Archive for the 'General Interest' Category

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Outsourcing Your Marketing: Here’s Six Reasons To Do It!

Marketing is an essential piece of your business puzzle. Communications and marketing or two of the most important areas that you need to staff,

as you need these areas to survive. The problem is trying to stuff them with the right people at all times.

You could choose to take over the marketing yourself as a business owner, but it’s very likely that you won’t have the time to do that. Most companies choose to either hire internally and have an in-house marketing team, and others choose to outsource their marketing to an external agency. There are plenty of reasons you should consider this if you’re not already doing it, and perhaps now is the time to consider it.

For most businesses, outsourcing marketing to an external agency makes the most sense and we have got six reasons why you should do exactly that.

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  • You’ll find creative thinkers when you outsource. As a business leader, you are likely not a marketing expert. Outsourcing to an agency puts you in contact with marketing experts who will be able to look at your business from a different angle. They’ll be able to see the holes in your business marketing plan that you are unable to see, and they’ll be able to be creative in a solution for you. Outsourcing to some of these places will enable you to stay ahead of the competition.

  • Having an expert around to bounce your ideas off will help you to cross-pollinate and come up with something new for your business. Your marketing needs to be solid and it needs to involve things like digital marketing solutions, SEO and website traffic monitoring, too.

  • You do not have to hire a whole marketing team to have your marketing strategy set in stone. You could hire SEO consultants to work with, and this will allow you to get one piece of your marketing puzzle squared away. If you are weak in any marketing areas you can hire a unique consultant in that area to help you out. The knowledge that you will gain while working can help you to stay on top of current trends and technologies.

  • Hiring an external agency for your marketing solutions will give you a bigger chance to work with a more skilled team. You can hire internally but with the additional skills the experts will bring to your table, you could offer more to your customers.

  • When you outsource your marketing, you get to save money on hiring costs. You don’t have to worry about any of the costs associated with taking on a new employee from insurance to pensions office space to PAYE taxes. You pay a fixed price each month and you get what you need from the agency while you need it. It’s a more cost-effective option than hiring a new member of a team.

  • Lastly, you will get a higher return on your investment when you speak to an outsourced agency. Most marketing age cues will work with you while tracking and measuring the marketing solutions that they have offered. They will be able to tell you what’s working and what isn’t.

Why Hiring the Right People Matters So Much

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When you are trying to run a business there are a lot of things you need to consider and keep in mind. One of the most important things to consider is that you need to make sure you hire the right people moving forward. It is essential that you do as much as possible to take things to the next level, and this is really important. Your business needs to have the best employees it possibly can, and this means hiring the right people.

Try to make sure you do as much as possible to keep this in mind right now, and do as much as you can to make the most of this. Come up with ideas that are going to help you to hire the best people for the job, and this is crucial to make the most of right now. So, these are some of the things that you need to keep in mind as to why it matters so much for you to hire the right people.

You Need Experience

It is essential that you come up with ideas that can help you to choose the best possible employees to help you here. This is important because there are a lot of things that play a role in this, and you need to make sure you take things to the next level. Experience is vital for being able to improve your business, and this is something you should look to make the most of right now. You need people who know what they are doing and who know the way in which your business operates, as well as what is required of them. Hiring someone with experience is one of the essentials that every small business needs when it comes to planning a road map for success.

Team Dynamic is Vital 

Team dynamics is one of the most important things in a business, and this is what can help your company thrive and improve. There are a lot of ideas that play a part in this, and it is so important that you do as much as possible to take things to the next stage here. Choosing the sorts of workers that are going to complement your team is really important, and this is something you need to make the most of right now. So, you are going to need to look into the best permanent and contract recruitment options that are going to allow you to bring the right people into the business and take your team to the next level.
Employees Make the Business

One of the things that you need to remember is the fact that employees make the business. Your company is only as good as the people it employs, and this is why it is so important to make sure you are hiring the best possible people for the job. Try to do what you can to get the best possible professionals into the company, and focus on hiring the top talent in the industry as much as possible.

You are going to need to do as much as possible to focus on improving the way in which you take things forward. There are a lot of ideas you need to consider and it is really important to make the most of this right now. Try to focus on doing as much as possible to take things to the next stage and this is something you are going to need to get right. Focus on this moving forward, and do what you can to improve the business right now.

7 Things Small Businesses Should Do To Delight Customers

If you have a small business, the most important thing you can focus on is your customers. Focusing on your customers and ensuring they are happy above all else is the most effective way to keep them coming back and make them die hard fans of your brand. Below, we’ll take a look at 7 things businesses should do to delight customers.

  1. Include A Little Something Extra

Why not include a little something extra when your customers order? It doesn’t need to cost you a lot or be extravagant, but it should signal to them that you appreciate them. It could be a small freebie, a discount code, or even a bag of sweets. Make sure it aligns with your brand and that it will make them think positively of your business.

  1. Write A Thank You Note

A handwritten thank you note is a great way to show your customers that you appreciate them. There’s something about a thank you note that can really transform a customer from a buyer into a fan.

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  1. Ask For Feedback And Action It

Asking for feedback is a brilliant way to improve your business – you just need to make sure you take action. If you are given feedback on certain business processes or products and do nothing to action it, especially if that feedback has been given by multiple people, it will look like you don’t really care about your audience or what they think.

  1. Don’t Leave Them Hanging

One of the worst things you can do for your customers is leave them hanging. Unfortunately, most people have short attention spans these days. The internet is super fast and we can find information in just a few seconds – this means people will get impatient if you take too long to answer an email, social message, or call. By investing in things like 24/7 call answering services you can make sure your customers never feel like you’ve left them hanging. Just make sure you get back to them as quickly as possible if you need to respond to a message personally!

  1. Be Consistent Across All Platforms

Consistency across every platform you use is key. This way, people will really know what they are getting with you and won’t think twice about working with you. Consistency is crucial for any and all brands, whether you’re looking at your tone of voice, brand image, or something else. Make sure your service is consistent, too!

  1. Be Human

Not everybody wants to deal with a big corporation these days. Put another way, this means showing your customers you actually care, as well as understanding their emotional wants and needs through attitudes, actions, and words. Share your own story and mistakes and let them know that you are human too. They will resonate with you far more.

  1. Make Things Easier For Them

How can you make things easier for your customers today? Perhaps you could work on creating an app, redesign your website, or do something else to improve the user experience.

Getting Your Home Business Taken Seriously

As unfair as it might be, those who run a home business face a specific uphill battle that often isn’t encountered by those who start off with an office or retail property. That battle is getting taken seriously as a professional outfit. However, that doesn’t mean that this stigma is inconquerable. Here are a few steps you can take to correct it.

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Stay organised

An inability to effectively be organised, to make sure that you get your work done on time, and to ensure that no road bumps of your own creation get in the way of your business is essential. If you make plans for meetings or set deadlines with clients and then fail to meet them due to your own mismanagement, then that will fairly reflect on the professionalism in your business. When it comes to organising your time, your finances, and the other elements that dictate how effectively and efficiently your business runs, it might be worth relying on software that can help you track and schedule everything so you don’t have to do it entirely by yourself.

Stay professional

Part of the challenge of getting your business taken seriously is acting like it’s already taken seriously even if it doesn’t feel that way. You have to treat it and have it be treated like any other business. This might first mean that you stop referring to it as a home business and give it the professional presentation that it needs. This can include having a well-built professional website and using a virtual office or virtual address to make it look you’re a little more established. You don’t have to be outright dishonest about your business’s size, but you shouldn’t be volunteering that information.

Stay visible

Effective marketing that’s able to keep your brand visible and help you grow recognition over time will have a tangible effect on the way your business is treated. When it comes to digital marketing and search engine optimisation, people are a lot more likely to trust a brand that they have encountered before. Making sure it has the visibility and reach to make a good first impression means that people are easier to convince when they become part of the lead nurturing process.

Stay secure

If you have to rely on customer and client data to any degree, such as personal or financial information, then it is essential that data is treated with the care that it needs. Invest in effective website security that includes encrypting any data sent your way. Make sure your own workspace and connection are protected, too. Professional standard anti-malware software, firewalls, and a strong professional virtual private network can all help you better protect any data you’re entrusted with.

Your home business is going to face an uphill battle with some of your customers and clients if you’re not fully prepared for the stigma that can come with starting off small. Eventually, your reputation will speak for itself and you won’t have to worry about this but, for now, you need to address it head-on.

3 Useful Considerations Before Implementing Changes to Your Business

It may be hard for you to grow without changing your business tactics. However, implementing the wrong changes can pose big risks to the future of your business. Making the right changes, on the other hand, can help you increase your profits. So, before you rush to introduce changes in your business, you may want to consider the following factors to increase your chances of success.

  1. Differentiate what works from what doesn’t

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In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many companies have had to make a lot of changes to their normal practices. For example, brick and mortar businesses are thinking about how to take their businesses online, and restaurants operators are switching to delivery services. These changes are happening because things that worked well before the pandemic are no longer effective. Consequently, businesses simply can’t help but adapt. Therefore, to prevent the worst, try your best to distinguish what works from what doesn’t, and adapt accordingly. You can learn from Instagram’s development story. When the social media app was first launched, it came with a lot of features that weren’t really necessary to users. The Instagram team later analysed their users’ behaviour and realized that more people were interested in the photo-sharing functionality of the app than any other options. Instagram’s developers then did away with its unnecessary features and recreated the highly successful social app that’s trending today.

  1. Approach changes gradually

Always remember that slow and steady wins the race. Running a business takes a step-by-step process to yield lasting results. Therefore, you shouldn’t be in a hurry to implement them in the first place. Gradually changing, will give you enough time to piece together the crucial pieces of information needed for the change. For example, if you are a property developer who is planning ahead for roof safety options on your next project, you can contact Stainless Steel Wire & Mesh and carefully consider your choices in roof safety mesh. Whatever the new change may be in your business, only take calculated risks when analysing the change that is required.

  1. Evaluate yourself and the business

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It’s necessary to understand the affairs of your business and other professional matters when you want to implement drastic changes to your operations. For example, a change may not yield effective results if your customers are simply not ready to welcome it. So, first, engage with your employees and your customers, and brief them about the changes you want to effect. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page with you. Also, let the change begin with you and your personal life. For instance, a CEO who wants to change opening hours from 9-5 to 8-4 may want to ensure that they are mentally prepared for that change. It will set the stage for you to lead your team by example.

The final thing to note is that changes may come with setbacks. Therefore, arm yourself to the teeth to steer your business through any resistance that could stem from the changes you are making. A change can make or break an organisation and so approach it with caution.

5 Ways To Keep Your Business Protected And Secure

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If you want longevity and success for a sustained period of time, then you’re going to need to do a few things in order to achieve that. Unfortunately, you can’t just come up with an idea, set up a business, and hope everything falls into place – you need to actively take steps to ensure the right things come your way. The right plan, the right people, the right decisions, and the right amount of risk need to all be exercised.

Something that is just as important, however, is the security and protection with which your business is accompanied with. If your business is stripped of any fortification, then it can be attacked by anyone looking to commit problems. There are so many areas that a business can be vulnerable in, so it’s your job to make sure you’re covered from head to toe.

Due to the current pandemic we’re going through, these ideas may not be as easy to get sorted as perhaps they might have been prior, but here a just a few things you might want to do in order to protect and preserve all the hard work you’ve put in over the months and years:

Hire Personnel To Help Out

If you feel as though you might be under a little pressure from criminals and vandals, then there’s no problem with bolstering your workplace with a few security guards. Your vulnerability can be capitalised on by lots of different outside factors, so you need to do what you can do to protect yourself from these things. People will think twice before causing any problems when they see a few large presences standing outside your place of work.

Purchase Cameras And Alarm Systems

If you have things like CCTV cameras around your premises, then people are going to be hesitant regarding any thoughts about causing mischief. If they do decide to go through with the likes of stealing or vandalism, then they’re going to be caught red-handed. An alarm system will, of course, alert everyone nearby that something shady has taken place.

Protect The Perimeter

You need to make sure the area surrounding your place of work also manages to keep negative things from happening. This might not seem like a big deal at first, but if people can’t even get anywhere near your office/warehouse/factory, then you’ve won the battle straight away. Think about adding some extra fencing or gating around the outside to keep ne’er-do-wells and other problematic beings away.

Make Use Of External Storage Facilities

When you have lots of different pieces of equipment that might be quite valuable, you’ll then be a target for people looking to break into places and steal things. If your valuable pieces aren’t stored in your workplace or warehouse, then you have little to worry about, right? Well, that’s where the likes of Mammoth Storage and many other storage facilities can come in handy. Keeping your items locked away in a safe place can be a lifesaver.

Keep Everything Digitally Protected 

It’s not just about what’s tangible anymore – a lot of the work we do these days is online and digital. Whether you’re an e-commerce business or partake in manual labor, you’ll have things logged down on computer systems. Make sure you have a good piece of software protecting your systems. If you feel as though you need deeper protection, then you could always get in touch with a managed IT company – they’ll watch over everything like hawks.

Tips For Changing Your Career

Have you ever thought about changing careers? Perhaps the recent pandemic of COVID-19 has meant that you’ve lost you’re job, and you’re now floating along with no focus on where to go next. Or maybe, you’re ready for new opportunities and challenges within a different industry. Here are some tips for changing your career.

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Ask Yourself If It’s The Right Time

Think about your current career and whether it’s the right time to move on. Sometimes, it might be a case of there not being the right jobs within the new industry you’re stepping into, or it’s during an event like the pandemic, where it’s better to have a secure job than risk losing it because someone found out you were looking elsewhere. Question yourself on whether this is the right time to move on or whether you might need a bit more time in deciding what’s best for you at the moment. It’s important to be wise with your decision and to make sure that you’re not putting yourself in jeopardy by leaving your current place of work too early on in the game. Weight up the current situation and consider the pros and cons of leaving or remaining in your job.

Look At What You Need To Gain

With some career choices, there’s going to be certain things you might need to gain before you go applying for a job. It might be that you need to go back to study at a university or take a course or two in order to get the right skills and qualifications. Consider what it is that you need to gain first before you decide on what type of new career you want. You might find that you’re talented and more suited to one career option than another. It’s also worth looking at multiple career choices so that you’re not just stuck with the one choice.

Consider The Job Roles

Job role are something that is worth exploring when it comes to changing careers as there’s lots of different job role and duties out there. It’s worth knowing what to expect with each one and which one is going to identify closer to what you’re after. Make sure you do your research and figure out which ones are going to be suited to you. You want to give yourself plenty of options, just in case you don’t manage to find the right role and will, therefore, rely on the backup available.

Find A Mentor

Mentors are great to have if you’re branching out into a new industry or field and want some advice on how to get there. You can find connections on LinkedIn, or you might wish to look internally with you current workplace or social circles to see if there’s anyone you might find useful as a mentor. They can help guide you and give you the advice needed to branch out into your new career choice.

Changing your career isn’t easy, so make sure you’ve planned it out!

Adapting Your Company During The Pandemic

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Many months after the first cases were confirmed, businesses are still adapting in response to the coronavirus pandemic. While there may be many challenges for your company, there are also opportunities to do things differently, and improve your services in the process. As you create your post-COVID roadmap, keep these five pointers in mind.

1. Improve delivery options

Online delivery services are more popular than ever before, if appropriate, it’s worth improving your delivery options, in response to consumer demand. When you are organizing your delivery, you’ll need to prioritize contactless delivery, in response to safety guidelines. The majority of consumers require fast delivery and want the ability to track their items, along with an easy returns policy.

2. Health & safety focus

Companies must focus on health and safety during Covid-19, or risk endangering people’s health and damaging their reputation. If you haven’t already, it’s advisable to install cough guards. These screens can separate staff and customers, helping to prevent the transmission of coronavirus. To implement social distancing, it’s likely that you’ll need to redesign your office or store. To free up space, it can be useful to use a secure, local self-storage solution. With a self-storage solution, you can make some space at your location, without needing to get rid of anything.

3. Provide virtual services

You might be a brick and mortar company, but as our climate has changed, many customers have a preference for virtual experiences. If you can offer any of your services online, it’s a great move to do so. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to stop offering services in-person. Providing a combination of both in-person and online services will ensure that you do not alienate any of your customers.

4. Motivate your staff

During these uncertain times, it’s essential to keep your staff motivated. Some employees might struggle to adapt to remote working, so it’s essential to offer support. Utilize the latest communication software to improve your remote communication. A few software examples include:

Flock: With this business communications software, you can unify your teams, increase productivity and collaborate with ease.

Jostle: Using this staff intranet platform, you can increase employee engagement and keep your company culture alive.

Podio: Podio helps staff to collaborate on projects, here you can organize your content and conversations, all from one app.

Besides the right software, ensure that you keep up team morale with plenty of Zoom socials, and one-to-one catch ups.

5. Adapt your marketing

Now more than ever, the public are looking online to find answers about the pandemic. To improve your content marketing, your company should create informative COVID-19 related content, answering questions and increasing engagement at the same time. As much as possible, keep your customers informed, provide emails about what your business is doing to keep your staff and customers safe. Businesses who are seen to be inappropriately responding to the pandemic may come under fire and compromise their brand image.

Getting Health and Safety Right in the Post Lockdown World

Many areas around the world are starting to reopen following a lockdown to slow the spread of a deadly pandemic. These lockdowns could continue to come and go, either locally or nationally for who knows how long, but despite not knowing what might come next, most businesses have either reopened or are trying to find a way to do so.

As a manager or owner, one of your main concerns should have always been health and safety. Some of these concerns would have been specific to your business and the nature of your work, and regulations and health schemes such as the coal mine workers health scheme and their coal board medical are on hand to help with these. Others will be more general health and safety considerations which apply to all of us, whatever we do.

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But things are changing. Now, not only do you have to minimise the risks of falls, trips and spills. You also have to prepare to reopen with social distancing considerations. Here are some tips to help you get health and safety right in the new world.

Make It Covid-19 Secure

Right now, your priority when it comes to reopening, or staying open while keeping people safe must be making sure your business is Covid-19 secure. Your local government or council will have plenty of information on what needs to be done. But, a few tips include installing sanitiser stations, moving desks further apart, or changing the layout of your store to allow customers more space to walk around, and reducing numbers, by limiting customers capacity and staggering employee shifts. You may also want to provide PPE, add extra deep cleaning to your day, and install screens. You may find a cleaning checklist, detailing touchpoints and other high contact areas that need to be sanitised throughout the day, helpful.

Stay Up to Date with Current Guidance

Unfortunately, we still know little about the pandemic and how it is likely to progress as we move forward. Guidance is expected to change, new lockdowns or restrictions may be imposed, and things can change very quickly. Keep an eye on updates and make changes as needed.

Listen to Your Team

If anyone is going to spot potential risks or problems, it will be members of your team that spend their days working in your environment. Listen to their concerns, work with them to find solutions, and try to be flexible with them if you need to. You may have employees that would rather stay working from home, in which case, ask yourself if this is possible?

Don’t Forget Previous Responsibilities

Covid-19 hasn’t replaced all of the old risks; it’s just added to them. You will still have other health and safety needs, and you should make sure your workplace is still health and safety compliant as you add covid-19 protections.

Complete New Risk Assessments Regularly

The best way to make sure your health and safety standards is to complete risk assessments regularly, these will help you to spot issues, and things that might not be working quickly, and implement changes before they cause problems.

4 Things You Must Consider Maintaining Your Business Right Now

Maintaining your business during the pandemic might not be easy, but it still needs to be done. In this article, we’re going to be looking at four of the things that you need to consider when taking on this task. Keep reading to find out more.

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Is Work Essential?

One of the most important considerations is whether or not the work is essential. If whatever repair needs doing isn’t essential, then there is no need to have it done right now. You are simply going to be putting yourself and others in potential danger by taking unnecessary risks for something that you don’t need right away. Of course, this is an entirely different story if it needs fixing right away. For example, if there is a burst pipe somewhere, that is going to need to be sorted as soon as possible because it could cause further damage and be potentially harmful. However, something small like a crack in the wall is going to have to wait a little while.

Is The Company COVID-19 Compliant?

It is essential that you check whether the company you hire to take care of the repair is COVID-19 compliant. Everyone needs to be taking the correct measures to ensure everyone is as safe as possible, so if you don’t think that the company you’ve hired is taking these measures, call someone else. For example, you might need to hire a level 2 electrician to fix an issue that you are having, but if they turn up without any kind of COVID-19 measure such as a mask, don’t let them complete the job. The safety of you and everyone in your building must come first and do that, anyone coming in needs to be taking the correct precautions.

Will You Need To Interact With The Workers?

You should also think about whether you are going to need to interact or connect with the maintenance company. If you are, then you will need to put the right measures in place. They will likely be wearing PPE and you should be too. The benefit of doing this is that it prevents the potential of anyone spreading the virus. You should also make sure that you are washing your hands thoroughly and do not shake hands with the workers.

Do You Need To Improve Business Safety Standards?

Of course, if you are working with a contractor, then it’s advised that you do consider whether or not they can help you with increasing the safety standards in your business property. It is possible to make key changes to your business that will keep you, your clients, and your customers safe. For instance, plexiglass can easily be installed in key areas such as between shared desks. This will guarantee that facial expressions can still be clearly seen and people are able to communicate effectively. At the same time, it will guarantee that germs are not spread through the air.

Contractors will also be able to add clear markings on the floor of your business. This is going to help team members and customers adopt the right stance when it comes to social distancing and keep people separated.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now have a better understanding of four of the things you must consider when maintaining your business during COVID-19.