Practical Ways To Improve Safety In (& Around) Your Business Premises

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

If you run a business, making sure it’s safe is a vital concern. This is because poor safety can have all sorts of negative impacts on the success of your company including injuring valued employees or customers, creating a PR nightmare, and even causing long and expensive court cases. The good news is there are some simple, practical ways you can improve the safety of your business premises and the area that surrounds it. Just keep reading to find out what they are below. 

Maintain equipment and utilities

One of the most effective ways you can improve safety in your business is to properly maintain any equipment that staff and customers will come into contact with. Indeed, many injuries every year are caused by equipment that is faulty or that is not being used correctly. 

Of course, if such a situation occurs in your business, it is highly likely that you will be held responsible, and could be sued for damages. To that end, regularly serving all equipment, and clearly marking any that should not be used is essential. 

Ensure the approach to your business is as safe as possible

There are many things you can do to make a site that you make the area surrounding your business as safe as possible. One of the most important of these is to ensure that clients and employees feel safe walking to and from their vehicles in the car park. To achieve this installing outside lighting can be very useful as it prevents those with nefarious intent from hiding in the shadows. Similarly, using CCTV to monitor the safety of clients, employees, and their vehicles while in the parking lot can help put everyone’s mind at ease.

Another way you can ensure that the approach to your business is as safe as possible is to maintain the pavements and roads leading to and from your business. Something that can reduce the likelihood of accident and injury on your property. 

The good news is that through Pavement preservation you can be proactive about this type of maintenance. Not simply waiting until there is a problem that needs to be fixed, but actively preventing any issues that would impact safety from arising in the first place. 

Install safety and security measures at the entrances and exits of your premises 

Just as it pays to take care of the approach to your business, installing safety and security measures at your entrance and exits is also a good idea. The most obvious of these is making sure that any potential safety issues such as steps, stairs, or glass or automatic doors are signposted to prevent accidents or injury. 
Additionally, getting employees to use swipe cards to enter the building can be helpful in several ways. The first is that it prevents any unauthorized person from gaining entry. While the second is that it also acts as a fire register, ensuring you know the location of your workers at all times within your premises, and indicating whether they need rescue in an emergency.

Could You Do More To Protect Your Employees?

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Employee wellbeing is a subject of great interest at the moment, and many business owners are implementing additional measures to look after their teams. If you run a company or an organization, and you’re keen to protect your employees as best you can, here are some tips to consider.

Health and safety

Every employer assumes responsibility for their employees when offering contracts and encouraging teams to go out and tackle tasks. If you own or rent premises, or you operate remote teams, you have a duty to make sure that workplaces are safe and that your team has access to the relevant safety equipment. Provide training, check equipment frequently and carry out regular risk assessments. Ensure that you follow rules and regulations, and make sure that you record every incident and respond to complaints or reports of issues. 

Mental health and wellbeing

Stress is more common than ever. As an employer, it’s not possible to prevent every illness or mental health disorder, but it is beneficial to try and be proactive in protecting your workforce. There are steps business owners can take to try and lower risks and create a healthy working environment for staff. Encourage employees to manage their schedules to allow for downtime and breaks, avoid putting too much pressure on your team, include wellbeing perks in employee benefits packages and communicate openly with your employees. Try to be flexible to enable your team to enjoy a healthy work-life balance and consider measures, such as condensing hours or investing in technology, to increase efficiency and productivity. 

Abuse and violence

Reports of abuse in the workplace have become more commonplace, especially in sectors such as healthcare, the emergency services and retail. There are several ways you can try to enhance protection, including providing physical barriers to deter people from coming too close in stores or practices and clinics, providing training for staff to help them resolve conflicts and using technology such as Motorola police car radios. Cameras can record footage that is useful for professional purposes, as well as for pursuing action if employees sustain injuries or suffer verbal abuse. It is also beneficial to invest in security and to use signs and posters to alert customers to zero-tolerance policies. 

Making mistakes

Making mistakes is human nature, but the implications for employees can be devastating. Employers cannot always prevent errors, but it is possible to reduce risks. Ensure that your employees have the relevant training to attempt tasks or enter scenarios that may be challenging, and use technology to simplify jobs and minimize the risk of human error and record calls, footage and camera images. It is also essential to make sure that you have comprehensive business insurance. If there is an incident involving a customer, for example, review the footage and listen to accounts from both parties before you decide what action to take. It’s important to support your team as best you can.

Employers have a duty to protect their staff and comply with regulations and legislation that are designed to reduce risks in the workplace. Ensure that your business is fully compliant, prioritize health and wellbeing, take action to prevent employee abuse and be proactive in trying to eliminate mistakes.

Taking More Responsibility for Our Employees’ Health: 5 Methods To Integrate

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

One of the key business principles every company needs to display is listening to its employees but this is one behavior that is indicative of something far deeper. Your employees’ health, especially in the modern climates, is about making sure that you have certain practical components in place, while also making sure that you are displaying the right behaviors throughout the culture of the company. What are the best ways that you can support your employees’ health in this environment?

Focus on a Consistent Approach (Internally and Externally)

In other words, be the same to everyone, whether it is clients, customers, or employees. Sometimes, we can neglect how our employees are feeling because we are hell-bent on getting the numbers and deadlines met. If we implement so many different practices to make sure that we retain customers, going just a little bit further to ensure our employees are feeling as cared for as our customers will make a massive difference. If you are focused on getting the best for your customers and have made a significant effort to streamline your approaches, whether this is incorporating HIPAA appointment reminders or solid aftercare, it doesn’t take much to extend it further. Consistency is important and we need to be flexible and modify certain policies and practices to reduce stress on our teams. For example, you may want to incorporate more unpaid leave if necessary. But consistency is the benchmark that everything will hang on. 

Investing in Training

More than ever, you need to prioritize workplace training for employees, managers, and leaders. A healthy culture is about knowledge and ensuring that everybody has the tools to navigate within the work environment. Even prior to the pandemic, there were companies that focused on creating a healthy culture, and this had left them in a better position to navigate what had unfolded. Employees will struggle with mental health, and it’s so important to build the necessary skills so everybody can have the right conversations in a work environment. While many businesses don’t necessarily have the finances to invest in training, there are a number of mental health employee resource groups that can help to increase awareness and offer support. 

Communicate More Than You Think

There are employees who feel managers are not good at communicating, and this can have a very negative impact on mental health issues. It is important for line managers to keep their team informed about any changes in a business and clarify anything that is left open. It’s important to remove stress through little things, and this can be done by establishing a solid baseline, for example, setting expectations about workloads and acknowledging what is (and what is not) a priority. 

Model Healthy Behaviors

Many companies say they support the health of their employees, but how do they do this? It’s so important to practice what you preach. This goes back to a consistent approach inside and out, but it has to be modeled so employees can feel that they are able to set boundaries. This can also apply to the managers because they are so determined to make their employees prioritize themselves that the managers don’t look after their mental health in the process. Sharing is caring!

Measure the Process

Surveys are important, as they can allow a business to understand how people are doing. And when we allow for direct employee input, this can make for healthy feedback, but also shape a number of new programs. When sewn into the company’s fabric, through wellbeing support, skill-building for leaders, and more flexibility, these will ensure accountability and make employees feel they are being tended to. 

We are in a state of limbo right now. Many companies may want to return to how things were, but the reality is that we will not. And as we look back, we may find that there were empty promises relating to mental health and wellbeing. Many companies found that they were taking part in a box-ticking exercise. This is the opportunity to create a workplace culture that actually nurtures and supports employees so they don’t just benefit the business, but actually feel they are supported in a professional setting. Everybody has their part to play, but it is the business and the company that will be at fault if things don’t turn out the way they should. Wellbeing can easily be overlooked as a contemporary buzzword, however, it is pivotal to every part of a progressing business that they take a long look at themselves.

Are You Overcomplicating Your Security?

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Keeping your business property and data secure is a priority. Many companies feel that they have to resort to complex layers of technology or complicated security systems in order to stay secure. 

However, such complexity can often lead to more errors – which may even lead to security vulnerabilities. Complex security measures can also be more expensive and time-consuming to manage. 

Security can be simple and secure. Below are just a few instances of overcomplicated security measures, and how to simplify them without negatively impacting security. 

Unmemorable passwords

The most secure passwords tend to be completely random jumbles of uppercase and lowercase letters, with a few numbers and symbols thrown in. The longer the better – it’s recommended that passwords are over 8 characters, but for ultimate security it’s worth looking at combinations above 15 characters.

The problem with these passwords is that they’re often impossible to memorise. Such passwords often have to be written down or stored somewhere – which can increase the risk of them leaking out.

Fortunately, there are solutions to this. One popular option is to take a memorable phrase and use the initials to create a password, while ideally throwing in some numbers and uppercase letters. This could be a song title, a movie or a quote. An example could be to condense ‘on the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree’ into ‘Ot1doCmtlg2mapiapt’.

Alternatively, you could opt for a very long password made up of three or more unrelated but memorable words with a number thrown in. This could be something like ‘UmbrellaRacoonPacific44’. The key is to keep it completely random.

Too many different keys/passwords

It’s good to use multiple different passwords and different keys for different areas. However, keeping track of lots of different keys and passwords can be a challenge. While you can label keys and keep password lists, you need to be careful that the wrong people don’t then gain access to your keys or password list.

When it comes to keeping track of multiple keys, it’s worth looking into master keys that can be used for multiple locks. If a key gets lost or stolen, you’ll still then have access to this lock without having to keep multiple spare keys for different locks. 

As for managing lots of different passwords, consider using a password manager software tool. In some cases, you may also be able to set master passwords. You should limit access to the master keys/master passwords to one or two people only. 

Too many/not enough security privileges

A lot of companies overcomplicate security when it comes to privileges. 

Quite often there’s no need to give everyone the same security privileges as this means going through security protocol with each new employee. You may not trust every employee with such information, plus certain employees may not need access to certain information – so it’s best to only give certain people access to passwords, keys and security information.

This doesn’t mean only allowing one or two people to have authorization to all passwords and keys. If you’ve got a large team, it could be frustrating having to constantly rely on one or two people to unlock doors or enter passwords. In other words, make sure that you’re not being too selective with security privileges to the point of hampering productivity.

In-house IT reliance

When there’s a cybersecurity issue, it’s good to have access to IT experts who can solve the issue. 

Most smaller to medium companies can benefit more from outsourcing IT support than hiring in-house IT staff. Doing everything in-house can often be a lot more expensive – you have to be able to pay each IT staff member a full wage with benefits and you need to invest in equipment and tools for each of these staff members. 

When outsourcing your IT, you’ll be able to hire the help of a team of experts for the cost of a single in-house employee. You also don’t have the responsibility that would as an employer.

Expert Every Entrepreneur Should Partner With

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Entrepreneurship is a tough job. It takes dedication, passion, and drive to make it in the startup world. But what happens when you are an entrepreneur who has lost your way? Or when you forget your purpose? Who can help guide you back on track? The answer is simple: every entrepreneur’s partner should be their “expert.” There’s no shame in admitting that you need a little help from time to time. This blog post will introduce you to some of the best entrepreneurs that are available for hire.

Business Analyst

A business analyst helps monitor and manage the finances of a company. They are responsible for ensuring that everything runs smoothly within an organization’s financial structure, including data analysis of spending, cash flow projections, profitability forecasts, and operational costs. A good business analyst can be invaluable to any entrepreneur looking to start or expand their companies by helping them make well-informed decisions regarding their financial future.

You should consider partnering with an analyst if you are looking to start or expand your company. You can be sure that you are making the right financial decisions with one by your side.

Accountant

A good accountant will save you money and time. They can help you avoid costly mistakes, which protects your company in the long run. Accountants are experts when it comes to numbers and paperwork. They can help you with tax reports, payroll files, and the other details that entrepreneurs forget about or don’t have time to do.

Accountants are very knowledgeable when it comes to taxes. Not only will they file your business’s taxes on time each year, but they will also show you how much money you’ll save by filing certain types of deductions for your business. 

This way, an accountant is more than just a bookkeeper—they are advisers who make sure your company always stays in compliance with financial laws. Plus, accountants know the industry standards, so they will advise you if any changes are coming up soon related to reporting income or paying taxes which saves your company from being caught off guard later down the road.

Legal Expert

As an entrepreneur, it is essential to have an excellent legal team. A legal expert can help you follow all the laws in your state that apply to business. They will also protect you from lawsuits by helping you avoid any violations of federal or state law. 

It would help if you looked for an attorney who has experience in representing businesses like yours and one who specializes in what industry type interests you most. In addition, an order usually works best if it is near your main office, so it’s easy for them to see firsthand how the company operates every day.

IT Expert

Every entrepreneur should partner with an IT expert. It’s a wise decision because there are so many things to consider when you’re launching your business. The website needs hosting, the backend requires an email address, and the list goes on from there. It would help if you had someone who could take care of all these technical aspects for you. With an IT expert, you’ll be able to get more work done, make better decisions and focus on what you do best.

Conclusion

The best way to find the right experts for your business is through networking. It would help if you always looked for potential mentors and advisors and connected with other entrepreneurs who might help you along the way. The more people you can rely on, the better off your company will be in general.

Don’t Be Late: Simple Lessons That Automotive JIT Inventories Offer Across Industries

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Originally developed by Toyota in the 1970s, just-in-time (JIT) inventories offer a to-the-bone way to manage leaner inventories. Far from having to pay for the storage of unlucrative and often unneeded stock, the JIT shift has certainly transformed the automotive world, a fact that’s proven especially imperative when delays elsewhere threaten to unravel supply chains in their entirety.

In the face of increasing money struggles and productivity delays across industries, the value of JIT, or at least the benefits that it brings to the table, is becoming more universally relevant than ever. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that a repeat model would be right for your business, it certainly highlights the need to reassess inventory management in light of recent challenges. Here, we’re going to help you see how by especially considering the JIT benefits that enabled a swift automotive recovery, and an estimated 7-9% market growth in 2021 alone

Benefit 1: Cost-effective production

With businesses losing vast amounts of money over the past eighteen months and facing further cost setbacks from the need for diversification into online markets etc., it’s fair to say that budgets are tight. As such, piling resources, time, and profits into the development of stock that sits in a warehouse (which you also pay for) simply isn’t viable right now. By comparison, JIT inventory management that involves working more closely with suppliers to meet real-time demand ensures only the production necessary to keep consumers happy. While you might not want to go all out with lean inventories as such, keeping stock to a minimum, and taking the time to more realistically predict demand and output using analytics, can certainly better help to preserve money when you need it the most. 

Benefit 2: Continual quality improvements
The improvements necessary to keep up with an ever-changing landscape can be difficult to implement if you’re still shifting stock that’s been in storage since last November. Leaner inventory management on an as-needed basis is therefore far more receptive to quality improvements. Toyota is certainly a great example of how to adapt, with their latest EV releases being just one in several cutting-edge adjustments seen in Toyota service repair manuals across history. While companies in other sectors may prefer to keep some stock on hand for security purposes, streamlining warehouses and focusing instead on new development could quickly prove imperative in the face of quickly-changing consumer expectations.

Benefit 3: Improved supplier relationships

By encouraging faster turnovers and responsive production for disaster preparedness, JIT inventories also improve supplier relationships. In-the-moment updates and the ability for partners to request changes at the development stage are certainly imperative for automotive supply networks that often span numerous parties and locations. Even for small scale supply networks elsewhere, a more in-the-moment, speedy delivery focus based on the work you’re doing now, rather than parts created two years ago could be transformative. 

JIT inventories aren’t for everyone, but as supply disruptions continue to wreak havoc across industries, it’s certainly plain to see that leaner inventory management offers some important lessons worth learning from.

3 Business Principles We Hope You Follow

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

It is always good to have principles in business because it can enable you to achieve more. With that in mind, here are three business principles that we hope you will follow. 

  1. Security should never be an afterthought 

With all the threats out there these days, you now know you must protect your system with a good antivirus. But in a market choke-full of products, it can be dizzying settling on the right one. So what makes a solid anti-virus? One of the most vital tasks a good antivirus should do, is accurately and reliably detect any of the different types of malware. Surfing the net is a bit like walking through a minefield. Every link you click on could potentially harbor that virus, Trojan, or worm. And that’s why your antivirus should have a comprehensive and up-to-date database, which will detect malware before it has the chance to corrupt your computer. The next feature you should have your eye out for is the software’s ability to thoroughly scan your computer. Of course, anti-virus software is not enough. There are so many other security features and elements that are required to protect your business. This includes everything from encryption and network segregation to multi-factor authentication and password protection. 

  1. Listening to your employees is a must

You can always learn the most about your business by listening to your employees. After all, they are living in it every day! They are the ones that need to complete tasks and objectives, and this is why you need to listen to what they have to say. This is especially important when it comes to health and safety. If your employee tells you that something is not safe, you need to listen to them. There are companies like Versatile Systems that can assist you with this if you need to make changes to the physical structure at your business, for example. 

  1. Always dedicate yourself to learning

Aside from the points that have already been mentioned, if you work from home or you want to progress your business, you should always look for ways to enhance your skillset and achieve more. You can do any course online today. So, why not take one of these courses in your spare time so that you can better yourself and take your business forward? When choosing what course to do, you need to think about what is genuinely going to take your company to the next level. Don’t choose something simply because you think it is easy or it will be fun; you need to know it is going to offer you a competitive edge. 

So there you have it: three business principles that we hope you follow. If you follow these principles, it can help your business to achieve more success. It is important to make sure that you always have some principles that you believe in because this shapes your company culture and the type of business you run. Add some more to the list yourself!

Tips For Protecting Your Business: Online and Offline

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

How do you protect your business online and offline? If this is a question that has been on the back of your mind, then it’s time to get some answers. So many things can affect your business – from hackers to competitors. This article has compiled a list of strategies for protecting yourself in the digital world, so you don’t become another statistic.

Be Mindful of Social Media Networks

Social media platforms are great ways to stay connected with customers, but they also present security risks and should be monitored closely. In addition, users often forget about privacy settings, which means everything shared on these sites could make its way into the public domain if you don’t carefully consider it when posting content. Remember: what you post on the internet stays on the internet.

Guard Your Address

A great way to protect your business is by guarding your address. Of course, if you’re a sole trader, this might not be an issue. Still, if you have any employees who need access to company accounts and records, it’s essential that they also safeguard their personal information. That means keeping all of their information safe too.

Your online address needs safeguarding, too; you can choose to sign up for a new email account if you don’t feel safe with your current one.

Be Careful About BYOD

Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD for short is a great way to increase productivity. Still, it also increases security risks by allowing employees access to sensitive company information from their own devices. Therefore, it’s a recommendation for companies to implement policies restricting this practice to reduce any vulnerabilities.

Install an Antivirus Software

As internet security risks continue to increase, businesses must take the necessary precautions by installing anti-viruses on all workstations and servers. The great thing about these programs is they often come with firewalls that can help protect your computer against outside attacks.

Take Advantage of Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is a great way to protect your online accounts. This process requires users to provide additional information beyond their password when signing in, such as a code sent via text message or an automated phone call which you can use as another layer of protection against unauthorized access. Be sure to enable this feature on all essential accounts.

Limit Administrator Access

Administrators are the only users who should have full control over company computers and servers to prevent unauthorized changes. However, if user accounts have too much privilege, it can lead to security breaches, so limit what they can do on their computers as best you can.

It’s essential to keep a close eye on company information; this can be difficult if you don’t have the necessary tools in place. With all of these strategies in mind, your business should remain protected against vulnerabilities and threats that could compromise data security. Stay vigilant.

Protect Your Devices

Take steps to protect all of the devices used for company purposes, including computers and mobile phones. This step is significant when accessing business information from outside networks like public WiFi hotspots because these connections tend to be less secure than home or office connections. If you don’t have a security suite installed on your devices, you should prioritize this.

Unconventional Business Ideas Drawing Profit from Corporations

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

With all the negative press of massive corporations like social media platforms, financial institutions, and manufacturers, they always need to look their best. This means behaving well on TV, presenting a unified outward appearance, and protecting their assets. But they cannot do this alone. As such, they hire outside help from unconventional business ideas drawing profit from their need to look good and present themselves well.

Cleaning on a Massive Scale

Their size doesn’t matter, and that is debatable. Yet when it comes to corporate displays of power and prominence, the bigger, the better. And massive corporations love nothing more than to show their success with an enormous skyscraper or excellent office building. So these steel-framed behemoths, such as 30 St Mary Axe in London, are clad with thousands of square meters of glass panel windows. And just like your windows at home, they need to be cleaned.

High-rise commercial and residential cleaning projects that companies like Shine On Group handle are worth a pretty penny in contracts. Not least because such a task requires specialist knowledge, skills, and dedication. For example, an average New York skyscraper will take you and a team around one month to clean from top to bottom. And given smog and debris, you need to start all over again when you are finished.

Meta Security

The issue of security plagues the corporate world. Cybersecurity, corporate espionage, the theft of trade secrets, social engineering, and antitrust are prime examples. Therefore, you can negotiate a large contract for protecting a company from harmful outside influence. The costs vary depending on what is required. And you can make a lot of money from specialist security such as proactive hacker deterrence where trained experts are employed, such as:

  • Armed personnel
  • Cybersecurity experts
  • Security guards
  • Premises inspectors
  • Damage regulators
  • Health and safety personnel

In the United States alone, the private security sector is worth almost $130 billion. Access controls and clearances are handled by barcodes, QR scans, and biometrics. While IT systems are isolated onto your own network and defending using honeypots and fail-safes to detect intrusion. Armed guards and private security are also hired to protect the most sensitive locations and VIP corporate personnel. 

Digital Mapping and VR

Like corporations love to show off their skyscrapers and impressive buildings on the outside, they also love presenting the interior. Typically this is done with promotional videos and publication photographs. Yet, technological advancement has taken this a step further. Complete immersion into the corporate office building is possible using virtual technology from a remote location anywhere in the world. This has proven helpful to real estate agencies throughout the pandemic.Digital mapping with laser-based sensors means any structure, site, or interior is faithfully recreated inside digital imaging software. This is then converted into a virtual reality program navigable by anyone wearing a compatible device. The technology is becoming so successful that there is a market for virtual real estate. People are making a profit selling computerized homes and offices that don’t exist in the real world. Instead, these are copies of actual buildings or fictional locations.

Tips that will Help you to Become a Successful Solo Entrepreneur

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Being a solo entrepreneur does not mean that you are truly destined for a life of solitude.  It also doesn’t mean that you are putting yourself on the path to financial ruin. Sure, there will be tough moments when you need to make big decisions, and you may find yourself working hours that are incredibly unsociable. That being said, it’s not the load of running a business that will break you down. It is the way that you carry it. Becoming a solopreneur is easily one of the most exciting adventures you can hope to embark on. On top of this, you may find that you have so much freedom when it comes to making decisions. If you want to make sure that your solo venture is successful, then the only thing that you need to do is take a look below.

Create a Plan

If you have decided that life as a solopreneur is for you, then the most important thing that you have to do is make sure that you build a very successful routine. You have to know where you do your best work, and what time you are able to get the most done. Most solopreneurs have fantastic morning routines that help to set them up for the rest of the day. If you can build a regular routine and if you can build a good working pattern, then this will set you up for the rest of the day. Look at the responsibilities you have right now and when you have a good idea of how many hours you have in your working week, you can then easily plan out your schedule.

Embrace Others

Sure, you will be working as a solopreneur, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t connect with other people. You need to make sure that you research which big influencers are in your neighborhood, and you also need to sign up to any business programs that are present as well. This will help you to become the best that you can be, and it will also help you to stay motivated. When you have done this, you can then try and find entrepreneurs on a global level. You have to ask them to share their experiences with you and you also need to connect with them on social media if you can. Embracing global connectivity will help you out a great deal, so make sure that you do not overlook it if possible. When it comes to connecting with people, it never hurts to sign up with a good marketing agency. Try and find someone who is a specialist in your niche. If you are a photographer for example, then consider signing up with a marketing agency for photographers.

Balance your Books

It’s super important that you take things at your own pace. You won’t get anywhere if you burn yourself out or if you don’t track your cash reserves. Success is possible if you build a good business on a strong foundation. Make this happen by developing a great service and also by making sure that you have a good social media presence.