When people start their own business, they think that their friends and family members are going to support them. What actually happens, in reality, is that they come seeking mate’s rates. “Mate’s rates” is a common Australian term that refers to giving somebody you know a discount. While it can be our first reaction to want to help out our loved ones by giving them some money off, this is actually not a good business practice. What the people around us should be doing is supporting us by paying full price. A lot of time, money, and energy goes into creating a business, so it doesn’t make any sense that someone who cares about us would want to diminish that. Furthermore, as soon as people start giving out different prices, word of mouth can spread, and a negative brand awareness can be built. For example, nobody wants to be paying full price when they know that their friend received 30% off. Additionally, what we charge in a business is directly correlated with our self-worth. If we don’t believe that we are worth paying full price for, then nobody else will believe this either.

How to have the conversation with a loved one

When someone you know approaches you for mate’s rates, there is no reason to get angry. This is a long-standing custom which is only just now going out of fashion. Many people think they are entitled to a discount when they know somebody in the industry, so it can be important to handle the situation delicately. More often than not, all that is needed is a gentle conversation to change the narrative. For example, you could talk about how much love and passion has gone in to a product or service and that you really want to honour your own hard work by not giving our discounts. Most people will respond to this quite well and will quickly realise how silly it is to ask for mate’s rates. In addition to setting boundaries with what you charge, it can also be a good idea to make sure that you are also never asking for discounts and are supporting your own friend’s businesses by paying the correct amount. If everybody did this, then perhaps more small businesses would succeed. So, the next time someone you know asks you for a discount, don’t be afraid to simply and gently decline their request.

A Facebook group is a private area on Facebook that is run by an administrator and where only members of the group are able to see posts. Many businesses out there have utilised this function to create a special area for their clients and to encourage more people to be happy with their brand. Some will have Facebook groups where they give our special information and offer discounts on their products or services. Some will even deliver courses via a private Facebook group which is a fantastic free method to use. Other businesses will create help groups where members can give each other advice and tips on the product at hand. For example, a beauty company could create a Facebook group for all of the people who purchase their products. They can then go in to the group and share how they use the products. This is a great way for people to feel like they are also getting a personalised experience when they are purchasing something and will make it more likely that they will have a positive feeling towards that brand. For this reason, as well as many more, it is certainly worth considering starting a Facebook group for your business.

It is a free way to get customer feedback

One of the many features that are available in a Facebook group is the ability to create a poll. This means that businesses can get free and honest feedback about their current products and services. Furthermore, they can ask their current customers about what they would like to see in the future. Many companies spend thousands of dollars each year on market research which can be easily reduced by performing this research in a free Facebook group. Customers and clients are able to give feedback on every single aspect of a business ranging from what types of free products they would like to see, what kinds of paid products they would like to purchase as well as how much they would like to pay for them. They can even give feedback on web design and packaging design. All in all, the world basically revolves around social media these days, so it can be a wise move to get among these current trends such as Facebook groups. For those who do not have time to run the groups themselves, they can easily hire a freelance assistant to do it for them.

A common characteristic of successful entrepreneurs is that they read a lot of books. They can read all types of books; however, they tend to dive into the world of personal development reading. So why does reading tend to correlate with success when it comes to business? Many people have found themselves asking this question and have conducted studies to try and find the answers. One of the reasons is because those who read will tend to spend less time watching television. This means that their brain is switched on more and they are also exposed to less advertising. This can help someone stay focused when it comes to running a business and they will have more hours in the day. It is less likely that someone will have a reading binge session than they will a Netflix binge session. Another reason why reading correlates with success is because it trains people to focus. Those who teach themselves how to read are also teaching themselves the ability to be in the present moment and to concentrate. This can be an extremely helpful quality when it comes to running a company. Furthermore, it gives business owners a higher chance that they are able to connect with other people. For example, if they met someone who has read a book by the same author then they will have something in common and will immediately build a rapport. This is a very powerful tool when it comes to building connections. Many leaders will even encourage their whole team to read certain books each month, so that they can discuss them with each other debate the book at hand. This will lead to natural team building and will see staff members begin to work well together to come up with out of the box ideas. Additionally, every leader should be striving to learn something new at all times. This will keep them fresh and allow them to be at the head of their industry. A great way for people to teach themselves how to be open to learning is by regularly reading new material. Furthermore, books can be listened to in audio form these days, so even those who struggle to read are able to experience all of these benefits. As purchasing a book in such a cost-effective method, why not give it a go and see if it benefits your business.

Many owners and operators in the world of business are comfortable with tradition and the status quo. It represents a time when they made their money through tried and tested practices, but that reality is slipping and once it has changed, it will not revert back.

With digital and online applications bringing aboard new and improved innovations, there is a litany of reasons why we should not only be content with technology in business, but be embracing it.

Here we will make the argument why that is the case.

Maximises Efficiency

Frustrated when a payment takes numerous workdays to clear? Has a project been delayed because a photocopier has run out of ink and the paperwork has to be pushed back? Well this is where technology has accelerated a number of fields, a scenario that eliminates excuses from the side of the business and opened up more opportunities from the side of the customer. Cutting down on these frustrations improves performance, seeing a positive domino effect that enhances all aspects of an enterprise.

Builds a Bridge Between Company and Consumer

During the 1970s, customers had to physically enter the premises, wait in line and be served at the desk. In the 1990s, those same people had to phone up the number on the Yellow Pages and wait for their turn. Today the consumer can engage a brand through these channels as well as mobile, email, social media messaging or the comments section on a website.

Allows Brands To Network

Brand-to-brand or business-to-business (B2B) marketing is a means of leveraging one enterprise from another. With the help of technology, companies now have the ability to network these opportunities openly and freely. From combined marketing campaigns to YouTube videos, social media posts and emails, connections can be procured far easier today than in previous years.

Personifies The Open Market

Unlike communist regimes that have the capacity to monitor and stifle progress for companies that operate on their soil, technology opens pathways where the possibilities are essentially limitless. So long as that enterprise has the resources to invest in ethical practice, there is no barrier to preventing growth. This is what is illustrated by the concept of the “open market” whereby brands can begin from a humble concept and expand to becoming a major player on the ASX200 list. By exploiting the ability to maximize efficiency, building a bridge between themselves and the consumer, and networking with fellow peers, they can set new targets and goals to achieve that would otherwise be closed.

With over 800 million monthly users, it can be seen why Instagram is such an important tool for businesses to use. Since Facebook has taken over Instagram, it has morphed the platform into a board of advertisement which businesses can utilise in different ways. There is now the ability to connect a business Facebook page to Instagram to turn it into a business Instagram account. Furthermore, business Instagram accounts are able to link their store products in their photos so that their followers can easily click through to their online store. There is also the ability to have a website link in an account’s bio area, and those who have over 10,000 followers are able to include links in their Instagram stories, where viewers can simply swipe up to follow the link. Additionally, businesses can purchase ads to show on Instagram as well as choose the demographics that they would like their ads to show up to. Ads on Instagram are now shown in stories as well as in a feed, making this a powerful tool for any business. Having said this, some people have a negative response when they see an ad, especially as Instagram never used to have advertising. Thankfully, there is another way to implement Instagram as a business that is sure to increase sales and sign-ups.

Find an Instagram influencer that is relevant to your business

An Instagram influencer is someone who has an Instagram account with a lot of followers. In addition to having a lot of followers, they will have a high engagement with everything that they post. Meaning that many people will view, like, and comment on their posts and stories. Because of this, many brands and businesses with approach Instagram influencers and will pay them to share their product or service on their account. The price can vary depending on how many followers somebody may have, and contracts can even be made for an influencer to represent a brand long-term. For example, a model who posts a lot of selfies may team up with a make-up business and will tag that business in every selfie that they post. This will make it more likely that people will head over to the account and website of the makeup business, and it will make them more likely to trust that business as well as make a purchase.

A digital marketing agency is a company which helps aid businesses with their digital presence. This can mean ensuring that their website is getting noticed in all of the right places, that they are fully utilising social media accounts, and that their web design is at a professional level. Most commonly, a digital marketing agency will help a business grow by implementing SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) techniques. What this means is that techniques are used to ensure that a website will show up in relevant search engine results. Search engine companies such as Google, Ecosia, and Yahoo will allow users to type in a query into a search bar. A common query could be “where are good hairdressers near me”. The search engine site will then show pages of results in order of relevance to the searcher. For example, if the searcher is located in Queensland, then hairdressers in Queensland are going to show up at the top of the results. But out of all of the hairdressers in Queensland, how do search engine sites know which ones to show first? This is where SEO steps in. Techniques are used so that the algorithms used by search engine companies will pick up a website and deem it as a reliable and reputable source that they can show higher up in search engine results.

How does higher search engine rankings help my business?

When a website is shown higher in search engine results, it makes it more likely that a searcher will click on that website. Many studies have been conducted which have shown that searchers rarely scroll past the first page of results. This means that it is imperative for a website to show up on that first page at the very least. When more people are clicking through to a site this makes it more likely that they will a) sign up for a newsletter, b) purchase a product, c) sign up for a service, d) view advertising on that site, and e) talk about that website or brand to another person. All of these things are super important when it comes to building a successful business. In addition to this, a digital marketing agency will help a business show up in search results for their target audience, making it even more likely that they will become a customer or client when they click through to a website that interests them.

Many people out there begin their businesses by running everything themselves. As a company grows, however, taking care of everything required can start to take its toll and there simply won’t be enough hours in the day to get everything done. While this can be stressful, it is actually a good sign that a business is growing. When this does occur, it may be time to think about hiring your first employee. But what is involved in hiring someone? Many people worry that they will hire someone and then they won’t work out. Others will worry that business will fluctuate and that they may not always be able to afford an employee. Some will simply find it hard to let go of control over every aspect of their business. Whatever the concern may be, there are some sure signs that will indicate that it is time to hire someone. For example, a business owner will usually be run off their feet and little mistakes will begin to happen. They may accidentally post the wrong thing or write down the wrong phone number. This can be a clear indication that a business has grown too big for one person. The good news is that there are ways to implement extra help while still addressing common concerns that people have about hiring someone.

Look into hiring a freelancer instead

Instead of worrying about all of the things that can be involved when hiring someone such as having to pay superannuation, annual leave, sick pay etc., a business owner can simply look into hiring a freelancer instead. A freelancer is someone that can hired on a job to job basis which means that you are never “stuck” with them if you aren’t happy with their work. While it can still be a good idea to organise contracts when hiring a freelancer, there isn’t as much legal work and paperwork involved as hiring a casual, part-time, or full-time employee. Furthermore, different freelancers can be hired for different jobs when they pop up e.g. content writing, graphic design or audio engineering. Freelancers are usually able to work remotely as well, so those who run their businesses from home don’t have to worry about finding room for an employee. In the age of the internet, freelancers are popping up all over the world and are making a huge difference in the lives of small business owners.

Many business owners spend their first few years hustling and bustling, trying to ensure that their business stays above water. It is not uncommon, however, for people to get a few years in and never really take stock of what is going on with their company. For example, how much money is the business turning over and is the business actually successful? It is important to know this because we can often get caught up in a long to-do list, but those to-dos aren’t actually making us any profit. Because of this, it is worthwhile to put aside time every six months or so and to really evaluate what is going on in a company, what the turn-over is, and to see if it is worth making any changes. For example, a store may be selling a lot of a certain product which makes it seem like that company is doing really well. The truth is, however, that with postage costs and PayPal fees, barely any profit is made on that item and it isn’t really worth the time, money, and effort. Good companies will constantly track their performance and make adjustments accordingly. For instance, they could lump two smaller products together to sell as a package, that way, they can save on postage costs and transaction fees. Tactics like these are often what will make a business successful.

What is your definition of success?

When sitting back and asking yourself if your business is successful for not, it is important to first define what success means to you. For some, it is only worth running their own business if they turn over a certain amount each year. For others, they are happy as long as they have a little bit of profit. Many people define success as feeling good about themselves, and others will feel successful when they have tons of happy customers. One person may feel that having the ability to travel for work means success whereas another will feel like they have achieved this when they have stability. Whatever success means to you, it can be a wise move to not only work towards that goal of success but to constantly check in on your business and ensure that your products or services are helping you get to your destination. If something isn’t working, then it may simply be time to let go.

There are all sorts of entrepreneurs out there these days, but more and more savvy business owners are popping up in the health industry. These are people who are extremely conscious when it comes to life and will carry these philosophies with them in their businesses. For example, many will only use recycled products to reduce their environmental footprint, and others will only use cruelty-free products in order to help the animals of the world. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for many start-ups to have meditation and yoga breaks throughout the day, as well as have a strong emphasis placed on personal development. While it is becoming more common for people to mesh spirituality with business, many are still patronised for their ways of living and many are worried that they won’t be taken seriously if they outwardly display themselves as a spiritual person. On the other hand, there are other business owners out there who want to take their company to the next level, however, are not schooled in the subject of spirituality. Whatever position you may be in, there are certainly many benefits to incorporating spirituality into a business such as less-stressed staff, and an increase in morale. So, without further ado, here is how to mesh spirituality with business.

Lead by example

When it comes to meshing spirituality and business it is important to lead by example. If a business owner is trying new techniques and isn’t feeling fully confident then the people around them will notice this. It is important to fully grab spirituality and new aged practices by the horns and to confidently lead by example. For instance, it is not uncommon for businesses to use certain crystals to increase productivity and wealth (some race car drivers even put crystals in their engines). Others will implement new moon or full moon practices in their businesses where they will brain storm with their team about new items that they can implement and old ones that they can get rid of. Some will have a charka specialist come in each week and balance the chakras of their staff. Daily deep breathing as a team could be implemented, as could a simple walk in nature. Whatever the type of spirituality practice that is implemented, it is important to participate full-heartedly in order for a company to experience the benefits that may be involved.

For anyone that owns or works in a business, it can be very beneficial for them to seek the support of a great business mentor. More often than not, the start-ups that withstand the test of time are the ones that have worked closely with a mentor. Furthermore, people can feel supported and less stressed out when they have somebody to lean on. While there are many benefits to seeking professional help, business coaching and mentoring is a very saturated market and it can be difficult to find a gem amongst the stones. It can be easy to perform a Google search to find someone, however, a good website doesn’t necessarily reflect the services that are offered. Because of this, it is often better to rely on word of mouth or to make sure that a professional has plenty of positive feedback before hiring them. Additionally, it can be a good idea to find someone that has competitive prices, however, that aren’t too cheap either. Good business mentors will know their self-worth and so will charge accordingly. And this is the type of values that they are able to instil in you when they are hired. There are also some things that you can do personally before searching for a mentor that will make the hunt a little easier and make it more likely that someone amazing is found.

Be crystal clear on what you want

Before hiring a business mentor, it is important to first figure out exactly what you want. For example, do you simply want emotional support while you are starting up your business? Do you have a yearly income goal that you want to reach? Perhaps you have a number of clients that you want to hire? Maybe you need help with your business structure? Whatever it may be, deciphering this beforehand means that you can relay this to a potential mentor, and they can let you know if they are able to help in this area. Furthermore, it will give you something more specific to search for. For instance, you would be able to type “business mentor that offers emotional support” into a Google search rather than just “business mentor”. Cutting down your choices is the perfect way to ensure that someone tailored to you is found and having a crystal clear idea of what you want out of mentoring will make it more likely that you will get what you need.