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Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work

images (16)Positive Psychology experts Shawn Achor  will show you how to use the science of happiness and human potential to raise levels of engagement, productivity, creativity and happiness at work. In 2007, Shawn founded Good Think to share his research with the world.

 

The happy secret to better work

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Keep an eye on the competition

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Its important to track the marketing efforts of your competitors in order to have knowledge. Understanding your competitors marketing approach will enable you be one step ahead as well as see potental for unexplored avenues of marketing that could benefit your company.

Here are 6 simple ways to know your competitors and what they up to.

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1. Google Alerts
Google alerts is another great business that should be utilised in order to understand the competitions marketing strategy. Anyone can subscribe to Google Alerts where you can be emailed daily about blogs, news, videos and discussion related to your selected search terms. Go to Google Alerts to subscribe.

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2. Social media feeds

Follow your competitors on Twitter, like them on Facebook add them to your circles on Google+. This may feel as if you are supporting them by making there social media network bigger, however it is the simplest way to monitor their interaction with clients and what clients have to say to them.

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3. Promotions

Keep up to date with promotions, specials and sales that your competitors are offering. This is a great way to compare product offerings and to see what they doing right and wrong as well as how your business can adapt its product offerings if necessary.

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4. Sales material

Sales material is a great way to understand what your competitors have to offer and how they present their offerings.

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5. Visit their store

Seeing how and what your competitors is vital there is no point in doing research on them from a far. In modern society the experiences of the customer are increasingly important and although you may have the best price a customer may rather pay extra for great service from another company. Be sure to see how your competitors offer their product and the service that accompanies they purchasing experience, this is best done by being a ‘potential’ buyer.

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6. Monitor the website

IT is always important to know how your competitors present them self a companies website says a lot about the company and gives off an impression of professionalism if it is constantly updated and smartly designed.  This can be a subjective element however it is still important to regularly check what they are up to on the web even if it cut 5 minutes out of your morning Facebook session.

The 7 best of Sir Branson

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Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is a British business icon, best known as the founder and chairman of Virgin Group of more than 400 companies.

Net Worth $4.6 Billion, as of March 2013

 

7 Quotes of inspiration from one of the most well known self made billionaires of the century

1. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”

2. “You can create a business, choose a name, but unless people know about it you’re not going to sell any products.”

3. “I am prepared to try anything once.”

4. “As much as you need a strong personality to build a business from scratch, you also must understand the art of delegation. I have to be good at helping people run the individual businesses, and I have to be willing to step back. The company must be set up so it can continue without me.”

5. “Above all, you want to create something you are proud of. ”

6. “Every risk is worth taking as long as it’s for a good cause, and contributes to a good life.”

7. “Entrepreneurial business favors an open mind. It favors people whose optimism drives them to prepare for many possible futures.”

Forbes Lists #272 Billionaires, #6 in United Kingdom.

Tips for all businesses

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Small businesses are able to compete on the same level as large companies when it comes to online marketing and online media. Here’s some tips about how to go about it.

1. Don’t just know your consumers, understand them.
Take an interest in the lives of your consumers. Listen to their thoughts, follow them on Facebook and twitter and view their shares and tweets  get to know their interests and insight into there opinions.

2. Plan your marketing
Marketing is a strategic marketing principle that is crucial to your businesses success. Through the correct planning and execution of acticities can contribute to your brand.

3. Treat online content with respect
Online content should not he taken lightly it has the chance of being seen by thousands of people within a matter of seconds. Your content should be planned, meaningful and purposeful. The content you publish plays a vital role in shaping the business image.

4. Keep it fresh
Variety will keep consumers interested, allows you to engage with customers on multiple platforms. You can use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Blog sites, Pintrest and U tube to name a few. Creative content such as sharing videos, images, take part in discussion forums and interesting content will build your brand and create an online presence for your business.

5. Think before you share
Social Media platforms are a direct reflection of your business and therefore should always remain professional. Social media aims to enhance your corporate image. However social media should be monitored to ensure the correct message is sent to your audience.

Start-Ups: 5 Steps to Appear Established

In today’s competitive market consumers have multiple companies which they can choose to deal with. The power lies with the consumers. If the consumer has the impression that your business is a start-up they may seek a more experienced company to fulfil their needs. Competing against established businesses can be problematic. There is however simple measures that can be taken to ensure your business gives consumers the impression your business is established.

 

Step 1: Domain

What is a domain? A domain is how clients will find you on the internet. A domain is for example. http://www.yourdomain.co.za. Registering your domain can be quiet vital to your business as you would register your company name or service you specialise in, if it is available. Clients could easily find you when they search for your business website. Once your domain is registered you will be able to have email addresses that are specific to your company, such as info@yourdomain.co.za or sales@yourdomain.co.za. Setting up multiple email addresses will give clients the impression that your business is a more than a start-up but rather has multiple departments and employees dealing with specific areas within your business.

 

Step 2: Company Website

Your company website may be the first point of reference for potential clients. They will seek information on the services your business offers, previous projects your business has completed, testimonials from previous clients and contact information. It is important your website is user-friendly. By user friendly we mean the website is easy to navigate, it does not take too long to load, all writing is easily legible and all relevant information is available that a client may require.

Tip: Include Operating hours, your business address, an email address, phone number, cost and time frame of services offered. Ensure your website is presentable, all links work, the overall appearance of your company website is professional and keep it simple yet provide sufficient information.

 

Step 3: Point of contact

Having a landline number will make your business appear established and give off  the impression of permanence. You phone etiquette is vital to the success of your business. Ensure you are able to return all calls within 24 hours as clients may need a service urgently and will take their business elsewhere if they are not tended to. Having a designated number for business ensures you always know when receiving a call to that number that it is for business allowing you to come across professional.

 

Step 4: Location

Renting an office is first prize however as a start-up there are other expenses that first have to be covered until your business is doing well enough to rent an office. Many start-ups operate from their home and there is nothing wrong with this there are however a few things that can make your business appear more established. Firstly, if your small business is run from your home placing a well printed sign outside will make the business appear professional. Secondly, designate a specific area of your house to your business where only things you require for your business are, this area is not a storage room but rather should have a professional atmosphere to ensure your clients are comfortable doing business in this environment. Thirdly, ensure that if a client comes to your home that they do not see your personal life. Keep the kids and pets out of the office. Lastly, ensure your home office is safe for clients and that there security is a priority, allocate parking that is in your property, perhaps install cameras to prevent hi-jacking, this is South Africa after all. But with the right measures you will ensure the safety of your clients.

 

Step 5: Be Prepared

Always keep a few business cards on you. Business cards are an important sign that this business was not just started and that some thought and preparation have gone into what this business is. Have some pamphlets or brochures placed in your office. Even though it may seem like something small clients like a company that is well prepared, gives a good impression and goes a long way to promote the branding for your business.

 

Following these simple steps will go a long way to making your start up appear established and give off a great first impression making it easier to compete in the market.

 

To take your business a step further register your company with Phase One today.

 

Any topics you feel you need clarity on or would just like to boost your knowledge let us know and Phase One will ensure your queries are answered.

Guide to starting a business

“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

One of the key factors to a business’s success is the planning behind the business.

 

Set it in stone

One of the first things you should do when starting a business is formalising it in a plan. Although you may know and understand the vision you have for your business it is important to set it in stone. Business plans create a vision for your business and help ensure your objectives are achieved. Establishing a sense of the future for your business will keep you motivated and focused on your business objectives in the long run. It is important to remember creating one business plan throughout the life time of your company will not be sufficient, as the environmental factors change you should update your plan, preferably on an annual basis.

 

Know what you’re up against

All most every industry is made up of hundreds of businesses, knowing who and what they are will give you the competitive edge. Consumers are bombarded with thousands of adverts on a daily basis, to grab their attention you need to be unique. Doing good research into your consumers and competitors will allow you to understand their needs and through satisfying these you will be better than your competitors and fulfil the needs of your clients.

TIP: Compile a list of your top competitors analysing which are the biggest treat to your business in terms of market share and add note of elements you do and don’t like about their businesses to create a guide to what your business should and shouldn’t be doing.

 

Make it official

Now that you have put all your strategies in place the next step would be to register your business. Registering a business is a simple process and will give your business that sense of professionalism to compete against the top dogs in your industry. In South Africa you will register a private company if you are starting a business. Private companies are great if you are just starting out and still trying to expand your business. The laws surrounding them are simple and the registration of them is not going to put a dent in your pocket.

How To: How to register a Private company, simple visit www.phaseone.co.za/project1.html and all the information of costs, the process involved, what is needed to register a company and additional information will be available to you.

 

Any topics you feel you need clarity on or would just like to boost your knowledge let us know and Phase One will ensure your queries are answered.