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Tag Archives: Business and Economy

Hate Your Job? Here’s How to Fix It

When we’re in a terrible job we think we’re the only person who is in a terrible job, and everyone else loves their job, and everyone’s life is great, and our life is terrible. But, in fact, every single person, no matter where they are in their life now, has had a job that they hated.

The only people who don’t have jobs they hate are people who don’t take any risks and end up having terrible careers, because part of a good career path is having moved through a job that you hate.

Here are three steps to make a horrible job good.

1. Befriend the best-networked person in the company.

The problem with a really terrible job is that it doesn’t have the three things that are most important in a job, which are engaging work, manageable goals, and control over your results. So what you need to do is create your own engaging work with manageable goals. So do that by deciding that you’re going to be friends with the person who is most able to help you get this job. Look around the company and decide who’s got the most potential.

The worse the company is, the quicker it will be to find this person, because people with huge potential don’t stay at terrible companies, so odds are, there’s only one to find. Find your one person, and then each day do one thing to get closer to that person.

There is a wide range of steps you can take that, usually in the how‑to‑get‑a‑mentorcategory. Even if you don’t want this person as a mentor, the best way to get someone to pay attention to you is to let him know that you admire him and want help from him. So act like you want a mentor and your job will suddenly become meaningful because you might actually get a mentor.

2. Look for the most terribly managed areas of the company and fix them.

A tell‑tale sign of a horrible job is that it’s a horrible company, and a tell‑tale sign of a horrible company is that almost every single thing is managed terribly. Usually what has happened when things are so terrible is that someone ruined a project and then dumped it.

So in the terrible company there are dumped projects everywhere. You should pick one up and start fixing it. Even if you can only fix it a tiny little bit, on your resume it’s going to look really good. It will say increased efficiency 20 percent, increased revenue 21 percent, decreased staffing costs 30 percent, because it’s really easy to have this type of achievement when you’re dealing with complete stupidity at the onset.

3. Start rewriting your resume.

At a horrible company there’s no accountability, and when there’s no accountability you can do nothing all day, and that really opens up your schedule. The first thing you should do with your open schedule is to start job hunting, but do it in a systematic way.

Go find the job that you want and make lists of all the bullets they say that they want from somebody who’s qualified. Move all of those bullets onto your resume and say to yourself, “How can I make these bullets true on my resume?” So each day is a game to try to make one of those bullets true by doing things that nobody cares

 

 

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5 Tips For Dealing With Customer Service

Customer-Service-e1269228549577-300x240Whether you are calling to complain or enquire about services or products, you need to be savvy with call centre staff in order to have a successful conversation and get all the answers you need.  Here are tips you can use when dealing with call centre staff:

Be friendly

Don’t call the call centre of a company if you are still angry about their services.  Take some time to calm down before you make the phone call.  You may not get the help you need if you are rude to the person who is supposed to help you or lead you to help. Be friendly and start the conversation my mentioning your name.

Be patient

Sometimes call centre staff will ask you the same questions over and over.  Don’t get easily irritated. They are simply doing their job. In essence, this is to help you and reduce fraud. Repetition of questions can help in cases where someone else tries to use your details without your authorisation.  Be patient and give them your details as accurate as you can. Have all details on hand to provide the correct information as needed.

Get the name and surname of the staff member

Knowing the full names of the person you are talking to will help should you have to make follow up calls.  If you didn’t get the name at first, ask for the person to repeat it and right it down.  Getting the correct name will also help you to lodge a complaint should the consultant treat you in an unfriendly manner.

Get the right information

Research the market first if you are switching or want to get out of something.  Contacting the call centre unprepared may not get you the results you hope for. Use the internet to get all the information about your purpose for calling so that you can provide convincing answers.  Remember that companies don’t want to lose subscribers or money in compensations.  For this reason you have to make your case strong by providing all the necessary information.

Know your rights

Before you make the call, understand your position as a consumer.  Know your rightsconcerning the particular issue you are calling for.  Conduct online research on Citizens Advice Bureau. Read your contract with the company or complaints guidelines to understand fully where you stand as a customer or client, and use this information to your advantage.

Be honest

When you make the call, remember it could be recorded so try not to lie.  Be honest and provide the right information. Should matters be dragged to courts, your recorded calls will be used and you’d like the contents to work for you not against you.

No matter what your reason for calling may be, it would really help a great deal if you can stay calmand be friendly. Don’t contact the call centre with assumptions or rumours. Have the correct information so that you can receive the kind of help you need.  If you are not sure about your facts, ask for clarifications first.

David Jones from Supportnumbers.co.uk – A list of UK Support helplines for hard to reach companies.

 

 

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What To Consider When Purchasing Your Office Furniture

Selecting new furniture for your office may not be the toughest task on your long list of things to do, but if you think it’s just a case of ordering the first things you come across that seem to fit the bill; you may be missing a trick. The furniture in an office can have a big impact on the way that everyone works and the wrong kind of equipment could cause problems in the future.

So whether you’re refurbishing your office or just looking for a few items that will improve your working environment; what should you be thinking about?

Comfort

Comfort should be high up on the list when purchasing any type of furniture and it is no different in the office environment. The last thing you want is for your workers to be complaining that they are not comfortable as this could possibly lead to health issues in the future and may mean people are off work for some time.

You also need to think about your clients and the fact that they could possibly be using the furniture at some point. If they end up sitting on an uncomfortable chair then it could reflect badly on your company and it may even put them off doing business with you.

It’s not just chairs that need to be comfortable either. Things like desks and tables still need to be ergonomic so that they are easy to use.

Productivity –

You may not think it but office furniture can have a great impact on the productivity of your staff. Not just because uncomfortable furniture will mean they are less likely to be able to concentrate but there are also issues of practicality. Will chairs with wheels on mean that your staff are constantly fidgeting or will it mean they can communicate better with people from other areas of the office?

It’s also important to think about productivity when selecting storage options. If it’s easy to store things and access them when needed then less time will be wasted searching through cupboards and cabinets to find what you are looking for.

The Growth Of Your Business

You may only have a few employees working for you at the moment but it is important to think about how you are going to grow as a business when conducting your office refit or refurbishment. It may work out cheaper to buy desks and chairs in bulk now rather than just buying a few for now and then purchasing them singularly as and when more people join the company.

You should also think about how technology is going to affect your working environment in the future. Things change quickly in the technology world and so you may need to make arrangements for future develops. For example, will you be incorporating video conferencing in the future? Thinking ahead will mean you are better prepared for your company’s impending expansion.

Space Planning –

How you arrange your office can have a big impact on the general atmosphere and productivity of the workplace. Therefore when you are choosing pieces of office furniture you should be aware of exactly how much free space you have and exactly where things will be going when they arrive. Over filling your office with equipment could lead to a crammed working environment which will not prove fruitful at all.

Cleanliness –

Hygiene is important in any workplace and so you need to take into account the type of material your furniture is made from. Something that shows stains and that isn’t easy to clean may not be the best choice in an environment where cleanliness is a priority.

Featured images:

Chris Mayhew works within an office environment and understands how important furniture can be to the dynamics of a workplace. He would recommend that anyone looking to fit out their office visits the Premier Office Solutions website.

 

 

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How To Impress Clients With An Up-To-Date Office Workspace

office

Image by blupics

First impressions are everything.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
And so on…

These well-known adages reinforce the importance of creating a positive image of yourself (and business) right from the off. In an increasingly competitive market, you must look as professional as possible to secure business deals – remember: there will always be another company ready to take on a deal you can’t clinch. Transforming your office into a stylish, tidy, and polished space can improve important client relationships no end.

Read on to discover what improvements you can make to your office today and identify just how they can benefit your business.

Your Office as a Reflection of your Mind and Capabilities

Ever heard that saying that a tidy office equals a tidy mind? Walking into a well-organised and professional space is without a doubt the best first impression you can have of a potential business contact. Knowing that you’re capable of maintaining order in your surroundings creates a sense of responsibility and can go some way to reassuring a client you are reliable and will get the job done.

What Do Your Design Choices Say About You?

In terms of the décor, it’s said that less is always more. However, having blank walls with no personality can look very bland and corporate, even suggesting you lack imaginative flair. Conversely, extreme decorations or gaudy colour schemes aren’t going to work in your favour or create a relaxing business environment. Creating a balance of professionalism and creativity could just manage to seal the deal – bear that in mind when choosing your new office scheme.

Show Your Client Just What You Can Do

Having a well-kept workspace is all well and good, but often clients will want proof of your achievements before they contemplate doing business with you. Having displays of your work in your office not only demonstrates your capabilities, but also shows that you take a sense of pride in meeting customers’ needs and expectations – it goes without saying that this can only promote your business image.

Taking (Tolerable) Pride in Your Achievements

Showcasing any awards or accolades you have received over the years is also a good way of reinforcing a sense of trust and professionalism. That said, there is a fine line between being proud of your achievements in a positive sense and being slightly too cocky or distastefully arrogant. Being confident is in no way a negative trait but displaying accolades in such a fashion that you seem a tad showy is not going to reassure a prospective client that you will be easy to work with.

Create the Perfect Business Conference Room

Calm and professional discussions should always be the aim of a meeting; therefore it is essential to incorporate a quiet place for negotiations in your office. Trying to talk business in a hectic environment with employees running here, there, and everywhere is hardly the polished impression you wish to create. Similarly, there should be minimal distractions so that the focus of your potential client remains on you and the task in hand.

Not only can the perfect office space improve client relations but it also provides you with a clutter-free area in which to work in a calm environment – ideal when those everyday stresses start to get you down.

Organise your office and improve your chances of success – what are you waiting for?

Have you noticed that an impressive office has helped with client relations? Would you agree that a tidy workplace is so vital? Share your comments and opinions below!

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source

Jade is an enthusiastic freelance blogger who enjoys writing on topics including travel, languages and the world around her. She writes for Applied Workplace.

 

 

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Nobody in California Works Any More

IMG_1591I am so ready to move to the country.

With the interest rates low, the wife and I are thinking very seriously about purchasing a house it lower Washington State near Portland.  I’ve lived in California all my life, and in pretty sure I will miss the weather.

I can buy a Sun lamp.

We live in a cul De SAC,  a two bedroom unit in a triplex.  It might as well be an apartment building.  Nobody works in an office any more.  I can prove it, they are all out in the yards cause its nice out, but good freaking grief!

After my workout this lunch, I went to take some sun in the back patio.  First, there are currently three neighbors working on their homes.  One next door remodeling a bathroom, one across the street repairing to list the house, and another across the  street that has been having their front deck/patio worked on for the past 8 months.  No end in sight.

The next delight comes as the tenant next door opens her slider (literally 5 feet from my head) and takes 5 minutes to coax her new puppy to go potty.  Then the girlfriends next door, after parading up the driveway talking on their blue tooth for a half hour, somehow let their dog escape.  I had to wait a good ten minutes for Dylan to be captured and returned to captivity.  All of this, about 10 feet from me on the other side of the fence.

Forget the nap in the sunshine.

Oh did I mention that its garbage day?  We live in one of those special recycling zones where they have to send a separate truck to pick up the trash, recycling, and greens.

The afternoon holds forth a symphony of lawn blowers as no fewer than three separate gardeners take a total of about an hour and a half rotating internal combustion engines.  God forbid that they ever show up at the SAME FREAKING TIME !

I’m off to Starbucks where its actually relatively quiet.  Dreaming of Salmon Creek, right outside of Vancouver Washington.  Sunshine is highly over rated.

 

 

 

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How To Create An Office That Will Make You Money

money-changing-handsWhen considering redesigning your office or buying a new one completely, you may get a little overwhelmed by quite how much it’s all going to cost.

The price of hiring a professional to help you do the best job possible, as well as the materials, labour and admin costs can all add up.

However, there is not enough emphasis put on the importance of a well-designed office – the costs of redesigning or moving offices can actually create profitability in the long run…

Not only will a modern, unique office show clients and staff that you care about the environment in which you work, but it will also show that you are responsive to current trends and understand today’s market.

Having a new and modern office design will also boost staff morale and allow staff to feel as though they are part of a brand.

So, what do you need to consider when designing an office, in order to make it profitable?

Lighting

Lighting is a great way of creating an illusion of space, but can also act as decoration for your office. A bright-coloured, oversized or unique lamp is a great way of adding a quirky edge to your office design and could act as a conversation starter when you invite clients into the office for a meeting.

Window shopping

The general rule is that you should never leave your windows bare, traditionally you should have some sort of blinds or curtains up. However, a new trend of bare windows has come into fashion, creating more of an industrial look. If you are conscious about having bare windows, however, you can opt for quirky blinds or curtain, but keep them light coloured to allow natural light to easily shine through.

Art

No office is complete without a piece of art. Whether it’s a print or an original, no wall should be left bare without a piece of art. Again, art is a great conversation starter and talking point that people will always have an opinion on.

All the small things…

Indulge in the small things like beautiful vintage cups for tea and coffee (perhaps reserve these for meetings, as opposed to everyday use!), cloth napkins for lunchtimes or a quirky fruit bowl. Investing in these things will be worthwhile, because these are the things that people will remember about your company. It’s those finishing touches that might just win you the contract over your competitors.

Metre Squared Interiors specialises in office fit outs and office design in London. They’re experts in creating an office that will suit your business and boost your profit. 

 

 

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Putting The Trust Back Into The Supply Chain

supply-chainTo say this year has seen some scandals in the global supply chain would be a huge understatement. The horsemeat scandal has continued to dominate the headlines for the best part of three months now, and with the Asian market recently discovering rat meat being sold as lamb, this is clearly not something which is just going to blow over. The question is not only how long has this kind of fraudulent activity been going on, and what is going to be done about it?

Pressure is Building

Without knowing exactly how long this has been going on, and I think it is safe to say we are unlikely to never know the true scale of these scandals, it is impossible to say what the cause is. However, if this decision to substitute meats for cheaper alternatives without informing the consumer is a reaction to the current state of the economy across Europe, then there is at least some sense behind these crazy happenings.

Somewhere, decisions have been made to try and maintain the dwindling profit margins of companies and reducing their overheads by using cheaper meat products enables this. However, clearly this is at the expense of the consumer who is left paying over the odds for beef and lamb when they are actually buying lower quality and much cheaper produce.

Similar scandals have not been found to such a degree outside of the global food market supply chain, but what is clear is the pressure which is being put on companies which trade within it, and this pressure is likely to be felt across all supply chains worldwide as profit margins grow tighter and consumer demand continues to rise. The issue is, will consumer demand continue to stay as high as it is, especially when buying online, if there are questions asked about the confidence they can have in businesses if even going to their local supermarket for something as simple as meat can come back to bite them?

Trust Must be Restored in Supply Chains

It is all well and good saying restoring consumer trust must be the first port of call in moving onwards, but how exactly can this be managed? The first step must be for businesses that have been caught up in these issues to hold up their hands and admit they have made mistakes and are looking to put steps in place to make sure it does not happen again.

From there, the obvious step seems to be to put into place a series of rigorous tests on produce which is being traded throughout the supply chain, both before they leave the factory in which they are made, and once again when the retailer takes stock of the goods before selling them on to consumers. That way, if any issues are flagged up, there will be accountability, which in turn results in consumer trust being restored.

This can also be helped by firms using trustworthy companies to ship their goods across the globe; ones who they know will not compromise the quality of their products during what can be a very testing process, shipping produce across the globe under tight deadlines. Espace Global Freight is such a company, offering three kinds of top quality international freight; namely road, sea and air freight services.

By combining accountability, stringent testing of products and trustworthy companies handling the goods which are being traded within the supply chain, consumers can once again sleep well, knowing they are buying exactly what they expect when they next go to the supermarket for some meat.

Steven Capocci is a freelance writer who has studied supply chain mechanics in-depth and realises using trustworthy companies such as Espace Global Freight guarantees quality.

 

 

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The Benefits Of Having An External Storage Space For Your Business

file1491321584090 file1491321584090External storage plays a major role for businesses since the growth of commercial documents and other business related files can not be stopped. New sets of business documents are generated each day in every department or in various business operations. Although records are conveniently stored in the computer system of a business, hard copies or paper records are also important. Sadly, managing and controlling the flow of these documents can be quite difficult most especially if the office space is limited. In fact, some businesses often find themselves in chaos and delays with certain business operations because of disorganization and missing documents. This is why investing in a secure external storage space is beneficial to a growing business.

Why You Must Consider Getting Storage Space

If your business involves maintaining stocks of products, then utilizing extra storage space will help you make sure that your stocks are always safe and accounted for. This also includes having to store excess office appliances and furniture, or old office items you do not want to get rid of in case of future use. Having to store unused items at your business property will only lead to wasted space and affect the overall appearance of your office. You will want to ensure that your business appearance is constantly enticing and professional, thus placing stocks and unused office items in external storage will avoid your business reputation from being damaged.

The Benefits Of Having An External Storage Space

The best way to decide if an external storage space will be useful to your business is by learning the benefits that this type of storage space has to offer -

  1. In the event that you plan to move establishments, the storage space can be used to store items in between the old and new properties, while being able to store certain items until they are needed in the new office.
  2. If you want to have your establishment renovated or expanded, the external storage will come handy when storing office furniture, appliances, documents and other office items.
  3. You do not have to worry about important business documents or items being tampered with, stolen or lost, because an external storage space will have 24 hours of security to protect everything.
  4. In times of budget cuts or loss in the business, you can always opt to lease a smaller commercial space while storing important office files in the external storage facility.
  5. It is convenient and efficient to store business products in storage units if you are running an online business from home.
  6. Stocks can be maintained easily each day and retrieved quickly at any time of day.
  7. Having to store archives will be done in a cost effective way.

The Common Features Of External Storage Facilities

Most external storage facilities have high ceiling, secured and spacious rooms where a large volume of items can be stored. While some storage spaces are only available in at standard size, there are other storage spaces offered in different sizes to accommodate the storage needs of everyone for personal and commercial use. These storage spaces are well protected and they are secured with the latest technology for the highest security arrangements. They also offer moving and packing services which you can take advantage of if you have plenty of documents and items to place in storage, but do not have the right type of transportation to bring them to the storage facility.

Citations:
Featured images:

Valerie George is a freelance writer specializing in storage services for businesses. She also recommends SYS Storage for the storage needs of businesses.

 

 

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5 Tips to Maximize your Short-Term Savings

Small-Business-Owner

Being a small business owner rarely means having to budget millions of dollars and having to make decisions that please a bunch of stockholders. Yet, what unites a fair number of small business owners is that they are dealing with another kind of very stressful responsibility: building up their own retirement savings. Although this is a long-term goal, it has to be kept in mind throughout the process of building and running a small business. Achieving it inevitably calls for an incremental approach which seeks the maximization of short-term savings. Here are five tips just to do that.

1. Pay off debt faster

Small business owners, no matter their field of activity, generally have to get loans in order to start off (and sometimes to improve) their business. These loans can be small or big, depending on many factors. Since paying off debt can take a long time, the interests that a small business owner pays to the institution which financed the project can add up to a huge amount of money in the long run. For that reason, paying off debt faster than what was initially planned could result in substantial savings by the time a given small business owner retires.

2. Improve the areas that cost you too much

Small business owners have many items of expenditure: rents, employee pay checks, energy bills, furnishings, office supplies, etc. After one’s small business has been running for a while, it becomes easy to notice where some money could be saved on a monthly basis. If saving money entails spending some… a business owner should not hesitate to do it. For instance, if buying a new software could be improve the overall effectiveness of one’s company and help reduce the number of working hours that have to be paid each month, buying the software with short-term savings ought to be considered. Same thing if a new printer could reduce the cost of every copy: the upfront cost may be intimidating, but the long-term gains will easily offset it.

3. Pay a subcontractor

Sometimes, a small business owner can spend too much time working on some things just because he or she is not an expert in the field. This can be the case for accounting, for instance. If such obligations keep a small business owner from better investing his or her time more efficiently in another crucial area of the business, then he or she should consider hiring a subcontractor to carry out those overwhelming tasks that divert his or her attention from other things. Subcontractors are experts in their field; they work effectively and – generally speaking – at a reasonable cost. This could maximize the time the owner spends working and, in turn, minimize the costs of running the business.

4. Put some money aside

Short-term savings do not necessarily have to be spent! In effect, stocking them in order to benefit from an emergency fund when it is needed could be very useful. Planning for year-end tax payments also is essential and can be done through good management of short-term savings. Moreover, putting money aside as part of a long-term business strategy that seeks to eventually make a big, well-planned investment also is another logical way to deal with short-term gains. 

5. Think carefully before undertaking a new business venture

Sometimes, when money is coming in at a good pace, it is easy to get carried away and to become overly optimistic. In those moments, short-term savings can become a justification to constantly try to expand the scope of one’s business. Yet, good times eventually come to an end… Therefore, it is important to properly plan the expansion of one’s small business: short-term savings, if they are not meticulously invested, could turn out to be long-term losses.

About the author:

Alexandre Duval is a blogger for Standard Life, a company which offers many quality financial products and services.

 

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What’s The Right Credit Card For My Business?

gty_credit_card_choice_kb_130405_wgA number of credit card providers have been really aiming at including small businesses in their product line. For new, small businesses this can work wonders as it is a lot easier to get a credit card than a loan from a bank.

Of course, there are dozens of choices available and this can often make it quite hard to choose a specific card. The best way to evaluate the sort of card that’s best for your business is to take a look at its spending habits. Different businesses have different spending habits, depending on the sort of business they have.

Balance

Consider if you plan on paying the balance over each month, or whether you will pay it off with time and want to pay the minimum payment. If you do decide to carry the balance then you will need to take a look at the annual percentage rate, as this can end up being quite costly for business if it goes wrong.

For those that wish to carry their balance and also have good credit, take a look to see if you can get a 0% credit card, as this will mean you pay nothing back for a set period. Fixed rates can be very attractive when interest rates are rising; however this is not the case currently.

For businesses that pay all of their balance each month, they should look for cards with rewards or longer periods of grace. These businesses can benefit greatly from paying back and the rewards for being disciplined are good. However, make sure you are disciplined as the costs for not being so are also high.

Charge Cards

A good alternative to the credit card is the charge card. This card differs as it allows businesses to have a short line of credit. The card will always be paid back in the full amount at the end of the month and there are harsh penalties. However, if you do pay back in full your business will receive a number of benefits for doing so. Charge cards often also charge an annual fee and there is a similar process to the credit card application online, when applying for one.

Though, if you do need flexibility, then a credit card is a better option – just be aware of the interest charges and when you need to pay the balance.

Rewards

We’ve mentioned rewards on a number of occasions and both credit card and charge card companies issue these. These often come in the shape of air miles, cash back and discounts at retailers, hotels or for services. Access to airport lounges and hotel upgrades are also part and parcel of these benefits and perks. The main thing here is to pay attention to the fine print if you choose a card with these perks, as the costs of not meeting the criteria are high.

So, in conclusion, the best way to choose a card is to look at your businesses situation and all the financial products out there and then take your ability to pay into account. By then choosing a card around your ability to pay, you can be sure that you will avoid steep charges and gain all the benefits you can.

Cormac Reynolds writes financial articles for a variety of businesses and blogs and has done so for many years.

 

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