Do You Need An Office To Run An Effective Business?

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Part of what makes a happy working environment in this day and age is the flexibility. When you are working in an office, everything seems somewhat regimented. But when you are in charge of a business or trying to set one up, a lot of your working life may very well be at home. But this begs the question, do you actually need an office in order to run a business effectively? Or is it about a little bit of give and take, so you can benefit financially, but also get the work done?

Look At Your Clients

It all depends on making that solid impression as well as the industry that you work in. When you are trying to manufacture components, many clients may not necessarily care where you are operating from, just as long as you keep up your end of the bargain. In terms of the manufacturing industry, there are companies like WES Ltd that provide assistance for businesses in terms of engineering and welding. And when you start to look at your client base, you may feel somewhat sheepish that you don’t have an office or a base, but does this really matter? Sure, for some people, impressions count for everything, but this is where something like a virtual office can really come in handy. Just as long as you provide that impression that you are a fully functioning business, and you are delivering the goods do you really need an office? It doesn’t seem like it.

Can You Build A Culture Of Remote Working?

While you may very well need clients dotted around the world, when you have employees that are able to do everything from the comfort of their own home, it’s possible to build this culture of remote working without an office. The fantastic thing about remote working is that it gives you the opportunity to liaise with people in so many different ways and now due to various collaboration tools like Slack, it’s not as important to be in the same room. Building a culture of remote working is partly to do with the technology you have, but it’s also about how you communicate yourself. Just as long as the work gets done, and you provide that degree of flexibility that’s imperative to remote workers, you provide a business framework that can get more done. A lot of people prefer to work remotely for this very reason.

What If You Need An Office Sometimes?

This is a very common issue. If you need an office for meeting up in person, it’s never been easier to hire a space for meetings. Because we can run a business without a location, just as long as the internet is working effectively, it’s possible. The fact of the matter is now that so many businesses are starting from a remote location, and try to keep it that way, you could do exactly the same. It can improve the culture but it can also improve the bottom line.

Why Small Manufacturing Businesses Fail

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As an entrepreneur, you want your small business to succeed, but you can’t succeed until you’ve made the business secure and stable. In the world of manufacturing, businesses fail for a wide variety of reasons. To make sure you’re doesn’t, it makes sense to find out why small businesses in this industry so often do. Read on to learn all about that and take steps to ensure a similar fate doesn’t befall your company.

A Lack of Purpose and Focus

Starting a business without really knowing what its focus will be or what its niche is will almost always end in disaster. Many entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that being vague and keeping their options open is wise, but in practice, it really isn’t. Be sure to clarify these things before you get your business off the ground. That way, you can hit the ground running with purpose and focus from day one.

The Wrong Colleagues and Collaborators

No business exists in isolation; they all have colleagues and collaborators, as well as vital suppliers. They rely on these companies and individuals to carry on running their business smoothly. If you need Red Diesel, for example, you’ll need to find a supplier who can provide you with it reliably and consistently. Working with the wrong companies and suppliers will only hurt your business and maybe even cause it to fail in the end.

Insufficient Capital

This is the classic cause of business failure. When you run out of money and you struggle to cover basic costs, it won’t be long before the business is dead in the water. But that’s not the only scenario that describes the problem of insufficient capital. Sometimes, businesses can fail to grow enough in their early days because they don’t have the necessary startup capital in place. This can lead to rapid failure.

Poor Management

Poor management leads to unnecessary mistakes and once they start to mount up, it can really impact the business’s chances of surviving. Good management is about making sure the fundamentals are taking care of and that the business operates in a sensible and coherent way on a day to day basis. It’s not uncommon for young entrepreneurs to get this badly wrong because they lack the requisite experience.

Try to Grow Too Quickly

A little early success can be really positive but it can also be misleading. Just because your business does well early on, that doesn’t mean it should grow too fast. Trying to grow too quickly is liking trying to run before you can walk. Be sure to put a sustainable growth plan in place and don’t get carried away with early success. Growing the business in a steady way is usually the best way to go.

There are many reasons why small businesses fail in the manufacturing industry, but the reasons mentioned above are certainly among the most common. Be sure to address the concerns mentioned above if you want to make sure your manufacturing business operates in a successful and sustainable way.

4 Safety Tips That All Manufacturing Businesses Need To Know

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Finding and removing any dangers in the workplace is one of the most important parts of your role as a boss. It’s up to you to make sure that you’re following health and safety procedures properly so your employees are always safe while they’re working. In some businesses, that isn’t too difficult. An office setting, for example, doesn’t have too many dangers and it’s quite easy to stay on top of health and safety. But if you’re running a manufacturing business, there are a lot more potential hazards that you need to deal with.

If you don’t manage your health and safety properly and one of your employees ends up getting injured, you may find yourself in the middle of a very costly lawsuit. On top of that, you may lose a good employee for a while if they’re seriously injured. If the accident was a direct result of your lack of health and safety procedures, you might end up being fined for breaching the law as well. That’s why health and safety is so important, even if it can be a bit of a pain sometimes. If you’re running a manufacturing company and you find yourself struggling to deal with health and safety issues, here are some simple tips to help you along the way.

Training Is Key

You probably already know that training new staff properly so they know how to operate machinery safely is essential. But a lot of people don’t put enough time and resources into continued training for their existing staff members. This is important because people always slip into bad working practices after a while. A regular training session to refresh everybody’s memory once a year or so will ensure that everybody is always following procedure to the letter.

Sometimes, processes change or you might introduce a new piece of machinery. It’s important that you’re giving specific training sessions when those changes occur so your employees know exactly what they’re doing and how to perform their jobs safely.

Health And Safety Notices

Another simple way to make sure that people aren’t forgetting proper health and safety procedures is to put notices up around the workplace. Put some basic notices on or near all of the equipment with general guidelines about safe use. You also need to have signs reminding people of what protective gear they should be wearing while they work. That way, if one of your employees decides that they’re going to ignore any of the health and safety procedures and they get injured, you won’t be liable for it.

Good Flooring

When people think about accidents, they’re usually focused on malfunctions with machines causing injury. That is a big problem, of course, but don’t forget about the simpler injuries like slips and falls. Poorly maintained floors that have a slippery surface or have lots of cracks and dents increase the risk of trips and falls. That’s why you need a polished concrete floor in your warehouse and you need to make sure that it’s maintained properly so it maintains its non-slip properties. Properly polished concrete is also very hard wearing so it’ll be able to handle a lot of wear and tear without getting too damaged.

Be Careful With Second Hand Equipment

Manufacturing equipment is incredibly expensive but you can save yourself quite a lot of money if you buy second hand, however, you have to be very careful. There are plenty of great second hand machines out there that will do the job just as well as new ones would. But equally, there are a lot of damaged ones that are likely to be dangerous when you’re using them. Some of the older models won’t have anywhere near as many safety features on them either so, even if they’re in good condition, they could be dangerous.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy second hand machines at all, you just need to know exactly what you’re buying. Get some of your employees to look at the machine and test it to make sure that it’s all in good working order before you agree to buy it. You should also do some research into the safety features on the newer model compared with a second hand one and see whether it might be worth spending a bit more to get a new one. Finally, you should always make sure that you’re buying it from a reputable supplier.

If you stick to these rules, you can make sure that your manufacturing company is always following health and safety procedure to the letter.

 

How To Increase Your Manufacturing Profit Margins

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If you’re in the manufacturing game, then you’ll already be aware that it’s an expensive business to be in. The profit margins aren’t quite as high as you’d like them to be, and it can feel like you’re putting in a lot of effort for not that much reward. But maybe it doesn’t have to be this way. Like in every other business, it’s possible to increase your profit margins in a number of ways, and once these have all been combined, you might find that they’ve made a noticeable difference to your bottom line. Below, we take a look at a few handy changes you can make to boost your operations and ultimately earn more money.

Work Out an Efficient Routine

You can get caught into a way of doing things, which sticks just because you’re used to it. However, it’s good practice to ask yourself whether you’re working this way because it’s the best, most effective way of working…or you’re doing it because this is how its always been done. Take a look at your operations, or, if you don’t feel too informed about what you should be looking for, gave an outside expert do it. You might be making a simple mistake and not even know it!

And Update Your Equipment

Your equipment is key to your success. If you’re using old machines which take twice as long to do things as the newer machines, then it doesn’t take a rocket science to see that this isn’t good for business! Keep your equipment well-serviced, and then, when it’s obvious they’re beginning to break down, replace them altogether. Also, have a think about the useful equipment that you don’t currently possess. Things like cost-effective roller conveyor systems can make the whole factory process much smoother and save a lot of time, for example. If you have the best equipment, you’ll find it easier to work efficiently. Simple!

Work With Your Employees

You’re just pulling the strings. It’s the workers on the shop floor who are doing the work. So work with them, first by making sure that they have all the training and support they need to do their job well. Second, by asking for feedback. What do they think slows down their work? What do they need to work at their best? Ultimately, if your employees can work well, then your company will benefit.

Negotiate With Suppliers

You’re not going to be working alone at your factory. You’ll have supplies and partners that you work with. But are you getting the best deal possible from them? It’s not always wise to stay loyal to companies you work with! Don’t be afraid to walk away if you’re not getting the best deal from them!

Crunch Them Numbers

And finally, go over those numbers, again and again. It’s nearly always possible to save money without compromising the quality of your work or the happiness of your workers. Have an eagle eye, and make small savings wherever you can.

4 Secrets To Manufacturing Success

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Manufacturing is an unpredictable industry, which is why plenty of people turn the other way. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s easier to strike a deal through a third party in China than it is to develop products.

You’re different, though. The idea of playing God and bringing a concept to life is fascinating. Outsourcing manufacturing is not an option. It’s only on the table if the table comes from the factory downstairs.

Still, deciding to be a huge hit isn’t a walk in the park. Success is like respect – it’s earned, not given. Like all things, there are cheat codes that can help and four of them are listed underneath.

Network

There’s a lot of favor asking required in this job. Unfortunately, being an expert doesn’t guarantee anything. To ensure the sales match the products, you have to be able to strike a great deal. For instance, one way to stand out from the crowd is to undercut the competition. If the products are high quality and cheaper, then they’ll fly off the shelves. To do this, you have to source affordable materials at low rates. And, only contacts can get the job done.

Location

Real estate and manufacturing have one thing in common: it’s all about the location. A typical business has to think about foot traffic and brand awareness, whereas you aren’t as concerned. They’re important, but people can’t walk in off the street if they see something they like in the window. Location is essential for manufacturers because of transport links. Drivers have to be able to load easily and unload materials to kick-start the creative process. Being next to a railway line helps too. The wrong location will rough up the process and provide obstacles that are hard to hurdle.

Equipment

It goes without saying that the right tools make the job easier. A semiconductor equipment manufacturer needs photonics, microfluidics and MEMs and power devices. Without them, the whole operation breaks down to a grinding halt. However, there’s another reason to embrace technology and it has to do with gambling. Nope, this isn’t money-related, although equipment can make and save the firm cash. It’s the fact that if you don’t take the risk, then you may end up losing ground in the race to the top. Mostly, it’s better to have it on board even if the tech doesn’t do anything.

Choose The Right Factory

We’ve already spoken about location, so let’s move onto the building itself. The right factory is essential for a variety of reasons, from money to flexibility. But, it’s also important to have the space needed to compete. There is nothing worse than trying to cram in a group of people next to heavy machinery. No one can do their job correctly without thinking “is that metal bolt going to hit me in the head?” The ramifications from a health and safety standpoint are pretty huge also. The building has to be ready for the here and now while thinking ahead to the future.

Are you ready to be a hit? What’s the plan of attack?