Disabled Access Considerations When Moving Your Business To The High Street

These days, thanks to modern technology, many businesses start their lives online. It is a good way of keeping costs down while the business becomes established. As it grows over time the natural move is to have permanent headquarters or a retail outlet that is physical rather than digital.

License: Creative Commons image source
License: Creative Commons image source

As online entrepreneurs know one area that is now under UK law is ensuring the website is disabled access friendly. If the site isn’t accessible your business could face legal action and be sued for discrimination. As you move into permanent premises you must also carry over the accessibility and this is an area you can work on right from the moment you get handed the keys.

A Large Task But It Doesn’t Have to be Daunting

Now you may feel a little out of your depth when it comes to improving the accessibility of your new premises. However, just because the task may seem huge it doesn’t mean that you can afford to ignore it or push it to the back of your to do list. By failing to conduct suitable changes to make the property more accessible you leave yourself open to being sued by employees or customers that feel you are discriminating against them.

There is help available out there so don’t go thinking that you need to read the Equality Act inside and out. The experts will be able to give you the information you need based upon your business, the size and location of your premises and be able to use your budget as a guideline to work out what is affordable. If it is impossible to make dramatic changes all at once the expert may be able to help you by establishing what needs to be worked on as a priority, how you can save money, where to source affordable goods, equipment and labour and what could wait a bit longer.

Doing Renovations Before You Move In?

When you undertake any renovations you must consider the disability access. This is why working with an access consultant right from the get go will benefit you greatly. You can hire them for very little money and their services can help you in many different areas. Make sure that you hire a consultant who is more than happy to discuss any necessary work with your architects and designers. This saves time and money by reducing the need to redo work later for additional costs.

You may have to request planning permission and this can be a long and drawn out process. After months of waiting many applicants have their plans turned down, another frustration. Access consultants are able to help you through the planning permission process. Showing that some parts of the design are required to provide a much better service for the community, by allowing improved access, can help to push through successful planning applications. So when you come to looking for a professional expert to help you, ask them whether they would be happy to help you in this area should it be necessary in the future.

Thinking of the Needs of Everyone

As a modern online business you made sure that your website was user friendly. Now as you have grown and decided to open a physical business you must carry those work ethics and legal responsibilities over to your new premises. Use the consultants to conduct an audit and they will be able to help you spot urgent and required improvements that will allow everyone to make use of your services successfully.  By doing so you ensure that your doors are open to everyone and you can become a strong player in your community and your industry by refusing to discriminate.

About the Author: Aki Hashimoto is a business consultant and mentor. She has found that using access audits is the simplest way to overcome the legal documentation and start making steps to create improved disability access. 

Old Tricks And Traditional Skills Still Vital To 21st Businesses

You would think, with this being the bright shiny and thoroughly wired 21st Century that the more traditional skills associated with the secretarial world would be thoroughly redundant. However, despite the fact that our lives are dominated by computers, tablets, Smartphone’s and a whole range of peripherals and apps that can be added to them, some traditional skills remain in high demand.  From copy typing to audio typing and transcription services, traditional skills still remain in high demand. The latter, in particular, remains a crucial part of content creation for many industries, from humble minute taking to full scale TV transcriptions. Transcription services today are also an important feature for conference organisers and transcription offers a number of significant advantages.

License: Creative Commons image source
License: Creative Commons image source

The Bigger Picture

Recording and filming any event was, in the past, a difficult task which required a significant number of professionals and an equally large (and cumbersome) amount of equipment. Today any event, from a pop concert to conference can be (and is) recorded on a phone and the film is often uploaded to the web in seconds. However convenient this may seem it does not replace the need for accurate and professional filming or transcription. In large conference centres where a number of speakers may be talking at one time, or where question and answer sessions are part of the presentation, both professional filming and transcription still have significant advantages.  Unlike audio or video files, fully transcribed events offer users a fast look up for significant points and sections. With transcriptions now available digitally, the simple use of the find function can take you straight to the point in a way that no amount of film footage can.

Old Skills and New Methods Combined

Post event publications of transcribed documents have a number of advantages. In terms of web publication, transcription offers a handy SEO tool. The broader the scope of your written content, the more opportunities for lead generation via search engines; again in a way which means that video content alone will not be as beneficial.  Also the more traditional print press, while happy to receive audio or visual material, will often rely on transcribed versions of a presentation or conference to make their own jobs easier and making things easy for journalists means they’ll be able to find time to fit your piece in.

Applied Technology

Although transcription is an old skill, long pre-dating the internet, the technological revolution has made the process of finding reliable transcription services easier and more affordable. Most transcription services operate online and transcribers themselves can be located just about anywhere in the world. This has driven down the costs of professional transcription and can open up opportunities for these services. This means any content you need to promote in overseas markets can be quickly made available in a variety of formats or languages. The process is speeded up to almost light speed thanks to modern technology. This gives modern businesses a greater and faster reach than in the past, making it possible for firms of any size to go global.

New Opportunities

While transcription services offer advantages to a range of industries they offer specific advantages to conference organisers in any field. Post conference transcripts can be marketed alongside podcasts as part of a full package for both attendees needing to refer back to the conference and as a valuable product in their own right to sell to a wider market. Working with a professional and established provider makes sense in this context and planning ahead will also make the process run more smoothly. Contacting a transcription service provider well in advance and involving them in the planning of the event will help you both to create a package that suits your needs which will result in a quick and efficient turnaround on the end product. Despite the massive advances in technology and the opportunities that it has opened up for business it seems that some of the oldest tricks are still the best.

About the Author: Pipa Rose is a freelance writer who has a keen interest in business. While technology has made business presentations and conferences far easier and more accessible for many, she believes that many traditional skills such as transcription services still play a crucial role.

Quick Tips For Reducing The Cost Of Doing Business

No business can afford to pass up on any form of cost saving tips in this tough economy. There are always ways that you can cut back on your business’ expenses without sacrificing quality, but you need to look for them. If you are not actively searching for lower prices, how do you know that you are not paying too much?

coins
License: Creative Commons href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/meshal/40297406/sizes/z/in/photostream/” rel=”nofollow”>image source

Here are a few quick tips for reducing the cost of doing business:

Audit business expenses

Every company needs to analysis and justify each business expense a few times each year. Make it a part of your quarterly strategy or at least annually and always start by re-quoting your supplies. If you don’t find a better deal out there, you can always negotiate lower prices or better terms with your existing suppliers.

Increase staff productivity

In today’s modern world, the first step to improving productivity is searching for technological advancements. Manual entry is a thing of the past and there are now automated systems for nearly anything you need to accomplish in a typical business day. There are automated marketing systems, invoice generators, and automatic order processing, including payment. The less time your staff is spending on entering paperwork means more time they can be spending on innovation and growth.

Cut staff if needed

You may also discuss some positions are not as necessary as you think. For example, if you only need to process less than fifty invoices per week (which is typical for a small business), then you probably don’t need to hire a full-time bookkeeper. You could enter the transactions yourself in less than an hour and save a considerable amount on labor expenses.

Use video-conferencing instead of meeting in person

To save the expense of commuting between locations, try using video-conferencing whenever possible. If you also use file sharing program like Google Drive, you can both even work on the same document without having to email it back and forth.

Use less expensive forms of marketing

Social media marketing is being used by more big business as a way to connect on a more person level with potential consumers. It is relatively inexpensive, especially when you compare it to all other mediums for global advertising. Create an engaging website, an interactive blog, a fun Facebook page, and an intriguing Twitter feed.

 Reduce your paper costs

You can save time and money by switching to paper saving online solutions. Use email, online calendars, and online billing software to reduce the amount of paper you use. If you email invoices directly to your customers, you will save on both paper and stamps!

Take action and start saving money today by auditing your business expenses, increase productivity, take advantage of video-conferencing, use inexpensive marketing methods, and reduce your paper cost. These little things can add up to an incredible savings for your company.

About the Author: The article is posted by Gerwyn Wallto. You can find other related articles here.

Tips to Survive When Your Small Business Is In Financial Crisis

The current economic situation has in one way or another impacted every business in the world. Business owners are struggling to survive the economic downtime. Small business will easily fall prey to the economic down time. To avoid the crippling effects of the financial crisis you need to find some tips and tricks that will help your business to survive.

helping hands

Image by GrowWear

Here are some well-researched tips will help your company to withstand these hardships:

Cut the costs

Cost cutting is the best way to save some money. However, be careful when doing this as an improper decision can be just as damaging as the recession itself. Some small business owners start cutting their labour cost when they encounter crisis. However you have to be practical this may not be advisable as when the sales pick up you don’t have staff to cover it. So cut down on factors that are not essential or have little impact on other functions.

Pay your bills on time

This is the best way to save some money as the late payment charges and other penalties can prove to be crippling. Your credit rating will also be improved thus enabling you to receive financial support from the institutions in the future without difficulty. If you don’t have money on your due date to pay off your bills you can opt for payday loans. These loans provide you with instant cash and are easily repayable on your next payday.

Spend some money on marketing

You may be under the misconception that spending money during an economic down turn is a bad idea but in reality it is a good idea. You need to be more aggressive with your marketing during down turns. Marketing may cost you but it gives you a good return on your investment. If you lack funds to invest on marketing you can get the help from the payday loans.

Review all the costs

You need to review all the costs. This will help you to find where your money is going. Check the costs of fuel, water and energy overheads. You can set some fixed-price contracts on these areas to reduce the costs.

Motivate yourself

It is advisable to motivate yourself in such a way that you can face any kind of problems in bad times. Also motivate your employees to face the challenges. Reading motivational books and magazines will develop a positive attitude which will help you to overcome any type of problem.

If you follow the above tips with a strong desire and a little financial discipline then you can easily survive the financial crisis.

Author Bio: My name is Michelle. I am a tech writer from UK. I am into Finance. Catch me @financeport

Using Promotional Gifts in Your Marketing – Five of the Best

One of the best ways to create a positive brand impression is to hand out custom promotional items to your long term customers, or to people that visit your booth at trade shows.  You don’t have to spend a fortune on promotional items.  In most cases, your clients will appreciate even a small gift as a token of appreciation for their long term custom.  If you’re not sure what sort of gift is appropriate, check out the following ideas:

promotional items
Promotional items - ready to go!

1. Memory Sticks

This is probably one of the most useful promotional presents.  You can never have too many memory sticks.  A small memory stick with your logo on it won’t cost you a lot of money, but the recipient will appreciate it.  It will end up in their jacket pocket or laptop bag, and will probably get passed around the office as a handy way to transfer files.

2. Branded Mugs

People love branded mugs.  They’re another one of those promotional presents that falls into the “you can never have too many” category.   No matter how many branded mugs are already floating around the office, if you send a couple out to your best clients, they will end up getting used for many years to come.  The general rule for most offices I’ve ever worked in is: the more mugs there are in the office, the less often the washing up will get done.

3. Mouse Pads

Mouse pads are always handy.  They may not get used in the office, but people will take them home to use in the study.  Or, they might store them and pull them out when someone spills coffee on one of the old ones.  People will appreciate a mouse pad as a promotional present, and they’re a nice one to consider because they’re flat, not particularly fragile, and easy to send in the post.

4. Branded Keychains

Branded keychains are small, inexpensive, and useful.  Especially if you can make them dual purpose – for example, a keychain flashlight or bottle opener.  There’s a good chance that the recipient will clip it on to their keys right away, so your brand will always be in their pocket.

5. T-Shirts

For some companies, t-shirts make brilliant promotional gifts, but for others they’re not such a great idea.  If you work in an entertainment related industry, people will love getting promotional t-shirts, especially for a product that is either new, or not yet released.  That sort of promotional present is one that people will wear with pride.  The same is true for the sports industry – having a team t-shirt, or one with a supplement maker’s logo on it, is something that impresses a lot of people.

If you’re in a less glamorous industry, people might not think like that.  Before you order 500 t-shirts with your company logo on them, stop and think for a moment.  Would you wear one of those on a night out?  If not, would you even wear one to the gym?

Image: ingermaaike2 / Flickr

Reasons Why People Don’t Buy From a Website

Even if you have a lot of traffic coming to your site, these visitors might not be doing what you want them to on your site. Whether that’s buying a product or filling in an enquiry form, these visitors aren’t converting. Often, website owners will look at this problem and decide what they need is more visitors coming to the site, rather than making the most of the potential customers that are leaving. This can be expensive, especially when you’ve got the potential customers visiting already – you just have to appeal to them a bit more.

This is all about conversion rate optimisation, which can help you get the most out of the potential customers already coming your way. Below are some tips to consider when looking to optimise your site.

Can you find items easily?

If you look at your site as a customer would, can you find things easily? Finding a certain page should be easy and straightforward. Easy to read sign posts that direct people are necessary. If people can’t find exactly what they’re looking for straight away, they’ll look somewhere else.

However, trying to get every link on every page may make the site look a mess and cause more problems than it solves. As long as the directions are there, it should make sense.

Is the information there?

When potential customers have found the page they’re looking on, they’re going to need some information on what they’re looking at. Whether it’s a product or service, the attached description could decide whether they buy from you or someone else.

The description should contain enough information so that a potential customer can decide if it’s right for them, as well as being written in high quality, detailed enough to cover everything and completely unique.

Online, you don’t have the ability to hold an item like you do in a store. The description needs to replace and recreate that feeling, or you won’t give your customers the confidence to buy from you. High resolution images that customers can zoom on to see the items in detail and technical specifications are really good things that should be included on the page too.

Customers need confidence

When it comes to conversion rate optimisation the first thing you need to assess is if customers have enough confidence in your site. Customers will not part with their credit card details on to a site they can’t completely trust, and they’re quite right too as well. With this in mind, it’s important to make sure that you and your site are doing everything you can to gain the customers trust.

Making your website look professional is the first step. The more professional the site looks, the more trustworthy it’ll come across as. It’s also a good idea to make your contact details as open as possible and to not hide them away or refuse to put them on the site at all. Customers will gain confidence if they know you’re approachable and they’re able to contact you should anything not go according to plan.

This post was written on behalf of Boom Online Marketing the conversion rate optimisation experts

How Impulse Merchandising Can Boost Company Profits In The Retail Sector

While the recession is undoubtedly affecting almost every one of us, the retail sector is generally being hit much harder than many other business divisions. This is largely due to the need for consumers to reduce their spending on unnecessary goods such as expensive clothing and entertainment products. Continue reading How Impulse Merchandising Can Boost Company Profits In The Retail Sector

Three Tips to Reduce Your Business Expenses

Saving money can help any business reach its goals more easily. However, for many business owners it isn’t always clear how they can save money without cutting back on services to their clients or upsetting their employees. These three tips will help you reduce spending at your business while still keeping morale high and servicing your clients well. Continue reading Three Tips to Reduce Your Business Expenses