What You Wish You’d Known About Taking Your Business To The Next Level

 

If you have a small business, then you will have something in common with many small business owners around the world. And no, not just the fact that you have a small business that you own.

the next levelThe thing that you have in common with them is that you have the drive and ambition to see the bigger picture.

You will have started a business with a plan, and the ability to see what your success will look like tomorrow.

 

So if you’re keen to take your business to the next level, then here are a few ideas to keep your business moving forward, and for even taking it to the next level.

Set Goals To Push Boundaries

In any walk of life, setting goals is a great way to push boundaries, as it allows you to measure how you’re doing, achieve, and track the things that you are getting done. You can push the limits, especially when you set yourself smaller tasks, that in the end, lead to you achieving larger tasks.

Goal setting can also help you to take more calculated risks, as you will have set yourself steps to get to those goals in the end. So it needs to be a part of any small business owner’s mindset; set goals and you will achieve.

Commit To Learning

One mistake that many people mistake, in business and in life, is that they think that they are done learning. They think that they know all that they need to know and that is that.

But business is something that is constantly changing and evolving. So in order to do well, you need to think about what you can be doing to help yourself develop and learn.

Do online courses, attend seminars and workshops, and go to relevant conferences where you can learn from like-minded people. Even reading up in your sector is a great way to stay on top of things and help your business to grow, as well as yourself.

Verbalize Your Goals

If you have big plans and dreams for your business, then letting people know about them is one of the ways that you will actually achieve them. When you have told people your plans, it means you will be accountable to someone for them.

So if you have dreams of opening a large bakery or kitchen, selling your products, then you will need to vocalize it. It can even be worth looking into things like industrial kitchen supply to see how much it will be. Then you can set goals, as above, to make sure that you get there one day!

Increase Your Productivity

One thing that lets a lot of business owners down is that they aren’t prioritizing well and they aren’t being as productive as they can be. Be more efficient with your time and set yourself tasks to achieve in that specific time.

It also helps if you have people around you to be doing those smaller tasks that you as the business owner, shouldn’t be doing. Focus your time on the big money tasks, and delegate the smaller tasks out.

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What Your Office Says About Your Brand

Branding is all about telling a story and selling a dream. Is your office telling the right story for your brand? If not, it is time to change your office space and make it unique. Your aim is to be different rather than to be better.

This is the best way to get your brand noticed. Here are some things that you should bear in mind when you are choosing your office design.

Make your office design reflect your culture

Your brand and culture are interlinked. They both define what your business is and must reflect its personality. It is all about sending out a message about your values to your clients and your employees.

You need to show that you are a caring employer as this will enhance your brand. You need to show that the comfort and well-being of your employees is your priority.

Think about how you perceive your employees. Is this reflected in the facilities that are provided in your office space? Does the office design reflect your brand in terms of open office spaces or cubicles?

Now think about your clients. Who are they and what do they expect from you? The expectations of high-end clients will be different from those with young families in terms of fixtures, fittings, and décor.

office

At this stage, you may realize that your current office is not suitable for your needs and that you will need to relocate. You can make this as painless as possible by securing some local moving services who will relocate your business whilst causing minimum disruption.

The less time it takes to move, the less money it will cost your business so a professional moving firm will keep your ‘downtime’ to a minimum.

What do your office colors say about your brand?

Again, this is all about the message that you want to send about your brand. If your business is all about high energy, fun, and friendliness then you need to use bright colors such as red, orange and yellow.

If your brand is connected with the green movement, saving the planet and sustainability, then you need to use a natural forest or sage green into your design. For high end, sophisticated and luxurious brands, use various shades of purple.

For brands where integrity and trust are vital (for example in personal services), you can’t go wrong with white.

Mixing colors can be problematic so you need to get it right. Use only a maximum of two colors and stick to a narrow spectrum. In some very niche brands, you can get away with mixing a lot of colors but this will only appeal to a very funky audience.

Always try to get some white into your office space somewhere because it freshens up the feel but avoid anything too somber such as black.

Choosing a brand color does not mean that you have to splash it all over the office walls as that can be too overwhelming. Instead, pick out that color in the small details of your office design.

 

In The Wrong Job? Here’s What To Do

Maybe you’ve felt like you’ve been in the wrong job for a while, or maybe the feeling has just recently hit you like a ton of bricks. Whatever your situation is, it isn’t a nice feeling and you’re going to want to remedy it right away. The good news is, you can get yourself ‘unstuck’ if you’re prepared to make a few changes and take a few leaps of faith. Here’s how!

Think About What You Don’t Like

Consider what it is you don’t like about your job right now. Maybe it’s simply the work environment and not the job itself. Maybe you think the job is monotonous. Make a list of the things that have caused you to want to change. It’s up to you to make sure that your next role does not include these things.

Think About Your Ideal Day

Considering your ideal day and knowing what you do want is just as important as knowing what you don’t want. Know how many hours you’d like to work, whether you want to work alone/in a team, and so on. Would you like the freedom to go home for lunch? Maybe you want to work from home. You could potentially create your own ideal job if you don’t want to work for another person.

Explore Jobs Available With Your Qualifications

If you’re not the kind of person who wants to work for themselves and would prefer job security, think about and explore the jobs available with your qualifications. Here are some BS careers for accounting grads. There are other resources out there too!


credit to Careers for BS Accounting Grads

Tips to Ensure You Stand Out at Trade Shows

Trade shows can be a fantastic platform for entrepreneurs and budding new businesses to get their names out there, but it isn’t easy to make them work for you, especially because the average trade show will have around 300 stands all vying for attention!business-meeting

At a trade show, you will usually only have a few seconds to make an impression and attract customers over to your stand, and only a few minutes to convince them to buy from you, which is why it is so important that you work hard to ensure you stand out at trade shows.

Here are some foolproof things you can do to attract attention and make more sales at trade shows:

Let People Know You’ll Be There

If you have an email list of customers, clients and people who’ve expressed interest in your business, well in advance of the event, you should let them know that you plan to be there, and offer them incentives to show up, such as money off vouchers.

This will help to ensure that there is some immediate interest in your booth, which will ensure you’re not sitting there sad and alone as potential customers pass you by thinking you’re not worth the effort.

Less is More

You might think that, if you want all eyes to be on your trade stand, you should go all out to decorate it and make it eye-catching, but actually this is rarely the case because a stand that is too loud can be overwhelming and off-putting.

So, sure, decorate your stand and make it look interesting, but do so in a more minimalistic way by using simple design features, informative text and perhaps a slogan that encompasses your core message and tells the customer what you’re about in a few words.

Wear Lanyards

It’s never a bad idea for you, and any members of your staff who are attending the trade show with you, to wear lanyards with your business name printed on it, like the ones you can find at this page. By doing this, you will be maintaining your company’s visibility even when you aren’t at your stand, thus getting more eyes to see your message.

Give Free Gifts

It’s a trade show, and people are there to check out the goods you offer. It is, therefore, a no-brainer to let them try out your stuff for themselves by giving away a few free gifts.

Not only will this please the customers who are handed the gifts, but it will help your company to stand out when they are carrying that product around the show with them. Offering free gifts in return for information is also a great way to collect market research in what has to be one of the best places to do just that.

Be Informed

If you’re manning your booth yourself, you will undoubtedly be well-versed in all of your products and services and what you have to offer customers and clients who choose you over the competition.

If, however, you’re staffing your stand with employees or people you’ve hired for the day, this might not be the case. So, before the event, you will need to take the time to train them in your business.

This will help your company to stand out for all the right reasons, rather than for being the booth manned by in competent know-nothings!

Print Coupons

Using this site to print out coupons and then handing them out to people at the trade show so that they can get a discount on your goods is a great way to boost your booth and make it a more attractive proposition.

There are very few people who do not like a bargain and giving them one could be enough to make you very busy and once your booth is busy, other attendees will be intrigued to know why and come flocking over themselves.

Hold a Raffle

Holding a raffle is another good way to make your business stand out from the competition at trade shows. Like I said above, most people love a discount, but they love free stuff even more, So, if you can give them the opportunity to bag a freebie on the way, you will be on to a winner.

Ensure You’re Accessible

No matter how good your products are and how hard you’ve worked to make an attractive display, if it’s awkward for your customers to get to you, then they probably won’t bother.

So, ditch the clutter, keep the doors open and ensure that there are no obstacles between you and the people attending the event.

Have Fun

If you want to have hoards of people gathering around your trade stand at your next event, inject some humor into the proceedings.

Everyone loves to have a laugh, and if you can provide them with the opportunity to do just that with your unique sales patter or a funny display, you’ll have them eating out of the palm of your hand.

Scope Out the Competition

If you can, scope out the competition to see what they’re doing, focusing on the biggest players in your niche if you can. If they’re offering candy, offer cakes, or if they’re raffling a toy, you raffle a whole chest of the things.

 The big boys really know what they’re doing at trade shows, so if you can outdo them in even one small way, you will attract attention and hopefully make a lot more money as a result.

Shoot a Video

Shooting a video that showcases your brand is a great way to get people interested. A lot of people are more visually inclined that they are verbally, so by using this medium, you will be able to reach more people and create a good impression, providing you don’t skimp on your video’s production, of course.

Stage Stunts

Last, but definitely not least, staging a stunt is sure to get you the attention you crave. Organizing a flash mob outside your booth, bringing your cute puppy along to show off the merchandise or hiring a local celebrity to come and do something for you is pretty much guaranteed to create a buzz.

 

Can You Learn And Earn At The Same Time?

Talents Education Training Skills Hand Can Leave

Lots of people would like to continue on into higher education. However, the thing that usually stops them is the fear of not being able to support themselves while they learn.

Some people manage to get student loans, but many of those people are usually young enough to be able to scrimp, save, and live on peanuts as it is. The fact is, if you’re a little older, learning can be really difficult. However, there are ways you can learn and earn at the same time!

Consider Cutting Back and Getting A Part Time Job

This will totally depend on your current lifestyle, but is there anyway you can cut back on what you currently spend and get a part time job to support yourself? If you’re constantly buying clothes and going on night’s out with friends, there’s a big chance that you’re spending a lot of money on things you don’t need.

You might even be spending a lot of money on things like eating out, your phone bill, and other luxuries. If you really want to cut back, you should be able to find ways to do so. Then it’s a case of living below your means and finding the right job for you. It may be difficult, but you must remember how worth it it will be in the long run.

Pick A Course You Can Fit Around Your Current Lifestyle

If you don’t wish to change your current lifestyle as it stands at all, you could try to find a course that fits around your current lifestyle. Something like an online business bachelors degree can usually be undertaken when you have the time to do so, so you can continue working and doing the things you usually do.

However, you will need to be committed to doing the course and not simply putting it off. Getting into a good routine each day should help you, even if it’s first thing in the morning. Something like this may take longer to complete, and you’ll likely have a lot going on at once, but it’ll be worth it!

Consider Earning Money Online

Lots of people earn money online these days, and there are multiple ways to go about it. You could sell articles, write e-books, create content (although getting paid for this can take time), taking surveys, and more.

If you can create a couple of online revenue streams, you might just be able to support yourself. Watch YouTube for plenty of videos that will advise you on how best to go about this!

Get Creative

Although not a permanent solution, there are always going to be ways you can get creative and make money. Sell your old clothes. How about upcycling old furniture and selling it on? Make something and sell it. Just try out things you enjoy until you have a way of making money. So many people do it these days, and so can you!

Learning and earning won’t leave you with much time to yourself, but it’ll certainly pay off once you’ve passed your course!

9 Easy Ways To Increase Traffic To Your Blog

networkingIt can be very disheartening when you’ve spent a long time creating your blog and you’ve meticulously written a blog post (or twenty) and your blog still isn’t receiving any impressive amounts of traffic. You’ve got the content, so why aren’t people reading it?

 

How do I drive traffic to my blog?

Luckily, there are many different things you can do. Some of them may show an immediate difference, and others will show over time.

Pinterest

If you get Pinterest right, then your blog will be flooded with views. You need to make sure you use the correct sized image for your pins, interesting pictures and a catchy, keyword friendly title. Here is an in-depth guide to using Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging can bring in tons of traffic for your blog. Establishing yourself on other websites to your own will get your name around and it may give you the opportunity to link back to your blog. It may sound like a strange one, so check out this guest blogging guide.

SEO

Use SEO (search engine optimization) to attract viewers. Using specific keywords and using your blog post to display your keywords will help Google index your site when it’s crawling the internet.

The more you’re indexed by Google, the more likely you are to show up when someone Googles your keyword. Plugins like Yoast are brilliant for helping out with SEO.

Schedule

Don’t just write willy-nilly. Form a schedule and stick with it for your blogging.

Use Social Media

Go further than Pinterest. Other forms of social media will also drive traffic to your blog. You want to be regularly using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Stumble-upon and YouTube if you vlog.

Understand your Audience

Know who you’re writing for. There’s nothing you can write that will please everyone, so pick a niche to write about and make sure your blog posts are interesting and useful to that niche.

Host a giveaway on your blog

The prize doesn’t have to cost the earth. Something as simple as a gift card that’s relevant to your viewership. You can host the giveaway using a program like Rafflecopter, just make sure you follow the rules they’ve laid out.

Everybody loves a giveaway, and if your giveaway is shared, then more people are likely to visit to enter. Make it so that people can enter once per day too, it means they will return to your blog and maybe even check out some other posts too.

Make your content shareable

Add sharing buttons to your blog so that people can share your content if they enjoyed it or feel it would be useful to their friends.

Reuse old content for social media

You could write a caption saying something like “A blast from the past [link goes here] – tell me what you think”.

Don’t forget to not post too much on your social media. It could come across as spammy and you will end up losing followers. Interact with people if they speak to you over social media, it will show that there is an actual person writing and not some mindless robot.

Remember, you may not see a difference in your views straight away, but keep at it and you will soon see the figures rising!