How Essential Are Qualifications to Running a Business?

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Do you find that when you are trying to grow your business or make sense of certain components, you wish you had more knowledge behind you? As an entrepreneur, education is undoubtedly an invaluable aspect of developing and growing, but we could place a lot of importance on the idea of education in a traditional sense, perhaps too much importance. Getting a qualification is something that proves helpful in certain respects, but if you are looking to run a business, exactly how essential is it? 

What Do You Think You Are Missing That Education Can Fill? 

The fact of the matter is now that you can find a qualification to cover almost any aspect of running a business, from the accountancy side to project management. This is where we see many people getting an Agile certification and Scrum qualifications to help them learn the ropes with regards to project management, but you have to ask yourself if you have the skills necessary to run your business in the way that you see fit. Qualifications provide insight, and they can certainly help fill skills gaps, but you must remember that to be an effective business leader, it doesn’t just help to have qualifications, you must have real-life visceral skills as well.

How Can Education Inspire You? 

When we talk about education, we believe that it is the best way to get a variety of skills, and it is, but only to an extent. Education also provides you with worthwhile experiences, just as long as you go about it the right way. For example, there are people coming up through the ranks now who have used their time in college to learn how to run a business, by running student groups or societies. That being said, entrepreneurs don’t need to have a degree. Many people go to university to get that piece of paper under their belts. 

The Double-Edged Sword of Education

To be able to get onto the career ladder, it can be a prerequisite that you have a degree, however, you can run a successful business without venturing into education at all. There are plenty of people who have never gone through traditional education and have made a very successful life for themselves. If you have a solid business idea or plan, there’s plenty of support. But this is where colleges can provide an opening if you do not have what it takes right now. But you won’t know until you start to develop yourself in the right way. Some people feel that going into education is a step back. But we also must remember that education is an amazing stepping stone. 

It’s not the be-all and end-all, and it is a wonderful way to fill certain skills gaps, however, if you think you’re missing out on certain business skills because you didn’t have the right education, you might find that taking a few courses will give you those skills, but an education, no matter how over or underpriced it is, can never replace actual real-life experience.

4 Ways To Make Running A Business Easier

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Running a business isn’t easy, as you will probably understand if you have already decided to start a business. 

With a to-do list as long as your arm, with responsibilities that won’t always lie within your skill set, you have probably experienced moments of doubt, frustration, and stress. 

But while running a business isn’t easy, there are ways to make life easier for yourself. Consider the following for example, and concentrate on anything that you know makes sense for you.

#1: Surround Yourself With Experts

As we suggested, there will be some responsibilities on your to-do list that don’t correlate with your skillset. Should you struggle with these alone? No. While it is a good idea to work at them to better your abilities, it is also a good idea to pass them onto somebody else. Struggle with your taxes? Hire an accountant. Don’t know how to attract more customers to your website? Hire a web designer. Consider the same for any facet of business where you fall down and enjoy having more time for the things that you are good at. 

#2: Find The Right Supplier

Whether you’re selling a product or providing a service, you will probably be reliant on a supplier. It might be somebody who provides office supplies if you are based at home or it could be a welding & industrial supply company if your focus is manufacturing. Or it could be somebody else besides but one thing remains true: You need somebody reliable to provide the goods you need. A good supplier will provide and source everything you need to keep your business running so it’s worth spending time finding the right one. They will also make sure you have what you need on time to reduce the risk of downtime in your business. Commit to research then and buddy up with the supply companies that can support your business needs. 

#3: Automate what you can

Why spend an age on a task when you can get things done in double-quick time? With the right app or software program, you can automate those tasks that are complicated and time-consuming, and have more time for other aspects of your business. You can pretty much automate anything, from your accounts to your Google Ads marketing, so it’s worth researching the tools that are available to you. Here are just a few small business automation tools you might be interested in but continue your search online. 

#4: Say ‘no’

Finally,  this is something you need to get into the habit of doing if you are forever saying ‘yes’ to things. You might say ‘yes’ to every project that comes your way, and you might say ‘yes’ to every meeting you’re invited to, as examples. And while you will need to take on new projects and attend meetings, you need to remember that you are only human. If you take on too much, you will have less time on your hands to produce quality work, and you might even burn yourself out. Saying ‘no’ can sometimes be good for business so give yourself a break and whittle down your to-do list.

So, here’s the thing. Running a business isn’t easy. But by following the suggestions given here, it can be easier. Take note then, especially if you’re feeling the strain today.

Business Expansion Made Easy | Top Tips For Business Owners

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Despite popular misconceptions, expanding your business doesn’t mean that you need to work longer hours or deal with more stress. In fact, business expansion often means that you can expect your workload to decrease a little, as it gives you the chance to get a better hold over your finances or delegate tasks across a larger workload. However, business expansion isn’t always as straightforward as it seems – meaning it can be hard to figure out exactly what you need to do in order to grow and develop.

With that in mind, here are some top tips that every business owner can use to grow and expand their business.

  • Focus on improving workplace efficiency by investing in new technology or software. This will allow each employee to make the most out of their time, meaning that tasks will be completed at a quicker rate and to a higher standard. This also allows you to boost your revenue.
  • If you’ve been running your business from the comfort of your own home, consider renting out a workspace for your business. Whether you open up a shop or offices, this is a great way to take your business to the next level or develop your relationship with your staff and customers face to face. To get started on this venture, you simply need to reach out to a commercial real estate agent who can help you find the property of your dreams for a price that won’t break the bank.
  • Focus on growing your team by bringing in new employees, focusing on candidates who are enthusiastic, and bring something new to the table. For example, sometimes innovation and new ideas could be far more beneficial to your business than previous industry experience. You should also ensure that you provide your employees with training that will allow them to develop new skills. 
  • Create a friendly working environment where every employee will feel appreciated and comfortable. This will allow them to work more productively and ensures that they know how to reach out whenever they need help. Putting your employees first will also help you become a better manager.
  • In order for your business to grow, you need to ensure that you can stay up to date with current trends and consumer habits. To put it simply, you need to find a way to stop your business from being left in the dust in a hypercompetitive and ever-changing world. The easiest way to achieve this goal is to prioritize innovation, as this will encourage you to come up with new ideas, which will enable you to stand out from the crowd. 
  • Be sure to invest a considerable amount of time and money into your marketing campaign – as this is one of the most straightforward ways to expand your customer space. Thankfully, you can market your business in a variety of ways, through growing your online presence, networking, or through traditional marketing techniques such as flyering. You should also update your marketing strategy regularly, using your analytics to guide you and ensuring that you capitalize on popular trends.

5 Ways To Keep Your Staff Content Throughout The Year

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In terms of running and business and leading the staff working under you, there needs to be high elements of contentment along with productivity. If they aren’t happy with coming into work every single day, then you’re not going to get the best out of them. In professional work, management is more than just getting the job done and making sure you bring in all the money you need. It’s a case of being aware of the staff’s well-being and overall condition. If they’re in a good place – then it’s going to be a much easier ride for all involved. 

Many business owners struggle to get the best out of their team, though, as they neglect the people skills required. They also struggle to keep everyone happy throughout their time in the job. It’s not too much of a difficult task, though. You’re not expected to be a wizard that puts spells on everyone. Here are some things you can do: 

Be Positive For As Long As You Can

When you have a lot of work to do and a lot of stress on your shoulders, it can be quite difficult to relax and be positive. It’s a habit, though, like most things are. Make sure you’re optimistic about most things and upbeat around the rest of the group. It’s a contagious way of behaving and everyone around you will bounce off it. If you have a positive and happy environment, then it’s going to make the working day so much easier. 

Have A Plan And A Setup For Everyone

If everyone knows what they’re doing, then they’re going to have a much easier job on their hands. Not everyone wakes up on a Monday morning with 100% certainty of how things are going to go. If you ensure that you have a plan for them, then they’ll be more content. You can use Crew scheduling software and other project management tools to help you out with this kind of thing nowadays. Don’t let them feel like a spare part.

Work With Individuals As Well As Groups

Narrowing down your leadership and focusing on each person can help out so much in terms of overall contentment. It’ll make them feel a little more special and it’ll allow them to know that they aren’t just an extra worker. If you focus on how they’re doing mentally as well as their performance at work, then they’ll be appreciative. 

Make Sure They’re Working In A Wonderful Environment

Keep the place nice and clean because you just never know how someone might feel about the environment in which they work. If you have to, then hire cleaners to come in a couple of times a week. If you have the capacity, then create a rota that involves every employee. If they know they’re working in a clean, tidy workplace that they’ve all helped to create, then they’ll feel a sense of pride and happiness in where they are. 

Hire The Right Kind Of Personalities

It’s all about personalities and chemistry sometimes. Sure, the qualifications and experience matter, but hiring the right people can take a business from good to great. If everyone gets along and the personalities all fit together, then you’re going to have a healthy group.

Online Platforms and Apps to Make Business More Efficient

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If you run or manage a business, likely you’re always looking for ways to streamline practices and make everything go smoother. No matter what type of business you’re in, you need software, platforms, websites and apps at your disposal to make day to day practices go smoother, increase productivity and make everyone’s job easier. 

Lucky for us all, there are so many platforms and apps out there these days for pretty much every single need, no matter the industry or area of business you’re in. You can find all sorts of helpful resources at various price points, so long as you know where to look. We’ve outlined some of our favorites below.

POS software and websites

There are lots of great POS software programs out there as well as apps you can download to use for any retail business. For those who don’t want to buy and install separate software, you can also use online-only platforms to handle all of your sales data, inventory, invoicing, returns, and more. Most of these POS programs are super-intuitive and use up to date technology to make sales so much easier and more efficient. They do practically all of the work for you. 

Testing Sites

If your business requires you to run a lot of tests, you need good software or an efficient website to log into everyday to complete those tests. You need something that is efficient, safe and gets you accurate results. There are lots of test platforms online that allow you to run accurate, high-stakes tests that are designed by you with your own specifications and criteria. No matter what type of testing you need to do, these sites can accommodate you. 

Graphic Design

We all have our favorites when it comes to graphics programs, but did you know that you can do a lot of your graphic design and marketing design right online without ever downloading or purchasing a software program? Via apps and websites you can now tweak, design, draw, edit and adjust any type of graphic, quickly and easily. Best of all, a lot of these graphic sites are very affordable, sometimes even free. 

Web Design

Just as with graphic design, there are a number of amazing web design templates that walk you through the entire process of designing a website, writing HTML and publishing content online in a snap. These sites are super intuitive and easy to learn, making it a quick and stress-free process. Some are free, but even the pay-to-design sites are quite affordable and have a wide range of options to fit any aesthetic, style or preference. 

These are just a few areas in which you can improve your business and increase productivity simply by hopping online and visiting a website or app. Handle your design and marketing, design websites, run testing, and even handle sales all while surfing the web. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to run a business online.

3 Areas You Need To Take Care Of In Business

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Anything you purchase or create in this world needs nurturing and taking care of to stay in peak condition. Running a business is no different in this respect. It requires a holistic approach, an investment of time, effort, and money to sustain your companies success and in turn, hopefully, see it flourish. For a perspective on which areas need most of your care, there are three things you need to think about.

Health, Safety, And Wellbeing

An area that all businesses need to bear in mind is health and safety. And with the increase in awareness of mental health problems, wellbeing is becoming an increasingly important topic for business owners the world over to incorporate into their HR practices. Whether you’re running a cargo shipping business, you own a store selling camping equipment, or you run a zoo, health, and safety regulations possess a place in every industry. To assess your business needs in this area, keep it simple and think about the following to see where and if you need to improve your business in this department;

  • Cleanliness – A filthy workspace is a breeding ground for germs. This will, in turn, will impact on your employee’s health, meaning more sick days. Not only this, but bacteria could infect or contaminate the products that you sell also.
  • Clutter – An unorganized, messy workspace is a poor environment filled with hazards that could mean a nasty fall or accident for one of your workers or customers. Resulting in impacting your reputation and the need to pay out for a personal injury claim
  • Developing hazards – Such as a fire door that keeps getting stuck when you attempt to open it, or a fire alarm that keeps going off in the middle of the day with no specific reason behind it. All of your health and safety equipment should work and be free from obstructions or errors. 

The health and safety areas listed above form the foundation for taking care of your employees. Alongside this, it’s essential to look after your employee’s wellbeing. A happy team is a productive team.

  • Team building – Create a pleasant, sociable environment to work in by instigating team building activities for employees.
  • Training – Provide ongoing training for staff to improve their existing knowledge and boost confidence in their role.
  • Promotions – Great employees should be allowed to excel when there is an opportunity to do so.
  • Praise and celebrate – Accomplishments big and small should be recognized. Such as, via a certificate, or a letter outlining why your employee is an asset to the team.
  • One to one meetings – This allows your employees to voice any concerns they may have and highlight anything they think the business can do to make life better for your staff
  • Perks – Whether free fruit every day in the office, to wine and beers stocked in the fridge on a Friday afternoon. There are tons of ways to boost employee morale at work by implementing a few perks on the job.

Taking care of your employees and customers is essential for running a great business. By committing to some of the suggestions above, your workforce will feel valued, comfortable, and confident in their jobs. Taking care of your employees properly will lead to a better, stronger workforce with a reduced turnover of staff. 

Back-Up And Protect

The concept behind your business and the intel you have accrued along the way (such as the clients, business contacts, financial reports, and bank accounts, future plans to grow, etc.) is the lifeblood of your business. A lot of energy from entrepreneurs is spent growing their business, but the same can’t be said for protecting it. Which is why you need to be smart about backing up and protecting the business data you’ve worked so hard to accrue.

There are many sources available for you to store your business information. It purely depends on the size of your business and how much information you need to allocate. This will be the deciding factor on what storage is right for you. For instance, if your work is currently in paper form, it is 100% advisable to scan this into digital form to keep copies in case the originals are destroyed. Furthermore, once you have your copies of your work in digital form, don’t rely on one device alone to hold your business data, branch out, and seek other opportunities. You can store your data on an external hard drive, by using cloud services, or by buying or hiring servers.

Once you have stored your business intel in a few areas, you need to protect your sources any way you can. Whether employing an experienced IT technician to protect your systems from errors and hackers, or by outsourcing Server Monitoring to survey your existing servers and eradicate any faults and mistakes that may crop up. 

Take Care Of You! 

Your employee’s health, safety, and wellbeing, along with protecting your business information, are your top priorities. However, there is one more that’s incredibly important, you! What would your business be without you? It needs the very best of your creativity, ideas, personal inspiration and problem-solving to sustain the growth it’s made this far. If you’re in a bad place physically or mentally, this will have a devastating impact on the health of your business. Initially, it may be challenging to prize your thoughts and self away from your growing company, but it’s entirely necessary to stay sane and energized, by regularly sleeping, eating (mostly healthy food), exercising and laughing!

On the subject of laughter, as you’re probably aware, running a business isn’t all roses and rainbows. You have to solve difficult problems from competitors cropping up across the street from you, issues with reaching your target audience, and difficulties with staff that are finding it difficult to take orders. Which is why at some point, you will need to find the funny side in the events that occur. Otherwise, you risk spiraling into a pit of depression, where everything about your business appears to be doom and gloom. And so, through those tears laugh when the vending machine breaks for the umpteenth time and join in when employees are cracking jokes about you.

Prioritizing the needs of your employees, business information, and will enable you to effectively run a healthy, prosperous, and sustainable business.

Get Your Business The Support It Needs

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When you run a business, you need to always make sure that you are doing whatever you can to keep it running well. More often than not, that means that you are going to need to seek the help of outside forces and agents to ensure that things are going as smoothly as possible. There is nothing wrong with needing to seek help – most businesses do at some point or another – but it is necessary to make sure that you really know what kind of help you are actually going to need to find. In this article, we are going to look at just a few examples of the kind of help that your business might benefit from, so that you can start getting to work on finding the right kind of help for your company.

IT Services

Most businesses have a lot of technology that needs looking after, and there is always so much that can go wrong with it along the way. If you are keen to ensure that your business operates successfully in the future, you will want to make sure that your IT is as well looked after as it can be. A lot depends on your IT operating properly, so this is not something that you should cheap out on. That being said, IT support for businesses is not generally something you need to spend lots of money on, as you can find decent examples of this for relatively little. There is therefore no excuse not to find the kind of support that your IT needs, so make sure that you are doing just that as early on as possible.

Financial Advice

Having a financial advisor is one of the most useful things you can possibly do in business. There are so many aspects to the financial side of business that it is hard to know that you are taking care of them all as you ideally should be, so having someone there to direct you along the way is certainly going to help you out a lot. That advisor will ideally have plenty of experience not just in business, but in the industry you operate in, so it’s worth spending some time finding the absolute best one for your purposes and needs. If you can do that, you should find that you are able to lead your business to financial success much more easily.

Marketing Expertise

Marketing is something that businesses often try their own hand at, to mixed results. If you think that you are going to be able to do this well, then you should try it, but the truth is that the vast majority of businesses will do much better by merely getting someone to help them out along the way. Marketing has many skills involved, and you will find that if you hire out an outsourced marketing team, then you are much more likely to see the kind of success that you are hoping to create for yourself. From branding to advertising, they are likely to really help you out.

6 Services You Can Hire For Your Business

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When it comes to running your own business it can be hard to let go of certain responsibilities. Whilst you may want to run your business alone, hiring people to help you with certain aspects is a great way to help your business grow. Not only will it allow you to focus on the important parts of your business, but it will give you the opportunity to bring people with different skills to you on board. Whether it’s hiring a freelancer or working with an agency, here are 6 services you can hire for your business:

– Accounting And Finance Services

If you’re struggling to stay on top of your accounting or you don’t quite understand the financial aspects of your business, hiring an accounting team to help you is a great idea. Not only will they be able to assist you with your yearly accounts, but they’ll also be able to offer you advice when it comes to invoicing, keeping track of receipts and tracking your expenses. For more information about accounting when it comes to small businesses, you can visit this site here.

– Public Relations Services

For those looking to get their businesses out into the media, a public relations team could be the best option. They’ll be able to look at what you do as a business and come up with the best possible plan of action to help you become more visible in your industry. Whether it’s getting involved in the press or working with bloggers and influencers, they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

– Digital Marketing Agency

When it comes to digital marketing it can be hard to know where to start. There are so many different aspects to consider that getting started on your own may seem overwhelming. If this is the case, you may want to bring on board digital marketing professionals to help you – whether it be through an agency or as a freelancer. They’ll be able to help you with social media, content writing and again, bloggers and influencers.

– IT Support And Services

If you’re struggling with your IT services, having an IT support team on call is always a great option. They’ll be able to help you should any issues arrive and will be able to advise you of the best possible solutions to help run your business effectively. For more information about various IT services such as Cloud services, you can visit this site here.

– Office Maintenance And Cleaning Services

For those that have office space, you may want to consider hiring office maintenance and cleaning services. Whilst you may think you can keep up with the maintenance of your office space yourself, hiring someone to help out will definitely be a weight off your shoulders, especially as they’re incredibly affordable to hire. Whether you hire them on a daily or weekly basis, you’ll be surprised how much difference it can make.

– Security Services

Finally, if you’re in a rented building with lots of other offices, you may want to hire security services. Whether it’s someone at the door or someone that monitors your security tapes, you want to be sure your business is kept safe at all times.

Are you thinking of outsourcing some of the tasks in your business to an agency? What tasks are you considering? Let me know in the comments section below.