Are You Marketing Properly Online?

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.

If you are someone runs a business, no matter if it’s big or small, you should consider having an online marketing platform on your side. There’s a lot of them out there and you shouldn’t be afraid to try a few to see which is the best fit for your business. Whether you’re a social media fan, or you prefer ad banners and sponsoring influencers, or you’re simply someone who churns out content on a regular basis, this is the crux of your company.

So with this in mind, it’s time to take a look at what kind of marketing methods you should take into account when it comes to the world wide web, and why you might not be marketing yourself properly. Be sure to read on for a couple of tips to help you out.

Let’s avoid having to plan out this kind of flowchart!

Know the Right Tools
There’s a lot of help out there for those us of using content marketing platforms, and because of this, a quick Google search will show you the ins and outs of a content marketing strategy. If your business doesn’t have one of these in place yet, or you’re not quite sure of your current schedule with publishing new and interesting topics, this is the section for you.

You’re going to need some SEO on your side, to make sure you’re always ranking in search engines when you don’t have a sponsored link surfing through the rafters. You’re also going to need to know which hashtags are most popular on sites such as Instagram, to make sure you’re always hitting the relevant markets. And seeing as Instagram is an indispensable business tool, you might even want to create a specific account for your company.

Never Forget Email Marketing
Your email marketing is where you’re can secure a lot of loyal followers and one time customers alike, seeing as inbox promotions are one of the most popular marketing methods out there. When you have a mailing list, or people are automatically added to email marketing when they create an account with you, they’re always going to see what you’re offering.

After all, inboxes only update when new emails come in, and nothing irrelevant concerning other people is going to clutter it up, unlike social media. And everyone checks their inbox, either in the morning or at night, for work and leisure purposes. You’d really miss a trick here if you didn’t set up a regular mailing program, and kept to sending out updates on a weekly basis. If you need some inspiration, take a look right here.

Marketing online, in the most concise and clear way, takes a bit of effort to get used to. So be sure to set up your methods early, change them regularly, and keep a close eye on what brings in the most customers. Marketing must be worth your time. 

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How Your Business Can Prepare for the Worst

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.

The idea of preparing for the worst might not sound very appealing to you right now, and that’s perfectly understandable. Not everyone likes the idea of considering their business going through hardship, but preparing for the worst makes it more likely that your company will see it through those bad times and come through the other side. That’s why you really need to start planning today, and here are some ways in which you can.

Save Some Emergency Funds
Saving some money for an emergency is certainly advisable, and you should think about how you can add some emergency funds to your accounts. Once you’ve saved that money, you should do what you can do to ensure you don’t spend any of it until you actually need to. This is what’s most difficult to do for many companies. But it’s important to not give in to the temptation.

Always Have a Plan B
It’s also really important to have a plan B in place that you can turn to if your plan A isn’t turning out the way you wanted and expected it to. It’s in your best interests to have this plan B in place so that you don’t run into problems later on. It could be whatever you want it to be, and you will hopefully never have to use it. But in case you do, it’s important that you’ve thought about it.

Learn From the Mistakes of Other Businesses
Other businesses have sunk without a trace before yours, so you need to learn from the mistakes they made so that the same thing doesn’t happen to your business going forward. You can learn from all kinds of mistakes, and it’s often more important to learn from what other businesses do badly than from what they do well.

Make Your Website More Resilient and Secure
Many of the threats that businesses face these days come from the online side of things. This is when businesses are most vulnerable because hackers and cyber attackers can really damage businesses when they want to. Choosing a good host like gwhost and getting extra cyber security help will ensure your business is prepared for that sort of thing.

Get the Right Insurance
Finally, don’t ignore the importance of insurance. You will only make your life more difficult if you expose yourself by not having the right insurance in place. The kind of insurance you need will depend on the business you run. So give this some thought and get that coverage in place sooner rather than later.

Preparing for the worst is one of those things that many business owners simply don’t want to do. It’s never nice to think about bad things happening to your business, but you’ll be better off in the long-term if you prepare and have a plan in place in the event of things going badly for you.

Eco-Friendly Business Waste Disposal Methods

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 if running a business didn’t already sap most of your time and energy you might begin to feel a guilty pinch from all the waste your business rids of on a daily basis. No one really likes talking about waste, but for business owners who are interested in their bottom line and in the perception of your organization, it is absolutely something you should spend time thinking about.

Plastic bags, packaging, bottles, piles of paper, you never actually realize how much waste is going to landfill until you stop to assess it. This post gives you guidance on how to get your trash under control and to start taking the right step forward to actioning an environmentally friendly solution for your garbage disposal. The planet and your customers will thank you for it.

Getting To Know Your Waste
The first step is to identify your trash in all its different forms. This may mean getting yours (or most likely your colleagues) hands a little grubby. Whatever the size of your business, you need to get into the trash can and look the waste in the face, is it food, is it rubble and soil, could it be half tins of paint? For a convenience store, this might look like one bin full of waste a day. Half of it appears to be moldy inedible food, the other half is cardboard packaging. When you have your quantity and type of garbage written down, you can move onto sourcing your options for disposing of said waste.

In-house Recycling
Could you spare the time to develop a system for in-house recycling, to save your business from contributing to an already overflowing landfill? For a law firm here’s an example, this might mean having a few designated bins plotted over the firm, with easy to read symbols of paper, for recycling paper, and plastic and aluminum, for recycling those items. If you’re opting to use such a system, please be mindful of the people who will accidentally (and on purpose) put the wrong item in the wrong bin. We are mere humans, and the adjustment to such a shocking change in the workplace could throw people. But hang in there, the change will begin to settle in, and that one culprit will eventually stop putting her tea bags in the paper bin. This isn’t your only option, you could consider switching up product packaging to biodegradable materials instead of plastic, or you could choose to swap plastic bags for paper bags. For larger businesses, this change hits on a much larger scale. Which is why the next step may be more fitting to helping you reach your environmentally friendly waste disposal goal.

Waste Management Expertise
Congratulations, you have the magnitude of business that might require your very own waste management expert. Luckily, waste disposal no longer lies with you, you can now dump the trash on your expert. You should expect your expert to follow the protocol above and still identify the type of waste you and the amount. If in-house recycling is a little too optimistic, you might need to bring in the big boys and find yourself a waste disposal company. You could choose an environmentally responsible tip truck hire company to pick up and help dispose of your waste ethically. At least this way, you can sleep at night knowing that your radioactive waste is not heading out somewhere into the Pacific sea or your rubble from a construction project not clogging up an already overflowing landfill site.

This small guide helps to give you some suggestions on how to manage your business waste in an environmentally friendly way.

What to do if your business runs out of money

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.

If you’ve started your own business, you probably did a lot of research beforehand. One phrase that you would have seen pop up quite a lot is “cash flow.” It’s essential that new businesses manage their cash flow properly because the most common reason that startups fail is that they simply run out of money to pay the overheads before they break even. That’s why it’s important that you’re managing your cash flow properly right from the start. But even if you do everything right and you keep your spending in check, it might take longer than you think to break even and start making a profit. If that’s the case, you can still run out of money regardless of how frugal you are.

That could mean the end of your business, but in most cases, there is a way back. Running out of money is scary but if you handle the situation right, you can find additional cash to keep you afloat until you start bringing in enough revenue to cover your running costs. Below are a few tips if you ever find yourself in this situation. Of course, you should always consult with a local accountant if you have sepcific monetary questions 

Remain Calm
This is the most important step. If you start to panic, you’re only going to make bad decisions which may make the situation a whole lot worse. The worst that can happen is that the business will fail. That might sound like a terrible outcome, but you’ll still come out the other side and you can start working on your next business venture. It’s very rare for successful entrepreneurs to get it right the first time so don’t see this as the end of your business career, it’s just one of the many hurdles you’ll have to overcome before you find success.

Try To Cut Costs
Hopefully, you’ll be able to see a crisis coming a few months before it actually hits. This gives you an opportunity to do something about it. When you sense an impending cash flow issue, that is the time to start stipping back the business as much as possible. Review all of your staff and see whether there is anybody that you can afford to lose. Just remember that you still need to increase revenue if you’re going to survive. That means you’ve got to be careful about where you make cutbacks. For example, you can save a lot of money by cutting back in the marketing department, but then you’re not going to be able to bring any new customers on board. The key is to cut unnecessary spending while still spending money on the departments that are bringing in revenue.

Assess Funding Options
Cutting back on spending is an essential step but it’s not going to save the business. It’ll buy you more time but you need to find a long-term solution if you’re going to survive. What you really need is more funding and you should plan to spend some time to start looking at your options. If you’ve already lost quite a bit of money in the company, banks are probably not going to consider giving you a loan. You could get a quick loan from a personal finance company and they’re less likely than the banks to consider your financial past which is a big bonus if the company isn’t performing too well at the minute. Weigh your options and consult with a local accountant.

You can also consider finding some more investors for the business but you’ll have a bit of a battle on your hands. Naturally, they’re not going to be that inclined to put their money into a business that’s failing but if you can convince them that you can make it work, you might be in with a chance. If you do manage to get an investor to meet with you, you need to be prepared. Take detailed financial projections and outline exactly how you’re going to use their money to get the business going and make it work.

Mergers or partnerships are another option. Look for any companies that might be interested in merging with you and draw up a proposal. If you’re going to convince another company to take on some of your financial responsibilities, you need to give them a good reason why they should do that. When you’re writing a proposal, outline all of the ways that a merger with your company would benefit them.

Plan How You’re Going To Spend The Money
We hope you have no accessed your financing options and found some extra cash. This is when it is critical that you are incredibly careful about how you spend it. If you don’t make any changes, you’ll end up burning through that money quickly and you’ll be in the same position as you were before. This extra funding is an opportunity to change your strategy and attempt to boost sales. If you aren’t making that many sales then your marketing and sales tactics clearly aren’t working. Spending all of your money on the same strategy is just a waste. Have a rethink and come up with a new, cost-effective marketing and sales strategy. Without a proper spending plan, you can easily end up wasting that money without making any meaningful changes to the company.

Plan For The Future
Hopefully, you’ve managed to find some extra funding and you’ve come up with a great new strategy that has successfully increased sales. You’re out of the water for now and things are going well but that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed success forever. You could easily end up running into the same problems which is why you should start planning for the future. Try to identify the reasons that you got into financial trouble in the first place and make changes to avoid it in future. It’s also a good idea to start putting money aside each month so you’ve got a buffer if you do run out of cash again.

3 Ways To Make Your IT Department More Effective

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.

The IT department is often overlooked. People tend to underestimate just how important this department is to their business. They do so much more than just fix computers. The IT department is constantly working on new ways to make the company more efficient and helping to implement those changes. They also protect your business from cyber-crime which is absolutely essential. If you’re not giving enough attention to the IT department it can have a cascading effect on the rest of the company and make every employee far less efficient. Below are a few tips to help make sure you give the proper attention to this vital part of your business.

Outsource Properly
When it comes to IT, a lot of people recommend outsourcing. You get the benefit of more experience and a bigger team, and it’s often cheaper than hiring a full team of in-house IT staff. That’s true, sort of. What I mean is, you need to know how to outsource properly if you’re going to see the benefits. Certain aspects of the IT department are best outsourced. Things like implementing new technology require a team that knows it well, so it’s often best to find an outside company that has more experience. General maintenance can be outsourced as well, as long as you find a company that will get the job done quickly. But when it comes to updating systems and processes in the company, outsourcing isn’t the best idea. You need an IT team that work in the building, know the staff and know the company inside out. An outside IT company isn’t going to dedicate that much of their time to your business. Cybersecurity shouldn’t be outsourced either. In the event of a breach, quick reaction is the most important thing. You need to find the gaps and plug them as quickly as possible to avoid more data loss, so you need an IT team on site to handle that.

Network Monitoring
The day to day work of an IT department usually involves taking calls from employees when they’ve got an issue with their computer and then going to fix it. But by the time it causes a problem for one of your employees, you’re already losing money because they can’t work. It’s better if you can spot issues before they disrupt people’s work. That’s why Ipswitch’s networking monitoring solutions are essential. If you use software that will monitor your networks and flag up any problems as soon as they come up, the IT department can solve them before they slow anybody else down.

Limited Software Usage
Whenever you adopt a new piece of software, you’re adding to the workload of your IT department. They have to maintain and fix those pieces of software so if you’re always adding more and more, you’re going to slow them down. Often, different departments are using different pieces of software for the same purpose. When implementing software, make changes across the entire business and always consult the IT department beforehand.