Want to Run a More Digitally Savvy Business? Here’s How to Make That Transition

Your business is not going to carry on being successful if it gets stuck in a rut. These days more than ever, businesses are expected to be up to date and to move with the times. Right now, that means running companies in more digitally savvy ways. Is that something that you’re going to be able to do? And if not, what future does your business even have? These issues need to be given your thought.

Making the transition to a more digitally savvy approach to business doesn’t have to mean stepping out into the dark, though. It’s perfect possible for your company to make that transition smoothly and swiftly. If you want to make that happen, you just need to take these steps.

Set Up Profiles on the Most Relevant Social Media Platforms

If your business does not currently have profiles on all of the relevant social media website, this is something that has to change fast. But what makes a platform relevant to your company? Well, it all depends on who your target customers are and who you want to engage with. If you want to connect with young people, then sites like Tumblr could be really useful. And it tends to be the case that older people are more likely to use Facebook over all other social media platforms as well.

Market Through Content

Good content is a really important factor that your business should be making the most of if it isn’t already. It’s not just a way of offering something to your customers, it’s also about marketing your company. Content marketing is a big deal right now. You can outsource this to an external company if you want to, or you can do it alone. It covers everything from setting up a blog on your business’s website to guest blogging and making contact with important industry influencers in the blogosphere.

Track the Metrics That Matter

Metrics are important when it comes to measuring and assessing the effectiveness of your website. If you want your website to do well, it needs to be easy for people to use. If that’s not the case, if it’s hard to use or hard to find what people want, your metrics should let you see that. When you have that information at hand, you can then have changes made to your website, so that it will be easier for future visitors to make use of your website in the way that you want them to.


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Make Use of Mobile

Everyone has a mobile phone, and your business should make use of that if you want to make sure that your business is operating in this century. The mobile-friendly website is an essential asset. If your business does not have one, you could be alienating a large part of your audience. As many as 50% of people now use their phones as the primary way to browse the internet, and that means your website too. You could also make use of an app if you want to make it easy for people to buy from you. It will then be possible to send out push notifications too.

Understand the Role of Search Engines

Search engines are massive these days, and you can’t afford to ignore them if you want to run your business in a way that is digitally savvy. For most people, search engines are the conduit through which all new websites that they use and buy from are found. This is the norm now, and it means that you are going to have to be able to use search engines to your advantage. When you have a website, you want it to be found, so use SEO techniques to make that possible. Your ranking will steadily rise, and so will your traffic.

Develop Your Online Audience

Your audience is out there using the internet, whether you engage with them or not. So, it makes sense to jump on this and start engaging with them as much as you possibly can. If your business doesn’t do this, there will always be another business out there that’s willing to make those connections and to help people if you’re not able to. You don’t want to open the door to other companies. Your business should be the one out there that captures people’s imaginations. You should use influencers to engage with your audience and to develop it too.

Start Making Use of Automation

Automation is one of those things that can seem scary and daunting. It’s often only talking about in negative terms, but that doesn’t need to be the case. Automation can actually open up a world of possibilities for your business, and you shouldn’t forget that. If you automate many of the things that your business does, you will be able to offer people a services that is faster and more efficient. It can even make it easier to manage your office and take care of the small but time-consuming duties that everyone hates so much.

Know Where Customers Head to When They Want What You Offer

If you want to succeed in a digital landscape, you need to be aware of where to find your customers. There are plenty of ways in which people use the internet to find the services that they are looking for each and every day. There are websites where companies can list their services for people to browse. As well as that, Google allows businesses to list their services. If you make the most of this, people will be able to find what you offer via Google Maps. That’s a pretty big deal, and it can really increase the amount of customers you get.


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These days, it’s only the most digitally savvy businesses that find success and do well in the market. If you can’t get up to date and run your business in a properly modern way, you probably won’t do very well, so take the tips above seriously and put them to use.

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Don’t Get Left In The Dust! How Inefficiency Can Cause Serious Problems For Your Business

When it comes to your business, there is one resource that is more valuable than any other. Many people will assume that this resource is money, and while that’s certainly a valid answer, it’s not quite the correct one. The single most valuable resource in your business is, in fact, time. This is because time is the only thing that, once you’ve spent it, you can never get it back. There’s no way to undo wasted time which means the most important thing for you to do is to make sure that you’re using your time as effectively as possible. However, many businesses end up falling into the trap of becoming incredibly inefficient simply because they don’t understand how to manage their time correctly. In order to prevent that from happening to you, here are some ways to make your business more efficient.

Planning and scheduling

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One of the most common mistakes that a lot of new business owners make is that they attempt to jump right into something without planning it carefully first. This desire is pretty sympathetic, after all, most people want to be doing something genuinely productive with their time. However, this actually ends up wasting more time because trying to play things by ear always leads to mistakes getting made and pointless threads being followed. The best thing that you can do is to take the time to plan out every move you make in regards to your business, both on a macro and micro level. Think about the overall trajectory of your business, think about the small, day-to-day interactions that you’re going to have. If you can plan everything down to the smallest detail, then you’re always going to be able to handle whatever new information is thrown at you.

Employee management

There’s no denying that your employees are one of the most important parts of your business as a whole. However, there are plenty of occasions where they can cause issues in terms of the efficiency of your business. For one thing, you want to make sure that you’re bringing in the right people who will always try to push your business forward. Similarly, the use of workforce management software can be incredibly valuable. It allows you to monitor when employees are clocking in and out as well as managing everything from paid leave to payroll.

Delegation

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One of the most common reasons that a lot of smaller businesses end up failing is that the business owner simply attempts to take on too much at once. Because of the level of personal investment, you have in your business, handing over parts of it to other people can be difficult. However, trying to handle everything yourself if not only going to be dangerous for your personal health but is also going to cause serious problems for your business. By delegating tasks to managers and supervisors, you’re able to ensure that each and every aspect of your business gets the attention and care that it requires, rather than attempting to spread yourself so thin that nothing really gets done.

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Import/Export: Times Are Changing For Business

The world has been going through a lot of big change, recently. As new leaders are coming into power throughout the biggest countries in the world, priorities are shifting, and the mood has changed. With the UK leaving the EU, The White House being in the hands of Donald Trump, and China struggling to maintain growth, the world seems to be in disarray. Trade is one of the first areas which will be impacted by all of this chaos. Of course, there is still a bit of time. But, very soon, world trade could be looking incredibly different. A lot of small businesses rely on importation to be able to get the goods they sell, making this a challenge for a lot of people. To help you with this, this post will be going through a guide to help you.

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New Trade Routes And What They Mean

Currently, it looks like the UK will be excluded from the Single Market once they leave the European Union. There could be some other ways to strike an agreement which is fair to both groups. But, for now, at least, nothing solid exists. Along with this, US president Donald Trump has shown a willingness to create a new trade agreement between the UK and the US, sending goods from each country both ways. This is all while China is trying to create a modern day Silk Road, from the middle of Europe to the heart of China. A route like this could create loads of chances for people to trade. Though, it might be several years away.

The impact that these changes have will be felt most of all by the businesses in the various countries. For the UK, it could become much harder for businesses to get their hands on a wide variety of goods. Some companies, which trade throughout Europe and the UK, will have to restructure their companies to suit new laws. For the US, it could become a lot easier for businesses to move goods to the UK. And, of course, with China’s new trading routes, the world could feel a lot smaller very soon. It will be hard to say how much harder these changes could make world trade. In fact, they will probably make things easier for some people.

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How To Import Now

If you’re already running a business, you probably understand the importation process. Most of this work is handled online, where you will browse websites like AliExpress and other wholesale retailers. Sites like this offer their goods in huge bulk, directly from the factories they were made in. For some goods, you may have to go directly to the manufacturer. And, with very unique products, you may even be paying for them to be made. Regardless, once they make it to your home country, you pay special customers fees on them. This is where the biggest impact will be felt. Being out of the Single Market doesn’t mean that the UK wouldn’t be able to trade with Europe. Instead, they would simply be subject to much greater taxation on goods. Of course, deals with other countries may be able to change this, though.

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How It Could Change

In this big mix of trade, the UK stands to change the most. If deals fail and bad trade agreements are made, money may have to be found from elsewhere to make up for higher taxes and stricter exportation rules. One of the most likely scenarios that could play out is the UK becoming a tax haven. The country’s laws and rules would change to favour banking institutions over other types of business. People from around the world could store money in the UK, without having to lose it to taxes. This sort of route can be great for the government of a country, enabling them to make a lot of money from the financial sector. But, it could have a huge negative impact on the population. Jobs that don’t relate to finance would slowly disappear, leaving not much else for those who don’t want to work with money. The government would have to tighten up and become a lot stricter, to maintain control.

Of course, this sort of future is very unlikely, at the moment. Most countries still see the value in working together, at least with trade. This makes it hard for good deals to be swept under the rug, as they benefit everyone. It’s much more likely that the UK’s trade will be spread much more evenly between China, the EU, and the USA. There’s still a lot of time between now and the negotiations ending, though. So, a lot could change.

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Securing Your Future

As a small business, the best thing you can do during times like this is secure your own future. Whatever the change might be, it’s going to happen. A lot of people will be impacted, and your business is likely to be part of it. One of the best ways to secure your business during times like these is by making the right friends. There are loads of companies out there which specialise in moving goods around the world. An option like JS Forwarding can cover a lot of different countries, including China and the US, without leaving the work for you to do. Even when it comes to importing the goods, you can have all of the work handled for you. Using another company like this will make it much easier to ensure your goods make it to you.

Along with choosing the right help, you should also consider the products you sell. If it’s likely that trade could become much more expensive than it used to be, it’s worth making sure that your products can be sourced from elsewhere. It will be very hard to reinvent your company because you can’t sell your old products anymore. So, instead, you should prepare for the worst and either stock up or find a new supplier.

Hopefully, this post will help you to understand the big changes which could be hitting the business scene over the next few years. Trade is very important to the world’s economy. Countries need to be able to trade with each other if they’re going to make enough money. So, it’s very unlikely that all chances will disappear. It might just become a little bit harder.

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Why You Should Consider Switching To a Direct Debit Service

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution ArticleDirect Debit is one of the safest and most cost-effective methods of conducting a financial transaction. It is an instruction from customers to bank or building society to collect specific amounts from their accounts after giving an advance notice of date and value of the transaction.

You give the authorisation by completing a Direct Debit Mandate form that can be either in paper or in the form of an online web page. Post-authorisation, the organisation can automatically take payments from you in accordance with their scheme rules.

Direct Debit makes sure all bills are paid automatically without delays or any hassle. It saves businesses plenty of time meaning they can focus on the importance of staying concentrated on their core competencies.

Use of Direct Debit

Direct Debit is mostly used for payments along with:

  • Paying regular bills of variable amounts. You will be assured with direct debit that all your bills are paid timely every month.
  • Safest and easiest way to make recurring payments like magazine subscriptions or membership offers.
  • Companies provide Direct Debit services as an option for spreading costs or paying on an account.
  • Other than regular and recurring payments, it is also used for one-off payments.

Direct Debit Payment

It’s hard to remember when bills have to be paid, but matters can be made easier using Direct Debit that allows hassle-free payments. It is the most preferred method of payment in the UK. It is not only used for paying household bills, but also by businesses to pay their day-to-day transactions and commitments. Payments are automatically taken from your account on a regular basis.

Direct Debit Collections

Direct Debit is the easiest way for an organisation to collect payments from customers and businesses. It reduces the cost of collecting funds directly from a bank account.

Here are some reasons why you should consider switching to a paperless direct debit service:

  1. Ease of use

It is very easy to set up. Once your business signs up with a direct debit provider, customers can get ready for payment collections through a one-off process. Customers receive a link where they enter bank details online giving customers the authority to make payments from their bank accounts. Direct Debit services are also optimised for mobile so customers can sign up on the move, making it very simple.

There is also an option of paying variable amounts at different intervals without having to do anything more. This feature makes it perfect for paying those bills where you are charged depending on monthly usage. The company AccessPay offer a Cloud-based Direct Debit solution (which you can view here) that adds an advantage and ease that I found few other competitors do. With their service, they make collecting funds faster, simpler and more efficient for you. With the cloud-based debit solution they allow you to set up a number of Bacs direct debits, which will help to manage the entire payment process with ease.

  1. Saves precious time

It is very challenging for some people who lead busy lives to find time to stay on top of their bills and other finances. Setting up Direct Debit can help you pay on time without having to remember the deadlines. Everything will be done efficiently and automatically. Once your payment mandate is set up, your job is done. Forget all about setting reminders for your payments because direct debit will do all that for you without you having to lift a finger.

  1. No more late payments

If you are running a business where customers are making credit payments and you are fed up of those people who never seem to pay on time, a direct debit service can make your life a little easier. With Direct Debit, your customers will pay on time every time. The entire payment process is taken care of automatically, so your customers will not miss a payment again. You can also give better customer service this way without any disruptions or awkward chase up emails. Save yourself from embarrassment and also from the cost and effort associated with tracking your debtors.

  1. Safe and Secure

Direct Debit Services are secure and protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee. It has modern encryption and secured firewalls to protect all users personal and private information. When the information is transferred from the bank, it is encrypted at the source so customers can be assured the safe security of their data. The Direct Debit Guarantee gives customers complete coverage of payments in case of unforeseen circumstances like fraud or payment errors. From all the payment methods in the UK, this is by far the safest for users. It also guarantees to give you the rights to immediate refunds for any incorrect charges that have been added to your account.

  1. Cost effective

Direct Debit Services gives you ample time, admin and cost savings. This money can then be further invested in the business or passed on to customers in the form of incentives or discounts. This will make your services/products more attractive to existing and potential customers. At the same time, it will improve your business standards giving you an edge over your competitors.

  1. Attractive Packages

More attractive payment packages can be made for goods that are expensive so that customers can pay back easily through affordable instalments. This will also avoid late payments and the added bank charges for exceeding the overdraft limit in banks. You can make more flexible payment plans for a faster, more efficient payment method.

Switching to a Direct Debit Service reduces the complexity of payment handling, saving your time and giving you peace of mind. So, start improving your cash flow and handle your finances smoothly.

Photo courtesy of Grace Stroke

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Why Does Elon Musk Insist On Bamboo Flooring In His Car Plants?

Tesla hopes that by the end of next year, it’ll be churning out more than half a million cars a year, a significant uptick from the current rate of about 100,000. And where will all of those cars be inspected? On a bamboo floor right at the end of the factory’s production line.

Why you might ask, would Tesla CEO Elon Musk insist on a bamboo floor to inspect cars? What is so special about the flooring? As always, Musk has his reasons. He believes that if you’re going to inspect a product for quality, then whatever is framing that product must also be beautiful and flawless. Bamboo flooring is, by most accounts, stunning. And so by using this flooring, Musk hopes that it will emphasize any defects in cars coming off the production line. It’s almost like the cars themselves have to graduate from an art masterclass before they’re allowed out onto the streets.

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Photo courtesy of Maurizio Pesce via Wikimedia Commons

What can this level of attention to detail teach other businesses? Why does something as apparently insignificant as a bamboo inspection floor mean so much to people like Musk?

It all comes down to the environment. Musk doesn’t see the elements of his company in isolation. There’s not an executive, a board, a marketing team, a production team or any other arbitrary group. Instead, the whole business environment is a living, breathing entity – and like other entities, it’s affected by its environment. Can you emulate this approach to environment in your business?

Cleanliness

Factories are supposed to be dirty places full of oil, dirt, and dust. But to talk a walk in Musk’s Fremont plant in California is to enter what seems like a clean room that just so happens to be making cars. Musk says that working environments need to be perfectly clean to ensure that no compromises are made on the product. A clean environment is an environment which employees unconsciously respect, whereas, in a dirty environment, they are more likely to make careless errors and accept second best.

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Photo courtesy of Maurizio Pesce via Wikimedia Commons

This is why professional commercial floor cleaning is such big business in offices up and down the land. Bosses realize that in order to get the best out of their team, they need to work in a spotless environment.

Stunning Lighting

Musk’s car factory is one of the largest buildings in the world by footprint. But despite that, it’s also one of the brightest. When the factory was first bought, it was a dark and dingy place. But since moving in, it’s become light and airy, thanks to the installation of hundreds of skylights and LED ceiling lamps.

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Why is this important? Well, it turns out that employees who are exposed to natural light are more productive than those who aren’t. If natural light isn’t possible in your offices for any reason, try supplementing it with naturally-coloured artificial lighting instead.

Allow Desk Customisation

Finally, allow desk customization. Research shows that employees who are able to make their desks a little more homely work harder and longer than those that aren’t.