6 Factors To Consider To Ensure The Safety Of Your Brick And Mortar Store Customers

Business Escalator Indoors Stock Mall Shopping

As a small business owner, you should know how important it is to keep your customers safe, but that doesn’t make this task any easier. Unfortunately, operating your business from a brick and mortar store only makes this job more of a challenge, as you open yourself up to risks and dangers that you simply wouldn’t encounter if you run your business online, such as crimes like vandalism and theft, and slip and fall accidents. If you want to keep your customers safe when they enter your brick and mortar business, then here are six factors that you need to consider.


  1. Fire Hazards

It doesn’t matter what type of business you run; if you operate out of a brick and mortar business, then there will always be a risk of fire. Of course, this risk will be increased if you sell flammable products, like clothing and furniture, but there are plenty of other factors that could result in a fire, such as exposed wiring from computers or the fire risk of a neighboring business. To keep your customers and business safe, it’s vital that you have a proper fire exit and fire extinguishers installed. You should also keep flammable materials away from heat sources.


  1. Lighting

Many businesses like to keep their lighting low to create a relaxed ambience, but this is a pretty risky move. Depending on the type of business you run, this could lead to a higher number of accidents within your store, as customers won’t be able to see the aisles properly.They also won’t be able to spot things on the floor that could trip them over. Low lighting also makes it more difficult to spot thieves, which leaves your customers at the mercy of pickpockets. It’s much more sensible to have bright lighting throughout the entire building.


  1. Slips And Falls

Slip and fall accidents are incredibly common within brick and mortar stores, and although you may never be able to eliminate the risk completely, there is a lot that you can do to avoid a call from your customers’ slip and fall lawyers. The first thing that you should do is give your store a thorough tidy, removing any potential trip hazards from your floors, such as boxes, pallets, and wires. You should also make sure to clean up any spillages as soon as they occur and display clear signs when the floor is wet.


  1. Signs

Signs are incredibly important for your brick and mortar business, as they can help to dramatically decrease the risk of many safety concerns. Placing a sign on a wet floor, for example, will let your customers know that they need to be careful, which means they’ll be a lot less likely to slip over, and that you won’t be at fault if they do. You should also clearly identify any other important pieces of information, such as where the fire doors are, areas your customers shouldn’t, where the toilets are, and whether the doors are push, pull, or automatic.


  1. Security Measures

Brick and mortar businesses have to face a lot more crime than most online based businesses do, including vandalism and theft. To reduce the risk of crime in your store, and in turn, reduce the risk that this has on your customers, it’s important that you assess your security and consider increasing it. If you don’t have one already, you should definitely consider installing an alarm system, as well as security cameras throughout the entire building. You should also make sure that you keep back doors locked, and keep as little money on the premises as possible.


  1. Employee Training

There is a range of emergencies that could arise in your business, and the reactions of your employees could be the difference between everyone leaving safely and someone getting hurt. Because of this, it’s vital that your employees are properly trained for many of these possible emergencies so that they know what to do if they’re ever faced with one. For example, if there’s ever a fire in your store, it’s important that your employees remain calm, and that they lead your customers out of the store in an orderly fashion.  


While there are many benefits to running a brick and mortar store, there are also a lot more hazards you have to face when compared with online businesses. This means that your customers also have more hazards to face. It’s your job to keep your customers safe, so make sure that you consider the advice above.

How to Create a Startup Budget for Your Business


If you would like to make sure that you are not overspending when starting your entrepreneurial journey, it is important that you create a list of all the necessary costs and equipment you will need to start your operation. Without completing this step, you cannot create financial predictions or even a business plan, which is needed in case you would like to apply for business financing options. Below you will find a few tips on creating your startup budget.

Registration and Trademark Costs

If you are starting a new brand, it is important that you get your logo and designs registered with the patent office. Failing to conduct a company name check can result in legal trouble, and even the closure of your business. Before you choose your trading name, research it and get a quote on logo design, website development, and other brand-related services that will help you establish your business on the market.

Cost of Premises

Next, you will have to calculate the cost of your business offices. Even if you start working from home, you will probably have to invest in faster internet and a more powerful computer. Depending on what your company will be doing, you might need to get business insurance. If you have to rent an office or workshop space, make sure that you list every expense, including insurance, deposit, and other registration costs.

Essential Services

Every business needs some services for smooth operation. First, you will need internet service that is reliable. You will also need a phone line or a couple of cell phones. If you have to deliver goods, you might need to sign up for a contract with a delivery company, and this will cost you a monthly fee. Becoming a member of a local trade or industry organization will also come at a cost. If you would like to create a buzz about your company, you might even join a local networking group for an annual fee.

Tools and Materials

Apart from regular and fixed expenses, you will also have one-off starting costs. If you are planning to manufacture unique accessories or furniture, you will need to invest in professional tools. Check out monumenttools.co.za to get an idea on the prices and estimate the cost of all your manufacturing tools, materials, and safety equipment. It is important that your business has everything it needs to start generating profits from day one.

Employee Costs and Tax

Every successful startup takes employee training seriously. If you would like to get the best people to work for you, it is important that you offer a competitive salary and great benefits. Calculate the cost of training, education, checks, tax, payroll system, and perks when creating your detailed business plan and estimating your costs and profits.

To make sure that you are aware of the cost of starting your own business, you should make sure that you list every startup cost and budget carefully, so you have a realistic view on your future profitability and return on investments.

Why Every Company Should Take IT Security Seriously


The news channels are full of reports about companies that had their customers’ details, private information, and their corporate secrets lost or exposed, shared, and it seems like some managers don’t seem to learn from their own mistakes. If you would like to protect your company’s reputation, it is important that you have a thorough security policy in place and you train your employees on handling data safely. Below you’ll find a few reasons why all companies should take IT security seriously.

It Can Cause Long Term Reputation Damage

If your company happens to accidentally disclose customer information and data, you will no longer be trusted in your marketplace. It is easier to prevent problems than dealing with the consequences. You need to draw up a customer charter, and take data protection very seriously. If you fail to safeguard private information, you will be exposed sooner or later, and it will take long years or decades to rebuild trust.

Legal Challenges

If you share customer data with those who are not authorized to view it, or it gets compromised, the victims might sue you for negligence. If you don’t have effective guidelines, policies, and systems in place, you will need to defend your company’s practices in the courtroom. Legal challenges regarding data protection and security are lengthy and can cost your company a lot of money, time, and resources.

Loss of Customers


If you cannot be trusted with sensitive information, your customers will sooner or later leave you and look for a competitor that promises to look out for their interest better. You will find that acquiring new customers will be much harder and more expensive than keeping your old ones. It is important that you install some tech features that monitor your IT security, so you don’t end up losing your customers.

Disruption of Operation

If your information is compromised, lost, or stolen, you will have no chance to carry on with your business operation as usual. This will cost you a lot of money. While some data can be recovered by professionals, such as www.datafirst.co.za, it will be a lengthy process. Restoring your files and systems will also cost you man hours and productivity.

Cost Savings

In modern businesses, productivity and efficiency are the key to success. You need to be more productive and meet your customers’ needs better than your competition, or you will lose the game. It is important that you get your company computers and networks checked regularly, and you are addressing different security threats, such as fraud, spyware, virus, and malware. If you are unable to prevent disaster, you will have to pay the price. Getting your security software regularly checked and updated will cost you much less than addressing a data security attack.

Whether you are looking to maintain your company’s reputation or productivity, data security and system maintenance should be one of your main priorities. Get your computers checked, backup your files, and prevent unauthorized access whenever you can.

Why Employee Communication Is The Key To Building Your Brand


Many entrepreneurs give the subject of branding a great deal of thoughts. They’ll pore over dozens and dozens of prospective logo designs from a range of talented freelancers. They’ll work long and hard to crystalize exactly which values and attitudes best encapsulate their brand. They’ll agonize over every single letter of their mission statement. But from the customer’s point of view, none of this matters. They won’t give two hoots about whether your logo is the exact right shade of orange, your slogan is catchy and memorable or that your mission statement contains a good amount of “radiant words”. To your customers, the proof is in the pudding. It’s in the way in which they interact with your employees that they ascertain the values of your brand. Thus, it’s more important than ever to make sure that these values are communicated to them effectively each and every day. Of course, this is easier said than done. Here are some ways in which entrepreneurs can manage communication with their employees to keep their brand intact…

Fight through the “technical fog”

There’s no doubt that you entrust many of the more technical aspects of keeping your business great to a handful of talented and technically minded individuals. But if you’re not proficient in their field of expertise, this can lead to what is known as “technical fog”. If you’re to know how to manage the talent risk of your team, it’s important to pierce the veil. It’s not enough to leave them in an office somewhere to “do their thing”. This will lead them to feel remote, alienated and less intrinsic to the success of your business than they undoubtedly are. Make efforts to understand what they do as best you can and work collaboratively with them to ensure that you’re all on the same page. This will not only help you to retain their talents but ensure that the values of the brand are evident even in the more idiosyncratic elements of your business.

Ensure that they, their opinions and their ideas feel valued

Every employee from the frontline staff dealing with customer queries, to your technical support staff to your management team play a part in making your business the success that it is. Without their efforts, your brand and mission statement would be just a handful of empty platitudes. It’s their hard work that makes it tangible. Thus, they need to feel that their insights and ideas are valued. Operate an open door policy, have a suggestions box and never shout down an employee’s contributions to a meeting, even if they don’t align with your own ideas.

Embrace the power of training… No matter what it costs

There is no better way to communicate the fundamental ideals that have built your brand to your employees than regular training. Training not only helps them to sharpen their skills as they learn new competencies, it is also a great motivator. Disrupting their routine and getting them to examine and reassess their working methods is a useful way of getting them to re-engage with their role rather than coasting through it day by day.

Many employers do not welcome the disruption and expense caused by training, but if they don’t embrace its power, they can find themselves compromising their brand with poor customer service.

What Makes eCommerce Different?


Nowadays, building a basic website has become a very easy job, with all of the DIY builders and simple tools available. If you only need to share a little bit of information, some images, and have some social media feeds, options like Wix could be perfect for you, giving you the chance to build a site in no time at all. But, for those in need of an online store, things get a little bit different. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring the major differences between a basic website and an eCommerce store.

Content Production: Most websites need to have some text to make sure that they are able to appeal to users. Along with this, they will often have images, and both will be produced to a semi-decent level. When it comes to eCommerce, though, photos and copy have to be produced to an incredibly high level. You can use some examples of existing sites to help you with this part of the job.

SEO: Most of the websites on the internet have less than 12 pages, making them easy to build to be SEO friendly. An eCommerce website, though, could have thousands, and will need a dedicated eComm SEO Service to be able to get good rankings. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that this part of their website build will be easy. In reality, it will be a big challenge, and most people won’t be able to do it without some serious learning.

Social Media Marketing: Having become one of the most popular marketing tools in the world, social media is very important, nowadays. In 2017, it was estimated that Facebook influenced over 50% of online purchases in some way or another, making it and it’s alternatives incredibly powerful and filled with potential. It will be worth having someone with a lot of experience to handle this part of the job, as it will be hard to know how to play these platforms without some background knowledge.

Security: Most websites are equipped with encryption, making it very hard for hackers and other criminals to break into the important data inside. When you’re dealing with payment information, addresses, and other sensitive details, you have to work extremely hard to keep them secure. Your host will play a huge role in this, as they are the front line when it comes to defending the store. Along with this, though, you could consider having some plugins and other security measures in place as a backup in case the server fails.

Making an eCommerce website is always a big job, and you will have to do loads on your journey to the heart of it. To help you out with this, there are loads of services out there, and most of them are very reasonably priced. This makes it nice and easy to build a website which not only captivates your users, but also improves your chances of making sales and earning money.

3 Hobbies You Can Turn Into A Startup


The best startups are ones that you actually enjoy and are passionate about. In my eyes, too many small businesses fail because the owners are just trying to copy what’s already popular, without actually being passionate about it. When you have a passion, you instantly have more drive to work harder and achieve the highest level of success possible.

This brings us to today’s topic; hobbies that you can turn into startup ideas. A hobby is something you enjoy, which is why it can become a great business idea. Here are some thoughts:


If you like writing, then you can immediately turn this into a business idea. Writing comes in many different formats; you may like writing your own stories or blogging about certain topics. Either way, there are countless ideas at your fingertips here.

I suppose the most obvious is to start a blog that you contribute to whenever you’re bored. It’s a fun hobby to keep your mind ticking over, and you may start to see a decent group of people reading your work. Then, you can take things seriously and invest in marketing for the blog while contributing more regularly. Monetization follows in the form of adverts on your blog, and then sponsors and brands come calling too. What started as a little blog has now grown into a rather large business that may well employ numerous other writers to cover different topics!


Farming is a very popular hobby for people that either own a bit of land or live out in the country. After a day at work, you can head out to the farm and tend to some crops or check how any animals are doing. It’s a fairly peaceful hobby, but you can definitely turn it into a business.

To start, you can sell your animals or collect their eggs/milk and sell that. You can also grow popular crops or vegetables and sell them as well. As you move from it being a hobby to a business, you just need to take things more seriously. Invest in things like a low profile holding tank to collect water supplies for crops. Buy a better tractor to help you get around the farm and two things. If you’re passionate about it, then it becomes a very fun job to have, and you’ll be rewarded with sizeable profits.



If you like baking, and you’re good at it, then the world’s your oyster. Who doesn’t like eating cakes or buying freshly baked bread? It’s a nice hobby, but it’s also a business idea waiting to happen.

Start by giving away your baked goods to friends or family and see how they respond. If you’re a good baker, they’ll be coming back for more and telling you to start selling them! Duly oblige and start selling baked goods to people online or at local markets. Then, you could invest the money you make in retail premises and open your own bakery!

The purpose of this article is to show you how a simple hobby can be taken and turned into a great small business idea. Instead of looking all over the place for startup ideas, think about things you’re passionate about!

Where Can Your Business Cut Costs Without Compromising On Quality?


In the world of business, it’s very easy to get caught up in the pursuit of revenue. In reality, though, profits are achieved by finding the right balance between income and outgoings. Most business operations will find that the process of reducing overheads is far simpler than increasing sales. This subsequently means that the results are seen far quicker too.

If you are going to incorporate those improvements, though, it’s imperative that you do it in a way that won’t bring negativity to the process. After all, a decline in quality could lead customers to take their business elsewhere. Here’s how to prevent that from being an issue.


Employees have the potential to be your greatest asset in business. Then again, it’s important to remember that they are also one of the greatest expenses. Achieving maximized efficiency is essential.

As a modern business owner, finding the balance between in-house staff and remote employees is a crucial step en route to success. Whichever option is selected, however, you must not overlook the need to analyze all candidates to ensure you recruit the best.

When a team of skilled and motivated employees boast the right personalities for success, you cannot go far wrong.


Regardless of the industry you’re in, quality should be at the forefront of all manufacturing endeavors. While taking the cheap route may cause more damage than good, there is no excuse for ignoring the need for value.

Investing in the right machinery is vital, especially when those facilities can increase speed and accuracy. Meanwhile, finding how using the metal lift-off process over outdated crafting can work wonders. And, yes, outsourcing certain aspects can prove to be crucial.

It’s now possible to use 3D printing to create prototypes as well as cut the costs of certain parts on a full production run. As long as the overall quality remains, this is a huge step in the right direction.  

Operational Costs   

In addition to the direct manufacturing costs, your business will face a hot of other expenses. These are necessary investments to keep the venture running, but they can eat into your profits. It’s very easy to ignore their importance, but you must avoid this pitfall at costs.

From finding a cost-effective courier service to using the best web host service, those simple gestures make a big difference. Improving communication via tech can bypass the need for expensive and time-consuming trips.

When supported by negotiating for the best price on gas, insurance, and stationery, the positivity will flow.


Promoting products in a successful manner is often the difference between success and failure. Achieving $50,000 of extra sales is pointless if the campaign cost $60,000. Embracing ideas with low costs and high engagement is key.

Digital marketing is the greatest resource by far, especially when others can do most of the hard work on your behalf. Referral schemes and customer testimonials are a start. Moreover, influencer marketers can work wonders for your brand. This is a great way to express the personality of the company too.

Ace the marketing schemes and it will lower expenses while simultaneously increasing revenue. If that doesn’t signal a winning formula, nothing will.

How Instagram Can Make You Money


Nowadays, more and more people are making use of Instagram. This is a simple picture and video sharing app that allows individuals to document their lives online and share their goings-on with the world at large. But where there’s attention there’s always a way to make money, so various savvy individuals, from celebrities to non-celebrities, have used this platform as a way to establish themselves as a kind of brand. They sell their lifestyle and cash in from the attention given to them through followers by advertising goods in their feeds. However, while success stories of individuals are commonly documented, the ways in which small businesses can greatly benefit from Instagram is largely overlooked. So, let’s take a moment to look at just a few of the ways that Instagram can help your small business to make significant amounts of money!

Establishing Your Brand

You should start out by setting up a business page for your brand on Instagram. This gives you a space in which you can display your products and wares. By posting photos of a similar aesthetic in your feed, you can easily establish a brand image and start to draw attention from other Instagram users who identify with said aesthetic and want to associate themselves with it. While it may be a relatively slow process when you’re starting up (everyone starts out with 0 followers and minimal likes), you can slowly amass a following which could eventually reach into the thousands, tens of thousands, or even more. You can buy Instagram likes to get the ball rolling until you gain legitimate followers who will boost this figures for free.


Once you’ve set up a page for your business, you can also use Instagram as an active means of advertising. Your first option is to purchase advertising space from Instagram directly. You will supply them with an image, a caption, and a link to your page. Then they will do the work of spreading it through other users’ timelines. This means that whether individuals follow you or not, you can expose them to your posts and products and give them an easy way of reaching your page. A second option is to collaborate with the successful individuals mentioned above. These people will have astounding numbers of followers and can post recommendations for your products. Their followers are likely to then look further into the product and purchase it themselves. Different individuals will set different prices for advertising products on your behalf, but generally speaking it is worth the investment.

It’s time to stop considering Instagram an entirely personal app. As you can see, you can easily incorporate it into your business as a valuable tool for exposure, advertising, and building profit too!

3 Common Mistakes New Entrepreneurs Need To Stop Making


If you are serious about making a success of your business, it’s vital that you understand what steps you need to take to do so. A crucial part of launching a venture is having a plan in place and having the discipline to follow the plan through.

There’s a common misconception that startup success is a result of luck, or simply family ties – as often it seems that people with links to the business industry tend to do the best within it. However, that isn’t the case, when it comes to how successful a brand is, it’s all down to the steps that are taken.

There are a lot of commonly made mistakes that business owner after business owner makes. These mistakes can lead to your business failing to take off in the way that you hoped it would, which is why making sure that you don’t make them is so important.

With that in mind, below is a guide to three mistakes that you should avoid making when starting a business.

  1. Failing to invest in expert help

When it comes to running a startup, money is always tight, that’s part of being an entrepreneur. However, just because you only have a small budget to work with, that doesn’t have to mean that you can’t invest in help from the experts, should you need it. A key area of running a business is marketing, which is why it’s so important to get help for this area, should you require it. Say, for instance, you aren’t sure how to utilize social media marketing effectively, you may find it helpful to use a social media marketing agency. The fact is that it’s not about not spending money, it’s about being mindful of how you use the funds that you have.

  1. Not taking competitors seriously

Another common mistake that a large number of startups make is failing to take competitors seriously. A lot of business owners make the mistake of thinking that they have no direct competitors, when actually that isn’t the case at all. Almost every business has competitors, that’s just part of being in the industry. Having competitors isn’t the issue, the issue is not being aware of them. If you are going to make a success of your business, then you need to know what it takes to do so, and your competitors can be helpful for showing you the steps that you should take.

  1. Not setting achievable goals

Something that far too many new entrepreneurs do is fail to set achievable goals. The fact is that when you’re new to running a business, you can be so excited about the concept of wowing the world with your idea and making it big, that you can be a little too optimistic. When it comes to the goals that you set as a business owner, it’s vital that they are achievable. If you set goals that aren’t achievable, you’ll fail to meet them and may end up feeling like you’re failing, when this isn’t the case at all.

There you have it, a guide to three of the most common mistakes that new entrepreneurs need to stop making.

Are You Doing Enough To Show Your Team That You Mean Business?


As an aspirational business owner, realizing that you need the support of a winning team behind you is the most crucial breakthrough of all. If you want them to respond by giving you the best performance possible, it’s imperative that you give them a reason to do so.

Need some ideas on how to make that happen? These eight are just great.

#1. Recruit Well

If you’re prepared to hire inadequate employees, you are going to see inadequate work. Not only will those direct candidates fail to perform as you’d like, but you’ll also find that their colleagues perform slightly worse too.

Finding the best candidates requires an interest in their personalities as well as their skills. While it can take a little extra effort to handle those applications and interview processes, it’ll save time and money in the long run. After all, poor decisions will need to be rectified.

Master this task, and the positive influence will filter down throughout the entire venture. If you want to establish the best platform for success, this is your best option by far.

#2. Welcome Them In Style

Hiring the right people is one thing, but you need them to be inspired from day one too. If they feel unappreciated or as though they don’t belong, it will show. Therefore, those early interactions following their arrival is key.

Sending finalized paperwork and a welcome guide before their first day is a good start. The onboarding process should also include a great workspace and having stationery or uniform ready. Aside from making them feel welcome, this shows great organization.  

A brief introduction to the team and a little fuss over the new employee can work wonders for team morale too.

#3. Let Them Use Their Initiative

When hiring skilled people, you should want to embrace their talents to the max. While providing some guidance is important, stifling their creativity and capabilities would be very naïve. Letting them show their initiative without compromising the brand ethos will work wonders.

As a business owner, it’s OK not to know everything. That is the whole point of building a strong team in the first place. Being able to empower employees will show that there isn’t an ego. In turn, this indicates that you have the best interests of your business at heart.  

This can have a huge impact on the general atmosphere within the team. In most cases, this should lead to increased productivity and ingenuity.

#4. Invest In Communication 

Great communication should sit at the heart of all business ventures. Sadly, if this issue is lacking, it can give employees a bad impression. Moreover, you’ll find that silly mistakes creep into the operation. Even when they aren’t costly, they will be very frustrating as they are preventable.

Modern technology is crucial for the daily communication links. Ensuring that employees have smartphones and communication Apps is key. Meanwhile, allowing them to work from home when necessary shows a progressive nature. Likewise, short and on-topic meetings are advised.

Worse still, it’s likely to result in a bad experience for the customers too. As such, it’s imperative that you avoid mistakes in this area of the operation.


#5. Set Performance Based Rewards

Employees won’t perform to their absolute best unless they have an incentive to go the extra mile. While you may think that the promise of taking the business to another level is enough, it isn’t. In truth, you need to give them a personal incentive. Rewarding their successes is the ideal answer.

Paying employees well will keep them in a better frame of mind. However, bonuses for breaking targets will often spark a positive reaction. This can be related to sales or virtually any other task. Small gestures like letting them finish a little early on a Friday after a positive week can help too.

If nothing else, it shows that you have ambitions for the business to perform to the very highest level. If this doesn’t encourage employees to take note, perhaps nothing will.

#6. Show Discipline

For the most part, positivity should be the aim of the day. When the situation requires it, however, you must not be scared to become a disciplinary. Otherwise, you may encourage employees to start taking advantage of your good nature. This will harm productivity as well as the company’s image.

Lateness due to unforeseen circumstances such as traffic accidents shouldn’t be punished. But employees that turn up late regularly should be docked wages. On a more serious note, a saliva drug test may confirm suspicions. If it has happened on your premises, this is grounds for sacking.

You may feel obliged to help them get the outside support they need. Nonetheless, you must not bow down or become soft.

#7. Lead By Example

Some employees will work to their full potential regardless of outside factors. But the vast majority need to see that they aren’t the only one putting a shift in. Seeing their boss lead the way in style can make a big impact on their motivation levels. Besides, they may learn a lot from your actions.

Focusing on your job is crucial. This is why you may want to hire an assistant to take care of admin and other time-consuming tasks. When you are allowed to actively drive the business forward, your employees will notice how hard you work. In most cases, they will follow suit.   

If nothing else, they’ll pull their socks up through fear of not matching your expectations. As long as you utilize this energy in the right way, it can work wonders.

#8. Stay Ahead Of The Game

Showing employees that the venture is built for success in the immediate future is great. Still, for the very best results, you need a long-term game plan. Those sentiments ring true for the sake of the business as well as the employee reaction. So you must not ignore it for a second.

To stay ahead of the crowd, you must know what your competitors are doing. This type of market research may save you from poor decisions while also opening your eyes to new ideas. Just make sure that your team are also blessed with the latest and greatest equipment and facilities.

Ultimately, your employees are the greatest asset at your disposal. By making them feel valued and inspired to work harder, firing a signal of intent should become easier than ever.

What Customers Want: Tailoring Your Website To Their Needs


In the world of business, there’s always only one thing that matters. It’s easy to think that it’s profit or image, but both of these things wouldn’t be right (although technically they are still important). Because when it comes to really making sure that things are going well for you and your business, you have to keep your customers at the forefront of your mind. After all, without your customers, you won’t have any sales. And then, your business wouldn’t be doing business at all. So, when it comes to making your business a success, it’s really important for you to be able to think about what your customers want and work on meeting their needs.

However, a lot of the time, you won’t always be thinking of your customers. It’s often too easy to come up with ideas that you think are cool or to take your business in the direction that you’ve got in mind. And this can often lead you to focus on the wrong thing. But when you want to get the best results and really make sure that your business is doing well, you have to put all of your attention and focus on your customers and what they need. But thankfully for us all, in the online world, this is relatively easy to do. Not only do you have access to analytics which can help you to make informed decisions, but you can often focus on the below seven points to get maximum results.

Easy To Find

First of all, you need to make sure that you’re easy enough to find. No matter what your online business sells, you need to make sure that your customers know you exist. When they’re looking for the right product or service, they’re always going to want to consider all of the best options. So you owe it to them to be easy to find so that they can evaluate whether your product or service is what they need. And at the same time, you’ll often find that the following six points just won’t work without this one.

Engaging Social Content

Next, you need to make sure that you’re putting out the right kind of content on your social media channels and for two reasons. The first is that your target audience and potential customers will judge your business based on what you put on your social channels. It’s often how they’ll work out whether they want to buy from you or not. At the same time, they also want to be engaged. When your customers consume your content, they want to be entertained, informed, or to learn something. So make sure that your social content has a purpose and will encourage a reaction in them.

An Easy To Navigate Site

It’s also going to be important that your website is easy to navigate. You’ll lose visitors if it’s too hard for them to find what they’re looking for. So make sure that your sitemap is a simple and navigate as possible.

Speed & Security

As a step on from that, you should also make sure that your site loads quickly and is secure. Users will often leave your site is pages take too long to load (i.e longer than a few seconds). They’ll also want the reassurance that they’re shopping on a safe website, so opting for HTTPS is going to be a good idea.

Valuable Content

Alongside your social stuff, you’re also going to want to focus on providing valuable content on your site too. Whether you opt for the best content marketing from Ascend2 or an on-site blog, you want to make sure that you’re adding value. Be sure to give your customers information that they want and need and you’ll not only hold on to them, but encourage them to convert too.

Delivery & Returns

Customers don’t want to have to wait for ages for their products and they don’t want to pay over the odds for them. That’s a fact. So think about offering free shipping and returns on your website if you do sell a product. Again, you really want to make the buying experience as easy and enjoyable for them as possible.

Excellent Customer Service

Above all else, you’re really going to want to nail your customer service. You could have the best product or service in the world, but if you don’t look after your customers and treat them well, they won’t buy from you again. But if you can go above and beyond to make their experience seamless and simple, they will stick around.

Starting Something New Without That All Important Lightbulb Moment


If we were honest with ourselves, the majority of us wish we could leave it all behind and start something on our own. Who doesn’t love the idea of working for themselves? What could be better for satisfaction than knowing you’ve created a company from the ground up?

But, if we all want to pursue this path, why do so few of us do it? While it’s true that startups are on the up, most of us still reach for traditional employment first. In truth, there are a few reasons for this. Mainly, though, we stick with what we know because we have no ideas. Feeling the desire to go it alone doesn’t mean you have an idea to help you pursue the dream. For the logical thinkers among us, creative, out-of-the-box business ideas just don’t seem like an achievable goal.

In truth, though, there are many ways to make business work for you, even if you don’t have a lightbulb moment at any stage. And, we’re here to talk you through some of your options.

Become a middle person

One obvious way you could branch out alone is to act as a middle person for other companies. If you start a trading company, for instance, your job will come down to matching buyers and sellers. Of course, there’s a little more to it than that. But, you certainly won’t need a big idea to see you through. Instead, you’ll make your living selling other people’s ideas. What’s more, this could be the ideal startup choice for logical thinkers out there. After all, you could argue that success in this field is nothing more than a case of research. That means you’ll need to find a logical path to success. You may have to check out these swing trading techniques and others like them. But, ultimately, you can base your success here on valid information and facts. And, that’s sure to suit your mind down to the ground.

Use an existing business model

It may also be worth thinking about existing business models. While many entrepreneurs do start something new, many also fall back on tried and tested business models. For instance, a construction company doesn’t need a grand idea to get started. Nor does a restaurant. Instead, you would have to turn to companies who are already making their mark in the field. As long as you can bring something unique to the existing plan, there’s no reason you can’t find huge success this way.

Enter into a partnership

It may also be worth entering into a partnership. You might be surprised to hear that many people with ideas don’t use them because they don’t have the business know-how. So, there are likely plenty of creative individuals waiting to go into business with someone like you. Then, you can focus on the solid and stable side of business, while they take care of the crafty stuff which never came naturally to you. Some would say that’s the ideal pairing.  

Obvious Ways to Improve Your Website That You’re Currently Missing


Your business should never be comfortable with second best. It’s up to you to make sure that you make your business’s website as strong as it can be because this is often the first thing people will see of your business. When they follow a Google results link and head to your website for the first time, you want them to be impressed. If they’re not, they’ll probably leave your website as quickly as they arrived on it, which is not what you want at all.

It’s all about making sure that your website isn’t missing the things that many modern customers expect from you. There are plenty of things you can do to improve your website, no matter how good you think it is now. Things move fast and your website will never be complete or finished because of that. It’s about continual improvement over the course of many years. Here are some of the obvious improvements you can make to your website that you’re currently missing.

Add More Internal Links

Internal links are important on any website, so you should definitely work hard on getting this right. But why exactly are they so important? Well, they increase the usage of your website and encourage people to hang around and explore your website in more depth. That has to be a good thing for your business going forward. So find more ways to slip in natural internal links in your content. Make them relevant and not merely opportunistic though because then they’ll blend in far better.

Accommodate Mobile Users

Mobile users make up a huge percentage of the people browsing the internet, so if you’re not able to accommodate them properly, you need to change that as soon as possible. It’s all about making sure that people are able to use your website in whichever way is best for them. If they can’t do that, they will simply leave your website and head to one of your rivals if they have a more accommodating layout and design for mobile users.

Use Complementary Colors

The colors you use on your website is probably one of those things that you don’t think about all that often. It’s a case of choosing a few and then moving on. However, that’s not the way it should be. Instead, you should look to use attractive and relevant colors. At the same time, you should also try to make sure that you only combine colors that are complementary to one another. It’s something you should work on; trial and error might be required.

Make the Most Important Things Biggest and Boldest

If there are things that you really want to emphasize on your website, it’s important to make that information biggest, boldest and brightest on your web page. Don’t simply make all your text the same size and the same color because that’s just going cause all the important stuff to get lost. Switch things up and show people what you want them to look at and which stuff they can read later or ignore if they want to.

Use the Best Developers to Fix Complex Issues

If there are complex problems with your business’s website, it’s important to have a professional on your side who can help you out and get you through this. If you try to take on those complicated issues by yourself, you will probably fail and the flaws in your website will persist. A good SugarCRM Developer or whatever you need will help you get to where you need to be. It’s best to take this route rather than wasting time tackling things alone.

Introduce Your Team

Having a team page on your website is something that you should definitely do because it’s a good way to make sure that people know who’s working for them when they use your services. That’s got to be a good thing, and it adds a real human face to your business too. If you have a human face that you can display to the world, it instantly makes your company more approachable and a lot more relatable. All you need is a small photo and a little bio to go with it.

Work on Your Headlines

Headlines should always grab your attention and say something about what you’re about to share with the world on your website. What they shouldn’t be is dull and boring; if they are, that doesn’t show your content in the best light. People might end up leaving your website before they even read the content that you published there. So work on creating headlines for your website that are impossible to ignore for people who see them.

Protect Your Data

Your data needs to be protected and your website needs to be as secure as it possibly can be. If you fail at any of these things, your website will be a risk and almost certainly a target for people with nefarious intentions. If you don’t know how to secure these things, you should contact a company that can help you to get this right. There are plenty of security specialists out there you can call upon.

Add Endorsements

If you can get endorsements from people who have used your company and its services in the past, it’s a good way to show people that you’re serious and know how to make customers happy. So why not fill a page of your website with endorsements that people will be able to read to help them decide whether they want to use your services or not. It’ll make you more likely to secure customers and clients.

Clearly, your business needs to have a great website because the future is online. If you run a business without a good website, it’s about as useful as trying to drive a car with a faulty engine. It’s just not sustainable and it’s no longer possible for you to run a business in that way if you want to find success.

Which Is The Best Legal Status For Your Startup Idea?


OK, so you’ve come up with a wonderful, world-changing business idea and are ready to put it into action. You’ve started writing out your business plan, and are making decisions now that will have a huge impact on your business idea in the future. One of those decisions is critical – and a legal necessity. Before your business can call itself legitimate, it needs to have a legal status; a company structure, if you like. Today, we’re going to go through the four main startup structures and try to give you some hints on how to choose the right one for your needs.

The basics

So, for the purposes of this post, we’re going to assume that you won’t be raising funds via the stock market before getting your business up and running – which rules out starting out as a public limited company. Most startups, therefore, will begin life as one of the following: sole trader, partnership, Limited company and Limited liability partnership. Let’s take a look at each of these and see which is the best fit for your business.

Sole traders

Becoming a sole trader is as easy as letting HMRC know who you are and what you are doing as a business. You will be entitled to keep all the profits of your business, but you will also be liable for all its losses. It’s low-cost, easy to set up, and you will retain full control over your business. And when it comes to tax return time, there is little in the way of financial reporting involved. However, bear in mind that if you will be liable for all debts, as well as paying more tax than you would as a Limited company. And also, your business may lack credibility in the market.


A simple partnership is just like being a sole trader, but with more heads than one! You and your partner(s) will share management responsibilities and profits, and this may give you more opportunity to raise some finance. However, the disadvantages of being in a partnership are the same as being a sole trader, and it can be difficult to wind up if the business doesn’t work out.

Limited company

A Limited company is a private organisation whose owners are only legally responsible for its debts based on the amount of capital they have invested – in other words, your exposure is ‘limited.’ You might need to use a quality company formations service or a lawyer to set up, and there are many different benefits to being limited. You will have less financial exposure, more efficient tax payments, and will be more attractive to potential corporate customers. However, there are lots of regulatory demands and you have to report your finances in public.

Limited liability partnership

Finally, there’s a Limited liability partnership, where some or all of the partners involved will enjoy some of the benefits of partnerships and corporations. It’s a flexible arrangement, and partners will have limited liabilities. However, you also have more responsibilities. All partners must disclose income, for example, and your profits will be taxed as income.

Hopefully, this brief guide will point you in the right direction for choosing your startup’s legal status. Good luck with the business!