Seven Ways to Organize Your Home Office to Create More Space

Keeping an organized and tidy workspace is essential. Studies have shown that concentration is negatively affected in an untidy work environment. So it’s just as important for home workers to keep their workspace clean as it is in a conventional office. As the specialists in both home and office cleaning, at Helpling, we’re uniquely qualified to offer tips on how to keep your home office clean and organized. We’ve put together some of our top tips on how home workers can keep a neat and tidy workspace.

1. Go digital

If you’re working from a home office, space is likely at a premium. Maximise what room you have by digitizing as much of your paperwork as you can. Use laptops or iPads for meetings to shorten your paper trail and reduce printing costs. It is also much better for the environment.

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Time Management Tips For Small Business

As an entrepreneur running my own business, time management can become an issue if not managed properly.

Time is unlike anything else in the business world. Lose some, or worst still, waste it and you will never get it back. Making the most of your time is perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of running a small business successfully.

But how should you manage your time in the small business environment? I’ve compiled a list of simple techniques that you as the small business owner can use to ensure time management doesn’t become an issue for you.

Prioritize tasks

Often as an entrepreneur, the tasks that you need to complete will fall into your lap. This is especially true when you are starting out and may not have the capital outlay to employ extra staff.

A great idea is to prioritize your tasks on a daily basis. Rank them in order of importance for the day and begin to work on them in that order. Bear in mind that everybody is different. You might not be the most productive person in the morning, perhaps working at your best after lunch. Leave the most important task for then, unless there is a pressing morning deadline.

As someone who works at my best in the morning, I prefer to get all the important things done when I am at my freshest, leaving smaller, less important tasks for later in the day.

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Is Online Marketing a Better Match for a Small Business than Offline Marketing?

The question of whether online marketing trumps offline strategies is often treated as a hypothetical one – most marketers have tossed offline by the wayside and placed 100% of their focus on newer (and more successful) online methods.

But is online marketing always the best match for a small business? Let’s first take a look at how online marketing can benefit your business. I’ll also consider the question of whether offline marketing really is antiquated and not worth doing, or if there’s something left in the tank of old school methods.

Deep Dive Analytics

Online marketing can give you an excellent overview of the performance of each and every dollar you spend. Free inbuilt tools on Google Analytics, for example, allow you to set goals and track the flow of your traffic. You can analyse where your audience is exiting your site, which landing pages perform best – and that’s just the start.

Analytical tools allow you to deep dive on the specifics of your business performance, allowing you to tweak and adapt in real time. You can respond to market shifts quickly by viewing the results of complex calculations with just a few clicks.

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Sustainable Office Design for a Green Tomorrow

In recent years, the adverse effects of the changing climate on the environment are being given more attention in the field of office design. Some researches even show a correlation between sustainable work spaces and a more efficient work environment. Investing in ‘green’ offices is a growing trend, since employers have come to realize that this investment pays off in the long run. If you are having trouble with low productivity and high productivity costs, maybe you should try the following ‘green’ tactics.

  1. Let there be daylight

If your office relies more on daylight and less on artificial light, you will save up on electricity. There is also a clear connection with productivity. Employees who are exposed to daylight work better, concentrate more easily, and sleep 46 minutes more each night than those who work under artificial lights. With the development of new technologies, even office spaces that are located inside a building, with no windows, can get natural light with clever devices that redirect sunlight.

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Tips For Running a Business With Your Loved One

Running a business with someone you love can be tricky at times but the many benefits that come with it far outweigh the challenges. My partner and I started our business together about 3 years ago and I can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Having said that, there have been plenty of obstacles along the way and 3 years in, we’ve got a few tips that might help other couples who are starting out in business together.

We started our ecommerce business as a side project while we both had full time jobs. Over the years we gradually reduced our time at our jobs as the business grew. Now we are both about to make the leap into full time entrepreneurship and we are more than a little excited! Not only will we get to choose what we do when we wake up everyday, we’ll also get to spend the majority of our time together, instead of with work colleagues.

Here are some tips we’ve learned along that way that have really helped us to succeed in our business:

1)    Plan your life and business goals together. When your income and life are so intertwined, having life goals that are fuelled by your business success can be the best motivator there is! Location independence is one of the most motivating incentives for us and has helped drive us through the tough times. Connect something you want in your life to the success of your business and you’ll have all the motivation you’ll need to make it work.

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How to keep your Computer and Network Safe

Keep all software up to date including the operating system

Software isn’t perfect. It’s bad enough that bugs in the code occasionally make a program crash. What’s worse is that cyber criminals are constantly seeking flaws in operating systems and other software, vulnerabilities that will let them steal your passwords, install malware, and otherwise give you grief. For these reasons it is vitally important that you install the recommended updates. Recommended updates can also address non-critical problems and also make your computer and network perform better.

Install antivirus and malware protection

This will protect against viruses and malware that can come from emails, files on disks or downloads from the internet. Make sure to use the very latest version of your antivirus or security suite. The bad guys are always inventing new tricks to try to correct your Computer and network. If you’re using an old security tool you won’t have the new fixes. If you make certain to keep these essential programs up to date, you should stay safe from most known threats.

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5 Digital Success Tips For Small Business

Our competitive landscape has completely changed. Customers expect more from businesses, on and offline. Technology is transforming the way we search, connect, engage and purchase. New tools, platforms, lower barriers to entry and accessible insights are evening the playing field for small businesses.

Is your mobile and digital technology use currently limiting your digital potential?

Here are five tips to help you become a leader, not a laggard.

1. Get the basics right

•    Stalk your customer – Understand your customers’ buying journey and exceed expectations. Tailor the online experience to complement your other channels and customer interactions.

•    Have a realistic budget – Customer attraction and retention are crucial for small businesses. Have you set aside a budget for marketing? As a guideline 5% of revenues is recommended for existing businesses and approximately 10% for start-ups. ROI (return-on-investment) should always be key when measuring your marketing efforts. Smart investments will ensure you are well positioned to attract consumers now and in the future.

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Keeping It Simple to Stand Out

Branding is more important for big corporate business right?

Wrong.

Branding is even more vital for small business, where there is usually limited time and budget available for promotion and you can’t afford to waste it on marketing that doesn’t work.

Without a brand. most businesses end up with WOFTAM marketing – a waste of flipping time and money, because they lack the simplistic yet clear message that a brand provides.

A brand is like a compass for your marketing, keeping you in the right direction, ensuring your message is on-brand and that you consistently stand out and engage with the right target audience.

And standing out is crucial when competition is fierce.

Without a strong brand a small business disappears amongst others in the industry, leaving you competing on price alone and that’s a race to the bottom. That’s especially important for service providers where you are exchanging your time for money.

Without a clear brand direction you tend to get a bit lost, you waffle and flounder when it comes to explaining why someone should choose you.

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How to Maintain Business Continuity in Uncertain Times

Business continuity planning should be an essential priority for any business including small and medium sized companies just as it is for large companies. Every year, around 20% of all businesses face an event that is unplanned and unwanted that may just challenge their survival. The threats may come from fire, flood, theft, illness or something much worse, but regardless of the problem, businesses that successfully recover are those that have planned their response in advance.

All businesses are unique and there is no generic template that can be applied to every business. However, the following areas of consideration when it comes to continuity planning can act as a start point to prepare your own plan:

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How Small to Medium Sized Businesses Can Use Video Content Marketing

For a long time, content marketing has been a key channel in any successful online strategy. Quality, unique content is the best way for companies to increase their social signals, obtain natural inbound links and engage prospective customers en masse.

Recently, more and more brands are turning to video content marketing. And for good reason: it’s estimated that by 2017 video will make up nearly 70% of all consumer traffic. Currently YouTube receives more than a billion unique visitors every month. A well-crafted video can say a lot about your brand in a short space of time. This makes it an effective way to get your brand’s messages out quickly to many people.

We often hear about successful video marketing campaigns from global companies with huge advertising budgets. But how can small and medium sized businesses with more conservative budgets leverage the power of video content? We look at a few simple ways companies can increase the reach and impact of their campaigns.

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