Business

With many startup businesses failing within 5 years, there’s a lot of pressure already on your shoulders when starting a financial business. A lot of the time, people are unprepared for the difficult decisions that will need to be made. As you get your business started, prepare to deal with each of these things at least once.

Operate on a Loss

There’s nothing scarier than spending more than you’re making. For a startup, however, this is an unfortunate reality that is rarely avoided. Operating on a loss is a temporary decision that can benefit your business by jump starting it into prosperity—or it can just incur debt. When making such a decision, it’s important to have saved up enough in the bank yourself that can ultimately cover the costs of running your startup if it doesn’t pick up the way it should. Still, at times while first starting a business, losses will be inevitable and part of the growing process.

Deny Customers Loans

Your financial startup, like all financial institutions, relies on the payments and loans flowing between you and your customers—but especially as a startup, you can’t afford to approve a loan that puts your business in jeopardy. Establishing your lending standards before and with a customer helps relieve a lot of the resulting awkwardness, but in some cases, it can still be hard to implement. Adverse action letters let customers know they have been rejected for a loan. The wording you use in this letter can make all the difference between paving the road for a future relationship and completely alienating the potential customer from your business.

Obtain Proper Asset Diversification

You don’t want to put all of your eggs into one basket. When investing in the stock market, make sure to properly diversify what you’re putting your money into. If all of your assets are invested in one section of the market and it suddenly becomes obsolete, your business will be in bad shape financially. Deciding which market segments to invest in, however, is a big decision that may determine much of its future success. Make sure to research and observe stock for some time before actually making your choices.

Though there is no guarantee that a business will flourish, being prepared to make the tough decisions certainly helps increase your chances. When preparing for your startup, have a plan in place for the inevitable difficult things you will need to do. Your business will certainly thank you later!

Read this next: How to Generate Excitement Among Your Customers

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Business

Making the move to become an entrepreneur by starting your own business is a big step that takes careful planning. A lot of difficulties can be avoided if you take the time to consider the right things in the very beginning. The more you can address areas of your business early, the easier it will go while you are running your business.

Business Model

One of the most important considerations you need to keep in mind while you set up your business is your business model. This is how you plan to make money from your business. There are many kinds of business models you can choose, but it is important to choose one that works for you and makes sense for your products and services. Your business model should cover things like the products or services you want to provide and who you plan to market them to. The more you figure out in advance, the more prepared you will be to get started.

Structuring Your Business

Once you have your business model in mind, you need to figure out how you would like to structure your business. The structure of your business will affect you for tax purposes and is important to get right at the beginning. Consulting a tax professional can help you make the right decision. Use their advice to make a smart choice that will help your business to be as successful as possible.

Acquiring Funding

Figuring out how to fund your business is another really important decision that will greatly affect how your business works. You have lots of options for funding and they all come with their own benefits and downfalls that you should take into consideration. Borrowing from a bank can be a great way to get a chunk of money to start your business, but it comes with interest. 

Crowdfunding allows you to get help from a large number of people while also building your client base. Beyond those two options, you can use your own money or find a business partner as well.

Figuring out the basics before you start your business will give you a clear direction forward and plenty of help on your way. If you aren’t sure how to get started, try talking to a small business owner to see what they wish they had known when they were starting. The more information you have the better prepared you will be.

Read this next: How to Effectively Build Leads for Your Business 

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Business

Running your business is a lot of work. Not only do you manage several teams of qualified people, but you have to make sure they can get paid by leading effective advertising campaigns. There are a lot of other tasks you are required to do as the head of the company and finding ways to reduce that stress should be paramount.

Find Ways to Cut Waste

Cutting out wasteful habits is an important way to remove pressure from yourself. Oftentimes, employees will find themselves in a specific rut that they will repeat every day. They may occasionally waste time doing less productive activities instead of dedicating their full time and attention to the most meaningful tasks.

Find ways to reduce this kind of waste. Add signs to different rooms in your building. Communicate directly with your employees if you notice a problem. There are other official strategies you can implement to discourage wasted time. By maximizing your employees’ time, you will have to spend less of your workday dedicated to things they should be doing.

Hire a Social Media Manager

One job that is becoming increasingly necessary in this digital climate is social media management. The job entails that you become familiar with your audience and find creative ways to promote your products. It’s one of the most effective ways to keep tabs on your customers.

However, managing more than two or three social media accounts can get overwhelming. Though you may like doing it as the owner of the business, it might be time to delegate the task to another qualified worker. Hire somebody who knows digital lingo, can relate to customers, and understands social media algorithms.

Consider Automation

Automation is another great way to get menial tasks done. Most people think of this in a factory setting, but there are plenty of digital platforms that enable you to shortcut a tedious process. For instance, sending emails to customers can take some time, but if you send an automated message to them, you have one less task on your to-do list.

Live chat automation and instant payments can make signing paychecks a breeze. Look at your company and see what tasks you can better automate.

As the business owner, you already have a lot on your plate. It’s time to find ways to make your job and your life significantly easier. Don’t be afraid to innovate or try new things, just make sure your work time is spent doing high-quality tasks.

Read this next: How to Control Customer Perceptions of Your Business

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Business

The customer experience is a critical point of business operations. If you nail it, there’s a good chance you’ve earned the customer’s loyalty and you can expect to see them again. If you don’t, they probably won’t come back. Unfortunately for some industries, the customer experience isn’t a strong suit.

Mobile Communications

Cell phones and the internet are so ubiquitous at this point, that most of us don’t really stop to give it much consideration. We just expect it all to work the way it’s supposed to. At least, until something goes wrong, that is. Then we have to deal with customer service. Given that a few mobile communications companies landed in the top spots on a list of America’s most hated companies in recent years, it’s pretty much a given that this industry could use some serious work in the customer experience department.

Healthcare

Everyone needs healthcare services at some point in time. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry is rife with customer experience horror stories. More than 80% of patients are dissatisfied with their healthcare experience. Reasons run the gamut from medical malpractice to a lack of transparency in billing practices. Many people don’t get care unless they really need it, and even then it often gets pushed off because it’s perceived to be unaffordable. In many cases it may very well be. It doesn’t help that healthcare is virtually the only service in which you don’t know the price for what you’re getting before you get it. For anything else, you know the price you’re going to pay before you pay it.

Insurance

A huge part of the problem with healthcare billing is insurance, though the problems with customer experience aren’t limited to health insurance. Insurance in general is often perceived as something of a necessary evil. It can make an otherwise unbearable financial burden a little lighter, but only if your claim is approved. Insurance companies deny claims for multiple reasons, but it can all be boiled down to them being a business that needs to make a profit. This can lead to a frustrating experience for customers, especially since they don’t feel their needs are being met, let alone prioritized.

For some industries, the customer experience often doesn’t seem to be much of a priority. Mobile communications, healthcare, and the insurance industry are just a few examples of industries that could really use some work in this area. It would go a long way towards improving customer satisfaction, which would likely be reflected in profit margins too. Really, improving the customer experience is a win for everyone.

Want to increase the reach of your brand? We can help!

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Business

2020 made clear how precarious a business’s situation can be if it isn’t prepared for tough times. While you can’t plan for every eventuality, there are some things you can do to improve your resiliency. One of the things you can do is to build resilience into your business model. Here are a few tips on how you can make that happen.

Develop a Better Marketing Strategy

Most businesses rely on their marketing to bring in new customers and remind prior customers that they’re still there. If your marketing strategy isn’t good enough though, you’re not going to be effective at attracting new customers and will likely struggle to retain old ones. Take the time to evaluate your marketing strategy. Run a SWOT analysis to identify areas that could be improved and then come up with strategies to make those improvements.

Attract Younger Customers

Don’t make the mistake of thinking your work is done once you’ve attracted a loyal customer base. Aging is one of the facts of life, and ultimately a business that fails to focus some of its efforts on attracting younger customers will see its existing customers grow old and move on. You’ll need to adapt your marketing and operations to attract younger customers. For example, mobile payments are popular among younger customers, and 80% of customers prefer them. Cash, by comparison, is far less commonly used to pay for goods and services. If you want to cater to the younger, upcoming demographic, you’ll likely find that transitioning to mobile payments is better for your business.

Make It Scalable

Scalability in business is highly valuable. Of course, the hope is that you can scale your business up. During difficult times, however, you may find yourself needing to scale your business to survive. To make sure your business can successfully scale up, use key performance indicators to measure the success of your business and identify areas that may need improvement. KPIs can alert you to problems in different areas of your business before they get too big, but only if you’re measuring them and paying attention to the data.

Building a resilient business model can make a huge difference in your business’s ability to survive long-term. You can do this by developing a better marketing strategy, attracting younger customers, and making sure your business model is scalable. This will help you put your business in a better position to find long-term success and navigate difficult times when they arise.

A successful business requires solid branding. Contact us so we can help you to develop yours!

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Business

Nothing could be better than having a booming business in the wake of the pandemic. Figuring out how to build from there can be the difficult part. Starting with a few basic steps can make a big difference in assuring continued success.

Pay Off Debt

According to Accion, one of the first things that you should consider doing when your business is booming is paying off your debt. Paying off debt with your extra cash flow can help you be more secure later. You should start by paying off debt that could cost you more as time goes on. You’ll want to start by paying off the debt with the highest interest rate.

You should also build a plan for how you will pay off your doubt incrementally. Having this type of plan in place can help your company not be overwhelmed and properly allocate resources.

Expand Your Business

If your business is doing significantly well, now may be the right time to think about expanding. Start by considering how you want to expand. Maybe you simply want to take on more employees so that you can reach more people in your current target demographic. With so many people looking for work right now, according to Franchise Gator, it’s easier to find eager employees.

On the other hand, maybe you want to focus on targeting a new demographic. If that’s the case, it will be important for you to make a specific growth strategy aimed at targeting the new demographic of customers.

Address Deficiencies

If your business is booming during this pandemic, looking at your business’s deficiencies may not be the first thing that you think to do. But, according to Setmore, times when your business is doing incredibly well can actually be the most opportune moments to focus on correcting inefficiencies.

You should take time to analyze a variety of data from your company including information from your website, your customer service, and how well your employees are able to do their jobs. Analyzing each sector of your company can make a big difference in helping you figure out how to best allocate the added resources you have from your business’s current success.

You’ve made it through what seems like the worst of the pandemic. And now you’re wondering what next steps you should take. Focusing on these specific strategies to expand your business and to minimize potential risks can help you keep moving down the right path.

Read this next: 5 Amazing Benefits of Building a Positive Company Culture

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Company culture dictates how a company functions. Furthermore, having a positive company culture holds great importance with workers. 

To improve your company’s culture, start by looking at what your business is lacking. Perhaps you should take it to your employees to decide what they need to thrive in the workplace. An anonymous suggestion box will allow your employees to be transparent.

All companies can benefit from a positive culture; whether you’re a small start-up or one of the largest companies in the world. Here are five amazing benefits of building a positive company culture in your workplace.

Employee retention

Employing a new worker takes time. In fact, according to The Society for Human Resource Management, it takes 42 days to fill a position. This time includes countless hours of advertising, interviewing, and training the new employee.

Retaining valuable employee talent eliminates this burden on the company. A positive company culture keeps employees happy, and happy workers foster employee retention. It makes complete sense; those who feel happy at work will be more likely to keep a job than those who do not.

Employee recruitment

Following on from the benefit above, if your company has an excellent culture, the news will spread. Having a good reputation within your business will attract new employees outside of your company. This will give you the competitive advantage your company may need to climb the ranks.

Promotes good health

Believing a stressful workplace will push employees to perform at their best is primitive thinking. 

Organise activities where your employees can improve their health and have fun at the same time. Provide employees with opportunities to keep fit while hard at work. Standing desks or Swiss ball chairs are great options. 

As well as physical health, it’s essential to recognise the value of mental health as well. Offer employee wellness programs so workers can get the support they need.

Small businesses are especially dependent on employee health. Make sure your employees know their health and wellbeing is valued. Healthier employees mean there will be less of a need to take a day off.

Enhances teamwork

Employees should feel comfortable around one another. Comfortable enough to work together and alongside each other.

Build a workplace that values collaboration. Build social connections by incorporating team outings and activities into your workday. 

Employee-to-employee relationships are essential to ensure the smooth running of a business. But, so is the relationship between a boss and an employee. Younger workers who have recently entered the workforce tend to prefer their boss to act more like a mentor to them. Bridge the divide between employee hierarchy by guiding your employees. Provide resources to better their workflow. Ensure they are in a position where they’re comfortable asking for help.

Boosts productivity

How can you expect a business to perform well when employees are not happy? Research shows happier employees are 12% more productive in the workplace. While this statistic should not come as a shock to you, it goes to show happiness in the workplace is conducive to productivity.

So, we know that happier employees lead to higher levels of productivity. But how does this help your business? Higher productivity advances your company’s sales, profit, and revenue. It’s a win-win situation.

A business model that focusses on employee health and wellbeing is pivotal for the success of a modern-day business. Set your company apart from the rest and lead your employees by example.

Author’s bio:

Johanna Cider is a freelance writer based in Wellington, New Zealand. Besides writing for her blog, Johanna is also an avid reader and enjoys reading books about travel and business.

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Branding, Business

Maintaining a great work-life balance does not necessarily mean delineating clear boundaries between your professional and private life. For many of us, our personal identities have become intertwined with what we do for a living. You can improve your personal life and help increase happiness and satisfaction by incorporating various business principles into your everyday routine. Here are three business concepts that are easily incorporated into your life that will not only help your business but also improve your life.

Measurable Success

What gets measured gets improved in the business world. Why not take that same approach to the things at home? In many cases, you may already do this through things like budgeting, or making to-do lists. Monitoring your activities and setting clear goals or deliverables can not only help you manage your daily routine but also help reinforce a sense of accomplishment and increase productivity.

Continuous Improvement

Kaizen is a Japanese concept where something is incrementally and slowly improved upon each day in order to achieve perfection. There are several different strategies that are associated with continuous improvement, but all of them are focused on improving everything about a business from the bottom up. Whether it’s allocating a few minutes a day towards improving one particular task, or continuously streamlining processes, finding little areas to improve your business and you will help you maximize your potential and are easily incorporated into your life.

Branding

Your business brand is the legacy by which your customers remember you by, and the reputation that precedes you with potential and future customers. Likewise, your personal brand is the way you present yourself, and the way others perceive you. Developing a personal brand is a great way to stay focused on where you want to be down the line. Your personal brand allows you to focus on your uniqueness, highlight your strengths, and identify areas for future improvement.

Business strategies such as branding, continuous improvement, and measurable success aren’t isolated concepts exclusive to the world of commerce. You can adapt these concepts to apply to aspects of your personal life. Take measurements in the household such as budgeting, materials usage, pantry inventory or the like. Find ways to continuously improve your business and your daily tasks. Lastly, develop both a business and personal brand to create a living legacy by which others will identify and remember you by.

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Brand Positioning, Business
If you’re looking for the right city to start your business, you should strongly consider the options on this list. Here are the five best cities for startups:

Helsinki, Finland

Not only is this city’s economy doing great, but it’s growing too! In many places, there’s a lot of red tape that you’ll need to go through to get your business started, but that won’t be the case in Helsinki. Also, it is considered to be among the wealthiest cities in Europe. Relevant: Helsinki.com  

Tel Aviv, Israel

Tel Aviv is the world’s 25th most important financial center, and this means that there are plenty of corporate travelers in the city with substantial financial resources. The legal climate of Tel Aviv is also very business friendly, and the city is home to a large number of successful enterprises.  

Austin, Texas, United States

Austin, Texas has an economy that’s rooted in medicine, technology, and education. There are a lot of major corporations that use Austin as the location for their headquarters, and one of these companies is Dell. Furthermore, the Austin metropolitan area is growing in population, and it’s likely that it will continue to grow over the years. Relevant: All Storage Online  

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest is the economic hub of the country, and it accounts for approximately 23% of the country’s economy. If you are building a brand in the service industry, this may be a great option for you! The economy is mostly based on services, and it’s also the headquarters of a number of major corporations.  

Singapore, Singapore

Singapore has an economy that’s so strong that the city is actually able to function as its own country! The tiny nation is pro-business in terms of its legislation, and it is the third wealthiest nation on Earth in terms of per person purchasing power. You may need some assistance in forming a business in Singapore, but finding business assistance is a simple and easy process because of how popular the city is. Learn about building a business in Singapore: Sandhurst Consultancy  

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh is a growing city, and this means that there will be more potential customers for business owners in the area. The average citizen of the city has a high annual income, and this means that it will be easier for business owners in the city to sell their products and services.  

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul has a booming economy that is focused on the electronics industry, and this is likely to contribute to the city’s economic growth over time. As a result of the city’s highly advanced tech sector and corporate headquarters, it can be a good investment to start a business that caters to business travelers. Relevant: Easy Expat  

Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw is the economic hub of the country, and this has been the case for many years. In addition, Poland is the eighth largest economy in the European Union, and this means that people in the city have a significant amount of purchasing power.    

Shanghai, China

This city in China is a major manufacturing hub, and this is likely to continue to be the case for many years to come. As a result, not only will you get plenty of business from the locals, but it’s also likely that your company will receive plenty of business from corporate travelers. Furthermore, the laws surrounding becoming a business owner in China have become far less restrictive than they once were. Relevant: Travel China Guide  

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

This city is truly a bustling metropolis, and it’s home to the tallest structure on the planet. The culture of the city is very pro-business, and you are likely to get prospective customers from the local area in addition to corporate travelers from other regions of the world.  

Reykjavik, Iceland

Despite this city’s isolated location in Iceland, it’s a great place to start a business! Not only does the city receive a significant amount of tourism, but it also gets a certain amount of business travelers. Relevant: Iceland.is  

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland has a thriving economy, and it is home to the headquarters of multinational corporations. As a result, people in the city have a significant amount of purchasing power, and you’re likely to get business from both locals and business travelers.   While there are many great cities to start a business, many experts feel that the ones on this list are among the best. There are various advantages to starting a business in these cities, such as the fact that many of them have a strong economy and attract a large number of corporate travelers. Perhaps the best way to know is to check online reviews of these various places. It could help you make the best decision possible for your company. No matter where you are, or where you’re going, you want to make a stance and set yourself apart from the crowd. One of the best ways to do that is to have a recognizable and memorable brand. With our brand identity development, design, and maintenance services you won’t have to worry about your brand no matter where you decide to build your business
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Business
Human capital is a brand resource that many don’t intentionally navigate from the beginning. A successful business depends greatly on its ability to hire the right employees. Hiring the wrong employees can halt any progress that your brand has made with existing and potential customers. Bad employees can unintentionally ruin good services that your company provides. This is why it is important to strategize a plan for hiring the best talent your business. Fortunately, we’ve got some tips to help you to protect your brand asset. Here are 5 hiring hacks to keep the turkeys out of your business.  

Pre-Employment Assessments

One of the best guarantees to filter bad employees out of your business is to utilize pre-employment assessments. These assessments will allow you to evaluate employees by providing them with various tests before you decide to hire them. Some of these tests can be based upon hard skills, work samples, personality, interviews, and more. Use the test results to help you determine who is fit for hiring.  

Avoid Just Hiring Anyone

You may have experienced a situation where you need to fill job roles immediately. Hiring someone who may not have the proper credentials for the position, not just the project, hastily is not the best course of action for your company. We tend to tunnel-vision whenever we need something done quickly. While the new hire may have the needed skills to accomplish the current project or need, future projects may require more or different skills. If the new employee doesn’t have those skills, or have the ability to acquire the necessary skills quickly, you’re back to the hiring process again, wasting more time and money than waiting a few extra days would have cost the company. Take a moment and think of the long-term requirements before hiring someone when you need to fill a position immediately.  

Hiring Websites

Choosing the right site(s) for your job ad is just as important as the ad itself. Look for websites that will allow you to properly detail the position and skills you are looking for. Many popular hiring websites are now able to link potential candidates with your job listing based on the specified requirements in your description and the matching skill set the candidate has. Some websites will also allow candidates to upload or link accomplishments, accreditations, or work portfolio they have accrued over their career, allowing you to get a clearer picture on their experience, career goals, and career performance.  

Use Your Intuition During Interviews

Listen to your instincts whenever you are interviewing a new candidate. Don’t ignore any red flags that may come up during the interview. Take your time to carefully assess all the information that the candidate gives you during the interview. The last thing you want to do is ignore your instincts and hire an employee that doesn’t work out.  

Background Checks

Always make sure to utilize background checks before hiring someone. Consider not hiring the candidate if any flags come up for criminal activity. This could put your company at risk if you let someone with a bad track record into your offices. Look for a relatively clean record before hiring someone into your company. Is your brand built to last? Having the right employees on your team will ensure it is!  Let us help you!   References:
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