Moving Your Business from One Place to Another

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

If you’re operating a business on a brick and mortar basis, you’re going to have to put a whole lot of focus on making sure your business can grow and expand. Increasing competition from the realm of Ecommerce means that you’re going to have to be increasingly savvy with your decision making and sometimes that means having to shift your company from one place to another more lucrative spot that holds more potential for increased sales. This, of course, can be a difficult process. But here are a few areas you might want to focus on, as well as some tips and tricks to make it easier and a greater success!

Consider Location

Location is often the main reason for people moving their small business. When you first start out your journey, you probably have a limited budget and consequently are likely to have your business in a low cost spot that potentially has limited footfall. But by now, you should be well aware that footfall can have a huge impact on your profits. A higher passing footfall means giving your brand greater exposure to the public. The more people who pass by generally means there will be more people passing through your doors, purchasing goods, and generating profit.

Consider Size

Another reason you might be considering a move is because your business is expanding, you’re taking on more staff, and you’re going to need more room to house everyone. Always consider getting somewhere slightly bigger than you need. Your small five-person size property simply isn’t going to cut it after a few months or years. Give yourself room to expand even further, as this will reduce the number of times you have to move.

Making Moving Simple

Have a Cross Over Period 

It’s sensible to have a cross over period for the move. You don’t want to have to move the entire store or office in a single day. Reduce pressure by having a week or even a month when you have your current commercial property, as well as access to your new one. This will allow you to take a gradual and phased approach.

Hire a Van

So many small business owners think they can move their entire business in their own car. But there’s often furniture and pieces of equipment that would have to be stacked in a car in a dangerous way to get it from A to B. So, use van hire that will give you a vehicle big enough for the job.

Consider Employees

Before moving your company, consider how this will impact employees. Some will already be commuting a long distance to get to work and may not be able to travel any further if you happen to move further away from their home. Weigh up the pros and cons of recruitment and decide whether you’d rather maintain the employees you have.

These are just a few areas you should take into consideration when it comes to moving your small business. Take them seriously and everything should go pretty smoothly!

Working With A Fit-Out Contractor

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Fit-out contractors are available to help you get your project over the finishing line. However, you cannot simply hand the baton over to them and expect them to get onto it. This needs to be a collaborative effort, as you need to ensure the company is fully aware of the client’s wants. 

Fit-out contractors are, of course, experts in making interior spaces suitable for the occupation. Levitch Design is a great example. They will know exactly how to ‘fit out’ a space so that it is fit for purpose. 

Take hotels for example. No two hotels are the same, and you play a critical role in ensuring the fit-out company is fully aware of the clients wants. This includes a list of all their requirements in terms of the furniture they require, but it also means conveying the feel and look they want the hotel to have. The fit-out contractor will need to consider the hotel brand with every decision and purchase they make, and they will need to ensure the hotel provides the type of experience the client intends it to. 

You are responsible for ensuring this is effectively communicated with the contractors working on the project. You will also need to have some frank discussions regarding factors such as space utilization, energy-saving, and budget. Make sure you are on the same page before any work is undertaken. Frequent communication and collaboration is a must. 

Fit Out Partner Checklist

Fit-out contractors may be something that you require for your project. If so, you will need to choose with care. Get it wrong, and it can be a nightmare of project disruption and escalating budgets. Get it right, and you will ensure that the project runs smoothly, with no budget over-runs.

There is a lot to consider when searching for fit-out contractors. Firstly, their reputation must be taken into account. Have they provided you with references? Do they have a solid track record in your sector? Have they managed projects of a similar size? You should also find out who owns the company, whether it is part of a nationally recognized organization, if they work all over the UK, their experience, and whether there are case studies you can take a look at. 

Next, you need to assess their financial stability and your risk. Will they promise to deliver a project, snag-free with no delays on a fixed date? Will it be on budget? Do they have evidence of a healthy balance sheet? Do they have a formal process for feedback for every project? You also need to discover whether they have the funds that are required for your project to be completed and if they have the buying power that is required for negotiation in terms of furniture, materials and alike on your behalf. Do they offer a JCT ‘design and build’ contract? 

Finally, you need to determine what services are included, and you must evaluate their credentials? Can they provide you with any credentials concerning the environment? What quality management and health & safety certifications do they have?

Careers That Will Help You To Achieve Your Dreams

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

A career should be more than just a mindless job that you do to pay the bills. Yet, so many of us feel we have to settle for a job that we don’t actually enjoy. This isn’t the case. Yes, a job can be hard work, but it should be a challenge that you want to face. You should feel motivated and determined to keep pushing onwards. If not, then you might not be in the right field. So, let’s discuss some careers that will help you to achieve your dreams.

Trucking.

Trucking is a career that’s well-suited to people who have the dream of going on long travels and experiencing new places. Obviously, it can be a mentally-taxing career because you have to spend a lot of time away from home, and that means you’ll be spending a lot of time away from your loved ones. But if you find yourself dreaming of a career that gives you independence and the ability to explore the world, then this could be your calling. Obviously, you don’t have to start trucking all over the world, but the point is that you’d have the opportunity to see more than just the same four walls of a typical office environment.

It takes some training to become a qualified trucker, but it’s worth the time and effort to pursue a career that you truly enjoy. You might want to research some CDL trucking jobs. There are plenty of opportunities for people who want to become truckers. It’s a booming industry, and there’s a growing demand for people who can fill the increasing number of job vacancies. After all, industries are constantly growing, and that means their transportation needs keep growing, too. It’s a great industry to consider if you’re looking for job stability.

Designing websites.

A web design career could be a great option for you if you’re a creative person with technological skills. This is the perfect job for anyone who loves coding (or has the willingness to learn) and creating artistic imagery. Designing websites is a very methodical vocation, but it’s also a highly creative one. So, it’s a great opportunity for anybody who has dreams of working in a creative environment but no idea as to how they’d make those dreams a reality. There are more artistic outlets for professionals in the business world than you might imagine. It’s time to start pursuing a career that suits you.

Farming.

You might also want to consider a career in farming. It might be an option that’s quite different from the ones that have already been mentioned in this article, but it definitely suits certain people perfectly. Perhaps you’re not interested in the job opportunities offered by the big city. Perhaps you just want to earn an honest living in a relaxing and rewarding environment. Well, working on a farm could be the answer you seek. It might be worth doing some research on your job options in this industry. There are many routes you could take.

How To Build A Strong Business Reputation

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

In business, reputation means everything. It’s the output you gain from your company’s hard work. It’s the perception your clients have about your business, and it’s what shall determine whether your establishment shall sink or swim. And so focusing on reputation to a degree is essential. Although we can’t instantly change others’ opinions of our business, we can manage expectations, feedback, and strive to consistently improve in the common areas that denote whether your business is deemed reliable and professional.

Brand Consistency

One of the things that creates a shaky ground for a business to rest upon is a brand without consistency. If your business’s missions and values aren’t threaded throughout your company’s imagery, content, premises, website, social media pages, and so forth, it tears away any prospect of your clients having familiarity and confidence in your business. As with most successful companies, you can identify them from a commonly chosen song, or slogan or picture of their logo without their name being mentioned. This is because their marketing teams have ensured that their brand is consistent and recognizable anywhere by everyone. Part of building a good reputation is creating a brand that people can link to your products and services with ease.

Customer Service

The critical link connecting your customers to your services or products is your customer service team. And so the connection needs to be a pleasant one for the customer in all scenarios. Whether they have a list of questions about a product, or they want to return faulty goods, your customer service team shall make the difference between persuading an upset customer to remain loyal to your brand or putting them off trusting your company altogether. The latter has dire circumstances on your reputation. So with each customer query, your staff should be equipped to handle whatever is thrown their way. This is mostly down to the training and time you spend on creating and taking care of your team. 

Manage Reviews 

Reviews for many customers spell the difference between the likelihood of them buying something or shopping elsewhere. So you must manage both good and bad reviews to your advantage and take any feedback on board. If you or your team members have the time, allocate a slot to read through and reply to reviews. Whether appreciating good reviews, looking at how to remove fake Google reviews or apologizing to customers for any fair, bad reviews. This shall show other customers reading through the reviews that your company takes an active interest in what your customers think. Plus it inspires confidence in uncertain clients to buy from you knowing that your business is accessible to speak to and accepts accountability for reasonable issues that arise with your products/services.

Above is a non-exhaustive insight on how to create a strong business reputation amongst existing and potential customers. Your company’s reputation is a combination of multiple elements all working holistically to create a picture to your audience. It’s up to you to orchestrate these elements to ensure they work to your company’s advantage.

Building Your Home-Based Business From Scratch

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Building a home-based business takes a lot of time and effort. You might have the passion and professionalism necessary to create your own business, but it takes more than that to achieve success. You need a strong business plan, above all else. Remember, you’re not just an employee anymore – you’re the employer, too. As a freelancer, you have to be able to run your own business, so this is much more than a career. So, let’s talk about what it takes to start building your home-based business from scratch. The following points should help you out.

Find your avenue.

First of all, you have to figure out how you’re going to make money. You might have many skills, but you have to decide which skill you’re going to turn into a profitable business idea. Most importantly, you have to decide which skill you’re going to turn into an exciting business idea. So, your goal is to find your avenue. Perhaps you could sell your old belongings, or perhaps you could write marketing articles for online clients. Some people even use freelancing sites such as Fiverr to sell bizarre services; there are freelancers who sing birthday messages in silly voices and so on. You could also become a blogger to make money from adverts and sponsored deals.

You should make a list of possible business ideas to help you find the right fit. You might want to use skills that you’ve developed in the working world, or you might want to focus on personal skills that you think could be turned into viable business services. Maybe you’re a creative person who could become a freelance photographer, for example. Finding the right avenue is about finding your strengths. Just remember that it should be enjoyable. You’ll struggle to build a successful company if you don’t enjoy what you do. As your business’ sole employee (for the meantime), you’re responsible for its success.

Start shaping your office.

You might have a great business plan and a laptop, so nothing’s stopping you from getting started. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of a good home office. Your environment has a big effect on the way you think and feel. If you want to build your home-based business from scratch, then you should also start shaping your office from scratch. You might already have a room with a desk that you’ve set aside for your company and its activities, but you need to make it feel professional. It should feel separate to the rest of your house; there needs to be a division between home and work. You might even want to get a skip bin if you’re going to have to declutter the room or even your entire house to make the place look good. Clearing out your old possessions to create a new design for your home-based office could help to freshen up the place.

Research the market.

If you want your home-based business to be successful, then you need to research the market. Your company is entering a competitive landscape, so you need to find your place. That’s why entrepreneurs always talk about gaps in the market. If you can find problems that your competitors haven’t solved, then you’ll have found opportunities to differentiate yourself from other businesses in your industry. Make sure you keep doing your research. Keep talking to existing and potential customers to figure out what they want from companies such as yours.

Broaden Your Horizons and Build Your Career with One Perspective Change

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

When we talk about things like work/life balance or work vs play, we immediately assume that the two things are opposed and competing. This is a huge problem, firstly, because it means that it’s pretty well accepted that you hate your job but stick to it because it funds your lifestyle and, secondly, because life doesn’t have to be like that at all. 

When you change your perspective and begin to think of work as a part of your life, and not an inconvenience you have to put up with, you give yourself a chance to push for something more compelling and more fun. If you’re not convinced here are two stats to change your mind: American spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime and yet, 87% of Americans have no passion for their jobs. 

Convinced now? Here’s what you should do.

Make Contacts Wherever You Go

If you want to improve your social life and your work life, building your contacts is essential. Now, how you do this is up to you but it’s a good idea to go to a mix of different sorts of events. Meeting friends of friends is a good way to broaden your social group but going to events for people with similar interests or networking events for more industry-specific stuff is a good idea too. 

Building your contacts is especially important if you want to move up the job ladder without sending a million applications out. Executive search often comes down to who you know and how much they rate you, and not who is lucky enough to see the ad online. 

Follow All Your Interests

Your career probably comes with a few prerequisite skills and if you are going down a particular niche pathway, you could be forgiven for focusing on building those skills and nothing else. But increasingly, life isn’t like that. Our jobs tend not to last our entire career and you could go through a wide range of roles and industries in your working life.

If you want to enrich your career and your life, a better approach is to follow your interests. Sure, flower-arranging or tinkering with an old motor might not have anything to do with your job in IT but both hobbies could lead you elsewhere. Plenty of people get into jobs by accidentally becoming an expert in a hobby or interest. You’ll only get there if you pursue your interests first.

Be Determined But Flexible When Setting Your Goals

Life goal setting is difficult because what you want to achieve isn’t often a concrete thing but a more complex idea. For example, everyone wants to be happy and that’s a worthwhile goal. But how on earth are you going to achieve ‘happy’? 

Having big, undefined goals is actually a good thing as long as you can identify achievable, smaller goals along the way. Setting smaller goals will help you see your progress but they can also be more flexible and change as new opportunities present themselves. 

There’s no one way to live your life but once you allow yourself to broaden your horizons, you’ll find that more good things come your way.

Make Your Customer Service Stand Out

Ask any consumer, and they’ll tell you great customer service is hard to find. Research conducted by Accenture in 2016 revealed that 83 percent of American consumers prefer dealing with people over digital channels to resolve customer service issues — and a whopping 52 percent of them switched providers that year because of poor service. For many people, the quality of customer service is just as important as price and quality when making a buying decision, if not more important. Organizations that excel in customer service are more likely to earn new customers, earn new business from existing customers, retain customers, command better prices, and generate more and better referrals.

The accompanying infographic, 10 Essential Customer Service Tips, is a useful, visual reference for customer service teams doing a great job, a not-so-great job and everything in between. You’ll see a few suggestions most people know (even if they don’t always execute them), along with ideas that even talented, well-trained teams may not have considered.

The infographic is not meant to replace in-depth customer service training, but it is a powerful supplement, one that is concise enough to be reviewed once a day or once a week. The goal is to give customer service providers that extra edge — and turn proven customer service techniques into deeply ingrained habits that ensure every customer gets top treatment day in and day out. 

10 Essential Customer Service Tips from Service Skills

Author Bio: David Friedman is Managing Director of ServiceSkills.com and Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, proven training brands that improve the way your staff communicates with customers and co-workers. He has 35 years of experience producing and marketing in the corporate learning and development spaces.

Best Places To Buy Property In South Carolina

South Carolina since it’s formation back in 1729, has been on the real estate investors list. This is mostly because of the geographical location of the state along the Atlantic Ocean. From retired personals to young investors, everyone looks towards South Carolina, for its low cost of living and pristine landscape.

If you are also looking forward to purchasing a property in the state of South Carolina, here’s a list of the best places you should check out.

1. Charleston

You can find properties for every need here. Charleston and its surrounding communities offer everything from luxury waterfront homes to condos and apartments in dense downtown. The city is a little pricier as compared to the median price of the overall state and more suitable for people seeking leisurely experience.

2. Columbia

Home to the University of South Carolina, Columbia is the largest community across the state. One of the major reasons why this city can yield higher rentals is the military installations in the city. Also, there are jobs in the healthcare and education sectors. The city offers highly affordable property options to cater to all communities.

3. Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Island is ranked as the most expensive real estate in South Carolina. Popular amongst retirees and seasonal residents, this popular vacation destination offers some of the highest returns on rental properties. You can expect around 9-10 percent return on your investment just by renting out your property to tourists during the spring and summer months.

4. Lake Keowee

If you are looking for a home away from all the hustle and bustle of city life, then Lake Keowee is the place for you. With less competition and more options at hand, this artificial reservoir offers some pristine scenic experiences to its occupants. According to Matt Roach from Top Guns Lake Keowee Real Estate, the location offers a variety of recreational activities. One can enjoy, swimming, fishing, and kayaking in the lake.

5. Greenville

The home prices have risen by 8.2% over the past year in the community of Greenville. The community presents interesting opportunities for real estate investors. The city now has more expensive housing in the state with the median home value of $186,900.

6. Sumter

Not everyone desires to own a lavish home. For the ones looking at more affordable options, the smaller community of Sumter offers some of the least expensive opportunities. The median value is well below the state’s average value at $83,300 against $165,500. The city witnessed a whopping 14.9% increase over the years, and further predictions suggest that it will continue to rise by another 9% over the next year.

It’s always smart to partner with a real estate agent who is rated top amongst the local community. This would help you acquire the hottest properties at affordable prices. Although the internet offers some information regarding the properties in almost every region, the local market expertise of professionals cannot be replaced. Investing in the wrong property with no returns on your investment can be avoided with the help of a seasoned realtor.

Branding For Beginners

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

When it comes to owning a business, and ensuring that enough people know about your Business, plus its service and products, then you will need to think about Branding. Not necessarily the logo, which is required, of course. Branding has many aspects to it that you may not even think about. But also how your Business looks to people from the outside. First impressions count.

What is Branding

What is Branding? Basically, it’s what your Business is known for, the recognizable features and themes surrounding the Business showing the quality. You can simply hugely improve your Branding by making sure your Business is delivering its promises. Making sure that your customers are happy with the service is the best thing you can do for your brand. If you’re not able to keep up with demand, then it’s best to gather a support network of people and outsource some services such as vinylcuttingmachineguide best vinyl cutting machine

Social Media 

Social media can play a big part in your branding efforts, the attitude and friendliness that you want to portray are easy to do with some short messages and stories. All you need to do is be authentic, stick to your plan, and make sure everybody is close to the Business by sharing so much, they will feel right at home when they walk in. You can also use social media to create some noise surrounding the Business, by way of sharing events, and creating competitions.

Graphic design

This may be something that you would want to outsource, especially if you don’t have any experience of designing previously. But after all it is incredibly essential so worth mentioning, you need to think about your color palette, what you’re trying to portray, how you want to go about that and then action it ready for potential clients. Find all the inspiration you can for this one, set the mood board, get magazines and cut out pictures because once you’ve changed the script, it’s not entirely easy to set it back

Survey

Check with friends and family, and even possibly a control group of people, to find out if your new graphic design is working. Print a couple of sample leaflets and send them around to you about this and also just go over and above with the recycling and growing new plants. 

Personal

If your Business is based around you or something that you do personally, then ensuring that the Business you’re running shows precisely what the Business is all about is an important task! Creating a personal brand can be as straightforward or as difficult as you make it, you can just allow your own personality shine by setting up some small videos on Facebook, maybe even launching Facebook live Videos and Instagram stories. This is one of the best ways to build your Branding because people always trust a person above a faceless business.

So, in a nutshell, Branding is just the first look of your Business, it’s the thing that will help people settle on whether to become customers of yours or not, and it is compelling so expect to spend time on this aspect of your new Business.

Brand Building Process Tips

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

You want your brand to be recognized globally. Or maybe just in the local area. That doesn’t happen by accident (unless you are fortunate), it happens with hard work, dedication, and knowledge. As a small business, you are competing against more prominent companies, local and global, plus freelancers. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be seen. It just means you have to do more with less. And that is no bad thing. Learning how to turn a shoestring budget into a well-branded company is going to pay off when you do have big money later on.

Let’s talk about the basics:

What is a brand?

A brand is everything that people will use to identify you and your business. It will be everything from your logo, and your website to your stationery and your content. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, says, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” 

It is your reputation, and what that looks like on paper. 

Building Brands

This is the bit where you begin to generate press and recognition. Awareness about you and your brand will drive sales. Sales mean profit. All of your marketing campaigns should have goals attached to them, and there should be no money spent where it won’t give you a decent ROI. Ideally, you are looking for the following activities in your building model:

  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • PPC
  • SEO & Content generation and marketing
  • UX – on your website or apps

The combination of these is a potent way to see your channels gaining both brand awareness and growth. 

Process:

Audience

Before you start building, you need to know who or what you are building for. You can’t sell to everyone, or at least not in the early stages. You need to get in depth over who you are talking to and trying to attract. And be specific too:

  • Talking to young women who want to work in the tech space
  • Working with family men who want to side hustle
  • Selling to executives who have a lot of disposable income and none/one child

Who is it, and what do they want from you? 

Mission

What is it that you brand whats to accomplish? Again go into detail about your brand mission. “My company is designed to bridge the gap in childcare for families where both parents work,” or “My company will provide the freshest salads delivered to the office.” It defines your purpose. 

Research

Start looking at what brands like your brand do. Who are they targeting, what are their most famous ad campaigns, what kind of content do they produce? Don’t copy them, but find a way to replicate their success in your own way. 

Logo & Tagline

Visuals matter. After all, you want to be recognizable and distinguishable. The logo will appear on everything that you produce and should be something that over time, people see and know it’s you. Think of the icon sports brands – simple but effective. You might want to hire in help from a designer and a sign company to get this done to the highest standard. 

Voice

This is how you communicate with customers and potential customers. It should be in keeping with the persona that your company has and hold tight to the mission too. Authenticity will win people over faster than being a fake. 

Stay True

The logos and brands that you know best are the ones that stick fast to their mission, they always think about the future of the business and how they can make what they do work for more people. Always be your brand’s most prominent advocate too. 

Building a brand is a process that deserves the time and effort to get it right. Once you do, you will feel confident as you go forward and will see the rewards too.