What’s Your Protocol On IT Errors That Stop Work?

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The one thing you cannot predict in business is an IT error. You can train your employees to be the best they can be, you can invest in your logistical structure, you can invest in your storage capabilities, you can do pretty much everything in the world; except know when your IT systems will go down. It’s just the bane of businesses all around the world because no matter how advanced technology gets, it’s still a man made invention. Things we make will always hiccup, breakdown and cause us a severe headache at work. However you need to have some kind of protocol in place for when this happens. There are three stages to this which you need to implement in your own business and train employees to follow.

Is it genuine?

Let’s be honest, even though you have hired some great professionals they won’t all be tech savvy. Many employees will just go by what you tell them and how you have trained them. They aren’t tech specialists and they don’t know every error code in the book. So they could have a problem which is easily fixable even though to them it might look serious to them. Hence why you need to give the responsibility of checking out minor errors to your managers. Managers aren’t just there to count the take of the day, they’re there to give advice, encouragement and also help out with problems that stop the flow of work. Train your managers on how to fix certain minor issues that your software runs into and make sure they are trained to a higher standard that normal employees.

React as a team

When an IT error occurs to one workstation, that employee is no longer able to work at their full capacity. However that could also mean his or her team are unable to continue with their work as they are relying on that individual to complete a task. For example, if an employee is not able to design the logo of a company in your marketing department, fellow employees won’t be able to work on the other aspects such as an advertisement, billboard, pamphlet and social media. So everyone needs to react as a team. The other employees need to talk and agree on the various stages of their own tasks they can complete without the logo or whatever is missing. To this extent, it keeps the ball rolling and allows everyone to carry on working throughout the day.

Specialist help desk

Every business needs to have some kind of specialist help on hand. For  your IT managed services, a company like IntelligIS offers 24/7 monitoring of your IT systems. So, they will know about the error maybe before you do. They can then work quickly to find the source, fix whatever is wrong, strengthen the firewalls and then give you a report of what just happened. This is your final step in the three stage protocol.

IT errors are the bane of the business world. For no apparent reason, entire systems can go down without warning. The key is to figure out if it’s a minor or major issue, then quickly react as a team to keep the workflow going and finally, call a specialist to identify and fix the error.

4 Hiring Mistakes That New Business Owners Make

Hiring the right employees is key to business success in any industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re a great entrepreneur, you can’t run a successful business all on your own and without a good team behind, you’re really going to struggle. As a boss, it’s important that you know how to motivate your team and help them to develop their skills so you can get the best out of them. A good employer knows how to unlock the hidden potential in their employees, but they also know how to spot that potential in the first place. While it is important that you know how to develop your employees and get the best out of them, it’s equally important that you know how to hire the right people in the first place.

This is one of the biggest challenges that new business owners face because they don’t realize just how difficult it is. They assume that it’s a case of looking through the resumes to find the people with the best qualifications and experience and then interviewing them to see who they like best. In reality, there’s a lot more to it than that and there are a lot of things that you can get wrong along the way. If you’re going to hire the best possible people for your business, you need to make sure that you avoid these common mistakes. 

Hiring Without A Reason 

Whenever you hire an employee, you should have a reason for doing so. If you don’t have a reason, you’re likely to hire somebody that doesn’t really add much to the company and you’ll just be wasting your money. In some cases, there is a very clear cut reason for hiring somebody. If an employee leaves, for example, you’ll need to hire a replacement. However, if you’re expanding your team, it’s important that you are doing it for the right reasons. Whenever you hire a new employee, it should be to fill a skills gap of some kind in the company. For example, if your sales team are stretched because you’re seeing a lot of growth and they can’t keep up, you need to hire more employees in that department. If you have been handling digital marketing on your own but you aren’t seeing much engagement from potential customers, you should consider hiring a digital marketing specialist to handle it instead. In these situations, it is clear why you’re hiring an employee and what they will bring to the company. If you can’t clearly state what a new employee will add to your business, you probably don’t need to hire them. 

As well as thinking about why you’re hiring somebody, you need to consider the specifics of their position. What exactly will their duties be, which department will they work in, and who will they report to? Not considering these things beforehand can cause problems when they start working for you and there is not a clearly defined role for them. It’s also going to cause you problems when you’re advertising the job and writing the job description in the first place. If you don’t clearly outline exactly what the job entails and what experience is necessary, you’re going to get all sorts of candidates that aren’t really suited to the job and that means the hiring process will take you a lot longer. 

Not Having A Clear Hiring Process In Place 

Having a clear process for hiring employees is so important but a lot of smaller businesses don’t think that they really need one. You need to decide whether you want every candidate to submit a resume and cover letter, whether you’re going to conduct phone interviews first, and how many people you are going to invite to interview. If you are unsure about what your hiring process should look like, https://resources.workable.com/ has a good guide. Having this clear process in place benefits you in a few different ways. Firstly, it makes the whole process a lot smoother and it’s easier for you to keep track of all of the candidates and which stage of the process they’re at. Having the exact same process for all candidates also makes it a lot easier for you to compare them when it comes time to make a decision. If you’re measuring each candidate by different metrics, it makes it hard to work out which one is best suited to the job. 

Not Conducting Background Checks 

Background checks are an important part of the hiring process that a lot of new business owners decide to skip. In most cases, you’ll be absolutely fine but there is always the chance that a candidate may have a criminal past or may not be allowed to work legally in this country. It’s important that you find these things out early, otherwise, you may end up hiring somebody that could damage the country in some way. You can easily conduct background checks online through companies like Checkr (at https://checkr.com/) so there is no reason to skip this step in the hiring process. It’s best to do this early on so you don’t waste time interviewing candidates that you later decide that you don’t want to hire for whatever reason. If you do hire a candidate, only to find out that they are not a very effective employee and they’ve had a lot of trouble at previous companies, it may be difficult for you to get rid of them and you’ll be stuck paying an employee that you don’t really want to work for you. 

Not Considering Office Space

When you start expanding your team, you need to make sure that you’ve got enough room for everybody so your office needs to grow at the same time. Before you start bringing any new employees on board, ask yourself whether your office is fit for purpose and whether you have enough space for everybody to work effectively. If you don’t, you should focus on finding a bigger office before you think about expanding your team any further. 

If you’re making any of these common hiring mistakes, your team won’t be as effective as they should be and your business will suffer as a result.

How to Avert Day to Day Business Catastrophes

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Your ongoing nightmare as a business owner is when things go wrong unexpectedly. When your working day comes to a halt it can be very hard to get things up and running again. If you want your business to survive you always need to be prepared with answers to any dilemma. When a catastrophe strikes you should have the initiative to make things right again without causing too much disruption to your day to day duties. If you’re wondering about the different elements that could go wrong in your business, then you might want to consider some of the following flaws and solutions.

Technology Meltdowns

The moment when the technology in your workplace breaks down is the moment where everybody in the building goes into panic mode. Waiting for glitches to be restored can put a halt on all of your daily duties, putting you well behind of schedule. You should certainly consider professional network monitoring so that the outage can be pinpointed straight away. This will minimize loss and disruption to your working day and it will put your mind at ease, to know that any potential problem can be found and fixed much more efficiently.

Employee Sickness

When a sickness epidemic sweeps through your entire workplace it can become a huge problem on the day. Trying to get all of your jobs done with only half a workforce can be a huge challenge, so you need to have a plan in place in case this ever happens. If your employees work shift patterns then make sure all of your workers aren’t always in the building at all. As long as you have a handful of people on standby, you will always have a plan B to revert to when there is on the day illness.

Marketing Blunders

Every company has that inner fear of a marketing campaign going wrong, similar to what happened to Pepsi. This can damage your reputation right away and put you ten steps behind where you want to be. Having a good lawyer on hand at all times and make sure all campaigns go through rigorous checks before they are made public.

Product Defects

If you’re responsible for manufacturing a product and they have to be recalled off the shelves, you might start to enter panic mode. This can cause significant damage to your reputation, so you need to put quality control at the top of your priority list. Everyone makes mistakes, but you should never allow anything to slip through the net easily.

When something goes wrong with your business you need to have the confidence to put everything right again, without hesitation. Being an entrepreneur is daunting and you are often left to deal with things that are way out of your comfort zone. There is no shame in asking for help from external sources when you need it, especially when it comes to complicated technical glitches. Keep your business running smoothly and put your mind at ease with these workable solutions.

Taking Your Business National

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A real sure sign of growth in any business is when you are finally able to take it on to a national level, and if you are currently looking at this in your business you are probably pretty happy with it. Of course, as with anything else, there are going to be a number of challenges too, and you need to make sure that you are going to find a way to live up to these if you want to make it all worthwhile and bring about the best results you possibly can. In this post, we are going to look at a few of the concerns you will want to try and get on top of when you are taking your business on to a national level. As long as you have thought about some of the following, you will probably be in a better position and feel considerably more ready to make it happen for real.

Operating As A Network

One of the first things to get your head around is that you will need to make sure you are operating your business as a network, rather than a number of individual businesses. Your locations are nodes on a web, not separate, and the sooner you start treating them as such, the sooner you will be able to really take your business where it needs to go. There are a lot of ways in which you might need to do this, whether that means using the likes of Jayde Transport to help transport goods from one place to another, or ensuring that you keep the lines of communication open between locations. As long as you think like a network, your business will act like one, and you should find that this leads to considerably more success in the long run.

Keeping True

A real challenge here is trying to keep your business true to its actual original intentions and ways of being in such a way that you still feel you are running the same business overall. In order to do this, you need to just be as clear as you possibly can be about what your business stands for, and that means writing it down and making it clear. For a lot of businesses, that essentially takes the guise of a style guide, and you might want to think about producing one yourself so that all arms of your business are operating in the appropriate manner similar to each other. Do that, and you will find that taking your business national is not going to get in the way.

A Strong Base

Finally, it’s important not to underestimate the value of a strong base. Because you never know quite what is going to happen when you expand, you at least need to be confident in the base that your business has, so that you can be sure that you always have that to fall back on in the worst case scenario. Focus on that, and you will feel considerably safer on the whole.

Preventing Avoidable Problems For Your New Business

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OK, there aren’t too many easy things about starting a new business. But it has to be said that sometimes new business owners don’t make things easy on themselves. While there are always things beyond your control, there are important matters that most definitely can be handled before they become issues. It’s just that the burden is on you, no-one else! Below, we take a look at four pieces of advice that’ll ensure your company isn’t sinking before it’s learned to swim.

Start Slow

Enthusiasm is a powerful tool, one that can be used as a force of good to grow your company. But it can also be your undoing if you’re not careful. If you’re rushing through all the steps to get your business up, running, and making money, then you’re more likely to make a mistake. A business isn’t something that should happen overnight; it’s a long-term goal. So take your time. If you’ve got all the details planned, all the pieces in place, and the energy to handle the rush of work that’ll soon be coming your way, then you’ll have a smooth entry into the world of business.

Make Sure It’s Legal

There’s nothing worse than putting much time, effort, and money into getting your business up and running, only to then find out that it’s not legal. It’s highly unlikely that someone’s going to inform you of this before you market it to the public, so take steps when you’re still in the planning stages. If you consult with a business lawyer, they’ll be able to inform you of all the steps you need to take to be on the right side of the law. Depending on what industry you’ll be in, there might be many more rules you need to follow than previously thought.

Cash-Flow Issues

You’ll have a pretty solid financial plan for your business. But it’s not enough just to have earmarked cash for the various aspects of business development; you also need to ensure you have the funding for day to day expenditures, too. When you’re starting out you might not have all that much money coming in – especially if you’re sending invoices – but will need to outlay cash. If you don’t have that cash to hand, then your business is going to take a backward step before it’s even had the chance to move forward.

Charging the Right Amount

Nobody wants their business to be a failure. However, there’s a right and a wrong way to tackle this fear. The right way is to make your business the best it can be, and give your customers a reason to choose you. The wrong way is to undercut everyone and have rock-bottom prices. You’ll get plenty of business – no problem there – but your profit margins will be too small, and you’ll be in financial troubles. So find the right amount to charge for your services. If you’re good at what you do, charge what you’re worth and what will generate a profit.

Unexpected Things That Can Derail Business Success

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You’d hope that if you just have a good idea, work hard, and have a pinch of luck, then your business triumph is assured. Alas, this is not the case. While these things will guide you towards success, there’s no guarantee that you’ll experience long-term success. This is because there are many things that can derail your path towards glory. Some of them are within your control, while some are beyond your control. Below, we take a look at a number of somewhat unexpected aspects that can derail your company’s upward trajectory, as well as offer some advice on how you can prevent them from happening and handle them if they do.

Personal Issues

They say you should keep your personal life and professional life separate, but it can’t always happen this way. It can be relatively straightforward to leave your working side at the office, but keeping home problems from interfering with your work? That’s easier said than done. If you’re going through a rough emotional time, then you won’t be able to push through and work extra hard; it’ll be a case of taking care of what needs to be done, and waiting for your energy to return before taking on more tasks. If you have a personal crisis, such as being arrested for a DUI or something, then there’s no way that won’t impact your business in one way or another. The trick is just to limit the damage it can do.

A New Competitor

Everything might be going swimmingly. Business is growing, demand is high, and things are all-around looking rosy. But there’ll soon be a problem if a competitor moves in on your turf. Your profits will take a hit, there’s no doubt about it; but will it be a significant dip, or a manageable one? When a competitor moves in, it’s important to carry on doing what you’ve always done. If people loved you before, they’ll be happy to carry on supporting you even though there’s another option for them. If it’s a giant corporation who has opened up nearby, play up your small local business credentials. People are more likely to support an independent business rather than a big business than they were in the past!

Hiring the Wrong Person

Your staff is the bedrock of your success. You’re an important figure, for sure, but you’re only one person: your staff is a team, and when they all work together well, your business runs smoothly. When they don’t, the good times can be hard to find. While it shouldn’t necessarily be this way, one bad employee can have a hugely detrimental effect on the team’s success. Morale can drop. Communication can break down. As such, it’s important that you’re hiring the right person always. Easier said than done? Maybe, but you can increase your chances of success by developing a robust hiring policy. If you follow the guidelines that you yourself have established, you’ll be less likely to end up with a dud of an employee who brings everyone down.

Staff Leaving Abruptly

Hiring the wrong person can be damaging; losing your best employees can be even worse. You’ll have created a system that depends on your employees delivering their best work. If one or more of them suddenly leave, then it’s going to be difficult to get back up to the standards you were operating at before. There are a few things you can do to reduce the chances of this happening, however. For starters, you can treat your employees well; that means offering them a platform to grow professionally, and paying them well. You can also ask them to give you plenty of notice if they want to leave, so you have time to find a suitable replacement.

The Elements

It’s not just what happens inside your business premises that affects your success; what takes place outside has an impact too. Take the elements. After a heavy rainstorm, you could arrive at work only to discover that the place is flooded. On that day, you won’t be able to work, and you may have lost important documents and infrastructure that were critical to your success. Now, you can’t control the weather, but you can control how you prepare for severe weather. Start by working with waterproofing specialists so that your offices are unaffected by heavy rainfall. You can also keep any important documents and electrical equipment stored away in a waterproof container, especially when you know that there’s a lot of rain on the way.

Suppliers In Difficult

You’re not trying to succeed in business all on your own. You’ll be working with other businesses as you try to build your empire. If one of these companies falls into difficulties and has to stop trading, you could find yourself without the goods and services you need to operate.

Changing Moods

The world is ever in flux. What is current and relevant today could be obsolete in years to come. There really are no guarantees! Your business may be popular now, but what is the world moves on? If some of the world’s biggest corporations can be left behind, then so can your small business. The best way to prepare is to keep an eye on trends, and to not take anything for granted. If it seems like the tide is beginning to turn, then refocus your energies. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to have an open mindset about where you’ll be taking your business, rather than having a clear, unalterable vision.

Final Thoughts

Life is full of surprises; that’s what makes it so exciting. Alas, not all of these surprises can be good. Sometimes, you’ll be hit by something that causes your operations to stutter, or perhaps pause altogether. If you’re unprepared for them and they occur, then don’t panic. It might not be an ideal situation, but keep the bigger picture in mind: this is just a blip on what will hopefully be a long and prosperous journey with your venture.

Overcoming Future Business Challenges That Will Hinder Your Growth

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Growing a business is tough–we all know this. From all the money you pour into your company to the many different legal threats lurking around each corner, there are so many considerations to keep in mind that it can often be overwhelming to new business owners. One of the best ways to overcome those challenges is to plan ahead for future growth, and in this article, we’ll be touching on most of the common subjects to think about when growing your business.

Future-proofing your business

First, let’s discuss the concept of “future proofing”. Future proofing is essentially preparing your business’s workflow for the future. It’s all about upgrading your technology to a point where it can last a long time, or reinforcing business practices so that you have a better chance of staying relevant in the future. There are many ways to future-proof your business, but we’re going to focus on the use of technology in this article.

First, the main problem with technology is that it has to be scalable. This means that no matter how many extra employees you add to your company, your technology needs to be able to support that growth. A good example of this is with your internet connection. If you’re adding a dozen employees then you have to consider the impact it has on your internet connection and networking in general. You’ll need more internet switches, you’ll need a faster and more reliable connection, and you’ll also need to consider IT consulting to actually help you grow in the first place. There are many factors to keep in mind when growing your tech and making it scalable, so make sure you plan ahead by speaking to professionals and getting a rough estimate of the cost involved.

Growing your audience organically

One of the most underrated things in business is slowly and organically growing your company. There are far too many people that focus on speedy and unsustainable growth because they want to seize an opportunity and make the most of it. Sadly, this comes with the added problem that your business is not going to be stable once that initial trend or opportunity falls off.

For example, you could pump your resources into the production of an item you sell that is currently trending. You could speed up production and even use additional capital to produce more varieties of that product. Sadly, if the trend dies out and you eventually lose your grasp on that market, then you’re going to suffer the consequences of wasted capital.

Growing your audience organically means capitalizing on trends, but it also means appealing to your audience, creating a customer profile to follow and also doing your best to monitor trends and not over-commit to something. Take it slowly, do what you can to analyze the market and give your business some space to take risks without overdoing it.

Growing your business is difficult without having a plan, which is why it’s important to think about how you can overcome not just present challenges, but future ones too.