Financial uncertainty has prompted many to start thinking about a Plan B to help supplement their existing income, while others have spent lockdown pondering whether the career they thought they wanted is right for their long-term future. Entrepreneur Europe caught up with one CEO to find out how she runs her business in 3 hours at night!
Redesigning your office is an excellent idea for many reasons. By improving your office, you can boost staff morale and improve the efficiency of your operations. You can also seek to make eco-friendly adjustments and create a more professional look. When it comes to redesigning your office, these five applications can support your planning.
The RoomSketcher application is an easy to use floor plan and design app. Using RoomSketcher, you can make 3D floor plans and design the ideal layout for your office space. You can virtually decorate with the app so you can get your ideas together before you implement them for real. A basic RoomSketcher plan is free, while extra features can be accessed on the paid version.
2. Planner 5D
With the Planner 5D app, you can design the floor plan of your office, including any type of interior layout. You can use either imperial or metric measurements, and design realistic images to support your plans. There are plenty of options with the Planner 5D app, including:
3. Magic Plan
Magic Plan is a fantastic tool for redesigning your office space. The application allows you to create beautiful diagrams in a number of minutes. It’s simple to use, just aim your device, snap your photos and get the floor plan and dimensions you need. Magic Plan comes with over 1,000 objects to incorporate as part of your design, including stairwells and furniture. Further features of Magic Plan include:
Want to improve the color schemes and decor in your office? Looking for ideas to get inspired? Pinterest is an excellent place for interior design photography, and there are plenty of office design examples here too. Whether it’s type of furniture, artwork, use of space, or color, Pinterest has got plenty to get inspired. When you’re lacking creativity and ideas, Pinterest is the place to be!
SmartDraw allows you to create floor plans, no matter which type of business you are. There are many pre-designed templates to choose from to speed things up. Features of SmartDraw include:
If you have a small business, making sure you can sell your product is key if you’re going to continue growing your business and trying to get a piece of the market share. Below, you’ll find some pointers that can help your business to start selling more - and fast.
1. Become More Active On Social Media
Start by getting more active on social media if you don’t currently have a social media plan. Choose a platform where you’ll find your target audience and work on building a page. This page should have your information, the same branding as your site, and be updated regularly. Remember, it’s not just about selling here, it’s about being social! Get involved in discussions, provide advice, and try to give value to people. It may take time to get some followers, but you can also pay for ads to see if you can build a following faster that way. Depending on your audience, this can be a lucrative and mostly free way to market your business.
2. Know Exactly Who You’re Targeting
You can't really focus on getting more sales if you don’t know who you’re trying to sell to. You can’t just hope that anybody interested in your product will buy it. You should have an idea of the age of your audience, as well as their hobbies, family status, job, income, and other relevant things. Make sure you sit down and come up with some consumer profiles so you know who you’re talking to and get an idea of what they will respond to.
3. Use SoftwareThere are various pieces of software that could help you to sell more. Salesforce is a helpful piece of kit, but many business owners get put off, as they don’t want to take their foot off the pedal and focus on something else when they want to grow their business. This is why teams like Magicforce exist. They can help you to implement this software so you can make more sales without taking your focus away from what you’re good at.
4. Try A Rebrand
Perhaps your brand isn't really working for you in the way it should be. If you didn’t consider your audience beforehand, then it could be that you haven’t branded your business in quite the right way. A rebrand can be time consuming and expensive, so you should make sure this is definitely the right decision before going ahead. It’s not something you should take lightly, but if it’s the right decision, it can make a huge difference.
5. Write Better Copy
Is your copy working as hard for you as it should be? Descriptive, enticing copy is a must if you’re going to sell products. If you can’t write it, find somebody who can.
6. Take Better Pictures
Your pictures need to be accurate but high quality and show your product in the best possible light. Again, you may need to find someone for this.
7. Set A Solid, Realistic Sales Goal
If you don’t have a solid, realistic sales goal, then what are you even aiming for? Come up with one that motivates you!
If you’re a business owner organising an office relocation, you’ll more than likely want a smooth-running experience without any difficulties. Whether this means downsizing or upsizing your office, it’s vital to prepare and communicate with others to avoid any unwanted stress and disruption to the process. It may initially seem like a challenging task, but by taking proactive steps, you’ll be able to have a successful office move all while saving money. Here are six money-saving tips that every business owner should consider when moving offices.
Plan Ahead of Time
Planning an office move shouldn’t be a last minute decision. To make sure you’re getting the best deal, you should ideally plan your move six months ahead of time. This will also give you time to set a realistic budget and to outline out all of the necessary expenses involved with the move.
Find a Reliable Moving Company
Once you’ve planned out all the logistics, it’s time to find a reliable moving company who can make your office relocation happen, such as with Two Men And A Truck. To get the best value for money, make sure to research what each company can offer in terms of your needs, always stay within your set budget, and don’t be afraid to negotiate pricing with service providers.
Avoid Moving in Summer
Most companies tend to relocate offices in the spring and summer. However, demand increases during these seasons, meaning prices for moving services will also rise. Likewise, real estate also begins to rise in price during the warmer months. To save on costs, consider relocating your office during autumn, winter, or early spring.
To prevent any fees and confusion with others, ensure to review your commercial property lease. Leaving early could cost you your deposit, and you could be liable for any damage to the property if it were to occur during your move. Once you have a confirmed moving date, you’ll need to give official notice to any internal and external parties about your upcoming office move, and create a list of people that you will need to send your new office address to, such as banks, insurance companies, and your internet service provider.
Start decluttering items that your office doesn't use as soon as possible. You can do this by making an inventory list to determine what you need and what can be disposed of or donated to a registered charity - you may even be eligible to get a tax-write off. Think old phones, printers, office supplies, or even office furniture that’s in need of a new home. Making this checklist and disposing of unwanted items in the property can also help you to avoid any fines. If you’re concerned about your valuable assets, you may want to consider insuring these items to financially protect yourself from any unforeseen accidents during the big move.
Reduce Packaging Costs
To save on your packaging costs, get the whole team to chip in with DIY packaging or consider purchasing used packing supplies and boxes. While this can be perceived as a team-building exercise, it’s only fair to reward your employees for their efforts afterwards!
Right now, increasing numbers of people are deciding to set up their own small businesses. This is understandable. The coronavirus pandemic has seen hundreds of thousands lose their day to day jobs and the job market isn’t exactly bustling with new options for us to apply to. Many of us are looking for ways to make money in order to pay our bills and keep our lives on track. Nowadays, setting up a small business is easier than ever. All you have to have is something to sell and a website to sell it from. So, people are getting innovative. From selling face masks, hand sanitiser and other products that are in high demand right now to make some money until things get back to normal, to starting a small business with intentions for things to be longer term, setting up a company of your own could be the best thing you can do right now. Of course, if you’re going to set up a company, you’re going to have to really focus on security now. People are more desperate than ever, or simply recognise that new companies are cropping up and they’re more vulnerable, and this has led to an increase in crime, theft and more recently. So, here are a few ways to protect your new startup!
First things first, let’s focus on physical security. Chances are you’re operating your business from home right now. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re completely free from risk of theft or attack. If you have stock in your home, you’re going to have to protect it. There are a couple of ways you can protect yourself from theft of stock. First, you may want to invest in security solutions from Securafit. There are multiple options you might want to consider. First, you should consider having some sort of CCTV system installed. Not only will this deter criminals from attempting to steal any of your stock with the threat of evidence of what they’re doing, but it will capture evidence of any crime that anyone does attempt to commit. Nowadays, you can get high quality systems at a really reasonable price. It’s definitely more than worth the investment. Plus, it protects your home from other domestic issues, such as burglary too! Next, you mighty want to invest in intruder alarms. This way, if someone does enter your property, an alarm will be triggered, alerting you to the issue and encouraging criminals to scarper before they’re caught.
Digital security is at the forefront of most business’ minds right now. Cyber criminals are aware that more and more businesses are operating from home and that new start ups are emerging on a remote basis. They are also aware that this means many businesses are vulnerable, as people are often working on insecure networks and may be prone to falling for phishing and other scams. Make sure to work with a competent IT solutions team to keep all of your data, documents and files secure!
Keeping your remote business secure really is important, whether you’re planning on operating for the short term or the long term. Hopefully, some of this information will help you to achieve this and protect your profits!
Good, or mediocre or great, all of these terms can be so hard to quantify when it comes to measuring a business’ success. Of course, we may consider that a business making wild profits to be great, but what if those profits come at the behest of an unhappy and unmotivated workforce? The video game industry is a good example to use here, as the largest entertainment industry in the world, vastly bigger than Hollywood itself. Video game companies known for huge, acclaimed video games, such as Rockstar and their Red Dead Redemption western series, make upwards of billions of dollars from monetizing their games and drawing large crowds again and again.
However - they are also met with continual complaints about working conditions and crunch culture. Their reputation is regularly damaged by testers going public about the difficulties they endured and the lack of respect they were given. This isn’t just a set of allegations against one company, but much of the industry. Is it right to grade these hugely profitable businesses ‘great’ if this is the cost?
It’s worth thinking about. With our following metrics, we believe even a small business can become ‘great’. Here’s what that might look like:
Excellent branding is a worthwhile use of your time. It helps you stand out among your competition, presents your business clearly and effectively to members of your audience, and also helps you celebrate your presence. Video production services are becoming more and more popular when it comes to great branding, as being able to promote your products using excellent short films or instruct your consumers through the same measure can be a phenomenal tool. Not a bad place to start, we’d say:
Workplace satisfaction means something. It’s not something you curate for an award. It’s not something you develop to hire more desirable staff (although this can be a natural consequence). Instead, workplace satisfaction is a tool you can use to more easily celebrate your culture, enhance productivity, enjoy running your firm, and live through the ethical guidelines you promote. It’s really not hard to see how following this kind of approach will help you become more and more interesting to conscious consumers, as well as helping your workplace culture thrive.
Golden Customer Support
Customer support is more than simply something you have to ensure in order to make your customer engagement relatively simple and smooth. It can help you learn more about your clients, their needs, and also will help you generate goodwill. If you find it important enough to care for your clients in the best manner, word will spread. You can win awards for your excellent treatment. And, moreover, customers will be more interested in coming back and interfacing with your systems. That in itself is an extra utility you can use to benefit your brand, and you’ll achieve this by being helpful. Not a bad improvement to make, we’d say.
With this advice, we hope you can more easily understand that which makes a good business great.
Running a business from home certainly has its advantages but without the credibility that larger businesses possess, it can sometimes be difficult to get taken seriously.
Still, this doesn't mean a home business owner can't find success, and this doesn't mean the business won't have the capacity to grow. Just look at Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, for example, two entrepreneurial luminaries who eventually grew out of their homes and into (for want of better words) the big leagues!
So, if you're working from home, in whatever capacity, here are some tips to help you get taken seriously. You might then experience the growth that those now running multi-million companies have attained or, at the very least, make yourself a tidy income from whatever type of business you are running.
#1: Benefit from a virtual office address
If you are using your home address on your mailouts, your clients and customers might fail to take you seriously. Especially if you are trying to convey a professional image, it will be a direct giveaway that you are probably working from home in your pj's. This is where a virtual address comes in handy as it can give the impression that your business is bigger than it actually is. You can also benefit from a telephone answering service with the services of a virtual office provider, and again, this will do much to convey a more professional image. Follow the previous link for one example, and consider the benefits for you.
#2: Be careful with your video calls
If you're speaking to clients through Skype or any other type of video communication tech, be sure to dress well before making a call. While working from home can give you the opportunity to wear your pj's or slacks, your dress sense will reflect poorly on your image. Dress smartly then, and consider wearing a suit for those you are really trying to impress.
Be sure to make your calls in your home office too. This is far more professional than chatting with your clients in your living room, and it can also convey the image that you're not working from your home. We have some tips on designing a successful home office, so have a read of our article.
And finally, take note of this BBC news interview that was conducted with one esteemed professional. If you want your clients to take you seriously, be sure not to let your children interrupt you when you're having a serious business conversation!
#3: Brush up your brand image
Enlist the help of the professionals if you need help with this regard. A web designer will give you a professional-looking website, a photographer will give you the quality photos you need for your website and other promotional materials, and a copywriter will provide with you the written content you need to give that excellent first impression.
Be sure to ask your customers and clients for testimonials for your website, and ask them to leave reviews on business review sites as well. And have a separate social media account for your home business because your personal account just won't do if you want to be taken seriously, especially if some of the content is for friends eyes only!
By taking these steps, you will improve your brand image and improve your credibility.
We wish you every success with your home business!
One of the exciting aspects of running a business in this day and age is that the sky’s the limit. If you’re motivated enough, then there’s no limit to the amount of success that you can achieve. After all, the climate is right. It’s a global economy, and that means that you can expand your business into new territories, both in your country and in others. Expanding overseas is, of course, more difficult than expanding domestically. Many large companies have failed when they’ve tried! There are things you can to improve your chances of success. We take a look at a few essential tips below.
Time It Right
Timing is everything in business. Doing something too early or too late can lead to failure. So what constitutes picking the ‘right time’? It’s about looking at the global economy and looking at your own company. If things are economically fragile, then it’s best to wait; you should, after all, aim to reduce the level of risk that you’re taking. For your own business? That, you’ll need to decide. If you’re working well, have healthy cash-flow, and just feel like it’s the right time to step up, then it probably is.
You will have done extensive market research when you were first getting your business underway. This was the research that told you how to market your products or services, how much they should cost, where you fit into the broader market, and so on. When you’re expanding overseas, you’ll have to carry out the same intensity of research. It’s dangerous to assume that you know any answers to the important questions just because you have experience domestically. Foreign countries will operate on a different wavelength. Try to understand as much as you can about the country you’re expanding into before launching.
Hiring Local Talent
While you’ll want to have an all-important hand in the development of your overseas branch, it’s vital that you’re working with talent local to the area. This will help on multiple levels, including building a connection with customers in the area you’re expanding into. Of course, it can be challenging to employ people overseas, but there are things you can do to push things in the right direction. The first is to work with a local recruitment agency; they’ll help you to find the best staff. You’ll also need to look at your payroll. You can get Cloudpay's payroll software in the EU, which will make paying your overseas employees all the more straightforward. Also, don’t be a hands-off boss -- your new employees will appreciate feeling part of a bigger team.
Review and Adapt
It’ll take some time to figure out how you’re going to operate overseas, and you won’t get everything right straightaway. The key thing is to stay open and flexible. After some time, you might find that one way of doing things isn’t bringing the types of results that you’d expect. If you’re flexible, then you’ll be able to switch to a different approach relatively easily.
No matter the side of the educational system you’re on, you cannot ignore the importance of cloud-based learning management systems (LMS). From the student struggling to catch up with school work to the teacher looking for a way to deliver educational material across to your students. Cloud-based LMS is an
e-learning platform that assists educators, students, as well as instructors to create, access, manage, as well as organize different learning materials online. The world of education has taken advantage of the several benefits of such platforms to build capacity. In this article, we will take a closer look at the top four cloud-based learning management systems for training purposes.
Google Classroom is one of the web services developed by Google and available for free for e-learning and teaching purposes. Aside from assisting instructors in creating, organizing, and delivering assignments for students, the platform also allows for sharing ideas, trends, and innovations among a group of instructors or teachers. In addition to that, Google Classroom synchronizes easily with other e-learning tools, software, or apps such as Canvas. This means, for example, that a person can connect their Canvas app to their Google Classroom platform in order to help keep all materials in sync. However, Google Classroom is best used as a group platform because of the efficiency it offers when it comes to sharing files and communication between other users.
Canvas contains a set of learning materials and special features that have been integrated in a way to allow teachers and students to make the best out of it. The platform offers several benefits for both teachers and students. And this is especially true when you consider the fact that teachers have to create different learning materials from subject to subject. The platform also makes it very easy for instructors to engage with students. Plus, it integrates pretty nicely with a lot of teaching tools used in a classroom.
Blackboard Learn is also one of the main platforms where education and learning materials can be centralized efficiently, organized, distributed, and accessed with ease. This learning management systems platform is also best used between several instructors, students, or both. Blackboard Learn allows its users to share learning materials, learning trends, as well as other e-learning materials. Perhaps the only disadvantage this platform has is the fact that most of its users do not consider it to be very user-friendly. But it shouldn’t take too long to get the hang of it.
If the Mindflash LMS reviews are anything to go by, then they show just how many users are benefiting from the platform. Although the platform is used a lot by business-minded people, it also offers several educational tools that both teachers and students can take advantage of. It is an ideal platform when it comes to delivering online learning materials and courses. Plus, using this platform helps to reduce the amount of time a teacher spends on preparing and delivering educational materials to students.
We all want the best from our team. We want them to be as productive and effective as they can be, but it’s not always about making sure you have the right people for that team. Sometimes you have to be the right leader, too. If you want to see them get more done, then you need to take steps to help them improve their daily workflow, too.
Clutter is one of the biggest issues when it comes to workflow. It can distract and confuse a member of the team when they’re supposed to be focusing on something else. As such, establishing practices to eliminate clutter, from tidying the desk to deleting resolved emails to closing windows that aren’t relevant to the task at hand, can all help them focus. By eliminating clutter, you can improve the general workflow, in the long run, leading to greater productivity.
There are some steps in the workflow that, until technology improves, will need a human hand to make sure they are done the right way. However, there are many steps in a workflow that might not need as much human intervention, especially in the admin part of the job. Tools like https://www.templafy.com/document-automation-software/ can help you drastically shorten the amount of time needed to, for instance, prepare and send company-wide or customer communication documents. As such, the time and effort that would normally go into the relatively menial task can be spent on something both more important and more engaging.
Not only should you look at how you can more efficiently take care of certain tasks, but you should also help ensure they’re taking care of the right tasks, to begin with. Most workflow tasks can usually be ordered from the most important to least important, as well as the most urgent to least urgent. Tools like https://appfluence.com/productivity/prioritization-matrix/ can help your team do that for the whole day ahead, helping them better see where they should spend their time and what tasks might be able to be left until a little later before they get attention.
To some degree, you want employees to be able to prioritize their own work but there are some times you have to get them to switch tracks to hit a more urgent goal. Or perhaps there are issues within the workflow that can cause bigger problems down the line and you need to correct them. Leading with communication is essential, and having the right tools to get in touch quickly can help as well. Collaboration tools, such as team management and communication software, can ensure that your team is always plugged into the conversation. By making the means of communication consistent across the board, you ensure no messages get lost in the mix.
With the tips above, you can help employees focus on the work that needs to be done first, get it done quicker, and make sure that they’re working with others to ensure efficiency across the board.
In order for your business to succeed, you need to have the right team of people in place propelling it forward day after day. Without that, your business will fail to launch and your dreams of success will be in ruin. Not many businesses can succeed off the back of one person’s aims and ambitions. It takes a team effort, and that makes building and motivating your team one of the most important tasks you’ll have. Here’s how to do it.
Create an Environment That Allows Your Team to Take Risks
You should work to create the kind of environment that gets the best out of the team at your disposal. You should look for ways to encourage your staff to go their own way and take risks. Employees that feel empowered and liberated tend to be the ones who do the best work. Give them to the space to do their best work and it’s your business that will benefit in the long-term.
Find Ways to Boost Morale and Team Spirit
There are lots of ways to boost your team’s morale and team spirit. You need to make sure they enjoy the work they do and enjoy coming to work. And you should also take steps to make sure that the way in which they work is focused on togetherness and teamwork. When people rely on one another and work together, there’ll be a better team spirit among your group.
Learn How to Maximize the Talent Available to You
The team you have is there for you to mold and shape. It’s up to you as the leader of the team to make sure that you’re doing everything within your power to get the most out of them. With good leadership and the right kind of direction, even a mediocre team can achieve great things. So your role in this is going to be key.
Get Help with the Hiring Process
Building a team always involves hiring new people, and that’s always something that you should enter into carefully. Places like DSC Personnel can help with the process and offer their expertise when you’re looking for certain kinds of employees. Getting this help might help you to find the right people more easily and avoid the mistakes that small businesses so often make in the hiring process.
Recognize Each Team Member’s Contribution
Finally, you should make sure that you recognize the contribution that each person in the team makes. Everyone has something to offer and it’s important that you recognize that and make the most of each person’s individual talents because that’s how you’ll get the most out of them.
If you want your business to achieve lasting success, you need to make sure that you have a team in place that’s capable of making that happen. Follow the advice above and make sure that your team has the qualities and abilities you need, and that you have the talents to get the most out of them.
With a third of the global population living under lockdown, many are turning to science for the answers on how to be happy in these difficult times. By the evening of 26 March, 1.3 million people were enrolled in a Yale University online course entitled: The Science of Well Being. BBC News has the story...
You may find yourself regularly working from home over the coming weeks as employers attempt to limit staff exposure to the coronavirus outbreak. Sky News has the tips!
What do you look for to have a happy work life? The Mirror has the results of a recent survey!
As you probably spend most of your life at work, it’s essential that you’re happy there. From feeling valued to having good relationships with coworkers, everyone has one top feature that makes them feel satisfied at work. Check out the below for a happy work life.
Good Work-Life Balance
If you’re in a job where you can work your hours and then go home, you’re bound to be happier as you’ll have more time for your family, friends, and hobbies.
A Company That Promotes Health
Companies that protect your health and order supplies like PPE equipment from PPE Supplies Direct clearly care about you. Feeling safe at work will make your work life happier.
Having Progression Opportunities
Being able to progress at work will make you happier as you have something to work towards. It also gives you a purpose in the office and will make your day more fulfilling.
Working With Decent Coworkers
You can have the dullest job in the world, but if you’ve got decent coworkers, it all seems a whole lot brighter. Having good working relationships will make your day much better.
Employees never have to apologise for having a life, believe it or not! LinkedIn has a story that all bosses should take note of!
Being more productive could be the real answer to a better work-life balance and give you more 'you' time! Fast Company has the details!
You work hard don't you? What happens when you get to Friday or if you are one of those weekend warriors, your frame of mind isn't quite on it! Employees shouldn't have to apologise for having a life and if you're from the retail or service industry, this is huge! A feature on LinkedIN will tell you more!
There is so much job search advice out there, literally everywhere! But sometimes you can miss the very basics! The Muse has some very basic tips to try out whilst on the hunt for that new gig!
You can also get 'The Ultimate List of Job Search Strategies To Land you Next Job' from Fancy Resumes' to give you that cutting edge plan to the next big gig of yours!
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.