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business-mistakess

Do you have to try and eat a piece of a hot pepper in order to know it’s hot? No. Why not? Because somebody in the past already tried to gulp down an entire jalapeno pepper and it did not go so well. Therefore, others learned from that mistake and decided to use it in smaller amounts. The same principle of learning on the mistakes and experience of the other people has been around forever. It can also be implemented to small businesses. Here are the 5 mistakes that you need to avoid to stay afloat.

Introducing Every Single Novelty There Is

New technologies are important and you need to make sure that you are up to date. If your competition is using something, sooner or later, you will be forced to try it yourself. It will stop being a perk and it will turn into a standard. However, that does not mean that you need to accept just every single piece of equipment and software you are offered. Pick only the things that obviously facilitate or boost your work efficiency. Even then, purchase only if you are provided by a demo period. You can never tell if it really works until you try it first.

Expanding Too Soon

A good start and a financially successful period may get you thinking about expanding. However, it is not reasonable to expect that a business twice as big will bring profits twice as high, right away. Expanding is a big investment and it doesn’t mean that it has to go smoothly every time. Profits can be less than expected, so it can end up setting you back rather than improving your position.

Miscalculating Optimal Workload for Your Employees and Yourself

At times, you may feel that adding a little bit more on an employee’s plate will make them more efficient without putting in much more effort. However, that can add up very quickly up to the point where it hurts your business. Eventually, the quantity of the work will reflect poorly on its quality and there are no small businesses that can make compromise on their good service or products.

Not Developing a Proper Financial Plan

An effective financial plan is an essential factor of your business survival and success. You need to make it realistic and flexible. Many people find this quite challenging, so it is always advisable to hire a professional for this type of work. Once you have a plan, you need to stick to it. Being flexible about it is good, but even that flexibility needs to be within reasonable limits.

Letting Go on the Money Owed to You

Your business depends on your earnings. You invest time, money and work hours into your business, so if you do not have the money paid back to you, you will soon lose everything. Therefore, if there is one thing you need to think about – it is the way you deal with the payments. All your deals need to be written down and turned into solid contracts. In the worst case scenario, you will be able to hire an agency to deal with debt collection in your behalf.

A lot of businesses failed because of these mistakes. Some of them succeeded despite them. In both cases, it is best to be aware of them and learn from them.

About the Author

Dan Radak is a marketing professional with ten years of experience. He is a coauthor on several websites and regular contributor to BizzMark Blog. Currently, he is working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies.



 
  


safe_and_healthy

Think of your employees as your children, even though some might be older than you. It’s quite nerve-wracking to think about them being struck with illness or getting into a workplace injury. Not only does this curtail your company’s growth by zapping productivity levels but can also lead to substantial costs to cover medical bills. So, how do you keep your employees-slash-children safe and healthy while at work?

Create a Safe Environment

Safe environments are organized and free of clutter. Too little space to move around in and too much unnecessary stuff lying around can restrict employees from making steady and safe range of motions. It puts them closer to injury, regardless of how safe they attempt to move. Create a safe environment by doing regular rounds yourself to identify places that are safety hazards and resolve them quickly.

Respect Human Limitations

Humans are not equipped to work 60 to 80 hours per week. Not only is this irresponsible on your part as the manager or business owner, but it may also be illegal in some places. Establish the standard 40 hour work weeks that many other companies do, and leave overtime hours as optional for people who want to earn extra. Acknowledge and respect the fact that people tire out physically and mentally at a certain point, so try not to reach that point.

Light Up the Place

Be environmental-friendly, but avoid obstructing vision of your employees by having too little lighting in the workplace. Light up all rooms and be sure to immediately replace bulbs that no longer work. Lack of light can cause your employees to fall and injure themselves. It is also a good idea to provide a work environment for everyone that has access to natural light.

Have Legal Help on Stand By

Continue to work on providing a safer and healthier work environment, but prepare for the worst outcome as well. Consult with LA Slip & Fall accident lawyers as soon as possible to work on legal plans for tackling such incidents in the workplace. They may also give good actionable tips and approaches to maintaining a safe work area.

Reduce Stress Levels

Noise pollution, excessive foot traffic, workplace politics and drama – all these culminate in greater stress levels experienced by the workforce. Reduce it as much as possible by soundproofing the place, organizing ideal routes for foot traffic, and minimizing employee confrontations through open forums.

Keeping your employees safe and happy will also make you happy as they generate greater output. Always make your employees a priority rather than an option. It is absolutely essential for you to do everything you can on a regular basis to ensure that everyone in your workplace is happy and healthy.


outsource

For many start-up owners and entrepreneurs, the concept of delegating initially seems like a bad idea. It’s hardly a surprise, the nature of the start-up game is that you grow your business from concept to completion. This means being involved in every aspect of the company, the inner workings of the day to day.

It can be difficult to step back and allow someone else to ‘mess with your masterpiece.’ But to be a truly successful start-up, at some point you have to see the bigger picture. This means outsourcing smaller jobs in order to focus on growing and solidifying your business.

Read on to find out four business tasks your start-up should be delegating.

  1. Office Admin

Easily one of the most time consuming tasks for any new start-up is office administration. It’s a necessary part of the day to day business, but one that can be quite the distraction. While you’re covering payroll, chasing invoices, making travel arrangements and ordering stationery, the rest of your business is stuck on pause. With so many qualified office workers available on community marketplaces like Airtasker, outsourcing office admin is an absolute no brainer. Be thorough about what is required, the systems you use and the level of experience necessary. But delegating your office work is guaranteed to pay dividends in the long run.

  1. Market Research (Surveys, Data Collection, Research)

Start-ups often operate on the basis of what the marketplace needs. An entrepreneur will identify a gap in the marketplace or a potential for improvement on an existing product, then look to capitalise. So knowing what the marketplace is thinking and feeling is a crucial part of running a start-up. Take this ability into your own hands by outsourcing your research online. Find a digital army ready and willing to help. You can hire people to fill out surveys, do a targeted letter drop, collect data door-to-door or complete a trial run of your new product.

  1. Product/Website Testing

When it comes to finding success as a start-up, first impressions count. So if you’re looking to launch a new product or website, you want the initial feedback to be full of glowing appraisal. But rather than hiring an external firm to carry out tests on your product or website, why not go direct to the source yourself? By outsourcing the testing phase, you are tapping directly into your marketplace and getting instant feedback from the consumer. Outsourcing also allows you to specify the demographic you want to reach and liaise with them immediately about what they like, dislike and would change about your product.

  1. Public Relations

Any business can benefit from a little good press now and then. If you’ve recently made a major development, landed a new client or launched a product, the more people that know about it, the better off you’ll be. But running a highly effective and specialised press campaign can be a big ask when you’ve got the rest of your business to worry about. Outsourcing your public relations is a great way to ensure you’ve got positive word of mouth, without compromising your own development. Whether you engage a PR firm or opt for an individual contractor, you can find a professional who will work magic in the media for your business.


hire-first-employee

As a business owner, you may find yourself constantly wearing different hats. One minute you could be writing a business plan, but the next minute you may be doing sales, marketing, customer service or even IT.

Although this may be necessary initially in order to keep your costs low and your business running profitably, in the long-term, should you be considering other options?

Admittedly there are advantages of being a one-man or one-woman band, but as just one person, there are limits to how far you can go. It can be hard taking a step back and handing over the reins of certain tasks to someone else, but you have to decide whether managing the invoices, buying more toner, sending a tweet and answering customer queries is really the best use of your valuable time.

It may therefore be time for you to hire your very first employee, but before you make any decisions, it’s important to think everything through thoroughly. Here are some important things to consider:

What are the advantages?
If you want to grow your business, then you may need to come to terms with the fact that at some stage, you will need help. If your time is currently taken up with all the day-to-day running of the business, then delegating some of these tasks can help free up your schedule. This gives you the opportunity to focus on more top-level planning and development, to ensure your business can reach its full potential.

What are the disadvantages?
You will have a financial commitment to that employee and so it’s important to ensure your business is making enough money in order to pay their salary.

There is the risk that you hire someone who is not suitable for your business. This can be extremely damaging, but the risk can be reduced by following a clear and thought through recruitment process.

What else do I need to consider?
It’s important to work out how much work you actually have to keep your new employee busy. For example, you don’t want to hire a full-time employee during your busy period only to realise that the rest of the year they have nothing to do.

Make sure you are clear on why you are hiring an employee. This can help you to find someone that is suitable for the job. Do you want someone to help with admin perhaps, or someone who has expertise in a particular area?

Don’t forget that employee expenses are much more than just paying a salary. There are other financial implications such as taxes. You will also need to decide whether your existing office space is sufficient for a growing business, provide equipment to your new hire as well as training.

What should I do next?
If you have decided to hire your first employee, then you should create a job description, promote the role and start carrying out interviews. Ensure candidates have the relevant skills and experience, as well as the right personality and attitude to fit within your business. For a more detailed step-by-step process to follow, see this helpful infographic from Simply Business. This is a very important decision though, so make sure you take your time.

What are the alternatives?
If you’re not sure that hiring a full-time employee is right for you, then there are other options for you to consider. You could outsource key elements of your business to an agency. For example, you could hire a social media agency to run your Facebook Page, or an IT provider to maintain your systems.

Alternatively, you may want to consider hiring a contractor. This gives you lots of flexibility, as you can ask for as much or as little help as you need, depending on your workload and the peaks and troughs in the market. Do a simple search on Google to find freelancers in your area, or sites such as Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, Upwork and Fiverr are becoming increasingly popular.

Are you in the process of hiring your very first employee? We’d love to know how you decided it was time to take this big step. Leave us a comment in the box below. 

Author Bio

Elizabeth Harmon is a writer for Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. She discusses various subjects, including business, careers and online marketing. She is self employed as a Social Media Consultant and understands the need to prioritise tasks, delegate work and plan for the future. You can follow her on Twitter @Liz_Harmon or see more of her blogs here.


own-office-appliances

Technology is a major part of any business these days. Regardless of what type of business you’re running, there’s many appliances you can invest in to enhance the workplace. From help with printing and labelling, to keeping employees happy and refreshed – here you’ll discover some of the most useful appliances you can use in the workplace.

Printers/Label machines

First up we have what may seem as an obvious choice – printers. However, these days there are a LOT of different types of printers out there and your main dilemma isn’t choosing between ink and laser anymore. Instead, you have to take a lot of different factors into account.

For example, did you know slow printers take as much as 17 minutes per employee out of each working day? This is a lot of wasted time over the course of a year! So, making sure you have a fast printer that’s especially designed for business use is essential.

Don’t ignore the importance of label printers too. They may seem pretty small, but a label printer can be really convenient in the workplace. You can use them to keep things more organised, or to mark products up for sale.

Multi-dock chargers

Multi-dock chargers can prove essential for businesses who rely upon smartphones or tablet devices. Allowing them to be charged simultaneously, you can leave employee devices to charge overnight, ready for the morning. It’s a simple, yet very useful appliance that can save a lot of stress throughout the working day.

Energy consumption gadgets

Are you worried about how much energy your business is using? There are clever devices available that can tell you exactly how much energy various appliances are using. Not only that, but some can even be controlled to turn appliances on and off at specific times, such as air conditioning and heating systems. These give you a great opportunity to really cut down your energy bill and protect the environment at the same time.

A back up router

If your workplace relies heavily upon the internet, it’s worth having a back-up in case it ever goes down. There are routers that you can invest in which come with built in 3G and 4G capability. So, if wireless does stop working, you can switch to 3G or 4G connections until it’s up and running again.

Overall, there are many different types of appliances out there that can be really beneficial to the workplace. The above are just some of the ones you’ll want to consider.



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GetEntrepreneurial.com is a small business blog dedicated to providing business advice and resources to our community of aspiring entrepreneurs. Our specially hand-picked panel of GetEntrepreneurial.com Network experts regularly contribute entrepreneurial content and professional tips for small business owners worldwide.