4 Ways To Advance Your Business Career & Get Ahead

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Career Discussions. If you’re in a business career, there nuances to it and there are unique aspects to advancing. Not everyone entering this career knows what those keys are. The following contributed post is entitled, 4 Ways To Advance Your Business Career & Get Ahead.

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Working in the business world, no matter the industry, is a tough but also rewarding job. You likely have a lot of responsibilities to handle on any given day but are learning a lot and trying to make a name for yourself, so it’s all worth it.

The truth is that it’s only worth it if you’re getting better each day and learning and growing as an individual and professional. You must find ways to advance your business career if you want to get ahead and find long-term success. The following ideas and tips will help guide you to knowing where to focus your time and energy to ensure you’re rewarded for your hard work.

1. Focus on Professional Development

One way to advance your business career and get ahead is to focus on your own professional development. Figure out ways to advance your skills and knowledge such as taking Business analytics certification courses that will allow you to learn new information and set yourself apart from the competition. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to take on additional projects and tasks at work and prove to others that you have what it takes to succeed in business.

2. Find A Mentor

It’s also a wise move to find a mentor who can guide you to making good decisions about your business career and in your current job. Advance your business career and get ahead by bouncing ideas off your mentor about how to proceed and what to focus on that will have a real impact on your professional path. Learn from this person and ask about what mistakes they made so you can avoid doing the same.

3. Discuss Your Goals & Performance with Your Boss

It may be that you’re doing well at work but are feeling a bit lost. To get ahead and advance your career, you must know where you’re heading and have a clear path to success. Therefore, sit down and discuss your goals and performance thus far with your boss. Let them know that you’re serious about your job and career and what you’re doing to ensure that you continue to progress and get better in your role. Ask about the possibility of a promotion in the future and what you need to do to get it or be in the running for it.

4. Always be Networking

Another way to advance your business career and get ahead is to always be networking. It’s a line of work where who you know matters a great deal. It’s beneficial for you to know as many people as possible and make sure they know who you are and about your talents. Update your online professional profiles and reach out and introduce yourself to those who you find interesting and you believe can offer you some good advice. Attend conferences and events outside of your workplace and get to know those in the business so they think of you when career opportunities arise that may be the right fit for you.

Preventing Cyberattacks At Work: What You Could Be Doing?

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. With so much business being conducted online, there is an increased likelihood for cyberattacks. As such you have to think about how to defend you operations against them. The following contributed post entitled, Preventing Cyberattacks At Work: What You Could Be Doing?

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It’s not always simple to protect your business from a cyberattack. Not only do you need to consider your IT security and hire the right agencies to make sure that your firewalls remain in place, you need to ensure that you train your staff properly in what to see in a cyberattack. You need to train every single person working in your business to know what to look for – and that gets tougher as technology evolves.

The more we bring in new security measures and technology, the harder it gets to ensure that the business is protected. Why? Well, as technology becomes more sophisticated, cyber hackers and attackers get more sophisticated! You need to know that you can handle training on physical theft, phishing simulations, how to recognize spam for scams – it’s vital. Your employees need to be educated in cyber security and all that comes with it so that they can alert your IT team when things crop up. So, how can you do more for your business and protect it properly?

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● Offer Dedicated Training. Your business emails are a gateway for attackers and business email compromise attacks are some of the most sophisticated around. Hackers can extract information from your business when you don’t have the right phishing simulations and spam training invested in for your staff. Someone would see an email and think it’s legit, only to forward it on and further impact your business. With the right training provider, you can ensure that employees know what these scams look like, and they won’t be tricked into sending these emails.
● Put Policies In Place. Your business may be a flexible, “down with the kids” type business, but that doesn’t mean that you should allow your staff free reign over the internet. Company devices should be connected only for professional reasons, but you can still be flexible with personal devices at work. Teach your staff which files they can download and from which websites. If they know which networks are issued by you and are safe to use, they’ll be able to lower the risk of being scammed. Keep those policies in place and reestablish them as you need to. Don’t let it go, either, as you want to ensure that everyone is on the same wavelength with regard to security policies.
● Add Password Training. Your IT team may hand out passwords to staff, but that doesn’t mean that your staff shouldn’t know how to change them as needed. It should be that you all change your passwords every couple of months and they must remain case-sensitive and hard to break.
● Educate On Reporting Procedures. Lastly, train your staff to know where to report any scam issues they come across. It’s so important that they know to whom they should raise the alarm and how to ensure that the right people know straight away so that precautionary measures can be taken. Mistakes will happen – it’s human – but it’s easier to fix those mistakes if everyone knows what to do.

6 Business Goals to Aim for This New Year

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. While we’re still early into 2021, it’s important to have goals for your business to grow it and help if flourish by 2022. The following contributed post is entitled, 6 Business Goals to Aim for This New Year.

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A new year is a great time to reflect on the successes and failures of the past year. Doing so helps you set new goals for yourself and your business and identify what can be improved. Did you know setting goals helps position you to achieve more? According to a Harvard study, 14% of the population who have goals are ten times more successful than those who don’t have any. So, what goals should you aim for in this new year, specifically for your business? Here are a few.

1. Increase traffic on your business website or blog

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Increased traffic to your business website or blog means you’re reaching a larger audience who could eventually become customers. This can cause a significant boost in your sales while giving you a loyal customer base and should undoubtedly be a part of your business goals for the new year. One way by which you can accomplish this is with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You can either master it yourself or employ experts’ services to help give your website or blog the traffic and visibility it needs.

2. Create a new customer service process

How seamless are your customer service processes? Are they customer-friendly, clear, and provide your customers with a memorable experience? You can reach out to your customers and get their feedback through surveys, for example, to find out their expectations of your products and services. This can help you come up with new and improved offerings to make not only satisfy but delight your customers and make them feel valued.

3. Increase business productivity

Your business’ productivity rate directly impacts on your net profit and can therefore not be overlooked. You can achieve this by reducing the number of distractions in the workplace during working hours and improving efficiency in business activities. For example, instead of having your employee spend so much time at the shredder disposing of documents, you could outsource this to trustworthy documents shredding services, so your employees can utilize their work hours fully.

4. Give to the community

Giving back to your community helps you make an impact and also creates goodwill for you. As a new year resolution, you can start making a difference by regularly donating to individuals or groups you have identified in your community. You can also volunteer for causes that align with your values or become a mentor to help groom someone. As you do this, you’re building up your community in your own small way.

5. Plan to take some time off

It would be best if you also take some time off from work to rest. You may wonder how this could impact your business, but not taking a break could affect your mental and physical well-being, making you less productive and affecting your business. So, for the good of your body and business, unplug, rest, and come back feeling reenergized to give the business your best shot.

6. Network or engage with other businesses and individuals

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Engaging with other businesses and people helps birth new ideas, improve old ones, and build useful contacts and life-long partnerships. You could start by engaging with a group of people dedicated to your business field or a generalized networking platform; these could be done online or in person. Making such efforts is sure to boost your business.

Setting these goals and working towards them will certainly position your business for success in this new year and beyond.

5 Best Cybersecurity Tips For Small Businesses

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. With more business being conducted in cyberspace, the need for effective cybersecurity is of the utmost importance. The following contributed post is entitled, 5 Best Cybersecurity Tips For Small Businesses.

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It is a big mistake to think that owning a small business reduces your risks of a cyber attack. And this erroneous mindset can cause budding entrepreneurs to compromise their cybersecurity practices. In fact, the United States’ Congressional Small Business Committee discovered that 71% of cyber attacks were targeted at businesses with fewer than 100 employees. Learning Cybersecurity Basics can help you run your business smoothly despite the rampant cyber threats seen in the current season of the pandemic. On that note, here are five of some of the best cybersecurity tips for small businesses.

1. Use a firewall

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A firewall may act as one of the first security layers on your business. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), all SMBs need to set up firewalls to create strong barriers between their organizational data and cyber-criminals. It’s also necessary to add an internal firewall, even if you have a standard external firewall. Ensure that your employees who are now working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic use firewalls on their home networks. In general, firewall software can greatly improve your business’ network security.

2. Document your cybersecurity policies

Revamping your organization’s cybersecurity culture starts with documenting your cybersecurity protocols. The SBA’s portal provides tons of useful information on how small business owners can protect their online businesses. Consider taking part in the C3 voluntary program for small businesses, as it offers a detailed toolkit for the best cybersecurity protocols and practices.

3. Develop a mobile device action plan

As much as they account for a large portion of web traffic, mobile devices may also create significant security challenges. That’s if they contain personal information or gain access to corporate networks. Management needs to configure systems requiring all users to password-protect their devices. You may also want to ask your team to install security apps and to encrypt their data. These can bar cyber-criminals from breaching employees’ mobile devices when they are connected to public networks. Create a mobile device action plan by laying down reporting procedures for stolen or missing equipment.

4. Use complex passwords and multiple-factor authentication

Ask your employees to avoid costly password mistakes. For example, encourage your employees not to reuse their passwords but instead to use strong and unique passwords. You can also consider implementing multi-factor authentication codes such as 2FA; these will demand extra information beyond passwords when unauthorized users attempt to log in to your systems. Find out from vendors who handle sensitive information if they can help you set up multi-factor verification codes for your business accounts.

5. Train employees on cybersecurity principles

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Finally, outline basic cybersecurity principles and practices for your workers to observe. Establish an effective internet usage guideline, and spell out the penalties associated with workers who violate your company’s cybersecurity principles. Management can create rules of behaviors detailing how the business protects customers’ valuable information.

Backup your essential business data along the line as you implement all effective cybersecurity measures. Automatic backups can safeguard your financial files, word documents, and other critical databases.

Discover The Greatest Threats To Your Manufacturing Firm

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Manufacturing is a specific sector in the business world. Unfortunately there are unique threats as there are will all businesses. The following contributed post is entitled, Discover The Greatest Threats To Your Manufacturing Firm.

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Are you worried about what’s going to happen to your manufacturing company? You’re certainly not alone here and it’s important to understand the greatest threats that are on the horizon for this industry. Let’s explore some of the nightmare scenarios that you might need to prepare for.

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Downtime

Downtime isn’t just an issue for manufacturers. It’s a problem for all businesses and business models. However, for manufacturers, it can lead to more serious issues. If there is lengthy downtime in your business model, then essentially, it can stop you from fulfilling contracts that you have setup with different business clients. This makes you unreliable and that’s why you need to ensure that you are fixing issues with downtime as quickly as possible. A lot of different problems can cause downtime. For instance, you could have electrical issues and if that’s the case you might need a repair service. You can learn more about quality solutions by researching different companies online.

Quality Issues

It’s also possible that there’s an issue with the quality of service that you are providing as a manufacturer. If that’s the case, then it will be worth thinking about upgrading your equipment or evening hiring more skilled team members. Both steps could lead to the jumps in quality that you need and guarantee that there isn’t an issue with clients seeking out your competitors to provide the service that you offer instead.

Inefficiency

Issues with inefficiency in your manufacturing business are going to cause the costs in your model to explode. There are a few ways to handle this. For instance, you might want to think about again upgrading the technology. There’s a lot of incredible tech on the market these days that will be able to provide the results and the fast processes that you need.

Alternatively, you might want to think about going green in your manufacturing company. A lot of manufacturers are exploring this possibility. It is an option thanks to the reduction in costs of equipment such as solar panels. You can get these on the market now for a few thousand each and this should easily fit the typical manufacturing budget.

Health And Safety

An Issue with health and safety could end up costing your business thousands and the big problem here is that you won’t see these costs coming so you won’t be able to prepare for them. As such, it’s essential that you manage problems with safety in your business model. One of the ways that you can do this is to hire a health and safety officer. They will check for issues with your business and ensure that there are no problems that could cause a nasty lawsuit in the future.

As you can see, there are numerous threats that you could face running your manufacturing firm right now. It’s important to understand these so that you can take the right steps to protect your own company. By doing this, you could even get ahead of the competition who may not be quite as forward thinking as you.

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The Best Ways to Make Your Customers Happier

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. In the business world, one of your roles is not only to attract customers, but also to make them happy depending on their needs and wants. The following contributed post is entitled, The Best Ways to Make Your Customers Happier.

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A successful business needs to keep its customers happy. Not only will it encourage them to come back, but if they’re happy, they will also be more likely to recommend your business to others. Ensuring your customers walk away happy is something you’re probably already trying to do, but what if you could make them even happier? You might find that, despite your efforts, your customers aren’t as satisfied as you’d like them to be. Fortunately, there are various strategies that you can try to make your customers happier than ever. Keep reading to find out what you can do to increase happiness for your customers.

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Be More Personal

Personalizing your brand is important if you want to be able to connect with your customers. If you’re just a faceless corporate entity, it makes it hard for your customers to really engage with what you have to offer. There are many different techniques available for taking a more personal approach to running your business. It might include meeting clients face-to-face or over video chat, instead of just communicating by email. It could also include things like giving customers a special discount on their birthday or even just wishing them a happy holiday.

Help Them Save Money

Everyone likes to be able to save money where they can, even if they have plenty of money themselves. If you can help your customers to save money at every opportunity, instead of obviously pushing them to spend more, you could find that they end up spending more money with you in the end. One of the ways to work on customer experience optimization is to take a look at your pricing strategy. Changing your pricing can help you to be more competitive and please your customers. You can also offer discounts and special offers, or even recommend lower priced options to customers to show you can be trusted to provide the best advice.

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Give Them Support

Customer support is often just as important as the product or service that you are offering. If your customer service and support is bad, it can turn customers away from you and cause them to warn others off your brand too. One of the ways to improve customer support in the digital age is to make your support more available. 24/7 customer support is possible with things like self-help sections on your website or chatbots, which can answer common queries and take people’s details out of hours.

Offer More Value

Offering more value to your customers doesn’t just mean giving them a good price. It also means going beyond your product or service to give your customers something that they weren’t expecting. This is something that you can think about when marketing your business, but also when delivering your product or service. Your website might provide extra value through an informative blog, while you could offer extra value through your products by delivering them in beautiful packaging for a great unboxing experience.

Happier customers will keep coming back and recommend you to others, so start working on increasing customer satisfaction now.

How Any Brand Can Dominate A Local Market (Including Yours!)

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Depending the business you’re running, you want to figure out how you can thrive in the relevant environment. For some businesses that your local market. The following contributed post is entitled, How Any Brand Can Dominate A Local Market (Including Yours!).

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Big-picture company leaders can sometimes get into the habit of viewing the world through the lens of averages. They only see the whole and not the parts.

That might be a good technique for taking short-cuts. But when you only look at your “global” or “regional” market size, you neglect to consider the local.

You might think that appealing to a local market is something that only small businesses do, but even the biggest brands recognize that everything is essentially local. There’s no such thing as a “global consumer” because everyone has to come from somewhere.

So with that in mind, how can you change your marketing so that it appeals more to people inhabiting specific geographies. Here’s what to do.

Target Paid Local Results

Did you know that search engines like Google provide special PPC advertising segmentation for businesses looking to target local areas?

If you run a small shop, you don’t have to target popular generic keywords. Instead, you can make all your search ads appear automatically, in response to queries that contain local search terms. So, for instance, your ads will show up on results for “hairdresser in Washington” and not just “hairdresser.”

Be More Active In Your Local Community

Even if your business has big national or international plans, it pays to become more active in your local community. The more you can appeal to residents and build your base, the more resources you’ll have to expand to a second or third location.

Being more active in the community could involve anything that falls under the category of “corporate responsibility.” You could also contact your local chamber of commerce and ask them whether there are any events taking place in your local area. Becoming a sponsor helps to secure your brand in the minds of locals.

Do More Local SEO

Sites like https://unravelseo.com/seo/local-seo/ talk extensively about the benefits of local SEO. The basic idea here is to increase organic traffic arriving at your landing pages and sales funnels from Google search. Remember, the more people you can direct to your site this way, the less you’ll have to spend on PPC. Plus, you’ll acquire customers long-term, instead of having to pay a fee for every lead.

Target Government Contracts

Businesses compete fiercely for government contracts – and for good reasons. Not only do they provide a high and stable income, but they also allow you to align yourself with the local “official” sector, which is great for branding.

Be More Customer-Focused

Customers know that if they go to a big box brand, they’ll get the products they want at a low price. So there needs to be an additional reason for them to come to you.

For most local businesses, that differentiator is quality of service, according to https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/281174.

What does that mean in practice? Well, partly, it’s knowing your customers’ needs on a personal level. People want to be able to come to you and for you to know precisely what they want. And they enjoy the friendly atmosphere – something that’s challenging to achieve at the bigger companies.

3 Mobile Marketing Strategies to Help Make Your Sales Figures Soar

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. In 2021 it’s critical to have a mobile marketing strategy to propel your business and your sales figures. The following guest post is entitled, 3 Mobile Marketing Strategies to Help Make Your Sales Figures Soar.

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Mobile phone usage is increasingly quickly across the globe. According to a report from Pew Research, over five billion individuals have mobile devices.

If your small business isn’t marketing to smartphone users, now is the time to start. Marketing your business to mobile phone users can bump up your brand awareness. What’s more, it can help boost your bottom line. The right marketing strategy will help mobile users find information about your products and services, which can help convert them to customers.

Take your business to the next level by adopting these mobile marketing tactics:

1. Optimize for Voice Search

Some mobile customers depend on voice search to complete everyday tasks, such as order food and find grocery stores near their area. They call on Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant and other voice-controlled personal assistants to help them with requests. If you have potential customers using voice search on their mobile phones, you’ll need to refine your marketing strategies to help your business become more visible to these people.

Not sure how to optimize your website for voice search?

Here are a few suggestions:

• Keep your business information up to date. You want to make sure that on-the-go voice search users can easily find the location and contact details of your business when they visit your area.
• Add long-tail keywords into your website content phrased in the way mobile users speak instead of the way they type. When people do voice search, the words they use tend to be long-winded statements or phrases compared to typed searches.
• Use your website to answer common queries. Find popular or frequently asked questions in your niche and provide answers to them in your site content.

2. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

When you use mobile marketing to reach a wide audience, you want to capitalize on it. An effective way to make this happen is to have a mobile-friendly business website.

Many companies have a website, but not all have a responsive site design that’s suitable for mobile phones. So, take this opportunity to get your website optimized for mobile users. If you need help with this, look for digital marketing agencies that include mobile site optimization in their website design and SEO packages. By having a mobile-friendly website, you can deliver a better browsing experience for your visitors and further improve your online visibility.

3. Spice up Customer Engagement with Augmented Reality

Concepts, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), are relatively new. Some marketers don’t completely understand how they can apply these tech trends in their promotional strategy.

AR involves projecting virtual images and other elements in a real-world environment. VR, on the other hand, is an immersive and simulated experience wherein an individual wears a headset that places them in a virtual environment, such as outer space.

Although VR marketing tools can get expensive, you can use AR components to your mobile marketing campaigns. Tools, such as Blippar and ZapWorks, let you integrate AR into your campaigns.

Employ these mobile marketing tactics to help boost the bottom line of your business. Remember to personalize your mobile marketing efforts because personalization can contribute to higher sales.

Enhancing Your Photographs And Making The Most Of The Skills You Have

Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Now more than ever, it’s important to make the most of the skills that you already have. This is particularly true if you have skills in the realm of photography, a particularly lucrative area. The following contributed post is entitled, Enhancing Your Photographs And Making The Most Of The Skills You Have.

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Whether you enjoy taking pictures of your family and friends, use photographs and imagery as part of your business or blog, or have a general interest in photography, any one of us are always looking for ways we can improve. A picture is a very personal thing, it’s more to do with the visionary of the person actually taking the photograph, and many of us could be photographing the same thing and end up with completely different finished articles. That is what is so fantastic and diverse about the photography and creative element side of things. However, there are always things and steps we can take to improve the skills we already have. With that in mind, here are some of the fantastic ways you can enhance your photographs.

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Consider the equipment you use

The equipment you use has a lot to do with the quality of pictures you produce. Although these days you can produce some amazing photographs on a smartphone, you can never deny the quality of the detail you can produce on a DSLR or the latest compact digital camera. There are other factors to consider that include SD cards and discs to help save your work. You should also consider things like Secure Media Duplication Services to help you duplicate cards and keep your work safe. You might also want to try a tripod and additional light boxes to help enhance the picture you are trying to take. A light box could help add some more light to the area, and a tripod can help stabilise your hands while you are taking the photo.

Try out a location shoot

Sometimes taking the person or item you want to photograph to an alternative location can really enhance the picture you are trying to take. You may want the perfect rustic backdrop or a perfectly styled home. This could really help you out. A location can add to the picture story. For example, if you are wanting to give the example of a lifestyle, then a styled area to take the photograph could only help to get the message across.

Take time when editing pictures

The editing of your pictures is vital to creating the finished look. So you need to take the time to ensure that you are editing the pictures. Think about the contrast of the image, the amount of light and colour saturation you want to add. You may want to crop the image to make it more focused or ensure that the background isn’t the main focus. Many basic editing software can do all of the above, and the difference it could make to your photographs is massive.

When it comes to your business or blog consider a theme

You may want to consider a theme for the pictures you publish especially for a blog or for a business. This might help to be consistent with your editing. So if you like the look of a picture that has too much contrast because of the pale colour scheme it can produce, then stick with it throughout the published pictures. More business and blogs are considering a theme now as it gives consistency.

Let’s hope these tips and tricks help you to enhance your photographs.

Easy Ways To Boost Morale In Your Business

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Organizational/Management Discussions. To ensure the continued operation of your business, you want to maintain and, in some instances, boost your staff’s morale. Strong morale in most instances will correlate with strong productivity. The following contributed post is entitled, Easy Ways To Boost Morale In Your Business.

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Your employees should be the heart of your business. Without their hard work, you can’t succeed. It’s important that your staff know you value them if you’re going to keep morale high in your company. Low morale leads to employees ae less engaged, less productive, and more likely to leave for another job. One of the best things that you can do for your businesses pay attention to the morale in your company and improve it.

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Offer Perks

A simple way to improve the way that your team feels about your company is to offer good perks for working for you. A benefits package is always attractive, and a good one can improve employee retention.

Offer something that is actually useful, such as a salary exchange scheme for a bike or electronics, vouchers for childcare, or small business health insurance.

You could also less formal perks, such as rewards at the end of a tough project, like a team lunch or after-work drinks.

Communicate

You won’t be able to keep your team happy if you don’t talk to them. An easy way to improve morale is to communicate better. Make sure you’re checking in with your employees all the time. Ask them how they’re feeling, and about the energy in their team. Discuss any challenges that they might be facing and how you can help them. Do this through regular one-to-ones, or in informal chats. Communicating will let you keep an eye on what is working and what isn’t, allowing you to spot and take on any problems before they can grow.

You also need to communicate with your employees about any upcoming changes in your business. Make sure you do this well in advance, so people can feel as though they are being kept up to date and don’t feel as though you’re springing changes on them with no warning.

Remember that your employees are people and should be treated like that. Make them feel that their opinions matter and will be listened to, and involve them in conversations that affect them.

Get Feedback

If your business is struggling to make sales, then don’t struggle with trying to come up with a solution on your own. Instead, remember that you hired your team for their expertise, and ask for feedback.

By taking this route you may discover a new way to make improvements. As an added bonus, this lets them know that their input is valuable to you.

Make Firm Business Decisions

As the owner of a business, you can’t sit on the fence. You have to be decisive. Whatever issues come up, you need to take the time to weigh up the pros and cons, and then make a decision. When you’ve made a choice, stand by it. If something then goes wrong, be honest, learn from the mistake, and move on.

Your employees need to know that they can trust their leaders to guide them in the right direction. It’s far more productive to have a post-mortem on why something didn’t work out than to fail to do anything in the first place.