How to Get Your Company’s Message Across

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You’ll have put a lot of thought into the development of your business. You’ll have ideas, things you want to achieve, knowledge about how you can help to improve the lives of your customers, and so on. In many ways, that’s the fun part. The difficult bit is putting them into practice, and getting other people to listen to your message. In a crowded marketplace where people are bombarded with advertisements every day, this can be a challenge. Below, we take a look at a few ways you can achieve this goal.

What is Your Message? 

First thing’s first: you need to define what your message actually is. It’s all good and well having a vague feeling about what your company stands for, but let’s not forget: your customers don’t have access to your mind. You’ll need to transform that message into words that make sense to someone who has never heard about your business before. What is obvious to you won’t be obvious to anyone else. Put your message into the simplest form possible. How would you explain it to a five year old can be a good starting point. 

Clear Branding

Of course, when it comes to receiving a message, words will only take you so far. In any case, most people’s first interaction with a new company lasts only a second or two. So you don’t have much time to work with. One way to ensure your message has an impact is to focus on your branding. These are the symbols, colors, and slogans that differentiate your company from other companies. It works on a repetitive nature — your branding will mean little during the first time a person sees it, but will grow increasingly impactful the more they see it. If you don’t know how to brand your business, look at working with an outside expert. 

Accessible Content

If you want new customers to listen to your message, then you should put it into a format that they like. Text on a webpage is fine, but it’s not how everyone prefers to consume their information. So one of the best ways to deliver your message is to investigate how people are receiving information. For example, video is huge at the moment, and thus it’s worthwhile working with a video production agency to create this type of content for you. Ebooks, short blog posts, and infographics are also excellent ways of transmitting your message, too. These mediums will help bring in a whole new audience for your business, too.

In-Depth Website

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a digital or real-life company: a huge chunk of consumers visit the website of a company they’re considering giving their business to. So make sure that what they’ll find there is useful. You only have limited amounts of space on, say, a Facebook advertisement. But on your website, space is unlimited — it’s here where you can go into depth, and really outline everything that a customer would want to know about your company.

The Aspects Of Your Company That Determine Modern-Day Success

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It’s hard to compete with other businesses in the modern economy. The marketplace is so crowded because entrepreneurs have more opportunities than ever before to build their own companies from scratch and enter the industry. How does a business stand out in such a busy marketplace? Consumers have more options than ever before, but that means they don’t have the time to assess every single option which is available to them. So, you have to make sure that your brand is more noticeable than the others. It’s all about maintaining relevance in a fast-paced world. These are the aspects of your company that determine modern-day success.

Branding.

You need to build your brand if you want your company to be successful in the modern age. Branding is essential to making your business stand out in a crowded industry. Otherwise, consumers would struggle to differentiate between different companies. After all, you and your rivals probably sell very similar products or services. So, you need to create an identity for your company that is unique. Your business needs to turn heads, and a powerful brand statement can help with that. Perhaps you could run your company in an environmentally friendly way, for example. This would show your target market that you care about the planet, and that would help you to connect with people. There has to be a relatable side to your brand.

Digital strategies.

In the digital era of today, your business needs some effective digital strategies. For starters, you should focus on your online marketing campaign. You need to create professional and engaging content so your company’s website shows up on search engines at the top of result pages. As was explained in the introduction, consumers have so many options in the modern world that they don’t have the time to weigh up all of their options. They’re going to opt for one of the businesses they find first, so you need to learn about SEO to ensure that your site shows up on the first page of search results related to your industry. Additionally, you could consider creating a mobile application to make your business more digitally accessible. You might want to get help from experts who offer app design services. They could help you to develop a well-designed application that gains new customers for your company and makes your business much more successful.

Reputation.

Obviously, a company’s reputation has always been important in the world of business. Yet, as mentioned earlier in the article, the expectations of modern brands have changed. People expect more of modern businesses. High-quality goods are essential, of course, but your competitors offer the same thing. And if you have competitors with better reputations than you, then consumers will feel that it’s safer for them to choose one of those businesses. Your company needs a good reputation if it is going to stand out.

You should rely on your existing client base to help you achieve this. Consumers listen to a company’s happy customers more than they listen to the company itself. You’re more likely to listen to a customer who says “this business is the best” than a business saying “we’re the best”, after all. So, you need to focus on your current customers. They can make your company look more appealing to the market. You could encourage them to spread the word by giving them rewards for doing so. Maybe you could enter people in a prize draw if they share a particular post of yours on social media. They’ll have the opportunity to win something, and you’ll receive help with your marketing.

Getting Your Solopreneur Work-Life Balance Just Right

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So many of us dream of working alone. We’ve worked for the man, we’ve faced massive commutes and long hours. We’ve had jobs that leave little time for a social life, that mean that we have to work weekends and holidays, and our relationships and health have suffered for work. We imagine that working for ourselves will be completely different. 

We think that we’ll work when we want to, when it suits our lifestyles. And that we’ll always take time off work when something important, or fun comes up, that we want to do instead. We know that we’ll work shorter hours, take more time for ourselves, and get a lot more rest. That our stress levels will be low, our relationships will flourish, we’ll be healthy and happy, and that our previously elusive work-life balance will be perfect. 

This is rarely the case. Most solopreneurs find that they become workaholics. They can’t stop. They never take full-days off, they always put work first, telling themselves that it’s ok because they love what they do, and they can’t go ten minutes without checking work emails or updating social media plages. Many solopreneurs are terribly stressed out, and their work has spilled into their lives, leaving no balance at all. Here are some tips to help you to claw that balance back.

Stop Being Solo

Sometimes, the only way to get back a little time for ourselves is to accept that we can’t do it all alone and ask for help. This applies to most areas of life, not just businesses. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to hire staff to work side by side with you, which isn’t always possible if you work from home. You could outsource your IT Solutions, or hire a freelance VA to help with admin and social media. You can still feel like you work solo, without having to do all of the work. 

Make the Most of Flexibility

One of the reasons that you went solo was probably a search for more flexibility. You have it now if you want it. There’s no one making you work, but you. Remind yourself of this when you need to. 

Write Down Your Priorities

What are your priorities? Why did you start working alone? What did you most want from the arrangement? Did you want to spend more time with your family? Or spend time with friends? Would you like to exercise more? Or spend more time outside? It’s all too easy to forget our priorities in life when we’re so busy, so write yours down and leave them somewhere that you can see. 

Write Things Down

Writing things down has another benefit. Writing to-do lists can help you to manage your time more effectively, making it easier to stick to a schedule, clock off when your list is completed (don’t keep adding to it!), and take entire days off. 

Make Plans for Life

Sometimes we need firm plans in place to give ourselves permission to take time off work. Make plans with friends, and make bookings so that you are less likely to cancel.

Remote Working Tips When You’re Just Starting Out

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If you are someone who is able to work remotely, or work from home a couple of days a week, then you will need a few tips and tricks to help you to improve, especially if you are new to it. There can be a feeling that you won’t get any work done as you’ll be much more distracted, but you need to know that when you do things in the right way, then it can help you to get work done. But how can you help yourself to stay productive, be creative, and be inspired to live up to the lifestyle that remote working can give to you? Here are some things that can help you to get all the work done that you need to, and can smash that remote working life.

Reliable tech

When you think of working remotely then you will think of a good WiFi connection and how it is essential to help. But there is more to having a good setup to work with, than just your internet connection. If you have the ability to take calls or video calls, without losing any kind of connection, then it can be a simple thing that can make a difference. The tech that you use, as well as the internet connection, will make such a difference. Things like a pair of noise-cancelling headphones can help, and then you could work literally anywhere, like a coffee shop or down by the pool on vacation. A good laptop is a must too, as well as a mouse, and perhaps even a second screen if that would help when you’re based at home.

Keeping things secure

If you want to make sure that you’re able to send over information securely, as well as access files sent to you, without the risk of hacking and so on, then keeping things secure is really important. You could think about getting a VPN (virtual private network) as it helps you to use a private network, which keeps things like hackers at bay. There are different ones to choose from, but checking out something like an Opera browser VPN review will give you an idea of what you’re looking for. Taking steps to keep things secure is a must for your business, or the business that you work for.

Lean on your community

One of the things that can occur when you work from home is a feeling of loneliness, as although you might call people or video call people, it isn’t quite the same. So to make sure that you’re feeling supported and connected to the working world, then you could work in a local co-working space from time to time, or perhaps just heading to somewhere like a coffee shop for a bit of ‘noise’ and connection to other people. When you are surrounded by other people who are all working remotely, or just being around other people from to time, then it can help you to stay productive and keep you motivated. But find what works for you and what makes a difference to how well you’re able to work.

Finding Your Niche: 3 Career Ideas For Those Who Love A Challenge

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With so many different career options in today’s society, finding your own special niche that can challenge your skills and push you to grow and evolve as an individual in both a personal and professional sense may seem tricky. There are thousands and thousands of roles available, and though this can make it much more difficult to choose just one, it means that there’s guaranteed to be an almost perfect fit for all of your wants and needs, that can truly fulfills your expectations. So, if you’re looking for a career change that can challenge your abilities and push you to achieve more than ever before, then read on to uncover 3 of the best routes that you begin exploring today.

The World Of Medical Science

Medicine, surgery, and healthcare as a whole has progressed a dramatic amount in the past 20 years, and is set to continue this rapid growth and discovery rate for the foreseeable future. Becoming a part of this leap isn’t something which is open to everyone, as you must have the right skills and qualifications to pursue this kind of career, yet these are all achievable with hard work and determination if you decide this channel is the right one for you. Perhaps now is the perfect time for you to change your dream of donning lab coats and saving lives into reality – pave the way for yourself to make a difference, and commit yourself to becoming the best in the business helping as many customers as possible to lead a more comfortable and healthy life. 

Cook Up A Storm In The Kitchen

Many individuals consider themselves to be food lovers, and potentially an even greater number claim to be ‘great cooks’. However, pursuing a career as a chef is actually one of the most challenging paths you could choose for several reasons. As the famous saying goes, ‘if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen’.. Yet if you are able to thrive in such a stress inducing environment, you can achieve some truly great things – from gaining Michelin stars that showcase your talents to opening your very own restaurant that can go down in history as an amazing eatery. 

The Joys Of Farming

There would appear to be very few mainstream jobs that can give you the freedom of working with mother nature, but this doesn’t offer enough for those of you who find it simply soul destroying to be surrounded by white walls and computers every day. One of the toughest trades for hundreds of years has been sustaining a working farm, yet equally it can be the most rewarding too. Being at one with nature, surrounded by animals that rely on your care for their survival, you’re sure to improve your physical health and well being noticeably. If you can bare the early mornings and manual labor, you can reap the rewards (which flow in abundance with commitment). 

With any luck, these challenging ideas might just spark your interest!

An Essential Checklist For Your Medical Practice

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Opening up a medical practice is one of the most popular dreams for those in the medical profession. To move away from regular practice to start your own private group is something that is exciting and hols many lucrative prospects

When developing and preparing to open a new medical practice in your local community this year, it is important that you get it right. A doctor’s surgery is a pillar of the community and is a place people will flock to when they are most in need of advice and assistance. In order to take care of patients effectively, you need to ensure that you offer a safe, relaxing, and calming space. 

Today we are going to take a look at the essential things you need to source and bring into your medical practice for success this year. 

The waiting room

The waiting room is an essential element of a medical practice. This acts as the face of your business and will be the place patients likely spend the most time when they come for a check-up. Here are the things you need to bring into your waiting room for success:

  • A TV with useful medical advice, as well as a popup for patients when rooms are ready
  • Flyers – to provide information on common illnesses and issues patients may face
  • Business cards – for mental health and other services a patient may want without speaking to anyone
  • Comfortable, wipeable chairs – comfort is an important part of medicine and you need to ensure that patients are able to feel relaxed. On the flip side to this, chairs should be easily cleanable to stop spread of disease
  • Toys – children can be more scared than adults, and giving them toys as a distraction is a great idea

Medical equipment 

Medical devices and equipment will cover the biggest cost in your practice, and it is important that you have the tools to perform many basic procedures and tests on your patients. 

  • Autoclave
  • automated external defibrillator
  • Audiometer
  • Blood pressure monitor
  • Thermometer
  • Pulse oximeter
  • Weighing scales
  • Storage
  • Centrifuge
  • Clock
  • Colposcope
  • Computer
  • Emergency supplies (airways, aspirators, oxygen, mask, resuscitation bag)
  • ECG unit 
  • Exam tables and paper towels
  • Eye charts
  • Procedure tables
  • Gloves
  • Aprons
  • Goggles
  • Refrigerator/freezer
  • Sharps containers
  • Ultrasound
  • Needles for flu jabs
  • Contaminated waste bin
  • Minor surgical equipment (Medtronic.com)
  • Step stools
  • Stethoscopes
  • Wheelchairs

Other 

As well as the obvious patient focussed items to bring into the office, you should also consider bringing some other items into the office to ensure the smooth running of your medical practice

  • Telephones
  • Computers
  • Kitchen equipment (toaster, kettle, microwave, fridge etc…)
  • Books and magazines
  • Plants (to reduce stress)
  • Appointment software

When setting up your medical practice it is important for you to think about all those little touches that will make the office homely, comfortable, and easy for patients to access. There are plenty of ways to make your medical practice more practical and comfortable, and with all of these things in your medical practice, you should have no problem running a successful venture this year.

It’s Time Your Business Embraced Outsourcing

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The idea of letting someone else get their hands on your business can be seriously scary. When you’ve put your heart and soul into something, the last thing you want is for someone to come along and mess it up. But collaboration is one of the most important elements of business (as well as life.) Not only that but if you try to take on every single element of a running a business by yourself, then you’re going to run out of energy very quickly. The best solution to this is to find the aspects of your business that you don’t have either the time or the expertise for and outsource them. This way the job gets done by professionals, leaving you free to focus on other important aspects of your business. Here are a few parts of your business that you can afford to let someone else deal with.

IT

Not everyone’s a computer wizard. There’s no shame in that. We all have technology around us at all times, but very few of us have a really solid idea of how it all actually works. This is even more pronounced in the world of business. Companies use more advanced and specific technology. This requires equally advanced and specific knowledge to be able to maintain. Cloud solutions, network monitoring, security. These things can be incredibly complex and can’t be dealt with half-heartedly. The best thing you can do is to outsource your IT needs.

SEO

SEO isn’t as simple as it used to be. Once upon a time you could put a decent amount of keywords onto your website, and that was that. But now things have gotten a lot more complicated. Search engines blacklist sites that do that in favor of well-integrated SO. It’s a good idea to look into an SEO service that can use their know-how to create the most effective and well-integrated content possible for your website.

Accounting

Your money is at the heart of your business. None of the other elements could even function without it. So the last thing you want is to leave your finances as an afterthought. This is especially true if you’re not much of an expert with money in the first place. Mistakes in your accounting can not only affect your finances but can put your company into serious legal trouble. The best thing you can do is to hire an accountant to focus entirely on that side of your business. That way it leaves you free to focus on the side of the business you’re most useful without having to worry about whether your books are all in order. 

Obviously, there’s a great deal of your business that you’ll want to handle yourself. It is your business after all! But by being able to let go of a couple of things here and there, you can make sure that your business continues to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

VA Mortgage Lenders: How to Find the Best One?

When you become eligible for a VA home loan, in effect, you can look forward to gaining the benefits of one of the best mortgages. As these loans are supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and go through local VA loan lenders, it’s important to trigger the process carefully. One of the primary challenges lies in freezing upon the best lender that can help in getting the VA loan quickly and without much hassles. As these lenders will have their profit targets, business expenses, and business goals, it becomes important to understand what they have on offer.

Here are some guidelines that you should keep in mind to evaluate the best VA lender from the shortlisted ones.

How to Find a Good VA Loan Lender?

Understand Financials

At the very onset, you need to have a clear and accurate notion about your financials. It’s important to know your numbers beforehand to negotiate on firmer grounds. For example, you must do your homework to know your monthly spending, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio. When looking for a lender for a VA loan, Bruce Glassinger from VA Loan Lending says that the most important thing to look at besides the rate is what the lender charges you. All these numbers play an important role in affecting your interest rate and the probability of approval.

Compare Rates

Aim to get the most lucrative deal in terms of low fees, interests, and other closing costs. Do not freeze your selection on the very first lender you come across. Shop around for rates and features of VA mortgage that sync with your needs and home buy expectations. It’s recommended that you compare the rates of VA loans and mortgages, as laid down by the qualification requirements, to grab the best deal.

Know the fees

While the VA funding fee applicable to all applicants remains the same, the other fees are negotiable and may vary. Along with the rate of interest applicable to the VA home loan, get an idea about all the loan closing costs beforehand. You may ask your preferred lender or research online to understand the fees that you’ll have to pay in the long run. Avoid any surprises later on by understanding all the costs and fees in advance. For instance, the annual percentage rate would represent the actual costs related to your VA loan. It is different from the basic interest rate and has to be understood accordingly.

Get in Touch with the Right VA Loan Lender

These days, there’s no dearth of VA lenders that can be found locally or online. Most vendors have unique services, options, and specialties to boast of. They have different loan packages and mortgage options that have to be understood in entirety to make a well-informed home purchase. It will help to shortlist a few VA lending companies and compare their rates and features. Assess your home buy needs and match them with the rates and benefits on offer by different companies. Once you’re sure of which lender would provide the best returns, sign on the bottom line to come closer to your dream home.

Smart Ways to Advertise to the Public

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It’s in the best interest of your company to reach as many people as possible. While you’ll be doing a lot to advertise your business on the web, it’s important that you don’t overlook marketing your products and services in “the real world,” too, even if you’re an exclusively online organization (the people walking the streets also use the internet, let’s remember). And the good news is that there are plenty of smart ways you can advertise to people in your area, using innovative and creative campaigns. We take a look at a few methods below.

Guerilla Marketing

If you’re a young and innovative startup that’s intent on disrupting the game, then why not look at developing some street cred by engaging in a guerilla marketing tactics? There are plenty of ways you can do it — you can leave stickers in bars, hang posters on walls, or even hire a spray painter to create a custom piece. Of course, you’ll have to make sure that whatever you’re doing is legal, but if you’re more of an alternative company, then this could be the right way to go. More traditional companies should look elsewhere.

Driving Around

You’re going to spend a lot of time in your vehicle for both business and personal reasons. And just think: how many people do you think you drive past every day? While most people don’t look up at all the cars that pass them by, they do pay attention to the vehicles that seem to have something a bit different about them. Consider wrapping your car with your branding, and you’ll have an eye-catching vehicle that promotes your brand. If you’re located in a smallish area, then people will eventually recognize the car — and pay attention to the name on the side, too.

At Your Space

Your offices or worksite may fundamentally be a place for you to work, and not generally open to the public, but it doesn’t always have to be this way. One effective way to gain interest in your business is to host events at your premises. This could be a social event (wine and music), a market stall, or business event — the type will depend on what your company does/what the space is suitable for. For maximum impact, you’ll want to subtly convey the message of your company by incorporating wall graphics and displays, and showcasing your products and services. You’ll have a fun event that will push your business forward, and also gain the interest of potential new customers.

Pop-Up Street Stalls

Finally, look at taking your company directly to the streets, if it’s appropriate. If you’ve done your market research correctly, then you’ll have a pretty solid idea of who it is you’re targeting. Set up a stall in an area that’s heavily populated by people who fall within that demographic, and showcase your company. To get the most interest, it’s best that you have something to offer to passersby, such as a free sample or trial of your product.

Ensuring A Better Visual Impact Than Any Competing Business

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What, would you say, are the most important measures you can use to dispel competition, or get on top? Providing a better value service to customers? Offering a cheaper product? Answering the phone more quickly? Sure, but that only truly benefits when a customer has taken the time to understand your business and what it offers in the first place.

We can often forget that there are a million little persuasions that take place in the mind of someone looking to utilize a business, some too subtle to even mention, continuously considered by psychologists in the corporate space. However, we are absolutely certain that one of these persuasions, perhaps chief among them, is your visual potential.

Offering an impressive visual output is easy in today’s modern, minimal-typeface, social-media led environment. But it is possible to achieve. And not only that, taking steps to override your competition in this category can help you gain a stronger footing, and perhaps even dominate the marketing space. After all, this is the first battlefield you need to take in order to gain a foothold and progress.

Let’s consider how you do that:

Hire Excellent Production Companies

A brilliant and proven production company can not only help you translate your best marketing writing to the screen, but they can do so in a manner that attracts an audience, provides an emotional response, and encourages engagement. Those are three essential steps to having your marketing remembered. Think of the last video advertisements you can remember. Some might be from last week, some might be from five years ago. Odds are they made you laugh, feel elated, or as if you needed to  check something out due to how cool it seemed. Taking this step can help you refine your marketing speak outside of the stuffy boardroom and apply it to something much more productive.

Update Your Graphic Design

Make sure you’re on top of any graphic design trends necessary to be seen as present and modern. For example, what does your phone app look like on modern smartphones? Is it low-resolution, or overly complex? Could you find a better logo that fits within the app image requirements of the App or Google Play Store? How might this translate to the rest of your branding? Asking these questions will be essential in 2019.

Non-Offensive Advertising

Think of how people view advertising more often these days. Social media timelines, ads before YouTube videos, and a range of other convenient options. Ensure that your ad is not annoying in this space. That it doesn’t dive out at your viewer with aggression, loud noises or blinding colors. Instead, try to use something clever to show said user how they may benefit from letting your ad play out, or by clicking on it. Try and gauge that reaction immediately. If you can do this, your non-offensive advertising will work in the right way from the very first time.

With these tips, you’re sure to offer a better visual marketing output.