How To Run A Business From Home

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | How To Run A Business From Home | Home Business | Home OfficeRunning a business from home can be incredibly beneficial for those that want to set up a business alongside other priorities such as children and family, or if they would like to start up a business with limited funding. To find out whether your home is appropriate to run your business from, this article will guide you as to what you need to do to make your home suitable for a business.

Create a Better Business Space

The first thing that you need to do to run a business from home is to turn your home into a better space for business. Although homes make better places for working than offices due to the limitation of distractions and noise levels, you should ensure that your home is suitable to run a business from. For instance, you need to create an office or workshop space in your home that is separate from the main body of your house to limit the disruption to both you and your family and give you space to work and store equipment.

One of the ways that you can do this is to renovate an existing room, build an extension to your house, or look around for a bigger house that can match your needs. In order to make this financially viable, The Money Hub can help you to get the bad credit mortgage that you need through loans, whether you need to extend your mortgage for expansion or get a mortgage for a bigger house.

You should also make sure that your office is a welcoming and relaxing space. When renovating your home office, you should try to access as much natural light as possible to boost your mood, personalize the décor as much as possible to help you to stay engaged with your work and remain inspired, have enough storage to ensure that your workspace is not cluttered. You also need to make sure that you have an office chair and layout that can limit back pain and eye strain and allow you to keep working for longer periods without discomfort.

Invest in the Right Equipment

You also need to make sure that you equip your office with all the items that you need to succeed, such as the latest gadgets like laptops and printers that can help you to perform your work to the best of your ability. You should also invest in the software that you need. For instance, it is also important that you are able to establish reliable communication channels to allow your clients and any employees to contact you at all times. If you fail to get a secure WiFi connection or mobile signal, this can lead to your business losing trust with its customers. One of the best communication methods for small businesses at home includes Skype, which can allow you to video chat with contacts for business conferences and networking purposes, needing only an email address to do so.

Create a Timetable or Work Plan

It is difficult when running a business from home not to let your family and other commitments impact on your workload. Therefore, you should make sure that you are able to create a plan to help you to schedule your workday. Then you can prioritize your most important work and ensure that you are able to stay on track amid the chaos of a family home. There are many paper organizers, and even online software applications that you can download to keep you on track too.

How to Boost Your Business’ Appeal

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | How to Boost Your Business’ Appeal | Curb AppealRegardless of how hard you work or how good the service you provide might be, if your business doesn’t appeal to potential customers, you will find it increasingly difficult to garner customers. Boosting your company’s appeal should, then, be one of your top priorities.

To see how you can make your company far more appealing, to both your target audience and the passing one, make sure to read on.

Showcase your success without showing off

In order to appeal to potential customers in the future, you need to attempt to show them just how successful you’ve been in the past.

Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as it may seem. There’s a fine line between showcasing your past successes and plain-old showing off. Doing the former will prove to potential customers that you’ve worked hard to get where you are today, which will in turn make them trust in your abilities going forward. Doing the latter will show you to be egotistical and self-indulged, and nobody likes doing business with people like that.

You want to showcase your successes without showing off about them. To do this, you should resolve to make subtle hints about your affluence without being too overt about it. An example of this would be refraining from investing in the flashiest sports car available, and instead buying something a lot less conspicuous — fear not because buying, say, a 4×4 wouldn’t necessarily have to mean that your next car choice need be a boring one. Thanks to E.C.D. Automotive Design, you can design your own unique custom Defender.

Improve your curb appeal

Even if your business operates solely via the web, it won’t hurt to improve your office’s curb ap-peal. Amongst a host of other benefits, taking this action will help you to stand out to the foot traffic that passes your workspace — you never know, once they get home, the people that saw your display might just jump online and research the services that you offer.

To improve your curb appeal, you should:

Put some greenery out front

You need not go all out in this instance. A couple of hanging baskets or raised planters will do the trick — they will both inject life into your entrance and prove that your workspace is cared for.

Lay out a welcome mat

Laying down welcome mats is a simple, affordable, and effective change that will make customers feel welcome whenever they visit your site

Do a bit of redecorating

Has your paint peeled? Have our colours faded? If so, you could be doing serious damage to your brand. Refresh your signage, add a splash of paint, and bring your storefront back to life before passers by think your business is dead and buried.

Tend to your curb appeal regularly

You have to tend to your curb appeal regularly if you truly want to boost your business’s appeal in this sense. This means sweeping the sidewalk, watering your plants, and changing your window display every week or month.

Boosting your business’s appeal is one of the most important tasks you face as a company owner. Be sure, then, to put the above advice into practice, even if you have to make time to do so.

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.