9 Ways to Keep Your Office Safe

9 Ways to Keep Your Office Safe

There are safety laws in every country in the world. Small business owners need to follow these laws. It’s important to do a safety check of your office or building every few months to make sure you are complying with the local safety laws. Here are 9 ways you can do that.

  1. Make sure the fire extinguishers are working properly and up to date. Old fire extinguishers should not be used. Instead they should be properly disposed of.
  2. Make sure the fire alarms and sprinklers are working.
  3. Make sure there is a clear path to your emergency exit. Nothing should be blocking it. There shouldn’t be any cords, desks, baskets or anything else in the way.
  4. Run fire drills regularly.
  5. Your employees should also know where to go in case a natural disaster (such as a tornado) happens during work hours.
  6. If there is smoking allowed on the premises of your building, make sure that the area designated as a smoker’s area is free of anything flammable.
  7. All of your computers and other electronics should be plugged into a surge protector.
  8. Immediately correct unsafe behavior. For example, if you notice employees like to flick burning cigarette butts onto the ground, please address this as soon as possible. Remind them to properly dispose of their butts, or else they can cause a fire.
  9. Have your office/building inspected by a safety inspector on a regular basis.

6 Steps to Hiring the Perfect Manager

6 Steps to Hiring the Perfect Manager

As a small business owner, you can’t do everything yourself. Eventually you will need to hire one – or several – managers. Here are the six steps you need to go through in order to find your perfect manager match.

  1. Look inside your business first. Is there someone already working there that would qualify as a manager? It’s always better to promote from within than it is to hire from outside. It boosts morale, and gives your other employees something to aspire to.
  2. Write down the qualifications you need in a manager. You need to know exactly the type of person you’re going to hire. If you don’t have a criteria, finding your perfect manager will be much harder.
  3. Don’t hire someone who is similar to you. Hire someone who has all of the strengths you don’t have. You need someone to support and compliment your role as an owner, not a clone of you.
  4. Find someone who isn’t scared to interact with your other employees. A manager should encourage morale, and build strength in your employees. You need someone who can work with your team and encourage them to be the best that they can be.
  5. Conduct thorough interviews. Take your time. Ask the right questions.
  6. Rule out everyone who doesn’t qualify. Don’t compromise on the list that you wrote down. If you didn’t find your perfect manager in the first round of interviews, keep going until you do.

Top Reasons Why Marketing is Important for Your Business

Top Reasons Why Marketing is Important for Your Business

You have an excellent business plan in mind and you believe that it is something that will really benefit the public. You have found a great niche and you have a specific audience. However, in order to find success, there is one thing that you can’t overlook: Marketing.

Marketing is an exceptionally important aspect of any business, and that’s because it really has a profound impact on success. If you’re just starting out, here is a look at why marketing it so important to your business.

Marketing Benefits

  • Attracts customers. Perhaps the most obvious benefit of marketing is that it attracts customers to your business. Sure, you can set up a storefront or a website and hope that people will check you out – and some people will – but if you don’t spread the word, you aren’t going to attract as many people as you need to be as successful as you desire. Marketing gets the word out about your business, and that is extremely powerful.
  • Builds value. Marketing helps to build value for your business. Your marketing approach will not only talk up your business, it will also talk up your products and services. It lets people know the benefits of what you are offering. When people know the value of your services and products, they will be more apt to do business with you.
  • Builds your brand. Every business has a brand, and marketing helps to build that brand. For example, parents know that Gerber is a trusted name in baby products, and that’s because of the image that marketing has built for it. Marketing will build your image and let your customers know what to expect from your business.

 

Tips for Keeping your Employees Motivated

Tips for Keeping your Employees Motivated

Your business is only as strong as the people are behind it, which is why making sure your employees stay motivated needs to be a top concern of all business owners. After all, you are the head cheerleader for your staff and if you don’t show your staff that you believe in your business and in them, well, chances are that they aren’t going to do much for your squad.

Here are some valuable tips that will keep your employees happy, positive and pumped:

Employee Boosting Tips

Stay Positive: Your employees will feed off the vibe that you give. When your employees sense that you are positive and upbeat, they will be, too.

Be Empowering: Always boost morale by being empowering. Host meetings for your whole staff, during which you can cheer them on. Take the time to talk to give each individual employee a pep talk. Empowerment goes a very long way in the world of business.

Acknowledge a Job Well Done: Always take the time to acknowledge a job well done. If an individual has achieved a milestone, commend her and show her how proud you are. If your entire team has reached a goal, make note of it and complement them on a job well done.

Listen: You have to listen to your employees. If they have a concern, a question or a comment, listen to what they have to say. And, don’t just listen, but respond to them, as well.

 

Tips for Finding Great Employees

Tips for Finding Great Employees

Your employees are the heart and soul of your business. Without them, your vision won’t be fulfilled and your business won’t be a success. Your employees guide your vision and help to make it a reality. That said, in order to make your business as successful as possible, you are going to want to staff it with the high quality employees.

Qualities of Great Employees

While going through the hiring process, make sure to pay attention to these tell-tale signs of a valuable employee:

  • Passionate:  If a prospective employee doesn’t show passion in himself or your business, there is a good chance that he isn’t going to be a valuable employee. You want to hire people who share your passion for your business and who believe in themselves, as they are the ones who will guide your business to success.
  • Competent: Passion is great, but if an employee isn’t competent, he probably isn’t going to be able to get the job done. He must be knowledgeable and possess the skills necessary in order to fulfill his role.
  • Good natured: Hiring someone who is hard-headed and who isn’t a team player isn’t going to get you very far. A valuable employee has to be able to work well with others and keep his cool in even the most stressful situations.
  • Committed: Where does the prospective employee see himself in five, 10, 15 or more years? Is he committed to working with you for the long haul, or is this position temporary? Employees who are committed to working with you for a long period of time are more valuable than those who are just waiting for something better to come along.

Prepping Your Business For a Mobile Office

Prepping Your Business For a Mobile Office

A mobile office is necessary for most small business owners. Because work calls at any moment, you need the right tools in place to give you full access to your business wherever you are. You want to find the best tools that make your mobile office functional and easy.

Remember that there are a lot of tools out there you don’t need. You want to maximize your revenue by investing in the things that are integral to helping your mobile business – not all of the fancy gadgets or programs that claim to be musts for a mobile office. [Read more...]

Perfecting The Elevator Pitch

Perfecting The Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is a short, concise way of pitching your business. You should be able to quickly and efficiently explain your business to a person who is learning about your business for the first time. Here are the best ways to perfect your elevator pitch.

  • Say who you are and what you do in one sentence.
  • Describe what you do.
  • Explain how you’re different.

The elevator pitch is something every small business owner must master. This is because you are constantly networking and getting the word out about your company. You want to have a go-to way to explain what you do and why people should pay attention to what you’re doing. [Read more...]

New Goals to Set for Your Small Business

New Goals to Set for Your Small Business

Things are changing for small businesses and that means re-analyzing your goals. The digital age means every small business must have an online presence, but you also want to set personal and team goals that allow your business to grow.

  • Be consistent with your social media strategy.
  • Learn to delegate responsibilities.
  • Improve conversion.

Social media is a free way to promote your business. Be consistent with your social media strategy to cultivate a strong online presence. [Read more...]

Must-Haves For Any Home Office

Must-Haves For Any Home Office

The home office can make or break your productivity and the scale in which you take your business. There are many things you may need specific to your business, but on a whole these are must-haves for any home office, no matter what your niche is.

 

 

  • Computer
  • High speed Internet/voice and video chat access
  • A good chair
  • Solid lighting

Computer

For most small business owners, a computer is key. Whether it’s primarily where you conduct your business or a place for keeping up with billing, a good computer is a must. You do not have to have the most expensive computer on the market, but it should run well and be fast enough for your needs.

High Speed Internet

A good Internet connection is a must. You must be able to connect to the Internet at all times to keep watch on your business and stay productive. Your Internet connection should be fast enough to provide you with phone and video chat access as needed. A poor connection can make these tools difficult.

A Good Chair

You’ll be sitting a lot in your home office. Invest in a high quality ergonomic chair that supports your back and will be comfortable for sitting a long period of time.

Solid Lighting

Lighting is subjective, but make sure the office area is lit with lighting that helps you perform. For some, this includes plenty of lights, while others like a more subtle effect. The goal is to find lighting that’s comfortable for you.

Make Social Media Work For Your Small Business

Make Social Media Work For Your Small Business

Social media may be a new area for your small business to conquer, but it’s essential you master it. Social media gives you a direct link to your consumer. This means you can hear out your customer target base like never before and analyze other products or services you’re developing for the future.

Your customer target base knows your company. Right now, you are able to find knowledgeable, savvy customers from all backgrounds who are choosing how they spend their money wisely. [Read more...]