Some business owners are too involved in day-to-day operations of their business and this means that they don’t spend enough time trying to grow the business. Read our infographic to learn how you can avoid falling into this trap.
Why Do Businesses Fail?
66% of businesses make it to the 2-year mark and just 30% of businesses make it to the 10-year mark. One of the main reasons for this is because very few business owners spend the required 20% of time working on their business and this contributes to businesses failing. Ideally, one to two hours every day needs to be spent looking at ways to move the business forward.
What’s the Difference Between Working IN & Working ON Your Business?
Many owners of fledgling businesses tend to get caught in the trap of working in rather than on their company. Too much of their time is taken up by day-to-day responsibilities that should be delegated to someone else. As a result, they are left with limited time for business development, and without this much needed top-level innovation the business will be doomed to struggle. Please see the table below for examples of tasks that represent “working IN your business” and “working ON your business”.
How to Work ON Your Business Effectively?
1. Delegate elements of your business. Delegation is a difficult but healthy activity and is vital when growing a company. Lisa Firestone, the founder of Managed Care Advisors, put it nicely when she said: “(Delegating) took a while to build trust, but once you do, it is so empowering! We started to grow when I could focus on what I do best and not on daily minutiae.”
2. Find one “number” in your business you know little about. Perhaps you’re a bit unsure about conversion rates, maybe you’re a PPC guru but have been neglecting SEO – pick an area in which your company can improve and rigorously monitor the relevant metric(s).
3. Outsource a time-consuming task. Outsourcing is generally a good idea because it allows you to free up time that you’re spending on mundane tasks. This time can instead be used to brainstorm ways to grow your revenue.
4. Find something wrong with your business. When you’re too familiar with your business, you can lose objectivity. Informal usability testing of business processes and operations amongst people less familiar with your business could be an eye-opener.
5. Identify a way to further differentiate your business. Rather than trying to kill your competition, look at ways in which you can truly separate yourself from other businesses in the industry.
6. Research hard evidence on your assumptions. Business owners sometimes assume things won’t be effective before actually testing their theory. Just because you don’t like something, doesn’t mean the numbers won’t prove you wrong.
7. Ask your employees for ideas on how you could improve the company. Employees at all levels will have ideas on how the company can be bettered. They may have ways to bring the company forward that you haven’t considered before.
How to Strike the Right Balance
The below infographic provides helpful tips on ways in which business-owners can delegate or outsource responsibilities, leaving them more time to drive their business into the future. Read this infographic now to learn how you stop yourself from working in instead of on your business.
Are you thinking about setting up an import business but just don't know where to start? This comprehensive beginner’s guide will take you through everything you need to know about importing from China.
Since 2012, China has been the top trading country in the world and with consistent year-on-year growth, it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. So why is China such an attractive prospect for importers? Those who have brought in goods from China often cite cost, speed and efficiency of production. What’s more, the Chinese market boasts a staggering diversity of unique goods that you may struggle to find elsewhere.
When building an import business, your first step will be to find a good product. This can be difficult, but it’s worth conducting thorough research so you can be confident in your choice before taking the plunge. Once you’ve found a product that you’re happy with, the next step will be to source it from a great supplier. Finding a good supplier in China can be time-consuming, but it is well worth the effort.
Don’t buy in bulk from a factory until you have sampled their product. Start off with a small sample order. Don’t let a supplier convince you that they can’t ship small sample orders, they are generally only trying to squeeze you. Once you are satisfied with the quality of the product, you can start to scale up your order quantity.
Sourcing Products to Import from China
There are a few criteria you should bear in mind when selecting a product to import from China:
There are a number of websites you can refer to while researching products:
Shipping Options from China
When it comes to shipping – the method you choose will very much depend on your unique needs. There are a wide range of logistics and transportation options to choose from:
In our latest infographic, we take you through some ways you can reduce cart abandonment on your ecommerce website. While brick and mortar stores don’t really have to deal with cart abandonment, it is one of the top issues for online retailers. Combatting your cart abandonment rate is an ongoing battle but a worthwhile one, as it is a highly effective way of boosting your conversion rate and profits.
What is an Abandoned Cart?
Cart abandonment refers to when an online shopper adds an item to their cart but doesn’t proceed to the checkout to complete their transaction.
What is A Cart Abandonment Rate?
An e-commerce website’s cart abandonment rate refers to the percentage of users who do not complete a transaction. This figure is calculated by dividing the total number of completed purchases by the total number of initiated transactions.
Why Should You Measure Cart Abandonment?
It’s important for online retailers to measure and track cart abandonment rate for several reasons. Basket abandonments are a useful indicator of customer experience. If you have made any significant changes to your website, the cart abandonment rate can help you determine whether or not the changes have had a positive or negative affect on conversions. For example, a high rate could indicate problems such as poor checkout design or a lengthy transaction process.
What is the Average Cart Abandonment Rate?
Studies indicate that the average cart abandonment rate is on the increase, rising from 68.63% in 2016 to 78.65% in 2017. This can vary by device as well, with desktop users slightly more likely to compete a transaction than customers using a mobile or tablet.
Why Do Customers Abandon Shopping Carts?
Surveys reveal that there are many reasons why customers abandon their carts. The most common reason is that the user was merely browsing and never had any intention to buy. Many customers also drop out of the process due to an issue with shipping or because of a lack of payment options. Another reason may be that the customer is merely comparing prices and wants to see how much shipping would add to the overall cost.
How To Reduce Cart Abandonment
If you are concerned about your shopping cart abandonment rate, then you may want to take a look at the infographic below which offers some practical pointers on how to tackle this issue. It offers a neat outline of steps you can take to incentivise shoppers to go to the checkout and also lays out some handy email marketing hacks.
Read the infographic below to learn more.
First coined by the German government in 2011, Industry 4.0 has steadily gathered pace across all industries over the past decade. Our latest infographic explores how the rise of industrial automation technologies will transform the manufacturing industry.
What is Industry 4.0?
Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth industrial revolution and the global move towards smart manufacturing. It is a collective term that refers to the seamless integration of industrial automation, data exchange and manufacturing technologies. Industry 4.0 will see more and more manufacturers adopt smart technology and real-time data to increase productivity and reduce costs.
The Rise of Industry 4.0
Unlike previous industrial revolutions, today’s business owners are aware that Industry 4.0 is on the horizon and are already taking steps to prepare themselves. According to a study by Oracle, 69% of organisations believe Industry 4.0 is going to have a significant impact on their business. A further 56% report a strong intention to invest in the relevant technologies across all areas including manufacturing (71%), R&D (44%) and logistics (33%).
The Power of Smart Manufacturing
In all supply chains, companies are always looking for ways to make it more efficient and increased digitization is more often than not the answer. Industrial automation technologies have the potential to connect all areas of your business to improve productivity, speed and efficiency all around.
The use of such data-driven technologies has dozens of applications. For example, real-time data can be enormously beneficial in terms of satisfying customer demands. Data gleaned from thousands of sensors and data points can be helpful in spotting equipment faults, thereby ensuring timely replacement and avoiding production downtime.
Preparing for Industry 4.0
Rolling out digital capabilities across your company takes time and you need to have a strategy in place. Following thorough research, create initial pilot projects to help secure funding for a larger rollout. Based on the results from these, you can identify the capabilities you need and hire accordingly.
Viewed by some as the “lifeblood” of Industry 4.0, data and analytics are increasingly fuelling decision-making. Therefore, businesses will have to learn how to identify, gather and analyse the right data. The smart use of data and analytics can help give businesses of all types the edge they need to beat their competitors and to increase efficiencies throughout the supply chain.
To succeed in Industry 4.0, you must attract the best talent, and without the right digital culture this will be difficult. Yet 25% of business leaders identify “insufficient talent” as one of the major challenges in adapting to this new world. As smart manufacturing becomes more common, the skills shortage will only continue to widen. In addition to acquiring tech-savvy talent, employers must also take responsibility for upskilling staff now so that they have the required skills and tech know-how they will need to adapt as their roles develop over the next few years.
Read more in the infographic below about the preparations you will need to make now in order to succeed in Industry 4.0.
Same-day delivery is fast becoming a must-have for online retailers. The emergence of the on-demand culture means that many of today’s consumers consider speed and convenience as one of the most important factors when making an online purchase.
In today’s highly-competitive e-commerce space, retailers offering fast and cheap (or ideally free) shipping are far more likely to win over customers. Many customers regularly abandon orders when same day-delivery isn’t an option, and many are willing to spend extra just to avoid waiting five business days for their delivery to arrive. In fact, one survey has found that 49% of customers would be more likely to shop if a same-day delivery option is offered.
At present, only 15% of global retailers offer same-day delivery so there is a huge opportunity for any company who can manage short delivery times. It is the bigger companies, such as Walmart, Amazon and Google, who are continuing to make significant strides in this area as they are the ones who can cope best with the escalating costs of providing same-day and next-day delivery.
Same-day and next-day delivery can be challenging in that it puts a lot of pressure on warehouse and logistics staff to deliver goods. Consequently, your staffing requirements may grow upon the introduction of same-day delivery. It’s also important to ensure that it is implemented properly to prevent a logistical headache and to save costs down the line.
While it may be a difficult process; the rewards are there for companies who can overcome the challenges. In many cases, the best option may be to outsource to an experienced logistics company who can provide same day delivery of inventory for your business.
Take a look at the infographic below to find out more about the rise of the same-day and next-day delivery.
The rising popularity of online shopping has transformed the way both consumers and retailers do business.
The past decade has seen a massive surge in the popularity of online retail. In 2014, online retail sales represented 5.9% of total retail sales, but in 2016 this increased to 7.4%. By the year 2021, ecommerce is expected to represent 17.5% of total retail sales - furthering the case for shippers to adopt an omnichannel strategy.
So, what is the main factor lying behind the rapid growth of the ecommerce industry? Technological developments and innovations have helped to grow the online retail industry, by making ecommerce sites more accessible and easy to use, thereby ensuring a smooth shopping experience for customers.
What’s more, customer attitudes are changing, with more and more consumers becoming comfortable conducting business online. This charge is being led by the younger “digital native” generations such as Millennials and Generation Z who conduct a large portion of their shopping online.
To discover more about the growth of online retail, read our infographic below.
Research has shown that the average stockout rate for retailers is around eight percent. In other words, when a customer visits your store (be it online or brick and mortar) one in 13 products will not purchasable at that time. It’s evident that stockouts are a universal problem costing retailers tear-inducingly large sums of money in lost sales.
For most retailers, stockouts are one of the top contenders for “worst nightmare” situation, and for good reason. Not only does OOS affect profits, but in our digital age of instant gratification the unavailability of products can have a devastating affect on customer experience. 30% of customers feel that products being OOS hurts their shopping experience. In most cases when a product is unavailable, frustrated customers will simply switch to a competitor or buy substitute products rather than wait it out.
In today’s fast paced retail environment, real-time inventory management is commonly reported as one of the biggest headaches for retailers. There is a myriad of reasons why a stockout may occur. For example, retailers may underestimate customer demand for a particular item, their employees may lack sufficient training on the subject, or it may simply be the case that a supplier has let them down.
So what can be done to prevent stockouts? Fortunately, there are many solutions to stockout troubles. One effective way to combat OOS is to put inventory controls in place; a good rule of thumb is to always eliminate stock issues for the 20 percent of items that account for 80 percent of total sales. Another good idea is to dedicate a good amount of time to demand planning and sales forecasting or to implement an inventory management system.
Check out our infographic below to learn more about how you can prevent the out of stock problem to boost profits and satisfy customers.
Storage is often just associated with businesses, but more individuals than ever are now needing storage space as their possessions are starting to pile up. The self-storage industry has been massive in the United States for a number of years and has recently seen a rise in popularity in Europe.
So, why is the self-storage industry going from strength to strength and is it a business worth investing in?
What Is Self-Storage?
Self-storage involves the storage of goods by individuals and companies in their own self-contained and secure space. For the business client, self-storage is often seen as a cost-effective alternative to buying or renting expensive space. For the individual, self-storage frees up much-needed space at home.
The Rise Of Self-Storage Around the World
Interestingly, the United States makes up almost 90% of the global self-storage market. For every 1 million Americans, there are 163 storage units. This growth is driven by several factors, starting with the relentless accumulation of goods by American consumers. Between June 1967 and June 2017, expenditures on durable goods — things like couches, bikes, and iPhones — increased almost 20-fold.
While self-storage is hugely popular throughout the United States, it has yet to catch on in Europe. In fact, for every 1 million Europeans, there are only 3.7 storage units. However, an increasing number of entrepreneurs are waking up to the untapped opportunity that is self-storage and as a result we are now beginning to witness a surge in the availability of facilities throughout Europe.
“Storage Units Per Million Of Population”, source: Inside Self Storage
The European Opportunity
What are the factors set to drive the continued growth of the EU self-storage market?
The United Nations estimates that 16 million people in Europe will move to cities in the next 10 years which will increase demand for both residential and commercial buildings.
2) Rising Property Prices
In addition to an increasing urban population, house prices have increased while the size of living spaces have decreased. Europeans in recent years have experienced an increased strain on space, which means that that external self-storage facilities are going to become an increasingly attractive option for city dwellers.
3) Population Growth
It is estimated that roughly 72% of Europeans live in cities and this figure is 10% higher in the UK, with an estimated 82% dwelling in cities.
Today’s facilities are getting a serious makeover with more architectural elements like creative lighting, sleek design, large windows or atriums. and first-class finishes. There is no skimping on amenities in the new sites and this has the potential to give them a competitive edge. Extremely clean units, round the clock surveillance and state-of-the-art climate control are becoming more common.
What’s more, the need for specialty storage is on the rise and many new storage builds now have facilities to store luxury RVs and boats. These niche markets are becoming particularly popular in self-storage facilities near lakes and affluent recreational areas.
Check out our infographic about the size of the self-storage industry now.
In 2016, digital developments have provoked a transformation in what consumers expect from their product/service providers.
In recent years, there has been a massive increase in B2C e-commerce sales. With the continued growth of e-commerce .