Establishing a company is the start of a very exciting journey. If you have the passion and the work ethic then there’s no reason why you can’t come out on top, but that being said, there are various other things that you need to think about if you want to build and develop your small business successfully.
Set Goals and Have a Vision
When you are striving to take your company to that next level, it’s vital that you set yourself some key goals. You also need to think about the hurdles that might end up hindering any progress you make along the way as well. If you are able to set reachable key points in your business development, then this will give you the chance to measure your progress and it can also help you to keep track of your past achievements. Another bonus of setting goals is that it helps you to clarify your focus and it pushes you to challenge yourself too. It’s vital that you assess where you would like to obtain your business growth too. Do you want to attract new customers from a certain demographic? Or is your strategy to try and expand into another market sector? If you want to expand into manufacturing, then consider looking into fuel in a box.
Employ Great People
Believe it or not, a huge part of taking your business to that next level is finding people who are skilled enough, and who have the right experience to get you to where you need to be. This may mean that you need to hire a senior person who can take your business forward, or it may mean hiring a director who can lead a set area of your company. Either way, if you want to grow then you have to make sure that you are willing to delegate. It’s a good idea for you to identify the jobs that you don’t actually need to take care of yourself, as this will help you to tackle key areas for your business development.
Introduce More Offerings
Another fantastic way for you to build your business would be for you to try and expand your offerings. This could mean expanding your product range or it could even mean trying to further the services that you provide. For example, if you sell high-quality bathroom mirrors then why not expand your range so that you can also sell bathroom furniture as well?
Consider Your Premises
A good company needs a good location. It’s vital that you make sure that you have enough office space to expand and that you do everything you can to try and make room for any future expansions you might want to make. If you do this then you will soon find that you can come out on top and that you can also help your business to grow much more as a result. If you want to help yourself, then plan out where you’d like to be in 5 years and then find a rental space to suit your needs.
Displaying your brand at industry events can be a brilliant way to get your name out there. An exhibition stand enables you to showcase your products and services, boost your brand awareness and provide a touchpoint to meet and capture details of potential clients.
But at a busy exhibition, there may be dozens or even hundreds of stands competing for attention. If yours isn’t distinctive enough, you will struggle to attract much traffic. To get the best results from industry events, you need a stand that makes an impact.
Here are seven tips for designing a truly distinctive exhibition stand to promote your business.
Before you start designing your exhibition stand, it is essential you are clear on your goals. Ask yourself what results you would like to see from this event, precisely who you are targeting, and the message you want to get across with your display. Use the answers to these questions to inform your stand design.
When displaying at an exhibition, you often get minimal space to work with. For this reason, it’s essential that you make the optimum use of every square foot. Ensure there are no physical obstructions to entry or your footfall will suffer. Confirm the dimensions with event organisers in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises. Check if there is a maximum stand height. If not, the sky’s the limit. Building a high stand will make you literally tower over your competitors.
With so many different stands for them to visit, you need to grab people’s attention straight away. Don’t make your display too text-heavy. Use captivating imagery and colour schemes to draw people in. You can explain what you’re all about after they come to you.
A strategically-lit stand can enhance your aesthetic appeal while allowing you to bestow whatever ambience and mood upon your stand that you wish. For example, if you’re a technology company, you may find recessed lighting makes your display look suitably modern and contemporary. Use spotlighting to showcase a particular product or service, while coloured lighting can give your stand a unique appeal.
There are so many options for materials when it comes to building your stand, and this is an area where you can really shine. For technology firms, a more metallic design will create a contemporary atmosphere, whereas companies in the medical or pharmaceutical industry may favour a more smooth, clean plastic look. Decide what is right for your industry and target market.
Interactive technology can be a huge draw when attracting attendees to your stand, as well as making it easier for you to capture contact details. Many stands display tablets where visitors can easily input their details to enter a competition or subscribe to product updates.
Every step of the stand design process should be carried out with your target audience in mind. Although your stand should look compelling, the most important thing is that it both attracts the people you want to attract, and sends the right message across at all times.
If you are unsure where to begin, you may wish to consider getting in touch with a design agency that specialises in creating bespoke exhibition stands.
Covid-19 has had a huge impact on businesses across the world, forcing many to close their doors, and even more to drop employees who desperately need the work. Those with the resources to turn their business into a remote one have managed to survive, and this process has shown their owners that working like this can provide a lot of different benefits. To start, having your team work from home will be much cheaper than hosting them all in an office, and there are many more reasons to go down this route. But what will you need to kick this off for your business on a permanent basis?
Work Management Tools
One of the biggest challenges that comes with having a remote team is managing the work that everyone has to do. With everyone working under their own steam, you will need to ensure that they know exactly what they need to do each day, while also having the tools to monitor their progress. Websites like Asana can provide you with everything you need to assign work to your team and make sure that they are doing it on time. Many companies are finding that systems like this can work better than the ones they used back in their offices.
There wouldn’t be much point in moving your team over to remote work if you are going to keep your offices open, especially if you don’t plan on using them again. Of course, though, you will still need a business address and phone number for your clients and customers to contact you on. Solving this problem is easier than ever before, with companies like Virtual Headquarters offering forwarding address and professional telephone answering services. This will give you the chance to maintain the illusion that your business is operating from a single office, and this could even be at a better address than your old office.
Keeping on contact with your team is going to be vital when they’re all working from home. Keeping track of their work, making sure everyone is happy, and simply knowing that you can get in touch are all very important, but you need to provide your team with the tools to do this effectively. Video chat services like Zoom have become extremely popular in recent months, while instant messaging services can also be extremely useful. Many of these tools can be used for free without having to compromise on quality, making it nice and easy to keep in touch with your employees.
Working from home is going to become a lot more popular over the next few years. More and more businesses are seeing the benefits of this work, and it’s getting easy for normal people to take advantage of the tools that make it easier. Of course, though, you will still have to work hard to get your business into the right position, and this could mean having to learn quite a bit along the way.
A business launch takes a huge amount of time, effort, and planning, so for most entrepreneurs, plans usually stretch months if not years into the future. Such measures are entirely sensible; taking the time to ensure everything is in place prior to launch and that the business will be starting off on a strong footing is absolutely advantageous. However, for those planning to launch a business in the latter half of 2020, the landscape onto which they planned to launch has now suddenly changed beyond almost all recognition.
The impact of coronavirus
Much has been said about the impact of coronavirus on businesses, even with many country’s governments doing all they can to shore up support for companies. What’s more, the problems look to be far from temporary, given the scale of the recession that most financial experts seem to predict.
The vast majority of the focus, however, has been dedicated to established businesses; very little has been said about the fledgling businesses that were still in the planning phase at the time of the coronavirus outbreak.
Unfortunately, businesses in the early phase of life face the same challenges as established companies - and more still, given they do not have name recognition or an established customer base to lean on.
So is cancelling a launch the only option?
Many prospective business owners may assess the ongoing situation and assume that there is little point in opening their business under the current circumstances, and shelve their plans with the intent to wait for better times.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case. While businesses connected to the most affected sectors - such as travel and hospitality - could potentially benefit from a delay, other businesses remain viable even in difficult times. In fact, some aspects of launching a business are easier during difficult economic times: borrowing, for example, is cheaper than it will ever be, high fluidity of employment can mean businesses can attract great candidates to roles, and commercial rents can be cheaper if there’s a sudden surplus of properties as a result of a recession.
As a result, unless a business idea is in one of the industries that have been particularly impacted, moving forward with a business could still be worthwhile.
Quick tips for getting it right
If you decide your business is still viable for its launch this year, here are a few tips that can help everything goes smoothly:
Launching in 2020 is certainly still possible for many businesses, and the tips above can help to ensure the venture is as successful as possible.
Every business goes through changes, and every single business plan that’s ever been drawn up has undergone revisions. Indeed, in the working world, change is a great thing, and can ensure a company goes from strength to strength as its lifecycle goes on.
So, if some things need to be changed within your business, it’s time to take a step back and think about them. Some changes for the benefit of the long term could be made here, and you could really make a difference to your company. Here’s some ideas to start thinking about.
Think About Your Company Culture
Company culture makes or breaks a business. You and your employees need to be able to trust one another, and transparency will always be key. Most of all, company culture is something that needs to stay positive and free flowing; even just one toxic person within the company can mean the entity of your workforce is feeling the negative effects.
You also need to think about the goals you set as a company - what are you working towards? Can you see the effects of your results? And could some more attainable, real world goals be set to ensure your workforce are feeling moralised?
Consider Proper Communication Tools
Communication is essential in a business environment, and even just a single mixed or dropped message can mean the whole work day goes to waste. Of course, you have private messaging, and software like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, but are they doing enough for you? And are they secure enough to make use of in the long term?
You could think about setting up your own intranet for use within your company; something only you and your employees have access to, and can only be used for work purposes. It could be a great way to keep people on task, and it’s one of the most flexible forms of accessing a digital workplace, as well as safely and securely share messages with one another.
It Might Be Time to Look into Fleet Options
Of course, your company is getting bigger and bigger, and because of that, it might be time to think about time constraints. One of the main problems you’ll be dealing with is commuting - people needing to get to and fro from the workplace, in a timely and representative manner.
Not to mention the amount of delivery you’ll have to cope with on your own too; you’ll need a vehicle or two that’s capable of ferrying a large amount of items wherever they need to be. It’s why plenty of Van Offers are circulating right now; usually you can get a discount on a model if you’re buying on a business expense basis, and this could very well be the start of your own company fleet.
Planning business changes can occur in both the intangible and tangible sense; if you need a better working environment, or a way to get to work, you can make that change.
When you first start a company, you’ll often have these big, grand ideas of what it is that you want to be able to achieve. Maybe you know exactly where you want to go but you’re not too sure on how you’re going to get there? It happens. As a business owner, you won’t always know the answers. And that’s okay. However, you are going to want to make sure that you’re doing what you can, at all times, to build a better business? But how do you do that when you feel like you’re doing all that you can? There are always answers if you know where to look for them. Let’s take a look at five different things you can do to build a better business.
1. Care About Your Customers
To start with, the best way that you can make sure that you’re looking after your business in the best way is to look after your customers first. When you care about their needs, you’ll be able to meet them better. And the more accurately you’re meeting their needs, the easier it’ll be to grow.
2. Build Better Products
And then, you need to make sure that you’re creating and producing much better products. If what you offer is not the best that it can be, you’re missing out. If you commit to always improving your products, it’s going to make sure that you’re the best you can be.
3. Get Professional Assistance
From here, you may even want to try and get some professional assistance. If you know that you’re doing all that you can and maybe that you’re stuck a little, you may need some outside support. There will always be outside consultants, such as Scott Robert, that are experts in their niche. So do your research and see who is an expert in your field and who might be able to mentor you and keep you on track.
4. Help People
Then, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re able to help people as much as you can. If you want a better business, you need to be able to make a difference. And that’s not only to your customers and the people that interact with your business, but also the local community. If you want to do good, you have to make sure that you’re making a difference. So think about what you can do to help others.
5. Have Fun With It
Finally, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re just having fun with it overall. If you take business too seriously, you may find that you’re getting stressed and you’re not doing what you can to actually make a difference. But this all needs to be fun. It should be something that you love to do and that you help others with. Don’t let it bring you down or be a cause for negativity in your life. Enjoy it and let your business bring comfort to the world.
Every business owner should be at least aware of the risk of natural disasters, big and small, and how they can affect the business. Here, we’re going to look at some of the most common ways they can disrupt, damage, and otherwise downgrade your business operations, as well as what you can do to protect your business and keep it as productive and profitable as ever, no matter what might be happening.
Be ready for an emergency
Natural disasters are precisely the kind of emergency you should be ready to respond to. A crisis management plan (also known as an emergency operations plan) lays out the steps of how you secure your business, who leads which teams, how the business operates if the premise is inaccessible, and so on. People tend to naturally panic in an emergency situation and their judgement might not be at its best. Crisis management plans are about making the big decisions ahead of time so they don’t have to be made in a panic.
Be able to work flexibly
Many natural disasters will limit your access to the premises. For instance, if there’s a snowstorm or flood outside, you don’t want to ask workers to come in and risk their wellbeing. As such, you should be prepared to run the business a little more flexibly. This can be done by, for instance, allowing your team to work remotely from home until the office is operational once again. A lot of employers are finding that remote working isn’t as bad for the productivity of the team as they might have imagined and, even better, may even improve engagement and satisfaction.
Have backups at the ready
Natural disasters (and more routine malfunctions) can limit your access to the tools you need to work, even if they don’t shut down the business premises completely. One of the most common forms of this is a power outage. Your business could benefit from the installation of diesel generators if there’s serious risk of losing power due to storms or high winds in the area. Similarly, if you lose access to the internet, then you should have a backup connection at the ready, such as a hotspot installed in the office.
Make sure you’re protected
Natural disasters of all sorts can cause costly damage to both the premises and the work assets that are at your disposal. From fires to floods to power surges, you can protect your finances from all kinds of damage. Make sure you invest in the appropriate level of business property insurance. This way, no matter what gets damaged, so long as you have the coverage, you can get quick access to the money you need to repair or replace and get the premises up and running as soon as possible.
Take a look at your local area and what natural disasters might be most likely to affect your business premises and invest in the appropriate protections. Otherwise, you could be dealing with a very costly surprise somewhere down the line.
Your business will be a lot more successful when you focus on being an exceptional leader and boss. Be glad to know there are tips you can implement to help make you a stronger and wiser business owner.
The following suggestions will help you know what to focus on so you can perform better in your role. Making the right management decisions will ensure that your business is a success for years to come. You’ll look back and be glad you put in the hard work and dedication and didn’t give up trying to improve.
Have A Clear Direction
One tip that will make you a stronger business owner is to have a clear direction for where you’re heading. Set goals and know what initiatives you want to focus on and tackle now and in the future. Have a written plan and follow it but also be willing to flex and make changes based on what you’re observing and the environment and circumstances. Your employees will be looking to you for input and guidance, so you want to be prepared to give it.
Know Your Finances
Become a stronger business owner by knowing your financial situation well. Keep track of everything and manage using numbers, facts, and data. Know your finances by creating and following budgets and understanding your books. Perform research before spending money and ordering supplies such as finding out what's the price of red diesel? Collecting this information ahead of time will allow you to plan properly and avoid overspending.
Listen to Others
It’s essential that as a business owner, you put your ego aside and are willing to listen to others to manage your business more efficiently. They may have valuable suggestions and new perspectives on matters that you hadn’t thought of previously. Not only listen to your employees and clients but be willing to make changes based on the feedback you receive to run a better business. There may be issues they’re seeing and noticing that you aren’t aware of, and you should be addressing.
Build A Support Network
You’ll find it helpful to lean on others while you’re trying to grow your business and skills. Build a support network that you can turn to when you have questions or need direction. You can learn from their past mistakes, so you don’t repeat the same ones. A mentor can help you make forward progress with your business and ensure that you stay on the right track for being able to find long-term success. Get involved in your community and meet new people so others can get to know you, and you can exchange ideas and input.
These are a couple of tips that will help you become a stronger business owner and leader. Soon enough, you’ll be on your way to taking your company to the next level and exceeding your goals. Be prepared to face a multitude of obstacles but also wise enough to know that with a little hard work and dedication, you can work through them and still come out on top.
Attending exhibitions as a business can Help to keep your brand above water. Exhibitions help you to keep your brand in the market as well as remaining relevant and sharing it with the rest of the world. Exhibitions also help your brand to stay upbeat by showcasing your services and products, you can market your brand in a fun and fresh way, which allows you the perfect opportunity to network and speak to potential customers. It is vital to always increase brand recall value and credibility in the market to remain popular and relevant.
How Does It Help?
Exhibitions and conferences are perfect opportunities for meeting key people face to face, in your industry. This gives you the perfect chance to market your business in a professional yet personal capacity and gives you the chance to talk to as many people as possible. You want to also market your business but take the time to learn about theirs too. Switch business cards and keep in touch. The more contacts you build, the better, for future reference or if something comes up that you feel you can connect with them on. You’ll need it to follow up after the event on email, this really establishes a relationship.
Don’t forget that the event can also be used for carrying out market research too, just by asking others about your niche and what they may look for. Ask people what their needs are and look at the competition also. That is quite a vital element. You will certainly be surprised by how much you can learn - but in addition to this, you will be able to gain access to important information. If you want to market your business to other business professionals then it is good to have a clear message. Make sure you can clearly communicate, getting across all the information in around 30 seconds and being able to offer answers to questions they may have.
There are plenty of great exhibition stand companies that are there to help you get on your feet. Once your stand is in place, decorate it with your branding as well as maximising your presence at business events. Use direct mail, e-newsletters, social media and PR to raise your profile ahead of the event. Flyers and magazines if you have them are great for people to take away, as well as possibly looking at goody bags that are a nice treat. Add any press releases and information that could help you at the exhibition. You’ll also need to prepare a press pack which can be slotted into your goody bag. Most exhibitions have a press office for journalists attending as well as photographers, so wear your best outfit and smile and learn to impress. If you are struggling with a press pack, then just add a few pieces of select information, images, news, and contact details so that you can be easily reached.
It’s time to make your business stand out. There are many opportunities to get yourself to an exhibition, so start thinking of your next move!
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.
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.