Archive for the 'General Interest' Category

Master The Money Side Of Your Business

Picture by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels – CC0 Licence

With many crucial components that contribute toward making a successful business, it’s challenging to know which part deserves a large chunk of your time.

Money is undoubtedly one of them. Without it, you can’t invest in the resources and staff you need to not only launch but market and grow your business. Poor ongoing money management results in capital being lost through lousy investments and over-spending.

For guidance on which areas of money management to keep a close eye on, here are four key areas to watch over to master the money side of your business.

Taxes

Whether a sole trader, working in a partnership or operating as a limited company, taxes apply to all businesses who earn above a certain threshold. And it’s paramount you provide the correct details. Otherwise, you could risk a hefty fine.

Now, as your company grows, submitting your taxes, never mind taxes as a partnership, becomes troublesome, almost impossible even. At which point, it helps to call in professional intervention from Pop Business to take hold of your taxes for you. To ensure they’re correct, and you have provided all the details needed. In doing so, you’ll pay the right amount of tax, and avoid a fine which loses the business money.

Investments

When managing your cash flow, it’s wise to allocate a large amount of the business’s income and profits back into the company. To grow, your company inevitably needs money to fund projects, new employees, supply new resources and so forth. With that, reinvesting is crucial.

The rich invest their money and spend what is left; the poor spend their money and invest what is left.— Jim Rohn

Put the company’s profits to good use, and refrain from purchasing status symbols that depreciate. Instead, make your money work harder for you, and put it back into your enterprise.

Monitor Your Income And Outgoings

Taking note of all your income and outgoings each month is essential. Keeping on top of your finances, down to the last cent, prevents money from getting lost or being spent frivolously.

Rule No.1: Never lose money

Ruled No.2: Never forget rule no.1 

-Warren Buffet.

Every ounce of what your company makes reveals a part of your company’s worth. With that, each piece should be allocated to a place where it can continue to reap money for your business.

Along with monitoring your income and outgoings, take time to reduce expenses that no longer serve your business’s purpose. For example, a section of the marketing budget may not be administering a good enough ROI (return on investment). If that’s the case, you should allocate funds elsewhere.

To master the money side of your business is to ensure your taxes, investments, and budgeting are always in check. Suppose you’re struggling to find time to keep on top of the money aspect of your company. In that case, it’s worth thinking about hiring an accountancy firm who can look after these areas for you.

So Big Pharma Is Not The Big Evil After All….

The pharmaceutical industry has a love-hate relationship with the general public. Not many people understand how expensive and time-consuming it is to develop drugs that will ultimately go on to save lives. This is why sometimes the prices that are set for the drugs, are seen as extortionate. However, the more we realize that big pharma is just a sector of the economy that plays a critical role in our quality of life, the sooner we become to tolerate it’s sometimes annoying traits. But lately, we are finding that pharma is a force for good as companies race ahead of each other to make a vaccine for the novel Coronavirus.

pixabay

Technology boost

As in wartime, technology development during a global emergency has accelerated to blistering speeds. Digital track and trace technology is rapidly advancing and it has to, in order for the economy to wake up again. Businesses are being allowed to make apps that use government data, which helps everyone to know where the virus is spreading and how many employees can come back to work safely. Germany’s Corona-Warn-App and Britain’s NHS App are allowing businesses to report rises or declines in their worker’s cases of COVID-19. This has allowed governments to move from national lockdowns to city-wide lockdowns instead. With more businesses using this type of technology, they can let citizens know of the app, where to find it, how to use it and report back to them with their results. Pharma companies use the data to improve the apps and testing kits

Practical needs

Just as you would have thought, the need for practical equipment such as RFID medical fridges has grown rapidly too. These fridges can come in freestanding designs, under bench of ultra-large designs too. They are used to store vital vaccines that are in development, as they can provide the kind of temperature and atmosphere required to kill bacteria but keep the vaccine alive. Businesses are also requiring more laboratories which provide the space needed to do trial testing on patients. Hospitals have been full for a long time but they are slowly beginning to cope, despite over 200,000 deaths in the USA alone. More protective equipment for doctors and nurses is being made by pharma companies, which is helping healthcare professionals stay on the frontline for longer periods of time.

In the running

So who is in the running to develop the vaccine first? We shouldn’t see it as a race against each other, but a race against time. AstraZeneca is working with scientists from Cambridge, England, to develop a vaccine and is in second-stage trialing at the moment. Pfizer is being touted to be ahead of the competition in America and is developing the vaccine with the hopes to distribute it across the country, firstly in the most-affected areas like New York.

Big pharma is an often misunderstood sector of the economy, but after the president signed an executive order to balance out the prices of drugs for US citizens, maybe things could change.

Hiring Professional Flooring Contractors To Improve Your Business

https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-pencil-1388944/

Flooring contractors can help you choose the right flooring for your commercial or domestic premises. While using contractors is often a must for commercial projects, it can be tempting to save money by not opting for a specialist supplier. Some residential householders even choose not to enlist the help of contractors at all. This is often a mistake. Not only will an experienced flooring contractor know exactly what type of flooring will work – and look – the best, they will also install it correctly. It is never worth cutting corners when it comes to investing in flooring, no matter what the size or type of project. The right product installed by experts will last for years to come. Plus, in light of the current pandemic, the importance of choosing the right safety flooring is critical for health and safety too, which is something we will discuss.

What Different Types Of Commercial Flooring Can You Choose From?

Your commercial flooring options are many and varied, but professional flooring contractors will help you work out which will be the best for your project. The main choices available to you are carpeting, wood flooring, vinyl flooring, rubber flooring and/or safety flooring. Each one is perfect for particular areas within certain buildings and businesses, but choosing the wrong one can cause problems.

Not installing the right floor surface in an environment such as a swimming pool changing room, for example, can not only be unpleasant for users, it can also be a health and safety issue. With COVID-19 regulations in place, a health and safety breach is one thing no business can afford.

However, your commercial flooring must also suit the style and ambience of your premises. As an example, wooden flooring can often work better in luxury hotels, boutique shops, and high-end retail spaces than vinyl flooring would. Wood gives a feeling of class and style, and offers the impression of sumptuousness and luxury when done right. It can certainly boost your brand and the way people feel about your business. In terms of practicality, it is also highly durable, giving you value for money from your investment because it won’t need to be replaced in a few years.

What Is Safety Flooring?

Wooden floors, on the other hand, are impractical where safety is an issue. Here, specially designed safety flooring is the answer. This is ideal when the environment must be adapted to prevent slips and falls, such as staff and public bathrooms, commercial kitchens, and so on – anywhere where floors might experience frequent spillages.

Not only is safety flooring designed to be anti-slip when wet, though – it also retains this property when dry, and works whether the user is wearing footwear or not. That means it can be used in other areas too, such as hospitals, changing rooms, and care homes. It can be combined with other safety tactics, such as worksite edge protection when working from a height and fire protection, to ensure a complete health and safety approach.

It is an alarming fact that even the smallest spillage creates a film between the floor and the user’s foot that will prevent them from making sufficient contact with the floor’s surface. Without this friction, slips and falls are almost inevitable. Even dry substances, like talcum powder, when spilled on a standard floor can lead to falls, as the grains can act like ball bearings underfoot. The best types and brands of vinyl safety flooring incorporate an aggregate throughout the thickness of the flooring. This ensures the surface retains anti-slip properties throughout its entire lifetime. Nor does safety flooring have to be dull and industrial in appearance: today, it’s available in lots of different colors and finishes.

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.

Image source: Pexels

  • 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

Photo

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.

author

  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.

Photo – Pixabay License

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

Image Credit

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

Image credit

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

https://unsplash.com/photos/IhcSHrZXFs4

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.

Image Source

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!