A Fresh Start: 5 Ways To Revive Your Business

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 Every business needs a regular reboot. It can help you to take your business to the next level, redefine your goals or simply re-motivate you if you’ve been starting to lose inspiration. Here are some of the top ways to give yourself a fresh start.

Remodel your business services

 The services you’re offering may be out of fashion and no longer getting the clientele. They be getting the wrong type of clientele in and damaging your aspirations. Alternatively, the services you offer may be too demanding and simplifying them could be in order. Take the time to really consider what’s working for you and what’s not. Talk to your staff to better understand what they think your company could be offering.

Introduce new expertise

 It may be time to learn some new skills. This could include paying for you and your team to take a course and gain some new expertise that could help you expand your services. There are even day workshops out there in topics such as accountancy, marketing and HR that could be useful for modernising and simplifying your business. Alternatively, you could try hiring someone experienced that can bring new skills to this business. This might allow you to access a new niche in the market.

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Move premises

 Your premises may be too small, too costly or badly located for your business. Moving will not just provide new practical benefits but could mentally provide that fresh start that you need to re-motivate you and your team. Make sure to budget for other costs such as moving companies and legal paperwork. Also consider the practicalities that your current premises has that your new one will also need. This could include a good storage area, good disabled access or free parking.

Have a refurb

 Alternatively you may be able to stay in your current premises and simply reorder things around. If you’re in retail, this might include hiring a shop remodelling company to brighten up the décor and add more space. If you work from an office, it may be a case of reordering desk for better practicality. This will mentally reinforce the idea of a fresh start as with moving but allow you to still keep the comforts and practicalities of your current premises.

Invest in your own custom software

Digital technology is allowing us to become more efficient and more organised. Investing in your own custom software might allow you to better monitor your staff and projects whilst also making life easier for them. This could be anything from a digital till display to an infrastructure organiser to an app for clients. Creating your own software isn’t cheap, so you should consider first whether the added efficiency is worth the money spent. Check first that there aren’t any software solutions already out there that could benefit you – this is likely to be much more affordable.

Moving to Another Office: How to do it Smoothly

After finding the right place for your business, you will also have to move everyone and everything to the new location. Relocating office space may be a challenge but with good planning – moving can be efficient and stress-free. The following tips should help you to move your business as smoothly as possible.

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Take Time to Plan

The first step to an efficient move is to create a bulletproof plan. Try to plan your move at least 6 months ahead. You will have to organize much more than a few boxes and to do it productively you will need time. Your planning should include as much information as possible, from the most general, such as the moving budget, to the more specific, such as the layout of the new offices. It would also be beneficial if you could predict likely problems and think of a few solutions.

Organize Staff Into Teams

Though you will coordinate the move, it might be efficient to organize your staff into teams. The most natural way may be coordinating them according to their departments. Also, you may want to use senior staff as leaders of specific teams. They can communicate more easily between movers and team members. Each team should be responsible for labeling objects that will or will not be moved but also they may express their own needs and requirements for the new space in a more efficient way.

Check the Dates

The essential part of the moving plan is sticking to the scheduled dates, which might include one of the following:

  • the date until you have to leave the present location,
  • the date when you will be able to enter the new location,
  • the date or dates when you move and
  • the date when you (re)start working.

The rest of the dates, such as clearing out the office, may not be as specific but should be completed until set dates.

The list of dates should be provided to all employees and on time.

Let the Professionals do the Moving

Hiring a moving company may seem a luxury but it is actually a necessity. Using professional help will lower the possibility of injury and raise the level of productivity. Keep in mind – the sooner the move is over, the sooner you can proceed with work.

It is useful to start searching for the movers a few months before the move so as to find the best price. In that way you can also find the ones that provide for additional services that you may want such as moving insurance. From personal experience I know it can really get expensive. I was lucky enough to work with the good guys from Supercheap Storage New Zealand – very affordable and efficient service.

Create a Layout

Try to organize a layout for the new office. This will be beneficial both for you and your staff but also it will help the movers. If manageable, let your employees organize their own working space.

As the new office will have a different layout, make sure you mark the equipment and furniture that can be relocated and dispose of the items that cannot be moved. In addition to reducing stress on the moving day this will also lower the cost of your move. It is advisable to create a list of the items, for the sake of organization but also for insurance reasons.

Let Everyone Know

Notify everyone on the change of location. This would include not only your clients or customers but employees and suppliers alike. In addition to changing your address on your website, you should also change it in all other databases as well as on office supplies, business cards, etc.

Arrange Your Work Around the Move

It is advisable to move during a period when work is slower. However if this is not a possibility, and you also cannot pause your work during the move, it is important to arrange your work around it. Postpone all work that can be postponed on time and finish all the deadlines. This will guarantee the least amount of inconvenience for the clients or customers and less stress for the employees.

Hard Work Will Pay off

Moving a whole company is no fun, but with a solid plan and a set of clear objectives, a dedicated team and enough time, the move can be almost seamless and effortless. Remember though, you cannot do it alone, it is too stressful, so get some help and smoothly move to another location and you will be up and running just like before the move. Good luck!

Guest Author – Tony is a writer and the senior editor at MediaGurus with several years of experience in writing content for the web. Tony does research and writes articles across various industries, such as business, technology, marketing, lifestyle, etc.

How to Tell You Are Running a Successful Small Business

Running a small business can be extremely rewarding when done correctly, but it can also be a significant source of frustration. If you are a small business owner, it can be difficult to determine exactly how you’re doing. A perfectionist business owner might feel like they’re failing, when in reality they’re doing a great job and just need more time. On the other end of the spectrum, many business owners think they are perfect and fail to see the imperfections in their own companies. How exactly do you know if your company is doing well?

Motivated Employees

One of the best barometers of how well your small business is doing is the condition of your employees. Do you have a high turnover rate or are your employees staying for the long-term? If your employees are highly motivated and feel sufficiently challenged, that is a good sign that you’re doing well.

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Happy employees provide better customer service and seem generally fulfilled in their roles. In an environment that employees are comfortable in, they will be free to express both praise and criticism without feeling fear of consequences. Conducting anonymous employee surveys is a great way to gauge how the employees feel about their work environment.

Happy Customers

Are your customers happy when you’re done conducting business with them? Do they refer others to you and sing your company’s praises? If so, this is another great sign that you’re doing a good job. It should be easy for new customers to find you and it’s simple to do business with you.

If customers like what you’re selling, believe in the product, and tell others about you, this is the goal of any successful small business. Making a positive difference in the lives of your customers should be what you ultimately strive for.

Expert Credibility

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If others seek out you and your employees as experts in your field, this is a sign that you’re on the right track. For example, when a local news story pertaining to your industry comes up, the news seeks you out for a comment. This shows that they believe in you as a leader in your industry and in the local business community. When you can call yourself an expert and people believe it, this leads to increases in profit and margins. Experts can charge more for their services and people will pay the price.

Flexibility

One of the major advantages that small businesses have over big companies is that they can be flexible. They don’t have hundreds of employees that require a cultural change every time something in the industry changes. You can stop on a dime and pivot to a new direction if need be.

If your company is able to be flexible and adapt to the changing market, this bodes well for your success overall. This also requires you to stay up-to-date on changes in the industry. Embracing change is the key to success in any small business, and those who do it the best are the most likely to succeed.

A Healthy and Caring Work Environment

One of the biggest indicators of success in small business is a healthy and caring work environment. The happy employees that you have all care about each other and the ultimate success of the business. They are constantly putting others before themselves and sacrificing for the good of the business and their fellow employees. This creates a positive and infectious culture that is palpable.

While this is a great sign, it can also lead to problems over time. If too many employees are working too hard for too long, it can lead to burnout. As the business leader, you have to look for signs of burnout and do whatever you can to avoid that. That could mean randomly giving your employee a day off or recognizing them for their hard work in front of others. Regardless of what you decide to try, make sure that their sacrifice for the company does not go unnoticed.

Don’t be overly demanding of your employees at any point. Give them plenty of leeway to do their work without micromanaging them. It’s up to you to set the clear guidelines of what you expect and then get out of the way. One option that you might want to consider is allowing employees the option of telecommuting. By allowing them to work some from home, you’ll help them avoid burnout and get some time away from the office.

You should also have fair and transparent HR policies that determine how time off will be handled. It needs to be the same for everyone, and make the policy as compassionate as possible. Allowing for holidays, vacation, and sick days is important to ensure that your employees stay happy over the long-term.

Focusing on the Future

While you have to be aware of the day-to-day details of your business, focusing on the future of the company is another good sign that your heart is in the right place. You should want to ensure the success of your small business over the long-term for you and your employees. Seek out industry experts to help with things like management strategy, growth, and innovation.

If you take the time to analyze your business from an outsider’s perspective, your chances of success are amplified. Periodically evaluating your company and its culture are imperative to your success over the long-term.

 

About the author

JenJen McKenzie is a freelance writer from New York, NY. She is fascinated by all things having to do with words, business, education and cutting-edge. When Jennifer is not busy writing, she enjoys taking long walks and spending time with her two pets Brando & Marlon. You can reach Jennifer @jenmcknzie

3 Ways to Get Your Small Business Growing

Do you feel like your small business may be stuck in a rut? When the answer is yes, you’ve got some serious work ahead of you. Being in charge of a small business can wear on some people over time, but the hope is you are not one of them.

That said it is important to do all you can to keep your small business headed in the right direction.

Be cognizant of your financial happenings. Also look at the morale of your team (for those with employees). Yes, it can be much to juggle at times, but would you have it any other way?

Keep Shooting for More Business Growth

So your small business can grow as much as possible, remember the following tips:

  1. Goals

First, always set realistic goals for your business moving forward. To use an analogy, some business owners have eyes that are bigger than their appetites. When this happens, they are not able to grow their companies.

At the start of each month, set a few goals that you want to see accomplished by month’s end. Now, don’t get too disappointed if one or even some of them are not completed. The only time to worry is if you are missing out on most or all them.

Also do a review of where your business was a year ago now. By seeing if you’ve grown, stayed about the same, and even taken a step or two back, it is important to compare periods.

The goals you set for your growth must always be within reach, not those that you are all but assured of not reaching.

  1. Funds

Yes, it would be pretty hard for your company to grow without there being a financial lifeline along the way.

That said if you are in need of direct funds for your small business, where will you turn?This can be a tricky question to answer, especially if your options are rather limited.

Do your best to get whatever funds you need without mortgaging your future.

Before accepting a cash funding arrangement, be sure to research each potential provider.
Look at things such as:

  • How long have they been in business?
  • Do they have a solid reputation within the business community?
  • Is their customer service as good as it gets?
  • What kind of record do they have with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?

While it makes perfect sense to get financial help to grow your business, do it wisely.

  1. Outreach

Assuming you’ve been doing various forms of brand outreach up to now, is it working?Even though you might think you are doing enough, are you? One of the best ways to grow your business is making sure as many consumers as possible know about it.

This means marketing, advertising, blogging, social media, the list goes on and on.

If you do not have the time or manpower to get all these needs accomplished, reach out for more help. Sure, while you have to spend money to make money may seem like an old cliché, it is quite realistic.

Never take an axe to your outreach efforts, especially as you look to grow your brand moving forward.

As a small business owner, what practices have worked for you in growing your company?

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers small business topics on the web.

 

 

Is It Time To Grow Your Small Business?

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It takes a lot of work to get to the point where you can seriously consider trying to expand your business. First, you had to take the steps of entrepreneurs before and go out into the world with an idea and the determination to make it work. Many people don’t get that far. Secondly, you have to maintain the success that you have found. Your business should be a foundation for further growth. Before thinking about expansion, you need to be confident that what you have at the moment is not going to fall out from under you. Expanding an existing business is actually a greater risk than starting one: if you fail to establish a business, you are left where you were to begin with, which is with nothing. If you fail to expand your business and it folds in the process, you are similarly left with nothing but that is a lot less than what you once had. If you feel that it is the right time to grow your business, you should immediately stop and carefully plan what it is that you want to do. It stands to reason that you would not have reached this point if you allowed your judgement to be clouded by reckless ambition. Here is a checklist of things to think about before making a life-changing decision:

Growing your business, at least at first, can be an expensive endeavour. You may need to move into bigger premises or take on more staff or substantially enhance your technological capital. All of these things require money and if your business is not making the requisite profit, you may be in trouble. If your business is successful enough to brook these costs, you have to make sure that the money is available to you now. You do not want to start your new business with too much debt. If you want to free up some money, consider taking advantage of invoice finance options. They allow you to get 80% of future invoice payments within a few days of issuing them. At a time when you are looking towards the future in any case, this can make the difference between success and failure.

Besides the need for more money, you will also find that you are facing greater responsibilities. If you are doing more business with more customers, there will be more paperwork and a greater need to ensure that everything is exactly right. While it may be necessary to take on more staff to do the extra work, you should also consider bringing in someone to whom you can delegate some of your newer responsibilities. It can be difficult letting go of the thing that you have had complete control over since its inception, but success can sometimes be difficult and this is one such instance.

The most important thing, however, is to know what you are getting into. It is one thing to ensure that your business is ready to grow, but if you don’t know what it will be growing into, you should find out. Market research is more crucial in this instance than in any other.

 

 

Plan Ahead for Maximum Tax Benefits

In running your small business, do you feel at times like the financial walls are closing in around you? If that is the case, now would be a good time to review how you’ve done financially this year, along with thinking about where you want to be in the future.

Also keep in mind that being savvy with your business finances doesn’t mean you are great with personal expenses and vice-versa. In order to be in a win-win situation, smart decisions must be made on both fronts. If you feel like you maybe have not been making the best financial decisions at times, has the time arrived to get help?

When you own a business, you have so much to think about. Your products need to be made, and your website needs to go up. And, of course, you need to have an active presence on social media.

One thing you can’t forget is filing your taxes! Taxes are something that can cause big headaches for small businesses. If you don’t have good records, you may find it difficult to complete your paperwork at the end of the year.

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Plan ahead by using software like QuickBooks to track every check, credit card and debit card purchase and quickly see what you are spending using built-in expense reports.

Another resource you can take advantage of is the QuickBooks Resource Center. Read articles on setting up contracts that will help you get your invoices paid. Access advice on payroll and mistakes you can avoid making.

Want to go into next year feeling as good as possible about your work and home financial situations, take action now. That means sooner rather than later, not whenever you feel like getting around to it.

Finding the Best Deals for Your Company

As you pour over the ways to make your small business as successful as possible, what are you doing when it comes to locating deals for your company?

By saving money whenever and wherever possible, you will have more green to spend on other things that are relevant to your business.

That said don’t automatically look for the cheapest products and services out there, figuring you will always win with a deal. Although it is perfectly fine to save money (and it is encouraged), make sure you are getting quality products and services in return.

With that in mind, the Internet offers an array of information for you, information that can lead to locating some great opportunities for your small business.

From office products to finding the best mobile app for your brand, use the worldwide web as often as possible to track down savings.

So, are you ready to find the best deals for your company?

Delivering Quality and Savings for Your Brand

So that you are able to deliver quality and savings for your brand, remember these pointers:

Promoting awareness

As a small business owner, one of your greatest needs is making customers (present and potential) more aware of your brand.

That being the case, you have a myriad of means in order to do this, with some typically working better than others.

One such way is by having a mobile app aboard for the ride.

As countless small business owners have discovered in recent years, a mobile app is a great means by which one can tout their brands to customers.

In your search of the top app development companies, take note that you do not necessarily have to pay through the nose for the right app.

By properly researching the different app developers out there, you can narrow down your list of which ones could build you the best app possible. From there, you might even see some savings come about by not necessarily getting all the best and whistles many apps offer.

The bottom line is finding the best mobile app at the best price, so start shopping today if you do not already have an app.

Office supplies

Be honest, do you have way too many office supplies sitting around your workplace?

If so, there’s a good chance you’re solely responsible for that.

Sure, you may have your office manager or another individual in charge of ordering such supplies, but did you really need all of what you ended up with?

In many cases, you are literally throwing money out the door by ordering extras of this and that.

To cut down on such waste expenditures, have the person in charge (it may even be you) of ordering supplies keep a detailed list of what is needed each month.

From recycling paper to using money-saving light bulbs and much more, you can end up cutting your office supply expenses down month after month.

Hiring talent

Lastly, while you should never skimp on hiring the best talent possible for your small business, you once again can take a cue from your promotional efforts and ordering office supplies.

By hiring good talent with fair compensation packages, you actually end up saving money in the long run.

Keep in mind that a revolving employee door in your workplace ultimately costs you money over time.

As such, while you thought you were saving some green by paying workers low salaries, there’s a good chance they will leave sooner rather than later. That then leads to having to train more new hires.

Without overpaying for talent, try and give your employees what each is worth, finding ways to come out with the best deals for your company when all is said and done.

As a small business owner, how are you going about locating deals for your company?

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.