The next level 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.

One of the things that you’ll commonly see when you search for advice or guidance on running any kind of business is a focus on the early days. And, to be entirely fair, this is often the point in any business’s lifetime when a business owner probably needs the most help and guidance. After all, you’re still coming to terms with the reality of what you’re doing, there’s a chance that everything is new to you, and it can often feel as though the entire world is against you. However, one of the issues that can arise from this approach is that it creates an idea in the minds of many small business owners that once their business is up and running, that’s the hard part over with. Sadly, that’s just not the case.

The truth is that once you’ve been able to get your business going and have achieved some degree of success, that’s the moment when things are going to start getting really tough. This can cause a lot of startups to flounder and struggle to really make the most of the success that they’ve earned. When this happens they either get stuck in the particular place that they’re in, or their businesses fail altogether. In order to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you, here are just a few things that you can do in order to take your business to the next level.

Diversify your products

When you first start your business, there’s a good chance that you’re going stick with a pretty core line of products or services. In fact, you may have only a single product or service that you build your entire business around. This is actually a great way to start since it allows you to focus on quality as much as possible. When you’re first starting out, you likely don’t have the resources for a diverse range of products. However, as your business grows it becomes more and more important to diversify what you are able to offer to your customers.

A single great product can be fantastic but it’s going to become a limitation for your business quite quickly as you begin to outgrow it. Sure, you shouldn’t give up on your core product, just think about other things you could add to your business. One of the best ways to figure this out is to look at the purchasing habits of your customers. What kinds of things are they buying? Are there things that they want from your product that it’s not offering? That way you’re going to be able to fill in those gaps and make your business that much more indispensable to them.

Increase your staff

When you first start your business, there’s a good chance that it’s made up of only a few people, probably you and your business partners. In fact, there’s even a chance that you’re the only person involved in your business from the start. However, it often becomes pretty clear to a lot of business owners that, if they want to go from a part-time gig in their spare room making pocket change to a legitimate business, they need to bring in other people. Your staff are the beating heart of your business and without them, there’s a good chance that the whole thing could easily collapse under its own weight.

However, if your business is growing and you’re trying to take it to the next level, one of the worst things that you can do is to assume that your current staff can take on all of the work involved in that. It’s going to leave you all feeling frustrated and exhausted. Not only that but it can even lead to resentment from your employees. Think about the specific areas of your business that might require a more dedicated set of skills. Hiring people to focus purely on marketing or other parts of your business is often far better than trying to have every employee take on three different roles at once.

Seek greater investment

Businesses cost money, that’s hardly the most exciting or unusual statement ever made but that doesn’t make it any less true. The reality of running any business is that you’re going to need investment from somewhere. The big, important question is exactly where you’re going to get that investment from. There are a lot of different places you can find investment in your business, from taking out a personal loan to angel investors to more unusual routes like crowdfunding through sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

No matter how you secure investment for your business, you need to remember that as it grows, you’re likely to require even more. If you’re building your business carefully then you should be in a position where you can always offer greater returns on any investment, whether that’s increased profits for your investors or great rewards for any of your backers who help to fund your business’s growth and expansion.

Increase the scale of your business

The reality is that your business is going to have to grow if you want to improve. And that’s not just in terms of the scope of your business in a metaphorical sense, but in a physical sense as well. After all, a larger business requires more physical space. More employees need a larger office in order to both keep them safe and make sure that everyone is working comfortably. The same goes for everything from expanding into manufacturing to the logistics of your business. Not only that but you may end up thinking about different locations for your business. If you’re running a retail store then you may want to expand to different locations in order to tap into different markets. After all, there’s only so much that you can get out of a single location. This is something that can often be a pretty risky proposition so it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re not rushing into it, but if you’re doing things properly, it can be the first step towards your business becoming something a whole lot more than it currently is.

Do more things in-house

When you first start running a business, one of the very best and most important things that can help you succeed is outsourcing. Outsourcing is the secret weapon of a lot of young startups. After all, if your business is made up of just yourself and a couple of other people then there really is no chance that you’re going to be able to deal with it all yourself. Because of that, reaching out to other professionals or companies is often one of the very best things that you can do. However, as your business grows and you increase the size of your workforce, you’re going to be able to deal with more and more things in-house. Things like warehousing which might previously have been dealt with by someone else can become a central part of your business. Of course, that does mean that you’ll have more things to worry about, everything from finding an affordable freight quote to ensuring that your warehouse’s health and safety measures are all up to scratch. However, the benefits of dealing with these things yourself can often vastly outweigh the challenges involved.

Make sure that your premises are suitable

When you first start out, there’s a chance that you could well just be working out of your spare room at home. As things grow and you bring in more people you might hire out some space in an office building instead. However, as your business grows more and more, you might have to start thinking about whether or not your premises are really suitable. If you need to create the perfect space with everything your business needs then you might be better off building it yourself. This can often constitute something of a serious investment but many business owners have found being able to build their premises based on their businesses exact needs to be an incredibly positive step.

One of the most important things that you need to remember when trying to push your business forward is not to let your ambition get the best of you. It’s incredibly common for a lot of business owners to feel on top of the world when their business starts to succeed and that can end up causing more problems than it solves. The truth is that one of the most important words that you need to remember when creating a successful business is “sustainability.” If you try and grow and expand your business too quickly then you run the risk of the whole thing collapsing under its own weight. You’re not necessarily going to be prepared for the kinds of increased expectations that are placed on you as your business grows. Investors will expect greater returns and new customers are going to hold your business to a much higher standard.  As exciting as growing your business can be, if you’re not doing it carefully, it can be as much of curse as a blessing.

Advertisements

The Golden Rules For Impressing New Clients

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.

It can take weeks, if not months, of meeting with potential clients and pitching to them to try to win their support and work. Eventually, after all that hard work on your part, finding out that a new client has decided to sign with you can be a huge relief. But that doesn’t mean that you can now become complacent. In fact, this is where the real hard work kicks in as you will need to start impressing your new client and showing them that signing with you was the right choice.

To help you impress all your new clients, here are some important golden rules that all businesses should follow. If you do, then your client will be incredibly happy with your work right from day one.

Send A Welcome Pack
Lots of successful companies send new clients a welcome package. There are lots of things that you can include, but most business owners like to add a little leaflet about their business and what the client can expect. This instantly sets the tone for your work together. It’s also a nice idea to add a few gifts as well. You can add some custom car air fresheners, a personalized mouse mat or even a T-shirt with your logo on it. 

Treat Them As Real People
Don’t just treat a new client as your next paycheck. The business is run by people and you would be wise to not forget this aspect. So, be sure to take a short time to get to know your client well, especially the faces who you will be dealing with on a regular basis. Make sure that all of your employees who will be in contact with them also do the same. This goes beyond remembering everyone’s names to knowing when they prefer to have conference calls to the type of communication each person prefers. 

Research Their Business And Industry
Before you do get started on the new project for your client, it’s a good idea to research their business and industry beyond what you did for the initial pitch. You will no doubt have to ask your client a lot of questions in the initial stages of their project, but doing some research on them will show that you have gone that extra mile to find out more. It could even help you decide which questions to ask in the first place. Plus, if you seem to know more about their industry or sector, then clients are more likely to trust your work.

Ensure Meetings Are Proactive
There’s a good chance that you will need to hold a few meetings once you do sign a new client. This gives you both the chance to ask any last-minute questions and also plan for the first few stages of the project. However, make sure that your meetings aren’t at all boring. They need to have a clear goal and you need to be proactive to reach that goal. So, it’s worth setting up an agenda for each meeting. This will help to keep them focused and no one’s time will be wasted.

It’s always a good idea to let your client know about all the latest industry news and trends. If you inform them of these then they will have a better idea of how to always stay one step ahead of their competitors. This is also a good time to make sure they have access to reviewing the latest tools and tech devices to determine if updating or upgrading makes sense for the business. Using these new gadgets when completing the project work may help projects get done faster.

Be Organized
Don’t forget that good time-management skills and organization are absolutely key to your new client relationship. Plus, you will need a lot of top organization skills if you are managing various clients and deadlines. In order to improve any organization flaws in your company, you should consider implementing a few different workflows for your employees to follow. Utilizing a tool like Google Calendar can also keep everyone’s appointments and planned meetings in one place. The reminders that these kinds of calendar tools send out can be lifesavers if something ever slips your mind and they’ll prevent you double booking yourself!

Common Business Packaging Mistakes

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.

When it comes to business packaging, it is so important to make sure that the package you choose is high quality and a great representation of your brand. This is an excellent opportunity to catch the attention of potential buyers, strengthen your brand identity, and of course, improve your bottom line. However, this is only going to be the case if you choose the packaging correctly. Below are a few pitfalls you should try to avoid at all costs. 

No one knows what the product is – There is only one place to begin, and this is with business packaging that does not convey what the product inside is. Packaging should communicate what the product is. You should clearly state this and make sure that all of the important details are on the package. You also need to make sure the information is correct and clear. Now is a great time to decide to become eco-friendly and then make sure that is included on your packaging.

Copying something else – A lot of business owners look at other packages in order to get inspiration for their own bespoke packaging. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as you do not commit copyright infringement. If you have questions about this, we can help! 

Too much going on – Another common packaging mistake is having too much going on. While minimalism does not suit every brand, this does not mean you should try to cram literally everything into the packaging design. Don’t try to use a variety of fonts and lots of different colors. The only thing you are going to do is leave people feeling confused.

A lack of emotion – Packaging should convey the feelings you want to be associated with your brand. It needs to create a bond with the customer. It does not matter whether you are selling hair care products or food storage containers, you need to make a connection on some level with the customer. You need to appeal to the customer and make them feel special. Products express who we are after all.

It’s hard to open – There is no denying that this is one of the most common complaints consumers have when it comes to packaging. It does not matter how beautiful or exciting a package is, if it is too difficult to open, it is immediately going to be a failure. If a pair of scissors are required to get to the product, you know that you have done something wrong.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding some of the most common errors that businesses tend to make when it comes to packaging design. If you can avoid the blunders that have been discussed in this post, you can go a long way to making sure that your package design represents your brand well and is perfect for the product that you are selling.

Why Some Businesses Create More Of A Stir

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 are hundreds of millions of businesses all around the world. So why is it that we only hear about a couple hundred during the year? Whether it’s on the news, over the radio in our cars, on social media websites or in newspapers, some businesses create more of a stir than others. Is it because they’re more successful? Sometimes but mostly it’s because of their impact on society. For example, Bitcoin isn’t that large compared to other companies, in fact it’s tiny.

However, it has a massive cultural impact because it throws up multiple questions. It asks whether or not it’s time to move to digital currency, as everything else has already turned digital anyway. It’s not a concern of the majority of people, but it’s asking a serious question that entails the future of all economies around the world. This is the kind of thing that stirs up interest in a business, even if it’s not the most popular. In fact, even if a business is not the king in its own industry, it can still become more important than the one on the throne. What are the things that cause this?

New always sells
The bottom line is, we as human beings love new things. Things that have never been done before or made, will always sell. From the very first car, the first jet ski, the first pocket watch to the first smart glasses, we love things that are new. We are creators and inventors by our nature, therefore when we see something that is brand new on the market and has very little similarities to other products on the market, we flock to it. Some of us just want to have our skepticism justified, others want to believe and others are just curious in a neutral manner. Businesses that continue to innovate and do so successfully are always going to keep making headlines. You see a lot of this in the fashion and car industries.

Technology is king
Advances in technology are always going to make experts stand up and take notice. It’s not just the new technology but also the improved technology that will create a stir. The next series of smartphones that will have no bezels and just a large screen with no buttons, and a motorized rear camera are the talk of the world. These two steps are huge and they haven’t been properly done before. No wonder then that a company that will make these large steps will attract investors of all kinds. The average person can learn how to start investing in stocks and get in on the action and make a lot of money. When a new technological achievement is on the horizon, you can be sure that this is the right time to invest in that particular company looking to accomplish it.

Some businesses create a stir for the wrong reasons. However a company that is doing something brand new, making bold steps in the direction of technological achievement is always one to watch out for. Getting involved and buying stock before it releases said product is definitely something you should consider.

Providing A Great First Impression For The Customer

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 is plenty that affects the likelihood of a customer using your service, buying your product, or coming back for more. One of the things that can make a difference is the nature of the first impression that they have of your business. This is true whether they meet one of your representatives in the flesh, or they communicate with you via twitter or email. First impressions matter and can be one of the main reason a customer keeps coming back. 

Brand Loyalty
You need to first make sure that you are encouraging a good degree of brand loyalty in your business. This is important because it influences the way your business appears to the customer, and the more loyal the brand is to itself the more professionals trustworthy the business will come across. You can achieve this sense of loyalty by encouraging and promoting brand consistency across all channels throughout your company, and by ensuring that you keep the brand both simple and effective. Do that, and you might be surprised at how much of a great first impression you can provide for your customer, no matter how they come across your business in the first place.

Customer Service Advisors
In many cases, you can control the first impression more effectively if you are working on the actual customer service first. The way in which people speak to your customers in person is extremely important, and there is often always work to be done in this area for most companies. There are so many things you can do here, from training your staff more frequently to ensuring that you have a unique opening line. But something that can really help is the introduction of an appointment manager. This individual could be able to introduce the customer to the company and achieve a better sense of welcoming and customer-centric practices. 

Promise & Deliver
It goes beyond the actual initial meeting, however, and you also want to make sure that you are impressing them early on in other ways. Arguably the most important way to do this is to make sure that you are delivering on whatever you happen to promise without exception if at all possible. If you can do that, you will find that it makes a difference to how well they see your business, so this is something that you really don’t want to overlook. In fact, the better that you master this, the better off your company will be. Providing a great first impression for the customer is often easier to do than you might think.