Top Skills To Learn That Will Help You Professionally

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and two key focuses are Career Discussions and General Education. While we get trained in our individual disciplines in school, there are other skills that dictate who excels in a particular field in the work world. It’s not always clear when starting our careers what those skills are. The following contributed post is entitled, Top Skills To Learn That Will Help You Professionally.

* * *

Source

So, with many college students embarking on their final year, some of you may have already decided that a career in business is the way for you. Whether it be a career in marketing or sales, there are so many options for you to consider. Now, while college can teach you a lot about say marketing, they don’t seem to really teach you much about the personal skills needed to make it in the world of business.

No matter what it is what you do for a living, you probably want to do it as well as you can. This is true for most people, and yet it can be surprisingly hard to know what kind of skills are involved in achieving and getting ahead in any type of business. In this article, we are going to take a look at some examples of the kinds of skills which are likely to be helpful for anyone who considers themselves to be a true professional and wants to get ahead as best as they can in their chosen career path. If you can master all of these, you will almost certainly be able to improve your career to no end, so it is definitely worth looking into at your earliest convenience.

Negotiation skills

Negotiation is a fine art to master. The official definition is “discussion aimed at meeting an agreement.” But there’s so much more to it than that. Negotiation is all about you coming out on top, while still letting the other person think they’ve grabbed themselves a bargain. This process happens day in, day out in business. Quite a lot of companies now even require their employees to have ongoing negotiations skill training courses to make sure techniques are continually being improved. With deals on the line with most companies, it might be worth doing a little research into the art of negotiation.

Communication

Communication skills are probably one of the most essential skills to have. Whether it be communicating with your colleagues to form working friendships, or with customers to establish a rapport. It’s not all just about face to face communication either. When starting a new job, your employer will be keen to know how your email and telephone skills are. Having a conversation with someone that’s not face to face can be hard, as people can’t always tell the tone you’re trying to take, or the facial cues you’re using to show emotion. Wording an email in a way that comes across informative, yet not condescending is a skill some of you may have already mastered due to being at college. But if you feel you wouldn’t be the best at this, you can always take a look at online guides to help you.

Time management

Time management is one you all would have had to master during college. But in the world of business, it’s slightly more serious. If you’re a little late submitting a smaller assignment, it’s not too much bother. But as you know, when it comes to the big graded assignments, if you submit them late, you may run the risk of losing marks or failing the whole unit. The same sort of applies in business, except if you don’t meet deadlines, it could mean deals lost, customers angry, and more importantly, an irate boss. It’s important to realize that in business, it wouldn’t just be you affected as it would with college, there is often a chain of people affected by lack of time management.

Bookkeeping

Being able to look after your finances is always going to be important for your career and your personal life, and especially if you are high up in any kind of business, even if your job role does not technically have anything to do with the finances of the company. Having a solid understanding of bookkeeping is always going to be hugely valuable, and you might be amazed at just how often it is likely to crop up, so you should consider taking an online course in bookkeeping if you want to learn this particular skill. With that kind of understanding of finances under your belt, it will benefit your life in a considerable number of ways, especially professionally.

Public speaking

It is often said to be the most common fear in the world, and it’s easy to see why. Everyone gets nervous when it comes to public speaking, albeit some more than others, but if you manage to master it, then it could make an enormous difference to how well you do in your professional life. If you’re looking to enter a role in politics or law such as a fraud attorney firm, speaking in front of others is part of the job. Everyone who works professionally knows that there are many occasions when you are called on to speak up publically in the office and so on, and if you are able to do so confidently without worrying about it you should find that it improves your business and your career greatly. Remember this, and consider taking a course to make it easier on yourself. You will find the confidence boost it gives you is incredible too.

Creativity

If you can be creative, it means that you can find dynamic and unique solutions to any given problem. This is something which is going to be useful for many people in many professions, and yet a lot of people find their creativity stifled by the professional settings which could benefit from it. If you are struggling to release your own creativity at work, start small and try to build up as time goes on. You will find that it makes it easier to do so and that you can build your creativity as you go along. This will, in turn, improve your professional life hugely, so it is definitely worthwhile doing.

These are just some of the primary skills that the waiting business world with need from you. Some you may already think you do pretty well, but it’s always worth doing a bit of research to find some of the best techniques and interpersonal skills to make sure you thrive in your new careers.

How Technology Has Changed Our Lives

Two of the focuses of my blog are Current Events and Technology. Our world is much, much different than it was just ten years ago and much of it has to do with the technology available to us. Our lives have been altered and even the way business is conducted has shifted it was well. The following contributed post is entitled, How Technology Has Changed Our Lives.

* * *

It’s fair to say that technology is now more prominent than ever in our lives, and it’s hard to believe a world without it. So how has technology changed our lives?

Image Source

Our Education

The way we are educated has certainly been affected positively by technology. First and foremost, courses and training are available online. It now allows individuals to do all the work via the internet, rather than having to physically attend a class or training session. Not only that but technology is now dominating the classroom, where we now have a lot of electronic devices that can help with studying, like laptops and tablets.

How We Socialise

Social media is now a powerhouse for many businesses to communicate effectively with their customers and proves useful for advertising and reaching out to new clients. Most individuals now have a social media profile of some description, and it’s changed the way we communicate. A lot of us will talk over platforms like Facetime and Skype, whenever we’re away from home. It’s such a great piece of technology that has helped friends and family see each other’s faces, even though it’s not quite the same as seeing them in the flesh. For all the negatives to do with social media, there are plenty of positives.

Traditional Media Is Ceasing To Exist

It’s also changed how we read newspapers and magazines. Traditional media has certainly taken a knock to its popularity since digital media came into play. A lot of us use our mobile devices or tablets/laptops a lot more, and for use on a commute to work, digital news sites are reigning supreme. We can find out news from Israel and other countries at the touch of a button. Although it’s unlikely that traditional media will cease to exist entirely, it does look like we prefer digital media as opposed to traditional formats. Another reason why traditional media is dying off is that a lot of businesses are using the digital world to advertise and a lot of newspapers or magazines would often rely on advertising space to make more profit.

It’s Helped Make Our Lifestyles Easier

Our lifestyles have been made much simpler with technology, and it’s helped in a variety of ways. From remote controls to close and open blinds to apps on your phone that can alter the lighting in your home or put on the heating, even if you’re not in the property itself. All these apps and software that now exist, certainly make living a lot less stressful and complicated. It won’t be long before we have the technology to help with every single element of our day to day lifestyle. We are busier than ever before and therefore, we expect now for technology to give us a helping hand where possible.

Technology has certainly changed dramatically over such a short period of time and who knows where it will go in the next five or ten years. It’s certainly possible though it could advance at even a faster rate than ever before as more money is pumped into upgrading technology.

Why Your Personal Brand Is Essential To Success

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. When starting your own business, your brand is critical as it distinguishes you and sets you apart from everyone else. Care should be taken when establishing your brand. The following contributed post is entitled, Why Your Personal Brand Is Essential To Success.

* * *

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

It used to be that branding was reserved for businesses. Now, it’s important for individuals to develop a strong personal brand if they aspire towards a successful career. As the workforce becomes more and more competitive and the way we network changes, a strong personal brand can help you to stand out from the crowd.

What is a personal brand? It’s the words your new client will use to describe you to their colleagues. It’s the way an acquaintance knows you’re the person to call when a certain job comes up. Your brand is why a manager will hire you, rather than the next candidate. So it’s crucial that you present yourself in a thoughtful way that helps, rather than hinders, your journey to professional success.

Define yourself, before someone else does

First impressions count and if we don’t define ourselves, it’s easy for others to do it for us. To make sure people remember the right things about you, you’ve first got to identify what you want those things to be.

Who do you want to be known as, professionally speaking? It goes without saying that you’ll want to position yourself as an expert within your given field. It’s worth niching down, rather than presenting yourself as a generalist.

But your personal brand comes down to more than your expertise. It’s not just the things you know and the skills you have. It’s also about who you are as a person and how people can count on you to behave. So who do you want to be known as? Is it someone who is articulate and a powerful communicator? Someone who is trustworthy and brimming with integrity? It’s probably a combination of characteristics and qualities. Write these down and commit to them so you can build your brand around these specifics. Just make sure you’re choosing characteristics that reflect the types of businesses or clients you want to work with.

Stay authentic

If you are not already sure of exactly what your personal values are, now is a good time to explore this. Your personal values define the standards to which you hold yourself and the qualities you want to aspire to.

Make sure that your personal values and your personal brand are carefully aligned. If you value yourself as a humble, calm and trustworthy person, this is the message you should put out into the world. It’s tempting to try to market yourself in ways that seem the most charismatic or dynamic. Of course, you want to present your values and qualities in the most attractive way, but don’t be tempted to sell yourself as someone you’re not. This will only cause you trouble in the long run.

The fact is that everyone is looking for something different in people that they choose to work with. You can almost guarantee that someone will be looking to hire or work with someone exactly like you, so stay authentic and true to your own brand. Once you’ve got this secure, you won’t be tempted to present wildly different versions of yourself to fit in like a chameleon.

Get creative

Once you’ve settled on your personal brand, you need to get it out into the world. One excellent way to put yourself out there is to create content that’s relevant to your brand. An ideal way to do this is through a blog. Producing quality content can establish you as a credible and valuable source of information in your field. If you’re then able to share that content via Linkedin or other social media platforms, then you’re getting your message out there for others to see. Photography or video, perhaps instructional Youtube videos, could also be a great platform, but only if it’s relevant to your industry and brand.

Image via Pexels

Be visual

As humans, we make assumptions based on visual information. It’s true that things like clothes and hairstyle all contribute to the way people see us, so make sure your style reflects the things you are trying to say. It can seem like a small thing but dressing to reflect your brand adds coherency and authenticity.

Your visual brand will also affect your website and social media presence. Whether it’s bright and whimsical or elegant and monochrome, having a consistent approach to visual content helps. This extends to things as simple as the style of photography you use.

In this digital age, pen and paper can add a distinctive edge. People still use business cards, as they’re still useful for real-world networking. Whatsmore, handwritten or just hand-posted correspondence can add an unexpected personal touch that helps you to stand out. If you’re a freelancer or small business owner with your own logo, think about getting customized stationary. You can use a service like Winmark Custom Stamps and Signs to create custom stamps, embossing seals and name badges with your own distinct logo.

Make time to network

Now you’ve got an idea of how you want to brand yourself, and the tools to do it, you need to get yourself out there. There are many ways of doing this in the modern day. Traditional networking is still just as important, so be sure to get some dates in your diary when you can attend relevant professional talks, events and networking meetings.

You should also be networking virtually, too. Be sure to optimize your Linkedin profile to reflect your personal brand and start building relevant connections there. Don’t neglect other social media networks either. If you can solidify your niche and your brand into one sentence, you can add this to your bio across all networks, including in your email signature. You want to create a consistent idea of who you are since you never know where your next business prospect might find you. You can use Twitter as a platform to engage with relevant people. Just be sure to do it in an appropriate way that doesn’t come across as spam.

Have fun with developing your personal brand and putting yourself out into the world. See what a difference it makes when you present a coherent and confident vision of who you are as a professional and what you offer. In this digital age, it couldn’t be more important.

3 Types Of Employees That Are Incredibly Bad For Your Business

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. The employees you hire to accomplish your objectives are critical. Bringing on the right staff can pay dividends while bringing on the wrong staff can be costly. The following contributed post is entitled, 3 Types Of Employees That Are Incredibly Bad For Your Business.

* * *

(image)

As a business owner, you are unlikely to have the ability (or the desire) to handle every aspect of your business alone. Be you a small or a large business owner then, you have probably hired one or more people to work for your company.

In theory, your employees will carry out the tasks you have set for them. They will help you to promote your business. And they will show commitment to the business you have set up. We are saying ‘in theory’ because that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, you might unwittingly hire a bad egg, a rotten apple, and whatever idiom you care to use when describing an employee who isn’t doing what they are supposed to be doing.

So, what do you do with these employees? It depends. You should have policies in place with the correct warning procedures. If an employee steps out of line, you need only point them to the way they are breaching the contract they signed with you. Hopefully, they will then fall back into line. However, there are times when you might need to fire an employee, especially when their behavior is far removed from what you expect of them. You should, of course, seek legal action beforehand to ensure you aren’t breaking any labor laws – you don’t want a lawsuit on your hands – but in relation to the types of employees we mention below, you might have no other option than to remove them from your company. Check out these tips on how to fire an employee, some of which are connected to the types of employees we mention below.

These are the employees who are bad for your business.

1: The employee who goes against your policy’s ‘standard of conduct’

The ‘standard of conduct’ refers to the type of behavior you expect from your employees. It should fall under the remit of the key policies within the employee handbook that you give to your members of staff after hiring them. Typically, the policies that fall under ‘standard of conduct’ refer to those related to bullying, discrimination, and sexual harassment. If you discover your employee has breached such policies, a simple warning might not suffice, especially if their behavior has threatened the welfare of other staff on your team. An investigation needs to take place with eye witness statements, and if found guilty, you have grounds to fire the employee. Your business depends on it, as you might suffer a walkout from your other employees, as well as legal action if you haven’t taken their complaints about the offending employee seriously.

2: The employee who engages in criminal behavior

(image)

Closely associated with the previous point, but we have included it here as criminal behavior might also include the need for police intervention. For example, consider an employee who steals from you. Now, we are not talking about the occasional paper clip or notepad (although you should still clamp down on minor thefts), but rather those employees who are caught with their hands in the till or who syphon money from your account into their own after accessing your computer systems. On a financial level, your business is obviously going to suffer. And then there’s the employee who engages in violent behavior, perhaps against you, another employee or a customer. They might even take their violent behavior out on your premises, damaging furnishings, doors, walls, and equipment, etc.

Such behavior cannot be tolerated. You will need evidence of criminal behavior of course – you can’t accuse somebody if you are in any way uncertain as to who the culprit is – but you can get this from the surveillance equipment you should have set up, and from eye witness reports from your staff and customers. When the culprit has been found, either by you or the police, you should consider firing them, unless, as in the case of violence to your property, there are mitigating circumstances, such as provocation from another employee or feelings of being treated unjustly from yourself. In such a case, you might be lenient, though you will need to put an action plan in place to reduce the chances of such behavior happening again.

3: The employee who is repeatedly absent

There are times when absences can be allowed. If your employee falls ill or has a family emergency, for example, then you can expect them to be absent from work. Hopefully, they will show you courtesy with a phone call to let you know why they aren’t coming into work. On the other hand, there are some employees who might try to take advantage of you. They might not turn up for work at all without any explanation. Or they might have a string of excuses as to why they can’t come in, some of which may be genuine, but then again, some of which might not be. You need to take action if absences become a regular thing. This involves you sitting down with your employee to discuss the reasons why they haven’t shown up to work.

In some cases, you may be to blame. If you have overworked your employees, or if you haven’t provided a functional working environment, they may have used excuses for their absence because they dread coming into work. The same applies if the employee feels threatened by another member of staff. On the other hand, they might simply be lazy and uncommitted, in which case, you might want to fire them, especially if there is no reasonable excuse. If you don’t, your business will suffer if absences continue, because work won’t get done and you will struggle to make a profit.

Finally

Firing an employee is sometimes the right thing to do, so while you might be reluctant to do so – you might want to avoid hurting their feelings, or you might be afraid of confrontation – you should still take steps to remove the employee if their actions hurt your business and the people who work within it. You might need to start the hiring process again, but despite the time and the expense involved, this is better than having an employee on your team who is incredibly bad for your business!

Major Moves

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. As your business grows, it’s important to know when to move in order to better run your operations. It’s important to execute the move in the most efficient way possible. The following contributed post is entitled, Major Moves.

* * *

Your small business is growing. What started as a solo effort has expanded and you’re desperately in need of more office space and more people to help take your company to the next level.

It’s time to upsize and commit to a bigger office. Moving day can be tough going, so we take a look at the process from start to finish and more importantly we take a look at how to reduce your downtime in this guide to office moves.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Before

Preparation is key so begin the process early. If you already have a small team then perhaps consider appointing a move manager to take care of the move details while you focus on keeping the business flowing. They will need to appoint someone to take care of the social media and website details, liaise with the moving company and handle the utilities. They’ll also need to make decisions on layout.

Before all that though, why not take advantage of the move by having an office clear out. It’s the perfect excuse for slimming down the amount of filing and paperwork you need to take with you and will make moving in an awful lot easier. Get a skip outside with http://www.budgetbinhire.com.au/ and begin the big clear out.

Now you’re ready to go. Have your move manager tell the utilities companies when you’re leaving the building and have your staff clearly label their desks, computers, office furniture and so on.

On The Day

Send your move manager to the new office early to mark up where desk, chairs and office furniture are to be placed. They will also need a paper plan to give to the moving crew.
If some of your team are able to work remotely, have them do that while the move takes place.

Your move manager should do a final reading of utilities, before they leave the old office and have arranged for the network, electricity and so on to be up and running on arrival at the new office. As soon as you’re unpacked, have your IT company in to connect you all up.

After

Don’t forget to update your social media platforms and your website with news of your move and double check that any email footers, letterheads and so on feature the correct new address. You may want to have your post redirected for a few weeks to allow for any crossover in the post.

With a clear and logical set order and plenty of preparation, your move shouldn’t be a stressful experience.
Have everyone in your team up to speed with the process and any staff not essential to the move working remotely. Keep the business going by redirecting phone lines. Get your layout organised ahead of time with a trip to the new space and make sure your removals company understands where all the desks and chairs are going. Then your business has the space to grow, to take on more staff and reach new heights.

How To Keep Your Home Business Running Smoothly

Two key focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. If you’re going to run a home business you want to make sure that it runs smoothly. There are a couple of keys to doing so. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Keep Your Home Business Running Smoothly.

* * *

Running a business from home certainly has its perks. You get to wear whatever you want, set your own hours, and don’t have a boss nagging at you every minute of the day. Plus, you save time and money by eliminating the commute. That being said, there are troublesome aspects of owning a home-based business too. With so much freedom and so many things around to distract you, it can be more difficult to stay productive and get your work done on time. With that in mind, here are ten things that you can do to keep your home business running smoothly.

Image

1. Stay Connected To Business
Although you run a home-based business, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be in the house all day, every day. Sometimes you’ll want to work in a cafe or restaurant, while at other times you’ll have to work on the way to a meeting. Because of this, it’s crucial that you have access to business information at all times. Instead of keeping important documents on your computer, you should store them on a flash drive, or, better yet, in the cloud, for access from anywhere.

2. Plan Out The Day
The freedom of being your own boss means that you can work whenever you want to. However, that doesn’t mean that your business hours should change every day. Not only will this make it difficult for customers and clients to contact you, but it also leads to a lack of productivity. Your days need some structure, so choose business hours, create daily and weekly goal lists, and stick to them. If you don’t, you’ll waste a lot of time each day deciding what task to do next.

3. Create A Comfortable Workspace
We tend to see our homes as a relaxing space. This can cause trouble when you’re trying to get your work done. The simple remedy to this problem is to create a workspace in your house. Contact a skip bin hire and clear all of the junk out of a room to make way for office furniture and equipment. Ideally, this room should be bright, quiet, and not too small. Once you have this area, make sure you do all of your work there. This will create boundaries between work and home.

Image

4. Never Skimp On Necessities
When you first start out in business, choosing the cheapest options or going without certain things seems to make sense. After all, you don’t have that much money to play with, and you don’t want to run out. That being said, you shouldn’t overlook the purchases that you need to make. High-quality internet services, for example, is vital for any home business. You’ll also need ergonomic office furniture, including a desk and chair, to stay comfortable and avoid an injury.

5. Dress For The Job
As tempting as it may be, you shouldn’t ever work in your pajamas. You don’t have to dress in a suit and tie every day, but you do need to shower and get changed before heading to the home office. Like creating a workspace, this will separate your business and personal lives, making it easier for you to stay productive when working and relax at home. A jeans and t-shirt are usually enough to put you in the working mood, or you can opt for workout gear for extra comfort.

6. Set Office Ground Rules
There’s no use in having an office if your family and friends think that they can come and sit in there whenever they like. Far too many loved ones make the mistake of assuming that, because you’re at home, you don’t need to be working. To break them out of that mindset, you need to set out a few office ground rules. For example, you could ask that they knock before coming in or don’t come in at certain times of the day. This would make it much easier for you to focus.

7. Build A Talented Team
Working from your own home doesn’t have to mean working alone. Just like any other, a home business can become overwhelming if you try to handle it by yourself. When the workload starts to pile up, therefore, you should begin bringing on staff to help you out. Sometimes those employees will work from their own houses, but you might choose to have them come work with you in yours. If you opt for the latter, then you’ll have to set them rules for the rest of your house.

8. Outsource When It’s Needed
Hiring employees is not cheap. In fact, it can be incredibly expensive. On top of the salary, you have to offer a competitive benefits package, advertise for the position, and spend time and money interviewing and training candidates. Plus, if an employee chooses to leave, you have to do it all over again. Outsourcing, therefore, might be the best option for your business. This includes many fewer costs but offers the same great service that you want for your company.

Image

9. Network With Other Entrepreneurs
Although it may seem like it at times, you’re not the only person running a home business or facing the struggles that come with it. There are thousands of other people who know exactly what you’re going through. These people can provide support, as well as advice with your troubles. They might also be able to help with finding providers, potential clients, and leads. For this reason, you should network with these individuals, either in a formal or informal setting.

10. Move Out The House
For many people, working from home is a starting point. In the early days of running your business, money is sure to be tight, so the house is the best office space available if you want to keep overheads low. Once your company starts to grow, however, keeping your business in the home can hold it back. You won’t be able to build your team or client base, as you simply won’t have enough space to do so. It’s at this point that you should consider moving the office outside.

Running a business from home can be tricky, but, with these tips, you should be able to make the task a little smoother.

Does an Environmentally Friendly Lifestyle Have to be Expensive?

A key focus of my blog is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Fortunately our society has become more environmentally conscious than ever before and is embracing environmentally friendly lifestyles. More people are thinking of how to preserve the environment as much as possible. The following contributed post is entitled, Does an Environmentally Friendly Lifestyle Have to be Expensive?

* * *

We all know about climate change and the damage that we have been doing to our planet. We know that how we’ve been using it is starting to have an effect and that our children and grandchildren face growing up in a very different world if we don’t begin to do something about it. It’s widely reported in the news, there are countless documentaries about our planet and how we need to fix it, and we’re being told in a variety of ways, what we should be doing differently and why. The “I didn’t know” excuse no longer flies. We all know.

We’re not good at making sweeping changes, nor are we good at admitting fault, or facing up to what is coming. So, new excuses have developed. One of the main ones is that we can’t afford to make the changes needed. We can’t afford to change suppliers, buy sustainable fashion or organic food. But, that excuse isn’t good enough either. Leading an environmentally friendly lifestyle doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, it can even save you money if you do it right.

https://pixaby.com/illustrations/bulb-nature-ecologycurrent-2368396

Reuse As Much as Possible

A big part of being more sustainable is throwing less away. Every time you put something in the bin, you are contributing to filling landfills or putting plastics into the oceans, but you are also throwing money away.

Instead, try to reuse as much as you can. Don’t buy anything that you know you will only use once. Instead, spend a little more on something that you can use again and again. A reusable water bottle is a perfect example. It will cost more than a cheap plastic bottle of water. But, fill it up with tap water or even rainwater from your Clark Tanks, and within a few weeks, you’ve got your money bag and throw much less away. You can also use reusable wipes, cloth diapers for your babies, reusable makeup remover wipes, clothes around the house instead of wipes and handkerchiefs instead of tissues.

Buy Less

Reusing things allows you to buy less. But, there are other ways to do it. Instead of spending money on cheap clothes and fast fashion that you’ll only wear once, invest in quality items that you’ll wear often and will last a long time.

If you’ve gotten bored of your furniture and fancy something new, ask yourself if you could make easy changes, or upcycle your pieces into something new, instead of just throwing it away and buying something new.

Visit your local library instead of buying books, take sandwiches out instead of buying fast food and if you do need to buy something, first look in charity shops, at yard sales, and on online auction sites.

Take from the Earth

The best way to live a green lifestyle and save money at the same time is growing things for yourself. Grow your own fruits and vegetables, start a small herb garden, and even try scavenging for berries and seeds. Then, make your food last longer by freezing extras for another time.

Dominate That First Second – A Reliable Approach To First Impressions

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. An old slogan says that, “You never get the second chance to make a first impressions.” The same is true for your business. Whether it’s your business’s physical space, your social media or your communications, you are always making an impression. The following contributed post is entitled, Dominate That First Second – A Reliable Approach To First Impressions.

* * *

Pexels

All businesses know that first impressions matter. In fact, we all know it. It’s part of how we form our judgements to get us through the world. Sometimes, our first impressions are wrong. You’ve likely met people in your life whom you took an instant disliking to, only to realise that actually, they weren’t as bad as you had imagined.

The same goes for businesses, and of course, the reverse is also true regarding that sentiment. However, often, with so many options available, consumers do not wish to wait to hear you out – they want to be impressed. This means that dominating that first second is one of the most appropriate goals you could have as a business trying to expand its reach.

But it’s not as if this just happens on one frontier, it happens on many. Let us see how appropriate that might be for you when making your decisions as a firm, and how worthwhile you might apply your future endeavors to this end.

Consider:

Keep Your Offices Clean

We’re not just talking about the interior. Sure, providing a comfortable office, a clean office, and a hygienic working space is essential if you hope to run your office well. But on top of that, you must never neglect the exterior on your building. Even if you have no retail stores, your headquarters looking neglected from the outside speaks terribly about your firm, and with social media in everyone’s pockets, it might come back to bite you. This is where firms such as Propel Pressure Cleaning https://propelpressurecleaning.com can help you rid yourself of some of the grime associated with long-standing industrial offices. Keep a squeaky clean approach where you can. You never know just how beneficial this could be in the long term.

Keep Your Social Media Clean

Often, social media is the first time someone will hear from you. Engage in humor that doesn’t quite work, reply vindictively to a trying criticism, or allow your staff to get out of hand on their own profiles, and good golly, you’re in damn trouble. It’s essential for you to consider how to dominate that first second in the online space because, for better or worse, that’s how the perception of cultural opinion moves these days.

Messaging

Your messaging is important whenever you need to announce or speak as a business. For example, it could be that your product announcement is unclear, and people have to question exactly what it is you’re teasing. There’s being mysterious to drum up interest, and willingly diffusive and causing frustration accidentally.

Have your announcements looked over by trained marketing writers, or PR individuals. Again, stay consistent. This way your optics are reliable, and when you do break the mold? Things will be much more interesting as a whole. This way, you needn’t ever worry about how to be perceived, because you will be directing and choreographing the whole affair.

3 Clever Tactics That Will Help Protect Your Business From Ruin

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. There’s always the potential for the unexpected when it comes to your business, and likewise its important to have precautionary measures in place. The following contributed post is entitled, 3 Clever Tactics That Will Help Protect Your Business From Ruin.

* * *

Disaster in business is all too common. In fact, fewer than 50% of new companies make it to the five year period and beyond! Happily, there are some tactics you can use to maximize the chances of the business you are running, making it. Read on to find out what they are.

Go green

One way that you can help protect your business from disaster is to take a more environmentally friendly approach. In fact, going green can help your company succeed in two ways.

The first being that as one of the prime goals of environmentalism is to reduce the number of fossil fuels that are used, it can save you a great deal of money. After all, the energy you use to power your business is probably one the most significant expense you have to deal with. That means if you implement methods of preserving this, such as shutting down machines and lights when they aren’t being used, you can save a pretty penny.

Picture link

The second way that going green can help to protect your business is linked to the PR and marketing side of running a company. This is because to be found to be using un-environmental practices in 2019 is akin to PR suicide. In fact, you will find that many businesses are using the ways in which their company, product, and packing are green in their marketing as well. This being something that can help them to stand out above their competitors and also create a positive rapport with potential customers.

Get covered

The next tactic that you will want to use to protect your business from ruin is to ensure that you are covered by insurance for all possible situations that could arise.

Of course, they mean that you will need to familiarize yourself with the type of business insurances that are available. This is because a company with an office or shop will need things like third party insurance, which mean that if anyone is injured on their premises, they will be covered.

However, a business that is primarily logistic-based will also need to budget for things like semi truck insurance as well. In fact, as there is a higher risk for your business when you have vehicles that you are responsible for out on the road, this is one type of insurance that cannot afford to be missed if you want to keep your company from ruin.

Be proactive

Finally, if you want to save your business from disaster, it’s always a smart idea to run it in a proactive way. What this means is instead of allowing things to back up until they become a significant problem, you monitor each area of your business and deal with issues as they occur.

In fact, by taking a proactive approach for everything from recruitment to IT, you can minimize any productivity losses and downtime. Thus ensuring that your business keeps running profitably for as long as possible and is not under threat of ruin.

11 Ways To Make Your Business More Memorable

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Regardless of the type of business you’re running, it’s important to understand how to make your business unique so that it stands out from the others. The following contributed post is entitled, 11 Ways To Make Your Business More Memorable.

* * *

Making your business memorable is key if you want to stay in the forefront of the minds of your audience, and make them think of you every time they have a need that fits what you offer. There are probably many businesses out there offering something of a similar nature to you, so you need to make sure you differentiate your business by being memorable.

Below you’ll find 11 ways to make your business more memorable:

1. Know Exactly Who Your Audience Are And Market To Them
The first thing you need to do is clearly define your audience. You must know who they are and market to them if you’re not only going to be memorable, but successful. You won’t be a memorable business to every demographic, usually – unless you end up becoming the next Coca Cola or the next Ford. Chances of that are pretty slim (not that we’re trying to limit you or anything) so start by knowing your audience and finding ways to make them remember you. What will they respond to? What are they interested in? It’s time to learn as much about them as you possibly can.

2. Come Up With Cool Social Media Campaigns
Social media is a must for any and all businesses, so make sure you’re making the most of it with cool social media campaigns. You don’t even need to do anything super fancy. You could share user generated content from fans and followers, hold a contest, post behind the scenes videos, and more. Thinking outside the box a little and keeping people interested in your brand via your social media channels will really help you to succeed.

3. Aim For High Quality Branding Across All Channels
Your brand should be carefully designed by experts with your values, brand personality, and audience in mind. When you’re sure you’ve got your branding right, you need to make sure that it is the same across all channels. Whether you’re emailing, sending an invoice, or somebody is browsing your website, it should all be in sync.

Credit

4. Attend Events and Plan Them Carefully
Going to events can be a great way to meet more people and get your brand name out there. Don’t just attend these events, though; plan them in a way that forces people to remember you. Offer something different. You could give out goodie bags, have a game or competition, or have cupcakes. Whatever you do, give people a reason to associate positive thoughts and feelings with your brand. You should also pay attention to how your booth/stand looks, so visit chicagobannerprinting.com to see what can be created for you. Maybe you could create a branded backdrop to have pictures taken against, and even use it to encourage your audience to create user generated content.

5. Create Great Copy
You could offer a great product, but if your copy isn’t high quality, it’ll bring you down. People will get an impression of your business from the copy you produce. It shouldn’t have spelling errors or grammatical errors, and it should be interesting. Why should people read it? Create blog content to help people learn more about your business, industry, and what you offer. You could answer frequently asked questions in this way. You should also pay attention to the copy you use to introduce people to your business and even to describe your products. If this isn’t something you have time for, it could be a better idea to hire a copywriter with experience in your industry to do it for you.

6. Come Up With Brave Ideas For Advertising
Come up with a brave idea for your advertising campaign – like that time Vodafone planned a flash mob. Don’t stick to the norm, and do something a little crazy to get people talking. Just make sure it isn’t controversial or offensive if you want to keep your audience on side.

7. Always Deliver On The Promises You Make
You’re likely making promises to your customers, such as delivery times, the quality of your product, and so on. Whatever promises you find yourself making, make sure you go above and beyond to stick to them. People will quickly lose faith in you if you constantly fail to make good on your promises.

Author

8. Be Completely Transparent And Authentic
Being a transparent and authentic brand isn’t something all businesses deem to be important. This doesn’t mean you have to tell your audience about the affair your IT guy had two years ago, or what you all had for lunch today, but you should make sure you’re not misleading your audience. Many brands do this and it only ends up alienating their audience. Get them on side by being honest with them about what you can and can’t do, and what value your service provides.

9. Make Sure Your Customer Service Is On Point
Your customer service should be second to none. If somebody has an issue, go above and beyond to fix it. Reply to queries as quickly as you can. Really give people an amazing experience so that they have a reason to want to work with you again and recommend your product or services to friends.

10. Choose Your Colour Palette Carefully
Selecting the colour palette is something you’ll do when branding your business, but don’t make the mistake of picking colours you like without researching what they really mean. For example, blues and greens can give a tranquil feel and could be great for an eco-friendly business. Many businesses that use red are often bargain businesses, as red is supposed to make people feel a sense of urgency when buying. Consider things like this when you select your colour palette.

11. Send Thank You Notes
A handwritten thank you note can go a long way to making your business memorable and getting recommendations. It only takes a minute or so to jot a quick thank you along with the customer’s name.

How will you make your business more memorable?