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How contractors could be vital for your business in 2021

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Development Article |Contractors|How contractors could be vital for your business in 2021The Covid-19 pandemic has forced businesses to change much about the way that they operate. Certainly, a company must be willing to adapt and change with the times in order to ride out the crisis. And in this regard, it is unsurprising that independent contractors have become in-demand through the pandemic.

Contractors offer a range of benefits to your business that are especially relevant in 2021: here are some of the ways that contractors could be vital to your company.

A more flexible workforce

Perhaps the most crucial quality that contractors can bring to a business is flexibility. The situation regarding Covid-19 changes so often that it is necessary for businesses to be able to be agile, and open to changing up their ways of working.
If you are used to working entirely with a salaried base of in-house staff who come to work 9 to 5 – this may no longer be ideal for the duration of the pandemic. It can be necessary to work differently, and contractors offer you a way to do this.

Keeping salaried costs down

In 2021 it is more important than ever that businesses look for ways to minimise their outgoings. It is the case for the majority of companies that salaries actually make up a huge amount of the overall costs to the company. It is also a fact that bringing in salaried staff is expensive, especially over time. Depending on the sector, businesses can use up to 80% of their gross revenue on salaries.

Using contractors is actually a really useful way to lower your salary costs. Yes, typically contractors will demand a comparatively higher hourly or daily rate than staff – but as they are used infrequently and only on specific tasks, this can make them effectively far more cost-effective.

The exact expertise you need

“Contractors are typically brought in because they are able to offer specific expertise that a business only requires for a single project or for a short time,” says Giles Knights, General Manager at ClearHub, a specialist contractor recruitment agency “this could include everything from DevOps specialists to digital transformation consultants”.

One of the major benefits of working with contractors is that you are getting their very specific specialism for the duration of a short period or over the course of a project. Rather than hiring a member of staff with more general skills or paying for a specific expert full-time to carry out tasks outside their field, this allows you to get the exact person you need for the job.

It also means that when the next project comes along and you need a different form of expertise, you can get it easily.

Suited to a remote working environment

Contractors are perfectly suited to the environment of remote work that has been necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many contractors actually prefer the flexibility and ease of working from home and might be very used to it.

Unlike hiring members of staff who might prefer an office environment, or simply don’t have a great deal of experience outside of it – contractors are regularly asked to work remotely.

Additionally, being able to recruit remotely means that you have access to a much broader range of talent. Now that you are more likely to have the kind of systems in place to allow for simple remote working, it is easier than ever to hire contractors who are based a long distance from you. This can make the task of finding the right person not as arduous as it may have been previously.

More talent available

There is another fact about contractors and the workforce generally that Covid-19 is having an effect on. Functionally, as there are fewer opportunities, there is a greater workforce available. This means that it is both easier and more cost-effective to get the contractor that you need for the job.

Clearly, it is important for businesses to be able to bring in the staff that they need if they are going to have a successful 2021. The fact that there are more contractors looking for work gives organisations the opportunity to carefully select not only for the right skills but also the people who come in at the right time.

Final thoughts

Contractors can be hugely beneficial to businesses of all sizes through 2021. They not only provide specialist skills in a cost-effective way, but also they are perfectly suited to the ever-changing working environment of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Boost The Efficiency Of Your Business

If you’re just starting up a business, it’s vital that you know how to run it as efficiently as possible, you can’t afford to waste even a penny on a poor investment. Knowing what you can do to make sure you’re getting the most sales and income while spending the least amount of money without sacrificing customer and employee satisfaction is key to growing efficiently!

Outsourcing

If you’re looking to take on more work so you can grow, you might find yourself struggling with the idea of all the new workload. Not only would you likely have to hire more employees, but you may even need to invest in new or more equipment; which isn’t always the best course of action! You may find that outsourcing your work to another business is the more cost-efficient way to go about things, and it can be almost anything. If you need deliveries handled, there are services that offer that, if you need chemical testing, there are services for that too! You don’t need to handle the work that’s out of your comfort zone, and it can be passed on to someone who’s already equipped and trained to do it!

Customer relations

The better reputation that you manage to build with your customers, the faster you’re going to be able to gain new ones! Your business can grow from word-of-mouth, and giving your customers something to talk about is a great way to encourage that! Being known as a business with great customer service can take you a long way! There are a number of ways you can nurture and encourage this, but mainly you need to focus on customer service for it to be effective. Encourage your customers to leave feedback after they’ve shopped with you, open up a way for people to publicly view reviews of your business, accept and use feedback from customers to grow in the future!

When buying online, a lot of people will use the reviews to determine whether you’re a reliable business or not, so it’s best you do what you can to make sure those reviews aren’t negative or a deterrent for potential customers!

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Boost The Efficiency Of Your BusinessMeetings

If you have a busy workday, the last thing you want is to be constantly interrupted with different problems, it can really slow down your work process. You can deal with this by holding meetings at the start and ends of the day so people can bring up problems there, meaning your work won’t be interrupted during the day. Not only this, but it allows you to make plans for the next day, and it can be handled effectively without getting in the way of anything.

Management

Proper management is essential if you have many people working in the same place, as it can be difficult to get your work done when you have to make sure everyone else is on track too. Always make sure you have enough management to make sure everyone gets their work done properly, without miscommunication.

4 Professionals All New Businesses Should Work with

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |New Business|4 Professionals All New Businesses Should Work withAll successful businesses start with a good team. However, you will have some skill gaps here and there, and there are cases when you will have no choice but to bring in outside help. The question for many is who they should be spending money on and what they can handle themselves. Let’s take a look at some of the professionals all budding businesses should consider working with if they want to increase their chances of success.

Accounting

One of the first people you’ll have to work with is a good accounting firm. This will make sure that you’re compliant and that you avoid major mistakes. Not only that, but a good accountant will allow you to get the most benefits and be as tax-efficient with your assets as possible.

If you’re looking for a great team, you should try looking at the accountancy and business services from Azets, they will not only make sure that your financial returns are on point, but also get expert advice from their team on how to steer your business in the right direction. That way, you won’t have to worry about missing important dates and reduce the chances that you’ll be hit with an audit. And if you are, dealing with it will be much easier.

Commercial Lawyer

This is someone everyone who’s running a serious business needs in their corner. You never know when you’ll be hit by a lawsuit. It could be because a product was faulty, or it might be an issue with how it was advertised. A lawyer will not only be able to help you in case you get sued, but they can help you prevent lawsuits as well.

They can also help you with copyright law, intellectual property, and drafting or reviewing contracts for you, may it be with your employees, vendors, suppliers, or customers. You might also need help when dealing with commercial leases, which can get very complex. These are all things a lawyer will be able to assist you with.

A Recruiter

This is one of the most overlooked professionals that businesses need to work with. Recruiting is a big issue for most new businesses. It is also something a lot of business owners think they can handle on their own for some reason. But they could be saving themselves so much time, money, and headaches if they simply went with a recruiter.

A recruiter will reduce the time it will take for you to find a specialised employee. They will take the time to look at your business’s objectives and profile and find someone that fits it. This will increase the chances that the person you get will be enthusiastic about the job. It will also help reduce turnover, which is very important if you’re just getting started. What you need the most now is stability, especially at senior positions, which is why you should consider working with a recruiter to fill them.

Online Marketing Agency

This is also something all businesses should consider – don’t make the mistake of assuming that someone who understands code or how to build websites will know how to improve your SEO or set up a PPC campaign. If possible, leave it to professionals and do what you can on your side.

There are tons of people out there whose job it is to help you reach your goals and objectives. So, if you feel you may be in over your head in certain areas, don’t be afraid to reach out.

Stepping Up Your Business In 2021

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Business in 2021|5 Lead Generation Tips for 2021Working for yourself can often be the dream life for many. It can give you that flexibility of finding the right balance between working and home life, and give you the opportunity to work in a field that you are passionate about. Not many people love their jobs, but people who work for themselves often say that they do. It can take a while to build up a business yourself. A lot of people do it while working in full-time jobs, or even attempt to start a business from nothing and turn it into something during their spare time on very little money.

The last few months have seen many people decide on starting a business. Having had time during the lockdowns to think about what they wanted to do, and in some cases start a business with the global pandemic directly in mind. No matter when you have decided to do it, you no doubt want to make some improvements where you can. But, once you do take that plunge and you have an established business you can look at ways to step it up a notch. 2020 may have been a strange year, but that doesn’t mean this year has to be the same, and you could make some improvements to your business in order to step things up. With that in mind, here are some suggestions to help you.

Outsourcing instead of hiring

One of the first things you could consider doing would be to outsource certain aspects of your business. Logically, this can actually be a great money saver for you as it saves you hiring someone specific and having the outlay of a consistent wage. Outsourcing means that you have someone doing that role for you as and when you need it most. The hours that suit your business as well as the budget you have to spend on it. Things it could work for include IT, accounting, social media management and website development. Leaving you free to focus on the things that you could make the most difference with. Outsourcing can be a great way to push your business forward and focus on some of the things that you could do to improve business in the areas where you can make the most difference.

Are company vehicles the right choice?

Many businesses move on to think about logistical needs, and company vehicles can often solve this problem for you. This might be for yourself or your staff members. There are many different funding and fleet management options that you could consider, and fleet finance can often be a great choice to consider. There are some other benefits to company vehicles including the advertising opportunity. Having a vehicle sign written with your company details means that every time it is out on the road or parked up, you are advertising your business. Of course, the downside is the additional business cost, but you need to weigh the benefits to work out if this is the right choice to make.

Thriving at home

Right now there is no choice but to work from home, but this could be a big money saver right now while you have no choice. Using your business as a purely online venture will help you to keep your costs down and make some big savings this year. As there is no other way to operate for your business, you know that you don’t have any worries of competitors doing things differently. So this could be a great way to give you a level playing field with businesses and allow your business to grow in a different way. If you are having to work from home make sure you create a dedicated working area. This could be something that you have in a corner of your home, or you may want to look at turning a room into an office. This might need to happen if you have stock that you need to store or if you have a lot of packing that you need to do to send items.

Moving from home into a business a premises

You may think that moving to a business from home is actually going to be a real expensive thing to do. At home, you have very little overheads to think of, but you are limited in what you can do. Sometimes spending more can bring you greater benefits. This could include a shop to sell from or a premises in which you can meet potential customers and clients. Meaning more business could be done in the future. It may seem like this is a tall order right now with many shops and establishments closed for face to face business, but it is certainly something that you can aim for in the future.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Business in 2021|5 Lead Generation Tips for 2021Making more of free advertising options

Do you really take advantage of free advertising options? The main one being social media? The chances are you are probably not doing it as well as you could be. There may be times that you are not posting as consistently. Or it could be that you are just not making great content. Now is the time to stop and reevaluate your social media marketing and make some changes. Try different things, look at ways to include a bit of personality. Don’t always think that a sales approach is the right approach, you will want to engage with your audience. This is where some of the best accounts do the best when it comes to social media and advertising in a different way.

Place a focus on your marketing

You also need to take some time to think about focusing on your marketing plan and strategy. Marketing isn’t just about social media, it is about advertising in general and all of the options that you have available to you. This is where you could use the help of the best digital marketing company in your area. They can help you come up with a plan to make the most of the marketing opportunities for your business. A strategy can help you to understand what is needed and also enable you to focus on making the best changes to your business in order to reach new customers and expand on your business where possible. A marketing professional could help you to make sure you understand what your niche is and take advantage of it.

Focusing on your local community

Many people are changing the way that they shop. This is such a good thing for small businesses. A lot of people like the idea of supporting local and small businesses, and so now is the best time to start making a name for yourself locally. There are some easy ways to be known. You could get involved in community events, such as sponsoring them, or being part of them with a pop-up shop. You can advertise locally in small magazines or on local Facebook pages. Even just talking to shop owners and chatting in the community can help build your profile. During the pandemic there was such a huge focus on helping small businesses to thrive under the current circumstances that they faced. Advertising locally can help you to build on that and to make more of the business potential that you have. Shopping locally and supporting small businesses is something that many people feel strongly about, so enabling that customer base to see who you are and what you are all about could help your business to thrive in a different way.

Is expansion on the cards?

Finally, are you thinking about expanding your business? It may often be seen as a big expense, but expanding your range and also looking at ways to reach out for more potential customers will see you benefit in the way of profits. The new year is the ideal time to start thinking about this, and some of the ways that you could do it. It could be something you have already started to work on, or you may want to put the plans in place to make it a reality. Maybe it is franchising your business or selling the business plan and potential that your business has. It could be looking at expanding your products or the services that you offer or heading in a different direction when it comes to the niche that you are in and what you can do for your customers. There is so much potential for expansion for businesses these days, so definitely don’t feel like you are restricted right now. It might just mean looking at another avenue to explore.

Starting a business is always going to be scary, and even doing it while the world faced a global pandemic may have felt crazy at the time. But now that we are in a fresh new year you can take advantage of that new found motivation to take things up a notch. Let’s hope these tips help you to step up your business.

5 Tasks Your Startup Business Should Outsource

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Outsource|5 Tasks Your Startup Business Should OutsourceFirstly, if you have decided to launch your own business, congratulations. Being an entrepreneur is a rewarding and exciting way to earn a living, but the early days are certainly the hardest.

When starting a business from scratch, it is important to understand the advantages of outsourcing certain tasks and operations, but far too many entrepreneurs try to do it all. Of course, it is natural to want to maintain control of your venture in the early days and keep overheads to a minimum. But while entrepreneurs are busy with the administration, strategy, payroll, and technical aspects of daily operations, they do not focus on growth. This guide outlines not only why startups should outsource but also the five tasks that are most commonly outsourced.

Why startups should outsource

There are several reasons for startup businesses to outsource tasks, but here are some of the most compelling.

  • You can benefit from expert advice and talent from all over the world. Many companies offer their services virtually, which means that you are not restricted to only working with people in your local area.
  • By outsourcing tasks that you are not experienced in or which are time-consuming, you can free up more time to do what you do best and focus on growing your business. This should result in greater efficiency and therefore reduced overheads.
  • Outsourcing simple but laborious tasks will enable you to focus on the tasks which require a more personalized approach giving you greater control over your business.
  • Outsourcing can save you money as you will not have the expense of hiring employees or need to divert internal resources.
  • In conclusion, outsourcing can enable a business to grow at a much faster rate.

If you are almost convinced that outsourcing could help your business to grow but are not sure where to begin, here are five tasks that you might consider outsourcing.

1. IT infrastructure and support

Unless you are starting an IT business, it is unlikely that you will have much expertise when it comes to setting up a secure and intuitive computer network. Once you are set up, you will also need adequate security, which is monitored and updated regularly. It is also wise to have access to a local IT support company so that should you run into an IT issue, you will be able to call on an expert to get back up and running as soon as possible.

2. Social media

Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools a startup business can use. Setting up accounts and publishing content is free, and advertising on social media platforms is flexible and relatively low cost. However, to make social media marketing a success, you need to invest a lot of time and creativity to create content and build up an audience. Luckily, social media is a task that can be easily outsourced to someone with experience in building a following on social media. The person or company you use can create and schedule posts and spend time interacting with followers.

3. Website design and development

Every business in all sectors should have their own website, whether planning to sell products online or not. With the exception of website design startups, most businesses will need help when setting up their website. Designing and developing a website that is not only functional but also easy to navigate, quick to load, attractive to look at, and optimized for search engines is a complex task best left to the professionals.

4. Customer support

While businesses should always be in touch with their customers, the administration involved in monitoring and responding to every query and reading feedback can be arduous. This is particularly true if most of the queries you receive are on the same topic. To avoid having to hire a full-time customer service representative, you can outsource customer support. The person or company can monitor all your customer feedback and correspondence. Armed with the relevant information to respond to frequently asked questions, they can relieve you of a lot of the administration. They can also collate all relevant feedback into a synopsis so you can get the key information you need in order to grow.

5. Digital marketing and PR

The internet has taken the business world to another level, and businesses that are not investing in digital marketing and PR are missing out on a huge chunk of the market. To increase the likelihood that your website appears in search results for relevant search queries, you need high quality and relevant content on your website such as blogs, e-books, and infographics. Creating and promoting this content takes time and talent, which is why so many businesses turn to freelance content marketers and digital marketing agencies.