It is becoming increasingly pivotal for estate agencies to do everything they can to stand out from their rivals in the industry. This all begins with projecting a professional image. This is undeniably the most important thing for all estate agents. Brand image is of paramount importance nowadays and this is enhanced when you consider the fact that customers are searching for someone to ensure the successful sale of their house or indeed the purchase of another one. They certainly won’t want to cut corners and so if you do not project a professional business identity you are really going to struggle to take steps forward.
Customers want to be sure that they can trust you and the service you offer. It is up to you to breed confidence in your service. There are several ways you can achieve this by building up a positive and professional brand image. Firstly, it all begins with the way you deal with your customers. Everything from the way you dress to the way you speak to your clients makes a difference. One of the biggest frustrations for customers is a lack of communication. Regular updates can help to strengthen the positivity surrounding your agency and service.
How you deal with your current business clients will have a knock-on effect. Not only in terms of repeat business, but also word of mouth is still an extremely powerful tool. You can post client reviews on your website to reassure potential clients that your service is the best one to go for. Individuals are more likely to be encouraged by the comments of people that were once in the same position as they are in, as opposed to you simply telling them that your service is the best.
One major factor that can go against your professional image is having a website that is out of date. This does not say much for the quality of your service and is likely to put doubts in the minds of potential clients. They will have concerns over the effectiveness of your service. Of course, the market moves quickly. But, instead of having ‘property sold’ or ‘let agreed’ on your site, why not remove the listing instead? Expired content is extremely frustrating for customers. The same can be said for your window displays at your estate agency offices. You also need to look into finding a top real estate photographer for hire to complement your site postings.
Arguably one of the most important things you need to do in order to project a professional business image is to use sophisticated business documentation. The importance of this cannot be ignored. Customers are seriously going to doubt your professionalism if you do not use high-quality invoice template designs and such like. This is a fundamental area of your business and not one where you should cut corners. Merely jotting down a quote on a piece of paper will not suffice, nor will sending a bog-standard black and white invoice. Instead, you need a commercial invoice template that is professional, well structured and brands your business to full effect.
Increasing efficiency can save businesses time and money. If you own a company, and you’re looking to maximise profits and free up time for your team, here are some top tips to make your business more efficient.
Technology and automation
One of the most effective ways to supercharge efficiency in the world of business is to invest in technology and capitalise on the benefits of innovations, such as automation. Technology simplifies tasks, it can speed up processes and it can eliminate the need for employees to devote time to repetitive and menial tasks. As a business owner, it’s hugely beneficial to explore possibilities in terms of equipment, machinery and software that could drive your company forward and help you increase efficiency and productivity. Examples such as a food labelling system for food and drinks manufacturers and automation tools for data entry highlight the advantages of investing in modern tech. Analyse the technology you utilise now, monitor your competitors and look into opportunities to upgrade or modernise equipment, hardware, software or machinery.
Businesses are multi-faceted and they are required to carry out a diverse range of functions to achieve objectives. For small and medium-sized businesses, it’s often not possible to hire employees with all the skills required to cross every box. Outsourcing is a cost-effective solution, which enables businesses to access skills they don’t have on their core team without recruiting additional members of staff. Working with external agencies and businesses, companies can benefit from services that optimise performance and free up time for the team to focus on priority tasks. Take the example of a medical practice. Outsourcing IT support and professional cleaning will eliminate the need for staff to take on cleaning duties, improve hygiene, reduce the risk of cybercrime and security breaches and enhance the performance of IT systems.
Outlining clear objectives
Confusion and a lack of clarity can contribute to delays, mistakes and setbacks. As a business owner, it is crucial to ensure that you have clear objectives and that you and your team leaders issue clear instructions. Every employee should understand their roles and responsibilities. Encourage communication, keep in touch, facilitate collaborative work and create a culture that makes people feel comfortable and confident enough to ask questions if they have concerns.
Auditing and monitoring
Many entrepreneurs may think that their businesses are efficient, but closer analysis may prove otherwise. Auditing and continual monitoring can flag up issues and highlight processes that may be long-winded or unnecessary. Analyse data and look for ways to streamline operations and save time. Seeking advice from external consultants can be beneficial.
Boosting efficiency in business can have a dramatic impact on productivity and profit margins. If you feel like your company hasn’t reached its full potential and there is room for improvement, take these tips on board. Invest in technology, make use of automation, consider outsourcing and issue clear instructions. Carry out regular audits and monitor performance continuously to flag up issues and identity solutions to streamline the way you work.
Managed to develop a product to sell? This is one of the biggest and hardest steps of running a business out of the way. Having a quality product to sell that has been tested and packaged means you can actually start making sales. But to make these sales, you’re going to have to make sure that you make people aware of them. You can have the best product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, you’re not going to make any money and they’ll walk right into the arms of your competitors. Here are a few things you can do to get your product out there!
Develop Your Website
Your website is the platform you will use to actually sell your product. Here, you will be able to list a product photo, a product description and give your customers a space to add the product to their basket and check out. Of course, your website needs to be good. It needs to look great, it needs to be on brand and the content has to be of a high quality to give people faith in your brand and to actually secure sales. You can work with a website developer and a web designer to achieve this. You also need to consider UX, which is “user experience”. Can your users navigate their way around your site easily, browsing different products and checking out quickly as soon as they want to? Finally, consider additional content, such as a blog. This can give customers key information and promote your goods in a less head-on way. You get specialist content creators for different industries. For example, content marketing for tech companies. Find someone to write your blogs who has insight and knowledge to your specific field of specialism.
Use Social Media
Sure, we may think of social media as a personal platform where people share what they’re doing in their day to day lives. But social media can be an extremely powerful marketing tool too. Think about it - if your target demographic are spending a lot of their time on social media, you need to get your products on there for them to see! This can significantly boost exposure and sales. Now, there are two key ways to go about this. First, you should create a social media profile for your brand. Here, you can have a link to your website in your bio, list pictures of your products and convey key messages to your followers, such as if you’re holding a sale. Next, you should collaborate with social media influencers. These are individuals with a lot of followers who can post your goods on their page. The more followers and engagement they have, the more exposure you get. Of course, you will have to pay them, as nowadays, many people do this for a living. But all in all, it should be worth the investment. Just make sure to choose an influencer who isn’t problematic or controversial.
These are just two steps on the journey to securing sales. Hopefully, at least one will significantly work in your favour!
The Holiday period is among the scariest times of year to be a public-facing business. Commercialism and promotions due to Christmas, Halloween, other holidays and the dreaded Black Friday makes it the most stressful time for retail. Yet, it's easy to forget your employees feel the stress in all the chaos as much as managers.
It's not enough that seasonal depression takes its toll on many workers. Still, customers are generally insulting during busy periods. These, combined with the extra work required, make the most straightforward jobs unbearable. As a manager or supervisor, it is your responsibility to rally the troops and motivate them throughout this difficult time.
Praise and Reward
A pivotal element to motivating employees is recognition. Any employees who have outperformed themselves, achieved something or contributed above and beyond their contractual obligation should always be praised and, if necessary, rewarded. A survey by Indeed found that feeling undervalued is one of the o reasons people leave a role. So, of course, nothing stops you from showing appreciation from time to time and rewarding employees anyway.
Yet the holiday season is upon us, and Christmas is an excellent time to show gratitude toward employees. Typically, companies do this with a bonus payment to be included in employee salaries. Yet this can feel impersonal and undeserving. Instead, you could add a personal touch and order festive staff gifts for your team, such as those from Wellbox. These tasty hampers contain festive treats such as nuts, chocolates and mince pies.
Recognize Seasonal Affective Disorder
Just like our ancient ancestors, even today, in a world of advanced technological innovation, we are beholden to the weather, climate and changing seasons. We just don't notice it as much since we have become adept at using seasons to our advantage, such as seasonal cooking or summer and winter sports. Yet, the changing seasons can impact your employees and their work and motivation.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, affects around 3% of the population. While the exact cause is unknown, and the condition is not universally recognized, it is genuine. It is therefore recommended you take an employee with SAD seriously and accommodate the situation. Recommend actions to help an employee with SAD include:
Provide Extra Support in the Busy Period
The Holiday season is busy for almost everyone, especially retail. Online orders increase exponentially, foot traffic becomes unbearable, and customer complaints and annoyances get out of hand. And all the frustration is taken out on your employees. This all makes a difficult job painful for some. Needless to say, work-related depression increases in the run-up to Christmas.
Therefore, it is during this time that your valued employees need you the most. Because of depression and SAD, more staff will probably call in sick. Make efforts to encourage employees to return to work ASAP. Also, ask and encourage, but don't force other employees to pick up the slack. Everyone feels the extra weight. Fortunately, you can keep staff motivated with simple methods:
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may feel as though you have had more conversations about workplace safety than ever before. This is due to the fact that our general perceptions of wellness (in and out of work) have changed dramatically during this period. However, while there are various steps you can take to ensure that your workspace is COVID-19 friendly - such as enforcing social distancing and handwashing stations - you should also ensure that the rest of your workplace safety is up to scratch.
With that in mind, here are some top tips that you can use to improve workplace safety.
When it comes to the way in which you wish to be perceived, you’re obviously going to want to take a little care. The world of business can be very unforgiving as everyone is in it to reach success, make money and get ahead of the competition. If you’re not looking as sexy as your competitors, then you’re going to be left behind. Building relationships and being seen as the best option is what business is essentially all about. Creating the right products and services matters a lot, but you have to make people interested in the first place.
Ensuring you have a solid reputation means putting in genuine work. You’re not just going to be seen as a reliable and attractive online business as soon as you launch. Here are a few things you can do to make sure the reputation of your up-and-coming company stays positive and on point:
Keep Secure Amidst Potential Cybercrime
You never can be too safe when it comes to your data and your information online. If you aren’t fully protected or you do not have an IT firm watching over you and supporting you, then you can become the prime target for criminals. As a small business, you may get away with things because you’re not going to be the most desirable of the pack. As time gets on and you grow, however, you’re probably going to be targeted by plenty of cybercriminals out there. When it comes to the way you behave online, you’ll probably know about keeping professional and having the right social media etiquette, but this is about more than just the way you convey yourself to others.
Work With Dedicated Companies
There are literally firms out there that specialize in ensuring a company has a solid online presence and reputation. You can find online reputation management profile defenders if you look hard enough as there are plenty around that will want to help. They’ll work with you and understand everything about you as they basically take the reins regarding your PR and outreach. If you want to make a solid first impression or recover from a public issue, then this would be a marvelous outlet.
Network With Reliable And Highly Regarded Companies
It tends to be about who you know in the world of business. If you’re able to speak professionally with the right people, then you’re going to have solid connections. This will work in your favor as you’ll be looking good by association, but you’ll also be able to call upon some of them for assistance in the future.
Stay Consistent And Work Hard
People always appreciate good old-fashioned hard work. If you’re a business that simply doesn’t want to be in the effort, then why should anyone else put in any effort or care? This goes one further and into real life as a fulfilling life is one of hard work and great results – ensure you adopt it in your professional life. Having a reputation of being a hard worker can never be a bad thing.
Getting to be your own boss is a great feeling, but if you want to hold onto that, you need to know what it takes to reach success. A business can only last so long before it starts to fall behind, and you need to make sure you’re making the necessary changes to ensure that you keep an income coming in. The success of your business will depend entirely on what you’re willing to do, and what you’re capable of achieving as a leader.
First things first, when you’re building your business, you’re going to need to worry about your image the whole time. Everything you do will be seen by the public, and you want that to reflect positively on you. If you’re not looking after your image, it can come back to bite you later down the line; even if you’ve since changed how you handle things! If you want to grow as a business, you should be doing everything you can to ensure that your audience sees you as a positive figure in the market, rather than a business that should be avoided.
Keeping a positive image as a business involves how you carry yourself throughout the day and the values that your business holds to your employees. The presentation can take you a long way, and working with worn and dirty equipment is something that will lead your customers to draw their own conclusions. Even in the industrial fields, people will their own standards; so even things like mining equipment cleaning is a necessary service. It’s not just about what you do as a business, but the impression that you’re giving off to potential customers.
There are always going to be changes in the market, and some things that are popular one day can be completely forgotten in the next. Market trends are something that you need to be able to keep up with, and neglecting them can be troublesome for you and your business. You want your customers to be loyal, which means it’s up to you to ensure that your store or service is still desirable to them. If your competitors are using new tactics and products to beat you on the market - you could start to see a dip in customers over time when you haven’t adapted.
Being willing to listen
There’s so much that goes into being a good leader, and it’s not going to be easy to get used to it if it’s a new experience for you. When you’re in charge of a team of people, you’re responsible for making sure that everyone is on the same page, and working to their strengths; while also making sure you’re maintaining strong workplace morale. There’s no better way to be a good leader than listening to your employees, even if it’s things that don’t usually concern them. Taking advice from others when you are unsure of the answer yourself might be humbling, but it’s important to learn from other people’s experiences.
To develop a successful enterprise today, you should concentrate on acquiring the most talented individuals available on the market. Many people begin by focusing on processes that will unlock the gates to profit-making opportunities. However, if you do not have the best staff in place to put these tactics into action, your company is doomed from the start.
You could avoid making this error by taking your time to hunt for the best candidates and designing your hiring processes so that the most competent staff can be quickly integrated and trained. Additionally, you should consider forming alliances with the most accomplished persons in the sector.
The following are many types of people you should take into consideration if you want to develop a successful business:
Regardless of what you have to offer, your company will fail if it does not generate revenue. In order to enhance revenues and profits, sales professionals must ensure that clients purchase goods and services. Sales representatives have direct contact with your customers. As a result, you must make certain that you choose employees who have excellent interpersonal skills in order to communicate with customers and persuade them to purchase. Additionally, you require sales professionals that are familiar with and understand the dynamics of the market as well as the needs of their customers.
Your marketing campaigns are directly accountable for the success of your company in recruiting clients. In this regard, you require a renowned and innovative marketing agency that can increase consumer awareness of your goods. Consider, for example, collaborating with social media influencers who have a large following on the platform.
Do you sell things that must be shipped to customers? Because of the current economic climate, in-store purchasing has been severely curtailed, with many individuals turning to online shopping instead. As a result, customers consistently rank delivery delays as one of the most annoying aspects of their purchasing experience. As a result, you should collaborate with a company that provides parcel delivery services in order to get things to clients' doors as quickly as possible.
Customer service support
Businesses are placing a larger emphasis on the customer service they provide. Customers have become more aware of many company features as a result of advanced technology, and businesses must provide the finest customer service possible in order to improve customer experience and happiness.
Your customer service representatives must be well-versed about your company's beliefs, goods, and services in order to provide consistent and fast responses to customers' complaints and questions. You require courteous customer service representatives who can communicate with customers in a courteous manner and deliver relevant information.
Working with people who share your goals is one of the best ways to ensure success. Your selection of a business partner can either be your demise or your success story in the writing world, depending on your situation. You should consider finding a business partner that has the same vision and drive as you before venturing into a new field. If you intend to go it alone, look for educated persons with market expertise who can guide you through the process.
The majority of businesses fail to recognize the value of human resources in their operations and instead allocate their resources to other areas. According to industry experts, if you do not have the right individuals to put your business goals into action, they will fail miserably. Your company's success in a competitive market is dependent on its ability to attract and retain qualified employees.
Connectivity is only going to become more prevalent and more sophisticated. Along with this fact comes the responsibility of businesses worldwide to manage how communications within an increasingly connected world flow and how they’re kept secure.
For a topic as important as this, we have to add that every business will have unique challenges that affect and impact those businesses in ways that might not make sense to you. But with that being said, there are at least a few solid principles that just about all companies could benefit from nevertheless.
LET’S START WITH HOW YOU BALANCE YOUR INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS
The way you communicate with your customers is not the same way you communicate with your employees, but there will be areas where this overlaps. This includes customer service, project management, and product support. These are concurrent, 3 of the most important sites in which your business could be facing its most significant amount of exposure and, therefore, risk.
All of this should apply at least in some form to your business, and that means that if you’re not doing so already, it’s time to get some solid advice to help you identify where areas of potential collateral damage could exist should things go wry.
MANAGING THAT PAPER TRAIL
Even though most companies have figured out ways to take most of their document management online, businesses still use paper-based documents to conclude sales, ensure legal compliance, or monitor quality in value and supply chain logistics. (logging trucks, call times, etc.) However, it makes green sense to move over to digital documentation, and it also goes some way to ensuring document security.
It’s a good idea to get your legal time involved when you start migrating from paper-based document trails to digital documents. In some cases, the law hasn’t caught up yet, and you need to provide paper-based documents to ensure compliance in certain areas. Now when you start this process, you’re going to need a good document converter, so when it comes to this, you can learn how to convert tiff to pdf here.
LEADING THE CHARGE
Remember, this is your business, so if you want to improve the flow of communications in your company, it has to start with you. Show your employees that you value them by inviting suggestions on how to improve your communications goals, speak to your customers, and find out if there are ways that you’re currently communicating with them that could use improvement.
You also need to keep abreast of “data smog.” This is where there is too much information doing the rounds, and it can be very destructive. Clear, concise, and managed communications mean that your team members, your customers, and partners all have the same understanding of the message you’re trying to transmit. While the overall goal of this pursuit is an ongoing one, you can start with just the basics.
IT’S NOT JUST FOR THE BIG BOYS
Every business or company, big or small, can benefit from greater efficiency in communications, so take the time to test your current capabilities and then formulate plans from thereon out.
Choosing where your business should be located should not be an afterthought when it comes to a business that is yours.
When setting up a new business you may think you need to focus more on social media marketing, your business strategy or on hiring employees. Maybe you are thinking that the location of your business is not that important, that people will happily travel to you, or there are limited options available so you’ll take anything.
In truth though, the premises of your business is really important and can influence the overall success of your business. There are a lot of elements from the location, the size, the flooring choice from Resin Flooring from Impact Floors all to consider.
So, when looking and assessing your options here are some things to consider.
Know What You Need From The Premises
It is important to think about what your long term business plan is. By understanding and thinking about how you plan to scale your business will help you understand your needs when it comes to the business premises and how it will work for your business now and in five to ten years as your business grows.
Features To Consider
When it comes to choosing the right premises for your business there are different considerations to make. These will change based on the type of business you have but there are certain key considerations that all businesses need to think about.
Appearance - It is important that you think about the impression that the premises gives off about your business. When you meet new clients, customers, business partners what does the appearance of the building say about your business. In business first impressions count.
Location - The location of the building is vital, especially if your business requires footfall. If you are hidden away and not in sight it is unlikely you will attract the level of custom you desire, whilst if you are part of a busy high street you are more likely to have a higher level of footfall through the door.
Noise - Is the location going to support you and your employees being able to complete the tasks required. For example if you need to create a space for intense concentration will having a building located by a loud school going to hinder your business.
Budget - It is helpful to have a budget in mind when choosing your premises. It is important that any premises you choose doesn’t leave your short financially, so understand which features are priority as compromises may have to be made.
Size - Is the premises going to be able to support you now and as you move through your business plan and expand. You also need to ensure that there is enough room for any and all equipment that will be required to get your business up and going and that you have factored in enough space for stock, staff belongings, facilities and internal changes that may need to be made such as fitting offices.
Whether you are looking to start a new business as you fancy a career change or you are now taking the opportunity to pursue your dreams and make them become a reality, it is important that you follow some simple steps.
Whether you already have a great business idea, or you need to come up with one, starting a new business can seem a little overwhelming and complicated to start with. There is a lot that needs doing from having your business concept, registering the business, creating a plan, financing it and lots more.
But, by following this guide you can take each step and ensure that your business setup is successful.
Play To Your Strengths
When it comes to a successful startup business it is important that you are working to your strengths and completing tasks that you can successfully do. You want to make sure that when you start trading that your business and how it runs is done professionally, so if you don’t know where to start with digital marketing reading digital project reviews and working with a company will allow you to focus on the areas you are good at such as product design, customer service, or creating your business plan.
Understand Your Motivating Factor
When you go from being employed and take the step to become your own boss, it is vital that you remain motivated. Without motivation and a drive to continue working and pushing the success of your business it is likely to fail. For that very reason, it is important to identify why this business startup is so important to you. Also, that your driving goal actually aligns with the business plan you have. They need to be compatible in order for you to remain motivated. For example, if your goal is to become famous from your business, a business in bookkeeping is unlikely to support that dream, whilst one on social media or within the entertainment industry may,
Find A Premises
Depending on the business that you are entering into will determine where you need to set up. Some successful businesses can be run from the comfort of your own home if they are web-based. However, other businesses will require an actual premise.
As a start-up business, you ideally want to cover all overhead costs as low as possible to start with, so where possible using online facilities to advertise and sell your products is a great way to keep expenditure low and maximise your profits.
Have A Business Plan
Creating a business plan is the perfect way to take those ideas you have for your business and sort them in a structured way so you can plan how your business will take off and grow. Not only does it help you but when you start seeking investors support you outlined a clear plan identifying what you are looking to achieve and how this will be made possible. A great plan can the core difference between making a business successful and one that fails.
Whether your business is a volunteer group, retail company, or service business, investing in credentials and diplomas. Certificates and diplomas widen knowledge, provide proof of X skill or Y competency, and demonstrate that a person has met certain criteria or specific standards. By requiring and storing diplomacy and credentials, organizations can improve their knowledge, quality of service, product, and client interactions regardless of industry. They also help evaluate how good a business is, but how can they be provided by your company, and what are the benefits? This is where Learning and Development come into play. Why is it good to focus on learning and development within your company?
It boosts your Company's reputation
Investing in your employee's learning and development can boost your reputation as an employer who cares about their staff. In addition, offering an employee development program as part of the benefits of working for your company can help you attract the best talent. It can also cultivate an environment of continual improvement.
It Increases Employee Loyalty
Say you have an employee who wants to advance in their career, by offering them incentives to do that increase the chances of them staying and being of further help to your company. For example, say that they wanted to work further with money and the financial implications of your business, they could potentially study Financial E-Learning Level 5 Diploma!
By investing in employee training, your employees will feel valued and appreciated. This will make them more loyal to the company, and dedicated employees are more engaged, motivated, and productive within their roles. This, in turn, will lead to a positive work environment, which increases employee motivation and fosters individual growth amongst employees.
Research has shown that employee replacement can, on average, cost a company between 6 and 9 months of that employee's salary, and with the job market and economy, as it is with Covid-19, it is not ideal. On top of reduced output, high employee turnover rates can affect a company's market position and profitability.
Diversifies a Skill Set
The most obvious benefit of helping your employee with certifications, diplomas is the effect that it will have on their abilities and output. The more you train your team, the more successful they will be. Employee development creates a pool of talented and loyal employees who know their skills and want to develop them further. This also helps them respond to changes in the market,t contributing to company success in the long term/
For the training to have the most impact, as well as identifying any skill gaps you have noticed, ask your employees what development opportunities they think they would benefit from which will make them feel heard and seen and show your willingness to cater to their needs and how much you value them.
Promoting from within, rather than outsourcing, prevents stagnation within your company, where people are stuck in the same role for years. By training up your employees for promotion, you'll be rewarding the hard work of people who know your company inside-out with leadership opportunities. Through prioritizing internal promotion, it provides a natural culture of mentoring and leadership. New hires will take time to understand their duties and adjust to the work culture, but hiring from within will save time and show your employees that hard work and dedication are rewarded, and it is rewarding to teach adults! It results in employees wanting to work hard and go the extra mile.
A large part of improving your online store is understanding who your customer is. What are their needs? How do they shop for goods? These questions will help you create a website that appeals to more people. Knowing how they want to be marketed can also help you improve your online store by making it easier for customers to find the products they want and need and what deals are available. You should also focus on optimizing product pages so that customers know exactly what each item costs before buying it, which increases conversion rates!
#1 Know your audience
The first step in creating an improved online store is determining who your target audience is. This information will allow you to design a site that meets the needs of most shoppers, thus increasing sales and conversions.
For example, knowing your audience's shopping habits can help you create a website that appeals to more people and provides an easy-to-use interface for shoppers. You should also focus on optimizing product pages, so customers know exactly what each item costs before buying it, which increases conversion rates!
#2 Improve the logistics
To improve your logistics, you can consider using a barcode scanner to speed up the process of checking out. Or, you can even offer free shipping as an incentive for customers who spend over $100 on their order. Be sure to check inventory levels daily and send automatic notifications when items are low or sold out.
Many business owners also opt to standardize processes across all online stores so they run more smoothly and efficiently, reducing costs and increasing profits, like using fleet management software. In addition, the next step to creating an improved online store is determining how you can optimize logistics like payment processing, delivery methods, etc. This information will allow you to design a site that meets the needs of most shoppers while offering an easy way to purchase products with little hassle at checkout time!
For example, allowing customers to pay in their preferred method can increase sales and conversions. In addition, it would be best if you also considered offering free shipping as an incentive for customers who spend over $100 on their order, which is a tactic many eCommerce businesses are using successfully.
#3 Optimize your customer service
The final step in creating an improved online store is optimizing all forms of customer service like live chats, phone calls, email addresses, etc. This information will allow you to design a site that meets the needs of most shoppers while providing them with any info they might want before making a purchase!
For example, allowing customers to see if someone is available at their convenience can increase sales and conversions.
It would help if you also considered offering online support via Skype or other apps so you can help customers who need assistance on their specific product questions, etc. Finally, it's important to ensure that customer service reps are friendly and helpful by maybe offering a coupon code for the inconvenience!
Company drivers may seem less influential in a business' growth, but they can turn it into a reputable company when managed well. Successful company drivers can be brand ambassadors making people flock to your company. How can you make sure company drivers boost your business success? Take note of these things:
Everyone understands how important it is to hire the right person for the job. It is not only crucial for regular employees but even more so for company drivers. They are often behind the wheel, away from company supervision. Hiring right means having drivers who don't require constant monitoring to do the right thing.
If they have a negative, this can quickly rub on those they associate with ruining the company's reputation. Additionally, a good driver should save the company money. They do this by:
Reducing the Cost of Loss
They're always careful on the roads minimizing the chances of getting involved in an accident. As you will realize, fleet injury claims are a huge concern for many businesses. Reducing this cost can significantly boost your business growth.
However, always have talented car accident lawyers to represent your drivers and the company when the unfortunate happens.
They Boost the Company Image
As mentioned earlier, good drivers can be brand ambassadors. Note that when your branded company vehicles are on the highway, everyone notices the driver's behaviour.
How they relate with other road users, company clients, and other stakeholders portrays a particular image. Professional, trustworthy, careful, and ready to help drivers send a positive message.
Adequately Train the Drivers
As much as the drivers come on board with certifications, it is necessary to train them. The effort will not only make them better, but it illustrates the company cares for absolute professionalism.
Let them understand what the job entails as each is different. To achieve successful training, create a certified course each driver has to go through before they're allowed to drive.
Empower Them with the Right Tools
Just like any other job, the drivers need to be adequately empowered to handle their tasks satisfactorily. They should drive comfortable and safe cars. Additionally, ensure they have mobile devices so they can reach you in case of any emergencies when on the roads. Have the vehicles regularly maintained to ensure they are always safe to drive.
Ensure The Drivers Have the Necessary Resources
Drivers need to have specific resources to do their job well. Ensure you provide these resources, including fuel, company petrol card, road maps, and even manuals if need be.
Communication is also essential. Have readily accessible communication channels and an open-door policy that encourages the drivers to approach the management when facing issues or concerns. It builds an atmosphere of trust and understanding.
Everyone performs at their best when they have set goals to achieve. Let them know what you expect of them and how they are supposed to achieve their targets. Doing this boosts the company's growth as well as keeps the employees motivated and focused. The set expectations should include the required mode of conduct and attitude.
Stress the need to protect themselves and their vehicles by wearing seatbelts and protective gear when on the roads. Doing so will not only save them from unnecessary injuries, but it shows you care for their welfare. Other expectations when on the road include:
Fatigued drivers are dangerous to other road users, making it essential to provide them with adequate time to relax. There needs to be a set time for drivers' breaks so they can refresh their minds. Have set rules for hours each driver should be on the road before they can take a break.
Encourage a work-life balance by giving them time to rest and be with loved ones. If possible, consider a flexible work hours' policy so you can adjust timings to suit everybody's lifestyles.
Adequately motivate the drivers and let them know how important they are to the company. A small bonus now and then can make a huge difference in their lives. It is often enough to keep them happy, determined, and hard-working. Keep your drivers happy, and they will keep the business growing.
Social media has become a valuable marketing platform for businesses. When used correctly, it can be a way of not just building brand exposure but generating new customers. Below are some of the tricks for building customers through social media.
Create eye-catching content
Getting people to notice you on social media requires creating eye-catching content. Ideally, it needs to not just be evocative but provocative - when people see your posts they should have the urge to interact either by liking it or commenting on it. So just how do you create such content?
Images and videos tend to be the best option for encouraging engagement. When it comes to images, you should consider content such as attention-grabbing photos of your product or service, fascinating infographics related to your industry or humorous original image memes. When it comes to videos, you could consider a product advertisement, an educational video that boosts your credibility or possibly even a semi-educational behind-the-scenes video of you making your product. In most cases, you’ll want to hire a professional to help you create this content such as a product photographer, graphic designer, animator or video production company. This will ensure that your content is high quality.
Text content can still be eye-catching but you should generally keep it snappy so that it can be read at a glance. Consider spicing it up with emojis and hashtags. Text should always accompany images and videos.
Promote events and deals
Most people follow brand accounts to keep updated on events or deals. Make sure that you’re posting this type of content from time to time.
When it comes to events, make sure to advertise all the necessary information such as date, time and location. It’s worth creating a hashtag for your event that people involved can share. If it’s a ticketed event, make sure to share a link to a page where people can buy tickets. Start promoting early so that people have enough time to plan ahead.
When it comes to deals like discounts and 2-for-one offers, use images and emojis to help your posts stand out. Supply a link to a webpage where people can buy the discounted product or service. If it’s for a limited time or there is limited stock, make sure to make this clear.
Social media competitions are great for generating buzz around your company. In turn, they can help you to convert customers.
Competitions typically involve giving away a product or service for free to a single winner. They can take the form of a raffle or lottery in which contestants are put into a random draw. Alternatively, you can challenge contestants to answer a question: you could challenge people to come up with a name for your next product and give a prize to the contestant with the best suggestion, or you could challenge customers to guess how many sweets are in a jar (or something similar and industry-relevant) and then give away a prize to the most accurate answer.
It’s worth adding a link to a competition webpage where contestants can sign up opposed to relying on social media comments. As part of entering your competition, you could encourage contestants to follow you on social media or join your mailing list. All in all, use the competition as a chance to build buzz around your company - you may encourage some contestants that aren’t winners to buy your product or use your service in the future.
Make use of targeted adverts
Targeted adverts allow you to pay money to target posts at specific audiences. You get to set parameters such as location, sex and age. This can be great for helping your content to reach the right people, helping you to build customers and not just engagements.
It’s worth keeping a budget when running adverts to avoid spending too much. Use performance reports on your advertisement campaigns in order to improve future advertisement campaigns.
Respond promptly to queries
Social media is one of the few publicly interactive forms of marketing. Consumers that are interested in your product have the option to comment and ask questions. A well-run social media brand account is able to respond to these queries promptly in order to convert leads while they are still hot. This involves checking your social media accounts daily.
On top of responding to queries, there may be other comments worth replying to. Complaints and false statements should be diffused so that they don’t have a negative impression on other potential leads - this could include apologising for mistakes or correcting false rumours. If people show interest with comments such as ‘this is great!’ capitalize on this with a link to your product.
Facebook has got rid of its review system but now has a recommendations feature. It’s worth asking happy customers to recommend you on Facebook. This could help improve trust in consumers looking at your Facebook page, possibly encouraging them to buy your product or use your service.
Analytics can tell you which type of content is performing well so that you can repost or replicate these types of content. When it comes to posts containing links, it’s worth looking at how many people have clicked on the link and whether this has created any customers - this is a better indicator of whether a post is successful than the amount of likes and comments. You can use social media analytics and website analytics to work out this information.
Look at what your competitors are doing
It could be worth checking your competitors to see what they are up to. There may be content ideas that you can take inspiration from. At the same time, there may be ways in which you can set yourself apart.
Be wary of taking part in ‘brand wars’. This has become popular among large established brands and involves jokily criticising competitor brands. With local small brands it may not have the same impact and may damage your reputation.
If you are working in the construction industry, there are many different avenues you can go down and different disciplines you can learn. Whether you are looking to start your own construction business or you want to specialise in an area to get more jobs - here are some of the different types of training you can get to help you in your construction career.
Crane driver training
If you are up for a challenge and you like the idea of operating heavy machinery - becoming a licensed crane driver can be a great idea. All construction jobs that have multiple storeys need a crane driver to help carry beams, furniture, and other items up to great heights. By learning how to drive a crane you can become an essential asset to your construction company and this will also help you to find more jobs.
One thing you can consider training in as a construction worker is the formation of scaffolding. Scaffolding courses can be done all over the world and by taking a certified scaffolding course you can gain some key knowledge about how to protect a construction project as well as be an asset to your team.
If you want to start from the ground up, one fun way to learn more in construction is to learn about bricklaying. This is a skill that you will be able to take with you to your jobs as well as to your own DIY projects at home. If you are hoping to get involved in more residential projects then bricklaying is a great place to start.
Thatching roofs is something that is a real art form and a craft, and if you love to be out in the sun during the day this can be the ideal type of training for you to try. Roof thatching is a unique skill and one which you will become known for and this will make it easier for you to get jobs and be brought on projects. Consider learning this fun craft and see what goes into roof thatching.
Plastering is a skill that is beautiful, and depending on the type of plastering job you do, it can be a real art form. Textured walls and ceilings can be incredibly hard to achieve unless you are qualified and as a trained plasterer you will be able to create stunning designs as well as smooth walls and ceilings for people all over.
If you are more interested in the last part of any project - why not take a course in decorating and learn how to properly paint, wallpaper, and lay flooring? This can be a diverse job and one that allows you to be a little creative as well as take your skills to some great projects both in residential and commercial settings.
Consider trying some of these different training programmes if you are hoping to work in the construction industry this year, and start to grow and thrive within this industry.
Everyone is searching for those ways to become their own boss and leave the 9 to 5 behind for good. And while there are a lot of good ideas out there, one that is sparking everyone’s attention is dropshipping. So, what is drop shipping and why you should think about doing it yourself.
What is dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a form of selling that means that you don’t have to hold any stock. This fulfilment shipping is a great way to have your own virtual store by reducing your warehouse overheads to nothing. All you have to do is build a website and get people to buy stuff. You would work with a shipping partner to supply your customers with the goods that they want. You, the owner of the website store, never have to see or handle the products that you are selling.
This sounds like a scam, are there any successful dropshipping companies?
We know it might sound like a scam but it is a completely legitimate way to run a business. There are many different dropshipping stores that are pulling in several thousand dollars of profit every day. You pay the shipping partner their wholesale price, you sell the item at a higher price that you set yourself. The difference between those two prices is pure profit and all for you to keep. If you want to learn about a success story, meet Irwin Dominguez from San Diego. Within 8 months made $1,000,000 in profit as a dropshipper.
What is the downside?
The downside is that your shipping partners can be unreliable. You need to choose carefully who you are working with to ensure that your customers are receiving their products. There are also the problems that come with customer service, and being a one-person team. You might want to leave the 9 to 5 behind, but getting started with dropshipping can be time-consuming. If this is something that you want to do, you should research as much as you can to ensure that your store will be a successful one.
Can anyone do it?
Yes! One of the best things about dropshipping is that anyone with an eye for creating and a laptop can become a dropshipper. You can set up your store within a couple of days. As we stated in the previous point, it is better if you do your research, but this information is available to anyone. You don’t need to have a business degree to make this a success story. A lot of the platforms have guides and academies so you can learn the best ways to make your new business work.
And there you have it. A simple way to create your own online store that you can run from your kitchen table in your pj’s. You never have to leave the house while you are running it unless you want to. Check out some of the free guides that are available and see if this could be the newest business venture for you.
Warehouses are big industrial buildings that require a lot of management. Still, they're an essential part of the business world as a whole, providing a location for many different key companies. You might have a manufacturing warehouse where your business makes things for clients, or you could have a distribution warehouse that stores goods and gets them ready for delivery. There are many different uses for warehouses, but all of them require a good deal of management.
To help you understand some of the key elements of warehouse management, here's a checklist to go through:
No matter what type of warehouse you operate, you will have equipment to help you do your daily tasks. One crucial part of warehouse management is maintaining your equipment. You need to run daily checks to ensure things are functioning correctly, making a note of how things are. These checks help you identify issues as soon as they happen, so you can solve them before your equipment causes significant problems in the warehouse.
A clean warehouse is vital at all times. You may think that cleanliness is just an aesthetic concern, but it's much more than that. A dirty or messy warehouse can cause so many health & safety problems that can very quickly lead to accidents. Therefore, maintaining your warehouse cleanliness should be a top priority. There needs to be a system that ensures the property is cleaned daily and gets a deep clean weekly. This will prevent things like dust from building up and causing health & safety woes.
You will employ plenty of people to help you run this warehouse and conduct daily operations. As a result, you need a system that lets you understand when your employees arrive and leave. Traditionally, you'd have a clocking-in system where people put a card in a machine and it punches the time. Nowadays, modern versions of this exist, but the point is that you need your employees to clock in and out every day. It helps you understand if people are turning up on time and leaving when they should.
Finally, you need to consider stocktaking when managing your warehouse. This refers to all of the stock you have, and how depleted it will be. Think about everything you need and use to run your warehouse, and be sure you understand precisely how much of it is available. Daily stocktaking helps you learn about your inventory levels, letting you re-order goods before you need them. This prevents instances where you run out of something and have to wait for the replacement to arrive - with a good stocktaking system the replacement will already be there, minimizing downtime.
Managing a warehouse is no easy feat, but it can be done. The four things mentioned in this guide are essential elements of every warehouse. You need to keep track of both your stock and employees, while also ensuring your warehouse remains clean and has fully functional equipment/machines. When all of this is taken care of, you can successfully manage your warehouse.
Choosing the best location for your business is a difficult decision. There are many factors to consider to make the most informed decision possible. In addition, there are different ways to select a good location for your business and some things you might want to consider when making this critical choice.
Determine Your Target Market
Depending on the industry, it can be a particular group of individuals. For example, suppose you have a business that sells luxury goods. In that case, your target market is most likely rich people with large disposable incomes and plenty of free time who enjoy spending money on nice things like expensive handbags and designer sunglasses.
Researching demographics such as age range, education level, and income level will help you narrow down the best options for your location choice within certain areas where those types of individuals live or work out frequently.
Work on Your Product Relevance in the Area
The relevance of your product in the area is essential because if you sell a product that isn't relevant to people there, it will be difficult for them to purchase from you. Ensure your marketing and branding materials match up with what your community wants, so they are more likely to buy from you rather than going elsewhere.
In addition, if customers can’t find out about or purchase your products easily, this also creates issues down the line when it comes time for customer service.
Consider Accessibility to Customers
The location of your business is crucial because it is where consumers will be able to find you. However, the accessibility of a store or office space can also affect how many people decide to visit. This factor is especially relevant for retail stores that sell products online and in their physical store.
If you are selling items on Amazon and have an internet-based shop through Shopify or BigCommerce, having a prime spot near high traffic areas might not matter much if most sales come from eCommerce sites anyway. However, brick & mortar locations are still necessary for some businesses, including restaurants, real estate agencies, and hair salons, so you should always narrow down the best place early on regardless of whether there's potential for eCommerce sales.
One way of assessing the accessibility of a location is by looking at where your target customers are. For example, if you're targeting people in an office building, then having storage space close to that area will be more effective than if they live on the other side of town or in another city entirely. Look at all of our locations and find one that will strengthen your business's image while minimizing competition as much as possible - which is why it's best to avoid areas with similar companies.
Look Into How Best You Can Fit in the Area
If the area is not appropriate for your business location, then you can try to change it. However, it would help to consider other competing businesses in that facility and how many of them are already well-established.
Suppose they have good track records in their respective fields. In that case, chances are they will be doing much better than your small business when it comes to advertising expenses and getting more customers. It is usually by word-of-mouth marketing or referrals from satisfied clients who were once regular patrons at that place before you came in.
In conclusion, the location of your business is critical to its success. It would help if you considered how accessible it would be and the market demand to set up shop. In addition, keep in mind other factors such as amenities and types of businesses already present at the location; these can all affect the performance of your business.
Being self-employed is most definitely a way to have more freedom in your working life, but if you are looking to make the leap, or you are trying to get all of your ducks in a row, there are many mistakes people make. Granted, you can have the ability to work smart rather than hard, have the right software in place, and think that you've got everything, but you will certainly learn from the many mistakes that you make, but here are some of the big ones that you have to be prepared for.
Overspending on Things You Think You Need
This is especially true if you are running a business. You may think that you are better off investing in more things than less, but the reality is you've got to find the best tools that work for you by going through a few months of being self-employed so you can learn from some of your mistakes. One of the more common problems is with regards to payment customers, invoicing, and generally the financial components. It's important to find all-in-one tools that can help. For example, a company like Payanywhere provides a comprehensive platform for payments, invoicing, and inventory management, but remember that you don't need to overcomplicate things. If you overcomplicate things, you add more steps to every process, and this means that you will eventually lose the battle of having any form of work-life balance.
Underestimating Being Self-Employed
If you are looking to become self-employed, you may think that it is easier because you don't have to clock in at a certain time, you don't have to commute, and so on. But being self-employed is not easier than working a job. The fact is that you have to take responsibility for so much more than you would if you were being employed by someone. This means you've got to have a multitude of research skills, business skills, as well as financial skills under your belt. Because you've got to find so many things that will cover your back like self-employed insurance, learning how to save for retirement, while also making sure that you do have that balance in life. Many self-employed people talk about the fact that they don't know how to switch off. This is one of the best things that you can learn how to do.
Not Prioritising Your Health
The trap many people fall into is chasing the money. They'll have a good month, and this will be followed up by a bad month. After a while, people think that it's better to work more in order to maintain a certain lifestyle. However, doing this is not good for your health, and it's not good for you in the long run. You've got to have a more relaxed approach to life certainly, but you also need to make sure that you aren't giving in to stress. It's important to think of some stress management techniques, but also, no matter how much you earn, putting a specific amount aside each month will give you that buffer if you have a fallow period.
These are some of the biggest mistakes, and if you are looking to jump into being self-employed, the best thing you can do is be prepared.
Whatever kind of business you happen to run, it is highly likely that there is a lot of software that you need to use on a daily basis. The way in which you use this software is therefore very important, as is having the right software at all. But it can be hard to choose software, and hard to know whether you have made the right choice, so that is a difficulty that all business owners have to try and overcome.
In this article, we are going to discuss some of the major reasons why you should aim to use the right software for your business, and why it really does make all the difference. Understanding and appreciating this will help you to make a better choice in the future.
It Expedites The Processes
One of the main reasons you need to try and choose your software carefully is that having the right software speeds up all of your processes. There is so much wasted time in companies across the globe when it comes to using the wrong technology, and if you are serious about improving how you do things then this is something you will want to focus on more and more. You can expedite all of your processes by simply ensuring that you are using the right software at all times.
It’s Unique To Your Needs
You need software that answers your actual needs, so that means that you need to choose software that is designed to deal with the specifics of the kind of business you run. The less generic your software is, the more likely it is to be genuinely useful for you in a day to day context. If you run a hospital, a hospital contract management software platform is likely to be top of your list. If you run a dropshipping company, it will be something like Shopify. It’s all about finding the software that is uniquely capable to give you what you need - and finding it might mean trying out a lot of different options before you get there.
We looked earlier at how the right software speeds things up, and the main reason it does this is that it causes a much greater efficiency across the board, with all of your in-house processes. More efficiency means that you are wasting less time and money, and that your entire operation becomes much more profitable, so it’s definitely a wise thing for you to think about. If you have the wrong software, conversely, then you are probably going to be running a wildly inefficient company, and you will have to make sure that you are doing something about that before it notably affects your profit margins or the experience of your customers.
Better Workflow Management
There is no business in the world that doesn’t need to think about workflow management, and you need to make sure that you are approaching this in the best way possible if you want to keep things running as they should be. The right software makes all of this easier, and we are not only talking about software which is specifically designed for workflow management purposes. Just giving your employees the software they need to do their jobs right means that workflow management itself becomes a lot simpler to do, so this is a top-down solution that you need to take on board.
There are few things more frustrating for your bursar than when you have to keep on replacing software because it is not quite doing the job for you and your employees. Having the right software is quite simply much more cost-effective, as you are not going to have to replace it or even upgrade it all that often, and you will not be wasting time and money on alternative solutions that just don’t work that well. Clearly, this is a very good reason to make sure you choose your software right.
When you have the right tools in general, planning out what you are going to do in the future is a fantastically easy thing to do. That avoids many of the headaches which are common to running teams and companies, and it means that you can work with greater efficiency, as we saw above. Get the right software, and planning everything out becomes a walk in the park.
As you can see, there are many great reasons to make sure that you have the right software. Work on improving your software choices today.
Whether you have turned a hobby into a career or managed to turn a great business idea into something profitable, you should always be on the lookout for ways to grow your business. This is due to the fact that consumer habits are continuously changing - and you have to be able to change and grow alongside them if you want to remain relevant and in demand. In many cases, failure to adapt results in company closure.
One way in which you can grow your business is by turning your local business into an international company. Here are some tips to get you started!
If your business is not doing as well as you would like, don't worry! There are many things that you can do to turn it around. Below are five lessons from entrepreneurs who have successfully revived a failing business.
Upgrade your operations for efficiencyThe first step to reviving a failing business is to upgrade your operational processes. You want to make sure that no obstacles impede the flow of effective communication between employees and customers, as this can lead to unnecessary frustration and slow service, which will drive clients away.
In a healthcare business, this could entail streamlining processes as much as possible to ensure that patients can get the treatment they need without any unnecessary friction. For example, if you’re offering vaccines, it’d be wise to have safe storage like a vaccine fridge to maintain their quality, catering to patient’s needs.
One of the first things you should be thinking about is rebranding. Rebranding does not mean changing everything about your company. It is simply updating some visual elements to better match what you are doing and more accurately represent who you are now.
If you want to get the most out of your new project, rebranding is not something you should do without care. On the contrary, it will affect how people perceive your company and make the first impression of your brand for years to come.
Use Marketing Techniques You Didn’t Use
Use marketing techniques you didn't use, like posting comments on blogs and forums relevant to your industry.
Also, consider using influencers - these people are already interested in the subject matter, so they're more likely to be receptive to your offer.
Trying to convince customers by yourself might take a very long time and be quite tricky, but when you do it with the help of someone in the industry who is already respected, they'll listen much more closely.
The key here, though, is that you need to get the influencer’s trust first before even trying to bring up an opportunity to promote your business.
Revise Your Pricing Strategy
The first thing you need to do is take a hard look at your pricing strategy. Are you selling yourself short? Are you using the same price for everyone, or are there ways that certain people can pay less than others? Think about it from every angle, and then revise your pricing strategy accordingly.
The second thing you need to do is review your competition. Are they selling their products for less than what you are? If so, it's time to revamp your prices and make them more competitive with the marketplace.
The third thing you need to do is begin offering customers incentives for buying in bulk or giving them discounts when they refer other people to your business. If not, consider what else you could do so that it's more attractive than the average company on the street.
Involve Your Customers More This Time Round
Not only will you gain respect and loyalty from customers, but it may also save your business in the long run!
If you have a customer program, start small, don't involve too many people at once or else they won't get anything out of the experience. Try involving a handful of loyal customers first to see how well it works before expanding to the rest.
An easy way to revive your failing business is by having a rebuilding strategy. The above insights should help you get started on the rebuilding. Just remember to tweak a few things t suit your business needs.
Waste is unavoidable in the modern world of business. No matter how hard you try, there will always be items that need to be thrown away, and many companies find it hard to deal with this in a way that is good for the planet. Landfills are the most common destination for the waste your company produces, but is it possible to reduce the impact that your waste has and find somewhere better for it? In most cases, this process isn’t too hard, and this article is here to help you through it.
Reducing waste should always be the first step that you take in a process like this. It may not be easy, but most companies can reduce the waste they produce when they put effort into it. Moving away from paper records, for example, is a great way to reduce the amount of paper waste you produce. Digital tools can be used to handle the work in the same way, all without producing waste in the process. Every business will have ways to reduce waste; you just have to be creative about it.
Some waste can’t be avoided, but you can still work to reduce its impact on the world. Recycling is a good way to do this, providing you with the ability to turn your waste into something new. Materials like paper and glass can be recycled with relative ease, though some are harder to deal with than others. You may need to pay a company to do this work for you, but you could also get paid for your recyclables if you are producing the right ones. This makes it worth taking a lot of care with your waste.
Responsible Waste Management
Throwing things away will always be an issue, but the way that those items are dealt with can make the impact far smaller. Transport distance, for example, accounts for a large part of the emissions caused by waste. By choosing a local company, like Budget Bin Hire, you can ensure that your waste doesn’t have to travel across the world. Some waste management companies are more responsible than others, and this is something you need to research.
Finally, as the last idea to consider, it’s time to think about forming relationships with other businesses. There are likely to be loads of businesses in your local area, providing you with the ability to form relationships that could have the potential to help with your waste. If you can find a company that can make use of the waste you produce, you can come to an agreement for them to help you to get rid of it.
Waste is a big issue in the modern world, with most people being completely unaware of the vast amounts of waste that they contribute to. Of course, though, this isn’t something that you have to worry about when you take the right steps to combat it.
Do you know how much energy your business uses? Moreover, do you know how much it wastes? In the UK alone, over half of the total energy produced each year is wasted, and many small and developing businesses like yours can contribute to that figure.
And that can be a worrying thing, for a variety of reasons. After all, you’re naturally concerned about the way your business affects the local ecosystem. Or maybe it’s just the financial aspect that you’re worried about? Either way, in letting your business waste energy, you can really rack up those bills and leave a stamp on the environment that you’d really hate.
Which means it’s time to do something about your business’ energy usage. You can work a lot of simple magic to lower both your bills and your company’s carbon footprint, and you can manage this with the help of the points below. Make sure you’re not wasting energy, and you’ll notice your business begin to grow in the way you always wanted it to.
The Little Things Add Up
It’s normal for an office to have a break room, and in that break room, to have appliances that make life at work much easier. However, the continued usage of these appliances can cause a racket on your utility bill. Whether it’s using the microwave, or boiling a kettle, or using a coffee machine, bit by bit these usage points add up. And if people are racing to use these items at certain points throughout the day, you’ve got an energy storm on your hands.
But you can’t just rip these items out - they’re necessary for a healthy, functioning workplace. Instead, think about ways to lower their impact. Ensure people only use the right amount of water for them when making a hot drink, for example. Or set a time limit on the microwave, say 5 minutes, to prevent extended use. If you can prevent the little things from becoming big things, you’ll retain employee happiness whilst still bringing those bills down!
Get Your Team Involved
Are you encouraging your team to cut back in certain areas of their life as well? And if you are, are you rewarding them for making a sustainable effort? Many companies talk a very good game about promoting sustainability, but this sentiment isn’t shared throughout the company itself. Even if an employee takes steps to follow suit, their efforts are often not recognised.
And that’s where you need to be different. Encouraging those you work with to stop wasting energy in their homes, cars, and in the workplace can go a long way to ensuring bills are kept low and your carbon footprint stays small. After all, it’s a company wide idea, and it’s willingly enforced by all involved. You’re far less likely to notice oddly frequent energy spikes on your office’s usage bill!
But how can you get your team involved? Incentives often work very well; if an employee proves they’ve ‘gone green’ in their water bill, or they’ve switched to a renewable supplier, compensating them for the effort goes a long way. However, if you are unable to offer monetary motivation, you can also simply surround your employees with green efforts, such as office recycling bins, asking them to bring in reusable water bottles, and place plenty of plants around.
Think About Your Supply Chain
Your supply chain is a big energy-waster. Every business out there is part of one, and knowing how your supply chain works is key to cutting back on energy wastage, and the total amount you’re paying for siphoning out such energy to useless points in the process.
However, a good way to address this issue is through working with eco-friendly suppliers. There are numerous supply houses out there that can guarantee low energy, high productivity, and a totally sustainable supply package. There’s even a directory for finding the right green supplier to work with!
Or, if you source, manufacture, and package and deliver products yourself, think about how you’ve set this system up. After all, when setting up a production line of your own, it can be hard to really focus on what needs to happen, and where things can be reserved - there’s a good chance you’ve made a few energy output mistakes. But you’re on a learning curve! And you’ve already got all of that warehouse space, so why not use it?
Indeed, it might be an idea to look into how you’re powering your supply chain in the first place. You might want to consider your options for conserving energy in firing up the machinery, and keeping it on for as long as possible. For example, you could buy compressed air to help cut back on your electricity usage, via using a more concentrated power source that can double your production capability in the long term. Simple changes like this can go a very long way.
Consider Your General Equipment Usage
How many electrical items run in your workplace? How often do you use them? And how long do they tend to stay on for? Answering questions like these on a regular basis can help you to prevent energy spikes from occurring, which can cost you an extra £100 per month at the least. Now that’s a hefty bill to be paying when you’re a small business! But what can you do? You need the lights and the computers to come on!
Well, try not to turn everything on at once. Indeed, it’s best to turn things on in a steady manner - go one by one around the office, leaving 10 or so minutes in between each flick of an ‘On’ button. This will help your energy usage to stay at a stable rate throughout the day, without massive spikes at any point. Without these huge surges of power, there’s no reason for your utility bill to be so high, and you’ll soon notice the amount tapering down over the coming months.
Run Regular Reviews and Repairs
How often do you get your office equipment seen to? If it’s less than once every 2 years, there’s a good chance you’re wasting energy by simply plugging a computer or copier-printer into a plug socket! And without running proper compliance tests, it can be hard to know if you’re working with viable equipment or not.
Of course, a lot of modern tech can be tested by just looking at it. If you press a button and it won’t turn on, it’s clearly got something wrong with it! But without a proper test, you won’t know what exactly is causing the issue. That can cause bigger problems for your energy usage in the long run, as even if you get an appliance to turn on, the issue could still be present in the background.
Which is where principles like PAT testing come in. When you’re using broken or faulty equipment or appliances, you’re going to be wasting a good portion of your daily energy allowance, simply because this energy has nowhere to go/nothing to do once it’s been picked up by the wires of the faulty item in question. And without a PAT test, you can’t quite be sure that you’ve either fixed the issue, or even identified it in the first place.
But how often should you test? Well, that can be hard to answer. Most of all, you need to get your equipment PAT tested at a rate that makes sense for your working environment. For most companies, about every 48 months is usually the best time frame, but once a year is good for workplaces that make frequent use of electrical equipment.
Keep Better Track of the Way You Use Energy
Do you know how to keep track of the amount of energy you use? If not, it’s time to learn! Monitoring your energy consumption is the most surefire way to prevent too much from being wasted, as knowledge is very much power in this scenario.
There are many apps you can download to your desktop or smartphone, to help you track how much energy is being used and where. In doing so, you can start to learn the patterns of how your energy usage is allocated. Maybe most of it is going towards the air conditioning or central heating, or maybe you’re noticing spikes at certain times throughout the year?
However, seeing as you’ve been keeping an eye, and you’ve got data to compare future spikes against, you can determine whether or not this is a waste or energy or a necessary use. If you want to have total control, be sure to get a Smart Meter installed somewhere in your office - they’re often a lot more precise than apps can be, and they track at more frequent intervals.
Your business might be wasting energy, but you can stop this before it becomes a real problem. Make sure you’re using tips like those above to keep an eye on your energy consumption.
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.