Tips to Lay Out Your Office Space

by admin on August 14, 2014

office layoutWhile there are all sorts of trends when it comes to office design, companies and organizations ultimately have to plan a layout that suits their operation–the way it functions and hopes to function in the future. Planning an office design, therefore, should be a uniquely customizable experience. While a great design firm understands this and “will work with you to understand your requirements”, companies should make sure they communicate their needs in entirety during the planning phase. If you are planning a new office design, the following tips may inspire you when it comes to office layout (Source: Solutions Office Interiors).

Public and Private Spaces

When designing your office floor plan, you’ll have to give some thought to what areas you’ll designate as public areas and what will be private areas for offices and cubicles. Before assigning these areas, give some thought to the way your employees work. Do they spend a lot of time collaborating or are they more isolated when they work? Depending on the nature of your business, you’ll want to plan public and private spaces in accordance with the ways employees are meant to work. In essence, “the type of work will dictate the office layout (Source: http://www.interiorconcepts.com/best-office-layout/).”

Space Efficiency

Whatever the size of your office space–large or small–you’ll want to use that space efficiently. You may have to get creative about storage. Your designer may help you install banks of cabinets that double as seating units. You can also conserve space by eliminating cubicles and grouping people who perform similar tasks together. Technology has also made sharing equipment easier than ever, so you can scale back on items like computer desks and make use of tables instead that double as areas for collaboration.

Organization

Grouping employees who work together often is a great way to keep your office organized and running efficiently. It makes less sense for employees who collaborate every day to maintain offices on opposite sides of the floor. You might also choose to group technology equipment together–copiers and printers, for instance. This makes it easier to maintain and service them and it also helps eliminate gadget clutter throughout the space. Some companies may also wish to lay out the office with an eye toward their clients; offices might be arranged whereby visitors can easily flow through the space.

Movement

Even if you have a small office space, try to avoid a busy floor plan that appears cluttered. Cluttered spaces can feel oppressive for employees who work there all day. It can also be distracting for clients. Design a space that easily allows for movement. Because devices are more mobile than ever, be sure to design a space that fosters this mobility.

Think about these tips and discuss them with your office designer. Certainly, your particular space will influence your floor plan, but you can transform nearly any space to reflect your ideal aesthetic. Modern offices are changing right and left; you, too, can achieve a change that enhances the way your office functions.

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4 Tips to Follow When Looking for a First-Time Job

Now that you’ve graduated from college, it is time to enter the job market. Here are 4 tips for setting goals and finding your career path.

When you are searching for a job, make sure you are taking action. It will not do you any good if you sit at your computer and just scroll through job listings. You should get out there and visit your college career center and talk to your family and friends. Another great tool for actively searching for jobs is asking for referrals and advice from contacts through networking or using social media. Through social media, you can connect with employers that could become a good fit and in the process you can build your professional presence.

No Job is Going to Be Perfect

It is important to remember that there may be no such thing as the “perfect job.” Although it may not be a good idea to settle for anything, you should cast a wide net when searching for types of jobs and potential employers. You may want to decide on a few criteria that is the most important to you in a job and use that to help you decide. Some of the criteria could include a base salary amount in order to pay off debt and rent, commute time, and possibly one aspect you are passionate about such as writing. By having a positive attitude, you could get a great experience out of an average opportunity.

Deciding on a Career Takes Time

There are two things you should do when you can’t decide what direction you should take:

  1. Start somewhere. Instead of becoming paralyzed because you don’t know 100 percent where you want your career to go, start in one place and build from there. A career is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Building a career takes time and may need some tweaking as you go along. Don’t be afraid to dive in somewhere that feels good and then see where it takes you.
  2. Work on Self-Assessment. Make self-assessment a routine part of your day. Consider the news articles you may be drawn to or which careers your family and friends have that get you excited or envious. If you envy the career path a family member or friend has taken, it may be something you want to look into for yourself. Read some books and blogs about self-assessment and careers. In order to find the right career for you, you need to take action and research a lot.

Your Career or Job Doesn’t Have to Be Permanent

If you can’t decide what you want to do or you find yourself with many different interests, do not panic. Finding a career takes time and may take you down many different paths before you find your ideal job. No job is permanent. You are free to change careers when you find something else that you want to explore instead. Although changing jobs every few years may not be for everyone, if that is what you want to do then go for it. You could have several careers over your lifetime or even pursue several of them at the same time. It is completely up to you.

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How A Clean Office Can Improve Productivity

by admin on August 12, 2014

Guest Post

Most individuals devote a certain amount of time to keeping their homes clean. However, it is also important to give thought to this task in the workplace, as a cluttered or unclean environment in an office or other business establishment can reduce productivity and lead to potential liability for the company. In addition, clean, uncluttered surroundings have been proven to enhance the job performance of certain individuals. For this reason, many business owners seek the services of professional office cleaners to help safeguard the health and safety of their employees and clients. The CDC also weighs in on this subject.

Interesting Statistics

Research indicates that a neat and tidy establishment helps to ensure a professional atmosphere in which company representatives and potential clients can conduct business. Effective housekeeping can eliminate many different workplace hazards and help employees to complete their jobs safely and properly. Poor housekeeping often contributes to accidents, leading to the aforementioned liability for the company. This is because clutter and unnecessary objects that have no permanent place frequently hide the hazards that result in personal injuries. In addition, if employees and clients become accustomed to seeing piles of papers and debris or spills, and these are accepted as normal, they may also take more serious health hazards for granted.

Housekeeping Tips

Housekeeping does not merely address cleanliness. It includes removing fire hazards such as paper and cardboard from work areas, ensuring that such areas remain neat and keeping floors and hallways free of slip and fall hazards. It also involves observing essential details such as the layout of the office or business, aisle makers, determining whether storage facilities are adequate and general maintenance. Good housekeeping is also an important part of fire and accident prevention. It is vital for business owners to understand that appropriate housekeeping is a continuous task, as opposed to something that should be considered only when a serious problem occurs and major cleanup is necessary.

Maintaining a Professional Reputation

It is wise for any business owner to create a professional environment in which employees can feel valued and essential to the day to day operations of the company. This in turn will cause a positive influence on potential clients and the business associates of the proprietor. Basic cleanliness is the first step such individuals should take regarding housekeeping procedures. Because first impressions are often the aspect on which potential clients base their decisions, the reputation of the business can suffer significantly if prospective customers observe a dirty environment when they visit the establishment for the first time. This is because such an atmosphere makes it appear as if the company is unorganized and lazy, which is obviously not the image the proprietor wishes to put forth.

Health and Safety Considerations

As previously mentioned, a broad range of health and safety issues can result from a dirty work environment. Muddy floors, unwashed dishes, spills that are not properly cleaned, and dusty shelves or equipment are all situations that can attract vermin, spread bacteria and germs. It is also potentially harmful to anyone who works in or regularly visits the office. Indoor air quality is equally important, according to OSHA.

Between professional cleanings, employees should be encouraged to do their part with regard to keeping the office tidy and free from things such as grimy, sticky desks, dusty equipment and dirty dishes in the break room. Offering workers cleaning equipment, bins for organizing materials and cleaning supplies will help encourage them to make such efforts on a regular basis. Employees should also be urged to report potentially hazardous situations, such as objects left in doorways or overflowing bins. In addition, they should be offered a general education on health and safety in the workplace.

Productivity and Motivation

Most people find it very challenging to meet their goals at work when surrounded by clutter. Additionally, many individuals find it difficult to keep their focus when attempting to accomplish tasks in messy surroundings. A disorganized, dirty office can also make workers feel uncomfortable or even nervous about getting sick due to contact with germs. In certain instances, it can cause some employees to miss work days. Business owners who want to keep their employees motivated and make sure they remain focused and productive must do everything possible to create a comfortable, clean work environment that inspires such reactions. Many business professionals give considerable thought to improving the layout of their offices or other establishments, but they forget basic tasks such as keeping the current environment tidy and neat. This simple step will go a long way toward ensuring that employees are working in an atmosphere that enhances motivation and productivity.

The Benefits of Professional Services

Regular office cleaning accomplishes more than the removal of dust, dirt, and debris. It rids the area of germs and other pollutants that may be lodged in carpets, furniture, work surfaces and other areas. Professional cleaners are skilled in techniques that sanitize and disinfect break rooms, restrooms, kitchens and work areas in order to ensure that they do not become breeding grounds for bacteria.

Most companies employ professional cleaners to ensure that all the necessary tasks are completed to keep the office clean, presentable and safe from potential health and safety hazards. No business owner should fall into the trap of overlooking office cleanliness until he or she is faced with potentially costly liability.

Professional cleaning companies play a vital role in this, as their employees understand the best methods and utilize these techniques to keep the workplace environment in ideal condition. For this reason, it is wise for any commercial property owner to seek the services of professional office cleaners on a regular basis.

 

Annie is a writer working out of Seattle, WA. She focuses on writing for businesses and about travel.

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No matter how awesome your product is or how incredible your services are, you need one essential element: people. If you don’t have fantastic people working with and for you, you’ll only produce mediocre or average results at best.

Doubt it? Ask any call center. YouTube is filled with audio clips of sarcastic or outright rude employees that ruin the company’s reputation, even if they provide an excellent product. So as you can see, it is not about the products alone. Your workforce must be motivated for them consistently want to push themselves to the limit for you and your organization.

We’ve often heard CEOs, managers and supervisors say things like “we pay them, so they should deliver.” This is entirely untrue. A happy employee is an amazing employee. He is magnificent; he is incredible, and he’ll move mountains for you or die trying. He’ll follow you into the “fire” and still stand by your side.

He’ll go to great lengths for you and your organization and never look back, no matter how big the offer he gets outside is. So, what can you do “light ‘em up” and make them happy whilst working for you?

Hardwire them with the Idea of Ownership

Do you know why Jordan Belfort’s employees loved him? It is because the guy made them feel like they were all partners. It did not matter that they were just guys from the street or nobodies before they started working for him. What mattered was the fact that they felt like they were partners in the firm. Jordan Belfort himself made it a point of duty to go consistently to the “pit” to talk to and chat with his “army”. As a result, they were always making great strides and having impressive results.

Consistently Acknowledge and Encourage Your Employees

As an employee, nothing is better than having a boss who recognizes when you make an effort for him or her. It pushes them to even greater heights. It is not just enough to write commendation letters or give them the employee of the month award. You need personally to reach out and talk to your employees.

Have you heard about one or two employees doing great work in the company? Go meet them, congratulate them and tell them how great they’ve been at their job. Do you know what that will do to the morale of the company? It will blow it out of the roof. Your employees will kill for the opportunity to be noticed.

It is kind of like a company I regularly write for. Words of encouragement and acknowledgement from the leadership encourages their writers to want to do better. It’s a little thing, but it sure goes a very long way in boosting company morale. So, be the Jordan Belfort of your organization, no matter your position. Be your team’s cheerleader and coach, and they’ll blossom for you. Be the guy your team members will follow into any battle.

Reward Them Handsomely

No one knew how to do that better than Jordan Belfort. That guy made his employees millionaires. Who wouldn’t kill to for that opportunity? It is not just enough to pay them pennies. Instead, reward them with bumper salaries and packages. A well fed and well paid employee is always a happy employee. Money and perks, while not the key elements, are crucial to the equation of work happiness.

Oh yes, did I mention parties? After a hard year’s, quarter’s work or meeting companywide goals, take them out on a yacht and party. Spoil them and pamper them. Provide your employees with these and Monday will be their favorite day of the week.

 

Oscar King is a human resources manager, who works on ways to keep quality employees on staff for as long as possible. For high performing employees he also recommends rewarding travel incentives, offered by companies such as Get Up and Go. You can learn more about Oscar by visiting his Google+.

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Many people have to go overseas on business, sometimes just for a few days or sometimes for a lot longer. You may go on regular trips yourself to destinations in Europe, Asia or South America.

If you regularly go away on business, one thing that you may want to seriously consider is short business travel insurance, which specialist companies (like Bengo Travel) may be able to help with.

So why might you want to buy this type of coverage for your trip? Some reasons include:

  • if you become ill or suffer an injury and require medical assistance during your business trip overseas, you may find that healthcare abroad can be very expensive. If you require medical repatriation back to your home, this can be very expensive, and a good policy can cover all of these costs for you;
  • if you lose essential items like your laptop during your business trip, you may be able to get the cost reimbursed if you have an insurance policy, and the same goes for any business money you take with you;
  • a delayed departure is one of the things that may be covered on a policy, which can provide you with some financial assistance if you end up waiting at the airport for a long time;
  • trip cancellation coverage may also be included, so if you or someone close to you falls ill, your policy may reimburse you for the cost of your hotel, car hire and other expenses.

These are a few of the basic things that may be included on a business policy. However, every policy is different, and there are a number of other things that may possibly be included, depending on the level of coverage you choose. For example:

  • when you travel abroad, you may take your laptop and other expensive items of equipment with you that you may require for presentations or in meetings. If you lose your equipment or it is stolen while you are abroad, you may be able to get the cost of renting a laptop or other important equipment covered on your policy;
  • if you fall ill or require medical attention while you are on your trip, your insurance may not only cover you for your medical expenses, but it may also be able to cover the cost of sending a colleague out in your place if this is included in your policy;
  • you may have to take important documents with you overseas to use in a meeting or presentation. If you lose any of these essential documents during your time overseas, you may have to get them resent from the office back home, and an insurance policy may cover the cost of the delivery.

These are some of the most important reasons why you may want to take out business cover when you or your employees go on business trips overseas. If you are an employer, you may want to make sure your employees are covered, whereas if you work for yourself or you are the boss, this is something you may want to sort out yourself.

Business trips can be stressful sometimes, so don’t risk them becoming even more stressful. Make sure you consider the benefits of taking out insurance and the risks of failing to get covered. It is your decision whether you take out cover or not, but it can certainly be useful.

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Many Human Resource departments have grand plans to go paperless and to finally rid themselves of those endless file cabinets that have historically outfitted personnel departments. Businesses and organizations alike have been developing extensive sustainability plans that necessitate a drastic reduction in paper use.

For HR departments, however, the transition to paperless has been bumpy. As new technologies emerge, however, and regulations regarding electronic records are adopted, HR departments may be able to go paperless sooner than they thought. Most business fail to realize that there are companies emerging to help you manage your human resources task such as:

  • Employee Onboarding
  • Employee Training
  • Benefits Administration
  • Employee Termination

This technology will help your human resource department centralize employee records without adding file cabinets and HR staff at your office. It will also allow you to use a single platform to store employee information, to allow easy access to employee records so that you can create, view, update, or remove an employee (Source: http://www.baypointbenefits.com/index.php/solutions/technology).

Obstacles for the Paperless HR Department

One of the main reasons HR departments struggle to go paperless is because they have legal obligations to uphold and must store and maintain employee records. There has been considerable confusion about the permissibility of electronic records. However, that is changing and HR departments are beginning to adopt digital technology that allows for advanced electronic record keeping.

Both federal and state agencies have begun to allow digital record keeping. The other obstacle is, of course, change. Many departments are used to the paper method and have been reluctant to abandon it. Although this has begun to change because technology has become more and more popular with the newer generation that are entering the workforce.

Tips to Go Paperless

Even the most reluctant HR departments can be encouraged to give up their paper crutch. New technology makes electronic storage easy and reliable. Departments that are ready to go paperless must ensure that their electronic system is secure and reliable before proceeding. Records must be available for retrieval and maintained at all times.

Just as with paper records, electronic records required policies and procedure for proper maintenance. It may be necessary to procure some assistance in this area so your HR department develops policies for electronic record keeping in accordance with best practices. An expert benefits firm can provide this type of assistance as departments transition from one type of record keeping to another. It’s also essential that whatever plan the department adopts have to be in compliance with state and federal regulations.

Going paperless leads to greater efficiency and organization for any size business, which is why making the switch seems to be a no brainer for most. With superior technology and software available to HR departments today, now is a great time to make the switch to paperless. Don’t forget that switching to paperless is going to help our eco system tremendously! Departments can obtain the compliance they need while improving the nature of their office by simply reaching out to an employee benefits provider.

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Beginners Guide to Bookkeeping

by admin on June 25, 2014

 BeginnersGuideToBookkeeping

 

Guest Post

If you have your own small business, you may need to organize and look after the finances of the business. Maintaining excellent financial records will ensure that you are aware of the money coming in and the money going out of your business account. Bookkeeping. There are reasons to maintain accounts; to help you run and mature your business but also to comply with tax laws.

How to manage and mature your business

Correct bookkeeping lets you:

  • Compare your estimations with your figures at the end of each month to assess your business’s economic state.
  • Examine your costs to establish how to manage the business more inexpensively.
  • Find out your most beneficial customers or products and discover ways to grow your return per customer.
  • Receive an advanced warning when you might be running into money problems – this can help prevent a crisis.

Bookkeeping and tax requirements

  • You have to show investors, the bank managers and the IRS how things are running within your business.
  • You’ll need to retain information and records for certain periods of time as they will be needed to do your tax return or to make any claims.

There are numerous ways to maintain financial records:

  • By keeping the books manually

You can purchase reasonably priced bookkeeping systems from the majority of stationers. However this method of bookkeeping takes time and is not suitable for producing reports.

  • Design a spreadsheet

Some simple spreadsheet skills are required to guarantee the spreadsheets are error free .

  • Let your accountant take care of your bookkeeping.

It might be a costly solution to pay a professional, when you could probably do it yourself. However it can also save you valuable time that will allow you to  work more effectively on other aspects of your business.

  • Personal business package on your computer

There are a variety of software programs to help you with accounting. Explore and find the one that is the right fit for your business

Set up an easy bookkeeping system:

However you choose to store your records, there are a few certain things you must do:

  • Have two files for your invoices, one for purchases and the other for sales. Assign a sole reference number to every invoice that is coming in and going out, make sure to note it on your computer or in your books.
  • File the invoices in the appropriate order. Doing this will help you find paper work fast if there is a VAT or tax assessment.
  • Maintain records of your expenses and make sure to get and keep receipts. If you are VAT registered, it is crucial to keep the VAT receipts, otherwise you cannot reclaim the VAT back.
  • In one part of your cash book, log the money you have paid. Record your expenses. Assign another column for the money you collect and keep a record of each transaction.  Divide your expenses into columns for example utilities, rent, insurance etc.
  • At the end of each month add the totals of each column and bring them forward on to a new page for the next month.

Outsourcing your bookkeeping can save you money and free up valuable time, allowing you to mature your business without the hassle of hiring staff. If handling the books isn’t for you, delegating is always a great idea.

About the author:
Carlo Cretaro is a freelance blogger and social media consultant working on behalf of BJ Kenny Accountants who are a leading accountancy firm based in Dublin.

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Guest Post:

As of this writing, I’ve already spent a good 1.5 hours in a coffee shop, had a full breakfast, but still wondering when the Internet connection at home would be back up and running. It’s been out for four days now, the DSL light flashing like there’s no tomorrow.

When I attempted to call my service provider’s tech support Tuesday morning, even before I got to a live agent, the automated phone system was quick to inform me that there was an outage in the area and that restoration was already underway. The problem was that the company couldn’t guarantee when everything would be back to normal.

Since Internet at home is unfortunately out of the question, I’ve already spent a good part of three mornings in this coffee shop, albeit the somewhat pricey breakfast.

Do you have a contingency plan?

If you’re a project manager, an unforeseen event (natural calamities, equipment breakdown, data loss, etc.) that prevents you and your team from using company resources to efficiently perform your tasks may prove catastrophic, especially if you’re trying to beat a deadline. The circumstances behind the delay may be inevitable and totally understandable, but without a backup plan, you’re giving a client reason to look elsewhere to award future projects.

In the world of business, repeat transactions are as important as new ones.

Your workflow in the cloud – the advantages

A workflow software, as it is usually called, is an automation solution employed by businesses to simplify and streamline their operations. This niche software can be used for virtually any part of your business – IT, finance, HR, sales and marketing, to name a few.

The beauty of most workflow software, you can choose to either deploy your workflow in the cloud or on-premise – or both.

Despite the security reinforcements cloud solution providers have incorporated into their products, some on-premise storage proponents still argue that deploying proprietary data in the cloud is not practical. While their reasons for believing so are definitely not unfounded, your workflow in the cloud offers the following advantages:

  1. Accessibility

If your workflow is limited within the confines of your office building, you would have to naturally be there to be able to use it. If emergencies arise and you need to be somewhere for a while, accessing your workflow is definitely out of the question. As well, if the workflow is in the cloud, you should be able to access it either via a computer or any connected smart device.

  1. Cost-effectiveness

Procuring and maintaining your own servers is a costly proposition, especially for small businesses. Your workflow in the cloud allows you to streamline your processes for just a fraction of the cost needed to run your own infrastructure.

Conclusion

When cloud storage was first introduced, there had been a lot of speculation as to the viability of the system. But now that it’s been established that cloud storage works, as long as you understand what you’re getting into, the pros of keeping your workflow in the cloud may just outweigh the cons.

Maricel is a blogger and freelance writer. She currently writes web content for Comindware, a workflow software provider.

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Small business owners who are in managerial positions need to acquire a certain set of skills in order to succeed in business. As a leader, one needs to be confident, inspirational, articulate, a visionary, motivational and strategic thinker. In addition to this, they also have to work towards continuous improvement. There are a couple of leadership skills which are extremely important and these are highlighted below.

  • Goal Setting

Every business owner should have an idea of where they want the business to be in a couple of year’s time. This can only be achieved through strategic planning and working towards achieving these goals everyday. The goals set should be specific, realistic, measurable, and attainable. Once they are set, you should start working on them and always go back to see what you have managed to achieve after certain duration has passed. The first year is extremely important as it sets the momentum for how fast and effectively you achieve your goals.

  • Ability to Plan and Prioritize

These two leadership skills are extremely important as well and they come in handy after setting business goals. This is because they make it easy to execute the goals. Leaders who are successful should be in a position to plan and prioritize their wok in order to work effectively and also ensure they manage their time well. Without these two skills, it is highly unlikely any business person can achieve their goal. A weekly reminder is essential for the purpose of ensuring that nothing important is overlooked. It is essential to be proactive as well in order to avoid setting the business backwards.

  • Ability to Embrace Feedback Proactively

Good leadership also requires a commitment to understanding your own weaknesses and strengths. While it is easy to fall into the school of thought that you are a born leader, there are certain skills that need to be learned. For this reason, as a leader, it is essential to accept you are still in the learning process and accept any feedback you get on your leadership skills in a proactive and positive manner. You can obtain feedback from different groups such as peers, employees and any other people you work with. This can help you develop and grow your leadership skills and it also ensures you are on the road to constant improvement.

  • Ability to Foster Relationships

Some of the most successful businesses are built on relationships and as a leader, it is important to have the ability to build strong relationships. Think about how people will perceive you and the kind of impression you create with your skills. Your personality should be one that speaks of self confidence and this will make it easy for other people to trust you.

  • Reward Employees

As a leader, you need to learn the art of rewarding your employees. There are several ways through which you can reward employees not necessarily by giving them money. If you do this, you motivate them to put in extra effort in their duties and this in turn boosts the performance of your business. What is more, you end up with employees who are productive, happy and dedicated to their work.

With these leadership skills, it is considerably easy to build your business and increase the amount of revenue you get.

Katy A. Limbaugh is an experienced news anchors & hosts of a well-known broadcasting company. She draws her inspiration from respected media like NBC, Fox, and CNN. Some of her works focus on William Lauder and other company CEOs. 

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How to Make Your Small Business More Efficient

by admin on January 29, 2013

Guest post:

Most people start their own business as a way to get out of the office and free themselves from the daily grind.  During the early days, running your own business is a liberating and satisfying experience, but after a while the excitement of being your own boss wears off and the reality of the workload sets in.

Email email email

Running a small business is a lot of work, and it’s normal to find yourself pulling the occasional late night, or working on weekends.  However if six day weeks are the norm, then you could be leaving yourself at risk of burnout.  In addition, if your usual operating procedures require so much time investment, you could be losing out on profits, and will be at risk of having everything come crashing down around you if you are unable to work for even a short time. The more efficiently your business operates, the more profit you will make, and the more resilient you will be in times of difficulty.

Say No to Technology for Its Own Sake

Don’t fall into the trap of investing in software or hardware purely because it promises to make life easier. Remember that training people to use new technology will take time, and there is a chance you will encounter teething problems and bugs when you adopt a new system. Technology can make your life easier, but it is not a magical solution to every possible problem.

Cut Down on Email

Email may seem like a time saver, but it can easily take over your workday.  If you are checking your email more than a couple of times each day, you may be wasting time.  Instead of emailing clients, suppliers and colleagues, try picking up the phone or walking into their office.  A conversation that may take several emails to complete could easily be resolved in a single phone call.

Consider Outsourcing

When money is tight, it’s natural to try to do as much as you can in-house, but outsourcing could actually save you time and money.  If you find yourself working until 9PM processing orders, maybe you should outsource your internet fulfillment services? If your annual accounts take days to complete, hiring an accountant could save you time, and a good accountant could save you money too.

Work out how much time you’re spending on order fulfillment  customer service, invoicing, and other admin tasks, and consider how much you could earn (or how much happier you would be) if you spent that time in other ways.  You may find that it will be more cost effective to outsource than to do those jobs yourself.

Choose Your Customers Carefully

Turning down work can be a scary idea for a small business, but sometimes it is the right thing to do.  If you have some customers that always pay late, are difficult to work with, or tend to be incredibly demanding, then you may want to get rid of them.

It’s always good if you can part ways with a customer on good terms – a bad customer is irritating, but a disgruntled former customer could be a PR nightmare. Instead of “firing” bad customers, consider increasing your prices, or being firmer about late payments.  Give those customers fair warning of your plans, and see what happens.  They may improve their behaviour, or be happy to pay the higher prices, or they may decide to find another supplier.  Either way, you end up better off.

 

About the author:This article was written by the team at Hallmark Consumer Services  – experts in web fulfillment services. 
(Photo credit: RambergMediaImages)
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