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When is it okay to copy the strategies of a competitor for your marketing?

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Succeeding in business is not easy, and at times, you may be required to employ some unorthodox methods in order to come up on top. It goes without saying that none of these should ever, however, be illegal. Duplicating the strategies and plans of another company isn’t always a good idea and may on occasion land you in court, but there are still plenty of perfectly legal ways, and sensible things to do, if you want to find out why the strategies of your competitor are winning out.

 

Most people start their businesses on the “expected potential”, but not many people can guarantee this potential throughout the life of their businesses. As an entrepreneur and business owner, you are at the nucleus, or centre, of the business, and you will be required to come up with plans and strategies that will help you achieve your set goals.

Here’s how you can grow your business by copying your competitors

Check their sales strategies

Whatever your field of business, you are not alone, and there are almost always businesses that are chasing you, getting ahead of you and doing better than you. These are the businesses you must concentrate on, on a daily basis. Ensure that you check their sales figures, and how much they have improved over time.

By analysing their figures, you are able to challenge yourself in the long run. Look at their marketing strategies, and try to understand why and where they are making more of a success of their marketing than you are.

 

If a company is doing better than yours, it means there are things they are doing differently. This is what you need to know. Follow the company on their social media pages and look at the kind of interactions they are having with their customers and potential customers as well.

In the end, this will only make you better in your operations.

Compare their selling prices

It is important to understand how much competitors are selling the same products for. This helps you to check whether you are being competitive.

Looking at the prices your competitors are offering can help you streamline your prices as well, so that you can be more competitive, or even use this as a way to outshine them. Offering the same products at a cheaper price will put you ahead of your competitors.

You should, however, ensure that you are not too cheap or customers may end up questioning the genuineness of your products, and you will end up making losses.

Look at their advertisements

Advertising is one of the major avenues where competitors get to compete evenly. You are free to design the kind of advert that will seriously entice your clients. If you are able to look at what your competitors have done, your job is to improve on it and come up with a better advert.

Remember that the more interesting and engaging an advert is, the more likely you are to get more customers from it.

Take time to come up with a good advert that will capture everyone’s attention, and ensure that it is better than what your competitors are offering.

If you plan to throw shade on them, do it in a funny or professional manner, that will not make you out to be a bully.

Follow them on social media

Follow all of your competitors on social media. This helps you know what they are thinking, how they are working and their interaction with clients.

At the end of the day, you will learn so much from their social media, as this is one of the most common means of communication between customers and business organisations.

You can even pretend to be one of their clients so you are able to get deeper understanding of the organisation. Go a step further and even order one of their products in order to analyse how long it takes to respond to your order, their delivery procedures and the length of time it takes to receive the order.

By doing this, you are able to get a better understanding of the company operations, what they do well and don’t do, and use the information to make your services much better than your competitors.

Visit their premises

This helps you know a lot about how they do their business. Finding out this information will help you streamline your customer service if you can see things they are doing that you are not. The way in which a client is received determines whether or not they will do business with you. It is always important to learn new techniques and new ways of retaining and gaining potential clients.

Find out from the customer service department how they do their business, what they are offering as after sale services, and even how they go about things such as returns.

Once you are armed with this information, you are able to look within your organisation at what is lacking and improve on that.

Learn from their mistakes

This is the best lesson ever. You must learn from the mistakes of your competitors. If they suddenly go out of business, or they end up dealing with a big scandal, it is your responsibility to find out what they did wrong and make sure you do not do the same.

One company did so well and decided to open up big branches all over the country. Unfortunately, they overstretched themselves and ended up spending all of their capital on this venture. In the end, they depleted even their savings and within a short time the company that had become the number one in the entire country ended up closing down.

This is a good lesson to learn and not repeat.

Conclusion

What you should endeavor to learn from competitors is how to improve in your everyday operations, and their mistakes. You must never copy them fully as this may not be what is needed in your company. Remember that each company is unique and must come up with their own strategies in order to make a mark.

Hi. I am Muhammad Mubeen. I am SEO Expat and Wordpress Websites Developer &  Blogger. 27 years old. I help entrepreneurs become go-to in their industry. And, I like helping the next one in line. You can follow my journey on my blog, All Note AbleB2B Guru PlanCross ArticleDj Soft WorldFinance PressHufforbesLife Health Press BusinessStrong ArticleThe Top StoriesUS Update ZoneBusiness TodayScience NewsEssay Writing AcademicElite Guide Health If you need any post so you can email me on my this Email: mubeenh782@gmail.com  

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The office stationery you have to have in your new start up

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Building a business from scratch is challenging. As such, new business owners often have limited resources in the beginning. You may be having to budget your labour, money, and time to expand the business. You may have to juggle many responsibilities. If you are embarking on a small startup, then for sure, it’s an uphill battle in the beginning.
But it should be exciting too! Now that you have a small business that’s big enough to be positioned in an actual office space, it’s time to shop for stationery, office supplies, furniture and storage solutions. And then it’s time to celebrate!
Office stationery is a necessity when it comes to keeping yourself and your business organised, and your processes running smoothly. Documents also need to be managed through information technology. So get kitted out with these new start-up office management essentials!

Office Stationery

● Desk Supplies

Begin with the real basics of the office. Items such as paper clips, rubbish bins, pens, tape, and highlighters. These items should not be taken for granted. They are considered essential items for a reason! They will help you take notes, keep tidy records, be creative, and organise your systems and your daily business schedule. Having the right office supplies enhances productivity.

● Apps and Software

Irrespective of your device, you’ll need software and a few apps to assist you in managing your new business. Such tasks may include making payments, invoicing clients, scheduling appointments, and maintaining your blog or website. It may also involve monitoring your social media presence. One of these apps is GoCo. For small business owners, human resources may be a terrifying mystery. There’s so much to get right and learn. If you are running your first startup, it may be difficult to devote the personnel that is needed to handle all the office work. GoCo will help you with your office management. It is also a platform to support with your human resources. It helps with time-tracking, document management, and payroll management.

● Printing Supplies
Now that you have the technology you need for your startup, you need the supplies as well. If you have an office printer, then you should keep spare cartridges, toners, and ribbons handy at all time. There’s nothing worse than realising in the middle of a vital print job that you have run out of printer ink. Also, CDs and tapes will come in handy if there is a need to record work.

● Files and Folders

You need files as well as folders on your desk too. You should store documents such as licenses, certificates, sanctions, and others carefully. Files are a vital part of the office supplies. They speak volumes to your customers about how seriously you take and how disciplined you are regarding organisation.

● Writing Tools

You should store plenty of writing tools in your office. These should include pencils, erasers, and rulers. These are the basics. Have adequate supplies of various types of devices used for writing for multiple purposes. If the startup needs you to draw sketches or business plans, have pencils and brushes available too.

● Mailing Supplies

When it comes to distributing emails, invoices, paychecks, and other vital documents, you’ll require something to send it in. You should stock envelopes and postage materials.

● Planning- Time Tracking

The busier you become in the new business, the more vital time management becomes. You may have a calendar on your phone. It may also be synched with the official calendar. But, it’s crucial to view things in relation to other aspects such as the possibility of holding a meeting. That’s why you should purchase a planner and hang it on the wall to track your appointments. Sometimes it’s just vital to see something on paper.
● Rubbish Bins

Your office can’t do without a rubbish can and waste paper bins. Keep one of each next to every work station. You should also keep one near the coffee machine. You’ll also need bags to put the rubbish in.

● Scissors

Cutting tools are a necessity in the office. Scissors, as well as paper cutters come in handy, especially with the inbound letters and parcels. You’ll be amazed by how many pairs of scissors get lost, so have plenty around!

● Office Machinery

Having the right electricals in your small business is essential. Having the wrong equipment may set you back. It may prevent you from reaching your potential. The necessary hardware in your office should encompass computers as well as a proper networking system. They include a photocopier as well as a telephone. Without basic machines, the business may struggle to access better communication channels and reach clients.

● Office Comfort Equipment

It’s important to create an environment in which employees feel comfortable, valued and energised when they are working. This will play a key role in reducing injury, stress, work tensions and lack of motivation. Invest in good, high quality office chairs. To do anything else is a false economy as it will only result in injuries. They should be ergonomic to help reduce neck pain. They can also alleviate back pain. Other methods that can help reduce muscle pain include purchasing wrist rests and footrests. You may also consider buying laptop stands.

Starting up a small business you will need office stationery, supplies, and equipment. Buying items such as printers, fax machines, and computers will be the most significant expense of your startup. But, if you plan well, you’ll be able to control office start up expenditures by purchasing the right items that last a long time. It may also be beneficial to purchase heaters and air conditioners, and don’t forget that other essential… the coffee machine! The right basics can transform your office space into a great success story and a motivating force for your employees and your business.

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You can actually make your will online – here’s how

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Understanding The Elements of a Will

When making a will, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the different elements and legal terms which go together to make a will legally valid.

A will refers to a legal document in which an individual, otherwise known as a Testator, expresses his or her wishes regarding how they want their assets to be distributed when they die. Assets just means everything you own which will need to be redistributed when you die. It could mean money and land and houses, but also your smaller items of property such as books, jewellery and even photos and diaries.

Usually, the subject names one or more individuals as the Executor of the will. The executor refers to the person (or persons) who are responsible for ensuring the testator’s wishes are carried out after their death.  It’ll be up to the individual you’ve appointed to follow your instructions to the letter.

The will should have a record of every detail regarding how you want your property to be shared among your beneficiaries. Beneficiaries are simply those people who will benefit from your will in some way or other. You can name whomever you wish to be your beneficiaries. Most people pass their assets to their spouse, children and other close family, but some people choose others including charities and organisations to benefit from their will.

Why Write a Will

Most people – two thirds of people in the UK in fact – don’t have a will. Perhaps they consider it complicated to arrange, or they don’t feel they have assets worth enough to make a will necessary. More often than not, people put off writing a will because they worry about the costs involved. All of those fears are in fact unfounded.

Writing a will – no matter how small or large your assets are – is one of the most important jobs you will do in your lifetime. Think of how much peace of mind it would give you to know that your loved ones will be well taken care of after your death and that your assets will be going to those whom you know will appreciate them and understand how loved it meant they were by you.

Creating a will has become far easier with the advent of technology and the use of online will writing services. You can now create legal documents promptly and easily, and without any of the expense that used to be involved in paying a solicitor to write your will for you.

Are Online Wills Legal?

Absolutely. It is perfectly legal to take advantage of the many services that help you create a will online. Such websites provide an online will maker who can guide the user to a tailored, finished product, by asking questions and presenting the various options available. The answers to these questions are keyed into a template and enable the will writer to ensure your will is written in the legal way and with your wishes at its heart. Some websites provide forms and step-by-step guidelines so that you can fill out your will on your own, without input from anyone else. Others offer a DIY template which can be downloaded to your computer.

Are Such Wills Different from the Conventional Ones?

Only in the sense of how they have been made. An online will has the same content and legal weight as a will written in a solicitor’s office with you present. This is as long as the will you’ve created complies with the law and is signed and witnessed in the correct way.

Breaking Down the Process of Creating A Will Online

  • Step 1

Create and write the introduction to your will. You should begin with the sentence “This is the Last Will and Testament of….”,  followed by your full name as well as the address you’re currently using. You also need to testify that you’re of age and are of sound mind. It’s crucial to state that you’re not making the will under any duress. At the end of the first step, you should state that it’s your last will and that it revokes any will that was previously made. If you’re using software, the program will generate the introductory section for you.

  • Step 2

As earlier discussed, you will need an Executor. This person will oversee the implementation of your will. It could be a close friend or a trusted family member. Meet this individual and discuss their willingness to be responsible for execution when you die however, before naming them. Then, if they agree, name them as such in your will. It’s important to select an alternate executor too, in case your first choice is unwilling and unable to perform their duties when the time comes.

  • Step 3

In this step, you should identify your Beneficiaries. This could be your spouse, children, or life partner. You can make additional provisions for other individuals. Ensure you identify these people clearly with their full names so that there is no confusion regarding their identities. The names of the beneficiaries must appear on your online portal.

  • Step 4

In this step, you should name a guardian for your minor children, if you have any. If you have young children who still need guardianship, choose someone who you feel will be able to take good care of all the children’s needs and is close in terms of beliefs, philosophy and attitude to yourself. Discuss the responsibility of the role with those you wish to nominate before naming them.

  • Step 5

Even though you’re creating your will online, you need to have all the details ready thought-out and prepared. As such, you should assess the value of your property and divide it. List all your assets including bank accounts, stocks, tangible assets, bonds, and real estate. Then decide how you wish to split them amongst your beneficiaries. For instance, you can allocate 50 percent to your spouse and 25 percent each to your children. Or you may also make individual gifts of different properties to be allocated to your beneficiaries. The choice is entirely yours but again, it is advisable to discuss your decisions with your beneficiaries if you think any of your decisions may cause confusion or distress after your death.

  • Step 6

Have your will witnessed. This is very important or your will won’t be legally valid and could be challenged or nullified after your death. The online will service will have a signing portal. You will be required to have at least two witnesses sign the will, and witness each other sign it. Usually, they should not be the beneficiaries of the will.

In summary, online will making is a great idea for individuals whose properties are below the estate tax limits. It is also great for individuals who have a straightforward estate. If you have an estate that could be subject to large amounts of tax however, or complicated family arrangements, you should consult a lawyer. Otherwise, take advantage of the online will services that are available and give yourself peace of mind knowing that this important task is taken care of.

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Why solicitors charge so much for their services – and what your alternatives are

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Lower and more affordable legal fees have been a hot topic of discussion recently, with many people complaining about the unaffordability of solicitors.

Going to court without a legal representative (known as pro se legal representation) is far from easy or recommended but is becoming the only option for many, and courts are spending increasing amounts of time attempting to help people in these circumstances.

So the question arises, why are solicitors are so expensive? And what are the reasonable and affordable alternatives if you find yourself in the position of needing legal representation, but not being able to afford it?

The reasons why solicitors are expensive:

  • Limited competition. Due to licensing requirements, the number of lawyers is somewhat limited, though this did change as law schools expanded significantly a few years back. There was then a problem with the oversupply of lawyers however and many law graduates found themselves lacking jobs during the recession, so numbers of practising lawyers decreased and competition for places at law schools again increased. Inversely, the fees qualified lawyers could afford to charge as their numbers were restricted, rose, pricing many ordinary would-be clients out of the market altogether.
  • High law school costs. Typically, tuition, board, and living costs for law students are very high. The fees for Law School alone can set you back £9,250 a year and it takes many years of training to become a lawyer and get accepted to the Bar. And things don’t end at passing the Bar exam; a lawyer must invest in keeping updated.
  • The legal work’s value. Usually, legal representatives are essential members of corporations, businesses, governments and nonprofit organisations, and individuals rely on the work that lawyers do during some of the most important times of their lives too. They are highly qualified professionals whose work, for the most part, cannot be done by anyone less qualified.  Since there is so much at stake, people are often more than willing to pay for good representation.
  • Most of the work done by lawyers consumes lots of time: It is imperative for solicitors to take time on clients’ cases in order to do a good job for them. Too much is usually at stake for it to be a rush-job. Lawyers must learn their clients’ goals and situations and the working out individualised plans which will assist their clients in obtaining those goals.. Dependent on the goals and circumstances of the client, achieving results could require huge amounts of time.   Litigations swallow huge time chunks with court appearances, discovery requests as well as depositions.
  • Law firms can be inefficient. Because of the limited nature of the competition, there is often little incentive for lawyers to develop more efficient, cost-saving systems. Legal services delivery could be updated with more investment in state of the art computing systems.

What are the solutions?

For sure, it would very much help if solicitors reduced their fees, but unsurprisingly, most are not keen to see this happen. Therefore here are some options that could make a possible dent in legal services’ costs for those who cannot afford them.

  • Will Writing Templates. When it comes to writing a will these days, there are more options available than ever before. Online will writing services and will writing templates have meant that a service which was once only provided by seeing a solicitor in person at high cost, is now available at low cost or even free online.
  • Pro Bono. Some law firms and law students are prepared to take on a small number of cases ‘pro bono publico’, which is the Latin phrase for professional work undertaken voluntarily, free of charge and in the public good. If you can find a law firm, or group of law students at university who are prepared to use their specific skills to help you win your case, then you have a chance of seeing your case given all the professional attention and legal understanding required to win a case, with no personal cost, which is obviously a fantastic result. However, most pro bono cases are taken on because they are specific types of case. Typically, they are cases where winning would provide an exceptionally important contribution to society, either by helping vulnerable people – families on low incomes for example, or those at risk of being exploited by a much richer or more powerful groups – or by helping charities or international communities whose legal needs would otherwise be left unmet.
  • No Win, No Fee Agreements. Also known as Conditional Fee Agreements, these usually only apply to cases where compensation is being sought but they can offer a great solution to those who wish to pursue legal action but cannot afford legal costs. Under a No Win, No Fee agreement, you only pay your lawyer if your case is won, and only then a limited proportion of the damages awarded to you. In the instance that you lose your case, you are typically not liable to pay anything under these kind of agreements.
  • Limited representation. Some solicitors may be prepared to help clients with paper preparations without going to court to represent them. This could lead to a significant reduction in costs, as court costs are often the most expensive part of legal fee bills, but give you the legal knowledge and understanding you might struggle to get on your own. It is a good compromise if you don’t feel confident doing all the legal work yourself, but cannot afford legal representation in court.
  • Online legal services. Nowadays many firms offer legal services purely online. This has lead to lower cost services which can be the answer to those who need professional legal assistance but are on a low budget.
  • Sliding scales. Other law firms are now experimenting with various charging structures dependent on the income of the clients. Some do these via mentoring and offering office spaces to new lawyers that provide services to clients who have lower incomes. This, in turn, provides a two-way benefit for the new solicitors and the clients. The clients get less costly legal representations while the solicitors get training experience.

Conclusion

The costs of legal fees are still prohibitively high for many people, however there are options available for those who wish to make use of the professional skills of lawyers but cannot afford vast sums of money in costs. Hopefully in the future, more services tailored to those on low budgets will become more available, making the law more accessible for all.

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