We all take pleasure when our ideas come to fruition. We’re even more pleased when the ideas have an impact by improving motivation, innovation or productivity, among other areas. The spread of an idea can benefit many, but that popularity can also alter and distort the original. You can read more over at Entrepreneur Europe...
If you are a business owner, you surely start the day with a question: how can I do more? Of course, what we want is not to work longer hours and end up affecting our personal lives, but to be more effective with the resources and talents we have. Productivity has not only an impact on the objectives we reach and performance of our business, but also our stress levels. So what is it that we can do to work better? Here we share some tips that you can apply from tomorrow onwards.
Plan each workday
Before leaving the office, review your schedule and set your to-do list for the next day. Determine which are the priorities, give them a schedule and be realistic about the time available. It is better to move slowly and steadily than to remain stuck in the same place. Look at what is going wrong in the office and if things need to be changed. Many businesses fail to see things that are going wrong. So whether it's talking about updates to your technology or being more productive with your energy, there are things to think about. Perhaps you need to look at upgrading your Fuel Tanks, or maybe you need to change your phone systems, planning what needs to be changed will make things more productive.
Multitasking is a myth, and we can't all be good at everything. Some studies show how this way of working can reduce productivity by up to 40%. In small and even medium-sized businesses, it is very common for one or more people to do tasks of a very different nature throughout the day. Still, it can become a risk to productivity if not properly addressed. Focusing on specific objectives is a sure way to increase the productivity of your company. Have your team delegate.
With constant meetings, social media, and instant messaging, it's hard to stay focused for more than half an hour on a single task. To avoid distractions, establish work blocks and respect them as if it were the presentation to your most important client. Move your smartphone away from your desk or silence alerts from applications such as social media. And if you are working on something very important, let your team know that you cannot be disturbed unless it is an emergency.
Forget about repetitive tasks.
One of the biggest challenges is repetitive, time-consuming jobs that distract you and your employees from those that are much more important to the business, like selling products and winning customers. An example of finances, and it is that recording or controlling all invoices, expenses, or payments is a task in itself. The better you look after your finances, the more chance you have of being able to put money into other areas, such as social media. To make your life as an entrepreneur easier, you need to tackle such routine tasks to increase productivity properly. There are dozens of ways to save time and gain productivity in the short and medium-term, such as direct debit of payments to suppliers in a bank account and even immediate payment with a company card.
In an age where we have unlimited access to pretty much everything you can imagine, it’s easy to become tempted to learn as much as possible.
Maybe you feel as though becoming an expert in many fields will benefit your career or business prospects? And in some ways, you’re not wrong to think that- having knowledge in several areas will set you aside from the crowd as well as giving you the personal gratification of learning something new.
However, there are several reasons why it’s often good, and not self-limiting to become a hyper specialist.
Here are some of them..
You get to become an expert in your field
One of the best reasons to focus on one or two areas of expertise is that the more you invest in your knowledge the better.
Imagine if an athlete decided that they wanted to spread themselves across more areas of the athletics industry. They decided they want to train, coach, advertise sporting events, and run the ticket desk, too. While all of these things are jobs that are related to the athletics field, the more this athlete does that will take them away from their training and participation in events, the less time and energy they have to focus on the things that set them apart from the others.
It’s the same if you’re in marketing. You decide you also want to try your hand at the web design, content writing, accounts, and sales as well. You’ll be spreading yourself too thinly and potentially missing out on some key aspects of the ever-evolving world of marketing. Staying focused on this one area will mean you get to invest all of your energy in becoming the best.
You can offer something unique
Imagine you’re at a restaurant and the server gives you a 10 page menu to choose your meal from. Not only are you more likely to end up plagued by indecision, but the choice you make may not result in the best quality meal for your time and money. It’s the same in business. If you offer too much, you’re not going to offer the best quality out there.
However, if you head to the sandwich bar three doors down the road who offer one meat, one vegetarian, and one fish option with only three kinds of bread, you know that you’re going to get something a bit more special. This expert specialism is what keeps people coming back. Sure, not everybody wants a sandwich all the time, but when they do, they’ll know exactly where to go.
It can get even more specific than that, even. Medifit Design and Construct are a great example of a business that takes something that people look for (design agency) with a specialism (for healthcare practices). People looking for those particular services may be able to find a company that will do a good job designing their medical practice, but perhaps none as good as one that will be able to deliver the same attention to detail as a specialist company.
This is why becoming hyper specialist isn’t limiting.
Instagram - a platform which, at first, was used to show others a glimpse of our daily lives online via our photos, has now turned into a channel that engages a billion users. Since its explosion in popularity, many brands have turned to the platform to build their social presence and engage with their consumers in a bid to drive their outreach and profits. With 80 percent of users following at least one business on the channel, it is easy to see why so many companies are keen to grow their accounts. If you are a small business who wants to learn how to make an online community, expand your account, and grow your following, follow these three tips and build your presence up the right way.
Post consistently You may have heard this one a million times already, but there is a reason why this gold nugget of advice keeps popping up over and over again - it really works! The more often and regularly you post, the more likes, and consequently more followers you will get, and accounts that post at least seven times or more throughout an entire week gain followers and likes faster than those who don’t. Furthermore, having a regular and steady flow of content also works in your favour when it comes to Instagram’s famous algorithm, with consistency being a key element to getting your posts up to the top of the timeline due to more shares and engagement with your followers. Therefore for your brand to see the best results, plan your posts ahead of time, and already have content to last you at least a week. This way, you won’t be rushing to get a last-minute photo, and you won’t risk the chance of not having enough material to post, causing you to be irregular, which could have a big impact on your following and engagement.
Engage and converse
It’s no use creating beautiful visuals and captivating captions if you aren’t going to engage with your audience. The platform is a great way to make users aware of your business through conversation, especially as more and more people are using social media as a point of contact for many brands. Be open and communicative, and supportive and allow a discussion to get going, whether it’s about serious queries, customer care, random questions, or just to chat and to thank those who are praising your brand and products. Engaging with as many comments and questions as possible will make the difference when it comes to gaining more followers, converting your audience into customers, and improving your relationship with pre-existing customers. By engaging with them, your customers will see that you care about them and feel a more personal connection with you, creating more trust.
Know when to post
You can have the best post in the world, but if you share it when it’s the middle of the night for most of your audience or when most of them are at work, chances are they aren’t going to see it. Use the free analytics tool that can be found under the Followers section in business accounts to figure out the best times for you to post. By using a targeted approach, if you post at optimal times for your audience, you are likely to get more engagement. Look at what has and hasn’t worked for you in the past regarding how much engagement you got at various times to allow you to plan how you share your content more effectively. Alternatively, use a scheduling tool to automatically publish your content during the times when your followers are most engaged.
The subject of 'Free Followers' is one that comes up often, but spending your money on getting those 'fake followers' might well leave you both out of pocket as well as those followers, and this guide will tell you why.
Outsourcing crucial business processes is a popular business strategy that can improve business efficiency. It refers to the process of using third-party service providers to perform certain functions. In the past, outsourcing services were a reserve for large, multinational corporations. In the modern landscape, businesses of all sizes can enjoy the benefits of outsourcing.
In many cases, outsourcing is not only a business optimization strategy but a necessity. It’s often the only feasible way to scale a business, manage operations, or launch a product. When functions are outsourced to the right team, a company can enhance its efficiency and realize several compelling benefits.
Helps a Company Focus on Core Processes
The most significant reason why a business should outsource is to free up its time and resources for crucial processes. A business owner can spend time doing what they’re good at while everything else is taken care of by experts.
If a company is selling digital products, the focus should be on closing sales, not enhancing the site’s security features. The issues of site security can be outsourced to Managed IT Support providers.
One thing that slows business down is entrepreneurs thinking that they can do everything by themselves. Drop this mentality and see your business grow. If you’re not good at managing finances or performing human resource tasks, outsource them.
Gives a Business Access to a Larger Talent Pool
Hiring an employee for specific functions, like payments and finance, limits the talent a business can get. In most cases, this approach requires a company to compromise. With outsourcing, a company gets access to an unlimited pool of talent from all over the world. It, therefore, makes more sense to expand your search when looking for outsourcing services.
Outsourcers have access to a big pool of skills and tools that you may need now or later. They can quickly solve any arising problem for which you don’t have the right skill set. In-house employees don’t provide this kind of flexibility.
Reduced Overhead Expenses and Labour Costs
It's expensive to hire and train staff, especially where short projects are concerned. Temporary staff also rarely produce quality work as per the expectations of a company. Teaching processes and workflow to employees may sometimes entail investing in their education to enhance their business skills.
Outsourcing allows your business to convert fixed labor costs into variable costs. This means that the only expenses it incurs are for the consumed services. There's, therefore, more staffing flexibility that doesn't exist with in-house employees.
Outsourcers are also responsible for all licenses and accreditations their work requires. They stay up-to-date with industry changes and trends while constantly developing their skills to enable them to work smarter.
Employee turnover is risky and costly. When a staff member quits, all the money used in training and hiring goes with them. Turnover can disrupt operations and cause costly problems.
Outsourcing provides consistency and efficiency for your business. You don't have to worry about the interruption of operations or financial risks.
Outsourcing business functions is not always an easy task but is worth it in the long-run. It improves business efficiency by allowing you to focus on the most crucial aspects of business, like nurturing leads and closing deals.
Some outsourcing tasks may be occasional, but they provide a greater financial advantage than hiring temporary staff. If your business has been affected by high staff turnover, consider outsourcing some of the functions.
When it comes to payment, you don’t want there to be any awkwardness. The more you can do to improve your invoicing process the better. Whether your company works with individual clients or other businesses, ideally you want to streamline the invoicing process and make it as clear and easy for everyone involved. The smartest way to do this is by investing in invoicing software or apps, and they will take care of a lot of the work for you. Once you start to scale your business, you can also outsource your invoice processing. For now, here are ten smart ways to improve your invoicing process.
Invest in invoicing software
Consider investing in the best invoicing software for small businesses. These will all include automated features making it a lot easier for you to bill your clients and have them pay on time. You’ll also have a record on the cloud of all the billing information automatically. Using invoicing software or apps is also much more secure for both parties and will give your clients confidence. For small businesses, it’s much easier to let technology take care of this one.
Open a business account
What you can do, however, is open a business account. Whether you use an app or take email invoices, you should use a business account for all transactions. It’s much safer to keep your personal and company assets separate, and this will protect you legally as well. A business account will also give you more credibility and make a better impression on your clients.
Build a good relationship with clients
Whether you’re dealing with B2B invoicing or providing a service to individuals you need to build a good relationship with your clients. Mutual trust is vital and you need to treat your clients with respect and professionalism at all times. This isn’t a backup for a signed agreement, however, but the better your client relationship is, the more likely the invoicing process will go smoothly.
Write effective terms
In order to successfully invoice a customer, you need to learn how to write invoice terms. Invoicing software will have features that will help you do this, but you need to come to an agreement and ensure your client has understood. Ideally, you should clearly outline any hidden charges such as late payment or cancellation fees. Be sure that your client has agreed on your rate, and whether this is to be paid hourly, daily, or weekly, etc, and clearly define any deadlines.
Invoice at the right time
Believe it or not, some business experts say there is a best time to invoice clients. It can depend on the type of service your business offers, however. If you offer a quote before the work starts this encourages your client to trust you, but you could end up underestimating costs. Some companies invoice at each milestone in more long-term projects. It’s probably better to invoice at the beginning of the week to get them paid on time, or at the end of the month to help your client keep track of payments.
Share data with clients on the cloud
You should try to keep your clients in the loop especially if you’re offering more long-term services or projects. If you need to share any files or information you can try using project management or freelancing apps. Here are some of the best apps to share files securely for small businesses. If you use the cloud, you can grant access to whoever you like at any time from anywhere.
Almost all decent invoicing software will allow you to automate reminders. This is especially important if you’re dealing with several clients. You might even forget about the deadline for payments and clients commonly do. Set up automated reminders on your invoicing software as soon as you agree on the terms. You can then choose a date further in the future for the reminders to go out automatically.
Late payment charges
There are many reasons why you should charge late payment fees. It’s your livelihood at the end of the day and you don’t want to lose profits. Charging late payment fees or cancellation fees will motivate your clients to pay you on time. You need to be careful here to clearly point out that they will be charged for late payments. As long as you are transparent about all prices and possible extra fees from the beginning, the customer will more likely be happy. Even if they do complain about late payment charges, you will have written records of your exchange to back it up.
Multiple payment options
You could consider offering multiple payment options. This might be advantageous if you run an eCommerce, for instance. Multiple payment gateways allow shoppers to use their favorite payment method, whether it be credit card, Paypal, or ACH payments from their smartphone. If you have the means to do this, it could improve the customer experience on your website. Offering multiple payment options also makes your business appear more legitimate and creates trust in consumers.
Outsource invoice processing
There are several reasons to outsource invoice processing. You might have started out managing your own payments and finances but now you want to scale your business. The more your business grows, the more clients you will have, and this can only mean more invoices. If you outsource to invoice processing services they’ll have the resources and the capacity to cope with this rise in demand.
Outsourcing also saves you time and money. You will save on the overheads, salary, sick pay, and all the other costs of hiring an in-house team. You’ll also be able to increase productivity and spend more time focusing on growing your business.
If you improve your invoicing process, you’ll develop a better relationship with clients creating good word of mouth. The more quickly and efficiently you do things the better. Open a business account and let the latest in invoicing tools and technology do the work for you.
During the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment rates have skyrocketed everywhere you look. In the United Kingdom, the unemployment rate has gone up to 4.8 percent. Nearly 250,000 people have lost their jobs since June of this year. That is the largest unemployment increase in a three-month period since 2009.
The same thing can be said with the United States in terms of unemployment. Rates are the highest they have been in a long time. According to the United States’ Bureau of Labor and Statistics, U.S unemployment currently sits at 6.9 percent. Before 2020, the last time the states’ rate of unemployment was this high was November of 2013.
With all that being said, it may be harder to find a job at this current point in time than it has been in recent memory. But in the same breath, it is worth mentioning that you should not just take any old job that you come across.
Yes, if you need the money right then and now, that is not a bad route to go. But if that is not the case, you should take some time in deciding the route you want to go in. Here a few things you should consider when concluding on whether or not a job is a good fit.
What is the commute like
Commuting to work every morning can be a pain. So when considering whether or not a job is right for you, make sure you have a good idea of how long the commute is. The commute to a company offering you a position should not be the biggest of worries, but it would be pretty inconvenient to take two hours to drive into work and two hours to drive home.
Is the company you are working for well managed
This is essential when finding the right job. If you work for a company that is professionally handled, organized life can be a lot easier.
No one wants to work for a disheveled boss with a nasty personality. It could make waking up every day that much harder. So when picking an occupation, look at the company as a whole. Ask questions about employee benefits, what the chain of command at the company/organization is, and how communicating is effectively done at that given job.
Do you like the work you are doing
This might be the most important of them all. Making sure you like what you do day in and day out is so important. You do not want to show up to work dreading the next eight hours of your life. Try and find an occupation that is engaging and keeps you entertained: even if that means there is a little more stress on your plate.
That is a little easier said than done, but do your best! You know yourself enough to say whether or not you would be a good fit working in a restaurant, office building, gym, et cetera. Being bored can be a lot worse than being busy, so try and find work that will make you excited to head in and earn that paycheck.
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.