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startup-office

When you started your company you had dreams of growth, but couldn’t actually picture them coming true. Then, they did. You experienced growth, and you brought on a few team members. You experienced more growth and saw profits start to grow. Soon, you were excited; you realized that this was it: Your startup was becoming a legitimate company.

Along with that growth and opportunity came another potentially exciting – yet stressful – endeavor: the need for office space. Suddenly your home office wasn’t cutting it; you needed a physical location with a sign out front to announce that you’ve made it. If you’re at that point, congratulations; you’ve accomplished something great. Follow the tips below to move your startup from your home to an office.

  1. Make a Plan

Like any other big step you’ve taken for your startup, moving to a physical office requires a plan. A plan ensures that you take the right steps from the beginning, that you find what you’re looking for and that everything runs smoothly, with as few surprises as possible. Your plan should include:

  • An evaluation that confirms that moving is the right decision in the first place.
  • A list of needs separated by essentials and desires.
  • Location options: Which areas would be the best fit for what you’re looking for? What do you need to be close to? How visible would you like your new office to be to the public?
  • A budget. Just because an office has everything you need doesn’t mean that you can afford it. You don’t want to stretch your budget and put your business at risk. Remember to include office necessities in your budget like furniture, new equipment and others.
  • A timeframe. When do you need to be in your new space?

Once your plan is in place, it’s time to move forward.

  1. Consider Any and All Alternatives

Even though your plan is in place, it’s best to evaluate all alternatives before making a decision and deciding it was the wrong one. In some cases, a virtual office – a location that provides a physical address through a reputable company but doesn’t actually host office space – might be a more cost-effective alternative to the more traditional office. Remove all doubt by evaluating all options from the start.

  1. Have the Right Team in Place from Day One

Even if you make 100 percent of the decisions for your company and how it moves forward, picking out office space is not a solo endeavor. Having a team in place ensures that you make the right decisions and that you can rely on the support of others to make your dream a reality. Your team members might include:

  • A Realtor. Find a Realtor that understands what you’re looking for that is familiar with office spaces.
  • A financial planner. Your planner should know where you stand and should be able to advise on your best options for finding a new space.
  • A project manager. If you need to spend the majority of your time managing your company, it’s good to have a point person to make smaller decisions and to bring larger ones to you, instead of fielding all calls alone.

Make sure that each team member provides the support you’re looking for and has a personality that you are compatible with for best results.

  1. Consider Your Goals for the Space

Today, not all offices match the “Office Space” ideal. Cubicles and corner offices are great, but that might not be what you’re looking for. Today, ideas like open concept offices are taking over, with good reason. Think about the atmosphere you hope to create in your new space and evaluate whether each office you check out has the potential to bring this to life.

  1. Make a Decision, Then Stop Looking

There’s nothing quite like a heavy dose of self-doubt. As the creator of a startup, you’re probably familiar with this concept. It’s easy to make a decision, then wonder whether or not it was truly the right one, or if you should have evaluated other options.

Your new office space is no different. It’s a big decision. Once you pick your location, it could be easy to wonder if it’s a good fit or whether you should have kept looking for something better. Put those thoughts behind you and move forward confidently. If your new space aligns with your plan and meets your budget, it’s time to look ahead.

  1. Focus on Furniture

One of the best parts of selecting a new office space is filling it with the furniture and equipment needed to take your business to the next level. Take the time to walk through your new space and to picture what each room, corner or area will be best suited for.

Need a conference room? Think about how you’d like to fill it. Going with cubicles or desks? What options will meet the needs of your employees? What about your entryway? What do you want your office guests to encounter during their first visit? Walk through all possibilities, then, equip your space accordingly. Consider working with local craftsmen to help the economy and to come up with unique, handmade options.

  1. Add Some Comfort

No one wants to work in a space that’s cold, unwelcoming or distracting. Coming up with something in between is important. Consider some of the following ways to add comfort to your office space:

  • White is no longer the go-to for office spaces. Do a little research on what each color promotes and go with the feel you’re looking for.
  • Common areas. Create a common area – near a kitchen or in a kitchen perhaps – that allows for casual conversation, coffee meetings and a true water-cooler atmosphere.
  • Quiet space. This is especially important for open offices. Giving employees a place to break away or to take private calls is critical.
  • A sound system provides a way to break up the quiet by adding music to the background of your office. This could promote focus and productivity, according to some studies.
  1. Pick Your Date

Decide when the best time to move into your space would be. Consider your current workload and schedule and plan accordingly. In most situations, it’s best to move during the evening or over a weekend to ensure that productivity isn’t negatively affected.

  1. Get Your Team Involved

Whether you currently have one employee or five, it’s important that they be involved in the move. Keep them posted with regular updates. Once you’ve chosen a space, ask for their input and allow them to make decorating decisions – within reason. The more involved your team is, the more likely they are to be as excited about the move as you are.

  1. Outline Expectations for Your New Space

A new space generally comes with new expectations. This is especially true for startups going from remote working environments to a physical location. Some of these expectations may include:

  • New schedules. When are employees expected to be at work?
  • Will you maintain a certain level of flexibility? What will that look like?
  • Will you be bringing on cleaning teams or is each employee responsible for his or her space? What other duties might be required that weren’t a question when working from home?

Moving from a home to an office is a big move for any startup. Make your move a success by implementing the tips listed above.

Sarah Landrum

About Our GE Network Expert - Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and the founder of Punched Clocks, sharing advice for young professionals and entrepreneurs looking for success in their ventures. Follow her on Twitter @SarahLandrum and subscribe to her blog for more tips on all things entrepreneurial.



 
  


videos_customer_lov

Article Contributed by Rajib Patel

Business videos come with a wide variety of options. Some are the explanatory videos, some about us, some marketing and the last but not the least some are videos that are meant to educate, with some others that are meant to entertain and some designed for both. And while there is no way to guarantee you with a fact that your next business video would immediately gain 10 thousand views and likes on YouTube, below given are some of the major tips you could use to increase the likelihood of being viewed, liked and shared.

Know who your target audience is: Before you write the script or go ahead with the camera rolling, it is very important that you first know who your marketing audience is, what are their needs and requirements, and how your video would help them in their business. Remember your business objectives would help you target who your marketing audience is. For instance if your goal is to drive awareness for your products and services then your marketing audience would be quite different and larger when compared to folks already on your site and need some nudging to drip the products on their carts.

Having a solid concept and script: When it come to the process of creating an influential video for your business, then having a solid script and concept is considered to be the foundation your business. So start by determining the format of the video say for example is it a video regarding the demo of a product or a talking head style video that requires a carefully worded script. Once you are done settling down the format then have an outline created, filling in the required details making sure to story board it.

Hiring a professional to film it or using professional grade and sound recording system: Some of the most viral video on YouTube were filmed by amateurs recording something funny along with mediocre sound and video quality. Having a quality recorded video equipment or a controlled environment is critical when recording a business video for your organization. So in case the sound quality of your video is poor or has too much of external noise then viewers would not respond in the way you want them too.

Have a clear, simple message minimizing the co-operate jargon: A successful video is simple to understand. Customers are generally looking out for things that would help them understand what your business could lead them with. Say for example if your video is a detailed and a complicated one then the viewers would just click away and search for something that is simple and easy to understand. So do make sure that your video is compelling, brief, and is focused on a specific message.

Keeping your video short: Research studies have shown that 53% of your clients and customers who are watching your videos would leave in a minute if they find it to be long. So try and being concise as this would help you keep your audience engaged driving them towards whatever your call to action is.

Feature real employees or customers: Many potential customers would be drawn through the authenticity of real people in the business video of your organization. Through this the customers would know who the real people are in your business and would not turn out to be a skip corporate video.

So have you made any business video that your customers would love to watch then what are the tips and tricks you have learned all the way. Do leave your comments below.

About the Author

Rajib Patel is an expert in the IT industry with over 12 years of experience. He has collaborated with various companies to work on improving enterprise video streaming solutions.


What is Professional Indemnity Insurance

Professional Indemnity Insurance is an insurance policy that covers your business in the unfortunate event that a client makes a claim against you. Certain business professionals, from accountants and architects to solicitors, are required by law to secure Professional Indemnity Insurance, while others who are members of a regulatory body are strongly encouraged to take out a policy.

As a whole, it is highly advised that business professionals obtain this insurance, since a claim against your business – which could consist of anything from giving advice that results in your client losing money, to a confidentiality breach – could cost you and your business dearly.

WHAT LEVEL OF PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE DO I NEED?

Your policy should cover claims made against your business and the defence of any disputes, so the level of Professional Indemnity Insurance (PI Insurance) you purchase will vary depending on the size of contracts you are involved in and may even be determined by your regulatory or client requirement.

When choosing a limit of indemnity for your PI Insurance it is best to consider what you could stand to lose from a dispute. However, ultimately you must satisfy yourself that you carry sufficient cover to meet any allegations which may be made against you. If you are unsure as to what level of insurance you should purchase, you can speak to the experts at Cavendish Munro.

While I hope that you never need to make a claim on your PI Insurance, it is far more beneficial to purchase the right policy from the outset, rather than find yourself in need without cover. If you don’t act today and get you and your business protected with PI Insurance then you could find yourself in heaps of trouble and debt tomorrow!


bad-customer-svc

Article Contributed by Dr. Joey Faucette

A friend of mine told me about his customer experience with an oil change. He arrived before the shop officially opened, simultaneously with another customer. She tried the door, found it open, and walked in. He followed.

The two chatted, waiting for the attendant. When he arrived from the back, he gruffly said, “What are you doing in here? We don’t open until 7:30,” turned and went back.

My friend assured me he will find a new oil change shop.

If you’re the owner or manager, how do you find out about such experiences?

When business drops?

Maybe, but how will you determine what changes to make so you profit?

Implement these 3 Strategies to Profit from Negative Customer Experiences:

Dig into the Customer Experience

How do you know what your customers experience? Do you ask?

You can have a “Comments Welcomed” box in the waiting room. Or, randomly pull contacts from the customer database and survey them by email with a “thank you” gift card to a favorite local restaurant sent following completion. Or, have them complete a quick survey—spoken or written—immediately before they leave.

It costs you nothing to dig into your customers’ experience by asking. It costs you everything to ignore them.

Discover Positives and Negatives

Most owners and managers are ecstatic to have customers waiting at the door before opening. So that’s a positive, right?

To attendants, not so much.

The positive is eager customers.

The negative is a poor customer experience.

As you dig into the customer experience by asking, you discover positives and negatives.

Listen to the results of your digging and asking. Note carefully the positives and negatives. You profit from both.

Deliver More Positives

Your inclination is to tell the attendant, “Don’t ever do that again!”

How has such negative reinforcement worked in the past? Positive, profitable change?

Probably not.

Instead, deliver more positives.

First, listen to your discoveries and ask, “What are the strengths of the current customer experience?” Deliver more of them. Put the attendants who get it right in charge of training.

Second, transform the negatives and ask, “How can we do this better?” This attendant lacks an incentive program that bonuses him for productivity or else he would have treated the two early birds better. While it’s easy to blame the attendant, what kind of system is in place to encourage best practices? Your imagination is the only limit.

You create higher profit margins by retaining and enhancing your current customer relationships. You lose money by inviting them to go somewhere else.

Implement these 3 Strategies to Profit from Negative Customer Experiences today and keep your customers coming back. 

About the Author

Dr. Joey Faucette is the #1 best-selling author of Work Positive in a Negative World (Entrepreneur Press), Positive Success Coach, & speaker who helps business professionals increase sales with greater productivity so they get out of the office earlier to do what they love with those they love. Discover more at www.GetPositive.Today.


bad-customer

Article Contribute by Dr. Joey Faucette

A certain airline stranded me. A lot. Once for 9 hours and another time overnight with no compensation. I told my associate, “We fly them just when they’re the only choice.”

And that was the case recently. So here I am unhappy about patronizing a poorly run company when the flight attendant asked me if I wanted some cookies.

The one thing I really like—okay love—about this airline is their cookies. So I said, “Yes.”

She said, “You know if you squirt a lime on them, they taste like key lime pie.”

How did she know key lime pie is one of my favorites?

“Would you like a lime?” she asked with a big smile.

I said “Yes” again. She waited for me to try it, and of course I loved it. We chatted some more and she continued to stop by for the rest of the flight and check on me.

Now I want to fly that airline.

She transformed my negative customer experience into a positive one…with a cookie.

Here are the 3 Ways she did it that you can implement to transform negative customer experiences to positive ones:

She Engaged Me

She asked more than, “Beverage? Pretzels?”

She looked me in the eye and smiled. She engaged me in a conversation. She even told me how to use the cookies to make pie crust.

This level of personal engagement is rare in customer experiences today. “What do you want?” is more the norm said with an air of “You interrupted me.”

Treat every customer like she is a person first. The engaging, personal transaction with him is Step 1 that leads to a lifetime customer relationship.

She Was Enthusiastic

She genuinely loves those cookies like me. She was enthusiastic about them. She met me at our point of common interest.

Be enthusiastic about every dimension of your business. Share it with every customer. Give every customer an opportunity to experience how much you love what you do. 

She Exceeded Expectations

She gave me 2 packs of cookies with 2 lime wedges.

Often, I have to beg to get one because they’re only standard issue during certain hours.

She checked back on my coffee several times.

Usually I have to ask.

Your customers’ expectations are rather meager in most cases. Mine involved cookies and coffee. You have an exceptional opportunity to remarkably and easily exceed those expectations.

So what will you do today for your customers that will transform their negative experiences into positive ones and keep them coming back for life?

Engage them. Share your enthusiasm with them. Exceed their expectations.

They positively will want to do business with you forever. 

About the Author

Dr. Joey Faucette is the #1 best-selling author of Work Positive in a Negative World (Entrepreneur Press), Success Coach, & speaker who helps business professionals increase sales with greater productivity so they get out of the office earlier to do what they love with those they love. Discover more at www.GetPositive.Today



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