Many businesses all over the world are closing their doors, with many employees working from home or working limited hours. While it is a difficult period for many businesses, there is one thing this crisis is giving us – time. If you often feel as though you don’t have the time for many key business tasks, now could be the time to play catch up.
Want to make the most of this quiet time for your business? Here are some suggestions for things you can do to help get back on track.
For many people, it can feel like you’re always playing catch up, instead of being able to look ahead. Having a bit of downtime can help you to plan ahead, looking at your business’ overall goals, and planning for weeks and months at a time. Take the time to use online planning tools that will help you organize your workload and put you in a much better place by the time things get busy again.
Get your accounts in order
If you usually leave your accounting until the very last minute, why not get things in order now? This could be an excellent time to sort through receipts, check invoices and identify where you’ve over/underspent. Get in touch with specialist accountants who know the ins and outs of your industry. A great accountant like Copas.org can be an asset to your business, helping to grow it further. With your accounts in order, you’ll be in a position to make better financial decisions and plan out the rest of the year.
Put new systems in place
Time can be a reason why many new ideas never come to fruition. Perhaps there’s new software that you want to try, or a new way of working, but with everything moving a million miles an hour, it’s not always possible to try new things, During a period of downtime, you can take some time to trial new ideas and implement some changes. If there are policies and processes that could save you time and money, then they are worth pursuing during this time.
Check-in on your employees
A period of downtime can be daunting for your employees, who could be finding it hard to stay motivated and even be worried about their jobs. Keeping up employee morale is very important at the moment, so in addition to checking in on work, check in on them personally as well. Even a brief conversation to ask how someone is and if there’s anything they need help with can make a big difference, helping to show that they’re valued and appreciated. Providing regular updates to your employees can also help relieve uncertainty, so try to communicate as much information as you can.
While there’s a lot of uncertainty at the moment, it is possible to make the most of this time. Going forward, you’ll want to make the most of minimizing downtime and maximizing efficiency to help keep your business running and make it even stronger in the future.
Small Businesses Strategies on Dominating the Local Market
by Felicia Jones
Running a small business is challenging, especially if you are entering a competitive market. You need to find unique ways to promote your brand and get customers to trust your products. Your competitors will also try their best to ensure that they attract potential customers. Taking a look at their current campaigns can help you come up with your own marketing strategies. Thus, you need to ensure that you can come up with unique and effective strategies that will put your brand on top of the competition.
There are various marketing strategies you can try to boost your brand and promote your products. However, some of these strategies won’t work immediately, especially if you haven’t built your brand’s reputation. You have to look for ways to introduce your brand to your target audience first. To do that, you have to focus on attracting the local market first.
Benefits of Targeting the Local Market
Targeting the local market helps you to raise brand awareness and introduce your products and services. Here are other essential benefits that you can get for going for local marketing strategies:
Learn the basics of marketing to a specific audience
Improve brand reputation
Build customer trust
Spread the word about your business
Effective Local Marketing Strategies
Some companies get professional local SEO servicesto ensure that their marketing campaigns will be useful. If you are also planning to use the same technique, you need to at least understand how local market targeting works. Here are a few methods to consider:
Take your business online-Ensure that you have an online shop so that people will have a way of browsing your products and services. Creating a website and a mobile app and managing social media pages can help you broaden your marketing reach.
Implement local SEO strategies-Focus on implementing local SEO practices to get more leads and attract new customers. Keep in mind that the majority of consumers check out local shops to check out items they want to purchase. It would be best if your shop comes up whenever they do a search related to your business.
Request customer feedback-Always ask for feedback from consumers. This way, you will gain information about how you can improve your brand. Conduct surveys and analyze consumer behavior of the local market. This will give you a hint about your business strengths and weaknesses. Use consumer feedback to adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.
Participate in local events-Check out events that will be held in your local community. You can think of ways to become a sponsor or a participant for such events. Doing this will help you increase the popularity of your brand.
You probably want to expand your business and target global customers in the future. However, before you can make it big in the business world, you need to stand out in the local market successfully. If your brand becomes popular with the local community, you will have bigger chances of achieving success in going global.
Even if you are just a small business owner, you can achieve major growth if you work hard, especially when it comes to improving your products and services. You should also continuously implement effective marketing strategies to target potential customers precisely. This way, you can ensure that your business will slowly make its way to the top of the competition.
When you start a business, often this is done from the comfort of your own home, and this can mean that you get to make some great savings in terms of business leases and overheads. However, when it comes to branching out and moving your business forward, a specific location to work from is often the obvious step to make. However, many assume that you need to be in the city amongst all of the action, to thrive. But this has its high costs and can often not be a viable choice. With that in mind, here are some of the reasons why you don’t necessarily need the city slick office in order for your business to still thrive and be successful.
When it comes to being in a connected world, now more than ever means that any business is in the position to connect with customers and other businesses by using social media. Social media is a great way to advertise your business and reach out to potential customers and also share news of up and coming product launches and services that you offer. You can be anywhere in the world and still find new customers to engage with and also sell to.
Being in the position to boost wireless signal
Working in the city often means you have the potential of better WiFi and signal, and that is true. But working outside of the city in the country because you want to save on costs doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a poor connection. Companies like Sunsight can often antenna align and produce products that can help when it comes to wireless signals. This means that you don’t need to sacrifice in costs to always be connected with your business.
Shopping online is often the first choice
Let’s face it, many of us shop online these days. It is convenient, easy to do and enables you to get what you want quickly and easily. So a website that can offer up an ecommerce option can help you to make those sales no matter where your business is based and how you are operating. A decent website can help you to be one of the first choices for customers. You also need to ensure that your website is visible and seen online, so you might want to think about search engine optimisation and the use of keywords in your content to take advantage of this.
Video calls and remote working makes things possible
Video calls and remote working can happen in any location, and with the use of the internet can help you to make things possible. This works well when it comes to outsourcing certain aspects of your business and also taking advantage of different options.
Excellent courier services and delivery options
Finally, with the use of different courier and delivery options you no longer need to be in the city to take advantage of a quick service. Helping you to provide to your customers in the quickest way possible.
Let’s hope these suggestions help you to see that city working isn’t always the best option for your business.
It can be exciting to think about starting up your own clinic. You will be at the point where you will have a vision for what you want to achieve and how you want your clinic to work. Your own healthcare business can be a big venture to take on, and so you may not be fully aware of everything that is involved. What might you need to think about when it comes to getting things off the ground? With that in mind, here are some of the things that you could consider.
Social media can also be a great way to connect with patients. So many people spend their time online that you need to think about how you can utilise these platforms for your business opportunity. It might be specific hashtags relevant to the area so you can advertise locally. Targeting the community can also help, such as heading to local events, offering sponsorship or even having a dedicated stand or stall at events where you can capture patient details and get them signed up.
Outsourcing elements of the business
As a healthcare provider you will want to ensure that you offer up the best level of care in all aspects of your business model and clinic. So you may want to consider outsourcing certain aspects of it. This helps you improve the level of care and also maintain functionality. Whether that is experts in specific fields such as Premier Anesthesia or whether you choose to outsource in terms of nurses and staff, having the highest quality of care should and always will be your main priority and focus.
Making things easier for clients
It isn’t just about the location and how people know you exist, it is also about making things easier once those people become your clients. Most things are done online these days, and so a decent website for your business is going to be an essential thing for you. The communication side of things that a website can offer, not just with information, but also having the facility for clients to message you directly. Your website is going to be one of the first ports of call for any potential client or patient, so take the time to figure out what information and content will be vital. The use of keywords within the content is also going to be important, so that you can think about the way your website might rank in search engine results. You might also need to think about the communication in terms of calls and emails, delivery aspects or when appointments are due.
Branding is also a key element
You may think that a healthcare clinic, be it a dentist, surgery or cosmetic clinic will be able to advertise and speak for itself. You are offering up a service that people might need, after all. But you also need to think about branding, as people are attracted to something that they feel looks and is professional. You don’t want something gimmicky or play on humour too much, considering your business is somewhat serious. But you also want to be able to attract the attention of others, and stand out from potential competitors.
Let’s hope these tips help your healthcare business stand out.
Every business goes through a steep learning curve. While we all have lessons to learn one of the biggest is in minimizing downtime. Everybody talks about efficiency as this crucial component. And yes, they are correct, but to minimize business downtime it’s not as simple as cutting corners or minimizing expenditure. When it comes to minimizing downtime and maximizing efficiency, what are the big takeaways that every business can learn from?
The Little Things That Nobody Else Will Notice
Ensuring that everything is running at its optimum is vital. And this means taking notice of the things that nobody else would. When it comes to an industry like manufacturing there are so many small components that need addressing to make every part of the conveyor belt work efficiently. If your machines don’t work, nothing else will, so think about the tiny components that need addressing at these points. Even something as simple as oiling the machines needs addressing. There are providers like CITGO Lubricants and numerous others that work to make the smaller components of machinery working at its optimum. When you start to take notice of the little things it makes you appreciate the bigger things.
It sounds obvious but having regular maintenance is something that many companies don’t have the time for. As businesses feel that they need to continue pushing forward it means that there’s more pressure piled on each individual worker and when there is a problem with this system or they’re not able to do the tasks efficiently, it’s not until there is a major spanner in the works that this becomes apparent. Having regular maintenance set to a schedule will make sure that you are prepared for such an event. We have got to remember that each piece of equipment has a certain life span. And rather than waiting for it to run its natural course, if you schedule regular maintenance checks you will end up saving money and stress.
Visualize What Downtime Looks Like
Many companies aren’t prepared for downtime until they face it square in the jaw. Once you learn from this you are better prepared. But it’s a far more proactive approach to visualize what downtime looks like for your business. Are people sat around twiddling their thumbs? How much money is being lost by the minute? When you start to ask yourself these pertinent questions you can put processes in place to minimize downtime and maximize efficiency in other ways. With something like technical issues, you could set up a system of notifications that alerts people to specific problems. This means that rather than it going to one person who isn’t able to start addressing the problem right away it goes to a specific team so they are able to get on the issue right away.
Nobody likes the idea of downtime but in order to make sure that you minimize it, it’s essential that you put the stops in place. This can be about maintaining the equipment itself but also about a far better approach towards visualizing the big picture.
Wherever you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that your life, work and career have already been significantly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ve already discussed the myriad ways in which the coronavirus continues to change the face of business and commerce, necessitating the need to lean even harder into a digitized economy. But even as we squint to see the light at the head of the tunnel, many of us are wondering if “back to normal” will really be an option once the infection curve has been flattened and the economic wheels begin to turn anew.
Should we go back to “business as usual”? Or should we use the recent disruption caused by the virus to reassess our goals, our priorities and our place in the world of work? Here are some questions we should all ask ourselves in this time of disruption…
What really matters to you?
With many businesses grinding to a halt, and yet more slowing down significantly, a lot of us have more time on our hands than we’re used to. We’re finding that we have more time to play with our kids, to laugh with our spouses and finally get around to reading some of the books that have been gathering dust on the shelf.
Is this the perfect chance to go into business for yourself?
The recent changes to the business landscape have created huge changes for many of us. But they have also been empowering. They’ve shown us that we can be more autonomous and proactive. That we can be entrusted with managing our own time and taking charge of our own productivity. They’ve shown that we have the skills to stop working for an employer who’ll never be grateful and start up businesses of our own.
Starting up a business from scratch is a daunting prospect, but it’s by no means the only way to assert more control over your career. Starting up a franchised operation like East Coast Wings & Grill can give you the autonomy that comes with running your own business with the support, training and brand recognition that you’d get as the manager of a successful business chain. Or, if you want to be fully independent without overheads, there’s always the life of a freelancer or consultant.
Why not use this as an opportunity to get off the treadmill and explore your options?
How will you vote for an ethical future with your wallet?
For too long we’ve turned a blind eye to companies mistreating their employees, engaging in unethical practices and damaging the environment. All because they bring us affordability and convenience. In recent weeks we’ve seen which businesses have done right by their employees and which have unceremoniously let them go without support. COVID-19 has made us reassess who does and doesn’t deserve our money.
Has the workplace become irrelevant?
Look out your window and you’ll see quieter streets, fewer cars and clearer skies. Do we really want to go back to our stressful and smog-infested morning commutes after this? Or has this shown that the workplace has become an anachronism and that remote working on a full or part time basis can improve our quality of life while also improving our environment.
Let’s use this as an opportunity to take stock, reassess and pursue a better tomorrow. Even if it’s the antithesis of “back to normal”.