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Archive for 'Business'

Rebranding: A guide for your small business

Rebranding your small business can be a tricky matter. When done well, it has the potential to help your business stand out from the competition bubble and even expand your target market.

On the other hand, a failed rebrand can damage the reputation of your business, or even risk losing loyal customers who dislike your new look. Which is why rebranding is a move that should never be taken lightly and must always be strategically planned.

Consider these ideas before embarking on your rebranding journey.

Understand your strategy
Rebranding is a serious investment which will require both your time and money. Therefore, a rebrand must always be necessary to either solving the problem at hand or growing your business. If it isn’t – then it may be helpful to consider easier and less costly actions, you can take. You must have legitimate customer-focused strategies behind why this move is required. Otherwise, rebranding will likely harm your business more than help it.

Holistic approach
Merely tweaking the name and logo of your business and hoping for the best will not cut it. Taking a holistic marketing approach will allow you to focus on the development, design and implementation of the rebranding strategy through your business as a whole. To improve the identity of your business, you must look at how this one change will affect your overall business. Reviewing every aspect that will be affected will also help you assess whether the results will be worth the effort and cost involved.

Evolve with your target market
For a small business to remain successful on a long-term basis, it must remain relevant to its target market. A rebranding will largely depend upon the target market your business is pursuing – in particular, adapting to their ever-evolving wants and needs concerning the product or service you have on offer.

Hire an expert
Knowing where to start when rebranding your business can be a challenge, especially if you are planning a complete image overhaul. That is when hiring an expert to draw up a detailed plan for an innovative new look for your business can come in handy. Using their unbiased opinion can be invaluable in forming a rebranding strategy when your business may be too close to your existing brand to remain objective.

Posted on 13 July '18 by , under Business. No Comments.

Building a solid startup

It is no secret that most startups will fail in their first three years of operation, so building a new business that can not only survive but thrive in the face of a challenge is of the utmost importance.

Ensuring your business is strong enough to move past any inevitable hitches that come its way can be achieved by improving the foundations.

Consider these ideas.

It’s all about teamwork
For a business to survive any disaster, it will first need a motivated team that can work well under stress and are eager to take on challenges. Your team must work in sync with each other. Completing projects must be considered a team effort to create a sense of unity in the workplace.

The perfect partnership
Going into business with another individual might work well for you. They can pull you up when you are feeling tired or down and make the role at the top not so lonely.

However, finding the right individual for the job is essential. Choosing a business partner who shares the same values and vision for the business as you ensures you will both remain on the same page when dealing with any setbacks.

Preparing for failure
You certainly can not plan for every mishap that comes your way, so you and your team should plan for any foreseeable disasters should they ever occur.

Perseverance is key
There will always be situations in which you and your team have not prepared for. In these instances, it will take determination, creativity and hard work. Your team must see this as a challenge to overcome rather than a disaster zone.

Posted on 5 July '18 by , under Business. No Comments.

Communicating effectively with difficult people

Working with unreasonable people is inevitable for most individuals at some point in their careers. Whether it is an unhappy customer, difficult colleague or uncompromising community member – chances are you will encounter at least one of these situations.

Unfortunately, there is no crash course in dealing with difficult people, but by applying some basic principles of communication, you can manoeuvre through these situations with ease.

Here are three ways to improve your communication with difficult people:

Harness the power of listening
When dealing with a difficult person, it can be easy to fall into the trap of not listening to them and instead concentrating on what is bothering us. Switch your focus to understanding the other person’s viewpoint. Try to understand the underlying motivation behind the person’s behaviour, i.e., they may feel unheard or underappreciated.

Make your intentions known
Communication is a two-way street – you need to be able to listen effectively and express your interests in a clear manner. Think about your communication style. Analyse your strengths and focus on improving your weaknesses. Do you use appropriate body language to boost your verbal message? Are you quick to interrupt when someone else is talking? Are you straight to the point or use vague language? When the other person does not understand your message, you need to improve communication through feedback, i.e., verbal and non-verbal cues.

Don’t make it personal
When you are emotionally activated, it can be difficult to stay neutral. Be aware of your self-talk, especially if it is fuelling negative thoughts of the other person. Look at your situation from an outsider’s view and remain objective. If you are providing feedback, make sure it is constructive and not a personal attack. If you are struggling to take a neutral position, get some perspective from external parties that have dealt with similar situations. They may assist in helping you to see your situation in a different light.

Posted on 22 June '18 by , under Business. No Comments.

Why failing can be good for your career

Failure is often considered a sign of weakness or defeat. However, it is also known to be a natural stage in an entrepreneur’s career and a stepping-stone to success in the world of business.

Embracing the failures that arise in your career will help you to pinpoint ideas, strategies, etc, that were not working and learn from these past errors. It is often through analysing what did not work in the past that allows us to evolve and find the right strategy for success in the future.

Facing these challenges also builds life experience and diminishes the fear of failure. If you have failed and picked yourself back up again, what is there left to be afraid of? This idea helps us to build qualities like tenacity and persistence, essential characteristics needed to be a successful entrepreneur.

Consider adopting these ideals should you ever face failure during your career:

  • embrace the reality that at some point, whether big or small, you are likely to experience failure;
  • failing can help you pause and figure out what went wrong;
  • and it can be a natural step on the road to success.

Remember, it is often through making mistakes that new opportunities pop up and take us forward.

Posted on 15 June '18 by , under Business. No Comments.

Social media marketing trends

Social media platforms continually introduce new features and functions that change the way digital marketers create and distribute content. Maintaining awareness of popular social media trends helps to stay competitive and utilise trends to your business’ advantage.

Here are three social media trends to watch out for:

Influencer marketing
Influencers are taking over the social media landscape, particularly on Instagram. Influencers are generally bloggers or celebrities that have the power to influence their target audiences. The benefit of using influencers is that they can deliver a message to a large amount of people. This can help to increase awareness and reach new audiences. Influencers are also credible and trustworthy in their follower’s eyes, making their message more impressionable on their audience.

Instagram Stories
The growth in the use of Instagram Stories is hard to ignore. Over 200 million users use Stories each month, which has overtaken Snapchat. Instagram Stories allow a user to upload a photo or video for their followers to view which expires after 24 hours. Businesses can use Stories to highlight their products/services without having to upload them to stay on their permanent profile. Stories can be useful for competitions, blog posts or advertising a product as a link to your website can be added.

Rise of artificial intelligence
Special filters on Snapchat and Instagram are just one example of the rise in artificial intelligence. Many brands are tapping into special filters with their own branded custom filters. Artificial intelligence is also assisting businesses with managing their communication, i.e., chatbots on Messenger or websites designed to answer all sorts of queries.

Posted on 7 June '18 by , under Business. No Comments.

Using storytelling to build your brand

Storytelling taps into your customers’ emotions, builds trust and can help form a stronger connection with your audience.

Many businesses are now using their business’ story in their marketing efforts to engage their current customer base and attract new customers to their brand.
Here are three ways to incorporate storytelling into your business’ marketing:

Share your story
Where did your business start? Talk your audience through your beginnings, including where your idea to start the business came from and how the business unfolded over time. Explain your approach to your business, your mission, highlights, and stories where your business made an impact. Your story does not need to follow a chronological timeline, for example, it may only include the challenges your business has faced and how you overcame them.

Provide insight
Stories can be compelling, but only when told effectively. Give your audience insight into your business by being transparent, authentic and even entertaining or humorous. Feature your valued customers in the story and share their experiences, showcase community activities and events you have been a part of, give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your business, and so forth. The aim is to give your audience insight into your business’ core values and personality.

Inspire your audience
Your story should either invoke inspiration or provide a take-home message for your audience. This is why it is critical to be genuine in your storytelling efforts. Whether you are sharing your personal story or that of your team members’, try to relate it to the audience and avoid unnecessary and dull details. Rather than sharing a story which is self-promoting, focus on the heart of the message and what you’d like your audience to gain from hearing the story.

Posted on 25 May '18 by , under Business. No Comments.

Why your business needs a mission statement

A compelling mission statement will give your small business the purpose it needs to grow. In just a few clear and succinct sentences the statement should announce your driving business strategy.

However, it is not enough to merely generate a statement and slap it on your website. A mission statement will do little to impact your business unless you take active measures to embed its ideology into the workplace culture.

Apply your mission statement as a guiding principle when making any strategic decisions at management level.

This approach will influence you and your team to plan long-term by focusing core strategies on things that will remain constant, rather than those that will not.

Invest all your time and energy into things that are always changing, like technologies or the competition, and you will continuously need to revise your core strategies.

It is critical to use your driving purpose to form long-term strategies for your business that way they will still be relevant in five years from now.

While impacting the way you create strategies at a management level, the guiding principle must also influence how your staff complete their everyday tasks. In this way, the ideology can be embraced at every level in the workplace.

Posted on 17 May '18 by , under Business. No Comments.

Morning habits matter

How do you like to begin each day?

The daily routines of successful entrepreneurs prove that ‘when’ and ‘how’ you choose to start your morning significantly impacts the rest of your day in the office.

Incorporating positive habits into your morning routine will help to increase your productivity and creativity throughout the day, and lead to a healthier and balanced lifestyle.

Regular sleep patterns
Consistently sleeping 7 to 8 hours every night is fundamental to leading a healthy lifestyle. As an entrepreneur, you may deal with long days at the office, and it is important to give your body and mind the most appropriate amount of time to refuel each night.

Rising early
Many high-profile entrepreneurs make a habit of always rising early. Getting out of bed provides more hours in the day to achieve your goals. Consistently rising early helps to form a disciplined routine.

Morning workouts
Waking up earlier allows time to exercise in the morning. Working out as soon as you wake up is a great way to get moving and start your day on a high. Studies show that consistent exercise can boost brain activity better than coffee and other caffeinated drinks, giving you a higher level of focus throughout the day.

Eating breakfast
Breakfast matters. Your mind and body require nutrients to keep running until lunchtime. Eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast after you complete your exercise routine. This will help you to avoid becoming tired or irritable at work.

Remember, consistency is essential.

No same morning routine is right for everyone, but the best routines are the ones that are followed every day.

Posted on 11 May '18 by , under Business. No Comments.

Succeed in the workplace

Although workplaces require different skills and personality traits to fit into the role and culture of the business, there are some universal attributes that can help you succeed in the workplace.

Consider the following:

Effective communication skills
Having effective communication skills is critical as it determines how well you get along with colleagues, management and other stakeholders in the business. Verbal and nonverbal communication skills are key, i.e., active listening, maintaining eye contact, articulate speech, excellent writing skills and good phone manner.

Planning and organisation
Setting SMART goals in the workplace can help you to achieve more success. However, these goals must be accompanied by a plan of action. If you are new to goal setting, start by setting small, achievable goals that are “doable.”

Emotional intelligence
Controlling and regulating your emotions can have a big impact on the work you produce and your ability to work alongside others. For example, managing stress and avoiding procrastination can help you to meet deadlines and work more efficiently as a team member. High levels of emotional intelligence can also foster good relationships with your colleagues, community members and customers.

Posted on 27 April '18 by , under Business. No Comments.

Succeed in sales

Closing a sale is the end goal for many business owners but often knowing how to close the deal is a challenge.

Here are three ways to improve your sales approach:

Remove your agenda
A sales prospect can usually identify when a salesperson is running off an agenda. The salesperson comes across as pushy, they don’t match the prospect’s concerns with the product or service on offer, and they don’t give the prospect much time to talk. This approach can appear insincere and impersonal, thereby creating the opposite effect and driving the prospect away.

Ask questions
Dive into the prospect’s concerns and challenges by asking them questions to see if your product/service is suitable. Find out what is important to them and their expectations. If your products/services are a solution for them, pitch them or provide alternatives. Do not expect that your product or service is going to be a solution for everyone.

Show value
Value is a critical factor in a prospect’s purchasing behaviour. Using value-based selling can be helpful at generating more sales as it focuses on addressing the prospect’s problems by showing them the benefits of your product/service. Furthermore, providing examples of results, client testimonials and so forth can demonstrate more value to the prospect.

Posted on 18 April '18 by , under Business. No Comments.