Archive for the 'General Interest' Category

How Do You Increase Foot Traffic To Your Business?

Something that all business owners should know is how to increase foot traffic to their business. It’s not all about the people that you are enticing online, you’ve got to think about the bigger picture. When people walk past your business, you want them to be interested enough to come inside and talk to an employee should they be interested in your services. But, this isn’t going to happen if you aren’t making it happen. So, in this article, we’re going to be looking at how you can increase your foot traffic, keep reading if you want to find out more.

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Keep It Looking Professional

Something that you need to do is make sure that your business looks professional. Nobody wants to enter a building that looks like it has seen better days, because if that’s how you let your business look on the outside, how are your clients supposed to know the inside is any better? This means that you don’t want trash littering the street outside your business. You also don’t want the outside to look like it is falling apart. So, any brick that looks like it’s about to fall down needs to be sorted, you’ll need to look into glass scratch removal if there are any of your windows, and do something to make it stand out.

For example, you can think about adding potted plants outside your building to make it look more welcoming. You don’t just want to look like any old place of business, you want people to take an interest. Make yourself look good, and people will flock.

Think About Your Marketing

The next thing that we are going to look at is the marketing that you are currently making use of. If you aren’t marketing your business much at all, then you are wasting a golden opportunity. Remember that it’s not only social media that people use to find your business, but they also look when they are outside. Make use of billboards, pay shop owners to advertise your company in their store window, use TV ads, and never underestimate word of mouth. There are so many marketing tactics that you could be using. If someone sees your company on a flyer that stands out, then walk past your office, they are more likely to come in than if they have never heard of you.

Make Yourself Noticeable

Finally, you need to make your business noticeable in more ways than one. We’ve talked about curb appeal above and making sure that your business looks good, but you also want to stand out more. Have signs that are pointing in the direction of your business so that people know where you are; bright colors are always going to be helpful at drawing attention, so make sure that you make good use of them.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now know some of the ways that you can increase foot traffic to your business. Good luck, and we hope you see the increase in volume that you are looking for soon.

Buying Trolley Wheels For Your Store

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Most stores, supermarkets, and shopping centers have trolleys for their customers to use. However, there are so many supermarkets and other stores these days that provide trolleys which are difficult to manoeuvre and prove to be more hassle then they are worth.  There is nothing worse for a customer then turning up to the shop in question and having to battle with their trolley whilst they find the goods they want to buy.

The general reason why this is the case is that the wheels on the trolley are either due a change, or are of a low quality, or are the wrong type of wheels for the trolley and the use of it. A lot of people do not realize how many different types of trolley wheels there actually are to choose from. You also have those for transporting goods, such as those to attach to portable van shelves. This article aims to give those in charge of supplying the wheels for their company a helping hand by providing tips and guidance on buying trolley wheels as well as information on the different types that are available.

First and foremost, before you go to buy any trolley wheels you obviously need to determine how much money you have spare to spend on this product. After all, money is a pivotal factor when buying anything. And you will need to make sure that you set a good budget for anything that you buy when dealing with your business because you do not want your costs to be in excess of what money comes in – it all easily adds up! Also, remember when buying products such as rubber wheels it is always better to buy in bulk because when buying more the price per unit tends to go down.

As stated at the beginning of the article a lot of people do not realize the sheer number of different trolley wheels available to them. In fact, to be specific there are actually a huge 13 different types of trolley wheels available in stores all over the country and off of the internet. If you are looking for the cheapest type of wheel then the best option to go for tends to be nylon wheels. Nevertheless, if you need wheels that are suitable to carry a heavy load then you should go for aluminum centre elastic rubber tyred castor wheels. Basically, each of the 13 types of wheels has their own best points and advantages.

The best thing to do is to seek a company that has a good customer service facility when buying your goods. By doing this you can use that feature to talk to them and ask for their professional opinion regarding what would be the best type of wheels for you and your business. Moreover, this will give you peace of mind that your money is being spent wisely.

So there you have it; there are lots of different types of trolley wheels to choose from and which one you go for all depends on what you really want from your wheels! Make sure that you make your customers happy and by opting for the right ones!

Bye Bye Business! 5 Reasons Why You Might Want To Walk Away

You probably started up your business with no thought of ever leaving it. After all, you pour your heart and soul into it, not to mention all of your time and the contents of your bank balance. Of course, you are not going to ever leave it!à

Sadly, that is not the case.

At some point, you will leave it, whether that is a choice you make or whether it is one forced upon you. There are plenty of reasons for that, and this is what we are going to look at in this post.

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Unstable economic conditions

Dire economic conditions are a common reason for the closure of a business. Weak national economic performance – mostly due to recession or depression – adversely affects the company’s operations. Some business sectors can face more extreme downturns due to poor economic conditions than others.  Businesses in durable goods or luxury industries can face the worst of the tough conditions and economic downturns.

Poor health

You may find that your health is declining. If you find yourself in this position, it may be time for you to find a way out of your business. You may also have a debilitating health condition, such as a heart attack or cancer. If this happens, the one silver lining is that you are likely to get full market value for your business.

You get bored

If you have been running a company for a long time you may be bored and looking to move on to pastures new.  You may find yourself thinking that there are other things that you would much rather be doing. If this sounds like you, it might be the right time for you to take a good long look at moving on and do something else before you get completely disillusioned.  However, before you do that, make sure you know what your new ventures are and have a business succession planning strategy in place.

Retirement

This choice is more based on your age than getting fed up with running your business or being forced out for one reason or another. Perhaps you have hit the age of 65, 70 or even higher. This is the sort of age that people tend to retire before their health and mobility deteriorate too much.

Time to diversify

Many business owners and entrepreneurs tend to put all their eggs in one basket when it comes to their money, maybe because when they first started up, that is all they had the funding for.  However, as your business grows and you have more money to invest, you may be thinking about diversifying your assets – and that really is not a bad idea. When you are in this role and your business is worth a decent amount of money, exiting your company could be an easy decision to make.

Whatever reason for exiting your business, you need to ensure it is either in a good position to sell or have someone ready to take on the reins.

4 Effective Marketing Strategies For New Restaurant Businesses

The restaurant business is one of the most competitive industries out there and so many new companies fail very quickly. You rely heavily on passing foot trade and most of your business is concentrated on the weekend. Filling a restaurant on a Friday and Saturday night is not too difficult if you are in a good location, but if you want to survive, you need to find ways to fill your restaurant in the middle of the week, and that is much harder. You need a good marketing strategy in place if you are going to create a buzz about your restaurant and convince people to come out mid-week specifically to come to you. These are some of the best marketing methods to fill your restaurant every night of the week.

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Discount Cards

Discount cards are one of the most effective marketing strategies for a restaurant. If you give people a discount, they are far more likely to come to the restaurant to see what it is like. They are not risking as much because the price is reasonable, and it’s a great way to kick start word of mouth marketing. Follow the link to learn more about creating your own gift cards for your restaurant. If you create a limited time offer, that will encourage more people to come in and try your restaurant before they miss out on the deal.

Free Samples

A good restaurant finds success on the back of great food more than anything else, but if you can’t get people to try the food in the first place, how are you supposed to fill the restaurant? That’s why free samples are such a great way to capture passing foot traffic and get people into the restaurant. If you set up a stall near the restaurant and hand out some free samples and menus, you will create a lot of buzz about the restaurant.

Merchandise

Branding is so important in the restaurant industry, and one of the best ways to get your name out there is to use merchandise. This is often more effective with street food restaurants that have a strong brand as opposed to fine dining places, but you should consider creating some t-shirts with your logo on and handing them out. You could even combine this with your free sample stall.

Food Bloggers

Food bloggers carry a lot of weight and if they recommend a place, their followers are likely to go there in big numbers. Before you open the restaurant, you should spend some time looking for the most popular local food bloggers. Contact them and offer them a free meal in exchange for a review. As long as you impress them with the food and service, you should notice a big increase in diners. You can also offer a discount code to the blogger to encourage their followers to come in. This also helps you to measure the success of the strategy because you can count the number of people that come in and use that discount code.

These are all effective ways to market your restaurant business and make sure that you are fully booked all week long.

Marketing Rules: How To Get People Talking For All The Right Reasons

A well-executed marketing campaign can have a dramatic impact on sales and brand image, but marketing success is not a given. Not all strategies lead to soaring profits, and it’s vital for businesses to invest money carefully. If you’re looking to put your company on the map, and you’re keen to get people talking for all the right reasons, here are some rules to consider carefully.

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Seek expert advice

Many businesses don’t have in-house marketing teams. If you’re on a mission to attract new customers, to promote product lines or services or advertise new outlets, stores or branches, it’s wise to consider seeking expert advice. Marketing is an area that more and more companies are outsourcing. Outsourcing enables you to take advantage of services and skills that you don’t have on-site, and it can offer a raft of benefits. If you hire the best digital marketing agency in your local area, you can implement targeted campaigns drawn up by experienced, knowledgeable individuals without hiring full-time members of staff or offering long-term employment contracts. Working with marketing experts will also enable you to identify problem areas and weaknesses, track the progress of campaigns and improve your ROI. If you are thinking of hiring an agency to take control of marketing for your business, undertake research, read client reviews and testimonials, browse portfolios, look at results and take the time to meet with representatives before you make a decision.

Define your target market

One of the most critical errors businesses make when it comes to drawing up and delivering marketing campaigns is failing to target the right person or groups of people. Tailoring your campaigns enables you to focus on buyers who are likely to have an interest in your products and services. You want your brand and the offers you’re running to appeal to the right customers to improve the quality of leads and increase conversion rates. If you don’t have an ideal buyer in mind, you could be wasting a lot of money, as well as missing out on the opportunity to connect with customers who want to buy from you. Before you start planning your next move, make sure you have an accurate picture of who you want to sell to or engage with.

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Research, research, research

Market research is crucial for planning and executing campaigns that resonate with customers. Once you know who you want to target, take the time to gather as much information about that group as possible. Carry out surveys and polls, ask questions and get to know potential clients. The data you collect can help to shape everything from the prices you charge and the promotions you run to the techniques you use to market your products and the communication channels you employ to contact customers. Market research is also incredibly valuable for analyzing and monitoring competitor performance.

Analyzing results and tracking progress

If you run a successful marketing campaign, you might notice an upward curve in terms of sales or enquiries, but it’s much more beneficial to employ more rigorous monitoring methods. Use data analytics and customer feedback to gain an insight into how well your campaigns are performing. Look at figures for traffic, keep an eye on conversions and use the data you have to identify potential problem areas and find solutions. If you’re getting a lot of traffic, for example, but you’re not converting leads, this may mean that your SEO and social media strategy is working, but that your website is letting you down.

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Getting your website right

More and more people are using the Internet to shop, but websites are also beneficial for providing information about brands. Web users don’t just go online to buy products or services. They also visit company websites to find out more about the business, answer questions and gather data before making a decision. If you have a brilliant website, this can make all the difference if a buyer is looking to make a purchase or they’re narrowing down the list of contenders. If your site is slow, drab, unresponsive, confusing or basic and bland, your customer might decide to look elsewhere. Focus on design and aesthetics, but don’t underestimate the importance of usability and customer experience. People want to be able to achieve their objective, whether that is buying a product, finding contact details or looking at a price list, with minimal effort. If your conversion figures are poor, and your website isn’t performing as well as you hoped, it’s worth considering working with a professional web design agency and using customer feedback to make improvements. A simple survey asking what visitors like and don’t like about your home and landing pages or the look of your website, for example, can provide a useful insight. Adding features, for example, live chat, personalized recommendations and product demonstration videos, can also set your website apart from others.

Promoting value

One of the most effective strategies to improve conversion rates and push sales is promoting and up-selling value. As a marketer, you want to persuade the customer that they are getting a great deal, even if a competitor is offering a lower price. Discounting can work, but it’s not always appealing to buyers, especially those who prioritize value for money, quality and customer service. Up-sell your USP and highlight the differences between the products and services you’re offering and those available from competitors. Incentives such as personalized offers, free delivery or reward points can often be more tempting to customers than lower prices.

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Marketing has the power to put a business firmly on the map, but success is far from guaranteed. To maximize your chances of generating more high-quality leads, outperforming competitors, attracting more customers and increasing profits, it’s essential to be aware of these golden rules. Focus on your target market, learn all about your ideal buyer, analyze your performance on a continual basis, hire marketing experts and promote value. Use data analysis and customer reviews and feedback to identify and address weaknesses and use marketing techniques that are relevant to the customers you’re hoping to entice.

Preparing Your Business For Uncertainty

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As headlines and worried discussions are part and parcel of living within the first few months of 2020, it can sometimes be that business leaders, quite rightly, think about how best to prepare for uncertainty. Yet of course, the very idea of planning for uncertainty can be uncertain in itself, as we have little insight as to what contingencies will be needed.

That being said, this can be a tremendously worthwhile time in your business life, as this added pressure can help us wake up to the need for planning, and from there develop a range of solutions should issues strike. Even the strongest business is not totally except from suffering uncertain circumstances, be they a result of internal strife or exterior situations.

This means that any advice must be practical, forward-thinking, and provide you with a range of considerations that help you make the most of a bad time, or a time in which you’re having to rebalance your efforts. It’s our intention that the following advice could be read within those parameters. Please consider:

Remote Working Possibilities

Consider remote working possibilities. Well enacted, your team can find time to work from home, or on the move, or when on a business trip with care and attention. With secure VPN suites to log into your modules, provided tech devices that are fitted with right software and updates, and the means in which to keep up with their responsibilities no matter how functional the actual office is, the less you have to feel troubles by downtime or a lack of staff in the vicinity. For some firms, this could mean the difference between life and death.

Making Use Of Downtime

Make sure of the downtime you are given. For instance, a lack of office activity or a slow dip in your customers or guests may mean that you can attend to vital maintenance tasks you may have been putting off. With essential services such as Smillie Electrical to grant you that immediate, comprehensive and well-considered electrical work, you can be sure that your maintenance tasks are not only completed well, but that they are afforded the right amount of time to approximate an upgrade, or to solve for good issues you may have experienced.

Spreading Your Influence, Cutting Your Costs

This can also be a great time to see just what systems you have set up that are simply not necessary. For instance, if you find you can easily operate your business functions with a team that primarily works from home, why not restructure your priorities to allow for further remote working possibilities, be that as an adornment to business trips or otherwise? Additionally, cutting your costs during business insecurity, such as managing your own schedule rather than hiring someone to do it, can help you avoid relying on luxuries to keep effective. This can be a very effective means of finding out what truly matters in your daily practice.

With this advice, and the spirit behind it, we hope you can prepare your business for uncertainty no matter what.

Simple Ways To Get Your Business Moving Again

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With the coronavirus burning its way through people and financial markets, businesses are going to start failing. We’re looking at a simultaneous collapse in both supply and demand. The global economy is teetering on what could be the most severe recession in modern times, making the financial crisis look tame.

It is essential, therefore, that managers and executives like you have a good idea about how to bring a company back from the dead. You need a Lazarus moment.

What’s interesting about the current predicament is that it is not a traditional economic shock at all. Usually, a company fails or a mortgage bank goes bust and the whole of the system starts to fail. This time around, though, the problem is with human bodies. It’s like the world’s factories catching a cold and all capital equipment suddenly going out of use. It’s a big shock.

A lot of companies are going to have to go into hibernation. They’ll need to find ways to slash their expenses and keep them low until demand ramps back up. Ultimately, this problem will pass, and business will come back, but it will take time. As a manager, you need to take steps now.

Here are some of the things that you can do to get your company moving again.

Scale Back Your Fleet

The first thing you’ll need to do is scale back your fleet. You need to ensure that you cut back on all unnecessary fixed costs. High expenses are a disaster in a slump. You don’t want dozens of vehicles sitting idle, not generating you money. You can always use ute rentals if you notice a spike in demand.

Change Your Mindset

When it comes to crises, leadership needs to make radical changes to its mindset. Sometimes, that means altering the raison d’etre of the company itself.

Changing the mindset on a corporate scale is not unprecedented. Steve Jobs did it when it returned to Apple in the 1990s.

For a time, the world’s most valuable firm looked like it might go out of business. But Jobs took decisive action, slashing entire departments and refocusing the company on a wholly different project. He wasn’t afraid to make the big, tough decisions necessary in a crisis.

Move Swiftly

If you want to bring a company back from the dead, it is imperative to move swiftly. You need to generate a sense of urgency that will bring out the best in your people. What you don’t want is to be waiting around for 90 days for contracts to expire before you do something different. You must act now.

Perform Field Promotions

Sometimes, bringing a company back from the dead requires identifying talented individuals and putting them in positions of authority immediately. Going through the usual process of interviews and HR form-filling is okay for a company humming along nicely, but it is a disastrous strategy for anyone looking to reinvigorate a business.

Many more companies are going to find themselves experiencing difficulties in the next few months. Taking this advice seriously is vital.

Three Clear Signs You Should Shut Down Your Business

Most business owners aren’t sure where they should go with their business, or when to call it quits when the company is on its last legs. If you’re wondering whether you should be shutting down the doors of your business, then it’s a surefire way to tell that you know it’s on the way out!

No one wants to admit when their business is going to fail, but recognising the signs is so important so that you can make the best possible choices about where things will go next for you. If you are looking for a sign that it’s time to shut the doors, and you find yourself asking what is liquidation all about, then check out the three signs below. They should give you a helping hand as to whether now is the right time for your business.

Person Writing On Notebook

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You Are Unrecognizable As A Person

Being a business owner is going to change you, and you need to embrace this as time goes on. However, it would help if you were adopting a better version of yourself. You want to be better, not worse, and yet if you find that you are changing into a person that you truly do not recognize anymore, it may be time to step back and hand the reins over. It can be overwhelming to have your own business, so you need to consider what you could be doing instead. If your life has become unbearable, then it’s a good sign that you need to wind it down.

You Find Business Overwhelming

We mentioned that business could be a little much to deal with, but if you are finding it too much, you need to take steps to liquidate and hand it over to someone else. You need to be able to wear many hats as a business owner, but if you’re not keeping up with it all, you need a bigger and better team. You could choose to outsource the tasks that are far too overwhelming, or you can want to hire in new staff to handle it. No matter what, if you’re finding it all too much, you need to take a step back.

You Just Aren’t Loving It

It’s exciting to own a business and raise it from an idea into a money-spinner. However, if that money-spinner has no place else to go, or you’re bored, then what’s the point in continuing it on? Running a business can become really repetitive, and if you aren’t able to diversify or expand, you’re going to find it hard to manage. You need to love what you’re doing, and if you don’t anymore, then you’re going to need to see whether you can look at selling or liquidating your business instead.

Shutting down a business is quite a process, but if you have the right reasons to do it, you’ll find that you are far happier in the long run. Take the time to ensure that you genuinely want to let your business go, and then take steps to do it.

What You Should Know Before You Start Your Manufacturing Business

It takes plenty of hard work to run a business, and more so, a manufacturing business may require more than you may think you need. In today’s modern business world, the manufacturing industry is the cornerstone of every other business.

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To set it up, you require a substantial financial investment, but once you have employees, the responsibility of its success increases. You certainly will face specific challenges along the way, but the rewards that follow when the business succeeds will be gratifying.

Before you can start your manufacturing business, you need first to perform extensive research on your market. You should also learn more about your competition and look for various funding options. In the manufacturing industry, your business needs to be the most successful. This means you should place your focus on security and quality.

If you intend to start your own manufacturing business, here are some things you should know beforehand.

Market Research is fundamental for your business

Market research helps you determine who your clients are and how they will respond to your products. You will learn if your business is helping solve a need in the market or not. Your business has to address a particular need for there to be demand.

It would be best if you learned where you could find your clients both online and offline. Which media channels do they frequent, and how often do they interact with your content? Once you figure it out, you can develop a marketing strategy that will place your business in the eyes of your buyers.

Ensure your products are of top quality

The quality of your products may mean the difference between the success and failure of your manufacturing business. Always deliver products that are of the highest quality and nothing less than that. You can set up rigorous testing parameters to ensure that any product that leaves the company is of high quality.

Surround yourself with a good support network

When you start working on your new business, the initial days will be radiant and full of excitement. However, you will undoubtedly face numerous problems along the way that may eventually affect your enthusiasm.

Rather than waiting until you are stuck and need a helping hand, you should surround yourself with people that can provide the right support you require. You can join various organizations that relate to your business always to get expert opinions and guidance when you get stuck.

You can also find a business coach that you can occasionally meet to help you always stay focused and mitigate any fears you may have collected along the way. The main benefit of surrounding yourself with people of value is that you will end up saving a lot of money and resources by reducing the mistakes you could have made.

The location of your business is significant

It is a common belief that when you start your business, you should find different ways to cut costs. One way you may identify may be to select a cheap premise for your operations. However, when you are choosing a location for your manufacturing business, you need to remember that it will grow with time.

Therefore you need to provide your business with excellent infrastructure and ensure that the geographic location is favorable. How accessible are your premises from the roads? How long will it take to transport products to the market and raw materials to the company?

Are there any tax implications due to the location of your business premises? Your business location is critical for your profitability and success. You can speak to a heritage consultant to help you choose the right location for your business.

Financing your business

You need to have enough capital for you to run and operate your manufacturing business. Remember, it is not just about starting a business but running one effectively without any mishaps or delays.

When you start your business without enough finances, there is a high risk of not being able to deliver your orders or achieving your business goals. When it comes to operational costs, there is no way you can cut corners. Try to find various ways you can raise the money, either by looking for potential investors or sourcing for funds from financial institutions.

The factors listed above may be simple, but you cannot afford to ignore them. When you start a business that matters, such as opening a manufacturing business, you may lose focus and forget your primary goals. However, it is the above small details that can get you back on track when you follow them precisely. Follow the above factors, and your business may dominate in your manufacturing space.

More Than Just Money: Starting a Business That Matters

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Making money is the primary objective when it comes to business; if you’re not turning a profit then you eventually start losing money and your venture simply cannot continue. This means that regardless of what your company does, it needs to be successful and you need to be making those sales to keep your finances in order and keep moving forward. However, business doesn’t have to be solely about making money, chances are there were other reasons aside from profit that motivated you into becoming an entrpreneur, and there are lots of reasons other than cold hard cash why you’ll want to succeed in what you do. Here are some of the ways that you can start, or continue to run a business that matters- it’s more than just a stream of income.

Start a business that genuinely helps others

First things first, if you’re yet to start up your company and are looking for ideas, why not consider a business that helps people in some way? Of course, every type of company should be answering a question or providing some kind of solution, however why not start a business that genuinely does good in some way? Maybe it could be in health or social care, it could be in the medical or research field or it could involve working with children in some way. There are lots of ways you can make money and run a successful service while providing vital services or products that others will really get use out of. You don’t need to sell to millionaires or charge a fortune to do well, reasonably priced services or products that most people can afford will actually make what you sell more accessible and you’re likely to attract a wider audience anyway.

Make it more eco friendly

As well as or instead of starting a business that helps people, you could start a venture that helps the environment in some way. There are lots of ways to go about this, from cruelty free beauty products to vegan food restaurants, you could start a Fairtrade coffee shop or come up with environmental solutions such as renewable energy. Even if your company is in no way linked to the environment, you can still take huge steps in reducing the damage you cause- it’s big businesses that are responsible for much of the pollution and damage caused to the earth. Recycle correctly, reduce your single use plastics, reduce the amount of water you use and try and limit the pollution you create. Even within your shop you could choose sustainable materials to fit it out, or make use of second hand racks and rails which will prevent older (but still usable ones) ending up in landfill. You could decorate using low VOC paints and reduce the amount of power you use by turning off lights and computers at night or when they’re not in use. There are plenty of ways your business can either make a positive difference to the environment, or at the very least reduce the damaging impact that it has on the planet especially in comparison to other businesses.

Keep your employees happy

Your employees spend a huge part of their days, weeks and lives in general working for your company. If you want to make a positive impact in the world, improving their working conditions and keeping them happy is a small thing you can do which is well within their control. Provide them with a safe and comfortable place to work, make your shop, office or whatever premises you own pleasant and decent to spend time in. Offer incentives and rewards for their hard work, and give praise when it’s due. Something as simple as a gift voucher for your best salesperson that year or free lunch now and again for your employees can make them feel valued. One thing worth taking into consideration is that home based workers have been shown to be happier and healthier, so if any of your employees work a computer job that could be done from home, give them the option of working from home at least on some days of the week. The lack of commute and more flexible working day can massively reduce stress and for the right kind of person, home based working is absolutely ideal. Don’t overwork your employees, if you need to then outsource some areas even if it’s temporarily over busy periods; for example you could use a virtual office service. One of the most important things to do as a business owner is to listen to your employees. Be an approachable boss that they feel that they can come to and speak to about work related issues. Do this and you’re likely to pick up things like bullying and harassment, or even problems within your company that you had overlooked. Even if your business can’t change the whole world, by being good to your workers you can certainly improve the world for them.

Utilise self development

Finally, being a business owner gives you so many chances for self development. It allows you to learn more about your niche, and learn more about yourself too. Always take the opportunity to learn more, whether it’s formal academic courses or attending lectures from high flyers in your field. Being the best person you can and building success is always an important reason why people want to start a business, so don’t fall into a rut once you start doing well and resting on your laurels. Continue pushing forward and learning all you can.

Thinking Of Starting Up? Check Out These Future Proof Business Start Up Ideas!

Taking the plunge to start your own business is one not taken lightly. It’s a tough slog. One you’ll have to pour hours of your time into for your fledgling idea to grow into something wonderful that you can be proud of. There’s a lot of prohibitive factoids around that do their best to put you off. The worst being that over 50% of all businesses fail in their first five years. How do you stay out of this bracket? First you need to ensure you have the general information needed to succeed and improve your business over time. But mainly, you need to have a great idea that stands against all the rigours that future developments might throw at it. Even some of the most well respected professions are at risk, such as accountancy which is slowly being replaced by automated software. The best thing you can do is ensure your startup can weather any storm. Each business sphere is completely different with varying potential future problems. These can give you a flavour of the kind of businesses which have the best chance of succeeding over the next ten or so years. Good luck!

Courier Business

People will always need things dropped off. More importantly, businesses will need items delivered. This is one of those areas that will always have a place until teleportation is invented. A clear hole here would be the slow implementation of driverless technology, specifically driverless cargo trucking. But this isn’t something to be afraid of. Instead it’s something to incorporate into your own fledgling business idea. You can expand and contract to the point you feel comfortable too. It could be a simple building to building business, delivering letters or stationary from one place to the other in a single city or state. Or on a wider scale you could operate a cargo delivery business that goes overseas. Remember, with these kinds of larger businesses operating overseas the regulations increase, for example there are hazardous materials shipping label requirements which need to be adhered to. There are similar requirements for shipping via air airfreight. But you could make this your niche. Usually, starting these kinds of businesses require a modicum of industry experience or knowhow. But it could just be a simple case of spotting a gap in the market or knowing there’s a business like this lacking in your home town. Whatever the case, you’ll know it’s safe for the future.

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Flood Defence

Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Think about it. Climate change is only going to increase sea levels not only across the country, but worldwide. If you can find a niche and get in early, you can form an extremely successful business around the implementation of flood defence systems. Your clients will range from governments to individuals. You’ll need some bespoke knowledge around construction or engineering, or at least a partner with this knowledge. However, it’s certainly future proof and also a worthy cause worth taking up.

Green Energy Solutions

In the same vein as the above, green energy is really in flavour at the moment. Primarily because most businesses and individuals are looking to decrease the amount of fossil fuels used. There are multiple ways you can forge a niche for yourself here. First off, installing electric car charge points would be a great way to start. You can do this at businesses or homes. Installing solar panels is another way forward, although this market might be slightly saturated at the moment. Green energy solutions is certainly future proof so long as you can find a suitable niche to explore and edge your way into the market.

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Programming

Again, a wide category that tones of potential business ideas will fit into. Computers have never been more important. So much so, that programming has even started to be taught at kindergarten level in some schools. If you can forge a business in the IT environment, specifically in the programming sphere where you’re writing specific kinds of code and programming software, you’ll be in an area that isn’t likely to be made redundant for a long while.

Building

Robots aren’t so advanced that they can build homes. Not yet anyway. Building is a tried and tested trade which will last generations. If you have a knack or solid grounding in the trade then going alone and starting your own building firm can be pretty fruitful if managed well. People will always be building as the population grows. The benefit here is that you can specialize in a specific type of building, be it conservatories or extensions and forge your name doing so.

Wasp Removal

Pests aren’t just going to stop being pests. Unfortunately, unlike bees, wasps aren’t losing population either and has the human population expands more places inhabited by people will become cohabited as wasps move in. The profession has a wide learning curve, so it might be worth learning the ropes as an apprentice before setting up your own business. However, it’s a fruitful one. Especially in summer when wasps are about. Though even in winter they’re often called to remove empty nests and husks just in case. You need to be resilient and not too squeamish for this role. Have a look around the local area and see if you can find a gap in the market. At least you can be sure the profession won’t be at risk.

Restaurant Owner

People love to eat out. The need to consume food isn’t going to change and the want to do so with friends and family in a nice location won’t change either. The same applies for any kind of catering role. The trick is picking a theme or food type and also picking a place which you believe needs a restaurant. It isn’t as easy as it sounds and the wrong choice could doom your business from the start. The most consistent advice Centers around doing something that hasn’t been done before. There are dozens of tips for restaurant owners online. Just make sure you do your research and planning beforehand, while ensuring you have the right levels of cash to pump in where needed.

Amazing Techniques You Can Use to Improve Your Business Right Now

If you want to achieve success when you are running a business, it is important to look at what is involved in this. There are so many different ideas you can use to be a success as a business owner, and this is something to keep in mind. Make the most of the opportunities you have to make your company more successful.

Make sure you do as much as you can to be a success as a business owner and work on how you can do this in the right way. There are a lot of techniques you can use to improve your company and make it better right now. These are some of the key techniques you can use to improve your business right now, and this is something you need to factor in as much as possible.

Branding Plays a Massive Role

Branding is one of the key components of running and managing a successful company, and this is something you are going to get right as much as possible. Branding your business can help to break the mold and enhance the success rate of your company. This is something you are going to need to get right as much as possible. Branding a business is something you need to get right, and there are a lot of things that can play a role in helping the company develop.

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Boost Business Aesthetics

Another thing you are going to need to get right as a business owner is improving the aesthetics of the business. Now, there are a lot of ways you can do this, and you need to think about how to do this. Presenting the business in a positive way is so important, and there are plenty of things to consider here. Things like golf course maintenance, store maintenance, and office refits are a great way of improving the aesthetics of the business.

Hire the Right People

Hiring the right people for the business is important if you are looking to achieve success as a company. This can play such an important role in trying to help take your company to the next level, and this is something you need to consider right now. Hiring the best possible people for the role is something your business needs to focus on, and there are a lot of excellent benefits to this moving forward.

Digitize the Company

Something else you are going to need to consider is looking at how best to digitize the company more effectively. This is something you are going to need to keep in mind moving forward, and it is going to make the company more efficient and easier to use. Look for some of the best ways of improving the company, and digitizing the business is something that can really help to make the most of this process.

These are some of the best things you should consider when it comes to improving your business moving forward. There are so many things to keep in mind when it comes to improving and enhancing your business, and this is something you are going to need to keep in mind right now.

Spending That Marketing Budget

One of the most exciting things, and then most daunting things can be knowing where to spend your budget. Even more, when it comes to things like marketing. So here are a few clever ways for your start-up to spend your marketing budget well.

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Needs

Before you start spending money, you need to spend time. You have to have a very clear understanding of what you want your marketing to achieve. Are you looking for new customers? Are you looking to improve your sales funnel? Once you know what you want to accomplish with your marketing, you will narrow down all of the options available to you.

This will stop you from spending money on everything, and instead, you’re spending money on specific things.

Great website

A great website does not have to be built by a professional. There are so many websites hosting options and tools available that you can have a drag and drop website created within minutes. The key is going to be your content. Make sure that you have already got some material ready to go. You can hire a fantastic graphic designer and copywriters online and use that to populate your website.

Loss

As soon as there is a new marketing strategy hitting the news, all businesses want to take part. This means that many will throw their entire budget at this one new strategy. Before truly considering whether it will pay off for them. And while there should always be room for you to experiment with your marketing strategy, it should be done with a risk assessment ahead of time.

Traditional marketing

Traditional marketing will always have a place in a fully rounded marketing strategy. You will need to work with graphic designers and content writers to create printed items that speak to your customers. So you can put some research time here, and check out things like pamphlet printing cost services, business card printing services, and flyers too.

Free

There are so many free opportunities for marketing, but people don’t consider it. For example, you and your business team could volunteer at community events in exchange for hanging some posters and handing out some flyers. Perhaps you have a restaurant, you can bring snacks and drinks to local events.

Have you got all of your social media accounts ready and set up, and are they being populated with the content or left silent? There are so many options. When it comes to getting free marketing, make sure that you have considered everything first.

Marketing plan

You will need to sit down and look at creating a serious and stable marketing plan. You can take stock of everything you’ve done so far by creating a web presence and community and look at where you are seeing results. Then you must consider how you can capitalize on those results how can you make sure that you continue to build on those successes.

And if you can see that things aren’t working, is it because you haven’t done them correctly, or because the market isn’t in that location? You must know why something isn’t working rather than just knowing that it isn’t working.

Approach your marketing plan as a step-by-step guide that you have created for your business to thrive.

4 Ways Your Branding Can Break The Mould

When you started out running your own business, you had a clear focus on what you wanted. You wanted to do things your way. You’d seen first hand the impact that poor strategic decision making and rampant operational inefficiencies had on your previous employers. You had worked under one too many clueless middle management types and relentless micromanagers. You may even have seen the inequities and inequalities that are still unfortunately rampant in the world of work today.

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You wanted to do better. You wanted to show the world that business could be better. Fairer. More efficient. More ethical. Your brand was going to change the world. But over time you became so swamped in the day to day operational aspects of running your business that you suddenly barely had a thought to spare for branding. As every day became a struggle to get by, your brand has become a secondary consideration.

But deep down you know that without a strong brand behind you, you can’t hope to achieve the market domination that you deserve.

Is branding really that important?

Not only is branding incredibly important now, it’s only going to get more important in the coming years. The millennial generation is the most fiercely brand loyal generation of consumers yet, with over 50% claiming “extreme loyalty” to their favourite consumer brands. As this generation takes up more and more of a proportion of your consumer base, you need to ensure that your branding is on point for your business to have a hope of long term sustainability.

Your brand is, to quote Jeff Bezos “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”. It attracts new prospects to your business even as it rallies and motivates your workforce. If your branding doesn’t resonate with your target audience (or worse still, if they don’t even notice you) your business risks fading into obscurity.

But in an era where consumers have so many brands competing for their attention every minute of every day, your branding needs to be able to break the mould, defy convention and make a strong statement. Which can be a battle that’s fought on many fronts. Here are some great ways in which your branding can break the mould.

Create campaigns that defy convention (or even poke a little harmless fun at it)

Today’s consumers are extremely savvy when it comes to the conventions of marketing and branding. Even if they can’t articulate how they’re doing it they can decode marketing media with incredible surety, identifying tropes in advertising as easily as they can identify tropes in cinematic genres.

With that in mind, consider playfully defying convention in your next marketing campaign. Maybe even poking a little fun at the semiotic language with which products like yours are usually advertised. If your marketing makes consumers think, makes them laugh or helps them to see that you know-how savvy and intelligent they are, you stand a great chance of connecting with them. It worked for the sanitaryware brand Kimberly Clark a few years back, and it can work for you too!

Invest in a better quality of branded freebie to make a big splash at trade shows

Trade shows are a great opportunity to meet with people within your industry and make yourself known to consumers with a vested interest in your chosen field. They’re a great opportunity for speaking and thought leadership, as well as a fantastic way to roll up your sleeves and get stuck into talking to people and showing them your passion and sincerity.

More importantly, however, they’re a great opportunity to give away cool stuff and help your brand to make an amazing first impression. Branded freebies and promotional items really work because they’re useful to the recipient, they make them think of your brand and they help to build positive associations. Best of all, when recipients are done with them, they pass them on rather than throwing them away, giving you another opportunity to make an impression.

But why attach your brand to old hat items like t-shirts, mugs and… hats? Why not attach your logo to something of real quality like lapel pins, key rings and badges by Master Cast? Or something that’s both useful and sustainable like a bamboo flash drive? Clever, novel and high quality branded promotional goods can make a huge impression and help your brand to stand out.

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Wear your Corporate Social Responsibility on your sleeve

Corporate Social Responsibility is more important than ever in the 2020s. Consumers have begun to demand a better standard of capitalism, and almost 75% of younger consumers are happy to pay more for it. It’s up to you to ensure that your branding reflects your green and ethical credentials.

Show consumers that your products are made from ethically sourced materials and that the people who make them get a fair wage. Demonstrate your commitment to reducing your waste, carbon and energy footprint. Show them how much you value your employees and shine a spotlight on them in your content marketing and social feeds. Brands of all shapes and sizes can win over ethically-conscious consumers if they demonstrate their social responsibility.

Think outside the box in your content marketing

Finally, we all know that content marketing is essential. It’s an important way of giving your brand a voice and a personality of its own and helping consumers to build a personal relationship with your business. We also know that your content needs to be useful to the reader or viewer if it’s to get the kind of engagement it deserves.

But with so many brands out there trying to make their voices heard with content, how can you get their attention? Maybe it’s time to think outside the box when it comes to your content.

Don’t be afraid to show them your sense of humour. You might even want to get a little weird. In an age where consumers have so much content waved in front of their faces every day, you simply can’t afford for yours to be dry.

Reducing Your Stress Levels As A Business Owner

When you own your own business, there are so many things that can threaten your success and destroy your hard work, and one of those things might actually be you. Despite all of the hard work that you have put in to get your company to the point that it’s at today, all it takes is one stressful bump in the road for your whole venture to turn on its head. So, how can you ensure that you stay calm and collected throughout your career, and focus your efforts into positive actions that can benefit your business? Luckily it needn’t be as difficult as you might initially think, as there are a few simple steps that you can follow to ensure that you can perform at the height of your game no matter what life throws at you. If you want to know more, then read on for some of the best tricks and tips that you can implement today.

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Delegate & Outsource Tasks

When you have watched your business grow from just a simple concept to a whole working organisation, it can be very difficult to let go of some responsibilities and allow others to take over. Of course you want your business to suit your original vision, but it’s almost impossible that you can get it to this point by working independently. One of the best things that you can do to reduce your stress levels is to delegate some of your current tasks to other employees, so that you can relieve some pressure from your shoulders and focus your efforts into small projects. If you do not feel as though you have the appropriate staff for the job at hand, then why not make the most of outsourcing instead? There are many professional organisations out there that are dedicated in providing specific services, such as quality IT support from www.capstoneitservices.com, and you will have ultimate peace of mind knowing that skilled individuals are working away without the need for you to intervene.

Stick To Your Schedule

It’s so common for business owners to power through their lunch break and stay after their shift is done, but this can have a devastating impact on both your physical and mental health over time. It simply isn’t acceptable to skip out on important things like food and rest so that you can focus on your company, as it cannot be seen as more important than you. You have to make an effort to stick to your schedule and take care of yourself – if you have an hour lunch break, take the full 60 minutes and eat a nutritious meal away from desk, if your shift finishes at 5:30 pm, then you must make an effort to leave at that time. You cannot keep pushing yourself until breaking point, so slow down and pay attention to the schedule that you originally made to ensure that you don’t take it too far and suffer a terrible burnout.

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.