It has already been a rough year for business owners, and we’re only at the halfway point. Brexit shocked the economy across the globe, and it wasn’t just British companies that took the hit. Every business owner braced themselves as the pound took a hit and economy tumbled down with it. That situation still hasn’t been resolved, and while it has stabilised, it could still have a greater effect. Particularly, after Britain officially leaves the EU, which may not be until 2021. Meanwhile, a recent report has revealed just how many employees receive basic benefits. Around seventy percent of employees in America alone do not receive health care. It’s no wonder that companies are inundated every year with injury claims. Without winning in court, it seems many wouldn’t get the money they need when they’re off work.
Then, there is the growth of other economies. Both China and India are growing at a rapid rate with new businesses opening up every day. In India, entire cities are being built up for business and will be active on the global market by the end of the year. This means a fresh dose of competition for companies that have already been established. New companies are almost always setup to run online. This means continued trouble for high street shop owners. Online companies can cheapen their costs and therefore sell at a lower price. These are just some of the issues that businesses are facing this year. However, it’s pointless to look at the problems, unless we can start to consider the solutions.
In many ways, increased competition from international businesses isn’t a problem. In fact, for the consumer, it’s good news. They can get the same product at a lower price, hopefully, made to the same quality. It also pushes other businesses to step up their game and deliver a better service to their customers. These are the advantages, so what are the disadvantages?
Well, firstly, it does create what is essentially a tilted playing field. Particularly when you consider that a lot of new international businesses are setting up where labour and tax laws are more lenient. China, for instance, have little to no laws preventing the use of cheap child labour. This is always going to make a manufacturing business cheaper to run. Ethically, the situation is questionable, but there is no doubt this practice does cut down costs. It is one of the reasons why Western companies are moving to countries like China. Then there are the tax laws that give companies incentives to set up in the first place. Both these facts make it more difficult for older companies to stay competitive.
They have to find other ways to cut costs. There are solutions to this problem, though. Businesses need to focus on how to make their companies more efficient. One possibility is to use outsourcing services. By investing in outsourcing services, companies can get rid of expensive costs in their model. Instead, another business takes on this cost for them. This makes the overall expense of the company a lot cheaper. There are countless services that can be outsourced in business from fully managed IT to legal services. Smaller companies can then be just as effective as bigger businesses with the same level of costs.
Businesses, may also want to look into advantages they have that other companies do not. A lot of international companies can not afford to invest in the latest tech and hardware. However, businesses that have already been stabilised can. This new tech makes these businesses a more powerful force on the market. They can improve their efficiency levels and make sure that their business is more productive.
Another advantage these businesses have is the access to skilled workers. Any economist will tell you that they key to a successful company is often hiring the right employees. With the right workers, you can guarantee you have the knowledge and the skill you need to make sure your company comes out on top.
Recently, there has been a shift in the relationship between the business and the consumer. In the past, it was easy to keep business operations away from the interest of the customer. Now, customers and clients want to know everything about how businesses operate. They want to understand the production methods and connect with the people behind the business. Essentially, they want companies to engage with them in a more personal way than they had previously. This is putting pressure on businesses because a lot of companies are already doing this. They are connecting with their customers and making sure they feel more involved in the process. Marketing has become a far more interactive experience.
New and old businesses need to be doing this if they want to keep the interest of customers. One possibility to start considering is using social media to connect. Through social media, companies can easily interact with customers through technology. They can send updates, ask questions and provide customer services. They can even use it as a form of simple yet effective viral marketing. Even companies that don’t operate online should be using these types of resources. It is the only way to keep the interest of the customers.
Of course one of the current major problems has nothing to do with competition or customers. Rather, it is entirely based on the actions and decisions of employees. In particular, almost every business is dealing with the issue of premises liability. Premises liability is essentially a duty of care to employees in business. If an employee is injured, the business owner is held directly responsible. As such, they or their company can be sued for damages in the event of an accident. This is one of the reasons why it’s important have full insurance in place for your business. That way, if a claim is made, it should be partially covered by your insurance.
Recently, however, businesses are struggling to stay afloat in a sea of countless claims. This is why companies are working hard to make their properties safer than ever. It often costs money to ensure that safety levels are kept at a constant high. It is worth it to prevent an expensive lawsuit hitting a business fresh on the market. For a new company, an expensive PI claim could be a death sentence.
Due to the new level of engagement between companies and customers, there is a chance for public perception to be more damaging. An example would be the issue of the green company. In many ways, it is beneficial for businesses to go green. In particular, it will cut their energy costs right down, thus making their business more efficient. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that the fixed costs of making a business green are expensive. For some companies, they are too high to handle. Yet, customers are now more aware of which companies are green and which aren’t. Many businesses might be more inclined to use companies that are less environmentally damaging. That’s why last year when the car pollution controversy exploded many brands stock prices took a tumble. Public perception is a powerful force in almost every major industry.
One reason for this is the increased reliance of views online. Almost every major business is reviewed online by the buying public. You may not think that one bad review of your business is going to make a difference. However, those bad reviews build up and could earn your company a negative rating. At that point, it may stop new customers buying from your business. This doesn’t mean that companies should avoid reviews online. Quite the opposite. Businesses need to be aware of the power these reviewers have. The worst thing that a business could do is ignore them completely. You need to do your best to reconcile with these customers. Although be aware, many people use these reviews in the hope of getting free benefits from a company.
If you are setting up a new business this year, it would be a mistake to believe that you can rely on a constant wave of demand. This is not how the market works, and a number of new businesses are learning this lesson the hard way. In particular, if the economy takes a turn for the worse, fewer people are buying. This is a particularly challenging problem for companies that sell what could be classed as luxury products. In this case, many customers are unlikely to buy at all. Even loyal clients may cease to make purchases during times of economic turmoil. This is why constant cost cutting is so important. You need to make sure that you do not raise your costs to the point where you won’t make a profit if demand decreases. When you run a business, it’s always best to hope for the best and prepare for the worse.
It’s clear that businesses will face a lot of issues on the market this year. But with the right strategies in place, they can overcome them.
How To Scale Your Business In 10 Steps
It’s no secret that businesses today face more challenges than ever before. In order to stay afloat and thrive in today’s economy, businesses need to be able to scale their operations effectively.
The good news is that there are a few key things you can do to make sure your business is able to scale successfully. In this article, we’ll go over ten essential tips for scaling your business effectively.
1. Define Your Target Market
The first step to scaling your business effectively is to define your target market. Without a clear target market, it will be very difficult to focus your efforts and resources in a way that will allow you to scale effectively.
2. Know Your Costs
Another important factor to consider when scaling your business is your costs. It’s important to have a clear understanding of all the costs associated with running your business, such as overhead costs, production costs, and marketing costs.
3. Streamline Your Processes
Another important tip for scaling your business is to streamline your processes. When you’re first starting out, it’s common to have a lot of different processes and procedures in place that may not be entirely necessary.
4. Invest in automation
Investing in automation is another great way to scale your business effectively. Automation can help you save time and money by taking care of tasks that would otherwise need to be done manually.
5. Focus on Your Core Competencies
When you’re scaling your business, it’s important to focus on your core competencies. These are the areas of your business that you’re most skilled at and that provide the most value to your customers.
6. Delegate and Outsource
As your business grows, it’s important to delegate tasks and outsource work to other people. This will allow you to focus on your core competencies and leave the less important tasks to others. For example, you may need to involve Het Vertaalbureau to assist with translation of your website and documentation.
7. Get Feedback from Your Customers
Another great way to scale your business effectively is to get feedback from your customers. This feedback can help you improve your products or services and make sure you’re meeting the needs of your target market.
8. Focus on Your Marketing
Marketing is another important aspect of scaling your business effectively. When you’re first starting out, it’s easy to focus all of your attention on the product or service you’re offering.
9. Expand Your Team
As your business grows, you’ll need to expand your team. This means hiring new employees or contractors to help you with the additional work.
10. Keep Your Costs Low
One of the most important tips for scaling your business is to keep your costs low. This means finding ways to save money on overhead, inventory, and other expenses. There are a number of different ways to save money, so it’s important to find the ones that work best for your business. You can negotiate with suppliers, use cheaper materials, or find other ways to reduce your costs.
By following these ten steps, you can effectively scale your business while still maintaining a high level of quality. Automation, delegation, and feedback are key to success. Keep your costs low, focus on your marketing, and keep moving forward. With these steps, you’ll be well on your way to scaling your business effectively.
How To Make SEO Work for Your Business
When businesses want to get noticed on the internet, they usually turn to something like search engine optimization (SEO) so that their business appears higher on Google searches. SEO can be a wonderful way to help your business grow on the internet. It’s been tried and tested by plenty of businesses, and there’s no denying the power that it has.
But with that said, trying to make SEO work for your business can be tricky. It takes a lot of time and effort in order to make it work, and you need to pour a considerable amount of effort into making content that appeals to Google’s search bots. So before you start investing precious time into your website’s content, here are some considerations to keep in mind on how to make SEO work for your business.
Focus on creating content instead of designing your website
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when designing their website is focusing too much time on the look of their website. Sure, making your website look fancy with loads of unique transitions and animations can attract some people, but those are the wrong things to focus on if you want to get noticed by Google’s search bots.
Instead of focusing on the design and look of your website, focus on the content you have. After all, Google’s algorithm will take content into consideration when deciding on your search rankings–they really don’t care about how your website looks. This is where it helps to focus on content marketing so that you know exactly what kind of keywords to focus on and the types of content you should be making to appeal to a wider audience.
Be consistent with creating content
And if you do focus on content marketing as a priority, you’ll want to try and be consistent with your content releases. Google values websites that regularly update their pages with new content. It’s more stuff to rank, there’s more space for keywords, and it ultimately provides more value to your customers as long as the content is useful somehow. It could be guides and how to use your products, or it could be an FAQ on using your services. As long as you’re creating content on a fairly consistent basis, you’ll have a much easier time getting noticed.
To make this easier, you may want to consider hiring a writer. It doesn’t need to be a full-time employee and can just be a freelancer or even an outsourced service. This will save you a lot of time when writing content for your website.
Consider working with an SEO agency
All of this sounds great and can greatly improve your SEO efforts, but you could just as easily leave all the decisions to a reputable service such as Sofia Marketing. This will take a lot of the responsibility off your hands and you’ll find it much easier to create content that consistently helps your website rank higher. They’ll also help you with technical SEO aspects such as designing your website to work on mobile devices in addition to desktops.
Simply put, SEO agencies can make things a lot easier in the long run. Whether it’s finding the right writers to make valuable content or helping you choose the right keywords to target, their expertise and guidance will be invaluable when you want to get the most out of your SEO efforts.
Choose topics and keywords to focus on
If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to pick some keywords and topics to focus on for your SEO efforts. For example, your business might want to specialize in appealing to a certain kind of demographic, so you’d research various topics and keywords that the group is more likely to search for. Keyword research can take a lot of time, but it’s something that can be made a lot easier with help from a marketing service. There are also plenty of keyword tools that you can use to help identify strong keywords to focus on.
Identify what your website will be used for
And lastly, figure out what your website will be used for in the long run. This can help drastically improve the user experience and will help you give a purpose to your content because you know who you’re trying to appeal to. If you know exactly what your website is going to be used for, then it cuts out a lot of the decision-making and helps you laser focus your efforts to optimize your time.
Revealed: The Key Factors That Do Impact Client Perception
Every business owner today is facing a competitive market that is filled with companies vying for the attention of the same customers and clients. This is true, regardless of whether your business is part of an expansive sector or a niche market. This is why it’s important for owners to understand their clients. Specifically, you need to be aware of what makes them tick and how to ensure that they will want to purchase your products or services.
In the business world, this is often all about the first impression that you create when clients encounter your brand for the first time. You only get one chance to make a great first impression and you can’t let this go to waste. Below, we’ll reveal some of the key factors and variables that do impact the perception clients form when interacting with different businesses and companies on the market.
Style, Fashion, Grooming
First, you should think about surface decisions such as style, fashion, and grooming. Believe it or not, this can impact whether a client is going to want to buy from your business or if they choose to form a partnership with your company. Research shows that decisions here will have a huge impact on the overall perception of your brand. Whether or not you are wearing a watch from a high-end brand like Tommy Hilfiger could determine whether a high-end client wants to make a deal with your company.
Technology is another key factor that can and likely will impact the perception that clients have of your business. If you don’t get the right technology in place, then your company is always going to seem far weaker overall. It will also lead to the impression that your business is outdated and significantly behind the times. You need to make sure that you are exploring the latest tech that is available on the market which could help provide a more modern or contemporary perception when you are running your business. This is worth the additional cost that you may need to manage.
If you want your business to do well both online and in-store then you will need to make sure your website is easy to use and navigate. When people check out who you are and what you do the first thing they will likely do is an internet search. This will bring up your website, if they are unable to find what they are looking for then they will more than likely take their custom elsewhere.
You should be aware that it is commonly thought that you should follow the three-click rule to ensure your customers can find what they are wanting. This means that it should take no more than three clicks to find the page they are looking for.
Of course, it isn’t just about navgiating around your website. It is also about making sure your website is appealing and welcoming to all visitors. This can be tricky to get right and it is all about the branding. Think about color psychology and how certain colors are perceived and make people feel. You won’t be able to please everyone but the vast majority is better than no-one at all.
Turnaround And Response Time
Another point to consider is turnaround or response time. Customers and clients lead busy lives these days. They don’t want to wait around for a response from a company that they are interested in. This ties back to the requirement that your website is fast. Clients won’t want to wait around. That’s why you should aim for a response time of no more than 24 hours. If you can, you should think about providing immediate levels of engagement. One of the ways that you can do this is by using something like a live chat. Through a live chat, you can ensure that a customer is able to immediately connect with a member of your team and get the answers they need.
Security is a hot topic for business owners these days but it’s vital for clients too. If you don’t have the right security in place, then your business will always struggle with the initial perception. Believe it or not, clients do notice this. The last thing you want is for your company to look like a scam or website offering spam. The right security setup will help you alleviate these types of concerns.
If you don’t have a strong team working for you then the chances are your business will fail to succeed. You are only as strong as the team holding you up, this means you have to get it right the first time. If you end up with people who have no interest in working for you then you could end up with a high employee churn rate. This is where you have employees leaving regularly and it can have a negative impression on your business.
To find the right people is all about getting the job advertisement right when you are looking for people. This should include personal attributes, qualifications, and skills to avoid unqualified people applying. People will always try their luck as the worst that can happen is a no, so be aware that you may have people applying who have never worked in your field before.
Alternatively, you could use the help of a recruitment agency. These take people on and keep them on their books for when suitable job opportunities crop up. They then contact the person they think will be a great fit and ask if they want to work for your company.
Reviews are critical in the business world these days. The right or wrong reviews will have a huge impact on whether or not people want to buy from your company. Indeed, research suggests that 80% of customers will check reviews before they even think about committing to the purchase of a product or service. This is important for a couple of reasons. First, it means that you need to think about how to find negative reviews and the correct way to respond to them. You should never ignore a negative review for your business. It’s vital that people believe you are taking note of what’s being said and that you want to make positive changes.
Finally, you need to make sure that you are thinking about your social media setup. It’s important to note that clients expect to interact with brands on social media these days. They want to connect with your company and engage in nonintrusive levels of interaction. That’s why you need to make sure that you are researching the social media networks that your target audience are likely to frequent and how to use these to your advantage. One example would almost certainly be user generated content. User generated content is a great way to make sure that you are connecting with an audience and show that you do care about their opinion or perception.
We hope this helps you understand some of the key factors that will impact client perception and can determine whether or not a company is successful reaching out to new clients on the market. By exploring the key options here, you can increase the chances of your business expanding on the market and gaining positive word of mouth. High levels of positive word of mouth is often key to the continued survival of a business. Of course, it’s not just about the first impression. You need to ensure that opinions of your company remain positive for years to come.
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