Archive

Category Archives for "Tips & Tricks"

Tips on How to Grow Your Small Business

Whilst there are many small or medium sized businesses who are happy to stay at that size, there are just as many, if not more, who wish to solidify their position and then move on to bigger and better things. The question therefore is how to grow your small business when you feel that the time is right to expand? And we have some tips on how to do exactly that. Growth is just as tricky as launching a business, and failure could see a lot of that great work in the past go to waste, get it right however, and you’ll be very much on the pathway to success.

Marketing

Marketing is often overlooked when businesses look to grow, and this is for a number of reasons. The first is that most companies recognize that it is time to grow once the demand for their products and services begins to get overwhelming, the assumption therefore is that further marketing isn’t required at this stage. The second reason is cost, a business is already spending money on the growth plans, so marketing is an easy spend to chalk off. It is however absolutely essential that a business keeps driving new customers in order to make that growth worthwhile, and whilst that may mean some hard working months ahead, it will be better for the general health of the business.

All Areas

When you scale up it is important that you recognize that all aspects of the business must be increased, and improved. Many fall into the trap of thinking that a bigger space and a few more staff is all that is needed, but there is much more to it than that. From logistics to manufacturing, supply to sales, everything in the business must be scaled up. The key to doing this will be slowly but surely, there is no scale up button which sees the business expand, growth will always be a slow and systematic process. Prioritize which areas need it first, then scale up gradually.

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

Another common mistake which many small businesses make when they implement plans for growth is to go too far, which is going to end up being costly, dangerously so in fact. This is why businesses should always grow based on the numbers that they are seeing. Let’s say you have a clothing business which is able to make and sell 100 units per week, but orders are coming in at 150-200 units per week, looking to get a premises, staff and materials for 400 units per week will make little sense. There should always be some flexibility for future growth so opting for an infrastructure which can cope with 250-300 units per week would be the smartest move here. This will ensure both growth and risk aversion, should things take a downturn for any reason.

This is a complex plan and one which should be thought out very carefully before enacting.

 

5 Tips for Improving Hygiene in the Workplace

In this day and age, hygiene is more important than ever in the workplace. COVID-19 has led to people becoming much more aware about the use of hand sanitizers, face masks, and so on. Plus, with the pandemic still going on, your employees may feel uncomfortable coming into work right now and interacting with others.

Yet even aside from COVID-19, a business should always strive to provide the best possible hygiene standards in the workplace. The last thing you want is for an employee to fall ill under your watch – and the cause of their illness be down to a lack of hygiene.

With these points in mind, your focus should be on enhancing cleanliness levels when necessary. As a starting point, consider these five tips for improving hygiene in the workplace.

1. Promote regularly washing hands

Before they sit down for work, every employee should be made to wash their hands. This is a simple yet effective way to stop germs from entering the workspace, where they can quickly spread due to populating everything from keyboards to documents.

When it comes to the washing part, encourage employees to use soap and hand sanitizer. Also, instruct them to spend a minimum of 20 seconds washing their hands.

2. Clean desks

Along with their hands, you should also encourage employees to regularly clean their desks. Certain items on a desk are a breeding ground for bacteria. For instance, research suggests the average computer keyboard is 20,000 times dirtier than the average toilet seat.

To help with the cleaning process, ensure all employees have access to hand sanitizing gels and anti-bacterial wipes. Also, give them reminders not to skip on the desk cleaning.

3. Use a ULV Fogger

If you want to disinfect the entire workplace with ease, look no further than the ULV Fogger Sanitiser. This ultra-low volume fogging machine can be utilized in various different ways. In the workplace, however, it helps to disinfect and/or sterilize the environment.

For more details, Fanmaster is the leading distributor of the ULV Fogger.

4. Avoid sharing

There’s another type of place where bacteria love to reside: shared items.

For example, dish towels, which are used by multiple people and stored in the communal kitchen, can pick up a large amount of bacteria. This is often due to such items not being cleaned on a regular basis. There is an alternative. Instead of a towel, you could instead use disposable tissue paper, for example.

While there isn’t always a solution to a shared item, try and limit the office’s use of such products.

5. Stop the spread early

If you’re suffering with an illness that can be spread to others, how do you stop it from doing just that? There’s one easy solution: stay at home!

If you feel you’re infected with any form of virus or some other stomach bug, simply remain at home and give it 48 hours after the final symptoms have vanished before you return to work. This is a rule that all of your employees should follow.

By doing this, you can avoid a virus from temporarily wiping out your workforce and slowing down business production.

 

4 Things Small Businesses Need to do to Comply with Employment Laws

Small businesses have it tough. They are up against the corporate giants and it can be harder for them to recruit and retain the right talent. One of the toughest parts of running a small business is ensuring you’re compliant with employment laws. While big companies have HR departments and legal advisors, small businesses must figure things out for themselves. When it comes to hiring employees, here are a few things that small businesses need to make sure they do.

1. Get the right paperwork

When you hire someone, by law, you need to obtain several different types of paperwork. This ensures that the person you’re hiring has the right to live and work in the country and also means you have records for legal purposes. Many small businesses use specialist HR software to store sensitive documents from copies of passports to bank details, so it’s easy to access them if they need to check something or are asked to prove they obtained the right documents.

2. Ensure you follow rules for paid time off and work hours

Small businesses often have employees who work long hours to keep up with deadlines and to finish big projects. While there are no laws about how many hours an employee can work in most states, anything over 40 hours needs to be paid as overtime, and consistent, long working hours are often discouraged, as it can lead to burnout.

There’s no legal requirement to offer paid vacation time, but again, it can be good for employee’s mental health to offer something to them.

Many employers offer a package that includes:

  • 10 paid vacation days a year
  • Parental leave – while you aren’t obliged to offer paid time off to new parents, it can benefit your business to do so
  • Sick leave – this is usually accumulated depending on how long the employee has been with you
  • Paid leave for bereavements and personal days – this is usually just a couple of days off, but it can be very helpful for employees going through a difficult time

Some employers also allow workers to take unpaid leave when they have caring responsibilities and other emergency situations. You should make sure you know the difference between leave that can be taken unpaid, and things you’re legally obliged to pay for.

3. Know the laws around pay

You should also do some research into the laws around minimum wage and ensure that the amount you’re paying your employees doesn’t bring your employee’s hourly rate under the federal minimum wage level of $7.25 per hour.

If you’re in a state that has its own minimum wage laws, then you need to compare state and federal rates, and pay the higher of the two. For example, Colorado has a state minimum wage of $12 an hour.

4. Following OSHA laws

Most private sector businesses, no matter what their size, must comply with OSHA regulations and laws. Violating OSHA standards can lead to a hefty fine, so even if your business is small and low risk, you should pay close attention to the regulations and ensure you aren’t in breach of any of them, otherwise, you could find yourself in legal trouble.

As a small business owner, it’s important to research both state and federal employment laws so you can ensure employees are kept safe and protected, and you aren’t hit with a large fine.

 

The Best Spring-Cleaning Tips

Planning a spring clean? Now is the best time for a major clean with people having to spend more time at home due to the Coronavirus outbreak, giving you plenty of time to give the house a deep clean so that it will look and feel it’s best going into the warmer months of the year. It is incredible the difference that a spring clean can have not only on the appearance of the home but also your mental health, which is essential in such a difficult time. A spring clean is a mammoth task, though, so it is helpful to know a few tips before you get started.

Start by Decluttering

Before the cleaning begins, the best step to take is to go through the home and throw out everything that you no longer need. You can use a dumpster rental Tampa FL provider so that you can simply chuck out old furniture, equipment, gadgets, electronics, and any other rubbish that has been collecting and have this then collected and taken away. This will already make a huge difference and create a lot of space in the home.

Clean One Room at A Time

Spring cleaning is a huge task, so it is essential to break it down, and cleaning room by room is an intelligent strategy. This allows you to move everything out of the room and to focus all your efforts in this space, after which you can move everything back and then move on to the next room.

Take Regular Breaks

As such a hard and physically demanding job, it is essential that you take regular breaks and do not try to do too much in one day. You might also find that stretching and going for a walk once you are done for the day helps you to recover both physically and mentally.

Buy New Cleaning Supplies

You will not want to be performing a deep clean with worn-out cloths, used rubber gloves, and half-empty bottles of cleaner. This is why you should stock up on entirely new cleaning supplies so that you can clean to the best of your abilities, get stuck in and not have to worry about running out of anything halfway through the job.

Add Finishing Touches

A spring clean can be immensely rewarding, but it is not complete without a few finishing touches, which can really make the home feel fresh, bright, and inviting. This might include fresh flowers, a scented candle, or a new piece of artwork to celebrate your hard work and allow you to enjoy spending time in your clean, welcoming, and stylish home.

Now is a great time for spring cleaning in the home, and this can make a big difference to your mental health and how you feel while relaxing at home. Hopefully, these tips will help you to take on this large task and make a big difference to how your home both looks and feels so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor once you are finished.

 

5 Tips For Managing A Business During COVID-19

It is an extremely challenging time for businesses all around the world right now with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is unprecedented times, and it is hard to predict what the situation will be in both the short and long-term, but the effect it could have on businesses is already being felt. Many businesses are being forced to shut due to the lockdown and virus outbreak. Other businesses are having to adapt quickly to a fast-changing situation in terms of how they operate and how they can succeed during this period, all while making sure that they are abiding by government restrictions and protecting public health. Here are a few tips for surviving during this challenging period.

1. Learn How To Manage Remote Teams

Remote working has become widespread and a smart way to stay open during the pandemic, but this creates a range of new challenges, especially for businesses that did not embrace remote working before. You need to make sure that you know how to manage a remote team and have the right technology in place so that you can easily communicate and keep employees engaged, but be sure to avoid micromanaging and trust that they will get the work done.

2. Learn What Financial Support Is Available

Nearly all businesses will suffer as a result of COVID-19, and it is a worrying time for all. This is why it is important to know where you can go for financial aid in this time, which could help to keep the company afloat, avoid layoffs, and tide you over till things pick up again. The government have financial aid packages available for businesses, but you might also want to look into privately sponsored initiatives that could be of huge help.

3. Stay Updated On News & Developments

It is an incredibly fast-changing situation, and this means that it is important to keep up to date with the latest developments so that you can make intelligent business decisions. You can find Coronavirus small business updates online, which can provide information on the latest developments, advice on how to manage during the pandemic, as well as guides on how to get financial support during this period.

4. Update Customers

Communication is key in difficult times like this, so you need to keep your customers updated on the latest news from your business, the steps that you are taking to promote safety and public health, and what the plan of action is going forward.

5. Create Plans For The Future

Leading on from this, you also need to start making plans for the future once the economy starts to open once again. You should consider what the likely scenarios will be in the short-term and what actions your business could take to succeed in this period. You might also find that now is a good opportunity to develop new skills, expand into new areas and use downtime to make improvements, and prepare for future success once everything starts to return to normal.

The Coronavirus pandemic is a cause for major concern, but it is important to stay positive and to know that there are steps that you can take now, which will hopefully help you to manage during this challenging period and be ready to succeed once life starts to return to normal.

 

4 Tips For Making Money Selling Used Clothing

Selling clothing can be a very promising industry. Whether you’re selling used items in a store or looking to do it online, it’s possible to carve out a successful business for yourself working in the second-hand business. People love saving money, and therefore buying consignment is something that will never go out of style.

In addition to being a great money saver, it’s also better for the environment to buy used. Even though you might be tempted to donate your clothes, selling them can be a better route if you’re looking to make some extra cash.

If you’re ready to get started selling used clothing, take a look at some of the best tips to get you started.

Know Your Ideal Customer

The basics of business will tell you that before you can hope to sell to anyone, you’ll need to know who your ideal customer is. The only way that you’re going to appeal to buyers is by knowing how to convince them that what you’re selling is worth it. Certain items of clothing will appeal more to groups of people than others. If you’re looking to sell your clothes on various sites, then know what works best on each.

For example, you may find that high-end labels work best in some places while vintage works better in others. Even though luxury brands may be able to sell for a higher price, you might not be able to find as many clients for that market, depending on the site.

Have Quality Merchandise

You’re not fooling anyone if you’re trying to sell clothing that is dirty or damaged. Stains or wrinkles will not build a positive reputation for yourself amongst buyers. Therefore make sure that you are selling things that you would pay the same for yourself. Sell merchandise that will make your customers happy. Never try to swindle anyone or be dishonest about what you’re selling. With so many online reviews nowadays, it’s only a matter of time until you start creating a negative name for yourself if you sell subpar merchandise.

Have Knowledgeable Staff

If you’re planning on selling in a brick and mortar store, then you should make sure that your staff represents you in a positive light. The best way to do this is to make sure that they are knowledgeable about your merchandise. There’s nothing more unprofessional than an employee who has no idea how to answer customers’ questions. Hire the right staff for your niche, who can assist your customers successfully.

Take Clear Photos

If you’re selling clothing online, you want to make sure that you’re posting high-quality professional-looking photographs. Blurry photos with bad lighting won’t help your sell clothing. Make sure to include various images of each product and be honest about any flaws.

Use The Latest Technologies To Build An Engaging Web Presence

Business today requires a visible web presence. The dependence upon the internet is such that you would swear it makes the world turn. Your business website is your online store location, so be sure to make it good.

Make it easy for web users to locate information regarding your business, and simultaneously make it easier to run your business by creating a web presence that makes a mark on users. Take some time to read through a few tips for building an engaging web presence, and get started today.

Relevance is important

When you design content to fuel your online presence, you need to keep it relevant. If you want web users who need your services to be able to find your business online, then you’ll need to create content that is relevant to your industry of operation.

Use Google’s keyword tools to decide upon the most suitable keywords and phrases to include within the text and metadata of your content. When your keywords are hot, your place in the SERPs (search engine results pages) will improve.

High-quality images and videos

When you design web content, it helps to mix media. People will spend more time exploring your content if they have pictures, videos, and sound to engage their interests.

Your business website will be well served by adding a page with informational resources. This Atomicorp page has podcasts, webinars, videos, and more for passing users to investigate.

Social media is high traffic

If you’re looking to gain exposure, social media is a great way to spread the word about your business. Make your own social media profiles for your business, and maintain your pages like you work to main your business website.

Add social media sharing icons to your content as well. Your business website, your blog posts, and even an email newsletter are all great places to plant social media sharing icons.

Mobile optimization is critical

Mobile optimization is critical to the efficiency of your digital content. Most online users are using a mobile device to access the web. Without mobile optimization, you risk alienating a great number of users from exploring your content.

Reach out through email

Email is a great addition to your web presence. Use your business website and your social media pages to offer numerous opportunities for web users to opt-in on your email mailing list.

Send out helpful information, special deals, and even a regular newsletter to your email rolodex to nurture an ongoing rapport with people. You can also use email to send out invoices and confirmations. Overall, email is a great connection to explore for any size business.

 

3 Things To Do If You Start Losing Control Of Your Vehicle

For many people, they don’t even have to be in a full-blown car accident to feel like they’ve had an emergency behind the wheel. Losing even part of your control when you’re driving a vehicle is enough to make any driver’s heart skip a beat.

So to help ensure that your minor loss of control doesn’t turn into a complete car accident that requires you to get your vehicle towed off the road, here are three things you should do if you start losing control of your vehicle.

Don’t Accelerate, But Don’t Jump On The Brakes Either

As soon as you start to feel like you’re losing control of your vehicle, the first and most important thing you should do is to take your foot off the gas. By beginning to slowly decelerate by stepping off the gas pedal, you’ll give your car a chance to slow down on its own and regain some of the control that you’ve lost.

Keep in mind, however, that while you’re taking your foot off the gas pedal, you don’t want to reapply it to the brake at the time of your loss of control. According to Andrei Zakhareuski, a contributor to Driving-Tests.org, braking suddenly can cause your car to go into even more of a slide and result in you losing further control.

Try Pumping Your Brakes

While braking suddenly can make your loss of control even more pronounced, there is a way to use your brakes that won’t typically make it harder for you to regain control of your vehicle.

According to Christopher Lampton, a contributor to How Stuff Works, the best way to use your brakes when you’re experiencing a loss of control is to pump your brakes. If you have anti-lock brakes, your car will automatically do this for you. But if your car doesn’t have ABS, you’ll want to step on and off your brakes to pump them on your own. By doing this, you will be able to regain traction on your wheels without locking up your brakes and disallowing yourself the chance to regain control.

How To Steer When Skidding

If you lose control of your vehicle due to a skid, be it on wet or icy roads, it’s important to know how to steer your vehicle out of this situation.

To help you with this, the California Department of Motor Vehicles advises that you always steer slightly into the direction that you’re skidding. By trying to correct your vehicle away from the skid, you could wind up overcorrecting, which could put you in even more danger. So unless you’re about to hit something head-on, it’s best to try to steer into the skid to reclaim some traction so that you can then have more control.

To help you protect yourself and others on the road, consider using the tips mentioned above if you ever lose control of your vehicle while you’re driving.

 

Easy Pet Hair Cleaning Hacks

Easy Pet Hair Cleaning Hacks

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but if any other friend was as difficult to clean up after, we’d probably get a new BFF. Fortunately for dogs, their fawning, slobbering, unconditional love seals the deal with our hearts. We just sigh, scratch behind their ears, and then spend the time it takes trying to rid the house of their pet hair as best we can.

Cats can also shed and leave little fluffy drifts of fur balls floating around the house. And for a home with both a dog and cat—well, the struggle is very real.

What’s With the Shedding?

Dogs and cats only sweat from the parts of their bodies that aren’t covered with fur, like their paws and noses. This means it can be more difficult for them to regulate body temperature. Part of their natural coping method for seasonal changes means they will grow fluffier winter coats when the weather cools, and then shed the extra fluffy hairs in the spring. Besides this seasonal shedding, dogs and cats shed some hair year round. Just as in humans, an animal’s hair falls out when it’s at the end of its life cycle. But for pets, the life cycle of each hair is shorter. They also have much more hair on their bodies than humans, resulting in a great deal of shedding. Some dog breeds shed more than others, so if you are extremely bothered by shedding, look for a dog breed that sheds less.

If the dog you chose—or the one that chose you—is an excessive shedder, getting rid of all the dog hair in your home can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are some great pet hair hacks, that can make this less of a chore.

Vacuum Away Pet Hair

It may seem like a no-brainer, but it has to be said. Frequent vacuuming can help keep pet hair from accumulating in your home. If your vacuum doesn’t seem effective against pet hair, you may be using the wrong vacuum. Look instead for one of the best vacuums for pet hair. There are many new vacuums on the market that are labeled as specially engineered for pet hair removal. Many of these come with attachments that make getting pet hair out of carpets and furniture easier.

Having a carpet can be a challenge when you have pets. If your pets are serious shedders, it might be worthwhile to have a good carpet cleaner in the house. Carpets should be thoroughly cleaned every six months to remove pet hair, stains, and odors.

Give Barney a Blanket

While it’s easy to say that you should not let your dog on the couch, we all know that in most cases this isn’t realistic. Dogs love couches, and we love to snuggle up with our best buddy at the end of the day.

One way to keep dog hair on your sofa at a minimum is to keep a dedicated dog blanket in your dog’s preferred spot. If you choose a fluffy blanket that matches your decor, this actually won’t look bad at all. When it starts to get furry, take it outside and give it a few shakes. Birds love weaving soft, fluffy dog hair into their nests, so you know there’s a chance that your pup’s fur will be put to good use.

Dry Sheets Do it All

Dryer sheets can do a lot more than make your clothes soft and static-free. Try Googling cleaning with dryer sheets, and you will discover that these versatile little white sheets can do anything from remove soap scum to get rid of dead bugs from your bumper and windshield. And on top of all of that—these sweetly-scented little sheets are fantastic fur removers! Rub down your couch cushions and dog beds with a couple of dryer sheets and you will not only remove fur, but you will also freshen your furnishings! This can actually help to make your cushions repel dust and pet hair in the future. Dryer sheets are also great for removing pet hair from baseboards and corners.

Tape it Away

If Fido’s fur is particularly stubborn, you can try using duct tape or packing tape to remove fur from furnishings, carpets, and clothing. This works better than a lint brush, is less expensive, and lasts longer. You can tear off a lengthy strip of tape and wrap it around your palms. Then simply use your hands to swipe away pet fur from any surface.

Another duct tape tip is to wrap it around a paint roller to make a giant lint roller. Then you can roll it across surfaces to collect massive amounts of pet fur in each roll.

A Window Squeegee Works Wonders

Window squeegees do more than clean windows. These are also handy tools for removing pet hair from carpets. Brush the squeegee back and forth in both directions against your carpet nap and you will see a nice pile of pet fur come to the surface for you to scoop up. Try doing this after running your vacuum and you will be surprised at how much fur your vacuum missed.

If your pet rides in the car with you often, a squeegee also works to remove pet hair from carpets and upholstery inside your car.

Beloved Balloons

If you’ve ever tried to sweep pet hair off of a tile or hardwood floor, you’ve probably spent time trying to chase down the fluffy drifts that fly away from your broom. This is especially true of lightweight car fur. Try inflating a balloon and rubbing it along your hard floor surface. You can harness the power of static electricity to collect all of that fly-away fur. If you have kids, this is a fun activity for them, and they might not even notice that they are helping you with a chore!

The Hairspray Hack for Hounds

A great quick tip for removing your favorite hound’s hair from your clothes before you head off to work is to spray a washcloth or hand towel with hairspray and use it to quickly brush fur off of your clothes. The hairspray attracts pet hair and quickly removes it from clothing, jackets, and shoes.

All of these pet hair hacks will help to minimize the loose fur floating around your home and on your clothing, but you can also help to reduce the amount of pet fur in your home by grooming your dog once or twice a week with a good brush or a de-shedding tool to remove the loose fur on your own terms. Doing this outdoors or on a porch can help keep the fur out of your home.

Grooming your dog is also a great bonding time and most dogs really enjoy it. Cats too!

4 Important Tips To Know Before Investing In A Smart Car

Who doesn’t want state-of-the-art technology? Especially in this age and time where high technology is becoming increasingly accessible. The smart car is one of these inventions with advanced technology and it makes the driving experience more comfortable and memorable. Hence, more people are considering investing in one for these and more purposes. There are some tips you need to know though before investing in a Smart Car and here are four of them.

Do Your Price Research

 

Before you begin any other steps necessary to get the car of your choice, make sure you do your research on the price. That means you should be familiar with the price range of the car you want to buy. Do not settle on the first deal you see but find out about other deals in your vicinity, compare them and make your choice from there. You do not want to go beyond your price range for the first deal when you can possibly get a much better one elsewhere if you do intensive research.

 

Ask as Many Questions As Possible

 

This is not the time to ignore your curiosity. When making an investment of this nature, it is essential to ask all the questions you might have concerning your potential purchase. If for instance, you are considering a smart car convertible and you have never used one before, asking questions are a good way to see if it would be a good option for your lifestyle and finances. Ask about the maintenance and other pertinent things before making your decision as this would ensure that you make a more informed choice.

 

Inspect the Vehicle

 

Excitement should not be the reason why you would not inspect the vehicle you are considering, be it new or fairly used. Sometimes, people purchase cars without inspecting them, and when they start driving it, they discover certain things that they didn’t notice in the purchasing stage. You do not want this to be your case so ensure that you inspect the vehicle thoroughly. Also, what you learn from examining a smart car can inform the negotiation process.

 

Don’t hesitate to negotiate

 

Some people are uncomfortable with negotiation, and that is okay. When investing in a car, especially when it is a used one, it is essential to negotiate reasonably. The worst that can happen is the seller refusing your proposed price. It can also go the other way if you negotiate well and you would be the better for it. Use the information you discovered about the car during your inspection to your advantage when negotiating so that you can get a much better deal.

 

At the end of the day, you have to pick a car that you would enjoy both functionality and aesthetic wise. These four tips should help ensure that you make an informed decision when getting the smart car of your choice. For more information, enquiries and concerns about getting a smart car, visit Sandown Smart today.

1 2 3 7