Why Train Travel is Best for Getting to Work

People that commute to work are always looking for the best ways to get there. This could be bus, plane, car or cycling but we’re here today to tell you why the train is the best mode of transport for your commute to work.

In the year ending June 2022, there were 1.1 billion train journeys made by Brits which highlights just how popular the railway is. But why is it so popular and why should you use it for your commute to work? Keep reading to find out more.

Why is train travel so good?

There are plenty of reasons why the train is the second most popular mode of commuting to work. This includes:

Save money

The main benefit of business train travel is that it’s sometimes more cost-effective than travelling by aeroplane and car. This is especially important given the economic turmoil that the UK is currently facing with people looking for the cheapest ways to do everything in their lives.

Making great savings when booking train tickets online is usually easy too. Simply find a service that fits your plans and book in advance for more preferential rates. You can even pick up a Railcard which can save you 1/3 on most rail fares.

You can be more productive

Now, we’re not telling you to do extra work during your commute but if you’re behind on deadlines then the train is a great place to get your laptop up to make up time and wow your bosses. Plus, you can take advantage of the free Wi-Fi too! Being productive isn’t just about work though. You may be able to read a book or listen to a podcast that you haven’t had time to do.

Environmentally friendly

Train travel is more eco-friendly than flying and in some cases, driving. This means your commute will be greener which is very important given the effects that global warming is having on the environment.

Go directly to your destination

If you’re travelling overseas for your work then you’ll most often find train stations located right in the centre of the city you’re supposed to be in. Airports on the other hand usually require a transfer when you land to get you to the city centre. This could bring about additional costs.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons for choosing the train to get you to work.

Lower-stress travel experience

A lot of people find train travel a more stress-free travel experience than others forms of travelling. As with train travel you will be able to purchase tickets and access the train without going through any long or complex security/ check in processes like you would with flying. Once on board you can just sit back and enjoy your journey without the worry of having to drive. Offering a variety of different options for business travel as part of your company’s program demonstrates a commitment to accessibility for everyone.


How to Ensure the Safety of Goods in Transit

If your clients rely on your business to transport their products and goods around the country or ship internationally, it’s important to get them to their destination with great care.

Failure to do so can result in a negative impact on your company’s reputation and potentially leave you out of pocket in extreme circumstances.

There are many factors involved in keeping goods intact while in transit, which we’ve explored below.

Packing goods securely

Items should be packed in the appropriate boxes, containers or pallets. This will help reduce movement while on the road, minimising any risk of spillages, leaks or other damage.

Ensure loads are secure and weight is distributed evenly across the vehicle to prevent the possibility of handling issues that could arise from a wayward payload.

Use Coloured Security Wraps

It’s not uncommon to hear about stolen packages or boxes being opened at drop off points. If the items are of sufficient value like jewellery or technology gadgets, you can help keep them concealed by placing them in coloured security wrappers. This will prevent those interested in stealing from wasting their time opening a package if the contents are unknown to them.

Have insurance

When shipping goods, there’s always the risk of items either getting lost or damaged. Taking out the correct transport insurance may provide you with a layer of protection should things go
wrong.

Despite the transportation of goods not being inherently dangerous, you never know what could happen to them while on the road.

Vehicles could be involved in an accident, subject to criminal damage, or have items stolen, so being prepared for those eventualities is important.

Staff training

Training is essential for all members of staff to understand the nature of their work and how to complete jobs in the most effective andefficient way possible.

Make sure that all drivers and staff, including dispatchers and handlers, are properly trained and know how to protect goods. It’s incredibly important to maintain a skilled workforce that is capable of
responding appropriately to any issues that arise.

Ensuring you have dedicated employee training programmes can increase productivity and help your business become more competitive. Highly trained staff will get the job done well and boost brand reliability.

Ensure a safe driving route

Route planning can help you ensure your route is cost-effective, time-conscious and safe for your driver and the goods.

Smooth journeys will reduce the risk of any damage to the products, so try to stay away from any unsuitable roads. Driving on concrete, narrow lanes or poor-quality surfaces can make for a more stressful and dangerous driving experience overall.

Ensuring modernised roads that have clear markings take preference provides HGV drivers with a more straightforward experience, reducing the risk of road accidents.

How to Prepare Your Business Continuity Plan For Winter Weather 

Business Continuity

Winter weather has the potential to play havoc with business. With extremely cold temperatures and strong winds, the elements can cut off heat, power and communication to premises — as well as making it more difficult to receive aid, thanks to blocked or icy roads.

From large organisations to SMEs, all businesses risk the consequences of winter’s bite, which is why it’s critical to have a business continuity plan in place to combat the winter weather. From your equipment to your staff, we’ve listed all the ways extreme winter weather can affect your business, and what you can do to always be prepared for the worst.

 

How can winter weather affect your business?

Communications

When winter weather strikes, it’s important that everyone in your organisation can be contacted quickly with an update. Unfortunately, weather disruptions can happen at any time, meaning that out-of-hours issues can be difficult to relay if you’re not prepared.

Emergency alerts enable you to reach key individuals in your organisation at any moment, as well as any employees you need to. Businesses that rely simply on emails and call trees will not be able to establish clear lines of communication when working with larger teams.

 

Supply chains

Whether you operate within a large organisation or an SME, businesses will always need to deal with a range of different suppliers across the company. The more suppliers a business relies on, the more difficult it can be to track their activity and limit supplier risk.

If you have poor visibility of the risk areas of your suppliers and their potential impact in a winter weather emergency, the number of threats can grow significantly; from decreased revenue and inflated costs, to risks to credibility in the eyes of investors and key stakeholders.

 

Shipping

As travel is one of the major elements of winter weather disruption, businesses that rely heavily on shipping are always at risk. Companies with a national network of customers will suffer if their distribution centres are hit with a storm.

Having a continuity plan in place to provide alternate shipping methods in winter can help protect against losses, as shipping disruptions lead to severe supply chain and revenue implications if road vehicles are unable to deliver goods on time.

 

Facility damages

If your base of operations is in the eye of the storm, extreme weather can cause severe damages to work facilities and other physical assets. From costly machinery to the premises itself, any damage caused will not be cheap to replace.

Not only that, but it can even cause harm to your employees if the weather conditions happen to cause damage while your employees are working. Efforts to identify potential issues like structural weaknesses or loose roof tiles must be made in advance to minimise the threat of workplace accidents or injuries.

 

Staff shortages

It’s not just your technical and logistical issues that can be caused by winter weather; it can also lead to problems for your staff.

Severe winter weather can lead to serious travel disruptions, as snow, ice and flooding can cause public transport cancellations and road closures. If your business is not equipped for staff to work from home, they will need to find alternative means of making it to the workplace — if it’s still even possible.

Not only does winter weather have the potential to make travel difficult for your employees, but also for the people your employees rely on. School closures and issues reaching regular childminders is another result of unforeseen winter weather, leaving parents without the childcare they need to travel to work.

 

What can you do to prepare?

 

Have a winter weather emergency plan

Extreme weather conditions can be severe and come without warning. To ensure that you and your team are prepared, a business continuity plan to respond to weather-related emergencies is a must. This will allow you to assign and document key roles and responsibilities, allow you to be able to clearly define who is responsible for taking action.

A successful winter weather emergency plan should provide your staff with the tools they need for a rapid and effective response. Your plan should:

  • Establish reliable communication systems
  • Set protocols detailing when the business should close
  • Coordinate whether employees should continue to work and how they should do it
  • Plan for snow removal from your premises
  • Ensure that your business is equipped with essential equipment such as backup generators and fuel

As well as creating your own winter emergency plan, it’s also wise to liaise with your suppliers to check that they have their own systems in place to tackle extreme weather. If they don’t, question why not — if you’re prepared for sudden winter weather but your suppliers aren’t, it’s your reputation and operations that are going to suffer the consequences.

 

Communicate clearly

Communication is key to ensuring that your workforce is kept up to date with the latest information and to prevent miscommunication that could result in an employee unintentionally putting themself in harm’s way. Establishing a dedicated channel of communication, such as an emergency messaging tool, will help to eliminate confusion within the team and will reduce the time it takes to update key stakeholders.

It’s important to remember, however, that communication requires feedback to be optimal. Providing a messaging system with two-way messaging functionality provides precise updates that could help identify individuals who are not currently safe.

If the winter weather means you have to close your premises, it’s vital that you ensure your staff make it home safely. Homesafe is a software solution that allows you to act quickly in emergency situations to provide transport solutions. This secure platform sends emergency alerts and automatically connects you to trained professionals who will organise safe transportation with vetted drivers. You can even monitor each journey for added peace of mind that your employees reach their destination safely.

 

Run tests

In order to protect your business from the effects of winter weather, you need to know if you’re in a position that can handle the consequences. A way in which organisations can do this is to run tests to see how they would cope in real-world situations.

Good business continuity management involves regularly implementing such tests to allow you to revise and refine your winter weather emergency plans before any weaknesses are exploited by a real disruption. When testing, you should be looking at methods such as:

 

Testing remote working facilities — In severe weather conditions, your employees may not be able to make it to work at all. While it may be possible to work remotely, it’s crucial that your staff are prepared with the appropriate hardware and can access business software and drives from home.

 

Data backup test — A backup and recovery test assesses the effectiveness of an organization’s software and methods of replicating data. This will give you an insight into how prepared your business is for retrieving crucial data in emergency situations.

 

Call cascade — Setting up a call cascade will allow you to transfer calls from a work extension to an external phone like a mobile. This means that critical employees can always be contacted in emergency situations. Ensuring this system is fully functioning ahead of time will prevent communication breakdowns in the future.

 

Tabletop exercise — Also known as a desktop exercise, this involves gathering key personnel involved in your business continuity to discuss simulated emergency situations. This helps gauge your business’ preparedness as well as how knowledgeable your staff are on what actions to take.

 

Full emergency scenario — Live exercises allow your employees to perform a rehearsal of an emergency situation and the steps your business would take. Such exercises are particularly useful for testing communications, logistics and physical capabilities.

 

Coping with utility disruption exercise — Identify which utilities are absolutely necessary to keep your business running and how winter weather may impact their availability. Contact your utility provider to discuss potential backup solutions to provide essential power in emergencies.

 

Stay one step ahead with CMAC

As extreme weather conditions can strike at any time, it’s vital that your business is prepared for the worst in order to keep operating smoothly. Thankfully, with our industry-leading business continuity services, CMAC can help lighten the load. Our experts provide everything from crisis recovery plans to accommodation solutions to make sure your people get to where they need to be.

Keep Business Operations Secure With These 5 Strategies

The consequences of not keeping business operations secure can be devastating. A breach can result in data loss, financial losses, reputational damage, and the time and cost associated with an investigation. For instance, employees might accidentally overwrite valuable data, or viruses might infect your computer system, which might cause data loss.

Cybersecurity practices are vital because they help you keep your data safe from hackers and malware. Aside from that, they can prevent legal liability in case an intruder steals your data. So, you’ll be able to protect your organization from the reputational damage that might reduce the trust of your customers and stakeholders.

There are five ways to keep your business operations secure, including:

1. Installing Security Systems

Security measures help prevent and detect unauthorized access, theft, and destruction of property. They also help prevent damage from natural disasters and enable you to protect your employees and commercial spaces from accidents. Rather than paying for costly damages from claims, you can save costs on expanding your business and improving your operations.

When integrating security systems with services from reputable service providers such as https://www.logixxsecurity.com/security-company-calgary, expect to install high-resolution and wide-angled surveillance cameras around the building and parking lot of your business establishment. It can help secure your business perimeter from unwanted and unauthorized activities.

2. Organising A Digital Risk Assessment

A digital risk assessment (DRA) helps identify weaknesses in your systems that hackers could exploit. As you run a DRA with the help of IT consulting services in Vancouver, you must identify all of the assets critical to your business operations or data. These resources may include physical assets such as buildings and vehicles and any digital assets like servers or databases containing essential information. After that, determine potential threats to each asset that could cause harm if they successfully compromise it. Once you do so, you can prevent injury while keeping individuals accountable for their damage.

3. Implementing A Strong Password Policy

Passwords are the first defence against hackers who want access to your business’s data and networks. That said, you should implement a firm password policy for both employees and customers. Passwords should be complex, with at least eight characters, one upper-case letter, a lower-case letter, a number, and a unique personality. Aside from that, the codes must never contain personally identifiable information like birth dates or social security numbers. After that, you must advise them to change their passwords every after ninety days or more often if there’s a change in job responsibilities to avoid data loss.

4. Providing Cybersecurity Training

Cybersecurity awareness training is one of the most important ways to keep cybercriminals at bay. If a company has a robust cybersecurity program, employees will be better prepared to recognize and respond to threats. The more time they spend on training, the better they’ll be able to prevent breaches from happening in the first place. In addition, employees trained in spotting suspicious activity can alert management before any damage is done.

Cybersecurity training is essential for everyone in your organization, from executives to IT professionals and support staff. That said, you must gather all company employees so they all know what they need to do to keep your network safe. Training must also include information about the latest threats and trends and general best practices for preventing breaches.

5. Enabling Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a security system that requires users to provide two or more pieces of evidence to verify their identity and gain access to an account or system. You can adopt this process through something simple like a password or PIN. Alternatively, this system could include a physical token or biometric measure such as facial recognition or fingerprint scanning to enable advanced verification processes.

The most common form of MFA is SMS-based two-step verification (2SV). In this case, users receive a text message containing a randomly generated code they must enter whenever they log into an application or service on their device. The code changes every thirty seconds or so, which makes it more difficult for a hacker without physical access to the user’s phone to gain access to the system.

Key Takeaway

Business operations keep your organization running, so you should provide adequate security measures. Therefore, you must consider these five tactics to protect your processes by preventing intruders from accessing your data and commercial space. As a result, you’ll be able to create a secure work environment for your employees that will enable them to focus on their tasks.

7 Benefits Of Flexible Office Spaces

Flexible office spaces might be a good starting point if you want to restructure business operations and increase productivity. They offer workspaces that are outside of your traditional office setting.

Flexible office spaces have become the new norm in most companies that have adjusted to the COVID-19 restrictions. People had to look for alternative ways to continue performing tasks in a safe and secure environment.

As a solution, businesses opted to inject flexibility into their operations and organizations by allowing their staff to work from home or look for serviced office spaces, such as workspace 365. Such moves have significantly changed workforce engagement and saved companies from factoring in office set-up costs into their budgets.

Here are seven benefits of flexible office space.

1. Networking Opportunities

Traditional office spaces are private, and they limit you from interacting with other like-minded people or business prospects. Flexible workspaces break down barriers that can impede your growth individually and business-wise.

You have opportunities to interact with freelancers, and large and small business owners, among other professionals who share the same serviced office spaces. It offers a platform to propel your business forward and increase your output.

2. Flexible Terms Of Engagement

Flexible office spaces can control all the contracts you might think of concerning traditional offices. You can expand or downsize your operations by looking at your business performance.

Also, it allows you to adjust your budgets to stay afloat during tough economic times. For instance, your business can reach a plateau, and it becomes hard to sustain a large workforce. Having a flexible contract with your staff will help you to adjust to the economic downturn.

3. Access To Contemporary Office Equipment

Office equipment in a traditional workspace can take time to procure, service, and upgrade to the latest version. It interferes with the workflow in business operations and productivity in your organization.  

Flexible workspaces must ensure that clients enjoy using modern office equipment anytime. You can ask for assistance to connect, make presentations, or seamlessly complete your work. In addition, the serviced office spaces have a functional system to support clients using the equipment.

4. Low Office Overheads

Setting up a traditional office is capital-intensive and may require a large budget to support your idea. You must factor in the cost of office furniture, space, and utilities, among other crucial components of an office. Such considerations might discourage a startup business or add costs to established organizations.

Flexible office spaces carry heavier financial implications to give users ample time at work. You’ll not worry about paying utility bills and other overheads that comprise office operating expenses.

5. Staff Comfort

Micromanaging your workforce is tough and can frustrate your organizational goals. Traditional office spaces are rigid and can contribute to dissatisfaction at work, which can impede creativity among your staff. Your staff needs that independence and enjoys working for you and your business.

Flexible workspaces encourage your staff to interact or consult widely with experienced professionals. They can devise ways to perform challenging tasks and deliver incredible results. In addition, you or your team can take breaks and indulge in relaxing activities, such as yoga, to calm them and think through task performance. It contributes to job satisfaction and productivity.

6. Revenue Retention

Flexible office space is a rearrangement of your office setup. It’s a cost-cutting approach for businesses that want to retain revenue gains. So, companies spend less on the allocated working space and can schedule appropriate dates to work.

Moreover, the charges are reasonably low compared to traditional office space that requires rent whether you’re working or not. Flexible office spaces also enable you to capitalize on the low fees charged for the amenities you use while at work.

7. Membership Packages

If your working budget is tight, you don’t need to worry about dealing with rent arrears. Flexible office spaces have membership packages that fit your working style and finances. You can opt for a premium membership if you project high business activity monthly. Alternatively, you can downsize to a lower package to suit your job for a given period. It brings flexibility in any profession or industry you might be in.

Final Thoughts

Flexible office space is part of the revolution in most sectors of the economy. Businesses have adjusted to the restrictions of COVID-19 and are looking for new ways to maintain productivity while cutting the cost of operation. Remote working seems to become a permanent solution in most organizations worldwide. The benefits of such a move range from low-budget workforce independence and satisfaction, among others. So, you must consider your office space requirements and compare them with what services you’re looking for in a shared space.

5 Customer Segmentation Analysis Methods For Business Growth

Customer Segmentation

Tanhaz Kamaly – Partnership Executive, UK, Dialpad UK

Customer segmentation is a potent tool in the modern business toolbox. It helps us clarify the makeup of our customer base, and improve multiple areas of our business activity. 

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, there’s never a bad time to explore it. Read on for a breakdown of customer segmentation and how to use it to improve your business operation.

 

1. Understand customer segmentation

The first step here is to understand the groups customers can be placed into. There are many different options to choose from, although some may be more useful than others:

  • Demographic (e.g. their age, gender, income or education).
  • Geographic (e.g. their country, region or city).
  • Psychographic (e.g. their interests and values).
  • Technographic (e.g. the hardware and software customers use).
  • Behavioral (e.g. their habits and favorite products).
  • Needs-based (e.g. what different groups need from your product).
  • Value-based (e.g. how much value different groups bring).

 

In a way, customer segmentation overlaps with general inventory management techniques. Both help you to better organise an important resource for your business.

Naturally, though, this isn’t isn’t the only way you can segment customers. You can take a more granular approach to segmentation, looking at things like cart abandonment, inactive customers or even coupon usage. You can even segment customers based on how long they spend on a particular product page.

If this seems overwhelming, remember that customers are ultimately segmented based on two factors. With the help of a CX action management system, we group them based on needs (which, hopefully, a single product can satisfy) and buying characteristics (which shapes their response to different marketing messages and sales channels).

Therefore, customer segmentation helps us home in on the most effective marketing messages—and identify new business opportunities. Other benefits of customer segmentation include identifying the best communication channels (i.e. the ones your customers actually use) and using a web analytics tool to understand where you need an online presence. Customer segmentation can even bolster your customer service, as it can help you understand the unique challenges of your target audience.

 

2. Determine your goal

With this in mind, we can start identifying the groups of people we want to market to. Doing this properly is a multi-step process, but it should have a significant impact on your business’ prosperity. Don’t worry too much about policy vs procedure; just have a clear set of steps you can follow. 

Start by identifying the business goal that customer segmentation will help you to meet. You may want to more easily identify the best sales prospects, for example, or better manage your targeted communications. Having a strong idea of who you’re dealing with can make this task easier. 

You’ll probably need to speak with your business’ various departments—particularly your management, marketing, sales and customer support teams, as these will be directly impacted by your customer segmentation efforts. 

Consider the scope of your analysis as well. How many customer accounts and segments are you going to analyse? How much time or resources will you commit? PBX phone systems for small business can help you to communicate with colleagues on topics like this. 

 

3. Build your segments

With this in mind, you can start gathering and organising the necessary data. You can use a customer relationship management or billing database to identify who your customers are and where they’re coming from. It’s also worth conducting market research to get a broader sense of the segments in your particular market. 

It’s possible you’ve already been segmenting your customers already. It’s a crucial component of email marketing, so you can use this as a springboard for broader customer segmentation projects.

When forming segments, consider how granular you want to make them; you may want to disregard minor age differences, for instance. Focus on making a segment easy to use; each one should clearly connect to something you sell. 

You should also think about your marketing channels. For example, if you have a segment whose customers use many different marketing channels, selling to them may be impractical.

It’s important to consider outliers in your customer list as well. This refers to customers with highly unusual characteristics, who risk skewing your data if included in your analysis. You may want to exclude newer customers, as you probably won’t have any useful data on their characteristics.

 

4. Define a ‘good’ customer

As you gather and organise customer data, you’ll be able to get a clearer idea of who you ought to sell to. The most obvious measure of value is how much profit a customer will generate for you. Of course, since we can’t predict the future, we have to make some educated guesses on how specific customers will interact with us going forward.

The average profit generated from a segment can be a useful piece of information. However, depending on your business type, you may have to weigh that against the costs a segment generates. For example, if you offer software as a service a customer will generate both profit and costs (in the latter case via hosting, bandwidth or even customer service). 

By considering all the relevant factors in how a customer interacts with you, you’ll be able to make more informed choices on your marketing activity.

 

5. Analyse your segments

Once you’ve established your customer segments, you need to regularly check they’re where you should be focussing your efforts. Are your segments bringing in the revenue you need? Is the number of people in each segment growing, or falling? How do your customers feel about your marketing efforts?

Customer segmentation analysis may feel like a hassle at this point. But like other disruptive technologies, it will ultimately prove fruitful to your business in the long run.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to colleagues or customers for feedback on your customer segmentation, via surveys, live chat prompts or even giving them a call. Using a business caller ID may make this latter activity more successful. Be prepared to refine your segments to ensure they’re delivering results.

 

Wrapping up

Customer segmentation is a useful tool in today’s businesses, but it can be tricky to know where to start. It can help to understand how we segment customers, and the benefits of doing so.

With this in mind we can start connecting segmentation to our business goals, gathering customer data and connecting segments to our service offering. We can also consider customer costs and outliers to refine our analysis. At the end of this process, we have a much clearer sense of how we sell our products.

7 Principles of Business Localisation That Really Reaches Your Target Market

Business Target

By Emily Rollwitz – Content Marketing Executive, Global App Testing

Whether you’re an established company or a new small business, eventually you’ll want to expand into global markets. Localisation can help you reach customers in their native language. Research indicates as many as 90% of customers prefer to shop in their native language. 

For new ecommerce businesses, you should consider it from the get-go. 50% of all Google queries are in a language other than English. Many users won’t engage with your site if it’s only optimised for English speakers.   

 

What is Localisation?

You might think just translating your English content to another language will be enough. You can certainly provide a bit more accessibility to your content that way. Yet, if you want to give the same quality experience to your global customers, localisation is the better option.    

That’s because localisation takes the context of local culture and preferences into account. Rather than just translating the words directly, localisation adapts content to be more relevant to local sensibilities and habits. 

It doesn’t just stop with the words, either. When localising content, everything from the images and colours used to the tone of voice needs to be considered. Local currency, political and legal policy are also essential factors. 

Take a look at this PandaDoc PPC proposal example. Translating the language would be relatively simple. To localise it, you might need to change the pricing and currencies, the third-party platforms mentioned, and even the colour scheme and date format. 

 

Why is Localisation More Effective Than Translation for Marketing?

There are two main pillars that drive most of today’s marketing; personalisation and engagement. Simply translating content doesn’t facilitate either of these goals. 

Effective localisation involves the analysis of the local market and market research. When you have this information, creating engaging content for a new audience is much easier. 

 

Seven Key Considerations for Quality Localisation Strategy

The best advice we could give for localising your content is to think of it as a business strategy. You won’t achieve much if you focus on localising individual pieces of marketing content or web pages. Truly localising your content needs a business-wide approach, whether through social media or digital signage.    

These seven key principles will help you approach localisation with a coherent strategy. 

 

1. Identify & Target Diverse Markets

Seeking out new markets internationally can lead to significant revenue growth. If you’re based in the UK, it can seem sensible to focus on domestic and local European markets for easy logistics. Yet, Asia contains over half of the world’s internet users

Your ideal market could be halfway around the world, depending on your industry. Once you’ve identified your new target market, you need to analyze it. Researching buying habits and preferred communication channels will help you position your localised content.  

 

2. Understand Local Culture to Create Deeper Connections

The key to successful localisation is understanding the local culture. We often take cultural norms for granted. In the U.K, for example, we all recognise red as the colour of warning signs, stop signs, and so on. But in East Asian markets, red has more positive symbolic meanings.  

This kind of cultural understanding trips businesses up more often than simple translation blunders. Working with a localisation partner can help you integrate local cultural ideas into your marketing. 

 

3. Personalise for a Better Customer Experience

It doesn’t matter what market you’re in, today’s customer expects a personalised experience. When you’re building a localisation strategy it helps to keep this in mind. Building geolocation features into your apps will help you personalise content based on a user’s locale. 

Personalising your user experience doesn’t stop there. To fully engage with your global customers, all your after-sales support, marketing, and customer care must also be localised.  

 

4. Internal & External Applications

Localisation isn’t just important when dealing with new customers. There are also business relationships to consider. You may need to deal with local suppliers, business partners, local contractors, and more. 

Your localisation strategy should consider your internal materials too. This can be especially useful if you’re looking to launch an ecommerce app in an international market. Effective localisation will help you work with local software engineers on continuous delivery testing

 

5. Localise in All Departments

All of your customer interaction points will need to be considered in your localisation plan. Ideally, you want to give your international customers the same experience as your domestic audience.  

To do that effectively means not only making your sales and marketing locally relevant, but also your customer service, help center, account management, and shipping. 

 

6. Research Local Currency & Payment Preferences

Apart from the obvious need to translate prices to account for local currency and taxes, there are also payment methods to consider. Different regions have different preferences, in many places, digital and mobile wallets have overtaken debit and credit cards as the go-to method. 

If you want to get the most out of a new market, you need to approach customers where they want to be. That means facilitating their preferred payment channels too.

 

7. Create a Well-Defined Strategy Document

Your localisation strategy won’t mean much if you can’t communicate it across your business. Creating a strategy document can help you visualise your localisation plan and balance it against your existing content strategy and schedule. 

 

Final Thoughts: Localisation for a Global Audience 

Modernising your business is essential to compete in today’s e-commerce world. Localisation should be as big a part of your digital transformation strategy as test automation or cloud applications. 

A modern audience is a global audience. If you’re looking to continue growing your business, then international markets will play a part sooner or later. Consider localisation from the start to avoid costly reworks later down the line. 

How to Get Started With Dropshipping: A Beginner’s Guide

Setting up a business usually involves a lot of time and capital, but dropshipping is different. You need to spend barely any money to start a dropshipping business and you don’t have to invest a huge amount of time. So, it’s no wonder that it has become a popular eCommerce business model in recent years.

If you’re interested in starting a dropshipping business yourself, check out the following helpful beginner’s guide.

How does dropshipping work?

Basically, dropshipping works like this. You partner with a manufacturer or supplier and sell their products on their behalf.

When a customer places an order via your online store, the request is automatically forwarded to the supplier or manufacturer, who then sends the product out directly to the customer. The supplier or manufacturer makes a profit on each sale and you take a cut of the profit on each sale.

Seeing as dropshipping doesn’t require you to hold inventory, have a warehouse for inventory, have office space, have startup capital, or even have much of a commitment, it’s one of the easiest online business models to begin.

Having said that, the amount of time and money you put into your dropshipping business can determine how successful it is. While you can set up your business for little to no money and effort, the more money and time you spend on advertising your store and the products you have for sale, the more sales you should make.

Find the Right Products to Sell

The first step in setting up a dropshipping business is to identify the products you want to sell. Choosing the right product line can be the difference between success and failure.

You need to find profitable products that are in high demand if you want to sell a lot. You also need to avoid selling the exact same products that other dropshippers are selling.

So, to stand out in the marketplace, it’s a good idea to choose niche products to sell. While your overall customer base will be smaller, you will have a readymade target audience that is more likely to buy.

You should also consider options like selling seasonal products, such as Halloween costumes and Christmas decorations.

Set Up a Store

The second step is to set up an online store to sell your products. There are various online marketplaces where you can set up a store for little cost.

You also have the opportunity to set up your own website where customers can buy your products directly. If you want your dropshipping business to be successful, it’s best to use multiple sales channels.

Make Use of Dropshipping Automation Tools

While you don’t have to put as much time and effort into a dropshipping business as you would other types of businesses, there will still be some manual tasks to attend to.

However, you can avoid having to do those while also creating seamless workflows when you use automation tools for dropshipping.

There are lots of automated dropshipping tools available that can enable you to spend less time on manual tasks, make fewer mistakes, scale your business sustainably, enhance efficiency, and increase profitability.

So, make sure you make use of dropshipping automation tools.

Promote Your Business

The one thing that you’ll need to spend some time on yourself if you want your dropshipping business to be profitable and grow is marketing. You should begin by identifying your target audience. Armed with relevant data, you should then research which social media sites and other platforms your target audience spends time on.

You can then get onto the right platforms and post interesting and eye-catching content and ads to expand your customer reach and make your dropshipping business a success.

5 Things to Look for When Choosing a Moving Company

Moving is a massive task, so getting professionals to handle the heavy lifting is always a good idea. But with so many moving companies out there, you need to take the time to compare them before making a choice.

If you don’t know what makes a good moving company, the following factors should be on your checklist.

Do they offer packing services?

One of the biggest bugbears about moving is the process of packing up everything ahead of the big day. If you don’t want to do this yourself, look for a moving company that provides a packing service as part of the arrangement.

Not every firm will be able to do this, so if you can’t stand the thought of filling endless numbers of cardboard boxes and crates, finding one that will should be a priority.

Do they have insurance?

It should go without saying, but when valuable items are being shifted from A to B, often over long distances, you want to be confident that they’ll get there in one piece, and that there’s a plan in place for if anything goes wrong.

Breakages are fairly common, so rather than being left to foot the bill for repair or replacement, it’s sensible to ensure that the moving company is properly insured. That way, you won’t incur any additional costs even if disaster strikes during the move. You’ll also want their vehicles to be insured, and have cover for breakdowns.

Do they have a good reputation?

Reputation is less tangible than things like service fees and insurance coverage, but it’s just as crucial to deciding which moving company to hire for your job.

There are a few ways to go about this, and the obvious first port of call is the internet. An online search for prospective movers will throw up customer feedback and reviews so that you can get a good idea of how well respected they are.

You can also ask for a company to send out past customer testimonials for you to peruse. If they don’t have any to hand, be suspicious.

Do they offer pre-move surveys for accurate quoting?

This is not strictly essential, but it can be helpful if you want to ensure that any quote you’re given for your specific move is accurate.

A company that either sends an employee in person, or gets an overview of the scope of the move via video call, will be better equipped to know how much it will cost to complete.

This also feeds into transparency of moving fees. You need to know whether there’s a flat rate for the whole experience, or whether you’ll have to pay extra if things overrun. Having a delays policy is common, so be sure to read the small print.

Of course a truly reputable moving company will let you know about all of these elements upfront, rather than hiding them in the terms and conditions.

Do they accept several forms of payment?

Last but not least, check up on the ways you can pay a moving company prior to giving them the go-ahead to take your job.

This is important because any organization that only lets you pay in cash might not be the most reliable or above-board example of its industry. This is particularly problematic if they insist on payment being made upfront in cash, because you might not then have a record of this transaction to fall back on if they don’t turn up.

Being able to pay via card or check is a good sign, and all you really want to see is clarity and honesty at every step of the process.

8 Ways To Keep Your Business Goods Safe During Transit

The rise of e-commerce gave people many opportunities to explore the business world. Every day you see new products coming out gives more reasons for consumers to get excited about shopping online. And more so when shopping apps became very popular. You can buy almost anything and have them delivered to your doorstep in minutes, from food to toiletries, to books and even unusual stuff like a contact lens.

Even goods like frozen steaks from abroad and fresh flowers unavailable in your country can be delivered when you need them. So, you don’t have to worry if you have a special occasion like a wedding banquet when you need Wagyu steak and fresh tulips. But to ensure your guests’ safety, you must confirm from your supplier that frozen goods must be insulated to –26 C.  

If you’re a business owner, you need to fulfil your promise to customers that the goods they purchased will reach them in perfect condition. This way, you can guarantee they will always return to buy again. Nothing like a damaged product can make your customers lose trust in your business. To help you out, here are some ways you can keep your items safe during transit: 

1.Ensure Correct Holding Temperature

Frozen goods transported for shipping must follow the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) standard to avoid products being exposed to the TDZ or temperature danger zone. When foods get exposed to TDZ, bacteria may grow, and food can become unfit for consumption. It will result in food spoilage that can cause foodborne illnesses. And so, ensure to have safety measures and plan for risks, such as by holding the correct temperature for your products to prevent issues.

2.Use The Correct Size Of The Box

Using the correct box size is extremely important in packing goods. When a box is too big, there’s a tendency for the item inside to be shaken. And if the items are breakable, even if it’s wrapped in bubble wrap, you can be sure that they will break. 

The external circumstances surrounding your goods are something you can’t control. Once it leaves your premises, you can only hope that those in charge of them will take precautions and handle your products well.  

A few years back, horror stories of goods in boxes thrown haphazardly circulated online, much to the dismay of both buyers and sellers. At least when you choose the correct box and pack your products very well, even if it gets thrown repeatedly, the chances of the items inside breaking would be slim.  

3.Fill The Gaps

Even if you have chosen the correct box size, an irregularly shaped item will have gaps inside the box. To remedy this, you must fill the gaps with paper fillers or polystyrene filling chips. This way, you can be sure that the item inside will remain intact, even if shaken or thrown.

4.Use Bubble Wraps

Bubble wrap is the ultimate must-have of an efficient packer. Not only are they fun to pop, but they provide excellent security to your goods. The material will effectively protect your product against impacts. 

Another great thing with bubble wrap is that it’s very lightweight. It will not add to your goods’ net weight, affecting the shipping cost. It’s also very cheap to procure, making it very cost-effective. Lastly, they are available in various colours, including black, serving the dual purpose of insulating and concealing. This way, you don’t need to buy a different material for packaging.

So, take advantage of their use in your packing. 

5.Use Coloured Security Wraps

It’s not uncommon to hear awful news about stolen packages or boxes opened at drop-off points. If the items you’re packing are valuable, like gadgets or pieces of jewellery, conceal them from prying eyes by using coloured security wrappers. This way, organized syndicates operating in various places would be discouraged from spending time opening a package with content unknown to them. 

6.Insure Your Goods

Transporting goods, especially internationally, can be worrisome. More so if the goods are in considerable volume or high in value. It would be a great idea to insure the goods so that in case they suffer damage, the financial losses won’t be much of a burden.    

7.Label Them

There are a variety of labels required in shipping a product. This aspect is vital, so whoever picks up the goods will have sufficient knowledge and information on their proper handling. 

You can have labels for special instructions, to warn of danger in the product, to determine which is the right side up, and for perishables. Using the correct labels will ensure that your goods will be handled well and arrive to your clients in perfect condition. 

8.Use Quality Packaging

Many business owners think twice about spending a little bit on the packaging. They don’t realize that the packaging is the first thing their customers will touch and see before they can get hold of the product. So, presentation is crucial in this aspect.  

Even if you have a very expensive-looking item, but it’s packed in a terrible way, it can be a huge turn-off to your customers. Remember, recycling is great, but careful thought still needs to be applied in these instances.  

Conclusion

Every business owner’s goal is for their products to reach customers as they expect them. A business’s reputation relies on the quality of the products they ship to consumers. When this is not achieved, you can expect customers to turn their back on your brand. So, as a business owner, you have a responsibility to meet this demand from your loyal customers.  

5 Ways To Optimize Your Order Fulfilment Process

When it comes to eCommerce, customer satisfaction is everything. If your customers are happy with their purchases, they’ll be more likely to come back and buy from you again. But if they’re unhappy with their orders, they’ll take their business elsewhere. That’s why optimizing your order fulfilment process as much as possible is essential.

But how can you ensure that your eCommerce business optimizes its order fulfilment process? Here are some best practices you should know:

1. Conduct Regular Audits

Regular audits are critical if multiple warehouses or distribution points handle orders differently. You want to ensure that all locations use the same standards when taking customer orders so that there are no surprises when an item gets shipped out or returned to the warehouse for any reason.

Do to fulfillment audit during regular business hours so all employees can participate in the process and provide feedback about their experiences throughout the year. If you have an international team working from home offices, consider offering them compensation for attending these meetings through video conference software.

Also, you can ask employees to write down any problems they encounter while fulfilling orders during their shifts or after they leave work for the day. They’ll be able to provide you with a complete picture of what’s going on in your warehouse and how you can improve it.

2. Visualize Your Workflow

One of the most important things to do when optimizing your order fulfilment process is to visualize it. It’ll help you understand how the process works from beginning to end. You can then use this information to make changes and identify bottlenecks to streamline it.

Visualizing your workflow is easy but not always straightforward, especially if you have multiple warehouses or distribution centres across the country. Here are some tips for creating an effective visual representation of your order fulfilment process:

  • Use software explicitly designed for visualising workflows.
  • Create a map outlining each step in the process, including its name and description, who performs it, and where they perform it (if applicable).
  • Ensure all steps are accounted for—even ones that may seem minor or obvious.
  • Add a legend to your map and make it easy to read.
  • Include any critical data that may be relevant or necessary for understanding the process.
  • Use colours, shapes, or other visual cues to show how steps relate to or help each further progress through the workflow.


The more detail you include in this stage, the easier it’ll be for others involved with improving order fulfilment processes so they can get up to speed quickly and make changes accordingly.

3. Manage Your Inventory Carefully

Inventory management is a process that involves buying products when they’re less expensive and selling them later when they’re more valuable. It also refers to keeping records on all items in stock so that you know how much you have, where it is located, how long it has been there, and how much it costs.

Inventory control aims to reduce the cost of carrying inventory while ensuring that customers receive products promptly. Inventory control can be complex because it requires detailed record keeping and analysis of sales trends over time.

Effective inventory management is knowing how much stock you have on hand at any given time and accurately knowing how many products need to be reordered before they run out. To do this, you need good record keeping and data collection methods that allow you to track all your sales accurately.

4. Invest In Your Workforce

When looking for ways to optimize your order fulfilment process, one of the first steps is ensuring that all of your employees know what they’re doing. You want them to be familiar with how everything works from start to finish so that if anything goes wrong, they know how to fix it themselves or get help from someone else who knows what they’re doing.

It’ll save you time and money because fewer mistakes will occur during each process step, and fewer workers will be needed at any given time. Another way that investing in your workforce can help you optimize your order fulfilment process is by ensuring everyone has all the information they need to do their job.

When you hire new workers, make sure they know what their duties are and how all of the steps fit together. If a worker doesn’t know what’s expected of them in any given situation, it’ll be harder for them to do their job effectively, leading to mistakes or delays.

5. Automate Your Shipping Process

Automating your shipping process is a great way to save time and money and ensure that your customers get their orders promptly. One way to do this is to use barcode scanning software to scan packages automatically as they come into the warehouse. This will save you time by eliminating employees needing to scan each package manually. It also ensures that packages aren’t lost or misplaced between receiving and picking operations.

You can also use an ERP system to track orders and inventory levels better. An ERP system will allow you to track every step of an order from when it’s placed until it reaches its destination, which helps ensure that no one forgets about a shipment along the way.

Takeaway

A seamless order fulfilment process is one of the most vital elements of an eCommerce business. When customers find the information they need and get their orders fulfilled quickly, they’re more likely to return to your site and tell others about it. With the five practices above, you can ensure that your customers remain satisfied with your services.

4 Practices For Effective Product Inventory Management

As a business owner or a manager, you generally juggle various duties, from overseeing the day-to-day operations of your business and handling finances to managing customers’ expectations and workforce. And if your enterprise involves the selling of goods and products, another essential task you need to prioritize is managing your inventories successfully.

In this article, we’ll explore what product inventory management is and what practices you can implement in your organization to ensure efficiency. Continue reading to learn more.

What Is Product Inventory Management?

Product inventory management involves having a proper record or monitoring system of the stocks you’re planning to sell and the probable date when the goods will be dispatched. It allows for smoother and more productive operations since businesses can ensure they have adequate stock to fulfill clients’ orders. This can go a long way in maximizing resources and boosting sales opportunities and revenue.

If you own a large business supplying products to other companies or directly to consumers, you can look for companies that offer 3PL fulfillment services to help you be more efficient.

Furthermore, here are some practices you can consider for effective product inventory management:

  • Implement Batch Tracking

This method involves grouping products with similar characteristics to trace their history and check whether they’ve become defective before distributing them to the customers. Some methods used to classify these products include the date of manufacture, raw materials used, expiration date, and their sources.

Batch tracking can be effective since it can help you:

  • Identify quality issues on the products
  • Trace any problems like breakage and confirm if other products have been affected
  • Detect any potentially harmful products
  • Manage the sales of perishables more effectively based on expiration dates hence reducing wastage

When using batch tracking, you can jot down all the necessary information about the products you intend to sell. Examples of this data include:

  • The date you received the products
  • Their expiration dates
  • Materials used to assemble them

These and other product details from the batch number can also be useful for record keeping. Thus, you can access the information even if you’ve already sold the item to the buyer. And for instance, if a buyer finds any defects after purchasing and decides to return the product for a replacement, the process can be more streamlined. This also allows you to trace other defective goods in your warehouse more efficiently since you have the batch information on hand.

Since you’ll be handling multiple orders and talking to various clients, seeking assistance in managing your inventories can be convenient, allowing you to focus on other business tasks. You can check out resources like wsinc.com to help you with logistics planning and inventory and supply management.

  • Using The ABC Method

Essentially, the main guiding force of inventory management is product demand. Aside from knowing what consumers prefer and what products they are looking for, demand planning also allows businesses to determine which product supplies often get depleted quickly and which ones aren’t.

The ABC analysis can help you manage your inventory effectively. It involves arranging your products according to their level of importance. Thus, as a seller, the first thing to do is to categorize the products according to their priority and market demand.

To start, A in the initial (ABC) stands for the products with the highest demand. Thus, they have the highest priority, and as a seller, you need to constantly look at the remaining amount and reorder the stock before it finishes. Secondly, B refers to items or products whose demand isn’t as high. Their priority is generally medium, and items in this category are usually or mostly reordered every month.

Lastly, the third initial C refers to products whose priority is the lowest. This means that their demand in the market is low, and most customers can do without these goods. Therefore, hardly will there be any reordering of these goods.

The importance of knowing such items in your business is that it’ll help you shun buying goods that will stay there indefinitely. You can either save that money or buy more goods in category A.

With this approach, you can organize your products in order of demand, importance, value, or priority. This can help enhance the product’s visibility and access since you know where you’ve placed the high, medium, and low-priority goods. Moreover, this technique can help maximize your warehouse space.

  • Following FIFO Method

FIFO stands for First In First Out. And just like the name suggests, it means that the first items you bought as you stock should be the first ones to leave. To be more precise, the oldest items in your warehouse or store should be sold first.

This inventory management technique is generally for companies that sell perishable goods like food and beverages. This is especially since failure to do so can cause your business to end up with bad or spoilt products, which can cause you to start operating at a loss.

  • Consider The Just-In-Time Delivery Approach

Just-In-Time is another effective way of managing your inventory as you outsource your items from your suppliers. In this model, you order stock once a customer places an order for it. The advantage of this technique is that it can help you save money since you go for products you’re almost sure will all be bought by customers.

Moreover, in this inventory management method, you don’t have to fill your warehouse with unnecessary products which can become obsolete and defective in the future. The just-in-time technique could also allow you to get rid of dead stock and sell them at a throw-away price or distribute them to charity organizations.

Wrapping It Up

Inventory management is fundamental for any company that sells wholesale or retail products. It helps you be more cost-efficient, meet consumers’ needs, and maintain proper organization in the warehouse.

Some techniques that can help you achieve effective inventory management include batch tracking, ABC analysis, FIFO, and Just-In-Time delivery. These techniques will not only help your company maximize its resources, but they’ll also help increase your company’s profits.