Marketing With Merch: The Basics

The times we live in are very technology focused- tech influences everything we do from work to play. And when it comes to marketing a business, it’s easy to think that all of your resources should be poured into these online methods. After all, digital marketing done well is highly effective; no one is denying that. However, you don’t want to go and neglect all other forms of marketing. A good marketing strategy is multifaceted- and one method you could use alongside your other (more likely, digital) approaches is marketing merch. Read on to find out more about this fun, effective method.

What is marketing merch?

Marketing merchandise are items that are given away to customers which have your company name branded on them. The idea is that every time the person uses the item, they’re consciously or subconsciously reminded of your business. This can help to build trust and make your company spring to mind next time they’re looking for a business like yours.

What kinds of marketing merch are the most effective?

Things like pens, keyrings, umbrellas, mugs and travel mugs and more will all be genuinely useful to a person and are things they’re likely to use. Wearable items like hats and t-shirts can be useful, they might not be the height of fashion but people often wear company merch T-shirts to bed or to do work in. They might wear a baseball cap to keep the sun out of their eyes while they’re working on their car or in their garden- even if its just to not dirty any of their ‘good’ clothes’. Reusable bags are another option, since the war on plastic has lead to carrier bag charges, many people now take reusable bags shopping so are something that will get a lot of use. Look at getting your logo onto a tote or a reusable plastic bag. Any item that people will get use out of and is cheap to print on makes good merch, meaning there are lots of great options.

Where should you give away marketing merch?

If you’re attending a business expo, running an event, or attending any networking opportunity, these will be great places to give away merch. Hand them out to anyone who shows an interest in your business, wait until you’re approached for information as it shows that the person has a genuine interest and could therefore become a customer later on. Marketing merch can be given away as a free gift with purchases sent to your customer along with their order when you’re shipping things out.

What are the downsides?

If you’re mainly handing out your merch at local events, then you will only be reaching a relatively small number of people. The cost can sometimes be an option too, while lots of items can be printed cheaply it’s still more expensive than simple flyers or some other forms of marketing. However, it’s also likely to be more effective, so make sure you’re carefully recording costs and the leads you get from them to work out if this is a marketing method that suits your business.

Why Startups Are Struggling Now More Than Ever

Being a startup is like a deer caught in the headlights. Startups are now more common than ever before. In fact, they’re dominating the business world at the minute.  People are now so driven to set up their own business and stick it to the man. Working for a corporate company is soul destroying for most people. Because of the demands of the world at the minute, employers are being overworked and underpaid. Take the public services for example, they’re stretched to their limits. Teachers can’t teach like they used to, and a simple office job has turned into chaos. Business is no different. To run a business means entering into chaos, especially if you have had no experience with it before. For that very reason, startups are struggling more than ever before. But unfortunately that’s not the only reason, there are so many more battles a startup has to face to go from being a startup to a small business, let alone the transition of going from a small business to a not so small one. So, keep on reading to explore why startups are struggling now more than ever to make sure that you’re not the one struggling!

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Poor Business Plans

Poor business plans are sometimes hard to account for. It’s hard to know what business plan is going to carry some weight and have a positive impact, and what might negatively impact production and the business’s finances. Some say it’s trial and error, but we think there are signs that will show a poor business plan, and a lot of it is to do with planning and running trials. Sloppiness can easily lead to a poor business plan, and we feel like thoroughly planning can make all of the difference. Planning for each and every failing and how to solve it, and if you can’t then it proves that the plan isn’t going to work. Business plans can involve anything from financial plans to product development plans. If you feel like you struggle to make them, there are services out there that can help you, as well as help you to prepare for the worst. Disaster planning for a business prevents a cascade of problems occurring when plans do fail.

Struggling With Sales Conversions

It’s so easy for a startup to get excited about the smallest of interest. Any like of a post, purchase of a product, or click on the website is enough to get a startup excited. It lures them into false hope that one click is going to lead to another, but often people stop before they get to the checkout. So that’s a failed conversion, and something you want to try and prevent. To do so, you have to focus on what the customer needs. The flow of your website and the style can make all the difference to the conversion rate. Plus, it might be that you don’t have your website set up to track conversion rates. This will allow you to see how far into the process potential customers got before they turned away. The more you focus on the quality of your website, the more trust customers have, and the better you look as a business. The lack of trust in a startup is what prevents many people from using them. It’s not until a reputation is built that more interest begins to show.

Poor Use Of Data

Poor use of data happens with any company, of any size. Data almost becomes uncontrollable as it expands. All of the sudden pockets of information becomes a pool, and unless a good database is used, you’re never going to be able to get the most out of the data you have. From better organisation to the management of faults, oracle forms migration can help you to move your database from one system to a web based system, which is much more modern and compatible to a business. If you don’t have a database at all, which you may not do as a startup, then now is the time to think about which one might benefit you as a business. The database you start out with might not be the one you end up with, but it’s a good idea to start looking about which one you could use.

No Consistency

Consistency should be key with your business, and it’s not often so with a startup. Consistency in terms of marketing is important. In the beginning, daily social media posts and interactions are essential. Setting up a blog can also help, talking about issues and news relating to your niche can generate traffic through your website.

The Wise Investments To Make During The First 18 Months Of Your Business

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The pressure of a new business is unlike any other. The idea that you need to keep it moving forward is something that can overwhelm you. And it’s during the first 18 months of the business that we find our feet, but we also start to realize that we’ve been focusing on the wrong areas. While every mistake is a learning lesson, we must remember that during the first 18 months of our business that we’ve got to make wise investments. But what are these investments, not just in a practical sense, but a personal one as well?

Keeping The Books Above Board

If you started a business by yourself and you feel that you shouldn’t consult any small business accounting firms, then more fool you! Because we can think that we just need to have a sound system in place to look after our books when the business gets bigger, we will start to lose track of those little things, which can result in breaking the law without realizing it. If you make a mistake on your tax return, this can cause so many problems that you’ve got to stop everything. Instead, by hiring an accountant to keep you focused on the business, you don’t have to worry about those little things or learning how to cook the books properly.

Only Focus On One Area

A big mistake we all make it businesses that we have to diversify. By diversifying, we think we are spreading ourselves further out. In reality, we are spreading ourselves thin. By focusing on one area allows us to improve this. Learning our strengths and weaknesses is crucial at this juncture. You can have a SWOT analysis in place to focus on one aspect of the business and improve this. Gradually after a while, you’ll end up diversifying naturally because you’ve been growing every single area in an organic fashion. So many businesses feel especially in the marketing areas that they have to spread themselves further out to cover numerous targets. Spreading yourself further out means you’re spreading yourself very thinly.

Make Productivity A Priority

We can focus on processes so much, but when we start to improve productivity and focus on working smart instead of working hard, this is going to be one of the best investments you will ever make in business. There are so many different ways to improve productivity like the Pomodoro method, but also looking at the processes individually allows us to make things work a little bit better, not just the business, but for each individual. Sometimes a process to be so rigid that it causes us to make numerous mistakes, and it takes a lot longer to address fixing these problems. By making productivity a priority, we will then be able to give the business the attention it needs but also focus on other aspects of the business without a focus on unnecessary elements.

The first 18 months of your business is crucial, and there are so many different areas that you need to focus on but when you start to focus on these three components only then will you be able to realize just how much of a foundation you provide for your business to reach the stratosphere.

Why Statistics And Data Will Help Your Business To Grow

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Data has never played such an essential role in our lives as it does today, for business owners, for insurance companies, and for consumers. It is there every day in almost everything we do now and every action we make. In business or insurance, stats and data can be extremely useful as they say, “Information is power,” and statistics provide the power you need to succeed.

Even if you don’t own a business, but you love stats and think this sounds like a good career path for you, then you can read more about the insurance industry and becoming an actuary who is a business professional who deals with the measurement and management of risk and uncertainty. Analytics can transform a business’s performance, which will boost revenue, increase profits, and improve customer satisfaction and retention. If you do have a business but are not making the most of big data and analytics, then here are a few reasons why you should, as this can really help you to find opportunities and give you an edge in this highly competitive business world.

Know Your Customers

Do you know who your customers are? Do you know how many of them there are? Do you know if there’s likely to be an increase in customers and if so, when? These are all very important statistics to be aware of for the success of your business. Analyzing your customers can be more than just knowing how many you have, but knowing their likes and dislikes and looking at their complaints and feedback, data and stats allow you to see any commonalities within them and the same with any good reviews too. You can also identify those customers who are more likely to come back and do repeat business. Building up your relationships with customers and turning them into long-term customers then maximizes their value to you, and the level of repeat business.

Meet Your Customers’ Demands

Analytics will allow you to predict the ability to meet your customer demands; for example, you’ll be able to see how many orders you get or what times are your business and then look at outside factors that can affect this, too, such as the weather or the traffic.

Know Your Suppliers

It’s not just about knowing your customers, but you can also use statistics to look at your suppliers and other businesses you rely on. You can use the data to help you to see who are the most reliable and which ones will give you the highest probability of success

Forecast

Data is invaluable when it comes to forecasting. Looking ahead to make sure you have the right staffing levels on for a certain time of day or year. It’s also really useful for managing operational costs for when you know it will be busy and quiet; for example, some businesses are very seasonal or depend massively on the weather.

Better Product Management

Knowing which are the most popular products or understanding which combinations of products work is essential in your business, but it can also vary by region or season, depending on your business, so using big data can ensure your company is targeting the right product at the right time, which helps to increase sales.

Income

Statistics are also vital to find out how you should cost your product or service. Do you know, for example, how much the average household spends? Do you know if this figure is increasing or decreasing? Can people afford your product or service? Is it considered a luxury? Do you know what the spending trends are at the minute and if there is a demand for your business and what you are offering?

Competition

Finally, one of the biggest factors in how your business goes and if it succeeds or not really depends on who else is out there? Where are you compared to your competition? It’s important also to analyze statistics relating to your competition as this will give you that edge and put you in a position where you will be able to capitalize on their mistakes and exploit any of their weaknesses. Using data will help you to find out if your competition is growing and how fast it is growing, and you need to know these things.

As customers are increasingly using more and more devices and platforms to engage with companies, your volume of interactions will grow, and as that happens, your volume of data will also grow, meaning that your analysis can become even more granular of everything from site features to ad campaigns.

How To Keep Your Business Moving Forward

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Oh sure, you could rest on your laurels, especially if your business is doing well. But what about your nearest competitors? If they are working hard to progress their business, they are going to leave you in the proverbial dust. While they take great strides to improve their product, win over new customers, and future-proof their operations, you might be heading for a fall if you have made little effort to move your business forward yourself.

So, don’t stand still. Work hard to ensure your business has the chance to succeed in both the short and the long-term.

#1: Invest in the latest technologies

You don’t need every new technology that comes on the market,  but if you’re still relying on outdated machines and inefficient pieces of tech, then your productivity will take a hit, as will your ability to stay current with modern trends. So, take a look at the emerging technologies around you, from the automated payment systems that will make your customers lives easier, to the creative workstations that will do much to maximize your workflow. Sure, there will be an expense, but because you will be benefitting both your customers and employees, you should make a profit eventually.

#2: Overcome your weaknesses

We’re sure you have many skills and talents at your disposal, but you’re unlikely to be good at everything. While you could struggle along on your efforts, your business is only going to move forward if you find ways to overcome your weaknesses. You can do this by delegating some of your responsibilities to those team members who are abler than you are. Alternatively, you  could free up your time and the time of your employees and consider outsourcing instead. And for the long-term benefits to your company, you might also want to take an e-learning course or attend a business college, as you will then pick up those skills that could benefit your company.

#3: Research your rivals

Don’t spend too much of your time playing catch-up with your nearest business rivals. Find out what they are doing now, and if they pose a real threat to your business, do what you can to beat them. So, visit their websites, read their social media pages, pretend to be a customer on the phone, and pop into their places of business. Look at their products and services. Consider the technologies they are using to better their operations. And try to gain an understanding of their future plans. When you know what they are getting up to, you will have the information you need to both match and push past them.

#4: Attend seminars and conventions

How is your industry changing? What is the future of the consumer marketplace? What technologies should you be using? You will find out the answers to these questions and more by attending those business events that are relevant to you. So, make time in your calendar to attend, or send some of your employees along as representatives of your company. You will then have the opportunity to shape your company with the information you have received, and you will be able to keep your business moving forward.

So, don’t stand still. Don’t let your rivals push past you. And don’t become irrelevant. Do whatever it takes to keep your business moving forward, as you will find greater success if you do.

5 Ways to Improve Business in 2020

The start of a new year is a time to reflect, take a look at what you achieved in business in the past year and how this will pave the way for future successes. If you’re wondering what you can do to improve and continue growing this year, here are five suggestions.

Call in the professionals

It’s crucial that you know your skillset as a business owner. In the beginning particularly, it’s tempting to want to do everything yourself to save costs- but remember that your time and skills are limited. Later on when things take off, there’s simply no way you can handle everything as a one man band and you’ll need others to help bring your vision to life. You have the choice of hiring more of your own in-house workers, or outsourcing to professional companies.

Study

You might have set up your company with no previous business knowledge and learned as went along- it’s entirely possible to manage this, and plenty of people do. However, even if things are going well, committing some time to study the subject can be invaluable and prevent you from making mistakes later on. You can get a mba degree online or any other business related topic from marketing to accounting to leadership- anything that will build your knowledge and improve your chances of business success.

Have a redesign

A professional business redesign will ensure your business looks looks smart and professional, which means you won’t inadvertently be putting off customers. A site redesign for example will make sure that everything is laid out correctly with the right amount of white space on the page, it means things like correct fonts are used to make it readable and that it’s generally appealing to your customers. Any logos and graphics can be redesigned and used throughout your business to ensure it looks seamless.

Attend seminars and webinars

If you don’t want to go back into formal education, you can still learn more and virtually access lectures whenever you like by attending online seminars. Experts in the field will often conduct talks and you can stream it online, having the opportunity to ask questions at the end. They’re not very expensive, and it can be a fantastic way to learn more on a topic, from a person who knows what they’re talking about.

Automate what you can

When you automating areas of your business, you really do save time and money. Thanks to excellent softwares and computer programs, more and more areas are being able to be made fully automatic in business which is great news for you. Automating jobs makes everything quicker and more efficient, so be sure to research software and invest in any which is going to make life easier. Later down the line, when your company grows and is earning money, you even could invest in bespoke software that’s built specifically for your venture, rather than moulding what you do around existing programs.

4 Tips for Starting a Business in 2020

So here we are, 2020. Many of you may be thinking that this is the year you finally get your own business off the ground and take on the world. As a new decade starts, we all get a feeling of a fresh start in life, the chance to achieve something great and follow our dreams.

If you’re thinking of starting your own business this year, here are 4 top tips to help you along the way.

1. A Great Niche Idea

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As you may already know, business is saturated in most areas of the world. The key to business success in 2020 will be to establish your niche, stick to it and do it extremely well. Finding a niche is far easier said than done so establishing your niche should be well considered and thought out before any decision is made.

Speak to friends and family about your idea, you will be amazed at how quick people get excited when they hear a genuinely good business idea. It’s easy to know when they are disinterested too. Make sure you do lots of research, speak to people about your idea and test the water first.

2. Solve That Problem

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A successful business solves a specific problem that affects a large number of people. The problem that you solve doesn’t have to be anything complicated it can be a small problem that people never realised was even causing them too many issues.

People never thought they had issues with taxis until Uber entered the market and showed them they had been struggling all their lives to get quality, well priced and reliable taxi rides. That’s not to say all business ideas need to take over an entire industry to be successful. You could be selling the best cold room panels or air conditioning units on the market taking a big enough slice of the cake to be very successful.

Once you understand what problem you need to solve for people, you then need to demonstrate to the people how easily you can solve it with your particular product or service.

3. Incredible Customer Service from the Start

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Customer service is everything in modern business. The rise in social media and review websites means that no company can succeed in the current business landscape without incredible customer service. If you lack quality customer service, the internet and your future potential customers will know about it quicker than you can fix it.

Responsive and professional customer service is a must from the very start. Customers in 2020 want to feel like they are part of your business, they want to understand your values, see your vision and they appreciate transparency. Good customer service will have customers coming back over and over again.

4. Create a Vision

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We all want our business to grow and be succesful but not many of us know specifically what we are aiming for. Creating a business plan is essential, it keeps you focused and working towards the bigger goal. Having a vision can help you imagine your success before you have even reached it. This can push you to complete the work necessary that helps you get there.

Small goals consistently achieved over a long period of time builds great companies. All you need is the initial vision, drive to get there and most importantly, consistency. Your customers and employees will also appreciate your vision, inspiring them to be a part of your journey. Once you have a group of likeminded people who want you to succeed, it’s hard to fail.

Don’t Forget These Considerations For The Modern, Flexible Business

Flexible may seem like a buzz word in the business world and to an extent, it is. However, it’s also a key consideration that you must keep in mind when you are running a modern business. By ensuring that your business is flexible, you will also be able to achieve a greater level of efficiency. That ultimately, means that you’re going to be able to keep costs low in your business model which is always a top concern for any business.

So, what is flexibility with regards to modern business?  Well, it means the typical concept of the business office is deconstructed. Instead, many or even all employees can work remotely either from their home or somewhere like a hot desk. Again, this means that you can save more money in the business model. The right flexible business will also be able to ensure that they can reach more customers and clients too because they will be able to offer them a greater level of choice.

Here are some of the ways that you can ensure that your business is set up to be completely flexible.

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Provide A Range Of Resources

You should be offering as many resources as possible to your customers and clients. This is about providing them with different ways to engage with your business, gain information about what you can offer and finally complete a purchase. Perhaps the simplest example of this is buying methods. Some customers are going to be keen to buy products on credits while others will be eager to use Paypal. To make your business as accessible and flexible as possible, you should be offering all possibilities here.

Set Up A Dashboard

A dashboard will be useful for a variety of businesses. It’s a great way to ensure that everyone can access the same information, data and docs. The information can be shared regardless of where an employer is based. It allows for the transfer of ideas and group thinking even when individuals are not sharing the same office or work environment Dashboard design is a crucial element to keep in mind here as it does need to provide the right tool that everyone can use the right way. It should be completely user-friendly and offer an efficient solution that is integrated into the business model.

The Cloud 

Of course, if you are using remote workers, then you do need to make sure that a cloud server is part of your business strategy. A cloud server will ensure that data can be transferred between different parties effortlessly. At the same time, it will guarantee that your business and sensitive data remains secure throughout different transactions and processes. Cloud servers used to be an expensive solution. However, they can now be accessed by a variety of different businesses with smaller budgets.

We hope this helps you understand some of the best ways to ensure that a business does remain flexible. In doing so, you can reach more customers and gain a greater level of success with your company.

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3 Absolute Essentials You Need to Help Improve Business Performance

When you are looking to make the right business decisions this year, you need to think about the best ways of being able to improve performance. This is the key for so many business owners in 2020, and something that you need to make sure you get sorted as much as possible. There are plenty of factors you need to look at to help you with this, and it is important to make 2020 the year you focus on business performance.

Improving business performance can have so many positive advantages when it comes to making the most of your business and the way it is being run. You can do so much to help you improve this, and you’ve got to get that right if you are going to be a successful company moving forward. Check out these 3 ideas that will allow you to improve the performance of the brand today.

1. Hire a Consultant

One of the first and most important things you can do to help work on improving the performance of your business is to hire a consultant. This is something that is going to go a long way toward allowing you to get better. A consultant’s job is to assess what your business is not doing well, and present solutions for how to improve this moving forward. There are a lot of factors that play a part in this, and you need to hire a reputable business consultant as soon as possible in order to help you make the most of this right now.

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2. Track Trends

Another thing you need to look at doing is to track trends so you can see where your business needs to be improved, as well as the areas you should be targeting to make improvements. Through the use of things like an employee engagement survey, you can determine where your business needs work. This will give you an idea of the positive changes you can make in order to help the company progress in the future, as well as making sure you perform better in the market.

3. Streamline the Company

If you are serious about improving and enhancing business performance, then it is imperative that you take a look at ways of streamlining the company. There are plenty of ways you can grow your business in 2020, and this is one of the biggest ones. It is so important for you to take the time to look at improvements that can be made. By streamlining the company, you are focusing on how you can increase efficiency and cut down on certain areas without compromising results. This is one of the most important factors that can influence the

Looking for ways of improving and enhancing business performance in 2020 is really important because this is how you stay ahead of the competition. You have to provide a company that is appealing to customers and is being run in the smoothest and most appealing way possible. That’s why it is so important to make sure you improve your business performance.

5 Ways You Can Grow Your Business in 2020

If growing your business in 2020 is your goal for the year, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’re going to give you 5 ways you can grow your business in 2020 that will make a huge difference to your overall results and profits. Read on to learn what they are and enjoy amazing results in your business:

  1. Create More Content

Make sure you’re creating content that will help your audience. This content should keep people coming back and add real value to the lives of your audience. You can create blogs, videos, and pretty much any other kind of content that you want. Just make sure it’s helpful to your audience and that you’re consistent.

  1. Work With Influencers In Your Industry

Find influencers in your industry and strike up a deal with them. Working with influencers in your industry can make a huge difference to your results.

  1. Make Data Driven Decisions

Looking at data and analyzing it should be something that you do on a regular basis. This will help you to figure out what’s working, what isn’t, and what you can do to grow. Always make decisions based on data and what you’ve learned.

  1. Look Into Automation

Automation can give you more time to do what you do best. Automate almost anything that can be automated!

5. Hire The Right People For The Job

It goes without saying that you need to hire the right people. Personality tests can help, but you should stay up to date with things going on – for example, in 2021, hiring foreign workers will be different. The infographic below can help.

 


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5 Ways To Grow Your Business In 2020

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If you’re looking for ways to grow your business in 2020 but you don’t know where to start then don’t worry, you have definitely come to the right place. With so many incredible ways for you to take your enterprise to the next level, you need to be sure you have a clear plan for growth in place. Whether that’s launching new products or hiring new team members, the more you’re doing to help your business grow the better. With that in mind, here are 5 ways to grow your business in 2020:​

Consider Launching New Products

One of the best ways to grow your business in 2020 is to consider launching new products. Although you may already have lots of products that are performing well, thinking about how you can expand on your range is a great next step to be taking. Whether that means introducing one product or ten, you never know how much your audience and customer base could grow following the launch. For a guide to launching new products as a business, you can visit this site here.

Improve Your Social Media Channels

If you’re not already focussing on your social media presence, you should be. Moving into the new year is a great chance to rethink how you’re using social media and to come up with a new, winning strategy. Although it may take some time to work out what works for you, having a strong social media presence will do wonders for your business. For tips and tricks when it comes to growing on social media, you can visit this site here.

Invest In Industrial Or Office Space

Another great way to grow your business is to think about investing in industrial or office space, depending on the type of business you’re running. Although it may be daunting to think about renting a property, the opportunities it creates can be endless.

If you are thinking about investing in industrial or office space, you need to ensure you’re considering health and safety. Whether that means looking for a float switch manufacturer or hiring a dedicated health and safety professional, it’s your responsibility to keep everyone safe.

Hire Your First Team Members

If you are looking for a great way to expand your business as we continue into the new year, why not consider hiring your first-ever team members? Whether you’re bringing in a designer or you want to hire a social media specialist, having someone there to help will free up your time when it comes to more important aspects of the business.

Consider A Rebrand

Finally, why not consider a rebrand for your business? If you’ve been using the same branding since your business launch, it might be time to think about a rebrand.

Are you looking for ways to grow your business now that we’re in the new year? What can you do to ensure 2020 is your most successful year yet? Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.

Increasing Efficiency While Decreasing Costs: Tips For A More Profitable Business

Generating profits holds the key to success in business. All too often, companies focus on increasing sales, but in many cases, it’s possible to maximize margins by improving efficiency and lowering costs. If you’re on a mission to make your business more profitable, here are some steps you can take to decrease expenses at the same time as increasing efficiency.

Technology, machinery, vehicles and equipment

Technology plays an increasingly influential role in business, and investing in the right machinery, gadgetry, tools and systems can make all the difference to companies looking to get ahead. Technology often saves time and effort, and it can also reduce labor costs, improve the quality of service and eliminate the risk of mistakes. In any kind of business, it’s crucial to weigh up the pros and cons of investing in technology or specific types of vehicle or equipment and to consider the option of renting before making a decision. Buying might be the best option for one business, while hiring may make financial sense for another. If you’re looking to make use of a specialist vehicle for a one-off construction job, you could look at options like commercial pickup rentals from Flex Fleet. If you run a restaurant, and you host an annual outdoor event, hiring equipment is likely to be more cost-effective than buying. Consider how often you plan to use a specific device, machine, tool or vehicle and work out the expected cost per use.

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Staffing

Most small businesses devote a significant portion of their income to wages. The vast majority of business owners are reliant upon a team to achieve results, but some staffing structures offer better value for money than others. One prime example is a seasonal company. If you have slow periods during the year, it doesn’t make sense to pay employees to sit in the office with very little to do. Offering short-term contracts or hiring freelancers or temporary staff for busy spells will enable you to capitalize on increased demand while also saving on wages.

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Outsourcing

Running any type of business involves juggling multiple balls at the same time. Often, trying to keep all the balls in the air at the same time can impact the core elements that underpin the day to day running of the company. Outsourcing is a means of concentrating on the fundamentals of the business at the same time as ensuring other important tasks are completed to a high standard. When you outsource, you can access expertise and skills that you might not have on your team, you can free up time for staff members to work on core jobs, and you can provide customers with a better service. If you run a restaurant chain, for example, you want your employees to concentrate on serving customers and providing a great experience. If you outsource IT support and digital marketing, for example, you can take advantage of cutting-edge marketing techniques to promote your brand and IT services to keep your systems up and running.

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Many business owners will be starting 2020 with hopes to boost profits. Making a business more profitable often depends on increasing sales, but it’s also beneficial to keep an eye on running costs and to try and widen margins by improving efficiency.

Small Business Essentials You Need to Get Right in 2020

When you are trying to run a modern business, one of the most important things you need to think about if you want to be a business owner is what you can do to become more successful. There are a lot of factors that play a part in this, and it’s essential that you take action to help your company grow and thrive as much as possible.

There’s plenty to look out for in 2020, and you need to assess what changes you can make that are going to help your business grow and thrive. Small business essentials are important for helping your company become a success, and this is something that you need to keep in mind moving forward. Check out these ideas that are going to allow you to grow the business as much as possible.

Create a Strong Brand

Creating a strong and successful brand is so important, and there are a lot of different ways of being able to achieve this moving forward. Make sure you look at what you can do to make the most of this moving forward and try to come up with branding ideas right now. A strong brand is one that is unforgettable and will stay in the memory, it should also make a good impression

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Protect Your Reputation

Looking after your business reputation is so important in 2020, and there are a lot of things you might consider doing that are going to help you boost the company’s reputation. This is so important for future success and is a great way of helping to bring more customers to the business. Try to make sure you focus on doing as much as you can to protect and look after the reputation of the business right now.

Train Your Employees

Training your employees is so important because this is the best way of being able to achieve success as a business owner. You have to do what you can to ensure that your employees are as qualified and competent as they can possibly be, and the best way of doing this is to make sure you get them to undertake VMware training and other sorts of training courses so they can improve their skill sets and be more productive.

Outsource

Outsourcing is one of the buzzwords in management and modern business these days. But the concept of outsourcing is not one that should be ignored or overlooked. There are so many factors that play a part in this, and it is clear that outsourcing is hugely important to small businesses everywhere. This is why you need to come up with some idea of the sorts of things you want to outsource for your company right now.

When you are running a new business, it is important to think about what you can do to create more success and to make the right business decisions. This means thinking about the best ideas for improving your small business and trying to take things to the next level as much as you possibly can.

Why Outsourcing Is Essential To Your New Business Startup

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So, you are going into business. You have a great concept and you even have the startup capital. It’s going to be a rough ride at first. You will need to work long and hard at building up your reputation, honing your core products or services, and letting the world know that you are there.

Your Small Business Has A Lot Of Needs

But, if only business was that simple. If only you could just worry about developing your companies niche in the market through delivering excellent service and striving to continually improve what you do. But the reality of the situation is that there is a lot more involved in running a business and you need to be fully aware that your job will now involve recruiting, managing teams, paying them, firing them if needs be, managing your IT systems, and so many other things.

Why Not Delegate?

Of course, delegation is always a way around these things, but let’s be honest, you’re probably not going to be able to spare any of your precious staff at this stage to do these types of task because they will be your core team, working with you on delivering your companies goals.

Why Outsource?

Your best option is going to be to outsource. This will mean that a company of experts can handle the tasks professionally. They will carry them out in a much more effective way than you might and you will save money by doing it, through the increased productivity that outsourcing offers.

Outsourcing Your IT Needs

One of the most common areas of the business to outsource is your IT support. This is a large area for most businesses as our reliance on the best technology is huge and developing your IT infrastructure takes time and money.

Whatever you use your IT systems for, whether it be accounting, customer service related tasks, or whether it plays an integral part of the way that you do business, you will need to have a system that runs smoothly and support when you need it. Having an arrangement with a support company such as www.quicktech.ca// will mean that you will get IT support as and when you need it the most.

You Will Get Expert Help If You Outsource

Your IT support will be delivered by trained professionals who will have a lot of experience of delivering similar support to many small to medium-sized businesses. You will be in safe hands. They will be able to advise you on ways that you can improve your systems too so that you are running the most efficient company that you can be.

Outsourcing Keeps Your Business Safe

Cybersecurity is a major threat to businesses of all sizes, and hackers and criminals will prey on companies like yours, looking for insecurities in your infrastructure. Do not give them the opportunity to damage your hard work and steal everything that you have put in. By outsourcing your IT you will get support in this very key area to keep your business safe online.

4 Challenges You Will Face When Taking Your Business Global

If you are looking for ways to take your business to the next level, you may consider expanding into other countries. Taking your business global is a great way to find a lot of new customers and increase profits in a big way, but only if you get it right. There are a lot of hurdles that you will face along the way and a lot of businesses fail when they try to go global. But as long as you can meet these challenges head on, your attempts at global expansion will be successful.

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The Language Barrier

The first and most obvious challenge that you will face is the language barrier. Doing business with people that you don’t understand is tough, especially when you are discussing complex financial issues. You may also have issues when trying to create marketing materials because your message may not necessarily translate in the way that you want it to. You can get around this by hiring translation services for your business (visit Architekst.com for more information). Professional translation services will help you navigate business deals and ensure that all your website and all of your marketing materials are translated accurately. You should also consider starting off in countries where most people speak English because it makes the transition a lot easier.

Your Business Name

Your business name may be an issue, but this is something that a lot of people don’t consider. While it makes sense to people at home, cultural differences may mean that the name doesn’t really work in other countries. That’s why it’s fairly common for big companies to have different names in different places. It’s worth running some focus groups and testing the name, and then potentially coming up with a new one if it doesn’t play well.

Business Etiquette

The way that people do business varies a lot in different countries and there are certain customs that you may not be used to. For example, if you do business in South Korea, it is expected that you will do karaoke. If you are in a business meeting in Germany, they will expect you to get down to it right away. But if you were in Italy, they would find this a little offensive because they prefer to take it easy and chat for a while before you discuss any business matters. If you don’t understand the local customs, it can damage your business relationships so it’s important that you do your research first.

Tariffs And Export Fees 

In most countries, there are tariffs and fees that you need to pay if you want to bring goods into the country. It’s vital that you understand exactly what your obligations are here before you start selling products in another country. If you fail to factor it into the financial planning stage of expansion, you could land yourself in some serious financial trouble.

Global expansion can make or break your business, and you will only find success if you are able to meet these challenges.

4 Reasons Why Writing Can Improve Your Business

Writing is an underestimated element of every business; if you don’t know how to get it right, your brand will suffer as a consequence. Learning to write effectively, can bring about so many advantages to your business, so why not try and improve them now? You could be getting so much more out of your business by implementing writing as part of your everyday routine. You don’t have to be a poet or a professional, but you do need some basic skills to get you by. Here are four reasons why writing can help you to improve your business.

1.Clearer Visions

As a business owner, you probably have a thousand thoughts swirling around your mind all at once. If you don’t have a cohesive way to organize these musings, you will soon become confused and overwhelmed. One of the fundamental business building blocks is writing; arranging your words into patterns, groups and goals will help you to achieve everything you want to in good time. So look into useful software that allows you to organize your business goals so that your visions are always crystal clear.

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2. Better Organization

If you aren’t a naturally organized person, you are going to struggle with every aspect of running a business. Not only do you need to learn how to meet deadlines, but you also need to figure out where your business is going. By writing down your daily to do list, you will be able to get to where you want to be quickly and efficiently. If you find yourself stumbling at every hurdle at the moment, you will soon find huge relief from getting organized and writing down your tasks.

3. Concise Marketing Goals

If you’re struggling to capture the attention of your target audience right now, it may be because you aren’t using the correct words. You need to delve into the mind of your ideal customer or client and use the words that speak to them. If you are unable to connect with them on an emotional level and solve their pain point, you won’t be able to sell your product or service very easily. Practice your copywriting as much as possible and you will soon find your brand voice.

4. Brilliant Blogging

Every business owner should always consider blogging as a powerful content marketing tool for their company. With innovative content, attractive headlines and powerful external links, your blog can drive traffic straight to your website and encourage people to purchase your products. If your business doesn’t already have a blog, then you need to start one up right now!

It is clear to see that writing as a business owner comes with a whole host of advantages. You don’t need to become a well versed author overnight, but some basic skills can certainly help you along the way. Whether you’re blogging on a regular basis or using tools to write down clear visions for your business, there are so many reasons to start writing right now.

Are You Harnessing The Power Of Visual Analytics In Your Business?

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Analytics has earnt itself a bad reputation for being boring making people think of spreadsheets, percentages, numbers. Although these three things can get some people out of bed in the morning they can also make other people’s eyes glaze over and send them straight off to sleep. What’s the answer? Visual analytics. In our increasingly digital world, we are more exposed than ever to visual media in the form of images, gifs, graphics and videos and our brains simply get bored unless stimulated by bright, colourful and interactive subjects. Visual analytics combines data-driven analysis with visual presentation providing a fun and stimulating way to process business data.

What are the benefits of visual analytics?

  • It stands out
    Visual analytics is a modern way to deal with data sets looking clean, crisp and current helping you to stand out as a business at the forefront of your sector. Visual representations stand out on presentations, white papers and marketing material helping people to engage with your findings.

  • It aids understanding
    With visual analytics, you can explain your data patterns to anyone, even if they have no understanding of analytics. Turn seeing into an understanding with visual representations of complex data which can help those without data-driven minds to see patterns within the data.

  • It speeds up analysis
    Analysing data can be a long and tedious task. Visual analytics helps to quickly summarize key facts and presents them in a way that is easy to understand across the team.

Where can you use visual analytics?

Visual analytics is extremely diverse and can be used across any area of your business where you harness data, including but not limited to;

  1. In marketing
    Turn key performance indicators, return on investment, campaign performance and budget figures into something people want to see in their marketing dashboard with visual analytics. Set your own metrics and goals and monitor live performance updates all from a sleek and sharp interface that can be accessed across multiple devices – no more shared spreadsheets.

  2. In sales
    Monitor the progress of your leads and achieve actionable insights by creating a visual sales pipeline that can be shared across your sales team and to senior members of staff. Watch the progress made in real-time as your sales team work towards their goals enabling you to better reward outstanding achievements and motivate your team to meet their targets.

  3. When doing research
    See the bigger picture and any underlying connections between the data by making your research visual. Quickly spot any important relationship between the data and create eye-catching visual representations of what you find which can then be used in your marketing or other research papers to demonstrate your findings.

  4. When looking at finance
    Whether you are keeping track of project costs, department budgets or expanding your business, visual representations can help both finance officers and the rest of the team to see what money they have left and where the money is going. By making budget figures accessible and transparent team members can learn how to make better spending choices.

Finding Business In Unlikely Places

The thought of starting up a business can be thrilling. The desire is fueled so much, and then it leads to searching for ideas that might work. And often we jump to the most obvious and predictable, but that’s what everyone else will be doing. The easiest of ideas are not exactly easy to execute, simply because there’s so much competition, and you might be swamped. It’s the unlikely places that you will find the best business ideas. Even though the groundwork to understand them might be a little bit harder, and it might not be as mainstream as you would like it, they are sure to bring you profit far easier. So, if you have been pondering the idea of setting up your own business, but have become lost in the same ideas everyone else is, keep on reading to find a fresh idea.

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It’s Not All Doom & Gloom

Some business ideas just don’t carry the same bright light that some of the others do, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t carry more potential. This business idea involves funeral homes. It’s such an emotional business to set up, and you have to be invested in the emotions of others for this to work. You’re there to help them plan a perfect day to remember their loved ones by. BSF is just one company who you can contact to begin the first step, understanding how to buy a funeral home. Then legitimising yourself and building a reputation amongst the local, and wider community will come next. There are partnerships you will need to make such as florists amongst many others. This is an idea for a business where you will feel great reward, and will gain great profit as well.

Simplicity Is Sometimes Best

We often dive right into the complications of business and trying to understand how to run this huge corporation. When often the simplest of ideas are the best, such as setting up an elegant coffee shop. We’re living through an era where a coffee shop has become a staple of people’s lives. Either to gather with friends, to work in, or just to read a book and listen to the chatter going on nearby. So setting up one that sells the finest coffee, the best homemade cakes and sandwiches, and focuses on quality rather than quantity, could go a long way. If you can secure a location in a bustling city, the profit you could make could mean franchising your business out in other areas.

Be Part Of An Emerging Trend

There are many trends in business at the minute, and some have room to spare One of these being trading, which can be very fruitful if you understand how it works. Many people are self-taught, make a fortune, and then go on to teach others. Forex trading is proving to be the most popular at the minute, and there’s more than enough in terms of research that you can do, to understand how it works!

Catering For An Ever-Expanding Business

Setting out on an entrepreneurial adventure usually means you have one thing in mind: to make your business a success. Something that many people don’t think about when starting out is the ‘what ifs’. What if your business suddenly kicks off and you’ve got to meet demands? What would you do? Could you handle a sudden increase in sales? Every business person dreams of the day where their business is making more money than they could have imagined, but not many know how they’d execute the situation when it gets to it. Take a look at these tips on how to cater to your ever-expanding business so that when it does happen, you’re ready!

 

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Outsourcing

As your business grows, you’ll find the need to have more hands on deck to help deal with everyday responsibilities. The hiring process can be slow, long, and extremely tedious, and if you need someone right there right now, outsourcing could be the way forward. Whether you’re a builder needing more builders on-site, or you run an office-based company and need more people to complete necessary tasks, you can outsource staff members until you can find your footing and hire more permanent members of staff. Websites such as Upwork and Fiverr house freelancers in many trades from all over the world!

Space

With your team expanding, you’ll need to think about the amount of space you need and more often than not, businessmen and women don’t think of this problem until they come across it. Finding the right kind of space for your needs can be tough, especially if you need office space, a testing area and an office. Using www.proplist.com will allow you to list your needs, the area you want to be located, and your budget and you simply sit back and let your next ideal business premises roll in.

Supply and demand

Have you thought about how you’d cater to increasing supply and demand? More customers means more demands for products and services, and more products and services means you’ll need more materials, machinery and time to complete specific tasks. As mentioned earlier, you’ll also need a larger workforce. Many businesses take on all of the work that comes their way, but if you can’t keep up with supply and demand, you’ll end up losing custom. Putting a waiting time on products and services not only allows you to complete tasks but also creates a sense of urgency from the customer’s point of view and people will happily wait if they think it’s worth waiting for!

Frame of mind

Finally, without the right frame of mind and the ability to stay calm during stressful situations, you won’t be able to handle your business expanding. Hiring a second in command can often help these situations, so why not take the load off and appoint someone to help you through your business expansion?

Tips For Buying Your First Business Property

Are you thinking of buying your first business property? It’s a big move but one that’s definitely worth it to take your company to the next level. Whether you’re looking at it being just an office for yourself or for you and a growing team, there are a few things worth considering as you go into this business investment. Here are some tips for buying your first business property.

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Know Your Budget

The budget is where you first need to start your journey when buying a business property. Depending on the current situation of your company, how much can you afford to spend? Not every business will be able to purchase their ideal location the first time around, and some might find it more affordable to rent or lease the property first. A shop for rent is going to be much more affordable than buying it outright. Whatever your decision is, your budget should always be factored into the decision. Remember, it’s not just the purchase or money that you pay for the property, but also you have moving costs to consider and additional purchases that you may want to get for when you have new staff or even the existing ones now. As this is your first office, you’re unlikely to have any office furniture currently. So pop this all into a budget sheet and take this with you when you start looking, and you’re approaching commercial property agents.

Look At The Current Property Market

The property market is one area that you need to be exploring now to ensure that this is the right time to be buying a property. You can get an idea of what’s currently being sold or bought and whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market. There might not be much on the market or anything that suits your needs, so there is no point in seeing places that don’t match your criteria. Take a look at the market yourself but then approach some agents to find out what they have and what might be coming up soon. They could well have a property that they’ve not yet put up on their website or are in the process of dealing with the seller to become responsible for the sale. Some agents might ask you to come back a few months later, or perhaps you’ve made a conscious decision to leave it until it picks back up. Unless there’s a rush to find somewhere, you want to take this process with some caution.

What Are Your Requirements?

What do you want from the workspace, and what does the business need? Perhaps it’s merely a small space for a handful of people, and therefore, a floor in a shared building might suffice. Or maybe you have quite a big company or plans to bring in remote staff to work in one place. With that said, it might be a whole building that you require. What type of security would you like upon entrance, and do you need any specifics in terms of decor and design? There’s a lot to think about and a lot to consider, all of which need doing before you start approaching agents and seeing properties. You want to have a checklist of requirements on you, and on each visit, you can compare how many of your requests appear on the property.

Think About Your Staff If You Have Any

When it comes to your staff, you want to be considering their needs and requirements if you have any. You may just be a one-person band at the moment, but if you have a handful of staff that you require to come into the workplace, then it needs to be a commutable distance from their home. If it’s a costly expense, then you may need to consider pay rises, and if they just can’t travel, then you may need to look for new staff members. This might have to be a moment where you have to make decisions for the benefit of your company. For it to move forward, there may need to be some changes, and if you want a business space to work, that means checking in with your staff. Consider the type of layout you’re looking for and how you want your business to look.

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Remember Curb Appearance Is Important

The appearance on the outside of your business is really crucial because it’s the first thing that staff, clients, and new guests will see when they approach the building. So curb appeal is very important to get right, and that’s good to look at when visiting properties. Where is it positioned, and how much space do you have to play with on the outside? Think about visibility and how easily it stands out from the crowd. These are all very good factors to consider, and curb appearance is definitely one that can determine whether you end up going for the property or not. There are always ways to improve curb appeal, but it’s about whether you’re able to provide that or not immediately or whether that will be something you can only do further down the line.

How Easy Is It To Get To?

And finally, you want to consider the location of your business. How easy is it to get to? If you’re expecting a lot of regular guests and client visits, then it needs to be within a reasonable distance and not in the middle of nowhere. If it’s the latter, then you may have some issues when it comes to building those connections for your company. Factor in the location for the purchase of your business property and make sure it works for everyone, whether that’s staff member or client.

Buying your first business property is a challenge but also a wonderful adventure and the next chapter for your company. Be prepared with a budget and your list of requirements. Don’t rush the process and ensure you’ve got the best deal before signing on the dotted line. Think about your staff and what they need and how easy it is to get to.