Archive | April 2017

Easy Peasy, Make Your Business Leany!

entrepreneurial-musclesBusiness management is one of the most crucial things a small business owner has to consider. The way that a business is run can have a huge impact on the success that it has. And, of course, this covers a huge range of areas.

Things like human resources and your processes and policies need to be evaluated. And, it all has to be done with leanness in mind. But, before you can get started, you have to do a bit of learning. To help you out, this post will be going through some of the steps to this process and what you can do to make improvements to your business.

lean management

Before you can start to plan your chances, you have to understand the key principles of lean management. Any lean process is taken with the objective of removing waste from business.

Whether this is physically waste, like recycling and rubbish. Or, if it’s things like wasted time or resources. Cutting down on these areas has been proven to make almost any business run at a lower cost. Therefore, this can save you money. And, it can improve your business.

To start, you need to look at your business with an outside view. Try to figure out which areas could be made faster. And, start to chop the business up.

You might struggle to see where your business can improve, though. And, you might need some help. To start, you should look at the staff members within your business. They are often the most expensive part of running a company. So, you have to work hard to ensure that you’re not wasting money on any of them.

For example, you may have two full-time staff members. But, for three days a week, they both spend half of each day working, and the rest doing nothing. Instead of having two full-timers; you could consider one full-time and one part-time employee. This will save costs and eliminate wasted time.

Companies like cisco.com have loads of free resources to help you start cutting parts of your business out. From there, you can take a similar approach to other aspects of your business.

Outsourcing

Of course, you don’t have to do this sort of thing on your own. Instead, you have several avenues for help. The internet provides an excellent resource for self-help. Websites like problemio.com have loads of information to get you started. Throughout this process, it’s incredibly important to make sure that you only use advice that is credible.

A lot of blogs don’t post quality content. So, you have to make sure that the author of any post that you use is someone that knows what they’re talking about. Along with this, it can also be worth seeking the help of a consultant with experience in lean management. Not many people have this skill. So, you may have to look far and wide.

Hopefully, this will give you the inspiration you need to start making your business much leaner. A lot of modern companies have started adopting this approach to business. And, it’s shown great success. So, it’s worth at least exploring the idea.

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Hiring Winning Employees Is Easier Than You Think

hiringAs an entrepreneur, you’re entirely reliant on the people around you to do a great job and keep your brand strong. But sometimes, the people you hire aren’t what you’d hoped for.

They seemed great at an interview, but now they’re in your company and doing the work, they’re not living up to your expectations.
Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind SpaceX and Tesla, has been mulling the question of how to hire the perfect person for years according to http://uk.businessinsider.com. Back when he was first starting out at Paypal, he put a lot of emphasis on a person’s technical skills.

This, he thought, was what gave them the most value. Soon afterward, he discovered that raw technical ability wasn’t enough: for projects to really work you needed people who were able to work in a team, even if that meant sacrificing a little talent in the process.

Over time, Musk developed his interview techniques. He began to realize that some people could talk the talk at interview, but couldn’t walk the walk when it came to their actual job. As a result, he began asking more probing questions. One of this favorite was to ask about any significant challenges that a person had overcome during their career.

To Musk’s delight, this proved to be a good tactic for discovering the quality of prospective employees. Those who had overcome challenges knew all the intricate details of how the problem was solved. Those who had just been bystanders didn’t.

Of course, as an aspiring entrepreneur yourself, you want to make sure that you’re hiring winning employees. Here’s what to do.

Don’t Hire For A Position, Hire The Person

Many entrepreneurs are simply interested in filling a particular role to carry out a particular function. But this might not actually be a good idea. As an article on http://www.careercamel.com, points out, companies are suffering enormously from high turnover rates. Hiring new people every few months is horrendously expensive and burning a hole in their bottom line.

As such, other companies are changing tack. Instead of hiring for a position, they’re hiring the person. The difference is that hiring the person means that you want them to stay in your organization. Companies that engage employees and give them the opportunity to advance will see more of their staff sticking around for the long haul.

Ask Them To Complete Written Work

Job interviews are almost universally ineffective, thanks to the fact that the people hiring prefer to hire individuals who are just like them. Therefore, it’s a good idea to ask candidates to do something a little different, like complete a writing assignment.

Some companies, like Barefoot Cellars, have gotten rid of the interview process altogether. Instead, they sit candidates down in a room and get them to listen to a presentation on how the company operates. Next, they give them a written assignment to complete before the end of the day: 5 pm. This is where they get to see the real ability of the candidates, not just their polished and refined CVs.

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Home

There are not many things in life as happy or exciting as buying your first house. It is a big step and means that you are finally on the property ladder. Spending your money on a mortgage each month can be much more worthwhile for many people than paying rent (which is essentially just paying someone else’s mortgage for them). property

So it is a good step to take for many people. It can mean some more financial freedom and knowing that you now have an asset against your name. In spite of all of this, it can still be a pretty daunting experience. To start with, there is a lot of information to process; where do you start?

The key to starting the journey to homeownership is by prioritizing. You shouldn’t try to take on too much all at once. You also shouldn’t try to take too much on. Ask for help from those people around you if you need it. Certain things in the process will need more of your attention than other things.

But with some time and organization, everything will sort itself out. So with all of this in mind, here are some of the steps to take and how to approach getting your very first home. I hope that it proves helpful to you as you take this big life step.

Shop Around For Mortgages

There are so many different lenders and mortgages that you can take out. But when you consider a housing loan there are a few factors to consider. First of all, you need to check the fine print of the mortgage.

Will there be an introductory rate to start with and then after a certain amount of time will the rate of repayments go up? Will the interest rate change? You need to know what you will end up paying out specifically so that you can budget accordingly. You don’t want to sign up for something and realize there is nothing you can do about it until things are too late.

Don’t Do It Alone

If you have a partner that you are buying a home with, then it can help when you have any concerns. If you are buying a home solo, then don’t try to presume that you can do it all yourself. Hopefully, family and friends will be able to be there to guide you through the process and help you to deal with the paperwork or offer advice when it comes to the legal side of buying a house.

They can always be called in to help on moving day too, right? It is also of paramount importance to be working with an estate agent that you are happy with. They will be paid quite handsomely for doing their job, so you need to make sure that you use them accordingly.

Call or email them with any concerns or queries and ask for their advice. They can advise on specific areas if you are moving somewhere new, or if you are looking to buy, then can help suggest the right conveyancing person to speak to. Buying a home is a big investment, so you don’t want to feel unsure of anything, or like you have unanswered questions.

Location, Location, Location

There are several factors to take into consideration when buying a home. One of the most important ones is the location of the property. Even though you won’t be thinking of selling it right away (you’ve only just moved in). You need think about it’s resale ability.

As a home is an investment, and you never know where life might take you, the chances of being in that home until you’re retired are going to be quite slim. So you want to get a good return on that investment, right? So although you will be looking at the size of property that you want, and it’s access to certain places or things, you need to take into account where it is located.

Look at schools in the area, access to public transport, and other factors that can be a selling factor for other people. Looking at the neighboring roads is a good idea too. You want to end up with a home on an amazing street, rather than an amazing home on a bad street if that makes sense?

So do take your time when choosing. It can be easy to get caught up with making an offer as you think someone else will snap it up. But if it goes, then it wasn’t for you. Take your time!

Do Your Research

There will be a lot of research to do when you’re buying your first home. One of them is as above; location. But you also need to look into the area and the properties around it. Have any of them sold recently? If so, how much did they go for? When you look into this kind of thing, it can make a big difference to what kind of offer that you will make. You don’t want to make an offer over the amount if you don’t have to. You want to make it competitive, but also reasonable for you and what you can afford.

You should also do some research into the home itself. There is nothing wrong with asking how old things are and what work it has had done on it. You don’t want it to have any structural damage or problems like damp.

So make as many appointments to view the house as you would need, as well as asking a lot of questions. You also need to take time with a survey or conveyancing solicitor. It can make a big difference to the whole process and helps to ensure you are making a good investment.

Plan a Timeline

When it comes to moving house, it does need some military precision organizing (or at least it can feel like that). So plan out a timeline. At what point will you start looking to get approved for mortgages, as well as when you will look to move? Having it all planned out can help the process run much more smoothly. So it is worth taking the time to do it.

Research Renovation Costs

It is rare that we find our dream home just as it is. Quite often we will need to make some changes, even if it is just to the color of the walls. But that does all need to be factored into the moving costs.

How much will a whole kitchen cost to renovate, for example? If you don’t have any savings of your own to do it, then will you add it into the home loan that you’ll be asking for? If so, you need to be quite specific. So if you find a house with massive potential, but that needs to be renovated, then be specific with the costs of it.

Then when you approach a bank or mortgage lender, you can present to them what you aim to do with the house. Quite often these kinds of thing can add value  so it can end up being a good investment for all involved.

Are there any other things that you think are important to consider when buying your first house? I should also add that it is important to see buying a home as a business decision. Take all emotion out of it, and you’ll make much wiser decisions, which will help you to make a better investment in your home.

Business Planning; Cutting Costs Across The Board

 

good-businessRunning a business is usually an expensive game. There are small costs, which need to be covered, on a daily basis. Then, there are larger costs. Ones that take a huge chunk out of your revenue and keep you from growing. These don’t have to consume you, though. Instead, you can start working towards lowering these costs.

Wiping them out will take some time; but, it will be worth it. To help you out, this post will be going through three ways that can be used to make the business you’re running as cheap as possible.

Employees

One of the biggest expenses for businesses is the employees that they hire. If you have anyone working under you; you will already know the costs. But, if not; you’re in a good position to avoid being caught. Instead of hiring people in the early days of business, it’s much better to learn to do the work yourself.

For example, you may own a factory that produces plastic goods. You have a staff member leave, who only performed one task. The time their job will take is minimal; so you may as well take it on. Learning new skills like this is usually a case of getting some education.

Finding things like injection molding seminars is easy. There are loads of companies out there that offer online courses. And, loads of people out there that are willing to help. So, you just need to put your student hat back on and go back to school.

Outsourcing

Of course, there will be a host of jobs that will take far too long to learn for you to do yourself. For example, web design and computer programming will take many years for someone to master. These skills won’t be picked up overnight. So, it’s best to get someone else to help you.

For work like this, though; you don’t have to hire anyone on a permanent basis. Instead, you can find cheap workers on websites like Freelance.com. Just be sure to have a contract with anyone that you work with on a site like this.

Business Planning

And, last but by no means least comes a way to save money that very few businesses consider; change. In a lot of cases, businesses will be leaking money because they use bad methods or old machinery to do their work. Some simple changes to the way your business works can make a huge difference.

To start, you’ll need to do some assessment of your business. Try to find areas that you think could be improved. Then, with this information, you can start to find new ways to get the work done. Thinking about the future at this stage is very wise. You may find that something is expensive now. But, it could more than pay for itself later on.

Hopefully, this will give you a good idea of what needs to be done; if you want to start saving money within your business. A lot of companies ignore these areas. But, unfortunately, this can halt growth in its tracks. And, it will almost certainly cost you more of your profit.

Key Tech Your Law Firm Needs To Know About

law firmTechnology has exploded in the lobbies of every industry imaginable like fireworks at a New Year’s Eve party, and the legal business is no different. Technology has absolutely revolutionized the way law is done, it has changed proceedings and altered methods.

It doesn’t matter whether you work as a lawyer, paralegal, solicitor, secretary or what, technology has evolved in such a way that everyone is able to be more proactive and proficient than ever before.

Contented Courtroom

More and more courtrooms are now using technology in the same way as everyone else, and that is thanks to the all-singing and all-dancing technology that is at their fingertips. First off, the use of presentation software has been introduced to aid the proceedings of a trial and help both sides better present their case. The other major area of advancement has been in remote access to documents as the direct result of e-filing.

Future Of Firms

A lot of businesses have moved toward the concept of paperless operations, but none as fast as Law Firms. E-billing has become a big thing, as has electronic case management through things like SimpleGrid Technology, which has effectively changed the way databases can search, track, archive and even distribute documents.

This means more efficiency and that means more time for billing. These new systems storing and sharing files have brought about a new era of online legal representation and allow firms to save money by moving their operations overseas.

Era Of E-Discovery

This has to be the biggest movement in the world of law. It started in 2006 and it has progressed with the times since then. What e-discovery refers to is the use of any electronic data being sought, searched, located and secured with the sole intent of being used as evidence in any form of legal case, whether civil or criminal.

This means things like voicemail, emails, graphics, instant messages, calendars; any data that is stored on an electronic device is now subject to scrutiny.

Extinction of Libraries

Legal research has finally stepped away from its necessary but archaic methods of searching physical libraries in favor of using technology. Every legal profession now relies on operating database applications that are specific to their area of expertise, while screen sharing software and web conferencing apps have become a part of daily life when completing tasks as a unit.

This has become an area of interest within the field of technology and while advancements are constantly being made, it is Westlaw that remains as the favored tool when it comes to research databases.

Ba-Bye Static Websites

We often overlook websites as being classed as new technology, but this is not the case in the legal field. Nowadays, legal firms are using websites that offer their clients a dedicated portal through which client and firm can interact with one another securely. The big plus about this technological advancement is the round-the-clock service it offers. After all, the better the service the more successful the business.

The Tricks Of Real Estate

propertyReal estate is a tricky business. Yet there are Certain tricks that can make it easier for yourself as an investor. New investors can often struggle, and there are certain mistakes that you simply would not want to make because they cost not only money but time too which is often vital to the good real estate investor.

These tips can help you find your footing, and make the most of your chosen profession.

Real Estate Agents

In the first instance, you want to be able to benefit from the knowledge and expertise of others. You may go far and wide in your pursuance of a good real estate and in these case, you would be better off speaking to local real estate agents. They know the area and you can get all kinds of local knowledge from them. They know what sells and what doesn’t, what works, what increases the value of a home. You may think you know this but the fact of the

They know what sells and what doesn’t, what works, what increases the value of a home. You may think you know this but the fact of the matter is that this is different in each town or city. If you wanted to invest away from home then you should check in with one of the bigger estate agencies. You may even find a great investment with them.

Tradesmen

Keeping with the building of relationships, you need to get in with tradesmen. If you like investing in the same city, which is often the valid route to success, then you will soon grow to know many tradesmen. It is these who pile the value on the home you have bought.

You need to use them for lots of things, yet ensure you pay lower amounts so it doesn’t eat into your profits by too much. One of the ways to make this work is by going into a partnership with the tradesmen.

Also, once you have built your list of tradesmen and keep using the same ones all the time you could potentially ask for better prices or get more work thrown in for similar prices. The fact you offer guaranteed work will go a far way. Link with tradesmen and your job will be a lot easier.

Market Research

The best trick is research. You need to research every aspect of your investment because if you don’t you will find yourself open to loss of investment or a low return. Buying a house in a particular street? Raid all the information you can and find out what similar houses in the area are selling for, particularly ones which have been taken up by investors.

You can see from this how much you could get in terms of profit. Check building schemes. Is there something being built nearby which will affect the value of your home? These are all things you need to consider. Check the local amenities too. The more you know the more of an informed decision you can make.

If You Interrupt Someone, Make It Worth It!!!

Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of marketing. Organic and interruptive. Organic marketing, like branding your site, using SEO, and creating blog posts is all about building a presence best used to convince consumers who are already paying attention. marketing-means-more

Interruptive marketing, on the other hand, is things like advertisements that attempt to redirect the attention towards your business. They have their own faults and strengths. From the names alone, you might imagine that the faults weigh more heavily on interruptive.

You are taking their attention away from where they want it. In response, they put their guard up, often making it harder for your brand’s message to get through. This is why we’re going to look at how you make sure your consumers end up not minding the interruption that much at all.

Hone your targeting

The best reason to interrupt someone is because you already know that they have an interest in what you have to tell them. This is why the practice of targeted marketing has evolved. Nowadays, big sites like Google and Facebook collect all sorts of browsing data on their users.

With that data, they offer a variety of different means to help you target your consumers.For instance, with Google, you can make use of your location relative to them and combine it with the search terms they use to give prominence to a pay-per-click advert.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s data broker partners keep data on trillions of consumer transactions, fueling a better customer relationship management system than perhaps any other businesses in the world.

With Facebook, a person’s past transactions could be used to link them to your social media advertising. If they’ve shown an interest in products similar to what you offer or in a similar industry, it could be your in. You won’t always get a hit with the people you think most likely to appreciate the interruption but it makes it a lot more likely.

Get back to what you know

Providing that your business model is consumer-friendly enough, the people even more likely to have an interest in what you might interrupt them to offer are those who have already proven that interest by becoming customers. If your business model encourages repeat buys, then you should be thinking about using email mailshot software to start an email newsletter.

But it’s not enough to hope that popping up in their inbox every so often will be enough. Good newsletters bring with them unique value like exclusive deals, bespoke discounts based on customer purchase histories, and other interesting media, such as infographics, videos, or case studies that bear some relevance to what the business offers.

Don’t just make them exclusively full of invitations to buy. Keep them populated with interesting content that will get readers hooked.

Don’t forget the real world

There is an increasing misconception that because it tends to be easier and more cost effective, online marketing is the only way to go. That’s just not true, however. In fact, if all your marketing comes from one source, you are missing the real benefit of a varied marketing strategy.

Not only are you hitting fewer consumers. Your brand isn’t having any subconscious effect. The prevalence of things like billboards, radio advertising, SMS messages, and direct mail can create a permeance to your brand. It offers more visibility, more establishment, and in time a greater trust in the business.