Fun Ways To Build Employee Morale

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The world has gone a little topsy turvy, and we are all acutely aware of the state of things outside our front door. Your employees are currently working from home to keep your business going, and you are all trying to keep up morale – and it’s not going well. 

So, rather than focus on all the panic and fright in the world, why not think about the ways that you can get your business moving and employees feeling motivated once more? There will be a day the lockdowns are lifted, and quarantine is over, and that day needs to be met with something fun. Your staff are counting on you to still be there for them when this pandemic is over. With that in mind, you should take a look at our list of fun ways you can all enjoy spending time together once life goes back to normal.

  • Host A Sports Day

The idealists in all of us are hopeful of summer back to normal. Walks on the beach, pub gardens and BBQs are just a part of it. Every business should celebrate resuming regular activity with a fun day, and that can include a company sports day! Check out the personalized boards at Cornholeworldwide.com and brand a corn hole board with your business brand and set up a range of mini sports to enjoy. A sports day is a great way to get the whole office laughing and relaxed in each other’s company once more.

  • A Pot-Luck Picnic

When the sun is shining, it’s an excellent idea to kick off the “back to work” feeling with something delicious, and that means food! Ask everyone to bring in a dish they cook (yes, cook) and have an outdoor picnic. If you don’t have an outdoor space by your office, head to the nearest park and bring blankets for all. Make sure people know that they don’t have to wear work clothes: it wouldn’t be the most comfortable for all.

  • Go For A Walk

Some business activities don’t need to be on site. You could get everyone together and arrange a hike! There are always challenges that can be done for charity, and it’s a great way to raise morale, get everyone moving and change the scenery. You’ve all been cooped up at home; a pleasant walk somewhere countrified is always going to add a little wind to your sails!

  • Dinner & Drinks

The very first day that you arrange to get back to the office is going to be a little disjointed. People won’t have seen each other for months on end, so a celebration is needed! Get the gang together and go for a meal (on the company, of course) and make sure to go somewhere with round tables so you can all see each other. Discuss how you are all feeling about the months that have just passed and let everyone air out their relief that it’s all over!

You need to get your staff happy – and now you know how to do it.

Using Your Downtime Wisely

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Whatever you do, there’s no denying that the world is vastly different than it was just a few short weeks ago. Much of the world is experiencing some form of lockdown, and many businesses have been forced to close their doors for the foreseeable future. Some are still going strong online, but even then, things are different. 

Whether your company is still functioning normally, now operating online, or you’ve had to close down, for the time being, things will be different. And you are probably looking for ways to ensure the current health crisis doesn’t affect you too much in the long term. 

While no one knows what the future may bring, now less than ever, there are some things that you can do while business might be quiet. To prepare for the next phase in the life of your business. Let’s take a look at some ideas. 

Keep in Touch

It’s more important than ever that we keep in touch with our clients and customers, but also with our team members. Communication is all that we’ve got at the moment, and utilizing it with emails and social media messages is a great way to keep relationships going, personally, and professionally. 

Check Your Equipment and Supplies

If you are still able to access your business, this can be a great time to check on your equipment and supply levels. Does any of your equipment need servicing or replacing? Are there any improvements that you would like to make? How are your supply levels? Do you hold too much stock?

Even if you can’t get into your workplace, think about upgrades like GPI fuel pumps, which could increase productivity and save time if your business uses vehicles. 

Get on Top of Your Admin

Admin might be the bane of your life. You might let it pile up until you can no longer justify leaving it. Well, this is the time to clear your in-tray, sort your filing and hit the ever-elusive inbox zero. You could even set up some more efficient systems for the future. 

Get Online

If your business is already online, you are hopefully using this time to update your website, expand your online store and build your brand. If you’re not already online, this is the perfect time to give your business an online presence. Get on social media, start selling on online marketplaces and launch an e-commerce store. 

Plan for the Future

There’s never been a better time to plan for the future. We don’t know when this will end, or when life will return to normal, but, we do know that it will end. So, make sure you are ready for action as soon as it does. Plan products and services that you want to offer, marketing campaigns and even new training plans. 

Take a Break

Yes, this is a great chance to build. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a break, especially if you don’t feel your best. Give yourself a chance to get away from the business, and you may return feeling refreshed and filled with good ideas. There’s nothing wrong with a little lazy time.

Creating Emails That Appeal to Millennials

Provide your millennial customers with the email communication they want.

For many marketers, understanding millennials and their values can be a challenging endeavor. But when you consider that 35% of today’s working-class consists of millennials, you no longer ignore the need to market to their needs.

It’s very likely that you’ve hired a few millennials yourself — but the real question is have you adjusted your marketing to appeal to their wants and needs? Millennials are different than the generations before them and that means you need to market to them in a different way.

And that’s a true statement across the board. From investing in digital advertising to improving your email marketing, your marketing methods should keep the needs of millennials and generation Z in mind.

Whether you’re adjusting your cold email strategy or working to build trust and loyalty among your customers, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into the things you’ll want to consider when using email marketing to reach the younger generations.

Here’s a quick look at what we’ll cover:

  • Why you need to approach email marketing differently for millennials
  • How cold emails can help you reach your younger customers
  • Why everything needs to be optimized for mobile viewing
  • The importance of building trust and loyalty among your customers

Millennials are on their phones at all times of the day. Whether they are at work or hanging out with their friends, the temptation to check their emails and messages is always there.

Why Approach Emailing Millennials Differently

Marketing to your millennial audiences is a very different experience than marketing to the generation before them. But you also have to consider the world we live in today isn’t the same as it was 20 and even just 10 years ago.

Younger generations have grown up with technology and are more connected than ever before. While that may send you into uncharted waters when it comes to reaching your audience, it can be an opportunity to increase your customer reach.

By reaching your customers via email, they can receive your messages and make a purchase from nearly anywhere. They could be at home, but they can also be at the park, hanging out with friends, or even at work. With the help of mobile devices, email marketing lets you reach your millennial customers where they are and at any time.

So if you’re ready to make the extra effort to reach your millennial audiences, keep reading for a few tips to win them over with email marketing.

Email is not a dying marketing tactic. In fact, millennials want to be reached via email in both a professional and personal setting.

Email Tips to Win Over Millennials

Email marketing is not dead, in fact, 63% of millennials feel that email is their preferred channel to communicate with retailers. That means that email marketing can, and does, still work to reach your younger audience segments.

Are you not seeing the email metrics you’d hoped to see when communicating with your customers? Here are a few tips to improve your email marketing and better connect with your millennial customers.

Cold emails are a method to reach out to new customers who have never interacted with your brand before. It’s a great way to reach potential customers, and it turns out it’s one of the preferred methods for Millennials.

Cold Emails Can Still Work When Done Right

The art of cold emails is not lost with this generation. In reality, millennials have stated that email is still the preferred way to reach them at work. That statement proves that cold emails can, and do, still work. It also means that a cold email is much more likely to connect you with a potential customer than a call cold every will.

If you’re thinking about using cold emails to reach your customers, here are a few things you’ll want to consider:

  • Connect with your customers on a more personal level, don’t make it sound like a marketing pitch
  • Find common ground and use that to build a connection
  • Quickly get to the point and let them know what value you can offer them
  • Along those lines, make sure your communication is clear and concise or you’ll lose their attention

Cold emails can provide you with direct access to your customers. It’s important to take the time to learn about each customer’s wants and needs, but can be a very successful email marketing tactic for Millennials.

Mobile devices are now one of the main sources of marketing consumption. Your customers are checking their emails, texting, and shopping right from their smartphones. If you’re not optimizing for mobile, you’re missing out.

Everything Must Be Optimized for Mobile

93% of millennials own smartphones. That means that nearly all millennials are utilizing mobile devices to check text messages, emails, and social media apps.

While it’s been a trend for years now, if you are not thinking in a mobile-first mindset, you’re missing a huge opportunity when it comes to the younger generations. In the digital world, we live in, you should assume that your emails are being read on mobile devices. That means that every single email you send should be optimized for mobile.

Here are a few quick tips on how to ensure your emails are optimized for mobile:

  • Keep imagery clean and simple, there’s no reason to go overboard
  • Responsive templates are a must and will allow your emails to appear correctly on any device
  • Write in short sentences and avoid long drawn out paragraphs
  • Don’t forget to consider that touch screens provide a different clicking experience than computers

Mobile optimization is extremely important in today’s marketing world. Even if you’re not focusing on your millennial and generation z customer base, it’s something that all humans are gravitating towards.

While you might not literally be pinky promising your customers, building trust is a big thing with millennials. They need to feel like they trust your brand and that you stand for something they care about.

Build Trust and Be Transparent About Brand Values

Don’t pretend like you’re something you’re not. Millennials appreciate companies that own their brands. You don’t have to create elaborate marketing schemes to grab their attention, you just have to be yourself and let your brand identify.

Millennials take their time when making purchasing decisions and seek out the advice of others through ratings and reviews. They often want to feel a connection and know what a brand stands for before committing to making a purchase.

Email is a great way to build that relationship and instill a sense of trust and loyalty with your customers. Through welcome campaigns and other targeted marketing tactics, you can warm up your subscribers and turn them into returning, loyal customers.

Email marketing is not dead. Your millennial customers want you to be communicating with them via email, you just need to know how to do it the right way.

Email is a Great Tool to Reach The Younger Generations

No matter what you read, email marketing is not going anywhere. In fact, it’s likely going to continue to be one of the best ways to reach your customers as the mobile world around us continues to change. Your millennial audience relies heavily on email marketing in both their personal and professional lives. If you have not optimized your emails to meet their needs, you’re missing a big opportunity.

These Steps will Help you to Drive Traffic to your Social Media Site

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Social media is a fantastic way for you to engage with your target audience. If you are yet to try it for yourself then now is the time for you to change that. There are so many social media users across the globe right now and the number is expected to rise even more by the end of the year. If you want to use social media as a means to promote your business then you can find out everything you need to know, right here.

Fill out your Profile

Think about it, what is the first thing that people see whenever they click your social media page? It’s your profile. It doesn’t matter whether it is the About section on your Facebook or whether it is your company page on LinkedIn because your profile will show visitors all of the information they need about your business. With social media now driving up to 31% of referral traffic, it’s safe to say that you can now start using it to your advantage. Make sure that there is a link to your site on every social media profile you have and also make sure that you do everything you can to try and capitalize on the amount of traffic you are getting.

Promoting Blog Content

You probably put tons of effort into writing content for the blog that you have, and it’s understandable that you’ll want the world to see your masterpiece. If you are concerned that you just aren’t getting the views that you want however then you should certainly be trying to use social media. If you can create and share 15 blog posts every month then you’ll get around 1200 new leads in general, and this proves that it is not impossible for you to get your content seen by the ideal customer. If you want more information about social media then just click the link.

Make your Content Easy to Share

If you want to make sure that your content is going viral then you need to encourage people to share it for you. Try and embed a social media tool and also make sure that you do everything you can to reward those who are actively getting your name out there. This could include trying to give them a reward for every time they share, like and comment on a post.

Push Brand-Related Content

Another thing that you can do is try and push brand-related content as much as possible. When you do, you will soon find that you are able to really increase your user engagement and that you are also able to help your customer to understand what your brand is all about. Brand-related content could be photos of your offices, team, new product launches or anything else of the sort. When you do things like this, you will soon be able to reap the benefits.

So follow the above tips to try and find out if there is anything that you can do to try and boost your social media page. It’s now easier than ever!

How to Utilize Email Marketing During a Crisis

Building email into your crisis communication program can help get the message out to your customers.

When crisis strikes, businesses need to be ready to address the issue and communicate with their customers. A quick response can help reassure the public that you are taking the necessary steps to resolve the problem with their needs in mind.

Does your company have a plan in place in the event of a crisis?

If your answer was no, you’re not alone. In fact, only 54% of companies have a developed crisis plan in place. But when you consider that 79% of decision-makers believe they’re only 12 months away from a potential crisis, that’s a big problem.

This means that many companies will find themselves unprepared when an unexpected event occurs.

Most companies believe that it’s not if a crisis will happen, it’s when. Business leaders should always be thinking of what potential crisis could occur and how the company will need to respond. Image courtesy of Management Help.

Here’s the good news, this doesn’t have to happen. You can develop a crisis communication plan that outlines how your company plans to react, communicate, and resolve a situation when it occurs.

And building in the use of email to reach your customers should be one of your top communication methods. There are a number of reasons why email is a great solution for crisis communication, but it needs to be done right.

In this article, we’ll take a look at why email is a great way to communicate with your customers during a crisis and a few tips to use it to its fullest potential.

Here’s a quick look at what we’ll cover:

  • Providing a quick response and addressing the issue head-on
  • Updating your customers on what actions you plan to take to address the crisis
  • Reviewing other marketing communication and determining what should be halted
  • Letting your customers know you care

4 Tips for Positive Crisis Email Response

Planning out your crisis response methods ahead of time will save you time and headache when an event occurs. Knowing exactly what steps to take and when will help provide a smooth process and keep everyone updated on the important details.

Using email to reach your customers during this crazy time is a great option. It is a quick and easy communication method that will allow you to reach all of your customers in one click. But if it’s done wrong, it could make the situation worse.

Let’s look at a few tips to help you plan for the best email experience during a crisis.

1. Respond Quickly and Address the Issue Head-On

When a crisis happens, you need to respond quickly and address the issue head-on. Waiting too long to address the issue can have a negative impact on your brand. You risk damaging your reputation and losing control of the information that is shared.

There are a number of things a crisis can affect your business, but for many, the company’s reputation is most impacted. Planning ahead and having a communication plan in place can help you respond quickly. Image courtesy of Deloitte.

A quick response will allow you to get ahead of any news or media that may be reporting on the situation. By doing this, you can share the correct information from the start and provide your customers with the details straight from the source.

Email is a great way to quickly generate emergency communication to your customers. Let them know about the situation right away by sending it directly to their inbox. Some situations may warrant more than just an email, but it should be one of the primary communication methods to address your audiences.

Here are a few reasons why you should respond quickly and be straight forward with your customers:

  • Not discussing the crisis could cause confusion or stress for your customers and employees
  • Other outlets such as the media could misinterpret the situation
  • You risk affecting your brand reputation by staying silent for too long

Having a plan in place and quickly responding to a crisis can make all the difference. If your company is going to recover from the situation, you need to have open communication from the start.

2. Tell Your Customers What Actions You’re Taking

The next thing you should be addressing is what actions you are taking to resolve the issue. While this may not be figured out during the first communication, you need to let your customers know you are working on a solution.

You need to be transparent about what steps are happening to mitigate or resolve the situation. Send emails that tell your customers, employees, and other interested parties exactly what steps you will be taking and how they will help resolve the issue.

Being unprepared for a crisis can be a costly mistake. Even just a minor IT security event can cost your business upwards of a million dollars. That’s why having an email communication plan with steps in place is so important.

Even just a minor event can cost your company a substantial amount of money. Plan ahead and act quickly to help recover some of those funds. Image courtesy of Bernstein Crisis Management.

While it can be difficult to predict when and what type of crisis may occur, having a step-by-step plan for many of the common types of crisis can help you prepare for an event.

Here are a few scenarios to consider having a crisis plan in place for your business:

  • Natural disaster
  • Environmental issues
  • Cybersecurity
  • Product recalls
  • Employee misconduct

Once the crisis has been resolved your communication should not stop. Continue using your email platform to share the next steps and company updates with your customers. It will let them know you have a continued commitment to their needs.

3. Consider Halting Any Other Automated Email Campaigns

It’s a good practice to take a look at your current email marketing campaigns and pause anything that is scheduled to go out in the near future. Without a documented process in place, many companies may overlook this and it could hurt their crisis response efforts.

Think about what content was scheduled to send. Does this information still make sense to send to your customers? Does it now contradict the message you’re trying to promote? Making sure you are aware of what emails are scheduled will save you from potentially having to clean up another mess.

Looking at other customer communication expected to launch in the near future should be part of your crisis plan. Companies that don’t consider this may be sending messages out that conflict with their current needs. Image courtesy of Reputation Management.

Some emails will be fine to continue sending, in fact, some should continue to send. For example, you don’t want to stop transactional emails. If a customer makes a purchase, they may be confused or frustrated if they don’t receive a confirmation email.

Here are a few things to consider when determining what emails should be paused:

  • How will customers react to this email being sent now?
  • Are there subject lines or content that are insensitive to the current issue?
  • Will this email benefit customers?
  • Does my customer need this information right away?

Automated email campaigns are easy to forget about, but are important to visit in a time of crisis. You need to have full control of what is being sent to your customers and forgetting about an email that could fuel the fire could put a big dent in your response plan.

4. Let Your Customers Know You Care

Last but not least, make sure to let your customers know you care about their wellbeing and needs.

Your customers and employees may be stressed out or confused about the situation happening. Reassuring them that you care about them and are taking every action to make things better can help ease their fears. The more trust they have in your company, the more likely they are to stick with you through this tough patch.

Email is a great way to communicate with all of your customers on a more personal level, use that to your advantage. Make sure they know that your company cares about their needs and that you’re working to improve their experience.

Be Prepared With an Email Response Plan

Having a crisis response plan is extremely important for any company. When you consider the plethora of scenarios that could affect your business, it’s important to be prepared. Emails should be a big part of your response plan to get the information out to your customers as soon as possible.

With email, you can quickly address the issue, outline your next steps, and reassure customers that you have their best interest in mind. Don’t let a crisis take down your company, be prepared and have a communication plan in place.

Image courtesy of Crisis Management

Making Your Business Accessible To All

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Abled bodied people rarely have difficulty accessing the products and services of most businesses. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for those that are differently-abled. Of course, not only is such a situation discriminatory in nature, but it prevents your business from serving a whole demographic of people as well. Happily, there are some things you can do to make sure your business is accessible to all. Read on to find out what they are. 

Laws and rights 

The inclusion of differently-abled people in your business isn’t just a matter of laws and rights. Although there are plenty that cover this topic. Many of which you must adhere to or be willing to face the full impact of the law.

 

In fact, accessibility for all is also an ethical issue. One in which business owners have a duty to provide equal access to all of their customers. 

It is also an issue that if handled correctly, that can reflect very well on your company. In fact, do not underestimate the value of humanizing your business, and showing that you care about individuals as well as profits. In fact, there is often significant PR kudos to be earned drawing attention to your inclusivity strategies. 

Wheelchair ramps 

One crucial step you can take in improving the accessibility of your business is to invest in wheelchair ramps. In fact, a handicap ramp can help people of all physical abilities access your physical premises. Such as those in wheelchairs, as well as older customers with limited mobility. Ramps can even be helpful to those that are going through a temporary healing process from an injury like a broken leg. 

Additionally, such ramps make entering and exiting your building lot safer for everyone. They can even be of use to families with pushchairs and prams as well. Something that genuinely will make your business as accessible to all as possible. 

Dedicated shopping times 

Another strategy that many businesses use is dedicated shopping or service using time. That is time is set aside for particular groups of people, something that makes it a lot easier and more pleasant for them to gain access to your products and services. 

One example of this is retail establishments providing priority shopping for older and vulnerable people. An advantage of this being that the company involved can offer extra support during this time. While it also means the experience will be calmer for relevant customers as well. 

Online access 

Finally, it is also vital that your business does not accidentally discriminate against the differently-abled with its online provision as well. After all, while many people find it easy to use a computer and navigate their way online, this is not the case for all. 

In fact, accidental discrimination may be less easy to identify. For example, those that are colorblind may struggle to use your website or receive the message that your marketing materials convey. If you do not consider them in their design.

Also, additional support for those with hearing or sight issues may be needed so they can use your website. Something that it is vital to consider and action when designing your online customer interfaces.

Working From Home? The Tips To Make The Most Of It

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Many people are facing the prospect of working from home, and some may have had an ambition to work from home and make it their reality. However, working from home is harder than you may think. When it comes to working from home, it isn’t all about sitting in bed and working in your pajamas, that is the dream, but you also need to ensure that you are productive. This is where you can be distracted and find it hard to distinguish between working and home life. With that in mind, here are some of the things that could help you to work from home and make the most of it.

Have a decent working area 

One of the first things you may need to do is think about a working area when it comes to your productivity. Of course, you can work from your sofa or your bed, and that can be very convenient, but it can also be extremely helpful to have a desk or an area that is specifically for your work. This is a great way to help you to distinguish between when you are working and when you can walk away from your work and enjoy your home life. 

Try different time management hacks

Time may seem like an endless amount when you work from home, you can start at any time of the day and night and make more use of the hours in the day. So figuring out when you are most productive is crucial. You might also want to think about things such as time management hacks so you can make the most of the working time you have. It could be that you want to blink certain tasks together, or work in snippets of minutes or hours so that you can minimize the distraction during those periods. There are some great tips online to help you find the right sort of time management techniques that will work for you. 

Make sure you take into account tax and costs

There will always be costs to consider when it comes to working from home, very much the same as when you work in an office or a different environment. This could be things such as tax, where companies like Tri-merit.com could help. It might be that you need to consider costs such as the internet as well as materials that you need. It might work out more cost effective to work from home, especially when starting your own business. 

Structure and plan your day 

Finally, it is a great idea to help you work from home if you structure and plan your day. Many people benefit from a routine, and a structure at home can help you to stay more in tune with when you are working and when you can enjoy your home life and separate the two. This is when time management can help when it comes to figuring out the best way to structure your day. 

Let’s hope these tips help you when it comes to working from home.

The Value Of Specialists To A Business

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Society and business alike have been united in recent years in applauding the “self-made” and the “hustler” – the one-man bands that do a little bit of everything in their business to keep costs low and streamline processes. There is, for sure, an advantage to knowing a bit about everything; as a boss, it will make you a more assiduous hirer and hopefully a better decision-maker. However, there can be no doubt that the “jack of all trades” can swiftly be shown up as a “master of none” in times of need.

The existence of specialists – experts who zone in on one specific aspect of one specific sector – is essential, even if some people question the benefit of experts. Whether you are a business owner looking to make the right choices, or a job-hunter looking for a way to make themselves more employable, the following examples are all reasons why specialists are vital in the modern business world.

Experts don’t need to listen to explanations

There are countless doctors in the world, but the number of expert cardiologists is significantly smaller, because qualifying in a speciality takes longer and requires more specialized knowledge. However, you’re going to be in much better hands if you have a heart issue and go to see a cardiologist – because they eat, sleep and breathe their speciality. Similarly, if you’re working in the oil and gas industry, you could hire just any accountant or someone qualified by the likes of Copas.org who specializes in your sector – the former will be easier to find, but the latter will have an innate knowledge of what your business entails, and will work quicker due to that knowledge.

Specialists make everyone around them smarter

If you hire a generally talented individual in your business, then they will be beneficial in their role, and they’ll get a lot done. However, when they go away not only have you lost their skills; you will also have missed out on the additional knowledge a specialist can impart to those who remain behind. Any business, to operate well, needs a combination of versatile generalists and specialists who zone in on an X Factor. Think of it like a sports team; there will always be the team players who no team can do without, but they will all be elevated to another level by an expert who specializes in penalty kicks or three-point shots. Not only do they bring their special talent, but they can pass on tricks of their trade.

You can hire a specialist whenever you need one

Without a doubt, it could be seen as an extravagance for your business to have a real estate attorney on the payroll if you’re not a realtor; or to employ a structural engineer if you’re not in construction. Those kinds of hires would only make sense for the biggest, wealthiest companies. However, specialists will mostly work on a contracted, for-hire basis. It is easier to carry a leaner staff, and then hire a specialist when they are needed, than it is to cover all bases “just in case”.

The benefits of hiring a specialist are clear; and if you are considering a specialist career for yourself, it’s worth knowing that your skills will always be in demand.

Reducing the Stigma of Trade Careers

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When you think of a successful career, what jumps to mind? An engineer? A doctor? A lawyer?

What if you were told that not all successful careers needed multiple years of education? Here’s the honest truth: you can get paid incredibly well at careers that don’t need a lot of education and experience. 

The trades, typically more manual positions, include electricians, plumbers, mechanics, medical imaging positions, law enforcement, and cosmetologists, just to name a few. While each of these requires specialized training, the cost and time associated with each are much less than that of a more traditionally “successful” career. Don’t automatically assume that you won’t be fulfilled with these positions, either!

It often takes decades to become a partner at a law firm, as an example, but with just a few years under your belt, you could be running your own electrician or plumbing company, and spend less time working than many people who go to school for 8+ years to earn their degree. You can earn good pay while also being fulfilled by running an entire business – that’s nothing to scoff at. 

So, if the pay is good, why is there a stigma about trades? 

People often assume that if you’re working in a trade or specialized position that your job has long hours, is dirty, and unfulfilling. Why is this? Honestly, a lot of it has to do with a lack of information regarding those positions, lack of exposure to these positions, as well as old stereotypes that aren’t true. 

According to a survey done by The Manufacturing Institute, 52% of all teenagers aren’t interested in the trades as a career path, and of those teenagers, 61% perceived manufacturing careers as dirty and taking place in dangerous places.

When you work in a machine shop, for example, the idea is that there are piles of old rusty metal just sitting in corners. Not true. In reality, a successful machine shop is well-lit, clean, and employees wear appropriate protective clothing and gear, including hearing protection. 

In the end, there is just a clear lack of information so kids don’t enter into these positions even though they are often high-paying, good careers.

If you’re looking to change up your dead-end career or thinking about what it would take to switch into a trade position, consider what you find enjoyment in. If you like trouble-shooting and working with your hands, something like an electrician would be an ideal position for you. ABC Heart of America has an electrician apprenticeship program that can put you on the right pathway to get your career started. If you’re looking for a more creative or artistic position, going in to cosmetology might be an option worth looking in to. 

A 4-year college tuition, which doesn’t guarantee a job, runs around $40,000 dollars, while a trade school is much closer to $10,000, and offers a higher chance of being put into a job immediately. Some trade schools will go so far as to place you in a position directly. 

While trade schools and careers don’t get a lot of the limelight, you can have a successful, well-paying, fulfilling position in a trade career.

3 Keys Spends For Your Small Business

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When you run your own small business you will no doubt be facing daily challenges around your costs and profits. Every business owner would like to reduce their outgoings, but today we want to flag a few areas that are worth investing in, these are 3 key spends for your small business.

Invest in your team

Investing in your team is one of the most powerful investments that your business can make. 

The first thing you will need to invest in is in hiring the best possible people to work with you. Finding the right person to fit in with your existing operation can be challenging and it can take a fair bit of time and money. You will need to feel confident that the applicant has the right skills and personality for your team and you will then need to ensure that you have put adequate training in place for them.

Training is key for all of your team, and you can choose to do this yourself or you might like to bring in outside trainers or send your staff out on appropriate courses. When all of your team members are well trained they are likely to be more effective, more productive and more confident in their roles. This should in turn free up your time, reduce any customer complaints and increase your business turnover. 

It is also worth spending the time and money training, coaching and rewarding your team to improve your staff retention and motivation. Take the time to recognize good work and behaviors to boost morale. 

Work closely with providers and suppliers

Few businesses can operate effectively in isolation. Most of us need to work closely with other providers and suppliers and spend wisely with them.

For example, your business might want to look into working with a good range of food suppliers such as umami foods along with local distribution centers and fleet management companies. You will be looking to strike that balance between getting the best deal at a price that you are happy with and forging a reliable and professional relationship with all providers so that you can trust that they will not let your business down.

It can be tempting to look for the lowest costs at every turn, and this can be an easy but costly mistake that startup businesses make. On occasion the cheapest might also be the best in the market, but do ensure that you are checking their dependability and service levels too.

Spread the word about all that you do

When you start your business, you are going to need to let people know about it and you must spread the word about all that you do. 

Your business marketing costs could vary hugely as there are so many ways that you could choose to promote your business. It is worth trying a few of the more cost effective options first and then finding out what works best for you. 

As a minimum, you are going to want to invest in a professional and user friendly website, utilize social media effectively and if you have premises, order some suitable signage.