Hiring Staff: The Ultimate Guide For Small Businesses

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If you run a small business, there’s every chance that at some point you will reach a crossroads in your company’s lifespan. You could stay as you are and enjoy your lifestyle as is, or you could decide to gamble on growth. For the former, there aren’t many things you need to do, other than keeping your business ticking over. However, for the latter, you are going to have to think about hiring employees.

Without a workforce, it’s going to be nigh on impossible to achieve any growth. But building one can be tricky. There are many different factors that you have to consider, and choosing the wrong way to go about things could result in serious consequences. However, if you handle your hiring with aplomb, the rewards will speak for themselves.

In this guide, I’m going to take a look at some of the most important factors you should be thinking about when starting a hiring process. There’s  a lot to take in, so let’s get started right away.

Knowing when the time is right

One minute, a small business can be ticking along quite nicely. But all it takes is for a wave of interest in your product or service to throw things out of balance. It’s a significant moment and one that you have to plan for, regardless of how unlikely it appears at this very moment. There have to be core reasons for you to hire anyone on a full or part-time basis, and growth is very much at the forefront of them. However, just because you have a rise in orders in one particular month, it doesn’t mean that it will sustain throughout the year.

So, recognising your peaks and troughs over key periods is essential to working out whether you should hire or not. Sure, you might have seasonal orders to fulfill, but if the following months are going to be quiet, then it makes no sense to hire. Think about outsourcing during these periods instead. It might cost you more than a full-time employee, but it will get the job done, and it’s a one-off cost that you can forget about as soon as the work is complete.

In an ideal world, the right time to hire is the right time for you. It should be planned and part of your natural progression – not because you have a sudden spike in demand or a customer service issue. Let’s face it – if your business is in crisis and you need an extra pair of hands as soon as possible, are you really going to be that thorough in your recruitment process? If your business requires a certain set of skills that you need, it should be plain to see. And as soon as you see it, those skills should become part of your business plan. At that point, you can think about hiring – and certainly not before.

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Establishing your need

Moving on from there, it is clear there are some fundamental questions you need to ask yourself. First of all, why are you hiring in the first place? I would suggest that unless it is for two specific reasons, you should consider outsourcing. Those reasons are as follows: if you can’t manage your workload for a prolonged period, or you have a concrete growth plan in place.

Secondly, are your processes working hard enough for you? Sure, hiring staff could solve some of your problems, but if the systems you have in place could be improved, it may be a more cost-effective option. Also, you could learn new skills for yourself. This is an excellent cost-cutting option that only requires time and commitment to you. However, should you not have much of either, then you are probably in a position to start employing staff.

Understanding the implications

Hiring employees is an expensive business, and is by far and away the biggest cost you will encounter. Not only do you have to pay wages, but you will be liable for national insurance top ups, too. Many employees will expect benefits on top of their salaries, some of which are legal requirements – such as holiday and sick pay. You may also need to think about health insurance or other benefits to attract the right calibre of staff. The simple fact is that the best businesses get the best employees because they offer the best packages. You have to be competitive if you want those people working for you.

There are other considerations to think about as well. As an employer, you will have many different legal responsibilities for your workforce. Health and safety should be one of your prime concerns, and you also have a duty to treat your employees in a fair manner. If you don’t, you could be open to all kinds of litigation issues. Worker’s rights are a vast subject that can’t be dented in a post like this. So I would recommend getting employment law solicitors on board as soon as possible if you are considering hiring. Doing so will prevent you from making any stupid mistakes, and reduce the threat of any court appearances or fines – which can be dangerous for your business in more ways than one.

You will also need to think about insurance. To employ someone, you have to have the correct policy in place – it is required by law. If anything happens to somebody while under your care – when they are at work in this case – then your insurance will cover you for any damages that are sought. For this reason, it is worth a thorough investigation of all business insurance policies to make sure you are covered for all eventualities. There are plenty of things you can cut back on when you hire staff – zero hours contracts are a great example – but your insurance is definitely not one of them.

So there you have it. With any luck, you will be a little more primed when it comes to hiring staff. As you can see, there is a lot to think about – and this post only really scratches the surface – but it is essential that you take everything into consideration. Hiring employees can make the difference if you want to grow – but go about it in the wrong way, and it could be disastrous. So plan well – and good luck!

Finding Internet Marketing Confusing? Here’s How It Works

As an owner of a new startup company this year, you need to know the ins and outs of online marketing. In fact, even the major players of each industry have to know the latest marketing trends to stay in the game. But, even with helpful sites like ours, it can get a little confusing. There is so much to understand, and it is all connected to form one big, marketing scheme. We would not blame you if you were a little lost, so let’s go back to the basics and get you on the right track before you begin. We will also discuss the direction online marketing seems to be heading and why it is still important for your company.

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A Good Website Is The Key

We are sure you know how to make an attractive and stylish website, or you know how to hire a designer. But, do you know how to use SEO? Search Engine Optimization, you may have read a lot about it but still not fully understand it. SEO is a series of methods that will boost your website’s search engine ranking. This mostly revolves around using the right keywords. But narrowing it to that would be an oversimplification. If it were as simple as that, businesses could probably do it themselves, but that is not the case. Many business owners would rather put their SEO in the hands of experts part of a company like WME. The good news is once your website is SEO active you will see it on the first or second page of search engine results. You will easily find your site when you type in keywords related to your product or service.

Social Media Is Your Friend

Using SEO is not quite enough. You have to be active on social media networks as well. The current big ones that businesses use are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But you should be aware Tumblr, Google Plus and Pinterest are gaining some serious ground. You can use all of them in your business strategy to boost your company image.

Many of the social networks currently gaining in popularity revolve around the use of images. There is a reason for this. Pictures are easy to understand for the average internet surfer. They can be clearly viewed on a smartphone or any commercial tech device. Expect this trend to continue as more social networks cash in on it. Your task is to find a way to use the different networks to your advantage. For instance, you can Pin images from your website and attract new customers using…you get the idea.

It’s All Connected

You may have noticed in the movie world there has been a huge surge in the popularity of shared movie universes. The reason for this is that the general consumers loves being able to connect the dots. They love the idea of a tv show linking to a movie linking to a computer game. Similarly, they are used to finding a link on Twitter that takes them to a blog where they can find a company or service. In this way, online marketing is all connected but it goes further than that. Studies have shown how much a piece of information is shared affects the search engine ranking. You can see then why having an effective website, and a social media presence is necessary. They need to be linked together for your marketing to be successful.

Hopefully, internet marketing is now clearer to you, and we wish you luck using it to boost your business.

Essential Elements You’ll Need for a Successful Startup

Having a successful startup hinges on a lot of elements. You need to make sure you address them all as well. Here is a list of the most important ones to help get you started. If you can apply these to your business, you should do fine.

Money

Starting a company is going to require plenty of capital. There are startup costs to think about. This is before you even deal with paying staff and hiring other personnel. You need to account for how much it’s going to cost you. And you need to make sure you set this money aside as soon as you can. If you feel like you’re going to struggle to come up with the cash you can always take out a loan. You need to be sure you get your figures sorted before launching.

Communication

A business is only as good as its communication. You need to realise how important it is to have good communication. Let’s be honest, all businesses could probably stand to communicate better. This is how you ensure everyone’s doing their job. Lack of communication is one of the biggest problems in modern business. So you need to make sure you have an active relationship with your staff. That way everyone knows what everyone else is doing.

Marketing

You need to make sure the business has an excellent marketing strategy. It’s very difficult to enjoy success if you don’t promote yourself. Having the right strategy is paramount. You’ve got to make use of things like SEO and content management. Make sure you have an excellent website and business blog. It might even be worth hiring a digital marketing team to take charge of this. Make sure you devote a lot of time, money and resources to the marketing. You need to make sure you get it spot on.

The Right Staff

The heartbeat of any business is the employees. They interact with customers and help drive the business forward. Because of this it’s vital that you hire the right staff. You’ve got to make sure you select people who will benefit the company. They have to have experience and ability. But it’s also important that they are likeable. What someone is like is often as important as their experience. You need to have people working for you who are easy to get along with. Make sure you get involved in the hiring process to screen people.

A Great Product

Of course, it’s no good excelling at everything else if your product is rubbish. You need to think about your market research. Supply and demand are the keys to commerce. Find a gap in the market and come up with a product to fill it. This will make it irresistible to clients and customers. Remember that you need to have an excellent product. This is what your company is going to be judged on, so you have to get it right.

You may find that launching a startup is harder than you’d expect. There’s so much to take into account. It’s often easy to overlook important elements, and this can be catastrophic. Make sure you take stock of the most important business elements. These will help you nurture a successful company.

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Fantastic Ways You Can Use Ecommerce To Improve Your Business

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Before we tell you how it can help you, we would like to explain briefly what e-commerce is. E-Commerce stands for electronic commerce. It refers to the trades of goods or services across a network, usually online. In fact today it is almost always online. We find that if you are stuck with a business problem or how to expand your company, the internet is absolutely the answer. But it is not just about SEO, there is a wide range of services you can find for your business exclusively online.

SEO

Well, since we mentioned it we might as well start with Search Engine Optimization. SEO refers to how to change your website so that it is easily accessible by internet users through search engines. Usually, it involves using keywords and connecting to social networks. But you do not have to do it yourself. There is a wide range of companies online that can help you, giving expert advice to get your company seen online. SEO is a small part of the big industry that is internet marketing. Whether pay by click or CRO, you can find it all online, and they are brilliant ways to expand interest.

Specialized Equipment

Depending on your company or business, you are going to need certain pieces of equipment. If you work in tech, you will need a good number of computers for your employees. The internet can help here because you can buy them in bulk at budget-busting prices. But, really if you do an internet search you can often find exactly what you were looking for that would be useful for your business. For instance, we found a company that sells dirty and clean lockers, to separate work clothes from everyday wear. For a construction or oil company, we are sure these would be very useful.

Consultation

If you need advice on how to run your business, your internet should be your first point of call. You will find consultants for hire online that can help you take your business to the next level. We are sure you have got most sectors of your company sussed. But there may be one factor you need some expertise in and a consultant can help here. You will find that they specialize in all the issues that you may have such as management, hiring or marketing.

It Support

Speaking of support, we don’t know any company that would need some assistance with IT. Sure, you could operate your computer network yourself. But the thing about IT is that it tends to crash eventually or at least have errors. When that happens, it is good to know there is a team that have hired, who you can call up to fix the issue within minutes. Your company will never lose a day of work due to tech issues.

Online Accountants

Finally, businesses owners can find that they have more money than they need to spend. But often, this is because they are not managing their funds effectively. Speaking to an online accountant will help a great deal, and they will find the funds business owners never knew they had.

There you have it then. Support, equipment and technology can all be found, just by looking online, through E-commerce.

 

How To Increase Online Sales Quickly

There are lots of articles around that explain how to increase online sales. However, most of them are more complicated than is necessary. With that in mind, this post should help to lay everything out in layman’s terms. As you will learn, real-world promotion is sometimes useful. That is the case, even when you focus most of your efforts on the digital marketplace.

  • Pay for advertising

    Online advertising from the likes of Google Adwords could help to improve your prospects. With minimal investment, you should notice a boost in sales very quickly. Just make sure you spend time working out the best targeting options for your banners.

  • Create promotional products

    Handing out promotional products in the real world could help you to achieve your goal. So long as those items contain your business name and web address, you should see a spike in sales. The infographic below will tell you more.

  • Drop your prices

    You should always try to price your products in a competitive manner. That means you need to look at other companies selling the same items. To boost sales fast, you should consider running a lucrative sale. Just make sure you remember to send out a message to your mailing list.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to increase online sales quickly. You just have to think outside of the box and use some savvy techniques. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck for the future! Keeping afloat in the business world is harder than ever. So, put our ideas to good use.

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