Keeping Your Business Safe And Sound At All Times

Keeping Your Business Safe And Sound At All Times

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In order to have longevity in the business game, you need to have a multitude of things going smoothly. You obviously need to work hard and have hard-working staff. You need a solid plan, and the will to stick to it. You need a little luck, too. Those are just a few examples, of course. 

Something else you absolutely need in order to stay alive in this world is security. If you can stop any issues from plaguing your business, then you’ll have a bigger chance of keeping the wheels of motion spinning. Unfortunately, this world, while pretty amazing, is full of some negativity, too. There will always be something or someone looking to knock you down as you look to grow. That said, you need to be proactive as a business person, and take steps to limit any problems. Security and safety issues can erupt out of all kinds of instances, so you’ll need to be patched up everywhere. Here’s what you can do:

Hire Security Guards

This is pretty old-school, but it’s something that’s super reliable and bound to keep bad people away from your premises. Simply placing a bunch of large presences outside your workplace would add an extra bit of bite to your work. It also says to people passing by that you’re a pretty big deal and need that extra presence guarding you. 

Install High-Tech Cameras

Sometimes humans aren’t enough in terms of providing security – you need to a little technology alongside you. CCTV cameras are a sure-fire way of stopping bad antics from happening. They’ll take one look at the high-definition camera, and think twice about what they’re doing. If they do commit to it, then their faces, bodies, and mannerisms will be caught for everyone to look at and analyze. This kind of thing may cost a little, but it would be worth it to have that sense of safety and assuredness.  

Work With An IT Firm

IT support companies have the ability to watch over your computer systems all day, every day. If you’re happy to work alongside such a business, then you’ll be in good stead as you go through your daily jobs. In this day and age, cyber-attacks happen all the time, so you’ll want to be prepared and fully-equipped for what might come. Companies such as Integrated Technology Services are a prime example of a group that can take charge of your systems and keep you in great condition.

Keep Everything Locked Up Tight  

You’ll need to have your valuables kept nice and sealed. The chances are that people won’t be stupid enough to attempt to steal from the back of your store, but then you’re not accounting for those that actually are! It’s probably wise to buy a safe or two that can hold seriously important items. Think about adding extra locks on doors, too. 

Make Sure Everyone Is Trained

If everyone is health and safety trained, then the entire operating is going to run smoother and with fewer problems. It should be required before they start working properly, but it’s also something that you should keep working on every now and again. Training the employees regarding the general tasks should also take place, too, as any wrong moves could cause serious damage to the workplace and the business as a whole. 

How to Persuade Your Boss to Give You Flexible Working

How to Persuade Your Boss to Give You Flexible Working

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Flexible working is increasingly popular but some managers are still averse to the idea. They believe that flexible working is difficult to monitor, could cause problems with productivity and may set a bad precedent. 

So what do you do when you know flexible working could really help you out and even give you a chance to do your job better? You take these 3 persuasive arguments to your boss. 

The Right Infrastructure Makes Monitoring Easy

With cloud solutions, it’s easy to keep everyone’s work in the same place, making team collaboration easy, even when everyone is in different locations. Indeed, there are plenty of IT solution you could see more about. Lots of companies are now begin set up specifically to help others become more flexible so there are plenty of options. 

When you have the right policies in place, it’s very easy for managers to keep track of all their team and check in when necessary. This way, they don’t need to worry about you sitting on your emails and watching TV all day – they know that you are making strong progress. Indeed, they will be able to monitor your work and watch you thrive. 

Improve Your Work/ Life Balance

Cutting the amount of time you are in the office is a good way to improve your work/ life balance. So, if you have to take your kids to school in the morning, instead of being late, with flexible working, you can add hours to the end of the day or even make them up the following week. 

Improving your work/ life balance should also improve your overall health. Imagine how great it would be if people could work from home with a cold instead of sharing it around the office? Flexible working means that people can also avoid burnout, taking time when they need it and making it up later.

Drive Innovation

One of the best benefits of flexible working is that it empowers employees to make the most of their jobs. This way, they can be more creative, are more likely to have good ideas and will be able to take more responsibility for their work. All of these things are the main drivers behind innovation. They won’t just benefit the business as a whole; they will push it forward. 

When people feel empowered and excited about their role, they are much more likely to take it seriously and do a good job. It’s also true that when people can choose when and where they work, they are more likely to choose an environment that benefits the outcomes. So, if someone works best wearing their pjs on the sofa at 4pm, that’s when they will work and thrive.

Not all jobs are suitable for flexible working but some flexibility should be manageable in most. By presenting your case to your manager, and by showing them how the business as a whole can be improved, you stand a better chance of getting what you want. Remember, though – you have to hold up your end of the bargain for this to work! 

Should You Manufacture in Your SMB?

Should You Manufacture in Your SMB?

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Manufacturing tends to be one of the most extensive and most expensive departments of many kinds of businesses. To be able to make products requires tools and equipment, materials, warehousing space and sometimes even vehicles, licenses and more. It’s challenging to get right, and often involves a lot of cost, time and the right people to set up a plant. 

Outsourcing vs in house

Setting up a manufacturing plant is always going to be a massive task, regardless of what your business does. You need to source all the correct machines and vehicles, find a suitable location; you need to hire the right staff to run and maintain everything. Things can and will break down, machines, for example, can wear out and parts can go wrong. However, manufacturing products yourself puts you in control. There are advantages and drawbacks to outsourcing any department of your business, but one of the drawbacks is that the work you submit is then out of your hands. You have to put trust in another company and rely on them to do the tasks for you, to a standard you’re happy with. Another reason manufacturing yourself can be a good idea in business is because it will save you money in the long run. While there are substantial upfront costs to consider in most cases, once everything is all up and running you will usually save money compared with outsourcing to another company.

What do you sell?

Whether or not your business is able to manufacture its own products will largely depend on what it is you want to make. Just about everything you need to make products from machines to materials will be expensive, but for some companies, it will be easier than others. Take textiles, for example. Investing in a small workshop, with perhaps some good quality sewing machines would be more doable than needing, say, machines for electronics. If you’re selling wood products, saws and lathes again are going to be less expensive that really high tech equipment. Consider the equipment and materials you’ll need to use, from plastic to polyurethane finishes and work out if buying and running the machines you need will be doable for you.

What health and safety implications are there?

Health and safety is a huge consideration when it comes to manufacturing your own products. There are risks in any workplace, but in factories and plants there are additional risks that you don’t get in other areas of work. Heavy machinery, vehicles, power tools, chemicals, heat, working at heights and more can all cause injury, illness or death. On top of this, you also have the general risks you get in any workplace like slips, trips and falls. Health and safety-wise, it can add up to a lot of potential problems. Always follow all health and safety laws to the letter, otherwise, employees could be injured as a result. Lawsuits being brought against you could mean your venture is over before it even really got started. 

4 Things That’ll Lose Your Customer’s Trust

4 Things That’ll Lose Your Customer’s Trust

We tend to think that it’s the strength and execution of our ideas that’ll determine our long-term business prospects. And it is, of course, true that those things are the most important. But are they the most important aspects? We don’t think so. That honor belongs to the trust that is held between you and your customers. Without it, you’re not going to progress very far. And alas, it’s not something that is unconditional; it’s something that can easily be lost. Below, we take a look at four things that’ll prompt your customers to lose faith in you. 

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The Runaround 

You wouldn’t trust someone who seemed like they wanted to hang out with you but then would never answer your calls. Too many companies are guilty of making it extra difficult to talk with them, until it comes to cancellation, at which point there is, suddenly, a person on the other end of the phone. It’s always worth keeping in mind that business is just about people talking to one another in various forms. So don’t be elusive — it is not a strong look and raises too many concerns in the minds of the customer. 

Inconsistent Pricing

You can’t trust someone if they’re just going to tell you what you want to hear, or what they think they can get away with. When it comes to your pricing model, it’s imperative that you’re offering the same deals to everyone. Of course, there will be variables in price, but if you’re offering the same product or service to two companies, they should get the same price. Also, don’t try and sneak in extra money for your business. Some companies offer their “best price,” and then later off a further discount off in order to get more orders. So why say the first was your best price? It’s an underhand tactic that other businesses and customers don’t like. 

Low Quality Materials

If you’re going to sell someone something, you better make sure that it’s a good quality product. There are ways to save money by cutting corners in business, but not when it comes to your materials. There’s nothing worse than buying a product that seems well-designed, but which has been built with materials that were not designed to last. Once you’ve finalized your product, you’ll need to measure product durability. This will help to flag up any issues before the item is in the hands of your customers.

Washing Hands 

It’s all good and well being there for someone when everything is going well. It’s when problems arise when support really counts. So take a look at your company: how are you handling problems? If your current method is to simply do the bare minimum and hope it goes away, then you’ll need to review. The problem might go away, but so will the customer, since they know that you can’t be trusted anymore. You’ve got a duty to ensure that everyone that interacts with your company is happy with the level of service. 

Tools For Working Remotely

Tools For Working Remotely

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There are so many things that you can do from home nowadays. It is spectacular that software and a range of platforms dedicated to mobile working have changed the possibilities on a global scale. There are some tools that it is worth having available no matter what you do. From photographer to accounting. Here is a short list of the tools that can make your remote working life so much more productive. 

Communication

You are going to need to be reachable a lot during your projects. One of the easiest methods to use is Slack. It offers real-time messaging, which can be done one-on-one or for teams. There is also a range of useful features:

  • The ability to call – both voice and video
  • Team channels
  • File sharing
  • Some app integrations
  • Archive message features
  • Edit message feature

Google Drive

This one has a lot of use and really can be the workhorse of your file-sharing. It will be used for a team or all of the people who need to contribute to projects. You can share formatted word documents, excel files, and full presentations. Plus, you can set who can see or edit any files that you are putting in there. It also has the capability to have folders so work can be placed in the correct place and well organized. 

Office 365

Not everyone loves Google products, so you can look at an alternative like Office 365. Office 365 comes with a few different pricing plans and 1TB of cloud storage plus a further 50Gb of email storage. Like Google Drive, file sharing is super easy, and you can integrate your OneDrive with your windows operating system too. If you like the idea of being able to communicate quickly without using different systems, then Skype and Office 365 are ideal for you. 

LastPass

It is often the case that you will need to hire a virtual assistant to help you manage your workload. Which is great, because it means you are reaching a level of success. However, you will need to make security a priority, and LastPass can help you do that. The system will allow your assistants or team to access some of your accounts or shared accounts without having a direct password. 

Trello

This can work for you individually or in a team. You can set up a range of projects, cards, and boards. A few great features are:

  • Sync Trello across all of your devices
  • Upload various file types
  • Invite new people
  • Collaborate with a team via the cloud
  • Drag and Drop functionality
  • Assign tasks, deadlines, cleared and add comments
  • Integrated apps

There is a lot to be said for tools like Trello and Asana. Keeping a visual representation of workflow and the project is beneficial for all involved. 

Working remotely takes a bit of time to adjust to; you will need to manage your workload, your team, or other freelancers, deliver on time, and manage your business. Once you find the right tools to help you, you will improve your productivity no end. 

4 Essential Health and Safety Tips for Manufacturing Businesses

4 Essential Health and Safety Tips for Manufacturing Businesses

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Running a manufacturing business can be stressful. Keeping up to date with orders and fulfilling them satisfactorily is vital for the success of your business. Meeting delivery deadlines can mean that you are under pressure to get your goods manufactured quickly and to meet fast turnaround times.

While meeting deadlines is essential for your business’ reputation, it should never be at the expense of health and safety. The health and safety of your employees, customers, and visitors to your business should remain your priority. Here are some suggestions to help keep your business running efficiently and safely:

Thorough Training

Ensuring that employees are fully trained to perform their jobs may sound like an obvious requirement. However, when the pressure is on, and new staff members are recruited, it can be tempting to rush through their training so that they can get started in the job faster. This may seem like an excellent short term solution, but it could put your employees at risk. Having someone who isn’t sufficiently trained working unsupervised could result in health and safety breaches, and increase the chances of an accident occurring. Items made by a new employee may not be up to standard if they have not been trained adequately. This increases the chances of customers receiving faulty goods, which in turn represents a health and safety risk.

Meet Regulations 

As well as the products that you manufacture reaching the appropriate standards, you should also ensure that the components you use to make them meet the proper regulations and safety standards. To ensure that you feel satisfied with the safety of the parts that you use, you will need them to meet the standards required for their possible uses, such as nsf61 certification.

The Importance of Maintenance

Keeping your machinery well-maintained is crucial to keep your business running smoothly, and for keeping everyone safe. Make sure that employees know how to report any issues with the equipment that they use and why it is essential that they raise any concerns. Unless they’re adequately qualified, make it clear to employees that they should not attempt to rectify problems with the machinery themselves, as this could result in an accident. Instead, the appropriate engineer should be called to fix the issue.

Getting your machines serviced regularly and keeping up with their maintenance schedule is an integral part of keeping your business up and running, and everyone on your site safe.

The Right Equipment for the Job

Employees should always be supplied with the equipment that they need to perform their jobs both effectively and safely. This means that items such as gloves, eye protection, and high visibility jackets should always be available when needed. Make sure staff are aware they need to wear this safety protection equipment when required to protect themselves from harm.

Regular, ongoing training on the importance of health and safety in the workplace and regular monitoring of your processes and procedures should also help to keep your business a safe place to be.

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