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Category: Work

Four Experts That Your Business Needs

When you work for yourself, you often find that you have to wear many hats. You can be the maintenance officer one minute, then the receptionist manning the phones and five minutes later, a product designer. It can be enriching taking on so many different facets of the business and it is often part and parcel of running a small business. However, there are some elements of your business that might be a little beyond your area of expertise. There are occasions when you are going to benefit from getting some professional support, and we share these in today’s post, 4 experts that your business needs.

IT consultants

You are going to need to use technology effectively for your business.

Whether you are searching for the best vpn or you are looking to create some bespoke software, IT consultants can be invaluable to your business.

Businesses normally require a website as a minimum, and it can be beneficial to use IT experts to help you with this. They can do anything from designing an internet presence for you to updating it to helping you to improve your SEO to monitoring its security and more. You can work with them to support you with whatever you are not comfortable doing yourself.

Graphic designers

Your business will benefit from strong branding and eye catching visuals. Unless this is a field that you have some experience in, you are going to need to hire a graphic designer to work closely with you to get this right.

Graphic designers can turn your ideas and visions into designs, however abstract your suggestions are. Talk to them about your business, your products and services and what you want to convey through your branding. They will then come up with several suggestions for you to look over before developing one of them further.

Graphic designers will be instrumental in working with you on your signage, logos, packaging, website and social media icons, and potentially any merchandise that you wish to sell or gift.

Accountants

It is essential that your bookkeeping is kept up to date and accurate. You need to meet your tax obligations and there is no room for error. As such, accountants are a necessary expense.

You can work with your accountant to varying degrees. You might use your own software and keep your own books and then have your accountant review and audit them for you. Alternatively you might choose to hand over all accounts to them, which will be a greater expense but less work for you if numbers are not your thing.

Human Resources

Human resources experts can be invaluable if you have a team.

If you have a growing business, you might choose to keep an officer on staff. Or you can consult with them on any matters around human resources, the legalities and looking after your team properly.

You might choose to consult experts when you are recruiting, perhaps using them to help you to interview and assess. They can lend you their experience as well as ensuring you are conducting your recruitment within current policies and laws. You can then enlist their support when managing staff to help you to get the best out of everyone and adhere to employment law.

What You Need To Know About Installing Solar Street Lights

Solar energy has been harnessed over the years due to its renewability, cheap price tag, and durability. Since its clean energy, many people have started using it for an opportunity to save the dying planet and reduce pollution. Previously, it was only used as a lighting and heating alternative in homes and industries whose power consumption bills would skyrocket, but that has since changed. It is now a viable and dependable power source on its own. This has seen people use solar and stay off the grid for years. It has also brought with it solar street lights that solely depend on it to function. If you are looking to harness this power for your street lighting project, here are a few things you need to keep in mind:

Location

For your streetlights to work optimally, you need to install them in an ideal spot. Avoid spaces with shades or shadows for long hours as they reduce the light and heat uptake. Consider solar street lights by Solar Lighting International as they engage experts before installation. They help you calculate the maximum insolation and irradiance. However, when there are no open spaces, consider using longer poles or placing adaptive solar lights in high spots. Since the lights require spacing, check the space available for your project as this might hinder your plans.

Cost

To start with, you need to have an estimated cost of installation. This figure can be sourced from several companies that handle installations or from different packages within one company. Compare these prices to ensure you get value for money at affordable rates. You should also consider maintenance and servicing fees as these costs could ruin your budget. In areas where there are known calamities and robbery, consider increasing the maintenance funds kit amount to cater for any eventuality.

Power Output

When installing streetlights, start by having a feasibility study on your power needs. Each space requires different illumination, and you need to have yours figured out. For large spaces, get potent lights and vice versa. The study also helps you determine power output, battery wattage and capacities, lighting options, and fixtures. It also helps you determine the expected light hours each day for correct street light installation. This helps you get customized street lights for your space.

Safety

Despite the power source being the sun, the streetlights can be a threat and risk to those around. For streetlights in public spaces, ensure you do not interfere with the layout and hinder movement or transportation. Consult local authorities first to avoid breaking the law or losing your investment if forcefully brought down. Use quality material to avoid breakages and accidents that can be costly to replace and to compensate victims. Additionally, consider the material that does not put those around it at risk through electrocution.

Return on Investment

Before installing the lights, you must have a motive behind it. Most people install them to enhance security while others do it to increase the work hours within premises. Ensure the cost does not outdo the expected returns as this makes it a non-viable option. Consider cost-effective street lighting options to ensure you recoup your investment and even make more out of it.

Four Tips to Help You Retain Your Employees When Your Business Works Across Time Zones

One of the biggest logistical challenges companies face when expanding across time zones is retaining a team that works in different locations.

One of the top reasons that employees cite as a reason for moving on from a company is that they feel overlooked by management. Not surprisingly, losing your employees is a big risk when you expand your business across more than one location, as your team may start to feel that they are not receiving the oversight, support and attention that they deserve.

If your organization is stretched across several time zones, these strategies offer solutions to help you keep your talent happy.

Embrace Technology Freedom

When your team works from multiple locations, it doesn’t make sense to have your talent tied to a desktop. Your employees may need to travel between offices or work from home or even a hotel room when meetings draw them to far-flung cities.

A useful strategy for managing this mobile workforce is giving your team choice over the devices they use. Thanks to advancements in mobile device management, allowing your team their choice of technology needn’t be cause for worry in terms of security. In fact, MDM is one of the ways that technology can improve security in business. Not only does MDM give you content visibility across your company’s devices, but Electric MDM can reduce business risks and support costs. Allowing your team to use a device of their choice is also a great way to boost retention. Bonus!

Focus on Employee Wellness

Investing heavily in employee wellness is vital, as it signals to your team that you value their contribution. Providing great office facilities with comfortable break-out areas is a great way to demonstrate that you are concerned about the quality of your team’s work environment, wherever they are located.

Prioritize Transparency

When the time comes to expand across time zones, it helps to be as transparent as possible about the future of your business, highlighting what the geographic expansion means for your team. Underlining that expanding your business will open doors for your team in their own careers is a great way to assure them that the transition period and challenges of expansion will pay off for them as well.

Accept Unusual Work Hours

When your various teams span multiple time zones, it won’t be unusual for your team to work odd working hours to cater to the requirements of your business. Some employees may struggle at first, and it’s important to support them if they can’t adjust, ideally offering transfers to other cities as an option. But now and then, one of your staff might embrace the unusual business hours and wish to work all their hours on the 24hr clock. And why not? A nine-to-five does not suit everybody, as research has shown that circadian rhythms vary, so different workers will be naturally more productive at different times. As far as possible, it makes sense to allow your team to work the hours that suit them best. Not only will they be more productive, but they are more likely to want to stay in their jobs, as they will feel supported and valued.

Whether you employ a staff of three or thirty, managing your team across time zones can be tricky. These tips will help you ensure that none of your work (or team members) slips through the cracks, and your business continues to thrive.

Careers That Pay Well And Are A Lot Of Fun

When it comes to doing a job you actually love – whether it’s through your own business or working for someone else, many people are under the false impression that you can’t do a job you love that pays well, and that you can either have a fun job or a well-paid job, but not both.

For starters, this isn’t true – it’s an old mindset story that’s been passed down through the generations and that really has no place in modern society.

The fact is, if you’re doing something you love, then it means you’re passionate about it and that’s going to be reflected in the results you deliver, which means you’re going to be helping people, so you absolutely should be getting paid well for that.

Whether you’re just starting out with your career or are in a period of transition and looking to make a change, then you may not know exactly what you want to do, and have even less of an idea of where to start with it, so in this post, we’re going to give you a list of careers that are seriously fun to do, but that also pay well, so that you can see you don’t have to settle for one or the other, and hopefully we’ll get you inspired and fired up so you can make a choice that’s good for you.

Copywriter

Copywriting is a seriously in-demand service, and you really have so many opportunities in this area – you can choose to work freelance for the clients you choose or you can work in-house directly for a company within their marketing department or even in an advertising agency as many copywriters do. Of course, you need to have a certain skill set to work as a copywriter, but if you’re able to engage people and get results through your writing, then you can definitely make a good name for yourself and make great money. Copywriting is not only well-paid, but it’s really fun, and you’ll get to really unleash your creative and work on all kinds of projects with companies from all kinds of industries.

Coach

If you love working with people and really making  a difference in their lives by helping them overcome a certain challenge or hit a specific goal, then coaching could be a great career choice for you. You will typically work on a self-employed basis as a coach with the exception of corporate coaching where some companies will actually hire as a full time staff member, for example to come in and show their employees how they can start getting the most out of Power BI. However, this can be a great thing because then you have the freedom to set your own hours, set your own rates, and work with the kinds of clients you really want to work with.

Personal Trainer

Personal training used to be looked at as something that only the rich and famous could afford, but nowadays with so many people really starting to pay attention to their health, it’s becoming something that many people are looking for. If you have a love and passion for fitness and really want to work with people one to one whilst helping them achieve their goals, then a career as a personal trainer could be perfect for you. The other great thing about being a personal trainer is that you can add income streams to your business through things like digital products which can be complementary to the services you already offer your clients such as diet plans.

Graphic Designer

If you have any kind of visual or drawing skills and really love to be creative, then graphic design could be a path for you to follow. Not only is this a seriously fun career that sometimes doesn’t even feel like work, but it pays well – especially if you work for yourself and can really build a good name for yourself. Whether you choose to work with big companies on their visual branding or want to go smaller and create things like stationery and clothing, you can really get creative when it comes to graphic design.

Animator

Animation has come such a long way from the days of the original Disney animations, and nowadays everything is super high end and digital to the point where it’s almost hard to tell what’s animated and what’s real. If you want a creative career that’s amazingly fun and pays well, then animation is definitely one to consider.

App Developer

The phrase “there’s an app for that.” is now more true than it’s ever been – there’s virtually an app for everything, and whilst some are definitely better than others, apps are on the rise and certainly not going anywhere, so the need for good app developers is quickly growing, and people are prepared to pay good money for these because they know the value of them in today’s world and they want to stay at the top.

Game Designer

If you’re a gamer of any kind, or even if you simply appreciate the world of video games, then like animation, they’re now to the point where the visuals are so good that it’s hard to tell them apart from real life, and this means that if you’re a game designer you get to be more creative than ever. If you’re looking for an amazingly fun career that pays really well, game designing could be a perfect choice for you.

Travel Writer

Do you love to travel and love to write, then a career as a travel writer is possibly one of the most fun careers you could ever hope for – and is well paid when you get hired by the right publications and even do partnerships for high end hotels and airlines who want their business to be featured in the best light. Not only do travel writers get paid well for traveling the world and staying in luxury resorts, often many of these expenses are covered for them.

Hopefully this post has shown you that you don’t need to choose between what you love and what you can make good money with – in today’s world, there’s really no reason you can’t do both.

Effective Ways To Use Technology In Business

Technology is benefiting more and more businesses nowadays than ever before. There are plenty of advantages to using technology and companies of all sizes and industries should be looking at technology to help run their businesses more efficiently. Here are some effective ways to use technology in business.

Use Social Media To Reach Customers Globally

Social media is a very powerful tool when it comes to marketing and sales. There are a variety of social media platforms now that businesses are using to grow a following not just nationally but internationally. With users all over the world, people are using social media as a way to connect and find new interests. This is a great opportunity for a business that wants to branch out and possibly take on a global market. It is now more difficult to grow your following, so having the right individuals or team to solely focus on the social media side of the business is crucial

A business looking to use social media should do some research into what platform would work best for them. Twitter is more a newsfeed whereas Instagram is a visually stimulating platform, ideal for those who use images to sell their products or services.

Promote With A Website

Having a website is a must-have for every business as that’s how many potential clients or customers check out a new company that they’ve just come across. A website is also the place where a business fully owns the content that they share. The website should be high-quality, well designed and has an easy to navigate layout. There should also be a contact page and links to social media pages. This gives anyone who’s visiting the site, plenty of ways to contact the business through their preferred line of communication. Having a website boosts a company’s legitimacy as many find it strange if a business doesn’t have an online profile.

Monitor Projects With Digital Analytics

When it comes to monitoring the success rate of a project or campaign, the data received isn’t as accurate or detailed as it is with today’s technology. There’s now online analytic software like Google Analytics which gives a detailed breakdown of your website is performing. It’ll give information on your visitors, how long they engage on a page, their demographics and interests. Social media platforms are also offering the same thing, and this is providing businesses with an opportunity to fine-tune and tailor their product or service so that it hits the target audience even better next time.

There’s also plenty of other systems available that help achieve success much more easily, like Spiro for example. Spiro offers AI-powered reports to help organise contacts, reach more prospective clients and close deals.

Streamline Finances With Software

When providing invoices and tracking expenses, sometimes there can be delays or simply cases of human error where certain finances get forgotten about. However, using one simple piece of software can help streamline all of these avenues of finance so that fewer mistakes are made and it’s all conducted within a professional realm. Most of these interfaces can be controlled via computer and mobile, so it also gives you the opportunity of managing finances on the go.

Productivity Management

Productivity within the workplace can also now be monitored thanks to project management applications. This is great because it means that no one can get away with not pulling their weight. Everyone in a team can see what everyone else is doing, and that’s also great for keeping communication clear, rather than mistakes being made because not everyone was on the same page. A project system is great for those working in teams and will hopefully keep productivity levels constant.

Improve Your Security

As more of us get on board with technology, there also becomes more of an opportunity for scams and cyber attacks. For any business, this can be dangerous, especially if they’re dealing with confidential information. Protecting your wireless networks with passwords, encrypting files and having a solid security system in place for your servers and network is crucial. This is something that should always be monitored and looked at to improve. As technology improves and advances, so do those individuals who seek to cause major damage to companies

Technology has now become very dominant in all aspects of our lives, and without it, the opportunities for success may not be as widely available as they are now. So don’t be afraid of using technology in business, it could end up benefiting you hugely.

Nail Your Next Presentation With These Killer Tips

You never know when you might be required to make a presentation, so it’s always worth having a few great tips and tricks up your sleeves ready for when the next one is sprung on you. Your manager might ask you to prepare a presentation to give during your next team meeting or in the coming pitch to a client. Some employers even get applicants to create a presentation to present in their job interview. It’s also regularly asked of students in high school and college, and a portion of their final grade in a subject might rest heavily on their presentation skills.

So, as you can see, it really is worth brushing up on these skills if your current presentation skills are fairly weak. To get started, you might want to use a few of these useful tips.

Make Your Slides Look Great

First of all, you need to make sure that your slides look amazing. If they look quite plain and dull, then your audience might get bored of them pretty quickly. There will be nothing intriguing about them that will make them want to read all of the content on them. It’s easy to brighten up your slides, though. Reading The 78 Best Free Google Slides Themes will give you an idea of the kinds of themes you can use to make the slides look as entertaining or professional as you need them to be. Make sure you stick to the same color scheme on each slide, as using too many colors and patterns could make them look very messy and there may not be much flow between them.

Follow The 10-20-30 Rule

Have you ever heard of the 10-20-30 rule before? This was devised by Guy Kawasaki, who is something of a presentation expert! It basically means that there should be no more than ten slides in your presentation; it can’t last for more than twenty minutes, and the font that you use shouldn’t be smaller than thirty point. This will help you get to your point quickly, without including any information that isn’t really necessary and might end up boring your audience.

Add Some Humor

One surefire way to keep hold of your audience’s attention is to add some humor to your presentation. Even if it is a professional presentation for work, you should still try to keep it light by adding a few jokes throughout. You might even want to add some to the content of your slides for your audience to read themselves. If you do add enough humor, you should find that the audience end up on your side quickly and will be a lot more open to what you have to say. That will also help you relax as well, as knowing that the audience like what you have to say should help remove some of your original nerves.

Concentrate On Your Main Message

It can be all too easy to end up waffling about matters and topics that aren’t all that related to the main topic of your presentation. Make sure you don’t do that, though, as this could be very distracting for people watching your presentation, and their minds might start to wander elsewhere. So, whenever you are speaking, make sure that it is only ever about the main message that you want to get across in your presentation.

Tell Stories

It will always pay off to try to appeal to your audience’s human side, and the best way you can do this is to tell some stories and anecdotes. People love listening to stories and they will connect with you a lot more than if you simply read out facts and statements. One way to use stories in your presentations is to use some real-life examples. Just make sure that they are related to the topic of your presentation, though, or else they might seem pointless to your audience.

Don’t Force Your Gestures

Using body language throughout your presentation will help you come across as very relaxed and natural. Some people try and force some gestures to try and come off as feeling relaxed when in fact they are actually quite nervous. This will only make you look even more nervous, so it’s best not to force anything and instead just let yourself make your regular natural body language and hand gestures.

Hopefully, all of these tips will help you do a good job of your next presentation. It could help you get a new job, promotion, or sign a new client!