How to Increase Employee Happiness and Improve Productivity

Employee-Happiness

If you are a business owner or team leader struggling to improve productivity within the workplace or team, then you have come to the right place! Here is how you can improve workplace productivity by increasing employee happiness.

How does employee happiness affect productivity?

Happy and motivated employees are proven indicators of productivity, and as a result, better profitability. To enhance overall business success, it is suggested that you start with improving the happiness and wellbeing of your employees.  

If your employees feel appreciated and valued by the company, they are more likely to be productive and deterred from quitting. Therefore, employee happiness is crucial in lengthening the longevity of your business! 

Rewarding employee performance

One way to boost employee happiness is to of course offer employee rewards and bonuses – whether this is a cash prize, or something like gift cards or a free trip to somewhere, these rewards can help to increase employee happiness.  

Additionally, as these rewards act like incentives, it may motivate employees to perform better and work harder at their tasks if it means receiving a reward in return! You need to show that their contributions to the company are extremely valued and appreciated, so rewarding excellent employee performance is a must.  

Boosting morale and wellbeing

Employee-Happiness

Happy employees mean high morale and wellbeing – how to achieve this? Implement things that encourage this such as a biking to work scheme or discounts on gym memberships, or, and possibly the popular of the bunch, support flexible working arrangements.  

If your company survived the COVID-19 pandemic, your employees would have most likely worked from home during the lockdowns, but if you have recently enforced full-time office working, you may want to consider offering work from home solutions. 

Working from home can boost your employees’ wellbeing as it can improve their work-life balance – and, they may find it easier to work from home anyway, eradicating commute times, so productivity is enhanced regardless. 

It may also be worthwhile to actually take the time to know your employees on a personal level – remember their birthdays, significant life events or anniversaries, and surprising them with a gift, may just be the motivation for their happiness.  

Cultivating a positive work environment

Happy employees can influence the work environment positively, so you need to ensure that your employees are thriving within the workplace. Fostering a safe and comfortable space for your employees to work in is crucial when it comes to increasing employee happiness and productivity.  

In addition to this, when it comes to feedback surveys, you may find your employees to be more honest and genuine as you have empowered them to feel safe and have trust in the company to be truthful. 

How to create such an environment? Encourage and support your employees both individually and as a team. You should consider planning company events to build relationships and rapport between employees, as well as having absolutely no tolerance for discrimination nor workplace bullying and harassment.

Overall, it is clear that you must be willing to actively listen to your employees whenever they have concerns and problems so that they feel that you do care and value them. In doing so, you will see a boost in morale, and thus naturally improve productivity.  

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Is OOH advertising only for big brands? Let’s discuss

The marketing expert Neil Patel explains that out-of-home (OOH) advertising “refers to the process of reaching consumers while they are, you guessed it, out of their homes.”

Patel insists that, though “this may conjure images of NYC Times Square billboards, there are many mediums that qualify as out-of-home advertising.” He cites not only billboards but also bus stops, point-of-sale displays and even blimps as places where OOH advertising can be displayed.

Nonetheless, given how often billboards are associated with well-known brands and major companies, you could have assumed that your own business is too small to even have the option of OOH media. Would this perception be borne out by the facts?

If you run a small business, should you consider using OOH advertising media?

Advertising

The simple answer is yes — and one simple reason why is that many small businesses are already engaging in OOH advertising. Home Business states: “Believe it or not, roughly seven out of ten outdoor ads promote local businesses.”

Of course, as we have already seen, billboards are far from the only option when it comes to OOH advertising. However, you could be stunned to learn that, even as the owner of a small business, you don’t necessarily need to rule out going specifically for billboard advertising.

That’s because, though the cost of billboards can admittedly vary depending on what market your business occupies, billboards remain — on the whole — surprisingly affordable to use for advertising purposes.

Generally, utilizing billboards in this way is far cheaper than TV, magazine, and newspaper advertising. In fact, Home Business enthuses: “Outdoor ads deliver the best value — in terms of cost-per-thousand impressions — of any type of advertising, including digital.”

Even if your business is a start-up, you could gently ease it into OOH advertising by taking advantage of a start-up accelerator scheme. One good example of one is the Clear Start programme run by Clear Channel, the UK-based provider of OOH advertising space.

OOH isn’t just inexpensive — it’s also great value

There can naturally be quite a marked difference between the upfront price of something and the long-term value it delivers. Fortunately, there is good reason for you to believe that, if you do invest in using OOH advertising, it will more than pay for itself.

Numerous Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) figures relayed by Home Business are testament to OOH advertising’s effectiveness.

The revelations in these figures include that, of people who have seen an outdoor ad, 41% are more likely to find out about the advertised brand, while 58% have searched the web as a direct result.

Of course, it helps that, when someone sees an OOH ad, they can’t simply choose to turn off the ad like they probably would if it was an online ad where this was an option.

Similarly, while it is possible to install plugins known as ‘ad blockers’ on web browsers and consequently avoid having to see a wide array of online ads in the first place, OOH ads can’t be blocked in this manner.

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Teamwork Makes the Dream Work – 7 Ways Teams can Collaborate

Effective teamwork is crucial in any business, especially when it comes to improving productivity and overall employee wellbeing and performance. So in what ways can teamwork happen? Here are 7 ways teams can effectively collaborate.

1. Workflow management software

Implementing a workflow management, or a project management software like Trello or Asana is the perfect way to boost not only collaboration, but also efficiency, as the team is able to monitor and see everyone’s progress so that you’re all on the same page. With this software, you’re able to manage tasks and collaborate with others as you’re able to make comments, add deadlines, etc.  

2. A safe pace for ideation and sharing ideas

It’s recommended that in order to foster collaboration, you must first cultivate an environment where everyone feels comfortable to share their ideas and listen to others. If you’re a team leader in particular, it’s vital that you empower your team members to be able to actively listen and share ideas with each other to improve collaboration.  

3. Shared workspace/centralized drive

A simple method that teams can use to collaborate is to just have a shared workspace or centralized drive that everyone has access to. This enables your team to look at, download, or upload relevant documents that can be accessed by others easily. As a result, there’s no hassle when it comes to sending and receiving emails which may be delayed for any reason.

4. Instant messaging apps

Particularly for remote teams, Microsoft Teams is perfect for your communications system as this allows instant communication, regardless of whether or not the other person is online at the same time. With instant messaging apps, your team members can adequately communicate with each other, enhancing collaboration and productivity.  

Teamwork

5. Screen sharing

A feature that is sometimes overlooked in the evolution of communication technology is the screen sharing function. With screen sharing, your team, especially if some members are remote, are able to collaborate in a unique way. Your team members have the ability to share their screen, showing any relevant and important information to other members that they may be struggling with or would like to share.  

6. Editing documents in real-time

Microsoft Teams has a function that enables you to edit documents with others simultaneously. By being able to edit the same document in real-time, with every change or comment being added as soon as someone types it, this is a time-efficient way of collaborating when working on a document with another team member. Don’t forget about this convenient feature that’s ideal for any last minute document writing.  

7. Call and video conferencing

As communication is key in collaboration, it’s worthwhile hosting team meetings regularly. Call or video conferencing options are available on a range of platforms, so you’ll never be out of options when it comes to this. Whilst instant messaging is useful, it’s also valuable to be able to see or physically speak to other members of the team – to catch up on their tasks and build a rapport in the meantime. 

And there you have it – just few ways that you can encourage teamwork in your business.

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8 Digital Marketing Strategies for a Successful Startup

Digital-Marketing-Strategies

Starting a business from the ground up is a challenging process. Apart from your investors, family, and close friends, no one really knows about your products whether you’re selling t-shirts online or gadgets and offering services until you actively promote them. Getting the word out is what marketing is for, but where to begin is a challenge in itself. Digital marketing strategies are very integral to the success of your business.

Digital marketing is perhaps the best route a startup can take because of how accessible it is, regardless of your budget. Digital marketing is a wide and diverse field, but here are eight of the best practices that some successful startups have employed in their own business strategies.

1. Create digital marketing strategies

One can’t talk about digital marketing without mentioning content marketing, the process by which a business creates, publishes, and promotes relevant content to its target audience.

Every startup should begin by analyzing the market and identifying its audience. After all, a great product or service is all for naught if the people who are most likely to avail of such are not aware that the business exists.

2. Build a clear brand identity

Digital-Marketing-Strategies

You have to set yourself apart from the competition, and that means building a brand identity that is both unique and practical. Every startup has to figure out its name and logo since these will appear everywhere, from your website to your social media pages to your printed marketing materials.

Your logo and brand name don’t have to be complicated, but you should make sure they’re easily recognizable. They should also tell the story of your brand.

3. Advertise on Google

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a form of marketing where you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Google Ads is a type of PPC wherein you can place ads on Google’s search engine and the entire Google Display Network.

If your ad wins the bid for a specific keyword, your ad will appear on the first page whenever someone searched for that keyword on Google. It can be tricky to figure out what keywords to use or how to write the copy for the ad, that’s why it’s recommended to partner with a Google Ads expert.

4. Use social media to raise brand awareness

Advertising on social media is perhaps the best digital marketing strategy to build brand awareness. It’s hard to grow your social media pages organically since there is a lot of content online competing for the limited attention of your target market. This means that you have to regularly churn out fresh and up-to-date content so that people would know that your business is active.

5. Don’t dismiss email marketing

For the naysayers that say email marketing is dead, a report shows each $1 spent in email marketing has a return on investment of roughly $44. However, you have to craft personalized emails to urge customers or clients to actually open their mails and browse through your website. Personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened so make sure it’s not only catchy and engaging but also specifically targeted to the client.

6. Build a customer service program

Traditionally, customer service is a totally different aspect of the business from marketing but social media has changed that. Businesses who provide subpar customer service may find themselves in hot water when users complain online of a bad experience they had dealing with you. Mind you, news travels fast. Naturally, it’s less likely that you will attract new customers if you’ve gained a bad reputation from the public.

7. Run retargeting ads

Digital-Marketing-Strategies

Sometimes, people are just not ready to make a purchase the first time they visit your website. This is where retargeting ads come in. Retargeting is most effective when you present clients with a special or limited-time offer. This is pursuant to the scarcity principle that people are most likely to purchase something from you if they feel that the supply is limited.

8. Invest in Search Engine Optimization

SEO is optimizing your website so that it will rank higher in the results pages of search engines. People are less likely to scroll down or move to the next page of results if they’ve already found what they’re looking for on the first few websites. Higher ranking could mean more traffic coming into your website. A lot of companies invest heavily in SEO because it’s efficient in getting traffic to your website without paying for ads.

Final Thoughts on Digital Marketing Strategies

The deluge of competition will make it an uphill battle for any startup. New businesses must also consider if there is a demand for their products and the logistics that come into delivering these products into the hands of consumers, apart from marketing. Digital marketing ensures that your intended audience is aware of what you have to offer. It takes time to build a presence, but in time and with enough hard work, you will see considerable traffic to your online pages.

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An Essential Guide To Building A Company Warehouse

Without warehouses, the supply chain will not thrive, leaving customers, manufacturers, retailers, and suppliers waiting for essential items for weeks and months. More importantly, the global e-Commerce industry will only be as robust as it is today if not for these commercial spaces. A warehouse is vital to any businesswhether an online merchant or notthat sells physical goods. With proper storage areas and fulfillment systems, companies can store their inventory, have them packaged, and shipped out to customers most efficiently. 

According to estimates, there were 151,000 warehouses worldwide in 2020. The continuing online shopping boom is seen to drive the numbers to 180,000 by 2025. If you’re planning to build one for your business, check out this guide for some insightful ideas. 

  • Be Clear With Your Company’s Objectives

As with any significant business movement, building a company warehouse requires owners to have clear goals for the project. What are the company’s priorities, and how does having a warehouse align with its vision?

The answer to this question must be clear from the get-go. Your company is bound to make poor choices in the location, design, and other essential warehousing elements unless you’ve settled on what your business hopes to accomplish. Additionally, it’s important to understand the firm’s current performance as a benchmark, so your company can set measurable objectives.

  • Set A Budget for Your Warehouse

The cost of building a warehouse varies greatly and depends on various factors such as location, size, materials, and layout. Apart from building construction, companies will also have to spend on industrial equipment for handling materials, stocking goods, and automating the process.

Companies should consider the following cost factors when erecting a warehouse:

Warehouse

  • Building construction costs 
  • Office equipment 
  • Warehouse management system (WMS) software
  • Positioning devices like clamps, worktables, etc.
  • Transport equipment like forklifts
  • Storage tools like shelves, pallet racks 
  • Packing and shipping equipment like boxes, pouches, bags, label printers, and scales
  • Barcoding and scanning devices

Operational expenses like fuel costs, maintenance costs, warehouse staff wages, electricity bills, and consumables must also be considered.

  • Identifying The Right Location  

As with any other real estate transaction, location is a significant consideration in setting up your business warehouse. Ideally, your warehouse must be strategically placed and accessible to your staff, suppliers, transport, and shipment hubs.

Is it easy to scale?

A forward-looking company must also think about its future operations. Consider how much tax rates your company has to pay in the location and whether the area is suitable for expansion or future operations. Visiting several potential sites and knowing the locality’s development plan can be helpful before deciding where to build the warehouse.

Workforce issues

Despite the automation of some warehousing operations, human intervention is still needed in various tasks like picking and packing. More importantly, staff members must operate the WMS and other software tools. 

Relocating interstate workers to the newly built warehouse can be challenging, and some might refuse or quit. That said, ensuring workforce availability in your chosen warehouse location is crucial. Hiring staff members with warehousing experience is best, but you can give trainable workers with the right attitude a chance.

  • Size, Design, And Layout of Your Warehouse

These have got to be three of the most critical components of a warehouse—yet it can be easy for businesses to make mistakes in one or all of them. 

In most cases, company warehouses are built to improve the fulfillment process. These include sourcing raw materials, storing inventory, shipping the products to customers, receiving and processing, or picking and packing the goods. Within these processes are workflows that optimize efficiency by improving space usage, inventory management, and the safety features of warehousing operations. 

Size requirements

An excessively large warehouse leads to high operational costs, while an undersized one can lead to inefficiencies. Either way, wrongly estimating your warehouse size requirement is a costly mistake.

There’s no standard warehouse size, as business and consumer needs are always shifting. But the need for larger spaces has been noted in a study by the real estate services company CBRE. Comparing current and previous demand peaks, the company found out that the average warehouse size built in the US between 2012 and 2017 increased by 108,665 square feet compared to 2002 and 2007 figures.

Nevertheless, it’s vital to consider your entire business operations when assessing your needs. Think about the types of products you keep and the warehouse’s inventory movement. Once you’re done contemplating the size, you can proceed and think about the warehouse space and layout.

Design and layout

Warehouse

Besides storage capacity, you must allot space for other tasks like sorting, inventory, packing, and shipping. You’d also have to include the office area and additional workflows specific to your business type. These elements will decide how your warehouse will look and influence your decisions, including the ceiling height, column spacing, etc.

Think about how your operations will look once everything is set up. Visualize how the materials are placed in the warehouse, where they go, and how they are sorted. Additionally, consider the next stages involved in picking, packing, and shipping. This step is crucial whether you operate a physical or online store, or both. 

Establishing the flow of materials inside the warehouse and maintaining worker accessibility and safety are paramount before deciding on the design. A poorly designed warehouse will hamper the entire warehousing operations and expose your staff to certain occupational risks. 

Contractors often have experienced in-house warehouse designers who can help you with this crucial construction planning component. Before sealing the deal, ask for a copy of the design and conduct a final analysis of the product flows, equipment placements, and staff positioning.

  • Choosing The Right Contractor

After going through your company’s objectives and warehouse size, design, and layout, choosing a contractor comes next. Picking the right warehouse building experts to work with is crucial in making your vision come to life. The contractor should provide valuable warehouse construction insights and ensure the project stays on track. 

Here’s how to do it: 

  • Ask other businesses for referrals. 
  • Read the reviews and contact at least one of their previous clients.
  • Make a shortlist of three to five companies and ensure that they’re reputable and experienced in building commercial warehouses. 
  • Ask for a quote and proposal from each builder and compare them. 
  • Study each proposal and pick the one that aligns best with your business goals. 

Your budget will likely be a significant contributing factor to this decision. But going with the cheapest or priciest quote isn’t always the best way. Think about the company’s reputation in the industry and the trust its clients have in the firm. Go for the contractor that provides the best value and possesses the most capability without going overboard with your assigned costs.

Concluding Thoughts on Having a Company Warehouse

A warehouse is essential to the growth and success of a company that produces and sells physical goods. With it, companies can store and manage their inventory and make the order fulfillment processes more efficient and scalable. 

Thus, setting clear goals and identifying the right elements, including construction experts, are crucial when building a company warehouse. Getting these things right eliminates the risk of significant operational constraints and business losses in the future.

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6 Things Every Successful Product Must Have

Successful-Product

A product must have a great idea, a talented team behind it, and a lot of hard work to be successful. But that’s just the beginning. Product development has many nuances, and if you want your product to be successful, you need to take care of a few essential things. With the competition in the market today, it’s not enough to have a great product. You need to be able to execute flawlessly and have a team that is passionate about your product. Below are six things every successful product must have:

1) A good packaging

Good packaging can make or break your product and help it stand out. So make sure to work with companies that specialize in product packaging solutions that can help you with this process if you need an experienced team to handle this for you.

This is one of the most overlooked aspects but it can make or break your product success in the long run.

2) A nice design

A well-designed product is more likely to be successful than one that is not. Design is essential for two reasons: first, because it makes your product more appealing to customers, and second because it makes your product more efficient to produce.

3) A strong marketing strategy

Successful-Product

A product can only be successful if people know about it. You need to have a marketing strategy to get your awesome product in front of your target customers. Marketing is important for two reasons: first, it creates awareness for your product, and second, it helps generate sales.

There are many marketing channels you should use to reach your target market. Most common include online advertising, social media, email marketing, and trade shows. Experimenting with different marketing tactics is vital to see what works best for your product and your business.

4) A clear value proposition

Your product needs to offer value to customers if you want it to be successful. Your value proposition is why someone should buy your product over another similar product on the market.

To create a strong value proposition, you must first understand your target customer’s needs and then craft a good message that speaks directly to those needs. Your value proposition should be quite clear, concise, and easy for customers to understand.

5) A competitive price

Customers are always looking for the best deal, so it’s important to ensure your product is priced competitively. There are a few things you need to take into account when setting your prices, such as your product’s cost of goods sold, shipping costs, and marketing expenses.

You also need to consider the prices of similar products on the market. If your product is significantly higher priced than other similar products, customers will likely not purchase it. However, if your product is priced too low, customers may question its quality. It’s important to strike a balance between these two factors to ensure you’re making a profit and attracting customers.

6) A reliable supply chain

Your product won’t be successful if you can’t get it to customers on time. A reliable supply chain is essential for ensuring your product is available when customers want it.

There are many factors to consider when setting up a supply chain, such as manufacturing lead times, shipping times, and inventory levels. It’s important to partner with reliable suppliers who can meet your needs and help you avoid disruptions in the supply chain.

There you have it! These are five things every successful product must have. If you can tick all of these boxes, you’ll be well on your way to launching a successful product.

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Mentoring vs. Business Coaching: Which one is best for you?

business coaching vs mentoring

As you develop in your business, you may find yourself wondering whether it would be helpful to have a coach or mentor. Both can provide valuable guidance and support, but their focus and approach differ. Here’s a brief overview of coaching vs. mentoring to help you decide which one is right for you.

Mentors are typically more experienced than their mentees and can provide advice and guidance based on their own career journeys. Mentors can help you navigate difficult situations, make essential connections, and expand your skill set.

Coaches, on the other hand, focus on helping you reach your specific goals. They work with you to develop actionable plans and hold you accountable for reaching your targets. Coaching may be the best option for you if you’re looking for help achieving a specific goal.

Both coaches and mentors can play an important role in your career development. When choosing between the two, consider your goals and what type of support you need to reach them.

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Business Coaching vs. Mentoring

  1. Business Coaching is typically more focused on the present and future, while mentoring often looks to the past for guidance.
  2. Business Coaching is about helping people reach their goals, while mentoring is about sharing knowledge and experience.
  3. Business Coaching is often seen as more of a professional relationship, while mentoring is often more personal.

Coaching is often seen as more of a professional relationship, while mentoring is often more personal. This is because coaching typically focuses on the present and future while mentoring looks to the past for guidance. Coaches believe their clients have the answers within themselves – they need help uncovering them. Mentors, on the other hand, often share their own experiences and knowledge in order to help mentees reach their goals.

This difference can also be seen in the way coaching and mentoring relationships are viewed. Coaching is often seen as more of a professional relationship, while mentoring is often more personal.

What are the benefits of having a mentor?

There are many benefits to having a mentor. A few of these benefits are

1. You have someone to guide and advise you

A mentor can be defined as an experienced and trusted advisor. In the business world, a mentor is often more senior in their career and can offer guidance and advice to those starting out. The benefits of having a mentor are numerous, but perhaps the most important is that they can help you to avoid making costly mistakes. A mentor will have a wealth of experience and knowledge to draw upon, and they can help you to navigate the challenges of your career. They can also provide essential networking opportunities and introduce you to influential people. In short, a mentor can be an invaluable asset, and everyone should aspire to find one.

2. You have someone to help you get ahead in your career

A mentor is someone who can help guide you in your career, offering advice and support when it comes to making important decisions. Having a mentor can be incredibly beneficial, giving you access to someone who has already been successful in your field and knows the ins and outs of the industry. A mentor can help you avoid making mistakes and provide valuable networking opportunities. In addition, a mentor can help to keep you motivated and on track, ensuring that you stay focused on your goals. Ultimately, a mentor can play a pivotal role in helping you to achieve success in your career.

3. You have someone to help you learn new things

A mentor is someone who can help guide you through new and unfamiliar territory. Whether you’re just starting out in your business or you are looking to make a change, a mentor can offer advice and support. They can help introduce you to new concepts, teach you new skills, and provide support when you’re feeling challenged. A mentor can also be a sounding board for your ideas and a source of motivation when you need it. While mentors come in all shapes and sizes, finding someone with experience and wisdom you respect is the most important thing. With their help, you can learn more about your chosen field, gain valuable insights, and achieve your goals.

4. You have someone to depend on for support and encouragement

A mentor can provide support and encouragement when you need it most and can help you navigate through difficult challenges and obstacles. They can also offer helpful advice and guidance based on their experiences and knowledge. In addition, mentors can act as role models, showing you what is possible if you are willing to work hard and stay focused on your goals. If you are lucky enough to have a mentor, make sure to take advantage of all that they have to offer. It could make a big difference in your career journey.

5. You have a friend and confidante

One of the benefits of having a mentor is that you have a friend and confidante. Someone you can trust to give you honest feedback and guidance. Someone who has been there before and can help you navigate your way through challenges. If you’re feeling lost or stuck, a mentor can be the compass that points you in the right direction.

What are the benefits of having a coach?

A coach can help you achieve your goals faster and more effectively than if you were working on them alone. Coaches provide guidance, support, accountability, and expertise that can help you get the most out of your training.

Some of the benefits of having a coach include the following:

 

1. Improved performance and results

Most business owners would love to improve their business performance and results, but they don’t always know how to go about it. That’s where a business coach comes in. A business coach is someone who helps you take a closer look at your business and identify areas that need improvement. They will then work with you to develop strategies for making those improvements. As a result, you can expect to see better business performance and results.

 

2. A better understanding of your own potential and strengths

Business coaches are not only beneficial because they help you to understand your potential and strengths better but also because they can provide an objective perspective on business decisions. A business coach can help you to understand your goals and what is holding you back from achieving them. They can also help you to develop a plan of action to reach your goals. In addition, business coaches can provide accountability and support as you work to reach your goals. Having a business coach can be a powerful tool in helping you to reach your full potential as a business owner.

 

3. Greater motivation to train and stay focused

There are many benefits of having a business coach, but one of the most important is that they provide motivation and accountability. When you have someone to hold you accountable, it’s easier to stay focused and on track. A business coach will also push you to reach your full potential and help you overcome any obstacles that are holding you back. In addition, a business coach can offer valuable insights and advice based on their own experiences. If you’re serious about taking your business to the next level, then working with a business coach is a wise decision.

 

Pro-Tip: Grab 30 minutes on my calendar to ask any questions you have about business coaching. I’ve been a business coach (and business broker) for over 20 years. I also have a business coach of my own, so I know what successful coaching looks like on both sides of the table.

~ Alan Melton, Small Business Coach Associates


4. Optimal use of time and resources

A business coach can help business owners and entrepreneurs use their time and resources more efficiently. In today’s fast-paced business world, staying ahead of the competition and making the most of every opportunity can be challenging. A business coach can provide impartial advice and guidance on how to best use your time and resources. It can be through delegation, where business owners need to delegate certain tasks so that they can focus on CEO tasks to further improve running their business.

 

5. Reduced chance of making mistakes

Having a business coach provides several benefits that can help to reduce the chance of committing business mistakes. First, a business coach can offer an objective perspective on business decisions. This can be especially helpful when business owners are facing difficult choices. Second, a business coach can provide guidance and support during times of change. This can help business owners to navigate through challenging transitions without making costly mistakes. Finally, a business coach can help business owners to develop and implement effective strategies for growth. By having a business coach, business owners can benefit from expert advice and support, which can ultimately help to reduce the chance of making costly mistakes.

 

6. Access to expert knowledge and advice

Business coaches have extensive experience in the business world and can provide valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities that business owners face. As a result, business coaches can be an invaluable resource for business owners who are looking to take their businesses to the next level. They can guide you to develop a business plan, set goals and objectives, and improve your business skills.

 

Similarities of Business Coaching and Mentoring

Business coaching and mentoring can be approached in many ways, but the similarities between the two outweigh the differences. Business coaching and mentoring emphasize helping the client or mentee reach their potential by providing them with support, advice, and guidance. In business coaching, the coach takes on more of a directive role, often providing specific advice and actionable steps for the client to take. In contrast, mentoring takes a more hands-off approach, with the mentor serving as more of a sounding board for the mentee. However, business coaching and mentoring focus on helping businesses grow and succeed. As such, business coaches and mentors play an important role in ensuring that businesses are able to reach their full potential.

When does a mentor become a coach?

A mentor is someone who can offer guidance and support to someone else who is looking to improve themselves. A coach, on the other hand, is someone who offers direction and guidance in order to help an individual or group achieve a specific goal. So when does a mentor become a coach?

The answer to this question depends on the situation. In some cases, a mentor may transition into a coaching role if the person they are helping expresses an interest in becoming more actively involved in their own development. The mentor can then help them set specific goals and provide support as they work towards achieving these goals. In other cases, a mentor may act as a coach if they are asked to do so by their employer or supervisor. 

Becoming a coach is a big responsibility regardless of how or when it happens. A good coach needs to be patient, articulate, and knowledgeable about the topic they are coaching on. They should also be able to foster a positive learning environment where individuals feel comfortable asking questions and making mistakes.

Three Types of Mentoring

There are three types of mentoring: traditional one-on-one, distance mentoring, and group mentoring. Traditional one-on-one mentoring is the most common type of mentoring. It involves two people meeting in person on a regular basis to discuss their lives, careers, and goals. Distance mentoring is a newer type of mentoring that involves two people communicating via phone, email, or video chat. Group mentoring is a type of mentoring that involves three or more people meeting on a regular basis to discuss their lives, careers, and goals. 

Each type of mentoring has its own advantages and disadvantages. Traditional one-on-one mentoring is the most personal type of mentoring, but it can be time-consuming and expensive. Distance mentoring is less personal than traditional one-on-one mentoring but is more convenient and often cheaper. Group mentoring is the least personal type of mentoring, but having multiple mentors can be very helpful.

Four Types of Business Coaching

There are four types of business coaching: executive, integrated, team, and virtual coaching. Each type of coaching has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right type of coach for your needs.

Executive coaching is perfect for business leaders who want to improve their performance and take their careers to the next level. An executive coach will help you clarify your goals, overcome obstacles and develop a plan of action. However, executive coaching can be expensive and may not be suitable for all business leaders.

Integrated coaching is a great option for businesses that want to improve their overall performance. An integrated coach will work with you to improve your communication, leadership, and team-building skills. However, integrated coaching can be time-consuming and may not be suitable for all businesses.

Team coaching is designed to help teams work together more effectively. The coach works with the team to identify its strengths and weaknesses and helps them develop strategies for improved performance.

Virtual coaching is a type of business coaching that uses technology to deliver coaching services. Virtual coaches can deliver their services via video conferencing, phone calls, or email. This type of coach can be beneficial for business owners who want the flexibility to receive coaching services from anywhere in the world. However, However, virtual coaching can have a lack of personal interaction.

Pro-Tip: Grab 30 minutes on my calendar to ask any questions you have about business coaching. I’ve been a business coach (and business broker) for over 20 years. I also have a business coach of my own, so I know what successful coaching looks like on both sides of the table.

~ Alan Melton, Small Business Coach Associates


How does mentoring/coaching help your business grow?

Mentoring and coaching are two essential tools for any business owner who wants to see their company grow. By mentoring, you can offer your employees guidance and support, helping them develop their skills and knowledge. This, in turn, can lead to improved performance and greater productivity. Coaching, on the other hand, is more focused on helping individuals to achieve specific goals. This could involve providing advice and mentorship on a one-to-one basis, or it could involve leading group workshops. Either way, coaching can help employees identify their strengths and weaknesses and set realistic goals to help them progress in their careers. In short, mentoring and coaching are two key ways in which you can help your business to grow.

coaching vs mentoring

Example of Mentoring

Steve had always been a great business owner. He was a leader, and his employees looked up to him. However, he wanted to train them to become leaders themselves, and he didn’t know how to do it. So he turned to a mentor for advice.

The mentor said. “I can give you some general tips.” He went on to share some of the best leadership practices he had learned over the years. Steve was grateful for the advice and promised to put it into practice. And so he did.

The results were impressive. His employees started taking on more responsibility and becoming more engaged in their work. They even began developing their own leadership skills! Steve was happy with the progress they were making and thanked his mentor for all of his help.

Through mentoring, Steve was able to:

  1. Save time and energy 
  2. Get expert advice and learn leadership skills.
  3. Receive support and encouragement to navigate difficult challenges.
  4. Achieve goals and expand knowledge in a shorter time frame.

Example of Business Coaching

coaching vs mentoring

As Jane contemplated her situation, she knew she needed to make a change. She was working 111 hours a week and wasn’t able to spend any time with her family. It was taking its toll on her mentally and emotionally. So she decided to get a business coach to help her manage her time more effectively and systematize her business.

At first, the changes were difficult. But after following her coach’s advice diligently, Jane began to see results. She was able to cut down on the number of hours she worked each week from 111 hours down to 47.5 hours while maintaining and even growing her business. Best of all, she was now able to spend more time with her family and enjoy life again.

Through coaching, Jane was able to:

  1. Reduce the number of hours worked each week
  2. Maintain and grow business while spending more time with family 
  3. Systemize business for long-term success
  4. Decrease stress and increase productivity

Business Coaching vs. Mentoring: Which one is best for you?

When it comes to personal and professional development, coaching vs mentoring is two popular approaches. But what’s the difference between the two? And more importantly, which one is right for you?

Mentoring typically involves a more experienced individual passing down wisdom and advice to someone who is less experienced. The mentee looks up to the mentor as a role model and seeks guidance on how to navigate their chosen field. Coaching, on the other hand, is more focused on helping the client reach specific goals. The coach acts as a sounding board and provides support and accountability, but ultimately it’s up to the client to figure out the best way to reach their objectives.

So. coaching vs mentoring, which one should you choose? Mentoring may be a good option if you’re feeling lost and uncertain of your next steps. But coaching could be a better fit if you’re clear on what you want to achieve and just need some help getting there. Ultimately, the best way to decide is to experiment with both approaches and see what works best for you.

Conclusion

When it comes to coaching and mentoring, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The best approach depends on your specific needs and goals. This article explores the differences between coaching and mentoring and helps you decide which is best for you.

Coaching and mentoring are both forms of developmental support. They can both be helpful in achieving your goals, but there are some key differences. coaching is typically more task-oriented, while mentoring is more relationship-oriented. Coaching focuses on the present and future while mentoring often looks to the past for guidance. Mentors may also provide coaching, but their primary focus is developing long-term relationships.

So, which one is right for you? Coaching may be the best option if you’re looking for help with a specific goal or task. Mentoring may be the way to go if you’re seeking guidance and wisdom from someone with more experience. Ultimately, the decision comes down to what you’re hoping to achieve.


Protect Your Small Business – A Guide to Stopping Payroll Fraud

Payroll-Fraud

The last thing you want as a small business owner is your money going down the drain. According to statistics, half of all businesses collapse by their fifth year. While the reason for the collapse is usually a combination of many factors, payroll fraud can bring your business down fast. Luckily, you can protect your business from this kind of fraud if you implement the right measures. This guide highlights several ways to identify payroll fraud and how to stop it before it brings your business to its knees. 

What is Payroll Fraud?

Payroll fraud is any fraudulent activity that results in the unauthorized use of company funds. Payroll fraud is not limited to small businesses.

According to statistics, payroll fraud occurs in 27% of all businesses, but small businesses are impacted the most because of their limited revenue and lack of proper safeguards.

Different Forms of Payroll Fraud

Payroll-Fraud

Check Tampering

Check tampering is arguably the most common type of payroll fraud in America. It occurs when an employee steals, forges, or alters a check payable from the employer’s account.

Ghost Employees

This type of fraud is perpetrated by employees responsible for managing the payroll. It involves entering a non-existent person into the payroll to pocket the ghost employer’s salary.

Timesheet Fraud

Most small businesses pay their employees by the hour. This means the more hours they clock in a week, the more they earn. Some employees are tempted to falsify the hours worked, especially if your company does not have foolproof measures to prevent timesheet fraud.

Pay Scale Alterations

Employees are paid different hourly rates based on their classification. Unscrupulous human resource employees can work in cahoots with some employees to make pay scale alterations so that an employee gets more than they deserve. 

Customer Payroll Fraud

Not all forms of fraud are perpetrated by employees. Your customers can also engage in payroll fraud to give the wrong impression of their financial situation.

For example, in the real estate industry, you may require prospective clients to produce proof of income before getting accommodation. Unfortunately, sometimes customers can use fake pay stubs as proof of income and get rental accommodation, which could mean allowing tenancy to someone that may not afford to pay rent.

Worker Misclassification Fraud

Worker misclassification fraud is another type of fraud not perpetuated by the employee. Instead, it is perpetrated by employers to avoid remunerating their employees as required under the law or denying them their benefits.

Often it involves classifying employees as independent contractors, denying them employees the benefits they deserve, and avoiding paying payroll taxes. Employee misclassification is a serious offense that can result in penalties that include hefty fines, higher tax rates, interests on taxes not paid, and prison time.

Safeguarding Against Payroll Fraud

Different types of fraud call for different preventive measures. So what works for one business person may not work for you. But some standard practices can help minimize the chances of payroll fraud irrespective of the type. Some of these measures include:

Taking Formal Business Management Classes

Payroll-Fraud

Most employees take advantage of employers that do not have business management knowledge. If you depend solely on the word of your employees to manage your business, you will be at a greater risk of fraud.

So, your first step to preventing payroll fraud will be taking formal business and financial accounting classes. Doing so helps ensure that you are on top of your business accounts which can help minimize the loss of revenue through fraudulent activity.

Incorporate Technology in Payroll Management

Preventing fraud in your small business is possible, but it can take too much time and effort that could be used in handling other important matters of handling a business.

Luckily you do not have to handle all the work yourself. You can leverage technology to make payroll management easier and error-free. For example, rather than use traditional timesheets to track employees’ hours, you can use apps connected to your employee’s android or IOS devices that make it impossible to clock in unless they are on location. 

Outsource Payroll Management

Even with the best payroll management software, unscrupulous employees may still find a way to cheat the system. So, it is best to outsource payroll management to ensure that your payroll management is watertight.

There are many payroll management service providers in the market. You only need a service provider who checks all your boxes to handle payroll on your behalf. Besides eliminating the chances of fraud, outsourcing payroll can save you time, so you focus on areas that need your attention, like improving customer experiences.

Have an External Auditor Audit Your Firm

If you only depend on internal auditors to audit your business accounts, they may falsify figures to steal from you. So it’s always best to have an outsider conduct an audit from time to time.

Because an external auditor has no vested interest in the outcome of their audit, you can expect to get reliable audit results from them which can help you identify where you could be losing money.

Role Segregation prevents Payroll Fraud

While it’s possible to have some bad players in your business, chances are not all your employees are corruptible, which you could use to your advantage. For example, you can have several people handle different stages rather than having one person handle all payroll matters.

One can track the employees’ timesheets, the other writes the checks, and has another counter check to see everything is okay before you can sign. This way, one unscrupulous employee may not succeed in defrauding your business.

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10 Reasons for Productizing Your Service Business

Productizing your service business has many advantages. It can help you scale your business, attract new customers, and improve your bottom line. Here are 10 reasons to productize your service business.

What is productizing?

Productizing is the process of turning your services into products. This can be done by packaging your services into an online course, ebook, or membership site. It can also be done by offering a subscription-based service, or by creating a physical product that delivers your services. You can use a simple SMS reminder or email marketing to notify customers of any product development or launch.

Below are some of the main reasons it makes sense to productize when and where you can.

It can give you a competitive advantage

productizing

If you’re the only one in your field offering a productized service, you have a huge leg up on your competition. Why? Because you can offer a standardized, repeatable service that’s easy for your customers to understand and purchase. This is much more appealing than trying to explain what you do in a way that makes sense to each individual customer.

Plus, when you productize your service, you can show would-be customers exactly what they’re getting before they make a purchase. This is a big selling point that your competition is likely missing.

In short, if you want to stand out from the crowd and offer your customers a better experience, productizing your service is the way to go.

Productizing is easier to scale

When you productize your service, it becomes much easier to scale because you’re not relying on yourself (or a small team of people) to do all the work.

Instead, you can document your process and train others to follow it. This allows you to take on more customers without having to worry about quality control.

And as your business grows, you can continue to add more products and services to your lineup. This gives you a much better chance of success than trying to scale a traditional service business, which is often limited by the number of hours in a day.

It makes marketing easier

Productizing your service also makes marketing easier, as it lets you better target a specific audience with your marketing efforts and craft a message that resonates with them.

For example, let’s say you offer a productized social media management service. You could target small businesses that are looking for help with their social media but don’t have the time or resources to do it themselves.

This is a much more effective approach than trying to market your services to everyone and hoping that someone bites.

Productizing increases profits

When you productize your service, you can charge more for it because customers are willing to pay more for a product that’s easy to understand and purchase. Plus, since you’re not trading hours for dollars, you can make a lot more money with a productized service than a traditional service.

And if you package your productized service in a subscription, you can make even more money by recurring revenue. This is a great way to increase your profits and the stability of your business.

It attracts better customers

Productizing your service will also help you attract better customers. This comes down to the fact that when you offer a productized service, you’re making it clear who your target market is. This allows you to attract people who are actually interested in what you’re offering.

And since you’re not trying to appeal to everyone, you won’t waste your time on tire kickers and tire-spinners. This will save you a lot of energy and frustration in the long run. You can also use your marketing efforts to attract even more of your ideal customers.

It makes selling easier

productizing

When you productize your service, selling becomes much easier. It makes sense because you are now able to explain more clearly what your service is and how it can help potential customers. You can also show them exactly what they’re getting before they make a purchase.

This is a big selling point that your competition is likely missing. In short, if you want to make selling easier, productizing your service is the way to go.

When you make selling easier, what you are essentially doing is decreasing your cost per acquisition. This is the amount of money you spend to acquire a new customer.

It makes delivering your service easier

The reason it can be easier to deliver your service is because you will have systems and processes in place that you can follow. This makes it much easier to deliver a consistent experience to your customers.

It also means that you can outsource some or all of the work to other people. This can free up your time so that you can focus on other areas of your business.

You can use it as a lead-generation tool

Productizing your service can also be a great lead-generation tool. This is because when you offer a free or low-cost product, you can attract people who are interested in what you have to offer.

The alternative is to try to sell your services to people who have no idea who you are or what you do. This is a tough sell, and it’s often not worth the effort. But with a productized service, you can offer potential customers a taste of what you have to offer without asking for anything in return.

You can then use these leads to upsell them on your other products and services. This is a great way to grow your business without spending a lot of money on advertising.

There are less customer service issues

Productizing your service also comes with some built-in customer service advantages. This is due to the fact that when people purchase a product, they generally have fewer questions and concerns than when they purchase a traditional service.

This is because, with a product, they know exactly what they’re getting. They don’t have to worry about the details of the service or whether they’re getting what they paid for.

Of course, you still need to provide excellent customer service. But you’ll likely find that there are fewer customer service issues when you productize your service.

Conclusion on Productizing

Productizing your service is a great way to grow your business. It allows you to charge more, attract better customers, sell more easily, and generate leads. Plus, there are fewer customer service issues to deal with. If you’re looking for a way to take your business to the next level, productizing your service is the way to go.

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Wi-Fi Marketing for Retail: How Does It Work To Boost Sales

Wi-Fi-Marketing

The retail industry is under immense pressure to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape. In order to stay ahead of the curve, retailers need to be constantly innovating and finding new ways to engage with their customers. One of the most effective ways to do this is through Wi-Fi marketing. By offering free Wi-Fi in your store, you can not only attract more customers, but also collect valuable data about their shopping habits. Here are 10 ways that Wi-Fi marketing can help boost sales for your retail business.

What is Wi-Fi Marketing?

Wi-Fi marketing is a type of marketing that uses Wi-Fi hotspots to reach potential customers. By offering free or discounted Wi-Fi access, businesses can attract people to their locations and encourage them to spend more time – and money – there.

In addition to boosting foot traffic, Wi-Fi marketing can also be used to gather data about customers, such as their contact information and purchase history. This information can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to result in sales.

There is a lot of data backing up the efficacy of Wi-Fi marketing.

Here are 10 ways that Wi-Fi marketing can boost sales for retail businesses.

Increased foot traffic

Wi-Fi-Marketing

How often have you been somewhere–a mall, a store–and you’ve seen people just sitting around on their phones? Now, instead of being a place for people to take a break from shopping, your business can become a destination for people to connect to the internet and get things done.

By offering free Wi-Fi inside the store (that’s the kicker), you ‘re essentially saying, “Come on in and shop–and while you’re here, why not connect to the internet and do some work?” You may not think that people would take you up on such an offer, but you’d be surprised.

In fact, a study by JiWire found that 74% of consumers said they would visit a business more often if it offered free Wi-Fi.

Turn window shoppers into paying customers

If you have a brick-and-mortar store, chances are you’ve had people come in, browse around, and then leave without buying anything. It’s frustrating, but it happens. However, with Wi-Fi marketing, you can turn those window shoppers into paying customers.

How? By offering Wi-Fi access, you can encourage people to come inside and browse–and then, once they’re connected to the internet, they may be more likely to make a purchase. Even if they don’t make a purchase right there on the spot, they may contemplate buying something that they otherwise wouldn’t have, which is still a win for you.

Gather customer data with Wi-Fi Marketing

When people connect to your Wi-Fi, you can gather data about them, such as their contact information and purchase history. This information can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to result in sales.

For example, if you know that a customer has purchased items from you in the past, you can send them targeted emails or ads for similar products. Or, if you have a list of email addresses, you can send out a monthly newsletter with exclusive deals and promotions.

The bottom line is that Wi-Fi marketing gives you the ability to collect data about your customers and use it to your advantage.

Upsell and cross-sell

Once you have gathered data about your customers, you can use it to upsell and cross-sell them products and services that they may be interested in.

For example, let’s say that a customer has purchased a pair of shoes from you in the past. When they connect to your Wi-Fi, you can send them a message about a new style of shoes that you have in stock–or, if you know their size, you can send them a coupon for 20% off their next purchase.

The key here is to use the data that you’ve gathered to offer products and services that your customers will actually want to buy.

Enhance the customer experience with Wi-Fi marketing

In today’s world, people expect more than just a product or service–they want an experience. And with Wi-Fi marketing, you can enhance the customer experience by offering things like digital loyalty programs, in-store competitions, and social media integration.

For example, you can offer a digital loyalty program where customers can earn points for every purchase they make. These points can then be redeemed for rewards, such as discounts or free items.

You can also use Wi-Fi to run in-store competitions, such as social media contests or scavenger hunts. These competitions can not only drive sales, but also create a sense of community and loyalty among your customers.

Finally, you can use Wi-Fi to integrate with social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. This way, you can offer discounts and promotions to people who follow you on social media–and you can also use social media to drive traffic to your store.

Offer guest Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi-Marketing

If you have a business that gets a lot of foot traffic–such as a restaurant, cafe, or retail store–you can use Wi-Fi marketing to offer guest Wi-Fi. This way, people who come into your business can connect to the internet without using their data plan.

Not only is this a nice perk for your customers, but it can also help you generate leads. How? Well, when people connect to your guest Wi-Fi, you can require them to enter their contact information, such as their name and email address. This way, you can add them to your marketing list and start sending them targeted emails and ads.

Increase dwell time

When people are connected to your Wi-Fi, they’re more likely to stick around and browse–which means that you have a chance to convert them into a paying customer. And the longer they stay, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

So, if you want to increase sales, then you need to find ways to keep people in your store for longer. And one way to do this is by offering Wi-Fi.

For example, you can offer Wi-Fi-based games or quizzes that people can play while they’re in your store. Or, you can offer Wi-Fi-based content, such as articles, videos, or podcasts. This way, people will have something to keep them occupied while they’re in your store–and they may even learn something new.

Allows for better multi-channel marketing

Wi-Fi Marketing is a great way to get people signing up for email lists, liking and following social media accounts and even sharing contact information with you so you can market to them in the future.

This type of marketing allows you to have a constant connection with customers, rather than just when they’re in your store. You can use things like pop-ups or splash pages to get people to sign up for your email list or follow you on social media.

This way, you can continue marketing to them even after they leave your store and turn them into lifelong customers.

Use push notifications

Push notifications are a great way to re-engage customers and get them back into your store. With Wi-Fi marketing, you can send push notifications to people’s phones or devices when they connect to your Wi-Fi.

For example, you can send a notification that offers a discount to people who haven’t been in your store in a while. Or, you can send a notification about a new product or service that you’re offering.

Push notifications are a great way to increase sales and get people interested in what you have to offer.

Conclusion on Wi-Fi Marketing

Wi-Fi marketing is a great way to boost sales and increase dwell time. By offering guest Wi-Fi, you can generate leads, and by using push notifications, you can re-engage customers. So, if you’re looking for ways to increase sales, then consider using Wi-Fi marketing in your store. It can be a great way to boost sales and increase customer loyalty.

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