It Pays to Be Pedantic: Small Business Tips for Your Brand

As a business owner, you’ll have an excellent understanding of how your presence online can affect your sales and profit margin. It’s the perfect time to grow your ecommerce brand or company online. However, there is always going to be more competition, and you’ll need to keep up with your peers, and ideally exceed what they’ve achieved. You might think that you’ve done all you can regarding your website and social media platforms, but there are always the little details to focus on, that can help to make a significant difference. Big or small your company is, you want each area to be working hard for you, and bringing in a growing number of consumers.

If a visitor has a negative experience on your site, there are so many others to choose from that they’ll simply click elsewhere, and you’ll be quickly forgotten. Just like a physical store, you need to focus on drawing people in, impressing them when they arrive, and ensure they both return to invest in you and recommend you to others.

If you’re at a loss as to what more you can do, you’ll need an in-depth look at your online environment and start working out how each detail can improve for your company’s success. The following are some tips, ideas, and advice for those looking to be a little pedantic about their business so that competition is less of a worry.

Grayscale Photo of Computer Laptop Near White Notebook and Ceramic Mug on Table

Hard-working Content

Your first port of call should be your content — ask yourself if it’s working hard enough to bring in new traffic and ensure that you’re sitting where you want to be in Google rankings. It might be time to invest in a company who can help to hone your content creation, so look at sites like Webgator SEO agency to see how they can assist you in getting a much-needed boost. Just like anyone working for you, you want your content to be consistent.

Consistency will help to ensure that you’re appearing where you should in consumer social media feeds; stick to a rigid plan and utilise your analytics so that you’re posting things at the best time to reach your audience. Set a tone for your content. Your brand identity should shine through your words and images, so always keep this in mind when uploading.

Image Credit: Pexels

The Personal Touch

Customers often get sick of mass, spam-like emails arriving in their inbox (or heading straight to their junk mail). Therefore, it might be worth taking a look at your list of customer contacts, gathering their information and data, and utilising it to create individual emails and a more personal touch when they’re contacted.

Aside from their name, you can use the items they were looking at to create a reminder email, or install the software so that pop-ups become a gentle push to bring them back to your site. Special offers on their birthday and other touches will help to give you a physical store feel, and you’ll build customer trust and appreciation.

It’s hard work bringing new visitors to your site, but it’s worth investing in so that your business can develop and grow.

Take Your Business Promotion to the Next Level with This Advice [Inforgraphic]

Would you like to improve your approach to promotion and reach thousands of new customers? Do you want to increase your turnover and profits? Then you’ve come to the right place. This short article will offer a few suggestions that could assist you in turning things around and taking your company to the next level.

Dominate social media

Firstly, you’ll need to work hard to ensure your brand dominates social media. That means researching competitors and assessing their approach before designing something better. There are paid advertising tools on Facebook and Twitter that will make sure your posts reach the widest possible audience.

Release mobile apps

Mobile apps are an excellent way of reaching more people and promoting brand familiarity. They could also help you to sell more products or services. Just make sure your CTO takes a look at the infographic at the bottom of this page.

Consider sponsorships

Sometimes sponsoring charity events and things like that can give your firm a lot of free advertising. It also shows consumers that your company has a heart and it’s trying to improve the world. You might even end up getting your logo in the background of news reports on the TV. You can buy exposure like that, but it will cost more than a sponsorship.

Now you know how to take your business promotion to the next level, nothing should stand in the way of your continued success. Just be sure to implement these suggestions as soon as possible for the best outcomes.


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Many Hands Make Light Work: Accepting a Little External Input When Crafting Your Website

As a small business owner, it can be extremely easy to become territorial over all aspects of your company. After all, that’s one of the reasons you became self-employed in the first place, right? You want freedom to pursue what you want, craft your own ideas, and develop your own brand. However, every now and then it’s a good idea to let others lend a helping hand. As the old saying goes, many hands make light work.

This rings true in particular when it comes to setting up a webpage. A well crafted website can help you to launch your business into the ever-expanding world of E-commerce, exposing you to customers on a potentially worldwide level, opening your store up to access at all times of the day and night, and giving you space on the smartphones that so many of us tend to have our heads buried in most of the time.

So you want it to be the best that it can possibly be. Here are a few areas that others can help you out with to give you the most admirable results.

Image Credit: Pexels

Web Design

If you want to succeed in ecommerce, you’re going to need an eye-catching website. This is your base. The place that customers will come into contact with your brand, its aesthetic, and the products and services that you have available. Make their experience memorable.

Rather than using the same old same old web page layout, collaborate with a web designer who will be able to create a site that is easy to navigate, has easily accessible links to important brand information such as returns, sizing, shipping, and terms and conditions; and options such as mailing list signup and contact forms.

Graphic Design

Sure, you can use stock images. They’re free, simple to source, and will do the job. But since when did you ever settle for average? Whether you’re looking at something major like a new logo, or more small-scale like an illustration for a blog post, a reliable graphic designer will be able to hook you up with whatever it is that you may need.

Not only will they be able to put your ideas directly onto paper (or screen), but they will also be able to offer sage advice regarding what works and what doesn’t. They’ll have seen many businesses come and go in their time and can give you a little insight as to what styles will best suit your brand aesthetic and what types of images to avoid.

Content

You want your content to stand out. So many sales sites have such similar product descriptions, blog posts, and images. Try to do something a little different. Employing the help of a photographer and copywriter will ensure that your web page content pops! Not only will it be more memorable (encouraging customers to revisit pages), but it will also encourage sales.

Remember that you can’t do absolutely everything! That’s where self-employed freelancers can come in to help out with one-off jobs. Make the most of their creativity and expertise where you can!

Oust the Outsourcing: Your Smaller Business Can Manufacture Its Own Products!

Manufacturing is a massive task, and many small and medium-sized business write off the idea of doing so and choose to outsource instead. Outsourcing is great in many ways, it one less thing for you personally to worry about as you can put the task in the hands of a reliable and experienced business who you know will provide you with excellent products.

However this service does come at a cost, and every month where you’re using another company there’s a cut taken from your profits. It is completely possible as a smaller business to manufacture products yourself and therefore cut out the middle man, but there are some things to bear in mind too. Here are a few of them.

Practicalities

First things first, you will need to consider the practicalities. You will need to find a suitable business premises that’s in the right location and is the right size. It should have good transport links and ideally be situated close to your other business premises for better productivity and less transport costs. You will then need to source all of the vehicles, machines, tools and equipment needed for your business.

Often businesses close down and sell of their items for cheap, you could also check auctions and other places for second-hand bargains. Companies like Altium provide electronics design software, these are the kinds of things you might need depending on the kind of business you run. Otherwise, look at good suppliers in the area and make sure you have everything you need to get started.

Setup Costs

One of the biggest problems when it comes to manufacturing your own products is the upfront cost. While it will save you money in the long run compared with outsourcing, those initial costs are high and so this is something you will need to be aware of. Set a budget, and don’t forget things like premises cost, maintenance cost as well as recruiting and training staff members. If you’re able to afford to do all of this, you will save money overall and turn a better profit each month. You could go into business with a partner, or even look for investors for your SMB if the costs are currently too high.

Health and Safety

Finally, every business has health and safety concerns. Even in an office, a very safe environment, you could slip or trip or fall down stairs. However it’s even more of a problem in a manufacturing plant. Heavy machinery and power tools, chemicals, hot liquids and falling from heights are all risks. Make sure your health and safety is up to scratch and everything is being followed to the letter. Staff should have the correct training and experience for their role, and you should have the right insurances in place in case anything does go wrong.

Would you consider manufacturing your own products in your SMB? Do you find outsourcing more convenient, or are you fed up of how much it cuts into your profits each month?

Motivation in the Workplace — What Can You Do to Make It Happen

Every business owner wants their staff to be productive. Some will spend an incredible amount of time, and put in just as much effort to make it happen — and it’s often on motivation, in particular. Because when you know that motivation is low, and productivity levels are down too, it’s safe to say that your business isn’t at its best. And when you want to grow and progress, your staff have to give it their all.

So, it’s often essential that, as the boss, you’re able to figure out what will make them tick, inspire them, and keep them on track. If you’ve not found the answer yet, you’ve come to the right place, as one of these five ideas might just work for you.

Set the Standard

If there are issues with motivation in the workplace, you’re going to need to work on the standard you’ve set. Because either the high standards you started out with have slipped, or you didn’t really set them in the first place. Working on setting the right standard in terms of corporate culture is what you really need to do, notes on which Jozef Opdeweegh gave in that post. You should take this and ensure that you can create the right office dynamics to keep everyone motivated and working as they should be.

Encourage Communication

But you have to be careful, because you don’t want to end up creating the kind of working environment that suppresses your staff. Instead, you should be thinking of the ways you can encourage effective communication among everyone. From morning meetings to an open plan office space, there are various ways of achieving this. Making an effort to ensure all levels of staff and departments communicate well should aid working relationships, which in turn can improve employee motivation.

Woman in Black Suit Jacket Facing Man in Blue Denim Dress Shirt Same Standing

Provide Incentives

Sometimes, good old-fashioned incentives work a treat. Because sometimes, you’ll find that your staff feel demotivated based on a tough period or external circumstances that you can’t always control. But one thing you can control is an incentive. Whether it’s financial or otherwise, you may find that putting an incentive structure in place, or just running a sporadic, incentive for fun, can get the results you need.

Influence the Atmosphere

When the atmosphere in your office is awful, it can be really off-putting for your staff. And this is something that will always be demotivating for them. So you’re going to want to work at creating a positive work environment. For this, a positive attitude, smiles all round, a little celebration every once in a while, and vocal praise will go a long way.

Relax and Live a Little

Finally, you’re going to want to learn to relax and just let go sometimes. If you’re always wound up and uptight, your attitude will impact on the rest of the office. And a stuffy, strict work atmosphere is not only demotivating, but it’s also demoralizing too. So choose to live a little and lighten up the mood. It will make a world of difference the everyone’s motivation levels.

Business Security: The Cheatsheet

Your business is your livelihood, and because of this you want to make sure to nurture and protect it at all costs. There are plenty of ways to keep your business secure and safe, and if you don’t know where to start, here are some tips for you.     

Code Of Conduct

When hiring an employee, you need to establish a code of conduct. This document will outline what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour within the workplace. You must make sure you take time creating this document so that your employees don’t come in, start dancing the fandango in the corridor and smoking in the corridor. You need a set of rules and guidelines for everyone to stick to.

Shred It

Paper is one of the materials most used in an office environment, and if you piled all of the paper you have lying around into one you could make your own office tree. The issue with paper is that it will often contain sensitive information or data. To avoid the paper being thrown in the recycling and being picked up by thieves, you need to shred your documents.

Schedule a time at the end of each month where all unneeded documents are shredded. You can then recycle the shredded paper as normal, or take it home with you and put it in your compost bin.

Computer Access

Not everyone in your business should have access to every file. This is why the IT department will often set out administrators who can access everything, and then they will designate separate folders for departments so that one department can’t see what the other is doing. This is important because if you have a buying department in your company you don’t want sales to see what they are making offers on.

Salespeople have a tendency to try to sell things before they come in for more commission. If they see that the buying department is negotiating on tools, they might try to find buyers.But the deal may not go ahead, and this will leave everyone feeling sour.

Emergency

Make sure you have signs around the building with instructions on what to do in the event of a fire, robbery or a natural disaster. Hold meetings to make sure you and your employees know what to do if anything does happen.

Office Security

Hire a security company if you have a large company, to make sure that the building is secure and protected 24/7. You can also add certain security measure to the premises to make sure the building is secure. Start off with security gates so that not just everyone can get into the premises, then install CCTV cameras to catch anyone who comes near the building.

Look at adding fobs to your doors so that only employees can enter or exit the building. And finally, invest in a loud alarm system. As soon as a robber tries to break in, they will be scared out of their wits by the sound of your alarm system and run for the hills.

Planning for Any Eventuality Makes a Good Business Leader

Becoming a good business leader, in fact becoming a great one, requires that you prepare for the unforeseen. It means you expect the unexpected. It means you rule nothing out in the continued attempt to support and grow your business. If you have trouble with this, you’ll likely become lost at the first hurdle, and that can be an unpleasant space to occupy. For this reason, we’re here to help you understand that planning for any eventuality can make you the business leader you have always dreamed of being.

But what eventualities should you consider? How can you get advice for things that haven’t happened yet, and if you act right and safely should never occur? Well, read on to find out:

Disaster Insurance

We all know that while we can predict things with a certain degree of success on a daily basis, each time we do, we are making an act of faith. It’s an act of faith that you will have a safe work day, when any number of things can occur to injure you accidentally or render you unable to work. It’s an act of faith to work towards a goal that you have planned, and we often complement leaders with a strong vision if it turns out the way it was intended.

These acts of faith are important to us making it through the day, and having a successful workday and life is predicated on the fact you aren’t overly worrying about the things that could go wrong.

However, they can go wrong, and they do go wrong on occasion. For this reason, implementing disaster relief insurance in your business through QuoteColo can be of massive benefit. This can help protect you against unexpected disasters, such as cyber breaching, failure of integral and critical equipment, loss of online capability or even a natural disaster.

We can never be sure if and when these things will occur, but with the right insurance, you can be certain your financial standing will not be destroyed because of it. This leaves you time to implement safety policies, such as great fire escape plans, online defence systems such as using premium VPNs for online access, or protecting against a mass exodus of staff with close temp agency links.

Close Communication

The only way to properly identify an issue early on, be that social, an equipment failure, or a financial pitfall, is to open up channels of communication in your business. We all know the caricature of the spy leader in movies and television, the one who has eyes everywhere and knows important information before the protagonist does. You should seek to occupy this role in your business, with a vast network of communication ‘nodes’ which help relay information to you in an accelerated manner.

It’s important to test the waters from the bottom to the top of your business, and so treating the reports and insight of every level of the hierarchy with equal import will give you a tremendous 360-degree insight into all avenues of your business operation. This helps lessen your reliance on the bureaucracy of business and will prevent untrustworthy managers from spinning you false narratives of success under their watch when something could drastically be improved.

With these tips, you should be strong in the face of chaos, and able to resume your operation as you have always planned.

Refresh Your Motivation — Ideas for Entrepreneurs

When you are running a business, it’s incredibly easy to find yourself caught up in the mundane; in the daily “to-do” minutiae that demand so much of your time. When you expend so much energy on the basics, you can often find yourself running at a deficit on the enthusiasm you need to propel your business forward.

If the above sounds familiar, you’ll be pleased to know there are a few solutions that can reinvigorate your excitement and get your creative juices flowing once again. If you’re struggling for enthusiasm, then one of the options below should be able to get you back to your best.

1) Attend A Tradeshow or Conference

Sometimes, all you need to supercharge your thinking is to do something different. Rather than spending your days in the office, crunching through numbers and dry statistics, get out and about and head to your nearest trade show or business conference.

Being out of the office will be beneficial in and of itself, but you’re also going to be surrounded by businesses and ideas that are relevant to your industry. You can glance through the innovations that your competitors are producing and, before you know it, your mind will be humming with ideas regarding how you can match and then exceed what they are offering.

2) Explore Motivational Speaking

You can’t always be your own motivational speaker and life coach. While it’s great if you have a regular routine of affirmations and try to work on your growth as a business person, when you’re under stress, this becomes all the more difficult.

It therefore makes sense to look for your options from professional motivational speakers; those who have a reputation of helping encourage people to find the best in themselves. There’s no need to spend a fortune, either; you can find Tony Robbins 10% off promo codes relatively simply, and Robbins has a reputation as one of the most trusted motivational experts in the business. A little expense in exchange for a boost to your innovative abilities is a worthy exchange that you may want to consider.

3) Unplug For A Day

For any entrepreneur, the idea of unplugging — forgoing the use of electronic devices for an entire day — sounds rather daunting. However, it might be just what you need to help kick your inspiration and motivation into another gear.

The benefits of unplugging are myriad, especially if you are the kind of person who is usually attached to your phone. With your mind free of distractions, it may surprise you just how quickly your motivation begins to seep back. You may find yourself desperate to get back to work and action all of the ideas that have popped into your mind. There are plenty of other health benefits to consider also, so this is definitely an option you may want to explore.

The daily grind of running a business can exhaust your creative reserves and sap your motivation. However, by exploring the above, you can reignite your passion and inspire yourself to push your business growth to the next level.

How to Make Your Morning Meetings More Productive For Everyone Involved

Have you ever woken up for your day at work and absolutely dreaded having to deliver the morning meeting? It’s usually a Monday, it’s usually raining, and for some reason this month, the heating hasn’t kicked in on time, so the boardroom is freezing cold. This type of start to the day is guaranteed to make your employees miserable, which means they do not want to sit in the morning meeting and listen to you talk about the week ahead. This is your chance to make the Monday morning team meeting so much more fun. Well, you can make it suck a little less and make it more bearable, anyway!

If you were a standup comedian, you’d know the importance of the first and last five minutes of any show. You cannot hope to engage your employees if you are bored by your own content and tone of voice, and getting them to interact in the meeting with you is difficult enough as it is! So, how can you engage your employees and get them leaving the meeting they’re dreading smiling instead?

Set An Example

If you walked into a boardroom and everyone had a sour look on their face, would you want to be there? Probably not. Start the meeting with pastries, offerings of hot coffee and be jovial in your demeanour. People find a bad mood infectious, but the same goes for a good mood.

They will be happy and at ease if you are. It’s so much easier to discuss the latest content curation platform you want to use when the team have had a pastry, a hot drink and a laugh first thing in the morning. You need to keep the energy of the room high, so don’t let the Monday morning misery from others affect you, either!

Connect With Everyone

This may seem a little daft, but talk to everyone about their weekend, get an anecdote or something funny they’ve seen while away from the office. If you start off with the agenda of the meeting you’re going to watch their eyes glaze over and it’s game over for their attention-span! Making an effort with your staff can make them feel appreciated, and everyone needs that on a Monday morning.

Start With Praise

Begin a meeting with praising those who have hit targets and deadlines. Hand out rewards and make the meeting a positive one. Recognition is so important when it comes to building good relationships with people and starting your week on rewards instead of failures can set the tone for the workplace. Buoyant staff often work harder, so make them fly.

End How You Begun

You started your meeting with energy and praise, so end it the same way. Never end a meeting on a sour note and thank your staff for their efforts. Acknowledge that meetings aren’t always the most fun way to spend time, but make them know you’re grateful for their attendance.

No one likes to attend a meeting and be lectured, so make sure your meeting style deviates from the norm. You’ll be thanked for it!

Businesses and Owners Need a Protective Cocoon

Setting up your own business is one of the greatest and most fulfilling things you can do in life. Yet, time and time again, we’ve all seen it come crashing down because the proper precautions were not set in place. As a small business owner, it’s up to you to watch your own back. Entrepreneurship is a complex beast to understand, but essentially ideas are spun out into the real world to see what sticks.

However the merit of the idea may be sound, but the way your business is set up and how it functions can create chinks in the armor. Having a good solid team around you to think about the pitfalls and potential fights with authorities, legal circles and opposing group, is something every business owner, large or small needs to have. But there are many forms in which a protective cocoon can take; people power is just as important as strong legal structures.

The level-headed seniors

As part of your upper management, executives and senior advisors, people you employ can give you their precarious opinions when you need them most. When you’re planning a project, whether it involves planning permission, drawing up a binding terms and conditions agreement, or dealing with other businesses, staff with brilliant minds can look into greater detail concerning any negative implications.

It’s wise therefore to promote voices of reasons in your office where crucial decisions involving money, business image and future projections are concerned. This can only come due to experience. Many businesses these days are all too rapidly hiring younger people because they believe new ideas come from fresh minds. This may be true, but the senior and more maturely aged staff can protect you from going too far with an idea.

Keeping your distance

Having the ability to make a good sales report is a sign of progress and success. You rely on consumers to make continuous purchases from your business to keep going. Realistically, it’s almost like an unofficial agreement that is mutually beneficial. It’s therefore wise to make assurances you have made the proper plans in case you are falsely accused of either damaging a customer or not living up to a perceived agreement.

You should always have on hand experts who are knowledgeable in business law. Business litigation is a big concern for entrepreneurs as they don’t have the big corporate lawyers in the palm of their hands, yet may be subject to one of the most common forms of legal frictions.

Uphold company standards

When you are employing staff and going through the complicated process of interviews and signing employment contracts, it’s imperative you keep in mind what they represent. Ultimately the actions of employees will reflect back on the business.

Your employment contract should clearly state the prohibition of any malpractice, and especially the contractual agreement to uphold any legal standards the business is adhering to. It will take a slow and steady pace to word your contract correctly, but this provides you with an extra safety net.

Businesses are able to stay afloat sometimes, purely because they have the nature of a robust protective cocoon. This includes employees that follow company codes, a great legal team to help you word important consumer agreements, as well as senior staff with good diplomacy skills.