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Business strategy

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.

Increasing Competition

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.

Changing Dynamics

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.

Fluctuating Demand

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.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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3 Tips For An Easy House Move

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Moving home is so exciting, right? A fresh start, a lovely new place, a new neighbourhood to explore. You feel like a little kid again – those night-before-the-move jitters and arranging all your furniture into a great new space is an unbeatable feeling. However, as we all know, moving can also be expensive and stressful. Especially with lots of furniture, children, pets and a limited amount of time, the task can feel insurmountable. Here are three tips for an easy house move.

1. Hiring Your Own Lorry

Removal companies are great if you have all your own furniture, and no way of transporting it. However if you have a partially furnished let, wherein you’ll have some,but not all of your furnishings already set up in the new property, you could hire your own truck. This will save a lot of money and will ease your move. You can hire the lorry for as long as you need it, and you can have a fun road trip all of your own!

Ensure that when you hire or buy your own lorry, you look into lorry insurance and invest in proper precautions. 

2. Asking For Help With Child And Pet Care

If you are moving with young children, dogs or cats, the move can become infinitely more complicated and difficult. If you have close friends or family who can take care of your children or pets for you, this would help your move immensely. Having to take care of small children whilst lifting heavy boxes and organising a million things at once can be a big challenge, and can even lead to accidents. Children can be overwhelmed by moving house, so it is much better to have them come to your new home when you have had a chance to organise the space and make it feel like home.

Similarly, dogs and cats can become stressed by a change in location. If the place is in disarray, the animals can become even more frightened and restless. It is better to have a friend, family or professional pet care company take care of them whilst your house move is taking place.

3. Time Off Work

Although it can feel wasteful to take holiday from work just to move house, you’ll thank yourself later for taking the time. Moving into a new house might only take one day, but the unpacking, organising and cleaning process can take far longer. If you take a few days, or even a week, to complete your move, you can return to work with a fresh slate, knowing you’ll be coming back to an organised, calm home!

Plus, this way you can actually enjoy your move, rather than treating it as a stressful nightmare! You can make the most of the new space, experiment with the layout, and truly transform this house into a home which you will be enjoying for years to come.

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3 Issues Repair Workers Are Facing During The Corona Pandemic

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It’s fair to say that the whole economy and multiple industries have taken a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lockdown forced many companies to close their doors while others were forced into administration. At the same time, numerous businesses have also struggled with how to restart their respective models and get things firing on all cylinders once more. However some companies have been hit harder than others. 

Maintenance and repair workers such as plumbers and electricians are facing significant difficulties right now. Here are some of the issues that they are dealing with and the potential solutions. 

Social Distancing 

One of the greatest issues right now is that it seems social distancing is key to preventing the spread of the virus. Ultimately, this means that people are wary about being around others and potentially letting individuals into their homes. That’s a definite problem for repair workers who often require access to complete their jobs. Now, you might assume that people will call repair workers out regardless because it’s an emergency. However, a lot of time a repair doesn’t seem like an emergency and people will put it off for as long as possible. 

The challenge here is convincing customers and clients that safety can be maintained in this type of situation. More often than not, this is about ensuring that PPE is used and readily available for workers. Businesses also need to be clear about the things they are doing to keep everyone safe. 

Getting Supplies

We have seen numerous factories and businesses forced to close due to coronavirus outbreaks. The issue here is that this leaves a lot of companies unable to get the products that they need. It can cause businesses to grind to a halt, particularly plumbers and electricians that often require access to spare parts. 

Luckily, key parts such as a 3 way ball valve can still be found online and at reasonable prices. But, repair companies may still need to expand their search and look to companies that they haven’t used before to ensure that they have the parts they need. 

Financial Losses

It’s like that repair companies and maintenance workers, particularly freelancers, have sustained substantial losses over the past few months. While there has been government support to help mitigate the damage, this may not have been enough. Companies will also need to consider how they can protect their model from future damage. This does mean that they need to think about insurance options. There is insurance coverage that could potentially help if there is a dreaded second wave or a new outbreak. By getting the insurance in place now, companies like this will be able to keep their business afloat and the lights on. It could also help if the coronavirus pandemic does cause a massive economic disaster as many analysts seem to fear. 

We hope this helps you understand the challenges that these workers and businesses are facing. It’s like that many will bounce back eventually but there could definitely be some rough roads ahead before things are able to snap back into place.

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Business Essentials to Cross off Your Checklist This Year

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There are a lot of elements that you are going to need to work on when it comes to improving and enhancing your business, and this is why you have to look at the best possible business essentials. There are so many things that you are going to need to get right if you are serious about making the right changes for your business. Try to do as much as you can to improve the company moving forward, and work on taking steps to get this right. 

You are going to need to focus on doing as much as possible to make a difference to your business right now. There are a lot of things that play a part in taking things to the next level for your business. And you have a lot you need to consider when trying to achieve the best success you can. Here is a checklist of some of the top business essentials you need to be crossing off this year. 

Improve Your Efficiency 

Improving your efficiency as a company is one of the most important things you can do, and this is why it is so important to make sure you focus on getting this right as much as possible. You are going to have to focus on doing what you can to get your company operating in a more efficient manner, and there are a lot of things you can do to help you achieve this. Look at things like outsourcing and trying to digitize the business as much as you possibly can. 

Bolster Your Security

Business security is so important for protecting the future of the brand, and this is something you are going to have to get right as much as possible. Now, these days, it is so important to make sure you think about the threat of cybersecurity, as this is something that can cause problems for your business. So, you need to make sure you look at what you can do to improve your company’s cybersecurity and guard against cybercrime and online attacks that could harm your business. 

Look for Value

You need to make sure you look for value wherever you can find it, and this can make a huge difference to the way the business comes across. There are a lot of elements that play a role in being able to get this right as much as possible and you have to consider where you can source value as a business owner. For example, looking at things like used agricultural machinery is an excellent way of being able to find and make the most of value in the modern business world.

Hire the Best Talent

Hiring the best talent for your business is also something you need to sort out right now. There are a lot of tips and techniques you can use to help you here, and having a strong hiring policy will really help you out. This is one of the most important elements that you are going to have to keep in mind right now, and it will help you to make the best decisions as a business owner right now. 

You need to have an idea in mind of what you can do to make the best possible business decisions right now, and take things to the next level. There are a lot of decisions that need to be made, and this is something that plays a big part in that process as well. Do what you can to focus on improving the business by making sure you look at these essentials as much as possible. 

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