Do You Know The Most Common Mistake Among New Business Owners?

pexels-photo-52608

There are few things in life more exciting than setting up your own business. If you’ve spent your life doing what you’re told and working for other people, then the idea of getting to make your own rules and call the shots for yourself can be incredibly enticing. Of course, there’s no way to deny that it also comes with its fair share of problems and difficulties. You should definitely not try to set up your own business if you’re not willing to put the necessary amount of work it. However, there’s one mistake that far too many new business owners make that is likely to make their lives much harder than they need to be: they try to do everything themselves. Trying to deal with everything yourself is the fastest way to both let your business down and to send yourself completely insane with exhaustion. It might be difficult to imagine handing over any part of your business when the independence of it is such a big part of why you set up your own business, but here are just a few reasons why reaching out to other people for a little help is one of the best things for both you and your business.

You can focus on what matters most to you

No matter what, there is a very good chance that there are certain aspects of your business that you are more concerned with than others. Some business owners want to focus their energy on the finances of a business, while others are more interested in interacting directly with customers. There’s nothing really wrong with this; it’s just a natural part of running a business. However, the problem many business owners run into is that this leads them to neglect certain other parts of the business. By putting those aspects in the hands of outside agencies or individuals, you can focus on what matters to you, without it coming at the expense of other areas of your business.

It puts your business in the safest possible hands

There’s a temptation to believe that the very safest hands that your business can be in are your own. However, that’s not always the case. There are always going to be gaps in your skill set, just as there are gaps in your interests. You might not have any idea how to market a business effectively so hiring a small business digital marketing agency to help you with that can make a huge difference. The same goes for just about every aspect of your business from finances, to employee management. It’s always worth putting important things in the hands of the experts.   

It helps you maintain a work/life balance

Running a business is a huge undertaking no matter how you spin it. However, this doesn’t mean that it should completely and totally take over your life. A work/life balance is incredibly important both for you and your business. Overworking can have some seriously harmful effects on you as a person, and that means that you’re definitely not going to be bringing your very best to the business every day. By putting things in other people’s hands, you get to take a break now and then, recharge, and then come back more fired up than ever.

Will You Be A Leader In Your Industry?

What-It-Means-to-Be-an-Industry-Leader-Global-IQX

Are you hoping to become somewhat of a leader in your industry? You can’t just hope for the best. You need to take deliberate steps to get to where you want to be. Here are some pointers you should take on board:

Becoming The Person You Need To Be

Before you start any kind of business, or attempt to change anything in a current business, you need to be sure that you’re the right person. Who do you want to be? Who do you think you need to be to get to where you want to go? Pretend you are that person already. What time do you get up in the morning? What does your morning routine look like? What do you wear, how do you feel, what do you eat? All of these things need to be considered, and you then need to take steps to become this person! You need to become a leader before you can lead, and your mindset is so important.

Having An Effective Business Operating Model

Having an effective business operating model is crucial if you want to become a leader in your industry. Not only does this make your business more effective, it shows others that you actually know what you’re doing. This is important in a number of different sectors. There are various models that can be used for different sectors, too. The following infographic can fill you in on the healthcare sector, so you get a good idea of what you should be doing.


credit to Marylhurst University Online

Ten Great Tips When Starting A New Business

5524669257_ab67585fd0_b

You may have the greatest business idea in the world, but the path to making it work can be overwhelming. Whether you are thinking about setting up online, the local high street, or both, there are some important things to consider before getting there. With careful planning, the stress of starting a business can be alleviated. Consider the following advice.

Be realistic

Quite simply, take a look at your life as it stands right now. Considering your family, financial and employment situation, is now the right time to set up your business? If the answer is no, then maybe wait a while. There is no harm in planning ahead for when the time is right.

Research

You need to find out how viable your business idea is. For example, how many other people are doing what you would like to do? If the market is oversaturated with your idea, then it may be time to have a rethink. Also, you need to be visible for people to find you. If considering a high street store, check the geography of your town to find the best place to set yourself up. If online, create a website with a web building tool and use SEO to boost your website’s popularity on search engine listings.

Have a business plan

Without a plan in place, you are almost guaranteed to fail. Ask yourself the following questions, and consider the answers.

Who is my target demographic?
How much money do I need to begin trading?
How will I market myself?
Where do I want to be five years from now?

Having a plan in place is like having a roadmap to help you navigate the tricky world of business. When applying for a bank loan, or in looking for people to invest in your company, a business plan is evidence that you are taking this venture seriously. So consider the short and the long term, and take the time you need to put things in place to help you.

Be passionate

If you have a business idea but don’t have any passion for it, then you are not going to go far. For example, if you are thinking about setting up a dressmaking business, but have no interest in fashion, your customers will see that. Choose something that excites you and makes you get out of bed every day. There will be pitfalls ahead, but having a love for what you are trying to accomplish will spur you on.

Have an online presence

Considering the millions of people using the Internet, the potential for attracting new customers is high. By setting up your own website and connecting it to your social media accounts, the chances of your business succeeding are considerably higher than if you don’t.

It is important to keep your website and social media updated with new and relevant information about your business. By offering promotions and listening to customer feedback, you will be able to keep people coming back for more. Respect your customers, and consider these customer service quotes.

Be wise with money

It is likely you will need some capital before your business can begin. The best way is having saved money beforehand. If you haven’t all is not lost. You could borrow from family and friends, but don’t take advantage of them. Many people take out a business loan from a bank. If you are going down this route, shop around for the best interest rates. You will also need your business plan handy as they won’t normally lend to somebody without one. Whatever else you do, make sure you borrow from somebody reputable and have a plan in place for giving the money back.

When your business is up and running, there are financial implications you need to consider. For example, you will need to register as a business so you may choose to hire an accountant to help you with your taxes, and in helping you work out your income and expenditure. Failing that, there are many accounting apps on smartphones and tablets that can help you work out your finances, though an actual living person may give you better peace of mind.

Sell yourself

You have set up your business, your website is online, and you are ready to go. Great, well done! Don’t rest on your laurels yet, though. You need to shout about it from the rooftops (not literally) and let people know where you are. So advertise your company online through social media, relevant forums and buy ad space. When offline, send out business cards and flyers, get mentions on local radio, and advertise in newspapers and relevant periodicals.

Don’t give up the day job

You will be excited about the possibility of beginning a new venture, but you need to ensure you are financially secure as well. If you are already employed, don’t give up until your business is ready to get off the ground. It is still worth having employment on a part-time basis until your business begins to make a profit and earn you some real money.

Remember, you also need to pay your regular bills, eat food and support your family, so don’t give up on any income until it is wise to do so.

Find support

Don’t be a lone ranger. Enlist the support of family and friends, talk through ideas with them, and share with them your successes and disappointments. Moral support will help you get through the hard times.

Also, consider other people who can help, such as a business coach to take you through the steps you need in making your venture work. Other business owners may be able to give you advice, so talk to people online and off.

Make mistakes

We all make mistakes, so don’t be scared to do so. In the first few months of trading, you can expect to make a loss at first and encounter pitfalls. Recover, learn from them and move on. Nobody can expect to succeed on a first attempt, so persevere and don’t give up!

Hand Over The Hassle: 5 Things To Outsource Today

pexels-photo (9)

In business, you can be blessed with a lot of positive. When you first launch your startup, you can often find a few setbacks, but the idea of working for yourself, setting your own working hours, maximizing your earning potential and even creating a product or service that your proud of makes it all worth it. Unfortunately, there can also be a lot of hassles. The good news is, you don’t have to deal with them yourself if you don’t want to. Take save yourself time and to make your business run better, here are five areas that you can outsource today.

Website

Unless you’re a whizz with web design, you might find building, owning and running a website a bit too much. Some people have a passion for it, and that’s great – but if you’re not one of them, why break your back over something that an expert can take of your hands. There are a lot of things you can learn on the internet, but if web design is just one you can’t take too, it’s better off outsourced.

Admin

Every business has admin. Whether you have a ton of emails to answer, paperwork to put in order or even queries and complaints to handle, you might find that it takes up a large proportion of your time – meaning things like strategy and creative concepts take a back seat. When that’s the case, you need to get yourself either a member of admin staff or get a Virtual Assistant (VA) that can do it all for you.

Invoicing

The actual process of writing and sending out invoices isn’t that hard of a task – in fact, some of us actually love doing it (because you know that money will be coming because of it). However, the chasing up of said invoices and constantly being in contact with accounts people can drive you insane. If you spend a lot of timing chasing after your money and not seeing a lot of it, it might be time to look into small business invoice factoring companies that can take that off your hands.

Taxes

And while we’re on the topic of finance, let’s talk taxes too. Alongside chasing invoices and never seeing the money you’re owed, you can often find that filing your taxes is all a bit much too. Thankfully for us all, we don’t have to work on that ourselves – thanks to the accounting industry. If you struggle to keep on top of what you should and shouldn’t be doing with regards to your taxes, it’s definitely time to bite the bullet and hire an accountant to do it for you.

Social Media

Social media is one of the areas of business that we all know we should be staying on top of but we don’t all have time too. Thankfully, the idea of remote workers has made outsourcing your marketing more accessible (not to mention affordable). Instead of having to hire a big expensive agency, you can get a consultant or even a VA to help you out in the social media department – even if they just execute the strategy, you’ve created.

Maximize Your Company’s Internet Efficiency

pexels-photo-374074 (1)

Speaking from a 21st-century viewpoint, it can often be quite hard to imagine the world without the internet. We’ve only been using the Internet as we know it since 1994 when it was invented by British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee – but even in that short time, it has grown hugely. We rely on it for just about everything, from education to maintaining social relationships, and our working lives are no different. Pretty much every workplace in the world now uses the Internet as a primary function, and the vast majority of workers are skilled in using it to its varying degrees. Even jobs that are mainly labor-based use the internet now, whether it’s for marketing or sourcing clients. Companies without access to the Internet will almost immediately fall behind, which is why it’s so integral to be on top of your game when it comes to your internal systems. For example, the Internet operates very differently today than it did twenty years ago, with Wi-Fi replacing dial-up and multiple browsers to choose from. You probably already have Internet access at your company – but are you using it to its full potential?

Fast Wi-Fi

We all know that in business, time is money. For that reason alone, it’s easy to see why your company would benefit from high-speed Wi-Fi. Most Wi-Fis operate on an ‘airtime’ basis, meaning that how well they work depends on a number of devices that are running from the source. One way to ensure that your connection to the online world doesn’t let you down is by taking advantage of regular calibration services – a little bit of maintenance in this department can go a long way! Make sure the provider you choose offers a high amount of megabytes per minute so it can accommodate for all your employees. You may also need to gently remind employees not to download huge files onto your server, as this can easily slow down your Wi-Fi speed as well.

An intranet

It might seem like the most straightforward option, but having public Wi-Fi in your office can sometimes be risky business. Your company will most likely have a lot of important data and private information stored on your server, which could be easily accessible to hackers. Having a private intranet set up – an internet portal hidden behind a firewall – can greatly improve online security for your business.

Backup

As advanced as the Internet is, there will naturally be some occasions where it lets us down. Perhaps the entire service in your area has run into some problems, or maybe your aging router has finally given out. Whatever it is, the last thing you need as a business owner is to be cut off from the internet in the middle of an important video call or client conversation. For this reason, it can sometimes be worth having a couple of old-school backups at your disposal, to quickly re-establish your connection. Backup DSL or modem dial-up connections are your best bets here. Sure, they still take ages to link you up with a workable signal, but slow internet is better than no Internet at all, right?

These Questions Will Save Any Startup

QuestionsManagement-884x589

Something that often happens in the very early days of any startup is that there is a sudden dip, a time during which the previously high or healthy sales suddenly drop. It is perfectly natural in this case for the business owner in question to feel a little disappointed. But as it happens, there could be any number of reasons why a business might suffer such a sudden downturn – particularly a new business. If your business is experiencing such a problem at the moment, then here are some questions you can ask to vastly improve what you are doing fast.

Are You Offering A Solution?

All businesses need to offer something that others are unable to offer. This could mean a new solution to an existing problem, a solution better than anyone else’s. Or it could be that you have spotted a problem which nobody has given an answer to, and provided a solution that people can really benefit from. The latter is the strongest way to run a business, of course, but also the hardest to come by. If your business experiences a sudden drop, it could be that the solution you are offering is not relevant enough to many people, and that is why you aren’t doing as well as you thought you would.

Are You Engaging With Your Customers?

The relationship between the company itself and the customers it serves is central to the success of that business. If your business is going through a bad patch, it could be that your customers do not feel entirely appreciated, understood or engaged by your company. Knowing how to remain engaged with them is a tricky and complex art, but much of it is achieved in the construction of a compelling brand image. If you think your business might need some help on that front, consider getting a digital agency on board. They will be able to point out where you might be going wrong, and offer you some unique solutions.

Are You Taking Note Of Their Responses?

Your customer’s voice is something that you should always pay close attention to. Regardless of how big a company gets, being able to listen to the customer’s feedback is important. But not only should you be listening to it – you should be actively encouraging it, especially if your business is currently going through some hard times. Asking your customers for their opinion and then acting on that word will be the quickest way to get your business back to a state of better functionality and improved profit.

Are You Allocating The Right Resources?

One of the most difficult balances to get right in business is the budget sheet. You need to ensure that every aspect of the processes in your business has the required resources at their fingertips – but that is hard to know without really looking at the finer details. However, if your business is struggling, you might want to consider doing so – you might find a glaring error which had completely escaped your notice before, and it could bring your business out of those dark days.

Career Enhancement 101: The Slippery Slope To The Top

Image of businessman with suitcase. Promotion concept

Regardless of your current position, it isn’t where to want to stay for the rest of your career. Even if you’re at the upper echelons of the industry, there will be a role that keeps you awake at night. As a human being, it’s in your nature to want to break loose and make your way up the corporate ladder. However, there are hundreds of your colleagues that have the same idea, so achieving this goal isn’t going to be easy. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. In fact, it’s quite probable with the following advice.

Become A Leader

Businesses want all types of people because different personalities have different skills. And, the bigger the range, the more chance there is of success. With regards to management roles, though, there is one quality they rank above the rest: leadership. Anyone that is in charge of a group of people needs to be able to get the most out of them on a daily basis. If you can’t, you won’t last long in the position. Some say leaders are born, but that isn’t true thanks to leadership masters programs. These programs help mold an average worker into management material. Also, speaking out and being forceful can be useful as it gives off the right impression.

Take A Course

People often say that a promotion isn’t about what you know but who you know, and that is true to an extent. Still, you need the relevant skills if you want to make it to the top of the tree. And, these skills need to sharp and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Logically, a manager has to be better than his subordinates otherwise there will be uproar. So, it’s time to think about improving your key skills by taking a course. There are lots of courses for a variety of subjects, so there will be one for you. The trick is to pick the class which boosts your most desirable skills.

Play Politics

Unfortunately, you won’t get anywhere from being the best. Yep, skill only gets you so far because office politics get in the way. Current bosses have their favorites, and they don’t mind doling out jobs to these people for their devotion. Now, there is no need to be a brown nose because that doesn’t get anyone very far. But, you do need to keep yourself in the picture at all times by doing things others wouldn’t do for the sake of the firm. Is there overtime?  Is the company desperate for help? Good, then offer your services. Hopefully, they will remember your sacrifice when the time arises.

Be Ready To Quit

One thing they don’t tell you at school is that you have to be prepared to make big decisions in the workplace. Quitting is probably the biggest one you can ever make, but it is the right move sometimes. Now and then, employers will use you by waving a promotion in front of your face. Sadly, they are never going to give it to you, but they won’t divulge that information. If you feel they are using you, it’s best to move to start afresh.

Okay, it’s a lot of hard work, but at least you know you haven’t hit a glass ceiling.

Service With A Smile: How To Get Rave Reviews Every Time

customer-1253483_1280

If you’re an Internet user, there’s every chance that you’ll search online for reviews and recommendations if you’re looking for a local restaurant, a plumber or a new hairdresser. As a collective, we’re more dependent on the web than ever before, and if you own a business, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of rave reviews. If you run a business or you’re ready to get a startup off the ground, here are some simple ways you can deliver outstanding customer service.

Know your customer

You can’t provide a personalized service if you don’t know who you’re dealing with. Every business owner should have a good idea about who their target customer is. What do they do? How old are they? Where are they from? What do they like to do in their spare time? If you run a small business, you can run with this and really get to know the people you’re working for. If you run a bar, for example, it won’t go unnoticed that you stop and have a chat from time to time. If you’re a gas engineer, it’ll make a difference if you pop by and introduce yourself before you take on a job. Whatever industry you work in, it’s important to understand the value of contact, whether face to face or online.

Giving the customer what they want

When you run a business, your aim should be to provide your customers with what they want, as well as to make money. If you can please your clients and deliver what is promised, you’ll go a long way to getting those 5-star reviews. Make use of feedback, and encourage every customer to leave comments and make recommendations. If people take the time to do this, make sure you take notice. If something isn’t perfect the first time, a customer may give you a second chance, but if you fail to improve when problems have been highlighted, they may just choose to go elsewhere next time.

Covering yourself

When you provide a service, you should work on the basis that the customer is always right. It’s human nature to make mistakes, and nobody is perfect. Even the most experienced tradespeople or entrepreneurs can get things wrong. What’s important is that you can bounce back if things don’t go to plan. This is why it’s essential to have insurance. Mistakes can be costly, but i you’ve got the right cover, you’ll be able to sort tricky situations out without losing out financially. If you don’t already have insurance, check out https://www.kingsbridge.co.uk/public_liability.html for more information. Even if you think it’s incredibly unlikely that you’ll ever need to make a claim, it’s best to have peace of mind that you can act quickly if you are facing the prospect of legal action.

Going the extra mile

In business, you need to outshine the competition, and customer service is definitely an area where this is possible. Go the extra mile for your customers, offer a personal touch, and make sure the service you provide is excellent every time. Make sure everyone in your team is on the same page, dress to impress, arrive on time, and read up on the client beforehand. For more useful customer service tips and tricks, take a look at https://www.thebalance.com/customer-service-guide-for-small-business-2948068.

If you’re a business owner, never underestimate the impact of service with a smile!

The Cheat Sheet For Spending Less Time On Your Blog

pexels-photo-262508

You think you’ve got all the bases covered in setting up your new enterprise and then someone presents you a whole new ‘to do’ list. Setting up a business can be a relentless stream of tasks and it is easy to become overwhelmed and exhausted.

If only there was some way of cutting through the myths and identifying the key tasks to get your business noticed. A blog is a fantastic way of keeping your site content fresh and exciting and for engaging with your customers. However, blogs are not hassle-free and can eat up a huge amount of time if you let them. This cheat sheet helps you focus on the vital tasks and ignore the rest.

Publish regularly with a schedule you can maintain

In the world of internet marketing, it is important to be consistent so that you appear regularly online and in social media feeds. At first, you may want to post every day but can you keep this up? It is better to post once a week than to post 7 times one week and none the following. Before you start your blog, have some spare content ready in case you don’t have the time to write something new every week. Try to publish at the same time and on the same day.

You don’t have to write everything from scratch

There is so much information on the web today that it is highly unlikely that you will be able to come up with a totally original idea. That is not a problem because you don’t have to. It is perfectly acceptable to use other people’s content as a starting point for own. You cannot copy it in any way because that would be plagiarism and will damage your site and theirs. However, you can use it as a basis for generating your own ideas. You can adapt it tailor it to suit your own business and your own audience.

You don’t have to use a professional photographer

In an ideal world, you would be able to afford a professional photographer to take jaw-dropping shots of your product. That is not always within the budget of a start-up. It is possible to take perfectly acceptable shots with a smartphone and to produce graphics for your blog posts with free software such as Canva. You can use general shots from royalty sites such as Pixels.

You don’t need to smash every social media platform

Well, yes you do actually, but not all at the same time. This will take up every second of your time. Instead, find out which one is used by your target demographic first. For the over 50s you need to focus on Facebook but for teens, Snapchat is where it is all happening. Once you have established yourself on your chosen platform (which can take a few months) you can move on. Don’t forget that you can cross post. Share your Instagram pics on Facebook and they will serve a dual purpose for you.  

Get Down With The Kids: Advice For Marketing To Young People

9733284483_e147eda73b_z

If you’ve started a company that provides products or services for young people, you’ll have to think outside of the box. Traditional marketing techniques aren’t going to produce the best results. Instead, you need to look towards the latest technology and advancements to catch their attention. That means you might have to forget everything you were taught about business promotion. There are some fantastic tips on this page that might assist you in achieving your goal. However, the most important thing you need to learn is how to think for yourself. Sometimes innovative and original concepts will work better than anything we can recommend.

Use social media a LOT

There is no getting away from the fact that young people spend a lot of time using social networks. Facebook and Twitter are still the most popular platforms out there. However, you’d do well by taking a look at Instagram too. Experts at https://grin.co/instagram-search/ always advise their clients to use that website. You could get in touch with the top influencers who use Instagram accounts. You could then strike deals where you pay them to promote your brand. Maybe they could post photos holding one of your products? The possibilities are endless. Just ensure you invest a lot of time in building your audience on all the top social media sites.

Consider releasing a smartphone app

Almost every young person you see walking the streets today has a smartphone in their pockets. They’re also fans of downloading fun and interesting applications. So, maybe you could create something for your company? Specialists at https://www.toptal.com/designers/mobile say it’s an affordable solution. It doesn’t have to work in the same way as the Amazon app where it just lists products for sale. You could think outside of the box and do something entirely unique. For example, releasing a fun and addictive game that contains your logo could work well. At least some of the young people who use the app will become curious. They will also notice your logo whenever they see it elsewhere. That could encourage sales.

Contact schools and universities

Sometimes you have to go back to school when it comes to reaching young people. Most schools and universities struggle for money these days. So, they sometimes sell advertising space on their newsletters and websites. If you sell products designed for people in that niche, you could make a killing. It’s a tried and tested promotional idea that always works well. Print advertising is dead in the water in most instances. However, most parents will read school newsletters because they care about their children. That means you’ll reach both the young person and the adult supervising them.

Now you have some great ideas for marketing; we hope you will add them to your strategy this year. When all’s said and done, you just have to attract the attention of young people. That’s much easier if you use technology and advertise on their level. If you need more advice, try speaking to teenagers in your family. You’d be surprised how much you will learn from them.

A Local Site For Local People

EXIT_2012_Audience_(1) (1)

Businesses have never had it harder than they have it today. Let’s face it – there is more competition than ever. That means there is a lower market share, and it’s harder to become a market leader. If that isn’t enough, strategies like search engine optimization are leveling the playing field. The result: a business has to work extra hard to stand out from the crowd.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking ‘how do businesses succeed in 2017?’ There are lots of answers ranging from money to luck, but one answer is becoming more popular. Localizing a site might not seem like a profitable plan, yet it’s helping companies around the world. Do you not believe that to be true? If you don’t, take a look at the following.

Larger Audience

The Holy Grail is to advertise products and services to people around the world. The reason is that it increases the amount of potential customers, which directly affects the number of sales. And, the more sales you can generate, the higher profit margins (hopefully). Usually, companies would toss and turn at night thinking about this goal and how to hit the bull’s eye. Nowadays, they don’t have to worry about a lack of sleep. By localizing their site in regions around the world, they are bound to increase their traffic and conversion rate. Sure, they need to understand how to target the right base so that they don’t waste their time. Still, that’s the easy part compared to boosting the base.

Greater User Experience

Any entrepreneur knows they have to personalize the user’s experience for better results. When a customer can relate to a site, they are more prone to make a conversion. The issue is that it isn’t easy to personalize a site when you’re targeting a different group of people halfway around the world. Of course, the intricacies of the site just don’t translate, so the site becomes arbitrary. With a few localization tips, this can all change. In fact, it’s possible to build a site that speaks directly to the people in a specific country. All you have to do is alter the suffix at the end of the domain name to redirect them to the correct page. Then, changing the grammar and spelling to suit their preferences will make them feel more at home. Oh, and local SEO terms never goes amiss either. They are only small changes, yet they make a huge difference.

Reduces Bounce Rate

You might think that increasing the traffic to a site would increase the bounce rate, right? After all, it’s simple mathematics because there are bound to be people that don’t want anything to do with the site. But, you’d be wrong if you think it’s going to have a negative impact. Thanks to the enhanced user experience, browsers are more likely to stay than bounce. By no means does this mean they are going to make a conversion, although the chances do increase the longer they stay. Still, it adds to the exposure and visibility of the site, which reflects kindly on the business. Companies are always looking for ways to increase traffic and reduce bounce rate, and localization is the answer. Well, it is as long as you use it properly and don’t play around.

And Risk

Companies are vulnerable, and they are vulnerable because of the competition. Because it’s easy to set up a new business, more entrepreneurs are ready and willing to eat up your market share. You don’t need telling that losing your market share is akin to the final nail in the coffin. Somehow, firms need to negate the risk by staying one step ahead of the movers and shakers. As you can guess, localizing the site and its content does it with ease. To begin with, it boosts the audience for the site and the brand. Secondly, it decreases bounce rate and increases the likelihood of higher conversions. And, it adds to the experience, which enhances your reputation. When you have a stellar standing across the globe, the risk of tumbling down the ladder is much lower. Of course, there are risks with localizing the firm. For instance, localizing often means scaling up to deal with the increased demand, and scaling can turn sour if you’re not ready. For the most part, the business isn’t as exposed to the common dangers that occur today.

By the way, if you still aren’t convinced, just remember that localization is easy to integrate.

Don’t Focus On Surviving, Focus On Thriving

pexels-photo-27406

Ask any entrepreneur who’s built their business from the ground up, and they will tell you that there is a lot of emphasis on surviving as a business startup, but what about thriving? Of course, the fact that so many startups fail within the first year of being launched doesn’t help.

Entrepreneurs are told time and time again, that survival is all that matters, but it’s not, thriving is just as important. If you are aiming for your business to run successfully for many years to come, knowing how to ensure that your business thrives rather than just survives is of the utmost importance.

The truth of the matter is this: you have to be willing to take risks that could potentially pay off in a bag way. It’s all well and good allowing your business to judder along, but if it’s going to be a success in the long-run, then you need to know what it takes to make your venture thrive.

Here are some pieces of advice for ensuring that your startup not only makes it past a year but also thrives and becomes a prosperous and highly profitable business, just like you always dreamed it would.

Find a mentor

The importance of having a mentor cannot be over-emphasized. The fact is that any business owner who is determined to succeed, needs a business mentor, even if they don’t realize it. A mentor offers guidance, tutoring, and monitoring; they have the knowledge and experience to help you to make a real go of your business. A mentor can help you to mix within the right circles; they can introduce you to important people within the industry – a mentor really is invaluable. A mentor should be someone within the industry that your business is in, who has built a successful business from the ground up and can educate you about how to do the same.  

Know when to skimp & when to splurge

It’s no secret that a lot of startups are working with a tight budget, which means there’s often a lot of skimping going on. However, for your business to thrive, you need to know when to skimp and when to splurge. For example, when it comes to your business website – a crucial tool for success – it’s best to splurge rather than skimp. Don’t attempt to design the site yourself, hire a skilled web designer to do it for you. Look at your hosting options and think carefully about which to opt for – shared or private? Another option, if neither of these are suitable could be to look for a cheap VPS that uses a cloud-based infrastructure, although the server is shared, you get your own private part of it, speeding up how quickly your website runs. Some things are worth splurging on, others it’s best to skimp on, it’s just a case of successfully determining what you should save on and what you should splurge on.

A business plan & strategy are crucial

Your business plan should highlight what your business does, what its values are, and what the goals are for it. A business plan should also talk about the financial side of the business, such as how funds should be distributed. A good business plan is at the heart of any business, which is why if you don’t already have one in place, now is the time to create one. Part of a business plan is the business strategy. Now, for a startup to be successful, having a strategy in place that outlines what needs to be done is crucial. This should include the tasks that need to be completed to meet your goals. Think of your business strategy like stepping stones leading to a big pond – to succeed you need to have a set of carefully thought about steps in place to take so that you can make it big.

Above all, one of the most crucial things is to be consistent, stay motivated, and put in the time. There’s no point running a business that is just surviving. If you are going to make a success of it in the long-term, your startup needs to thrive.

Emotional Storytelling Is The New Business Success

brand-storytelling-3-780x482_c

Everyone loves a good story, regardless of how old people are. Stories are the way that human beings have found to communicate wisdom and remember events of life. As a result storytelling is a skill that attracts people, keeps the mind awake and engraves itself in our memories. You never forget a good story, while you may forget a lesson or a speech. The power of storytelling goes well beyond simple communication. Indeed, when you tell a story, you share more than an event or a situation. You create a series of emotions for your audience to identify with. It’s not Cinderella we like; it’s the story of the poor little girl who is abused by her family and who falls in love with the prince. Whether she is called Cinderella, Sally, or even Imogen doesn’t matter to people. Her emotional journey is what we cherish. And this is exactly why storytelling is a powerful tool for businesses.

What Is Emotional Storytelling

Storytelling is the power to move people along a journey through someone’s life. Emotional storytelling takes it a little further as it sparks emotions to intuitively overrule the rational side of your audience. As people bond emotionally with a character – whether fictional or real – they can make sense of the things that a business does in a different light. Expedia is working very tightly with storytellers so that it’s not about booking your flights anymore, but it is how Expedia could make someone’s dream possible. This form of communication is inspiring and seems to show the greater picture of life by zooming closely onto the details.

Share Your Story With Others

But at the core of a good storytelling strategy, there is the need to have the right tools for it. This means that businesses need to improve their online presence, making themselves not only easy to find online but also easy to understand – here’s a keyword for you: User Experience. As a result, web design is the keystone of successful storytelling – click here to find a list of the top design agencies – as it will enable users to interact directly with your story and to part of it. Interactive designs, videos and friendly and clear layouts are not only marketing tools to make a website look attractive. They are the digital tools that tell your story and therefore need to be trusted to professionals.

Why It Works

The main question that business owners need to ask themselves is: Why does storytelling work as a business tool? Or to put it in other words, why do people want to engage emotionally with a business? The primary reason is that stories are an integral part of human culture. They were once used to share wisdom. Their purpose evolved when they came into the marketing world, but they continue to convey a message through emotions. Emotions are powerful because, in the way the human mind is wired, it remembers how others make them feel and connects at a deeper level to feelings. Knowing how to create an effective message that promotes your brand while connecting to the human element is key to modern marketing. You might have noticed that several brands are trying to create powerful stories by using toddlers to create an emotional connection. While this method is a little weak – as it has been used too often – it’s an effective way to touch the emotional string in users.

DIY Business: How To Save Money By Doing It Yourself

pexels-photo (8)

Running a business is incredibly expensive. Before you have earned a single dollar, you have to pour immense amounts of money into your startup just to get it off the ground. If you are setting up something as modest as a local bakery, you will need to hire a place and probably refurbish it so that it reflects your brand. Then there is the issue of hiring staff as well as buying all of the equipment that they’ll use. You also have to spend money on the ingredients, and you still have not opened yet. Word of mouth will get you lots of customers if your cakes are good enough, but initially, you will have to spend money on advertising. Running the store itself will cost you money in council tax as well as utilities like gas and electricity. It is, therefore, no surprise that many small businesses report losses in their first few years. It is completely normal, but one of the important things that you have to keep in mind as an entrepreneur is that success is sometimes slow. If you are easily deterred, you will soon find yourself not succeeding at anything, let alone in the sometimes cutthroat world of business. While it is expensive, there are lots of ways that you can reduce the costs on a day to day basis. One of the major things that can cause businesses to spend money unnecessarily is outsourcing. The other company whom you employ are trying to make a profit of their own of course, so there will be a markup. If you do things yourself, you can avoid that. Here are a few ways that you can save money by being self-reliant:

Lots of people hate doing their taxes. However, if they don’t, the legal troubles that could ensue will be rather more stressful so they get around to them eventually, even if it is on the night of April 14th. While taxes may be rather dull and sometimes confusing, hiring someone to do it for you is a completely avoidable expense. If you are not quite the whiz with a calculator that you’d like to be, why not consider taking a msc international accounting and finance course. Getting a degree does not need to be as expensive as you might think, especially if you study online. Besides, you will need to submit taxes for the rest of your life but you do not need to pay someone to do it for you. Doing it yourself, even with the cost of learning how, will be cheaper in the long run.

Another area of business that lots of people tend to avoid is the slow, detailed work of the HR department. What they do is important since getting contracts right is crucial if you are going to avoid legal difficulties but it is not worth hiring someone to do it for you when you easily and cheaply do it yourself. Another thing that many people outsource is firing people. If you cannot bring yourself to let someone go, then you should perhaps consider whether you are suitable to be that person’s boss in the first place. To run a business, you need to be able to lead, and that sometimes means giving people the bad news that they will not be part of your new direction.