Managing Construction Subcontractors: A Guide For Introverts

 

If you work in construction, then you will inevitably find yourself having to manage subcontractors at some point in your career. Construction is not an industry that lends itself to single-business work completion; instead, most companies will work in concert with other specialists in order to achieve their goals.

 

For an introvert, the management of these subcontractors is always challenging. Your natural reserve can make the process inherently difficult, and you may find that you shy away from contractor management in order to reduce the stress you experience from such a task. However, as mentioned, working in construction will always involve working with subcontractors, so rather than avoiding the task, consider the ideas below in an effort to manage the situation as best you can.

 

#1 – Do your research

 

If you wish to limit the amount of time you have to spend actively interacting with subcontractors, then research is the best answer. If you spend time researching exactly the subcontractor you need, then you can keep interactions to a minimum. If you’re looking for a broad-strokes contractor, then click through websites and look for terms like “comprehensive” in company descriptions; this indicates the contractor in question will take on more generalized roles. However, if you have a niche, specialist task such as earth shoring or ground improvement, take the time to click for more information on niche, specialist subcontractors who specialize in this area. Ideally, you want to know that the subcontractor in question actually performs the work you require prior to contacting them, as this will help to streamline the entire process.

 

#2 – Use contracts to your advantage

 

Contracts can be as expansive as you need them to be, so use this opportunity to stipulate a range of requirements that you may otherwise have had to insist on in person. This provides the opportunity to ensure both you and the contractor are on the same page right from the start, and should also eliminate a need for a constant dialog between both parties. To do this, add sections to your contract that meet “what if” questions, such as “what if the project is delayed due to bad weather?” – by having this outlined from the start, you can minimize the need for personal interaction should such a scenario develop.

 

#3 – Group together tasks

 

As an introvert, you will likely experience difficulty interacting with others, especially on an ad-hoc basis. To combat this, set aside an hour from your day to go through all queries, discussions, and related activities with your subcontractors. When that hour is complete, all further questions or discussions can wait until the next day to be resolved. You can even make this clear to subcontractors in the contract, as mentioned above: just insert a clause saying you will only be available between 10am and 11am, and all queries will only be answered during these time periods. This ensures that all relevant queries can be answered in a timely fashion, and guarantees you the freedom to go about your usual work duties for much of the working day.

 

In conclusion

 

Hopefully, you will find the tips for managing subcontractors in the construction industry useful; good luck!

Where Are The Best Places For Your Money?

 

There is a multitude of ways to invest your money, and each of them comes with a vast heap of pros and cons. And if you are under the impression that investment is not for you, think again – because the chances are that you are, in fact, already investing. Do you have a mortgage, or a retirement plan, or even a simple savings account? If so – you are an investor!

 

However, there is more to investing than squirreling money away in a savings account. And today, we’re going to go through some of the best possible places for you to put your money. We’ve covered why introverts are such good investors already, and this guide builds on that and should point you in a right direction for getting started. Let’s take a closer look.

 

Going for Gold?

 

Gold is a classic investment tool. But have you ever wondered why? Of course, it’s one of the most precious metals on the planet, so its rarity means it is worth more than, say, tin. However, golds real power is because in times of trouble – when the markets fail or inflation gets a grip on a currency – people tend to flock towards gold. When people are scared and fear their finances could be in trouble, gold is good – which makes it a sensible starting point for your investment career.

 

Ramp up the Real Estate

 

The real estate market is not infallible, as we all probably remember from the 2008 crash. But make no mistake about it, successful investors put a lot of money into buying real estate. Start small, and work your way up slowly as you learn about the ins and outs of buying property. And once you get to the stage where you are in ownership of a whole building with multiple families, remember that you will need to provide a safe place to live and also pay for apartment renovations. Remember, all successful investors have property on their portfolio of some description – just make sure you take care of those investments and the people that live in them.

 

Buy Bonds

 

You won’t make a fortune buying bonds, but there is pretty much nowhere safer to put your money. You buy bonds from a government, who promise to pay you back at a certain point in time in the future, at a fixed percentage rate of interest. These repayments are guaranteed, and many investors use the bond system to put away money instead of keeping it in a bank. There are downsides to the bond market, of course. If, say, the government offers you a rate of interest at 3 percent for 25 years, what happens if inflation rises more than that percentage? Unfortunately, it means you will have less buying power. That said, you will always get something back from bonds, which is more than can be said from the vast risks of something like the stock market.

 

Mutual funds

 

If you are unsure about the stock market, the best way to get involved with it is by taking out mutual funds. It’s a good way of lowering your risk, and you can access a mutual fund with not much money at all. But what is a mutual fund? In simple terms, it’s a pool of funds from a lot of different investors. And the money that is pooled is spread amongst a large group of different investment areas, such as stocks, bonds, and other things. However, there are a lot of downsides to using mutual funds. First of all, you hand your money over to fund managers, and your success is pretty much down to their attempts to get you good returns – you won’t have any say in where that money goes. And of course, that manager costs you money. And whatever gains you make from the investment, you will have to pay that manager a significant proportion of your return.

 

The stock market

 

Playing the stock market – it’s a loaded term that implies this is a game. And although this is true to a certain extent, it’s just like gambling, and there are exceptional returns on the cards if you are lucky – but also extraordinary losses to regret if you aren’t. So, while many people say that playing the stock market is the best way to make money, just be careful. Only invest in companies or industries that you know about, and understand. And don’t spend a cent of your money until you have learned the basics, or you risk losing a fortune.

 

Products

 

Finally, investments also take in things like cars, artworks – and even sneakers, believe it or not. Take a look at the overall sales charts for the trainer market. Nike is way ahead of the rest, which should be no surprise. But guess who is second? Nike again, only this time it’s a used market. That’s right – people buying Nike sneakers and reselling them on the secondhand market on places like eBay are making 2x, 3x, 4x and up to 10x more than they originally paid – especially for limited editions. It’s the same principle for things like toys. A boxed Star Wars toy from the early 1980s might have cost a couple of dollars back then. But even when you allow for inflation adjustments, that figure has shot up to hundreds of times the value today.

 

Conclusion

 

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to get started into the investing game. And, as long as you know what you are doing, have a passion for where you put your money and are prepared to learn – a lot – before spending a cent, it’s a good way to increase your wealth. Ultimately, however, don’t forget to protect yourself. Never spend more than you can afford to lose, and always seek to spread your investments into a variety of different areas.

 

Do you invest at all? If so, I would all love to hear about your experiences! Why not let me know about them in the comments section below?

 

A Career Introvert’s Guide To Avoiding Customer Confrontations

Introverts are as afraid of confrontation as most people are of spiders. The mere thought of falling under someone’s wrath is probably enough to keep you awake at night. And, as an introverted business owner, you sweat at the mere thought of customer confrontation.

 

In this way, you’re more like other managers than you realize. For different reasons, all business owners attempt to avoid unhappy customers. For you, though, this is a matter of real worry. Even just the idea of someone shouting at you leaves you hot under the collar. In fact, it’s not unusual for fears here to get so out of hand that you give up your business dreams altogether.

But, we don’t want that to happen. Which is why we’re here to teach you how to avoid confrontation wherever possible. Admittedly, you will always get some people looking to pick holes in what you do. But, by making sure you do the following, you can at least rest easy that their fault isn’t with you.

Be professional


This point may seem simple, but it’s more useful than you might think. In life, we all fall into roles. At work, we’re professional. As customers, we respond in kind. As such, reverting to professional language and attitude could see real benefits. The moment you drop that role, your customers may feel free to let their anger loose. Instead, work on keeping your tone level and your smile shining. You may find this diffuses many a potential confrontation.

 

 

Work with customer interests in mind

Too often, business owners focus on profits above customer needs. But, that won’t serve in any way, especially when it comes to avoiding confrontations. If you charge well over the odds on your products, for instance, unhappy customers will soon come knocking on your (business) door. Equally, you should keep customers in mind when it comes to things like protecting private information. Given that getting this wrong can lead to legal confrontations, it’s especially essential you focus here. Retailers should avoid storing any information regarding customer cards and the like. Equally, healthcare providers should turn to companies like Healthcare Security to make sure client info is kept in compliance with HIPAA. No matter your field, you can bet you’ll have an unhappy visit if you slip up with customer confidentiality in any way.You may even feel the hard stare of a courtroom judge if you aren’t careful. Could anything be worse?

Remember that the customer is always right

Despite what many of us believe, customers are a pretty reasonable bunch. While there are always exceptions, most complainants merely want a satisfactory conclusion. As such, operating with the belief that customers are always right could steer you clear of confrontation. The moment you question a complaint, the customer is liable to get defensive. Instead, then, hold your hands up. Accept if someone isn’t happy. Focus instead on reaching a satisfactory conclusion for you both. Just like that, you turn a potential complaint into another satisfied customer.

Time To Show The Business World What You’re Made Of!

Starting your own business pretty terrifying prospect. One of the biggest issues that a lot of people come across is that they don’t feel as though they should be taking up the same space as a lot of bigger, more established businesses. It can sometimes feel like you’re an amateur in a room full of professionals. But the truth is that you’re a professional. Your business may be small, but it’s just as legitimate as any other. If you have a product or service that you truly believe in, then there’s nothing to stop you from taking up the same space as bigger businesses. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to present your business in a way that allows you to seem more professional. Modern technology has made a huge amount of difference in allowing small business to appear a whole lot bigger than they are. This way, even if you’re just running your business from home, clients and customers are more likely to consider it to be worth taking a look at. Here are just a few ways that you can make your small business seem like the real deal.

 

Web design

 

 

It might seem a little shallow but the truth is that customers often rely purely on visuals and design to make a lot of their decisions about a company. That means that if a part of your business looks poorly made, then that’s going to create the wrong impression of every other part of your business. Nowhere is this more pronounced than on your website. You could have the best product on the market but if you’re selling it through a cheap looking, amateurish website, customers simply aren’t going to care. The best thing that you can do is to make sure that you’re looking very carefully at how some of the world’s most successful businesses design and present their websites. Look at any trends that seem to go between them and see what you can incorporate them into your own web design. The good news is that there are plenty of services available with easy to use templates that will help you create an incredibly professional looking site without needing to learn a single line of code.

 

Dedicated email accounts

 

This follows a similar idea to the previous point. Your personal email account might work perfectly well, but it’s yet again going to send a message to your customers that your business isn’t one that they really need to take all that seriously. When you’re emailing customers, you want your branding to be consistent all of the time. By using a dedicated email address that includes your business’s name, you tell customers that your business is worth paying attention to. This is especially true if you have some employees working for you. This way you can have separate email addresses that are all consistent when it comes to branding and presentation. It might not seem like something that would matter all that much but this kind of consistency is pretty much essential for getting people to treat your business like a professional organization. Companies like Google actually offer services that can help you create these domain names and email accounts that are effective, reliable and make a huge difference to the overall way that your business is perceived.

 

A virtual mailbox

 

It’s a real shame that a lot of customers will decide not to give your business a fair shake the moment that they realize that you’re running it out of your home rather than an office. This might be completely unfair, but it’s something of an inevitability when it comes to a certain subset of your customers. On one the very best ways to get around this problem is through a virtual mailbox. By presenting your business in a way that seems for “professional” you’re going to make your business seem much more worthy of this kind of customer’s trust.. Plenty of virtual office services include things like mail forwarding address services that allow you to send and receive mail to and from clients without having to give away that your business is being run out of your home office.. It’s not really something that you should have to do, but being able to present your business in this way will make a huge amount of difference in making it look more established and professional.

 

Employees

 

One of the biggest differences between a new, small business, and one that’s better established is the fact that a larger business often has a much more professional attitude to employees. In fact, if your business is small enough you might not have any employees at all. A lot of people are going to worry about dealing with a one person business so something like a virtual receptionist can make a huge difference to how your business is perceived by customers. It’s a subtle change that impacts the psychology of your customers in ways that they might not actually realize but it’s one that can make a huge difference to your business as a whole.

 

The truth is that you’re always going to be going up against the world when it comes to trying to make it take your small business seriously. There are so many huge businesses that are able to simply dwarf your own in size that trying to push through that initial barrier can be a real challenge. However, one of the most important things to remember is that bigger is not always better. There are plenty of things that you can do to leverage your size and really make the most of your business as a whole. For one thing, a lot of customers enjoy the more personal touch that they get from a smaller business. If you can hold onto that and use it as effectively as possible, you’re actually going to be able to give yourself an advantage that bigger businesses simply don’t have. The key is to work with what you’ve got, no matter how much or how little that might be.

 

Filing Your Taxes? Remember to Do These Things

Filing your business taxes isn’t exactly fun, but it is necessary. You need to do it every year to keep your records up to date and comply with the law. Whether it’s your first time doing your taxes or it’s something that you’ve done before, there are some things that you should be sure to do.

 

Get an Accountant

 

Some small business owners might think that they don’t need an accountant to do their accounts. However, you can benefit hugely from using one. It will help you avoid mistakes, save time and make sure you don’t pay more tax than you need to.

 

Pay Attention to Deadlines

 

Getting the timing right is essential if you want to avoid having to pay any penalties. Make sure you’re aware of any deadlines that you have to meet and start preparing everything long before then. If you leave it too late, you could run into problems at the last minute.

 

Use the Right Form

 

Don’t forget to check that you’re using the right form to file your business taxes. It might seem like a simple thing to do, but there are several possible forms that you might end up using. If you use the wrong one, you could end up having to do it all again.

 

Claim for the Right Expenses

 

If you claim for all of your allowable expenses, you can make sure you don’t end up paying too much tax. This is one good reason to hire an accountant – so that you don’t miss out.

 


Infographic Design By Triplog

Health Care Jobs You Don’t Need To Go To Medical School For

 

A lot of people decide to go to medical school in order to pursue a career in this industry. However, some people do not want to go down this route. Yes, it could give you a financially rewarding career but perhaps you do not want to spend all of that time at university? Or, maybe you don’t have the finances to do this? It does not matter what applies, you will be pleased to know that there are some medical jobs out there for those who do not want to go to medical school. So, let’s take a look…

 

Audiologist – If you have never heard of this career before, it involves utilizing different devices and computers to test the hearing balance and ability of a patient. An audiologist will treat patients with a number of different hearing issues or balance disorders, for example, tinnitus or vertigo. While you do not need to go to medical school for this, you do need to get a clinical doctorate, and so it does require some effort!  

 

Physical therapist – You also do not need to have a medical degree in order to become a physical therapist. This is also a profession that is in high demand too, with a predicted growth rate of 34 per cent over the next ten years.

 

Healthcare tech jobs – There are lots of different jobs surrounding healthcare technology that are available today, and this may be a field you are interested in, especially if you have a degree in technology or anything related to this. Innovations in the medical field are being sought all of the time, and you could be the one to make a big difference. Not only can you design equipment but you can test it too. You could also be in charge of the hospital supply of ultrasound machine equipment and such like, or you could handle the selling process. The options are endless.  

 

Genetic counselor – Last but not least, another job you can go for in the healthcare field without attending medical school is being a genetic counselor. These are healthcare professionals that spend their days evaluating patients and speaking with them and their family members. You can counsel regarding physical illnesses, as well as mental illnesses, and there are different fields you can brand into, but it all comes down to providing support. There are also different businesses and settings you can work for if you go down this route too.

 

As you can see, there are a number of different jobs that do not require you to go to medical school yet do enable you to enter the medical industry. If any of the jobs mentioned above sound appealing to you, make sure you do some research regarding what requirements are needed in order to enter this industry. After all, it is unlikely you are going to be able to enter with no training, experience, or qualifications at all, so do find out what is going to increase your chances of being accepted.

Setting Up a Business From Home

 

If you’re looking to set up a business, then as a startup, the most sensible way to get started is to initially work from home.  See, many people rush out to secure premises upon starting their business because it makes them feel more “proper” and business like, whereas all successful entrepreneurs know the importance of frugality in the early days.

 

If you were to go out and get premises, then this means you are financially committed to paying rent on the property no matter what highs and lows your business experiences, it also makes you less agile, as one of the core benefits of being a start-up over and established company is the agility to respond to market conditions and other factors with speed.

 

On a personal level, working from home can be a great time saver as your time won’t be tied up with congested commutes… for many people, it will be the case of walking a few metres to their home office, which can make people feel quite smug, until the isolation kicks in.

 

For this reason, it’s important that whilst you are technically setting up a business from ‘home’ you don’t lock yourself away in isolation, like quasimodo… it’s imperative you touch base with the outside world from time to time, even if that’s just sitting in starbucks with your laptop or getting out to an exercise class.

 

Loneliness can be a huge factor when working from home, so be sure to engage in social activities and break up your day – even if it’s just a walk in the park.  This way you’ll feel much more inspired and ward off any low mood due to the isolation of working from home.

 

You might also want to consider making use of co-working spaces, as these provide a low cost alternative to renting your own office and most have a good social element to them too.

 

In a nutshell, whilst working from home is the financially sensible way to move forward, as a startup, it isn’t always the most effective in terms of productivity and personal fulfilment – and can be a particular challenge if you struggle with focus and concentration, as it is.

 

Therefore, in this article we’re going to look at how to squeeze the most out of working from home, from a productivity perspective…

 

  1.  CREATE A GOOD WORKING ENVIRONMENT

It’s essential to set up a good space in which you can work without distraction.  You’ll want to it to create a space where you are comfortable yet not so comfortable you feel like catching up on the latest episode of your favourite box set.

 

You want this space to increase your focus and productivity, therefore, you want it to be a quiet and distraction free environment that is your private space.  You, and your family, should respect the space as being for ‘work’ – just like how water tanks have a specific purpose to heat the hot water that fuels your morning shower, your home office has the specific purpose of getting things done that fuel your business growth.

 

  1. SETTING UP THE SPACE

You can’t focus in a cluttered environment, so the first step, is to remove all the clutter from the room.  You then might want to paint the walls white, as this way, the light will bounce around the room creating a more ‘awake’ environment that is good for thinking with clarity.

 

It’s important you create a distraction free environment, therefore decluttering the space is a vital first step.  Next up, you’re going to need some office furniture. In this vein, it’s important you invest in some decent equipment as this is a place where you’ll be spending a lot of time, so invest in a comfortable office chair, a large enough desk for you to spread yourself out on, and an adequate filing system should this be relevant to your business.

 

What you sit on is probably the most vital consideration, as there’s a good chance you’ll be sat at your desk for many, many hours, in the early days – burning the midnight oil.  Therefore, you’ll want a chair that provides good ergonomic support.

 

The other consideration, that many people overlook, is the importance of getting a decent supply of fresh air into the office, as fresh air helps you focus and keep clear.  If you’ve ever been in a hot and stuffy office, then you’ll know this can seriously hamper your productivity, so ensure you have a plentiful supply of fresh air in your working environment.

 

Similarly, the amount of light you have in your office will play a large part in your productivity.  The more natural light in the space, the more productive you will be. In fact, have you ever noticed how when it’s grey outside we tend to be a little less productive, whereas when it’s sunny, we can’t help but feel uplifted, more motivated, and focused?  This is why so many offices have bright panel lights.

 

That said, if you’re working late at night, it can be just as effective to employ the concepts of mood lighting – as this way, you’re staying true to your circadian rhythm, and will be more able to relax when it comes to hitting the sack.

 

  1. HAVE A ROUTINE

Working from home can be a blessing but also a curse; as whilst you now have unprecedented freedom to be your own boss and live life on your own terms – there’s a concept in psychology that states if you give someone too much choice, and too much freedom, they will feel overwhelmed – meaning they do nothing.

 

If you’re used to a routine, with work, particularly if you’re used to travelling to your place to work then this is known as a ‘ritual’ that puts you into the right emotional state to be productive.  Many people don’t enjoy this particular ritual, and would prefer to live without the congested commute, but have you ever noticed how initially as you leave for work your energy is low, you might even feel sick, irritable and tired – but as you arrive at your office, you have shaken that off and feel set to work?

 

This is because your body has got into a routine where it associates a particular emotional state with that pattern, that triggers a certain behaviour.

 

When it comes to working from home, it’s all too easy to have a lay in, or grab the laptop and work from the comfort of your soft, warm bed – particularly on a cold day – yet, having the discipline of a routine will really help you to stay focused.

 

Some people swear by the routine of getting dressed in business attire, even if they are just sitting in their home office all day – as this ritual puts them into a conducive emotional state, whereas lounging around in your pyjamas puts you in a very different state.

The other factor to consider, when it comes to routine, is that you want to make sure you get out of the house in the morning.  

 

Sometimes, particularly if you’re working to a deadline, you will wake up, have a shower, get some breakfast and then go straight to your home office – without even stepping out of the front door.  Then, you’ll have lunch at home, and before you know it, it’s 6pm and you haven’t left the house.

 

This can lead to a feeling of isolation and depression, so it’s important you get out of the house, early in the morning – whether that’s just to take a walk around the block, go out to buy your morning paper, or head to the gym for an empowering workout.  

 

Routine is very important if you want to keep yourself mentally healthy and focused; which is particularly true for introverted people, as whilst many introverts enjoy the solitude of working from home – it’s important to have some routine that ensures social stimulation.

 

  1. WORK WHEN YOU’RE WORKING

All too often, when working from home, you can get distracted.  Again, with too much freedom comes the potential for massive distraction and procrastination.

 

Unlike an office environment where you’re around other people that are in the ‘productivity zone’, it can be much easier to indulge in temptation within a home office, such as catching up on an episode of your favourite box set, checking social media, or getting distracted by what’s going on around you – such as family conversations you might be able to overhear.

 

It’s imperative you “work” when you set out time to work, as otherwise, you’ll end up feeling like you are constantly working with no down time – as you won’t get what you need to get done complete in your work time.

 

Indeed, it can be helpful to set yourself working hours, where you block out time that you will be in the office.  This time, must be dedicated to getting things done, knowing that after work time, you can enjoy some downtime.

 

This is the great thing about working somewhere other than home, such as library, university campus, coffee shop or shared space.  It means that you have a physical distinction between work time and play time. In fact, there’s a lovely feeling about coming home from the office, knowing that your work is done – whereas, if your home is your office, it can be much harder to draw that distinction.

 

Therefore, it’s imperative you block out time where you work (e.g. between 10am and 4pm) each and every day, no matter what.  Indeed, it would be better to work less hours, but focus much more, than it would to drift through the day with the intention of working, but ended up half focused on work and half focused on other things.

 

Business Cohesion For Introverted Entrepreneurs

At the beginning of a business’ life, the operations of the company tend to be simple. Often, businesses start with just a single staff member – the entrepreneur behind the company, who works every hour possible to turn their business idea into a reality.

 

As the business grows, operations become more complex. Eventually, a business can reach a point where it spans multiple employees who are working in multiple departments.

 

 

This growth is, of course, a huge positive: it suggests that the business is viable, the idea behind it sustainable, and the future bright for the company. However, for the entrepreneur who had the initial idea – and once singularly controlled every aspect of the business process – this expansion can be challenging. The business that was once just-for-them is now worked on and engaged with by dozens of different people, and their role is now one of managing the different departments rather than working on the business’ core product or service in and of itself. Essentially, the entrepreneur becomes the center of a complex network; the keystone of the company, the person to whom all departments report, and the ultimate decision-maker that governs the direction of the business.

 

If you find yourself in the above situation, adjusting to this change – and your new role within the organization – can take time. Managing a company full of thriving departments and multiple employees is very different to the life at the start of your business, when you controlled everything related to the business production yourself. This change means that you will likely find yourself facing challenges that you simply couldn’t have imagined at the start of your business life – and arguably the biggest of these is establishing and maintaining business cohesion.

 

What is business cohesion?

 

Business cohesion is a simple term that can be used to describe how the different areas of your business interact with one another. It includes considerations such as:

 

  • How projects that are worked on by multiple departments are managed
  • How well departments are able to communicate with one another
  • The ability of staff to discuss important matters, share ideas, and brainstorm when separated from one another either by the layout of your premises or remote working
  • How well each area of your business is able to work to meet the common goals of your overall enterprise

 

Managing the above areas can be extremely demanding of your time – and all the more so if you are an introvert. As you may have noticed, many of the areas of business cohesion require communication and interaction between departments; if you are having to coordinate this, then it naturally follows that you will have to excel at communicating and interacting with others. For introverts, meeting these needs is likely to deplete your energy reserves – and potentially even cause a large amount of stress in the process – so, unfortunately, you may find business cohesion particularly troublesome.

 

So what can you do?

 

The issue of cohesion is one that introverted entrepreneurs have to address head-on. Cohesion is simply too important to the productivity and efficiency of your business to be overlooked and, unfortunately, it is unlikely to happen naturally. In most businesses, departments tend to be isolated within their own remit, and you may even experience competitiveness or discontentment between the departments without a focus on cohesion – your SEO staff may complain of the work produced by your web design staff. Departments have a tendency to cluster together into groups rather than seeing themselves as part of the bigger picture – which is, of course, damaging to your business.

 

So, given that cohesion cannot be overlooked, how can you achieve it without causing yourself unnecessary stress in the process?

 

Opt for software solutions wherever possible

 

It’s all-too-easy for an entrepreneur to become a conduit between departments. As you frequently interact with both departments, you may find yourself being asked by a department to inform another department of a certain fact.

 

This is simply unsustainable; your role is to manage the departments, not act as a go-between. This issue is best prevented with a company-wide ERP system installed by the likes of ATB-Tech.com, as this can ensure departments have a simple method of internally communicating, monitoring developments, and ascertaining the status of a project for themselves.

 

Only intervene to solve problems

 

 

Often, business departments will default to an isolationist stance, and will feel unwilling to discuss projects with one another. Instead, they will turn to you, as both sides feel you are far more familiar to them, making it easier to talk to you than approaching a member of another department.

 

While you will need to lead the way on some matters, departments shouldn’t need you to intervene and issue instructions for basic operational processes – and if you are forced to do so, you may inevitably find yourself micromanaging which, as CareerAddict.com detail, can have extremely negative consequences.

 

To prevent issues such as those mentioned above, discourage the practice of departments turning to you as a first port of call by only agreeing to intervene if there is an outright problem that cannot be solved. If the departments are just trying to conduct a simple project, then your involvement should not be required, so refuse to engage unless both departments have reached a stalemate that requires a deciding vote.

 

Encourage departments to meet without your presence

 

 

Many companies hold regular Head of Department meetings, which is undeniably a useful tactic in encouraging departments to communicate with one another. However, you can make sure these meetings are all the more effective if you don’t attend.

 

If you go to a Heads of Department meeting, then everyone will naturally defer to you, and you will likely find yourself speaking more than anyone else in the room. Essentially, you’ll become the conduit again. To avoid this, insist on regular Heads of Department meetings but do not attend; ask an administrative assistant to take notes instead, which you can then review at a separate point in time.

 

In conclusion

When your business has grown to a point where you have multiple departments working to achieve the business’s goals, good cohesion is vital. With the ideas above, you should be able to encourage cohesion in a way that is suitable for the business, and avoids placing undue stress on yourself.

How Can A Quiet Business Can Make A Lot Of Noise?

 

If you’re an introverted entrepreneur who runs a small business with a small team then you might feel a little overwhelmed by your bigger and more successful rivals in the industry. How can the little guy compete? How can a quiet business make a lot of noise? Making an impact in a competitive industry, as a small business, isn’t impossible. You just need to focus on gaps in the market that the big brands are missing. There are always opportunities for the underdog to gain the attention of the target market. Here are some ways in which your business could start to be heard by its intended audience.

 

Stimulate business growth.

The first step to being heard is to stimulate business growth. Whatever your aspirations for your company, you should always be aiming to evolve so that you can remain relevant in a changing marketplace. The best way to get noticed by potential clients is to build your reputation as a business. It’s not just about reaching a wider target market but creating a name that people start to recognize. That’s how consumers start to feel comfortable with buying goods or services from a certain business. You could branch out to a new location, for instance. You might want to head over to Biz Latin Hub for help with making such a foreign investment. If your business has consumer interest in different cities or regions then branching out can really help to stimulate business growth.

 

You might also want to consider options such as hiring remote workers if you want to stimulate business growth. For a small business that’s trying to grow, it can hard to deliver a service that’s as extensive as the service of corporations with huge teams. But you’ll be able to hire professionals from a wider pool of candidates if you can employ people in different locations; they won’t have to come to the office to work. You could even outsource work to self-employed professionals if you want a cheaper option.

 

Develop a powerful brand identity.

The best way for a small business to take off is to leave a lasting impression on customers. Their satisfaction is essential to building a reputation for your company, and that all starts with a brand which really resonates with people. If you’re offering a product or service that’s of equal quality to the biggest companies in the game then the only way that your business is going to be heard over the competition is by creating a brand that they like more. As a small business, this is often the area in which your company can shine. Consumers often feel that big corporations are out of touch with their client base, but your organization is still grounded. You could be the most environmentally-friendly business in your industry, for example. This would show that your company really cares about the planet. That’s something which matters to people. The point is that a powerful brand identity should relate to the target market. That’s how your voice will get heard by potential customers.

 

Be a great leader.

Finally, the best way for your quiet business to make a lot of noise is to be an enigmatic leader. This can be hard for an introverted entrepreneur, but the key thing is simply that you’re passionate. You don’t have to be a social butterfly to lead your team to victory. You just need to guide them in the right direction. You need to instill them with the same confidence that you have. Hold regular meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page, and reward employees when they do well. Make sure that your company feels like a family. With the right culture, there’s nothing your business can’t achieve.

The Introverts’ Guide To Making More Sales

Conjure up an image of a typical salesperson and what comes to mind? It’s fast-talking, sharp suit wearing folks that are extroverted to the max.  However, no law says more introverted people can’t be good at sales. In fact, by following the advice below even those that towards the more, the more introverted end of the personality scale can smash their sales targets.

Do your research

Do you know what introverts excel at? Research that’s what. They love nothing better than to be given a brief to look into and find about a topic as possible. They like it even better if there is a question or problem that they can solve with these skills. Happily, research is an essential part of the selling process, and this can give introverts a real advantage.

In particular, introverts can succeed by focusing on listening to the customer’s needs both spoken and unspoken, to establish what they would want in an ideal situation. Then they can provide a solution (sales pitch) that is as close to that as possible.

Of course, it can help if you research thoroughly enough into your customer’s needs to know about any objection they may make, such as price, or delivery date too. Then you can predetermine how to deal with such queries, demonstrate to your customers that they will only have a minimal effect, and show that your offer is still one that is attractive.

Utilize smart strategies

Next, there are plenty of smart marketing strategies and systems that can be used to support those that are more introverted to make more sales. In particular, lead generation is vital because this ensures that the sales pool has a bank of warm leads to convert.

One way of generating leads is to use in-store or online promotions such as gift cards and special offers. The former being something that encourages current customers to add value to their purchase, and can also help to get new customers into your store as well. Something that can make it much easier for introverts on your sales team to work with them to achieve a conversion.

Connect with your customer

There is a difference between being introverted and being shy. Shy people find it hard to talk to others and be in social situations, whereas introverts are drained by doing these things, but can still be effective at them.

 

Introverts are fantastic at one on one connections.

 

Of course, it depends on the type of social situation as well, for example, an introvert may find talking to and making a connection with another person one on one basis, easy and invigorating.

 

Something that is excellent news for those introverts working in sales, because a considerable part of being successful in this area is the customer relationships that you create and manage. Most of which will be with a single representative at any one time.

 

In fact, there is a huge case in favor of being more genuine in customer interactions and building up a trust and mutual respect instead if behaving like a typical pushy salesperson. Something that introverts can exploit on a daily basis to make them much more successful at closing those deals.