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Four Tools to Help Your Business Excel

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 4, 2018

Every business owner is keen for their company accounts to surpass previous levels of success, and there is nothing more exciting than witnessing your personal business flourish financially. But, of course, there is a complex formula to business success, and it is something that is unique to every individual business. Happily, there are some simple organization strategies and practical solutions you can put in place to help your business excel. Read through some of our tips below to see where you can help your business hit new strengths.

1. Keep on Top of Digital Marketing Trends

Over the past few years, digital marketing has changed dramatically and there are many new marketing techniques that are imperative to a successful business in the current technological climate. Investing in rich multimedia content - such as video - is now an important marketing technique for any business. If your business exists principally online and there is nothing else to film but the inside of your office, then it may be worth investing in a short animation. Artificial Intelligence is one of the biggest trends for marketing in 2018 and, therefore, it should be considered when trying to boost your businesss profits.

2. Streamlining your Services

By synthesizing multiple elements of your business to one service provider, your business will be more organized. There are services such as SellerCloud which can support your business by synchronizing accounts, streamlining your companys catalog and simplifying your inventory. Dependent on size and structure, it may be worth investing in professionals by outsourcing some of the labor, admin and operational elements of your business to help it grow. When you are the CEO of any business, it is useful to calculate how much your time is worth in order to evaluate whether you will actually be saving money and therefore improving your business- by employing others.

3. Interact with your Customers

In the current business climate, if you neglect the opportunity to converse with the people who buy your products - or your potential clients your customer service will be considered shockingly poor. Regularly updating your companys site will be beneficial for its SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and utilizing social media platforms is virtually costless; there is no reason not to use it. However, it is extremely important to be aware of current social media trends, for example, Instagram has become a more valuable channel than Facebook. When using social media, it is essential that you research how your customers use it and which information they perceive to be relevant.

4. Optimize your Inventory Management

By managing your inventory efficiently, your funds will be spent efficiently and giving you the opportunity to improve your ROI (Return on Investment) immediately. There are many ways to improve how you manage your companys inventory, one method which is beneficial for any size of company is to clearly establish your consistent incoming and outgoing payments and to recognize trends to avoid not having enough money to pay for necessary services whilst also utilizing all the funds possible to improve your business.

By utilizing all of these tools, your business will increase its efficiency, marketing strategies and organization which will help your business to excel and increase profit. 

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Changing Paths

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 28, 2018

How Education Can Help You Embark on a Business Career in Later Life

As life goes on, many people will begin to get tired of their jobs and dream about finding something new and exciting. Often, these feeling are dismissed as simply being a mid-life crisis but, truth be told, there is no such thing. If you want to change careers, you will be hard pushed to find a better industry to enter than business. Going into business is the perfect opportunity to combine practical skills and knowledge alongside your favorite hobbies and interests. All you need to know is how to start. The best way to get a leg up in changing your career path is to retrain and get a well-respected business qualification that will help you get your foot in the door as well as equip you with all the skills you will need to be successful.

Training in the industry

Going into business will require you to retrain, and the best way to do this is to get a degree from a reputable business school, such as the one at Touro University Online. Doing a degree online is a relatively new concept but one that is being chosen by more and more people who want to be able to study without having to uproot to a new place or quit their current job. A degree is a comprehensive qualification that will allow you to specialize your studies in a way that employers will look upon favorably. Your degree will also provide you with all the foundational skills you need to impress employers and understand the industry well enough to start your own business one day if that is what you choose to do.

Get the best results

Undertaking a degree is one thing but making sure that you are seizing this opportunity and getting the most out of it possible is what will truly impress employers in the future. Your course will comprise of exams, coursework, and maybe even practical assignments or placements in a company, but no matter what your latest task, you need to be able to do well in it. It is, therefore, worth looking up and following tips for effective studying so that you can find a method that works for you. The key thing to remember above all else is that re-reading your textbooks over and over is never the best way to revise, so get creative!

A winning reading-list

Taking on a degree means you are committing yourself to a lot of reading, but if you want success, you need to read influential books about business that aren’t on your course. Not only will doing this help improve your overall grade, but it will also make you a better business person and prove to future employers that you are a self-motivated individual.

Changing your career path to enter the business world doesn’t need to be scary once you know how to get started. Find a degree course that you can fit around your current life and seize the opportunity to change your life for the better. 

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How to Get Past the “Proof of Concept” and Launch a Successful Business

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Proof of concept refers to the early stages of a business or product. It is the stage, often the first year after launch, where you have to prove that your business, business model, or product can be commercially and financially viable. It is the first hurdle you will have as a new business, and it can often be the most important one. It is difficult to get people to trust and try new brands, but you need to do this in order to become the success you have always dreamed of. To help you overcome the challenges common during this stage, you need to work hard and follow these steps:

Create a Comprehensive Business Plan

Business plans can help you survive past the first year because they are so much more than a list of steps you think you need to take. In order to create a great business plan, you need to start first with research. Learn everything you can about the industry, about your competition, and about the tools, you will be using. Learn from others’ successes as well as their failures. This way you can better prepare for any challenge that comes your way.

Acquire the Necessary Funding

Every business needs to look and act the part. No one is going to buy from you if your website is aesthetically lacking, is difficult to use, and your overall branding and product look like they were haphazardly made. That is why you need to go through the lending club personal loan reviews to see what the best option for acquiring funding is for you. The better your credit score, the better your loan will be. So, it could be worthwhile to build up your credit score as you work on creating a comprehensive business plan. 

Build Up Your Business

Once you have the funding, you will need to put that funding to action. This might be finding a factory to partner with to turn your prototype into a marketable item, or it might be building up your business and collaborating with brands to help build up your stock. Regardless of what business model you choose, you are going to need a website, social media profiles, and professional branding. The better these look, the better the user experience, and the better they are optimized for SEO, the better your new business will perform. You just cannot forget to engage, partner, and collaborate with others during this time.  

Partner, Collaborate and Advertise

No business can survive alone, which is why in order to succeed you need to get out there and partner, collaborate, and advertise every single day. Social media has made this incredibly easy to do, thankfully, so all you need to do is work on increasing organic engagement and expanding your reach through influencers and brands alike.

It won’t be easy to make it past your first year and become a success, but with enough planning and smart spending, you can become a huge hit before you know it. 

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The Art of Delegation and Why You Need to Master It

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Whether you run a big company with many staff, or you have a start-up with just yourself in the beginning, you are reliant on other people to run your business successfully. However much you may wish to keep control of every aspect of your business, you will inevitably need help, whether that’s from a specialist service or by employing your own people. No-one can operate in a vacuum, and being able to delegate effectively is a key skill that you need to acquire if you want to succeed.

What is delegation?

Basically, it’s giving someone else a task to do that you lack the time, knowledge, or desire to do yourself. Organizations operate on the art of delegation, with each level of the hierarchy determining what is most usefully passed on to another member of the team. If you’re a sole trader, you might wonder how this applies to you, when you have no employees. In your case, one of the most common examples would be your tax returns. You could do it yourself, grappling with the complexities of IRS forms, accountancy terms and the fear of what could happen if you get anything wrong. Or you could pay an expert to do it for you, and claim the expense on your tax return – a pretty obvious course of action. You save the time it would have taken you to do the return and use it to work at your business, and you know the tax professional you’ve engaged will not only be able to correctly complete your return, but will be able to advise you on all the expenses you can claim. This principle can be applied to any business scenario, it just requires the ability to know what can and should be delegated and to whom.

What should you delegate?

Delegation is not a justification for landing unpleasant tasks on other people just because you don’t want to face them, or giving your work to someone else because you want to get home earlier. You need to be able to answer yes to one or both of these questions: Could someone else do this task more effectively than me? Would my time be more profitably spent doing an alternative task? A yes is a fair indication that the task is suitable for delegation, so then it’s a question of who to delegate the task to.

Who should you delegate to?

Determining that a task is suitable for delegation is only half of the story. You then need to decide who to delegate to. Again, there are a couple of questions you can ask yourself to be sure of selecting the right person: Does delegating this task present an opportunity for professional growth for this member of staff? Is there someone available who has the skills and the time to complete the task by the required deadline? Of course, in a small business your pool of candidates will be much smaller, and may indeed be just one other person, or none if you are a sole trader. Nevertheless, your decision will be based on broadly similar criteria - a judgement about whether your staff member has time, experience, knowledge, and the ability to complete the task, or whether it would represent a learning opportunity for them. If the answer is no, you then have the choice to outsource to an external agency.

Appraising the suitability of staff and external agencies

Knowing whether a member of staff is suitable for a task is largely a matter of judgement, your knowledge of them as an individual, and your experience with them thus far. This is why delegation only works well when it is cascaded one level down the hierarchy. A managing director is not going to know enough about the shop floor staff to allocate specific tasks to them effectively, whereas their immediate supervisor should know enough about their abilities to make a good judgement on their suitability. If you have no staff, or have decided that none are suitable, your next option is outsourcing, which is just the delegation of tasks to an external provider.

Going back to the example of the sole trader’s tax returns, you would still need to evaluate the potential candidates for the role and not just stick a pin in a list of names. You would probably choose the best qualified person or firm you could find, who can provide genuine references, discuss your needs knowledgeably and engagingly, and who use high quality software systems like UltimateTax. This appraisal is important because in exactly the same way that you need to find the best internal person for a task, you need to apply the same criteria to external providers to be confident that your work will be done to the highest standards.

Can’t I just do it myself?

The answer is almost certainly, no! No individual has all the skills, or the necessary levels of expertise, to undertake every possible task a business generates, not to mention the time it would take to do everything yourself. It’s also a false economy to believe you will save money by doing as much as you can yourself, because while you are wading through hundreds of query emails, or trying to craft effective Tweets, you are not applying yourself to the most significant business development tasks, meaning your venture will stagnate. By delegating these kinds of tasks to people who are capable of carrying them out to a high standard, you will have more time to invest in your strategic growth, enabling your business to flourish.

Another important consideration is the development of your staff’s professional skills and boosting their self-confidence. As a good employer, it’s vital that you take opportunities to expand their knowledge and abilities, a practice that will ensure you have happy, fulfilled staff who wish to do their best and are equipped with the skills to add ever-increasing value to your business.

Whatever your position in the hierarchy, understanding the importance of delegation and how the decisions you make can have significant effects is a vital skill for the successful operation of any business.

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Tips For New Entrepreneurs Launching A Business

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 20, 2018

Looking to launch your first business? This is an incredibly exciting period in your life, but you are also likely to be feeling a great deal of stress and anxiety as there are so many hurdles to overcome and a great deal of uncertainty over the next few years. In order to alleviate this stress and put yourself in a good position to succeed, there are a few helpful tips that any new entrepreneur can benefit from. It can be difficult to navigate the waters by yourself for the first time, but the following advice should help you to hit the ground running and have all you need to succeed.

Find A Support Network & Mentor

You do not want to go solo into this venture as it will be a huge challenge which can take its toll mentally. It is for this reason why you must have a good support network in place, but it is also helpful if you have a mentor who can guide you in these early stages. This should be someone with experience in launching a business (ideally in a similar field) - if you do not know someone, there are online communities and local groups that you could consider joining.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job Just Yet

You may be tempted to hand your notice in and give this venture your complete attention, but this is a dangerous move to make. Continue working until the project is starting to bring in some cash so that you can safely transition. It is also a smart move to have a rainy day fund tucked away so that if things do not go according to plan you are not stuck in a difficult financial position.

Get Finances In Order

It is vital that your finances are in order from the get-go as it can be challenging to tidy this aspect of the business up when you are up and running. You need to secure funding, draw up a detailed budget that carefully tracks expenses, understand your tax requirements and open a business account. Those with a poor crediting rating can open a business account with no credit check with minimum requirements (contact details, 18+, trading address, etc.). This is particularly helpful for new or young entrepreneurs who may not have a great credit rating.

Avoid Comparisons & Be Patient

It is very easy to compare yourself to similar businesses in your industry or startups that launch around the same time as you, but this is a waste of time and will take away your focus. Instead, establish realistic short and long-term goals and be patient - success does not come overnight.

Hopefully your first business will prove to be a great success, but launching a successful startup is no easy feat, and it may take a few years until you start to reap the rewards. The above information can help any first-time business owner to navigate the tricky waters early on and provide them with everything that they need to go on and succeed.

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