Monthly Archives: December 2016

Boost Office Morale with These Amazing Tips

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Morale really is one of the key elements of any workplace. And if your employees don’t have enough of it, then it’s going to show in their quality of their output. Don’t be foolish: boost morale today!

Honest communication

When a worker feels like they can’t be honest in the work environment, it can take a huge toll on their morale. Of course, everyone, to some extent, has to censor their thoughts before they say things out loud in the workplace.

But if there’s actually a problem in the office that needs to be solved, or if the employee is having trouble dealing with something personal, then they should be able to say something without fearing negative consequences. Ensure your office is a place where people can be honest about the work that they do and what they’re going through that might affect things. If communication isn’t honest, it’s almost worthless.

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Fun

Yeah, I know: you’re at the office to work, not have fun. But if you want to get the best work out of your employees, then you need to boost their morale. And morale is going to be very low indeed if there’s no opportunity for fun in the office!

Fun is the key to proper relaxation, and without relaxation, productivity is going to take a massive hit. Perhaps you should consider throwing the occasional party when something happens that calls for one. Frequent nights out after work can help people feel closer to each other, too. (This also helps with the whole “honest communication” thing!) Work can be stressful: without an element of fun, that stress can take over.

Praise, criticism, appreciation

If you have no feedback at all for your workers, then their morale is going to suffer. You may think that employees wouldn’t mind not getting any feedback. After all, who wants to be criticized, even if they do something wrong?

But when you give employees constructive feedback, it makes them feel a lot more appreciated. It shows that you recognize their achievements, or that you want them to improve. So taking the time to acknowledge the good that people are doing is a great way to boost morale. It’s all about focusing on performance. If you need assistance with this, you can manage team performance with Six Disciplines software.

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Health and safety

If you’ve not got the wellbeing of your employees on your mind, then it will show quickly. It doesn’t have to show in your attitude; it will eventually become apparent in your health and safety measures.

If your office isn’t as safe as it can be, then it shows a certain flippancy about employee health that should never exist in the workplace. You’d think that this would be too obvious a thing to point out; after all, not putting a premium on health and safety is against the law. But a lot of business owners simply don’t keep their employees safe and healthy enough, and in ways they may not even have thought of. Make sure you’re not making this mistake.

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Hidden Ways in Which Behaviour Affects Brand

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Running a business is no easy endeavour, especially when everything you do is open to public scrutiny. Some companies rarely interact with the general public whilst others, by the very nature of their business, engage with consumers or peers on a daily basis. From retail shops to accountancies, everything you do in public can, and will, affect your brand.

Perhaps it’s time that UK companies begin having training sessions and workshops to explain this phenomenon to staff, from members of the board all the way down to hourly, temporary workers. If you can be associated with a brand, what you do will most certainly affect your company’s image.

A Recent Survey Shows How Rude Behaviour Impacts a Business

Many companies spend a lot of money on PR because they know just how important image is to their brand. Public Relations firms seek to build image in the community for companies that have been the target of a smear campaign or simply as a way to build a positive image in a highly competitive world.

In a recent survey conducted by the Chief Reputation Strategist of Weber Shandwick along with Powell Tate, it was found that as many as 70 percent of respondents feel that businesses lack civility. Bad behaviour does impact their decision whether to do further business with those companies and almost half of those responding found that they were affected by the bad behaviour of a clerk when shopping. At least half again as many said they will not shop there again.

Let’s Look at Those Numbers

The survey mentioned above polled 1,000 consumers. If half that many were affected by bad behaviour in a company then that means that 500 people noticed a lack of civility when interacting with a company. Going one step further, half that number vowed never to shop or interact with that brand again which means that 25% are now looking for new brands who are courteous and understand proper behaviour.

Can any company afford to lose one-quarter of its business due to the bad behaviour of employees? Probably not! You would continually be paying a PR firm to counteract negative publicity because those disenchanted consumers also said they went out of their way to share by word of mouth and on social media the bad experience they had. That’s a lot of bad press that could be avoided if people just knew how to conduct themselves in public.

Beyond the Four Walls of Your Shop

Perhaps more companies should have periodic training sessions whereby they explain how everything a worker does whilst ‘on the clock’ impacts a business. Even delivery drivers are associated with a company’s brand and rude behaviour on the roadways can also reflect negatively on brand. Learner drivers should check this site out to find all the rules of driving etiquette so that they are prepared to take their written test and ultimately share the road with other drivers.

It is imperative that anyone associated with a brand learn to observe the Highway Code, both for their written theory test as well as when driving a company vehicle. Behaviour extends beyond the four walls of your business so make this a focus in the coming months.

Getting Back to Our Roots

It’s really too bad that all the training an employee gets seems to go out the window once orientation is complete or once they have that driving licence in hand. By periodically holding training sessions or recommending where to find the Highway Code online, you can mitigate much of that bad press that can cost your business dearly. Brits once prided themselves on being the most civil nation on earth.

It’s time to get back to our roots and be, once again, that civilised nation the world looks up to. In the process, you’ll be building a reputation that money just can’t buy.

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My Goodness, They Grow Up Fast! How Some Of The World’s Best Companies Dealt With Rapid Growth

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There’s an on running joke in the business community – it goes something like this. “Overnight growth can happen, it just takes 15 years’ work first.”

But thanks to the modern age of high-tech startups and ubiquitous technology, that old joke may be losing some of its appeal. Now there really are stories of companies, thanks to the power of the internet, growing from practically nothing to international sensation overnight.

Feedly

Take Feedly, for example. Back in 2013, Google announced that it was shutting down its RSS reader (for reasons that still remain largely unknown). Feedly recognised the opportunity and launched a big marketing push to attract old Google news readers over to its platform. The push worked, and before long Feedly has transformed itself into the premier news feed service on Android, providing millions of users with the ability to curate the news they receive.

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It wasn’t long before Feedly had grabbed the lion’s share of the old Google Reader market, and managed to use the closing down of the Google service to nab more than 9 million customers, almost overnight. According to data from Hubspot, Feedly more than tripled its user base from four million to 13 million and sold all of its “Pro” accounts within a day.

So what’s the lesson here? The lesson is always to have an eye out for opportunities in the marketplace. If a company is about to shut down a popular service, make sure that you’re ready to provide it cheaper and better, just like Feedly did. Above all, be quick: any delay will allow competitors to enter the space and beat you to the prize.

Fire Rock

Most analysts seem to think that rapid growth is only possible in the world of computer software and online marketing. But many companies with physical products have also experienced what we might call exponential growth, all thanks to digital innovation.

One such company is Fire Rock. It manufactures fireplaces, masonry products, chimney, fire pits and outdoor ovens. And like other companies that operate in the real world with dangerous equipment, it invests in health and safety outsourcing solutions to help keep its workers safe. For a long time, Fire Rock operated like a normal business, outsourcing tasks that were core to its business and focusing its workers on the area where it could add value. But it soon realised that it could massively boost its appeal by advertising its products through Pinterest, a photograph sharing site. Soon it began optimizing its Pinterest presence, and after a short period of time, saw the increase in its coverage reach 330 percent.

The lesson here for businesses? The moral of the story is that it is important to know what exactly you should outsource in your business. FireRock could have gone down the generic social media marketing path, but much of that investment would have been a waste of money. Instead, it recognised that it had to focus its efforts on the one channel which was most valuable to its core business: Pinterest. Because it was in the market for visual goods, a photo sharing website was ideal for it to make an impact.

Rogetech

Rogetech is a company that makes IT equipment, like scanners and barcodes. They knew that they were in a saturated marketplace and that unseating their competitors would be difficult. What was worse, they were starting from scratch: they had no domain authority, no email list, and no followers on social media

In 2011, the firm got to work. The first thing that it did was start writing a blog covering all sorts of issues in the IT industry. They poured a huge amount of effort into the blog, producing something that was both useful and information. In December 2011, they had 77 unique visitors to their site. After a month of blogging, that went up to over 600, then to over 2,200 and by the third month they were up to 3,454.

Public Domain Pictures

What the company realized was that they didn’t necessarily have to pay a fortune for paid search. Instead, all they had to do was produce content that people found genuinely interesting. One of the company’s most successful blogs was entitled “What is the Barcode and How it Works.” Turns out, thousands of people wanted to know the answer to that question since the information wasn’t readily available elsewhere on the internet.

The company was rigorous in its approach to its blog. It didn’t do things haphazardly. Instead, it created a timetable and stuck to it, producing content organised around keywords. The result of this effort was an impressive 4,000 percent increase in website traffic, 84 percent of which was organic.

The bottom line for businesses? Rogetech’s experience shows just how valuable it can be to know your competitor’s weaknesses. If your competitors aren’t blogging, start blogging. If your competitors aren’t making videos, start making videos. Do something that they’re not doing and you’ll attract a segment of the market. Who know, you could have success like Rogetech.

The Rodon Group

The Rodon Group is a manufacturer of injection moulded plastic parts. As a result, the company was an unlikely candidate to suddenly find itself in the media spotlight.

In 2012, however, the company’s director saw an opportunity to gain some publicity. He stated that he thought that after years of losing manufacturing jobs, the US was now in an era when manufacturing would start coming home.

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Remember, this prediction was pre-Trump, and it was based on his belief that rising wages in China would push up manufacturing costs in the country so much that the US would once again be competitive.

Several news outlets agreed to interview him to find out more about the astonishing claim and ensured that millions of people heard about the company.

So what are the lessons for businesses? First of all, find stories in your industry that strike a national chord. There’s a great deal of longing for manufacturing to return to the US, especially because of what’s happened in the rust belt, and The Rodon Group took advantage of this perfectly.

Second, their story was well timed, with elections coming up and manufacturing jobs being on the agenda.

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Leading the Way: The Importance of Management in Your Office

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Management is a vital factor in any workplace. It’s not something that your business should ever be without if you want it to truly succeed. So, if you don’t have a strong management structure already in place, now is the time to change all that. It could be one of the biggest and best changes you ever make to your business. Here is a bit more information on business leadership and why it’s so important in the office.

Unlocking the Potential of Everyone Else

It’s the job of the office leader to ensure that everyone is working as hard as they can and producing their best work. When the leader is motivating everyone, they can act as the driving force that pushes everyone further than they would otherwise go. It’s one of the reasons why good management and leadership are so important in the office. It’s not about shouting orders and telling people what to do. Instead, it’s all about showing people the way and giving them the space, motivation and assistance needed to unlock their potential. This is something only a good and experienced leader can do well.

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Halting Problems Before They Become Larger

There are all kinds of problems that emerge in the workplace. Good managers can address these concerns and halt problems before they grow bigger and cause even more issues in the future. So, make sure that you keep this in mind when you’re hiring managers for your business. They have to be able to perform well when the pressure is on, and there are a lot of factors working against them. If they crumble at the first sign of strife or trouble, they simply won’t make very good managers for your business. It really is as simple as that.

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Setting the Right Example

Setting a good example for everyone else in the office is an important part of the manager’s job. You can use HR consultants to address minor issues. But it’s the managers who will be setting the long-term examples for your employees. If the manager is always slacking and not taking things seriously, then don’t be surprised when everyone who works under that manager behaves in the same way. They set the kind of behaviour and work ethic that is deemed acceptable. So, they have to be on the ball and beyond reproach at all times. If they’re not, the company will suffer.

Mentoring New and Young Employees

Good managers with lots of experience can also offer their expertise and wisdom to the people who work with them. They are going to be the people that matter most because they are the future. When there are young or new employees working for the company, having a top manager to ease them in and offer them guidance is key. It helps them to settle more quickly and feel comfortable with their place in the office. It’s something that you should talk to your managers about and make sure that they are there to offer this kind of help and support.

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Is Your Business Being Targeted By Cyber Criminals? If So, Here’s How to Keep It Protected

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In truth, each and every business is a potential target for cyber criminals. Businesses hold information that is often sensitive and related to finances. This is what attracts cyber criminals who want to get their hands on your money. So, you need to keep your business as protected against the threat of cyber crime as it possibly can be. There are a few simple things that you can do to reduce the risk of your business falling victim to one of these kinds of attacks. Read on to find out more.

Keep Everything Updated

Cyber criminals will find it a lot easier to target your business if the software you use is out of date. Whenever a software company releases a new update or a patch, they do it for a reason. There are often new security features included in these packages. These should be taken advantage of by your company. If you fail to make the most of these security upgrades, your business could end up paying the price. So, whether it’s the operating system, the accounting software or the antivirus program you use, keep them updated. It will make your business more secure.

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Have Plans to Deal with Problems Quickly

Even if you do keep your software up to date, there is still a risk of something going wrong. You can never completely eliminate the chance of a hack or a leak taking place. Or it might even be a virus that spreads through your system. Whatever the problem is, you need to have a clear method of how you’re going to deal with the issue and get it fixed. You can avoid data loss with disaster recovery solutions by Infrascale. This is all about acting quickly and finding a fix before things get even worst and data gets lost for good.

Encrypt Drives and Files

You definitely need to start learning about the power of encryption if you haven’t done so already. By encrypting your business’s drives and the files it transports, you will stop hackers intercepting them. It’s one of the very best security methods out there today, so you can’t afford to ignore it. When you are sending sensitive and important information or files from one place to another, encryption is even more vital. It can make it impossible for anyone to read what you are sending, even if they do get access to it.

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Restrict Access and Use Filters

Access is a big deal when it comes to cyber crime. If it is easy for criminals to get access to your data and information, then committing a crime will be easy for them. Your business will be a soft target, so why wouldn’t cyber criminals attack it? If you make things easy for them, then it should be no surprise when you become a victim. So, install filters that stop program and rouge files being stored on your computer system. These are often used to access your files and read sensitive information, so they need to be fought against. Restricting physical access is vital too.

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How Cloud Computing is Driving Business Efficiency

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 How do you communicate with your team? How many vertical levels are there between workers on the ground and company management? Is your business centralized or diffuse? As someone starting or growing a small business, chances are that communication issues dependent on medium, complexity, and location are minimal. However, this does not mean to say that they are as efficient as they could be nor to say they are necessarily scalable.

The most common mistake for a business leader growing a business is not delegating leadership of distinct functions to employees. This often turns the leader into a funnel for all communications and an impediment to quick action if said leader cannot be reached. Traditional, multi-layer communication structures based on meetings, reports, and even on phone calls and emails are redundant and ineffective. Most businesses could save money, improve efficiency, and scale faster with better information sharing.

Real Time Data Sharing

Metrics and data often gets lost and slowed down when moving from the ground level through management and to upper management. The response is then further slowed down as it percolates through the hierarchy. Cloud computing is based on remotely hosted servers providing unlimited storage space for files including data sets and photographs. Cloud storage works by allowing a single person or company to access to files within an account from any device or location linked to it. All files are encrypted and protected by the provider.

In terms of data sharing this allows for instant access to data from any part of the company so long as it is well organized within an in-cloud file management system. Practically speaking, an operative on the ground assessing house values, for example, can save data to the cloud, which can then be accessed by everyone else in the company or who have access to that folder. It allows for companies to pool data more efficiently.

Improving Mass Communication

With instant access to the files saved to the cloud, it can allow for more seamless communication between different elements of a company. For example, taking the real estate angle further, the home value, opinions, and photographs can be uploaded to the site by a webmaster so the home is advertised even before the realtor gets back to the office. However, if another realtor with the company is showing a prospective client around a home, they can access the cloud as it is updated and that new home may prove to be more suitable. You can now see that each chain in communication is faster. Instead of having to email or message each person individually or send a chain email, the files can be deposited straight into the correct

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Four Ways to Build Your Brand Using Influencers

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 When a business or brand first thinks about how to rise above the market and gain exposure, it is all too easy to consider advertising, promotions, sponsorships and social media marketing. However, whether you are selling a product or trying to build some buzz for an event, correctly utilizing influencers to build interest is the effective first step many forget to take. That being said, it is not as simple as just reaching out to a few and hey presto, sales and interest are up. It is a little more complicated than that.

Choose Your Influencers Wisely

Time was, in the past, influencers were a combination of media moguls, literati, advertising executives and celebrities. Today, despite concern over mega media conglomerates, influencers are more diffuse and harder to pin down. The first rule of maximizing the effect of this kind of marketing therefore is to ensure you pick the correct ones. This means researching the specific influencers within your niche and market, to whom your event or product will appeal, and then assessing their size, reach, and the demographics of those they reach out to. It is also worth noting which media they primarily appeal on. This is because some will be bloggers, some vloggers and many will cross different media and platforms including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Are You a Good Match?

Like businesses, brands, and events, influencers come in all shapes and sizes. During your research you will have ascertained whether their industry and their demographics fit with what you are trying to achieve. However, you should also think about whether their size does too. Some influencers can have followings in the millions. On paper, this sounds like a fantastic amount of exposure, but will they be interested in your product? Are they too big for you to appeal to? Furthermore, if they say yes, do you have enough products or event capacity to accommodate the amount of interest you will get by their endorsement or appearance?

You Will Need a Budget

Only a few influencers will promote your product for free and even then, only if it is absolutely amazing and life changing. For events, it’s even less likely because shoutouts are free to produce, but going to an event involves a lot of money. When producing your influencer-based marketing plan you are going to have to have a budget, and you will have to negotiate with the influencers. Remember to keep them sweet, keep them on happy, and compensated, then their magic will more than repay your outlay

Finally, Just Trust Them

Your influencers have got to the position where they are now with hundreds, thousands, and millions of followers because they know what they are doing. Do not tell them how to promote your product, what to do, or when. Trust them to know how to do this and let them do it in their own style without compromising their integrity. When it comes to events be it a speech, presentation, or round table, let them be themselves. It’ll all be to your benefit.

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What Does Brexit Mean For The UK Web Industry?

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As the Brexit arguments rage on in the UK, there are only a few certainties. First of all, it seems as if the now-famous Article 50 will be triggered in March 2017. And that means that, whatever else happens, the UK will exit the EU exactly two years from then. Clearly, there are deals still to be struck, and many negotiations to take place. But what is the overall picture for the UK’s thriving web industry? We’re going to take a closer look at the now inevitable impact of Brexit on the UK’s web professionals.

Moving on

Many UK web companies have a lot of interest in Europe, whether it’s connections with larger enterprises or supplying services to small companies. It’s no surprise that there are plenty of businesses with this Euro connection who are considering whether it’s time to ship out of the UK. The European market is huge for UK web companies, who have managed to get ahead of virtually every other country – the UK is the undisputed eCommerce giant of Europe, for example. While European enterprises will be rubbing their hands with glee, any UK business who gets most of their business from abroad will be seriously thinking of shipping out.

Plenty of opportunities

Due to the weaker pound against the Euro, it’s less expensive for foreign clients to use UK firms. So, when it’s a choice between an experienced Magento agency from the UK and a more expensive, less-established alternative from mainland Europe, there’s only one clear winner. However, the future is a lot more uncertain than it is right now. When Brexit eventually happens, no one can say with any conviction that the pound will still be cheaper – or that the UK will still be home to hundreds of first-class tech companies.

Difficulties in hiring

While the phrase ‘British jobs for British people’ is one of the biggest buzzwords around Brexit, it’s going to be problematic when the UK leaves the EU. The simple fact is that the UK web industry is full of foreign workers, of all descriptions. In fact, much like the NHS, the tech industry is reliant on them. And, if being outside the EU makes it harder to hire this exceptional talent, no one would be hugely surprised if there was a slight stagnation.

Smaller budgets

One thing about Brexit that economists are clear on is that British people will all lose money. While some are hopeful that it will only be temporary, it could take years – maybe even decades – to level out again. And when there is less money available, people – and businesses – start tightening their belts. Inevitably, this will see a dramatic increase in companies reviewing their budgets. And, as everyone knows, the first thing that will get the chop is areas such as marketing and advertising – which will spell trouble to many online enterprises.

Do you have a web-based business? How do you feel about Brexit? Are you worried, or do you see it as a great opportunity to develop your business? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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How Can You Ensure Your Company’s New Product Reaches Its Intended Market?

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Releasing a brand new product is a big deal for any company. It marks an exciting time in which the business can unlock new markets and find success on a scale never seen before. At least, that’s the best case scenario. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. Things can go well, but only when hard work is put in and the business does what it can to reach the right people.

Every product has an intended market. And it’s your job to ensure that your product reaches its intended market. If it doesn’t, your product will never sell in high enough numbers to bring real and lasting success to your company. So, here are some of the things you can do to make sure that your company’s latest product reaches the right people and sells.

Know What That Market Is

First of all, you need to have a full understanding of the market that you are looking to exploit. Carrying out some basic market research should be one of your very first steps. When you know about the market you will be entering, you will be much better equipped to find success. That’s what’s most important of all, so make sure that you don’t forget this early stage. Assuming that you already know it all and don’t need to find out what you’ll be up against is a common mistake. Make sure you don’t make it too.

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Understand the People You Want to Sell To

As well as you knowing what your target market is, you also need to understand the people in it. Every target market is nothing more than a group of individuals who you think might be interested in buying what you have to sell. That means they will have tastes, preferences and ways of consuming. You should be aware of as many of these things as possible because they might help you out when it comes to formulating a plan for how you are going to sell to them. You can never know too much about the people you want to turn into your customers.

Team Up with Brands That Have an Existing Link to Your Target Market

Teaming up with other companies can be a great way to tap into the right market and win over customers. When you have that kind of relationship with a company that already has an established audience that is the same as your target audience, the results can be incredible. You will have access to exactly the kind of audience that you need in order to sell your products and find success. The company you choose to work with will be able to take advantage of your existing customer base too, so everyone’s a winner.

Create an Advertising Campaign That Can’t be Ignored

Your business’s advertising campaign will need to be up to scratch if you expect people to take any kind of interest in what you are offering and saying. It should be attention-grabbing, and it should offer something that people think they really need to have. Of course, doing this is not easy. It means having to create great videos, posters and maybe even radio ads. The kinds of advertising you choose to go with will link back to your target market and how likely they are to be affected by different kinds of advertising. You can get external help with all kinds of advertising.

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Take Nothing for Granted

You should take nothing for granted when you are selling products. Forget about your business’s past or how many units it sold on its last product launch. Those things are meaningless now, and they certainly shouldn’t cause you to take things for granted. If you start to expect people to buy from you, you might be in for a surprise. Customers never like to be taken for granted. And this kind of mindset and mentality is one that usually causes businesses to make mistakes be completely lazy. That’s never a good thing, so beware of this from the start.

Use SEO Techniques to Rank Higher on Search Engines

SEO is all about making sure that your website ranks as highly as possible on relevant search results pages. Every business has its own sector and niche. There are certain words and phrases that people will put into search engines like Google when they want to find the kinds of products you offer. You need to make sure that when these words and phrases are searched for, your website is one of the first links that people see. If you’re not sure how to do SEO properly, you should hire a search engine optimisation agency that might be able to help you out.

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Get the Tone of Voice and Messaging Right on Social Media

Social media can be a great tool for businesses that are unleashing new products. It gives them a platform to repeat their messages, post image and videos, and talk to potential customers. And whether or not your business is successful on social media often comes down to the tone of voice you use. It should be one that resonates with the people who you are trying to turn into customers. And you should also make sure that the messages you are pumping out to people are right and appropriate to that market. You could even test slogans and phrasing with focus groups.

Don’t Mess Up When it Comes to Execution and Distribution

Finally, you need to make sure that you don’t mess up the final stage, which is execution and distribution. You need to make sure that your products get to the people who buy them in one piece and in working order. If they arrive damaged or they are not functioning as they should, all you’ll have is an unhappy customer who wants a refund. That person will have friends and family who they will probably discuss their negative experience with. And that means a lot of people can be lost as potential customers when something like this goes badly wrong.

 

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Making The Most Of Your Business Assets

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In business, there are many different areas where your money lies. It is important, as an owner, to know exactly where that is, and to know how to make the most of them. Your assets are often what keep the business afloat, especially during tough times. With that in mid, it is a good idea to have in place several steps you can take to get more out of your individual assets. In this post, we are going to go through some of your major assets one by one. We will look at how you can get more out of them, often without much effort or stress. Doing so will often result in a more lucrative business, so it is clear that there are real benefits to be had here. Let’s take a look at your major assets, and what can be done with them to maximise their potential.

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Tangible Assets

There are three main types of asset in business, and the first one we will look at are called tangible assets. Tangible assets are those which are real, physical things, and which are not consumed or used during the process of doing business. A good example of a strong tangible asset is any buildings your business may own. In fact, buildings are often the most lucrative tangible asset that a business owns – and there are specific ways to make the most of that particular asset. For example, you could use a 1031 exchange property service to exchange your building with a like-kind one, and save money on the tax difference. Or you could rent out unused parts of the building to third parties, thus bringing more money into the business. Other kinds of tangible assets include vehicles and office equipment.

Intangible Assets

Unlike tangible assets, intangible ones are those which have no physical form. You might be wondering what that could possibly mean, but it is actually quite straightforward. Intangible assets include things such as a business’ reputation, company know-how, brand and name recognition, and so on. These do not have any value within themselves, and you won’t find them on the balance sheet, but they do passively add to the value of the company by their virtue of existing. To make the most of intangible assets, your main method is probably to improve them as well as possible. This means trading in a way which is likely to improve your business’ standing in the marketplace and the community. The knock-on effects of this are surprisingly profound.

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Intellectual Property

Last but certainly not least, we have intellectual property. This is the property belonging to your business which is intellectual in nature. For example, brand names, patents and trademarks are all examples of intellectual property. Generally, these are covered and protected under copyright law, but you should also try to protect them in other ways. It pays to be as secretive as possible in business, and doing so will likely prove to be beneficial in the long run too. Looking after your intellectual property means looking after your business; it’s that simple.

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