An Essential Checklist For Your Medical Practice

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Opening up a medical practice is one of the most popular dreams for those in the medical profession. To move away from regular practice to start your own private group is something that is exciting and hols many lucrative prospects

When developing and preparing to open a new medical practice in your local community this year, it is important that you get it right. A doctor’s surgery is a pillar of the community and is a place people will flock to when they are most in need of advice and assistance. In order to take care of patients effectively, you need to ensure that you offer a safe, relaxing, and calming space. 

Today we are going to take a look at the essential things you need to source and bring into your medical practice for success this year. 

The waiting room

The waiting room is an essential element of a medical practice. This acts as the face of your business and will be the place patients likely spend the most time when they come for a check-up. Here are the things you need to bring into your waiting room for success:

  • A TV with useful medical advice, as well as a popup for patients when rooms are ready
  • Flyers – to provide information on common illnesses and issues patients may face
  • Business cards – for mental health and other services a patient may want without speaking to anyone
  • Comfortable, wipeable chairs – comfort is an important part of medicine and you need to ensure that patients are able to feel relaxed. On the flip side to this, chairs should be easily cleanable to stop spread of disease
  • Toys – children can be more scared than adults, and giving them toys as a distraction is a great idea

Medical equipment 

Medical devices and equipment will cover the biggest cost in your practice, and it is important that you have the tools to perform many basic procedures and tests on your patients. 

  • Autoclave
  • automated external defibrillator
  • Audiometer
  • Blood pressure monitor
  • Thermometer
  • Pulse oximeter
  • Weighing scales
  • Storage
  • Centrifuge
  • Clock
  • Colposcope
  • Computer
  • Emergency supplies (airways, aspirators, oxygen, mask, resuscitation bag)
  • ECG unit 
  • Exam tables and paper towels
  • Eye charts
  • Procedure tables
  • Gloves
  • Aprons
  • Goggles
  • Refrigerator/freezer
  • Sharps containers
  • Ultrasound
  • Needles for flu jabs
  • Contaminated waste bin
  • Minor surgical equipment (Medtronic.com)
  • Step stools
  • Stethoscopes
  • Wheelchairs

Other 

As well as the obvious patient focussed items to bring into the office, you should also consider bringing some other items into the office to ensure the smooth running of your medical practice

  • Telephones
  • Computers
  • Kitchen equipment (toaster, kettle, microwave, fridge etc…)
  • Books and magazines
  • Plants (to reduce stress)
  • Appointment software

When setting up your medical practice it is important for you to think about all those little touches that will make the office homely, comfortable, and easy for patients to access. There are plenty of ways to make your medical practice more practical and comfortable, and with all of these things in your medical practice, you should have no problem running a successful venture this year.

It’s Time Your Business Embraced Outsourcing

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The idea of letting someone else get their hands on your business can be seriously scary. When you’ve put your heart and soul into something, the last thing you want is for someone to come along and mess it up. But collaboration is one of the most important elements of business (as well as life.) Not only that but if you try to take on every single element of a running a business by yourself, then you’re going to run out of energy very quickly. The best solution to this is to find the aspects of your business that you don’t have either the time or the expertise for and outsource them. This way the job gets done by professionals, leaving you free to focus on other important aspects of your business. Here are a few parts of your business that you can afford to let someone else deal with.

IT

Not everyone’s a computer wizard. There’s no shame in that. We all have technology around us at all times, but very few of us have a really solid idea of how it all actually works. This is even more pronounced in the world of business. Companies use more advanced and specific technology. This requires equally advanced and specific knowledge to be able to maintain. Cloud solutions, network monitoring, security. These things can be incredibly complex and can’t be dealt with half-heartedly. The best thing you can do is to outsource your IT needs.

SEO

SEO isn’t as simple as it used to be. Once upon a time you could put a decent amount of keywords onto your website, and that was that. But now things have gotten a lot more complicated. Search engines blacklist sites that do that in favor of well-integrated SO. It’s a good idea to look into an SEO service that can use their know-how to create the most effective and well-integrated content possible for your website.

Accounting

Your money is at the heart of your business. None of the other elements could even function without it. So the last thing you want is to leave your finances as an afterthought. This is especially true if you’re not much of an expert with money in the first place. Mistakes in your accounting can not only affect your finances but can put your company into serious legal trouble. The best thing you can do is to hire an accountant to focus entirely on that side of your business. That way it leaves you free to focus on the side of the business you’re most useful without having to worry about whether your books are all in order. 

Obviously, there’s a great deal of your business that you’ll want to handle yourself. It is your business after all! But by being able to let go of a couple of things here and there, you can make sure that your business continues to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

VA Mortgage Lenders: How to Find the Best One?

When you become eligible for a VA home loan, in effect, you can look forward to gaining the benefits of one of the best mortgages. As these loans are supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and go through local VA loan lenders, it’s important to trigger the process carefully. One of the primary challenges lies in freezing upon the best lender that can help in getting the VA loan quickly and without much hassles. As these lenders will have their profit targets, business expenses, and business goals, it becomes important to understand what they have on offer.

Here are some guidelines that you should keep in mind to evaluate the best VA lender from the shortlisted ones.

How to Find a Good VA Loan Lender?

Understand Financials

At the very onset, you need to have a clear and accurate notion about your financials. It’s important to know your numbers beforehand to negotiate on firmer grounds. For example, you must do your homework to know your monthly spending, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio. When looking for a lender for a VA loan, Bruce Glassinger from VA Loan Lending says that the most important thing to look at besides the rate is what the lender charges you. All these numbers play an important role in affecting your interest rate and the probability of approval.

Compare Rates

Aim to get the most lucrative deal in terms of low fees, interests, and other closing costs. Do not freeze your selection on the very first lender you come across. Shop around for rates and features of VA mortgage that sync with your needs and home buy expectations. It’s recommended that you compare the rates of VA loans and mortgages, as laid down by the qualification requirements, to grab the best deal.

Know the fees

While the VA funding fee applicable to all applicants remains the same, the other fees are negotiable and may vary. Along with the rate of interest applicable to the VA home loan, get an idea about all the loan closing costs beforehand. You may ask your preferred lender or research online to understand the fees that you’ll have to pay in the long run. Avoid any surprises later on by understanding all the costs and fees in advance. For instance, the annual percentage rate would represent the actual costs related to your VA loan. It is different from the basic interest rate and has to be understood accordingly.

Get in Touch with the Right VA Loan Lender

These days, there’s no dearth of VA lenders that can be found locally or online. Most vendors have unique services, options, and specialties to boast of. They have different loan packages and mortgage options that have to be understood in entirety to make a well-informed home purchase. It will help to shortlist a few VA lending companies and compare their rates and features. Assess your home buy needs and match them with the rates and benefits on offer by different companies. Once you’re sure of which lender would provide the best returns, sign on the bottom line to come closer to your dream home.

Smart Ways to Advertise to the Public

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It’s in the best interest of your company to reach as many people as possible. While you’ll be doing a lot to advertise your business on the web, it’s important that you don’t overlook marketing your products and services in “the real world,” too, even if you’re an exclusively online organization (the people walking the streets also use the internet, let’s remember). And the good news is that there are plenty of smart ways you can advertise to people in your area, using innovative and creative campaigns. We take a look at a few methods below.

Guerilla Marketing

If you’re a young and innovative startup that’s intent on disrupting the game, then why not look at developing some street cred by engaging in a guerilla marketing tactics? There are plenty of ways you can do it — you can leave stickers in bars, hang posters on walls, or even hire a spray painter to create a custom piece. Of course, you’ll have to make sure that whatever you’re doing is legal, but if you’re more of an alternative company, then this could be the right way to go. More traditional companies should look elsewhere.

Driving Around

You’re going to spend a lot of time in your vehicle for both business and personal reasons. And just think: how many people do you think you drive past every day? While most people don’t look up at all the cars that pass them by, they do pay attention to the vehicles that seem to have something a bit different about them. Consider wrapping your car with your branding, and you’ll have an eye-catching vehicle that promotes your brand. If you’re located in a smallish area, then people will eventually recognize the car — and pay attention to the name on the side, too.

At Your Space

Your offices or worksite may fundamentally be a place for you to work, and not generally open to the public, but it doesn’t always have to be this way. One effective way to gain interest in your business is to host events at your premises. This could be a social event (wine and music), a market stall, or business event — the type will depend on what your company does/what the space is suitable for. For maximum impact, you’ll want to subtly convey the message of your company by incorporating wall graphics and displays, and showcasing your products and services. You’ll have a fun event that will push your business forward, and also gain the interest of potential new customers.

Pop-Up Street Stalls

Finally, look at taking your company directly to the streets, if it’s appropriate. If you’ve done your market research correctly, then you’ll have a pretty solid idea of who it is you’re targeting. Set up a stall in an area that’s heavily populated by people who fall within that demographic, and showcase your company. To get the most interest, it’s best that you have something to offer to passersby, such as a free sample or trial of your product.

Ensuring A Better Visual Impact Than Any Competing Business

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What, would you say, are the most important measures you can use to dispel competition, or get on top? Providing a better value service to customers? Offering a cheaper product? Answering the phone more quickly? Sure, but that only truly benefits when a customer has taken the time to understand your business and what it offers in the first place.

We can often forget that there are a million little persuasions that take place in the mind of someone looking to utilize a business, some too subtle to even mention, continuously considered by psychologists in the corporate space. However, we are absolutely certain that one of these persuasions, perhaps chief among them, is your visual potential.

Offering an impressive visual output is easy in today’s modern, minimal-typeface, social-media led environment. But it is possible to achieve. And not only that, taking steps to override your competition in this category can help you gain a stronger footing, and perhaps even dominate the marketing space. After all, this is the first battlefield you need to take in order to gain a foothold and progress.

Let’s consider how you do that:

Hire Excellent Production Companies

A brilliant and proven production company can not only help you translate your best marketing writing to the screen, but they can do so in a manner that attracts an audience, provides an emotional response, and encourages engagement. Those are three essential steps to having your marketing remembered. Think of the last video advertisements you can remember. Some might be from last week, some might be from five years ago. Odds are they made you laugh, feel elated, or as if you needed to  check something out due to how cool it seemed. Taking this step can help you refine your marketing speak outside of the stuffy boardroom and apply it to something much more productive.

Update Your Graphic Design

Make sure you’re on top of any graphic design trends necessary to be seen as present and modern. For example, what does your phone app look like on modern smartphones? Is it low-resolution, or overly complex? Could you find a better logo that fits within the app image requirements of the App or Google Play Store? How might this translate to the rest of your branding? Asking these questions will be essential in 2019.

Non-Offensive Advertising

Think of how people view advertising more often these days. Social media timelines, ads before YouTube videos, and a range of other convenient options. Ensure that your ad is not annoying in this space. That it doesn’t dive out at your viewer with aggression, loud noises or blinding colors. Instead, try to use something clever to show said user how they may benefit from letting your ad play out, or by clicking on it. Try and gauge that reaction immediately. If you can do this, your non-offensive advertising will work in the right way from the very first time.

With these tips, you’re sure to offer a better visual marketing output.

Moving Your Business from One Place to Another

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If you’re operating a business on a brick and mortar basis, you’re going to have to put a whole lot of focus on making sure your business can grow and expand. Increasing competition from the realm of Ecommerce means that you’re going to have to be increasingly savvy with your decision making and sometimes that means having to shift your company from one place to another more lucrative spot that holds more potential for increased sales. This, of course, can be a difficult process. But here are a few areas you might want to focus on, as well as some tips and tricks to make it easier and a greater success!

Consider Location

Location is often the main reason for people moving their small business. When you first start out your journey, you probably have a limited budget and consequently are likely to have your business in a low cost spot that potentially has limited footfall. But by now, you should be well aware that footfall can have a huge impact on your profits. A higher passing footfall means giving your brand greater exposure to the public. The more people who pass by generally means there will be more people passing through your doors, purchasing goods, and generating profit.

Consider Size

Another reason you might be considering a move is because your business is expanding, you’re taking on more staff, and you’re going to need more room to house everyone. Always consider getting somewhere slightly bigger than you need. Your small five-person size property simply isn’t going to cut it after a few months or years. Give yourself room to expand even further, as this will reduce the number of times you have to move.

Making Moving Simple

Have a Cross Over Period 

It’s sensible to have a cross over period for the move. You don’t want to have to move the entire store or office in a single day. Reduce pressure by having a week or even a month when you have your current commercial property, as well as access to your new one. This will allow you to take a gradual and phased approach.

Hire a Van

So many small business owners think they can move their entire business in their own car. But there’s often furniture and pieces of equipment that would have to be stacked in a car in a dangerous way to get it from A to B. So, use van hire that will give you a vehicle big enough for the job.

Consider Employees

Before moving your company, consider how this will impact employees. Some will already be commuting a long distance to get to work and may not be able to travel any further if you happen to move further away from their home. Weigh up the pros and cons of recruitment and decide whether you’d rather maintain the employees you have.

These are just a few areas you should take into consideration when it comes to moving your small business. Take them seriously and everything should go pretty smoothly!

Working With A Fit-Out Contractor

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Fit-out contractors are available to help you get your project over the finishing line. However, you cannot simply hand the baton over to them and expect them to get onto it. This needs to be a collaborative effort, as you need to ensure the company is fully aware of the client’s wants. 

Fit-out contractors are, of course, experts in making interior spaces suitable for the occupation. Levitch Design is a great example. They will know exactly how to ‘fit out’ a space so that it is fit for purpose. 

Take hotels for example. No two hotels are the same, and you play a critical role in ensuring the fit-out company is fully aware of the clients wants. This includes a list of all their requirements in terms of the furniture they require, but it also means conveying the feel and look they want the hotel to have. The fit-out contractor will need to consider the hotel brand with every decision and purchase they make, and they will need to ensure the hotel provides the type of experience the client intends it to. 

You are responsible for ensuring this is effectively communicated with the contractors working on the project. You will also need to have some frank discussions regarding factors such as space utilization, energy-saving, and budget. Make sure you are on the same page before any work is undertaken. Frequent communication and collaboration is a must. 

Fit Out Partner Checklist

Fit-out contractors may be something that you require for your project. If so, you will need to choose with care. Get it wrong, and it can be a nightmare of project disruption and escalating budgets. Get it right, and you will ensure that the project runs smoothly, with no budget over-runs.

There is a lot to consider when searching for fit-out contractors. Firstly, their reputation must be taken into account. Have they provided you with references? Do they have a solid track record in your sector? Have they managed projects of a similar size? You should also find out who owns the company, whether it is part of a nationally recognized organization, if they work all over the UK, their experience, and whether there are case studies you can take a look at. 

Next, you need to assess their financial stability and your risk. Will they promise to deliver a project, snag-free with no delays on a fixed date? Will it be on budget? Do they have evidence of a healthy balance sheet? Do they have a formal process for feedback for every project? You also need to discover whether they have the funds that are required for your project to be completed and if they have the buying power that is required for negotiation in terms of furniture, materials and alike on your behalf. Do they offer a JCT ‘design and build’ contract? 

Finally, you need to determine what services are included, and you must evaluate their credentials? Can they provide you with any credentials concerning the environment? What quality management and health & safety certifications do they have?

Careers That Will Help You To Achieve Your Dreams

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A career should be more than just a mindless job that you do to pay the bills. Yet, so many of us feel we have to settle for a job that we don’t actually enjoy. This isn’t the case. Yes, a job can be hard work, but it should be a challenge that you want to face. You should feel motivated and determined to keep pushing onwards. If not, then you might not be in the right field. So, let’s discuss some careers that will help you to achieve your dreams.

Trucking.

Trucking is a career that’s well-suited to people who have the dream of going on long travels and experiencing new places. Obviously, it can be a mentally-taxing career because you have to spend a lot of time away from home, and that means you’ll be spending a lot of time away from your loved ones. But if you find yourself dreaming of a career that gives you independence and the ability to explore the world, then this could be your calling. Obviously, you don’t have to start trucking all over the world, but the point is that you’d have the opportunity to see more than just the same four walls of a typical office environment.

It takes some training to become a qualified trucker, but it’s worth the time and effort to pursue a career that you truly enjoy. You might want to research some CDL trucking jobs. There are plenty of opportunities for people who want to become truckers. It’s a booming industry, and there’s a growing demand for people who can fill the increasing number of job vacancies. After all, industries are constantly growing, and that means their transportation needs keep growing, too. It’s a great industry to consider if you’re looking for job stability.

Designing websites.

A web design career could be a great option for you if you’re a creative person with technological skills. This is the perfect job for anyone who loves coding (or has the willingness to learn) and creating artistic imagery. Designing websites is a very methodical vocation, but it’s also a highly creative one. So, it’s a great opportunity for anybody who has dreams of working in a creative environment but no idea as to how they’d make those dreams a reality. There are more artistic outlets for professionals in the business world than you might imagine. It’s time to start pursuing a career that suits you.

Farming.

You might also want to consider a career in farming. It might be an option that’s quite different from the ones that have already been mentioned in this article, but it definitely suits certain people perfectly. Perhaps you’re not interested in the job opportunities offered by the big city. Perhaps you just want to earn an honest living in a relaxing and rewarding environment. Well, working on a farm could be the answer you seek. It might be worth doing some research on your job options in this industry. There are many routes you could take.

How To Build A Strong Business Reputation

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In business, reputation means everything. It’s the output you gain from your company’s hard work. It’s the perception your clients have about your business, and it’s what shall determine whether your establishment shall sink or swim. And so focusing on reputation to a degree is essential. Although we can’t instantly change others’ opinions of our business, we can manage expectations, feedback, and strive to consistently improve in the common areas that denote whether your business is deemed reliable and professional.

Brand Consistency

One of the things that creates a shaky ground for a business to rest upon is a brand without consistency. If your business’s missions and values aren’t threaded throughout your company’s imagery, content, premises, website, social media pages, and so forth, it tears away any prospect of your clients having familiarity and confidence in your business. As with most successful companies, you can identify them from a commonly chosen song, or slogan or picture of their logo without their name being mentioned. This is because their marketing teams have ensured that their brand is consistent and recognizable anywhere by everyone. Part of building a good reputation is creating a brand that people can link to your products and services with ease.

Customer Service

The critical link connecting your customers to your services or products is your customer service team. And so the connection needs to be a pleasant one for the customer in all scenarios. Whether they have a list of questions about a product, or they want to return faulty goods, your customer service team shall make the difference between persuading an upset customer to remain loyal to your brand or putting them off trusting your company altogether. The latter has dire circumstances on your reputation. So with each customer query, your staff should be equipped to handle whatever is thrown their way. This is mostly down to the training and time you spend on creating and taking care of your team. 

Manage Reviews 

Reviews for many customers spell the difference between the likelihood of them buying something or shopping elsewhere. So you must manage both good and bad reviews to your advantage and take any feedback on board. If you or your team members have the time, allocate a slot to read through and reply to reviews. Whether appreciating good reviews, looking at how to remove fake Google reviews or apologizing to customers for any fair, bad reviews. This shall show other customers reading through the reviews that your company takes an active interest in what your customers think. Plus it inspires confidence in uncertain clients to buy from you knowing that your business is accessible to speak to and accepts accountability for reasonable issues that arise with your products/services.

Above is a non-exhaustive insight on how to create a strong business reputation amongst existing and potential customers. Your company’s reputation is a combination of multiple elements all working holistically to create a picture to your audience. It’s up to you to orchestrate these elements to ensure they work to your company’s advantage.

Building Your Home-Based Business From Scratch

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Building a home-based business takes a lot of time and effort. You might have the passion and professionalism necessary to create your own business, but it takes more than that to achieve success. You need a strong business plan, above all else. Remember, you’re not just an employee anymore – you’re the employer, too. As a freelancer, you have to be able to run your own business, so this is much more than a career. So, let’s talk about what it takes to start building your home-based business from scratch. The following points should help you out.

Find your avenue.

First of all, you have to figure out how you’re going to make money. You might have many skills, but you have to decide which skill you’re going to turn into a profitable business idea. Most importantly, you have to decide which skill you’re going to turn into an exciting business idea. So, your goal is to find your avenue. Perhaps you could sell your old belongings, or perhaps you could write marketing articles for online clients. Some people even use freelancing sites such as Fiverr to sell bizarre services; there are freelancers who sing birthday messages in silly voices and so on. You could also become a blogger to make money from adverts and sponsored deals.

You should make a list of possible business ideas to help you find the right fit. You might want to use skills that you’ve developed in the working world, or you might want to focus on personal skills that you think could be turned into viable business services. Maybe you’re a creative person who could become a freelance photographer, for example. Finding the right avenue is about finding your strengths. Just remember that it should be enjoyable. You’ll struggle to build a successful company if you don’t enjoy what you do. As your business’ sole employee (for the meantime), you’re responsible for its success.

Start shaping your office.

You might have a great business plan and a laptop, so nothing’s stopping you from getting started. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of a good home office. Your environment has a big effect on the way you think and feel. If you want to build your home-based business from scratch, then you should also start shaping your office from scratch. You might already have a room with a desk that you’ve set aside for your company and its activities, but you need to make it feel professional. It should feel separate to the rest of your house; there needs to be a division between home and work. You might even want to get a skip bin if you’re going to have to declutter the room or even your entire house to make the place look good. Clearing out your old possessions to create a new design for your home-based office could help to freshen up the place.

Research the market.

If you want your home-based business to be successful, then you need to research the market. Your company is entering a competitive landscape, so you need to find your place. That’s why entrepreneurs always talk about gaps in the market. If you can find problems that your competitors haven’t solved, then you’ll have found opportunities to differentiate yourself from other businesses in your industry. Make sure you keep doing your research. Keep talking to existing and potential customers to figure out what they want from companies such as yours.