Author Archives: Lachlan Voughters

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.

Ways Project Managers Can Benefit From Lean

"LEAN" (quality process improvement efficiency)
Lean is a systemic business method for waste elimination. It first originated in Japan in the eighties, but has roots dating back to the Ford production line and Fayol’s principles of management. It has since gained global acceptance and popularity in the business world. Implementing Lean is a sure fire way of boosting profits as it directly affects employee productivity and enables business owners to utilize their full business potential. In a nutshell, Lean brings processes that add value to the forefront by reducing everything else. Here are some of the many ways your business can benefit from Lean training.

Quality Improvement and Fewer Defects

Lean simplifies the production process by eliminating lot and batch production, and by doing so, it minimizes the opportunity for defects. This single-piece flow technology means that if a defect does occur, it will only affect the one part. In doing so, a lot of time is saved, that would otherwise be needed to isolate and test other material in the same production line, in order to make sure it is up to par. After a defect is caught, mistake proofing methods come into play that strengthen the production process and prevent recurrence; in turn, improving quality.

Visual Management

The second benefit of Lean manufacturing and management is a method called Management by Sight. When implemented correctly, Lean enables you to evaluate and gage the progress and state of an entire area of your plant, with a simple visual scan. Errors and abnormalities will clearly stand out and can be quickly and easily identified. Creating a visual workplace will forever change your business for the better. It will enable you to know exactly what is going on, in real time. Reorganizing the work environment, this way, also improves employee safety.

Less Manpower

As Lean boosts process efficiency and creates standardized work, one of its major benefits is the ability to do more, with a smaller work force. However, this in no way means that you have to let go of the now redundant workforce. The principles of Lean dictate that these employees can be effectively utilized to perform continuous improvements, be trained to enhance their skill level, or be assigned maintenance of the system upon its implementation..

Full Company Involvement

Lean is meant to be implemented across the whole organization, not just in one specific area. It is a holistic management philosophy that works only if every part of your organization is involved. This goes a long way in promoting the concept that every employee in the company is part of the team.

Managing Made Easier

Lean makes sure that each employee knows which tasks need to be performed by providing standardized and easy to understand workflow instructions. This makes management a whole lot easier. When problems do arise, they will be significantly easier to deal with as the new team environment encourages support groups to work together in problem solving activities.

Boosting Employee Morale

This final benefit has a tendency to not be immediately apparent, as every change in a routined business environment encounters some resistance, in various forms. Lean makes the transition of change feel natural, thus eliminating the stress related to it. By involving and empowering your employees to make tangible and profitable changes to their everyday tasks, they will gain confidence and feel like a valid and contributing team factor. Lean reduces uncertainty and ambiguity in the workplace, which in turn boosts morale by lowering stress levels and insecurities.

There are immense and sustainable managerial and productive benefits to be reaped from implementing Lean. If you ensure that Lean mentality is integrated into the very culture of your business, you will create an environment that minimizes waste while maximizing productivity and profits. Investing in Lean training, regardless of the type (from Introduction, Lean Champion to SMED),  will pay dividends, as your business will become far more competitive, both in the effectiveness of the services you provide and in the prices that you will be able to charge. This ensures a secure foundation for growth and development. .

 

How to Start a Consulting Business

business-consultantFor independently minded entrepreneurs, consulting can be a lucrative career limited only by ambition and skill. Typically, consultants are hired by companies to advise them on any number of issues such as finances, advertising or communications, and technological improvements have made it easier than ever before for clients and consultants to share ideas. Rather than placing your future in the hands of a single company, a consulting business allows you to take control, work with whomever you choose and decide your own rates and terms.


On the other hand, consulting also requires motivation and an outgoing personality, as well as the ability to work without the structure of a fixed employer. Starting a consulting career takes little more than a computer and some expertise, but turning that business into a success demands dedication and tenacity. These are the six basic steps to creating a consulting service that will withstand the test of time.

Should You Become a Consultant?

Before starting any new endeavor, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you are suited for the career in question. Consultants must be able to manage their time effectively, network with other professionals and have enough resources to devote themselves to a fledgling business. They rarely have the luxury of being handed work and must actively pursue new leads or face dry spells with little or no income. It also helps to be an expert in a field; no one wants to hire a consultant who makes problems worse or accomplishes nothing at all.

Find a Market

The best pumpkin-growing consultant around is still going to have trouble keeping his business afloat; the market simply is not there to support a full-time career. Prospective consultants must appraise the demand for services in their area and decide if it is enough to offset the risk inherent in striking out on their own. Create a profile of your ideal client. Is it a large business or small? What can it gain by working with you? Search local directories to begin creating a list of potential clients to approach once you are operational.


consulting
Research

If you have decided that you can make it as a consultant, look into others in your industry to learn the practices and fees of established firms. Ensure that you are familiar with all of the latest trends and tools, and check local regulations regarding certifications. It may prove beneficial to acquire certifications for display, whether or not they are mandated by law.

Determine Scale

Most consultants start out working alone or with a partner. This reduces initial investments, but it will eventually prove beneficial to move into a management position while delegating mundane tasks to employees. Employees, however, expect salaries and may not be feasible during your first few years. Similarly, a professional serviced office is expensive but also more impressive and organized than an office based from home. Unless you have the resources, it is better to begin small and develop long-term plans for later success.

Set Rates and Services

Determining how much to charge for a service can be intimidating for many new entrepreneurs. Balancing between losing money and losing clients is always precarious at best, and this is where your earlier research will pay off. Your goal is to manage expenses to remain competitive with other local consultants. If you cannot charge less, you must be able to offer more to win over businesses. Consultants usually work at an hourly rate or set estimates for whole projects. Some are kept on retainer by companies for a monthly salary, but this often comes with restrictions on other clients.

Reach Clients

Finally, when your consulting business is functional and ready to begin work, you must begin the constant task of finding and wooing clients. Advertisements, brochures and direct contact are some of the more effective methods to spread the word about your new business. With any luck, you will soon have your first customers. Be prompt, polite and always go the extra mile. A positive reputation is critical for sustained client turnover and will decide whether or not your consulting becomes a failed experiment or a thriving career.

Understanding your own talents and knowledge, whilst possessing the charisma and interpersonal skills to impart that knowledge is crucial to being a consultant. It’s worth remembering, however, that you’re only as good as the work you’ve done. As a consultant, your reputation is the greatest asset you have when discovering, approaching, and dealing with businesses.

Resources:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/41384

http://www.bizfilings.com/Libraries/pdfs/starting-consulting-business-guide.sflb.ashx

Corporate Videos and Social Networks

Video production
Corporate videos and social networks work together to make businesses successful. When videos become viral, a business is exposed to people around the world, which in turn brings more buyers, clients and customers.

A corporate video promotes a product or service by concentrating on making the video interesting to a wide audience. Viewers do not tend to click on or watch a boring video that compares different brands. They are more interested in listening to and watching a compelling narrative. Once you create such a video, your product can be mentioned at the end of it.

Grab the Viewer’s Attention

It is necessary to capture the attention of the viewer during the first five seconds of the video. The attention grabber can be created using music, dramatic introductions or other action scenes. Once you have caught the viewer’s attention, you will want to keep them interested. The video will need to create an emotional engagement by making them cry, laugh or even smile. Without the emotional engagement, the audience may become bored with the video before they watch it to the end.

Engage the Audience and Motivate them to Share

A corporate video that engages the audience will be one that people will want to share on social networks. These videos will be seen around the world by many people. Therefore, social networks are important for video marketing since more people can hear about the company’s services or products. This video with Van Damme by Volvo trucks is a good example of a promotional and corporate video. He is funny, interesting and has a story which keeps the viewer’s attention. It’s also a good example of a viral video – it has over 64 million views on YouTube.

Conjure Positive Emotions

A video that has a happy and surprising ending is one that entices people to share it with others. People do not want to share videos that are too graphic or explicit for fear of offending others. Therefore, the corporate video should be produced to make people feel good about the product, and it should include some laughter and fun for the viewer.

For a video to go viral, it should be short and it should be placed in the right location on the Internet. When it is seen by the right people, it will be shared on different social networks making it accessible to more people. For instance, you want to make sure that the video is seen by influential bloggers who love to tweet and share viral videos.

Video statistics

The 24 Hour Rule

The most crucial time for a video is during the first 24 hours. A video that is viewed and shared during the first 24 hours will dramatically increase the chances of the video becoming viral. People may watch the video. However, unless they share it, it will not go viral. When the video is shared on social networks, more people will see the video than a video that is just located on a certain site. For instance, on a social network site, you are seeing videos about the same thing shared over and over again. When you see the same video repeated, you are more prone to go check out the video on the original site. Then, you will want to share it with others on your page. Your video has now gone viral in a big way.

Make It Social

One of the main reasons every business should consider video marketing is that it’s a branding tool that will allow you to reach millions of people. Therefore, a corporate video must be social to reach the different networks of people. Some online music videos have had as many as a billion views, and what attracts so much attention to them is unusual music, and the anticipation of something surprising or fun. A promotional video created with the right intentions and using appropriate techniques can help make your company known to a much wider and more diverse audience. Needless to mention, a good video is one that will leave the viewers talking about it to others.

Video marketing has changed the way companies promote their businesses. A viral video can help a company grow in a unique and fun way. However, to make a promotional video go viral, you do need to incorporate a few things in the videos. For instance, it can be funny, unique, cute, outrageous or sad to influence others to share the video on social networking sites. People love to tweet, blog, email and post videos that touch them in some way. Therefore, social networks are the best way to market a video.