It all starts with an idea. Something that consumes you and spirals out of control in your mind. A business that you think you can bring forward and work towards to make it great. You start, and you can see that this is the right move for you. But working from home and starting a new business has its challenges. After all, you are just one person with a dream. So what can you do? Here are some of the ways that you can revolutionise your home business.
Keep it running even when you are not around
One of the big things that people come up against when it comes to having a home business is not knowing whether they can be present at their business 100% of the time. The main thing to remember is that you are one person, and there will be times when you are sleeping or away from it, but yet your business still needs to function or be seen. This is when using things like chatbots, or live chat options can help. You can get further information online, but it can enable things like frequently asked questions to be responded to in real-time. You could also look at improving SEO on your website to ensure that it is seen in search engine results all of the time.
Have a dedicated area to work
When working from home, it is hard to distinguish between working and home life, and this is when it can get difficult, so creating a dedicated area to work can be the answer. You may want to have an area of your home where your computer and paperwork can live, or even turn a room into an office if you have the space. This allows you to step away from work and keep a bit more control between working life and home life.
Productive time management
Time management is key when you have a business from home. You may think that you have all the time in the world, but in actual fact, you can be counterproductive, especially when there are distractions. Understanding when you work more productively is key. This might be in the mornings, at night, or when children are at school, for example. The more you manage yourself with time and use it more effectively, the more you will feel you get done.
Value your own time
Finally, make sure that you place a value on your time. You are one person, after all, and often cannot do everything, especially as your business progresses and expands. This is when outsourcing can prove valuable. You can look at using an outsourced person or freelancer for anything from social media management to website development. Focus on the areas where you can make the most difference. You might also want to look at employing someone in the future to handle aspects of the business that need focus and attention, such as accounts.
Let’s hope that these tips help you to revolutionise your home business.
It’s very possible to be taken advantage of in any form of sale or purchase, but the effects of this are perhaps much worse when it involves a vehicle we have bought. After all, most people rely on their cars as a vital means of transportation and often transport their families with them.
This means that vehicles that are in worse condition than described, or perhaps paying over the odds for a vehicle that isn’t worth such a pricepoint can feel so much more insidious. To counteract this, learning the most you can about the particular make and model, how to carefully inspect a vehicle when you come to purchase it, and learning how to spot a deceptive salesperson can be important.
But how can you practice these skills in the best possible context? To what degree will they work? And what do you do when in the presence of a suspected shoddy seller? With the following advice, we hope you can find out more easily.
Speak To Verified, Reliable Dealers
Speaking to reliable and verified vehicle dealers can help you avoid feeling nervous when walking into a dealership, and ultimately coming away with something anything less than perfect for your needs. This is why the best local Audi dealer will often ask you questions and help you feel comfortable browsing for a vehicle – they know this should be enjoyable, and fully informative. Finding the best-reviewed dealer in your local area can be a great start, as is speaking to those dealerships dedicated to preferred brands as we have already suggested.
Understand What Additions You Need
It’s a good idea to consider what additions you need as part of a potential vehicle going forward. This will help you avoid being upsold. It might be that you do have use of a carbon fibre addition, or differently textured seats, or more. However, if you’re not sure if you need or do not need these, it’s quite easy to be upsold and end up coming away with a more expensive vehicle than you may have wished for. If you understand just what your limits are, and what additions you may or may not need (through prior research), you can be more direct with your decision-making.
Consider Your Practical Uses
What will you use the vehicle for? It’s fine if you’re not 100% sure about what vehicle you most wish to drive, or what manufacturer you’re most fond of, but you likely know what kind of driving habits you’ll use it for. What prior driving experiences have you had? What models in the past have helped you make use of these driving habits in the best manner? Are you looking for a new experience, or to completely replicate the old? Are you moving to a more mountainous area? The questions specific to you can determine the vehicle you ultimately drive off with.
With this advice, we hope you can more easily purchase a new car, all while avoiding the chance of being taken advantage of.
Running a business has never felt tougher. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a great deal of disruption to companies in virtually all sectors. While those issues have impacted various aspects of the ventures, protecting people is one of the biggest challenges. Aside from the commercial elements, it’s a matter of human and social responsibility.
Here are five simple but effective ways to ensure that your employees are cared for. In turn, this should work wonders for their morale and productivity levels too.
1) Consider Remote Working
Thousands of businesses have used remote-based employees in recent times as a direct response to COVID-19. Even if it is now possible for things to return to how they were, the remote working model may be for the best. When employees work from home, they cannot spread the virus. Moreover, having a percentage of the workforce ‘off-site’ allows you to keep in-house teams safer too. After all, social distancing is a lot easier to practice when ‘on-site’ teams are reduced by 50%.
2) Invest In The Right Equipment
When dealing with health and safety on your work premises, prevention is the best form of protection. Finding wholesale face masks for sale instantly increases the company’s hopes of containing the virus. Crucially, it’s a key step to keeping staff members in a positive frame of mind. Additional PPE items may be purchased to upgrade the protection levels. Anti-bacterial gels are another particularly wise investment. They will help clients and visitors as well as your staff. Do not underestimate their worth.
3) Upgrade Digital Security
Whether it’s on-site staff or remote workers doesn’t matter. The percentage of business interactions taking place via modern tech is greater than ever. This is something that cybercriminals are actively trying to target. Not least because they know people are unprepared. This transition towards a different way of working has caught a lot of businesses. If yours fails to implement the right firewalls, password management, and security features, it could fall victim to an attack. Be sure to make training a key concept too.
4) Reduce Customer Interactions
Client interactions will be one of the greatest threats to your sales staff. While this cannot be an excuse to abandon good customer care, you can adapt to the situation. Using mobile POS terminals with contactless payments is vital. It instantly cuts down on the need to handle money or get too close. Other features may include an online or telephone booking system for restaurants, dentists, and any service. It protects guests and staff members alike. If it’s a change you’ve been considering, now is the time to do it.
5) Invest In Sanitisation
Putting the right PPE tools and precautionary measures in place will reduce the risks. Nonetheless, it’s imperative that you take the right steps to remove any presence of the virus from your workspaces. Chemical cleaning and sanitisation must become a part of your daily operations. There are plenty of companies that can do this for you, although in-house management is often equally as good. Either way, it should be supported by habitual changes like binning tissues immediately.
Do these five simple things, and your employees will feel safer than ever.
Until the Coronavirus pandemic, the idea of running your business remotely was an after-thought. You liked the freedom it provided, as well as the flexibility and independence, yet you preferred to keep employees in-house. After all, it suits most leaders’ management styles – it’s easy to communicate and inspire confidence in-person.
Of course, in times of a crisis, you don’t have any choice. If you want to survive, you must adapt and operate differently, and currently, this means managing your team virtually. While it’s tough, it’s not impossible to be successful as long as you invest in the correct tools.
Continue reading for more.
Managed IT Services
Working remotely during a crisis is similar to running a website – it can’t go offline. Once you experience downtime, you’ll lose your ability to lead and ensure your employees are productive. Not to point the finger at your staff, but it’s easy to slack off when you realise that your boss can’t keep tabs on your workload. The likes of Innovated IT offer popular solutions, yet you might not believe that you require an outsourcing service. You do, especially if you don’t have any expertise or experience in the sector. Even something as simple as integrating common software programs is challenging.
One of the reasons that video-calling programs are critical to remote-based companies is the fact that they maintain morale. This Forbes post points out that 87% of remote workers feel they are connected to their employers through video conferencing, which is a significant figure. Of course, choosing which software to implement isn’t a walk in the park. The key, regardless of whether you opt for Zoom or Microsoft Teams, is to train your employees. If you wing it and attempt to figure out the software over time, it’ll only lead to unnecessary glitches.
The Right Workers
Sadly, some people are going to lose their jobs because a global health and economic crisis isn’t without casualties. As tempting as it is to sack or make redundant the people who will save the most money via their salaries, you should take the opportunity to remove the employees who aren’t the perfect fit. You’re going to require workers with the right attitudes that are ready to pitch-in and sacrifice for the cause. Anyone who isn’t prepared to lend a hand isn’t going to make working virtually straightforward. You can analyse their personality traits with this Inc list.
A Can-do Attitude
Things are going to be tough for the foreseeable future. Nobody says it will be easy; however, you shouldn’t let this get you down. Just because processes and procedures don’t work to begin with doesn’t mean they won’t become smoother and less hassle in the future. You have to work hard and attempt to gauge the features and properties that make life worse. That way, you can eliminate them and (hopefully) see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Keep your head up as there will be issues, but you will surmount them with time.
Running a business is tough. There is a lot that you need to think about, so many different things that come into play. When you are a parent business owner, it’s even more challenging. You have to combine all of the responsibilities of your business with trying to be a good parent to your children.
So, understandably, having some tips and tricks to help with all of this is a godsend for most parent business owners. We have put our heads together and come up with five strategies for running a business, so let’s take a look at all of them here and now.
#1 – Automatically Updating Software is Your Friend
As a parent business owner, there is a high chance that you are going to be working with a lot of technology. This is the 21st-century after all, and with that comes a lot of incredible leaps and bounds in resources that can help with everyday tasks.
However, finding software which will automatically update for you is highly recommended. You don’t necessarily have time to check a system or update an inventory list every day, but if you can do that automatically with the help of a computer program, you’ll save a lot of time and effort. Thankfully, a lot of programs offer this already.
If possible, use things like Google Docs and Sheets, because they update their content regardless of which device you use. You can go from your phone to your computer and the information is up to date.
#2 – Never Underestimate What You Can Do For Yourself
One of the most significant challenges that a parent business owner will face is money. You are trying to generate an income to look after yourself and your family, and at the same time pay for your bills and expenses. Therefore, you will naturally want to spend as little money as possible to keep your business running at peak efficiency.
There are a lot of things that you can do for yourself to save money. Creating SEO rich content for a website that you’ve made, using social media platforms to promote yourself, marketing your business without the aid of a third-party – these are all money-saving strategies. If you can learn to do something for yourself, then it is a good idea to try.
As a helpful benefit, everything you do for yourself is another skill. It’s good to have when you want to branch your services out.
#3 – Time Management is Critical
Your time is precious. When you are trying to look after young children, your time is even more precious than normal. So you have to be ruthless about how you split your time between the office and the home, and what you allow yourself in the way of time to do menial tasks.
Quite a few entrepreneurs approach their day-to-day routines with a certain lack of urgency. They do what they can, they don’t really have a schedule in place, and this works when they don’t have any other responsibilities. You do, so you need a rough idea of what you have to accomplish each day, how much time you have to do certain things, and making sure that everything in your domestic life has been taken care of at the same time.
It’s all about cultivating that work-life balance and spending enough time with your kids. Expansion is nothing if you don’t have the time for the important stuff in life.
#4 – Have an Expansion Plan
If you are going to grow as a business, and expand as a parent entrepreneur, you have to have a plan. You need to have a goal, a place where you’re trying to get to, a position in your life that you are aiming for, and it has to be realistic, achievable, and have a defined timescale.
An expansion plan is often quite a fun thing to do, simply because you can set whatever goal you want. You can reach whatever height you think is appropriate, so long as it’s achievable and feasible. But you need an expansion plan if you’re going to think about doing anything remotely connected to growing your business as a parent entrepreneur, because it’s so easy to get stuck.
#5 – Network as Much as Possible
As a parent entrepreneur, you are part of an exclusive market comprised of thousands of other people who are in exactly the same position as you. Despite what you might think about rivalries and the cutthroat world of business, this is good. It means that you have plenty of opportunities to network, and to promote yourself to other people.
Now obviously, you have to be careful when it comes to networking. It’s all about picking the right people to ingratiate yourself with, doing things tactically. It’s not a point in going fraternising with another writing service if you’re also a writing service, because you’re just rivals. However, if you go and work with graphic designers, musical creators, marketers, you develop a whole selection of contacts which will help you. You might even be able to do little favours for each other.
Networking is vital. So many people don’t, and then they can’t move forward as a business because they’re trapped in a bubble of isolation.
Growing as a business isn’t easy. A lot of people try every year and fail. But you can do it. You have the focus, the commitment and the drive to succeed. But most importantly, you have strategies to help you succeed.
Everything you do in life needs that all-important direction. You can’t hope to succeed if you aren’t thinking about what it is that works for you. You have so many chances to succeed and so many potential options. Fortune favours those who are prepared to go after what they want with both hands. If you can do that, then you can quite easily move forward. Remember, it’s all for the kids, so if nothing else, do it for them!
Do you ever worry about some of the business pitfalls you could face? Here are a few common problems along with the right solutions.
Hacks are an issue that a lot of business owners think only impacts the massive companies. It’s understandable why you might assume that’s the case. After all, when we hear about hacks in the media, it’s usually on a company like Disney, Sony, or Equifax. But that doesn’t mean that smaller businesses aren’t targeted. They can be, for one reason. Criminals assume that these businesses won’t have the right level of security in place. You don’t want to prove them right here. You need to make sure that you are protecting your company. There are a few ways to do this, but antivirus software is a smart place to start.
Injuries have been causing expensive issues for businesses for years. Indeed, in the UK, there have been debates about whether to change the law so that it is far more difficult to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is due to the fact that UK firms, in particular, are being inundated with claims. The amount that you could have to pay through this type of lawsuit differs. It depends on the extent of the injury and the ramifications it could have for the individual. However, it’s not uncommon for the damages to exceed one hundred thousand.
Now you might think that this is a problem that is really only going to affect large businesses with multiple employees working in a factory or an office. But it’s not just employees that could get hurt. It could also be a customer or client. Let’s say that you meet a client in a coffee shop and they trip over a strap on your bag. If this happens, you are liable. That’s why exploring liability insurance options on a site like https://www.onesureinsurance.co.uk/ could be a smart move for your company.
You may also want to think about issues with reviews in your business. Bad reviews can cripple a company. Particularly when you consider that more than 80% of customers will check reviews before they commit to purchasing a product. If you have bad reviews, it’s important not to leave them to fester. You must take action and ensure that you can correct the situation. Sometimes, this is just a case of responding to the review in question and ensuring that your customers feel as though they are being listened to.
It’s time to pay the taxes for your company, but are you prepared? Do you know how to ensure that you are accurately recording your levels of profits? Do you know the deductions that you can make for your business? These are important questions to ask because if you slip up here, you could underpay your tax. This can leave you in a difficult situation where you suddenly owe thousands. The good news is that you can avoid this as long as you hire an accountant. They’ll take care of this issue for you and keep you on the right track. You can learn more about paying business tax on https://smallbusiness.co.uk/.
Being a parent entrepreneur is a challenge for many. You have to try and juggle the complexities of raising a child with the equally stimulating challenges of running a business. A lot of people want to start down this pathway, but they don’t know what they need for success.
In fact, what a lot of people don’t know is that there are three critical things which people need for success, and budding parent entrepreneurs should definitely make sure they have acquired all of these before they start down the difficult route of running a business. Let’s take a look at them together.
A Stable Career and Free Time
One of the first things that you are going to need is a stable career and some free time. A lot of people recommend that jumping into the world of entrepreneurship is not something you do unless you have a stable plan. As tempting as it can be to quit your job and focus entirely on your business, if you don’t have a good income, you’re going to put yourself and your family in jeopardy. What we recommend instead is that you gradually build an entrepreneurial business over time, while working your other job, so you can continue to support your family while you get the business off the ground. When you can make a similar sort of income from your business, it’s the right time to quit that job.
A Proper Schedule
If you’re going to even stand a chance at successfully running your own business, you need to have a good schedule in place. If you’re going to balance raising kids while running a business, you have to make sure that you have your day planned before you even start. You need to know how are you going to keep the kids entertained while you’re working, who is going to pick them up from school when you will stop work to sort out dinner and look after them. There are so many little considerations that people just don’t think about, and what this means is that there is this unfortunate sense of confusion in chaos which really can play havoc with the lives of budding parent entrepreneurs.
Patience and Discipline!
Being a parent entrepreneur is difficult. This is going to be one of the most challenging things you’ve ever had to do, because not only are you looking after your kids, but you’re trying to support your entire family through a business. You need to have patience and discipline. You have to be disciplined enough to get on with things when you need to, and you need to have the patience for when things aren’t going your way.
Overall, these are just three of the things every budding parent entrepreneur should have. It’s definitely difficult to maintain a sense of balance in your life when you’re trying to run a business and raise kids, but if you’re sensible about it, and you understand what the important things in life are, you’ll definitely see success.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.