The fact is that when you first started your business, you most probably didn’t think that you would ever end up in a position where you had a team of employees to manage. You most probably hoped that this would be the case but you may not have thought that it would be the case, after all getting your business to a place where you need and can afford a team of employees is an amazing place to be at and not many business owners manage to get to this point.
Now that you’re in a place where you need to take on a team, you are most probably feeling somewhat stressed out and overwhelmed. After all, there’s a lot to think about and consider when it comes to taking on new team members. It’s not just a case of identifying the fact that you need some support, there’s a lot more to choose to employ people than meets the eye; there’s a lot that you need to think about and consider.
It’s incredibly exciting to be at the stage that you are at now, but the fact is it can also be extremely daunting as there’s just so much that you need to think about and consider; it’s not just a case of taking on team members, you need to think about all of the ins and outs of running a team.
Bearing all of that in mind, there’s a lot to think about and consider. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be an overly stressful experience, it’s just a case of knowing how to go about managing things, that’s all. To help to make the process of taking on your first employees a little easier to manage, below are a few tips and suggestions to have a read and take note of.
Have a set screening process in place
First things first, let’s talk about employee screening. How do you ensure that when it comes to selecting a new employee that you’re choosing someone who is a good fit for the role and your business? The truth is that you can never be 100% sure but there are steps that you can take to make the process easier, such as utilising HR support to help ensure that every avenue is looked into. You can also ensure that you ask for references and follow up on those references, to ensure that what a potential employee is telling you is the truth. It’s also worth nailing the interview process by creating a list of questions that not only look at the candidate's potential fit for the role but also for your company ethos and work setup.
A tricky aspect of managing a team of employees can be payroll; whether you are taking on two employees or 20, you need to master payroll. Payroll is not always something that it’s easy to do or manage, especially when finances aren’t your strong suit. The good news is that there are plenty of resources that you can utilise to make managing payroll a little easier, such as using payroll services, for instance.
Learn to be a leader
As an employer, you need to find the perfect balance between being a boss and being a friend to your team members. You naturally want to have fun with your team but you also need to ensure that you remain the authority, and that your team members look up to you and respect your choices. It’s also important that you act like a leader, rather than a traditional boss. What does this mean? Well, a traditional boss tells their team members what to do, whereas a leader is part of the workload and leads their team in every task. This is a fantastic quality to have, and something that will help you to be an amazing employer.
Create the ideal working environment
If you want your team members to be happy working for you, it’s essential that you create the ideal working environment for them to work in. The right work environment can impact how productive a team is, and so it’s important that you think carefully about the kind of space you create for your team. Not sure how to create the perfect workspace? Get inspired - look online, talk to other business owners, speak to your employees.
There you have it, everything that you need to know about taking on your first team members and succeeding as an employer.
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.
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.
The point of conversion is one that gets a lot of attention, and rightly so. It’s the moment where you have the best chance to turn a lead into a customer or client. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be rushing to that stage. If you spend a little more time preparing your lead before the pitch, then you can maximise your chances of succeeding with it. Here are a few ways to do that.
Learn about your customer
First of all, you should make sure that you know who you’re talking about. Make use of things like lead capture forms like Leadformly on your website that can hopefully help get you a little more detail on the people that will become your customers and clients. This way, you can adjust your pitch to better suit their own needs and circumstances. You don’t want to be talking to them as if they’re just a part of a target market, you want to be able to individualise your pitch to them as best as possible.
Have answers for the tough questions
Before you get in touch, make sure that you have considered the potentials problems and barriers between your customers/clients and your products/services. Unless you’ve done a world first and created the perfect product or service, these are going to exist. You can also look at barriers and problems with competitors. It’s likely that your leads are going to have tough questions about exactly these and going in without any research or answers prepared is not going to look good on your end.
Set the tone
A little showmanship can make all the difference. This is, in effect, what’s at the heart of branding. With the help of teams like the brand design agency - Naked Ideas, you can make sure that your website and any marketing materials you have can carry across the tone and the voice of the brand that you want. A strong brand identity can help potential customers and clients feel like they know what your business is about before you get in touch. It establishes a level of trust and credibility that makes it much easier to make your pitch without as much scepticism.
You can’t exactly bribe someone into becoming a client, no-one is going to be hoodwinked by a gift. However, free samples or souvenirs can help to establish a friendly and giving tone. If you show your potential clients that you’re willing to meet their needs in little ways, then they are more likely to believe that you’re willing to do it through your products and services, as well. Bringing a free gift can definitely improve your chances of winning new clients or, at the very least, keeping them around long enough for you to wow them with your pitch.
Don’t rush into a pitch until you’ve had the time to make sure your potential customer or client can warm up to it. Lay the groundwork for your future success.
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!
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.
If you are a business owner, you surely start the day with a question: how can I do more? Of course, what we want is not to work longer hours and end up affecting our personal lives, but to be more effective with the resources and talents we have. Productivity has not only an impact on the objectives we reach and performance of our business, but also our stress levels. So what is it that we can do to work better? Here we share some tips that you can apply from tomorrow onwards.
Plan each workday
Before leaving the office, review your schedule and set your to-do list for the next day. Determine which are the priorities, give them a schedule and be realistic about the time available. It is better to move slowly and steadily than to remain stuck in the same place. Look at what is going wrong in the office and if things need to be changed. Many businesses fail to see things that are going wrong. So whether it's talking about updates to your technology or being more productive with your energy, there are things to think about. Perhaps you need to look at upgrading your Fuel Tanks, or maybe you need to change your phone systems, planning what needs to be changed will make things more productive.
Multitasking is a myth, and we can't all be good at everything. Some studies show how this way of working can reduce productivity by up to 40%. In small and even medium-sized businesses, it is very common for one or more people to do tasks of a very different nature throughout the day. Still, it can become a risk to productivity if not properly addressed. Focusing on specific objectives is a sure way to increase the productivity of your company. Have your team delegate.
With constant meetings, social media, and instant messaging, it's hard to stay focused for more than half an hour on a single task. To avoid distractions, establish work blocks and respect them as if it were the presentation to your most important client. Move your smartphone away from your desk or silence alerts from applications such as social media. And if you are working on something very important, let your team know that you cannot be disturbed unless it is an emergency.
Forget about repetitive tasks.
One of the biggest challenges is repetitive, time-consuming jobs that distract you and your employees from those that are much more important to the business, like selling products and winning customers. An example of finances, and it is that recording or controlling all invoices, expenses, or payments is a task in itself. The better you look after your finances, the more chance you have of being able to put money into other areas, such as social media. To make your life as an entrepreneur easier, you need to tackle such routine tasks to increase productivity properly. There are dozens of ways to save time and gain productivity in the short and medium-term, such as direct debit of payments to suppliers in a bank account and even immediate payment with a company card.
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.
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...
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!
As a business owner, it’s crucial to retain existing clients, but it’s also beneficial to look for ways to attract new customers. If you’re looking to secure new commercial contracts or reach out to new sectors, here are some effective strategies to try.
Conducting business with other companies is very different to offering products and services to consumers, and your marketing strategy should reflect this. Outline your key objectives and tailor your campaigns to reach the target market. Think about the kinds of clients you want to attract, the way you want to sell your brand and the types of products and services you’re offering. Conduct market research and utilise feedback. Up-sell your USP and highlight the value your business offers to others. Use examples and case studies to support claims about specific products and make your marketing more impactful. For ponds and water features, for example, don’t just speak about the benefits of butyl tape. Provide prospective clients with images of finished articles, testimonials from previous clients and facts and figures that back up quality, durability and performance-related claims. For technological gadgets, send out prototypes and share video clips of the invention in action.
Creating the right first impression
First impressions count in business, and it’s estimated that you have around 7 seconds to set the right tone. When meeting clients or discussing potential deals, partnerships or orders, use your own experiences to ensure you get off on the right foot. Be punctual and professional, make the most of the time you have to sell your brand without being overly aggressive or persistent and encourage follow-up conversations.
Build on reviews and feedback
Reviews can be extremely valuable for businesses looking to improve customer service, attract new clients and build an excellent reputation. Use reviews you receive from commercial clients to make improvements and don’t be afraid to shout it from the rooftops if you have got brilliant feedback, which could help to persuade other businesses to choose you. Take both negative and positive feedback on board, address any concerns promptly and use reviews as a means of promoting the products and services you offer and separating your business from rivals that may be on the shortlist of clients you’re hoping to work with in the future.
Most of us feel more confident when buying from a company that has been recommended by others. This applies to customers visiting shops or using a website to buy products, as well as B2B clients. Referrals can be incredibly influential. If you have happy clients, encourage them to share their experiences and recommend you to other businesses they may already work with or contacts that might be interested in the products or services you offer.
Competition for new clients is fierce. As a business owner looking to secure new deals and impress new clients, it’s crucial to implement targeted ways to market and promote your brand, to utilise reviews and feedback to encourage referrals and to ensure you create the right first impression.
If you’re looking for new suppliers for your business but you don’t know where to begin then don’t worry, you have definitely come to the right place. Whether you’re looking for suppliers for your products or for essentials for your office, you need to ensure you’re finding businesses you can trust if you want to run your business efficiently. From helping you to produce high-quality products to ensuring you’re keeping your employees safe, the more you’re doing to find trustworthy suppliers the better. With that in mind, here are just some of the reasons you should consider finding reliable suppliers for your business:
You Can Have Confidence In Your Products
One of the best reasons to find reliable suppliers is that it will give you confidence in the products that you’re selling. Having high-quality products is what will set your apart from your competitors so if you’re choosing reliable suppliers that you can trust, you know that you’re going to be offering your customers the best possible products. For tips and tricks when it comes to finding suppliers you can trust, you can visit this site here.
You Can Ensure You’re Keeping Everyone Safe
If you know you’re working with suppliers that you can trust, you can be sure you’re keeping everyone within your business safe at the same time. Whether this means they’re using safe practices within their work or they’re creating products that are safe, your employees and customers safety should be your top priority. If you’re unsure whether or not they have safe practices, you can speak to your suppliers and ask to visit their premises. They will be able to reassure you that you’re working with a business you can trust, as well as give you an insight into what they do as a business and how they operate.
For more tips and tricks when it comes to keeping your employees safe, you can visit this site here.
You Can Build Strong Relationships
Building strong relationships as a business owner is incredibly important, especially when it comes to your suppliers. By choosing suppliers you can trust, you can be sure you’re building strong relationships with people that are going to help your business grow. Whether that’s someone who offers HVOF or someone who supplies hi-vis jackets, building relationships is essential.
You Can Save Money Where Possible
Finally, by working with reliable suppliers for your business, you can open up your business to saving money. Whether that means you’re saving money as a result of strong relationships or you’re saving money by making bulk orders, there is a lot of value in having strong relationships with reliable suppliers.
With lots of great reasons to find reliable suppliers for your business, you can be sure you’re doing the absolute best for your growth. What other benefits could it bring? Did we miss anything important off of the list? Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.
Staff productivity levels should be a priority for all business owners. Sadly, the vast majority of companies continue to suffer from insufficient results in this key area of daily operations. Whether those lulls in production have been caused as a direct result of Covid-19 or existed long before the pandemic doesn't matter. Either way, it's vital that you stamp out those problems ASAP.
The first step to overcoming those problems is to identify the root causes. Here are some of the most common issues to consider, along with the easiest ways to battle them. The road to restored productivity starts here.
Inadequate Recruitment & Training
It's impossible to achieve the desired levels of productivity if you have failed to assemble a strong team. Therefore, successful recruitment drives should be the top item on your agenda. If you want employees to perform well, it's important to recognise the human elements too.
In truth, analysing the right personality traits is perhaps even more crucial than before as teams include remote workers. When employees don't have the attitude and drive to back up their skills, unlocking their full potential is impossible. Worse still, their lacklustre performances can spread to others.
Building a quality team that's built to perform is one thing. However, you must also ensure that staff members continue to grow and develop. Investing in the best staff training modules to learn new techniques or familiarise themselves with new software is key.
Inferior Tech Facilities
They say that a bad worker blames their tools. However, even the best employees will struggle to produce the goods if they aren't supported by the right equipment. From machinery to POS terminals, or office computers to vehicles, only the best will do.
If your employees blame the vehicle they use as an excuse for inefficiency, you should install GPS Tracking in the work vehicle to monitor the progress of their shift. GPS tracking is accurate and simple, providing you with real-time locations and movement detection.
It's not only about possessing the right assets and infrastructure, though. It's equally important to ensure that all facilities are maintained to optimal health and reliability. Visit https://www.concise.co.uk to learn about how managed IT can transform your approach. It's great news for the firm and its staff.
Aside from cutting out various tech-related disruptions, it aids the team's ability to stay on task. There's nothing worse than spending time trying to troubleshoot and correct issues. When those issues are handled in an automated manner, your team can focus solely on the tasks at hand.
Poor Teamwork & Collaboration
Teamwork makes the dream work. When individual success isn't met with collective triumphs, it will show. As an employer, it's your job to ensure that all team members are on the same page. Team building sessions and group activities are a great way to promote camaraderie.
Meanwhile, it's important to build a working environment that is conducive of good collaboration from all times. Whether it's in-house team meetings or video conferencing, short and sweet discussions are for the best. Moreover, tech features like team messaging Apps can serve you very well.
Perhaps most importantly, you must stamp out any potential issues, such as workplace bullying. Meanwhile, using the right tech to support collaboration is key. Cloud computing is one key feature. But the ability to track client interactions and let colleagues pick up the conversation is equally crucial.
As well as good working relations with colleagues, workers deserve a positive employer-employee bond. So, developing your leadership skills through improved body language and communication is a must. If you cannot express messages well, you can't expect teams to perform.
The reality of the situation is that you are unlikely to handle many of the interactions personally. Supporting yourself with great team leaders that can maintain productivity in tough situations will make life a whole lot easier. Be sure to give them the authority needed to complete their work too.
When supported by regular reporting and analysis, productivity should remain at the highest level. And when it does drop below the desired levels, you'll be in a position to spot and rectify the situation at the earliest stage. In truth, that preparation is as significant as taking the right precautions.
As already mentioned, human responsibilities are a crucial ingredient in the recipe for success. If employees are worried about any aspect of their health and safety, it'll affect their work ethic. So, for the sake of productivity and profitability, as well as human care, you must get this right.
Conducting a full and thorough risk assessment of workspaces is vital. Check out https://www.thsp.co.uk to learn more. Meanwhile, security systems and emergency protocols should be in place too. Even when they aren't needed, their presence can make a significant difference.
In today's climate, safety and security aren't limited to the physical world. All data and cybersecurity features must satisfy the latest demands. After all, almost half of all recorded attacks target SMEs. You cannot afford to let your employees fall victim.
Motivation is a very powerful tool in business. Frankly, you'd be very naive to think that employees will work to their full capacity without an incentive. Engaging work and achieving greatness for the company do have a positive impact. However, personal incentives will always be top of the agenda.
The most obvious incentives are financially inspired. Creating a clear path to promotion will spur ambitious workers to want and achieve more. Additional steps may include bonuses or sales commissions. Likewise, perks relating to travel or lifestyle elements can have a big impact on the mood.
If you can inspire staff members to actively want to work harder, they will. Better still, hard work is contagious and will inspire colleagues to follow in their footsteps. The benefits for the entire team and, therefore, your bottom line cannot be ignored.
The Final Word
A hardworking team won't guarantee business success, but it'll certainly give you a better shot at success. So, taking the necessary steps to cut out the sources of poor productivity levels is something that all employers should want to do.
Whether you're working from home or commercial spaces, paying attention to this part of the kob should pave the way to productivity. What more could any entrepreneur ask for?
Right now, increasing numbers of people are deciding to set up their own small businesses. This is understandable. The coronavirus pandemic has seen hundreds of thousands lose their day to day jobs and the job market isn’t exactly bustling with new options for us to apply to. Many of us are looking for ways to make money in order to pay our bills and keep our lives on track. Nowadays, setting up a small business is easier than ever. All you have to have is something to sell and a website to sell it from. So, people are getting innovative. From selling face masks, hand sanitiser and other products that are in high demand right now to make some money until things get back to normal, to starting a small business with intentions for things to be longer term, setting up a company of your own could be the best thing you can do right now. Of course, if you’re going to set up a company, you’re going to have to really focus on security now. People are more desperate than ever, or simply recognise that new companies are cropping up and they’re more vulnerable, and this has led to an increase in crime, theft and more recently. So, here are a few ways to protect your new startup!
First things first, let’s focus on physical security. Chances are you’re operating your business from home right now. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re completely free from risk of theft or attack. If you have stock in your home, you’re going to have to protect it. There are a couple of ways you can protect yourself from theft of stock. First, you may want to invest in security solutions from Securafit. There are multiple options you might want to consider. First, you should consider having some sort of CCTV system installed. Not only will this deter criminals from attempting to steal any of your stock with the threat of evidence of what they’re doing, but it will capture evidence of any crime that anyone does attempt to commit. Nowadays, you can get high quality systems at a really reasonable price. It’s definitely more than worth the investment. Plus, it protects your home from other domestic issues, such as burglary too! Next, you mighty want to invest in intruder alarms. This way, if someone does enter your property, an alarm will be triggered, alerting you to the issue and encouraging criminals to scarper before they’re caught.
Digital security is at the forefront of most business’ minds right now. Cyber criminals are aware that more and more businesses are operating from home and that new start ups are emerging on a remote basis. They are also aware that this means many businesses are vulnerable, as people are often working on insecure networks and may be prone to falling for phishing and other scams. Make sure to work with a competent IT solutions team to keep all of your data, documents and files secure!
Keeping your remote business secure really is important, whether you’re planning on operating for the short term or the long term. Hopefully, some of this information will help you to achieve this and protect your profits!
Good, or mediocre or great, all of these terms can be so hard to quantify when it comes to measuring a business’ success. Of course, we may consider that a business making wild profits to be great, but what if those profits come at the behest of an unhappy and unmotivated workforce? The video game industry is a good example to use here, as the largest entertainment industry in the world, vastly bigger than Hollywood itself. Video game companies known for huge, acclaimed video games, such as Rockstar and their Red Dead Redemption western series, make upwards of billions of dollars from monetizing their games and drawing large crowds again and again.
However - they are also met with continual complaints about working conditions and crunch culture. Their reputation is regularly damaged by testers going public about the difficulties they endured and the lack of respect they were given. This isn’t just a set of allegations against one company, but much of the industry. Is it right to grade these hugely profitable businesses ‘great’ if this is the cost?
It’s worth thinking about. With our following metrics, we believe even a small business can become ‘great’. Here’s what that might look like:
Excellent branding is a worthwhile use of your time. It helps you stand out among your competition, presents your business clearly and effectively to members of your audience, and also helps you celebrate your presence. Video production services are becoming more and more popular when it comes to great branding, as being able to promote your products using excellent short films or instruct your consumers through the same measure can be a phenomenal tool. Not a bad place to start, we’d say:
Workplace satisfaction means something. It’s not something you curate for an award. It’s not something you develop to hire more desirable staff (although this can be a natural consequence). Instead, workplace satisfaction is a tool you can use to more easily celebrate your culture, enhance productivity, enjoy running your firm, and live through the ethical guidelines you promote. It’s really not hard to see how following this kind of approach will help you become more and more interesting to conscious consumers, as well as helping your workplace culture thrive.
Golden Customer Support
Customer support is more than simply something you have to ensure in order to make your customer engagement relatively simple and smooth. It can help you learn more about your clients, their needs, and also will help you generate goodwill. If you find it important enough to care for your clients in the best manner, word will spread. You can win awards for your excellent treatment. And, moreover, customers will be more interested in coming back and interfacing with your systems. That in itself is an extra utility you can use to benefit your brand, and you’ll achieve this by being helpful. Not a bad improvement to make, we’d say.
With this advice, we hope you can more easily understand that which makes a good business great.
As machinery deteriorates, or new employees join the business who have little knowledge about the safety needs of your business. Coupled with other elements that are out of your control, such as damage to the company from bad weather or criminal activity, keeping the workplace safe is an ongoing battle.
According to RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) 69,208, injuries occurred in the workplace. With the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) declaring that, from 2019 to 2020, 111 workers were killed at work.
Do not think because an accident hasn't happened to you that it can't happen. – Safety saying, early 1900's
With these sobering facts about the potential risks of workplaces causing injuries and deaths to transpire, it's ever so important to mindful of how we operate our businesses, and below features ideas of how you can do it.
Depending on the size of your business, and the number of employees you have, shall determine whether an assessment conducted by you shall suffice. Or whether your business would benefit from a professional workplace assessment, from an external company, to identify what areas of the business need improving.
Mandatory Staff Training
Staff training is a necessary element for creating a safer workspace. To ensure staff use best practices, prevent accidents occurring and know what to do if an urgent situation unravels.
Training should be relevant to your company. For instance, in businesses operating heavy machinery, PUWER regs must be followed, and part of the training program should revolve around how to use this machinery safely.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE is essential in the workplace where staff are exposed to harmful or dangerous gases, chemicals, materials, bacteria, animals or heavy lifting.
Examples of PPE include steel toe capped boots to prevent workers from hurting their feet if they drop something heavy on them. Steel capped boots are appropriate in businesses such as delivery companies transporting bulky goods and construction sites.
By identifying what PPE is necessary at your workplace, you can provide staff with equipment to keep them safe and protected.
It's essential to be open to workers suggestions about health and safety hazards around the business. Because employees have insight into processes within the company which you might not have experienced.
Opinions and ideas from staff can also support you with instilling actionable strategies, to ensure your business takes steps to become a safer environment for all.
Safety in the workplace across the world has been and always will be an ongoing issue, and no business premises are 100% safe. Several internal and external influences could compromise the safety of a company at a moments notice. Which is one of the reasons why safety in the workplace should be something that's worked on continuously. Only then can your business limit the risks of potential dangers harming the workforce.
By continuously looking for ways to protect workers rights and develop a safer working environment for all, you can prevent the likelihood of;
As a modern business, you need to understand what brings you success, as well as how important it is to run the company more effectively. In 2020 and beyond, there are so many ideas for things you can do to help your business get better. And this means you are going to need to think about the things you have to change to help make your business better.
The key to think about when it comes to improving the way you run your business is to make connectivity a priority. There are a lot of things that you need to keep in mind if you want to achieve this, and making the right business decisions moving forward is crucial. Here are some of the best things you can do that are going to allow you to boost connectivity and make the best business decisions.
Embrace Social Media
Social media is the best tool your business has these days when it comes to marketing and connecting as a business, and this is something you need to make sure you get right. Try to make sure you utilise social media as much as you can, and use this opportunity to try to expand your business overseas where possible too. Social media allows anyone, anywhere to connect and communicate with your business, and this is something you need to make sure you get right. Make sure you think about what it takes to get this right, and there are so many advantages to achieving this as much as possible.
As a business, you need to look at some of the best ways in which you can go mobile and try to make the best decisions as a business. There are so many great things you can do to make the business more mobile-oriented and achieve better connectivity as a brand. One of the key things you need to make sure you get right here is to use a QR code maker for faster and quicker connectivity to the business and your website.
As a modern business, it is important to make sure you do as much as possible to improve how reachable your business is. This is something that all companies need to get right, and it is vital that you enhance your customer service skills, and allow plenty of ways for customers to communicate and connect with your brand. The more you can do to achieve this, the better your connectivity will be, and there are so many things that play a massive part in the process, and you need to do as much as you can to make the most of this right now.
The more you can do to make the right business changes and achieve greater connectivity, the better it will be for the company. You need to think about the best ways of running a business effectively, and the different ways in which you are able to take your business to the next level. This is something that can make a huge difference to the process moving forward, and you could well get the best result out of your company as a result of this.
Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly what questions a hiring manager would be asking you in your next job interview? We can’t read minds, unfortunately, but The Muse has the next best thing: a list of more than 40 of the most commonly asked interview questions, along with advice for answering them all.
Every business is looking to improve its stance in the world. Ultimately, there's so much competition out there these days that we have to find unique approaches to stand out from the crowd. But when we start to look at the most common approaches such as improving our digital content or reconfiguring the product it seems that everybody has a hand in these approaches. This is why you've got to think differently. But what does standing out from the crowd really entail?
Changing Your Partnerships
You will always be judged by the people you align yourself with. When it comes to ensuring that you have a business that is perceived in the way that you want it to be, it's not just about what you put out there, but it's who you align your beliefs and practices with. It could be to do with finding the right clients or stakeholders but it can also be about the marketing gurus you work with. When it comes to being a niche or someone that stands out from the crowd, it's crucial to ensure that you are working with people that understand what you want to achieve. Companies like Elitelawyermanagement.com could help when you are looking for a very unique way to push forward a unique brand. But ultimately, everybody is pushing their uniqueness these days. This means that the difference between you and the next business is all about the relationships you cultivate, not just in terms of your business partnerships but also in terms of the people you hire. To look different you've got to be different.
Change Your Views
When you work with specific people it's because you align your thoughts with theirs and vice versa. When you alter your views this will guarantee the right calibre of people but it will also ensure that these relationships work towards something that everybody is happy with. But when you change how you view yourself and focus on creating mutually beneficial relationships, this can benefit the company in so many ways. So many businesses are looking out for themselves in order to make themselves look different when, in fact, the best solution might very well be teaming up with people. But when you start to work with the right clients this is because you have altered your perception of things. In order to get the right people on board, you've got to look at what you really want to achieve first. This doesn't mean becoming insular and selfish but getting an understanding of what you really want to achieve as a professional entity.
Don't Sell “Products”
Every business appears all about the profit or the bottom line but there are so many companies out there that need to reconfigure their focus. It's not about selling “products” but it's about selling “solutions.” This very insightful article on Medium.com may prove to be quite inspiring but you have to remember that when a customer approaches you about a product it's about fulfilling their needs, not yours. This is the very definition of great customer service and will truly differentiate you from your competitors.
In order to win the spotlight, it's not about fighting everybody else but it's about going back and looking up what you can achieve without being inherently selfish and conniving.
No matter how strong our business plans, at some point we are going to run into a problem. Often this will be something that wasn’t of our creation, such as a recession or even the recent COVID-19 pandemic. We can’t get through life without hitting a little turbulence on the way, but we can control the severity of impact if we are prepared.
Regular crisis planning can help your business to avoid tricky situations and will prepare you for anything that crops up. The military uses a great strategy called the War Room Technique. Essentially they sit down in one room with all the critical personnel in the business. They discuss all possible threats and then work through all the potential outcomes. They then create a plan for each and every one of these. It can take some time, but the results will leave you with a set of solutions and actions, regardless of the situation.
If you have a small business, then you could outsource to help you highlight any potential issues. Look at IT support companies, specialist business accountants and PR consultants. These people can come to your business annually and work through all the areas of your yearly business plan that could be an issue.
For IT, you could utilise the experience of an ethical hacker. This is someone who operates like a criminal hacker, but they are on your side. Their job is to expose any issues within your online setup. They will find weaknesses and then come back to you with a report to show you what they were able to access and how. They can then work with an IT company to reduce your risk and help you stay one step ahead of any cyberattacks.
A PR consultant will run through your marketing plans for the next year and help you create a PR crisis plan. This will include a list of questions that could be asked of your company in the event of a crisis. Having this list pre-prepared with answers allows all of your key staff to speak in the same voice. It will help you to overcome any tricky media or consumer enquiries regardless of the crisis.
Finances are essential for your company, so speaking to your accounts team or outsourcing an independent business accountant could help you prepare for any unforeseen issues. Many businesses invest profits back into the company or into assets. This is great for growth, but in the event of a crisis can be a mistake. Your business should always have accessible savings to help secure the company in the event of an unexpected situation. Be this a cyber attack which takes you offline, a pandemic which causes you to close, a fire on your premises or even ill-health.
Building a strong crisis plan and reviewing it annually will help ensure you are prepared for anything that life throws at you, even through unprecedented times or unchartered waters.
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.
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.