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How Do You Stand Out From Your Competitors?

Also, remember that customers like to share their experiences with family and friends, and in our interconnected world, news of one bad customer service experience can spread like a wildfire and cost you a lot of business. Provide loyalty incentives to your customers Incentives and perks can make your customers Depending on the type of business you are running, you can set up reward systems, send out gifts, offer access to exclusive content, or run promotions with grand prizes. Take up a cause that will endear you to your customers An increasing number of consumers are indicating their preference for companies and brands that give back to the community and take up causes that make a difference in people’s lives. More than ever, people want to know that their favourite brands share their values (e.g. going green, fair trade etc.). You can take up a cause or support a social program that your customers care about.

7 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Business Coach

Sara

Business coaching is something most first time entrepreneurs and business owners could benefit from. The problem however, is that most of them don't know how to go about hiring a coach, and they often end up spending a fortune on canned coaching programs that don’t offer them any real value. So, how can you as a business owner avoid this pitfall?. Well, here are 7 things that you should consider before you hire a business coach. Besides coaching, have they run any other successful business? A good coach should be able to draw from their own experiences, not just from theoretical concepts learnt in school or read about in a book. Unless they’ve personally been in the trenches of the corporate world, they may not be able to give you practical advice. So, how can you as a business owner avoid this pitfall? Well, here are 7 things that you should consider before you hire a business coach.

How Businesses Can Help Students Fund Their Education

Sara

For businesses, scholarships are a form of investment because they increase brand awareness among young students who could potentially end up either working for them or using their products and services. If you are a student and you need help funding your education, you can take advantage of corporate scholarships. These opportunities can help to foster the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs. As a student, your best play is to apply to all the scholarship programs for which you are eligible so as to increase your chances of getting the funding you need for your education. Getting involved with work experience programs Employers are keen on work experience, which is why many colleges and universities include work experience programs as part of their higher education curriculum. Businesses take part in work experience programs not just to help students gain much-needed experience, but also to help them earn a little money which they can use to pay for their education.

If you are a student looking to make some money by participating in essay writing competitions, you can find some more ongoing contests here. What’s in it for the businesses? By sponsoring students and helping to pay for their education, businesses can benefit in many different ways



New Technologies Provide Convenient Product Labeling Solutions for Small Businesses

Sara

There is a high demand for affordable and convenient label printing services for small businesses. Every business owner wants high-quality, colourful labels on their product packages because they tend to improve the performance of their products in the market. To meet the demand for high-quality labels, companies that make printers and label applicators are coming up with advanced technological solutions that enable small businesses to create and apply high-quality labels in-house and at a reduced cost. According to Color Label Solutions Inc., here are some of the new on-demand printing technologies that are available to small businesses: Solutions for printing labels on thick items Many small businesses need to print labels directly onto thick items such as corrugated boxes, bags, cards, coasters, coffee cup sleeves etc. The CMYK Printer was created to meet this need. The setup includes a printer and a fixed thickness feeder. The CMYK printing system is designed to make it easier to create lots of personalized items with less labour and at a much lower cost.

You can see a brief demonstration of flat box printing below and erected box printing here



How Your Business can Take Advantage of Tax Planning

Sara

Tax planning refers to the practice of organizing your business’s financial affairs with the goal of minimizing the amount of tax that you have to pay. You can’t avoid paying tax, but you can use certain strategies to ensure that your business doesn’t have to shoulder an unnecessary tax burden. Tax planning initiatives are perfectly within the law, and when implemented correctly, they can help your business gain a great competitive advantage. Your tax planning strategy can make or break your business. If you have a good strategy, you will end up with more money which you can reinvest into your business, and this will improve the quality of your products, your cost of production, and your ability to market your products. Tax planning is particularly important if your business has an annual turnover of more than $200 to $250,000. If you want to ensure that you have a good tax plan, contract tax accountants who have lots of expertise and experience on the subject.

Being Present with Your Strengths

Sara
Like many perfectionists, for many years I chased the ever elusive ‘fix your weaknesses’ story, always putting myself in places where I could work on my weaknesses. Sadly this strategy did not bring me or my employers a whole lot of joy and I eventually got smart enough to avoid choosing the jobs that were too focused in those areas of weakness. At one point I graduated to telling my employer why it would not be a good idea to give me certain tasks… I explained these tasks were not a natural talent and ability for me and they would be wasting their and my time given my capacities in other areas! Of course, most people ignored this, preferring to squash the square peg into the round hole until they created a big mushy mess of misery for them and me. Imagine if Frank Gehry had become a bricklayer instead of the magnificent architect he is?

10 Ways to Give Your Business Mojo a Boost

Sara
Many successful people come to a stage where they feel tired, unmotivated and missing that energy that made them successful in the first place. Sometimes it is a result of a specific incident, more often it shows up out of the blue - the combination of a thousand small moments that weren't quite what our inner being truly desired! Sound familiar? Here's 10 quick, easy changes you can make that will give your mojo a boost: Do your work differently. Look at it as if you have never done this task before and ask yourself how else could you do this to create a greater possibility? Start in the middle of a project instead of the beginning and see where it leads. (Sometimes the unplanned leads to the greater possibility!!) Re-energise by having fun in your 10 minute breaks. If you can't remember what is fun for you, the first thing to do is make a list of possibilities...

Ordinary or Extraordinary? Which Is Riskier?

Sara
Think about the businesses you interact with. Can you name more than five that offer you an outstanding experience every time? Can you even name one? Being ordinary in business is easy. You don’t have to think much. You don’t need to do anything different or unusual. You don’t need to be brave. You don’t need to stand for something. You don’t need to get out of your comfort zone. The outcome? You don’t stand out from your competitors. You don’t attract raving fans. And you certainly don’t get extraordinary results! Being ordinary doesn’t cost much…. Or does it? Is your business joyful and fun or is it all pain, suffering and gory? Your answer will depend on your brand and culture… If your brand is more beige than magenta, and your culture is more ‘slit your wrists’ than celebration, it may be time to rethink the risks of being ordinary!

The Cost of a Poor Workplace Culture

Sara

Negative cultures tend to encourage negative competition, where everyone acts to advance their own interests rather than teaming up to ensure the success of the business. Good managers and leaders should bring employees together, not pit them against each other. Team building encourages collective effort and responsibility, but unhealthy competition can lead to waste of resources and animosity among the staff. Turning a negative workplace culture into a positive one It is possible to turn a negative workplace culture into a positive one by creating positive workplace rules and implementing them with concerted effort. Companies can get rid of negative cultures by investing in leadership skills. Leadership training is important not just for top managers, but for employees of all levels. You can rebuild a positive corporate culture or avoid a negative one by ensuring that your executives are trained to lead by example and that your employees feel that they are integral to the success of the company.

However, it’s possible to turn things around by changing stress and anxiety into efficiency and productivity



Why Has Outsourcing Become So Popular?

Sara

The majority of offshore service providers are based in developing nations such as India and Philippines where labour costs are comparatively low. Outsourcing services to any of these countries helps a company financially, as the company can get high quality work done at lower rates. Moreover, a company can also make financial savings from operational costs as they don’t have the associated costs of administration, payroll, rentals, HR, and utilities. For this reason, there are cost efficiencies to be had simply by outsourcing to more specialised operations like cleaning, locally. While the savings aren’t as dramatic, they can still be worthwhile. Less distraction from Core Business: Once the less important tasks are assigned to other service providers, the company does not need to fragment the attention of its personnel over so many diverse areas. This allows more time and energy for concentrating on the most important business matters of the company, its core competencies.

This allows more time and energy for concentrating on the most important business matters of the company, its core competencies

For instance, getting tasks like billing, transcription, claims processing, cleaning and other less important jobs outsourced, can help health care practices focus on crucial matters like taking care of patients. Results That Can Be Measured: The best part of outsourcing is that the company that outsources can plan ahead of time its exact requirements and then hand over the responsibility to the external service provider to get it done within a given time frame