8 articles Tag small business

5 Ways to Promote Your Small Business This Christmas

Ways to Promote Your Small Business This Chirstmas
Photo by Tim Douglas from Pexels

Some of you may know that aside from blogging and copywriting, I occasionaly do some marketing work too, and back in July I shared some ways that you can market your small business. With over 400,000 new companies launching during lockdown, it seemed like a good time to share some tips and now, with Christmas approaching (SORRY for mentioning the ‘C’ word in October!) I thought I’d give you some more targeted tips for helping your business to have a prosperous Christmas:

Point of Sale

Something that I’d advise many small businesses to invest in is some bespoke Christmas displays. This is especially important if you have a physical shopfront, and although you may be worried about the cost, it’s something that you’ll be able to use year after year. Having a professional display will really elevate your Christmas promotions and will look So much more inviting that just have strands of tinsel strewn about!

Send a Card

If you’re the type of business that holds address information for your clients, there’s nothing quite like a Christmas card to spread some festive cheer (and tell them about your latest offers!). There are many approaches, from online services which will send them automatically to actually handwriting cards, which is time-consuming but gives a truly personal effect. You could even just send an e-card via email, if that’s easier.

Christmas Themed Packaging

We all know how important custom packaging is for your brand. Packaging is the only thing that reaches 100% of your customers and is the first step in creating a memorable unboxing experienceUnique Christmas packaging for your products over Christmas adds a touch of luxury and class and, if coupled with a Christmas edition product, can really help create a sense of ‘exclusivity’ around your product.

Support a Local Cause

By reaching out to those less fortunate than you, you can also create awareness of your own brand at the same time. There are loads of different ways you can support charities, and it should be something you consider doing year-round, rather than just at Christmas. You could inform customers that all proceeds made from a certain range of products goes to charity, or even host a charity event like a coffee morning or brunch and encourage customers to donate with you. Just make sure you send invites beforehand!

Reward Your Loyal Followers

Depending on your audience, you may find that your followers on social media are your most engaged customers and your best brand ambassadors. Why not thank them by having offers exclusive to social media platforms? Although digital coupons and coupon codes work best with online stores, brick-and-mortar businesses can still offer print-at-home coupons that are promoted exclusively on social media. An alternative for online businesses is to create a landing page with unique offers, and again only promote this on social media.

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.

Make More Money Online as in 2020 with These Stunning Hacks

There are a lot of things that play a massive part in helping you to make more money online these days. It is so important to make sure you come up with some excellent ideas that will help you to make more money online. There are a lot of things you can do these days, and you are going to need to focus on helping you to make as much money as you can these days.

You have to think about some of the best ways of allowing you to bring in additional revenue, which is essential in this coronavirus era when people are losing jobs and not being able to work. Focus on some of the most effective ways of being able to make more money, and these are some of the best ways of being able to do this right now.

Pixabay.com

Sell Antiques

One of the great ways of being able to make money online is by selling antiques. Now, of course, you need to buy them first so that you can sell them on for a profit. You have a lot of things you need to work on when it comes to making a profit this way. Now there are plenty of tips to buying antiques online, but this is something that you need to be careful with so you are not losing a lot of money buying fake antiques.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is one of the most effective ways of making additional money, and this is something that you don’t need any qualifications to be able to achieve. Try to make sure you work on the best and most effective ways of dropshipping – this is similar to ecommerce, except that you don’t take delivery of the items, instead having them shipped directly to the customer. You can make good money from dropshipping, but it is certainly time-consuming, and this is something you need to keep in mind.

Blogging

Blogging is a great way of being able to earn additional money and revenue, and this is a great way of generating additional money. Now, there are a lot of things that you can do when it comes to creating and managing a blog and monetizing the blog is one of the best ways of being able to do this. Make sure you look for some of the best ways of being able to make money as a blogger, and this is an effective way of being able to make the most of this.

Ebooks

If you are looking for some excellent side hustles that you can use to make money from home, and one of the key ways of being able to achieve this is writing ebooks. Amazon Kindle has made the ebook world explode, and you can enjoy self-publishing your own ebooks very easily. Trying to get a few ebooks published at the same time is a good way of being able to generate a bit of additional income.

These are some of the best ways of being able to make more money and raise additional funds online right now. You have to make sure you do as much as possible to work on bringing in more money, and this is one of the key things that you are going to need to work on right now. These are going to help you make more money, and this is essential for you to work on as much as you possibly can.

3 Principles to Keep in Mind When Starting a Business with a Friend

Pixabay CC0 License

Thanks to the resources and possibilities available to us all today via the web, entrepreneurship is skyrocketing, with more and more people feeling driven to start their own businesses, and to take their professional and financial lives into their own hands.

An entrepreneur’s life can certainly be very fulfilling and rewarding, but it’s also inevitably going to be challenging. Even the most accomplished entrepreneurs in the world tend to have a good number of failures under their belts by the time they end up “making it big.”

While the life of an individual entrepreneur can be challenging, though, what about if you happen to be starting a business with a friend.

On the one hand, this can be a very powerful and positive experience, but on the other hand, there are all sorts of new pitfalls that await.

Here are a few principles to keep in mind when starting a business with a friend.

  • Look out for one another

This point should be self-evident, but if you’re starting a business with a friend it’s essential that you don’t both let your competitive natures, and the stress of the job, turn you into rivals rather than partners.

A business is unlikely to thrive if the two driving forces behind it are at loggerheads, and your friendship certainly isn’t likely to remain in good condition either, if you and your friend are practically coming to blows on a regular basis.

So, look out for one another, and be sure to always treat the business as a collaborative experience. Take steps to protect each other in the event of catastrophe, by, for example, looking into things like mortgage payment protection insurance.

And, by no means must you ever throw your business partner under the bus if a client is unhappy.

  • Choose your business partner very carefully

As mentioned at the beginning of the article; entrepreneurship is filled with challenges and obstacles, and the challenges and obstacles are, in some ways, magnified when you’re running a business alongside another person.

One consequence of this is that your partnership will be placed under stress, and you will be in a vulnerable situation, with regards to what the other person choose to do.

What that means is that you must choose your business partner very carefully, to minimise the chances that you will be exploited, or that the partnership will crumble under the strain.

  • Good communication is essential

A business partnership absolutely requires good communication if it’s going to succeed – because without good communication, you and your business partner will almost certainly end up working at cross purposes to one another, stepping on each other’s toes, and unintentionally undermining each other’s efforts.

Be sure to schedule in regular meetings and catch-up sessions, and have systems in place whereby you both know to consult with one another if you are presented with a particular opportunity, or have to make a particular decision.

For those circumstances where you can’t both be actively involved to the same extent, you should have agreements in place beforehand that determine how you should each conduct yourselves.

Take Your Business to the Next Level

Starting a Small BusinessPhoto by Clark Street Mercantile on Unsplash

If you’re starting a business, be it a shop selling handmade items or a restaurant serving high-end dishes, you’ll want your premises to make an impact. Most of us walk around only half-noticing our surroundings, so creating a space which is enticing and exctiting to prospective clients can make a big difference when it comes to your profits. When making plans for yur new premises, you should be thinking about how you can take your business to the next level and blow your competitors out of the water – here are some suggestions of how to do it:

Get Your Design Right

If your new premises is an empty space, it’s full of potential but it can sometimes be hard to visualise. Invest in bespoke interior architecture  which will compliment your business and create a space that your customers or clients will WANT to spend time in. Restaurants often benefit from a variety of seating areas, from large open areas for big groups to smaller, more intimate nooks for couples. Adding to your architecture could help you to create all of these in one space.

Think About Your Signage

Shop and restaurant signage can be a tricky thing to get right. You want something that represents your shop and looks good on the front of the business, but it also needs to look fitting in the street location and complement the surrounding businesses. Sticking out like a sore thumb ight get you notices, but if everyone else has muted, vintage styling and you opt for a neon sign that you can see from space, you might not win too many friends!

Sound it Out

When it comes to shop and restaurant design, it’s also important to consider music, volume, and how it will sound around the space and affect customers. Research has proven that background music has a direct effect on shopping behavior, so it is something business owners should always keep in mind. Bluetooth speakers are the ideal solution to creating a pleasant shopping environment for retail stores and small businesses.

Tech to Make Running a Small Business Easier

Whether you’re working from home as a one man band, setting up a side hustle in your spare time, or run a business which employs lots of people, there are certain bits of tech which can really make your life easier. We’ve put together a list of the top five tech items you can buy which will help to take your business to the next level:

A Good Camera

This won’t apply to all small business, but if you’re selling products or run a business which depends upon you have decent images to display then a good camera should be one of your main investments. If you don’t have thousands to spend but still want a high-end set up, look online for second hand stuff – lots of people plunge hundreds and even thousands of pounds on photography equipment, only to realise they never use it, and then sell it on for way under the new price.

Packing Machines

If your business requires you to package something, then investing in a packing machine from C Pack Ltd will save you time and money in the long run. They have machines which can package just about anything and they’re guaranteed to do it quicker and with less error than a human! They’ll even build a custom packing machine for your exact requirements.

Travel Laptop

If you spend a lot of time travelling for your business, investing in a good travel laptop could be invaluable. It will allow you to take with you all of the files you need for your business when travelling, and means that you can leave your every day tech at home because you have a dedicated laptop just for travel.

Cloud Services

The old fashioned way of doing things still clings on in some respects, with many people struggling to trust Cloud services because they’re just not as tangible as paper files or a physical hard drive. However, Cloud services are actually the safer and more reliable way to store your data and you’re less likely to suffer a loss with one of these services. That being said, managing your own Cloud network can be overwhelming at times which is why some businesses instead outsource these IT-related responsibilities to teams of IT experts. Moreover, when it comes to Managed IT Services Melbourne and other major cities all over the world are home to some fantastic teams of IT support professionals that can help you to work out the best possible solutions for your business needs.

Chatbots

You might see chatbots as something way out of your business’ league, or as something that’s just a bit too futuristic for your needs, but using chatbot software to deal with some of your communications can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Security

Ransomware has become a billion-dollar business and that makes sense: it’s finally a way for clever hackers to actually make money with their malware. We read about the stories of hotels, transit systems and city governments brought to their knees by security breaches like this, but we don’t hear of the thousands of small businesses that are also affected. To protect yourself you need to use a good cloud backup service, keep your operating systems updated and use a good security application in your company.

 

Mum’s the Word Loves Scrappy Owls

My friend Becky is a very talented lady, she’s a real whizz with a sewing machine and I’m often admiring the clothes she makes for her daughter, who’s in Sausage’s class at school. Just recently, she’s started putting her talents to other use and has set up her own shop selling some of the gorgeous things she makes. I’m a huge fan of small businesses and cottage industry as I think it’s brilliant when people are able to use their ingenuity to allow them to do something positive for themselves, so I wanted to show you some of her wares:

Dribble Bibs

I love these dribble bibs, they almost make me wish I had my own small, dribbly person to wear one!

Owl Bags

These owl bags are so adorable and very fashionable right now, I’m thinking about commissioning a matching mama and baby owl pair for me and Sausage!

Scooter Bags

I think these scooter bags are just so clever, they look seriously cute on the front of a proscootersmart scooter and are very practical for carrying sunglasses, sweets and all the other little treasures that our younglings like to stow away.

Scrappy Owls

My absolute favourite thing that Becky makes are these Scrappy Owls, which is good as they’re her signature item! I love the bright colours, the design, even the expression on the owls’ faces! So kitsch and cool.

Head over to the Scrappy Owls Facebook page to see all of Becky’s wonderful creations and place an order for yourself!

Disclosure – No payment or payment in kind has been received in exchange for this post, this is not a paid advert and all opinions are my own.