Category Archives for "Tips & Tricks"

Avoid Making These Common Productivity Mistakes in Your Business

Running a business is a rewarding but challenging task, and as you try to grow larger, the risk of making mistakes becomes a lot more commonplace. For many business leaders, attempting to be more productive and efficient can often backfire when their actions are not well thought through. To avoid falling into these common errors, read on to find out what you should avoid.

Avoid trying to do it all yourself

This is often a common mistake for entrepreneurs who have grown their business from scratch, often from their own hard labor. While the early days of a start-up demand a lot of intensive effort and sacrifice from the individual, as a business grows, it becomes more important to embrace the art of delegation.

This does not simply mean assigning tasks to other people and attempting to micro-manage their every step. This will actually only make the process more difficult as employees will be unable to implement their own ideas to solve tasks. Instead, to delegate effectively, you will need to allow others to take on responsibility for certain tasks and projects and enjoy greater ownership of them. In doing so, you can start to help the business grow as a group.

Invest in the right places

One of the most common causes of complaints and frustration in many workplaces is slow, inefficient equipment or technology, especially if this is a primary tool for people to get their work done. When employees see valuable funds that could be used to update and improve technology diverted towards unnecessary expenses, it only causes further acrimony and unhappiness.

Review where you invest your funds in your business and talk to employees. If your IT tech needs upgrading, consider managed services from Online Computers to find an affordable and cost-effective solution. This will not only improve the technical functionality of your business but also help people to feel valued and appreciated in their roles.

Encourage a healthy work-life balance

We all want our employees to feel motivated to work hard and do their best, but pushing people to work longer hours will often backfire. Instead, this will only lead to greater stress and pressure and will impact productivity negatively.

A healthy work-life balance is essential to a successful and thriving business and is something that should be encouraged through all levels of the business. This can be done in many ways depending on individual employee preferences and the values of the business itself. You may want to encourage flexible working hours that allow people to accommodate personal commitments to family or other things around their workday, or establish fun team activities that allow people to connect on a social level, outside of their professional roles. You can also make efforts to cultivate and emphasize a healthier lifestyle in the workplace, for example, by providing fresh, healthy food and snacks, encouraging regular breaks away from the desk, and ensuring employees take their designated breaks appropriately.

5 Business Management Tips For Beginners

When you’re new to managing a whole business, the challenge can seem a bit overwhelming. The best way to conquer the monumental task ahead is to adequately equip yourself with the right knowledge to champion the job.

Start educating yourself now, while you still have time to refine your approach to the situation. Take a quick read through this brief compilation of some business management tips that are simple and easy to apply.

Financial management is crucial

Keeping up with the flow of money in your operation is crucial to your long term success. Make sure you have a professional in place that specializes in managing such tasks. If you’re managing a small business, the task may fall on your shoulders.

Be a jack of all trades, and always master the financial ones. Use one of the year’s highest rated financial software packages to assist you in your journey to keep the numbers rightside up.

Invest in digital marketing efforts

Business management includes getting the word out about your operation. Proper marketing is the key to growth in any industry. Digital marketing is today’s most effective method of reaching the widest audience of consumers.

Find tactics that help you better target your audience. Invest in social media, and make sure you have a well-crafted business website. This freight handling services operation shows a solid example of a good foundation on their site build. The pages are easy to follow, and the information is simple to sort.

Invest in the education of your employees

When you’re just beginning to manage your own business operation, you may not have the funds to employ the most high profile professionals. Instead, create them.

Invest in the education of your professionals, and let your staff grow alongside the business. You’ll have a well-oiled ship before you know it, and your team of professionals will have a growing confidence about them.

Employ modern technology in your operation

Technology is every business manager’s best friend. Use technology to automate processes when you are able, and let tech compliment the intelligent minds you have on the payroll in every other situation.

When you’re operating with the very best technology has to offer, you’ll find that keeping your business in the black is a much more manageable goal.

Set goals for your operation

Your business will find growth much more achievable when you break down your big goals into smaller, more achievable stepping stone goals.

Breaking a huge job into several small jobs is a good way to keep your professionals focused on success. Check out what Asana can do to keep your professionals focused on their goals at hand.


How To Keep Your Staff Happy At Work

Keeping staff morale high in the workplace is vital for not only the benefit of the staff but also for productivity. There are so many simple things that you can do to ensure everybody is happy and enjoys their time at work. Here are a few ways to make sure you’re providing a happy and comfortable work environment for your staff.


Something as simple as making the office chairs and tables comfortable for your staff will make them enjoy being there more. It is also important for their health; ergonomic furniture is incredibly important for staff that spend most of their time sat at the desk. Office furniture can also change the whole atmosphere of the space too. If you have outdated, tired, dull looking furniture, then that will instantly make the office feel like a dreary, miserable environment. If you need help forming a office furniture Romeoville IL, don’t worry as there are companies that can help you with this. You just need to let them know what kind of workspace you would like, as well as any specifics that you need, and they will help to design the perfect space, with the perfect furniture.

Open-Door Policy

Having some sort of open-door policy can make a workplace feel more comfortable, and enable your staff to be more open and honest with you. You don’t need to necessarily leave your door wide open all of the time, just let your staff know that they can talk to you whenever they need to, and that they can be completely honest with you. This kind of policy can also encourage feedback; employees will be able to tell you if them and their co-workers feel something needs to change in the office, which again will allow you to improve and make their work life better for them.

Recognize Their Development

Introducing a bonus scheme is a great way to motivate your staff to work as hard as they can because they will see an achievable reward at the end of the year/month etc. Even introducing an employee of the month scheme will boost morale and make your staff feel valued. It isn’t a necessity within a business to do these sorts of schemes, but it will show that you care and appreciate your staff.

Out of Work Events

Hosting a work event will enable everyone to get to know each other in a non-work environment and become friends with each other outside of work. This can help your staff to feel comfortable, thus boosting teamwork. Christmas parties are a classic work event that most people are familiar with, but why wait until December? A summer party could be a great option if your staff need to let off some steam and enjoy themselves.

Keeping your staff happy is vital in the workplace, so don’t overlook anyone who is working for you and your company. Make everyone feel valued and let them know that you appreciate all of the hard work they are doing for you.


How to Reduce Your Energy Costs

If you’re interested in discovering innovative ways to reduce your energy costs, you’ve come to the right place. As listed below is a fool proof guide to reducing your energy consumption and associated energy costs. As there’s no reason why you should pay a small fortune on energy costs.

How to Reduce Your Energy Costs.

Purchase solar panels in order to decrease your reliance on traditional power companies:

By installing solar panels on your roof or on the side of your home, you’ll be able to generate your own renewable power, which will decrease your reliance on traditional power companies. Depending on the type of solar panels which you opt for, you may even be able to stop paying for power from your current power company for good. Which will save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long term. To learn more about solar energy, check out

Purchase energy efficient lightbulbs:

One simple yet effective way to decrease your energy costs is to swap out all of your lightbulbs for energy efficient lightbulbs. Not only will you instantly consume less energy by swapping out your lightbulbs for energy efficient lightbulbs but energy efficient lightbulbs also last longer and don’t need to be replaced as often as regular lightbulbs.

As an added bonus, you’ll also be able to purchase smart energy efficient lightbulbs, which you’ll be able to instantly turn on and off using an app on your smart phone. Which means that if you leave your lounge and leave your lights on, you’ll be able to turn off your lights from your bed. So you’ll never have an excuse to leave lights on in your home, that you’re no longer using.

Be mindful about your energy consumption:

Most individuals give little thought to their daily energy consumption. However, there are a wide variety of ways to reduce your energy costs. As examples, you’ll be able to reduce your energy costs by taking shorter showers or by remembering to turn off your electronics when you’re not using them. You’ll even be able to save money by ensuring that you don’t leave your small electronic devices such as your laptop or smart phone plugged in all night.

Choose to replace your home appliances with more energy efficient models:

You can also reduce your energy costs by opting to replace some of your outdated home appliances, with more energy efficient models. As typically newer models of home appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves and washing machines are far more energy efficient than older models. Due to advancements in technology. In order to make sure that you’re able to save as much power as possible, opt to select new appliances that offer high energy efficiency ratings.

Replace your window seals:

By replacing your home’s window seals you’ll ensure that your home is air tight and that warm air doesn’t escape your home, during the cold winter months. Which means you won’t have to leave your heaters or your central heating system on all day long in winter.

So if you want to save money on power, it’s definitely well worth testing out some of the tips which are listed above. In order to spend less money on energy costs.


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 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.