Old-School Advertising Still Has It’s Place

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Loads of small businesses would never consider the idea of branching away from social media or online adverts to get their company known. But, in a world of constant change; doing something different can be a great way to get known. For some businesses, older methods of marketing could be exactly what you need to start getting more customers. And, it doesn’t have to be a challenge. This post will be going through some of the considerations you have to make when doing something like this. And, what you will need to do to make it all work.

When you’re advertising, you need to choose a platform that will reach your potential customers. This will often mean doing some research to make sure that you are using the right platform. A lot of people will only look at an advert if it’s something fresh. So, one of the best ways to get a business known is through the use of mobile billboards. This method will work particularly well if you are a local business; relying on people in your area alone for business. Another method is through flyering. But, this doesn’t have to be local. There are loads of companies out there that can offer national flyering services; using your country’s national mail service. A method like this will stand out from the crowd of online adverts. And, hopefully, will put your business on the map for loads of people.

Some older methods are advertising are very good. And, some are really bad. Television networks tend to get their funding either through adverts or paid subscriptions. Running these channels takes a lot of money, though. So, the networks that use advertising have to charge a lot for slots on their shows. This means that you will often pay a large amount of money for an advert like this. And, the same can be said for radio. It’s best to avoid these methods as much as you can. They will often cost much more that other ideas. And, they won’t be anywhere near as effective.

Your adverts won’t do very well if they’re not good, though. So, it’s best for you to make sure that you’re not handling them yourself. Instead, it’s best to make sure that you have a professional designer on board to help you with these decisions. It can be very hard for a business to make sure that they are using the right kind of advertising. And, it takes years to master the skills that designers have. Of course, this will cost you a little bit of money. But, this will be worth it when you’re getting more customers as a result. When choosing a designer, always look at their past work to make sure that their skills are up to your standards.

Hopefully, this will give you a good idea of what needs to be done if you want to start advertising in a unique way. There’s no reason to avoid older methods like this, other than cost. So, it’s important to think about the price you pay for this sort of thing. And, whether or not it’s worth it for your business.

Small Businesses, Here’s Where You Need To Splash The Cash

Have you got it? Seriously? This isn’t a sick joke? No? Awesome! Well, sit back and put your feet up because everything is bound to go smoothly.

What is that, you ask? That is the inner monologue of a small business owner who has secured the money to start a company. See, instead of realizing that there is still a lot to do, most entrepreneurs think that the job is over when they have the money. They believe that because it is so hard to obtain the cash that the rest is easy. The sad truth is that the battle might be over, but the war is only beginning as this is the start.

To be successful, you have to spend the money in the right places, which is harder than it sounds. Luckily, you have people like us who are happy to help.

Number Crunchers

Unless you are Rainman, there is a chance you will do more harm than good if you take care of the books alone. There is so much to do, and it is so complex that it can get confusing. And, that causes novices to make mistakes. The good thing is that accountants don’t make mistakes, and they have a few tricks up their sleeve to boot. They know how to reduce business tax and other taxes, as well as when to pay and when to hold money. If that isn’t enough, they know how to cut costs throughout the entire company which is essential for a startup. The same goes for an IT team and a web designer. Business professionals aren’t cheap, yet they will bring in more than they cost.

Business Tech

The most successful firms spend hundreds of millions on software product development yearly. SMEs, on the other hand, tend to spend far less. It is a pretty obvious fact because your new business won’t have the same cash flow. What isn’t obvious is that SMEs only spend a fraction of their revenue on software development. That is a massive mistake. For starters, technology can reduce costs like a team of business professionals. They do the work of three or four employees to the same standard, yet tech is far cheaper. Then, there is the fact that they increase productivity and smooth out business processes. Finally, a software program will keep the business safe from external threats. A business should never think it is too small to invest in technology.

Education

A startup should never stop learning, and neither should its employees. A team of skilled and able workers is one of the keys to success, and every firm can assemble such a team. The trick is to invest part of your budget on employee training. Training is like school but for adults, and it has the same effect. Why? It’s because the workforce will learn new procedures, how to be more efficient, and how to perform to a higher standard overall. Lots of businesses don’t have the time to train their people, and they suffer as a result.

How could any firm, big or small, not want any of the advantages training offers?

Success Can be Found In Your Acumen

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Starting a company requires effective leadership, and effective leadership is as much about business acumen as it is about knowing your specialist sector and having the skills to match. That is because it takes a deep understanding of how businesses operate and work in order to be successful. In short, it is not enough to simply know how to achieve the technical side of the process, or know how to market yourself or know how to build a product. You need to know how to navigate a revenue stream.

That is why we are going to go through the three main aspects of business acumen to help your startup company become a success.

Knowing The Market You Operate In

Of course, it will help a great deal if you are well educated in your chosen sphere. For example, if you want to start your own construction company it will help if you have done a CITB training course, in the same way that graduate programmes by Nanyang Technological University will assist you in climbing the rungs of an engineering career. However, it is a deep understanding of the marketplace that will prove to be most useful in leadership. You need to know who your customers are, what they want from your product or service, what your competitors are offering, and what trends seem to be gaining traction. In addition to this, it is important you understand your own business and what its role in the market is and why customers value it. All of this will help you lead better and grow faster.

There Is An Art To Knowing About Finance

It is all well and good knowing how to design, develop, promote and sell a product or service, but knowing how every decision may affect your company’s finances – it’s bottom-line – is where you will determine success or failure. That is where great leadership stems from. So make sure you understand financial forecasts, metrics, and reports. It is also going to be valuable to understand how to analyze performance charts and know how to amend these to maximize productivity. It doesn’t matter what business you are in, you are in a business. That means that every decision has the potential to impact your revenue, cash flow, profits, and assets.

The System Of Thinking Like A Businessman

Your decision-making process can’t simply take into account the finances of your role, it must also account for the individuals around and under you. Every decision a leader makes will have some form of impact on others, and a different impact depending on their relationship to you. Employees will be looking up to you for direction, investors will be looking for results, management will be want to gain trust and customers will want to have quality, all of which depends on how you manage your decisions and thinking patterns. That is why it is so important to see what the results of your thinking will be before you make them. Decisions will entwine and combine to have an impact on your finances and competitiveness. What you need to do is ensure these outcomes are advantageous to your business and not harmful.

New Business: New Market

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So you have just set up your new business. Everything is ready to go. You’ve put time and effort into it to build your company and now you need customers to come for what you offer. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you operate, it won’t be successful if you don’t have anyone using it or giving you money. You may have run a business before, but you need to understand that different businesses have differing markets. A corner shop has a totally different market to a company offering printing solutions, for example. These tips can help you get started, but are by no means all encompassing. They will serve to stoke more ideas and help you get to where you need to be in terms of marketing.

The Mobile Phone

These are the things you may not have thought about using for marketing, but are viable and well used tools. Again, you may already use them, but if not do consider it. Cell phone marketing has become a huge opportunity, so consider finding a provider that can help you to the end. Everyone has a phone these days, so using the right messaging company can help, you should look into acquiring the SMS white label program from UltraSMSScript. You should also think about app marketing. You can advertise through popular apps, meaning your business will reach the eyes of thousands of users. You can even consider using an app of your own for your business. In it, you can promote everything new and current in your company and tell people about exciting new offers and the like.

Marketing Video

They’re becoming ever more popular these days. Marketing videos are great, and better than the usual bog standard article because people don’t have to concentrate, they just watch instead of read, which is far more easier. Making a good marketing video can be tough, which is why it is worth seeking professional help. You don’t want it looking stupid or amateurish, or your reputation will be affected for the worse. Ensure your product or service is clearly outlined in the video. Look at some of the major companies out there and how they place what they’re advertising in the video. It can give you the inspiration to do the same.

Email Marketing

Similar to SMS marketing, email marketing can work wonders. The trick is not to come over too brash. You don’t want to bombard people’s email address with rubbish. Instead, you want to make sure that each email is written well and has something of worth inside. Perhaps it is a coupon for money off their purchase, or informing them of a new range of products. Maybe you’re telling them about a new promotion. It has to have worth, otherwise people will unsubscribe. If they do that you are losing potential customers. Remember, try to compile an email list of willing and likely customers. You can purchase an email list, but you are better off forming them from past customer information, at least then you know they will be interested.

Preventing Crime At Your Business

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Although a lot of new entrepreneurs manage to overlook it, security is one of the big concerns that all business owners need to think about. Paying due diligence to your security will protect the business’s livelihood, as well as the safety of all your staff. Although you’re probably strained for time as it is, here are a few essential steps for protecting your company from crime.

Go with the Holistic Approach

Shoplifting is a major issue for many retail businesses, and the options for keeping the place secure are endless. While CCTV and product tags can be a big help, one of the most effective ways to stop people from stealing from your business is simply letting them know that you’re there, and keeping an eye on them. The best way to do this is upping standards of customer service. Have all your shop staff acknowledge everyone who comes through the door, and hang around customers offering them any kind of help and information they need. You’ll not only scare away thieves, but look better in the eyes of your honest customers as well.

Sweat the Small Stuff

There are countless ways that business owners decide to protect their livelihood, and getting equipped with all the latest security gear can certainly reduce the risk of any major breach. Having said that, if you were to ask a range of security companies, they’ll tell you that one of the most important things you can do is sweat the small stuff. Dependable security gates and strong locks on all your premises’ points of entry may sound basic, but there’s a reason for this: these things work! Make sure you’re only issuing keys to the premises to the people who really need them, and that alarm keys are clearly marked to keep them extra-secure. You should also have a logging system if you ever need to loan keys out. Finally, maintain go-to numbers for reporting any kind of emergencies or suspicious activity, and have them posted all over your business premises. This ensures that if and when there is some kind of breach, you’ll be able to react to it as quickly as possible.

Carry Out a Thorough Inventory and Audit

Inventories and audits are two more simple ways you can prevent any kind of crime at your business. Maintain up-to-date employee records, including staff pictures, and keep them somewhere you can access them whenever the need arises. Make sure that any valuable equipment is accurately cataloged using serial numbers, and that it’s all included in regular inventory checks. Occasionally, you should also make sure that employees aren’t leaving any keys in doors or cabinets, or leaving their passwords written down anywhere. Every once in a while, you should also make sure that your alarm system and cameras are in good working order. Burglar alarms that don’t trigger are useless, and blurry images of an intruder aren’t going to be much help to the police.

There you have three essential steps to protecting your company from the risk of crime.

Moving Your Startup To New Premises

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There will come a time when you decide it’s right to move your operation to new premises. This could be for a number of reasons: you might have outgrown where you currently are, may need to find somewhere more in line with the company ethos, or you might have been working out of your basement and not even had an office before. Whatever it is, you’re about to make the move, which is exciting, but also daunting. Here are a few things you’ll need to bare in mind, and some of the technological solutions that can make the move easier.

Choosing Your New Premises

Before you start looking for a new place for your startup, you’ll need to think about why you actually want to move. Is it definitely the right move? To determine that, you’ll have to establish your motivation for wanting to move. And once your reasons are settled, you’ll know whether you’re looking for a place that can cater for more staff, or have you more in the mix of the big companies, or just somewhere that allows you to put your own stamp on the design.

Flexible Working Hours

Technology is changing the way we think about work. It’s no longer just a 9-5 job anymore; in the best cases (and you should be aiming for this), it’s an extension of our lifestyle. There are some people out there who think that the very concept of “the office” will soon be obsolete, so bare this in mind when looking for a new space. With modern software and cloud storage making it easier than ever for workers to work remotely, it might be that your new premises might be better served if they function more as a collaborative workspace rather than a traditional office.

Modern Look, Modern Technology

The four walls and the roof are immaterial, really, to how successful your office will be. It’s all about what’s inside those four walls that matters. Have an outfit like Digital Planet implement your custom technological needs and you’ll be in a position to work productively and deliver results straight from day one. You should be thinking of your new office as a blank canvas, upon which you can paint the technology and software tools that can streamline your business operations and boost profits.

Saving Money

There are naturally plenty of costs involved in a move, but it also gives you a chance to save money too. For instance, there are plenty of ways you can use technology to cut the cost of your bills – think of VoIP communications, which run off the internet and can save you money on your phone bills. Look at everything you’ll be spending money on: there’s almost certainly a way to reduce costs.

Monitor The Results

Once you’ve moved in, you don’t have to necessarily commit to making your new office your base for a long period of time. It might not work out as you intended, or you might think you’ll do better elsewhere, so make sure you keep on top of how the move has affected your business, and adjust your plans accordingly.

Mobilise For Mobile: Engaging Customers On Smartphones & Tablets

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The rise of handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets has skyrocketed in the past five years or so. And it means that there has been a shift in priority for online marketers for businesses in every industry.

The trend towards accessing services and searching for products is now firmly in the direction of mobile over a desktop, and if you aren’t looking for ways of embracing the change, your company will suffer.

With this in mind, how can businesses mobilise their marketing efforts and put a bigger focus on mobile to engage their customers? We’re going to look at a few examples of some of the techniques that might prove fruitful for your company – let’s get started right away.

Free Wi-Fi

First, let’s take a look at something that every shop or physical business can benefit from – offering free Wi-Fi to everyone that enters your building. Let’s say you are a coffee shop, and want people to order another drink, or prolong their stay by ten minutes or so. Given the amount of time people spend on their phones these days and their demand for constant connectivity, it makes sense that you provide them with that option. Not only will you see an increase in customer satisfaction, but you can also use your Wi-Fi service to offer discounts and deals in exchange for them signing up to your service, or following you on social media.

Mobile apps

It wasn’t so long ago that many businesses were wary of the return on investment from the cost of creating a mobile app. These days, however, it’s a different story. The technology has moved on hugely in recent years, and the top mobile app companies are capable of producing exceptional results for your business. Not only can apps help you increase your customer base, but if your service is helpful, useful, and enticing to your audience, they will use it all the time. And that gives you instant access to promote your services at any time of day.

Geolocation services

Many consumers will happily sign up to location-based services if they are offered discounts and deals in return. And that means that geolocation is a powerful marketing tool for your business. You could investigate something like Beacon technology which can send contextual, targeted, and location specific messages to your customers whenever they are nearby. It should drive footfall, encourage sales, and results in a better presence on – and off – line.

Mobile payments

Is your business embracing mobile payments? If not, you are in good company – but be aware that we are all moving towards mobile payments whether you like it or not. Giving your customers the opportunity to pay by mobile will give you vital purchase history details, which you can then use to craft specific messages to engage them better and encourage a return.

As you can see, mobile engagement isn’t just beneficial for your business – it’s also incredibly important. As we move towards the future, smartphones and tablets will become even more ubiquitous than they are already, and savvy business owners and marketers should be acknowledging that fact right now.

Boost the Confidence of Your Employees Today

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Your employees do their best work when they are confident. If they are unsure of themselves, they tend to produce work that is substandard, which is not good for you and your business. So, maybe it’s time to start thinking about how you can give your employees a confidence boost. The ideas below will allow you to do exactly that, so read on now.

Show Them That They Can Progress and Advance in the Company

No one wants to feel like they’re stuck in a dead-end kind of job. People want to feel like they’re free to try new things and advance themselves, as well as their careers. So, you should show your employees that this is something they can do within your company. Prove that you are willing to promote people who do good work and show talent. This should give a bit of a confidence boost and some extra motivation to everyone who works for the business. It will certainly stop people feeling like they are stuck in a rut when working for your business.

Offer Constructive Feedback

Feedback is really important, so you should definitely make sure that you give it to your employees. This will help to give them a confidence boost because you can highlight what they’re doing well, and offer them praise for that. And at the same time, you can give them some constructive advice on how they might want to change their working habits in order to achieve more. This feedback should always be delivered in a non-judgmental kind of way. It shouldn’t be about piling on criticism. Instead, you should aim to make them feel like they can get even better in the future.

Recognize the Good Work They Do

Recognizing good work is an essential part of giving your employees more confidence. You can get custom trophy awards and hand them out to people at the end of each month. The person who does best at the end of a particular month will get the trophy until next month comes around. It’s a great way to ensure your employees all feel like their good work and energy is being recognized and rewarded. They should then be spurred on to do even more positive work in the future. Just make sure that this doesn’t lead to infighting or conflicts in the workplace.

Give Them More Freedom and Control Over Their Work

For many employees, there is nothing better than being handed more freedom and control in the workplace. They want to feel like they are free to make their own decisions and go their own way. So, you should definitely think about loosening your grip on the direction of the work done by employees. They are the ones that put in the hard work for the business every day, so they are the ones best placed to decide how work should be approached and completed. Their confidence will grow massively when they see that you trust them with this level of freedom and control.

The Customer’s Always Right

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If there is just one thing you should know before starting your own business, it is the importance of having incredible customer service. In fact, good customer service is the probably the single most important factor for any business.

That may seem like a tall statement to deliver given all of the other facets that make up a successful company, but going above and beyond and over-delivering in the realm of customer service is going to be immensely valuable to your business and make you invaluable to your customers.

You may not believe us still, which is why we are going to rephrase what we just said. Ahem. In business, there are only two ways – just two ways – to improve the revenue, profits and operations of a business and that is to decrease costs or increase sales. That is where customer service comes in. It is far easier to increase sales through good customer service than it is to decrease the cost of what you are selling, whether that is a product or a service.

But if you are content with just taking our word for it, then read on and we will explain exactly how important good customer service will be to your startup; more important than anything else.

The Trust Aspect

It doesn’t matter what sector you operate in, or plan to operate in, chances are it is saturated with an immense amount of competition. Some will be more established, some will be more professional, some will be cheaper and some will have cornered a certain market. As such, people very rarely stay loyal to a company if they have very good reason to. The rise in competition just has a way of getting under the skin of customers. That is why it is so important you put in extra effort into the service you offer and really focus on building their trust in you. The better your customer service the more trust you will manufacture, and the more trust you manufacture the less likely they will be to take a risk with one of your competitors. Customer loyalty is going to be the best revenue source you ever have, it is as simple as that. So gain their trust and keep it.

The Price Doesn’t Matter

Okay, so it matters to a certain extent, but not as much as you probably imagine. Think about. When you go online to buy something – anything- you probably look at an average of three different options, reading reviews of each of them before buying the one that offers the best value. Not the cheapest, but the best value. People know that cheap probably means not as good, and probably means they will end up spending more in the long run. As such, people are willing to spend more on a good experience. Human errors happen, so do mechanical and technological ones, but a company’s ability to act on this mistake will go a long way. The service they offer to ensure a customer is more than satisfied with everything will resonate in their review, whether that is on Amazon, on Trustpilot, on Glassdoor or even TripAdvisor. Good customer service goes a long way.

Word Of Mouth Is Good

Word of mouth is one of the most powerful assets your company can have, especially in the early stages of business when you don’t have much money to spend on marketing or advertising. Word of mouth is essentially a free means of marketing, while also harnessing the power of a reference-slash-testimonial. There is a huge difference between you saying your product or service is good and an independent person saying your product or service is good. Essentially, it can make or break your business. That is where customer service comes in. If a customer receives a wholly positive experience and service then they are going to talk about you, you are going to stick in their minds and they are going to recommend you to people or businesses. If they have had a positive experience they are much more likely to put their name on the line. It is simple psychology.

Be As Proactive As Possible

Customer service should not just be about letting your customers come to you, but offering a great service as soon as possible this could be achieved by implementing a live support chat function on your website, which could mean researching the services from Tierpoint and considering a new partnership to maximize the effectiveness of this option. It could mean connecting with your followers on social media to make them feel valued. This could even become a solid marketing tool if you are clever about it. In the past, we have seen some Twitter responses from big supermarkets go viral as they implement a level of humour into the Twitter responses. In short, the more proactive you are when it comes to customer service the more attractive you will be to your customers and the more likely you will attract new customers. Say hi to them in the comment box once in awhile, offer to resolve any issue in the public sphere so that others can see how amazing your process is and how friendly and easily you handle your complaints.

It Reduces The Chance Of Issue

Problems arise, things happen and accidents occur. It is a part of life and it is a part of running a business, and there is nothing you can do about it. However, what you can do is learn how to react to a problem in the most efficient, effective and professional manner possible and make sure the importance of this echoes through your business. Customers are never too happy when a service or product is below par, but they become actively infuriated when the customer services dealing with a complaint are below par too. So make sure you listen to all complaints and deal with them in a polite and timely manner. Handle any and all problems in a personal manner so that they don’t just feel like a number but feel like a valued customer. Knowing they can go to you to get something resolved will be incredibly valuable to how your business grows.

Are You An Accidental Criminal?

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Obviously, you would instinctively answer no to that question but note, we did say accidentally. As a business owner, it’s entirely possible that you are not fully aware of legal regulations in your company. You might be vaguely aware that by copying content online you are breaching copyright laws. But do you know what content you can and can’t share? Do you understand how to source content you share online for marketing purposes correctly? This is just one example of how business legal issues might be more complex than you think.

There are plenty more. For instance, you may want to think about health and safety levels in your company. Are you sure you’re ticking off all the right boxes with the setup within your business? Again, it’s entirely possible that key information is being missed. So, how can you make sure you’re not accidentally breaking the law in your company?

Hire A Legal Advisor

Your first step should be to hire a legal advisor in your business. They will make sure that you are keeping on top of any regulations that could impact your business. You might think that a legal advisor is an expensive and unnecessary investment for your company. However, you would be wrong. First, you can get advice by using an outsourced HR team. Doing this, you should be able to keep costs low while still getting the support you need. Second, legal issues can seem as though they have been written in a completely different language. They are not intended to be understood by a lay person. Therefore, even if you are regularly reading up on the legal changes yourself, you might not fully understand how it could impact your company.

Understanding Little Details

There are so many ways you can accidentally break the law by getting little details wrong with the setup of your business. For instance, if you don’t have the right sanitary waste disposal in place for your company, you can be penalised by health and safety regulators. While this might seem like a victim-less crime, it can lead to the spread of illness, bacteria, and infection. This could be harmful to your employees and your clients, so it’s certainly something that is worth looking into.

Knowing Your Legal Accountability

You must be aware that when you run a business, you are accountable and responsible for everything that happens. So, if an employee is abusive to a client, this could be your responsibility if a legal avenue is pursued. Or, you might be held accountable if an employee is injured due to the setup of your office. While you won’t technically have broken the law someone within your business may have. If that’s the case, you will be expected to pay the price. This is just one of the reasons why it’s in your best interest to know where you stand legally.

There are defenses for employers who want to avoid accountability when an incident happens in their business. But it is important to understand that ignorance is not one of them. As such, it pays to have all the legal knowledge about running a company.

Keep Your Business Secure For Success

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Many new startups fail for a myriad of reasons. One of these is that they did not give enough thought to the security of their business before going ahead and setting up. Security is a huge aspect that all businesses need to think about especially in this day and age. If you want your business to succeed then you make it secure, so that no one wishing it harm can come near to it at all. There are various ways to do this, and although you may have given it some thought these points could give you further ideas regarding your business.

Establish A Perimeter

If there is a form of perimeter then potential thieves and vandals may have trouble getting in. This is a must if you run some kind of fleet based company like a taxi firm or fleet of trucks. Normal shops have walls, this is a perimeter. You need one too. It can be an internal perimeter, such as a fence within a location to keep people out of high risk areas where you store items of significant worth.  Your best bet is to hire commercial fence contractors. If you have a physical barrier then they can’t do much and only the most determined of thieves can get in. If you think things are bad consider hiring a night watchman, or even dogs who can protect your property.

CCTV

You need it. These days it comes quite cheap too. You can use CCTV that is motion activated, so that you don’t waste electric and power, meaning it will only be activated when something trips the sensor. Having this on hand is a great way to keep your assets safe, first because it acts as a put off for anyone who wanted to steal but also because if it captures the thieves it can aid in their capture, meaning you may get your stuff back anyway. You can even get the footage beamed straight to your smartphone, so you can have peace of mind knowing everything is okay unless the sensor trips.

Computer Security

Physical threats aren’t the only issue these days. You also need to worry about hackers and people who will maliciously send you things that could ruin your systems and client data. First, educate your workforce. They need to know that opening things like unsolicited email attachments can cause serious viruses that may ruin your setup. Then, you need to invest in quality business virus protection. There are all kinds available so search for what you think will benefit you most. Think about ditching the server altogether and using cloud computing which has strode forward in recent years. It means you are safe from physical attack like vandalism and also fire and the like whilst also being much harder to hack because you are based on the cloud. It also means you can access key business data from wherever you are, meaning workforce productivity shoots up dramatically. No more carrying irksome hard drives or USB sticks around.

Don’t Be A Cowboy Builder

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Running a construction business is difficult. Not because of the industry, as construction work is always needed somewhere, but because the challenge of making a worthwhile name for your business is hard to overcome. Small mistakes can completely tarnish the reputation of any building company, as people are nervous when they entrust such a big project with a business; they’d rather trust the company with no blemishes against its name, rather than the business which make a costly error on their last job.

Whilst you may have honest intentions when entering the construction industry, not every “cowboy builder” intentionally earns that title. As your company grows, you’ll need to work harder and harder to ensure that every project you undertake is completed to the same high quality as the last. When you let standards slip, you put your business’ name at risk. Fail to plan, and you plan to fail. If you want to avoid your construction company becoming known as a gang of cowboy builders, then here are some pieces of advice to avoid earning that title.

Train your workers.

This is perhaps the most important piece of advice any construction business can be given. If you want to avoid mistakes and botched jobs, ensure that the people you employ have the same values and standards of quality in terms of completing a construction project that you do. Your employees reflect on the company, and you should ensure they’re well-trained, along with having the correct qualifications, before you let them conduct any sort of work on-site. One botched-up piece of work means a botched-up reputation for your construction business as a whole, which can be tough to recover in such a competitive industry. Future clients might find it hard to trust you if you employ dodgy builders.

Check machinery and materials.

Even the most experienced team of workers can be let down by the machines or the equipment with which they’re working. If you do an excellent by-the-book job, but your materials are shabby or the gear you’re using is starting to wear out a little, then you might be putting the entire project at risk. It’s vital that you regularly and consistently ensure everything your construction business uses on site is well-maintained. You could look into an electric hoist company to ensure your hoist and crane machinery is all up to scratch. Whether we’re talking about a huge piece of machinery which could put the build or workers’ lives at risk if it’s faulty, or simply a shabby piece of wood which might do a poor job at providing structure to a household in the future, maintaining a high standard across all aspects of a build is so important.

Complete jobs on time.

Completing a job well is one thing, but completing a job within the deadline is quite another. If you’re building a house for a family or a new office block for a small company, the deadline you give them is vitally important. They might be counting on the exact date of completion that they’ve been given. If it’s a home construction, leaving people without anywhere to live for longer than they expected could be costly and frustrating for them. Keep up the good image of your company, and don’t exceed deadlines.

Impress From The First Address

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First impressions are crucial in your business model. You may not realise this but a client or customers has decided whether they are going to use your business or service within a few minutes of meeting you. As such, you need to make sure that they are getting your A game straight away. Otherwise, you have only yourself to blame for a lost sale and lower level of profit. So, how do we get things on track and impress the customer straight out the gate?

Here’s My Card

Everything about your business presentation must be on point from the first time you meet that new client. For instance, you might not meet them in a business setting at all. Lawyers, for instance, head down for happy hour after work. It’s here that they find potential clients down in the dumps, in search of a helping hand. With a quick nod of the head, shake of the hand and a passing of a business card, they’ve created a new lead. It’s the card that’s important here. It needs to be professionally designed and look like it’s being given out by a pro-business man or woman. You can’t afford for customers to think, even for a second that you are not genuine. Or worse, that you’re not successful.

Don’t Keep Them Waiting

If you want to win over customers, you need them to feel special, important and taken care of. This means that customers shouldn’t be left on hold for long because this will essentially mean that they don’t feel like they are worth your time. You also shouldn’t leave them waiting in reception for long periods, anxious for a meeting with you. You might think this is a way of showing them that you don’t need their business but you also showing that you don’t care. That’s a dangerous balancing act you’re trying to pull off. It’s far better to make them feel as though they are number one rather than that you’re so busy you don’t have time for them.

Styled To Stun

We do need to think about how your business looks to new clients. Does it seem like a place that has a lot of money to burn and does it look like it’s run by people who care about the little details? If it is, there will be reception furniture that is both elegant and luxurious. It should look as though it’s been ripped straight out of a five-star hotel entrance hall. Details like this will guarantee that your clients are genuinely impressed and excited to see more of your company.

Better Than The Rest

Last but certainly not least you need to think about who you have working for your business. The key players in your company need to be dressed to impress and ready to make clients swoon for your company. As such, you should pick members of your team very carefully.

Good luck with making the best impression with your company. If you take our advice, we guarantee your customers won’t look back once they have entered your office.

Avoiding The Biggest Causes Of Manufacturing Downtime

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There are few words that make a manufacturing business owner cringe in pain quite as bad as ‘downtime’ does. The idea that no work is being done, no progress is being made towards goals. The bottlenecks that develop, the return on investment lost. It just can’t be abided. So, it’s time to identify the greatest causes of downtime and what you can do to eliminate it.

Those crucial skills are gone

It might be due to illness, it might be because of personal leave, or that someone has quit. If you haven’t prepared for how the business continues when certain skillsets aren’t there, temporarily or permanently, it can put down a real barrier to productivity. You should always have the means to replace someone’s skills at short notice. Whether that’s hiring temps or cross-training, you can’t allow any one person to become indispensable to the business.

When machines fail

Overall equipment effectiveness is a model that makes the goal of the manufacturer to have every piece of equipment on the floor running at all times. The more time any one machine has problems, the further you get from that goal. Reaching that goal needs a multipronged strategy. It needs a close relationship with parts suppliers like Pirtek, not only to make use of emergency repair services but to stay stocked in the essential parts that are most likely to need replacing. It also needs the operators to be involved in routine maintenance of the machines as often as possible. Any planned downtime should be spent optimizing the equipment the business relies on.

The health and safety crises

An accident in the workplace is going to shut down productivity in all kinds of ways. You have someone who needs time off to take care of themselves, for one. But you also have the investigations into either the machinery or the work practices that led to the accident themselves. All in all, it takes way too much focus away from the business of manufacturing. That’s why regular risk assessments, training, and looking after your employees is so essential. Accidents will happen, but the less, the better. You can even incentivize immaculate safety records with annual financial rewards. People are already concerned with their own safety, but using the carrot instead of the stick can make them doubly careful.

You don’t have what you need

It’s not as serious as a health and safety failure, but running out of stock can definitely be a panic-ridden time for a manufacturing business. The key is to manage both the relationship with suppliers as well as your own expectations. Getting to know your sales cycle and performing accurate demand estimations is essential. But sometimes the issue isn’t that you don’t bring enough in to deal with demand, but that suppliers cannot provide enough. This is why in-depth communication with suppliers, getting to know the risks to their own supply, is crucial. You need to know when you need to have a backup prepared.

There’s always going to be some risk of downtime and some loss of productivity. However, besides reducing the risk, by preparing for it, you make it easier to spot workarounds and backups, as well as recovery plans. In preventing and tackling the issue, you have to be prepared for it from every angle.