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There isn't really any element of modern life that hasn't been completely and totally changed by modern technology. From smartphones to the internet, the world around us is completely and utterly different than it was even a couple of decades ago. For many teachers, technology is the bane of their lives. They spend their time trying to get the attention of kids who'd rather be staring at screens; they constantly have to confiscate phones, and half the time it feels as though technology is just getting in the way. But is that the way things have to be? After all, haven't teachers pushed the boundaries of how they engage with pupils since the dawn of time? What's to say that technology can't just be another tool in your belt when it comes to shaping the minds of a new generation of young people? With that in mind, here are some ways that you can use technology to make your teaching more effective.
Automating administrative tasks
One of the most frustrating aspects of being a teacher is that you spend so much of your time not teaching. Schools are complex systems, not only that but they are businesses as well, and this means that there is a great deal of administration involved in running them. Thanks to technology, however, there are now plenty of things that you can use in order to make those tasks faster and easier than ever before. The finances of a school might be incredibly important, but they often end up being a serious distraction from the job that a teacher actually wants to do. You can visit payschools.com/payschools-products/ to see the kinds of technology that’s available to make dealing with finances much easier. That way you can get back to focusing on what really matters!
It can personalize learning
One of the hardest things about being a teacher is trying to provide the right level of teaching for each individual student. This has, historically, been something of a challenge since no teacher has the resources to deliver thirty or more different lessons at once. But now, thanks to modern technology, it’s never been easier to provide that kind of learning experience. More resources than ever are now online, so the task of the teacher is shifting more towards helping students engage with it in specific ways. This allows you to create a much more personal experience for students of all learning styles and levels of ability, meaning that those who struggle aren’t left behind, but the ones that excel aren’t left feeling bored and frustrated.
Of course, it’s important to remember that these are only tools, just like anything else. As useful as technology might be, there’s no chance that it could ever replace what’s most important: the passion and drive that a teacher has to share knowledge with their students. No piece of technology will ever be so advanced that it can ignite the fire in a student’s mind the way that a truly great teacher can.
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So you’re finally moving out. Business has picked up, and through careful financial planning, you have earned and saved enough funds to move out of your ‘garage.’ For any startup, this is a big move, perhaps career-defining. The most important point is that you look to the future, aim for the sustainability of your business and maintain an expected growth pattern. During this tumultuous time, you must not ever slack in your customers’ or employees’ eyes.
Image by – Cary Bass
Moving out of the garage
Plan the budget and time
First and foremost, audit everything and decide on what your budget is. Before you can buy and do anything, you must have a plan that consists of avoiding the red, and firmly staying in the black. To even be in a position where it’s financially feasible should prove to you, that you’re doing something right. Any possible move should therefore be, valued for time, because if you’re productivity slips, so does the awareness of your name. Typically you should aim for a 1-2 year plan with set goals you should be hitting every month, regarding profits versus expenditure. To save money, you should think about outsourcing work to freelancers via a digital system.
Don’t rely on a website photo gallery which shows pictures of the property that are up for rent or lease; go in-person and evaluate the square-footage and the amount charged for it. Compare what the price of the furniture that comes with the office is, to perhaps a more cost-effective alternative that some companies can offer you like Facility Services Group used office furniture. With the money saved through such a choice, you could opt for a flexible term, giving you the ability to add more space if and when required.
Photo source – Ole Ronberg
If you’re planning to move from a city to the center of a region to expand your business purely for a wide-reaching customer base, then you need to evaluate the following.
- Which specific area could you move your office or headquarters to, where you fill a gap in the market physically. Locate competing businesses on your regional map, and identify where the majority of the demand is for a business or service like yours.
- Once you have found an area where there isn’t too much competition, contact the local broker and decide on which property style and payment scheme you want to opt for.
- Calculate the complexity of the operation in terms of the people in your team. Could you deal with the added workload with your current employees? If not, how much more would you need to hire, and how soon? Does this factor into the amount of office space you’ll need? How much would this cost alone?
Credit – AMISOM
Moving out of a home or shared office is a massive step for a startup; quite frankly it can make or break you. If you need a safety net and cannot rely on saved resources, you’ll want to think about getting a loan from your bank. Whatever happens, your end all be all aim should be for business to keep coming in, so make sure you tell your existing customers that you’re moving and do so promptly. Relationships and trust are hard won, therefore, during the move, never jeopardize the current workload you have.
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You might be surprised that one of the biggest things which can affect a business is clutter. After all, it can affect productivity, and it can cause your business to go downhill. And just like your home, your business can often do with a bit of decluttering from time to time too. Here are some easy ways you can declutter your business.
Go through and sort out that paperwork
It’s often business paperwork which can be cluttering up your business. After all, it’s so easy to buy things for your company and then put the receipts on your desk. Or it might be the case you get invoices from clients that end up rooted in your area. But it’s easy for you to feel overwhelmed when it comes to sorting out your accounts with everything everywhere! And you might miss payments if everything is muddled on your desk. Therefore, it’s time to go through the paperwork on your desk. Shred things which you don’t need anymore, and then the rest needs to be filed under the right date. That way, you can quickly go to crucial documents when people ask for them a week or even a year after the date. And when it’s time to do your accounts, you will easily be able to find everything you need to do them efficiently.
It’s time to clear your stock
It’s not just paperwork which can become cluttered in your office. Your stock can also build-up too. And not only does excess stock waste important space in your building, but it can be a nightmare to keep on top of all your inventory too. After all, you might not be able to find anything so it can prove a nightmare when it’s time to do stock takes. And if anything gets stolen, you might know about it quickly. Therefore, it’s time to go through all your items and decide what needs to be kept and thrown. You might have a ton of things which can go through a plastic granulator to ensure they are recycled to save some space. And doing this can ensure no important details get into the wrong hands too. Remember to hire a warehouse manager if you have a warehouse full of items. That way, they can keep on top of what you have and will organize it properly.
Have a tech clean up too
You should also have a tech clean up to ensure you declutter your business. After all, you might have a ton of documents and photos on your machines you don’t need anymore. And getting rid of them can make a ton more space on your hard drive. It can also make it much easier to find important documents too. Therefore, go through it all and just keep the most important things. Remember that if you delete documents, you should use a program like Eraser so that it’s removed properly. That way, you can ensure no one can get their eyes on sensitive information!
And decluttering your business can mean your staff too. Even though it might be painful to remove someone, you need to end things now if they aren’t bringing anything to the company. And then you can invest in staff who will make a huge difference to your business!
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The summer is a fantastic time in many ways. While we try to console ourselves during the winter with feasting and Christmas, it’s the summer when we really get to be out in nature and enjoy ourselves. It’s no surprise, therefore, that during the warmest months of the year, people want to escape the confines and the home and get active. But what sports are out there that’ll have you adventuring all day? Let’s take a look at some of what’s on offer.
Saddle Up: It’s Time To Go Mountain Biking
Mountain biking has evolved considerably over the last 20 years, and for people who haven’t kept up with the latest advances in the field, it can be a bit of a wake-up call. It turns out that the mountain bikes of yesteryear are long gone, especially if you’re willing to dump a bit of money into a proper bike. Whereas the bikes of the past would leave your hand feeling numb and your bottom feeling raw thanks to a lack of impact absorption, modern bikes have great suspension that helps to absorb many of the hits, both big and small. Rather than going offroad being a painful experience, it’s now something that you can genuinely enjoy. Staying in the saddle all day and riding offroad is a distinct possibility, so long as the weather holds up.
Then there are the trails themselves. While a trail center probably won’t keep you occupied all day, it’s worth mentioning that the range and quality of trail centers have improved massively over the last couple of decades. The great thing about trail centers is that they are a sure bet. You know that they’re going to be rideable and that you won’t have to spend our pushing your bike up to the top of the hill, only to have to walk it down again because of the difficulty of the terrain. Trail centers also benefit from bike friendly facilities. This includes things like cafes, bike workshops, toilets and coffee shops, especially at locations popular with non-mountain bikers.
There are downsides to trail centers, of course. One of the problems is that you never really get to explore the wilderness in a way that you could if you are out in nature. Often trail centers are cut into pine forests, meaning that the trails themselves are great, but the views are a little samey. What’s more, you don’t really get that adventuring feeling like you do when you’re out by yourself on your bike in nature. Riding in the wilderness is a different experience entirely, and thanks to improvements in trails up and down the country, it’s now more mountain bike-friendly than ever before. It’s still a good idea, however, to do your research first and find out whether anybody else has traveled the route you’re planning on riding by bike. Sometimes routes can look great on paper but can be ruined by unmarked features or by there being too many walkers.
What About Hiking?
One of the downsides of mountain biking is the amount of time it takes to get setup and the money it costs. Quality mountain bikes start at around $2000 and go up from there. What’s more, getting the suspension serviced every 100 hours or so is a very costly procedure and will set you back a fair amount. Then there are all the other costs, like having the right tools and kit. If you’re not interested in spending a lot of money on a hobby, then biking might not be for you.
The costs of hiking, however, are a lot lower. Even if you decide to buy all the best equipment, you’ll still have plenty leftover to spend on things like accommodation. What’s more, with hiking you have more freedom. There are many trails closed off to bikers, but few trails are closed to hikers. (Usually, these trails are part of trail centers). What’s more, as a hiker, you’re able to visit more epic destinations. Bikers aren’t able to reach the top of mountains usually, but for hikers, it’s a regular occurrence.
Finally, hiking isn’t something that relies as heavily on the fitness of the whole group. Most people are able to keep up with the fittest when walking, which is something that can’t be said for biking.
Kayaking On River Rapids
Being out of the house all day adventuring is something that can be done on water too. Kayaking, like biking, has experienced a bit of a renaissance over the last decade, especially since the Beijing Olympics where it was watched by millions.
If you’ve not done it before, you’ll need to do a bit of preparation. First, you’ll need to find a kayak. There is no best kayak for beginners because the kayak you choose depends on your use. If you’re planning on being out on the river all day long, then you’ll want a touring kayak – a kayak that is usually a lot longer than other types and that is better in unsteady waters.
The most important thing to remember about kayaking is that it is an extremely physical activity that depends on a lot of upper body strength. If you’re not used to it, it can be a bit of a shock. It’s worth spending a few days practicing being in the water before attempting things like rapids to acclimate your body. Over time your muscles will adapt to the movements, but it takes time for this to happen. Just jumping in a kayak and going out for the day probably isn’t a very good idea.
There’s also the fact that kayaking is very dehydrating, especially if you’re wearing a lifejacket and helmet on a warm summer’s day. Make sure that you take plenty of water with you on your trip so that you don’t have to rely on the kindness of strangers.
Once you get the basics nailed, kayaking opens up a whole new world from the water. Some of the most popular kayaking destinations in the world include the Colorado River as well as the Dordogne in France.
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Investments in your office offer you a big ROI, but what offers you an even bigger one is investing in your employees. By investing your time, efforts and money into your staff you get a return on a whole host of things. You induce a relationship and trust between you and them. You better their skill set. And you benefit financially from this bettered set of skills through the work they produce. So, overall, investing in your employees is worthwhile. And it is certainly something you should consider doing the next time you feel your business needs a fresh injection of something.
If you feel that your business cannot seal important deals then your employees could be the answer. You, yourself may be well versed in the field of deal-sealing, but what happens when you’re not around? What happens when you’re off site? The reason why your business is struggling so much in the deal-sealing department is because important clientele may be visiting your office when you are called away from it. To nip this problem in the bud simply invest in training for your employees. You should get them training that ensures they are able to seal a deal when it is asked of them. When your employees are subjected to the Frosch Learning style of corporate sales training, for instance, you know they are gaining the knowledge and skills needed to seal a deal. On such a training course they would be taught about the art of selling. This would mean they always know how to sell your business. And they would be taught in the art of negotiation. This would mean that if they were ever drawn into a discussion with an important client they could negotiate on your behalf. You should always try to invest your time into distilling knowledge of deal-sealing into your employees whenever you can. For instance, you should make them aware that a deal can be sealed in as little as seven seconds.
There are also some unique ways to invest in your employees that you may never have thought about before. Such techniques, when implemented, will not only help your employees but they will also help take your business in a new direction. Investing financially in regards to helping to personally brand your employees is one such technique. By spending your money on things such as uniforms or personal company web presences for your employees you do a number of things. You help to induce a feeling within your employees that you want them to be a part of the team. You also show yourself to external forces that you are a business that appreciates its employees. Therefore, you are boosting employee morale and boosting your business’s marketing campaigns too.
But you shouldn’t just take to investing in your employees only when you feel your business needs to go in a new direction. No, you should try to invest in them at all times. You should always show appreciation to your employees by showing you are willing to invest in them. This is because an employee that garners appreciation is going to want to work harder to garner even more.
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Innovation comes in many different shapes and forms. From your employees to developing the one strong idea that shapes the foundations of your company, each area of your company should be primed for innovation and strengthening your business. What does innovation entail? Innovation might sound like a notion that comes once in a lifetime, but to prepare yourself for pushing business boundaries, you need to put the strategies in place. Innovation will increase engagement, competitiveness, growth, and the value of the business. What can you do to make sure that your business is ready to innovate?
Keep Up With The Flow Of Technology
The most vital thing to keep ahead of the curve in the digital age is to develop your business with the tech that is constantly being updated and created. Your business, be it industrial, retail, or small-fry startup needs to use the most recent trends in tech to your advantage. Tech is not just to benefit a customer; it can be used to benefit your company. For example, the importance of instrument maintenance that can be harnessed by on-site calibration services is a simple and effective way to make sure that your equipment is performing at its best. Your resources need to operate at 110%. As equipment and technology are the foundations of every business, we need to use it properly.
Stay Up To Speed With The Entrepreneurial Movement
It’s just that, a movement! With the change in the economy and the shift towards a more self-sustaining way of working, and naturally, people will gravitate towards the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Entrepreneurship is also being deemed as a major driving force in economic success. As innovation is an enabler of people’s entrepreneurial tendencies, it would be wise to look at the movement and make sure you take advantage of it. Leaders in businesses now see that this is a whole new approach to setting up a new and dynamic framework in the modern startup, and you should take a leaf out of their books and apply it to your own company.
Competing With Agile Methodologies
A startup company operates with the bare minimum of expenses but with maximum effort. Innovating a business can involve a major shakeup of ideals and trimming the fat, but this is a necessary evil if you want to compete with other startup companies that are younger and much more flexible. Do your research, and you will see that companies are never continually excellent across the board, but the most successful ones make the right movements. This involves strategy, and this is done by doing what the lean startups do and create a market for yourself, one that is untested. This is the prime purpose of innovation in business; it is to create value for your customers that increase your profit. Competition is rife in business, and that will never change, but by creating a market for yourself it signals to other businesses that you are the big fish, and you are unafraid to take risks. This is what innovation is, and it’s time to implement it.