5 Tips for Staying Productive While Relocating a Small Business

Relocating your business, no matter how big or small, can be a somewhat tricky endeavor. If you fail to organize all of your business tasks properly during the relocation period, your business is bound to experience some downtime which may have some serious consequences later on. What’s more, your employees will be affected by the move as well, which can seriously compromise their productivity and motivation. That’s why you, as the business owner, need to make sure you do all that’s in your power to make the move go as seamless and as stress-free as possible.

Here are some ways you can achieve that and make both your business and your employees stay productive during the move.

Time it right

While timing the move precisely is not quite possible, you can at least try to minimize the gap between moving out of your old office and moving into the new one. Also, make sure you completely set up the new office before the start date, to enable your employees to start working again as soon as possible – preferably as soon as they enter the new office space. Timing the move during the holiday season is possibly the best way to go, especially if your business practices collective vacation or annual shutdown.

Shift your offer to the online realm

If you haven’t done it so far, make sure you shift your offer to the online world during the move. By making your products or services available to your customers online during the move, not only will you seriously reduce the downtime your business is bound to experience, but it will also help your business to grow in the long run. However, it’s advisable to start working on your online business endeavors well-before the move, as it can be somewhat overwhelming.

Support working from home

Picture this scenario: your employees are sitting at their desks trying to focus and complete the task at hand while the movers are trying to pack the office furniture and equipment and relocate it to your new office space. To avoid this scenario, encourage your employees to work from their homes until the new office space is set up. This way, they will have the freedom to create ideal working conditions for themselves in the comfort of their own homes instead of having to struggle to stay productive in the office. Besides, every business-related task that can be taken care of remotely – should be, as that’s another great way to reduce downtime.

Make the move fun

Team building is everyone’s favorite office activity. So, why not try to make moving fun and turn it into team building? Since you’re a small business, chances are that you don’t have a ton of resources you can afford to spend on moving. If that’s the case, know that there really is no need to hire professional movers. Instead, you can opt for a company that offers truck rentals to find the best deal and ask your employees to help you out with the move. This can include everything from equipment organizing and packing to loading the trucks and driving everything to the new location. This way, not only will you save up a significant sum, but you’ll also offer your employees a chance to get to know each other better.

Always have backup

Now, while we do live in the digital era, there are still instances where you’ll simply have to meet a client, employee or a business partner in person. In such cases, holding the meeting in either your old or your new office space is not quite the best way to go, especially if neither of those places is fully functional. So, instead of risking potential unpleasant situations – e.g. having to deny your client a meeting due to the lack of office space – you should have a backup plan in place. For instance, there area lot of temporary rental office spaces where you can relocate everyone whose job can’t be performed from home, and where you can hold important meetings until your new office space is ready.

Therefore, when moving your small business, make sure you organize all of your business-related tasks accordingly, to lower the impact a move is bound to have on your company. Additionally, show your employees that you value them by asking them to help you out and try to make the move as seamless and as stress-free as possible. Finally, make sure that your business is still up and running during the move to avoid risking becoming irrelevant and falling out of touch with your audience.

About the author:Mike Johnston is a home improvement and business blogger from Sydney. He is a regular writer at SmoothDecoratorand contributor on several interior design, real estate and eco blogs. Mike’s goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.

Key 21st Century Tech For Your Business

It doesn’t matter whether your small business is focused on importing the latest aerodynamic ball bearing, providing accountancy services to SMEs or building an eBay empire, you will need to move with the times if you are to succeed. One of the main reasons companies fail to expand and instead see their business vision begin to crumble is because they are resistant to change. To thrive, you need to welcome new initiatives, working methodologies, and software. Take a look at these vital pieces of technology that every startup, new or established, should be chomping at the bit to obtain.

The Cloud

Rather than looking up and admiring the cumulus that you see above your head, the cloud that you need to consider is one that will revolutionize your business. Your office should be a digital workplace, where people can upload and download necessary documents, images, and files from the virtual environment; namely, the cloud. This online storage function means that you no longer have to worry about USB sticks or your hard drive. Instead, your staff team can all have access to these documents at the same time from virtually anywhere on the planet. This increases productivity, leads to fewer hardware issues affecting work streams and increases collaboration.

Workplaces are no longer rows of desktop cubicles. They are open plan, foster teamwork and water-cooler moments, and are designed to encourage collaborative ways of working. It makes sense that technology would echo this ethos.

CRM Software

While you are keen to utilize the millennial’s platform of choice and have a well maintained Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Instagram grid, how well do you know the customers that you drive to your site? CRM software or Customer Relationship Management, analyzes the traffic to your website. It will focus on their buying habits, the products they look at most on your site and the referral that led them to your company. This can aid you in constructing a nuanced and targeted marketing campaign when launching a new product. CRM software is the perfect technological solution to try and maintain customer loyalty and expose your brand.

Payroll Automation

While it may seem a little random to include a piece of software that completes a business function that you can do yourself, the automation of payroll can free up a ridiculous amount of your time. At least half a day can be spent on this mundane administrative task. Working out 401(k) considerations and tax allowances can be mind numbing. Instead, you could invest in a software package that periodically sorts out payroll for you. This leads to fewer chances of human error, looks more professional and allows you to work on more pressing areas of your strategic vision.

Being your own boss is thrilling, and you want to become a market leader in your field. The effort you have put into launching your company cannot go to waste. Don’t be one of the eighty percent of startups that fails within the first eighteen months of trading. Welcome change and embrace new technologies and your business will thrive.

How to Find Work and Jobs Abroad

The idea of working abroad and leaving the U.S. is one that appeals to a lot of people. Maybe you’re a new graduate and you’d like to go overseas and utilize your skills, or perhaps you’re further along in your career and you’d like to make a change.

The idea is similar to people who come to the U.S. for work. Many people come to the U.S. on temporary work visas, and then they’re able to send money back to their families using services like Remitly and develop valuable skills in the process.

The following are some ways employees in the U.S. can take a page out of foreign workers’ books and go abroad to work.

Learn the Language

The sooner and the more thoroughly you can work toward learning the language of where you want to work, the more appealing you are going to be to prospective employers. You don’t necessarily have to be fully fluent, but if you are bilingual in both English and the native language of where you’d like to go, it’s going to be much easier to find employment.

Some employees may have the plan to go abroad from the start so they’ll start studying a foreign language while they’re in college. If you didn’t do that, don’t worry. There are plenty of online courses and classes that can help you with your foreign language skills as you’re searching for employment.

Consider U.S.-Based Employers

When you want to work abroad, you might automatically start looking at companies that primarily operate where you’d like to go. That’s fine, but there are also plenty of companies in the U.S. that have a reputation for sending employees abroad for a period of time.

For example, Deloitte is one such company. They have partnerships in countries throughout the world, and while their headquarters is in New York City, they also often send people on international placements. You don’t have to be a top executive, either. They send everyone including interns and entry-level employees abroad if they’re interested.

Another example is HSBC, which has an international management program.

Frequent Travel Jobs

Even if you don’t find employment with a company that will place you overseas for a year or two, there are jobs where it’s all about travel. One example is the Uber Launching Team, and another is Airbnb. These companies are known for having positions that are almost entirely travel-based, and they may even offer travel-based perks and benefits to employees.

Finally, you might explore a working holiday visa as well. A working holiday visa is something that people aged 18 to 30 or sometimes 18 to 35 may be eligible for, depending on the country. These options let people work abroad in different positions around the world as they’re traveling. You will have to show that you have a desirable skillset to get one of these visas, and you may need to show your resume as well.

It’s definitely possible to work abroad in different settings and ways, so if it’s a dream you have, doing some research can help you make it happen.

How to Increase Exposure of Your B2B Content

Content is considered king in the marketing world for both B2C and B2B sectors. Many companies that provide special products or services to suit their clients’ needs, seek to help their audience better understand their offers. This is especially true if your company offers a wide variety of various services. The market is especially crowded and competitive, which makes it difficult for clients to choose which company’s services to opt for. That’s why  the goal of every company is to help their clients make that decision easier.

There’s no better way to achieve this than through content marketing. However, when developing content for your B2B marketing you must focus on making it highly relevant for your audience and ensure that it’s top quality as well. That way, you can ensure your content gets the required exposure and that your clients can easily familiarize themselves with your company through your well-placed content. Therefore, here are a few ways to increase the exposure of your B2B content.

Optimize content for SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become an integral part of every company’s content marketing. The main reason is that SEO helps you build more visibility, awareness and credibility for both your content and your company. It’s important to understand that B2B audiences differ from B2C ones.

That means that your clients are more likely to do some extensive research after reading your content and before they decide to contact you for business. That’s why it’s important to properly optimize your content, so that your audience can easily find and access it. Make sure you choose the right keywords to rank for and build your content around those keywords for more exposure. The better and more relevant your content is, the better your rankings will be.

Ensure brand consistency in your content

Branding helps companies elevate themselves on the market and differentiate themselves from other companies. Having  a strong brand image and consistent tone of voice online helps establish a more personal and long-lasting relationship with your audience.

However, maintaining a consistent brand image across channels, assets and markets is not an easy task. If you have difficulties in managing your content distribution and creation, you can always opt for content creation services which will not only help ensure brand consistency in your content but also yield the best results in terms of exposure.

Share content on social media

Social media platforms have become quite business friendly as of late. Having a good social media strategy will not only increase the exposure of your B2B content, but also help you build your online presence and reputation. What’s more, it helps you actively engage with your clients, in order to establish more relevant relations with them. However, not every social media network is best suited for B2B content distribution.

If you try to build a presence on every social network, you’ll only end up wasting both time and resources. Instead, focus on social media channels that your clients are present on. For instance, LinkedIn as a social network, is more suited for companies and business of every size. Their business-friendly environment will help you publish relevant content to your clients and ensure you favor good exposure.

Educate your clients

As mentioned before, helping your clients familiarize themselves with your services and your company in general is essential. Content can help you do that, but only if you focus on educating your clients in an interesting and relevant way. You can publish how-to guides and descriptions to help your clients understand your services or products. Including visuals is also a good way to ensure engagement and interest. For example, you can share product videos or demo guides for your audience to watch.

However, you don’t have to solely focus on explaining your products or services. Consequently, you can also provide educational content on important topics, problems or other industry-relevant information and news. That way, you’re not only helping clients understand your company better, but also helping them keep updated with the current industry trends. This type of content will help you position yourself as an industry expert, who provides useful and relevant information to their clients.

Share content through other media channels

Social media isn’t the only way to boost exposure for your content. Other media channels also present a good opportunity for your content to get the required recognition. For example, you can share content on your own blog and website. Moreover, you can engage in guest posting on other reputable sources. That way, you’ll gain more exposure and more credibility.

In addition, nurture leads from your email list of subscribers with content. Sharing content via email is a good way to send out personalized messages that will encourage your leads to consider doing business with you. Whichever method you choose, you have to make sure you have the right strategy in place. Building exposure isn’t easy, especially the kind of exposure your business needs, in order to grow and develop further.

When creating content for your B2B marketing, you have to focus on your clients and their expectations. The purpose of content marketing isn’t just promoting your company to clients, but also educating them and convincing them that your services are the right solution for their company. The more relevance and quality your content possesses the more efficient it will be in driving your business goals.

Guest author, Raul Harman, is a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com

 

 

Traveling for Business: 5 Ways to Make it Hassle Free

If you are like Tom Stucker who has flown more than 18 million miles in his life as a business executive, then you may already know all the travel tips. Alternatively, if you are just starting out, then use these five tips to help you manage your corporate travel. Even if you are a pro, reconsidering the basics can never hurt as you may have forgotten key information over time.

Use Analytics

You need good travel analytics to make sure that the amount of traveling that you do is worth the effort. Look for business travel management companies that have elements designed to keep travelers safe and can help deliver emergency messages. Consider a company that has a variety of tools available with a special emphasis on mobile tools. The best analytics examine many possible factors before arriving at the best scenario and presenting it to the business traveler.

Choose a Travel Credit Card

Booking all your travel on one credit card often allows you to rack up points faster. These points can then be exchanged for things that you would normally pay for like free miles, hotel stays and dinners. Check your company’s travel policy to see if you can use your points to treat yourself while traveling.

Pack Light

If you can get all your stuff into a carry-on bag, then you have more options if something goes wrong. You can grab your carry-on and head to another line at the last minute if weather or plane trouble prevents you from catching your original flight. Once you board a flight, consider putting your carry-on in the overhead across the aisle from your seat. This allows you to watch so that other people do not accidentally grab it or smash its contents.

Count on Airport Lounges

If you are a frequent traveler, then choose to fly as much as possible on one or two airlines. This will give you access to their lounge. Depending on your credit card, you may also have access to some lounges. These locations usually have free food, drinks and quiet places to work. Some even have showers for the traveler who does not have enough time in their itinerary to head to a hotel.

Pick Your Hotel Room Carefully

Try to choose a hotel room that is not on the bottom floor, but is low enough that most emergency vehicles will be able to reach your location easily. That is often on the first 10 floors or so in well-developed locations while it may only be on the second or third floor in less-developed areas. Provide only your first initial and your last name when you are making reservations. Make sure that all windows and doors lock properly.

Following these simple tips will help you become a business travel pro. When all else fails, count on your own intuition as it will become stronger as you gain even more experience. Soon, you may be like Mr. Stucker and flying over 2 million miles each year.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Monetizing Your Blog For Six-Figure Returns

Blogs can make upwards of $10,000 a month for even just solo-owners. With the right SEO, advertising, and readership, your blog can easily be monetized far beyond what you’d expect to find in a normal office job. In this article, you’ll be given some of the top tips for monetizing your blog, and living off the proceeds.

What Do You Love?

The easiest way to make money is to find a niche in something you love. Firstly, establish what you’re passionate about. This exercise will help you develop content that is both well researched, but engagingly communicated through your platform. Half of the battle in blogging is writing or recording something that consistently fascinates you, and having an established knowledge and potential network associated with your passion will make it far easier to become successful.

However, it is imperative that you do you research first to ensure that the angle you take on your subject matter hasn’t already been done commercially by someone else. Becoming a unique voice within your chosen demographic lies at the core of financial success with your blog. As long as you post consistently good content, there is no reason that you can’t become a success at what you love.

Work As An Influencer

Social media and web-based influencers are the new reality stars. If you’re an expert, specialist, or just very good at communicating information on your chosen subject matter, the chances are you’ll be asked to become an influencer for brands associated with your blog content. Some of the top influencers end up earning money from writing post, photoshoots, hosting giveaways with affiliated brands, and many go on to publish books on their work.

A great example of an influencer collaboration is the MedMen “Faces” campaign in California, 2018. The brand used existing social media influencers in the space to celebrate their brand, and they are now the leading recreational store in the country. Many of the influencers went on to reap huge financial rewards from the campaign too, thanks to the relationships with MedMen, and the rest of the industry.

Practical Tips

Becoming an influencer does begin with finding you bliss, but it ultimately hinges on your ability to act. Yes, some blogs become commercially successful because they sell ad space online, but if you’re following your passion you should be reaping the rewards. Acting on what you love means that your blog is now your business, and even though it may seem easy, it is easy to go off-brand.

As your brand grows, stay within your niche and earn through sponsored blog posts, selling related products via your site, or affiliate marketing. If you’re more of a hands-on person, many bloggers host seminars, webinars, and events. Most successful bloggers will always be offered free products, just ensure that you’re only advertising the ones you truly support. You have to do your research on everyone who contacts you, just in case they don’t totally reflect your ethics.

As we near the end of this decade, monetizing via blogging platforms is changing as an industry. The individual behind the words is becoming as important as the words themselves. Personal blogs are an incredibly easy way to boost your personal income, and can help you grow into an entrepreneur, or a specialist in your field. All you have to do is decide what exactly you’d like to write about, and whether you’re looking to make bank from behind your computer screen.

Guest Author, Jenny Holt, is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

 

Recruit The Best Staff With The Help Of Modern Technology

Companies are constantly finding new ways to attract the best talent and improve their hiring process. Here are some cutting-edge ways in which you can use modern technology to help source the best new employees for your company.

Advertise beyond online job boards

Whilst online job boards like Indeed and Monster are some of the most popular places to attract applicants, they shouldn’t be the only place that you advertise. Advertising on other platforms can increase your chances of attracting more applicants. Social media is now a big place for advertising jobs – you can run ads and promoted posts on Facebook and Twitter as well as posting news of your vacancy in community pages. You can also create web ads for search engines such as Google to help people stumble across your ad. Don’t forget to also use LinkedIn, which is great for scouting out talent.

Create online tests and surveys

You could also try creating your own tests or surveys for applicants to complete – these could be used to make a better judgement of someone’s personality or they could be used to test someone’s knowledge in the field. You can post a link to a survey in your job ad. There are many sites such as SurveyMonkey for generating these surveys.

Keep the application process organised with software

If you’re getting lots of applications coming through, it could be worth using an applicant tracking system to help stay organised. Being able to read and reply to applications in an organised manner will prevent you from overlooking a CV or failing to reply to an important question.

Consider hiring virtual employees

If your work is entirely computer-based/phone-based it could be possible for you to hire employees virtually rather than requiring these new staff members to come into the office. There are many advantages to hiring staff virtually. You can firstly cast your nett wider and employ staff members on the other side of the country, who otherwise would live too far away to commute. Hiring a virtual team could also prevent you from having to expand your office – if you currently work from home and are taking on your first staff members, it could prevent you from having to buy an office altogether. Studies have also shown virtual employees take off less sick days, are able to concentrate more and are generally happier.

Interview applicants via video-communication

Applicants don’t even need to come to your office for the interview – many employers are now conducting interviews via video-communication. This allows you to still have a face to face conversation with the applicant, whilst saving them the cost and hassle of having to travel to your office. Start considering this tool whenever you interview people.