Category: Business Skills

In or out? When is outsourcing right for your company?

If you want something done right, do it yourself. It’s a well-used business maxim. After all, nobody cares for your business as much as you do. But what happens when things get too much to deal with on your own? The challenge of overseeing a thriving, growing business is a nice problem to have. But you can’t be everywhere at once. So how do you get more person-power on board? Of course one obvious route is to hire additional staff. But another option is to look at which parts of your operation you could be doing elsewhere. Outsourcing is growing but if it’s not done properly, or your suppliers fail to deliver, you risk damaging your reputation and your business.

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Is receiving too many emails sucking the life out of your working day?

Email has revolutionised business communication in the last 20 years. Its speed, efficiency and relatively low cost has seen usage balloon, with the estimated daily volume of emails in 2017 coming in at around 270 billion, up from 182 billion in 2013. Yet, we’re increasingly relying on email for things it was never designed to do. The inbox has become our task manager, to-do list, de facto project management tool and, for many of us, our essential data archive. Your inbox shouldn’t be a place to store emails: you wouldn’t store regular mail on your doormat… Yet that’s how we treat email. In this article we look at some of the ways emails are affecting our working lives and what we can do to reduce their impact.

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Likeability in business: What is it and where can I get it?

What are the traits required to be a business success? A capacity for hard work, certainly. An appetite for risk, no doubt. Determination and a resilience to set-backs, absolutely. What about likeability? Plenty of entrepreneurs out there will have grown up in the belief that ‘nice guys finish last’, that business is no place for the weak and, therefore, you have to put on a tough exterior if you are going to come out on top. This may have been true once upon a time, but attitudes are changing and the value of traits such as empathy, understanding, and self-awareness is rising all the time. In this article we look at what likeability is in business and how you can achieve it.

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Tell tale signs you cannot handle your company’s finances

Every entrepreneur needs finance skills. But not every entrepreneur has them. Most entrepreneurs will have bags of acumen and expertise in their chosen sector – if they didn’t they wouldn’t be there in the first place. But managing a startup’s finances often proves to be one of those things that is learned the hard way. To be clear: cash flow can be used to predict the success of a business in 83% of cases. So what behaviours, tools and techniques can you use to help you move in the right direction? 

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What can entrepreneurs learn about marketing from industry giants?

For entrepreneurs wanting to take their company into the big league, there’s much you can learn from those who have already made it. You don’t need to be able to match their budgets to learn from the marketing strategies of industry behemoths. The core messages are the same, whether you’re spending USD 1,000 or USD 1m, it starts with this: know your audience. Marketing spend is not all glitz and glamour, TV ads and product launches. It’s customer surveys, sales analytics and feedback forms. Ultimately, your message comes from your market – so get to know your customer and the rest will follow.

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Great customer service: It’s all about emotional engagement

The world of business is not a sterile one, made up of spreadsheets, data and documents. Pseudo-entrepreneurs may believe that, but it’s a fallacy. The cold, hard fact of the matter is that business is about one thing, and one thing alone. People. More and more people are acknowledging the sheer power that customer services and high-level engagement can harness. And these strategies need to be at the very forefront of your business strategy. In this article we look at the five core rules for keeping customers happy.

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Sales statistics – focus on those that matter, ignore those that don’t

It’s easy to get statistics wrong; and just as easy to popularise skewed numbers. What they lack in truth, they make up for in being memorable and easily exchanged in casual conversation. So, in a world full of misleading stats, which ones matter for us as salespeople? And which ones can we safely ignore?

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Startup success by the numbers – battling the odds

Starting a new business is a gamble. You can have a great idea, research your market, draw up your business plan and burn the midnight oil, but you can’t be certain how things will unfold. There are around 300,000 small and medium enterprises in the UAE, but the picture isn’t always rosy. Starting a new business in the Gulf region is complicated, competitive and a constantly shifting picture. Let’s look at the odds you have to battle to become a start up success. 

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Five signs that you are not ready to be an entrepreneur

It has never been easier to become an entrepreneur, with lower barriers to entry than ever before. But are you ready? In this article we take a look at five signs that you are in fact not ready to make the leap. Does any of this look familiar? 

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Seven things salespeople get wrong – and how to fix them

What’s the difference between a great salesperson and a mediocre one? A 2016 report looked into the behavioural traits that separate ‘world class’ salespeople from everyone else. Responses were gathered around the world, talking to everyone from account managers to executives. What did they find? Out of the 1,206 respondents only 7.7% met the criteria for ‘world-class sales performance.’ So what was everyone else doing wrong? And what can we all do to make sure our teams are in that group right at the top?

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