25 articles Articles posted in Business

Learn How To Open More Connections With Your Audience

Are you running your own business? If so, then you must keep in mind the importance of the connection between you and your audience. Without the right connection, you are going to struggle to gain the benefits that you hoped for. You might find that sales numbers are low and audience growth is far less than you imagined. So, let’s look at how to create greater connections. 

Learn How To Open More Connections With Your Audience

Pexels Source CCO License

Establish A Shared Platform

First, you might want to think about setting up a shared platform. You can use a whitelabel platform to build an online community that is going to provide real benefits for your business and your brand overall. The benefits of using a whitelabel solution is that this can be completely customized to meet your individual needas and requirements on the market. You might also want to use a shared platform to share information and content with customers, keeping things in the digital realm. This is going to make your business more streamlined and efficient. 

Use Social Media

Next, you should think about how you can use social media to your advantage here. The right steps with social media will mean that you do trigger a high level of engagement and ensure that your customers feel more connected to your brand overall. Since social media is a non-intrusive way to interact, you can ask questions and gain the answers that you need to achieve a higher level of growth for your brand overall. You can even use social media to build up UGC. This is a powerful tool that can help you gain more attention on the market. 

Email Marketing 

People often assume that email marketing is dead and this isn’t the case. You just need to use email marketing the right way and take a more personal approach overall. Instead of sending out a typical bare bones email that can apply to anyone, you need to customize it so that it fits with your specific target audience and even subsets of your audience. Do this, and you will be delivering far more value to your customer base. You’ll be giving them more reasons to interact and engage. 

Starting A Blog 

Finally, you might want to think about setting up a blog that is connected to your business brand. The right blog will mean that you can deliver an even greater level of value to your audience. You will be providing the information that they want and that they need. At the same time, you can remove some of the key blogs that are preventing them from committing completely to a sale. This will help ensure that you are pushing conversion rates to the right level for your business and on your website. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the key ways that you can build up connections with your audience. If you take the right steps, then you will achieve a high level of engagement and guarantee that your company is on the right track for further levels of growth overall. 

5 Skills for Small Business Owners

Since the start of the pandemic there has been a significant rise in the amount of people who have started their own small business. Many people have identified a gap in the market and have chosen to fill it with their own business offering. However, just because you have an idea for a small business doesn’t necessarily mean you have all of the skills needed to run it. With this in mind, we’ve identified five key skills that most small business owners could benefit from learning.

Sales Training

While you may have the best idea in the world for a new product or service, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the skills to sell that to make a profit. There are lots of sales training courses out there which are relatively inexpensive, but will give you the skills that you need to ensure that your business is profitable for many years to come.

Social Media Training

When it comes to marketing, there is absolutely no doubt that social media is one of the main ways that people market their small businesses. However, there’s a lot more to social media marketing than just setting up pages for your business. Identifying your ideal client will help you to tailor the content you post and your tone when posting it, to ensure you hit the spot with your target market.

Management Training

If you need to hire staff to assist with your new business, you’re going to need the skills to delegate work, deal with any workplace problems and generally be a good manager to your team. This doesn’t come naturally to everybody so attending some seminars which offer management skills training could help you to become the manager that you know you could be.

First Aid Training

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea for most people to have at least some basic first-aid skills so that you can be on hand to help, if anyone in your vicinity needs you. If you plan to have the type of business where you have customers in a shop or a team working around you it’s even more important to have first aid skills, so that should any workplace incidents happen, you will be able to administer care ahead of emergency services arriving.

Book-Keeping Training

When you start a new business, one of the things that you will realise is the outlay to hire an accountant to handle your books can be costly. For most businesses, however, this can be quite straightforward providing you keep a good record of all of your income and outgoings, as well as wages and expenses. A basic bookkeeping course can help you to keep your companies accounts up-to-date so that when the time comes for your yearly tax return you’ll be well prepared to do this without the help of an expensive accountant.

How to Quit the 9 to 5 and Become a Mompreneur

How to quit the 9 to 5 and become a mompreneur
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva from Pexels

A “mompreneur” is both a mother and an entrepreneur, someone who can expertly balance their roles as a parent and business owner. This may sound like an impossible feat, especially if you’re already juggling a 9 to 5 job and a family. But it’s not impossible. This guide offers advice for quitting the 9 to 5 and embracing life as a full-time mompreneur.

Start a side hustle

Before you can quit your job, you’ll need to figure out what your new business plan is. Whilst it may be tempting to give up your job and dive headfirst into starting your own business, this could be risky if you haven’t tried and tested your business plan.

The best way to get started with a new business idea is to start small and start it as a side hustle. This could be dedicating one day every weekend, a few hours in the morning or evening, or even a single night a week to your new business idea and starting it as a very small business. That way, you can see how easy it is to make money from your business idea and get the ball rolling before taking the leap. If you’re unsure how to start a side hustle and transform it into a full-time job, check out this podcast where you can learn from others who have succeeded.

Create a business plan

Once you’ve got the ball rolling with your side hustle, it’s time to create a business plan that will help you scale your business from side hustle to full-time job. You may even want to take this step before you start your side hustle as it will help you perform the necessary market research, set goals and milestones, and plan for the future.

If you’re unsure what a business plan looks like or what you should include in it, the UK government has plenty of resources for writing a business plan, templates and links to pages about self-employment and taxes. You should do plenty of research, especially before quitting your job, so that you have all the tools you need to succeed.

Get your finances in order

No matter how confident you are that your business will make you enough money so that you don’t need to work full-time anymore, it’s essential that you have healthy finances before quitting your job to become a mompreneur. Make sure that you and your family are living well within your means, pad out your savings account, and eliminate as much debt as possible.

This doesn’t mean you need to be rich to start your own business. Many mompreneurs start off with little to no investment and even take out business startup loans to get going. What’s essential is that your personal finances are healthy so that you don’t need to worry about them in addition to managing your business finances.

Take the leap

You can prepare all you like, but there’ll never be a ‘perfect time to quit your job and start your own business. At some point, you just need to take the leap and go for it. Whilst preparation and organisation are key to becoming a full-time mompreneur, it requires the courage to get started too. With the right balance of preparation and self-belief, you’ll be off to a great start.

List Of Essential Office Equipment Every Business Needs

Office Equipment

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/59813501290665111/

We have some essential equipment that businesses cannot do without. But before any purchase, each and every business needs to identify the types of equipment their company needs for the operation to have all jobs done properly. Office equipment helps in managing office work and makes your daily tasks run smoothly.

Office equipment is usually ignored by the majority of business owners, but they are very essential. It is not only the employees that will benefit from good quality equipment, but it will also benefit your business image at large. Appropriate office equipment sends out a positive message to customers and collaborators. Below are a few essential types of equipment every business needs to improve on its productivity. read on!

Furniture

Office Furniture

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/10836855342767006/

Sourcing the right office furniture for your business is essential for a good number of reasons. It will make your office look attractive and professional. Your office will provide a conducive working environment for your employees and customers.

Having your employees feel relaxed and comfortable by providing quality furniture will have a big impact on the overall business productivity. This way they develop the right attitude towards the organization and feel more motivated to work with dedication and be productive. Check out https://www.keekea.com/product-category/chairs/ for the best chairs to fit in your office.

 Internet Connection

Internet connection

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/848295279817652932/

Having a high-speed internet connection is without a doubt one of the most essential items for every business. Without a reliable internet connection, businesses would find it difficult to share information both internally and externally. Since most of the businesses are currently operating online, a good internet connection will have a big impact on daily tasks.

Most of the office equipment needs the internet to connect. Therefore, it makes it convenient to transfer data over a network without any human interaction or unauthorized access. You have to make sure all your network cables are in good shape and have experts inspect them regularly for potential repair and maintenance.

Photocopiers and Printers

Office printer

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/795518721678574136/

Every business should not miss some important machines like a business photocopier, a printer, and even a scanner. Photocopiers and printers are without a doubt important office equipment within businesses; they help to print and get copies of essential documents for the business.

Instead of buying a photocopier which might be a bit costly, low-budget companies can opt to rent a photocopier at a fee before getting their own. The same applies to printers, a newly started business can have a rented printer to keep the business going. 

Storage Cabinets

Office Cabinets

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/436286282661094734/ 

It is always important to have all your data and essential office items stored under key and lock to keep them safe. All your office equipment should have enclosures to protect them from possible damage, water damage, or dust particles. Proper storage will protect all your essential items from unauthorized access.

Source good data center enclosures from E-Abel, a reliable data cabinet supplier, can custom electrical enclosures for data centers to ensure all the data are stored in the right manner. These enclosures will not only house your important office equipment from damage but also theft.

Office Stationery

Office Stationery

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/357402920437958291/

Office stationery includes pens, paper, notebooks, and other essential office equipment that any business should have to rub their daily operations smoothly. They are simple items that any business cannot do without and they boost overall productivity. Their cost should not worry you, office stationery is relatively cost-friendly and should not be on your office table.

With the technology change, it can sometimes get tiresome to look at screens all day which is not healthy for your eyes. Most of the employees would prefer to escape the screens and have some pen and paper to have down some notes. Even though the technology is evolving at a high speed, the benefits of using stationery are still intact and they remain essential tools.

Monitors or Laptops

office laptop

Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/211739619971685708/

No matter which business you are investing in. Your organization needs monitors, laptops, or computers for you and your employees to work and have your data stored securely. Using monitors and laptops is so convenient and saves a lot of energy to have physical files arranged in cabinets. To work more efficiently, you will need a mouse and a keyboard.

When your business needs much work to handle simultaneously, it is ideal to connect a monitor or two to make the job even easier. This will not only save your time but you can also keep your essential work safe and secure in locked folders, to block any unauthorized access by setting up strong passwords to access the files. 

The Bottom Line

Are you planning to start up a business and you don’t know what to have in your office? Above is a discussed list of important office equipment every business should have. Make sure you include all important items in your business to have its operations run smoothly. Each office item has an important role to play in the overall productivity of the business and none should be overlooked.

Recycling Considerations For Your Small Business

If you run any small business type or freelance from home, you might already notice some waste products from your process. 

Working strictly on a computer produces very little in the way of recyclable by-products, but there is still a correct way to dispose of old technology. 

Let’s look at some of the ways you can boost your recycling and reduce your carbon footprint. 

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Bin and labels

Having several bins that are clearly labelled can help everyone in the company dispose of waste correctly. 

If you only have things like paper, plastic and regular waste – this is even easier to achieve. 

Often a colour coded solution can help ensure that the right waste ends up in the right place. Or a simple well placed, and clear label on the lid of the bins. 

If you run a larger company with a lot of paper waste, it is worth consulting with a recycling specialist with recycling machines. This solution can ensure that you are doing the best job. 

Company Culture 

Make it part of your company culture to ensure that recycling and being more eco-friendly in general is high on the list of company values. 

If recycling and/or reusing becomes part of the company goals and ethos, you will notice a significant increase in recycling. 

Engage often with staff so that they are aware of changes and schemes that you will be taking part in as a company. 

Make all recycling options easy to access and clear to all new hires and those who work within the company. 

World Days

Several globally celebrated days are designed to raise awareness of recycling and the positive impact suitable on the world. 

Get your team – no matter how small – in initiatives and activities for the day. Here are a few that are worth exploring. 

Check out the associated websites, and see if there are local activities you can get involved in. 

Knowledge

Are you aware of everything that can be recycled? Most people think about the basics like paper and plastic, but there is an extensive list of things that can be recycled. 

  • Cardboard
  • Paper – colour paper, confidential paper, envelopes, flyers and leaflets, magazines, newspapers
  • Plastic bottles, lids and some other plastic containers
  • Electrical items, although it is best to contact a recycling specialist for this one
  • For food waste, you can opt to make compost, or a food recycling bin (this will depend on your local authority)
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Batteries
  • Printer cartridges
  • Furniture 

Most often, you will need to rinse the glass and plastic if they have food residue.

Each of these items should make its way to a licensed recycling centre or a professional recycling business. 

Businesses create a lot of waste, often without noticing how much could be recycled. Help your small business do some global good by being recycling aware. 

Is your business still growing? Here are Five Ways to Take Your Small Business to the Next Level.

Five Ways to Take Your Small Business to the Next Level

Five Ways to Take Your Small Business to the Next Level
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

With the pandemic still having an effect on people’s incomes it’s no surprise to learn that many small businesses have popped up in the last couple of years. In fact having a side hustle is now pretty commonplace even for those who are working full time. From baking cakes to doing hair to nail art and much more besides women are starting small businesses in their droves and the results are looking fantastic. But what can you do to increase the likelihood that your small business will flourish?

Improve Your Sales Skills

Even if you are the absolute best at your craft or the services you offer that doesn’t necessarily mean they automatically know how to sell yourself signing up to a short course with Smart Sales Training Consultants can give you the skills that you need to not only create the services or product for your business but to help you to sell them more effectively.

Get Some Marketing Help

just like with sales marketing is an always second nature to every person who runs their own small business. Especially now that social media is such a huge aspect of marketing, it takes some serious expertise to keep costs down while getting your returns to a maximum. Many local small marketing businesses will offer consultations to teach you how to maximise your marketing and you may also find that their services are affordable enough that you can outsource it to an expert altogether.

Set Some Goals

With so many small businesses being born from a small idea of creative spark it’s easy to just go with the flow and see how things turn out. However once your business is established setting yourself some goals can help you to take your small business to the next level. The goals don’t have to be lofty, we’re not talking about £1 million worth of sales, but setting yourself some milestones such as 100 sales in a month or a level of turnover which means you’re making a decent enough profit that you can give up your day job can really help you to focus your efforts to where they will be more profitable.

Team Up With Other Business Owners

Take a look at the niche in which your business falls. If it’s the type of business whereThere are lots of other complimentary businesses within the same name it may be worth reaching out to some of your fellow business owners (as long as they’re not competitors) to see if there is a way that you can team up or collaborate. The advantage here is that you will get access to the other businesses existing customer base as they will with yours and a collaboration could lead to some very profitable business for you both.

Create A Loyalty Program

According to surveys it costs three times more to get a new customer than to sell something to an existing customer. Investing a small amount in a loyalty program can help you to retain existing customers and make them feel more valued in the long run which means they’ll keep coming back to you rather than turning to your competitors.

Ways to Promote a New Business

Five Ways to Promote a New BusinessStarting a new business can seem really daunting, and while the pandemic was a very difficult time for millions of existing businesses, it was actually a period of huge growth for new businesses, with over 400,000 new companies launching during lockdown. Now that things are starting to get back to normal, there are more options for promoting a new business and here are a few of them:

Trade Shows

If your business falls into certain niches, there are often trade shows where you can go to exhibit your wares or services. If you’ve got the budget for it, using professional exhibition stand designers will give you the edge as you” stand out amongst your competitors and your business will look professional and well-established.

Leaflet Drops

If you run a service which covers a particular area, leaflet drops are still one of the most effective ways to get the word out. According to industry studies, 48% of consumers respond to leaflet ads while 79% of recipients either keep, pass on to someone, glance over the contents of the flyer. It’s relatively cheap too – using an app like Canva to design your own flyer and paying a youngster to deliver them means your return on investment will likely be high.

Open Days

If you have a physical shop that people can visit, holding an open day is a cheap and fun way to showcase your wares. Offer drinks and a few nibbles to people who pop in and you could even offer discounts or loyalty cards to customers who sign up to your email marketing. Another great thing to do is asking any other shops nearby if they want to collaborate and making a much larger event that you would all benefit from.

Get a Mascot

This one might seem a little bit bonkers, but hear me out! Last week, I took Sausage for an eye test and we saw two women walking along the broadway wearing dinosaur costumes. They were promoting a new shop and handing out leaflets, but seeing something so bonkers and out of place made it really stick in our heads. Using a mascot in a busy area will definitely garner valuable attention for your business and make it all the more memorable.

Speaking at Local Events

Volunteer organisations, libraries and local business groups often need speakers for meetings. You’ll benefit from the name recognition, new contacts, and publicity you gain from being a speaker at these events. While it can seem intimidating for you to speak in front of an audience, it is also one of the fastest ways to grow your network and build authority. As a new business owner, being seen in your local community is key to business promotion.

How To Balance Business and Parenthood

Working parents understand how difficult it is to juggle a career with child care. Parents who own their own businesses, on the other hand, face an additional layer of difficulty. To an extent, business-owning parents are trying to juggle two kinds of infants: the children they are trying to raise and the business they are trying to build. To be successful, both require nurturing and attention, especially in their early phases, and business-owning parents must learn to meticulously plan and prioritise their time to make sure that each receives the care they necessitate and expect.

Here we look at some tips to help you to balance parenthood and business.

Image

Delegate, outsource and learn to say no

As a business-owning parent, balancing your venture and family time can be tricky, as both require a significant lot of time and resources. The sooner you realise you can’t be in two places at the same time, the better. Prioritize the moments with your children that require your full attention, and make sure you have someone to stand in for you during those times. Outsourcing is a popular strategy for many small business owners, for example, paying a digital marketing agency to handle your online marketing or an SEO specialist to get your ranking up. This frees up valuable time for you to spend with your family.

Prioritize your health and wellbeing

Use mindfulness or relaxation techniques. Set your well-being as a top priority. When life becomes an unending demand on your time, the first thing to go is your self-care. However, with 40% of firms not having a succession plan in place, taking care of yourself is critical to the future of your business – as well as ensuring you are the best parent that you can be.

Create clear boundaries between home and work – and stick to them

Establish firm time limits. Define when you are and are not available, and stick to those boundaries. This is a good lesson for your kids to learn. When you are not available, you are not available – unless it is an emergency, of course. However, when it is time to be with your family, you leave work behind and be entirely present with them. Create home/work boundaries and stick to them.

Don’t expect perfect balance every day

If we believe that we can remain balanced every day, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing we are pushing extra hard or disregarding our business. Reassure yourself that your children benefit from seeing you work hard at times and that spending quality time with your children benefits your governance

Be in charge of your own calendar

One of the benefits of being your own boss is that you can control your own calendar and be in charge of your schedule. Arrange meetings with clients when the children are at school, switch off completely when they come home from school, and do your admin work when they are in bed, for example. Find a routine that works for you and your family.

Is Your Business Doing Enough To Make A Splash Online?

Online shopping was growing in popularity long before the pandemic hit, but lockdowns have triggered a surge in online sales and a shift towards ordering via websites and apps. If your business is struggling to attract attention, or sales have stalled during the Covid-19 crisis, here are some effective ploys you can utilise to make a splash online

Social media

Social media was once just a platform for keeping in touch with friends and relatives, but it has developed and evolved into a powerful marketing tool for businesses across many sectors. Social media apps not only enable companies and brands to promote and sell products and services, but they also provide incredible opportunities to connect with followers, to build a client base and to benefit from customer engagement and feedback. If you’re not already using social media, conduct research to establish how your target customer spends their time online and choose channels that are popular among relevant demographics. Create profiles, start building your following and use the content you share to forge relationships, to get to know your customers better and to tell them more about your brand. You can use photos, blogs, video clips, live stories and customer reviews to showcase your products, get your followers involved and enhance your brand image. It’s also a great idea to use social posts to spread the word about new products or promotions. Posts can go viral in an instant and users like to get involved in competitions and giveaways. 

Image by https://www.pexels.com/photo/selective-focus-photography-of-person-using-iphone-x-1542252/

Search engine optimisation

Search engines are increasingly popular, with Google alone now processing more than 3 million searches per minute. As a business owner, you can capitalise on the power of search engines by optimising content to improve your search ranking. Over 75% of people won’t move past page 1 when they use a search engine, and this is why it’s so important to try and elevate your links to the top. You want your content to be visible if a web user types phrases or keywords that are linked to the products or services you offer. SEO is complex and if you don’t have expertise or experience in digital marketing, it’s beneficial to enlist professional help. Link building services are designed to enhance content and improve search ranking, driving traffic to your website. It’s also essential to understand the impact of using different types of content, for example, infographics, images and video clips, and to prioritise quality and originality. Content should be useful, informative and engaging. By outsourcing digital marketing or hiring agencies that have specific areas of expertise, you can improve results and create more high-quality leads.

Picture credit: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/seo-google-search-engine-browser-411385/

Reviews

Did you know that over 90% of web users read reviews before buying products? Reviews have never carried more weight, and this is why it’s critical for businesses to go all-out to impress customers and attract rave reviews. If your score is lower than you’d like, or you don’t currently have many reviews, there are ways to improve ratings. Encourage customers to leave feedback online after ordering, share reviews you have received via social media or your website and make it easy for previous clients to give you a rating. As well as offering incentives, for example, 10% off your next order or the chance to enter a competition if you leave a review, you could also provide links in delivery confirmation emails or send personalised emails after a customer has received the product. 

One of the most beneficial steps business owners can take to enhance their online presence and generate more sales is to utilise feedback. If you’re asking people to leave reviews or write comments, take the time to read and digest them and respond to followers and customers. Feedback can be incredibly useful, even if it’s negative. You can use comments to identify potential weaknesses and make changes that could prevent negative feedback in the future and increase your score. You might find that people are complaining about delivery charges, for example, or saying that they would like more information or images on product description pages. Consumers often add ideas and suggestions to their reviews, which can be helpful for business owners hoping to provide a better customer experience. You might consider adding a live chat feature, an FAQ section or an annual delivery pass for a set fee after reading comments, for example. 

Image source: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/feedback-group-communication-2044700/

There has never been a better time for businesses to be proactive in attracting attention online. Screen time is increasing, people are more inclined to look for services and products and shop online and social media provides amazing opportunities to build connections and relationships. Take these tips on board to drive traffic, create and convert more leads and showcase your brand.

Growing Your Online Business Overseas

One of the easiest ways to take your business to the next level is to find a brand new market that you can start to grow it in. You might be able to find that market domestically by appealing to new demographics, for instance, but the most common way of doing it is to expand your business overseas. However, if you want to make sure you acclimate as best as possible, you want to try and grow it naturally, rather than simply exporting what you’re already doing.

Growing Your Online Business Overseas

Link – CC0 License

Set it up separately

There are undeniably organizational benefits to running an existing business overseas. However, ensuring that your business follows two sets of regulations, handles tax duties appropriately, and otherwise operates smoothly in two different countries can be difficult. It might instead be easier to start your business abroad from scratch, adapting what you need to without needing to change how you run your existing business. It might take a little more time to raise the capital but it allows you to be more flexible on both fronts.

Separate your finances

Just as you should make sure you have separate business and personal bank accounts, you should separate your finances between the countries that you do business in, as well. There are plenty of services that can help you set up an international bank account and make it easier for you to transfer money from one to the other. Just be sure to keep records of every transaction between your different accounts as, when it comes to overseas transfers, the taxman can be particularly skeptical and you want to make sure you have all the evidence of good behavior you need.

Get to know the country

Simply put, there may be barriers that you have yet to consider when it comes to running a business in one country compared to the other. They could be two different markets, with different competitors and norms for how the industry works. You also need to be wary of differences in business etiquette, marketing message, and even political climate and property rights. Some countries could be risky to start a business in depending on what party gets in charge, as has happened many times.

Are you ready to handle it all?

If it’s a relatively small business, then running two at the same time, or at least running one in two countries, might not be all that difficult compared to what you usually do. However, if you have your hands full with just one, then you might need to consider how hands-on you can actually be. It might benefit you to develop good working relationships with a managerial team that is native to the country that you’re expanding to. Not only can it help you delegate, but it can also give you an advantage in avoiding some international relations snafus.

Taking your business overseas isn’t always easy. For that reason, finding the organic approach to grow it in a new market can help you find your feet and, more importantly, avoid some red tape.