Employees are the backbone of any business. They work hard to generate revenue for the company and help it grow. It is important that you take care of your employees so they can perform at their best, but what does this mean? There are many different things that an employee needs in order to be productive and happy; here are three of them!
Employees who feel like they are not being compensated fairly or that their efforts do not align with the incentives given to them will become less and less productive. The same can be said for employees who receive regular praise and recognition but see no change in compensation. Some companies try this method by using a “progressive discipline system,” where an employee has low pay at first before receiving raises if they work hard enough to prove themselves; however, it is important to make sure your company's practices aren't unfair – you don't want any false claims of discrimination!
On top of monetary rewards, many studies show that non-monetary awards such as public acknowledgment (e.g., certificates) have just as much effect on motivating employees. That said, small rewards are nice, but if you can provide a sense of ownership to your employees by letting them participate in the decision-making process (e.g., they are invited to meetings or their input is sought out), then that would be ideal! In addition, if an employee feels like they aren't being compensated fairly, it may lead them to find another job offer somewhere else where their work will pay off more.
#2 Adequate systems and software
Employees need to know what they are doing and how to do it well. If company systems (such as email, internal documents, etc.) aren't clear or easy-to-follow, employees won't perform their best! Therefore, it is important that your business has good software for things like employee management – sometimes called Human Resources Management Software (HRMS).
This will allow you to track data on everything from payroll to vacation time.
Using a system such as go high level support will make the process of hiring new employees easier because all applicants can receive an account instantly and fill out forms at their own pace rather than having several people in different departments filling out information independently through emails and spreadsheets, which could cause some issues with consistency and accuracy.
#3 Proper equipment and environment
Employees need to be able to do their jobs well, and this doesn't mean just having the right skills for a job. They also need equipment that is up-to-date and not too old or broken down. For example, old computers may become slower over time which could lead employees to take more breaks because they have nothing else to do while waiting for files or programs to load – ultimately wasting company money!
Having good office equipment will allow your workers to focus on what matters most: their work, without interruption from technology issues. Not only will it help them perform better now, but if you upgrade gradually over time, then you won't have as many costs all at once when buying new software/hardware every few instead of letting things get so bad that you need to replace everything at once.
It is important for employees to be able to work in a comfortable environment, whether they are working in an office or at home. If employees are uncomfortable, it will show in their work, and they won't be able to perform as well, which could lead to frustration and turnover.
Entrepreneurs know how hard it is to secure funding and small businesses of all kinds sometimes live and die on the whim of an investor. This is why they are often called angel investors because they might be the ones who give you all the funding you have been searching for. However, what happens when an investor is not pulling through on their end? They owe you money, the next installment of the funding has not come through and yet you have signed over a piece of the business to them. What should you do? Well you may not have to go down the legal route, they may just need reminding. Or they have to be made to turn out their pockets kicking and screaming, either way you will get your funding.
Catch up coffee
The old trick about catching up over coffee might do the trick. You can ask them to meet you in a local coffee shop. You may be in the same city or region, at a particular time, ask them then. If they are in another country, you can still ask to talk over a cup of coffee using a conference call software. Make sure that it is on a pleasant day, maybe the weekend where they can’t make an excuse to get up and leave to head back to the office. Then spring it up on them, about the late payment. Ask them when it will come through, tell them what kind of projects the funding will be used for, etc. this may have just reminded them or they may have been convinced that they should stay with you for the long haul and not drag their feet on their way to the exit door.
Get someone on it
Do not forget, this is a two-way street. If you have signed a contract with them, that doesn’t mean it is their contract per se. They are also beholden to the obligation they signed up to. So you have every right to use collection agency software to find out where they are, what business name they use, use databases to find their home address to issue a letter warning or find their professional office to do the same. They need to know, you need the funding and they owe it to you for the piece of the pie that you signed over to them at the beginning.
Don’t panic, it might be a simple mistake. They may be an older investor who forgets what kinds of dealings they have going on, or they may be very busy. Just give them a simple reminder through email and follow up with a phone call. Ask to speak with them directly if you get their secretary on the phone. It can be better to break the ice by thanking them once again for their financial support and belief in your business before you ask about the late payment.
Investors can save a business and for that, you should be grateful. But it doesn’t mean you become a servant to them who just take the scraps and be happy about it. Chase your funding up and get what you deserve.
If you have a business idea, but you know that you aren’t aiming to sell to the every-person market, you’re looking to hit the luxury market – this is for you.
One of the most exciting things about the most luxurious brands is that they have a range of cheaper products. These more affordable products are more accessible to a broader market but don’t hold the same weight as the high-ticket items.
Some luxury brands have long-standing names, and it is history that sets them apart – but modern luxury brands don’t need history on their side.
Start-ups that are aiming to crack the luxury market have a wide range of tools at their disposal to make sure that they are the only brand you want.
So how do you do it? How do you take any product or service and turn it into a luxury item?
If you are selling to everyone, then you are effectively the opposite of luxury. While there can be luxury brands for the masses, true luxury feels inaccessible to many.
Luxury brands do so well to target a specific niche that they know can afford their products. It’s not always about the product either. It is the ability to say you have the item.
From bags to cars, it is about symbolic value. Of course, the product needs to perform, or the value will significantly decline over time, and it will no longer be covered.
To dig deep into your niche, you need to highlight products that affluent individuals value.
The quickest way to make something exclusive to a single market is to ensure that the price point is high.
Not a single stitch, clasp, or service packages should be anything less than exceptional. When you sell to a luxury affording audience, they expect quality for their money.
Mass production does often lead to flaws in the product, and therefore a reduction in the quality. It is your job to make sure that your manufacturing methods are incredible.
Quality control will be at the heart of the operation.
When we buy something in a regular price bracket, we aren’t so surprised when it’s not a luxurious experience from start to finish.
However, when you are dealing in luxury niche items, the moment someone becomes aware of your brand, through to delivery and unboxing, it should feel incredible.
You will also need to make some firm decisions when it comes to unsold – out of season merchandise. There are high-end luxury brands that destroy all of their goods that are surplus or out of season.
Louis Vuitton is an example of this. Rather than dilute the brand, they never go on sale, and they never have surplus stock that filters down to outlets.
While there are some lower-priced LV items, they still hold a symbolic value.
Your brand experience needs to start with your website and marketing. Flawless marketing videos using sleek innovative methods from an animation studio can put your brand on the map as modern and fun but still targeting the affluent market.
Not like the others
Your brand is like everyone else; it isn’t exclusive or deserving of that nightly coveted niche market.
Luxury brands stand apart from other offerings on the market, and that is in any industry. You no longer compete with them when you don’t put your products and services in the same category as the more readily available and lower-priced markets.
One of the significant differentiators between brands is their features and the power associated with owning the item.
Quiet luxury has always been in fashion. Quiet luxury is the expensive type of luxury but rarely has the symbol of their brand on them. Only other owners know how costly or limited the items are, and it becomes almost like a secret club. Typically the styles are classic, the prices are high (for most people), but the quality is incredible.
The materials used for high-end brands are of incredible quality. The design is typically sleeker, and more people have focused on creating a final product, unlike millions of other brands on the market.
Rare – but there
Touching on quiet luxury above is something that is within the realms of the rare but there exclusivity.
One of the fastest ways to create exclusivity is that the product has a limited run, unattainable price (or no pricing on the website), country exclusive, and any other barriers to obtaining the item.
A great example of bags that are constantly sold out is the black-owned brand Telfar. Telfar is in the middle price bracket, and yet every drop they have – sells out. Their tagline is Not for you – For Everyone, and yet they are challenging to get.
A prime example of using exclusivity to increase sales, and the item is there challenging and within reach for many at a reasonable price point – but never available.
When it comes to catering for affluent clients with a big budget and a specific taste, then from the moment you conceive the product. You are looking to present a service or product that isn’t set out to compete in the market – instead has its market and is not concerned with competition.
Unlike many markets, the luxury market doesn't always place its purchase decision at the price point. While it comes into play – it isn’t the deciding factor. Financial extravagance offers something much more interesting: exclusive items, access to designers to commission work from, and investments.
Luxury items in fashion and jewelry often hold their value, and unlike technology and some cars, they increase in value when kept in good condition. Luxury items aren’t just coveted for their initial use; many bags sold by Chanel soon after sold out resurfaced many years later with a higher price tag.
And, one of the most important things is, as you launch your luxury brand, always keep in mind that digital art (NFTs) and digital fashion are making a big splash – and those two are aimed at a luxury market, with clients looking to make investments.
We have talked about the barriers that can be placed to almost prevent people from buying the product. But barriers somehow make the product more enticing – of course, because FOMO is a serious thing.
But when you have plenty of cash and a location isn’t difficult to get to – then you can bring your audience to you instead.
We know that everything is online, and you can order anything you want at any time. But what if you follow in the footsteps of some high-end brands and just made an online purchase, something that isn’t possible?
Online purchase for expensive items isn’t something that has always been possible. But now, you can purchase a car and have it delivered without ever sitting in it.
High-end brands like Chanel believe that their clients deserve a complete shopping experience, which can only happen when people enter their stores. Although their perfume, skincare, and smaller items are available online via multiple retailers.
Celine offers a limited selection online; for anything more than perfume, you have to go in-store too.
The limited off from Celine is their broader consumer product being widely available online, and their higher-end, more premium items have a location barrier.
The final offering should be the most unique of all – a service that is only accessible without a price tag and undoubtedly hands-on. Producing whatever it is you do, completely bespoke.
Facilitating the most personalized requests worked into the product of service and creating something that will only work for the buyer is a skill.
Perhaps, say you make handbags, you have a rare cut of leather available – this can be kept in the private collection, only available to a bespoke design.
Tailoring your services makes them even more interesting because once one person has something unique, the demand for the dame product arises. Of course, you can’t replicate that – but you can offer them the same services to create something unique.
If your website is anything less than sleek and perfect, then it isn’t worth having. The customer experience needs to begin from the moment that your name appears in the search engine results.
Everything about your website should be functioning, sleek, easy to navigate, and straightforward, Making use of white space, choosing the right font, and carefully selecting which images make the grade and which don’t.
Every tiny detail will be magnified and scrutinized when it comes to people who have a lot of cash to spend and what the best that money can afford.
Of course, to be exclusive, perhaps your focus is on being so exclusive that even money can’t buy your products.
Consider the legacy that the Hermes Birkin bag has – no one knows how long the waiting list was to buy directly – you are free to arrange an appointment with your nearest store, but there is a strict list about who can and who cannot buy a Birkin bag. You’ll also be on the waiting list for it to be made.
So when it comes to selling your products to a luxury market, the efforts are worth it in the end – but how you build your business from the ground up is vital.
Leasing – or renting – an office is still seen as the most popular method of running a business. Despite the work-from-home revolution, many companies still want to have office space to conduct their daily business. It's rare that companies will outright buy offices, purely because it's too expensive. Plus, small businesses move around quite a lot, so you might not stay in the building for long enough to warrant buying it.
Having said all of this, leasing office space isn't the most advantageous idea of all time. There are some disadvantages as well, which begs the question; should you lease an office? Are there some better alternatives that might work well for your business?
To help you answer this question, you'll find some reasons for and against the concept of renting office space:
Having an office gives you a professional work environment that can help you be more productive. It allows you to keep all of your staff in one place, allowing for better collaboration on projects. Communication is much easier when everyone's in an office, and you don't have to worry about things like someone's internet breaking down. As we've all experienced over Zoom or Microsoft Teams meetings, a dodgy internet connection can make communication a huge problem when remote working.
Many people argue that working in an office is better for them mentally as they feel more professional. It's a way of letting people switch to ‘work mode' rather than working from home and feeling too relaxed and distracted.
Against: A needless expense
On the other hand, you can easily argue that leasing an office is a needless expense. Sure, it has benefits, but do you actually need an office to run your business? Can you run it from home without any qualms or issues? The last 18 months have been a great way for businesses to test if remote working is effective for them or not. Ask yourself, have you seen significant drops in productivity over this period?
If the answer is no, then you may want to consider ditching the office altogether. You can clearly run your company with no issues if everyone works remotely, so why bother spending money on office rent? It's not just the cost of renting that's a factor; it's all the other expenses as well. Office energy bills, office equipment for all your employees – these things add up. Yes, some can be taken off your tax bill as business expenses, but you still have to purchase them, which may interrupt your cash flow.
For: Free advertising
An underrated and unappreciated advantage of leasing an office is that it gives you free advertising. When you work in an office, you can place your sign outside. If you're the only business in the building, you can put clear signage outside the office for everyone to see. Even if multiple businesses work in the same building, there will usually be a sign outside with everyone's logos on it. You could even add signs to your windows to further promote your business.
Ultimately, an office gives you a chance to promote your business to anyone that walks by. If you're located in a busy city center, you could potentially have hundreds of eyes on your logo and sign every day. This plants the seed of your business in people's minds, making them think about you subconsciously. They can also be intrigued by your business if you offer something they're interested in. In essence, you can potentially gain customers just by leasing an office.
Another possible bad side of leasing office space is that it can lead to constant lateness from your employees. It all depends on your office location and how easy it is to get to. In some cases, there are no public transport links, so the only way to get there is by car or foot. If your whole team drives in from different locations, they can easily get caught in the morning traffic rush. This means that certain employees are always turning up late, and there's nothing they can do about it.
By contrast, if everyone worked from home, you'd never have an issue with lateness. People don't have to commute to work every day, so you should be able to get more productive hours out of them. Granted, this point is definitely situational and depends on the office. You may find an office in an excellent location that's close to all of your employees and is easy to get to – even during rush hour. However, this brings us back to the money issue; offices like this will command a premium rental price!
Again, an underrated benefit of leasing offices is that you do have the potential to make money from the space. In most office leasing contracts, you can sublease to let other businesses rent a share of the office space. Let's say you lease an office, but you only use around a third of the space you have in the building. Maybe, after last year, you realized that half of your team can work remotely, while the other half stay in the office. As a result, there's a lot of spare space lying around. You can then lease this to another business – or two – and they pay you to work there.
This is a highly common idea, and it's called office sharing. Now, there's a key thing to understand, and it's that everyone subleasing from you will have their own separate office areas. They will work in the same office building, but not in your actual office. This differs from coworking, which is where everyone works together in the same place and shares resources. It can be confusing differentiating between the two, but there are some great points made in an article I read called 14 Ways Office Sharing Differs From Coworking that explains it all. The bottom line is that you can make money by leasing an office if you have extra space to sublease to others. As such, this can go some way to covering your own rental costs!
Against: A bad work-life balance
Achieving a good work-life balance is essential if you want to get the most from your employees. A good balance between the two means that people can easily drift between work and their personal lives. Essentially, it mainly revolves around the idea of bringing work stress back home with them or having enough time to themselves at the end of each day. Leasing an office could lead to a bad work-life balance, particularly when compared to working from home.
Did you know that a lot of workers found that working from home provided them with a better work-life balance in 2020? Over 4,000 people were surveyed by FlexJobs, and they discovered that 73% believed they had a better work-life balance by being at home. Why? Because it allowed them to cut down on commuting, letting them spend more time with their kids, partners, pets, etc. Not having to go to the office every morning also meant they could sleep in an hour later than usual in some cases, leading to a better sleep schedule and decreasing stress. This might not be the case for everyone, but the stats show that a large majority of workers have a worse work-life balance in the office.
For: Better networking opportunities
The last point in the ‘for' column is that an office gives you more opportunities to network. If you sublease to other companies, you could have someone right next to you that provides the services you need. Likewise, if you're in a building that loads of other businesses are also in, the same networking opportunities present themselves.
A significant downside of working from home is that you miss out on these ongoing networking and relationship-building opportunities.
Against: A higher carbon footprint
Finally, one argument against leasing offices is that they make your business generate a larger carbon footprint. By working from home, you prevent the need for commuting, saving many carbon emissions from being pumped into the air every day. It's not something you tend to think about that often, but it's a genuine problem.
You also use less energy as you won't have numerous PCs plugged into the wall every single day – or loads of other office equipment. So, you can run a greener business by not having an office.
Overall, leasing an office can be both beneficial and disruptive. It depends on your business and the issues you hold closest to your heart. Also, some businesses may have to work in an office for one reason or another. In this case, leasing is definitely better and more financially savvy than buying an office building. Ultimately, it comes down to what you think will benefit your business the most. Can you work from home without any productivity issues? Can you rent an office without seeing the financial problems?
Online trading is a booming industry that has been around for over 20 years. The internet and the introduction of online brokers have made it easier than ever to invest in stocks, forex, and commodities. But there are things no one tells you about the world of online trading before you get started:
You Should Avoid Penny Stocks
It would help if you avoided penny stocks over the long term. Some of these stocks can exponentially increase in value. However, on rare occasions, penny stocks may become lucrative investments and yield high returns over a short period.
However, many investors lose money because they are not aware that most penny stock investments are speculative. The significant risk involved with trading penny stocks is that it is easy to lose money. The penny stocks listed on the OTC Bulletin Board or Pink Sheets can be hazardous and volatile, and you should avoid them altogether if possible.
You should not invest in penny stocks if you are going through a rough financial patch because they will only stress your situation. It is not a brilliant idea to invest in penny stocks when your main priority is paying the bills and taking care of yourself, especially if you live paycheck to paycheck. When it comes to making investments, sometimes all you can think about is how much money you have lost or what amount you might be able to make instead.
You Should Stick to One Trading Platform
Sticking to one platform like MetaTrader 4 is good because it allows you to develop the skills and strategies needed for trading. You should try out different platforms, but if one works well with your needs, then stick to that one. There is also a lot of community support on many of these sites, which can also help. It's important not to get distracted by other platforms because you might get confused or trade poorly.
You Should Have Enough Funds When Starting
You should have enough funds when starting online trading. That means you don't need to borrow money or pay with your credit card because it can be easy to get into this situation if you are not careful and end up losing more than what you started with.
If the market is doing well, that might work in your favour, but there's no guarantee that it will, and you could lose a lot of money. So you should set aside some money for this purpose before even starting online trading so that if something does go wrong, you have the funds to cover your losses.
You Should Be Realistic About Profits To Avoid Losses
It would help if you were realistic about the potential profits that you might make. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Do not expect huge returns because someone gave you a tip, or there are rumors online of quick success stories. With anything in life, if something seems like easy money – it usually isn't and will end up costing you.
Now that you have a better idea of what it takes to be an online trader, you might want to give it a try. There are many benefits associated with this type of trading, and having the correct information can help even beginners get started on their journey without any hiccups along the way. So don't think about it any longer, and get started today!
The end of the year is quickly approaching. This means it's time to start thinking about what you need to accomplish before the year is over! Of course, there are many things on your mind, but some critical areas in your business should be at the top of your list.
Whether you're a small business owner or an entrepreneur, these are all essential tasks for every company to have accomplished this year! Here is a list to guide you.
Your Market Share
It is common for companies to have market share reports and analyses on their annual performance. This is also one of the most sought-after information for new companies to know how they are doing compared to competitors in their industry.
To improve your market share, you can create new products, start advertising more, lower prices, increase quality and strengthen customer relationships. You can also improve market share with People Ai.
Your Employees' Skills
Employees are the backbones of your business. They make sure that everything is running smoothly, and if they're not happy with something in the company, then either you or them will be unhappy. So, it makes sense to keep your employees happy.
Start by grading your employees. You can do it on many factors, like communication skills and punctuality, but you will also need to know how skilled they are in their jobs. For example, if a customer service agent is not knowledgeable about the products they are selling, their customers won't have a good experience.
Your warehousing is critical to the success of your company. It's a space where you can keep all your inventory and be able to track products sold, who ordered those items from you, as well as where they're going. Make sure you organize it, so things don't get lost or misplaced in this vital area of your business.
Your Products and Services
Your products and services are some of the essential things in your business. They need to be fully developed, marketed well-enough so that you know what they can do for clients, and put out there so potential buyers or clients can see them. There is a lot of work involved with this process, but it's essential to your business.
Your Production Systems
Your production systems are the backbone of your business and can be a key area you need to work on before year-end. One thing that will help you grow is efficient production systems, so everything runs smoothly with little downtime or stress caused by a lack of materials.
Planning for this replenishment process takes careful calculation and consideration, especially if you are hiring additional staff to help with the workload. You can begin this process by first determining how much material is needed each day and establishing a plan for getting that amount of inventory into your business.
Your IT Department
Your IT department is your business's backbone and needs the attention it deserves. If you're looking for an IT support service provider, you need to know what critical areas in your business to work on before the year ends. Looking for an IT support service provider will help you improve your business' operations and prepare it to face the future.
The customer is the reason why you're in business. Make sure you meet their needs to maintain your reputation as an industry leader. It would help if you also focused on creating efficient communication channels with customers so they know how to contact you when problems arise. The last thing you want at this point is to lose customer trust because of poor communication.
You'll also need to keep an eye on your business' website and make sure it's mobile-friendly. Many customers look for information online when researching about products or services they want to buy, so if you don't have a good presence in the digital world, then there is no point in running a business.
Your Procurement Activities
As the eCommerce business grows, it is essential to have an effective procurement strategy. The biggest challenge that most online stores face today is managing their growing inventory well and controlling expenses simultaneously.
If you want to grow your income with better margins this year, having a good supply chain management process in place will help you achieve it much more manageable.
This article gave you an overall focus on things to work on for your business. The covered areas are some of the main important ones, but this is not all-inclusive as there will be other aspects in your business that need attention before year-end.