Are you looking to get out of the daily 9-5 grind that you’re stuck in? Maybe you’re not but better ideas have crossed your mind? Or the idea of being your own boss is simply too tempting to pass up?
Luckily, in a world where tech is at the forefront of a lot of industries, it’s easier than ever to go your own way. You don’t need a premises to open a shop, just the products and a website. You don’t need an office space to be a secretary, just a reliable Wi-Fi connection. You don’t need to move to LA to make music friends, just your home set up.
As the saying goes, restrictions breed creativity, which was proven in the lockdowns. A lot of good ideas came about, and the best stuck. We’re running down a few ideas that could prompt you to get out there on your own and make something of yourself. Read on for all the details of the best industry ideas that came out of lockdown.
Don’t scoff. Depending on how you do it, there is a lot of skill and a lot of money in influencing. It’s likely that you are only seeing one side of things, which is usually a well-lit photo of a coffee cup taken in the golden hour. But what if I told you that a lot of skills – creative and business – went into taking that shot. It might feature a product placement for a coffee company, it might be used as a networking opportunity to catch the eye of a brand or generate buzz. It might simply be used to market their own business.
And then there is the content itself, which encompasses everything from capture to edit. Filming, photography, editing, music, graphic design, and presentational skills are all part of making quality content. There are a lot of transferable skills in both.
You can use influencing to market your own business, or even start your own affiliate blog, which serves as a site where you can showcase your favourite items for commission. A couple of hours’ worth of work a week can gain you a full-time employment salary.
Either way, getting the basics of the role of an influencer down will ensure that you can market just about anything else on your agenda, such as…
The hospitality industry had to go through a lot of changes through lockdown. Closing entirely soon gave way to take-out services, which eventually gave way to social distanced dining, but in that time, a lot of new ideas hit the table on how the food service industry could shake things up.
The most common idea was food through a window. A collection/delivery service where restaurants and cafes couldn’t serve food inside their premises so instead handed them over through a window. When things opened up again, the idea stuck. The roads are full of delivery drivers and cyclists for everything from the mom-and-pop café to the nearest fast-food supplier. It means less of premises and therefore less rent, or you can even do it directly from your home kitchen, making the gap between beginner and business a lot closer.
And then there is the idea of food trucks. You’d be surprised how much a food truck is making during the lunch hour alone. There was a class bias there once, where a food truck meant low quality, “junk” food, but street food is on the rise. It’s usually very high quality, tastes like nothing you’ve tried before since they don’t have to convince investors the masses will eat it, and they go wherever is most popular in the moment. You’ll see food trucks at the park, at festivals, outside clubs, etc. It’s also appealing to the customer because it’s usually more affordable. If you’re worried about menu pricing, take a look at this guide.
When the doors to offices started opening up again, the response was a resounding, “Do we have to?” Middle managers were surprised to find that employees all around the world where in fact enjoying working from home. There was more freedom, whether to work around external obligations like childcare or an exercise regime, or to simply stop for five minutes for a breather without worrying that your boss thinks your slacking off. And we’d be remised to mention that workers were reporting getting more work done at their own pace, because we know managers love productivity.
So, it only makes sense that, while working from home, some employees started wondering why they needed the middleman at all, and suddenly freelance became a viable option again. You can work at your own pace, avoiding all the money spending and polluting that comes with commuting, and be your own boss on top of that.
And it’s easy to apply a freelancing role to almost any skillset. To start, take a look at the role you’re in at the moment. If you can do it from a computer, is there anything stopping you doing it for yourself rather than a company? Think about applying a freelance position to the role you have for an easy transition.
However, if you’re trying to get out of the job, you’re in, there are a lot of options there too. It’s all about matching your skillset to the right freelance job. If you have skills in numbers, you can look into accounting. If you’re handy, you can get a van and get into trades like plumbing, carpentry, DIY, etc. If you have organizational skills, you can look into being a personal assistant to various clients. If you have writing skills you can look into ghost writing, copywriting, journalism, etc.
And there is another option if you have all these skills that you can use: teaching. Teaching comes in many capacities. The traditional means of teaching in a school takes a lot of education and internships before you are there in the room, but lockdown has unveiled a lot of ways it can be easier.
If that doesn’t appeal to you, you can use the best lesson of business life in lockdown: use video calls. Sure, traditional teachers and lecturers had to adapt to Zoom, and some didn’t do well there, but you’ve been using Zoom for at least a couple of years now, and you can use it to teach all around the world. Get hired as a personal tutor or put university study groups together to give more personal tutoring to those who are willing to pay for a helping hand.
And, going back to the influencer’s …influence, a lot of online courses are popping up on big social media accounts. You can record a curriculum of your chosen topic and sell access to it for anyone who is interested.
The best part about this is that you can sell courses on just about anything, be it fitness regimes, makeup tutorials, cooking, DIY, or university subjects like social sciences and literature analysis.
If you can market yourself as a reliable source in your field of study, you can record everything you know in some simple, easy to digest content, and put it behind a paywall like Patreon.
Essential Legal Documents You Need for Your Small Business
Entrepreneurs from Mississauga to Montreal put all of their effort and attention into growing a business, making it important to protect what has been built. If you don’t have the right standard legal documents for your business, you could be leaving yourself open for litigation that could cost you everything.
As a business owner, you are an expert in your field but that doesn’t mean that you know how to protect yourself and your business from a legal standpoint. It’s crucial that you have the minimum of legal documents prepared for your company to make sure that you are protected from lawsuits.
You can work with business lawyers in Mississauga, On, or print off some legal templates that are available online to protect your interests at a minimum. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the essential legal documents that you need for your small business.
To help solidify trust and cooperation in your business, it’s important to have an owner’s agreement in place. With the right amendments in place, you minimize disagreements and can work towards common goals. Your ownership agreement should clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of each of the partners including decision-making power. Your agreement should include a specified breakdown of your equity ownership agreement, and assignment of your intellectual property to the business and not the partners.
Independent Contractor Agreement
When operating your small business, it can be cost-effective to bring in independent contractors to do certain work. Your independent contractor agreement should be in place to specifically designate that your workers are responsible for paying their own taxes and they are not part of your payroll or in your direct employment.
One of the most important aspects of a successful business is ensuring that you can supply your products quickly to customers. A vendor agreement for your suppliers will provide the terms and conditions under which they will deliver the goods that you need on time.
Before you allow any vendors, contractors, or employees into the heart of your business operations, you need to have them sign a non-disclosure agreement. This ensures that outsiders will not be able to disclose any confidential information about your business. Your agreement should clearly outline what is considered to be confidential information, specific information formats, how confidential information should be handled, and a statute of limitations.
ovinces and states require that companies create a set of governing bylaws. Within your bylaws, you should clearly outline how your business will be structured, dispute resolution, hiring practices, and powers of shareholders.
While it may not be legally mandated in your area to keep a copy of any executive meeting minutes, it’s still a good idea to keep this type of documentation. Meeting minutes that record everything that is said in major meetings is an excellent company resource for information to resolve potential disputes.
If you are starting a new business, it’s recommended that you have these essential legal documents ready to ensure that you and your venture are protected.
How to Optimize Your CRM for Winning More Customers
A CRM, or Customer Relationship Management tool, is an all-embracing software solution used to manage relationships and interactions with partners, potential customers, and existing customers. CRM solutions like crm.com.au is a useful tool that can streamline the operations and functions of teams in different departments of an organization, like business development, marketing, or sales. All the important information required for the company, like client data, leads, sales opportunities, and marketing campaigns, can be stored and managed centrally with the help of CRM.
Optimizing CRM adds enormous value to the business process. It will enable businesses to strengthen their client relationships, simplify processes, and improve sales and profits.
There are several ways to optimize your CRM to win more customers. Some of them include as follow.
Automate The Basic and Straightforward Tasks
Automating daily and repetitive tasks is an important step toward improving the efficiency of your business processes. Many businesses mention a shortage of resources and time as the reason for not automating such repetitive tasks. But this is a real mistake business owners are making in this digital age.
Automation helps businesses improve customer traction. It also gives companies the capability to inspect the intricate journey towards real customer-centricity. This process might feel a bit overwhelming for budding businesses with limited experience in CRM.
CRM automation can be used to eliminate repetitive and time-consuming functions like sending newsletter subscriptions, promotion offers, follow-up emails, and other marketing efforts. This will reduce the need to write the same response repeatedly while engaging customers. It is also possible to automate sales processes like call scheduling. All of this will save precious time for team members that can be diverted to more crucial tasks, increasing productivity and boosting business growth.
Understand from Analytics
Another important feature of CRM that makes it attractive is its ability to analyze consumer behavior and trends. Not only does CRM perform the analytics, but all the data is stored in one place, making it easily accessible. This will enable companies to easily access and understand the behavior of clients and push the products and services to suit those trends.
When one marketing strategy becomes successful, businesses should analyze the reason for its success and model the next campaign similar to it.
Having a better understanding of CRM analytics will help companies and their different managerial teams come up with the best marketing strategies and solutions. All the marketing and sales strategies should be designed based on client data to yield maximum results. When the sales team is aware of the location and inclination of the customer, the salesperson can come up with novel strategies to make a targeted sales pitch. It will also improve the chances of getting a good deal. Thus, carefully learning and understanding analytics is crucial for the growth of a company.
Establish and Maintain The Portfolio of Profitable Customers
CRM helps to collect and organize all the client data in one place. The advantage of this feature is that it will enable teams and customer service agents to access how a particular issue or client was handled in a previous similar scenario. This will help the agents communicate effectively in the said scenario and provide consistent customer service by predicting the wishes of clients based on previous responses.
CRM can be used efficiently for helping agents deal with new customers or specific interactions. Specific guidelines or playbooks can be created based on earlier interactions. This will allow the customers to have an idea about what to expect, and they will be happier with the service provided.
You can also prioritize the queries and issues of the most profitable customers and get them handled by the right agent. This does not mean you should delay the issues of other customers. The issues requiring urgent attention should be prioritized above everything else.
Make CRM The Core of your Company’s Marketing Strategy
It is beneficial for businesses to develop their marketing strategies and campaigns based on CRM intelligence. CRM intelligence provides critical insights into marketing, like the best technique to approach a specific market or the most successful tactic for a particular service. All of these crucial insights will assist businesses in developing campaigns that will result in agile and tactile business practices and corresponding business growth.
Long-lasting relationships can be made with customers when you give them what they want and approach them the way they desire. CRM will assist you in determining the most interactive and emerging market, the most desired products and services, and the channel receiving the most traffic.
Integrate CRM With Other Tools
Once you invest in CRM, you should remember to integrate it with other tools and internal systems used in your business processes. CRM can be integrated with enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) to create an automated inquiry management system that is fully developed and includes all client information.
For social media listening, your CRM should also be connected to all social media accounts of your company, like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. This will keep you up to date on important topics like emerging trends, the reputation of your brand, and the impact of your marketing campaigns. All this information can be used to create better strategies for your next marketing campaign.
Update Customer Data
CRM is most effective when the data is up-to-date. Your marketing and sales strategy will only be effective if it is developed using the latest client data, like changes in preferences, location, or contact method. By designing strategies based on the changing needs and desires of the customer, your relationship with them will continuously evolve and become stronger.
CRM is like the real face of your company or support team. This system plays a great role in shaping the opinion of the customer about your company. You should use CRM to create a positive and lifelong impact on your customers. Remember to meet the expectations of your clients and provide a cohesive and consistent service. Also, give focus on providing a seamless customer experience.
CRM is an invaluable tool that can be used for the overall development of the business. By properly optimizing it, you can get more customers and generate higher profits.
Solo Traveler to Solo Entrepreneur
I became a solo traveler to a solo entrepreneur through my love for travel.
I started traveling around 10 years ago and lived to explore the world. I was constantly trying to find packaged adventures that offered to explore off-the-beaten-path corners of the earth, but was unable to find anything. I became tired of the cookie cutter tour companies that only highlighted the touristy attractions and popular regions. Eventually, I gave up trying and decided to create my own trips. I figured if I was looking for adventures like this, then other travelers would too.
photo credit: BornWild
After 4 years of traveling solo, I combined my passion for travel and wild animal conservation and decided to start my own adventure travel company – BornWild.
I began selling unique day trips for the first two years of business which went relatively well, however profits were low. To succeed at making a business out of day trips alone, you would have to be selling the majority of weekdays and dedicate much labor to make an honest living.
Multi-day trips is where the vast majority of profit can be made so I focused into this sector and it has really paid off.
Entering into the adventure travel industry world is no easy task. If you are a solo entrepreneur that has a travel start-up, you have your work cut out.
What I found most challenging is that consumers are parting with much more money and tend to be very careful before purchasing. It takes someone a lot more thinking time and deliberation before buying a trip, than it does to buy an item of clothing for example. Selling travel requires trust built between consumer and business and it’s essential for the business to have a great reputation too.
The travel industry isn’t overcrowded but there is a lot of choice so it requires work and the right marketing techniques to be seen by the right buyers.
Having a socially conscious angle on your business also helps too. From a business perspective, travelers are becoming more proactive in traveling consciously and impacting the planet positively. Consumers are gravitating towards eco-friendly, sustainable and conservation based trips and adventures. It’s a preference that has become highly favored in today’s world.
Being socially committed not only gives your brand kudos and credibility but it helps people see how dedicated you are to doing good.
We have just devised an African Lion Safari which is a groundbreaking adventure that bridges adventure travel with lion conservation. It exposes travelers to resources and experiences you will only encounter through this adventure. It’s the only adventure like this on the market and sets us apart from other companies.
photo credit: Roya Ann Miller / BornWild
Digital marketing is key when getting your business off the ground. I taught myself how to become a digital marketing expert and it’s paid off in many ways. I have tried numerous marketing tactics when it comes to selling travel, from magazine articles to ads, to cross marketing, to social media, facebook live etc. I’ve found that the most effective way is to master the world of SEO so that you can start ranking on google and be visible when consumers are searching for an adventure. The goal is to capture people as they are ready to buy a trip and that’s what’s so powerful when you crack digital marketing.
My advice to all new entrepreneurs in travel is to learn to master SEO and become a digital marketing expert so you become a pro at the very beginning. This will set you up for success from the offset and be extremely beneficial to getting your business off the ground as well as throughout your whole business journey.
Tips on starting your own travel business:
- Find a niche that isn’t already being done
- Become a digital marketing expert
- Post, post, post to rank on google using SEO
- Concentrate in on where your buyers are coming from
- Pinpoint what search terms consumers are using when they are poised to buy and start ranking for these search terms.
- Don’t waste time on marketing avenues that don’t work, plug away at avenues that do.
- Cross marketing with other companies really helps
- Make sure your customer service is 5-star and that you gain great reviews
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