Tools Every Small Business Needs

Setting up and running a small business can be a huge challenge to take one. There’s little hiding from the statistics – according to this study, for example, a whopping 80% of small businesses end up folding within the first 18 months. That’s enough to put anyone off, right? But if you persist and get through that first difficult period, running your own small business can actually be one of the most rewarding and fun things you can do with your time. That said, there are a few different tools you can bring on board to make sure that your business is one of the few that survive.

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Good outreach

Before even embarking on your business plan, you probably had an ideal target customer in mind. Then, you probably built on this in your market research and fine-tuned it for the operational side. What a lot of small business owners tend to fail to do, however, is to actually check whether they are reaching the people their business is targeted at. If you’re lacking in clients, this could be the reason why. One easy way to see where your online outreach is going is to use tools such as Google Analytics. This way, you can track who is seeing your content and where, and can tailor it accordingly. Social media apps such as Twitter also have similar tools integrated into them, some of which you can use for free. If your website or social media feed is not being seen by the people you want it to be seen by, you can use SEO and boosted posts to help increase the outreach.

Innovative technology

If there’s one thing your business needs to be one step ahead of, it’s technology. Technology has completely transformed the way in which businesses operate, and you are kidding yourself if you think you don’t need to move with the times. Often, the internal technology you have in your business – phones, laptops, tablets etc – can be integral to how efficiently the company operates. If your office computers are more 1999 than hot off the press, you might want to bring in some experts in IT Consulting. Professional expertise will help you be able to choose the best system for your business and you can even improve features such as bandwith and security protection while you’re at it, too.

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Organization

For the first few months of your business, you may be able to operate with everything written down in the same old notebook, or even with it all in your own head. But fast forward to when things are picking up, and you will soon realize that you need a much more precise organizational strategy at hand. If you have staff on board, this is even more important. Consider getting hold of an organization-focused app such as OmniFocus, or even using a group Google calendar with your team. This way, you can see everyone’s to-do lists and you can notify each other when tasks have been completed – and there’s no better feeling than ticking something off your list, right?

Getting Things Right In Business – First Time Around

No one likes wasting time, especially in business. In fact, business is one of the few areas where there tends to be little room for mistakes. Unfortunately, many professional sectors are so cutthroat that if you mess up, that can sometimes mean the very end for your company. This is why it’s important to get things right first time in your business, so you don’t put yourself at risk of failure. When you have members of staff, this only becomes more important, as they are relying on your to pay their wage. Here are a few ways in which you can ensure that your business takes off on the right foot, and how you can continue to nurture it as it grows.

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Get down to the nitty-gritty

Let’s be honest: business is full of a lot of legal jargon that many of us really have no idea about. You would be surprised at some business professionals who seem, on the surface, as though they know every facet of their company inside and out. But in reality, much of the legal business may in fact go over their heads. Of course, it isn’t integral that you know every aspect of your business from top to bottom: that’s a lot of information to take in and you probably have enough to think about as it is. But, familiarize yourself with things such as company law, contract law and media law, and make sure you have a good relationship with your attorney. The last thing you want is for your business to get in trouble for something that could have easily been avoided, so don’t just dismiss any legalities you come across.

Promote good communication

Once you have a healthy number of staff acting as your team, your managerial skills will really need to come into play. The number one thing you need to do is to promote good communication from the offset. This could be having an email protocol you all stick to, or getting a company such as WesTec to kit your office out with a practical phone system. Explain to your employees the difference between ‘urgent’ and ‘important’, and what to do when the two overlap. Good communication is the basis for every successful business, and it holds the key to running an efficient workplace.

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Plan ahead

Being caught out in business is one thing that can easily send your revenue into a downward spiral. So, make sure you keep on top of everything that’s relevant in your business’s sector – inflation, your competitors, what the hot new marketing strategies are, etc. Good business policy is all about being one step ahead, so if you need to, hire a member of staff who can dedicate a certain amount of their time to looking at your business model and whether it works in today’s fast-paced society. That said, never rush into a new product or a new marketing campaign. These things cost money, so take the time to perfect them before you go ahead.

The Hospitality Business Bible

People running businesses in the hospitality industry have to work hard to ensure they maintain standards. There are lots of tools and concepts that help them to achieve that goal. For the purpose of this post, we’re going to focus on the management of hotels. However, much of the advice on this page applies to all companies under that umbrella. So, take some of the suggestions and tailor them for your company. At the end of the day, people who build a negative reputation will struggle to turn things around. That is why it’s imperative that everyone pays attention.

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Use technology to your advantage

Firstly, all hotel managers can make their lives easier by using the latest technology. Developers from Mingus Software say it’s the best way to keep on top of essential duties. There’s no point working harder than is necessary to create the best experience for guests. The right software could handle everything from the moment they check in until they leave. Also, there’s no need to spend time entering data into multiple systems. You can manage everything from the same page, and that will help to save a lot of time.

Ensure all guests leave with a smile

As a hotel manager, it’s your duty to ensure all guests leave feeling satisfied. That means you need to work hard to ensure they never have any issues. Of course, some people will make complaints no matter how much effort you make. Still, you will keep a clear conscience if you know you did everything possible to assist. It’s wise to ask guests to fill a short questionnaire during the checking out process. It could be all you need to do to make your business a success. That way, you give them the opportunity to highlight some of the ways in which they think you could have improved. Feedback of that nature is the best tool at your disposal for making sure you don’t keep making the same mistakes.

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Go above and beyond the call of duty

It’s vital that all managers strive to go above and beyond what their guests expect. That could mean something simple like leaving a birthday card in a room. You could also place a bottle of wine in a cooler when you know someone is celebrating an anniversary. It won’t break the bank, but you could ensure future custom from the happy couple. Also, you’re going to see some pretty pleasing reviews on TripAdvisor if you do things like that. With a bit of luck, other people will see the effort you made, and that will encourage them to make a booking too.

You should now have some excellent ideas about what you can do to become a better manager. The tips should apply to any business within the hospitality industry. So, consider the advice and try to put it into action as soon as possible. Your company will build a positive reputation, and you’ll have lots of returning customers. Of course, there is always more to learn, and so you should continue your research after leaving this page. There are plenty of other articles on this blog that could help you to take things to the next level. So, have a look around before you leave.

Never Get Trapped By A Freelancer

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A lot of people have started moving over to doing work for themselves, over the last few decades. This trend of new freelancers has seen a massive rise thanks to the tech industry. Now, it’s possible to have people working for you all over the world. And, you don’t have to worry that the work will be done badly; it will still be done by professionals. This presents businesses with a great chance to get their work done cheaply. But, it also opens up some risks. To avoid these, you just have to take the right steps. And, this post will be going through those steps.

When you first hire someone, they should give you a proposal. This acts a bargain. The freelancer will work out how much they will do the work for, how long it will take, and when they will work on it. And, you will agree with it if you want to hire them. In most cases, people will take the proposal very lightly. But, it’s important to make sure that you both know exactly what is required for the job. And, exactly how much it will cost you both in time and money.

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Along with this, you also need to provide the freelancers with a spec for the job. This will detail exactly what you need them to do for you. With something like this, everything means everything. It’s important to make sure that you don’t give them any surprises down the road. Otherwise, you may find that they don’t want to work with you anymore. Always include any future work that you might want done, too. This will make the job sweeter for them. And, it will help to make sure that they understand the scope of the project.

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Once everything is agreed, you need to have a contract made. This will protect both parties, in case anything goes wrong. Most of the time, the contract will not be needed. But, it could be very useful if you have issues. You should always use a professional contract company to help you make something like this. You need to include details about the work and the freelancer’s claim to it once it’s done. And, everything else you’ve agreed.

One of the easiest ways to make sure that you don’t get ripped off by a freelancer is by getting them to fill in timesheets. A lot of freelancers will add on extra time when they come to you with the bill for their work. And, this can cause issues. So, it’s better to have some timesheet tracking online, which will prevent the issue altogether. A lot of companies offer this service very cheaply or even free. So, it’s worth taking a look.

Hopefully, this will help you to avoid issues when it comes to using freelancers for your work. A lot of these things will also protect the worker. So, it’s in their interest to help you with this by going along with it. So, if someone refuses to do this for you; you shouldn’t be working with them.

Staying Ahead Of The Game In Your Business

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Business can be a very fraught environment. There’s a lot of stress and pressure, which makes it hard for people to consider certain parts of their operation. Over time, this can have a serious impact on your business. So, it isn’t worth letting things go. It’s important to make sure that you remember to keep your business on the rise when it comes to the technology and tools that you use. Getting left behind in this area could also see you left behind when it comes to business. To help you out, this post will be going through some of the best ways to make sure that you’re staying ahead of the game.

If you want to stay of ahead of the game when it comes to business; you have to stay ahead of technology. Of course, not a lot of people find this field to be that interesting. But, knowing what’s going on gives you some major resources. For one, it will mean that you know exactly what you need to be buying to get the best deals. It will give you insider knowledge of an industry that your business will almost certainly rely on. And, it can help you to make sure that you always know what’s around the corner. There are loads of resources to help you with something like this. One of the best ways to stay ahead is through a forum, like the LinusTechTips forum. Loads of YouTube channels have their own sites like this, and they can be very helpful.

Next, once you know what you need to buy; you need to know exactly how to use it. Now, depending on your industry, you’ll be getting different types of tech. So, learning how to use it could take some time. This is especially true for anything involved in manufacturing. Whether you work with plastics and use scientific injection molding, or you work with metal and use CNC lathes; a course will be the best option. This will give you the wealth of knowledge that you will need to not only do your job but be confident to fix problems as they come up. You can do the same when it comes to computers, too. You just have to make sure that your training is kept up-to-date to make sure that you’re not missing any new trends.

One of the hardest parts of this process for a business is updating and upgrading the equipment that they use. Thankfully, when it comes to manufacturing; most machines will be able to be used for years. But, computers are a different story. Computers don’t age well at all. So, it’s hard to make sure that you keep them in the best possible working order. One of the best ways to solve this problem is by not buying your computers at all. Instead, you can borrow them from another company. That way, when updates come out; you’ll be able to get your hands on the latest tech, without the expense.

Hopefully, this will give you a good idea of what needs to be done if you want to stay ahead in the world of business and technology. All modern business relies on technology. And, without it; most businesses can’t run. So, it’s important to consider keeping your computers as up-to-date as you possible can.