If you are searching for a great way to have a successful income and you like the thought of doing it from the comfort of your own home then a home-based business could indeed be right for you. Many people think of home-based businesses as being easier than an outside of the home business, but the truth is this is not so. Home-based businesses bring their own type of stress and challenges.The only way to know if home – based businesses going to be right for you and your lifestyle, is to weigh the pros and cons that it brings. Every year more and more home-based businesses startup. There are over 15 million people the describe themselves as being self-employed, meaning that they basically own their own business. The good news is that working from home with your own home base business is now accepted as a viable and lucrative alternative to working outside the home for someone else.Thanks to the constant changes and improvements in technology, working from home has become easier and easier. Basically, people from all over the world can network, and this makes a home-based business even more of a lucrative possibility. Of course you have to be technology minded in order to succeed in a home-based business. You need to at least have the basics down. You also need equipment, which would be a computer, a high-speed Internet connection, and the phone. Depending on the work at home business that you have, will depend on how technologically advanced you need to be.Some of the immediate advantages of having your own business are the freedom that you will have. Plus, you have the ability to make your own decisions and not have to rely on a boss that tells you what to do. You can set your own hours, you work when and how long you want. You get to choose the people that you work with, or in this case, don’t work with. Many people find that having a home-based business allows them to fulfil their potential. If you don’t feel that you are able to achieve everything that’s possible for you in an outside the house job then owning your own business lets you aim as high as you want. You are in charge of your own life.The disadvantages of having a home-based business must be realized as well, because if you’re unprepared you could find that your business will fail. The first and the most obvious risk is going to be financial uncertainty. If for some reason the worst happens and you either don’t find clients, or find clients that don’t pay you, you need to determine if you can afford to lose the capital that you have invested in the business, or that you need to live. Having your own business generally will mean the you wont have benefits. If you’re going to have benefits than you have to determine if you can afford that.Running your own business takes a lot of time and energy and some people get burned out. Work at home business owners are particularly susceptible to this because they generally handle all aspects of the business. The fact that you are home alone and working by yourself most of the time can be a negative aspect for some people. Some cannot handle the isolation factor. Another con to home-based businesses is an unsupportive family. If you cannot make your family understand that you actually are working, or if you work so much that you never spend time with your family this can cause many difficulties.
Many new managers know about delegation based on how they were (or were not) delegated to before becoming a manager. This is not always a positive or productive experience and when it gets translated and implemented into the new managers skill set the same old issues and problems managers have with delegating just continue to live on.Delegation is not a dirty word. Delegation does not mean giving away power; it empowers others, can help managers complete work, it helps succession planning… consider delegation as a friend or valuable tool.Some managers are often threatened by the idea of delegating; thinking that if they give more work to others then the manager will be seen as having nothing to do. Freeing up time could result in more time for completing other work, more time to ensure the team are engaged, more time to plan ahead rather than just catching up, to be more productive.Another common reason for not delegating is that it will result in others surpassing the manager who did the delegating. “If I give them tasks and challenging work, then they’ll be better than me and get promoted past me.” Well, maybe, but the most likely outcome is that the manager will also be promoted and the successful employee will step into the manager’s role, succession planning in action.Delegation RoadblocksWhen we understand why a manager won’t (or feels they cannot) delegate we can then get to the heart of an issue and address what could be some very real issues that affect productivity, motivation, morale.Here’s quite a lengthy list of reasons why don’t managers delegate:
Fear that someone might be able to do the task better.
Jealously of others who are capable.
Fear of becoming redundant if they delegate (or teach) someone aspects of their job.
Concern that they will have nothing to do it they give the task away.
Arrogance (maybe) or the belief they can do the job better.
Fear and/or unwilling to give over some authority.
Don’t know what to delegate.
Don’t know how to delegate.
Do not trust the team.
Fail to see, or acknowledge, that delegating is a dynamic and cost-effective tool for employee development.
Concern that if the task or job is not done well, they will be to blame.
Unsure who gets the praise if the task is done well.
Entrenched in the idea that “if you want something done, do it yourself”.
The tasks are enjoyable so they are not shared or delegated to others.
This list has been devised from years of training supervisors and managers and getting to the heart of why they do not delegate. When managers do identify their own roadblocks to delegating, the opportunity to explore strategies and options to move forward and be successful at delegating are far more accessible.When (& When Not) to Delegate Let’s start with, when a manager should not delegate:
When an employee is new, unskilled and still getting a feel for the current role.
When an employee is reluctant to participate in their own planning and productivity in their work area.
When an employee is reluctant to take responsibility for their own planning and productivity.
When an employee clearly is not comfortable or confident in a particular task.
Case Study:Many years ago, an administration officer I was responsible for supervising made it very clear that she did not want any more responsibility or tasks; she was not seeking to climb any career ladders, nor develop any new skills. She was more than content to just come to work, do her work, engage with her work mates; she had a life beyond work and she was happy with the balance! She was absolutely brilliant at her job and got on well with everyone. She was just not interested in taking on more than she needed to. The lesson: Sometimes we gotta leave things alone!So, when could a manager consider delegating:
When there is not enough time PLUS someone else has the time (got to have both here).
When delegating will provide an opportunity for someone in the team to stand out.
When there is a clear chance to provide training and development for a team member.
When someone has the skills already and can easily do the task.
To show confidence in the team.
To lift the motivation of team members.
Advantages and Benefits of DelegationThe advantages of delegating are found at many levels: the organisation; the team; and for the individual manager!The advantages of delegation for the organisation include helping:
the organisation increase and improve their reputation as an employer of choice.
ensure continuity through smoother succession planning.
Delegation advantages for the team members include:
Skills development and enhancement
Increased loyalty as there are career growth opportunities
Decreased delays for those waiting on you, the manager, to make decisions or take actions
Increased and improved motivation and job satisfaction
Advantages of delegation for the manager include:
Increased available time for more strategic thinking and development opportunities for the manager, the team and the organisation
More, of what the manager is responsible for, can be achieved
In the manager’s absence, the work will still be done
The manager’s reputation will improve as being a trusting manager and someone who invests in the development of the team
The manager’s own career progression will be enhanced
Knowing what is involved in delegating and identifying roadblocks and barriers to delegating and overcoming them are keys to management success. As the skills and confidence of the manager improve knowing when and when not to delegate becomes easier. Delegating, when done well, results in the manager having a stronger sense of security: the team are engaged, enthusiastic and they see the manager as supportive and giving of opportunities.
In order to find the best digital marketing agency, first, we need to understand “what is digital marketing”, “will digital marketing benefit your business” and answer the question “how do I get more leads for my business?” – which should be the purpose of any marketing.What is a Digital Marketing Agency?
The dictionary definition of Digital marketing is the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium. So simple to summarise in one sentence, yet it can be a complicated process to get right and to ensure that all of your digital marketing is working together, not as silo activities. This is where the expertise and experience of the best digital marketing agencies can be hugely beneficial.Traditional advertising, newspapers and paper directories, such as Yellow Pages, are increasingly less effective for businesses. Whilst a few years ago people would go to a computer to search for a product or service, nowadays people are connected to the internet all day, every day and “live online”. Looking for information, a product or service is as quick and simple as searching on a laptop or computer at work or picking up their mobile telephone or tablet. Digital marketing focuses on getting your information, products and services in front of people when they are looking online. The best digital agencies understand the buying process of your products and services and ensure that your information is prominent to the potential customer at the appropriate time. In the digital marketing world, the various stages of the buying process i.e. research, consideration and purchase are called “micro-moments” and the very best digital marketing agency will present the relevant information, service or product at the targeted time in the buying process.Whilst some digital marketing agencies will also create and manage traditional advertising or business marketing, such as newspaper advertising, specialist digital marketing agencies will concentrate on online marketing as opposed to “marketing companies” who commonly concentrate on TV, radio and print marketing.Regardless if your business is business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C), digital marketing can be a fast, often instant, and reliable way of getting leads into your business and driving up revenue. The very best digital marketing agencies will manage all of the digital advertising based on return on investment (ROI) ensuring the leads generated are at a cost that makes business sense and increases profit levels. Digital marketing will benefit your business and answers the question “how do I get more leads for my business”?Digital marketing, sometimes referred to as website marketing, can be broken down into a number of important features and services:SEO Services
Search engine optimisation, most commonly abbreviated to “SEO”, is the process of getting your website found on search engines like Google when people make a search relevant to your business, services or products.Regardless if your website is e-Commerce or selling services it will drive leads and sales into your business if it is found for the search terms people use (often referred to as “keywords”) to look for them in Google.SEO requires experience and understanding of how Google reads your website. What messages and information you want Google to read for a webpage or website and knowing where to place that information so search engines can find it. A good SEO company will have a proven track record of ranking websites high in the search results.SEO works best when the proven methods of obtaining rankings are applied in conjunction with latest trends that are driving traffic. An example of this is the “near me” phenomenon, which has seen a 150% growth in the last 12 months, where mobile phone users are adding “near me” to their search query i.e. “SEO Company near me”. These customers are looking to buy and buy from a local service or product supplier.Although SEO can be a stand-alone service, it is most effective when combined with PPC, social media and reputation marketing. SEO is also the cornerstone of effective PPC, social media and reputation management campaigns.Pay Per Click
Pay Per Click (PPC) often referred to as “Google Advertising” or “online advertising” is where you position adverts at the top of the search results for specific search terms. These search terms can be the words people use when in the “research” phase of making a purchase or targeted at the “buying keywords” when potential customers are looking to buy.Although your advert, depending on your budget, can be shown every time a search is made, you only pay when an internet user clicks on your advert and is taken to your website or calls you direct from the search results page meaning you only pay when you get a click from a potential customer hence the name for this form of marketing of Pay Per Click (often abbreviated to PPC).How much you pay for each click is determined by a few factors. The “cost per click” (abbreviated to CPC) is determined by the quality and relevancy of the advert to the search term being used and the relevancy of the page on your website that the potential customer land on. These factors contribute to your overall “quality score”. The higher your quality score, the less you pay per click and less you pay per lead into your business.In the UK, Google has the vast majority of search traffic and most of your budget should be placed their, however, you will not want to miss the smaller, yet still considerable potential for customers from search engines like Microsoft’s Bing platform, and a small part of the budget should be allocated to other search engines. Also, the very best PPC management companies will also discuss spreading your PPC budget over a number of campaigns aimed at different parts of the customer journey. A small part of the budget should be allocated to the research stage of the buying process when people are using broad search terms to find information, a small part of the budget when people are searching for yours, your competitors or market leaders company name. The majority of the budget when potential customers are using search terms directly related to making a purchase and lastly, a small part of the budget to re-market (show your advertising to people who have shown an interest in your services or products by visiting your website) to capture and drive up conversions from the customers previously advertised too.The best PPC Agency will be a Google Premier Partner. A Google Premier Partner status indicates that the company has a proven track record in delivering high-quality campaigns, which generate good competitive/low CPC’s and deliver high and positive ROI’s. The very best PPC agency will have a robust PPC management process in place to quickly react and capitalise on changes in the PPC campaigns of your competitors.Unlike SEO, that can take some time to be fully effective, Pay Per Click is instant in the fact that as soon as your campaigns are live they can be generating leads for your business.PPC is highly effective when carried out in unison with SEO. A well-optimised website will improve the quality score of your Google advertising campaigns resulting in a reduced “cost per click” meaning you get more leads for your budget.Social Media Marketing
Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are now legitimate places for a business to attract leads. Facebook has over 38 MILLION active and regular users in the UK and the number is anticipated to rise to over 42 MILLION by 2020. Regardless if your business sells to consumers or other businesses, your potential customers are on Facebook and using it often.Facebook is excellent at raising awareness during the customers “research” stage, reminding them of your services or products during the “consideration” stage and putting your specific products in front of potential customers at the “buying” stage. With such a large audience and the flexibility to target customers throughout the buying process, Facebook can be a good avenue to generate leads and sales and to deliver a great return on investment.A good digital marketing agency will have a proven track record in delivering highly effective Facebook advertising campaigns. The very best digital marketing agencies will be able to demonstrate the conversion rate and cost per lead of your social media marketing.Again, social media marketing and specifically Facebook marketing can be carried out as a stand-alone activity however it works so much better when combined with SEO and/or PPC. When a potential customer visits your website their computer is marked as having visited. This then allows you to target the user of that computer, who has shown an interest in your products or services.Reputation Management
When considering making a purchase, a potential customer will scour the internet to find feedback and reviews from previous customers. Your online marketing and sales can live or die by the reviews for your business, services or products. Ensuring that positive reviews are easy to find and that any negative feedback is managed well, can be a huge benefit to your conversion rate.Digital marketing companies call this “reputation management” or “online reputation management” however, in reality, it is creating systems to generate customer reviews and customer feedback ensuing positive customer satisfaction is captured and easy to find for potential customers.Many businesses are concerned with allowing the public the ability to openly provide feedback. You cannot please all of the people all of the time, and companies worry that a bad review will have a negative impact on their business. Firstly, if someone is determined to leave a bad review for your business they will find a platform to do so and there are 1000′s of platforms to choose from. It is better to have control of where customers are encouraged to leave a review. Secondly, a poor or bad review, if managed well, can be a positive for your business. Engaging with a bad review highlights that you care about feedback and subsequently, you care about your customers. One well managed bad review can be as good for your business ten good reviews.A good digital marketing company will use one of the handful of recognised review platform and provide the tools and means of allowing you to capture, manage and respond to customer reviews.