Onboarding plays a critical role in a new hire's success and happiness. And good onboarding is especially important for remote employees, since they don't have as many opportunities to organically integrate into the company processes and culture. In this post, we lay out the best practices for getting your remote employees up to speed and finding employees that fit your company culture.
3 Tips for onboarding a remote employee
When you bring people on board, it’s your responsibility as a hiring manager to make sure they have everything they need to be successful in their role. Here are some steps you can take to support new employees and secure quick wins for them:
#1. Develop a two-week plan
Remote workers take longer to onboard because they aren’t in an office with others. Creating a plan, setting up all the meetings (three or four per day) with agendas, video links, etc. will reduce the stress and anxiety new hires can have and ensure they are getting introduced to all the people, processes, and projects that will be a part of their work.
#2. Start with a small project
Collaborate on developing a clear plan for the new hire’s first 30, 60, and 90 days so you’re both aligned on the expectations for the role. Give them an exercise within the first couple of weeks that requires cross-team collaboration or knowledge discovery to introduce them to other team members, information at the company, and regular ceremonies within your remote culture.
#3. Onboard in cohorts
Onboarding in groups is a great way to minimize the effort and redundancies of onboarding new hires and training them. It also creates a sense of community amongst your new hires.
Over 49% of the world’s population uses some form of social media. By now, you’re probably aware that your brand should have a presence on social media. However, the steps needed to assert or improve that presence may be unclear. Without a firm strategy backed up by real data, you aren’t going to see the results you want.
If you’re ready to do better, these three best practices in social media marketing will put you on the path to making social media deliver greater business value for your brand in 2021.
#1. Learn everything you can about your audience
The first social media best practice? If you don’t know who your audience is, you can’t give them what they want. And then they won’t give you what you want (their business).
Who are you trying to connect with? Millennials, single moms, kids with kanines? That’s a start, but get as specific as you can to best engage them. Do the research and rely more on data, less on your gut. Get clear about your current customers, too. So you can go find and make new ones with the same traits.
#2. Conduct a competitor audit
When putting together any kind of business strategy, it’s always a good idea to take a look into what your competitors are doing. This is the same for social media strategy. Social media’s accessibility and availability make it especially easy to find, track, and analyze competitors, versus traditional marketing and media mediums.
While planning your brand’s social media strategy, look to your competitors for insights into what kind of content is being published and what performs well (and doesn’t). This will give you a head start on optimizing your campaigns and increase the likelihood that your brand will be successful on social media.
#3. Establish and maintain your brand’s voice
Your social media accounts are an extension of your brand and should, therefore, align with your other forms of brand messaging. Maintaining a consistent voice helps your brand be recognizable among competitors and stay true to its values.
If your brand hasn’t defined its voice, it’s a good idea to lay out some guidelines for your team. Consider why your brand exists, what it values, how you want to describe your brand, and how you want customers to feel when interacting with your brand.
A business partnership is a way of organizing a company that is owned and sometimes run by two or more people or entities. The partners share in the profits or losses.
Before you establish a business partnership, you should investigate the various types of partnerships that are available and how each of them works.
What Is a Business Partnership?
A business partnership is a legal relationship that is most often formed by a written agreement between two or more individuals or companies. The partners invest their money in the business, and each partner benefits from any profits and sustains part of any losses.
The partnership as a business often must register with all states where it does business. Each state may have several different kinds of partnerships that you can form, so it's important to know the possibilities before you register.
How Does a Partnership Work?
Some partnerships include individuals who work in the business, while other partnerships may include partners who have limited participation and also limited liability for the business's debts and any lawsuits filed against it.
A partnership, as opposed to a corporation, is not a separate entity from the individual owners. A partnership is similar to a sole proprietor or independent contractor business because both of those types of businesses, the business isn't separate from the owners for liability purposes.
Income tax is not paid by the partnership itself. After profits or losses are divided among the partners, each partner pays income tax on their individual tax return.
Build a Lasting, Successful Partnership
There are times in business when it pays to be that wildly optimistic, starry-eyed dreamer. Launching a partnership calls for more of a skeptical approach.
The more you question your motives, check your answers, and prepare for the worst up front, the better your chances of a happily ever after.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has said the boom in the work from home, about 2.6 million investment properties, and cryptocurrencies will be among its target for the review of the year end financial returns.
In this blog post, we will take a look at the three areas that the ATO is targeting from this tax season.
Let's dive in!
#1. Investment Properties
As the government imposed tough rental restrictions due to the impact of coronavirus, the income of more than 1.8 million Australians that owned both rental and investment properties has been disrupted. The ATO will monitor claims of owners who charge mates' rates instead of market rates. It would also monitor claims of those who take rent for only part of the year instead of the full year. Additionally, the ATO will beam its search light on redraw facilities.
#2. Home offices
Remote workers can't file a claim for setting up an online learning facility for their children. They can't also claim for teaching their children at home. The ATO identified three ways to calculate office expenses:
You can claim 80¢ per hour following the temporary shortcut method. It covers work from home expenses like internet, phone, lighting and equipment, as well as gas for heating and cooling.
You can claim 52¢ an hour with this method. This method is dedicated to workspace-related activities.
The third method is known as the "actual cost method." This is complicated and requires keeping a record for every expense.
The ATO is also targeting the cryptocurrency space. The ATO wants people to get it right with cryptos. However, users are failing to keep transaction records. The ATO says more than 600,000 Australians are actively engaged in cryptocurrencies and that the number will increase in the coming weeks.
Imagine a world where you can send money directly to someone without a bank – in seconds instead of days, and you don’t pay exorbitant bank fees. Or one where you store money in an online wallet not tied to a bank, meaning you are your own bank and have complete control over your money. You don’t need a bank’s permission to access or move it, and never have to worry about a third party taking it away, or a government’s economic policy manipulating it.
This is not a world of the future; it is a world that an avid but growing number of early adopters live in right now. And these are just a few of the important blockchain technology use cases that are transforming the way we trust and exchange value.
What is blockchain technology and how does it work? Read on to find out!
What Is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain technology is the concept or protocol behind the running of the blockchain. Blockchain technology makes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin work just like the internet makes email possible. The blockchain is an immutable (unchangeable, meaning a transaction or file recorded cannot be changed) distributed digital ledger (digital record of transactions or data stored in multiple places on a computer network) with many use cases beyond cryptocurrencies.
Immutable and distributed are two fundamental blockchain properties. The immutability of the ledger means you can always trust it to be accurate. Being distributed protects the blockchain from network attacks. Each transaction or record on the ledger is stored in a “block.” For example, blocks on the Bitcoin blockchain consist of an average of more than 500 Bitcoin transactions.
Who Invented Blockchain?
The first blockchain-like protocol was proposed by cryptographer David Chaum in 1982. Later in 1991, Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta wrote about their work on Consortiums.
But it was Satoshi Nakamoto (presumed pseudonym for a person or group of people) who invented and implemented the first blockchain network after deploying the world’s first digital currency, Bitcoin.
Starting a side hustle can help you accomplish a wide range of personal and professional goals, from bringing in more income to honing an existing skill. The key is that you can do this work while maintaining a full-time job; if you’ve been waiting for a raise all year long, and it’s nowhere in sight, this is the perfect way to take control of your finances once and for all.
A side hustle is any type of employment or project that provides supplemental income, and is generally freelance- or project-based in nature. Because of the flexibility and freedom that comes with this type of work, more people have a side hustle in the gig economy.
If you’re new to the gig economy—a term used to describe the industry of people working side hustles—but want to jump in, follow these five simple steps to get started.
#1. Make a List of Your Skills, Background, and Expertise
First, take time for self-reflection to determine your unique and marketable skills, experience and areas of interest. Second, consider the main objectives for your side hustle, starting with your goals. Next, consider how your skills, interest and goals can be meshed together to help you find your first gig.
#2. Assess Your Available Bandwidth
Determine the amount of time and resources you have available to allocate to your side hustle. Put together a rough schedule of when you could work on a side hustle. Are you ready to dedicate all of your non-working time to a side gig? Do you want to keep your weekends free? Knowing this will help you determine how much work you can take on—and knowing this ahead of time keeps you from getting in over your head, putting you on the road to burnout, especially if you are maintaining a full-time job.
#3. Explore Potential Freelance Projects and Work
With your skills, interests, and time figured out, you can start to consider which side hustles will be best for you. The great news is, 70 percent of small businesses have hired a freelancer in the past, and 81 percent plan to hire freelancers in the future. This means it’s the perfect time to apply for these freelance and contract projects.
Create profiles on freelance listing sites like Upwork, Hubstaff Talent, or Fiverr. If you’re unsure how best to market yourself, or don’t know what jobs to apply for, start searching by skill set. Simply type, “graphic design” into one of the listing sites above to see what gigs companies are hiring for.
Business ownership can certainly be time consuming. But if you’re a mom and want to start a business while still having time to spend with your family, there are options out there.
There are so many successful mom entrepreneurs that can inspire your own entrepreneurial journey. Or you can start any of the businesses listed below that are perfect for mom entrepreneurs.
#1. Graphic Design
Duties of a graphic designer include designing flyers, informational pamphlets, product catalogs and advertisements. Graphic designers also consult with printers or publishers to identify the best choice of paper, cover stocks and printing processes for any given assignment.
Market your services to ad agencies, publishing companies, small magazines, corporations, product manufacturers and individual entrepreneurs. Good listening skills are essential to running a successful graphic designing business. You need to understand completely what your clients want.
#2. Grant Writing Business
The grant writer is the vital link between a funder and a grant seeker. Grant writers work as independent contractors, full- or part-time development officers, and freelancers. Nonprofit organizations account for the largest percentage of grant seekers.
Grant writers can apply for a myriad of categories of funding, including project grants, general operating grants, endowment grants, restricted grants, startup funding, matching grants, and challenge grants.
You can also start your own blog, where you’ll have the freedom to work on your own time and write about a subject of your choice. You can even start a blog about your family adventures or one that offers tips for other parents.
#4. Child Care Service
As a mom, then you already have experience caring for children. So you can turn that into a daycare business plan by starting a daycare service in your home.
#5. Virtual Assistance
You can also offer a variety of different services to business clients as a virtual assistant. You can work from your home while helping businesses stay organized, manage communications and more.
Are you sitting in your cubicle daydreaming of escaping the corporate grind to start your own business? Do you play with different ideas, but struggle to find one that could actually make you a living?
We're here to tell you that you are overthinking it. Here are three tips to help you leverage what you love into a new path.
#1. Side-launch or side hustle
More often than not, it’s beneficial to keep your day job when you first start out. You don’t want to put everything on the line, because new endeavors are often filled with uncertainty. You should start small by building confidence, knowledge, and experience before you go all-in. If you quit your job based on your passion, you may put yourself in a vulnerable position.
Take your time. It’s important to properly vet the market for the product or service you are offering. Be sure your idea solves a problem and/or adds value. You want to offer something that is indispensable. Make sure there are enough people out there who need your product or service and that they are willing to pay for it.
Start by focusing on your potential business at night and on the weekends. See how it grows and develops. When you start small, you have the opportunity to see if this is truly something you enjoy. You don’t want to drain your savings account, only to find out that your business isn’t something you actually like doing.
#2. Treat it like a Business
When starting your own business, it can be hard to stay motivated and organized. Unlike the typical 9-to-5, entrepreneurs setting off on their own don't have anyone telling them what to do or when to do it. It’s also easy to lose focus and forget to prioritize your side hustle when it’s not yet making you money.
It’s important to treat your new endeavor as a professional business right from the start. Set yourself a work schedule with weekly goals, just as you would in your day job. When interacting with customers and clients, ensure you act professionally.
#3. Launch platforms
There was once a time when, in order to launch a business, you had to have a physical brick-and-mortar location (especially for retail operations). But having a physical location often comes with a high price tag that can be daunting for startups. Now, however, there are a number of tools available for entrepreneurs that will allow you to reach consumers without high startup costs.
These online tools can help you do everything from advertising your business inexpensively to connecting with new clients. But one of the greatest benefits of online tools is being able to sell products at minimal cost. Websites like Etsy, Amazon, Shopify, and eBay let you sell your products without first having to build your own e-commerce website.
With so many employed persons diving into the world of self-employment - from independent contractors to freelancers, you would think you are really missing out a great deal and that you're not exploring your inherent skills to the maximum.
But is it all sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns being self-employed? For some young people out there, it can be, but for others, it can be a bitter taste in the bud. Some folks thrive working for themselves as freelancers or independent contractors, and some people attempt it and hate it.
But if you have experienced both sides of the divide, you would understand that both have their up and down moments. So, how do you decide which one is suitable for you? Well, before we get to that, let's first define what being employed vs self-employed means. Taking at least a minute to understand how the two differ is important before you settle for one.
Being employed means…
You work for someone or a company who pays you a salary for your time and service delivery. If you are employed, your employer takes care of your:
Federal and state taxes.
Being self-employed means…
You don't have a boss, you're an independent contractor, sole proprietor, or a freelancer. In terms of benefits, the biggest advantage of being self-employed is that you are in charge of your time. Nobody controls your time. You decide when to work and when not to. You decide when to go on vacation or when to resume business. However, you are responsible for paying:
Federal and state taxes.
So Which One Should You Choose?
No matter your choice today, there are advantages and disadvantages of being self-employed vs employed. Honestly, you can enjoy your job or business and still complain once in a while about your situation.
Whether you decide to work for a company or for yourself, it all boils down to your personality type. If you prefer to control your work hours, and by extension, the type of work that you do, then try self-employment.
On the other hand, if you care about retirement benefits, sick pay, or vacation pay, then work for a company.
What’s the company culture like at your organization? While individual teams can have sub-cultures of their own, company culture is always informed by your larger company values, mission, and goal. But… where do you start?
Company culture is never a one-size-fits-all solution, but there are some easy, actionable steps you can take today to improve your company culture, both in the short and long term.
Let’s get started!
#1. Embrace Transparency
Transparency isn't just positive for employees. The effects of a transparent company culture impact the entire organization and produce highly engaged employees. Trust is truly the foundation of a great company culture. If you want an open and transparent company culture, your first step should be ensuring that your team has the modern communication and collaboration tools to do so.
Outdated communication tools can be a major barrier to transparency, especially if you’re working across different offices and remote employees. It's imperative that your team has an easy and efficient way to connect with one another and to share crucial information.
#2. Recognize And Reward Valuable Contributions
Did you know that companies that emphasize having a recognition-rich culture also tend to have dramatically lower turnover rates? Employees who don’t feel recognized are twice as likely to quit their job in a year, while the top 20% of companies with a recognition-rich culture have a 31% lower turnover rate.
Employee recognition doesn't have to come exclusively from the top. It's often even more impactful when recognition comes from all around—from leaders, from peers, from everyone. Peer recognition is the most effective method of infusing recognition into your culture.
#3. Cultivate Strong Coworker Relationships
Having strong relationships at work drives employee engagement, but it doesn't happen automatically. Building strong coworker relationships takes time, effort, and sometimes, dedicated team-building activities.
As a sales professional, how would you describe yourself? Are you "pushy," "annoying," or "aggressive?" How can you overcome negative perceptions and help your customers see that you’re trying to help? By exhibiting ethical behavior and selling with integrity.
One of the greatest obstacles to upholding sales ethics is taking a "sales by any means necessary" approach. However, cutting corners with customers during the sales process doesn’t result in greater returns. So how do you increase sales with good business ethics?
Read on to find out!
#1. Foster Trust And Credibility With The Customer
To create a positive experience for both the customer and the company, it is imperative that trust-building is at the center of every sales interaction. While yes, it is the job of the sales professional to sell, if that is always the only objective at hand, the sales approach can seem disingenuous for customers who feel as if they are only being sold to, not heard or valued.
Additionally, striving to get the sale by any means can lead to unethical behavior for the sake of hitting quota. When interacting with prospects and customers, reps should strive to build trust first and sell second.
#2. Be Accountable
If a problem arises and you were at fault, quickly and truthfully take responsibility. While it may be tempting to defer responsibility to save face, being accountable for your actions and offering a solution to remedy the situation is a more ethical approach.
Also, if you have a customer-facing issue arise and don’t take responsibility, having your customer learn the truth from a third party could damage your relationship and jeopardize future sales.
#3. Share Clear, Truthful Information
When trying to convince a prospect to invest in your product or service, it is critical you only present honest information. Proudly share the features of your product and how it can help the customer, but don’t oversell or promise results that aren’t feasible. Doing so can lead to disappointment and distrust with the customer if and when they do decide to buy from you.
Also, if a prospect asks a question you are unsure how to answer, it’s alright to say, "I’m not sure, but I’ll check with my colleagues and follow up before the end of the day." Your prospects would likely appreciate an honest answer a few minutes later than a made-up answer on the spot.
Small business owners often put IT support on the back burner when in reality it could make or break the livelihood of any business altogether. When a major catastrophe arises like a company-wide server crash, emails going offline, or a major data breach, it's the worst time to realize that you need a preventative plan in place. Unfortunately that's when a lot of businesses realize the need for some kind of support. The fact is, IT support is not just an option if you want your business to run smoothly, it's a necessity.
Here is why IT support is important for small businesses:
#1. Your Productivity is Your Company's Lifeforce
While the office manager is bogged down with their day-to-day tasks, it's just not sustainable or efficient to also have them worry about IT. Productivity can take a huge hit when your employee's attention is divided between what they need to do in order to keep your business running smoothly and making sure everything is working properly.
Obtaining the best IT support keeps your people doing what you’re paying them to do, and not fiddling with a malfunctioning printer or some software issue for an hour or more.
#2. Keep Your Change
Constant hold-ups and wasting time on broken technology also costs money. The more smoothly things run, the more money is saved.
Not to mention the savings that add up from not having to hire a full IT staff in house. This may be feasible for large corporations, but it's exceptionally hard and not financially sound for most small businesses.
When you have a dedicated team of professional IT Support, you can continue to grow your business, grow your profits, and maximize savings. Not to be cliché, but time really is money.
Want to make your small business grow faster? Of course you do. But as a small business owner, your time is extremely limited. Between responding to customer emails, promoting your products, and managing your online store, there isn’t much time left to figure out efficiencies.
The truth is, everyone could be more productive. That’s where productivity tools come in. Productivity tools aren’t just helpful add-ons but crucial must-haves for the growth and success of a business, no matter what size. We have curated the top 3 productivity tools for small businesses.
3 Best Productivity Tools For Small Businesses
Calendly is a must-have tool for small business owners and marketers because it eliminates the distraction of scheduling meetings and booking time to work. With this app, you can set up events from your existing calendar and block out times when you’re busy. If someone wants to set a meeting, they can reserve a time in Calendly without having to submit a calendar request via email—or having to go back and forth on a time that works for both of you.
#2. Google Drive
Google Drive is the best free file sharing, document collaboration, and file storage tool out there. You get 15 GB of storage on the free plan, which is pretty awesome. If you’re going to use Google Drive, you may as well take full advantage of the suite of Google Workspace productivity tools that come with it, including Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Switch out your old-school Microsoft Office programs for these and enjoy real-time collaboration like never before, like commenting and team chat right on any document.
Perfect for visual organizers, a Trello board is made up of multiple swimlanes to represent the different steps in your workflow. You can simply drag and drop tasks or “cards” to the appropriate swim lane as they move from one stage to the next, giving you a birds-eye view of where all your tasks are at. Cards can be assigned to people and be given due dates. They can be filled in with more details and even contain subtasks to break large tasks down into smaller ones.
Trello can help your team be more productive by serving as a centralized place to drop tasks into. Because everyone’s tasks are in one place, it provides great visibility to your team so they all know what everyone else is working on and stay on the same page.
No serious business person likes to be strapped for cash, but one way or the other cash flow mismanagement happens. If you are struggling with managing your business finances, you're in the right place. This article will walk you through some tips on how to manage your small business finances.
But before we dive deeper, what does financial management mean for small businesses? It's simple! Financial management is the process of handling your business finances via tracking expenses and income, setting goals, and budgeting. With a sound money management plan, you can avoid periods of negative cash flow and ensure your business is on track to turn a profit.
Failing to wisely manage money can lead to problems like making late payments, running out of money, and not collecting on your accounts receivable.
How To Manage Your Small Business Finances
#1. Stay on top of deadlines
If you don’t know when your bills are due, such as accounts payable, business loan payments, or credit card payments, you might not have enough cash on hand. Not to mention, failing to know when bills are due can set you back with late fees or added interest, lower your business credit, and sour lender and vendor relationships.
To avoid missed bill payments, stay on top of your deadlines. Record when payments are due and set reminders so you don’t fall behind. Pencil in due dates on a paper, phone, or computer calendar and get on a consistent payment schedule.
#2. Monitor spending
Do you know how much money you spend per day, week, or month? If you don’t monitor spending, you could be racking up bills that you don’t need. And, failing to monitor spending can lead to overspending and misuse of funds.
Many business owners have multiple accounts, such as a checking account, savings account, and credit card account. Make sure you know how much you withdraw or spend from each account to stay on top of account balances.
#3. Separate business and personal funds
Do you have a separate bank account for business? Even if you aren’t required to separate business and personal funds, doing so is critical to money management. Plus, business bank statements are useful for tracking profitability, reconciling your books, and monitoring spending.
Starting, growing, and scaling a small business to become a huge company is no mean feat. The difference between a startup and a profitable company boils down to time and experience. However, certain factors are put in perspective for these companies to grow to become a force to reckon with in their niche market - things like having the right team, timing, intensely hard work, focus and determination.
Remember, every big company you see today started as a startup at some point. The business owners conceived the idea, worked on the idea, and guided by a team of pioneers and entrepreneurs. Do you have a startup and you are wondering how to run and scale your startup to an enviable height?
This blog post will address your curiosity. In this post, we have curated 2 powerful ways to run and scale your business to become competitive on the market.
#1. Hire the right team
You need two things to run and scale your small business. First, you need to hire the right team so that you can delegate tasks. You cannot scale your business doing everything by yourself. Second, focus on acquiring more customers. You want customers with substance, so start hunting for big game and not those customers that will distract you.
#2. Solve your customers’ problems.
The importance of providing real value to your customers cannot be overstated. Solving your customers' problems makes it much easier to scale your business. Once you are able to meet the needs of a customer, the customer will in turn use word of mouth to refer you to their friends, associates, and family members.
In a fast-paced business environment like ours, one lead generation strategy that every business owner should deploy is to leverage social media. Social media platforms will help you find those interested in your products or services. You can also use social media to share useful tips and information even to your existing clients.
So, how do you generate leads using social media platforms? In this blog post, we have put together the top 3 best practices to generate leads using social media.
How To Get More Leads On Social Media
#1. Optimize your profile
The first step to getting more leads on social media is to optimize your profile. Your social media profile should have a means for potential leads to contact you, whether by email, phone, or messenger. It should also have a means for potential clients to sign up for your products or services. Additionally, create a great call to action button.
#2. Create clickable content
You won't collect leads via social media if you don't create clickable content. Remember that every social media user is competing for attention; as such, your content need to be sharp and images need to be sharper. When creating content, ensure your audience have a place to click.
#3. Design user-friendly landing pages
Next best practice is to design user-friendly landing pages. If you have successfully attracted a lead via social media and the person clicks your link, you shouldn't disappoint them with a badly-designed landing page. Also, ensure that the landing page is relevant and provides the right information that will influence the prospect to buy from you.
As a business person, one way to maximize your returns is to develop a tax plan on or before June 30. Without an appropriate tax plan, your business may be heading for the rocks. As such, we have put together tax planning tips to help you maximize your returns.
Tax Planning Tips
June 30 is reputed as the end of the tax year in Australia. With June 30 fast approaching, the right time to look at your expected taxable income for the 2020-21 financial year is now. This information will help you develop a great tax planning strategy.
You may consider the following tips if you expect to generate more revenue for this financial year than the upcoming financial year:
Consider prepaying some of your expenses, including insurance, rent, and other expenses in the 2020-2021 financial year.
Leverage depreciation measures like the temporary full expenses.
Review and if possible postpone a few of your invoices for the year.
Top up your voluntary superannuation contributions.
Regularly review your debtors lists and if possible write off any bad debt.
One of the most challenging facts that you’ll have to come to terms with is that no matter how innovative your product is, you won’t have any customers if they aren’t aware of your startup. Even more challenging is figuring out how to attract your first customers when you have a limited budget and resources.
While you definitely won’t experience overnight success, the good news is that most startups have been in the same place that you’ve been. And, they were able to turn out just fine by using the following techniques to gain that initial traction.
#1. Start With An Awesome Product
Incredibly obvious but the best way to start gaining traction is by offering an amazing product. Sure, other elements like packaging and customer service will help determine the success or failure of your startup. But, you’re halfway there if you have something so incredible that it practically sells itself.
Take Elon Musk’s Tesla. The electric car brand hasn’t launched an expensive advertising campaign. Instead, the company relies on word-of-mouth marketing to back-up its product. And, that could only be accomplished if there was actually a great product to boast about. Guess what? Tesla succeeded.
If you build it, they will come. You build it really well, they will come even faster.
#2. Brand Yourself
When you think of branding, you automatically have visions of logos, voice and tone, website design, and social media presence. But your brand is the experience you deliver to customers. While a slogan (think of Nike’s “Just Do It”) or lighthearted image (think of Dollar Shave Club) are important components of your brand, you have to go deeper.
This is one of the reasons why Uber has found so much success. The company offered an experience that’s incredibly difficult to replace.
#3. Connect With Influencers
One goal that should be defined, and achieved, is reaching out to influencers in your industry and community. Whether that’s sending out a specific amount of cold emails to influencers, interacting with them on social media, or enticing them with an offer they can’t refuse.
This is one of the strategies that propelled Yelp from a Bay Area startup to global juggernaut. The company reached out to a core group of influential reviewers and bloggers and rewarded these “elite” reviewers by placing their profiles on the home page.
#4. Leverage Your Email List
Despite all of the other pieces of marketing advice and technological advances, email remains one of the greatest marketing tools. This worked for Facebook during the early days at Harvard. You can use email marketing to gain traction since it allows you to speak directly to the customer, send special offers, keep them updated, and highlight new products or features.
Many new businesses and start-up companies often find it difficult to get off the ground. Finding enough capital to fund a developing business and keep it running can be difficult for a company that has not had sufficient time to prove itself in the marketplace. By creating business traction, new companies can attract potential investors and gain a competitive edge in their industry.
Business Traction: The Definition
Business traction refers to the progress of a start-up company and the momentum it gains as the business grows. When traction is lacking, sales dry up and the customer base dwindles, regardless of the effort put into the enterprise. It applies to nearly any kind of business, whether service or product-oriented, or whether it sells to the public, other businesses or the government sector. There is no one way to measure traction, however, companies usually rely on customer response and revenue as indicators of their success.
Maybe surprisingly, profits do not necessarily make for traction; companies such as Amazon, Tesla and Uber have excellent traction but have only had sporadic profitability, if at all. The reasoning behind developing traction is to grow the business while meeting specific company goals and objectives. While traction may be a seemingly abstract concept, it is important and helps a company understand where it stands in an industry and where it would like to be.
How to build traction for your new product or service
If you're launching a new product or service, focus on these four strategies to maximize your customer traction.
#1. Create and Test Engaging Social Media Content
Developing social media content that resonates with your target audience is a great way to gain customer traction. Rather than taking a scattershot approach, it's best to commit to a particular message and test it socially until it gets traction.
#2. Go Where Your Customers Are "Hanging Out"
The best marketing campaign won't gain traction if your customers don't spend time on that platform. To make the most of your efforts, figure out where and how your ideal customer likes to shop, giving you the best chance of getting your product or service in front of them.
#3. Get Feedback From Your Existing Customers
In addition to potential customers, talking to current customers can provide valuable feedback regarding your product or service. Online surveys, Zoom meetings and even observations can help you better understand your customers' needs. Once you've received this feedback, analyze the results and adjust your offerings accordingly.
Congratulations on starting a new business. But keep at the back of your kind that as your business gains traction, tasks will begin to increase and 8 hours may no longer be enough to produce your products or offer your services. On top of that, you need to be prudent with your resources; every time you identify a gap doesn't mean you should hire people.
The only way to get things done efficiently is to maximize your productivity. How do you do that? The simplest way is to review and optimize your workflow and business processes. In this article, we have put together 3 workflow optimization tips to help you improve performance and productivity. If you can implement these tips, you would be one step away from scaling your startup and reducing costs. You will also maximize the use of your time.
Let's get started
#1. Identify Challenges
Workflow optimization starts with identifying your greatest challenges. Identifying challenges should involve both operational and management perspectives. Challenges that you are not aware of will be very difficult for you to resolve. The challenges that your startup is likely to face will largely depend on your niche industry or market. It will also depend on your current weaknesses and strengths.
If you currently face any challenges, optimizing your workflow will be difficult. You should look for a way to resolve your challenges so that you can significantly optimize your workflow.
#2. Set Goals
After identifying challenges, the next thing to do to optimize your workflow is to overcome them. This starts with mapping out achievable goals or objectives. Your objectives should be SMART, that is, they should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. This process will definitely not happen overnight. In some cases, it may take weeks or days, depending on your goals. The bottom line is for you to set SMART goals that will drive your startup workflow.
#3. Try Workflow Software.
The essence of using workflow optimization software cannot be overemphasized for startups. You can take laudable steps to optimize your workflow, but using workflow optimization software will achieve better than human actions. Using workflow optimization software will give you the enabling environment to improve your efficiency and productivity. It also gives you the opportunity to deploy and monitor your workforce from a dashboard.
Startups like yours love workflow optimization software because it helps them to reduce cost and bring down the time their staff members put in to do recurring tasks. It enhances productivity, improves accountability, increases visibility, as well as empowers your employees to keep up with the trends in your industry.
The budget is finally here and we have summarised what we believe will matter to you the most. Please read on and get back to us if you have any queries.
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No matter the industry or business size, lead generation is a top priority for marketers. Lead generation is how you attract people to your business and help them become leads who have an interest in buying your product or service. There are countless lead generation strategies out there, including content marketing, employer branding, digital ads and social media, among many others.
Read on to learn about the best lead generation practices to add to your marketing mix in the year ahead.
#1. Generate leads with your live chat – but only if you can guarantee quick responses
Up to 83% of consumers need some type of support when they are making an online transaction or becoming your customer. With live chat, you can increase conversions by being there to talk to your prospects at key moments.
You can also use live chat to make announcements on your website, such as a product offer or upcoming webinar, or use a bot for automated lead gen. Some of the best live chat tools are Zendesk, Drift and Freshchat.
However, to get the benefits from live chat, you have to ensure fast responses. Otherwise, you might even be causing more harm than good. 45% of consumers would leave a website in the middle of an online transaction if there is no one to answer their questions and concerns.
#2. Make sure your pop-ups are optimized with A/B tests
73% of people dislike pop-up ads – and 81% of consumers have closed a browser or exited a webpage because of a pop-up ad.
If you're going to interrupt your website visitors with a pop-up or opt-in form, it needs to be worth their while. When done well, you can use pop-ups to give your visitors extra value and automate lead generation.
You often see "sign up for our newsletter" as a pop-up call to action, but the best results usually come from a more compelling CTA. With A/B testing, you can choose the best lead magnet to show in your pop-ups. This could be your best ebook, template, blog post or email sequence.
To do your A/B test, set up two pop-ups with different content and compare how they perform. You can then do more in-depth tests for that pop-up, like the specific CTA text or visuals you're using.
#3. Try out video marketing for lead generation
More than 50% of consumers prefer video content over other forms of content, so it's no surprise there are more and more opportunities popping up here for marketers in 2021 and beyond. Some of the ways you could use video for lead generation are:
Creating a video of your sales demo and gating this behind a landing page form.
Using videos on landing pages. Marketers who incorporate video into their campaigns can achieve up to 34% higher conversion rates.
Collecting email addresses right from your videos using a tool like Wistia. This can require viewers to share their email to watch beyond a certain point of a video.
Including CTAs and annotation links in your videos (if you can't do this with YouTube, try Wistia for this too).
How To Use Social Media To Grow Your Business
In today’s digital world, customers are researching businesses and products online, which makes digital marketing crucial in your strategy. Digital marketing is a go-to method for grabbing the attention of today’s tech-savvy consumers. There are various tactics you can implement, including search engine marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing. Social media marketing is a great tool for businesses that want to achieve growth at a low cost.
Here are two ways you can leverage social media to attract customers and grow your company.
#1. Invest in paid ads
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn all offer the option to place your ads on their platforms to help build awareness and generate new leads. You can create highly targeted ads that resonate with your target audience. Customize your ads based on your audience’s preferences, online behavior, age, gender, geographic location, and more. Not targeting a specific audience can waste ad dollars on people who aren’t interested in your offers. By sharing your message with those who are most likely to need your services, you can make the most of your ad spend and increase your chances of getting conversions. When prospects are a good match with your company, they’ll likely click your ad, which leads to your website. Once on your website, they may go to your product page or initiate contact with you.
#2. Start a retargeting campaign
Having your leads go cold can be one of the most frustrating things about your marketing strategy. You’ve spent a good amount of money to get customers to trust you and buy your products, but it may seem like it’s all going to waste if they’re not converting. However, it’s important to note that most people aren’t ready to make a purchase when they first visit your website. In fact, 92% of consumers visiting a brand’s website for the first time aren’t there to buy. They might visit your product page, read some of your content, and even add some items to their cart – but take no further action, and the lead goes cold. That’s why lead nurturing can be a good solution. Retargeting campaigns can help you nurture and re-engage cold leads.
Retargeting involves tracking a cookie that saves a user’s activity on a particular web page. For example, if a lead clicks on your website through a Facebook ad, visits your product page, and then leaves your site, applications like Facebook Pixel can track this behavior. Facebook will then display targeted ads to that specific customer. The ads will likely be centered on the product the customer showed interest in on your website. While a lead may not be ready to buy the first time they visit your site, nurturing them can give them that extra nudge.
Sales are on the decline for most businesses during the pandemic. But it may not be entirely due to the global shift in operations. If you adapt to meet your client’s changing needs due to the new lifestyle brought on by COVID-19, you may be able to increase sales. There are opportunities to sustain or even increase your sales if you take a few strategic steps in the right direction.
Here are 3 tips that will help you boost sales during and after the pandemic despite the decrease in demand.
#1. Make Sure Your Business Is Relevant
It’s impossible to ignore the massive changes this pandemic has made to our daily lives. What was once a perfect strategy, may no longer be relevant today. Therefore, you should re-evaluate your offerings to make sure it aligns with the current market trends in your respective business.
While this may be easier for some businesses than others, it can be done. The retail and restaurant industries are great examples of adjusting to the changing times. For example, many apparel manufacturers have made the shift to designing and selling masks. Formerly dine-in only restaurants have changed their business to offer take out and delivery. There have even been cases of alcohol companies changing up operations to produce hand sanitizer.
#2. Improve Communication
The days of face-to-face interaction are on hiatus with the advent of mandatory masks in public spaces and online communication taking priority over in-person conversations. The solution is to improve your communication channels. Some questions to ask are as follows:
Is there an increase in confusion regarding what your business offers?
Does your messaging often get misinterpreted?
Are productivity rates decreasing amongst employees?
Was there a notable shift in phone/email/website communication?
Were your sales performances better before the pandemic?
A simple miscommunication could be what is preventing you from better understanding your customers’ needs at this time.
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, maybe it’s time to rethink the way your company is communicating to customers and co-workers. As a result, you may discover a permanent increase in sales even after the pandemic is over.
#3. Focus on Customer Experience
A pandemic is a time to show your customers what you are really made of. Now is a great opportunity to rethink how you offer value to your customers through your interactions with them. Even amid social distancing and remote communications, think about how you can create a unique and memorable experience. Work on becoming a reputable and trusted resource for your customer base.
As most marketers have experienced at some point, it’s one thing to hook customers, another beast completely to retain them. Improving customer loyalty should be a priority, or those customers you worked so hard to convert could vanish before you even know what happened.
To avoid that, here are 3 ways to better your company’s customer loyalty.
#1. Share your values.
To build a strong relationship with your customers, you have to share their values. According to a study by the Corporate Executive Board of 7,000 U.S. consumers who said they had a brand relationship “64% cited shared values as the primary reason.” In fact, shared values are “far and away the largest driver.” If you want loyal customers, you need to tell them what your brand stands for.
#2. Provide excellent customer service.
Sounds obvious, right? But, it deserves mention again because excellent service is what creates lifelong customers, avoids negative word-of-mouth and differentiates you from the competition. But, how can you improve customer service?
For starters, listen to customers and address their concerns a timely manner. Make it easy for customers to get in touch with a representative. Clearly display an email address, phone number and social media account. You have to “wow” them by going above and beyond.
#3. Be transparent.
There will be days when things don’t go as planned. Instead of denying the problem, be honest with your customers about the bad news. When Buffer had a security breach in 2013, the company told their customers about the situation, provided updates and addressed concerns immediately.