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

Managerial Tips For Business Newbies

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on November 27, 2019 at 9:29 am

Thousands of business newbies have burst through the doors in the last few months, and there are thousands more to come. It’s common knowledge that running a business is so appealing, yet such a significant risk to take. Some have all of the ambition in the world, but never take a leap of faith. Some do, and it truly pays off. But for all of you who have not long taken that leap of faith, and you feel like you’re struggling to get to grips with the managerial side of things, then we’re here to help you. Becoming a manager when you’ve had no previous experience is hard, but becoming a manager of a business is twice as hard. Not only are you eventually going to have to learn how to manage people, but a big company as well. So if you keep on reading, we’ll calm those newbie nerves for you and show you what we think you should be doing.

Focus On Your Weak Points 

Weak points are what so many newbies seem to avoid because they like to focus their attention on the parts of their business that are doing well, and then grow them until they’re no longer going to work well without the weaker side of your business. One common area that’s always weak in a startup is IT management and the systems being used. When IT is not your focus, the strains begin to show later on, particularly with managing data. Frontline, LLC is just one company that can help you to manage it all, offering you IT solutions for your business needs at present. That isn’t to say that those needs aren’t going to change later on down the line. There will be other weaker areas of your business, such as financial management, which can easily be outsourced.

Staying Focused On The Right Tasks

This links with focusing on the parts of your business that are doing really well, rather than focusing on the business as a whole. So to stay focused on the right tasks, you generally need to be thinking about production, marketing, and growth. Those three key areas are an umbrella for smaller processes within your company, all of which will gel together to form the daily running of your business. With production, you should look at software aids to help you manage the progress of each order, allowing you to track delays easily. For marketing, you should focus on the big tactics that will make you stretch your budget, such as SEO. For growth, you always need to be looking for ways that you can be one better, looking at your competitors to see where they’re ahead of you, is one way of doing that.

Understanding The Fundamentals

If you feel like you’re struggling to understand the fundamentals of business, you should focus on educating yourself outside of the working day, as well as learning from the many mistakes you will no doubt be making. People generally go into business blind and learn as they go, but there are ways that you can learn, such as through online courses.

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A Simple Guide To Building A Team Of Loyal Staff

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on November 20, 2019 at 11:20 am

Building a successful business is no easy feat. One thing you’re really going to want to focus on in order to ensure your business can improve and grow, is building a team of loyal staff. When you have a team of loyal staff behind you, you have lower employee turnover, more natural ambassadors for your business, and a more productive work environment. Below, we’ll discuss a few simple things that you can do to build a team of loyal staff.

Rewarding Loyalty And Hard Work

One of the first things you should be thinking of doing to build a team of loyal staff, is rewarding their loyalty and hard work. How you do this is up to you, but you need to show them that their work is appreciated somehow. Verbal praise is great, but the following things could also be ideal:

  • Gym membership
  • Profit sharing 
  • Sick pay
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Lunch occasionally 

Build A Strong Culture 

A strong company culture is all about the attitudes, values, and relationships of people who work for you. Lead by example and model the behavior you expect to see. Make sure you have strong dispute resolution techniques too, as not everybody will get along in the workplace. A strong culture will make your business a nicer place to work. 

Invest In Your Team 

Investing in your team is showing them that you care about investing in their future. Provide them with the necessary training, as well as training for those who are willing to learn new skills. You should have a budget for this. 

Ensure You Stick To Your Promises

Make sure you stick to any promises that you make your staff. You don’t want to come across as being all ‘hot air’. Even things as simple as paying them on time by hiring a Payroll vendor will go a long way to building their trust and ensuring they stay loyal to you. 

Have Structured Dispute Resolution In Place

How you deal with problems will go a long way to shaping the attitudes of your staff members. Make sure you have a structured dispute resolution strategy in place before anything even happens. 

Stay Aware Of The Goings On

Make sure your team can see that you’re always aware of the goings on in the workplace. Let them know that you care and ask if you think they might need help. 

Be The Best Leader Imaginable 

They need to know you have their best interests at heart – just because you own the business doesn’t mean you should stop training. Being the best leader imaginable means always working on improving yourself. Ask for feedback on your management style and your staff are even more likely to put their trust in you further. Show that you listen to them and take what they say seriously. 

Building loyalty is something that happens over time, and it means being authentic, responsible, and loyal to your staff members at all times. Be mindful of your leadership style and always look to improve! 

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The Top Pros And Cons Of Outsourcing IT Consultancy Services

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on November 12, 2019 at 8:28 am

When you have a small or medium-sized business and you’re looking for ways to expand, outsourcing IT services might be the first thing that comes to mind. A business move that can have a big impact on your infrastructure, it will affect the way that you and your staff will operate. 

Whether you’re beginning to consider this move or you’re unsure as to whether or not it’s suitable for your organization, this list of the top pros and cons of outsourcing IT Support and consultancy might give you the answers that you’ve been looking for.

Firstly, here are the pros that you can expect:

  • Less Downtime 

By outsourcing IT services, you can rest assured that there will be limited downtime throughout your operations. Helping your business’ continuity, you won’t have to worry about any delays occurring due to potential cyber threats, systems going down etc. Giving you the level of security you require, your business will be far more protected than it would have been by relying on your internal staff alone.

Consistently monitoring and updating your systems, the experienced outsourced team will ensure that there is a disaster recovery plan in place to prevent any disruptions from happening.

  • A Cost-Effective Decision

Not only will you not have to pay for more salaried staff (most IT services organizations only require a small monthly or annual fee), but your business will also save money that could have been lost in a cyber attack. Benefiting your company in the long term, you can use the money that you’ve saved elsewhere in your business.

  • 24/7 Maintenance and Protection

No matter what industry your business is in, you need to know that it’s networks and systems are up to date and monitored 24/7 in case a breach occurs – which is where a managed IT company comes in. 

Targeting and quickly fixing any issues, you won’t have to worry about your networks being at risk. You’ll also have access to the most innovative tools and experience – as the outsourced team are frequently being trained in the latest techniques within the industry.

  • Free Up In-house Resources

As your business grows, as with the responsibilities of your IT department. To help ease this transition, a managed IT service will be able to accommodate the extra functions that you require. Bringing their innovation and expertise into your business, your current staff can work hand in hand with them to achieve better networks and IT infrastructure.

Now, onto the cons:

  • They Might Not Be Very Flexible

You need to know that the company will work with your team seamlessly. So before you invest in their services, consider how flexible they are with the way that your business currently operates. You don’t want to feel as though you’re being bulldozed into buying software – you want to know that they will offer a bespoke service that aligns with your targets.

  • You Might Feel As Though You Have Less Control

Following on from the above, once you hire a managed IT service provider, you want to know that they won’t take over your IT team completely. You want to still have control over IT functions, whilst knowing how the changes that they make will impact your business.

  • No Physical Presence 

Unless you opt for a company that offers virtual services that are on hand to answer any queries when you need them (click here to learn more about these), you might feel as though the remote nature of outsourcing is not right for your business. Even though they can monitor and fix issues away from your office, you might feel as though the barrier of communication between you and them is too big for it to work. 

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3 Reasons Your Team Is So Disorganized

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on November 12, 2019 at 8:19 am

Nothing stalls productivity quite like disorganization. Even if you want to do something, if you can’t find the right tools and resources, you are going to waste valuable time searching. From the stress caused by never being able to find anything to the resources lost to chaos, disorganization is going to cost you big. 

Most business leaders don’t understand how their business has become so disorganized because most have taken the time to orient their staff in the proper business systems. The problem is that if you are still disorganized with these systems, it’s probably not your staff being lazy or inept – it’s time for a serious rethink. 

So, here are 3 reasons your team is so disorganized. 

You Don’t Have a Unified System

One of the most common office problems is trying to work together when everyone already has their own system. Why is this a problem? Because if one person is using one piece of software to edit a file and someone else wants to use another, there could be clashes that can’t be resolved. 

A single cloud platform for everything is one of the solutions Unified Communications suggests and this is a good starting point. You should also consider having a project management system that allows everyone to know where they are up to and follow on. 

You Don’t Have Time

When you spend half your time searching for things or trying to figure out where you are up to it can feel like you don’t have time to get organized properly. But as logic goes, this is about as flawed as you can get. A simple organization system will save a lot of time and the 2 minutes is might take to put something away properly versus the 20 minutes of frustration is definitely time well spent. 

Being more organized also improves productivity because when you are less stressed, you can think more clearly, be more creative and you are more likely to meet your deadlines with high quality work. Taking just 5 minutes at the end of the day to clear your desk and plan the next day will also really help you stay on top. 

You Don’t Communicate Well

A team of individuals all working on different aspects of the same project can be difficult to manage cohesively. And yet, communication is essential if you want the project to stay on target and on track to finish by the deadline. Good communication is all about clear expression, regular updates and full inclusion. 

If you fail to communicate well with your team, it’s very likely that they won’t know what’s going on so won’t be able to hold their end up well. Group projects rely on people meeting individual deadlines as well as group deadlines but if things change and someone isn’t informed, you’ll have a problem sooner or later! 

The more you can do to improve your organization skills, both as individuals and as a team, the more likely it is that you will finish your projects on time, to a high quality and in a stress-free environment. So, get started! 

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4 Ways That Your Business Could Benefit From Hiring A Security Guard

In What You Need To Know About Small Business on November 11, 2019 at 6:21 am

You may not have considered hiring a security guard for your business before, but it’s definitely something that you should think about. A lot of business owners assume that they only need a security guard if they are running a retail store or they are holding stock on site, but that’s not true. All office buildings could benefit from a security guard in a lot of different ways, so it’s a worthwhile investment. These are just some of the reasons why your office should have a security guard. 

Preventing Break-Ins 

The most obvious reason to have a security guard is to prevent break-ins. Your office has a lot of expensive equipment like computers, which are a target for thieves. If somebody breaks in and clears the office out, you will not be able to operate the business until you have replaced everything, and the cost of fitting out your office again from scratch is going to be very high. There is also the chance that sensitive data will be stolen from the office. A break-in is incredibly costly to your business, but a security guard acts as a great deterrent against that, and if somebody does try to gain access to the office after hours, they will be able to stop them. The cost of hiring a security guard is far less than the cost of a break-in, so if you live in an area with a lot of crime, you should definitely think about it.

Preventing Employee Theft 

It’s important to remember that theft isn’t just carried out by professional criminals that will break into the office after hours. In fact, internal theft is a huge problem for a lot of businesses and even though you think that it will never happen to you, it probably is. Sometimes, it might be a small theft, like taking office supplies. But you may also have employees that are stealing money from the company or taking expensive equipment to sell on. If this goes unnoticed for a long while, your business is losing a lot of money. But if you have a security guard in place, it’s a great deterrent and people will be far less likely to try to take things from the office. The security guard can also keep an eye on people that are working late and make sure that there is no suspicious behavior. If you have noticed some inconsistencies with your finances, there’s a chance that you have a problem with employee theft and you should consider hiring a guard. 

Data Protection 

People always think about online security when trying to protect their data, but physical protection is just as important. Layered security is a central concept in data security and if your business does not take this approach, you are asking for trouble. But why is layered security important, you may be wondering? Well, you may be investing heavily in online security to protect your data, but what about protecting the servers in your office or the computers? If it’s quick and easy to access data that way, your investment in cyber-security software is not protecting you and you are still vulnerable, so you need a layered approach that will stop data theft at every level. This is particularly important if you have physical servers that hold your data, and you need to limit access. If your employees can come and go freely, it’s a lot easier for internal data leaks to occur. That’s why you should consider having a security guard stationed on the door so you can be sure that nobody is accessing server facilities without permission. A security guard can also keep an eye on the devices that people are taking out of the office with them, so laptops with sensitive data on them are always kept at the office. 

Customer Service 

First and foremost, a security guard is there to protect your business and its assets, but they can carry out other roles at the same time, which makes it even more worthwhile having one on site. They can act as customer service ambassadors in a lot of areas because they are controlling access. When visitors to the building arrive, the security guard will often be their first point of contact and they can greet people and help out with directions etc. They can also escort customers to their car after dark if they feel uneasy, and people will feel safer in general when they visit your office because they know that there is somebody there to secure the area. 

A security guard isn’t just there to stand at the door and prevent theft, they can benefit your business in all sorts of different ways, so you should consider hiring one. 

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