Your Office, Anywhere

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You’ve decided to take the plunge. You’ve left your corporate structured, nine-to-five job with its regular income and its stability. There was scope for progression there, but somehow it might feel that ploughing your heart and soul into somebody else dreams is not for you. For you, the joy of business is planting the seed yourself; then watching your dreams grow large as you nurture them.

So, you’ve got your idea. You’ve even managed to pull some savings together to get you off the ground. You have reordered your lifestyle to accommodate the personal risk you’re taking and you’re off. You are in business! Now comes the real challenge, the hard work and, if you play it right, the freedom to live as you want while your business flourishes.

The type of business you are operating will largely dictate the type of physical space you need to operate in. Obviously, if you need a space where your customers need to come to you, like a restaurant or store, then real estate is pivotal in your planning. But for so many types of businesses these days, such as web design, copywriting, and so many service-based industries, it is less about the physical office. With the growth of cloud computing, a lot of your work can be done from anywhere in the world. It might sound cliche to say that you want your office to be a sun bed on the beach of some idyllic Greek island, but with a laptop, internet connection and good online business support, you can connect with your customers or provide your services remotely.

This kind of freedom does sound amazing though. There’s no boardroom, no need for a tie. If you want to set a business with partners in other cities, or even on the other side of the world; there are so many online collaboration tools out there. You could have face to face conferencing, brainstorming sessions, have PowerPoint presentations, set agendas and deadline reminders for your team.

You might be supplying a product which you never need to handle, manage warehouse facilities for or ship yourself. By outsourcing fulfillment, you are free to be where life suits you. There’s no need to pay rent on a building that frankly depresses you. There’s no worry about hiring or firing teams to handle your stock. It almost feels like virtual reality.

The returns in terms of quality of life from making this kind of switch can be immense. You would have the flexibility to live your life how you need to; if you have a young child, you can be around as they grow up instead of stuck in a building away from them for most of your waking life. But, there are some things to consider. With the conventional nine-to-five, it’s much easier to leave your work at home. It is very important to set yourself rules, work during set times, and be sure and always find the time to enjoy life as much as possible.

Made Your First Profit? Use It To Do These Things!

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We all know that incredible feeling: checking your accounts and seeing that for the first time, your business has made a profit. It is a day of significant importance. You have put in a tremendous amount of hard work and your own money, and finally, you feel like you are beginning to reap the rewards. It can be tempting to keep that money for yourself and spend it on something a bit frivolous – after all, you deserve it. However, it is important to remember that by making some sensible business investments right at the beginning will bring you more profits later on. For now, the best thing that you can do for you and your company is to invest it back in and continue to grow and develop.

These are what we think are the very best ways to invest your first business profit.

Business Upgrades and Improvement

This could refer to anything that makes the everyday running and management of the company easier for you and your team, and encourage productivity.. This may mean buying some new computers if the ones you are currently working on are old and slow, or upgrading to some automated software, such as accountancy packages or social media schedulers. If you use company vehicles that are older and unreliable, you may want to consider upgrading those. If it improves the productivity and efficiency of your business and staff or improves the customer experience, it is worth it.

Improve your online security

You may think that just because you have only just started making a profit, you are not much of a target for cyber attacks, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. If anything, would-be hackers and cybercriminals will use that newness and vulnerability and are more likely to target you because you are not as likely to have the big defenses major companies would have. By paying for managed services, you can be sure that your online security systems are installed and managed correctly, and in the event of a data breach, things can be handled quickly and efficiently, minimizing the damage it can cause.

Up your marketing plan

In the beginning, getting the balance right when it comes to marketing is tricky. You know how important it is to invest in marketing to get your business out there and make sales and connect with clients, but you can’t spend too much because well, you are not making any money yet and you don’t want to run out of revenue. That means that up until this point, you have probably been working on a limited budget. Now you have more money to play with, really ramp up that marketing strategy and build on the momentum.

It can be so tempting to spend your first profits on something for yourself, but if you want to strengthen your financial position in the long term, you need to invest that money straight back into the business and use it wisely.

PRO’s and CON’s Of Moving To A Medical Career

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Changing your career is becoming easier for people especially nowadays with education been so readily available such as been able to study from home. Many people are now multi-skilled and aren’t afraid to make a move into something completely different and towards whatever compels them. A career that people often get drawn towards is one in a medical environment as it’s not only rewarding but you’re able to make a massive difference to a lot of people’s lives. So should you be considering making a move into a medical profession? Have a look below at some of the pro’s and con’s that you should be considering.

PRO’s

  • Get To Work With People-  Not only do you get to work with the population and help them with their medical needs you also get to work with a variety of people from all sort of backgrounds. Often this leads to a higher overall level of education and diversity within teams.
  • Use Specialist Equipment- When studying for a career in the medical industry you have access to specialist equipment such as a microplate, laboratories and research facilities. This can be very interesting and fulfilling.
  • Wide Range Of Opportunities- There is an abundance of options available to a student who has studied for a medical profession, you can find jobs in all sorts of areas such as dentistry, medical sciences, hospitals and general facilities. Meaning there is a choice to suit everyone.
  • Helping People- Of course, this goes without saying and it is often the main reason people get into a medical career. They want to help people and be able to see the difference that they are making to someone life. Whether it’s simply listening and understanding someone’s problems or performing a lifesaving operation someone in a medical profession has the ability to make a difference.
  • Highly Recognized Field – Because medicine is recognized globally it gives you a wide range of career opportunities across the world. Some people find this particularly attractive if they are looking to emigrate and establish careers elsewhere.

CON’s

  • Income- Now you would probably expect to see this in the PRO’s however unless you are extensively educated in your field of work you will find that a career in medicine isn’t as highly paid as you would imagine. All them protests don’t happen for no reason at all.
  • Long Hours- It’s definitely not a secret that a career in the medical industry can include long hours that often include night shifts, this is one of the things that is often considered a downfall to any medical career.
  • Long Education-  Although it’s very rewarding to become educated in this line of work it can take a serious commitment to the amount of time it can actually include. If you don’t enjoy education and don’t want to be learning right through your career, then this isn’t a field to become involved in.
  • Responsibility- Some people thrive with having a high level of responsibility however if you struggle with this then a career in medicine definitely isn’t for you. You will often probably on a daily basis be involved in something that has some level of responsibility. At the end of the day, you are dealing with people’s lives.

These are just a few of the PRO’s and CON’s that you can expect from a Medical career. Do you have any others to share? Please leave them in the comments section below.

Starting A Successful Music Career In 2019

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Whether you decided to try to make your way in the world of music this week or you’ve been at the grind for years, all musicians are in the same boat. It’s hard for creative people to make their way in the world, but this is certainly the case in the music industry. The market has become so competitive because it’s easy for people to make music. DAW software is cheaper and more accessible than ever (some music software is free), so there’s nothing stopping people from getting started. But how are you going to stand out? Whether you’re a brand new artist or you’ve been at it for years, it’s hard to get ahead. Even those who have tasted success can struggle to hold onto it. In this article, we’ll talk about the things you need to consider if you want to start a successful music career in 2019.

Figure out what makes you unique.

If you want to do well in the music world then you need to adopt a little bit of a business mindset. Of course, the goal is to avoid draining all the excitement out of your career because creating music requires a degree of passion and creative freedom. However, you do need to develop a personal brand for yourself in the same way as any other entrepreneur, so you need to think about your image and identity in that sort of manner. You need to figure out what makes you unique in terms of your sound and your presentation. You don’t need to be eccentric for the sake of being eccentric. Take a look at bands such as Radiohead; they dress in a casual manner, but their music is the thing that makes them stand out.

So, what’s your USP? If you’re making rock music then why should people listen to you rather than the thousands of other rock bands out there? If you’re a rapper then how are you going to stand out? Are you just going to use the same trap beat as every other aspirational hip-hop artist out there? You won’t come up with a fresh new sound straight away. Even the most successful artists of all time started out sounding pretty similar to the musicians who influenced them. It’s all part of the creative process. You have to learn by creating. As time goes by, you’ll start to find your sound. You could consider vocal school to try to develop a stylistic identity for yourself and learn to adapt to a variety of different singing styles. It’s important to learn to be flexible if you want to be unique. Many artists stand out because they pull influences from many different places rather than simply sounding like artists from one particular genre, for instance.

Develop a strong work ethic.

The rise to the top might seem effortless from the outside, but artists don’t just emerge from nowhere. It takes years of grinding to reach the top. It took a lot of rejections and a lot of failed attempts for many of the world’s most accomplished musicians to reach the global platforms they have today. Don’t trick yourself into thinking it’ll happen quickly. You need to develop a strong work ethic if you’re going to start a successful music career in 2019. Maybe you’ve been trying to “make it” for years, but you’ve only been dedicating a small amount of your time to the cause. You need to be committed if you’re going to get anywhere. Take the time to make yourself visible and get your brand out there as well as working on your music itself. As explained in the previous point, you need to adopt a business attitude if you want to make it in this tough industry. Keep grinding, and make sure you only do it because you love it. That’s the key to making music which sounds good. Take the time to hone your talent.

6 Reasons Why Your Approach to SEO Is Failing

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It goes without saying that search engine optimization is one of the best ways to ensure that your website is visible to a large audience. Without SEO, you could have the world’s greatest website with plenty of useful content and products to sell, but you’re never going to get the exposure you deserve unless you make friends with search engines like Google. Every day, there are over 3.5 billion searches on Google alone which means 1.2 trillion searches a year–that’s a lot of internet users! And with more users making use of smartphones and tablets to browse the web, we’re going to see that number increase even more.

So we understand why SEO is important, but are you really taking advantage of it as much as you could? Perhaps you’ve invested in SEO heavily but you’re still not seeing a huge increase that the agency promised, or perhaps you’ve been fooled to think that SEO requires a hefty time investment. Of course, there’s always the alternate reason; your SEO is failing.

So in this article, we’re going to explain five reasons why your approach to SEO is failing and how you can fix it so that your website gets the exposure it deserves.

Reason 1: Your website just isn’t good enough

Your visitor experience plays a huge role in how visible your website is. If your visitors are required to click over 5 different links to find what they need then there’s a serious problem. You may want to consult website designers to help you with things such as improving your navigation and the overall design of your site needs to be easy on the eyes. If you’re not focusing on things such as readability, navigation or even having a website that works on both mobile and desktop, then you’re going to have some serious trouble with your SEO.

Think about it this way; it doesn’t matter how much Google likes your website thanks to your keyword usage and their robots. If your website isn’t an enjoyable experience then your visitors may click your website, but they certainly aren’t going to stay let alone actually purchase something from you. So if you’re serious about SEO and improving your website, make sure you focus on making a good website first.

Reason 2: You’ve not updated your SEO strategy

SEO is constantly evolving. If you hired an agency five years ago to help you with SEO and you’re still acting on the same principles, then it’s no wonder that your SEO is currently failing. You always want to update your tactics because Google is always updating its search engine. It’s always going to change its algorithm and you need to learn about those changes and discover how you can take advantage of it to grow your site.

The best way to do this would be to hire an SEO expert since they can keep up with all the updates, but you can also do this by taking SEO more seriously and learning about the processes involved.

Reason 3: You don’t have the right team for it

You also need to ensure that you have the right team for your SEO needs. It’s often a matter of hiring an in-house team vs hiring an SEO agency, and the right choice for you will often depend on how large your business is and how much attention your website gets. If you’re just a small business then an agency is usually good enough, but if your website has many products, pages and your company gets a lot of business, then it’s best to seek an in-house team that understands your business better.

Reason 4: Your industry is too competitive

If your industry is really competitive then you might just be having trouble trying to compete with the giants in your field. For example, you might be struggling to compete with other smartphone companies since Apple, Google and Samsung are currently dominating it. If you’re trying to grow a site about something popular such as video games or sports, then there are other websites that will likely have far better content than you and domain authority.

If your industry is competitive, then it may be worth trying to find your own niche, changing your goals or even repurposing your website so that it’s easier to find for a more specific or smaller audience before expanding your brand.

Reason 5: Your industry just isn’t very popular

There’s always going to be a problem with industries that just aren’t popular. While popular industries have the trouble of too much competition, niche industries might have too few searches or highly specialized businesses that are already well-known in communities.

When it comes to SEO for niche industries, you need to play an active role in those communities in order to promote your website. This involves content marketing, social media interaction and general engagement with your audience in order to grow your audience. In other words, you need to take a different approach to SEO if you want to grow your website in a niche industry.

Reason 6: You’re focusing too much on keywords

Lastly, we should talk about keyword usage and the technical side of SEO. While it’s true that Google does look at your website with a set of algorithms to determine its domain authority and value to users, it’s important to design your website to be readable by humans first and not Google’s bots. This means that you shouldn’t stuff your content with keywords or follow SEO optimization tools that use robots to check your content.

Instead, focus on creating content that is actually readable. Focus on designing a website that has lots of interesting content for your users to read and stop putting a heavy emphasis on meeting a certain keyword requirement. Yes, the statistics and analytics are important in SEO, but arguably the most important statistic is how many people visit and stay on your website, and that’s usually down to honest high-quality content.

Some Vital Ways to Make Your Business More Efficient

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If your business is lacking in efficiency, it’s up to you to make the right kinds of changes. It’s important than you do this because in the world of business, inefficiency can lead to wasted resourced and that can end in the failure of the business. So, it’s clearly something that all entrepreneurs need to take seriously. Here are some ways to improve your efficiency levels.

Track Productivity and Spot Issues

By tracking productivity in your workplace, you can see how and when problems are emerging and tackle them more effectively. If you know that efficiency is a problem for you but you’re not really sure why that is, tracking productivity levels and spotting issues earlier is one way to put that right. There are all kinds of ways of doing this and your approach should depend on your business.

Streamline Appointment Scheduling

If you run a business that takes appointments from customers or clients, it makes sense to think about the scheduling system you use. By finding a modern Online Appointment Scheduling, you’ll be able to make this core aspect of your business far more streamlined and easier to use for everyone involved. It could save you a lot of time and improve the satisfaction of customers, so you business will benefit as a result.

Outsource Some Repetitive and Non-Core Activities

There are lots of things that can be outsourced nowadays and this is something that you should definitely try to consider as a realistic option. If there are tasks that are repetitive and non-core, you should think about saving yourself some time and resources by outsourcing these kinds of things. It’s something that will really pay off for you in the end. You’ll then be able to focus on the things that you consider more important.

Work on Your Long-Term Technology Plan

You need to have a good technology plan in place for your workplace because no matter what kind of business you run, technology is more than likely going to play a big part in it. Think about how you can update and upgrade things now. But also think about how you might start planning for the future and how changes might occur further down the line. It’s definitely worth thinking about.

Improve Your Communication Methods

Communication methods can really hold you back if they’re not quite right. Why slow down your business just because you haven’t planned properly for communication? It happens a lot but it shouldn’t be something that you let happen to you. Think about where and how you can make improvements going forward in this department. It could make your business much more efficient.

If you’ve been struggling to make your business as efficient as it can be, these are the kinds of changes that you’ll need to make. Each of them will help you to take steps in the right direction and ensure you don’t waste money or resources going forward, so put in place these changes as soon as possible.

Lagging Behind? Here’s How To Bring Your Business Into The 21st Century

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Let’s be honest, business now is a lot different to how it was a few decades ago. Technology has taken the world – and businesses – by storm, and there are many pressing issues now that simply weren’t discussed previously. But how do you say goodbye to the ghosts of business past, and embrace a new way of working that is more in line with 21st century ideals?

There are plenty of ways to do so, whether you’re a small business owner or you’ve climbed the ladder into large business leadership. But what are they, and how do you do it?

Embrace intersectionality

In the modern world, intersectionality is everything. For too long, the office has been the stomping ground of the rich white man, and many women and minority groups are fighting back and making their claims to the roles that they deserve. Sure, there is still a lot of work to be done, but hiring people based upon their merits – rather than archaic ideas – will be what helps your business to move forward.

Remove the hierarchy

Millennials in business have a different approach to leadership now, and it’s one that seems to be working pretty well. Instead of having a rigid hierarchy, many startups that put everybody on an equal footing are coming together, so that ideas can be shared and utilized more efficiently. Needless to say, this works a lot better than one person making all of the decisions, so spread the authority a little!

Use social media well

Social media is one of those things that almost everybody uses on a day-to-day basis. If you want to be able to stay in the game as a business, then you need to use social media wisely (and well). If you can pull this off, then it will really help to cement your reputation as a serious, modern business. Why, you ask? Because many people’s first port of call will be your Facebook and Instagram pages.

Break conventions

Business in the 21st century is all about breaking conventions. People are really pushing the boundaries in many fields, and seeing what actually works instead of toeing the same old line. Don’t be afraid to try out something new, and to revolutionize the way that your business functions. Whether it’s going to a marijuana business conference or shaking up leadership, you’ll see a difference.

Allow working from home

Although we’ve been stuck in those inflexible working patterns for the past few decades, working from home is now seen as one of the best ways to improve the happiness and productivity of your team. Allow them to stay at home for a day or two a week, and you’ll immediately see the difference in your office vibe. This is a huge trust exercise, but it almost always pays off in the end.

So, if you want to bring your old-fashioned business into the modern day, then try to implement some of these ideas in your office. Good luck, and have fun embracing the 21st century!

Is Your Office Really Fit For Purpose?

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There are few things more exciting than the moment that your business reaches the point where it can get out of your garage or spare room and into a dedicated office space. For a lot of startups, it can feel like the moment that they have finally become legitimate and can compete on the same stage as far more established companies. Of course, that’s not to say that the move to a dedicated office space isn’t going to be something that involves a decent degree of challenge. The biggest challenge can often be ensuring that your office is fit for purpose when it comes to the needs of your employees. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do in order to make sure that your office is always fit for purpose.

Space

Space is going to be one of the most important things that you need to think about when it comes to your office. After all, the last thing you want is to end up in a position where you and your employees simply don’t have the room to move around each other. Not only is that inconvenient but it also presents some genuine safety hazards. However, you also don’t want to go too far in the other direction. If you’ve only got a few employees then you’re not going to need a huge, expensive office that’s a complete waste of space and money.

Facilities

Your office is going to require the right facilities for the needs of your employees and without them, you’re just going to end up running into problems. You’ve probably already considered the obvious stuff like bathrooms but you also need to think about things like baby changing facilities for any employees who are parents and a bike shelter for employees who don’t drive into work. These kinds of things are often easily neglected but they are often just as essential as facilities than just about anything else in your office.    

Remote working options

In the modern age, the idea of what an office really is has been undergoing quite a significant change. More and more businesses are finding that their office can function as a theoretical framework for their business as much as a physical one. By being willing to embrace remote working options you’re going to give your employees the kind of flexibility that they need to avoid burning out or losing out on their personal lives because of work. That can, in turn, increase their satisfaction and motivation to do the best work possible for your business.

Of course, these are just a few options for you to think about. It’s important to remember that there are always going to be specific things that you need to think about in terms of what your business needs from your office space as well as the needs of specific employees. It’s essential that you take the time to really think about the specifics of your business when looking for the right office space.

Protecting Your Brick And Mortar Store From A Storm

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Although online businesses have major advantages over real-world businesses, they still don’t have the charm of a retail store. A brick and mortar store is something you can touch, see and smell. It’s a bit of an experience for customers as they walk in and absorb your business for the first time. However there are inherent weaknesses to a real-world store also because it has to stand tall against the elements. That’s one of the biggest worries that small business owners have. How they will fair in a situation like Hurricane Katrina is always in the back of their minds. Thankfully however many things have changed and we are seeing new ways of protecting your business from such an event. Bear in mind that sometimes you just cannot avoid some damages as mother nature is all-powerful. But here’s how you can make a start.

Tying up loose ends

The number one way storms hurt businesses in the real world is through projectile damage. This is when the storm winds are so violent that they pick up lightweight objects and hurl them at your storefront. Things like sign stands, loose objects like trash cans and products that you showcase outside can turn dangerous. So avoid any of these sorts of happenings you can move everything inside quickly. Store the racks and signs in your storage space or just leave them closer to the exit so they’re easier to get back out again. Another thing you can do is to fit storm shutters so they can quickly be deployed and protect the entirety of your storefront.

Gutter and fold

Awnings are especially vulnerable to storms as they are essentially sails in the wind that get picked up or blown flat off their hinges. However the sudden increase in rain is also a concern because the build up is not usually taken into account. Awnings are not really designed to take many liters of rainwater and still be left standing. If you do suffer such damage you can contact a professional awnings repair company and keep the same awning you have but just have it fixed up. Obviously, it’s far cheaper than replacing it by buying a brand new one. They can also reinforce the awning with storm resistant measures such as bolstering the joint supports and using better materials. You can have a word with them to get your desired style as well.

Regular sweeping

Wet carpets during storm season are a pain to walk on. They also bring inside the store a bad smell as grit and dirt are sunk deeper into the weaves. Therefore the simple way to manage the incoming water is to just send an employee to regularly sweep the water away from the front of the store. This will also limit the chances of a customer slipping and being injured from water inside your store.

Any real world store has to make sure it is protected against storms. The wind damages windows and entrances of stores by hurling loose objects at them. Bringing signs and products indoors until after the storm can avoid this altogether.

Saving The Planet- It’s Our Responsibility as Millennials

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As millennials, unfortunately the earth we inherited hasn’t been left to us in the best shape. A hole in the ozone layer, deforestation, acid rain, hundreds of thousands of animal species extinct and entire ‘islands’ of plastic washing up in the ocean highlight just some of the issues. While much of this was down to greed and irresponsibility, a lot of it also came about due to lack of understanding and education- now we know more it’s up to us to put this into practice. It really is our responsibility as millennials- now we know what the issues are (and how to halt/ reverse them) to do what we can to help the planet. Thankfully, there are lots of things that each of us can do that take very little effort but add up in a big way. Here are some ideas.

Use less water

Water is one of our most valuable resources. Diamonds and precious metals like gold are worthless in comparison, we absolutely need water to be able to survive as a species. The problem is that most of us waste too much of it, and the cleaning process is damaging as it uses fossil fuels. Start getting showers instead of baths, turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth and stop using tap water on your garden! Get yourself a rainwater tank from a company like National Poly Industries, let it fill and use this on your lawn and plants during dry spells.

Reduce your plastic waste

Plastic is causing massive, massive damage to the environment. It’s reached the stage now where it’s entering the human food chain, having devastating impacts that we can’t even truly predict right now. It’s difficult to be perfect when it comes to plastic as so many of the products we need are packaged in the wasteful, single use stuff but do what you can. Switch to a milk delivery service that uses (and reuses) glass bottles. Stop buying single use products like pens, razors and ink cartridges. Make sure any plastic you do use is being recycled correctly, recycling isn’t the answer unfortunately although it’s definitely better than nothing. As time goes on, we can expect companies to be producing less single use plastic and more eco friendly options which does make our lives easier as consumers.

Keep food waste down

Most of us as kids probably heard ‘eat your dinner, there are children in the world starving’ at one time or another. While the sentiment might be there (and reducing food waste is crucial) we all know the thinking behind this isn’t quite right. The reason we need to reduce food waste is twofold. First, the resources use to create food damage the environment. Plants and animals need water, and animals also need food which takes time and space to grow. Farm machinery such as ploughs and other harvesting devices all produce their own emissions and pollution. Disposing of food waste is also damaging, and filling up landfill and incinerators to get rid of it also has detrimental effects on the environment. Get organized so you’re only buying what you need. Get into the habit of freezing or preserving food before it goes off, and anything that does spoil, put into your own personal compost heap in your garden.