Safeguard Your Business With These Smart Strategies

No one wants their business to fail, but many still do. In fact, at least half of all small business cease trading in the first year they are started. However, you can safeguard your business from possible failures by using the strategies below. Read on to find out what they are.

 

Protect your business from unexpected problems.

 

The world we live in is not always predictable, and things happen that we just don’t see coming in the business world. Luckily, there are ways that you can protect your business form the effect of this. In particular, taking out the correct insurances can get your company out of a tight spot if anything was to happen.

 

Most businesses need to consider el insurance services which cover them if an employee is injured or harmed on their premises. Then there is professional indemnity insurance that will cover the legal and compensation costs if your business is sued by a customer that has lost money from an error or omission you made.

 

Of course, there are other types of insurance as well that relate to different businesses, so be sure to do your homework thoroughly, and get as much coverage as possible.

 

Ensure they you have a stable revenue stream.

 

 

Next, if you wish to safeguard your business investment from failure, you will need to come up with ways to secure a stable revenue stream. What this means is that from month to month you will want a minimum amount of money coming into the businesses.

 

Happily, there are lots of ways to doing this from marketing to expanding into other markets and even globally. You might also address this is in your business model itself, just like subscription businesses do by ensuring they have a regular income for a certain amount of time. Something that can negative revenue stream problem before they even occur.

 

Recruit and keep the best people.

 

People are vital, and in business, the right employees can mean the difference between success and failure. With this in mind, it’s critical that your recruitment process is robust and weeds out any untenable and undesirable candidates at the very beginning.

 

It’s also important to offer excellent salaries and reward packages, as well as to keep an eye on company culture, as well as promotion and training opportunities for those that are already working for you. This is because it is these things that help people to be most satisfied with their jobs so they will help you to retain them in the long term.

 

Listen to your customer base.

 

Lastly, if you want your business to fail, just do your own thing and don’t listen to what the people that are paying you think. However, if you’re going to avoid failure, it’s a pretty good idea to listen to your customers as much as possible, and act on what they are saying.

 

Listening to what your customers have to say is pretty important if you want to avoid failure.

 

 

To that end, providing plenty of opportunities for customers to contact you and review the services and products you provide is essential. Luckily, with modern tech like chat boxes, email, social media, and review sites, this is pretty easy to do, and when combined with the other tips above can help to safeguard your business from possible failures.

 

Project Projection: Technology That Predicts For Us

There used to be a time when modellers were revered for the representation of a project they could make. There were boardrooms all over the globe that would have brought in, miniature 3-D models of a project, so that executives and CEOs could see their vision in-person. This could have been the first model of the World Trade Center, the very first model of the Concorde, or even something as simple as a shopping mall. These artists would spend hundreds of hours sculpting each little detail of a project for a company, using their hands. Thankfully no one needs to wait or make such real-life models anymore, as technology has taken 3-D modelling to a new height. No matter what project is on the table, the software will project the result of any scenario. It can predict what will or could happen, just by using the parameters we set. Where is such technology being used you ask?

 

 

Rocket design

 

Rocket science is evolving at an astonishing rate. SpaceX has done what many experts said was a redundant fantasy and developed rockets that can launch spaceships and satellites multiple times by returning back to earth safely. Coding software was used to predict and estimate what kind of atmospheric pressures the rockets would be under. Bear in mind that the rocket needs to go in and out of the earth’s atmosphere which means going through what scientists call ‘max q’ which is the maximum aerodynamic pressure the rocket feels. The software gave the scientists an accurate prediction of what their design would have to go through and survive. This lead to the design of the rocket following the advice of what a program told them. And in the end, a tall and slim rocket was built, which was able to withstand massive pressures both on it’s way out of the earth’s atmosphere and when re-entering it again.

 

 

Spacing in the trades

 

With so much of the earth’s land being covered by manmade buildings, every square inch of space is vital to a construction project; or rather the client. It’s the tradesmen’s job to calculate the space inside a project to the tee, so the client is only paying as much as she or her needs to. The builder can upload the floorplan of a project, and with a costing program for tradesmen, accurately predict the size and cost of the project. For example, if a client wants to build another floor on their house, and specifically wants three adult bedrooms, the tradesmen can divide the floor that hasn’t been built yet, into three proportionally identical rooms and give the correct cost to the client. This not only saves hours and hours of time for the trader who can go off to other projects and clients, but leaves no room of doubt. Trust is elevated and time is saved which is crucial for the initial stages of a building.

 

Human beings are smart, we can do amazing things with just a pen and paper. However, doubt and inaccuracies are limited by modern software, which allows us to build technology that actually works.

 

It’s Time to Make Your Business Fit for the Future

What does the future mean to your business? It is something that you’ve give much thought to yet? If not, it’s time to change all that right now. You will need to make sure that your business is prepared for the future and what it might hold because if it’s not, it could get hit by changes that topple it. That’s not what you want to happen, obviously, so what should you do to make sure that your business is fit for the future? That’s the question we’re going to try and answer right now.

 

Prove Your Worth to Existing Customers

The first thing you need to do is sure up your support amongst existing customers because if these people start deserting your company, you will really struggle in the future. So you need to find ways of proving to these customers that you can still offer them something important and something that they can’t get elsewhere. It’s up to you to prove those points though.

 

Automate What You Can

Automation is going to be a huge part of the future of business. And it’s one of those things that some people have already been very quick to adapt. Everything from payroll systems to moving large items can be automated, and plenty of other things will be possible with automation in the not too distant future.

 

 

Learn From the Failings of Other Businesses

 

Plenty of other businesses have tried and failed before yours, and you should do your best to learn from other people who have been found out and failed as a result. You want to avoid making the kinds of mistakes that have led other business similar to yours towards failure.

 

Upgrade Your Team’s Computer Skills

This is one of those things that’s not going to decrease in importance any time soon. If you feel like your team is lacking in certain basic computer skills, this could be really slowing your business down and stopping you from achieving all the things you want to achieve. You can upgrade these skills with Wise Owl Training if you want to. It could be just what your employees require right now.

 

Track Where the Customer Demand is Heading

Customers don’t stay the same forever, and what they want from a business like yours is not going to stay the same for very long either. You need to get better at tracking the changing needs and demands of your target customers. That way, you can spot trends and predict where customer demand is heading. It’s important to give this some thought if you want your business to remain active.

 

If your business is not properly prepared for the future, it’s going to start struggling sooner or later. So make sure that you’re able to move with the times and keep appealing to customers, no matter what other changes are going on around you in the market. If you keep pushing your business to change in the right ways, you should be fine.

Clever Marketing Techniques that will Really Boost your Business

When you think about marketing, you probably think about social media, press releases and so much more. These methods are very effective if you want to market your company and you’d be surprised at how easy they are for you to adopt. If you do want to break the mould a little bit or if you want to really go that extra mile to get your company noticed then you can find some helpful hints and tips right here.

 

Put it in the Sky!

The internet is a fantastic way for you to get the word out about your business, but if you know that your company is hosting an event and you want to get some publicity for this then why not try digital skywriting? This is very different to traditional skywriting because with the traditional method, an aircraft will write out the message for you. If you have digital skywriting however then you will have five aircraft working with one another and they will be using a computer as well. This regulates the amount of smoke that is being put out and it will also make your message much clearer. The best thing about this is that your message will be visible within a 15-mile radius. Try and be creative here and use a hashtag to go viral or even try and spell out a discount for your company. This is the best way for you to advertise if you have a lot of people in one place. If you want other ways to get some buzz about your brand then SEO & Web can help.

 

Go Viral

Everyone has an internet connection nowadays and even you’ll probably spend at least a few minutes browsing YouTube every day. Users upload all sorts of videos in today’s world. This can include helpful tutorials, comedy segments and so much more. The best thing about YouTube is that everyone can upload their own video and this means that you can take advantage of it for your own company as well. Creating a video to boost your marketing campaign is a fantastic way for you to get seen and with video content, you always have the chance to be creative. Use this chance to show people a side to your business that they would never normally have seen, and always put the work in to make sure that they are completely shareable.

 

Flash Mobs

Are you unfamiliar with flash mobs? Let’s say you are out in public, at a shopping centre or even at a train station. Before you know it, one person starts dancing and then before you can even comprehend what has happened, everyone around you starts dancing as well, as you are stood by yourself in complete awe. Flash mobs are a brilliant way for you to draw attention, so stage one, film it and turn it into a viral video. This can make your company super memorable and this is especially the case if you are able to incorporate your branding as well.

 

Street Art

Street art really does come in many different forms and believe it or not, graffiti is not the only option that is available to you. There are so many options available at your disposal and you really do want to do something unique. You also need to do something unexpected as well. This is a brilliant way for you to get all eyes on you and this is especially the case if you are able to upload the art onto social media. Consider creating some street art that means something to your local community and put a donation tub right next to it. Then, give the money to your local community centre or do something to support your business. Little things like this can go a long way and this is especially the case if you are able to inject some creativity.

 

Get Creative

You may be thinking that hashtags aren’t all that unusual- but if you think about it, if you could tweet or even Instagram a hashtag and get free stuff from it, would you? Sure you would! Consider setting up a stand and give everyone who tweets about your company free stuff. They can do it on the spot and they can instantly choose their reward as a result. This is a fantastic way for you to really get creative with your branding and it could also mean great things for your social media page as well. You’d be surprised at how much this could help your brand to gain traction and every time someone does tweet, you then gain more exposure which could bring more people to your stall.

 

 

Pay it Forward

 

When you run a business, you don’t want to look as though you are all about making money. You also don’t want to look as though the only thing that you care about is your bottom line either, and one way for you to get around this would be for you to pay it forward. Do something nice, such as give everyone free coffee for one hour only. When you do give out coffee, try and ask your customers to then do something nice for someone else. This shows that you are not just out for yourself and it also shows that you genuinely care about those around you. If you are able to get noticed on social media for things like this then this can easily take your company viral and as you probably know, there are no limits at all to this.

 

Of course, there are always new marketing techniques for you to try and by putting the work in, you can be sure to really try and make the most out of the business that you have and even the resources that you have available. Why don’t you try the above tips today to see what they could do for your business? After all, you never know what could happen and by thinking outside the box, you can be sure to get a way better result.

 

The Secrets Every Manufacturer Wished They Knew (And Now You Can)

 

For every success story, there is a tale of woe. The people telling it might be at the top of the tree now, but they learned the hard way. After all, entrepreneurs need to understand the small details of every aspect of the industry to drive the brand forward. You’re at the beginning of your story, which is scary. It’s impossible to know the ins and outs this early on in the game, which is why mistakes are inevitable.

 

However, the people that are switched on will realise others have already been down the path. So, you can learn from their errors and set a new example. Here are four manufacturing examples for your information.

 

Prove Your Product (But Not 100%)

Proving a product is viable for the long-term is a delicate balancing act. The initial pitfall is jumping into the business too soon without doing any research. Yes, friends and family are good sounding boards but they’re also biased. They’ll see the excitement and go along with it without posing any tough questions. To avoid this, reach out to strangers on social media with polls and questionnaires. Speaking to contacts on LinkedIn can help too. But, don’t miss an opportunity by waiting for 100% confirmation. Instead, use Jeff Bezos’ 70% rule.

 

Invest In Quality

You are creating products and can’t outsource to a third-party. So, machines and materials are going to be essential. To cut costs, it’s tempting to go second-hand rather than buying a brand new resource. As a generalisation, it’s an error in judgment because the quality isn’t as great. Remember that time is money, so any downtime will impact sales and the company’s profit margin. There is nothing wrong with haggling and negotiating over the initial price; make sure it’s for high-class products. If you need haggling advice, check out the link.

 

Get Certification Beforehand

A lack of paperwork tends to stump industry newbies. They invest in machines and tools and materials and don’t realise they need regulating. Yep, a PUWER inspection is mandatory depending on the type of device. And, even if it doesn’t need one, it needs checking and putting on a register. Take a look at a comprehensive list of PUWER FAQs by following the link. It’s essential to obtain the certification before the machine is used for the first time or you might be subject to penalties. Get it done fast, get it done by experts, and keep the receipt.

 

Leave Space For Scalability

There’s a tendency to focus on the present and not look to the future. As a manufacturer, it’s vital that you think about moving forward. Unlike most businesses, you can’t find a new lease and move as there’s too much equipment. And, it’s impossible to grow without the room to install new equipment and hire recruits. The downside is that you end up paying for space which you aren’t yet using. With this in mind, opt for a factory which is roomy but not huge.

 

Armed with these secrets, do you think you can make a mark in the manufacturing sector?

5 Huge Benefits of Using a Video Wall for Your Business

Video walls are a relatively new phenomenon in today’s society. Major retail outlets have taken advantage of them already, as have large news outlets. Unfortunately, small and medium businesses are slow when it comes to embracing this technology. Many of them fail to realize the advantages that this technology offers them. Here are 5 huge benefits of using a video wall for your business.

 

  1. Video Walls Are Entertaining

People have a short attention span especially when they are on the move. For example, did you know that people usually look at a billboard for a maximum of six seconds? That is why most of them contain a few words so that people can read them in those few seconds. Fortunately, video walls do not suffer from these kinds of constraints.

 

More specifically, they may be smaller than billboards, but they are more captivating than these large advertisements are. They have moving images, texts, and captions. The resolutions are of high quality and adjusting the contrast, color, and brightness is possible as well. High-quality pictures and changing content means people will look at your ad for a long time.

 

  1. A Modern Look for Your Business

People love change especially when it comes to retail outlets and entertainment malls. For example, no one would want to shop in a mall built in the 90s without any renovations. Similarly, no one would want to watch a game in a sports bar that has an old television.

 

Video walls can help you with that. They are the latest forms of signage for businesses, so your customers will find them interesting. Your customers will also love them because they are big and bold. They are beautiful as well so they will help you hide mundane backgrounds. Additionally, you can arrange them to achieve various shapes enhancing the setting of your premise.

 

  1. Video Walls Are Interactive

The problem with most displays in business enterprises is that the level of interaction is minimal or nonexistent. For example, you can only view print signs including banners. You cannot scroll through them. Unfortunately, most electrical signs lack interactivity as well. Videos walls are changing this dynamic completely. They are an advanced form of technology that includes touch-screen capabilities. Similarly, news anchors touch their video walls screen to show you the next clip. Now your customers can do that to see the next product that you have on offer.

 

  1. Changing Content Is Easy

You cannot change a print sign. Instead, you can only print another one. This lack of control over your signs is terrible for business. For example, you cannot change the prices on display once you alter them. That means communicating to your clients would be a painful process. Video walls are the best when it comes to controlling your content. More specifically, you can change it instantly without any formal training. It takes the touch of a button, and you can change the video that is on display. You can hit another button, and it will display an urgent textual message to your audience. In other words, you control your content.

 

  1. Managing Certain Situations

Video walls are useful for enhancing security in your business. They will display everything on a single wall so following what is happening in your store is easy. That will make work less challenging than it already is for your security team. You can also use video walls for displaying specific events. For example, people can watch significant news items or games while they are in your store on these walls.

 

Mia Clarke is part of the content and community team at Userful.com, experts in all things video wall and display solutions. When Mia is not spreading the word about video walls she is often found discovering the great outdoors, walking or cycling.

Revamping Your Office – How to Make it as Comfortable as Possible

Your office is such an essential part of your business; it is here that the work gets done, and the business is run on a daily basis. You’ve got to do as much as you possibly can to make sure you have the best office imaginable. There are a lot of different things you can do, and many of them will result in helping to make the office more conducive to a working environment.

 

If you want your business to run as well as it possibly can you need to take action and ensure that you have the right pieces in place. There is a lot to think about here, and you have to make sure you consider what matters. Doing as much as you can to make the office a more professional environment is so essential, and these are some of the best ways of achieving this.

 

  • Regulate the Temperature

 

Regulating the temperature within your office is actually really important because it can have a profound impact on the working environment. If it is too hot or too cold, this isn’t going to provide a work environment that is conducive to good productivity. You have to make sure you do as much as possible to ensure you can regulate the temperature in the office. This means considering getting air conditioning and heating services installed into the business.

 

  • Get the Right Furniture

 

Furniture actually plays a big part in the process as well, and this is something that you need to look at. You’ve got to be aware of the fact that comfortable furniture is essential for improving and boosting morale and productivity. You need to assess the desk situation, make sure you have the right chairs, and spare casters for them too! Make sure you have plenty of comfy furniture in the communal areas as well.

 

  • Allow Casual Days

 

You have to make sure you promote good morale within the business. Morale and comfort are two of the most important things to consider when you are trying to get your office running as well as possible. Casual days allow this to happen because they help boost morale, and make your staff more productive as a result.

 

  • Snacking & Sustenance

 

Another way of promoting comfort in the office is to offer snacks and sustenance. This is important because it is something you can do that will help you to improve the way people perform on a daily basis. Proving healthy snacks for your staff shows that you value health and well-being, and it also gives them a much-needed energy boost that will help them perform to the best standard they possibly can.

 

 

These are just some of the best ways you can go about revamping the office and making it more comfortable and work-oriented. If you are serious about looking after the office and making sure you improve the way things work, you need to think about changes you can make. There are a lot of things that you need to do that are going to help you improve working conditions for your staff in the long run.  

 

Tried and Tested Strategies For Being More Productive in the Office

We all know that there are only so many hours in a day. Which is why what we do with them is so critical. You are likely to be working plenty of hours already, so just working longer hours isn’t the solution. The solution is to be working smarter, so that you can be more productive and more efficient in the time that you are given, rather than just working for longer. But that is all easier said than done, right? Here are some simple, but still pretty effective strategies, for helping you to work harder, not smarter, in the office.

 

 

Schedule and Calendar

 

Having a set schedule for your calendar is going to be crucial for you to be productive. When your day is planned out, you will make the most of your time, and will have deadlines to work to. You are less likely to miss meetings when it is all scheduled in. When working in a team it is even better if you can use IT networking to your advantage, so that you can all be using the same system and calendar. It will allow you all to keep track of what is going on, and avoiding any appointment or meeting clashes, making the time more productive.

 

Take Regular Breaks

 

Taking breaks and working efficiently might not sound like something that goes hand in hand. But taking regular breaks can actually help you to be more productive, as long as you stay focused. You are likely to be able to have a constant performance, if you are able to take breaks and then come back and concentrate more. If you don’t take breaks, then your mind can decrease in concentration.

 

Two Minute Rule

 

There can be so many small things that can just waste time. Take looking through emails, for example. If you read through them all, but don’t action anything, then you’ll have to read through again to know what you need to do. But if there is something that could be done and will only take two minutes, then do it before moving on. Check emails, reply immediately if it won’t take long, and then it is dealt with, rather than having to come back to it.

 

Avoid Multitasking

 

When it comes to multitasking, it can be really difficult to be productive. Many people think that they can be productive when doing this, but there is much less focus on each task. If you deal with thing separately, then it will mean you complete the tasks in a better way, as well as quicker. It can feel good to cross something off your list, rather than just having several half completed jobs.

 

Turn Off Notifications

 

There are so many distractions in this world, and if you look down at your phone, you may see several things that you want to just check immediately. But before you know it, time has been wasted. So if you only have a set amount of time to get something done, put away your phone or turn off the notifications. It will help you to stay focused much more easily.

 

Could You Be Making These Business Mistakes?

I get it. You get this idea, it consumes you and you have all of these making and big plans on what you are going to do with it. There can be no feeling like it and as a budding entrepreneur you may be desperate to find the next big business sensation, and perhaps the idea you had is the one to get your name heard. All of us have such amazing aspirations at some point in our lives, and having your own business is a dream for many. Becoming your own boss, making a difference and doing something everyday that you feel passionate about.

 

However, the truth is that while so many people have high hopes for their businesses, a good chunk of them fail in the first few years. Sometimes it can be some of the basic principles that become your downfall, or it may be not seizing opportunities when they arise. So what can do to rectify the situation? I wanted to share with you some of the common business mistakes we can all make, and how you could overcome them.

 

 

Not monitoring your business cash flow

 

Your business needs to be able to run smoothly, and so cash flow and ensuring the books are balanced are just one of the many aspects of making that happen. However, when it comes to invoicing and waiting for money to come, it can become rocky territory. So you might need to think about how you manage your cash flow effectively. Perhaps you could consider having someone who is an expert in accounts help you to make future projections and top help you ensure that the cash flow side of things stays in the black rather than the red. Financing your invoices area great way to keep thing son track.

 

Not being present online through social media

 

Social media has to be one of the “go to” watts to make sure that you are parent online and to advertise your business. But, if you don’t engage, be consistent or upload decent content you are suddenly going to be lost in the crowd. Having a decent social media strategy in place is a great way to ensure that you can be more present online and to make the most of how social media can really help you as a business.

 

Having all of the gear but no idea

 

I’m sure many business owners and entrepreneurs have been in this position before. Having all of the gear and no idea how to implement or take advantage of it. It might be that you have a software in place to do certain things in your business but without the right guide to software testing you might not be making the most of what you do have. It could be that you have the facility to produce things, or perhaps expand your range, but no idea how to get started or go about it. This is when you need to take stock of what you can and can’t do with your business and seek out the help and advice to take full advantage and drive your business forward.

 

Is your website really working hard enough for you?

 

When was the last time you compared your website to other competitions out there or market leaders? Probably not for a while, but the truth is, if you don’t do it, you may get left behind. Your website is a huge important factor of your business. So many people go online to do things these days that if your website is not responsive, or isn’t quick loading with the right level of information people will simply click off and move on. So take some time to improve your website and make some changes. A decent digital agency could help with this to save you on time.

 

Are you focusing on what is in front of you?

 

Finally, you have something starting you right in the face that you are perhaps not taking advantage of and this could be a big mistake. The local area you live in is prime for customers, as you may be the only person providing that product or service in that area. There is a huge trend for people to shop locally and support small businesses, so you should really use this as a great way to up your sales locally and become the local expert in your industry and niche. You never know where it may lead on to.

 

I hope that highlighting some of these things will help you steer your business in the right direction.

Proof Urban Farming Is Big Business

 

The world is now full of social movements, but the one that is (arguably) capturing the most attention can be found in the world of grocery shopping because the ‘buy local’ movement almost seems unstoppable now. It’s a new mindset the consumer has become obsessed with and now agricultural businesses have had to celebrate, every part of the chain accepting it’s the future.

It’s fresher and healthier foods. It’s building stronger local economies. It’s allowing consumers to have direct contact with food producers. And it’s trying to aim for lower carbon emissions, instead of flying a pack of grapes 3,500 miles around the world.

The problem is: most of us don’t have an opportunity to get stuck into this movement beyond shopping at the local farmer’s markets and doing your online shop at FarmDrop. That said, entrepreneurs and businesses are coming up with increasingly amazing ways to make local agriculture a big part of urban living, and here are some of our favourite examples.

 

GrowUp Box

This twenty-foot container in London has reinvented the term “box lunch’. The guys and girls here farm tilapia, the fish swimming about below helping the vertically grown greens above them are getting the nutrients they need to survive and thrive. It’s quite something to behold.

 

Food Forest

Sat in the heart of Seattle, this dollop of public land (read: 7-acre site) has been transformed into an edible food forest full of fruit and nut trees, pumpkin patches, and berry bushes of every variety. It’s becoming it’s very own mini-ecosystem, but one where the aim is less maintenance and higher yields.

Pasona HQ

Pasona is a staffing company in Japan, but their headquarters are like nowhere else on earth. It’s a place where tomatoes dangle from the ceiling, cone bottom tanks have become art features, herbs grow in the meeting rooms and a rice paddy has become the centrepiece of their lobby. Here’s the best bit though: it’s not just to boost the local food message. It’s there to relax employees, encourage creative thinking, and build the community. The food also gets served in the company cafeteria.

Brooklyn Grange

This two and a half acres growing space is hidden at the top of a pair of sky-high office buildings and was designed as a way of increasing food production without increasing the agricultural footprint. Clever. It’s also been a huge success thus far with the project producing 50,000lbs of food it then sells through farmers markets, subscriptions and wholesale. But that’s not all. It also collects a million gallons of stormwater each year, meaning the city’s drainage system doesn’t have to.

Urban Organics

Based in Minnesota, his once-upon-a-time-brewery is now an aquaponics operation that supplies salad greens and fish to local grocery stores and restaurants, and it does so using just 2% of the water used in conventional agriculture. This is no not-for-profit side project though. This is a fully-fledged for-profit farm that has high hopes of proving aquaponics can be commercial viability and even help encourage economic development in the area.