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Archive for the ‘What You Need To Know About Small Business’ Category

Choosing The Right Software For Your Business

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on April 18, 2019 at 9:04 am

With the right software, you can help to organize your business efficiently and work faster. However, with so many software options to choose from, finding that right software can be a challenge. Here are a few tips for helping you to select the right business software.

Read online reviews

Online reviews can offer non-biased information on software to help you determine whether its right for you needs. Customer reviews can be useful for seeing what other users think of the software. Professional reviews meanwhile can help to give a more detailed assessment. You could even consider using comparison guides, which may review multiple types of software in order to bring you the pros and cons of each.

Get advice from IT experts

When it comes to certain software like security and cloud storage, it can be worth getting help from IT experts. By outsourcing IT services & support you could help to get personalized professional advice on which software best suits your needs and your budget. Make sure to only seek advice from credible IT support companies that understand your trade. There may be specialized companies that can help you find software suited to your niche industry.

Watch video tutorials

Some software companies will create video tutorials for their product, which you may be able to find on their site or on YouTube. These can help you to get an idea of how the software looks and the level of complexity that it provides. You may even be able to find video tutorials and reviews on YouTube made by users that could offer unbiased information.

Download free trials

A lot of software companies also provide free trials of their product that you can download. These trials tend to last no more than 30 days and may offer only a limited version with certain features locked from use. However, these free trials are still a great way to get a feel for the software and to determine how user-friendly it is. Just be wary of free trials that get you to sign up beforehand as some may automatically charge you once the free trial is up.

Attend software demos

Some companies also host software demos. These are conferences in which a salesperson presents the software to a group of potential buyers. Whilst the information you’ll get in these demos is likely to be biased and heavily promotional, these events are great opportunities to ask questions directly to someone working for the company. You’ll also meet other people at these events looking to invest in software – some of these people may be able to offer tips. Software demos can also be a great chance to seek out discounts, which could help you to save money on your ideal software package.  

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3 Tips For Ensuring Quality In Your Business

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on April 17, 2019 at 10:21 am

Running a successful business – and especially growing a business and taking it from strength to strength – requires discipline, the right resources, and the right skill set for the job. Put more succinctly, though, you could say that it requires quality in the services you offer, and in your professional conduct.

Of course, figuring out how to turn out a higher quality offering is one of the eternal questions of the business world, and there are thousands of books and guides out there with advice on how to go about this in different industries.

As a primer, however, here are a few starter tips for ensuring quality in your business.

  • Do your research and due diligence

Often, your ability to do high-quality work is going to be closely tied into the amount of research and due diligence you have committed to before embarking on a given project.

This is true both in terms of how useful your service or product is for your clients or customers, and it’s also true in terms of the degree to which you are able to act according to a high ethical standard that gains the trust and respect of others.

If, for example, you are running an operation which involves changes to natural landscapes, bringing highly qualified environmental consultants on board is essential if you want to stay on the right side of the law, as well as to avoid any resource-draining mishaps along the way.

  • Always be honest, and never cut corners

Integrity and honesty are absolutely essential hallmarks of quality in a business, and are at the very core of client trust.

A business might make a great success of itself through dishonest means – but it is highly likely that it will only be a short climb up the hill, followed by an absolute crash, and the destruction of the professional lives and reputations of all involved.

What’s more, honesty ensures quality in more directly tangible areas of your business, too. If you cut corners on materials, for example, expect a poorer quality end product.

  • Listen to customer and client feedback, and follow a process of iterative improvement

If you make yourself deaf to customer and client feedback, and believe that you always know best, it’s inevitable that you’re going to crash in pretty dramatic fashion somewhere down the line.

When it comes to ensuring quality in your business, understand that there is no “standing still.” You’re either becoming better or becoming worse.

To become consistently better, gather customer or client feedback, and cherish it. Use it as the basis for the little-by-little iterative improvements and modifications that you should always be making to your business model.

Not only does this signal to your customers and clients that you are listening to their concerns, but it also helps to keep you abreast of the latest demands and developments in your industry.

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How To Make Your Office Space Perfect

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on April 10, 2019 at 5:47 pm

Your office space is one of the most important things when it comes to your business. If you don’t get it right, your team will be unmotivated, unproductive, and quite frankly, they will probably be quite bored, too. After all, nobody really wants to look at the inside of a mundane office all day, do they? If you want to make your space more inspiring, more exciting for your team members, and generally more appealing to people (such as your clients, who may come here for meetings) then there are a few things that you need to do in order to make it perfect. We’ve put together a list of ideas here!

Bring the fun into your office

Believe it or not, your team aren’t going to enjoy your office if there is no element of fun to it. Of course, you need to be focused upon business most of the time, but when the lunch break comes around, there should be a space devoted to relaxation and socializing. You can create this by bringing in games machines (think air hockey, and other arcade type games), and you can also incorporate comfortable furniture, such as couches and relaxed booths for eating. It’s important to keep this completely separate from the rest of the office, so that your team can really enjoy the break that they deserve. Of course, dress down Fridays and other ideas will work well, too.

Keep it as clean as possible

One of the most important things that you can do in your office is to keep the space as clean and light as possible. Obviously, keeping on top of basic cleaning is fundamental, but it’s also a good idea to look into things like concrete resurfacing if you want to make your office look brand new. Another thing worth focusing on is the cleanliness of the air, so do your best to incorporate plants, and good air conditioning, to really give your office that clean feel. It doesn’t have to seem like a completely sterile environment, but it’s good to get rid of that generic tomato-soup-smelling, dying-plants vibe. Nobody wants to be met with that when they first arrive at the office.

Think about how you’re using space

When it comes to your office, space is everything. You can have a brilliant office, that is totally envied by your competitors and clients, but you may not be doing the right things with it. Have a real think about how you want to set your office out, and whether you’re going to opt for an open-plan space, or one with designated offices. Different things work for different companies here, so think about the general feeling of your team. If they’re always wanting to share ideas, and you’d like to build on this, then open-plan may be a good idea. If they work better burrowed away in their offices, then keeping more walls up could be a good choice. Do whatever works for you!

So, if you want to make your office space perfect, then follow these simple tips!

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A Guide For Seeking External Expert Assistance In Business

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on April 10, 2019 at 7:59 am

When running a business, it’s entirely natural to need assistance from others when problems arise. No business owner is expected to be a true master of every aspect of running a company, and there will inevitably be moments when any entrepreneur has to admit they are – essentially – out of their depth. Whether it’s a legal issue, a difficult aspect of financial management, or a tech glitch, the best thing an entrepreneur can do is acknowledge they require more expert assistance to resolve the issue once and for all.

However, simply identifying that you need help with a particular aspect of your business is just the first step; you now have to find that help – which is often easier said than done.

Why can accessing expert assistance be so troublesome?

If you have received a confusing letter from the IRS or a legal summons, you know that you need help to resolve the matter, because you don’t know enough about the subject to handle it yourself. Unfortunately, this also means that you don’t know enough about the subject to correctly assess the expert options available to you.

Think of it as asking for help solving a jigsaw puzzle, but you don’t know what the finished picture of the puzzle is meant to look like. You could hire someone to help complete the puzzle, but you’ve no way of being sure if they have completed it to display the right picture.

What problems can this cause?

If you hire a tax expert to resolve your confusing letter from the IRS, but that tax expert makes a mistake, then the original issue is not actually fixed – but you may not necessarily be aware that things have not been resolved. It will only be later down the line, when you receive another letter, that you discover the error. The picture may look complete to you, but you then realize the pieces are in entirely the wrong order.

Given that most entrepreneurs seek external assistance for very complex, serious matters – legal, financial, and so on – the impact of issues going unresolved can be very severe indeed.

How can you ensure you find a good expert?

If you need to hire a tax expert, a business law attorney, or any other kind of professional expertise, it is absolutely vital that you do your research. Spend time browsing websites, reading reviews, and fact-checking claims for the person, or company, that you are considering using. You need to be sure that the person or company you choose is legitimate, that their knowledge and expertise is verifiable, and that they can be trusted, to ensure they are capable of remedying the problem you are experiencing.

Secondly, you have to trust your gut. During the above research phase, take note of your instincts: if you think something isn’t right – or seems to be too good to be true – then walk away. There’s absolutely no point overriding yourself if something seems off; you have to be completely confident in the person, or company, that you eventually choose.

In conclusion

Accessing professional, expert assistance to deal with complicated matters in business can be far from simple. You can’t pick a name at random and hope for the best; instead, you have to research thoroughly, listen to your instincts, and only decide to hire a person or firm when you are 100% satisfied they will be able to help resolve the difficulty you are experiencing once and for all.

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Selling In China: Some Dos And Don’ts

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on April 9, 2019 at 7:27 am

China is the largest e-commerce market in the world, responsible for an astonishing 50 percent of total global sales. Companies, both domestic and international, are looking for ways to sell more of their products in China, but how?

In this article, we’re going to take a deep dive into some of the dos and don’t for selling in China. Once you’ve read this post, you should have a much better understanding of how to target and sell to the Chinese consumer and gain a foothold in one of the fastest-growing economies on Earth.

Do Sell Western Brands

Chinese consumers love Western brands, and with good reason: the local competition does not have the same exotic allure. But there’s a problem: much of the market for goods in China is tainted by cheap imitations that don’t match the quality of the real thing according to justsomething.co. When an affluent Chinese person orders a Rolex online, they don’t want something made cheaply at a fraction of the price in a factor just down the road.

This is an enormous opportunity for sellers looking to offer products to the growing luxury Chinese market. Chinese consumers want retailers that they can trust to deliver the genuine article, time and time again, without having to worry about whether their products are forged. Companies that can prove the provenance of their products will be able to stand head and shoulders above the competition.

Don’t Ship On An Individual Basis

Shipping to China can be expensive. And with domestic rivals like JD and Alibaba pushing the price of shipping down to the bare minimum, it can be challenging to work out how to compete.

Sites like Secureship.ca talk about how Western brands can make in-roads into the Chinese market without pricing out consumers. They suggest sharing shipping arrangements with other sellers from different industries, cutting the cost of sending goods vast distances. Companies find that when they use these shipping methods, they can sell their products at far more competitive prices.

Do Set Up In Smaller Cities

Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Tianjin may be the Chinese cities that western businesses know about, but that doesn’t mean that they are the best place to put down roots and set up shop.

The vast majority of urbanized Chinese people live in mid-sized cities. And many of those mid-sized cities don’t yet offer the designer or branded shops that the local affluent people want.

This is an opportunity for e-commerce businesses and even brick-and-mortar stores to provide a service where one is currently lacking. Draw up a target list of mid-size cities where consumers currently don’t have access to the products that you sell (if applicable) and then target them with trade links to your product. People in these cities are a captive audience because they have money but do not yet have access to competitors.

Don’t Neglect Social Media

Social media is a big hit in China, so western companies need to make sure that they have a China-specific social media presence. Chinese people tend to do their shopping in the evening, so you need to be on your social media account answering questions at 7 to 8 in the morning.

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