A lot of people dream about the concept of being able to go self-employed. After all, it means that they have the freedom as well as the autonomy to be able to work on their very own terms. The growth of the sector alone has been very well publicised over the years and this means that there has bever been a better time for you to take the plunge. If you want to make sure that going self-employed is the right decision for you then you can find out whatever you need to know, right here.
You Know your Product or Service
If you want to go self-employed then you don’t need to have a final or even a polished proposition. You do however need to make sure that you know your product or your service. If you don’t then you may find that you struggle to know whether or not your idea is feasible. You also need to make sure that your product solves a definite pain point, so that you are aware of how best to address your customers.
You’re Ready and Willing
Even though you may be an expert in your field, that doesn’t mean that you can easily deal with all of the other aspects that are involved with running a business. If you want to come out a success then you need to make sure that you are able to deal with your sales, marketing accounts, technology and even legal team. The main problem with being self-employed is that you might not be an expert at everything and you probably can’t afford to outsource either. This is normal, but it does mean that you need to get your head around the basics if possible. If you want to get the best result out of your self-employed experience then eventually it may help you to look into remote onboarding at a later date.
You Want Control
If you are at a point where you feel like your ideas are just not getting the appreciation that they should, then this may indicate that now is the time for you to go self-employed. It may be that you no longer want to be told what to do, or that you just want to be more rewarded for the work that you are putting in. Either way, going self-employed gives you the chance to call all of the shots you need.
You’re Ready to Talk about Money
You have to be comfortable with money if you want to be self-employed. Undercharging is a huge issue for freelancers so you need to make sure that you pitch your services and your products at the right time. Some signs that you need to think about your charges include if your tasks are taking longer than they should be to get done, or if you find that you are continually trying to undercut your competition. It will take some trial and error, but if you take your time then you should be able to set the right prices.
If you’ve integrated remote working options that have been used since March or April of 2020, it’s amazing to think we may have been using those systems for almost a year now.
Of course, in some respects this might become the norm for your business from here on out, ensuring that you always have a possible approach to keeping flexible and always online if necessary.
That said, some form of normality will return in the future, and that can mean in the long run, we are given the chance to consider what needs improving in our office, what workflow we should curate to make this daily process easier to handle, and what lessons we have learned.
It would take many deep investigations and reports to figure out just what changes have been made and what effects have been felt thanks to this change in our working capacity, so we’re going to stick with the most pertinent advice, and show how it’s useful in order to inspire you to action:
Integrating Communication Platforms
It’s overwhelmingly likely that your business has been using a range of programs that are external to your business, in order to make sure your staff can communicate with one another. It could be that fully integrating better and more prominent services based on what you have used and what you haven’t could be important.
For instance, it may be that upgrading to a VPN with unlimited plans and the means to log in securely with a security key can offset those that require you to keep updating staff with numbered logins that they forget and keep having to respect. Integrating a VOIP phone system can work wonders when returning to the office. In this context, we become better at helping our team collaborate with one another.
The Format Of Your Office
Now could be a great time to sell your office furniture and pick up newer, more health-conscious ergonomic models. Why is this? Well, many businesses are downsizing at the moment, or shutting up shop. That’s a very sad state of affairs, but it also points to the fact that we can make use of many of these sales, even if it’s just in the form of a large meeting desk, by scouring these sales and helping those businesses liquidate their stock. IT equipment, office furnishings, it can all make a difference when upgrading your utility and helping the office space seem new upon a return.
Dedication To Your Values
Remember that now is the time for visionary leaders to collaborate with their team, but also to inspire them. In this mindset, it can be important to remind your staff of your values and just what company history they are contributing to. Setting up training that helps you understand these measures once more can help you refocus and reorient your vision. It sounds unnecessary, but you’d be surprised how inclusion to this degree can inspire your staff to renewed effort, and can refocus your dedication to them.
With this advice, we hope you can make the most of your business and level up, despite the inconsistent working expectations of the last year.
The pandemic has hit millions of businesses around the world, causing them to make major cuts in employment, budget, and for some, permanent closure. If your small business has managed to make it this far, then you’re probably looking for ways to work smarter, decrease expenditure, and appeal to your target audience more than ever. Thankfully, even though the pandemic is still at large, many restrictions are being lifted, which is allowing businesses to continue trading. However, staying smart and vigilant is essential to help your business stay on track. Here are some amazing tips on how to work smarter during the pandemic.
Cutting back costs in 2020 might have been a priority for your business, and if you had to cut back on marketing costs and begin tackling it yourself, you’ll know how much time and effort it takes. However, you can have the best of both worlds! While a permanent in-house marketing team would be ideal, if your budget doesn’t stretch that far then you may run into issues. Outsourcing marketing allows you to let an experienced professional create and run your marketing campaigns - but only as and when you need them! Paying a freelancer say, once a month, rather than for every day of the month will save you money and prevent your marketing from falling down the drain.
Look bigger than you are
One of the downsides of being a small business is that quite often, customers would rather entrust their money with larger businesses because they think larger businesses are more trustworthy. While this isn’t necessarily the case, making your business look like a larger corporation may help you attract more customers. You can do this by:
Sell COVID-friendly products or services
Finally, we’re living in an age where anything to help survive the pandemic is something people will want. Find ways to incorporate COVID-friendly products or services into your niche. Whether it’s a branded face-mask, an app to help cure boredom, or even hacks to help stay safe, people will be interested in buying from a company they know and love. Appeal to the COVID market and you’ll notice a considerable improvement in sales!
Are you exploring new ways to grow your business and strengthen your brand? If so, then you should think about the best ways to use the power of your clients and customers. These are a few of the possibilities that we strongly recommend you consider.
Use Their Opinions
First, you should think about whether you can use the opinions and thoughts of your customers. They might be able to explain to you the best ways to move forward with your business. Don’t forget, when you’re looking to improve your company it’s important to move in directions that your customers want to see. No one knows what directions these are more than your customers themselves. You might think that customers aren’t going, to be honest when you interact with them. While this might be the case, there are ways to skirt around this issue, such as by using Mystery Shopping experiences. Here customers get a product to review but don’t know what the brand is and deliver honest feedback.
Use Their Content
Next, you should think about whether you can use content from customers to your advantage. User-generated content can be helpful because it allows you to connect with that individual customer. It will also help you reach their followers. Don’t forget, that customers are far more likely to trust the word of other clients rather than your brand. User-generated content also makes your business seem more accessible and that’s always going to provide a tremendous benefit.
Use Their Reviews
Next, you should think about using reviews in your business. Do note that a mixture of positive and negative reviews is far better than zero reviews for your business online. That’s why you should make sure that you are encouraging customers to leave reviews. You should do this after the completion of a sale. Business owners often assume that it’s going to be difficult to get customers to leave reviews. However, this is not the case. The reality is that they will drop reviews if you ask the right way and provide some client aftercare instead of just abandoning them once a sale is complete.
Use Their Reach
Finally, you might also want to consider using their reach to gain more customers and clients for your business. One of the best ways to do this is through promotional merchandise. The right sponsored merch will be worn and used by your clients. This means that they can effortlessly spread the word about your business. You just need to spend a little time ensuring that the merch is attractive and stylish enough that clients want to use it. You might even want to consider using popular brand items to promote your company in this way such as Nike or Adidas sportswear.
We hope this helps you understand some of the key ways that you can use your customers and clients to your advantage. By taking the right steps here, you’ll find that your customers can become your strongest asset and help you grow your business, even in a short period.
Back in March 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of people around the world began commuting to their kitchen tables and makeshift home office nooks, few believed they'd still be there now, nearly a year later. And yet, here we are.
The big question looming in many employees' and leaders' minds alike is, what does it all mean for the future of work? Some argue that the great work-from-home experiment of 2020 will lead to the end of offices forever. Others say the last year, in fact, proved we need offices for the collaboration, the creativity, and simply the excuse to get out of the house they provide. You can find the five top tips we learnt about remote working over at Inc...
If you want to survive and help your business to grow, then you need to make sure that you have a steady stream of business clients. In the old days, this was a case of you simply sending out a flyer or even a postcard. You might have even been able to put your ad in a local paper, but right now, things work very differently. You have to make sure that you adapt to what is around you and you also need to make sure that you are willing to figure out the best way to really get your business on the map. If you don’t then you may find that you end up struggling to get noticed and this is the last thing that you need.
Verify Google Business
If you are running a B2B business, then you have to make sure that you are as professional as the companies you are marketing to. Your Google Business Profile is what gives your business the opportunity to show up in search results. It also shows up when someone types in your company name on the internet. Google is getting better at catering to users all the time and this free listing should always be your top priority. Ideally, you would use your business profile to promote your company, not to mention that it also helps to verify legitimacy. You can do this through your very own Google My Business account. When you are able to verify ownership of your company, you can then optimise your listing. This will help you to show up much higher in the search results and it will give you access to much more advertising options. If you are able to show on Google Maps, then this will help you to really make the most out of your local SEO efforts.
Print Leaflets and Flyers
You may think that this is a very outdated way for you to do business, but this is not the case at all. In fact, printing leaflets and flyers is actually a fantastic way for you to make the most out of your marketing campaign, if you combine it with your other efforts. If you are going down the flyer route then you have to make sure that you incorporate your website and you also need to make sure that you add plenty of digital information. This could include your social media handle, for example. If you want to make the most out of your marketing, then it would be wise for you to use large format printing machines.
It’s one thing for you to promote your company, but it is another for Google to promote your company. SEO will ultimately determine your ranking algorithm, so you have to make sure that you put in the work to boost your ranking. If you want to boost your SEO, then you need to add relevant keywords that are based on your location as well as your industry. You also need to make sure that you add them to specific places on your site too. At the end of the day, if you can produce high-quality content with tagged images then this will help you out in the long run and it will also help you to maintain a solid site that brings in business for years to come.
Most businesses will work with one or more agencies as an integral part of their day to day marketing strategy. Having a good relationship with the agencies you work with can make a huge difference to the success of your marketing.
Everyone has heard horror stories about agencies that have underperformed, drained resources, or just failed to live up to expectations. And while there are both good and bad agencies out there, it is often a number of easily avoidable factors that can doom the relationship.
So if you’re thinking about engaging with an agency to do your PR, web design, social media marketing, etc, then follow these tips in order to get the very best.
Get the brief right
Creating a detailed, realistic brief is the first step. You need to be clear about what you are looking for, the scope of work, how results will be measured, and indicative budgets. An agency will then be able to flag any issues with regards to what you’re hoping to achieve and what services they can provide. You can then reshape the brief together or move on.
Mismatched expectations when working together can quickly become apparent and can lead to the souring of the relationship.
Set key performance indicators
Being clear about what needs to be achieved is very important. For instance, if you’re working with a corporate video production agency, you should know what they are expected to deliver in terms of project management, timescale, additional costs, etc. By having these set-out and agreed upon between you as you start working together, you will be able to hold them to account for the work they are delivering. If these aren’t in place, you again have mismatched expectations that can cause the relationship to break down.
Streamline the points of contact
You will likely have an account manager, who will be your point of contact for the agency. You might well get to know other members of the team too, but your account manager will be the person you deal with the most. This helps an agency keeps track of their work and builds relationships with their clients.
It makes sense to have a similar process on your side too. If all employees start contacting the agency, requesting jobs be done, then it can complicate the entire process. It’s your job to be the point of contact for your company, to streamline your requests and communicate feedback. It will be less confusing for everyone and your agency won’t become confused, not knowing who it should be listening to.
Deal with issues promptly
If you’re not happy with some work the agency has done, or are concerned about any other aspect of the relationship, you should raise it with your account manager immediately. Usually, it is something that can be remedied quickly and you can move on. If you don’t raise it, it can start to build resentment towards the agency. It is much more difficult to come back from this.
Agencies can be the driving force behind your success, but this can only happen if you choose the right one and the lines of communication are open. Most issues stem from unclear expectations and failure to communicate effectively.
When you work in construction, you are working in a dangerous occupation and there is no getting away from that fact. It's never a fully safe working environment, from the materials you use to create a structure or foundation, to the tools you use to get the job done. Construction is often all about edges, excavation, collaborating with others to ensure a safe build with hazardous material. When you don't manage the site and the equipment on site correctly, you end up with a bad working environment - not something anyone should be aiming for.
Health and safety is important in any industry, but in construction it can literally mean the difference between life and death. Whether you use forklifts and diggers or you handle corrosive materials and Fosroc chemicals, you cannot make mistakes. Understanding which health and safety measures are most important as you work will enable you to complete construction projects without worrying that you're doing it wrong. Below, we've got five safety measures that you should be taking when on the construction projects you gain.
We all want to work less and earn more, don’t we? It’s the dream, the final step towards that ever-elusive ‘work/life balance.’ And yet, until now, most of us have assumed that it’s a myth. After all, you get out what you put in – everyone knows that!
Unless maybe you don’t. According to recent reports, US workers who put in as many as 60 hours each week were less likely than their peers to have received a bonus in the last three years.
Far from being an injustice, this is clear evidence that you don’t have to work yourself into the ground to get ahead. In fact, doing so could be hindering your earnings, and here’s why.
A focus on quantity not quality
When we push ourselves too far to be productive, we fall into a focus on quantity rather than quality. After all, a sixty-hour workweek might sound impressive, but there’s no way you can produce good work for that length of time. Rather, you’re liable to work like a sleep-deprived zombie trudging towards a deadline. And, your efforts will be as flat as your pulse!
By comparison, employees who stick to the forty-hour standard may well come in and boss it on the quality front, meaning that their shorter timeframe is worth more than your long one. Which begs the question, why would you bother to work more in the first place?
An inability to hand over responsibility
If you’re too focused on being the hardest working, then you’re more likely to take everything on your shoulders. This may seem like a valiant effort, but martyrdom is never good. If you’re juggling product development on top of lead generation, you’re more liable to wear yourself down and drop both balls.
By comparison, outsourcing allows you to hone your time, and clock off at a decent hour. All with the promise of better results. After all, outsourcing managed IT means that you can get cybersecurity right at last while turning to a lead generation company ensures that time you spend converting is time well spent. Far from a failure, accepting that you can’t do it all is fundamental to making the most possible money from your time.
Failure to see straight
It’s also worth noting that, the more you work, the less you can see simple solutions to challenges. And, when this happens, you spend more time developing less satisfactory responses.
Switching your brain off sometimes is the ideal way to solve production dilemmas or close leads at last. Much like when we’re falling asleep, our brains often find answers to these things themselves when left to their devices. By comparison, hunching over a desk and considering things for too long will make it trickier for you to reach satisfactory conclusions, as well as taking ever more of that precious time.
So, you see, it may sound impressive when you state you’ve worked a sixty-hour week, but is it really the right way to earn more? Probably not.
The new year has officially begun which means it's time to think about your business year ahead. We have declared 2021 to be the year businesses make a comeback and and thrive, businesses all over the globe have struggled to keep going, if you are one of the lucky ones that have managed to stay open over the last year then well done, it's now time to start planning to grow and run your business successfully throughout the year ahead.
Make Or Revise Your Business Plan
Every business should have a business plan in place, if yours hasn't been updated or reviewed in a while then take the time to check in and see if you are still on plan. If you are a new business looking to start writing your plan then there are many templates online that you can use. When writing your plan have a time period in mind, whether it be a 1 year, 5 year or 10 year goal this will be helpful to keep you on track to achieving your aims and objectives. Keep reviewing your plan every 6 months to see if your values or end goal has altered.
Grow Your Online Presence
It is essential for any successful business to have an online presence in 2021, so if you don't already it's time to think about creating a website and / or social media pages for your business. If you already have a website then you might want to consider rebranding or upgrading. Ensure your website is optimised for all device types and is easy for customers to navigate. Once your website is up to scratch, it's time to set up your social media accounts. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the leading social media platforms. Choose one or two main platforms to focus on, having too many accounts running at once can be overwhelming and hard to keep track of. When your social media accounts are up and running you can start using the advertising tools they offer. They allow you to target specific, ages, genders and areas, which will help guide the right customer to your site.
Think About Location
When running you business location is key, if you are a physical business then you might want to be positioned within a busy highstreet so you get organic walk in traffic. If you are located down a side street it might be hard for your customers to find you so ensure you are somewhere more prominent. If your business is online you might not think that location is important, however people have preconceived ideas about the status of a business based on their location. If you are looking to expand where you conduct business you should get a CBD virtual office to help you grow your business outside your usual area. By setting up a few virtual offices will help you gain customers from all over the world.
Now it's time for you to apply these tips to your business and make it a successful year. While you are here check out Three ways you can reduce your workload in your small business.
Starting up a business is no easy feat. Expect financial loss, energy exertion, and heavy competition. With that said, it is important to start your business with the best possible chances. These simple steps will guide you towards developing a successful start-up.
1. Consider the market you are going into
Think about any market niche your business applies to. Gaps in the market will generate higher consumer demand, which you can capitalize on. Familiarize yourself with competitors and find out what they are doing, and more importantly, what they are not doing. Carrying out competitive analysis is crucial if you want your business to succeed.
2. Devise a business model
Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. You may aspire to one day expand your start-up into a franchise. You may want to offer a subscription-based service to maintain loyal customers. Or, perhaps you are going for a direct sales business model. Whatever the case, modeling your business will fortify your vision and assist with potential problems. The nine building blocks of a business model are customer segments, key resources, value propositions, client channels, key partners, customer relationships, revenue streams, activities that create value, and cost structure.
3. Consider your employees
Once you have established your business model, think about what kind of working environment it will create for employees and how you can implement systems to benefit them and improve efficiency. For example, if you have lone workers or employees that perform paging and alarm management, Motorola radio rental offers specialized two-way systems and communication solutions.
4. Work on your final product
Many start-ups' common downfall is assuming they can offer a wide range of products from the outset. Doing this will deplete the limited resources you have. Instead, pick one or two products you can perfect. New customers will appreciate your service quality and be inclined to positively review, repeat purchase, and recommend to a friend.
5. Gather customer feedback
After launching your business and getting those initial sales, it is important to review your customer feedback. Positive or negative, it will demonstrate where to alter your business. If the reviews are mostly positive, look specifically at what worked well. Recurring themes in feedback signify consumer habits. Analyzing this data may reveal opportunities for expansion within that area.
6. Carry out market surveys
If you are trying out a new product or service, it is a good idea to collect data from your targeted audience before launching anything. You can do this through online questionnaires like Survey Monkey. You could put the question to online forums. Or, you could organize a focus group. Each method has its benefits. Online surveys and forums can target a wider demographic, while focus groups may offer more in-depth feedback on a product or its branding.
It's a given that start-ups need a fair amount of initial planning. But with savvy preparation and research, there is the opportunity to succeed. Remember: start small, think big.
When building your company, trying to promote your business, and push towards success, it’s tempting to take every responsibility on board yourself. Doing so allows you to stick closely to your vision. It means everything will come out exactly as you wanted. But, experienced business owners know that this is not the way forward, and sooner rather than later, you’ll find yourself burned out, drained, stuck for ideas. This is why it’s important to reduce your workload, but if you don’t know where to start with this, consider these ideas.
Work With Professionals
Working with professionals is always an excellent way to help lessen your workload. But many first-time entrepreneurs avoid doing this because they want to save money and don’t understand how difficult it can be to cover all the basics.
Soon enough, though, they realize that it is challenging to create social media content, write blog posts, design a website, and develop marketing campaigns. There’s nothing wrong with reaching out to others for help, and the likes of fable studios, professional website designers, and more are all far more qualified than you are.
The result makes your business more reliable and more professional, which is something all small businesses need.
Bring In Top Talent
Very few businesses can survive as a one-person show. There will come the point where you need to bring in reinforcements. Immediately, you will see a difference. Rather than doing everything yourself, you can pass other tasks on to your staff, even if it’s just one other person to help with payroll or posting to social media.
However, you can't hire just anybody. Bringing in the best talent around will give you more confidence that they can do everything you need them to do. This talent won’t want you breathing down their necks all day long, though, so learn how to delegate and, more importantly, trust them.
Technology is there to help you, but you might not realize just how much technology can help. It isn’t just using a website or social media to spread brand awareness. You can also use it behind the scenes of your company.
If you’re short on time, look at marketing automation to save you studying business data and analytics manually. You can also use efficient marketing automation to post campaigns to social media without being by the computer to press Post.
The bigger your business becomes, the more you may need to rely on technology. You shouldn’t expect yourself to do everything, and with more things done for you by a computer, the more time you will have to look towards the future. This enables you to plan your next steps and prepare your marketing automation for your follow-up campaign.
It can be tricky to loosen the reins yourself and trust others with your business, but as you’re unlikely to be an expert in everything, it can boost your company’s fortunes. By spreading the workload, you will have more time to focus on the things you’re good at, which can lead to more success for your business.
Any business that sells products has to engage with manufacturing. Whether that’s directly or indirectly. At the end of the day, manufacturing is essential when it comes to bringing your products to life and giving you something to sell. Think about it. Even if you have the best product concept in the world - the best product concept that anybody has ever come up with - it's pretty useless unless you can bring the product to life and offer it for sale on the market. Consumers want to receive something more than an idea for their money. However, manufacturing is a relatively complex process and you have a fair number of options at hand. Whether you offer food products, jewellery, bedding, candles, kitchen accessories, gadgets or anything else you can think of, it’s going to need to go through some sort of manufacturing process and there are countless ways to go about it. Here are a few options alongside a little more information to help you to make the best choices when it comes to your own business and its manufacturing process.
What Is Manufacturing?
Let’s start out by settling on what exactly manufacturing is. Put simply, manufacturing is the process of taking raw materials and combining them or joining them together in a way that will create your final product. Anything that comes off the manufacturing production line should be ready to be packaged and sent directly to the customer. It’s your product in its final form.
In-House Manufacturing vs. Outsourced Manufacturing
The two most common ways of going about manufacturing a product are outsourcing or bringing manufacturing in-house. Now, most small businesses start out by outsourcing their manufacturing, while larger companies with established and in-demand goods tend to bring manufacturing in house. The right decision will fall down to your individual business’ circumstances and needs. But here are a few things to take into consideration to come the right conclusion for you.
Your manufacturing process needs to be cost effective. If you are a small business with small means of investing, manufacturing in house can be costly and risky. You may change your mind when it comes to what you’re selling and be lumbered with lots of costly and specific equipment you no longer need. Larger companies tend to have solid demand for their goods and will use equipment and machinery indefinitely, which makes in house manufacturing more sensical. If you know your products will sell, it’s fine to invest in niche manufacturing essentials like carbide tool industries products and conveyor belts.
Outsourcing tends to save time. You send your requests out and the work will be completed. If you manufacture in house, you need to train staff up. Again, whether this is worth it or not will depend on your business’ circumstances.
As you can see, the logical option for most small businesses is to outsource manufacturing. But as you grow and experience success, you may want to consider bringing things in house!
We spend the majority of your adult lives at work, so it’s vital your career inspires, motivates and rewards you. If you’re unhappy at work, these feelings of discontent and dissatisfaction will inevitably spill over into other areas of your life. By prioritising your professional happiness, you can ensure that your career is as meaningful and fulfilling as other elements of your life.
We tend to start thinking about future careers at a relatively young age, whether we want to or not! Teenagers as young as 15 or 16 years old are asked to make major decisions about what they want to do with the rest of their lives. While some people may have a yearning ambition that will stay with them forever, most people don’t. Indeed, you might not even be aware of the range of career options out there when you’re still in your teens or early twenties, right?
Fortunately, it is never too late to change your career and do something you truly love for a living. If you’re apprehensive about moving into a new industry or starting over in a new sector, just take a look at these reasons why it’s worth taking a risk:
A Job You Love is Less Stressful
Although some jobs are naturally more fast-paced than others, a career you don’t enjoy can easily become stressful and overwhelming. When you aren’t particularly motivated to enhance your industry, for example, you might find it difficult to stay on top of the latest developments or be at the forefront of new innovations.
In contrast, when you’re doing a job you enjoy, you’re actively interested in how your sector is evolving. As a result, you see potential obstacles as challenges to be overcome, rather than as barriers to your success. This change in your mindset is one of the reasons why a job you enjoy is less stressful than one you don’t, and it’s well worth remembering when you’re weighing up the pros and cons of changing careers.
Industries are Constantly Evolving
Many people fear starting over in a new industry because they assume, they’ll have to start from the bottom and work their way up. While it is important to gain experience in your chosen sector, industries are constantly evolving, which means everyone is continually learning. The introduction of new technology can revolutionise a sector in an instant, so don’t assume that a lack of experience is going to hold you back.
New Challenges Are Out There
Perhaps you’ve reached a point in your current career where there isn’t really anywhere to go or maybe you’re simply not interested in climbing to the very top of this particular corporate ladder? If so, you’ll be relieved to find that new challenges await you.
Taking on a new role in a different industry can unleash the creativity and innovation you thought had fizzled out some time ago. When you’re inspired by your colleagues and peers, and genuinely interested in what you’re doing, it can have a big impact on your mental and emotional well-being.
You Have Transferable Skills
If you’re worried that the energy you’ve invested in your career thus far will be wasted, don’t be. Nothing can diminish what you’ve achieved in your career and switching to a different sector won’t detract from your success.
In fact, your professional experience has equipped you with a whole range of transferable skills that will stand you in good stead, whatever you decide to do next. By choosing to do something you love, however, you can ensure that this hard-earned skills and talents are used to pursue your passion and achieve your lifelong goals.
It’s Time for a Fresh Start
When people feel apprehensive about changing careers, they often postpone their plans until the ‘right time’. In reality, it’s always the right time for a fresh start, so why wait to do something you love? As 2021 approaches, you can embrace the upcoming opportunities with a ‘new year new job’ mentality. Giving yourself the freedom to seek out new professional challenges will give you the impetus to make positive changes in your life and the drive to enhance your success.
Plan Your New Career
A career change can enable you to do something you love, but it’s always helpful to have a strategic plan in place. By building a network, gaining informal experience and honing your skills, for example, you can ensure you’re well-equipped to uncover new employment opportunities and secure the job of your dreams in 2021.
As a business, 2021 will hopefully be making up for the fact that this year hasn’t been the best for anyone. For businesses, it’s something to be grateful for that that they’ve even survived what is possibly the worst year in the world’s economic history. Here are four ways to promote your business in 2021.
Focus On Social Media
Social media continues to thrive and be a great area to focus your marketing and advertising. It’s definitely become a lot more saturated over the past couple of years and therefore it’s a lot harder to make it successful than it used to be. Therefore, it’s a good idea to find your niche on these platforms and focus on any platforms in particular that you feel are going to be a good fit for your business. Think about what social media platforms you might be using now or if you’re not using any, what platform is best going to suit your business. Take a good look at your analytics and how they’re performing to see what you might need to change or do more of. There are so many people online nowadays that it would be the wrong move to not take advantage of what social media can offer you for the new year for your business.
Revisit Your Branding
Branding is an important part of your business because it can end up becoming widely recognized by your customers and those who aren’t yet your customers. Whether you look at who you’re using for digital printing services or what you outsource for your design work, think about revisiting your branding. You could consider changing it or tweaking it slightly so that it’s a more elevated and modern version of your current branding. There might be room in the branding to make it better than it already is or to perhaps make it more consistent across your platforms, whether that be your website or social media. Think about what it might be lacking and then consider what you could do to help improve it further.
Make Use Of Your Loyal Customers
Your customers are important and you want to continue ensuring they remain loyal to you as a business. Think about loyalty and how you can make sure your customers continue buying from you and not from your competition. Go beyond the call of duty where you can and always be active in providing the best products or services for your customers. Excellent customer service is going to get you further than just providing a bog-standard service they can get elsewhere.
Better Your SEO
And finally, when it comes to your SEO, try to better it where you can. There’s going to be a lot of benefit from improving your search engine optimization because the higher you rank on search engines, the more visible you’ll be to others online. This can be great for generating new leads and hopefully, more business.
Use these tips to make sure your new year is the best one yet for business.
This year has been very challenging for businesses across the country, in all different industries. Businesses that have been best able to adapt to these difficulties are surviving the best. As the pandemic continues, businesses have had to make many changes and learn fast in order to carry on. Some of these lessons could be utilised after the pandemic to help your business to be more efficient, productive, and successful in the future. What can businesses learn from COVID-19?
Make use of virtual tools
As offices and shops around the world have had to shut their premises, businesses have had to find new ways to stay in touch with their employees, customers, and clients, even while they can’t be in the same place.
Most businesses have made use of virtual services to help them. Whether you’re having meetings over Skype or Zoom, are working on shared documents on Google Drive, or are making use of cloud virtual services, there are some tools that could still be useful after you reopen your premises.
For example, if you’ve found that having people work from home hasn’t damaged productivity, then you could look at offering more options for remote work. With cloud documents, virtual meeting rooms, and secure VPNs, you can keep staff productive while still being flexible when they need time at home, such as to care for an unwell child.
Could you save money by forgoing parts of your office and going online? For example, if you don’t have clients or customers who come to the office, then you do need reception in the building? A virtual reception is cheaper than in-house staff and office space.
Make Digital A Priority
Businesses who already had a strong presence online have found it much easier to keep working than businesses who have struggled to get their digital offering ready for use.
All businesses should have a website. Make sure that basic information like your contact details, opening hours, and location are easy to find. The website must be functional, easy to use, and clearly express what you do and who you are as a brand..
If suitable for your business, an eCommerce platform is very useful to have. While shops have to close, being ready to sell online has allowed some businesses to stay afloat. When you can reopen, selling online adds another way to sell your products and earn a profit.
If you don’t sell online, you still need to make sure that your clients and customers can easily get in touch with you online. Some people prefer to contact companies online, rather than come to a meeting or make a phonecall. Make sure you are present and active on social media. You need someone to respond promptly to comments, questions, or complaints that come up on your social channels. A chatbot for common questions, such as delivery tracking, can be useful on your website too.
The businesses who have managed the best with COVID-19 difficulties are the ones who have been able to adapt quickly and make changes to their business. For example, restaurants who have been able to support their suppliers by operating as an online deli, or alcohol companies who avoided wastage by making hand sanitizers, have been better able to cope.
While another pandemic on this scale may be unlikely, other changes can happen in the business world at any time, suddenly changing the demand for what you offer. Businesses who are unable to react quickly enough to changes in their industry are unlikely to survive.
Your business needs to be ready to react and adapt, whether you make a big change to what you offer, or make a smaller change to the way you operate. For example, if you have had to close your doors to customers, can you offer a delivery service instead? Will there be a demand for this delivery when you can reopen?
While the global pandemic has of course made things much harder for all businesses, but there are many lessons that can be learned that could be very helpful in the future. By being ready to adapt, your business will be better able to succeed and flourish. The world of business moves quickly, and businesses that carry on as they have always done are the ones who will be left behind and who will falter. If you have found ways to work smarter during COVID-19, try to see what measures you can make use of when the world is normal again.
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.
During the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment rates have skyrocketed everywhere you look. In the United Kingdom, the unemployment rate has gone up to 4.8 percent. Nearly 250,000 people have lost their jobs since June of this year. That is the largest unemployment increase in a three-month period since 2009.
The same thing can be said with the United States in terms of unemployment. Rates are the highest they have been in a long time. According to the United States’ Bureau of Labor and Statistics, U.S unemployment currently sits at 6.9 percent. Before 2020, the last time the states’ rate of unemployment was this high was November of 2013.
With all that being said, it may be harder to find a job at this current point in time than it has been in recent memory. But in the same breath, it is worth mentioning that you should not just take any old job that you come across.
Yes, if you need the money right then and now, that is not a bad route to go. But if that is not the case, you should take some time in deciding the route you want to go in. Here a few things you should consider when concluding on whether or not a job is a good fit.
What is the commute like
Commuting to work every morning can be a pain. So when considering whether or not a job is right for you, make sure you have a good idea of how long the commute is. The commute to a company offering you a position should not be the biggest of worries, but it would be pretty inconvenient to take two hours to drive into work and two hours to drive home.
Is the company you are working for well managed
This is essential when finding the right job. If you work for a company that is professionally handled, organized life can be a lot easier.
No one wants to work for a disheveled boss with a nasty personality. It could make waking up every day that much harder. So when picking an occupation, look at the company as a whole. Ask questions about employee benefits, what the chain of command at the company/organization is, and how communicating is effectively done at that given job.
Do you like the work you are doing
This might be the most important of them all. Making sure you like what you do day in and day out is so important. You do not want to show up to work dreading the next eight hours of your life. Try and find an occupation that is engaging and keeps you entertained: even if that means there is a little more stress on your plate.
That is a little easier said than done, but do your best! You know yourself enough to say whether or not you would be a good fit working in a restaurant, office building, gym, et cetera. Being bored can be a lot worse than being busy, so try and find work that will make you excited to head in and earn that paycheck.
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.
When lockdown started in March, workers across the UK packed up their office equipment and set up work stations in their own homes. Bedrooms, kitchen counter-tops and dining tables became the new way of working for millions of people. According to the ONS, 30% of adults in the UK were exclusively working from home at the start of July. BBC News has the info...
As a business owner, staff health and safety should always be at the top of your agenda. This year businesses have had to take plenty of extra precautions due to COVID-19. Regardless, COVID is not the only health and safety issue in the workplace. To help you to improve employee health and safety, try out these five apps and ideas.
1. Tap Into Safety
Tap Into Safety is an app that provides tips about mental health and safety in the workplace. There is a library of safety training content that can be applied across various industries. The Tap Into Safety Program also offers plenty of safety courses which apply to different workplace scenarios. The app was created to help staff to reduce injuries, whether physical or psychological. The program includes a ‘COVID-19 mental health recovery package,’ which may come in handy for many companies.
The ergonomics application offers advice on how to set up staff workstations ergonomically. The app also provides content on taking breaks and performing daily stretching exercises. Studies suggest that stretching breaks can boost staff productivity, as well as prevent injuries from sitting down. The ergonomics app provides detailed guidelines on each stretch, along with a countdown timer. As well as using this app it’s vital to provide all of your staff with ergonomic chairs and keyboards.
3. Emergency First Aid Training
To keep everyone safe at work, it can be useful to provide employees with an Emergency First Aid At Work Course. No matter which industry you are in, you never know when first aid training might be crucial. When you invest in training for your staff, it’s easier to create a safer workplace. Whether it’s first aid training, mental health training, or general health and safety, ensure that you have all bases covered.
4. Health care plans
Offering your staff a healthcare plan is a great way to prioritize health at your company. With a solid healthcare plan, you’ll improve your staff's health and boost productivity along the way. Health care plans can help to improve staff wellbeing and reduce employee absenteeism. It’s also a great way to boost your company culture and reduce your turnover rates.
As an entrepreneur you’ll have so much to think about, from your digital content to your ROI. Health and safety is such an important part of your day to day and so it’s essential to improve these systems as much as possible.
5. Regular Risk Assessments
To protect employee health, it’s advisable to perform risk assessments on a regular basis. Risk assessments involve determining potentially unsafe practices and areas, and putting solutions in place. With your risk assessment data, your business can take further safety precautions and necessary. A risk assessment generally involves:
For more information about Health Application development, Techexactly.com recently created an extremely helpful 'Health Application Development Guide' which talks about the different types, features and challenges.
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:
Business relocations can occur for a wide range of reasons. Perhaps you're upsizing to a bigger store. Maybe you're downsizing in response to COVID-19 and an increased reliance on remote working. Or it might be that you're starting a whole new life in a new city or country. Whatever the reasons, it's imperative that the transition runs. Otherwise, the business dream could turn into a nightmare.
You've probably never completed this assignment before, which is why it's easy to forget key features. Here are five that you must not ignore,
#1. You Don't Have To Replace All Items
When making a fresh beginning, there is a temptation to start over. However, it would be a little counterproductive to spend money needlessly. After all, the whole purpose of the relocation is to boost your bottom line. Even when dealing with huge items, expert machine movers can transfer equipment to new locations. The moving costs are a fraction of replacing the items. Moreover, any employees following your business to the new setting will be familiar with the products too.
It also removes fears of delayed deliveries, allowing you to maintain productivity throughout.
#2. You Can Still Leverage Success From The Old Location
In addition to carrying over physical items from the old venue, you can look to leverage online success from the previous chapter. Rather than designing a brand new website, editing existing pages is quicker, cheaper, and more effective. Service pages, blog posts, and site features are already indexed for SEO. So, adding the new geographic keywords should give you far quicker results. The fact you can make good use of your testimonials and reviews is a bonus.
#3. You Have To Create Positive Surroundings
After moving into the new business premises, you will have to accept that it can take time to achieve the perfect surroundings. However, creating a positive vibe is an immediate priority. From improving the design of your office to creating a reception area that sets the right tone, you will see a big impact. It can influence productivity and employee-client interactions. If you want the next chapter of your business journey to start on the right foot, you must not ignore this.
Furthermore, you should stamp out any source of wasted capital.
#4. You Only Have To Replace A Percentage Of The Workforce
Employees will continue to provide the backbone of your business in this new era. Once again, you don't have to forget everything that went before. Depending on the distances involved, it may be convenient for staff members to follow you to the new setting. Even if this isn't possible, many jobs from admin to customer care can be completed remotely. Managing a remote team takes some getting used to, but can transform the future of the company.
However, if this is entirely possible, you should consider hiring a few employees from the new location your business is settling in. This is an added advantage as local employees have a vast knowledge of what customers want, how stiff the competition is, how to build a positive brand image effectively, what trends are currently taking place and many others.
To ensure that you hire the right employees in a new locale, you should give an in-depth job description and advertise various openings. Secondly, interview as many potential employees as possible and ensure you select the right ones based on qualifications.
Additionally, don't forget to perform pre employment assessment to identify potential risk factors that may limit a worker from performing the job effectively. Go the extra mile and contact the candidates' references to come up with reliable decisions. Many employers tend to skimp on this part and always select the wrong workforce, which can have adverse effects on the business's operations.
#5. You Have To Be Organized
Good organizational skills are essential at all stages of the business journey. Still, the need to maintain control is even greater at this time. Aside from updating your website and arranging movers, you'll want to find printers for new business cards and letterheads. Likewise, all utilities, including issues like internet and data management should be done in advance. Otherwise, increased stress levels could lead to very serious consequences.
You've got this, but only if you put the right preparations in place. Now is the time to do it.
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!
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.