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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Curating Your Professional Image In The Best Possible Light


Curating Your Professional Image In The Best Possible Light

To the extent that you can, it’s important to curate your personal brand in a manner that helps you feel enthusiastic about what you have to offer. Most of us feel this if it has been left unattended for too long, mostly when attending a job interview. Then all of our skills are laid bare – how well we sell ourselves, how smart we can dress for work, and how personable we may be.

Curating your professional image in the best possible light is a means in which to refine who you are, and how you present yourself in a professional setting. You don’t have to be perfect, of course. A little bit of style and substance is much more important than thinking you have to fit a particular mold. That being said, curating your professional image also means becoming more digestible and impressive to other people.

It’s not about status and blowing people away. We mean to say that a good handshake and confident eye contact is more important than pulling into the driveway in an expensive Mercedes.

Let’s consider what else is important in this setting:

Clothing & Accessories

To be seen as professional you must look professional. This often means that wearing smart clothing is important. From investing in good, well-fitting (this is the most important part) clothes that help you showcase yourself as someone who knows how to put an outfit together is worthwhile. No matter if purchasing shirts, trousers, skirts, ties, blazers, or smart-casual sports jackets and excellent glasses from eyeglasses.com, make sure your arrangement is tasteful, and denotes how you wish to be seen as a professional person.

Stature, Presence, Confidence

Of course, it’s not all about how you look to others through your clothing choices. It’s enough to stand up straight with your shoulders back and greet people forthrightly. Having some presence and confidence about you can seem like a nerve-wracking necessity at first, but this practice is actually quite enjoyable once you keep it up. Learn how to keep eye contact, hold a proper handshake (after Covid-protective norms cease), and to address people by the name you have done your utmost to remember. Little tidbits like this really do matter.

Correspondance & Portfolio

Of course, image is more than just clothes and how good your posture is. We may consider how our website looks to others, and what our portfolio shows. Curating a website with instances of your work, your testimonials, and maybe even a list of the people you wish to be known for residing next to can be a fantastic use of your time – and it may even push you forward professionally. Furthermore, curating your correspondence is a good idea, because it helps you come across more professionally to others. For instance, brevity, that is speaking with import but without using too many words, can be appreciated by those you have to talk to often.

With this advice, you’ll no doubt curate your professional image in the best possible light.

Revolutionise Your Home Business With This Advice


Revolutionise Your Home Business With This Advice

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.

Purchasing A New Car? Avoid Being Taken Advantage Of


Purchasing A New Car? Avoid Being Taken Advantage Of

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.

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