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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.

Helpful Tips To Make Shipping Orders From Your at-Home Business Easier

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |At-Home Business|Helpful Tips To Make Shipping Orders From Your at-Home Business EasierRunning a home business is challenging enough as it is, but when you have to ship physical products around the world from your own home, it can further complicate things and create a surprising number of problems. So to give you a hand, we’ve put together some helpful tips that will assist you in shipping orders from your at-home business.

Stock up on wholesale mailing and packaging goods

First, make sure you stock up on different mailing and packaging goods at home. The last thing you want to do is buy single boxes or small quantities of packaging materials. It’s expensive and you’ll save a lot of money buying bulk bubble mailers and other mailing goods. This is a great way to cut costs, but it also means you’re less likely to run out at an inopportune time.

But try out different varieties before you buy in bulk

There are also lots of different mailing goods available, such as different kinds of boxes and packaging materials. If you want to protect the stuff you’re sending, make sure you try different kinds of packaging goods first before you commit to a bulk purchase.

Use the smallest packaging possible to save on costs

A little tip to help you save on packaging costs is to get the smallest boxes possible that can contain your items yet also offer enough protection to ensure they don’t get damaged in transit. The goal here is to go for a size that is small enough so that you don’t pay extra shipping costs on a large box. This can be difficult if you send a variety of products, so it’s not a tip that every business can use.

Ensure your items are packed safely with plenty of protection

We’ve briefly mentioned protective materials already but we believe that it deserves a more detailed description. Packaging materials come in many different shapes, sizes and materials. The key here is to ensure that it’s economical, not troublesome for the buyer (such as loose foam or packaging that makes a mess), and can potentially be reused if the buyer was to send their own items in the future.

Find the cheapest and most reliable postage services

A great way to trim shipping costs is to look for cheap and reliable postage services. Yes, they do exist, and it’s important that you get a quote from a variety of different shipping companies to see who you can work with. This isn’t an easy or short process, but the idea is to find a reliable shipping company that you can create a working relationship with so you can start doing bulk deliveries which cut down the cost of shipping.

Decide what extras you’re going to include

Lastly, decide beforehand what kind of extras you’ll include with each order. Just sending your customer’s items is fine, but adding a flyer, business card, or even little goodies such as stickers can be a great personalized addition that sets you apart from the competition.

An Essentials Checklist for the new ‘Homepreneur’.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Homepreneur|An Essentials Checklist for the new ‘Homepreneur’This year has seen a massive rise in the numbers of those working from home, either for the same boss they had at the office, or working for themselves where they are now the boss. It is beginning to look like ‘homepreneur’ (an entrepreneur who works from home) is becoming the fastest-growing type of small business.

While the 20-second commute every morning to the spare bedroom or kitchen table might seem like the answer to all of your prayers, this new way of working has its own checklist of pros, cons and a couple of essentials you might not have thought of.

Why your home-based business is a great idea

Being a homepreneur has a long list of advantages.

I’ve mentioned the 20-second commute to work already but this aspect of having your business 10 yards from your bed cannot be underplayed. With a recent study showing the average American spends nearly an hour a day getting to and from work, that’s a whole chunk of your week saved just like that.

Next on the list (and this one is probably on the spreadsheet too) are the low overheads involved with a home-based business over renting an office space. With margins tight for any new business those overheads can mean the difference between success and failure.

Depending on where you live, you may also be able to deduct the space you use, as well as a portion of your utility bills from any tax payable on your profits. Of course, there are tax experts who can tell you what is necessary for your situation, so you should contact one.

But working from home is not all great

Like everything though, there is a downside to being a new homepreneur

You might not have the commute, but everyday tasks that fall to you because you’re at home can be a major drain on your time. Kids at home during school holidays are the obvious one, but simple things like loading the dishwasher or cutting the lawn tend to get done more often if you’re staring at them all day.

When the house is not overrun with kids or other family members, it can be a very quiet and solitary existence. If that’s why you escaped the office in the first place it’s no big deal, but if you’re used to having other people around it can take a lot of getting used to.

And there are a couple of things you need to take care of.

Insurance – As well as having to talk to a tax expert, your insurance needs have changed now you do your business from home. Things like driving your car for business or if a client has an accident whilst visiting your home are things you need advice on, so contacting experts like www.meslee.com should clear up any worries you might have.

Networking – as you’re now on your own at home, the networking side of your new business needs attention. As well as having a presence on social media, it is essential that you start or update your LinkedIn profile and start building a network of allies and possible sources of new business.

This is by no means everything you need to know – but it’s a good starting place so that you don’t spend too much time in your new business just standing there scratching your head.

How to successfully work from home

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article | How to successfully work from homeThe transition from office to home is almost irresistible. According to Stanford News, the culture of working from home is going to continue even after the CoronaVirus pandemic.

As usual, the home space can be relatively small and the unforgiving environment of destruction. You need to have an ideal working space to increase your productivity. In this article, we have provided some tips on how you can successfully work from home.

Let’s have a look at them.

Create an official workspace

Having in mind that destruction is almost inevitable at home, it is wise to inform your friends and family members that you are at work. Treat it with the seriousness it deserves just like when in office.

However, it is healthy to give yourself a healthy break to prevent boredom and muscle inactivity. You can also empower yourself with office-like tools to facilitate your work.

To deviate from the norm, you can dedicate a working space within the house or a room to enable you to feel different from the typical house set up.

Set office hours

For you to be productive, you need to be disciplined with your time. Working remotely with no organization can cause you to underperform. Create a schedule with breaks like time to eat, rest and time for the family. This will help you get used to that schedule, and you will avoid boredom.

Use a sit-stand workstation

Sitting in one position for a very long time can be toxic to your health. Changing positions is helpful to your muscles and the trunk. With the spine being part of the central nervous system together with the brain, changing position is needed.

It’s important to have a special work space at home, and just the desk could make all the difference. You can use a desk from HADO to help you avoid sitting in one position. An adjustable standing desk allows you to raise it to a comfortable height.

Docking station

You could be having a laptop, and that’s what you have to work from home. Nevertheless, it’s usually hectic to stare on the tiny screen all day, no mouse with a keyboard that demands hunch over.

A docking station will be your best choice that will assist you in converting your laptop to a desktop. This will help you have a mouse, a keyboard and speakers in a separate way.

Chair

The chair plays a vital role in your locomotor nerves, especially with the current trend of working remotely. This, therefore, becomes an essential tool in your efficacy. The choice of your chair will determine your well being because of muscle mobility and blood supply.

A steady blood supply to your system makes your body feel great, and you become productive. A chair that allows you to change postures is usually the best.

Excellent communication skills

Communication is very vital in virtual work. Now that you are not in office to give a physical report, you need to brush over your communication skill to improve on efficacy. Conveying your message clearly and precisely makes the work smooth.

You need to save yourself embarrassment due to poor communicating by polishing your virtual communications skills.

Organizational tools

Averagely, your working space at home is likely to be smaller than the office working space. You could have a room but not big enough or a space at the corner of your living room. This will need a super organization to have your office tools at the right place.

It also entails the creation of enough space for an ambient working environment. If it is a room, you better make it private under lock and key to prevent a lot of destruction. On the other hand, if it’s at the corner of your living room, you will have to arrange it in a way that it doesn’t destroy the aesthetic appearance of the whole room.

Proper lighting

Are you having trouble with your sight or unending headaches? This is the proper time to consider redoing your lighting system. It is advisable to have layers of colours at the comfort of your eyes. This must also blend with the colour of the walls.

During the day, natural light is preferably the best, and so your room should be well lit. Consider all options from ceiling lighting to desk light stand to suit your preference. This must be comfortable for your eyesight and to allow you to get details to the core.

Keep the supplies you often use within reach

To avoid a lot of destruction and unnecessary movements, it is noble to put all you need at your reach. This will save you a lot of time and also keep you professional in all you do.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Weight gain is a common issue among most people working remotely. Having in mind that you are a reflection of what you eat, then it is a good and noble thing to have a healthy eating habit.

This will include having healthy snacks around you and most importantly taking enough water. Having regular exercise on your schedule is one part that most telecommuters don’t consider. Don’t be enslaved by work without exercise because it is toxic to your health.

There is so much in terms of working remotely. There are a lot of innovations about making working at home bearable and productive. It is good to put into consideration all these factors because they are so beneficial.

What else do you do to work from home successfully?

4 Business Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know to Survive During and Post COVID-19

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Survive During Covid|4 Business Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know to Survive During and Post COVID-19Regardless of what kind of business you operate, there are very few industries that haven’t been affected by COVID-19. Since the start of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has spread across the UK and beyond, resulting in over one million deaths across the world (and counting). For entrepreneurs, running and operating a healthy business can be challenging during these unprecedented times. So, to keep your operation afloat, here are some useful tips on how to survive the pandemic and keep revenue up.

Encourage Remote Working

If you’re able to do so, you should encourage your team to work remotely. If you operate in an office, many employees will have concerns and fears about being in close proximity to others. The last thing you want is for your team to fall ill with the virus and have to isolate. So, you should encourage working remotely, meaning your staff can operate from their homes which will reduce the risk of them contracting COVID-19.

Keep in Touch with Employees and Customers

No matter what kind of business you run, regularly communicating with your employees and customers is key to success. If you have had to shut your physical premises for the time being and your team are working remotely, you need to head online and use video conferencing software like Skype or Zoom to hold meetings and training. Your customers may feel out of the loop during these strange times, so make sure you have social media business pages that can be used to keep your audience in the know.

Coronavirus-Proof Your Premises

If your business has been allowed to reopen, you need to take precautionary action to keep staff and customers safe. You can use screens to reduce the spread of covid which can be useful in all kinds of environments, including offices, restaurants, and retail stores. As well as covid screens you can use queue barriers and face masks which are key measures that you can use to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Encourage Hand Washing

If you employ others in your business and they’re back at work, you must encourage hand washing. While we should all wash our hands regularly with soap and water, you will be surprised at how many people forget to do so. In the unprecedented times we are currently living in, it’s more important than ever to wash your hands. There are hand sanitiser stations that can be installed in your business which will serve as a constant reminder for employees to clean their hands.

Whether you hire office space, run your own restaurant, or operate a retail store, your employees and customers are at the heart of your company. To keep your business thriving and on track, all the tips above will ensure you have all bases covered, helping to boost morale, productivity and ensure staff and customers are kept safe and protected during and post COVID-19.