4 Things That Your Business Website Needs To Succeed

If you have a new business, then marketing will need to be part of your business plan. You could have the best business plan in the world, but if no one knows about you or your product or where to find you, then it will slow the progress of your business quite a lot. Which is why a website for your business is really paramount. Gone are the days of simply just having a website, though. There are many different things that you can do to help give your business a boost, through the use of your website. So here are some things that your business website should be doing, as well as a few tips and tricks.

 

Slick Design

If your website is quite basic and outdated, then it will reflect on what your customers think about the business. The first impression for many people will be the website, so you want it to reflect your brand and give off a good first impression. You need to also think about how responsive your site is and make sure that it is mobile friendly. You also need to think about things like pop-ups or slow loading pages. It might be worth changing host if this is a problem, simply because it will put people off. We live in a fast-paced modern world, and no one has the patience to wait a while for a page to load.

 

A Blog

As well as your main front page of your website that will talk about your brand or product, and perhaps you have a shop or other pages on your site. But a blog needs to be one of those other pages. Having a blog is a great way to share relevant content and potentially attract new customers. Any SEO consulting services will tell you that you’re likely to rank higher on a search engine when you have more backlinks to your website too. So that can be linking to other pages on your blog, as well as previous blog articles you have written. It gives your business a different dimension and increases your visibility. So it is a win-win situation really.

 

Simple Web Address

Don’t over complicate things when it comes to your web address. You need to think about having your web address be the same as your brand or business name. If it is too far off, it will be harder to find. So keep things simple, and it will be easier for your customers to find you.

 

Social Media Details

While having your business contact details on the site is important (a phone number and address), these days you do really need to have details of all of your social media handles. Even better if you can just get an icon that will click through to the platform itself. Many of your customers will be on those platforms and would rather use those for customer service and keeping up to date with things. So they are pretty key these days.

Category: Blogging, Business

The Art Of Delegation

 

When you have created your own company from scratch, built off nothing but your ideas and your determination to succeed, the idea of delegation can seem like a scary word. When you begin in business, almost everything is about you and how well you can do it. It’s your vision, your plans, and your way of figuring out what your next steps are.

If you are very lucky, then the growth of your business will be rather straightforward. You’ll make more money, satisfy more orders, increase your reputation and everything will rather bloom from there. Business, when it’s done right, doesn’t have to be complicated.

When you get over the initial problems of establishing a business, it can feel like you have got smooth sailing from this point on. You’ve cruised past the choppy waters of investment hurdles and now you’re into your second or third year. You know what you’re doing, your business is ripe for expansion, you’ve even been able to take on staff… ah, that’s where the problem hits isn’t it?

You have been there since your business was nothing but an idea you had and wondered if you could do something with it. Now, you have staff, people who have their own visions for the future. You have to share everything you have built up and – well, it can be tough to let go.

 

What’s The Alternative?

Say that you point-blank refuse to listen to the points below and think that you can manage just fine without having to delegate to staff. You might think that you can be the spider at the centre of the web and everyone can do a little bit, but you’re always going to be there with overall control. You don’t have to relinquish anything; you can do it all.

 

That, of course, is what it will come down to: you’ll try to do it all. You’ll try to be everything to your business as even if you have the staff, without learning to delegate, you won’t properly feel that you can trust them. So you’ll find yourself overly involved in customer complaints, trying to run your own SEO campaign, worrying about how nutritious the office snacks are…

No one can be everything to their business. There isn’t an alternative; you have to learn to delegate, or your business will die. It’s that simple.

 

So How Do You Learn To Delegate?

1) Take It Slowly

Don’t expect that you will suddenly wake up one morning and feel comfortable handing over control to a member of staff on huge issues. You still retain your business acumen and you’ve still got plenty to contribute here, so there’s no need to deliberately sideline yourself.

Just start gently, with small tasks and decisions. Ask for someone’s input and (providing they are not absolutely and obviously incorrect), follow their advice rather than looking for your own solutions. You will soon see that the business doesn’t crumble because you have let others use their initiative, rather than solely relying on your own. The more successes that happen as a result of your delegation, the more you will be emboldened to continue to delegate.

 

2) Have Red Lines

If you have struggled to delegate in the past, even by taking it slowly, it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to totally overrule your gut instinct to protect. So you need to channel it, by giving yourself a set of “red lines” that you will never delegate tasks from unless you feel completely comfortable to do it.

 

You could grant yourself the full final control of hiring decisions or the focus of your SEO strategy; you can be as involved as you want, providing there are some areas where you cede control and decision-making powers to another person. With any luck, you’ll feel more reassured when you know there are some areas that will continue to fall inside your control.

 

3) Tell Your Staff

 

You don’t have to be infallible with your staff; you can tell the most senior that you are having issues delegating and that they should be aware of that. Not only does this ease the burden of worry from being yours alone, but they might have intelligent suggestions related directly to your business that could really help you. You never know – it might be delegation itself that gives you the answer when wondering how to delegate.

 

Category: Business

The Fundamental Skills To Look For In A New Payroll Professional

 

What matters most in your firm? Is it exceeding your profit margins? Is it keeping your shareholders happy? Is it having positive customer relations? All of these are surely very high on your list, as they should be. But what makes a firm operate day-to-day? Of all the ingredients that go into making an enterprise pie, which, when taken out of the recipe, would cause the pie to collapse in on itself?

The employees.

Good employee management is one of the most underrated aspects of keeping a workforce operational. Over time, little problems can develop into significant problems. A missed payment here, a too much overtime, or even too little positive reinforcement can lead your employees to think that they are undervalued, underappreciated and overworked. It’s not hard to imagine that over time, this can results in them leaving or even litigated against your for the money they’re owed.

To best tackle this, it’s important to have solid payroll systems in place. There are many ‘payroll software’ packages available these days to help you automate this to some degree, but for the most part, software isn’t going to have a single hope of navigating the nuances of employee personality or particular situation that needs to be rectified. For that reason, it’s important to hire great payroll consultants. But what should you look for in a new payroll employee?

We’d argue these 3 skills.

Communication

 

Your payroll employee should not only be on top of his or her game when it comes to the nuances of payroll, how it can be effected and the remedies that should be taken to counteract. Not only that, but the consultant in question needs to be able to articulate simply what they are doing to rectify those issues with you as owner and the employee who is affected.

 

They need to be amiable and approachable about these issues, and leave the employee feel like they are better educated about what happened and that they received a stable fix. In circumstances that can’t be resolved for a time, they need to help keep your staff patient and positive knowing that a fix is on the way.

Promptness

Paying your employees needs to be resolved quickly. If an employee is unhappy about the speed to which their query was settled, they will let you know about it, and in no uncertain terms. It’s for this reason that your payroll consultant needs to understand the importance of the work they do, and how fast their turnaround should be in new calculations if needs be. For managing larger teams, they need to be deadly organized, to the point where their work might look like a military operation. Be sure to ask for examples of when they’ve resolved issues promptly before now for best success.

 

Mathematical & Digital Fluency

Of course, it goes without saying that your payroll employee needs to be good with numbers, and able to calculate in aggregate salaries, taxes, insurances, etc. However, they also need to be suitable to work with the aforementioned software packages that are popular within their discipline. Ask them for their computer program experience. A qualified professional should be able to grapple with the most important systems you need.

 

Follow these tips, and you’ll find a brilliant payroll hire in no time.

 

Category: Business

Will You Be Remembered?

 

It’s important, perhaps even crucial that your business stands out and makes an impression on the market. You need customers to remember your company when they think about a second purchase. Or, that they recall the name of your business to search for it if they saw one of your advertisements. This is all about making your company as memorable as possible, ensuring that the name of your business rolls off the tongue of your customers. Or, that they think about certain brand qualities when they see the logo of your company.

 

So, the question is how do you make your business memorable. Well, there are quite a few approaches to this problem. For instance, you should think about certainly think about psychology. Certain things are more memorable to us than others, and we’re going to look into how to use these factors to your advantage. But before we get to that, let’s think about you. The person running your company that people see at the head of the business does matter. You need to make sure you are appealing as part of the brand.

Part Of The Work Force, Part Of The Brand

 

So, how do you make yourself as interesting as memorable as possible? Well, the first step is ensuring that customers know that you’re the person behind the company. The simplest way to do this is to add a profile to your business website and make sure that customers know you are the one behind the social media profiles. Note, this doesn’t mean that you have to update your social profiles yourself. You just need to make sure that each public sector of your company has the same feel and traits. This will make customers think of one person behind the entire company, you.

Now as far as making yourself interesting enough to be remembered, you need to show some skin. You need to let them know who you are and what you stand for. It’s like being a politician. They need to know what makes you different from the rest. And remember, everyone loves a good underdog, so it’s not a bad idea to share some personal info on why you started your company.

 

Of course, it’s not just about you. If an employee works for you, they are part of your brand. They need to be likable, charming and charismatic. That’s why you want to be very careful when hiring new employees, particularly if a large part of their job will be being part of the public face of your business.

It’s All In The Name

 

Think of the household names that you are familiar with. Disney, Sony, Microsoft, Daz, Amazon and the list goes on. What do they all have in common? We think you’ll agree that they are quite unique and as such rather difficult to forget. Now, you might think this is merely good fortune or sheer luck, and in some cases it is. For instance, Walt Disney just had a rather unique name that he used to his advantage. Would he have been quite as successful if his last name had been Jones? Probably not, or he might have chosen a different name for his company. As for Microsoft, that’s clearly a marketing decision. Micro, meaning simple and efficient as well as techy with soft added on to make customers feel as though the software isn’t too complex. This plays directly into the key idea of the Microsoft brand that the user interface is always easy. Of course, getting the right catchy, cool name isn’t always simple. Indeed, these days you may find that the best business names are off the market. You might have to buy or bargain for them if you have your mind set on a name that you know will be a winner for your company.

When you do pick your business name to make sure that you run it by marketing first. You can even use polls to find out which one is more attractive to the target audience.

Pictures Speak Louder Than Words

 

 

Here’s a fun psychological fact. We’re better at remembering pictures than we are names. So, you could argue that your business logo is actually one of the most important of your brand. As such, you do want to think about what it looks like and whether it is memorable. That’s why many businesses invest in the services of a professional designer, rather than just taking one out of a cookie cutter template design frame. If you can find a truly original logo design for your business, you will already have primed your company for success.

Take this advice, and you will be able to ensure that customers never forget your company.

 

 

Making Checks & Taking Care: The Detailed Approach To Business

A business needs to constantly tow the line when it comes to trying to promote a positive image of itself. Yet this can often be surprisingly hard to do, especially in today’s fast-paced business culture. If your business is just getting off the ground and you are starting to worry about this side of things, it might be helpful to think about before you really get your teeth stuck in. In this article, we are going to take a look at some particular examples of when it really helps to take extra care in business. These might be times when failing could mean disaster or your business immediately, or just when it would be particularly pertinent to be careful. Let’s have a look.

 

Dealing With A Customer Complaint

All businesses receive complaints from time to time. This in itself in normal, and completely unavoidable to a certain degree. The way in which you deal with your complaints, however, is likely to show what kind of a business it is, and it will set the tone for whether or not customers tend to respect the way you do things. So how can you show extra care in this particular situation? Mostly, it is about showing that you genuinely care about the customer’s concern. You need to have strongly trained customer services staff who are adept at dealing with whatever customers might throw their way. You should also have a system in place for deciding how you apologise to customers, so that nobody feels unfairly treated. If you can deal with a complaint well, it bodes very well for your business indeed.

 

Hiring Staff

The people you have on board are among the most important things in the whole business. You need to be confident that you can trust them with every aspect of their job – even if it takes a little training first to get them there. The most important thing here then is to take care during the recruitment process. Above all, it is a matter of trust. It’s worth taking out DBS Checks from uCheck so that you can be entirely certain about the individual’s integrity, and whether or not you feel you can trust them in your workplace. But it’s not just about their background. It’s also a matter of taking care in terms of the whole recruitment process itself, working to ensure that you do not rush into it and that you really do end up with the best people for the job.

 

Finding Advertising Spots

At some point, you need to think about where you are going to advertise your business. If you have never had to think about this before, you might be surprised at just how difficult it can be to find decent spots. There is a main reason that you need to take special care here – you want your business to only associate with other businesses which you feel reflect well on the brand. So if your advertising partner is in the middle of some ethical dilemma, you might want to part ways.

Category: Business

The Importance Of Securing Your Brand Presence

When you’re starting a new business, you need to stand out. There are so many people who are taking matters into their own hands nowadays and venturing out on their own. While you may have an innovative idea, it can easily be pinched if you don’t patent it quick enough; or if it’s unpatentable, there is probably somebody out there doing exactly the same thing. It is important to establish your brand as soon as you can and in the most effective way possible. But for those who are beginners in business, how do you go about it?

 

Why Do You Need Branding?

All of the most successful corporations and businesses around the world have a branding that they stick to. Whether it’s the red colour of Coca Cola, the golden arches of McDonalds or the sleek, monochrome label of Chanel, these are all things that matter – and that’s just the logos. Branding is so much more than that. It incorporates your whole image, how you look and interact with your customers. You make a statement with your personal brand and create an image which is synonymous with what your business is about.

 

Setting Your Brand

If you aren’t creative or artistically gifted, and don’t have ideas jumping out at you about how to best engage customers, looks for an innovative company such as Iconic Brand to give you some ideas about how to get started. What you are looking for is the ability for these companies to give you something that customers from your target demographic are going to want to invest in and remain loyal to. With so many different options to choose from nowadays, they need to invent an exciting and exhilarating concept for your customers to really cling onto. Everything from the copy used to the graphics displayed need to be bang on in terms of driving potential buyers over to your business.  

 

Budgeting

 

The bigger the budget, the bigger the brand. It’s a cold, hard truth that money talks, especially within marketing and when trying to stake your claim on an already expansive market. See how much money you have to play with when it comes to branding, and make sure that you are putting it towards the right place. A lot of companies are now gearing towards the innovative experience that certain brands offer; you may be familiar with brands like Walls and Marmite who have done everything from pop-up shops to shutting down the whole of Regent Street in London UK to offer potential customers an immersive concept. While smaller businesses may not be able to achieve that level of interaction, especially when starting out and not having established a brand to that extent, it is definitely something to aim for and shows a relatively new way of looking at how branding can be so specific and relative, really hitting on the niche of nostalgia. When people invest their feelings into your brand, they are parting with a whole lot more than you think – it’s time to hold on to that.

Think National Not Local To Increase Your Sales

So many new businesses see a spike in sales which then starts to drop off after a while. You’re left not knowing why. One reason could be that you are not reaching markets on a national scale. Although you might have become a force to be reckoned with on a local level, you won’t be able to push your business to the next level if you don’t start expanding your reach and hitting markets on a national level. Any business owners out there that have found their sales starting to stagnate should read these tips on bringing in customers on a national scale.

 

Make Use Of Your Website

So many companies build a website and wait for people to come to you. This won’t work if you’re trying to grab more customers. You need to be proactive with it and reach out to people. Fill your site with valuable content that people want to read, that way you can attract more potential customers to your site.

Developing your own app is also one way of reaching new customers. If it’s successful you’ll see a huge increase in traffic but it will take some investment. Use this app development calculator to see how much it’s going to set you back. If you don’t have enough money for it, don’t go ahead with it. If you don’t spend enough on developing a good quality app then you won’t reap the rewards.

Good use of technology is often the key to a good marketing campaign these days.

 

Market Research

All of the local customers that you are dealing with at the moment will have similar wants and needs. Once you start reaching further afield, the demographic will be very different. That means you can’t use the same marketing tactics you have been up to this point. Make sure that you do extensive research into all of the areas that you are trying to expand into so you can tailor your efforts towards them specifically. You’ll see a lot more success this way than you would if you simply used blanket tactics in all of the different markets.

 

Go Slowly

A common mistake that people tend to make is that they overstretch themselves too early on. You aren’t going to be able to start selling your products nationwide overnight. If you’re operating in one town or city, the first step should be to expand your operations to a country level. From there you can move into a whole region, and then a state and so forth. Trying to hit the whole country from the beginning means that you’ll spread yourself too thin and you’ll just be running lots of marketing campaigns very badly instead of a few successfully. None of them will give you the increase in sales that you are looking for.

 

Budgeting

 

When you are writing a plan, you’ll need to work out a budget. Don’t rush into the campaign with a small amount of money. You should only spend what you can afford to lose; putting all of your capital into a marketing campaign that might not work could leave you in some serious trouble.

Category: Business

5 Reasons Why You Should be Guest Blogging

 

You’ve seen them all over the web, and probably on some of your favorite blogs: Guest Blog Posts. And of course, seeing these will lead to the inevitable question: “Should I be scheduling guest blog posts?” The answer is a loud yes! And here are just five reasons why.

 

Backlinks and SEO

When you include links to your website in the bio of your guest blog posts, it creates backlinks as soon as your blog is published on anther site. This increases your SEO, especially if you are publishing on a quality, trusted site. The more important the site, the more potential you have to earn higher SEO rankings, as their SEO juice will flow onto your blog. This means the more likely you are to be seen, and the more business you and your company can earn.

 

Gain More Followers

Posting on a different site also gives you the ability to reach a new and different audience. The blog you post on will have loyal viewers of its own, and these loyal viewers can now meet you, learn from you, and learn about your business and find a trusted new resource in the field. Pretty sweet, right? If they really like you, not only will they return again and again to your blog or company site, but they may follow you on your social media channels. The more people who visit your site, and the longer you stay, the higher your SEO rankings.

 

Win Win

But guest blogging isn’t just about you. You can help increase the SEO of the site hosting you, too. How? Simply write a post on your own blog summarizing what people can learn from your guest blog post, and link to the other blog. This provides backlinks to the site hosting you. In addition, your loyal blog readers can visit the host site, learn new things, and potentially become loyal followers to the host site.

 

 

Build Relationships

It’s no surprise that with such a beneficial partnership already in the works, you and the host site can build a working relationship where you support each other beyond guest blogging. Additionally, you can also build relationships with readers by responding to their questions and comments in the fields of your guest blog post, potentially bringing you more business. Building this relationship in the first place can be tough, however, and you will need to perfect your pitch to gain a response and a place to blog. Guestposttracker.com shows you how to get a guest post published, and how to start that working relationship. Remember that successful bloggers are very busy people, and may not get back to you straight away – if you haven’t heard back from them for a couple of weeks, a gentle nudge to remind them that you have reached out will go a long way.

 

Establish Credibility

The more quality content you write, and the more people see it, the higher you can rank in Google, which means more people visiting your site and even higher SEO rankings. When people learn they can rely on you, and when you consistently provide quality content, you can become a trusted leader in the industry.

Category: Blogging, Business

Every Good Employer Has These Things For Their Staff

There will come a time when you need to think about hiring some staff for your business. After all, it’s the best way to grow your company. And if you want to take on more work from clients, employing staff is a necessity. It can also help to lessen your own load so you can concentrate on other areas of the business. After all, as much as we wish we could do ten things at once, it’s easy for things to go wrong when we are multitasking! However, if you want to ensure your employees stay happy at your company, you need to put some important things in place. After all, you don’t want your new staff running to another business as they aren’t getting treated right with you. You want loyal staff who are happy to stay and build their career at your business. To ensure this happens, here are a few things every good employer has for their staff.

 

Time

It’s so easy to get caught up in your business. After all, when there are tight deadlines to be met, and you are trying to win over new clients, you can get into a bubble. And the outside world often gets ignored while you are so busy. But you do need to make sure that however busy you might be, that you still make time for your employees. Otherwise, they could easily feel taken for granted working for you. And if they are suffering with their heavy workload, or having a poor time with a colleague, they might not feel like they can talk to you. Therefore, they could end up quitting and moving on to a different company. And then you will have lost a good member of staff. So to ensure you are a good employer to your team, you need to make it clear that you always have time to speak to them. Tell them that they can come to you at any time if they are having a problem with the work. If you show that you have time for them, they are bound to stay longer at your company, and have much more respect for you as a boss!

 

A HR team

While an employee might talk to their supervisor about a work problem, there are some cases they might feel like they can’t open up to them. After all, the issue might be with the supervisor. Or it might be a personal issue which needs to be dealt with carefully. And if they have no one to go to, it might lead them to get stressed out in the workplace. In fact, they might end up leaving and going to a different company. Therefore, to ensure you are a good employer, you need to get an HR team on board. After all, it will ensure your employee has a good port of call if they are having any problems. And they will feel more comfortable talking to them about workplace matters. If you go through HR recruitment specialists, you can make sure you get someone with experience who will know how to deal with employee relations. And having an HR employee on board can also help you out when it comes to hiring and firing employees. After all, if you have never had employees before, it can be an overwhelming experience. Therefore, having someone to help you can make it a much easier task to find good, solid employees for your business!

 

Good company benefits

As much as an employee will start working for you down to the role and pay, they will also look at the company benefits. After all, these are the things which can help make your business stand out as an employer. And it can ensure they want to work for you rather than going with a different company. In fact, if you have a lack of company benefits, you will struggle to get any applications when it comes to looking for new employees. Therefore, it’s worth thinking of some good company benefits you can bring to the table. It might be that you offer a bonus scheme for work completed. That will ensure your team work harder to ensure they get a bonus at the end of it. You also might want to offer good training opportunities. At the end of the day, employees want to advance and learn new skills. So if there is training on offer, they are more likely to want to work for your company. Also, make sure you offer things like a Christmas work party and the occasional Friday drinks. It can boost morale and ensure your staff feels like they are having a good experience working for your company!

 

Flexibility

It used to be the case that you would head to work at 9, have an hour’s lunch, and then head home at 5. But now in the modern world, a lot of people want to work flexible hours. After all, it can ensure they can fit their work around everything that is going on in their personal life. They want the opportunity to start early so they can finish earlier in the afternoon. Or even come in later and finish at a later time. So if you just offer set hours without any room for movement, it might leave your staff members unhappy. Therefore, to be a good employer, ensure you allow flexibility for your staff. Allow them to start or finish at whatever time is necessary. At the end of the day, as long as the work gets completed, it’s fine to be a bit flexible. And they should reward you by working hard to ensure you can make a success of your business.

 

Remember to ensure you have good facilities for your staff. After all, it’s going to lead to a low morale if they don’t have things like a staff room to chill out at lunch. And if they have rubbish toilets they have to use on a daily basis. Therefore, ensure they have proper facilities to keep your staff happy!

Category: Business

Effective Ways To Give A Good First Impression In Business

 

When trying to source clients in your business, first impressions count. You need to make every effort to ensure your company stands out from the competition, so how you present yourself and your service matters.

Here are several ways you can make a good first impression when meeting new clients.

Do your homework

When meeting a prospective client, you need to do your homework. Visit their website and find out as much about them as you can, knowing their company’s history and mission statement. In much the same way you would for a job interview, knowing you have done some research will make the client look favorably towards you.

Be on time

When traveling to the meeting, make sure you are punctual and arrive early if possible. Get to know the route you will be taking so you don’t get lost on the way, and take into account traffic and parking spots. You need time to prepare yourself when you arrive, such as heading to the restroom to make sure you look presentable, and to gain composure. Arriving late and disheveled is not the way to guarantee a good first impression.

Focus on your presentation

You need to look presentable, so wear something that befits the meeting. A designer suit is preferable for a formal business meeting, but you don’t want to overdress for something informal. You need to feel comfortable in whatever you wear, but you don’t want to stand out for the wrong reasons with an inappropriate outfit.

As you meet your clients, a firm handshake will show you have confidence. However, you don’t want to grip too tightly, as your lasting impression shouldn’t be bruising on your client’s fingers. When you shake hands, smile and give eye contact. On your first meeting, you are trying to convey a positive image, so everything from your face to your body language will improve your first impression.

Active listening

You may be pitching an idea, but it is important to engage with what your client is saying. Again, focus on your body language to show you are attentive. Don’t interrupt your client, but wait for appropriate times to speak and ask questions. If you try to hurry them or finish off their sentences, they won’t feel valued by you. Similarly, asking a question to something they have already given the answer to will show you haven’t listened properly.

A lasting impression

When meeting a client, you don’t want them to forget you in favor of your competition. Leave them with a professionally made business card from a company such as these compelling

z card printing designs. Say goodbye with another firm handshake, and thank your client for their valuable time.

Don’t hurry to contact your client again, but give them time to think about the meeting you had. However, you don’t want to lose their potential custom, so a quick phone call or an email after a couple of days to remind them you are still interested in their business will suffice.

Category: Business