During the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment rates have skyrocketed everywhere you look. In the United Kingdom, the unemployment rate has gone up to 4.8 percent. Nearly 250,000 people have lost their jobs since June of this year. That is the largest unemployment increase in a three-month period since 2009.
The same thing can be said with the United States in terms of unemployment. Rates are the highest they have been in a long time. According to the United States’ Bureau of Labor and Statistics, U.S unemployment currently sits at 6.9 percent. Before 2020, the last time the states’ rate of unemployment was this high was November of 2013.
With all that being said, it may be harder to find a job at this current point in time than it has been in recent memory. But in the same breath, it is worth mentioning that you should not just take any old job that you come across.
Yes, if you need the money right then and now, that is not a bad route to go. But if that is not the case, you should take some time in deciding the route you want to go in. Here a few things you should consider when concluding on whether or not a job is a good fit.
What is the commute like
Commuting to work every morning can be a pain. So when considering whether or not a job is right for you, make sure you have a good idea of how long the commute is. The commute to a company offering you a position should not be the biggest of worries, but it would be pretty inconvenient to take two hours to drive into work and two hours to drive home.
Is the company you are working for well managed
This is essential when finding the right job. If you work for a company that is professionally handled, organized life can be a lot easier.
No one wants to work for a disheveled boss with a nasty personality. It could make waking up every day that much harder. So when picking an occupation, look at the company as a whole. Ask questions about employee benefits, what the chain of command at the company/organization is, and how communicating is effectively done at that given job.
Do you like the work you are doing
This might be the most important of them all. Making sure you like what you do day in and day out is so important. You do not want to show up to work dreading the next eight hours of your life. Try and find an occupation that is engaging and keeps you entertained: even if that means there is a little more stress on your plate.
That is a little easier said than done, but do your best! You know yourself enough to say whether or not you would be a good fit working in a restaurant, office building, gym, et cetera. Being bored can be a lot worse than being busy, so try and find work that will make you excited to head in and earn that paycheck.
Starting your new business is a journey that will take you through many ups and downs. That said, it is exciting and one which is extremely rewarding. Plus, many people say working for themselves is the best thing they have ever done. When starting your business, there are many things to consider: branding, finances to websites, and funding. Below is an overview of a few things you should consider when starting your own business.
Creating your website
Will you be making your website yourself or hire a professional to make one for you? Depending on your requirements, a website will help bring in new customers to your business and allow you to appeal to them in a different way. Before starting your website, make sure you put a plan together of what you will need on it and the type of website it will be, whether eCommerce, or a brochure-like site.
When running your business, it is important to stay on top of your finances. Using an account package, you will be able to track how you are doing instantly through a click of a button. Not only that, but you will also be able to send invoices and keep an eye on your expenses. By using digital accounting, you can easily allow your accountant access to your books without having to visit them in person. This will enable them to log in and see how you are performing without leaving their office to meet you; it can all be done over a phone call.
How will you brand yourself?
Logos, brand colors, and marketing materials should all be thought about before launching your company. Your logo is important, as everyone will see first and give them the first impression of your business. Done cheaply, it can be detrimental to your brand. Brand colors can portray a lot about you; if you are a luxury brand, you may want more gold’s and silvers used instead of bright funky colors. By hiring a graphic designer, they can help you with all of this.
Testing your idea in the real world
If your idea is completely new, how do you know it will work? Before investing heavily in your idea, it’s worth creating some prototypes and seeing how people respond to it. This is a great way to get actual feedback and to get other people’s opinions. Take note of what people are saying is you can use this to develop your idea and make it even better.
Will you need investment?
Will your business plan require you to need significant investment, or can you gradually grow your business? If you need investment, have you considered how you are going to raise funds? Make sure you do your research and put together a solid business plan to explain each step of your journey and how the money will be spent. Angel investors, bank loans, competitions, friends, and family, there are many ways for you to pitch and bring in some funding for your idea.
We’re all constantly being told that Business-2-Business (B2B) marketing is changing and that we need new marketing strategies to cope with this. We’re being told that the modern buyer doesn’t respond well to the B2B sales funnels of old and their buying habits are so mysterious you’re going to need a crystal ball or psychic octopus to continue to operate in the field. The good people over at American Image Displays have the only strategy you'll need.
People who hate their jobs tend to move on and look for something else. Some even change their careers when they’re feeling unfulfilled by work.
But what do you do if you love your career, but need a new challenge? The good news is that there are a lot of ways you can turn things around and inject some excitement into your job.
Here is some useful advice for taking on a new challenge, without changing your career.
Move to a new location
f you’re starting to outgrow your current workplace, moving to a new location could help keep things fresh for you. A change in location not only helps you realise new career opportunities but opportunities for your personal life too. Perhaps you want to move closer to home to be with family, or even move to an exciting new city or country?
Wherever you decide to relocate, you’re going to need to get on the job hunt. Check out cmr.com.au for some exciting opportunities that could invigorate your career. A change of scenery brings all kinds of changes, and could be just what you need to shake things up.
Start chasing that promotion
Perhaps a part of your frustration comes from outgrowing your role? When your job starts becoming routine and easy, it could be a sign that you’re ready for more. Start preparing for a promotion so that you’re ready to go for it when the opportunities come your way.
Volunteer your time and skills to help others
If you’ve always felt like you could do more with your skills and expertise, why not use what you have to do some good for others? If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, tit’s that community values are more important than ever. There are several ways you can use your skills to help others, including mentoring, pro bono work and volunteering to help charities and good causes. This can bring a lot of fulfilment to your role, and could even help you discover new opportunities that could help you choose a different path for your career.
Take on a side hustle
Side hustles are a great way to develop other interests that you have, without sacrificing your career. There are inspiring stories of people who’ve embarked on incredible new ventures, from starting fitness businesses to their own pizza brand! It’s possible to be passionate about more than one thing at a time, so why not give it a try so that you can get more out of your career.
If you’re dissatisfied with your current situation, then it’s time to make a change. Even if you love your career, it doesn’t mean you have to stay exactly where you are - there are ways you can develop and grow tbring exciting change to both your career and your life outside work. There are all kinds of challenges out there waiting for you, so which one will you take on first?
When lockdown started in March, workers across the UK packed up their office equipment and set up work stations in their own homes. Bedrooms, kitchen counter-tops and dining tables became the new way of working for millions of people. According to the ONS, 30% of adults in the UK were exclusively working from home at the start of July. BBC News has the info...
As a business owner, staff health and safety should always be at the top of your agenda. This year businesses have had to take plenty of extra precautions due to COVID-19. Regardless, COVID is not the only health and safety issue in the workplace. To help you to improve employee health and safety, try out these five apps and ideas.
1. Tap Into Safety
Tap Into Safety is an app that provides tips about mental health and safety in the workplace. There is a library of safety training content that can be applied across various industries. The Tap Into Safety Program also offers plenty of safety courses which apply to different workplace scenarios. The app was created to help staff to reduce injuries, whether physical or psychological. The program includes a ‘COVID-19 mental health recovery package,’ which may come in handy for many companies.
The ergonomics application offers advice on how to set up staff workstations ergonomically. The app also provides content on taking breaks and performing daily stretching exercises. Studies suggest that stretching breaks can boost staff productivity, as well as prevent injuries from sitting down. The ergonomics app provides detailed guidelines on each stretch, along with a countdown timer. As well as using this app it’s vital to provide all of your staff with ergonomic chairs and keyboards.
3. Emergency First Aid Training
To keep everyone safe at work, it can be useful to provide employees with an Emergency First Aid At Work Course. No matter which industry you are in, you never know when first aid training might be crucial. When you invest in training for your staff, it’s easier to create a safer workplace. Whether it’s first aid training, mental health training, or general health and safety, ensure that you have all bases covered.
4. Health care plans
Offering your staff a healthcare plan is a great way to prioritize health at your company. With a solid healthcare plan, you’ll improve your staff's health and boost productivity along the way. Health care plans can help to improve staff wellbeing and reduce employee absenteeism. It’s also a great way to boost your company culture and reduce your turnover rates.
As an entrepreneur you’ll have so much to think about, from your digital content to your ROI. Health and safety is such an important part of your day to day and so it’s essential to improve these systems as much as possible.
5. Regular Risk Assessments
To protect employee health, it’s advisable to perform risk assessments on a regular basis. Risk assessments involve determining potentially unsafe practices and areas, and putting solutions in place. With your risk assessment data, your business can take further safety precautions and necessary. A risk assessment generally involves:
For more information about Health Application development, Techexactly.com recently created an extremely helpful 'Health Application Development Guide' which talks about the different types, features and challenges.
Business relocations can occur for a wide range of reasons. Perhaps you're upsizing to a bigger store. Maybe you're downsizing in response to COVID-19 and an increased reliance on remote working. Or it might be that you're starting a whole new life in a new city or country. Whatever the reasons, it's imperative that the transition runs. Otherwise, the business dream could turn into a nightmare.
You've probably never completed this assignment before, which is why it's easy to forget key features. Here are five that you must not ignore,
#1. You Don't Have To Replace All Items
When making a fresh beginning, there is a temptation to start over. However, it would be a little counterproductive to spend money needlessly. After all, the whole purpose of the relocation is to boost your bottom line. Even when dealing with huge items, expert machine movers can transfer equipment to new locations. The moving costs are a fraction of replacing the items. Moreover, any employees following your business to the new setting will be familiar with the products too.
It also removes fears of delayed deliveries, allowing you to maintain productivity throughout.
#2. You Can Still Leverage Success From The Old Location
In addition to carrying over physical items from the old venue, you can look to leverage online success from the previous chapter. Rather than designing a brand new website, editing existing pages is quicker, cheaper, and more effective. Service pages, blog posts, and site features are already indexed for SEO. So, adding the new geographic keywords should give you far quicker results. The fact you can make good use of your testimonials and reviews is a bonus.
#3. You Have To Create Positive Surroundings
After moving into the new business premises, you will have to accept that it can take time to achieve the perfect surroundings. However, creating a positive vibe is an immediate priority. From improving the design of your office to creating a reception area that sets the right tone, you will see a big impact. It can influence productivity and employee-client interactions. If you want the next chapter of your business journey to start on the right foot, you must not ignore this.
Furthermore, you should stamp out any source of wasted capital.
#4. You Only Have To Replace A Percentage Of The Workforce
Employees will continue to provide the backbone of your business in this new era. Once again, you don't have to forget everything that went before. Depending on the distances involved, it may be convenient for staff members to follow you to the new setting. Even if this isn't possible, many jobs from admin to customer care can be completed remotely. Managing a remote team takes some getting used to, but can transform the future of the company.
#5. You Have To Be Organized
Good organizational skills are essential at all stages of the business journey. Still, the need to maintain control is even greater at this time. Aside from updating your website and arranging movers, you'll want to find printers for new business cards and letterheads. Likewise, all utilities, including issues like internet and data management should be done in advance. Otherwise, increased stress levels could lead to very serious consequences.
You've got this, but only if you put the right preparations in place. Now is the time to do it.
If you’re a business owner organising an office relocation, you’ll more than likely want a smooth-running experience without any difficulties. Whether this means downsizing or upsizing your office, it’s vital to prepare and communicate with others to avoid any unwanted stress and disruption to the process. It may initially seem like a challenging task, but by taking proactive steps, you’ll be able to have a successful office move all while saving money. Here are six money-saving tips that every business owner should consider when moving offices.
Plan Ahead of Time
Planning an office move shouldn’t be a last minute decision. To make sure you’re getting the best deal, you should ideally plan your move six months ahead of time. This will also give you time to set a realistic budget and to outline out all of the necessary expenses involved with the move.
Find a Reliable Moving Company
Once you’ve planned out all the logistics, it’s time to find a reliable moving company who can make your office relocation happen, such as with Two Men And A Truck. To get the best value for money, make sure to research what each company can offer in terms of your needs, always stay within your set budget, and don’t be afraid to negotiate pricing with service providers.
Avoid Moving in Summer
Most companies tend to relocate offices in the spring and summer. However, demand increases during these seasons, meaning prices for moving services will also rise. Likewise, real estate also begins to rise in price during the warmer months. To save on costs, consider relocating your office during autumn, winter, or early spring.
To prevent any fees and confusion with others, ensure to review your commercial property lease. Leaving early could cost you your deposit, and you could be liable for any damage to the property if it were to occur during your move. Once you have a confirmed moving date, you’ll need to give official notice to any internal and external parties about your upcoming office move, and create a list of people that you will need to send your new office address to, such as banks, insurance companies, and your internet service provider.
Start decluttering items that your office doesn't use as soon as possible. You can do this by making an inventory list to determine what you need and what can be disposed of or donated to a registered charity - you may even be eligible to get a tax-write off. Think old phones, printers, office supplies, or even office furniture that’s in need of a new home. Making this checklist and disposing of unwanted items in the property can also help you to avoid any fines. If you’re concerned about your valuable assets, you may want to consider insuring these items to financially protect yourself from any unforeseen accidents during the big move.
Reduce Packaging Costs
To save on your packaging costs, get the whole team to chip in with DIY packaging or consider purchasing used packing supplies and boxes. While this can be perceived as a team-building exercise, it’s only fair to reward your employees for their efforts afterwards!
As a business owner, it’s crucial to retain existing clients, but it’s also beneficial to look for ways to attract new customers. If you’re looking to secure new commercial contracts or reach out to new sectors, here are some effective strategies to try.
Conducting business with other companies is very different to offering products and services to consumers, and your marketing strategy should reflect this. Outline your key objectives and tailor your campaigns to reach the target market. Think about the kinds of clients you want to attract, the way you want to sell your brand and the types of products and services you’re offering. Conduct market research and utilise feedback. Up-sell your USP and highlight the value your business offers to others. Use examples and case studies to support claims about specific products and make your marketing more impactful. For ponds and water features, for example, don’t just speak about the benefits of butyl tape. Provide prospective clients with images of finished articles, testimonials from previous clients and facts and figures that back up quality, durability and performance-related claims. For technological gadgets, send out prototypes and share video clips of the invention in action.
Creating the right first impression
First impressions count in business, and it’s estimated that you have around 7 seconds to set the right tone. When meeting clients or discussing potential deals, partnerships or orders, use your own experiences to ensure you get off on the right foot. Be punctual and professional, make the most of the time you have to sell your brand without being overly aggressive or persistent and encourage follow-up conversations.
Build on reviews and feedback
Reviews can be extremely valuable for businesses looking to improve customer service, attract new clients and build an excellent reputation. Use reviews you receive from commercial clients to make improvements and don’t be afraid to shout it from the rooftops if you have got brilliant feedback, which could help to persuade other businesses to choose you. Take both negative and positive feedback on board, address any concerns promptly and use reviews as a means of promoting the products and services you offer and separating your business from rivals that may be on the shortlist of clients you’re hoping to work with in the future.
Most of us feel more confident when buying from a company that has been recommended by others. This applies to customers visiting shops or using a website to buy products, as well as B2B clients. Referrals can be incredibly influential. If you have happy clients, encourage them to share their experiences and recommend you to other businesses they may already work with or contacts that might be interested in the products or services you offer.
Competition for new clients is fierce. As a business owner looking to secure new deals and impress new clients, it’s crucial to implement targeted ways to market and promote your brand, to utilise reviews and feedback to encourage referrals and to ensure you create the right first impression.
Staff productivity levels should be a priority for all business owners. Sadly, the vast majority of companies continue to suffer from insufficient results in this key area of daily operations. Whether those lulls in production have been caused as a direct result of Covid-19 or existed long before the pandemic doesn't matter. Either way, it's vital that you stamp out those problems ASAP.
The first step to overcoming those problems is to identify the root causes. Here are some of the most common issues to consider, along with the easiest ways to battle them. The road to restored productivity starts here.
Inadequate Recruitment & Training
It's impossible to achieve the desired levels of productivity if you have failed to assemble a strong team. Therefore, successful recruitment drives should be the top item on your agenda. If you want employees to perform well, it's important to recognise the human elements too.
In truth, analysing the right personality traits is perhaps even more crucial than before as teams include remote workers. When employees don't have the attitude and drive to back up their skills, unlocking their full potential is impossible. Worse still, their lacklustre performances can spread to others.
Building a quality team that's built to perform is one thing. However, you must also ensure that staff members continue to grow and develop. Investing in the best staff training modules to learn new techniques or familiarise themselves with new software is key.
Inferior Tech Facilities
They say that a bad worker blames their tools. However, even the best employees will struggle to produce the goods if they aren't supported by the right equipment. From machinery to POS terminals, or office computers to vehicles, only the best will do.
If your employees blame the vehicle they use as an excuse for inefficiency, you should install GPS Tracking in the work vehicle to monitor the progress of their shift. GPS tracking is accurate and simple, providing you with real-time locations and movement detection.
It's not only about possessing the right assets and infrastructure, though. It's equally important to ensure that all facilities are maintained to optimal health and reliability. Visit https://www.concise.co.uk to learn about how managed IT can transform your approach. It's great news for the firm and its staff.
Aside from cutting out various tech-related disruptions, it aids the team's ability to stay on task. There's nothing worse than spending time trying to troubleshoot and correct issues. When those issues are handled in an automated manner, your team can focus solely on the tasks at hand.
Poor Teamwork & Collaboration
Teamwork makes the dream work. When individual success isn't met with collective triumphs, it will show. As an employer, it's your job to ensure that all team members are on the same page. Team building sessions and group activities are a great way to promote camaraderie.
Meanwhile, it's important to build a working environment that is conducive of good collaboration from all times. Whether it's in-house team meetings or video conferencing, short and sweet discussions are for the best. Moreover, tech features like team messaging Apps can serve you very well.
Perhaps most importantly, you must stamp out any potential issues, such as workplace bullying. Meanwhile, using the right tech to support collaboration is key. Cloud computing is one key feature. But the ability to track client interactions and let colleagues pick up the conversation is equally crucial.
As well as good working relations with colleagues, workers deserve a positive employer-employee bond. So, developing your leadership skills through improved body language and communication is a must. If you cannot express messages well, you can't expect teams to perform.
The reality of the situation is that you are unlikely to handle many of the interactions personally. Supporting yourself with great team leaders that can maintain productivity in tough situations will make life a whole lot easier. Be sure to give them the authority needed to complete their work too.
When supported by regular reporting and analysis, productivity should remain at the highest level. And when it does drop below the desired levels, you'll be in a position to spot and rectify the situation at the earliest stage. In truth, that preparation is as significant as taking the right precautions.
As already mentioned, human responsibilities are a crucial ingredient in the recipe for success. If employees are worried about any aspect of their health and safety, it'll affect their work ethic. So, for the sake of productivity and profitability, as well as human care, you must get this right.
Conducting a full and thorough risk assessment of workspaces is vital. Check out https://www.thsp.co.uk to learn more. Meanwhile, security systems and emergency protocols should be in place too. Even when they aren't needed, their presence can make a significant difference.
In today's climate, safety and security aren't limited to the physical world. All data and cybersecurity features must satisfy the latest demands. After all, almost half of all recorded attacks target SMEs. You cannot afford to let your employees fall victim.
Motivation is a very powerful tool in business. Frankly, you'd be very naive to think that employees will work to their full capacity without an incentive. Engaging work and achieving greatness for the company do have a positive impact. However, personal incentives will always be top of the agenda.
The most obvious incentives are financially inspired. Creating a clear path to promotion will spur ambitious workers to want and achieve more. Additional steps may include bonuses or sales commissions. Likewise, perks relating to travel or lifestyle elements can have a big impact on the mood.
If you can inspire staff members to actively want to work harder, they will. Better still, hard work is contagious and will inspire colleagues to follow in their footsteps. The benefits for the entire team and, therefore, your bottom line cannot be ignored.
The Final Word
A hardworking team won't guarantee business success, but it'll certainly give you a better shot at success. So, taking the necessary steps to cut out the sources of poor productivity levels is something that all employers should want to do.
Whether you're working from home or commercial spaces, paying attention to this part of the kob should pave the way to productivity. What more could any entrepreneur ask for?
Running a business is hard work. Many entrepreneurs or small business owners find themselves wearing many hats. They spend so much time working in their business they never get the opportunity to work on their business.
Using automation intelligently can not only improve your business processes, but it also frees people up to work on core business priorities. A study in the UK showed that business owners spend up to a third of their time on business admin.
Automation can be used in most areas of a business, but here are a few of the main ones that will make the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time.
HR & Payroll Systems
Even businesses with only a few employees have a number of legal and financial obligations to their employees. There are a number of great cloud hr systems coming onto the market which can run your day to day recruitment, HR and payroll services. These are cloud-based so won’t need to invest in any IT or data storage systems.
They’ll save you time, money and make sure that you stay legally compliant. Employees can update their personal details, access policies, request holiday or communicate feedback all directly through an online platform.
Running payroll through one of these systems can save your money on accountants and still let your remain compliant with the government tax systems and online banking facilities.
An efficient, well-organised team can do wonders. Rather than relying on emails and handwritten scribbles, why not run all of your tasks and projects through specialist software like Asana or Trello.
These programmes both have free versions that you can use to set up recurring tasks to keep your team and your business on track. The amount of time saved on unnecessary meetings or emails will transform your business.
A great deal of your marketing funnel can be automated through software such as Hubspot or Zoho. Once you’ve set up your campaign materials, you can rely on your software to push prospective clients through your marketing funnel without the need to manually trigger actions every step of the way.
Content, email and even social media content curation can all be automated in line with your campaign goals.
A well-designed chatbot on your website can drive enquiries through without you needing to speak to people.
The good news for small businesses is that you don’t need huge huge budgets to begin automating your business. Most of the larger software companies offer a freemium model, allowing you to access a range of features for free in the hopes that once you expand, you’ll move directly to the paid version.
Automating processes in our business can save you time, money and allow you to spend your precious time on actually running your business.
Increased productivity leads to better margins and an improved bottom line. Not adopting an agile approach to your business can lose you that competitive edge if your competitors do embrace automation.
Employees never have to apologise for having a life, believe it or not! LinkedIn has a story that all bosses should take note of!
Isn't life just hectic? Non-stop from the minute you climb out of your pit until you collapse into bed? BBC Worklife have a feature about 'how to reduce 'attention residue' in your life!
Your CV on average can take just 34 seconds to be rejected! The Sun has some of the do's and don'ts for your CV check!
Google spent years studying what makes an effective boss and now they teach new managers the six things they found! Inc.com has the lowdown on what Google think a new manager should know!
So Christmas is now done and over for another year and chances are that you've now got yourself back into work, but with the working environment continually changing, itself it time you had a look at how you can stay in the competitive market? LinkedIN has some ideas of how to go about creating the 'new you!'
When you apply for a job, you actually have two CV's out there. You may well submit one CV but its also your social media that acts as the second one so knowing exactly what's on it really helps especially as recruiters will find it too! The Muse has 8 easy ways to have a clean up!
If you've retired and looking for something on the side, your own little side hustle then it might be worth checking out the book, '100 Side Hustles: Unexpected Ideas for Making Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job by Chris Guillebeau. Forbes has more on the great read!
"When leaders forget about the human element, they're holding back their companies and limiting the success of others." Sheldon Yellen, CEO of property-restoration company Belfor Holdings, hand-writes 9,200 birthday cards a year! You can read more in Business Insider!
In the world of more and more companies trying to adopt a four-day workweek, Microsoft Japan tried it and saw a 40% increase in productivity! CNN Business has more on what could become more common!
If you're unhappy at work, there will be a reason! Maybe there's no chance of promotion or you've outgrown your position, but the question is should you tell your boss? The Muse has more!
Whether you like your job or not and if you don't, what are you doing to escape it?? The Muse have five things that you should get at work, yes even if you don't like the place!
Getting up early is the habit of most successful people, whether it be to meditate, write or organise their day, 'the early bird catches the worm' motto is seen throughout!
Tomas Svitorka has a piece on his website for some tips to help get yourself out of your bed!
Your job application is submitted and then you get that phone call, the phone interview! The Muse has 22 big tips on nailing that phone call!
We can't all have great bosses, sometimes with the worst you wonder how did they actually get that far ahead?! The Muse has some great tips on how to deal with a 'difficult' boss!
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Author, Editor, Creator of this website.