Stories | Business & Finance


The Mindset Of A Financially Savvy Individual

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Money matters. The pandemic has highlighted the fact that it isn’t the most important thing in our lives. Still, there’s no escaping the stress that financial shortcomings can bring. Therefore, it’s imperative that you make a conscious effort to put things right. Building a strong mindset should be the first item on your agenda.

While we all have to discover our own pathways, embracing a few simple strategies can make a world of difference. Here are five that will lead you to success.

#1. Repair, Don’t Replace

Products break or become faulty from time to time. Unfortunately, life has a tendency to throw up those problems at the worst possible times. A quick change of mindset could reduce the financial burden, though. It is often possible to restore items, which will cost a fraction of the price. For example, experts like Tony’s Auto Wreckers can help you find certified spare car parts to avoid replacing the vehicle. Similarly, professional appliance repair workers can help you save money. DIY tutorials are readily available too.

#2. Make Assets Work Harder

Learning to appreciate what you have will make you a far happier person in all aspects of life. As far as your assets are concerned, learning to make them work harder can transform your financial health for the better. There are several ways to get more out of your garage, from short-term financial boosts to ongoing revenue opportunities. You may also be able to look at the possibility of hiring out camera equipment or other items that people may need for a short loan. When your assets are used to their full potential, you will notice a difference.

#3. Consider The Long Game

There’s nothing wrong with spending money in life. The key is to use it effectively and form calculated decisions. This is particularly important when looking at the prospect of home upgrades. Eco-friendly upgrades like Bing Lee Appliances may require a little outlay. But they can work wonders for your long-term finances. They will add value to the property while also reducing your bills. On a similar note, resisting inferior products when better items will soon be available can have a big influence on your finances.

#4. Stop Owning Everything

Society makes us believe that buying products is the only way to live. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. There are many situations where short-term hire agreements are better for your circumstances. This can range from leasing a car to renting an outfit for a friend’s wedding. Many people will also find that renting a home makes more sense than buying a property. You can travel down several paths in your life and finding the one that works for you is all that matters. Acknowledging this is a key feature of a winning mindset.

#5. Avoid Unnecessary Fees


Financial organisation is one of the greatest skills that anybody can ever develop. You don’t have to be rich to be financially stable, you just need to be in control. Using mobile banking and managing your bills to avoid late payments or interest fees will work wonders. When combined with a desire to compare prices on all purchases, money will leave your account far slower. In turn, this will remove the pressure to earn quite as much. Likewise, savings can be used to start investments and generally boost your ongoing finances. Perfect.

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Stepping Up Effectively: Defining Growth on Our Own Terms

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When you are establishing your image or developing your identity, the notion of growth is somewhat a misnomer. It’s a common misconception that growth is determined by sales and the bottom line. But there is so much more to growth than this. The idea of growth is how you define it. It’s important to define growth on your terms. So how can you define this, but also how can you achieve growth in your own way? 

Professional Growth

If you are looking to achieve professional growth, you can break this down into a number of different components. For example, you could look at the market in aspects and figure out how you can diversify your approach. Working with companies like an online marketing agency forces you to identify what areas of professional growth you need. This means that professional growth is not just about performing well, but it’s about the ability to promote yourself effectively, but also make sure you have the right products. This means you have to undertake a form of self-examination where you recognise your strengths and weaknesses. A SWOT analysis can help you identify how you wish to grow professionally.

Financial Growth

Financial growth is to do with the bottom line and profit. And this relies on sales. If you are to grow your business and finances you will have to, again, look at your strengths and weaknesses, however, when it comes to financial growth it’s about offering the right products, while also having the business acumen to deliver this growth effectively. Financial growth is the end product we are all after, but in order to do this effectively, we have to implement strategic plans. This is where your long-term business plan would come into effect. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy document, but it should highlight key milestones for the business that you define as barometers for growth. This could comprise KPIs such as the percentage of conversion rates.

Cultural Growth

Growth is also about what occurs on the inside. If you want to focus on turning your business into a healthy entity, it’s not purely about profit and percentages. Cultural growth is integral to the growth of your business. When we talk about cultural growth, especially in the modern-day, this highlights our abilities to work with other suppliers, and forge key relationships. If you want to grow your business in an ethical sense, you’ve got to focus directly on the cultural components. Is your organisation a great place to work? 

Many businesses make the mistake of avoiding defining what their cultural identity is and focus purely on profits; however, we must recognise that businesses need to grow in all three of these aspects. When you define growth on your terms, you can look at one of these three areas, but the best types of businesses will be able to incorporate a comprehensive approach to growth. When we understand how growth becomes an effective method to implement change in how a business improves its profits, this is how you can turn a company from a small, seemingly ineffective entity, to something that has a far wider impact.

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How To Make Products More Attractive Online

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Selling products online requires different tactics to selling products in a physical store or through an in-person sales agent. Customers aren’t able to physically touch or test the product when buying online. Instead, you have to find other ways to give customers the information they need and build trust. Below are just five tips on how to make online products more attractive.

Use professional photographs

If you’re not a professional photographer, you should avoid taking your own photos of your products. Similarly, you should avoid using manufacturer photos. Instead, hire a professional photographer to take your own high-quality original photos for online purposes. 

A professional will know how to get the best lighting and angles and will be able to create a sense of consistency between all your product photos (even if you’re selling products from a variety of different brands, it’s worth keeping a consistency between them for the sake of your own brand identity). When hiring a photographer, look for someone with a good online reputation. Specialist photographers such as real estate photographers or fashion photographers may be worth hiring for certain types of product. Models and props could be worth hiring for certain products too.

Consider offering multiple photographs per product. You could even consider 3D photographs. Such photos can help to build customer trust by offering a fuller idea of what a product looks like. 

Add a video

A video can provide even more information than a photo. This could include video adverts or explainer videos. 

You could use a video to demonstrate your product in person. Alternatively, you could consider an animated video to help explain the technical aspects behind your product. As with photos, consider hiring professionals to create your video.

Write enticing product descriptions

The product description can be very important when selling a product online. It should contain detailed information about the product, while also being engaging.

Rather than using lots of big blocks of text, consider using bullet points and multiple sections in your product descriptions to present information in a way that’s easy to skim-read. Make sure to cover all the specific information that customers are likely to want to know such as measurements and ingredients/materials. Consider also adding in a few keywords to help with SEO. A professional copywriter could be worth hiring to help to get the best out of your product descriptions. 

Display positive customer reviews

Many customers rely on reviews to determine whether they trust an online product. Consider allowing customers to leave reviews under your product – or highlight select reviews left by some of your happiest customers. Haven’t got any customer reviews? Consider a few of these tricks for building customer reviews

Advertise discounts and freebies

Lots of people shop online instead of at their local store in order to find better deals. Throwing in freebies or notifying customers of discounts could be a way of attracting more customers and securing more sales. These could be deals for a limited time only in order to encourage customers to snap up your product fast.

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How to Keep Your Business Afloat During Tough Times

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Keeping your business afloat throughout the toughest of times can be a real challenge. All businesses face tough times eventually, and how you overcome these challenges and keep motoring forward will say a lot about you and your business’s chances of lasting survival and relevance. We’re going to discuss today how you can keep your business afloat and sustainable even when times are tough.

Keep Business and Personal Finances Separate

First of all, you need to make sure that the finances of your business and your personal finances are kept apart. When the business is struggling, it becomes even more tempting to start blurring those lines, but that could potentially be one of the biggest mistakes you ever make. If the business fails, the last thing you want is for your personal assets to be dragged down with it as well.

Call in Any Favors

When your company is struggling, this is when you really need to call in help from the people who owe you favors. There’s always someone out there who owes you a favor or someone who you helped in the past who might be able to repay that debt now. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help and looking for people who can support you in various ways when times are tough. Make the most of the help that’s out there.

Keep an Eye on the Future Even When Things Are Tough in the Moment

Even when things are tough and money is tight in the moment, you’ll still want to keep an eye on the future as well. There’s always a benefit that comes from doing this, whether it’s buying in bulk from wholesale suppliers of plumbing tools or finding ways to create long lasting business relationships that’ll yield results in the future, thinking long-term is always a wise move.

Sweat the Small Stuff

The small stuff matters more than ever before when your business is really struggling. You should make sure that all of the little things are taken care of and that money is never wasted. When you can do that, you’ll make your own life a lot easier than it might otherwise be and you’ll find it easier to keep things on track as you try to put your company in a healthier position.

Don’t Lose Sight of Quality

Finally, you need to make sure that you’re not losing sight of the things that really matter. Quality is something that always matters when you’re looking to find success with your business, and no matter how tough things get, you should try not to cut corners or sacrifice the levels of quality that you’re delivering for your customers because that will only make things worse.

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Many businesses are going through tough times right now, and how you survive and pull through these challenging times will teach you a lot and help you later on as your business grows and thrives. So make the most of what you can learn and benefit from the tips discussed above.

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The Importance of Sourcing Quality Equipment for Your Business

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Whether you work alone or with your employees as a small, medium or large business, the importance of ensuring that all parties involved are equipped with the necessary and proper equipment available has never been greater: American White House medical advisor Antony Fauci claims that PPE shortage was responsible for the deaths of around 3,600 medical staff.

However, having the correct equipment is about more than just protection. The right tools for the job that have been manufactured and supplied properly enable your staff to do what they are supposed to do, in an efficient and responsible manner that increases the quality of their work which means better results all around.

Meeting Safety Standards

As mentioned, probably the primary reason for supplying the best equipment possible comes with the obvious advantage of being safe and secure to use. Injuries at work don’t only come from using equipment such as heavy machinery and power tools, but can also happen over time from poor items or inadequate surroundings.

For example, repetitive strain injury can occur if employees aren’t supported properly while performing a repetitive task such as using a computer, using the same tool over and over or in poor conditions. Reputable suppliers such as Rodburn provide the necessary equipment to various sectors with tools that meet the safety standards of each industry.

Productivity and Efficiency

When it comes to the attributes of quality equipment and second only to safety, you obviously want your employees to carry out their duties to the highest possible standards in order to achieve the best productivity and efficiency relative to your industry. This is almost impossible without effective management in conjunction with the best tools for the job.

Aside from deliberate misuse, a faulty tool such as something as simple as a screwdriver, for example, could not only injure the person using it but not perform its job admirably either, resulting in poor work that will likely have to be carried out again. This will decrease productivity while costing both time and money as well as harming your professional reputation.

Environment and Sustainability

Hundreds of years of mass manufacturing has left a dark stain on the advancement of humanity. The cost of industry has contributed to many of the most important issues that we face today as a civilization, such as global warming, fossil fuel depletion and the destruction of natural habitats for wildlife, all of which combined are essentially destroying the planet.

Reputable suppliers of quality equipment always ensure that their products are sourced in accordance with both government and their own sustainability and environmental policies. Environmentally friendly-sourced items such as those used from reclaimed wood, recycled plastics and reduced carbon footprints also extend to your own policies, benefiting everyone.

It is vital that you always strive to supply your employees and indeed yourself with the best possible equipment for a particular job, especially repetitive, laborious or potentially hazardous ones. Safety is of primary concern since faulty tools almost always result in accidents and subsequent lawsuits, but going out of your way to supply the best possible tools will guarantee an increased quality of work and the reputation that follows it, which can be especially powerful for business when combined with strict and responsible environmental policies.

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Building A Better Website For Your Construction Business

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An online presence is necessary for every business and the reason is obvious: The internet is where most people spend their time on a day-to-day basis. With a website, you will have a place where people can come to when looking for businesses such as yours. Especially if you’re running a construction business, this is paramount, as you’re working in a very competitive industry. You will gain more customers if you have a website, and the better your website is, the more customers you will attract to your side. 

If you don’t have a website yet, now is the time to construct your own. There are a number of website builders online, many of which are free, so look at the examples of your rivals, and try to better what they do. Alternatively, hire a web designer, as this will ensure your site is given the professional touch it needs to make it stand out from others. 

If you already have a website (or if you are currently in the process of putting one together), there are a number of things you should add to increase its functionality. These elements will serve your business well, as you should attract more customers when you take the steps mentioned below.

Focus on SEO

To ensure your website ranks highly on Google, you need to focus on SEO (search engine optimisation) when putting all the different pieces together. A web designer or SEO agency can help you in this regard so it is worth outsourcing this aspect of your website. However, there are also things you can do yourself, one of which is adding the right keywords to your content. Ask yourself: What will people be entering into Google when searching for a business such as mine? It’s easy to find out as there are a number of services online that can be accessed, such as the keyword tool provided by Wordstream. Check out the construction keywords they have already listed and add them to your content. 

Create a blog

With a blog, you can highlight your expertise, answer questions your visitors might be asking about your business, and provide useful information that your visitors can refer to when working on their own projects at home. With regards to the latter, you could write an article on the best grouts to use when tiling or mistakes to avoid when renovating your bathroom. Within each article, you could loop back to your services so people are encouraged to give you a call when planning their home makeovers. A blog is also great for SEO purposes, assuming you use the right keywords, and it can build trust in your readers. Write your own or hire a copywriter to provide articles for you. 

Include a portfolio

If you have been in business for a while, you should have evidence of the work you have done for others. Highlight this on your site through photos and videos, and include testimonials from your happy customers. When your site visitors gain an understanding of the type of work you can do for them, and when they have seen the fruits of your labours, they will be more inclined to consider your business. 

There is so much more you can add to your website, including the basic essentials, such as an ‘about’ page and contact form. So, consider our suggestions and visit other websites online to get an idea of what you should be including. Then do what you can yourself to make changes or hire the services of professionals, from web designers to copywriters, who can build a better website for you.

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4 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Working Environment

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Office Chair And Desk

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 It is normal to feel overwhelmed due to work-related stress, rigorous deadlines and even information overload. These factors can potentially result in diminished productivity.

Luckily, improving your working environment can help reduce stress. It does not have to be as time-consuming or pricey as you may presume. The following are some four ways you can make your workspace work for you and boost your productivity.

Ensure Your Workspace Is as Pleasant as Possible

Comfort is vital if you want to create a vibrant and positive workplace that enhances your productivity.

For starters, go for strong, long-lasting and quality furniture that can endure everyday wear-and-tear. With a comfortable and practical workstation, you are less vulnerable to health conditions caused by non-ergonomic office furnishings.

Additionally, you can put personal items like your family photos in your space for a homely feel. Even the most minor adjustments can go a long way in achieving an inspiring and motivating work environment. 

If you want a spectacular workstation, you may want to contact a company like Express Fitouts  to ensure you have a comfortable, yet functional workplace for increased productivity.

Make Your Workspace Colourful

A simple action like swapping up dominant colours in your office makes a tremendous difference in your mood. This is because colours connect to your emotions, and it will be wise to apply them to brighten the air in your office.

For example, blue and green hues can practically enhance productivity and focus at work. On the other hand, you can use a yellow colour to improve creativity because it’s stimulating. Use red if your place has many physical activities and neutral hues to achieve a calming and soothing psychological effect.

However, if painting your workspace is not an option. You can use artwork instead to introduce some shade into your workspace.

Ensure Your Space Is Properly Illuminated

The amount of light you are exposed to can make or break your day. Dull workspaces do not do much for your mood, and inadequate light can detriment your productivity.

To prevent this, you can include human-centric lighting solutions in your workspace to imitate sunlight. As a result, you will get adequate light to increase your efficiency and energy levels.

Declutter Your Workspace

Workstations covered in heaps of reports, documents and extra office supplies do not make for a productive and healthy workspace. This means that you will consume a lot of time searching for essential papers and documents.

What’s more, this can increase stress, reduce focus and, as stated, waste a lot of time that you cannot recover.

Fortunately, you can prevent all these by keeping your workstation as neat and tidy as possible. Although it means investing a few minutes daily to organise all documents and sort things out, you will feel glad you did it.

Conclusion

Many people worldwide lack time to check and organise their workspaces. But even with the minor changes, you can achieve a functional yet healthy workplace.

With these four ways in mind, you can create a workstation that enhances productivity and positivity. And as a result, you will develop a can-do spirit at work.

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Weathering Your Business For Disaster

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Weathering Your Business For Disaster

Businesses big or small all face the risk of facing a new, unexpected challenge every day, and what matters is how you deal with it. You can prepare yourself for nearly every emergency, but it takes a lot of time and effort to put those things in place. Of course, there are the required measurements, like office safety features and such, but that’s not going to save you in every scenario. A legal issue might pop up, the market might change drastically causing you to become irrelevant. There’s no real knowing what tomorrow brings, and it doesn’t hurt to make sure you’re ready for it!

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Have a plan to rebrand

Now, it’s not likely that tomorrow all of your customers are going to stop visiting your store, but there comes a time for most businesses where a change is in order. You should always be ready to adapt when you’re participating in a competitive market, as it’s the only way that you can stay relevant. If you don’t have a consistently evolving plan to update your policies and services, then your business is going to slowly fall behind and lose customers. Keep an eye out for what your competitors are doing, and listen to what it is that your customers want from you. You can change your business at any time if your sales start to lack.

Have backup on speed dial

While you can’t prepare yourself for everything, you can still make the effort to deal with things smoothly as they come. Every day, workplaces face faults like the internet or power outages, and it’s helpful to have someone around who can help. Knowing the number of an electrician or an air conditioning repair company can mean getting things sorted quickly and smoothly. You don’t want to be looking through reviews in the time of need, so best sort it out before you actually need it!

When things at work aren’t functioning, you’re losing money, so the time you’re losing is valuable. Don’t spend that time doing something you can have ready beforehand!

You may even see fit to have a generator hooked up to your building, allowing for things to function as normal, should you face a power outage. Depending on your line of work, this might even be essential to have.

Set some cash aside

You’re always going to need money to fund your business, which is why it’s always good to have some backup cash on standby. Even if the business is going well, a lawsuit popping up due to mistakes or conduct can change that completely. If you want to guarantee the financial security of your business, setting some money aside to cover for that can change how these things turn out.

You don’t need to take extra risks when running your business, as it’s already something that could fail at any moment. You have other businesses to compete with and customers to impress, you don’t have time to be reckless with how you run things!

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A Guide To Charitable Donations For Small Businesses

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Charitable donations can benefit your small business in a number of ways. It’s a brilliant way to improve your public image, you can give back to the local community, and there are tax benefits too. But a lot of new business owners don’t really know how to use charitable donations to their advantage or what the laws and regulations surrounding charitable giving are. This guide will tell you everything you need to know, so you can start giving something back and improving your business at the same time. 

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Choose The Right Charity 

If you give a big chunk of money to a random charity, it will still do some good, but you need to think carefully about which charity you choose if you want to make a big difference. Giving to a charity that has nothing to do with your business will just be seen as a cheap attempt to make yourself look good, which it often is. Instead, you should choose a charity that you are passionate about and one that would benefit from a relationship with your business. For example, if you run a computer repair business, why not partner with a charity that gives refurbished computers to vulnerable members of the community? That way, you are giving money but you can also offer expert help. 

Understand The Tax Implications 

Giving a charitable donation has tax implications and in most cases, you can get a tax deduction. That’s great news because it means that you can reduce your tax burden while also giving something back. However, tax regulations can be quite complicated and if you accidentally claim too much, you’ll end up with a fine. It’s best to get in touch with a professional accounting service like Xperion and ask for their help with the tax side of things. Any mistakes could be incredibly costly to your business and it also affects your public image because people may assume that you were just giving to charity to cut your tax bill. 

Involve Your Employees 

Instead of giving a lump sum to a charity, why not have a fundraiser and involve your employees or see if there are any charitable projects you can get involved with? Giving to charity is about putting back into the local community and improving your image, but it’s also a great way to boost morale around the office. Creating the right company culture is important and by giving to local charities, you generate a culture that is focused on responsibility and positive change, rather than profits over everything else. When your employees feel that they are part of something more meaningful because you are using the business to support charities, they take more pride in their work and will ultimately be more productive as a result. Getting everybody involved in charity events will boost morale and it’s a great team bonding opportunity. 

If you want to make a charitable donation through your business, follow these important steps so everybody benefits. If you’re just doing it for the tax benefits, you should think twice about making a donation.

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7 Ways to Deliver Consistently Great Customer Service

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Growing your business and providing great customer service go hand in hand. You can have a brilliant product or service, but if your customer service isn’t up to scratch, is unreliable, and unhelpful, or your customer experience is dire, people will hear about it, and you will lose customers over it. 

Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay 

That means that investing in customer service is the key to your long-term business success. 

What does it mean to be providing great customer service, and how can you ensure that each customer has the best experience with your company? 

Here are our 7 best ways to deliver great customer service: 

Know The Product Or Service

As a manager or owner, you are likely to be very familiar with our products and services, but are your employees? Customer support agents and sales staff will spend their day troubleshooting or assisting customers, and that means they need to be product experts. It is essential for extensive knowledge to be included as a necessary customer service skill. Whether it’s face-to-face service, online chat, or help over the phone, your employees need to have the right training to provide them with the knowledge that they need to provide a high level of customer service. 

Your Website 

Your website is an important part of your customer service. Although, yes, your customer can browse for products, make a purchase, see FAQ’s or even speak to an agent online, it’s not just about enabling them to do this, it’s also about how well and easy it works. There are several elements you have to think about such as providing instant help online, making sure the website is dynamic and responsive so your customers can shop on all devices, and even providing different pages depending on location or login details, etc. One of the best ways to test that your website is delivering the service you want to provide is to utilize tools like click testing software

Creatively Problem-Solve

You will find that the majority of customer losses are due to them receiving bad customer service. This makes it even more important for you to thrive on solving problems for your customers and also make it a focal point in your customer service teams. There are always going to be problems to solve, try giving your employees a little bit of leeway when it comes to solving problems and you will find that customer service experience rating rise. Of course, you need ot set boundaries, however, enabling them to solve problems on the spot quickly and efficiently will go a long way in the eyes of your customers. You should also make sure that your customer service teams make your customers aware that they will do everything they can to solve their problems. 

Have A Quick Response 

People value their time, therefore, resolving customer issues and queries as soon as possible is a crucial part of good customer service. Time is of the essence, especially when it’s a smaller issue that shouldn’t take a lot of time to solve. That been said, if it’s going to take time to get the right outcome, then great customer service beats speed every single time. Just make sure your customers are aware of the time frame for their issue. Often, it’s not knowing the time frame that frustrates customers the most. 

Personalize Your Service

People want to feel like more than just a number in line, and easily get frustrates when they are made to feel like everyone else instead of an individual. They get even more frustrated when someone doesn’t take accountability and they get passed from pillar to post. Customers want to interact with one person, not the entire company. Getting to know your customer names, and building a good rapport, especially when dealing with a complaint can go a long way. It’s the personal touch that counts rather than reading from a script. 

Help Your Customers To Help Themselves

On the other hand, some customers prefer to not talk to someone to solve their problems, they would rather sort the issue themselves. Customers will often try to solve a problem themselves before reaching out for customer support.  Self-service is cost-effective, scalable, and keeps customers happy. Put your help content in focus so your customer can find the answer they need without having to search for it. If they are unable to find the answer to their question, make sure that the help from a real person isn’t far away. 

Could you include FAQs or a commonly asked questions section? Perhaps think about adding a few guides to your website that can be downloaded by your customers. Any way your customer can find the answers themselves without needing to call in or speak online is good to include and make available such as common questions like how to send an item back for a refund. 

Be Proactively Helpful

When it comes ot customer service, going the extra mile is one of the most important things you can do. This is when you have already ticked all the boxes, but you still want to and can do more. Sometimes this means anticipating your customers’ needs before they even have them. Some customer may be asking for one thing without realizing that they need something completely different, just don’t know how to ask for it. 

When your customer feels valued, they will keep returning. Giving them an extra discount, relooking at their contract or service package, offering them a new product will help your customers to understand you are appreciating their business

All of the tips above combined equal great customer service. Customer service is what holds your company together, keeping your customer loyal and only speaking great of you. It’s all about creating and maintaining a fantastic reputation and becoming a company that is known for looking after its customers. Customers like to be treated like people, not just another number in the queue. 

Do you have any other tips that could help? Please share them in the comments below. 

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How Can Your Home Business Establish A Professional Image?

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Building and maintaining a strong brand image is one of the most significant challenges facing any SME. However, the obstacles are even bigger when your venture is a home-based business. 

Thankfully, several steps can be taken to achieve the desired results. Use the following advice for guidance and you won’t go far wrong.

  1. Build a strong team

Employees are the greatest asset you possess. Likewise, they are a reflection of the company. Therefore, assembling and managing the strongest possible team should be the first item on your agenda. It will increase productivity, improve client interactions, and generally make the business better. In turn, it will gain a professional and trustworthy image that increases conversions. 

The harsh reality is that only a small percentage of client interactions will be conducted by yourself. So, surrounding yourself with the right people is essential.

2. Focus on first impressions

First impressions won’t necessarily win new clients. Conversely, though, negative impacts will end your hopes of getting a sale before you’ve even promoted the products. Virtual address services are particularly useful for home-based ventures. Aside from protecting your home address, the prestigious location sets a positive tone. A strong website and SEO strategy will achieve similar results. 

Image dimensions will often carry a huge influence, particularly with younger consumers. If you can’t be bothered to get your social media posts right, people will question other areas.

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3. Go green

Responsible businesses are destined to reap big rewards in the modern age. After all, consumers want to back brands that encourage guilt-free transactions. Therefore, opting for sustainability with ideas like eco-friendly packaging will serve you well. Furthermore, the positive changes are likely to spearhead a change of mindset. In turn, you may be more open to upgrades in other areas. 

When your business is willing to go above and beyond the competition, consumers will respond well. Even as a new home-based business, you can use this to great effect.

4. Upgrade your customer care

Most clients will now research companies before making a purchase. As such, you must invest heavily in customer interactions. A positive experience will enhance your hopes of getting the sale while it may also boost the price. Using VoIP services, chatbots, and other tech tools can transform your approach. In a world where clients demand speed like never before, you must not ignore this.

Of course, if you have remote human staff members handling the interactions, you should train them. Consistency is king, which is why they should all use the same strategies.

5. Get outside of the home

Running a home-based business means that a lot of daily tasks take place at home. However, this should not stop you from ever leaving the property. Marketing your business at trade shows or with pop-up stores can work wonders. Meanwhile, networking events can help you pick up valuable advice on how to run the venture in style. Whether it’s in industry circles or in relation to the customers, your brand image will soon soar.

The fact is that being seen in multiple places will build your reputation. Moreover, as word about the company spreads, you should see an increase in leads and conversions.

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How to Choose the Most Trustworthy Suppliers for Your Business

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Working with suppliers is a big part of what it takes to run a business smoothly. If you want to make sure that you keep your business operating as it should and as it needs to, that task will be made a whole lot easier if you’re working with the right suppliers. But how can you choose the right ones and the most trustworthy ones? That’s the pressing question we’re going to address today, so read on to find out more.

Create a Formal Selection Process

Creating a formal process that your business can consistently follow for finding and hiring new suppliers is really important. If you create a formal process, you’ll know that you always need to look for certain things, and the process can be honed and improved over time as you learn from past mistakes. Never simply hire a supplier on a whim without taking the time to assess the alternatives.

Put Contractual Agreements in Place

When you do find a competent supplier that you want to work with, you need to make sure that the agreement that exists between the two of you is confirmed in a legal document. You don’t want to suffer problems arising from a lack of clarity. When the agreement is signed into a legally binding agreement, it’s clear to everyone involved where you stand and what the terms are.

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Work with Experts and Specialists

Your life will be so much easier when you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re working with people who are experts and specialists in their field. If you need niche items such as red diesel drums or supplies for vehicles and equipment, you need to be able to rely on people who understand these things inside out. If that’s not the case, they’ll fall short.

Ask Plenty of Questions

When you’re going through the hiring process and talking to suppliers that you might be interested in working with, it’s important to ask questions. It’s always better to ask questions before an agreement has been put in place than afterwards. If there’s anything at all that you’re not sure about, you’ll want to get answers at the soonest possible opportunity. Failing to do so will run the risk of causing more problems later on down the line.

Create a Way of Monitoring Performance

There should be a solid system in place that allows you to monitor the performance levels of the suppliers you’re working with. That way, you can see when something is clearly not happening as you need it to. There are many ways to do this so explore the options and find ways to assess performance, so you can then discuss issues with suppliers as they arise.

The right suppliers are essential to keeping a business operational, and you should never underestimate the impact they can have in your business, both in a positive and a negative sense. Make use of the advice above and choose suppliers you can trust.

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6 Common Mistakes Made by Small Business Owners

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Photo by Andrea Piacuadio from Pexels

The entrepreneurial journey is full of mistakes, mishaps, and missteps. No matter how good you are in business-ownership experience, you will run into problems most of the time.

To be successful, identify your mistakes quickly, learn from them and prevent the same mistakes from repeating themselves, says Michalowicz Mike, a business expert. Most business owners fall into the same mistakes. These recurrent mistakes could make the difference between owning a viable and successful small business or owning a money pit that has the possibility of leaving you in financial pain for many years.

So, what are these mistakes that small business owners make?

1.  Trying to Get Rich Quickly

 It takes between 15-20 years to achieve overnight success. If you start a business to get rich in a year, you may be discouraged early and prematurely give up on your dream. Know that success takes perseverance, time, and a little luck. Be patient with your business and let it grow. Start something new only if your company stays stagnant for long.

2.  Practicing Negligent Paper Recycling Habits

We all want a clean planet; however, this does not mean that you should toss your confidential documents into the recycling bin. Thieves could scour your recycling bins looking for carelessly disposed of documents with confidential information. Fortunately, there is a secure and environmentally-friendly onsite shredding service that destroys your sensitive documents and sends them to a secure recycling partner for safe recycling.

3.  Assuming Your Business Has No Competition

Even if you have the greatest, latest, and new approach to something, do not assume that your business does not face competition. Competition precedes the direct, obvious business competitors. It is all the alternatives that are available. What course of action should a consumer take if they do not want to use your services and products? The consumer always has the alternative of walking away, which alone is a grave competitive threat.

4.  Being a Weak Leader

The success of your start-up depends on you being an effective and strong leader. However, it does not mean that you have to be authoritarian, but you should not be friendly with everyone. A great leader communicates constantly, inspires his team to achieve the next level, and sets the business course.

5.  Trying to Do Everything

One of the mistakes entrepreneurs make is believing that they can do everything all by themselves. Even though they can do almost everything, they do most of these things poorly. Just like most people, an entrepreneur also has talents. As an entrepreneur, it is your responsibility to identify these talents and fully focus on them. Surround your people who have talents in areas where you are weakest. Great businesses thrive on exploiting various strengths, not trying to master everything.

6.  Lacking a Clear Marketing Strategy

You never know how, when, or where a new client will hear from your company. If you have an unclear message in the market, the prospects will not know what products or services your business offers. Therefore, have a consistent and clear message on all sides.

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How To Ensure Your Boss Notices You

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If you want to progress in your career, you’ll need to ensure that your boss knows you’re there. If they don’t notice you or the work you’re doing, then when it comes time for a promotion it’s going to be hard to stand out from the crowd. 

It’s vital to make a good impression on your employer if you want to advance at work – the only other option is to search for an entirely new job, and that’s not an easy thing to do. If you love where you work and you enjoy what you do, then moving on up where you are makes sense, but if your boss isn’t aware of you, that’s going to be tough too. Here are some useful tips to ensure your boss notices you so you can vie for that promotion you’ve always wanted.  

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Know About Them

Knowing things about your boss is not the same as stalking them and following them everywhere, and you do need to be careful; you don’t want to come across as too much. However, knowing a little about their hobbies and their family so that you can engage in conversation with them when you need to is useful. 

The key to this idea is to listen to what your boss talks about, and notice things about them. If they come into work with cool new golf bags, for example, you can comment on them, talk about golf (if you know anything about it), and engage in friendly conversation. Little things like this will strengthen your relationship, and when the time comes for a promotion or more responsibility, they will remember you. 

Take Bold Steps 

If you want to get on at work and you want to be noticed more by your employer, you should take bold steps when you can – this will help you to stand out and be more memorable. These bold steps don’t need to be risky, of course, unless you have thought things through in advance, and they don’t need to be detrimental to anything that anyone else is doing. One idea would be to ensure you’re the first one to comment or ask questions in a meeting, or perhaps being the first one to answer a question. 

Many people will be cautious of doing this, worried about being criticized or getting an answer wrong, and so on. However, if you can get over these fears and keep your end goal in mind, you should be able to take these bold steps to ensure your boss notices you. 

Always Be On Time 

It might sound like a small thing, but in terms of getting you noticed, always turning up to work – and meetings and training events and anything else you need to attend – on time can make a big difference in how your boss sees you. Those who are late are going to be noticed but not for the right reasons; being on time or, even better, early, will help you to stand out and as a bonus, it will show your boss that you’re dedicated to your job. 

Of course, sometimes people have to be late for work for entirely legitimate reasons, and that can’t be helped, but if this is something you have to do you must tell your boss as soon as possible; not turning up on time and not letting anyone know why is not a good idea if you want to be noticed for the right reasons. 

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Business Management, What Is Important To Address?

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In an ever-changing digital age, it is important to market your business in all relevant media. It is true that the Internet has taken a significant share of the business advertising market, but older media that can still generate revenue must not be abandoned. Advertising on a local business on local bus lines can also bring in a fair amount of customers. While advertising on buses is not mandatory, internet marketing is definitely an absolute must in most businesses, especially in small businesses. The value of a responsive (mobile-friendly) website that meets all relevant standards is invaluable. Serious business consulting firms usually have a dedicated internet marketing and web design consultant. 

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The advice given by an internet marketing expert will be able to run campaigns for you and generate profitability from advertising. Not all advertising is good advertising, sometimes leads from the internet are irrelevant and we pay particularly high amounts of money for them, so it is important to make sure that your marketing campaigns are relevant. Marketing and sales require a different ability from the business owner. One aims to bring in customers and one can enlist the help of a marketing expert, in sales the subject is completely different. In a small business, it is usually the business owner who talks to the customers and is also responsible for sales. Many business owners find it difficult to admit that they have a problem closing customers and lose a lot of money because they do not know how to have a proper sales conversation with a customer, address his objections and strive to close a sale. A quality sales workshop or a number of meetings with a sales coach, can significantly increase the amount of sales and increase the motivation and profitability of the business. 

Managing finances 

What is your business? Who do they sell to? Does your business intertwine with partners. If you work within events management or catering, perhaps you need to look at contract food manufacturing and see what other outgoings may contribute to your finances. Many financial decisions are made based on future cash flow. It is therefore necessary to be constantly with the hand on the pulse. A professional financial manager assists the business in managing and controlling payments, receipts and liabilities of all types and for all parties: banks and non-bank financing bodies, customers, suppliers, local authorities and tax authorities. All of these create a clear picture that allows the business to run in a stable manner.

Family businesses or families in which one or both spouses run an independent business, are often dragged into a mix of business and family finances. An external treasurer will take care of the financial interests of the business while maintaining the integrity of the family. This is done through the day-to-day management of business funds along with solutions that will ensure a fair distribution of funds to family members, the transfer of property from generation to generation, retirement arrangements to the founding generation, maintaining the value of business and private property, distribution and transfer of shares, distribution of dividends and more.

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Things to Consider When Building New Business Premises

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Constructing a new building to house your business is an exciting step. Being in a position to create a new building for your growing company is a milestone moment. There are many benefits to building your business premises from scratch, and it is the best way to ensure that you have a base tailored to meet the needs of your operation. But, before you get started, you need to be sure that you plan the project carefully to make it a success. Here are some of the factors to consider when building new premises for your company:

Decide on Your Budget

Calculating a budget for your new building needs to be done before you start on anything else. The amount of money you are willing to invest in your new site will determine how the whole project pans out. 

Costing out the project before you take it further will help you understand how much your money will buy you. You will also need to have extra money available as a contingency fund to cover unexpected costs during the build.

When deciding how much money to invest in your new commercial building, you will need to consider the potential return on investment. How will your business be able to generate more revenue in a larger building? Will the building be designed to allow for increased output? Making a decision of this scale impacts on your business’ future. Therefore, it requires careful thought and a thorough understanding of how the sums add up.

Pick Your Location

The location of your new business premises is vital for many reasons. You will need to think about many elements that will influence your new location. For example, do you want to be close to your existing building? Can you afford to buy a building plot in the area that you are considering? Do you rely on passing trade in your business, and if so, which location has the best foot traffic?

Choosing the wrong location could be incredibly detrimental to your business, but choosing the right one could see your business boom.

Choose Contractors Carefully

Your choice of contractors will impact the quality of your building. Selecting the best industrial builders for the job will ensure that your premises are of the highest quality. Choosing the right team of builders to work on your new site is crucial. Using unreliable builders could result in you ending up with a sub-standard finished product and delays in the construction process.

Is it Future-Proof?

Deciding to invest in a new building is a big step. You will need to be sure that the building meets the needs of your company and its increasing success. If you plan to expand your services and grow your business in the future, you will need to ensure that your new building can accommodate these changes. Taking time to plan your new premises carefully will ensure that it will be the perfect base for your business right now and far into the future.

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Why Outsourcing Success Takes Effort

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If you are keen to maximize the efficiency and profitability of your business, you need to consider the wonderful world of outsourcing. Outsourcing used to be a bit of an unspoken word when it came to startups. For some reason, outsourcing was seen as admitting defeat when it came to fulfilling business functions. However, outsourcing is now seen as a viable route to ensuring that your venture is producing high quality output at all times. Outsourcing correctly takes effort. Follow this guide and discover how you can utilize outsourcing for the benefit of your startup.

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Payroll

If you have a small team of staff working with you, it’s crucial that you pay them on time and the right amount. Being hunched over a calculator for three days every month can be a chore. You might feel stressed or frustrated having to work out every pension contribution and tax obligation. To relinquish this responsibility, outsource your payroll function to a team of specialists. These individuals will utilize computer systems and software to ensure that you tam are paid directly into their bank account. This admin function is tedious and can result in you not having the time to spend on more pressing business functions. You will be free to work on your digital marketing strategy, your business vision, and your social media presence.

Documentation

If payroll isn’t the only admin function that you have to contend with, explore the freeing aspect of outsourcing translation services. If you work with clients and suppliers across the world that do not have English as a first language, you may receive documentation in French, Spanish or Mandarin. Find a translator to help you decipher the documentation and translate prose into English. This can prevent any small print confusion and will prevent you from falling into a miscommunication trap. 

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Social Media

Some entrepreneurs don’t have time to spend on social media as they feel that updating their status on Facebook or posting content on Twitter is not as important as sourcing funding for their product launch. However, being online and tapping into the millennial market is vital to make a success of your startup in the twenty first century. Consider employing the services of a social media manager to help keep your Twitter feeds and Instagram grids fresh, exciting and readable. With a well designed social media presence, you can enjoy a renaissance in your customer base. You can increase your revenue and sales as you increase your follower numbers. These social media managers will also hone your company voice and help you to be more friendly and informal rather than corporate and stuffy when chatting to potential clientele.

Outsourcing should no longer be feared or not spoken about. The finest business minds are embracing the positives of outsourcing and they aren’t shy about shouting about it. Both Amazon and Apple use smaller companies to help them to complete their analytics and logistics. Be a market leader and a beacon of outsourcing positivity by following this guide.

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Promoting Your Business For A Successful 2021

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Do you have a local business and you don’t know what to do to attract more customers? In this post we will explain the different ways to promote your local business, be it a renovation company, plumbing, a restaurant, etc. So now you know, read on and start to attract those first customers through the Internet. The acquisition of customers through online marketing is something that, although many companies are carrying it out, there are still many local businesses that are not implementing any type of strategy, so if you are willing to invest some of your time or money Wait no more, you are in time to overtake your competition.

Photo: Unsplash

Website

A fairly common mistake on the part of many local business owners is to see their company’s website as an expense, as something that “must have”, but they really do not give it much value and are not aware of the true potential that it may be losing.  Having a website for your business should be your number one priority. It is basically your online showcase. A web page is the main tool to be able to promote your business online and although you can do it on your own, it is worth investing in a professional web design service that guarantees you an optimal result at all levels: design, programming, usability, navigability, security, good accommodation, support for updates, etc.

Advertise in person

Have people see your business or business events whilst they are walking down the street. Through a shop window, on a billboard or at any type of event to promote your business. you could look at www.eventdisplay.com.au to inspire you with this idea.

Advertise in directories and listings 

Another way to get visibility online is by registering your business in local directories and business listings. Registering your company on this type of website will not get great results, but at least you will get some links to your website that will help you a little with the local SEO of your website. But be careful, do not register in all the ones you find, since many of them are unreliable and can even be negative for web positioning. 

Use social networks.

Social networks are a great way to publicize your company, services or products on the Internet, but it is very important to manage them properly. The failure of many companies and entrepreneurs is that profiles are created on all social networks, but then the management and use made of said profiles is not correct: it is not published regularly, the content is not of quality, no a tone of communication is used according to the image of the company, the interaction with the users of your community is null, etc. The best thing is that you have profiles on social networks in which there is a higher percentage of potential audience that is interested in your services or products, and that of course, you can manage correctly.

It is time to make 2021 your year for success and take on some simple ideas to catapult you to success. 

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4 Errors First-Time Business Owners Make

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It is perfectly common to make errors when you run a business, just as it is common in many other areas of life. But if you are keen to try and run your business as well as possible, you are obviously going to want to look at ways in which you can reduce the number of errors you make. A good start here is to take a look at some of the major and most common errors that first-time business owners tend to make, so that you can then develop a strategy for avoiding those yourself. Let’s take a look at four of the most common that you might want to avoid.

Source – CCO Licence

Spending Too Much Too Fast

It is very tempting for newcomers to business to simply spend a lot of money – too much money, in fact, and too fast. This can happen because you are excited about owning and running a business, or because you are working from a mistaken belief that you need to spend a lot upfront in order to make a lot later on. In fact, you do of course need to spend some money, but probably much less than you assume. Be careful not to overspend, and make sure you are not spending it all in one go. A strong budget will help you here.

Managing Tax Alone

Even if you believe you understand perfectly well how to approach tax, you are still going to benefit from getting some help with it. There are so many complications when it comes to business tax, and generally the best approach is just to hire a small business tax accountant to help you out. Many first-time business owners don’t do this, and end up posting an incorrect return or even underpaying on their tax – a big no-no that could land you in deep trouble.

Source – CCO Licence

Not Protecting Intellectual Property

When it comes to your intellectual property, you really do need to lock it down. The last thing you should do is to fall under the spell of thinking that other business leaders will be reasonable and not steal your ideas. In fact, if you are not legally protecting your ideas and product designs and so on, frankly someone out there will steal them at one time or another, and you won’t have a legal leg to stand on. So: use all the legal protections you can from the very start.

Failing To Evaluate The Market

Before you even start trading, you need to question whether you are in a position to sell products at this current moment in time. In other words, is the marketplace ready for you, or are you way out on a limb? It is only by carrying out some genuinely deep evaluations of the market that you can get to the bottom of this, and it’s going to be one of the most important early steps you can possibly take. Be sure you are not forgetting to do this before you start selling, otherwise you could end up regretting it.

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The Power Of Physical Marketing For Small Businesses

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Marketing is something every business has to plan carefully, and knowing what works and what won’t is a big part of ensuring you don’t waste money on the campaign trail. You need to be able to pinpoint what works for your company, and how to implement it successfully, and while it takes some time to do so, mistakes along the way can both be beneficial and costly. 

And that’s why you need to take a second look at physical marketing – it can work for everyone. It still carries a lot of power in the digital day and age, and below we’ll go through a list of reasons as to why. Keep them in mind for your next campaign. 

Pexels Image – CC0 Licence

A Connection That isn’t Digital

A digital connection is amazing for a lot of things, but it’s not the only thing you marketing budget should be pushed towards. Physical marketing ensures you have a local, tangible connection as well, via the use of flyers and billboards and letters through a person’s door. 

For people who don’t tend to use the net, this is an essential way to get your name out – and there are more people like this than you might think. Not to mention, when your name, image, and message is physically around, it’s going to be a lot harder to get you off of the mind! 

The Opportunities at an Event

Hosting a business event of your own is a great way to bring some attention to your name. People love being able to dress up and network in such places, where a lot of like minded people will collect, and if your name is over the door, they’ll certainly remember the opportunity you gave them. 

However, throwing a business event can be hit and miss. You need to throw the right kind, and depending on a company like Catalyst Event Solutions could be your ticket to success. Most of all, you need to know who you’re trying to attract; customer or investor? It’ll certainly ensure you’re running the right theme, and creating the right atmosphere to mingle within. When you have an aim, and an image to present, you’re guaranteed to have someone to sell to. 

Getting Involved in Your Local Community

Physical marketing is all about selling to your local community, and integrating into it in a positive and effective manner. And that’s why you should get involved – sponsor a project or two, and make sure your brand name is stated loud and clear, or featured prominently, when the projects are complete. 

Pick your projects right, however. Sponsor school clubs, local football teams, new developments that have long been awaited, etc. Just make sure your name is in the right place! 

Physical marketing is as relevant as ever in the modern day and age. It can be used to enhance your small business’ image in a variety of ways, from hosting events to sponsoring local activities, you can really get your name out there!

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