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Make Employee Engagement Your Number One Goal

The main function of any business is to make money. You already know this, and commit yourself to making this happen. But have you got your priorities in order?

You make sure that your business stands out from the crowd. You offer great products at great prices. However,  success is still limited. Want to know why? It’s because you haven’t empowered your staff. Employees are your greatest asset, and it’s time to start appreciating this fact.


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Famous entrepreneurs like Richard Branson have regularly cited this tactic as the key to success. Ultimately, an engaged and motivated staff will always pass that positivity on to the customer, and it will bring greater results. Essentially, a stronger team equates to a stronger business model. Here are three simple steps to getting it.

1. Be A Better Boss

You can’t expect employees to perform if you don’t lead by example. Research shows that bad bosses are the main source of staff resignations. So by doing your job well, the influence of your great work will filter through to the team.

Don’t be afraid to mentor your employees. They all have aspirations of climbing the career ladder, and you are the person to help them. Not only will this provide personal inspiration, but that support will make them want to work for you too. In turn, this will ensure that employees connect to the business in every aspect.

Above all else, completing your work to the highest standard puts you in a more confident position too.


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2. Don’t Be Shortsighted

Focusing solely on immediate success is a common mistake made by new businesses. This is particularly true when regarding the staff. By building a team destined for sustained success, staff engagement will soar.

Invest in your staff with training and development. Seeing that you have long-term plans for them will ensure they have no reason to leave. When they eventually get promoted, your senior staff will possess experience as well as skills. This can only be great for the business.

More importantly, staff members need to know that you respect them as people. The best 401k plans for small business ventures will underline that you care about their futures as well as their time in the company. Moreover, removing their financial fears will allow them to dedicate themselves fully.

3. Build Team Unity

Your business team is a family. Like any other family, working together is the only way to tackle problems. Arguably your greatest skill as a boss is to know when a problem is surfacing. Whether it’s bullying or any other type of division, fixing it is essential. The only way to achieve this is through better communication.

Tackle the problems head on by holding a meeting between both parties. Airing those feelings will often find a solution. Moreover, regular team building exercises and activity days are a great way to repair that damage while developing skills. If nothing else, it drums home the rewards connected to working as one.

Employees can spend upwards of 40 hours per week in the company of colleagues. That’s a long time to feel unhappy, and those negative thoughts will disrupt productivity. Underline that need to strive for joint success with group perks, and you will see progress that lasts.


Racing Against The Clock: How To Get The Most Out Of Your Work Day

Does it ever feel as though there just aren’t enough hours in the day? This is a pretty common feeling among a lot of small businesses. The amount of work that goes into creating a successful modern business can make it feel like you need at least a couple of extra hours each day to get it all done. This feeling can have some pretty far-reaching consequences for your business as the work begins to pile up and you seem to have even less time to deal with it all. Fortunately avoiding this problem is actually easier than you might think. You just need to remember that famous phrase, “work smarter, not harder.” With that in mind here are some simple ways to make the most of each work day.

Always stay connected

It’s pretty much a fact of life at this point that a great deal of business is done online. The internet is now a permanent fixture of all of our lives, from customers to CEOs. No matter what kind of business you’re running, you’re going to need to be connected to the internet. Usually that connection will have to be pretty much constant as well. Problems with the internet connection have resulted in some pretty disastrous consequences for plenty of businesses in the past, causing massive halts in productivity. The best thing you can do is to invest in a leased line, which will allow you to maintain a fast, constant connection at all times, even connecting various offices across the globe.

Plan each day

One of the biggest ways that companies tend to waste time is that they don’t make clear plans for how each day is going to spent. A manager might have a vague idea of what each employee needs to do and what the general tasks for the day are, but they tend just to leave it at that. Instead, make sure that you’ve got a very clear set of goals for each day with a clear plan for how you will achieve them. Make sure those plans are clearly explained to every member of the team and that everyone has well-defined instructions. Of course, it’s important that you’re able to be flexible in the face of any problems, but if you have a plan, any roadblocks will be that much easier to deal with.

Leave work at work

This one might seem a little counter-intuitive. After all, if you’re using every moment available to you, surely you’ll be able to get more done, right? In fact, if you’re using your free time to focus on work as well, you’re much more likely to burn out. If that happens, you will end up being unable to put the kind of energy into each task that your business needs. In the worst case scenario, you could actually end up needing time off to recover, which can have some serious consequences for your business. The best thing that you can do is to leave work behind when you leave the office at the end of the day. That way each morning you can come back refreshed and ready to face whatever the day might throw at you.

Transforming Your Cozy Little Furniture Business Into A Real Professional Operation

The current market and, in particular, the rise of online boutique, has made it a lot easier to make a little money by selling your furniture and decorative pieces online. A lot of people are starting to get a taste for making money by selling creations that they put real passion into. Many of them want to step up to the next level. If you’re of that opinion, then you’re going to need to up your game. Here’s how you turn your artisanal efforts into a real business.

Plan for growth

You’re going to lay out the roadmap of how your business is going to operate going forward. If you don’t have a proper business structure separate from your personal accounts, now’s the time to start it. Create budgets and plans on how much you need to sell to start becoming profitable. Do your market research and find the niche you can fit. Start designing pieces that not only fit your own tastes but the trends of the market as it stands. Know your audience and start figuring out how you’re going to reach them and convert them into customers. Knowing your direction by creating documents like a business plan helps you focus on objectives while dealing with the hectic day-to-day of the business.

Hire the right people

If you want to scale your operation up, you’re likely going to need other people to help you. Managing a business and creating furniture at the same time can be difficult. So, who are you going to need? More professionals to help you make furniture? People to handle admin, marketing, and outreach? You should also consider the extra tasks of yours that you don’t necessarily need to hire for. For instance, in building a website or getting your accounts organized and up to date, you can easily outsource, as well. Look at your business plan and separate duties by different roles, then start hiring to fit those roles or using outsourced services to fill them instead.

Get more sensible with your resources

You’ll need a proper plan on how you’re going to handle resources like money and materials. Especially if you’ve received a loan from banks or investors, you need to start accounting for where the money goes. You’re also going to want to make sure that you’re not spending too much on any one aspect of the business. You don’t want costs of materials, tools, and machinery to skyrocket because you’re not buying in bulk, for instance. Get in touch with industrial suppliers, like Kenyon Group, instead of heading for your usual supply store. Use bulk orders from business providers particularly if you’re starting to upscale your business to deal with higher projected demands.


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Run sharper logistics

If you’re delivering products, then you’re going to need to not only focus on improving your own supply but also how you supply to your consumers. If you can handle your own logistics, then you should be looking into how to make your packaging and mailing operations all the more efficient and using real data like GPS tracking to make sure your deliveries are as convenient and expedient as possible. A lot of businesses don’t have the room in their budget to account for their fulfillment services, however, so it’s worth considering whether or not you should use outsourced fulfillment companies. These can work as an operational stopgap until you scale to the point you’re able to assume full control over all aspects of the logistics.

Establish your identity

Besides running a smooth company on the inside, you also need to think about building a better perception of the business from the outside. Smaller bespoke operations might let their products do the talking for them. If you want to grow, however, you need to develop an image that talks for the products. For instance, think of the niche you’re hitting and the market you’re targeting. Think about what they value most, whether it’s aesthetic, function, value or otherwise. One of the best ways to establish an online identity is by using content marketing. You can showcase your works by creating décor guides, for instance, showing how your own products can help facilitate the lifestyle that your customers are aiming for.

Spread your name far and wide

After you’ve got the identity and brand of the business nailed down, you need to start figuring out how you disseminate it. Your marketing approach needs to be proactive. You need to make your website more visible through search engine optimization. You have to take to social media, showing galleries of your work, promoting your content and your services. You also need to get on social media to simply be open to feedback from customers and asking their questions. For those customers you win over, consider starting a newsletter, keeping them abreast of all the latest tips and offers. You should consider even adding extra incentive by offering exclusive deals or content only for subscribers.


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Start shaking hands

Putting some effort and time into your marketing is crucial. But you shouldn’t be doing it all on your own. You should be making use of the networking opportunities and the community around you to help spread the name even further. For instance, if you know gallery owners, then consider getting your furniture featured in their galleries. Trade shows and seasonal markets are more opportunities you should consider to make your products more physically visible. Establishing your physical presence is important especially if you do most of your business through retailers or online. Of course, using online methods of networking is just as important. For instance, consider using bloggers to feature your pieces in return for a free sample. Get your business featured in the media with announcements, events or off-the-wall marketing strategies.

You don’t have to sacrifice your quality, the bespoke nature of your pieces, or what you love about making furniture. All you have to do is create a real framework for a business beneath it. That passion is a crucial ingredient to success, so keep hold of it.

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