What Do Customers Really Need?

When we’re running a company, we tend to think in terms of what we want to bring to the table. But while this is an important aspect, it’s not necessarily the best way to think. Let’s not forget who the most important group is when it comes to your business: your customers. As such, it’s best to think in terms of what they want, not necessarily what you want. The good thing about this approach is that it’s not a mystery; customers everywhere generally want the same thing, regardless of industry. We take a look at four such examples below.

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Problem Solved

You’re not going to get too far if you’re not solving a problem for a customer. You’re likely well aware of the failure rate of businesses. Still, there’s little reason to get too disheartened by the figure: the fact is that the majority of these companies failed because they just didn’t add enough value to the lives of their customers. It’s important to remember that customers aren’t going to flock to you just because your there: you need to aid their lives in some way, and do things better than other companies. So ask yourself: how are you improving your customers’ lives? Is it best to put up social media advertisements to inform them of what’s new in the online world?

Peace of Mind

We live in an age of skepticism, and it’s not hard to see why. Customers have become fatigued by companies who have their own interests at heart, and also by the rise in cybercrime. There is a long list of high profile data breaches, and every one has eroded customer trust that little bit more. As such, it’s critical that you’re taking your customer’s sensitive data seriously. They should have peace of mind that their information is in safe hands. If this is one area of your business that needs improving, then learn more about how you can incorporate a system that offers the highest levels of security. If you lose your customer’s trust, then they’re highly unlikely to return in the future.

Straightforward Processes

Some companies sure do make things difficult for themselves. If you have a customer interested in making a purchase, then it’s in your best interest to make that process as smooth as possible. This should be a priority, especially if you’re running an online business. Shopping cart abandonment is a real issue for online retailers, but it should be expected if there are too many layers to the checkout process, or if you’re adding surprise charges at the final hurdle.

Good Value

Unless you’re in the luxury goods market, then you need to look at value. This can be the difference between a customer deciding to make a purchase and moving to a competitor. Of course, you need to make a profit, so it’s all about striking a balance. If you’re finding it difficult to lower the cost, then look at other areas of your business where you can save money. Customers are looking for an even balance between value and the quality of the product. Get this right, and you’re good.

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Turning Your Business Dreams Into Reality

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If you have a great idea for a new business, then there is no reason why you should not be pushing yourself to get your idea realized. Starting a business can be exciting and invigorating. There is, of course, a lot of stress and worry that goes hand-in-hand with going into business, and you will want to ensure that you do everything that you can to reduce these stresses.

Forward Planning

Starting up a business takes some strong forward planning. That means that you will need to create a plan that encompasses everything that you are going to do, how you are going to do it, and when you will do it.

You cannot wing it when you are starting up your business or you will never make a true success of it. If you want your business to reach its fullest potential, then you should make sure that you do everything in your power to drive it forward. You can achieve this with the right planning.

Understand That You Cannot Do Everything On Your Own

Your business needs support. That may come in the form of financial investment or it may mean hiring Managed IT Services to look after your technology needs. You need to understand that you do not have to do everything for yourself. There are support companies out there for every aspect of your business management, from recruitment and payroll, through to administration, cleaning and maintenance, as well as security, logistics, and warehousing.

Understanding what there is out there that you can utilize will save you from developing an area of your business infrastructure that you just don’t need.

Make The Best Use Of Your Team

In a great team, the business leader is not the person who hoards all of the jobs to themselves because they don’t trust others to do that task. This shows weakness as a leader and an ability to train and empower those around you. Be sure to allow your team to demonstrate that they know what they are doing and give them opportunities to carry out business-critical tasks.

By empowering your team with the responsibility you are not only going to create a stronger and more productive workplace, but you will also make your life considerably more stress-free.

Effective delegation means knowing where your team’s particular skills lay. You can only find this out by getting to know them and understanding what makes them tick. Hold regular appraisals and use them as an opportunity to learn about your team and how they can be a greater asset to your company.

Communication Is Key

Your business vision needs to be communicated to investors, your team, and importantly your customer. You need to find the most effective way of getting this message across to everyone. Think about what it is important in your message and focus your attention on delivering these points home. Tell people what you need to tell them, and then always check their understanding afterwards to make sure that you have been understood.

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How To Run A Business From Your Smartphone

Nowadays you don’t need a PC to run a business. You may not even need a laptop. A smartphone could be all you need to run your business. And a good online content creator.

Smartphones are the ultimate multipurpose tool – you can communicate with them, do your accounting on them and even take photos to post on company social media. They’re also very portable, making it possible to run your business from any location whether you’re in an office or stood up in a busy train carriage on the way to a meeting.

A smartphone does however have its limits and drawbacks. Here is how you can overcome these limits and drawbacks and run a business successfully using nothing but this device.

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Buy a separate work phone

It’s worth owning a separate phone for personal use and a separate phone for business use. This can help you to separate your personal and work life. Without this separation, you could find yourself getting distracted by personal Facebook and WhatsApp alerts when trying to work, as well as being bothered by work calls when trying to enjoy your free time.

You can log in to your work emails and business social media on one phone, while logging into your personal social media and emails on the other. On top of this, you’ll have two different numbers, so that you don’t have to give out your personal number to clients.

Separating the two can make bookkeeping easier too. You can more easily track work-related phone costs and deduct these as expenses from your taxes. This is much harder to calculate when you’re using the same phone for personal use and business use.

Choose the right contract

When choosing a contract for your work phone, consider looking into business phone contracts. Some of these ‘business’ plans can be cheaper than personal plans, offering free texts and calls to certain people in some cases.

A high-data plan could be useful if you plan to work on the go, allowing you internet access from any location. To maximise your data it could also be worth learning how to decrease your data usage. For instance, using certain apps could be using up unnecessary data as you’re working on the go.

Buy a portable charger

If you’re using your phone for all things business related, you can expect the battery to drain fast. In order to keep your phone charged up on the go, consider buying a portable charger. This could save you having to run into a coffee bar with plug sockets just to charge up your phone.

There are many different types of portable charger on the market. Some are able to hold several full charges. Just make sure that you charge your portable charger up each night.

Invest in portable wi-fi

If you want unlimited internet access on the go without relying on your data, another option could be to use your own portable wi-fi. There are wireless portable wi-fi routers that can fit in your pocket. Some of these can be topped up on a pay-as-you-go basis, while others may be combined into your home/office internet bills.

It’s worth comparing various forms of mobile portable wi-fi.

Download the right apps

With the right apps, you can handle all your business’s admin on your phone.

Accounting apps could be just one useful tool for helping you to do your bookkeeping. You can link up some of these apps with your bank account and automatically calculate tax on earnings. Some of these apps also allow you to handle your payroll, as well as invoicing clients. It means that you have access to all your financial information in one place.

It’s also possible to make use of project management apps that allow you to monitor the progress of employees and tasks. These apps can save you having to gather everyone together for regular catch-up meetings as you can simply track the progress of tasks digitally.

A document signing app could also be worth downloading. These allow clients and suppliers to send digital contracts that you can sign digitally using your touchscreen. It’s much more convenient than physically posting paper contracts.

Finally, it could be worth downloading a video-communication app. This could allow you to communicate with clients by video when needed.

Start using voice command

Voice command can allow you to use your phone hands-free. This could be useful when carrying out physical tasks such as driving or manual labour.

You can use voice command to do everything from writing and sending emails to making and receiving calls. Most smartphones have in-built voice command features – it’s simply a case of setting them up and getting used to them.

Consider buying a Bluetooth keyboard

The big advantage that laptops and PCs have over smartphone is the ability to type out emails, reports and other written content. While some people are fast at texting, it’s still not as convenient as using a keyboard.
Fortunately, it is possible to connect a Bluetooth keyboard to your phone. This could allow you to type normally when you need it.

Secure your phone

Security is a priority when running a business. All your personal information will likely be accessible on your smartphone, so you need to ensure it’s protected against criminals.

Firstly, you should try to set a strong lock screen password. Many modern devices also have biometrics enabled such as fingerprint scanning and even facial recognition in some cases. If your phone falls into the wrong hands, having these protective barriers in place could stop them from being able to access your personal information.

It could also be worth using a VPN when logging onto public wi-fi on your phone. Some public wi-fi connections can be insecure which can make it possible to steal your personal information. When using a VPN, your personal information is concealed.

You should also consider insuring your smartphone. If you lose it or if it is damaged it could have a serious negative impact on your business. Insurance could help to pay for a replacement.

Backing up your phone’s data on the cloud is also recommended. Most modern smartphones already do this automatically, but you may still want to double-check. By backing up your data, you can still access it on another device if your phone is lost or destroyed.

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Beginners Budgeting Basics

An awful lot of us are bad with money. When we’ve got it, we spend it. We accept credit cards when they are offered, and increase our limits when we can. We put things on credit because it’s easy, and even when we can afford to buy something outright, we take the finance option so that we don’t feel the loss.

If you’ve got a significant income, this can be fine. If you’ve got enough money that you can spend without worrying, you won’t get into trouble financially. But, it’s still a mistake. You won’t ever have savings, you might eventually need credit cards for bad credit because you are out of options, and you’ll struggle to make large purchases like buying a house. Then, one day you’ll realise that you’ve got nothing out aside for your retirement, and your options decrease further.

If you live paycheck to paycheck it’s even worse. Failure to take responsibility for your money can mean that you spend much more than you can afford to. Getting into debt is all too easy, and soon your debts can start to mount, making it impossible to get out. You can quickly find that by simply being bad with money, your options are vastly reduced, your debts have skyrocketed and your financial situation is dire. This won’t just affect you now. Severe damage to your credit score can mean that your future prospects are limited, and it can seem impossible to see a way out of your mess.

Fortunately, whatever your situation currently looks like, it’s never too late to make changes. The first should be learning to budget. Here are some tips to help you get started.

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Take Responsibility and Change Your Mindset

Yes, it’s easy to get into debt. Banks, loan companies and credit card companies are always offering you credit. When you make a large purchase, the offer of credit is there. If you’ve already got loans, credit cards and overdrafts, the companies will always want to find ways to give you more. This is how they make money. As someone with debt, you’re an ideal customer, they can make more from you.

But, this isn’t an excuse. Just because it’s easy to get into debt, doesn’t mean that you have to. Stop thinking “it’s ok, I’ll put it on credit” and start asking yourself “can I afford it right now?” And sometimes more importantly “do I need it?”. If you want to be better at budgeting, you first need to take responsibility and change your attitudes towards money, sometimes going against everything that society is telling you.

Assess Your Situation

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Are you guilty of avoiding bills and statements when you know it’s not good? You’re not alone. Most of us have at some point put an unopened statement straight into the bin. It’s even easier now that so many of us have gone paperless. Deleting emails or avoiding online accounts is easy.

But, it’s not going to help. Sure, short term, looking at your bills and statements might be upsetting and cause you worry and anxiety. But, long-term, it’s the only way to help yourself to make things better. You’ll also struggle to budget without really knowing what is going on in those accounts.

Free up a morning, or an afternoon. Sit down with a cup of coffee and no distractions. Print out your most recent bank statements and bills. Look at what you’ve got and what you owe. Take your time to really look into your financial situation. This is often the most crucial step in creating a budget and getting on top of any financial problems that you might have.

Organise Your Debts

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Few of us that are in debt only have one. You might have store cards, credit cards, loans and overdrafts. These debts aren’t all equal, and sometimes, the smaller debts are actually costing you the most money, so don’t assume that these are the best.

Now that you are aware of what you owe write a list. Write down every debt, its amount, its minimum repayment and its interest rates or fees. Look at how much each debt is costing you each month, how long it will take to repay at your current levels of repayment and how much it will cost you in total over its lifetime. By now, you should be able to see which debts are costing you the most money.

If any are interest and fee free, put them at the bottom on your list, but take note of how long that interest-free period will last, so you know when you will start to pay for them.

Find Ways to Decrease Debt

Then, it’s time to find ways to decrease these debts. Balance transfers are a great idea if you are eligible for an interest-free period and you can get the card. Debt consolidation loans are another great option, as the interest rates are much lower than credit cards and all your debts can move to one place. Just remember that even if you can only transfer a small amount of your money to an interest-free account, it’s worth doing as it will save you money.

If you are moving money like this, make a note of when that interest-free period ends. Try to pay off the debt before then, and if you can’t look at moving it again.

If these aren’t options for you, look at your accounts with the lowest interest and see if you could move debt from a higher interest account. When it comes to repayments, remember, even a little bit more than the minimum will help.

Prepare a Spreadsheet

Now you are in control of your debts. You understand your money. You need to actually build your budget. Prepare a simple spreadsheet and add everything. Add your income from wages and benefits as well as any other money that regularly comes into your account. Then, add all of your outgoings. Start with things that you have to pay each month, like rent and utilities. Then, add things that you often purchase, money towards holidays and luxuries, debt repayment, savings and luxuries. The more you include and the more accurate you can be, the more helpful your budget starts to become. Once a month sit down and look at your budget and your finances, make any changes that are necessary, don’t just assume that your budget will stay the same.

Find Ways to Save

You’ve taken control of your debts, you are making repayments, and you’ve got a budget. So now you can spot ways to save more easily. Look at those outgoings on your budget for any easy ways to save. Any contracts that you could cancel or reduce. Then, spend some time checking to see if you could make savings by switching providers.

Things like meal planning, writing shopping lists, shopping sales, preparing for holidays and events in advance and using less gas and electricity at home can also be a big help.

Set Financial Goals

Setting goals is a great way to motivate yourself. If you’ve got debts, your first goals should be about paying them off. If not, start to focus on saving money. Try to have a long-term goal, like saving for a mortgage or paying off a credit card, and then break it down into monthly or weekly targets to help you to stay on track.

Be Realistic

Setting goals that you can’t manage can be demotivating. Push yourself but make sure you’re goals and realistic and you’ll have much greater success.

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3 Tips for Setting up a Digital Business

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Pretty much wherever you turn these days, you can expect to find new articles, guides, books, and Instagram profiles dedicated to the art of stepping outside the realm of conventional work and becoming a digital entrepreneur. Often, this will often be paired with advice on how to hit the road on permanent semi-vacation, as a “digital nomad“.

It’s not hard to see why this lifestyle has become a dream for so many people. Firstly, working as a digital entrepreneur gives you a historically unprecedented degree of freedom. All you need are your particular skills, a computer, and an internet connection, and you can ply your trade anywhere in the world, from anywhere else in the world.

You do not need to be in a particular place, wearing a particular outfit, between the hours of 9-5, five days a week. You also do not need to worry about managing and storing a bunch of stock, or manning a physical storefront.

Setting up a digital business can absolutely be as fulfilling as is often claimed. But, of course, getting it up and running isn’t necessarily going to be an effortless process.

For the sake of helping you to get started, though, here are a few handy tips for setting up your digital business.

Identify what you can effectively do solo and what should ideally be done by a third party

People who have made the decision to live the life of the entrepreneur, are often completely obsessed with the idea of doing absolutely everything in their professional lives solo. As in, completely solo.

It is, therefore, not rare to see people whose core skillsets lie in completely different areas, cobbling together their own somewhat sub-par business sites and marketing materials, as a way of saving money, and taking on full responsibility for their business.

While the drive behind this is admirable, it’s important to know what you can effectively do solo, and what should ideally be done by a third party. Your website is important, so if you’re not currently able to make it look as sleek as possible, probably best to hire a web designer.

As for your marketing materials, the same principle applies. Can you make them outstanding on your own? If not, seek outside assistance, or at least, look into obtaining tools like font managing software.

Come up with a very clear definition of “success” for your business, along particular metrics

For a business to ultimately be successful, it has to be “aimed” at something. You can’t just work blindly, with a vague definition in your own mind of what “success” looks like, or you’ll find you simply lack the required focus to make a real impact.

Come up with a very clear definition of “success” for your business, instead, as well as particular metrics for how progress can be assessed.

What is your “mission statement”? What are your quarterly targets and KPIs? Drill down and get specific.

Commit to regular working hours

Many entrepreneurs cause themselves a lot of trouble, because they are unwilling to impose necessary structure on themselves.

Instead, newly liberated from the conventional world of office work, they cut loose completely, and start working haphazardly, whenever, and shifting between day-and-night work depending on their mood.

This is not conducive to productivity, wellbeing, or health.

Set yourself clearly defined working hours instead, and commit to them. Structure your day as if you were your own benevolent boss.

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Become the master of your own trading strategy

When you are running a business, it is necessary to listen to just yourself. Other people are controlling your own business and this fact will mess with your head. The basic freedom of a business is based on the chance of listening to and following your own thoughts. This is true for all people around the world. Even if your business is nothing compared to the big companies, the rules and regulations will have to be made from your own mind. Yes, we have mentioned rules and regulations in the last sentence. That is because to maintain a business properly a person will also have to be consistent. In the case of the trading business. People can be consistent with their trading strategy. In the following article, we are going to talk about that and tell you about mastering your own trading strategy.

Learn about markets properly

To create a strategy about trading, traders will have to know about it first. The market analysis comes first for making it legit. Before opening any trader, traders will have to know about proper position sizing. That is possible with the proper market analysis first. For the traders to know about that. They will have to learn about finding key swings and price trends. You can easily be done that by finding out the support and resistance points properly. That is also possible with looking at the price charts and using some horizontal lines. Then traders will have to use the Fibonacci tool as it is the most legit one to learn about the possible future condition of the market. You will not be able to be right all the time. But there is no better way than that to go for a trade.

Consider it as your business

New traders don’t want to consider this profession as their business. But all the pro traders always consider it as their day job. They have done extensive research to know who the best Forex broker in Australia is. You can’t be the best if you don’t trade with the best. Though the charges and fees might be a little bit high in the elite class broker still you will have the safety for your investment. Take this profession as your business and you will succeed in the long run.

Know about position sizing

Now that you have learned about market analysis, it is time to work for the position sizing. There is two major factor for that. One is your desired risk to profit margin. And the other is your market analysis. As you have done the market analysis, it’s time to know about setting the right kind of targets with risk to profit margins. For those who don’t know, it is a ratio which represents the risks and reward ratio from the trades. It is something like 1:2 which means you are risking 1R and desiring the profit to be 2R. R is only the unit of calculating the risks and reward for the trading business. Now that you have learned about proper target setting. It is time to work with your position sizing properly.

Include the money management

Like the proper strategies for the trading business, people will also have to work with money. No, we are not talking about the targets like in the last segment of this article. There are more things which are related to the trading business which is based on money management. We are talking about actual money management of the trading account. Even the individual risks per trades are in this management system. When traders will be able to manage their money properly with proper understanding about their trading performance, they will be able to save a lot from their business. Your investment will be safe from using it too much like bait to draw in more profit.

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