How To Deal With Workplace Conflicts

Stressful EnvironmentsIt's often said that it's a “dog eat dog" world. Nowhere is this more true than in the world of business, especially when the economy isn't doing so well. With tough competition, small businesses have to struggle to survive and this can cause a lot of stress and conflict within the office. High targets are needed, in order to make a profit, but as workers are put under increasing pressure, this can lead to tempers being short among the staff, or between staff and bosses, who may appear to be imposing unrealistic expectations from above.All in all, this can lead to a very stressful environment and conflict can … [Read more...]

Discrimination in the Workplace – Have Things Changed?

We all know that discrimination in any form is a Bad Thing and many of us will agree that it is something we should not do and also claim not to do but the fact is, we all discriminate occasionally. Fortunately for a lot of us it never gets further than a fleeting thought for which we berate ourselves for even allowing it to cross our minds. Other cases are not so disciplined however and the sad truth is, discrimination is alive today, and the workplace is no exception. As we observe LGBT month, it seems like an apt time to reflect on the issue and it is worth asking ourselves whether things really have improved in the workplace. The good … [Read more...]

5 Reasons Greeting Cards Can Make Your Business Stand Out

Do you engage in greeting card marketing? If not, you might be missing a golden opportunity to foster long-term customer loyalty and land immediate sales. Here are five reasons to send greeting cards to market your business.1. Send greeting cards to express gratitudeKnow what customers appreciate? Companies that appreciate their business. Greeting cards can be an integral part of a comprehensive customer service commitment. Not only should your company's representatives and support team be friendly and helpful, you should thank your customers for choosing your company instead of your competitors. Be sincere, and customers will … [Read more...]

Why a serviced office can save your small business money

Serviced office

In the current economic climate, running a successful business can be quite a daunting prospect, with even the most experienced of companies struggling to adjust to the recession. The chances of becoming more cost-effective are an increasingly problematic area – with every decision that you make as a company playing a much bigger role in its continued existence. Your office space can have a key role in determining this, as it any stage an idea can be developed that could make you a success and prolong your company’s lifespan. In recent years, an increasing amount of businesses have chosen to cut costs by having a serviced office, making it … [Read more...]

Negotiation: How to Build a Small Business Partnership


Many business people complain about how hard it is to find a partner who shares the same goals. Hence, building and negotiating a partnership can be quite difficult. The only thing you can do to create a solid partnership is to follow the rules and avoid hiring lawyers to take care of all your problems. Most partnerships are built on a shared vision which is very hard to achieve if the two parties have different interests.Many business owners don’t know what to answer when they’re asked to define the concept of negotiation, since negotiations seldom follow the same course. However, most of them will tell you that negotiations are not … [Read more...]

Email Marketing Still Works

Email marketing ROI

Like a legend refusing to go down, why does email marketing still stand out among top performers in the online business space? Forget expensive and difficult-to-calibrate-results traditional marketing, even when the likes of social media, back-links from reputed sites and content marketing have taken over the marketing arena, the preferred method, by majority of small businesses, remain emailing clients. Is it still worth the effort to maintain a program based on email marketing strategy? Read on and we’ll give you a few reasons to continue choosing the reigning heavy weight marketing champ.PersonalizeTraditional marketing can be … [Read more...]

Think You’re a Top Retail Employer? Think Again.

Retail employer

Retail is a key industry for the British economy, responsible for employing millions of Brits.Every year, thousands of youngsters get their first job working for a high street retailer, whilst many more manage to work their way up into management positions.It's one of the biggest industries in terms of the proportion of Brits it keeps in a job. With this in mind, all retailers have a huge responsibility to the country to treat their employees well.Teaching transferable skillsThere are plenty of skills which can be learnt in the retail industry and ultimately transferred across a whole range of other sectors. A fair proportion … [Read more...]

Using Social Media To Market Your Small Construction Business

Social media for a construction business

The local handyman is a staple of any small community, a reliable face armed with a toolbox of tricks and the expertise to help out just about anyone. Wandering around with a smile on his face and a cheery whistled tune for his soundtrack, everyone knows the local handyman.Well...that’s how it used to be anyway. Unfortunately, as local communities become fractured and bigger construction companies begin to up their marketing budgets and force their way into local markets, the good ol’ local plumber, electrician or carpenter might be finding it hard to survive.Part of the reason for this lies in marketing, and how the general public … [Read more...]

Money Saving Tips for Small Businesses

Money saving tips

Work from homeIf you and any other members of staff are prepared to work from home, you immediately eliminate the need to pay for office space or additional furniture.  There is also a growing trend within the business world known as BYOD, which stands for Bring Your Own Device, where small businesses avoid forking out for expensive laptops and software by asking employees to use their own; why pay to purchase what you already have access to?Be wary of giving creditOffering or extending existing credit can seem like a good way to entice customers into a deal and to keep them sweet but when there isn’t a huge flow of cash in the … [Read more...]

How Marketing has Changed in the Digital Age

Cast your minds back, if you will, to the latter days of the 20th Century. The millennium bug was in the news, Animal Hospital was on the TV and you were taking business calls on the road from a brand-new Nokia 3210. It seems like a different time, doesn’t it? An innocent time: a pre-9/11, pre-broadband, pre-Hannah Montana time. So what else has changed in the past 15 years or so? How has the world of marketing transformed since the late ‘90s and beyond?Trends Before the turn of the millennium, there was no such thing as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. MySpace didn’t come along until 1999, rising to popularity in 2003, while … [Read more...]

4 Steps to Market and Grow Your Small Business

Many small businesses start out with an excellent product designed to deliver the right solutions to clients in need. They have enthusiastic, passionate, professional and experienced teams ready to execute an innovative new vision... however, the product or service never gets out of the conference room. Why? The company fails to market itself properly and never makes any money.Market Your Product ProperlyIn order to grow your business, you must get your product in front of people who want to buy it. Once you do this you will start gaining "traction." Your product will earn dollars, which can fuel larger marketing campaigns, exciting … [Read more...]

How To Effectively Segment Your Email List

There are a number of ways to effectively segment your email list to optimize your email marketing campaign.  Email marketing, like many other types of online marketing, requires continuous testing and optimization to get things right.  Before you can start to segment your email list, you need to build a solid foundation of loyal subscribers and large quantities of user data.First and foremost, you need to stay in compliance with regulations involving sending out mass emails.  Subscribers must give you consent to be part of your subscriber base.  In other words, you cannot send out mass emails from contacts you have collected over the … [Read more...]

Cloud Servers for the Small Business?

Cloud computing can benefit businesses in a variety of ways, enhancing IT services that would traditionally have been hosted in-house. When it comes to web hosting a cloud server can be seriously advantageous. Here are the chief benefits of this modern technology.Cloud Chorus Such is the level of hype and approval for cloud computing that some will feel inclined to respond sceptically when its advantages are vocally touted.But as time passes and more people experience this type of service at first hand, the chorus of complainers is dwindling and cloud advocates are growing in number. Cloud servers are flexible enough to host … [Read more...]

How to Ensure Your Small Business Is Remembered at Trade Shows

Perhaps more so for B2B businesses, trade shows represent golden marketing opportunities. There is no shortage of potential benefits to be had for exhibitors – increased brand awareness, good quality lead generation and sales boosts to name a few. You might be new to the world of trade shows. If that’s the case, don’t forget that these shows are going to be highly competitive – as is the case generally, the other exhibitors are vying for the attention of potential customers. The key to coming out on top is how well the visitors remember your brand after the event. As with any other form of marketing, much thought has to go into the design, … [Read more...]

Five Benefits of Outsourcing Your Hosted Email

Email marketing

Outsourcing certain areas of a business is an intelligent strategy utilized in many industries.It is common for businesses to outsource their sales staff, their web design, their marketing and PR, or their cleaners. However, it can also be beneficial to outsource non-human aspects of a business like email hosting as well. Here are five of the main reasons why businesses leave their email hosting to the experts. Cost savings Depending on the size of your company, it can often work out cheaper leaving your email in the hands of a hosted exchange provider. Outsourcing your email means you don't have to splash out on a server of your own. … [Read more...]

10 Summer Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

small business summer marketing

Are you looking for new, fun, unique and creative ways to market your small or micro business this summer? Try the following ten summer-marketing ideas.1. Create a partner packagePartner with non-competing businesses that share the same target audience to develop a winning package for everyone.  A restaurant, theater and a hotelier could partner together to create a romantic couples' weekend package, for example. Each company would market and sell the package, and all three would split the proceeds.2. Sidewalk mistersWhen it gets hot, shoppers can be miserable. Venture into busy shopping districts armed with a backpack/spray … [Read more...]

How To Turn a Business Sale Into a Customer Experience

How To Turn a Business Sale Into a Customer Experience

In business, it takes a special sort of finesse to turn a sale into a hospitable experience.   To be hospitable to your customers is to make them feel as if the sale is on the back burner, even better - like the sale does not exist.  Instead, energy and focus gets poured into a customer’s needs, wants and curiosities.When customers feel appreciated, like their time and money is being well spent, they pay a business back in both loyally and reputation.  With exceptional customer service so hard to find these days, it could be the thing that sets your business apart and gets people talking.  Every business owner has the potential to revive … [Read more...]

How To Keep Your Small Business Relevant in a Changing Economy

Are Your Business Meetings Time Wasters or Time Well Spent?

These days, it’s hard to keep your company relevant.  Technology moves at such a fast pace that the business world is evolving much more rapidly than it used to.  Trying to keep up can be difficult, especially if you have a business that has been around for more than twenty years.  Rather than just throwing in the towel and leaving the market to younger companies, fight back.  Utilizing the power of social media, diversifying your offerings, and cutting your losses, are all ways you can reinvent your business.Social MediaThe way that people communicate today is remarkably different than it used to be, and trends are constantly … [Read more...]

Why Should Your Small Business Invest In Online CRM Software?

When you get down to it, your business comes down to one important thing – customers. It doesn’t matter how great your products or services are or how unique your branding might be. If you can’t acquire and retain customers, you’ll never be successful. Many a promising company has failed because it simply couldn’t attract customers.That’s why it’s so important for your small business to make a constant effort to both acquire new customers and to retain the customers you already have. And that’s where online CRM software can help. CRM (customer relationship management) software helps you manage interactions and relationships with prospects … [Read more...]

The Seven Deadly Sins of Office Relocation

moving your small office

Moving your small business to a new office? That usually means you’re expanding and that’s a good thing. But planning and organising a move can be fraught with problems, especially to the understaffed small business. To help you avoid them, we’ve put together our seven deadly sins of moving offices in order to keep you on the right track. 1. Not Having a Plan Your move is guaranteed not to go smoothly if you don’t have a clear plan. There are some things you need to get sorted from the start. These include why you want to move, are you looking for bigger premises? Something cheaper? A more central location? You also need to have a clear … [Read more...]

Using Web Apps to Streamline Your Small Business

web apps

As businesses have continued to evolve and adapt to the digital landscape, so too have the tools and applications that they use. In the past few years businesses have started to do a lot more work online from eCommerce to banking and even business networking. Many of these services were initially provided as static websites but have since expanded into multi-device web applications, perfect for companies and freelancers to take advantage of to remain lean in their business processes.These new web services have made serious impact on the traditional software purchasing process, where business owners had to buy many licences for a product, … [Read more...]

Sales Effectiveness: How To Turn A Profit Using Sales Analytics

Business intelligence

The amount of data available today has increased significantly and has revolutionized sales effectiveness. Businesses have access to more information than ever and are able to utilize it not only to understand what has worked and why in the past, but are able to predict consumer trends and behaviors for the future. This allows businesses to much more accurately forecast the needs of their customers and acclimatize their business accordingly. The high rate at which data is produced and can be distilled also means that you can devise a new theory or approach and test it to gauge its level of success almost immediately without having to embark … [Read more...]

Why Should I Use Bar-coding for my Small Business?

Barcodes are one of those things in life that most of us recognise, but never really fully appreciate. We see them every day in supermarkets, on labels, on the back of greeting cards and consumable goods. But, have you ever taken the time out to appreciate how remarkable they are? How is it possible that a series of black bars and white spaces of varying widths can be printed on a label, in order to uniquely identify it?A label, which can then be read with a scanner (another remarkable invention) which measures reflected light and then interprets the code into numbers  and letters that can be read by a computer, and processed into a … [Read more...]

Why Sticking To A Formula Could Be The Death Of Your Content Marketing Efforts

Chemistry candy- blogging formula

We’ve all been there; you’ve just started a blog post, you’re completely out of ideas and you’ve just typed the phrase ‘we’ve all been there’ like you’re an advertising executive from the 1950s. You’re stumped, and you’ve got no idea what to do next.The answer, of course, is simple; you fall back on a tried and true content formula. It could be something that has worked for you in the past, or something you’ve read while delving through the many, many guides to ‘quality content’ on the World Wide Web. You take some ideas, goes through the paces and viola, you’ve got a 500 word post ready to go and capture the attention of eyeballs from … [Read more...]

Starting a Customer Loyalty Program for Your Small Business

Customer loyalty

You’ve heard it said a million times – it’s much cheaper to keep an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. That’s great and it’s one of those things people like to spout off at business meetings, but what are you actually doing to keep your customers loyal? What are you doing to get them to spend more money?Hopefully, you’re already covering the basics, like providing great service and a memorable customer experience, delivering products and services that exceed expectations, and focusing on building relationships with customers. These things are all important, but here’s the truth – they might not be enough.The fact is … [Read more...]

Embrace Social Media: Make your Small Business More Visible

The world of social media

For every small or large business organization, the capacity to execute or plan the most effective marketing strategies is a huge challenge. Small businesses nowadays take lots of efforts to improve their visibility online so that more and more people can see them. There are various strategies that you need to take into account in order to boost your company's visibility.  Below are outlined certain clear goals for your social media marketing campaign that you may take into account.Facebook: The entire world is accessing Facebook and this particular social networking website offers exceptional low cost marketing opportunities for all … [Read more...]

Negotiation Tips for Women in Business

Successful business woman

They say that women aren’t very good at negotiating because they aren’t as aggressive as men. But that’s not always the case, and it definitely depends on the circumstances, as well as on the personality of a certain woman. The following negotiation tips and tricks might really help women become better business negotiators.Don’t let emotions influence youWhen you are about to start a negotiation, put your fears aside and try to feel as confident as possible. You need to make a smart decision for your company or for yourself, so you can’t let your fury and troubles affect your judgment.Keep your nerves under controlEvery time … [Read more...]

How Social Media Marketing via Pinterest Procreates Small Businesses

The offline and the online marketplace is extremely crowded. So, if you want to establish a strong foothold in the online market, you will have to get help of social media. Social media is one such platform, which has improved the way in which businesses promote themselves online. With social media marketing, access to quality clients increases. However, it is Pinterest which is currently ruling the nest. In just a year, Pinterest has come to establish itself as one of the best social media marketing platforms. How Pinterest helps businesses May it be the small or the mid level business, Pinterest extended its helping hand to one and all. … [Read more...]

Direct Marketing: Stand Out With A Targeted Sales Letter

snail mail marketing

What's this package in the mail? The curiosity sparked by an unexpected package is exactly the reason why direct mail is still one of the most powerful marketing tactics.Of course, your direct mail doesn't have to take the shape of  a package. It doesn't necessarily have to include the requisite "bulky item," either. What it absolutely needs to contain is an awesome letter. There's no need for the letter to be  complicated, either, writes Lois Geller at Forbes.Here's the tricky part: how do you quantify an "awesome letter"?To the uninitiated, "awesome" is difficult to identify because it looks deceptively simple. The letter … [Read more...]

“How to Blog” Posts…What a Joke!


I HATE seeing posts titled “How to Blog” on websites that I visit.  I can see the theory and thought process behind the title.  I mean “how to blog” gets about 1 gazillion exact match searches on Google each month.  But really?  “How to blog” explained in one, 700 word post?  C’mon people!Don’t get me wrong. If you’re a casual blogger who just wants to write and see your words on the internet then those types of blog posts will come in first.  Soon, though, even the novice blogger will outgrow the the “how to blog” and “make money blogging” types of posts that there are OH SO MANY of.Business blogging is a different animal … [Read more...]