The Right Hires Can Make All the Difference

people_potentialjpgThe hiring process can make or break a business. This is probably why so many business owners look to successful companies like Google to learn more about their hiring methodology and apply those strategies to their business.

But before you start formulating the ideal interviewing format or sample tests, it’s vital to understand why hiring the right people can take your business from good to great.

Impact on Company Culture

The right new hire will not only excel at the responsibilities of their new position, but they should be a valuable contributor to the overall company culture.

Hiring based on nepotism or cronyism can torpedo a company’s overall morale whereas truly fresh hires can reinvigorate a team’s enthusiasm and positive attitude.

As the lines between work and life continue to blur, it’s more important than ever that you hire people you actually want to spend time with.

Value of Diversity

New hires are also the ideal opportunity to infuse diversity into your team.

When you have more representation within your staff, you’re getting a more diverse set of perspectives that lead to innovation you wouldn’t otherwise achieve.

Likewise, if you have diversity internally, your employees can help stop preventable PR gaffes by calling attention to potential insensitivity in things like your marketing campaigns.


As technology evolves, so should business.

The right new hire will be a person that understands this fact and makes a concerted effort to stay curious about how they can further develop their skills.

As the article, “People Are the Soul of Every Organization” points out an experimental spirit within your team can boost technological development.

Whether it’s learning social media strategy or mastering a coding language, the right hire will want to take their personal development and infuse that back into your business.

Team Players

One of the biggest fears of hiring managers is finding a genius candidate with boundless talent that can’t play well with others.

The right hire will undoubtedly have a stellar resume, but they’ll also have the capability to be a team player.

Putting in the effort to hire one of these candidates can even help you retain the talent you already have on staff that may be on the fence about staying with your company for the long haul.


On the most practical level, finding the right hires is essential to keep your company great because it saves money. High turnover and constant hiring and firing prove costly.

Posting job listings and hiring recruiters can drain resources and conducting interviews is time-consuming for your staff, especially upper management. Getting hires right the first time around helps the bottom line.

While cracking the code for the perfect interview is still in the works, one thing is for certain.

Hiring the right candidates from the get-go can save companies time, money, and headaches.

About the Author: Kristin Livingstone writes on a variety of topics including hiring and business development.

Planning Your Onsite Fitness Center

Whether you’re planning on incorporating an on-site fitness center in your office building, a residential apartment complex, or any other location, it’s important to choose the right design plan.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways a fitness management company can help you throughout the design and decision-making process.


Equipment Capacities

One of the biggest factors in designing a fitness facility is the amount of room required to house your fitness equipment. This is exactly where a fitness management company comes into play.

The right management company will help you choose the most ideal fitness equipment for just about any sized space.

From large, dedicated facilities to small, multi-purpose community rooms, management companies can give you pointers on choosing equipment that allows you to optimize the amount of space you have available.

Equipment Type

Once you know what kind of fitness equipment your space can handle, you then need to choose the type of equipment you want to include in your fitness facility. Fitness management companies can assist you in choosing equipment that’s best suited for the clientele you’ll ultimately serve.

For example, elliptical and weight machines are ideal for older users where weight assistance, safety features, and controlled movements are necessary.

For younger fitness clients, free weights are usually a better choice. Or, you could even include a mix of the two.

As the following article looks at, choosing the right fitness equipment is just 1 of 5 reasons to hire a fitness management company when designing your facility.

The right management company will ensure you choose fitness equipment that all of your clients can use.

Facility Layout

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best layout for your fitness facility. Sure, space is always a consideration, but you also want to keep the flow of your facility in mind.

Does one workout area naturally flow into the next? Will you create “traffic jams” on busy days when clients are walking between rooms? Fitness management companies can help you come up with a logical layout for your facility.

For example, making sure your clients don’t have to walk through the cardio room to get from the free weights to the weight machines is all part of a proper layout.

Fitness management companies are expertly trained in designing the most appropriate layout for any given fitness space.

General Maintenance

There is a lot of wear and tear that fitness equipment goes through each day, which can make general maintenance a full-time job.

Most fitness management companies take care of all the necessary facility and equipment maintenance. This is a major benefit, especially if your facility is simply an add-on to a larger business.

Equipment Updates

Providing the most up to date fitness equipment should be a priority at your facility.

Fitness management companies keep track of the latest fitness advancements and can recommend the best free weight, elliptical, and weight machine equipment to house in your facility.

If you’re thinking about opening a gym or small-scale fitness facility, then consider hiring a fitness management company.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including fitness and gym ownership.

Why Being Your Own Boss is a Win-Win Situation

entrepreneurNobody likes a bad boss.

Perhaps that’s why so many people are ditching the 9 to 5 in favor of becoming entrepreneurs and essentially their own boss.

Between easy-to-build website templates to cost-free social media, there’s a wealth of resources for anyone that wants to start their own business.

But what are the perks of being your own boss and what does it take to stay on top?


Build Your Own Workplace

One of the most immediate benefits of being your own boss is that you don’t have to go into an office everyday if you don’t want to. You can work from a home office, a renovated garage, or anywhere a laptop will travel.

If you work in a creative field this is especially helpful in that new environments can spark inspiration and new ideas you may have never come up with in a traditional office environment.

Ultimate Flexibility

As the article, “Thought Leader Series: Hairstylists: Advantages of Being Your Own Boss” points out, you can not only determine your own hours but you can set your rates too.

In the field of hair-styling this means that entrepreneurs don’t have to abide by salon standard rates. In other freelancing fields like writing, this means that you get to collect a full rate because an agency isn’t taking any fixed cut.

Flexible work hours allow you to work not only when you want, but during the time of day when you know you’re most productive.

No More Miscommunications

Anyone who has ever worked in an office can attest to the fact that miscommunications between you and your superiors can happen all the time. When instructions get lost in translation, workflow can bottleneck and the quality of your service can suffer.

But when you’re your own boss, it eliminates the problem of multiple parties. You are the one solely responsible for your work and there’s no one else to blame if things go wrong.

Being Your Best Boss:

Get Organized

As mentioned above, when you’re in total control of your business, it’s your responsibility to stay organized.

This means everything from managing a database of clients and keeping track of invoices to more complicated matters like being familiar with taxes and the legalities of registering your own business.

Connect With Other Entrepreneurs

You may be running a one-man or one-woman show but that doesn’t mean you should be without guidance or support.

Other entrepreneurs will know exactly what you’re going through and advise you on the mistakes they’ve made as well as share strategies that worked best for them.

You can connect with communities specific to your industry online or even rent space in a co-working office specifically for self-starters like yourself.

Stay Passionate

When the initial thrill of being your own boss fades and the difficult logistics set in, it’s important to remember why you created your own business in the first place.

Take time to check in with your passion to get a clearer sense of the big picture in your decision-making.

While being your own boss is a clear win-win, it’s just as important to follow these strategies to ensure you’re being the best boss you can be.

About the Author: Kristin Livingstone writes on a variety of topics including entrepreneurship and being your own boss.

What Impact Could Ransomware Have on You?

iStock_000008869356XSmallWith stories of massive security breaches and identity theft sweeping the news, it’s more important than ever for your business to protect its data.

This is especially the case when it comes to your network computers being taken over by ransomware.

Here are just a few examples of how ransomware can impact your business:

Ransomware in a Nutshell

In its most basic form, ransomware can limit your access to certain information within your business network. Ransomware is a form of malware, which means you likely won’t know you’re a victim of the intrusion until it’s too late.

Ransomware gets its name due to the fact that most attacks result in the intruder demanding money in return for access to your files and documents. The most sophisticated types of ransomware can encrypt your business’s entire computer system and bring your online operations to a standstill.

Unfortunately, according to leading online security authorities such as Symantec and McAfee, ransomware attacks will continue to rise in the coming years.

That’s why it’s important for your business to stay informed on the topic of ransomware.

Types of Ransomware

The most widely used form of ransomware features false messages that require payment if action isn’t taken.

With this type of ransomware, victims aren’t actually aware their systems are compromised because the ransomware comes in the form of a message from authoritative sources, such as payment for the reactivation of software.

The article “Ransomware: What it is, How it Works, and What to Do if You Are Victimized” mentions the fact that ransomware messages can also impersonate government agencies that seize your system.

Another form of ransomware to be aware of is encrypted file ransomware, such as CryptoLocker malware.

With this type of ransomware, victims are fully aware their systems are compromised and they must make a payment in order to gain access to their files and documents. This type of ransomware also comes with the threat of file destruction if payments aren’t made in a certain amount of time.

What to Do in the Event of Ransomware

There are a number of steps your business can take if you become a victim of ransomware.

For starters, many experts recommend disconnecting from the Internet the moment a ransomware threat or message is detected. Doing so will limit the amount of data that can become compromised.

In addition, it’s also wise to contact your local FBI branch.

Ransomware is a form of extortion, which is something the FBI handles. The FBI will also let you know other steps to take in eliminating the threat.

How to Avoid Ransomware

Avoiding the threat of ransomware altogether is always the best course of action. By using reputable firewall and antivirus software at your business, you can drastically reduce the chances of ransomware threats.

In addition, you should back up your business data to a secondary, non-Internet enabled device regularly.

Likewise, you should also enable popup blockers within your browser, which can help you avoid accidentally clicking on infected ransomware messages.

Don’t become another victim: keep in mind the information above and steer your business clear of ransomware threats.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator content. He writes on a variety of topics including online security and business technology.

How Secure is Your Business?

securityDo you ever stop for a minute and wonder just how truly secure your business really is? As too many business owners have discovered over time, theft inside their companies leads to financial problems, not to mention morale issues.

With that in mind, what can you do as a business owner to minimize and all but eliminate theft in your workplace?

Know the Threat

While you can’t physically guard your office 24/7 on your own, there are steps you can initiate that will significantly cut down on the threat of employees or outsiders stealing from you.

They include:

  • Vetting your new hires – Even though many more businesses use background checks these days; there are still too many who do not. While there is no 100 percent guarantee the person you hire is never going to steal from you, you can certainly increase the odds they won’t by thoroughly reviewing their background. Yes, making sure they are paid well and have satisfying roles in your company is important, but their moral character should never be taken for granted. If there is even the slightest hint of concern regarding their backgrounds during interviews, don’t be afraid to take a different course;
  • Securing your office property – While it may sound like a no-brainer, just how secure is your workplace. Just as you might use a provider like ADT in Chicago to secure your home and its property, it behooves you to do likewise with a trusted security provider for your office. You can undertake security measures such as installing cameras, documenting all machinery in the office (record serial numbers etc.), and providing employees with I.D. passes, therefore allowing you to make sure only the people who need to be in your office are there. If you have a business where current and potential clients visit you regularly, make sure to have them check-in at a front desk so no one who is not supposed to be in your office gets in;
  • Avoid becoming complacent – One of the ways thieves can make life miserable for you and your business is if you become complacent. Not changing office/computer passwords from time to time, not regularly reviewing security measures with staff, and broadcasting to the world that you are not all that secure are all invitations to trouble. Thieves look for patterns in order to gain their best time to strike, so don’t help them along the way by falling into a pattern or patterns.

With all that you and your business have to lose by becoming a crime victim, take the appropriate measures today to secure what you have worked so hard for.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business matters on the web.

Are Your Customers Giving You Credit for a Job Well-Done?

awesomeOffering credit terms to qualified customers is a great way to boost sales in a bumbling economy. However, a complicated or insecure credit application process could frustrate would-be applicants and derail your entire credit plan. Don’t let technical impediments detract from your goodwill gesture of offering credit to good customers.

Try these ideas for improving your customer credit application process….

Dedicated Credit Services Representative

If you’re running a brick and mortar store, there are other ways you need to consider to make the credit application process easier for all your customers.

Don’t force customers who are standing in line to wait while someone at the checkout register fills out their credit application.

If you want to capture more credit applications at the checkout, have a separate, dedicated credit services representative at another nearby register. That way, everyone in that line knows that the wait will be a little longer while each person applies up for your store card.

Those who already have a store card, or who choose not to apply, can be waited on as usual by your regular store clerk.

As the article, “Is it time to simplify your customer credit application process?” asks the answer in short, yes.

Secured Application Process

In these days of identity theft and data hacking, consumers are more alert than ever to the dangers of having their sensitive personal information stolen online.

Don’t make your applicants guess as to whether the information they’re inputting is secure.

Assure your customers at every step of the way by being transparent about the way their information will be transmitted, stored, and accessed by trusted members of your company. Back up your claims by ensuring that their data really is secure.

Don’t rely on internal IT techs to manage highly sensitive credit data. Invest in a third party management services provider to handle all your applicants’ data.

Optimize Your Forms

Online forms are the norm for credit applications.

Customers have come to expect the ability to apply online for store credit, credit limit increases, or altered payment terms. Your online forms shouldn’t be clunky.

They should be easily recognizable as compared to similar online credit forms. They should be easily navigated, and the needed information should be obvious. Lastly, they should also work.

It’s surprising how many online forms have bugs or glitches that lose customers’ data, forcing them to re-enter information that they’ve already entered twice before. Always test your online forms internally before publishing them for the world to see.

Look into third-party credit application service providers, who provide everything you need to offer your applicants secure, straightforward, and easy to understand forms that work.

You can make your customer credit application process better than anything the competition has.

One or more of these plans will likely work for your business.

About the Author: Kate Supino writes extensively about marketing and best business practices.

Can You Book Success with Capturing Life’s Events?

writeLife goes by quickly; make work and life memories accessible to generations by documenting them in a book.

Your book doesn’t need to be a bestseller. It just has to be good at communicating your message, whatever that it.

Here are two work and life events that are worth writing down and memorializing in book form.

History of Your Company

Many of the largest brands go way back in time. Instead of resigning yourself to a brief passage on the company website, why not give honor to the founding fathers of the company?

A book of this kind could be given as a free gift to employees or distributed to the public to help build brand reputation.

To assemble, gather as many photographs as you can of the founders of the company. Make sure to include photographs of them as they interacted with family members or relaxed during their leisure hours.

Photographs that show them in their non-work hours will help to humanize them so readers can get a better sense of who they were as a person, not just as a businessman.

Next, hire a writer to help pen the book. You will need to provide the writer with as much information as possible about the story of the company.

You may also need to schedule several meetings with the writer to keep the end result on point, and to confirm and verify the parts that have already been written.

Next, work with a graphic designer to marry the images and text together in a pleasing format. Before you finalize the copy, have a proofreader go over everything, including photo captions.

Use either the graphic designer or a separate creative artist to develop a pleasing cover for the book.

Avoid Legal Issues

Before sending the book to the publisher, run the final copy through your company lawyer.

You don’t want to be held liable for any false or misleading information about your company history. The company lawyer is the best person to review the final contents for historical accuracy.

Finally, you can send it to a print-on-demand book publisher to have copies printed up. Print-on-demand publishers have package deals, or you can order books one at a time, on an as-needed basis.

Birth of a Child

The birth of a child is an event that is life changing and important to families. You can help future generations to see their families in the context of history by having a book made about the events surrounding the baby’s birth.

A book like this is best done by the parents themselves, as they are the ones with access to the details that will be included in the book.

As the following article looks at, this can certainly be one of 3 life events worth turning into a book.

If you have an employee who is expectant, a baby book would make a wonderful gift. Print-on-demand publishers can issue you a gift card, which your employee and spouse can use to have their very own unique baby book printed.

Company books can be used in a variety of ways to help build reputation, expand the corporate message, and even be used as a way to improve corporate culture.

Whether it is for business or pleasure, compiling life’s events in a book can be both rewarding and a lifetime of memories.

About the Author: Kate Supino writes about marketing and best business practices.