7 Helpful Hacks to Get the Best Out Of Your Super Staff

When you started up your business, you never thought it would grow to the size it is today. You started off scribbling ideas on the corner of a notepad whilst in corporate meetings at your old 9-5 job. You knew this life just wasn’t for you and you longed for an escape from the rat race. Your initial business idea stemmed from your lifelong passions and since then it has grown into a somewhat successful company that you are extremely proud of. Although you have conquered a lot in the last few years, you are always looking for ways to build up your company. Hiring employees to help with your workload is the top of your priority list at the moment, but you have no experience in managing and recruiting a team of people. Bringing new people into your company is a scary step for any entrepreneur to take, but it will all be worth it in the long run. You need to focus on what is best for your company when hiring staff; once you know a person is going to fit in, you can then shift your focus onto them and nurture them as they progress through the ranks. You were once a new starter at a company, so you know how daunting this can be. Be kind, considerate and fair at all time and you will soon have a new team of super staff to be proud of.

  1. Innovative Interview Techniques

If you have never interviewed anybody before the thought of this might terrify you. However, you will have been through interview processes before in your previous jobs, so you will have more knowledge than you think. Write down the key traits you’re looking for from each candidate and don’t forget to research great exit interview questions. You will only be able to gain valuable information, by asking good questions. Use open questions to gain a deep insight into your prospective employees, so that you know you’re hiring the right person for the job.

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  1. Explain the Job Description Clearly

When you put out the advertisement for the job, make sure you are laying out the job description clearly and concisely. People can often be misled by job descriptions and this will ultimately end up wasting your time. You should clearly state the qualifications, background and experience you are looking for, as well as the salary details and start date. If you miss out this important information from the job description you might just be leading somebody on. You want people to know exactly what they are signing up for, so clearly list their roles and responsibilities before you offer them the job.

  1. Listen to their Problems

When somebody first starts working for you, they might not feel completely comfortable coming to you with their issues. Make it clear from the get go that you offer an open door policy in your workplace and you are available to talk at any time. You never know what people might be going through at home, so make time for them and help them out as best as you can.

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  1. Allow them to Progress

Every worker wants to know that their career will progress over time. Clearly outline the opportunities for promotion and progression to everybody who joins your company. They want to know there is something to work towards and it will keep them motivated every time they step into the office. Allow certain employees to shadow their superiors and offer insights into what their other colleagues do on a daily basis. Growing their knowledge and enhancing their skills will benefit you, them and your company as a whole.

  1. Trust Them

Nobody wants to be micromanaged at work; it is extremely demotivating and demoralizing. Make sure you establish a level of trust amongst your staff so that they feel free to carry out their duties effectively and without being judged. Schedule regular catch ups with each of your members of staff, so that you can monitor their progress regularly and talk about where improvements could be made. Equally, make sure you give them credit when they deserve it and offer incentives for those who are excelling.

  1. Spend Time Getting to Know Everyone

Your employees want to feel important and valued in your company, so don’t just see them as another body to carry out an important task. Get to know them on a human level and it will work in your favor. You will be able to learn their hobbies, likes and dislikes; this will actually help you to schedule them on shifts, organize business trips and other work related activities. You might find that someone is really interested in travelling, so they would be the ideal person to send on a business trip overseas. Getting to know people and how they operate will work wonders for your business as a whole.

  1. Socialize with your Employees

The time you spend with your staff doesn’t need to be limited to the office. Organize social events and seasonal activities so that everyone gets the chance to blow off some steam after a big deadline. Offer to take everybody out for a coffee at lunchtime, or throw a surprise birthday party on somebody’s special day. Socializing with your colleagues and going that extra mile is really important, as it helps you to build friendships and solid professional relationships outside of the workplace.

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Every entrepreneur has to take huge leaps at some point in their career and now it is your turn. Allow your company to grow and flourish, by hiring people that are going to be excellent representatives of your business. As long as you trust each individual and you treat them with respect you will be able to have excellent working relationships with them all. Over time you will become confident in your interview skills and managerial know how; your employees will grow to respect you and you will be setting yourself up for huge success in the future.

4 Ways Surveys Can Help Build Your Startup Company Strategy

Running a startup business is, in fact, quite difficult. Aside from trying to find a way to make it on the market, there are also a lot of challenges and obstacles startup owners face. It’s also quite complicated to fully understand whether or not your business idea will succeed on the market and if there’ll be any demand for your products or services. What’s more, startup businesses usually lack the sufficient funds to conduct extensive and thorough market research.

Luckily, where there’s a will there’s a way – and that’s conducting surveys. That way, startup owners can obtain the necessary information that will help them create a good strategy, without investing too many resources into it. In addition, you can rely on relevant data you’ve obtained directly from your target audience and potential customers. Simply put, you’ll be able to make more strategic and smart decisions. Here are a few ways surveys can help you build a startup company strategy.

Identifying your target audience

As mentioned before, startup businesses are generally not funded enough to conduct in-depth market research. You can assume who is most likely to be interested in your products and services, but you can’t know for sure nor do you know anything important about those potential customers. However, the key to success is knowing all there is to know about your target audience. Fortunately, surveying people doesn’t involve a hefty investment at all.

When creating a survey for your research purposes, make sure you include questions that will shed light on your audience’s demographics, overall interests, preferences and expectations. This will help you familiarize yourself with your target audience and understand their needs as consumers. That information will help you improve your products or services, so that you’ll have a better product/market fit for your startup. You can conduct the surveys both online and in person. Just make sure you analyze the data properly in order to extract vital information from it.

Tracking customer satisfaction

If you’ve started to build an online presence for your startup and also started making sales, it’s important to know how your audience perceives you so far. Customer satisfaction is essential for business success. The main reason is that if your customers aren’t happy, your reputation, bottom line and chances of success may drastically decline. That’s why it’s important to follow-up with your customers after interactions, sales and other activities.

Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask your customers for feedback. You can offer a simple incentive to your customers and ask them to participate in paid surveys online. That way, in exchange for their feedback, your customers will gain something of value in return. This will help you gain information that will assist you in improving your customer service and support. Not only that, but it will show your customers that you’re making an effort and that their opinions matter to you.

Testing products and features

Every business looks to grow and develop further by introducing innovation. Adding features to your products or services may be a good way to boost engagement with your customers, but it may also backfire if not done properly. If you want to add something new, it’s safer not to surprise your customers, but instead, ask them for their opinions. You can conduct a survey where you’ll describe new features to customers in detail and ask them what they think about it.

If your audience is generally pleased with the improvements, you can move on to the implementation stage. If not, you should avoid it altogether. That way, you not only show your customer that you care and that their best interest comes first when designing new features, but it also saves you time and resources on developing features that might fail from the start.

Assessing your marketing performance

When launching a marketing campaign that has a purpose of promoting your startup business and inspiring your audience to engage, it’s always a good idea to track important metrics and key performance indicators (KPI). However, without a general input from the customers themselves, you can’t be absolutely sure how well-received your marketing campaign actually is. It’s very risky to keep an ineffective marketing campaign running.

That’s why you should turn to surveying your audience once again. Ask for feedback on your marketing efforts and encourage customers to speak up. Make sure you ask the right questions, so that you can gather the most valuable information from the answers. Their feedback will provide you with information on how to improve your content, promotions and offers. In short, it will help you improve your marketing campaigns, so that they become more efficient in delivering value to both your customers and your startup.

It’s no secret that many startup businesses have difficulties maintaining their growth while trying to figure out the best approach to stand out on the market. That being said, surveys can be quite beneficial to startup owners, especially when they lack the means and the funds to conduct proper research. If you ask the right question from the right people, you’ll gain valuable information that will help you develop an exceptional startup company strategy.

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

Love Tech? You’ll Love Gaming!

Technology is a wonderful thing. It has happened so many doors for so many people. In fact, if it wasn’t for technology, there is no telling what the world would be like today! One thing that technology has bought us is a love of gaming, one that millions of people share around the world. Some people really do hate it, but that must mean they have never tried it before. It opens the mind to new possibilities, and allows you to expand your imagination through the world of gaming! As the years go on, the way in which we game is changing, and the people who love gaming are evolving in the way that they play. As new games are bought out, new people are introduced to the gaming world. It’s not just men, women are now loving it too! If you haven’t yet developed a love for gaming, but you have one for tech, here’s how we can change your mind.

The Best Games

There are some really good games out at the minute that are defining the gaming world. One of them has to be Fortnite, purely for the attention and love that it seems to be getting. People all over the world are jumping at the chance to play it, with millions of people now subscribed. It is truly addictive, and the fact that the developers keep switching up how the game can be played, the added extras, and the changes to the maps that they keep making. However, one of the most long standing and popular games that there is has to be Final Fantasy. A game that has been going for years, and for a lot of people, it’s what got them into gaming. If you have a look at websites such as www.finalfantasyxvapp.com/, you’ll see that there is a downloadable app that you can have that should introduce you to the game. You can also play it on PC, which a lot of people like to do! There’s the obvious games such as Call of Duty that gamers have loved from day one, however, the franchise has changed so much that people are starting to go off it now!

Growing Empire

Gaming is definitely a growing empire. As the years go on, more and more money is being made from the different aspects of it, not just the gaming side. For example, there’s movies, songs, Youtubers, clothes etc. It’s expanding at such a rate due to the increased popularity in the gaming world. The games that we know are being developed today, such as the remastered Crash Bandicoot, and the soon to be remastered MW2 from Call of Duty, is sparking an interest in the gamers who had once lost it. What we’re trying to say is this, if you’re going to join the gaming world, now is the time to do it. The technology is amazing, and you can even dabble in things such as VR gaming that might tickle your fancy.

There really is something for everyone, so we recommend you try it.

On the Road Again: 4 Adventurous Career Paths That Don’t Require a Degree

If you are looking for a career that provides you with a lot of adventure, there are many options out there. While some may require that you have a higher level of education, there are actually many that do not require you to have a college degree at all. These jobs can provide you with a significant amount of adventure and can lead to a very rewarding career.

Travel Industry

One of the best industries that you can work in if you are looking to get a job that provides you with more adventure is the travel industry. There are many different jobs out there that will allow you to travel to very exotic locations, take customers on excursions, and do a variety of other activities if you are willing to entertain and deal with traveling customers. Those that are in the travel industry will be able to choose from a wide variety of places to work and live. Further, most of these jobs require very little education.

Truck Driving

Truck drivers today continue to be extremely important and valuable members of our economic society. Since they are needed to ship products all over the world, truck drivers that are looking for adventure and excitement will be able to find some very interesting places and routes to work. Educational requirements for these jobs are often minimal and come through companies like Florida Truck & Trailer CO and can provide you with a great career path.

Commercial Fishing

If you enjoy being out on the open water and can handle some danger with your job, becoming a commercial fisherman could be a great option. Commercial fishermen work out of seaside communities all over the world. They are often very well-compensated and do not have to work all that frequently as they typically will earn enough during the high seasons to cover living expenses for a year. To become one, you will not need a degree as most fishing companies would prefer to hire those with experience and passion.

Travel Blogging

If you would like to see a lot of the world, you could also get a great job becoming a travel blogger. While you could get a job working for a newspaper or online magazine, those jobs often require degrees in English or writing. However, you could start your own blog and documenting your journey.

When you are looking for your next job, it is important to find one that excites you and that you are passionate about. This passion will keep you focused and help to improve your chances of obtaining professional success.


Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

All The Signs That Your Business May Not Be As Strong As You Think

Are you sure that your business is doing as well as what you think it is? Sure, it can be quite difficult to tell when you are busy all the time trying to run the company; you could find that there is no time for you to take a step back and review your business objectively.

If things aren’t going quite so well, though, there are often some telltale signs that start to crop up. These following ones are some of the signs that happen in the early stages of a failing business. Do you recognise some in your own business? If so, it may be time to find some solutions!

You’re Repeating Mistakes

Entrepreneurs need to learn from their mistakes quickly and move on. And that’s nothing to worry about – we all make the odd mistake from time to time. However, if you seem to be continually making the same mistake without realizing it, then there could be an underlying issue with your company. So, it’s important that you try to get to the bottom of repeated mistakes as soon as you can. Otherwise, it could spell the end for your business.

Your IT Is Outdated

IT and tech are incredibly important to companies these days, no matter which of industry or sector they are in. Does your IT infrastructure appear to be struggling? It could be because it is dated. If this is the case, it’s worth finding a company that offers managed IT services and can help you update all your tech. Not doing this could damage your company’s productivity and efficiency, which won’t help you keep up with competitors.

You’re Struggling To Pay The Monthly Bills

There’s no denying that financial problems within your business are not a good sign. If you find that you are scrabbling around for money at the end of the month to pay all your bills and employee wages, there will certainly be some urgent improvements that need to be made. Simply reviewing and altering your budget could help you see areas in which you can save money. Otherwise, now might be the time to try and source some new investment.

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The Employee Turnover Rate Is Really High

Unhappy employees are going to jump ship very quickly. If you replace these employees without improving the company, then the new hires will also leave not long after they have arrived. So, take a look at your business through the eyes of your employees and see how things could improve. Perhaps you just need to offer regular reviews or make sure you focus more on employee well-being?

The Media Aren’t Interested In Your Business

There needs to be constant chatter surrounding your business. If the media aren’t talking about you, and no one is mentioning your brand on social media, then there is something wrong. Thankfully, an effective PR campaign can often fix this.

Fingers crossed that none of these problems affect your company for too long and that you can get back on the road to success!

Some Of The Best Ways To Protect Your Business Financially

It’s no great secret that if you want to run a business while and for the long term, you need to make sure that you are protecting it financially as well as you possibly can. Of Course, it can be difficult to do this if you are not sure exactly how, and the truth is that it often takes a prior knowledge, or plenty of research, to ensure that you have a good grasp of what you really need to do. In this article, we are going to take a look at just a few of the things you can do to ensure that you are protecting your business financially as well as you possibly can, and that is something which you should always aim for in the life of any business.

Insurance

You might well have been aware of the fact that insurance can be helpful for a business, but it is almost certain that you haven’t thought of every kind of insurance which might benefit you and your company. There are a number of different kinds of insurance, in fact, which you can think of trying out, and you will find that the more protected you are in this way, the safer you feel on the whole, so it’s worth looking at. Having insurance for your building, contents and everything else of that sort is vital, but you should also think about insuring against potential future losses too. Having Professional Indemnity Insurance – Qdos Contractor or otherwise – can help you to protect your own finances if you are at the receiving end of a claim in which it is claimed you have caused a customer financial loss. Preparing for these kinds of situations is invaluable, and something that you should be aiming to do as early on as possible.

Legality

One of the biggest ways that companies need to pay out is by getting in trouble legally in some manner or another. So in general you will find that it is financially sensible to make sure that you stay out of trouble with the law, and that you don’t do anything which could cause you to have to pay out large amounts. This is easier said than done, and in fact many businesses accidentally get in trouble with the law. But having a legal advisor can be a great way to get around this, as can ensuring that your tax accountant is happy with what you are doing. These preventative measures will ultimately mean that you are much less likely to be in financial trouble in the future, so it’s clearly definitely worth it.

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Assets

You must know your assets if you are to protect your business financially, as knowing where the actual money lies ensures that you can do something about it when you are in a position of struggling. If you don’t really know your assets, you might want to think about looking into whether or not you can list them, as this will ensure that you are in a better financial position overall anyway.

How to Make a Basement Startup a Successful Business

William S. Harley was only 21 when he built his first motorcycle in his friend’s garage. Clear back in 1923, Walt Disney created the first Disney studio in his uncle’s house. In 1974, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in Jobs’s home in Cupertino, California. Jeff Bezos started Amazon in his home in Bellevue, Washington, in 1994. If you are trying to get your own business off the ground, then make sure you take some practical steps.

Create a Network

It is hard to succeed in business if you live inside a bubble. Therefore, you need to form a network of other professionals who can help you. Harley would not have been able to build his first motorcycle consisting of placing an electric motor on a bicycle without the bicycle builder. The first Apple computers were constructed of parts made by others. Make sure that you connect with others who are good at their jobs.

Market Your Product

You may have the perfect product, but if no one knows about it then it will still be a failure. You must connect with customers who can use their product to solve their problems. You need a plan on how you intend to tell the world about your product. Your plan may include the internet, direct marketing, door-to-door marketing and email marketing. If you do not have marketing skills, then make sure to work with a professional.

Create a Positive Work Environment

While the average American worker usually works 34.4 hours each week, the average micro-business owner usually works 52 hours each week. Make sure that you have a good work environment. Use replacement windows to let the light in as you work. Install work tables and other surfaces so that you have a dedicated area for your main activities. Choose energy-creating colors for your work environment. As you start to hire people, expand the work area so that everyone can be comfortable.

Take Care of Yourself

Getting a startup business off the ground can be hard work. Make sure that you are eating a reasonable diet. Take time to exercise on a regular basis. Get away from it all by spending time doing something that you enjoy. While it can seem like you need to be working continually, doing so will have a negative effect on your enthusiasm and motivation.

Use these tips and your own ingenuity to grow your basement business. You will succeed if you want to bad enough and there is a need for your product.

Guest author Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.