Category Archives: Outsourcing


How to Raise Your Team’s Emotional Intelligence

In the past, experts believed that the intelligence quotient, or IQ, is the primary driver for success. However, a growing number of experts from different fields, ranging from psychologists to leadership consultants, are challenging that belief and believes it is Emotional Intelligence.

Instead of IQ, this body of experts says that emotional intelligence, or EQ, dictates whether a person would be successful or not.

This is not to say that IQ doesn’t mean anything. People who possess high IQs perform well, especially in the academe. But the main problem with IQ is that often, it is too narrow and excludes other fields of intelligence.

But what exactly does EQ mean, especially in the context of the workplace?

Defining EQ

Harvard psychologist and theorist Howard Gardner defines emotional intelligence as “…your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them.”

EQ has five categories, namely: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Here’s a brief overview of each.


Self-awareness is the ability to recognize your emotions at the moment. It comprises two key elements: emotional awareness and self-confidence.


Self-regulation is the ability to control one’s negative emotions like anger or anxiety.


Motivation is the ability to push yourself to achieve the goals that you have set for yourself while maintaining a positive attitude.


Empathy is the ability to acknowledge the importance of other people in helping you achieve your goals.

Social skills

Social skills refer to different interpersonal skills that are crucial for furthering one’s career. These include communication, leadership, conflict management, teamwork, and networking.

What’s the difference between IQ and EQ?

In the past, IQ was determined by dividing a person’s mental age over his chronological age. Today, many IQ tests compare a person’s score against the average score of other people within his age group.

IQ encompasses different abilities, including fluid reasoning, quantitative reasoning, working, and short-term memory, and visual and spatial processing.

EQ, on the other hand, encompasses abilities like identifying one’s emotions, recognizing other people’s feelings, controlling one’s emotions, and being able to relate to other people.

Compared to IQ, EQ is a relatively new concept that has recently gained traction among the broader public.

But what’s the reason behind the buzz about EQ?

Before EQ entered the public consciousness, people, including experts, believed that IQ is the key to a person’s success. But later on, critics of IQ theorized that there was more to success than having a high IQ. Other areas of knowledge and abilities need to be considered.

This is particularly true in the workplace, where one needs to take into account a person’s interaction with the people in his environment. This is why people with average IQs can outperform those with above-average IQs.

From a personal standpoint, having high emotional intelligence translates into better physical and mental health. People with high EQ are also remarkable leaders who know how to effectively cultivate and manage relationships as well as bring conflicts to an acceptable resolution.

EQ in the workplace

The workplace is a relational environment. Quite simply, you will encounter people who have different sets of values, skills, personalities, and emotions.

Within the workplace, every interaction, decision, and action has a ripple effect on you and your team. And having high emotional intelligence allows you and your team to tackle challenges more effectively and more fluidly. In contrast, having low emotional intelligence can translate to negative emotions and actions like frustration, lack of motivation, and bullying.

Or to put it succinctly, teams with low EQ tend to be rigid and resistant to change.

Building high EQ teams

Before creating a high EQ team, it is critical for each member to work on their emotional intelligence skills, especially in terms of self and social awareness, emotional management, communication, and conflict resolution.

At the same time, there are a few strategies that you can try to build an emotionally intelligent team.

Find a leader

A good leader is a vital piece of every emotionally intelligent. Such a person possesses a few key traits.

For starters, they are respectful and treat every team member with utmost courtesy. Second, these people readily embrace change, knowing that it paves the way for growth. They also know how to solicit feedback from each member of the team and acknowledge their own mistakes. And finally, and probably most important of all, they are ready to extend a helping hand to anyone in need.

Exceptional leadership skills rarely come naturally to people. However, there are programs focused on leadership training in the UAE (or wherever you may be) that people with potential can attend.

Know each member’s strengths and weaknesses

Every member of your team brings unique things to the table, and if you want to draw out the best from each one, you should take the time to know them individually.

Look beyond each team member’s job title and provide them with opportunities for creativity and innovation. And on the converse side of the coin, provide objective feedback when mistakes are made.


Even if you have highly emotionally intelligent members in your time, their energies will sag from time to time. There are a few things that you can do to spark their passion and bring their energy levels up.

These include recognizing good work done, creating an engaging work environment, and setting a company mission that everyone can get behind.

Manage stress

Stress does not only undermine your team members’ health and wellbeing. It can drastically affect the team’s overall performance. This is why it is critical for organizations to find ways to manage stress effectively.

Among the strategies that you can use include setting (and sticking) to established schedules, allowing team members to take breaks, discouraging multitasking, and just being empathic.

Develop communication skills

Strong communication skills create synergy and help teams run more efficiently. Apart from investing in training for the development of effective communication skills, you should encourage every team member to speak positively and constructively.

EQ can be learned

Unfortunately, there is no definitive test that will help companies find out if a candidate has high emotional intelligence. Although there are a few tests that can give hiring professionals some insights on the EQ of a job applicant, much needs to be demonstrated.

However, on the other end of the spectrum, EQ is not set in stone. It can be developed to a high level, although it would require time and patience. Even more encouraging is the fact that you can gradually build a team that has high emotional intelligence.

The Digital Retail Wallet: Reasons it Makes Sense

The landscape of retail is progressing quickly as the emerging technologies and trends are modifying the anticipation of the experience that is in-store.

As retailers discover finding their place in this brave and new world, a lot of them is now seeing the payments as a great opportunity. Retailers are relying on their smart devices in an enhanced manner. They are using the phones for researching the product, reviews of the customer, and comparing the prices between the areas.

In the coming future, retailers will also initiate the digital payments almost for everything. The idea of digital payments is not new but the adoption rate is not that fast either.

The countries like China and other Asian countries are in the middle of digital payments. On the other hand, western countries are in the first surges of digital wallet and usage of mobile payment.

With 92% of retailers of US  expecting to maintain or enhance the investment in the payments, here are some of the reasons reflecting that why digital retail wallets make sense.

Minimizes fees of transaction

It is a well-known fact that when retailers process the credit and debit card transactions, they are subjected for transaction fees. The fees can be huge, especially for the larger retailers so working to reduce the fees is something that makes sense.

The digital wallet is a technological advancement that allows the users to make their payments easily. There is no need to carry the credit or debit card. Hence, the digital retail wallet is one of the finest developments in technology.

One likely strategy is introducing the card that is of store-branded and closed-loop payment. For experiencing any minimizations in the interchange costs, it is vital for the consumers to use the store card.

Retailers must use the digital wallet as it is useful in reducing the cost through making fewer transactions. The retailers can even shove discounts that are in-app while using the store card for encouraging the adoption, driving the engagement for brand, loyalty and recognition.

The card provision digitally is helpful in removing the cost of manufacturing and physical store cards.

Increase experience and engagement

Even after the rise in e-commerce field, it is predicted that 75% of all the retail sales all the retail sales will take place by the year 2025. The sales are going to be profoundly different because of the way they are conducted.

Part of the continuing primacy of in-store is because of the increase in experience economy in which consumer buying behavior that is driven by the complete purchasing quality experience not because of the good or product.

A digital wallet is an aspect that allows retailers for delivering the engaging and powerful in-store for tapping into the demand for this economy that is experiential. For instance, retailers can make the value-added services managing easier through the digitizing of gift cards, credit cards, loyalty points, and the platforms that are single and secure.

By protectively converting and managing several values that are digital, consumers, can use the method of payment with the coupons, points and credit in a transaction that is single. It benefits in controlling the mix of payment as per their requirements.

In conclusion, digital wallets offer retailers the chance for utilizing the technologies that are emerging like augmented for driving engagement or leveraging the data of consumer for proving the recommendations that are smart.

Streamlining the checkout

In-store assisted systems of checkout are something that doesn’t work for the consumers. According to the evaluation, around 86% of the consumer evades stores with the queues that are long, and 38% of consumers have the purchase that is abandoned because of the queuing time that is excessive.

Digital retail wallets with a virtual point of sale consent the customers to look-out through in-aisle payment and alleviate the requirement to queue. It is also useful in freeing up the staff for being redeployed somewhere else in the store, to increase efficiency, the satisfaction of the customer and reducing the cost simultaneously.

Digitizing the physical cards and receipts

The retailers have to experience huge environmental costs for the aspects like gift cards, plastic store, paper receipts, print advertising, and cardboard coupons. Digital wallets are helpful in reducing the costs and notifications that are in-app.

For retailers, a digital wallet is like a vehicle that is significantly efficient, sustainable future, and cost-effective, while delivering enhanced engagement of customer, loyalty, and insight.

Enhanced security and alleviate risk

The enhancing number of high-profile data breaches has challenged the sector of retail. The average beach costs around $4 million and a lot of retailers are shifting to the e-payments for avoiding the credentials of customer payment theft, a history of transaction and identity. Digital wallets integrate several technologies and techniques for improving the security and alleviate risk, lessening the probability and influence of breaches.

For instance, tokenization is an aspect that is useful in replacing the traditional primary account numbers (PAN) with the identifiers that are unique and are known as payment tokens. It is helpful in protecting the data of transaction and mitigating fraud.

Significantly, retailers can offer security for meeting the requirements and maintaining the simplicity and convenience payment usability which is essential for the customers.

Seizing the opportunity of mobile

It is evident that the digital wallets can offer the increased experience, alleviated costs, revenues that are growing, and the security of payment.  The complexity for retailers will be accelerating time to market and offer the experience that is seamless and enhanced from the beginning.

Mobile is the opportunity that retailers can enjoy. They can efficiently seize the mobile opportunity and efficiently use for the digital payments.

Wrapping up

There are a considerable measure of huge advantages for the organizations that advanced retail wallet offer. Retailers require having a computerized procedure set up for taking care of the requests of purchaser that is hyper-associated that foresee the most recent innovation for installment. Having the procedure that is savvy and compelling for installment is valuable in improving the in-store acquiring.


Top 5 Reasons You Should Outsource

While traditionalists may argue that everything should be done in-house, more and more businesses are starting to take the idea of outsourcing more seriously. The reasons behind this are numerous, most prominently, due to the fact that outsourcing is more cost-efficient, it gives better immediate results and it is more convenient. Furthermore, the idea of outsourcing itself has evolved in the past several years. Here are five additional reasons why outsourcing might be the right solution for your SMB.

1.      Improve the focus of your company

When running a small operation, you will have trouble focusing on your core tasks due to the fact that you have to manage several departments at the same time. Therefore, outsourcing certain departments, such as IT or HR, can improve the focus of your company. These fields already require a high level of expertise that you probably don’t possess, which means that you will finally be free to dedicate your full attention to areas where you’ll be able to contribute the most.

2.      Easier budgeting

Even though you could start your own in-house departments instead of outsourcing marketing or customer support, outsourcing simply makes budgeting much easier. You get a fixed price for the set of services you’ve insisted on and that is precisely what you have to pay for them. Seeing as how you are negotiating directly with the representative of the agency you are outsourcing to, you won’t have to worry about benefits, paid leave, sick days, holidays, overtime, incentives or micro-management of their employers. As far as you are concerned, you have a financial obligation towards the agency you are dealing with, an obligation that can be fulfilled by simply paying what you owe on a due date.

3.      Expanding your talent pool

The next massive advantage of outsourcing is access to a much larger talent pool. Think about it, when hiring in-house employees, unless you’re willing to bring in remote workers, you are forced to work with the local talent. In 2018, however, offshoring is a viable option. Instead of working with a limited talent pool, you can hire a copywriter from Hong Kong and get a much better service at a more affordable price. Needless to say, in this particular situation, having a greater offer to filter through results in a direct boost to your company’s productivity. This is especially true when hiring people for jobs that require creativity.

4.      Prepare for the future

The next important reason why outsourcing is a good idea is that it arms you with an invaluable experience that you will definitely need in the future. You see, as a business owner, you will have to learn how to deal with an increased workload, sooner rather than later. As your company grows, you might be tempted to try and penetrate a foreign market or simply start an international office in order to diversify your brand a bit. Either way, outsourcing early on can prepare you for the challenges that come with these practices. Furthermore, outsourcing your IT, customer service or copywriting tasks is a great way to safely scale up in the world of remote collaboration.


5.      Greater expertise

Even if you do manage to hire the right people for the job, equip them with high-end tools and provide a top-notch training, it will take time until they are competent enough to rightfully call themselves experts. Sure, you have to start somewhere but what if you need some immediate results and you can’t afford to wait? While this may sound impatient or even unreasonable, the truth is that no one is going to cut you any slacks just because you are new to the business world. So, if you have the feeling that time is working against you, outsourcing might provide you with just the experienced assistance you need.


At the end of the day, there are so many benefits to outsourcing but there are a couple of flaws, as well. First of all, you no longer have a direct control over your operations like you used to. Second, there is always a question of security, seeing as how unverified personnel might gain access to the otherwise sensitive information. Finally, there is the issue of calculating the long-term costs. The longer you postpone starting your own department the more money you stand to lose. Still, some companies reach the conglomerate status without ever giving up on the idea of outsourcing.

Top 5 Employee Recruitment Techniques

Customers are the most important aspect of your business – if it weren’t for them, well, obviously, there wouldn’t be any business to conduct. Right after the customers on the priority list come the employees. Unless you’re running a one-person show, you’re going to need a solid bunch of workers behind you – a dedicated team of experts. It is true that it all starts with recruitment, which is why we’ve listed the top 5 techniques that follow.

1.     Treat the applicants right

…and treat them with the respect you’d show to your customers! This is especially important when it comes to your candidates – if treated in the right way, your future employees will come to respect your company before they even start working for you.

However, the reasons for treating the applicants with respect transcend the possibility of employment – even the candidates that don’t make the cut are potential advertising tools – treat them as equals, and they will spread the good word about you without even working for you. Besides, your company is your legacy, and you want to nurture your professional and respectful appearance, don’t you?

Respect and high option packages will pay off in the long run when it comes to recruitment.

2.     Creating a breathable atmosphere

Let’s assume that you won’t be making a multinational conglomerate with a world-wide army of employees, at least not for the time being. The more likely scenario is that you’re building a small- to moderate-sized brand. One of the biggest mistakes startups make when it comes to recruitment is the mistake of over-hiring. Sure, broadening the number of positions that you may need as your company grows seems like a smart and logical move, but this is rarely the case, as an employee clutter can lead your business straight to its demise.

Most extra positions can be patched up through freelancing – even if you can afford a regular employee, some positions are best outsourced. Before you decide to hire, think long and hard about outsourcing any particular position.

3.     Use your current employees

One of the main benefits of not having a huge amount of workers to deal with is a more intimate, personal vibe to the entire workplace. This really brings a world of cool opportunities to the table, for instance, being able to use their network of friends and acquaintances to acquire potential candidates that somebody can actually vouch for!

Additionally, your employees can help you by reviewing resumes of potential candidates, and even assist you during interviews! This is what true collaboration means.

4.     Outsource HR assistance

Knowing the ropes around the majority of company-related stuff is an impervious quality of a solid CEO. However, no entrepreneur can expect to become proficient in every single aspect of their own business – this is exactly what expert employees are for. The same goes for the HR aspect – you can’t expect to become a full-blown pro here, and you can’t really hire an entire HR department in the early days of your startup. This is where professional assistance from companies such as HR Expert comes to your aid – an instantaneous access to a large number of templates, resources and HR managers with top-notch practice can go a long way in allowing your business to thrive!

5.     Don’t disregard external advertising

Although we’ve mentioned a couple of non-conventional recruitment methods, the value of the traditional, external advertising still remains a big deal. External advertising should complement every single one of the mentioned methods.

The 5 mentioned employee recruitment techniques go hand-in-hand with each other, and are best applied in combination. Always strive to treat the applicants right, but be careful not to create a cluttered employee atmosphere. Turn your current employees into a valuable recruitment resource, don’t be afraid of outsourcing and don’t disregard external advertising.

Why Small Companies Need to Hire an Accountant

When it comes to startups and small companies, more business owners turn to coaches and mentors when they want to ask for help. On the other hand, their senior counterparts (long-time business owners), are more likely to rely on the services of bankers, lawyers, and accountants. When we take into consideration that many startups fail within the first year of business, they must realize the importance of working with dedicated and experienced professionals.

One of the main reasons why young entrepreneurs don’t seek the services of a professional accountant is cost. However, they shouldn’t consider their services as an expense, but as an investment. An accountant should be a year-round business partner, as their scope of work doesn’t end just with tax preparation. They can provide perspective and expertise in your industry to help you navigate through an uncertain economy and help your business grow.

The truth is that you should consider working with an accountant, and here are several strong reasons to support our belief.

1. Businesses need a plan

You’d be surprised to know that many businesses fail because they didn’t have any or valid business plan from the very start. This where an accountant can partner up with your business, analyze all the data, and help build a solid business plan. Having this kind of professional on your side can greatly increase your chances for success.

2. A new perspective

Business owners sometimes fail to see the whole picture, because they get entailed in all the daily business operations. An accountant is removed from the business, and can provide a different perspective that you, as the business leader, may have missed. Sometimes, all it takes to come up with the next big idea is meeting with an accountant, which can be like taking a big step back in order to look at the whole picture and gain a fresh perspective.

3. Find work-life balance

Many startups are usually small operations run by a few associates who break their backs to keep the company running. Thus, they often struggle with finding the right work-life balance, which eventually becomes their top challenge as startup owners. Accounting tasks are an aspect of work that you may be less than thrilled to handle, and they can be taken on by professional accountants. On the other hand, you’ll be free to focus on other things, such as selling, marketing, customer service, or a nice game of soccer with your friends after work.

4. They have reach

An accountant is someone who has knowledge and insight across hundreds of industries and businesses. Receiving a guidance from someone with that kind of reach shouldn’t be underestimated, as they not only get to know the financial information of entire industries, but also know the mistakes that have led other businesses to failure, as well as the best practices for avoiding them. Having this kind of insights is invaluable to your startup.

5. Analyze data for profitability and growth opportunities

If you have tons of data gathered in your databases, what are they worth if you’re not interpreting and using it to drive your business decisions and directions? With an accountant who can help you understand all the numbers, you won’t miss on a great opportunity for greater business profitability and growth in the future.

For instance, an experienced accountant will know when your Australian business might benefit from some small business lending in Sydney and provide you with means to grow your business and improve your chances of future success.

6. Vital to a company’s reputation

Startups are baby-companies that have to build their reputation from scratch. A good accountant will represent your business in the best possible ways, helping you to build strong relationships with players that have a key role in your success (such as banks).

It takes about 6 months to go from business idea to opening, because young entrepreneurs and startup owners are quite passionate. With such quick growth, business owners don’t have time to get bogged down with issues that don’t help their companies continue to grow. In these situations, they ask for accountant services. So, can your baby-company survive without the help of an outside accountant? Probably, but with the extra expertise, guidance, and insight, an accountant can provide additional means that will make your business prosper.

Outsourcing Cybersecurity – Why It Works

Cybersecurity is becoming a bigger issue for businesses with each year that passes. Whereas before smaller companies were usually safe from any major attacks, nowadays, even the smallest companies have to worry about someone breaking into their system, stealing their data and/or keeping it for ransom. Since the majority of smaller and even many medium-sized companies have limited budgets, they usually go outside for their cybersecurity. And this is a very good idea.


The first reason why you should outsourced cybersecurity for your company is the expertise you will be getting from an outside partner. Cybersecurity is a field that transforms on a daily basis and, for someone who is not absolutely in the loop; things get very chaotic very soon. An outsourced cybersecurity partner will know exactly what your vulnerabilities are (after doing penetration testing), how to address them in the best way possible and how to deal with possible attacks that do take place.


In order to be able to handle attacks from all over the world, a company needs to be supplied with the finest tools that are available on the market. Unfortunately, such tools cost an arm and a leg, and a smaller company can never hope to afford them. Your outsourced cybersecurity partners, on the other hand, will have all kinds of tools at their disposal and they will be ready to deploy them for you when need be.


There are a couple of ways in which you can put a price tag on your cybersecurity. For example, you may start putting together a budget for your own dedicated team of employees who would do nothing but take care of your cybersecurity. You factor in their salaries, the space they will be taking up and the tools they will need and you soon realize it is an insane expensive proposition, even if your company is doing well.

Then, you start thinking that maybe it is just not worth it and that you can leave your company wide open to attackers in the hopes they will not target you. Now, think about what it would cost you to close down your company for a few months, not being able to do a single thing. That is a reality if you are hit by even the crudest piece of ransomware. What are the costs there?

In the end, it is more than obvious that the only logical solution is to hire an outsourced cybersecurity partner who will handle your security at a fraction of a price that you would have to pay to handle it yourself or to ignore it.


Last but not the least, we also have to mention the value of proper education in cybersecurity matters. Education of business owners, C-suite, managers and individual employees is a basis of every secure company and that is where your outsourced cybersecurity partners can also come in handy.

Namely, you will often find that such companies are ready to put together a class or two on cybersecurity basics for the people in the company. And these are actually the right people to be telling you about their industry. There is nothing worse than when someone who never worked in infosec tries to tell people how to keep their company systems safe.

Closing Word

When you go through all the reasons why outsourced cybersecurity makes sense, it really makes no sense to go any other way. You get expertise (perhaps even education) and tools and you get them at a price that more than makes sense.

What is not to like?

Why You Should Always Outsource App Quality Testing

There are many issues to deal with in software development. In today’s ever-changing technical world, it’s very difficult to keep a development team focused and on track, work within a budget, decide on a methodology, gather requirements, and lock down scope. App quality testing is still one of the most overlooked aspects of the software development process because both developers and producers can make mistakes, even when they think that their coding is flawless.

However, with quality assurance (QA) testing, you’ll make sure that your apps are bug-free and ready for launch. Due to issues such as small budget and time constraints, there are definite benefits to outsourcing software QA. These are some solid reasons to outsource app quality testing.

Types of software testing

Before we begin, it will be helpful to understand which specific app elements are tested, in order to get a better idea of how QA testing is truly practical and useful. There are three main types of QA testing: usability, functionality, and security.

Usability testing can include testing your app’s overall flow, content, responsiveness, and speed. Great usability is crucial for making users feel comfortable using your app.

Functionality testing includes testing search features, text inputting, menu navigation, and other elements that refer to the ease in which your app can be used. It’s done to ensure that your app’s functions meet its original design specifications.

Security testing is done to ensure that there are no poor coding errors or misconfigurations that can leave your app open to security attacks (takeover, denial of service, and data theft). Identifying security vulnerabilities is primarily done by ethical hackers, who are able to create reports that highlight potential problem areas and risks before the real hackers do.

1. Time

Saving time is one of the major reasons for outsourcing app quality testing. Experienced QA testers are able to do the testing at hand more thoroughly and quickly than your in-house staff. After all, QA testing is their area of expertise. By outsourcing these services, you’ll have more time to devote to other important tasks, while your quality testing gets done by professionals with the highest levels of expertise. You’ll increase productivity by following documentation and test planning standards that help keep track of all functional requirements.

2. Objectivity

Maintaining objectivity is one of the biggest advantages to outsourcing quality assurance testing. When performed in-house, testing is often done by the same group of people who created the software in the first place. They review the material that they’re already familiar with, and there’s a higher risk of error and bugs to go unnoticed. Defects in functionality and small errors are more likely to be discovered by a “fresh pair of eyes than individuals who worked to develop the app.

3. Cost efficiency

By using a skilled team of dedicated developers, you can drastically cut testing costs. This is a guarantee that you won’t miss functional testing, and speed up delivery time to your client. By delivering a bug-free product and expediting your app’s time-to-market, you’ll ensure maximum budget efficiency. One of the latest concepts of QA testing is crowdsourced app testing that quickly gained momentum, which consists in assigning app testing tasks to a community of professional QA testers through an online platform.

4. Ensure best practices

When it comes to software testing, you can ensure following measurable industry standards by hiring a team of professionals that is exclusively concerned with quality app testing. A good QA teams should have certain standards and tools for testing services, which means that you should do your research before choosing a QA team. These testing standards and tools should relate to mobile apps, web services, security penetration, load and performance testing, and database services.

5. Improve development quality

Software development teams either have individuals in multiple roles (designers or coders) that perform quality app testing along the way or one QA person who’s terrified of the developers. However, the number of discovered bugs and errors will be increased with a team of experienced and dedicated app testers. A team of QA testers only cares about ensuring functionality, which makes it able to reduce defect leakage.

6. Equipment

One of the most determining factors when it comes to outsourcing instead of creating your own in-house QA testing team is equipment and infrastructure. This can involve office equipment, such as office supplies and productivity software (browsers, licensed operating systems, and third-party plugins) and new hardware, such as computers and mobile devices (both tablets and Android and iOS phones).

By outsourcing app quality testing, you’ll cut down on cost, time, and liability. It will also give you the option to take advantage of these resources and services only when you need them, and not on an on-going basis, which makes the whole process more cost-efficient.

Top 5 Tips for Growing an eCommerce Business

Growth keyboardStarting an eCommerce business in 2017 is fairly simple. All you need to do is find your niche, choose the right platform and follow a quick and self-explanatory tutorial. Still, although starting may be fairly easy, growing your business, making it self-sustainable and of course triumphing over your closest competitors is something completely different. So, here are five simple tips on how you could effectively grow an eCommerce business.

1. Target other demographics
While most guides will advise you to focus on a single major demographic in order to get the most effect, every once in a while, it might be worth your while to reach out to other audiences as well. Sure, you are still better off focusing the majority of your resources on those you deem as low-hanging fruits or qualified leads, but it doesn’t hurt to make an extra effort and add an additional objective to your outreach plans.

2. Outsource
Growing your business can cost a small fortune and expanding your business rarely seems cost-effective in the long run. Furthermore, trying to do everything in-house gives you a lot less flexibility, which is why it might be a much better option to simply outsource. While there are those who hate the idea of outsourcing core-tasks, in most situations, this is where the greatest savings can be made. Furthermore, if you, for example, operate out of Sydney, you can use a Sydney-based warehouse storage solution instead of purchasing a warehouse. This way, you can also save a lot of time and effort on hiring, handpicking and training a team. Overall, whether or not outsourcing is resource-efficient may be quite situational but it is always more flexible and more scalable.

3. Market your most popular products
Another simple trick that will help you grow your eCommerce business lies in your marketing focus. More often than not there will be so many different items in your stock that you won’t have enough time, space or resources to market all of them properly. This is why, in order to get the best results, you need to figure out which of your products are the most popular ones and focus on promoting them individually. This way, you will not only boost sales of your flagship products but you’ll also increase the chance of driving attention towards your other products as well.

4. Use affiliate marketing
Whether or not traffic is a vanity metric is up to a lot of debate. Still, one thing is certain – without traffic, there is no profit. for example, your conversion rate can be 100 percent, but if you only get a few visitors on your website every month, it won’t amount to much. One of the ways you can boost your traffic is through a cunning use of affiliate marketing and PPC (pay-per-click). Even though some dislike the idea of paying for visitors, no one can dispute the effectiveness of this method.

5. Focus on return business
Finally, you need to keep in mind that the thing that will generate you the most profit is not new conversions but return business. In fact, according to research, 8 percent of your return customers are responsible for over 40 percent of all your profit. For this, however, you need to have great analytics tools and an even greater post-sale follow-up technique. Here, methods such as email marketing or even traditional telemarketing are highly recommended.

With these several growth hacks, you are bound to set your eCommerce on the right path towards success. Not only are these techniques optimal for creating some great immediate results but they also excel in helping you scale a lot better than your current business model. The best thing here is the fact that the above-listed five are nothing more than a tip of the iceberg and there are many other tricks left for you to discover.


Outsourcing: Big Help for Small Businesses

SMB Owner
Small businesses often experience the same issues as large companies. The odds might seem unjust, especially for owners of startups. Still, there are ways to combat this ‘inequity’, and one of them is strategic outsourcing. There are certain tasks that would otherwise be unfeasible for a small business. So, by commissioning a third party to help you out, you can save both money and time, which could then be diverted to some other developments.

Administrative tasks

Unless your small business is bookkeeping or accounting, the administration is probably not your primary job. Still, it is an essential part of every business operation, as it enables it to function properly. One way or another, administrative tasks are time-consuming and overwhelming, especially for companies that cannot spare the personnel. Hiring a virtual assistant is a good way of clearing the administrative mess, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about.


As a very important aspect of doing business, banking is not to be taken lightly. There are professionals whose job is to help small businesses navigate the treacherous waters of banking. Keeping someone on board who can keep track of your cash flow, loans, credits, etc. might be too expensive considering the training and everything. On the other hand, a hired ‘deckhand’ will be able to do this quickly and more efficiently.

Social media activity

While it may sound like clicking likes and shares, keeping track of your company’s stats on Facebook, Twitter and other social media is much more than that. The good news is that it is not a demanding task, and as it doesn’t require any special skills, hiring a person for it is more than affordable. What do you get out of this bargain? More room in your schedule and peace of mind knowing that your social media presence is taken care of.

Content marketing

How can you promote your small business in an excellent, yet non-aggressive way? The answer is content marketing. Writing content that is easy to read but also informative and practical is a popular and effective way of promoting your business without actually selling anything. Following this increasingly successful strategy, many companies have executives whose job is strictly related to content marketing. For small businesses, on the other hand, outsourcing is the most reasonable option.

Artwork and printing

If you sell products or services, you need logos, website art, and promotional material. As a matter of fact, even if you don’t sell anything, you still need business cards at least. And this is where it gets tricky. Not everyone has a talent for graphic design. As much as you feel inclined and motivated to design something for your company on your own, it is best to outsource this job to professionals. There are many reputable companies who specialize in digital printing in Sydney area that you can hire without breaking the bank.

General weaknesses

At the end of the day, it is always best to evaluate and identify the company’s tasks that you are not very good at. This will give you a clear picture of what sectors you should outsource. By relegating some of those tasks, your crew will have more time to focus on things you are actually good at, which will help you develop your small business faster. And then, there is the money issue. If you compare the cost of a full-time executive and a freelancer, the lance wins any day.

Once the amount of work increases beyond the capacity, outsourcing is a popular way for small businesses to keep on paddling. Having the need to outsource doesn’t mean that you as the CEO are incapable or that your company is sinking. On the contrary, it means that you are developing at full speed.

5 Business Practices You Didn’t Know You Could Outsource

Business outsourceEven though traditionalists loathe the idea of anything not being done in-house, it goes beyond saying that in 2017 outsourcing is more than a common business practice. Sometimes, it is both cheaper and more convenient to just get an expert outsider than to try to train, equip and fund your own department. Not to mention the fact that it would take months, perhaps even years, for your team to gain the same level of the expertise. Be as it may, while a lot of companies outsource their customer support, accounting, and web design, there are other fields you could outsource, as well. With this in mind and without further ado, here are a few business practices you probably didn’t know you could outsource.

1. Research and development

A thing that makes this particular outsourcing idea… let’s say controversial, is a fact that a lot of companies tend to be quite jealous of their prototypes. You see, some even decide to sit on their most valuable discoveries for years in hope that some of their competitors will stumble upon it by chance and therefore commit a copyright violation. Still, research and development take a lot of work, meaning that such a team would have to perform demographic and market research, financial analysis and many other complex tasks. This alone is the reason most companies decide that it is much more cost-effective to deal with this overseas.

2. Presentation design

Another thing that some companies decide to outsource is presentation design. No matter how brilliant your idea might be, there is always a risk that your investors won’t understand it the way you intended. Framing your thoughts in a format that is both engaging and enticing takes a lot of skill and experience, which is again why so many companies decide to entrust this function to someone more competent, like professional presentation design services providers. Features like structure, narrative and visual style play a key role in your persuasion attempts and you need someone who thoroughly understands them. Of course, training your own team-members in this field might seem like a smarter long-term choice but sometimes you simply may not have this luxury of time.

3. Manufacturing

If you decide to take a look at any guide on outsourcing, most of them will advise you to keep doing core tasks in-house. No matter how wise this may sound at first, upon a closer examination, you will realize that all major conglomerates outsource their production. Reasons behind this are usually more convenient labor laws abroad, cheaper workforce or more affordable raw materials abroad. Sure, some may still discuss just how ethical this course of action may be but no one can deny its cost-efficiency.

4. Telemarketing

One of the greatest misconceptions regarding telemarketing is that it has no place in the world of modern marketing. The truth is that it no longer gives the same stand-alone results but it still works quite well as the support of your digital marketing. In other words, these days you can effectively use telemarketing in order to boost your website traffic and in this way enhance your digital marketing campaign. Still, there is a thin line between making people interested and annoying them on the phone and crossing it can be quite costly. There are certain skills a good telemarketer needs to possess but at the end of the day, even good might not be good enough. When you need the services of the best, it might be time for you to outsource.

5. Transportation

Finally, while some companies prefer to get their own company vehicles when it comes to the transportation of employees, this seldom comes as worth the cost. The greatest benefits of such methods would be the chance to label your company as green by reducing its carbon footprint but this can be done through outsourcing, as well. As for the cost-effectiveness, like always, it is short-term cheaper to outsource and long-term cheaper to handle it in-house.


The funniest thing about this list is that it is only a tip of the iceberg. In fact, the list of tasks you can (and even should) outsource seems to be much longer than the one of the tasks that absolutely need to be done on-spot. Some honorable mentions are scheduling, voicemail support, employee retention, and healthcare. The world is your oyster, only now you might want to consider getting someone else to shuck it, coat it and fry it for you.

What a Good Marketing Agency can Do For You

Global BusinessThere is a perpetual debate being waged about whether companies should implement marketing departments of their own or should they outsource their marketing to outside partners, i.e. marketing agencies. In many cases, it comes down to money, but sometimes other factors play a more important role.

Today, we will be looking at those factors and try to find out what a good marketing agency can do for you and your company should you decide to use an outside partner.

Years of Expertise

Any renowned marketing agency will boast a staff filled with people who have spent years in marketing and who have actually had marketing education. In the world of digital marketing gurus and other charlatans, this is a huge thing as these people will actually know what they are doing. They will know how to identify your needs and the best way to fulfill those needs in the most cost-effective way possible. This is what decades of joint experience bring to the table and it is definitely not something you should ignore.

Latest Technology

Marketing has become technology-driven and it is safe to say that most companies do not have the resources to supply their limited marketing teams with all the new technology. When you go outside for a marketing partner, you know that you will be getting services enabled by the latest technology – from content producing equipment to the latest in data analysis software and beyond. With this latest technology, your outsourced marketing partner will be able to set you apart from the competition which is what marketing is all about when you get down to it.

So Many Ideas

Marketing agencies thrive on ideas and they employ people just for the purpose of having ideas. Unless you run a massive corporation with huge marketing teams, your marketing department will be limited and its members will sooner or later start to think alike. Marketing agencies are set up in a way to avoid this and to provide a constant stream of ideas and innovation. As a result of this, your marketing efforts will stand out in the crowd and your message will never get stale.

Crucial Tweaks

Marketing is a fluid concept and once you settle on a strategy, it is not set in stone. It has to be revisited on a daily basis and it needs to be tweaked along the way. In-house marketing departments often neglect this aspect of their work for a number of reasons – limited resources and vanity being the primary ones. When you hire a marketing agency, you can rest assured they will be adjusting your campaigns regularly so that you get the best possible results.

Abundance of Data

One of the most difficult aspects of marketing to master is data and data analysis. This is often considered the hard science part of marketing and many in-house marketing teams lack the expertise in this particular field. Sure, they know how to recognize when a campaign is not working out, but they lack the advanced knowledge and actual data to make models that will predict future outcomes and that will more precisely identify what works and what doesn’t. Professional marketing agencies operate with all the data you can ever need and they know how to present it to you in a way that will help you make smart decisions down the road.

In the end, it is all about being able to make truly informed decisions that will benefit your company. A good marketing agency can do that for you.

How to Use Outsourcing to Grow Your Company

GraphGrowing a company is hard work. It takes much more than just talent or a few smart moves to turn a new company into a growing business that will be taking on new employees, expanding its market share and bringing in more revenue.

Nowadays, however, business owners have an ally that their predecessors did not – outsourcing partners. Outsourcing is effectively revolutionizing the way business is done and especially the way in which companies grow.

In other words, if you wish to grow your company the smart way, you will turn to outsourcing.

Access to Talent

Let’s be honest, not all parts of the world are teeming with talent in all industries. There are areas where technical schools are extraordinary and you can easily find engineers and developers in those parts of the world. However, what if your local talent pool is shallow and you struggle to find someone to fill the most crucial roles in your company?

Well, you turn to outsourcing companies which are teeming with talent and which always have someone on call who can handle various roles that you need filling in your company. You will be getting experts with years of experience when you outsource, and usually at a fraction of the cost you would incur if you sourced that talent yourself.

State-of-the-art Tools

A growing company needs to keep growing and this is near impossible to do without all the right tools. Upgrading tools as your company grows can be costly. For instance, moving your website to high-quality dedicated hosting can be quite an undertaking and an expense which becomes a necessity at one point. And this is just the most basic thing.

Imagine if you had an IT team that once served ten people now having to take on a hundred. You would have to invest huge amounts of money in the latest tools.

With outsourced partners, you know you are getting the latest in technology, no matter what part of your operation you are outsourcing. Outsourcing companies know that their clients require the best and they understand that they need the best possible tools money can buy.

Once again, you are getting tools that are worth millions at a fraction of the price tag.

Unprecedented Versatility

Let’s imagine a situation in which your company experienced rapid growth and you went from 25 employees to 250. You moved offices and you invested millions in your expansion.

Then, all of a sudden, your industry experiences a downturn and all of a sudden, you have to cut back, letting go a hundred people and finding a way to get out of your office space contract. It soon becomes obvious that you bit off more than you can chew and you are having a difficult time scaling back.

With outsourcing, this does not happen. Outsourcing allows you to quickly scale up your operation and get all the help you need without the strings that come attached to doing so on your own. If you suddenly realize that you have to slow down and perhaps roll back some of the expansion, outsourcing companies let you do this just as quickly and as easily as you did when growing.

This may not sound like much, but it can definitely make a difference between a company that finds its way in new circumstances and one that gets swallowed by new realities.

New Ideas

When you get into partnerships with outsourcing companies, you will be tapping into a source of great expertise and knowledge and if you know what is good for you, you will spend some time analyzing the way in which they do things.

This will not only ensure that you get the best results from them, but it will also provide you with an abundance of new ideas that you might apply to various parts of your operation. You may, for example, discover an interesting way in which they handle certain requirements of the job you hired them for or they might be using a piece of software you never thought of.

It is crucial to have an open mind and to get as much as you can from your new relationship.

3 Tips for Expanding Your Company on a Global Level

Globe businessHistorically, expanding and opening an international office was something reserved solely for the largest conglomerates and multi-million dollar companies. This, however, is no longer the case. Thanks to the Internet, you can now easily research a foreign market and make some reliable local contacts. Furthermore, you can get in touch with people who do this sort of thing in a foreign country or use your online resources to see if there is a government grant or incentive that would make this investment worth your while.

When all of these things are considered, expanding your company globally might not be something out of your reach after all. So, if you do decide to go on with it, here are some tips that you may find useful.

1. It is still quite expensive

Sure, having your company present on a foreign market may seem like a good idea, but is it really a cost-effective one? It would be perfect if your office could just materialize in a different country and all your employees suddenly turned into native citizens. However, in reality, both of these things are something you need to work hard to achieve. Moreover, it’s not just about hard work, but expenses as well. So, aside from being a considerable risk, investing in a foreign country is not cheap, which means you have to be 100 percent sure that making this move is worth your while.

2. Research the local culture

Another thing you need to do when planning to expand internationally is to research the target country’s culture. Sure, everyone knows that opening up a restaurant that serves pork in a predominantly Muslim country or one serving beef in India is not such a good idea. There are also numerous other cultural differences, which could prevent you from achieving profit at your intended destination. You see, even some of the most unlikely items might be prohibited in your target country, which could potentially hinder your efforts to launch your product on that market.

Aside from that, there is the issue of etiquette, local laws and regulations, as well as local policies that may affect your industry. The best way you can deal with this is by hiring a reliable DMC (destination management company) to help you out. It will be best if the company in question is based locally, seeing how it would give you a point of view much closer to locals. For instance, Australian and NZ entrepreneurs hoping to start a business in the U.S. could contact someone at the Insider Experience.

3. Hiring the right people

Finally, one of the greatest problems a company can face when going global is finding a way to hire the right people. First of all, it is much easier to look presentable during a Skype call, than in an actual job interview. Additionally, you have no way of knowing if the person you entrusted this task with has the right recruitment skills.

This is why it is probably your best choice to get in touch with an international recruitment agency, of course, after checking their reputation online. You could additionally do some background checking of your employees over social networks (not just their LinkedIn profile). Needless to say, it still might be best to go pay them a visit in person from time to time.

Of course, another way to go is to outsource part of your operation, especially in the early days. This is, in fact, something that is often recommended to companies which enter markets that are unfamiliar to them. Outsource as much of your operation as you can until you get to know the new marketplace and its idiosyncrasies and until you build up your reputation as an employer.


As you can see, expanding your office internationally may be an extremely lucrative move in some situations, but in others, it might not be such a good idea. If you don’t have anyone you can lean on at the target destination, means to travel there from time to time or someone to check the terrain before you move, it is probably for the best to avoid this risky move. Still, in the digital era of 2017, all of these things are much easier to handle.

Why you should Reevaluate your Outsourced Partners

ChartsGoverned by the motto “Do what you do best, outsource the rest”, companies have been outsourcing their business needs in the last 15 years. By doing that, they are able to focus on their business strategies and execution without having to worry about the details of their daily tasks. Outsourcing enables you to reduce time to market, save money, scale quicker, and increase your access to expertise.

Does outsourcing always pay off?

There are companies that decided to outsource certain functions at one point, but eventually brought them back in-house. The reasons for this can vary: the outsourced partner did not deliver the promised cost savings, they’ve grown lazy over time, or the transition simply didn’t go well. Initially, the company may see greater efficiencies and lower costs, but there was no continued improvement.

It often happens that the disappointments are rooted in the fact that the outsourcing partners fail to understand the company’s long-term goals and company culture. Outsourcing is about increasing operational efficiencies on an ongoing basis rather than just about cutting in the short term. When you realize that things aren’t going as planned, it’s important to reevaluate your outsourced partners, and understand why they fail to deliver properly.

Outsourcing contract mistakes

If you fail to define all the details in your agreement with outsourcing partners, you’ll quickly blow your budget. Whether you outsourced for IT, HR, or customer service help, not specifying budget limitations, delivery deadlines, and clear requirements will most likely result in spending more money and time than expected. All the guidelines can be difficult to establish, of course, so instead of getting yourself into a position to have to reevaluate their contribution and eventually change the outsourcing partner, you should start with a temporary agreement that can be renegotiated when needed.

For example, you’ve outsourced your IT department, to perform your website maintenance, security and hosting, telecommunications, database management, or technical support. Take time to check upon their services from time to time, to see how your software development is taking place or what kind of hosting features you really get.

In case that they’re not delivering what’s expected, you should be able to push back on contract terms. When signing an agreement with an outsourced partner, insist on including a clause that allows you to break the contract in case you realize (and are able to prove) that they haven’t been fulfilling their part job determined by the contract.

Is your relationship built on trust?

Assuming that you can enter into a smooth working relationship with an outsourced partner would be a mistake. In recent years, the approach where work gets simply assigned to an outsourced team has been replaced by efforts on creating a true partnership with them.

Reevaluation of your outsourced partners is necessary if you’re not committed to outsourcing as your company’s business strategy and are not comfortable with all the processes involved. Believing in the gains of outsourcing beyond the ones determined in the service level agreement and contracts is also necessary, but on the other hand, you should stay in control by managing the projects on an ongoing basis, developing project management plans, and monitoring deliverables. Always be prepared to implement changes.

Keep track of changing circumstances

It may be necessary to recalibrate or renegotiate the service level agreement as circumstances change. Is the composition of the team changing from time to time? Are new members joining the team or is there a staff turnover? Whenever it happens, retain your right to reject them as team members if you don’t think they meet your requirements (after evaluating their CVs or after a Skype interview). It is not common, but it happens that outsourcing service providers attract companies with skilled workers, replacing them with inexperienced ones after the commencement of the contract.

Adjust service levels every now and then in order to align goals and increase mutual understanding, which will contribute to a better relationship with your outsourcing partners. After all, the most crucial part of having a service level agreement is the two-way discussion that revolves around its contents.

Outsourcing service providers need to show their clients that they’re able to provide more than just providing basic operational support, meeting cost reduction goals, and staff augmentation. Today’s directive requires them to try to add tech support and innovations, as well as valuable and niche skills. On the other hand, you should remember that taking risks, monitoring the work of your outsourced staff, and eventually changing some of your associations is required for your business growth.

How to Become a Workplace Health and Safety Officer

The progress that has been evident in almost every field has also brought about significant changes to the way we work, including the requirements related to health and safety. It’s often no longer enough to receive traditional education and training, since the types of emergencies have also changed and now require different approaches.

Work health and safety is one of the crucial aspects of daily operations of every company. It’s a well-known fact that illnesses and accidents can affect much more than just production processes.

Unfortunately, they sometimes lead to serious injuries or even death. That’s why it’s important for health and safety experts to receive relevant and applicable knowledge. So, let’s look at what it takes to become a workplace health and safety officer.

Step 1

The first step you need to take if you want to become an expert in this field is to attend a work and safety course and get a valid certificate after completing it. If you’re living Down Under, your most natural choices are Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and Diploma of Work Health and Safety.

Consider these as stepping stones towards the ultimate goal. Such a course will teach you to identify risks and hazards in the workplace, react appropriately to accidents, operate different types of emergency warning systems, check compliance with work health and safety legislation and you’ll also learn quite a lot of theory.

However, if you want to progress and get promoted, or simply become more competitive on the job market, you’ll need to get Diploma WHS, since it will provide you with additional set of skills. This way you would be able to investigate risks and hazards, manage workplace health and safety consultation process, draft elaborate safety reports and use risk management tools.

Licenses for specific high-risk jobs

If your interest lies in working with specific, high-risk equipment or in more dangerous environments, you’ll need to meet some special requirements. They depend on the area in which you’re looking for work, which means you need to ask around and get relevant and correct information before taking any steps.

Furthermore, those among you whose ambition is to become trainers need to be ready to add to their existing qualifications, although the most useful thing to do for them is collect as much relevant experience as possible. This is not only a requirement for becoming a trainer, but also an invaluable component of every professional knowledge.

Choosing the way of studying

Like most other courses, those in workplace health and safety can be taken either online or face-to-face. Either way, they usually last not more than one year, which allows all candidates to take the plunge rather quickly and learn the ropes.

It is important to compare available courses and what they offer, as well as to look for testimonials from people who have already finished some courses. Make sure you choose the best option available since you need to invest both your money and effort into completing a course.


With the development of various fields of work, the job requirements for health and safety officers have also changed and become stricter. The desired knowledge and skills are also becoming more specific, which means that traditional qualifications may not be sufficient or that other people will have an advantage over you when applying for a job in this field.

Apart from completing appropriate courses and getting valid certificates, you should try to get as much varied experience as possible, since that will be both useful for any future job and necessary if you decide to pursue a more esteemed career. It’s up to you to choose the institution that can provide appropriate training and try to get a job as soon as possible.