Meetings 101: Get The Most Out Of Your Time

Image

When you are working in a fast paced environment it is always important for you to take the time to set up meetings now and again. Meetings can be helpful for anyone working on a project together and it can aid in making important decisions for the company. If you are looking to make the most of your time in a meeting this year, here are some of our top tips for you.

Book a room

The most easy way to ensure that you get your meeting for a specific day and time and that everyone shows up is to use a room booking system to book a room for your meeting. A lot of the time if you only say verbally that you want a meeting, your colleagues may forget and you might end up sitting in the room all alone. However when you send out a booking request and send this on, they will have it in their diaries and will come along.

Send an email in advance

One of the most annoying things in a meeting is when no one knows what the meeting is about and you have to spend the first 10 minutes explaining what you need and what you want to talk about. It is always a better idea for you to write out and email which briefly covers what you want to chat about, and this way when people come into the room they will be ready to start discussing the issue or project.

Make notes

It is crucial that you make notes and ask everyone else to make notes before and during a meeting. Once you send out your email you should ask everyone to write down any points they would like to add and things they want to discuss, and during the meeting you can all do this and everyone can take notes to make sure that they are getting everything that they should.

Stand up

A great way to avoid those long, time wasting meetings with your colleagues is to find a place where you have to stand up rather than sit down. Standing up for a meeting is much less comfortable than sitting down and this will make people want to get to the point much quicker so that they can leave. It will ensure that people don’t take up all of your time with mindless rubbish.

Book another ‘meeting’ directly after

A genius way to speed up a meeting you know will otherwise over run is to book the room afterwards for a pretend meeting. This will mean that you can rush everyone along in the room a little and when they leave, you can enjoy 10 minutes of peace before you go and get back to work. It will ensure that people don’t start chatting about their day or the weather right away and you will be able to make sure that you can have some time to process what has been said in the meeting before you head back to work.

Continue Reading

The Dog Ate My Marketing And Other Excuses You Need To Stop Making About Why You Can’t Go Freelance

Picture Credit

For most of us, the prospect of going freelance is pretty daunting. We may hate our day jobs, but they offer us security. When you work for someone else, they develop the products. They also ensure that you have a secure and predictable pay packet.

By comparison, freelancing means doing everything yourself. You won’t have anyone to delegate work for you, and won’t be able to predict how much you’ll earn. That’s a whole load of uncertainty and extra work. It’s no wonder, then, that you’ve convinced yourself this lifestyle isn’t for you.

But, despite the downsides, you’ve watched countless friends make this transition in recent years. And, you can’t help but notice how happy it’s made them. Still, you may continue to reason that the lifestyle wouldn’t suit you. You may even have considered the reasons why. Many of us fall back on familiar excuses to justify why we could never make a freelance career work. Call it a survival instinct. But, it’s time to stop making yourself miserable. We’re here to show you why none of those excuses should be enough to prevent you from pursuing this dream.

I’m terrible with numbers

Picture Credit

If you aren’t any good at maths, you may rule yourself out of freelance work. The mere idea of pricing and accounts sends you weak at the knees. But, few freelancers have maths degrees behind them, and they manage to make this lifestyle work. It’s entirely possible to freelance without crunching many numbers. You can settle on pricing through basic sums. Even keeping on top of accounts shouldn’t be too difficult to start with. The moment business starts to pick up, you could even hire an accountant who can deal with all your numbers for you.

I’m no good with words

You may also avoid going it alone because you don’t have a way with words. There’s no chance you could impress with your emails or start a blog to sustain you. You can’t even string two sentences together. Again, though, this is no reason not to try. Checking all written content with an app like Grammarly could see you writing like a best-selling author in no time. If your skills are that bad, you could even hire content services from a company like Figment Agency. They can write content for you based on your ideas, and ensure language troubles never impact your freelance reputation.

Picture Credit

I don’t know the first thing about marketing

Even if you have a decent freelance idea, you may worry that you have no idea about things like marketing. But, you can join the club. The majority of freelancers start out with zero business experience. That’s why there are endless websites out there to help you. The chances are that you would also learn about things like social media marketing on the job. Instead of letting this hold you back, see it as a hurdle you need to overcome. If you manage that, nothing should stop you from winning the freelance race.

Continue Reading

Rebelling Against The Rat Race

Are you fed up with the rat race? Is that daily commute beginning to send you crazy? If the answer’s yes, then you could find yourself among the thousands of people who give up the office to work from home.

If you do decide to start up your own business there are several myths that you’ll need to dispel straight away, but yes, you can definitely work in your pajamas. You can’t, however, slack off. Research shows that home workers, on average, tend to work harder than their cubicle based counterparts.

This is made even truer when you’re starting up your own business. You’ll need to put in the hours to get established, so while you might be doing the work on the beach with your laptop, you’re still working.

The big question is: what are you going to do? Become a consultant, blogger, maker of arts and crafts? The options are endless, even if you don’t feel you have a talent that will translate into home working.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

For those who just don’t want to live an office-based life any longer but are a little unsure where that will take them there are websites offering all manner of short-term paid work, such as https://budgetboost.co/how-to-make-money-online/. You probably won’t make a fortune on them but if you need some breathing space they might bridge the gap in the short-term.

If you’ve always wanted to create a lifestyle blog then there’s no better time to start one. Writing about your hobbies and interests can be an immensely satisfying way to make a living but you’ll have to come up with some strategies to attract advertising and visitors to your website in order to make it a sustainable career.

Working from home has distinct advantages. It costs you less in traveling, there’s no dress code and you can fit work in around taking children to school and waiting in for parcel deliveries. It can however have some disadvantages too, that you’d be wise to weigh up before taking the plunge.

If you’re a home worker that doesn’t interact much with your customer base, or you work solo and not as part of a team it can be an isolating experience. As much as you won’t miss your boss you might miss the sense of camaraderie and friendship that you had with your co-workers. More pressingly, you won’t be able to predict your income, at least for the first few months, so creating an exit strategy from your job rather than making a decision to quit on the spot is often a better way.

Lastly, you won’t be just the boss of your skills; you’ll be your own HR and marketing team member and accountant. It can be a lot to learn in a relatively short space of time, so taking some time to do a little research can be the difference between a functioning business and total chaos.

Whether you’re a budding novelist, jewelry designer or blogger, taking the plunge and going freelance might just be the best decision you’ve ever made.

Continue Reading

Choosing the Perfect Location for Your New Salon

 

 

Let’s face it, whilst opening a salon can be a dream of many a beautician around the world, it isn’t a decision that can be taken lightly. This means that you need to have a business plan ready to be implemented before you can even think of opening your doors. The perfect location is key to the success of any beauty business or salon, so here are some ideas about how you can ensure that your store’s location is in the best place to attract new clients.

Commercialised areas

If you are lucky to find a location within a large town or city, then this sort of location can really assist in boosting the popularity of your salon. Be sure to research into which businesses are near your intended location. Not only can a busy shopping district attract customers into your salon, but if you meet with the owners of other district businesses then this can form, as Evan Powell, co-founder of Key Transitions, has said ‘strategic alliances with businesses related to but not directly competing in our space who can refer customers.’ Not only that, but they may have fantastic advice based on their own start up experience, such as which salon insurance or marketing plans worked out best for their business. Capitalise on their experience, as this will provide some helpful points on how to expand your own business.

Is your salon in sight?

When it comes to your salon, the last thing you want is for it to follow the old saying “out of sight, out of mind.” Instead, you want it to be visible to the general public so that it is not only easy to get to, but it could also generate its own advertising, as its opening will increase the intrigue of your future clients. The best visibility from your salon can be from high traffic roads, especially if it is near busy commuter routes. However, remember that you also need to have a location that is exposed to pedestrians, cyclists and cars. That way, commuters will always give your salon the attention it deserves.

How big is your store?

Not only do you want your salon to look attractive to your clientele, you need to ensure that its location has an adequate holding space so that your customers and employees can move around comfortably without bumping into people. A small space can lead to the feeling of claustrophobia, so be sure to consider your location’s size capacity. Whilst you may not want to opt for a large salon, a medium salon would provide you enough room to tend to customers, and give you a hidden area to place your products.

Is there a nearby parking lot?

Whilst this may seem like a smaller issue when choosing a location, it can seriously affect any potential commuting customers and employees. If there is a nearby parking lot, whether it is right next to your store or nearby, then this will allow your clients an easier way of getting to your salon than taking the bus. It will also mean that there is no time limit on how long they can actually spend within your salon.

Continue Reading

Why Customer Data Platform is Important for the Business?

 

 

Data, a simple word when read or write, it seems quite simple but in businesses, it means a lot. Data has the power to change the entire perspective of an organization. Data can break or make the game and is the realm of various possibilities. Whether the data is, on edge, on-premise or cloud, it can bring all the new possibilities forward and can give detailed insights into a successful business. Customer Data Platform is the obvious part of any modern business for better marketing.

Some key points to use the Custom Data Platform for your business

1. More secure system

This is actually a secure platform that can bring together entire customer data of a business and bind them into a clean and complete customer profiles. If there is a unified profile of the customers, any marketer can work flawlessly on it.

2. Business data integration

Custom Data Platform is one of the most important components of your Digital Experience Platform and can integrate and consolidate different data into one place. The traditional approach of data integration can be a strenuous exercise for the marketers; on the other hand, Custom Data Platform can deliver more sorted and instant solution of data integration to help businesses in saving more cost, time and resources.

3. Create different data segment and data Group

Within the platform, marketers get the chances to create different segments of their customers on the basis of specific sets of data and even can access such data through various easy to use systems like the social media or email marketing platforms. With the excellent filters of the platform, one can customize and separate the customers into different groups. This is actually a convenient tool for businesses to analyze the activities of their customers.

4. A smart solution for the businesses

As we are living in a digital era, all the major tasks of a business can be sorted on a technically sound system.  The major difference of this with traditional customer’s database is that the IT team of a company can only manage database but CDP is a fully equipped built-in solution that is easily accessible for all the business stakeholders and marketing team of a company.

5. More control over customer’s data

It can leverage the complete lifecycle of the customers. With such convenience, this platform can give the businesses more control and access over the sorted and unified profiles of the customers. It also makes the way easy to deliver data into other digital platforms like DXP and CX.

6. Cost effective solution

These costly inefficiencies of the traditional system can be eliminated through the Custom Data Platform. With CDP, all the digitized documents of a business can be accessed by any of the authorized people via tab, laptop or computer etc. and multiple marketers can use it at a time.

7. Gives real time view of data

With CDP, one can get a real-time view of the documents and the customer’s data. It can drag the customer information and data from different websites, call centers, social media pages, applications, emails etc. Real-time monitoring is crucial for an organization to know about every single activity of the customer.

8. Better monitoring of the customer’s behavior

With fresh and sorted data, the marketers get a good insight into the customer’s behavior. By this way, they can understand better, the experience of the customers in their buying journey and can build up a trustworthy relationship with them.

The above-mentioned points show how beneficial is the CDP for your business to grow and prosper in this highly competitive market.

Continue Reading

9 Stepping Stones To An Effective Business Wesbsite

We live in a digital world, which means that if you don’t have a digital presence for your business, you don’t have much else! Even the high street stores that don’t have an online shop need to have a website to talk about what they can do and how they do it. People like to find research and reviews of the products and services that they want and if they can’t find you online, they will move on to the next best thing. Your solution? A fantastically made website stuffed full of compelling content that screams out to your customers.

The good news? A website that really resonates with people and keep people coming back for more are easy to come by – all you need is the right web design agency and the best CMS platforms to get you started. However, despite all the software and tricks you could use to start your own website, you still need to keep the basic design principles in mind for it to be a success. So, what are the ten stepping stones you need to a business website that really pops?

Image Source

Number 1: Get Mobile

No matter what you may think about having your own website, you need to be optimised to mobile. People spend more time with a tablet or smartphone in their hands than they do sitting at a computer, especially as we are going more remote with our work now. If your website is lagging and people can’t scroll your pages while they’re on their morning train to work, they will immediately switch off and go elsewhere. Catering to mobile users is a must for your success.

Number 2: Be Available

Your website has to be easy to find if you want people to pay attention to what you’re saying. There is absolutely no point in having a website if you’re going to be buried in the millions of search results on Google, and this is where your SEO strategy comes in. Building a good following is going to take some time, but new customers have to be able to find you. Make your domain name relate directly to your company name so that when people Google you, there you are!

Number 3: Be Contactable

When people are looking for you, they need to be able to call you. If your contact details are buried in the pages of your new website, you’re not going to have people contact you – you’re going to have people going elsewhere. Adding your business contact details to the very top of the page so that they are large and visible is so important so that people will immediately see how to get in touch.

Number 4: Sitemaps Matter

Your website has to be easy to navigate. There’s no ifs or buts about it, because a website that isn’t labelled properly or has twenty additional tabs per page is a website that is far too busy for customers. Your website has to be as clear as possible when it comes to navigation, because otherwise you just end up with confused customers who choose to go elsewhere than try to hunt down the information that they want.

Number 5: Minimalist Style Works Best

A successful, professional looking website is important for a business that wants to succeed. Readers of your site need to be able to see the perfect balance of a minimal design that reads well and looks great. If your website is too cluttered in information, your potential customers won’t be able to take in the information. The best thing that you can do is cut down on how many additions your website has and organise it properly so that it is easy to read.

Number 6: Good Information Is Accurate Information

As a business, you want to be able to showcase your talents, but you have to do it without embellishment. Inaccurate and outdated information isn’t going to cut it: you need to have the best content and facts on your website so that your customers will feel reassured that they are getting the right info. While you’re at it, make sure you proofread everything on your pages. Typos aren’t professional in the slightest and you don’t need grammatical errors to bite you in the end.

Number 7: Make It Fast

Speed matters on your website. Your customers will need to be able to scroll happily on your website and feel like they are getting somewhere. They don’t need frustrating loading times to deal with when all they want is to learn about you. Optimise your videos and images so that your download speed doesn’t become affected, and choose to update your software as often as necessary to keep your website moving.

Number 8: Call Customers Out

Your site needs simple instruction to remind people that they should contact you right now. Enticing your reader to do something – such as signing the mailing list, contacting you and even buy a product – should be done with a call to action. Buttons on the side of the screen, signing off content with a question and even a pop up or two for a chatbox can help your website go a long way to getting people to take some action.

Number 9: Make The Effort To Be Personal

Your business has a brand to maintain, and a part of that will be to engage directly with customers where you can. You can do this on social media, with online chat facilities and even with a page dedicated to the members of your team and who they are. Giving your website a personality will go a long way with your customers and will encourage them to trust you better.

Your website has to be a hit – or your business has the potential to fail. This is not the time to avoid having the most up to date website possible. It’s the time to develop and move forward in business technology. Take these nine steps and you’ll have website success.

Continue Reading

Coworking Cliques – How a Shared Office Could Help Grow Your Business Network

Image: https://d2v9y0dukr6mq2.cloudfront.net/video/thumbnail/A2KqU29/4k-portrait-young-successful-businessman-in-london-city-office-view-from-the-window-shows-famous-skyline-with-iconic-buildings-slow-motion_bucxaltxl_thumbnail-full01.png

Your coworking space can help solve some of the doldrums of networking. London, Manchester, Birmingham, or any other English metropolis might not have the same small town sensibilities so networking can be difficult. However, your shared office can remove many of the hindrances that go along with trying to establish a network by creating a nurturing environment. Furthermore, your coworking space essentially sets the tone for developing relationships simply through the office’s organisation.

Through your typical coworking office, the ability to create opportunities to form relationships can occur throughout the day. Whether sitting at your hot desk or hanging out in one of the staff lounges, the coworking space presents many opportunities to engage the office so you can network. However, developing a network depends a lot on your own initiative.

Continue reading learn how the coworking space can help grow your business network and make better connections in the UK.

Meeting People And Making Friends

Probably the easiest way to build your network begins at your hot desk. While dedicated desks and a private office provide you more privacy, hot desks can be the first place you can begin to meet people in the space. See Servcorp London’s coworking spaces at http://www.servcorp.co.uk/en/coworking/ to see the typical way offices can promote social interaction. Get to know your coworking neighbours because you will find that striking up conversations is the easiest way to develop relationships in the space.

Talk about anything. Talk about your work and ask people about theirs, and even exchange information. You might be able to a get a referral or two from some of these conversations. The point is your network begins easily in a place where social interaction naturally occurs.

Participating In The Community

More than just attending functions that the space holds, consider participating in the running of the space. Some of the activities you can volunteer for include helping with events that are hosted in the space, creating an online newsletter that discusses the many happenings, organising events yourself, and putting together themed events to draw in the community. Get to know the managers and proprietors of the space, so your input is taken into consideration seriously.

Boosting Your Online Persona

One of the most obvious ways to make connections is to create an online presence. An online presence through the various social media sites and other tools can really help you make connections to the public, but it also makes it possible for you to promote your brand. Today’s professionals are all about making relationships and the social media landscape can be an easy, unintimidating, effortless way to establish connections before developing relationships with others.

Peddling Your Wares

The whole point of creating these relationships and establishing a network is so that you can possibly collaborate with others in the coworking space. One way to gain the attention of the coworking space is to promote your brand in an understated way to the community. When doing this, be prepared to engage in public relations in getting others interested in the product or service. This means being prepared for questions that arise in response to any interest shown in the product or service. This exposure can translate into business directly from professionals who work in the coworking space, and more importantly, possible opportunities to collaborate.

Creating Relationships Through The Coworking Model

The coworking model is one of the only few that features developing relationships as a part of its mission. In this more relaxed environment, businesses have the liberty and flexibility to do a number of activities within the space, namely building relationships. The office without walls or borders becomes an open space where relationships are fluid and can develop without the limitations of competition.

Continue Reading

How to kick-start your career as a freelancer

Even just ten years ago, the idea of working freelance was one that was alien to many people. Giving up the security of a regular wage didn’t seem worth it, even if it was in exchange for some more freedom. But in today’s more exciting, decentralised and ever-changing economy, it’s increasingly appealing for a whole host of reasons. Whether it’s increased flexibility in your schedule or simply the opportunity to complete a more diverse range of tasks, there are lots of reasons to go for a more liberated working life. With that in mind, here’s how you can get your freelance show on the road.

Consider career goals

While some who go freelance may be concerned that they’ll be limiting their chances of returning to permanent work, it’s true to say that it can actually benefit your career to opt for this route. Through the many different clients you’ll meet, freelancing exposes you to the ways that lots of different firms operate – which is a handy insight for a permanent employee to have. If you make a success of your freelance life for long enough, it will also in the future show potential employers that you’re organised enough to run your own business – which is a quality that any manager would love to see.

Think about tax

Tax is not the sort of thing that many people want to think about – but if you’re about to become a freelancer, you’re going to have to think about it and prepare to deal with it. An essential part of freelance work is the fact that you’ll need to manage your own tax affairs, a task which includes filing your own return once a year if you’re a sole trader.

And if you incorporate as a limited company, you’ll have even more to file – such as a detailed confirmation statement. If all of this sounds like too much, it may instead be worth using an umbrella company which can handle the tax side of things for you. While the umbrella company vs. PAYE (pay as you earn) discussion rages on, it’s clear that using an umbrella firm can help you to reduce the time spent on accounting and instead make the most of your time to earn money.

Rough with the smooth

Unfortunately, as a freelancer it’s always going to be the case that money doesn’t flow in as regularly as you would like. From clients who miss payments to months when work dries up, there are lots of financial issues to consider. If you’re able to save some cash before you make the decision to leave your job and start out as a freelancer, you’ll be able to have an emergency fund in place to look after yourself if monetary problems arise.

As a freelancer, you’re likely to face all sorts of different hurdles from time to time. Whether it’s your ability to keep paying your bills during periods of downtime or ensuring that you don’t miss your tax return deadline even by a day, there’s a lot to do. Luckily, the existence of umbrella companies, career plans and much more mean that freelance life can be made just that little bit easier.

Continue Reading

Easy ways to start investing your money

As an entrepreneur, you may run your own successful business and have a little money built up in your bank account as a result. While you could leave it sitting there, the low interest rates that most bank accounts offer don’t make it work as hard for you as it should. That is why many entrepreneurs will look at investing some money to get a much better return on it. Whether you run a beauty salon doing fabulous nails or a boutique selling the latest amazing clothes, investment is something that all entrepreneurs should consider.

Which are the best investment sectors when starting out?

Of course, for many people, the thought of investing money can seem a little scary. With so many things that you could invest in that all have their own terminology, choosing your first investment can be tricky. If you need some great tips on investing money as a beginner, then read on.

Fashion

If you love your fashion and clothes, then why not make this an investment option to consider? As you know all about the industry anyway, you already have a great head start in choosing what to invest in that may go up in value over time. Whether it is designer Chanel handbags or one-off Armani jackets, using your knowledge of the fashion industry could be the best way to dip your toe into investing.

Stocks and shares

Many successful entrepreneurs will start their investment journey here. It is easy to see why – it is quite simple to understand, there are brokers that you can use to advise you, and you don’t need lots of cash to get going. Just be careful to educate yourself if you will be trading alone or fully research any brokerage that you use to handle it for you!

Trading

Many people do not realise this, but the FX market is actually bigger than the stock market, with over $5tn being traded on it each day. The idea is to pick a currency pair and then predict if the price will go up or down. Trading on this market is very popular now as it is easy to access, simple to actually trade, and offers pretty good returns if you do it right. Always check reviews of any broker that you use to trade with online though, to ensure that they are reputable.

Peer-to-peer lending

A great introduction to investment that will also make you feel good is this one. A relatively new investment class, it sees you lending money to other business owners who need it. When they have enough, they pay you back with any interest agreed as profit. This is brilliant if you have a business in the fashion or beauty world and want to help others get into it.

Take it steady

When it comes to taking your first steps in investing, it is wise to go steady. This will ensure that you make correct, informed decisions and invest in a sensible way. When done right, investing can give you a much better return on your money and ensure that it is working as hard as you do.

Continue Reading

Create Wonderful Window Displays to Attract Customers

Pixabay

Your shop’s window display is one of the first things that customers will see. Both people who are already planning to come in and those who are just walking past will see your displays and should get a good idea of what they can find inside. You can use your window displays to show off your products and boost your brand. You need to use them to draw people inside, so keeping them fresh and attractive is important. Changing your displays regularly will help you to keep things exciting, but first you need to know how to make a good display.

Tell a Story

A good window display tells a story and shows people how they can use your products. You might set up a fun scene from homewares or create outfits out of your fashion items. Select a mannequin for sale that suits the look you want for your brand, and it can help you to create hundreds of different window displays. Pick a theme for your window or perhaps even create a narrative that continues over a series of days. Think of creative ways that you can use your products to put up a fun display that draws people in.

Create Movement

Light, sound and movement can help to draw people in when you create window displays. There are a few ways you could create movement to get people to stop and look in your window. Hanging items on wires or string can sway gently or, if you’re willing to spend a bit more money, you could consider mechanical displays or animations on screens. You can reuse some more expensive items in different ways to make them worth the investment. An easier way to create some movement is to use a fan, which can move light objects, from clothes to streamers.

Max Pixel

Use Seasonal and On-trend Themes

If you’re looking for themes to use in your window displays, think about seasonal occasions, as well as current trends and cultural references. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something that relates directly to your products. Anyone can create a Christmas or Valentine’s display if they’re creative enough. You can also make references to pop culture or anything that might appeal to your customers, whether it’s the latest video game or a classic movie. People enjoy things that feel like an inside joke or a reference that only those in the know would get.

Put Key Items at Eye-level

Before creating a window display, go outside and take a look at where people’s eye-level would be. You can mark it with tape so that you can see from indoors. It’s important that you put the most important things at the right level so that people will spot them first, and then look at the rest of your display. Remember that your eye-level when you’re inside is probably not the same as what people will see on the other side, so it’s important to check.

Attractive window displays can help a lot with foot traffic. Keep yours exciting to encourage customers inside.

Continue Reading
1 2 3 17