Whether you have a fleet of company cars, or have employees who are based on the road a lot, your business needs to take responsibility for driver safety. This keeps your team safe as well as protecting your company-owned vehicles from being involved in accidents. Here are the top tips for business driving safety.
All companies who employees to drive on business should complete a written risk assessment. You must assess the risk posed to the safety of the drivers, as well as the risk to other road users and members of the general public. This is responsible and helps you to prepare for any potential issues, such as accidents. If your employees have been involved in an accident, read more here for information from car accident lawyers.
Create A Driver Policy
To ensure road safety, create a driver policy for your business. This policy should clearly set out the standards of behaviour that you expect from your drivers, as well as their individual responsibility for things like vehicle maintenance and obeying traffic laws. This helps to protect you as well as your drivers, as it makes it clear that they are responsible for obeying the rules of the road and maintaining a safe standard of driving.
Communicate The Policy
There’s no point in spending the time to create a driver policy if you don’t tell your drivers about it. It’s a good idea to print physical handbooks so you know every driver has a copy. They will have important information to hand which will help them know what to do, according to company policy, if they do encounter a problem on the road, such as a crash or a break-down.
Check The Licenses Of Your Drivers
Don’t assume that your drivers have the correct licenses to drive the vehicle that you’re asking them to. If they aren’t properly licensed, then your insurance won’t be valid, and you could find yourself in real trouble in the event of a crash. Make sure you check the licenses of anyone who drives as part of their job with your company.
Check Their Insurance
If you have staff who use their own car for business journeys, check that they are properly insured. Private car insurance will usually only cover the driver for personal journies, like commuting. If they’re driving to meetings, exhibitions, or appointments with clients, then they will likely need specific business insurance. Ask them to check their policy and make sure that they are properly covered to avoid problems later on.
Risk Assess Your Drivers
A crash involving a company vehicle can end up being very expensive when you add up car repairs, lost working hours, legal costs, and increased insurance premiums. Identify high-risk drivers with an online driver assessment. Provide more training to those you find are a higher risk to reduce the likelihood of them having a crash in the future. You can also use these tests in an interview setting, so you don’t hire high-risk drivers in the first place.
In the competitive, fast paced and technologically rich 2020s, every small business is now a tech company. Whether they know it or not. Whatever your products or services, however large or small your operation and whomever your target audience may be, it’s more than likely that your business relies on software for its daily operations- even if it’s just an office suite or a piece of POS software. Whatever your business, your software is inextricably linked to your productivity and thus your profitability. That means that you shouldn’t take decisions about purchasing software lightly.
Here are some software buying mistakes that small businesses should avoid if they want to make the most of every day, enhance their margins and maintain a leading edge over their competitors…
Adopting a “Price First” perspective
Of course you have a cash flow to maintain and every purchasing decision needs to be carefully measured against your business’ income and expenditure. However, software is not an area in which it pays to be a penny pincher. By choosing applications (or versions of applications) on the basis of cost you could miss out on functionalities that could facilitate smoother operations and save you more money in the long run.
If you’re worried about upfront cost, most Software as a Service (SaaS) companies offer free trials or adopt “Freemium” pricing models.
Choosing one-size-fits-all solutions rather than niche products
There are many software tools (CRMS are a good example) which fulfill so many functions that they can fit seamlessly into virtually any business operations. However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that one-size-fits all solutions are always the best fit for you. Generally, the more industry-specific platforms you can employ the better, as these are designed to meet the needs and realities of your specific industry. Check out, for instance, how GrowerIQ offers complete end-to-end tracking and visibility to the emerging cannabis industry. No industry is too niche to find bespoke solutions designed for its needs.
Buying on the basis of user reviews
SaaS companies understand the importance of leveraging social proof to drive sales. And reading numerous glowing reviews and 5 star ratings can be a hugely encouraging sign when choosing a product. Still, you should take a closer look before committing to a new product. Find out who has been leaving these reviews. Take a look at their business’ operational models. How well matched are they to yours? Just because a platform has been able to accommodate the needs of many happy customers doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s well equipped to meet yours.
Assuming that your business is too small to worry about security
Finally, cybercrime is one of the biggest threats facing small businesses today. Too many small business owners assume that their operation is so small that it’s beneath the attention of cyber criminals. And when they’re proven wrong it can be at great costs to their finances and reputations. So make sure that your platforms and applications have a wealth of security redundancies to help you to guard your business from phishing, malware and other threats.
Content marketing should be a staple in your marketing strategy. If anything, the entire strategy should revolve around content. It’s become such an integral part of modern businesses, so much so that you can’t afford to neglect it.
But why? Why is content marketing so essential for companies these days? It never used to be such a vital thing, so what’s changed?
Much of this is down to the digitalization of the modern world. As we slowly start to consume more digital technologies, we open up new avenues for content. There’s also something to be said about a change in how consumers approach businesses, marketing, and advertising. People don’t want to have adverts thrown at them all the time, they’d rather find out about things more naturally. Content marketing is key when it comes to doing this.
Truthfully, there are many reasons why content marketing is so critical for your business. We can’t run through them all, but we have selected some of the most important points. These points should show you the benefits that this approach to marketing brings and why your business needs to start utilizing it.
It lets you connect to your customers
Content marketing embodies so many different things. You have website content, blog content, social media, video, audio – the list goes on. A vital part of your approach is ensuring that the content you produce aligns with your brand image. You want to show people things that represent your core values and beliefs.
In turn, this has a profound effect on your relationship with customers. Content lets you connect to your target audience. If you produce things that they’re interested in and want to know about, then a bond is formed. They start to recognize your business as one they can trust as a source of great information. More than that, there’s an emotional link or understanding between you and the consumer. Content marketing helps you find common ground, and this is essential when building successful relationships.
You’re far more likely to connect to a customer through excellent content than by pumping out ad over ad over ad. People don’t feel like the content is forced down their throats. They actively look to find it, and this makes all the difference in the world.
It empowers your entire SEO strategy and helps you boost traffic
Search engine optimization is the process by which you improve your website’s search engine performance. We could spend all day talking about this, but we’ll keep the explanation short and sweet. Effectively, good SEO means that you make your website appear higher in the search engine results. The higher up you are, the more visibility you have. Ergo, you have more chance of gaining clicks and boosting your web traffic.
Content comes into play as it influences loads of different ranking factors for your website. So many successful digital marketers, like Rob Timmermann, will develop content strategies with the sole aim of improving SEO. Keywords are a massive aspect of SEO, and you need to create excellent content that includes your main keywords as naturally as possible. Internal linking is also crucial, and this happens through your content. Excellent content also keeps the audience engaged, meaning they’re more likely to stay on the website for longer. This reduces bounce rates, which can also lead to improved search engine performance.
Essentially, you can make your way through a list of search engine ranking factors and find that content marketing is a major figure in almost all of them. If you don’t employ a good content strategy, then your SEO will suffer. If you have an excellent one, then you can fly up the rankings and enjoy all the benefits that increased web traffic and visibility will bring.
Helps you target consumers at all stages of the buying process
Business owners need to look at customers as they take a journey towards buying a product/service. You should all be familiar with the buying process, but here’s a short video that gives an overview of all the different stages:
Content marketing is effective as it lets you target consumers at every stage of the buying process. You create specific content that appeals to people at various points. For example, the first stage is identifying the problem. So, you can create content that targets the specific problem your product/service tackles. In essence, the content alerts the user to the problem and makes them realize that they need to do something about it.
This content would be different from something that’s meant for people in the next stage – Information Search. Here, you want to provide more details on the problems and why they are big problems for the consumer. You will also want to include further information on how your product/service can help.
The whole point is that you tailor the content to different types of consumers who are at different stages in the buying process. This means they always get the information they need, and you basically feed them through the sales funnel. By doing this, you increase the chances of making sales as you establish trust and authority with the consumer. After taking in all your content, they’re in a much better position to make an educated purchase.
Obviously, you have to think about marketing from a cost-reward point of view. There’s no point spending loads of money on a marketing campaign if it doesn’t yield impressive returns. That’s an error lots of business owners make. The pump loads of money into traditional marketing and advertising methods that no longer provide good returns. Then, they wonder where all their profits are going as the cash keeps leaking out of the business.
This is where content marketing really comes to the fore. It’s definitely one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing, and it can help your business save a lot of money. How? For starters, content is ever-lasting. You can produce a blog post, and it stays relevant for months and years. You may need to tweak a few things, but that won’t cost a lot of money to do. As such, you have something that continues to affect your audience long after it’s been published. You keep reaping the rewards over and over again.
Furthermore, you can produce a lot of content yourself. If you do this, then it becomes extremely cheap. You’re basically getting free marketing services. Even if you pay for content, it’s not that expensive when you take into account the previous point about longevity. Often, you make a one-off payment to a content writer for something that can last years.
Then, because content targets your audience and appeals to them, there’s more chance of generating leads. As a consequence, there’s an increased chance of sales opportunities. This means more money, which will more than make up for the cost of the content. Funnily enough, that leads perfectly onto the next point.
It increases your conversions
We’ve touched upon this or tiptoed around this point a few times already. The simple fact is that content marketing increases your conversions. That’s not a random statement, the stats are there to back it up. The Content Marketing Institute found that 61% of US consumers decided to make a purchase after reading recommendations on a blog.
It all comes back to the idea that consumers react differently when they feel like they’re in charge of their purchasing decision. Content is selective in that audiences choose what content they engage with. If you were to type a query into Google right now, it would be up to you what websites to click on to find the information you’re after. Nothing gets shoved in your face, meaning you can take things at your own pace and find the content that matters most to you.
In a way, it’s basic human psychology. If someone tells you to do something, your natural reaction is to ask why. I’m not doing this, why should I do this? You can’t tell me what to do! But, if someone gives you material and tools to help you do something, then you’re way more likely to do it. It’s the same with content marketing and sales. Use content to empower consumers and give them the tools they need to come to a decision on their own terms.
Conclusion: Content is king
The best way to summarize this blog is that content is king. The influence that content has on modern consumers can’t be under-stressed. Business is all about building relationships and establishing trust and authority with your target market. Content marketing is the best way to do this.
However, that’s not to say that other marketing techniques and methods are obsolete! You should still use a combination of things to widen your reach and find new customers. Some ideas will work better for your company than someone else’s. But, content should be at the heart of everything you do. With great content comes great rewards.
When winter comes in, the skis come out. Skiing is a great
way to enjoy your winter holidays. However, you may be a bit intimidated if it
is your first skiing trip. Here are some tips that you can do to prepare for it
A lot of people think that you can hit the slopes even if
you haven’t done anything to prep yourself, physically. But, skiing can be a
physically demanding task, especially since it requires muscles that you do not
usually use. It would be best if you started doing cardio at least two months
before the trip to help you manage the lack of oxygen since you will be at a
higher altitude. It would help if you also focused on your balance and
coordination. You can try specific ski fitness exercises by using in-line
skates and balance boards.
One of the first pieces of equipment that you should buy is
boots. In fact, you should buy them before you buy skis. You need to make sure
that you get boots that fit properly; otherwise, it can be a waste of time and
money. Make sure that they are flexible, and your boot’s shell are appropriate
for your level of skiing. Do not forget to get a pair of boots for post-skiing
that are waterproof, warm, and sturdy.
Maybe you bought your own skis, at some point, in your
excitement to one day conquer the slopes, but never used them. Get your skis
serviced if you own a pair. The least that you can do before a skiing trip is
to sharpen the edges and wax the bases. Get a base grind safety check of your
binding done by a technician a week before your trip. If your skis are
appropriately taken care of before your trip, it will make them more responsive
to turning. Plus, it will help improve your overall skiing experience and
safety. If you do not own a pair, then carefully weigh whether you will rent or
buy, at this point. Many people prefer to wait until they have gained more
experience at skiing before buying their own skis. But, if you choose to
purchase a pair, get some expert help from a reliable ski shop.
If you want to perform well, then you need to get the right
clothes to stay warm and comfortable. Thermal underwear and a wool or light
fleece top to wear under a jacket are basics you must have. When buying a
jacket, check out appropriate outerwear. While there are numerous styles,
designs, and brands out there for women and men, Arc’teryx
ski jackets are among those that offer high-performance and the
latest tech. Don’t forget to protect your feet, too-snowboard and ski socks are
manufactured differently from your regular pair, so make sure to look into
Avoiding Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness can put a damper on your ski
trip; even a bit of fatigue or a headache can ruin your trip. You should limit
alcohol consumption and drink a lot of water. The high altitudes can also make
you feel dehydrated, so make sure you get electrolytes from drinks such as
coconut water. Snack on foods that are complex carb-heavy and high in protein
to keep your energy levels up.
It would be best if you were prepared to make the most out
of your skiing trip. You can follow the tips above to get ready and have fun on
the wintry slopes!
Since the introduction of the steam engine, we have seen
centuries of progress and innovation birth multiple industrial revolutions. In
2011, we began seeing the latest iteration, initially known as
“Industry 4.0.” As we enter its second decade, it maintains such
momentum to keep the spark of revolution relevant because of ideals and
advancements finally being executed in the commercial realm.
The Fourth Power
Industry 4.0 sees manufacturing technology,
cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, and more, as the essential
horsemen bring about the new face of industrialization. Everything is becoming
more automated, and the integration of technology affects multiple industries
in ways unheard of before.
This burgeoning connectivity between machines, equipment,
and physical worlds translated into the cyber realm has created what is coined
as the “industrial internet of things.” It is happening at a faster
rate than ever, with the speed of technological advancements accelerating in
recent years and continuing to do so toward the future. According to Moore’s
Law, computer processing speed is doubling every year and a half- and the data
shows that it may even be exceeding that growth exponentially.
The new industrial revolution takes concepts previously
hinted at during 3.0, expanding them and turning them into reality. We see this
with network connections integrated into commercial systems and machinery that
can communicate with each other and execute functions more efficiently and with
more flexibility than before.
I Am Robot
Robotics are among the chief advancements that mark this
era’s growth and progress. Big data, response times and reactions, and more
capability are shifted with this new generation of machinery, and computer
automation is allowing industries to reach unprecedented production numbers.
An advancement seen in this sector is the rise of the
collaborative robots, or “cobots,” that are not only able to work
with other machines of their likeness but also efficiently function in
congruence with humans. They are automated, so they don’t need manual
operators. But they can do their own tasks within an environment that has
people in it.
This collaborative hardwiring makes these robots core team
members in the production line. That makes for more intuitive operations that
lessen errors and manufacturing costs while leading to a marked increase in
quality for products finished and mobility achieved.
The creation of the “smart factory” is a product
of digitization combined with robotics and existing systems that can be
improved. As computer systems and codes are implemented in the core workings of
a factory, robots are then integrated to execute the programs that have been
That means daily tasks are mapped out, but automation allows
for adjustment in the event of unexpected circumstances or minor changes. The
integration of programmed machine intelligence will enable them to react
properly while getting the job done. That meets the era’s goal of more
sustainability, as this allows for more energy efficiency and cost management.
As continuing advancement changes the way our
factories and industrialized environments work, it’s exciting to see where this
era will take civilization and machinery.