With that in mind, below is a guide to some of the key factors that you should know when it comes to going remote with your business. Read on for everything that you need to know.
A well-designed website is crucial
If you are going to successfully take your business remote, the most crucial thing that you need is a smart, well-designed, professional website. Think of your website like the hub of your business, without a carefully designed website, your business has nowhere to run from. That’s why it’s worth taking the time to source a website designer who is able to create you a smart, stylish, and well-designed site that offers everything that you need your site to offer. Not sure what your site should include? Consider checking out what your competitors’ websites offer.
IT support is a must
When you’re running a business virtually, your website and online presence is the hub of your business. This means that if your systems or site end up going down, you could be left with a business that is unable to run. As every business owner knows, downtime is never a good thing for a business, which is why it’s so vital that you have adequate IT support in place. You can find plenty of IT support for SMEs online, it’s just a case of finding the support that is the right fit for you, your business and your budget.
Hone your marketing strategy
To ensure that your remote business sees as much success as possible, it’s vital that you take steps to properly hone your marketing strategy. Even with the most amazing product or service in the world, if no one knows about it, you are going to struggle to see success. That’s where having a well-thought out marketing strategy comes into play. If you’re going to make a success of your business, you need to ensure that you’re properly marketing your services.
Going remote can be a fantastic way to reduce business costs and make running your business simpler and easier. There’s a lot to think about when it comes to running your business from home, but it doesn’t have to be too overwhelming, it’s just a case of thinking the process carefully through, that’s all.
It makes information more digestible
Learning skills is in human nature. We need to learn skills to grow, develop and adjust from a young age. However, it seems counterintuitive to learn all your skills from a set of books. Indeed, young children learn through practice and copying the adults around them. It would be foolish to assume that people change their approach when they grow older. Mimicking gestures and processes is an innate mechanism. Consequently, compiling information in a format that focuses on the copying part of the learning process can facilitate skills acquisition. The adult education sector can partner with a professional video production company to turn reading materials into videos. Concepts are more easily digestible and approachable when they are shown rather than read, which can speed up learning for adults. Similarly, when showing isn’t an option, telling remains a valuable tool. Let’s not forget that people grew up in a storytelling environment before books existed. As such, podcasts are a suitable alternative to videos.
It brings new incentives
Modern classrooms have been using gamification with their students of all ages. For children, gamification used to be in the form of a physical reward, such as a star or a small present, to mark successes. Nowadays, teachers rely on virtual rewards, using apps to allocate points, badges, and creative avatars. Gamification apps can be equally effective for adults, as they provide a new sense of motivation. Don’t we all want to win? Earning badges and points can encourage adults to prolong learning sessions and memorise new knowledge quicker and better.
Knowledge is always available
How did school go for you?
As a child, you needed to revise your book-based lessons before a test. As an adult, the same principle may not be suitable for your day-to-day life. Ultimately, it’s hard to make time for learning when you’ve got to manage work and a household. Consequently, digital tech makes knowledge accessible whenever and wherever you need it, whether you want to listen to the latest school podcasts during your commute or use the app to refresh your memory. Digitalising knowledge adds flexibility.
In a world where remote teaching has become the new normal, it’s essential to maintain the technology even after turning the covid page. Digital technology makes learning more manageable for millions of adults who need to upskill. Whether they want to integrate into a new culture or boost their career progression, digital teaching makes their goal possible.
When your business is operating at maximum efficiency levels, your productivity should increase naturally. As a result, you can boost your company’s profitability by enhancing efficiency at every level. However, finding the most effective ways to improve your efficiency can be tricky. To give your business the best chance of success in 2021, take a look at these top tips for maximizing efficiency now:
Set Firm Goals
Unless you have clear goals in place, you won’t be able to monitor or optimize your efficiency levels. When you know what you’re working towards, you’re able to implement effective strategies that will help you to achieve your targets in the quickest timeframe. By using SMART goals, for example, you can ensure that your business targets are specific, measurable, achievable, time-bound, and realistic.
When you automate business functions, you can reduce the amount of time it tasks for tasks to be completed. In addition to this, increased automation eradicates potential inaccuracies caused by human errors and reduces the need for staff, thus reducing your costs.
People tend to assume that automation is only relevant in specific industries, such as manufacturing, but this isn’t the case at all. Every business can benefit from implementing automated processes, regardless of what sector you operate in. From invoicing and marketing to customer service and quality control, there are numerous ways you can increase automation within your business.
If you aren’t outsourcing already, it’s time to start. When you outsource certain tasks or functions, you can operate more efficiently. Outsourcing gives you access to specialist expertise that you don’t have in-house, but it also enables your core staff to focus on their main roles. By taking advantage of outsourcing opportunities, you can also minimize the need for full-time, in-house staff, which can enable you to operate with fewer outgoings.
There are plenty of ways to incorporate outsourcing into your business model. Using third-party managed IT services or professional translation services is a form of outsourcing, for example. Similarly, working with an SEO agency or a content production company enables you to outsource important business functions and improve your efficiency levels.
When your To-Do list is getting longer by the minute, don not simply work through it starting at the top. Instead, grade tasks based on how important and time-sensitive they are. By doing so, you can tackle the high-value tasks first and leave the less important issues until last. Using scheduling software or a task management platform is a good way to plan your working day, as it enables you to modify your schedule quickly and grade tasks according to their priority.
Becoming More Efficient
People tend to assume that maximizing efficiency means working harder but it doesn’t have to. By altering the way you work, you can significantly increase your efficiency and productivity, without working harder. In fact, you might find that making modifications to how you work allows you to reduce your working hours while still boosting your efficiency levels!
It goes without saying that in order for a business to attract more customers, continue to grow, and make more profit, they obviously need to devise an effective marketing campaign. This is something which is even more important when one considers the state of the economy around the world at present. Businesses don’t have as much money to spend; therefore, it is crucial to get their advertising plan right the first time around. Moreover, people don’t have much money to spend and therefore marketing methods need to be even cleverer and well thought through.
Sadly, there is no magic formula and essentially whether a strategy will work or not all depends on the business in question. Every method in the book needs to be taken, adapted and edited in order to suit the company. The best idea is to go for something which seems to be successful across a lot of businesses and industries. There are not a lot of options which actually boast this desirable quality. Nevertheless, one that does is the utilisation of promotional products. This is basically where a company chooses to produce products with their name printed on, they then distribute these as gifts to potential consumers.
The key to the success of this strategy all lies within what product is chosen. There are lots of different items a business can choose from however one which seems to have a whole host of advantages to its name is the use of promotional bags. This blog post will reveal what the benefits linked to this product in particular are.
The first reason is that promotional bags are relatively cheap to produce and distribute, especially in relation to some of the other promotional products which a company can choose from. In fact, custom made bags are something which has decreased in price significantly as of late, especially when buying in bulk. It is important how crucial it is to highlight the fact that choosing a low-cost product is pivotal at present due to the recession and the need to have a strategy which is as low risk as it can possibly be.
Another reason for choosing promotional bags is that it will add to the credibility of the company. This is because more and more people are caring about the environment and wanting to look after their planet. If they see that a company is distributing reusable bags then the company will go up in their estimations and they will feel more inclined to use it.
Plus, reusable bags are great for exhibitions. If you’ve been looking at marquees for a promotional event or trade show, giving out a reusable branded bag can help people to keep all of their advertising gifts and brochures in one place while also advertising your business.
A final and highly important point to note is that this is an item which has massive scope for potential. At the end of the day, if an individual uses their bag to go shopping then there is no telling how many people they will pass and thus how many people will see the details of the company in question.
At the end of the day, it is really not hard to see why so many individuals are choosing to implement a strategy based around promotional bags.
When it comes to your business, you should always be thinking about how you can improve it. This is going to mean that you take it to the next level as and when it is required. But, how do you do this? Well, we’re sure that you’ve done it before unless your company is relatively new, but things are a little bit different with the circumstances that we are in right now. In this article though, we are going to be taking a look at some of the requirements when taking your business to the next level. If you would like to find out more about this, keep reading down below.
The Best Employees
The first thing that you are going to need is the best employees. You are going to need people who are willing to dedicate their time to helping you build your business up, and if you don’t have that right now this is going to be a problem. Your business is made up of many different parts, but your employees are a vital one and you are never going to be any better than your worst employee. Everyone needs to be working hard and continually doing everything in their power to get you where you need to be on the market.
If you think that someone isn’t pulling their weight, you have two options. First, you can talk to them, see what the issue is and if there is anything that you can do to help. If this doesn’t work, then the only option you have left is to replace them with someone who will give your business everything that they have professionally.
The Right Product
Another thing that you’re going to need is the right product. You need to have demand for whatever you are selling, and you need to make sure that you’ve got everything you need to provide it. For example, if your business sells evaporative condensers, you need to make sure you’ve got a market for them. When you find it, you need to market heavily in their direction to let them know that you have what they need. If there isn’t any demand, then we suggest you find a way to generate some sooner rather than later
The Right Idea
Finally, you’ve got to have the right idea. When you’re moving your business forward, there is always going to be an idea in mind, and it’s got to be a good one. Without one of these, you aren’t going to have any hope of getting where you are headed. Take your time coming up with your plan of action so that you know it’s the best possible path for your business.
We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that are required when it comes to taking your business to the next level. It is only going to be as complicated as you make it, but if you take your time and give it everything you’ve got, you’re going to be just fine. We wish you the best of luck.
Many people dream of starting their own business, they want to work for themselves, they have a great idea that they know people would use or want and they want to make loads of money for themselves without having to give it to someone else. If you’re one of these people who dream of starting your own business, then what is it that is stopping you?
The answer is nothing, and while you might be able to think up plenty of excuses to keep putting it off, in reality, the only thing that is stopping you from achieving your dream is you. If this year has taught us anything it is that life is short and you never know what is around the corner. Who could have predicted that 2020 would be spent mostly in lockdown, social distancing, unable to travel and in fear of a failing economy? It sounds like a disastrous time to start a business but in fact, this pandemic is not an excuse and is as good a time as any to start your business.
You have the time
One of the biggest reasons people give for not following their dreams or one of the things that people complain they never have enough of is time. But this pandemic has given us time. Whether you have been laid off, furloughed, working from home or carrying on your job as normal, it has still meant that there has been less to do and far more time spent in the house. While it looks like there is the hope of a vaccine now, it doesn’t mean the pandemic is over so if there are more lockdowns then perhaps it's time to use them wisely to work on your business.
You have the resources
The other thing available right now is a talent as well as other businesses who need work. For example, there are small business owners who could help you out, from electricians to logistics consultants, there are people ready and waiting to get their teeth stuck into something good and help you get your business off the ground. There are also so many talented people who have lost their jobs and are looking for work and could be an asset to your business.
There is a demand
While the world has changed significantly and some things are no longer as important as they once were, on the other hand, there are things such as face masks, PPE, virtual meetings and deliveries which have never been so popular. If your business can help to meet the demand that the pandemic has caused then it's the perfect time to start.
You can adapt
The great thing about starting your business now is that you can adapt to the new world straight away. You won’t need to make changes as you can have the restrictions and guidelines in place from the off. Your business can be something that doesn't just exist in a post-covid world but can thrive and help people adapt to a new way of living.
Running a successful marketing campaign is defined by quite a few parameters. Length, breadth, growth, etc., which are all extremely variable. And in the modern day and age, it seems easier than ever to get a successful marketing campaign off the ground. After all, there’s a lot you can do with just an internet connection and a platform to make good use of!
So who knows when you’re going to hit success with your brand?! But even with your relative prowess in the digital world, is your marketing campaign running as smoothly as you want it to? And if it isn’t, even when you’ve tried to up the ante and your efforts, are you sure that your marketing campaign truly suits you? Let’s go through a few points below to double check.
It Depends on What You’re Aiming For
Of course, what you’re aiming for in your business is always going to be at the crux of how you run a marketing campaign. You need to know, ahead of time, what you want out of the period ahead, and what success is going to look like when it’s finished running.
Will it mean plenty of inbound visitors? Will it mean ranking at the top of a search engine? Will it mean running a lengthy content campaign, to really build up a log of articles to ensure that SEO strategy really goes off? Simply put, to ensure your marketing campaign suits you, decide what you want before you put anything in place.
It Depends on the Type of Business
The type of business you’re running should always dictate how you set up your advertising efforts. For example, let’s say you’ve just started up a law practice of your own. How are you going to attract people to your business? Running ads on Facebook pages alone won’t score success here, unlike in an ecommerce business, so you’re going to need specialised services in the form of something like Elite Lawyer Management.
Some business leaders just aren’t cut out for running communications as well, simply because they didn’t train this way, and that’s important to remember. At the same time, dipping in and out of various marketing efforts could be a waste of time and money, and in the early stages of establishing your business in the market, this could spell very bad news for you.
It Depends Who You’re Trying to Reach
Finally, you need to think about your audience as well. Who are you trying to reach? Where are they? What do they need from the market you’re within? All three of these questions need to determine how your marketing campaign is set up and run, to ensure it entirely suits you. When you can imagine your average customer, you’ll have something to design content around, and that’ll give you a real launch pad.
A marketing campaign needs to be entirely your own; make sure you know what you’re doing, who you’re reaching, and who you are.
If you are a business owner, you surely start the day with a question: how can I do more? Of course, what we want is not to work longer hours and end up affecting our personal lives, but to be more effective with the resources and talents we have. Productivity has not only an impact on the objectives we reach and performance of our business, but also our stress levels. So what is it that we can do to work better? Here we share some tips that you can apply from tomorrow onwards.
Plan each workday
Before leaving the office, review your schedule and set your to-do list for the next day. Determine which are the priorities, give them a schedule and be realistic about the time available. It is better to move slowly and steadily than to remain stuck in the same place. Look at what is going wrong in the office and if things need to be changed. Many businesses fail to see things that are going wrong. So whether it's talking about updates to your technology or being more productive with your energy, there are things to think about. Perhaps you need to look at upgrading your Fuel Tanks, or maybe you need to change your phone systems, planning what needs to be changed will make things more productive.
Multitasking is a myth, and we can't all be good at everything. Some studies show how this way of working can reduce productivity by up to 40%. In small and even medium-sized businesses, it is very common for one or more people to do tasks of a very different nature throughout the day. Still, it can become a risk to productivity if not properly addressed. Focusing on specific objectives is a sure way to increase the productivity of your company. Have your team delegate.
With constant meetings, social media, and instant messaging, it's hard to stay focused for more than half an hour on a single task. To avoid distractions, establish work blocks and respect them as if it were the presentation to your most important client. Move your smartphone away from your desk or silence alerts from applications such as social media. And if you are working on something very important, let your team know that you cannot be disturbed unless it is an emergency.
Forget about repetitive tasks.
One of the biggest challenges is repetitive, time-consuming jobs that distract you and your employees from those that are much more important to the business, like selling products and winning customers. An example of finances, and it is that recording or controlling all invoices, expenses, or payments is a task in itself. The better you look after your finances, the more chance you have of being able to put money into other areas, such as social media. To make your life as an entrepreneur easier, you need to tackle such routine tasks to increase productivity properly. There are dozens of ways to save time and gain productivity in the short and medium-term, such as direct debit of payments to suppliers in a bank account and even immediate payment with a company card.
In an age where we have unlimited access to pretty much everything you can imagine, it’s easy to become tempted to learn as much as possible.
Maybe you feel as though becoming an expert in many fields will benefit your career or business prospects? And in some ways, you’re not wrong to think that- having knowledge in several areas will set you aside from the crowd as well as giving you the personal gratification of learning something new.
However, there are several reasons why it’s often good, and not self-limiting to become a hyper specialist.
Here are some of them..
You get to become an expert in your field
One of the best reasons to focus on one or two areas of expertise is that the more you invest in your knowledge the better.
Imagine if an athlete decided that they wanted to spread themselves across more areas of the athletics industry. They decided they want to train, coach, advertise sporting events, and run the ticket desk, too. While all of these things are jobs that are related to the athletics field, the more this athlete does that will take them away from their training and participation in events, the less time and energy they have to focus on the things that set them apart from the others.
It’s the same if you’re in marketing. You decide you also want to try your hand at the web design, content writing, accounts, and sales as well. You’ll be spreading yourself too thinly and potentially missing out on some key aspects of the ever-evolving world of marketing. Staying focused on this one area will mean you get to invest all of your energy in becoming the best.
You can offer something unique
Imagine you’re at a restaurant and the server gives you a 10 page menu to choose your meal from. Not only are you more likely to end up plagued by indecision, but the choice you make may not result in the best quality meal for your time and money. It’s the same in business. If you offer too much, you’re not going to offer the best quality out there.
However, if you head to the sandwich bar three doors down the road who offer one meat, one vegetarian, and one fish option with only three kinds of bread, you know that you’re going to get something a bit more special. This expert specialism is what keeps people coming back. Sure, not everybody wants a sandwich all the time, but when they do, they’ll know exactly where to go.
It can get even more specific than that, even. Medifit Design and Construct are a great example of a business that takes something that people look for (design agency) with a specialism (for healthcare practices). People looking for those particular services may be able to find a company that will do a good job designing their medical practice, but perhaps none as good as one that will be able to deliver the same attention to detail as a specialist company.
This is why becoming hyper specialist isn’t limiting.
Instagram - a platform which, at first, was used to show others a glimpse of our daily lives online via our photos, has now turned into a channel that engages a billion users. Since its explosion in popularity, many brands have turned to the platform to build their social presence and engage with their consumers in a bid to drive their outreach and profits. With 80 percent of users following at least one business on the channel, it is easy to see why so many companies are keen to grow their accounts. If you are a small business who wants to learn how to make an online community, expand your account, and grow your following, follow these three tips and build your presence up the right way.
Post consistently You may have heard this one a million times already, but there is a reason why this gold nugget of advice keeps popping up over and over again - it really works! The more often and regularly you post, the more likes, and consequently more followers you will get, and accounts that post at least seven times or more throughout an entire week gain followers and likes faster than those who don’t. Furthermore, having a regular and steady flow of content also works in your favour when it comes to Instagram’s famous algorithm, with consistency being a key element to getting your posts up to the top of the timeline due to more shares and engagement with your followers. Therefore for your brand to see the best results, plan your posts ahead of time, and already have content to last you at least a week. This way, you won’t be rushing to get a last-minute photo, and you won’t risk the chance of not having enough material to post, causing you to be irregular, which could have a big impact on your following and engagement.
Engage and converse
It’s no use creating beautiful visuals and captivating captions if you aren’t going to engage with your audience. The platform is a great way to make users aware of your business through conversation, especially as more and more people are using social media as a point of contact for many brands. Be open and communicative, and supportive and allow a discussion to get going, whether it’s about serious queries, customer care, random questions, or just to chat and to thank those who are praising your brand and products. Engaging with as many comments and questions as possible will make the difference when it comes to gaining more followers, converting your audience into customers, and improving your relationship with pre-existing customers. By engaging with them, your customers will see that you care about them and feel a more personal connection with you, creating more trust.
Know when to post
You can have the best post in the world, but if you share it when it’s the middle of the night for most of your audience or when most of them are at work, chances are they aren’t going to see it. Use the free analytics tool that can be found under the Followers section in business accounts to figure out the best times for you to post. By using a targeted approach, if you post at optimal times for your audience, you are likely to get more engagement. Look at what has and hasn’t worked for you in the past regarding how much engagement you got at various times to allow you to plan how you share your content more effectively. Alternatively, use a scheduling tool to automatically publish your content during the times when your followers are most engaged.
The subject of 'Free Followers' is one that comes up often, but spending your money on getting those 'fake followers' might well leave you both out of pocket as well as those followers, and this guide will tell you why.
Outsourcing crucial business processes is a popular business strategy that can improve business efficiency. It refers to the process of using third-party service providers to perform certain functions. In the past, outsourcing services were a reserve for large, multinational corporations. In the modern landscape, businesses of all sizes can enjoy the benefits of outsourcing.
In many cases, outsourcing is not only a business optimization strategy but a necessity. It’s often the only feasible way to scale a business, manage operations, or launch a product. When functions are outsourced to the right team, a company can enhance its efficiency and realize several compelling benefits.
Helps a Company Focus on Core Processes
The most significant reason why a business should outsource is to free up its time and resources for crucial processes. A business owner can spend time doing what they’re good at while everything else is taken care of by experts.
If a company is selling digital products, the focus should be on closing sales, not enhancing the site’s security features. The issues of site security can be outsourced to Managed IT Support providers.
One thing that slows business down is entrepreneurs thinking that they can do everything by themselves. Drop this mentality and see your business grow. If you’re not good at managing finances or performing human resource tasks, outsource them.
Gives a Business Access to a Larger Talent Pool
Hiring an employee for specific functions, like payments and finance, limits the talent a business can get. In most cases, this approach requires a company to compromise. With outsourcing, a company gets access to an unlimited pool of talent from all over the world. It, therefore, makes more sense to expand your search when looking for outsourcing services.
Outsourcers have access to a big pool of skills and tools that you may need now or later. They can quickly solve any arising problem for which you don’t have the right skill set. In-house employees don’t provide this kind of flexibility.
Reduced Overhead Expenses and Labour Costs
It's expensive to hire and train staff, especially where short projects are concerned. Temporary staff also rarely produce quality work as per the expectations of a company. Teaching processes and workflow to employees may sometimes entail investing in their education to enhance their business skills.
Outsourcing allows your business to convert fixed labor costs into variable costs. This means that the only expenses it incurs are for the consumed services. There's, therefore, more staffing flexibility that doesn't exist with in-house employees.
Outsourcers are also responsible for all licenses and accreditations their work requires. They stay up-to-date with industry changes and trends while constantly developing their skills to enable them to work smarter.
Employee turnover is risky and costly. When a staff member quits, all the money used in training and hiring goes with them. Turnover can disrupt operations and cause costly problems.
Outsourcing provides consistency and efficiency for your business. You don't have to worry about the interruption of operations or financial risks.
Outsourcing business functions is not always an easy task but is worth it in the long-run. It improves business efficiency by allowing you to focus on the most crucial aspects of business, like nurturing leads and closing deals.
Some outsourcing tasks may be occasional, but they provide a greater financial advantage than hiring temporary staff. If your business has been affected by high staff turnover, consider outsourcing some of the functions.
When it comes to payment, you don’t want there to be any awkwardness. The more you can do to improve your invoicing process the better. Whether your company works with individual clients or other businesses, ideally you want to streamline the invoicing process and make it as clear and easy for everyone involved. The smartest way to do this is by investing in invoicing software or apps, and they will take care of a lot of the work for you. Once you start to scale your business, you can also outsource your invoice processing. For now, here are ten smart ways to improve your invoicing process.
Invest in invoicing software
Consider investing in the best invoicing software for small businesses. These will all include automated features making it a lot easier for you to bill your clients and have them pay on time. You’ll also have a record on the cloud of all the billing information automatically. Using invoicing software or apps is also much more secure for both parties and will give your clients confidence. For small businesses, it’s much easier to let technology take care of this one.
Open a business account
What you can do, however, is open a business account. Whether you use an app or take email invoices, you should use a business account for all transactions. It’s much safer to keep your personal and company assets separate, and this will protect you legally as well. A business account will also give you more credibility and make a better impression on your clients.
Build a good relationship with clients
Whether you’re dealing with B2B invoicing or providing a service to individuals you need to build a good relationship with your clients. Mutual trust is vital and you need to treat your clients with respect and professionalism at all times. This isn’t a backup for a signed agreement, however, but the better your client relationship is, the more likely the invoicing process will go smoothly.
Write effective terms
In order to successfully invoice a customer, you need to learn how to write invoice terms. Invoicing software will have features that will help you do this, but you need to come to an agreement and ensure your client has understood. Ideally, you should clearly outline any hidden charges such as late payment or cancellation fees. Be sure that your client has agreed on your rate, and whether this is to be paid hourly, daily, or weekly, etc, and clearly define any deadlines.
Invoice at the right time
Believe it or not, some business experts say there is a best time to invoice clients. It can depend on the type of service your business offers, however. If you offer a quote before the work starts this encourages your client to trust you, but you could end up underestimating costs. Some companies invoice at each milestone in more long-term projects. It’s probably better to invoice at the beginning of the week to get them paid on time, or at the end of the month to help your client keep track of payments.
Share data with clients on the cloud
You should try to keep your clients in the loop especially if you’re offering more long-term services or projects. If you need to share any files or information you can try using project management or freelancing apps. Here are some of the best apps to share files securely for small businesses. If you use the cloud, you can grant access to whoever you like at any time from anywhere.
Almost all decent invoicing software will allow you to automate reminders. This is especially important if you’re dealing with several clients. You might even forget about the deadline for payments and clients commonly do. Set up automated reminders on your invoicing software as soon as you agree on the terms. You can then choose a date further in the future for the reminders to go out automatically.
Late payment charges
There are many reasons why you should charge late payment fees. It’s your livelihood at the end of the day and you don’t want to lose profits. Charging late payment fees or cancellation fees will motivate your clients to pay you on time. You need to be careful here to clearly point out that they will be charged for late payments. As long as you are transparent about all prices and possible extra fees from the beginning, the customer will more likely be happy. Even if they do complain about late payment charges, you will have written records of your exchange to back it up.
Multiple payment options
You could consider offering multiple payment options. This might be advantageous if you run an eCommerce, for instance. Multiple payment gateways allow shoppers to use their favorite payment method, whether it be credit card, Paypal, or ACH payments from their smartphone. If you have the means to do this, it could improve the customer experience on your website. Offering multiple payment options also makes your business appear more legitimate and creates trust in consumers.
Outsource invoice processing
There are several reasons to outsource invoice processing. You might have started out managing your own payments and finances but now you want to scale your business. The more your business grows, the more clients you will have, and this can only mean more invoices. If you outsource to invoice processing services they’ll have the resources and the capacity to cope with this rise in demand.
Outsourcing also saves you time and money. You will save on the overheads, salary, sick pay, and all the other costs of hiring an in-house team. You’ll also be able to increase productivity and spend more time focusing on growing your business.
If you improve your invoicing process, you’ll develop a better relationship with clients creating good word of mouth. The more quickly and efficiently you do things the better. Open a business account and let the latest in invoicing tools and technology do the work for you.
Starting your new business is a journey that will take you through many ups and downs. That said, it is exciting and one which is extremely rewarding. Plus, many people say working for themselves is the best thing they have ever done. When starting your business, there are many things to consider: branding, finances to websites, and funding. Below is an overview of a few things you should consider when starting your own business.
Creating your website
Will you be making your website yourself or hire a professional to make one for you? Depending on your requirements, a website will help bring in new customers to your business and allow you to appeal to them in a different way. Before starting your website, make sure you put a plan together of what you will need on it and the type of website it will be, whether eCommerce, or a brochure-like site.
When running your business, it is important to stay on top of your finances. Using an account package, you will be able to track how you are doing instantly through a click of a button. Not only that, but you will also be able to send invoices and keep an eye on your expenses. By using digital accounting, you can easily allow your accountant access to your books without having to visit them in person. This will enable them to log in and see how you are performing without leaving their office to meet you; it can all be done over a phone call.
How will you brand yourself?
Logos, brand colors, and marketing materials should all be thought about before launching your company. Your logo is important, as everyone will see first and give them the first impression of your business. Done cheaply, it can be detrimental to your brand. Brand colors can portray a lot about you; if you are a luxury brand, you may want more gold’s and silvers used instead of bright funky colors. By hiring a graphic designer, they can help you with all of this.
Testing your idea in the real world
If your idea is completely new, how do you know it will work? Before investing heavily in your idea, it’s worth creating some prototypes and seeing how people respond to it. This is a great way to get actual feedback and to get other people’s opinions. Take note of what people are saying is you can use this to develop your idea and make it even better.
Will you need investment?
Will your business plan require you to need significant investment, or can you gradually grow your business? If you need investment, have you considered how you are going to raise funds? Make sure you do your research and put together a solid business plan to explain each step of your journey and how the money will be spent. Angel investors, bank loans, competitions, friends, and family, there are many ways for you to pitch and bring in some funding for your idea.
We’re all constantly being told that Business-2-Business (B2B) marketing is changing and that we need new marketing strategies to cope with this. We’re being told that the modern buyer doesn’t respond well to the B2B sales funnels of old and their buying habits are so mysterious you’re going to need a crystal ball or psychic octopus to continue to operate in the field. The good people over at American Image Displays have the only strategy you'll need.
The focus of doing business, regardless of the stature of your company is all about getting more. They say you need more clients, more money, and more everything! And this means that there comes a point where we just can feel overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of it all. When it comes to working smarter in the business world, we've got to find ways to get ourselves out there but when we are a small company or it's just us, we can struggle to keep every plate spinning. With this in mind, what are the best approaches to guarantee that your small business can reach these outer limits?
Outsourcing (It Isn’t As Expensive as You Think)
Whether it’s an SEO expert or someone to help you revise your website copy, outsourcing is something that every business, big or small, is taking advantage of. When you start to outsource, you can begin to see the wood for the trees. When we do too much, we can let certain components fall by the wayside. By outsourcing things that we find difficult, especially in the marketing world, it will force us to focus on things that we can do better. When it comes to search engine optimisation because it is such an evolving component of marketing, it can be a struggle to keep on top of the latest rules when it comes to Google's algorithm. But this is where having someone who dedicates their livelihood to this will make it far easier for you.
Work With Other Companies
Extending the olive branch is a fantastic way to go about doing business. When you start to work with other companies, by either having guest bloggers or even vendors, when you start to work with businesses in industries that complement yours but also share a target audience, you aren't treading on each other's toes. You can set up a referral program or offer package deals, and it's these things that don't just help you expand your reach but it makes you reputable by association.
When you start to work with other companies networking becomes a well-oiled machine as part of your business strategy. Every meeting is the potential to network, and when you start to reach out and let them know that your business is open and what you can do for them this can be as effective as a social media post. But when you are networking, it's important to remember that there is an etiquette to it. Don't be obnoxious. When you start to build a business, it's very easy to get blindsided by the money and you start to do everybody as potential profit. It's far better to be a business leader who is marketing to help others rather than yourself.
Simple, but incredibly effective. These three components can expand your business reach in insurmountable ways. Marketing can be perceived as a very selfish endeavour to promote their own efforts. But by reaching out to others and asking for help, you are naturally beginning to network in a very organic way. This means that you will have a good reputation. And as we all know, your reputation can precede you.
All business owners want to score more clients, but the route to achieving that goal isn’t always clear. Sometimes you need to think outside of the box if you want to succeed, but usually, you just need to follow a set of straightforward ideas.
With that in mind, there are some tips and tricks below that should assist you in identifying, contacting, and winning those new clients. Regardless of your business's nature and what you do to turn a profit, the same rules should apply. Just tailor this guidance for your industry, and you should have no issues.
Research new marketplaces
So, you sell products or services to customers and clients in a few specific industries. Now is the time to look at those products or services and work out whether there are other marketplaces for them.
Perhaps you sell products in a certain market that could also be useful for companies in the automotive industry or something similar? You might have to redesign your packaging for companies in that marketplace, but it’s worth the cost if you open your business up to thousands of new potential clients.
All companies have to expand and grow if they want to succeed in the thriving business world, and research is the key to effective expansion. So, get started as soon as possible!
Give free gifts to potential clients
When you identify a list of potential clients who should be interested in your products or services, it's vital you work hard to get their attention. While you can cold call or send letters or emails, sometimes it’s better to try something different.
Sending free samples or gifts to your potential clients should help to create the best first impression. You could also offer to turn up at their business premises and demonstrate how your products or services could save their firm time and money.
Everyone loves getting something for free, and potential clients who receive gifts are far more likely to listen to your pitch. Food for thought?
Know your stuff!
The most important thing you need to consider when looking for new clients is your ability to answer questions with the best possible answers. Clients will always want to discuss your products or services, and you need to know your stuff!
It's all well and good to identify a list of potential clients and send gifts, and you might have a great business, but if you can't explain the virtues of giving you money, it's probably not going to happen. You need an effective sales pitch, and you need to practice it a LOT.
There are lots of articles online that will help you to write a decent sales pitch, and you can always practice it with members of your team before heading out and pitching to clients.
Now you have a better idea about the things you need to do to score more clients for your business this winter, it’s time to set the wheels in motion. Develop your strategy, conduct your research, and make the investment of time and money. If you pay attention to the tips from this post, there’s a reasonable chance you’ll avoid any mishaps. Good luck!
People who hate their jobs tend to move on and look for something else. Some even change their careers when they’re feeling unfulfilled by work.
But what do you do if you love your career, but need a new challenge? The good news is that there are a lot of ways you can turn things around and inject some excitement into your job.
Here is some useful advice for taking on a new challenge, without changing your career.
Move to a new location
f you’re starting to outgrow your current workplace, moving to a new location could help keep things fresh for you. A change in location not only helps you realise new career opportunities but opportunities for your personal life too. Perhaps you want to move closer to home to be with family, or even move to an exciting new city or country?
Wherever you decide to relocate, you’re going to need to get on the job hunt. Check out cmr.com.au for some exciting opportunities that could invigorate your career. A change of scenery brings all kinds of changes, and could be just what you need to shake things up.
Start chasing that promotion
Perhaps a part of your frustration comes from outgrowing your role? When your job starts becoming routine and easy, it could be a sign that you’re ready for more. Start preparing for a promotion so that you’re ready to go for it when the opportunities come your way.
Volunteer your time and skills to help others
If you’ve always felt like you could do more with your skills and expertise, why not use what you have to do some good for others? If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, tit’s that community values are more important than ever. There are several ways you can use your skills to help others, including mentoring, pro bono work and volunteering to help charities and good causes. This can bring a lot of fulfilment to your role, and could even help you discover new opportunities that could help you choose a different path for your career.
Take on a side hustle
Side hustles are a great way to develop other interests that you have, without sacrificing your career. There are inspiring stories of people who’ve embarked on incredible new ventures, from starting fitness businesses to their own pizza brand! It’s possible to be passionate about more than one thing at a time, so why not give it a try so that you can get more out of your career.
If you’re dissatisfied with your current situation, then it’s time to make a change. Even if you love your career, it doesn’t mean you have to stay exactly where you are - there are ways you can develop and grow tbring exciting change to both your career and your life outside work. There are all kinds of challenges out there waiting for you, so which one will you take on first?
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.
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.