Everyday as the owner of a business you are reminded of the fact that you are in charge of other people. This also means you are responsible for other people also. As with a lot of authority, there always comes a lot of responsibility. The owner of a business has to make sure that his or her employees are working to their absolute best all the time. That’s obviously not going to be able to be done all the time but the notion is clear, work hard for as consistently as possible every working day. With this ethos in mind, it can be easy to forget that your employees have a life outside of work. Since you are running a small business and pressures are consistently high, you are working outside of normal working hours anyway. You don’t get to leave the business at 5pm, you go home and have it on your mind all the time. It can be easy to then expect your employees to behave like you and in subtle ways, force them into replicating your drive and passion. But pushing them too far too often, can end up costing you in more ways than one.
Their best brain
When an employee is fresh and full of drive, they are at their most optimal when it comes to brain power. The way they approach work, thinking about it, tackle problems and come up with solutions is at it’s very best. Here is where their creative and logical brains come together in a brilliant dance. However, the more and more you push your employees to work long hours, work on weekends and even take some work home with them to complete, the more this power diminishes. Their best brain is worn down slowly and you get a shell of their former self working for you. This means they are far more likely to cause problems than solve them, but also not provide you with the best solutions despite giving you acceptable options.
Enough time to rest
In some industries more than others, worker rest is crucial. For example in the trucking industry, companies that don’t give their employees enough rest time such as sleep in between delivering loads, can face a truck labor attorney. This kind of legal practice is designed to help workers who are being pushed beyond their physical limits. No longer are they just going to shut up and put up with it for fear of being fired. They will take their employer to court if they feel that their working conditions are not just unsafe but demoralizing and overly stressful. This kind of thing can also happen to businesses that are run from commercial offices. Workers that are forced to clock in early and leave late over and over, will become highly stressed and can seek legal action against you.
It helps no one to overwork your employees. You don’t get the best out of them, and you just end up hurting your relationship with some of your best people. You could end up being dragged to court over inhumane conditions which is a stain on your business itself.
There’s no escaping the fact that every business decision should be made with financial implications in mind. After all, the success and failure of a company is determined almost exclusively by the financial performance. Your main goal probably revolves around increasing the revenue. In reality, reducing your expenses is where you can see the fastest results.
Focus on these five key areas of the operation, and you should notice significant changes in no time.
Focus On Productivity
It’s the oldest cliché in the book, but time is money. Therefore, ensuring that productivity levels reach the desired level is vital. Creating a work environment that encourages productivity will establish the foundations for success. Employees are your greatest asset, however, which is why you must invest in their development and sense of unity too. Failure to do this could undo all of the good work that has been completed elsewhere.
Scrutinize Every Purchase
While it’s certainly true that you need to spend money before making it. However, there’s no greater mistake than wasting capital, which is why every purchase should offer value for money. New Era Fuels can help reduce the cost of fuel and lubricants for your fleet of vehicles. Meanwhile, price comparison can be used to reduce office energy bills. In addition to getting more for your money in this arena, investing in 3D printers and modern tech can work wonders for the long haul too.
Use Smarter Marketing Strategies Marketing strategies will have a huge impact on your overheads as well as your revenue, which is why you must find the right balance. Digital marketing such as PPC and affiliate schemes work on the basis of only paying out on active ideas that spark a reaction. There’s still a role for offline marketing, especially if yours is a local company. Nonetheless, the fact that digital marketing allows you to reach a bigger audience on a smaller budget should not be ignored.
Get An Accountant
Paying for an accountant can feel like an added expense, especially when you run a small operation. However, accountants pay for themselves. This is due to their knowledge of taxes, expenses, and other entitlements. Small Biz Accountants can also offer useful advice on where to make changes in the day to day running of the business. The influence that this can have on your expenses is huge, and will turn your venture into a far slicker operation. This is one outside investment that’s essential.
There’s no greater waste than trying to bite off more than you can chew before having to give up due to poor timing. Know your audience. Forecast your growth and scalability in an accurate fashion. Be patient enough to wait for the right opportunities. It’s better to succeed in a small pond rather than get consumed in a big one, especially as the expansions can come later. Even when you do look to expand, ideas like franchising may be your best solution.
Making your money work harder doesn’t guarantee success, but it certainly has a big role to play. Get these elements under control and you won’t go far wrong.
Working as a freelancer is very different from working for a company or for someone else. Whereas before, you had someone else to take care of accounts, payroll, etc. on your behalf – now it’s up to you to manage it all. Many people dislike this element of being freelance, but luckily there are tools to help you make it as pain-free as possible. Get a handle on your business with these top tools for freelancers.
Project management applications
It can be difficult to stay motivated and productive once you leave the office environment. As a freelancer, it’s up to you to set deadlines and stick to them. With several clients to manage at once, it’s not always easy to stay on task. Luckily for you, there are some great project management apps available that can help you to keep up to date and manage your workload with ease. Most apps are free and are mobile compatible to help you work from anywhere.
The money management element of being freelance can be difficult for many people, especially when it comes to issuing and chasing invoices. The GigEconomy app is a great new app for helping you to oversee your work, send out invoices as well as keep track of the clients who are paying you on time. It also comes with a free trial to help you test it out before you subscribe. Invoicing tools can take the stress out of handling client transactions, leaving you free to carry on with the work itself.
As well as managing invoices and payments, as a freelancer you’re also responsible for paying your own business expenses, bills and taxes. Even if you’re not great at balancing numbers, you can manage your accounts with ease using free accounting tools. By using online accounting software, you can check your balances in an instant as well as have a hub to store all of your receipts and correspondence ready to prepare your tax return at the end of the year.
Finding clients can be another challenge associated with freelancing, and having a marketing strategy can help you keep your time filled and ensure you have a steady stream of clients. Take a look at social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Orlo to help you manage your feeds and make it easier to keep your content going. Meanwhile, services like MailChimp make it easy to send out communications to your clients, which is great to alerting them to special offers or reminding them of what you offer.
While freelancing involves putting a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, there are more and more useful tools being launched to help you do the job. From tools to help you set up a website to tools that will help you manage your time more effectively, make sure you take advantage of what’s out there to help make your freelancing a success.
If you have clicked through to this article, you probably know what CISSP training is and why it is an excellent investment for your career. For those of you who are wondering what it is and how it can help you to move your career forward, read on!
What is CISSP? CISSP stands for ‘certified information systems security professional’ – a bit of a mouthful, we know! A CISSP is a highly qualified position (see below for how to get into it) who looks after IT security. They have an excellent understanding and knowledge of IT threats, how to control, prevent and minimize security attacks and oversees software development, amongst other things. It’s a job which is in high demand at the moment – so if you do your CISSP certification, you are likely to be able to command a high salary. What do you need to do become a CISSP? As we mentioned above, it is an extremely highly qualified position and takes a lot of training to get into. Minimum requirements for it include: Having proof of five years minimum of security work experience – this experience has to be full time and paid in at least two of the eight common body of knowledge areas. This experience is essential for both the certification process and the exams. Pass the CISSP exam – to pass, you need to get a minimums core of 700 out of a possible 1000. It’s a six-hour long exam with a mix of multiple choice and questions that require longer, written answers. Be endorsed – once you have completed and passed the exam, you need to subscribe to a particular code of ethics and be supported by another professional who is (ISC)2 certified. It’s also really important that you research and choose an institution that is regulated and authorized, such as Alpine Security CISSP training. What benefits are there to CISSP training? 1) You can show what you are worth
A CISSP certificate is an excellent way to demonstrate your vast range of knowledge and skill. You might have a passion and understanding of cryptography. You might be excellent at developing and implementing cybersecurity policies, but it is little use if you cannot prove it, especially if you are lacking in practical work experience. The CISSP validates this knowledge, and being able to put CISSP next to your name allows any prospective employers to see that you have those skills immediately, without having to pour through endless resumes. 2. It is an in-demand job Almost every day, around 10,000 positions are available on U.S. job sites that request a CISSP. This shows a lack of qualified candidates so your skills will be highly sought after. As the internet continues to develop and evolve at a rapid pace, someone who is able to fight off increasingly sophisticated security attacks will become even more in demand. Not only will this make finding a job a lot easier, but it allows you to ask for a lot more money than someone without these qualifications, and gives you more chance of career advancement. 3. You will make yourself indispensable With massive advancements in technology and the rise of artificial intelligence and automation, many IT based jobs – even those within security – are under threat. As a leader in cyber security, your CISSP will prove that you have the skills, to make decisions that others can’t, implement strategies and prevent attacks from happening – a job that can’t be done by a robot or a computer. 4. You can command a much higher salary We have covered this point in some of the others, but it is probably the biggest benefit for some people. Because you have to have so much proven experience to do the training, because you have to pass such strict criteria, because there is a shortage in CISSP qualified personnel and because you are indispensable, you can rake in a lot of money. According to some surveys, across the world CISSP professionals earn on average 25 % more than their non-certified peers. The average salary for male CISSP professionals is between $78,788 and $119,184, making this one of the highest paying positions within the IT industry. As you can see, becoming a qualified CISSP is so much more than owning a piece of paper saying you have a qualification – it allows you to join an exclusive club of professionals who are in demand on a worldwide scale and who can ask for a salary to reflect that.
Searching for business premises is a huge commitment which warrants careful consideration before signing on the dotted line. As well as the financial obligation to pay the rent, the design and location of your workplace can have a significant effect on employee satisfaction, customer engagement and therefore profit margins. If you take the time to get the aesthetics of your premises right from the very start, money and time will be saved and productivity and sales will soar. Once you have created a work environment conducive to creativity you will be well on your way to a happy workforce. A happy, committed and loyal workforce is your key to business success.
Imagine that your business premises is your “shop window”. A good first impression to visiting clients and customers is vital. Your aim is to look professional, organised and current. A shoddy unkempt entrance simply won’t cut it. If you are struggling to find the perfect premises or you would like some assistance with design aspects, you could consult experts in the field such as offices for rent available from Bond Collective.
Read on to discover tips on how to make your business look more aesthetically pleasing and how to create a productive environment for your workforce.
If you are in the initial stages of choosing the location for your business premises, take time to consider the accessibility of the building. Is there sufficient car parking space, is it close to reliable public transport and will deliveries be easily accepted? Look at the external areas of the premises and ensure that pathways are well maintained and well lit.
The entrance of the property should be inviting, clear of clutter and it should have good signage. Many of these aspects can be rectified once you have taken on the lease if the property ticks all the right boxes in other ways. Make sure the front door is in a good state of repair and once visitors enter the building, make sure they can find their way easily. Many businesses consider creating a green space in an atrium close to the entrance, this creates a great first impression to visitors as well as a space for employees to relax and destress.
When considering the design of your office space, stay clear of the traditional dingy offices of the past where desks were arranged in dusty rows and were totally uninspiring. Lots of research has been carried out into office design, the modern office space offers different “zones” for meetings, collaborating, relaxing, socialising and working. The modern office is conducive to encouraging productivity and creativity, they also portray a professional image to visitors and clients.
The modern office is also light and airy. Make the most of all natural light available as this is the best source. If natural light is at a premium consider “natural daylight” light bulbs and decorate in light colours. Use splashes of colour to add interest and freshness and avoid grey decor.
A lot of research has been undertaken around the psychology of colour. Different colours evoke different emotional responses in people. Green has been proven to evoke a sense of calmness as well as encourages productivity and performance. There is a reason why dressing rooms are often called the “green room” as the colour is used to calm performers prior to going on stage.
Consider bringing the colour green into the workplace by painting walls in shades of green, or better still use plants. Aim to bring the outside in by adding touches from the natural world. A water feature would also be a lovely addition, or an aquarium, all of which induces a state of calm.
In the initial planning stage it is easy to try and cut corners by going for the minimum amount of space needed, it’s cheaper after all. However it’s worth trying to get as much space as your budget will allow. A spacious office will increase productivity. Your workforce need to be able to move freely, a cramped office can look cluttered and disorganised which doesn’t look professional to visitors.
A happy team is a productive team!
To get the best from your employees you should promote an environment which encourages and values creativity. Creativity is relevant to all business sectors, not just the arts. Innovation is driven by creativity which will ultimately allow your business to thrive and grow. A team who are encouraged to embrace their creativity will be efficient and able to tackle and solve problems. The creative process may throw a few “off the wall” solutions, but this shouldn’t be discouraged, as it is this process which leads to workable solutions.
Read on for some tips on how to encourage creativity.
Let your employees know they are valued
When managing people it’s all too easy to let them know when something has gone wrong, but praise when a project has gone well can sometimes be a little thin on the ground. It’s easy to think a person has done a good job, without actually telling them. For motivation to remain high, praise should be given where it’s due. Thank people for their efforts, take the time to get to know your team and try to be flexible around family commitments and appointments.
Coaching is also an excellent way to guide team members through processes. If you adopt an approachable, enthusiastic persona your team will feel valued and go that extra mile in order to complete tasks. It’s important to get the balance just right though, as you don’t want to be seen as a pushover, also a more authoritarian approach may be required at times.
Brainstorming can be really productive when developing solutions to problems. It is important that the whole team is involved and that everyone feels confident enough to contribute. All ideas should be valued even if they seem a little “out there”, as the whole process is how creative solutions are made. Brainstorming sometimes requires careful management. Especially if you have some strong characters within the team.
Quiet time is needed at certain times, but an office which is silent all the time isn’t conducive to creativity. Create opportunities for the team to get together and chat, this will promote cohesion, a team which works well together and one which feels comfortable in bouncing ideas of each other. The result will be a more productive workforce, which ultimately creates a larger profit margin!
Tackle workplace stress
A certain amount of stress is vital as it drives innovation, however stress can become negative and spiral out of control. Creativity will be dampened, mistakes will occur and levels of sickness will increase within the team if negative stress isn’t managed effectively. It is essential to create stress busting policies and encourage a culture where employees can discuss their feelings openly. Create opportunities for staff to destress away from the workplace with away days. If stress becomes a problem for individuals or the team as a whole, seek expert professional advice.
Create a diverse team
For creativity to flourish it is vital to develop a staff team from different backgrounds and cultures. Different experiences in life mean that people have different outlooks, this encourages creativity and will promote a range of aspects on creating solutions to problems. If all the team are very similar it is at risk of becoming a little stagnant.
Get your workplace environment right and everything else will fall into place. Your workforce is your business’s greatest asset. A happy team ultimately results in a greater profit margin, as well as an enjoyable place to work!
Do you have a keen interest in flowers? Are you someone who enjoys their beauty and their meaning? A course in floristry is attractive to many. We will never see the day whereby flowers are deemed unattractive or undesirable, and so a floristry course can indeed open many doors.
There is flower arranging or floral design, flower delivery, floral display, merchandising, flower care and handling, and much, much more. If this is a route you would like to go down, you should definitely explore more about it.
People often remark that a career in floristry is rewarding since you are often putting a smile on people’s faces and dealing with pretty and colourful flowers. Plus, every day can different! Keeping that in mind, we’re going to reveal a little bit more about what you can learn if taking a floristry course, so keep on reading to find out more…
Firstly, it is imperative to stress that every floristry course is different, and so this post will give a general overlook of the different things you can learn. If you decide this is a path you wish to take, you should then spend the time assessing various different courses until you find one that has a curriculum you are entirely happy with.
When on your course, you can expect to learn a whole host of things. This will begin with plant care and conditioning fresh material. You will also learn all about the different types of plants, flowers, and foliage.
Aside from this, you will be given a lot of lessons on how to store plants, how to present them and how to display them. This includes displays in shops and gift-wrapping for customers, and it also includes designing professional arrangements for weddings, funerals and other events, as well as sympathy tributes.
You will also gain knowledge regarding what it is like to work in the industry. It is advisable to take photographs of all of the displays you create so that you can use them in a portfolio later on. Nonetheless, it is likely that this will be required of you during your course anyway.
Aside from this, the best courses will arrange for you to engage in some work experience. You will contact a flower shop, a floral design company or something similar whereby you will conduct several weeks of work experience. This will not only help you when it comes to flower design and care, but you will also gain the necessary retail experience, which is often essential when it comes to working in the world of flowers.
Additionally, you will likely be presented with opportunities to go to trade fairs, wholesalers, exhibitions and such like, as well as the possibility of competing in different national and local competitions. It is advisable to take advantage of all of these.
So there you have it, a great insight into the different things you are likely to learn if you are to take a floristry course. However, as stated every course is different, and so you should never assume the course you select is going to teach everything that has been mentioned without delving deep into their curriculum yourself.
If you’re toying with the idea of getting your own website, but don’t know whether you should hire someone or give it a shot on your own, then it can be confusing when knowing where to start. The good thing about doing it on your own is that it’s not actually as complicated as you think and you can have a nice website that functions properly up and running in a very short time for very little money thanks to things like drag and drop builders and WordPress themes as well as companies like WhiteOwl who can help you automate your website and systems once you have it up and running.
Of course it can certainly be overwhelming to start looking into these things because you hear of so many different options and don’t know what’s really going to work for you.
So, in this post, we’re going to share with you the 3 tools you need in order to build your own website.
The truth is: as much as you might like to avoid anything techie (we’ve all been there); there are at least a few tools you’ll need to set up and run your website and business.
And once you get to grips with them, which is honestly easier than you might think – they will also make your life much easier.
That’s pretty much the whole point of technology, anyway, right?
So, let’s get into it, shall we?
First of all, let me just debunk a very damaging myth real quick: when you’re just starting out in business, you do NOT “need” a website.
So many entrepreneurs get this backwards – and I’ve also been guilty of this, so I don’t want you to fall into the same trap.
Please do not go investing a ton of money into a fancy website that looks pretty, but is pretty much useless if you have no clients, and aren’t actually making money first.
Now, you can certainly choose to have a website right away or not. Plenty of people have built highly successful, multi 6-figure businesses before ever investing in a website, and instead just used social media, free blogs or their email list.
However, if you do want to set yourself up with something simple to get started (I get that it might make you feel better or more serious, so it’s totally your call), then I recommend using WordPress and a simple theme like Divi.
If you want to use your own name or business name, you’ll also need to purchase that as well as set up hosting.
So, let’s look at these individual pieces to get your website up and running.
Just FYI: (this shouldn’t take you months to do). Give yourself a week at most and get it done. You need to be focusing on the revenue generating activities and marketing that will actually grow your business.
Domain name & hosting:
For these you can use a company such as GoDaddy or Namecheap who provide both domains and hosting.
Your domain is the address of your website (ex: yourname.com).
On GoDaddy you can purchase domain names for as little as $0,99 per year.
Hosting is essentially the house of your website, and without a house, you won’t be able to have an address for your domain name above.
Efficiency isn’t just a buzzword. It represents the strive to get your workday at its very best. With fewer interruptions, less time wasted, fewer human errors, and more streamlined work processes, you can make a huge difference towards reaching your work goals. But what is it that makes an efficient workplace? It’s time to look at some of the key players that you can introduce to give your business a real productivity boost.
If everyone knows exactly what they’re aiming for, then it becomes much easier to focus their efforts toward what you want them to. Software tools like Clearpoint Strategy can help you put a system of key performance indicators in place, showing now only how well people are reaching their goals, but helping you identify the roadblocks stopping them from being so productive.
If your business is like many others, then digital technology is going to be the most commonly used tool for carrying out work. If that’s the case, then downtime caused by security issues, loss of data, network disconnection, and other tech troubles might be the biggest barrier to efficiency. IT support from teams like eSudo Technology Solutions do more than offer a quick fix if a problem goes wrong. The biggest benefit of outsourced IT support is that it gives you a proactive approach to causes of downtime, reducing their likelihood in the first place.
Every task in the business should be considered a process, whether it’s mailing a package or completing a report. For those that are done most often, systemization might be the key. This involves finding the single most effective and least time-consuming method of doing it, then making it permanent by, for instance, creating a guide that allows new employees to learn that method.
A lot of time and effort can be lost in the mire of communication. If your team is left to their own devices to find ways to ask questions, request resources, and generally communicate with one another, you will be left with asymmetrical communication standards across the business. Some will prefer instant messages, others will prefer phone calls, others will prefer emails. Creating a central communication hub with apps like Slack makes it a lot easier to ensure everyone stays in touch and has the same standards of communication. This means they’re a lot less likely to miss one another when trying to reach out.
A happy workforce
If your team isn’t engaged, motivated, and generally happy, then they are not going to be as invested in being efficient, productive workers, it’s as simple as that. You have to invest in their well-being, ensure they’re being developed, and reward good work if you want more of it.
The factors above do no make a comprehensive list of what you need to be efficient. When aiming for true efficiency, it’s about looking at exactly what you and your team do and finding the ways to streamline it all without sacrificing the quality of the work. Simply telling people to work harder doesn’t work, you need to put the right systems in place for a truly efficient workplace.
Anyone who runs their own business will naturally want to make sure that they are able to maintain complete control over what happens in the business. Entrepreneurs are notoriously bad at knowing when it’s time to step back a bit, take a deep breath, and turn over some of the responsibilities of the job to other people.
All the same, knowing when to outsource, and understanding the value of deferring tasks to others, can often be a major pathway to success in any business endeavour. This is especially true for businesses that have been around for a while, have escaped the initial startup bubble, and have grown to a point where they can no longer be easily or efficiently managed by one person.
Unconvinced? Here are just a few of the ways in which outsourcing your work can help you to get the most out of your business.
By freeing up more time for you to spend on your core area of expertise
All of us have certain areas we’re more proficient, skilled, trained, and educated in than others. Contrary to that, any business will require numerous tasks to be handled, in areas as wide-ranging as copywriting, marketing, website management, and more.
By outsourcing some of the work of your business to third parties, you free up a lot more of your time and energy to dedicate to your own core area of expertise.
In other words, outsourcing work puts you in a position where you are more likely to be able to use the time at your disposal effectively, with the maximum possible impact, rather than having to put out fires all over the place and juggle a dozen different responsibilities and dimensions of the business that might well fall outside of your own particular area of expertise.
By allowing you to benefit from the expertise of people who can do particular jobs better than you can
Closely connected to the last point here, is the fact that outsourcing work is a great way ensuring that you get to benefit from the expertise of people who are significantly better equipped and able to handle particular types of tasks than you, yourself are.
Hiring an IT consulting company will virtually always mean that the IT domain of your business is handled with more professionalism and efficiency than it would be handled by you — unless you, yourself, are an IT expert.
The same is true for marketing, writing, graphic design. Experts in all of these fields can do a good job, to an extent that you, alone, might not be able to.
By rapidly accelerating the overall work-speed and productivity of your company
We live in a fast-paced world and it only seems to be accelerating more rapidly from day to day. The market is quick, customers expect prompt services, and competitors are eyeing up ways to deliver a more streamlined service or product.
By outsourcing some of the work in your business to other people, you essentially multiply the work-rate. Suddenly you have more people involved, and things just run exponentially faster. With heightened productivity, you are likely to gain a new competitive edge.
If you want your brand to be successful you have to make sure it stands out from the rest. If it doesn’t, it will just be lost among the many other similar ones and that will not help your business at all.
Pay Attention To Detail
It can be the little details that matter. Too many businesses do not bother about them and it could be little things that make your brand stand out above the rest. Make sure that your website has all the information a customer could need, such as your phone number. A small thing like including the country code can mean that it is easier for people to contact you.
Any emails you send should reflect the uniqueness of your brand, as should any social media posts.
Tell Your Story
People love stories, and yours will be different to anyone else’s. Include it on your website, and let potential customers know how you were inspired to start selling your products. Anything that is unique will make your brand stand out, and your story will be one of these things.
Put It Other Places
Having your brand online is great; every business should have an online presence. You can put in other places too though, as the more people see your logo, the more recognizable it will become. Some of the ideas at Pro-Motion Industries LLC are brilliant for this. You could have bottles and product packaging personalized to your brand, as well as jars, lids, and caps. Such things will help to create brand awareness, which is one of the main factors of a successful business.
See What Your Competitors Are Doing Wrong
You need to take a look at your competitors and to see what you think they are doing wrong. This will enable you to avoid the same mistakes. For instance, if they do not give a good customer service, make sure yours excels. If they are slow on deliveries, ensure that your products are sent out without delay. It is usually quite simple to see what people are not happy about. Take a quick look at their social media pages, as that is becoming the place for people to complain.
Wherever users see your business’ brand it should be consistent. The same colors, fonts, and logo should be used everywhere. Just take a few minutes to look at some of the strongest brands around and you will see that they not only use the same things all the time, but their tone and ethics remain the same too. You will not see something light-hearted in one place and something very serious in another where these big brands are concerned.
Make Use Of Social Media
Social media can be a great marketing tool that can get your brand out to more people than any other way for the cost involved. Much of using these platforms costs no more than time, but things like Facebook and Twitter adverts are not expensive and can be targeted to get your brand to the audience you want.
Build your brand and you will build your business.