Take Your Business In The Right Direction

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Starting out in business can be nerve racking, and especially when you’re on your own you may feel as if you don’t really have anyone to lean on and nowhere to turn for those first few months. It can be an exciting prospect for anybody but if you’re starting out as a blogger, you could start to look online and read other blogs to start to get a feel about what you need to do. Social media is a great place to start to get help and there are ways to market your business this way also. Business courses are another wonderful way to start learning the rudiments of business and also get on top of your finances to see what you may need to look into when starting up new. If you have to pay for the courses, look for ones that you really align with and will be of the most benefit to you and your career.

If you’re working from home, it may be slightly easier because you are not having any additional worries of premises renting or any additional bills. However, if you have a premises and a team in place then you probably want to look at getting your staff organized and keeping on top of your routine and your workload. You always want to keep your staff members happy, and this can be difficult when you’re starting out as there are always teething problems. Ensuring you have excellent communication with your staff is key otherwise you will find that this company starts to become difficult to maintain. 

First impressions always count, so make sure you are friendly, professional and outgoing; nobody wants to work with someone who isn’t any of these things, so being kind and helpful will ensure you keep your clients! 

Keep on top of your account books and make sure you are always keeping on top of your outgoings and incomings, because this is how you will be able to look back and see what needs to be changed, and if you need to inject money into any other areas and if you are losing money, why and where!  Make sure you are aware of all the pensions and insurance that you will need and ensure that your staff are working to their potential by identifying them if needs be and keeping on top of their needs also.

You will soon be growing and will then be able to analyze month by month what is working and what isn’t. It may take a year for you to earn good money or even two years but this doesn’t always look good to lenders or banks if your business doesn’t do well in year two. Success is achievable with a lot of determination and support behind you to so be sure to keep a positive mindset and remember that if you are passionate about what you do then you certainly will start to reap the rewards of it. Keep on top of things and keep going!

5 Benefits of Time Clock Software For Entrepreneurs

Increase employee productivity while benefiting your business with the right time clock software.

Managing employees can be a difficult task for any entrepreneur. Whether you have an office of 3 or 30 employees  — tracking their attendance and productivity can be challenging. Using pen and paper has become a cumbersome task and can lead to inaccurate records of who was in the office and when. 

That’s where time clock software can help improve your daily operations. With the help of the right software, you can easily track employee attendance, manage scheduled time off, and calculate overtime wages. 

Gone are the days of sorting through handwritten sign-in forms and complicated time clocks. All you need now is the right system backing your business needs.

Here’s a quick look at the benefits entrepreneurs can expect to see when using time clock software:

  • Improve your employee punctuality and accountability
  • Provide your employees with better scheduling opportunities
  • Hire and track attendance of remote employees
  • Encourage employees to take necessary breaks during their workday
  • Better track wages and manage employee overtime

Investing in time clock software will provide your business with a number of benefits. You already have enough on your plate as an entrepreneur, why not make taking employee attendance easier.

Benefits of Using Time Clock Software 

Providing your employees with a reliable time clock software will help set them to track and manage their time in the office. It offers visibility across the board and helps build a stronger company culture by keeping employees accountable for their own actions.

Let’s take a look at a few different ways your business can benefit from using a time management system.

Using a time clock will help get your employees to the office on time and get started completing the day’s tasks ahead of them.

1. Improve Employee Punctuality and Accountability

One of the main benefits of using a time clock software is to help increase employee punctuality and accountability. While it may not be a major concern for all employees, setting ground rules for everyone will help manage expectations.

Your top-performing employees may feel that there is an unfair advantage if one employee consistently gets away with coming into the office 30 minutes late and leaves at the same time as everyone else. This can start to cause problems with employee morale and you may find that your top performers begin to come in later and lose accountability as well. 

With a time management solution, your employees can manually log their attendance once they arrive at the office and when they are leaving. This will encourage all employees to arrive at work on time and stay through the duration of their shift. Setting expectations will help increase punctuality, which will, in turn, increase the productivity and accountability of all your employees.

Do some of your employees perform better during the evening hours? Schedule them based on when they are most productive and around the times they prefer.

2. Create Better Schedules for Your Employees

Using a time management system will help create daily schedules for your employees. You have the ability to gain a better understanding of when your employees prefer to work and when they are most productive to create better scheduling opportunities. 

By analyzing the reporting data, you can find trends and habits of your employees and build their schedules based on this information. Schedule your night owls during the evening rush and let the early birds open the next day. 

Once you have a better understanding of what your employee preferences are, you’ll find that the productivity and morale of your crew will reflect that.

In today’s business world you can hire employees across the country. With the help of a time clock system, you can expand your talent pool to find the best employees.

3. Hire and Manage Remote Employees

One of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs is hiring qualified employees. Luckily, with the right time clock software, you don’t have to be restricted to only looking for local employees. Having the ability to manage employees remotely will allow you to expand the reach of your talent search. 

Using a system that has the ability to track employee time at multiple locations with face recognition, and location-based tracking will provide you with a sense of relief when hiring someone remotely. You can manage their time more effectively and trust that they will be putting their time in just as your on-site employees do.

Taking breaks during the workday is an important step in your employees’ success. Make sure they take time away from their projects with break reminders.

4. Ensure Employees Take Breaks for Improved Productivity

For many people, taking breaks at work can fall to the back burner when they have a busy to-do list. While it may sound like a good thing, in theory, employees who don’t take breaks during their workday will actually be less productive and their work may suffer. 

A time management system can remind employees to take their scheduled breaks. This gives them time to take a step back and recharge their battery for a few minutes. Even just 15 minutes of time away from a task can help employees refocus and improve the tasks they are working on. 

As an employer, you can set rules within the time clock software to remind employees about their break times. The system will track how many hours an employee has worked and let them know when and how long to take a break. It will then automatically deduct that time from their time card — another way to encourage them to actually take the time away from their desks.

Your employees all have different wages and hours you need to track, with a time clock management system you can easily and accurately track these details.

5. Better Track Wages and Overtime Expenses 

Tracking employee wages and overtime can be a time-consuming process, but it can be made simple with the right tracking system. By having a more accurate time tracking, you’ll know that you are paying employees for the exact time that they worked based on their personal wages. 

You’ll also have visibility into what employees are working overtime, or who is approaching overtime. This will provide you with clear insight into what employees are putting in the extra time and need to be paid extra. On the other hand, if you don’t have an approved overtime schedule, you can be notified when someone is nearing overtime and send them home early.

The more productive and accountable your employees are, the more successful your business will be.

Set Your Business Up For Success

Using a time clock software solution will help you set your business up for success. Whether you’re just starting out or have more than 50 employees, you can benefit from the help of time clock management. Get started increasing your employees’ punctuality, productivity, and accountability to keep your business growing. 

4 Easy Ways To Grow Your Money in Your Downtime

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Ah, money. No matter how much of it we have it never quite seems to be enough. In an era of wage repression where our employers keep our wages down to supplement their own profit margins yet the cost of living continues to escalate, many an ambitious professional finds themselves a “temporarily embarrassed millionaire”. Whether you have your eyes set on a big promotion, a lateral move, taking your career to new heights with a new employer or starting your own business, it helps to have money behind you. Healthy finances are a big part of our hierarchy of needs, and when they stall they can impinge on our confidence and feelings of self worth (not to mention our ability to wear nice sharp suits). Rectifying your finances can help you take the next bold step in your career with confidence.

But who has the time for a side hustle or endless hours of overtime which the tax collectors will benefit more from than you? Here are some simple yet effective ways in which you can grow your money in your downtime…

Try your hand at trading

Trading isn’t just for city types with braces yelling profanities into the phone. Anyone can do it, and by investing small and getting a feel for the markets, you can develop the necessary skills to go incrementally bigger and grow your wealth in your lunch breaks. You can start trading in IRESS, Forex or a wealth of other commodities from the comfort of your smartphone. AT the very least, the experience can teach you the knowledge and skills you need for investment to be a viable option to supplement your savings. 

Get paid to work out

Struggling with those ambitious New Year’s Resolutions you set for yourself? Struggling to find the motivation to get the gains you dream of? Like everything in the 21st century… there’s an app for that. Numerous apps, in fact. Yes, that’s right. There are apps that will actually pay you to work out. Not megabucks, granted. But by earning a little something every time you hit the gym, you may be surprised at how readily the motivation comes. 

Take online surveys

Your opinions are worth paying for. Especially to marketing companies who want to know more about what makes you tick as a consumer. Again, taking online surveys won’t make you a millionaire overnight. Nonetheless, they’re a fun and easy way to make a little extra moolah on your coffee break with zero stress and no boss breathing down your neck. Different surveys pay different amounts and you can usually expect to earn between $0.50 and $5 USD per survey. But given that each only takes a few minutes, doing a couple every day can really add up.

Perform simple tasks online

Finally, machines are getting smarter, but there are still things human beings can do better. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk allows you to make money by performing simple Human Intelligence Tests that a machine can’t do. Spend half an hour every day doing these and you could find yourself with an extra $100 every month.

Building Yourself Back Up After a Business Blunder

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Every entrepreneur has experienced that heart sinking moment when things go wrong in your business. Whether it was an error on your part or not, you cannot allow this to dictate the future of your company. If you really want to enrich your career and reach your financial goals, you cannot give up. Business blunders happen to the savviest of people, so you are definitely not alone. You need to know how to build yourself back up again and carry on with what you do best. Here is some advice on how to do this without looking back on your mistakes.

Seek Professional Advice

If something major happened to your business property that was out of your control, then you will definitely benefit from professional advice. There are a number of disaster restoration companies who are experienced in dealing with reconstruction after fire damage. Ultimately, you want your business to be up and running again before your turnover starts to suffer. With these types of specialists on hand your mind will be at ease. Although this will put a significant halt to your business operations you just have to look ahead to the future and move on with a positive attitude.

Understand Why The Problem Occurred 

When something goes wrong in your business you need to learn from the mistake. This will prevent it from happening again in the future and will put your mind at rest too. There are many ways to find out how the problem occurred. You could try reverse engineering the situation, talking to your colleagues or track the software you use. 

Don’t Lose Your Confidence

When business blunders happen it can be very easy to throw in the towel and wish you had never started a business in the first place. Losing confidence in yourself is a natural reaction, but you can’t allow this to dampen all of the great things you have achieved so far. See this as a learning curve and you will soon forget the situation ever happened. Every business goes through hiccups from time to time; it’s all about building yourself back up and finding balance again.

Hire Additional Support

If you’re struggling to stay on top of your business workload, you may need to hire additional support. When you look back at the mistakes that occurred it may simply be because you didn’t have enough employees to carry out the job. When you hire more people your workload will become easier to manage and risks are reduced.

You’re going to make a mistake at some point in your career; you’re only human. Some of these errors will be a big wake up call to you and that’s a huge learning curve. You need to make these mistakes in order to thrive and learn as a business owner. You need to realize that the journey of entrepreneurship will never be a smooth or predictable one. Prepare yourself in the best way possible and you will come out victorious in the end.

Social Media Marketing Strategies Businesses Need To Know

Today, social media has become more than just a networking platform. From product advertising to selling, it has been used for various marketing purposes. That’s the reason why most entrepreneurs and business persons are focusing on it. 

From the title, it would be clear to you that the article is regarding the strategies. But before diving deep into it, you need to know what social media marketing actually is and how it works? In simple words, social media marketing helps in getting more patron or visitors by marketing services or products through social media platforms. Here are some of the examples of social media platforms – FB, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.

So without molding things, let’s take a peek at the top social media strategies that various companies need to know.

Start using chatbots

You would have probably seen that when you visit any well-developed website, there’s a section that offers you to chat. That’s called the chatbots. Today, maximum companies are using this digital marketing tool in order to solve customer intricacies without the potential need for any human interference. Additionally, chatbots integrate with all the social media platforms that patrons now believe are the most convenient to communicate with.

Here are some of the advantages of using chatbots:

  • They don’t demand any coding information.
  • Are capable of solving the consumer queries.
  • Capable of receiving orders straight from FB messenger or comments.
  • Integrates with all payment methods. 

Analyze the competition

Before making any particular decision it is important to research your competition and analyze their approach.

Have a check on what kind of content your competitors are posting, and how many likes and comments they are getting on average. Apart from this, also check how they are putting their business on social media so you can do something related or deliberately unique to stand out.

Also, list some things you like about their account and a few things you believe you could do great. This includes redesigning your website, updating the dead content with the new, etc. Professionals at Positive Media Marketing opines to focus on the design of a website because it is so critical to the success of your online brand. Doing this will inspire and will make it accessible for you to set your benchmarks for your account.

Think to work with influencers to increase your reach

You would have probably heard about influencer marketing and how advantageous it is right.

If you get the right influencers, you have the possibility to reach the new audiences, who probably would have an engagement in your company and products.

Influencers are already aware of the marketing, which is their skill and strength. They have developed a reliable name online, and have a huge number of interested and engaged supporters.

You can think to work with influencers, having them direct their followers to your social sites. However, you have to generate content that will entertain them when they arrive at your pages. And if they get entertained then the influencer’s followers will yours too.

So these are some of the social media strategies that you should know if you own a business. By implementing these strategies to your business you will see a huge difference in your business growth.

How To Save Money On Energy Bills When You Work From Home

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Remote working is becoming more common in business and there are a lot of benefits for both the employer and the employee. We often hear about the financial advantages on both sides because businesses do not need to spend as much money on office space, and there are a lot of opportunities for employees to save money. You don’t need to spend money on your commute, and you’ll save a lot if you can cook at home instead of buying lunch every day. However, it’s not quite as simple as that because remote working can cost you more in other ways. If you are at home working all day, your energy bills will be significantly higher than they would be if you were at the office all day. This is a big problem for remote workers, but there are ways to get around it. These are the best ways to cut energy costs when working remotely.

Improve Insulation In Your Home 

If your home is expensive to heat, you will feel the impact of remote working a lot more. That’s why it’s a good idea to improve the insulation around your home if you plan to work remotely in the long term. Adding more insulation in the roof cavity is one of the most cost effective ways to do this. You should also get in touch with a company like Naimor, inc. and have them make a sheet metal roof for your home. It’s the most energy efficient roofing material because it reflects heat in the summer and keeps the home cool, and it gives you better insulation during the winter. If none of this works, you may need to consider adding more insulation in the walls, but this can be expensive and disruptive, so you should try to avoid it where possible. 

Work Shorter Hours 

You will use a lot of electricity if you are using a laptop and other devices all day long. But if you can work shorter hours, you will notice a big drop in your energy bills, which is why efficiency is so important. Your work day will be a lot longer if you spend half the time looking at social media and distracting yourself in other ways. It’s far better to work a shorter day, but work harder during those hours. If you break up the day into smaller sections and set yourself small targets, you will be far more productive. 

Let Natural Light In 

If you are productive, you should be able to get all of your work done during daylight hours. If you can let natural light into the home, you don’t need to have the lights switched on all day long, and that will save a lot of money. When you are designing your home office, try to pick a room that gets plenty of sun. You should also paint it in a light color so the light is reflected around the room and it stays bright in there all day. 

These simple changes will help you to save a lot of money on your energy bills, so you still get the financial benefits of working from home.

How Changing Up Your Departments Can Boost Your Business

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In the world of business, it can often seem like you are trying to traverse a minefield with very large shoes. It is often difficult to know where to place your foot next, and you can guarantee that should you make one wrong move, disaster will strike.

In today’s post, we are going to be looking at how you can make a few changes in the departments you keep in house that can really make a world of difference to your business. While some of our suggestions may seem extreme, they can; in fact, be some of the most beneficial things you can ever do.

Why You Will Need To Make Changes

If there is one thing that is a guarantee when it comes to your business, it’s that you will need to make some changes every now and then if you want to see some serious growth. You need to remember that every year your business is in operation, there will be others coming along and doing what you do, only better.

If you want to stay ahead of these other businesses, then you are going to need to sit down every now and then and decide what changes you are going to make to your business that will ensure that you can keep on growing at a steady rate.

Outsource

There are some departments in your company that you may just be costing you more than you know. While there are many companies out there with an accounting or IT department in house, they do not realize that these departments may actually be better suited should they be tendered to an external company.

Many people now will be asking why they should even consider this. Well, for example, consider the yearly cost of your IT department, tendering out to a company like Everett network management removes the cost, hassle, and you also get certain guarantees that you just don’t get with your in house team.

It may not seem ideal at first, but once you sit down and really weigh up the pros and cons, you may find that it’s one of the best things you can do for your business.

Automation

If there is one thing that cripples businesses all over the world, it is having to pay a team money that isn’t there to generate it. One of the most prominent of these teams is generally customer service. 

Luckily enough the modern world has now given us a ton of options when it comes to automation that will allow you to remove the majority of the menial tasks from your customer service team and thus allow you to place them onto other tasks that may be able to generate you more income for your business.

This alone is one of the best and most popular solutions among businesses all over the world, so we suggest that if you are going to start somewhere, this should be it.

These Two Issues Cause More Business Headaches Than Anything Else

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During interviews, serial entrepreneur Elon Musk will often reference the fact that running a business is primarily about “solving problems.” Every day, there’s a new challenge to overcome. 

But, as he rightly points out, there’s a big difference between a challenge and a headache. A problem is something new and unexpected – something that emerges from the general chaos of the universe. A headache is something you know is going to ruin your day. 

In this post, we’re going to take a look at the two issues that cause more headaches for entrepreneurs than anything else, and what you can do about them. 

Your IT Systems

The value of IT networks is so extraordinary that practically every business now uses them. They offer instant communication, productivity apps and tools for product development. 

But when you think about it a little more, this setup strikes you as rather odd. IT networks are highly technical and specialized systems requiring expert knowledge to keep them operational, yet even the smallest of companies must somehow run their own. In other words, IT demands extensive expertise, but few businesses have it. 

Interestingly, this doesn’t happen in any other areas. Almost all companies, for instance, hand over their accounting to a third-party agent who does it for them. The same often applies to marketing too. Entrepreneurs understand what they can do and what they can’t. 

But when it comes to IT, there’s a feeling that it should all be managed in-house. Entrepreneurs are prepared to put up with the endless compatibility issues and downtime because they believe that they have no other choice. 

Of course, none of this is true. Businesses can wholly outsource the management of their network to third-party providers, negating the need to struggle with issues. You can get more details on this with a simple internet search. But the bottom line is this: the moment you hand over the job to an agency, all your issues will evaporate. 

Your HR Management

Business owners often say that doing business is easy – it’s managing people that’s hard. 

In many ways, this is true. Employees can create all manner of problems for management and, in some cases, put company operations at risk. 

The trick to solving this problem is to implement better HR practice, but how?

The first tactic is to upgrade HR software to make managing things like holidays, payroll and sick leave easier. Relying on spreadsheets is not a good idea. 

The next step is to get everyone in your organization on the same page. Each member of your team should have a clear and well-informed idea in their heads of the overall goal and mission of the enterprise. What you don’t want is people working across purposes, with some going in one direction, and others going in another. That’s not good. 

Finally, you need an HR setup that allows you to find the right people for your organization. Recruiting should be a priority from the outset, not something you leave until you have no choice but to make additional hires.

The Real Reasons Why Your Computer Systems Keep Going Down

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Modern businesses depend on their technology more than at any point in history. They use IT networks for everything, from interacting with customers to organizing their data.

Because of this, the specter of downtime looms large on the horizon. Companies fear that the slightest bug or data breach will bring their computers – and their operations – to a screeching halt. 

Strangely, though, the dangers of downtime are not well understood. Most executives don’t have a good understanding of what actually leads to these events, and so they’re ill-equipped to stop them. 

In this post, we’re going to take a look at the real reasons your computer systems keep going down. Hint: it’s not because of hackers. 

You Have A Bad Case Of Overload

The number one reason most businesses experience downtime and less-than-optimal performance is overload. Put simply; this is a situation where the demands on the network overwhelm its capacity to meet them. There are too many users with too little bandwidth to serve them all.

If you run a business, you’ve no doubt experienced this kind of thing. You get into work early in the morning and enjoy fast connections. Then, as more people arrive at the office, the network slows to a crawl, sometimes stopping altogether. 

In these situations, your downtime is a consequence of insufficient infrastructure. Either upgrade your existing network or switch to the cloud. 

You Have A “Noisy Neighbor”

Your business might have adequate systems for its needs, but if you’re sharing resources with a neighbor who uses resources intensively, then you could experience similar problems as above. Noisy neighbors hog bandwidth and prevent regular users from getting a respectable level of service. 

You Rely On “Pets”

This term comes from the phrase “cattle, not pets.” The idea here is that there are some systems in your network that require constant coddling from particular members of the team to keep them running smoothly. Worse still, the relationship is cut off from the rest of the office. Only the handler knows how to look after the “pet” system, making the network more fragile. What if that employee has to go on holiday or falls ill? Then you’re in trouble!

You’re Not Using Network Monitoring Services

When it comes to securing your network, monitoring it is probably the most essential tool you have for protecting your staff and your business. As INC Systems points out, doing IT in-house is usually more trouble than it is worth. You typically have to hire somebody to keep an eye on all your systems throughout the day – a significant expense. 

Network monitoring services take over this role for you. They use trained professionals to keep an eye on your systems, alerting you of any suspicious activity. The moment something happens, they can isolate the problem, shut it down, and prevent anyone from making off with your data. 

Downtime is a real risk for businesses in the modern economy. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to accept it as a given. You can fight back. Be smart.