Articles for May 2015

Safeguarding Your Business Against Power Failure

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Certain countries in Central and South America, Africa, the Pacific and Caribbean islands and parts of Asia are known to have difficulties maintaining a constant supply of electricity. Businesses that operate in these areas are equipped with generators to supply power in the likely case that there is a power failure. However, in the United States and in most parts of Europe and Canada, power outages are rare. When they do happen, they usually last for just a few moments and then power is restored. So a business owner might ask, why would I invest my money in purchasing a diesel generator? The answer is that when there is a blackout, or a brownout, the cost of not having a generator is many times that of purchasing one. Having a generator is an excellent way to safeguard your business.

A good example of a field where having a generator as a backup source of power is more than worth the cost paid for it is the hospitality industry. A restaurant cannot operate during a brownout or a blackout. What is worse, if the power outage lasts for a significant amount of time, all of the food that the restaurant has stored in the refrigerator or freeze will go bad and will become unusable. Since most restaurants operate on an extremely tight budget, the total loss of their entire perishable inventory would be disastrous. Any restaurant owner who has gone through this harrowing experience and who had not previously purchased a generator to safeguard the business greatly regrets their decision not to purchase one. If the restaurant owner was able to recover financially and continue with their business, it is quite likely that the first major purchase they made was a diesel generator .In addition to protecting business from loss, having a generator is also a great way to generate profit. Looking at the example of the restaurant owner, what is going to happen if all of the other restaurants in the area are without power, have shut down, and theirs is the only restaurant that is open? They are going to attract all of the business. People who are sitting at home without electricity would prefer to go to a restaurant with lights, with food and with beverages.Obviously, the hospitality industry is not the only industry that benefits from having a diesel generator to safeguard their business. Every business from manufacturing to communication needs to have a backup source of power. This is especially the case since many businesses carry on all of their operations using a computer. Without a generator, any business that relies on computers would grind to a halt without electricity.

Throw An Awesome Work Party By Hiring The Right Entertainment

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Work parties have long been viewed as stuffy and boring. This is because most who plan such events do not take the time to plan them as they would any other event. The key to an awesome work party, where everyone is having fun and thus enjoying themselves, is to make sure the right entertainment is hired for the party itself. Entertainment options are quite varied but the key is to find the right one for the event and thus one can bring that sense of fun in to the party so everyone will be sure to have a good time and not be bored and want to leave. Far too many business functions are too quiet and uptight and thus people tend to not want to stay or perhaps not even bother showing up in the first place.

A corporate band is a great choice. This is because those are considered a function band and that means they know how to play, act, engage the crowd and keep people entertained during a function. There are a wide variety of corporate band styles available (such as this one in Melbourne) and finding the right pone may take a little time and research but once that function band has been found, it will breathe new life in to any traditional work party and make it simply awesome. A business can still have a suitable business party and still inject fun in to the event through the use of music as that really changes the tone, mood and feeling of the party itself.

Employees will be more apt to attend events where there is a function band as they know there will be music and fun for all. Far too often a work party is simply too quiet and boring and that makes people not want to attend. However, when the party changes from too business formal to a bit more casual and lively by bringing a corporate band in to the mix; everyone will want to attend as they know things will be more exciting. The fun of dancing, having music playing and even the interaction the band has with the crowd all just adds a new element to the event.

Creating a Safe Business Environment

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Creating safety in the workplace is crucial to the well-being of employees and vital in the success of the business. Personal injury is a major cause of employer liability. Employer’s decrease their bottom line by having to provide compensation to the employee. A worker’s compensation plan is necessary to protect a business from an injury claim; however, the cost of the plan to the business is based on the number of claims made against the policy.

Providing safety in the workplace is a preventative step against employees getting hurt at work. The work environment should be free from hazards and employees must be trained and educated how to properly operate equipment and, they should be trained on how to prevent workplace injuries.Creating a safe business environment requires everyone to be on board. Employees can be instrumental in this process. They know the potential hazards in their job and they can often suggest solutions to reduce personal injury in the workplace. Some hazards can be handled directly by the employee, but those that cannot be handled by the employee should be reported to management. Management must get involved to provide the tools and resources needed to keep the work environment safe.A written policy is vital in the prevention of workplace injury. Management and staff need to have a uniform written document that states the policies that will be followed. This creates a consistent plan that can be used to educate everyone in the business. When proper procedures are not followed, it may be necessary to discipline management or staff. A written policy should be communicated in a way that is clear to all employees. Employees need to fully understand the company policy regarding workplace safety.A safe business environment can reduce the liability for an employer. Personal injury compensation claims can be a serious drain on the revenue of the business. In addition, this causes loss of productivity. When an employee is injured, the person is not able to perform the job, so the workload may have to be transferred to other employees, or the employer may have to go through the process of hiring and training a new employee. Adding the workload of employees reduces employee morale and could affect the quality of service.Hiring and training a new employee is another drain on the revenue of the business. The success of any business depends heavily on safety precautions. A business owner protects the employees and the liability to the company when proper safety precautions are followed. In addition, it is the right thing to do as a business owner. Workplace safety should be a priority in the policy making of any business.

If you’d like to know a bit more about workplace compensation and health and safety requisites, you may want to read Carter Capner’s take the law…. blog. There is volumes of resources available on the blog that detail all manner of workplace incidents and the legal repercussions for both employer and employee.

Getting the Right IT Help for Your Business

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The first step in growing your business, they say, comes when the sole proprietor allows himself to delegate tasks. Not every task of a growing business can be delegated. Creative tasks, for instance, should probably be left to the genius behind the original idea. Other things like taking calls, mailing orders, or IT support should, however, be handed to the experts. Speaking of experts, we talked to Melbourne IT support company Emerging IT when writing this article, they were happy to answer our queries from a small-medium sized business perspective.

IT support is a function that can make or break your business. Most services in almost every area of business are online now, from ordering products to requesting information to looking up the business address to processing sales. What happens when your web site goes down for some unknown reason? What happens when your hard drive crashes and you lose all your sales records?Once your business begins to grow beyond a sale or two per day, it’s time to seek IT support. The fact is that managed IT services will make a business owner’s life much easier in two ways: on a regular, maintenance basis and on an emergency basis.For instance, many businesses nowadays have every sales record and transaction saved in Quickbooks or similar accounting software. There are always ways to transfer and print this information, even as specialized reports like quarterly earnings and total sales. It is a fact that the majority of business owners never get to know the true power of the software or service they use! This is where managed IT services come in. An IT specialist knows his way around the software being used and can show the business owner multiple functions he never even knew existed.Every computer also needs regular maintenance. No matter how advanced or expensive a computer is, they need to be cleaned both internally and externally to avoid problems. An IT professional can help organize files as well so that the business owner can find them quickly.

The natural extension to proper storage is proper back-up. Any computer hard drive may fail at any time with no notice, and this is why it’s important to have a duplicate. Back-ups may be on-site, meaning just a second identical drive physically next to the original, or off-site, which involves a completely different building, sometimes across the country, that has a server or hard drive hosting a copy of every single file. Businesses in flood prone areas, for example, may choose to back-up their files off-site. IT professionals can help choose the best option.

Managed IT services that are regular and ongoing like the ones described can save the business owner in an emergency hard drive failure and make daily life easier as well. Invest in one shortly after starting a business, and that investment will pay off!

Facebook Advertising for Your Business

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When the ice cream van comes along, ringing its tinkling bell, the thing children are most excited by isn’t what they are going to get from the van, but what it looks like. There are many ice creams and ice-lollies painted on the van that the ice-cream seller doesn’t even sell. Why? Because it matters what the advertising looks like. Facebook advertising might not quite work in the exact same way but it is a close enough analogy that advertising matters.

The following are some things you must know about before your start Facebook advertising for your business –

• Create An Attractive Facebook Page – Advertising on Facebook without creating a page is like investing money without having any future plans for the gains you are going to make. So, the first thing you need to do is to create a page on Facebook for your business. When the prospective customers click on your ad and like what they see, they will visit your Facebook page, and this will be your chance to convert one time buyers into long time customers.

Monitor Campaign Performance – Getting Facebook advertisements right is an art and it takes some time to get the hang of it. This is why you need to monitor your campaign to make sure that all ads are working, and if some aren’t, to change them for better results. Not all your ads would be audience attractions, so you must keep an eye on everything to stop wastage of precious money.

• Design Images Professionally – Ultimately, it is the image and the quality of it that will pull audience towards you. It is not just about the text, a good image design has to go with it. Take the help of professional services for this purpose and get the design of your image professionally done. Getting posters or images designed for your Facebook advertising campaign does not have to cost a lot either. It can be done affordably.

• Clear Goals – What is the end result of this campaign? Do you want more awareness for your business? Is it Facebook likes and followers you desire? Or is it more specific than that – aimed towards a particular product launch? Whatever it is needs to be clearly laid out in your mind and that is how you should approach your Facebook advertising campaign. Always have a call to action in whichever ad you place and make sure it echoes your final goal.

• Target Audience – Facebook has a huge audience spanning over various demographics. You have to choose your target audience among all these people and businesses. It is never prudent to aim to target all the people on Facebook. Choose a target customer base and cater to them for maximum success.

The above tips will ensure your Facebook advertising campaign is a winner. If you’d like to know more, check out this post on Orange Digital’s blog.

Why You Need a Franchise Consultant

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Plenty of savvy entrepreneurs have created businesses that have simply taken off and have taken the public by storm. These are those truly great ideas and businesses that many are fascinated by as they are simply ideal. This is why some who create such great business operations start to consider expanding and many want to know how to franchise my business. This is because one who wants to expand through others will always turn to franchising as an option as it brings money to the original business owner and creator and also allows the business to expand far quicker. One can expand through opening more locations on their own and with their own money or they can opt to franchise and allow others to handle the majority of the costs and take partial ownership of the business through their own location.

Once one starts to ask how to franchise my business they will quickly find that the complexities associated with franchising require the use of a franchise consultant. This is key in making sure the process if followed properly and the franchising is a true success. The right franchise consultant can help one best determine if franchising is truly the right business move for them to make and then they can help get the process started. It is a far too complex and complicated legal structure for anyone to handle on their own and thus one needs to better understand all of those aspects before heading down the road of franchising their business.

It is a great business opportunity for those who have businesses suitable for being franchised but the proper procedures need to be adhered to in order for it to work. This is why anyone who even considers franchising their business needs to first meet and talk through the options with a franchise consultant. This will help one truly determine if it is the right move to make and if so, what are the steps to make it happen and happen in a manner that the business creator profits from the deal. Business is about making money and so too is franchising a business and thus the right professionals need to be used to make sure this happens to the best benefit of the business and owner.

Change Your Life By Opening A Business In Australia!

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Living and working in the land down under can be a wonderful adventure. The only thing that would make it even better, is if your job in Australia consisted of one that you owned, which allowed you to be your own boss. Owning a business affords you the opportunity to call your own shots, work your own hours, decide the direction of the business and take as many days off to go surfing as you please. Luckily, Australia is a friendly and welcoming environment for entrepreneurs who want to start a business. Here is how to go about starting a business in Australia, to get you on the path of a really great life. 
The first thing that you’ll need to do is determine the type of business you are hoping to open, as well as where you want the business to be located. If you are hoping to open up a shop on the beach in the heart of Sydney, you better be ready for the loads of competition that are already there. Then again, if you go much more inland, you may have a hard time when it comes to finding people who are looking for your service or business. There are certainly a variety of options for starting a business in Australia, but before you dive head first into this goal, be sure that you do adequate research and due diligence into where you want to open your business and what it is you want to provide. 
If you move on past step one, congratulations. Now it is time to decide what type of legal requirements you will need and what types of business visa will you need to pass in order to start a business in Australia. ( more about the different types of business visa here) Depending on where in Australia you want to start your business, the paperwork and requirements will change drastically. It is best to contact an immigration agent, who can help you with paperwork needed to start your new business. They can also guide you in the right direction to make sure that you have all of your paperwork done and are ready to start your business. 
Along the process, you’ll also want to determine how you will finance your business. Have you saved up your entire life, just to move to Australia to start thisbusiness? If so, you may not need much help. Other options include finding an Australian bank to take out a loan with, or even finding a partner that you can work with who is more familiar with how Australian business works. 
Speaking of partners, it also helps to make sure you are protected as a business owner. It’s not to say that the relationships you have will go sour, but you want to be prepared for any situations that present themselves. An immigration lawyer will not only help you with getting into the country and filling out the legal paperwork for a visa, but a lawyer can also come in handy when it comes to helping you with small legal concerns that may arise. Having a lawyer onyour side is a huge benefit when opening a business abroad. 
Get started on your dream of living and working in Australia today. It will likely take a bit of effort to get the ball rolling, but once you are running your ownbusiness, you’ll be very happy that you made the decision to start a new life, all while working for yourself and living on a beautiful continent. 

 

Taking Care Of The Company Car

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The company car is a very expensive investment, so you should try to keep it for as long as you can. You will be able to extend the life of the vehicle by taking good care of it. Below are some tips for caring for your company’s vehicle:

Set Rules For Driving The Company Car
Before you allow any of your employees to drive the company car, you should set some rules. The way that a person drives will have a direct effect on how long it lasts. Make sure that you tell your employees to always drive the speed limit. You should also tell them that they should avoid distractions while they are driving. Setting safe driving rules will reduce the chances of an accident occurring.

 

Clean The Car Regularly

You can take care of the exterior of your car by cleaning it. It should be washed and waxed on a regular basis. You should also make sure that you clean the exterior of the car on a regular basis. Vacuuming the car is one of the keys to keeping the exterior clean.

Regular Maintenance

One of the key things that you must do to take care of the company vehicle is to make sure that it receives regular maintenance. You should find a mechanic you trust. You should take your car to the same mechanic every time.

If the company car gets regular maintenance, then it will be less likely to need repairs. Make sure that you check with the vehicle’s owner’s manual so you can find out about how often your car needs maintenance.

Inspect The Vehicle Regularly

Even though regular maintenance is important, you should perform your own vehicle inspection periodically. You should take five minutes to inspect your vehicle every now and then. Inspect the car in order to ensure that there are not any scratches or dents on it. Make sure that all of the tires are properly inflated. You should also make sure that your lights are working. A five-minute vehicle inspection can detect problems that may be easy to fix. For a more thorough vehicle inspection, we recommend Pro View Vehicle Inspections in Sydney.

If you take good care of your company car, then you will be able to keep it for a long time. This will help you save a lot of money. You should set some rules for driving the car. You should also make sure that you clean and inspect the car on a regular basis. Additionally, the car needs to receive regular maintenance.