Five Things You Need To Do To Keep Your Employees Happy

There are many things that you will have to think about, particularly if you are a new modern business owner, and often there are things that might slip your mind or perhaps that you don’t prioritize. Employee satisfaction is one of the things that will make or break your business, as a happy employee means a more productive employee. To retain a member of your staff, it is crucial that they feel welcome, valued and engage with your company. This is why it is so important to limit the turnover of your employees and focus on hiring and retaining reliable, trustworthy and hardworking members of staff. Recruiting a new member of staff is only the first part of the job process however and making sure that they want to stay is part of the process as well. There are many ways to make someone feel valued and content at work, here below are five of them.

business-1137397_960_720.jpg

Image source- Pixabay

Pay your employees well

Paying your employees well is perhaps the most obvious way in which to keep them content. As your members of staff will be spending most of their waking hours working for you, they will want to be adequately reimbursed for their contributions to you and your company. Paying above-average wages will ensure that your staff have a consistent reason to stay with you and will not move to another competitor.

Provide benefits

Health care, life insurance, and pension plans are benefits that are expected by most employees. A company that does not offer a comprehensive benefits plan will lose out to another company that does. Additionally, It is worth investing in your employee’s overall health by providing good dental and health insurance as well perhaps fitness benefits which will not be overly costly but will be well-received by your staff.

Be open and transparent

Communicating with your employees and keeping them up to date with the company is key to fostering trust between you and them. Poor communication is noted as being one of the biggest reasons for unhappiness within the workplace, so the importance of keeping your employees in the loop cannot be underestimated. Have regular meetings and do not only give your staff good news, but also be honest with them and let them know bad news that may affect them as soon as you can.

Be reliable

This means paying your staff on time, and keeping them in the loop should there be a delay in their payment. Do try to avoid paying your employees late even if this means taking it out of your pocket first. Being reliable isn’t solely limited to payment, however, as this also means replying to their emails, being on time, and not canceling individual or group meetings without enough notice, as well as many other smaller things. Encourage your employees to be reliable by setting the example.

Make your staff feel safe

Have policies in place which protect your staff from abuse of any kind, as well as offering them support for any physical or emotional abuse of stress they may have experienced working for you. Consider outsourcing externally, using specialized services such as Health Assured, who offer employee assistance programmes. This will cover your back as well, and ensure that you combat any work-related incident within work rather than it going beyond the office.

Sure Fire Tips For a Great First Impression In Business

It’s absolutely true that you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and while first impressions can be amended it takes time, tenacity and effort that would be better expended elsewhere.

Making it in business in the increasingly fast-moving and competitive modern world is a battle that requires nothing short of absolute dedication at all times, and ensuring a confident, friendly, approachable yet strong first impression with everyone with whom you do business is half the battle.

handshake-440959_960_720.jpg

Image by Pixabay

Standing out

However unique your business plan, your experience, your skills and attributes are it can be difficult to stand out amongst your competitors. Others that you approach to do business may see dozens of people in your position every day. How will you be sure that you’re the one that stands out in their memory?

Little bells and whistles can certainly help here. A memorable business card and monogrammed stationery are some helpful tools that can help you stand out but the key to a good first impression starts and ends with you!

Image management

Of course there’s more to success in business than wearing a nice suit or having shiny shoes, but while image management isn’t the be-all-and-end-all, you should underestimate its importance at your peril. Managing your image has some key benefits in business, as it asserts a measure of control before you’ve even said a word.

  • It enhances people’s perception of you.

  • It projects an air of trustworthiness.

  • It subliminally inspires confidence in your skills and abilities.

  • It elevates your status.

  • It offers a sense of friendliness and approachability.

Of course your image goes way beyond your clothing or how you do your hair. Image management isn’t something you can pick up off a hanger and wear. It extends to your body language, the way you walk, sit or shake hands and how you use your voice.

The tiniest of chinks in the armor of your image management can lead to you appearing stressed, overwhelmed or out of your depth.

17738-business-man-pointing-pv.jpg

Image credit

 Take charge of your image

Take a good, long look in the mirror. Recite your opening spiel, and keep a close eye on the following:

  • Analyze your image- Consider your choice of clothing. What do the choices you’ve made with colors and fabrics (and even your jewellry and accessories) say about you personally and your business identity?

  • Listen to yourself- If you can, record yourself talking as you recite your introductory monologue. Consider the tone; is it friendly and approachable yet authoritative? Is the pace even and measured or are you rushing through it (which can imply nervousness).

  • Consider what you’re saying without speaking- Non-verbal communication accounts for over 50% of what we communicate. Consider everything from your first handshake to the gestures you make when you talk. If you have to speak publicly, try to avoid pacing however much your feet may want to move. It can make you look nervous and indecisive.

  • Check your attitude- Practice your smile. Make sure it looks warm and natural. Practice that delicate balance between appearing confident without seeming aggressive, friendly and accommodating without appearing submissive.

There’s no definitive winning formula to making the right first impression but these principles can help set you on the best possible start to making a successful impression for you and your business.

Can You Aim High When You Go Solo?

Max Pixel

A lot of people are getting a little tired of the daily grind, working for someone else, certain all the while that they have the talent and knowledge to taste the kind of successes their bosses have tasted. So they decide they should quit their job and start their own business. In fact, many of these budding entrepreneurs even go about it completely solo. A one-person operation, without employees.

Seems pretty bold, right? But if you succeed, surely you’re going to walk away with an insane amount of profit? Well, if you want to succeed as a one-person business, you really need to ensure you’re ready and willing to put in the work it takes. And there’s a chance you could be underestimating the difficulty of this endeavor.

This is an essential guide to aiming high when you go solo.

Flickr

What it takes

When you start a solo business, there are many traits you need to have. In fact, many of those traits are the ones you need when you start any type of business, employees or not. The degree to which you need those traits is generally what makes the difference. Let’s take self-determination, for example. You need self-determination if you’re going to start any sort of business. If you’re easily intimidated, then you’re not going to get very far. When you have a bunch of employees working for you – who, in a way, have your back – it’s easier to feel confident in certain things. But when you’re on your own? You’ll need even more self-determination.

Ask yourself: are you someone who can work independently? You may be surprised at the degree to which you may need someone to tell you what to do. Can you create a business plan for yourself and follow the variety of tasks that will result? How are you going to go about getting advice and criticism on particular ideas if you don’t have a boss or employees? You must be sure-footed when it comes to independent work.

Max Pixel

The resources you need

You may think that getting money for your business is the first thing you need to worry about. But this isn’t always so. Remember: a one-person business is going to cost you so much less than other sorts of businesses – the biggest business expense in the vast majority of companies is that of salary payment. So you’re freeing up a lot of room, financially speaking (well, as physically speaking!), if you don’t have a lot of employees you need to pay. So there’s not quite as high an urgency to get a bunch of money to begin your business.

However, you should have a good amount of money saved up. You may want to consider getting a small loan. But you should remember that there a lot of ways to get started with your business idea without capital. As long as you have other resources available, you should be able to get a lot done. If you have a space in which you can work, a business website (if you haven’t created one, then you should read more about doing so), and a computer, then you can get started with a lot of the basics without waiting for funding.

Pexels

Your day job

So what you want to do now more than anything is quit your day job so you can get started chasing your dreams, right? While that may sounds like the only way to ensure your full focus is on your business idea, you really don’t want to rush into this pursuit. First of all, your priority should be on getting enough money saved up. If you’re going to focus on this, then you’ll need to be able to fund your living expenses for a little while!

Perhaps you could consider moonlighting. After you’ve finished your regular day job, you should get home and work on your business. Get as much done as you can during weeknights and weekends. Yes, this means your free time is going to be eaten up. It also means that you might end up essentially working two jobs at once for a while. But this may be an essential step towards getting your business off of the ground.

Pexels

How far can you go without employees?

A lot of people talk about the one-person business as though it’s guaranteed to bring you a stunning amount of profit. And, sure, there’s the potential for that. But the truth is that your business is highly unlikely to be as big as the businesses you’ve previously worked for unless you start hiring employees at some point. It doesn’t have to be within the first year, nor even the first two. But you really can only go so far by yourself.

How Do The Best Attorneys Win Their Clients?

Like any services industry, if you run a law firm, you must always be closing those leads. Steadily growing your selection of clients not only wins you more custom. It also wins you more choice. You get to diversify the work you do which means that the fate of the business isn’t tied to any one client. The best attorneys and law firms already know this well, so how are they consistently winning new clients?

Photo  by Jesse Michael Nix

By using who they know

Any shrewd business owner should be willing to tap into the resources they already have at their disposal. For a law firm, some of the most valuable resources are the clients themselves. If you’ve already worked successfully with you, they trust you and they know you live up to the promises of the brand. Scoring referrals from clients can be as simple as asking. Experienced-based referrals are some of the most powerful, but many skip them because they feel that asking clients risks the integrity of the brand.

Photo by Minority Rights Group International

 By networking

Clients aren’t the only people who can help you find new referrals, either. On your way up in the legal world, you should have already been a part of legal and business networks. If you haven’t been, now’s the time to dip your toe in the water and start networking and building some bridges. Even if you’re not talking to people who are likely to become clients, you are spreading the brand. More than that, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise, leading to both expertise-based and reputation-based referrals.

Photo by Pixabay

 By creating the strongest signal

You don’t always need referrals to land clients, however. Sometimes, having the strongest signal and the clearest message is all you need. There are plenty of people using search engines and social media in an attempt to find law firms that can help with existing needs. Legal internet marketing can ensure that your brand is positioned in just the right place to appear and appeal to those people. Helpful, valuable content, good presence on search engines, and a social media community with strong positive feedback can help you win real prominence in the online world.

Photo by Johnny Magnussson

By showing the proof in the pudding

People will often look beyond your own branding to second-hand sources, as well. They want to test the veracity of your claims. Focusing on creating a strong business reputation is about doing more than good work. You need to be proactive in asking clients to leave positive reviews, testimonials and to get your firm featured in the press highlighting past achievements. Create as much positive proof of your firm as possible so that the claims of the brand stand up to even the closest of scrutiny.

Photo by picjumbo.com

By being prompt responders

The online world isn’t just a tool to advertise the firm, either. It’s a way to get your foot in the door when people open it. When they’re on your site, for instance, being able to promptly respond with customer support tools like chat apps can help you close on those most likely to need your services. Making support accessible at all times, both online and through the phone is crucial.

Both online and offline, through existing contacts and new encounters, you have to keep your eyes peeled for the opportunity to build new leads. The strength and flexibility of the firm depend on it.

9 Ways To Spot A Sociopath

This is a great article worth reading if you have someone creating havoc in your life at home or at work. Sociopaths are not all the same, but they do have telltale signs: Here are 9 ways to spot a sociopath.

 

 

How To Ensure A Polished Team Performance

They say there’s no I in team, and if you run a business, you’ll be all too aware of the importance of cooperation and collaboration. As the boss, you should always strive to ensure that your team gives a polished performance. If the cogs aren’t turning in the right order or something’s not quite right, this can knock you off-kilter. If you’re an employer, this guide will help you to get the best out of your team.

Photo Credit

Promoting teamwork

It’s very hard to create team spirit if everybody works on their own projects and minds their own business in the office. If you want to encourage teamwork, you have to promote collaborative work and make an effort to bring people together. Host team meetings, and let everyone get involved. Come up with ideas, and let others chip in with their suggestions and opinions. Set up sociable spaces for group projects and encourage integration. Ensure that new members of staff are welcomed with open arms, and try and establish clear goals that are shared by all. If you set targets, which apply to the entire team, everyone will pull together to get the job done. If you’re running a new business, it may be worth looking into activities, such as away days, to enable people to get to know each other and improve their communication skills. Try and have fun together as a group. You don’t have to spend all your time together, but there’s no harm in going for a team outing for lunch now and again, for example.

Encouraging individuals to fulfill their potential

A strong team is made up of individuals who have belief in what they can do and what others around them are capable of. You want an effective team, but you also want individual members to fulfill their own potential. As an employer, you should be looking to nurture talent and promote progression. You can do this by providing training and development opportunities and talking to your employees about expanding their skill set and improving their credentials. Some may be interested in taking on further study and doing a course at an institute like Maryville University while others may be keen on honing their leadership or management skills. It’s beneficial to support those who want to go further. By investing in education and training, you’ll have a highly skilled workforce, which is able to deliver exceptional results.

Rewarding achievements

One of the best ways to make your workforce more productive is to reward achievement. If your team knows that there’s something to play for, you’re likely to find that every member will work harder. Show people that you care and that you recognize the effort they have put in to hit that target.

To get anywhere in business, you need people around you who are willing to work hard. If you own a business, it’s essential to pay attention to your team. Encourage teamwork, get involved yourself, and give each individual the platform and support to reach their potential. Reward commitment and dedication, and try and inject a bit of fun to keep spirits high.

11 Sentences to avoid saying to your boss at all costs

I came across this serendipitously and had to share it with you… 11 Sentences to avoid saying to your boss at all costs.

If you come across any other equally valuable posts, please share!

 

 

 

 

Business 101: Resourcefulness Made Simple

Image result for business

Photo Credit

In the fierce world of modern business, over three in four new companies crash and burn. Those statistics can be quite scary, but it’s fair to say that a large percentage of those failed startups bring it on themselves. And a lack of resourcefulness is the chief reason.

Learning to make the most of yours won’t guarantee business success by any means. Nonetheless, it will put you on a far smoother path, which should enhance your chances. So what are the key elements that require the most attention? Let’s take a closer inspection of the most vital factors.

Money

 First and foremost, it’s imperative that your new business makes its money work harder. From utilizing modern staffing to finding cheaper deals on energy rates, increased value for money is the answer. This will maximize your profit margins, buy you more time, and encourage even faster growth.

Keeping an eye on expenses shouldn’t be the only concern, though. It’s equally vital that you know where you stand at any given time with more careful monitoring. A plethora of smartphone Apps can offer easier tracking to help you make smarter decisions going forward. Meanwhile, a professional accountant will often save you a lot of money when it comes to filing accounts.

Time

 It’s the oldest phrase in the book, but time is money. Therefore, it’s imperative that you use yours more wisely. As the manager of a team, the most important step to achieving this goal is to employ greater communication.

This could range from using team messaging Apps to making team meetings shorter. Meanwhile, investing in the right facilities to enable team members should be high on the agenda too. Increased productivity will put you in a far better position for long-term success as well as immediate gains.

Image result for time money

Photo Credit

Space

 As a small business, it’s fair to assume that your resources will be limited in the early stages. This is especially true when it comes to commercial spaces. Mezzanine floors can double the space of your warehouses, shop floors, and other areas. Essentially, this can increase your opportunities too.

In today’s environment, it’s equally important to embrace digital opportunities. Finding the best colocating pricing can instantly allow you to make better use of your offices by emigrating certain aspects. Likewise, remote freelancers can often be used to increase workloads without the need for a bigger workspace. Frankly, these ideas can even be useful later down the line.

You

You are the company’s biggest USP. The business is an extension of yourself, and you can do a lot to boost the brand. From adding a blog to improving the customer care game, those improvements can make a world of difference.

Branding is essentially what will build your company’s personality and reputation. By being the best possible version of you, you should also influence the staff. Ultimately, that should result in a far stronger company image as well as better customer experiences. If that doesn’t generate greater success for the business, I don’t know what will.

Don’t Let Your Weaknesses Bring Your Business Down

We all have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to our skillset. After all, it makes us human! But a lot of people make the mistake of attempting to do everything when it comes to their business. But while you might be great at thinking of an idea, or talking the talk when it comes to meeting clients, there might be areas that you struggle with. And if you do attempt to take over these areas, it might be the reason why the business fails. However, there is a lot of things you can do when there are areas of the business you are struggling with. In fact, here are some ways you can ensure your weaknesses don’t bring down your business.

You are not great at pitching

For a lot of people, they can feel nervous when they have to do any form of public speaking. After all, when you have several people looking at you, it’s easy to freeze and to struggle getting your words out. However, when it comes to your business, it can make it very difficult when it comes to things like pitches and meetings. After all, you need to win over clients so that they will take a risk with your company. But not only does it not look professional when you are struggling in front of the client, but it can also stop them feeling the benefits of your business. And you might not hear from them again about any further work.

But if you are not great at pitching, there are some things you can do. For one thing, you can make sure you plan your speech to perfection. After all, if you have practiced and rehearsed the speech, it can make you more confident on the day. Also, you need to try and think positively. After all, if you start well, you will continue to wow the client. And you might want to consider getting some lessons from a professional speaking coach. After all, they can teach you some skills to make public speaking easier. And then you can ensure you do a fantastic job for the sake of your business when you next meet clients.

 

                    Image Credit

You are not good at website developing and design

A lot of businesses have moved with the times to be online now. After all, more people than ever look online rather than heading out for a product or service. Therefore, it’s so important to have a website for your business. But when it comes to making your website, it can leave people perplexed who haven’t had experience down this route before. And then they might end up doing a poor job which will reflect badly on your business. After all, it’s likely potential clients will click off your site and go with one of your competitors if they don’t think your website looks professional.

However, there are some things you can do to ensure your website looks superb. For one thing, you might want to go to a couple of classes on web design to help you learn skills you can implement when creating your site. Or you might opt to hire a freelance web designer who can work on your website. You won’t have to pay out too much for them to work on creating a fantastic website for you. Or you might want to go down the route of working with a creative digital agency. After all, they can provide you with services like web development, alongside branding and SEO to make your business a success online. And they can give your company the boost it needs on skills you are not so good at!

You are not good at writing

When it comes to your business, you will find there will be a lot of things you need to write. From the content on your website to the wording on your marketing materials, you will need to put pen to paper when you own a business. But if you find that you are not a whiz when it comes to writing, it might mean that you give out the wrong impression for your business. After all, branding which has spelling errors is not going to impress clients. In fact, it might put them off working with your business if you make silly errors with your writing. Therefore, it might be worth looking into hiring someone who can do all the content writing for your company.

Of course, you might just want to hire a freelancer, so you don’t have to worry about paying out a monthly wage for an employee. But having someone who can do the writing for you will ensure all the wording for your business is top notch. And they might be brimming with ideas so you can use them to do extra things like blogs for your business. If you would rather just improve your own skills, you could look into attending a content writing class. After all, you can go to one which focuses on business writing, so that you can work on this skill!

                    Photo Credit

You don’t have the strongest skills in financing

A lot of entrepreneurs struggle when it comes to the financial side of their business. After all, they might not have the skills to work out things like financial forecasts. But this is what investors and banks will be looking for if you need some extra funding for your business. And if you are not great at finances, it can make it a challenge when you have to do your taxes at the end of the year. Let alone when you have to work out invoices for your clients. It doesn’t look professional if you send over an invoice wrong!

And one of the most common reasons companies go under is due to them not working out finances correctly. If this is one of your weaknesses, it might be worth going on a course about finances.  After all, a business funding course might give you new skills to boost your financial knowledge. Or you might want to look into getting a financial advisor. You can check-in with them when you have any financial questions. And they could potentially stop you from making an error when could jeopardise your business. And remember to get an accountant to help you out at the end of the tax year.

You are not good at dealing with employees

It’s likely that as your business grows, you will need to hire some employees to work for you. After all, they can take over things like customer service and advertising while you concentrate on making the business a success. But if you have never employed anyone before, it can make it challenging. After all, there might be instances where they are having trouble in their work life that you don’t know how to deal with. And when it comes to dismissing or disciplining an employee, it can leave you feeling the pressure. And your amateur approach to management might mean you lose employees who were a real asset to the team.

Or on the other hand, you might be stuck with someone who is bringing little to the business. Therefore, it’s worth hiring an HR member of staff who can deal with employees. That way, you won’t have to worry about things like contracts as it will all be dealt with by HR. And you can always give your management skills a boost by attending a course. After all, you might learn valid skills on how to deal with employees.

And remember that there is always support out there to ensure your weakness doesn’t overshadow how great your business is!

Organization Skills: the Keys To Success

As an entrepreneur, you will be used to doing everything yourself in the best possible way. But there is a big difference between an entrepreneur and a leader, because you will have to rely on other people to get the job done. And if you want to make a successful switch from entrepreneur to a leader, you are going to have to ensure your organizational skills are in top form.

In today’s guide, we’re going to take a look at a few things you can do to improve your organizational skills and become a better leader. Don’t forget, if there is one thing all successful business leaders have in common it is the ability to organize their workforce – and their workflows. Let’s take a look at some of your options.

Photo Credit

Take a top-down approach

First of all, it’s vital that you don’t get too wrapped up in the minutiae of running a business and take a top-down approach instead. Hire people that you trust to take up key positions in as team leaders, and leave them alone to do their jobs – micromanaging will not only prevent you from focusing on organization, but it will also antagonize your teams.

Be proactive

Great business leaders who are organized suffer fewer unexpected problems than leaders that are not. It’s that simple. Be proactive, and you will find that you are prepared for almost every given scenario that might occur, and you will also have a plan for making the most out of your weeks and months, rather than just the day ahead.

Build lists

To-do lists are the mainstay of many organized households, and the same principles can help you in business. If something new crops up, add it to your list, and it never gets forgotten. To-do lists also set everything that needs doing into concrete plans, and you can’t tick them off until you are done. A traditional pad and paper are all you need, but if you are looking for something more intricate, there are plenty of list-making apps and software out there.

Photo Credit

Create charts

You can create charts for almost every single business process, from hiring employees through to running individual projects – try out this organization chart maker as an example of what you can do. Organizational charts provide you and your teams with an instant snapshot of what needs doing, where everyone is, and what they need to focus on. Charts for business organization have been around for over 150 years, and although the method of delivery might be changing, there is no evidence charts are going anywhere soon.

Delegation

As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to be able to delegate tasks to various departments and workgroups. Not only will it give people a sense of authority and responsibility in your business, but it will also help you enjoy success with organization. As an entrepreneur, you might find it hard to delegate to others – your need for control is often the reason why. But it is essential that you learn the skill of delegation of you want to become a great leader.