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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Startup Struggles: How to Stay Afloat

While starting and managing a small business can be difficult enough as it is, it doesn’t help much when we go through periods of dipping sales. Since you’re brand new to this game, it’s not that easy to pinpoint exactly why business is slower than usual - and some may start to panic a bit too soon.

Startup Struggles: How to Stay Afloat
Image from: Pexels

Luckily, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean the end of your business. Here is a handful of clever tips to help your business stay afloat for as long as possible so that you and your team can feel a bit more confident the next time you’re facing a slight dip.

It just makes it a bit easier to keep you cool and take the measures that needs to be taken for your startup.

Limiting the debt you take on

Sometimes, debt is simply inevitable. When you want to increase its scale, for example, and know for certain that you’ll be able to boost the amount of money you’re making significantly, there’s no getting around it.

Yet, you need to know that your business is going to benefit tremendously from it - and you should feel confident that there are no other alternatives that might be more beneficial for your business.

Startup debt, for example, is a much-discussed issue as many businesses are desperate for a loan just so that they can get started and see a bit of profit from all their hard work. Some startup owners are able to bootstrap, though, and even if it may require a lot of patience, they’re giving their business a head start on the market.

While they’re going to have to wait another year perhaps before opening the doors, they’re also able to avoid the heavy burden of carrying debt around that they have to pay off as soon as they start to make money.

Another way to limit your debt is, of course, to decide on not having an office for your business. Some may get that office space immediately, thinking that they’re hardly a business without it - but keep in mind that you can always invest in one later on.

Startup Struggles: How to Stay Afloat
Image from: Pexels

For now, you should stay online and make as much out of your business there as you’re able to. When those important client meetings become a priority and your business is able to handle the expense of it, you can consider moving into the physical realm.

Remember to invest in people

Sure, you know all about human resources being the most important part of your business - but do you know how to make sure you’re taking care of their needs, compensating them adequately, and actually investing in the people of your company?

Understanding how you can be the best kind of boss and creating the kind of business that will attract highly talented people is so vital to success. Invest in their training as well, by the way, keep them happy and show that you care about their personal lives too - even if they don’t stay with you until the bitter end.

When someone inevitably leaves your startup for something else, you’d want to make sure that you have built the kind of company that other highly talented people would like to work for. That way, you’ll always have a stream of brilliant heads coming in case someone should leave - and it will benefit your business tremendously.

Try to read up on what it takes to be a good manager and practise what you’ve been learning. It’s all about being there for them, of course, and keeping in mind that well-liked leaders tend to be a lot better at their jobs than those who are only after respect and authority.

Recognise good talents as well, by the way, and give those who deserve it a bit more responsibility. It’s a good incentive for working harder, after all, and putting your very best into the work. Get your hands on some good software as well so that you can keep your managing skills up to date; here is a great option for cloud accounting software, for example, to make everything a bit easier for you.

Find affordable and effective marketing options

Finally, you need to think about one of the most important things your business is going to spend money on. Most businesses will definitely put a lot of money into marketing; it makes sense, though, as it’s the only way for the rest of the world to know that you’re there and that you’re doing an excellent job.

There are more cost-effective ways to market your business properly, however, and especially now that we can take advantage of social media strategies. You may have to put a bit of money into it but it will be way less than if you went through a traditional marketing agency.

Start by looking for a social media expert that knows the ins and outs of all the different platforms. You really should try to take advantage of as many of them as possible as each has something different to bring to your business; while YouTube is great for creating handy videos and interacting with your audience by putting a face on your business, Instagram is the best platform for awesome pictures that make your business look fancy.

Try to think about how you can use the different platforms and map out a strategy for this, first of all. It’s important, however, that you manage to maintain your profiles on each platform and avoid neglecting any of them.

If it should become too much, you should rather take one of them down and focus on the others - a business profile that looks more like a ghost town than a successful startup won’t do you any good. Your social media expert will be able to handle this, though, so make sure that you hire one that is fully up to date on the landscape.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Side Hustles That Could Top Up Your Income

Side hustles are something that everybody is getting on board with in the modern day. This is because more and more people are struggling to make ends meet, which leads them to use their hobbies (or their quick thinking skills) to get themselves a bit more cash. And if you could make a fair deal more each month, and put it aside for a vacation or something else that you’ve always wanted to do, then why not? However, actually choosing your side hustle can be difficult, and this is what puts many people off the idea. Here’s what you could do.

Side Hustles That Could Top Up Your Income

Selling your old items

A lot of us have one of those drawers at home. Commonly known as the junk drawer, it’s full of old phones, chargers, jewelry that has seen better days, and the odd takeout menu. Whilst the takeout menu is unlikely to fetch you any cash, the rest of these things could be a great way for you to earn some extra money, and there are plenty of items in your home that may be worth selling. Think about your clothes; are there some garments that you never wear, and could say goodbye to? This could top up your income by a few hundred a month, so check out a site like eBay where you could sell your items, or alternatively, an app like Depop.

Making the most of the internet

The internet is one of those places where making money is pretty easy. Whether you’re taking surveys, or you’re more into something like Satta Matka, there are plenty of ways to top up your income online. Check out survey websites if you’re interested in this sort of thing, but remember that you have to take quite a lot of them before you get a significant amount of money from this. You can also use cashback services online, so that you can get some money back for everything that you purchase when online shopping. There are a lot of options out there; you just need to see what would work out for you, and give these things a go when you have the time.

Blogging or freelance writing

Freelance writing - for your own blog, or the blogs of others - is a good way for you to top up your income from home. If you’d prefer to do this yourself, then you should purchase a website URL, and get started on making your blog (with something like WordPress). When you have enough traffic, you’ll get paid to put ads on your site, and it won’t compromise the experiences of your readers too much, either. If you don’t really want to go it alone, then you could always do freelance writing for others, which can get you a fair bit of cash if you’ve got a talent for writing. Check out your options, and see how you could use your writing skills for extra income.

So, if you want to top up your income with some side hustles, then give these things a try! You never know; they could become the main source of income for you in the future, too.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Genuine Ways To Make Extra Money From Home

Genuine Ways To Make Extra Money From Home
When we look around online these days, we seem to see nothing but people claiming they’re making millions just by putting in a few hours a day on their laptop without leaving their living rooms, and whilst many of these claims may be somewhat over exaggerated, there are definitely a lot of people who are using the benefits of the internet and social media to make themselves a good income from home doing something that they enjoy and working on their own schedule.

So, if you’ve ever wondered if it’s also possible for you to do this and not do anything that’s breaking the law or involves being a sleazeball, then in this post we’re going to share with you just how you can do that by giving you some genuine ways to make extra money from home.

Freelancing:

If you have a good idea for a service you can offer to individuals or businesses that you feel can help them overcome a certain challenge or problem in their lives and you also have an internet connection and either a laptop or smartphone, then freelancing is truly one of the easiest, best and fastest ways to start making money from home online.

For example, you could offer services such as tax consulting, copywriting, graphic design, or many other services. Freelancing is so easy to set up because there are little to no start up costs or overheads involved, and the best thing about it is you can work entirely on your own schedule, set your own hours and choose how much you earn, so if you’re looking for something that’s flexible and makes you good money, then freelancing is definitely something to consider.

Virtual Assistant:

A virtual assistant is someone who works for a business owner as their assistant, but just in a virtual capacity from home, so in this case you could help with things like general admin tasks, file management, answering emails, or even things like social media and marketing tasks. People hire virtual assistants for various things, and while some are more generalized in what they do, others have a speciality such as marketing, finance, or customer service.

Blogging:

If there’s a certain topic you’re passionate or knowledgable about, then you may want to consider starting a blog around it to create content that could help people interested in learning more about this topic.

For example, maybe you’ve done a lot of solo travel in your life and you want to share useful tips and inspiration with people who want to do the same. Or perhaps, you have a strong interested for online betting and have seen good success in this area, so you want to share tips with people on where they can find things like free bets to help them get started and which sites to avoid, etc.

Dropshipping:

If you’ve ever wanted to start an online store, but don’t have the time needed to set one up, deal with inventory, and do things like make sure you get everything shipped on time and also the money to purchase stock in advance, then dropshipping basically allows you the opportunity to have an online store, make good money and not deal with any of the hassle of inventory and shipping since all of that is handled by the supplier.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Maintaining Quality As Your Home Business Grows

There are more small and micro businesses today than there have ever been before. In the US alone there are over 28 million small businesses and even more sole traders and people making a little extra cash from a profitable side hustle. In the modern world, we’re all seeking alternative ways to make money. Some of us because our traditional employment doesn’t pay enough for us to live comfortably, and others because we want to start up on our own. Creating our own business, working our own way in our own time. The idea of working for yourself can be an attractive one, even if it is a lot of hard work, and the internet and its growing usage in everyday life is giving more people than ever the opportunity to get started.

Many of these small businesses are sales based. Some people buy products wholesale and sell them on to their own customers. Others, create their own products, package them and sell them themselves.

Often, the people creating and selling their own products start out on their own. Perhaps experimenting selling things that they’ve always made as a hobby. Cakes, crafts, clothing and home accessories are common things for people to make and sell, and sites like Etsy give people an easy way to start.

In the early days, this can work well. People get positive feedback on their creations from friends and family and wonder if they could make some money off it. They sell the occasional product that they’ve got time to make around their other commitments. They create one thing at a time, giving it their full focus and attention.

Over time, however, you might want your business to grow, or you might find that it starts to grow quickly, and somewhat unexpectedly as you gain good reviews and word of mouth begins to spread. When this happens, especially if it occurs suddenly, things start to change. They have to change if you want to keep up. You have to find ways to become more efficient and get more done. But, maintaining quality is essential.

If you’ve suddenly gone from creating one product at a time in the comfort of your own home to having to produce more, you might find it hard to maintain quality, and even harder to carry on providing your customers with the same exceptional service that they are used to. With more calls on your time, you can start to feel as though you don’t have enough of it and that you are being spread too thinly.

Maintaining Quality As Your Home Business Grows

Hire the Right Help

As your business starts to grow, you might decide that there’s too much work for you to take on alone. You might want to hire an assistant, or even a few members of staff to help you get through it all. This is often the first real sign that your business is becoming something more than a hobby that makes money. When you’ve got a team working under you, it’s clearly something more. It’s an exciting time.

But, don’t get carried away with that excitement and employ either too many people or the wrong people. It can be tempting just to hire friends and family to pick up the slack. But, ask yourself if they’ve really got the skills and experience that you need? Will they really bring something to your company? Or, would you be better off looking elsewhere?

Hiring staff for the first time can be overwhelming, and it can seem as though the best employees are out of your league. But, remember, you’ve got something unique to offer. You are a new, up and coming company and you want your staff to be involved in every area of your growth. This is a valuable experience that they might not get elsewhere and may appeal to younger employees, looking to learn.

Recruiting is an important process. Don’t assume that any help is good. The wrong help can actually make your life harder, and it will certainly negatively impact on the quality that you can offer. Take your time, find the right people and then train them thoroughly, and they’ll be a massive help.

Outsource

Outsourcing is a fantastic option for your growing business. Outsourcing some projects, like IT work, web design and marketing campaigns to freelancers or other teams can be the ideal solution if you want to wait until you are earning money more consistently before hiring permanent staff. It can save you money while giving your flexibility and access to people with more skill and experience in specific areas. When it comes to tasks like managing your accounts, you might choose instead to outsource the work to a professional company, who will work on your business long-term. This can also save you money and time, as well as reducing your stress levels.

If your business is doing well, and you need to increase manufacture substantially, you may instead choose to offshore these processes. Offshoring has some top benefits, but the main one for a small, growing business is that it gives you access to skilled workers, who can offer consistency and quality at a fraction of the cost of employing a team, and hiring a workspace back home.

Grow Slow

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting big things for your small business. You can reach for the stars, and have massive plans for your companies future. But, a big mistake that a lot of companies make is trying to do it all at once. They start thinking about opening other premises, going global and hiring a large team from the off.

Growing too fast almost always leads to a significant drop in quality and consistency. So, don’t rush. Build yourself up slowly, taking the time to ensure that high standards are met and that each stage is well developed, before moving on to the next step in your plan. There’s a lot to be said for taking your time.

Focus On One Thing at a Time

Maintaining Quality As Your Home Business Grows
You are essential to the quality of the service and products that you offer. It’s your business and your vision. Having staff and being able to delegate is fantastic. But, the responsibility still falls on you.

To make sure you can be at your best, it’s essential that you learn to focus on one thing at a time. We’ve all got massive to-do lists, but running around like a headless chicken means that nothing is getting your full focus, and your team don’t know where to turn. Focus on one job at a time, complete it, and move on to the next.

Develop a Routine

Maintaining Quality As Your Home Business Grows
Whether you are a team of 2, or 2002, all working on different jobs, doing different things every day and having no kind of working routine in place is confusing. It can lead to a drop in quality, as well as a loss of motivation and control.

If you want to maintain quality, efficiency and productivity, it’s a good idea to get into a working routine. Delegate tasks, have an order to your day and put systems in place so that each customer is offered precisely the same process.

Learn How to Say No

Part of growing slowly, and taking the time to do things right, is learning how to say no. When things are going well, work comes in quickly, and you can feel as though you have to say yes to everything. This can massively knock the quality of what you are offering. Learn to say no, to work, to things that take your focus away from your core job and to things that don’t either make you money or bring you joy, and quality control will be much smoother.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Keeping Your Staff Happy In The Workplace

When it comes to your staff it is important for you to realise that you need to do all that you can to keep your employees happy in your workplace. It isn’t to the extent where they can take advantage, there is line that they shouldn't cross, but more to get the very best out of the team, which in turn benefits you as a boss or business owner as you are able to maximise your profits. However, many managers and business owners are a little unsure as to what would work to keep your staff happy. So here are some suggestions.

Keeping Your Staff Happy In The Workplace

Always communicate

The one thing people are never going to get on board with is a lack of communication, and this can cause huge problems within your team. Things like changing targets or goals that have been set previously, having different processes put in place and generally having a different approach to things. This can have a negative impact on your team and therefore cause them to be less productive. Instead always communicate these things in advance. Opening up the line of discussion can help staff to feel involved, and perhaps understand the reasoning behind the changes instead of just going against it.

Create a decent break area

While you want your staff members to be productive, you also need to understand that regular breaks are encouraged to help keep them happy and their concentration levels where they should be. This is when having the facilities to make drinks or keep food will come in handy, and also considering a decent break area for them to relax in. Including things such as pinball machine for a bit of recreational fun, comfortable seats, and a quiet area where people can perhaps read or make phone calls.

Be an approachable boss

You will always get more out of people if you are to become an approachable boss, so it may be time to ensure that you do all you can to give off that impression. Leave the office door open, when possible. Talk to your staff and get to know them, and generally show an interest. It may take only a few minutes out of your day but it can make the biggest of differences to how they feel when it comes to wanting to talk to you about ideas or things going on within the workplace.

Encourage team bonding

Team bonding is also something else that can help to boost morale in the workplace. You may have a team of people working for you, and needing to spend a lot of time together, and not everyone will be similar in terms of personality. Team bonding can be done via a specialised event outside of the office, or encouraging things lie themed lunches or team meetings to help bring the team closer together.

Consider flexible working options

Finally, there may be other ways that you could encourage your teams to work and be happier in your employment. Flexible working options such as flex hours or options to work from home could help them manage their jobs more effectively around their home lives.

Let's hope this has you more inspired to help keep your staff happy in the workplace.

Make Your Business Life Easier With These Simple Solutions

Have you found that running your business has become somewhat of a more challenging task lately? If this is the case, then you might be looking for some ideas that can help to make the day to day operations a lot easier. If this is true for you, then you have come to the right place because we are going to be looking at some of the simple solutions that can help any business owner make the operations of their company a lot easier. Keep reading if you are interested in finding out more!

Make Your Business Life Easier With These Simple Solutions

Payroll Software

Paying your employees can feel like a nightmare. If you do the payroll yourself, it can feel like hours and hours of work that drains the very life from your body. But, this doesn’t have to be the case any more thanks to automated solutions such as Cloudpay. Instead of sitting down and spending hours completing this task, this handy piece of software will manage the entire thing for you.

Some people don’t trust software to do this job for them as they believe that it could lead to inaccuracy and error. But, you don’t have to worry about this with the software that we have just mentioned because accuracy is one of the biggest selling points. It is fair to say that there is less likely to be an error if a system runs the system, as opposed to one person.

Up-To-Date Technology

Having technology in your business is always going to be important, but if it is not up to date, then you might as well not have it at all. If your company is currently running three operating systems behind everyone else in the industry because you haven’t updated your tech, your business is going to suffer greatly. If you are not tech savvy, then you can hire an IT person to complete tasks like this for you.

It is important to keep in mind efficiency at all times when making a choice like this. Deciding whether to hire someone to run your IT can be difficult as it is another expense to add to your business, but in the long-term, you are going to find this is handy for your company to have. Ensuring that your tech is up to date, and this includes computers, smartphones as well as tablets, is paramount to making your business life easier.

Hire A Trustworthy Team

Finally, you need to have a trustworthy team by your side. Without them, you are never going to be able to trust that your company is running at its peak. You will also find that you don’t have a team that you trust, you are constantly going to be triple checking the work that they have done. Avoid this altogether by making the interview process difficult because nobody is going to want to sit through an interview that is tough if they don’t really want the job.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and will use the advice that we have suggested to make your business life far easier than ever before.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

3 Ways To Improve Efficiency In Your Business

3 Ways To Improve Efficiency In Your Business
Efficiency is going to be important in any business, no matter what industry you are in. If your business is not efficient, then you are going to have a hard time keeping up with others on the market right now. When they providing services at twice the rate you are, you will start to notice a decline in customers using your business. As such, you need to know how you can increase the efficiency of your business and fast. Well, it’s a good thing that you have come across this article because we are going to be discussing three of the ways that you can do this down below.

Conduct Reviews

The first thing that we are going to recommend to you is that you conduct reviews of all of your employees. We are sure that when you hired them, they were enthusiastic, hardworking and that might still be the case, but the only way you can know for sure is if you introduce performance reviews. By doing this, you will be able to see who is pulling their weight and who is letting other people pick up theirs. Once you have identified the people who are no longer contributing effectively to your company, you are either going to have to give them a warning and let them try to be more efficient, or you will have to let them go.

You might find that the mere act of introducing reviews will improve the efficiency in your business. We are not saying that your workers aren’t already giving you everything that they have, but there are surely some people who could be doing a better job than they currently are. By introducing these reviews, the stragglers will step up their game.

Use Software

Have you considered using software in your business? Some owners are embracing the digital revolution, and others are sticking with the manual way of doing things. If you are currently operating on fully manual power, your business is going to be slower than most of the other companies you are competing with. It doesn’t have to be anything big at first, but even introducing something as small as staff management software by ELMO could be something to consider. The software will do the jobs that need to get done, but without wasting the time of your employees.

The Latest Tech

Finally, if your employees are still using Windows XP and competitors are using Windows 10, who do you think is going to be more efficient? As this is the case, you need to invest in the latest technology on the market to ensure that everything can be moving along smoothly. It is all well and good to say that your employees need to work more efficiently, but if you are not providing them with the tools to do so, then they are going to be severely limited. Because of this, you should be keeping up with all the latest tech trends and making sure your business has everything that it needs. It might cost you a small fortune now, but it will be worth it when the profits are flooding in.

We hope that you have found this article helpful and will take the advice set out above to improve the efficiency in your business.

Friday, March 1, 2019

4 Things You Find In Every Successful Marketing Plan

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been going for a while and you’re considering expansion, your business needs a solid marketing plan. If you don’t have a clear strategy that outlines how you’re going to keep your existing customers and attract new ones in the future, your marketing efforts won’t have a direction and they’re not likely to be very successful. If you think that your marketing plan needs an overhaul or you’re just about to write your very first one, these are the key things that you need to include.

4 Things You Find In Every Successful Marketing Plan

Identify Your Target Market

You can’t run a marketing campaign if you don’t know who it’s aimed at, so understanding your target market is the first thing that you need to do. The best way to do that is to use master data management. What is master data management, you may be wondering? It’s a process that you can use to bring together all of the data that you hold about your customers from sales and marketing, accounts, and social media. By looking at the general trends in your customer data, you can get an idea of exactly who they are. This is essential if you’re going to create a marketing campaign that really resonates with them. If you don’t understand your customers, you can easily end up wasting resources on a marketing campaign that doesn’t connect with them at all.

Understand Your Marketing Goals

The next thing that you need to do is think about what your marketing goals are. If you’re just starting out, you should be aiming to get your first customers and promote your brand identity. If you’ve already been operating for a while, you might be focused on a new product launch or perhaps trying to break into a new market segment. Whatever your goals are, it’s important that you’re clear on what they are from the outset so you can focus on them and not waste resources on other areas.

Research Marketing Tactics

Different marketing tactics have their own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important that you do some research. For example, if you’re trying to increase sales to the older generation, advertising on social media might not be the best route. You will probably have more success with traditional marketing techniques. Think about what your goals are and who your marketing campaign is aimed at and then look at which techniques are best suited to those things.

Set A Budget

The biggest mistake you can make is going in without a budget. If you don’t have a cap on your spending, it’s so easy to keep funneling money into marketing campaigns indefinitely. But it’s important that you’re weighing up the cost of marketing with the return on investment that you’re seeing. If you spend more on the marketing campaign than you get back in sales, you’re losing a lot of money. That’s why it’s essential that you set a realistic budget and stick to it when you’re running marketing campaigns.

If you can include all of these things in your marketing plan, it should be a huge success.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Cheap Marketing Tips - Without Social Media

While it is true that everything is pretty much online, that does negate the fact there are a few little bits of marketing materials that you should have. Business cards are a bit of no brainer.

Business cards should be sleek, have your branding on them, and note all of the best ways to contact you - opt for quality like Alpha Card. Your website is also a must. A site should be easy to navigate, have a clean and easy to access the ‘contact’ page and even easier purchase process.

But what other steps can you take for your business?

Cheap Marketing Tips - Without Social Media
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Packaging

When people buy something from your website what is the experience you want them to have? Think about the moment the box arrives from the postman. Is your box branded?

Once they tear into the box what is inside? Hopefully alongside their invoice is a thank you note. Because small gestures make a more significant difference than you might’ve thought.

The little personal touches make it feel less like a marketing ploy to get a repeat customer, and more like they are a valued customer (which they should be).

Claim What is Yours

Every person who was ever looking for information will head to Google. Which is great because if you have spent some time taking care of the SEO on your website, they stand a good chance of finding you.

You should take a few minutes to claim your business on Google. Head to Google My Business and follow the steps their so that you can shop up on a map when people search.

Update your business profile, then use any of the tools in the dashboard to make that free marketing resource work even harder for you.

While you’re in the dash, you might find you have the ability to claim some free google ad cash. Yes, the chances are you will need to spend a little to get it, but you’re going to be investing in ads anyway - so get the free stuff too.

Claim your business on Yelp too. This will allow people who have enjoyed your services or products to leave reviews.

The perks of having both of these are that people can find you much easier.

Extras

If you go to tradeshows, sell on markets or stalls, have a pop-up store or a lot of products then you need to work out how to market all of that.

Getting flyers and brochures printed is going to pay off. Use lighter materials like flyers for cold leads or to hand out a little more often.

For hot leads or customers that have purchased maybe 3-4 times, send them the slightly larger marketing materials.

When it comes to your marketing there is a lot you can do that doesn’t involve social media, and is pretty cost effective too. So spend some time working out how you want to present yourself and your business to clients.

Tip: When it comes to filling in the details like about, numbers etc. - it can feel like a bit of a slog but be detailed and give it your best.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Keeping Employees Safe Without Impacting Their Work

Keeping Employees Safe Without Impacting Their Work
In recent years, safety at work has become a big concern for governments all over the world. New laws have come into place, and companies which used to be able to get away with substandard safety practices have had to seriously clean up their acts. Of course, though, when something like this is added to the mix, it will usually make work more complicated for your employees. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring health and safety, and what can be done to improve it within your business, all without impacting the work which your employees are dedicated to completing.

Watch From Afar

One of the biggest issues a lot of employers find themselves facing is the fact that they can’t always be in the office or watching over their team. Instead, you will have days off, and this means that people will be left to their own devices. In some jobs, this will happen every day, especially when people are working from the road. Some simple monitoring can be a great way to solve this. Fleet telematics solutions are great for vehicles, as they can measure things like speed and braking force, determining whether or not someone’s driving is safe. Along with this, some internet-based CCTV could also be a very useful tool.

Smart Work Areas

When a work area is being planned out, the time which you put into making sure that everything is safe is very important. With the right kind of effort, it’s possible to create an office, warehouse, or store which doesn’t present any threats to your employees. Cables can be routed under the floors, desks can be kept far apart, and all of the tools people use can be free from sharp edges or other risks. While it will take some time to achieve something like this, it will be worth putting the effort into it, as your company will benefit a lot as time goes on.

Regular Training

Health and safety comes as common sense to a lot of people, especially in an office environment. There will always be those who don’t understand why they have to follow certain rules, and this can make it hard to keep them safe without the right kind of training. Before you teach people what they have to do to be safe, though, you will need to make some rules. It’s worth designing them to be as easy as possible to follow. This will make the process of getting everyone trained very easy, while also helping to minimise the impact it has on their work. Of course, it’s always worth putting safety over productivity, though.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of keeping your employees as safe as possible. A lot of companies struggle with this sort of work, finding it hard to know where to get started when they have this sort of issue on their plate. To make it easier, there are loads of companies out there which can offer advice when it comes to workplace safety.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

How To Finally Achieve That Work Life Balance

How To Finally Achieve That Work Life Balance
Image via Unsplash

In today's super connected, always on world, achieving a good work life balance can seem very out of reach. We're surrounded by technology and gadgets that are supposed to make our lives easier and free up our time, and yet we seem to have less of it than ever. The working culture in the Western world promotes presenteeism and despite the prevalence of flexible working policies and cloud based IT systems we still feel the pressure to spend longer and longer at our desk or making ourselves constantly available on email, even when there's evidence that working too long actually makes us less productive. This constant, low-level stress is toxic and leaves us feeling burnt out and full of anxiety. It damages our wellbeing, and hurts our relationships. Of course where exactly the balance point lies is highly personal and individual to each of us, and finding it can be tricky. But commit to the process and you'll find yourself healthier, happier and able to work better - while still finding time to indulge in driving games or the odd Netflix binge.

Reject The Perfection Myth

If you're an overachiever, it's likely that you've been stuck in patterns of perfectionist behavior since childhood, and that can be hard to break free off. Entering adult life generally means that you take on increasing amounts of responsibility and so maintaining a perfectionist attitude gets harder and harder as you're spread much more thinly. On an emotional and even on a neurological level it's incredibly hard to sustain the perfection myth and it puts so much strain on you - burnout is almost inevitable. It's time to let go of these invisible, unattainable standards and realise that sometimes, for the sake of your health, okay is good enough.

Step Away From The Tech

The very same gadgets which are supposed to help us and streamline our lives often become an unbalancing force as we become contactable round the clock and our world resounds to the sound of the notifications from email and social media every few minutes. There are very few clear time boundaries in place in our lives - there is an expectation that we'll be constantly available. Learn how to reassert those divisions - start by putting phones and tablets away in a drawer for meal times and when you go to bed. Equally, if you're spending time with family and friends, or out at an event. Try to have an experience that isn't framed through your smartphone screen. Becoming less reactive to every little ping and buzz puts you back in control - and when you have control, you naturally become calmer and less stressed.

Create Headspace With Exercise

The single best way to clear your mind and do something thats just for you? Make exercise a part of your life. Find something you love, whether it's a hot spin class, going for a run or joining a sports team. Exercise is not only critical to the health of our bodies, but the feel good endorphins it produces are also essential for mental balance and reducing stress. Yet many of us don't actively prioritise it like we should. Make sure that you schedule it in just like any other meeting so it doesn't get Iforgotten about. You deserve that time and you need it to function to your best ability, so don't ever feel guilty. Equally, balance is also about taking time to chill out gaming or reading a good book. That time isn't wasted - it's a form of self-care that is equally valuable.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Want To Increase Your Computer Skills? It's Easier Than You Think

Want To Increase Your Computer Skills? It's Easier Than You Think
In the year 2019, pretty much everybody has some sort of device seemingly attached to them. Some have technology ingrained into them whereas others it’s necessity and nothing more. One thing’s for sure, as we continue further into the future, technology is going to become increasingly prevalent in everyday life. Worried about what’s to come? Don’t be. Here are a few ways to expand your knowledge of computers.

Look Into It

There are a lot of different aspects of computers – some simple and some that feel too complicated. There’s no shame in having to start right at the bottom of a topic in order to reach where you want to be – even if you have skills in similar facets. Some of the biggest tech geeks out there know absolutely nothing about the basic coding of a website. There are plenty of videos, articles and books around that can show you the ropes.

Find Something You Can Enjoy

For a lot of people out there, computers and tech can be quite dull. For those of you out there that think this way – it doesn’t have to be like that. There are hundreds of ways by which you can increase your skills on a computer, and there’s no way in heck that they’re all numbing and painful.

Take An Online Course

There are hundreds of courses dotted around the internet that can help you increase your overall ability on a computer. A short search through the web and you’ll no doubt find something that tickles your fancy. It could be anything from an online masters degree in cybersecurity to a beginners’ graphic design course. There would even be a very, very basic course that teaches stuff to people who have touched a computer in their life! That’s a lot of opportunities scattered about the globe.

Surround Yourself In It!

This doesn’t mean you should behave like an antisocial hermit and engross yourself within the phone you’re carrying or the screen you’re staring at. It merely means to embrace the new world you’re diving in to. It’s always easier to grasp what you’re reaching for when it’s right by your side.

Want To Increase Your Computer Skills? It's Easier Than You Think

Chat About It

There are lots of social forums that discuss the most basic systems all the way up to the most complicated stuff. Why not hop onto some sites dedicated to tech and have some knowledge bombs dropped on you while you make friends in the process. The ever-growing phenomenon of social media can help you out too.

Play Some Games!

This may come across as a silly option, but there are technical abilities gained in video games. Not only speed and awareness that help the brain out, but genuine on-screen activities that can be applied in work situations.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything that you want to improve, you need to practice. Nobody every gained ability by pure luck or coincidence. With all of these different ideas combined, you can get a lot of practice while stimulating the brain at the same time.

Monday, January 28, 2019

5 Things To Consider Before You Outsource

5 Things To Consider Before You Outsource
When it comes to tasks that are time-consuming or require specialist skills, many companies choose to outsource these tasks to another company. This allows businesses to focus on core tasks and get more done. Outsourcing is much cheaper than hiring full time staff and sometimes more effective. All the most successful businesses rely on outsourcing, however you should carefully consider the types of tasks you outsource and who you outsource from. Here are just a few questions to ask yourself before you outsource.

How much does it cost?

It’s possible to outsource everything from accountancy to handling social media, but to justify this you’ll need to be making enough money in order to pay all these people that you’re outsourcing. If you’re not making a large income, you may not be able to afford to outsource and you may have no option but to do these tasks yourself. You can outsource tasks for cheap using sites like Fiverr, but you’ll usually be hiring amateurs and budding freelancers rather than established firms to take on these tasks. By budgeting ahead, you can usually work out whether it’s financially feasible – never outsource without doing financial calculations first. Be wary that you may be able to negotiate costs in certain cases.

Is it worth the convenience?

You need to be certain that the convenience is worth the cost. For example, if you’re planning on hiring a phone answering company such as Moneypenny, you need to consider what advantage this will bring you. If your day is constantly being interrupted by phonecalls or you’re missing out on potential customers because you’re too busy doing other tasks to answer the phone, outsourcing such a service could be worthwhile. However, if you’re only getting the occasional phonecall, it my not be worth paying a monthly fee for. Convenience may also depend on how well you can perform the task yourself - if you’re not digitally savvy at all, you may prefer to outsource your web design, however if you’ve got programming know-how or are familiar with Wordpress you may be better off doing this task yourself.

How credible is this company?

If you’ve decided outsourcing is definitely the best course of action, you then need to decide who to outsource from. Ideally you want someone you can trust and this means looking for proof that a company is of a professional standard and that they’ve received results in the past. Awards are a good way to tell that a company is credible. Don’t just trust their website - if you can find proof of this award published elsewhere on the internet such as this Asiaciti Trust fiduciary award, it’s usually a sign that it’s genuine. On top of awards, check that they have necessary licenses to credentials. Reviews and testimonials can meanwhile be good proof of past successes with customers – if a company has lots of positive reviews, that usually means that they can provide good results for clients. Of course, some companies do fake reviews, however you can usually tell by looking at the date these reviews were published and the detail of the content (if they’re all vague and published at the same time, they’re usually fake).

Do I need a specialist service?

You may also want to consider whether you need a general service or a specialist service. Outsourcing a general marketing company could allow you to get involved in multiple marketing strategies, however you may prefer a company that simply specialises in SEO or social media marketing or PPC ads. Similarly, you may prefer a specialist company such as this retail marketing company Only Retail – such companies may have a better understanding of your niche, however they may cost a little bit more to hire.

How involved do I want to be?

Some company owners prefer to outsource someone who take the task completely off their hands without them having to give too much input, whilst others prefer to stay heavily involved in the work. You should decide which option is best for you when choosing a company to outsource. If you want to stay hands-on, you may find that hiring an advisor is a better option – this could involve hiring a recruitment consultant to help you find employees rather than hiring a recruitment company. Outsourcing advice can be cheaper, however you need to be comfortable still taking on the work yourself.