3 Ways to Keep Your Business Location Secure and Safe

Your business faces threats that go beyond the stiff competition of other companies. In fact, if you have a brick-and-mortar location, the biggest threat you face is against the security of the building itself. Since the building represents such a significant capital investment,it’s important to do all you can to keep it safe and secure. Fortunately,keeping your business’s building secure doesn’t have to be complicated, so long as you know what areas of security to focus on. Here are three great ways to get started. 

Add Cameras 

If your business doesn’t involve retail sales, it may not occur to you to have security cameras on-site. After all, without anything to steal, the risk of break-in is greatly reduced, right? Actually, whether yours is a retail location or not, utilizing security cameras is a great way to increase the safety of your building. All buildings contain items of value that thieves would be tempted to try and break in and steal. 

Cameras provide a strong deterrent to thieves, understanding that their anonymity will be in jeopardy. Plus, if a crime does occur, cameras provide irrefutable evidence of what actually occurred, allowing you to prosecute the crimes quickly so you can resume business as usual, as soon as possible. 

Lights On

One of the easiest ways to keep your business secure is simply to leave some lights on,even when you leave for the night. Though this may seem like an unnecessary waste of electricity, leaving lights on can help deter crime by making the interior of your business more visible to those who pass by.

Adding strong exterior lighting, as well, ensures that there are no hidden areas for anyone to be taking part in illegal activity. Not to mention, extra lighting in and around your business allows those previously mentioned security cameras to perform better. 

Change Your Locks 

If other people besides you have access to a key for the exterior doors, it’s a good idea to change the locks on those doors, on occasion. After all, even if people turn in their keys when they leave the company, you never know if they have vengeful motives that have led them to make a copy of the key to be able to break in later.

Especially if an employee’s tenure ends under difficult circumstances, it’s important to consider changing your locks to ensure they can’t wreak havoc at a later time. Having the locks installed by a professional locksmithensures the job is done quickly and correctly, the first time. 

As with most things in life, properly securing your business requires you to strike a balance to ensure the best outcome. In this case, that balance is between costs and security procedures. You can fortify your business to become nearly impenetrable, however, you may find that you have no money left to actually run your business. By utilizing the above techniques, you’ll be able to minimize your costs and maintain a secure building.

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.

Expert’s Guide To Painless Business Relocation

Moving your business to a new office is a strange mix of daunting and exciting. The grass may seem greener on the other side of the fence and indeed, relocation can offer many benefits. On the other hand, it can also have a severe disruptive influence on your operations, clients, employees,and finances.

To maximize the positives and minimize the negatives, you have to plan and schedule activities ahead of time. So, embrace a systematic,proactive, and efficient approach. Get ready to organize everything from the nitty-gritty to the smallest detail. Here are some tips that should help you get on top of tasks and finish relocating with flying colors.

Formulating a game plan

Meticulous planning and preparation hold the key to a successful relocation.  Most often,businesses kick off this process several months up to a year in advance. They start by identifying all tasks and setting a time frame for them. In other words, one of the first steps is to put together a detailed checklist for the new office. Before you can do that, though, you need to take several tours.While at it, pay special attention to key aspects such as technology, furniture, utilities, connectivity, and office equipment. You must have all the essential elements of a productive work space in place and make them fall together seamlessly.

Mind the size and layout of the new space

The crucial thing is to look beyond your present needs and factor in how your business will grow and evolve in years to come. Office size and layout are the crucial aspects you need to grasp here. Modern businesses usually aim for a multi-functional space geared toward a dynamic workforce and flexible work styles. In recent years, an open floor plan is all the rage andit does have some great advantages. But, you need to do what makes the most sense for you, not what is trendy. It is also necessary to take care of some basics and designate the main areas. We are talking about the lobby,meeting/conference rooms, workstations, the front desk, private booths,chill-out zone, etc.

Doing packing the smart way

Packing is always one of the most dreaded aspects of moving. There are many ways to go about it, but one thing is certain. You must work out a system and prevent the chaos from ensuing.Double-check the inventory and confirm that you have enough storage units. Color-code your documents and label the boxes. Furthermore, take this chance to do some de-cluttering. There is really no need to bring excess belongings to your new office. That would only require additional resources and storage space. Thus,do not hesitate to purge everything that serves no clear purpose other than collecting dust.

Rally the troops

It pays off to actively involve your team members right from the get-go. To do it right, set clear roles and responsibilities and delegate as much as you can. At the same time, you should note that your equipment,furniture, and other belongings might need to be handled professionally. This especially goes for packing and transportation. Australian businesses, for instance, tend to hire local removalists in Sydney and other major cities, since expensive office equipment requires delicate handling, from packing,transporting to disassembling and assembling furniture and disconnecting and reconnecting appliances. Conduct a research and try to get the best relocation quote you can.  Make sure everything reaches the destination on time and intact.

Getting over a rough patch

One of the main overarching priorities is to mitigate the negative impact on your profit margins. Namely, you cannot afford to lose business to your competition because of the relocation. Notify all relevant parties, including your customers, stakeholders, and clients and explain how your services or communication will change during the relocation. Along the similar lines, see to it that your online information (especially on your website and social media profiles) is up to date. Do not overlook your traditional marketing tools like business cards and flyers. Spread the word out across all touch points so that no one is left in the dark.

Changing your base of operations can set you up nicely for growth. But, there is one problem: planning and executing a smooth move is no walk in the park. There are so many different things to keep a close eye on. So,come up with a solid plan that will allow you to stay in control during the whole process. You cannot go wrong following tried-and-tested steps presented above. Just do not try to do everything yourself. Summon professionals to your aid in order to avoid stress, delays, and headaches. Get back up running as soon as possible and open a brave new chapter of success.

Tracey Clayton is a working mom of three girls, passionate about traveling, marketing and everything tech related. Her motto is: “Live the life you love; love the life you live.”

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.

Why You Should Invest in Business Technology

With technological innovations influencing every single part of our lives, there is little doubt left whether it should take its rightful place in the business sphere. Yet, some businesses are still reluctant to invest a considerable portion of their income in technology, and might need a bit of a push. So in order to help you understand why this is not a choice but rather a necessity, here are some essential reasons why you should invest in business technology.

Improved productivity

There is no argument that all businesses are striving towards an improved productivity. And in today’s business world most of it comes from technology. It is no wonder that 81% of business executives in Europe believe AI will impact the overall business functioning in the next four years. And this involves all aspects of business, from manufacturing and distribution to customer support and data entry. According to Forbes, manufacturers will invest $267 billion in IoT by 2020 to improve their product development and manufacturing efforts. This types of automation enabled by the technology will allow for employees to be less burdened by the everyday routine tasks, thus freeing their time and allowing them to focus on resolving more complex issues.

Higher levels of communication quality

The days of fax machines are long gone. Now you can send data and establish communication with just a click of a button on your smartphone. Of course, having a well connected office space is essential for maintaining a higher level of intra-company communication. This is why a lot of businesses turn to trusted providers like Orange for getting company phone networks along with the actual phones.This is just one of the ways to increase and speed up the communication within the company. It is also imperative to acknowledge the value of smartphones, and the effect they have on the speed and quality of communication when it comes to businesses. So it is important to consider investing in both if you want to have clear, undisturbed lines of communication not just with the respected customers but also with your employees.

Better sources of information

Investing in technology can lead to better sources of information when it comes to your customers. This in return leads to improved services and products and increased customer satisfaction which is clearly translated into a higher ROI. For example, big data analytics and real-time data tracking are helping management make informed business decisions. This means that you will be able to provide your customers with products and services tailored to their individual needs, and technology is there to tell you what those needs are. And not only that, it is also important to consider that technology allows companies an unhindered means of communicating with their customers, thus enabling real-time reaction monitoring, which in return can speed up the process of adjusting a certain product or service to the needs of the customers, resulting in a far better response and customer satisfaction.

Better security options

Some might say that the use of technology such as cloud computing and IoT exposes your business to additional treats. But at the same time with the right security plan it can be argued that theses things actually keep your business safe. With cybersecurity being the number one priority, investing in technology related to this aspect of doing business is of absolute priority. This is one aspect that you can’t overlook or put on the back burner, recent statistics have suggested that the average cost of a data breach at a larger firm is £20,000, but  the damage is actually much bigger if you take into consideration the effect a breach can have on customer trust. Now with hackers getting more and more sophisticated, it is important that a company keeps investing in this type of security so as to be able to guarantee the safety of both its data and the data of their customers.

Now, these are just some of the reasons investing in technology is essential for any modern businesses. Apart from increased productivity and communication, the information gathering and data safety present an imperative for any business owner who strives to succeed in this technologically driven business landscape.

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.

Staying Up To Date On The Laws That Affect Your Business

Owning and running a business is one of the most regulated things you can do in life. There’s many rules and regulations, ones that can be changed or updated on the fly, and always being aware of them is the key to success. But what if you miss something, considering you’re already swamped down with emails and administration during the 9 to 5? What if a charge is brought against you, and you have no idea where it came from or what the cause was? Now’s your chance to remedy situations like these.

Staying up to date in such a rapidly moving world is one of the hardest things to do, but you can manage it. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of information and aid out there, combined with your own resources and know how, meaning you’ve got a good chance to implement a difference here. So let’s get started.

Time to break out the pen and notepad – you’ve got research to do! 

Know What Laws Affect You

Knowing what laws are going to have an effect on your business is a good first step. You’re going to want to ebs sure that the model you’re using, and the operations you’re undergoing on a daily basis, are all legit and above board – different business types have different regulations, and that’s something a lot of people looking to move into self employment don’t seem to realize…

So make sure you’re not one of these owners, and that you’re aware of what differences in the law are going to keep you thriving for another day. Whether you’ve got a partnership, or limited liability company, or maybe a sole proprietorship, you’re going to need different sections of the law and business manual. On the other hand, the laws go even more specific than this,and you’re going to need to consider the sector you’re working in as well.Whether you’re working within the manufacturing sector, or maybe you’re in the hospitality sector, there isn’t a one size fits all shoe for you to slip into.If you need to clue yourself up a little more on these simple principles alone,take a look at this site.

Then you need to be aware of the types of laws there are out there. There’s labor laws, regulatory laws, tax laws, and there’s even some reporting laws that are going to govern how you operate, even when you’re online. The latter alone is crucial to how well your profits and loss margin looks at the end of the year: you need to report your finances to the right sources in the right way, according to the reporting rules laid out by the law in your area.

Consider this kind of law: the digital age makes it easier and easier to steal info, and also to fudge reports to the standards a company hasn’t been able to hit. Reporting laws are one of the best ways to avoid fraud within the business sector, and is a good way to protect your company, especially as a smaller operation – it’s essential to be up to date about how transparent your company data is.

Know What Sources You Can Trust

There’s a lot of legal sources out there that you can turn to for help, and you need to make sure you’re using their services if you’re looking to keep your finger on the button. Having whole teams of legal professionals and other aids, all in one place, with the time and energy to collect together the right sources you need to pay attention to – the thought alone takes a weight off!

Be on the lookout for sites like these, from general informational platforms to specific legal aid you can access for free, or for a small fee. Companies such as Legal Zoom, which offers an online platform for making sure you’ve got all the legal resources you need in one place, are going to be indispensable in your fight to make sure you’re operating correctly with all the profits you expected from the beginning of the year.

Have Someone with Their Finger on the Button

Usually, this is going to be you. As the business owner yourself, or one half of the partnership that takes care of the business admin, you’re going to always need to be up to date about the changes in the regulation surrounding the business laws in your country. If it’s you with the finger on the button, you’re going to be hyper aware of the news that crosses your doorstep, and you’re never going to have to blame someone else for potentially missing an important article or email that pertained to your operating standards.

If you need some quick help regarding this steam of information, let’s think of a few easy methods right now. You can set up RSS feeds for sites you’ve found yourself in the past, google alerts for any news regarding your sector, and even sign up to newsletters from legislation sites.

But if you don’t have the ability to be around a wifi connection 12/7, then you’re going to need someone else to fill the roll for you. Maybe it’s time to bring on board a new researcher in your team, or it’s time to promote someone hardworking and capable of initiative. After all, it’s up to you how you operate, as long as you’re doing so within the law!

Ready to Stay Up to Date?

Companies need to be transparent in the modern day and age, considering all the threats and attempts to misuse the law there are out there. You need to be sure you’re setting up a good foundation for your small business, whether it’s offline or online.

If you’re someone who’s looking to start a business, be sure to make the legal side of things your first port of call in the researching period. You want to make a business plan with total control over how you sketch your business model out – this is the first step.

Choosing New Business Software

Running a business involves making regular improvements to your efficiency so that you are able to keep up with your competitors and offer your customers a fantastic level of service which they can’t get elsewhere. And one of the main ways that you can do this is by using various different types of business software. But with so many different choices out there, it can present a major challenge to know which ones to go for. So, here is a brief guide designed to make your task just a little bit easier.

Get Your Aims Clear

Before doing anything, you should decide on your aims when it comes to your business. What are the issues that you would like to address and how can the software help to improve these? Ultimately, your best course of action is to divide these up into priority order. New software takes time to get used to and you don’t want to change everything at once. And once you have installed the software and become used to how it works, you then need to address just how successful it has been in solving your problems.

Work Out Your Budget

The next step that you need to take is to determine your budget. Business software ranges from the free to the expensive, and you don’t want to risk overspending – especially if it proves not to work out. Find out whether there is an upfront cost involved in getting the software or if you have to fork out for a monthly subscription. And remember that just because some software is expensive, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to be the best.

Look for Specialised Programs

With such a wealth of business software out there, it makes sense that it fits comfortably within your aims. Of course,there is plenty of general software out there, but if you can go for something which fits your business aims specifically, this is even better. So, you could take a look at some legal software if you run a firm involved in this area. The closer the software fits your individual needs and requirements, the more useful it is likely to be.

Get Input from Staff Members

It is not only you who could end up benefitting from business software. In fact, your staff may end up using the programs more than you do! So, it makes sense that you consult with them closely when it comes to working out the best software out there for your organisation.

Businesses both large and small use software to improve the way that they run. And while it makes sense that you do the same thing, you should think carefully about the types of programs which you choose to invest in so that you can get the maximum benefits from them.       

5 Ways to Run a Successful Food Truck Business

Running a successful food truck business is a lot of hard work. Yet, many make the mistake of treating it like a hobby. If you are serious about making your food truck business successful, then follow these five tips.

Offer the Best Food

You need good recipes to make your food truck successful. Think about foods that not everyone in town is already serving. Then, find a great source of high-quality ingredients for those recipes. Prepare them to the best of your ability. Finally, test them out with people and incorporate their feedback until you have perfected them.

Get Quality Equipment

You will need to get quality equipment like stainless steel test sieves from a reliable supplier like newarkwire.com to run your business. Think about making a list of all the equipment that you will need to fix your recipes, and then get the equipment needed to prepare them. Buying quality helps to keep costs down in most cases as you will not have to replace them as often. Finally, consider buying more than one of each piece because equipment always seems to break at the most inopportune moment .

Employ Social Media

Part of the secret to running a successful food truck business is to connect with people on social media. It is a great way to let your customers know your location each day. Show them how great your food looks, so they are tempted to come to your location. Social media is also a great way to show customers the personality behind your company, so do not be afraid to post something funny or something that will tug at your customer’s emotions.

Be Dedicated to Customer Service

You need to be sure that your customers know how thankful you are for the opportunity to serve them. Start by offering them quality containers for their food and drink as flimsy containers can be hard to handle in an outside setting. Once they make the decision to order, then make sure to thank them for their order. If there is a problem, then correct it as quickly as possible. Remember that a satisfied customer will brag about your business to a few friends, but an angry one will tell everyone they know including posting it to social media.

Keep the Area Clean

While cleanliness is hard to maintain in any food environment, it can be especially difficult when running a food truck. Concentrate on keeping everything spotless. This includes the outside of your trailer as it will be the first thing that the customer sees. You and your employees also need to be sure that your personal grooming is above reproach.

Keeping these five tips in mind will help you run a successful food truck business. Now, go show them what you have to offer. Stay in a positive mindset and soon your customers will be hunting your food truck down to get your wonderful creations.