Posts

Social media has been gaining more and more importance across the years with the rise of digital advertising. At the local level, various Mauritian entrepreneurs have opened sustainable social-media exclusive businesses. Others have boosted their start-ups thanks to well-timed and focused social media marketing strategies. Others still use their accounts to create online portfolios for their products. What makes these communication and socializing platforms so lucrative and advantageous to entrepreneurs? Find the answers below:

 

Social media is free/inexpensive

Be it Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, all of them enable users to create free accounts. Entrepreneurs do not have to spend a rupee to set up their business online via these platforms. The advanced advertising options also do not cost much. This makes them especially convenient for beginners and small businesses who cannot afford an actual website. They do not have to pay monthly rent, labour costs and/or invest in merchandise to display. For instance, various on-demand food businesses have flourished with these low-cost options.

 

Social media is user-friendly

Most of the popular social media platforms are easy to use. They are designed to make users comfortable and they make business-running easy. Young entrepreneurs excel at working with these sites and apps and can expertly launch their start-up online. On the other hand, some members of the aged population might find the technology daunting. However, if taught properly, they will surely be able to use the platforms. Busy people also find it easier to use online means of browsing and shopping. Social media is, after all, less time consuming and location-sensitive than traditional brick and mortar stores.

 

The platforms have a large daily user-count

Social media platforms provide entrepreneurs with access to an important number of local and foreign potential clients. They offer opportunities for mass viewership and for a considerable rise in popularity. This also applies in vice versa. Users can easily access information and pictures about entrepreneurs and their businesses. This helps to build a reputation and increases communication between businesses and clients. Additionally, thanks to the use of artificial intelligence and databases, potential customers receive advertisement campaigns according to their interests. This maximises chances of them visiting the advertised page and buying the product.

 

Social media is a trendy form of doing business

The contemporary society is very receptive of innovation. Social media businesses embrace this trend and become part of the online community. Incidentally, the rise of influencer marketing perfectly highlights the increasing popularity of digital advertising. By using influencers to promote a product, entrepreneurs target the local population in a very trendy way. This can also work to increase the credibility of the business, thus attracting more customers.

As seen above, social media offers a wide range of opportunities to entrepreneurs. From setup to marketing to customer management, these platforms work to facilitate business creation and development. Entrepreneurs who wish to evaluate their start-ups before investing also sometimes turn to social media for a test run. Various other advantages include employee communication, instant company updates, maintaining an online presence, keeping track of the competition, etc…

Developing your business abroad seems simple thanks to the Internet. However, internationalisation can fail without a good prior study of the competition, the market, and/or cultural codes.

Digital activities are continuing to grow internationally, partly due to the facilities that the Internet offers to entrepreneurs. It is easy to slack off with the advantages of technology. It allows you to create an activity with the prospect of developing it internationally, all without moving from home. This does not mean that it is effortless. To expand on an international scale, you will need to grow your expertise and multiply collaborations. Therefore, staying at home and taking it easy is not a real option.

Below are some key steps to take when planning to launch your business abroad.

Analyse your business’s performance with regards to the local market

Before considering the expansion of your business on the international scale, you should conduct a study about its current performance. Are local customers happy with the services that it offers? Is your business successful at the local level? If the answers to these are yes, you should try to understand what makes your product/service appealing to consumers.

If you are unfamiliar with the local market or the behaviour of your customers, you can ask them directly. Set up a feedback form on your website, e-mail your clients with questions or conduct a satisfaction survey. The information that you gather will allow you to identify what makes your product attractive to your consumers. This data will be crucial when you start working on internationalisation.

Understand the expectations of the target foreign market

Your product may be the best and most attractive in its local market. There is still a possibility that it will not work at all in a new geographical area. Various entrepreneurs face this problem when they attempt to expand abroad without carrying out prior research.

Determining the readiness of the target foreign market to accept your product is easier after studying its demands. It is also helpful to determine whether the competition is already established and powerful or not.

Be patient and take your time to determine the above factors instead of rushing in unknown territory. If you are lucky, you might struggle a bit in the beginning and learn as you go. With a little less luck, you will most likely fail to go with the trend and you will fall behind.

To avoid wasting your time and effort in an unsuccessful foreign business adventure, study carefully and prepare a viable plan.

Make your business adaptable

Observing the market and understanding it will also allow your company to adapt to its differences.

Adapting is necessary for the successful integration of your business in its new market. Be they languages, symbolism, colours or messages to convey, some are not well accepted in certain cultures. As they, your company should work to blend into the cultural mould of the destination market.

The prior research that you carry out will enhance your adaptability. You will be able to both merge with the culture and offer something new to the market. This is one of the formulas for success that are perfectly calibrated to an international deployment.

 

International growth is one of the most exciting and complicated stages in a business’s life. It can open up the market and the number of consumers within the enterprise’s network. It can also be catastrophic for development if it is poorly managed. Take the time to analyse and understand the new market, its cultural codes, its competition and its consumers. As said above, your product may be the best locally, but it must adapt to succeed internationally.

Behind every successful enterprise lies a controlled communication strategy. It is essential to integrate this type of strategy into most of your processes. This applies when exchanging with current customers, potential customers, service providers or your employees. Why such a focus on communication? That is because without consistent communication, you will not be able to build the trust of your audience. It will then be difficult to drive commitment and make your business profitable.

How to effectively communicate with the parties involved in your activity? This article provides answers to this question.

Communicating with potential customers

You must be particularly careful when exchanging with potential parties. Below are some rules to build their trust and turn them into clients:

  • Consumers want solutions. No matter what product you launch, highlight its ability to solve a problem or meet a specific need.
  • Focus most of your content on the value that your product or service can bring to consumers.
  • Be creative in your communication. Think about entertaining or inspiring your audience while conveying your idea. Clients will easily remember this type of message and will automatically think of your product when there is a need. Consider using online tools to create excellent visuals or videos. If necessary, you can also employ a graphic designer.
  • Experiment by interacting with the public through questionnaires, surveys and an active presence on social networks.

Communication with customers

Acquiring new clients is much more difficult than keeping the ones you already have. To sustain your business, take care of consumers who already trust you. Here are some tips to help you communicate with them and strengthen their loyalty:

  • Always thank a customer who buys your products by sending a personalized message. You can easily automate this practice if you sell your products or services online.
  • Ask customers to return after using your products and services. Also, consider getting their feedback regarding customer experience. Example of questions are: How did they choose your service? Did they find it easy or complicated to order on your site or to contact you?
  • Set up an irreproachable customer service. Returns, reimbursements and transactions must be smooth and quick.
  • Add a live chat on your website to facilitate communication with customers.
  • Recruit and train customer relationship agents with care; they represent your brand.
  • Ask your customers to produce content (testimonials or recommendations in video or image or text format) on your various platforms. They find enjoyment in doing so and you can easily share high quality content!

 

Communicating with your team

Be it your in-house staff or your service providers, you must always motivate your team. If the people who work with you are satisfied with their objectives, they will become your best ambassadors.

  • Your team needs to know your short and long-term goals. It is important for them to know where you’re going and what you want from them.
  • Get reports from your team members on a daily basis. This can be done either through face-to-face meetings or via video conference. Always ask what you can do to facilitate their job.
  • Develop personal relationships with your team through your communication. Share your life outside of work and encourage them to share theirs. Such a relationship encourages your staff to take initiatives and dedicate themselves to the company.
  • Involve your team when problems arise or decisions need to be made. Ask for their comments and ideas, even if you don’t use them in the end.
  • Openly congratulate and reward team members. Praising a team member in front of his peers is the best way to boost him for the future.

Take care of your communication with all the parties in your company. From customers to suppliers, colleagues and potential customers, all require special attention.

With the myriad of existing means of communication, you can make your business thrive and grow.

Finding a balance between work life and family life can be quite difficult. This is even more so the case in Mauritius, where companies do not adapt easily to certain situations. To keep top female employees within their ranks, various firms in developed countries are providing support to mothers. They offer several incentives and services to help women with their new commitments. Parents both get to take a paid year off work so as to cope with pregnancy and child care. In turn, these facilities work. The number of women who resign from their jobs decreases. Since parents feel less stressed when they are supported by their companies, they are more productive. All of these affect fellow coworkers, who feel more at ease knowing that their firm will take care of them in difficult times. Thus, they work more happily and increase their company’s financial rendition.

However, these services are not extensively provided in Mauritius. As such, parents have to make compromises to accommodate both work and family lives. Below are some steps that employees can follow to find a certain balance between these two different yet important worlds:

1. Look for flexibility

Time is essential for employees who have to look after their families. As such, they should try to get the maximum amount of time they can. Parents can ask their companies for options such as working remotely. They can also negotiate for flexible hours. These will allow them to save time that they would have spent commuting to their office. As they will be working from home, they will be more present for their families. This will in turn reduce the pressure that parents feel when they do not spend enough time with their children.

2. Take some time to relax

Many parents feel overworked since they have to take care of both their work and their home. They can get overwhelmed by this sentiment as they worry about being able to cope. This stress impacts on their mood and a bad mood can be detrimental to both the family and work. Taking some time to relax is therefore crucial. The amount of time that parents spend with their children is already limited. It should not be made worse with bitterness due to stress.

3. Get support and help

Women are often confronted with an impossible list of tasks that they have to complete within 24 hours. Taking the help of their partner is sure to decrease their amount of work and improve their efficiency and mood. Single parents face the same issue. Relying on other family members and on friends is another option. The more help one can get, the easier it is to find a balance between family life and work life.

4. Save money

Working parents can reduce their expenses by getting rid of expensive items that they do not need. By doing so, they will feel less pressured by debts and other financial concerns. Some may even find it more practical to switch to a part-time job following a decrease in monetary pressure. As such, they will get more time to spend with their families. This will in turn lead them to maintain the healthy balance that they are looking for.

 

As seen above, maintaining a full-time job while being present at home as a parent is not impossible. If companies begin to increase the support that they offer to parents, finding a balance between work and family will surely become easier.

Many freelancers and start-up launchers do not want to spend money on an office, though they do not want to work from home either. Enter coworking: a practical and cheap solution to this problem. Apart from being an inexpensive area, these offices can also develop your socialisation and networking skills. This might, in turn, become very beneficial to your business.

However, shared offices do not always equal to peaceful harmony. They might sometimes also be a bit restrictive. Indeed, various rules have be respected in order to integrate easily and to get along well with fellow co-workers.

 

Here are some tips and good practices for maintaining a pleasant and productive environment at a coworking space:

Check for volume and noise restrictions

One of the first things to consider before joining a coworking space is the level of noise tolerance. This is especially the case if your activity requires you to be on your phone and have Skype conversations all day. You should make sure that your co-workers are not bothered by the noise. Otherwise, you can check to see if there is a designated area where you can talk freely.

While shared offices are not libraries that require complete silence, it is good to take the entourage in mind. You should therefore make a decision according to your needs and habits.

Get to know your co-workers

While this may seem obvious, it remains nonetheless a crucial step in enhancing your coworking experience.

Do not limit yourself to courteous greetings. Go ahead and mingle with your co-workers. Try to know more about their job and their experience. You will undoubtedly learn a lot from these interactions!

Be friendly and lend a helping hand whenever possible

A coworking space is a friendly place which brings together entrepreneurs, freelancers or teleworkers from various fields. Do not miss the opportunity to interact with as many people as you can. Get interested in others and if you can, try to give them a little push in the right direction.

It does not have to be something big. You can, for example, just share the Facebook page of the young entrepreneur sitting across from you. In time, that same person will no doubt return the favour. Small things build friendship and trust and will no doubt contribute to the growth of your business.

Respect the shared equipment

Be it the coffee machine, the microwave or the couches, a coworking space requires you to be extra careful with the equipment. After all, everyone is and/or will be using these facilities. It would be best for them to remain clean and in good condition.

Also, if you have a habit of monopolising the printer or the photocopier, you should stop immediately. Coworking is all about sharing, so not maintaining this spirit will probably result in you having an unpleasant experience.

Participate in joint events

Some coworking spaces organise events on a regular basis. These include workshops, in which each co-worker can share their expertise with others, conferences as well as informal food events.

These are an opportunity to get closer to your neighbours. You will then be contributing to increasing the harmony and pleasant atmosphere in the shared office. You can also use these events to build your network.

Keep the schedule in mind

Shared offices most of the time function according to specific schedules. It is important to adhere to them so as not to spark conflicts with the owner. In addition, many coworking spaces allow you to book a meeting room. The allotted time can be anything between a whole day and half an hour. Out of respect for the other members who booked the room after you, you should not exceed the given time.

By following the above tips, you will easily be able to join and thrive in a coworking space.

A significant percentage of businesses that are created these days are start-ups. These small businesses often stem from brilliant ideas and proceed to develop rapidly.

Launching a start-up requires a lot of fore-thought and preparation. Yet, it is not uncommon for young entrepreneurs to find themselves facing problems that they could have avoided.

Here are some mistakes to avoid when creating a start-up.

  1. Not creating a business plan

Most people become impatient when they think they have found “the right idea”. While understandable, it is recommended that you take the time to plan your project and an accompanying budget.

Creating a business plan is an essential step in ensuring the sustainability of your project. Some start-ups need substantial funds to grow, which makes it very important to keep track of all monetary transactions.

  1. Not adapting to changes

It is very common for things to not go as planned. This is especially the case when launching a business; even more so when doing it for the first time.

The mistake an entrepreneur might make in this case is to stick to the original plan. Changing your strategy can be a matter of survival for your business.

  1. Not taking the first step to launch the product

Striving for perfection, while not a bad thing per se, can be greatly hamper the progression of your business. In other words, wanting your product to be fully developed before it is launched can have serious consequences.

To avoid this mistake, you should favour communication and launch your project. Rather than keeping your innovative idea hidden as you perfect it, it is better to launch a basic version. You will have time to tweak the details later.

  1. Not seeking assistance

Few start-ups are supported by a single person. Often, several skills are needed: research & development, fundraising, communication, marketing, etc…

Working with a team will keep you motivated, even in difficult times. Also, it will be easier to gain financial support as concerned organisations usually prefer teams to solo projects.

  1. Not asking for advice

 

Sometimes, just your opinion and your expertise with regards to your project are not enough.

Be it for the design of your project or for the legal aspects related to your activity, seek expert advice. Lawyers, experienced entrepreneurs and even strangers will tell you the weak points of your business and how to overcome them.

  1. Not making involved people sign a non-disclosure agreement

This is not about trust, it is about common sense.

Many projects meet their end because their competitors get wind of certain crucial elements. Product innovation, marketing approach, partnerships and many other parts of your business should be confidential.

Ask each member of your start-up, and each participant in your project, to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

  1. Not protecting your personal assets

Finally, it is advisable to separate your personal assets from your business assets.

Pay special attention when choosing your company’s status. In case of financial problems, you and your family will be safe.

As long as you go about launching your business in a careful and smart way, you will not experience problems. In case of uncertainty, you should not hesitate to seek advice and support from your family, friends and professionals.

Communication between the members of your team is crucial to make your company achieve its objectives. Difficult communication wastes time, creates distrust and becomes a source of stress for your employees. These are the ideal factors for mediocre results. However, there are several measures that you can take to make your employees work better together. Here are 5 tips to promote harmonious collaboration between colleagues:

 

1. Promote human contact

Considering the variety of internal communication tools that companies employ, human contact is often deemed negligible. Some of your staff would rather send an email than walk to a colleague to talk over an issue.

Try to encourage your employees to get together for coffee. They might also benefit from a small informal meeting in the morning to get the day going. These will allow for a lot more productive discussion than a series of virtual messages would. Moreover, meeting face-to-face strengthens the bond within your team.

 

2. Correction: ‘reasonable’ human contact

While face-to-face communication has many benefits, it can also have some negative effects. For instance, walking up to someone to ask them about various small matters can become quite overbearing.

Before interrupting a colleague, it is important to look for signs of his/her availability. One of these might be to check whether the door to his/her office is open or closed. Another sign that someone is focused on their work would be when they are listening to music via headphones. In case the person is unavailable, it might be best to come back at a later time or to send an email.

 

3. Organise meaningful meetings

Spending time together brings team members closer and helps to identify common interests. In meetings, employees get to know each other and communicate properly. While these will not make all of the colleagues friends, they are an opportunity to understand everyone’s motivation. This will in turn also work towards making communication much easier. Also, if face-to-face meetings are not possible, video conferences are still a viable option.

 

4. Hang out with colleagues

If you want to create bonds between your team members and improve communication, consider bringing them together for fun activities. Arrange lunches together or go for drinks after work. Team building events or simply relaxing days out can also be helpful.

These moments bring your employees closer to each other and definitely end up having a positive impact on their teamwork.

 

5. Encourage respect and honesty

Improving communication requires commitment from the whole team. In order to achieve this, you should establish a corporate culture that promotes respect and honesty.

When there is an issue, your employees should be able to express themselves as much as they should be listened to. If you send an email or use any other technological means of communication, take the time to reread your messages to check the tone. Thoughts may manifest differently in text than in real life.

 

With seamless, respectful and effective communication, your team will become more productive. It will be easier for your employees to work together towards a greater goal: the success of your business!

Flexible working hours, no boss, no colleagues to distract you… There are many arguments that a freelancer can put forward to detail the advantages of his job. While being your own boss has its perks, maintaining both creativity and productivity every day is not an easy feat.

You may control your creativity and express it the way you want, but no one keeps you on track. Nobody makes sure that deadlines are met, a factor which might work against you. Indeed, it might make getting the job done difficult for some. To solve this problem, you can refer to the four strategies listed below. They may help you to find the perfect balance between productivity and creativity.

 

1. Devise and follow daily schedules

Time management is key to remaining effective as a freelancer/entrepreneur. However, this is not an easy skill to master. Most experienced professionals have had or still have trouble with time management. This is why they employ secretaries to whom they entrust this task.

For beginners, secretaries may not be an option. It is therefore up to you to manage your time and plan your projects.

To maintain a certain discipline and remain productive during your days, set schedules. Of course, you can define them according to your personal requirements and rhythm. However, for the progress of your business, it is essential to work at least 8 hours per day.

 

2. Organise your work

Blogging, web design, community management … Freelancers sometimes have to work for several clients at once, with different jobs for each of them.

Divide your tasks in terms of categories instead of clients and assign a time zone to each of them. For example, you can keep three hours to write articles, two for community management and three for web design. This way, your brain stays focused on a single task rather than on several at once.

 

3. Begin with the hardest work

For maximum efficiency, start your work day with the most difficult tasks. Working on high-concentration jobs is more time-consuming in the afternoon than earlier.

Indeed, you have more energy in the morning, after several hours of sleep. Beginning with the hardest tasks is therefore best for your productivity. Your creativity will also benefit from this type of planning since your day will be optimised.

 

4. Automate your finances

Choosing to be your own boss also requires you to be your own accountant. It can sometimes be frustrating to spend hours billing clients and making advance payments. After all, you could be using this time to focus on your job. However, it is important to keep your accounting up to date since your pay depends on it.

You can decrease the time taken to calculate finances by using online tools and apps. Designing templates for quotes, bills and e-mails, amongst others, can also be time saving.

 

As mentioned above, these solutions are not set in stone; you can adapt them according to own needs and purposes. It is, however, important to remember that to be creative, you need enough time to dedicate to your projects.

Be they comedians, YouTubers, models or even bloggers, they are more importantly the new faces of Mauritius’ influencer marketing sector. For example, Vincent Duvergé and his friends can be seen at Chantecler, while Neeshi Beeharry is the brand new endorser for Patel Optics. Influencer: is it a promising job?

From YouTuber to influencer

Probably one of the most recognisable faces across the Mauritian Web, Vincent Duvergé, under 25 years of age, is already a major influencer. The young YouTuber quickly seduced his audience thanks to his parodies and mimics on the video platform. Today, brands contact him to promote their products. Making use of a familiar face that Mauritians already appreciate seems to be a winning formula for many companies.

What is influencer marketing?

Companies are increasingly using social media to get closer to their customers and gain greater visibility. Influencer marketing thus refers to the use of the popularity of influencers to promote products and services. This method is gaining in importance in Mauritius and throughout the world. Considering that 70% of millennials rely on the recommendations of influencers before making a purchase, there is no longer even a trace of doubt. The vast majority of young adults seek inspiration from influencers, and brands are not about to let this opportunity slide.

Driving trends and promoting sales

These social network “people” already have a substantial number of followers. This popularity enables them to influence a lot of users. This can be achieved through product testing or by becoming a brand ambassador. One such example is Laetitia Darche Sauzier, Miss Mauritius 2010, who is now an ambassador for Huawei in Mauritius. However, popularity alone is not enough to influence consumers’ purchasing decisions. These influencers must also act as true professionals.

What type of future awaits influencers in Mauritius?

Few Mauritian influencers can currently make a living out of this “profession”. However, the companies or agencies with which they collaborate regularly send them gifts and products to test. Depending on their popularity, they can be contacted by several brands. Joel Capillaire, who has more than 9,000 followers on his Instagram account, is hired by three brands. He even happened to go to Malaysia and Singapore to take pictures for a travel agency. However, income is not stable and until this concept grows in Mauritius, most of the influencers have another simultaneous occupation.

Influencer marketing on a worldwide scale

Nevertheless, at international level, a large number of influencers manage to succeed. Swedish blogger Lina Lindholm covers 100% of her life costs through the means of her Instagram account, which currently has more than 100,000 followers. The same applies to female YouTuber Lilly Singh, aka IISuperwomanII, who now has 14 million subscribers to her channel and no less than 2.5 billion views on her videos. A true success story for the 30-year-old, and certainly a glimmer of hope for our talented young Mauritians!

Every year, thousands of start-ups are born and you might be one of them. While you may have found the right way to develop your business, you still have to work on gathering an audience.

Good communication is the key to promoting your start-up, but this year calls for new ways to attract attention. Strategies such as web advertising, telephone marketing and the creation of a website are simply not enough anymore.

Following the shift in trends, new marketing strategies have been developed. Here are some of them:

 

Develop a content marketing strategy

Content marketing is one of the first solutions you can turn to. Apart from being extremely affordable, its benefits are also more effective.

You can create any kind of content to attract the attention of your audience. From blog articles to infographics, including videos, podcasts, guides and white papers… you have a wide choice! Having various types of content will increase the chances of them being shared on social networks and going viral.

You can go even further by transforming one type of content into another. For instance, a video can be created from various blog posts. This will allow you to capture the attention of a larger audience around the same topic.

However, any content marketing strategy that you decide to implement should go through SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

Being careful about SEO will be essential to boost your visibility on search engines. To ensure that your content is optimised, you should firstly try to learn more about SEO on the internet. You can also turn to SEO professionals.

After creating your content and optimising it for search engines, you will have to promote it. You can do so via your site, in newsletters or on social networks.

A content marketing strategy should allow you:

  • To make your mark within your industry
  • To be credible in the eyes of netizens
  • To educate your audience about your products or services
  • To Improve your SEO and bring traffic to your site

Some tips

Make sure you know your target before you start creating content. Afterwards, you should regularly measure the performance of your strategy so as to improve it.

Creating webinars

Videos are currently a very popular format. They can be used to create an enormous variety of content: interviews, testimonials, presentations for your company, and many more. So why not webinars?

You can easily introduce your company to the world via Facebook Live or on YouTube. Videos also allow you to promote your product(s) or service(s) by stating its/their characteristics and benefits.

Some tips

Promote your webinar a few days or even a few weeks before actually posting for more viewership.

As for the presentation, it’s always a good idea to favour an enthusiastic tone. Netizens usually pay more attention to dynamic presentations.

 

Partnerships with influencers

Influence marketing is ‘the’ strategy which works for adverting.

While it may not be as strongly present on the Mauritian advertising scene as it is abroad, influence marketing is a very promising strategy. For this strategy to be effective, choose web stars who communicate to a target audience similar to yours. This will allow them to effectively promote your products to a wider audience.

 

As seen above, 2019 is not the year for widely spread marketing systems that are slow-rising. Instead, it calls for innovation and favours those who are strategically creative. So do not hesitate to try new ways to promote your start-up; it will need the boost.