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How to Protect Three of Your Business Biggest Assets

How to Protect Three of Your Business Biggest Assets
When running a business, you might think the most important thing is the number at the bottom of the profit and loss sheet at the end of every financial year. Whilst it’s important to work on making that number as high as possible, it’s more important to protect those assets that help you earn money. Here are some top tips to protect the three most important assets of any company. People Your staff is the lifeblood of your company. They’re the ones who come up with new creative ideas and then help you implement them in the best way possible. The best employees care massively about the success of your company, so it’s important you also care about their own success. Make sure all your employees feel valued for their work. If they don’t, you could find them putting less effort into their day to day tasks or even find they want to leave the company. It’s important you also look after your employee’s health. Encourage healthy lifestyles by providing nutritious snacks, time for exercise and regular breaks throughout the day. Sickness can cost businesses thousands of dollars every year, so try and do everything you can to protect their welfare. IT   A decade or two ago, some businesses may have been able to run without an IT system. These days, even if you run the most traditional of businesses, like a horseshoe fitter or even a cobbler, it’s almost impossible to run it without the help of IT. Your computer can help you complete so many tasks. It enables you to organize your team’s work schedule, your business’ finances and even helps you communicate with your customers. That’s why when your IT system is down, it could bring your whole business down with it. Your productivity could ground to a literal halt, wasting your colleagues’ time and valuable opportunities to make revenue. IT is so important that big companies employ a member of staff or even a whole team whose sole purpose is to keep their computer system up and to run. If you run a small business, you might think this is a luxury you could never afford. The reality is that even if you can’t afford to employ someone full-time, it could be extremely cost-effective to employ a support agency to look after your IT systems. For example, outsourceIT have a team of expert technicians who won’t only offer support when things go wrong, but also maintain your systems, back up data and even protect your company from hackers. For a small fee, they could be on hand whenever you need them. Brand As well as the people and the equipment, it’s important to protect your company’s brand. A bad story in the press, or even a negative post about you on social media, could lose your customers. Try and deal with any disputes as quickly and fairly as possible before they have time to go viral on the internet. As well as protecting your brand when things go wrong, there are lots of things you can do to enhance your image. For example, consider working with charities and community organizations to show you don’t just care about making a...
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DIY Work From Home Tips For Success

DIY Work From Home Tips For Success
Find yourself working from home and wondering how to do it right?  Here are some authentic DIY work from home tips backed up by some beautiful images from Pinterest and Instagram to support the argument. From – Cozy.happy.home The past few days, this space has been my hangout, my plant jungle, my work space, my lunch spot, my barre studio & ultimately, my inspiration!.Which space in your home are you getting the most use out of and what’s that look like for you? From – Lady Decluttered Everyone’s home office is different and used differently, but we have one thing in common, we want that home office organized! From – Theeverygirl Work-from-home lunches can be even better than office lunches because you don’t have to worry about getting them to the office, food getting soggy while sitting around, or getting judged by your coworkers for bringing homemade celery soup like I did. A lunch break should be, in my opinion, something to look forward during the day—a nice little break with a meal you look forward to eating to let you really step away from work. From – Lovelylivingdesignco I adore this space. I like that the desk is near the window, I love the plants and green chair against the white. It looks light, airy and a great place to work.  From – Lifeasmama Printable daily planner to keep you organized. I love all the colors on this planner. There’s lots of room to write things that absolutely must get done, to-do lists, who you need to call, things you need to do in the morning and during the day, how much water you’ve drank and what you’re thankful for.  From – Clean & Scentsible Add some fun to your weekly goal list to keep you in high spirits. From – Bromabakery Let’s face it: working from home can mean days without leaving the house, wearing the same shirt three days in a row, and wearing cotton 95% of the time. Which is great and all, but it’s also great to have a roster of cute-but-casual outfits for the work from home entrepreneur– ones that require minimal effort, but maximize your style. From – Loveshanta  As we are still settling into our new norm and practicing social distancing, some of us have the privilege of working from home. We are still figuring out how to be the most productive and make the best of our days at home. I created and implemented a work-from-home schedule for myself and wanted to share it with you...
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How to Improve Digital Customer Retention

How to Improve Digital Customer Retention
To turn a one-off customer into a lifelong customer in brick-and-mortar stores you need to pull out all the stops to make a person feel welcomed and at home. People are creatures of habit. If they find a store that they enjoyed being in, chances are they will return when they are in need of your particular service or product again. Online, it is entirely different. You don’t just have the sellers on your street to worry about, you have the biggest giants and countless newcomers to deal with. Building longstanding, digital relationships is very different, but done right can actually prove more fruitful than traditional customer retention methods. Appeal to Customers at Every Stage of the Buyer’s Journey Customers always go through the same journey. This journey may not occur in the same places, and the timeframe will vary dramatically from one customer to another, but the overall structure remains the same. First, they have a need. They may not recognize they have this need right away, but you or some other company will make them aware of it. They may see inspiration on social media that informs them naturally over time, or they may actively go out looking for more information. After they understand what they are looking for, they’ll want to find the best option. This could be the impulse buy that captures their heart, or the informed purchase done online after reading buying guides for the better part of the afternoon. Introduction, inspiration, information, comparison and purchase – sometimes customers go through more steps, sometimes they go through less. You need to have content ready for them at every single step. Follow these tips from Web Presence to make the most out of this content, so you can appeal to your customers best. Stay in Touch with High Quality Content Your newsletter and social channels are two very powerful tools you can use to stay in touch. Try to create content that will appeal both to new customers and loyal ones alike on these channels for the greatest success. New customers should be introduced to your products and service, and they should also have a glimpse at the ongoing value you can offer them online. Offer Loyalty Rewards A great way to keep customers in touch with you and encourage them to buy and buy again is to offer them rewards for their loyalty. Some examples of how you can reward their loyalty include: Buying Rewards For every $1 spent on your site, offer them points. $1 spent could give them 10 points, and 10 points can equate to 10¢ off, for example. It’s a very simple reward that encourages people to buy more and gives them a pat on the back every time they do it with you. You will need them to have their own loyalty card, even if it’s just a digital one, to facilitate this. Birthday Rewards If they set their birthday on your site, offer them a birthday discount! Alternatively you can offer them an anniversary discount if they have been signed up to your newsletter for over a year, and so on. These sort of rewards feel personal, and are a great way to make people feel good about themselves and your relationship while simultaneously encouraging more sales. Your Milestone Rewards Is it your company’s birthday? Offer a sale! Launching a new product? Offer loyal or existing customers exclusive chances to pre-order or have access to last season’s sale first. These small rewards make customers feel like they are valued, and entice new customers to sign up and become part of your...
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4 Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Business

4 Things You Need to Know Before Starting a Business
Starting a Business: You’ve probably read countless articles about it and believe you’re finally ready to take that big step. A word of caution though: once you step into the entrepreneurial waters, you’ll quickly realize that nothing has really prepared you for it. There’s so much more to it than just a good idea. It takes a lot of research and planning to prepare for starting a business. In this article, we help you save that precious time by bringing you 4 things you need to know before starting a business. Understand the Laws and Regulations One of the most important things when starting a business is to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations that affect you. What kind of business permit or license will you have to obtain? What are the legal requirements for starting your business? How much will you need to pay in taxes? Compliance with the law is essential because you don’t want a technicality holding you back once you embark on this journey. There is a lot to consider from filing tax returns and paying your staff to protecting your business with insurance. If you can’t figure out all of these things on your own, seek help from a reputable accounting firm. A professional can guide you through these laws and regulations and help you figure out if you’re ready to start a business. Additionally, a skilled accountant will be a great ally later on in helping you manage your finances and not over-paying on taxes, etc. Is There a Demand for Your Product? Before you spend all your money on developing a product, have you researched the market? Is there a demand for such a product or service? What about the competitors? This might be hard to hear but there is a chance your product isn’t so great or needed so your first step should be to find out whether there is a market for it. Countless new ideas and products are introduced every week, month, year. But how many businesses actually succeed in surviving the first few years? About 80% of businesses survive the first year while only half of all businesses make it to the fifth year. You’ll need all the information you can gather so that you can make small adjustments to your product/service accordingly. Thorough market research will provide answers to the above-mentioned questions and give you an insight into whether it’s worth spending more time on your idea or not. Research your competition carefully. But don’t get discouraged if you discover that there are many other businesses with similar ideas. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be in the same business too. If the market is thriving, surely there is a place for one more great product. Planning Your Business Don’t Spend More Than You Need When starting a new business, most people give up a lot to finance the idea. Many get into debt, spend too much too soon and showcasing poor money management skills. This matter also requires good research. You need to know what to spend on and what can wait until your business grows and brings profit. It may be tempting to get your new office decorated, purchase some new equipment, and software, but don’t rush this. Instead, think about the necessities, what your business needs in the beginning. Make a distinction between what you must have and what would be nice to have. If you hurry up and spend all your startup money on fancy equipment and unnecessary things, you will find yourself in a pickle when a real need emerges and you can’t pay for it. Create a list of the...
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Improving Customer Experience on Your E-commerce Website

Improving Customer Experience on Your E-commerce Website
The success of your eCommerce website is usually pegged on whether customers can buy the products they need quickly and efficiently. If there are any hiccups in this process, customers are likely to leave and you will lose a sale. To ensure this does not happen, it pays to improve your customer experience. This has the add-on effect of increasing sales and profits. Below, we will look at a few things you can do to improve your e-commerce website. Use Clear, Legible Fonts Even though most e-commerce websites are not text-heavy, people still need to read descriptions, directions, and texts like on your privacy page. Improvements in this area come from selecting the right font. You want a font that is not too thin or bold, one that is not too fancy, and one that is easy on the eyes if you have a lot of text on your website. Also, ensure that the font is at least 16 pixels in size as this has been showing to be the best baseline font size. Make Your Website Responsive Mobile visitors have overtaken desktop visitors on most websites, and this might be true for your e-commerce website. If your website is not responsive, these users will have a hard time navigating the website. A simple test is to visit your website on your phone and see how easy it is to navigate. If it is not for you, it might also not be for your visitors. There are also lots of online tools that can help you know if your website is responsive and easy for mobile users to navigate. If it is not, use the reports generated by these tools to make the necessary changes. Make the Checkout Process Easy No one wants to jump through hoops when they are trying to buy something from your website. If you want customers to have a good experience when checking out, make the process as simple as possible. Collect just the amount of data you need to complete the sale and no more as people hate filling forms. You should also ask your web developer to make sure any errors that occur as the user fills the checkout forms are displayed immediately and not after a reload. Diversify Your Payment Options Everyone has a preferred way of paying. Some like paying using their credit cards, some their bank accounts, and others using platforms like Stripe and PayPal. To accommodate everyone, try to use as many payment options as possible. Users who might want to pay using a method you do not support will usually leave without making a purchase. If you do not want to add all these options, at least accept credit cards and PayPal. Reduce Banners and Popups Banners and popups are a big inconvenience for a lot of people. This is because they slow customers down when a business is running a flash sale or other promotion and make them feel like they are losing out on the deals they came for. Although these banners can help alert users to promotions and sales you are running, using too many of them can ruin customer experience. Try to use as few of them as possible. Business owners who want to increase sales on their e-commerce websites should start by improving the customer experience on their website. If you make things as simple as possible for customers, they are much more likely to purchase from you and even become repeat...
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