Are you a business ostrich?

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Are you a business ostrich?

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Why are business so slow to adopt new advertising methods? With Digital, it’s never been easier to try something and the results are visible so stopping it is super easy.

You don’t need to go back many years and businesses would invest thousands in Yellow Pages adverts or Thompson directories with no hope off updating or changing them for at least 18 months. Compared to nowadays you can tweak, test and update campaigns almost instantly.

Most businesses are very slow to start using a new advertising medium. For example, it was almost 7 years before even half of FTSE 250 companies had a Facebook page. As a result, those businesses lost a major opportunity to smaller, more aggressive businesses that were willing to take the plunge on a new marketing channel.

When scary or risky things are going on around them, instead of taking action, they’ll stick their heads in the sand. Smaller businesses have a major advantage as they can move quickly to seek an advantage than the slower big boys, where there are risks there are rewards.

This was always the case with advertising. The adage says 50% of advertising works we just don’t know which 50%.

Today, businesses are facing a new opportunity with the same potential risks and rewards: video advertising. Video advertising is however very different. It can show which part of your advertising spend is reaching those who are interested in your marketing message.

All businesses and individuals will have concerns around Video Advertising. The question you and every other business out there should ask is, do the benefits of video advertising outweigh the risks?

It isn’t scary, today it’s not a nice to have it’s a must have and it will be critical to the growth of your business.

Here are the most common reasons I hear about why companies are hesitant to take their advertising to the next level using video ads:

1.There’s no guarantee of a return on investment.

2.What if the people hate my video?

3.What if we look stupid because of the video?

4.They take too long to make.

5.They cost too much to make.

Let me dispel some of these concerns:

1) There’s no guarantee of a return on investment

You’re right, there is no guarantee of a return-on-investment with video advertising. There’s also no guarantee of a return-on-investment with text or image ads, and you are already doing those. With Video however there is detailed second by second analysis of who and when and what device and exactly how much of your messages people watch

You can save a ton of time by reaching out to those interest’s prospects first

Video advertising may be a bit of an unknown right now, but that’s why we’re looking at the data in this article. The potential upside of your other advertising channels made them worth the investment, even though they were an unknown. Why is video advertising any different?

2) What if the prospects hate our video?

Unfortunately, you can’t protect yourself from public outrage by avoiding video advertising. Just ask Bic, who received massive criticism for this image ad:

What we can do is target who sees the video to give it the best opportunity to be presented in a target and focussed way

Let’s face it, any time you run any kind of campaign, you risk sending a message you didn’t intend. If you’re too afraid of public backlash to run video ads, you should probably avoid advertising altogether.

3) What if we look stupid because of the video?

Again, look at the above section. People love to mock businesses and advertisements, but that doesn’t mean that advertising isn’t a good idea. If your current image or text ads aren’t making you look stupid, odds are that running a video campaign won’t make you look stupid, either.

4) Video takes too long to make

Contrary to popular belief, videos only take as long to make as they need to. Typically, your time will be under three hours. Trust me, the people making your ad want to make sure that they are doing a good quality job on your project, but they also have other clients that need their time as well. Much like you and your business.

5) They cost too much to make

Now we’re getting to the heart of most people’s concerns. Creating a video campaign costs a lot more than creating a text or an image ad, which makes it feel like a bigger upfront risk for your business.

However, if that upfront risk produces much better results than a text or image ad, wouldn’t the investment be worth it?

To help answer that question, we’ve been running tests with video campaigns for quite a while now. In our tests, changing from image ads to video ads cuts cost-per-conversion and massively improving lead generation quality.

Which would you rather have quality or quantity?

Mitigating the Cost of Video Advertising

Suddenly, the question just changed from “can I afford to do video advertising?” to “can I afford not to do video advertising?”

Most video producers speak the language of “creative”, while most clients speak the language of “business.”

The actual cost of making that video, which is where most businesses get hung up on video campaigns.

Don’t stick your head in the sand. If you are truly looking to make your business grow working with us on LinkedIn Video Marketing Campaigns are absolutely, positively, 100% the route that you should be taking.

So, at less than £500 including your HD quality video and 6-week campaign is cost really an issue any more?

Read my latest article on LinkedIn Video Marketing

If you have questions about how you can work with our video team, let me know here or in the comments below. You can also call us and talk to our sales team at any time.


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Through The Eyes of an Apprentice

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My name is Hollie and I am a Digital Marketing apprentice for The Business Hub. I’m currently working towards a Level 3 and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

I’ve been with the Business Hub for nearly three months now, and I must say I’m truly loving my time here. Even though I’ve only been with the company for a short period, I’ve already produced many designs, which have helped further my skills.

I was convinced I would feel distanced working within a work environment for the first time due to my age and experience but it’s completely the opposite as I’ve been made to feel so welcome by the team here and believe I’ve fitted in nicely.

My day usually starts off with organising my emails, sorting clients’ feedback, printing responses and managing my tasks assigned to me by my boss, Paul. I maintain my organisation and timekeeping by creating a daily/weekly to-do list. My role consists of designing marketing campaigns for different clients through emails, Facebook ads, flyers and brochures. I particularly enjoy the design process as I get the opportunity to see an idea transform from a scrap bit of paper to a high quality, professional printed product.

The Business Hub and I decided to complete my apprenticeship through QA. A major factor in this decision was the fact that I have the additional support of college where I get face-to-face contact with both tutors and other apprentices who are working their way towards similar professions. It’s extremely nice to talk with other apprentices about their experiences and business.

One week per month I spend my time at the QA building in Leeds, where I experience classroom based learning and I am taught useful information and essential skills needed to enhance my abilities which can be practised back at the workplace. In addition to this, I have monthly visits from my assessor updating me on my progress and setting tasks to complete within that month. I love learning new skills and seeing them being incorporated within the working environment.

Apprenticeship, QA, Business, Learning, Student, digital marketing, design

“The best way of learning about anything is by doing” – Richard Brandon

Working as an apprentice isn’t easy as it requires a lot of dedication and hard work but having a supportive work family behind me and the experiences I’ve achieved already ensures me that it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Prior to my apprenticeship, I spent two years studying my A-levels at Leeds Art College. No help was provided in my progression stage towards an apprenticeship and I found it extremely tough to leave college without a set plan. Further education was never an option for me; I loved studying through my two years but I was ready for real-life experiences.

After leaving college I had a horrible six-month period where I felt stuck in a rut searching for my next career opportunity. However, as apprentices are currently highly advocated in the educational sector for being both a qualification as well a paid work experience, I decided to delve in a bit deeper and find out more. I approached a company called The Apprentice Finder, who through thorough information and advice, helped me acknowledge that this was the perfect option for me as it provides me with the opportunity to learn new skills, gain experience in a work environment and earn a steady income, everything that I wanted.

I personally believe an apprenticeship was the best career move for myself and would highly recommend this path for either a future apprentice or business.

Please contact me if you require any more information or help through my email hm@thebusinesshub.uk.com. You can also contact QA and The Apprentice Finder who both personally helped me in my progression towards an apprenticeship.


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sales rep, apps, working remotely

Plugging the App Gap For Sales Reps!

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Big or small, global or local most businesses have a sales rep among their team. Without them fresh relationships aren’t nurtured, new clients aren’t captivated and profit and results aren’t gained. They play a vital role and need to be smart and savvy when it comes to working on the go. We’ve put together a handy list of apps ideal for the modern day travelling sales rep to help them stay sharp and on the ball, to make it easier to retain existing customers and make those all-important conversions.

The bad boys you’ve heard of…

The following are well-known for a reason. They’re dependable, effective and don’t let you down!

For overseas travelling:

  • Skyscanner app- This neat app goes beyond finding cost-effective flights. 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner and shower gel are great for quick and effortless ease and that’s partly what makes Skyscanner such a winner. Your hotel and car searches are now automatically synchronized with your flight search to save you bags of time, earning it some glowing success stories. Free from Google Play and iTunes.

For flagging down taxis:

  • UBER- Popular due to its ability to secure you a trustworthy and punctual ride wherever you are at the touch of a button, UBER saves you from having to call and negotiate a complex pick-up schedule. Available worldwide, you can even track your taxi’s progress towards you accurately in real-time. UBERPool allows you to car pool, spreading the cost and being a friend to the environment, whilst UBER Business Travel means you can keep work and personal trips separate simply through a different business profile. Free from Google Play and iTunes with great reviews to boot!

For hitting the hay and dining out:  

  • TripAdvisor- You’ll know as a sales rep that a good reputation and referrals are some of the best ways to nail a sale. There’s no better way of determining if a restaurant or hotel is worth your time while on a business trip than with TripAdvisor, where honest reviews from people with first-hand experience with the establishments are there for you to read alongside accurate photos. With a four star rating on iTunes where it is available for free (and on Google Play), you can read reviews of the reviewing giant itself here. 

 

apps, sales rep, working remotely

Apps for every occasion- no matter where you’re working from!

The unsung heroes…

Sometimes it’s the less raved about underdogs that can actually offer the greatest of help.

For being productive while being a jet-setter: 

  • Todoist helps you stay focused and organised while out and about with seamless cross-device synchronization, jazzy colour-coded prioritization calendars, notifications, productivity monitoring, collaboration features and more. Available for free for iPhone and Android devices you can see praise for the app here. 

For conquering the language barrier:

  • Tourist Language Learn & Speak-  Covering languages spoken in most countries from Kyrgyzstan, Thai, Hindi and Dutch, you’ll soon be a wordsmith in any tongue your job requires with the ‘My Phrases’ section of this useful app where you can add and manage your own translations to get you by! With a 4.3-star rating on Google Play, you can’t knock it!

For working on the go:

  • SignEasy- Swiftly sign your way to success to confirm important documents remotely on all your favourite devices when you need to. Avoid keeping important clients waiting and keep your work processes moving while you’re on business trips with this free and easy-to-use app. New document fields make the app accessible, saving you time scrolling through long documents, guiding you to exactly the place that needs signing. With a 4.2 Google Play rating you can’t deny it’s a must-have app!

For travelling in style:

  • Rome2Rio- Available on Android and iOS, this clever app finds the most affordable and speedy way for you to get to your desired destination, across car, plane, bus or train- perfect if you’re late to that game-changing business meeting and in an unfamiliar place! Being rated 4.5 stars on iTunes is a cool bonus!

 

Any sales rep who is often on the road or traveller will know being away from home means being apart from your usual resources and comforts. So why not embrace the latest technology for a smoother more efficient and convenient journey? Think of the things you could do for your business with the time you can save! Technology can be frustrating when it doesn’t appear to do what you tell it, but it really is only as good as its operator. Don’t forget to ask friends and colleagues for advice or consult the internet, forums and social media if you’re ever struggling with how to use an app.

We’re curious, what are the apps you swear by when travelling for business? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+!


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young professional, young entrepreneur,

5 Killer Tips Young Entrepreneurs Need To Know

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Has it crossed the minds of the young people  in your life to set up a business?

There’s always a lot of pressure on the younger generation. Young people are unemployed. Young people find it harder to get on the property ladder. Young people are rude. Young people are lazy. At times that seems like the general consensus on the news and in the media but, according to The Guardian, UHY Hacker Young found there were 26,420 companies with a director aged 21 or under in the UK in 2015.

We’re in the business of helping businesses grow- that means enterprises that are in their infancy or long established, led by entrepreneurs young and old. With that in mind we’ve put together five killer tips young entrepreneurs should have in their arsenal if they’re considering launching a start-up- after all we’re depending on them to pick up the entrepreneurial mantle and carry on innovating, (no pressure!).

 

#1 Lasting Passion 

This tip isn’t just limited to young budding business men and women but all entrepreneurs. For your business to be successful you’re going to be pouring a lot of effort, energy and hours into it and making sacrifices, such as when it comes to your social life. If you set out to just make money, or launch a business just to say you have or just to be your own boss, eventually you’ll end up resenting and regretting it, especially as most successful entrepreneurs live and breathe their business.

Be passionate about your business idea from the word go. Make sure your business notion is one that you look forward to working on when you wake up, that brings a smile to your face not a groan. Ensure it’s a passion that will withstand the test of time. Have a zest for your idea, confidence in it and you stand a chance at success.

 

mentor, business, support

Valuable Insight: Your mentor can help you steer clear of business mistakes.

 

#2 Maximize Your Mentor

Owner and CEO of PilmerPR, John Pilmer recommends finding a mentor on Entrepreneur and we couldn’t agree more! Your tech and social media knowledge might be great, you might be even greater, and your idea might be the greatest but what you can’t possibly have as a young person is experience. Experience is a valuable thing. It teaches us how to avoid making mistakes, especially the same ones we have made before, and avoids wasting our time and taking unnecessary risks.

So why not find a trustworthy and knowledgeable mentor who’s been around the business block a few times? Glean all insight you can from their experiences, shadow them at work, observe, keep in regular contact with them, and take their advice on board. Having more than one mentor isn’t greedy either as we’ve all had different experience and picked up different tips along the way.

Who knows maybe your mentor’s business advice could save you from business suicide…

 

#3 Do Your Homework… And Then Some

Everyone knows starting a business involves some element of risk so why not take the riskiness out of risks? Our blog post ‘Are You A Riskaphobe?’ reveals how to turn a potentially dangerous chance into a ‘careful risk’ (and no it’s not a paradox!) but the crux of it is: never underestimate the value of doing extensive research.

Research the industry you’re going into, find out if there’s room in the market for your product, familiarise yourself with the competition and get to know your target customer inside out. That way you’ll be prepared for anything, give a great first impression to investors and people you sell your business idea to.

Startups cite the British Library’s Business and IP Centre in London for unlimited access to an abundance of market research and all for free!  They have centres  through the central libraries in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield if you’re not located near the capital.

 

#4 Have A Plan A…And Plan B

You’ve heard the saying “failure to prepare is  preparing to fail” right? Having a solid business plan can help you feel confident with the knowledge that you’ll be prepared for all eventualities and have a back-up. It can also prevent you from over estimating your budget and limits, whilst setting out bite-sized steps for you to follow to bring your business to life.

The Prince’s Trust offers some great business plans to help you get started…you can even ask your mentor for a hand!

 

business plan, business idea, success

Route to success: A business plan can keep you in check and make growing your business less daunting.

 

#5 Face-to-face is the way Forward.

Though social media is a powerful tool and a nifty way of reaching a lot of people to spread the word about your business for next to no cost, don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face networking. One day having that personal touch and taking the time and effort to follow up with prospective could help them travel that last part of their customer journey to signing up to your company’s services.

Building relationships with like-minded people can also mean you have support when you experience set-backs and people to celebrate with as your business grows.

If you’re based near us in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, there’s a great networking event held on the last Friday of every month called Young Professional Fridays– why not pop along?

For more advise on how to succeed in business contact us on 01484 401737 today or email support@thebusinesshub.uk.com. 


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business coaching, business, coach, sales coach, success

What Do We Know?

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Did you know that many experts fail at converting ‘warm’ leads into fully-fledged clients signed up and committed to their businesses?

This is the case even after months of blood, sweat and tears have been poured into burning the midnight oil and dedicated to devising and implementing miracle marketing plans and killer sales strategies. Why?

…because they’re not experts, well not sales experts anyway…

Instead they’re experts in their own field. Expert plumbers, garden design pros, baking geniuses and seasoned electricians. They’re not sales experts.

They don’t know the latest marketing trends on effective ways to reach people in the digital age.

They don’t know that engagement and helpful content is more successful than cold hard sales.

If they do have an inclination of the power of communication and engagement, they don’t have the time to invest in researching how to effectively reach, target and tailor content to their right clientele.

But they do know their trade.

 

What do we know? We know sales is a full time job!

 

Think about it: How often does making calls to follow up the people who opened/clicked on the links in your latest email marketing mailshot fall to the bottom of your to-do list when you’re a small business?

How familiar is the situation of forgetting to regularly update and engage with potential clients on social media?

How often does forgetting to check in with clients, network, keeping them ‘warm’ and nudging them on their customer journey to signing up with you fall by the wayside?

You wouldn’t go climb Ben Nevis without a climbing instructor or start a gruelling training regime without the watchful eye and supervision of a qualified fitness instructor, would you? You expect to turn up, soak up their valuable advice, benefit, implement and do

business coaching, business, coach, business coach, success, sales, business growth

Don’t go at it alone: Combining your expert knowledge of your trade, industry and business with a business coach’s sales know-how & insight you can truly grow your business.

If someone with insight shows you what to do it’s more likely to click. You’re more likely to practice what they preach, see what works for you and act. 

Consider these:

how do you identify your perfect potential customer?

how do you gather relevant details on your leads?

how do you use this info to reach and target prospects?

how do you create an outbound contact sequence?

how do you ensure there’s systems in place to follow-up leads?

how do you keep old customers happy while attracting new ones?

what do you do when strategies succeed and fail?

what platforms do you use to send your message out…and get it heard?

how do you analyse the progress and performance of your sales and marketing methods?

If your heads spinning, don’t worry it’s understandable. If you’re overwhelmed- there’s a lot of questions to address! If you have ideas on how to answer some of these questions but they’re vague solutions and you don’t know how or where to start, don’t worry either. If you literally have no idea, again don’t sweat it. That’s our job!

Sometimes you need to outsource, think outside the box. Sometimes you need to combine the knowledge of your trade and business, with the expertise and experience of a qualified and seasoned business coach. Sometimes you need to meet regularly with a business coach, share your goals with them, and listen to their objective advice when they see flaws in your business’ system, ways to improve an area of your operation.

 

What else do we know? We know about sales!

 

After our Director Paul has ran many successful businesses and then gone on to coach and mentor businesses of a variety of trades and professions to success and growth, he has learnt more than a thing or too.  He and our team actively enjoy transforming business, improving their processes, polishing their practices and fine tuning their strengths and strategies. Could we help grow yours? 

To find out more about our group and 1-to-1 business coaching click here or to book a 30-minute FREE phone consultation email us on support@thebusinesshub.uk.com or call our friendly team on 01484 401737! We look forward to hearing from you and propelling your business forward!

 

 


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stuck, stagnate, trapped, fear

5 Boosts For You and Your Business To Become Unstuck

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Lately we’ve published many posts on how to become more productive and optimise your time at work. Functioning efficiently helps speed projects up and empowers you to grow your business. But you can only be productive if you are motivated to propel your business forward.

You’re probably thinking: Why wouldn’t any business owner want to spur their business on to prosperity? Why wouldn’t someone who ran their own enterprise be motivated?

Well we’re all human and sometimes our mojo gets zapped. Sometimes we get stuck. Perhaps you’ve just completed a really successful project and don’t know how to top it? Perhaps you’re struggling for ideas on a new product? Perhaps you’re stuck on what direction to lead your business in?  We can only be productive if we become unstuck.

 

With this in mind we’ve compiled a list of top 5 boosts to help you and your business become unstuck so you can feel engaged with your business again to move it forward.

 

1) Identify the problem…then deal with it. Remember that all problems, like being stuck, have a solution. Try to figure out the obstacle standing in the way of you progressing. Sometimes a business coach or colleague- an objective but well meaning person outside your mind-can provide an educated perspective.

Is it fear or are your crippling from the overwhelming  pressure of your next business move to be a great one? The best way to deal with fear…is action. Dive in, take the plunge and do something, even if it is just one thing, to take your business forward today.

 

2) Make-Over Your Mistakes. You can’t turn back time, no but if the reason you’re hesitant to propel your business forward is that you’re still reeling from a mistake or bad decision you’ve made previously stop reeling! Dwelling on mistakes will keep you stuck in the past.

Failing isn’t making the mistake in the first place; it’s failing to deal with that mistake correctly. Learn from your mistake and come back better because of it.

 

3) Prove the Nay-Sayers Wrong. We’re all deeply influenced by what other’s think at some point. Try and let that go. There will always be people who wish to drag you down to keep them company (and get stuck) at the bottom, dismissing your ideas as pointless or of little value.

An inspiring example of turning the tables on these Negative Nellys is Fred Smith, who as an Economics student, graded ‘C’ for his idea of an overnight delivery service. He later became the founder of FedEX. Why? Because he has the confidence in himself and conviction in his idea to follow it through.

 

different, unique, outside the box, bold, memorable, distinct, original, innovative

Innovate: Doing things differently could help your business become unstuck and reignite your enthusiasm.

 

4) Break the Mould. Perhaps you’re stuck as you’re subconsciously tired of running your business in a certain way. Take a step back, do things differently to help excite you and engage you in your business again. Most successful businesses would have had a team leading them that had to think outside the box at some point and pull a rabbit out of hat, even when they had no rabbit and no hat!

If you’ve done your market research and consulted with relevant experts, doing things in a little unorthodox fashion isn’t something to get nervous about. It’s something to be curious about and to look forward to!

 

5) Make Optimism Your Best Friend. Running a business is going to have it’s highs and lows. Your motivation will lull, your pride and ego will take heavy hits and your reputation may suffer. Have a thick skin, don’t take things too personally and keep your chin up. Only take calculated, well researched risks, but take risks all the same.

Doing nothing will keep your business stuck, stagnated and stale. Taking a progressive and positive move forward, might lead to a mistake, but at least it will get your business unstuck and richer from the experience (see step 2).

 

For help yourself and your business become ‘unstuck’ contact us on 01484 401737 to find out more about our business growth services.


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brain, brain fog, productivity, motivation

Four Ways To Fight A Foggy Brain

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If you think your fellow business owners, freelancers or entrepreneurs are on fire every day, you’re wrong. They’re human too and, as such, can’t be on a roll or riding out a successful and productive streak every day. But they’re not lazy either.  You don’t get to the position of running your own business or brand or working for yourself by sitting back and being idle…but everyone can be prone to an ‘off’ day or vulnerable to losing their mojo, their get-up-and-go and being zapped of their motivation.

This inconvenient aliment, though not strictly speaking a medically recognised condition, is one who’s symptoms of absence of concentration, confusion and complete amnesia about what tasks are meant to be getting done, we are all too familiar with. It’s known as brain fog.

“What was I meant to be doing?”

“Where did I save that document?”

“I’ve got so much to do, where do I even start?”

 “I just can’t think of what to say in this presentation/write in this proposal?”

If these (or similar) questions are ones you’re well acquainted with echoing around your head while you stare helplessly and blankly at your computer screen, you’re no doubt suffering from this hazy brain syndrome.

Sometimes your work schedule demands a quick but effective fix to brain fog. You have deadlines to meet, please to be and clients to please.

So here’s Four quick fixes to combat a foggy brain:

 

  • Get Active. You have no doubt heard multiple times that exercise is good for you, not just for enhancing your physical health, but your mental well-being too. You’ve only heard it so many times because it’s true! Now getting moving- even if it is only for a short while- has untold benefits for your mental focus too, as Matthew Lee writing on Livestrong agrees.

 

mediation, calm, focus, productivity

Good habit: Even meditating for two minutes a day can make you more productive at work.

 

  • Get Meditating. Some may dismiss it as a bit mumbo-jumbo but meditating actually boasts a wealth of benefits, including chronic pain and stress relief as well as…improving productivity and focus. Lifehacker’s Melanie Pinola outlines how meditation can make us sharper and more efficient, whilst Kevin Purdy, highlights how even a two-minute meditation technique can work for those pressed for time.

 

  • Get Out. Even if it’s just for five or ten minutes, getting some fresh air and natural daylight can work miracles for your cognitive concentration. The Vitamin D Council states that: “Lower vitamin D blood levels are linked to a higher risk of cognitive impairment.” Going for a quick breather outside can also help you attack work with renewed vigour and enthusiasm when you return.

 

coffee, nap, alert, coffee nap, productive

Unexpected: Quickly following caffeine intake with a short nap increases productivity.

 

  • Get Caffeinated, Get Snoozing. Though we typically link caffeine to keeping us alert and awake, science has revealed that following a caffeine fix up with a short 20 minute nap is more effective for efficiency and focus than just downing a cuppa or grabbing a siesta. Don’t worry, light sleep or dozing suffice- just don’t exceed the 20 minute slumber time!

 

If you’re fortunate to have a day where you really should be cracking on with some work but don’t have the intense pressure of immediate deadlines weighing down on you- these four tips will help.

 

1) Start Small. You may think you’re using it as an excuse or distraction, tackling the smaller tasks before the bigger ones. In actual fact, completing lots of smaller tasks, such as filing or making follow-up phone calls, is a clever use of your ‘off’ day and can actually give you a feeling of immense satisfaction, motivating you to take on the bigger stuff, which will now seem less daunting.

Don’t forget, the little tasks matter too and once they’re ticked off you’ll have less to distract you  (known as the Zeigarnnik Effect) when it comes to working through that harder task, which may require more of your focus.

 

to do list, jobs, tasks, activities, productivity

Bite-Sized: Break bigger tasks down into smaller, more manageable jobs.

 

2) Simply Start. The longer we put off any task, however big or small, the more likely it is to morph into an even bigger and scarier monster in our minds. On days we’re suffering from brain fog this ‘monstrous task’ can seem even worse.

Christine Brady advises on ADDitude to break a big task into bite-sized chunks or smaller more manageable tasks. This makes it seem easier and more doable, and, like tip one, gives you the satisfaction of ticking off lots of little tasks, with the added bonus of you working towards completing a bigger activity or project, sometimes without you even being aware of it!

Alternatively, use your brain fog day to start a lot of tasks, however big or small.  While the human mind often dislikes unfinished tasks and this approach might seem a bit disjointed and jumbled, the hardest thing with any task is working up the motivation to start it. However, even if you just halfheartedly start lots of tasks, when you come in to work the next day (hopefully with a less foggy mind!) all your tasks will appear less daunting as you would have already made a little headway with them!

Brain fog, brain, creativity, productivity, cognitive

Useful: Use your foggy brain for tackling creative tasks.

 

3) Embrace Creativity. Believe it or not, you’re actually at your most creative when your mind is sluggish and foggy. Solving problems, such as what topic to blog about or what your client’s new branding should look like, often requires insight and creativity- the ability to think with innovation, outside the box. This ability is at its peak when our minds are tired and more prone to distractions- outside influences and stimuli a.k.a inspiration! Use your ‘off’ day to work on that video editing or design job you’ve been putting off doing.

 

4) Pick Productive People. Sometimes we don’t get to pick which client we work with or even the people on our team but if you are a business owner, make an extra effort to hire productive staff Frances Booth lists the reasons why surrounding yourself with productive people can have a positive and similar impact on you, including the fact that productive people tend to organise systems and others around them as well as themselves. This means you have less work to do and inefficiency problems are nipped in the bud before they even begin.

Being near productive people also increases the chances of you wanting to emulate their example and will mean, even on brain fog days, you’re inspired to complete tasks, even small or less important activities that have been on the back burner for a while!

 

For more expert tips on how to improve your work productivity or business processes contact us on 01484 401737 to find out more about our business growth services!

 


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smart phone, productive, procrastination, business growth

Hang Up On Your Phone…For Your Business’ Sake

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Riddle me this: what’s always with you, is only silent when you tell it to be and hinders your productivity?

That’s right…your smartphone! Forever buzzing, beeping, flashing or vibrating these pesky, yet addictive devices are the ultimate attention seekers. And, boy do they kidnap your attention! In fact, yours probably steels your focus way more than you think.

A study by Nottingham Trent University found that 18-30-year-olds checked their phones a staggering 85 times a day on average- twice as much as they thought they did. This equates to about a third of the time a person is awake! Imagine what you could do if you put that third of your time to other uses! Follow up on those leads, finish that project, complete that funding application or blitz your accounting?

Researchers discovered that those studied tended to check their phones in short bursts of time, with more than half of these brief phone checks lasting less than 30 seconds. Despite this, the fact still remains checking our phones every five seconds (it seems like there’s not a lot of exaggeration either!) is counterproductive- so why do we insist on self-sabotaging our work rate?

Larry Rossen Ph.D has studied the effects technology has on us for many years and knows a thing or two about phone addictions. He cites many possible reasons people regularly look at their phones in his article on Psychology Today. 

 

smart phone, productive, efficient, procrastination, business growth, success

You’re in control of your phone, not the other way round!

 

Reasons include:

  • Scrolling through our phone to feel happy- using it as entertainment, watching a funny video, for example. If you repeat this action- checking your phone in search of brief happiness/entertainment/pleasure- this is most likely to be an addiction, writes Rossen.
  • If you have your finger on the phone pulse and feel a sense of relief- because you’re the first person to comment on a post or you’re relived you haven’t missed out on something- Rossen highlights how this is probably an obsession, to reduce anxiety.
  • It’s possible we might also be hiding behind our smartphones, using them as a shield to protect us from communicating in real life with those around us.
  • You could be using it as a form of escapism or as a distraction in a bid to avoid dealing with an issue or completing a job.
  • You could, interestingly, be checking your phone in an effort to feel more productive, convincing yourself that you are ‘achieving’ something by clearing all your notifications. Unfortunately, this ‘achievement’ is hindering you from working towards your more significant potential business accomplishments.

As our blog post: ‘Do you Suffer From Procrastinitus?’ states: “Remember, too that Terminators’ prediction of the machines taking over hasn’t happened yet!”, whatever your business’ policy on mobile phones at work, your business will do well to remember that they’re in control of their phones, not the other way round.  The actual definition of ‘focus’ is to “pay particular attention to something” hence it’s impossible for you to focus on both your work and your phone.

With the knowledge that monotasking is better than multitasking, writer Lauren Moon, writing in Trello’s productivity section, provides a handy list of apps to help you realise how many times you check your phone and enable you to curb the habit.

Alternatively, an objective, qualified business coach can help you become more productive, aiding you in bringing about business success. They can help identify your personal reasons for procrastination and lack of motivation. Alternatively, attending group coaching sessions enables you to learn from other people’s procrastination blues.

For effective advice on how to be more productive and successful at work, get in touch with us about Business Coaching today!


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self-sabotage, procrastination

5 tips to Combat Self-Sabotage for Perfect Productivity

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Image from: artesanias-minerales.com  

 

We often say here at The Business Hub that Business Owners, especially owners of SMEs are their business and vice versa. They created their business, they drive it and their goals and values are reflected within it. So sometimes, what can be hindering your business from growing is…you.

That’s not to say it’s your fault. Many a things can influence a business’ inability to thrive and self-sabotage is human nature, we’ve probably all been guilty of it in some form at some point. Besides, mistakes are there to be learnt from and flaws there to be fixed.

Lauren Moon in her productivity blog post on Trello reckons when it comes to being unproductive at work we self-sabotage to protect ourselves. This might sound warped but the logic is there.  “When you do something directly in opposition to what you’re supposed to be doing,” Moon writes, “you have given yourself an external element with which to lay blame.”

So when you’re procrastinating watching YouTube videos on your phone you can blame those funny cat videos or use them as an excuse for why you didn’t achieve anything- instead of recognising yourself as the problem. By appointing this external element as the thing at fault, you’re reassuring yourself that you are not incompetent. Instead, peskily addictive cat videos are the reason you chose to focus your attention elsewhere.

An objective but well-meaning qualified business coach can help you highlight areas you can tighten to make you more efficient at work, helping to facilitate business success. They can help identify your unique reasons for procrastination and lack of motivation. Alternatively, attending group coaching sessions enables you to learn from other people’s procrastination blues.

productive, efficient, business success,

Changing your mindset and habits can make you more productive!

If you don’t yet have access to an experienced business coach here are our 5 tips to Combat Self-Sabotage for Perfect Productivity. 

1) Be Kind to Yourself. You’re not a failure if you don’t complete everything on your, most likely, excessively long ‘to-list’. The mere fact that you’ve started it is a thing to praise.

Also be kind to yourself physically. Are you a night owl or an early bird? Identify your prime time for working and work then. How is your work environment? Most people prefer working at a desk, some like silence, others would rather work with quiet music but no interruptions. Even too warm a temperature can spark endless procrastination. How can you expect to be productive if you’re not working at your best time and in your optimum place?

2)  Don’t Overwork. You’re no good to anyone burnt out. Many studies have found that working intensely for a short amount of time- perhaps half an hour- then taking a well-deserved, but short break- actually makes you more productive in the long run. You come back refreshed and focused, though often, as Moon highlights, you end up working past your allotted 30 minutes after ‘getting in the zone’.

3) Ditch the Phone. One of the more practical ways to peak productivity is to ditch the ultimate distraction of your smartphone.  With it crammed full of apps it’s no wonder you fall down the photo scrolling or social media or texting rabbit holes. Unless you’re expecting a really important phone call, the world won’t end if you put it on silent or leave it in your car for an hour or two in the name of productivity (and the walk to the car to retrieve it will serve as a great excuse for a break: see tip 1!)

4)  Stop being A Perfectionist. Mark Tyrell on Uncommon Help cites seeking perfectionism as being the reason why we don’t even start a project or task in the first place. The mentality: “It’s not good enough so why even bother?” sound familiar? Considering something that is ‘just good enough’ as truly being good enough will save you from giving up and ruining a project entirely.

5) Success Is Complicated but Not Impossible. Instead of seeing all your obscenely long ‘to-list’ completed as success, view it realistically. Don’t set yourself an unrealistic number of things to do in the first place. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day! One job done that you’ve put a lot of effort into and are really proud of is more likely to make you feel more successful than doing three rushed/botched jobs just for the sake of getting them ticked off the to-do list.

Having problems or even being a problem isn’t the problem. (if you follow that problematic phrase!) Instead, happy and successful entrepreneurs aren’t those without business problems. They are those who know how to cope with professional challenges and issues.

For help learning to cope with an overwhelming ‘to-do’ list and solid advice on how to be more productive at work, get in touch with us about Business Coaching today!


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market positioning, premium brand, low-end positioning, high-end positioning, business

Put Your Business In Its Place!

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When someone ‘puts you in your place’ it’s often a negative and condescending thing to experience isn’t it? But what about putting your business ‘in its place?’

A business that doesn’t know where it’s brand lies in the market is undefined and directionless. Not knowing its own market position leaves a business’ customers and potentials confused and the company itself unable to achieve its goals.

So where is your business positioned in the market? How can you identify your company’s place in the sphere of competitors and similar ideas?

 

The key to figuring out where your business fits into the market place relies on you doing three crucial things: providing something unique, providing appeal and supplying an exclusive experience.

 

  • The unique characteristics of your business are what make it stand out from the crowd and an over saturated market. What specialties make your business rise above the rest? What differences make your enterprise memorable?
  • To ooze appeal your business needs to emit ideals and features that clients actually want or need. This doesn’t mean merely projecting values and services you think your clients need or desire. To be successful a business needs to fill a need, however niche. To do that extensive market research into customer trends and public feedback has to be carried out.

The secret behind appeal is not trying to be a people-pleaser. Don’t try and target and satisfy all segments of your audience. This is an impossible goal. Instead, seek out a highly defined and targeted group of people to       please. This gives your brand more clarity, easily spells out who your business is and what it’s trying to achieve to potential customers and makes success more attainable.

  • To create an exclusive experience and make your business a coveted one to work with and your product or services in high demand you need to ensure you offer something distinct, a benefit that only people who buy from, are associated with or collaborate alongside your business can enjoy.

 

Once you’ve done these three things you then need to consider your competitors and how your company does in comparison to them. How do you and your customers reckon you do against your competitors?

Avoid trying to sneak your business into a market position already occupied by another competitor. You’re competitor was there first, plus you want to be original don’t you? By likening your business to another similar one, you’re in danger of actually promoting them more than your own company and highlighting how you’re second best!

If customers misunderstand who your business is and what it’s trying to achieve, you can’t just magically slot into the market position you want to be in overnight. You need to carefully and strategically plan your move from where your brand is positioned in the majority of your customers’ minds to the market position you want to occupy.

 

premium brand, premium, high-end positioning, market positioning

Sustainable: Premium brands and high-end positioning are often better market positions to hold in the long term.

Perhaps you want your business and product to be positioned as a premium brand?

 

We all want quality and even envy to spring to mind when people think of our brand or product don’t we- otherwise why else would they buy/recommend/endorse it?

According to co-founder of consulting firm Ries-Ries, Laura Ries, the best way to position a product as a premium brand is to sell it at a premium price but, she points out when writing for Entrepreneur, naturally you have to solidify your premium positioning by backing it up with a quality product to justify your high pricing.

Ries highlights how, contrary to popular beliefs, the perfect premium brands offer less choice. Using the wide selection of variety priced Apple watches as an example, she writes: “If you want to be perceived as premium brand, you should have fewer choices, especially during the initial launch. More choice makes buying decisions more challenging. Throw in a high price and it makes it even worse.”

 

Low-End Vs High-End Positioning

 

Nuvonium have done a great post on Low-end vs high-end (premium) positioning and, although they say aiming for low-end positioning means you can make quick and easy profits as you’re selling to the mass-market with lower entry costs, they dub it “playing the race to the bottom game.”

Low-end positioning is a flawed strategy in the long-term as consumer tastes and trends can change, leaving your quick success a distant memory. Meanwhile, high-end positioning is more sustainable. With a strong margin and market, high profits pave the way for your to afford to invest more in marketing, which can raise demand and establish a more prestigious brand. Not offering too much of your product or too bigger range also helps keep demand for your product high.

 

For an objective and experienced outsider such as a business coach to help you position your brand where you want it in the market and offer insight on the pros and cons of different business positioning contact us today!


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