How to Boost Employee Success

Employee Success

After you’ve taken in the best and the brightest interviewees into your workforce, do you sit back and relax? No! This is where many managers and business owners make a mistake. After the initial hire, they automatically think that their job is finished forgetting that they need to continually be in touch with their employee to help them grow.

Employee success and engagement is the company’s success. Are your employees emotionally invested in committing their talent, time, and energy towards adding value and progressing the initiatives of the company?

Once your employees are neglected, inevitably, you won’t get the retention, revenue, and overall success level that the company is targeting. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, employee disengagement results in over $550 billion in lost productivity in the United States. So, it is evident that while this is a problem today’s managers and leaders face in the workforce, it is also an excellent opportunity for them to up their game.

Let’s discuss strategies to take towards boosting the success of your employees.

Share the Vision with the Workforce

An employee will hardly be satisfied in a job if they lack a sense of job significance. They would feel excited and energized about the work they have to do when you regularly share the direction and vision of the company with them.

The importance of communicating the company’s goals and plan for your staff cannot be overemphasized. And this is not a matter of taking it to them once or occasionally; you have to say it to them regularly.

Make your employees feel that they are working on something fundamental. The day to day responsibilities at work can feel tiring, but when your staff knows the big vision and purpose of their team, department, and overall company, they would be able to push through and succeed at a higher level.

Communicate Well

This is related to the first key strategy we discussed above. Nothing discourages a staff more than when they feel they are being lied to and kept out of crucial business discussions.

Over communication is one of the traits of successful leadership. So, managers and owners need to communicate always and consistently about the changes in the work structure and company. This will go a long way in helping staff members feel secure in their positions and more engaged in their jobs and commitment to the company.

Encourage Your Employees to Own the Job

To enable employees to be more successful at their jobs, you have to develop a decentralized command ecosystem. Your employees shouldn’t be just 9-5 workers who clock in and count the seconds till they can clock out. No! It shouldn’t be so.

From your VPs down to your customer service staff, enable all your staff members to think that their work is of central importance to the company. By involving them in setting the goals for the company, you’d be helping them understand and care for the company as much as you do. You can do this by empowering and encouraging your staff to be intrapreneurs and own their jobs.

Intrapreneurs have access to the capabilities and resources of an established company, and this helps them to come up with innovative projects and ideas that will enhance the future of the company. And what’s more, they are given autonomy to work on this project.

Give your workers latitude with their choices, but of course, with proper guidance. Put your faith in the ability of your employees to do a great job, and you’ll be rewarded with increased job satisfaction, ownership, engagement, and success rate.

Know the Career Ambitions of Your Employees

Several companies are usually more concerned about what they can get from an employee, than what the employee can get from them. And this ought not to be so.

The relationship between a company and its staff members should be a win-win situation for both parties. While you, the company gets the benefit of their work, their jobs should also be getting them closer to their professional goals.

Now, the question is: how do you help them with this if you are not aware of their goals in the first place? Beyond the questions and answers during the interview, when you take in a new hire, someone in the company should be responsible for learning their development track and professional goals.

This will ensure that your employees will keep moving forward (most likely within the organization, and they’ll continuously reach out for better results in their jobs.

Defined Roles and Responsibilities

Often, employees struggle with job success because they don’t know what expectations and standards they are being evaluated by. If a person is not aware of his/her specific role in the overall goals of a team, results will suffer. Thus, align roles and responsibilities for each team member according to their skills and expertise, and make them aware of it.

Feedback

How do you give feedback to your employees? Do you only give feedback when an employee needs improvement or has made a mistake? To help boost your employees’ success, it is equally essential that you provide positive feedback.

Bill Nelson, in his book “1001 Ways to Recognize Employees”, showed that the thought of making a difference and being recognized for excellent work are the two main drivers of work performance. Unfortunately, a larger percentage of the employees he spoke with during his research haven’t even heard “Thank You” in over six months. You want your staff to succeed, right? Then start showing appreciation and giving positive feedback.

Giving feedback to your employees is crucial. But even more, do they have an avenue to also provide feedback to their managers about their team and business without the fear of being judged or punished. Train yourself and your managers to listen carefully to your employees when they suggest improvements and new ways of doing things.

Bottomline

Boosting employee success is no rocket science. Even as you engage in the strategies we have discussed above, there is no harm done if you simply ask them to tell you how the company needs to improve and what needs to be effected for their work to be more fruitful and productive. Good Luck!

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How to Build a Successful Online Business in 2020

online Business

Have you decided to ditch your 9 to 5 job in favor of an online business, such as an e-commerce website or a blogging business? Or have you decided to take up an online business as a side hustle to complement your 9-5 job, and rake in extra cash? Whichever way, these are great intentions.

The Internet and smartphones have changed the way we do business, and in 2019 alone, E-commerce sales accounted for over 14% percent of all retail sales online, according to Statista.

A great number of people are taking a stab at starting their online businesses, so why shouldn’t you?

But, do you have a real understanding of what it takes to be successful in an online business? While it is good to dream big and have big goals of generating a million dollars, do you have a full grasp of what you need to get to that point and ensure that you don’t get lost in the tide?

According to several sources, including Forbes, over 90% of all online business start-ups fail. Fortunately, you are reading this guide, which contains tips that can place you in the 10% successful online businesses. Let’s do this!

With this in mind, here are few tested and trusted tips that you must follow to stand out and succeed with your online business goals:

Understand Your Niche

How do others perceive your brand? What do people know about what you stand for? People like to do business with brands that they know, like, and trust. In your chosen niche, you have to be authentic, doing what works for you and your target audience.

This is why doing market research about the needs and wants of your target audience is important even before you start.

Are there particular demographics you want to attract? What qualities will they look out for in your product/service, and how can you meet those? This will help you with positioning your brand and creating the best marketing strategy for communicating your business with your target consumers.

For instance, if you want to start a blogging business in the fitness niche, you have to identify what aspect of fitness you are well versed in. In this vein, let’s say you decide to focus on workout routines and nutrition, your next step should be to identify the people you want to reach, and how best you can add value to their lives through your blog.

So, you have a niche now, what next?

Know Your Competition

Competition refers to brands that sell or market the same products/services as you. Except you are going into a niche with no existing businesses, which is almost impossible, then you need to evaluate your competition.

Why should customers choose you over others? This is even more crucial in the online business world.

Your strategy for Content Marketing, SEO optimization, and your User experience/interface (website/ mobile app) should position you ahead of your competition. You should be aware of the social media platforms your competitors are using. This will also arm you with knowledge on where best to engage with your potentials.

For instance, doing your analysis of your competition, you might discover that they focus more on Instagram because the majority of target consumers spend their time there. Needless to say, any social media marketing strategy you craft should then center more on Instagram.

Optimize your Web Assets

Web assets are what constitute your online business. They include everything from your website, social media profiles to your hosting accounts.

You need to organize these relevant assets and ensure that they are fully optimized for your brand.

For instance, your webpages and social media should always be completely updated with the latest information about your company.

Your website should be responsive with quick load time to improve the time consumers spend on it. A lightning-fast load speed increases visitor engagement and sales, and instant web response results in higher conversion rates.

According to a recent Aberdeen Group Research, every 1 second delay in page load decreases customer satisfaction by 16 percent, page views by 11 percent, and conversion rates by 7 percent.

Over Deliver

After examining your competitors, set benchmarks for your brand’s products and services, and try always to surpass them. Endeavor to meet consumers’ expectations on the value you communicated and even exceeded them.

The importance of delivering more value, especially for your initial offerings, cannot be over stressed. First impressions usually last longer, and a great one could mean several loyal customers.

Just imagine the glee on your consumers’ faces when they discover that they have gotten way more value from your brand than they expected. Priceless! This will keep them coming back for more.

Such a consumer will go ahead to tell friends, who will, in turn, tell friends, and your customer base will keep increasing till you become a leader in that niche, gaining the trust and attention of consumers.

Be Conscious of and Protect the Online Reputation of your Brand

Reputation is at the core and center of any online business. Even the slightest mistake can put your brand in a negative light and taint your brand for a long time. One way to remain conscious about mentions of your brand is to set a Google Alerts notification.

Have social media guidelines and strict branding rules. If anyone is posting about your brand, then you understand what you expect from them.

But even beyond brand mentions, how do you deal with and respond to complaints from your customers. It is highly recommended that you develop a serving, not selling mindset. Be interested in solving customers’ problems, and meeting them at their point of need.

Recent statistics show that 73% of consumers love a brand because of helpful customer service, and 89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values.

Focus on Serving

When you focus on serving your customers to the best of your capacity and providing great value, sales and profit will come naturally.

Learn how to identify the concerns and problems of your consumers, and educate them on how to solve these issues as a freebie.

As an online fitness coach, for instance, if you notice that your customers are having issues with balancing their carbs intake, you can create a detailed blog post or YouTube video to address that.

People love free things. So, helping your customers with that issue for free will endear you to them. But even beyond that, it will also go a long way to show that you are very knowledgeable, and stand you out among other fitness coaches.

What’s more, research shows that brands which blog generate 67% more leads. So, serving customers will eventually lead to more gains.

Conclusion

If you want to enter the business world, you have to learn how to be persistent. If you continue to do all the right things we’ve discussed above, staying consistent, you can realize your goals.

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5Ps for Marketing your Home Business

Business Marketing

Running a home-based business comes with several benefits, among which include being your boss, choosing where to work from, and setting your hours. However, this does not mean it does not come with some challenges. You only experience success with a home business when you offer a quality product or service to a target market.

This might sound easy, but most often, business owners are ineffective and inconsistent in their marketing because they lack in-depth knowledge of the area. Having an understanding of how the five Ps work together and marketing mix will go a long way in helping you find your target market and enticing them to buy. The five Ps of marketing refers to Product, Price, Place, Promotion, and Place. If you want to understand and reach the target market for your home business.

The more you target and understand your consumers, the more effective the time and money you spend to reach them will be. Even more interesting, focusing on these 5Ps will give you an awareness of what is working and what is not when it comes to marketing your home business.

To help you achieve maximum results from your home business, we’ll explain these 5 Ps and how you can apply them to your home business.

Product

First P refers to the products and services you provide. You need to be able to tell your audience about what you’re trying to sell to them. Be clear and specific. What are the details of the service or the physical attributes of the product? Explain how the features and functions of your product or service positively affect your audience in specifics.

Even more, highlight what differentiates and sets what you provide apart from what your competitors offer. Develop the habit of considering your product as though you are an outside marketing consultant brought in to decide if it is the right business for the period. Ask crucial questions such as “Is your current offering or mix of products suitable and appropriate for the customers and market today?” Assessing your products and services honestly is extremely crucial to success as a home-based business owner.

Price

The second in the 5P formula pertains to what you charge for your product or service. Your pricing should be sufficient to cover the expenses you incur and also make a profit. But, it also has to fit in with what the market is willing to pay for.

To find a great pricing range, you should conduct thorough research to know what your competitors are charging. You want to make sure your prices are competitive, and that you are also not undervaluing your product.

Beyond these, you should also assess and keep assessing the prices of the products and services you offer to know if they are in tune with the current realities of the market. Sometimes, you might need to raise your prices. At other times, you might need to lower your prices. What’s more, you might even need to combine your offerings with special promotions and offers. You could even include free extra items that cost you very little and make your prices appear far more reasonable and attractive to your customers. Also, whenever you experience frustration with your pricing, be open to revisiting your prices.

Place

No matter how many consumers hear about your products or services, they won’t be able to buy if they don’t know how to find it. Where are your products and services are sold? How will you get your offerings to your clients and customers? For instance, do you distribute your products through an autoresponder system or are they digital goods sold online? Or do you utilize a third-party such as Amazon?

It is important to consider the buying habits of your consumers to know where your products should be sold. The key is reaching your potential customers where they like to spend time. Review the exact locations where your customer gets your products. Sometimes, what you need for a rapid increase in sales is a change of place. Besides, you can sell your product in various places. Many companies use a combination of direct selling, telemarketing, selling through mail order or catalog, selling in retail establishments or at trade shows, and selling as a joint venture with similar products.

Promotion

How does your target audience get to hear about your products and services? After figuring out the essentials, you have to figure out how you tell potential consumers and clients about your offerings, how you market and then sell to them. Know the best methods to promote your products and services. To do this successfully, you need to understand where your market can be found, such as print, social media, television, or radio. In your marketing messages, you can point out the problem your product or service solves.

However, you should always keep at the back of your mind that whatever marketing and sales method you are using today, they will stop working sooner or later. Sometimes you might be aware of why they stopped working, and at other times, you might not. Whichever way, you have to develop new marketing, advertising, sales offerings, approaches, and strategies.

People

Previously, we only had the four Ps of marketing, until this last factor was added. If you hire employees to help you with your home business, you have to be very selective about whom you choose. While the quality of your products or services will impact your sales, if your salesperson is rude, you will lose clients and customers. There is serious competition in the market today, and consumers have diverse choices. And they always opt for businesses that provide attentive, responsive, and quality customer service.

Bottomline

By employing the five 5Ps in your marketing strategy, you can effectively reach your target market with precise and clear messaging about your products and services. It would also help if you can put yourself in your customers’ shoes and try to picture the steps they would take to locate a product or service like yours and the information they’ll require to finally buy from you. Time and money are precious commodities, and using these 5 Ps in your home business ensures that you don’t waste them on unproductive marketing approaches.

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How to Calculate Free Cash Flow for your Business Health

Free Cash Flow

Free cash flow is one of the key indicators used to show the health of the business, particularly its profitability. Typically, it demonstrates the amount of money any business for other purposes after all the capital expenditures that may include equipment, buildings and various other necessary expenses that help businesses sustain their operations.

Although calculating cash flow is a complicated process, there are many ways you can do it. According to experts, it is always better to use all methods correctly. If they all generate the same result, it provides you a reliable way to cross-check your operations.

It is worth noting here that cash flow doesn’t relate to all businesses. It is precisely a measuring tool that non-financial firms use rather than professional associations and investment firms.  If you own a non-financial enterprise, you can calculate the cash flow for free with these three equations.

Equations to Calculate Free Cash Flow

1.       Free Cash flow:  Subtract operation taxes and costs from Sales revenues then subtract required investments for operation capital

The equation is one of the easiest ways to calculate free cash flow. Business owners take sales revenues, including taxes and operating costs from their income statement. The fixed assets show an increase when you invest in new operating capita. The balance sheet shows everything from investments and revenue details.

For example, if your business has earned revenues of $500,000, the amount is reduced to $300,000 because of taxes due and operating costs. If your business requires an investment of $150, 000, it will have the free cash flow of $30,000 to $50, 000.

2.      Free Cash flow:  Subtract net investments in operating capital from net operating profits NOPAT (after taxes)

 NOPAT refers to the same figure we used in the previous equation: subtract operating taxes and costs from sales revenues. Net investment of operating capital uses the same figure that is used in the third term of first calculations. For calculating free cash flow through this equation, it is better to use the increased fixed assets on your balance sheet.

That means, your NOPAT will remain at the same amount of $30,000. You just need to exchange the required investment of your business in operating capital for your net investments in operating capital.  If you assume the same figures, your free cash flow will remain the same.

3.      Free Cash flow:  Subtract capital expenditure from the net cash flow of operations

 You can also calculate free cash flow by subtracting the capital expenditure from the net cash flow that comes from operations.  Net cash flow in this equation comes from the cash flow statement, while capital expenditure is taken from the increase in the business’s fixed assets.  For instance, if your operation’s net cash flow is around $200,000, the figure might be reduced by your capital expenditures.

Interestingly, all these free cash flow calculation methods will give you the same answers when you work with these equations. You might feel like approaching the same information and data from three different angles.

How does Free Cash Flow Calculation Affect Your Business?

As mentioned earlier, free cash flow is useful for the health of your business. Firms with healthy free cash flow are financially stable to meet the bills and investments every month. Plus, they also have leftover funds that they usually distribute among dividends and shareholders. Man firms use this extra fund to seize opportunities to help them generate more revenues through acquisitions of innovative products.

That is to say, if your business is booming and has high free cash flow, it is an indication that it is doing well and you should consider expanding it. Conversely, if it fails to generate good free cash flow, you might need to consider restructuring it as there are remaining funds after the basic expenses.

However, it is important to understand that poor free cash flow doesn’t always indicate a failing business. It might be expected even when your business is pursuing growth. Development and acquisition of new products are temporarily subtracted from the main capital. That is the reason why most of the investors tend to work with the businesses that have high free cash flow. These businesses are generally considered healthy with bright prospects. If an investor finds a business that has rising free cash flow with an undervalued share cost, it may be a great investment bet.

How can you Benefit from the Free Cash Flow

Since you understand how positive free cash flow may benefit you by indicating the healthy financial status of your business, it is better to use this understanding to your advantage. It is always better to look beyond the figures. Know that established firms have relatively consistent and healthy free cash flow. New businesses, on the other hand, are in a state where they need to pour money into growth and stabilization.

Although it depends on the business owners how they use the free cash flow, using the funds to expand the operations, pay shareholders and dividends, invest in new products, research or to reduce debt is beneficial for the business.

Always remember that companies that have surging free cash flow due to debt elimination, dividend distributions, cost reductions, efficiency improvements, or revenue growth can reward their investors in the future.

In other scenarios, when free cash flow is shrinking, businesses fail to sustain their growth earnings. Not only this, insufficient free cash flow for growth forces a business to boost debt levels. In a worse scenario, a business without enough free cash flow may not even have the liquidity to sustain.

Final Thoughts

All in all, it is important to find an all-purpose tool that can help you test the fundamentals of your business that seem elusive. Free cash flow calculation is like a performance metric they provide entrepreneurs an opportunity to guard up if their business is not generating enough revenues.

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Business Credit Card vs. Business Loan: How to Choose?

If you have long been looking for business funds, the multiple business financing options must have overwhelmed you. Many entrepreneurs don’t want to involve outside investors to raise capital for their lean startups to avoid entailing risks such as misaligned structure and timeline.

If you are one of them, business credit cards and business loans are some of the readily available options for you. Plus, these financing options are widely accessible for the entrepreneurs who want to self-finance their business.

Regardless of what options you choose, understanding their pros and cons is essential. But before we plunge into the details, let’s quickly split the difference between business credit cards and business loan to help you choose the most appropriate option for your business.

What Is the Difference between Business Credit Card and Business Loans

No doubt, it is one of the common questions that come to mind when it is about funding your startup. Typically, a business loan refers to a lump sum amount you are paid out that you need to pay back in the form of monthly installment over a specified period. A business credit card, on the other hand, is a credit line that allows you access to money or funds to a certain limit on a recurring basis. This credit line, like another credit amount, can be paid off through monthly payments or over any period of your choice unless you meet the credit limit of each month.

Business loans are generally installment debts; however, business credit cards are revolving debts. Although neither of these options hurt your personal credit scores in the long term if you pay them on time, it is worth noting that business credit card has more potential to affect your credit card scores.  If not paid on time, revolving debt may decrease debt to credit ratio.

Moreover, business loans undeniably offer large sums of funds and may have a lower interest rate as compared to business credit cards. However, qualifying for them is nerve-wrecking since the lending process is unnecessarily long and can take months.

Alternatively, business credit cards can offer you immediate access to funds or cash you need to invest in yours.  While their interest rate tends to be higher, you have an option to pay off your full bill each month. Besides this, the best business credit cards provide a slew of other reimbursements such as credit rewards, purchase protections, and perks that can particularly benefit business owners.

Business Credit Card or Business Loan- Which Can You Get Easily?

Having good credit card scores are necessary to qualify for both business credit cards and business loans.   In addition to that, to initiate the funding process, you will be asked to apply, along with the documentation showing your revenues. However, documentation for business loans tends to be more extensive and hectic. Not only this, you may find requirements for business loans stricter in terms of business profitability and length of time.

Overall, qualifying for business loans is more difficult than getting funds through business credit cards. The requirements become even more challenging to meet if your credit scores are low or you are a startup.

Luckily, Small Business Administration offers loans for startups. Although traditional lenders invest in these government-backed loans, guarantees up to 50% percent of the loan to make the process easier.

Comparison between Business Credit Cards and Small Business Loans

There is no easy answer to the question of whether one should opt for a business credit card or business loans. As mentioned earlier, to choose the best funding option, you need to compare the best features of each alternative.

Features Business Credit
Cards
Business Loans  
Loan amount Up to $50,000 Up to $5million
Loan type Revolving credit line Installment loan
Repayment Monthly payments to the minimum credit limit to pay off a debt to avoid high interest Set payments to be paid monthly over a specified time that can go up to 25 years
Average APR 13 to 20 percent 8 to 10 percent
Eligibility  Steady income and personal credit history  Good  business revenue model and credit
Approval Time Seven days  Weeks or a minimum of six months
Benefits  Sign up bonuses, reward programs,  purchase protection, trip insurance Government-backed loans

Business Credit Card or Business Loan: What is the best Option for You?

You have compared the features of both options; it is the right time to decide which works best for you.        

Business loans are Ideal for your business if you;

  • Need large sums of funds
  • Want investment for profit-generating projects that include purchasing equipment hiring staff or renting new locations
  • Want to expand an established business that generates revenues up to 100,000

Business Credit Cards are ideal for your business if you

  • are looking for options to separate finances  or sole proprietor
  • Want to use the payment option that comes with big rewards
  • Need to access cash immediately
  • Do not want to borrow money and need a payment option that allows you to pay in a month
  • Want to invest in a project that has 0 percent introductory APR and plans to make payments before its promotional period deadline

Factors to consider while Choosing Business Credit Cards and Business Loans

Your job is not done after you decide which option you want to choose and why.  There are certain factors you need to consider to make a safe choice.

  • Interest Rate–   it is important to choose the option that has a low-interest rate. The interest rate in loans and credit cards are compounding, and you will end up wasting a lot of money if you are not diligent.
  • Other fees–   choosing a business credit card means you will have to pay annual fees, foreign transaction charges, and late payment charges
  • Eligibility– applying for consecutive loans or credit cards may ding your personal credit scores by resulting in the new inquiry.  

Final Thoughts

Overall, both financing options come with their perks and downsides. Given that, it is up to you when it comes to making the decision that meets the requirement of your small business.

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These Are the Reasons You Are Struggling With Sales

Converting sales is a difficult task for any business but for some, it’s much harder. Whether you’re a B2C or B2B company, your sales team works tirelessly to reach their quota and help the business achieve its goals. However, no matter how hard they work, it seems like your sales team can’t lure in enough willing buyers. You know what they say, work smarter, not harder.

It doesn’t matter how much effort you are putting into the sales operation; it won’t make a difference if you’re going in the wrong direction. There are reasons why your company is struggling with making sales, and you need to understand them before coming o a solution.

You Haven’t Adapted To Change

The economic climate changes whenever a new wave of innovation and technology hits. Hence, if your business isn’t making as many sales as before, it might be because you are using obsolete systems. Ever since the proliferation of social media, analytics, and big data has come onto the scene, things have changed.

To get ahead of competitors, it’s crucial that your company adapt to these changes. Take big data and analytics, for instance. Many companies still haven’t embraced the importance of data and trends that you can derive from it. Once you do, you’ll begin to understand many things; why a sales drive failed, why you’re losing customers, and what makes a marketing campaign powerful.

You’re Putting a Cap on Commissions

For your sales team, motivation is knowing that, on a good day, they can take home a huge commission without worrying about capping. Capping commissions can stop your sales team from closing more sales and striving to go higher than a specific quota. Numerous studies prove that putting a cap on commissions can hurt overall revenue and productivity.

The results of such studies conclude that companies should remove caps from commissions. Once respective companies did so, they saw their revenue rise by almost ten percent. So don’t worry about having to pay your sales representatives large commissions, because they probably helped your company make a huge profit.

You’re Not Following Up On Every Lead

Sales representatives seem to lose their enthusiasm to follow up with every lead they come across. Instead, they only work towards ones they feel like they can convert. This guesswork makes things very confusing, especially since your sales team is relying on their gut feeling rather than an objective factor.

Take out records of how much your sales team has followed up with old leads. The reason for poor sales could be that they are ignoring certain leads, which results in your company closing fewer sales. It’s crucial that you remember how every consumer is a potential customer in one way or another, so it’s best never to ignore a lead.

Inadequate Marketing

All parts of a business have to work together to drive sales and boost customer retention. The marketing department of a company plays an integral role in giving sales representatives the leads they need. It often happens that a marketing team is unable to deliver qualified leads to sales representatives.

This step hurts your company’s numbers, and you need to improve by improving marketing efforts. This process can involve launching a well-planned Google AdWords campaign and other solutions that have the potential to boost sales.

You’re Unaware of Competition

Even though you’re looking at your competitor’s numbers, there’s a chance that you aren’t learning what they’re doing right. A large part of your understanding should come from what our competitors are doing. You need to invest in research and data about rival companies who have better sales numbers than you.

This research can provide you with valuable insight that determines what you’re doing wrong. Although you don’t have to imitate your competitors, there’s always something you can learn from them, and that’s not a bad thing.

No Training Programs

The only way for a company to go forward is if it invests significant time and resources into improving its employees. It’s unrealistic to expect your sales representatives to learn new things on a job that’s so demanding. When they’re following up on leads throughout the day, your employees won’t be interested in learning about new findings from sales research papers.

That’s why you need to build their skill set by bringing in the right expert. Sales mentors are one way that large corporations are boosting their numbers. Hiring an expert on sales is a valuable initiative that you can take, to improve your firm’s numbers. A sales mentorship also increases morale and helps your representatives develop stronger relationships with their colleagues.

Your Sales Team Lacks a Process

In every company’s sales department, leaders have to develop a process, which representatives should use to make a sale. When there’s no sales process in place, your representatives could be mindlessly trying to chase after leads without examining any weaknesses. At this point, it’s possible that your team is implementing a random process, so even an informal one will yield better results.

Instead of letting representatives do whatever they want, however, they want to do it, sales leaders should begin by establishing an informal process as to how they should get things done. Once you follow leads in a way that’s systematic and consistent, you can move from an informal process to a formal and dynamic one.

Conclusion

Therefore, now that I’ve listed out what your company’s sales team could be doing wrong, it’s time to recap what you should be doing to solve the problem. For starters, you need to adapt to changing climates of the industry by implementing new technology and software.

Next, you need to rethink the cap on commissions and improve your marketing strategy. After that, you should learn about your competitor’s solutions and try to understand the theories behind them. Assign focused and dedicated sales leaders to your department so they can implement a sales process. In addition, most importantly, there should be sales training and mentorship programs in place to enhances your sales representatives’ productivity.

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How New Office Layouts Boost Productivity?

There is no denying that office layout is one of the significant contributing factors when it comes to improving business productivity. Helene Segura, a productivity consultant, stated that she has identified several issues with her clients related to client’s efficiency that is rooted in office setup and time management.

According to her, the lack of productivity is directly related to workspace set up. Gallup in its State of Global Workplace report found that 51 percent of workers fail to engage with work due to a dull office interior.

17 percent of workers stated that they were disengaged and that affected their productivity adversely. The statistics indicate that this dismal state is typically caused by office layout and can be one of the reasons for the decline in productivity.

To put it simply, workplace happiness can make a huge difference when it is about maintaining work performance. Office layouts can change the way we work. The Ethonomic’s author believes that you can change the value of your offices just by changing the approach to office design.

Having said that, here we have enumerated a few reasons why office layouts can boost the productivity of workers.

Effects of Office Layout

1.     Creativity with Space

Creative office space doesn’t only mean that employees want a lavish multi-story building to improve productivity. If you creatively design your office space, it can change the work approach of your employees. That means workers should have access to collaborative spaces, private meeting rooms, and most importantly natural light.

All these elements play a critical role in increasing employee satisfaction and productivity. These open spaces allow workers to move around freely and they will not feel tied to their desks. Plus, it will create more opportunities for workers to collaborate with each other.

2.     Productivity

There is no doubt that when you work at a place that has an interesting and beautiful layout, you feel reinvigorated. It definitely has a positive effect on your work productivity. However, if the office layout has dingy lighting, colorless walls and isolated cubicles, it creates an environment that is off-putting and uninspiring.

That is to say, investing to improve the ambiance of your office space is important as it can uplift the overall mood. This way, workers will feel motivated and energetic and look forward to their work. The pleasant workspace boosts both worker’s creativity as well as productivity.

3.     An opportunity to Collaborate

Whether you agree or not innovative and creative office layouts can shake things up. It can definitely diminish the effects of monotony and enable employees to maximize their work strength. Employees gradually adapt themselves, according to the work environment.

That means if the work environment is not isolated and employees work collaboratively, it adds to their creativity. Different departments can bounce off multiple creative ideas by working together. It is a great way to make a decision and solve problems.

Modern Office Layouts to Boost Productivity

The attractive office layouts are of paramount importance to retain workers. Modern office designs promise rich amenities and creative spaces to enhance employees’ lives. Most new office buildings, in this regard, internalize the amenities and products that employees use to seek externally.

With time, these trends have become common and prevalent.  Amenity-rich office spaces provide comfort to employees, who struggle not only physically, but also mentally due to time constraints

Considering this, here we have enlisted a few modern house amenities to help you make your workspace productive.

·   Modern Lobbies

The tranquilized and peaceful environment can undeniably have a great impact on employees work productivity. Employees, whether current or prospective, form an impression of their workspace by building lobbies.

If there are chaotic streetscapes, crowded atmosphere, and loud environment, it affects the psychology of workers. Spacious and quiet environments, on the other hand, enhance the productivity of workers.

·   Open Floor plans

It is essential for office buildings to be flexible and owners should invest in the right infrastructure. It can only happen when you recognize the needs of your workers and provide them an open, collaborative space with better communal areas.

It can immensely boost their work productivity. Furthermore, it inspires employees’ sense of well-being and makes them feel stress free and motivated.

·    Flexible layouts

It is hard to deny that the modern workforce is more energetic and not static. There has been a significant rise in startups and remote workers in the past two decades. That has increased the demand for flexible designs for office spaces.

One way you can incorporate this modern amenity into your office design is to design spaces that are not static.

For example, workstations that can be converted into standing desks, open lounges, meeting rooms, and movable walls make a great flexible office layout. Not only is it an excellent way to redesign your office space, but also to expand it. This way you can provide more convenience to your workers when it is needed.

·    Employees’ Health

There is no way to boost productivity if employers do not consider the health of the workers while deciding on the workspace infrastructure. That means if your office layout does not promote a healthy lifestyle, boosting work productivity is difficult.

By a healthy lifestyle, we mean full-service canteens or cafeterias, natural light and amenities like go-and -grab meals. Plus, office layouts should be spacious enough for meetings and free walk. The best office layouts have sit-stand desks that have a great impact on work productivity.

·    Nature

Workers spend not less than eight hours in a day inside the office that deprives them of natural light.   That is what makes choosing an office design that is airy,  open and green extremely important to boost cognition. The design trend that connects employees with nature has a powerful impact on work productivity.

Bottom Line

To a small extent, there is no doubt that amenity -rich office spaces are not just for visual appeal, but also have an optimal effect on the productivity of your workers. Thus, modern layout of the workplace can really make a huge difference in improving the productivity of your workers.

 

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How to Hire a Professional Remote Employee

Employee

Commercialized use of technology is rapidly changing conventional operations across industries. Complete sectors, such as schools and offices, are taking a digital turn. Hence, the concept of remote workers is on the rise.

Working remotely allows professionals to work outside the traditional office space. This idea revolves around the notion that individuals do not need a designated office space to perform their tasks. Instead, they have the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world as long as they effectively meet their deadlines.

There are different ways people prefer to work remotely. For instance, some people work from home most of the time but occasionally report to their offices for in-person meetings or follow-ups. Meanwhile, others choose to either work in co-working spaces or the complete opposite: hit the road to be their most productive self.

Remote employment bears mutual benefits for employers and employee. Employees relish their flexible lifestyle, which allows them to maintain a work-life balance. This is a contributing factor in maintaining good health, mentally and physically, as they bear comparatively less stress. A recent study found that remote employees, in comparison to regular employees, are 69% more punctual with their work.

According to a survey conducted by SurePayroll, 86% of participants stated they happen to be their most productive self when they work alone in a relaxed environment. Furthermore, 66% of managers stated they receive better quality of work from employees who work from home.

Indeed, increased productivity from remote employee benefits employers and employees. Employees feel more passionate about their work when they derive a certain level of inspiration from their surroundings. Meanwhile, from a diverse group of people, employers yield greater profits with better quality of work.

Here are some ways an organization can hire competent remote employees:

Evaluate Organization’s Processes and Goals

Assessing processes and goals of the organization will help determine its current potential, and the targets they want to achieve. This will give a clear picture of the type of remote employees they are looking for and where they can find them.

Even though many employers use Craigslist to post their jobs, leading organizations employ a variety of job portals and social networks to reach the ideal candidates. The most commonly used job boards are Flexjobs, We work remotely, Working Nomads, and RemoteOK. On the other hand, Work From, Nomad List, Digital Nomad Jobs, and Remote & Travel Jobs, are popular social networks for filling remote vacancies.

The recruitment process of traditional employee consists of five phases; i) recruitment planning, ii) strategy development, iii) searching, iv) screening and v) short-listing. Organizations tend to modify these phases as per their requirements.

Moreover, telephonic conversations and virtual interviews were the only sources used by recruiters to assess their pool of candidates. Today, organizations tend to use a variety of tools to assist in the hiring process.

For instance, recruiters commonly use Spark Hire, job and HireVue for conducting effective interviews. These tools enable recruiters to schedule interviews in different time-zones as employers can send their questions and candidates answer them in their own time. This way, recruiters can make viable decisions by comparing candidates thoroughly.

Most often, employers tend to make some common mistakes that render the recruitment process ineffective. These mistakes include no face-to-face contact, asking unfitted interview questions with no considerations for cross-borders, and speeding up the process of skipping skills assessments.

List All the Required Characteristics

Organizations should know the exact qualities they are looking for in remote employee. Attention to detail, self-starters, and professionalism are some of the most sought-after traits by employers in remote candidates.

To cover for the physical aspect of evaluation, employers tend to use a variety of tools to identify candidates from a cultural aspect. Tools, such as ThriveMap, Saberr, and Human, are a great way to determine if the candidate will be a good fit for the organization’s culture.

These data-driven and artificially intelligent tools not only assist in estimating candidates’ behavioral approach but remove any kind of biases that can influence decision making due to cultural differences.

Moreover, to verify the information a candidate provides, organizations should ask for referrals. Eventually, referrals are the most effective way to verify a candidate’s profile from someone who has had direct interaction.

Make Unambiguous Contracts

Employers should make a clear offer to candidates who have all the necessary information from timing, salary package, legal rights of both the parties and so on. This way, there is no room for any discrepancies, and employers and employees can proceed with their dealings in a systematic manner.

Moreover, unambiguous contracts are a great way to ensure that either party’s rights are not violated in the process and they can yield mutual benefits out of their transactions.

Manage and Retain Hires

Hiring remote employee is a long and tedious process that consumes organizations’ precious time and resources. Therefore, wise employers tend to work on their plan to retain remote employees during the hiring process.

Since employers have to compete with physical limitations to keep remote employees satisfied, they adopt a variety of different monetary and non monetary approaches to compensate. For instance, providing an attractive salary regardless of the exchange rate is one way to retain their employees.

Other meaningful benefits include memberships to co-working spaces, insurance, and professional development. Most often, employers ask their remote employees for the kind of perks they will find most useful and reward them accordingly.

The concept of remote employment brings numerous monetary and non monetary benefits to both the organization and individuals. However, both remote employees and employers need to understand that their interaction requires a similar level of professionalism as is prevalent in conventional workplaces. With the right set of practices, remote employment proves mutually beneficial.

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Business Opportunities for 2019

The constant change in consumer demands and requirements has led to a continuous shift in the nature of businesses and the way they are operated. Globalization and technology are changing the business world at an exponential rate.

Running a business online, something that was a far cry about 50 years ago, has become an absolute necessity today. Similarly, opportunities that might have seemed impossible are most lucrative ones to avail.

So here is a list of the top businesses, if agreed upon with utmost enthusiasm and determination, which are bound to bring success in the coming years.

E-Commerce Distribution Center

As clichéd as it might sound, the e-commerce sector is growing every year and is expected to grow by 56% by 2020. Countries that are particularly economically developed, such as the US, have a growing sense of satisfaction in its people when it comes to ordering online. The continuous rise in e-commerce markets is especially due to the increased use of smartphones.

Thus, with such favorable conditions, e-commerce markets are inevitably rising as well. Albeit platforms like Amazon (B2C), eBay (C2C), makes it a little challenging for new businesses to grow, and those who risk entering this lucrative market are bound to look for solutions with distribution.

The reason being the task of storing and distributing is a significant part of running an e-commerce business, and the increasing number of online small and medium-sized businesses will inevitably look for such services to help them compete.

Data Crunching (Consultation)

Not very long ago there was a time when data at hand was insignificant for making substantial analysis, but with the increasing use of social media platforms and websites, valuable data is generated every other second.

This idea is not only about collecting a vast array of numbers, but it is also about deciphering them in a way that gives insights and understanding to the business in question. Thus, data related fields are at a continuous rise. With the right combination of skills and resources, this business opportunity tends to be a lucrative one.

Car Charging Station

We are all aware of the increasing popularity of hybrid – all-electric cars in particular. Encouraged by the state, entailing long-term benefits and being environmentally friendly, these cars are here to stay. With an incredibly high demand for all-electric cars, such as the Nissan Leaf, which was sold out before even arriving in the showrooms, there is bound to be a subsequent rise in the percentage of existing charging stations.

Instead of hundreds, thousands need to be built in order to cater to the rising demand for electric powered cars. The idea is not only to encourage the use of this eco-friendly vehicle, but it will also, most likely, eliminate the hesitation to take cars outside the city worrying about a charging station.

Privacy Protection Firm (Cyber Security Software Company)

Year after year, cybersecurity is becoming a major area of concern for many. From money (credit cards) to communication (emails, SMS) to even personal identity (social media platforms), practically everything has a virtual presence that is vulnerable to a breach of information.

With the increasing number of cyber threats, privacy protection companies are in demand more than they ever were. We can be sure that governments around the world are now taking reactive measures of passing cybersecurity laws to prevent beaches, data leaks, and related issues.

Social Media Consultancy/ Management

Social media platforms are breaking the conventional methods of doing businesses; stats have shown about a 198 percent increase in e-commerce websites due to social media referring. That is why companies nowadays are willing to spend significant amounts on the management of their social media accounts.

Social media accounts are not only boosting leads, but also significantly increasing sales and generating valuable insights for organizations to plan ahead.

Hence, there is a rising demand for agencies and consultants who are credible enough to provide the necessary social network support that organizations nowadays are eagerly looking for.

Affordable Elderly Facilities

The aging population is the US is growing at a rapid rate. It is estimated that by 2050 around one-fifth of the entire US population will be over 65, resulting in an inevitable requirement for old age facilities.

Since there is a general perception of poor quality treatment and other problems in these accommodations, it is pivotal that all such notions be overruled by establishing accommodation that offers superior care and caters to the current and future demands of this area.

Car sharing

Drawn from the concepts of renting houses and spaces, renting cars are next in line in the renting businesses. This business has the potential to generate millions with a simple rule of thumb; to charge at least 1% of the total cost of the house/vehicle.

This business is rising at a fast rate, as there are numerous people who prefer using cars for a short period of time or have a need for another type of car that is different from theirs.

These are precisely the reasons why car-hailing services, such as Uber, have been so successful in such a short span of time.

Innovative Tech-Tools Providers

With on-going breakthroughs in technology, artificial intelligence systems, virtual reality, and so on, are in regular demand nowadays. AI is required in manufacturing as well as the service sector, while virtual reality is being used in studies (medical and art), as well as businesses to visualize business and financial models.

However, various studies have proven that gaining access to new system/technology is not nearly a challenge as implementing and sustaining that system. Change theories are not new to us; they have and will always give us a general picture of enforcing advancement in the current practices.

Hence, there is a need for catalysts – change agents – who not only deliver the right technology to meet the organization’s need, but also ensure that the people in the organization develop a certain level of comfort with their new system.

This business has a lot of potential because it will not only tap the future needs of organizations for the latest technologies, but it will efficiently bridge a gap between inventors and end consumers.

 

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