Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click: What is Better for You?

search-engine-optimization-or-pay-per-click

There are two primary methods in regards to reeling in more customers: Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click. Several years ago businesses were mainly preoccupied with choosing the right retail points to attract more customers. As the reality has been changing, the principal things to consider when reaching the target audience refer to the online environment. Thus, businesses are willing to make their websites and social media profiles visible to users online.

There are several effective methods to reach out to a great number of customers online. The most popular ones are search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Both these methods are highly efficient but each of them implements different tactics to achieve the desired result.

Businesses use both SEO and PPC in their strategies, either separately or together. However, the particular sphere of business operation and competitive environment predict which of these two techniques would be more efficient for the particular company. This article talks about SEO and PPC, provides a comparison between them, and helps to define which of these methods would be more suitable for your company.

Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click

Comparing these two technologies would not be appropriate as there are more differences rather than similarities between them. However, to demonstrate all the positive sides of each method, it is worth having a look at its essentials first.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

seo

This abbreviation stands for search engine optimization – website promotion in the online environment. Most people use search engines such as Google or Bing to find the things they are looking for. To make your website visible to online users, SEO techniques are used.

SEO is a complex term that consists of multiple components that are aimed to improve the overall website ranking. These components could be classified into two main groups depending on the promotional method applied.

The first bunch of techniques is called on-page SEO and refers to on-site optimization. Performing keyword research, creating texts, taking care of technical characteristics of the website belong to this group of methods.

Other SEO methods are classified as off-site or off-page optimization. It means that the website promotion is done with the involvement of external sources. For example, link building and guest posting are the most common approaches used in off-page SEO. Owing to guest posting services such as Adsy.com, you may create articles with the description of your company and the link to your website on other blogs to let more people know about your brand.

What is Pay-Per-Click?

Another popular method businesses utilize in their marketing strategies is PPC that stands for pay-per-click advertising. This method is also implemented within search engines but in a totally different way compared to SEO.

PPC also known as paid advertising is the service offered by Google Ads for displaying your announcements over the organic search results. Marketers bid for certain keywords to get a chance for displaying an ad with the link to the website in the SERP top.

Even when the advertisement is displayed once a user enters a corresponding search query, businesses have to pay for it only in case the ad is clicked. The price for the click is determined while marketers place bids on keywords.

The benefits of Search Engine Optimization

Durable effect

When done properly, search engine optimization is supposed to improve the website ranking gradually. Otherwise, a fast leap in the website positions on search results pages might be considered suspicious by Google. Even though the results of SEO is not visible in the first few weeks, it brings long-term effect, which is the greatest benefit for any business.

Local search

Another advantage of SEO is that it could be the right tool for making the website highly visible for local searches. With the help of certain keywords related to the particular place and special SEO techniques, your website would appear high on the results page when a search is done on the corresponding location.

PPC reinforcement

The power of SEO is that it could also strengthen the effect of the paid advertisement efforts. When people see the same website both in the organic and paid search results, they would likely visit it.

Comprehensive analytics

Most SEO tools used for website optimization provide comprehensive data on its performance. That way some applications could depict how the keywords perform, while others show the amount of time that users spend on the web page. All this data helps to make websites better and modernize them constantly. For instance, if you notice that users leave the website quickly, you might consider creating graphic materials for websites or rewriting the text to make it easy to read for people.

The advantages of PPC

ppc

Sales boost

The main benefit of paid advertising is its high potential for improving the company’s online sales. When an advertisement is placed at the top of the results page, users see it first. Thus, they would probably click on it and explore the website further. To make sure that a user stays for long on the website, design it properly by considering every minor detail.

Brand awareness

This aspect is interrelated with the first advantage of PPC as it also refers to the high visibility of the website. Users would likely remember your brand and recognize it further when it appears within the paid ad results.

SEO reinforcement

Similar to the SEO impact on PPC, the paid advertisement has a reverse effect as well. Paid ads help to reinforce the SEO effect by attracting other businesses and individual customers who would be interested in linking back to your website. Backlinks are powerful in improving the website’s domain authority and ranking.

What to choose for your business: Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click?

After exploring the main characteristics of search engine optimization and paid advertising, it is possible to decide which method would be more suitable for your company. Even if one of the approaches would be more applicable, it does not exclude the possibility to use another one. Thus, you can use both SEO and PPC but define the proportion of time and budget resources allocated to each of those.

If you are new to the market or have recently created a business website, then the first thing to start with would be SEO. It will help you to strengthen domain authority and lift the website on the search results pages.

In case you have been already using SEO for a while and want to boost sales or promote certain products, then PPC is the right thing to use. By creating paid advertisement you will pay the customers’ attention to the particular thing that corresponds to the keyword search.

When you consider using both PPC and SEO in your marketing campaign, keep in mind that the former is rather costly. It should be preferably used for a limited amount of time to achieve the desired goal. Meanwhile, SEO is the ongoing strategy that ensures the long-term results and requires fewer costs.

Conclusion on Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click

If you decide whether PPC or SEO is better for your business website promotion, you should define your business goals first of all. In case you want to have short-term results, then PPC is the right option to choose. In other cases, SEO would be the preferred method for website promotion. Anyway, you can use both methods in your marketing strategy to obtain the best results.

The Best Way to Grow Your Business in 2022: Getting Referrals

best way to grow your business

The Best Way to Grow Your Business

We all know that word of mouth is the best way to grow a business. When you receive a referral you will have little or no competition, you will be able to command a higher price, and your referral source will have done much of the selling for you.

Getting Referrals for Your Business

The best way to grow your business is, to begin with, people that you already know. People do business with those whom they know, like and trust. This will include people you have worked with in the past, friends, family and your current customers. On average, each one of us knows about 250 people. Among the people that you know are people who will refer business to you if you will only ask!

business people giving referrals to one another

Consider these facts: 20% of the people that you know will give you referrals without you having to ask. 20% of the people that you know will never give you a referral no matter how many times you ask. However, 60% of the people will give you a referral if you ask in the right way.

Here’s the way to ask: “Who do you know who could benefit from my services?”

Below are some keys to getting referrals:

Develop your big list of people who can refer others to your business.

The best way to grow your business is to write down every adult that you know on a list. Use the list of professions below to give you a reminder as you develop your list.

Develop your small list.

Prioritize your big list, and select 20 people that you want to focus on building deeper relationships with. The best sources of referrals are people that know, like and trust you. Select people who are centers of influence in your community. Develop a list and deepen relationships with them. Choose people that you will serve. The question is not “what can I get, but rather what can I give?” You will serve them by giving referrals, remembering important events like birthdays and anniversaries,  sending books, thoughtful articles, etc.

Strategies to Deepen Business Relationships

  • When you identify someone who could be a great referral source, meet with them one-on-one to deepen the relationship.
  • At that point, keep asking questions and listen 2/3 of the time and talk about the benefits of your service or product 1/3 of the time.
  • Ask “feel-good” questions. Be a good interviewer. Stay focused on them rather than talking about yourself.
  • Listen well, affirm them and get their business card.
  • Ask: “If I were to meet an ideal client for you, how would I recognize them?”
  • Connect them with other people that are a good fit for them.
  • Connect with them on LinkedIn. Before you do that, make sure that your LinkedIn profile is updated and features the benefits your service or product provides.
  • Follow up with a thank-you note. Say that you will try to make referrals to them.

Begin speaking to everyone who is within 3 feet of you.

Follow the interviewing tips above to begin to develop the relationship.

Ask for referrals from everyone you meet

Especially from your small list. Educate your small list of your services and deepen your relationships with them.

Know that you will not likely get a referral the first time you ask.

You must be consistent and persistent to get referrals. Also, realize that getting to the first referral is the key with many people. It’s like priming a pump. Once you get the first referral, future referrals are likely to flow.

Educate everyone about what you do.

Don’t simply give a generic “commercial.” Use stories of working with clients to illustrate different aspects of your services.

Be generous in giving referrals.

Give generously and you will likely find other givers.

For business owners, learning the art of getting referrals may be the most important skill you can possess. Develop that skill and you will prosper!

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When Is The Right Time To Take Out A Business Loan?

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The Right Time To Take Out A Business Loan

A business loan will have to be taken out by companies at some point in their existence. Both newly formed entities and established companies may apply for business financing in traditional and unconventional lending institutions.

Their reasons for doing so may vary, but one thing is sure: organizations need a fund boost whether they’re just starting or are doing well. But how does an entrepreneur know that it’s time to go for that option? Read on to find out the most compelling reasons to take out a business loan.

  • When You Are Starting A Venture

Getting everything up and running for the first time is one of the most significant investments at any stage of the venture. To open a business, an entrepreneur must make big-ticket purchases such as office equipment, build up the inventory, and pay for an office lease. This move is crucial when you’re still wondering whether your business will generate income or not.

Some lending companies offer business loans to startups. Look for such types of business financing products to ensure you’re getting the most out of the transaction. Before submitting an application for a business loan, make sure to shop around for the lowest rates.

  • When You Need To Start Building Your Credit History

business-loan

As with a personal loan, a borrower has to have a good credit history to get approved for a business loan. Suppose you want to increase your chances of gaining access to more substantial loan amounts down the road. While you should practice caution in borrowing for business and personal reasons, you can take the first step as a business borrower by taking the plunge.

You have to be confident in your repayment capacity before applying for a business loan, though. Consistent and timely payments will help build your credit score. With an excellent credit reputation, your business can secure higher amounts to spend for business expansion.

  • When Expanding Your Business 

If your business is doing well and you want to seize the opportunity to be present in other locations, why not expand? Like starting fresh, a business will have to spend significant amounts to look for a new space, market the company to create brand awareness, and train and hire new staff.

Opening a branch in another city may be a good reason to take out a loan to kick-start your operations. Because of the hefty costs involved in this activity, you can seek the help of banks and lending companies to prevent business failure. Access to additional funding could provide your enterprise with the right tools and resources to carry out a successful launch.

Business expansion can also mean spending for human resources, which entails equally significant expenditures. Hiring, training, and keeping your staff is one of the most important investments you can make in your business.

  • When Purchasing Equipment Or Inventory

Apart from opening another branch, your venture may need to use new pieces of equipment or a more technologically advanced machine. As any business owner would know, this would involve high out-of-pocket costs that your business might not be able to accommodate at once. In this case, a business loan will help you get what your company needs.

Depending on the bank, the amount needed, and your qualifications, this type of business loan may be unsecured or secured. For secured business loans, you need to put up collateral—a house, a vehicle, or any other valuable property—before accessing the funds.

For this reason, you must only consider purchasing business assets that provide overall efficiency and productivity in your manufacturing and other operations. With a new piece of equipment or added inventory, you can serve your customers better.

  • When You Need To Prioritize Research And Development

Creating a breakthrough product requires several workforce hours spent on research and development. The staff will also have to get the resources they need to perfect the product through multiple rounds of trial and error. If you want to stay competitive in the business, you have to offer products and services that stand out from the rest.

Taking out a business loan can help you fund research and development projects. A revolutionary product and service can help your company broaden its customer base. By allocating a particular budget for these activities, your business will become the first choice in your niche, allowing you to stay relevant for a long time.

  • When You Want To Cushion The Impact Of A Slow Season

Some businesses rely on a particular season to perk up their sales or cash inflow. For instance, companies that provide lawn care, snow removal, and tax preparations often see their coffers filled during the summer, winter, and tax filing seasons, respectively.

A business loan may reduce the impact of a slow period and ensure robust cash inflow. Borrowing for your business may be better than offering rock-bottom prices for your products and services or letting go of helpful staff, which can impact your prices once the peak season arrives. Practice prudence and only borrow a modest amount to ensure timely repayments and avoid hurting your credit score.

  • When You Need To Offset Emergency Losses

Organizations must have an emergency plan to handle significant losses from emergencies. Ideally, this plan should include building an emergency fund for unexpected situations. However, not many small businesses are capable of collecting enough cash to tide them through rough times.

Business loans can be used to infuse additional funds when disaster strikes. Include a business loan in your business continuity plan to rebuild or recover faster. Circumstances such as a significant cyberattack, massive typhoon, and flooding may wreck your business assets, rendering them useless. While you may be able to claim a certain amount from your insurance, it’s an equally good idea to access more funding from lending institutions.

Often, the government will offer low-interest loans to individuals and businesses affected by a major calamity, so keep your eyes peeled for these offers. Otherwise, look for traditional and online lenders to help you out during a challenging period. Just check the loan terms to make sure you can manage repayments appropriately.

business-loan

Final Thoughts on Taking Out a Business Loan

Knowing when to take out a loan requires considering several factors: the current economic situation, your business financial status, and your purpose in asking for additional funds.

Apply for a loan only when you’re comfortable about your repayment capacity. Hence, seeking out a loan must be done to institute positive changes that are expected to drive more income.

In closing, remember that the process of shopping around and getting assessed and approved takes time. Therefore, you need to ensure you still have enough money for your daily operations until you get the loan you’re applying for.

7 Strategies to Increase Your Employee Wellness Within Your Company

business owners

7 strategies to increase your employee wellness 

Employee wellness is the key to having a successful business. If you don’t take care of your employees, then it is for sure that they won’t take care of you either. 

According to a late study done by IBM in late 2020, only 46% of employees claimed that the company they work at supported them physically and emotionally. At the same time, 80% of executives claimed that they are supportive, but employees didn’t always state the same! 

It isn’t a good idea to leave your employee’s wellness behind, and that is why in this article, we will show you seven strategies to increase your employee’s wellness. 

employee-wellness

  1. Recognize your employees 

By recognizing your employees, we mean recognizing all of their efforts and achievements made daily at the workplace. 37% of employees claimed that recognition was very important to their emotional state at the workplace. Let’s not forget that employee recognition is considered the most important driver of great work out of all! 

You may have thought it was the salary, but only 7% of employees stated that salary was their most important driver at work. Once employees feel like they are not being recognized at the workplace, they may start not operating at their maximum capacity. 

We can take an example as if you were going out with a bunch of friends, and many of them weren’t appreciating you. Once you feel unappreciated, you will look for new friends. The same case is with employee recognition. 

  1. Set up an employee giving campaign to assist employee wellness

Setting up an employee giving campaign is an excellent way of making your employees feel proud of the company they work at. Some of the greatest companies worldwide create employee giving programs. By doing this, you are an excellent example for other employers to look at. 

Employee giving come in different types, which are

  • Employee donation matching: when the employer is matching cash donations with the contribution of the employee. When the employer provides a matching gift, it makes a bigger difference for non-profit organizations or even recipients who donated. 
  • In-kind donations: donations made through material possessions such as food, medical supplies, and clothing. Usually, employees who don’t have money to do any donation matching may turn to in-kind donations. 
  • Employee do-good grants: Employee grants are when a company rewards its employees as donors. Instead of the employee receiving financial rewards, they transfer these rewards to a non-profit organization. Of course, employee do-good grants are given as a choice if they want to participate in it or not. 
  • Employee volunteer grants: something your employees need to apply to. There are two different types of volunteer grants: Grants for volunteering expenses and dollars for doers. 
  • Grants for volunteering expenses: employees apply for any grants to support their volunteering opportunities. Most companies will cover travel expenses, food expenses, and some other costs. 
  • Dollars for doers: a financial grant is rewarded to employees depending on their committed hours- whether it be for a local community or non-profit organization. 
  1. Communicate with your employees 

Don’t be that person who only comes into the office and talks about your employee’s daily duties. We know you are at the workplace, but let’s try to make it more interesting. Try to connect with your employees by asking exciting questions such as how their day is going? What plans do they have? And some other questions you may think of. 

According to a study done by the Harvard Business Review, it was shown that 23% of employees claimed that their manager isn’t good at communicating and that it is more likely to impact their mental health. 

Additionally, about 33% of employees also claimed that they don’t trust their employers. This all comes from a lack of communication with employees. When a company conducts excellent communication with its team, employees will feel more informed, motivated, and secure. Whereas this directly affects contribution levels towards the company’s goals. 

  1. Don’t burn your employees out 

employee-wellness

No, it isn’t smart to overload your employees with work and think they will be productive all the time. This is just you planning for failure in your company. 86% of employees claimed they need to work really hard to prove to their bosses that they are hard workers and deserve their job. You don’t want to be that person who is expecting too much from employees.  

Rest is just as important as hard work is too. Sadly, 45% of employees claim that they are burned out at the workplace. You can’t work hard and never rest, it just doesn’t go that way. Promoting wellness at the workplace also means encouraging rest too. Especially if your team is working remotely, you don’t want to make them have sleepless nights because of the overloaded work you are asking them to do.

Try planning out your activities or setting up daily tasks that need to get done. Each employee has their own pace at which they get work done, so try to see what works for you and them. 

  1. Allow employees to discover themselves to promote employee wellness

Nothing can be better than being an influence on your team that will directly impact how they feel. You can’t motivate anybody enough until they motivate themselves, although you can be a good influence. When you are helping employees find their purpose, that self-drive will start to kick in by itself. 

According to research done by Delivering Happiness, they found out that there are three levels of happiness: 

  • Pleasure: the fleeting form of happiness 
  • Passion: happiness that continues as long as you are performing the activities that are fulfilling your passion. 
  • Purpose: the highest level of happiness that fuels your daily life with energy and joy. 

The best thing you can do for your employees’ well-being is empower them to have passion and purpose. Here is what you can do to help them find their purpose:

  • Find their intrinsic motivation (goals, what drives them.) 
  • Try implementing a set of activities that will lead them to work on what impacts their well-being as part of your wellness activities. 
  • Be a motivation coach to your employees. Empower them as human beings, and allow them to act as champions. 

You would be surprised that 85% of employees are not engaged at the workplace. Different factors affect this, although the leading cause is the lack of motivation. 

  1. Promote flexibility for employee wellness

Technological innovations have greatly impacted the way we work and significantly have affected how employees feel. Since the pandemic’s beginning, even the way we work has changed and how employees want to work. According to a survey, 73% of employees stated that they were more efficient when working remotely. 

After the release of the COVID-19 vaccine, many employers urged employees to return back to the office, although this wasn’t pleasant for the majority of them. Roughly one in three employees claimed that returning to the office negatively impacted their well-being. At the same time, workers who experienced a decline in their mental health were also five times less likely to be productive! 

  1. Encourage financial well-being to improve employee wellness

Financial well-being has negatively affected a vast percentage of people across the globe after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have had a cut in their salary or even have been temporarily laid off; what seemed to be going well turned into a nightmare in a short period of time. 

According to a financial wellness survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), it claimed that most employees had to engage heavily on their emergency funds from the start of the pandemic. Nothing gets more stressful than that and negatively has impacted the emotional and physical well-being of employees across the globe.  

Many employees got comfortable working from home and even left their job when asked to return to the office. This was all because they felt that their well-being was being affected negatively and just wasn’t worth it. Moreover, it was a wrong move from employers as they didn’t seek to do what was best for employees but only for themselves. 

Wrapping up your 7 strategies

employee-wellness

That’s about it for this article. These are the seven strategies you can use in order to promote employee well-being and a culture that is firmly focused on employee well-being. 

From the beginning of the pandemic, we know that everything has gotten more difficult for employees and employers. For that reason, employee well-being has become just as hard as it was to keep up with. Although, in turbulent times also lies opportunity. And without a doubt, these seven strategies will be your aid to making your employees happier than ever! 

3 Ways To Ensure Your Business is Safe and Compliant

compliant

Making sure your business is safe and compliant is a crucial aspect to success. In response to GDPR, many businesses have taken multiple steps to ensure the safety of customer data and implemented all the required measures to comply. Even if these modifications may require an extra cost, they’re fundamental to running your business with no complications. Having a safe and compliant business is, in fact, essential to stay away from heavy fines and serious financial consequences. There are many ways by which you can ensure your business adheres to legal requirements. If you’d like to know more about them, keep reading. This blog post will provide you with three ways to ensure your business is safe and compliant.

Let’s dive right in.

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of laws that impose businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens.

Personal data is any information related to an individual. Some examples of personal data are name, email address, and biometric data.

If you want to know more about this regulation, check out this in-depth Osano’s guide to GDPR.

Rights of users under GDPR

Under GDPR, individuals have the following rights:

  • Right to be informed. This means you must inform users that you’re collecting their data, specifying what type of information you’re gathering and how you’re going to use it.
  • Right to access. Customers have the right to access the personal data your company has collected at any time.
  • Right to rectify. Users are entitled to correct their personal data if it is out of date, incomplete, or incorrect.
  • Right to data portability. Users have the right to transfer their personal information from one service provider to another.
  • Right to restrict processing. Users can refuse to have their data processed. Essentially, they may want your business to collect their data but without processing it.
  • Right to object. Customers can ask your business to stop processing their data at any time.
  • Right to be notified. Individuals have the right to be informed within 72 hours of realizing any data breaches which involve or compromise their personal data.

What does being GDPR compliant mean for a business?

compliant

A GDPR compliant business respects the rights of users and protects their personal data by following all necessary steps and implementing the correct procedures.

For example, letting users decide whether your company can collect some of their personal information represents a form of compliance.

What businesses need to comply with GDPR?

The GDPR applies to any company based in or outside the EU that:

  • Provides goods and services to EU citizens.
  • Monitors people’s behavior in the EU. 

In particular, key criteria for companies required to comply are:

  • A presence in one or more EU countries.
  • It does not involve a physical presence within EU countries, but rather the processing of personal information about EU citizens.
  • Over 250 employees.
  • Fewer than 250 employees, but data-processing affects the rights and freedoms of individuals and is not occasional. 

 

My sales and number of students have doubled

Beth Bradley, Owner, Dance Without Limits

“My coach at Small Business Coach Associates is super encouraging. He is great at pointing out things I’ve never thought about. It’s nice to work with a male in business who has my best interests in mind. Alan is great at keeping me on task without making me feel bad about missing a deadline. My sales and number of students have doubled since he began coaching me 5 months ago and I was able to take my first paycheck since starting my dance studio two years ago.”

Non-compliance penalties

Failure to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will result in two tiers of administrative penalties:

  1. The first tier will have you surrender 2% of your company’s annual turnover or 10 million euros, whichever is higher.
  2. Tier two violations force you to surrender 4% of your company’s annual turnover or 20 million euros, whichever is higher.

Thus, ignoring this regulation may have devastating effects on your company’s finances.

Why it is important to ensure that your business is safe and compliant

Many reasons explain why it is very important to ensure that your business is compliant and safe. Below you’ll find some of the most relevant.

Avoid severe penalties with becoming safe and compliant 

As mentioned above, non-compliance can cause devastating financial consequences for your business because of the heavy fines that it will incur.

Thus, this is one of the first and most relevant reasons that explain why you should ensure your business is compliant. 

Enhance users’ and clients’ trust by being safe and compliant

The more you show users and clients that your business complies with the regulations and cares about protecting their personal data, the more you can build trust and convey professionalism.

As a result, they will feel more comfortable sharing sensitive information with your company.

Maximize your brand’s credibility and avoid negative exposure

In the event of a breach and fine penalty, employees, users, clients, investors, and anyone else directly or indirectly involved with your company will build a negative impression about it, as it will look unprofessional and unreliable. This negative reputation will also spread among the audience. 

This will make people less willing to do business with you, and you will lose the chance to generate new leads, partnerships, and opportunities for business growth.

3 ways to ensure your business is safe and compliant

There are many ways through which you can ensure your business’s compliance and safety. Here you can find three of the most relevant.

  • Protect users’ personal data using anti-fraud software

Protecting your website along with all your customers’ and users’ data is one of the first steps you need to take in order to avoid heavy fines resulting from non-compliance.

To achieve this purpose, you can use anti fraud software. Such a program would prevent fraudulent transactions involving stolen credit card information and other sensitive data. 

In other words, the program will automatically monitor, investigate, and block potential and proper fraudulent activities on your website.

As such, you’ll keep your website and users’ personal data safe, avoiding any breaches of GDPR.

  • Create and update your privacy policy regularly

A privacy policy is a legal document that clearly describes how you manage your users’ personal information, including everything from collection to storage.

To be more precise, a privacy policy includes:

  • Personal information. In this section, you need to specify what type of PI your company is going to collect.
  • Collection process. State how your company is going to collect the data.
  • Usage. Naturally, you need to describe how you’re going to use the information you collect.
  • Security. This clause will outline how your company is going to protect all the sensitive information.
  • Storage and sharing. Clarify where you’re going to store their data and if you’ll share it with third parties.
  • Cookies. If you’re using cookies, users must be aware of this.
  • Opting out and data subject rights. You must specify that users are not obligated to provide their personal data. Additionally, make it clear that they can object and request deletion of their information at any time.
  • Contact information. In the end, include contact details so that users can reach out to you or your staff for any question or issue.

Naturally, as the regulations change, you’ll need to edit the policy to state clearly what is going to change and how your company will deal with it.

In addition, you’ll need to update it anytime you decide to change the way you process user information. 

It will also be your duty to inform all users of the changes. There are several ways to do this:

  • Include an update clause in your privacy policy;
  • Send an email informing people about the changes;
  • Announce the changes via a pop-up on your website.
  • Be sure your employees understand GDPR by training them

safe-and-compliant

You can also ensure your business is compliant by constantly informing and training your employees.

Employees will probably be handling sensitive information as well, so they need to be aware of all the legal practices, what they may do, the user’s rights, and what they can’t do.

You should invest in their training for this reason. You can give them video tutorials or relevant documents that clearly describe the regulations, for example.

Aside from that, you can prepare some individual documents to deliver to employees responsible for handling the personal information of users. With these documents, you can specify how employees should perform their duties and the procedures to follow. 

This way, you will be certain they will act according to the law, ensuring the maximum level of legal protection for your business.

Ensure that your employees have access to all these informational resources at any time. So that they may resolve their doubts quickly and proceed with their tasks without interruptions or delays.

Conclusions on creating a safe and compliant company 

We’re at the end of this article about three ways to ensure your business is safe and compliant.

The introduction of GDPR had many consequences for all kinds of businesses. Moreover, as the internet continues to develop, this regulation will become even more complex and refined, requiring even more sophisticated monitoring of sensitive information.

As for now, complying with this regulation will spare your business from heavy fines and financial penalties that could compromise its stability.

As stated in this article, there are many ways you can ensure compliance; some of the most effective are: using anti-fraud software, updating your privacy policy, and informing your team.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope it was helpful and insightful for you.

You can learn more about privacy regulations by visiting Osano’s blog. There you’ll find detailed articles and guides on the subject.

4 Negotiation Tactics that Every Business Can Use

negotiation

Four Negotiation Tactics That Any Business Can Employ

Whether it’s asking your boss to assign you a two-day off or establishing a B2B trade, it is never easy to negotiate as one does not know the intentions of the person sitting on the other side of the table. Knowing how to negotiate is a skill that one develops from knowledge and information about both the trader and the traded. Every business needs negotiation tactics that can help direct their actions in the right direction to achieve the desired results. So, we are going over the 4 best negotiation tips to help you win your business deal. 

Let’s take a look.

  1.     Ask open-ended questions

To know your counterpart’s threshold, you must ask them open-ended questions. Allow them to speak more so that you can understand what they want. 

Let’s say that you are sitting on the table for a factory equipment deal. You can ask questions like:

  • How about we buy 12 instead of 10 pieces of factory equipment  from you, will you offer any discounts then?
  • Will you provide after-sales support if need be?

Such questions will give you an idea about how much extra your counterpart is willing to offer. 

  1.     Figure out their vulnerabilities

Your counterpart will try to get the better end of the deal. To counter that, you must know where their pain points are. Think like your counterpart, what they do or don’t want. Robust analysis of your counterpart will help you know more about their capabilities and pain points. So, if they try to take advantage of your vulnerabilities, you know where to hit. 

negotiation

  1.     Give them a number

Another strategy is called the bogey strategy. In this tactic, you give a budget to the counterpart, which is a touch lower than your actual budget. You tell them that you cannot afford anything above a certain price. Coming back to the ship example, you tell your counterpart that you can only afford to spend $1million for the ship, of which your actual budget is $1.5 million. Through this tactic, negotiation slightly bends in your favor. Even if your counterpart wants to negotiate further, they can only ask you to increase your budget a bit. In other words, you may end up buying the ship for approximately $1.1 million. 

  1.     Always have your deadlines in place.

Deadlines force people to take action. However, in negotiations, deadlines are often not honored because of the lack of mutual consent between the two parties. But that does not mean that talks should go on endlessly. You must set your deadlines as your time and effort are precious. If the deal is eating up a lot of your time, try changing the mediator, manager, or the deal itself. At last, if it still does not work out then, it might be time to call it quite. 

Final Thoughts on Negotiation

Negotiations are a part of daily business life. They can happen internally between an employee and their boss or externally between the two businesses. To be a perfect negotiator, you must know what you and your counterpart expect from the deal. Ask them open-ended questions to figure out what they want from your business and how far they are willing to go for the deal. Also, it would help if you spent ample time researching their vulnerabilities. Use the bogey technique to play safe and keep your deadlines intact. You must know the last date until which you are willing to negotiate. By using these techniques, you will always have the upper hand. 

5 Tips for Coaching Your Employees to Improve Performance

coaching

Coaching encourages and enables a new way of thinking and supports the application of newly acquired knowledge through concrete actions. With its specific approach, this enables much faster achievement of desired goals and results, as well as faster and easier realization of lasting positive changes in behavior. In today’s demanding environment, whether professional or private, expectations are high, and coaching supports us to fulfill them faster and easier. In business teams, coaching employees to improve performance is an opportunity for all to enhance their potential and achieve goals in a desirable manner. With that in mind and a series of research activities behind us, we bring five best pieces of advice all employers will find useful when considering how to improve employee performance.

Five Tips for Coaching Your Employees to Increase Their Performance

 

Make an Efficient Performance Improvement Plan

The challenge is to create an efficient strategy to increase productivity. In this regard, your coaching plan for employees to improve their performance should cover these key aspects:

  • Goal – Companies need to precisely establish the employee’s level of production. As a consequence, they will identify what to expect and are more inclined to face the performance objectives challenge.
  • Action Plan – Successful businesses have a clear-cut set of measures with a precise roadmap. The performance problem will be solved after specifying the actions, means, and include individual ideas of each operator. Annual performance reviews will also do a great job.
  • Checkpoints – Companies should set dates for reviewing an employee’s advancement and recognize where something can increase. A smart move would be to include writing research paper as an extra measure for performance coaching.
  • How to scale – It is impossible to check how successful your approach is without adequate analysis. Therefore, companies must make their remarks when coaching requires so and to receive personal feedback from subordinates. Feedback is particularly important when administering a company remotely and goes beyond the traditional performance management approach. Also, year-end performance appraisals should be proposed by a coach whenever possible.

Motivate Them with an Opportunity to Advance

coaching

When their job is always reduced to the same job or when the job is at one point, it starts to suffocate the employee engagement and work performance. The same job, the same position, without any indication or chance for advancement can demotivate even the most ambitious team members.

But you can turn it around and coach! If you offer them a possibility to advance, your coworkers will be motivated to try harder and be more productive. Here’s a simple tip – instead of hiring someone new, just promote an employee who is already in the company. This will raise the motivation and productivity of all workers in your company.

However, promotion does not always mean a raise and a new position. Promotion can also be in the form of a training, a course, or by boosting resources with a good coach. Motivate an employee by offering him/her a chance to develop skills and enrich knowledge. And as a result, they will be much more enthusiastic about working for you.

Express More Confidence when Coaching

Some workers naturally have higher self-confidence than others, and leaders need to be conscious of this. Regardless of when leaders include employees in the company’s prospect, decision-making methods, and coaching strategy, they nearly invariably boost their trust.

Of course, if the employee does not deliver optimal outcomes, you will have to notify them. Nor does it indicate that a manager should underestimate the role of employee feedback and benefactions. Studies show that nearly 98% of workers achieve more meticulously when they feel assured. This is another area where adequate coaching can step up.

Help Them to Step Out of Their Comfort Zone by Coaching

The goal here is not to exhaust and demotivate anyone. The goal of this technique is to get out of their comfort zone in order to show additional qualities that they did not show due to nervousness, fear.

Here we also have types of workers who “sneak in” after a while and do not have any passion for progress as when they were just hired. People need to be motivated to further learn and grow. Coaches should inspire them to combine work and education, among other methods. Also, you need to always be ready to help and provide an answer to employee’s questions. Organize a meeting or coaching conversations and share any experience they can see valuable.

Additional Methods for Effective Employee Performance

Before concluding the performance coaching advices, we think that improved performance can be also based on the following aspects:

  • Create a culture of feedback: A manager needs to create a perception based on the team’s feedback. Moreover, open-ended discussion inspires all employees to emit their voices and rise in the workplace.
  • Build emotional intelligence: Successful managers have a high degree of self-awareness, which leads to greater emotional aptitude. When you have developed emotional intelligence, you can better understand employees far more.
  • Get to know individual strengths and weaknesses: Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and the same goes for company managers. Acknowledging depths and frailties empowers leaders to apply the best coaching strategies to their employees.

Conclusion on Coaching

Coaching is a relatively new area in whose importance is recognized by more and more companies. The effects achieved through a good coaching process prove that individuals and managers opt for coaching because the methods and techniques are quickly applicable. The world’s leading companies, such as Microsoft and Ikea, have a developed and organizational coaching culture that drives their success. With that in mind, new businesses are also advised to take part in this process, just like an already running organization that wants to build up.

How to Create the Ideal Company Wiki in 5 Simple Steps

company-wiki

In Five Simple Steps, Create the Ideal Company Wiki

Want to keep your knowledge and content private yet accessible to only your associates? Then a company wiki is your best bet—it’s a wiki you don’t have to share with the public.

A company wiki is a perfect solution for teams working within a company on projects together. Only those can access the company wiki you allow, and all your content is private and secure. So it’s perfect for storing sensitive data or work methods.

A company wiki can help in numerous ways; some significant ones are as under:

  • It helps make a new hire’s onboarding process easier
  • It Ignites your team’s productivity by saving the time they search for information
  • It helps tackle errors in documentation, as it can be a collaborative process
  • It stores the vision, goals, and style of your company to communicate will all
  • It helps answer technical questions to avoid being asked over and over again

A company wiki is an essential asset for any company, big or small. Hence, this article will teach you how to create the ideal company wiki in 5 simple steps:

  1. Select a wiki software that caters to your company needs
  2. Structure your company’s wiki
  3. Create and upload the information
  4. Circulate the company’s wiki within the company
  5. Keep adding the new information

Five steps to an ideal company wiki:

  1. Select a wiki software that caters to your company needs

For an ideal company wiki, you need an ideal wiki software that runs it. With a multitude of options to choose from, it can be challenging to find the gem. However, we have done the research and found the best for you.

If you want to use a company wiki to help your team stay organized and keep the content up-to-date, Slite is the ideal software to create a wiki. It is a company wiki software that is easy to use and set up. With its clutter-free interface, you’ll have an excellent company wiki that everyone will use.

  1. Structure your company’s wiki

Once you have chosen the right company wiki software, you are ready to populate it with the information. However, you will first need to structure it.

If you’ve got a lot of information to share, make sure to categorize and sub-categorize it in order to make the platform more user-friendly and easy to navigate. The idea is to create a hierarchy of information. For instance, think of the three main sections as Tiers.

  • In Tier 1, you should have the departments
  • In Tier 2, you should have the functions of those departments
  • In Tier 3, you should have the different tasks those functions do

To Elucidate, the HR department’s function to onboard new hires should be structured as a subcategory of the main HR category. In this subcategory, you can place the documents, guides, or tutorials for the newly-in employees.

Similarly, you should structure the information on your company’s wiki by dividing it into the functions of central departments so that it remains clutter-free. However, this structure is not the thumb rule but an example. Since you know your company well, you should structure your company’s wiki in an easy-to-use way for everyone in your company.

Having done with structuring your company’s wiki leads you to the next step that is to populate it with the information.

  1. Create and upload the information for your company wiki

company-wiki

Once you have structured the wiki, it’s time to put some flesh on it. At this stage, you will need the help of the heads of each department of your company.

Since the heads are the ones dealing with the technical things of their departments, they can tell what things are to be incorporated in the company’s new wiki. For instance, the head of HR must have the knowledge of frequently asked queries of the employees. Hence, you must have them create an HR FAQs page under the HR main category.

Similarly, the marketing head may know more about your company’s style; hence, you can request them to help communicate the style effectively. Also, they can have templates such as marketing plans uploaded on the company’s wiki.

Besides domain-related knowledge, there are certain things such as a company’s vision, mission statement, expectations from employees, general guidelines that need to be circulated within everyone. For that, your company wiki should also have a dedicated general page.

At this stage, you should create and upload all of the general information. Then, as the wiki goes live, you can allow the desired employees to edit or add new information.

In the beginning, your company’s wiki may look like a newborn having little knowledge or information. However, it will mature as more employees will be allowed to edit or add the information over time.

  1. Circulate the company’s wiki within the company

Voila, it’s time to invite your employees to the hub of information they need within the company. Your company’s wiki is ready to go live after you have structured and added the pre-existing information.

The company’s wiki will let your employees collaborate without having to use other applications. Here, they can share every form of information, such as audio, video, image, text, etc., with each other. Furthermore, since it is a collaborative platform, it makes it easier for the employees to have feedback, direction, and brief on the projects they are working on.

By contributing new information, the wiki will mature over time and become the go-to resource for any employee that needs clarification or a solution to a problem.

  1. Keep adding the new information

Since the company’s wiki is created to save employees’ time who seek clarifications to their queries, you must keep it up-to-date.

Whenever an employee’s mind lights up with a question, the answer should already exist in the company’s wiki. If it doesn’t exist, it should then be added in case the same question pinches another employee someday later.

It will save everyone’s time; hence, keeping the wiki up-to-date will contribute to the company’s overall productivity.

Conclusion on creating a company wiki

If you do steps one through five, you’ll have an ideal company wiki that your employees will turn to when they need information.

By setting up a wiki, you’re increasing your company’s overall productivity because your employees will be able to find the information they need quickly and use that time to work on something else.

Also, It’s crucial to make your wiki as easy to use as possible. It should also be easy to add, edit, and update.

7 Important Pre-Employment Tips Every HR Should Know and Follow

pre-employment
“Hire right because the penalties of hiring wrong are huge.”
  • Ray Dalio

Hiring the right people goes a long way to maximize cost, save time, and bring in a high return on investment for your company. Pre-employment can be a difficult process to overcome.

Undercover Recruiter reports that hiring a bad hire can cost about $240,000 in expenses, and CareerBuilder says nearly three in four employers are affected by a poor hire. 

To avoid the dire consequences of hiring the wrong employees, you must pay attention to your pre-employment process. This is so you can hire the right people who will contribute immensely to your company’s growth. 

This article will walk you through the seven practical ways to create an excellent pre-employment process that brings the right candidates for your organization.

Let’s get into it.

7 Pre-employment tips for selecting the best candidates 

There are seven critical tips to follow when looking to hire the best candidates for your company. They are practical and can help make your recruiting process a lot more effective. Let’s check them out below:

  • Invest in recruitment marketing for pre-employment

If you are looking to hire the best talents for a role, you have to invest in effective marketing that reaches and attracts the right people.

 Effective recruitment comes with approaching the recruitment process with a marketing mindset, just like you would when attracting new customers. 

The best way to hire the most qualified candidates is by studying the three stages —awareness, consideration, and decision stages —  of their journey with your company.

pre-employment

In the awareness stage, your candidates become aware of your job vacancy. There’s also the consideration stage where prospective candidates evaluate your company and the position available to see if it’s a good fit. And there’s the decision stage, where your prospective candidates decide to apply for the job. 

It’s essential to know that each of these stages requires different approaches to be successful. For example, suppose you want to generate enough awareness to reach the suitable candidates and get them to consider the positions in your company. This means you need to invest in promoting your employer brand across several platforms. 

What reputation do you have with your employees? What is your employee culture, and what are the perks of working with your organization? You want to ensure you put these positives out there for your candidates to see. Because apart from the pay, the best talents want to work in an environment that lets them grow and be better. 

By highlighting your employee benefits, work culture, and work environment, you will be able to answer your top talents’ most prominent questions and they will be able to make a decision to work with you. 

  • Ask for referrals during pre-employment

Asking for referrals from your existing employees or partners increases your chances of hiring the best candidates. This is because your current employees or working partners are more likely to have people with similar skill sets in their circle. 

Apart from this, asking for referrals comes with tons of benefits. First, they help speed up the hiring process because the referred candidates are most likely qualified and can save your team the rigor of pre-screening stages.

Secondly, the onboarding process is a lot easier. This is because the candidates are already familiar with at least one of your employees who can help with explaining the company’s culture and values.

Thirdly, referrals are excellent ways to actively engage the rest of the team in the recruitment process, which increases your chances of reaching a pool of talents to hire. 

To seek referrals from your employees, send emails stating the vacant positions available and highlighting the skills, requirements, and qualifications required to fill the positions.

Also, show them how you would like them to send the candidates your way. For example, would you prefer they send the details of the candidates through your email, or would you prefer they connect you directly to the candidate while you and your team take it from there? 

Stating your expectations clearly can help your employees recommend suitable candidates following the proper procedures to simplify recruitment. 

  • Conduct pre-employment skills testing 

Pre-employment skills testing is one of the most critical parts of your recruitment process that should be carried out effectively to hire the best candidates for a role. 

It is how you know a candidate has what it takes to perform excellently in a role. Pre-employment skills testing is of different types. There are soft skills tests, hard skills tests, role-specific tests, personality tests, culture fit tests, cognitive ability tests, and many more. 

Conducting these tests goes a long way in streamlining the number of qualified candidates you have for a role and selecting the best talents among the eligible candidates.

It also helps you save big on recruitment costs and reduces time-to-hire. As a result, you will spend less time on the wrong candidates and avoid the expenses of replacing bad hires. 

  • Create great experiences for candidates

Top talents are concerned about how a company treats them. This experience starts from the time your candidates get to know about your job all through to the recruitment process. So, you must make the recruitment process as seamless as possible for your candidates.

Start with making the initial application process straightforward. Keep your candidates informed throughout the process, from the details about the interview’s time, dates, and requirements to your expectations during the assessment process. 

Another way to keep the experience positive for your candidates is to provide constructive feedback when necessary. 

For example, if a candidate wasn’t hired due to a failed assessment or not meeting specific requirements, it’s good to inform the candidates that your company won’t be hiring them and why. 

The timely and constructive feedback can help the candidate move on to seeking opportunities in other places early; it can also enlighten them on their shortcomings to find ways to improve to be qualified for future opportunities. 

Also, you will be able to leave a positive impression of your company in the minds of your candidates, which can help with future collaborations. 

  • Collaborate effectively with the team

Hiring suitable candidates is teamwork. It is, therefore, essential to carry everyone in the team along in the process. 

While you will be in charge of the execution as the hiring manager, you will also need to carry the executives, the financial adviser, and the rest of the human resources team along throughout the process.

Also, inform other employees outside your team ahead of time if you need their help with the recruitment process. 

For example, if you need the design team to come up with graphics for the job ad or the social media manager to post the job ads across the social channels, they should know what is expected beforehand. 

Keep the communication open and consistent to keep everyone involved in the hiring process updated every step of the way. This will go a long way in facilitating the recruitment process to achieve the right outcome. 

  • Understand that it’s never a one-size-fit

It’s important to know that although it’s good to have a system to guide you through the recruiting process as a company, it’s also critical to understand the system won’t be applicable in all cases. 

There will be exceptions, situations where you have to develop new processes to meet unusual cases. 

For example, in situations where there’s an overflow of work, you need new hands to help the existing employees urgently, or for cases where more than two employees leave the organization without notice. 

There would be a need to come up with new processes to tackle these urgent needs. 

The effectiveness of a recruitment pre-employment stage is its ability to consistently meet the organizations’ current needs. It must therefore be open to change and improvement as new situations arise and as the company evolves. 

  • Be proactive 

Proper planning is the secret of any successful pre-employment process. This means none of the activities in the pre-employment stage should be an afterthought; every process should be designed to make the employment process a success. 

This involves setting expectations and goals and predicting the outcome of the pre-employment stage to make the best decisions. 

Understand the present stage of staff. Stay updated on who would be retiring or resigning from the organization soon so you can work towards finding a replacement before the employees leave the organization. 

Remember, the success of your pre-employment stage depends highly on how well you plan and how effectively you execute your plans. One way to ensure a practical planning and execution process is to stay proactive. 

Conclusion on Pre-Employment

pre-employment

An effective pre-employment process saves your company from bad hiring decisions. This article discussed seven practical tips to introduce into your pre-employment process to enable your company to hire the best talents.

These tips include marketing your company’s employee benefits effectively, asking for referrals, conducting pre-employment skill tests, delivering great candidate experiences, keeping everyone in the team updated, keeping the system open to change, and being proactive in the processes. 

Use these tips to improve your pre-employment process and enable the recruiting team to hire the best-qualified candidates for the job.

Author Bio:
Lydia Iseh is a writer with years of experience in writing SEO content that provides value to the reader. As someone who believes in the power of SEO to transform businesses, she enjoys being part of the process that helps websites rank high on search engines.

Factors to Consider When Writing a Great Business Plan

business-plan

A business plan sounds so strict, serious, and a little intimidating. It’s a particularly scary word for young entrepreneurs who have never drafted a business plan before. However, as long as you have a winning business idea, you should not be afraid to implement it in life. Thus, at some point, you’ll need to start working on that business plan. Don’t fall in despair, though. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. You can simply follow the common steps of writing such a plan. To do so, just follow the five main factors we mention in the article.

 

Consider the Following When Writing a Strong Business Plan

 

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a breaking point in your pursuit. This concept turns your vision and dreams into reality. Thus, it turns your idea into something tangible. You should be able to put your idea on paper, plan it out, and decide on every needed step. Your business idea should look like a concrete strategy for turning your dream into reality by the time you finish your plan.

Of course, you don’t write such a plan only for yourself. This document is for your future sponsors, partners and employees. Hence, your plan should be professional, clear, and convincing. Don’t worry. You can always ask writers from study bay for professional writing tips or help with composition and edition. Overall, your business plan should always consider all necessary steps for making your idea work. Thus, it should include around five factors. These are the future strategy, people involved, finances, marketing, and operation. Let’s have a closer look at all five of them.

Strategy

business-plan

The first stage of your plan should always be an introduction. Thus, you get to explain your idea. Write why you think it is a good one. Start with factors that make it special so others will get invested in further reading. Here, you write what you plan to do with this idea. Hence, you briefly draft the strategy and outcomes you expect. Outline the purpose of it all. Explain what niche it is going to take and what goals it pursues. End with explaining how you are going to gain profits. This part is everything your future investors or partners are interested in, so make it count.

Execution while writing your business plan

At this stage, you explain all the operational elements of your business. Hence, this step answers all the ‘how’ in your plan. You should write down how you will run your business including the type of the organization you want to have and how you will implement it. Detail all the technical and operational issues. Thus, here, you show the upwards of your business. Start with the leadership team, explaining how the system of hierarchy works in your business. Next, move to the predicted point of your first profits. Then, show how you expect to achieve it. Overall, explain every little build of how your idea can work as a business.

Marketing

In our modern world of tight competition, marketing can make or break a new business. Explain to the people your marketing approach. Find the right ways to get noticed by the public. Show several marketing strategies that aim to attract, win over, and gain customers’ loyalty. Don’t forget to stress out your online marketing strategy, as this is where the real game happens. You may even seek out some unemployed professors who can explain marketing strategies in great detail if you want.

Finances

Here, everything is rather simple. You should write down your predictions, or better calculations, on how much money your business needs. Thus, you get to outline all your expenses. See what type of working space you need and how much that is going to cost you. Perhaps, you just need a website and social media presence. See how you plan to advertise your product. Plan how many people you need on your team to start off with your plan. Try to predict how many employees you may need if the business takes off. Overall, the financial factor is often the hardest one to predict and implement into life. However, this step is crucial for a reliable and good business plan.

Team

A good business plan will mention the people needed for the work. Overall, here you state what professionals you need to run your business. The people on your team play an essential role in your future success. So, already having good specialists on the team will help convince investors to believe in your idea. Overall, the people factor in a business plan is often among the most influential ones. Make sure you pay enough attention here.

The bottom line of your business plan

business-plan

These five factors should serve you as the crux of your future work. However, it’s not enough to learn only about your future enterprise. Remember to make adjustments to all plans and presentations depending on the audience. The people you present this plan for play a huge role in your future success. After all, your main goal here is to make people believe in yourself. Sometimes, you can achieve it with pure facts, numbers and graphs. Sometimes, though, you get to win people over with passion and ambitions.