The Missing Piece: Turning Staff Members Into Team Members

There’s a difference between being happy at your job and being truly engaged with it. Someone can really love a company and be intent on staying there, but they’re not a member of the team. You’re not getting the full benefit of their knowledge and their efforts. It’s no fault of their own. Turning a group of fairly happy workers into a group of driven, team players is all down to you. There’s no magic wand, just a few tricks that will help you get the job done.

Photo Credit

Turn their goals into your goals

In doing their work, your employees are already fulfilling their side of the deal, just as you are fulfilling your side of the deal by paying them. If you want them to get invested in the success of the team and the business as a whole, you have to go a little further, too. If you want them to consider the goals of the business, then consider their goals. For most employees, it will be a career that they’re trying to build. As you take up most of their day, you have the most opportunity to help them do that. Create a development plan for them, helping them find skills and potentially internal sources of promotion.


Photo Credit

Make sure they have a place in the office

It doesn’t have to be an office, of course. But whatever the workplace is, it shouldn’t just be a place that people come to do their job. It should be a space for them to operate and contribute as comfortably as they can. For instance, make sure they have a safe space like locker storage to keep all their possessions safe. Then give them the option to feel a little more at home by adding some of themselves to their own working space. You might want your branding to shine through the office, but giving them the opportunity to personalise their own desk is going to go a long way towards making them feel at home. If they feel at home in the place they work, they’ll care more about it.


Photo Credit

Be engaged with their work

Engagement isn’t just something you can expect. It’s a dialogue that goes both ways. It’s entirely possible employees might become more engaged because of their own personality. But there’s also a good deal you can do to get them more engaged. To make them more prone to contributing in staff meetings and conversations. Simply put, talk to them about their work. Find out what their day involves. See if they have any problems with their productivity that you could spare some resources to fix. Encourage them to talk more about the problems and questions they face as an individual. They might think about themselves initially, but they’ll soon start opening up about thoughts outside their own place in the business.

When your workforce turns into a cohesive team, you can ensure everyone is on the ball. Morale improves, communication improves, and personal investment in the business will be at an all-time high. You can’t afford to neglect the bonds between those in the business any longer.

Continue Reading

Four Ways To Ensure Customers Adore Your Store

Picture Source

The retail business is highly competitive, but the hardest part of running a successful store is not overcoming the challenge of beating other competitors, but overcoming the challenge of pleasing potential customers.

Of course, good prices can achieve that, as can a range of things people have always wanted, or perhaps things they never even knew they wanted or needed. The key to really capturing their attention, however, is to deliver a service and style that they never expected. Here’s some advice for those retail store owners looking to really hook potential customers for good.

Make a good first impression.

This goes without saying, of course, but the means to achieving that end might be lost on your store. Making a good first impression is about more than good sales and deals; it’s about an amazing front presence. The window of your storefront should be inspiring, intriguing and well-designed. It’s the only marketing you can offer from the outside, so don’t do a half-hearted job of it.

If you need help getting the aesthetic just right, you could consider a creative retail design agency. There’s no harm in getting help with making your ideas a reality, or thinking of ideas in the first place, if you have none. Remember, the aesthetic of your store is the first impression you make on consumers. Before they’ve even begun to browse through the clothes, toys, food or whatever else you have on offer, they’re going to notice the modern lighting fixtures, the art on the walls, or perhaps even the bell which rang as they walked in, if you’re a small, local, quirky retail store.

If you’re trying something new, think about the cost.

I’ve already discussed the possibility of redesigning the interior of your retail store, but you have to create an overall plan before you do so, and you must plan a budget around every last detail of every last fixture needed. Construction work is done best when you chose high quality contractors for fair prices, so just think about that before you rush into anything. The top price doesn’t always mean the best quality for your particular business. Think about what you’re looking for when it comes to making an impression or a statement to your customers.

Don’t hire grumpy employees.

Retail stores are high-stress environments, so if your employees are cold and unpleasant to customers, you’ve either hired the wrong person, or you’re neglecting your staff. Either way, the problem needs to be resolved, because customer service is what makes the biggest impact on visitors to your store.

Perhaps customers don’t always want to be pestered when they’re walking around a store, simply browsing and making internal decisions. However, customers definitely want kind, attentive service when they ask for help or finally get to the front desk to pay for something. If you want your retail store to not only make sales, but to make repeat sales, then you’d do well to remember this.

Think “people”, not “sales”.

This is the most important step of all. Customers don’t care about the corporate mentality behind your store. They care about the goods or services they’re browsing and what these things can do to change their life. You have to appeal to the customer, as a person, in terms of looking good in a new pair of jeans, having fun playing video games with the kids or melting the heart of their mother with a brand new necklace.

Continue Reading

Start A Business, Save The Planet: Eco-Friendly Tips To Go Green

According to Green Biz, small businesses account for more than 52 percent of employment across the entire economy. As a result, entrepreneurs are responsible for a significant chunk of all of the world’s environmentally harmful waste.

But there’s good news: now a whole generation of women are setting up businesses with the goal of being environmentally friendly. Here are some ways female entrepreneurs can reduce the overall impact of their business and still turn a profit.

Put Your Website In A Bunch Of Green Directories

It’s not just business owners who are concerned about the effects of small businesses on the environment: there’s a bunch of customers out there who care too. That’s why so many companies with a green bent advertise their businesses on green directories. They want to connect with clients who believe in what they’re doing and who share common goals with them.


Getting your name out there on green directories is also a good way to do some quick and easy search engine optimisation. The more places your business crops up, there more seriously search engines will take it.

Encourage Green Behaviour In Your Own Business

Often it’s not the nature of the business itself to be wasteful: instead, it’s the habits of staff. Perhaps your employees always use disposable cups for their coffee, or maybe they don’t use reusable shopping bags. If you want to run a green business, it’s a good idea to inculcate your staff in a “green culture” where sustainability and recycling are emphasised. Make a point of making things reusable, and the people that work for you will quickly understand what you’re going for.

Use New Forms Of Mailing To Reduce Energy Use

If your business sends out flyers or menus to customers, the energy costs can be substantial. A truck is needed to take your printouts to a depot, and then yet more trucks have to transport the mail all over the country. A hybrid mail service helps to reduce the amount of energy you use by doing all the printing under one roof. All you do is virtually send your design to be printed out and shipped, skipping a lot of the transport costs.

Use Shredded Scrap Paper As Packaging


Free great picture

If your business generates a lot of shredded paper, why not put it to use as a packaging material? It’s certainly a lot better for the environment than the usual polystyrene balls used in most commercial shipping.

Incentivise Green Behaviour Among Your Customers

Some companies that want to help the environment get their clients to change their behaviour too. Say, for instance, your company is holding a “clean up the park” event. You could offer all customers who take part 20 percent off their next purchase with you.

Hold Your Meetings Remotely

Digital technology has moved on considerably since the early days of Skype. Now platforms like Zoom allow members of your team to dart in and out of group meetings, without having to travel to your office. Soon, we’ll have even more interactive and immersive meetings, thanks to VR.



Continue Reading

Your Employees Are People! Are You Treating Them That Way?

Your employees are one of, if not the most important aspect of your business. They are the gears that keep the whole thing ticking over day after day. Without them the entire thing would almost certainly come crashing down. Every single business owner should be grateful everyday for their employees. And yet, that doesn’t seem to be the case a lot of the time. In fact, far too many business owners treat their employees like just another resource to use and dispose of, rather than as thinking, feeling individuals. The problem with this is that, if you’re not taking care of your employees, then you’re never going to get the most out of them. Employees want to feel valued, and they want to feel supported. Here are some things that you can do to make sure that happens.

Keep them safe

Every employee deserves to work in a safe environment. Which makes is all the more terrible how often business owners tend to forget about even the most basic health and safety procedures. If you’re not following correct the correct procedures and something happens to your employees then you’re going to be liable, but more importantly, it puts them in genuine danger. Make sure all walkways are clear, all exits are unobstructed and that there are easily accessible first aid kits throughout your office. These are simple and easy considerations to make, but they can make a huge amount of different to the safety of your employees.

Listen to them

Remember, your employees are not just blunt objects. You need to take the time to listen to them as well as giving orders and instructions. If employees feel as though there is no give and take in the relationship between you and them, they’re going to start to grow resentful. There is also a lot that you could probably learn from your employees by listening to them. After all, you might have the benefit of a bird’s-eye-view of the entire business, but your employees know what it’s like on the ground. They can offer you insight into the systems that make up the business on a day-to-day level and how well they’re actually working. By being open to what your employees have to say then not only, will they be happier but it could well improve your business as a whole.

Show them that you value them


The importance of showing your employees that they’re valued really cannot be overstated. Employees who feel undervalued or ignored tend to lose motivation very quickly. Not only that but they can start to resent the work that they are doing when it goes completely unrecognized. Make sure that you’re taking the time to show the team as a whole that you value them as well as doing the same to individuals who really go above and beyond the call of duty. Not only will this improve relationships between you and your employees but will also offer them incentives to work harder.

Continue Reading

Is Brick-And-Mortar Retail Trendy Again?

Just a couple of years ago, industry analysts sounded the death knell for the high street. Online stores were going to dominate the retail space for the rest of this decade, as well as the next, and physical stores that didn’t quickly make the jump online would become footnotes of history, like Woolworths.

But over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a sea change. Physical businesses aren’t going online; rather online businesses are suddenly gaining corporeal form. Amazon, Bonobos and Warby Parker – online retail giants – have all now opened physical stores.

Wikimedia Commons

It’s a trend that’s gotten many smaller ecommerce businesses asking whether they should follow suit, opening their own physical stores and merging them with their online digital experience.

Here are some tips for ecommerce stores who want to take the plunge and open their own high street store.

Invest Heavily In Your Team

When an online retailer comes to the high street, it’s a novelty. People love the fact that something that once couldn’t be touched has been made manifest and is actually somewhere that they can go. It feels like an adventure. But without the right staff on hand to make the experience feel more like Disneyland and less like the Post Office, your business could end up falling flat. The staff you hire need to understand that when an online store comes to the high street, it’s a special occasion worth celebrating. It’s also a chance to show that yes, you can treat customers just as well as the other shops on the high street, even though you’re new to the game.

Integrate Online And Offline Experiences

As an online retailer, you’re in a unique position. You’re able to use ERP retail software to keep track of your customers both online and when they’re in your store. This means, potentially, that you can offer them unique services that most offline shops can’t.

For instance, you could offer specific customers special in-store prices through the website. Or you could tell customers that their local store is now stocking a particular item of clothing they put in their online shopping cart but for whatever reason, decided not to buy. Many large enterprises, including Top Shop, are already using similar systems.

Develop Your Community Strategy

When a new business arrives in town, some people can be hostile. It’s fine that you’re online, but are you really able to offer people the shopping experience they expect on the high street?

Part of any PR strategy is a strong community strategy. A good community strategy means meeting with local people on their own turf and doing something the drives loyalty. Increasing loyalty can be as simple as offering free sample products or sponsoring a local event with your brand name plastered all over it.

Go Cheap First, Then Invest Heavily

It’s not cheap setting up a physical store: you’ll need a significant amount of capital to make it happen. What’s more, things won’t always go as you planned. Start with a relatively cheap fit out first, and then, if you’re successful, invest in more expensive shop features.

Continue Reading

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not … How Bosses Make Employees Love Them

When it comes to “love” in the workplace, the statistics aren’t good. According to a Right Management survey, more than 84 percent of staff wanted to end their relationship with their bosses and find a new position elsewhere. That’s not a good sign. It says that the state of love in the nation’s offices is actually worse than the state of love in the nation’s marriages.

Wikimedia Commons

But here’s the good thing: you don’t have to be like the vast majority of bosses. You can make your workers love you, and when they do, they’ll be happier, more productive and go out of their way to bring you more business. Remember, your employees are among your greatest promoters.

Here’s how to make your employees love you.

Find Out What Makes Them Want To Stay In Bed

Chances are, there’s something about your employees’ jobs that makes them groan. It could be a working practice that makes it really hard to spend time with their family on the weekends, or might be a slow-loading computer. Whatever it is, it’s an opportunity for employers to improve their relationship with their staff by showing an interest in the things that ail them.

Make Meetings Great Again

Meetings are an essential part of like in the workplace. But for some people, the very mention of the word “meeting” is enough to make their stomach turn. A study by Young Gin Choi and others recently found that “fun” is a big reason why people stick around in a particular company, even when they know that they could get a slightly higher paycheck elsewhere. Fun might sound frivolous to some, but making merry is actually an excellent way to invest in the talent in your company. See it as an investment in the future of your team, even if “fun” isn’t your thing.

Focus On Safety

When workers show up to work, they want to be confident that they are going to make it through the day without being terribly injured. Unfortunately, many companies, especially those involved in construction and manufacturing, don’t take all the necessary precautions. To get their employees to fall in love with them, bosses need to follow PUWER regulations to the letter, making sure that all the plant and equipment they use is safe. By focusing on safety, you’re sending a strong message to workers that you genuinely care about their safety. Higher standards of safety mean fewer lawsuits, worker absences and sick payments.

Make Members Of Your Team Stars

When people are in love, they can’t help but talk positively about their loved ones. Bosses should do the same whenever members of their team create value. It’s a good idea to make individual team member’s achievements visible to all. This could mean posting an article about their successes on the company blog or sharing examples of their work within the company network.

Whatever you do, don’t take credit for their achievements. Always praise the individual members of your team who helped you achieve your goals.

Continue Reading

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs to Go Digital ASAP

There’s a saying that goes around in technology circles that every advancement we make as a human race has something to do with entertainment. Whether it’s virtual reality video games or high-speed race cars, every technological advancement makes it way into our leisure time in some form or another. However, the same advancements can also be applied to business.

Companies around the world are starting to get rid of paper records thanks to cloud technology and digital replacements. We no longer have to waste paper and ink sending invoices through the post, and there’s no risk of damaging our customer records if they are stored digitally and preserved forever. Unfortunately, many businesses still haven’t caught onto modern digital trends. If you’re one of those businesses that still hasn’t gone digital, then here are some tips to whet your appetite.

Digital records are accessible

Gone are the days of scouring through paper archives and hiring employees to catalogue every single record you made. Thanks to some clever computer engineering, we can store and search for files by simply querying a database. Need to find records of someone with the surname “Smith”? Then you can do a simple search instead of looking through hundreds or thousands of paper files and figuring out the most efficient way to categorise your documents. It’s also a great way to save on costs and time. You no longer need to ask someone to find the files for you which can be time-consuming and expensive. You simply do a search and find the documents you need. It’s so simple that any of your employees can do it with about 10 minutes worth of computer training.

Paperless is faster and cheaper than paper

Snail mail has served our businesses well for hundreds of years, but it’s time to let go of those slow methods and catapult your business into the future with instant mail. Emails and other forms of digital messaging arrive in mere seconds, cutting out the days worth of wait time (and ridiculous costs) of sending traditional mail. Your business clients and customers will get their messages instantly without a need to wait. It makes communicating and interacting with people who are physically far away from your office extremely easy, and it speeds up transactions to make your business more efficient and profitable.


Cloud storage can protect your business from disaster situations

Although you might not live in an area plagued with earthquakes and storms, you might still be the victim of an unlucky power outage, server malfunction or even an office fire. Cloud storage solutions such as attix5 software make it simple for your business to store information that is in a different physical location, rendering your data immune to accidents and disasters. Since your customer data is so important, it makes sense to have several forms of backup, and most cloud services are more than happy to secure your data with world-class security measures and regular data backups. Most cloud storage services operate on a monthly or annual fee which depends on how much space you need, but this can always be upgraded or downgraded as you need.

Work from anywhere in the world

Digital mediums also have the advantage of letting your employees work from almost anywhere. They can simply send and receive documents that need to be edited, changed or created. The documents can even be shared across cloud services. With an internet connection, your employees could work from anywhere in the world on a laptop the size of an A4 sheet of paper and with the thickness of a pen—the amount of power packed into a single laptop or tablet device would put all older mediums to shame. Equip your workers with the correct devices and equipment, and you could turn the entire world into your virtual office.


Collaborate and encourage teamwork

Cloud services also allow your staff to collaborate on documents and spreadsheets at the same time to increase efficiency and teamwork. Could you imagine five people crowding around a single sheet of paper making edits and highlighting changes that need to be made? It sounds ridiculous, but collaboration with digital mediums is possible and extremely effective. Many software packages allow your documents to be synced. This means you can create a project folder and share it with everyone in the team. They can then sync those files to their computers or laptops and whenever changes are made to the folder, every team member will receive an updated version of the folder so they never have to worry about working on outdated documents.

Continue Reading

Tips For VIPS: Hosting A VIP At An Event

Image Source

Managing events can be stressful enough without having to cater for VIPs. You may be hosting a business conference and may have specially invited a leading businessman to give a talk. You may be launching a product or a business and be using an important figure to sponsor it. Or you may be hosting a sports event or a local fare and you’ve caught wind that a celebrity or important community figure wants to be there. Whatever the reason for your VIP being there, here is how to prepare and ensure they get the most suitable service.

Shout about them during promotion

If you’ve arranged a workshop or launch party for your store and want people to come, the fact that you have an important figure there should be a key selling point. Include it in social media, on posters, in personal emails – however you plan to promote. Check that the VIP is definitely coming and if they are alright with you publicly using them as a selling point. Some celebrities may want to arrive as a surprise guest to limit paparazzi and hordes of adoring fans. Some VIPs may simply want to be treated as equals.

Check they have travel and accommodation planned

Many VIPs will have personal planners to arrange hotel rooms and transport to the venue if needed. Check just in case that this is all sorted and if any arrangements need to be made such as private access and parking, as well as letting them know they appropriate time to arrive.

Hire security

Your event may require security. A VIP may attract many fans who may attempt to sneak in. Some figures may even be so important that it could endanger them to not have protection. Hire security guards in order to keep the event running smoothly. Even events without VIPs may require security just to keep unwanted personnel away.

Give the VIP their own private area

Your important guest may want their own area to relax before, after or during the event. This could include a dressing room, a private tent, a place to park up their VIP vehicle or a private booth or seating area for spectating an event. Research your VIP in case they require any special equipment or food and drinks. Don’t go overboard – a local mayor or important businessman may want to mix with the crowd and not be treated with royalty.

Invite your VIP to take part in event proceedings

Don’t just treat your VIP like a decoration. Offer them the chance of getting involved. Have them give a talk at your conference or cut the ribbon of your new store. There should be a practical reason for them being there other than simply being a marketing ploy. Of course, if your guest has come along by their own will, they may not want to get involved (such as a celebrity spectating a sports event or going to a concert). Similarly, you should be wary of VIPs that want to steal the show.

Continue Reading

3 Powerful Pointers For Perfecting Your Website

Picture Source

A website is a dynamic and powerful tool. It can be used to reach people all over the world and also make you a lot of money. Every business nowadays needs a website to enhance their marketing and make more sales. Bloggers also use their website as a home for all their content. But is your site as good as it can be?

Poor website design can lose you visitors fast. A lack of functionality can be even more problematic. That’s why you need to ensure your website brings people in and keeps them interested. Whether you’re a business, a web designer or a blogger, here are some tips for making your site perfect.

Give It The Perfect Design

Having a stand-out website starts with having a stylish design. Plan out how you want your site to look- think of layout, colour schemes, and other graphical features. If you have the right skills, you can work on it yourself. However, it’s best to seek the help of professional web designers.

Web design services can both create your graphical interface and implement it into a functional website with coding. Most businesses use these kinds of services to ensure they get a high-quality professional site. It also helps to learn some coding yourself- knowing the basics of HTML and CSS can help you make changes and fixes to your website on the fly.

There are also web tools out there which can help you create a site quickly and easily. Some bloggers use WordPress, which offers a host of stylish templates and an easy content management system.

Test It Thoroughly

You might think your website looks and works fantastic- but will it be good enough for all your visitors? You should test it to find out. A simple way to test would be to let friends, family, and employees give you feedback on a beta version. But there are more thorough ways to ensure your site is perfect.

One of the most effective ways to test your site is to put it through AB testing. It involves having people test multiple versions of your website to ensure you use the best features and design. You can get helpful, objective feedback this way.

Testing isn’t just to gather opinions on your site. It can ensure that your website works on all browsers- Chrome, Edge, Opera, Safari, and more. You can also make sure your site is smartphone and tablet friendly.

Implement The Best Features

Your content is the real meat of your website, but you should also add helpful features to make it better. There are tons of tools and widgets you can add to help your visitors.

Businesses can use the web to its full potential by using analytical tools on their site. These can help you identify where your visitors are coming from and improve your marketing. You could also use ecommerce software to make sales.

Bloggers can boost the reach of their content by adding social media sharing widgets. These allow readers to circulate content on their social networks. These kinds of tools can also help business blogs. There are many other practical widgets for websites, so add whatever you think will help perfect your site.

Continue Reading

Is Bigger Always Better? Issues With Larger Teams

Image Via Pexels

You might think that having a larger staff is always going to lead to better results on the market. After all, having a bigger team means that you can take on more jobs. Or that you can handle the jobs that you already have more effectively. A larger staff could ultimately also help you attract the important key clients that can take your business to the next level on the market. Although, it would be foolish to say that taking on a bigger team is devoid of problems. There are certain issues that you’ll need to be prepared for once your business begins to expand in this way. Let’s start by thinking about lost relationships.


One of the major issues with a larger team of staff is that there is typically a disconnect between different areas of your business. People aren’t working together and are instead pushing towards their own private goals. This in itself isn’t a problem. In fact, individual work can lead to a great level of high output. But at the same time, it can mean that when a large contract is taken on, employees aren’t able to work together to complete it. Instead, there are areas where a quality service is delivered and others where it isn’t. Ultimately, that’s going to damage the reputation of your company.

This level of disconnect is often made worse because people don’t feel connected. Particularly when they are working from different areas. For instance, you might have some workers operating from home. Others, on the other hand, are in the office. How do you ensure that both these groups of workers, still function effectively together? The answer is you can, but it’s just another challenge that will be added onto the daily workings of your company. You’ll have to figure out how to ensure that your team works as it should.

Managing Quality


Picture Link

As your company grows with more members of staff, you’ll need to hire other individuals to watch over different sections of your company. Essentially, your business becomes modulated. So, you might have a big team of staff. To keep things simple let’s make that number ten thousand. Then, you might have that team divided into ten different sections of your company, each with one thousand members of staff. After this, each separate section is split, controlled by four managers. These managers are at the head of 250 members of staff and so on and so forth. Eventually, you reach that one employee who might not be pulling their weight. They could be throwing your whole business model off balance, but guess what? You don’t know that, and this member of staff is actually quite happily slipping underneath the radar. However, every time he delivers a poor service, the reputation of your business is damaged. With a smaller staff, it’s easy to see when an employee is failing. In larger teams, the problem often goes completely undetected. That’s why a lot of larger businesses often have issues with keeping quality levels high.

Hiring More Staff

Essentially, it’s more money and more problems when you hire a larger team of staff. There’s no real way around this because you need them to essentially look after your new employees. A simple example of this would be your payroll. With a large team of staff comes a potentially massive payroll that needs to be taken care of. You’re going to need to hire a professional to do this for you. They can be found from a payroll recruiter or a payroll recruitment agency. This will ensure that you find the best team member for the job.

This isn’t the only position you’ll need to fill when you hire a large team of staff though. You will also need a full team for human resources. Think of human resources as the legal support system for your business. If there is a legal issue with your company you can bet it will come from workers. For instance, most businesses are currently experiencing severe issues with premises liability. A HR team can help you avoid the dangers of legal issues like this and ensure your business functions as it should.

Heavy Costs


Pexels Source

It should go without saying, but when you hire a large staff, you are also taking on more costs. For instance, at the most basic level, you’re going to have more people to pay. This is effectively the crutch of the problem. Are they worth the extra cost? You might think that the answer is yes but it does depend on how skilled they are. A large group of unskilled workers will be less profitable than a smaller team that is highly qualified. In fact a larger team that doesn’t have the necessary skills will, more than anything, be a liability.

That’s why you need to think about investing in training for a team of staff, no matter how large the business is. This is the only way to make sure that you will be getting a healthy ROI when you hire new team members.

If you are spending more on your team, you should be looking for ways to save in other areas. For instance, when you take on a larger team your energy usage is almost certainly going to rise. For this reason, it is worth looking at how to go green in your company. One of the ways you can do this is by investing in solar energy. With panels on the roof of your business you can save a fortune through the summer months.

Or, how about just making sure that the cost of your business property isn’t a massive expense. Remember, a bigger team doesn’t have to mean a bigger office. Some workers can stay at home while others can be outsourced from different companies. You can even hire freelancers to ensure you don’t have to pay a full team a massive amount in incentives.

We hope you find this advice helpful, particularly if you are planning on increasing your staff numbers next year.


Credit Image

Continue Reading