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5 Steps to Take Your Business to the Next Level

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5 Steps to Take Your Business to the Next Level

Owning a small business is hard work at any time, let alone right now. In fact, for many owners, the combined impact of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis probably adds up to the most challenging economic circumstances they’ve ever experienced. As a business owner myself, having started my own company, Tala, just over 3.5 years ago, I can confirm it’s definitely been a challenge!

But here’s something a bit less doom and gloom!  Despite all the uncertainty, 33% of UK small business owners say their priority for the next months is not only balancing the books but achieving growth too. And 37% of Gen Zs claim they want to start up a business to earn more money to deal with life’s rising costs. 

So, with all that ambition around, here are my five top tips for small business success, whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your company to the next level…

Be totally content with your content

Nowadays, most people don’t want the stuff they watch or read to look like an ad, they want it to feel as though they’re talking to their friend. This means they actually respond very similarly to well-made organic content as they do to paid content. So, instead of going straight to paid ads, post your marketing content organically on your Facebook or Instagram  to see what your audience engages with the most. You can then back the best performing stuff with some paid ads and reallocate your paid spend in real time to fit demand, like shutting off an ad when stock is low and promoting the next best product. All of which means you’re only spending your marketing budget on content that you’re confident is going to have the right impact with your customers.

Innovate in what you do and how…but not why 

Innovation is the lifeblood of every small business as it means you’re constantly moving forward and unlocking new and better ways to deliver what your customers want. But if you are thinking of targeting a new market, testing a new product or trialing a fresh way of working, don’t lose sight of why you started your company in the first place. People want to buy into your business not just from your business. So whatever changes you decide to make in order to grow, ensure that every person that comes to your page knows what your business’ mission is. Now more than ever, it’s them that will keep your customers coming back. 

Boost your productivity not your working hours

How often do you hear that, as a small business owner, you have to work every day of every week of every year. It’s not always true (although admittedly there are periods of that!). In fact, this kind of hustle culture can burn you out. The key is to be more productive with the time you do spend working. So, instead of long to-do lists without timings, try dividing your day into quick ticks (<5 mins), tasks (5-30 mins) and projects (30+ mins) and three non-negotiable things you have to achieve. This should include blocking specific time for admin and for personal stuff like hobbies. Doing so will help you focus on the stuff that really matters for your business’ long-term success rather than getting bogged down in bagging quick and easy wins to announce on social media for some extra kudos, and help you to fit in the things you love too

Be prepared if you’re looking to raise

Securing financing as a small business owner can be tough, especially if you’re a woman. In fact, for every £1 of venture investment in the UK, less than 1p goes to all-female founder teams compared to 89p for all-male ones. That’s shocking – and something investors and policymakers need to address as quickly as possible. What’s true for everyone though is that raising capital isn’t something you can just wing. Instead, you need a razor sharp knowledge of your business, a clear vision of where you want to go and be ready to model every single penny you’re going to spend. When you present your pitch, be yourself because people invest in people, not just ideas.  And if you get some interest, remember to think about whether the investor is right for you. Always follow your gut.

Take advantage of help

Getting help as a small business owner isn’t an admission of failure, it’s just smart – especially in tough times like we’re in now. Consider taking advantage of initiatives like the government’s Recovery Loan Scheme  or digital skills programmes. Join a local small business network to make useful contacts and meet people you can learn from. And if you’re lucky enough to be located around Birmingham, Manchester or Edinburgh, take a hefty chunk out of your energy and operating costs by cashing in on Meta’s offer of free digital skills training and office space for the winter at fb.me/goodideasstudios.

Grace Beverley is founder of the highly successful sustainable activewear brand, Tala. To help small business owners navigate the current uncertainty, she will be speaking at Meta Good Ideas Studios, a series of events where small business leaders in Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh can attend insightful panels, talks, workshops and training to help them grow their businesses, primarily online.

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Trucking Companies: An Essential Part of the Supply Chain

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Trucking Companies: An Essential Part of the Supply Chain

Trucking companies are a crucial part of the modern-day supply chain, responsible for delivering goods and materials from one location to another. From small-scale local delivery services to large multinational corporations, trucking companies play a vital role in connecting businesses with consumers and ensuring that essential goods reach their destinations in a timely manner.

The history of trucking companies dates back to the early 20th century, when trucks first began to be used for commercial purposes. Since then, the industry has grown exponentially, with technological advancements, changes in regulations, and increased globalization driving the growth of trucking companies around the world.

Trucking companies typically offer a range of services, including local, regional, and long-haul deliveries. They may specialize in a particular type of cargo, such as hazardous materials, or offer a range of services, including warehousing and distribution. Some trucking companies also provide specialized services such as refrigerated transportation, flatbed hauling, or oversized loads.

One of the key benefits of working with trucking companies is their ability to offer flexible, efficient, and cost-effective delivery services. With a large fleet of vehicles and a network of distribution centers, trucking companies can provide fast and reliable delivery services, regardless of the size or type of shipment.

In addition to the delivery of goods, trucking companies also play a critical role in reducing congestion on the roads and highways. By utilizing advanced routing and dispatch systems, trucking companies can optimize their delivery routes, reducing the number of vehicles on the road and helping to minimize traffic delays.

Another advantage of working with trucking companies is their ability to offer a range of value-added services, such as packing, loading and unloading, and custom clearance. These services can help businesses streamline their operations, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

However, like any industry, trucking companies are not without their challenges. One of the biggest challenges facing the industry today is the shortage of qualified truck drivers, which has led to increased costs and reduced capacity for many companies. In addition, the high cost of fuel, insurance, and maintenance can also pose a significant challenge for trucking companies.

Despite these challenges, the trucking industry continues to play an essential role in the global economy, connecting businesses with consumers and helping to keep the wheels of commerce turning. With a focus on innovation, efficiency, and customer service, trucking companies will continue to play a key role in shaping the future of the supply chain.

In conclusion, trucking companies are an integral part of the modern-day supply chain, offering a range of delivery services that help businesses connect with consumers and ensure the timely delivery of goods. With a focus on innovation, efficiency, and customer service, trucking companies will continue to play a vital role in shaping the future of the industry.

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Landscaping Business: A Guide to Starting and Growing Your Own Business

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Landscaping Business: A Guide to Starting and Growing Your Own Business

Landscaping is a multi-billion dollar industry that offers a range of opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to start their own business. Whether you are an experienced landscaper or just starting out, this guide will provide you with the essential information you need to get your landscaping business up and running.

Step 1: Determine Your Niche

The first step in starting a landscaping business is to determine your niche. Are you going to specialize in residential or commercial landscaping? Do you want to offer lawn care services, garden design, or tree care? It’s important to choose a niche that you have a passion for and that you feel confident in delivering quality services to your clients.

Step 2: Create a Business Plan

Once you have determined your niche, the next step is to create a business plan. Your business plan should include your business goals, target market, marketing strategies, operating costs, and financial projections. This will help you stay focused and on track as you start your business.

Step 3: Register Your Business and Obtain Licenses

Before you start your landscaping business, you need to register your business and obtain any necessary licenses and permits. This will vary depending on your location, so it’s important to check with your local government to determine what you need to do.

Step 4: Invest in Equipment and Supplies

To provide quality landscaping services, you will need to invest in the right equipment and supplies. This may include lawn mowers, trimmers, edgers, and other landscaping tools. You will also need to purchase supplies such as mulch, soil, and plants.

Step 5: Market Your Business

Marketing your landscaping business is essential to attracting new clients and building your brand. You can use a variety of marketing strategies, including online advertising, social media, and local print ads. You can also offer special promotions and discounts to attract new customers and keep your existing ones coming back.

Step 6: Deliver Quality Services

The key to success in the landscaping business is delivering quality services to your clients. Make sure you are providing high-quality workmanship, and always be prompt and professional with your clients. You can also ask for referrals from satisfied customers to help grow your business.

In conclusion, starting a landscaping business can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. With hard work, dedication, and a passion for your work, you can build a successful landscaping business that provides you with a steady income and a sense of accomplishment.

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Catering Business: A Thriving Industry in the Food Service Industry

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Catering Business: A Thriving Industry in the Food Service Industry

Catering business is a subsector of the food service industry that involves providing food and drinks to clients at various locations such as weddings, corporate events, parties, and other special events. It is a growing and lucrative industry that offers a variety of opportunities for entrepreneurs who have a passion for food and hospitality. In this article, we will take a closer look at the catering business and its prospects for growth in the future.

The Demand for Catering Services

The demand for catering services has been steadily increasing in recent years due to the growing trend of hosting events and parties outside of the home. This trend has been driven by a number of factors including busy work schedules, the desire to create a memorable experience, and the convenience of having everything taken care of by a professional catering service. As a result, catering businesses have become increasingly popular, especially in urban areas where there is a high demand for their services.

Opportunities for Growth in the Catering Business

There are many opportunities for growth in the catering business, including expanding into new markets, offering new and innovative menu options, and investing in technology to streamline operations. For example, catering businesses that cater to specific dietary needs, such as gluten-free or vegan options, have seen significant growth in recent years. Additionally, the use of technology to streamline operations, such as online ordering and delivery systems, has made it easier for catering businesses to reach new customers and expand their reach.

Starting a Catering Business

Starting a catering business requires careful planning, hard work, and a passion for food and hospitality. It is important to conduct market research to determine the demand for catering services in your area, as well as to identify your target market and competition. From there, you will need to create a detailed business plan, secure financing, and develop a strong brand identity.

To be successful in the catering business, you will also need to have a strong culinary background and a good understanding of food safety and sanitation practices. You may also need to invest in equipment such as ovens, refrigerators, and other kitchen equipment, as well as in marketing and advertising to reach potential customers.

Conclusion

The catering business is a thriving industry that offers many opportunities for growth and success. By carefully planning and executing a solid business plan, entrepreneurs with a passion for food and hospitality can start their own successful catering business and make a real impact in the food service industry. With the increasing demand for catering services, the future of the catering business looks bright and full of potential.

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