Problems With Profit? Address These Issues!

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When it comes to business, the aim of the game is always to turn a profit. You might have escaped the rat race and set up your own venture for reasons other than money, but unless you’re making more than you spend then it simply won’t be a success. For this reason, when profits start to plummet and making money slows down then it can be incredibly stressful for you as the owner. In some cases, it’s a relatively simple fix to get things moving again, other times it can be more sinister and be a clue that your company is on a downward spiral. Here are a few things to consider if you’re noticing your earnings aren’t as good as they were. 

Unreliable equipment

Most businesses will have equipment that they need to make their company run, it could be anything from industrial printers to ovens to forklift trucks depending on the nature of your business. When these pieces of kit break down, it can mean time and money lost in your company; while occasional breakdowns will happen no matter what you do, if they’re happening all the time then something needs to be done. It can be a struggle for smaller or newer companies, when you don’t have the cash up front to buy new and the most modern equipment then you might feel your only choice is to go second hand. But there are ways around this, for example you could hire equipment from a third party company. While there will be costs each week, month or year, if anything goes wrong and it breaks down then it will be fixed with no expense to you. Providing of course that you weren’t responsible for the breakdown. This gives you peace of mind, and later down the line when you’ve earned more money you can look into investing in high quality equipment yourself. Once you do, make sure your equipment is insured so that if anything goes wrong, a replacement or repair can be organized quickly. Having some form of backup equipment or making sure you’re ahead with work means if you are stuck without an item you need, you’re not losing money or letting down clients or customers with orders.  

Theft

Theft costs companies serious amounts of money. Maybe you’re a shop and thieves are putting smaller items into their pocket, or it perhaps an organized have managed to steal large amounts of stock, money or data. Always ensure that your premises are firmly locked up with proper security measures to try and avoid this, such as lockable shutters and a sturdy safe. Don’t keep excessive amounts of money overnight, even if you feel it’s safely locked away- you’re much better off arranging regular cash collections. 

Unsuitable marketing

When it comes to marketing, you really do  need to spend money to make money. It’s not enough to have a good business selling things that people want, with so much competition out there you need to get the word out there to the right customers. Marketing can be expensive but its something within your control, you can work with a marketing agency who will put you on the right path to success and have the skills and experience to make that happen. It can be annoying as a small new company to have to spend huge amounts of your budget on promoting, but without it you simply won’t succeed. The last thing you want is to have to dissolve your company due to silly mistakes made on your part. If you’re noticing a decline in sales, it might be a case that you need a new strategy or some new marketing materials.

Legal issues

As a business, there are all kinds of legal obligations that you’re responsible for- and if you neglect any of these things there can be serious repercussions. Perhaps an employee or customer slips and falls on a wet floor where no sign was put down. Maybe a customer has an allergic reaction where ingredients weren’t properly listed, or you employ someone without running strict enough background checks and they’re not entitled to work in the country you’re in. In many cases, these can be very easy mistakes to make but put your whole company in serious jeopardy.  For this reason, it’s important to make sure that you have the right insurances. If legal proceedings are ever taken against your business, you won’t end up out of pocket- it covers your back if the worst were to happen. Legal issues can be incredibly expensive, if you’re not insured there’s a huge chance it will end in bankruptcy. 

Poor customer service

Customers expect a good standard of service when they shop with a business, you’ll know this as a customer yourself. If you received a rude or cold response from a company, would you return or would you shop elsewhere? Business is highly competitive, so whatever it is that you do or sell, there will be plenty of others out there doing something similar. Train staff so they’re dealing with matters of customer service correctly, and make sure everything is handled in a polite and timely manner. Many businesses rely on repeat custom to make a profit, so don’t overlook the fact that poor customer service will result in lower profits.

Stop Using The Conventional Methods Of Marketing

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By conventional way of marketing, we’re on about the techniques that people are using that are making them battle against each other. Think about it, with techniques such as Google Adwords, you’ve got businesses competing against each other and putting a lot of money into it, all to sit at the top spot of Google. So why would you want to waste your money on techniques like that, when you can think about the ones that nobody is really using in comparison to the amount of businesses that are out there, and how you can be the one that’s getting all of the attention. But when you’re trying out different marketing techniques, it can seem like you’re taking a bit of a risk, and you’re not sure how it’s actually going to work out in the end. So, we’re going to explain some of the not so conventional marketing techniques that we think you should be trying, what they’ll do for your business, and how effective they are.

On The Move Marketing 

If there’s one way you’re going to be able to catch people’s attention, it’s when they’re focusing on something intently. The most common place you’ll find this happening is on the roads, with many people driving around. This is an idea that we know isn’t being used as much as it should be. It’s so easy to print your logo and some information on your car, or van, and drive around so that people notice your brand. You could even pay other people to have it put on their car. Accurate Signs is just one of the businesses that can help you to do this, you just need to think about making it as eye catching as you possibly can. Think about being bright and bold, and try putting images on there that you know will catch people’s attention. Always make sure that they way to contact you, or your website, is really visible to you. There has to be all of the appropriate information on there, as well as the eye catching things! 

Events Marketing

Events marketing is definitely one that small businesses in particular do not seem to focus on. It can be an expensive game, but it’s a great way to get your brand out in the public at the same time as making direct sales. Not enough businesses have face to face interactions with their customers, and we think it’s an art that’s being missed out on. There will no doubt be events in your local area or a nearby city that you could go and explore! We promise that this one will pay off.

Billboard Marketing

Billboard marketing is another firm one that you should be trying. It’s simple to organize, all you have to do is pay for the location that you want. Preferably you want it to be one where plenty of people are passing by. The LED motion picture ones are the best. The bright lights catch attention, but they are a little more expensive.

 

How To Save Your Business Money

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As a business grows, it can sometimes become difficult to keep track of what’s being spent and what’s coming in as there’s likely to be a variety of incomings and outgoings within the company. Saving your business money is crucial for keeping up its success so here’s how to save your money today.

Streamline Finances

Keeping track of the finances can get more difficult as a company grows. Human error can lead to invoices being lost and outgoings not being tracked. To keep this all in one place, it might be a good idea to streamline your finances into one piece of software. That way, all your accounting team can access this one platform and process all the incomings and outgoings through it. You, therefore, want a good accounting software, UK alone has many to choose from.

Be Wiser With Hiring Staff

Not every company has the funds available to hire full-time staff, so a good way of compromising with this issue is by hiring freelancers or contractors to do the work. Hiring someone full-time is a costly expense, so this is a good way of getting the skills and requirements you need but for a cheaper price. You also only have to pay for the amount of work needed.

Have Extra Budget Meetings

Budget meetings are good to keep track of the expenditures in your business. These extra budget meetings should be included whenever there’s been a growth in the company. That way, you keep track anything that simply could be cut to save money. That way, the extra funds can go towards other areas of the business.

Change To Digital Marketing

Traditional marketing and advertising, in general, has slowly started to shift out of popularity. As consumers, we spend most of our time engaging with content online for free as opposed to paying for it in the form of a magazine or newspaper. It’s also much harder to get detailed analytics through traditional advertising than it is when you do it online. There are now monitoring systems such as Google Analytics which allows you to delve deeper into your audience and who they are. You can find out everything from their geographic location, their age group and even their hobbies and interests. With this information at a business’ fingertips, they’ve got more opportunity to tailor their future content to hit their target audiences. It’s also free to use, which is a bonus.

Go Paperless

As businesses become more aware of the environmental impact that they could be causing, a lot of businesses now are going paperless. Going paperless is not only environmentally friendly but it’s also going to save the company money by cutting down on stationery costs. The less paper you use, the better and now it’s more popular to save documents digitally rather than in physical form. This makes everything more secure, especially when you can password protect documents.

It can be easy to save your business money, you just need to be conscious of where your money is being spent.

The Top 10 Careers Of The Future

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The Top 10 Careers Of The Future

Which jobs will be in demand in the future? Here are just a few careers that seem to have a bright future ahead.

Nursing

For those that have the brains to work in medicine and are passionate about helping others, a career as a nurse could be worth considering. The demand for nurses has risen by 26% in the last decade and seems certain to continue rising. Getting into nursing usually requires completing a three year course. The role of a nurse can be demanding, but it has a decent wage and is a very rewarding job.

Elderly care

People are living longer, which means the aging population is increasing. Many of these elderly people will need to be cared for in the future, which will mean hiring extra carers. Getting into care requires no qualifications (unless you’re pursuing a nursing role), making it great for people that want to get stuck into a career without having to spend years getting educated.

Teaching

So long as there are schools, there will always be a demand for teachers. Schools are already calling out for teaching staff and as the birth rate continues to increase and more children are born, it’s thought that this demand will continue to rise. Teaching is a rewarding job and one that you can cater to your skills. You’ll generally need some kind of degree (ideally in the subject you’re teaching) as well as passing a teaching assessment.   

International law

The internet has allowed many small companies to take on a global market. Whilst businesses may have once hired solicitors with local knowledge to get help with contracts and trademarks and health and safety laws, businesses are now looking for solicitors with international knowledge. There are specialist courses that you can take in international law.

Sustainable energy

The whole world is making efforts to move towards a greener future. For this reason, environmental sector jobs are in high demand. Sustainable energy is one of the biggest trades – both solar panel companies and wind farms have been seeing fast returns. If you have an interest in environmental affairs and are tech savvy, a career in sustainable energy could be right for you.

Electrical engineering

There are more electronic gadgets out there than ever before. Meanwhile many industries are now relying on robots. Electrical engineers are needed to help design and build these machines. You can take an electrical engineering degree online.

Cloud technology

App development

Data analytics

Digital marketing

Aspects Of Your Business That Will Change As You Expand

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When you first set up a small business, you tend to get stuck in a certain set of ways that you find effective in getting your startup off the ground and your business up and running. However, it’s extremely important to acknowledge that certain aspects of your business and its plan are going to have to change as your business begins to experience success and expand. If you stick with old habits, your company can suffer. Instead, you need to constantly assess what your company requires of you for constant progression and cater to its needs. This will help you to continue experiencing success, rather than peaking early on and then plummeting back down to the ground. Here are just a couple of different areas that you should reassess when your business starts taking off!

Marketing

You will have to engage with marketing from the moment you launch your first product. It is the process that helps the consumer market to be aware of your product and that also helps to encourage the consumer market to spend their disposable income with you rather than with competitors or anyone else. However, as you grow, you’re going to have to take a look at 3 growth hacks for content marketers. The more interest you raise, the more you have to keep on the ball with boosting the perception of what you have to offer. This will create a snowball effect that makes your brand a better known name. Interest gathers interest!

Staffing

First time small business owners tend to take on the majority of the work associated with their start up on their own. They generally take responsibility over almost every single aspect of their company’s set up and launch – whether this entails coming up with a unique and innovative product concept, choosing an appropriate name for their brand, creating an appealing brand aesthetic, or taking out copyright to protect all of this intellectual property. When they require work that they don’t quite understand to be completed, they may then decide to outsource some aspects of your work to freelance individuals or agencies. They will use these other individuals’ skills to manufacture their products, package products, conduct market research, design and set a website up, or various other tasks. If this sounds familiar to you, you’ll find that this could work well for a little while. But when your business really starts to take off and you start to become a renowned or recognizable brand, you are going to receive more exposure, generate more sales, and ultimately struggle if you attempt to continue to carry out all of your work alone. This is generally when you should start seriously considering taking on full or part time permanent staff members. If you fail to do so, you are highly likely to find yourself in one of two situations. The first situation is that you will become overwhelmed with the seemingly endless list of administrative tasks required to keep your company afloat. This will take up a huge bulk of your time and when you’re focusing on keeping your company afloat, you won’t be focussing on moving it forward. This will result in you falling behind when it comes to more progressive areas of your business, such as developing new ranges of products and marketing campaigns. The consumer market will quickly become tired of your current range and take their business elsewhere. The second option is that you will manage to focus on the more progressive aspects of your business, but you will then inevitably fall behind with administrative tasks. You’ll begin to have difficulty replying to customer enquiries or concerns, which could lose you sales and result in a tarnished reputation. You may also fall behind on actually packaging and delivering customer products – again, resulting in lost sales (as customers are likely to cancel their outstanding orders). As you can see, you will begin to have to take on staff and effective staffing is another aspect of your business that will need to change as you experience increased amounts of success

These are just two different areas that will inevitably need to change as your business starts to grow and expand. Change can be extremely positive, so it’s important to embrace it and work it to your company’s benefit!

Increasing Blog Traffic

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If you’ve recently started a blog or set up an online business, you are probably wondering why no one is reading it. You’ve put hours of work into the design, photography and writing. Your posts look and read great, yet no one is viewing them. Before you started your blog, you’d probably read others, seen how many views they were getting, that they are working with brands and that they had thousands of followers on social media and wanted the same for yourself. You assumed you’d published a post and people would read it. You imagined yourself going viral and becoming a famous blogger in the first few months.

Then, a few months in, even with a growing social media following, you find that very few people actually read your blog. Don’t worry; you are not alone. Most people that start blogs give up within the first year because it isn’t what they expected. To gain consistent traffic takes a lot of time and hard work. Let’s take a look at some ways to help.

SEO

When you start a blog, most of your viewers will come from social media promotion. Very few will simply stumble upon your content. But, that’s what you want. Most people that come over from social media are fellow bloggers and friends. If you want to reach a wider audience, who are actively searching for content like yours, you need to work on your SEO and start bringing in search engine hits.

SEO is a complex thing, that changes all of the time, so if you want fast results, it’s a good idea to look at SEO Expert Brad Blog for advice and help, not only on SEO but all aspects of blogging. In the meantime, make sure you are using long-tail keywords, filling in the alt text on pictures and adding meta descriptions to all of your posts.

Social Media

If this is what’s bringing in a lot of your traffic, you need to make the most of it. Make sure you are on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter at least and that you are actively using them. Join relevant groups on Facebook, promote old posts, engage with your audience and share other people’s work for the best results.

Remember, a huge following is nowhere near as important as an engaged following. So, get chatting with people and make friends.

Tell Your Friends

Many new bloggers feel a little embarrassed and so avoid telling people they know. The truth is, you probably will tell them one day, most do. So, get it out of the way and ask for their advice, feedback and help sharing content. If they don’t blog themselves, they’ll be pretty impressed.

Keep Going

One of the best bits of advice for a new blogger struggling to gain traffic is just to keep going. If you are writing well, promoting in the right places and engaging with your audience, the traffic will come. Just keep going, picking up tips and making changes along the way.

There are so many blogs out there today that the completion is tough. But, you can stand out from the crowd by finding your own voice and offering new ideas. Don’t give up; you’ll get there.

Video Marketing 101 w/ Sunny Lenarduzzi

sunny

Today’s interview in our Personal Branding Series is with Digital Marketing Guru Sunny Lenarduzzi. I stumbled upon Sunny’s work via Twitter and love her work and personality. She’s mastered the You Tube Tutorial so if you’re trying to figure out technology on your own, stop! I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her in person yet, but I’m sure we’ll eventually cross paths once she’s dominated Canada and moves her way down south. Hope you enjoy her brief, but powerfully clear words of wisdom.

1) How did you get into video marketing as a career?

My career started in broadcasting and after years of reporting and hosting on television and radio, I fell in love with the digital space. Now, I feel like I’ve combined those two passions into my dream career. I love creating video content and working with brands and individuals to help them grow their influence and create tangible results through a visual medium.

2) What do you consider your biggest strength as a communicator?

Perhaps it’s a strength and a weakness, but I’m very straightforward. I like getting right to the point and I do my best to deliver messages as clearly and concisely as possible.

3) What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

It’s funny, I can’t think anything that I would consider a big challenge. Have there been hurdles? Yes. But I love what I do so much that I see every challenge as an opportunity for growth. I would say one of the most difficult aspects of my job is to stay ahead of the trends and keep up with the fast pace and information overload.

4) How would you describe your style/personal brand?

Simplistic. Joyful. Informative.

5) What advice would you give other entrepreneurs trying to build their audience/brand?

Know your audience and what their needs are. You have to start with researching your target audience extensively to ensure that every aspect of your marketing initiatives matches what they want and need to hear.

Scott Asai is a speaker/coach that has been developing leaders for 20+ years – athletes, companies and individuals. His focus is helping people develop leadership skills to advance in their careers. Scott tends to attract a large audience of Millennials and Introverts to his programs/events. His professional background consists of: B.A. in Psychology, M.A. in Organizational Leadership, Certified Professional Coach and Certified Strengths Coach.