Archive | May 2017

Best Businesses: Five Qualities That Will Help You Succeed

Tomes and tomes of business books have been written about ways that you can succeed in business, but the truth is actually a lot more simple than people would have you believe. Here are five qualities that any entrepreneur worth their salt needs in order to be successful.

A Knowledge Of Your Industry

First of all, you need to know your industry inside out. Expertise is something that will make you stand head and shoulders above other people in a similar position to you. A lack of expertise is also why a lot of businesses end up folding quickly.best business

There isn’t any point in opening a restaurant if you’ve never worked in food service, no matter how long you’ve been dreaming of it. Instead, stick to something that you know well and that you understand.

An Understanding Of Other People

Secondly, you need to be able to understand the way that other people operate. Trust is a great quality to have, but let’s face it: the business world can be cut-throat so you need to make sure that you focus on yourself and what you can get out of any situation.

It’s important to make sure that your employees are loyal to you and to your company: you can ensure this happens by treating them well, by listening to any concerns they might have, and by generally being the boss that you wish you had twenty years ago. It’s good to keep your cards close to your chest, but treating people well is always something you should prioritize.

The Ability To Delegate

A lot of people end up burning out if they don’t understand how important it is to delegate tasks to other people. Of course, your business is your baby and your priority and maintaining it feels like the most important thing in the world, but you also need to be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, and anything that you don’t excel  at?

It’s a good idea to pass it along to someone else who does. IT services are something that generally take up a lot of time if you don’t know a lot about it so you could always delegate that to a company like Brennan IT. Likewise, if you’re more sales-minded, make sure that you get in communications professionals for any content that needs to be produced, and accountants to make sure your books are all correct.

Learning To Network

Networking is key to succeeding as an entrepreneur. It’s how you make connections, it’s how you make sales, it’s how you hook in clients. When you’re starting off in an industry, networking might feel strange and false but remember that no one is there to make lifelong friends – you all know that you’re there to make connections and advance in the business world. Keep your business cards in your wallet and a smile on your face.

Buckets Of Professional Charm

Finally, you need to make sure that you’re friendly at all times. Being approachable is important, and if you’re a pleasure to work with them people will come back to you time and time again.

There Is More To It Than Just Getting The Right Merchandise

merchandiseOne of the questions that always pops up on retail forums is about knowing what merchandise is right for your store, and they’re right to ask this. Getting the merchandise right is going to be a huge factor in your success, maybe even the biggest factor.

But it isn’t just about what you put on your shelves, it is also about choosing the right vendor, the standards you put in place and all sorts of other variables.

Basically, there is a horizon full of factors that need to be considered when setting up shop. Don’t despair, though, because we have come up with a menu full of food for thought that will hopefully help you ascertain what decisions you need to make when buying merchandise.

Always Consider The Customer

The best way of knowing what to stock in your store is to properly understand your target audience. This isn’t as impossible as it may sound. It could be that you look at current trends and focus on a niche area within this, or it could be that you use a trial and error strategy by keeping a close eye on what sells and what doesn’t.

If you sell jewelry, and you know that rose gold is all the rage, then stock up on rose gold plated jewelry your clients will love | ELF925. As a golden rule, though, don’t buy based on what you like. Buy based on what they like, what they are buying or what the big trends are telling them to buy.

Your Best Friend Is Value

All too often retailers think that value means cheap. It doesn’t. Please don’t fall into that trap. Value means getting the best something for that price. People know that something cheap is less likely to last long, which means they will probably end up buying it for longer. So latch onto that fact and celebrate it.

Look for deals among suppliers, or manufacturers getting rid of stock or overstocking opportunities, anything that will keep your buying prices down. This will then allow you to offer your customers better value too, and that is often the thing that will separate you from your competitors.

Always Consider Your Supplier

Another big factor always worth considering is what your supplier or vendor offers you. It is all well and good going with a vendor that offers good brands or great prices or even a vast selection of products, but don’t overlook their service. Their service affects your service in the same way their quality control affects yours.

Do they always deliver on time? Do they offer refunds? What authorisations do you have to go through? Is it easy to reorder with them? Do they support your store? Can you trust them? All of these things should weigh in when considering a vendor because all of these things will affect your bottom line, and that is all that matters at the end of the day; your sales, your profits, your margins.

Know How A Brand Fits With your Store

This can be a tricky thing to balance because, while some brands may be big-sellers, they may, in fact, harm the reputation of your store. A great way to know if they will or won’t is to look at the other brands you stock in store, make a list of which ones are popular and then list some features about that brand.

From there you can get an idea of what will or won’t fit in with the rest of merchandise. How you brand your store is just as important as the brands you carry; remember that.

3 Legitimate Side Hustles To Earn Money From Home

If you search ‘earn money from home,’ all kinds of weird and wonderful results come up. Many of these even promise that you’ll earn thousands in a week sounds fantastic, right?! Of course, much of this stuff is completely false, set up by con artists to either steal your details, the money from your bank account or to get you to do something illegal on their behalf.onk 5

The good news is, there are ways to earn money on the side that are completely legitimate, safe and legal. If all goes well, these things could even go on to be your full-time job!

Here are three side hustles that actually earn you money.

Freelance Work

There are lots of great freelancing websites out there these days which allow people to earn money from their skills. Writing, proofreading, design work and art are just a few examples of skills you can utilize by selling online.

There are often lists of jobs in each category which you can ‘bid’ on if you’re accepted you complete the work in a set timeframe for an agreed fee. Over time you will build up a rating and gain feedback which means you’re more likely to get accepted for jobs in the future.

Many of these won’t pay a great deal, but it’s something you can easily dip into in your spare time. As you can control you own workflow it’s a flexible way to earn cash, and can be done around childcare duties, other work or whatever else you have going on in your life.

Set Up a Business

Set up a business in an area that you’re passionate about, and you will enjoy every second of it. You could start from scratch, creating your own website or e-commerce stall. Or you could set up your own virtual stall and sell on an online marketplace such as Etsy or eBay.

If you have a great idea but don’t have the cash to set everything up, you could look into business funders. They will loan you the money for things like equipment, materials, marketing and other expenses that any business needs to get off the ground.

Things might be slow to start off with, allowing you to keep your day job. But eventually, the goal would be to go at it full time and invest your time and energy into this thing you love.

Write a Blog

A blog is a fun way to connect with others, talk about your passions and have your voice heard. It’s a platform where you can be creative and just a fantastic hobby to get into. But as well as being fun, blogging can also be lucrative.

While the money won’t be rolling in right away, work hard on building up a great site with a loyal following and eventually you’ll start securing sponsorship deals. It’s an additional source of income and for many people is their sole source of income since it can pay so well.

 

 

Digital Tools Business Owners Cant Miss Out On

Modern businesses need to get digital if they want to keep up in a fast-paced world. Whether your business is just you or you manage a team of employees, you need to stay current so that you can compete with others in the industry. There are many digital tools that can be extremely useful for businesses of any size. Networking Communication Internet Digital Networked

As your business grows, you might change the approach you take to different areas of your business.

For each element, you can find different tools suitable for managing businesses of varying sizes.

If you need to make your business more digital, try these tools and see your business grow to the next level.

 

1. Communication

Communication is the key to good business, whether you’re communication with your employees, customers, or business partners.

How we communicate has changed a lot over the last hundred years, and even over the last ten. There are now lots of convenient ways to communicate online, from sending emails to making video calls.

Email is still an essential way of contacting people, even with tools like instant messaging available. For businesses, being able to manage contacts and email lots of people is essential.

Email management and marketing tools like MailChimp and Constant Contact are essential digital tools to consider.

 

2. Information Storage and Management

Any business or organization needs to store information and data of some kind. Some businesses might deal with more information than others. Everything was once done on paper, but there’s no need for that anymore.

Modern businesses should make sure they’re using digital methods when they can, especially because it’s more environmentally-friendly. It also saves space and money.

For businesses dealing with a lot of information, there are enterprise records management services that can help.

They can store your records both physically and digitally, and allow you to view them digitally when you need to. Smaller companies might only need a cloud storage system, such as Google Drive or DropBox.

 

3. Financial Management

Managing money is, of course, one of the most important parts of running a business. Digital tools make it easier to do it with accuracy and could mean that people running smaller businesses don’t need to hire an accountant or bookkeeper.

While many small business owners start off managing their accounts using a spreadsheet, they often quickly move onto something more sophisticated by still easy to manage.

For example, Quick-books is a popular choice to manage finances in an easy manner. It makes it easier to keep track of everything and to send accounts to an accountant when it’s time to do your taxes.

 

5. Productivity

Businesses need to focus on being productive if they want to make the most of the time they have. Maximizing productivity is something many business people strive for.

They want to be as productive as they can in shorter periods of time, instead of having to spend all hours getting work done.

Whether you’re a single person running a business or you have employees, you can find digital productivity tools that are useful for your business.

One major thing that helps productivity is being more organized, which is why many business people use tools like Evernote.

It can also be useful to automate certain tasks to cut out unnecessary effort. For example, a tool like ITTT (or If This Then That) helps to automate work flow so that when one action is performed, another follows.

 

6. Marketing and Promotion

Promoting your business is at the core of its success. If you can’t get the word out, you can’t find new customers and keep your current ones. There are various digital marketing tools that can be very useful for businesses of different sizes.

 

 

Some of them can cross over with areas like communication, such as MailChimp. Other digital tools include Google’s platforms, like Adwords and Analytics, which help businesses to advertise and to analyze their website traffic.

 

7. Customer Relations

Relationships with customers need to be managed so that each customer can remain a valuable asset to the company. There are lots of tools that can be used to manage sales, customer contact, and customer relations digitally and online.

For example, Salesforce provides a number of customer relationship management solutions for businesses of different sizes and industries.

Nimble is particularly suitable for small businesses and combines customer relations with social media.

Businesses should look for the digital tools that meet their needs when it comes to customer relationship management.

If you’re not already using a variety of digital tools for your business, you need to consider which ones are right for you. You could improve your business in a number of different ways.

4 Tips on Improving Your Startup’s Success Rate

No matter how much time and money you pour into your first startup, it’s most likely going to fail. This is just one of the things you’ll have to accept when it comes to business: your first ideas are going to suck and you have to learn from failures.start-up

There’s a saying that people in the world of business regularly quote: fail faster. It’s the idea that the faster you fail, the faster you’ll find success. While it’s true to some degree (even the most exceptional entrepreneurs of our time have failed before) it doesn’t mean you should purposely fail just for the sake of learning.

If you really want to improve the rate of success of your first business venture, then here are a few ways to do so.

Know your competition

If you aren’t sure who you’re competing against then it’ll be difficult trying to stand out. You can’t really go head to head with larger companies because they have more advertising power than you, but you still need a way to separate yourself from the competition and it’s vital that you do you market research.

Perhaps there’s a niche in the market that your competition is too afraid to invest in. If so, that’s the area you need to focus your resources on. Maybe your competitors don’t like focusing on customer service and, as a result, they have a poor reputation when it comes to customer support. You could capitalize on this by focusing your efforts on giving your customers a better experience.

Focus on a single product at the start

Diversification is important, but you want your business to be known for something specific at the beginning. Market it, use it as a vessel to promote your brand, and take it seriously. Listen to your audience for feedback, and tweak the product to perfectly fit their needs.

Don’t be too humble and listen to everything they say, but make sure you consider all of their suggestions. Once you’ve perfected a single product, you can then start adding more to your lineup in order to expand your reach and diversify your brand name.

Don’t neglect communication

Whether it’s setting up a social media account to speak with your customers or setting up a phone line for your investors to call, you need to focus on communication. As a startup, it can be difficult looking for the perfect communications solution for your audience.

However, something like a Commander Centre phone could be perfect if you don’t have money to hire a customer support team or even just a receptionist.

Know how to save money

Startups are usually strapped for cash, which is why it’s important to find ways to cut costs whenever possible. For instance, instead of hiring new employees every time you need something new done, consider outsourcing as a new possibility.

They’ll help you get your tasks done quicker, you won’t need to worry about their salary, and it’s cheaper because you pay per job they do. This is just one way to cut the costs of your business, but it’s important that you learn the difference between being a frugal business that understands value, and a cheap business that abandons quality.

It’s Best To Prepare For The Worst In Business

Anyone who has experience in running a business should already know this: it’s rarely easy. But there’s a difference between dealing with the day-to-day challenges that every company is going to face and fighting fires that threaten to do serious, if not irreparable, damage to the business.b2b

One way to invite disaster is to fail to prepare for it at all. There are always options, whether it’s dealing with troublesome employees, the risk of the business closing its doors, or failing to catch any attention from the market at all.

When your employees are more hassle than help

Any good-hearted business person doesn’t want to think that employees are a great source of risk. However, the truth is that they can be some of the greatest if you don’t fully take your responsibility for them seriously. The biggest source of claims against employers by employees? Health and safety.

A thorough health and safety police to protect your team, informed by risk assessments and frequent conversations with the team on the matter, can mitigate a lot of the risk. But you can’t forget the HR side of it, either. Hiring HR specialists can help you start some very healthy habits in the business, such as having specific procedures for dealing with harassment, complaints, discipline, and termination.

The most important habit of them all is documenting every single case and every measure you put into place to help correct employees’ behaviour. Otherwise, a wrongful termination suit is always around the corner.

When you’re at risk of closing down

Lawsuits from your employees are just one example of why you might start suffering cash flow problems. When those problems build up, however, you might have trouble paying back debts to services your business relies on. When that happens, the business is at serious risk of closing down.

But it’s not all lost. Getting advice from teams like insolvency lawyers can help you see some of the measures you can take to protect the business. Measures such as reaching informal and formal agreements with your creditors, entering into a voluntary arrangement or putting the company into administration.

There are a lot of ways to reach a compromise to prevent the company from disappearing completely.

When your market just isn’t responding

Cash flow problems are a symptom and insolvency is a potential effect. But you should also think about the root causes of a company in trouble, too. One of the worst is when your company just doesn’t connect with the customer base.

When you launch a new product or service and the market doesn’t pick it up, despite a real demand for it, you need to think about why. For instance, you should never give up on the idea of rebranding and relaunching when a poorly delivered message is getting in the way of the product or the business’s success.

The above tips are only some of the protections you need to put in place. Even when you think you’ve plugged all existing holes, you can be sure that some more are going to pop up just a few years or months down the line. Always be on the lookout for risk and always be preparing strategies to deal with them.

Selling Your Home? 5 Tips to Ensure You Get The Most Money Possible

houseIf you’ve invested in real estate with the intention of selling it on for a profit, then there’s a crucial detail you’ll need to factor into the process: that you need to actually sell your home for it to be a good investment.

And it’s not just a matter of getting the house off your hands; you want to sell it for the highest amount of money you can. If you’re preparing to sell a house, take a read of our five tips below.

Think Hard About the Asking Price

There’s a misconception that an asking price in your area is the be all and end all. It’s not. Just because a home on your street was worth one amount, it doesn’t mean you have to take that as a measure for what you should ask for your home.

House prices depend on a whole host of factors, such as location, the condition of the house, and even things like which direction the garden faces. All these combine to create a unique price. In any case, a house is only worth what someone is willing to pay – if you feel confident in your high asking price, stick with it.

Make the Front Sparkle

First impressions really do count when it comes to viewing homes. You can’t control the neighborhood, but you can control the front of your home. If the grass is messy and there are kid’s toys scattered everywhere, your home will not be making a good first impression. Take the time to ensure that the front of your home is spotless and you’ll be off to a good start.

Get Rid of Clutter

If someone is thinking about buying your home, they need to be able to see themselves living in it. That’ll be hard to do if they need to first mentally ignore all the clutter you have lying around your home. Each room should have as few material items as possible. Let them see the potential of the room, not your own strewn about sports equipment and papers.

The Listing

Don’t underestimate how important real estate listings are to determining whether a house sells or not. If your property description contains spelling and grammatical errors, your listing will look unprofessional. You’ll also need to ensure that the photographs of your property are of a professional standard.

If you need some a guide on what not to do, take a look at these terrible real estate photographs.  A video of your home and virtual tour are also great marketing tools.

When They’re There

When there is interest shown from potential buyers, you’ll want to make sure that the viewing goes as smooth as possible. And that means, essentially, getting things out of the way.

If you have children, pack them off to their grandparents for the afternoon, and send the dog with them too; nothing good can come from having a dog there, only bad! If you’re doing the viewing yourself, then show them around and then allow them to wander around by themselves. If they’re going to buy, they need to feel comfortable in the home.

 

3 Tips on How To Keep Your Employees Safe

As a business owner, you have to work hard to ensure you keep all employees safe. Failure to do that could mean you face lots of different problems. For instance, your company might receive penalty fines from the government. Workers might also take you to court and seek compensation. employees-health-and-safety

To avoid those issues, you should take some advice from this article. It highlights some of the precautions you need to take to ensure you leave no stone unturned. When all’s said and done, you started a business to make a profit. So, you should try to avoid anything that hinders that goal.

Perform risk assessments

Before you do anything else, you need to get in the habit of performing risk assessments. There are many free guides online that show you how to do that. So, you just need to do some research and ensure you get things right. Maybe your company provides leading vacuum excavation services?

Perhaps you operate drilling rigs for the oil and gas industries? Jobs like that are dangerous, and so there’s a good chance something could go wrong. You can limit those instances by performing risk assessments and educating your team. If they understand the dangers, there is more chance they will act in a safe manner.

Appoint a health and safety representative

Once you’ve completed your risk assessments, you need to designate a health and safety manager. That person is responsible for making sure your team always follows the correct procedures. Try to choose someone you trust because the success of your company could rest on their shoulders.

There are specialist training courses you could use to ensure the individual has the right skills and knowledge. Consider paying for those classes as soon as possible. You should see them as an investment that could save you a lot of money in the long run.

Automate as much as possible

There is a lot of buzz surrounding business automation these days. Robotics and other technologies can help to remove many of the dangerous processes from your operation.

So, it could make sense to use technology to keep your workers safe. If members of your team have to undertake risky work, you could benefit from automating those jobs. New technology reaches the market every single day.

So, you just need to remain at the cutting edge and become a trendsetter in the industry. That is also an excellent tactic to ensure you always beat the competition. You could boost productivity and save yourself a lot of time and hassle.

If you use the suggestions and ideas from this article, you shouldn’t encounter too many problems this year. You can keep injuries to a minimum, and that will help to increase workplace morale. At the end of the day, people are not going to feel happy coming to work if they face lots of hazards.

So, ensure you make their lives easier by assessing risks and providing as much safety information as possible. You also need to ensure all workers have access to the correct safety equipment.

 

There Is No Excuse For Ignoring Health And Safety!

hazardous-substancesIf you ask a dozen different business owners what the most important part of any business is, you’re likely to get a dozen different answers. Now, that’s not to say that any, or all, of those answers, are going to be wrong, it’s just an example of the fact that no two business owners are going to have the same kind of priorities.

That can be an extremely positive thing a lot of the time since it helps to create a dynamic and varied space for various businesses to work within. However, the problem with particular people have particular priorities is that certain things end up getting left by the wayside.

One of the most common things that ends up ignored all too often is health and safety. The fact that health and safety is so often ignored is particularly shocking when you think about how important it really is. To help you make sure that you’re not making the same mistakes as so many other business owners, here are some aspects of your health and safety that you should be focussing more heavily on.

Creating a safe environment

Making sure that the work environment that your employees use is safe should always be right at the top of your list of priorities. Whether you’re doing something simple like making sure that an office is laid out in a suitable way so that there are always clear walkways or something more specific like installing mezzanine safety gates in your warehouse. Think carefully about the way a particular space is going to be used, that way you’re much less likely to miss something important.

Providing adequate training

A lot of businesses involve the use of a lot of different pieces of equipment. Because of that, your employees need to be adequately trained so that they don’t end up in any serious danger. This also applies to the more basic training that you should be providing in terms of general health and safety when in an office environment.

Leading by example

You can’t expect your employees to care about health and safety if they can see that you don’t. It’s incredibly important that you take the initiative when it comes to creating a culture of safety within your workplace. Show your employees that you take health and safety seriously and they are much more likely to follow suit.

However, if you’re telling them to follow one rule, only to go and do something else, you’re likely to end up with employees who are frustrated and resentful. When that happens, the chance of them ignoring the correct procedures and putting themselves at risk increased significantly. Practicing what you preach is something that every successful business owner needs to be able to do.

Remember that health and safety isn’t just a matter of ticking boxes. Neglecting it can have serious, long-term consequences. Not only can an accident cause an employee to be out of commission for a long time, harming productivity, but there’s also a chance that you could be liable if you haven’t put the correct health and safety procedures in place.