Digital Hints | Resolved Software Problems

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Why Outsourcing Can Help Your Resourcing

In the realm of self employment, startups and entrepreneurship, outsourcing is still seen very much as a dirty word. Mention to a peer at a networking event that you are thinking about outsourcing one of your business functions, and they may wince. However, outsourcing doesn’t mean admitting defeat or simply shirking your responsibilities. Mastering the art of astute outsourcing means that your business becomes more resourceful, you will become more productive, and the money you spend to outsource will return tenfold in increased revenue and profits. Take a look at how outsourcing can empower your resourcing.

Why Outsourcing Can Help Your Resourcing

Recruitment

If you’re looking to expand your startup, the chances are that you will need to take on new staff. The recruitment process can be long and laborious. First, you need to construct an advert that will attract the brightest candidates, then you need to find time to shortlist, then you need to interview and even after all of this, you may not find who you are looking for. Instead, consider outsourcing your workflow management requirements to an external firm that has an exceptional talent pool at their fingertips. They will ask what your requirements are and match a suitable candidate to you. You simply enter the process at the final stage to ensure a perfect fit with your team, business, and ethos.

The Basics

There’s nothing worse than spending half a day on a Thursday or Friday completing the administrative tasks for your payroll. While you could be implementing your business vision, preparing for that important presentation or answering emails, you are hunched over a calculator instead. Why not outsource your payroll to external specialists? They will deal with paychecks, tax implications, and pension contributions. They will facilitate the payments and ensure every staff member gets paid. This makes human error less of a risk and frees up your time to be spent on more pressing tasks.

Alternatively, you could choose to invest in payroll software. Using standard calculations and meeting all legislation, payroll software will also ensure that your staff get paid accurately and on time.

Why Outsourcing Can Help Your Resourcing

Social Media

While you’d rather be looking at your finances, you may find yourself trying to think of a witty post to put up on your Twitter timeline. Forget about your social media platforms and allow an off-site social media guru to manage your blog, social media channels, and posts. They will keep your feeds relevant and fresh on your behalf. These individuals know how to direct traffic to your website, they will communicate with your loyal customer base and followers, and will help convert hits into sales. Marketing is more important than ever, so it’s vital that you get an expert on board.

If you want your business to ultimately be successful and compete, you need the brightest minds working on each business function. You won't always have this in-house, and you will have to make some decisions that require financial resources. However, you will speculate to accumulate. This is why you should choose to outsource.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Productivity Hacks For Those Time-Consuming Business Tasks

It would be better, for you, if your business was purely a vehicle for all of your awesome ideas, but alas it’s not. While bringing your ideas to life will be the fun part, there’ll also be the less than fun parts, those time-consuming tasks which you don’t want to spend your time on, but which are necessary if you have your own company. You’d rather be spending your time working on taking your business to the next level, so what’s the solution? Get rid of the time-consuming tasks, of course! Well, not get rid of them exactly, but get so efficient at doing them that they don’t take much of your time. We show you how below.

Productivity Hacks For Those Time-Consuming Business Tasks
Source: Pexels.com

Give It To Someone Else

There are a lot of tasks that you could do yourself, but which you probably shouldn’t. You’ve got a limited number of skills in which you excel, so put them to good use. Spending your time doing things that just eats into your time and energy doesn’t make any sense. For your repetitive or complicated tasks, just pass the work onto someone else. By outsourcing your work to a third party, you can rest easy knowing the work is being completed, even if you’re not the one doing it.

Use Technology

Technology is a tool. Used incorrectly, it’ll just waste your time. Use it efficiently, and it can speed up your processes considerably. There’s a whole range of software available that can make those time-consuming tasks much less time-consuming. When it comes to your taxes, for instance, there’s little use in struggling through with form after form. Instead, use the best tax software. There’s also software that can improve your payroll, invoices, accounting, and so on. With these incorporated into your business, you’ll be able to streamline your time spent on admin tasks.

Block Work

If anyone tells you that they work best when they’re multitasking, tell them that they’re lying. Science has proven that we work best when we’re focusing on just one task at a time. So when it comes to taking care of your admin, make sure you’re blocking out a set number of hours in which to work. You’ll achieve much more if you set aside two hours to complete your admin - and do nothing but - rather than just trying to stay on top of them as and when they arrive.

Automate Where Possible

If you’re not yet making the most of automation, then now’s the time. Of course, not everything can be handled automatically, but things like paying your bills and so on can be. If you know the payments are going when and where they should be going without having to click a button, you’ll able to focus your energies on other things.

Trim Down Your To Do List

Finally, look at trimming down your to-do list. Some tasks are essential; others are optional. If you’re going through a busy period, get rid of the optional tasks. You won’t miss them!

Your employees and social media, what policies does your business have in place?



Let’s face it. Copying and pasting a few lines to add to your existing employee handbook is the most likely outcome of you reading this post. After all, social media is tough enough already without having to deal with Yet Another Damn Thing – especially when that thing contain less-than-thrilling terms like ‘usage’ and ‘policy’. Recruitment DNA kicks in at a point when there’s too much thinking to do and we end up running to the comforts of familiar recruitment routine: telesales, database search and Skysports.com.

It doesn’t help that we entrepreneurial types are a special case, with unique requirements when it comes to the protection and dissemination of data. For us, the archetypes at the extremes – ‘total lockdown’ favoured by banks (i.e. ‘please hand over your smart phone at the door’) and ‘total free-for-all’ favoured by the start-ups (i.e. ‘just be good, dude’) – are much too simplistic for a business based on brokering human capital information; the former, cripples the competitiveness of our staff; the latter, puts the very integrity of our recruitment business at risk.

Of course, we know that not thinking about it isn’t an option. Social media usage continues to spike in hockey shaped curves, and – unless your business is staffed entirely by robots – that means your employees are getting busy on it, exposing themselves and your company to potentially debilitating risk.

What is to be done? You’ve got to write a policy. Here’s some things I’d like you to think about.

Ownership




On the social web, to lack leadership is to lose ownership. One of the biggest problems we have in the financial world is a lack of C-level interest in social media, and that directly results in the ownership of digital assets being scattered across the company, lying with individual employees who had the initiative to set up those accounts in the first place.

You don’t have to be a genius to see how this might turn out – What happens if those employees leave?

The terms of usage for social media platforms make unhappy reading for anyone who owns or manages a business with more employees than ‘1’. The default position is to attribute ‘ownership’ to the creator of the account, rather than referring to the owner of the brand. By not clearly dealing with this issue in your social media usage policy, you’re effectively leaving your carefully built social media profile in the hands of the guy you might have just fired.

Disclosure


Businesses are obsessed by data – that is, having it, and not letting anyone else share. A loan company I dealt with in the UK wanted to specialise in weekend loans, after consulting their data, it was an easy translation to carry over. If I had however not been privy to this we would be completely in the dark over how to implement a plan-of-action. For the most part, companies can rely on consultants’ paranoia to prevent intentional leakage of confidential data, but it’s never a bad thing to state explicitly what is or what is not permitted to be discussed online. A further risk that we need to be aware of is that with any emergent technology is that we often don’t know how to use them, or worse, believe that we do when we don’t. What may feel like a 1-2-1 conversation, might in fact be a 1-2-every1 broadcast interview.

Covering this in your usage policy will be a useful reminder to your recruiters that the values of the social media platform they are on is different from that of traditional communication channels that they may be more used to using, and that they would do well to heed what those differences are. It would also cover your bases against the dumber members of your tribe for whom ‘common sense’ is has always been an optional extra. 

Representation

It used to be the case that when you’re on work time, it meant that you’re at work and when you’re weren’t, it means that you’re not. In the era of the 24/7, always on social web, it’s no longer clear that this cliché holds. Your social media policy should make it clear that any exchange made whilst using corporate branded accounts, or personal accounts otherwise used for work, you will be in fact representing the company unless they specify otherwise. Some companies like to add a generic disclaimer, something like:
“The views here are my own!”

If there’s one line that might be worth making mandatory for your social media usage policy, this is it.

Responsibility



‘Don’t be stupid’ says the one-line New York Times social media policy. Cute. But I suspect that such instruction works least well on the people who need it most i.e. the stupid. Let’s not be getting away from reality here – there’s a fair chance that there is a percentage of employees in your recruitment business are going to need specific instruction on how to behave online, in particular on how to distinguish between their personal and professional usage of social media. What flies on your personal Facebook wall, may not necessarily be award winning business best practice on the Corporate profile. So be clear on what your expectations are on employee behaviour when representing the business (see above). And….

Removals


“The Company reserves the right to request the removals of posts injurious to the position of the company”

I sincerely hope that you never need to invoke this clause but having it there written in black and white in your social media usage policy that all your employees have signed up to might make you feel a little bit better at taking on this social media business in the first place.

Conclusion 

Understand this: a great deal of this can be taken care by training – educating yourself and your staff on how to use social media responsibly and effectively for the business. However, we’re entrepreneurs, coders, photographers and artists among other things, we sell hard and sell for ourselves, and most importantly, don’t really have the time to be hippies. So roll out the policy – write it now or get somebody to do it for you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

3 Tips to Create Videos That Are Able to Retain More Viewers

3 Tips to Create Videos That Are Able to Retain More Viewers
Have you noticed that although your videos are attracting a lot of viewers, not all of them are sticking around? In some videos most viewers may only stay a couple of seconds, while in others they stay for longer – but not till the end of the video.

It goes without saying that ideally you’ll want your videos to retain as many viewers as possible all the way through to the end. The good news is that it really isn’t that difficult to do that with a few simple tips:

Open the video with a strong hook

Many videos lose a significant number of viewers in the first 8 to 10 seconds. That is normally how long it takes for viewers to decide whether or not to keep watching.

To convince viewers to stay and watch more, you should open every video with a strong hook. The goal of the hook should be to interest viewers, and there are many different types of hooks that you can use.

One of the easiest ways to open your videos with a strong hook is to tell viewers what they stand to gain. All you need to do is briefly outline what the video is about, and how it will benefit them to watch it.

Keep it short and concise

The longer your video’s duration is, the harder it will be to retain viewers all the way to the end. That is why it is important to try to be concise in delivering the message of your video, and keep its overall length as short as possible.

Although it is often said that you should try to create videos that are a minute or two long, that isn’t a hard rule. The ‘best’ duration for a video will vary depending on the audience that it is trying to reach.

Make the audience feel something

Emotions are what drives action, and they are also what keeps viewers interested and engaged. If you are able to make your audience feel any emotion at all while watching your video, odds are more of them will stay for much longer.

Make no mistake there are many ways to trigger emotional reactions, but one of the most effective is by structuring your video as a story. The idea should be to spin a tale that the audience can relate to, and make them feel emotionally invested in the characters and the outcome of the story.

It should be noted that aside from the tips listed above, audio can play an important role too. In particular you may want to cut together a compelling piece of background music and for example you can use Movavi Video Editor for that and follow the steps at https://www.movavi.com/support/how-to/how-to-cut-music.html.

Make no mistake creating videos that are able to retain viewers will require planning and preparation. Now that you know what areas to focus on and how to go about it, you should find it a whole lot easier however.

Friday, November 23, 2018

How Changes to Technology Can Help Your Business

How Changes to Technology Can Help Your Business
Understanding and evolving with changes to technology will likely be vital to the success of your business. The digital world is an ever moving landscape with new products and services on offer every year, some of which will be useful to your work and others which will not. Taking some time to look at some of these options such as cloud computing and virtual networks could be the difference between your business profiting from technology and suffering from standing still. So, here we will take some time to look into the two types of remote technology outlined previously and explore how they might help your company.

Cloud

You will no doubt be aware of cloud computing. Its rise is not just professional but commonplace in personal technology usage. In its very basic form, cloud computing is the practice of internet computing - meaning to access applications and software online rather than on a local hard drive. It has many different uses and for that reason understanding what it can do for you could prove to be vital to growing your online presence. Embracing cloud computing will allow you backup your systems remotely so you are not reliant on in-house servers, reduce costs due to the pay-as-you-go nature instead of investing in hardware for your workplace and increase efficiency due to the accessibility for you and your colleagues. These three things are just some of the positives behind cloud technology, but they are three things that can redirect your energy into a more productive process and allow you to concentrate on what is important - the business.

How Changes to Technology Can Help Your Business
Source: pixabay.com

Virtual Networks

A virtual network is possibly a less familiar term to you than the cloud is, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. The different types of virtual networks are other forms of remote software that will help your company be less reliant on hardware in the workplace and once again reduce costs while increasing efficiency. The two most common types of these formats are the Virtual Private Server (VPS) and the Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is a dedicated network which allows anonymous and secure access to the internet. This may be useful to you, but for the purposes of helping your company we will focus on VPS.

A VPS is a remote server which only you, the user, has access to. It has similarities to the cloud but the key difference being that your server will only be used by you, it cannot be accessed by other people. That means websites like https://www.mvps.net/ have dedicated machines running for individual clients that allow the user to install and access specific software that only they can access. This is particularly useful for website owners because it allows for a dedicated server just for your web page rather than sharing it with other processes.

Using the information regarding these two types of technology, go and explore the options that best suit you and make your business future proof.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Position As A Freelancer?

Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Position As A Freelancer?
The life of a freelancer most certainly isn't for everyone. After all, you've got a lot of responsibility on your shoulders that would normally fall onto your employer, you have the pressure of not earning when you're not working, and you've got the stress of having to do your own taxes too! However, for those who are able to get the most out of it, freelancing can be one of the most rewarding career options out there. You get to have control over your own schedule, you are able to use your skills in order to earn a living, and you can choose your client base much more selectively than if you worked for someone else. However, even if you love it, making the most of your position as a freelancer can be tough. With that in mind, here are some ways to do just that.

Send out invoices early

Invoicing can be an annoying thing to have to deal with. After all, it's just an extra step between you and getting paid when you'd much rather be actually working. However, if you're not sending out invoices, you're not getting paid. Clients can be frustratingly slow to respond to them so make sure that you send out invoices as early as possible. You can use an invoice template excel to make the whole process a lot faster as well. That way, you can focus on the stuff that you actually care about rather than constantly panicking about whether or not you're getting paid.

Give yourself a schedule

Far too often, people who are new to the world of freelancing assume that they don't have to worry about sticking to a schedule and that they can work whenever they like. And sure, the flexibility that it offers is one of the major draws of working as a freelancer. However, if you don't enforce a routine upon yourself, you're almost certainly going to end up falling into the trap of letting the work pile up on top of you. This almost always leads to you having to work late into the night or rush everything in order to meet a deadline. Giving yourself a schedule that you follow is going to make life a whole lot easier and less stressful.

Put yourself out there

Of course, none of those things are going to be a problem if you don't actually have any customers. The one thing that you really can't take for granted as a freelancer is the fact that you need to get out and try to find clients. If you're not putting yourself out there, you're never going to be able to succeed. You need a great website with well-integrated SEO, a strong social media presence, and the ability to network as effectively as possible. Otherwise, you're just going to end up getting buried under the competition.

None of this is meant to discourage anyone from choosing to become a freelancer. However, if you're not prepared for some of the challenges that you might face, then your freelance career could end up being over before it's even really had a chance to begin.

3 Ways to Build Business Credibility

Maintaining credibility as a business is not always easy and especially not if you’re an online business and new to the market. There are so many established businesses out there with a large customer base and even an office to show for - so how are new online businesses supposed to earn some respect as well?

3 Ways to Build Business Credibility
Image from: Pexels

Luckily, there are a few tried-and-tested methods to ensure that you get the kind of credibility that your business deserves. Have a look at the simple steps below and feel a bit more confident in your business venture.

#1 Ask for testimonials

One of the best ways to ensure that people believe it when you say you’re good at what you’re doing is to have some testimonials on that website. Ask your most loyal fans if they can write up something quick, sweet, and honest so that you’re able to showcase your great work online.

Remember to offer them something in return, though, as thanks for the favour. A freebie should always be welcome and they’ll be sure to come back to your business in the future as well. It’s the kind of stuff that benefits everyone around you.

Another point to this is to ensure that there are mostly positive things about your business online. Take the negative reviews to heart, of course, and fix whatever needs to be fixed - but get in touch with someone who is offering online reputation management as well to improve your reputation.

#2 Improve your website

Since you don’t have a storefront to work with, it’s a good idea to make sure that your business website looks as professional as possible.

You might want to hire someone for this, though, as web design can be quite a task; the most important aspects involves improving the navigation, making sure that it’s not cluttered, and that it is available to view on all devices.

Put some thought and effort into the web design of your business, first of all, and you might notice a spur in visitors. Maybe they even hang around for a bit longer - or maybe they get in touch with you right away since the site is so easy to navigate. Either way, it’s good for business.

#3 Keep an active social media profile

Credible and successful businesses won’t shy away from interacting with their customers online. The social media profile of your business should be used for answering all of their questions, promoting new products and services, as well as attending to the problems they have with your business.

When your customers see that you’re actively trying to help and that you’re able to answer even the rudest query with a smile, they will definitely notice how professional you are.

That kind of stuff builds credibility for your business and you’ll be able to enjoy a steady stream of traffic to your website.

Friday, October 19, 2018

The best Android games of 2018

The best Android games of 2018
We use the internet, and indeed our mobile phones, for a lot of things. We surf the web, perform background checks, scroll Instagram, and play games. How can you not like games? Whether you’re an avid gamer or just game to kill some time, there are a ton of games available online nowadays to suit just about everyone’s need. With the invention of smartphones you don’t even have to worn a PC or a laptop, as you can enjoy quality premium games from your phone. With that being said, here are the best android games of 2018!

Crashland

This game took off when it first hit the market in 2016. Two years later, it’s still going strong. The plot makes it really exciting but the quality of the game is what gave it its edge over its competitors. You can collect items, craft items, build a base, and fight bad guys… the list of possibilities is almost endless.

Evoland

This has to be one of the most unique Android games currently on the market. What makes it so unique? The way you play it and the mechanics the developers have implemented. For starters, it includes puzzles, trading cards, RPG, and top-down shooter. That’s basically four different games all wrapped in one amazing package. The story is pretty killer as well.

Minecraft

Another year, yet another list with Minecraft in it. Apart from games like Dota and Counter Strike, Minecraft is one of the most popular games on the entire planet. There’s no end goal in this game, you can build to your heart’s desire and explore new regions without any limitations. You can play survival mode and survive, but even that could go on for quite some time. It really is the most versatile game simply because of what’s it makes possible.

PUBG Mobile

It’s already got well over then million downloads worldwide and that figure is only steadily increasing. Unlike most FPS games however, PUBG actually delivers on all fronts. It’s relatively free of glitches, it’s optimized and highly competitive. If you have a slower phone you can opt for PUBG Mobile Lite and still enjoy it, albeit with lower graphic settings and fewer players. It’s the best mobile game to play with your friends.

Riptide GP

Arguably the best racing game for Android ever made. Stunning graphics, plenty of other players to have fun with and simple controls. Riptide is a game you purchase once, so it’s not a pay-to-win (P2W) system like most of its competitors. It’s free of ads and it’s completely free of in-app purchases. Our favorite game from this entire list simply because of how addicting it is. You can’t stop playing it.

Conclusion

Well there you have it, the best Android games for 2018. Some of them are over a year old, but they’re still popular because of a widespread online community and mega fun-factors. Which one do you like best?

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Apps To Make Your Life Easier As a Business Owner

Apps To Make Your Life Easier As a Business Owner
The pervasive nature of technology is heralded as both a good thing and a bad thing; in many ways technology is making our lives a lot more efficient yet we’re also finding ourselves living in a perpetual state of information overload - where we are living in reaction to constant emails, social media updates and other distractions that divert our attention.

In fact, it’s almost like we are so attached to our mobile devices that we have become addicted; today, we find people walking in the street on their phones, even whilst crossing the road, and the concept of “down time” where people would come home from work and switch off has been replaced by 24/7 contactability - meaning we are often living in a state of reaction to work messages and notifications, even when we are supposed to be at home resting, or enjoying social time with our friends and family.

This is particularly the case if you run a business from home. Today, even going on vacation, people will take their phones and be contactable by their boss - which is leading to an emotional state where people feel constantly on call, which is not good for one’s mental health or productivity.

That said, whilst the pervasiveness of apps do have the potential to disrupt our lives in a way that means we never get time to ourselves - they also have tremendous power to make our lives easier, and new apps are being developed and testing out using platforms such as globalapptesting.com on a daily basis.

Indeed, where would we be if we had to call for a taxi and wait around with no certainty of when it would come and how much it would cost; compared to apps such as uber.com that allow us to find out exactly when a taxi will be here and how much it will cost… we don’t even need the hassle of having to pay in cash.

Similarly, remember the days when we would have to take a wallet or purse out with us - today, we can simply tap our smartphone and pay for items with such convenience.

The most powerful way apps have affected our lives, however, is in their ability to automate processes within business. For instance, once upon a time, you would have had to sit in front of a computer screen and manually send an email to each person on your mailing list - whereas, with tools such as MailChimp this can be done for you in an automated way according to complex rules and filter that you define using a very simple interface. There are applications such as ClickFunnels that automate otherwise protracted and fragmented marketing processes, which can save you a lot of time and hassle, as using this simple interface you can create marketing funnels with great ease.

The world’s most successful people tend to use lists for everything they wish to achieve, as lists provide a focused set of priorities and activities that move them toward their goal. There are a wide variety of apps available to help with time management and organising tasks though Wunderlist, is one of the most popular.

There’s something psychologically rewarding about ticking items off of your to-do list as with each item you tick off, it creates a feeling of pride and personal power that builds momentum, as the more things you tick off by say 1pm - the more things you are likely to tick off in that day, because of the snowball effect, where it’s like an upward spiral of productivity.

Apps like Wunderlist also provide a great place to dump your thoughts. In most schools of thought relating to time management it’s essential to get things off your mind and put them on paper, as otherwise, we operate like a computer with too many windows open - things just feel too cluttered, which makes the computer run slowly and not access the right information at the right time in the most efficient way.

Evernote is a fantastic app to use for this, as you many innovative entrepreneurs will have an Evernote board titled “ideas” which is where they jot down their ideas that could be implemented in the future - thus freeing themselves of mental clutter and embracing the power of getting things off their mind in order to focus on the task at hand.

In summary, living in the digitally connected world that we do can feel overwhelming in terms of always being on call, yet used wisely, there are certain apps that can make business owner’s lives much easier by automating processes and helping you keep organised.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Office Supplies: 3 Things All Entrepreneurs Need To Know

Office Supplies: 3 Things All Entrepreneurs Need To Know
As an entrepreneur, there are certain things you have to think about on a weekly basis. You have to think about how your staff are performing, whether the business is profitable, and how your competitors are performing. You have to constantly monitor advancements and developments, as well as keeping one eye on current affairs to see if there are problems brewing in the business world or economy at large.

Given the sheer scale and depth of all of these areas, it’s no surprise that many entrepreneurs don’t spend much time thinking about office supplies. Office supplies, after all, are relatively innocuous; the paper, printing materials, pens, and other items that you need for your business to function are important, yes, but do you need to actively dedicate time to thinking about this area of your business? Isn’t it a simple case of “need office supplies, buy office supplies”?

Not quite.

While office supplies are somewhat secondary to the major business concerns, this is an area that tends to benefit from additional forethought and consideration. This is due to the sheer volume required; while office supplies are relatively inexpensive in and of themselves, the costs can quickly add up - potentially to a point where they become detrimental to the business. Below, we’ve put together a simple list of three things every entrepreneur needs to know about office supplies, as well as some tips for office supply usage that can significantly improve your business.

#1 - You can (probably) deduct office supplies from your taxes

One of the best reasons to document your office supply costs and carefully monitor expenditure is related to tax and, namely, the fact that office supplies are usually tax deductible. If you underestimate your office supply costs and thus do not deduct the correct amount from your taxes, then you’re effectively paying double for the same supplies - which we can all agree is not an ideal situation.

The exact law regarding whether office supplies can be deducted from your taxes will depend on your local tax authority, so either obtain this information yourself or ask your accounting team to do so on your behalf. When you know if you can use this deduction, and how much is considered allowable, you’ll be able to formulate a cost-effective strategy for the use of office supplies in your business.

#2 - Plan a careful purchasing strategy for office supplies

For many entrepreneurs, purchasing office supplies is something that they don’t particularly think about - the cost seems relatively small, and many even outsource the task to a member of staff.

This, however, is an oversight, as office supply costs can quickly mount up, a problem that is all the more likely if you are overpaying in the first place. It’s therefore helpful to establish a strategy for how office supplies will be purchased, which should include answers to the following questions:

  • What are you going to buy? It’s important not to just buy items by default; instead, assess each type of office supply and ask your staff what they use. This step can drastically reduce your expenditure, and ensure you only have to fund essentials such as printer ink, paper, and collating materials, rather than providing a huge range that no one ever actually puts to use.
  • Where are you going to purchase your office supplies from? Research is your friend here, as there are plenty of hidden gems online that are well worth your consideration. By looking online, you’ll have options such as Cartridge Shop for ink, toner, and paper, as well as specialist vendors for other products - all of which are usually far more reasonably priced than you would find if you purchased the same items on the high street.
  • How frequently are you going to purchase office supplies? Most businesses place orders on a regular basis, so they can be sure employees will always have the necessary supplies as and when needed.
  • Who is in charge of placing the order? You can manage office supply ordering yourself if you prefer, especially if you believe you will only need to make occasional purchases, or you can ask a member of staff to do this for you. Either way, diarize a reminder to check that all orders have been placed as per the designated schedule, so you can be sure there’s no risk of your office running short.

#3 - Create a “checkout” policy for employee usage of office supplies

Office Supplies: 3 Things All Entrepreneurs Need To Know
Many business owners accept that they will lose a portion of their office supplies to employees, usually due to absent-mindedness: for example, an employee uses a pen during the day, and takes it home with them that night, perhaps even forgetting that the pen technically belongs to the company. For the most part, this issue is something most companies can cope with; after all, a pen costs a few cents to replace, so it’s not particularly time- or cost-effective to try and track every single pen in the office - and the same applies for staples, elastic bands, and similar small items.

However, many items - folders, display boards, staple guns - cost a lot more than a few cents to replace. As a result, it’s helpful to try and keep track of these items by implementing a “checkout” system:

  • Store all office supplies in a single cupboard or room
  • Create a manifest of every item in the area; for example: “Staple guns x 2, folders x 10…”
  • When an employee removes a larger item from the area, they write down their name and details on what they have taken.
  • Every week, you or a member of staff check to see if all items have been returned.
  • If anything is missing, you can ask the employees for more information based on the information that has been recorded as to who has used what. In most cases, you’ll find items have just been left in a desk drawer, but by tracking them down, you can avoid expensive replacement costs.

In conclusion

There is no doubt that office supplies have their place as an area of consideration for entrepreneurs. By keeping the points above in mind, and potentially implementing the solutions suggested, you should be able to ensure that you can control this small but incredibly important business area.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Five Things to Consider Before You Change Your Career

If you have been toying with the idea of changing your career and getting a more rewarding job you actually enjoy, you might be at the stage of procrastination. Make sure that you are able to improve your life and are not falling for the hype. Do your research and talk to people who are working in the industry to get the full picture. Below you will find five things you should consider before making a final decision.

Five Things to Consider Before You Change Your Career
Image via PxHere

1. Do You Have Enough Savings to Survive Financially

Changing your career is easier today than it used to be. You will be able to move from one industry to another. However, if you don’t have experience in the new field, you might need to start with an unpaid internship or take a pay cut. If you are comfortable with this, it is fine. However, if you don’t have enough savings to cover the missing income, you will have to think twice.

2. The Perks You Lose

In case you have been in the industry and the same company for a long time, you might already have a pension scheme and certain benefits you will miss. Do your research and find out what you can get once you change your area of employment, and face the facts that you might need to pay more into your 401K plan or health insurance than before.

3. Qualification and Training Requirements

Five Things to Consider Before You Change Your Career
Image via Pixnio

The next thing you need to research is the training and qualification requirements of your future role. If you want to start fresh and get the best chance in progressing your career, you will need to research online courses and college programs. If you would like to start working in health and social care, for example, you can research the different social worker degrees online and find out how much time and money you will have to invest in your career change.

4. Work-life Balance

There is one thing people often don’t consider when changing careers; the work-life balance. Are you prepared to work shifts and weekends? Will you be able to switch off once you have left your workplace? Will you be ready to commute to your new workplace and be away from your kids? Can you still attend school events and medical appointments?

5. Career Progression and Outlook

Finally, you will have to make sure that the role you choose has a future and will not get replaced by robots or artificial intelligence. It would be sad if you studied hard and worked your socks off just to lose your job in a few years’ time due to increased automation. At the same time, you will also have to make sure that there are career progression opportunities, so you will not end up in a dead-end job.

If you are currently considering a career change, you will need to invest time and energy in your research, so you don’t end up disappointed. Write down the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Friday, October 12, 2018

5 Ways to Improve Your Business While Staying in Control of It

Staying in control of your business is always difficult as it gets bigger because there are more people getting involved, as well as potential investors who might want a slice of the pie. However, you can grow and improve your business while retaining control over it. You just need to take things slowly and ensure that you remain at the cutting edge. By being the best owner you can be, there won’t be anyone in the boardroom calling for your remove anytime soon regardless! Here are 5 improvements you can definitely benefit from.

1. Ask for More Customer Feedback and Listen to It

Customer feedback is important because it tells you what your customers actually want. If you feel like your business is moving too far away from what made it a success in the first place, listening to your customers can be the thing that really helps you to get back to basics. So once you have that feedback, take it seriously and implement some changes.

2. Monitor Trends

There are always different trends going on in your industry, and it’s in your best interests to monitor those trends as closely as you can. If you don’t do this, you will find that the business gets left behind. You don’t want this to happen because there are always other companies looking to overtake you. So monitors trends and stay ahead of the game.

3. Delegate Tasks More Effectively

Delegating is important because it frees up your own time and also liberates your employees. That’s exactly what you need, so try to make sure that you don’t do it all yourself. In the long-term, that’s not good for you and it’s not good for your business either. You don’t want to burn yourself out or make your employees feel useless.

4. Use a Virtual Private Server

A virtual private server is beneficial to you as a business owner for a whole host of reasons. For a start, a VPS allows you to make your business more secure and flexible online. It’s almost certainly an upgrade on your current system, and on top of that, you are able to retain control because you make all the important decision with regards to how it’s used.

5. Add to Your Team

Finally, you should think about adding to your team so that you have the right balance of skills and talents in place. Doing this will ensure that your team is properly balanced and able to deal with the challenges thrown at it. New people can bring new ideas and fresh ways of thinking to the table, and that’s something that you should always welcome. So don’t be afraid to hire.

5 Ways to Improve Your Business While Staying in Control of It
No one wants to sacrifice control of their business, and this is a big worry for business owners looking to expand. When the business is small, it seems easier to control. But just because it’s moving in the right direction, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to lose control of it.

Monday, October 1, 2018

How to Migrate Emails, Contacts From Windows Live Mail to Outlook PST?

Windows Live Mail & Outlook both email applications are used to send and receive emails over the Internet. You can not synchronize Windows Live Mail and Outlook email application. Windows Live Mail stored data in the local system to access these data into Outlook you need to convert Windows Live Mail data to PST format.

Windows Live Mail is a discontinued program so every WML users want to migrate their emails, contacts, etc. data into Outlook email application. Data migration from Windows Live Mail to Outlook is required to access old data of WML into Outlook. In this section, we will give you solution for how to migrate emails, contacts from Windows Live Mail to Outlook.

How to Export or Migrate Windows Live Mail Emails to Outlook PST?

Windows Live Mail email application store their email message into EML file format, it stores entire data of email with attachments into a single EML file. So to migrate Windows Live Mail emails to Outlook you need to import EML files to Outlook PST. Take the help of given manual steps to perform migration of Windows Live Mail emails to PST file.

Follow steps to Move Emails From Windows Live Mail to Outlook -

  1. Open MS Outlook.
  2. Open Windows Live Mail.
  3. In Windows Live Mail, you have to click the File button, then select the Export option, then select Email Message.
  4. Now, select Microsoft Exchange as the format and then click Next.
  5. Windows Live Mail display the message that all emails will be exported to Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Exchange, Click on Ok button to continue the process.
  6. It also provides Select Folders option to export select folders. You can export all email folders or selected folders. Select appropriate option according to your requirement & click Ok to start Windows Live Mail to Outlook PST export process.
  7. When the Export process completed dialog box appears to click on the Finish button.

With the help of this manual steps you can export Windows Live Mail emails to PST file, but it will take some time to export data, time depends on number of Windows Live Mail emails. Windows Live Mail installation is required to perform this task.

How to Migrate Contacts from Windows Live Mail to Outlook?

Follow all the given steps to export Windows Live Mail contacts to Outlook, in this manual way you have to export contacts as .csv file, then import CSV into Outlook.

  1. Open Windows Live Mail.
  2. Click Contacts folder & click Export.
  3. Select Comma Separated Value (.csv).
  4. Now browse the desktop folder, type file name and then click the save button.
  5. Click Next and select all the fields which you want to export & click the Finish button.

Now import Windows Live Mail contact file into Outlook email application

  1. Open Outlook, Select Contacts and click the file.
  2. Now, select open & export & click import/ export.
  3. Select Import from another program or file and click Next.
  4. Highlight Comma Separated Value and click Next.
  5. Now Browse CSV file.
  6. Select the CSV file and click Ok.

Given solution will help you to migrate Windows Live Mail to Outlook, but the whole procedure to export Windows Live Mail emails to Outlook PST file will take time. To migrate multiple Windows Live Mail emails to PST file in bulk you have to use Windows Live Mail to Outlook converter. This software provides an easy way to export multiple WLM emails to PST file with entire data including attachments. It also maintains the integrity of data of Windows Live Mail into PST format.

Conclusion

You can migrate Windows Live Mail emails, contacts to Outlook PST file by manual method, but it will take time to export large amount of WLM emails and you have to follow all the steps. Other hand automated tool is an easy way to migrate unlimited Windows Live Mail emails to PST in bulk manner without any difficulties.