Don’t Skimp on These Essential Business Spends

By Pixabay

Allocating a business budget can be tough. You can’t afford to pay for everything you want. But spending money on the wrong things could spell disaster. You need to avoid investing your money in something that won’t benefit your business. However, the things you think might be beneficial could be different to what could actually contribute to your success. There are some areas you shouldn’t neglect, even when your budget is low and times are hard. Before you waste your money or dismiss something important, make sure that you’re putting some big bucks into these areas.

Marketing

When the economy is struggling, many business owners cut their marketing budget. In fact, experts often warn against doing this, and some even suggest you should put more money into it. If you stop investing in marketing when times are tough, how are you going to keep bringing in the sales you need? Spending money on marketing and branding is an essential part of your budget. For smaller businesses, it’s often more sensible to outsource the task or at least some of it. For example, you might choose to outsource PPC advertising campaigns or content marketing.

Documents2

By PublicDomainPictures

Your Staff

The old saying that if “you pay peanuts, you get monkeys” is most often true. If you want the very best in the business, you’re not going to get it by offering a meager salary. Of course, many newer businesses can’t afford to pay big bucks. But you should still be offering competitive salaries when compared to companies like yours. When it’s time to hire for new positions, investing in executive search firms and other talent agencies is worth it. The hiring process will never be cheap but putting some money into it can help you find the best staff.

Financial Services

You can’t overstate how important it is to have someone watching your numbers. A small mistake in your accounts could lead to disastrous consequences. It’s worth investing in financial services to save your business money and help you make more. A good accountant is the least that any business should have. Ensuring that the books are accurate, and that tax is paid on time is essential. Other financial services can be useful too. Companies can find ways to reduce spend and maximize profits.

Documents3

By bykst

Legal Advice

Many small businesses don’t consider whether they need legal advice when they launch. However, businesses of all sizes should ensure that they have access to legal resources. It can be helpful to check that the business is following any regulations. Consulting with a lawyer helps to avoid infringing on trademarks too. As well as helping companies to avoid breaking the law, a lawyer can also help in the event of anything happening. If a person sues the company, access to legal counsel is vital. The company can have the representation they need to protect themselves or an employee.

Make sure your business budget is being spent on the right things. Don’t fall for unnecessary luxuries when you’re trying to be sensible.

Continue Reading

Make Your Business Easy To Reach In 3 Simple Steps

With the help of the internet and smartphones, communicating with your customers has never been so easy. From emails to phone calls, they can ask you questions and provide feedback which could help your business boom. But unfortunately many business owners make the mistake of avoiding talking to their customers. They might not provide contact information online or answer social media messages. But this is a foolish mistake to make. If your customers don’t feel appreciated, it could cause you to lose valuable business. It can also lower satisfaction levels and prevent you from developing a loyal customer base. So instead of hiding from your customers, make your business easier to reach in just three simple steps.

Picture link

Get a contact number

If your business has a contact number, it adds credibility and gives your customers more confidence to buy your products. While you could use your mobile number, this doesn’t always look professional. So you might want to consider using a mobile to landline number instead. This can provide you with a more established looking number which diverts calls to your mobile. So you can answer calls from your customers no matter where you are. Remember to answer every call promptly and in an efficient manner each time

Always ensure that you use the correct number on all of your promotional materials including business cards and flyers. You might always want to establish appropriate call times to avoid getting calls at inappropriate times of the day.

Create a business email

Many of your customers will favour using email to make contact with you rather than calling. So it’s essential that you provide one on your website, social media and business cards. They could use your business email address to inform you of a faulty product they have received or to chase up an order. Some customers may have queries they want to be answered before they commit to a purchase. Make sure your email address is relevant to your business and is not too difficult to find. You could create a contact form on your website if you’re concerned about giving an email address out. Make sure you or your employees make an effort to check for customer emails every few hours.

ReachBusiness2

Picture link

Sign up to social media

In today’s technology-obsessed world, no business will thrive without a social media presence. You can use it to promote your business but also as a means of communication between you and your customers. So it’s crucial that you are signed up to all the major social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Make sure your customers are aware of these site with regular promotion. You could ask your customers to leave their thought on photos of your product or to ask questions. Just remember to respond to every message or question in a timely manner. Again, check your feed regularly and make sure every response is well written.

You should now have a more reachable business and happier customers as a result of completing these steps. Encourage your customers to get in touch with feedback, suggestions, and even complaints. This will show them that customer satisfaction is an important factor within your business.

Continue Reading

How To Prepare Your Business For Growth In 3 Steps!

(Link to image: https://goo.gl/HdT7SF)

Starting a business is difficult, we all know that. But, after a while, things start to become easier – if you’re successful! Successful companies will soon run into another hurdle; expansion. There’ll come a time when you need to think about growing your business to make even more money.

Bearing that in mind, here are three steps to help you prepare your company for growth:

Do Some Market Research

Growing your business means that you’ll start operating on a wider scale. What this means is that you’ll be selling your products to different markets, in a bid to make more money. So, things are going to be a bit different from what you’re used to. You might find that certain things aren’t as effective in other markets in different countries. My advice is to do some market research before you think about growing. Get to know the other markets that your company is going to grow into. This is something that every business owner should do when they’re thinking about growth. If you run a local business, you might consider expanding on a national level. You want to take your company elsewhere in the country. You’ll still need to research the markets to ensure you do the right things. This helps your business expand without any growing pains.

Focus On The Operations Side Of Things

For small businesses, the operations side of things can be fairly easy. You’re only catering to a small market, so it’s easy to source everything, create it, and sell it on time. However, when you expand and grow, this can become much harder. And, don’t just take my word for it, top business owners say the same thing. If you read this Forbes article here about Hampton Creek in it, the Hampton Creek founder was talking about how difficult it was to scale the operations side of the business. He found it much harder to get everything done on time, when things are on a larger scale. This will be a problem for your business when you grow as well. So, you have to be prepared before it happens. Have plans in place to ensure you can manage the operations of a large scale business. If you do this, then you’ll be ready to grow and expand your company.

Get Ready To Make More Hires

As a business grows, it will need more employees. So, you need to prepare for this and think about making new hires. What you need to do is come up with a strong idea of the perfect employee. You should make notes about specific values that you want everyone to have. And, think about whether you’re looking for experience or not. Try and come up with killer interview questions that will tell you whether or not you’ve found the right employee. A good example is to have a multiple choice question at one point in the interview. Of the three answers, one should align itself perfectly with your brand values. If the candidate picks that answer, then you know they think the same way as you and would be good for the job.

Take these tips on board and your business will be ready to grow. Soon, your small startup will become something even bigger and better!

Continue Reading

4 Sources Of Tech Help For Technophobes

Pexels

If you are a technophobe, the modern world can be a scary place! There is so much technology out there now. And many of us need to use it for work. And, even though it isn’t really necessary, many of us also use it a lot for social media. But what happens when something goes wrong? Maybe a device or computer breaks, or you end up with a virus? As a technophobe, it can be easy to panic as you won’t have an idea how to fix things. However, fear not! Here are four sources you should go to for all your tech help.

Friends And Family

There must be someone in your close circle who knows a thing or two about tech! And they can be your first point of call. If someone you know likes tech, then they will be able to help you out with the basics. If they work in tech, even better. Then they can help you if your issue is slightly more advanced. You’ve really hit the jackpot if you know someone who works with computers as they might be able to repair your machine!

Tech2

Pexels

Online Blogs

There are now loads of online blogs dedicated to technology and the internet. They regularly post articles about various tech topics. Take a look at some blogs and see if you can find an article that relates to the problems you are having. If you are lucky, you might even discover a step-by–step guide on how to solve your issue.

The IT Department At Work

Almost every company has an IT department in their office these days. And nearly all the employees in IT are bound to know everything there is to know about technology. No problem will be too big for them! If you are having problems with a laptop or tablet, take it in for your tech co-workers to take a look at. I’m sure they’ll be very happy to help out! They can also discuss anti-virus software with you and how to protect your home devices from hackers.

Ask The Professionals

If none of the above work for you, there is one last option. Ask the professionals! You could, of course, skip straight to this point rather than trying the top three points. That’s the best course of action if you need things fixed in a hurry! There are loads of companies out there that specialize in computer repairs and other IT services. For an idea of the kinds of services they offer, take a peek at websites such as Computer Support from Computer Geeks. If your computer or tablet is broken, you might need to send it into a repair firm for a couple of days. But once you get it back, you can guarantee it will be as good as new!

Hopefully, this blog post will have helped save all you technophobes from some stress! Just because something goes wrong with your computer and devices, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. You can get help from the above four sources!

Continue Reading

How Your Business Can Benefit From Corporate Events

Business owners have a lot of decisions to make about their companies. And, one of the big decisions you’ll have to deal with is corporate events. These are not just things you arrange for your clients. You’ll also need to use them with your staff as well. There are a lot of reasons why you need to make full use corporate events and away days. These are some amazing reasons why you need to make sure you use corporate events to benefit your business.

Image

They’re Fun

An important thing to remember about corporate events is that they’re fun. And this is one of the reasons why your company has to use them. They provide some fun and excitement for the team. And they make the job that little bit more interesting. If you’re planning a corporate event or an away day, you can visit Clevedon Hall Corporate and choose anything. And it would be beneficial to choose something that’s going to be fun and exciting.

Team Building

One of the key aims and focal points for your business should be team building. You need to have a close knit and well-run team. This is vital for working towards business success. You’ve got to have a team that works really well together, and that gets on well. And the best way of doing this is to use corporate events to help build a strong bond. You can make your business boom through team building ideas and exercises.

Team2

Picture

A Change of Pace

It’s really important to offer your employees a change of pace now and again. Stuck in the same office doing the same thing every day can become monotonous. And, you need to make sure you make things more interesting. Sometimes a change of scenery can make all the difference. Your employees will appreciate getting out of the office and doing something different for a bit.

Improve Morale

You have to keep in mind the importance of staff morale in the workplace. The better your employees feel, the better they will work for you. And, you’ll find that corporate events are a good way of boosting this morale. They help you to give your staff a change of pace and provide them with amusement. You have to make sure you focus on developing and nurturing your workforce in the best possible way.

Positive Reputation

Having corporate events on a regular basis helps your company to develop a positive reputation. You want a positive reputation as a business that looks after its workers. And a company that provides something extra for your staff. Corporate events and team building trips are a vital part of running a modern business.

Team3

Photo

As a business owner, you have to come up with ideas to help you improve things. And it’s important to look at how to make things better for your workers. Staff are the heartbeat of a business, and you have to understand the role they play. You need to make use of corporate events to help improve team building and make your staff happier.

Continue Reading

The Secret To Success: How To Make Your Business Boom

Are you a small business owner with big ideas? Are you preparing to launch your own company? Or are you desperate to increase profits quickly? If so, here are some secrets to success. Hopefully, your business will be booming in no time at all.

Launching a new business? Shout it from the rooftops

Any successful business needs to catch the attention of the customer. It doesn’t matter if you have an ingenious product if nobody knows who you are or what you’re selling. If you’re setting up on your own or bringing a new product to market, shout it from the rooftops. Get people talking, and generate a buzz. Host a launch party, or invite some investors or buyers to a showcase. Attend networking events and build your list of contacts. Carry out demonstrations in shops, or offer discounted rates for trial purchases. Are you selling a new board game? If so, send some prototypes to local toy shops. Are you setting up a building firm? Put some flyers with discount vouchers attached through letterboxes. The more people that know about your business and what it offers, the better.

Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/83532250@N06/7650804342

Advertising and marketing

Advertising and marketing will play a key role in the success or failure of your company before you’ve even started trading. Before you’re open for business, use marketing techniques to drum up interest and let people know that you’ll be up and running soon. Do you run a restaurant or bar? Place an advert in the local papers and use billboards to let people know when you’re opening. Put some flyers through the door, and post notices on the shop front.

Once you’re open, focus on building firm foundations and attracting new clients. Reward loyal customers, and offer incentives for new business. You can use all kinds of different marketing techniques. Social media is one of the most effective modern strategies. Millions of people use social media platforms on a daily basis. You can reach a massive audience in a matter of seconds. You can also sites like Facebook and Twitter to create relationships with other businesses and suppliers.

Boom2

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/media-social-media-apps-998990/

Increasing margins

The key to maximising profits is increasing margins. If you can buy for lower prices and sell at higher rates, you’re onto a winner. Never underestimate the value of good negotiation skills. If you’re selling products, ensure you have positive relationships with suppliers and buy in bulk. The more you buy, the lower the unit price. If you sell jewellery, for example, check out elf925 stainless steel jewelry wholesale. If you run a restaurant, strike up a deal with local butchers and fishmongers. Monitor sales, and keep an eye on competitors. If items are flying off the shelves, and competitor prices are higher, you should be able to raise your prices.

Boom3

Image credit https://pixabay.com/en/photos/graph/

Every business owner dreams of success. If you’re setting up a new business, or you’re trying to expand an existing firm, take these handy hints on board. Focus on getting your company name out there and use marketing methods to bring in new clients. Negotiate deals with suppliers and aim for the lowest unit price possible. Never underestimate the importance of strong relationships in business. Build up your contact list, and come to mutually beneficial arrangements with other firms. Good luck!

Continue Reading

What Can Sports Teach Us About Running A Successful Office?

Photo: Google Images

Despite being an advocate of yoga and running, I’ll be the first to admit that sports aren’t necessarily my greatest forte. Nevertheless, I’d need to be very ignorant to think that the lessons learned from sport couldn’t be transferred to business.

In particular, the office areas can be improved greatly by taking some of those simple tips on board. Here are some of the most pertinent. Embrace them now, and you should see noticeable upgrades in next to no time.

There’s No I In Team

When it comes to team sports, no one player can without the support of their team. We recently saw that at Euro 2016 as Portugal beat France even after Cristiano Ronaldo got injured. In business, you need to appreciate that every staff member has a crucial role to play.

As an entrepreneur, paying close attention to the recruitment process is vital. As with building a sports team, it’s not all about the skill. You need to consider how the personality and talent of each candidate will fit into the group. After all, the best employee is the one that works best for your business.

Likewise, team chemistry is as important in the office as it is on the sports field. Establishing a better atmosphere through staff training, perks and team building exercises is key. In fact, it could be the difference between success and failure.

An Organized Team Achieves More

If it were all about having the best players in sport, there’d be no need for a coach. Similarly, team leaders, including you, are crucial to your business. Organization is key to the overall team strategy, and you must use every tool to improve your efficiency.

Communication is a key element. In addition to streamlined meetings, you should use pin boards and other visual aids to ensure that each team member knows their role. After all, following the same tactics is the only way to achieve great success. If different members are following varying blueprints, everything will become muddled.

For your team, time is money. Being organized will allow you to achieve far more from the working day, which is what will turn a defeat into a win.

Risk Reduction Is Crucial

When playing a team sport, defense is as important as offense. You cannot attack the challenge ahead if you haven’t protected yourself first. Similarly, it’s imperative that your business and office is secure.

Every business should incorporate the best safety and privacy measures. Not only will you be protecting key data and items, but you’ll also build a better brand image. For the sake of the relationships with your customers as well as the staff, this is vital.

Getting those fundamental features into great health is crucial if you want to build a successful office environment. However, the biggest risk is encounter excessive overheads. Learn to keep those expenses to a manageable level, and you should be just fun. As with sports, seeking the edge over your competitors is key. Quite frankly, it’s the only formula for success.

Continue Reading

My Number One Tips To Ensure You Secure An Online Sale

When thinking about online business, most entrepreneurs focus on SEO. If you don’t know by now, SEO is the different methods website owners use to get customers to their site. In the past, this meant adding keywords and links to the website, ensuring it was at the top of the search engine. Now, it includes everything from social media to content writing. All of these factors combine to make sure customers can find your website when they complete a search online.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make for an online business is thinking SEO is all you need. That just isn’t true. You need a lot more to make sure that your business is a hit online. If you have SEO, your company or website will get the views, but it might not get the sales. Customers might click on and immediately click off again. This is a problem for bloggers too, because it’s going to affect how attractive your site is to advertisers.

To assess this issue, I’m going to walk you through some of the key features I considered designing my blog.

Overall Design

Credit Image

The first issue you need to consider is the overall design of your website. You need to make sure it is appealing to your target customer and audience. Take my blog as an example. I cater to people who are interested in fashion. That’s why my blog looks modern, minimalistic and stylish. It has a contemporary feel that my readers have responded well to. You can style your site yourself, but sometimes it’s best to use a professional designer. The website cost can be expensive but the design is a crucial part, and you should spend a little cash on this area.

Easy To Use

online1

File Image Location

Another reason for my minimalistic design is to ensure that my blog is easy for readers to use. That’s important when you think about attracting customers and making sure they stay for the sale. You need to guarantee that they can find exactly what they are looking for. Using links is a great way to make your site easy to navigate. As an example, I’m referencing how to build a website. I’ve already written a post on how to improve your existing website. By linking to that post, you can get the reader to another area of your site that they will find useful. You can use this tactic to initiate a sale if you have a shop section on your site.

Target Appropriate Content

online2

Link To Picture

Adding content to your site is important, and you should be doing this on a regular basis. However, it does need to be the right content, and it must be target appropriate. You need to make sure that it is content your readers or viewers will find interesting. It should relate directly the specific role of your site.

Introducing You

online3

Flickr Image

Finally, you do need to make sure customers know who they are buying from. A stylish and clear about page is another key to securing the sale. In my case, I’ve given a little detail about who I am and what I’m interested in. If you’re running a full business online, you may need to provide more info. Show why they should buy from you rather than your competition and you will win that sale.

Continue Reading

Vital Things That Can Make Or Break Your Business

flickr

Whenever you start an online business, there will be a steep learning curve to climb before you make any headway. And, you will find that the same issues crop up with alarming regularity. With this in mind, I thought I would take the opportunity to reveal the most important things that you will encounter when starting out online. Make yourself aware of them – because they can make – or break – your business.

Website design

First of all, be careful to invest in a robust, intuitive, and simple website. It is vital that your customer is aware of who you are and what you do the second they arrive on your site. And, it should be designed with them in mind – in a clear and logical way. Yes, a beautiful, clever site will draw admiring glances – but only from fellow web professionals and designers. The average customer won’t appreciate it, however – and it’s these people you need to cater for.

Traffic

Without visitors, your website may as well not exist. And, no matter what industry or niche you are in, it is always a struggle to get people to your online business presence. The Internet is an enormous place, and it can be hard to fight your way to the top of the tree – or the rankings, in this case. Your primary concern, then, is SEO. It’s something you can learn if you have a little time on your hand. But, if you want to move fast – which is advisable – then find an expert who can teach you and put a plan into action is imperative.

web2

flickr

Conversion

SEO doesn’t automatically mean more sales. You can get plenty of visitors to your site and still make no sales at all. The answer lies with conversion rate optimisation. It’s a marketing tactic that dips into a lot of different areas. As Neuro web marketing point out, these can include psychology, behaviour analysis, and neuroscience. If you aren’t converting your visitors, quite simple, there’s little point in being online at all.

Your authority

Once you have all the website basics out of the way, it’s time to flesh out your site. This can take a considerable amount of work, as you are trying to get over your professionalism and industry authority. People like to do business with companies that know what they are talking about. So, you have to get your credentials out there. A blog is the easiest way to start – you can look into things like help guides and industry news and comments. Make your knowledge work for you and you will find your visitors put a lot more faith in your business.

Customer service

Just because you’re an online business doesn’t mean you can take it easy with customer service. In fact, it can be even more important. There is no room for subtlety in the online world, and you don’t have the benefit of face-to-face contact with your clients and customers. You have to make every word count when it comes to dealing with complaints and making your case. You should concentrate on offering exceptional service with everything you do. That goes for everything from your social media presence to delivery schedules. Do so, and your online business and profits should boom.

Continue Reading

Does Your Business Website Pass The Test? 7 Things You Can Improve On Today

In 2016, there aren’t many businesses that don’t harness the power of a website. It’s easily accessible, packed with useful information, and it isn’t costly to implement. However, you only need to do a quick browse of Google to find plenty of business websites that aren’t up to scratch. Whether they’re outdated or packed with horrible design features, it all creates a bad impression. In order for your business website to stand out, here are a few things to improve on.

Image By Pixabay

Updating Your Content

Some say that the hardest part of having their own website is creating it in the first place. Those people aren’t going about the task properly! In truth, finding ways to keep it updated and engaging for viewers is usually much harder. You’ve got to find ways to constantly update your website and attract people to it. Whether that’s via a blog, important announcements or anything else, figure out a plan of action.

Design/Layout

This is an area in which many businesses are big offenders! Web design isn’t easy, and a lot of companies don’t seek the help of a web design company for the task. Sometimes, the result is a messy, disjointed website that assaults the senses. If you’re uncertain whether this is the case, ask some unbiased participants to analyse it for you.

SEO

Search Engine Optimisation is just as important as actually creating the website itself. Without good SEO implementation, your website won’t be getting the views you had anticipated. By pushing it higher up the rankings of various search engines, you’ll benefit from a vastly improved number of readers.

Business2

Image By Pixabay

Ease Of Use

This is particularly important for websites that offer services and products that can be purchased online. If your website isn’t easily accessible, potential customers will only browse for so long. Eventually, they’ll give up in frustration. Designing your website so that anyone can find exactly what they want with ease is crucial if you want to find success.

Sharing Capabilities

Nowadays, we live in a constantly connected world where social media reigns supreme. For that reason, giving people a way of sharing content via Facebook, Twitter and Email is important. It doesn’t take much to add sharing buttons to your website’s content, and it might just drum up a lot of extra attention for your business.

User Interaction

Depending on the type of website you’re designing, you might want to think about user interaction. It isn’t fun to sit through wall after wall of text, and viewers will soon get bored. If you can give them some kind of interaction from videos to mini-games, they’re much more likely to remain invested.

Conveying Your Overall Message

Above all else, you need to think about whether your website conveys your intended message effectively. If it has been bogged down by an excess amount of distractions and text, you need to get back to basics. Sometimes, the simplest designs are the best ones. Just because something looks good, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s doing its intended job.

Continue Reading