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Supplier Selection: Choosing the Right Ones for Your Business

A business isn’t only about the actions that you take yourself; it is also about the partnerships which you form with your clients, your partners, and your suppliers. Everything needs to run like a well-oiled machine so that you can provide the highest level of service and develop the excellent reputation which you need to achieve success.

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But with so many potential suppliers out there which are all vying for your business, you need to make your decision carefully as to who you will partner with.

  • Decide On Your Criteria

Before you do anything, you need to set up your criteria for what you require in your suppliers. Perhaps you need them to have very short lead times or be able to handle a high volume of orders.

Maybe you need some assurances when it comes to quality control. Ultimately, when you set up this criteria list, it will be much easier to work out the types of questions that you need to ask when you are on the hunt for suppliers.

  • Do Your Research

The internet is a fantastic tool when it comes to finding suitable suppliers, and it is worth doing your research before you start getting in contact with potential options.

Perhaps you are looking for a fuel supplier, so you can check out the Red Diesel website to see if they can match your criteria.

By doing your research beforehand, you will have a better idea of which companies may be able to provide the type of service that you are looking for, as well as getting a head start on the questions that you can ask them.

  • Get in Touch with Multiple Suppliers

Even if you think that you have a pretty good idea of which supplier that you would like to go with from the initial research stage, it is still worth speaking to multiple suppliers and getting a number of quotes.

If nothing else, you may be able to negotiate a better deal simply by speaking to more possible partners. Make sure that you get detailed information from each possible bidder and confirm the details at the earliest possible opportunity.

If you can, get case studies and examples of previous work. Everyone should be on the same page beforehand you get started to reduce the chances of disagreements occurring further down the line.

  • Monitor Supplier Performance

Once you have engaged the services of a supplier, the work doesn’t stop there. You then need to monitor their performance to make sure that they are delivering on their promises.

You should already have your point of contact, and you need to get in touch with them if there is anything that you are not happy with or think could be improved upon. Don’t be afraid to make a switch if you feel like there is anything that you are happy with.  

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Coping with Rapid Business Growth

The rapid growth of a business can be an exciting time for the owner who has worked so hard to get it off the ground. Now the sales are up, profits are getting better and the dream is all starting to take shape.

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The change can be sudden and a bit disconcerting if you are not properly prepared to handle a rapid business growth. The challenges you are going to face are different from the ones when you first started, but nonetheless are very real and it is just as important you overcome them.

  • How Has It Happened?

The first thing you need to understand is what has brought about this sudden and rapid growth. You need to analyze the strategies you have in place, and why you are standing out above your competitors.

Has the key to scaling sales in your business been new staff you have employed? Have you improved the quality of your product? Have you had a special offer that has worked?

There could be no end of reasons why this upturn has happened and you need to know why so you can make sure it continues.

  • Do Not Let Your Customer Service Quality Drop

You must maintain a good customer service, no matter how busy you are. You have to remember that with no customers you have no business, and giving them a poor service will send them to your competitors quicker than anything else.

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If until the growth started they have always received an excellent service, you should maintain that, as it is what they will always expect. If you want them to stay as loyal customers, do not let the customer service quality drop.

  • Raising Finances

As an entrepreneur, you need to look closely at how this rapid surge in sales will affect your finances. Look at your assets, your overheads and your inventory to see if they are being impacted, and if so what do you need to do to stop it having an adverse effect on your business?

You may need to raise some extra finance, as it is not unusual for a rapid growth to be the reason a business fails. The growth can be so quick that the company cannot sustain it, but an injection of cash by a bank loan or maybe an investor could solve the problem.

Be prepared to put a business plan and cash flow forecast together as you may need them to be able to show how good your business has become.

They should show that the cash injection will make the difference and mean you will then be able to sustain the growth that is happening.

  • Be Careful When Hiring

You may now be in a position where you need more staff to cope with the demand. Anyone you employ can affect your business and you need to take care that they will fit in with the rest of your team, and be capable of the work you are hiring them for.

Everyone you take on will need some form of training, even if it is just in the way you do things. Make sure they have this training as soon as they start, and you will soon know if they are up to the task in front of them.

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Your employees are your biggest asset, but if your team does not have the right people, or is at loggerheads, the rapid growth you are experiencing could halt, and your business could be back to struggling along.

  • Could New Technology Help?

Technology is evolving all the time with new innovations being developed every week. Keep your eye on any advancements in the industry you are in, as it can be quite amazing how a new piece of software or a piece of updated equipment can make your business more productive.

The more productive your business is, the easier it will be to cope with this sudden and rapid growth.

This is something you should consider when you are looking to raise extra finance, as some equipment, for example, can be very expensive.

  • Be Flexible

You will have to be flexible and prepared to change the way you operate if you are to come out the other side of this rapid growth as a stronger business.

Being able to adapt to the changes in your business and try varying strategies is one of the best ways to approach the scale of your growth.  

It will also mean that any challenges you face will be less of a problem if you keep an open mind and are not against change.

 

4 Reasons Why a Website is Important for your Business

In a world that is becoming more and more digitized, the need for a website for your business has never been more real than now. Any business whether big or small needs a good website.

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If your business doesn’t have one yet or you have one but haven’t been using it to its true potential, then you could be missing out on a lot of potential customers.

It can be used as part of your marketing strategy, as well as reaching a whole new audience that would like to know what your business is about, but wouldn’t have heard about you without the use of an online search.

 If you still need a little more persuasion, then here are some of the reasons why you need to have a website for your business, or tidy up the website that you already have.

1. Saves Money

If you have a retail business and perhaps sell things locally or have a store, just look at the costs of having a brick and mortar store. Rent in popular locations can be so high these days.

But the cost of having a website can literally be a couple of dollars a month. So it makes sense to have a website you can sell and advertise from, and it can be a cost effective way of doing business.

2. No Closing Time

The good thing about a website is that it can be accessed all around the world. And if that is the case, then you don’t want to have restrictions on opening hours.

Which is why a website can be such a good thing; it never closes! You can reach your audience through your site, but they can browse and shop at a time that works for them.

So many people don’t have the traditional nine to five job these days, so for business success, what you offer needs to work around them.

3. Build a Customer Base

When you have a website you can use it to your advantage to build a customer base. You can offer incentives for people to sign up to your business newsletter when you have a website, and keep asking people to sign up to it too.

Just make sure that you have email newsletter templates that look good so that people will want to open them and see what is new with your business.

A newsletter helps to create a customer base that can be loyal to the business, and you have their details to send offers and incentives their way.

4. Marketing

Having a presence online is so good for your business. It means that you can market online, start a blog to create backlinks for your site, as well as work on how well your site ranks in search engines.

Online marketing strategies have proven to be pretty effective, so it is worth doing as a cost-effective way or running your business. There isn’t going to be a negative impact from online marketing, so make sure that your business is part of it all.

How To Create Your Ongoing Presentation At Exhibitions

Craftworld Events

Craftworld Events

Ever walk around a business exhibition and it feels like you’re in Time Square? There are so many advertisements bombarding you from all sides, it can be like a kid in a sweet shop for businessmen.

This is because when you walk by a stand, you should be able to see and understand exactly what it is that business is all about.

You can’t talk to all the people at the stand as they might be busy talking with another consumer, and neither can you wait all day to ask them basic questions.

Therefore when you’re heading to a business exhibition yourself, you’ll need to follow suit. Just because you have the basic premise down, doesn’t mean you can’t be adventurous.

Once you know how to set up your stand and what it should look like, then you can go onto experimenting with different face-to-face marketing skills.

1. Standing to a-10-tion

Booths are where consumers get to have a more intimate experience with a business and the marketing or sales staff. 10×10 exhibit booths are by far the most popular choice because they are small and easily transportable.

They combine different materials so it’s not just a plastic stand that will fall over easily. On top of this they allow more room on your designated floor which means, the booth can be like the island while your staff go out to swim.

Their obvious goal is to snap up people who are looking like they’re interested. They can bring them back to the booth when they need to give a demonstration, a better explanation or just taking down their details to such as name and email for other marketing or business purposes.

2. On a loop

It might sound easy, but making a marketing video is difficult to get right. It’s important you make this kind of video so you can play it on a loop on your flat-screen tv which should be placed at the booth.

You should really have at least 2 or 3 so people walking either side can get a taste of what you are about. In the video the visuals must be incredibly strong.

The sound is important but save that for when people wish to actually come to your booth and put on some headphones to listen to it. Therefore for this to happen smoothly, you should have one central TV that is for consumers and customers wanting a demonstration.

Otherwise, the video should be about why your product and or services are useful and how they can be used.

3. Comfortable Speakers

Not every marketing expert in your business will have charisma. They will have the knowledge of how to make a presentation but they won’t all have the skill to charm their way into talking with complete strangers who are busy with other things.

Therefore to have an ongoing team that is going to be working around the clock, you need those that are passionate about meeting new people.

They need to be very enthusiastic about the booth and what it represents as their genuine love for what they do will be a selling point to consumers.

At any business exhibition you are presenting in, you need to have a good solid stand. However logistically speaking, something that is transportable like a 10×10 booth makes sense in a lot of scenarios.

Creating a video that will explain what you’re about exhibit will be useful as it can be played on a loop to help pull in those walking by.

How to Minimize Your Work When Managing Your Business

Managing a business and being the person who’s expected to make all the big decisions can be a difficult task sometimes. You should try to remember that just because you’re running the business, that doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself.

No business can operate as a one-man band, even if you want to retain control of it. You need to branch out and find ways to take some of the work off your shoulders. Here’s how.

1. Trust People

Trusting people to work well for your business and to offer you the best possible outcomes is something that you really need to do when you want your business to succeed.

This is something that can’t really be taken for granted, but you do need to offer trust because most people want to do their best for your company and they want it to succeed when they’re working for you.

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2. Get Professional Help With Managing Your Website

Many people who are great at running businesses are not necessarily so great at managing websites. And that’s perfectly fine because these are two completely different tasks requiring different skills.

It’s up to you to ensure you get the help you need. Using a managed server and a good hosting service is a good start. Then you can look for regular help with maintenance if you need it.

3. Expand the Skills and Capabilities of Your Team

The skills and capabilities of your team really are a priority. When they’re better equipped to work well for your business, it will help you in the long-term because it will give you the chance to offer them more to do and offer the tougher briefs.

You should offer employee training so that they will always be ready to help you turn your business into a force to be reckoned with.

4. Outsource Mundane Tasks

Outsourcing is one of those things that pretty much all companies can benefit from in one way or another. So try to outsource the mundane tasks that you don’t want to be wasting your time on each day.

It will only make your life harder than it needs to be if you don’t try this. There are lots of good companies to outsource to, so give it a try if you haven’t already.

5. Try to Automate Too

Finally, you should also try to automate more of what you do because there are people out there who are already doing this and reaping the rewards. There are so many little tasks that can be taken care of by computers, freeing up more of your time and leaving you with less on your plate. That’s got to be a good thing.

Running a business is never easy, and no one ever said that it would be. But it also doesn’t have to be a massive weight around your neck every moment of the day; that’s not how it’s supposed to be for you. So try to take things easy and ease the load a little by making the most of these tips.

Getting The Best Deal On Transport For Your Business

When it comes to shipping items to and from your warehouse, freight trucks are the most commonly used vehicle and they can carry huge loads in one go which can save you time and money on fuel.

For a small business the idea of using a freight company might be fairly new, and the temptation to agree to any price can be huge. However, if you want to be successful as a business you need to be able to negotiate.

1. Look around

Before anything else, always make sure you approach more than one transport company and get a few different quotes for the prices you would be able to achieve. You will find that every transport company prices their trips differently and this is why you could end up with a really varied choice of prices.

However, once you have the initial quotes here is where the work begins.

2. Ask for help

Get your team to work on the job and call around each of the companies you have spoken to. The idea here is to talk about them taking a shipment from you and asking them how much once more. When they give you a price you can counter that with:

‘Well, company name quoted me this price which is cheaper, is there any way you can match or beat this price for us?’

Freight companies are tough cookies and they won’t always crumble at the first sight of a challenge, but it can always be worth that initial price probe for later.

3. Meet in person

If you are going to be trusting someone to handle your goods which will be either brought to you or your customers, you need to get to know them.

We all need to have mutual trust and meeting in person at their place of work is a good way to see whether they would be a good business partner.

Take a look at the grounds, the people and the state of the vehicles. If you both get on well and you think you can trust them, it could be a winner.

4. Build a rapport

Building a friendly relationship with a company can allow you to be a little more brash with your ideas and it can allow you to be a big cheeky when negotiating a price.

If you have been paying them for a while and they know they can trust you, they will likely give you a reduced rate to make sure you stay with them don’t move to someone else.

5. Don’t settle for more

Sometimes you need a truck rapidly for whatever reason and this can mean you are tempted to just grab the first available slot you can, but don’t.

Maintain your principles when it comes to any order because if you give in one price once, the company will be more likely to try and charge you more in the future.

Stick with your guns and you will still be able to get a good deal even if it is for something very last minute.

6 Simple Steps For Managing Personal Work Projects Successfully

Personal project management is not a difficult task if you are following the right steps. First, you must understand the need and importance of the project that you are handling so that it gives you a right sense of belonging. It is very important to keep a realistic timeline for the completion of your project as it helps to avoid the last minute stress and confusions.

  • Create a calendar –

It is very important to plan your goals and act accordingly. You must have your calendar in place to execute your plan and complete your targeted goal well in time. Either you can make use of your table calendar or the software tools in order to mark all your important dates, along with the set target.

 

  • Completing the task before the deadline –

It is always a wise idea to complete the task in advance so that you have enough time to review the project and make necessary alterations if required.

  • Use software to speed things up –

The best professionals today have spent time researching software options so they can find the best choice for them. With the right software in place, you can automate time-consuming tasks and make more intelligent decisions.

  • Avoid last-minute work –

This is a very important step and you must take all the necessary efforts to avoid keeping anything for the last moment. Imagine if all of the team did this – it would be chaos!

You must finish everything about the project well in advance or within the set time limit so that there is nothing left, at the end.

Even if you have to review your project and make alterations, that too, must be completed before the set time limit, to avoid last minute confusions and unnecessary pressure.

Last minute work can never give you quality projects and satisfactory results and it may even lead to loss of clients.

  • Frequent reminders to complete the task –

You must set frequent reminders and alarms so that you are on the right track and well organized to accomplish the given targets. This will remind you about your future goals and keep you focused on your targets.

  • Finish the toughest one first –

You must first attempt to the toughest job and then proceed towards something that is easy. This way, you will have enough time to dedicate towards the tough tasks and thus, finish your overall project in an effective manner.

This step will surely make you finish your project well in time and will avoid unnecessary confusions and stress at the last moment.

 

The above tips are the simple and basic steps that you must work upon in order to complete your project effectively. It is very important to set deadlines to achieve your goals and remain organized throughout the process.

These two major factors will work wonders for you in achieving your goals within the set deadline.You must remember one thing that it is not only about completing the project effectively in time but it is also about keeping your clients happy!

 

These 4 Things Are Crucial If You Want To Sell Your Product Online

If you want your business to be as successful as possible, you will need to sell online. However, doing so is more than just posting pictures of products and hoping they reach the right person. In fact, optimizing your website, your marketing, and the services you can provide are all vital as well. You can even read more on how to perfect these areas in the post below.

  • Amazing Picture and Descriptions

First of all, when selling online, you have to put yourself in the position of the customer and remember that they may have never seen your product in real life, let alone got a chance to handle it. What this means is the photos, and description you include are vital in helping them to decide to make a purchase.

 

To that end, the images you display of your product need to not only show it in the best light but also be as accurate as possible.

Similarly, the product description needs to be engaging and convincing, but also contain all of the information necessary for a customer to make the right decision.

Such info may include size, weight, the system it is compatible with, and even whether batteries are included, and if not what size the items take, for some products.

  • Getting you Marketing Right

To sell online, it is also crucial that you advertise your product and ensure that people know what you are offering. Of course, the primary way to do this is with marketing, something that there are many opportunities to do online.

In particular, don’t be shy about utilizing social media for your marketing purposes, whether that includes product placement with influencers on YouTube, entertaining clips and pictures on Instagram, and even customer interaction through platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Just remember that the more humanized and interactive your company is, the more customers will trust you. Something that can go along way to help you convert sales further down the line.

  • Getting your Website Right

Of course, apart from your images and marketing, it is also vital that your website is up to scratch. What this means is that you need to select the right payment options for your customers, as well as pick the correct eCommerce platform that will allow you to host and sell product on your sites.

Luckily, for the latter, you can get some valuable advice from sites like The Complete Guide to Finding the Best Ecommerce Platforms online. After all, knowledge truly is power when it comes to selling online, as it allows you to pick just the right features to suit your customers.

  • Outstanding Customer Service

Lastly, if you want to make a go of selling online, it’s essential that you offer outstanding customer service. We’re talking both after and before a purchase is made here, as well.

In fact, many customers will need some additional assistance and reassurance before buying online because they don’t get to interact with products or salespeople in the real world.

Therefore ensuring you have a crack customer service team that is easily contactable is crucial, if you want to sell as much as possible online.

 

Customize Your Company to Stand Out From The Competition!

 

 

Regardless of what you do or what you sell, chances are there will be a thousand and one others out there doing something similar.

But as an entrepreneur, you know the key is finding the differences.

It’s your unique selling point that will make your business stand out from the crowd, which means doing something slightly different from your competitors. For this reason, even similar businesses won’t be exactly alike if they’re going to be successful.

Which is the reason you need to customize your company, make your systems fit to your needs instead of bending what you do to fit around things like software and equipment. Not only will you stand out from the competition, but you’ll be far more efficient too. Read on to find out more.

Have your own equipment custom designed

If you’re manufacturing your own products, having machinery custom designed will allow you to be much more efficient. While more generic equipment might do the job, when machines are created with your business and product in mind, they will do exactly what you want them to do.

There are companies who can create highly specialized non- standard machines and systems with your exact product and outcome in mind. Custom machinery manufacturing is created from your functional specifications, perhaps you need a simplex strainer incorporated to remove debris from liquid- or maybe you need a specific kind of laser to make precise cuts?

Whatever it is, instead of making do with standard machinery, it would be well worth the investment of having something made for you.

Invest in bespoke software

These days, you can get software for just about every element of your business. From legal software to HR, rota planning, presentation making, customer relationship management and so much more.

While these are great, you might find yourself having to make workarounds to make them fit your business. What makes a great investment is bespoke software- programs written specifically for what you do.

Software for different areas that all link up seamlessly. You’ll boost your productivity and make life easier, you might be able to completely automate some areas of your business.

Hire the right staff

Finally, you could have the best machines and software ever, but as of now it’s impossible to completely automate a business. You still need human staff, and so it’s important to hire well.

Offer proper training so each employee knows their role inside out. If you have customer facing roles, the right staff will provide people with a personal experience and can help set you apart from your competition.

Spend time in the recruitment process finding people with potential. Train them well, and treat them well so they want to stay. Offering fair wages based on experience and good employee benefits are a great way to go about this.

 

How have you gone about customising your company, so that it runs efficiently and helps you to stand out from the crowd?

5 Tips on How to Protect Your Garden Office

If you are lucky enough to have found the perfect balance between working from home and staying out of the house, and have a garden office, it is important that you pay attention to security features.

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Image via Flickr

 

It will not be long until people with bad intention discover that you have valuable equipment and computers in the building, and disaster strikes. Below you will find a few tips on how to protect your garden office from intruders.

 

1. Separate CCTV

You might want to set up a CCTV that is linked to a monitor in your home. It is not hard to find a computer system that will run all the cameras. You can even check on your office when you are out and about, even if you are spending your well deserved vacation. A CCTV that is visible has a deterrent effect, and you can keep out people from your property who have no business to hang around.

2. Access Control

It might also be a good idea to install an access control system, especially if you have employees. You can issue cards that are unique for the individuals, so you don’t need to have mechanical locks. This will also help you track and trace who visited your office last, and check whether or not the doors and windows are locked. Just because you are running your business in a residential area, you can’t feel completely safe.

3. Flood Lights

Flood lights are a good investment for your home and your office as well. The light itself will make criminals think twice whether or not to proceed with their plans. If you have a clear view over your home office from the upstairs window, you will be able to keep your business safe and deter people who are turning up in the middle of the night with not the best of intentions.  Outdoor Solar Garden lights can go along way in keeping your garden office safe.

4. Home Alarm System

You might even add your garden office to the home security system, depending on how far it is from the main building. This means that you can keep an eye on what’s going on inside and outside, and get notified of electrical faults or other issues that can threaten your office and your valuables. The further the building is from other houses the more advanced your security should be.

5. Separate Entrance

If you have dedicated a part of your backyard to running your business, you might want to create a separate entrance gate. You might also prevent people from parking in your allocated lot if you install steel bridges and control access through a dedicated gate.

Check out the available constructions at https://northernmat.ca/products/portable-all-steel/ and find out how much easier it is to receive deliveries and control access.

Running your business from your backyard can pose security risks. You need to find ways of monitoring and controlling access, keeping your valuables safe, and deterring criminals, so you can carry on with your operations without distractions and make the most out of your garden office.