Protecting Your Business During Protests

Protecting Your Business During Protests


By Nigel Hilton

We live in an age of protests.

Given the current occupant of the White House, it is perhaps unsurprising that protests are seemingly a weekly event. People are protesting in defense of the current status quo; others are protesting against the government and its politics. This is a situation that is unlikely to change over the next four years.

It’s hard to disagree that anyone has the right to protest; in fact, it’s considered to be a fundamental human right.

However you feel about the cause of a planned protest, as a business owner, you’re probably more than a little nervous. If you hear that there’s a protest or march planned that will incorporate your business location, your mind probably fills with worrying images. You think of what cities have a tendency to look like in the aftermath of protests; destruction, graffiti along shopfronts, and general chaos that takes several days to recover from.

While we all accept the democratic right to protest, that doesn’t mean that you have to just sit idly by and wonder if your business premises are going to be in good shape the next morning. Here are a few useful preventative steps you can take, to ensure democracy has the chance to be heard without your business premises suffering for it.

1) Protect From Graffiti

Graffiti is an absolute pain to remove, even when it’s relatively fresh. No business owner wants to see their premises covered in various scrawlings; it’s not quite the welcome environment you might hope your customers will experience!

As in most cases, prevention of graffiti is better than the cure. Use anti graffiti film to cover windows and shop frontage; this film should also offer some measure of protection should anyone try to scrape the glass itself. If someone should graffiti on the film, you can remove it and replace as you see fit– far quicker and more effective than having to replace glass.

2) Remove Expensive Equipment

If a protest becomes a riot — unlikely but possible — there is always the chance that your premises might be breached. If this does happen, then you’re going to want to ensure that your most valuable assets are protected. Remove as many computers as you possibly can, as well as your most valuable stock items from the shop floor. You can either take these home with you for the duration of the protest, or lock them in a storage cupboard.

3) Check Your Security System

Talking of locks, the best way to prevent your premises from being breached is to check your security system is working as it should. If it hasn’t been tested in over a year, then call the company who installed your locks and cameras– they can visit just to check everything is in good working order.

Remember: Not all protests and marches turn violent or destructive, so there’s a good chance the measures you have put in place will never be tested. If, however, you prefer the peace of mind the above can afford you, then there’s no harm in taking the steps you deem necessary to achieve that.

8 Ways To Keep Your Employees Happy And Motivated

8 Ways To Keep Your Employees Happy And Motivated

By Sharon Jones

There is a saying –

“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link”

When it comes to business you should only think of it as being as good as the weakest person on your team. This means that we should be trying to ensure that there is no real weak link in our team, that there is nobody who can weaken our business. We want every employee to be putting in 100% into our business. We want them to be on board, and we want them to be getting our business message across, but how can we ensure that they are doing this consistently? We need to ensure that we are keeping our employees motivated and happy.

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Keep Your Team Involved And Informed

A dictator is never going to get on well with his or her’s employees. You don’t want to be barking orders and refusing to listen to the ideas of your team. A good manager will encourage the best from their team. They will make the employees feel like it is a team effort and that their input is valued. It’s really easy to do this. You just need to make time to listen to your team and to communicate with your team. You could hold weekly meetings where you discuss the bigger picture and share any challenges that are coming up. Keeping those communication channels open is essential to keeping your employees motivated.

Encourage Employees To Leave Their Comfort Zones

I am not suggesting that you hire some travel towers and suggest that all of your employees bungee jump off them. Although, that might be fun. However, I am suggesting that you encourage your employees to push themselves out of their comfort zones and that you reward them for learning new skills and trying new ideas out in the office. If an employee sticks to the same routine and tasks, day in and day out, then they will soon become bored and as result, unmotivated. Try and get them to stretch themselves, set them new tasks that will challenge them. Allow them to become more and more confident in their abilities.

Celebrate Success

As a child we loved to receive praise, as an adult we still love to receive praise. Praise is how we measure how well we are doing. We want to know that our hard work is being recognized. We want to be told that we are doing a good job. As an employer we should be celebrating the success of our employees and praising them for a job well done. It is important that we don’t feel afraid to give credit where and when it is deserved.

Be Consistent

As the boss we will be under close scrutiny from our employees. That’s why we always need to ensure that we are consistent and fair with how we treat everyone. We can’t allow ourselves to have favorites and we can’t expect to be matey one minute and then authoritative the next. We need to keep a professional distance but also be approachable at the same time.  Employees want to see you as someone who is respectful of others. That means you probably don’t want to take part in the office banter but you do want to take the time to say hello to employees when you pass their desk. You should also always have an open door policy so people know that they can come and speak to you when they need to.

Lead By Example

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The best way to motivate our employees is by being motivated ourselves. We should show that we are willing to work hard and that we will muck in when needed and work late when needed. This means that we hold ourselves accountable as well as our employees. That means we admit our mistakes and we learn from them. We all make mistakes and that is what makes us human and our employees will see us as someone who isn’t afraid to admit their failings, this is a great message to be sending out to your team.. You want to inspire your employees through your behavior, there is a fantastic TED talk all about inspiring people to take action.

Money, Money, Money

You might want to think that your employers come to work because they just love their job. However, the reality is that they come to work to earn money. They need to earn money to look after themselves and their family. Therefore, money probably speaks the loudest. Money is key to retaining your best employees. Reward their hard work with regular pay reviews and pay rises. Look at a bonus system and paid time off. These are all great motivators for employees. if you have employees that have young families then looking into flexible working arrangements would also be greatly appreciated by your employees. Could you accommodate flexi hours and some remote working? Look into ways of helping to make your employee’s life working life easier. They will really appreciate that and as a result see you as someone who looks after their employees.

Take Time To Train

To make sure that your employees are doing their job to the best of their ability, you need to make sure that they have received the required training. Do they fully understand their job role and do they have the required skills needed to complete their daily tasks? You need to make sure that everyone is properly trained as this will ensure that your office is more productive.

Work Doesn’t Have To Be Torture

A lot of our life is spent at work and that means we want it to be fun and enjoyable. If you have a fun work environment that you are more likely to be happier at work and as a result you and your employees will work harder. Think about how you could make your workplace fun. How can you inspire people to work harder? Perhaps you could make Friday an early finish. You could have a dress down day, areas in the office for employees to sit and relax at lunchtime, a pool table, beer fridge. There are lots of things that you can do to create that fun vibe.

Do you have any tips for motivating employees?

Trump vs. Obamacare

Trump vs. Obamacare

By Nigel Hilton

It was meant to be over.

That was how the media portrayed the Republican battle to kill off Obamacare once and for all. After the defeat of the first bill, and then the decision to forgo a vote on the ill-fated Graham-Cassidy bill, it was meant to be over. The Republicans had failed in their biggest political quest; everyone who relied on Obamacare could breathe a little easier.

Except it’s not really over at all. In fact, it very much looks like the fight is just beginning.

Trump’s War On Obamacare

Donald Trump, unlike any other president before him, seems to be defining his presidency onto not being Barack Obama. He’s not particularly bothered about being President Donald Trump; instead, he focuses on being President Not-Obama. It’s widely believed this obsession with rolling back all of Obama’s political victories dates to the infamous moment Obama openly mocked Trump, and even now, it’s still a defining moment for 45. It might just be the moment that made him consider a move in politics; it was that important to the famously thin-skinned Trump.

So, of course, Trump has always had Obamacare in its sights; it is the very definition of the man who occupied the office before him. It has his name; his advocacy– all the things that Trump desperately wants to separate himself from. While Trump has occupied some of his time with rolling back other legislative victories of Obama’s — such as the Paris Accord for climate change, or the Iran nuclear weapons deal — Obamacare was always his primary target. That was the one he really wanted to kill.

Then The Republicans Failed

Not once, but twice. So would Trump finally see that this was a political issue that he should leave well alone? No. Instead of using conventional legislation, he’s declared war on Obamacare through a series of Tweets and executive orders. He plans to undermine Obamacare to the point it’s no longer feasible, actions which — according to — may even be illegal.

So Where Does This Leave Patients?

For the moment, Trump’s actions haven’t quite been felt yet– but they will. If you use Obamacare, you have to start thinking of the future. For example:

  • Start saving money for your premiums in years to come. Having a nest egg set aside to either pay for insurance or pay for hospital bills directly will come in useful.
  • If you have an illness or disability as a result of an accident that wasn’t your fault, get in touch with the likes of to see if you can claim compensation– you might not be able to continue to receive insurance coverage for existing conditions when Obamacare finally falls.
  • Call your representatives and defend Obamacare if you believe the policy is politically worthwhile continuing. The more complaints that representatives receive, the more they may be bolstered to look for alternatives.

What Happens Next?

As mentioned, it will be some time before the true impacts of Trump’s latest actions are felt. Many believe that the Republicans have now abandoned the idea of legislatively ending Obamacare, so they are relying on asset-stripping and the executive branch to do what they couldn’t. Over the next few years, Obamacare may die a slow death rather than being snipped away in an instant– so keep an eye on the news to see how the situation develops, and — most importantly — what might replace it.

Why Is Your Workflow Stagnant?

Why Is Your Workflow Stagnant?

By Lina Martinez

There are times in business, whether you’re a business owner or a freelance worker, where you may realize that things have sort of come to a stand still. There are a few reasons this can happen. Knowing the causes and then working to overcome them will help you to improve productivity and workflow massively.

So, why is your workflow stagnant? Read on to find out…

No Automation Processes

Automation processes are the key to getting things done much faster and more efficiently. Take a look at some things you do every day. Chances are, there are systems and programs out there now that do them faster and more efficiently than you! If you’re not making use of these processes, you’re wasting time. You can learn about DataServ to get an idea of the sort of programs out there that most businesses can use. Money could be well spent on these things.

Doing The Same Old Mundane Tasks

Not only can you find automation software and processes to help you, you can also outsource certain tasks. Don’t spend your time doing mundane things you don’t enjoy, or making your staff moonlight in roles that they didn’t even sign up for. If you don’t want to hire another person, then outsourcing is the safest and easiest way to go about it. You can outsource for just about anything these days!

Inadequate Employee Knowledge

If your employees don’t feel like they’ve been trained enough or aren’t getting regular training that they need, this could be to blame for your stagnant workflow. Make sure you stay on top of training your employees regularly, even if you think you’ve taught them all they need to know. Refreshing their knowledge will be helpful, and perhaps even investing in things like team building.

Employees/You Aren’t Allowed To Be Creative

In order for somebody to output high quality work, they need the space and opportunity to be creative. This goes for both you and your staff members. Make sure you create a great space to work in, and that there’s a ‘chill out’ area where people can go to take some time to themselves. Rather than slacking off, you should find that they return from this area with new ideas and a new perspective on things. You just need to give your staff or yourself this leeway and trust that it will work.

Too Many Distractions

If there are too many distractions, then workflow is going to suffer. Just about anything than cause a distraction these days, from our smartphones to our emails. Ideally, getting real work done in the morning before checking emails or the phone will be a priority for everybody. Emails can seriously slow a worker down. Distractions could even be a badly thought out collaboration system, or a badly designed system designed for employees to work on certain tasks. Make sure you take their opinions into account when finding out what can be improved.

Ready to get your workflow back to a positive state? Use these ideas!

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