Why Some Companies Stay in the Slow Lane

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Some businesses excel and thrive, while others sputter and perish. There are distinct reasons why this occurs and if you want to be in the former group there are things that you need to do. The following contributed post is entitled, Why Some Companies Stay in the Slow Lane.

* * *

There’s no company on earth that is guaranteed success when they first get started. Sure, sometimes it’s more likely for some businesses than others, but if the number of high profile failures has told us anything, it’s that failure is always an option. But let’s not focus on those large ventures: let’s look, instead, at small companies, and specifically at why some seem to rocket up, up, up, and some stay in the comparative slow lane for the duration of their existence. There are some shared characteristics that seem to run through businesses that follow this path.

Pexels – CC0 Licence

They Think Small

You’re not going to get very far, or anywhere at all for that matter, if you possess a small mindset. A company that sees themselves as small will find it impossible to achieve big things. It’s all about vision. There’s a big difference between a business owner that dreams big, and one that has eyes for nothing more than mere survival. Of course, it’s riskier to have a big vision, but as with most things in life, the person that dares is the one that wins.

The Wrong Players

Your company’s strength will depend on part on the need for the products and services that it provides, but you should also look at your staff; they’re the people who are driving the ship. If you’re not hiring correctly, then you will likely find that you’re not making as much progress as you would if you’d developed a robust hiring policy. It takes time, money and effort to hire any employees, but it’s worthwhile devoting that little extra effort to get the right one. If you don’t know how to hire the right employee, take a read of these useful tips.

They’re Not Wired For Success

You could have excellent ideas and a stellar team of employees, but if your business doesn’t have the right infrastructure, then success will likely be hard to come by. That’s because you won’t be working as productively as you could be, and when it comes to business success, productivity is what counts. If you’re currently managing your IT needs on your own, look at handing the responsibilities over to a company such as Tech Squared Inc. They can install the systems you need in order to work at your best, and also free up your time so that you can focus on your core business offerings.

Outdated Working Practices

The working world is changing, and, as with most advancements, it’s for the better. Studies have shown that the traditional way of working has major flaws. The new ways of working, which include more relaxed working hours and unorthodox offices, can significantly boost employee happiness and productivity.

Lack of Development

Finally, make sure you’re not standing still for too long. It’s the companies who refuse to settle, and who instead push forward with new ideas and plans, that achieve success. It’ll be in your interests to keep an eye on where your company is moving in the years to come.

You Can’t Ignore Health And Safety

Two of the focuses of blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. No matter what kind of business you’re operating, a key aspect is employee health and safety. Neglecting this aspect of your operations can cost you a lot of money moving forward. The following contributed post is entitled, You Can’t Ignore Health And Safety.

* * *

Health and safety is an important aspect of running a successful business. Businesses that fail in their health and safety duties run the risk of damage, personal injuries, lawsuits, and ultimately, closure.

While there are regulations in place to help make sure you carry out your operations safely, there’s always more that can be done to make sure your business is a safe and secure place for employees and customers.

Don’t ignore health and safety, take a look at some of the ways you can go above and beyond to put safety at the heart of your business.

Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons

Provide employees with the right training

Many accidents in the workplace happen because employees haven’t had the right training to prevent them. Every employee on your books needs to have health and safety training, whether for manual handling or what to do in the event of a fire. You can run this training as an online module, as well as some face-to-face training to help the message sink in. Health and safety training is something that should be refreshed regularly, so make sure it’s a part of your ongoing onboarding program.

Make your policies clear

Your health and safety policies need to be clear and visible to all. There are some useful resources available to help you draft a health and safety policy to share with your employees. In addition to your health and safety policy, you need to make sure that your liability insurance is in place and that you have lawyers on had to advise you on any health and safety issues that could become serious.

Don’t scrimp on supplies and materials

While saving money is in the best interests of your budget, it’s not always in the best interests of your business. Choosing materials because they’re cheap could cause problems later on if they’re not of a high standard. When it comes to safety, only the best should do. An ABS butterfly valve can be a valuable item for your equipment, and choosing an inferior product could pose a major risk. Choose suppliers you can rely on and are trustworthy, the reassurance will far outweigh the cost.

Remember to pay attention to wellbeing

While you might have the safety of your employees covered, have you given much thought to their wellbeing? You can improve employee wellbeing in a number of ways, including promoting fitness in the workplace, encouraging healthy eating and making the workplace a more sociable and positive place to work. Paying attention to the wellbeing of your employees helps them to feel more valued, which can boost your turnover rates and make your company a better place to work.

Ensuring the health and safety of your business is one of those common challenges that all business owners face, but it’s also one of the most important. Make sure you make health and safety a high priority in your business to ensure it’s longevity and demonstrate that you’re a smart and successful business owner.

Take Big Troubles Away

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Successfully running a business involves proactively managing potential problems. Doing so ensure that your business will have a long life. The following contributed post is entitled, Take Big Troubles Away.

* * *

If all it ever feels like you’re doing with your business is battling, we know the score. It really can feel like one problem after the other when business isn’t going great, and even when it is going great, it can still feel like there is a constant barrage of problems coming your way. But do you ever think that it might be because you’re just trying to do too much? Well that’s most likely because you will be. Small businesses in particular don’t seem to utilise the tools that there are out there, and the support networks to lean on. There are just so many ways of being able to take some troubles off your hands, you most likely have not found the solution just yet. So, we’ve created a perfect post that will be full of tips that should help you to remove a few of the problems you’re having. These are based on common problems that we know all small businesses seem to be facing, so we hope you can relate to at least one of them.

Image Source

Technology Problems

Technology is the key to every business, but it’s not always the easiest to manage when you’re not really sure what you’re doing, and you have a million and one other things to do with your business. But yet we don’t seem to outsource to businesses who can control our IT servers and other functions, and manage them for us. It makes so much sense to do this, especially if the server you’re using at the minute is causing you problems, such as downtime. Cyber Shift Technologies is just one of the businesses you could contact if this sounds like something you need. It’s just nice to have a business there who is an expert in something you’re not, and who can fix so many of the problems that you’re having.

Sales Issues

Every single sale that you have points towards your goal. The more you have, the quicker you’re going to get there, and that’s why so many small businesses obsess over them. But when sales issues start to come so early on, and you realise that you’re losing more money than you’re making, it can start to get a little tense. So you need to think about sales and marketing consultants that would be able to help you. When both of these work together, you find a solution that should make you more visible as a business, as well as help to facilitate those all important sales, making things like the order process and your website easier to use, which might be slowing down sales at the minute.

HR Issues

HR issues are so common, and they start as soon as you hire your first employee. As a small business you won’t have the funds to employ another person as HR manager, simply because there’s not enough staff to give reason to do so. But the one staff member you have hired will need an HR path they can follow if ever they need to, so why not think about checking out online services that offer this. All you have to do is a quick Google search and you will see the services we’re talking about!

Routine Tasks For Your Business Premises

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. If you have a ‘bricks and mortar’ business, it’s critical to keep you business premises in top condition. In order to do that, there are some tasks that you have to stay on top of regularly. The following contributed post is entitled, Routine Tasks For Your Business Premises.

* * *

Your business premises are much more than just the place where you physically work. They’re a reflection of your company, they can help solidify your branding, they give your visitors and customers an insight into who you are as a business. So it’s important that you’re spending some time to ensure that your office or store is in tip-top condition. If you don’t, you may be unnecessarily hurting your venture, for no good reason at all. Below, we take a look at a few of the routine tasks you’ll want to complete to keep your premises in tip-top condition.

Pexels – CC0 Licence

General Wear and Tear

Anywhere that sees flurries of activity is going to suffer from general wear and tear over time. As such, you’ll want to conduct regular checks to ensure that there’s nothing that’s seriously undermining the quality and appearance of your premises. When you’re so “close” to your surroundings (you work there, after all), sometimes it happens that those small damages pass us by. But if enough of the small matters are left untreated, we’ll eventually end up with one big issue that seriously compromises the quality of our building. Stay proactive, and promptly take care of any damages.

Maintaining Standards

It’s not just the little scuffs and damages that you should be aware of, either. You’ll also need to work on maintaining the overall standards of the building, so that you’re not inadvertently presented with a big problem. Think of your business premises in the same way you do your house: you can’t let things run on autopilot, they need to be actively managed. Some areas of your building, such as your roof, can severely disrupt your business operations if they suffer damage. To ensure you don’t arrive to a damaged interior after heavy rainfall, looking at having your roof inspected by a commercial roofing contractor. Other areas include the electrics and the heating system; if they’re not working properly, both of these things can cause long-term damage.

Updated Decor

Your decor might have looked the part when you first opened, but this isn’t going to be the case forever. After a few years, it might be that your interior is beginning to look a little dated and worn. While it might seem like one of those tasks that can be delayed for another day, just think about the first impression your visitors will have of your company. It won’t be positive! And talking of first impressions, take a look at your exterior, too. Some businesses have well-designed, modern interiors, yet forget to do anything about the outside area of their premises.

Clean and Tidy

Finally, remember that there really is no substitute for having a clean and tidy office or store. It’s an essential ingredient! What type of cleaning your premises needs, and how frequently, will depend on the type of space you have. If you’re not sure which way you need to go, then work with a company that offers cleaning services to do the job for you.

Common Challenges Business Owners Face

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. While being a business owner can be one of the most liberating things one can do, but it can also be one of the most challenging. There are a few pieces to be aware of. The following contributed post is entitled, Common Challenges Business Owners Face.

* * *

Being a business owner can give you the freedom you’ve always wanted. It can help you to get success, validation, and all of that good stuff that the ego just loves. However, this isn’t to say that it’s going to be an easy ride. It doesn’t matter how great your business idea is, you’re going to encounter some challenges along the way. Below, we’re going to take a look at some common challenges that business owners face so that you’re prepared and know what to expect:

Credit – PIXABAY

Health Care
One of the most challenging aspects of running a small business comes from managing health care for your employees. Your workers health is important. When they are healthy, they can work to the best of their abilities and feel great in the workplace. You’ll have less sick days and other issues related to health. However, the increased healthcare costs can make finances difficult to manage. Companies like Syntrix Consulting Group can make managing the healthcare of your team much easier.

Tax Compliance
You want to keep your profits high as a business owner, and that means making suitable office deductions, whether you work from home or not. However, record keeping can take up a lot of your time, and it can be extremely frustrating if this isn’t something you’re naturally good at. Working with a trustworthy accountant will mean making sure your tax is completed correctly the first time around, and they will often be able to make deductions for things you didn’t think of or realize you could deduct, so you can pay them with the money you’ve saved. You’ll save money and won’t even notice that you’ve forked out for an accountant. Smart!

Staying Passionate About Your Business
Working on your business day in day out can be exciting at first, but keeping the passion alive can be tough after a while. You need to be absolutely obsessed with what it is you’re trying to achieve. Make sure that your business fits in with your goals and values and that it’s something you know you’ll never get bored of. If it isn’t yet, make it so.

It can be especially tough to stay feeling great and energetic when you’re spending longer days in the office than your employees, fearing that things just won’t work as well in your absence. You must find a pace that keeps the business running without wearing yourself down.

Hiring New People To Join Your Team
Hiring employees can be tough, and you have a lot to consider. You need to think about things like benefits, taxes, bonuses, equipment, and more. You need to consider all of these hurdles before you even come up with the position’s salary. Having a solid hiring process is also important. Getting other members of your team involved and actually asking questions that matter will make a huge difference. Make sure you know which qualifications are essential, and the experience necessary too. Sometimes, it’s better to hire somebody who is completely new to the role if they have the right personality, and other times, you have to hire somebody with the right skills.

4 Questions About Homeownership

A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. Homeownership is a key pillar to building wealth. It can also wreck your finances if you don’t understand the pitfalls of it. The following contributed post is entitled, 4 Questions About Homeownership.

* * *

Homeownership is for many the ultimate American Dream. Indeed, we have to remember that the Americans of today were once immigrants who had come – or been shipped – to the country in the hope of making a living. What Thomas Jefferson called the pursuit of happiness is, after all, nothing else than having a place we can call home. However, purchasing a home doesn’t come without risks. Indeed, it doesn’t matter how many of us dream of homeownership; not everyone is ready to become a responsible homeowner today. Indeed, investing in a property is a commitment that requires a change of mindset. Some might even refer to it as the first step of adulting. The truth is that you can’t buy a home if you can’t answer the following questions:

Learn frugality

Can you avoid unnecessary expenses?
Buying a home is an expensive adventure you need to budget. There is no secret; unless you’re lucky enough to have inherited a substantial income, you will need to embrace a frugal lifestyle to save ahead of your property purchase. Frugality being the art of living within your means, it’s an essential skill to develop at the beginning of your homeownership journey. Indeed, it allows you to save money without depriving yourself. More importantly, it’s the key to keeping your budget under control safely.

Can you be part of a neighborhood?
You never buy just a house or an apartment. You buy your entry into a neighborhood. It’s the ability to embrace living at the heart of a community that makes your home a safe investment. Why so? Because your property becomes part of an ensemble that shares common values and interests, such as keeping the community safe and clean, for instance. As a homeowner, you agree to participate in the local activities and to get to know your neighbors. Ultimately, active communities are a magnet to shops and other amenities. Additionally, they significantly improve your quality of life. But it only works if you are ready to become a part of it.

Be part of your community

Can you fix things?
Things break. As a tenant, you can call your landlord to get it fixed. As a homeowner, you have to roll up your sleeves and sort it out yourself. While some repair jobs should be left to the pros – such as electrical and plumbing matters – anything else could be fixed with some DIY skills. Prepping and painting a room, for instance, doesn’t require expert knowledge. Dealing with a door that sticks shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes in most cases.

Can you visualize your decor?
Ah, the dilemma of decorating your interior! Many first-time homeowners feel confused when it comes to creating their own style. Indeed, for many, living in a rented place reduced their involvement in interior decor to a minimum. Therefore, it can be tricky to visualize all the options in a room. You’d be surprised to know that many home decor projects end up becoming a waste of money because people fail to take measurements and test their design ideas first.

In conclusion, if you can answer yes to the previous four questions, you are ready to buy your first home. However, if you’re still struggling with some of these elements, it’s a good idea to delay your purchase until you are more confident with your budgeting, community engagement, DIY skills, or decor planning.

Ideas to Boot Your Retail Business and Get Customers Through the Door

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. For standard ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses, a major key is getting customers to come to your store. Generating this traffic will likely increase your profits. The following contributed post is entitled, Ideas to Boot Your Retail Business and Get Customers Through the Door.

* * *

If you work in retail, or have a store as part of your business, then what are the ways that you need to improve it? One of the first things that you need to think about is about the curb appeal of the frontage. It gives people walking past an idea about what your business is about, and can quickly make their mind up about whether they should come into the store or not. So have you considered how important curb appeal is for your store? In fact, a huge 95% of customers have been reported to say that the appearance of a store, especially on the outside, will be one of the main things that they base their decision on, and will help them decide whether to enter the shop or not; that is a huge number of people. So with all of that in mind, here are some ways to make sure that any store frontage is looking good, and ready to welcome in customers.

image

Keep it Clean

From the windows to the sidewalk, the front of the store needs to be kept clean. It might mean that you are out there cleaning first thing before the store opens, but a quick sweep of the paving, sidewalk, and checking things like the door and windows are clean, is a must. It is something that is really simple but often gets forgotten about. It doesn’t have to take long, but will make a difference with people’s perceptions of your business.

Make Repairs

Like having a clean and tidy frontage, you also need to make sure that things are repaired as and when the problems arise. If you have paving out front that is cracked and looking a little worse for wear, how about getting in touch with a commercial paving company to get a quote? Things like that should be fixed as soon as possible, as it can look tacky and cheap otherwise, which isn’t something that you want perspective customers to be thinking about.

Change Your Window Display

No matter what your retail business is, you need to make sure that you draw new customers in by using things like your windows and window displays to draw people in. If people are regularly passing by but never make it in, the change in window displays could show them something that are interested in, meaning that they will be likely to pop in. As for regular customers, it just helps to show them variety, and gives them another reason to keep coming back to you.

Advertise Sales and Special Offers

One of the main goals in retail is to simply get customers through the door. When you are able to do so, it means that you can get talking to them, getting to know them, and get selling to them. So one of the best ways to get customers through the door is to offer deals and bargains, and make sure that they are clearly advertised. If someone was thinking of popping in, they are much more likely too if they see there is money off or a sale on.

Here’s How To Sell Your Products Online

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. Much of today’s business is conducted online. There are some keys to selling your merchandise online. The following contributed post is entitled, Here’s How To Sell Your Products Online.

* * *

Picture by Rawpixel

Although, the internet has its drawbacks (such as hackers that are a threat to businesses) the internet is arguably the root of all opportunity. Mainly because people from all backgrounds, so long as they have a laptop and an internet connection, can earn money online if they put their minds to it.

You may have decided your current physical store that you use to sell your products is limiting you from the reach of sharing your items with the world. Or maybe you’ve uploaded your products online somewhere to sell, but you haven’t received any sales. So how do you sell your products online, and where do you begin?

Choose Your Platform(s) Wisely

You have a few options at your feet for selling your products, but it’s up to you to decide which one fits your product and where you think your intended audience will be. Bear in mind, with ready-to-use popular platforms such as Amazon, there are rules you need to adhere to, to sell on their website. If you trip up and break the rules, it could lead to your account being suspended. If this does happen to you, it is possible to build a case for reinstatement to get your Amazon account back up and running. It just takes a bit of time and effort to do so..

Besides the well-known selling platforms such as eBay and Amazon. Look at the potential of developing your own ecommerce website to display your products to the public also.

Presentation

The way you present your products is an essential aspect to consider. Images that are too dark, poor quality or look unprofessional will prevent your product from selling as well as it potentially could. If you can afford to, have professional pictures taken of your products. If this isn’t possible, create a transparent, uncluttered background for your product to rest. Take shots of different angles in clear daylight, so that the customer may see various aspects of the product before deciding to buy.

Copywriting

The art of copywriting is to set the scene and engage readers on why they should buy your particular product. It’s your pitch to explain why this product is perfect and what it brings to a person’s life but also to outline the specification such as colours and measurements. People like to read about what their new product might entail. They also want transparency on what to expect, and so you need to give the reader both! When you write descriptions etc., keep it clear, simple and in keeping with the voice of your brand.

Reputation

A business’s trust and reliability are earned over time. Once your product begins to gain momentum with authentic online reviews, you can trust that the sales process of your products will be a lot easier. There are ways you can give your product a leg up online in this regard. For instance, you can give your product out for free to popular bloggers and ask if they would be so kind as to write about it on their website. If your product is fantastic, they’ll tell their readers. Which means your audience and reputation gradually expands.

Whether you’re setting up a side hustle or developing a full-time business, selling your products online will be a lot easier to do if you follow the steps above.

Effective Ways To Streamline Your Business

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. One of the keys to success of your business is eliminating any inefficiencies and redundancies. Streamlining specific parts of your business will increase its performance. The following contributed post is entitled, Effective Ways To Streamline Your Business.

* * *

Credit

When running a business of your own, every minute of the day matters. With an endless list of jobs, many fires to put out, and limited resources, you must make sure that your time counts. If you’re sitting down at eight and leaving at five having accomplished nothing you needed to, a change must be made. To stand any chance of being the best, you must work more effectively and efficiently. With that in mind, here are six things that you can do to streamline your business.

Eliminate Unnecessary Travel Time
As important as face to face meetings may be in business, they definitely aren’t necessary for every situation. If you have clients and contacts spread across the country or even the world, you won’t be able to travel to meet them. Not only is it expensive, but it wastes precious time. With today’s technology, there’s no reason why you can’t talk face to face over the internet instead.

Plan Fewer Staff Meetings
You might not have to drive hours for meetings with your team, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t waste time. Far too many employers schedule weekly or daily meetings with their staff, with no real purpose behind them. The fewer staff meetings you have each week, the more your team can get done. Keeping that in mind, writing a staff newsletter might be more efficient.

Outsource Your HR Function
Entrepreneurs can easily spend up to and over a third of their time handling payroll and benefits administration. Doing so yourself also risks penalties if tax filings are incorrect or payment deadlines aren’t met. To make your life easier, you should invest in an hr management system. By outsourcing the work, you save time and have peace of mind that mistakes won’t be made.

Invest In Skills Development
Although it would certainly be helpful, employees aren’t meant to be masters of all trades. They have their strengths and weaknesses, just like you so. It’s up to you to identify where those strengths lie and encourage employees to develop skills in those areas. This is a rewarding enterprise, but it will also give your team an edge, inspiring them to greater productivity.

Sort Out The Schedule
Creating a schedule for your employees is sure to be a time-consuming nightmare, especially for businesses in the retail industry. However, there are tools and software packages available that will make this task much simpler. With a schedule, your team won’t have to waste time deciding which task to tackle next, or, worse still, interrupt you to ask what they should be doing.

Credit

Look At Paper Usage
Paperwork can quickly pile up in an office. The problem with this is that the more paperwork you have on your desk, the more difficult it will be to find a specific file when you need it. The cost of paper and ink will also add up over the course of a year. To save money and unnecessary hassle, you should clear the paper from your desk and store your files on the cloud.

Time is a valuable resource in business, so take care of it by streamlining your company.

Why You Should Increase Your Business Connections

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. As with most sectors, increasing your connections is absolutely critical. Doing so will increase your network, and increase overall profits. The following contributed post is entitled, Why You Should Increase Your Business Connections.

* * *

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Aside from making more money, there are plenty of other reasons why it’s a good idea to increase your business connections in life. While some people don’t enjoy networking and don’t see the point, there really is a number of benefits to it, and if you haven’t started to do it yet, you really should and here’s why:

You Could Make New Friendships
You never know who you’re going to meet and who doesn’t want a new life-long friend? When it comes to networking in business, it can be really easy to make friends because the reason you are there, at that event or meeting is that you already have something in common. You will meet a lot of like-minded people and could end up building some really valuable and strong friendships.

You Might Get Lots Of Referrals
The best thing about networking to get referrals is that the referrals you get are mostly pre-qualified for you, and these will be more likely to turn into permanent clients. You basically will get much higher quality leads by networking than you would anywhere else.

Your Confidence Will Increase
By networking regularly, you would be able to push yourself to talk to different people, and this would eventually increase your confidence, and it is an essential skill to pick up. Keep doing this, and you’ll be able to talk to anyone, anywhere, and the thought of it won’t phase you at all. It’s important to be able to do this in business anyway as it is a skill which will help in all aspects of running a business.

You Will Find More Opportunities
Business owners who are highly motivated and confident and also in the right place meeting the right people will always come across new opportunities. It could be a new opportunity for a business asset or sale, it could be writing and speaking opportunities, partnership, client leads, or joint ventures. Just make sure that you only take advantage of the right opportunities and ignore those that would be harmful to you or your business. Don’t just take everything that comes your way. The opportunities that you take up should only strengthen your business goals. Focus on long-term solutions to help encourage growth within your business connections and productivity and check out blog.seebiz.com for more about improving business connections as this is one of the most effective solutions for increased demand and product knowledge. Think about nurturing relationships to create a long-lasting and quality impression as a business.

You Will Raise Your Profile
Another great benefit of making more connections is getting noticed and being visible. Ensure that you keep going to events to meet people so that your face becomes well-known. You can build a reputation for yourself as a supportive, reliable, and knowledgeable person by offering tips and useful information to those who need it. Helping others is great for business, gets you noticed and you also might come across some fantastic talent to recruit while doing it.