Two of the focus of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. A key running a successful business in making it more efficient so that it runs like clockwork. There are a couple of keys to pay attention to. The following contributed post is entitled, What Can Help To Make A Business More Efficient?
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Efficiency has always been a key term in the world of business, and it’s not hard to find out why. After all, the key point of any business is to make as much of a profit as possible out of whatever you are selling or whatever service you are offering. And that is something that relies heavily on working efficiently. Without a high efficiency, you are simply not going to make as much money as compared to how much you have spent, it really is that simple. Moreover, when a business is highly efficient, it makes life easier for the management, for the staff, and for the customers who need some help or need to make a complaint. With so many good reasons to be as efficient as possible, it can be hard to actually make it a reality. So what can you do to ensure that your business is running more efficiently?
It is worth having a kind of self-audit of the processes within your business if you want to make sure that it is being run as efficiently as possible, as you are likely to discover a few loose ends here and there. This is normal, but it is certainly something you will want to try and do something about if you want your business to be efficient. If you can identify any unnecessary processes which have accidentally been generated or have simply been forgotten about, you will find that you have a great opportunity in front of you: namely, to strip out and get rid of those processes, so that everything becomes simpler and easier. Any work that is unnecessary is taking away from the potential efficiency of your business, so this is important to bear in mind.
Collect & Analyze Data
If you are struggling to make it work, you might find that it is going to be a help to find some kind of way to collect and analyze data within your business about how you operate. Of course, that is the kind of thing that is much easier done with a readymade tool such as various business efficiency applications, so it’s worth looking into whether you could benefit from any of those. You might be surprised as to how much you can get from them, and that can really be a great way to ensure that you are making your business run much more efficiently in no time. In a sense, you are automating the automation, which only makes sense to do here.
The way that you staff your business says a lot about your potential for efficiency. Too many people means that you are not going to get things done right, and too few is going to be stressful and inefficient. So play around with the numbers until you get it right, and make sure that you hire the best of the best – the people who are going to actually work the hardest, and make the best job of it.
Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. Inventions such as the cloud have changed the world and how business is done. There are certain protections that the cloud can provide. The following contributed post is entitled, Making Your Business Future Proof With The Cloud.
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When you’re just starting up and getting your team together, chances are you saw yourself working in a bright, airy office with plenty of natural light, the latest technology and perhaps even a handful of office plants to add that green touch.
The problem is that office space is expensive, technology is expensive and the plants need a lot of maintenance. While working together certainly adds to a sense of team cohesion, it might not be the only solution for collaborative working.
As the boss you know that your staff are your greatest asset and finding fresh new ways to motivate them and boost productivity is an on-going challenge.
But rather than relying on gimmicks to keep them interested, take a look at what your staff value best. Chances are that a good balance between working and home life is going to come close to the top, if not top every single time.
It’s a brave move but why not give them that choice? Remote working is proven to be an option that enhances the lives of employees. It gives them more control over their working hours, it gives them the chance to balance family life around their job and spend more time with the people they love and care about. It also motivates them and pushes up productivity.
It also saves you money. That beautiful office and all its associated costs and technology can disappear. The daily commute in whether on public transport or in the car goes away, helping your pocket and the environment. It’s a win-win in so many ways.
You probably will still want to meet with staff every now and again and there are options for this with co-working spaces and the chance to hire out meeting rooms on an ad hoc basis.
It will have crossed your mind that Cloud-based working might not be the safest way of sharing and storing files but a lot has changed since this concept first started. Today’s Cloud services are fully managed and secure.
It will rely on your staff avoiding the use of open networks and sticking to password protected options but that doesn’t mean you should encounter any problems. On managed sites help is just a phone call or an email away, so any routine glitches should be sorted out quickly and easily.
Put your trust in the Cloud and take a chance on a new way of working that will save you money, inspire your staff and ultimately make you more efficient. Do your research and find a Cloud service provider that offers you great value for money and ticks all the right boxes when it comes to making your business future proof. Your wallet, your staff and your customers will all thank you for it.
Four of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship, Blogging/Writing and Technology. The advent of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has a created a new way of doing business for those involved. If you’re strictly writing for the love of it, or to increase your business, there are some keys to SEO. The following contributed post is entitled, How SEO Blog Posts Can Increase Profit.
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The power of words is often overlooked and relatively neglected by small businesses that are just starting out. Of course, the quality of the product or service you’re selling needs to be top notch – you need to have something that proves itself worth your customers’ financial investment. However, if you’re going to sell your goods and services in the first place, you’re going to have to use carefully crafted words to get there.
Words can play a major role in any sale. From effective product descriptions to catchy product names. But this isn’t the sole role of words in marketing. You can also use words to encourage people to visit your website and become exposed to your goods in the first place. This process is often referred to as SEO.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It involves using words on your webpage that not only offer human value (introducing people to what you have on offer and why they should buy it), but also search engine value. You want your website to appear as highly in search engine results as possible. The best way to go about this? Using carefully chosen keywords in SEO based blog posts.
The infographic by rankfire.agency below should help to introduce you to this concept and help you start crafting your own high-quality SEO blog posts before you know it! This could all aid sales and boost overall profits!
Two of the focuses of my are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Your brand is how the public gets to know your business. It’s like wise to get it out there circulating as often and as effectively as possible. The following contributed post is entitled, Getting Your Brand Out There: Tips For Small Start-ups.
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Image Credit Pixabay.com License CC0 When you are starting your business, nobody will know who you are, or what you do. Creating the kind of brand recognition that you will need to be a success will take a great deal of time and effort. However, this is an area of your start-up planning that you cannot afford to overlook.
Understanding what your brand is yourself is the first step in communicating this to other people. Figure this out as early as possible. Work out what exactly you want to offer the world, and how you will go about it. Identify the core goals that are of significance to your company and create a mission statement that owns those values.
There are several ways of building a brand, and if you have a great deal of start-up capital, you can invest in the services of a branding specialist. However, for many companies who are in their earliest stages, this may not be financially viable. Here are a few ways that you can increase the awareness of your brand from day one, without having breaking the bank.
Brand All Company Vehicles
If you have any vehicles that are used by the company, you could look at getting branded vinyl with your company logo on them. Using the services of Lucent Graphic Solutions, you could create some stand-out graphics that will really get your name out there on the street.
This obviously will only have a limited reach, unless you have a large fleet of vehicles. But it does, however, create a sense of professionalism about your company.
Use Social Media To Full Effect
Harnessing the power of social media need not be expensive. You can go down the route of using sponsored posts, but there is no substitute for building up a reputation through engaging with followers and building up brand recognition with regular posts.
Social networking is now quite a broad church, and you may want to look at gaining exposure on a number of platforms. Create a professional profile on the sites that offer the best return for your demographic. If you want to capture the attention of a younger audience, you may want to look at Instagram and Snapchat. Whereas, if your appeal is wider, Facebook might be a good option.
Understanding your audience will allow you to create posts that are likely to appeal. And if you can elicit a reaction, then this will widen your audience through likes, comments, and shares. Be sure and build up a relationship with your following by replying to messages and comments, And remember, to always stay on brand with everything that you post online.
Offering up prizes in events is a good way of getting your name out there. If you can provide something worthwhile and desirable, then this will help you stand out even more. You need not spend too much, but the synergy of getting involved with causes that you put value in can do your brand a world of good.
Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. One of the keys to your business thriving over time is keeping all aspects of its operations as efficient as possible. In order to build and maintain efficiencies in may involve pruning certain aspects of its operations. The following contributed post is entitled, Pruning Your Own Business Operations Leads To Efficiency.
The day that you started your business, your goals were clear. You knew how you would make your money, and you knew all about the type of service and products that you had chosen to delivery. Your ideals were fully intact, and you knew where you were going.
Over time, when you are starting in business, you will meet a significant number of hurdles that you will have to face. These may require you to add more strings to your bow and undertake more tasks to support the operational functions of the business. Pretty soon, your business will need to consider areas such as day-to-day record keeping, IT support, payroll, recruitment and HR, logistics, warehousing, and building maintenance. The escalating costs and drain on your time and resources can be immense.
Farm Out Your Workload
Having all of these functions in-house requires you to have a full set of policies and procedures to govern each business function. You may be required to meet strict regulations, and this will mean additional training for you and your team.
However, there is an alternative to managing these areas of your business in-house. By outsourcing as many aspects of your day-to-day operations to other companies, you could save yourself the need to spend time on them.
For example, you could use a company such as Hudson Valley IT Services to provide support for your technological requirements. You will get access to a high level of experience through a well-trained team. You would be able to take advantage of systems and software that may not have been within your scope if you were to run these functions in-house. You will do this without the need to regulate or manage the team responsible for delivering it. You will be the end-user, and as such, enjoy the benefits that come with being the customer.
Streamline Your Functions
Another way that you could address the level of commitment that you are showing to your primary business aims is to undertake a full review of how and why you do everything in your operation. Often, over time, the reason that tasks are carried out is lost. You may be handling or processing data that is not useful to you. All of these things can multiply and mean that a great deal of time and money is being wasted. All of this detracts from your business aims, and ultimately from your bottom line.
Spending time refocusing and retraining your team, you can bring these areas of concern under control. You should create a culture where the only work that is carried out is designed to meet a company objective. If there is no return on your investment in an aspect of the business, then you should remove it.
Hold Yourself To Account As well as reviewing the practices of your team, if you are to be a great and successful business leader, you need to consider the way that you go about business too. If you are not focused on delivering the services that you set out to, then you are failing. By redressing this balance, and continuing to review your performance, you may well find the route to true success.
Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. A key aspect of successfully running a business is its marketing much of which today is done using websites. Successfully marketing, in this case using websites is often what separates the businesses that survive from those that perish. The following contributed post is entitled, Tips that will Help you to Effectively Market your Small Business Website.
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Marketing can be complicated, after all, you have to think about your target audience, your website, and even your budget. Luckily, there are ways for you to try and simplify the process and if you take the below tips into account, then you’ll soon find that it’s easier than ever for you to drive results.
Focus on Lead Generation
Every single page on your site should be focused on capturing new leads. It’s important that you have a newsletter and that you also offer great content. This will help you to obtain the name and email address of anyone who accesses your site, and it will also give you way more opportunities to convert too.
Cart abandonment is very common in the world of eCommerce. If you want to make the most out of your site, then you have to send out emails whenever someone leaves something in their basket. You could offer them a discount code if they checkout within the next hour or you could simply remind them that they never completed their purchase. Little things like this will help you to stay connected to your customers and it also keeps that open line of communication too.
Blogging is a fantastic way for you to market your business. Your prospective customers use Google every single day to try and find what they want, and if you have a blog then you increase your chances of being found. If you’re stuck when it comes to blogging or if you just don’t know what to say then consider researching your competitors, or even post about any industry changes that are happening right now. Little things like this can go a long way and it will also make it way easier for you to establish an online presence.
Invest in the Right SEO
There are plenty of SEO techniques out there that will actually do your site more harm than good. If you invest in the wrong techniques, then this will make your site less reputable and it will also give your customers a bad impression too. If you want to get around this, you need to hire a quality SEO firm. It also helps to make sure that they are experienced in your website niche too. For example, if you have a marijuana site, then it may be worth checking out: https://www.marijuanaseo.com/best-marijuana-packaging-businesses/.
Build an Active Presence
If your prospective aren’t using Google, then they are most certainly using social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and even Facebook. If you want your site to be successful, then you have to make sure that you have a presence on at least 3 of these sites. If you don’t then you could be limiting your own success and you may even find that you are not able to get the leads you need. If you’re not quite sure how to post to social media efficiently then there are plenty of marketing companies out there who can help.
“Remember to keep an open mind and get some new information!”
Two key focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. I originally published this series back in November of 2013 when I wrote for the Examiner. Of the businesses that the average working-class person can get involved in, none are more controversial than “Multi-Level Network Marketing” businesses (MLMs). I bought into a MLM when I first started my federal career which was a learning experience. It sounded like a good idea at the time but didn’t go quite as planned. This series talks about what I both experienced and learned during that little experiment.
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This next series of articles will veer off the path of scholastic education and literacy, and venture into the world of financial literacy. This series will look at Multi-Level Network Marketing businesses (MLMs). It’s an subject area rarely explored in print, but one which we’ve all experienced through personal participation, being recruited or being sold a product or service by someone else.
These business models and the people involved with them are already highly scrutinized, thus the intent of this series is not to do more of the same. The goal will be to simply take an objective look at them from multiple perspectives: the business associate, their prospects, friends, relatives and coworkers. As a writer, my goal will be to be fair in my commentary.
This topic will potentially touch multiple people. It’s particularly relevant in this era of recessions, further potential government shutdowns and sequestrations where people are being forced to consider alternative ways of earning income. Again, the goal here is not to sway anyone to a particular side, but simply to educate readers curious enough to read this series.
“Hey man, I want to talk to you. I’ve been watching you. You look like a serious brother, and I have a business opportunity to turn you onto,” a bus driver told me at the beginning of my commute one morning. “I don’t want to drive this bus forever, and I want to make some real money! Take this brochure and if you text me your number, I’ll invite to one of our meetings so you can get some more information!”
I could hear some contempt in his voice, particularly about having to work his job which was interesting. It raised a couple of questions in my mind. Why would someone feel contempt about working their job? Why would someone feel contempt about working a job? Why would someone feel resentful about having a paycheck? Many would say that there’s dignity in working. We’ll revisit this later in one of the subsequent parts of this series.
Besides being surprised that one of the metro bus drivers ‘prospected’ me for recruitment into his business, it brought back memories of my own experiment with Multi-Level Network Marketing. Just briefly, Multi-level Marketing is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople they recruit.
What made this bus driver prospect me? And what made him consider me a “serious brother?” It could’ve been my regular ridership on his route most mornings. Perhaps it was my “serious” appearance and disposition that made me seem like someone who could effectively work in his business and help he and his colleagues achieve their financial and life dreams.
My thoughts reflected to the many network marketers encountered during my travels in person and on social media, and what their motivations were. My motivations at one time for participating in one were: becoming rich, taking advantage of business tax breaks, and being able to walk away from my job.
Since 2005, multiple opportunities have come across my path. The first was from an Indian man in his late 20s in a supermarket late one night just before I moved away from Michigan. After striking up a friendly conversation with me about my life and aspirations, he started talking about an ecommerce business he was involved in. He encouraged me to learn more about it and to, “keep an open mind and get some information,” common phrases used by prospectors. Have you ever experienced anything like this?
Since then there have been numerous offers to participate in businesses involved in ecommerce, financial counseling, travel services, weight loss/health products, legal advice, organic coffee, and health care services. The list goes on. You name it, and someone has gotten it covered.
At their informational meetings, most if not all the network marketing businesses had elaborate presentations, and marketed dreams of:
• Financial independence; • Making multiple residual passive income streams; • Walking away from 9-5 jobs; • Taking vacations whenever desired; • Making your own schedule and; • Making a full-time income on part-time hours.
This topic will be examined in greater detail in the subsequent articles. People’s motivation for joining this type of enterprise will be examined in part two of this series.
Thank you for reading this blog post. If you enjoyed this piece, you might also enjoy:
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Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Health/Wellness. Depending on which industry you’re in, there can be a lot of potential for workplace injuries. Figuring out how to reduce workplace injuries, can ultimately save you money and increase the morale of your workforce. The following contributed post is entitled, 5 Ways To Reduce Workplace Injuries.
It’s essential that your workplace is a safe environment for employees. Accidents will happen in almost all trades – even if there aren’t any obvious hazards – but you should still try to minimise the risk, if not to protect your employees, to at least protect your company from the threat of a lawsuit. Here are just a few ways in which you can reduce workplace injuries and keep it a safe environment.
Point out hazards with signage
The easiest way to prevent injury is to clearly point out hazards with signage. Such hazards could include anything from a hot water tap to a low ceiling. In the case of multiple hazards, don’t be afraid to provide a large informational sign or even a manual to make guides aware of multiple hazards. It could also be important to provide temporary signage such as wet floor signs when mopping.
Supply safety equipment
Safety equipment such as these men’s work boots could also be necessary for reducing injuries. By making it mandatory to wear such equipment, you can ensure that employees are physically guarded against dangers. There could also be tools such as step ladders and fire extinguishers to consider.
Introduce health and safety protocols
Health and safety protocols require employees to carry out tasks in a specific way. This could be something as simple as how to safely carry a box to something complex such as how to put out a kitchen fire. Try to introduce a series of steps that employees have to follow and make sure that employees carry out the task in this exact order so that no step is missed out.
Train your employees thoroughly
There’s no point having protocols in place if you’re not going to train your employees how to perform these protocols. Make this a vital part of your training whenever you hire a new employee. Refresher training could also be worth undertaking with older employees to ensure that they’re still doing everything correctly and not cutting corners. Certain aspects of health and safety such as fire safety or using heavy machinery may even require enrolling employees on a course.
Supervise hazardous tasks
If you have the manpower, it could be worth having employees supervise one another when carrying out particularly hazardous tasks. For instance, you may not need someone to supervise when lifting a box, however if an employee is climbing a tall ladder, supervision could be essential in order to keep the ladder steady.
Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Many businesses face tough times at one point or another. If and when it happens, it’s important to understand how to adjust. The following contributed post is entitled, Dealing with Tough Times as a Small Business.
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Every business owner that has been around for a while knows: you have great years, and you have lean years. The success you might be experiencing right now is not a guarantee for the future. Having a buffer in the finances helps most medium to large companies deal with trialing times, while they either wait or get organized for better fortunes.
For smaller businesses, these types of financial buffers are usually non-existent. If the cash flow dries up, there are serious risks to not being able to pay suppliers on time or, even worse, the payroll. Companies do well to have a contingency plan ready to deal with meagre times and, as the saying goes: mend the roof when the sun is shining, perhaps already incorporate into your business to become more agile and responsive. Here are some areas to look into.
Switch Up Your Marketing
There will be no new business without significant marketing in place. That doesn’t mean climbing in the phone to the next media buying agency to get yourself a costly TV campaign. It means, especially in this digital times, to go smarter with the market budget and try to reach audiences you haven’t reached before. Think direct to consumer marketing campaigns, social media campaigns, or pay-per-lead type marketing activity. In the new age, going small for just a leads/new business campaign is possible, but do consider that eventually, you will need brand saliency for real growth. Going full digital marketing and lead/sale based only will work in the short term is no real replacement for the longer term. Also, don’t fall in the trap of only focusing on short term marketing, you will always need a vision in place how your proposition will evolve over time.
Investigate Your Cash Flow
Thinking about cash flow issues, especially in regards to being able to pay suppliers is another challenge business owners will have to get their head around. In some cases, the solution is as simple as coming to an agreement with your suppliers. One the one hand they have no interest in one of their customers going under, on the other hand, they will have to pay their own suppliers and employees as well.
In some cases, there is a good middle that can be reached to alleviate the pressures of paying a full invoice but also respects the relationship you have with your suppliers. Running payroll is more challenging as it will be a large chunk of the finances. Of course, you can try negotiating, but don’t be surprised if employees walk away quite quickly. Ask yourself “what is factoring” for a solution in this area.
Ensuring a stream of jobs and managing your cash flow are the main life-line for companies in difficult times, but it doesn’t end there. What might seem to be a luxury, thinking about the future 3-5 years down the line, as you are fighting for survival, might seem daft, but it’s precisely what you will need to do. As a business owner, you need to be continuously navigating the challenging waters of threats and opportunities to come out of it stronger, more robust, and on a path of healthy growth.
Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. If you’re using a website as a part of your business, you want to understand its engagement with your customers. An effective website will draw in more customers and increase your profits. The following contributed post is entitled, Making Sense Of Your Website Engagement.
As a business that runs a large amount of its customer-facing approach online, you will be subject to plenty of data over the years. User visiting time, the visitor’s geography, what ads or social media links have led them to your site are important, and yet barely scratch the surface as to what data is available.
But to an untrained eye, this data can often look completely out of the norm, and sometimes, even random. This means that making sense of your website engagement becomes a vital tool in trying to assess what your customers want, and how your business is performing across all of its web portals.
But more than that, breakthroughs in data analytics consulting have allowed businesses the chance to construct models regarding those they could potentially sell to, ensuring that marketing is more targeted in both its content and delivery methodology. Like any good business leader, you are likely also interested in the metrics that can give you a surer shot when aiming for gold.
So, let us serve as the scope:
Understand Your Promotional Reach
It’s essential to consider how your homepage is structured, and what drives the most attention. Do visitors often click on your promotional bar at the top of the screen? What has driven more traffic? Which social media pages do you often get the most engagement from? Do you find that enabling social media replies and comments is worthwhile, or that they quickly devolve into unrelated arguments (as is the way of the internet?) Furthermore, have your sponsored posts gained the traction you were hoping for, or is simple excellent hash tagging and posting at the right time of day almost comparable in the results they achieve? When you view the data of your promotional reach and branch out to make the correct changes, you have an access of power to this end.
When a customer visits your website, how long do they stay for? In other words, how much functionality do you offer? For example, do you list all of the specs on your product page, as well as the different payment options, a video demonstrating the product in action, or perhaps discussing how your product differs from comparable items on the market? Do you offer them to talk on ownership forums that allows your community to get together and discuss various impressions they have? All of this can increase visitor time to your website, and every second spent there is another potential second where a purchase or booking can be made.
Sometimes, you need to hear directly from your users in the first place. Feedback forms can be a fantastic measure for this in the long run. There you might find that someone using a particular web browser has trouble loading your web pages, or perhaps an intrusive advertising strategy is breaking some of the widgets you use. It can be easy to have blinders on in regards to these issues, and so we would recommend you keep an eye on them ahead of time.
With this advice, you are certain to make sense of your website engagement.