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Nowadays, businesses are so diverse, and even the smallest local businesses can have a huge range of jobs and tasks to complete on a daily basis that leaves not a lot of hours left in the day for anything else.

However, with the rise of this mountain of jobs comes to the latest technological developments, most importantly automation. There are so many areas of your business you can automate using software, allowing you to streamline your operations in terms of production and quality.

Not sure where to start? Check out these six areas of your business you can start automating today!

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#1 – Streamline Communication

Think about how many different channels you communicate through with different people within your business. From instant messaging and social media to emails and phone calls, staying in touch has never been easier.

However, by dedicating a channel to a different topic, such as instant messaging for urgent communications only, and email for information, you can streamline how you stay in touch and augment the way you communicate.

#2 – Emails

No automation list would be complete without a mention of automating your emails. There are so many platforms and software packages out there that you’re seriously missing out if you’re not already using one to manage your customer emails.

From breaking your mailing lists down into demographics, A/B testing your emails and manage thousands of emails, there’s no denying the power that email automation can bring to your business.

#3 – Social Media

It’s far more difficult and time-consuming if you’re thinking of things to post of your social media channels and then taking the time every day to post. Instead, why not dedicate a few hours into bulk creating posts and then scheduling the posts automatically, so you don’t have to do anything.

This will save you so much time in the long-term, meaning you’re able to stay on top of and optimize your social media campaigns while spending minimal time doing it.

#4 – Automate Your Lead Tracking

Depending on how long you are currently spending watching, monitoring, organizing and managing your leads, why not get a super-fast and effective lead tracking application to do it for you? Of course, when you’re competing for every lead possible, this efficiency is essential.

#5 – Look Out of Opportunities

Every business is different, and there’s no be-all-and-end-all solution to what you can automate or not automate. Your business could be very different from another. However, the best way to look for automation opportunities is simply to look out for areas of work which are repeated over and over again.

This could be anything from generating newsletters, sorting emails, counting stock, checking till balances or anything in between. All you need to do is lump these tasks together to make things far easier for yourself and your employees.

#6 – Implementing AI and Deep Learning

There’s no denying the rise and boom of AI technologies is going to change the world and everything in it completely. When it comes to your business, this technology is readily available right now, whether that’s through a sales automation CRM or a third party, that can help.

Take the data points and analytics from your business and website, feed them into your platform and get automated control over your prices, your business processes, and operational functions; easily one of the best ways to optimize your business.

Summary

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to enhance your business using automation. Simply look for the areas in your business that are repeated regularly and see what solutions that are out there can help.

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Living sustainably is not only the right thing to do for our environment, but it is also the smart thing to do overall. A more sustainable life is healthier for you and the world, and it will start saving you money down the road.

The same can be said for businesses. Many of the changes you make at home to be environmentally-friendly can also be done at the office. Plus, all the benefits you see and feel at home will also transfer into the corporate world, and then some.

Sustainable businesses will notice an improvement on their bottom line, be looked at as a leader in the push to be more environmentally-friendly, and likely see an increase in customer and clientele. Many people in the public will favor companies that work to be more sustainable than others because being environmentally-friendly becomes more important every day.

Don’t think that making a business sustainable has to be difficult. In fact, with the COMMERCIALCafé sustainability report recently released, we can see more states across the country making the switch.

Implement some of the following smart changes to your business to become more sustainable every day.

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Start With Office Supplies

Take a look at your supply cupboard or closet in the office. How many pens, pencils, and other stationery items are lying around, and how many are likely missing? Every day people lose their pens and go to the stationary room to grab another one. All that plastic turns into waste.

Instead, invest in reusable stationary supplies. Reusable pens allow you to refill their ink when they run out. Instead of throwing away old pens, refill them and continue. You’ll notice it will save you money in the long run.

Review Your Procurement Policies

If you outsource many of your supplies, review your procurement policies. Look to see what your supply company is like and what their stance is on being economically-friendly. You could make a significant adjustment in your sustainability plan by merely making your procurement policy reflects your environmental standards. Go with suppliers that recycle, work towards being energy-efficient and lower their carbon footprint, and refrain from using toxic substances.

Green Web Hosting

To keep all of the servers running for businesses across the country, it requires a significant amount of power. All of that power needed will continue to damage our environment. However, relies on having the serves operating at all times. Instead, make it a part of your company’s policy that you utilize green web hosting.

Green web hosting ensures that the environmental impact is considered when powering your server. The hosting company will utilize environmentally-friendly and renewable power sources. You’ll also find that this option will save you money in the long run as well.

Become Energy Efficient

Your company itself can work towards being more energy efficient as well. There are many easy ways to make the switch. First, simply turning off the lights in rooms no one is using will conserve energy. For areas that do not get used very often, install motion sensors for the lights. When no one is around, they eventually turn the lights off.

You can also change out all of the existing light bulbs with LED ones. LED bulbs are highly efficient and use incredibly less power than other bulbs on the market. Not only that, you will see savings on the utility bills for the company.

 

Turning green doesn’t have to be hard. With small, steady steps, you’ll change your business to be more sustainable every day.

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Like anyone other kind of skilled worker, roofers encounter competition in their hometowns. And like most other business owners, roofers have to be good at sales. How can you outsell the competition and take your roofing business to great heights? It’s a lot easier when you take these four strategies to heart.

  1. Create relationships with other small business owners.

From material suppliers to contractors, networking is very important to a roofer. After all, it’s much easier to navigate the business landscape when you have allies to point you in the right direction. From where to advertise locally to employee recommendations, staying plugged into the scene can get you far.

Most of all, you want them to recommend you to their customers. If your buddy in HVAC is with a homeowner who needs a leak in their roof fixed, you want them to pass your number along, and vice versa.

  1. Make customer service a priority.

The quality of the work you do is most important. However, you may not even get to this step if you don’t put enough emphasis on customer service. When a potential customer calls, they want someone to answer the phone, be personable, and be able to answer their questions.

If you don’t have customer service covered, know that another roofer will. Customers are going to choose the roofing company that makes them feel like they’re making a good decision, and being highly responsive and knowledgeable is the way to accomplish that.

  1. Stay legal.

One of the best things you can advertise is how solid and compliant your business is. Shady contractors are unfortunately everywhere, and letting customers know right out of the gate that you’re good to go on any required permits and licenses is a solid start.

While you’re at it, flaunt your insurance. Everyone knows that roofing is a dangerous job, and roofers that are covered inspire more confidence. Checking out roofing insurance at Next-insurance.com is a quick, easy way to get started.

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  1. Identify what stands out about your business.

Good contacts, customer service, and compliance are all fantastic qualities. Still, there may be a competitor who hits those marks as well. Your final strategy is to define what it is about your company that shows you’re a cut above.

This can be something as simple as what materials you use. Are you using innovative new shingles that can save customers money on their energy bills? Put that front and center. Are you using nontoxic insulation? That’s attractive to many homeowners. If you can’t figure it out, share photos of your best work. Provide proof that not only are you customer-focused, but people are already hiring you because of your quality work.

There are all kinds of marketing tricks to try, from free estimates and discounts, to a great website. But you can separate yourself from the competition easily when you connect with other contractors, sharpen your customer service skills, and proudly display your credentials. From there, you’re free to get down to business and do the great work that will skyrocket your reputation.

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Starting your own business can bring you wonderful opportunities, one of the most rewarding is that you are no longer subject to following other people’s orders, and are free to run your business as you see fit. While the benefits of being your own boss are definitely worthwhile, they also come hand in hand with a lot of new stresses and responsibilities which you don’t face when working for someone else. For example, there are a lot of different factors which need to be considered when setting up a company, from finding your place in the market to getting the financial and emotional support you need to get off of the ground. If you are thinking of pursuing your own start up, then here are four things you might need to think about.

Finding a niche

Most new businesses are either one of two things: a development of a pre-existing product or service which has been made more appealing to the market, or a completely new and original concept. In either case, it is important that your business fills some sort of gap in the market, and is supplying something which consumers will want to buy. In other words, you need to choose a business idea which fills a niche in the market.

The only way to truly know what consumers want is to do extensive research into current and prospective buying trends, and to evaluate what new business would be a good asset to the current climate. A great way to find out what your potential customers are looking for would be to conduct focus groups or interviews and ask members of your target market what they feel is missing from the already available products and services available, and what they would like to see from a new business.

Once you have a business idea in mind, before you commit to your product, you should make sure to research your potential competitors extensively. By looking at your rival businesses, you can make sure that you don’t set up a business in an area where there is too much competition, and also that you can create a product or service which has more customer appeal than what is already currently available.

Finding the startup capital

If you are thinking of starting your own business, then it is possible that you already have some money to put towards the start-up capital you will need. Whether you do or don’t have much money of your own to put towards the initial start-up costs for your business, it is still worthwhile to come up with methods of procuring additional funding, as this venture may be a lot more expensive than you think. After all, there is a lot that goes into building up a company, from finding a base of operations to hiring employees, and collecting all of the necessary stock.

Therefore, it is important to sit down and try to estimate just how much money it is going to take to set up every little detail of the business. If you find that you don’t already have enough money to meet every aspect of your startup, then you need to start thinking of other ways to get the necessary funding.

There are a few different ways you could do this. Firstly, you could look for business investors who would be interested in putting money into your business in hopes of a later return. To get investor backing, you would first need to construct an informed and compelling business plan to present to them, along with being able to pitch a persuading argument as to why your business is worth investing in. You could also try peer-to-peer investing, and acquire smaller amounts of money through your peers in this way. Alternatively, if you have bad credit or are unsure of having investors who may want to influence your business, you could consider getting a loan, such as from Bonsai Finance. Plus, you could always consider using online websites which allow people to raise money from complete strangers, who donate to your startup if they think the idea is good, such as Go Fund Me.

Branding and marketing

Branding your business is what gives your company it’s identity, which is important as this is what your client sees and makes a judgment on before they have even used any of your products or services. The right branding will help to draw your clients in, so it needs to be clear and concise, and accurately portray all the necessary information which you want your customers to know about your service.

Branding is comprised of a number of different attributes, such as company name, logo, color choices, slogans and a recognizable face or mascot of the company. Over time, as your company grows, it is these different factors which will become known across a wider base. In essence, people should be able to look at your company logo and know who you are and what you do.

When you market your business, many of these different branding techniques should be present, such as having your logo on the screen on a television advert or using the mascot or face of your company in all of your advertisement regimes. Try to choose advertising distribution techniques which are most likely to be seen by your clients. For example, a target market of 18-30 is more likely to see an online advertisement than an ad in a newspaper.

Getting support

Running a business can be extremely difficult, which is why it is important to have a reliable team of people who can support you. This could either be in the form of business partners, a hired management team or just simply get the support of your friends and family to help you in the early stages of your business. There can be a temptation to have a personal involvement in all aspects of the business, but it is important to remember to delegate tasks, as this will help your business to run more smoothly.

Starting your own business can bring you wonderful opportunities, one of the most rewarding is that you are no longer subject to following other people’s orders, and are free to run your business as you see fit. While the benefits of being your own boss are definitely worthwhile, they also come hand in hand with a lot of new stresses and responsibilities which you don’t face when working for someone else. For example, there are a lot of different factors which need to be considered when setting up a company, from finding your place in the market to getting the financial and emotional support you need to get off of the ground. If you are thinking of pursuing your own start up, then here are four things you might need to think about.

Finding a niche

Most new businesses are either one of two things: a development of a pre-existing product or service which has been made more appealing to the market, or a completely new and original concept. In either case, it is important that your business fills some sort of gap in the market, and is supplying something which consumers will want to buy. In other words, you need to choose a business idea which fills a niche in the market.

The only way to truly know what consumers want is to do extensive research into current and prospective buying trends, and to evaluate what new business would be a good asset to the current climate. A great way to find out what your potential customers are looking for would be to conduct focus groups or interviews and ask members of your target market what they feel is missing from the already available products and services available, and what they would like to see from a new business.

Once you have a business idea in mind, before you commit to your product, you should make sure to research your potential competitors extensively. By looking at your rival businesses, you can make sure that you don’t set up a business in an area where there is too much competition, and also that you can create a product or service which has more customer appeal than what is already currently available.

Finding the startup capital

If you are thinking of starting your own business, then it is possible that you already have some money to put towards the start-up capital you will need. Whether you do or don’t have much money of your own to put towards the initial start-up costs for your business, it is still worthwhile to come up with methods of procuring additional funding, as this venture may be a lot more expensive than you think. After all, there is a lot that goes into building up a company, from finding a base of operations to hiring employees, and collecting all of the necessary stock.

Therefore, it is important to sit down and try to estimate just how much money it is going to take to set up every little detail of the business. If you find that you don’t already have enough money to meet every aspect of your startup, then you need to start thinking of other ways to get the necessary funding.

There are a few different ways you could do this. Firstly, you could look for business investors who would be interested in putting money into your business in hopes of a later return. To get investor backing, you would first need to construct an informed and compelling business plan to present to them, along with being able to pitch a persuading argument as to why your business is worth investing in. You could also try peer-to-peer investing, and acquire smaller amounts of money through your peers in this way. Alternatively, if you have bad credit or are unsure of having investors who may want to influence your business, you could consider getting a loan, such as from Bonsai Finance. Plus, you could always consider using online websites which allow people to raise money from complete strangers, who donate to your startup if they think the idea is good, such as Go Fund Me.

Branding and marketing

Branding your business is what gives your company it’s identity, which is important as this is what your client sees and makes a judgment on before they have even used any of your products or services. The right branding will help to draw your clients in, so it needs to be clear and concise, and accurately portray all the necessary information which you want your customers to know about your service.

Branding is comprised of a number of different attributes, such as company name, logo, color choices, slogans and a recognizable face or mascot of the company. Over time, as your company grows, it is these different factors which will become known across a wider base. In essence, people should be able to look at your company logo and know who you are and what you do.

When you market your business, many of these different branding techniques should be present, such as having your logo on the screen on a television advert or using the mascot or face of your company in all of your advertisement regimes. Try to choose advertising distribution techniques which are most likely to be seen by your clients. For example, a target market of 18-30 is more likely to see an online advertisement than an ad in a newspaper.

Getting support

Running a business can be extremely difficult, which is why it is important to have a reliable team of people who can support you. This could either be in the form of business partners, a hired management team or just simply get the support of your friends and family to help you in the early stages of your business. There can be a temptation to have a personal involvement in all aspects of the business, but it is important to remember to delegate tasks, as this will help your business to run more smoothly.

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When you run a product-based business, figuring out logistics can be a nightmare. The task is often best outsourced to the shipping company who will be handling your goods and getting them from point A to point B.

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Whenever possible, working with the same shipping company for the majority of your shipping needs is optimum. So how do you decide which one is best? Here’s how to choose the right shipping company for your business to ensure your products get to their destination in a timely, safe manner.

Pricing

One of the main things to consider when selecting a shipping company is pricing. You may think that all shipping companies will be on par with pricing, as they are virtually traveling the same distance to make your delivery– that could not be further from the truth. The size of the company, the fleet options available, supply and demand, and capacity all make a difference.

For example, if you are only filling half a container with products, you may pay more per pound than you would on a full container. Some shipping companies will organize their shipments to benefit both your budget and their bottom line. Compare pricing options before moving forward.

Third Party Options

As a subset to pricing, you may have better luck going through a third party logistics provider than you would negotiating yourself. Companies like Irish Parcels (visit them at IrishParcels.ie) spend their time building a rapport and networking with couriers. As they drive a lot of business to the shippers, they are offered deals and discounts that aren’t readily available to the average consumer, which then gets passed on to you.

Tracking

Being able to know where your items are when they’re in transit is a huge relief for those on a time crunch or sending valuable goods. In logistics, if there is a delay in transport it has a domino effect on other areas of the supply chain. Being able to identify a delay issue and contact someone about it immediately can help mitigate the risk of customer dissatisfaction and costly rerouting scenarios.

Most courier services now offer online tracking. This service is especially important for businesses who ship directly to customers around the holiday season, as that’s the busiest time of year for shipping and revenue.

Service

As with any business, the quality of service often outranks the pricing implications. As a business, you want to know that your products are in good hands so that your customers come back and purchase more goods. The same mentality should apply to the shipping business, who wants you to continue to use their service.

When you work with a shipping company, you should feel comfortable picking up the phone and addressing any questions or concerns you may have. Your customer service experience should leave you feeling taken care of, as you know you have knowledgeable, caring people looking out for your assets.

Coverage

When choosing a shipping company, look at the area they cover. Will they get your product to the final destination or will you have to coordinate a pick up from a depot? Will they pick up your product from your warehouse or will you have to coordinate transportation there?

Depending on the mode of transportation you’re using, and the location of the final drop-off, it’s not uncommon to have multiple modes of transportation in the shipping process. However, having a clear idea of what’s expected can help you decide what company to use. Keep in mind that the more your product is handled, the more likely it is that damage will occur.

Taking your time to build a rapport with a shipping company will ensure you get the best pricing and service for handling your goods. Research, ask questions, and get recommendations from other businesses to make the right choice.

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If you are considering starting your own business, you may have heard numerous reasons why it is too much trouble. However, there are many more reasons why owning your business is worth the trouble and we have listed the top five. If we have convinced you that being a business owner is worth it, Gov Doc Filing has all the information needed on how to get a Federal Tax ID.

  1. Tax Benefits

As a small business owner, you are given the opportunity to benefit from some nice tax perks. Most business owners can write off expenses such as food, travel, a portion of a car payment, phone bills, and more. There are also government incentives for certain start-ups.

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  1. Financial Independence

This is probably the most common reason why people own their own business. As a small business owner, you define what financial independence means to you.

  1. Your Brand

Most people find enjoyment in being known for something. Depending on what product or service your business provides, people may begin to refer to you by its name. Such as the software guy, or retail woman. Regardless of what it is that you are recognized for, it is exciting building a brand that earns recognition.

  1. Create Jobs

There is a great feeling in knowing that you are responsible for creating jobs for your employees. Your employees were given the opportunity to earn a living to fulfill their own dreams and provide for their family.

  1. Job Security

You are your own boss. You no longer have to worry about being downsized, fired, or laid off.

To apply and learn the many benefits of filling out a federal tax id application, please visit Gov Doc Filing. They provide a fast and secure way to apply for your LLC state registration.

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Business owners who are always in search of ways to reduce their expenses and become more efficient are more likely to enjoy higher profit margins. But what are some the best ways to trim your company’s expenses on a day-to-day basis? Check out the tips below if you are a businessperson who wants to be more financially savvy.

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Analyze Your Vendors Often

Sure, you could receive some much-needed funding quickly by working with a group like Lendr, but when you want to lower your expenses for the long run, checking on the vendors that you use is a great place to start.

A semi-annual or even an annual, review of your most important and most often used vendors is a way that you can check on what you are spending, and whether it is all worthwhile. And this is especially important if you are locked into contracts that renew, as you could stop an automatic renewal if you realize that you are overspending. You could even go to a vendor and let them know that you are thinking about heading to a competitor if they are unable to reduce their prices for you.

Don’t Be Afraid to Outsource

Outsourcing is a surprising way to save money when you need to get something done, whether you need to have a website designed, articles written for your blog, or videos made for your YouTube channel. If you outsource by hiring contractors, rather than hiring full-time staff for all of these tasks, you can really cut back on your expenses.

Because there are many websites that make it easy to find freelancers from around the world, locating the professionals that you need is no longer a difficult process, and you can find the right pro who will work with your budget too.

Make Purchases Instead of Renting

Paying monthly fees isn’t always avoidable, such as when it comes to your internet and phone service provider, but if you are renting equipment and paying a fee every month instead of purchasing it, you might be spending far more than you should.

A lot of businesses need office equipment, manufacturing equipment, company vehicles, and more. Instead of purchasing these items, they might end up leasing what they need. But if you crunch the numbers, you might find that a lease will cause you to spend more money over the long run than the purchase price itself. Ouch! So, before you sign on to another lease, calculate what your costs will be. If it makes sense to purchase, and you have the funds available or you could get on a payment plan that works with your budget, consider choosing that option.

These are just a few of the many ways that you could begin to reduce your business’s expenses every month. Then, as you begin to cut back on more and more of your costs, you should find that your profits increase. And with more money in the bank, you could focus on growing your business.

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With technology making our world smaller every day, going global has never been more vital in business. But where do you start? Here are ten highly recommended steps for that crucial expansion.

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Image of businesspeople at presentation looking at virtual project

  1. Research Your Target

Every country you want to conquer has a unique sets of rules and traditions. Research what’s important to those customers, what they’re looking for and how your product or service fits in with that.

  1. Make a New Business Plan

This is very new territory for your company, so the original documents likely won’t cut it. Get to know the market; your sources as well as import and export prices and all additional costs, so you can be as prepared as possible.

  1. Develop Short, Mid & Long-Term Goals

Expanding internationally is a massive project. Keep yourself and your team on track with a variety of time-goals. This will also help you to prioritize important tasks.

  1. Embrace New Tech

The progress of new technology is remarkably fast. Keeping up with key developments will provide more avenues for sales, communication and innovation. It will also help you keep in touch with distant branches with ease.

  1. Take Advantage of Seasonal Differences

If you’re expanding across hemispheres – great! Use the opposing seasons to your advantage to get rid of stock or present a new line.

  1. Connect With Local Businesses

Foster relationships with businesses in the local area to improve your reputation and to get a helping hand when you need it.

  1. Taxes and Laws

Get clued-up on local laws and financial obligations. Legal processes could be more strict or more lapse, but knowing them will save you both time and money.

  1. Hire Carefully

Overseas branches can’t be monitored as closely as those at home, so make sure you know who’s in charge. It can be difficult to judge personalities in another culture, get professional advice if necessary.

  1. Be Physically Present

As much as new technology allows us to have meetings from anywhere in the world together, being physically present has its advantages. Turn up and get stuck in, you’ll gain a better understanding of your company for it.

  1. Protect Your IPR

Your Intellectual Property Rights may not be covered in certain countries, so it’s wise to check out how this works in your target area.

Overall, being prepared is key to any major development in your company. Conducting thorough research, alongside seeking advice and guidance when you require it will put you on a solid path to start your expansion. You may be managing the project, but you can’t do it alone – which is why it’s so important to have a great time both at home and overseas. Regardless of the market you wish to enter, Whether you’re SEO consultants in Germany or a law firm based in Arizona, the pattern remains – those who do their homework beforehand always have better luck at getting their foot in the door.

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Running a business presents many different challenges. But maintaining good financial health is easily the most important. Without money, the entire venture will crash and burn. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of entrepreneurs ever truly master this factor. This is the chief reason why so many fail.

Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from analyzing other successful business owners. This is especially true when it comes to the financial management. Adopt the five simple points below, and you’ll be running the venture like a pro in no time.

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Don’t leave it to chance. The best business owners share many traits, and an attention to detail and control is up there. Tackling situations without that tight grasp only increases the chances of problems surfacing. Nowadays, monitoring all elements is easy thanks to accounting and tax software and other key tools. Likewise, tracking overheads to see where money is being wasted should give you a far better shot at ongoing success. After all, kicking the bad habits ASAP is a habit shared by all modern success stories.

Don’t be afraid to borrow. Cash flow problems often stop businesses from reaching their goals. This is because the slower progress sees the company fall behind its competitors. Customers won’t stay loyal if you don’t give them a reason too, which will spell disaster. Services like Businesslineof.credit allow you to acquire extra funds in a responsible manner. With the door to expansion and growth fully open, the immediate and long-term revenue will look far greater. This should result in increased financial stability too.   

Don’t waste time. We’ve all heard the phrase that time is money, and it’s true. Therefore, one of the most valuable skills you could ever master revolves around efficiency. Upgrading the communication links will make the team and money work harder. Investments into automated services ranging from stock management to client care will work well. Ultimately, you do not have the same level of resources as those big companies. Therefore, using yours in the best manner is crucial. Do not forget it.

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Don’t spend for the sake of it. Many entrepreneurs make investments based on preconceived ideas of what seems right. In truth, the only moves worth making are the ones focused on maximized profits. For starters, you can find out about things you don’t need on a PC at Computershopper.com. Meanwhile, price comparisons on energy rates and ongoing services can see you reduce needless spending. When combined with cutting the gimmicks and other superfluous items, the business will run smoother than ever.

Don’t buy when you can rent. We live in a world where ownership is seen as essential. In business, though, successful asset management revolves largely around making money work harder. In many cases, it’s far simpler and more affordable to rent things. Not only does this ease the initial strain on your pocket, but it allows you to stay up to date with crucial features. The depreciation of vehicles, machines, and other tech features is very high. As such, your immediate and long-term situations will thank you for opening your eyes to rentals and running contracts. Purchasing assets is still useful at times. As with everything, finding the balance is key.

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It takes a lot of guts to start your own business. Everyone has the tools and opportunity to do so but proportionally speaking, very few people go through with it. It takes someone with special character and resolve even to consider putting their financial future in question. But that is exactly what you’re doing when you open up a small business and go for it; chasing your dreams. This is why so many entrepreneurs are cautious in accepting help or at least sceptical. It’s understandable for many reasons because it’s your money on the line and it’s also a pride thing. But those who are willing to learn from those more successful open their mind to new possibilities and start looking at situations from a different angle. At the same time, expert advice is never cheap and one way or another you will end up paying something for it. Tipping the scales in favor of one way over the other doesn’t need to happen.

Image by Shannon Hall

Joining a community

You’re not alone both directly and indirectly. All the types of business classes or sizes in the world, small and medium-sized businesses have the largest communities. There are so many people just like you in your position, going through the same trials and tribulations. One benefit to you might be to join a forum or group that specializes in small businesses in the same industry as you’re in. You can talk on message boards online, communicate via social media groups on Facebook and Twitter as well as go to meetups in person. Almost like an unofficial union, these groups can come to your aid in the form of legal advice as small businesses don’t usually have the funds for highly qualified lawyers. You’re also dealing with the government’s rules and regulations and knowing the ins and outs would be to your advantage.

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Handling your own money

Apart from the exciting journey of dreaming up, starting, and running a business the only thing more exciting are the financial benefits. Having your own business means you’re in charge of how much you earn, and it’s all down to how hard you work and the success that goes along with it. It’s great not having a set annual salary, but this makes a precedent for the rest of your financial activities as a business owner. As nothing is set in stone, it can get complicated to understand and organize your revenue and expenditures. You should consider taking an online course of msc accounting and finance to better understand the roles and function of accounting and finance in a number of business settings, including the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. You don’t need to a have a similar background to take the course in the first place, so it’s great for those looking to avoid hiring a financial advisor and do it their way.

Building a business from the ground up is incredibly exciting and liberating for the soul. But don’t get carried away with a whimsical outlook on life as there are ever-increasing challenges between you and your goals. Striking a good balance between self-reliance and an acceptance of help from others is a fantastic way to keep all the plates spinning.

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Do you have your special someone staying overseas and Skype is the only way to get in touch with him? Wouldn’t it have been great if you could revisit your special Skype calls again and again? Certainly it would be. However, Skype does not allow us to record the calls. So, how to record a Skype call? Well, no worries as Movavi Screen Recorder will do everything for you here. The internationally popular software is able to record Skype calls so that you can save them in your system and enjoy them even when you are not online.

Let’s see how easily you can record Skype calls with Movavi Screen Recorder-

Download & install

The first task is to download & install the Movavi Screen Recorder in your system. Needless to say, you have to do it before you start your next Skype call.

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Adjust recording parameters

Now, take your cursor over Skype window & click to select recording area. You can select the recording area manually as well for the most precise selection. For that, you have to draw the capture frame manually over the recording window. In case, you wish to record the call in HD, go to Capture Area and choose Full Screen.

You will surely need to capture the audio part of the call as well. To do that, click on Microphone or Speaker icon (as per your need) and wait for them to turn green. It will take just a second. This way, the Movavi program will capture voice of both persons on the Skype call.

Capture Skype call

Click on REC tab & start capturing process as the call starts. Use options like pause, Cancel or Stop to control your recording session.

After the recording is done, the video call will be saved in MKV format.

Trim and convert

Is there any unwanted part in your video call that you wish to cut out. No problem. Just position the Movavi marker at the start of your undesired part and click on scissors tab. Then, follow the same process by taking the marker at the end of that unwanted section. Finally click on trash can to remove the part forever from recorded video. Click on Save As.

Next go to export window and choose the format for conversion of the recorded video call. Click on Save to save the converted version.

Chief features of Movavi Screen Recorder

  • Records online videos, audios and Skype calls
  • Helps with Automatic recording with timer
  • Allows users to edit unwanted parts from video or Skype calls
  • Ability to convert recorded video and audio into any popular format

Useful tips for users:

Both Windows and Mac users can use hotkeys to control the recording process fast.

Windows users:

Press F9 to resume or pause

Press F10 to stop recording

Mac users:

Press ⌥ ⌘ 1  for pause or resume

Press ⌥ ⌘ 2 to stop.

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A lot of people dream about being able to be in charge of a business. After all, what could be better than being able to guide the direction of an entire business and have total control over what happens to it? However, one thing that lot of people tend to forget is that business owners have a lot of pressure and responsibility on their shoulders. If you’re not prepared to handle that kind of thing, then you might not be cut out to own a business at all. The job of the business owners is often to make the tough calls that no one else can manage. If you’re not able to do that, then it can cause a lot of problems for everyone in your business. With that in mind, here are some of the tough calls that every business owner will need to make.

Terminating employees

The idea of having to fire someone is enough to send many people into fits of anxiety. However, it’s a necessary, if unpleasant part of every business owner’s role. Of course, you’re not just going to go around firing people left and right, you need to go through all the right processes of support to help them improve. But sadly, there will be occasions where people don’t take advantages of that support, and you will need to terminate their employment. Just remember to be calm and professional about it. You may also need to develop a thick skin because many people will become upset or angry when this happens.

Where to compromise

Compromise is one of the biggest parts of running any kind of business, and if you’re not able to do so, then you’re almost certainly going to fail. Whether it’s compromising on the number of products that you can ship at any one time or a compromise on the kinds of marketing available to you, being able to balance things carefully in your business is an extremely difficult but completely invaluable skill.

Walking away

There may come a time when your relationship with your business has reached its end, and it’s time to move on to something new. This kind of thing has happened quite publicly with a New Youi boss taking over from the previous CEO who has moved on to a new company. The choice to do something like this is never an easy one, but if you feel as though it’s the best option for both you and the business, then it’s something you have to seriously consider. Just don’t make any rash decisions. Make sure your choice is fully informed and really is the best option for everyone.

This might all sound like a lot of pressure to put on one person, but the key is to make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting into as a business owner. The worst thing you can do is to be unprepared for what will happen. Make sure that you always do your research and know what you’re getting into. Otherwise, you could end up in a position that you really didn’t want to be.

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The business world can be as cruel as the animal kingdom. And if you’ve been around long enough, you undoubtedly know that making tough decisions in the office is inevitable at some point. However, there are steps you can take to alleviate the stress of a difficult call –– no matter how intimidating it might seem at first.

Recognize the Unknown

A good leader is not only knowledgeable in their field –– they’re able to understand that they don’t know everything. When faced with a difficult decision, it can be tempting to clam up and isolate yourself. Don’t do this. When you’re facing a problem you’re unfamiliar with, reach out to those who understand it more. For example: say you need to familiarize yourself with immigration laws more thoroughly to develop a modern hiring strategy. In this instance you might want to consult with an h1b lawyer to further understand the issue. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s just the opposite.

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Walk Away from the Problem

Literally, take a walk and collect yourself. The movement will be good for you (in more ways than one) and take you out of your usual surroundings. Making difficult decisions relies on being able to see multiple aspects to a situation. So make sure that you don’t just sit in the same physical space the entire time. Consider the issue over a long stretch of time and in various places. It’ll help in the long run.

How Bad Could it Get?

Things could get real hairy if you’re not careful handling a tough decision. That’s why it’s imperative to consider the worst-case scenarios of a given option. If one path has a bevy of potentially detrimental consequences and a small chance of success, you need to take that into consideration. There’s nothing wrong with being a pessimist, sometimes.

Put Emotion Back Into It

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “take your emotions out of the decision.” It seems like sage advice. Considering a problem with an objective, disinterested viewpoint should yield the best result. Right? Well, not always. Chances are, if a decision looks good on paper, but doesn’t sit well with your gut or your heart, there’s something fundamentally wrong with it. That’s not to say you should fly by the seat of your pants and make choices based solely on intuition; however, no matter what you ultimately decide, you have to be able to live with the decision you make. Ensure it doesn’t go against your sensibilities even if it makes sense financially.

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There’s always going to be something that goes wrong with your business eventually. Nothing is ever smooth sailing for long, and if you’ve made it this far without any issues, you really do need to expect the unexpected. The thing is with business owners is that they’re so hyper focused on the success they’re having, they really do forget that anything could happen to damage their business at any moment. So, if you take anything from this article, it’s that you really do need to expect the unexpected, and here are somethings that you really might not expect.

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Systems Down

If you’re an online based business, you know how important the internet and the connectivity of your systems are. If you’re a big business, just a few moments of downtime can cause absolute chaos for you. In extreme circumstances it can cause you to lose some of your data. If you hold confidential files that your customers have trusted you with then you’re going to have an absolute nightmare on your hands. Luckily for you, there are people that can help you through it, and recover systems and information that might have been lost during the down time. DRaaS‎ providers are excellent at recovering anything you’ve lost. Things go wrong with technology all the time, so you might be better off having things backed up before it does happen. You can set your systems to do daily backups, which is going to be much better than just waiting for the worst to happen.

Employee Lawsuits

Maybe not as common as the systems down section, but it does happen. When it does happen it can have the ability to massively damage your reputation, as well as costing you a lot of money. It can happen for any reason when you breach what is in the contract, or if an employee feels they aren’t being treated right. The hard thing with having a big company is you’ll have lots of little managers working for you. They might be the ones causing the issue, not necessarily you. So it’s important to instill the values you have onto the managers who work on the shop flow. Try and let all staff know that if they have an issue that you’d like to deal with it. It’ll be better than them taking legal actions against your company.

Money Trouble

You’re either going to be ready for this, or you aren’t. Some companies do so well for such a long time, then boom, a massive crush hits their business and they struggle to recover. It really isn’t wise to just assume your cash flow is going to stay high for a long time, so whilst it is high you need to consider putting in the work to get some savings. Obviously, if your profit is high you’re going to be able to put a lot aside. But even if you aren’t reaching a high profit margin you should still be looking to put a little aside each month, just like you would in your personal life.

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Your business is going to be like your most precious possession. You’ll look after it at all costs. But the question you need to ask yourself is this, are you actually looking after it at all costs. As the years go on we’re noticing more and more businesses fail. Take the huge crash of Monarch Airlines not so long ago. It just goes to show that however much money a business has, or however well they think they’re doing, there’s always going to be something round the corner that could come along and ruin everything. When you’ve built your business from the ground up, this possibility just isn’t on the cards. You need to make sure you’re putting systems in place that’ll ensure your business, as well as your staff are protected at all costs. When you’re just starting out however, it can be pretty hard to know what to do. You’re so hyperfocused on becoming as successful as possible, that you completely forget what you need to do to protect yourself. But don’t worry, this article is here to give your a few hints and tips on how to protect your business as a whole.

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Your Staff

Your staff are your best asset when it comes to your business. They do all the hard work that you just wouldn’t be able to do on your own. Yet it is common for them to feel less protected than they ever have in their life. Through childhood and school etc. they’ve always had someone to fall back on and to help them through difficult situations. The real world doesn’t offer this, and nor do a lot of businesses. But if a business goes bust, these people are going to be left jobless. When you have a family, you know how worrying this prospect is. So there’s a few things you can do that are going to protect their livelihood all the while. The first is maternity leave for the women. A lot of companies offer the worst pay, this causes so much unnecessary stress for the mom. If you’re making a really decent profit, the least you can do is pay a full pay for 6 months of the maternity leave. It’ll make those first 6 months stress free and magical. After that, rather than reducing it by half, reduce it by just a quarter to make sure they aren’t feeling the pinch until the come back to work.

You also need to be thinking about what you can do in the office or warehouse to make a difference to people’s working day. There’s a lot of safety issues in factories and offices that people don’t tend to talk about. But in the long run it can have a really damaging effect on the people that work for you, as well as your business. There’s a statistic that over 100 people injure themselves at work a day. From just the minor cuts and bruises, to the major hospitalisation. As the saying goes, where there’s a claim there’s a blame. If you aren’t putting the right safety procedures in place, you’re looking at receiving such a massive fine for not protecting your staff as your should be. So, if you run a company that involves a lot of manual handling, make sure all the proper training is given, and all the right safety gear is provided at the start of the day. Factory work often requires a lot of loading and unloading, in this case you can use loading dock safety equipment to prevent any injuries. It is one of the most common sites for people to injure themselves. Even if your company doesn’t operate from a factory, offices have just as many hazards. The main being a trip one. They’re the worst for having many different wires hanging down or lying around. One simple trip and a bang of the head and you’re just asking to have a lawsuit on your hand. Not only does it cause trip hazards, it also causes nasty fire ones. Not only will this harm your employees, it’ll also harm your business finances massively with the cost of replacing everything. A simple check of the office to make sure everything is tucked away could save you thousands.

Your Business

Your business as a whole has many ways in which it needs protecting. The first thing you definitely need to do is have some money to fall back on. If any of the above happens, and you’re just getting by with money, it’ll likely see your business crash and burn. Money is everything to your business, from the very start you should be looking for ways to make sure you always have something spare. Having some sort of business insurance is also going to help you along the way, even if it’s just contents insurance if you have your own self managed office or warehouse. Breakins can cause absolute havoc if you don’t have contents insurance. It may cost a little more a month than your average house contents insurance, but it’ll definitely pay off in the long run.

Something a lot of people don’t think to do, especially in the beginning, is trademarking their idea. The business world is unfortunately full of thieves, the last thing you want is your idea being stolen from someone who has the money to make it bigger, quicker. Then you’ll have no hope of getting anywhere with your idea. Trademarking isn’t hard to do, and it’ll definitely pay off in the long run. Plus it does give your business that little extra edge of professionalism that it needs. Just like with your actual brand, people can also steal ideas from your processes, this is why it’s important to always try to keep evolving your business. The new and quicker the processes, the more chances you’re going to have of staying ahead of your competition.

Protecting your staff and business isn’t hard, you just need to make sure you’re doing it from the very beginning if you want to be successful.

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Cyber attacks happen. However, it’s up to you to ensure that your business has as much in its cyber security armory as possible. Worms, ransomware and spyware have made headlines in the past year having infiltrated large companies. The fact that the largest multimillion corporations are getting hit by hackers shows how no business is immune from the cyber threat. With the ever-growing reliance on online portals, software and interfaces, the threat from a cyber attack is even more frightening to businesses as they risk losing documentation, having sensitive data stolen and personal details cloned. Take a look at how you can protect your company from even the most ardent of hackers.

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Basics

To be as secure as you can, it’s vital that you live by the adage of ‘only those that need to know actually know.’ It sounds like a prophetic sort of statement, but only those at an executive level and above should have access to the most sensitive data. By only giving staff members access to the areas of business data they require, you are lessening the risk of sloppy security breaches. There’s no need for the marketing assistant to have a password to the financial projections and profitability calculations of your company.

Ensure that each member of your team has a strong password. The days of using the name of your first pet or your mother’s maiden name are long gone. A random selection of letters, numbers and characters of at least twelve digits is most secure. Ensure that these are also changed periodically to maintain a higher level of security.

Staff Training

Refresher courses for online security are vital every year for all staff including yourself. A cohesive approach to online security is needed across your business if you are to succeed. Even a reminder not to open the dodgy looking attachment within an email can save you from losing reams of important data online. Select a couple of cyber security champions who can take part in external courses and feedback to your team. Make signing up to an ‘appropriate usage’ policy a priority, so employees never access sensitive data on open or unsecured networks when away from the office.

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Get The Right Software

There is a mind-boggling array of security software on the market. At the very least you need a package like M365 which has inbuilt security controls and allows you to wipe any devices that become lost protecting any data you might have that could fall into the wrong hands. Encrypt all of the data that you store and ensure that you backup regularly. Should the worst happen and you find that a piece of ransomware has infiltrated your network, you need a contingency plan and, you have to be able to restore your data quickly.

Thankfully cyber attacks are still relatively rare. If you have the knowledge and relevant software needed, you will be able to make your business as secure and protected as possible.

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The Future Fund of about $130 billion will be in a state of isolation for a maximum of ten years to prevent an impulsive search on its finances and a rocketing bill for years to come to protect the cost of benefit pension payouts of many public servants.

Scott Morrison revealed that he would delay drawing down on the fund at least up to 2026 so that the government can cover up the entire cost of the unfunded liabilities.

The action will demand the government to utilize an additional borrowings over the medium term to slightly pay for what will rise to an $8 billion annual cost to the taxpaying citizen.

The Enlightenment

During an exclusive interview with The Weekend Australian, the Treasurer stated that the Future Fund does not have, at this time, the sufficient resources to cover the absolute cost of the public sector pension payouts and that starting to reduce it from the legislated date of July 1, 2020, would exhaust the fund.

He stated it made no sense to reduce the Future Fund’s assets, which normally secures earnings for at least 7 percent annually when the government could borrow for hardly 2.8 percent.

Days out from delivering his second budget, Morrison stated, “I’m doing this to respect ­future taxpayers. A decade or 15 years down the road, the unfunded super liability issue would still be there. We want the Future Fund to be capable enough of performing the work for which it was set up.”

The conclusion received the support of former treasurer Peter Costello, which is now the chairman of the Future Fund. The chairman claims putting off the mat­urity date would enable the fund, which is the seventh biggest sovereign fund in the world, to increase to a predicted $300 billion by the year 2030.

Costello told The Weekend Australian, “Scott wisely decides to delay the drawdown to continuously increase the fund and supply for these liabilities right up until the year 2050. It is very wise. It provides the Future Fund the chance to create a long-lasting supply for all generations.”

Morrison stated that the settlement carried a lesson for Labor that the Future Fund was not there to provide funds for repetitive spending. The treasurer also said that if we are serious about not leaving an unjust burden on the future generation, then let the Future Fund do its work and do not touch it.

He also said that “A labor treasurer at a notion could raid the fund, and that would cost a lot for the future generations.” The resolution will add to both the budget shortage and to the government’s debt beyond the forward estimates.

However, Costello backed the decision to utilize medium-term borrowings to cover the interim accountabilities until the fund grows, reducing concerns that the government’s decision to trim its debt could stimulate it to tap into the resource at the earliest date.

The Anticipation Of The Decade

Costello stated, “If we were to delay draw down to 2026, we can anticipate that we could raise it to $300 billion by the year 2030. It will secure the cost of the entire unfunded ­liabilities and save tens of billions of dollars of the budget annually. It will also take all the responsibilities off from the taxpayer permanently.”

Morrison mentioned that the ­additional debt needed to cover the pension payouts would incur at a time when the budget was returning to surplus, and the comprehensive level of net debt was dropping. The December mid-year report papers illustrate that the net debt peaks at 19 percent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in 2018-19.

He stated that the price for the budget cash balance would reach $200 million by 2020 and 2021. It will arise because budget rules do not permit the ­government to book the unrealized profits on the Future Fund’s share and infrastructure portfolio.

Morrison and Costello have agreed to appeal to lower the Future Fund’s mark return of between 4.5 percent and 5.5 percent on top of the consumer price index as legislated, with these rates to be reduced by 0.5 percent.

Though the Future Fund has surpassed its target return over its first ten years of operation, the Ashe Morgan campaign gathered support by the extended fall in international interest rates.

With interest rates increasing, Costello has asserted that they can meet the measurable return by taking excessive risks with the investment portfolio. “It is still going to be a very challenging ruling but more ­realistic.” Costello verbalized.

He started the Future Fund in 2006 to allocate budget surpluses from the mining boom to help secure the cost of defined benefit public sector superannuation programs.

The last of these programs shut to fresh members in July, but the payouts do not maximize until the years 2049 and 2050, when they attain $20 billion per year, while the liability will not be entirely paid to opt until about the year 2100.

Morrison stated the Howard government had expected that, by the year 2020, the Future Fund would acquire enough capital to meet all pension needs. It fails to anticipate the $60 billion introductions to the fund and the sale of its current stake in Telstra would be the ultimate contributions from any government.

Modelling by the Parliamentary Budget Office illustrates that if the government commenced drawing down the fund from the year 2020, it would be drained by 2052 while the outstanding pension lia­bility would remain at $250 billion.

The PBO (Projected Benefit Obligation) predicted that delaying tapping the Future Fund for just another four years would allow it to gather enough assets to meet the needed payout for the rest of the century.

Morrison stated that the government had decided to leave the Future Fund alone only during the four-year forward approximate period, but it was his “disposition” to permit it to sustain building its asset base for an unspecified period.

During which the government needed to keep the versatility to utilize the Future Fund resources in case the rate of change will skyrocket. Morrison also stated that the budget’s projections for medium term will only display the government borrowing, instead of using the Future Fund to pay superannuation.

“Until they hear more from us, their presumption should be that the Turnbull government is not touching the Future Fund,” he verbalized. The resolution to decrease the fund’s target return indicates a concern that the investment perspective will become a lot more difficult as global interest rates start soaring.

The extended fall in global interest rates since the Future Fund started operating has created enormous profits for investors in bonds, while the Future Fund had a tiny investment in shares at the time of the international financial crisis and had made significant gains from the equity market ­recovery.

Costello argued that allowing the minimum mark return at 4.5 percent more than the expansion rate would force the fund to take unreasonably risky investment choices. The 0.5 percent cutback still leaves the fund at risk to a rise in global rates. However, Morrison stated he was confident that Costello would reach the goal.

The Resolution

Morrison said, “The fund has an excellent history of surpassing their target, and so we have real confidence in Peter and the fund to hit its goal, and I have no doubt that Peter will tell me when he has surpassed it.”

Takeaway

Future Fund would perhaps need a couple of years without the government raiding and interrupting their process for them to completely cover all the superannuation for years to come which is very beneficial for the future generations.

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The construction industry faces many challenges. Recently, there has been a widespread labour shortage. Issues around health and safety are often taken on by the media. Then, and relevantly for this article, there are the struggles to keep up to date with an ecologically aware society.

Constantly under fire for the spread of pollution through crude oils and carbon emissions through their production methods, leaders within the industry are now sitting up and taking notice. Green initiatives are being put in place, with recyclable methods being practised in the construction process and an increased use of energy-efficient technology happening in the field. So, there is hope, and in an industry that gives so much to the economy, it is good to see changes being made when it comes to the environment.

Should you work in the construction industry, it is important you play your part in becoming ecologically aware. Not only will you be doing your bit to save the planet, but you will also satisfy your customers. If you fall behind with your archaic practices and technology, you will struggle to stay in business, as eco-friendly customers will no longer stand for it. In this article, we will give you some tips on how you can stay with the times while benefitting the environment as you go to work.

 

Ten ways to go green

  1. Rather than outsourcing new material, recycle materials that have been used in other construction jobs.

  2. Use materials that are non-toxic, renewable and safe for the environment. Wood is perfect, while alloys and metals are not because they are not biodegradable.

  3.  Reduce fuel emissions by sourcing materials from local sources, instead of further afield.

  4.  Reduce fuel emissions by reducing the amount of traffic your firm uses. Renting trucks from Flex Fleet Rental makes more sense than buying (or using) older vehicles, as they can be used only when you need them, and are more eco-efficient when it comes to fuel emissions.

  5.  When working with other contractors and suppliers, ensure they are also following good practices. If they don’t use sustainable materials, or they are wasteful with the materials they use, ditch them and go elsewhere.

  6.  Don’t rely on old machinery as it may not be energy or eco-efficient. Shop around for the latest in green machinery, as the advanced tech should adhere to the latest standards required by the government.

  7.  With regards to the machinery you use, don’t overuse or overwork them. Keeping a machine running unnecessarily will incur a greater cost in fuel and the added risk of pollution. Hybrid motor technologies have been designed to solve this issue.

  8.  When it comes to the structure of the building being worked on, do your bit to remain green on the exterior and interior. For example, consider using solar energy designs, adding water filtration systems, and adding low-energy-lighting instead of regular, energy-wasting bulbs.

  9.  Ensure everybody on your team is as ecologically aware as you. With training and guidance, ensure everybody is instructed to follow the green principles that we are advocating on this list.

  10. Work in the daytime when there is natural light. Not only is this safer than working at night, but it also cuts down on the amount of artificial lighting that will be used to enhance your workspace.


Final word

By following these simple practices, not only will your business will benefit the environment, but you will garner a good reputation for yourself. Being ecologically conscious means you will save money too, so while you shouldn’t need further incentive to go green, you are benefitting yourself also.

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Debt is a dirty word to a lot of people. In our personal lives, when we think of debt, we think of how to get rid of it as soon as possible. However, in business, you’re playing a financial long game. Sometimes, taking on a little debt is necessary for the long-term financial health of the company. So, how do you live with debt without taking over your life?

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Always have a reason to borrow

Businesses should not be regularly using credit cards for small expenses. It’s an easy way to get caught in a debt trap if your finances take a sudden nose-dive. Rather, all use of credit and loans should be specifically aimed. Reasons to take out a loan include expanding with new real estate, purchasing equipment and inventory, and even to get through periods of poor cash flow. Don’t borrow unless you know exactly why you’re borrowing.

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Budget for it

When you borrow, make sure you take very careful note of it. Immediately start budgeting for the payments you’re going to make back, and know how your debts balance with current income and cash flow projections. They should always be on your mind, in part. Otherwise, it’s easier than you think to lose track of them, rack up interest, and get in a dangerous situation.

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Keep your credit healthy

The better your credit, the better the terms you can expect from loans. However, many people go into business with a line of credit that’s already unhealthy. What are they to do to get back on top of the situation? For one, small business loans for bad credit won’t only help you get the funding you need when you need it. Successfully sticking to the terms of the agreement can help you start building a credit history if you don’t have one, or can improve your score. That will make more favorable loans available to you in future.

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Be responsible

It sounds like a given, but the truth is that unless you start learning the habits of responsible credit use, it’s easy to very irresponsible instead. For instance, use accounting software instead of keeping sums by hand so that the figures are always easy to track. Enforce spending limits on any cards you use. Document a spending policy for employees to follow to avoid charges going where they shouldn’t. Most importantly, keep it very strictly business.

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Strategize for reductions at all times

Part of living with debt is being aware you have to constantly make moves to reduce it, especially if you use it often. Beyond budgeting to a repayment plan, this might also mean being aware of tools like debt consolidation to help you get more favorable repayment strategies.

Smart borrowing, realistic expectations, and debt-reduction strategies are going to help you be a lot more financially flexible. You’ll be able to invest when otherwise you couldn’t and survive tough times that would otherwise sink you. There are plenty of perks to sharing a business with debt from time to time.

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If you are a woman business owner, you probably already know how difficult it is to make it as a female entrepreneur. The biggest problem is the lack of respect, and investors or fellow business owners may look down on you. While these things can appear to be just minor annoyances, they can have ultimately affect your business. Luckily, now we have plenty of programs that focus on women-owned businesses, and they can provide the needed funding. Here is what you should know if you are a woman and you want to fund your business.

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Make sure that your business is a woman-owned business

A business does not need to have only women owners in order to be considered a woman-owned business. In fact, it is enough if 51% of the shares are owned by one or multiple women. Third party certifier like WBENC can prove this through certification. You can also try self-certification if you want.

Inquire on what the requirements are

Research is the first natural step in this process. You must be aware of the certifications that you need. Most of the time you do not need to apply for a national certification if you operate just in one locality. Make sure that you know what kind of company you want to know, and what is the level of certification needed for it.

After you have all the documents, prepare your paperwork. You should find instructions at your agency. Submit the application only after you are sure that everything is in order and nothing is missing. We also recommend to keep a copy of every document.

Be ready for the interview (and the site visit)

If your papers are in order, you can expect an interview. The committee will want to meet you personally and make sure that a woman is really the one in charge. If you do not feel confident enough you can prepare in advance and rehearse with some possible questions. Don’t forget that those people are there to help your business, so try not to worry and act natural. You should also expect a site visit, so have everything prepared for it.

If your application won’t be accepted you will be informed and they will their you their reasons, and you will receive one month to fix the previous errors.

Funding options

If you want to receive funds like other small businesses, you can try traditional options like a small business line or credit, a bank loan, or you can even check sba loan rates.

However, there are many programs designed for women. For example, you can check out Operation HOPE Small Business Empowerment Program or Key4Women Program.

Or you can take it even further, and apply for a grant. It may appear difficult to get approved for one, but there are many that were created for women-owned businesses, such as Wal-Mart Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge or The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program.

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What happens to your business if a disaster hits? The purpose of developing a Business Continuity Plan, is to ensure the continuation of your business during and following any critical incident. If your normal operational capability is disrupted, your plan will ensure that the financial impacts upon your business are minimal. Read on to find six tips for developing a disaster preparedness plan for your business.

1. Organize your finances

Even with the best plan in place, in the event of a disaster it is likely that your business will suffer some financial damage. For this reason, it is important to research loans or fixed deposit amounts before disaster hits. With this research, you can ensure that you receive the best interest rate available and be back on your feet quickly. Have you ever been hit with a disaster and need a debt consolidation loan? Try latitudefinancial.com.au.

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2. Conduct a Business Impact Analysis (BIA)

A business impact analysis (BIA) predicts the consequences of disruption to business functions and processes, and is vital in developing a business continuity plan. The planning stages involve gathering information needed to develop recovery strategies, identify time-sensitive and critical business functions, and prioritize the order of events for restoration of the business.

Your BIA should identify both the operational and financial impacts from a disruption of business processes. Some impacts to consider in your plan include:

  • Lost income and sales
  • Increased expenses
  • Contractual penalties
  • Regulatory fines
  • Customer dissatisfaction

The BIA should therefore compare the costs of possible recovery strategies in order to minimize further financial strain on the business.

3. Gather the resources required to support recovery

Minimizing the financial implications of a disaster on your business involves recovering from the interruption as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Recovery of critical or time-sensitive processes to your business requires resources. It is important to consider in advance these necessary resources and alternatives should they become unavailable. Important resources include:

  • Employees
  • Technology
  • Office space
  • Invetory
  • Production facilities
  • Utilities

It is important to therefore estimate the resources that will be needed in the days and weeks following a disaster.

4.  Finalize your recovery strategies

Recovery strategies are alternate means to restore business operations to a minimum level following a disaster. Your strategies may involve:

  • Entering into a partnership or reciprocal agreement with another business
  • Displacing other functions within the company
  • Relocation of operations to an alternate site
  • Telecommuting
  • Using external suppliers
  • Prioritization of production—by profit margin or customer relationship
  • Relocation of existing inventory

5. Insurance

As part of your disaster plan, you need to determine what types of insurance are available, and put in place the insurance that will best protect your business needs. It is important that your policy covers all foreseeable threats to your business. Adequate insurance cover should include both business interruption and general property insurance. If you live in an area that is prone to floods or other natural disasters, it is important to take this into consideration when choosing the right policy.

6. Invest in employee training

In the event of a disaster, your employees are vital to ensuring the continued operation of your business. Therefore adequate training in multiple areas of the business is imperative to reduce key person risk. Informing your employees of the disaster management plan and training them accordingly, ensures that there is minimal disruptions to your business activities. Consulting with your key employees throughout the planning process is also beneficial, as they will have the best idea of what functions and processes are most important for the continuity of the business.

Developing a disaster preparedness plan is an important step in ensuring the continuation of your business in the event of an unforeseen disaster. Taking the time to plan early gives you the peace of mind that your business can withstand any surprising incidents.

Bio: Laura Costello is in her final year of a Bachelor of Law/International Relations at Latrobe University. She is passionate about the law, the power of social media, and the ability to translate her knowledge of both common and complex topics to readers across a variety of mediums, in a way that is easy to understand.

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If you are someone that owns their own business, then you have a variety of people to be thinking about and to keep happy. From any staff to your accountant or clients, there are a lot of people that you need to keep happy, in order from them to keep working with you or so that they keep doing a good job for you. Clients can, of course, benefit you as they help you to bring in revenue for your business. However, there is a certain satisfaction when it comes to knowing that you did a good job for them and have contributed to their happiness. So what are some of the best ways to keep those people that you work with happy? Here are a few ideas for you to get you thinking.

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Pay Close Attention

If you are able to anticipate your client’s needs, then it can make a massive difference. Being able to predict what they might want, as well as what they might need for their next project, for instance, can stand you in good stead. Plus, if you get regular work from a client, you can anticipate certain things through the ways that they prefer to communicate. If they keep emails quite brief but they give their phone number, then could it be that they’d rather talk in person? Arrange to call them or to go to their office, for example.

Send Thank Yous To Them

If you have worked with a client quite a lot, then it can be a good idea to send something over to them as a thank you. After a project is finished, having something sent to their office as a thank you can be really appreciated and will keep you in their good books. It could just be that you send over some treats or even give your clients a stubby holder, for example. It helps to keep you in their memory, which is more likely to lead to repeat work from them. So have a think about what might work, even if it is just sending them a holiday card.

Own Your Mistakes

From time to time, mistakes will happen with certain work or projects. But the best thing to do, to keep everyone happy, is to own up to something rather than blame others. Explain what has happened, and tell them quickly what you will be doing to rectify the situation. Some things may have been out of your control. But it looks bad to blame others or circumstances, instead of owning your mistakes and then putting in a lot of effort to put it right.

Stay On Top Of The Trends

If you have certain clients that require work that is more seasonal, then be prepared for work that comes up at certain points in the year. Try not to overbook yourself for work, so that you have space at certain times of year for loyal clients. This can also allow you to have time to creatively plan when you know they will need you at a certain time.

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In the competitive world of modern business, gaining trust from the customers is everything. Without it, you’ll never gain the sales revenue needed for sustained success. As such, letting those standards slide could bring irreparable damage.

Being aware of the most common mistakes should help you avoid them. In turn, this allows you to focus on the factors that will drive your business forward. Here’s all you need to know.

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#1. Be Too Secretive

When potential customers find your business and its services, they will conduct some research before buying. Unfortunately, if the necessary information is difficult to find, it can get the alarm bells ringing.

Your website should show info including telephone numbers, email accounts, and office addresses. If the business is a home-based operation, you may want to hire a virtual office address. After all, some clients may look negatively on the fact that your company operates from a residential address.

It’s not all about addresses, though. Having clear returns policies should be considered equally essential. When customers know exactly where they stand, they’ll have far less reason to doubt the trustworthiness of the venture.

#2. Let Fraudsters Win

One of the harshest realities of modern business is that it only takes one negative episode for customers to lose their trust in the company. Consequently, it’s imperative that your operation is suitably protected on a 24/7 basis. Otherwise, those errors could haunt your company for years.

Investing in the right CCTV and alarm systems should help prevent burglaries and trespassing. In today’s climate, though, digital data breaches are an even bigger threat. Using secure identity verification protects the company’s assets. More importantly, it gives clients the confidence needed to enjoy long-term relations with your brand.

Those potential dangers also extend to intellectual property. If someone else tries to make money off of your name, it can hit your profits badly. Moreover, customers may start to question the authenticity and quality of your products due to seeing fakes on the market. Once that trust is lost, regaining it is very tough indeed.

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#3. Go Back On Promises

Customers have very good memories, and they will not respect a company that lies. Therefore, you must ensure that anything you say in business is accurate. Because if you leave a consumer feeling conned, they will take their custom elsewhere. Furthermore, they’ll probably encourage friends and family to do the same.

Marketing is a crucial aspect of any business venture, and should be used to grab the attention and drum up interest. However, you’re going to promise rewards or discounts, you must provide them. Even if you’ve only suggested that you’ll be releasing a new blog post, it’s important that you do it. Because if people think you cannot be trusted to stick to your word on trivial matters, they’ll struggle to believe you with the important things.

This is especially true in today’s climate due to the instant nature of social media. Everything stated in the public domain should be carefully considered. Fail to do this, and you could be asking for major problems.

#4. Provide Poor Customer Care

Sustained success relies heavily on your ability to keep customers coming back for more. Without that loyalty, it becomes a lot harder to achieve your goals. Given that communication is at the heart of all modern business, you must perfect this area. Once again, one bad experience could cost you a customer forever.

Face-to-face interactions are the preference but may not always be possible. Using social media enables you to address many customers at once while having an FAQ on your site can help too. Most importantly, though, you should invest in a good telephone customer care game. In the absence of human interaction, this is the next best thing.

Most clients will forgive mistakes as long as you show a genuine desire to rectify those problems. Conversely, those companies that let themselves down here often find that retention levels fall.

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#5. Work Without Consistency

Customers need to resonate with the company, but that’s very difficult when it sounds out mixed messages. Therefore, one of the worst things you can do is allow your staff to do what they want. Of course, it’s good for them to use their initiative. Still, following company procedures with consistency is key.

This is what ensures clients receive a fair, honest, and clear customer service at all times. First off, you must keep employees satisfied. Secondly, you should use staff training in an effective manner. When you do this, your employees will be sure to work in the right manner. In turn, that should enable you to maintain their trust for the long haul.

Trust alone won’t guarantee success, and you’ll still need to provide great products and services. Nonetheless, trust is one of the key fundamentals that will establish a stronger platform going forward. Underestimate it at your peril.

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Presenting a professional image when you run a business needs to be one of your top priorities. If you don’t look like you want to be taken seriously, people are likely to pass you by and consider other businesses instead. There are so many small ways you can fail to look like a professional business, as well as bigger mistakes you can make. Avoiding these problems will give your business more of a legitimate air, so people will be more willing to consider it. If you’re not sure if your business looks as professional as it could, here are some of the things you might be doing wrong.

Sloppy Documents and Communications

The way you communicate with people can have a huge effect on how they see you. When you talk to someone in person or even over the phone, it can seem easier to make sure you’re projecting a professional image. But if you’re communicating through the written word, it can make it seem a little more difficult. Your emails, documents, and even instant messages need to carry the right tone and look good too. You can improve the documents you send with tools like invoice templates to help you be consistent. You can include your logo and a smart header and layout. Using an email signature is another way to be more consistent with your professional image.

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Amateur Graphics and Images

Professional graphics are vital for any business that you want people to take seriously. While you might think you can draw up some simple graphics on your own, they’re often not as good as you think they are. Even when you pay someone else to do them, it’s important to make sure you don’t try to cut costs too much. If you’re only willing to spend a small amount of money, you’re not going to get the best quality. A professional logo is the least you need.

No Domain Name

This might seem like an obvious mistake to make, but many business owners don’t realize how important it is. People who might have come to the internet late often don’t pay attention to this step, in particular. The lack of a dedicated domain name makes your business look either out of date or very new. Even if you have a domain name, many people then fail to extend it to their email address. Asking people to email a Hotmail or Yahoo email address doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in your business.

No Business Contact Details

Does your contact page list a mobile phone number and your personal address and email address? Maybe you don’t even have a contact page. Making sure you have these details for your business makes you look better to your website visitors and to search engines. You can get a dedicated phone number using Google Voice and use a virtual address service if your business is based from your home.

Don’t make these mistakes if you want your business to look professional. Pay close attention to how other businesses improve their images.

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Being in business can mean a lot of things. It can mean that your work for a firm, are involved in sales or development, or that you have your own company. But there is one thing that unites all of these, and that is the skills that you need to triumph. Read on to find out what they are.

Leadership

As they suggest at https://www.inc.com/, leadership is a vital quality if your aim is to triumph in the business world. This is because you need to be charismatic enough to get people to do what you are asking of them. This might mean that they buy your product. Or that your team does that little bit extra work to hit the deadline that is looming.

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Also, strong personalities are usually well respected in the business arena, and being a good leader will contribute towards this. Remember if you want to get spotted you to be at the head of the herd, and not at the back.

Communication

Another skill that you need to be proficient at in the business world is communication. Not only do you have to be excellent at conveying your points for presentations and sales pitches, but you also need to be able to successfully build and maintain positive relationships with clients and suppliers over the long term.

Of course, that means your spoken and written language skills need to be on point, whether you are working in English or another language. To help you with this, you can take courses like the one on offer at EffortlessEnglishClub.com. Which will ensure you are fully confident in what you are saying and the accuracy and meaning behind it.

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Negotiating

Now, negotiation is a skill that is close to communication, but it isn’t quite the same. Whereas communication is about getting your point across, negotiation is about finding an agreement in which both parties are happy. Basically, you are looking for win-win situations.

That means you need to be wary of anyone that says there can only be one winner in negotiation. As most are not done is such a hostile environment. In fact, a lot of negations will be with people that you work with on a day to day basis. So you want to make sure that both parties leave the dialogue as happy and motivated as possible.

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Focus

Of course, another skill that you will need to triumph over your competitors in the business world is the focus. You can be the best at doing something, or have the best idea, but if you can’t edit and focus your attention on what needs to be done right at this time, then you won’t achieve your goals.

Many people think that focus is a talent, but it it’s something that can be learned just like anything else. All you need to do is find the right motivator or system for doing things. For example, some folks swear by the Pomodoro technique where you work for 50 minutes and then break for 10 to improve their focus.