Create Liquidity For Your Business

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

There’s nothing more soul crushing than hating your job. Most of us spend more waking hours at work than we do at home, and if it isn’t a good fit it can cause stress and anxiety. We spend more time with our work colleagues than with our friends, family and loved ones. So if the workplace is a hotbed of malicious gossip and endless shop talk, you might feel alienated and as though you’re unable to be yourself.  If you’re experiencing these feelings before you throw in the towel consider talking to your supervisor or Human Resources director. 

If you’ve already been considering working for yourself and have created businesses either as a side hustle, a home business or as a full-time career, then you might consider trying to make it full time. In order to stay afloat, entrepreneurs need to make sure that their businesses stay agile, coping with day to day issues as they arise while anticipating tomorrow’s challenges. And that can only come when you have strong liquidity.

What is liquidity and why does it matter to my business?
Liquidity is cash and cash is liquidity. Every business, even small businesses existing solely in the digital realm, have overheads. If these overhead costs are not met, your business cannot function and will become mired in a swamp of debt as you struggle to meet your obligations to your customers and your creditors. In order to keep your business moving forward, you need to maintain a healthy cash flow. But this is often easier said than done. Sometimes customers and clients don’t pay their bills on time but the lights need to stay on and employees need to be paid. Sometimes businesses have slow months. But if you’re taking steps to create liquidity for your business, you stand a much greater chance of staying one step ahead of the competition. Here are some ways in which you can create liquidity.

Grow your own capital
Lots of entrepreneurs invest their own capital in their business, and so long as you are mindful of your limitations, it can be an easy way to ensure easy cash flow. Just remember that your own capital is a finite resource. As such, it behooves you to take steps to grow your own capital. This could be done through savings or investment. Given the anemic rate of interest offered by most banks (usually around 0.06 percent), it’s usually a good idea to compare against credit unions and online savings accounts. These can provide a more favorable interest rate as they have fewer overheads than a traditional bank. But even a great savings account, while low risk, is unlikely to grow your capital meaningfully. You should also consider investing to stand the best chance of growing your capital. Seasoned investors know that a diverse portfolio consisting of stocks, forex and (if you are brave) cryptocurrencies may be the best way to grow. If you have limited free time, you might want to consider using algo trading platforms which do the work for you. If you have a healthy pot of your own capital to dip into in times of crisis, you stand a great chance of maintaining liquidity.

Throw a sale that’s too good to miss
Sure, profit margins are important, but it could be better to make lots of low margin sales than no sales, check your numbers. A sale is a great way to generate interest in your brand and attract a high volume of custom. Be sure to incorporate some customer retention strategies so that they’ll keep coming back, even when your stock reverts to its usual pricing.

Get a bridging loan
The financial services industry understands that all businesses experience issues with liquidity from time to time and have developed a range of products to help them with temporary cash flow problems that enable them to keep their heads above water. Bridging loans can be useful in keeping your business afloat while you await your next big payment. Be aware, however, that bridging loans often come at high rates of interest, so they’re only effective as a short-term solution.

Scourge your business of unproductive assets
Everything you spend your money on in business should be there to help you make money. Everything from your stock to your employees is there to help you facilitate profits. Thus, if you have assets that are unproductive (i.e. unprofitable) you need to jettison them before they continue to drain your liquidity.

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Authentic Customer Engagement

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

As a business, engaging your customers should be an absolute priority for you. You need to ask yourself not how you can sell to people, but how you can solve their problems. Customers come to you because you have a solution to their problem. If you are treating them right and putting them first, engaging them correctly, you are going to have loyal and repeat customers instead of just clicks in your online traffic. One-off marketing campaigns have always been the best thing to do for many years, but since the dawning of the internet and the digital age, customers need more than a few pretty posters to keep them interested.

Social media has become one of the biggest tools for marketing and engaging with customers. It allows a business to contact the people who are buying from them and it allows for conversations to be held in a public way, showing other people that problems can be easily solved. Customers head to social media first when they have a suggestion or an issue, and while there are plenty of ways to contact your customers when they sign up to your services, such as what you can find here, social media is always the first point of contact for new customers. The goal should be driving your customers into a deeper client/customer relationship with you, and helping your customers is the first way that you can get there.

Engagement marketing starts with what you say rather than your products. Anyone can buy a product, but if you’re not starting a dialogue with your customers or building a relationship, then you’re not going to have repeat business. Customers engage with content first, because it’s useful. The content tells them about you and what you’ve got to offer and the value of what you do.

When you’re engaging with your customers, you create a conversation with them. You get a chance to roll up your sleeves and show them what you can do. It also gives them a chance to learn about what developments that you have on the table for later and it gives your customers the opportunity to feedback about that. Of course, you won’t be able to take the advice and feedback of every customer out there, but there can be some excellent ideas on the table that you can keep in mind for other products.

Customers can be inspired by your business goals and objectives and make them feel like cheerleaders when they support you. This is a part of the entire engagement experience and means that you can offer more to them. Once you have customer engagement, you need to keep the conversation going. You should try to stay responsive to their needs and offer more to stay relevant. Customer engagement can mean everything to your business.

Could You Start A Business From Home?

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

More and more people are starting their own businesses and a good portion of those are from a home office. Whether you’re looking for a side venture to supplement your income, or you’re looking to become a business owner, an at-home business might be the way to go. There are a few elements that all businesses have even solopreneurs. 

Finding a good idea

Finding a good idea is the first essential step for setting up your own business. Some people have strong ideas about what they want to do, while others might need to take time to develop the right approach. Think about what you’re good at, what you’re interested in as well as what’s in-demand. To ensure business success, you will need to believe strongly in your idea to stay motivated and make sure you have the passion to see it through.

The possibilities for starting your own business are endless. If you’ve wondered about how to start a swimwear line or design your own range of cosmetics, then you’ll be pleased to know that it’s easier than ever to get started from the comfort of your own home. The media is full of stories of successful businesses that were started from home, and yours could be the next big success story.

Getting the finances to kick-start your business

While there are some businesses that you can start with little or no money, for most businesses you’re going to need some capital to get things off the ground. This is why many at-home businesses begin as a side hustle so that you can still benefit from a regular income and savings while you get your business started. You might need to pursue a business loan or seek investment to help you get things moving, and a business plan is essential for getting the financial help you need.

Launching your business

Launching your business will be an exciting step for you as you finally put the wheels in motion. A strong marketing strategy can help your business to find its feet and help spread the word about your products and services. It’ll take some time for things to settle, but with perseverance, you can make your business work for you. If it’s just you at the beginning, things can start to feel lonely, so it’s important that you find the motivation to keep going to ensure the best chance of success.

Growing your business

The only way is up, as they say, so as your business continues on its path to success, you can help it to grow. An effective promotional plan can help you to expand your business, and techniques such as content marketing can help you generate further leads and make the most of your existing customers and clients. As you take on additional staff and increase your sales, it might soon become time to move your business away from home and give it its own location – showing that you’ve really made it.

Whatever your drive to start your own business, you can make it work. Explore different ideas for starting your at-home business today and who knows what tomorrow might bring?

When Selling Products, Clarity Is Key

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

Selling a product is not an isolated event. It’s the culmination of a network of decisions, things that allow for the choice of purchase to be easy. There are a million small considerations and thoughts behind the products you buy on a daily basis and the same is true for your customers. Intense product scrutiny is a duty that businesses take seriously. It might be the shape, size, color, packing and general display the product comes in. It might be the price point, shelf life, long-term usage and general utility that product offers. All of these things should be considered and optimized.

Clarity is the biggest factor when selling a product or service. Clarity makes the difference between having to hard sell and letting the product or service speak for itself. Clarity offers so much in that process of convincing someone to buy. Here’s why:

It Reduces Consideration and Decision Fatigue
When someone is presented with the raw facts about why a product is great, they are much more likely to open up to the experience. Consumers want to make a purchase, they don’t want to cryptically analyze what you’re offering and how to fit it into their home life. Businesses can often confuse a product being mysterious and intriguing to being cryptic. At the end of the day, there is no excuse for a customer to be presented with your product and not knowing what it is, or what their value for money is for them. When they know all of this instantly, it reduces the amount of time they take to come to the purchasing decision.

It Makes Strengths Real
Consumers are used to being oversold and having products overhyped. They filter it out. They set expectations accordingly. However, when presented with an item clearly, they can see the strengths for themselves or are at least interested in figuring them out. Infomericals are the gold standard for this technique. By highlighting the real benefits of your product or service, you don’t have to work as hard to get customers to know what they are buying and why. They should also be able to refer to clear printable labels. This allows for the consumer to also feel like they have been directed in an honest way. When it comes to fostering brand loyalty, this is an excellent place to start.

Brand Loyalty
When it comes to brand loyalty, clarity is the key element. This is because many people feel that associating their identity with a brand is important. For example, people stick to a certain brand of phone or sneakers or anything due to how they perceive it. For example, if your business makes ethical decisions in manufacturing, people will consider that a proud emblem to be seen with. In the free market, businesses not only offer products but mini-identities. This can be good or bad depending on your perspective, but as a business leader, it can certainly be useful to use. Staying clear with your image, and how your products contribute to that, as well as demonstrating the good work done by other forms of your business will all contribute to that impulse buy, as long as you can directly communicate this with no trouble at all.

With these tips and insights, you should understand the power and intelligence of clarity, and use it more in your product offerings.

Content Marketing Isn’t Easy, But You Can Make it Work

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

Content marketing is being treated like something of a panacea as of late. It’s cheap, it offers exposure, it allows you to really cement your brand and can convert more customers. However, writing up any old content isn’t going to do it. It takes time, effort and a real process to ensure that your audience is getting what they want and coming back for more.

Create your pipeline
If you’re creating a blog, an email newsletter, or another kind of content marketing system that relies on regular uploads, you have to be able to actually produce content regularly. For that reason, creating a pipeline that looks at content currently being worked on, researched, and considered can help you ensure you don’t run out of things to talk about. While you’re writing one piece, make sure you have another piece ready to write. While you’re putting together the abstract of other pieces, have other pieces you’re researching. Look for new ideas by getting inspiration from other content in your field or ask your customers directly what they want feedback or information on.

Have a process
You should manage the production and perfecting of content separately, too. Making sure that content fits internal standards and follows a stylebook (such as AP Style) to make sure everything maintains a layer of brand consistency. Content management software acts as more than storage for content in the works. It lets you apply elements like branding and images much more easily. If you can’t afford a copyeditor or proofreader, at least use some of the grammar and readability-checking tools. You don’t want your content being made inaccessible by highly preventable errors.

Test it for value
Before you hit publish, even before you start writing the main body of a text, you need to ask yourself one question. What is the value for the reader? Is it informative, educational, or helpful? Is it insightful or new? Sometimes, fun is enough to lend content some value. You simply have to make sure that readers have a reason to click links leading to your content, and that they feel like they come away with it having learners or experienced something new and worthwhile. Content without value is only more likely to sabotage your business. If customers believe that you’re engaging in time-wasting practices, it doesn’t look very good for your brand.

It doesn’t end with publishing
Marketing your content is a practice that requires some time, too, of course. Using social tracking software, you can see how many people are engaging with content and keep up with any conversations that spawned from the original post. You can also track conversations elsewhere in the industry to better learn what kind of content work and what doesn’t. Content can provide ongoing value for your business, you just need to keep following up on it. That’s how you really establish your reputation as a thought leader, not just another content producer.

Content marketing isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up on it. It really is one of the most effective marketing tools of the online world at the moment, competing evenly with paid advertisements.