As a potential client approached us and wanted a large amount of product descriptions done in under a week, my mind started racing about what could be moved to get it done. Which in the end would have been more or less everything, including family time! That’s when it dawned on me, I still have a choice.
While it would have been great to pick up the work, it came down to timing. As we strive to produce the best content output that we can, here at Ponya, there simply wasn’t time to do the project justice and retain the quality of work (and our quality of life). It is a tough choice to make as a start-up, to simply say no to clients. But, from experience being realistic about the situation and politely declining, will often allow you to reach out to the client again in the future.
It can be really tough, in those early months (or years really) to try and keep a sense of the direction of the business and your own limitations. Allowing yourself to make choices that suit both the needs of your business, but also yourself, is key to creating a sustainable business.
Once such choice could be the option to outsource elements of your business. For small companies, it can feel like a wrench to spend money on a task that you could do in-house. However, if the task at hand isn’t what you went into business to do or part of your skill set it could become a time drain. Bookkeeping, HR and marketing are often elements of business that are outsourced (or in the case of the latter two, forgotten). If you find that writing content for your website has become a chore, then why not make the choice to get in touch with Ponya Content.
Back in the 19th Century, the workforce was by and large based at home (such as spinners) hence the phrase cottage industry. Then with industrialisation, came the mechanisation of many aspects of industry and as such workers were required to come to the factory in order to work. It is this model that has largely been continued into the modern era. Even with the growth of computer systems, the size and security concerns surrounding access to servers has meant that it was most efficient for workers to come to work.
With the advent of technologies such as the cloud and secure remote access facilities it means that this is no longer strictly necessary. However, the idea still holds, with many manager’s being passionate about requiring their staff to be present in the office. Is this due to a lack of trust in their team or perhaps in their own management skills? That’s probably a topic for another day.
Yet, the socio-economic structure of the UK is changing and no longer can be said to mirror that of even the eighties or the nineties. One key element is the dwindling sense of societal or even family responsibility/cooperation. With people being driven to work longer, the options for childcare or support for the growing number of elderly is no longer shared as easily among a community. As such there has been a resurgence in people with the desire to have flexible working patterns and the option to work from home. This means that they can continue to work around their home and family commitments.
Does your business embrace remote workers? Admittedly, there are some roles in which it is impossible to do remotely and there is also a lot to be said for members of a team ensuring that they are keeping in contact. However, are there elements of your business model that could be undertaken by remote workers or even freelancers?
In the weekly newsletter from the Home Learning College (HLC), this week, we found an interesting piece on the impact of your voice and tips for how to improve yours. The article is framed around three important elements:
• Pitch and Tone
When it comes to creating onsite content for your website, the crossover in terms of the key elements of “Voice” is unsurprisingly high.
Pitch and Tone in onsite content
As with all forms of marketing output, your website should convey your wider company branding. In terms of copy, this means that if your brand features a narrative/ conversational style, then your articles should follow suit. Likewise, if your company has a more serious or straight-laced style, then the tone of your work should match. In terms of Pitch, this could be interpreted as ensuring that your site and other sales tools are aligned.
Speed of customer journey
When discussing speed in terms of Voice, the emphasis is in keeping yourself understandable. Getting nervous and speaking so fast that no one understands, rarely sets a good impression. This is one area where onsite content is the opposite of traditional Voice. Internet users (both business and recreationally) are looking to gain access to the information they are looking for, as quickly as possible. So keep your writing concise and use elements such as H2 Tags to make navigation easier for the reader.
The online translation of this one relates to sharing your content. This can be through social media or other forms of outreach. The “louder” you spread your news, the more likely you are to attract users to your website.
As the HLC article concludes, it can often boil down to practising when it comes to honing your online content “Voice”. Try using different techniques to spread your message or create a blog, where a separate tone of voice may open up conversations that you couldn’t have on your main site.