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Business

5 Elements Customers Want In A Startup

August 7, 2017

Launching a startup is very exciting. It means you’ve made it and are ready to start putting yourself out there in the business world. Embrace the obstacles and learn from your mistakes. Know that you’re going to have to be adaptable and open to change if you want to experience success.

One area you can’t forget to pay attention to is your customers. Nurture them and make it a point to go above and beyond no matter their requests. It’s important to offer exceptional customer service and always be impressing people with your business. Keep them coming back for more by learning what they want from you. See five elements customers want in a startup.

Financial Stability

Build your company with a solid foundation by focusing on your finances. Choose betterfunds.com to help you fund your business and start off strong. They focus on fast funding, finding the lowest rates and use one simple and fast application. It’s a marketplace for small business funds, and they work quickly to ensure you have the answers you need in record time.

Unique Products

This is your chance to roll out impressive products that are one-of-a-kind. Let your creativity run wild when you’re designing your merchandise. Customers want to see items they’ve never encountered before and be the first to own a really cool gadget. They want to be admired by others who don’t have your product yet. Come to the market with unique goods and the customers will jump at the chance to try it.

Responsiveness

Customer service should be your main focus. People don’t want to be searching around trying to find someone to contact. Put your information out there, so it’s easy to get ahold of you. Make it known where your building is, answer your phones and have a social media presence. Be quick to solve issues and please your customers after they’ve had a poor experience. Get feedback from them and use it to make improvements.

A Website & Blog

Customers love going online to find what they’re looking for. Have an attractive website built and include a blog with engaging information to entertain your audience. If you’re not on the Internet, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to connect with your customers and advertise your products. Take the time to design a website and blog that attracts traffic and admiration from the public.

Leadership

As the owner, you have to be willing to take charge and be a leader. Being disorganized will show through to your clients, and they’ll take their business elsewhere. Direct and train employees so they’re prepared to handle whatever comes at them next. Work with your leaders to manage the company and make a plan for growth. Customers want to know that the people they’re doing business with are professional and structured.

Conclusion

Managing a startup takes patience and persistence. Put a system in place that moves your company in a positive direction and challenges you to achieve more. These are five elements customers want in a startup.

Business

4 Essential Tips for Tendering Success

July 27, 2017

The UK government plans to spend close to £15 billion on small and medium enterprises. Part of this sum will be in form of government work. Bidding government tenders is a great opportunity for small business owners to improve their visibility and grow their businesses. Unfortunately, many of them make mistakes in the tendering process and get negative results every time. What does it take to win tenders? Here are some tips you should consider when bidding for the next tender.

1. Be Realistic when Choosing Tenders

Most business owners consider the value of the tender when choosing tenders. In fact, tenders with high amounts attract a larger number of applicants. If you are applying for your first tender or running a small business, you may not qualify for such big tenders. You may lack the portfolio required to qualify for such tenders. In addition, you may not have the resources and experience necessary to deliver it. Always go for tenders that suit the resources, skills, and knowledge in your business.

2. Prepare Adequately

Start preparing your bid as early as possible. You will forget some important details or you’re your application with mistakes if you do everything at the last minute. It is obvious that you cannot do everything on your own. Assign tasks to your staff early and give them strict deadlines. Collect all the documents you may need like business certificates, financial statements, CVs of staff members, and evidence of past work. Check the progress of each assigned task to ensure that all tasks are completed on time. If you’re still struggling, try this article for some basic tips.

3. Consider the Buyer’s Need

Winning bids are focused on meeting the buyer’s needs. Before you start filling out your application, identify the needs of the buyer. Your application should show how your business will meet those needs when awarded the tender. Do not rely on the information given in the tender documentation. Conduct a research on the company’s goals and values from other sources. The additional information will help you answer the questions and prepare an application that paints a clear picture of how your business can solve the buyer’s problems.

4. Ask Others to Proof your Application

Check your application several times to ensure that all fields are completed with the right information. If you have not written an application before, it is advisable to work with a bid writing company like Executive Compass and learn how to do it right. You will pay a small fee but it will increase your chances of winning the tender. Ask other staff members to proofread your tender bid before submitting. Check if all requirements are met such, as the specific number of copies of certain documents and signatures. If you submit your application electronically, follow up to ensure that the relevant office or authority received it.

Conclusion

If you have applied for several government tenders unsuccessfully, you need to recheck your approach. Before you give up or blame the size of your business for your failures, identify your mistakes and learn from them. Ask questions and request help from experts in tendering to increase your chances of winning your bids. Work with an elaborate plan for each tender and be realistic about the resources and capabilities in your business. You will start receiving positive feedback on your bids as you continually refine your application process.

 

Business

4 areas of your business that could be improved by online technology

July 25, 2017

If you are trying to grow your business, or are hoping to maintain your current level of success, it is important that you are constantly thinking of new and creative ways to do this. If you are struggling for inspiration, the internet is a great place for you to start. Incorporating the online world into your business plan can be extremely beneficial. It shows that your company can keep up in the digital age. It can also help to save you money and time. Below are four areas of your business that could be significantly improved by you taking the time to look online.

Business Initiatives

In business, it is vital to stay one step ahead of your competitors. One way that you can make sure to keep your finger on the pulse is by setting up Google alerts on your field in the industry. Keep up to date with any topical stories or impressive innovations that would work well in your organization. You could also dedicate a set amount of time each week to researching online advice from successful entrepreneurs. Why not look up interesting TED talks and arrange a viewing for your staff? This will save money on having to pay for a guest speaker to visit your offices and will help you to inspire your workers.

Human Resources

Whether your business has an entire human resources department or relies on a few dedicated employees, it is important that you are providing your staff with everything that they need in order to be successful. Have you ever considered human resources software? This is an easily configured online self-service system that will help to propel your human resources to the next level. A savvy entrepreneur will know that a brilliant team is the secret to great results. That is why it is so vital to invest in your company’s HR.

Accounts

It is also possible for you to organize your accounting online. This is especially useful for small businesses, as online accounting can dramatically reduce your costs. It can also prevent you from making mistakes and is extremely user-friendly. Don’t worry about security, as with the rise of online banking, it has become the norm for transactions to take place online. If you look around for online accounting software that places emphasis on keeping your finances safe, you and your business should be secure.

Marketing

There has been a constant rise in businesses conducting their marketing online. This can be an extremely effective strategy. While many companies have already embraced the opportunity to advertise via social media, it is important that you don’t just follow trends, but work on setting them. One technique that is predicted to see a huge rise in popularity is online video marketing. If your business can’t afford to create long video advertisements, why not think outside of the box and use Instagram video? Just imagine the impact a viral video could have on your company’s brand. Try to be as creative as possible. The right idea at the right time could be the secret to your business catapulting towards success you’ve only dreamt of!  

 

Business

Top Tips for Injecting Some Life into Your Presentations

June 20, 2017

We all know that presentations are an integral part of the business world. Whether they are delivering presentations to clients, employees, or industry peers, the majority of businesses will require excellent presentation skills in order to thrive in this competitive climate. However, many presentations rely on the same structure: a PowerPoint presentation, simple bullet points, basic handouts, and perhaps an open floor to questions. Whilst this can, at times, be an effective way to convey your message, it can also result in an audience switching off. Even if you are talking about a hugely exciting project, sometimes the familiar formula is enough to undermine your enthusiasm. Therefore, when delivering a presentation, it is important to mix things up! Below are a few ways to get started.

Switch PowerPoint for Prezi

Sometimes even the simplest change can make a huge difference. If you are looking to inject some excitement into your presentations, but you don’t want to do anything too drastic, Prezi will do the work for you. This online presentation software helps to create dynamic and visually stimulating presentations. Due to its range of ready-made templates, Prezi is easy to use but incredibly effective. Instead of moving from one slide to the next, a Prezi presentation will use impressive graphics and special effects to convey your message. Not only this, but it is free to set up an account!

Be Bold

One of the best ways to engage your audience is by shocking them to pay attention. Why not try to be really bold with your approach to delivering presentations? A good place to start would be Pechakucha. This is a type of presentation that is taking the world by storm and has even been featured by Forbes. Pechakucha is an excellent way to demonstrate just how daring you are willing to be, as your audience will be shown 20 slides for just 20 seconds. The strict guidelines of this Japanese technique will ensure that your presentation doesn’t drag and your points are as concise as possible.

Invest in your handouts

A simple A4 handout can result in a very underwhelming end to a presentation. If you are really looking to impress, why not showcase your documents in quality presentation folders. This way you can make sure to establish your business’s brand and give your audience something of quality to keep hold of. Not only is this approach effective, it is also surprisingly easy and affordable. At folderprinting.co.uk  you are able to select the perfect presentation folder for your document, and you will be able to find the type of quality product that shows your mean business.

Interact with your audience

At the end of a presentation, it is very common to ask the audience for any questions. However, it is important to remember that there is more than one way to interact with your audience. Why not try shaking things up by asking them some questions? Maybe even add a competitive element to the questions, with rewards for whoever engages most effectively. Alternatively, you could try moving around the audience area to avoid standing statically at the front of the room. You could also try taking and questions at select moments throughout the presentation if you are aiming for a more collaborative environment.

Business

Technology to Drive Efficiency Within the Workplace

June 20, 2017

To be successful, your company needs to be efficient. You pay your employees for their skill, time and productivity, and so, employees should be working towards targets, meeting deadlines and delivering sound results. However, efficiency levels can drop and plateau to new lows.

There can be many reasons behind a decline in efficiency – it may be because a department isn’t achieving their KPIs, however, it could also be because your company is yet to implement the appropriate technology that’ll speed up business processes and lessen employee frustrations.

What’s the best technology to drive efficiency within the workplace? Read below.

Document Management Over the Cloud

The cloud makes sharing documentation a smoother process for every employee (and employer) in the company. Through applications such as Dropbox, employees can add, edit, amend all your company’s documents without having to email the documents back and forth, or waste time reuploading the new document.

This type of document management is perfect for companies who have in-house staff as well as freelancers or those working from home. It’s also ideal for those who spend a lot of their time commuting to and from work, or must attend business meetings in other locations. Business is easily accessed, no matter where your workers are. They can work more efficiently without having to rely or depend on anyone else.

Supplier Portals

Your supply chain is key to providing a great service to your customers. If you are in retail, making sure your store (whether it’s online or offline) is fully stocked can determine your profit margins. For larger organizations running SAP ERP, you should invest in sound technology such as a SAP Supplier Portal found at weaveability.com to allow communication with your suppliers in real-time, to set up notifications for when stock is running low, forecast future demands and to see your current order statuses.

Tablets

Most work needs to be implemented on a desktop, however, offering your employees the chance to work with more flexibility can improve their performance rates. Employees do not need to be chained to a desk, and by providing them with tablets, they could find another place to quietly work when they need a change of environment. Tablets could also persuade employees to work during their commute if they come to and from work via bus or train. Instead of opening up a laptop, tablets are lighter and much more exciting.

Social Media Add-Ons

Keeping tabs on your social media activity can prove troublesome. It’s difficult to Tweet once every hour, and so, programs like Hootsuite allow you to line up Tweets for your Twitter account, so you solely focus on mentions from your customers. However, this does not mean you should leave your Twitter; make sure to keep watch of what’s happening, and amend Tweets or add more if it calls for it. Your customers will be contacting you, so remember to retweet or like their comments. You still need to be ‘present,’ even if you’re only really half there.

 

 

Business

Tips on Making Your Business More Secure

June 19, 2017

Online hacking is becoming an increasingly difficult problem for businesses large and small. Many small business owners have lost data and money as a result of cyber-crime, so you need to do all you can to protect your data and your customer’s personal information.

It is not only the loss of data or earnings that are problematic. A company’s reputation and level of trust with the customers can also be hurt. Here are a few tips to making your business more secure.

Risk Assess Data

You will probably have a significant amount of data stored on your computer systems, such as customer data, employment records, and supplier details. All of this has to be assessed to see if you are handling it correctly.

When you are looking at some of the information, ask yourself, what would happen if this data was compromised? Think about where you store this information and is it adequate for the type of data it is. Do the people who have access to the data, need to have it?

It is these types of questions that will give you some idea what data you have and how you should be dealing with it day to day.

Moving your data to the cloud

One of the ways you can secure your data easily is by getting your information uploaded to the cloud by a hosting firm. Companies such as umbeehosting.net can take all your data, including personal information, and transfer it to their servers. This is a far more secure way of dealing with your data, and it has many other advantages such as flexibility and cost effectiveness.

Then, you can have a remote desktop system for all your employees, and only allow access to those who need to see it. It also provides workers that are out of the office, a secure way to access the company data.

Passwords

Passwords can be difficult to manage sometimes, particularly if your workforce are not entirely secure with their passwords. Some may have their passwords written on post-its, others in a Word document. You can always employ help from a password manager tool that can help you keep all your passwords safe.

You then have the power to revoke passwords and generate new ones as needed. This will hopefully make your computers more secure and stop employees from divulging their passwords or leaving them unguarded by mistake.

Education

An important part of keeping your data safe is teaching people how to secure data properly. A small amount of training can go a long way to stopping potential breaches and maybe even prevent data being lost on memory sticks or laptops.

There are guides and videos on the internet that can help you to train your staff in the best practices of data protection. It also means that if there were a breach, you know that everything was done to try and prevent it from happening.

Protecting your information is a big responsibility. You are not only responsible for your data, but also for your customers and your employees. With these tips, you can move toward a more secure computer system that will hopefully protect your company from cyber-crime.

Business

5 Ways to Get Feedback from Customers

June 8, 2017

In order to successfully run a business, it is very important to get feedback from customers. Unless you get proper feedback, it will be extremely difficult for you to improve the quality of your product and service. Fortunately, collecting feedback is not a very difficult process. Here are 5 ways to get feedback from customers:

1. Feedback Boxes: Whenever anyone is going through your website, he or she will always be constantly thinking of ways to make your website look better. Maybe they are not impressed with some aspects of your website or maybe one of your links is broken. Unless the problem is very serious, they won’t reach out to your support team. They will just ignore your site and find a better website. Hence, if you add a Feedback Box below your website asking ” How can we make the website better for you? , it will be much easier for all your visitors. Since it is easily accessible, they will be more than happy to share all the issues which they are facing.

2. Support Forums: You probably have to deal with plenty of phone calls from your customers on a regular basis. Instead of dealing with each call individually, it will be much easier for you to host a support forum or use a third party support forum. In the support forum, your customers will post queries and you will answer them. The main advantage is that most of the queries are common. Hence, once you have answered some of the basic queries, your job is almost done. However, you have to hire a moderator to look after your forum so that there are no spam messages.

3. Social Media: You should also take the help of social media to get some valuable feedback. In the different social media platforms, people will be always talking about your business. You just have to do a hashtag search to find out what people are saying about your brand. What social media you should use depends on your customers and the nature of your industry. However, irrespective of the nature of your business, being active on Facebook and Twitter is a must. After that, you have to select industry specific sites. For example, if you are a tour company, you should be active on TripAdvisor. If you own a restaurant, you should be active at Yelp.

4. Direct outreach: These feedback boxes and support forums are a bit impersonal. In order to get quality feedback, the best option is to directly contact the customers and conduct an interview. Ask them about their experience of using your product and whether they want any changes or not. If the interview is positive, you can also use it as a marketing tool to promote your product.

5. Customer Survey Questions: Surveys are also an extremely effective way to get valuable customer feedback. They are also quite easy to create. If you manage to design the questionnaire properly, then you will get to know a lot about your product. However, don’t make it too long. Keep it short and concise. And apart from rating scales and multiple choice questions, you should also include a few open ended questions to get a better understanding of the customer’s experience.

Business

5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Invest in a Premium WordPress Theme

May 29, 2017

If you’re currently looking for an affordable solution when it comes to getting a site online, but you’re not looking to spend thousands on a custom-made product, it’s probably time you look towards a premium WordPress theme to give you a helping hand. WordPress makes it very easy for business owners to get a site online in a professional manner – have a look at the five reasons why your business will benefit from a WordPress solution.

  • Cost-Effective

If you look at the Theme Forest database, which is filled to the brim of premium WordPress themes, you’ll see that a theme can cost anywhere between $40-$60 – and that is the fraction of the cost of a custom-made solution, which could end up costing upwards of $2,000, or even more depending on your requirements.

  • Easy & Quick to Setup

The great benefit of looking at WordPress for your website is that it’s very easy to use and quick to setup. If you’re investing in a custom solution you can be sure that the design process alone can take weeks, let alone the development process that follows. By investing in a WordPress theme, you can be sure you’ll have a site up within just a few hours – or even less if you have web development experience. Most web hosting solutions such as bestwebhosting.co.uk offer tools so setting up WordPress can be done with just a few clicks.

  • Free Theme Support

Most premium themes come with 6-12 months of support so you can get help if you’re looking to customise the theme to suit your needs further. Most themes also come with free demo setups so you can have your site looking exactly like the live preview of the demo they were trying to sell you in the first place – so all you’ll have to worry about is editing content and pictures.

  • A Professional Website

All premium WordPress themes on the market look beautiful and professional and you’ll easily stand out from the rest of the competition. A lot of people are wary about buying a WordPress theme because it can be sold hundreds of times, but when you look at the fact there are billions of websites online currently, the chances of any of your clients ever noticing that you have invested in a WordPress theme is slim.

  • WordPress Themes are Easy to Customise

One of the best benefits of investing in a WordPress theme is that you’ll not have to buy another theme in the future because most of them come with easy to use control panels that allow easy customisation. These themes can be changed so much so that they can look like completely unique designs.

The benefits of investing in a premium WordPress theme are practically endless and it should always be an option worth considering if you’re looking to get a website online quickly and in the cheapest possible manner. WordPress offers thousands of plugins that can be used in conjunction with the premium themes available to purchase and that means you can change your website from something standard into a full-blown store that can accept payments within a matter of minutes.