5 Ways To Build A High Performing Team

Team buidling

Building a high-performing team to deliver impressive results at all times is an essential part of enhancing efficiency and productivity. Sadly, not all employers/team leaders understand how to develop their team to such a height of performance and efficiency. Some business owners outsource team development to professional trainers and get disappointed when their investment in both money and time doesn’t translate to improved team performance. Building a high-performing team involves ensuring everyone has attained the ideal level of competency and productivity. Here are 5 tips for developing a high-performing team for your business.

1.     Resolve Conflicts Quickly and Encourage Cooperation

Differences are always going to arise. Even if you think your employees are the most laid-back in the world, differences of opinions will always come up. This is the reason: Bringing strangers together and requiring them to work in close cooperation creates room for tension. Whether it’s the smallest disagreement or a pretty huge argument, you must know how to resolve differences at work and foster cooperation.

When disputes aren’t resolved right away, a slight disagreement can quickly transform into an unproductive team. Handle conflict immediately you detect it. Initiate a conflict-resolution session between the conflicting employees to address the issue. Make sure there’s a civil discussion by mediating the session.

2.     Communicate a Clear and Inspiring Vision and Direction

According to the findings of a 2012 survey by William Shiemann, only 14 percent of employees are aware of their company’s vision and direction. This means that most of your team members may be paddling in different directions and using huge amounts of energy without moving in the right direction.

It’s your duty as a leader to ensure the whole organization clearly understands your vision, direction, strategy, and steps you intend to take to get there. You must continuously communicate and keep the focus of each team member on the vision and goals to achieve. Regular communication keeps teammates well-versed, up-to-date, and on course.

3.     Promote Employee Growth

Promoting employee development is another great strategy for building a high-performing team. Instead of micromanaging, mentor new leaders in your business. There are so many ways you can encourage employee growth. You can offer continuous education assistance. Staff members can leverage this benefit to advance their education and acquire new skills.

You can offer ongoing training to ensure employees don’t remain stagnant. Continuous training can help them assume new roles, expand their knowledge, and sharpen their skills. You can also come up with creative ways to assign your staff leadership roles. For instance, you can form committees and initiate new projects to create more leadership opportunities.  By promoting employee growth, you provide your staff with the relevant skills and expertise to become excellent performers.

4.     Set Clear Roles and Performance Expectations

Every team member should have a clear idea of what their responsibilities are, what their individual goals are, and what criteria will be used to measure their performance. By setting clear roles and responsibilities, you can ensure everyone is working on what they’re competent at. It also helps you eliminate instances where tasks are left unfinished or done twice.

Setting clear performance expectations, on the other hand, helps employees know precisely what to expect during performance reviews. It’s important to sit with your staff to agree on the team’s goals, their individual goals, and metrics for measuring performance. Offer them feedback on how they’re fairing based on these goals and performance measures. This way, you’ll be able to identify problems before they occur or resolve them right away when they do.

Pro Tip: Provide your employees with the right tools to help them unzip files free. With the best unzip programs, they can open zip files faster and complete their tasks on time.

5.     Build Trust

If you aren’t trusted as a team leader, you won’t be inspiring or trusted to solve disputes amicably, get the team to adopt goals, or believe in your communications. The absence of trust significantly brings down the efficiency and performance of team members.

There are three major pillars of building trust in a team. The first pillar is nurturing positive relationships with your team members. The second one is using your knowledge or expertise to help them solve problems or offer them valuable insights. The third one is being consistent and true to your word.

Conclusion

Developing a high-performance team is an effort-intensive task. It involves resolving conflicts quickly, encouraging cooperation, communicating a clear vision regularly, encouraging employee development, defining roles, setting clear performance expectations, and building trust. When you do all these correctly, team members will definitely surpass expectations.

4 Top Email Marketing Platforms for SMEs in 2020

Email Marketing Platforms

Out of all available online marketing methods, email marketing is said to have the highest ROI of them all, with one study putting it at 4300%. This ROI is possible because sending thousands of emails costs very little, and it can easily be combined with customer relationship marketing to send personalized messages. The challenge is finding an email marketing platform that allows you to achieve that ROI while minimizing the work involved. 

While some people might assume that there is little that separates platforms, they’d be surprised. As a matter of fact, the choice of the platform alone could dictate how successful their campaigns are, even if they do everything else right. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular email marketing platforms for small and medium businesses and what they have to offer.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the biggest players in this industry and has gained a solid reputation over the years. One reason is that there is a free version of it available, and there is no time limit on it. The rates also stay affordable as you grow your business. This makes it a popular choice for bloggers and small businesses.  

Mailchimp has some social media integration and a reasonably sized email template library. It also allows you to run A/B testing of marketing campaigns and send segmented emails. With Mailchimp, you can send out messages at a set time based on the customer’s time-zone. It also provides customers with email auto-responders and offers a number of app and service integrations.

However, Mailchimp is not the only tool out there. One of the issues people have with Mailchimp is how limited it can feel. This is because it has a fairly low cap on the number of emails you can send on each plan. Also, their basic version, while being practical to some and one of the main reasons why so many end up signing up, doesn’t have many of the important features like send time optimization, advanced segmentation, or multivariate testing for instance. So, don’t expect it to take you very far.

Mailerlite

Mailerlite made this list because it is one of the few other email marketing services with a free email marketing plan for small mailing lists. You have to pay once you hit a certain threshold on emails sent per month or the size of your subscriber base.

Mailerlite has an easy to use interface. This is true even for business processes like setting up landing pages and creating pop-up forms. There are some advanced features, such as allowing you to automatically resend messages to people who didn’t open the email the first time they received it. It is features like this that explain why 90% of Mailerlite customers are small businesses versus 70% of Mailchimp customers.

If you are torn between Mailerlite and MailChimp, then PieSync’s review should help. It gives a rundown of the differences between the two email marketing platforms. It discusses the features each has and explains when you should go with one or the other.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the biggest email marketing platforms. It is still growing, too. It is easy to use out of the box. You can manage contacts, email campaigns, and templates and your calendar from within Constant Contact, and it has tons of built-in social media sharing tools

Constant Contact gives you access to a free image library you can use when you need to insert graphics in your emails. There is also a massive database of email templates for various niches. It integrates seamlessly with online ads and e-commerce modules and has good customer support.

The biggest issue with Constant Contact, however, is that there aren’t any automation tools. That’s a drawback given how much you pay for it.

GetResponse

GetResponse is an all-in-one marketing platform that allows you to create landing pages with it and send out marketing emails via a drag and drop interface. It also has advanced features like list segmentation, A/B testing of marketing messages, and auto-responders. 

GetResponse is unique for allowing you to host webinars through the platform. It has better than average data analytics. For example, its Perfect Timing tool will mine your email campaign data to tell you when the best time to send the next one will be, and nearly everything is very intuitive. 

This tool is a great choice for mid-sized businesses. It is also ideal for those who are selling their expertise via webinars or want to use webinars as a perk for those who signed up for their email list. Also note that pricing is based on the number of subscribers you have, not per list.

Most email marketing platforms will hold email lists and let you blast a cookie-cutter template to your followers. However, you need something better if you want to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.

A 5-Step Guide to Branding Your Business on Budget

Digital marketing and branding are probably among the best ways to have your brand noticed to the desired traffic and improve client engagement. It does not matter if your website is new or has been around for a long time; proper branding techniques lets your clients stay in touch with your clients. This is crucial for any brand or organization to remain relevant in the market. 

Today, it is not merely about stunning designs and layouts. It would help if you encouraged your clients to shop for your goods and services through various strategies and services. One popular method is to invest in a reliable loyalty program management software. Whether you run your site on your own or through an agency, the following branding tips and techniques will help you stay relevant and competitive if you are on a restricted budget. 

Influencing a diverse range of clientele 

Digital platforms keep on changing and evolving. Any strategy that worked earlier may not be as effective today or in the coming years. As an emerging brand, you should know which strategies will best help you achieve the desired results in less time and investment. The good idea is to opt for a diversified range of clientele. This means your content management team should not concentrate on a particular medium or platform. Your digital content strategy should include posts, articles, polls, visuals, and infographics, etc.

Using genuine storytelling to create an appealing brand image 

The main idea is to make your brand stand out and be unique and authentic. Today, one can easily detect if a social media page has organic or paid followers. Clients prefer genuine connections. Storytelling is also a popular skill nowadays that allows brands to appear as a responsible and proactive organization. 

Increasing client engagement by experiencing the live streaming 

Today, potential buyers and customers are also interested to know the impact your brand is making through different charitable and philanthropic work. It is possible to show it through an effective marketing strategy. A popular option nowadays is augmented reality alongside interactive sessions of live streaming. These options are incredibly immersive as it allows viewers to witness the philanthropic work that a particular brand is doing within their respective communities. These marketing techniques allow your customers to be a part of the activities that you are initiating with your team members. 

Optimize your site

Another effective way to increase client engagement is by making your website more responsive and user friendly. This becomes even more important if you run an e-commerce site. It is estimated that more than 50% of online users use their smartphones to browse the internet. Therefore, it has become crucial for businesses to make their responsive and mobile-friendly. 

If your website is slow and takes extra time to load, then the chances are that your potential clients may leave your site and look for other sites offering similar goods and services. It is equally important that you work on the layout and visual content of your website. Try to keep the interface of your site simple and easy to navigate. Don’t overcrowd your site and other social media pages with random pictures and graphics.

Similarly, your About Page should educate potential buyers about the goods and services you offer. It should mention your contact information and your the future goals and objectives of your brand. It should have a brief work portfolio about your brand’s core team members as well. You can also post relevant updates about upcoming events and services on your site’s blog.

Promoting and sharing client-generated content for organic branding 

Irrespective of the field your brand operates in, your company can benefit a lot by sharing digital content with your clients. User-generated posts are quite useful on various digital platforms, where many business organizations ask their customers to share their posts on their official media pages. Try to share the goals, mission, and ethical policies of your organization. The best way to use various social media platforms for any brand is to let the audience know about its objectives, goals, and ideology. It should let the audience know about the beliefs and ethical policies followed by its worker’s employees. With time, this helps a brand improve its client’s trust and loyalty in the goods and services it makes. 

In Conclusion 

Online branding and marketing strategies keep on changing and evolving with time. Brands should be flexible enough to adapt to these changing trends. To succeed in digital branding, a company must invest its time and resources in developing the right marketing strategies. Giving priority to client expectations will surely help an organization create a successful marketing strategy that engages potential buyers in the most convincing way.

Digital Restaurant Menu – The Safe & Clean Option

Using a QR Code on your tables, exterior signage, promotions and on your website – you can present your menu in an appetizing and safe format.

Your clients may not feel comfortable handling typical menus that are often difficult to clean and have been in many different hands.

QR Codes can be read by any mobile device and allow your clients to view your menu on their own device. And it is always available allowing them to plan their meal in your establishment long before they arrive.

Learn more

How To Grow Your Brand Globally

Now that you have excelled in your domestic market, and because you want to stay ahead of regional competition, you feel that the timing is perfect for an international expansion. That is a good call! But do you understand what it means to grow a brand globally?

Global expansion means targeting clients from multiple countries and regional economic blocs. It means localizing your products and/or services for multiple new markets. And because the world is not a homogenous market, technically, going global means opening one shop in one foreign market, followed by another shop in a different foreign market, over and over again. That means you will have to constantly struggle with unfamiliar local customs and languages, reimage your mission and vision, rethink your branding and marketing strategies, navigate new labor markets, and comply with new laws and regulations.

Global expansion is risky and understandably scary, but it is a risk you have to take if you are to earn and maintain a competitive edge in today’s fast-paced business environment. That is why you should read the 5 tips below on how to grow your brand globally.

1.  Determine if your product or service is a good candidate for overseas markets

Having a strong brand reputation in your domestic market doesn’t necessarily mean that you will succeed abroad. That is why you need to analyze your brand’s export potential before considering doing business overseas. Your analysis should determine these, among other factors:

 ·        Which markets have a pressing need that your products or services can satisfy?

·        How distinctive is your product with respect to already-existing brands? Competition is stiff everywhere, so you must be ready to fight for your place in every market you expand globally to.

·        Identify consumer segments that share common characteristics within the larger target market. If you sell high-end ladies’ beauty products, for example, how many women in your target audience can afford to buy your products?

·        How is the market affected by technological and scientific developments, and how will such developments impact the future marketability of your product?  

2.  Understand local laws and regulations

Opening a shop in multiple jurisdictions means that you have to comply with multiple sets of domestic legal requirements. It is advisable to consult reputable local legal counsels in every market you expand to. Here are a few legal questions to ask your legal counsel: 

·        How bureaucratic are the local company registration processes? How can you expedite the processes without breaking any registration laws?

·        Which unique employment laws should you know about and, in case of violation, which ones attract the biggest penalties?

·        Which payments or presents can you give to government officials as ordinary customary practice, and which ones can be translated as bribe/corruption?

·        Which are your tax obligations as a foreign brand?

·        Which intellectual property rights do you enjoy?

·        Of the local Civil law and the Common law systems, which ones can impact your branding and marketing?

·        How binding are exclusive distribution agreements between your company and local distributors?

3.  Seek to understand local cultures

Each international market is governed by its unique set of cultural preferences. Seemingly inconsequential factors in your local market, e.g. brand colors or product shapes, can be offending in another market. So, if you don’t want to offend the very people you want to do business with, and jeopardize your growth prospects, understand the following beforehand:

·        What is the local business etiquette? How should you dress when attending business meetings? How should you behave when dealing with workers, clients, or investors of the opposite gender? Is it okay to address elderly people by their first name?

·        Is it okay to discuss sensitive matters such as politics, racism, human rights, or religion in public? Where do you draw the line?

·        How deep do local community policing systems run, and what does your brand need to do to stay out of trouble with community leaders? In some communities in Africa and Southeast Asia, for example, you need the blessing of local elders before you are allowed to conduct any form of business.

4.  Avoid exportation pitfalls

 There are several pitfalls that plague exportation, among them foreign currency fluctuations, border requirements, logistical hurdles, and shipment delays. You will avoid them by formulating a stellar export strategy that includes all the logistics and legal requirements that are unique to each target market. Have a fall back plan in case your initial strategy doesn’t work out.

5.  Have a solid localization strategy

Localization helps you connect with local customers and achieve brand success. Here are a few tips for developing a solid localization strategy:

·        Hire a reputable translation company to translate important documents, web content, product user interface, and marketing campaigns into local dialects.

·        Localize your pricing as per the local demand, supply, and competition. Your home market prices will most likely not cut it for foreign markets.

·        Inspire trust and engagement with local communities by participating in local community development initiatives.

·        Ensure that your logo, brand name, and overall identity are clearly understood and accepted overseas.

·        Ensure that the images and videos you post on social media and on your official website are relatable to the local market.

·        Create a global SEO strategy. You will need to work with a multilingual SEO expert on this.

·        Hire local workers, particularly for the sales, marketing, and customer relations departments.

Conclusion

Up to this point, you are as good as set for global growth. Now go ahead and find financing partners if necessary, hire your team, find distributors and suppliers, set up the head office and local stores, and do everything else that you did when you were setting up your existing business. Expanding overseas will definitely be a tall order for you, but if done correctly, it can be very rewarding.