Tips for Hiring an Architect to Design Your Business’s New Flagship Office

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Hiring an architect|Tips for Hiring an Architect to Design Your Business’s New Flagship OfficeIf you’re looking for tips on hiring an architect, then you’ve already made the decision to use an architect to help design your new office. Hiring a good architect will be one of the best decisions you can make. A professional and well-trained architect will anticipate your needs, find innovative solutions to problems, and have the knowledge and contacts to help you at every step of the process. They are the person that will have the biggest influence on how your project turns out.

Below, we’ve compiled some top tips to help you select the best architect for you. Whether you’re building a small office for a close-knit company, or you’re a large multi-national looking to build something innovative, these tips will help you make the right choice.

Performing Due Diligence when Hiring an Architect

When you’re deciding who to contact, a referral is always the preferred option. This means someone you know has already used their service and been satisfied with it. If you don’t know anyone who has used an architect, then ask builders you trust for referrals. Building contractors often work closely with architects and will probably have experience with several local ones. Their first-hand experience could provide invaluable insights. There can be some conflicting advice about the type of professional you should hire, which is covered more in this guide, but a good architect will be the best person to make this judgement.

Whether you contact an architect because of a referral from a colleague or you just pluck their name off the Association of Consulting Architects website, spending a little time looking at their portfolio and asking the right questions can provide you with invaluable insights into whether they’d be a good fit for you or your project.

Check out an Architect’s Past Projects

An architect’s portfolio can give you an insight into any style or solution they seem to favour. The more variety between the projects the better, as this means the architect is not only experienced, but is probably good at turning their client’s vision into reality. Ask questions about the projects you like and pay attention to how they respond. Are they proud to show you their work? Do they get passionate or excited about the project?

Ask the Architect the Right Questions

There are several things you can ask in order to start to build a rapport and see if they are a good fit for your project. It can feel a bit like an awkward job interview when asking probing or difficult questions, but you’re investing a considerable amount of time and money into this project, and an experienced architect will welcome the questions.

Potential questions could include any of the following. Approximately what timescales would you foresee for building work and planning permissions etc.? How would you approach this project? Do you see any potential obstacles or red flags with what I’m trying to create? How do you calculate and charge your fees?

Architects are professionals that have completed years of training and are usually passionate about their chosen profession. A good architect will welcome all the scrutiny and questions, as they’ll be proud to show off their work and provide answers.

Spice Up Business Prospecting with Video

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, Spice Up Business Prospecting with Video
 
We’re all creatures of habit. We find something that works and tend to stick with it. So long as we’re still seeing growth, why mess with the recipe?

The fact is that no matter your lead generation situation, everyone working with email prospecting can stand to explore some new concepts. If you rely on the same strategies regularly, you run the risk of losing that ability to grab attention, and wind up playing catch up in the funnel.

Video is a fantastic method to layer in some creativity, spicing up your prospecting in the process. It transcends the idea of tactics to encompass an entire new subsection of prospecting that can greatly benefit your efforts. The stats support it: prospecting reps that use video in their prospecting and sales emails get opens at over five times the amount of those that don’t, subsequently generating eight times higher open-to-reply rates.

And sure, video requires a certain amount of proficiency, but you don’t have to be a Hollywood director to get the job done. Most of us have some experience behind the camera without even realizing it, through social media and video chat applications. The reality of 2019 is that this alone represents a large scope of the necessary skill set to get started using video at the sales level. Using these key methods:

  • Drawing Attention to the Video
  • Avoid Overly-Aggressive Sales Call-To-Actions
  • Remind Viewers of Your Partnership
  • Edit in 30 Second Intros to Pre-Existing Videos

…we can tackle the process of incorporating video into our sales prospecting, and see the largest returns on our time investment.

Drawing Attention to the Video

How do you use video to transform the cold prospecting experience? What you need to note is that you’re trying to reach for an audience that, put simply, may not have a clue who you or your company are. Just like we noted in the opener, let them know about video right off the rip. You can do this by something as simple as including “video” in the email subject line, coupled with a thumbnail of the video in the email body. You can also explore embedding video links in email through the thumbnail to generate greater click-through. These methods will focus attention on the video, which is proven to generate a stronger response than plain text.

Avoid Overly-Aggressive Sales Call-To-Actions

Your videos and attached emails should be friendly in nature. Start up a conversation and avoid sales-speak. Remind your prospect that you’re there to introduce and provide education on products that are built to help their business grow. Be natural, use phrasing and terminology in your videos that are more conversational; avoid too much jargon. At the end, present a call-to-action, but there’s no need to be overt. “BUY NOW” can turn a lot of people off, so instead find creative calls-to-action that extend the conversation and foster a relationship that will last.

Remind Viewers of Your Partnership

Whether you have a pre-existing relationship or are building one from the ground up, remind customers that this pursuit is a partnership. If there was a particularly successful venture that you’re aware of in the past that your product assisted with, remind them of it. Make notes and utilize them in videos; feel free to mention particularly complimentary words they’ve shared in the past. Keep your reps consistent in videos as well; often times, people view themselves as working with an individual, not the company as a whole. Use first names when appropriate and leverage your relationship in the video. It’ll show that you’re consider them and their needs with your approach.

Edit in 30 Second Intros to Pre-Existing Videos

Make use of product videos, and feel free to share them with your customers. Go the next step by editing in a 30 second intro to personalize the content. This takes very little time and can be filmed with a camera at your desk. Say hello, tell them you were thinking about them when a new product was released recently and wanted to share it with them. This small touch can make a huge difference in your clientele relationship, and signals yet another way that video can augment the email prospecting experience with a dash of creativity.


About the Author

Sean Gordon has an extensive track record recruiting, hiring, training, and unlocking the talent of people. For 20 years, Sean has been on the front lines of business across North America. He started with AT&T, where he built award-winning teams in sales and operations from coast to coast. He delivered equally stellar results for EMC, Aetna and West Corporation before becoming CEO of a technology company in need of innovation.

Sean founded vidREACH.io to engage candidates, prospects, customers and employees – all on one platform. Sean has created new lines of business, reinvigorated stagnant company cultures, and mentored hundreds of employees who have gone on to do great things.

Connect with Sean Gordon on LinkedIn.

What is Plastic Extrusion?

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article, What is Plastic Extrusion?Simply put, plastic extrusion is a manufacturing process, often complex, which involves a solid plastic mass being manipulated into a shape, which can then be made into other usable products, or even as first produced.

Usage and market

Despite how useful plastic extrusion may sound, you may be shocked to discover that many businesses out there are still quite blind to the benefits it can bring with it.

However, it would seem that many companies could soon learn about the benefits of plastic extrusion with the industry expected to experience huge growth by 2025.

Whether you’re a large, medium or small business, this can be used to create a wide number of products, and below, you’ll find a guide outlining everything you need to know.

Components

The key piece of equipment here is a plastic extruder, which is made up of four main components, which are:

  • A hopper, which can be manual or vacuum, which holds and feeds the raw plastic through
  • A long barrel that often features a screw-like mechanism, which is used to push plastic through the barrel to the second stage
  • An external heater, or more, which helps to keep the temperatures within the barrel at the required level
  • A die, which is the plastic’s main profile as it’s being manufactured

Process

How this works is quite simple overall. Firstly, the raw plastic is placed inside the hopper, which may require different applications, such as colorants, UV inhibitors or anti-oxidants, depending on the product being created, which will also need to be added to the hopper.

The raw plastic will then be gravity-fed through the ‘feed throat’ into the extruder’s barrel. Once inside, the long, rotating screw inside will direct the raw plastic to the die. As it progresses, it will begin to melt, due to the high temperature, which ranges from 200 to 275 degrees.

As the plastic is now molten, once it reaches the end of the barrel, it’ll then be squeezed through a screen pack and into a feed pipe. Ultimately, it will end up at the die. Contaminates at this stage are removed if there are any at all.

Once in the die cavity, the product will cool and harden.

Shapes

As there are many shapes that you can end up with at the end of plastic extrusion, this will ultimately all depend on your industry, and what you’re looking to achieve. Therefore, it is often decided on before the extrusion.

Benefits

The biggest benefit is that it can completely change the way your business manufactures plastic.

As it is continuous, it’ll allow you to establish a high volume of output, which is excellent news for anyone with a high demand for products. They’re also extremely helpful for when you need parts consistent with wall thickness, or profiles longer and wider than can be created by most forms of plastic manufacturing.

Now you can see how it works, and the benefits that come with it, if you have a plastic business with huge growth plans, or you’re growing at an alarming rate, this could be the answer to all your problems.

The Art Of Selling Houses: How To Keep Your Books Ticking Over

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Real Estate|The Art Of Selling Houses: How To Keep Your Books Ticking OverKeeping your books full as an estate agent is partly hard work and partly having the gift of the gab. Being able to sell houses involves crafting a delicate balance of being persuasive but also keeping everyone informed. You don’t want to be the real estate agent equivalent of a snake oil salesman, but you also want to keep your books nicely ticking over. If you have just started in real estate, here’s how to get your houses selling.

Marketing strategy

It doesn’t matter what condition they’re in: the houses on your roster need to be well presented online for people to consider them. Even if you have a wreck on your hands, someone who is looking to start a passion-project will want to get a sense of what they will be overhauling. You will come across as a much more reliable real-estate agent if your marketing is of a high standard. Using professional photographers and marketers, such as Yught, will get you a service that is specialized in real estate.

Part of your marketing strategy should involve a strong online presence. A brilliant website allows you to capture your personality and tone of voice. This is hopefully, what will draw potential clients to you – and importantly, gain trust with customers. Your website should be easy to find and accessible. Existing on social media is also important to advertise exciting new properties and open a dialogue with house-hunters.

Don’t rely on word of mouth

Positive word of mouth will certainly benefit you in your career – but that doesn’t mean you should rely on it. It’s been said that a real danger for any new real estate agent is making the assumption that friends and family will get them business. In order to become a successful real estate agent, the reality is that you will need to work hard and network. Don’t wait for the work to find you – you will need to source most of it yourself while you are starting out.

Specialize

Your education should not stop once you finally become a full-time real estate agent. It is important to keep learning not only for the betterment of your skills as a real estate agent, but also to help you specialize. If you want to find a niche set of customers in a particular price bracket, it is recommended that you become an expert in a particular area. As with any job, this comes with a combination of experience and knowledge. You will need to build this up over time, but it could be incredibly beneficial to you – it may even become a real passion.

What will keep your books ticking over is a devotion to your job. Your devotion should be reflected in your marketing strategy, your work ethic, and in your dedication to learning more as an agent. When you combine all of these features you are building the foundations for a successful and busy career.

Are You Prepared to Be the Boss and Run Your Business?

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article | Are You Prepared to Be the Boss and Run Your Business? | Entrepreneurship
 
Whether you currently have a stable job or you are still in the process of finding a job, the idea of running a business and being the boss looks very appealing. With the unemployment rate that the economy is experiencing, it means that many companies are still struggling to survive. The idea of starting a small business can be quite a scary idea because the success rate is low. If you feel that you are up for the challenge and you are ready to take risks, then you must make the necessary preparations. To increase your chances of being successful here are some tips on how to prepare you for business.

Define your goals

It is easy to say that you want to have a business, but you need to be very specific with your goals and wishes. Ask yourself what kind of business would you like to have? Are you planning to sell services or goods? How long are you giving your self before you start hitting your business goals? Your intentions of running a business should be genuine, or else there is a big possibility that it will fail in the long run because you lack passion and commitment.

What are the costs?

It does not matter whether you want to start small or big, but the bottom line is that you need money to make your investment sustainable. Do you need to figure out how much capital you need to start the business? Do you have enough savings to cover all the costs? If not, are you willing to apply for several loans to increase your revolving funds? You need to have a clear vision of whether you can continue supporting your business in a few months or you will end up closing down because things are not going according to your plan.

You need experience

Before deciding to open up a business, you need to have some first-hand experience of handling people with different personalities. It would help if you also learn the ropes in the industry that you are about to be part of. It is a good idea to get several months or years of experience in companies in the same industry, so you will have the confidence to manage your business.

Find ways to save money

Most start-ups struggle with finances. That is why you need to be thrifty and wise when it comes to your expenditure so that you can survive the competition. Think about your monthly overheads like rental, utilities and staffing. These will be your top three expenses. Try to look for a place with lower rent or do it from your home. You can work on your workforce by hiring a sufficient number of people only.

Lastly, you need to look for a trusted Utility Bidder before moving to a new office space or setting up a physical store. It would help if you found an electricity and gas provider that is affordable and offers excellent service.