Things to Consider When Expanding Your Team as a Startup

No comments

Expanding your team as a startup or small business is not an easy job. According to a recent CB Insights study, 23% of startups fail because they do not have the ideal team to run a business. If growth is your business’s objective, it is vital that you choose the right people for it. A startup should be aware of the critical areas of their business. For a startup’s growth, the strategy, finance, human resource, product/brand design and development, research and development, and operations are essential.

Build a strong team

Growth is possible only if you have a good team to back you up. Hiring people that can help bring creativity and ideas to the table is always a good idea. Hiring people who also get the job done and are willing to be flexible in their role is essential for the early stages of growth of your business.

If you are considering fast paced growth within the business and team then it is worth considering hiring someone senior with experience to help like a Finance or Operations Director. They can help then support you with business decisions and plans.

Retention is then also key. It is all well and good expanding your team and getting the best people but useless if you then can’t keep hold of them. Help build a company culture from the early days. Show that you care and offer perks. These don’t necessarily have to be monetary; it could be flexibility with working hours or location for example.

Focus on your business functions

When expanding your team, your strategists should always determine whether that particular time is ideal for you to grow.  Performing a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) will allow you to understand your ideas better. Moreover, financing is integral to the growth of your business. Since your business is relatively small in size, you might need loans. On top of that, finance is important for forecasting and budgeting purposes too. When hiring people, you need to make sure that they possess sufficient knowledge regarding business.

Most people tend to ignore the area of research and development when expanding their startups. Your startups and small business will only grow if you work on your ideas well.

Think of your future roles

Expanding your business might be a good idea, but you need to see whether it is even in line with your business objective. There is no point in growth if your strategy fails to help you reach your ultimate goal. For this purpose, you need to know what your organisation chart must look like in the future. Thinking long-term is, therefore, the key. Always check whether your decisions blend well with the structure of the organisation as well as the relative ranks of its departments.

Is it best to hire or outsource?

You need to consider whether hiring employees of your own would benefit your business’s growth or outsourcing would be a better idea.

If you are finding you have too much work but not sure if you are in a position to hire then companies such as ADAVIRTUAL Business Support could be an option. By offering hourly rates as well as monthly retainer packages businesses can utilise the expertise and time of the team with the flexibility of increasing or decreasing the workload as business needs demand.

In most cases, small businesses or startups prefer to outsource during growth because they tend to avoid issues like sick pays, workplace pensions, holidays, etc.

However, it is for you to choose what option is the least costly for your business.

Ada ObiThings to Consider When Expanding Your Team as a Startup
read more

The 80/20 Percent Rule and Why You Need to Know It

No comments

You might have heard of the 80/20 percent rule in your lives. But what is it? Even though it sounds like a statistical term that is boring, the 80/20 percent rule is essential for everyone, especially every entrepreneur. The good news is that you don’t have to understand its statistical implications to be a follower. In this article, we will tell you about the 80/20 percent rule and how using it can change your lives! So read this article and grasp the most that you can to increase your key clients and your sales. 


What is the 80/20 percent rule?

The 80/20 percent rule is also known as the Pareto principle. According to the Pareto principle, 80 percent of your outcome is from 20 percent of your inputs. It doesn’t make a difference what numbers you pick. There are few activities you perform (20 percent) that result in the majority (80 percent) of your satisfaction and outputs. You might have expected the numbers to be the other way round (20 percent of your activities produce 80 percent of rewards) which, too, is true because there are many activities you perform that generate your income.


Why is it key to know for my business?

If you’re an entrepreneur seeking to increase your sales and key clients, you must know the Pareto principle. According to the Pareto principle, 80% of sales come from 20% of clients. When operating a business, keep in mind to focus on key clients who make up the most of your income. You should regard them as valuable customers since they contribute to your incomes majorly.  Therefore, your business should organise sales in a way where your key clients are attracted to your products and services more. 

The Pareto principle also applies to your employees.  You should work hard on workers who work hard for your business and remove the worst ones. Similarly, forget the bad clients and narrow down your focus to key clients. Make sure that they are happy, and your business will thrive! 

Apply the 80/20 percent rule to your personal lives

Even though the Pareto principle is helpful for many businesses, you shouldn’t restrict its use there. Every individual seeking a healthy lifestyle should adopt this strategy. In life, one should focus on tasks that generate the best results. Before doing anything else, you must decide what your passion is. Once you’ve selected your passion, your path to long-term success will be easy and fun. However, remember to focus on getting the maximum satisfaction from it regularly rather than claiming that you’re still working on it. That is what the Pareto principle talks about! Remember, your satisfaction matters a lot more than your profession. Analyse your lives, and you’ll see how the 80/20 percent rule can help you. Identify your main happiness determinants and manage those to make your daily activities happen in a flow. You won’t waste time on 80 percent of activities that don’t satisfy you. 

Ada ObiThe 80/20 Percent Rule and Why You Need to Know It
read more

Children In Need: Pudsey’s Big Quiz

No comments

ADAVIRTUAL Business Support Team raise over £50.00 for Children In Need 2019!

Employees at ADAVIRTUAL Business Support have successfully raised over £50.00 for BBC Children in Need after completing their Pudsey’s Big Quiz and cake sale to support the 2019 Appeal.  The money raised will go on to help transform the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK. 

This year BBC Children in Need have asked the nation to Get Together and fundraise to help make a positive impact on the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK. From rambles to three-legged races, knit-a-thons to quizzes and once in a lifetime challenges to bake sales, thousands of people across the UK have Got Together to raise money for BBC Children in Need.

As a small business they were not sure how best to fundraise for the good cause but once they saw the Big Quiz online they were keen to host. The company is based at Worth Corner Business Centre and so ADAVIRTUAL invited other companies and offices to join them in the main meeting room on Tuesday 12th November 2019 over the lunch period.

Ada Obi, Managing Director of ADAVIRTUAL, says: “We are a small business that provides remote administration, operations and general virtual support for fast growing small businesses and start-ups who need to effectively manage their time, costs & business operations in order to evolve, scale & succeed. We decided that we also wanted to expand this support to charities and worthy causes.  This is the first time we have supported Children In Need but we held a cake sale for Chailey Heritage Foundation earlier in the year and are keen to continue supporting such great causes”.

Speaking of their efforts, Sian Curtis-Golds, Business Development Executive said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to all those who came along! It was great fun supporting BBC Children in Need and to know that we’ve raised over £50.00 when we are only a small business is a fantastic feeling.”

BBC Children in Need works throughout the year to ensure that every child in the UK has a safe, happy and secure childhood, and the chance to reach their full potential. It relies on the energy and commitment of thousands of fundraisers and supporters across the UK, who donate their time and money to put on events in support of the Appeal.  

Ada ObiChildren In Need: Pudsey’s Big Quiz
read more

Top Tips On Operational Processes for your SaaS Business

No comments

ADAVIRTUAL Business Support work with many different clients and aim to give them back their time so they can focus on the key elements of the business to help it succeed and grow.

If you’re just starting up a business in the SaaS (Software as a Service) industry, then you probably have a list of administrative, sales, and operational tasks that need to be completed. We recently wrote a new blog post for Women On Business called: Top Tips On Operational Processes for your SaaS Business, which lists our top tips on the best programs and processes that work for the operational side of the business that you may find useful.

Ada ObiTop Tips On Operational Processes for your SaaS Business
read more

Tips on Conducting a Job Interview

No comments

Conducting a job interview can be a tricky process for a business, especially when you want to expand. Hiring the right people is a must for your business’s success.

Remember that your candidates are assessing your office’s professional environment as much as you’re deciding whether hiring them is an option or not. Potential candidates, therefore, will also determine whether working for you is the best option for them or not during an interview. In this article, we will provide you with a few practical tips regarding conducting a job interview so that your interview processes run as smoothly as they possibly can!

Preparation

If you think getting a date in the diary for the interview and a piece of paper with 2 or 3 questions will get you through the hiring process, you’re wrong. Organise yourself before getting started. You should have a list of key questions for your candidates, which you can also expand more during the interview process. What does your ideal candidate look like? Not just in terms of qualifications but also as a fit for your business and the existing team. Moreover, make sure you have all the CV’s and cover letters with you to refer back to.

Interview Location

It is imperative to have a professional environment when conducting interviews. Make sure you carry it out in a quiet place that is free of distractions. This will also help you in the decision making process as your head will be clear, and you’ll be more focused.

Overview

When conducting interviews, most candidates do not know exactly what the business expects from them. So, ensure that you provide the candidates with an overview of your business, the team, their role in the company, and what an ideal candidate looks like to you. The candidates will then become clear about the interview process and what will be expected from them should they be successful in getting the role.

Designing questions

You need to think carefully about the questions you ask. Asking questions that will give you one-word answers will not get you anywhere. Even hiring your ideal candidates out of such interviews may not get you the best candidates. The key is to ask open-ended questions. It will make candidates talk more about themselves and enable you to explore their personality in more detail. At the same time, you will understand their thought process and know where they stand in terms of their capability. Also remember that interviews are not just about you asking the candidates questions. Allow the candidates to pose their own questions to you too. At the same time, make sure you fully address all the queries they have, either during the interview or at a specified later date if it needs exploring further.

Follow up

Candidates perceive your business as professional if you inform them about the upcoming steps (for instance, a second interview) as well as when you will be making hiring decisions. Therefore, make sure that you have assigned proper dates for decisions to be made. If you continue to lag and keep your candidates uninformed, they become less interested in joining you and an ideal candidate may slip through your fingers.

Conclusion

Prepare yourself! Book a quiet room away from distractions for the interview. Prepare open-ended questions that bring out your candidates personality as well as discusses their skills for the role. Then, make sure you act timely! Your ideal candidate may be someone else’s too and if you delay too long they may find an opportunity elsewhere.

 

Ada ObiTips on Conducting a Job Interview
read more

The Importance of Testimonials

No comments

Testimonials are statements that are issued by customers or clients that you have had contact with. They can include the type of experience they had with your business and can be used to improve the credibility and trustworthiness of your business. Testimonials are basically a proof of the promises you make to your perspective clients.

In the business world, word of mouth is the strongest tool. One bad review from client or a customer can completely shatter the entire years-long built up reputation of a business. Whether you’re a start-up or a fully established business operating for years; word of mouth is what your success depends on. Therefore, it is important for business owners and managers to pay special attention to the generation and use of testimonials. If used effectively, they can be one do the most powerful tools that you can use to strengthen your business’s brand image.

Testimonials and Marketing

Testimonials and product reviews may not seem like an important marketing tool to many people, but once they are out to the use that they were invented for, they can work miracles. A good product review can help build credibility and trust in the minds of your potential customer base. The customer journey comprises of many steps before the final purchase is made and whether a customer makes it through the whole journey or not depends on the level of trust they have on the business. Customers that have experienced your product or service and have been satisfied can help with the building of that trust through testimonials. When potential buyers go through the product reviews and know that other people like them have been satisfied by doing business with your company, they are more likely to then go ahead with the purchase.

On the other hand, testimonials are also used by most businesses to connect with their audience on an emotional level. Research has shown that while making buying decisions, customers are more likely to be driven by emotion than by reason. Companies use this tool to be in a better position to persuade potential customers to buy their product through the use of happiness, laughter, excitement, or sadness.

Stories

Similarly, when we talk about connecting with the potential customer, there is another way that businesses use testimonials effectively. The buyers that have done business with a company have particular stories; about how they came to know about the product, how they bought it, how they started using it, etc. These stories are what the testimonials are built upon and these are what make them even more relatable for your potential customers. Narrative stories are, in fact, one of the most influential factors that affect the human mind and the use of them in testimonials is what makes them so effective.

Conclusion

The use of testimonials and/or product reviews is highly efficient tool in the marketing process which, if used properly, can help a business garner great success. Make sure to make the review posting process for your customers as easy and convenient and possible and you will be surprised at how easily your branding efforts can reap rewards.

Ada ObiThe Importance of Testimonials
read more

Fundraising Event Hosted By ADAVIRTUAL raises £92.00

No comments

 

ADAVIRTUAL Business Support, a small business based in Pound Hill Crawley, held a fundraising event on Tuesday 13th August 2019 to help raise funds for Chailey Heritage Foundation. Chailey’s mission is to give disabled children and young people every opportunity to pursue their fullest potential.

 

The event was an indoor Big Chailey Picnic where ADAVIRTUAL Business Support invited other businesses within Worth Corner Business Centre to visit the main meeting room during lunchtime for some sweet treats and fun games. With help from supporters, ADAVIRTUAL Business Support raised £92.00. This was achieved through selling cakes, sweet treats and games such as “Guess How Many Sweets in a Jar”.

 

Ada Obi, Managing Director of ADAVIRTUAL, says:

“We are a small business that provides remote administration, operations and general virtual support for fast growing small businesses and start-ups who need to effectively manage their time, costs & business operations in order to evolve, scale & succeed. We decided that we also wanted to expand this support to charities and worthy causes. We met a member of the Chailey fundraising team during a networking event and thought the work they did was fantastic. We looked at the fundraising suggestions and saw the opportunity to host a Big Chailey Picnic. We have also pledged money to their Big Christmas Give and are keen to support them in other ways in the future”.

 

About Chailey Heritage Foundation

Based in Sussex, Chailey Heritage Foundation have a national reputation for their work around communication and developing independence through powered mobility. Every year they support hundreds of children, young people and their families, by providing a range of world-class services, especially catering for those with a neurological motor impairment, such as cerebral palsy.

 

Should you wish to find out more information on Chailey Heritage Foundation and discover ways you can also help with fundraising, then please look at their website:

Chailey Heritage Foundation

 

 

Ada ObiFundraising Event Hosted By ADAVIRTUAL raises £92.00
read more

How can PR help my business?

No comments

Maintaining public relations are one of the most impactful ways of creating awareness about small businesses. Most small businesses do not have sufficient marketing budgets needed to boost their brand. However, public relations are ideal if your business has a stretched budget as often it will cost you nothing but time. Moreover, PR also increases your credibility as a business as other people recommend your business to their fellows. So, if you have a small business and want to raise awareness about it, public relations are best for you. In this article, we will tell you how PR can help your business flourish.

1) PR raises awareness

As a small business, you would like to be known by more people. Public relations are ideal if you want to create awareness about your business. By creating an effective PR strategy, people will be willing to talk about you and potential customers will learn more about you through the mouths of people whom they trust. It means that you have higher chances of gaining not only customers but customers who are loyal to you.

You can also broaden your piece of PR. For instance, if your business is in a local paper for winning an award, you can upload your achievement on social media, or make it a part of your e-mail signature. Also don’t forget to mention it during those all-important sales calls to maximise on the opportunity.

2) Increases your credibility

Marketing can be a tricky process. Businesses can spend endlessly on advertising and raising awareness but still not get enough clients, which implies that marketing isn’t just about creating awareness, it is also about developing credibility too.

It is not enough to say that you are credible, credibility cannot be created alone. But by being referenced in a well-known newspaper or magazine, for example, your business can suddenly seem more trustworthy and convincing to your potential clients. Suddenly people will talk more about your business and help do the job of gaining more business and loyal customers for you.

A small business, therefore, doesn’t necessarily need a huge marketing budget in order to become successful. All you have to do is make sure you create and then sustain your PR strategy.

 3) Attracts investors

Public relations can help you attract more investors, which is beneficial for new business. If you plan your public relations strategy carefully to make sure that it generates positive feedback, you’ll be in a better negotiating position with your investors and can help you get more funds. You can use these funds to help your business become successful!

4) Attracts workers

PR can also attract more employees to your business. It proves that your business operates in a professional environment. More skilled, qualified, and experienced employees will want to be a part of your business. It will help your business become even better and improve it in terms of its operations. Therefore, excellent PR benefits your business both internally as well as externally.

In conclusion, PR is a key marketing strategy for new businesses since it can be a cheap, effective, and fundamentally easy way to promote your business!

Ada ObiHow can PR help my business?
read more

4 Tips For Networking Success

No comments

For many people networking can seem a daunting and time-consuming thing. We have all been busy in the office and the thought of spending a couple of hours mingling with strangers hasn’t seemed a top priority. However, networking is key to business. For a new business to have opportunities in the future, to grow and meet all its aims, it must have some form of networking. This way, the opportunities become unlimited. Although, one thing is for sure that when done for the first time, networking can seem challenging. To excel, you can follow some of our top tips.

1. Make sure that you know your market fully

You must know where your business has the most clients so you can focus more on the events which are occurring at that place. If all your clients are mainly based in London, is it worth your time and money going to local events near to the office in Birmingham, for example?

2. Use a bit of trial and error

There are many different types of networking events and you need to find the ones that best suit both you and your business. From breakfast and lunch events, evening dinner clubs, to speed dating style networking there are many events that can fit around your business needs and your personal preference.

There will, of course, be some events that might not turn out too well but that’s nothing to worry about because if you are new at it, you’re a destined to make mistakes. The key is to learn from them. As you keep going to events you will notice that you will slowly be able to familiarise the type of events that suit your business and the ones that don’t work for you. This way you can also make fewer errors and save yourself time by only being at the ones more suitable for you.

3. Don’t forget the business cards

It may seem such a simple thing, but many people rush out the door and forget to bring them or if you are just starting out you may not even have any printed yet. This is something that you cannot skip out because nobody has the time to listen to your details and note them down. You as a business must make sure that you are on your A-game and represent your business in the best way.

4. Be patient

Networking isn’t instant. If you are going to gain leads and build connections with potential clients, then you must remember to be patient and that these things take time. Just because you attended one event and didn’t come away with a lead doesn’t mean it failed. You have started to build a relationship and are spreading the word about your business.

Networking can be beneficial in other ways too. Being able to speak to people in different industries and finding commonalities and how they tackle challenges can be highly valuable to your business too.

Ada Obi4 Tips For Networking Success
read more

Things To Consider When Creating A Marketing Plan

No comments

A marketing plan is a comprehensive and detailed report written on marketing objectives and the marketing strategy to be used in the coming financial year. The business activities outlined in this plan help an organization in working towards the accomplishment of its objectives in a certain time period. When you are a business startup or a small business, it is imperative to understand the importance of having a marketing plan and even more essential to have one in place as well. Without pre-defined goals and clear directions, you cannot hope to achieve your desired target. Hence, forgetting a marketing plan is not an option!

Below are some factors mentioned that you, as a business aiming for success, need to consider when creating a marketing plan.

What is your Unique Selling Point (USP)? 

A unique selling point or proposition is what makes your business stand out in the eyes of a viewer or customer. It is something that your business stands for and that sets you apart from other businesses, making you unique. Having USP’s is a must for businesses as advertisements and promotions are going to feature and highlight it, making them known for that specific quality. Therefore, first of all you should be identifying your USP, followed by utilizing it in your marketing plan to develop suitable promotions and advertisements.

Who is your customer/target market? 

Customers are one of the most valued stakeholders of a business as they are the ones who are being targeted with your goods and services. Therefore, you need to have a clear picture of your target market and the persona of your potential customers; extensive primary research will need to be carried out to define the characteristics (qualitative and quantitative) of your customers. Detailed information about customers will give your marketing team a clear cut picture of the people your business is looking to appeal and will consequently aid in structuring more precise objectives and strategies.

What challenges do you face when selling and how can you overcome/address these? 

Small businesses and startups face a lot of competition in their initial stages. To overcome obstacles you encounter on your road towards achieving your objectives, you need to first identify the challenges you face and the areas you lack in. Once you are through with analyzing your current situation and the identification stage, you need to think about solutions you can work towards by working on your marketing mix. This analysis will provide great help when drawing out marketing objectives and strategies, making them more comprehensive and relevant.

Which channels will work best for you? 

Channels of distribution are pathways through which the products or services of a business are made accessible to the end customer. Choosing the best channels is critical as these will greatly affect your position in the competitive market and aid convenience for your customers. Once the channels have been chosen and cleared out, the marketing team will be in a better place to draw out specific goals and strategies related to them.

What is your marketing budget?

This is one of the most critical factors affecting your marketing objectives and strategies, as the budget will set the benchmark for your marketing spending. With a pre-set value for this budget, marketing managers and directors will be able to think about solutions and activities allowed by their budget. As a result this will undoubtedly save time and effort which would’ve been wasted otherwise if the budget would’ve been evaluated later.

How can technology help? 

There have been great technological advancements over the years, aiding marketing activities (promotions, advertisements) greatly. You need to figure out ways in which modern technology (Internet, social media, emails, text messages, online sponsorships) can make the implementation of your strategies more effective and efficient and allow you to reach a larger target audience.

Time frame – set goals and deadlines for your business 

While setting goals, you need to make sure that they aren’t vague or irrelevant and your deadlines are realistically achievable in the time frame you have chosen. Realistic and relevant goals will help you in formulating a marketing plan that serves as a motivator for your entire marketing team. Furthermore, it gives them a sense of direction and a pathway to follow, without which no team can hope of achieving their final objectives efficiently.

Ada ObiThings To Consider When Creating A Marketing Plan
read more