Browse Category: Vocational


4 Essential Tips for Starting an Online Business

Whether you have a grand master entrepreneurial plan or a hobby that grew bigger than you expected, starting an online business has a few key steps of which everyone should be aware. Joining the world of eCommerce isn’t as simple as snapping a few pictures and hoping your merchandise sells online. No matter how great your product is, just like with a brick and mortar business, you need to know how to package and sell it to online shoppers. This includes driving traffic to your online store and ensuring that once your customers get there, you have what they’re looking for. The steps to starting an online business should be taken one at a time, with one foot in front of the other. There’s an urge to rush into things, especially if your idea is exciting and innovative, but be careful. You should start with a calm and collected strategy of how you’re going to build your eCommerce empire and make your online business a success.

Amass a Core Inventory

Amass a Core Inventory
Amass a Core Inventory
On the essential list of doing first things first is establishing your inventory. Regardless of what you’re selling, whether it’s fine art or second-hand clothing, the product is what forms the core of your actual sales. While finding the merchandise you actually want to sell might be fueled by a vision, the final item you’re trying to offer for sale is what you need to focus on. Be aware of what you have in stock and familiarize yourself with it. If you have a collection of paintings, for example, make sure you know the exact details about each one. The same goes for vintage clothing. Don’t just end up with a pile of garments on a shelf and hope that everything is there. You need to take the time to sort through every single piece of inventory you have and evaluate it. This is what you’re selling, and this will be the tangible, core goods of your store.

Focus on Only a Few Items First

It can be easy to get ahead of yourself if you’re starting a business online for the first time. Although you might assume that everyone will be clamoring to buy your product once they see it, that’s simply untrue. Don’t be disappointed when you put up your merchandise and it gets little to no attention. This is why you need to focus on a just a few key items to begin with and do a little experimentation. Find out what seems to garner attention and drive traffic to your site, whether it’s the use of social media or word of mouth. You should pick your favorite merchandise, but instead of trying to put a lot of things for sale up at once, focus on only a few pieces. Then invest the time in properly photographing the product, writing copy to describe it, and getting all the details listed just right. You should be as detailed as possible, because not only does this give the customer a sense of security that you know what you’re talking about, but it also makes the item seem special.

Make a List of Necessary Tasks

Make a List of Necessary Tasks
Make a List of Necessary Tasks
Many entrepreneurs grapple with what tasks to tackle first. There are so many that it can often be overwhelming, and then new online business owners lose motivation and ambition. Instead of trying to take on too much and getting burned out quickly, formulate a work plan so that you address different jobs in a consistent, steady timeframe. Another good tip is not to underestimate how long something will take. After you’ve completed a task, take a break, and don’t move on right away to the next work intensive step. Slow and steady does it is great advice for when you’re getting ready to take your online business live.

Research the Industry

researchThere’s an industry for almost everything in the sphere of eCommerce. Whether you’re selling intangible goods like proofreading services or physical items like artwork, someone else has probably already done it. That doesn’t mean that your idea isn’t innovative and that you won’t do it differently or more creatively, but it does mean that someone out there already experienced the pitfalls of establishing an online business. Go ahead and take a look to see what other people’s experiences have been by reading eCommerce blogs and news sites. This is a great way to keep yourself updated on the fast-changing world of online business.


The Disadvantages of Having a Competitive Workplace

Fostering the correct type of workplace to help your company or business succeed is a very important thing to do, but it is not always easy. Any people will tell you that you need to have a competitive workplace in order to have any chance of succeeding. Despite what most people will tell you, this is just not true. The fact of the matter is that there are definitely disadvantages to having a competitive workplace. It is an all sunshine and roses. If you are trying to create a high quality workplace environment, the competitive workplace may not be the right choice for you. This is something that you need to understand so that you can make the best decision possible for your company or business. You really need to understand what sorts of things are going to be good for your company and what sorts of things are not going to be helpful. The competitive workplace environment might be one of those things that is not going to be right for you. Here are some of the disadvantages that come with having a competitive workplace.

It Adds a Ton of Tension

A Stressed Employee's Work Will Suffer
A Stressed Employee’s Work Will Suffer
One of the main disadvantages of having a competitive workplace is that it generally creates a lot of tension in the workplace environment. This is just not a good thing, because it makes your employees feel like they are constantly struggling for survival and struggling to keep their job. This may seem ideal to you, but in the end is just going to lead to lower productivity levels and a lot of stress in the environment. The more stressed your employees are, the worse their work will be. This is not something that you can afford to have happened to you, which is why a competitive workplace may not be the best choice for you. All the tension between your employees is going to lead to arguments and strife, which means that they will not be spending that time working.

It Can Lead to Your Employees Getting Burnt Out

Burnt EployeeAnother reason why competitive workplaces are not always the best idea is because it can easily lead to your employees getting burnt out. If your employees are burnt out, the quality of their work is going to take a severe hit and they are not going to be interested in working harder to help your company or business succeed. Since they are struggling so hard to be the best they can possibly be due to the competitive nature of their workplace, your employees will burn out quite easily and not be able to recover. This is the exact opposite of what you want to happen inside of your workplace, so it is not always a good idea to be that competitive.

It Breeds Contempt and Strife

Competitive workplaces tend to breed contempt and strife
Competitive Workplaces Breed Contempt & Strife
Competitive workplaces tend to breed contempt and strife not only between your employees themselves, but between you and your employees. Your employees will be fighting with each other all the time, which is going to lead to tons of tension and strife. Plus, they may begin to resent you and be unhappy with you as a boss. This is just asking for trouble because it leads to so many issues. The fact that your employees will not be getting along due to the competitive nature of the workplace is just going to make it even more difficult for you to manage things.

It Makes Employees Resent You and Your Position

If you really push a competitive workplace, it could easily lead to your employees growing resentful of you and your position. Since you are the one demanding that they compete with each other, they could start to turn against you or at least stop taking you seriously. This kind of mutiny is just going to lead your company to failure, so you need to be very careful of this sort of thing. Never give your employees reason to resent you.


5 Ways to Make Your Office Life More Fun

Nobody really likes sitting around in an office for ages, doing boring work that gets tedious very quickly. That’s just a fact of life. Another fact of life and being a business owner is that bored employees spell trouble. If your employees are bored, they can start to get up to all sorts of trouble you don’t want. If nothing else, their productivity will sharply decrease. You need to keep employees engaged, and one of the best ways to do that is to make sure that you have an interesting office life. By having an interesting office, your employees will start to look forward to coming to work, at least a little bit. This will help make them more productive, even if only a little bit. Still, this isn’t something that’s generally taught in Becoming A Boss 101, but we’re here to help. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Invest in Good Snacks for Your Break Room

Invest in Good Snacks for Your Break Room
Invest in Good Snacks for Your Break Room
Employees love the break room, since it’s their only reprieve from a long day of work. It’s important to let employees have a little bit of time to breathe and relax. If your break room is a pit of despair with only a few chairs and some busted up coffee machines, it’s not going to help much. Having a good break room is important, and so is having good snacks. If you can afford to have a company cater for you, you may as well invest in some good food for your employees to use to recharge. Stick for high protein snacks, but make sure that you find something that’s actually tasty.

2. Make Things a Bit More Whimsical

Adding a sense of whimsy to your office can definitely make people look forward to coming anymore. We don’t mean that you need to turn your office into a wonderland of fairies, but it’s still important to add some decorations that can make things a little bit more interesting. By having a whimsical environment, your employees will feel more creative and productive. It’s a small change, but one that can really make a difference.

3. Add a Room for People to Use to De-Stress

Add a Room For De-Stressing
Add a Room For De-Stressing
Having a room where employees can de-stress is important as well. You may think that the break room is enough, but sometimes it’s not. Your employees need a place where they can go to feel rested. You may not want to add a room for naps, but having a quiet room where people can just relax for a couple of minutes is a good idea. Maybe add a massage chair or two if you’re really feeling fancy. Just make sure that people can spend their entire day and there, since that obviously won’t help with productivity.

4. Encourage a Casual Environment

Casual EnvironmentThe office environment can get quite stuffy if you’re not careful. You don’t want your employees to feel stuffed up and uncomfortable, so you need to try and encourage a casual environment. You want people to be able to talk to each other if they need any help. If everyone is stiff and silent, your employees won’t be very productive. Of course, you don’t want people goofing off instead, so try not to take it too far. Still, having a casual environment is a great way to help your employees have more fun and look forward to coming to work.

5. Don’t Go Too Far

While it is important that you give your employees a fun work environment to look forward to, you don’t want to take it too far. By making things too fun, your employees’ productivity levels are not going to increase it all. It can actually be quite detrimental to the amount of work your employees will get done. As long as you avoid getting too whimsical and adding too many things for your employees to do in order to relax, you should be just fine. You don’t want them to slack off because they know they can get away with it, but you do want them to be able to feel relaxed and comfortable in their work environment. Just don’t go overboard and add a ball pit to the center of the office, no matter how awesome you may think that would be.