So, your new business has finally launched after months and months of hard work – planning preparation, researching, investing – and you want to make the beginning of your business as brilliant as the rest of the business’ life. You think about what you should do – a giveaway, a free product to one lucky customer, or... a launch night?
A launch night is becoming increasingly popular with start up businesses, so much so that it seems wherever you look, there is a launch night happening for a new business in town or in the city. Launch nights usually comprise of celebrities attending, free alcohol (including the best wine and the latest fashionable beer), and buffet-style food created by either the restaurant (if that is what launching) or one of the hottest and well known chefs in town. On launch night, it is also usual to have a resident photographer and a few journalists to document the night. Basically, a launch night of a business is used to promote what the business is going to do, and how it is going to do it. This means that a launch night is crucial to not only the beginnings of a business but also to how the business will fare in the market for years to come.
If your business is online, then it may be a wise choice to book a venue for the launch night where everyone will know. It does not have to be a bar, or a pub, it could be a restaurant, a cultural centre or even a popular arts venue. It is not unheard of for business owners to book venues such as cinemas for the launch of their business. You could also even contact other businesses – bigger, non competing ones of course – and ask if they have any space within their buildings to hold a launch night for your business. If you are unsure of how to do this, you could contact someone with Conference Room Management to help you out.
If you do decide to hold the launch night of your business within another company’s office, it is always a good idea to ask the CEO, and employees of that company, to attend your launch. This will mean you have got off on the right foot immediately with people who hold power, meaning your business will get talked about, the CEO will know who you are and what your business does and it could mean instant clients.A launch night, though, can be a stressful addition to your business. It also costs money. When booking caterers, go for the cheaper choice (sandwiches can never go wrong), buy wine that still looks good on the label but tastes just as nice as the more expensive brand. It is always worth asking venues for a deal in their pricing when booking – most venues will be happy for a reduction as they know people coming to your launch will buy drinks from the bar and will return if they like the venue.
Mobile devices have completely changed the world we live in, and if you’re not using them in the day-to-day running of your business, then you’re almost certain to be lagging behind the competition. I’m not talking about using your phone to read and reply to emails here. I mean using modern, innovative functions to take your business to exciting new places. Here are a few changes you may want to consider…
Introduce Mobile Payment Options
I read a feature not too long ago focussing on a food truck business which was more or less dependent on mobile technology. The company regularly used tablets with mobile credit card processing capabilities as their points of sale, which proved to be faster and more convenient than more traditional POS systems. The business also relied on social media access to let their customers know where the truck would be on a day-to-day basis. If your whole business has a mobile element to it, you should certainly be using mobile tech as an auxiliary.
Equip Your Sales Team
Though a lot of business owners aren’t aware of it, mobile tech can be an incredibly useful tool for contemporary sales teams. With modern smartphones and tablets, mobile sales teams have constant access to productivity and communications tools including simple things like email, as well as scheduling apps and calendars. Various apps will also allow your sales team to deliver presentations, prepare invoices, and take part in various social collaborations. These handy functions of mobile tech keep on growing, so take advantage of it now!
Up with Flexibility, Down with Costs!
When you boil it all down, the two biggest benefits of mobile technology are flexibility, and a significant reduction in costs. Social media, email and sharing apps all allow you to save sharing information instantly, no matter where you are. A lot of modern businesses are also using the capabilities of mobile tech to eliminate paper altogether from their processes. This is one of the most effective ways for companies to increase their flexibility and efficiency, all the while shaving down overall costs. No matter what kind of niche your business occupies or what your specific goals are, these are two benefits of mobile tech you can’t afford to ignore.
Engage Customers in the Mobile Space with QR Codes
QR codes, those little boxes of pixelated black marks, are now a common sight in modern marketing materials, and one which you should certainly be taking advantage of wherever it will help. Local, physical retail outlets can send out direct mail campaigns with a QR code allowing people to download their mobile app or give them access to digital vouchers. Alternatively, you can link your customers straight to your online store through eye-catching print ads. There are all kinds of ways to leverage QR codes and bridge the real world with digital materials. Find one that suits your business right now!
Websites are almost like shop windows in this day and age. Many companies don’t even have physical addresses anymore. They are an ultimate source of knowledge, expression and a main consumer outlet. The creation of a website, for whatever means, is not easy. Start up businesses usually make key mistakes in their construction as do individuals who are setting the website up for other means. The key to a great website is proper planning. As the old saying goes, if you if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
First you need to pick the perfect creation tool. You don’t need to do this if you are using a web developer because they can do it for you, but if you want to do it yourself you need to give it careful consideration. Dreamweaver is a great platform that has been tried and tested over the years, there are also Dreamweaver training classes which can help you make the most out of the platform. Getting professional insight can be the difference between an amateurish website or an expertly grafted one.
You need to plan the layout, keep it simple. If your website leads to many dead ends and forces visitors to click through many meaningless links they may just exit and go straight to a competitors website. You need to keep it clear and simply, with well defined headings that actually take people to relevant content and information.
If you are planning to use a transaction system on your website you need to consider how you’re going to do it. You can build your own, which can be tough or ponder using a paypal based system to get you started. Consider the customer here, there should be a few different payment options to suit their needs.
You also need to plan your content. Don’t launch your website without having content ready to go live, otherwise it will just be a shell. This is significant if you’re creating a blog or information based website but also applies to all kinds of websites. Content is huge in the success of your website, so spend time on it. You can even get someone else to help you write the content if there is going to be a lot of it. There are hundreds of freelance content writers who would do it for great rates. Check freelancer for more information.
Search engine optimisation is also another key aspect to look at in the creation of your website. If nobody can find it or see it then they aren’t going to come to your site and buy your products or read your blog. You need to ensure your content is wide and varied, as this is key in any kind of search engine optimisation. The more content you have the easier it is for people to get hits on your website. Plan this process before going live. When it all releases in sync it makes for a smoother launch. Google Analytics will help you work out what works and what doesn’t, so once you’ve launched make sure you check up on where you traffic is coming from to improve your results.
Every minute spent in your business is crucial. Yet have you had a proper look at just how much time you might be wasting? If you did, the facts might shock you. Businesses lose hours every day due to distraction, workforce problems, and inefficient practices. Here, we’ll identify four time wasters that could be doing a lot more damage to you than you think.
A misdelivered message here, a poorly understood objective there. It might seem like the problems of miscommunication start small, but they build into a culture of ineffective management that leads to errors and emergency fixes time and time again. One of the reasons miscommunication has become so common is the dependence on indirect communication. Emails and instant messengers might be useful ways to deliver information quickly. But if you aren’t implementing proper ways to manage and retain that information, it can get lost in the hectic to-and-fro of the working day easily. Make sure you establish a rule of organizing emails so that people no longer miss that vital info amidst the rest.
The hour-long meetings
Too much direct communication can be just as much of a problem as too much indirect communication. A lot of business owners want to catch up with their team and keep them abreast of the latest developments. However, getting comprehensive can often overload a team meeting to levels that it’s a lot more for any one person to deal with. If they have to sit through thirty minutes of discussion that’s irrelevant to them, they will disengage and fail to hear even the relevant parts. Make sure you have a proper agenda and use a questioning method to find out which topics are worth a team meeting and which should be saved for one-to-one or smaller group chats.
Employee health issues
One of the bigger impacts on the productivity of a business is the availability of an employee. When it comes to their health, you can’t exactly blame them for getting sick or injured. You can, however, prepare for it and help them avoid it. By tackling health issues in the workplace with tactics like health assessments by Health Assured, you can identify potential problems before they arise. Then you can use flexible working conditions or change their workload to cope better with their individual risks.
Another serious drain on time is the health of your tech. If you have an extensive network, or even a collection of separate PCs you need to treat them as you would a fleet of cars. They need regular maintenance, preventative protection, and a tech-savvy service at the ready to repair them. Keeping your tech manageable is essential. Otherwise, your employees will find their most vital tools breaking down when they need them most. You should also implement rules for tech distraction. For instance, set hours in which social media and email management aren’t allowed, so they’re not impeding in their workflow.
Every aspect of the business needs to be fighting fit, from your staff to your tech and even the lines of communication. We hope the tips above help you iron out the issues that are keeping your business from reaching its true potential.