Eight Things That Will Make Your Business Look More Professional


Eight Things That Will Make Your Business Look More Professional

First appearances mean a lot in the world of business. When new clients approach you, they’re often looking for professionalism. This is often a sign that you take your business seriously and that you’re willing to go the extra mile in order to impress the people you work with. In addition, professionalism tends to give your customer and clients peace of mind. This increases the chance that they’ll work with you, and it leads to a better overall experience for the customer.

As such, it’s important to make your business look and feel more professional if you want to appeal to a wider audience, and in this article, we’re going to take a look at exactly how you can do that.

  1. Look the part

While a lot of businesses are completely online nowadays, it’s still important to dress up for the few occasions that you might go to a public event or appear in photographs for press reasons. This typically means dressing up in appropriate clothing for your industry and also working on your appearance so that you don’t scare away potential customers. You don’t have to look extravagant–just somewhat presentable is enough!

  1. Talk the part

It’s also important that you talk like a professional business. This can mean a number of different things, such as using the appropriate language and terminology when speaking to clients, or speaking politely when helping customers with support issues. We think that being professional with your tone of voice is a fantastic way to maintain a good appearance, but it’s also important to be relaxed and comfortable when talking in public.

  1. Get a professional email address

A professional email address will enhance appearances by a considerable amount. A lot of smaller businesses tend to use emails from websites like Google or even Yahoo. While this is fine for most basic purposes, you’ll need to eventually need to upgrade to a proper email address that represents your company. There are many ways to do this, and some email hosts such as Google actually offer a paid service for a custom email domain.

  1. Stop using templates on your website

Many smaller businesses tend to use templates for their website because it’s faster to get something started. However, there are usually only a limited number of templates, and you could pick something that looks exactly like someone else’s website. This can look incredibly unprofessional. It’s also worth getting a custom website design to ensure that it actually fits your needs instead of trying to fit your website around someone else’s design.

  1. Register a domain name

A domain name will ensure that your website looks more professional. A domain name is essentially a website name which most people will already have. However, there are some businesses that might still be using a free or low-cost service that involves a subdomain. This could be something like yoursite.service.com. Instead of being associated with a web host, a domain name of your choice will help to create a more professional appearance.

  1. Dress your staff as well

This is mainly for physical stores that employ a couple of staff members. Having matching workwear is great for a number of reasons. Firstly, it allows your customers to identify who is actually working for you. Secondly, it gives your staff a unified appearance which makes your entire store look more professional. Lastly, it helps give your staff members an identity when they work for you since they’ll feel more like they’re part of the team.

  1. Respond to queries

You should also make sure that you respond to different queries on platforms such as social media where your responses (or lack of) are publicly shown. It’s also important to respond to emails and the majority of private messages, but answering questions on public platforms takes priority given how important it is to maintain a professional appearance.

  1. Stick to your area of expertise

A lot of businesses tend to branch out of their comfort zone. This is a great way to explore new options for products and services to offer, but it can often lead to some issues. Since you’re trying to attract audiences that you’re not familiar with, it can often lead to some embarrassing situations where you demonstrate a lack of experience or knowledge in an area. This leads to some very unprofessional results and can stain your reputation if you’re not careful. Stick to your area of expertise to maintain a professional appearance, or do ample research before you attempt to break into a new market.

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4 Ways To Elevate Your Retail Business


4 Ways To Elevate Your Retail Business

Working in retail can be challenging at times but is also a gratifying way to make a living. People need and love to shop, and you’re there to meet these demands. As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate, but you have to know what to focus your energy on the most to succeed.

There’s a lot of competition out there, so you need to be able to stand apart from the crowd and your competitors. Therefore, discover ways to elevate your retail business so you can drum up interest in your business and increase sales. Put in the effort, and you’ll soon notice the rewards that emerge for your time and energy spent focusing on the right elements.

  1. Take Pride in the Set up of Your Store

It’s in your best interest to configure your store strategically so that you can provide customers with a positive shopping experience. Take pride in your store’s set up and pay attention to the small details that will make a big difference. For example, the right female mannequins can provide you with an ideal way to show off your latest styles and merchandise and truly elevate your business.

  1. Train Your Staff

You need to have consistency and offer exceptional customer service if you want to excel in retail. Therefore, take the time to train your staff and ensure that they know your policies and how you expect they treat each customer who does business with you. Training your staff will help you to sleep better at night because you’ll know that each client is receiving the same treatment and will walk away, feeling satisfied with their shopping experience. Focus on providing a personalised experience for each person so that they feel valued. Greet individuals who enter your store and offer your expert opinion and advice if they ask for it.

  1. Reward Your Customers

Customers will likely want to shop with you again when you show appreciation for their business and reward them fairly. Offer loyalty programs or points systems so they can save money the more they shop with you. Host events where your most loyal customers get a sneak peek at what new items are coming or can bring a friend with them and shop and save together. Run special sales and promotions every so often so that customers don’t always have to pay full price for the merchandise.

  1. Be Decisive about Your Merchandise

Another way to elevate your retail business is to be decisive about your merchandise. It means that you aren’t keeping items around that aren’t selling or popular. Pick and choose what’s in your store wisely and carefully so that you can guarantee that you hit your sales goals and numbers. Study the latest trends, network frequently, and be up to date with the recent fashions so that your store carries all the right merchandise that people will want to buy. You want to avoid having items sitting in your store that aren’t gaining any attention or interest over time.

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How to Overcome Challenges as a Parent Business Owner


How to Overcome Challenges as a Parent Business Owner

Running a business is challenging at the best of times, but when you have children, it can be even more of a juggling act. Of course, it is also considered the best time by many to start a business, but in order to get that work/life dream, you must learn to overcome the obstacles you will naturally face, and not be scared off. It might not be the easy route, but parent-preneurs everywhere will tell you it is worth the handwork and they never want to return to the 9-5 for someone else.

So, just how do you overcome the challenges?

Flexibility

By all means, write your yourself some plans but don’t expect them to be set in stone. On a good day, you will achieve all you set out to achieve, and on a bad day you will end up with an emergency dash to school or nursery to retrieve a poorly child and end up wondering how on earth you can possibly make this work. Take a deep breath and remember, this too shall pass. Flexibility is the key, so while you might not want to be sending involves at 10 pm, once in a while, this is just how it goes down in the world of small business ownership.

Trade-off

Your network is crucial so build it well. Look for both a parent and business network and things will get so much easier. As a parent networking with others in the same situation gives you a little bit of childcare breathing space if you can take turns to do school pickups and after school care, you both get some much-needed time to work. In the world of business, you can look for mutually acceptable trade-offs, perhaps one of you is a social media expert and the other a bookkeeper? Sometimes a company doesn’t have to be about money it can be about an exchange of services to keep things ticking over.

Balance the Art of Saying No

Strangely so many people have a vocabulary that seems to have the word ‘no’ missing. It is a word that scares people in business, but it is a misconception that companies cannot say no. Sometimes it is far better to say no than fail to complete a task or order on time and get negative feedback. Of course, the skill is learning to communicate with alternatives, so saying things like, while I cannot complete that by your preferred date, I could do it by x. People respect honesty and understand that running a business can sometimes be busy. You must also learn the art of saying no to the business as a while and taking time out to spend with friends and family. It is important you do not always say no and cancel out on your time with in-laws, kids plays, and other events. One day you will wish you had been there, so try and strike some sort of work-life balance while you can.

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5 Ways to Support a Small Business


5 Ways to Support a Small Business

Small businesses can often have a hard time when butting up against multinationals. It can be challenging to be as competitively priced, they don’t carry as much stock, but the plus sides are so important. Care and attention to detail, a friendly face and personal interaction make them so valuable. It is also fair to say that small businesses have a positive impact on the local economy and offer uniqueness in a sea of mass production. So how can we support them and make sure they can keep trading?

1) Be a Customer 

Ok, so this is the easy one, but it is actually more overlooked than you might think. You pop to the supermarket and while there, remember a present you forgot to grab, and with so much on offer, you can easily buy something. But, what about your friend who makes jewellery, or soap, a hundred and one other things? The same applies to small businesses who are service providers, can you use a local web designer instead of some faceless corporation?

2) Promote Them 

Small businesses have a bit of a juggling act on their hands; not only do they have to keep their goods or services flowing; they also have to publicise themselves. So, when you see a post on Facebook, take the time to get involved. A comment and a share mean the world and really helps. You never know who on your own friend’s list might be looking for precisely what they offer, and even if they aren’t right now, it helps keep their profile high.

3) Share the Praise 

If you have interacted with a small business and loved the experience, speak up! Leave a review on their Facebook page, and remember to share it back to your own Facebook. Word of mouth really helps small businesses, so if you can tell other people about your experience being so positive, you will be doing them a massive favour. Give them permission to quote you on their website or write on Trustpilot or similar.

4) Champion Small Business Saturday 

When the world loses its head, as it does every year, and starts raving about Black Friday and other such events, combat this with a shout out and reminder that Small Business Saturday can happen every week. Technically SMS happens in November but why not push for supporting and shopping locally all year round. You are helping people directly rather than indirectly, pay their mortgages, buy food, and basically stay alive. It is a great way to share the love.

5) Say Hello

It can be dreadfully lonely running a small business, but thousands of people do it, for many different reasons. It is nice to feel part of a community. When there is no-one to share coffee in the staffroom with, because there isn’t a staffroom, it can get a little isolating. Send a message and let them know you are a supporter, and you appreciate what they do! You really will make their day.

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3 Ways to overcome mindset blocks


In this video, I discuss 3 Ways to overcome mindset blocks


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COVID-19: Business Resources List


Click on the useful links below:

Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy  for government guidance for businesses 

Business Support Helpline (England)
Telephone: 0300 456 3565
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm

Big life journal stay at home care package

Being Isolated with Your Children – Keep Calm and Carry On FREE GUIDE (By First Playtime) 

The Definitive Guide to Staying at Home with Kids through the Coronavirus

FSB Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed

Updated COVID-19 UnderPinned Resource for freelancers

Get your groove back; 5 ways to find your business mojo after a setback 

What To Do When Business Is Slow As A Parent Entrepreneur 

Tips for parent entrepreneurs to create opportunity mindset 

How to ask for help 

Feeling overwhelmed? Here are some of the best ways to handle it! 

How to deal with stress: 3 tips for parentpreneurs 

How to handling loss when you run a business 

5 Ways to get your children involved in your business 

3 Things That Help You Work From Home Effectively 

5 ways to wave loneliness goodbye when you work alone at home 

Running your own business when you’re sick 

5 Ways to Practice Self Care as a Small Business Owner 

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How To Get Your New Small Business Off To The Right Start


How To Get Your New Small Business Off To The Right Start

Starting your own small business is a significant feat and an accomplishment to be proud of at the end of the day. It’s your chance to follow your professional dreams and offer solutions and products your customers will appreciate.

You likely have a lot on your mind when you’re first getting up and running. However, you must focus your energy on the most critical aspects if you want to stay in business and be prosperous over the long-term. There are a few tips that are going to help you get off to the right start so that you can give yourself a real fighting chance to succeed.

Set up Your Office Space

Now that you’re officially a new small business, you’re going to want to choose a prime location for your company. Search office space in the area and figure out what will be most suitable for you and what you’re selling. Consider your plans for growth and expansion and how much room you’ll need for hiring on employees and workers at your company. Take the time to make your new office space attractive and appealing so that clients and employees feel welcome and comfortable at your company.

Increase Your Online Presence

You can also get your new small business off to the right start by finding ways to increase your online presence. The Internet and technology are the way of the world right now, and you need to be present so that your target audience can find you. Consider working with a professional agency such as https://bcwebdesignlondon.co.uk/ that specialises in services such as web design and development and social media. Having an SEO strategy and running online advertisements will help you to grow your business and secure loyal customers.

Take Care of Yourself

Being in charge of a new small business is a lot of hard work and effort. As the boss and leader, it would help if you had a lot of natural energy and are healthy and capable of doing your job well. Therefore, get your business off to the right start by practising work-life balance and taking good care of yourself. Some ways to do this include exercising daily, eating healthy foods, and getting plenty of sleep each night.

Commit to Delivering Exceptional Customer Service

Your small business will take off in the right direction when you’re able to secure and retain customers over time. You must commit to delivering exceptional customer service and show your appreciation for those who are doing business with you. Train your employees so each person understands the importance of this initiative and can successfully handle all different types of customer issues and complaints.

Conclusion

Your business will be off to an excellent start when you put these tips into play at your workplace. Be sure to track your progress with each objective so you can quickly see what changes are working the best for you. Don’t be afraid to flex and tweak your approach as you go so you can achieve the results you desire in the end.

How stay productive when you’re not motivated


In this video, I discuss how to stay productive when you’re not motivated

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The Hidden Costs Of Hiring Employees


The Hidden Costs Of Hiring Employees

Hiring employees is a big decision. Not only do you have to consider the responsibility but also the numerous costs that come with it. While many employers budget for the wages that they will be giving their employees, other expenses can sometimes be overlooked. Here are just some of the hidden costs that come with hiring employees and how you can make these costs more affordable.

Insurance

All employers are required to take out employer’s liability insurance. This protects you if an employee falls ill or is injured as a result of your work, helping to cover any costs that may be the result of this.

Liability insurance rates can vary. It’s worth taking your time to compare rates – try out sites like RhinoTradeInsurance.com that specialise in low-cost insurance. You may also be able to lower your rates by investing in strong health and safety measures or by raising your deductible.

Equipment

You may need to invest in extra equipment for your employees to use. If you work in a private office and are hiring a personal assistant to work with you, consider whether you need to buy a desk and computer. In sectors like retail, you may want to consider uniforms, while health and safety equipment could be important if you run a construction company.

Spend your time shopping around for such equipment. Used equipment could be cheaper, but you need to be sure that it’s good quality – offering employees poor quality equipment could make them feel less valued.

Employee benefits

There are certain employee benefits that are compulsory to pay out as an employer. This includes holiday pay, sick pay, overtime, maternity pay and a pension contribution. Make sure that you can afford all of these costs.

Some companies may also offer added benefits such as private health insurance, a company car or bonuses. These added benefits could help to attract employees and could reduce employee turnover, potentially making them worth the extra cost.

To calculate and manage all of these expenses, it could be worth investing in HR software or hiring someone to handle all of these costs. This itself could be another cost to consider. Fortunately, there are lots of cheap software options out there including these free programs at  FinancesOnline.com. There are also lots of payroll accountants out there that you can hire cheaply.

Recruitment

It could also be worth considering the recruitment costs. You may have to pay to post job adverts on certain listing sites. If you’re hiring a recruitment company to help you, this will also be a big added cost to factor in.

With your first employees, you may want to save money by doing some DIY recruitment. There are lots of free places to post job adverts – you could strategically find locations to put up posters or use social media. 

Starting A Home Cooking Business


Starting A Home Cooking Business

If you have a passion for cooking, love creating new recipes, and feeding the people you love, then you have probably considered starting a food business from home a few times. So if you can’t help but to bake bread, and your idea of joy is to find new ways to season chicken to perfection, then it might just be time to start doing what you love.

Considerations

If you have a few recipes from your relatives, or you have your heritage as a source of inspiration, those niches are things that can be shared and sold to great effect. Many people like the idea that recipes, and the people that created them, can carry on through the years with hundreds (and potentially more) people delighting in the taste.

Selling homecooked food isn’t always easy, and sometimes you are going to have to do a lot of research to get it just right.

But when you have the food, the business formula, and the drive – there will be very little to stop you.

Perks

Starting a business from home can feel like a huge undertaking, but there are so many positive aspects that it can often be the ideal choice. You don’t need to have work experience, and you won’t need a background in a professional kitchen, retail, or even manufacturing food products. In fact, you can learn much of what you need marketing-wise and about starting and running a business free and online.

Creative

You get to be as wild and creative with your recipes and fusions as you like. Adding interesting twists and flavours to classic recipes, substituting different ingredients that might not be available in the country you are living in, can add interests and sparks of taste. You can introduce as many different dishes as you like.

The same creativity can be applied to things like your packaging, and creating something but beautiful, as food labels are a legal requirement, you can still make them nice to look at and on-brand – while adhering to the law.

Marketing

Many businesses worry about their marketing. How will people hear about them? Well, when the food is good, people talk about it. Not only that, but as a business, we are blessed with the age of user-generated content. This means the people enjoying your food are free to take photos and share them with their friends and family. This type of marketing is a very low effort from you, all you need to do is cook your amazing food.

If you have a niche, you can talk about what makes your product unique or special. Or create dishes that aren’t common on menus, and people like to try.

Always gather feedback and act on it so that you can provide the best experience for your customers.

Business Model

The idea of selling food products is something that is very straightforward, and most people can understand and tackle the model with ease. In fact, some food businesses don’t have a business plan when they first start out – because they make it, and then sell it.

But it will depend on how well your products sell as to when you will need to dedicate yourself to it fulltime.

There are some innovative ways to sell your goods now, though. Dried goods can be delivered in boxes, or even posted. Food delivery is more common than ever before too. So there are some exciting things that can be tested too.

But in general, food will be developed, cooked, and sold.

Flexible

One of the best things about starting a business from home is that you are free to create your own hours. But more than that, when it comes to food, there are some peak times that you can maximize your income. The rest of the time can be spent researching, sourcing, and preparing the food. If you tend to sell breakfast style items, then you still have the option to sell every morning or extend the hours to provide an all-day breakfast option.

Planning

Even if you choose to ‘wing it’ eventually, you are going to want to have a plan that you can refer back to. This plan will help you stay on track. You will need to do some research into your target market, this will help you solidify your brand and how you are going to communicate with people.

Think about what makes your product unique and attractive to buyers, and think about where you are likely to sell your products too. And when it comes to things like delivery, you will need to factor that into the costs too.

These are just a few of the perks and considerations when you are thinking about launching a home-based food business. There is so much more to explore, so give yourself plenty of time to do so.

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