4 Simple Steps for a More Streamlined Business

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

When you started up your own business you realized straight away that there would always be hurdles to navigate every day. Running a smooth and streamlined business is one of your long term goals for the future and you want to start putting workable plans into place. You’re looking for great results and minimal wasted time, money and effort on your part. You want everything to start running like clockwork rather than having a bumpy, disjointed ride every day. The following simple steps will help you to create a more efficient business that functions with very few hiccups and hitches.

  1. Dealing with IT Blunders

How many hours of your time have you wasted trying to figure out an IT malfunction? As much as you want to do everything all by yourself, this isn’t always possible. You might want to look into IT Consulting for Businesses so that you can rely on an external company to proactively monitor your network, servers and systems on a daily basis. You will always feel fully supported no matter what may go wrong, so that you can keep your business up and running every single minute of the day.

 

  1. Implementing the Correct Training

When there are significant gaps in your employee’s training, you will start to notice when things go wrong during your working day. From the very beginning, you need to make sure that your members of staff receive top notch training to equip them for the busy days ahead. Whether you offer training courses or on the job learning, every business will always operate in a unique way. Assess the best method to adopt for your business and you will be sure that everybody in your workforce receives consistent training from the moment they start.

  1. Understanding Your Employees Strengths

Make sure you are using your employees in the areas they excel in; don’t make anybody work on a project they don’t feel comfortable in. As soon as everyone can settle into their role and find their place at work, your business will start operating much more coherently.

  1. Communication is Key

You need to communicate effectively in the workplace otherwise mistakes will start to happen. Whether it’s an important email chain or a meeting with a particular team, you always need to ensure you get your points across clearly and effectively. Once everybody is communicating well on a daily basis you will start to see huge improvements in the day to day running of your company.

When you put these ideas into action, you will soon notice that your business starts to become more productive. Whether you’re producing products at a faster rate or you’re retaining more employees because your training processes are better, there are always areas that you can keep improving upon. You no longer have to sit scratching your head every day when something goes wrong with your software and you won’t run into trouble when communication levels are low. The sooner you can implement these ideas into your business, the quicker you will grow and thrive as a company.

Your Business Needs To Understand Its Technology Better!

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

There’s no denying that we live in a world almost entirely dominated by technology. The truth is that technology has changed almost every aspect of society. It’s changed the way we shop, the way we consume media and even the way that we communicate with one another. Of course, if there’s one part of society that technology has changed more than just about any other, it’s almost certainly the world of business. The truth is that the business world looks almost entirely different from the way that it did even a decade or so ago. If your business doesn’t embrace technology in a fundamental way then it’s almost certainly going to end up falling behind the competition and being left in the dust. However, that’s not the end of it. If you assume that just having technology as a part of your business is going to guarantee your success then you’re sorely mistaken. The truth is that you need to be able to understand your business’s technology and know how to use it as effectively as possible. Otherwise, it’s just going to end up being a drain on time, money, and resources. Luckily, there are ways to avoid letting that happen. With that in mind, here are some ways to better understand the technology in your business.

Employee training

If there’s one mistake that a lot of business owners make over and over when it comes to bringing in new technology, it’s that they forget that technology is merely a tool and that without human beings, it’s basically useless. If you’re going to make the most of the technology in your business then you need to make sure that all of your employees know how it works and how to make the most of it as well. This means you need to provide them with adequate amounts of training. Sure, that might take time and money but it’s nothing compared to the time and money you could end up wasting if things are going wrong because your employees have no idea how any of the technology in your business actually works.

Outside assistance

Of course, when it comes to dealing with the technology in your business, you’re not necessarily going to be the perfect person for that job. After all, as amazing a business owner as you might be, you’re not necessarily going to be a tech wizard. Because of that, you might want to consider outsourcing elements of the technology in your business to other companies. A company light Throttlenet IT Solutions can offer you the kind of help and support in terms of your IT infrastructure that can make your life a whole lot easier. The same goes for things like using the internet in your marketing. Working with a dedicated web marketing team is going to allow you to take advantage of an entirely different marketplace than your business may have previously explored.

The needs of your business

There’s no denying that technology is pretty much essential for the health and well-being of any business. But that doesn’t mean that all businesses are going to have the same technological requirements. The truth is that every business is unique and that means that it’s going to have unique needs. Think carefully about what those needs are and how you’re going to be able to solve the problems in your business with technology. If your business is based on the web then you’re not going to need huge amounts of manufacturing tech, but if you’re running a warehouse then you’re probably not going to need lots of complex coding software on your computers. Think about the needs of your business and do whatever you can to lean into them whenever possible. Otherwise, you’re going to end up wasting money and resources on tech that you simply don’t need and that will only lead your business to feel bloated.

The changing times

One of the hardest things about trying to keep your business competitive in the modern world is the fact that the world is constantly moving at an incredibly fast pace. In fact, every year things seem to be moving faster and faster because they are. New developments in the world of tech are appearing all the time and if you’re not able to keep up then the only possible result is that you get left behind. Because of that, you need to make sure that you’re keeping up with as many new developments in the world of business tech as possible to keep your business on the cutting edge. Make sure that you subscribe to tech magazines and that you browse tech blogs as frequently as possible. The last thing you want is to find out about a perfect technological advancement that can help your business by seeing your competition using it in order to pull ahead of you.

Your demographics

Of course, no matter how important technology is to the world around us, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be just as important to everyone. The truth is that different groups of people respond to technology in different ways. The Millennial generation treats technology as an indispensable part of their everyday life. They are glued to their phones and do pretty much everything through technology. Because of that, you’re going to want everything from your marketing strategies to your customer service to be heavily text focused. Things like social media and online help desks are going to resonate incredibly strongly with this demographic. However, older generations who are somewhat suspicious of technology are going to prefer a more old-school approach. Things like traditional marketing techniques and telephone customer service lines are going to be vastly preferred by an older demographic.

The size of your business

Another thing that you need to take into account when it comes to bringing technology into your business is the size and scope of your business as a whole. After all, if you’re bringing in software and technology that’s designed to help a small startup when you’re several levels ahead of that stage, then it’s not really going to do you that much good. By the same token, a small, new business is not going to benefit from much of the technology designed to improve the workflow of huge companies. Make sure that you keep your business’s size in mind when considering what its technical needs are.

Your budget

You also need to carefully consider the kind of budget that you’re working with. You might have some technology in mind that you consider to be totally essential for your business, but if you can’t afford it, then it’s best to put it out of your mind until you can. If you try and bring technology into your business with the hope that the improvements it makes to your business will result in enough revenue to pay for it, you’re putting yourself in a seriously dangerous position. If it doesn’t end up paying for itself, you could end up putting your business in serious debt, which is the kind of thing that can snowball incredibly quickly.

Now, you might be of the opinion that your business doesn’t need technology. This is particularly common in older businesses. And that makes sense to a certain degree. After all, if your business has survived for this long without the need for technology, why would it need to change now? However, it’s important to really understand just how different the world is to the world of a few short years ago. You don’t need to totally change your business to fit the modern, tech-dominated world. Instead, think about how technology and modern advances can help you improve upon the foundation that you have already laid in your business up until now.

Work Safety – A Few Things to Consider

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

When you are setting up your own business, health and safety might not be the most exciting part. However, making sure that your employees are safe and healthy is paramount to your overall successes.

The vast majority of accidents should be easy to avoid with careful attention to detail. Just as a workers’ compensation lawyer about the number of daft incidents they have dealt with and you will see how simple it is to prevent most accidents.

Provide Proper Training

Proper health and safety is best achieved through training. This might be on the job training or it could be that you send your employees on an away day. If you can, you should encourage your employees to apply for further qualifications to better their understanding of their job and the health and safety involved. The better the training you provide, the better your employees will perform and the safer they should be.

Some businesses may be legally required to provide some training to their employees. Manufacturing companies in particular should be careful to ensure that they are in line with legal guidelines as the consequence of an accident on the shop floor could be catastrophic. Looking at the legal requirements of the industry should be one of the first things you do when you are planning a new business.

Create a Health and Safety Policy

Though a standard health and safety policy might work fine for an average business, the best thing to do is tailor your policy to suit your particular needs. Every business will need to factor in different things. For example, if you are a manufacturer, you will have a different health and safety policy to your average office setting.

Writing a health and safety policy is usually about looking at the risks in the workplace and then creating a plan to either prevent an issue arising or to ensure that you have a process in place to deal with a problem when it does happen. For example, you might identify wet floors as a risk and choose to put out wet floor signs.

You should never write a health and safety policy just once. This is a document that should be reviewed and revised regularly to ensure that it keeps up with the fast pace of your workspace.

Encourage Staff to Report Issues

Sometimes, employees can feel awkward about reporting health and safety issues because they might be worried about the problem reflecting badly on themselves or colleagues. This should definitely not be the case and everyone will be safer if you encourage your employees to speak up about worries.

Once your staff have reported an issue, you must then show that you are going to act on their tip. While you may not be able to eliminate every risk, making people more aware of potential hazards is the minimum you can do.

However boring you might think health and safety is, it is crucial that you get it right. A safe working environment is the most productive environment.

A Tough Sale: Convincing Job Seekers To Apply For Your Construction Company

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

A quick look at the job market will tell you that everyone and their mother is looking for work. The majority of job postings receive responses in the hundreds, and employers are often spoilt for choice. At least, those offering comfortable office jobs are.

The sad fact is that those in industries such as construction still struggle to find workers. This is an issue which worsens as we as a nation become hyper-alert to risks in workplaces like these. Not to mention that 9-5 seems like a walk in the park when you work in a field like this. That’s also worrying nowadays, in a world where there’s more focus than ever on making more time to live. Before you know, you could be posting ads which gain no response at all.

That’s not good news given that you need a team behind you to stand any chance at success. The good news is, there are ways to construct a more tempting job ad for your industry. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Offer transferable skills

No matter what, your construction company has something an office doesn’t. You operate in skilled labor. As such, starting at the bottom with you could lead your staff to no end of earnings in the future. In keeping with the current focus on work/life balance, developing skills could even set staff up to go it alone later. All you need to do is make sure you’re providing transferable skills. Some employers make the mistake of offering training with no relevance outside. Don’t do it. Offer things like forklift training which your employees can take with them. By outlining this in your job ad, you may find the applications soon start coming through.

Prove yourself as an employer

As mentioned, the risks involved in a career like this are another cause for application hesitance. Everyone that knows that construction injury is a real and regular risk. But, by proving yourself as an employer, you can somewhat put these fears to the side. It may be then, that you include a small manager bio in your job advertisements. These could outline any health and safety training or first aid courses you’ve attended. The fact you know your stuff could hopefully be enough to see people applying. You can then expand on these points during the interview process to further put minds at ease.

Get the salary right

It’s also worth noting that offering minimum wage for a career like this is never going to cut it. If you’re making that mistake, it’s no wonder you aren’t receiving any applications. The fact is that you’re asking for skilled labor with a high-risk factor. That’s the case irrelevant of the training or safety measure you offer. As such, you should make sure your pay reflects this. To get some idea here, look at job advertisements from similar companies. Then, use your new-found knowledge to develop a pay packet which sees people applying regardless of their worries.

Be The Perfect Boss In 5 Simple Steps

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

If you have recently expanded your startup, the chances are that you have taken on staff for the first time. What started as a one person band sort of enterprise has now grown to a fully fledged company complete with employees. You now find yourself in the enviable and slightly daunting position as a boss. You were once used to being the full time employee, with excellent promotion prospects, a steady wage, and job security. You remember moaning to your colleagues about your overbearing employer, the incessant demands on your time and the targets that you felt that you unrealistically had to meet. You don’t want to be that boss.

Being a good boss isn’t about giving commands, orders and terrorizing people into submission to do what you want. You need to be more nuanced in your approach to your employees. The buck stops with you. Your company is your livelihood, and you need to foster the same sort of passion and productivity within your staff team. Take a look at these five simple steps you can take to ensure that you are the perfect boss.

Be Honest

Employees hate nothing more than being lied to or having things kept from them. This can lead to resentment and anger, and eventually a high turnover of staff. You need to be transparent with your workforce even when things aren’t going particularly well. You have to lead from the front and be empathetic to the needs of your staff.

If you have an employee who works hard, enjoys what they do, has bought into your business vision and does everything they can to help you realize your profit projections, cut them a bit of slack when they ask for the morning off to see their offspring receive an award at school. Being fair and accommodating, without being a pushover, is vital if you are to get the most out of your employees. Being a strict disciplinarian, as with parents, can lead to rebellion. You don’t want to be that boss who has to cope with skiving employees who fancy a few too many duvet days because you have been pushing them too hard.

It’s vital that you give your staff team a voice and you respond to their concerns with honesty. Send out a weekly email just to keep your team in the loop. They need to know when things are going well and they need to understand why things might be a little less certain in times of hardship.

Communicate

A weekly email is also an effective tool to communicate with your employees. You should be praising the good work that they have been producing. Single out one or two staff members each week and give positive praise where it is due. This boosts morale, motivates others to succeed and can help your workplace remain productive and buoyant. Set up an employee recognition scheme and allow their colleagues to nominate one another for awards or praise. This can help an environment of productivity to flourish.

As well as emails being the go-to method of communication, ensure that you still have face to face meetings with your staff. Don’t always hide in your office. Have a weekly catch up at the beginning of the week before fatigue sets in. Have short term goals for the week and share them with staff. Also allow this to be a forum to enable them to air their views on new initiatives, and targets. By listening to them, demonstrating that you see value in their contributions and acting upon their opinions, you are showing your staff that you care. Communication isn’t giving commands; it’s a two-way respectful process.

Provide A Suitable Workplace

It can be difficult at times to motivate yourself to go to work. Getting up early on a particularly gray day to venture out on a long commute to the office is tough at the best of times. However, think about how this can be compounded by the fact that your office might not have adequate heating and the coffee machine is broken yet again. If this sounds like the workplace you head up, then it’s time to sort it out. You cannot expect your hard-working team to be working in conditions not conducive to top quality work.

Whip out the paint and give your office a facelift. Bright white walls complete with artwork and photographs that are inspirational and relevant to your industry can really lift the mood of your employees. Replace the polystyrene ceiling tiles and replaster where necessary. Ensure that the heating is up to scratch, install some air conditioning units for the summer and upgrade the hardware you possess as necessary. You cannot blame your employees’ frustration if your servers are always down, your laptops keep freezing, and everything takes an eon to download from the cloud. By investing in your workplace, you can be sure of an upturn in morale and productivity.

Add a touch of greenery here and there to bring a bit of color and nature into your workplace. Studies have shown that brighter, greener and more natural spaces can boost morale and lift mood. If you need to, reconfigure your workspaces from the individual pod-like atmosphere to a more collaborative space encouraging teamwork and fostering the creation of shared ideas. You need to generate a buzz of work and a hum of positive morale. Develop shared spaces and chill out zones for when your employees may need to take a load off. A stressful workplace with no respite can lead to poor productivity. Be the boss that understands the needs of their staff team and caters for them.

As well as the physical aspect of your workplace, you need to provide the necessary benefits to your team. Investigate retirement plans and wellness benefits with a company like Vita Assure and maximize your ability to foster a happy, healthy and productive workforce. It’s important that you go the extra mile to show your employees that they are valued. When it comes to interviewing the best candidates for new roles, and they ask about the benefits you provide for employees, you want to show off your credentials.

Know Your Team

Don’t be the boss that doesn’t know their staff team. While you won’t want to know all the details of your marketing manager’s divorce proceedings, it’s vital that you know that they are going ahead and that your staff member may need some extra support. Understanding that your employees are humans and as fallible and in need of support as everyone else is vital if you are to get the best out of them.

Take a couple of away days each year to really get to know your team on a more personal level. When your employees know one another on a deeper level, their working relationships become more meaningful, and they care more. While you will still want to keep your distance and maintain a professional relationship, there’s nothing wrong with going for drinks after work at the end of the week and getting the first round in to show your appreciation for their efforts before sneaking away. Encourage your employees to let off steam and allow them to play hard if they will reward you with working hard.

Teamworking sessions have a bad reputation for being pointless with numerous imaginary bridges being built and marshmallow and spaghetti towers being constructed. However, certain activities that foster collaboration can utilize skills that can be transferred into the workplace. Consider heading to an activity center and enjoying some orienteering, raft making and team games to have some fun and hone your team’s listening skills, ability to empathize and leadership.

Invest In Your Team

The chances are that you won’t be able to keep your staff members forever, no matter how much you want to. However, you can create promotion opportunities to keep your brightest stars for as long as possible. To ensure that you don’t end up with a high turnover of staff, you have to financially invest in your team. Fund qualifications, send them on relevant and meaningful professional development courses and encourage them to continue learning. While they may eventually utilize these skills with another company, they will be able to apply any new knowledge into their current workplace, harnessing new skills, developing more efficient ways of working and passing on their new methodologies to others in your staff team.

To be the ideal boss, you need to put yourself in your employees shoes and think about what they need to do their jobs well, and what they desire to see in their employer. Lead by example and don’t be afraid to get stuck in and get your hands dirty. If the printer breaks down, head out into the office and fix it. A boss with no airs and graces is more relatable to staff. It’s up to you to create the ideal ethos for your workplace. An environment of continual learning, hard work and recognition are imperative if you are to strive to be the perfect boss.

Investing In The Startup Of You

work-life-balance

Training and Professional Development has been a “luxury” that’s first to go in the budget for most companies, but are the “savings” really worth it?

Poor performance, stress & lack of engagement are just a few of the negative consequences of neglected employees. For workers in their 30’s and beyond, work life balance becomes a major issue regardless of your position.

Instead of depending on your organization for professional development, why not take personal responsibility for investing in the “startup of you?” If you treat yourself as a business, take the necessary steps to take care of yourself physically, emotionally and mentally. If it’s overwhelming as where to start and how to accomplish work life balance check out this 8 week course I’ve designed to help you!

Winsight Episode 44: Developing Potential

nba draft lottery

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/winsight/44_Winsight_Episode_44_-_Developing_Potential.mp3]

With the NBA Trade Deadline passed and the Draft ahead of us for all major sports what’s our fascination with young, untapped potential?

In this episode, we’ll talk about developing potential and how to do it through the following example:

When does potential get realized? Is there a time limit?

Potential is based on expectations, but you can also change the trajectory by your work ethic & teaching

During the recession in late 2008 the first thing to go was training & development. What was the long-lasting effect of this decision?

When it comes to developing our own potential, how much responsibility is our own?

For the answers to the above questions, listen to the podcast! After you do, we’d love for you to leave your thoughts below!