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Archive for the ‘What You Need To Know About Small Business’ Category

How Will Your Business Function In The Event Of A Disaster?

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on September 15, 2019 at 2:33 pm

There are many things that can worry a business owner. It might be becoming irrelevant in the marketplace, having one of your staff experience a workplace injury, having your staff dislike you due to bad management practice, or perhaps being ridiculed despite previously enjoying success within your field. 

However, one thing that can scare business owners late at night is the potential for a disaster to harm everything they have built, particularly if most of your firm is centralized in one or two nearby locations.

For that reason, especially in some areas, disaster planning can be a worthwhile and often comprehensive means of considering what your action plan will be ahead of time. This can also cover many issues, such as earthquakes, flooding, or even a highly-planned break-in. After all, you have spent so much time building your business and trying to make it worthwhile that it’s worth taking this extra time, ingenuity and effort and applying yourself to protecting your own firm.

For that, and more, we would volunteer the following advice:

Keeping Your Staff Safe

More important than protecting your premises, more important than keeping in touch with your files and saving all of your assets is keeping your staff safe. It is better to lose everything you have built in one hour if it means saving a life or preventing severe injuries than thinking in the opposite way. For that reason, practical planning must be part of your regimen. For example, if your business premises is situated on a fault line, then it’s important to show staff where the most protected areas of the building are, and how they might best evacuate from their location in the building. Disaster training drills via third party services can be an essential consideration to this end. You would be surprised just how effective they can be.

IT Measures

While saving lives is an absolute priority, it doesn’t hurt to have plans in place to protect your business. This is where services such as those offered by RBS IT Solutions http://www.rbsitsolutions.com/ can help you protect your business the most appropriately. Their excellent disaster recovery planning can help you avoid the loss of downtime in the event of a real tech issue, reducing the loss of service and allowing you to restructure in the best possible means, even if that’s through another premises. Having this guiding hand at your side can truly settle you when things go wrong.

Support Employees

It’s not enough to simply help employees stay safe, although that is essential. Giving them post-disaster counselling, access to excellent communication lines, compassionate leave and keeping them in the loop as you restructure is an important part of your management. With excellent insurance options, you should find that your budget is eased as you try to handle your labor issues at this delicate time. Ensure that you are also affording yourself the same help.

With this advice, you are certain to soothe your business function in the face of a disaster.

This post may contain affiliate links.

Explaining the Processing Time for EB-5 Visas

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on August 22, 2019 at 1:13 pm

An EB-5 program is a visa program that has been created specifically for stimulating the economy of the United States by creating job and capital investments by foreigners. Any foreign investor interested in applying for permanent residence in the United States has the opportunity to apply for this program. The investor only needs to make a qualifying investment in a new commercial enterprise in the US which will lead to the creation of at least 10 permanent jobs for US workers.

This post may contain affiliate links.

 

Getting Your Staff Up To Speed With Your Systems

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on August 22, 2019 at 11:56 am

Hiring new staff is an exciting process. It’s always nice to see fresh faces within your office, full of enthusiasm and the willingness to progress their careers. If hiring staff for the first time, this can serve as a very interesting milestone when crafting your business. However, no matter who you hire or how your hiring process is ran, at some point, you will need to acclimate said employee to your systems, and your means of conducting business.

Even someone with forty years experience in the industry might be at a certain loss for a week or so, as they figure their way around new computer programs or reporting indexes you use to keep track of progress. This is normal. Think of it as learning the layout of a new house, and the grounds surrounding it. In time, it will be natural, but there’s always that slight need for acclimation. You know how to drive a car, but driving a Mini is much different than driving a Range Rover.

So, let’s consider how you can adequately and thoroughly get your staff up to speed. Please, consider:

Develop An Orientation Program

There’s nothing worse for a new hire than to sit down at a desk and being told to get on with it. Even a comprehensive brief might not give them all the context they need to know about a certain job. It’s unlikely that they’ll start at the clean break between two projects, more like they will jump in just after one has started, or when one is about to end. This means that you might need to take them out of rotation for a couple of weeks, and instead give them full orientation. This might go through health and safety (extremely important), creating them a digital training program, helping them meet the team, showing them how various programs work and the expected file types that are standard in your firm, as well as the IT management solutions you use and might need to contact if you encounter any errors. This can give them that breath of fresh air.

Show Them What’s Acceptable

It might sound like you’re having to guide a pure novice around your building, with our following advice. But sometimes, despite how qualified they are, they can still be at a loss. For example, it might be that each morning, you have fresh bagels and coffee out for the entire office. That’s quite a kind thing to do. However, it might be that they feel because they are new, or because they aren’t part of the ‘right’ department, or simply because they haven’t been told they can – they will avoid this, perhaps purchasing their own coffee despite your high-quality offering. You need to tell them what they can use and if they are free to do so, be that using a locker space, where to park, or how many bagels they can tuck into before 9.30am. This helps them avoid their fear of looking rude or presumptive.

Give Them The Tour

Show them the place. Some offices are large – are sprawled over many floors or many buildings. You might even have a large campus. Even if your office is just one big room, it’s important for them to know who is who and where certain departments start and end. Show them around. Show them the facilities. Show them where they might smoke, or where they might eat lunch. A tour is important for getting them up to speed.

With this advice, your employee is sure to feel at home in your firm much faster than they might have.

This post may contain affiliate links.

How Do You Show Your Ethical Integrity?

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on August 21, 2019 at 2:57 pm

The other night I caught an episode of Law & Order SVU on TV. It was one of the newer episodes where Olivia was faced with some serious ethical dilemmas, one after the other it seemed. In each situation she had the option, and even others telling her, to do what wasn’t ethical, telling her that it won’t matter either way, that the ends justifies the means. And in each situation, she chose to live her ethical values, taking the road less traveled, but ultimately doing what is right. Sure, others were upset with her, but she took a stance that she believed in and didn’t compromise her ethical integrity.

I was reflecting on this and my life, my professional integrity, and how I conduct myself with my team, my company, my clients, my customers. I’ve found that it is quite easy to be strict about my ethical integrity, even if others around me aren’t – mostly because I won’t compromise on this.

One section of my Business Communications course that I teach is about ethics, but it seems like in every class there are at least one or two students who don’t really grasp what ethics is, or how to apply ethical integrity to everyday situations.

According to Google, the definition of ethics is:

  1. Moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity
  2. The branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles

Making ethical decisions can help build strong relationships, earn you respect and develop trust, and keep you out of sometimes serious trouble. There are nine basic guidelines that will help guide you through challenging situations to the right thing to do. These are certainly not part of a formal code of conduct, but if adhered to, can help you maintain a high ethical standard.

Nine topics to remember

There are nine main areas I think about when communicating to make sure I’m communicating and acting ethically:

  1. Abide by the law – understand the laws in your industry and follow them.
  2. Tell the truth – ethical communicators don’t intentionally lie, fabricate information, or deceive others.
  3. Label opinions – ethical communicators understand the difference between opinions and facts and they don’t state opinion as a fact without substantiation.
  4. Give credit – ever heard the saying give credit where credit is due? It’s ethical to give credit to someone who helped you with a project, to document sources, and using quotation marks where appropriate.
  5. Be objective – ethical communicators don’t misrepresent or exaggerate information because of their own biases.
  6. Communicate clearly – ethical communicators will write and speak in a manner that the audience of the document or presentation can understand.
  7. Use inclusive language – the language used should be inclusive of all groups and should never discriminate against others on any basis.
  8. Take responsibility – ethical communicators will not only take credit for what they’ve accomplished, but also take responsibility for their mistakes.
  9. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you – the Golden Rule.

 

Let your ethical integrity speak for you

I’ve had a few times in my career where I’ve had my ethical integrity put to the test. Throughout each of these situations, I have allowed my ethics to shine and prove who I am and what I stand for. For me, it is extremely important to remain loyal to my ethics, especially in the tough situations where the outcome doesn’t seem fair or adequate.

As a manager, I’ve been in situations where I receive information that is not for public consumption (at least not yet) and could impact someone’s job. I’ve been in situations where I’ve been asked to fudge numbers to make one person look better (on paper). I’ve been asked to cover for others, had the opportunity to take credit for other’s work, and to overlook certain actions or discussions. I can honestly say that in each of these situations I held my moral high ground and haven’t given in.

I’ve also been asked to explain my ethical stance to others. In one instance, I had someone come to me to ask about a specific situation they were in and for help not only deciding on what to do, but more importantly, how to handle the feelings and criticism that comes from choosing the ethical road, but still not seeing the desired results. When someone conducts their lives ethically, it doesn’t always bring the desired results, but it should always make the person choosing to remain ethical feel good in knowing they did what was right.

In another situation, I had to defend my ethical stance based on a situation I never thought I’d find myself in. While extremely disheartening, having gone through this has strengthened my resolve to ensure I continue leading ethically.

I will continue to let my ethical integrity show who I am and what I stand for in both my words and actions.

How do you show your ethical integrity?

How To Make Sure Your Auto Repair Business Will Always Be Successful

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on August 16, 2019 at 8:55 am

Being a mechanic is one job that will always remain important. Having your own auto repair shop is a sure-fire way to ensure you have financial comfort for the remainder of your working days.

Below we will take a look at a few ways to future proof your business and make sure your customers keep coming back year after year.

Technology

As a mechanic, you are highly skilled and for many years technology has never really been an issue. The issue as with most businesses now is that technology is playing a part in everything. 

When it comes to diagnosing a car, it’s no longer as simple as feeling around or listening for a certain noise. Cars now come fitted with very complex ECU’s and this can be very difficult when it comes to the diagnosis process.

Most mechanics have carried OBD reading systems with them for many years but as the car manufacturers like to have their ECU’s respond only to certain systems, this can pose a challenge for many mechanics.

The solution is rather a simple one. Having an up to date computer system with a fairly powerful CPU and access to the right diagnosis software should now be a must-have for any mechanic. The initial outlay for the software can be steep but it can mean the difference between keeping and losing a customer.

Deliveries

One thing that comes hand in hand with having technology at your fingertips is now having the ability to have anything at your disposal within 24 hours. Whether it be a brand new turbo or Gas Oil Drums should you be running low on your synthetic oil stock. It can all be with you before you know it.

Businesses used to thrive off each other and driving a few towns overused to be more than viable. Given the cost of living, the rate of inflation and the lack of closeness for everything you need, the internet has given us a way to help secure our businesses and enables us to get what we need whenever we need it. We can even get our lunch at the click of a button now.

Up To Date Methods

This is probably one of the most important things for any business. Keeping your methods and knowledge up to date is quintessential to the success of your auto repair shop. 

We live in an age that becomes increasingly more complicated day by day, especially when it comes to cars. Gone are the days of pulling out a choke and inserting an 8 track. We now have cars that park without assistance and if you are feeling lonely you can even have a conversation with your car nowadays.

Luckily enough there is an abundance of local and online education available in order to stay ahead of the curve. The time is near and electric cars are slowly filling our roads, now is the time to replenish your knowledge and allow your business to flourish even more.

This post may contain affiliate links.