Author Archives: Lachlan Voughters

Promoting a New Startup in 5 Easy Steps

Owning a startup is one of the best ways to start climbing up in the business world and when you look at some of the today’s most successful companies, you’ll notice they actually started as startups. This means you too can become a success story, but only if you’re willing to strive for greatness and actually know what to do. Promoting a startup might not be the easiest part of the job, yet it’s something every business needs, so here are some of the most effective techniques you might want to explore.

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Make a viable plan

The biggest problem lots of startups are facing at the moment is not having a clear vision of their future. The CEO’s know they want to make a living first and earn more and more money later – which is ultimately why they started a startup in the first place – but they’re not sure what to do. That’s why you must make a viable business plan for the years to come and know what you’re trying to accomplish. Writing down your goals and working towards realizing them every single day is the only way to actually do something in this dog-eat-dog business world.

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A website is a must

We can’t stress this enough: you simply can’t own a company in the 21st century without a website! Although everyone should be aware of this, there are lots of people who think otherwise, yet nobody’s ever heard of them. Why? Because they don’t have a website! Yet a number of startups still think this is too expensive, so they aren’t willing to set some money aside for a website. However, if you scratch the surface of the Internet, you’ll find tons of inspirational and helpful things that will make your job easier – just find a way to use other people’s experience and you’re already halfway there!

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What about social media?

This is another amazing way to get the word out and make people know about your company. Moreover, social media is free and you basically won’t have any trouble using it, even if you have little or no experience with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If your website has quality content and you’re offering something other companies in your area aren’t, building a social media presence is easier than you think. In the end, this is important on several levels – it reaches new audience, helps your customers identify with your brand, enables quick communication, etc. – so explore all the options social media platforms are offering.

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Promotional gifts

This is another easy way to advertise yourself and a minimal investment can really go a long way here. Whenever you’re meeting potential new partners or important clients, a promotional gift or two will make a powerful statement and let them know how seriously you take your job. These gifts are often simple and inexpensive, but also quite practical, which is why everyone loves them. For instance, a couple of elegant diaries from Aussie Custom Diaries that feature your brand’s logo will surely spread your message to new clients and partners effectively.

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Reach all age groups

One of the reasons so many startups fail is because they focus just on one age group and ignore everyone else, deeming them unworthy of their time and investment. However, not only is this way of thinking wrong, but it also makes zero sense if you want to run a successful business. Therefore, think outside the box and change this paradigm by appealing to all age groups equally because you can never know how popular your service or product could be with the elders or teenagers.

 

Other ideas

Promoting a new startup is always hard and if none of these ideas seem to be working, just find other options. Some of the most popular ones include launching a guerrilla marketing campaign, offering discounts for regular customers and focusing on the word-of-mouth marketing in your own neighborhood as all of these will turn your first-time clients into recurring ones.

5 Ways to Improve Your Performance at Work

 

Spending your working hours in an office may involve your dream job. However, it can still be difficult to maintain productivity in such an environment, and even harder to boost your performance. Therefore, it’s important that you put some effort into your own mental and physical health as well as the way your working area makes you feel. The following tips may sound simple, or too good to be true, but they actually work wonders for improving your concentration and productivity at work.

1. Keep your desk tidy

Never let clutter take over your desk, working area or your desktop/laptop. In general, you want to make sure that everything you need for work is neatly organized in your drawers and your desk surface. The same goes for your icons and folders on your computer as well. When you have to go through a mess in order to find that one thing you need at that moment, your productivity is bound to drop. After all, this will break your focus. Moreover, clutter is known to increase stress, which is something you want to avoid at all costs.

5 Ways to Improve Your Performance at Work

2. Organize your tasks

Has it ever happened that you simply forgot to tend to all the tasks you had planned for the day? If it has, and it affected your work performance at some point, it’s time you organized yourself better. In fact, this is nothing too difficult. You can take some time during the weekend to write out everything you need to get done during the following week. Of course, beside work-related tasks, include all your responsibilities outside of work that you can recall as well. You can write everything in your planner, or you can use post-it notes on a corkboard when you go to work on Monday. This is a great way to keep all your tasks in check and never forget what you have to do. What’s more, this will help you plan out your days properly, so that you have time for everything. It is definitely a sure way to improve performance.

3. Healthy lifestyle

You may not like hearing this, especially if you have to sit at a desk, in front of a computer for hours, but the undeniable truth is that a healthy lifestyle is key to maintaining and boosting productivity, as well as good mood. In that respect, adding fruits and veggies to your diet, ditching foods that are obviously not good for you, and exercising regularly is a must if you want to be up to the task of staying productive. Remember, even 5-10 minutes of regular physical activity is enough. There are also plenty of deskercises that you can try out while at work.

4. Surround yourself with positivity

Positive energy that will boost your productivity and overall performance is not the easiest thing to come by. Therefore, you have to create the perfect conditions for yourself in order to be able to enjoy your time at work. Together with décor, music can make a world of difference when it comes to focusing and putting more effort into the task at hand. With that in mind, make sure to find the tunes that work the best for you personally. Obviously, you mustn’t disturb other people, so make sure to get a pair of good-quality and comfy in-ear headphones that will help you relax, but also achieve the focus you want.

5 Ways to Improve Your Performance at Work

5. Make your work space your own

Sterile and impersonal work environment is never going to boost your performance and productivity effectively. While it’s true that you don’t need plenty of knick-knacks and accessories lying around, as they will just make a mess and distract you from work, you should still try to make your work space your own. Stationery that you like, a photo of your loved ones, comfy seat cushion and a plant you find pleasant to look at can actually do wonders for how you approach work and handle all the tasks.

5 Ways to Improve Your Performance at Work

In order to improve your work performance, it’s important to realize that work is not everything you’ve got. Don’t forget to take the time to relax and enjoy your hobbies outside of work as well, in order to feel accomplished, fulfilled and ready to make the most out of every day.

Ways to Increase Productivity at Work

No matter what kind of work you do, you should always aim at making the most of your workday and ending your day with a sense of accomplishment. However, a workday can easily spiral out of control and make you procrastinate. If you want to avoid this, you should try to do everything you can in order to increase your productivity at work. We came up with five ways for increasing productivity that might be exactly what you need.

Take regular breaks

There’s no need to say that sitting in front of the screen the entire day isn’t the best way to make sure you make the most of your time in the office. In fact, if you spend all of your work hours behind your desk, chances are you’ll start experiencing eyestrain and backache. And issues like this are only going to hurt your productivity. Therefore, make sure you take regular breaks and spend them away from your desk. You can use your breaks to talk to your co-workers or make that phone call you’ve been delaying for so long. Taking a walk around the building in order to keep your body moving and get some fresh air is also something you can’t go wrong with.

Ways to Increase Productivity at Work

Eliminate all the clutter

Nobody enjoys working behind a desk that’s full of things that rarely get any use. Not only that clutter can make it more difficult for you to focus on your work but it can also make you fear that you’ve skipped a meeting or missed an important deadline. Luckily, there are tons of things you can do to make your desk clutter-free. Firstly, you should try to make the most of your drawers. Move all the stuff you rarely use into one of your drawers and keep them there until you actually need them. You might also want to store all the contracts and other documents on a flash drive, instead of having a desk full of crumpled pieces of paper.

Ways to Increase Productivity at Work

Design your office carefully

Your office design is another thing that’s always going to affect your productivity at work. So, no matter if you’re working from home or in an office, you should try to create a place that will allow you to focus solely on your work. For example, you might want to put your desk next to a window so that you can take a look at the world outside your office from time to time. On top of that, you should also make sure your office is as comfy as possible. This means you’ll want to get a rug for your office and invest in an ergonomic office chair. Hanging a few motivational posters is also a great idea.

Ways to Increase Productivity at Work

Stop multitasking

People believe that if they multitask, they’ll be able to get more work done. However, tackling two tasks at the same time can actually do more harm than good. First of all, multitasking can actually slow you down. A 2008 study conducted at the University of Utah has shown that drivers who used their cell phones while driving took more time to reach their destination than those who were focused only on the road. Moreover, multitasking can also stress you out and only hurt your productivity. For example, a California-based study has shown that employees who don’t have constant email access tend to have lower heart rates and be less stressed out about their work.

Ways to Increase Productivity at Work

Invest in your career

One of the best ways to be more productive is to invest in your career. Today, there are so many online courses and seminars you can take that are going to help you become better at what you do. Of course, you don’t only have to aim at taking courses and seminars that are closely related to your niche. In fact, there are certain skills that can be quite helpful for people working in just any industry. For example, you might want to think about signing up for a foreign language class or a touch-typing course.

Follow these five ways and you’ll be guaranteed to get more work done. However, this doesn’t mean you should always keep looking for some innovative ways to increase your productivity at work.

 

Tech Tools to Boost Productivity in the Digital Environment

Tech Tools to Boost Productivity in the Digital Environment

A happy and stress-free worker is a productive and focused worker. Happy workers finish around 12% more work than unhappy ones, and it all comes from their better motivation. But, since motivation is influenced by wages, office culture and most of all good office optimization, you must concentrate on providing your workers with tools and gadgets that will boost their productivity and increase their motivation. Here are some of the best and most efficient productivity boosters in the digital environment today.

Dual monitors

One of the best investments for productivity boost in the digital environment is dual monitors. With dual monitors, a person can have more browsers displayed at the same time. This feature is particularly useful for programmers who work with code, designers and any sort of research scientists. It’s also practical for people who have to fill out various tables and forms or compare critical information. Dual monitors have many benefits and the worker will get a chance to make their work easier, faster and more comfortable.

Avoid distractions

The digital world is full of distractions everywhere you click. There’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, memes and all sorts of funny and interesting articles you can stumble upon that can take away the time from actual work. Some people decide to make separate Google accounts for home and work, while some opt for apps that block certain distracting sites. For instance, an app called Self-Control will block all sites you deem distracting forcing you to focus on work and tasks ahead.

Use collaboration apps

Make team communication much faster and easier by using collaboration apps. Apps such as Slack allow you to use a single service for all team communication that can be searched from anywhere at any time. When you combine Slack with other apps such as Asana, you’ll create an ultimate communication platform for your team. Asana allows your team to share, organize and plan tasks as well as track the progress of projects. It’s also possible to use it to create subtasks and assign them to members of your team. You can also combine Slack with Google Drive or Dropbox and eliminate all need to send documents to different individuals by sharing files in-app. These apps will make your team more efficient and more productive because they eliminate many unnecessary steps of traditional communication.

Tech Tools to Boost Productivity in the Digital Environment

Silent peripherals

No matter the size of the office and office culture, it’s a fact that workspaces can get a little loud. Many office workers complain that they are unable to focus because of all the chatting and clattering around them. Luckily, there’s an easy way to block and reduce the noise and make the office a more pleasant space. You can buy headphones for your employees and get silent keyboards and mice to further reduce the noise. When you combine those two, you’ll provide your workers with space that doesn’t destroy focus and provide constant distractions.

Tech Tools to Boost Productivity in the Digital Environment

Smart use of time

No matter how much people love their job, they usually tend to procrastinate with their tasks. Some tasks that can be finished in half an hour sometimes get indefinitely postponed thanks to procrastination. If you want to eliminate that problem in your office, you can try the Pomodoro technique. The tomato timer will divide your work time into 25-minute periods of intensive work combined with 5-minute breaks for stretching and eye recovery. This method prevents burnouts and the guilt that comes with procrastinating. Workers who use Pomodoro technique also take fewer sick days which saves money and makes work more efficient.

There are many great ways for you and your employees to be more productive in the digital environment. You can try some of these individually or combine them for the maximum effect. Your workers will be much more productive, motivated and happy, while you’ll save money and time you can later spend on rewarding your employees and even taking a day off.

 

Did Digital Kill the Traditional Marketing

The omnipresence of internet has sparked a lot of debates about the traditional media, making us wonder: Are the newspaper dead? Is there no more need for the printed books? And finally, did digital marketing defeat the traditional forms of advertising? It makes sense, advertising your product on the web is free or costs next to nothing and it gives you a chance to have a more personalized approach to marketing. However, that doesn’t have to mean that the old-school marketing doesn’t have anything to offer any more. In this article, we will try to determine the difference between the two, the benefits of each of them, and the possibilities of combining the two.

Did Digital Kill the Traditional Marketing

What is traditional marketing?

There are many methods of traditional marketing, and they include tangible advertisements, such as posters, brochures, flyers, business cards and print ads in magazines and newspaper. Commercials on radio and TV are also considered a form of traditional marketing. Additionally, promotional products, referrals, and reward programs can also be classified into this group.

What is digital marketing?

It is difficult to precisely define digital marketing since it grows and develops each day with the advancements of technology. Some examples of this new way of marketing are social media mentions (page, posts, games, etc.), websites, YouTube videos, blogging, as well as search engine optimization and banner ads. Digital marketing is currently more popular because it requires fewer investments.

The good sides of the old-school

Traditional marketing is still something that people are accustomed to, and that’s why they can easily understand and relate to it. This old-school marketing method enables businesses to reach a local audience with ease. Besides, the promotional materials can be kept for future reference, so you don’t have to google for company info every time you want to make a call.

The bad sides of the old-school

One of the primary flaws of the traditional marketing is that there is not enough interaction between the customers and the used medium. The medium is used merely to provide information without asking for feedback. Also, as we have already mentioned, these marketing materials can be very costly. And finally, it is very difficult, not to say virtually impossible, to measure the results of a marketing strategy which employs traditional marketing approach.

The good sides of the new kid in the block

Digital marketing allows you to target an international audience, as well as to tailor your campaign to specific properties, such as age, gender, location and interest. The audience has a say in receiving the product and they can also provide a meaningful feedback. It is cost-effective and the competition is less relentless. Above all, the results are immediately measurable.

The bad sides of the new kid in the block

Even though it seems like a DIY arena, digital marketing can fool you into thinking you can do everything on your own. However, given that online marketing includes a multitude of fields and potential strategies, that is virtually impossible. Fortunately, there are plenty of experienced expert companies, such as The Pipeline, to which you can outsource your marketing sector, at least until you get the hang of it.

Can they work together

In spite of being completely different, you shouldn’t be exclusive when it comes to these two methods of marketing; rather, always try to combine them. Since this is a mostly digital-based world, it makes sense to invest more in an online marketing campaign and use hard copy materials to support your online efforts or reach an audience which is not very tech-savvy (e.g. senior citizens). Also, there is one twist on the traditional marketing which rose in the ‘80s, but reached its true potential only today, and that is guerrilla marketing. Some of the biggest successes include UNICEF’s “Be a mom for a moment” campaign, IKEA’s “Everyday Fabulous” and The Sopranos taxi stunt.

Did Digital Kill the Traditional Marketing

There is no doubt that the world is changing and that we need to try to catch up. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we will renounce everything we are used to. We don’t have to abandon the principles from the past, they just need to evolve and be complemented with innovative methods.

Learn How to Use and Exchange Digital Currencies

The most popular and well known digital currencies these days are Dash and Bitcoin. However, the focus of this text will be on Dash as it has a lot more advantages over all other digital currencies. In general, the simplest explanation is that Dash is digital money; you can trade and exchange it for products. It’s also a lot more secure and safer to use compared to other digital currencies. You may remember that Bitcoin has been really difficult to get and manage but the times they are a-changin’, so that’s no longer the case.

What makes Dash the best digital currency?

To put it simply, Dash is so popular precisely because you can spend it whenever and on whatever you want. Also, all transactions are private. In a way, Dash is the closest thing to cash even if we are talking about online spending. It’s an easy way to get what you want and need without leaving an obvious trace. In that sense, it’s very similar to cash transactions. Moreover, the payments can be confirmed instantly, which makes it almost impossible to become a victim of double-spending. Quite nifty isn’t it?

Why should you choose Dash over Bitcoin?

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, Dash is an anonymous way to perform transactions online, and unfortunately, Bitcoin protocols are everything but that. This is why Dash has gained an incredible popularity over Bitcoin. Moreover, if you have ever used Bitcoin before, you know that the whole process is fairly complex; using Dash, on the other hand, is quite simple.

Dash wallet possibilities

To make the whole thing even more personal, the process of buying Dash involves the use of a Dash wallet. There are different wallets depending on whether you’re dealing with large sums of money or just trying it out for fun. In the first case, it’s recommended that you get a hardware wallet. This is the most secure way to store your online currency over a longer time period. In case you just want to try this digital currency out, Dash mobile and desktop wallets are the best options for you. There are several wallet applications for mobile use, as well as Dash wallet software designed specifically for the computer use. Check the feedback online as well as all the available functions of each wallet option in order to choose the one that suits your needs the best.

Ways to get Dash

There are several different ways to buy Dash. Now that you have your Dash wallet, you can get your Dash through a wire transfer. If you’re looking for the best cryptocurrency exchange options, definitely check out BitPanda, BTC-e, Kraken and AnyCoin Direct. You can also purchase Dash with cash! However, there are very few ATMs that actually have this feature, so this might be a bit trickier. WallofCoins is also a place that allows users to purchase Dash directly. Finally, you can also exchange any Bitcoin that you might have for Dash. Again, there are several exchange sites to choose from. Take a look at ShapeShift, Changelly, Poloniex and Bitfinex in addition to Kraken and BTC-e for a secure Bitcoin-to-Dash exchange.

Make sure you store your Dash

So, you have your Dash wallet installed and you’ve found a way to actually buy Dash coins in a manner that suits you the best. However, there’s also one extra step you have to do. Basically, never leave your Dash coins on the exchange place you used for the purchase. Your coins are not safe there, and you may regret your negligence later on. Make sure that you move all your Dash coins to the wallet you’re using as soon as you can. Only then can you consider your digital coins safe.

To sum up, using digital currency may seem too futuristic to some people, but the future is now. Dash allows you to buy whatever product or service you want quickly and efficiently, which makes it one of the most secure and private online transfers today.

10 Essential Tips and Tricks for Ecommerce Websites

The way people shop changed a lot in the last few years and that’s why each year we’re getting more and more web shops. Nowadays, you can buy practically anything online meaning there’s a lot of competition in the eCommerce business and every good tip matters for eCommerce website owners. Here are the top 10.

Have and use your USP

What sets you apart from your competitors and why would the customers choose you are two main questions to ask yourself. Once you do that, you’ll know your unique selling point (USP) and how to use it. Always keep the customer in mind – your products or services should benefit them, so that can become your most effective tool for advertising.

Provide security

Although internet shopping has been around for a while, people are still dubious about payments and they want everything clean and transparent. Trusted payment options must be on display on your website so make sure you put it alongside the banner. It’s for your customer’s peace of mind – show them they can trust you and they will be yours for good.

Don’t forget about SEO

Having the best site in the world means nothing if people can’t find it online so doing a search engine optimization should be a priority. Do a research on keywords to make sure you use the hot ones on your website, optimize your pages, and be active on social media platforms. Be aware that poorly implemented SEO can damage your business so hiring a professional to do it is a good idea.

Offer live chat

To avoid your business being declared as impersonal you must include live chat on your website as a good alternative to face-to-face contact. Keep your email and phone number on display (and reply timely) but it’s even better to establish a live chat feature and show your customers you’re always there for them. Nothing beats talking to a real person!

Ensure photo quality

Whether you’re selling products or services, making your website visually pretty is essential. No one will decide to buy a product from a blurry or badly photoshopped picture, so pay attention to quality. Your gallery should be easy to navigate while products should be visible from all sides. Zoom option is also great, so keep that in mind when posting your images.

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Leave logistics to the pros

If you’re selling products, your biggest problem will be storage, inventory, packing and shipping your goods and that’s why it’s a good idea to leave it to the experts. Ecommerce logistics experts can receive, manage and dispatch your goods so you won’t have to worry about that. It’ll improve your customers’ satisfaction as well because they’ll know their order is in good hands.

Encourage reviews

You know what they say: only those who did something wrong are afraid of the reviews. But the thing is: real people’s experiences are valuable to your business. Nothing beats a satisfied customer since people will always take other people’s words when it comes to shopping online. It’s good for the SEO as well because reviews make unique content for your website thus making the search engines happy.

Optimize search option

Practice showed that site search users are more likely to convert than the average user so optimizing this feature is a must. The search box should be easy to spot, big enough, and provide autocomplete options for maximum results. There are some other tricks that can make searching your site a better experience, so make sure you take this advice and implement what you can.

Deal with out of stock products

Anyone who has ever shopped online knows that out of stock is the worst thing you can see on the ecommerce website. Knowing how to deal with this is important because that’s the way to address the biggest issue from the customers’ point of view. If your product is no longer available, link similar items to the page or contact link to the manufacturer so your customers will know there’s hope.

Create buying guides

For each category you have on your ecommerce website, there should be a detailed guide for shopping. For example, if you’re selling clothes, offering style and trend guides to your customers is a nice idea. If you’re selling wallpapers, providing home décor ideas, tips and tricks is a must. This will enrich the shopping experience and leave your customers in delight.

Think of your website as of the heart and soul of your business and make it both pretty and functional. That’s what keeps the customers coming and, more importantly, staying loyal to your business.

5 Traits that Make a Digital Workplace Unique and Productive

Digital workplace
The concept of digital workplace is not strictly tied to a physical space. More importantly, digital workplace is actually an organization strategy, which helps the employees be at the top of their game as they work. Thanks to the digital technologies used, one can break the communication barrier. Moreover, digital workplace is used to boost the motivation and productivity of the workforce. Basically, it can be very difficult to define a digital workplace. In general, it can be said that a digital workplace combines the modern technologies, tools and the whole work environment so that it can bring out the best from and provide the best to its workforce.

1. Better and faster communication

Digital workplace provides easy ways to communicate, exchange information and solve potential problems to everyone involved in a particular work project. This makes everyone’s work a lot more efficient. Colleagues in the office and at home can communicate effectively. Clients and other businesses can be reached instantly regardless of their location. Dynamic situations are encouraged and perfectly implemented into a working day without pressure or anxiety.

 

2. Strong, yet open form of leadership

Thanks to the digital workplace concept, the notion of leadership is getting a bit blurred. Of course, there is a need for a leader. However, the leader is no longer the boss who sits in his own office. Again, modern day digital technologies allow for integrated leadership as well. The “boss” can easily be a part of the team since the team is encouraged to solve problems and make decisions on their own. Moreover, because of the better communication mentioned in the previous paragraph, a lot of issues can be solved before presented to the leader. In that respect, digital workforce operates coherently and dynamically by involving everyone at work equally, which creates a more relaxed and at the same time more productive work environment.

3. There’s no physical barrier

Just like the location is not a problem when it comes to effective communication at a digital workplace, location is not a problem when it comes to work itself. Virtual project platforms, cloud storage and other digital tools make it possible for workers to do their job from any location they want. This is extremely beneficial for companies and employees alike. Companies can hire the best candidates without worrying about their geographical location while employees are not limited to their local job opportunities. Working from home is a great perk for many people, but coworking spaces are becoming increasingly popular as well. For example, a Shared Office Space in Melbourne offers 24/7 membership precisely because of the rising popularity of this particular aspect of a digital workplace.

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4. Time-efficient and data-driven

If a digital workplace is completely implemented into the work environment, the need for physical storage will cease to exist. Because of the possibility to quickly store all the important data and information on a cloud, it will be possible to save a lot of space in the physical office. Moreover, any new information will be processed and saved with ease. Because of that, there’s a lot less chance for error as well as less need for time-consuming data organization and filing system.

5. Track your business success

Since digital workplace encourages more independence in problem-solving and decision-making ordeals as well as clearer and more measurable business values together with a better insight into the products and services of the company, digital workplace also allows any business model to be easily tracked and measured. This leaves a lot of room for immediate changes and adjustments where necessary, which saves time, money and resources.

Digital workplace is necessary in this day and age. Technology cannot be observed separately from a workplace or an employee anymore. By combining these elements together and making them work as a whole, the workforce’s creativity, productivity and empowerment will lead the business to success.

Building a Construction Company – Startup Checklist

ConstructionStarting a company is never an easy task. Apart from needing the courage to take the plunge, you also have to be sure that what you want to offer will be interesting to customers and that you won’t make any mistake that might prove too costly.

Needless to say, the whole process is quite overwhelming, especially if you’re planning to make a breakthrough in the field of construction industry.

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Unlike many other startups, a new construction company can’t start with a makeshift office above your garage and an old laptop, which is just one of the problems every aspiring entrepreneur has to take into account.

In order to ensure that no major issues have been overlooked, many experts have been compiling various checklists for up-and-coming colleagues. The fact that most of the tips are generally accepted among seasoned professionals means that a young entrepreneur should most definitely pay attention to them.

So, let’s take a look at some of the things that are most commonly found on such checklists.

  1. Make sure you have sufficient funds. You can’t start a company, particularly a construction one if you don’t have enough financial resources. Whether you use your own money or borrow it, not being able to pay for everything you need from the very start would definitely jeopardize the whole project.
  2. Get all the papers you need. Apart from registration documents, you are bound to need various licenses to do business. Requirements differ, depending on where you live, but you should definitely have all of them ready on day 1. If in doubt, consult a legal expert about what you actually need and how to obtain it.
  3. Sort out financial and insurance matters. Choose a bank to open an account with and have a look at what various insurance companies Again, it might be useful to consult an expert if you’re not quite sure what the best option for you is.
  4. Create a team. This doesn’t refer only to experts in construction business, to also to your account, lawyer, banker, insurance agent and all other people who contribute to the daily operations of your company.
  5. Create a website. It’s vital that you have a professionally designed website where you can present your offer and later showcase your results. Having a good website is the best possible catalogue of your achievements you can have.
  6. Buying vs hiring. Make sure you know exactly what equipment you need to buy and what you can hire and try to find the most cost-efficient way of working. While you might need to invest in buying your own crane, for instance, you might be better off renting a scissor lift.
  7. Design business stationery. You really need to give your new company a professional look from the very beginning, which is why you need smartly designed letterhead, business cards and other stationery.
  8. Social media presence. A great deal of interaction in today’s world is happening on social media platforms, which is a good enough reason for your startup to be present there as well. Respect the norms and standards of social networks and you might create an extremely powerful marketing tool.
  9. Double-check your business plan, with a particular focus on its financial component. In case you’ve made a single mistake, you might not be able to get a realistic picture of your performance. Again, if you feel insecure for any reason, asks someone with experience to go through the plan with you and revise it.

As you can see, this checklist contains the most commonly mentioned advice related to starting a construction business. Needless to say, there are many more things one should take into account before starting a construction company, and many of them are very specific and depend on the circumstances. Still, if you follow this simple checklist, the chances of missing something really important are minimized.

3 Tips for Maximizing Your Warehouse Business in 2017

Warehouse BusinessGetting into the warehouse business isn’t something lots of kids dream of nowadays. They all want to be entertainers, IT experts, astronauts and firefighters, and that’s quite all right, but the truth is that the world doesn’t need that many singers and dancers. What it does, however, need are trustworthy and responsible managers in all sorts of fields and one of the most sought-for career these days is in the warehouse management industry. If you’re an owner of an empty warehouse ready to be moved in with thousands of boxes placed neatly on shelves or looking for a new spacious warehouse that will accommodate all needs of your company, there are a few things you need to know. So, here are three important tips for maximizing your warehouse business this year and making some money in the process.

Organize, organize, organize

This might not seem like the most important thing in the world with a number of other industries, but it’s definitely paramount when it comes to warehouse management. Organization is at the core of this business and you mustn’t get into it unless you can handle organizing items in a strict order and in accordance with several rules.

Finally, if your warehouse isn’t neatly organized, your incoming packages won’t be placed in the right spot, while the outgoing ones won’t leave the premise nor arrive at their destination in time. Your employees will be confused and disoriented and, in short, the entire business will go down in flames quite quickly. There are lots of ways to organize your warehouse, but the most important thing to do is to keep the popular products near the entrance – if they’re moving fast, they need to be able to get in and out in the smallest amount of time.

Make a system

Even before organizing and setting up your warehouse, it’s important to come up with a system of placing, stacking and storing your items. No matter how spacious your warehouse is, you have to make sure the products can be easily accessed and moved around. This way, you’ll minimize the waiting period and become much more efficient, which will, consequently, bring you more and more work and boost your income. You can even use a warehouse management system software and maximize your productivity without having to come up with any special system on your own.

Applying a certain logic to the entire system is essential – depending on whether you generally deal with a smaller number of large products or vice versa, you can either focus on the number of products you get in and out or their size. In other words, your warehouse has to be able to accommodate a bigger number in small packages in the same amount of time as the smaller number of huge packages. And that’s exactly how you should store them – big products in the back, smaller ones in the front. This way, your pickers will always know where everything is and how to find a certain order in no time.

Use proper shelves

The main problem with warehouses today is that their owners are generally looking for a way to make some money quickly and rarely pay enough attention to the quality of the services they offer. And this is where they make a crucial mistake – yes, they’ll probably be able to make a few bucks in the first few months, but potential clients will soon find out how inefficient they are and simply find a better alternative. That’s why you shouldn’t cut corners, especially when it comes to shelves.

Being able to stock a large number of products at the same time is impossible unless you have proper shelves. They are literally the backbone of your warehouse and something that will make or break you in the long run. That’s why you need to look into reliable shelving solutions and opt for those that can guarantee longevity and quality. Keep in mind that poor shelves are bad for your business and stay far away from them.

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Other tips

Some of the other warehouse management trends you should look into are exploring various cluster-picking strategies, working during the holidays, delivering packages via drones and opting for all-purpose facilities that can be coordinated easily.

Why Does Cash Flow Have Priority over Profit?


Perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions in the world of business is: should I focus on profit, or make cash flow my priority? Although they both play critical roles in your business success, there are some points to be made in cash flow’s favor. So, don’t fall into the trap of putting all your efforts into making profit, since it is not the main indicator of a successful business. There is no denying it is crucial when observing the bigger picture and long term benefits, but while trying to stay afloat in a sea of corporate sharks, you need stable cash flow to maintain financial health.

The difference between profit and cash flow

These two different financial parameters have a certain impact on your business. Cash flow is the money that goes in and out of the company from various investing activities. You need it to meet your current needs and obligations. On the other hand, profit is the money that remains from sales revenue after all the business’s expenses are subtracted.

To put it in more specific words, if a contract is worth $60,000, and it costs your company $40,000 to provide a good service, your profit will be $20,000.

We can use the same example for cash flow. If your client decides to pay you in two stages of $30,000 each, you will send the first invoice and expect your first payment in about 30 days. A month later, you will send the second invoice and like the previous, expect it 30 days after. Assuming you receive the money on the exact due date you will have the cash inflow you need to keep your business running.

The importance of cash flow

Have you ever heard of the expression “cash is king”? Well, there is some good reasoning behind it. Without cash, how could you be able to pay staff and buy the necessary equipment and material for your job? Besides, every business reaches a moment when sales are in a slump, and there is no profit in sight. In that case, you need the cash flow to keep you afloat.

When cash flow is slow

It’s never a good thing when there is not enough profit, but when there is not enough cash flow, that could question the existence of the entire company. After all, employees will not be willing to work for free and your company will not be able to provide services that require previous investments in material and equipment. The cash flow squeeze can happen for various reasons:

  • Slow-paying customers
  • Seasonal fluctuations
  • Need for quick capital in order to pay contractors, suppliers and service providers
  • You need the capital for business growth

If one of these situations occurs to you, you can always check out some invoice finance options that can fund your cash flow whenever you need it. This way you can shorten the period of waiting for invoices to be paid, because the company you choose will advance you the cash.

Business boom – cash flow dependence

In 2014 Inc. magazine published an article about three business owners who were faced with the problem of cash flow squeeze that happened during the period when their businesses were booming. On the surface, fast growth seems as a good thing. However, when a small business grows from hundreds to thousands of transactions per month, it makes the managing team lose their grip on finances. The thing is, when businesses grow, they become more complex, and some rules about billing and invoices become different. Meanwhile, more cash is needed to cover higher taxes, inventory, compliance expenses and debt. So, yes, ironically, as your sales go up, your cash can go down, and this can get you into serious trouble. In order to make it through the business growth, you will need a stable cash flow. The easiest ways to do that is through a proper accounting system and invoice financing.

Both profit and cash flow are important financial parameters, but if we would have to give an advantage to one of them that would definitely be cash flow, because without it, your business would be doomed.

How to Become a Workplace Health and Safety Officer

The progress that has been evident in almost every field has also brought about significant changes to the way we work, including the requirements related to health and safety. It’s often no longer enough to receive traditional education and training, since the types of emergencies have also changed and now require different approaches.

Work health and safety is one of the crucial aspects of daily operations of every company. It’s a well-known fact that illnesses and accidents can affect much more than just production processes.

Unfortunately, they sometimes lead to serious injuries or even death. That’s why it’s important for health and safety experts to receive relevant and applicable knowledge. So, let’s look at what it takes to become a workplace health and safety officer.

Step 1

The first step you need to take if you want to become an expert in this field is to attend a work and safety course and get a valid certificate after completing it. If you’re living Down Under, your most natural choices are Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and Diploma of Work Health and Safety.

Consider these as stepping stones towards the ultimate goal. Such a course will teach you to identify risks and hazards in the workplace, react appropriately to accidents, operate different types of emergency warning systems, check compliance with work health and safety legislation and you’ll also learn quite a lot of theory.

However, if you want to progress and get promoted, or simply become more competitive on the job market, you’ll need to get Diploma WHS, since it will provide you with additional set of skills. This way you would be able to investigate risks and hazards, manage workplace health and safety consultation process, draft elaborate safety reports and use risk management tools.

Licenses for specific high-risk jobs

If your interest lies in working with specific, high-risk equipment or in more dangerous environments, you’ll need to meet some special requirements. They depend on the area in which you’re looking for work, which means you need to ask around and get relevant and correct information before taking any steps.

Furthermore, those among you whose ambition is to become trainers need to be ready to add to their existing qualifications, although the most useful thing to do for them is collect as much relevant experience as possible. This is not only a requirement for becoming a trainer, but also an invaluable component of every professional knowledge.

Choosing the way of studying

Like most other courses, those in workplace health and safety can be taken either online or face-to-face. Either way, they usually last not more than one year, which allows all candidates to take the plunge rather quickly and learn the ropes.

It is important to compare available courses and what they offer, as well as to look for testimonials from people who have already finished some courses. Make sure you choose the best option available since you need to invest both your money and effort into completing a course.

Conclusion

With the development of various fields of work, the job requirements for health and safety officers have also changed and become stricter. The desired knowledge and skills are also becoming more specific, which means that traditional qualifications may not be sufficient or that other people will have an advantage over you when applying for a job in this field.

Apart from completing appropriate courses and getting valid certificates, you should try to get as much varied experience as possible, since that will be both useful for any future job and necessary if you decide to pursue a more esteemed career. It’s up to you to choose the institution that can provide appropriate training and try to get a job as soon as possible.

Wow Clients with an Amazing Corporate Event

Planning a corporate event can be a time consuming and stressful task. Figuring out a budget, location, guest list and guest speakers can feel a little overwhelming and intimidating. Get a few ideas of corporate events that have worked for other companies.

1. Special Guest Speaker

Depending on what type of company you are involved with, you might want to hire or ask a special guest to speak to a room of clients. To draw interest your guest should be someone of interest—or at least someone you can create some mystery around. If you work in technology security, hire a hacker to speak to your clients about the types of threats that their businesses might face. Find a guest speaker who is able to convey a message about your company while entertaining the crowd at the same time.

2. Corporate Retreat

People love getting out of town and any excuse to get away from the confines of the city will help draw a crowd to your corporate event. Choose an overnight retreat that complies with your company’s brand and your mission. If you are a local wholesaler of foods designed for spas, choose a spa that will let you display your products on the shelves. Or, ask the spa to serve your food at mealtimes. You’ll probably need to provide free food, but you might get a discount on the retreat if the spa doesn’t need to provide food.

3. Host a Fundraiser

Show your customers you have a heart of gold by hosting a fundraiser. Find a cause that is important to you or your company. Perhaps one of your employees has discovered she has Multiple Sclerosis? Host an event to raise awareness (and money) for the cause. Display your products at the event and tell guests that a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to your cause. You can even go so far as to tell guests that for a select amount of dates, a percentage of the proceeds of your product will be donated to your cause. Customers will feel even better about your product—and they’ll feel swanky after they’re invited to a benefit.

4. Get Outdoors

Not every corporate event needs to be an expensive endeavor. You can wow your clients by simply getting them in a new environment. Host a camping event or a day hike if you want to save money on your retreat. Or, give them a day of zip lining, snorkeling, ATV riding or Frisbee golfing. Getting people out of the boardroom or office and into the wilderness opens up their minds and allows them to drop their defenses. They will be much more open to hiring your company or buying your product.

5. Online Classes and Webinars

You don’t need to be in person to impress your colleagues and clients. If you have funds to host a guest speaker or a guest teacher, host an online class or webinar. Your clients and employees will learn about an overarching task (how can big data help your company) while promoting your product (use our data graphs to help understand big data output). Obviously, the more relevant the class and the more well-known the teacher, the bigger your turnout will be. Offer a class for free that is usually extremely pricey or difficult to take—as long as your clients download a free trial of your product.

6. Rent a Function Room

If all else fails, throw a party. People love parties and they love getting invitations to elite invite-only parties. Try drawing customers in by offering a “play hooky” party and choose the location wisely .Rent a function room at a local center and throw a party at two or three in the afternoon where you ask your clients to ditch work for a few hours. Offer “play hooky” cocktails, wine and beer—and plenty of bar food to soak up the alcohol.

In renting a function room, you can have the entire event catered or you can provide the food yourself. The center can set up the room anyway you’d like, whether it’s a dining room, theater or cabaret-style set up, you can choose the format that works best for your theme.

Traditional Business Promotion – Does it Still Work?

What is the best way for a business to promote itself and its goods and services in the 21st century?

Many entrepreneurs would be quick to point out that online advertising, a content-rich website and an electronic newsletter are the answers. Those things are a valuable part of any company’s public relations arsenal. However, it’s shortsighted to overlook the importance of promotional gifts as a means of reminding customers of the existence of your company and what it does.

The concept of promotional gifts is nothing new. Companies have been sponsoring giveaways or offering free items for decades to generate word of mouth. It is a time-tested technique for prompting existing customers to call again and for enticing new clients. Even in this age of digital, online everything, a concrete, tangible reminder of your company can go a long way toward ensuring success.

Promotional gifts work because everyone loves getting something for free. Whether it’s a pen, a bag, a t-shirt or something else, most people can’t resist the allure of receiving something for nothing. It’s all the better if it’s a useful item that the potential customer reaches for on a daily or weekly basis. When they do, they are going to see your company’s logo. Then, they are going to associate the good feelings that come with getting a gift with your organisation. Before too long, they’ll probably be calling to bring new business your way. That’s the kind of association that any growing company needs.

So what makes a great promotional gift? The reality is that such presents could be just about anything. Classic items include pens and stationery. Companies have also been known to give away umbrellas, piggy banks, ball caps, drinking glasses, calendars and tote bags. Regardless of what the item is, it is imperative that your company’s name, logo and contact information are prominently placed. A promotional gift that has just one of these elements is not going to hit the mark. After all, what’s the use of a drinking glass that features your company’s logo but doesn’t also provide a phone number or email address? Your potential customer will be forced to find other methods to get your contact info, and he may find it’s easier just to call your competitor because that’s who he used last time.

Most promotional gifts are small and easily portable. This makes it possible to bring them to conventions and trade shows where you can generate a lot of buzz just by handing them out to people who stop by your company’s booth. Other convention attendees are bound to spot the great gifts that other people are carrying around and want to know where they came from. That brings even more people to your booth. Before you know it, you’ve made dozens of new contacts. Not all of them are going to generate a sale, but a solid number of them will, and many of those may turn into long-lasting relationships.

In fact, promotional gifts are a wonderful way to build relationships that continue for years. When your company is courting a big new client, it may make sense to send them a thoughtful gift. If you’re in the food industry, perhaps you’ll send a gorgeous wooden cutting board that is embossed with your company’s information while a vintner might send a waiter’s key corkscrew. These next-level promotional gifts will help foster a positive feeling between your customer and your company.

If you want to make a real connection with potential clients and cement relationships with existing customers, then promotional gifts are definitely the way to go.