Zero Profit, 100% Success: Operational Tips For Non-Profit Business Owners

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As Jessie J famously sang, “It’s not about the money, money, money.” Sometimes in business, there are more important things than turning a profit.   

 Whether it’s spreading a message, funding research into medical science or something else doesn’t matter. When you operate a non-profit organization, you’re in the unique position of not using financial elements as a barometer of success. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have responsibilities to consider. Unfortunately, if you ignore them, you will struggle for the funding to keep things going strong.

 Irrespective of the source or level of funding, you must use funds in the most efficient manner possible. Try sharing office spaces with another company to lower the costs. Find cheaper rates on business essentials, and try to cut costs at every stage without cutting corners. Once you adopt responsible strategies, you’ll find that the capital goes further. Whether that means more money can go to charity or advanced methods to increase awareness of a social cause, it’s a step in the right direction.

 In addition to those daily expenses, you must ensure that all finances are handled in the correct manner. Accounting for non profits is a specialized area, which is why you must choose the right service. Failure to do this could bring very harsh consequences. Aside from protecting the assets of the business, it provides a sense of emotional security too.

Not being in a position to make mistakes is one of the hardest challenges facing your type of business. Therefore, you have to be very picky about what strategies and ideas are accepted. Wasted time and money simply isn’t an option. Shorten team meetings to no longer than 20 minutes. It will force everyone involved to concentrate solely on the most important factors. In turn, this should keep you on a smooth pathway.

Human input will be the most important aspect of all. Frankly, you need to find employees who feel as passionately about the cause as you do. That passion is what will grab the attention of the public, and will make all the difference on your journey to the top. When hiring new staff members, remember that their personality traits are vital. Moreover, you can often find people with a genuine commitment by offering voluntary and intern roles.

Surrounding yourself with the right support is vital. Likewise, empowering your staff will certainly boost your chances of success too. Nonetheless, the leader should always take a prominent role by doing things that nobody else can. Wasting time on basic admin and other simple tasks will limit your hopes of success.

Ultimately, your main goal is to spread the word to as many people as possible. These clever marketing campaigns for non profits should give you inspiration. In truth, though, the key is to ensure that audiences interact and relate to the ideas. Word of mouth is the most powerful tool of all, and it always will be.

Getting those points right won’t guarantee success. After all, the content of your campaign needs to be perfect too. Nonetheless, those guidelines will provide a solid platform. Your hopes of reaching those goals suddenly look a whole lot brighter.

Don’t Let Those Copycats Get Away With Mimicking Your Business

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One of the most frustrating things you’ll see in business is when someone purposely tries to mimic your business. It could be a suspiciously similar logo, it might be someone using a similar company name to you, or they could just straight up be copying your product and selling it as their own. What’s even more infuriating is when they’re subtle about their marketing and they actually try to flog their product off as yours. This can be an incredibly stressful time, and it’s enough to make you tear your hair out.

However, don’t go bald yet! There are plenty of ways to deal with copycats, and they don’t all involve hiring a lawyer (although that’s a very good method of dealing with it!). In some cases, you just need to show how silly those companies are for even trying to copy your product, and that alone will be enough to not only give them a terrible reputation but save your business in the meantime. So without further ado, here are a couple of ways to protect your business from fraudsters.

Trademarking and copyrighting

Protecting your business is important— we all know that, but are you going through the right steps to actually protect it? If you’re going to create a new product, use a special name you thought so much about or even start a new brand, you have to copyright it. This gives you the legal power to protect yourself from copycats and you can go ahead and send as many cease and desist letters as you want, assuming they’ve done something worth taking to court over.

Stop people infringing on your intellectual property

Speaking of being taken to court, it’s a good idea to become friends with a DMCA takedown service. The better your relationship, the faster they can take action. Taking down copycats that do everything from mimicking your product to using a similar name as fast as possible is very important. Don’t neglect the importance of making the first move and dealing a finishing blow to these pop-up fraudster businesses.

Staying ahead of the competition

Another way to prevent copycats from ever messing with your business is to stay ahead of the competition. Always offer something new both in terms of technology and customer support. This way, you’ll always be a step ahead of them and they won’t have any means of catching up to you. However, this doesn’t mean you should let them roam free and do what they like. If anything, you should be pressing the advantage you have and shutting them down while you’re ahead instead of giving them time to catch up to you.

Offer something better than the copycats

And lastly, don’t forget to offer something better. If the copycats have caught up to you with product mimicking, then don’t forget you can offer something better by having better customer service, longer warranties or even insurance on your services and items. As long as you’re giving your customers a better deal, they will always stick with you.

Sustainability Sells In The Construction Business

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The world is becoming more environmentally conscious, and the business world has latched onto this knowing that having a green motif will be good for profits as well as the earth. This is certainly true in the construction industry where going green from the ground up is becoming an industry-wide motto.

Whatever your big selling point used to be, whether it be meeting deadlines or coming in under budget, the big selling point of 2017 is being more sustainable. As such, we have come up with a list of ways in which your construction business can become that much more eco-friendly.

1. Materials

A huge chunk of energy consumption happens in the earliest stages of all, the manufacturing of materials. That is why it is so important that you make a conscious effort to use low-impact building materials, including recycled and repurposed materials. Insulation made from blown-paper, hempcrete to make exterior walls, these are all becoming common within sustainable construction.

2. Equipment

Using more energy efficient equipment is a great way to reduce your on-site carbon footprint, and the manufacturing side of the industry is making huge strides on this front. This isn’t all you should consider, however, because using equipment such as the jaw crusher from Weir Minerals will allow you to recycle old concrete better, much improving your onsite recycling abilities. These are the sorts of approaches you should consider. Ones that address every aspect and make your process more eco-friendly.

3. Local

This is going to become a huge trend across a lot of industries, especially construction because locality is becoming a big thing. Using locally sourced timber, local employees, local bricks and visiting local quarries are all going to reduce your transportation and fuel costs, both of which have a huge impact on your environmental footprint.

4. Modular

In terms of industry trends, modular homes and prefabricated buildings are all the trend and this is partly because it allows the construction industry to be much greener. The reason being you can streamline almost every aspect of your business operations, from design time to waste, transport costs to manufacturing equipment. The world is going on-demand, and the chance to have a home made to specification in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the carbon output is a big hit.

5. Waste

We touched on it above, but it deserves to be delved into much deeper because for every square foot of house there are five pounds of waste. Drywall, roofing, bricks, sand, insulation, glass; all of these add up to create a horrendous amount of waste that is not only bad for the environment but awful for profit margins too. To counter this, a lot of building companies are looking at ways to better store their materials, while others are even going as far as finding ways to reuse old materials. On the manufacturing and production side, a lot of companies are trying to pull their weight too by limiting the amount of packaging that is used, which is something that you should take into consideration, and even ask your suppliers about.

Is It Possible To Make Your Ecommerce Store Even More Successful?

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Maybe you believe that you already have a wildly successful ecommerce store. However, there are usually ways you can improve, even if you don’t seem them yet. Aiming to improve consistently is always one of the most important things about being an entrepreneur! Let’s take a look at how you could perhaps make your ecommerce store even more successful:

Take A Long, Hard Look At Your Content

The content on your ecommerce store is going to make a massive difference as to whether you’re making big sales or not. If you’re using titles and/or descriptions lifted from the manufacturer, this isn’t going to do you any favors! You need original content. You need content that will make others feel compelled to buy from you. You need to go into detail, be helpful, and even add a bit of personality in there! You can’t be too thin on your content, but don’t be tempted to stuff keywords in either. Make sure you’re valuable.

Optimize More For Mobile

If you haven’t already, optimizing for mobile is a must. Mobile browsing and shopping is quickly taking over desktop browsing and shopping, so make sure your site is responsive and optimized.

Make The Checkout Process Super Simple
You have to make the checkout process really simple if you want more success. The second somebody hits a bump in the buying process, they could decide to leave and buy elsewhere. It’s just that easy for people to change their minds! You can learn more about how mobile browsing and shopping is affecting ecommerce in the infographic below.


Credit to Digital Agency

Online Business Made Simple For Silver Entrepreneurs

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Did you know that more and more people over 60 are setting up their own business these days? There is one main reason for this. Lots of people who worked hard throughout their careers can often find it hard to adjust to retired life, and they need something to occupy them. This, along with the fact that the Internet now makes it easy for anyone to set up a company these days, is why entrepreneurship is now a popular pastime with the older generations. In fact, there are so many retired entrepreneurs now that there is even a nickname for them: silver entrepreneurs!

However, all is not simple for this elderly age group. Most business is carried out online nowadays, and as many retirees aren’t too hot with computers and tech, there are lots of online benefits they are missing. It also means they are failing to do some very basic online tips and tricks that will really help their new companies take off.

To help all you silver entrepreneurs out there, here’s a quick rundown of some of the things that many people neglect or forget about their online business. Make sure you don’t do the same!

Forgetting About Social Media

The majority of people have social media accounts, whether they are on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. And you need to get your new company out there on social media too so that you can attract all the social media users to your brand. In fact, setting up social media profiles for your company should be one of the first things you do for your business. Don’t worry if you don’t know the difference between a tweet and a gif, you can always hire a social media manager to look after these accounts for you!

Ignoring SEO Best Practices

There are so many silver entrepreneurs who get confused about Internet search engines and SEO, that they just choose to ignore all the best practices. But that’s a terrible idea, especially when you could outsource all this work to a company who offers SEO services and content marketing management. But, simply put, good SEO can help your company website rise through Google’s rankings and get to the top spot. That means, lots of web users will quickly find you. However, bad SEO will leave your company trailing behind on the tenth page of results…

Not Getting Mobile Ready

As well as everyone being on social media, you will also find that most people are always on their smartphones these days. In fact, smartphones have recently overtaken laptops as the device that most people use to view the web. So, it is crucial that your website and company blog are mobile ready. Otherwise, they just won’t look good on a small phone screen. Most website hosting sites now come with templates that can help you design a slick mobile-responsive site. If you’re having trouble, though, you can always hire a designer to help you out.

There’s no reason for your company to fail if you’re a silver entrepreneur! Just follow these tips!

Develop Your Brand – and Protect It.

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Your brand is what makes up the identity of your company. This identity, or personality, is essential to ensuring that you stand out in the world of business. Developing your brand requires quite a lot of work and involves many different pursuits. From commercials to the way you conduct yourself online, there are a lot of different aspects that will affect how effective your branding is.

Developing your brand is one thing, but making sure it actually remains in the public eye, as well as ensuring it’s legally protected, is something else. We’re going to take a quick look at the considerations you have to make if you really want to make an impact with your brand.

Your name

A lot of budding entrepreneurs actually get lost in brand development before they’ve even decided on a name! They love to design logos and slogans, but may have nothing more than a vague idea about what their company is going to do. Businesses with trendy names are going to have an easier time with brand development; it will also be easier to design the visual elements such as your logo. Make sure you have a strong business name – then ensure that you can get a website domain titled appropriately. Without a domain name that matches your business name, you’ll have a harder time in brand development.

The visuals

The power of a good logo should never be underestimated. A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that any old thing will do; that what makes the logo truly memorable is what your company actually achieves. This can be a useful mindset up to a point – after all, a great logo won’t make up for bad business practices. But a memorable logo is essential for powerful branding. Don’t assume that your logo has to be elaborate or painfully simple (although the latter tends to be preferable!). Get some design tips from the expert before you start sketching your ideas.

Trademarking

If you don’t have legal protection for the elements of your brand, then it’s pretty much open season on those assets. Even if your name and logo are ridiculously unique, that still doesn’t mean there’s no chance that some other company or individual will use those assets to their advantage. Never assume that you don’t need to trademark these assets. Applying for a trademark, or working directly with a trademark attorney, is an essential part of protecting the brand that you’re developing.

Being proactive

You need to be proactive when it comes to furthering the reach of your brand and ensuring that it isn’t being misused by others. You also need to ensure that your reputation – a big but invisible part of your branding – is managed and protected. This may mean occasionally Googling your own business name to ensure that your reputation isn’t being sullied in some news article or unfair review! As for being proactive in the further reach of your brand, social media is where it’s at. This isn’t just where you go to help your content go viral; it’s where you develop the personality that the public sees.

Top Payment Tools to Organize your Startup

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It’s no secret; there is an abundance of tools you can use to get your startup on its feet. Just like you can find a new startup around every corner nowadays, you’ll just as easily find even more tools recommended to succeed. Here is a simple, straightforward guide to finding the best payment tools for your business. Whether you’re looking to generate invoices, manage your accounting, or hoping to manage your employee’s expenses, we’ve got you covered.

Invoicing tool: Due

A good invoicing tool needs to fit seamlessly into your system, as well as provide a good time tracking system and a large database. Due does all of this and more. With more than 100 currency options and limitless invoicing, easy integration with PayPal and other companies, options to pay directly and a flat-rate transaction payments fee. It’s free of charge, too, and should fit the budget of your startup entirely.

Transactions: Go contactless

We always have our mobile phones with us, and if you want to make your customer’s lives as easy as possible, you should consider joining the contactless party. It speeds up the transactions so that you can process more low-value sales in a day, as well as catering to the needs of those who matters the most to your business. NFC Direct is a good option if you want convenience and innovative products – which is just the kind of trend startups all over the world seems to be in the mood for.

Although being contactless doesn’t promise an organized accounting system, it is an excellent way to stay up to date on what your customers want: convenience and security. Read more about how to keep your customers happy here.

Company Expenses: Tallie

Keeping track of your employee’s expenses is easy with this software. Scan receipts and calculate travel costs, and even see it detect expenses that have been duplicated as well as reject and approve expenses that employees submit. If you don’t know what’s going on inside of your business, you’ll struggle with staying on top of the rest – as we are aware of, one of the main reasons entrepreneurs fail is when they don’t have a proper plan in place for allocating resources.

Website Check out: ShopIntegrator

If you’re after that clean and seamless look for your website check out, ShopIntegrator is right up your alley. It blends in with the look of your site by allowing you to design it yourself, making your site look a lot more professional. It’s more to it than that, though, as it is also compatible with mobile devices and accepts credit, debit and even PayPal as payment options.

Interestingly, most of the top recommended tools for startups were startups themselves, so it seems like the trust goes both ways. Even though the market is tough, and the chances for success might be slim, give yourself a good start with a few of these payment tools. It makes it easier to manage your business, and having the right tools will put your startup ahead of your competition.

Create An On Point Brand Identity With Quirky Visuals

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Any business owner worth their salt knows that when it comes to a brand’s success, creating an on point identity is crucial. The issue is that a lot of new business owners aren’t sure how to achieve this, and often aren’t willing to spend time getting their brand image just right. There are various factors that impact brand image, one of the major ones of which is the visuals that you have in place and how you use them. The question that a lot of business owners struggle with is knowing how to get their visuals just right, as well as what areas to focus on. To make this a little easier for you, below are some tips and suggestions for creating the perfect brand identity that will help to carry your venture to where it needs to go.

Audit your brand

The first step to creating an on point brand identity is to understand where your brand fits into the market. What you need to do is know your marketplace and understand as much as you possibly can about your target customers. To do this, what you need to do is audit your brand. This means taking the time to do in-depth target market research, to determine as much as you can about your customer base so that you can use this research to aid how you create that perfect brand identity. As part of your brand audit, what you need to do is not only research your target audience but also how appealing your visuals are to them. Take your product packaging, for instance, doing packaging market research could help you to determine whether it appeals to your target audience. Or, take your logo, for example, incorporating this into your market research could be a good idea, as that way you can determine whether or not your logo appeals to your customer base.

Social media is your strongest ally

When it comes to your branding, social media is probably your strongest ally. That might sound like a strange thing to say but believe it or not, it’s true. In terms of creating a certain brand image, the right visuals are crucial – from your logo to your stock images – and sharing those visuals is just as important. That’s why social media can be your strongest ally if you use it effectively, that is. The key to using social media in an effective way to improve brand identity is about sharing images that show your brand in the best light and have a professional look to them. It’s also about using social media to connect with the right people via tagging them and using hashtags. Take a look at how your competitors use social media and take inspiration from them.

Don’t be afraid to be creative

One mistake that far too many businesses make is failing to be creative when it comes to their visuals and branding. The fact is that to have a successful brand your business needs to stand out, which is why getting creative when it comes to your branding is so important. If you’re not sure how to work in a more creative way, it could be worth contacting a design agency and working with them to ensure that your visuals are as quirky, eye-catching, and unique as possible.

There you have it, everything that you need to know to create an on point brand identity complete with quirky and eye-catching visuals.

3 Reasons Your Small Business Idea Simply Isn’t Good Enough

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Do you have a small business idea but aren’t sure if it will work? Or, have you started a small business and are seeing a lot of struggles? If so, this article is perfect for you. Below, you will find three reasons your small business idea simply isn’t good enough:

Someone’s Already Got There Before You

Picture this; you have a really great business idea, and you start getting excited about it. You can tell right away that it’s a brilliant idea, and you can’t wait to pitch it to friends for feedback. You’ve run the numbers and come up with the costs of starting the business, and it all seems fantastically achievable. Then, you pitch the idea, and everyone glances at each other awkwardly to tell you it’s already been done before. There’s already a business that offers exactly what you offer and is already successful.

This is an issue many entrepreneurs have. If some other business has already got there ahead of you, it makes your idea less amazing. Now, you have a business idea that’s clearly good, but it will be harder to work with as there’s a company doing it already. What you need to do is go back to your think tank and start coming up with ideas to tweak your idea, so it’s set apart from what’s already out there. This will make your idea great as you offer a similar business, but with extra things that make it better.

Your Products Cost Too Much To Make

It’s all well and good having an idea for a product that you think will sell like crazy. In theory, everything seems good, and there is a gap in the market for your idea. However, in reality, you make your products and find they cost too much. As a result, you have to sell them for a price that’s less than appealing, making it hard to sell.

To solve this problem, you need to go back to the drawing board. Before you sell your products, get some rapid prototyping done to view examples of each product. Take a look at them and figure out ways you can reduce the costs. Perhaps you should use different materials? Or, look for alternative manufacturing methods? You have to do something, as your current idea is too costly to work.

You’re Not Thinking About The Future

The problem with a lot of small business ideas is that they’re only focused on the present. Someone comes up with an idea that looks great on paper, but where will it be in a few years time? It’s all well and good capitalizing on a current trend to try and make money, but you need to think about the future of your business too.

Whenever you come up with a business idea, you should have a clear idea of what will happen in the future. Even if that plan is to make as much money as possible, then sell the business and start a new one. As long as you’ve thought about the future, it will be okay. Just don’t start a business without any idea of what will happen next.

Take a look at these three reasons and consider what you can change about your idea to make it better and see more success.

Making The Right Impression: 3 Ways To Impress New Clients

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Business owners in all industries will want to make the right impression when they meet new clients. There are lots of ways you could work towards that goal. However, we’ve mentioned a couple of the best ones in this article. With any luck, they will open your eyes and point you in the right direction. Of course, you are the only person who can make the final decisions. You just need to look for techniques that will help you to seem intelligent and conscientious. Those are the two traits most people desire when dealing with a new brand. At the end of the day, you just need to use some common sense. That said, the suggestions below are an excellent way to start.

Always arrive early and prepared for meetings

The first thing you need to do is make sure you never come late for meetings with new clients. You are not going to create the desired impression if you turn up half an hour after the agreed time. That will make your clients feel like they are unimportant, and you’re not bothered about their business. For the best results, you should aim to reach your destination with at least fifteen minutes to spare. That way, you will appear enthusiastic and keen to start negotiations. Also, ensure you always dress appropriately and wear aftershave or perfume. Pleasant smells will encourage people to look upon you in a better light.

Ensure you take an eco-friendly approach

Sometimes you might meet clients at your place of business. For that reason, it’s vital that you design a fresh and forward-thinking environment for your team. Representatives from other brands will feel impressed if you’ve adopted green technology. So, maybe you should consider getting advice from commercial solar companies? Switching to solar energy is a massive step in the right direction. It will show your new clients that money isn’t the only thing on your mind. That will encourage them to trust you a little more than they otherwise would have done. You can also look at other green technologies if you want the best outcomes.

Go above and beyond what your clients expect

No matter what happens, you should always deliver more than your clients expect. If you sell services, make sure you produce better results than you predicted. If you sell products, place an extra item or two in the box before you send it out. Small ideas like that can make a huge difference to the impression you create. It will highlight to clients that you value their contracts and that you want them to continue. Also, try to drop your prices as much as possible. Everyone loves a discount!

Using the methods mentioned in this article, you should have no issues with creating the best impression. The only other thing you need to consider relates to the way in which you communicate. You’ll have to stand up at meetings and make presentations. So, you need to ensure you have excellent public speaking skills. If you don’t have what it takes at the moment, you should consider taking an educational course. As with anything else in this world, success often comes down to practice.

Safe To Proceed: Essential Considerations For Every Startup

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If you own a business, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you do everything possible to keep your workforce safe. Although many accidents arise as a result of employee error, some are caused by the management’s failure to comply with health and safety regulations. Nobody wants to find themselves in the situation where they’re faced with legal action after an accident at work. If you run a business, here are some essential considerations to ensure your team is safe to proceed.

Safe business premises

If you own an office, a studio, a warehouse or a store, it’s your duty as the company owner to ensure that the premises are safe, secure, and suitable for the nature of work carried out on a daily basis. There are general guidelines in place, as well as more specific requirements, which apply to the owners of businesses operating within certain industries. If your business handles hazardous waste or there are dangerous chemicals on site, for example, your health and safety policies may be more robust. Carry out regular risk assessments to identify problems before they arise, and learn from previous experiences. If the same accidents are recurring, it may be time to change your approach and find a more effective solution to prevent any further incidents.

Training

Training is an essential part of keeping people safe at work, and it also enables your workforce to develop skills, which will reduce the risk of accidents and injuries and improve their performance at work. The kind of training programs you should provide for staff will vary according to the field in which you operate. OSHA training is recommended for construction workers while lifting and handling courses should be provided for care workers. There may be a list of courses you have to provide as a company manager, but additional programs can also be beneficial. Training is mutually beneficial for employers and employees, as it enables people to develop their skills and gain new skills.

Working conditions

Every employee has rights. Preventing accidents and injuries doesn’t just boil down to ensuring employees have the relevant safety equipment or eliminating slip and trip hazards from the office. It’s also important, as an employer, to recognize the importance of the conditions in which your employees work. If you’ve got a lot of people complaining about work-related stress or anxiety, this may indicate that you could make improvements in terms of working hours, workload and communication channels between staff and the management. Listen to your employees, take feedback on board, and try and find solutions. If people are working overtime constantly, you may need to consider outsourcing jobs or recruiting new members of staff.

If you run a business, the safety and well-being of your staff should be one of your main concerns. Even if you take a backseat and have senior members of staff overseeing day to day operations, it’s your duty to ensure that your business is compliant with the latest regulations. If there are problems, the buck will stop with you if you haven’t taken the necessary steps to keep your employees safe.

How To Operate Your Online Business 100% Online

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Wanting to start up an online business on your own can be such a great feeling to have. But, you can often feel like you’re never going to be able to make it work. With the need to file taxes, promote yourself, and even carry out some level of customer services, it can all feel a little bit daunting. However, it doesn’t have to. Instead, you can focus on what you know. Whether that’s the product you’re selling or the service you’re providing, you can make sure that your online business kind of runs itself by making sure all of its operations are carried out completely online.

Use Online Software

Firstly, you’re going to want to make sure that all of the operations you need to handle are online. But these days, that’s so much easier than you think. You can even use an online business tool comparison to find the services that you need. Whether that’s finance software or a website builder, you can do it all online, using templates and guidance, so that each task is made easier.

Store Everything Online

The online environment also means that you don’t have to worry about printing everything (or even anything) off and having to file it away. Some people do choose to do that still, but there’s no need – thanks to cloud storage. If you want to keep your business safe, cloud storage is often a good idea so that you can access it from anywhere should something happen to your hard drive.

Accept Online Payments

One part of business that can often be physical is the financial side. But if you really do want your entire business operations to run as smoothly as possible, you’re definitely going to want to make your finance 100% online too. Not only does that mean you need internet banking, but you’re going to want to accept online payments using something like PayPal too. That way, you don’t have to deal with cash or wait for cheques to clear – your payments are made and received instantly for ease.

Use Online Contractors

A lot of people feel as if they need to have physical connections, meetings, and partners to feel like they’re really doing business. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Instead, you might want to think about using online contractors. Whether you need a graphic designer, admin assistant, or even an accountant, you can deal with them all 100% online. That way, not only do your operations run smoothly, but you get your work done without having to have meetings.

Use Online Documents

And finally, the last thing that you’re going to want to do online is the majority of your work. You might think that you have to work in something like the Microsoft packages to get that done. But you don’t. You can now do it all online with Google Docs, of any of the many alternatives to Google Docs that exist. All of your work can then be done online, saved online, shared online, and accessed online – simple.

Inspiring Your Team Isn’t That Hard

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If you manage a team, whether you’re the boss or simply the manager, you need to make an effort every day to ensure they are feeling inspired and putting out their best work. You might think this is hard, but the truth is, it’s quite simple. Making a team feel important and valued is one of the best ways to inspire them and make them want to work harder. Here are some pointers you can use:

Let In The Light

Natural light is such an underrated tool when it comes to inspiring a team. The light can help people to feel more positive and productive, plus, it has many more health benefits over artificial light. You’ll also save on electricity and become more eco-friendly!

Make The Workplace More Inspiring

Make the workplace a more inspiring place to be. Your team isn’t going to want to come into work every day if it’s drab. Inject a little colour. Make things more comfortable. Put up art, and maybe some motivational quotes. Let them decorate their desks a little.

Give Positive Feedback

Don’t be one of those team managers that only ever gives negative feedback. Let the team know when they’ve done something well, both individually and as a whole. This will make them feel great and they’ll appreciate you taking notice.

Treat Them

Occasionally, you may want to treat your team to let them know they are valued. How about incentives and bonuses, or even just donuts on a Friday afternoon? The infographic below has more information!


Credit to USC Online Master of Communication Management

Don’t Get Left Behind In Business

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Running a business is extremely hard work. If you’re currently in charge of a business, you know exactly what we’re talking about, and you are probably nodding your head right now in agreement! There’s a lot to do in business – and certainly, you need to be a master of all trades. You’ve got to be a fantastic communicator so that you can deal with customers, clients, and your staff. You’ve also got to be able to think on your feet so you can deal with any situations that come your way – the world of business is ever changing, so this is a key skill indeed. We need to be balanced in our approach, we need to be good listeners, and we need to be fair and decisive to act on certain things and situations that arise in day to day business life. We need to be good with finances to ensure that we can balance the books and run an efficient and sustainable business that makes a profit if it’s not making ends meet.

There are far more skills needed than that in business though – far, far more and that’s why running a business is such hard work – you’ve got to be everyone to everything, almost like a chameleon. While you’ll certainly look the same, you’ll have to wear many different ‘thinking caps’ if you want to make a success of your business – or even if you want to make sure your business exists in a few years time!

While any budding business owner certainly needs to ensure that they keep up with their skillsets – you also need to keep up with the times. Today’s business? It changes from day to day – and if you’re not paying attention to developments – you’re going to be caught out. You, as a business owner – or a potential startup entrepreneur – will be caught out. Developments in the world of business mean that you need to not only adjust your skillset, but adjust how your business operates. If your business cannot keep a track of new methods, new technologies, new people, or new skills that need to be utilized – it won’t just be caught out. As time ticks on, it will be left behind, and that in itself is a pretty sad prospect. Just because you couldn’t take a leap of faith – or get to grips with something new – your business will suffer.

No business owner in their right mind wants their business to suffer, but this is a reality that faces business owners who can’t – or won’t – adapt. It’s only natural to stick to your guns, but that can sometimes make you the captain of a sinking ship. Open your business up to new developments and keep one eye on the world outside of your business to truly take advantage of what is going on in the world.

What could you take advantage of?  There are plenty of things – but technology has you standing to gain the most from it. Technology has done wonderful things for business, and if you aren’t willing to grow with the changes in technology, it is yet another area where you and your business will be left behind. From the Internet of Things 2017 to phones that can handle multiple calls – the world of technology is complicated, it is ever changing, and it is varied. That’s no excuse for you to ignore it though – you’ll need to get to grips with tech if you want to succeed in business.

Simply put, you can’t stand still and rest on your laurels. You might get things up and running, but if you aren’t looking for improvements constantly, you might not get on the ground floor of revolutionary ideas. Take social media for example, if you were a business that adapted to developments like Twitter the day it emerged – you’d get noticed on it because you’d be one of few businesses using the platform. You could learn its uses and advantages quicker. Now? Twitter is huge – and it’s hard for a business to learn its uses and get noticed on the platform. Sometimes it pays to be first.

What if you’re at a  Ground Zero of technology though? What if there is nothing new about your business? Well – you need to act fast. Get on board with computers, get them linked and networked so your staff can share files locally – then get yourself fixed up with cloud-based software so those files can be shared regardless of location. It’s important to ensure that business can adapt to an agile working program in the modern day so that workers can complete work regardless of their location. Computers don’t have to be big and chunky either – they can be small and portable, and you might want to swap out desktops for laptops if you’re moving to agile working, or remote working. We want our workers to be able to move – business is less rigid than ever before.

You might not even consider a computer if you’re really on the ball – you might spot that tablet PC’s and even smartphones can do the same job as a locked down desktop stuck to a table. The possibilities here are great – it means that a workforce can not only be fluid and remote – but almost global. It means a start-up has access to a workforce that spans the world. A business can operate and sell to any corner of the globe and operate a workforce from anywhere. The only thing that stops you from this is a lack of understanding – but also, a lack of imagination.

The world of business is nothing if not a world of opportunity. However, those many opportunities that come your way in business might slip through your fingers if you’re ensuring that you stay left behind. Keep your skills up to date, and your business up to date to make a real success of whatever venture you choose. The world of business is at your fingertips, but it certainly won’t be if you opt to stay completely stuck in the past.