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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?

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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.

 

5 Easy Ways To Boost Social Media Engagement

All good business owners know that social media marketing is one of the best tools you have at your disposal. Getting a lot of followers online and posting regular marketing material is a good way to promote yourself but there’s more to it than that. If you really want to get the most out of your social media marketing campaign, you need people to engage with your posts. 

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That means commenting on them and sharing them with their friends. It’s difficult to get people to follow you in the first place but it’s even harder to get them to engage with your posts. If you’re having trouble getting people to comment on and share your social media posts, here are some great ways to increase engagement.

Build Your Own App

If you’ve got your own app for your business, you can include a social media share button. It makes it quick and easy for customers to share with their friends when they’ve just bought something, increasing your reach without too much extra work on your part. Building an app and getting people to use it is no easy feat.

The first thing you need to do is work out what features to include on the app aside from the social media share button. Then you need to find a great app developer to build it for you. The final step, and the most important, is testing.

Head over to www.globalapptesting.com to find more information about professional app testing. It’s not enough to just get a couple of friends to test it out. If you don’t get it tested properly then you’ll end up releasing an app with a load of bugs and a poor user interface and you won’t get anybody using it to share your posts on social media.

Use More Images

People are never going to share your posts if they don’t notice them in the first place. When they’re scrolling through their social media feed, they’re going to see thousands of posts and yours can easily get lost in the noise.

That’s why you need to do something to grab their attention so they’ll stop and look at your posts, then hopefully share them or comment on them. Pictures are proven to be a lot more effective at catching people’s attention than text alone so you need to be using them on everything that you post.

Research also shows that the engagement rates on posts with images are far higher than ones without. In fact, you’ll get an engagement rate of 35 percent on text posts compared with 85 percent on posts with pictures on.

Start A Blog

Another easy way to get people to share your posts is give them something worth sharing. That means creating helpful and informative posts that people will want to share with friends. Creating a blog is the best way to do this.

People will be able to read your posts and send them around online, boosting your online presence no end. The first challenge you’ll have to overcome when you’re starting a blog is getting traffic. Once you’ve got some readers, make sure that the social media share button is front and centre and encourage them to click on it.

Have A Sense Of Humour

When people are sending things to their friends online, they’re going to want to share things that are entertaining. If you’re constantly posting promotional material and nothing else, you aren’t going to get that much engagement online.

That’s why you need a sense of humour in your posts. Some of the most successful online campaigns managed to get so many people engaged because they’re funny. Injecting a bit of personality into your social media posts will really help with engagement, but you shouldn’t force it. People will see right through it and it won’t do you any favours.

Ask For Feedback

If you want people to comment on posts and give you reviews, you only need to ask. If you post marketing materials that don’t invite any engagement then you aren’t likely to get any. That’s why you need to start writing your posts differently to encourage people to engage with them more.

For example, write things like, ‘what do you think of our latest product?’ etc. Ending with a question always increases engagement. You can also use things like surveys or competitions to boost engagement as well.

 

If you use these simple tips and tricks you can easily increase engagement on your social media pages.

4 Genuine Ways To Generate a Side Income

One of the best ways to make money is to earn money in your sleep. If you can set something up to keep a steady flow of income, then it really can make a difference to your cash flow. business-idea

Plus, it can allow you to carry on with your normal job or business if there is a simple and enjoyable side-hustle that is allowing you to earn on the side. But what are some legitimate ways to do that, and legitimate ways that will work from home? Here are some ideas to be thinking about.

1. Trading

Much like matched betting, the thought of trading online can feel quite daunting to many, especially if you have not dabbled in this before; it can feel like a whole new world.

But if you look up some of the free advice online that can be found on blogs and websites, as well as perhaps using a trading technology tool like CMC Markets, then it could make it all more manageable. Take your time with trading online; the money can be great, but to some degree, so can the risks. So plan out what you want to do before doing it.

2. Matched Betting

If you are yet to hear about the world of matched betting, then you have been missing out. You can add hundreds to your income every month by participating in matched betting.

Many can be put off by the name, though, when it is in fact a form of ‘safe’ online betting. And by using the word ‘safe’, it means that it isn’t even gambling at all. Signing up to a reputable website is the way to go, and then managing your finances carefully.

From there it is definitely possible to make money through it, and it is all done online and from the comfort of your own home.

3. Use What You’ve Got

If you are looking for a simple way to generate a passive income, then use what you already have. It could be anything from a garage space, driveway, to your car or yard.

There are plenty of sites and advertisers that want to use the space that you have got for ads. So as long as you don’t mind a sticker on your car or a sign in your front yard, then it can be some easy money. You could even offer a spare room on sites like Airbnb.

4. Better Banking

When was the last time you switched banks or moved your money into a savings account? This can take some time to organize, (although a lot of banks will help you through the process as they want your custom).

Make sure that you are banking with the banks that offer the best rates, particularly if you have a lot of money in savings that could be earning more for you, just by sitting there.

 

Have you ever tried any of these ways to earn an extra income before? It would be great to hear what has worked for you.

Top Ideas for Starting an Online Business

Starting a business is always a challenge, and that’s true even if you’re simply starting an online business. You can’t expect this process to be a walk in the park, but there are some online business ideas that are a little easier to start than others.

We’ve decided to look at the business ideas that are both feasible for you and most likely to lead you to success. Those are the two main matters that should be focused on when you’re deciding which online business to start.

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Some of these online business ideas are not going to be right for you, but there’s sure to be at least one or two of them that do interest you in one way or another. You should consider all of the ideas mentioned because it could be the idea that you would never have thought of by yourself that actually turns out to be the one that’s right for you. Read on now and learn about each of these ideas and why they’re worth considering.

Manage Social Media Accounts

Managing accounts on social media is a great business to run if you’re someone who loves the ins and outs of social media. It’s not necessary an easy job because the demands of one social media account on one platform will be entirely different to a business’s account on a different platform.

You have to fully understand the business or person you’re representing when you run their accounts and think about who the audience is for this kind of online content coming from them. But if you can do all that, give it a try.

Offer Telemarketing Services

Telemarketing is something that can be done online if you use your internet connection to make VoIP calls to people, so it technically counts as an online business. Of course, this niche is not necessarily for everyone, and it can be very difficult to get good at it if you’re just starting out.

If you don’t want to be making calls yourself, you can hire people who have experience in that field, and you can just take care of the other sides of the business instead.

Website Design

If you love building websites and everything that’s involved in that complicated process, you should consider selling this service to other people. Pretty much every business and plenty of individuals need to have websites designed for them, and that’s something you can make the most out of it.

Your business will grow fast because being able to build websites at an affordable rate will also mean that you’re in demand and able to find a steady stream of good work. As long as you’ve got the skills for this, it’s a good idea to consider.

Buy and Sell Domains

Buying and selling is a great way to make money online, whether you’re buying and selling antiques or doing the same for website domains. If you can buy these cheaply, build them up a little and then sell them on, you’ll be able to make a considerable sum of money in a short space of time.

Many people make a lot of money by doing this, and as long as you understand how domains work and what makes them valuable and appealing to buyers, you should make a success of it.

Remote Tech Support

Some people are naturally gifted when it comes to offering tech support. If you want to show the world how to get things fixed when something goes wrong with their phone, computer or other electronic device, starting a business is the best way to do it.

People pay considerable money for remote tech support help. They’re in a hurry and want support from someone who knows what they’re doing. Are you in a position to fit that description. Tech support is always going to be in demand too, so it’s an idea worth considering.

Teach Others and Share Your Knowledge

Teaching other people is one thing that’s now done online by many people. You can make money sharing your knowledge and teaching people about things they don’t yet understand. It’s something that can be really fun because it allows you to indulge your passion and share it.

As This elearning course development resource is definitely worth reading if you want to get started in this area. You won’t regret it and you might just end up making a lot of money with this unique  business idea.

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SEO Services

The world of SEO can seem like a really big and complicated one, and that’s because it is in many ways. There are so many things you need to do and understand before you can fully appreciate SEO and what’s all about.

Of course, in its most basic form, it’s about making your website easy to find on search engine results pages. The rules are set by Google, and if you want to reach people via search engines, you have to play by those rules.

Ebook Publishing

Publishing ebooks is not just for people who write novels and stuff like that. You can offer advice to people on how to run a business, how to do advertising or how to increase profits.

If you’ve got experience of doing these things, you will be an authority who can teach people exactly what they need to know about any given topic. Ebooks are so cheap and easy to publish as well, so once you’ve got the content sorted, there’s not much left that you can even spend your money on.

Niche Retail

Retail is obviously still a big deal online, so if you want nothing more than to sell stuff online, you really should go for it. A niche area of retail could be exactly what you need to follow your passion and to develop a core of dedicated customers who keep coming back for more and more.

It is important to know your niche and stick to it though because if you don’t, you will find it difficult to compete with other companies operating in the same area as yours.

Social Media Consulting

We’ve already mentioned managing social media accounts, but if that’s too much hard work for you, you could always try offering consulting services to companies instead.

The beauty of doing this is that it’s a more hands-off kind of online business, but you still get to help people out. In fact, you’re helping them to improve themselves and that’s got to be a good thing for everyone involved. The consulting process should be one that you work hard on because there’s lots of competition out there.

Blogging

Finally, you should think about the prospect of blogging as a business. You don’t need to feel like blogging is nothing more than a hobby because many people do manage to make a lot of money from their blog by running it as a business.

If you build a following and you use things like Adsense and affiliate marketing tactics, you can create a blog that’s more than capable of earning you a steady income. It’s hard work to reach that point, but that’s the same for any profitable business.

Starting an online business is more possible and more viable than many people imagine. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can’t take this big step forwards because it’s all about how you approach it and how creative you allow yourself to be. That entrepreneurial spirit is in you; you just need to find it.

How To Keep Your Company Safe and Compliant

A lot of people work hard to build their business, they put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the process of starting out, yet it doesn’t take much for all that hard work to fall apart if you were to take your eye off the ball and not keep your business safe and compliant.  

When you have worked so hard to build a business the last thing you want is for it to go down the pan due to a safety, security or compliance issue as these risks can easily be foreseen and avoided.teamwork

Unfortunately, hindsight is a great yet somewhat redundant tool when it comes to these matters and it’s only usually in hindsight that business owners look back and wish they had done something differently.

When it comes to issues around data loss – you’ll often hear about entrepreneurs kicking themselves due to not backing up their data, for instance, as this one thing could save so much heartache, money, time, and hard work.

This article therefore looks at a number of ways to proactively keep your business safe and compliant.

  1. Employees

From a security perspective, your employees should be taking care of your business rather than be viewed as a potential threat to the safety and security of your business, but unfortunately, a lot of times within retail, for instance, it is the staff that account for a large proportion of theft.

It’s therefore important to have measures in place to protect yourself from your staff, which sounds like a very grim reality, but it’s better to be safe than sorry – and it’s better you are alert so that you can take action, rather than blindly keep your head in the sand, as a corrupt employee is as damaging to your organisation as cancer within your body.

  1. Keep Your Taxes In Order

This might seem like an obvious point, but if you’re not keeping up to date with your taxes or there are accuracy issues, this could land you in serious trouble.

Whether you’re intentionally cooking the books or are just being careless, or inaccurate due to a genuine mistake, taxes are a big deal as tax departments in most countries have extensive powers to investigate into your affairs.  

Interestingly, a popular search term within Google is “where to find my company tax number?” suggesting many people aren’t up to speed with basic company administration. They are so busy running their business and they feel they don’t have time for such trivial matters. Failure to file your taxes in time can negatively affect your business due to high fines that comes with non-compliance.

  1. Get Good Insurance

A decent business insurance policy is worth the cost as in the case of an emergency having this safety net has an incredible amount of value; particularly if you are running a small business.  

Just make sure your insurance policy actually covers you, as the last thing you want after a disaster is to be debating with the insurance company as they try to wriggle out of paying.

5 Ways To Lower Your Company’s Electricity Bill

Companies are more reliant on electricity than ever before. If you’ve noticed your company’s electricity bill going up, here are a few tricks that could help to reduce costs.Energy Power Consumption Socket Electricity Current

#1. Switch to the cloud

If you currently use your own local server, switching to the cloud could save you a lot of money by reducing your electricity consumption. Private servers use up a lot of energy to stay cool, whilst you don’t have to pay any energy bills to use a remote cloud server.

The cloud can also have other advantages, such as allowing employees to work remotely. With more employees working from home instead of in the office, your company energy bills will be reduced saving you further money.  

#2. Install a meter

You could also consider installing an energy meter. This could help to make you more aware of your electricity consumption by showing you exactly how much you’re spending on it as you’re using it.

You can install a meter by hiring a level 2 service provider. You could even get a smart meter installed which you can check readings for on your phone.

#3. Unplug appliances that aren’t in use

Appliances that are constantly left plugged in could be adding huge costs onto your electricity bill. This includes computers, printers and extension cables. Check every evening before leaving the office that all machines are unplugged or switched off at the wall.

You could enforce this as a rule that your employees follow if you’re not always the last to leave the office.

#4. Upgrade old appliances

Old computers and printers could be worth replacing – many of these appliances are likely to guzzle power compared to modern appliances. You can even save money by replacing old light bulbs for modern LED bulbs.

When shopping around for new appliances always check their energy rating. Appliances that have a good level of energy efficiency are usually given an Energy Star recommendation, which is something to look out for.

#5. Consider adding a renewable energy source

You could even consider taking your energy source off grid and never having to pay an energy bill to a provider ever again. Solar energy is the most common way of doing this – by installing solar panels on the roof of your commercial property, you can generate all your own electricity.

Solar panels aren’t cheap to install, but you’re certain to make your money back over time. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a clear sky to generate power and many modern solar panels can generate electricity even on the cloudiest of days.

On top of solar power, you can also generate electricity using wind power. Commercial wind turbines don’t generate as much power as solar panels and are unlikely to power up a whole office, however they could still be a good supplement, especially if your office is located in a windy area.

Working On The Move: How To Stay Productive

Your plans to work on the move are always done with the best intentions, but do they always turn out how you’d hoped? Once you leave the office, it can be difficult to retain the motivation that keeps you going.

Working while travelling or when you’re away on business can help make sure you get work done, and don’t return to a backlog of emails and tasks to sort. While it’s not always easy, there are some things you can do to help you keep that motivation.

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Need some help? Here are some tips to help you stay productive while on the move.

  1. Always keep a pen and some paper to hand

You can’t always rely on connectivity once you leave your office, so the old classic pen and paper can be the way to help you get stuff done. Use your time to write down your ideas, make lists of tasks that need doing as well as any papers or emails you need to write later on.

It’s a handy way to help you stay productive, as well as keep those important thoughts for later when you do eventually end up back online.

2. Take the office with you

Thanks to cloud solutions, it’s easier than ever to access your important documents and folders when you’re on the move. Cloud applications enable you to work collaboratively with others, wherever you are and allow you to access your emails easily for seamless working.

Meanwhile, investing in a document management system for you and your employees will allow you to access those important corporate documents and templates that can help you carry out your work on the move. Ensure you have the right security systems in place to protect your assets whenever you’re off-site.

3.  Keep your energy up

Traveling can take it out of you, which can make it difficult to focus on what you’re meant to be doing. Staying hydrated, while eating a healthy snack can help perk you up and keep you focused on the task at hand.

If you’re still struggling, a brisk walk in the fresh air could help you to re-energize so that you can get back to your work. If typical energy-boosting methods don’t work, it might be a sign that you need to rest so that you can feel recharged for the next day.

4. Set yourself a time limit

It’s difficult to stay on task without the office environment, but by giving yourself a time to work until – you’ll find that you become much more productive. If you’re someone who thrives under pressure, this method will enable you to get much more done in a short amount of time. Try not to work longer than you would in the office and take time to explore the destination you’re in instead.

Getting work done out of the office can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be. Many of the principles for creating a productive working environment can help you out of the office too, so it’s worth giving them a try if it helps you get things done. Find the best methods and routines that work for you to help you stay productive while working on the move.

4 Links Needed To Last In Your Business

Connectivity is crucial if a business has any hopes of succeeding on the market. The right level of connectivity will ensure that processes are fast and that every aspect of the business is run at a high level of efficiency. This will impact everything from customers and client opinion of the brand to levels of profitability. But how do you make sure that a business is connected? That’s what we need to look at today.

Networking Communication Internet Digital Networked

Networking Communication Internet Digital Networked

Get The Right Tech

It’s crucial that members of the team are using the latest and best technology. You are probably worried about the cost of ‘teching’ up your business, but this is an expense worth brunting because it will make your business far stronger than it is today.

So, what tech are we talking about here? Well, one could suggest that you consider giving each employee a tablet. This portable type of technology is adaptable for a wide range of different purposes and can still be connected to the larger network for bigger jobs.

As for the cost, there are a variety of ways to deal with this issue. You can think about adopting a bring your device to work model. That way, you don’t have to cover the cost of the technology but you do need to be prepared for the fact that employees will be using a variety of tech. This makes setting up a network slightly more difficult.

Use A Unique App

You may want to consider setting up an app for your business. An app can be accessed on a variety of different devices from a phone to the more typical laptop or computer. With this type of tech, it’s possible to share information immediately with different groups of employees are the whole team. Goals and jobs can also be discussed on apps like this, so it’s perfect for a business with employees who are operating remotely.


Use A Consultant

One of the benefits of technology is that it will allow your business to expand dramatically in both scale and size. But you need to do this in a way so that it doesn’t impact customer service.

How do you handle that? We suggest that you use the services of a consultant. A skilled IT consultant for businesses will be able to help you design a business network that will allow connectivity in your company to thrive. It’s all about using the right solution and a consultant can guide you towards the correct path.

Keep Things Instant

Finally, you need to make sure that businesses, clients and employees can contact you or one another instantly. Remember, any delay is going to impact turnaround time and of course level of customer service.

Luckily, these days, there are variety of pieces of software that allow you to contact and communicate with people instantly. You just need to put them to good use.


We hope this helps you maintain high levels of connectivity in your business and that you can ensure that optimum levels of operations for your company.

Funding Your Business: Some of The 4 Things To Consider

When it comes to your business the way you get things off the ground is vitally important. The business can start off as just one thought. The thought can be nurtured and once you have your plan in place the next and only step is to actually make the dream become your reality.

But of course, this can often mean that you need some sort of funding to get off the ground. I thought I would share with you some of the options you could consider. I hope it gives you the confidence and knowledge to take the next step yourself.

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Using hedge funds and investment profits

Many people consider hedge funds and investments that they already have in place to fund and push their new business or business expansion forward. It can be a great way to add more exposure to your business and there is even a trading platform could be the way to ensure that you make the right choice when it comes to funding your business for the future. It could also help you to consider further investment for the future.

Finding an investor

The other option to consider would be to think about finding an investor for your business. This means that you can get exactly the cash injection into your business to kick start your plans, buy stock, create products and even expand the business in other ways such as holding stock or finding a business premises.

However, often this means if someone invests they would want to end up having a stake in the business. If this sounds fine to you then it could be a very lucrative way to get not just the investment but also the extra support.

Using loans to fund your dream

You could also consider a loan to fund your dream business venture. There are many different business loan providers out there that could help you secure the amount of funding you need.

It might be just as a loan, it could be put against your business assets as a secure way to ensure that the loan gets repaid in full. Loans are a little easier to obtain and to handle, and they also give you the full control of the business still without needing to give of the equity of your business away. However, the risk is down to you as the business owner, so it may not appeal in that way.

Your savings and hard earned cash

Finally, your savings can be a great way to fund your business. Many people do this option and feel that they have added their own value and hard earned cash. Sort of like backing their own idea. Of course, like anything, there is an element of risk to it as at the end of the day, many businesses do struggle with their first year of trading.

However, you decide to do it, funding your business is an exciting time, and taking something that formed as an idea and making it a reality is a great journey to embark on.