4 areas of your business that you can improve

As an entrepreneur, you should always be on the lookout for new ways to push yourself. This is the only way that you, and your business, will be able to thrive in a competitive market. You need to make sure that you are constantly evaluating your options and evolving your entrepreneurial model. If you are searching for inspiration, use this guide as inspiration. Below are four areas of your business that you can improve.

Your online profile

In this digital age, it is vital that you invest heavily in your online profile. Your company should have its own social media sites, with professional profiles. It should also have an extremely attractive and user-friendly website. However, it is not enough to simply create an online profile. You also need to take a proactive approach to getting people to engage with your business. That is why you should turn to Fusion SEO. Their services will help you to draw in a wider audience and to secure more sales. They will also provide you with the tools that you need in order to stand out from your competitors.

Your customer feedback

In the world of business, there is always more that you could be doing in order to improve your levels of customer service. This is especially true when it comes to customer feedback. Understanding the customer experience is the only way that you are going to establish an impressive reputation and secure repeat sales. That is why you need to think carefully about how you are engaging with your customers and responding to their opinions. You could set up anonymous surveys, a comment section on your website, and an online help desk. You could also pose as a customer and put your employees to the test.

Your employee experience

If you are going to run a successful business, you will need to get your employees onside. Ideally, your team should be filled to the brim with loyal, hard-working, and ambitious individuals. This will be much easier to achieve if you are able to offer your staff a pleasant working environment. You also need to think carefully about your pay packages, the extra perks that you can offer, and the opportunities for advancement that are available at your company.

Your reputation

If you are determined to achieve success, you will need to work hard to improve the reputation of your business. You can do this by helping out in your local community, donating to good causes, and setting up a successful internship programme. You could also enter your company into plenty of competitions and do everything in your power to secure a prize. This will help you to stand out from your industry peers when you are appealing to your target audience. It will also help you to create an ambitious working environment, where all of your employees are encouraged to reach their full potential. Ultimately, you want to create a business that you can truly be proud of.

How to Make Performance Enhancements at the Departmental Level

The dreaded performance review is something that some employees look forward to and others fear. Many reviews are only conducted on an annual basis which isn’t necessarily a good thing. The managers who conduct the review aren’t always the best person to do so with employees feeling like they’re not in touch with their day-to-day work sufficiently to properly assess them.

There’s many approaches you can take to improve the performance of team members at a departmental level. Let’s look at a few of the ways to make work performance better and more consistent.

Set Realistic Goals & Objectives

It is all too easy for a team leader or department head to set goals based on the objectives that their boss has set for them. Sometimes there is a fundamental disconnect between goals set at a senior management level and what’s possible for people within the team. A leader has to understand the challenges ahead, help the team navigate them well and look to improve processes where a lack of structure and organization is the cause of poor performance.

When considering spending or budgeting within the business at the departmental level, referencing the Over Head Watch website provides insight into ways to manage costs more effectively and the common pitfalls to avoid.

Talk with Individual Team Members

Meet with each team member to discuss areas where they think they can personally improve. Talk with them about the difficulties they are having with getting their tasks completed efficiently and well. Is there a communication difficulty or a lack of critical information flow that continues to create obstacles for them? Can they think of any ways to change procedures to speed things up by cutting out unnecessary actions or replacing inefficient actions with more efficient ones?

Is Training Needed to Improve Performance?

The requirements of a role change, sometimes slowly, and other times at a rapid pace. If employees aren’t given the opportunity to re-train for new tasks, then they may perform them poorly. Offering training – either in-house or at a specialist training facility – provides employees with the tools they need to manage their workload better once they’re more up to speed on what’s needed.

Be open-minded about the training that’s required. You may expect them to be an expert at working an Excel spreadsheet to complete a new weekly task that’s been assigned to them, but perhaps they’ve barely covered the basics with Microsoft Excel and are floundering. Giving them a video training course or an off-site Excel course to get them updated quickly is the best action to take rather than being disappointed; no one can be great at everything. Empower your staff by giving them the knowledge and tools to get the job done better.

Frequency of Performance Reviews

Performance reviews need to be conducted on a regular basis. Ideally regular mini reviews of their performance, setting new targets and objectives and deciding what training might be needed to move the employee forward, are actions that should happen at least quarterly. Business simply moves too fast today to use an annual review structure. It also creates too much distance between a manager’s knowledge about the employee’s performance and the current reality.

Managing departmental performance is something that cannot be done at a distance. While micro-managing is not necessary or helpful, setting clear goals and providing the training necessary to help employees complete each task quickly and efficiently delivers the best results.

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Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Business

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleWhether you’re a small business owner looking for advice on how to boost your business, or a professional working for a large business wondering how to make an impact, understanding the different ways businesses can improve is important. There are a number of tips and tricks to do with marketing, sales and the more technical side to businesses that can aid growth, but in many cases, improving businesses can be much simpler than that. Here, we’re taking a closer look at the top five ways to improve your business.

Invest In Your Business

The best way to improve your business is simply to invest in it. You don’t need to have a huge budget in order to do this, and there are many low-cost ways that you can make a better working environment and a better business as a whole. For example, consider looking into sales or automating your marketing for an effective solution. If you do want to invest a little bit of cash, but don’t quite have it to hand, then consider taking out a loan from a bank or something similar to Wizzcash short term loans. This will give you a little helping hand to help you boost your business when you need it.

Set Goals

A simple way to improve your business is to know what you want to achieve, and work out how to achieve those set goals. This way, you know that your business is consistently striving towards something, meaning you will continue to improve your processes and work environment as you go.

Monitor Trends

Events around the world, no matter how big or small, could have an impact on your business. Staying up to date with your industry and even the current economic, social and political environments around you can help you to improve the way your business runs. Monitoring trends doesn’t have to be difficult either – just open your eyes and ears to your local community and this will be done for you.

Boost Employee Motivation

While getting the sales in and ensuring that all work is complete might be at the top of your list as a business owner in order to ensure that you are getting a profit, the best way to do this is through employee motivation. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of businesses, but generally, those who look after their employees will see their staff turnovers decline and see your business begin to boom. There are a number of ways that you can do this, such as regular staff events, rewarding hard-working employees, recognising achievements and encouraging personal and professional development.

Know Your Limits

One thing that many business owners tend to forget is their limits. As they are fuelled with the idea of success, they can quickly wear themselves out and hit bigger hurdles than they may have imagined along the way. Know your personal limits as a business owner, employ the right staff around you to help hold up their end of the business that they may be experts in, and manage your resources in a much better way, and your business will begin to fly.

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Why Your Business Should Become More Like Orwell’s Big Brother

Monitoring your business, whether you’re a sole trader, entrepreneur or small business owner is essential. It’s often the difference between turning a profit and failing to break even.

But what does “monitoring your business” mean in practice?

In general, when gurus talk about monitoring, they’re referring to the ability of your firm to optimize its workload and achieve greater productivity simply by analyzing and refining its processes. It means going over your processes with a fine tooth comb and trying to find whether there is anything that you can improve using the data available to you. Here’s how to make your business more like Orwell’s Big Brother.

Analyze How You Spend Your Time

The biggest problem most businesses face isn’t their toxic workplace “culture” or their lack of skilled staff: it’s how they’re spending their time. Most managers just assume that their employees are working for the entire 7 – 9 hours they’re in the office every day. But when you actually look at how they are spending their time, you’re lucky if you even get 6 hours out of them.

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The reasons for this are twofold. The first is that employees spend a lot of time doing unproductive things in the office, like walking from their desks to the water dispenser or yawning during in meetings. Most of this can’t be helped, so it’s not an obvious target for monitoring.

The second reason is that employees are wasting a lot of time performing tasks that could be done more quickly and efficiently by either another team member, software or a different department. Sometimes, the issue is training – for instance, employees not knowing how to save time filling out cells on spreadsheets. These are the types of activities for which it is worth collecting data because it can result in a substantial uplift in productivity.

Monitor Your Accounts

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Getting paid is another major headache for businesses. Clients often pay late or not at all. Monitoring and managing accounts receivable, therefore, is essential. The problem for most small businesses, however, is that they are still relying on old-fashioned methods which make it difficult to keep track of clients. With monitoring, however, you’re immediately able to view client payment histories and get alerts if a customer is late with a payment. By monitoring your accounts, you’re able to identify patterns in high-risk customers and alter your premiums accordingly.

Monitor Staff Performance

With more and more work being completed online, it’s getting easier for companies to monitor staff performance. Monitoring workers is key to ensuring that you get maximum performance out of them every day, not just when they know you’re watching.

But it’s not all about Orwellian monitoring of their daily activities: it’s also about finding strategies to boost their productivity and waiting to see whether they have any effect in the real world. Something as simple as having a policy of saying “please” and “thank you” to workers could have a measurable effect. Find ways to keep your team feeling valued and help new recruits slot into the organization. Track the effects of guidance and training and find out whether it has any positive effect on your bottom line.

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Cut Your Expenses Without Cutting Quality

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So hey, here’s a shocking newsflash for you: starting and running a business is expensive. And if your expenses aren’t being eclipsed by your profits, then your business isn’t going to last very long at all. This is why you need to ensure you’re not making mistakes when it comes to those expenses. Here are some of the smart ways that new business owners can start cutting expenses – without cutting quality.

First up: keep track of your business expenses!

You’re definitely going to have a hard time cutting your business expenses if you can barely remember how much you’re actually spending! Gathering the required data is the first step to improving many areas of business, and finances are definitely no exception.

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The mistake that a lot of new business owners make is that they underestimate the importance of all this. That, or they assume they can keep track of expenses – or do all the bookkeeping – by themselves. But when your business starts taking off a little and starts buying assets and making deals, then those costs are going to get a lot more difficult to track, and very quickly.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to do all of this without an accountant. Work with them to track your expenses in as detailed a way as possible. Only then will you know what areas are costing the most money and where you can start making some cuts.

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Telecommuting is the way

There are loads of benefits to having your employees physically there in the office with you, no doubt. But when you that’s a requirement to run your business with the model you’ve chosen to use, then you have to introduce so many expenses.

The costs of running a business are often so high because you have to account for all those employees! The biggest expense in this area, of course, is the total cost of labour in the form of employee salaries. But there are loads of other costs to consider. For one, you need to ensure that you have an office big enough to house the employees. You also need to consider utilities – electricity and water usage.

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There are also problems of time. How many times have you seen employees – or even yourself! – show up late due to commuting problems? And time is money, after all. The key could be to have workers telecommute, i.e. work from home. This is easier than ever with cloud computing and portable technology. Telecommuting has also been found in many studies to increase productivity – which means that you’re getting more bang for your buck when it comes to paying those salaries!

Proper inventory and supply management

Your business is going to have to buy a lot of things. If you’re an office, then you’ll have to buy loads of stationery, furniture, food, all that sort of stuff. If you’re in construction, then you’ll need to acquire equipment and permits. Regardless of your specific field, there are always going to be things you need to bring into the business.

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All of these things need to be sourced, investigated, and purchased (sometimes via auction!) at the best possible price. You need to ensure that you get the most quality from the inventory and supplies that you’re procuring. Tracking orders, shipments, and invoices is also required. If all of this is done wrong, it can get very expensive – and without the quality to support how much you ended up purchasing.

Mistakes in this area will cost your business a lot. Even the smaller mistakes eventually build up over time and reveal themselves to cost a lot in total over the course of a year or so. When business owners are having a hard time finding out precisely where they’re losing money, the fault is often found in bad supply management. This is why you should put a focus on find a supply (or procurement) manager that is highly experienced. Companies like Portfolio procurement can help you find who you’re looking for.

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Hiring the right people

If an employee isn’t very productive or simply isn’t very good at their job, then you’re losing money. A lot of business owners don’t see it this way, even though they’re not happy with the situation. They don’t think of employees in terms of an investment, or an asset.

To some extent, maybe we can be thankful for that. It’s nice to be seen as, y’know, a human being instead of an asset or an investment! Still, this is the world of business and finance, and sometimes you need to abstract the human element to gauge just how well something is working. And if an employee simply isn’t doing their job all that well, then you’re not really getting what you paid for, right?

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One of the ways this can be tackled is by improving training when new employees begin. But a lot of business owners prefer non-formal methods of training; being guided by a fellow employee, for example. And if you do currently have employees that aren’t pulling their weight, then you need to have a word with them about their performance. The better the feedback you give, the more the employee will take on board. Hopefully, this will result in much stronger performance in future!

But perhaps the best way to ensure that costs are saved to the greatest extent is to hire the right people in the first place. You may wonder how such a thing is possible – can’t you only really tell how well someone will work once they’re on the job? The problem here is that business owners aren’t always as discerning as they should be. Especially if they’ve set themselves a date by which they need to have an employee.

Unless things are extremely urgent, you should be willing to take your time. Don’t fill that vacancy until you’ve found the best damn employee you possibly can. This can sometimes cost more when it comes to actual search methods, and you may feel that the empty position is, in itself, a loss of potential earnings. But in the long run, the expenses connected to that employee will seem better spent – and will really be worth it. This is one of the most underrated methods of reducing business expenses – by hiring the right people to boost your profits!