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Management

5 Errors New Entrepreneurs Make and How to Avoid Them

If you have been thinking about starting your own business, you are not alone. Entrepreneurship is on the rise and millions of small businesses are launched annually. However, a large portion of these companies struggle in their first six months and ninety percent of them eventually fail, according to stats recorded by CityA.M. While these numbers may seem daunting in the face of your own entrepreneurial goals, success is possible if you know which beginner’s mistakes are made the most often by new business owners and how to avoid them.

If you have been thinking about starting your own business, you are not alone. Entrepreneurship is on the rise and millions of small businesses are launched annually. However, a large portion of these companies struggle in their first six months and ninety percent of them eventually fail, according to stats recorded by CityA.M. While these numbers may seem daunting in the face of your own entrepreneurial goals, success is possible if you know which beginner’s mistakes are made the most often by new business owners and how to avoid them.

  1. Spending Before Growth Is Achieved

One of the most common reasons startups fail is because their owners put too much of their own capital into the business before achieving growth. This typically happens when company owners dream bigger than their bank accounts can handle and try to implement certain systems before profits can cover them. To avoid this, you must practice patience. Grow your company slowly, spend your capital wisely, and be conservative about taking major financial leaps until you can be assured that your current profits will cover them.

  1. Underestimating the Competition

Even if you have launched a niche business and you consider your products or services quite unique, you will always have to consider what kind of competition you will be facing. Some entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing completely on marketing ploys that do not spell out what makes them different from the competition, and in many cases, those differences are what make consumers choose one business over another one that is very similar.

To illustrate this point, imagine you have opened an online store that sells organic treats for pets. Your competition is another digital website that sells the same product, only with a different recipe. If you want to stand out and catch the attention of would-be customers, you will have to offer them a wide variety of treat flavors, shapes, and colors, as well as perks that will coax them to make a purchase and remain a loyal customer.

  1. Inconsistent Online Branding

If your new company will operate 100 percent online, then consistent branding is one major key to success. The ability for customers to seek out and recognize your brand across the many social media platforms online is vital, for they cannot share what they cannot find. Be sure to create a recognizable brand image and use it consistently when you create business accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

  1. Sharing Ads, Not Information

Some startup owners are so eager to advertise their new business that they create a variety of social media accounts and starting sending out ads to everyone they know. While this can be exciting for those who follow those pages initially, the influx of advertisements can become tiresome and those business owners can suddenly find themselves losing followers in droves. However, there is a way to advertise your products without relying on traditional advertising, and that is by creating shareable content that highlights their usefulness.

Creating shareable information lets you interact with your customers by offering them something fun as well as useful, such as hamptoncreek does by sharing recipes on their Instagram page that include their plant-based products as ingredients. This allows visitors to learn about the company while browsing delicious recipe ideas at the same time. When you take the time to create shareable content like this, you can help your followers avoid advertising burnout.

  1. Trying Too Many Ideas at Once

The excitement of launching a new company can result in a plethora of ideas, but failing to focus on one or two at the outset may result in not following through on any of them. Ideas for growing your business and marketing your products are likely to be a dime a dozen; it is maintaining their usefulness that is difficult.

To narrow down which ideas you will implement as you launch your startup, make a list of your top five favorites. From there, write down three ways each idea can help you generate profit or grow your company. If any of those ideas do neither, you may want to set them aside. The more you can focus on a few good ideas that will support your startup in the long term, the more successful you may be.

Starting a new business can be daunting, especially if you have never done so before, but when you plan ahead and avoid jumping ahead before your business has the chance to grow, your chances of long-term success are sure to increase.

Management

How the Right POS System Can Improve Your Restaurant

In order to improve a business, you must focus on areas that have minor or major inefficiencies. Then, after you gather enough information, you’ll need to develop a plan to resolve every problem that impacts sales and customer service.

A POS system for restaurants should be featured in a basic business plan because it can provide big benefits that can improve business productivity. If you want to enhance daily routines using the right POS system for a restaurant, you’ll need to consider a few things during the scouting process.

Faster Transactions

Whenever customers stand in line for a long time frequently on a daily basis, you must implement procedures to correct this problem. Speed is important in the restaurant industry because slow service leads to unhappy customers, and people who aren’t happy will be less likely to visit a restaurant a second time. Stability drives a restaurant business; if your restaurant doesn’t get enough repeat sales, profits will suffer.

POS systems can speed up transaction times since they process orders instantly after employees tap icons. These systems perform extremely well when people order more than one menu item, and the software can adjust orders quickly as well.

Consistent Inventory Management

If you experience order inconsistencies because your inventory isn’t properly managed, a POS system with management solutions can help. By configuring the software on a restaurant POS system, you’ll never have to cancel orders since the software will track inventory following every transaction. Inventory management software is strategically designed, so it will track a certain item and different varieties. For example, if you set up a bracket for drinks, the software will track a certain brand along with diet options.

Convenience for Customers and Employees

Often when people visit a restaurant they don’t know what to order. If POS units are installed at every table, your guests will have opportunities to place an order at own their pace. Self-service point of sale equipment is very easy to use, so a teen or a senior will have no problems navigating through all of the available options.

Self-service POS units benefit employees because they give them time to focus on other restaurant tasks. If your restaurant isn’t properly staffed, a few POS systems can ease the workload.

Sales Opportunities on the Go

When a restaurant reaches a certain level of success, expansion is a practical option. However, since the process of conquering a new market isn’t very easy, most business owners test the conditions by investing in food trucks. These vehicles are convenient because they can commute to different destinations during market testing routines. Throughout the early test phase, a mobile POS unit can help a chef process orders behind the counter and outside of the truck.

A Competitive Edge

Businesses that give consumers great options to drive more sales. If locals find POS units in a restaurant, they will remember them because the equipment is sleek, fast, and efficient. In order to gain a competitive advantage in your neighborhood, you’ll need to ensure that your restaurant has technologies that aren’t found in other business locations.

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Management

How To Start Your Own Engineering Company

meeting

In order to properly start your own engineering company, you must be mindful of a few key steps.

The first order of business is for you to determine what field of engineering you are interested in pursuing in the first place. You will want to narrow down into a specific niche if you want to successfully market yourself to your target audience. Then, depending on what you have chosen, you will need to get the necessary education to grow your skillsets in this field.

Once you have thought about the preliminary requirements, it’s time for you to start thinking of innovative ideas, to hire employees, fund your company, of course, market yourself, come up with a reasonable quote and lastly, acquire clients. Continue reading for more information.

Determine what field you are interested in pursuing

What field of engineering are you most interested in pursuing and starting a business in? Some options include:

  • Electrical engineer
  • Chemical engineer
  • Aerospace engineer
  • Computer engineer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Civil engineer

There are countless others that you can select from, and the good news is that if you are interested in engineering as a whole, you are bound to find one subdivision that piques your interest.

Keep in mind that you want your future customers to be clear on what type of services that you offer, and this is also yet another reason as to why you need to be specific about what you do.

If you offer scattered services from across the different fields, this isn’t practical, and it will simply confuse people. Don’t let this be the case for you and your business.

Gain the necessary education

Getting the necessary education, and thus having the appropriate degree, is always paramount to your long-term success. Without the proper field knowledge, you can’t possibly understand how the industry works in the first place.

Moreover, if you already have an engineering degree, and it isn’t uncommon for engineers to turn into entrepreneurs if they so desire, you can then pursue higher education in business management. The other good news is that you can even get this degree online nowadays. Take the example of Kettering University that offers MS engineering management online.

Come up with innovative creations

The goal of any company is to stand out from the others and to make a difference in the world. Already, there have been many interesting innovations created by engineers and their teams.

You can take a look at this for some initial inspiration, but you want to make sure that what you create is completely different from what already exists on the market.

Otherwise, how can you prove to people that what you do is unique and that they should come to you for your specific services?

This is one of the most important things you can do as a business, and so it’s essential that you take some time to brainstorm what it is that your purpose will be.

Hire employees

No company is successful when one person is running the entire show and is in charge of everything. Although as an entrepreneur, you must establish yourself as a leader and give direction, you also need to hire the right employee for the job.

The people you hire must not only be experts in their field, but they must be aligned with your bigger company goals. Do they believe in the organization’s values? Are they a good match with the existing team?

This is yet another moment where you should take some time to find the ideal candidates, rather than rushing through anything.

Fund your company

Learning how to fund your business is key if you want your company to materialize into something that is concrete. Whether you seek investors, acquire a loan from the bank or seek crowdfunding, there is always some way for you to find the money your business needs to thrive.

After this point, it will be up to you to make sure that you continue to make a profit, and that is why you must always have someone there to oversee the money coming in and leaving your business. After all, if it weren’t for the profit you eventually make, you wouldn’t be able to sustain your organization or the employee’s that work for you.

Market yourself

In order to market your business, you need to have a strong online presence. Be sure to spread the word about who you and what you do, and so long as you persevere with this and stay motivated, people will start to know who you are.

If you don’t market yourself, who will know what you do in the first place? Whether it’s public relations, or digital or social media marketing, this is something that you must become more knowledgeable about.

Acquire clients

Networking and making connections are key to acquiring clients that will benefit your business success.

Attend industry relevant events and be sure to market yourself which, as outlined previously, has many positive points. Continue to update your online presence on a nearly daily basis with new information that is meant to resonate with your customers.

Come up with a quote

It’s incredibly important for you to come up with a quote for the services that you offer that is reasonable. Take a look at what your competitors are offering and use it as a guide to what you should do as well. If it’s too expensive, no one will care to use your services, but if it’s too low, you won’t be making enough profit.

Engineers are able to look at the world around them and provide solutions to technical problems. This is incredibly valued in society, and there is no doubt that you will one day leave your mark on the world with the business you are starting. Of course, in order to be truly successful, you need to keep in mind a wide number of preliminary requirements, some of which have been outlined here.

Think about your long-term goals and aspirations and consider how you can best meet them by thinking strategically and being practical in your company ventures.

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Management

How to prepare for the first crisis in your restaurant

restaurant table

Even restaurant marketing that has been well thought out doesn’t exclude a crisis or two. As a restaurant owner or manager, you have to be prepared for everything, even the worst case scenario. Your business may be all well right now – but that’s exactly the time to think about possible worse times.

Listen in order to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses

Everyone likes to listen to praise. It motivates us, it helps us deal with everyday work, and it reminds us why we chose to do what we do. As great as it is hearing all about our strengths, you should be all ears when somebody points out any weaknesses of your business. It’s not pleasant, sure, but knowing what goes wrong or could go wrong – this knowledge prepares you for the kind of crisis we’re talking about. So, if somebody points out that your online restaurant marketing needs improvement, don’t belittle the problem or it could grow into a crisis.

Control your reviews

Do you know that the whole concept of restaurant marketing could go badly wrong just because of your customer reviews? What one customers writes, another can read, and then form an opinion about your restaurant without even ordering an appetizer. You have to take control over the reviews – and you can do that using an online food ordering system just like UpMenu which allows you to check the review before anyone else sees it and then share it – if you want to.

Think fast! And react

There’s no way to predict a crisis exactly. When it’s there, it’s probably too late to fix the problem altogether and sweep it under the rug – it won’t just pass by unnoticed. Since you won’t be able to make things right immediately, you have to think of the best plan of action to undertake. For example, if it’s restaurant marketing that suffers, you have to know exactly what is wrong with it, who is responsible for the trouble, what are the options to make it better, and who should be in charge of improving the situation.

Talk things through

It’s all fun and games to talk about success, but nobody really wants to talk about failure. People tend to think that if they don’t address the problem, it will just magically disappear. You have to go the other way: if there’s something wrong with your restaurant marketing, a first step to solving the problem is saying it out loud. It’s better to shout out a question than silently look on as the crisis approaches. You have to communicate your problems, because you won’t get through a potential crisis all by yourself.

Be loyal

Big problems, like a crisis in your restaurant, may wake up some instincts in you weren’t even aware of. When a crisis comes, you will think as the captain of a sinking ship, but you cannot forget you have a crew by your side. Don’t they deserve to know what’s happening? If the ship is sinking, you have to let them know.

Talk to your staff

I bet your restaurant management plan didn’t include a situation when you have to fire somebody who did nothing wrong or tell them you cannot pay them everything they earned. Every member of your staff has to be aware of the situation you’re in. Praise them if it goes well, warn them if you predict some changes when it comes to earnings.

Don’t take anything for granted

One day everything goes great but another – even the best restaurant marketing strategies won’t help you. People’s choices change, the market changes, and so too does the economy. In general, times change and so will your business. If it goes bad, within a few months your crowded restaurant can be empty.

Summary

As you see, there are a lot of reasons for your restaurant to fall into crisis. Some of them are irreversible and for those you have to be prepared. But there are also those that are totally up to you. They can happen or not, depending on what kind of restaurant marketing and management you run. Keep that in mind and you will greatly lower the chances of having a crisis.

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Management

5 Common Scheduling Issues and How to Avoid Them

calendar

Creating a reliable and effective work schedule is crucial to growing your business. A great timetable will make your employees happy, which will attract more customers.

On the flipside, a poorly-constructed schedule could have serious consequences.

Employee fatigue has been the cause of many disasters, like the Chernobyl nuclear explosion and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. As a manager, you’ve got to be aware of your employees’ feelings, mentally and physically.

Failing to notice these problems could hurt your company, causing financial loss. Read on to learn about 5 common scheduling issues, and how you can make work schedules work for you.

1. Overworked Workers

As a member of the retail or service industry, you’re no doubt familiar with the dreaded “clopening.” A closing shift (ending at 10 or 11 PM) followed immediately by an opener (beginning 7 or 8 AM) is a lot to put on one person.

Driving and taking care of essential needs can take 2 or more hours. This schedule for work leaves your employee with 6 hours or less to sleep. S/he will come in the next morning exhausted, and you’ll suffer lost time, productivity, or both.

Avoid employee fatigue with software that looks for consecutive shifts and corrects them. Combat it with breaks and regular shift check-ins.

2. Imbalances

The US ranks in the bottom 20% for work-life balance. Americans have less time to take care of themselves, even though they need an average of 9.58 hours a day to address personal needs.

Making schedules for employees requires careful planning. As a leader, understanding your workers’ needs will make you more effective.

They’ll thank you for it by being more productive.

3. Sudden No-Shows

Studies show that 38% of employees have called out of work despite feeling fine.

Last-minute absences can cause severe scheduling issues. Doctor’s appointments, children, and car problems are just a few reasons someone may fail to come into work.

Making a work schedule that fits everyone’s needs is truly an art. Smart software can help alleviate the panic of trying to cover a shift. Allowing employee swaps or having separate teams of workers can help.

Hubworks rolled out their staff scheduling app in order to combat many scheduling issues. Check out their helpful guide to discover the benefits of smart work schedules.

4. Worker Turnover

A long-suffering employee can spell disaster for your company. Losing a few employees won’t be a major downfall. However, high employee turnover can hurt your profit and image.

Hiring someone means investing time, money, and resources to training and onboarding them. If you continue to lose people, it’s time to reassess scheduling issues and management style.

Above all, happy employees mean happy customers.

5. Too Few or Too Many

Too many workers on a shift can be just as bad as too few.

Your budget will shrink fast, and you’ll have to send people home. This means less time and money in both of your pockets.

Only schedule the people you need for that shift. You should alternate workers so that no one works multiple shifts in a row. Employees notice fairness – or lack thereof.

The Art of Combating Scheduling Issues

Figuring out how to schedule employees can be the difference between an okay-manager and a great one. It takes finesse, intelligence, and a dedicated team of individuals to overcome scheduling issues.

To get the best results you’ll need an innovative support system and advanced AI. Check out these great employee management programs to simplify your life.

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Management

How to Thrive in a Competitive Industry

marketing statistics

There are many competitive industries in the UK. Keeping a close eye on what your competitors are doing is essential to making sure that your business can stay one step ahead of the competition.

Consumers can now find companies in the comfort of their own home. Your business may be great, but it also needs to be discovered by the right audience online.  If you find yourself getting lost amongst your competitors, try a new angle and give customers something different.

Kamran Mirshahi is the director of Canary Claims, specialising in PPI claims. Customers can choose to make a claim themselves or use a reputable PPI claims company. But, even if a customer decides to use a PPI claims service, there are a number to choose from. In July 2018, the government put in place a fee cap for all PPI claims companies – and this created even greater competition as many companies now charge the same price.

Despite challenges and rogue PPI claims companies giving the industry a bad name, Kamran has succeeded and thrived in the market. Below, he outlines how your business can do the same.

Create a Unique Selling Point

What is your business’s unique selling point? There needs to be something different about you to stand out. It could be that all UK deliveries are free or you only stock ethical products. For service businesses, do you offer something free to try and convert customers? Whatever it is, make sure it’s different from your competitors.

As a PPI claims company, making our price substantially lower than many other companies was one way to thrive in the industry.

Offer the Best Price

The price point is essential for all companies. How do you balance making enough profit with giving customers a fair price? Return on Investment (ROI) is an important sum to understand. If you believe that a lower price for customers will result in more sales, it could be the right choice for your business. If you are charging a higher rate than your competitors, you should make it clear to customers why this is – and what value you bring to them by charging more.

Have an Easy-to-Use Website

It’s been thirty years since the World Wide Web launched. The technology has revolutionised the way that individuals and companies operate. For companies, the need to stand out during a user’s search is pivotal to success. Creating an SEO-optimised website has never been so important.

But, even once a user lands on your website, they need to be able to access all of the information they require easily. This means your website needs to be user-friendly and transparent. Your target audience might not be tech-savvy – how does the site look to them?

Having an easily accessible website is a winner. Does it have a clear call to action? Is the language easy to read? Can the customer find out all of the information they need quickly and concisely? If not, address these issues.

Be Upfront with Customers

Honesty and integrity are words that a lot of businesses use. But do they all follow them through? Being upfront with customers about what they can expect from your product or service – as well as the cost – is vital.

One of the reasons for shopping cart abandonment is due to high shipping fees that customers weren’t aware of when they started their online shopping. Giving this information to customers can help to reduce this from happening. For those offering services, be clear with your fees upfront. In the PPI claims market, the percentage on a successful claim can make a huge difference to people and showing off a low price can help to increase the number of sales.

Even in competitive markets, you can make your business stand out amongst the competition. Create the best possible website and tell customers why you are the best in your industry.

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Management

5 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Rent Office Space

office

Your business is running full steam ahead! So much so that you’re looking to rent new office space.

But before you sign that dotted line, do you know exactly what you’re getting into and how it will affect your business?

Many people don’t realize choosing the wrong office space can bring business to a screeching halt.

Before you let that happen to you, here are 5 important questions to ask before you rent office space.

1. Is the Location Convenient?

When it comes to real estate matters, it’s always about location, location, location. And the same holds true for your office space.

Make sure it’s a location your employees will be able to get to easily. You’ll want your clients to have no problems finding it. And having good amenities close by is a win for everybody.

2. Will the Size Work for My Needs?

Of course, you’ll want to rent out a space that will comfortably fit your team. But also think about any future growth.

Do you plan to add team members in the future? Will other members work remote and not need a desk?

It’s a balancing act between renting enough space or renting too much. If you think your needs will change, try using flexible workspaces like beoffices.com.

3. Is the Rent Within My Budget?

You want the best workspace possible, but you don’t want to stretch your budget too thin. That’s why you need to take all costs into consideration when renting office space.

Is the rent and deposit reasonable compared to other offices in the area? Are there any extra fees such as maintenance, security, or parking? What are the average utility bills for the space?

Every penny counts when meeting your budget, so read the fine print to find out exactly where your money is going.

4. Can I Get All the Services I Need?

Most businesses rely heavily on a fast and consistent internet speed. Not to mention mobile phone service, cable, and other infrastructures that help a business run smoothly.

Contact the building owner and find out what they offer. It might also be a good idea to ask other businesses in the building, or the area, how their services are.

Check your cell phone service in different areas of the space. Ask if you can do an internet speed test. If the service is great, the owner won’t hesitate to agree to the test.

5. Does the Building Fit with My Brand?

The style of the building tends to be low on many people’s priority list when renting office space, but don’t discount it. If you’re a business that wants to project a particular brand image, your office space plays a key role in that.

Does the decor of the building blend with your brand? Are you able to make changes if not? Would you be proud to post pictures of your office for clients to see?

If any of your answers are no, you may want to keep looking around.

Get All the Facts Before You Rent Office Space

Before you rent office space, do your research. By asking these important questions, you’ll be sure to find the office space that works best for you and your business.

Now that you’ve got your office space in order, ready to build your employee engagement? Check out these 5 tips to boost engagement today!

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