Tips for hiring better people through the right practices

The hiring process is without a doubt a very challenging one for businesses as they attempt to find the perfect person for a given role based on little evidence. A resume, an interview and a reference is all that the majority of businesses are able to go off when hiring.

There are, however, a few simple practices that can be put in place to ensure that you give the business the best opportunity to find the right person for the job. It is about broadening your talent pool and given prospective employees the best opportunity to find out about the available job opportunities.

  1. Maintain an active candidate database

Many companies will discard an interviewee if they do not end up getting the job. There are so many times that a business will have to choose between two extremely impressive people and will discard the person that does not end up being employed by the company.

Many times there will be run-ins with potential employees or people will apply for the role but it is not exactly the right time. It is important to keep these people and their resumes in the database and keep a record of the reasons why they were not employed by the business at the time.

  1. Have a specific careers webpage

This is also about building and maintaining a rich database of prospective employees to ensure that you are open to all of the possibilities. Some smaller companies may not believe that it will add much value as people will not be searching for a role with them. But with the expansion of the internet, social media and automation, people will most likely end up on all suitable career pages.

It helps you to reach more candidates and reach a broader range of individuals who may suit your business. Your database is then also filled with even more candidates through a more automated process that can be referred to and used.

  1. Ask for quick feedback

Knowing the required needs and challenges of both current and prospective employees is important. Just as the hiring process is important continuing to ensure that you are getting the most out of your employees is too. Knowing exactly what the needs of your employees are when hiring them will allow you to choose the best candidate that is not only going to add benefit for the business but that you can ensure will be regularly challenged.

Tactics to boost customer retention

Getting people to from a deep attachment and connection to your brand takes a lot of work and regular attention. However, it is the people that develop this connection that become regulars and almost act as advocates for your brand recommending it to others and using your products in public.

This means that maintaining these top-clients is crucial to the success of the business, but what processes should be employed in order to do so? Is it about constantly offering discounts, inviting them to events or providing them with early looks at the latest developments? There are a few tactics that can be used to ensure that you keep your top-clients happy and boost customer retention.

Experiences over tangibles

Experiences are far valued over money so as a business you should be looking to offer your top-clients an experience opposed to a discount. A simple event that happens monthly or quarterly as a way of thanking your clients is a great way to reward them and also encourage them to engage with the business more often.

Build community

Building a community is a great way to foster an even deeper connection. Post special offers, unique experiences and allow customers to share their experiences with each other through a special platform. This builds great brand equity and makes people feel as though they are a part of something bigger.

Prioritise your best

Your best customers deserve the best treatment so you should give it to them. Give them the first look at new products or the first opportunity the get involved with the business. If a customer needs help with something, prioritise them over others who may not be as loyal. 

Build levels in your loyalty program

Loyalty programs are one of the best ways to build stronger relationships with customers and reward them for it. It also allows you to tailor your marketing to each customer. It further provides incentive for loyal customers to continue to do business as they seek higher rewards and a more important status.

Regular engagement

Often businesses will only engage with customers when there is a newly released product or marketing campaign but customers often want a more personal relationship. Stay engaged by asking for feedback on their most recent purchase and offer what you can to make things more convenient for the consumer.  Each engagement should be about improving customer experiences whilst gaining valuable insight into potential business improvements.

Simple ways to boost the appearance of your office

So often in business people will go through sleepless nights worrying about how to improve their work through more social media posts or a radical new marketing campaign. However, the importance of an attractive and desirable physical appearance of your office can often be lost.

A few simple adjustments and investments can go a long way to making your office more appealing and creating a vibrant and energetic environment.

  1. Cleaning

This is a broad one but it is incredibly important. Having a clean office space is beneficial for appearance and productivity. It makes people happy to be at work and creates a sense of success and importance.

Having a clean parking lot so that employees feel valued and understand the importance of maintaining a clean workspace as it reflects well on them and encourages clients to work with them. Clean bathrooms create a greater sense of home making employees more willing to spend time in the office as it is now a comforting environment.

Cleaning the desks regularly and vacuuming floors also have a similar effect. It makes people feel important, improves their productivity with a clean workspace and generates a sense of success.

  1. Reception and waiting areas

The reception is the first thing that anyone sees when they walk in to your offices. This means that you want it to look comforting and inviting in order to make a good first impression. Providing suitable seating space and brief entertainment is important to ensure that employees, clients and prospective employees want to continue to work with the business.

This also applies for any waiting areas or meeting rooms that may be spread throughout the offices. These spaces need to be inviting to encourage everyone who visits them to work hard and make them feel relaxed in an often busy environment.

  1. Clear signage

This aligns with the need for a clean workspace but also creates a strong overall impression. Having your brand shown clearly on walls to reinforce the message of where employees and clients are as well as having clear directional signage is important.

Both of these create a successful image and also make it easy for people to navigate the offices and find what they are after. This has productivity benefits and also helps to keep everyone calm and reduces stress.

An inviting, comforting and successful office environment is the start of any successful business and client relationship.

 

Building the perfect logo for your business

The logo is the first thing the customer or client sees of your brand. Think about the power those world renowned logos such as the golden M of McDonalds or the Nike Swoosh have and how you feel every time you see it.

Logos hold some serious power when it comes to consumer awareness and decisions. You want a logo that is interesting, informative and has the customer coming back for more. However , it can sometimes be difficult to work around the thousands of design possibilities to finish with something remotely like you had envisioned.

Here are a few steps that help you simplify your design process and get the logo you want.

  1. Identify your goals

Understanding why you need a logo and the message you want it to convey is crucial to forming the initial framework or path.

  1. What is your story?

Work out what your brand story is and how it can be reflected in a logo. The logo needs to tell the story of the brand and convey a clear message.

  1. Know your audience

Your logo needs to target the market that you are in. Consider what your audience finds interesting and attention grabbing and gain inspiration from competitors.

  1. Find inspiration

There are so many other logos out there that it would be stupid not to take a look and study them and their impacts. They are a great source of inspiration and will help you to understand the appealing and unappealing elements of a logo.

  1. How is it going to be designed?

There are many different ways that you can go about designing your logo from an online logo maker, to a freelance designer or a professional design agency. The design method will depend on the finances available and the time you have.

A professional design agency will provide a comprehensive portfolio of possible logos based on research but it will be costly and time consuming. A freelance is a great option if you know someone you can trust.

Design competitions are often used by businesses as a cost-effective and diverse way of finding a suitable logo as long as a suitable platform is used that will ensure quality.

  1. Communicate and check

Constant communication with the logo designer is vital to the success of the logo. You must convey the ideas you want based on the outlined goals, audience and inspiration you have put together. Check every design to see if it meets the criteria and explain why certain things don’t resonate with you as you would like.

  1. Branding

Once you have a logo the entire business must relate to the logo and include it. Maintain a consistent colour scheme and build your story through the logo and other elements that relate to a strong brand story.

3 things to implement that will immediately boost productivity

Everyone wishes that they had more time. Tasks can often take longer than first thought and other parts of life can get in the way. Finding ways to boost productivity so that you can maximise output and take your work to the next level is vital. Take a look at these three tips that will help you to work faster and smarter.

Do not multitask

Multitasking is often seen as a great way to get more things done in a short period of time. Unfortunately, it can lead to feeling overwhelmed and not completing any of the set out tasks in a given day or time period. Multitasking can also be extremely inefficient as the quality and intensity with which each tasks is completed is reduced.

Rather than multitasking, look to complete things in sprints so that you can pump out tasks in short periods. If you find that you are getting interrupted, seek out a quiet spot that is free of any interruptions.

Get the latest technology

Today’s technology is constantly evolving to become more efficient and with improved features that allow businesses to perform at a higher standard. For some businesses, the investment may seem a little out of reach and that continuing to use the older equipment and not investing in new software will save money.

However, the opposite is actually true. Studies have shown that by not investing in new technology, a business may lose upwards of $2000 due to the lost productivity of a slower computer or software. Technology is a great way of keeping up with competitors so not investing in new developments is simply allowing them to get ahead of you.

Maintain routine

Having a routine in place is the most effective of maintaining and improving productivity. Know when you work at your best and aim to complete important tasks during that period and schedule meetings around it. Look to minimise distractions by taking note of the types of distractions and when they are most prominent.

It can often be challenging to maintain routine if you are trying to grow a business so don’t be afraid to outsource some of the more time consuming tasks so that you have more time to complete the things that you enjoy most about the business and focus more on growth.

Productivity is a difficult thing to measure but if you take control of the inputs in every working day you will be able to make the most of your time.

Survey questions to assess your employees engagement and satisfaction

Survey questions to assess your employees engagement and satisfaction

If you are unsure and want to know if your employees are satisfied and engaged with their jobs you simply have to ask. Many managers only ask during one-on-one conversations or during their performance reviews to get feedback.

When managing a large employee base it can impractical to have conversations with each employee and if you rely upon reviews to seek feedback it can simply be not enough to go from. A simple solution would be a survey.

Survey questions to assess your employees engagement and satisfaction

They are quick to do so you will have a large sample pool and you can do it as often as you’d like throughout the year. If you’re planning on using a survey for feedback here are the most effective questions to ask.

Would you refer a friend to work at our company?

This question is enables you to gain an insight into how your employees see your company. If they answer yes, you’re on the right track with the work environment and company culture that has been established. If the majority answer is no then it’s a clear indication that something needs to change.

On a scale of 1-10 rate your job satisfaction

A lack of job satisfaction is a major reason why most employees leave their workplace. The numerical scale allows you to capture a range of satisfaction that your employees have. Look for false data with this type of question. The ideal outcome is a large portion of 8s and 9s but if everything comes back as a 10 then the employees probably aren’t taking it seriously.

In a year do you see yourself working here?

This question is great for predicting potential turnovers and also indicates if your employees see your company as a place for advancement. A large percentage of no answers would suggest some serious changes in your workplace culture and further investigation will be needed.

Do you feel like you can give management honest feedback about their performance?

If your employees feel like that can’t be honest with their management they could leave their positions without warning. Trust and honesty is important in the workplace so you can make adjustments when necessary. You want your employee base to feel like they can communicate with you on how to make their jobs fulfilling and purposeful.

On a scale of 1-10 rate your work-life balance

This question is very important to ask. If people are pushed hard for too long it is easy for them to burn out. The repercussions can range from poor performance, a significant drop in productivity to just plain quitting. This question can suggest whether you need to incorporate more leisure activities in the workplace or just simply give more time off.

Simple tips to reduce risk in small business

Simple tips to reduce risk in small business

All business ventures require taking some kind of risk and this risk only expands along with your company. Small business owners are risk-takers by definition and will often need to take leaps of faith on a routine basis.

Just because risk taking is necessary doesn’t mean business owners can’t be clever about the risks they take. Overlooking key risk minimisation factors can hasten your path towards business disaster.

Let’s take a look at some of the simple tips a small business owner can use to reduce their risk.

Simple tips to reduce risk in small business

Prepare for business interruption

Unforeseen events ranging from fires to cyber-attacks can prove to be a serious interruption to your business. It’s crucial to prepare for the kinds of losses these interruptions can have in the short and long term.

Design a disaster recovery plan that details procedures for data backup and recovery. Make sure you have plans for a remote working locations and a way to inform employees of the changes.

Consider an investment in interruption insurance so that you can continue to pay staff and offset operating costs while you replace crucial equipment, workspaces and data. Insurance plans can usually cover you for up to a year of lost revenue, giving plenty of time to recover from most incidents.

Prepare for injuries

Depending on the type of business you run, employees may be at risk of injury while they work. It’s important that you educate employees on proper safety and make sure that you have a workers compensation insurance scheme in place.

This kind of insurance covers the lost wages and medical costs for employees who suffer an injury as well as protecting you from legal liability.

Cyber-security

Data loss or data theft can be devastating for a business that is not prepared for it. Whilst having a plan for data backup and recovery make sure you have protections in place against cyber-attack.

Make sure that you and your employees are educated on common cyber threats such as phishing emails, Trojan programs and using the same password across multiple devices.

Consider an investment in identity recovery and data compromise insurance which can help protect from losses in relation to data loss and identity theft.

Carefully consider all contracts

When you’re a small business looking to expand, long-term contracts can seem appealing as they guarantee a certain rate. This can be dangerous, especially for lease contracts as depending on your business performance you may not need all of the extra space you are paying for.

Be careful not to get locked into a long-term agreement that you can’t sustain. Always read contracts carefully and compare them with your own business predictions. This is where the services of a commercial lawyer can be particularly useful for you.