Tag Archives: Technology

Reasons Why Your Business Should Go Wireless

imagesWith the economic climate the way that it is today it may seem that the only way to be sure of your job security is to run your own business. After all, if you are your own boss then you cannot get fired. However, the big problem with this is that this is becoming a common ethos for thousands of Brits to live by which means that there is an ever increasing competition in all legs of the world of business.

Nevertheless, if you have the prior knowledge of the business world required to set yourself apart from your competitors then there is still a good chance that you can go from strength to strength and thrive in this economic situation that Britain currently finds itself in.

Keep up with the times

One of the most integral things to the success of any business is to make sure that you keep up with the times. Technologies and services are forever changing and for your business to have any chance of maintaining any sort of positive development then it is vital that you utilise these adaptations for the benefit of your business.

The latest decision that many businesses are facing at the moment is whether or not to make the most of wireless technology to bring your business into the 21st century. This is a very big step to make and a decision that could eventually make or break your company. The first thing that you need to consider is whether you can afford to invest what it will take to install the required technology in the first place. It is no secret that wireless technology does not come cheap but the potential savings and profits that it will set you up for, for the future cannot be denied.

It is obvious that wireless technology will increase your mobility but it is easy to underestimate how much difference this can make. It means that any workforce that you have will have more time to work and will no longer have the excuse of not having access to the company’s communications.

Greater access to information

Wireless technology means that access to vital information for your business is no longer restricted to wired ports. This means that productivity will improve dramatically no matter what your business is. It means that whether you work in a large office or have a warehouse stocking your products you will be able to keep communication at its peak or you will be able to keep on top of orders and inventories wherever you may be at that particular moment.

The key to good business is great customer service, no matter who your customers are. Whether you are directly customer facing in sales or services or whether you supply to those who directly face the public the key is to keep them happy and to never keep them waiting. Wireless technology means that you can provide your customers and your clients with the exact information that they need with no waiting. It is easy to believe that your business is going strong as it is but if you invest in wireless technology the likelihood is you will never look back.

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Guest post contributed by Simon Hardman, Simon is an avid techy by night, and business consultant by day. Simon understands how business life is changing, both politically and technologically and blogs regularly to help people understand it further. Simon regularly works closely with BT Shop to help business understand the more technological side of business.



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Working Women Liberate The Corporate Bottom Line

hiercheuseAustralia’s mining industry promises job opportunities and the highest wages of any sector in the country, with average wages of $2,388.20 and an average hourly rate of $52.30, according to the ABS Employee Earnings and Hours Report.

Yet, despite the job opportunity, despite the high wages, and despite the skills shortages that make the industry unlikely to turn away anyone who can provide the necessary expertise, women still make up less than 15% of Australia’s mining workforce.

A factory at half capacity

In a speech at his annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, none other than Warren Buffet (the expert on good investments) claimed that the world was overlooking the most valuable investment of all by not doing more to incorporate women into male-dominated industries.

Buffest described the current state of society as being akin to a factory operating at only 50% capacity, and said that he can only imagine what humanity could achieve without having one hand tied behind its back.

Historic stigmas within certain industries need to be overcome, and greater support needs to be provided in childcare, as studies show that the salary gap between men and women widens to about 40% ten to fifteen years into their careers, which is the point at which many women start taking time off to care for children.

Tim Toohey, the chief economist at Goldman Sachs, claimed that incorporating more women into the workforce could contribute a further AU$180 billion to the Australian economy. Although there has been progress over the past 30 years, when only one in three Australian workers were female, the rate of female participation in the workforce still stands at only 59%. The mining industry is one of many sectors that will benefit from efforts to increase that number.

Breaking down social barriers

The solution begins at a grassroots level, in the educational institutions, where greater effort needs to be made to encourage female participation in engineering and other technology-related courses.

Currently only 18.2% of Bachelor of Mining Engineering graduates are women, according to Graduate Careers Australia. They make up a small proportion of the 250 mining engineering graduates per year – a figure that needs to be more than doubled to meet the demand for skills.

So, what is it that prevents women from joining the mining workforce?

The industry may be eager to welcome women now, but the social effects of their historical exclusion from the industry still need to be undone. Then there is the fact that having children makes women reluctant to pursue careers which require them to work at remote locations.

Whatever the predominant issues, they need to be addressed. The Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) is an initiative established by the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA), which aims to do exactly that. Their aim is to increase female participation in the mining industry from 13.4% to at least 25% by 2020. Doing so will require measures to help them overcome both the social and economic obstacles.

Newmont Mining Corporation has taken steps towards this by encouraging female participation at their gold mine in Boddington. They invited local women to drive haul trucks while their children were at school and the truck drivers were taking their breaks. Of course, AWRA has higher aspirations for women in the industry then part-time truck driving, but it’s a means of at least encouraging female participation, and allowing women in the area to familiarize themselves with the mining working environment.

With 90,000 resource industry jobs estimated to be created by 2016, it’s necessary to address the issues brought about by the exclusion of women from the workforce if these industries are to achieve their full potential. These issues should have been addressed long before now, but perhaps having economic incentive to do so will make people more motivated to do something about it.

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Matthew Flax writes for Now Learning, a tertiary education portal that promotes TAFE courses in Western Australia (WA), as well as a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, including mining engineering, throughout the country.



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The Low Down on Startup Office Space

Employees need to have certain personal space in order to achieve optimum productivity, but the varies from business to business and the amount of employees the company has. The position one holds in the company will also determine the space the individual needs. The space that the boss or president moves in should be different from the employees under him, this creates authority and a personal space to discuss important matters. Even though these are just estimates, it is very important to consider the space you will be needing before signing a lease or buying a building.

Even though this might seem rather technical, it does not need to be rocket science. There are certain estimates in relation to the type of business. When you are calculating the amount of space needed, take into account that it would be different for a start up company.

Company Expansion

If it’s a known fact that your company will be expanding within the time of the lease, you should consider adding about 10%-20% of the total space calculated. This is very important because terminating a lease can be very costly and then you will have to move your entire office space.

The space per area will also vary from room to room and whether certain areas for communal use. Let us take a look at the square feet per person in areas of the office:

– Generally you can estimate for 150 to 250 ft per person

  • President’s office – 250 to 400 square ft
  • Vice President- 150 to 250 square ft
  • Executive’s office- 100 to 150 square ft
  • Supervisor or Manager- 80 to 110 square ft
  • Conference Rooms– 25-30 square ft
  • Reception area- 125-200 square ft for 2-4 people
  • Lunch room– 15 square ft per person

Tech Startups

When it comes to the space in a technology startup and you have an open space, you can fit in even more people. It all depends on the layout of the space and the amount of personal space needed. In the case of a start up company there will probably not be a entire team of higher- ups. There will be between one and two bosses, which can have their personal space away from the rest of the team. The other employees of the start up will then be able to work in an open space which will lead to good communication which is needed in the beginning phases of the prospective business.

When you are signing a lease for your office space, be sure to note how much usable space is available. If you plan the space per person according to the total square feet, you might be disappointed to find out that only a certain amount of that space can be used. When you are planning the amount of employees you want to hire, you should also take into account how many parking space is available.

A technology startup will not necessarily need working stations or big conference rooms. The ideal would be to invest in a solid open plan, which can later be changed into compartments if the business evolves and needs different departments. Since the start up will be technology based, you will most likely not need storage space or a logistics department. If you have a few individuals responsible for sales, this might be the only team that really need their personal space and no distractions.  Even though an open space would be ideal, it would help to have a personal relaxation space where employees can escape from the business atmosphere to unwind.


Another thing that should definitely be focused on is the type of employees. Your office space needs to be accommodate disabled persons. If one of your employees are disabled, or in a wheelchair, their space would differ from the other individuals. If you don’t have an open plan area, it is then important that the corridor space takes up between 20-30% of the space.

Not sure exactly how much space you would need? Use this Office Space Calculator to find out. It would also be a good idea to join a Business club or online forums to find out about the latest development, articles and discussions about these and other business related topics.


Read this contributed article submitted by John Badger. John is a guest author at DryLand. DryLand business club is a great firm in London, offering serviced office space.


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What Are The Biggest Factors For Business Success in 2012


Keep your business profitable and sustainable throughout 2012 with a free POS software download.

Today’s Challenges

There are a great deal of challenges facing the business world today and in particular those businesses whose primary revenue comes from sales, such as retailers. The costs of running these businesses are forever increasing, and as such, a business’ profitability will be reduced dramatically. Whether it is in the form of increased materials, distribution costs, or minimum wage increases, business owners everywhere have a constant headache in terms of minimising costs.

The biggest way for businesses so remain successful in 2012 is to produce an effective cost reduction plan. Not only will this see them remain financially healthy in the short term but it will also put effective business practices in place, enabling the business to remain strong through another global financial crisis, should one occur in the future.

Software Costs

Significant sums of money are spent by businesses each year on the upgrading and on-going maintenance of point of sale programs. By obtaining a free POS software download program, a business can take huge steps to dramatically reducing the costs associated with this. The beauty of such software is that it is entirely cloud based, so all that is needed is a computer terminal in a business in order to use the software. The only costs associated with a free POS software download come in the support functions. However, given the increased reliability and performance levels that you get with such programs, these costs are unlikely to be colossal. In a world where business leaders are forever fighting cost increases, this is much more favourable than paying for 24/7 support cover for an unreliable software and hardware package. This is before we even get into the additional costs of an engineer visiting your business to resolve the issue if it is something that cannot be resolved remotely.

How It Helps Your Business

In addition to the superb cost savings, a free POS software download can help your business in many ways. It can be a great time saver for the multi-site business manager, as they can simply log on to the cloud at home and view each site’s performance, rather than having to visit each site individually, or rely on communication from all of their managers.

A free POS software download can also drive significantly better employee productivity, as visibility of performance measures is dramatically improved. Other key business levers such as inventory control and stock loss can also be measured accurately.

Posterita provides free point of sale software to retail businesses. Moreover, they offer marketing and business advice to their partners and clients to help their business grow. If you want to find more about their free POS software download it from their website.



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Identifying and Conquering ‘Groupthink’

How many times have you sat in a meeting, wondering if you should mention a potential problem with a plan or a more efficient method—but didn’t? How many times have you requested input or ideas from your team or department, only to be met with averted eyes and resounding silence? How many times have you gone along with the crowd because you didn’t want to seem different? You just engaged in or encountered ‘groupthink.’

The term ‘groupthink’ was coined in 1972 by Irving Janis, and everyone has engaged in, been affected by or has seen ‘groupthink’ in action. It identifies the mass or pack mentality through which individuals, often with dissenting opinion or contradictory knowledge, hold their dissension to themselves out of fear—fear of bucking trend, being labeled a non-team-player or being tagged as an anarchist or simply “different.” In a nutshell, engaging in groupthink is equivalent to ‘going along to get along.’ Sometimes, however, shunning ‘groupthink’ is the wiser and more responsible action to take.

Groupthink does not mean the collaborative effort involved in a group of individuals thinking about the same thing. There is real benefit from individuals gathering to pick each other’s brains for ideas. Groupthink is based on our need to belong, to bond and be a member of a pack. People who groupthink aren’t necessarily lemmings either, following without thought and whose instincts are only to follow the pack. A ‘groupthinker’ is someone who doesn’t offer independent view, who goes along with the crowd despite contrary feelings or impulses. Their need to belong is greater than the need to dissent, and that isn’t always a good thing.

One of the best but least-known examples of groupthink revolves around the space shuttle, Challenger, on January 28, 1986. The short-lived flight was historic in several ways: It was the first space flight to include members who were not trained astronauts; it included the first women in space; it was the shortest manned flight in aerospace history, and it killed every member on board.

Engineers knew of design flaws but said nothing until well after the explosion. That groupthink attitude cost people their lives, and those engineers ‘went along with the crowd’ when they should have made their concerns over the design flaw known.

Children drinking, smoking, ‘doing drugs’ and having sex because all their friends are can be examples of groupthink in action. Kids often do know better, but they don’t want to be “different” from their peers, so they engage in activity they know is wrong, simply to bond with others—to be included in a group. These groupthink actions differ from the same actions deliberately taken out of spite, defiance or rebellion.

What differentiates groupthink from other compliance psychologies are the underlying motives and the silent knowledge of wrongness. Silence in groupthink can be capitulation—the lack of a strong sense of independence and giving in to pack instinct dominance.

The other thing groupthink is not is good. It always has a negative aspect, whether it affects goal outcome, reduces self-respect or compromises morals or ethics. You might voice your differing opinion or present contradictory information and still be directed to comply: That’s not groupthink. There is no silence involved. Whether you comply with that directive or engage in the activity depends on the exact situation and morality or ethical guidelines.

Conquer groupthink: Maintain a healthy self-respect; adhere to your higher thought processes, moral and ethical compasses, and never be afraid to speak when it counts.

Article written by Sara Woods, a writer for Coupon Croc, the best resource for discount codes to save on all of your online purchases.


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Is Your Anger Killing Your Art?

by Seth Godin

It’s rare to find a consistently creative or insightful person who is also an angry person.*

They can’t occupy the same space, and if your anger moves in, generosity and creativity often move out. It’s difficult to use revenge or animus to fuel great work.

Ironically, when you decide to teach someone a lesson they richly deserve, you often end up strangling the very source you were counting on.

(*Angry is not the same as being a jerk. For some reason, there are plenty of creative jerks–I think because they mistakenly believe that being a jerk is a useful way for some people to wrestle with their lizard brains).


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Toyota Substitute’s Rare Earth Metals for Their New Product Line

Resources from the earth have been used since the dawn of man for technological advancement. Goldman Sachs, an investment firm, predicted that in 2013 there will be a rare earth surplus. Even though there are experts who refute this analysis, exploration and mining companies have set out to exploit these resources. Products can be developed utilizing these resources, thus satisfying both customers, and investors.

The Toyota Prius uses the resource neodymium. This mineral is increasing in demand because it is a metal used for building strength magnets. Analysts project that neodymium will have a significant value in the following years. Since many industries are switching to renewable energy sources, the demand for permanent magnets is increasing. These magnets are used in applications such as wind turbines, electric vehicles and electric motors. To supplement the research of these minerals, the U.S. Department of Energy is willing to offer $30 million for research in alternatives to earth elements. These alternatives are vital to securing the supply of materials and cost savings.

Dr. Chen Zhanheng who serves as a central figure in The Chinese Society of Rare Earths as Director of the Academic Department states that demand for NeFeB, or neodymium-iron-boron, will increase by 259,026 tons in the next decade, and 176,289 metric tons within the next few years. These neodymium-iron-boron magnets will primarily be utilized for the operation of wind turbines. A single wind turbine uses a ton of neodymium for each megawatt of generating capacity. With the demand for renewable sources increasing, the expected demand for neodymium will also increase.

As mentioned before, Toyota needs these minerals when constructing green cars such as the Prius. Toyota analyzed the high price of neodymium and decided to seek an alternative metal to be used in their motor vehicles. This company is currently constructing the RAV4 EV which is a pure electric vehicle; this car gets its energy from being plugged into a power source. This is Toyota’s first step in escaping the use of rare earth materials. This company is also designing a new car with a new partner, Tesla Motors who is an electric sports car manufacturer.

The Tesla motor is special because it does not require the need for magnets to power up. Instead, the motor utilizes stacked steel laminations when an electric current is produced. The laminations create a magnetic field that rotates, thus pushing the motor. The motors are able to recycle energy when the driver brakes. The regenerative braking system is used on hybrids, making the partnership between Toyota and Tesla, that much more convenient.

Toyota is making a great strategic business move. Not only have they diversified their resources, but their ambition to ensure the future developments of different vehicles is admirable. By slowly easing away from a necessary resource before the value increases, they will save on manufacturing costs in the future. Toyota’s project to develop an all-electric vehicle that is purely plug-in will attract consumers. Many drivers are slowly going green by taking the necessary steps to save our planet; soon, we may all be driving all-electric vehicles.

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