Next Level Designs: How to Prepare Your Website for the Future

Website design is an important part of any successful business. Not only does it give you an online presence so that people can research your brand or company, but you can also install eCommerce services that allow customers to buy your products no matter where they are in the world.

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This global platform of advertisement and marketing is crucial for every business to take advantage of. However, very few businesses start with so much recognition. In fact, it can sometimes feel like a waste of time and money to set up eCommerce and shipping services if your reach doesn’t extend that far yet. Instead of wasting money on your website or other services, plan ahead. Don’t accommodate your website for thousands of users at a time if you’re barely reaching double digits in the first week of your business opening. Start small and plan ahead.

Prepare Infrastructure

Your website won’t make an easy switch to eCommerce services if your host doesn’t support it. Unless your web host is flexible and you understand how to program the services yourself, you need to sign up with a web host that can enable eCommerce at the flick of a switch. Enabling these services usually costs more money on a monthly basis and every saving counts. Don’t switch to a premium web hosting plan if you don’t need to.

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Finalise Your Website Design Early

If there’s one thing that internet users hate, it’s when a website switches their design. Even if your website is a pain to navigate, your customers will eventually get used to it and know their way around your website. Sadly, they’re going to get very annoyed if your website design switches every couple of months because you can’t make a decision or because you need to redesign the site to accommodate new features. Get your website design right the first time and avoid frustrating your customers. You also need to consider mobile users—websites look different on smaller devices, so keep that in mind when finalising your website.

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Know When to Hire Developers

Hiring someone for web development tasks isn’t needed unless you’re planning on creating custom features like a login portal, or a specialised way to link customer orders to your own in-house systems. For example, you could create software that alerts your employees whenever a customer places an order so they can get to work packing and shipping their order straight away, as opposed to having them check their computers manually.

Customer Feedback and Suggestions

Never neglect your customer’s opinion on your website. In addition to having comment and review sections, you also need a way to moderate offensive comments. You don’t want to delete everything that annoys you or pisses you off, but you do want to reduce the number of hateful comments or blatant attempts to frustrate other customers. Make sure you have people dedicated to managing social media and comment sections if you get a lot of traffic on your website, and always listen to the constructive criticism that you receive.

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You Won’t Believe How Important Branding Is In The Property Industry

The property industry is always one of the biggest in the country. People are constantly looking to move home or rent out their property to willing tenants. Consequently, the demand for property businesses and estate agencies is very high. Today, I want to give you a tip on how to be successful when running a property company. As the title alludes to, the secret is all about branding.

Branding is exceptionally important in every industry, but it’s even more important in this one.The following article will explain why it’s important, and how you can build a good brand.

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Why Is Branding Important?

The reason branding is so important is because it helps build trust between you and your customers. With regards to the property industry, we know that there’s loads of money involved. Property buyers want to work with an estate agent that can find them the best property and help get a good deal. Similarly, sellers want estate agents that can sell their house for the best price or find good tenants for renting. So, they want to find a business that has a very strong and professional brand that inspires trust. Trust is ever so important as property buying/selling is such a massive deal for anyone.

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How Can You Build A Good Brand Image?

Building a good brand image is fairly easy if you follow these simple steps:

Make Your Company Look Professional

No one is going to do business with your estate agency if it doesn’t give off a professional image. So, what you need to do is focus on the design of everything. From the layout of your office to the design of any brochures/flyers, it all need to look professional and make people see you as an authentic company. You can even get stationary for estate agents to enhance your professional brand image further.

Come Up With An Appealing Motto

It helps your brand image if your company has a motto or saying that appeals to customers. Think of something that shows them they’re your number one priority. A very basic example of this is something like “The Customer Always Comes First.” If you use this motto, it can go on your website and be something you keep referring to at all times. This reinforces the image that your brand cares about customers and puts their needs above everything else. Therefore, the trust between you and your customers is increased.

Make Your Business Appear Approachable

Finally, make your business appear approachable for customers, and they’ll trust you more. The easiest way to do this is by making your offices easy to reach and see. Have big glass windows on the front so everyone can see inside and watch your employees work. This opens up your brand to the public eye and shows you have nothing to hide.

If you follow this advice, you can build a killer brand for your property business. Remember, this is so important as it builds consumer trust which is essential when dealing with large transactions like property buying/selling.

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End The Site-mare And Get Web Design Right

The internet has been been important to business for decades, so I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that. Of course, whilst the majority of businesses are using the internet in their day-to-day operations, to some capacity, that doesn’t mean they’re using it to its fullest business and marketing potential. That doesn’t mean you’re using it to its fullest potential.

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The biggest area in which businesses slip up is through their website. In terms of development and design, many businesses are lacking. Yes, it’s good to keep up with the twenty-first century, but just having a website isn’t enough anymore. Every business has a website. It’s essentially a staple of any successful enterprise.

In order to truly succeed and bring in a new influx of customers every day, you have to create a beautiful, high-end website. I’m going to explain why and give you some advice on how to achieve this.

New is king.

The most successful things on the internet are those things which are new. That’s just the way it’s worked, and it’s much like everything else in the market, really. People get bored of seeing the same old thing, and they want to follow bloggers who update content regularly, or websites which offer new products and services on a highly frequent basis. If you only update your website every month or two, you’re going to see that potential clients lose interest quickly.

Whether it’s your own company blog, or perhaps an Instagram-esque page with cool new shots of products you’re working on; or, especially if you’re in the retail industry, regular updates to re-captivate people’s interest. A well-filtered shot of a gorgeous plate of food reminds people who’ve eaten at your restaurant before what they’re missing out on, and helps keep your business at the forefront of their minds.

Remember, mastering the art of web development is about updating content constantly and consistently to keep your brand in people’s minds.

Maybe computer science isn’t your company’s area of expertise.

If you’re struggling to get your company’s website right, there might be a reason for that. If you’re not a tech business, and nobody in your company uses the internet for anything other than personal reasons, then don’t try to force something that isn’t happening. Creating a poorly-designed and poorly-coded website is perhaps more damaging to a business’ reputation than having no website at all. People focus more on design than content when it comes to a website. It tells them whether your company is amateurish or not.

This doesn’t have to be something you undertake yourself. In fact, effective online marketing can boost your company’s image and marketing so well that it’s worth considering alternatives. There are companies specialising in Software Development, which could help design a highly responsive website for your business. Sometimes, you’ve got to let go of the reins a little and see what’s best for your business.

Responsive design and SEO.

Of course, whilst the design in terms of graphics and beautiful layout is important, it’s the development beneath it all which makes the website what it is. A beautifully-designed website is something which captures the attention of clients, and that’s undeniable. If your website is sleek and clear, it’ll pull them further in, rather than a messy, overwhelming design which might end up pushing them into the arms of your competitors.

Yet, there’s so much more to a beautifully-designed website than this. It has to be responsive to multiple devices, in this day and age, for your business to truly flourish online. That requires smart coding and web development, so you need to think about more than hiring a good graphics artist for this one. If you want your business to rank highly on search engine results, the key lies in responsive web design.

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Is Your Industrial Company Industrious Enough? Find Out Now

Running an industrial business is never going to be easy. It’s a difficult sector to exist in because things are always developing and changing. That’s just the way it is, and people like you need to grapple with that and find solutions. If you can handle the changes and stay profitable, you’ll survive. But is survival all you’re aiming for? Don’t you want a bit more than that? Maybe it’s time for your industrial business to become a bit more industrious in order to push on.

Start Measuring Efficiency and Productivity Levels

You can’t know for sure how productive or efficient your business is if you don’t monitor the stats. When you use data to your advantage and track how much is being produced and how long it is taking, you can start to learn more about how your business functions. From there, you can begin to find ways to make the business more efficient and productive. You can also spot and aim to eliminate any areas in which it looks like the business is wasting money or resources. Wastage is not a sign of a business that’s doing things right.

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Keep One Eye on What Your Rivals Are Doing

Many people will tell you that all that really matters is what your business does. After all, you have no control over what your rivals are doing. That might be true, but there is still plenty of value in comparing your business to the ones that are your rivals. So, keep an eye on what they are doing and how they are looking to improve their operations. When you have a firm understanding of these things, you can look to ensure that your business is always one step ahead of them. Don’t become too obsessed with that they’re doing, but do monitor them.


Try to Get Ahead By Using Technology and Machinery

One of the best ways for your business to push ahead and get an advantage is to use technology and machinery in the right way. If you can do this, you won’t end up having to merely react to technological changes. Instead, you will be at the forefront of these changes, pushing forward with them and taking advantage of the benefits that come with being first. You should also aim to keep the tech and machinery that you use in top condition to maximise efficiency. Get contacts like hydraulic hose suppliers that can provide you with parts when they’re needed.

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Never Settle for What You’ve Currently Got

Settling for your current position is rarely a good thing in the world of business. It’s the kind of action that can lead to complacency, and that’s something that should always be avoided. You can’t get very far if you are happy to rest on your laurels. While you’re sitting back and enjoying the position of your business, there will be other smaller companies coming up behind you and fighting to take your customers from you. This is an extremely competitive industry, and you always have to be looking over your shoulder for the next new company.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Four Ways To Ensure Customers Adore Your Store

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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