Your Business Benefits Hugely from Improved Inventory

If your business sells physical products, you likely need to keep an inventory. On some occasions, you might use drop shipping and avoid it. However, if you keep stock yourself, you need to manage it, and your inventory is part of that. You might not give a lot of thought to your inventory, but how well you manage it could make a huge difference to how you run your business.

If you improve your inventory and its management, you could save time and maybe even money. While you can hire a service to improve your inventory management, there are also several things you can do to make it better on your own.

1.Why Improve Your Inventory?

There are some important reasons it’s worth taking the time to improve the management of your inventory. If you have too much stock, it could mean you have money tied up in it that you could use better elsewhere. But you also don’t want to end up running out of products that your customers need, especially when they could end up taking their business elsewhere.

How you manage your inventory can make a difference to how much time you have available too. If you have to spend longer than necessary checking on stock for a certain product, you could waste valuable time. Improving how you keep and manage your inventory could benefit your business a lot.

2. Keeping Your Inventory in Excel

Many small business owners simply use Excel or a similar spreadsheet program to list their inventory. It’s a perfectly acceptable method of managing your inventory, especially when you don’t need to spend money on fancy software. However, even in a program like Excel, you don’t need to make everything too simple. There are several ways to can improve how you manage everything with the right tools and methods. For example, filtering a list in Excel will help you check on stock for a certain product much quicker than trying to search for it by eye. If your spreadsheet skills need updating, try taking a course or looking for resources online.

3. Specialist Inventory Software

Some people need to go beyond a spreadsheet to manage their inventory properly. You might want to create a database or use specialist inventory software to make it easier to get everything done. You might already be using something like this, but if you’ve been using simpler methods, it could be time for an upgrade. If you’re not sure which software to choose, you can find lists of the top recommended systems. Some are specially made for certain industries, like SynergySuite for Restaurants

4. Hiring Someone to Improve Your Inventory

If you think your inventory and its management requires some problem solving, think about hiring someone to fix it. You can look for consultants who will take a look at your inventory and the methods you’re using, then make recommendations for improvements. It can be worth the cost for long-term savings.
Whether you own a tiny online business or something larger, managing your inventory well is essential. Get organized if you want to save time and money.

Love, M.

 

Judging A Blog By Its Cover: How To Ensure Your Blog Looks The Part

If you’re a blogger, you can’t underestimate the importance of aesthetics. You could produce the most fabulous content in the world, but if it’s presented on a page that is drab, dated, or so busy that it makes your eyes hurt, you’ll find it hard to make your blog a success. If you’re keen to ensure that your blog looks the part, here are some top tips and tricks.

1.Think of your blog as a shop window

When you’re walking down the high street, what catches your eye? There’s a reason why people spend hours designing window displays and working out what to put where. With a blog, you don’t have a physical space to adorn and decorate, but thinking about your page as a virtual shop window can help you to make your site attractive, appealing, and enticing.

If you’re standing in front of a shelf at the supermarket, a stand up pouch, a glass bottle or a foil bag emblazoned with eye-catching colours, a stylish font, and innovative branding is going to lure you in over generic looking products that don’t capture your imagination.

Think about how you can make things leap out from the virtual shelves and encourage your readers to want to find out more. Use captivating headlines that jump out from the page, and don’t forget to make the most of images, video clips, and design themes.

2. Customise your page

Your blog should be a reflection of you and the categories or subjects you cover. The look of the blog should be relevant to the content, and it should also pay homage to your individual style. If you’re talking about cutting-edge fashion or business, you don’t want vintage floral prints in the background or something that looks twee or quaint. You want something sophisticated, professional and smart.

3. Less is more

As a reader, there’s nothing more off-putting than being confronted with a page that is packed to the rafters with content, headings, and adverts. Try and keep things simple with the layout, and make it easy for readers to access articles that take their fancy. Use a category list or tags to enable them to navigate their way to content that appeals to their interests.

Avoid large passages of text, and break up paragraphs with images, infographics, and videos. In some cases, people will spot a long paragraph and give up without even taking a second to see what the post is about. With blogging, it’s all about responding to what people want quickly, and most users don’t have the time or the inclination to read essay-length pieces.

If you’re serious about blogging, the key to success doesn’t lie solely in generating interesting and original content. It’s also essential that your blog looks the part. Take care when choosing a theme, and make sure you present your posts in a way that appeals to Internet users. Match the theme and style to the content, and make use of high-quality images, photographs, and video snippets. Avoid anything that looks too busy, and add a personal touch. 

Tell me, how are you taking care for the look of your blog? 

Love, M.

Millennials: It’s About Getting People To Want To Go To Work

By now, chances are, you’ve heard the term Millennial being thrown around, and you may have seen some Youtube videos that do a good job at describing them. What you may not know is that Millennials now make up the majority of the workforce, and that means you need to cater for them a little bit, or even a lot.

What does that mean?

Well, not too long ago, people got a job as a career and they worked in that career until they could retire. It didn’t really matter what it was or where it was based, they got on and did the job. This isn’t the case anymore. You now need to make your employees want to go to work.

You may be thinking that is preposterous, but it isn’t. We all want to enjoy what we do with our lives, and as an employer, that means you should be more interested in making your company a better place to work.

 

Your Actual Office Space

No one wants to go and work in a basement office with no windows, damp walls and a fusty smell that reminds them of their late grandparents care home. Trust on that. What people want is the Google effect. We’re not saying you need to incorporate 13 free cafeterias and a ball pit into your office, but you could edge your way in that direction with some new direct office furniture, a lick of paint, a few portable speakers, some houseplants and a few tech upgrades. That’s all it takes to make your office that much more attractive to your employees, and that will go a long way in making them more productive at work.

 

Celebrate Individual Departments

Most companies now have company-wide parties, and often it is to celebrate the success of the business in some way or another. But what is even more effective than this is to have celebrated and appreciated the work and efforts of individual departments, and this can be achieved with appreciation days. It could be a lunch, it could be activity-based, it could be a day away; whatever it is, send it recognizing each employee’s contribution.

It is such a successful way of making work that much more special, and making people put that much more effort in. Let’s say Trish in marketing has had a phenomenal few weeks. Why not surprise her so that when she walks into work tomorrow her desk has been overtaken by decorations and cakes and presents. Simple.

 

It’s All A Game

For a few years now the term gamification has been thrown about and its popularity has increased, and all for good reason. By gamifying the success and effort of people’s efforts you create this new level of fun as well as friendly competition, and both of these directly impact a company’s bottom line. It doesn’t even have to be that high-tech.

This could just be a leaderboard that updates with real time as a sale is made, it could be that each employee has their favorite song play for 30-seconds on monitors around the office every time they get a new lead. It could be anything that brings about an element of scoring and points and, well, fun.

 

Love, M.

Mum vs. Daughter: Money edition

Danes se mi samo piše. V slovenščini. Oh kako fluentno tečejo prsti po tipkovnici. Včasih pogrešam to hitrost in zlije misli v moj blog. Angleščina je počasnejša in vzame veliko časa, da je popolna. Še dobro, da sama določam pravila in tako včasih v blog inkorporiram tudi slovenščino. Odkar sem začela s svojim blogom tudi služiti (pa da se ne da, HA, watch me), lahko na DoraWard spremljate objave vsak dan oz. vsak drugi dan. Res se trudim.

Zadnjič sem se vozila v avtu in razmišljala, koliko denarja sem porabila v tistem dnevu (šoping in expenses seveda). Mama me je naučila dela z denarjem, priznam. Znam šparati, ko se gre za stvar, ki jo rabim oz. si jo želim. Znam pa tudi (brezglavo) zapravljati.

Že kar se kozmetike tiče, sem se pred časom odločila za velik korak: manj stvari ter bolj kvalitetni produkti. Tega se držim kot pribito. Ne spomnim se, da bi od takrat zapravila denar za “kar nekaj”, neko poceni kozmetiko, še en izdelek v moji omari, ki ga bom uporabila samo enkrat. Kupila sem si raje dve kvalitetni paletki, dva kvalitetna čopiča, ipd.

Kako sva si z mamo različni, razmišljam. Druga generacija, seveda. Že od svojega dvajsetega leta hrani denar in ga porabi LE za tisto, kar resnično potrebuje. Moja mami ima 47 let. Šele lani je začela svoj denar “zapravljati” za svoje crkljanje. Enkrat mesečno hodi na manikuro in enkrat mesečno k frizerki (ki je naša prijateljica, zato ne zapravi 50+ evrov za frizuro). Sprašujem se, je to življenje?

Jaz sem čisto nasprotje temu. Spet, druga generacija. Vedno sem imela njeno podporo (takšno in drugačno, tudi finančno). Spomnim se, kako me je učila, koliko žepnine po 100 tolarjev moram prihraniti, da bom lahko kupila najljubšo ogledano barbi zobozdravnico. Danes bi verjetno res desetkrat preračunala, a) ali se mi splača in b) ali to res potrebujem. Razen če bi bila barbi impulziven nakup – v tem primeru bi jo kasneje ali darovala ali prodala – za moje boljše počutje.

Mislim, da si moja generacija vseeno več privošči kot naši starši. Meni ni žal 20 evrov za zobno pasto ali 15 evrov za L’Occitanov šampon – ona NIKOLI ne bi kupila tega. Masažni bon, terme za dva dni, predstava. Zato pa ji to kupim jaz. Ker mi ni žal denarja. Ker se denar mora obračati, pravim sama. Ker jo moram pocrkljati, glede na to, kaj je vse naredila zame. To je še najmanj, kar lahko storim.

Love, M.

 

Are These Bad Habits Holding You Back From Career Success?

It goes without saying that everyone has bad habits that they would love to break one day. But whether it’s smoking, being a couch potato, or spending too much time playing video games, these bad habits can be incredibly tough to stop.

The trouble is, some of these behaviors could be preventing you from achieving your goals, and realizing your full potential. And unless you break them, your career could end up being a disappointment. Let’s take a look at some of the common bad habits that could be forming a significant roadblock on your path to a successful career.

1.Procrastination

Are you always putting things off until tomorrow? Or are you always waiting for the right moment to turn up? If so, you will never achieve anything, and you need to start taking action right now. This is a particularly bad habit to break as there are lots of potential underlying causes for procrastinating behavior, which you need to fix before you can start being more direct and in control.

It could be because you are fearful of failing, or even because you feel you aren’t in control of your life. Maybe you are suffering from a form of depression that is stopping you from breaking the cycle of your behavior. If you can try and fix these issues and find out why you procrastinate, you should be in a much better position to become more proactive than you are currently.

2. Perfectionism

Perfectionists, unlike procrastinators, actually get down to the business of working hard. Where they slip up, however, is that they are frightened to finish and hand over their work because it isn’t perfect. The trouble is, perfection does not exist – it’s an ideal, not a reality. Whatever you do in life, whether it’s painting a picture or writing a blog post, there will be some people who like it and others that don’t. And if you strive for perfection every time you do something you are fighting a losing battle.

Try and force yourself to work on your next project and take the decision to unleash it onto the world. If you realize you have made a mistake, that’s fine – you will learn something for the next time. But without putting yourself out there, you will never know if you are a failure or, more importantly, a success.

3. Lack of effort

Be honest – are you really putting everything into what you do? Are you willing to go above and beyond the call of duty? If not, then the chances are that you will remain unnoticed in your career, and you will never get to step outside of your comfort zone. This is essential if you want to learn, adapt, and become more successful. So, starting from now, why not do something different? Put yourself forward for a new task at work. Reach out to a potential client. If you want real success, you can’t afford to rest on your laurels one little bit.

4. Unwillingness to invest in education

Learning new skills can open up new avenues for everything in life. But, of course, an education tends to cost either a) time, b) money, or c) a combination of both..And many people use the excuse of not being able to afford to invest in a course or educational activity that could be life changing. This is a big mistake.

Try and put aside some time every day to learn something new. Cut back on your lifestyle extravagances and put the money towards paying for a course. You can even borrow money if you have to – learning new skills often leads to higher earning power, and you should see a loan as a kind of investment. That said, make sure you are careful to borrow money within your means.

The Personal Money Store recommend paying back short-term loans as quickly as possible to ensure you don’t get hit by hefty interest fees. Ultimately, though, whether you have to borrow money from a bank, your parents, or dip into your savings account, paying for an education will dramatically increase your chances of leading a more financially stable lifestyle and your potential earnings.

5. Arrogance

Everyone you meet in life can tell you something you don’t know. And if you are the kind of person that thinks they are better than others below your pay grade, you are missing out on a lot of valuable information, experience, and advice.

Never assume that you are better than anyone else, or that you don’t need input or other people’s thoughts and advice. Arrogance and stubbornness are not attractive qualities in the business world, and if you want to achieve the success, you should be able to talk to people at all levels – not just those in positions of power that you are trying to impress.

6. Worrying

That said, it’s also easy to go the other way from arrogance completely and end up worrying about what everyone thinks. The trouble is that once worrying gets a grip on you, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to please everyone all of the time. Don’t forget, worry uses up a considerable amount of brainpower. You could be using it for something far more important, like getting the job done to the highest standard or coming up with creative solutions to problems.

Try to avoid comparing yourself to others, too. Worrying that you aren’t doing as well as your peers is a pointless exercise, and will only end up holding you back. Everyone is different, and everyone has their own time to shine. Yours will come if you focus on the important things in life, rather than concerning yourself with making comparisons.

7. Taking things too seriously

Moving on from the previous point, worrying can also lead to you taking your life and career too seriously. It’s important to be able to take a step back and try and do fun things every now and again – without a little enjoyment of life, you will always feel unfulfilled regardless of how ‘successful’ your resume looks.

Ultimately, we all have to work to live, rather than live to work, and if you feel like you are doing the latter, you will never be happy. Achieving a healthy work-life balance can be tricky, but of all the goals you aim for it is one of the most important. You will find that having that happy balance will help you be more motivated in your career, and help you achieve greater things.

8. Not being accountable for yourself

You are in charge of your own life – it’s that simple. And while we all make bad choices or poor decisions from time to time, if you don’t accept responsibility and learn from them the future won’t hold much success. Accountability is vital if you want to move on in your career, and learning from your mistakes is an important part of the process.

Don’t forget, every successful businessman or woman is likely to have a string of failures, mistakes, and wrong moves behind them. But they also put their hands up when they make a mistake, accept the responsibility, and adapt their behaviors to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

OK, so there you have it – some of the things you might need to explore if you want to become a little more successful in your career. Do you suffer from any of these challenges, or are there any other issues that you think might be holding you back? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

Love, M.