Hiring Your First Staff Members

There comes a time with any small business where you need to hire your first employees, and when that happens it can often be worrisome trying to work out how to make the most of it. Of course, there is always going to be something of a learning curve here, and it is something that you will find you need to research thoroughly before you need to put it into action. But it is important to know what is actually involved in the process of hiring staff members, so that you can make sure you are getting it right. In this article, we will look in some detail at the process of hiring your first employees. As long as you get this right, you should find that you can much more easily take people on board.

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Your HR Process

You will need to make sure first of all that you have a decent HR process for dealing with people, and you need to do this even if you are only hiring one other person. The moment that you hire just one other person, you need to think about the administrative and legal side of things, and that means having an HR process. Fortunately, that is easier today than it has ever been, and as long as you use the right software you will find that it is much easier to do indeed. Take a look at this HR managers guide to onboarding software so that you can make sure that you are doing it in the right way. This will form an important part of hiring your first people, so it’s something you absolutely want to make sure you are focused on.


In order to ensure that the people you are looking to hire are right for the job, you do of course need to look into carrying out interviews. If you have never given an interview before, then you will find that this is something which actually takes some learning, and you should allow yourself some time to be able to figure out how best to do it. As long as you are able to interview well, you will be much more likely to get to the bottom of what you need and that will mean that you find the right people for the job much more easily. So consider interviewing an essential part of the process which you need to learn to master.

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Qualities To Look For

If you are not yet sure what you are actually looking for, then you will need to think about it a lot before you get the process going, otherwise you will find it much more difficult to actually end up with the right person for the job. Of course, there are many qualities that you might want to look out for and they will vary from job to job, so make sure that you are absolutely clear on this from the start. As long as you are, you will be able to hire your members in the right way and at the right time.

Top SEO Plugins Every Blogger Should Install

With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, many would argue that the Internet is something that is changing immensely. There are constantly new devices being released, new trends in marketing, and new plugins being utilised. This blog post deals with the latter – plugins. After all, these are quite often integral to a website or blog’s success in the modern day, as they have a great bearing on search engine optimisation.

Therefore, read on to discover the top SEO plugins you should install this year…

W3 Total Cache

In the past, page speed did not really play such a big role with regards to a website or page’s search engine ranking.

However, as any experienced specialist in SEO will tell you, because of the changes that have occurred over the past year or so, page speed is now one of the most important factors and has a great say on how high you rank up on Google and alike.

Thankfully, W3 Total Cache can help you out. It increases page speed and it does so significantly.

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JetPack Publicize

Social media and search engine optimisation go hand in hand nowadays. For social media to work to your advantage fully, you need to ensure you are posting on a regular basis.

JetPack Publicize ensures that whenever you post a publication on your website or blog, then your social networking feeds – such as Twitter and Facebook – will automatically be updated.

This is something that is very beneficial because it ensures that your content is out there straight away and it will save you a lot of time too.

Nevertheless, you still need to recognise the importance of composing Tweets and Facebook posts yourself. A healthy combination of both is the winning formulation.


Yoast is a fantastic search engine optimisation plugin and is largely regarded as the best plugin there is.

When you have created a post, Yoast will go through and analyse it in order to give you a rating on how good the SEO is. This will be displayed via a coloured circle – ranging from green for good search engine optimising utilised to red for poor.

It also gives you an insight into where you have gone wrong – including aspects like links, keywords, Meta description, content length, and title.

Another great benefit of this plugin is that you get to easily create your own permalinks, which is crucial considering the importance of optimised URLs.

P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)

Earlier, W3 Total Cache was mentioned as a must download because it increases the page speed of your blog. However, the problem is that some plugins may counteract that and actually slow down your blog – a vicious cycle.

P3 is certainly worth downloading because it can provide you with data on which plugins are detrimental to your blog and are thus slowing it down.

Therefore, you can make the necessary edits in order to ensure optimum user experience.

So there you have it: the top four plugins that you should be using for SEO in 2010.

Yoast, W3 Total Cache, P3 and JetPack Publicize are all highly beneficial, and once you download them you are bound to wonder what you were ever doing without these great plugins!


Miserly Marketing: Save Money And Build Profits

Quite a few businesses think that they need to channel a large portion of their budget into their marketing. In fact, the majority of companies now create a completely separate budget for their marketing efforts, and this can often end up a larger budget than the one dedicated to the rest of their company.

But does your marketing really have to be this expensive? Well, the good news is that it doesn’t. In fact, you could reduce your marketing budget quite significantly if you follow all of these great tips and tricks.

Consider Outsourcing Some Or All Of Your Marketing

If you don’t already outsource some of your marketing to a digital agency, it’s probably time that you start to think about doing so. Quite a few entrepreneurs view outsourcing as being a very expensive process, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, if you outsource all of your marketing or just a small part of it, you will find that you start to save more money. The agency you outsource to will be made up of experts who can focus on the best tasks to promote your marketing, and will do a very good job as a result. Plus, it reduces the number of full-time marketing staff you need working for you in-house. Full-time employees are always more expensive than freelancers as you have to provide them with a lot of financial perks on top of their regular salary.

Use Social Media Influencers

Something else that you should be doing is using social media influencers. If you are a regular user of Instagram in your free time, you might have already noticed that some of your favorite influencers have been promoting certain brands for some time already. To get on board with this type of marketing, you just need to find an influencer who has a following that is similar to your target market. Approach them to see if you can sponsor them to post about your brand and products. If they agree, you should find that this can really boost your marketing for little extra cost.

Dip Into Internal Resources

You might even be able to dip into some of your company’s current internal resources. If you ever need to hire a videographer, photographer, or similar skilled freelancer to help you produce some marketing materials, you could simply email an internal mail to your staff asking if anyone knows someone to help you out. Someone on your team may have these skills already, or may know a friend who can do the work for you for a reasonable price.

Go For Quality Over Quantity

When you do need to pay for anything, be sure that it is always of the highest quality. Going for quality over quantity will help you make much better marketing materials and strategies that can bring you some very impressive returns.

As you can see, your marketing budget doesn’t have to be too big. Just use these tips to help bring down the costs!

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Keeping Your Business Warm While Keeping Your Costs Down

Boilers aren’t the most exciting topic in the world, right? But they are essential for your business and your comfort, so read on to discover more on how to keep your business warm yet your costs down.

Old Boilers Versus New Boilers

Boiler services are offered by heating companies will either help keep your old boiler in good, working condition or can provide you with a brand new boiler. Choosing whether to keep your old boiler and upgrade with the likes of thermal integration or opt for a new one is a decision with financial implications that could last years, so a decision should be reached after consulting the relevant information.

Firstly, new boilers offer efficiency that older boilers just cannot compete with. For example, some homes and businesses in the UK still use older boilers that may be running at 60% to 65% heating efficiency. Essentially, that means that for every £100 spent on gas or oil, about £30 to £35 is wasted. That’s a lot of money to be throwing away. By comparison, today’s modern energy efficient boilers, which have to meet certain government and environmental regulations, can achieve over 90% heating efficiency. That means a modern boiler could save you hundreds of pounds on your central heating bill every year, perhaps even more depending on the condition of your current boiler.

While many people are put off by the price associated with new boiler installation, the reality is that you’ll make your money back on this investment in just a few years. On top of that, you’ll also have a modern, fully functioning gas boiler as opposed to an older boiler, which may be on the brink of breaking down and requiring costly servicing and repairs. Therefore, if your boiler is ten years or older, it’s worth replacing it with a modern boiler. There are many boiler installation companies who can help you with this matter.

Always Get A Quote

Boiler replacement services are incredibly popular – particularly during those months before the cold snap sets in. Nobody likes the thought of an old, faulty boiler keeping them ‘warm’ throughout the winter. But before you look to get a new gas boiler installed, get quotes from potential central heating engineers.

Quotes are an important way of protecting your rights. If you phone up someone to come out at short notice without a quote, you’re trusting that they’re going to charge you a fair amount for the job. However, some people are opportunists and will try to squeeze a few extra pennies when performing a boiler installation or when they replace combi boiler parts.

Always seek out a quote for any building or central heating work that you’re getting done. This also leaves the ball firmly in your court. You could seek quotes from a number of local contractors to determine which is the best suited to your budget. However, you should also consider other factors such as reputation, experience, and the quality of installation that you’re going to receive. A poorly installed gas boiler could come back to bite you in the future. Local contractors are definitely how you should go if you’re looking to save money. Large energy companies who offer to replace your boiler will charge multiple expenses on top of the installation job due to their large overheads. And, lastly, you should always get a free quote for replacement boilers – there is no need to pay for one.

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Tight Startup Budget? Here’s How to Maintain Your Image

Startup owners definitely struggle to find the balance between saving money and preparing for a dip in sales and maintaining a credible and professional image. While flashy office supplies and a beautiful office space definitely costs a lot, it’s also the kind of image you’d like to portray when trying to woo potential clients; if not, how else are they going to fall for your business?

Luckily, there are ways to gain the kind of credibility your small startup is looking for without spending too much on it. Here is a handful of tips to get you started so that you can feel a bit more confident the next time you head off for a business meeting.

Prioritise high quality

As a brand new startup, you have the luxury of being able to focus on each individual customer to a degree which a large company simply won’t be able to do. This is often why they fall in love with your business, to begin with, so show your very first fans some love by making sure that everything you deliver is of the highest quality.

There are two good reasons for this. Firstly, you’d like to establish a great relationship with every customer you get right from the start. Friendly service and excellent products are just the building blocks to this so make sure that your business is focusing on this before anything else.

Secondly, customers tend to talk about new and small businesses with each other, and you should make absolutely sure that they only say good words about your friendly team and fantastic service.

Another way of ensuring high quality is, of course, to make sure that you have a clean and tidy office space without ruining your entire budget. Have a look at Allcott Commercial, for example, and keep in mind that how you decorate your office also has an impact on its image.

Focus on transparency

Yet, there is no way of guaranteeing that you never make a slight hiccup once in a while and there’s really no point in trying to stop the complaints from coming in either. This is how you’re going to learn, after all, and attempting to censor the complaints online will only make matters worse.

To appear as credible and professional as possible, it’s important that you own up to your mistakes and ensure that your business is able to improve and move on afterwards. Have a look at this article for some tips on how to handle complaints and ensure that you’re running a transparent business.

Remember to outsource the tasks you’re not able to hire an entire team for, by the way, instead of skimping on this by making an untrained employee handle it. This is a sure way to lose credibility when your employee makes a mistake – and it will cause you more trouble than it’s worth.

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