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Management

Fatal Small Business Mistakes You Must Avoid

Small business often make mistakes when they are just starting out. Some of these mistakes may not be so bad, but others can be absolutely fatal to their business. Many entrepreneurs don’t realise this, and it’s quite scary! If you’re interested to know what these mistakes are, read on for more information…

laptopSmall business often make mistakes when they are just starting out. Some of these mistakes may not be so bad, but others can be absolutely fatal to their business. Many entrepreneurs don’t realise this, and it’s quite scary! If you’re interested to know what these mistakes are, read on for more information…

Plan – But Not Too Much

Of course you should have a plan for your business. However, many budding businesses plan so much, that they basically plan themselves out of business before they’ve even begun. Don’t be a perfectionist when it comes to your plan, and don’t expect to know every little detail right away. Have a rough idea, but make sure this isn’t your main focus. Some businesses don’t have a business plan to begin with. While this might be too risky for you, or to lackadaisical, you get the picture.

Choosing The Wrong Investors

Choosing the right investors to invest in your business is a must. Not all investors are created equal, so don’t just go with the money in mind! Just like on the TV show ‘Dragon’s Den’. They don’t just choose the dragon with the highest and best offer, but the dragon who they feel will bring the most to their business, and who has a shared vision of the direction they want to go in. Choosing the wrong investor could mean a fatal mistake for you in the long run.

Hiring The Wrong People

Hiring the wrong people is another huge mistake. Your employees need to share your passion and enthusiasm. They should know where you want the business to go. They should bring something useful and unique to the table. It’s all too easy to hire the wrong people if you’re desperate for employees. Take your time when hiring, so you can create a thorough interview process and get the right people on board. As a small business, you really don’t want the hassle of letting people go if it doesn’t work out. Making sure you’re careful right from the start will stop this. Also, make sure you look at their references and backgrounds too. Don’t just assume they are nice people. You really need to look out for your business when hiring people. You’ll likely experience less problems with the right people, and won’t have to worry about incident reporting too much. That being said, having a good strategy for problems is a good idea.

Not Communicating With Customers Enough

Communicating with your customers is an absolute must. If you leave it too long, you might be really surprised at what you find. Do you know who is actually buying your product? Do you know why they are buying it? Ask these questions. Do surveys and request feedback. Then learn from it! Your target audience may not be who you think they are, or want what you think they want. Once you know what you need to know, you can really focus on that and become the best at it.

Not Having A Website

Not having a website is a massive faux pas. Even if you don’t intend on trading online, a website can help you in so many ways. It can help you to share important news and information, as well as give people an idea of who you are. You can share your story, and give contact information to those who want it. You could even write a blog to share unique content and get more exposure. Having a good looking website that works well is a must. Don’t try to do it yourself or save money. This is one investment you can’t afford not to make!

Not Being Consistent On Social Media

Using social media is a great way to get to know your customers. It’s a great way to keep them in the loop, stay engaged with them, and share your content. But failing to be consistent on social media is another big mistake. If you post sporadically, or hardly ever, people will forget about you and cease to follow you. Make sure you’re consistent when it comes to post times. Make sure you share not only advertisements for your business, but useful information. Not just from yourself, but other companies! It might be useful for you to invest in a social media manager, who can help you to get many more followers and keep up appearances online. They aren’t a waste of money when you choose the right person for the job!

Trying To Please Everybody

You can’t please anybody, so focus on your target market and please them. Chances are, you’ll attract more people. But trying to do too much at once is a massive mistake and should be avoided at all costs.

Choosing The Wrong Business Partner

Having a business partner can help you to spread the cost and the risk, as well as have somebody to bounce ideas off. Choosing the wrong business partner will be fatal for both of you. This should be a person you can communicate with and spend a lot of time with. Be careful choosing close friends and family unless you’re 100% confident this will work. It could end up not only fatal to your business, but to your relationship.

Not Keeping An Eye On Your Finances

Failing to keep an eye on your finances could land you in trouble really quickly. This is why most small businesses take the smart step of hiring an accountant and/or financial advisor to help them to begin with. Don’t go out buying flashy cars and fancy equipment straight away. Keeping money in the business, especially right at the start is very important. Make sure you know what you have coming in and going out. Take control of your finances to make things work.

Avoid these fatal small business mistakes and you should be able to help your small business thrive. There are other problems you could encounter depending on the type of business you have, so make sure you look into that too.

Management

4 Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating in the Workplace

food

foodA healthier workforce is a more engaged and productive one. A lot of people overlook the impact eating habits can have on cognitive functions, mood, and concentration. But by making a few adjustments to your workplace and company culture, you could help your employees make healthier food choices.

Here are a few simple ways you could encourage healthy eating in the workplace.

Use Snack Services

There are plenty of snack services out there that will allow you to provide snacks to your employees for cheap. They allow you to buy various snacks in bulk so you can save on total costs. They’re also a great way to show that you actually care about your employees’ wellbeing.

However, not all of them are created equal and some might be healthier than others. While an office snack service like Naturebox will be focused mainly on providing healthy office snacks like dried fruits, nuts, and low-calorie options, others won’t have as wide a selection and will offer your usual run-of-the-mill snacks with a few “healthy” options. If you want to know more about snack services and which one would be best for you, Bevi has a great article about them. Bevi also supplies beverages for the office, including water dispensers.

Incentivize your Employees

There are plenty of ways you could make things easier for your employees and incentivize healthy eating. Some companies, for instance, will have free fruit around the office or will allow their employees to have access to mineral water. If you have vending machines, make sure that you stock them up with healthy foods as well as the usual snacks. And make sure that healthy options are much cheaper as well.

Do not Neglect Break Time

You have to institute a culture in your business where your employees feel free to enjoy a full lunch break and sufficient screen break time as well. This will encourage healthy eating habits and reduce stress as well. Make sure that they don’t eat at their desk and consider giving flexible break hours so they can get out and stretch their legs. A lunch hour should be long enough to let them go out and enjoy a healthy meal if they want to. Enjoying fresh air will also leave them invigorated for the second half of the day.

Make Sure that it’s a Clear Part of your Company Culture

If you want your employees to truly dedicate themselves to healthy eating, it has to be part of your company’s mission and put down in writing. Make sure that your commitment to healthy eating and overall health is part of the staff handbook. You should also make it clear to your staff that your mission will translate into actual policy. Let them know that healthy eating options will be subsidized or completely free of charge. Also, make sure that you consider adopting a corporate food plan if you have a cafeteria.

Conclusion

Making sure that your employees adopt healthy eating habits is not only an investment in their well-being but in your business as well. If you want to enjoy a happier and healthier workforce that will run on all cylinders, make sure to make healthy eating a must in your workplace.

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Management

How to Make Money from Home as a Freelance Writer

self publish a book

how to overcome writer's blockIf you have ever considered becoming a freelance writer your first and biggest question is probably “how do I begin making money as a freelance writer”? Knowing where and how to look for jobs is the first step in your freelance writing career.

There are plenty of ways to get paid but in this article, we give you 5 of the best methods for getting work as a beginner freelance writer.

Enter Writing Contests

Writing contests are a great option for freelance writers of any experience level because they do not differentiate between beginner writers and established professionals. Winning of these would be a great achievement for any resume and are sure to spruce up portfolios.

There are many competitions open to the public so do your research and see what opportunities are available to you. Prizes range from small cash payments to publications of your written works. Many of these competitions are free to enter so take the opportunity and submit your works today.

Job Boards

There are many ways for freelancers to make money online, you can find out more here. However, a common beginning point for freelance writers looking to get their first clients is to pitch for jobs on job boards. It is as simple as registering for an account and filling out applications or bidding on jobs. There are a ton of wiring jobs available on these boards and the clients are looking for people with a base level writing ability and a strong work ethic.

Start a Blog

Every writer needs a blog and these days bloggers are monetizing their blog through affiliate marketing. Running a blog can benefit you as a writer in many ways including contributing to your portfolio, creating lead generation, build up your credibility and give you confidence as a writer. Your blog will help you develop your style and target audience. The goal to successfully monetizing your blog is to pick a successful niche and developing a strong social media presence.

Guest Post

As a writer you should be following and supporting other bloggers and their sites. Consider pitching a guest post to your favorite authors. Most blogs accept guest posts and a lot of them are willing to pay for quality content from their guests. Before you send your pitch make sure you take the time to research the blog extensively. What is the style of writing? What is the niche? Develop a pitch that fits in nicely with site you are hoping to guest post for.

Self-Publish your Own Books

Amazon Direct Publishing has made it easy for writers of all experience levels to self-publish paperbacks and ebooks. The best part is that it is free to publish through KDP. Al you have to do is upload your book and wait for people to start purchasing it. Write about your book in your blog and post it all over your social media accounts to help gain some traffic and awareness. With KDP you can earn up to 70% in royalties, keep control of the rights, set your own prices and make changes to the book at any time.

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Management

4 Tools That Will Help You Keep Focus in Meetings

stress ball

stress ball

Keeping everybody focused on any kind of meeting can be quite a challenge. People are easily distracted and they get bored, especially in long meetings that drone on. However, there are some tools that can help keep focus during a meeting.

Did you know that whiteboards are a critical part of meetings nowadays? It’s one of the focus tools we will look at today.

Visuals

One big help when it comes to the meeting is anything visual. There is a reason why people use tools like PowerPoint, graphs, images, and other types of visuals in meetings – because they help keep focus much better than words alone.

Have you ever been in a meeting, or maybe listening to a school presentation, where a person drones on? It can get boring if a person relies solely on words to get a point across. It can become boring and hard to focus on.

However, when you add snazzy visuals and colorful graphs into the mix, it helps to catch the eyes of those watching and listening. It also helps provide a minor break from word-only presentations that are hard to focus on.

Visuals always help with presentations, not to mention that they are great for getting across points and hammering them home, points out that words alone have trouble getting across.

Recording Device

One of the tools that can be used to help keep focus in meetings is a recording device of sorts. This could be anything; as long as it allows you to record a meeting, it should work fine. This could be an old-school tape recorder, a phone, tablet, or anything else that can record voice.

The point here is that during meetings, people often try and jot down notes and write down what the speaker is saying.

However, this actually distracts from the task at hand, because when people are writing notes, they are n’t listening or taking in additional information. It is actually pretty hard to take a new point in when you are also writing the last point down.

Therefore, a recording device to record all things said in a meeting can come in handy.

Instead of having people write down notes and lightning speed and not absorb information; people can actually listen to what is being said. Then, instead of referring to notes for reference, they can simply listen to the recording.

Stress Ball

This might seem like an odd tool when it comes to helping people keep focus in meetings, but it does work. Some people probably wouldn’t qualify stress balls as being tools, but in reality, they are.

Stress balls are those little softballs which people have in their hands and squeeze to relieve stress. They might be stress relief tools, but this is exactly why they can help people focus.

People don’t listen well when they are stressed out, and a stress ball helps to combat this. Furthermore, many people have to be doing something with their hands, which is why they invented those fidget spinners that were a big deal last year. It’s hard to focus on a meeting when you are constantly looking for something for your hands to do.

A stress ball in your hands can solve both of these problems quite adequately. Make sure you don’t get a noisy one, or else everybody else in the meeting room will not be happy with you.

Whiteboard

When it comes down to it, one of the most useful tools to help keep people focused during a meeting is undoubtedly the whiteboard. This has to do with our first point – that visuals help to keep attention.

Whiteboards are pretty big, they have great contrast between the surface and the colored markers, and they allow for great organization.

Whoever is leading the meeting can use various colors of markers to jot down the most important ideas, which are easy for everybody to see.

Whiteboards are also highly portable, so they can be moved from one meeting room to another. If you did not already know, whiteboards are becoming a staple of every meeting room and classroom out there today.

Conclusion

These 4 items or tools that we have discussed here today are fantastic for helping you and others keep their focus during meetings. It can be hard to keep focus, especially in a long meeting and in a room full of people. Hopefully, you can put these items to good use to increase focus and productivity.

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