Category Archives: Business

Learn Marketing Lessons From Red Bull

Red Bull is, in many ways, a fantastic company. If you’re old enough, you’ll remember how Red Bull went from nothing to a global brand, seemingly overnight.

As with most “overnight” success stories, Red Bull’s rise to fame had been a long time in the making. In the space of three decades, the company went from startup to international mega-corporation. But just because there was quite a bit of lead time before the firm hit it big, doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything we can learn from them. Quite the contrary: Red Bull have been at the forefront of incredible marketing from day one, and they’ve managed to muscle their way into a space that everybody thought was dominated by the likes of Coca-Cola.

In 2015, Red Bull made nearly $12.5 billion in sales, spending more than 20 percent of its budget on advertising. So what are they doing right and what can we learn from them?

They Are “Customer-Centric”

Most brands don’t put their customers at the center of what they do. Instead, they see their customers as a means to an end. But Red Bull takes a different approach. At times, it seems as if selling energy drinks is the company’s secondary objective. Its primary objective appears to be about doing things besides selling drinks with a lot of caffeine. If you go to the homepage on the Red Bull website, you won’t find a product page. Instead, you’ll find a bunch of information about exciting events that the company is sponsoring as well as a bunch of fun activities that customers can enjoy. It seems as though Red Bull’s strategy is to put on events, and then hope that people buy its products while they attend them. In effect, Red Bull pre-empted content marketing – not in the sense that it produced a bunch of blogs for its website, but in the sense that it recognized that the way to get people interested in what it was doing was to do things that were, well, interesting.

They Use “Experiential Marketing”

Whenever you see event display teardrop banners with the Red Bull logo, you know that something really exciting is going on. It’s thanks to Redbull that the whole world is now enamored by the sport of flugtag racing. It’s this craziness, as well as the fact that the sport is something truly unique and exciting, that made the company really stand out. No other company in the world is so synonymous with a sport as Red Bull is with its crazy experiential marketing sports.

This type of marketing is the ultimate soft sell. It gives people the excitement and the fun that they crave and it perfectly complements the company’s products: energy drinks that “give you wings.” What’s more, the company doesn’t shy away from doing things on a big scale. Its events are designed to be global in their appeal and are often conducted in the most conspicuous of locations. As Donald Trump might say, Red Bull likes to do things “big league.”

Get a Great Website for Your Business

More than 80% of consumers use the internet to locate products and/or services and to access information. Before potential customers make online purchases, they check the information available on the internet relating to the product and do an evaluation before making a purchasing decision. Take note that the user’s experience in using your website can affect his decision – whether he should purchase from you or from the competition.

Here are 6 reasons why your business needs a website:

1. It helps you gain authority.

Without a website, customers will have a difficult time finding you. A good website that is well-maintained helps your business to be found as well as gain authority. This is particularly important for home-based businesses which do not have physical stores. On average, customers will visit three stores or websites before making a purchase.

2. It is a marketing tool.

A good website can be an effective marketing tool for your products and/or services. It can actually act as your anchor for all your marketing and advertising efforts. You should make it possible for internet users to access your business information including product details and promotional content. Remember that your website is available to existing and potential clients 24/7 /365 giving them a platform to review your products and services from their computer or mobile devices. This means that you’ll get continued exposure of your product to customers anywhere, anytime. It is like having someone around the clock marketing your product.

3. It helps you reach out to new customers.

A website can be a good platform to connect with potential customers. In many situations, people turn to the internet to seek solutions for their current problems. With a website, your business stands a chance to be a potential problem solver. It is also possible to optimise your website with keywords related to your industry. If you need help, contact the experts of a website design company based in Manchester for great results.

4. It helps you to sell online.

You can use your website to sell products and services. With the proliferation of online checkout solutions, you can sell a product and receive payments conveniently. It is also possible to offer discounts and make the information available since your website acts as a digital brochure. It simplifies sales for your sales people as well as your clients.

5. It helps you to target a broader market.

As a small business owner, you can use your website to reach out to a wide range of clientele. Your website can help you reach the global market and increase your sale revenue significantly.

6. It keeps your customers informed.

It takes time to prepare information and make it available to your customers when using brochures, face-to-face discussions or emails. With a carefully-crafted product catalogue on your website, you can provide relevant information to your customers in no time. It is even easier and cheaper to update your product catalogue on the website than on print material. Make use of your website to inform your clients about new products, business events, special promotions and other news. It also promotes client interaction making it easier to get feedback on your products and services.

Consult a website design company and get the best website for your business. Do not hurt your business anymore. It is time to take action and enjoy the benefits of a good website.

Through a normal escrow transaction

If you’ve ever bought a house or been involved in another large transaction, then you’ve probably heard the term “escrow” before. But, what on earth does it mean? Well, it’s quite simple. This post will go through a normal escrow transaction, to help you understand.

There are many different types of escrow. Some involve money, which are more common. Others involve different assets, like software source code or property. But, the idea is still the same. In principle, an escrow transaction will involve a buyer, a seller, and a third party. The third party holds any funds or assets that are to be transferred until both the buyer and seller are happy that all of the terms have been met.

Of course, this seems a little odd. Why add a middle man to a normal transaction? Well, in most cases, it’s done for protection. Say a company wants to buy a piece of software to use on a regular basis. Most developers won’t sell their source code because it would give the buyer the ability to resell the software. It also makes it harder for the developer to keep the buyer paying for any services. So, the software developer will only sell a company a compiled product; that can’t be taken apart. But, what happens if the developer goes out of business?

That would leave the buyer without a product or way to update it. This is where the third-party comes in. They securely store the source code, to eliminate both other parties concerns.

The third-party is trusted because they handle lots of escrow transactions every year. They’re experienced and have the infrastructure to keep assets safe. Of course, the buyer and seller don’t just rely on this. Both a financial and software escrow company have to be licensed to deal with these transactions. Alongside this, they will also have extensive legal agreements in place, that they can’t risk breaking. This means that they have to operate by the book and be careful with the assets they hold. If not, they risk losing all of their customers.

Obviously, these sorts of transactions are complicated and very involved. This is an additional benefit of having a third-party, to both the buyer and seller. It means that they don’t have to deal with the legal side of things, giving them both confidence that they’re not being ripped off. It also means that they don’t have to worry about any loose ends. Neither the buyer or seller has to worry that the transaction will terminate prematurely or without all of the terms met. Without it, it would be very hard to stop dodgy business occurring.

Of course, the law is different in every country. So, before committing to a transaction like this, you should make sure it satisfies your own country’s legal requirements. This means doing a little bit of research. Hopefully, though, this should give you enough to start working on your own big bucks transactions with confidence. It’s worth putting in extra effort to make sure that your property and rights are protected.

Business owners need to go to extra lengths to protect their business

With today’s weird weather and freak natural disasters, businesses have never been more at threat from mother nature. Whether you agree that humans are changing the climate or not, you can’t ignore that the climate is changing. This means that business owners need to go to extra lengths to protect their business. But, we’re only interested in the protection on the outside.

Weatherproofing

When it comes to protecting your premises from the elements you really need to look towards weatherproofing. A lot of businesses have large machinery or storage that has to be kept outside. If these items are made from wood or metal, they’ll almost certainly fall victim to the elements, without proper protection.  When it comes to protecting your business, a little investment is commonplace. It’s worth spending money on industrial coatings to avoid having to replace larger items. Professionals can often complete jobs like this on the day or over a few days. So, it won’t stop you from operating for too long. If you’re in an area that is prone to bad weather or storms, it could be worth looking into other weatherproofing as well. Protecting windows and doors can save a lot of money when freak winds strike.

Good Location

When you choose your offices or other business premises the location should be a key factor. You can almost entirely avoid the immediate threat of natural disasters and bad weather by choosing somewhere that isn’t prone to it. You have to do some research, but finding the answers is quite easy. The safest places tend to be inland, and away from rivers and lakes. Though, this safety can be compromised when wind comes into play. So, it’s important to be certain that your business will be safe where it is. Sometimes, freak weather and disasters occur. So, it can be hard to be confident in your location. But, rest assured that in most areas, other buildings and plant life can be a great boon

Plant life

This is a weird one. You wouldn’t expect nature to turn on you so much that even the plants are out to get you. But, they are. In buildings made of stone, you will usually find cracks. And, in these cracks, you’ll find plants. Although this may look nice, it’s a serious threat to the structure of the building. Plants will make cracks bigger and even completely destroy brickwork. Plants will also attract other animals, like insects. And, of course,insect infestations can be a horror to deal with. So, it’s best to make sure that any little plants are gone. Thankfully, you can hire a professional to deal with it for you. For most buildings, it’s only a day’s work. So, it won’t be too costly.

Hopefully, this will give you an idea of what you should do to protect your business from mother nature. Obviously, the threats that you face will differ based on your location. So, it’s important to make sure that you do plenty of research to find out what could cause your problems.

Top Tips For Getting Your Website Up And Running

Every business owner in the modern age recognises the importance of online presence. Never underestimate the power of a great website when it comes to getting your business off the ground. Modern customers turn to the internet for everything. If you don’t have a website they can browse, you’ll lose a significant amount of interest. Getting to grips with the website world can be a challenge if it’s new to you. Take a little time to work out how to make your website the best it can be by following these tips.

 

GET A GOOD DOMAIN NAME

A good domain name is the first thing you need to get a handle on. Once you’ve got your business name in mind, this will be a lot easier to find. Bear in mind that many domain names are already taken. Don’t settle for an alternative that includes a stream of numbers customers won’t remember. The shorter and snappier your domain name, the better. It might be worth checking which domain names are available before deciding. There are many domain name checkers out there which can show you whether you’re onto a winner.

 

MAKE IT EASY TO NAVIGATE

Ensuring your website is easy to navigate is essential. Online consumers search quickly, and your site needs to impress in a short amount of time. Don’t overload your site with unnecessary information. Ensure there’s clear navigation to each page. Put an overview of the services you offer on the main page, but keep it brief. If confronted by pages of information, customers will click straight off your site. Think of this as an elevator pitch. You only have the space of an elevator ride to sell your business. What would you say?

 

WEBSITE OPTIMISATION

Optimising your site for search engines will draw in a lot of traffic. Traffic is what you’re after. It’s a vicious cycle – the more traffic you get, the higher you’ll appear on search engines. But, how do you get the traffic in the first place? There are many website strategies you can use to help you out here. Using keywords is one way to optimise. Take steps, too, to get your site linked on already high ranking websites. Links are currency, and the more out there, the higher your site will appear.

 

UPDATE OFTEN WITH GOOD CONTENT

Keeping your website up to date is essential in keeping customer interest. There are pages that you won’t want to change but think about setting up a blog on your site which you change often. Customers are more likely to return if they know they’re going to see something different. Think, too, about the quality of the content you’re putting online. Once it’s out there, it’s hard to undo any damage. Only post things you want to be associated with your business. Bear in mind spelling and grammar before posting. Remember, this content is going to a direct link to your business. If you can’t get that right, customers will soon lose faith!

Create A Buzz Around Your Business

When starting a new business, the most difficult part is getting noticed by the public. In fact, many companies give up so quickly on marketing activities if they do not see a return on investment immediately. The truth of the matter is that brand awareness takes time. Short of a publicity stunt or national scandal, you will need to work hard and long to get the word out and build a following.

If you are up for the challenge and take the right steps, then you have a good shot of imposing a lasting impression on your target market.

Advertisements

Back in the “olden days,” if you wanted to drum up some new business, you would place an ad in the local paper. Guess what! Newspapers and magazines still exist. That’s right – print is not totally dead, and it’s still a good space to promote your brand.  Likewise, the internet has created a bunch of web space to place ads. Be sure to find websites that make sense; you wouldn’t want to put a web banner up for your plumbing company on a website for crafting classes.

Exhibitions

An even more effective way to promote your brand is by getting in front of your audience. Consider attending a local business exhibition for your industry. Depending on the show, you could reach thousands of potential clients or customers in just one day. The challenge will be standing out in a hall full of your competition. You know what they say – Go Big or Go Home.

Run a contest on social media driving attendees to your stand; have them mention your company in a post for a chance to win a big prize. This is a quick and immediate way to generate buzz for your stand at the show, while simultaneously pushing it out over the web. Another vital aspect to perfect is your exhibition stand. Differentiate yourself by building a stand with a company such as Nimlok, this will add an element of professionality and your competitors will be left hidden in the crowd.

Social Media

Social media is often thought of as a way to promote your business for free. True – most social media sites offer a public forum for you to showcase your brand. The problem is that your content is only getting pushed out to those in your immediate circle (usually). In order to expand your reach, you’ll either have to get clever with hashtags or pay for sponsored posts.

That said, social media profiles are necessities. Sign up for (and maintain) all of the accounts that are available to you. It is very important to have multiple points of visibility for your company.

Industry Forums

Look for ways to get involved with your industry community. A great way to do this is by finding out where your target market goes for advice in your industry. Many times, you will be able to chime in on open forum where you can voice your expertise. The main focus should be building up your reputation as an expert in the field. Don’t try to sell yourself or your business to those on the forum threads. Just leave your business email address or website as your contact information. It’s subtle and you won’t come across as a money-hungry sales person.

The rise of technology has made it a lot easier to create buzz around your business. While the opportunities are more accessible, the challenge is finding the right strategy. With patience and hard work, your business will receive the recognition it deserves. Cover all the bases by creating numerous points of visibility, from in-person events to print ads. Focus on distributing your brand everywhere and building up your reputation as an expert in your industry. Your audience will have no other choice than to trust the best.

Key Points For Better Office Security

Modern businesses face a world of potential security threats that were literally unimaginable just a few years ago. There are any number of technological innovations available that dramatically change the way organizations work and make their members more productive; each one of these innovations carries with it new security issues that need to be addressed.

As with most processes in business, an assessment of your office’s security needs to start with a clear understanding of your goals. What are your priorities? Do you simply need to provide a safe environment for your employees when they’re arriving and departing? Does your facility need to meet certain security requirements for formal certification (e.g. UL2050)? No matter what your security goals are, these ten principles should be useful.

1) Clear Communication

It’s impossible to address your security needs if you don’t know what they are, and you’re not going to know that if you have poor communications with your team. You’ll need good two-way communications to keep your organization secure; you need a channel for updating team members about new security concerns as well as one for them to pass you their concerns. You should have a centralized source for all security information to cut down on confusion; your employees should be clear about their go-to resource for security news. Distribute security updates regularly, and try to include positive news along with information about security threats.

2) Access Control

Don’t give out keys (or access codes, etc.) to more employees than strictly need them. Instead of relying on the very fallible “first in, last out” plan for securing your office, assign access point security as a fixed responsibility to specific individuals. Develop and document a thorough and consistent plan for opening and closing your office; make sure this includes checking potential hiding spots like closets, bathrooms, and so on. For physical keys, make sure you get a locksmith to ensure copy is numbered and the assignment of keys to individual employees is recorded. Verify your key registry regularly by having employees present the keys assigned to them.

3) Consistent General Policies

Make sure every member of your organization follows procedures consistent with minimizing your security risks. Implementing a clean desk policy, for example, will cut down on potential targets for theft. If you are using access cards, ID badges, or other forms of personal security, make sure that you have standard policies for carrying and displaying them. Hold everyone using such ID to the same standards. In company directories that are publically accessible, don’t include job titles with names. This makes it harder for criminals or other unwanted intruders to use names and titles to bluff their way onto your premises. Finally, establish receipt procedures that preserve a clear chain of possession for all incoming deliveries. Deliveries should never be left unattended.

4) Make Small But Crucial Security Investments

Protect your IT resources from theft by using locks (cable or plate variety) to secure your computers. This is especially important for laptops. Setting up docking stations can be both convenient and security-conscious. Take extra care with especially valuable or tempting office equipment, including postage meters, check writers, precision machinery, and company checkbooks. Doors between secure and non-secure areas should have keypad locks and peepholes. At especially vital access points, establish an “airlock” entry that forces authorized individuals to pass two locked doors. This makes it difficult for criminals to “piggyback” their way in by following your employees or catching doors when they leave.

5) Cyber Security

It’s virtually impossible to overstate the importance of antivirus software in the modern business environment. Every company needs ample protection against online threats including viruses, Trojans, malware, and other potential problems. Your primary network should be protected by a robust firewall. All wireless routers need security protocols. Your data needs to be backed up regularly, and storing backups off-site is an excellent idea.

Key To A Healthy Work Environment

One of the best ways to motivate employees is to give them a great working environment. Google has its office slides. The Lego HQ has its interesting and funky workspaces, designed to cater to the needs of different employees. And even Deloitte is doing its bit to counter the monotony of accounting and making its offices into places where people can have fun.

So what makes a great working environment in the 21st century? Let’s take a look at what some of the experts have to say.

Make Wellness A Priority

Lauren Lastowka is a manager at American Specialty Health. She says that health and wellness projects are associated with better worker productivity, lower medical costs, and reduced absenteeism.

One of the things that she recommends is to promote preventive medicine. This means getting colleagues out of the office everyone in a while and doing meetings on foot. She also suggests that businesses promote things like on-site flu jabs for their colleagues so as to reduce the number of absences when the flu season hits.

She also suggests that employers work very carefully to lessen the quantity of junk food available at their locations. Lastowka’s advice is to make healthy options as accessible as possible, meaning that if employees do want something that is bad for them, they’ll have to put in the effort to leave the office and got and get it themselves.

It’s also important to implement adequate dust collection, using parts like Nord fab QF, to reduce the number of respiratory problems suffered by employees.

Have Fun

Research has shown according to Amanda Gore, the author of the Joy Project, that happy workers who are having fun are much less likely to take days off sick and will each have higher profitability. In fact, she says, it’s this attitude that lies behind companies like Zappos which have seen considerable success thanks to their “have fun” take on work.

So what does this mean in practice according to Gore?

First off she says that there needs to be a culture of permission to have fun. Many workplaces are stuck in the past where working and having fun were seen as two separate things. If you want your place of work to be a fun place to work, then employees need to have permission to enjoy themselves from both management and their other colleagues.

It also means collecting data on the happiness of the people in your organization. Gore suggests collecting happiness reports and tracking happiness rather like you’d track any other metric in your business. Knowing what makes people happy and when things are going wrong, enables you to take action and remain in control of a situation.

Finally, she suggests that businesses work hard to let go of the past. Often businesses get stuck in a rut, thinking that they have to do things the same way that they always did them. But there are plenty of ideas to help small businesses spice up their workplaces a little bit. One idea is to have a happy hour on Friday afternoon to play games.

Create A Buzz Around Your Business

When starting a new business, the most difficult part is getting noticed by the public. In fact, many companies give up so quickly on marketing activities if they do not see a return on investment immediately. The truth of the matter is that brand awareness takes time. Short of a publicity stunt or national scandal, you will need to work hard and long to get the word out and build a following.

If you are up for the challenge and take the right steps, then you have a good shot of imposing a lasting impression on your target market.

Advertisements

Back in the “olden days,” if you wanted to drum up some new business, you would place an ad in the local paper. Guess what! Newspapers and magazines still exist. That’s right – print is not totally dead, and it’s still a good space to promote your brand.  Likewise, the internet has created a bunch of web space to place ads. Be sure to find websites that make sense; you wouldn’t want to put a web banner up for your plumbing company on a website for crafting classes.

Exhibitions

An even more effective way to promote your brand is by getting in front of your audience. Consider attending a local business exhibition for your industry. Depending on the show, you could reach thousands of potential clients or customers in just one day. The challenge will be standing out in a hall full of your competition. You know what they say – Go Big or Go Home.

Run a contest on social media driving attendees to your stand; have them mention your company in a post for a chance to win a big prize. This is a quick and immediate way to generate buzz for your stand at the show, while simultaneously pushing it out over the web. Another vital aspect to perfect is your exhibition stand. Differentiate yourself by building a stand with a company such as Nimlok, this will add an element of professionality and your competitors will be left hidden in the crowd.

Social Media

Social media is often thought of as a way to promote your business for free. True – most social media sites offer a public forum for you to showcase your brand. The problem is that your content is only getting pushed out to those in your immediate circle (usually). In order to expand your reach, you’ll either have to get clever with hashtags or pay for sponsored posts.

That said, social media profiles are necessities. Sign up for (and maintain) all of the accounts that are available to you. It is very important to have multiple points of visibility for your company.

Industry Forums

Look for ways to get involved with your industry community. A great way to do this is by finding out where your target market goes for advice in your industry. Many times, you will be able to chime in on open forum where you can voice your expertise. The main focus should be building up your reputation as an expert in the field. Don’t try to sell yourself or your business to those on the forum threads. Just leave your business email address or website as your contact information. It’s subtle and you won’t come across as a money-hungry sales person.

The rise of technology has made it a lot easier to create buzz around your business. While the opportunities are more accessible, the challenge is finding the right strategy. With patience and hard work, your business will receive the recognition it deserves. Cover all the bases by creating numerous points of visibility, from in-person events to print ads. Focus on distributing your brand everywhere and building up your reputation as an expert in your industry. Your audience will have no other choice than to trust the best.

Pallets Can Help Achieve Your New Year Resolutions

As the unsung heroes of logistics, pallets tend to get passed by when credit is being dished out. Although they often don’t get the credit they deserve, these trusty servants of shipment are the backbone of movement in regards to getting a product from one place to another. We all have our own personal goals that we’d like to accomplish this year, but we also have our professional resolutions that we desire to achieve as well. This year, take advantage of pallets and pallet couriers to make your business even greater than it already is.

Prevent Product Damage

Although it may be easy to kick a product or two under the rug after it’s been damaged, it’s things like these that can hold a business back from growing. Failing to keep goods safe while in storage or en route to their new destinations can have major implications. The first step towards making sure all goods are passed on to pallet couriers in a safe and efficient way is to stack goods on every pallet. Depending on the pallet in use you’ll be able to create enough friction between pallet and product to ensure that goods do not carelessly slip off the pallet and become damaged.

Efficiency

When every pallet is able to be lifted by a pallet jack, product becomes easy to move from one place to another. Moving goods by hand can be a laborious process that will quickly lead to fatigue amongst employees. Swiftly moving product means that deadlines can be met on time leading customers to be pleased with their service.

Increase Storage Space

Pallets welcome the role of beasts of burden when in the warehouse. They have the ability to withstand large amounts of weight without breaking and can even be stacked, one on top of the other. More storage space means having the ability to store more product. The versatility that a pallet offers means that they can be constructed into vertical towers until the time comes when the product must be moved again. This luxury allows for better utilization of the warehouse.

Less Work Related Injuries

No matter the type of job, there’s bound to be some number of work related injuries. But when dealing with heavy objects the likelihood of an injury drastically increases. Take out all of the bone crunching lifting by placing products on every pallet. With all of the heavy lifting out of the equation you’re much less likely to have employees miss work on account of an injury.