What are the Main Benefits of Owning a Business Facebook Page?

Image: TeroVesalainen

Millions of businesses worldwide rely on Facebook to operate, but there are still millions of others that refuse to set up Facebook pages to help their business grow. Social media is huge these days and it’s a terrific way to get your business out there, so if you don’t yet have a Facebook page you could be missing out on massive amounts of exposure. If you’re looking for some good reasons to set up your own Facebook page, here are several.

Free Marketing

It takes a while to get a Facebook page to have a decent following, but once you’ve achieved that, you’ll have an audience you can interact with and that means free marketing. You can post as much as you want on Facebook, and even though it’s not recommended to annoy your audience every few minutes, there’s certainly nothing wrong with advertising a couple of times every day just to show your audience you’re active.

Decent Exposure

The best benefit of using social media to market your business is that it offers massive amounts of exposure and it quickly gets your brand out there. By having a good Facebook cover photo template with your own brand name, your potential clients will quickly see a brand that they will remember.

You Can Target the Correct Audience

Facebook offers businesses the chance to get information on demographics and insight into what types of content are working for them, and you can too. You will be able to target the correct audience every time instead of wasting your time using traditional methods that you don’t know are going to work.

Increased Web Traffic

If you own a website, it would be silly not to take advantage of social media platforms such as Facebook because of the exposure you are almost guaranteed to benefit from. You’ll not only get an audience that continually follows everything you post, but you’ll also get a direct following on your website and that could mean more sales than ever before.

Build a Loyal Client Base

Another great benefit of having a Facebook page is that you’ll be able to interact with potential customers and that means you can build a loyal client base. They will see you’re always active and willing to reply to their messages and that will instantly build trust among your followers.

See What Your Competition is Up To

You’re not going to be able to see what your competitors are up to on social media if you don’t have your own Facebook page, and that could make the difference in how well your business does. By spying on your competitors, you’ll be able to see what is and isn’t working for them and you’ll be able to build better marketing strategies based on that information.

Granted, building a social media following is challenging work and it can take months to achieve, but if done right it could propel any business above its competition. If you do not yet have a business Facebook page, you’re truly missing out on exposure so it’s important you strongly consider creating one. It takes less than five minutes and it could be the difference between your business succeeding or failing.

Backup For Business

When you’re running your own business, you need to ensure that everything sails along as smoothly as possible. It’s not just the workload that will be affected if not; it could be your income at stake. Whilst employees are glad for a few minutes off when systems go down, it is your money that is lost. With that in mind, you need to ensure that you are utilising the products that are available to you to invest in for your own peace of mind.

Photo: tranmautritam

The one most annoying thing about having a website hosted with another company is that when it goes down, it’s out of your control. You need something with good backup; there are cloud hosts available online which give you up to three alternatives for hosting, keeping your site constantly running without ever having the need to go down. It’s through the transfer of the hosting onto these other platforms that they can get the initial platform back up and running in quick time, without causing any disruption to you. It’s pretty simple – but it’s always the simple stuff that works, right?

Photo source: Pixabay

Your Files

If you aren’t transferring any files that are important/needed over to an external hard drive every day to make sure that they’re safe, then you’re playing with fire. Computers only last so long – experts recommend between three and five years is your betting on their lifespan. That means that once they’re gone over the minimum threshold, your files are at an increased risk of being lost. It is so important to get them backed up onto a physical format, even if it’s by burning them onto CDs rather than transferring them onto a hard drive. Even printing at this stage could be a good option, if it’s in the correct format to be done. There is even the opportunity to send them through email as attachments if they’re small enough, meaning that they’re easily accessible from remote locations with just a login and a password. If you look up the best email providers, take note of the storage space that is offered; if you buy a business account with the provider that you choose, you are more likely to be given the chance to buy more space to make room for everything that you need.

Photo: Burst

Everything Else

It’s worth saying that, to increase backup across the whole of your company, you are going to need to bring in other sources. The more people that are involved, the more likely you are to find another copy of the thing that you are looking for. For example, if you outsourced a graphic designer to take hold of all of your branding, you should have a copy and, if lost, the graphic designer should be your backup and provide you with a copy too. This is not a case of too many cooks spoil the broth; in this instance, the cooks should be welcomed to join the kitchen so that you can utilise them for this advantage.

Could You Be Missing Valuable Sales Opportunities?

As everyone working in or running a business will know, the corporate world never sleeps. Those companies that do go down the traditional route and clock off once 5 pm hits, unfortunately, do not last very long in the modern day. The advances of the Internet have made 24/7 business a very real and very accessible thing. For every hour that your company is not active and engaging with its customers, another business could be sliding in and taking that custom away from you. That is why it is so integral these days to be on top of your sales opportunities, and to not let any of them slip through your fingers. Here are a few ways you might be missing out on potential sales, and what you can do to create more frequent opportunities for yourself.

Put your service first and your branding second

Regarding your marketing, what is it that you are really selling? You might have excellent branding, with a great name, logo, and some visual marketing. But if your potential client doesn’t know what it is you can do for them, your whole strategy could easily fall flat. Remember that the average punter is not going to care about how pretty or sophisticated your branding is unless they think you can help them solve a problem they have. So, catch your customers by telling them how you can help them first, and formulating your brand second.

Photo: Rawpixel 

Your technology is failing you

If you are anything like other modern businesses, chances are you do a great deal of your client interaction online. This could be via your company website, landing page, or even through an e-commerce portal. So when the online side of your business fails, it can have disastrous consequences for your sales records. One such example is when your website crashes, or when it takes a long time to load. The modern consumer is impatient, with limited time on their hands. With this in mind, you need to make sure you are using a dedicated server that can operate at the speed you need it to. Otherwise, if your website takes more than a couple of minutes to load, your client will simply get bored within those minutes and move on to one of your competitors.

You aren’t following up with clients

If your business is quite large, you may be chasing any number of leads at any given time. But one of the most common reasons for businesses not making sales is that they forget to follow up lines of inquiry. If, for example, someone contacts you asking about a service you provide, don’t just give them the basic details and then offer no further conversation. Always make the interaction with the potential client open-ended, so there is no ‘end’ to your relationship with them. If they go cold on you, give them a call (never an email) over the next couple of days, asking if they need anything else from you. They could say no, but you’ll never know until you ask.

Would consulting work be better for a young parent?

Business consultants commonly operate in key areas such as HR, marketing, accounting or management. The role of the business consultant is to assist firms by evaluating working practices and employees and determining what a company’s weaknesses are. The business consultant should then provide recommendations and solutions that will help a firm to improve its output and develop.

There is flexibility involved with the working hours of a consultant. While it is common to be present during working hours to study, review and speak with employees and oversee the general level of activity within a company, a lot of work can be done away from the office. A business consultant will analyse a lot of figures and company information, and this is work that can be done at any time of day or night and from any location.

Given that a consultant only needs to be in the office at certain times, the role of a business consultant is one that can fit in with the schedule of a parent. After dropping children off at school, nursery or with a child-minder, the parent can spend a few hours in the workplace gaining an understanding of the company, its practices and its employees. After this, the consultant can collect their kids, spend time with them and then undertake more work at home in the evening.

 Consultancy work is flexible

The flexibility associated with the working practices of a consultant makes this role suitable for parents who require flexibility with respect to childcare and maintaining a work-life balance. In addition to the increased flexibility of working hours and location, there are other reasons why a young parent may decide that working as a consultant is best for them.

A lot of young professionals are attracted to the diversity of working with a broad range of firms. This helps to keep the role interesting, it allows a professional to make contacts for networking purposes, and it provides a broader range of experience. A young parent who is looking to develop their CV so as to find a stronger role when their children are in full-time education will find that consultancy work can open many doors.

Another strong reason for young parents to consider consultancy work relates to the financial perks. A consultant will pay less in taxes compared to a standard employee, and a contractor is able to deduct their expenses. This means that a consultant can have a higher level of take-home pay, and it is clear to see why young parents would appreciate additional income.

However, there are tax issues relating to being a freelance consultant. Many consultants find that in order to fully comply with regulations and avoid complications with HMRC, it is best to seek guidance from professionals, and this may come in the shape of using the services of an umbrella company. With tax regulations changing all the time, consultants need to ensure that they receive the best IR35 advice and obtain guidance on how to best operate their business.

In creating a suitable work-life balance, it is easy to see why young parents would be interested in consultancy work.

Photo credit: 089photoshootings

Health and Safety Problems to Bear in Mind for your Physical Business

Photo: Eroyka

A popular route into setting up a business nowadays is to start out online. It makes sense. Online retail is great for startups: no overheads or rent costs, relatively cheap setup and your customers can take a look at your stock 24 hours a day. If things don’t work out, then you haven’t lost all too much. But as your business grows and expands, you might like to consider setting up a real life tangible shop. A store gives your business the benefit of interacting directly with your customers. Great customer service increases customer loyalty. It also allows your brand to reach out to an audience who aren’t online. There are so many things to bear in mind when starting up a physical business. Health and safety don’t usually come top of the list of people’s priorities, but it’s such an imperative part of physical business that you just can’t allow it to be swept under the carpet.

Why is Health and Safety Important?

Health and safety should always take priority. It’s of the utmost importance. Regardless of the workplace environment, there are bound to be hazards. These pose the risk of accidents which can cause problems with an individual’s health or serious injury. Whether that person is you, a staff member or a customer, it needs to be avoided. You need to be personally and socially responsible.

Precautionary Measures

Health and Safety Management System

Every business should have a health and safety management system in place. Everyone working for the business should be fully aware of it: always give a debriefing to any members of staff before they are in the workplace. If you employ more than five people, you’ll have to put your system onto paper in a written health and safety policy statement. Employ a competent legal aid to help you draw this up.

Risk Assessments

“Risk” is the significant probability that an accident will occur. You have to assess the potential risks in your workplace and draw up an assessment of them. This is a legal requirement. The main point is to ensure that everyone in the workplace is aware of potential risks.

Risk Control

Risk control involves training employees to prevent accidents and deal with accidents if they are to happen. Remember that all incidents must be reported, so have a book handy for staff to note down anything dangerous that occurs in the store. Make sure that there’s a first aid kit in easy reach and that everyone knows where it is stored.You must also take out employers’ liability insurance.

Creating a safe retail space

So, how do you go about creating a safe retail space? This might all sound like a lot of hassle, but it is all worth it. Most of the work will take place when you open up your business. Here are some key things to bear in mind.

Photo: minthu

Fire Safety

Every single store is at risk of fire hazards. From electrical faults to improper storage of cleaning products: risks lie everywhere. To ensure that you are prepared for any first that may arise, you must have fire extinguishers in store and train your employees in how to use them, should they need to. You should also schedule regular fire drills and fire inspections to verify that all staff are briefed on fire procedures and your equipment is working correctly.

Lighting

Certain stores prefer low lighting to create a certain atmosphere. But reduced lighting, unsurprisingly, results in more accidents. Customers are more likely to collide with displays and one another. There is also the increased risk of staff not noticing spills on the floor, which could cause somebody to slip and injure themselves. If possible, use bright lighting. Both in your store front and back in the stock rooms.

Air Quality

Not all stores have windows to air the space out. Think of stores located in malls or other large retail spaces. If your store doesn’t have windows, make sure that you have a good quality air ventilation system in place. This will prevent the growth of mould and bacteria in your retail space.

Photo: Mike Mozart

Temporary Hazard Signs

Make sure that your store has temporary hazard signs that can be put out. The most important of these is a wet floor sign. If there has been a spill, it will need to be cleaned up. But one of these signs should be placed in the wet area to warn customers of the safety risk until the floor is completely dry.

Photo: Jonathan Rolande

Store Fittings

Every retail space will have fittings to display stock. This could be rails, shelves, table tops or any number of display units. It is important to check that these remain in good condition. As time goes on, you may find that wood splinters, shelves become loose, and display units develop sharp corners. When installing colored fittings in your store, try to ensure that they are powder coated. This means that the coloring won’t transfer onto your stock and customers. For more information, contact companies such as http://www.reliantfinishingsystems.com/.

Different Perspectives

Remember that a whole range of people will be visiting your store. Including babies, toddlers, and children. Take a look at your retail space from different perspectives to ensure that there aren’t any underlying hazards that you have overlooked. Scour your store from top to bottom. Put up warning signs for low ceilings where the tall may bump their heads. Make sure there aren’t any exposed wires at ground level.

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Manual Handling

Chances are that at some point your staff are going to have to do some form of lifting or manual handling. This can be something as simple as moving a box in a storeroom. It sounds simple enough, but weeks of work have been missed from employees pulling muscles in their back while shifting stock. Train your staff in how to properly lift and move items. If you will need particularly heavy items moved, make sure that the proper equipment is in place and that everybody understands how to operate it.

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