How To Make Your Work From Home Business More Professional

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Running a business from home is a luxury that many are taking to because of the convenience of the job. Being able to work your own hours and at your own pace is something that many people long for, especially if you have other commitments in your life like young children or elderly parents to care for. The only problem with running a business from home is that you can struggle to come across as a legitimate and professional business. However, there are some great ways to make sure that this is no longer a problem. Check it out:

Create a kick ass website

One thing that all great and successful businesses have in common is a website that shows how professional they really are. Invest in a web design company that can create the perfect look for your website. Remember to make it so that your website is easy to navigate around. Having a website that’s too complicated will turn potential customers away and straight towards your nearest competitor. Making sure that your contact details are easily found is also essential so that your interested clients can quickly and easily get in touch if they want your services. Don’t forget to include a price list so people know what they are letting themselves in for!

Have a logo designed

A mistake that many people who run their business from home make is not having a logo for their business made. Having a logo defines your business and imprints your name into people’s minds. Come up with a clean and simple logo design for your business so that you can begin showing it off on social media, your website, and also any paper documents that you send out to clients. Remember to make sure that the colours match the theme of your website, or vice versa with your website matching the colours of your logo.

Invest in a virtual office

One of the biggest problems of running a business from home is having to put your address out there for everyone to see. For obvious reasons, this can lead to trouble further down the line. It also doesn’t look very professional. Rather than giving yourself the hassle of having a disgruntled customer turning up at your door, invest in a virtual office. This will give you a permanent business address for your post and phone calls, and all will be forwarded to your home address. Privacy for you and your home, and professionalism for your business!

Have business cards made

Finally, it’s likely that you will have events to attend at some point during your business life. Whether it’s a networking event or you’re trying to promote your business, having business cards handy to give out will help you grow your business no end. They also add a sense of professionalism and trust; meaning more clients for your business!

Apply these tips to your home business and see the difference it makes becoming more professional!

Overcoming Future Business Challenges That Will Hinder Your Growth

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Growing a business is tough–we all know this. From all the money you pour into your company to the many different legal threats lurking around each corner, there are so many considerations to keep in mind that it can often be overwhelming to new business owners. One of the best ways to overcome those challenges is to plan ahead for future growth, and in this article, we’ll be touching on most of the common subjects to think about when growing your business.

Future-proofing your business

First, let’s discuss the concept of “future proofing”. Future proofing is essentially preparing your business’s workflow for the future. It’s all about upgrading your technology to a point where it can last a long time, or reinforcing business practices so that you have a better chance of staying relevant in the future. There are many ways to future-proof your business, but we’re going to focus on the use of technology in this article.

First, the main problem with technology is that it has to be scalable. This means that no matter how many extra employees you add to your company, your technology needs to be able to support that growth. A good example of this is with your internet connection. If you’re adding a dozen employees then you have to consider the impact it has on your internet connection and networking in general. You’ll need more internet switches, you’ll need a faster and more reliable connection, and you’ll also need to consider IT consulting to actually help you grow in the first place. There are many factors to keep in mind when growing your tech and making it scalable, so make sure you plan ahead by speaking to professionals and getting a rough estimate of the cost involved.

Growing your audience organically

One of the most underrated things in business is slowly and organically growing your company. There are far too many people that focus on speedy and unsustainable growth because they want to seize an opportunity and make the most of it. Sadly, this comes with the added problem that your business is not going to be stable once that initial trend or opportunity falls off.

For example, you could pump your resources into the production of an item you sell that is currently trending. You could speed up production and even use additional capital to produce more varieties of that product. Sadly, if the trend dies out and you eventually lose your grasp on that market, then you’re going to suffer the consequences of wasted capital.

Growing your audience organically means capitalizing on trends, but it also means appealing to your audience, creating a customer profile to follow and also doing your best to monitor trends and not over-commit to something. Take it slowly, do what you can to analyze the market and give your business some space to take risks without overdoing it.

Growing your business is difficult without having a plan, which is why it’s important to think about how you can overcome not just present challenges, but future ones too.

How To Stay Relevant In Business

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It’s not easy staying relevant. As time moves on, so do advances in technology and customer behavior. The unwary business owner will soon be left behind if they don’t play catch-up, and as many have sadly found, they may be forced to close their doors as a consequence.

So, how is it possible to stay relevant in this ever-changing world? There are a number of ways to go about it, future-proofing your business to help you keep your doors open for longer.

  • Research online. Particularly when it comes to new technologies, you can find out most of what you need to know online. By visiting popular technology websites, you will quickly get the heads up on the latest technologies you need to be looking out for. Not every tech will be relevant to your business, and there are times when you may choose to sit out what could be a passing fad, but it’s still worth knowing what is happening now  and in the near future.

 

  • Ditch old technologies. By using old technology, you are making the lives of your employees harder, and losing respect and recognition from industry peers. While you don’t need to get rid of everything, there are still those newer technologies that will help you remain current. We are thinking fax over voip in favour of your old (and expensive) fax machine gathering dust in the corner of your office. We are thinking of cloud technology, rather than traditional methods of storing data. And we are thinking ‘live chat’ options on your website as a better means of staying in touch with your customers. Not every technology is here to stay, but these are some of the modern trends that will better serve your staff and customers.

 

  • Keep an eye on the competition. Particularly when you notice your sales drop, you do need to take notice of what your rivals are up to. Are their products better than yours? Are they using the latest payment methods to better serve the customer? Is their website in line with modern design and functionality? If they are getting more sales than you; if your customers are migrating over to the ‘enemy,’ you need to take note and make the effort to both match and beat them to give your customers what they want.

 

  • Survey your customers. Don’t second guess customer trends. Find out ‘straight from the horse’s mouth,’ using popular services such as SurveyMonkey to formulate a survey that can be passed on to your customers through email or social media. This is an easy way to conduct market research, and when you have the relevant data to hand, you can take action and update your operation accordingly.

 

  • Follow industry leaders. Who are the people influencing your industry? It may be a thought leader or a particular company that is spearheading change. Follow them on social media, read any literature they produce, attend industry events to speak and listen  to them, and learn from their example. There are people in the business world that are here today and gone tomorrow, but for those who have been in the game a long time, it is worth taking notice of what they have to say.

To survive in business, you need to stay ahead of the curve. Use our advice as a springboard to help you stay relevant in business for many more years to come.

5 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Are Still Making In 2018

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As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to make mistakes. However, it’s also easy to learn from the mistakes of others so that you don’t keep on repeating the mistakes that they have made. There are a number of resources out there that can help you to stop making the mistakes that others are making in 2018 – so why are people still making these mistakes?

In this post, we’re going to lay everything out for you plain and simple. Take a look at the 5 mistakes that entrepreneurs are still making in 2018.

Losing Their Focus

Losing your focus can be easy in the first year or so of starting a business. You need to avoid losing your focus so you can keep on driving your new business forward no matter what. Losing your focus means becoming complacent, and that will not help you to grow your business to the proportions you’re hoping.

Write down the reasons you started your business and keep them somewhere you can see them. Every day, you can then outline what things you’re going to be focusing your attention on for the day.

Trying To Do Everything Alone

Trying to do everything alone is a fool’s game. Don’t be too proud to get help, especially when you’ve started and you see a need for another skill that you don’t have. You can’t do everything. Employees may be necessary to help you deal with your workload and bring skills you haven’t got to the table. Outsourcing is a popular option too, as it takes away much of the responsibility associated with hiring employees.

You could even consider getting a coach or mentor to help you to look at things objectively and move forward through the hard times.

Being Impatient

No matter how well you plan or how hard you work, you can’t expect your business to blow up in the first few weeks, months, or even years. Being patient is key to a successful business. This is why celebrating even the small victories is important! Wanting to improve is great, but you just can’t rush things.

A great marketing plan will help you to grow your business, but you still can’t rush. Make sure you know the ins and outs of things like A/B testing, social media marketing, and Google squared. If you’re wondering what is Google Squared? You can find out more with the help of numerous resources.

Poor Hiring Decisions

Poor hiring decisions can haunt you for a while, especially if you have to get rid of the hires you made eventually. Avoid making poor hiring decisions by going for people who are a good fit for the company and culture, rather than the cost.

Starting A Second Business Too Early

You may have had this business for a year or so, but waiting a while before you start a second business will ensure you’re not making a huge mistake.

Avoid making the above mistakes and you should experience fewer issues with your business!

How to Go Green in Your Home Office

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If you have a home business or are looking to get into having a home office, then you are in the prime position to start going green. There are hundreds of things you can do to make your office more environmentally friendly.

Some of these are common sense, and others are quick tips to help you tackle going green a little easier.

Turn off your computer totally when not in use. There is no need to put it in sleep mode or rest. Just save everything properly and turn it off.

Update you stand-by settings and set the times for the standby mode to kick in within about 30 minutes of you not using your computer (during working hours).

Make sure all of you electrically equipment is up-to-date. While you might think ‘it works perfectly well, so there is no need to replace’ and there is some truth in that, the newer technology is much eco-friendlier, simply by being more energy efficient.

Use a scheme to recycle your old computers, rather than just get rid of them.

Replace all of your bulbs with LEDs wherever possible, they use around 75% less energy than standard light bulbs. And, last longer too, saving money in the long term.

Rather than have darker décor and use a lot of lighting to lift it, swap for some whiter – lighter walls. It reflects light better and will be well lit for longer during the day – meaning you’ll be reaching for the light switch less.

Whenever possible, refrain from printing – however, if you do need to print something, switch to recycled paper and use both sides. Again, newer printers will have this option, so it is worth the upgrade.

Aim to get a printer with an eco-mode.

Recycle your used printer and toner cartridges.

If you find yourself either grabbing bottled water on the way to the office or stocking up on bottled water then switch to something like a 30 oz yeti rambler, they keep drinks cooler for longer, and you won’t be trucking through so much one-use plastic.

When picking office supplies, try and get things like staple-less staplers and pens that can be refilled rather than just thrown away.

Try and find a program that recycles anything in your office that you notice you use a lot of.

Add some plants to your office space, not only does it do wonders for your productivity, but they also do their own air recycling. Keeping your office air cleaner and better for you.

Add a note to the bottom of your emails with a friendly reminder that unless it is essential not to print the email.

Where possible, ensure that if you are buying anything, you look for an eco-friendly brand or one that specializes in recycled materials.

You can even swap out your current cleaning products to ones that are less damaging to the environment.

Going green is natural if you tackle it bit by bit!

Hey Entrepreneurs: How You Manage Your Down Time This Summer Matters!

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There’s nothing more liberating and emancipating than being your own boss. All those years spent trying to climb the greased pole that was the corporate ladder were so frustrating that they were beginning to take a toll not only on your sense of self worth but your mental health. You slaved for so long under the yoke of the system; overworked, undervalued, under-appreciated and worst of all… Underpaid. The best thing you ever did was quit the day job and dedicate yourself to your own business. Now you run a fully functioning enterprise either from the comfort of your own home or from your very own premises. But while your business may be growing and even thriving and you may now enjoy the freedom and sense of agency that comes with trading the life of a worker drone for a life of entrepreneurship, now it’s more important than ever to guard against entrepreneurial burnout.

As your business expands, so too does your responsibility to it and if you’re not careful, you may become a victim of your own success. With the inevitability of the summer slump draining workplace productivity, it’s likely that you’re working twice as hard and putting in more hard work than ever to compensate for the slump. But this is neither sustainable nor conducive to good health. Carry on like this and you’ll be reduced to an emotionally volatile and creatively stunted shadow of your former self. It’s vitally important that you take some down time. But that doesn’t just mean sitting at home and playing video games (although a little of that is fine too). Here are some genuinely restful activities for downtime which will relax you while also stimulating your mind and body and growing the skills you need to come back to work stronger and smarter than ever…

Boating

What could be more restful than taking your whole family out for some “vitamin sea”. Renting or buying a vessel from Premier Boating and taking to the water is not just a fun way to spend your down time, it also has proven restorative qualities for your mental health. The color blue is known to have calming and stress relieving qualities while watching the ebb and flow of the ocean actually changes our brainwave activity and lulls us into a more meditative state. Likewise all that sunlight and fresh air are nourishing for the mind and body, ensuring that you return to work bursting with new ideas.

Cycling

Cycling is another great way of relieving stress while also ensuring that you get a great anabolic and cardiovascular workout. The act of cycling stimulates both the heart and the mind, ensuring a greater flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, thereby ensuring that you return to work at your most rejuvenated and productive.

Hiking

We all know that a good, brisk walk is a great way to stimulate the mind while also burning a surprising 94-200 calories per 30 minutes depending on speed. Aside from the shot of dopamine and endorphins that come with cardiovascular exercise, you will also get all the mental health and productivity benefits that come with spending time in nature.

Remember, it’s not only important to allow yourself plenty of down time. How you spend it matters too!

UX And SEO: Why They Need To Be Considered As One

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For many years, a lot of business owners and marketing pros for that matter have viewed search engine optimisation and user experience as two separate entities. However, these days are long gone. If you want to rank highly on the search engine result pages, you need to master the art of UX. Both go hand-in-hand. With that being said, read on to find out more.

Why UX matters in terms of SEO

So, why is UX all of a sudden an important factor when it comes to your search engine ranking? Surely it is all about links and keywords? While both are important, UX also plays a critical role. This is because search engines have changed their algorithms over the years so that the most relevant and user-friendly websites rank at the top. They now consider elements such as bounce rate and page load speed when ranking your website. If your website does not offer a good user experience, you are going to struggle to rank highly.

Elements of UX that will impact your SEO

With that in mind, it is a good idea to work on the UX you provide online customers in order to improve your visibility. There are a number of ways you can do this, and here are some examples:

–    Include image tags – Google cannot look at images in the same way that we do. Moreover, some people may not be able to view images on certain devices or if they have a poor connection. This is why adding image tags is a good idea to make sure the UX is the same no matter whether the image uploads or not.

–      Improve the speed of your website – A poor page load speed is one of the main reasons why people leave websites and look elsewhere. Look for ways to increase the speed of your business website, such as deleting large media files, and you will boost the UX and your ranking as a result.

–     Make sure all blog posts and content is over 600 words – Why is this important? Well, it ensures that the content you produce provides value. It sends a signal that the content answers the user’s questions and that it adds value.

–      Ensure your web design is responsive – There is no excuse for having a website that is not optimised for mobile use in 2018. You need to make sure your site can be used and viewed optimally irrespective of the device being used. You can make the most of digital transformation services to assist with this, as companies providing these services can make sure your website’s design is responsive while also improving other UX elements.

So there you have it: hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding the relationship between SEO and UX. You need to master both and consider them as a joint venture if you are going to be able to reach the heights you want to on the search engine result pages.

Running A Business From Home Is Easier Than Ever Before!

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Many people these days find themselves totally dissatisfied with the standard model of employment, that’s hardly anything new. After all, the standard work-a-day world has had a reputation for sucking the life out of people for as long as it’s existed. For decades, people have dreamt of throwing off the shackles of their employer and striking out on their own. People have always wanted to start their own businesses and take charge of their lives. The big difference now is that it’s something that many people are actually able to do. It truly has never been easier to start your own business. One of the major things that have lowered the barrier to entry when it comes to business is that people are, more than ever, are able to run their businesses from the comfort of their own homes. Where you once might have needed a dedicated office space in order to get your startup off the ground, now you really only need the drive, the time and the inclination. Here are a few reasons why it’s never been easier to run a business from home.

Cloud storage

Running a business comes with the need for a pretty hefty amount of storage. This used to mean purely physical storage but over time that was replaced by digital storage. While digital storage definitely takes up less space than physical storage, not many people have the room (or budget) for a large series of servers to store all of their files and information. This is where cloud storage comes in. Cloud storage is essentially a huge network of online servers that allows you to safely and securely store your data. This means that your files and information are always available without taking up huge amounts of room on your personal servers. Not only does this save you huge amounts of space but will also prevent your servers from slowing down due to the massive drain from trying to accommodate all of that storage.

Virtual office

While a virtual office might sound like something from the future, it is in fact very real and extremely useful. One of the biggest roadblocks that a lot of startups face, especially ones run from home, is that they find it difficult to make customers, clients and investors take them seriously. A lot of people will see that a business is run from home and automatically assume that whoever is running that business is doing it as a hobby and perhaps not really that interested in it. This leads them to assume they won’t get the same level of service that they would expect from a more established company. Services like yourvirtualofficelondon.co.uk allow you to present your business in a way that seems far more established. Virtual offices can also include telephone and email services that will make sure that no matter how you are being contacted, your business always seems professional and legitimate.

Of course, none of this means that running your own business is suddenly something easy that everyone in the world can do at the drop of a hat. But it does mean that you don’t have to spend your life stuck in the standard work situation, slowly losing any spark of passions or drive that you once had. Instead, the modern world has allowed people to take control of their lives and their businesses.

So You Want to Run Your Business Remotely?

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Running a business remotely is becoming more popular, especially for new start-ups and the self-employed. The advances in technology of recent years have made this possible and it is a trend that is likely to continue to grow. Then as the business grows and you need workers to help you, is it possible to still run the business remotely?

Embrace Technology

One of the biggest worries for any employer in this situation is if the employees are working the hours and completing the tasks they should be. That need not be a concern anymore. As long as everyone concerned has a good Internet connection and the right software, you will always be aware of these things. Using a cloud-based time and attendance system is a good way to achieve this. You can also set up alerts so that is someone does not sign in when you expect them to, you will be notified.

Keep In Touch With Your Employees

Studies have shown that a digital workplace can empower the digital worker and make them more productive, as long as they have the support they need.  Always keep in touch with the staff, and be there to communicate with them if they encounter a problem. Be vigilant with checking email and voicemails so that you do not miss a message from them, as from their point of view it can be very frustrating if they feel they are being ignored.

Because you are running the business remotely, does not mean the staff is not working together in one place. If you have a workplace for your workers, make sure you visit sometimes so that they are aware that you are always around.

Keeping in touch with your employees will help to keep them motivated and will encourage a team spirit. A base camp for project collaboration is a good idea, and use things such as Skype for face-to-face chats.

Interact With Your Customers

Communicating is one of the most important aspects of running a business remotely, and you should endeavor to do this with your customers as well as your employees. Interacting with them on social media, or replying to emails they send is always crucial as it makes the customer feel they matter, and helps to build trust in your brand.

Employ The Right People

This can be easier said than done because until they have actually worked for a while you will not really know how good they are at their job. When hiring new employees try to opt for people who you think will understand the demands of your business, who are honest and enthusiastic and who will support you as a remote manager.

Just a few years ago the possibility of running your entire business operation remotely was far less of an option, and would even be considered impossible by some, because of all the challenges involved. Now it is so much simpler to do, which is why so many business owners and managers are choosing this way.

How to Increase and Manage Your Social Media Presence

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Building a social media presence is a must for businesses that want to become successful online.  А gооd Іntеrnеt mаrkеtіng strаtеgу nееds tо сrеаtе gооd соntеnt аnd share it асrоss thе sосіаl web, start with a website and use a WordPress landing page creator, this will be where your content starts its journey.

Irrеsресtіvе of whether уоu hаvе а small or big business, you need to have a social presence.  Ѕосіаl mеdіа mаnаgеmеnt іs оnе оf thе еаsіеst wауs tо соnnесt wіth сustоmеrs аnd most businesses have stаrtеd usіng іt tо rеасh thеir tаrgеtеd аudіеnсе.

Create great content

When you create compelling content, users may believe they may need to share this content with the rest of the world.  Use humor аnd рrоvіdе іnsіght sо thаt rеаdеrs want tо shаrе your content with their friends and family. The content has to be visually attractive as this can make a significant impact.

Sharing the content – Make it easy.

You will need to make it easy for the users to share content.  If the visitor to your website is using a mobile to surf your site and there are no visible sharing buttons on the page, they may not be able to share the content, and you may lose оn роssіblе еngаgеmеnt wіth thе сustоmеr. Вusіnеssеs wіll nееd tо mаkе іt еаsу tо shаrе contеnt wіth јust а сlісk оf а button.

Be sociable.

Businesses will need to engage with the audience if they want to be successful.  Networking is a powerful tool, and it can be used to connect with customers, fellow specialists and others in your blog community.  Іt іs еssеntіаl thаt уоu rеsроnd tо аll of your customers as they have spent their valuable time to talk about their thoughts. When you begin responding it recognizes the gratitude you have towards them.

Share your content.

Yоu mау bе аblе tо rеасh а brоаdеr аudіеnсе whеn уоu stаrt shаrіng уоur аrtісlеs іn аs mаnу sосіаl рlаtfоrms аs роssіblе. You can opt to share the content immediately when it’s posted or at an appropriate time in the future.

All articles require proper formatting and an attractive picture so that it’s appealing.  Оnе оf thе thіngs thаt уоu wіll nееd tо avoid is excessive connection dropping. Whеn уоu kеер роstіng еndlеss lіnks tо уоur аrtісlеs, уоu mау gеt blосkеd bу grоuрs, аnd thіs саn сhаngе уоur оnlіnе rерutаtіоn.

Mistakes to avoid in Social Networking management

Insensitive or inappropriate posts that are inflammatory or topics that inspire strong emotions among your viewers need to be avoided. It is vital that you begin with a complete social media marketing strategy.

Identify the most appropriate channels for reaching the target market.  You may need to determine the type of content that may interest the audience and how frequently you may want to view new content.

Тhе соntеnt thаt іs сrеаtеd nееds tо аlіgn реrfесtly wіth уоur brand sо thаt customers саn еngаgе wіth іt еаsіlу.  Νеw рlаtfоrms will nееd tо bе rесоgnіzеd аnd еmbrасеd аs thеу mау bе thе іdеаl sрасе fоr а раrtісulаr рrоduсt оr sеrvісе.

One of the essential things that you will need to remember is that handling a social media account for a business can be time-consuming.  A dedicated team of professionals managing the account may be able to utilize the capacity of your internet presence better.

A little bit of structure and organization can help in handling the account efficiently.  It is best to create a calendar so that you can plan and post systematically. Make use of tools to deal with the multiple accounts and share content across platforms.

Social media is continually changing and what was applicable a month or two earlier may not be relevant now. Yоu wіll nееd tо kеер uр tо dаtе so that you can benefit from the new evolving concepts to reach a broader audience.