Setting up a “Success Tracking Practice” by @tobyberesford

Many organisations need a success tracking practice, they just don’t realise it yet.

As any Team Sky cyclist will tell you – it’s great to be able to rely on the Team Sky staff team and the array of coaches on everything from telemetrics to nutrition.

Think about having your own team of performance coaches at work – wouldn’t that be fabulous?

Well some organisations are already well on their way – PwC, the United Nations and others – have set up success tracking programs, initially targeted at social media success. Employees can sign up to the program and they get personalised tracking scores combined with peer networking and coaching advice to help them succeed at social media.

The success tracking approach is one that you can introduce into your own organisation, or as a consultant, you can provide as a service to your clients. All it needs is a blend of coaching and attention to numerical feedback.

Learn more in this slide deck:

Original Post

Why Do So Many Businesses Fail & How Can Yours Be Different?

Every entrepreneur has seen the stats regarding low success rates, and it is believed that only one in 10 startups will achieve its goals. For the vast majority, the scrapheap beckons. Sadly, many of them bring it on themselves.


If yours is to be different, it’s imperative that you are aware of the frequent mistakes along with what can be done to overcome them. While this information alone won’t guarantee results, it should help maximize your chances. Frankly, that’s all any entrepreneur can ask for.



Overlooking Human Needs


Our reliance on technology is greater than ever. Nonetheless, the human touch will always be vital for both production and selling. For starters, employees need to be inspired and motivated to work. Ensuring that the workspace boasts a happy atmosphere, as well as the resources needed to help them perform, should be top of the agenda. After all, poor staff input will result in poor company output.


It’s equally crucial to consider the human aspects of your clients. While products are the most important factor, it’s important to get your customer care services right. This includes the security and protection features. Without trust, the business will be destined to fail.


Being Too Generic   


All business owners wish to reach the biggest audience possible, but it’s important to know your limits. A sports clothing store is unlikely to sell many products to senior citizens, so any attempts to satisfy that audience are futile. Apart from wasting time and money, that broad approach may damage the interactions with the potential customers.


Before making investments into those marketing strategies, you need to build an ideal customer profile. This insight can help tailor your strategies to ensure the brand image, products and services all hit the mark time after time. Even if it’s a niche market, this will produce far better long-term outcomes.




Lacking Ambition


The problem with most entrepreneurs is that they have a dream rather than a vision. The best businesses are those that have a journey mapped out. While most will deviate from the anticipated pathway from time to time, that direction and drive is key. Most importantly, though, the company needs to be powered by passion.


To turn the company into a success, an entrepreneur must give it 100%. This means grabbing hold of every possible opportunity. These ideas range from beating financial issues with an unsecured line of credit to making contacts at networking events. Either way, showing ambition won’t only accelerate the progress. It’ll additionally pass through to employees and, subsequently, the clients. Perfect.


Poor Timing

While a lot of entrepreneurs fall victim to not showing enough ambition, others try to do too much too soon. Ensuring that your company has the resources needed to serve the audience and keep growing with the demand is vital. Nonetheless, premature scaling can spell disaster. Even when the products and brand image are of the highest standard.   


It’s important to master the initial aspects before expanding to new horizons. When you do open new stores and offices, it may be better to turn the venture into a franchise. That way, any failures in those secondary territories won’t hinder the progress of the company as a whole. From your perspective, that safety net could make all the difference.


Category: Business

Money Myths: Why It’s Not Always Best To Minimize Your Spending


Throughout your business journey, you’re going to get a ton of advice from lots of different people. Some of it will be completely invaluable, and allow you to do incredibly well with your business. But some of it, just won’t be relevant to what you’re doing, or what you’re trying to achieve. So you’re going to want to be quite selective about what you do and don’t take on board. One of the things that you’re going to hear a lot is going to be all about reducing your costs. But this isn’t always going to be the best solution for everyone. Because (another key piece of advice you’ll hear) you do need to spend money to make money. By investing in the right areas, you’ll be able to do well.


Getting Your Finances In Order


When it comes to your business finances, you’re going always to want to keep them in line. But, this can be so much easier said than done in some circumstances. If you’re not naturally that great with finance, you may find it hard to track everything, or even know how to maximize the money that you have. That’s why the right accountancy services are always worth investing in. You’ll get sound advice and avoid making any issues with everything from your taxes to your administration too. So it’s always money well-spent.



Delegating Responsibility


At first, it’s only natural that you’re going to try and do everything yourself. Because to get things going, you’re going to need to be your customer service, marketing, and admin teams all in one – as well as put out your product or service. But this can’t last. You need to hire staff and delegate if you want to grow. And, of course, this costs. However, this is a necessary expense if you want to move forward.


Harnessing Expertise


Next, you’re also likely to find that you need to be able to bring in experts to get to where you want to be. This is closely related to the idea of delegating, but you often need experts to make this happen. From working with a marketing agency to hiring an IT company, when you bring in experts, you’re making sure that things get done properly, which will allow your business to function better.



Looking The Part


It’s easy to think that it doesn’t really matter what your office looks like, but when you’re in an industry where this matters, you have to look the from. From having the right location to the right decor, you may need to spend money on your premises and it will provide you with results in the long run.


Investing In Your Future


Finally, you’re always going to want to invest in your future. While there will be a limit to how much you can viably put in, never think twice about putting money back into the business in order to grow. Because when it pays off, you’ll realize that spending that money really was the only way that you were going to make more.


Category: Business

Tantalizing Technological Tricks: Getting The Best Out Of Your Tech-Based Business

Let’s face it, you’re a technological wizard and your ideas are pretty astounding. You have gadget ideas beaming out of your brain and onto a page with a huge amount of passion. You are constantly scribbling down innovative ideas for new products and designs, but you are yet to put them into practice. If you’re in the early stages of launching your technology business you might just be in the right place. Take each of the tips with a pinch of salt and apply them to your work as you go. You will find yourself with a clearer vision and focus and you business will be booming in the blink of an eye.  


Get Your Goals Straight

Your ideas are probably marvellous, but have you made a clear-cut plan of where you want to go? Try and put on your sensible hat and make a solid business plan. If you tend to throw all of your ideas down onto one jumbled piece of paper take a step back and really analyze what you are doing and where your business need to be aiming. If you have clear goals it will be easier to attain and reach them. Start small and then build upon each goal as you get there.


Clear Designs Go A Long Way

Again, you need to step away from the mish mash of ideas for a short while and concentrate on the specifics of your design. You need to clarify what the ins and outs of your product are in order to create a successful and safe product. Use online guides such as, PCB Assembly Drawing to help you to tell a manufacturer how to assemble what you have designed. It is undoubtable that tech designs are some of the most intricate products out there, so make sure you take your time to create the best you can. Seek advice when you need it and success will soon follow.



Smart Marketing

Use as many smart ways of marketing as you can to get your product out to the masses. There are many different techniques you can use, which will create a buzz around your unique product. Try video marketing to create a visual and interactive advertisement for your product. Create a website to showcase your ideas and designs and make sure you use search savvy key words which reach out to internet browsers. Social media is another effective way to start with your marketing campaign. Interact with your potential consumers and use different techniques to draw them into your business. Offer discounts and special deals for those who subscribe to a mailing list or send them exclusive details on upcoming launches to keep them interested. Whatever your method may be, keep it honest and informative and your product will speak for itself.

So use your natural flair and technological know-how to create a storm in the business world. Create your own product, design it with care and caution and then market it successfully. You will soon be reaping the benefits when you become a household name!

Category: Business

Freshen Up Your Office To Freshen Your Employees’ Minds


As a small business owner and CEO, you will probably always be trying to improve your employees’ creativity and motivation in the workplace. Did you know that one way you can give their minds a boost is by freshening up the office? The workspace and office environment has a huge impact on how people get on with their work throughout the day, and making some small changes can go a long way in improving the overall productivity of your company. Here are some ways that you can really make a big difference.


Keep It Clean


First and foremost, it’s really important that you keep your office as clean as possible. Not only does clutter and junk increase the number of hazards lying around in the office, but it can also make things difficult for your employees. For instance, it will be ever so easy to misplace and lose small items and equipment. Looking for misplaced items will take up a lot of time. Need some help keeping things clean? It’s always worth hiring a contract office cleaning service from a cleaning firm. Not only that, but a cluttered and busy office will only clutter up your employees’ minds, making it increasingly difficult for them to concentrate.


Minimize Decor


Something else that can make it very difficult for workers to concentrate is a busy decor. Rather than filling your walls with lots paintings and prints, it will create a lot of distractions for your employees. So, try and keep your interior design as minimal as possible. This will also help your office feel super contemporary and very fashionable.



Create A Breakout Room


It’s really important that your employees have a space where they can go and relax when things get a bit too much for them. This can also be used as a space where they can go for some peace and quiet if they ever need to do some serious thinking. A breakout room is the perfect way to add this kind of space to your office. Make sure to add some facilities and amenities that your employees can use during their breaks, such as vending machines and table football.


Add Some Useful Tech


Over the past couple of decades, new technologies have really revolutionized life in the office. Tech makes many processes and jobs a lot easier than before when we could only rely on paper documents and drawn-out processes. So, it’s important that you try and stay up-to-date with your office technology and try and add as much state-of-the-art pieces as possible. You will certainly be amazed by how much this improves the working day for each of your employees! You might even be able to benefit from some tech yourself!


Once you start to follow all of the above tips, you will find that you can freshen up both your office and your employees. And that will be a fantastic way to boost your company’s overall productivity!


So, how do you think you will update your office over the coming months?

Category: Business

How To Use Instagram Polls Like A Pro by Ray Sherlock


By now you’ll most likely have noticed and used Instagram’s latest feature; polls. But, if you haven’t, we’ll give you a quick run-down. Similar to that of Twitter, Instagram introduced an option to ask your followers anything that’s on your mind in the form of a 2-option poll.

The poll feature is stored inside ‘stickers’ on your Instagram story. You can add a poll on any story you post, simply select ‘poll,’ write your answer options and publish it to your followers.


Keeping track of who’s said what is easy too, just click on your poll and have a flick through at the responses and what percentage of votes each option received. It’s a great way to monitor how many of your followers are actually engaged with your brand. If you have 1000 followers and get an average of 100 responses on every poll you post, that means 10% of your followers are invested in your brand. Paying attention to this cluster of people’s opinions will be incredibly beneficial to your brand. These are the loyal consumers whose opinions matter the most. Their insight will help you to offer them best products or services, that they ultimately may go on to recommend to friends and family.


Get Engaged

Firstly, your goal should be to get people engaged with and thinking about your brand. If you aren’t using the ‘stories’ feature on Instagram, get posting as soon as possible! It’s such an easy way to boost your brand awareness. People may be missing your posts in their feed, especially with the new non-chronological order. By posting stories or going live, you’re increasing your visibility and reminding your followers about you.


To start off polling on Instagram, publish simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ questions. These may seem simplistic, but they’re highly effective at increasing your engagement levels and brand awareness. They’re quick and easy to answer, and don’t require a huge deal of thought. You’re much more likely to get a larger response from these types of polls, therefore increasing follower engagement and the likelihood that your followers will interact with lengthier, more complex poll next time. We’ll explain these methods too!


Get Insights Straight From Your Consumers

There’s no easier way to get fast, direct feedback from your consumers than with an Instagram poll. This feature gives you a creative way to learn about your followers and learn from them too. Instead of making each poll about you and your brand, ask questions about your audience. A good place to start is to ask their feelings about different topics or find out what their interests are. This is a great way to identity exactly who your audience is, and advertise to them accordingly.


Get Feedback About Your Brand

What better place to get raw, honest insights on your brand than from the people who purchase from you? Use the poll feature to get feedback and opinions on you, your brand, your services, anything that you offer! Think of it as your own personal mini focus group, right in the palm of your hand. This method is important as it prompts responses from those who are truly engaged with your brand, and as we mentioned before, these people matter the most!


Whilst you won’t receive detailed answers or lengthy reports, the feedback you gain from these polls is invaluable. You’re getting to-the-point constructive criticism, the responses you gather will give a clear indication of what resonates with your followers and what doesn’t. A simple example would be to snap a photo of two products you currently offer. Accompany the image to your story with a poll; ask the question ‘which do you think will sell out first?’ Or, ‘do you prefer this in blue or red?’ Tailor the questions to suit your brand, but the underlying aim remains the same; gain feedback from your brand and apply it.


Give A Soft Sell

In today’s age of social media selling, trying alternative methods to invite consumers to purchase from your brand is important. More direct methods of selling include ‘last chance to buy’, ‘50% off’, ‘final sale’, or ‘buy now before it’s gone’. Whilst these can be useful methods, they’re not always the most effective when it comes to Instagram stories. This is where the poll feature comes in, you can ask your audience to consider your products or services, without including a direct call to action.


If you have new products or services coming out, post a selection and ask which your audience prefers in a poll. This way, you’re introducing something new and making your followers think about and have an opinion on the product. By asking consumers to choose between two products, once they’ve engaged with the poll and submitted a response, you’re increasing their curiosity. As well as this, their choice is solidified in their mind and will encourage them to purchase, increasing your sales.


Increase Your Mailing List


It’s simple yet effective, Instagram polls are a great way to get your audience to offer their details in exchange for a discount or seasonal offer. Make your followers feel like they’re receiving the VIP treatment. Simple pose the question ‘would you provide us with your email if we sent over a 20% off voucher?’ Those who reply yes are inviting you to take their details, so hop into their direct messages and source the information. Alternatively, use the poll to increase your engagement further by asking anyone selecting ‘yes’ to comment their information on your last upload. Your reach and impressions will boost, and you’ve just increased your mailing list to consumers who are genuinely invested into your brand. It’s a win-win, with a likelihood of increasing sales when sending out new mailers.


Instagram is an important tool for any brand or business. As the app has evolved throughout 2017, we’re allowed to interact with our followers much more and gain huge insights. Make sure you and your brand are utilising the potential of Instagram and Instagram polls.

Guest post : Ray Sherlock

Engage Hub | Social Media Agency

Category: Business

Ways and Importance of Investing in Employee by Ian Pearson

Employee development is crucial for increasing productivity and creating a lasting business. It often happens that business owners neglect the importance of investing in the development of workers education and skills, that can only lead to disastrous results. If you think about a company as an entity, no wonder it is said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, since each employee needs to have a great knowledge of its line of work to prevent unproductiveness of the whole firm.

Professional and personal growth

Firstly, it is important to think about the ways to invest in your employees’ personal development as well as professional. Many workers feel disconnected and disengaged about their job if they are not satisfied with their personal life – that makes them demotivated at work. To put it simple – a happy employee equals productive business. So, how to ensure that your workers are motivated and satisfied? Consider investing in Individual Development Plan since it is a great tool for setting short and long-term goals and helping your staff reach it. Make sure to have personnel meetings once a month, so that you can see the performance and track employee development process. Being involved in the whole process will make your employees feel valued, motivated and determined to reach their goals.

The importance of communication

The correlation between company’s growth and communication is obvious. Motivate your employees to feel free to talk to you or team leaders about any problems they are facing, both work bound or private. Be patient and try to discuss every problematic work situation to come up with the best solution. Organizing staff meetings often are the key to achieve effective communication between managers and workers. Also, you will avoid being misinterpreted about daily tasks. Normally, there will always be mistakes but you shouldn’t be strict. Instead, discipline your employees in a respectful and rational way. You can lead the company and have a professional relationship with employees while leaving the impression of a friendly person they can talk to without fear at the same time.

Rewarding work effort

Creating a rewarding system for achieving certain goals is a great way to inspire employees and make them committed to cooperate and work on self-development. Keep in mind that not every worker values the same types of appreciation so invest time in learning more about your workers and what rewards would have the most impact on them. Be fair and do your homework when deciding about the prize receivers. It can be extremely uninspiring if a non committed worker gets rewarded for somebody else’s effort. Make sure to create a logical, rational and functional rewarding system that will be fair to every employee, since it plays a big part in the process. The rewarding system will motivate them and boost their energy levels. Completing daily challenges as a part of a professional training is a great way for your personnel to enhance their skills and acquire new knowledge.

Promote engaged workers

Respect the effort and promote hard working individuals. Show them that their engagement in business and commitment to personal and professional development is appreciated and that they have the opportunity to progress. Employees who see their future within the company feel more secure about their own career and therefore make an extra effort in their line of work. Their productivity will make your company prosper and your business last.

Connect your team

Hosting team building activities will certainly boost your employee’s satisfaction. Create healthier work environment by organizing such activities that will result in friendly surroundings with people willing to help and collaborate with other team members. Assign managers to lead team building events for every department of your company. If you have a lot on your hands, consider investing in leading executive coaching that can save you time and create a positive working culture to provide high performances of the employees.

Don’t hesitate to subsidize

Don’t be afraid to spend money. Most common mistake among business owners is fearing that by  investing in educating employees, they will help them become skillful and valuable in the marketplace and soon leave the company. The reality is completely different. If an individual feels appreciated and has the opportunity to learn more and achieve more, he/she will feel happier and more motivated to continue working within your company with more commitment.

Investing in your employee education now means investing in the future of your business. These are the ways that can help you understand the importance of investment in development. It will not only affect each individual but also the whole entity. It is hard to find talented workers, so make sure to keep them motivated. As long as they are stimulated they will be more productive which will result in your company’s growth.


Category: Business

The Future of Marketing is Video: Are You Ready?

If you’re in the marketing game, then there’s something you should know: in the future, video is going to be king. You could already say that it’s the top dog right now, but it’s going to be even more important in the next few years, with somewhere in the region of 80% of internet traffic being video related. So if all your potential customers are watching video, it’s pretty darn important that you’re making videos! Below, we take a look at a few tips to make sure you end up with videos that work for you.



Just Get Going


There’s no time like the present! Believe it or not, there’s nothing overly sophisticated when it comes to producing videos. While it’ll take some time for you to really get into the swing of being in front of the camera, getting your message across, and so on, the best idea is just to start brainstorming your ideas and see what you can come up with. It might be that you have a natural talent for this kind of medium, but you won’t know unless you give it a go!


Turning Professional


Of course, you’re not going to be the only company making videos. You won’t even be close to it. All the big companies and your competitors will be making videos too, and as such you need to ensure that you have top quality productions that will stand out from the crowd. To make sure your videos get the kind of views you’re hoping for, get a corporate video production company to help with your videos. It won’t matter how big or small your company is: if you have noteworthy productions, they’ll get traffic.


Let Your Personality Shine


There’s no one right method for getting views. It’s all about what works best for you. As such, don’t try to be something that you’re not. Instead, let your company’s personality shine through. Think about who you are, what message you want to get out into the world, and make them the foundation of your marketing. Anything else will be false, and won’t be useful to you or anyone else!


Offer Something Useful


As much as we’d like to say otherwise, internet users won’t stick around to watch your video if it’s only about your company. It needs to have something that’s useful to them as individuals. With each video that you make, ensure that you’re giving your audience a reason to sit through your video. There are a lot of other videos out there that could watch instead if they find yours boring!


Track Your Progress


Like the rest of your marketing strategy, you should be keeping tabs on your video stats, and monitoring what works, and what doesn’t. Eventually, you’ll begin to notice the types of videos that your audience likes, and then you can hone in on your niche of videos.


The future of marketing is video, so don’t get left behind. Get the camera out and get to work!

Category: Business

Understanding The Needs Of Your Consumers In 3 Easy Steps


As you start out along the business path, it’s vital to understand what your customers want and why. After all, the consumers are what drives your business. Once you know this, you can promote your products in an effective way which will gain efficient results. Be prepared to do a lot of research regarding your chosen industry and maintain constant communication with your customers. These three simple steps show you how to get inside the minds of your consumers.


Firstly, do your customer research


Before doing anything else, it’s important to identify who your customers are. Conducting thorough market research is key to forming a clear picture of who you’re targeting your products towards. Recognise the key characteristics your consumers share, this relates to their age, gender, occupation, recreational activities and so on. While you’re researching the market, it’s also essential to understand the truths about supply chain management. As long as you’re fully aware of any changes in the market, nothing can surprise you and will boost your confidence as an entrepreneur.


Secondly, know why they shop and how


Now you’ve identified your audience; you need to understand why they shop and what pushes them to use your products and services. When you’ve fully grasped this, it will be easier for you to adapt your business goals to increase statistics. Look into factors such as your customer’s family and social needs, their budgets, brand preferences and work demands.


Also, distinguish what shopping methods they use. Do research into whether they prefer to shop online, instore or over the telephone. Other things can be delved into, for example, if your consumers make planned purchases or whether they make more spontaneous buying decisions. In addition to this, you should know that not everyone’s spending habits are the same and that different types of people will be willing to spend specific amounts. Consider their average household income, what they reserve their money for and whether they’re on a tight budget. You could conduct anonymous online surveys to gather this information.


Thirdly, find out what they think about you


Now you understand who your customers are and why they shop, step back from your business role for a second and put yourself in their shoes. What do they really think of you? Through regular communication (specifically online), learn about the views and expectations in which your consumers have about you. Is your customer service skills up to scratch? Do they actually like your products/services? And, what are your competitors doing that you’re not?


Furthermore, to form a closer bond with your consumers, consider using more social media as a solid platform for your customers to connect with you. If they have a more tangible and familiar form of communication, this may improve their opinions and reliability level of you.


If you follow these steps, you’ll be ever closer to forming the business model you want. Understanding your consumers is the underlying rule of the most successful companies out there. Become one of these today.


Category: Business

3 Services That Could Boost Your Business’ Efficiency

Do you feel like your business isn’t performing as well as it could be? Not particularly in a way where your employees are underperforming, but just as an overall state of how things are running? Do you wish to maybe catch up with the times a bit? It isn’t easy keeping tabs on all the new technology coming out in recent years. Do you feel like there are services which you should be using but have not gotten around to doing so yet? If so, here are a few suggestions of things which you could implement into your business to increase overall performance.


Remote Desktop Connection


If your business revolves around using computers a lot, which most tend to do nowadays, you probably know the pain of forgetting to do something the moment you get on the tube home. You won’t be able to address that issue until the next time you’re in the office either. Sometimes it might be a minor issue, but sometimes it can be a pretty big deal, like forgetting to respond to an important client. Remote desktop connection software allows you to access and control PCs from a distance, all you need is for the software to be set up, and the PC to be on. As long as you have the corresponding software and the PC is powered on, you can access it via the internet and perform whatever tasks you need to do. Some of the programs now even have smartphone counterparts, allowing you to access your pc from just about anywhere.


Legal matters


Unless you have an in-house legal team, you probably have some issues when going through anything paperwork related. Not because you might be inexperienced, but purely because most people hate dealing with bureaucracy. To keep your business running smoothly with you at the helm making decisions on future business opportunities rather than trying to deal with someone swiping URLs and copyrights from in front of your nose. If you happen to be one of those people, then why not invest in a franchise consultancy? Companies like the Lime Licensing Franchise Consultants are experienced and tested in the field of licensing, franchising and distributorship to name a few. If you feel like you are more of an entrepreneur with stars in their eyes rather than an office worker, getting someone to do at least part of your paperwork for you might be a godsend.

Online presence


It does not matter if your company is not the kind which would seem in need of a social media presence, you could very much benefit from one anyway. Even banks like Natwest or Barclays have twitter accounts to post random updates on their services or just topical happenings. The online world is closer to the real world than ever, and without a proper online presence, your competition might leave you in the dust. Not only is social media free to pick up and start posting on, but it is also a platform which exposes you to millions and millions of people. Now while you can sit there by yourself and try to run several social media accounts at the same time, it is probably going to be a bit more than taxing on your schedule. Responding to messages, posting actually interesting content, updating your audience on your services and even just gaining followers can prove to be a full-time job. If your approach to social media is like the one you have to paperwork and bureaucracy, then hiring a social media team might just be the thing you need. Whether you want to hire them on a more permanent basis, or just find a company to outsource your work to, both options provide a big advantage.


Category: Business