If you run any kind of business, you need to be sure that you are protecting your staff, your customers, and yourself from any accidents. Not only do you have a duty of care to make sure that the workplace is safe; it could be very costly to your business in the event of a claim against you from a personal injury attorney. Payouts can run from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands. And worse than the financial cost, they could end up spelling the end for your business.
There are a few ways that you can ensure that you are doing everything that you can to avoid putting your company into this kind of position.
Make sure every member of staff in your organization is fully trained on how to deal with any emergency. Where possible, send your team on training days. Try to have a member of your team trained in first aid. Be sure and review all of your training every year. Don’t forget that when a new employee joins your team, they will need health and safety training as a matter of priority.
Assess The Risks
Whatever the type of business you run, there will be risks. They may be the risk of a small injury, or there might be a potential for a fire. Whatever the worst case scenario, you need to plan for it.
Take the time to do a thorough risk assessment covering all aspects of your operation. You cannot be too detailed here; ensure you include any risk to injury through performing part of a job role right through to making sure that there is adequate fire protection available.
Use your risk assessment to highlight any training requirements in your company, as well as highlighting any maintenance that needs to be undertaken.
Your risk assessment should be reviewed regularly to make sure that there are no new hazards, or worsening of existing risks.
The Accident Book
All accidents, including near misses, need to be recorded in an accident book. This is as much for your protection as it is for the person who has had the accident. Make sure you get as many details as soon as possible after the accident and ensure that if there are changes that need to be made around the workplace following the accident, that you get them rectified as soon as possible.
Falling behind on the upkeep of your equipment can cause accidents or fires. Make sure that you have service contracts and that you are keeping up to date on making sure all equipment is tested. If an item is faulty or damaged, ensure that it is not used until it is repaired and safe again.
Ensuring the safety of your team should be one of your main priorities. It might be easy to brush it aside as being unimportant because you have never known one of your staff members to have an accident in the workplace. However, one small accident could be catastrophic for your staff member and could cause you more problems than you would ever wish for.
It’s not just homes that can benefit from curb appeal, it’s an important factor for businesses too. If your business relies on people walking through the door, such as a store or a restaurant, then that passing street trade is important. Making sure your business looks great from the outside can help tempt people inside and help your business grow.
Read more about maintaining the curb appeal of your business below.
If you’re dealing with various issues that need repairing, then make sure you get them done. From dirty or broken windows to a filthy sidewalk directly outside of your property, then it’s time for some maintenance. You might also want to look at deeper cleaning and maintenance – sewer jetting can unclog your pipes and drains to prevent flooding, as well as get rid of nasty smells. Spend time figuring out which jobs need doing and don’t put them off any longer.
Update your signage
Is your signage looking a little dated? Perhaps it’s time for an upgrade. There are several signage trends that you should consider adopting to help give your business a fresh, contemporary look. Keep things simple and try using a new color palette to help add some interest to your storefront.
Dress the outside
Could the outside of your business do with some freshening up? Then give the outside a style treatment. Stylish, eye-catching storefronts are popular with passersby – who doesn’t love a cool photo opportunity? Try pretty florals or invest in some quirky outdoor furniture to help breathe some life into the front of your business. You can adapt many fantastic ideas for window displays and help turn heads as they walk by on the street.
Be more visible
Is your business visible enough to tempt people inside? Bright lights, some ‘open/closed’ signs and maybe some outside A boards or chalkboards can help drive footfall into your business. Visibility is a must to ensure that people know that you’re open, as well as what kind of business you are. Keep things friendly and welcoming rather than closed off – if your business looks dark and lifeless from the outside then it’s unlikely that people will step inside.
Being visible can also mean being physically present outside of your business. If you have any deals or promotions to push, it doesn’t hurt to have an employee stood outside flyering or talking to customers as they walk past. First impressions are important for any business, but when your business is reliant on people walking in from the outside, it’s even more important that you get it right. From fixing the obvious problems to wowing street traffic with your signage and window displays, there are plenty of things you can do to make improvements. And what’s next once you’ve got them through the door? Maintain that customer journey by making your store safe and providing an excellent service to everyone.
Sometimes when you run your own business, you will need to travel for various meetings, conferences, and industry trade fairs. It’s a good sign if you are busy with traveling for all these kinds of things as it shows that you are in demand! However, you might be a bit worried about how all of this travel is going to impact your company. After all, you will be leaving your team without their leader!
There isn’t too much reason to worry about trying to run a business while on the road, though. There are plenty of things you can do to ensure it goes as well as possible. Read on to find out more!
Do Manage Your Time Well
First of all, you need to know just how important it is to manage your time well. Sure, you are away so that you can attend various meetings and conferences, but if you are clever with your time, then you should be able to squeeze in a bit of work as well. The best way to figure out when you can do some work is to write a plan for every day. Figure out when you are booked up with meetings, and you should see how much free time you have. See if you can fit in an hour of work into this free time.
Don’t Forget To Keep In Touch With The Team Back At The Office
It’s really worth trying to keep up to date with everyone back in the office. That way, you can tell them how it’s been going with you in your meetings, and they can update you with news from the office. They might tell you of some developments that mean you need to change a pitch for a meeting slightly. Not only that, though, but this will give you peace of mind knowing that everyone is still working hard even in your absence!
IT networks have a tendency to go wrong at the most inopportune moment. You can guarantee that your office will experience some technical issues while you are away and aren’t able to fix things. To make sure that doesn’t happen, you could pass over your IT network to a firm that offers managed IT services. They will be able to offer an around-the-clock helpdesk support service, so your employees can call them for help and advice if anything should go wrong.
Don’t Neglect Being Transparent With Employees And Clients
It’s important that you are open with your communication while you are away. That counts for both clients and employees. You need to let your clients know that you will be traveling so you might only be checking your emails sporadically. It’s also important to keep your employees up to date with everything that happens in your meetings and when you are on the road, just in case you learn something that could impact the projects they are working on.
Hopefully, all of these tips make it easier for you to run your company on the road!
Keeping yourself, staff, and your products safe and secure inside your store should be a top priority every single day. The reasons for doing this are seemingly endless, but most importantly to minimise the chance of loss (product or profit) and the health and wellbeing of your workforce. There are many risks associated with a common retail or convenience store, most of which can be prevented or at least minimised with a little bit of thought and a few precautionary measures. It shouldn’t be too hard to ensure security throughout your store, but if you think you may need a little help then carry on reading to find out where to start.
Protecting Products From Theft
A large amount of profit can be lost through not protecting your products properly. If you fail to install any kind of precautionary measures, thief’s will see your store as an easy target and you will start to see your stock dwindle. This is also the same situation for untrustworthy staff, as they will see your lack of security as a chance to pick some extra cash or products. One of the best ways to prevent these situations from happening is by installing some kind of CCTV system throughout your store. With the extra bonus of security camera POS integration you can keep tabs on what is happening at the till, as this is where most of the money you receive gets handled and stored each day, and is usually the way out of your store for customers. If you carry some more expensive products, you may want to think about fixing electronic tags to said items that can only be removed by you and will trigger some kind of alarm if they are taken from the premises. This will decrease your levels of theft drastically, because the tag will be unremovable for the average person and will then render the product completely without value or function. These tags are not expensive to purchase and do not cause damage to the products they are attached to, so it really is a no brainer.
Managing Crowds On Busy Days
If your store is on a high street or in a city center, its probable that at times you will feel somewhat overwhelmed with the number of customers you serve in any given day, especially on weekends. This can bring a whole host of different risks and dangers, including damage to products and safety concerns for staff. If too many people pile into your store, there’s also an increased likelihood of one of your customers being hurt too. Any stock on display could be knocked over, produce could fall off shelves, and staff will have too many people to watch to notice any bad behaviour or stealing. One of the best ways to combat these problems is to hire a security guard or 2 during your peak hours, to limit the number of customers that are able to enter and ensure the safety and security of everyone inside when its gets a little busier. They can also act as a deterrent for any hopeful thieves, as they will see your extra efforts and probably take their chances elsewhere.
Security Outside Working Hours
Your store in still under threat when you close the doors at the end of each trading day. As soon as you and your staff leave the premises, the only level of security you were able to keep is gone you won’t discover any foul play until when you arrive the next morning. There are a few easy ways that you can keep your store safe outside working hours, one of the best being the installation of roller shutters. They can provide you with an extra layer of protection from the outside world, and work to keep your store and it’s contents secure and inaccessible. Simply locking the door behind you isn’t enough to protect your business, especially if your store is lined with glass windows that could easily be smashed or broken. By making the investment, you can have confidence that you will return the next day to find your store in the same condition as yesterday, with the shutters having successfully done their job through the night. Another great way of protecting your business when no one is around is by installing a security camera on the outside of the premises. This can be streamed through onto your phone or laptop, so you can check your store at any time, and also keep a record of anything if it were to happen.
General Healthy & Safety
Everyday smaller risks should still be taken into consideration, as they can be just as dangerous as bigger situations if not handled properly. Consider any possible fire hazards around your store, and make sure that you have the right equipment to deal with any kind of blaze that may break out. Invest in the suitable signage, such as wet floor signs to notify any customers of a potential slip risk in their path. Give your staff the sufficient training when it comes to using ladders or any other equipment that might pose a danger, so they can feel confident and ready whenever the time comes to use them. It’s useful to just take a slow walk around your store every so often, so that you can assess the different risks to customers and staff, and then take steps to resolve or minimize the issues you discover.
Hopefully the information above can help you ensure maximum levels of safety inside your store. With a little bit of forward thinking and the installation of some new security technology, you can be confident that your workforce and products are out of harm’s way at all times. Even a small issue has the potential of becoming a massive problem, so don’t overlook anything raised by staff or customers and be committed to finding a resolution. Don’t forget about the security of your online store if you have one, as there are equally as many different dangers out on the internet too!
Anyone who wants to have any chance of running a successful business needs to realise just how incredibly important it is to be able to market effectively.
It would be nice to think that quality had the final say, and that you could stand head and shoulders above your competition, and make your fortune, by being as diligent as possible, and providing the best possible service. Realistically, though, it’s not always the case that the highest quality offering rises to the top.
Instead, the products or services that command the highest degree of the market share, are always going to be those that not only meet a certain standard of quality, but that are also marketed highly effectively, and rigorously.
There’s a lot that goes into an effective and compelling marketing campaign. You need to be able to establish a sense of rapport with your customer, and to gain the trust. And you need to be able to sell to their sense of self-interest, and desire to solve problems in their own life.
Ultimately, one of the most important factors in being able to market effectively, is to know your niche, inside and out. Here are a few reasons why.
Different audiences will have different needs that have to be addressed
It’s a truism in the world of marketing, that you don’t try to sell features, you try to sell benefits, and solutions to problems.
Your audience isn’t stupid. If you list off the features of a particular product, in a highly scientific and impersonal way, they’ll be able to intellectually identify some of the potential benefits of those features. But, if you actually want to make an emotional impact on him, and motivate them to make a purchase, you need to take a far more evocative approach, from the get go.
When someone is in the market for a particular good or service, they will always have some problem in mind that they want to address, through the purchase. Importantly, the specific needs that your audience will have, will vary dramatically, based on the niche you operate within.
If you run a fitness business, for example, your audience is going to be entirely concerned with questions such as becoming beach ready for the summer, or getting six pack abs to impress the ladies. They won’t be worrying about their pension – at least, not in relation to what it is you are offering.
You need to hit the nail on the head when trying to establish rapport with your audience. You need to identify and address the issues they may feel they are facing, clearly and concisely. And, unless you understand your niche very well, you won’t be able to do this.
What does the average person who shops within your industry want? What is it they are looking for? And how can you give them what they want, more comprehensively than your competition can?
2. Different fields will have different over-played techniques that need to be circumvented
One of the big problems with marketing, in general, is that society as a whole is absolutely saturated in marketing campaigns of various sorts – and so, the general public tends to be somewhat jaded to marketing campaigns that are done “by the numbers.”
In order to really sell effectively, you need to be original and creative enough to actually get people’s attention, and not just cause them to roll their eyes when they see “yet another” example of the same tired old campaign being rolled out.
A key point to consider here, is that different fields will have different over-played marketing techniques that need to be circumvented, in order to be sufficiently original and attention-grabbing.
A company such as elitelawyermanagement.com, for example, will focus entirely on helping law firms to market in innovative ways. But, what’s “innovative” in one industry, may be rote in another.
3.Having the right “style” is essential for gaining customer attention and trust
Different industries and niches have different accepted standards of behaviour, presentation, and different qualifiers of professionalism and trustworthiness.
If, for example, you are running a trendy tech company, targeting millennials, you probably wouldn’t make a great impression if you took a completely straight-laced approach to your marketing efforts, insisted that everyone in your company wore a suit with a tie to work every day, and had a regulation haircut policy.
By the same token, if you are running a financial firm, you would likely horrify many of your prospective clients if you turned up for work each day in a tracksuit and sandals, and filled your marketing pitches with a bunch of pop cultural references.
Understanding your niche is important for understanding the right “style” that should be employed to gain your customer’s attention and trust.
The entrepreneurial lifestyle is challenging, to say the least. While days are certainly rewarding, they’re not without their struggles. Life can quickly become a blur of tasks and tribulations, which is why, sooner or later, all entrepreneurs hire staff to help lessen the hardship. Unfortunately, this will only work if your team are productive. No matter what the company does, doing more with less will boost your bottom line. With that in mind, here are five ways to improve productivity.
Hire The Right People
A calm and happy working environment is usually a productive one too. Unfortunately, it only takes one bad apple to ruin the mood for everyone else. When you hire an individual that slacks off all the time, steal from the business, and gossips about their colleagues, you’ll find they do more harm than good. Thankfully, you can attract the right people to your business by offering a good salary and benefits package. You can also separate them from lousy hires with interviews.
Allow Flexible Work Hours
Different people feel their best at different times of the day. Although some of your team will be at their most productive during the traditional nine to five working hours, others would prefer an earlier or later start time. By allowing your team to choose the hours that they want, you can ensure that they’re always working their very hardest. You might want to consider allowing some of your team to work from home too. This would benefit those with young children a great deal.
Provide The Necessary Tools
Even the best employees in the world can’t do their jobs well when they don’t have the necessary tools to do so. Whether it be a computer, 96 well plate, vacuum cleaner, or pen, you must ensure that your staff have all that they need. You should also provide proper training, which you repeat regularly and frequently. No employee walks into a job knowing how to do it exactly right, after all. You can conduct this training yourself or have employees do it online.
Learn To Show Appreciation
No one likes to work for someone that seems completely ungrateful. In fact, it could make your staff hate their jobs, which, of course, would damage their productivity. Because of this, you should show your team just how much you appreciate them. There are many ways to go about this, from cash bonuses to small gifts. That being said, you don’t have to spend money to show that you’re grateful. Sometimes a simple “thank you” works just as well, if not better.
You have a responsibility to provide your team with an adequate space to work. Unfortunately, if the office is always untidy, then you’re not doing this right. Clutter can have a serious impact on your mental state, causing stress, which limits both creativity and productivity. Thankfully, there is a very simple remedy – Keeping the space tidy. Decluttering the office and hiring a cleaning service can ensure that the workspace remains in tip-top condition.
With these tips, you should have no trouble improving producing in your small business.