How to Give a Great Impression at a First Business Meeting

An important business meeting is coming up and you’re worried about giving a bad first impression? Well, you don’t have to worry at all because we’re here to help you out. Here are four important tips on how to nail this task and give a great impression, so check them out and enjoy!

Dress appropriately in the first place

’Dress for success’ – you’ve probably heard this phrase a million times, but you know what? Dressing appropriately is vital, especially when it comes to a first business meeting,so make sure to bear in mind the time of the day and the location of the upcoming meeting. Formal business attire in dark, neutral colors is a good choice if you’re meeting with representatives of other companies. Of course,you can also try to anticipate the style of other participants, as dressing too casually or too formally often means that you haven’t thought about the purpose of the meeting. On the other hand, meetings that take place outside the industry norms usually allow more casual outfits, but remember that clean hair and nails, properly ironed clothes, and freshly shined shoes are always a must!

Always, always be punctual

Punctuality is another crucial factor that will help you give a great first impression at a first business meeting, so do your best to arrive on time no matter what. This is particularly true if you need to ride a bus or rely on any other mean of public transportation, so be sure to plan everything out to the tiniest detail. Renting a car is also a good idea,especially if you’re afraid that you’re going to be late, so go for an Avis Car Hire and you’ll undoubtedly make it on time. Just ensure not to arrive too early, as it’s likely to make other participants uncomfortable by cutting into their ability to prepare for the meeting. A few minutes before it is ideal, but you can always wash your hands, fix your hair, or drink some water if you arrive too early.

Try to make small talk before the meeting starts

Even though making small talk isn’t always desirable, the truth is that it’s more than welcome when it comes to giving a good impression at a first business meeting. It’s likely to put everyone at ease before the meeting starts, so do your best to relax a little bit and start by introducing yourself to the other participants. Besides that, you should also listen attentively to the conversation, without checking out your emails or scrolling down social media feed, which is quite rude in the business setting. Instead of that, just put away your phone and actually pay extra attention to the personal details that may seem irrelevant at that moment. In fact, these are quite meaningful if you think about it, as listening to other people and showing interest can help you make new friends and build a long-term relationship with other participants.

Do your research beforehand

Last but not least, doing your research beforehand is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to give a great impression at a business meeting. First of all, you should review all business materials in advance, so that you can figure out the company’s initiatives, goals, key projects, and recent accomplishments. You can also browse through their website and get a bigger picture of their business techniques and policies, so that you can gain some insight into the history of that particular company. Besides that, you should also come up with a few key questions before the meeting, so that you can find out everything you need to know and cover the most important objectives of the meeting. If your potential business partners are from a foreign country, you should definitely get informed on how to interact with people from other cultures and backgrounds, which may contribute to a better final result everyone will be happy about.

As you can see, giving a great impression at a first business meeting doesn’t have to be as challenging as you probably thought. All you have to do is to stick to our tips and guidelines and you’ll successfully nail this task, without a shadow of a doubt!

Guest author, David Webb, is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.

Why Encouraging Diverse Representation Will Help Your Business Grow

Diversity in the workplace is a hot topic for business owners in recent years, changing from a novel idea to a necessity for success. Diversity comes in many shapes and sizes; differences in age, gender,economic background, race, and cultural differences are just some of the ways your business can focus on representing a diverse workforce.

While not always easy to achieve without dedicated time from your hiring team and management, when done successfully encouraging diversity at your business can actually help you reduce turnover, increase innovation, and help your business grow overall.

Improved Market Share

One of the most crucial parts of having a successful business is understanding your products and services and who your target audience is. Only employing staff from similar backgrounds in the name of ‘culture fit’ limits your understanding of other markets and ways your business could grow and succeed when marketing to these diverse groups.

By hiring employees that come from a wide variety of backgrounds, religions, sexual orientations, genders, age groups and spending habits, you are gaining insight into the market groups you want to learn more about. This allows you to create products and services that are sustainable. for them more effectively and it enhances your chance of capturing a wider market share.

Increase Innovation

Not surprisingly, an increase in difference of opinions, experiences, and ideas can lead to innovation in your business when a safe space is created to share such ideas. A study by NC State’s business school looked at 3,000 of the largest publicly traded companies and found that those with a diverse workforce were better at developing innovative products and services.

This is especially helpful for those companies working in global markets, which tend to evolve more quickly and compete with other businesses who also hire diverse workforces. It is important to emphasize that your staff must feel that their differences in outlooks are respected and they are encouraged to express these differences to their coworkers to maximize your potential for innovation.

Recruit and Retain Talent

Finding talented workers can be a difficult task for a business, especially as you compete with other jobs that may be able to offer better benefits or pay. One easy way to do this is by hiring diverse employees. A company that embraces diversity is automatically throwing a wider net to applicants of diverse backgrounds, letting a larger audience know they would be welcome and fit into your company culture, increasing the talent pool you will see.

A recent study from Atlassian found that 80% of respondents believed diversity and inclusion to be important in the workplace, and companies like B Corps, who openly are rated on their employee happiness and diversity are highly sought after by top MBA students. Tiffany Jana, CEO of TMI Consulting, a B Corp, stated that, “I can barely keep up with the droves of highly qualified, passionate, values-aligned millennials who want to work for TMI. I no longer search for high-potential staff; they now come tome.” As you bring in a more diverse staff and focus on employee well-being, you will see a positive impact on your reputation as a great place to work.

When it comes to retaining employees, diversity can also help. It does this by communicating to employees that your business is open-minded to different ideas and ways of doing things, which research shows greatly increases employee happiness. When workers feel a sense of autonomy in daily operations, meaning they have a say in their own goals, responsibilities, and creative process, they perform higher, have a better moral, and tend to stay with that business longer.

It also communicates to your workers that you do not practice workplace discrimination, which again increases workplace morale and trust in you as the employer, leading to longer retention rates.

Increased Profits

Another benefit of having a diverse staff is an increase in profits. If your employees are helping you improve your market share, increasing the level of innovation at your business, and you are recruiting highly talented workers and are able to retain them, it is easy to also expect an increase in profits for your business. A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that diversity increases the bottom line for companies,especially when that diversity is in the board room. 

Of the 1,700 companies surveyed, those companies that reported above-average diversity on their management teams reported 19% higher revenues than those companies with below average leadership diversity, with innovation cited as the reason for increased revenues. 

Overall, improving your workplace diversity can help you attract and keep talented employees, increase creativity in your workplace which can help you better understand your markets, and increase the profitability of your business. But despite the overwhelming evidence that diverse workplaces help your business grow, many businesses still struggle to implement changes that are sustainable. Check out this list of easy steps your business can take to make sure your business is successful at encouraging diversity and reaping the benefits.

Sam Casteris is a small business owner and freelance writer operating out of Phoenix, AZ. You can find more of her work on Contently.

Should You Ever Change Yourself To Get The Job You Really Want?

Nowadays, the ever-changing workplace is making it more difficult to find a career that we truly love. It seems that once we’ve got our heart set on something, the goalposts move. This can be very frustrating, and so, it begs the question, do we have something wrong with ourselves, or if it’s actually the job role? When we are looking for the job that we really want in life, we feel like we have to bend over backwards to get it, but in making the necessary changes, should you ever actually alter yourself intrinsically to suit the job that you really want?

Think About Who You Really Are First

You need to figure out who you are before embarking on any career trajectory. We can spend a lot of time thinking that we need to alter our personality to suit a role, but is this really the correct approach? It’s far better for you, especially in the job interview stage, to let your natural personality shine through. The big problem is, if you end up being rejected for this job, you can take it personally, and think that the next time you need to change something about yourself. But it’s far better for you to invest in yourself rather than to make yourself fit a specific box-ticking exercise.

When You Have A Questionable Background

Sometimes we can feel like the perfect fit for the role, but there are issues on paper. Sometimes this can be a very concerning problem, especially if you have prior convictions. But it can be possible to go to an expungement attorney to have the criminal charge “erased” depending on what the charge is. When you have a questionable background, but you have made the journey beyond that point and have learnt your lesson in life, the employer will see this. Everybody deserves a second chance when they are truly sorry for what they have done. And if you feel that there is something on your record holding you back, it’s far better for you to be honest about it if you can’t get it stricken from your record.

What Happens If You Don’t Get On With The Role?

And sometimes we work so hard in getting the necessary qualifications, going through a draining interview process, and we finally get the job, but something isn’t sitting quite right. You could feel like it’s a waste of years if you get to this point, but rather than feel depressed at the thought, consider it to be a life lesson. A lot of people feel that they have to fit a certain role in order to be accepted for a specific job, and this can restrict us in a personal and emotional sense. As we go through life and try to find the roles we were meant to fulfill we can lose a sense of who we are. And when it comes to finding the perfect job, it’s more about trusting your instincts and what you really want out of life, not what you think is the most lucrative prospect.

 

 

5 Common HR Mistakes Every Business Owner Can Avoid

Often described as the key mediator between employees and you, the business owner, your HR department relies on your leadership to steer the ship that is your company in the right direction. However, the process of hiring, training, and retaining your employees is a fluid and ever-changing one, especially considering the same changing nature of the laws on which you base your collaboration.

With so much on your plate already, it’s no wonder that many business owners, no matter the size of their company, let a few key HR steps fall through the cracks. More often than not, these issues can be easily avoided, so let’s see which HR pet-peeves you should keep an eye on, and how you can make sure they never affect your business again.

Hasty dismissal

Unless there was a flying copier incident that jeopardized the safety of your employees, you cannot fire an employee on the spot without properly investigating the situation. If you are not satisfied with that particular employee’s performance, there should be a written record of your attempts to help them overcome any issues, followed by a proper training protocol, and an account of why you are not satisfied and how that has affected your business.

Sometimes all it takes is a few training sessions to help your employee perform better, but even if that is not the case, the least you can do is save yourself an unfair dismissal claim from a disgruntled employee.

No hiring strategy in place

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a single person to handle your social media, or an entire team of graphic designers to build your brand, every company needs a reliable onboarding process. It serves to test the candidates on several levels, filter out the unsuitable ones, and help you focus on the ones with the most potential to fit into your company culture.

In fact, a single mismatch can cost your company as much as $50,000 in the long-run, according to this 2013 study. So, take your time to refine the hiring process, it will be worth your while, as well as your budget.

No binding contract

There are no exceptions to this rule: even if you are hiring remotely or choose to work with freelancers only, every collaboration requires a legal basis. While online platforms such as Upwork have their own pre-defined legal terms of each contract, every employee should have a clear idea of your expectations, their rights, and the scope of work involved.

All of these essential bits of information can be included in your employment letter, but they should be further elaborated and agreed upon in a legally-binding contract. That way, both parties involved kick off the partnership knowing what to expect and what is expected of them.

Lack of training

Another common HR issue is offering regular growth opportunities to your employees, but not just in the form of a simple title. Every team needs a chance to improve their skills and master the latest techniques in their field of work, which is an investment that benefits both your employees and your entire business.

This is one of the key factors that contributes to the happiness of your employees, because they will recognize a chance to grow out of their current role without leaving their post at your company. Consider visits to various conferences and seminars, as well as in-house mentorship programs for employees of all experience levels.

Not matching skills and pay

Complying with the basic Modern Awards and the National Employment Standards is another pivotal piece of the employment puzzle that often gets neglected. As a consequence, many businesses end up with significant back pay claims, and even more importantly, with a severe blow to the reputation of your business.

Even if you do comply with the essential provisions of Modern Awards such as paying the needed rates for the specified position, you also need to ensure that other details of the contract are in accordance with the law. Are they getting paid for working after hours? Are they aware of their leave rights and other benefits? All of these and many other details should be regularly checked and updated depending on the position, seniority, and advancement of your employees.

No matter the size of your business and how long you’ve been in the game, keeping your HR practice up to date and in excellent working order is crucial for your entire company. There will always be roadblocks to tackle during the growth of your business, so make sure this aspect of its operations works smoothly so that you can devote your attention to other, more pressing matters of your company.

Guest Author, Raul Harman, s a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing.  While he’s not enjoying travel, football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com.

Hiring Your First Employee Without Losing Your Mind

Hiring a new employee is supposed to make your life easier, but it doesn’t always go that way. Sometimes, it can feel like they’re more trouble than they’re worth! But fear not, because you don’t have to be forever facing an uphill battle when it comes to employees, and not even the very first one that you hire. Below, we take a look at a few simple steps you can incorporate into your hiring process to ensure your employees bring nothing but good tidings to your company.

In Advance

You don’t hire your first employee when you need them. You hire them before you need them! That way, they’ll be ready to help you when the busy times arrive really. If you wait until you’re swamped, you’re going to have to try to do all your work and train a new employee at the same time. If you can sense that you’re taking on more work and it’s projected to carry on, then begin to think about hiring an employee. You can always have everything ready to go and then begin the process when you’re sure it’s the right thing to do.

Hire Correctly

Of course, you’ll be making it much easier for your staff to bed into your new company if you have a hiring process that delivers the best workers. There is an art to writing a job description, so don’t just write down the first thing that comes to mind and post it on the job sites. You can use a recruiter to help you find the highest quality candidates if you’re not confident in your own abilities. In any case, your company will be well served by having a long-term hiring process.

Time on your Side

You’ll quickly find that while a new employee does free up some of your time, it also means you have some extra responsibilities. You’ll need to train them, for starters, and then sort out things like payment, tax, and any other employer duties you need to fulfil. You can help yourself by having training take place during a quiet time for your business, and by using software like a speedy pay stub generator to simplify the payment process. You’re going to have to give up some of your time, but by being smart, you’ll find that you get it back pretty quickly – and for the long-term, too.

Bedding in Time

Even with your excellent training skills, there’s going to be a bedding in period for your new employee. Nobody, no matter how talented they are, will be able to pick everything up straight away. Make sure they have a few weeks to get up to speed before expecting too much of them.

Cutting Ties

Sadly, not every employee will work out. There’ll be times when you need to cut your ties. If you have doubts, first try speaking to your employee. If they don’t respond to your encouragement, then it’ll likely be better for everyone involved if you go your separate ways.

Is It Time to Cut Ties with an Employee?

Running your company means you have a lot of responsibilities on your shoulder. With that in mind, one of the biggest calls you have to make at times is now the right time to cut ties with an employee?

Whether performance, issues with co-workers or money, letting someone go can be difficult.

So, will you cut ties with them?

Thinking If Now is the Time

As you ponder the idea of letting someone go, it is good to consider the following:

  1. Performance – Even if an employee has a quirk or two, you more than likely rate them on their job performance. Has their performance been detrimental to the company and clients as of late? If so, did you try and talk with them about improving on the job? In the event you did give them chances to improve and they did not, you more than likely will move ahead with a release.
  2. Personality – You can have the most talented worker, but what if he or she doesn’t get along well with others? That is a dilemma many bosses face over time. You might have to dismiss someone because they are causing too much friction in the office place. In looking at their personality, did you know a lot about them before hiring them? Although many do background searches, they do not always get all the details on someone. It could also be a case where an employee changed during their time with you.
  3. Repercussions – Although you do what is best for business, do you worry one may cause problems if you let them go? In doing an online people search, you can more times than not keep tabs on someone. This could be important if a former employee is trying to undermine your company. You may have lost track of where he or she moved to after you dismissed them. That online search may yield clues on where they are now and how to contact them if you need to. If a former worker is making trouble for you, you will have to decide if legal action may be necessary.
  4. Future – Last, what is good for your office and of course your business will be what is most important to you. That said parting ways with an employee is oftentimes never easy. Like you, they need to earn a living to get by. Before you cut ties with someone, think about the real reason why you are doing so.

Hiring the Best from Day One

Although your goal should always be to hire the best people, you know that this does not always happen.

Did you rush to hire someone only to fill a seat in the office? Many use a public records search to find out where people are and what they’ve been up to. Should you have done more background investigating on someone you hired?

When you craft a job hiring advertisement, take the time to get it right.

Be sure to spell out not only the qualifications you want, but also the type of personality you want in the office.

Hiring workers is not as easy a task as some might make it out to be.

That said getting it right the first time around will save you money and frustration.

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

 

 

5 Ninja Tactics to Get a High-Paying Technology Job!

Technology world is exploding with newer solutions emerging every fortnight leaving the aspirants clueless about which technology to learn to get a suitable technology job. However different consultants suggest different technology domains, which is confusing and stressing for the candidates as they have potential, but they have no idea where to utilize it.

This blog is rather an attempt to guide all those aspirants who wish to succeed in the technology domain. Currently the market is talking about these technologies, which we will have a look at in ascending order:

Data Science: The Hottest Domain

Forbes has described Data Science as the sexiest job of 21st century. The people who wish to become analysts, machine learning experts, artificial intelligence professionals, this field is for them. The most important part is that, learning Data Science concepts do not require the candidate have a technology background. In fact, anyone who has knowledge of mathematics and statistics can become a data scientist and recruited by top MNCs in absolutely no time. The reason behind this increasing demand is that companies need innovative strategies to survive the war between companies over coming up with something new each time, which gets tougher when the product and segment is same. Analyzing the market trends, recognizing the patterns and coming up with something that has not happened before, helps the companies change the game.

Big Data: The Holy Grail for Techies

Usually the candidates who are fresh graduates having knowledge of coding and testing, Big Data is the most sought-after domain for them. The reason behind this trend is that most of them have a good knowledge of Java, JavaScript, C, C#, etc. Since all the big data frameworks are written in programming languages having the feature of standard input/output. So any programming language having this functionality can be used to learn big data technologies. Moreover it is time for the aspiring developers to come out of their comfort zones and learn something that is innovative and progressive too.

Cloud Computing: Trending Now!

You cannot certainly deny the fact that everything is stored in the cloud nowadays. Google drive is one of the most popular private cloud used by people in daily life. Ranging from mail to spreadsheet, to documents and analytics everything can be dome in the cloud. This is just the perspective of common tools used by people like us. Think about the kind of tools used by companies. Whether it is a platform, an infrastructure, or software, everything is turned into a service, which is a revolution in the digital world. This is one of the most trending technologies presently and learning it will definitely take your career to a whole new level. Companies like Microsoft and AWS are the biggest vendors of cloud.

Business Intelligence: Brightest future!

Analytics is the crux behind all the business decisions and strategic moves. With the shrinking timeline and increasing pressure, businesses are bound to respond instantly which mandates the use of real-time analytics. SAS, SAP, Tableau, QlikView, Spotfire, etc., are widely known BI solutions used by the top MNCs to analyze the bulks of raw data and convert it into a meaningful pattern of information. Ranging from gathering data from various sources, converting it into a supported format, analyzing the data and creating interactive reports are the major operations performed by Business Analysts. Learning it today will help you get job tomorrow!

Software Programming: Evergreen Domain!

Programming is the safest jobs of all times. Other domains emerge and become obsolete as soon as companies get accustomed, but programming is the domain which is always in demand. Programming languages like Java, Python, R programming, C, C#, PHP, etc., have been heavily used by the companies to create softwares and are still the preferred language by the developers. Mastering at least two to three languages will open huge opportunities for you in all the sectors and you can earn like hell.

Though all I described are the Ninja Tactics, it is all of your effort that brings the output. Definitely smart work is required, but hard work is what pays you at the end. So make a wise decision about your career today and grab top-dollar jobs tomorrow!

Author Bio :

Sonal Maheshwari has 6 years of corporate experience in various technology platforms such as Big Data, Data Science, Salesforce, Digital Marketing, CRM, SQL, JAVA, Oracle, etc. She has worked for MNCs like Wenger & Watson Inc, CMC LIMITED, EXL Services Ltd., and Cognizant. She is a technology nerd and loves contributing to various open platforms through blogging. She is currently in association with a leading professional training provider, Intellipaat Software Solutions and strives to provide knowledge to aspirants and professionals through personal blogs, research, and innovative ideas.