Tips on Conducting a Job Interview

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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
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The Importance of Testimonials

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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
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Fundraising Event Hosted By ADAVIRTUAL raises £92.00

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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
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How can PR help my business?

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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?
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4 Tips For Networking Success

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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.

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Things To Consider When Creating A Marketing Plan

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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
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The PowerPoint 10/20/30 Rule for Winning Sales Presentations

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As a support business, one of the services we provide is working with our clients to create sales presentations which have helped them in winning big deals and acquiring key customers. One of the reasons that our presentations work well is because we have taken some tips from one of our business icon – Guy Kawasaki.

Kawasaki is a Silicon Valley based marketing specialist and venture capitalist who also writes a blog. He has come up with a great formula for the perfect PowerPoint presentation. He explains that he came up with this idea after observing hundreds of entrepreneurs pitch their companies to him.

On his blog he admits that most of the pitches he has to listen to are not worth his while and, that going through sixty slides about a startup acts as a catalyst for his tinnitus, an illness he suffers, which causes a constant ringing in his ears starts.

Kawasaki puts a little humor to the situation and says that, “To prevent an epidemic of Ménière’s in the venture capital community, I am evangelizing the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. While I’m in the venture capital business, this rule is applicable for any presentation to reach agreement: for example, raising capital, making a sale, forming a partnership, etc.”

So what is this 10/20/30 rule exactly? What does it mean and how can you as an entrepreneur use it in your own company to win business deals? Read on to find out.

Ten Slides

The ideal number of slides in any PowerPoint presentation is ten. This is because a normal person cannot understand more than ten concepts at a time. If for some reason you need to use more than ten slides for your pitch, you probably don’t have a successful business. The ten topics of interest are:

  • Problem
  • Your solution
  • Business model
  • Underlying magic/technology
  • Marketing and sales
  • Competition
  • Team
  • Projections and milestones
  • Status and timeline
  • Summary and call to action

Twenty Minutes

These ten slide should be explained in twenty minutes. That means two minutes for each slide. Even if you have an hours’ time slot, it is better to leave the extra time to configure the laptop with a projector and any questions and answers after the presentation.

Thirty-Point Font

A number of presentations you see today have a standard ten-point font. This is obviously done to cram in as much text as possible into one slide. People think that loading all the information they have into one presentation is a good move. It’s really not. Since there are low chances that the presenter will have it all memorized, they often read from the slides. Once the audience realizes that the presenter is reading, they read it themselves to save time. The result is simple: the presenter and the audience are not in sync. Always use a thirty point font.

So if you want to pitch your presentation successfully, practicing the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint will help keep your audience’s attention focused and get your pitch to the point.

You can find a link to Kawasaki’s very helpful blog here

Ada ObiThe PowerPoint 10/20/30 Rule for Winning Sales Presentations
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10 Excellent Time Management Tools for Busy Team Leaders

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In an entrepreneurs world, the one thing which matters the most is time management. It is very crucial to pay attention to managing your time, as an ability to manage your time leads to profitable results. Of the many benefits which technology has introduced to the life of an entrepreneur, one is the ability to use technology for effective time management.

Here, we have discussed some of the most amazing apps and tools present in the market with which you can manage your time and streamline your work routine:

  • Google Calendar
    It is one of the finest apps with which you can save time and make most of your day. With this app, you can keep a track of all scheduled meetings and events, and get rid of the fear of forgetting them.
  • Rescue Time
    With this app on your side, you can get to know about the time you have been spending emails, social media, and other unproductive websites. Using this information, you can re-routine your daily engagements.
  • Planner Pro
    This app helps you centralize all of your daily agendas on a single screen. It comes complete, with a daily calendar, task manager personal organiser all in one. You can reduce the stress by synchronizing all of your calendars and knowing about upcoming meetings and deadlines.
  • 1-3-5 List
    Prioritize your tasks on the basis of their importance. The most important ones are put at 1, ones with medium importance at 3, while the least important ones at 5.
  • Toggl
    It is a super-easy app to get started with. The app allows you to track the billable time related to your routine. You can synchronize projects, develop detailed time-tracking reports, and align it with several project management tools as well.
  • Remember the Milk
    Maintaining a to-do list of all the things you wish to perform makes it easy for you to accomplish them. With this app, you can set reminders and free yourself from disasters of forgetting important things.
  • Nirvana
    Nirvana is a cloud-based task manager which helps you to keep your life in an orderly manner. Things become easy when you know what to do and when to do. With this app, you always know your next action.
  • Dropbox
    Data sharing is the backbone of any enterprise. With the help of this app, you can ensure smooth and speedy transfer of data, thus saving a lot of precious time which you can use on other productive things.
  • My Life Organised
    If you find it hard to manage your tasks, then this app is definitely for you. It helps you focus on things which are of most priority. It automatically generates to-do lists and enlists priority call to actions.
  • myMemorizer
    By managing a web calendar on this app, you can get email and SMS alerts regarding the upcoming events, important tasks, and other things.

The introduction of state of the art tools and smartphone apps means you can design, implement, and provide adequate follow-up to customers & clients in a calculated way. With the apps on this list, you can take steps to ensure your life and business are as a lot more streamlined, smooth and stress free.

Ada Obi10 Excellent Time Management Tools for Busy Team Leaders
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