How to Successfully Launch a New Product


How to Successfully Launch a New Product

Do you have a fantastic idea for a new product? If so, you are probably keen to get it launched and on-sell but may be unsure how to transform your initial idea into a successful product. Everyone has heard the doom and gloom stories of how many new products fail, but that does not mean that yours will suffer the same fate. To give your product idea the very best chance of success, it is essential to prepare as best as possible before you go ahead with the launch. Carrying out plenty of research will help you avoid many of the potential pitfalls involved in successfully getting a product to market and selling well. Here are the tips that you need to help you successfully launch your new product:

Know Your Target Market

To sell your product, you need to understand precisely who your customers will be, so identifying your target audience is essential. This can be achieved by determining the problems that your product solves and who would gain the most benefit from your product’s features. Once you have identified your target market, you will need to carry out research to decide on the best ways to market your product to your target audience and to make it appeal to them. This research will include looking into the best channels to use to promote it and the most suitable outlets to stock your product.

Research Your Competitors

As well as identifying your target market, you will also need to familiarise yourself with your competitors. Researching competing products is vital to understand how your product compares with similar products already on the market. Once you have identified these products, you will be able to determine how to differentiate your product from your competitor’s to establish its unique selling proposition (USP) to help it stand out from the crowd.

It is also crucial to understand the price points used by competing brands so that you can work out the best market position for your product.

Calculate Demand

Before your product goes into mass production, you need to Predict demand as this will have a large impact on the success of your launch. Manufacturing too many units will see you incur high costs with minimal profits, yet not producing enough will be a missed opportunity. To help your product realize its full potential, you need to forecast demand as accurately as possible by taking a research-based approach.

Raise Awareness

Even if you have just designed a revolutionary, life-changing product, you still won’t sell many units unless you make people aware of its existence. In marketing terms, brand awareness is the process of generating interest in a product and making people aware of it and its features. Many tactics can be used to build brand awareness, but your starting point should be building a website and gaining an online presence. Tailoring your online marketing activity to your target audience will give your product the best chance of getting noticed by your intended customers.

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The Benefits of Networking Online


The Benefits of Networking Online

Networking online can be something of a challenge if you’re not sure of what to do and how to do it. That’s why you need to take the time to really put the effort in when it comes to networking online and to learn how to make the best choices possible.

Networking online can have a lot of great benefits, because you meet incredible people. As a parent business owner, you’re not likely to go out as much to official networking conferences and the like, so these benefits will be especially appealing.

Forging Business Connections 

One of the best things that networking online can do is help you to form business connections. You may not have as many connections as you would like if you’re a parent business owner – getting out to the typical functions and events is a challenge when you have kids and a business to juggle.

Networking online helps to bypass this by giving you a chance to connect with people online. You’ll be able to create meaningful and powerful connections with people that will help you to go far in the world of business.

Career Support 

Networking is great because it puts you in touch with a lot of people who are just like you in many ways. You can work with them to accomplish a lot of things, and this makes networking a useful resource. You can link up with other parent business owners, digital agencies, advertising companies, and other professionals. You can all work together to help each other, and it’s all thanks to networking that this is possible. The resources are more readily available when you’ve got a business who helps you to get things done, or even someone who provides advice for difficult tasks.

Meeting New People

 Networking helps you to meet like-minded people to form friendships and relationships with. You’ve got people who are actively trying to help you, and they’re in a similar position to you, so you can make friends with them. It is a win-win situation.

Final Thoughts 

So, to wrap this up, you’ve got a lot of different options when it comes to your experiences, and this is a good thing. We all want to be able to check out what’s on offer when it comes to our business connections, and networking is a vital part of running an enterprise. You make friends, meet new people, and discover that actually, you’re not as alone as you might think and there are people who are going to be just like you. You can build yourself both a network of professional contacts and a support network of friends, which is a good two-for-one deal.

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How to Be Productive When You’re Working From Home


How to Be Productive When You’re Working From Home

As a parent business owner, splitting your time between work and home will be tricky. The situation is even more challenging when in a lot of cases, work is home. Staying productive can be a major headache in this arena because you’re trying to keep your focus on your work and not on whether or not the living room needs cleaning. Let’s take a look at some top tips for productivity.

Prioritise

It’s easy to lose an entire day doing meaningless tasks. Okay, so there might not be a meaningless task, so to speak, but there are lots of small things, like reading emails, that can do nothing but take up your time that should be spent on the big stuff.

You need to make sure that you are spending your time doing the important stuff. If there’s a big task that you need to get done, it needs to be the priority. Don’t waste your energy and the day doing smaller things because this won’t be a good way to increase productivity. Instead, focus on critical tasks that need immediate attention.

Take Regular Breaks

One of the biggest roadblocks in the path to productivity is a lack of motivation and concentration. This can come from prolonged periods of sitting around doing the same old thing, over and over with no breaks. These types of days are all too common if you choose not to step away from time to time, and your productivity suffers for it.

When all is said and done, you need to make sure that you’re taking regular breaks every day. This means that you can relax, unwind, and come back at things with a fresh perspective. That’s great for productivity.

Get Good Work-Life Harmony

If you’re going to do well at work, you need to make sure that you get a proper work-life balance. This can be a chore to maintain, especially if you’re just coming out of one room in the house and being a parent again.

I understand how difficult it can be. Take the time to put aside an hour for yourself if you can manage it. Yes, it is a challenge and will often seem like a futile endeavour. But you need to be able to put aside space for yourself, otherwise, everything blurs into one, and you lose sight of productivity.

Final Thoughts

So when it comes to trying to maintain productivity on a regular basis, it is important to try and keep a positive work-life harmony and to be kind to yourself above all else. Remember that no one is 100% productive all the time. It just doesn’t work as a practice. Instead, you need to be accepting of your own limitations and remember that you’re just as human as the rest of us. There is no shame in not always being on the ball.

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Happier Employees For Your Small Business


Happier Employees For Your Small Business

Keeping employees happy is essential for any business if they want good productivity. However, for small businesses, it is particularly important. After all, low morale can spread fast in a business that only employs a few people. Sadly, in turn, this can have a very negative impact on the way your business performs. The good news is there are some tactics you can use to keep your small business’s employees as happy as possible. Read on to find out what they are.

Perks 

Many businesses have the belief that if an employee receives rewards, that’s enough for doing their job. However, those with this attitude are missing out on valuable ways to keep their workers engaged and motivated. Instead, consider offering perks for jobs well done and at times of increased stress, as a little goodwill gesture can go a long way when things are tough.

The most common type of perk to offer an employee is a bonus. This usually works by giving them a percentage of the sales they contribute to. However, bonus schemes are not always the best approach, especially in smaller businesses.

Instead, why not consider introducing other perks such as gym membership, additional paid holidays, and even gift packages. Indeed, such perks can often be much cheaper than running a bonus scheme, as there are corporate discounts available, yet still be just as effective.

Pay 

If you are under the belief that your employees are working for the love of their job, you may need to get back in touch with reality. After all, no matter how meaningful the job, it’s unlikely they would do it for free, as everyone has bills to pay!

That is why if you want your workers to be as productive as possible, you need to make sure you deal with pay and raises right.

This means you need to prioritize paying a good base wage to begin with. Make sure payments are always on time as well, as it can cause employees a considerable amount of stress if their salaries are late. Indeed, you may wish to outsource your payroll to ensure this happens. Something that can be particularly useful for a small business, already overstretched by the demands on their time.

Finally, don’t forget that to stay motivated, you will need to offer a regular wage increase review. Linking performance and specific goals to pay rises can help you get the best for your business while ensuring your workers are happy too.

Balance 

Last of all, if you want your employees to remain happy, you must encourage a good work-life balance. Of course, to be able to do this, you have to understand that work is not the only priority in their lives, something that small business owners sometimes struggle with.

Flexi-time is a good place to start here, as it offers excellent maternity and paternity packages and the chance to earn extra paid holidays. All of which can help people better balance their work and life commitment and so be much happier and more productive overall.

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Why Small Business Owners Are Doing Things For Themselves


Why Small Business Owners Are Doing Things For Themselves

Small business owners often have the toughest challenge of all entrepreneurs. They lack the large budget available to larger enterprises, and this means they need to be creative.

As a result of a limited budget and resources, small business owners need to control as much of their business as possible. Many companies are, therefore, doing a lot of everyday tasks for themselves. We are going to be taking a look at why small enterprises are doing things for themselves to try and shed some light on the situation.

Cost-Efficiency

 If you’ve decided to cover your social media, marketing or PR, then it is possibly down to cost. Many companies cannot justify outsourcing these tasks because the scale of the organisation doesn’t allow for it. Therefore, it is very common for a small organisation to perform these tasks for themselves and cut down on costs.

Control Over Their World

For a lot of smaller businesses, control can be a big part of why they choose to do their Facebook adverts, Google AdWords, and other things. From the perspective of a smaller business, it would go something like this. You’ve only got a finite number of resources and money to spend on marketing, social media and the like. Therefore, some people feel more comfortable doing these things for themselves than leaving it in the hands of another company. If you only have one shot at making things right, then it’s often best to do it for yourself. 

If you’ve researched the campaign you’re running, and you’ve done all you can, then there’s no question on why you’d want to do it for yourself. You can monitor the campaign at any point, interact with customers and supply crucial information to interested parties. It’s one of the most important things that you can do as a business because you’re keeping the closest possible watch on your advertising. 

Independence 

For some companies, doing things for themselves is a sign of independence. It’s all about making sure that whatever they do, they do for themselves. Call it a matter of pride if you like, but it’s all about being independent and in control of their business. They often feel a real sense of pride and accomplishment when they do things for themselves, and so they will actively try and do their social media or adverts.

All in all, these are just a few of the different reasons why people choose to do things for themselves when they’re in a small business. It’s easy to feel like you’re getting somewhere by spending a lot of money and getting people to do things for you. However, this isn’t always the best course of action. As a smaller business, there’s not always the facilities to make sure that professionals handle things, so people have to do their own marketing or PR. It’s almost always a more cost-effective measure, and this is why so many choose to do things for themselves. You’re going to save money, and in a smaller businesses, it makes all the difference.

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Fulfil Your Values Through Working Towards a Sustainable Business


Fulfil Your Values Through Working Towards a Sustainable Business

If you see caring for the environment as part of your personal values and business values, you should be taking the right steps to make your business sustainable. A business that uses sustainable practices contributes to protecting the planet, and it also helps you to better sustain your business. You’ll have less worry about shortages of certain supplies, and you can save money by being sustainable too. Your customers will also appreciate you taking steps to be greener. If you want to express your values through your business, you need a plan to become more sustainable. Try these tips to make it possible.

Set Sustainable Goals

Whenever you want to make a change in your business, especially a long-term or permanent change, you need to set a goal. Goals help to ensure that your business is working towards something solid. Instead of having a nebulous goal like “be more sustainable”, you need to set goals that you can measure so you know when you’ve achieved them. For example, you might set a goal to reduce your waste by 20% or to switch to using only sustainable materials in your products. Once you’ve set your goals, you can create a plan to meet them.

Engage Your Employees

If you want to make your business more sustainable, you need to get your employees to participate. You need their co-operation if you want to be able to commit to your sustainable goals. When you get your employees on board, you can also assign different people to be in charge of certain goals too. Someone might be the advocate for recycling in the workplace, or someone else might be in charge of helping to reduce energy usage in the office. Your employees need to care about helping the environment too and share your values, but it doesn’t hurt to offer other incentives.

Cut Down on Waste

Waste can be a big problem for many businesses, but there are lots of ways to reduce it. You can choose to use products that produce less waste when buying supplies. On the FuelBox website, you can find out about how using fuel boxes reduces your waste compared to using jerry cans, making your business more eco-friendly. You can also find ways to recycle and reuse waste products from the manufacturing process. For example, some food and drink companies might send their waste products to farms to be used as animal feed or fertiliser.

Work with Sustainable Partners

It’s not just your business that should be sustainable. If you take steps to be more sustainable, but you’re working with other businesses that don’t do the same, it could look like your business doesn’t take your values too seriously. It’s important to try and find suppliers and other partners who are also committed to a more sustainable future. It’s not always easy to do, but it’s worth it to take another step in your journey to create a sustainable business.

Working towards a sustainable business is a great way to express your values and make your business look good at the same time.

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4 Things to do for your business right now


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.

In this video, I discuss 4 Things to do for your business right now

The Benefits of Joining a Business Membership Community


The Benefits of Joining a Business Membership Community

As a parent business owner, you will need all the business connections you can get to succeed. Networking is a vital component of any business – that much is obvious – but joining a business membership community gives you a hub of all relevant connections.

So why should you join a business membership community? These incredible groups of people are always a good idea for the aspiring parent business owner, and they offer many benefits to any who enter their ranks. Let’s take a look at the main benefits you’ll experience from joining a business membership community.

B2B Promotions

As a business, you don’t just have to market your services to customers. In addition to the standard business-to-customer interactions (B2C), you’ve also got the business-to-business interactions (B2B). This is a different form of commerce, but it is one which can yield many unique perks.

B2B interactions allow you to market services and establish a name for yourself in the community. Whether you choose financial compensation or services from the other business, you’re improving your profits and making sure that you generate demand for what you do. B2B advertising and business practices can be highly fruitful in many situations.

Networking Opportunities

One of the primary and most immediate benefits of joining a business membership community is the networking opportunities from such a group. You have all these professionals in one place, all of whom are there to connect with other professionals.

You can network as much as you want. Whether this is promoting your business, forging a presence in your industry, becoming an authority in your business field, or simply just making friends and meeting potential collaborators, you’ve got options. Networking has never been so easy when you’re in a community.

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A Sense of Community

There’s a lot of instances where it can be pretty isolating to be a business owner. Because you’re always managing your time between the business and your kids, you may feel like you’re not going to make any friends or belong to a community. This can be massively isolating.

Thanks to the power of a business community, you’re not alone anymore. You can connect with professionals, some of whom will be in the same position as you. The isolating nature of being a parent business owner isn’t as prominent thanks to online communities and the like.

Final Thoughts

To summarise, the benefits of a business membership community are mostly social, but they can make a lot of difference. Being able to network and connect with other professionals can help you to thrive as an organisation. Ultimately, a networking opportunity is too good to pass up.

The way that you network will heavily influence the success you have when it comes to a community. It’s a good idea to form practical relationships and establish yourself as being a legitimate authority. It’ll help out a lot when you’re trying to ingratiate yourself and to build a practical community feeling.

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7 Working From Home Tips For Those With Children


7 Working From Home Tips For Those With Children

When you’re working from home, and your children are around, it can be challenging to stay productive and focus. First things first, create yourself a designated workspace that allows for maximum concentration. Once you’ve created a suitable working area, try taking on board these seven simple tips.

      1 . Start your day early

When you’re working from home, and your kids will be around, it’s helpful to start your day early. Wake up before your kids and try to get as much done as possible before they get up! Having a quiet period where you can totally focus will do wonders for your productivity levels. It might mean going to bed a bit earlier or a few more cups of coffee, but ultimately, you’ll benefit from a head start on your workday!

  1. Create a task hierarchy 

It’s a wise move to create a task hierarchy, listing the most important tasks first to those tasks which can wait. Tackle the most critical tasks first, meaning you’ll be working on these, for the most part, before your kiddies wake up. When you’re creating a task hierarchy, it can help to set time-frame goals. Remember, don’t be too strict on yourself with your deadlines. It’s unlikely that you’ll get as much done as you did at the office. Be kind to yourself, accept the transition, and work with it the best way you can.

  1. Establish your boundaries 

When you’re working from home, and your children are about, it’s helpful to establish clear boundaries. Ensure that your children know the times that they can and cannot interrupt you, establish the situations that are valid and emergencies, etc. It can be useful to use visual clues to help them. For example, make a rule that a ‘closed-door’ means they cannot enter (unless it’s an emergency). You might also like to use signs or color-coded door hangings to represent various situations. Signs can be beneficial if you are working in an open space without a door.

  1. Improve your child’s room 

If you want your children to be able to entertain themselves, it’s worth spending some time improving their bedroom. Invest in practical Nursery furniture and storage units, so they can reach everything they need without help. Create them a cozy corner for reading and relaxation, using a tee-pee tent or a cute armchair. Ensure that they have plenty of toys and technology items to keep them busy. Invest in the perfect bed to make sure that they get the best night’s sleep or can nap easily during the day time.

  1. Build a support network

You may need a little help now and then to look after your kids, which is why it can help to build a support network. Call upon the help of relatives and friends to supervise your children during your busiest workdays. Multi-tasking your work and your children can be a real challenge. With a solid support network around you, you can share the load and de-stress.

  1. Try productivity software 

Staying productive when working from home can be tricky, especially with kids around. To help you to work more efficiently, you may like to check out the following productivity software tools:

  • Rescue Time: Rescue Time is a time management tool that tracks active windows, websites visited, and computer activities. The app provides you with a visualization of your tasks, how much time you’re spending on each. You can create a schedule and attempt to boost your productivity levels.
  • Trello: Trello is an organizational tool that can help you to create a workable schedule, manage your projects, and prioritize your tasks. It’s simple to collaborate with your team or use Trello independently as a freelancer.
  1. Create stations for snacks and drinks

Help your children out by creating self-service snacks and drinks stations; this way, they won’t need to bother you each time they need something. Teaching your kids a little independence is a worthwhile pursuit, and working from home is the perfect opportunity. The sooner your children learn a little independence, the sooner they’ll become more mature and improve their problem-solving skills. Spend a little time teaching your children how to safely get their snacks and drinks (Without making a mess)!

Hopefully, these seven ideas will help you to improve your work-from-home routine. With the right attitude, you’ll create a daily schedule that works for both you and your children. Balancing work and family life isn’t straight forward, but with a little trial and error you can improve your routine.

 

 

How Are Small Businesses Staying Afloat Through COVID-19


How Are Small Businesses Staying Afloat Through COVID-19

Business owners are struggling right now. The lockdown left many companies with massive losses in terms of profits and revenue. Some even struggled to open their doors again once the lockdown ended. This is why it’s important to explore the key ways that businesses are staying afloat through the continuing health crisis.

Leaning On Loyalty

One of the first ways that businesses are keeping their doors open is by relying on the loyalty of the customers that they already have. Right now, you might want to consider doing more of this, rather than trying to win over new clients. Winning new clients is going to be more expensive and more time consuming than falling back on customers that you have already claimed. There are lots of ways to gain the interest of loyal customers to your business. For instance, you can use email marketing to provide value directly to them and remind them why they chose your business in the first place.

Credit Options

Next, you might want to explore different credit options for your business. If you are struggling to maintain revenue levels then it’s possible that credit is going to be the only way that you are able to keep the lights on. You might be wary of borrowing to keep your business going. However, it’s going to be a calculated risk. Under the right circumstances, payday loans and similar credit options can be the lifeline that you need. You just need to make sure that you are aware of the interest and when you will need to pay the money back.  The government also provide support for businesses you can view here the Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to businesses.

Downsizing

Other companies are surviving simply by reducing the size of their business. One of the ways that you can do this is by cutting down your team of staff. No business wants to reduce staff numbers, particularly when it’s nearing the end of the year. However, there’s no denying that this is ultimately going to end up saving you a lot of money. You might also want to consider operating from home with your business if you are not already exploring this option. It will immediately cut all the costs that your business office brings.

Reinvention

Finally, you might want to consider whether there are any ways that you can reinvent your business this year to ensure that it’s a better fit for the current climate. The obvious example of this would be home deliveries. A lot of stores on the high street are now putting a stronger focus on ensuring that they can deliver to the homes of their customers. While you might not have the team in place to do this, there are logistics solutions that can help. Approached correctly, you can increase your profits, even as you pay for the services of another company.

We hope this helps you understand some of the key ways that you can keep your small business afloat even during this tumultuous time for industries and different sectors. With the right strategies in place, you won’t be one of the next companies forced to close their doors.

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