Whether you’re just starting to build up your own office space for your business, or you’re refurbishing a little, you can expect the place to feel pretty chaotic. There will be builders and mess, and it can get overwhelming at times because it may be hard for you to envision the end goal because as of now, it just looks like a dump. But you need to trust the team to do their job, this is why it’s so important that you choose the right people. It’s no good settling with a company just because their price was low, or they were available for when you needed them – if you don’t look into things properly, that’s where they begin to go wrong, so don’t settle.
There are a few other things that you will need to know, or at least think about while the office is under construction.
Here are some to get you started.
You can expect to have various phone calls, texts, and emails during the construction period, because builders may need to check in with you to ask questions or let you know if there has been a problem or issue. So make sure that you are always available, because sometimes if they can’t get through, rather than stopping a valuable days work, they will take their own initiative. But that may not end up being what you wanted, so communication is absolutely necessary so that you’re both on the same page and you’re left with something that you’re happy about.
If you are still working around the area while jobs are getting done, then you will want to look into a portable toilet rental so that you don’t have to worry about getting in anyone’s way while they’re working. Not only that, but it will be a lot easier for the building team too as they can just nip outside rather than trying to find the nearest bathroom in the area. People seem to imagine these as being dirty, but if you rent from a reputable company, you won’t have anything to worry about. So make life easier for the both of you.
There will be times where you have no choice but to leave the premises because it’s too dangerous for you to be there while the builders work. But there will also be times where it’s okay for you to be there, it may just be a little noisy and busy. Although you may not like the idea of leaving for the duration of construction, it might be what’s best for you, and for the workers. You will be able to get on with your business without distractions around you, and they won’t have to worry about you being there and potentially getting hurt.
Now you know some important things to think about – go over them and see what else may be a good idea. Then soon enough, the work will be done and you will be able to enjoy your new office space.
Your business is one that can achieve great things, but whether or not that happens will depend on the products that you development. So if you’re about to enter the product development cycle right now, you need to start thinking about what you should be doing to enhance the outcomes at the other end. There are lots of tips and tricks that can help you, and we’re going to discuss just some of them right now, so read on.
Try to Focus on Simplicity
This is one of the most basic principles of product design. There is pretty much never a need to make your products more complicated and difficult to use than they need to be. People like simplicity, and who can blame them? It’s up to you to focus on simplicity when you’re moving through the various stages of the design process. Don’t stray too far away from this principle.
Protect Your Intellectual Property Along the Way
Protecting your intellectual property is something that you definitely need to do. Because if you do come up with a killer product that’s going to take the market by storm, you don’t want another company to step in and steal your thunder before if you’ve had the chance to make money. So get your ideas protected with trademarks and copyrights as soon as you can.
Know When & When Not to Skimp on Materials
There are some instances in which you can afford to skimp on materials if it helps you to save money without sacrificing the quality of the product in any way. However, you also need to be careful not to cut too many corners because if you do the end product can really suffer, which is not what you want. It’s something you should tread carefully with.
Don’t Forget About the Importance of Packaging
The product itself is only one part of the puzzle. How it’s presented and how you package is almost equally important, so don’t skip past this part of the process. It could help you sell to more people if you get it right. Ensure you have some packaging market research to review when you go into this part of the process. It’s an intricate process, so make plenty of time for it before you go to market.
Get Feedback and Improve
Finally, you need to get feedback on the design of your product so that you can find out where its flaws are. There are always minor problems that need to be fixed and ironed out, so this is something you should look into. Once you get feedback, don’t take offence to it. Try to learn from what you found out. It can be hard, but it needs to be done.
Developing your products is a really important process, so it’s not something that you should rush through or take shortcuts on. Remember, these products will ultimately decide the success of lack thereof that your business experiences in the months and years ahead, so make the most of what you’ve learned here.
Everybody knows that customer service is central to a successful business which is why most of your competitors are already offering a great customer experience. It’s the biggest focus for most companies which is why being great isn’t enough anymore. If you want to set yourself apart from your competitors you need to go above and beyond. The easiest way to do that is to use new, innovative customer service technology. That’s the way to provide a customer experience that your competitors cannot match. These are some of the best customer service innovations that you can use to take your business to the next level.
Live Chat Bots
The expectations that customers have these days are a lot higher than they used to be. We might have been content with calling a customer service line during working hours in the past, but these days we want to be able to get in touch at any time of day or night. You could always pay staff to be available all night but that’s going to cost you a lot of money. A far better and cheaper alternative is to use live chatbots. These incredible pieces of software can mimic a real person and answer most general questions fairly easily by using a database of information that you supply. As well as giving customers access to your helpdesk around the clock, live chatbots can reduce the amount of paid customer service staff that you need to employ. Often, customer service staff are answering the same questions over and over, but if you’ve got a chatbot to do that, you free up time for your staff to deal with the more complex queries.
If a customer has a fairly technical issue with a product and they’re trying to explain it to a customer service representative over the phone, it can be incredibly difficult for both parties and the customer is likely to get frustrated. If you could send somebody round to look at it in person, it would be a whole lot easier. But it’s also expensive and time-consuming to do that. What you can do, however, is video call. If you use mobile collaboration services, you can easily set up calls with customers, making it so much quicker and easier for your staff to solve their issues. It’s a win-win because the customer is happy and you make life a lot easier for your staff.
We’re hearing a lot about cybersecurity these days but people don’t often think of it as a customer service issue, but it absolutely is. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the safety of their information and they’re only willing to deal with companies if they’re confident that it’s protected. When you’ve got a good level of security and you can demonstrate that to them, you give them peace of mind which massively improves their customer experience.
These technological innovations will help you to deliver a customer experience that beats the competition every single time.
Does your business have a mobile app? How’s that going for you? Most businesses are jumping on the app bandwagon because it’s seen as the right thing to do – but is your app performing as well as you expected it to?
If your app needs improving, then you should put some plans in place to take it to the next level. Get the help you need with these five ways you can make your app better.
1. Get rid of bugs
Most people choose an app over using the mobile version of a website because it’s quicker and easier to use. However, if your app is slow and tends to crash or the functionality is poor – your users might delete the app and go elsewhere. Regularly testing your app is important, and a software testing company such as this one could help you make sure that your app is up to scratch. Review your app regularly to make sure it’s functioning as it should be.
2. Use a slick, modern design
When was the last time your app updated its appearance? If it resembles your web page or has a dated interface, it can be a turn-off for users. Pay attention to the latest app design trends to help you plan a redesign that is in touch with modern layouts and features. Remember that people are adopting phones that use larger screens, so your app needs to be able to cater for different devices too.
3. Make your app accessible
Web users with disabilities will use apps because they allow them to access content in a way that’s simple and easy to use. Phones come with fantastic accessibility features that can make it easy for a user to navigate applications easier than mobile versions of web pages. Consult with an accessibility specialist or a testing company to ensure that you consider all of the accessibility requirements of your business.
4. Allow more personalization
Consumers love to be able to personalize their experiences, which is why companies like Netflix and Amazon do so well with their mobile applications. Allow users to change settings and improve the functionality so that they can tailor the app to their needs. Even simple things like adding a profile picture can enhance the user’s experience and make them feel more connected to the app.
5. Boost your marketing
One reason your app might be underperforming is your marketing strategy. To make marketing work, you need to come up with ideas that will resonate with your target audience and make them feel a connection. You might want to bring in an external marketing company to help with your marketing needs and to run the campaign on your behalf. If you have any additional budget for marketing your app – make sure you put it to good use.
With some simple improvements, you can help your business get the most out of its app through better features and a better design that will make it a must for people to have on their mobile devices.
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At some point in time, the business is going to have to move out of your basement. Don’t get it twisted; the basement has done the company proud for a couple of years. Without its hospitality, the firm wouldn’t be at the stage of its life that it currently finds itself. There was a need to save money and limit expenses and the home offered you the chance to do just that.
The business is expanding, though, and that brings with it new challenges. The company has to be able to sound and appear professional. Otherwise, consumers and clients will avoid it and opt for a competitor. There’s also the fact that as the business grows, there is a need to hire and house employees. Unless you own a mansion, the basement won’t have enough space.
Commercial property is the next step, but it isn’t as straightforward as signing a tenancy agreement. Some entrepreneurs prefer buying rather than leasing, for example. Whether you’re looking to rent or buy, it’s essential to make sure that the investment is sound. Here are tricks of the trade that will guide you through the process.
Length Of Contract
Business owners often make the mistake of thinking about the long-term and forgetting the short-term. Yes, a ten-year lease is cheap and provides structure. For those 3,650 days, the company has a place that it can call home and it doesn’t have to pay through the nose. But, rigidity is inflexible that is essential to factor into negotiations. What happens if a cheaper option pops up on the market in two year’s time? Even better, what if it’s less expensive and is in a fantastic part of town, an area that is bound to raise awareness of the brand? In this scenario, you have to quickly thrash out negotiations and move into the new offices as soon as possible. There’s one hitch, though – a binding contract. Unless the landlord is a saint or you pay off the rest of the deal, the company will have to stay put for the foreseeable future. On the whole, a short-term rent agreement is a wise move because it provides you with options. One of the major advantages of leasing is flexibility so you shouldn’t sign an unyielding deal.
Short-Term Over Long-Term
Buying a commercial property is the flip side of renting. In this regard, investors tend to focus on the here and now rather than the future. It’s easy to see why when all a boss wants to do is set up operations and go live as quickly as possible. Moving premises is a long process so banging out a short-term lease is a fast solution. However, be wary of cutting off your nose to spite your face. For instance, the plan may be to buy it cheaply, flip it, and sell it for a profit. Great, plenty of businesses do this to really good effect and make a killing. The problem is that the present factors may not exist in three year’s time. The location could be the biggest selling point, but what if there is a drive to build more houses in the area? Having to deal with disgruntled residents isn’t something CEOs enjoy doing, historically. Even the benefits for the company can change in the blink of an eye. Summer is almost here and shoppers love the sun and warm weather. However, this can change when autumn and winter return.
Capital Versus ROI
Pretty much everything you buy with company money is an investment that is made to increase profits. Otherwise, you wouldn’t purchase it in the first place. A commercial property – buying or renting – is no different and should follow the same rules. No responsible boss in their right mind would buy a piece of machinery or a piece of software that could bankrupt the company. So, the first thing to consider is whether the real estate is financially viable. Do you have the cash to pay the rent or the rates even if the business takes a nosedive? If the answer is no, then a cheaper option should be something you consider before signing on the dotted line. But, don’t only take the money the firm has now into account. Will this lease/purchase lead to an increase in sales? Is the return on the investment very high? If the answers are yes and the stats prove it, then it isn’t a bad move. In fact, it may be the difference between expansion success and failure. 247 Broadsheet says that things such as location, infrastructure, and the local economy are vital factors to consider.
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In the same way that you wouldn’t buy a house that was subsiding, you don’t want to invest in wonky office space. In general, this is an issue that is almost impossible to repair. And, if you can, it will set the firm back thousands of dollars. Plus, there is the hassle and the stress to consider also. There is no point buying a property only to spend your time worrying, bitching and moaning about all of the hard work. A piece of commercial real estate is by no means a straightforward task, but digging up the foundations is something you want to avoid like the plague. Remember that as a buyer or a renter that the ball is in your court. It’s your money and no one can make you sign a contract that isn’t in your best interests. Of course, no one is going to put all of the information on a plate for you, so research is vital. Digging down into the nitty-gritty is a process that you shouldn’t shirk. If anything, it’s something to take step by step to ensure that the deal is a favorable one. Don’t confuse major flaws with small things that are easily fixable.
Okay, this is going to sound like a huge contradiction, but stay with us here. Yes, subsidence is often something that is a deal breaker because of the money and time costs. However, don’t dismiss a property out of hand until you have looked into the fine print. Consider this scenario. You’re in the market for a piece of commercial real estate and find one that has the perfect location. Better yet, it’s half the price of everything else on the market. There is a catch, though – it’s falling down. Do you wash your hands of the responsibility, or do you see the silver lining on the horizon? Well, the answer depends on a range of factors. If it’s cheaper to hire Helitech to repair the foundations, then you may want to consider your position. Let’s face it – opportunities such as these don’t come along very often. And, if you can keep the expenses low, then it’s somewhat a no-brainer. Only go to these extremes when the hard work is worth the effort. Anything that is in a mediocre area with a relatively high retail value isn’t a sound investment.
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How are you going to pay? Firstly, let’s take a look at leasing options. In many ways, it’s self-explanatory because you have to release the funds every month. Still, you can pick which option is the best for the business. To this day, some owners prefer to pay in cash rather than leave a paper trail. As dodgy as it sounds, it is a viable option if the company is cash-rich and doesn’t have many assets. Usually, the best way to pay is to set up a debit online and let your bank release the funds at the same time every month. Then, there is no need to worry about missing payments and incurring late fees. Buying gets difficult because the amounts are large and there’s a good chance you don’t have the money. Applying for a bank loan or a mortgage is always on the cards, but don’t assume it’s the only option. Alternatives include part-ownership. How it works is straightforward – the fund owns half and you own the rest. This is an excellent way to source the money without high-interest rates and mounting debts. However, be aware that when there is a sale that the fund will take a 50% cut. Another option is to invest in a fund that owns the property. It’s very indirect but it does have its pros.
The above takes one thing for granted – your level of expertise. It’s easy to see real estate as something which is basic and not complicated. Residential homeowners invest all of the time and seem to come away unscathed so why can’t you? The reality is that commercial real estate is a complicated and messy affair, and novices will get eaten alive. This is particularly true if you’re looking to buy a building outright. Still, it doesn’t mean you should pull out. As long as there are experts by your side who you can trust, then they can carry the slack.
Only you can answer the question – is commercial real estate a sound investment?