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5 Ways Managers Can Prepare Their Businesses for the Peak Season

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | 5 Ways Managers Can Prepare Their Businesses for the Peak SeasonIf you are a business owner or even the manager of a business, the looming peak-season can be daunting no matter what industry you work in, retail, to hospitality, to manufacturing. You will want to find the best strategies to prepare for your peak trading times and implement them while you are quiet. Perhaps you are considering how to bring your customers back once the current restrictions have been lifted. Here are a few ideas to help get you ready for the next big season.

Conduct Repairs and Essential Maintenance

The first step that you should take is to inspect your site, including all public spaces, electrical equipment, and fixtures, to ensure that they have not sustained any damage. If you find an issue, you must act quickly and conduct a risk assessment and arrange for repairs to ensure that your premises are compliant with health and safety regulations. You should find ways to conduct repairs and essential maintenance as soon as possible in the quieter periods. For instance, for those in the hotel or theme park industry, they may take this lull to conduct commercial pool renovations, such as resurfacing or installing a new filter.

Scale Up Your Marketing Campaigns

Now is the best time to revise your marketing campaigns. How can you attract new customers and spread word about your business in preparation for the peak of summer? You should check that your website is prepared for a higher amount of traffic, and ensure that your contact information is easy to find. Have you considered SEO and PPC advertising to help customers who are looking for businesses like yours? Perhaps you can find the time to evaluate your budget to incorporate this.

Review Your Rates

While you are quiet, you can take the time to review your rates and your pricing structure. Are your prices still competitive against your rivals? If you cannot answer ‘yes’ for certain, take time to have a look around and see what you can update, perhaps setting up promotions alongside your revised marketing campaigns is a viable option? Nearly everyone will appreciate an incentive such as a discount code, or a special sale, it will help to bring people to you ahead of the peak season.

Review Your Employment Strategy

Do you have enough employees for your business? Perhaps with recent events, you have had to lay staff off. Are the ones who are left skilled enough to cope with the busier periods, or would you benefit from hiring a few extra hands temporarily? Do you have an effective training plan for your team to ensure that they can handle the demands that the job and customers may make? If not, now is the best time to think about how you can help them.

Review Data from Past Seasons

One of the best ways that you can prepare your business for the upcoming season is to review the data from previous seasons by tracking the critical metrics of every business, such as sales, website traffic, and customer numbers. This will enable you to effectively predict how your business will fare.

With these five helpful tips, hopefully you have gained some ideas on how to prepare yourself and your team for the upcoming summer season. Good luck!

5 Key Fire Safety Measures for Small Businesses

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | 5 Key Fire Safety Measures for Small BusinessesIf you’re a fledgling business owner or are in the early stages of setting up premises for a new venture, one aspect you are likely not thinking about a lot is fire safety. Starting a new business requires a hefty amount of thought and planning, but most of that will be focused on acquiring customers, financial planning, marketing strategies, overheads, and so on.

Once you’re up and running, ensuring that the bricks and mortar of your small business are physically and financially protected from fire is essential. Below are five safety measures to implement as a small business.

Identify Fire Hazards

The importance of a fire risk assessment cannot be underestimated. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are roughly 37,000 fires on manufacturing and industrial properties every year in the US, resulting in nearly $1 billion in damages. The first place to start when conducting a risk assessment is to evaluate any fire hazards around the facility, such as electrical hazards or combustible and flammable materials. It is also a good idea to review all areas of the office and consider how fires may start because of surrounding materials.

Identify People at Risk

Once you’ve identified potentially hazardous areas or materials, you will also need to evaluate any people who are more at risk during a fire. For example, do you employ anyone who may be visually or physically impaired? Or do you have people whose roles put them at additional risk to fire than others? Identifying these people means you’re able to put secure plans in place should a fire strike.

Invest in Fire Protection Services and Products

It goes without saying that installing the necessary fire protection products around the office is a necessity. Items such as fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, alarms, emergency lighting, and the like will all need to be evaluated and installed. If you are unsure about how to go about this, try consulting experts at a fire protection services company like APFE.

Plan and Practice a Fire Exit Strategy

Every business or office should have a sound fire exit strategy and this should be practiced regularly. All employees need to be aware of the main exit points and what is expected in the event of an alarm. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require all companies to have evacuation maps and visual communication so that staff can quickly refer to guidance if needed. Facilities are also required to have two exit points and paths that are clearly identified.

Train Staff in Fire Awareness and Safety

Creating a fire safety plan for your business is not enough. You will need to train your employees so that they clearly understand the risks of a fire, how they can prevent fires, and what they need to do during an emergency. As fire safety training is a legal requirement, there are various fire safety eLearning modules that your staff can complete online at any time.

The risk of fires is a very real and serious matter to consider when setting up and running a business. To ensure that you and your staff are safe, refer to the above tips and take the necessary precautions. Otherwise, the danger to life and financial consequences for your business could be huge.

4 Things You Should Know Before You Buy a Website

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, 4 Things You Should Know Before You Buy a WebsiteBefore you decide to start an e-commerce business from scratch, you should know that you always have the option of buying a website that is already profitable and build it from there. This can be a great way to generate instant income if you have the capital to invest and it allows you to start much faster without the hassle of building a website and a brand. However, finding and buying profitable websites can be a challenge, and unless you know exactly what to look for, you could end up with a dud on your hands. Let’s take a look at some of the things you should know before you buy a website.

Choose the Right Platform

Know that there are only a handful of exchange marketplace websites you should trust, and it’s important that you do your research on any platform before you start. Ideally, you want to work with a platform that’s already attached to a major brand. Sites like these will allow you to check a site’s revenue, average monthly profit, and various other metrics. Working through a site like this will also ensure that the transaction goes smoothly and that your funds are safe at all times.

Look for Website You Can Take to the Next Step

If you want something safe and have the money for it, you can always go for a website that has a lot of revenue, but you’ll have to pay for it. Instead, we would suggest you also look at sites that you might feel are underperforming, but you could take to the next level.

In many cases, sites are sold by people who don’t have the motivation to push it further, and this could be a great opportunity for you. Research the niche, see how you could market it, look at the margins and asking price, and see how fast it would take you to start turning a profit.

Do You Understand the Site’s Niche?

A lot of people will look at profits first when picking a website, but it also pays to pick one in a niche and market that you understand. This will give you an edge when it comes to creating content, for instance. This will also come in handy if you have to do customer service yourself at the beginning.

Knowing your stuff will really allow you to build some credibility and show your expertise. People will trust you better and will be more likely to listen to what you have to say. You’ll also be able to immerse yourself better in the community and become an actual resource people turn to.

Buying Competitors

Buying a competitor’s website can be a great way to gain market shares, so that’s definitely something you should consider. Another thing you could do is buy a website that will complement your current one. For instance, if you already own a site selling gardening and landscaping equipment, buying a fledgling gardening blog could be a great option.

Buying an existing website can be a great way to capitalize on someone else’s work and build on their brand. But, before you make an acquisition, make sure that you look at the details and do your research so you can replicate their results.

Managing a Dropshipping Business Requires a Few Tricks of Its Own

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Managing a Dropshipping Business Requires a Few Tricks of Its OwnMost people reading this probably has a decent idea regarding how profitable and hassle-free dropshipping can be as a business model, which is undeniably true. However, as it is with any type of business model, there are a few tricks to it that a shrewd businessperson needs to be well aware of if they hope to make it all work in perfect synchronization.

Evaluation of Supply/Manufacturing Partners

The whole idea of dropshipping being a profitable, hassle-free business model depends on the assurance that you have a reliable and diligent supply/manufacturing partner. Therefore, it is critical that you evaluate the companies properly, before partnering up with them. The following tips could help in getting it right.

  • Order product samples to first check the quality
  • Check their history with previous partners
  • Look closely at the company policies regarding shipping timelines and how strict they are with maintaining them
  • Go for a “loose” or trial contract for 3 – 6 months to know if they are indeed true professionals

Those that end up with long partnerships with the wrong supply partner are likely to lose business credibility, reputation, and money. Every time their supply partner makes a mistake or does not bother to conforming to the dropshipping business’s standards, it’s their brand in front of the customers that lose out in every department.

Understand that Your eCommerce Website is the Only Asset You Own and Act Accordingly

Your dropshipping site is the only business asset you own and need to manage. Due to the nature of the business model, a website is also pretty much all you should need to commence with a dropshipping business.

On the other hand, if you end up with an unreliable host or build your site on a poor eCommerce platform, the whole business will suffer. High downtime, unscalable and overly expensive plans, a lack of sufficient automation features, extra charges for even basic tools, hidden costs, insecure and buggy platform design, etc. can all add up to the failure of your dropshipping venture.

In short, pay special attention to the host, platform, and web design because they are essentially what represents the whole business. To ensure customer security and assurance, go through the PCI Compliance details here to make sure you are not unwittingly breaking any of the set standards.

Devise a Strict and Penalizing Contract

Some companies in the supply chain are pros who would not let their partners down because they know it’s bad for business in general. Not everyone is so professional and practical, unfortunately, so you will need to have a strict and penalizing contract so that there are repercussions if your business’s standards are broken by your supply partner. Consult with a business law firm to draw up the contract and if it is fair, as well as strict, chances are that your dropshipping business standards will be respected by your supply partner.

There are other measures that you can take to further boost your chances of success in the dropshipping segment, but these are by far the most important ones to take care of. So, pay attention to the basics first and the rest you will learn about in time.

Giving Back: Why So Many Entrepreneurs are Turning to Philanthropy

Whether they are starting a company with a goal to donate a portion of their revenue each month or they are setting up a charitable fund once they are successful, more entrepreneurs are turning to philanthropy. Let’s take a look at why this trend is building.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Giving Back: Why So Many Entrepreneurs are Turning to Philanthropy

A Chance to Give Back

Many entrepreneurs like to give something back to the communities that raised them once they have reached a certain level of success. It is a sign of gratitude and could also be a platform to help others escape circumstances they may have faced in their younger years. It can also be born from a desire to see those they are passionate about flourish and do better.

For example, London entrepreneur Tej Kohli has chosen to give back to his native India by setting up a charity to help people with corneal blindness. Likewise, Bill Gates has his own charitable foundation. They have helped with many projects around the world, and have been able to give plenty back.

Reputation

It is good for a business’s reputation to be able to demonstrate they engage in philanthropy. There are so many good causes out there to support and associating the name of a company with the right project can be fantastic. While philanthropy should always be born from the desire to make the world a better place, it can also be used as a boost to a company’s image in the wider world.

Philanthropy can also be used to boost the reputation of the charity that they are working with. If a company is particularly well-known, be that in their local area or the wider industry, a charity’s association with them can bring attention from parties that they may not have attracted otherwise. For example, a company could choose to sponsor the local children’s football club, potentially netting them more sign-ups from parents who read about the sponsorship in the local newspaper. Even a small act of philanthropy can achieve waves.

Achievable on Every Level

Whether a business owner runs a small e-commerce start-up out of their garden shed or chairs a global corporate empire, they will be able to give something back. With so many causes out there, it is easy to find something that would appeal to the core values of a business, no matter what it might be.

More and more companies are choosing to engage in some philanthropic work and it is bringing some serious positive changes in the world. Charities often provide voices and support to those who may not find it in other places. By funding their work, businesses are able to contribute to the betterment of humanity overall. This is a wonderful endeavour and it is to be commended. Take a look at some of the most well-known companies and brands and find out how they are giving something back. It can be surprising to find out just how many of them are supporting charities in some ways. Help can always be found where you least expect it.