Customers Are Sure To Cotton On To These Five Areas Of Employee Neglect

As an employer, you should be doing what you can to care for employees for their sake. The more efforts you put in place, the better work you’re going to see. The more benefits you offer, the longer people are going to stick around. You get the idea; caring is sharing when it comes to company success. As such, any efforts here are sure to be worth your while in their own right.

Sometimes, though, the way we treat employees trickles to other areas of business. If morale is low, for example, both productivity and quality of work will suffer. In extreme cases, employee neglect may also impact your customers. That’s because there are certain neglectful things you may do which are plain even from a distance. And, you can bet that customers who notice these won’t use your services again. If neglect is severe, they may even complain or spread the word.

That’s because every customer has probably worked under a less than ideal boss. Employee rights are something most people are pretty passionate about. If employee happiness itself isn’t enough, then, consider the five most common areas of neglect customers tend to notice.

#1 Extreme workloads

As a boss, it’s natural that you want to get the most work out of your employees. The more they produce, the more profit you stand to see. But, overworking staff is a form of neglect in itself. And, you can bet that it’s one your customers notice. If customers see that your team are overworked, it’ll be a big black mark against your name. it isn’t those shop staff that customers will get angry at for queues. It’s the manager who expected one or two people to manage everything on their own. This is terrible management and plain bad employee treatment. And, customers are never going to put up with it from you. In extreme cases, they may feel so sorry for your staff members that they stop coming to you altogether. Better that than put more work on already overworked shoulders. To make sure this doesn’t happen, ensure staff only ever experience workloads they can manage. That means opening all your tills instead of leaving one person to cope with busy periods. It means asking for one task at a time instead of getting team members to multitask all the time. It also means recognizing when a member of your team is struggling to keep on top. If you don’t, you can bet that your customers soon will.

#2 Lack of training

With a few exceptions, there’s no law which says that you have to offer extensive training courses to every member of your team. But, this is a benefit which you really should consider putting on offer. At the very least, well-trained staff can help to improve your business with the skills they learn. Training also ensures that no one ever feels thrown in at the deep end or unable to cope with demands. Even short training courses can go a considerable way towards providing the skills the most inexperienced employees need. One thing’s sure; it’ll soon be clear to customers if you skip this. It isn’t difficult to spot when employee’s haven’t received adequate training. If they have to ask others for help or struggle to complete basic processes, it’s sure to look terrible. This sends an unprofessional image of your business as a whole, and is sure to turn customers away. Again, though, they won’t take their frustration out on the employee in question. Instead, they’ll want to know why a manager would offer such poor training possibilities. At the very least, you should pair all new employees with existing team members for a minimum of a week to avoid this. If at all possible, it’s also worth looking out for proper training courses you can offer new recruits. This will work in your favor during employment. It’s also sure to look better where customers are concerned.

#3 Sickness

Sickness is always a tricky beast in the workplace. For obvious reasons, you don’t want staff taking sick days. As such, you may not want to offer sick pay in the hope it’ll encourage staff to come in no matter what. But, leaving employees with no choice but to work while ill can open a whole can of worms. For one, sickness can spread like you wouldn’t believe. Working rather than recovering could also see illness taking longer to clear. And, to top all that, customers are sure to see sickness from a mile away. If an employee is pale and coughing, it’s never going to look good for your company. At the very least, customers will avoid you because they don’t want to catch anything. More often than not, though, they’ll probably want strong words with the manager who forced said employee into the office. That’s why it’s well worth putting workable sickness procedures in place. Something as simple as sick pay can ensure that staff recover from most bugs in a matter of days without worry. That can reduce the spread, and see you losing team members for far shorter periods. You may also find that it’s worth putting something like this employee assistance program in place. This provides easy access to medical professionals for every staff member. This perk alone could see employees seeking help as soon as possible. That, in turn, can see them back on their feet in no time. All without risking your customer’s catching wind that they were ill.

#4 Disrespect

Disrespect is never something you want in your working environment. If you talk rudely to staff, there’s no way you can expect them to stick around. They may be your employees, but they deserve the same level of respect you would give to anyone else. More, if anything, because they’re keeping your company afloat. Sadly, disrespect from managers isn’t all that unusual. And, customers usually pick up on this pretty sharpish. This is especially likely if you’re operating in a forward-facing workspace. In a shop, for example, barking orders at your employees will never go down well. If you make this mistake, don’t be surprised if customers start complaining on your team’s behalf. We all hate to see rude managers, after all. Instead, you should always aim to speak to employees on equal footing. Never bark orders, but ask politely. Make sure that words like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ don’t slip from your vocabulary. The moment they do, both your staff and customers could soon turn away from you. And, that’s never going to help you realize your business dreams.

#5 Exhaustion

Last, you want to make sure that you never push your team to exhaustion. In some ways, you could tie this in with the extreme workload of point one. But, even if you aren’t overloading your team members, you could still be pushing them too far. Long working hours and a lack of paid holiday, for instance, can often leave employees in burnout. Expecting them to pick up emails during their evenings also counts towards this. If they’re barely able to unwind, they’re sure to hit a wall pretty soon. And, you can bet customers will notice it. If team members are scarcely able to get the sleep they need, they’re going to make mistakes and look exhausted. Don’t let it happen. Offer paid holidays and make sure no one works during their evenings. That way, your employees will always look fresh when they’re dealing with your customers.

Costs to Cut and Costs to Keep: 6 Financial Tips for Small Businesses

Your business has a lot of costs that need to be managed. Without a guide, this can be confusing and difficult. What should you invest in? What can be cut from the budget? But don’t worry. Here are six financial tips about what costs to cut and which to keep that can help you along the way. That way, you can get back to doing what you are best at in your market and industry. 

Keep: Performers 

High performers make your business run better than anyone else. High quality workers mean you get high quality products and service. They should be kept around to keep boosting profits and overall quality. A great salesperson or someone who brings in revenue should be invested in. Potential customers won’t turn into returning customers if your employees drive them away. 

Cut: People Not Pulling Their Weight 

When employees start to get entitled and lazy, you can get into trouble. You need to get rid of people who expect to get paid more than they are worth. If they can’t justify their work to you, then it’s time to let them go. Additionally, if you can’t justify paying them what you are for what they actually bring to your business, they’re just creating a “money black hole” in your budget.

Keep: Researching Your Supplier 

Who your supplier is makes a major difference in your brand. It will affect the end result of your product, how fast products reach customers, and how happy your customers are with your end results. Invest the time and money into researching and verifying your suppliers. Seek out a third party to get supplier risk mitigation from those who are experts in helping businesses like yours. Your suppliers should be trustworthy and high quality at every turn. If they are, the time, money, and effort you put in will pay off.

Cut: Extra Long Lunch Breaks 

People need a certain amount of time to take a break during the day. As long as this is not being abused, then that is fine. However, you might find that your team’s breaks get longer and longer. Perhaps they are not keeping up with production. This might be time to start logging breaks and requiring them to keep a time sheet. Consider consulting with HR professionals about the right kind of break and time recording strategy for your business.

Keep: Customer Service 

If there is one thing you can do today to stand out from the competition it is having great customer service. Word of mouth travels fast. If you cut your customer service, you are only going to have more frustrated customers. Find the best people, invest in top-notch customer service training, and regularly consult customer reviews and feedback so you can be constantly working on and improving your system.

Cut: Advertising that Doesn’t Sell 

Just because radio and TV worked back in the day doesn’t mean they’re the way to go now. Whatever your advertising spend is, reduce it where you are not getting results. Then, double down on methods that are working. However, keep in mind that marketing that works takes time. Try looking into SEO services, social media help, and marketing firms that specialize in local or small business work. If you find what’s right for your business, you’ll begin to see growth and results.

Getting your business to a place where it is operating profitably can be difficult—it definitely takes a lot of work. However, it always starts with finding ways to cut costs you don’t need and keeping those that actually help you. If you use the tips above, you could find that your profit and loss statement is looking better every time you check in.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Say What? 4 Dos and Don’ts of Business Communication Systems

If you want to run a successful business, you need the best techniques and tools to get the job done. This can empower your team to serve your customers, fulfill orders, and stay productive while on the job. However, when it comes to your business communications, a lot of businesses make mistakes. In general, stick to these do’s and don’ts. 

Do Go with a Brand You Trust 

There are a lot of communications companies out there. However, not all of them are created equal. You need to go with a name that you trust. That does not just mean going with the biggest company in the space. 

In fact, it often means going with a company that you might have just heard about. Then, doing your research on them will pay off. Research before investing is everything! You might find that they support your values more than others do in the marketplace. Check out reviews, history, and reputation of their products as well as their customer service.

Don’t Get the Wrong Kind of System

You need to ensure that you have the right kind of communication systems for your business. A golf course, for instance, would want handheld radios, like Motorola walkie talkies, while an office might rely on a office-wide messaging system

The key is to ask yourself how your team is talking to each other right now. Then find ways to improve on that communication. Great technology is something that should do its job and stay out of the way so your team can do theirs even better. 

Do Find the Right Value 

There are going to be different prices and overall values to each communication solution. The key is to understand that each will bring something different to the table. Be sure to look at the overall value, and not just the price, for what you are getting. If your company won’t use a big portion of what a particular package is offering, you might want to go in a different direction.

Don’t Go without Research 

The worst mistake you could make in business is jumping into a decision before you truly know what you are getting in return. Luckily, you can avoid this. If you stick to your plan and look at your options with a critical eye, you can come out ahead. That way, you get a system that you truly want and need. Take your time and learn everything you can about any viable option for your business. Based on your research, you can make an informed decision that will help your employees with their work.

Having a great business does not stop with your sales and marketing. In reality, it comes down to how well your team can work together. Of course, one of the most important factors in how they work together boils down to their communication systems. So don’t make the mistakes that others make. Use the do’s and don’ts above as your checklist.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Tips for Safeguarding Your Wellbeing in a Computer-Based Career

Technology is the name of the game these days, and as many commentators have observed, some of the greatest opportunities in business – for traditional workers and entrepreneurs alike – seem to be in the digital and tech sectors.

When all is said and done, a computer-based job can be extremely rewarding. It can put you at the cutting-edge of new tech innovations, and lets you play with a lot of cool and interesting new tools, apps, and services.

All that being said, though, spending the majority of your waking hours seated in front of a screen can also have certain detrimental effects on your well-being, if you don’t take steps to introduce balance into your life.

Here are a few tips for safeguarding your well-being in a computer-based career, so that you can enjoy all the benefits of your job, without suffering too many of the potential drawbacks.

Investigate avenues for working (or studying) remotely, for a greater degree of freedom in your time management and lifestyle

No matter how much you love your job, it is likely that if you spend a large chunk of each working day in the same office, at the same desk, in the same chair, you’re going to feel a bit of “cabin fever” sooner or later.

A great antidote to this is to investigate avenues for working remotely.

These days, many employers in the tech sector have quite relaxed ideas about allowing their employees to work remotely from home, at least for one or two days a week. Not only that, but even if you’re still studying, it is now possible to do things such as an online computer science masters degree, too.

A change of atmosphere and environment can help keep things fresh, and “recharge your batteries” for the job ahead.

Be sure to counterbalance your “digital time” with “analogue time”

As mentioned before, the digital world is a pretty wondrous place, with all sorts of amazing avenues to explore.

All the same, though, there are risks inherent in spending too much time plugged into the digital world. Things like Internet and gaming addiction have spiked in recent years, and many people live unnecessarily sedentary lives, due to their careers and choices of entertainment.

To keep feeling your best – physically and emotionally – you should be sure to counterbalance your “digital time” with “analogue time.”

This could be as simple as going for a walk on a regular basis, spending some time in the evening reading old-fashioned books, or engaging in sports or DIY projects.

Make face-to-face human interactions a top priority

If you work in an office, you will inevitably interact with a good few people on a regular basis.

In the case of many freelancers, or entrepreneurial tech workers, on the other hand, social isolation can be a real risk.

It begins with you keeping your nose to the grindstone, in order to be maximally productive. Then, you look up, and realise you haven’t seen another soul all week.

Face-to-face human interaction is essential for well-being. Make sure that you find opportunities to get enough of it during the week.

Protect Your Business: 4 Strategies for Preventing Money Laundering

You’ve put in a lot of hard effort to make your business the successful profit-churning powerhouse that it is. The idea that someone could be ripping you off and laundering money from your hard work should be disgusting to you. However, it might even be happening right now with you completely unaware. To ensure that your business is protected from criminals looking to siphon off of your hard work, utilize these four strategies to help prevent money laundering. 

Appoint an Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer

Initially, you should create an anti-money laundering policy that is clear in its dictation and punishments. As a further safeguard, it’s also prudent to hire an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Compliance Officer who will routinely check the accounts and ensure there’s no fraud taking place. If they notice anything odd, they can report it to you. Keep in mind that the AML Compliance Officer should have extensive experience and knowledge in terms of financial policy, procedure, and crime.

Utilize Software 

Besides just an employee looking over the books, it’s also a wise idea to have an impartial bit of software looking over your shoulder for you, too. One piece of software you might want to consider is one that provides name matching services. This can be used as an anti-money laundering process that ensures those you bring into the business and those you do business with are legitimate people without fraudulent claims attached to their names. 

Bolster Accounting And Cash Handling Processes 

Another strategy to prevent money laundering is to bolster the accounting and cash-handling processes so that it makes laundering a lot more difficult. Additional watchdogs can be set to overlook these processes. However, you should keep the number of people who handle the accounts and cash handling as minimal as possible. Not only does this decrease the chances of someone with questionable morals from accessing your accounts, but it also helps narrow down the suspects when laundering is suspected. 

Knowing The Deal 

It’s also a good strategy to be a part of all of the deals that are made in your business. Or, at least, to be able to observe them, so you can ensure you understand the exact terms and benefits of the deal. Most importantly, you should know who is benefiting from the deal, how, and why. You may be able to sniff out questionable parties and report them. 

Money laundering is a terrible way to lose hard-earned profits in your business. By following these four strategies, you can bolster the security of your business and prevent laundering from occurring.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

Avoid Getting Sick on Your Business Travels: Keep Your Immunity Strong

Lack of sleep, stress, anxiety, different time zones; these are all major contributors to lowered immunity levels during a business trip. Pair that with long meetings, unhealthy food, and lack of exercise, and you’ll get a depleted system that can barely function. However, for a business trip to be successful, you need to give your 100%, and the only way to do that is if you feel at the top of your game. So, here are 3 easy yet delicious hacks which can keep you happy and healthy during your next business endeavor.

Sneak in a few drops of propolis

During most business meetings, you’ll be offered coffee, tea, water – some sort of refreshment. The smartest choice would be water or tea, as these won’t make you jittery, and more importantly, these healthier options pair beautifully with propolis drops. Bee propolis is a natural immunomodulator, i.e. a chemical agent that modifies the immune response by aiding the production of antibodies. Simply put, it helps the body create extra antibodies which in turn effectively fend off various bacteria, viruses, and other unwanted intruders that may cause ailments ranging from simple colds to more serious conditions, like pneumonia.

Furthermore, this naturally derived substance can also alleviate allergy symptoms brought on by mold and other external allergens, which may become worse when one’s immunity weakens. So, if you want to say goodbye to a sore throat, runny nose, and headaches during your meetings, make sure you sneak in 5-10 drops at least once a day into your beverages.

Switch from coffee to green tea

The average coffee consumption is 3.2 cups of coffee a day. That may not sound like a lot, but the odds are, you’ll double those numbers when you’re a on business trip. And while there’s no denying that coffee contributes to sharp concentration, speed, and attentiveness – all of which are important during business meetings – too much of a good thing can actually work against you. So, when you’re about to reach for your 4th cup of joe, reach for green tea instead. Green tea contains a considerable amount of caffeine (50 mg per 8-oz), which means you won’t experience caffeine withdrawal, but it also has additional benefits. Namely, it is loaded with antioxidants which can help fend off bacteria and naturally boosts the immune system.

Munch on healthy nuts

Healthy fats are crucial for a strong immune system, as well as proper brain function; and what better way to get them than through healthy nuts. So, instead of going for potato chips or other unhealthy alternatives, opt for almonds, peanuts, cashews, or walnuts. These are all convenient yet healthy snacks that can be consumed in between or during your meetings (if allowed). Unlike unhealthy alternatives, which mostly  contain saturated fat, healthy nuts contain Omega 3 fatty acids which boost the immune system, memory, and help fend off viruses. A handful of these a day will do the trick, and will drastically reduce the chances of you getting sick during your trip.

Favorable results are pretty hard to achieve without optimal health. So, to ensure your company’s success, take care of yourself first, so that you can take care of your business.

Guest Author, Jenny Holt, is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and ageing, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

Why Business Diversification is So Important

When you are starting a new business, it is great to land a large customer who gives your business a brilliant start. However, as time goes on this can be a problem as if they get into financial difficulties, they could take you with them. It is far better to have a lot of smaller customers as then if one ceases to trade, it will have less effect on your business.

There are many businesses that launch because of winning a large contract, but if they want to be successful in the long term, diversification is the answer.

Create New Opportunities

You need to create new opportunities for your business by introducing new products or services. It is worth investing in research and development to achieve this aim. This does not mean you have to have a huge budget; it is your time you need to invest. If you have employees, chat with them about the possibilities and see what new ideas you can come up with.

If you do not work with anyone else, then chat through some options with trusted friends and family. Talking with different people may well produce ideas you had not thought of.

Find More Customers

Once you have developed your new product or service you then need to find new customers for it. This is where a digital marketing agency could help, as they have the expertise needed to get your new products known as quickly as possible.

You also need to ask yourself if your business has the infrastructure to cope with an influx of new clients, and if the answer is yes, you diversification is more than halfway there. If new customers come quicker than expected and you find yourself and employees are overloaded with work, consider outsourcing some tasks to ease the burden, as it could be that after a while the orders will level out.

Your employees can be your biggest assets and generally, they will all pull together to get the work done. This is because is your business is doing well, they feel more secure in their jobs, and that helps them to be more productive.

Try Different Markets

Try to move into different markets to diversify your business. It could be, for instance, that your main customer focus is on selling a product to the younger generation. When you are considering your new products, think of something that will appeal to an older market. Then you will not be putting yourself in competition with your existing customers, and this could mean you have the best of both worlds. You could also move into the retail market with new products, which will mean you can make a higher profit margin than on the goods you sell to your large customer.

Running a business successfully is a lot of hard work, and you need to be flexible in what you do. You do not have to only sell one product or service, and diversifying into other areas could be the thing that secures your financial future.