Running a Business

Need help to grow your business? Browse our articles for tips and ideas on how you can become more successful.

Organised OfficeWhat’s the one thing all successful business owners have in common? Exceptional organisation skills.

If this is one area that is letting your company down, you must take the steps to organise your workload, resources and staff to create a more productive enterprise. Read how to improve your business’s organisation.

A Proactive Approach

Are you taking each day one step at a time? If so, you might be reacting to a situation rather than preparing for it. As a result, resolving issues can take longer and can slow down your business. Embrace a proactive approach, so you can identify what you will need to do before you need to it. Know exactly what you will have to do tomorrow, and aim to identify any potential issues early on so you can develop an appropriate response.

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Online BusinessSo, you’ve decided to set up a small business to run from home? It’s certainly going to give you the flexibility and freedoms to juggle your busy life, but don’t assume that it’ll be an overnight success.

There are lots of things to think about when starting a company, including getting yourself a website – that all important digital shop front, which should bring in customers and revenue. How do you get your site noticed in the massive internet world, and stand out from your nearest competitors?

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Working from HomeWhen you are setting up your home office, you want it to be a productive environment that will help you to complete your work effectively. It could mean having a comfortable desk chair or making sure it is in a quiet part of the house.

There are also other factors apart from your work space, such as how the technology you will be using, will help your business succeed. Choosing the right technology is vital if you are to make your company work. Here are a few ways you can ensure your technology is right for you.

Evaluate Your Needs

Before you can decide on the level of technology you need, it is important that you assess what those needs are. A lot of your needs will depend on the work you will be doing. If you are a graphic designer or video editor, the chances are you will need a fairly high specification computer to accomplish your tasks. You can either buy a new computer or you can upgrade your existing system from companies such as Offtek.

You will also need to work out what technology and software your clients will be using so that you can ensure compatibility and easy migration of the finished product.  

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Working MumFor many mothers with young children, the idea of working Monday through Friday 9-5 outside of the home is neither feasible nor desirable.

Child care costs can often eat up a large portion of the woman’s salary, leaving her with little cash left over and little time to spend with the kids. This is a big part of why so many moms choose to work from home and follow their career goals from their own home office.

Of course, this means you need to be doing a great job of marketing your business and services. A website is an absolute must nowadays, not just as a marketing/advertising tool but also as a way to communicate with customers and educate them on your offerings. The web host you choose will have a large impact on how successful your website is, which is exactly why you want to be sure you take the time to choose the right host.

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Business to Business SalesBusiness to business sales are sales from one business to another, whereas business to client sales (sometimes known as business to people sales) are sales from the business to an end user.

The supply chain of most industries involves both steps; business to business sales provide retailers with a supply of stock and retailers, in turn, sell directly to customers. There are a few businesses who offer both services, but most fall strictly into either one category or the other.

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Sarah Rugg - My VA BusinessSarah Rugg took the leap from successful corporate banking career to freelance VA after the birth of her second child, and admits to having made every mistake possible. More than a decade on she explains how to avoid the pitfalls of starting up your own freelance business.

There’s little doubt that stepping off the corporate career ladder is scary. As a mum, finding your feet as a freelancer may remind you of your own toddler, a few faltering steps followed by a stumble. But as any toddler learns, keep getting back on your feet and you will soon be unstoppable!

When I decided to stand on my own two feet as a freelancer, I stumbled more times than you can imagine, despite spending months preparing for my exit from the corporate world.

I was consumed with questions like: what’s the best business to get into; how much should I charge; what do I do to market my business and – more often than not – can I really do this? The trouble is that every question generated multiple possibilities, and the only way I could find out if it would work was to take the first step and be prepared to fall on my bum! And fall I did – so many times.

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Working Mum The flexibility, freedom and satisfaction of a home business are well known; with low overheads, no commute and less risk, it is a viable option for many aspiring entrepreneurs.

Whether you want to start baking up a storm from your kitchen, dream of dog walking, pet sitting, or becoming a freelance writer, there are many options for a home-based business.

However, there are many things to consider, including legal implications, permissions and insurances. Not to mention personal obligations to acknowledge before jumping head first into your new business venture.

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Working MumWhen you return to work after having kids you may decide to reduce the hours of your previous role, find a new part-time role or work for yourself; these can all be very successful routes but can also pose challenges if you don’t have a clear plan and set strict boundaries for yourself and/or your employer and clients.

Here are some tips and useful technologies that have helped me as well as friends and colleagues in my position to take control, reduce stress levels and achieve the success you deserve…

Set clear expectations with your employer, colleagues and clients

Whether you are working for yourself, employed or have your own clients, make sure from the very start that you are clear on your working hours so that everyone has realistic expectations of your availability. Failure to do this causes frustration on their part and guilt on yours if you have to start saying no to things out of hours.

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Business BloggingYour idol has been there and you’ll get there too.

Once your blog is up and you’ve already published a few posts, you’ll realize that setting up a blog isn’t the hardest part. In fact, it’s one of the easiest.

Getting traffic – especially for a new blog – is probably one of the hardest thing you’ll have to do.

You’ll go online and every article you read will insist on how content is king. There’s no denying that. But I’m guessing that, as a new blogger, you want to know what other methods you can use as you continue writing great content.

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Marketing DashboardA marketing dashboard is a great way to get the best return on investment on your marketing budget. At the end of the day, it comes down to results; leads and sales. You must be able to show value for money and get value for every dollar spent on marketing. The only way to get value for money is to ensure marketing dollars are being spent in the right way.

For example, on the marketing channels providing the best results.

But, how do you know what’s works and what doesn’t? How do you tell which elements of your campaign are the cash cows and which are the dogs? The best way to keep track of every element of your marketing strategy is with a marketing dashboard.

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