Are You Ready For The Next Step?

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If there’s one thing that you can guarantee about your business, it’s this: if it’s not moving forward, it’s falling behind. There is no such thing as being able to settle down and stay still in the world of modern business. As soon as you decide that you’re comfortable where you are, your business is going to stagnate, and your competition is going to leave you in the dust. Every business owner should be looking forward to the next stage in their business’s evolution, ready to face whatever it is that’s going to come along. Of course, the doesn’t mean that you should throw your business into the future without thinking about things carefully. If you try to push it forward without thinking carefully, then you could well end up in a pretty precarious position. With that in mind, here are a few things to think about when trying to make sure that your business is ready for the next step.

How can you reach new customers?

If you want to grow your business, then you need to expand your customer base. Otherwise, your business simply won’t be able to sustain its growth and will end up collapsing under its own weight. There are plenty of ways to reach new customers, and each come with their own unique challenges. You might want to expand to new demographics, in which case you’re going to need to put a lot more time and effort into creating effective marketing strategies. Perhaps you’re looking at expanding into more international territories. If that’s the case, then you’ll need help from one of the UK’s leading translation companies so that you can be sure that you’re communicating effectively with customers no matter where they are in the world. Being able to understand the challenges involved in reaching new customers is the only way to avoid making obvious mistakes or losing out on potentially profitable markets.

What new additions does your business need?

As a business grows, so do its needs. This could be in terms of your employees, technology, or financial support. Figuring out how any form of expansion impacts on the structure of your business isn’t always easy but it’s definitely worth doing if you really want to get the most out of any given situation. Do you need new employees? Then you need to figure out how many and where they’d be best utilised. Is your company’s tech not up to scratch? Then you’re going to want to figure out what technology will benefit your business most and whether or not you can afford it.

Do any existing elements need adjusting?

If there’s one mistake that many businesses make more than any other, it’s assuming that their existing business is strong enough to build on top of. If the foundations that you’re building on are crumbling, then everything’s going to come crashing down. Look at the infrastructure, workforce, and working methods of your business and figure out what works and what doesn’t. The things that work can act as the basis for all future developments to your business. The things that don’t need to either be adjusted and fixed or left behind entirely. Refinement is one of the most important things in your business.

Casting the Net Wider: Reach More People Today

If your business has a core group of customers but struggles to reach people further afield, you have a clear problem. It’s impossible to grow and expand a business when it’s stuck in a very tight niche. You need to find ways of casting the net wider and reaching more people if you want to make your business bigger and better. When you do this, you mustn’t forget your core customers who provide the business with its base.

Broaden the Scope of Your Brand

The very first thing to do is broaden the overall scope of your brand. If people see your business as only being for a certain kind of consumer, they will be unlikely to even listen to what you have to say. That’s why you need to actively demonstrate how the business is changing and why this matters to your customers. Set up a marketing campaign that is directly aimed at people who have never used your business before. Confound their expectations and brand your business differently. On top of that, you will have to start selling things that have a broader appeal.

Be More Open and Communicative

Being open and communicative about your business is really important at times when you are trying to branch out and reach new people. If your business is closed off and not open to new people, it’s unlikely to do very well at all. So, to ensure your business doesn’t fall behind and lost traction, you should make sure your business has a presence in social media. And when you interact with people on these platforms, make sure you’re open and willing to be humorous. When you do that, more people will see the human side of your business.

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Improve Your Website and Make Sure Content is Optimized

You’ll need to build a new website for your company if you want to make sure that it has the online presence required of modern businesses. If you run a construction company, this is just as true as if you run a tech startup. People often forget that all kinds of businesses need this strong online presence. There are companies that offer general contractor website design services if you do run that kind of business. But no matter what type of business you run, make sure the website is modern, easy to find and easy to use. You should also post content on there that is fully optimized to improve your SEO ranking.

Build Trust Over Time

Trust is important when it comes to the relationships between customers and businesses. If people don’t trust your brand, they won’t trust what it says or what it offers. So, it’s really important that you aim to build trust over time and don’t take customers for granted. It will be a slow process, so don’t expect to see instant results overnight. It simply won’t happen like that. Be prepared to prove your business is changing and appealing to more people. Eventually, the change will happen and people will begin to recognize it as well.

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Lead United: Leadership Skills For A Top-Scoring Team

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The very best sales teams can feel the pressure on occasion. The world is littered with targets and performance tools, and these can contribute to a lack of productivity, rather than aid it. People will feel the tension in different ways, and with some people, it can help them by giving that adrenaline and kick that they need, others can crumble. The one thing that can make a difference to a team is its leader. The manager of a group of people can dictate, or they can guide. The leader of a team is the barometer, people will look to that person for praise and encouragement, and there are many line-managers that don’t have the right touch, and will inadvertently cause low morale. Where do you, as a leader, begin to give your team the right type of push?

Communicate Consistently

Communicating the vision of the team is one way to reinforce the purpose. By doing this, it keeps people clear in the knowledge of what their end-product is. By making sure that each person in the team knows their own individual role and what their own goal is in relation to the bigger picture. This will instill not only purpose but focus in each part of the machine. Each team member should be able to see the vision set out reflected in the decisions you make as a team leader, and the vision should be connected to their own goals. Transparency in an organization is the valuable trait to inspiring employees and helping them to understand their part in the whole company.

Work On Developing Talent

Mentoring and feedback are something that can be lost in the midst of targets and goals. While it is an important aspect of a business to monitor the productivity of a member of staff, using their “numbers” as a reason to make them work harder is not enough. This is where the power of “why” comes into play. By asking opinions and perspectives of a situation, this will get you to the core of a person. Their attitudes and behavior is key to understanding how they work as an individual. Speak to them and see what the underlying issue is. As leaders, we are so focused on the short-term tasks that we neglect the long-term ones, and our employees are a long-term investment. We need to see if there is a fundamental skill they may need to brush up on. There is sales team performance enablement software that can be used to develop employees, from providing training to using systems to help make peoples’ jobs easier, and by using the right tools in conjunction with the development of talent; it is working to make a better workforce all round.

Express Your Gratitude

On a personal level, expressing your gratitude for a person’s work will really help to bolster performance. You are making them feel valued, and this will translate into a better working attitude. It is easy to give a pizza to your team as thanks, but personal and heartfelt appreciation will last much longer.

 

 

 

Present Your Business In The Right Way

For businesses both small and large, the manner in which they are perceived by those outside the company is really vital. Your business, in essence, has a kind of public face with which it faces the world. You need to ensure that this is a positive one, one that promotes the kind of values that your business lives for, and one which is likely to serve you well further down the line. However, it can be difficult keeping on top of this, and you never know exactly what people think of your business the whole time. But as long as you are paying close attention to a few key areas, you should find that people think quite highly of your brand. Let’s take a look at what those areas might be.

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Customer Service

Ultimately, nothing is so important as what kind of treatment your customers receive. No matter what, there is no excuse for poor customer service, and that is well worth bearing in mind at all times. Go out of your way to improve your business’ customer service. Hold an away day with all of your frontline staff, those who actually communicate with the customer, and build up techniques together for impressing the customer as fast as possible. The interactions your business has with its own customers are the most important way to promote the right image for the business, so bear this in mind.

Website

All businesses need a website these days, and if you are clever about it you can use your website to promote your business in a specific way. The website is going to be the first thing that many people even see of your business, so its design and layout and the way it sticks to your branding is really important. To make sure you get it just right, hire expert custom web design services, as they can ensure that it is exactly what you need it to be. With a strong website which really draws people in, it is highly likely that customers will think well of your business.

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Emails & Letters

In all communications with anyone outside of the business, it pays to always think about how it makes your business look. It is a good idea to use letterheads on letters, and signatures on emails, to give that professional touch which people love so much. Politeness is also important here, as even the slightest hint of rudeness can dramatically turn someone off from your business immediately. Above all, however, you need to ensure your communications are always perfectly in line with your branding, whatever you might have decided that to be, as anything short of this is unlikely to be effective for the ongoing growth of the company.

Advertising

Let’s not forget the actual advertising you put out into the world, either. This should always be carefully constructed to promote the best and most accurate possible image of the business, as that way you can ensure that it is doing exactly what it is meant to do.

Uncovering the Causes of Low Morale in the Workplace

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Is low employee morale affecting your business? If so, there could be serious repercussions for your company. Unhappy employees will result in a multitude of negative consequences, and you could be at the start of a slippery slope to ruin.

Low morale means lower productivity, which ultimately results in fewer profits. It can also have an impact on customer service levels and can see once-loyal clients leaving in droves. And finally, when it comes to replacing poor performing staff, who is going to choose a company where everyone is miserable?

Make no mistake about it – low morale is a serious issue, and you need to fix things sooner rather than later. But what, exactly, are the common causes of low morale? And how can you start addressing the problem? Let’s take a closer look and uncover the causes of low morale in the workplace.

Inconsistent goals

Are you always moving the goalposts for your workers? If so, the always changing goals are going to have an adverse impact on their performance. Put yourself in your employee’s shoes, and understand that they are trying to do a good job. If you reward them by discarding the original measure of success for something else, how will that go down? Ensure you have clear goals in place that enables your employees to hit targets and taste success.

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Confusing expectations

Unless you are giving your employees clear guidelines on how to do their jobs, you can’t expect them to do it to your liking – it’s that simple. Employees are not mindreaders, and you can’t afford for them to go days, months, or even years without exact and precise instructions. Be sure to outline their responsibilities in a contract, and give them enough opportunity to learn the necessary skills they need to do their work. You will find that this simple practice will make everyone’s position clear, and you will keep morale to an adequate level.

No systems to measure performance

Of course, having ideas of measuring and managing employee performance is one thing, but having the systems in place to do so is another altogether. Make sure you are looking for performance management solutions that are relevant to your company and its goals. Once you have employees on board, you will have a history of their problems, issues, wants, and needs, and will be able to give them what they require to solve them.

Lack of progression opportunities

People thrive when they are able to realize their potential. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true – those who never get a chance to progress or receive training to further themselves will often sink into boredom and despair. If you want to attract the brightest, motivated talent possible, it is essential that you give employees an opportunity to better themselves. Failure to do so in this day and age will make you out to be something of a business dinosaur.

No communication

When employees are having problems, they need to be able to access the boss to explain them. However, they won’t be able to do so if you don’t have an open door policy, or, at the very least, open lines of communication. In simple terms, the problems people have will fester, and you will also miss out on creative and innovative ideas to improve your business. Good luck!

 

5 Highly Coveted Skills Sought By Employers

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If 2017 is the year you go for your dream job, make sure you brush up on the following skills.

  1. Business Acumen

This is quite a general term, but it covers a lot of ground. Having a solid business acumen suggests you are not only familiar with the industry but with business practices in general. Much of this comes from experience, but having a good educational background also helps. If you feel a lack of confidence in some areas, now is the time to brush up on your training.

  1. Communication And Interpersonal Skills

Good communication skills are necessary for the majority, if not all, jobs. This covers a wide area and includes written and verbal skills. Being a good communicator means that you can communicate with different people at different levels, whether face-to-face, on the phone, by email, social media, or letter, etc. It also covers working with colleagues, management, clients, and other key stakeholders.

If you have found this difficult in the past or if you have difficult relationships, it might be time to brush up on your communication skills.

  1. Analytics

We live in a world where data is created, curated and analyzed constantly. Many job descriptions include the ability to collect and analyze data and report on key findings. This varies widely from analyzing website traffic to spotting patterns and trends. It becomes even more complex where big data is concerned. One thing we can be certain about is that data will continue to grow at an accelerated rate. Having the skills to work with this will, therefore, be an asset. Training from Simplilearn and other providers will equip you with the skills you need to make an impact.

  1. Social Media

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. It’s also likely to evolve in ways we never imagined. Ignoring this prominent trend is no longer an option. Nor is ‘doing a bit of Twitter’ here and there. It is no longer confined to the younger generation. To grow and achieve their full potential, businesses need to embrace the power of social media. Having a knowledge of the various networks and how to create and share quality content is vital. And it doesn’t stop there. Platforms, trends, and people change quickly. As well as being informed about the current social media landscape, it’s also necessary to be aware of emerging trends.

  1. Content Creation

Content has always been important. We’ve had TV ads, magazine articles, etc. for many years. What has changed is the type of content we create and consume and how it is shared. Good quality content helps achieve the following:.

  • Builds loyal communities
  • Creates trust and brand authority
  • Opens up communication channels
  • Improves SEO
  • Adds value to your offering

Content is not just about words. It’s important to have the ability to create and curate a variety of content including photographs, vector images, banners, infographics, video content, email newsletters, social media posts, web pages, etc.

In addition to the specific skills required for the industry you’re about to enter it, it is also important to possess these universal skills. If you ignore the trends, chances are your competitors won’t, decreasing your employability and the roles available to you.

The Future Is Now: Fantastic Ways The Internet Has Revolutionized Business

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Can you remember back to 2000 when the Internet was starting to really take off, and many households were installing it into their homes? Back in the day, it was just a way to retrieve information. However, right now in 2016, it has completely revolutionized our lives. It makes everyday life a whole lot easier, thanks to the various apps and devices we can now use around the home. But there is one area in which is has completely turned everything upside down for the better. And that is in business. Gone are the days of pushing papers and having to navigate various time zones to call clients. The Internet has made things super easy for business owners now. Here’s how.

Communicating Has Never Been Easier

You can now easily send a message to your colleagues across the globe using email. At the click of a mouse, your message can be instantly in their inbox. Thanks to this, you don’t have to pay to carry out an expensive international phone call or wait a few days for your letter to arrive on their desk. This has now made business a lot more efficient than what it once was. This also helps customers as well, as they can content customer service advisors in a matter of seconds thanks to more and more companies welcoming emails and offering live online chats.

Improved Marketing Techniques

Gone are the days of having to walk around your town or city sticking up posters and handing out flyers to get people’s attention. Now all you need to do is sign up for social media to get your name out into the public’s attention. That’s not all, though. As SEO continues to be super important for businesses, it is now also a major marketing player. Get your search engine marketing spot on and you will be reaching an audience of potentially thousands!

Outsourcing Has Never Been Easier

As we are now no more than a mouse click away from each other, outsourcing certain tasks and jobs has never been easier. In fact, the Internet has helped boost the number of contractors and freelancers available, so you don’t have to worry about most of the major talent only looking for full-time positions. You can now easily outsource your accounts, HR, and legal as well as so many other areas of your company. This can help you cut costs as well because you won’t need to employ full-time staff and provide office space for them.

Simple Market Research

Need to know some facts or figures? Easy! Just Google for them! The Internet puts a whole world of information and statistics right at the tips of our fingers. After a few clicks, you could potentially have all of the market research that you need. You will also be able to keep a keen eye on your competitors. Just watch their Internet presence to try and judge their next move. By doing this, you can always try to be one step ahead of them!