Category Archives: Business

Essentials when creating a job advertisement

Recruitment is what keeps a company going by finding new and creative people to join the team and make the business better. But candidates don’t just fall from the sky, you, as the company, need to reach out and make an impression through your job advertisement.

That’s why you should stick to these essentials when it comes to creating a job advertisement for all the potential candidates out there.

Title

As an article’s headline would grab your attention, the title of a job advertisement will attract job seekers’. And it really doesn’t need to be complicated or cluttered. The more direct you are with the position available and the company that’s asking, the more likely someone will click to find out more. You should even just have the position as the title and the company as a subheading.

If it’s necessary to be specific in the title (let’s say you’re looking for a more experienced applicant), you can specify for a “Senior Content Writer” instead of simply advertising for a “Content Writer” and receiving candidates that don’t meet the requirements. But, generally, all you need in your title is the job position – it’s what applicants will be searching for anyway.

Company promotion

It’s good to have a bit of company promotion in a job advertisement because you’re trying to make it more attractive for the job seeker to apply and join the team and that’s one way of doing it.

During this promotion, you can give a short background into what your company does, what the company culture is like and any other interesting facts that may make the candidate feel like this is a place they could work at. You can even do so by incorporating how their position, or department, plays a role in the company as a whole.

Just remember that this isn’t the reason why the job advertisement is being made. Keep it brief yet informative and don’t let it take away from the job description.

Position promotion

Now it’s time to promote the position you’re looking to fill. There are the obvious elements that need to be communicated such as a summary of the job, the daily duties of the position, expectations of the candidate and benefits applicable to the person in this role.

Once you’ve covered the basics, you can start adding the additional (and equally important) extra information. This includes a salary range that will most certainly catch the eye of any job seeker, location of the company, parking information to help them plan their daily commute and even office traditions that they can look forward to: Fridays are burger days, for example.  

Clarity on requirements

Every job description should have a “requirements” section. It’s here that job seekers decide on whether or not they’re actually qualified to apply for the job.  Where some companies miss out, is when they aren’t clear on which skills are required and which are merely desirable or advantageous.

It’s important to make these distinctions so that applicants know they are eligible to apply with their degree and that it’s only advantageous if they have worked in a digital marketing environment not that they have to have worked in one before, for example.

Process of application  

There are many job listings out there that seem to forget to add contact information or instructions as to what is required to complete the process of application. This makes it a mission for people to apply or get through to the right department. And that will lead to frustration, which will then lead to them ignoring the job advertisement completely and moving on to the next one.

If a cover letter is required, signing up and applying through the company’s website, completing some sort of test, a specific email address for CVs only, or a required reference in the email subject line – you need to make sure that there are clear instructions to do so. It will also be good to have a system in place to notify them that their application was received.

Appropriate language

We’ve covered the basic essentials of creating a job advertisement so far. But there’s one element to job advertisements that have a great influence on how a job seeker mentally processes an job ad, and that’s through language use.  

Yes, it’s important that your company culture is reflected and consistent throughout your advertisement, but you also need to keep a certain level of professionalism for the more relaxed companies, and a little excitement for the more serious companies.

Finding the balance is where job seekers can appreciate the business focus of a company, whilst still getting excited about what the company stands for. Through the correct tone and language, you can receive a large number of genuine applications for the position. Whoever is in charge of writing the job advertisement needs to have business writing skills training on hand to correctly communicate who the company is looking for. After all of that, you’ll have a killer job advertisement on the market.

Designing the perfect homepage

A company without a website is a company unknown to the world. And a company with a bad website, more importantly, a bad homepage, is a company rejected by the world. Rejected in the sense that first impressions matter and consumers of today are all about “the now” and investing in experiences that have an impact on their daily lives.

Bad homepages are, in that context, a waste of time and a frustrating experience that consumers would otherwise not struggle with again. So, what do you need in your homepage design that will keep people interested and coming back for more?

Font and colour

The first few aspects we will be looking at revolve around the visual experience of your homepage and areas you can modify to ace that first impression. The first things people see and do when they land on a homepage is take in colour and read content. An IT course rule of thumb for homepage design is to always keep readability in mind.

Needless to say, font and colour are important essentials to get right when designing your website. Pretty fonts aren’t always practical for large amounts of content and can be difficult for some users to read. Print and plain fonts are your safer options, with highlighted words in a bolder or more intricate font for effect if needed.

As for colour, if there is too little colour, it’s boring, but if there’s too much, it overpowers the rest of the website’s content. It can be difficult when your company’s colours are multiple or strong, but there are tasteful ways to bring colours into your website design. You also need to keep the colour of the webpage complementary to the font colour so that it stays easy to read.

Imaging

A picture is worth a thousand words, so a thousand pictures on your homepage is, essentially, you shouting at your site’s visitors. But it is important to make a statement with a bold image relating to your company and use it to communicate the message you’re trying to tell your customers.

The chances of an internet user judging the relevance of your content to their lives through the images they see (before they read the text) is highly likely. Your homepage image should be what attracts and encourages people to explore the rest of your website.  

Navigation

When it comes to exploration, navigation is necessary and your homepage should be the place to start. Whether you incorporate pop-up prompts (which no one really enjoys), have animated menu buttons or symbols as navigation tools to get around the site, you need to make sure people know how to use the navigation system and can get to where they want to be through three clicks at the most.

The three-click rule is still relevant in web design and as a navigation method, and shouldn’t be overlooked or underestimated. Remember, you’re appealing to a “now” generation, so the sooner they can get their information, the more time of day they’ll give your company.  

Interactable

Animation in web design is a step in homepage interactivity that is fun and friendly for users. Integrating animation in the homepage experience makes the users time worthwhile beyond providing the content they look for.

The secret is to not overdo it with the animation. With homepage design, you can’t really go wrong with the “less is more” principle.

Information

Now we will look at the more content-related elements of your homepage that should be present among all the visual aspects.

  • Identity: As a whole, your homepage needs to tell the visitor who you are as a company, what you do and how you can help them… but definitely not in so many words. Short and sweet (and with your visuals to help), the homepage can do all of the above through an introductory paragraph that quickly flows into the relevant content that the user is there to see.
  • Credibility: Testimonials and awards are great to have, but shouldn’t stay hidden behind the “About Us” page. By having awards stickers and a banner of different clients’ testimonials somewhere on the homepage, the visitor will acknowledge it and positively consider the rest of the page’s (and website’s) credibility. Just be sure you have proof linked to backup your credibility claims.
  • Contact: Not every company understands the necessity that are contact details on every landing page, nevermind just the homepage. If a visitor to your site is interested in what the webpages are saying to them, they’re going to want to contact you as soon and as easily as possible. By only have a “Contact Us” page as an option, you’re testing their patience. And by only having a contact form available on the site, you’re testing how interested they are. And those aren’t necessarily good things to be testing when there are competitive sites with the same offerings and “click to call” or “click to email” contact options somewhere on the homepage.

Equipment finance with bad credit: it’s not impossible

A bad credit record can be a stumbling block to anyone who is applying for a loan. This can make the process difficult and can affect the outcome of your loan, such as higher interest rate and the need to provide collateral before the bank will approve your application.

 

If you need to purchase equipment for your business, but do not have a good credit score, applying for finance can be a seemingly impossible task. But, if you know what to do, you will likely be approved for equipment finance.

Check your credit record for accuracy

Contact Experian or TransUnion to acquire your credit report and read through it carefully, looking for any inconsistencies. If you see anything that raises a red flag, phone the credit bureaus to immediately remove all negative data, especially if you know you have repaid the debt in question in full. You will then need to ensure that this is changed on your credit history to show the debt is repaid.

Explain your debts

Your chosen bank or financial institution will want to know the exact reasons why you have a bad credit rating, so it is important to have the pertinent facts readily available. They will want to know whether the debt was entirely your fault or not, and what you are planning to do to rectify it. Lenders are already wary of lending money to those with a bad credit record and if you are unprepared to explain your debt or how you will rectify it, your finance application is likely to be rejected.

Offer additional collateral

If you already own equipment or have a property, then you should consider offering this to the bank as collateral. The bank will look favourably on this, as it will lower your risk in their books. They will be able to sell this collateral should you be unable to repay your loan, making granting your loan easier. It is an effective way to gain confidence if you have a bad credit rating, and will work towards securing your loan.

Try an alternative lender

Rather than going to a bank, you could look into going to an alternative lender. These lenders often look at the positive aspects of your business rather than at anything negative. They will see it as an investment rather than scrutinising your credit score, but be sure to research every aspect of your chosen alternative lender. Make sure the terms of the loan are all in order – it may look fantastic on paper, but this does not immediately make it the best choice.

Find a cosigner

Finding and using a cosigner is often one of the best ways to secure a loan. The bank or financial institution you are applying to for finance will see this as a positive endorsement of your willingness to alleviate yourself from debt, but be warned that your cosigner will be taking on part of the debt too. And that can put a strain on relationships if the chosen person is a friend or business partner.

Offer a larger down payment

One way to secure finance with bad credit is to offer the bank or financial institution a larger down payment. If you are having difficulty finding a cosigner, making a larger down payment may help to assure the bank that you are not a high risk applicant. You will, however, have to pay at least 20% upwards, which can be a difficult task for those who are battling with finances already.

Expect a higher interest rate

You will need to take into account the fact that a bad credit rating will incur higher interest rates. You will need to prepare financially for this and cut back on as many expenses as possible in order to make the monthly payments in a timeous manner. Until your credit rating improves, you will be seen as a high risk client and so the bank or lender views lending to you as a liability.

Settle the payment terms of your loan

Read the loan terms carefully and ask the bank to explain anything you may not understand. Usually, a bank will be very straightforward with their terminology, but some lenders may use terms that are confusing or ambiguous. Be sure that it is understood you can only pay back a certain amount and understand the interest rate and fee structure fully before signing anything.

Conclusion

Equipment finance with bad credit can be a hurdle for a business owner who already has tight finances. But, if you are willing to put in the work with the bank, you will likely be approved. Provide all information you need and be prepared to explain your situation, but do not feel judged or ashamed, your bank will be understanding to your situation and you will be able to move your business forward.

Why you need report writing skills for business communication

Business communication requires a number of skills, ranging from effective presentation skills to the ability to understand graphs, charts and data. There is also the need to write effectively and concisely while including all pertinent information that can help to understand the communication sent out.

This is where report writing skills are important and will come into play. Report writing skills are different to normal business communication or simple writing skills as they encompass a different set of abilities, such as the ability to write objectively and factually rather than using emotion and persuasion in your pieces.

What are report writing skills?

Report writing skills are vital to effective communication in any office. The skills that are required for writing an effective report can include the following.

The ability to focus

This is essentially keeping in mind the objective of your report. You should not be distracted easily by information that does not relate to the report or is not necessarily needed for inclusion in the report as this will make for an unstructured and unfocused report.

An analytical approach

Being able to analyse and utilise data are essential report writing skills, as having an analytical approach will allow you to interpret the information you have been given, such as financial data, SEO numbers or performance data on employees. You’ll also have to make an analysis of the target audience, the purpose for which audience requires the report, the type of data the audience is looking for in the report, and the implications of report reading.

An objective mindset

When writing a business report that’s regarding an employee’s behaviour or a disciplinary action report, it is important to be able to take both sides into account without bringing emotion into play. Meaning that you will have to apply an objective eye to the information provided. It will not be conducive to decision making if you write a report that is fraught with emotion and is subjectively biased toward the employee in question.

The ability to be clear and concise

A report for business purposes does not need to be lengthy or convoluted, but rather it should be accurate, clear and concise, including only the most important details and information. This does not mean, however, that you should aim for a short document, but that you should practice the ABC of report writing: Accuracy, Brevity and Clarity. Your report can be over three pages long, but should never read like a conversational piece or include information that has no place in it.

Quality assurance

Simply put, quality assurance means the proof-reading, editing and fact-checking of a report, which further increases the effectiveness of the document and the information. It is important to verify every piece of information that goes into the report as not only will incorrect information reflect badly on you, but it can hinder any decisions made regarding the report, such as budget cuts or hiring a new employee.

How can report writing skills help in business communication?

Report writing skills can help improve business communication in many ways, such as improving general writing ability and boosting the effectiveness of further business communications. Some of the ways that having and improving report writing skills can help business communication:

  • The quality of writing in business reports will improve.
  • The content and format of business reports will always be correct.
  • General writing and document sequences will be logical and meaningful.
  • The presentation of business reports will improve, as will the formats.
  • The clarity and efficiency of all business writing will improve.
  • Organisation skills will improve, due to having to remain focused and accurate when writing reports.

Improving your report writing skills is of vital importance to any successful business communication and there are some effective ways that you can improve them aside from going on a report writing course, which in itself is extremely helpful.

Thinking before you write applies not only to report writing, but to every type of business communication you may be writing. It is important to ask yourself what the audience should know or think after reading the email, proposal or report. And if the answer is not immediately clear, then you may have started writing preemptively.

The writing structure you learnt in school does not cross over well into business writing, where you need to be direct and clear without writing long introductions and conclusions. Business reports should be direct in their message and remain clear and accurate throughout, so be sure to keep this in mind when writing a report that is meant for a business situation or will be read by an analyst or decision maker within the company.

Why businesses should be both on and offline

With the way the world is developing digitally and all about automation, it’s understandable to have expected “online” to be the only way forward. This, however, is not the case. Businesses should have both an online and offline presence and here’s why.

Offline to online

Offline only isn’t convenient enough for consumers. And while there are advantages to having a physical presence, which will be discussed below, making use of both will make business-life better.

Businesses may be hesitant to take themselves online as an issue of security. But if they get the proper guidance, training and security software their data will be protected and their business will be able to reap the benefits of being online. The online ecommerce platform is so large and diverse that businesses would also have to up their marketing game and learn about the rules of Google. But if you’re starting a business in 2017 and beyond, startup costs are more affordable by going online. So there certainly are benefits to online.

Benefits of integrating an online presence to a business include the ability to accurately and real-time track customer interactions with your site and products (in retail especially), to almost effortlessly increase the business’s reach and decreasing general operations costs. And those are just a few benefits.  

Online to offline

Online only is open to many customer service related issues, where delivery of the product doesn’t go as planned and is damaged when the customer receives it. And the process of emailing, phoning and trying everything in the book to contact and sort out a problem such as this is gruelling, frustrating and a waste of your clients time.

Online only is an expensive marketing effort and highly competitive market where a business is either easily found or on page two of Google’s search results. In other words, completely looked over. That’s why incorporating a physical presence, even in the form of a pop-up, can benefit the business and fill in the gaps.

Like the move to online, there is a hesitance to the issue of security when moving offline and operating in a physical location. But, again, there are ways to secure your physical assets and staff. As a quick and direct example, follow this http://www.turnstar.co.za/products/automatic-sliding-doors link for some security measures ideas.

The benefits to taking an online business and giving it an offline presence include “free” marketing efforts by having a physical something for consumers to see, solidifying a brand for consumers to physically interact with and the ability to establish and maintain consumer relationships, which encourages loyalty.

Why having both is a strong business move

One just isn’t enough.


Consumers want to enjoy both strolling and scrolling through at their leisure when it suits them. They want the option and the benefits that come with both, and what is a business there for if not to meet consumer demands?

And just because a business moves from online to offline, doesn’t mean that the innovation and technology have to be “dumbed down”. Customers are looking for consistency when interacting with your brand and there are ways to integrate the digital and physical experience in store.

Having both will drive traffic back to both platforms respectively. In-store marketing with promotional hashtags and online discounts will send people to the website to find out more and, likewise, online advertisements on the website and internet will send people to the nearest store to, again, find out more.

Therefore, having both means more business and happier customers.

Following digital footsteps

Some top online businesses that have made the integration into the physical-store world prove to be more motivation and inspiration for other online businesses.

Amazon surprised everyone by building a physical AmazonFresh Pickup and Bookstores. Their motivation was to give customers a drive-in pick up point after placing orders online as a seamless transaction. Other huge brands bridging the gap and creating new channels to conduct their business, are Disney and Under Armour.  

This integrative mission is all about the future of businesses efficiently satisfying the customer experience. Whether it’s a copy and paste effort of translating an online store to a physical building, creating a physical pick-up point from online transactions, or an effort to give consumers the option to browse and conduct business from the comfort of their own homes, there are, undoubtedly, reasons to make use of this omnichannel business experience.