!
#3: Brush up your brand image
Enlist the help of the professionals if you need help with this regard. A web designer will give you a professional-looking website, a photographer will give you the quality photos you need for your website and other promotional materials, and a copywriter will provide with you the written content you need to give that excellent first impression.
Be sure to ask your customers and clients for testimonials for your website, and ask them to leave reviews on business review sites as well. And have a separate social media account for your home business because your personal account just won't do if you want to be taken seriously, especially if some of the content is for friends eyes only!
By taking these steps, you will improve your brand image and improve your credibility.
We wish you every success with your home business!
One of the exciting aspects of running a business in this day and age is that the sky’s the limit. If you’re motivated enough, then there’s no limit to the amount of success that you can achieve. After all, the climate is right. It’s a global economy, and that means that you can expand your business into new territories, both in your country and in others. Expanding overseas is, of course, more difficult than expanding domestically. Many large companies have failed when they’ve tried! There are things you can to improve your chances of success. We take a look at a few essential tips below.
Time It Right
Timing is everything in business. Doing something too early or too late can lead to failure. So what constitutes picking the ‘right time’? It’s about looking at the global economy and looking at your own company. If things are economically fragile, then it’s best to wait; you should, after all, aim to reduce the level of risk that you’re taking. For your own business? That, you’ll need to decide. If you’re working well, have healthy cash-flow, and just feel like it’s the right time to step up, then it probably is.
You will have done extensive market research when you were first getting your business underway. This was the research that told you how to market your products or services, how much they should cost, where you fit into the broader market, and so on. When you’re expanding overseas, you’ll have to carry out the same intensity of research. It’s dangerous to assume that you know any answers to the important questions just because you have experience domestically. Foreign countries will operate on a different wavelength. Try to understand as much as you can about the country you’re expanding into before launching.
Hiring Local Talent
While you’ll want to have an all-important hand in the development of your overseas branch, it’s vital that you’re working with talent local to the area. This will help on multiple levels, including building a connection with customers in the area you’re expanding into. Of course, it can be challenging to employ people overseas, but there are things you can do to push things in the right direction. The first is to work with a local recruitment agency; they’ll help you to find the best staff. You’ll also need to look at your payroll. You can get Cloudpay's payroll software in the EU, which will make paying your overseas employees all the more straightforward. Also, don’t be a hands-off boss -- your new employees will appreciate feeling part of a bigger team.
Review and Adapt
It’ll take some time to figure out how you’re going to operate overseas, and you won’t get everything right straightaway. The key thing is to stay open and flexible. After some time, you might find that one way of doing things isn’t bringing the types of results that you’d expect. If you’re flexible, then you’ll be able to switch to a different approach relatively easily.
No matter the side of the educational system you’re on, you cannot ignore the importance of cloud-based learning management systems (LMS). From the student struggling to catch up with school work to the teacher looking for a way to deliver educational material across to your students. Cloud-based LMS is an
e-learning platform that assists educators, students, as well as instructors to create, access, manage, as well as organize different learning materials online. The world of education has taken advantage of the several benefits of such platforms to build capacity. In this article, we will take a closer look at the top four cloud-based learning management systems for training purposes.
Google Classroom is one of the web services developed by Google and available for free for e-learning and teaching purposes. Aside from assisting instructors in creating, organizing, and delivering assignments for students, the platform also allows for sharing ideas, trends, and innovations among a group of instructors or teachers. In addition to that, Google Classroom synchronizes easily with other e-learning tools, software, or apps such as Canvas. This means, for example, that a person can connect their Canvas app to their Google Classroom platform in order to help keep all materials in sync. However, Google Classroom is best used as a group platform because of the efficiency it offers when it comes to sharing files and communication between other users.
Canvas contains a set of learning materials and special features that have been integrated in a way to allow teachers and students to make the best out of it. The platform offers several benefits for both teachers and students. And this is especially true when you consider the fact that teachers have to create different learning materials from subject to subject. The platform also makes it very easy for instructors to engage with students. Plus, it integrates pretty nicely with a lot of teaching tools used in a classroom.
Blackboard Learn is also one of the main platforms where education and learning materials can be centralized efficiently, organized, distributed, and accessed with ease. This learning management systems platform is also best used between several instructors, students, or both. Blackboard Learn allows its users to share learning materials, learning trends, as well as other e-learning materials. Perhaps the only disadvantage this platform has is the fact that most of its users do not consider it to be very user-friendly. But it shouldn’t take too long to get the hang of it.
If the Mindflash LMS reviews are anything to go by, then they show just how many users are benefiting from the platform. Although the platform is used a lot by business-minded people, it also offers several educational tools that both teachers and students can take advantage of. It is an ideal platform when it comes to delivering online learning materials and courses. Plus, using this platform helps to reduce the amount of time a teacher spends on preparing and delivering educational materials to students.
If you are in a position where you are starting to think about working from home, that is a great opportunity that you are going to want to make the most of. It could be that you have started a business which you will run from home, or that you are trying to work from home more as a result of covid. Whatever it is, part of the process is going to be designing and building a home office which you can use and which you are likely to enjoy. Let’s take a look at what might be involved in that process.
Find Your Spot
First up, you need to find the spot in the home where you are going to have your office. Ideally, this will be somewhere that you don’t use for anything else. If you have a spare room, a basement, or even a garden shed, any of those could be ideal for a home office. It should be somewhere away from the general hubbub of the home, and where you are not going to be disturbed - or disturb anyone else in the home either. It also needs to be of a decent size, so that you can comfortably work there.
Build A Desk
Chances are, you are going to want a desk to work at. You can build one yourself easily enough. Anyone with even a basic understanding of woodworking can achieve this, and it is one of the easier projects you can hope to complete. Or you might decide that you want to get hold of one premade and simply install it, which can work just as well. In either case, you will then want to make sure that it is ready to work at, which might include fitting out electrics like a mains neon indicator, ensuring that everything is in its right place, and so on.
Although it might not be completely necessary, there is something wonderful about decorating the home office. It helps to make it a more enjoyable place to work, and it generally means that you are going to have a much better time of making the most of that spot. You can of course decorate it however you wish, but it might be worth bearing in mind just how different colours affect your productivity. Do your research on this and you should find that you can make the right decision.
Stock It Up
Finally, you now need to stock up your home office with everything that you will need to do your job well. As long as you have a place for everything, it is going to be much more the kind of place you hope to work, and you should find that it makes a huge difference to how the office feels to work in. All in all, building your own home office is simple enough, so consider doing it if you are thinking about working from home or starting a business to run from home as soon as possible.
Every business is looking to improve its stance in the world. Ultimately, there's so much competition out there these days that we have to find unique approaches to stand out from the crowd. But when we start to look at the most common approaches such as improving our digital content or reconfiguring the product it seems that everybody has a hand in these approaches. This is why you've got to think differently. But what does standing out from the crowd really entail?
Changing Your Partnerships
You will always be judged by the people you align yourself with. When it comes to ensuring that you have a business that is perceived in the way that you want it to be, it's not just about what you put out there, but it's who you align your beliefs and practices with. It could be to do with finding the right clients or stakeholders but it can also be about the marketing gurus you work with. When it comes to being a niche or someone that stands out from the crowd, it's crucial to ensure that you are working with people that understand what you want to achieve. Companies like Elitelawyermanagement.com could help when you are looking for a very unique way to push forward a unique brand. But ultimately, everybody is pushing their uniqueness these days. This means that the difference between you and the next business is all about the relationships you cultivate, not just in terms of your business partnerships but also in terms of the people you hire. To look different you've got to be different.
Change Your Views
When you work with specific people it's because you align your thoughts with theirs and vice versa. When you alter your views this will guarantee the right calibre of people but it will also ensure that these relationships work towards something that everybody is happy with. But when you change how you view yourself and focus on creating mutually beneficial relationships, this can benefit the company in so many ways. So many businesses are looking out for themselves in order to make themselves look different when, in fact, the best solution might very well be teaming up with people. But when you start to work with the right clients this is because you have altered your perception of things. In order to get the right people on board, you've got to look at what you really want to achieve first. This doesn't mean becoming insular and selfish but getting an understanding of what you really want to achieve as a professional entity.
Don't Sell “Products”
Every business appears all about the profit or the bottom line but there are so many companies out there that need to reconfigure their focus. It's not about selling “products” but it's about selling “solutions.” This very insightful article on Medium.com may prove to be quite inspiring but you have to remember that when a customer approaches you about a product it's about fulfilling their needs, not yours. This is the very definition of great customer service and will truly differentiate you from your competitors.
In order to win the spotlight, it's not about fighting everybody else but it's about going back and looking up what you can achieve without being inherently selfish and conniving.
If you have a construction business, then you’ll already know just how much potential there is when it comes to finding success. However, as you’ll also know, there are no guarantees when it comes to construction. Competition for jobs can be fierce, and, as such, you’ll need to ensure that your operations are as watertight as can be. There are a few key components that can contribute to making your venture as good as it can be! In this blog, we’ll take a look at a few core areas to focus on.
Revisit Your Operations
To begin, take a look at your current operations. It’s normal to fall into a groove of working, to the point where you don’t even think about it. However, it’s always worthwhile looking at things with a critical lens from time to time. It might be that one aspect of your company isn’t quite up to speed. You should also remember that there are always new tools being made available that can help you to work better and more efficiently. Just because you’ve been doing things one particular way for years, that doesn’t mean that you have to keep working that way!
Build a Team
You may be the most important player at your construction business, but it’s not as if you’re the only one. Your team, collectively, could be even more valuable than you are, since they’ll as a whole likely do more work than you do. As such, it’s important that you’re taking the time to put together a great team of workers. Once you’ve assembled a team, you’ll have the potential to work together for many years to come. This all begins with your hiring process, so take a look and ask yourself if it pushes the best candidates towards you. Once you’ve got your team, work hard to keep it together -- you can reduce employee turnover by paying well, treating them fairly, and offering avenues to progress.
You might think that it’s the quality of your work that counts the most, but that’s not true -- safety is the most important dimension. If this isn’t watertight, then you’ll find that you run the risk of all kinds of problems. Accidents, even small ones, can be disastrous for a construction company. Could it be time to upgrade your lifting equipment? Then take a look at Ranger lifting equipment. You may also want to revisit your employee safety training programs. Ultimately, it’s your company's safety that counts!
You’ve only got a finite amount of time and employees. As such, one of the best ways you can improve your operations is to get better at your job selection process. You don’t automatically need to take every job that comes your way. You might find that waiting a little while can bring work that both pays more and is more interesting. You may also consider working with other companies that have different skill sets, so that you can take on more jobs.
Establishing a company is the start of a very exciting journey. If you have the passion and the work ethic then there’s no reason why you can’t come out on top, but that being said, there are various other things that you need to think about if you want to build and develop your small business successfully.
Set Goals and Have a Vision
When you are striving to take your company to that next level, it’s vital that you set yourself some key goals. You also need to think about the hurdles that might end up hindering any progress you make along the way as well. If you are able to set reachable key points in your business development, then this will give you the chance to measure your progress and it can also help you to keep track of your past achievements. Another bonus of setting goals is that it helps you to clarify your focus and it pushes you to challenge yourself too. It’s vital that you assess where you would like to obtain your business growth too. Do you want to attract new customers from a certain demographic? Or is your strategy to try and expand into another market sector? If you want to expand into manufacturing, then consider looking into fuel in a box.
Employ Great People
Believe it or not, a huge part of taking your business to that next level is finding people who are skilled enough, and who have the right experience to get you to where you need to be. This may mean that you need to hire a senior person who can take your business forward, or it may mean hiring a director who can lead a set area of your company. Either way, if you want to grow then you have to make sure that you are willing to delegate. It’s a good idea for you to identify the jobs that you don’t actually need to take care of yourself, as this will help you to tackle key areas for your business development.
Introduce More Offerings
Another fantastic way for you to build your business would be for you to try and expand your offerings. This could mean expanding your product range or it could even mean trying to further the services that you provide. For example, if you sell high-quality bathroom mirrors then why not expand your range so that you can also sell bathroom furniture as well?
Consider Your Premises
A good company needs a good location. It’s vital that you make sure that you have enough office space to expand and that you do everything you can to try and make room for any future expansions you might want to make. If you do this then you will soon find that you can come out on top and that you can also help your business to grow much more as a result. If you want to help yourself, then plan out where you’d like to be in 5 years and then find a rental space to suit your needs.
Having a disaster-proof business means you can keep things running smoothly in the face of problems of all kinds, from data leaks to the current pandemic. With proper crisis planning, you’ll be able to keep serving customers, helping clients, and most importantly, keep your business going.
Step One: Determine The Scope Of The Business Continuity Plan
Business continuity scope includes identifying what areas of your business could be hit, how badly it will be hit, and the right plans to address the risks. For example, you should consider how you’ll manage payroll, communicate with customers, and keep services going.
Being proactive means doing everything you can to protect the business from adverse impacts, instead of reacting to recover. Your plan should include a communication plan, budget, timeline, and roles and responsibilities. Your communication plan should include what you will tell customers, employees, the public, and stakeholders in your business.
Step Two: Identify The Business Functions At Risk
What functions of your business would be most at risk in a disaster? This could include your network, data, and communications devices (a Managed IT service could help with these areas). Your overall operations could be hit by disasters that affect your physical office or storefront. If you know what is at risk, you can plan to protect it.
Make a list of all your hardware and software. Include all the serial numbers, license keys, passwords and technical manuals so you can restore systems. This also helps to process insurance claims faster. Keep these details on the cloud.
Step Three: Define The Disaster Risks
Disaster risk varies by location. For example, if you’re based in California, you’re more likely to be hit by an earthquake than an office in Illinois. What local risk is there of wildfires, hurricanes, floods, or other extreme weather? Plan around those risks. Risk like fires, electricity outages and hacking can hit any business, anywhere.
Step Four: Develop And Test Tactical Components
Find an alternative place for your employees to work. If you have the infrastructure for remote workers, make sure they can keep doing this and take over more business functions. Find co-working spaces and costs that you could use if you needed to.
Backup your data in the cloud. Make sure key business processes are on digital and cloud services, including payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable, customer service, customer relationship management, and others.
What equipment might you need? Do you need a backup generator, for example? Where you will get this equipment if you need it?
For cybersecurity risks, undertake a security assessment to review your processes and network to find any weaknesses.
Step Five: Assess, Refine, And Test
Share the recovery plan with your team. They might have ideas to improve it or spot areas that you’ve missed. If they know the plan, they’ll be ready to go to work if a disaster does occur. The faster the team can react, the less downtime you will have.
Use testing the plan as a training session. Test the plan a couple of times a year to make sure it is still relevant and keep everyone’s memory of the plan fresh.
Can you make a hobby into a career? Well, it depends on how passionate you are about your hobby, and how hard you’re willing to work at it. There are other variables as well; if your hobby is web development, you’re going to be able to turn it into a career a lot easier than someone whose hobby is painting frogs. Sure, there’s likely a market for it, but you’ll have to find the niche industry in which you can use that talent and hobby to make a whole career from it.
In a recent blog, product development cycle was discussed. One of the key tips was, “Find Out How Much The Opportunity Is Worth.” Is the opportunity that you’re creating really worth enough to invest time and money in? If you’re willing to do the leg work, and continue even when the going gets tough, then potentially yes. Again, life is more than about the income you’re receiving. Having said that, you still need to pay the bills.
Let’s take a look at how to decide if your hobby would be a good career path.
1. Do you know the goal?
If you simply say, “I like to garden,” then that’s not enough of a goal. Millions of people enjoy gardening; what is the goal though? Is it to sell your own hybrid plant? Could you potentially create a new fertilizer? You may need to think a little bigger than just your own home or backyard when trying to think of the end goal of your hobby-turned-business.
2. Will I enjoy it when it is no longer just a hobby?
This a key question to ask. If you’re suddenly forced to do your hobby for hours no end, will you still derive joy from it? If you love spending time wrenching on car engines at the end of the day because you sit behind a computer for work, is it really something you want to switch up? Be honest with yourself: if you suddenly had clients relying on you to perform your hobby, would you still enjoy it? If so, maybe it’s work looking into as a career. Just remember, the only person that can answer this question is you, so be honest with yourself.
3. Would it be better as a “side hustle?”
If you’re finding that you’re not sure how to turn your hobby into a full-blown career, what about the option of turning it into a side hustle, or a side gig? If, for instance, you enjoy collecting rare coins, you could consider going a step further to trade metal CFDs. Instead of spending all your time with your hobby, you can allow it to ebb and flow as you see fit.
Additionally, if you know you can’t pay the bills with your hobby, you may be better off keeping it as a side hustle and trying to find a different career to find joy from.
Be honest with yourself
If you are stuck in a career that isn’t fulfilling, you don’t necessarily need to just go find a similar job. Think creative, but be honest with yourself when you’re thinking about trying to change a hobby into a career.
Displaying your brand at industry events can be a brilliant way to get your name out there. An exhibition stand enables you to showcase your products and services, boost your brand awareness and provide a touchpoint to meet and capture details of potential clients.
But at a busy exhibition, there may be dozens or even hundreds of stands competing for attention. If yours isn’t distinctive enough, you will struggle to attract much traffic. To get the best results from industry events, you need a stand that makes an impact.
Here are seven tips for designing a truly distinctive exhibition stand to promote your business.
Before you start designing your exhibition stand, it is essential you are clear on your goals. Ask yourself what results you would like to see from this event, precisely who you are targeting, and the message you want to get across with your display. Use the answers to these questions to inform your stand design.
When displaying at an exhibition, you often get minimal space to work with. For this reason, it’s essential that you make the optimum use of every square foot. Ensure there are no physical obstructions to entry or your footfall will suffer. Confirm the dimensions with event organisers in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises. Check if there is a maximum stand height. If not, the sky’s the limit. Building a high stand will make you literally tower over your competitors.
With so many different stands for them to visit, you need to grab people’s attention straight away. Don’t make your display too text-heavy. Use captivating imagery and colour schemes to draw people in. You can explain what you’re all about after they come to you.
A strategically-lit stand can enhance your aesthetic appeal while allowing you to bestow whatever ambience and mood upon your stand that you wish. For example, if you’re a technology company, you may find recessed lighting makes your display look suitably modern and contemporary. Use spotlighting to showcase a particular product or service, while coloured lighting can give your stand a unique appeal.
There are so many options for materials when it comes to building your stand, and this is an area where you can really shine. For technology firms, a more metallic design will create a contemporary atmosphere, whereas companies in the medical or pharmaceutical industry may favour a more smooth, clean plastic look. Decide what is right for your industry and target market.
Interactive technology can be a huge draw when attracting attendees to your stand, as well as making it easier for you to capture contact details. Many stands display tablets where visitors can easily input their details to enter a competition or subscribe to product updates.
Every step of the stand design process should be carried out with your target audience in mind. Although your stand should look compelling, the most important thing is that it both attracts the people you want to attract, and sends the right message across at all times.
If you are unsure where to begin, you may wish to consider getting in touch with a design agency that specialises in creating bespoke exhibition stands.
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.