Celebrate Success! How to Throw the Business Party of the Year

A good party can bring everyone in your workplace together.If you’ve never organized one, however, you might be at a loss for how to get started. Here are just five suggestions for throwing an unforgettable company bash. 

Upgrade Your Internet 

If you’ll be teleconferencing with other offices or branches in a company-wide celebration, make sure that your Internet is strong enough for the task. Speed is probably the most important thing to keep your playback from lagging, but you’ll also need robust, reliable servers to prevent downtime. When everyone is toasting to the success of the company, you’ll want your sound and video quality to be crystal clear. 

Create a Flexible Schedule 

Since it’s a business party, you’ll probably need some kind of schedule for things like speeches and end-of-the-year acknowledgements.However, it’s important to have a little wiggle room with times. You don’t want to cut off a happy conga line so that the department manager can talk about stock trends. Mind the atmosphere of the party, and wave in your speakers when your audience is ready to hear them. 

Center Everything Around a Theme

Themes aren’t just fun for your guests. They’re also valuable tools for your party planners. When your drinks, games, activities and decorations all revolve around a specific idea like “casino night” or”winter wonderland,” it’s much easier to make decisions about what to buy. You might not be uncertain about your menu and music selection. However,if there’s a theme, it will all come together. For example, if you decide on a family-friendly theme, it’s only a short jump to buying Kaiser buns for burgers and fun pop songs to set the up-beat mood.

Mind Your Finances 

You don’t have to break the bank to host a great company party. You just need to be thoughtful and deliberate with your budget.One option is to break everything down by dollar amounts, and another possibility is allocating specific percentages of your budget to things like food, entertainment and venue. As long as you’re careful with your checkbook, you should be able to throw a wonderful party with cash to spare. 

Offer Freebies 

Everyone loves a freebie. You can generate a lot of goodwill towards both the company and the company party when you hand out goodie bags.You might also want to host raffles, giveaways or gift exchanges for the holidays. They can be a nice way to bond with your co-workers or raise money for a good cause. 

These are just a few tips for throwing a great business party. Whether you’re launching a new start-up or celebrating the expansion of your Fortune 500 brand, it’s always fun to let your hair down with the rest of your colleagues.

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.

A Question Of Trust: Putting Our Faith In Remote Workers

When we’re trying to conserve our business’ productivity, its integrity, not to mention its finances, the modern approach that so many companies look to is the remote working setup. Naturally, it’s a big draw, not just because it’s a way to cut those financial corners, but it’s a way we can hire so many people, and actually, make the most of the limited finances we have. But, with remote working comes a lot of questions, not just in terms of the technicalities, but also, when you’re hiring remote workers or freelancers, this question of trust can arise. Are remote workers to be trusted? And how can we get around this issue?

The Handling Of Sensitive Data

The one basic way we can get around this is to have contracts. Even a freelancer contract carries a legal cache, and it’s the best way for us to cover our bases. Unfortunately, the difficulty of ensuring remote workers and freelancers handle data effectively is all about consistent communication. While there are some technological ways for you to keep on top of this, hiring a virtual server hosting company to do the monitoring, or hiring a dedicated team to monitor the computer components will ensure that you are keeping some sort of watchful eye on your remote employees.

Improving Your Communication With Them

As we can struggle with the idea of control when we have remote workers or freelancers, it’s important to differentiate between the two terms. Remote workers can be hired on a permanent contract, but freelancers are not. So, if you are concerned that the two aren’t mutually exclusive, you have to think about what you want from your employees. In addition to this, if you want freelancers to feel part of the team, you have to make them feel just that. The big anxiety that we can have when it comes to trusting remote workers is that they can leave us in the lurch when there is a deadline looming, and while we don’t want to be let down, if we don’t give them any sort of incentive to keep working for us, such as by minimal communication, then part of us shouldn’t be surprised when they do inevitably jump ship. Improving your communication isn’t about messaging them every 20 minutes or so, it’s giving them that room to breathe but showing them that you have faith in their abilities to complete the task. This is a hard thing for us to come to terms with, especially when we’re trying to keep numerous plates spinning, as well as get to know the new members of the team.

Don’t forget, it’s important that remote workers feel part of the team, even though they are working from home. Remote workers, from a stereotypical perspective, can take liberties, and not do what is asked of them, but if we are to trust remote workers, then we have to have some semblance of honesty in how we communicate. We can trust remote workers, and we should, but maybe it’s more about the fact that we have to come to terms with changing our own managerial styles.

6 Catastrophic Mistakes An Entrepreneur Can Make In Their Business’ First Year

What makes a great entrepreneur? There are numerous theories on the subject. Is it their hard work, dedication and commitment? Is it their invention, imagination and ability to think outside the box? Is it their ability to parse metric data and use it to keep their finger on the pulse of what their customers want and need? Or could it be their ability to motivate and rally their employees; helping them to work with gusto towards a shared goal. Ultimately, these are all extremely important but it’s arguable that the most important quality of entrepreneurship is…

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Image by Pixabay

Just start.

There are lots of people out there, right now, slaving away in jobs they despise who have a great idea for a business. They have spotted a gap in the market, devised a concept for a product for a product or service that neatly fills that gap and they have a clear vision in their heads of how that can be extrapolated into a living, breathing, working SME. They may have cobbled together something resembling a business plan in their free time. They’ve had some preliminary thoughts about what their business’ mission statement might be and how it would be reflected in their branding. They might even have crunched some numbers to create a reasonably accurate cash flow forecast. But they never reached the point where they reached out to sources of funding or even registered their business’ name. Why? Because they were paralyzed by their fear of the unknown. This perfectly natural and perfectly human impulse may be understandable but it can keep potentially successful entrepreneurs stuck on the path of wage slavery; languishing away in jobs where they’re underpaid, underappreciated and undervalued when they could be at the head of a thriving enterprise.

By far the most crippling of fears when it comes to starting a business is the fear of failure. After all, the numbers are not on the side of nascent entrepreneurs. We’ve all heard that 50% of SMEs fail within their first four years and we’re paralyzed by the fear of what will happen if we fall within this damning statistic. But here’s the thing…

There’s nothing to fear but fear itself

If you have a fantastic idea for a business that would benefit your local high street, create jobs, fill a gap on the market, benefit the local economy and liberate you from a job you despise, it behooves you to overcome your fear of failure and at least attempt to make your business a reality. Very often, failure in small business is not the end but simply a blip on a long learning curve. At worst, you will be made bankrupt (although this is certainly not an inevitable consequence of failure in small business). But in most cases bankruptcy is not the end of an entrepreneurial career. Some of the most successful people on the planet have been made bankrupt at least once.

That said, failure is never an appealing prospect. If we can forego the expense and emotional turmoil that come with failure in small business, so much the better, right?

Learning from the mistakes of others

The beauty of living in the digital age is that we have unparalleled access to a wealth of information which can give you and your business the inside track. As well as learning from our own mistakes (an inevitable and necessary part of small business) we can benefit from the mistakes of other nascent businesses. While there may be no surefire way of avoiding failure in the world of small business (if there were, everyone would be running their own SME), there are certainly commonly made mistakes that you can sidestep when you plan your operations and strategy around avoiding them. Here we’ll look at some of the commonly made mistakes made by businesses in their first year and how you can prevent your business from replicating them…

Under investing to insulate profit margins

When many entrepreneurs start out, they do so with one goal in mind… turning a profit. So long as the numbers are in the black month or month that means the business is going well, right? Well, not necessarily. As important as it is for small businesses to guard against irresponsible, reckless or vanity spending, it’s also vital that they avoid under investing in their enterprises. Under investment in personnel, capital investments like software or equipment, or maintaining / renovating your premises can impede your business’ growth. Unless you’re prepared to invest in better infrastructure for your small business it will only ever stay small and its scope will be limited. While you should certainly learn to walk before you can run and it can be counterproductive to set out with growth in mind before you know how to facilitate that growth sustainably, you should avoid the temptation to under invest in your business for the sake of insulating your profit margins.

Small businesses need to be agile and adaptable and if you fail to invest adequately, you may fail to capitalize on opportunities that come your way and your competitors will leave you in the dust.

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Dipping into personal funds to finance aspects of the business

Separating personal and business finances can be a real learning curve for nascent entrepreneurs. When you have a lot of passion and personal / emotional investment in your business it only makes sense to put your money where your mouth is… but this can be a serious mistake. Not only should you have separate accounts for your personal and business finances, you should take pains to ensure that one doesn’t bleed into the other. Otherwise you could find yourself on a slippery slope.

Trying to do a grade A job with grade B materials

In your first year of business, the name of the game is reputation. With such a plethora of competition out there, prospective customers need a reason to choose your business and not the legions of others who do exactly the same thing. This means that your reputation must be beyond reproach. While a big part of this is in how your employees deal with customers and the experience that your customers can expect, let’s not forget that you can’t do a grade A job with grade B materials. If you work in the construction industry, for example you know that you wouldn’t compromise on materials or make rush decisions when building the foundations of your project. You’d go to HelitechCCD.com and invest what you had to in materials that are right for the job. Otherwise, the whole thing could come tumbling down and take your reputation with it. Whether you’re in construction, catering or content the principal remains the same.

Spending too much time “at the coalface” and too little time on strategy

Entrepreneurs tend to have a proactive and hard working nature and when they see their employees struggling, their first instinct is to roll up your sleeves and join them at the coalface. But while noble in its intentions, this approach can be counterproductive in a number of ways. It can make your employees dependant on you at best or at worst turn you into the kind of relentless micromanager that employees hate to work for. Moreover, this is rarely the best place for you to invest your time and efforts. As the CEO of your business, your time is better spend in your office, concentrating on the strategic running of your business rather than day to day operations. It’s your responsibility to analyze your performance metrics and use them to influence your operational strategy month by month.

Having a resistant approach to new technology

Technology these days moves at a blistering pace. Investing in your technological infrastructure is rarely cheap and often requires an investment not only of capital but of time and effort as you and your employees get to grips with the software and hardware that your business needs to succeed. Thus, when equilibrium is achieved between a business and its tech, it can be extremely tempting to resist technological change. But technological change is an inevitable part of doing business in the 21st century. You need to maintain an agile approach to tech and be prepared to throw out the rulebook when a technological advancement necessitates an overhaul of your operations. If you resist technological change you could end up a dinosaur in your industry, like Blockbuster video in the age of Netflix. If this involves a prohibitively expensive overhaul of your IT or tech infrastructure, you may wish to consider outsourcing your IT operations. Not only will it insulate you from a lot of the cost of staying current, but your tech solutions can be scaled up as your business grows.

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Image by Flickr

Failing to keep an eye on the competition

As important as it is to stay ahead of the curve, keeping your eyes too closely on your own work can be counterproductive. Your business does not operate in a vacuum and competitor analysis is an essential component of any sound business strategy. If your competitors offer something you don’t, run a promotion that you don’t or offer the same services at a price you can’t match you can’t assume that your customers will remain loyal to you.

Steer clear of these common pitfalls of first year businesses, however, and you stand every chance of laying a firm foundation for success.

 

 

 

 

Starting a Business 101: 4 Steps to Managing Your Company’s Finances

Starting a new business is an exciting endeavor. You may have been planning for years and look forward to utilizing your skills and experience in new ways. Some skills are unique to entrepreneurs, who must be visionary, conservative and strategic, often all at the same time. Managing your business’s money is one of the most important skills, and investing, with the help of someone like RMR Wealth Builders, Inc., should be a part of your financial planning. These four financial tips will help to get a good start.

– Borrow Strategically

Getting capital to start your business can be difficult in the early period. You must demonstrate a good understanding of your own needs, as well as the needs of the marketplace. When borrowing money, shop around for a good interest rate and never borrow more than you will need in the short term. Pay off loans as quickly as possible to ensure that financial institutions will be willing to extend more money when you need them to expand your business.

– Grow Manageably

Learning to plan for the ebb and flow of your business is one of the most critical skills an entrepreneur can develop, and good planning can help to weather financial storms and reach for new business opportunities that come your way. Managing your finances carefully will help you to achieve your goals, regardless of economic changes.

– Review Your Expenses Regularly

During busy periods, you can experience runaway expenses, with a growing need for supplies, equipment, and payroll. Savvy entrepreneurs keep a close watch on expenses, reviewing supply contracts and seeking out better pricing at regular intervals. They may keep payroll expense in line by hiring part-time or temporary help, instead of paying full-time employees that require the additional cost of benefits.

– Invest Carefully

As your business grows and with a little luck, your business will begin to produce high-profit margins that will be significantly in excess of your immediate needs. This is time to carefully consider options for investment to fund your retirement, pay for children’s’ college costs or other goals. A reliable investment firm with fiduciary review program in NJ will have the knowledge and experience to advise you on the best ways to grow your money for the future, while still providing funds for today.

Starting a business can be an all-consuming endeavor, with hidden surprises, both good and bad, along the way. You will be better prepared for the ups and downs of economic cycles if you manage your business in a strategic way that allows for unexpected needs. With these four tips, you will be in a good position to make the most of your business opportunities.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

How to Keep Accurate Inventory Counts Each Month

If you work in the retail world, then you’re more than likely all too familiar with the value of monthly inventory counts that are both precise and dependable. Inventory counts, in a nutshell, give businesses the ability to assess inventory well. They give them the knowledge that’s required to understand inventory level adjustments. They help businesses analyze cost matters correctly, too. If you want to maintain accurate inventory counts on a monthly basis, there are various practices you can try.

Make Suitable Preparations Beforehand

Inventory counts that are physical can often be big jobs. It can help to set aside convenient days for these counts beforehand. Put together a map that puts your warehouse, stockroom or shop on display. Divide up the items that you plan on counting. Speak with your staff members too. Allocate inventory count responsibilities among them. Doing so can eliminate a lot of potential confusion. It can eliminate redundancies as well.

Place Items in Labeled Spots

Don’t panic right before starting your inventory counting work. Placing items in sections that are neatly labeled is absolutely vital. It doesn’t matter if you have to establish brand new spots for the time being. Labeling can save you a lot of pointless stress and frustration. It can make your inventory count go a lot quicker, too. Remember, time is money.

Acquire Pallet-Wrapping Equipment

Pallet-wrapping equipment can often simplify the process of inventory counting for businesses. This kind of equipment is able to offer you priceless product safeguarding. There are so many convenient and dependable choices in pallet wrapping machines out there nowadays as well. Some companies, such as Fox Packaging Services, know that business owners can make decisions that involve their individual items and requirements. Businesses can often choose between fully and semi-automatic options in pallet-wrapping equipment.

Depend on Digital Assistance

If you want your monthly inventory count to go off without a hitch, you should probably abandon the concept of writing things out by hand. Digital options can make assessing your inventory in full a lot more streamlined. There are many compact inventory tools accessible that can make life a lot easier for you. Mobile computers that you can hold in your hands can in many cases save you considerable amounts of time.

Businesses that are successful are organized, meticulous and thorough. If you want your business to be under that umbrella, you need to stress the need for monthly inventory counts. Precision should be your primary focal point.

Protect Your Business From Financial Blunders

Have you ever thought about how you’re going to protect your company if your finances take a turn for the worse? Your business is more vulnerable than you think and there are many problems that you could encounter that could send your finances down the drain. If you don’t think about this issue before it happens, you could be saying goodbye to your business a lot sooner than you’d like. Luckily there are ways to get ahead of the problem and protect your business before it gets that far. So, here are some of the best ways that we recommend to save your company from financial blunders.

Get The Right Insurance Plan

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You need to understand that many of the financial difficulties that you could face are not preventable. Consider the matter of a hack on your company. Most business owners would like to think that hacks can be avoided if they invest in the right IT support and put security systems in place. Unfortunately, many cyber threats will occur regardless of the defensive measures you choose to use. That’s why you need to make sure that you have insurance. With business insurance, if a financial issue does rock the foundations of your company, you can at least get the capital needed to stay afloat.

Be aware that you may need at least several different types of insurance in place to fully protect your company. For instance, it is always beneficial to have liability insurance to guarantee that a legal claim does not cost your small business a fortune.

Careful How You Invest Profits

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Many business owners will want to invest the profits or revenue of their company. It’s a great way to expand and grow your business funds. However, if you do this, you should think about hedging. An example of hedging would be derivative trading options such as cfds. According to CMC Markets, derivative trading options like this provide companies a certain degree of protection against changes that weren’t predicted or expected. For instance, a sudden rise in the cost of needed commodities or perhaps, currencies. The key message to take on board here is that you need to keep risk under control with business investments.

Fierce Yet Flexible 

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Plenty of company owners are intrigued and excited by the idea of growing their business beyond its current state. It’s true, if your business is going to survive, then it does need to evolve. However, you must work to keep your company model flexible enough so that it can handle sudden changes in the market that will impact your financial situation. Many business owners with expensive costs were caught off guard when the market shifted and ultimately crashed in 2008. Handling the costs and keeping them low will also allow you to fight back against larger competitors who can easily slash their prices and still make substantial profits.

We hope this helps you avoid the biggest financial blunders you can face with your company and guarantee that an issue with capital doesn’t bring your business model crashing down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Better To Fly Than Go Under The Wing

Long-term practices are what keeps the most successful businesses ahead of the curve. Small business can sometimes find making the big decisions that will affect their ability down the road maybe 2 to 3 years. But as someone who’s going it alone or hoping to stay independent as long as possible, not flying underneath somebody else’s wing is the way to go. Many times you can actually see why some small businesses have to become engulfed and bought out by their larger rivals. It’s mostly due to not planning ahead and not having the ability to cross the road from small to medium size. You’ll end up just being collateral and soon your name, brand and soul of the company will fade away. There are a few things you should consider if you’re not planning on putting a price on your longevity.

Partner up

You’re surrounded by a field of other entrepreneurs who all want to beat you and become successful in their own right. They will be in the same position you are in the fact that they’re punching up to their overbearing competition. In this regard, if and when you use the services and or products of a small but rival business, and you approve of the quality, there could be more that unites you than separates. This is especially true for businesses and people that are not necessarily in the same field. Therefore if you like a marketing team, a photography artist, a financial planning service, a sales team etc., you should attempt to partner with them. You’re mutually benefitting from being each other’s personal right hand man but crucially without any strings attached. All your partners can still work independently, but whenever there is a project that requires their skills, they’ll be on hand as pertaining to the contract.

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Photo by terimakasih0

A nationwide reach

In terms of successful communication, what is the most important thing for any business? It’s always being in reach of your customers. Morning, noon and night, weekday or weekend, holiday or not you must never have any kind of wall blocking you from direct contact with your consumer base. Millennials are changing the most popular form of communication via technology from calling someone to texting on smartphones. This is why you need your own number to call for your business. Take a look at the best text reminder service for business and how it could benefit you. As an entrepreneur, you think of yourself as small but might, you against the world. With an 800 number, you’re accessible nationwide. This gives the impression of a more professional business and doesn’t account for your small size. With this kind of service, you can send and receive text messages to and from customers. A gentle reminder about a sale you have on this week, maybe to tell customers about a new product being added to the line etc.

It’s not always better to go it alone, especially when you’re struggling and on the brink of collapse. But if your small business can fly under its own steam by planning the types of actions that will make sure you’re ready to upsize, you stand a better chance of survival.