July 13, 2020

How to Ensure the Survival of Your Business Startup

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Starting up a business is exciting, but also incredibly stressful. You have many decisions to make on a day-to-day basis. You may also be constantly worried about how to keep your business surviving and thriving. The good news is that you can ensure that your business startup will survive. Here are three ways you can make sure your startup business will survive.

Create a Solid Business Plan

Creating a business plan is one way that you can ensure the survival of your business startup. When you create a business plan, you account for risks, contingencies, and emergencies. You know where you’re going to allocate your money and what your business focus will be. Creating a solid business plan will give you confidence and credibility when you go and ask for a loan for your business. A solid business plan can save your business in times of crisis.

Insulate it From Personal Finances

Your business should be separate and distinct from your personal finances, which is something that actually doesn’t take very long. Figuring out the fees to register your business is the most time-consuming part. Insulating your business from personal finances includes creating a business structure, such as an LLC or an S corp that allows you to distance yourself from the business. This can also provide protection because the LLC or the S corp will help your business be held accountable for things the business has done while not holding you personally liable.

Avoid Debt

Another thing that you can do to ensure the survival of your business startup is to avoid going into debt as much as possible. Debt adds unnecessary pressure on your business because your energies are focused on paying off the loan. Instead of going into debt to buy a building for your business, see if you can rent it until you can buy it. If that’s not an option, see if you can move your business all online, limiting the expenses you’ll need to worry about for your business. Avoiding debt will take some hard work and perseverance, but it will be worth it when your business is successful and completely debt-free.

Your startup can survive and thrive for decades, but only if you take the prior proper planning required to do so. Having a plan, reducing risk and liability, and avoiding debt are all ways that you can secure the future of your business.

For help reaching your business goals, schedule some coaching sessions with us!

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How to Get Better Conversions with Your Website

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For most consumers, your website will be their first interaction with your business. It will also be where they make most of their purchases. It is crucial that you be able to convert as many visitors as possible into clients. That much is obvious, but how do you do it? Try the following.

Abandon Clunky Designs

The fastest way to lose a customer is with a bad website design. A bad design will make your website feel unprofessional. This will make customers uneasy about doing business with you. A bad design can include multiple things. Color scheme can affect where a visitor’s eyes go. It can evoke positive or negative feelings. Website organization can determine whether things are easy to find, or hard. Even how you format text on a page is important. You need to use easy to read fonts. They should also follow the F format.

Source: https://uxplanet.org/f-shaped-pattern-for-reading-content-80af79cd3394?gi=3edb65c3d751

Make It More Accessible

Novice web designers don’t think about smartphones. However, mobile makes up 52% of all website visits. If you aren’t designing your website for mobile, you are going to lose over half of your hits on the web.

There are other important factors to accessibility as well. You need to make sure that people can find your website. You need to have all your apps and social media accounts connected to your website. You should also do what you can to move up on search engine rankings. You can do that by paying for the top spot, or you can employ search engine optimization. Search engine optimization involves regularly adding new content to your website and including special keywords that are commonly searched.

Source: https://www.podium.com/local-marketing/auto-repair-marketing/

Track Data

One of the best ways to achieve a conversion through your website is by offering custom content. You can do this with data tracking and AI. AI or artificial intelligence allows you to modify a program based on data updates. By tracking a user’s activity on your website, you can learn a lot about their likes and dislikes. You can then customize your website to match their preferences. You can use this to affect search results, special offers, and even the color scheme of your page. It all comes down to knowing who your customer is and providing them with the experience that best suits their personality and needs.

Source: https://zapier.com/learn/forms-surveys/best-data-collection-apps/

If you aren’t seeing a good conversion rate through your website, you need to improve it. Your website should be your greatest tool for obtaining new clients. Taking the time to get it right is going to pay dividends in the future.

Need more advice on how to improve your business? Schedule some business consultation sessions with us today!

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How Your Business Can Tackle Struggles with Productivity

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Productivity can be hard to manage at times. You want your business to always be productive, but sometimes it can be challenging. Your employees aren’t motivated, and you aren’t bringing in customers like you want to. In short, your productivity is struggling. However, your business can tackle these struggles and be back up to where you want to be.

Find Where You Are Lacking

One of the first things you need to do is find out where you’re lacking. Measuring workplace productivity is crucial to your business’s success. Because productivity is measured as what your business is putting out, or what it accomplishes in a day, which relies heavily on your employees, you’ll need to talk to them. Find out what makes them happy in your business and find out if there are problems. Why are they struggling? In order to involve them in their own success (which is also the success of your company), you need to first establish what your business is lacking.

Hold a Strategy Meeting

Once you’ve established what your business is lacking, you can then hold a strategy meeting with your employees where you brainstorm how to improve workplace productivity. Seriously consider their suggestions and then decide what you can do to improve your business’s productivity. Strategy meetings are important because it lets you zone in on the specific problems of your company and how you can tackle those problems. Armed with this information, you can then go about and change your business’s productivity.

Motivate Your Employees

To change your business’s productivity, one of the most important things you can do is to motivate your employees. One way you can do that is to offer perks. It can be as simple as subsidized gym membership payment or allowing them to have time on social media to take a mental break if they need it. You can also motivate them by setting smaller weekly goals. For example, if it feels too intimidating to sell 200 boxes of your new product in a month, set a smaller goal of 40 boxes a week. Achieving goals helps your employees feel like they’ve accomplished something, and if your employees can accomplish something small, they can work up to accomplish something bigger. If they feel invested in the business, then they will perform better and your business’s productivity will increase. As a business owner, it is important for you to help your employees feel motivated and valued in your company.

Improve Company Culture

Another thing you can do to improve your business’s productivity is improve the company culture. The culture of the company is incredibly critical because it is the environment in which you and your employees work. If the culture isn’t satisfactory, chances are that your productivity isn’t very high either. In order to improve the company’s culture, focus on the goals and values of your company. Talk to your employees and create an environment where they feel happy to come to work. Create an atmosphere of trust, where they can come and talk to you without fear of repercussions. Allow time for bonding activities where your employees can get to know one another better. Improving company culture is important because it allows your employees to feel like work is a safe place and they are valued there, so they will continue to come and continue to work their best.

Outsource What You Don’t Know

Another thing that you can do for your business is outsource what you don’t know. As a business start-up, you’re not expected to know everything, and it can be overwhelming to try and figure everything out. Thankfully, you don’t have to know everything. You can outsource HR, or IT services, or other services that you can’t do yourself. Outsourcing IT services provides benefits for companies that want to spend more time on what they know. Being able to prioritize is a large part of being able to keep your company productive.

Time Management

Another thing that you can do is to manage your time effectively and help your team manage their time effectively. Extra time spent on projects costs money, and so time and money are the lifeblood of any business. Prioritize what is most important and clearly communicate those priorities to your team. Procrastination is the enemy of productivity, which is why it is crucial to prioritize the most important things your team needs to get accomplished. Due to the limited hours there are in a day, it is utterly important for your business’s productivity to manage your time effectively.

Delegate

Another important thing for you to do is to delegate. As a business owner, you may think that you are expected to do everything, but your to-do list is the biggest out of anyone’s in the company. Delegating also allows your team to be more invested in the activities of your business because they get to help with priority things that need doing. When people are invested, their performance will increase. Delegation will not only help you out, it will help improve your business’s productivity.

Clear Communication

Another critically important thing for your business is to establish clear communication. Communication between you and your employees is important for your business to improve its productivity. If your employees don’t know what to expect, then they won’t accomplish the things you need them to for your business. As part of improving the company culture, make sure to be honest with your communication to your employees.

Measure Productivity

And finally, to increase your business’s productivity, it is important to measure your business’s productivity. In order to continue to improve, it is important to measure where productivity is at now. This could be done by calculating the output of your employees over a given amount of time. Keeping track of your business’s productivity allows you to be able to know what you can do or continue to do to keep moving forward.

Your business may seem like it’s struggling in the moment, but you can overcome those struggles and be better for them. As you and your team work together, your business will succeed.

For more personalized help with your business, sign up for a consultation!

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How a Consultant Can Help You Expand Your Business

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Trying to run a business in this current age is difficult. There are so many things that are required of you. Many will be tasks that are outside of your area of expertise. In these cases, it may not be worth it to hire a new employee, but it’s essential that you get someone with the right experience. These are the situations where you should turn to a consultant.

Navigate Challenges

Whenever you hit something new, there are millions of people who can give you advice on what to do. Most of these people have never faced your same challenge and have no idea what they are talking about. Consultants, on the other hand, have experienced what you’ve been through. They make a living off helping you and others get through these problems.

For example, a consultant can help you navigate the challenges that come with expanding, like financing. According to Franchise Gator, most traditional lenders will ask you to put down 20 percent for a business loan. A consultant could help you find other ways to raise the money that you need.

Create Concrete Plans

You can find a lot of great advice on how to deal with things on the internet. However, that advice is going to be very general. It’s worthwhile to read and use as guidelines, but, according to Globalization Partners, it’s going to be difficult to develop a clear plan based off of your internet education. You need a consultant that can say “been there, done that.” They will be able to help you refine your plans so that you have specific action items with deadlines. They can put you in touch with all of the different resources that you need so that you can be successful.

Apply Lean Principles

You shouldn’t just ask a consultant to help you with growth and new challenges. According to The Lean Way, you should also ask them to help take a look at your application of lean principles. Lean business is the idea of getting rid of wasteful activity. By getting an expert lean consultant to give you an outsider’s perspective on what you can do to improve your work, you could save yourself a lot of time and money. A lean consultant will identify practices in your business that are causing you to slow down and waste money. The changes they suggest won’t make life more difficult, it should make it easier.

The keys to a successful interaction with a consultant are simple. First, find one with great reviews showing their competence. Second, be humble enough to accept the advice of someone that you don’t know well. If you follow these guidelines, you can reap all the benefits that a consultant has to offer.

I can help you to get your business where you want it to be. Take a look at what services I have to offer and contact me today!

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How to Create the Ideal Workplace Environment as You Reopen Your Office

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Even as you open your office, you should continue to implement health and safety guidelines to protect you and your employees. The reality of the situation is that COVID is still out there—and everyone must be just as vigilant, even during the transitional process, so that there isn’t a second peak break out. Here are three ways you can protect your employees while reopening your office.

Follow Health Guidelines

You should follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting your workplace. Make sure that each employee has hand sanitizer on their desk and uses it frequently. Furthermore, make sure bathrooms and desks are cleaned more regularly than normal. Continue to practice social distancing, even within the workplace. You may want to even take all your employees’ temperatures at the door with a medical, non-touch thermometer to ensure that no one enters who shows symptoms. In fewer words, make sure that you don’t take reopening to mean that everything is back to normal—because it isn’t.

Continue Using Remote Employees

Where possible, you should continue using remote employees to reduce crowding in the workplace. In fact, most companies are realizing that many employees don’t have to come to work at the physical location and that they can work just as well (if not better) from the comforts of their own home office space. This is not only considered an environmentally friendly option, but it could also save your company money in the long run since using remote employees decreases travel costs and need for more rented office space. But for now, continuing to keep employees at home will help prevent the spread of COVID.  

Update Sick Leave Policies

Even if you are taking temperatures at the door, your employees may be showing up to work with other types of symptoms. Given the economic downturn of late, many employees worry about making enough to take care of themselves or their families. If there isn’t a good sick leave policy in place, there is greater risk that your employees will show up to the office sick—and get everyone else sick in return. If this is a risk for your employees, you may want to take another look at your sick leave policies and make things a bit more lenient so to better protect everyone coming into the office.

As a business leader, you have a duty and responsibility (both legal and moral) to protect your employees during these unprecedented times. Even though the economy is reopening, that does not mean you shouldn’t be taking extra precautions to keep everyone safe and mitigate exposure to COVID. Follow these three principles so you can lead your company to a safe reopening.

If you are struggling to figure out a good marketing strategy as you start to open back up, don’t worry! We can help. Contact us to schedule an appointment for coaching!

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