What You Need To Know About Insurance For Small Businesses

Insuring your business and properties are now a major trend in the business world. This is due to a lot of business interruptions such as accidents and the likes, but yet a lot of upcoming businesses do not bother with insurance as there is so much more to think about when setting up a new business. There is the issue of staffing, marketing, buying of equipments and other business needs. There are factors that determine what sorts of insurance your business requires so don’t be worried if your business type is a little bit difficult to classify.

Why do you need insurance? This is a question that must be answered if you are to invest in such excesses, but before we answer the why, we must know the “what”.

Insurance provides you, your business and your properties with protection against unforeseen eventualities such as damages, accidents, and others. Now, the why automatically answers itself doesn’t it.

I know a business man who runs a large poultry farm that supplies eggs and frozen meat to supermarkets. There was a disease outbreak that led to the death of thousands of birds and it seemed like he could no longer manage the business. He had lost too much to continue, but the great thing was that his farm was insured against disease outbreak. He was able to get the compensation for his insurance and now he has expanded his business to three more locations. This is an accident that should have led to a downward spiral, I mean… he should have hit rock bottom. But instead he just expanded and made more money instead. Imagine if he hadn’t taken that leap of getting his business insured. This is why you need insurance in a nut shell.

Who needs insurance and when

Every business from small to medium to large corporate organizations all need to be insured. It’s sometimes a prerequisite to do business for small business owners. Insurance should come immediately after the business kicks off because then there are activities running daily as well as risks. Here are some insurance types for small businesses;

  • Auto insurance

You can protect your personal vehicle and the company vehicles against all forms of damages. If you also have official cars for your employees they can all be insured.

  • Life insurance

This covers an individual’s family on demise. Accidents happen every day and can lead to loss of life.  The best way for an individual to ensure that their family is well taken care of financially upon demise is by opting for life insurance. Just think of the parental responsibilities this can solve and the opportunity to give your family a fresh start.

  • Home insurance

Some businesses especially startups are run very close to the home or in the home itself. A lot of people make their home their offices especially in regions where the weather is a little extreme. You have the opportunity to insure your home in case of any form of accident such as fire, flood, home theft, and a whole lot of other situations. This ensures that anything lost can be recovered.

  • Company Data breach

Most competitive companies out there take pride in their organization, knowing that they have an edge over competitors in form of company data. This is usually stored safely digitally. There are usually a lot of security measures taken in guarding company details but if there were to be a hack or a vulnerability leading to the leak of company details this would expose the company. This is where the company data breach insurance comes in. it ensures that the company is highly compensated for their loss. This sort of insurance is usually common with financial institutions and other big organizations.

  • Product insurance

This sort of insurance is mainly for manufacturing companies which make and distribute their own goods. Insurance on product liability ensures that you are protected from product defect or any form of product deformity that might lead to litigation. This doesn’t apply to ecommerce site owner especially those who are just typically middle men and do not manufacture nor distribute any goods.

  • Business owner’s policy

BOP is the most suitable insurance type for small businesses as this is way more economical. A BOP covers all business properties in its entirety. It covers, vehicles, equipments, properties and everything related, which is far more economical than ensuring each property separately. This is ideal for a new business and sets the stage for other incoming properties that could be acquired during the course of the business. The advantage of the BOP is that it protects you against all forms of business interruptions no matter what the causes are.

  • General liability

A business comprises of a facility, a ton of equipments, a lot of documents, assets such as company vehicles and also employees. The advantage of this is that it protects the business owner from any kind of liability or setback

Let’s say a construction company is operating on general liability insurance and on a regular work day one of the construction workers has a terrible accident that would lead to a surgery. This normally would lead to some serious financial commitment from the construction company but because there is a general liability insurance covering the company, the worker receives all the medical attention he requires at no extra cost to the company.  This type of insurance has its limits.

  • Professional liability

This is more of a career based form of insurance that protects you from litigation based on certain claims. This is usually applicable to professional jobs such ad medical doctors, lawyers, consultants and lot of other professions.

Every business needs some form or insurance or the other. No matter how safe your business seems and no matter how much planning has gone into the business to ensure smooth sailing. There is always that probability that might take you unawares.

12 Project Management Errors That Can Harm Your Business

Thousands of projects are handled every year worldwide. As industries grow and technology continues to advance there will always be need for new projects. As a matter of fact, if there is one thing we would never run out of, its new projects. This then says that having special skills in project management is a plus.

Projects come in various categories, from planning a wedding to constructing a dam. It all depends on the technical know-how and credibility. Even though there are huge successes in most projects there are also projects that go very wrong. Some can go so wrong that there is no remedy and it leads to multiple lawsuits. Let’s look at the 12 things that can lead to errors in project management;

  • Faking your credentials

Yes, it happens. It’s easy to just whip up a project management credential and tag yourself a professional project manager with years of experience with mega projects. This would get you noticed and bring lots of jobs your way, but therein lays the problem. When you embark on a project that you are unfamiliar with you begin to realize that there’s a reason why people take time to go for a proper training. The overwhelming responsibilities and the lack of capacity to bring it all together, without the necessary training you soon crumble and decide you no longer want the project and decide to back out. Not only is this bad for your reputation it also means a lot of law suits as money would have been sunk in already.

  • Hiring unskilled hands

As a project manager it is also your responsibility to find a most efficient and skilled team to work with. It is not a one man show, you have the ideas but your team brings it to life. If you are uncertain about the skill of some of your hired workers, conduct a proper interview and ask for their portfolios or at most ask for a guarantor who would stand in as a witness to the experience and skill of this worker.  This is necessary because there is no room for error. Once you find out on a project that a laborer is unskilled it can lead to waste of resources and all the blame would go to you-the project manager. You should be able to vouch for your team.

  • Failure to document financial expenses

When taking on a project every expense must be documented and all receipts kept. There must be proof for all spending except those that are not provable, such as welfare. This builds trust and shows professionalism. This can also help you know where you are with finance in order to manage your spending better. A project manager is always on a fixed amount of resources and there is need to be able to account for it. You also would need this documentation for future use in order to remind yourself of the cost for some equipment you used in past projects and the cost for labor. It is generally a good idea to document all processes and expenses in order to be able to prove that the allotted money for the benchmark was well used.

  • Lack of a clear benchmark

Benchmarks and stopping points in projects which enable you break a large project into short individual phases. Without a clear benchmark it is impossible to know if you are making the right decisions or managing finances properly. Benchmarks help to map your project better according to time, scope, expenses and so a lack of benchmark can be defined in one word “CHAOS”. 

  • Lack of prioritization

Projects are usually broken down into mini-projects and these are also broken down into benchmarks. These benchmarks should have a certain level of prioritization. This means that one has to come before the other, you can’t build a house by starting with the roof, and you have to begin with the foundation. There is an order at which a project must go, in order to save time and resources.

  • Underestimating project time

There is an allotted time for every project and when pitching a time as a project manager you should pitch a time comfortable for you so that you don’t rush the project in a bid to meet up.

  • Underestimating cost of resources

This is the number one project killer and it leads to a lot of mistrust. Every project manager should be well updated with cost of equipments before pitching. If a project costs more than what was pitched it becomes a trust issue and can lead to litigation.

  • Lack of communication with clients

Always keep your clients updated on every move and let them know your predictions ahead of time. This would help to manage sudden changes better.

  • Assumptions on projects

When you hit a challenge and need to change something on the project, either a design or equipment it’s always good to discuss it with clients first before going on with your idea. Never assume your clients would approve as this might lead to conflict and litigation.

  • Refusing team ideas and suggestions

No man is an island. You would need as much ideas as possible on any project. Never assume you have the best methods. Listening to your team would build team spirit, respect and would help achieve a better work.

  • Not learning from past mistakes

As a project manager you can’t afford to make the same mistakes twice. There is always one challenge or the order to learn from. It might also help documenting all project challenges so that you can better evade them on the next project. This would enable you save resources and time.

  • Poor conflict management skills

When there are big projects there is bound to be conflict, either among workers or supervisors. A good conflict resolution method would help you keep your team in order and focused on achieving the goal. A team that falls apart could abandon a project halfway and this would lead to a great waste, litigation is imminent.

What Every Business Owner Should Do To Bring Out The Best In Their Employees

Every business thrives on the hard work and collective innovation of employees. These employees contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of the organization. Even though they are paid for their services, the passion and enthusiasm that is invested every day to make sure every work day is a giant leap is simply admirable. Often times company owners don’t take the time to properly recognize their employees.

The manager employee relationship in the modern world is most times more like that of a shark and remora fish, mutual but not so healthy. Perhaps that goal can easily be achieved if there was a better way to communicate with employees.

Being able to bring out the best in your employees is not just an obligation; it is a leadership skill which helps you to understand the behavioral patterns of human beings, how people think and act under various circumstances and how to effect changes in their work pattern by better understanding them as individuals. As a leader this is your responsibility. Here are ways to get the best out of your employees.

  • Be a good listener

Most times bosses already have a clear plan and directions in which they are headed. They would prefer a more submissive approach where they talk and employees listen, no arguments. The fact that they are managers or CEOs means they must have gathered more experience than anyone else right? This may be true but the problem usually lies in the execution of this plan. No matter how magnificent an idea sounds, it would have to go through a certain amount of labor and monitoring. The best people to give suggestions are the ones responsible for executing these plans and idea. A boss who would take out time to listen to employees, ask them questions on how they feel about certain ideas or what they feel can be better, this will spur up the hidden talent in employees. They would be able to express themselves better, suggesting more efficient ways to meet company goals.

  • Don’t be a dictator

There are various styles of leadership. A dictator is a form of leadership widely practiced in a lot of big corporate organizations. A lot of people work for bosses who are kill-joys. Once the boss is around, employees scamper of to find something to engage in. sometimes this gets the job done. It mostly works in organizations that has a design and works with a laid out plan. These organizations do not need extra contribution from employees in form of ideas, they just need skills.

As an organization that requires ideas and innovativeness from employees, it’s imperative to build good working relations with employees instead of being a dictator.

  • Do not be biased

It’s no surprise that bosses often have favorite employees. This should not be extended to work. Give proper credit to employees who deserve it and leave no one out of the picture as this usually builds into conflicts or low self esteem which may affect productivity.

  • Encourage staffs

There are many ways to encourage staffs that work hard and achieve desired results. This could be by formal recognition such as “employee of the week” which is widely practiced or it could be inform of appraisals that come with a bonus or even as simple as words of encouragement.  This is necessary to achieve maximum involvement and hard work from employees.

  • Send employees on trainings

When employees are sent on capacity development training they build technical knowledge required to move the company forward. This is widely practiced buy NGOs and financial institutions. It greatly improves skill and capacity of employees.

  • Entrust them with bigger responsibilities

This may seem like more of a discouragement than an encouragement but look at it this way; employees who do the same thing everyday usually feel like this is all there is for them and they are not being given bigger tasks because the management feels they are not experienced enough or deserve such honor. Allotting bigger responsibilities to employees would make them feel valued and they would want to keep the trust by ensuring that the job is thoroughly executed.

  • Hold outdoors team building programs

Employees mostly have one route; straight to the office and straight home. Holding outdoor programs such as camping and employee get together are a great way to create a fun atmosphere and better communication within employees and bosses. Most people don’t even know what their bosses and colleagues are like after work. This would foster better team spirit and a more personal commitment to organizational activities and better working conditions.

These are tested and trusted methods of getting the best performances out of your employees. It would create an atmosphere where every employee would work better as a team to achieve company goals.

Unhealthy Work Habits That Should Be Banned

The work place is usually that one place where our minds are tasked to their limits. It is the one place where we are most proactive and sometimes most careless. Sometimes it’s easy to forget for a minute where you are and start to act or behave unprofessionally, this sometimes becomes a lifestyle if we are not cautious of what we may be doing wrong. A lot of organizations condone certain behaviors due to certain reasons such as the position of the offender or the level of intelligence and productiveness of the offender. This doesn’t make it a great work habit. Some of these habits are not necessarily offensive to anyone but are simply unhealthy, health-wise, and so should be checked.

  • Piling up lots of files on the desk

This is one crime every worker has been guilty of one time at least. Having lots of files lying on your desk does make you look busy, no doubt, but also makes you look disorganized and unprofessional. It’s always nice to have a bare desk showing off that exquisite polished wood design.

  • Sitting all day while working

As fun as it is to have a soft executive leather seat which gives you that CEO feeling, it’s not the best work habit and this is why. Our body continually conducts metabolism and this is responsible for the release of energy through effective circulation. Sitting down for a long period of time cuts off this circulations and lead to the production of lactic acid which results to back pains, joint pains and the likes. It also builds fatigue easily. The best way to stay agile and healthy is to take little breaks from seating, move around the room or office, stretch and allow your bodies regulate its circulations. This will keep you rejuvenated and proactive all through the day.

  • Lengthy personal calls

This scene is usually popular in Hollywood movies where a character is in a hurry to get information from customer service personnel who is on a personal call and keeps them waiting for a long time with giggles and a reluctant expression on the face of the customer service personnel. This is another way of publicly showcasing bad habits at work. No client should have to sit and wait for you to finish a personal call. That is completely unprofessional and should have consequences. The right thing to do would be to suspend any personal call when a customer arrives. This show priority and is the most professional thing to do.

  • Pranks in the office

Now we all watch a lot of movies where people get pranked in the office and sometimes it’s just a little harmless prank but sometimes the pranks go a little extreme and leads to a few unfortunate incidents. It’s so hilarious on screen, yes, but that’s where it should remain…. On screen. A corporate organization or a very organized system should not allow pranking of any level as this does not speak well to the public. It also sends out a sign of an unserious atmosphere which is a dent on the reputation of the company, and of course pranks can go bad leading to a serious issue. Pranking a staff or a customer is definitely a no-no.

  • Sleeping during office hours

A well planned day would allow you manage your day and also get plenty rest and sleep at the end of the day in order to stay active during office hours. Sleeping during office hours doesn’t set a good example for colleagues or junior officers. The best way to make sure that this is checked is to recheck your daily schedule, restructure all nightly activities and move them to the weekends when you don’t have to be at work the next day. This would give you enough shut-eye time and ensure you are well rested before work hours.

  • Eating in the office

It is needless to say that this isn’t very appealing in the eyes. Imagine talking to a colleague who has his coffee sitting right next to your laptop and his crackers have an exceptionally annoying sound and have created quite a mess of crumbs all over the desk. This might be tolerable for the first few days but you know that this cannot continue. The best thing to do is to find an empty room where eating is allow, have a snack and safely dispose containers.

  • Multitasking while having a snack

This is even worse than the previous. Its can lead to accidental spillage and is simple an eye sore. This definitely doesn’t look professional.

Good habits are easy to maintain and give a good impression in the work place. It’s always necessary to cultivate good working habits and culture as this can aid personal development.

What Every Entrepreneur Should Outsource To Scale Their Business

Owning a business comes with a lot of responsibilities which may be overwhelming due to the large amount of work required. Hired hands are great but do not always meet with the required taste or aren’t dynamic enough to handle various facets of business activities. It is common for companies to outsource a block of activities to companies or freelancers who specialize in offering some specific services.

Why outsourcing?

If you are an entrepreneur and you are yet to understand why you need to outsource jobs surrounding your business, here are a few reasons;

  1. Time management – it would give you more time to attend to other responsibilities concerning the business. This would enable you get more work done in little time
  2. Professional work – there are a lot of professionals in the field who have years of experience and would be the best option for an excellent work at a very affordable rate.
  3. Building a relationship with experts – outsourcing jobs exposes you to a line of professionals who can be added to your contact lists as consultants for the sake of networking.
  4. Finding capable hands for continuity – there are certain responsibilities in a business that might need continuous aid especially when it comes to business marketing and public relations. This would enable you build a relationship with a most efficient agent or company.

Outsourcing as a culture

A lot of businesses are skeptical about the idea of outsourcing personal company responsibilities and sharing details with a bunch of strangers who would operate remotely and may not be so enthusiastic in offering you the best. There are also concerns such as sharing your company details or secrets to competitors and leaving you with no competitive advantage. There is also the issue of being able to effectively communicate your needs. Most people prefer the traditional round table meeting where you meet with a company representative or an agent and the agent gives you a comprehensive detail on what they can offer and then on acceptance there would be a signing of contract after which the contract becomes functional, and if there is a breach of contract, litigation would be easy. Yes, there are great advantages working with physical representatives, however, whether physical or an online company the fact remains that you would need to outsource a ton of responsibilities in order for your business to reach higher heights.

There are companies who have little or no staff, all work is outsourced and this reduces the need for having a large employee base and paying monthly salaries, stipends, health insurance and even a pension scheme. There would be no need for holidays and paid leaves, maternity leaves and a lot of other eventualities that would usually put a dent on company finance.

For new businesses and startups, it is not advisable to have permanent staffs as these results to constant expenses monthly which cannot be evaded or economized. Here are a few company responsibilities that can be outsourced to scale business;

  • Public relations

A good branding and an effective public relations is what every business needs. The PR stands as a spokes person both online and in public for the company. The PR also acts as an advocate for everything company related and this includes representing the company onsite and offsite, making sure that the brand image is strong.

  • Social media marketing

This is a one of the most important responsibility as the social media personnel has to ensure that the business is represented online on all social media with images, videos and engaging content.

  • Customer care

The job of the customer care is to answer any question from customers on the business and its operations, also to send out mails, newsletters and other forms of details to customer base and basically handling communication between the company and customers.

  • Content marketing

Everything from the content on the websites to the content on social media is prepared by the content marketer. This agent or company has full details of the history and functions of the company including its schedules, events, inventory and other relevant information that would be of use to the general public. Content must be professionally scripted to pull audience and well optimized with keywords to ensure that it is search engine friendly.

Healthy Habits And Environmental Practices That Improve Work Ethics

The office, that place where you meet with the boss, who for some reason loves to have meetings every now and then to discuss the most minute and irrelevant topics. Your colleagues who are always buzzing about something, it’s either something about the media or about a cute picture of a cat wearing a hat, either ways it seems like a trend that isn’t going anywhere soon.

People become a part of an organization when they full blend into the culture and dynamics that occur randomly. It would seem like a big change to make especially when you are new in the system but culture is what makes every work place stand out. In order to improve on general output, every individual and organization must adopt and engage in healthy working habits and environmental practices.

What are healthy working habits and environmental practices?

This can be defined as a mannerism in which an employer or employee conducts activities in the work place in order to maintain a healthy, safe relationship with team members and to improve work ethics.

Relevance of healthy working habits and environmental practices

A big corporation with a well structured system and a large number of employees would be able to keep tabs on behaviors and working relations by adopting the most efficient forms of work ethics. This can be documented and distributed in form of company handbooks. They contain simple guidelines of expectations in behavior towards work, health and the environment. This ensures the best work ethics which becomes a reputation and a culture which is passed on to new intakes.

Environmental practices that foster good sustainable working conditions are a major part of every organizational framework. There are rules guiding every activity and time structures to create order. Quite often, individuality may cause a different set of dynamics that may not bring out the best in the overall objective of the company but there are ways to ensure that proper work ethics is maintained.

A healthy work habit or environmental practices that is likely to lead to improved behavior and working ethics which is a process and an on-going journey which would have to be revised and restructured every now and then. In setting the tone on office rules and regulations, this should apply to every individual and should be emphasized on a daily basis.

Sharing a work space with a group of other people has its ups and downs especially when it comes to accountability but there are various tactics that could be employed by the management to ensure a better work ethic;

Congestion

Oh does this belong to you? I just saw it lying on the table and I picked it up”

Space is one major cause of conflict at work places. Encroachment of space and extreme provocation due to nearness is a possibility in offices with diverse cultural backgrounds. The answer to this would be creating a well spaced environment with well laid boundaries, this would breed respect and ensures that people seeks permission before encroaching into anyone’s personal space.

Safety habits

Work ethics isn’t just for a particular set of people, neither is it limited to just work style. Safety at work applies as well. There should be rules which ensure the safety of everyone and holds everyone accountable for their actions.

“Always shut the door.” This simple rule of privacy, “always switch off lights” rules that ensure conservation and discipline.

“ your table is a mess!” the act of leaving so much paperwork, files and stationary lying around disorderly or probably just creating a death trap by plugging lots of cables into sockets and creating a large web of cross-cables. This is highly unsafe for employees and requires a safety rule which tackles every aspect of safety and de-clustering.

Social support

A work environment with a law or mandate on social support relating to knowledge sharing would greatly aid in meeting the company’s objectives. Often time senior officers are swarmed with responsibilities and have no time for managing junior officers. This is more of a knowledge sharing and passing experience thing which feeds into better performance from junior officers.

Accountability

This is probably the most stressed quality in every organization. The ability to take charge and take responsibility for successes and failures all feed into effective company work ethics.

Unhealthy habits that breed bad work ethics are;

  • Isolating one’s self
  • Being disorganized and keeping a hazardous office arrangement
  • Procrastination and office gossip
  • Shying away from work with evasive excuses
  • Over-sharing personal details at work
  • Standing in resistance to progressive ideas or changes

Work ethics can be improved in different ways; this largely depends on the management standards and structure. However individuals can imbibe such culture for themselves and become the change the system needs.

Steps To Creating An Exceptional E-Commerce Store

In the modern world of today where competition in online business is at its peak, it is of utmost priority to remain on top of the food change by creating innovations to your business in order to stand out from the numerous others.

Based on today research in the world of online business, these are key steps you need to start with in order to make your e-commerce store exceptional.

  • HAVE A BRAND:

Don’t limit yourself to templates and themes that are common to every other person. Don’t make your e-commerce store look like every other competitor out there. When visitors visit your store they should be able to notice your brand to be special.

Place a logo with a variation of colors that best describes your products and that appeals to the market you are trying to connect with. People make up their mind in the first 90 seconds of their initial interaction with either products or people and half of it is based on colors alone (University of Winnipeg)

The fonts and layouts of your e-commerce store are very important to the success of your business. So make it a point of duty to always choose fonts that are strong yet simple, for home pages, product title, and product description.

  • KEEP IT SIMPLE:

People look for convenience. nobody wants to log on to an e-commerce store and find it difficult or confusing to navigate or purchase products, view their cart, or even pay for an item being added to their cart. If people find it frustrating they will begin to look for some other convenient stores online.

Simplicity is the key to getting orders for any product on your e-commerce store.  Every common e-commerce store you know makes it simple for their customers to shop and find items to order.  For instance, Google shopping shows items with less price first, while Amazon shows items based on customers search or last purchase.

You can use a filter for product search so customers can easily find exactly what they need or you can make trending products display on your homepage. Whichever way you choose it must be easy for visitors to skim through.

  • USE PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPH:

It is important to show every product on your e-commerce store with high-resolution images that show the attention to details and designs of the products. You will need to make effort to make people grab the product as soon as possible. Having a low-resolution image can be very discouraging for customers and they end up not patronizing. Make sure every product image goes through quality assurance.

  • SOCIAL MEDIA:

Social offers different methods to reach your target market. For example, you can sell products through social media and also you can create campaigns to make your market aware of your website. The first thing an owner of an e-commerce store should consider doing brings your followers to your store by sharing information to your landing pages. This will also add credibility to your company, showcase your community of followers on social media and also give users Ideas on how to use products.

Post engaging content on your social media pages by sharing videos on how to use products, motivational quotes, holiday ideas, coupons, and competition awareness. Always be sure to include a call to action link or button to any social media post.

  • BE AVAILABLE:

Include a CONTACT US form to your e-commerce store so that visitors to your store can easily contact you for support. Giving your customers a great shopping experience is not just enough, but having a great customer support answering to all customer complaints and enquires makes your online store stand out among your competitors. Having a responsive support system adds trust and sense of security to your store.

  • PUBLISH ENGAGING CONTENT:

Creating a blog page on your e-commerce store is a great way to add value to your websites. It gives your websites life when you highlight products, talk about real life and events. When creating a blog for your e-commerce store be sure to post contents that relate to your products and services that you render.

A blog with relevant SEO keywords helps your e-commerce website rank better in search engines such as Google which will, in turn, increase the traffic to your store and also turn some of these visitors on your blog to potential customers.

  • BE MOBILE FRIENDLY:

what happens when your online store is view via mobile devices? Most people are always on the go and would love to able to shop from their mobile devices without having to use a laptop. If your e-commerce store is difficult to view on mobile devices you could lose a lot of customers.

Make sure your e-commerce store not only looks great on laptop screen but also on mobile devices.

  • SPEEDILY INEXPENSIVE DELIVERY:

Let your customers know about how great your shipping method is. Make sure it is easy and cheap for customers to get the products they purchase from your store delivered.

  • RETURN POLICY:

Surprise your customers with a great shopping experience by giving a considerably easier return policy for every product. Making it easy for customers to return a product free of charge keeps them coming back to shop from your e-commerce store.

  • CREATE A UNIQUE UNIVERSE:

Customers passion can be kindle by creating a unique story around your industry and products. This can be done by creating video channels where visitors to this channel get to see how your company is doing. Having a community around your products and brand attracts customers to your e-commerce store.

  • GIVE OUT GIFTS:

Giving out gifts to old and new customers adds credibility to your company. Everyone likes to shop from a store that gives out free gift after their purchase of certain products.

For example, MAC cosmetics give gifts to their esteem customers at certain periods in a year.  To make a difference put gift prizes on a number of purchases a customer buys from your store.

At the end of these steps take note that what makes your e-commerce store exceptional is the uniqueness you bring to your company. Do what you know best first and then move from there onwards.

Essential Email Types Every Business Should Send

Emails are essential tools and a company culture that should be imbibed by every business. It is a most effective way to stay in touch with clients, stakeholders and the general public. The purpose of emails for every business is to inform and this comes in all dimensions.

Staying in touch and check-ins are also part of email purposes, including reminders and interventions. Clients feel highly prioritized and secure when they open their Email and there is a mail from a company they had subscribed to, this shows a lot of professionalism. Here are a few necessary email types every business with a website should send.

  • Subscribers welcome email

Have you ever signed up for a service on the web and you get an email alert on your device, thanking you for your subscription and letting you know they would get back to you soonest. That is known as a welcome mail. Every business should have that for three basic reasons

  • It assures the client that their subscriptions were successful
  • It assures the client of a follow-up or a quick answer to any question they may have at that Point
  • It gives the impression of a highly organized system.
  • Sales deal or offer email

Everyone loves freebies or at least cheap stuff. The best way to get clients is to develop a nicely worded offer plan to advertise goods that are on sale at a giveaway price. People want to be the first to know when there are advantageous deals lying around the corner. This type of email is short and straight to the point with pictures to further complement the promotional packages.

  • An appreciation email

A gesture of appreciation such as a thank-you-mail goes a long way. This appeals to customers and makes them feel appreciated for their patronage. This sort of mail should most likely be addressed directly to the client, bearing their name and not just a generic one.

  • We’ve got stock! Email

This largely applies to ecommerce sites as sometimes you would like to purchase a certain product and you realize that it’s been sold out, the dismay! Then you wait for a period of time and voila! You get an email from the website telling you that your order is now in stock and asking if you would like to go ahead with the purchase. Such efficiency! That’s a great way to keep a customer as they would feel highly prioritized and probably spread the word on the quality of service rendered.

  • Company newsletters

The type of email that informs customers, stakeholders, and the public on activities and events in order to create actionable awareness is known as a newsletter. It is straight to the point and addresses the most recent occurrences in the business and states how the audience can participate or contribute. 

  • Anniversaries

Have you ever gotten an email from a company informing you of their anniversary or perhaps a celebration of your own anniversary with the company as a loyal partner? In some cases you might get an email congratulating you on your birthday. This is very strategic and a great way to appreciate your clients by letting them know you think of them and making the company a part of the clients personal life. This is a professional way to lockdown a company-client relationship. It is widely practiced by financial institutions and other big companies.

  • Testimony emails

The purpose of this email is to inform customers on the value of products by including the testimonies and reviews of clients who have given great feedbacks after using the product. This is a form of vetting which is great for business. Testimonies are usually difficult to obtain from clients even when they have had very positive experiences with the company’s products or services so this might need a bit of persistence on the company’s part. Testimonies are concise, with specific advantages and timeline or location depending on what services the company offers.

Emails serve various purposes which makes them a most valuable tool. The need to keep clients aware of developments and company programs are a great way to further market your company and to create a lasting impression that makes your company stand out.

Why Human Resource Is Important To Companies

An organization is comprised of various functional departments that contribute meaningfully to the development, and progress of the company in various ways. Of all the departments in a well structured organization, the human resource department stands out quite easily as the heart beat of the organization. It is the midpoint that links every other department together in a network. The function of human resource department is inexhaustible.

Why is human resource necessary for every company? Human resource is a combination of four key factors guiding the structuring and functionality of businesses;

  1. Social function – every company should have a social culture that determines attitude in workplace. It guides what is acceptable and how to balance work life and relationship between employee and customers without trampling of beliefs and human rights.
  2. Economic – this enables the management develops plans as how to sustain the business, reduce expenses and to improve income strategies.
  3. Legal aspect – this has to do with issues like tax laws, discrimination, insurance and various certifications that ensures the legality of running business.
  4. Technology and work tools – there are various functions of technology in the work place. From software to office functions

There are scenarios where small companies operate without a defined human resource department. Responsibilities are distributed equally across all employees but the disadvantage of this system of operation is that there are certain responsibilities that are not defined and employees may not have the skill or qualification to handle those responsibilities. It often leads to neglect and work conflicts on which employee is responsible for what duties. This is why it is necessary to employ well trained human resource personnel or in some cases, train specific staffs on human resource in order to get them certified and knowledgeable enough to handle its complexities.

Here are some roles a human resource department plays in every organization;

  • Recruitment of staffs

There are processes involved with recruitment and staffing. Finding the right staffs that would add value to the organization requires very technical interview strategies. Staffing involves creating a staffing plan, advertising for applications, scheduled test, and final selection. While recruiting staffs, it is also advisable to develop multicultural policies to guide employee behaviour.

  • Work ethics and policies

Fairness and equality can only be sustained in a multicultural environment when there are specific policies and laws guiding employees. This is inclusive of work ethics and attitude coordination checkers. These policies include dress code, vacation or leave policy, restrictions, and disciplinary measures.

Big organizations which are heavily staffed usually have policy handbooks which are given to employees on recruitment, these handbooks are revised after a period of time when certain policies change or there is a change in management which sometimes comes with an adjustment in working policies and conditions.

  • Staff training and capacity building

Hiring qualified staff doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t need training. There is usually induction training for new intakes to get them acquainted with processes and how each department works in synergy to maintain progress. There is also capacity building which are forms of training that enable staffs to learn and improve on new technology, and new skills. Asides these official forms of training, there are also team building training, this could be official with multiple lectures and tasks or it could be unofficial and scheduled as a fun activity in the outdoors to train team members to work together to achieve a common goal.

  • Business laws

A human resource department also acts as a private law firm that renders services relating to work safety laws, discrimination, health insurance laws, compensations, labor laws and every other law guiding the company. The HR ensures that employees and the management itself are fully compliant with these laws.

  • Conflict resolution

Often times there are people who have disparate interests and this tells on the product of work. Conflicts often arise for many reasons varying from cultural to personal. Employee can only peacefully agree and work together in systems where there is a strong HR presence to resolve conflicts or create policies that allows people to coexist in the same working environment in harmony.

  • Restructuring and updating

The world is constantly changing and evolving, various cultures are phasing out and new ones are being introduced. The economy takes various turns as different points and technology is at an all time high. There is so much to keep up with, and this is where the human resource department comes in. the HR is charged with the responsibility to restructure staffing, redesign methods and policies also suggest measures that would ensure that the company stays afloat. Various factors that should be monitored by the HR include;

  • New technology that would make work processes seamless
  • Current changes to employment laws
  • Downsizing

How Technology Helps Business Brands

Business has always been executed through various means. It could be by providing goods or rendering services.

Over the years there has been a complete evolution in methodology by which various business activities are carried out. In starting up a business, the aim is to generate income for the business owner and to satisfy the customers. With the advancement of technology, digital concepts have brought about efficient means in which a business is carried out. Innovations in technology have brought about the use of emails, mobile marketing etc, to improve the business brand, reach a wider number of audience and overall output.

A brand is used to link or identify a particular business. It is the uniqueness a particular business exhibits. These could be in the way the business is carried out, the company culture, the appearance of the employees, the quality of service to clients or the superiority of goods that is being provided.

Technology can be used to improve a business brand in the following ways

  • Email

The use of electronic mails has been used as a medium between the business owners and the customers. Each business has a unique way in which it communicates with their customers thereby delivering efficient service. The advent of electronic mails have brought an easy way to engage clients in a back and forth conversation. Emails remains the most efficient way to reach your customers till date, this is because it allows you reach a large number of people all at once at very little cost and with no concerns about distance. Newsletters can also be attributed to emails as they are very effective in business marketing.

  • Social media

Technology has also provided a means through which a particular business can be advertised. This is also referred to as marketing. The aim of advertising is to ensure that information can reach both far and near customers. It also gives an insight on the type of business, the quality of goods and services provided and how it can be of beneficial use to the customers.

Social media platforms are a most useful platform where people express themselves, socialize and advertise. You can reach a wide audience with similar interests. You can hold campaigns on social media platforms such as twitter, facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+ this creates awareness and gives you more visibility.

Because of social media, various brands have been made popular worldwide. Some people prefer to advertise on one popular social media that they are most familiar with; this is good when you are understaffed and trying to keep up with the content and response of potential clients including analytics on traffic but the best way to ensure maximum results for your brand is to spread your business across ALL social media. This would give you a wider reach and make your brand popular in no time. 

  • The search engine

This is probably one of the best and most intricate technologies of the century. The mechanism of the search engine is yet to be completely understood. It is highly dynamic and functions by algorithms. There are several ways a search engine can be used to your favor; first you would need to understand how it works.

Let’s say you are trying to find any company that offers great deals on products such as phone accessories, you type in a keyword that explains what you are looking for, the searching engine uses these keywords to conduct a broad search on what outcomes fall under these categories and then rank them accordingly. Knowing the way search engines rank sites is another great way to use technology to your advantage.

A proper knowledge and application of content and SEO would ensure that your business brand is ranked high on searches related to your business niche. Popular search engines include yahoo, Bing, and Google.

  • Public relations on online businesses 

A lot of people are not aware of the importance of a good PR system online. Every brand needs a management team that stands as ambassadors and public relations person especially for online businesses which usually require frequent updates with content, pictures, videos, and graphics on every platform. The aim is to take advantage of the social media in securing business partners and clients through continuous pitching and advocacy. This is done through newsletters, blogs, websites, and ecommerce.

  • Use of mobile devices

The world has become a fast paced environment where anyone can get anything on the go. Mobile devices have increased access to just about anything from any location and businesses in turn have adjusted heavy websites to simpler ones that can be supported by mobile devices. This has increased accessibility and allows potential customers access sites on the mobile devices from anywhere at any time. This is a major step in branding. Some businesses go as far as creating a mobile app store for their businesses which allows users operate easily and makes purchase seamless.

Technology has laid the foundation for today’s businesses creating a flexible environment where anything is possible. Modern technology aims to change the way businesses engage their customers by;

  • Showing customers a whole new experience that feeds on their interest patterns to produce a beneficial outcome for both business and customers.
  • Simplify processes that are usually complex. Technology has brought about an easier way to achieve development. Branding has become quite easy with various modern tools that assist in creating just about any form of customization you require with a few clicks, these ranges from business websites to logos.
  • A brand is only as good as its feedbacks. The best way to improve is to collect as much positive customer reviews as possible. When customers give good reviews it’s a plus for the brand and technology creates a platform for these reviews such as forums and comment columns.
  • Resolving customer’s problems. Some customers prefer to resolve their issues directly with the company, especially through a chat, email or company phone-line.