Expansion Of Your Business Now That Lockdown Is Easing

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There is no denying that it has been a tough couple of months for all businesses. Having to ride the storm of the global pandemic and figure out not only how to function in a new world but also to continue to make money in an ever changing community. It has been tough. However, lockdown is easing and people are starting to get used to this new normal. But what can you do to start expanding your business and moving it forward now that lockdown is easing? Here are some of the things to consider.

Continue to diversify your business

One of the first things to think about when it comes to your business is to continue to diversify it in any way that you can. You will have likely had to think on your feet when the anemic got serious and you had no way of functioning normally. It may have meant you offering up more online focused points of sale or even diversifying with different products and services. Keep with the changes that have proved successful and build upon them in any way that you can. This is the perfect opportunity to make some decent changes to the direction that your business can take. 

Make some changes to your online presence

Another thing to focus on now more than ever is your online presence. Many people have no choice but to shop online these days which often means that the shops that once were popular are no longer needed. It is a good idea to work on your digital presence when it comes to your business. This will be things such as your social media platforms and ensuring that you build your following organically. Another thing to think about would be to consider your website and how you are portrayed online. It might be worth focusing on SEO and looking at the content that you have on your website. 

Give manufacturing a go

It could be that sourcing your products is difficult due to restrictions in other countries, so it might be time to look at ways that you can manufacture your products yourself. Whether you need to think about a production line, find a space that you can house the industrial products that you use and even hiring staff in order to operate it, you might find that in the long term the investment will pay off. Plus manufacturing your own products gives you greater flexibility when it comes to product changes. 

Value your time and focus on areas you can change 

Last of all, it is very important for you to place a value on your time. This means that you should focus on the areas where you can make the most difference. Now more than ever it is important to use your time wisely, and if you are not going to be able to do things well, look at outsourcing it instead. This could make a big difference to your output. 

Let’s hope these tips help you when it comes to expanding your business after lockdown.

Technology In Balance: How To Keep Your Business Human-Centered

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It is common in business these days to decry the impact of technology. We’re told that it takes away the personal touch, and that it is off-putting to customers who face an ever-decreasing chance to speak to “a real person”. There are, it’s true, plenty of ways in which an increasingly digital age can leave the customer feeling alienated – but if we look deeper, it’s not technology that’s at fault there; it’s got more to do with the cost-saving drive to automation meaning that workforces can be smaller and work more impersonal.

So, what if you are a business that wants to make the best use of technology and retain both the worker-centered ethos of its past as well as a customer-friendly face? Can you have the best of both worlds, embracing progress while staying true to traditional values? You can; but you need to ensure a balance by keeping the following in mind…

Technology can be molded to your needs

Anyone who has looked into the opportunities offered by automation and technology will know perfectly well exactly how much can be done by “machines”. They can make calls, take calls, write letters, reply to live chat messages, keep a count of stock, and much more besides. At some point in the future, it will be possible for every single thing in a business to be done by robots – but it won’t have to be, and that’s the key point. Use technology to make things easier, by all means – but just because a computer program can do something, that doesn’t mean it has to.

The “Goldilocks” principle

If everything in a business had to be done by hand, it would take forever and customers would end up getting frustrated. If everything was instead done by automated machines, that could still be frustrating for any customer who had the kind of specific enquiry that required outside-the-box thinking. Many businesses find that technology is best applied to the “big” stuff like monitoring sites, and you can click here to see how that works in oil fields as an example. This division of labour allows more people to be assigned to key customer-assisting duties, where a human brain is essential and where empathy can be a huge boon. 

People can work without tech, not vice versa

A boss can easily be tempted to replace more jobs in their business with automatons; machines won’t query their orders, don’t need breaks and can’t turn up late. There is, however, a very clear failing that tech can’t escape. Let’s sum it up in this way: if a human worker is not performing, a machine can’t take a look at them and get them working better, like human IT staff can help with a failing machine. In other words, humans are essential to a business, so your working practices should always be designed with your human workers in mind. Remember, your customers are also human – your business should reflect that.

Tech will continue to be influential on business, and its hold is set to grow in times to come. That’s not a bad thing, as long as you recognize the importance of keeping the right balance between people and machines in your business.

Moving Your Business Into a Building? Here’s What You Need to Know

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If you’re a small business owner and you’ve started to see continual growth, that’s something you should be proud of! Small businesses are currently playing a huge role in overall economic growth in the U.S, and they have been for a while. The first three quarters of 2014 alone saw small businesses add 1.4 million jobs

With business growth, however, often comes the issue of “outgrowing” your current workspace. Whether you started your business from home or you’ve always had a small office, it’s never a bad thing to upgrade – especially if you’re adding more employees to your operation. 

If you really want to move forward with your business, you’ll need the right space to do so. But, moving to a new location for the first time can feel overwhelming. With that in mind, let’s look at a few tips you can use to make the transition to a new space easier on you and your employees, so you can continue to grow and achieve success.

Set a Budget

As you start looking at new spaces, it’s important to have a set budget in mind. While you consider the cost of the building itself (or the monthly rent), don’t forget about other fees and hidden costs you might face. 

Additionally, it’s important to think about any upgrades or renovations you might want to do and include those in the cost. Things like upgrading appliances, putting in new carpet, using roof coating, or even just painting and remodeling can all cost money, so include renovation factors into your budget before you make a final space decision. 

Research the Right Locations

You might think you’ve found the dream location for your business, but there are many things to consider aside from the size and functionality of the building. 

Will it be easy for people to get to, including your employees, suppliers, clients, etc.? What is the crime rate in the surrounding neighborhood? Are there any other businesses nearby? When you move into a building, you want to become a part of your community as quickly as possible, just like when you move into a new home. If the area around that building feels like a ghost town, it might not be the best place for you. 

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Moving is stressful, no matter what. Even if you have everything perfectly organized and you have a timeline in place, it’s not easy. So, give yourself plenty of time to transition from one building to another. 

You might even consider a “staggered” move so operations can continue in your current business space while you slowly integrate more employees and equipment into the new space. It can make the move easier for everyone and won’t feel as overwhelming. Staggering your move will also have less of an impact on workflow, so you’ll still be able to meet deadlines and work directly with your clients without feeling disrupted. 

Congratulations on outgrowing your initial business space. Keep these tips in mind to make your growth easier, so you can focus on an upward momentum, instead of getting tied up in the details of a building.

What Does Your Company Need From You Right Now?

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At different times throughout the year, or even different years throughout the lifespan of your business, it will require different things from you. Every business grows in its own way. And as the market chances and trends come and go, it’s safe so that those needs are ever evolving. And that’s fantastic. But the most important thing is that you know what your company needs from you at any given point. And then, you are able to ensure that you are working on that. So, do you know what your company needs from you right now? What you should be putting your time and attention on? If not, let’s look at a few ideas that could be relevant.

A Big Sales Push

First of all, you may find that what your company really needs from you right now is a good old-fashioned sales push. If you know that you’ve just been coasting along, it’s time to make a change there. Instead of just seeing what happens, take action. It’s so important for you to think about what you can do to grow. Setting goals will help then creating an action plan is definitely the way forward.

Security

The next thing to think about is security. And this will mean something different to everyone. Maybe it’s your physical security you’re concerned about? Or is it the security of your staff and equipment while at work? Maybe a CCTV system on the premises and fleet dash cam systems are what you need? It could even be cyber security that you’re concerned about. If so, you’ll want to consult with a specialist company to get that in place.

Organization

Or, it could just be that you need to be a lot more organized right now. When that’s the case, you’re likely to find that you need to bring more systems and procedures in place. Don’t know where your files are? Create a system. No plan for marketing? Create a plan. Not sure how best to approach a taste? Put a procedure in place. Being a lot more organized can often really transform your business.

More Staff

It could even be that you know you need more staff. When this is the case, it’s time to start hiring. So, ask yourself – who do you need right now? What kind of support will help you to grow? Make sure that you’re bringing on people that will add value to what you’re doing and will help you to reach the business goals.

A Better Marketing Effort

Or maybe you know that you need to put a lot more focus on your marketing? When that’s the case, you’ll really want to ensure that you are connecting with your customers a lot more, then maybe it’s marketing you need to focus on right now? It can be fun to pull together a marketing plan for your company, and to decide exactly what you’re going to work on to help the business to grow.

Moving Your Business from One Place to Another

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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!

Grow Your Business Without Stretching Yourself Thinly

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When it comes to business and working for ourselves, the aim of the game is to grow and make it a thriving success. You are finally doing something that you feel passionate about, and that you are making money from with a flexible working and home life approach. However, the problem you may have is stretching yourself too thinly. There are a lot of plates to spin and sometimes too much to think about. With that in mind, here are some of the ways that you can grow your business without losing your mind.

Outsourcing where needed 

One of the biggest temptations that all business owners will have when it comes to their business is to manage and complete everything themselves. If you want a job done properly, you may as well do it, right? Wrong! This is where you end up not doing things to the best of your ability. Outsourcing can be a real asset to your business, and there are many avenues you can choose, depending on your strengths and weaknesses. Companies like Simplified can offer things such as IT services, websites you find online will give you access to freelancers who can take on roles such as website development or social media management. Work out where your time is best focused, and then consider outsourcing the other elements. 

Working on your time management 

You might need to take some time out to figure out some of the best processes that work for you when it comes to time management. As a business owner, even if you do outsource certain aspects of your workload, you will still need to manage your time and prioritize the things that need to be done quickly. This is when looking into different time management options can help you to succeed in this. There could be many different things you could consider and try that work for you. 

Analyzing your business regularly 

Each week or month, depending on the type of business you have, it will be worth it to sit down and analyze the results. This might be the amount of sales, and the popular times in which they were made. What brought those customers to your business? Was it a deal or an advert? Then look at other things such as website analytics, the demographics of your customers. These things can help you to make better decisions about things moving forward. 

Making allowances 

Finally, even though you may be a business working from home, it is also important for you to make some allowances. This could be anything from having a storage unit for your stock, a dedicated office in your home to help you work better, or even getting to the stage where you lease an office or shop and hire staff. These are exciting prospects and could definitely be a great way to help you move the business forward without stretching yourself and could help you to be more successful moving forward. 

Let’s hope these options have given you something to think about within your business.

Growing Your Business – Considerations You Should Make

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We live in an exciting age – we can grow out little homes business incredibly fast now. We have the ability to grow our customer base exponentially with the use of social media, newsletters, online advertisements, and of course, personal engagement. How do you go from one person behind a computer to a team? Once you are ready to take that step, you can visit us at prim-software.com to help you figure it out. 

But, how can you make changes in order to give yourself the best shot at growing?

Targeting

Many businesses will choose between targeting the market as a whole or target customers. You, however, will do both. While it is always prudent to know who your audience is in terms of:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender 
  • Income bracket
  • And how they access your point of sale (online)

You should always remember that there are more people you can turn into customers. It isn’t very often that a product will have a single demographic. So, consider this a challenge. Who else could use your products, and how will you market to them? Once you have an idea of who they are, you will be able to pin down the best medium to advertise to them in. 

Products

Your minimum viable product is going to be your workhorse. People purchase it, the sales continue to pour in, and the margins are pretty good. However, in order to really start making more sales, you are going to have to offer more products – eventually. So, think about what would complement your current offering. People like choice (but not too much choice because of that paradox of choice situation) and more than 2 or 3 options are usually better. 

The easiest way to work out what else you should be offering is simply by asking your current customers what they would like to see. You are trying to satisfy those who buy from you now and expand to those who don’t. 

Once you think you have something, ask again. You always need to focus on supply and demand. If your customers are demanding a new product, then work out how to make that happen. 

Sell, Again

If your customers have experienced excellent customer service from you, purchased with ease, had minimal complications and generally a good experience, they are much more likely to come back and buy again. You have all the information you need at your fingertips already. Where did they visit from? Twitter? Facebook? How long did they spend, and was what they purchased on offer? 

Identify a group of customers who have roughly the same pattern and create a mailout. In the mailing, put in items slightly different from what they purchased – and if you have the scope, provide a discount code too. 

Growth isn’t always a fast process, it takes dedication, some time investment, and research into who your current buyers are. But, once you use the analytics you have to their fullest, you can maximize your sales and performance of critical products.

Onwards and Upwards

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You’re going great, your business is ticking along nicely and you’re feeling relaxed and in control of your life. Should you take your foot off the gas? Absolutely not, it’s at this point you’re in the perfect position to take time out and think about where you’re business is going next.

If you’re hitting your targets month on month then consider upping those targets. Yes, you want them to be realistic but without challenging yourself you’ll never fully realize what it is you’re capable of or how much more you’re capable or earning. 

In this article we take a look at some key ways you can drive your business forward and find some inspiration to take your company to the next level.

Reach Out to Customers

You might not see the immediate need to talk to your customer base but re-connecting and finding an opportunity to get your brand into their inbox is never a wasted opportunity.

Start by thinking about something like a customer survey. What useful questions could you ask a customer that would make them feel listened to and help you to make some of those little changes that enhances your customers’ experience of dealing with your site?

Send out a survey with specific, actionable questions being aware at what time you’re sending and how long it takes to complete. You know your customers well enough by now and if the majority are office work-based women, aged between 20 to 35, you’ll realize that first thing on a Monday is not a great time when everyone catches up on emails and begins planning for the week ahead.

Revamp Your Site

As your business grows so your website needs to grow with it and if you want to stay fresh and relevant then think about how you might up your game in terms of your site. Talk to a web design agency about what changes might enhance your customer’s experience but also adding some more engaging visual elements as well.

Don’t be afraid to be bold with any changes, now’s the time to make these kinds of decisions, particularly if you know that they’re a sound investment for the long term success of your business.

Your business can stand up to being challenged and being given the chance to grow. Giving yourself the opportunity to find new and better ways to talk to and attract customers is something every business should take part in regularly but when things are going well, you have the luxury of being able to do it with relatively little pressure.

Run through your website from a customer perspective and experience what it’s like to find information, make inquiries and purchase your goods or services from start to finish. Be honest about your experience and make those little tweaks that will have your customers coming back for more. Grow your business, grow your profits and see just what you’re capable of as you take your company up to the next level.

3 Attractive Qualities That Will Bring The Best Employees

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Are you keen to make your business the best it can be? Well, then you need to make sure that you get the right team on staff. Build up your numbers with highly skilled workers who can take your company to the next level on the market. But how do you do this? How do you make sure that your business is seen as a worthy enterprise to the best workers who are going to be highly sought after? Well, there are a few ways to draw employees in.

Most business owners focus on pay levels as well as other similar incentives. But, you might be surprised to learn about some other company qualities that are sure to gain the interest of the best employees and candidates. Let’s look at some of these possibilities.

Tech Orientated

Yes, you may want to start to be thinking about the role that technology has to play in your company. Basically, you need to show employees that your business is prepared for the future and all the challenges that come with it. This means that you should be investing in the latest tech and software. There are a variety of reasons why you should do this. It improves productivity and ensures that your company remains efficient.

In the eyes of the employee, it also suggests that your business is future proof. No one wants to join a company that could fail within the next few years because then they’ll be right back to square one. As well as this if you have an IT support system in place, employees won’t have to worry about your tech failing, making their job more difficult. You can click here for more info about this issue and the solution you need to avoid it.

Incentives Other Than Pay

It’s important to note that there are other incentives to consider beyond the pay level you can offer employees. For instance, you might want to think about dangling the possibility of growing in their position. No employee wants to be stuck in a dead end job and if you set up the right structure this never has to be the case. Make sure you let them know that you will be investing in their future path and pushing to make sure they get the opportunities they need. This is going to lead to a higher level of job satisfaction and potentially help you avoid employee churn.

A Solid Future Plan

Finally, you need to make sure that you are showing employees that you have a solid plan for the future. Investors in your business want to know that you’re in it for the long haul. Well, employees want the same. They want to understand that you do have a five-year plan in place and strategies for growth on the market. If you show them this, they will be far more likely to sign on the dotted line. It’s important to be completely transparent with these plans and ensure that you are open to ideas and opinions of the people you hire.

6 Things You Can Outsource In Your Business

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When it comes to running your own business it can be hard to deal with your workload when it starts to grow, especially if you’re running your business alone. Whilst it may feel hard to give you responsibility to someone else, outsourcing tasks can be a great way to take your business to the next level. With that in mind, here are 6 things you can outsource within your business:

– Content and Copywriting

If you’re struggling to produce regular content for your blog and website, you can hire some to do your content and copywriting for you. Whether it’s writing product descriptions for your website or keeping your blog up to date every week, having someone write for you will take a weight off your shoulders. This is particularly for those that see the value of content marketing, but may not necessarily have the skills to produce content themselves. For more information when it comes to hiring a content writer, you can visit this site here.

– Social Media Scheduling

Another great task to outsource is social media scheduling, especially as this can take up a lot of your time. If you’re struggling to schedule social media for your business channels, hiring someone to do it for you could be a cost-effective way to ensure you’re always putting content out there. Whether you hire someone just to schedule or someone to manage your platforms for you, you will find that a lot of your time is freed up to work on other important aspects of your business.

– Graphic Design and Web Development

If you don’t have any skills when it comes to graphic design and web development, hiring someone to do them for you could be the best way to ensure your business has a professional look. Whether you hire them on a retainer basis or you use them for one-off projects, both graphic designers and web developers could be a valuable tool for your business. For more information when it comes to hiring a web developer, you can visit this site here.

– Your IT Support Services

If you’re struggling when it comes to IT, hiring an agency to help if a great idea. Whether you’re experiencing a lot of issues or you have a technical side to your business that you don’t understand, having an IT support team on call could be really beneficial. Not only will they be able to help you when any issues arise, but they’ll also be able to offer advice when it comes to running your business. For more information, you can visit Forsythes here.

– Personal Assistant Services

When it comes to running a business it can be easy to let the smaller tasks slide. Whether it’s replying to emails or keeping track of appointments, hiring a personal assistant could help free up a lot of your time. Whilst they may require a bit of training, to begin with, soon enough they will be able to keep your business on track without any assistance. What more could a busy entrepreneur want?

– Public Relations

Finally, if you’re looking to extend your business reach through the media, hiring a public relations assistant could be a great move. Whether it’s hiring them full time or asking them to assist with a particular project or campaign, a PR could help your business be seen by thousands and thousands of people.

Are you considering outsourcing certain aspects of your business? What do you have in mind? Let me know in the comments section below.