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Are you toying with the idea of starting your own business in 2021? Well, don’t let COVID-19 or the state of the global economy put you off! If you work hard enough, there’s no reason why you can’t attain a great deal of success from this venture.

Don’t you want 2021 to be the year you finally embraced your inner entrepreneur? If so, be sure to put the business startup advice laid out below into practice.

 

Dealing with COVID

If you want this to be the year you finally embark on your entrepreneurial endeavor, it’s crucial that you know what you’re letting yourself in for. COVID restrictions are continuing to have a massive impact on the state of play in the world of business, and it’s essential that you come to terms with this. 

Starting your company isn’t going be a walk in the park in 2021, that much cannot be denied, but that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. If you want to provide your business with the best possible start to life, you’re going to need to learn to deal with the ‘new normal.’ Here are five things you must do to ensure that your organization circumvents the trouble caused by COVID-19:

  • Implement a number of COVID-secure control measures (invest in personal protective equipment (PPE), create space in your working environment, introduce additional hygiene measures to your communal areas, etc.)
  • Perform a COVID risk assessment on a weekly basis
  • Make sure your employees abide by social distancing rules
  • Embrace remote working and only bring essential employees back to the workspace
  • Follow any industry-specific advice that is made available to you

 

Get to grips with today’s top tech

You aren’t going to get very far with your business venture if you fail to get to grips with today’s top tech. With the right tools and solutions by your side, you will stand a much better chance at being able to provide an optimized level of service on a daily basis.

Don’t worry, getting to grips with modern technology doesn’t necessarily have to entail you investing your earnings into cutting-edge robotics or artificial intelligence. There are a number of simple yet effective tech tools out there that will be sure to help you lay a solid foundation for your startup, one of which being Microsoft Excel. Here are just a few of the standout benefits that you will be sure to reap once you embrace this spreadsheet solution:

  • Enhanced data storage
  • Quicker calculations
  • Improved data analysis capabilities
  • Easier data visualization
  • Report printing optimization

Want to take full advantage of your Excel solution? If so, you should enroll yourself on a Computergaga course right away. Once you take part in this type of educational program, you will be sure to learn all about the intricacies and nuances of Excel. Come the end of the course, you will be in a better position to optimize your Microsoft usage.

If you’re serious about starting a business in 2021, be sure to heed all of the advice and guidance listed above.

pc: pixabay

If you have recently moved your business to your home, or are looking to start one from your house, you may be asking yourself what kind of tech you will need in order to make sure that it is a roaring success. Thankfully, you have come to the right place as this article will outline the different bits of software and hardware we recommend that you should install in order to have the smoothest running home business possible. Read on for five key recommendations to get you up and running. 

 

Security Operating System 

Whether you are working just by yourself, or are responsible for several remote colleagues, it is very important to make sure that the system you are running is completely safe and secure. That’s why is it recommend to install a security operating system that encrypts all your data and protects it from malicious hackers. One option is sonicos 7, courtesy of the company SonicWall. This is their most sophisticated security operating system yet, with an easy-to-use interface, strong firewall protection, and a great encrypted program. 

 

A Great Webcam and Microphone 

Just because you are working from home by yourself, this doesn’t mean that you won’t be in contact with a lot of people. In business the small things matter, therefore when you are engaged in a video call, it is a brilliant idea to have a great webcam — so people can see you clearly — and microphone to ensure that you are communicating better. Often you can buy these two things as a package, so be on the lookout for great deals on the internet. 

 

High Speed Internet Connection

The worst thing that can happen to your business is not being able to get online and make decisions quickly. This is why it is probably a worthwhile idea to invest in a high speed router that makes sure that you can work at your peak ability. While the top-end stuff is likely to be far more expensive, this is worth it in the long run as bad internet could be potentially deadly for your business. 

 

A Highly Functional Keyboard 

Just like a high-speed internet connection, it’s recommended to install a separate keyboard that is both highly responsive and comfortable for your hands. Even if you have a laptop with an in-built keyboard, they can be cumbersome after a while, making it a great idea to buy a separate one. 

 

A 3D Printer

2D printers are a thing of the past, with 3D printers now rising massively in popularity. They are a really useful tool if you want to print replacement parts for any machinery, or create models that can quickly visualize the kind of projects you want to make. While their futuristic feel does suggest that they are an expensive investment, you will find that a low-end 3D printer can be purchased for the reasonable price of around $200, making it a smart choice for your business. Don’t worry: they can print paper too! 

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Jan
04

The Biggest Challenges of Working from Home

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2020 has been the year of working from home, with more people working remotely than ever before. Many businesses have seen the benefits of remote working, with big companies like Facebook and Amazon choosing to continue offering work from home opportunities in the long term. While there are many benefits to working remotely, it comes with a unique set of challenges. This guide identifies the biggest challenges of remote work and offers possible solutions to these problems.

 

Staying Organized 

Going into the office sets up a clear expectation for the day: “I am going to work”. Such a clear expectation is not established when you roll out of bed, sit on the sofa, and turn on your work computer. To maintain a sense of order and structure in your working day, try to create a designated working area. Ideally, this working area would be separate from spaces you associate with your leisure time, such as the living room. Within your working area, you should have a set ‘work desk’, which could be a corner of your kitchen table. Try and keep your desk and as tidy and organized as possible. Try and only use your working area during working hours to create set boundaries between your work and personal time. Creating a physical representation of work time will help you to maintain a healthier work-life balance.

 

Time Management

When you are working from home, your day is not scheduled for you. You need to be contactable during the working day but, within that, the specific times you work are up to you. This lack of structure can give a false sense of security that you have plenty of time. To combat all-too-common issues with time management, try to start every day by organizing your tasks. Set a schedule and give yourself deadlines for every task you intend to do each day. If you struggle to stay on track, you could try using a project management app.

 

Computer Support and Security 

Working from home presents a range of cybersecurity risks that are not a threat in the office environment. There are many reasons why remote workers are less cyber-secure than office workers. For example, most homes do not have the same security protections that an office system has, such as firewalls or blacklisted IP addresses. If you are concerned about the security of your online computers, consult an IT security company that specializes in remote working, like Online Computers. It is also useful to educate yourself on avoidable security threats such as phishing emails.

 

Communication

Many individuals who have recently started working from home have realized just how valuable office life’s social aspect was. Working in an office makes it very easy for employees to consult with each other, collaborate, and give feedback. Communication is vital increasing productivity and quality of work. The social aspect of work is also very important for worker well-being. Maintaining high communication levels is not impossible for those working from home; it simply has to take another form. Business communication software enables workers to connect in a range of different formats, such as group meetings, video calls, and instant messaging. 

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Dec
24

How to Secure Your First Business Deal

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If you have just started a business, you will likely be looking for ways to secure your first business deal. After all, the main purpose of starting any business is to make money, and striking a good business deal can help you accomplish that. It can help you get new financial resources, vital skills, and new connections. In this comprehensive article, we have outlined some of the essential things you need to do to secure your first business deal.

 

  • Be transparent and communicate respectfully
  • Create a mutually beneficial partnership
  • Make life easier for the other party
  • Mark the occasion properly


Be Transparent and Communicate Respectfully


A business deal is a partnership between two or more parties, and as such you need to be transparent from the start. You have to make it clear to your potential business partners that you are there to help them and that you’ll fulfill your promises. Nobody wants to go into business with an untrustworthy person, so you need to make sure that you are truthful and straightforward. If there is anything they need to know that may impact them, let them know.


Apart from being transparent with your potential partners, you also need to communicate with them regularly and respectfully. Keep them in the loop so they’ll know that you cherish the partnership. You can also use a virtual deal room to store and share essential documents with your prospective business partners. You must create an environment where everyone can speak their mind freely. We recommend that you introduce a communication plan from the outset that details how any information will be shared.


Create a mutually beneficial partnership


Every good business partnership should be mutually beneficial. While you are thinking of how you’ll benefit from a business deal, you should also have something worthwhile to bring to the table. Otherwise, your potential business partner will see no reason to enter a deal with you. While it’s important not to overcommit, it is also essential that you are proactive. Remember that expectations may differ, so you want to make sure that you’re on the same page before entering into a business deal.


If something doesn’t feel right, don’t hesitate to point it out. You should always do a thorough investigation of your potential business partner to determine if they are credible and capable of delivering on the terms of the deal. 

To secure your first business deal, you need to check your ego while maintaining confidence. You don’t want to appear either weak or proud. This way, your prospective business partners will find it easier to trust you and will feel more comfortable entering a business deal with you.


Summary and Conclusion


Throughout this guide, we’ve highlighted some useful tips that can help you secure your first business deal. Remember that transparency is vital in every business relationship, so you should let your potential business partner know what you have to offer. Aside from that, you should communicate with them respectfully and show them that you are bringing something worthwhile to the table. Always remember to research your potential partner to learn how credible they are.

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Dec
16

How to Find the Right Work-Life Balance When Running a Business From Home

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Running a business from home can often seem like the perfect solution when it comes to balancing your career and financial goals with raising and caring for a family, but in reality, the demands of both can often be a lot more than what you may have bargained for. However, it is possible to achieve the right balance between the two for it to work for you – you just need to put in a lot of careful thought and planning. Read on for some helpful suggestions.

 

Create a dedicated workday schedule

Working from home is often appealing to many as it can offer much more flexibility with how you manage your time. Instead of being fixed to a 9 to 5 working pattern, it can allow you to spend time with family such as by getting involved in daily routines such as preparing breakfast, getting ready for school, or enjoying more activities together – instead of spending time on a daily commute.

While flexibility is definitely a great advantage, it can also lead to losing focus if it is taken too far. While your home-working schedule can be changed to accommodate personal activities, you should also aim to have a regular working pattern that you can stick to. This will help send a clear signal to everyone for when you are and are not available.

 

Invest in something you find rewarding

Working from home, especially if you are running your own business, can give you a great opportunity to invest your efforts in something that you find rewarding and exciting. This does not mean that you have to start things from scratch – if you have previous experience in a particular field, you may want to take that knowledge and start something new in that industry.

For instance, if your previous work had you involved in things like customized float switches and you miss the technical thrill of the industry, you may want to share knowledge and resources online to others in that field.

 

Remember to disconnect

Finally, when working from home, it can be tempting to put in a little more time and brush aside family requirements. It may feel like being physically present in the home is enough. However, it can soon become apparent to other family members around you that you are not interested in paying attention to them and this can lead to feelings of resentment or upset further down the line.

So while it is essential to ensure you have a rigorous and dedicated working schedule for your venture, it is equally important to make time for your family too. Remember to disconnect and leave your workspace separate from your home life. You may want to plan activities and tasks that you can enjoy as a family together, to ensure you spend enough time with each other, or simply incorporate daily routines, such as preparing and enjoying a meal as a family every day. With a dedicated effort to spending time with each other as well as focusing on work, you can find the right balance. 

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Dec
10

4 Elements Every Office Needs

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If you want to take your business right to the very pinnacle of its niche market, it’s important that you fill your workspace with an abundance of useful tools and solutions. Once you have a host of quality pieces of equipment at your disposal, you will have the capacity to provide your consumers with the high-quality level of service that they want and expect in this day and age.

Want to succeed on your entrepreneurial endeavor? If so, be sure to fill your office with the following four elements.

Security systems

Why work hard to turn over a healthy profit if you aren’t going to protect the money that you make? If you’re serious about scaling your market and taking your company to the next level, it’s imperative that you invest in cutting-edge security systems.

 

When you enter the market for this type of tech, be sure to make audioimagesolutions.com your first port of call. With their industry-leading security cameras in place, you won’t have to worry about criminals going unnoticed whenever they step foot on your premises. Regardless of how or when burglars attempt to break into your office space, your CCTV camera solutions will be sure to record their every move in high definition.

 

Optimized air quality

The air quality of your office will directly impact the way in which your staff members operate. If they consider your workspace to be stuffy, your employees aren’t going to feel comfortable during their working hours. This will then have a negative impact on their morale levels, which in turn will hold them back from being able to work in a highly productive fashion.

 

If you’re serious about maximizing the potential of each staff member that you employ, you need to invest in a tech solution that optimizes your air quality.

Read More→

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Nov
18

Top Five Things to Consider When Redesigning Your Garden

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spring flowersWhen we are working from home more than ever, it is important to think of ways to jazz up our lives and make everything more bearable. We often think about how to make our indoor environment more exciting, but what about making our outdoor environment more amenable so that when we look out of the kitchen window, or into the back garden, we like what we see?

To get you into that spirit, here are the top tips to consider when redesigning your garden.

1. Professional Advice

Professional advice can range from a qualified, top-end landscape gardener to the local gardener who shears hedges at every property on the road. Regardless, someone who is experienced in all things gardening and who knows how your garden will play out after everything has been built and planted down will be invaluable in giving advice

 

2. Water features

Water features such as ponds and fountains can add life to a garden that was dull before. The flow of water adds movement and has been proven to be calming. Investing in the correct equipment, such as a pump or potentially multi level float switches, can help ensure that everything works correctly. 

 

3. Consider the seasons

Considering how your garden will look in different seasons of the year is crucial. People often pick their garden in the spring when landscapers come to look at and design how everything will look. But it is crucial to consider that the flowers will not always be in bloom throughout the year, that rains may remove topsoil, and that trees will go through the autumn colors at some point.



4. Think about maintenance

Are fifty-five different types of flowers really realistic if they all need different nutrients and watering patterns, and you never spend any time in the garden? Is getting rid of the artificial lawn really a wise idea if you never want to mow the lawn? These are all questions you must consider when designing a new garden. Otherwise it will only look good for the first month before descending into overgrown chaos!


5. ChildrenIf you have children, you need to think about how to make the garden function for them. It’s no use having intricate flower beds if they’ll only come and trample through everything. Similarly, what’s the point in having beautiful lawns if there’s nowhere they can play? A swing set will go a long way. Children expend far more of their energy outdoors than we do, so it’s worth making sure a garden works for them.

There are so many things to consider when creating a beautiful outdoor space that it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. However, taking these top five tips into account will give you a starting point that is manageable and achievable. The thing to remember is what your garden will look like one day and to try and take enjoyment in the process of redesigning your garden, as though you were crafting something beautiful — which it will be!

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Nov
09

How to Raise Awareness for Your Charity

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With so many worthy causes out there, expanding the reach of your charity can be challenging. That’s why you need to be creative with your approach and work with what you have and are comfortable with.

Supporters and donors want to feel that they’re part of the change. This is why finding what works for your charity is crucial. Here are a few suggestions to help raise awareness and hopefully increase donations for your foundation.

Use Strategic Marketing

While it may seem slightly odd to use marketing strategies for your charity, it’s one of the most effective ways to raise awareness. Having an online presence is almost mandatory in the 21st-century.

Investing in personalized marketing strategies can push the boundaries of your charity’s reach. Many companies specialize in raising their online presence and customizing designs to meet their individual goals. According to Click Intelligence, ‘finding SEO experts is crucial’ to have the desired impact.  

Partner With Like-Minded People

A good tip is to find ambassadors who support your cause and are willing to help. Their role isn’t to work for the charity, but instead with it. They’ll not only help spread the word and raise awareness of the cause but also likely help raise donations.

Possible ambassadors:

  • Influencers
  • Actresses
  • Sports players
  • Well-known community members

The key to creating connections with these figures is to have a shared set of beliefs and goals. By collaborating with like-minded people, it’s easier to increase charity engagement through natural means.

Work With Other Businesses

Partnering with other organizations or businesses can also increase awareness. In this way, there can be a mutual benefit where both parties align in principles and morals and help each other increase engagement with their cause or brand.

One example is the Australian burger company Grill’d. Every month, three charities/causes are selected, and customers are encouraged to vote for one who receives a higher donation than the other two.

In a unique twist, voting is done with bottle tops. Every customer is given one of these and is asked to place it in the box bearing the name and details of the foundation they’d most like to support. Not only does it create awareness of distinct local charities/causes, but it forms a social conscience with every purchase.

Host Events

A great way to raise awareness about your charity is by hosting an event that brings people together. If creating a live occasion isn’t possible for some reason, host an online meetup, including keynote speakers and some fun activities.

Whether the intention is to educate people or expand social networks, be sure to have clearly defined targets for your event. Partnering with other organizations that align with your charity’s goals is likely to boost your reach. Read More→

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Nov
06

3 Things Schools are Doing to Recruit More Students

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At this point in time, it is no secret that many colleges and universities across the country are struggling to bring in the number of students that they need from year to year. Fewer students who are set to graduate from high school seem motivated to pursue an education at a university, and the fact that tuition costs are rising from year to year does not work in most schools’ favor. 

Ultimately, colleges and universities are trying to find creative ways of recruiting students. They are looking to showcase the things that make them great and inform students about the types of programs that they offer. The fact of the matter is that getting the message out to the right demographic of students is really half the battle for many schools.

Here are just three of the ways in which schools are looking to recruit more students.

1. Consulting experts

 

In decades gone by, many major universities and quality colleges didn’t have to think outside the box in order to bring in students. Most high school-aged students recognized that a college education was the best way to set themselves up for future success and it was the trend for young adults to head off to college. However, things have changed greatly in recent years, and more and more schools are having to get creative with the recruitment process.

One way in which they are accomplishing this is by consulting experts in student recruitment. There are full-service marketing agencies out there who have done the market research and developed specific tactics for reaching prospective students. By working with companies like Sextant Marketing Digital Marketing Agency, you can reach more students and bring your enrollment numbers up in a big way.

 

2. Using social media

Most universities and colleges have become wise to the fact that a large portion of their target demographic for recruitment efforts lives on social media. Students of all ages engage in social media on a daily basis making such platforms goldmines of prospective recruits. 

The trick is understanding the best social media practices in order to best design targeted ads and reach the greatest number of students who would be interested in a school like yours. Social media marketing is something that will take a great deal of research and planning, but schools that are doing it correctly have been reaping the rewards.

 

3. Holding memorable events

Recruitment events have long since been a tool that universities and colleges use to attempt to recruit students directly and in person. However, students these days are warier of traditional recruitment methods and practices. This means that schools are looking to create events that are more memorable in nature.

Making a memorable impression that will make your school stand out from the crowd isn’t always a simple task. For instance, instead of hosting on-campus events that can be impractical for many students, schools are opting to reach out and visit different cities in order to meet with prospective students.

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Nov
02

Four ways you can ensure customer satisfaction at every stage of the engagement journey

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Ensuring customer satisfaction is usually towards the top of every business owner’s priorities as, simply put, happy customers create more sales. However, ensuring customer satisfaction should not just be focused on the point of sale, and instead should be upheld throughout the customer’s entire relationship with your company. Doing this will help to encourage return purchases with your company and thus help to establish customer loyalty. Read on to discover four ways that you can ensure customer satisfaction at every stage of the engagement journey.

 

 

  • Create a customer success journey map

 

The first thing you should do is draw up a customer success journey map. Simply put, this maps out every step that the customer takes through your business, from being initially drawn in to making a purchase and eventually becoming loyal to your business. Considering each separate step enables you to use analytics and customer engagement tools more effectively, thus making your sales more successful. Customers will be able to clearly see the value in what you are offering and keep coming back for more, forging a bond of customer loyalty. 

 

 

  • Send welcome emails

 

Let a new customer know exactly how much their business means to you by sending them a welcome email. You could also send a welcome email to new subscribers to your newsletter or social media sites – after all, any new subscribers have shown an interest in your business and could potentially be converted into customers. Ensuring that you strike the right tone is key to a good welcome email. Keep it polite but friendly, and emphasise all the benefits that come with being a subscriber. However, make sure that you do not overburden subscribers with emails, as studies show that people quickly unsubscribe if they feel that they are being overloaded with communications. 

 

 

  • Follow-up phone calls

 

In addition to welcome emails, you could check in on customers a week or two after their purchase with a follow-up phone call. This should include obviously enquiring over the customer’s satisfaction with their purchase – in addition to providing you with direct feedback, it is also an opportunity to resolve any issues if the customer is less than satisfied before they snowball out of control. You should also ask the customer if they have any questions about the product that they would like clearing up. Certain things might have arisen in the weeks since purchasing that they may feel embarrassed to ask about, such as operation details. 

 

 

  • Prospecting at certain points in the contract 

 

If the customer has purchased a product on a contract – a car or phone, for instance – there will come a point when that contract is nearly up and the customer has the choice of either staying with your company or going elsewhere. Check in with your customer at certain points in their contract, perhaps offering discounts and extras if they choose to renew their contract with you. 

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