What It Means To Be Truly Unique In Business

All businesses, but especially small businesses, must strive to be unique. It’s what keeps you competitive in an industry with little breathing room. It’s what gets you remember and establishes a bond with your customer base that goes beyond offering a good deal. It’s also what makes you a good company to work for, attracting and retaining the most talented of teams. So, what makes a business unique?

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The USP is a must

Let’s start with what we know to be a fundamental truth of business. You have to have something unique to offer within the services itself. Whether it’s some niche that sets you apart from your competitors or it’s an innovative new take on how you deliver the same services or products, a unique selling proposition is essential. More than essential, it is the meat of the brand. But you’re going to need more than meat if you want a real impact. You’re going to need heart.

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Finding your heart

The heart of the brand is all about expressing that unique selling proposition in a way that not only resonates with consumers but also the members of your own team. People need to be on-side if they’re going to be the team that represents the business. For instance, put more thought into your office interior design, creating an environment that not only fits the workflow but captures the appeal of the brand and reinforces it within the team. If consummate professionalism is part of the business, then the office needs to look like a sleek, smart, professional workplace. If creativity is favoured above all else, then it can’t look too dry, too serious or too limiting. Make sure that what is unique about the business is reflected through it at all levels.

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Motives other than profit

Nowadays, people care about more than what a business says and even what it delivers. They care about what it stands for. There’s a reason that many businesses are going green and it’s not just because they have a sense of their morality and values. It’s because they know that putting those true values on display through the way the business operates helps them stand out and build a connection to consumers based more than on their trade. It creates a shared identity that fosters loyalty and connection.

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Growing a culture

The most unique businesses aren’t those that are built by some visionary. It’s not just your unique take on business, your unique sense of style, and your unique values that can inform the profile of the company. It’s the culture of all the people around you. It’s your ability to source expertise and opinions from within the team. It’s also the very people that make up the team itself. A workplace culture makes you stand out not just amongst businesses but amongst employers. There aren’t a lot of workplaces that do that in most industries.

If you think being unique is all about the brand or all about the product you offer, you are in for a shock. That strain of ‘something different’ needs to be a part of the company DNA, going from the basics of the office setup right up to how you come up with your strategies.

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Thrive As A Small Fish In A Big Pond

Running a small business, you might think that you’re not going to have to deal with the same major issues that large companies face. But actually, you will. You’ll still be facing high levels of competition, you could still be hit with lawsuits, and you might still encounter disasters that leave you dead on the market. You’re not immune to trouble like this because your business is small and feisty. If anything issues such as these could be worse because you might not be able to handle the financial costs. That’s why you need to take the time to prepare, following in the footsteps of larger companies.

 

So, what steps do big businesses take to protect themselves?

 

Seeking Legal Advice

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Most business owners hire at least one legal advisor for their company, and you should do the same. Now, we know what you’re thinking. There’s no way you can fit a legal support service into your business budget. That’s understandable because legal services are expensive. But you’ll find it a lot easier to deal with financially if you outsource. Through outsourcing, you can get the service you need without the typical heavy costs.

 

Don’t forget a legal advisor will only be useful when things go wrong. Thus, it makes very little sense to pay for a full service.

 

Getting A Helping Hand

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Big and small businesses all rely on technology, and your company will be no different. Large businesses spend a lot of money from their budget making sure that their tech is updated and working effectively. By doing this, they can avoid potential crashes that could lead to a long period of disaster recovery. With outsourced IT support, you can do exactly the same. Outsourced IT pros won’t just protect your computer network. They’ll set it up the right way, so you never run into issues.

 

One of the main dangers for businesses is a hack. Don’t think that small businesses escape the danger of hacking. A hacker might assume that a small company has less cyber security and therefore is an easier target. You can’t afford to prove them right.

 

Only The Best

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Finally, whether it’s marketing, accounting or management, you should be looking for the best company on the market to provide the service you need. You might think you’re saving money by choosing a cheaper service but in the long run, it’s going to cost you a lot more. Particularly, if their quality of service costs you more customers than it gains.

 

An example of this would be marketing. There are specialist marketers available that big businesses always use because they deliver a quality service like no other. Obviously, if the price is too high, you might not be able to afford the exact same type of promotional campaign. The important thing is that you don’t start trying to save money for the sake of it. It will come back to bite you when you realise that the marketing is too boring and mundane to attract any new customers.

 

Take this advice, and you will survive as a little fish in a big pond, even if there sharks in the water.

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Day One And Your Company Could Already Be In Trouble

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As early as day one on the market, you’ll face a number of issues running your company. These could be related to financial trouble such as heavy costs or legal issues like a lawsuit from an employee. While problems like this will certain lead to headaches, it’s important to realise that they don’t have to bring your company model crashing down. You just need to know how to handle them effectively and perhaps take a few preemptive strikes.

 

We can look at some of the ways to do this, and a great place to start is by thinking about insurance.

 

Ensuring Your Business Is Protected

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Think of business insurance as armour for your company. If an incident does occur, it can feel like you have been stabbed. But with the right armour, you can protect your business from the heaviest of blows. For instance, you might find that your company has suffered from a data hack. If that’s the case a lot of sensitive customer data might have been stolen. In a situation like this, it’s important to ensure that any lost data is recovered. But at the same time, you want to make sure that any lost profits due to this are also recovered.

 

That’s what data theft insurance will cover. You can make sure that even if the worst happens, your business bounces back with a strong financial position.

 

Another possibility where insurance is useful is in the event of an accident at work. With workers compensation insurance, business owners can dodge expensive lawsuits. You can get workers compensation insurance and benefits quotes for your employees from local, insurance companies like CompleteMarkets – they match your particular business to an insurance agent that has experience with helping manage risk with companies that match your business needs.

 

Cutting Costs Early On

 

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On average it costs around thirty thousand dollars to set up a new business and that is quite frankly an insane amount of money. As such, you should be looking to cut down costs immediately. When you do this, you’ll be able to keep your business competitive. If demand levels take a tumble or you face unforeseen bills, you’ll be prepared to handle them.

 

 

 

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You won’t be left in the position where heavy expenses are dragging your business under. One of the ways to cut costs from day one is through outsourcing. By outsourcing, you get the support you need without the bills typically associated with hiring a full team of staff.

 

Hire Support

 

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Lastly, one of the reasons businesses end up in trouble is because their owners aren’t prepared for the challenges of the situation. You don’t want your company to be in this position, and there’s an easy way to avoid it. You should hire a consultant for any area of the business where you don’t have knowledge or experience. Do this, and you’ll always have an expert on staff to point you in the right direction and help you avoid any issues.

 

 

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Quick and Easy Ways To Boost Your Income

Unless you’re one of the lucky few who has all the disposable income you could ask for, you’re probably always on the hunt for opportunities to have a little bit extra cash in your wallet. However, although there is undoubtedly a lot of money in this world it’s not always the easiest thing to grab your fair share of it. However, with a bit of creative thinking and a dash of hard work, you might be surprised how easy it is to give your bank balance a top up. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

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Rent Out a Room

 

You probably have a space in your room that is worth hundreds of dollars each month, and it’s just sitting there empty! If you have a spare room, look at renting it out to a lodger. If you live in an area that is in any way popular you should have no problem finding someone to take the room. And of course, who you decide to rent your room to is completely up to you. You might find a lodger that you get on really well with and have a big chunk of your monthly rent/mortgage payment taken care of at the same time.

 

Being the Help

 

People always need help – you can be that help and bring in some much needed cash. If you’ve ever Googled ‘how much should cleaning cost’, you’ll know that it can a healthily profitable business: not so expensive that people shy away from using cleaners, but expensive enough to make it worth your while. Even working as a cleaner just a few hours a week can bring in hundreds of dollars each month. Elsewhere, you can ‘be the help’ by becoming a part-time Uber driver – you’ll be able to set your own hours and do it as and when needed.

 

Use Your Talents

 

If you’re a talented and/or knowledgeable, why not put your skills to good use and make money at the same time? For instance, if you’re a talented cook then you can turn your home into a temporary restaurant and host travellers to your area to a meal prepared by a local (you!) using sites such as https://www.bonappetour.com/ or https://www.eatwith.com/. Alternatively, if you’ve lived in your city for a long time and know it inside out, you can become a tour guide and share everything you know with visitors. Finally, creative folks should take a look at Fiverr.com and post their skills for others to buy.

 

Sell Your Belongings

 

Practically everybody has belongings in their home that they’re simply hoarding because they don’t want to throw them away. But those unused belongings can bring in plenty of money – the average home has something like $1000 of sellable belongings. Go through the home, make the tough calls about what should stay and what should go, then get to selling them either online or at a market. You’ll clear space and bring in money – win win!

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From Bedroom To Boardroom: Moving To Your First Commercial Premises

Starting a new business often involves spending sums of money on expenses like equipment and staff. For many new companies, one cost that can be too high to bear at such an early stage is leasing some premises. The idea of paying a lot of rent for some commercial office space or an industrial unit can be a scary one. That is particularly the case for entrepreneurs that are “down to the wire” from a financial perspective!

 

With that in mind, many new startups literally create their enterprises from their bedrooms! However, as their companies grow and evolve, there is a real need to leave home and fly the nest! Moving to “proper” business premises can be an exciting time in any new entrepreneur’s life. Of course, there is the right way and the wrong way of doing that. Keep reading today’s article to learn how to do the former.

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Look for the perfect location

 

Before you start discussing color schemes, you first need to consider where is the best physical location for your first commercial premises. Does it make sense to be in the middle of the city, right at the heart of the action? Or would you prefer more rural settings that afford you the option of future expansion without a hefty price tag?

 

And, most important of all, which areas or region do you serve the majority of your customers? If you need to service your clients from a physical location, it goes without saying that your commercial base should be central to your target audience.

Negotiate a long lease in exchange for cheaper rent

 

You might not think it, but many property developers and real estate agents are happy to lower their lease asking prices if you decide to stay for a long time. That’s because they can guarantee their rental income from you and keep their operating expenses down.

 

When seeking out commercial premises to rent, never pay the asking price for your lease! Always talk things through with the property owner or manager so that you can come to a mutually agreeable price.

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Make sure it is safe for your requirements

 

The last thing you want to do is work in a dangerous building. Nor do you want to expose your employees and visitors to any safety risks that could potentially prove fatal! That’s why you need to carry out a risk analysis of your future commercial abode before you move into it.

 

For instance, if it has an accessible roof, do you need to install guardrails on the edges to protect people from falling? Or does it need the installation of fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems? Taking the time to carry out a risk assessment will ensure the safety of everyone that works at your premises.

Ask about parking

 

One final consideration to make is whether there is ample parking available for your staff and visitors.

 

It’s crucial that your future business premises are accessible, especially to those that require wheelchair access. If on-site parking isn’t available, find out whether you can do a deal with a nearby parking garage for your staff and visitors.

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That way, people don’t have to pay to park their vehicles when they visit your premises.
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Hotels From Hell?

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A job in a hotel can often seem like the perfect thing for someone who loves to travel. How else to share the love than by helping others enjoy their time away? You get to surround yourself in that fun holiday atmosphere all day, every day. But, that doesn’t mean it will be all fun and games. In fact, hotel work is a lot tougher than you might realize. We’re going to look at a few of the realities before you decide this is the career for you.

THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT

We’ve all heard this old saying. Most of us who have worked in a customer facing role know that it’s rarely the case. Even so, we’re providing a service, so we smile and agree to the most absurd accusations and claims. When working in a hotel, this phrase will come back to haunt you. Mainly because you’re dealing with customers for extended periods of time. They don’t enter your space for half an hour; they move in. Worse, everyone will have a different idea of how things should be. You’ll soon reach the stage where you realize that the customer is never right, but you have to please them anyway. Of course, some of your guests will be easy going. But, some will become your nightmare. They’ll expect you to read their minds, and will let you know if they aren’t happy. Some will take insult if their towels aren’t folded the right way. And, you’ll have to grin and apologize. If you want help preparing for this, it might be worth getting some experience. Browse hotel management courses to see if any suit. If you can’t beat them, you should at least know how to deal with them.

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DISCRETION IS ESSENTIAL

 

Hotel work may not seem like the juiciest career option, but you can guarantee you’ll see some sights. That’s why discretion is important for the role. It may be that you hear heated goings on in some of your rooms. You may even have to check in men with women who are quite obviously not their wives. But, you have to let it wash over you. Even gossiping about these things with colleagues is a risk. You don’t want the guest in question to overhear you! You need to let these things go over your head. You are there to serve, not judge.

 

THE WORK NEVER ENDS
To guarantee great reviews for your hotel, you will need to be on call at all times of day. It may seem unfair, but your guests are there all the time, and they won’t see why you can’t be. This is a full on job. Of course, just how full on depends on your role. But, if you’re in an important position, you’ll be expected to drop everything if a guest requests it. Even if it is your day off. Remember, the customer is always right. If they say you should be there, it must be the case.

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What Do You Need When Your Family Is Getting Bigger?

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We all have a pretty good idea of what to expect when you’re expecting, but there’s something of a lack of information for exactly what it is you need when your little bundle of joy actually arrives. The thing that a lot of books and movies seem to forget is that as hard, uncomfortable, and exhausting as pregnancy and birth can be, they’re the easy part! The hard part is when you’re suddenly expected to take care of this tiny, fragile person, often with absolutely no idea what you’re doing. It can be a terrifying experience that can often get in the way of what you really want to be doing, which is revelling in the joy of the new addition to your family. To help you avoid falling into a total panic, here are some things that you should think about before your new addition arrives.

 

Do you need a new car?

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You might be incredibly attached to your car. Maybe it’s one you’ve had for years and has always taken care of you, or maybe you saved up and finally bought the sports car of your dreams. Sadly, when you have a baby, your priorities are going to have to change a little bit. You beloved old heap of junk may not seem so charming when safety becomes a serious issue, and your sports car isn’t going to do much good if you can’t fit anyone into the back seat because the engine has taken up half of the car. An SUV is often the car of choice for many families because of the space and comfort it offers. Cars like the Ford Escape are perfect for families who want to be able to drive in comfort and style, with plenty of space for all the stuff that you need when you’ve got a little one. See if you can find any Ford dealers, or any other dealers with high-quality SUVs near you and give one a test drive. Hopefully, you’ll find one that is stylish enough to take away the pain of having to say goodbye to your beloved sports car.

 

Is your home ready?

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You might assume that baby proofing isn’t something that you’re going to have to worry about for a while. After all, when they’re first born, babies aren’t able to do much other than cry and look adorable. However, those first few months have a nasty habit of racing by and before you know it your little one is going to racing around causing all kinds of trouble. Even before they can crawl, babies are able to roll to where they need to be, and you’d be amazed what skilled climbers they can often be. For your own peace of mind as much as their safety, make an effort to baby proof all the cabinets, keep anything unsafe out of their reach and lock away anything that they might be tempted to put in their mouths. Spoiler alert: babies will be tempted to put everything in their mouths.

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