Every Bit Counts: 5 Areas to Focus on to Improve Your Whole Business

Every business needs a little boost here and there with the success of a business often focused on the ability of a manager to see and reach their potential. A number of areas can be identified which are important for the future of a business, including the purchasing of new equipment and having faith in employees.

Trusting Your Employees

One of the most common areas of concern for a new manager or entrepreneur is entrusting the vision they have for their business to a group of employees. New managers and those responsible for establishing a business often feel they have to micromanage their employees to get the best results, but having faith in those you employ can result in new ideas and options for success in the future.

Take a Look at Your Current Situation

If you are looking to improve your entire business it is clear you believe new ideas are needed for the future of your career. The first step in understanding how to improve your business is to begin working to analyze every department of your business and begin understanding what is working and what is not. Analytics and the use of artificial intelligence in every industrial sector are changing the way business is being done around the world.

Use New Equipment to Improve Efficiency

A business can only work as well as the employees and equipment in place, which means outdated technology can cause major issues in any company. Small Business reports a Microsoft survey revealed millennials cite outdated equipment as the main problem with completing their work in a successful way. In many industries, the latest equipment is a requirement to reach business goals. For example, bakers need a lot of equipment. As technology advances they’ll need to update equipment. Therefore, they’ll need to find trustworthy companies to be their oven and industrial mixer suppliers.

Appearance Is an Important Part of Any Business

If you are involved in a business where clients regularly visit your office the first impression you make is always important. A clean, technologically up-to-date office space is vital to impressing existing and potential clients who will be important to the future success of your business. However, don’t fall into the trap of being something you’re not. For example, if your company boasts family-friendly services, a cozier atmosphere is probably the way to go.

Set out Clear Goals

The goals your business hopes to reach are an important part of your business and allows every member of your team to work together to achieve your stated aims. Making sure every member of your team understands the goals you have set out is important and should include a system for reviewing and addressing how successful your business has been.

Alongside making sure your business has the right equipment and tools to complete your stated aims, it is important to make sure you are clearly communicating your goals to your team. Addressing your goals and making sure they are being reached should form part of the culture of businesses of all sizes.

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.

7 Helpful Hacks to Get the Best Out Of Your Super Staff

When you started up your business, you never thought it would grow to the size it is today. You started off scribbling ideas on the corner of a notepad whilst in corporate meetings at your old 9-5 job. You knew this life just wasn’t for you and you longed for an escape from the rat race. Your initial business idea stemmed from your lifelong passions and since then it has grown into a somewhat successful company that you are extremely proud of. Although you have conquered a lot in the last few years, you are always looking for ways to build up your company. Hiring employees to help with your workload is the top of your priority list at the moment, but you have no experience in managing and recruiting a team of people. Bringing new people into your company is a scary step for any entrepreneur to take, but it will all be worth it in the long run. You need to focus on what is best for your company when hiring staff; once you know a person is going to fit in, you can then shift your focus onto them and nurture them as they progress through the ranks. You were once a new starter at a company, so you know how daunting this can be. Be kind, considerate and fair at all time and you will soon have a new team of super staff to be proud of.

  1. Innovative Interview Techniques

If you have never interviewed anybody before the thought of this might terrify you. However, you will have been through interview processes before in your previous jobs, so you will have more knowledge than you think. Write down the key traits you’re looking for from each candidate and don’t forget to research great exit interview questions. You will only be able to gain valuable information, by asking good questions. Use open questions to gain a deep insight into your prospective employees, so that you know you’re hiring the right person for the job.

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  1. Explain the Job Description Clearly

When you put out the advertisement for the job, make sure you are laying out the job description clearly and concisely. People can often be misled by job descriptions and this will ultimately end up wasting your time. You should clearly state the qualifications, background and experience you are looking for, as well as the salary details and start date. If you miss out this important information from the job description you might just be leading somebody on. You want people to know exactly what they are signing up for, so clearly list their roles and responsibilities before you offer them the job.

  1. Listen to their Problems

When somebody first starts working for you, they might not feel completely comfortable coming to you with their issues. Make it clear from the get go that you offer an open door policy in your workplace and you are available to talk at any time. You never know what people might be going through at home, so make time for them and help them out as best as you can.

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  1. Allow them to Progress

Every worker wants to know that their career will progress over time. Clearly outline the opportunities for promotion and progression to everybody who joins your company. They want to know there is something to work towards and it will keep them motivated every time they step into the office. Allow certain employees to shadow their superiors and offer insights into what their other colleagues do on a daily basis. Growing their knowledge and enhancing their skills will benefit you, them and your company as a whole.

  1. Trust Them

Nobody wants to be micromanaged at work; it is extremely demotivating and demoralizing. Make sure you establish a level of trust amongst your staff so that they feel free to carry out their duties effectively and without being judged. Schedule regular catch ups with each of your members of staff, so that you can monitor their progress regularly and talk about where improvements could be made. Equally, make sure you give them credit when they deserve it and offer incentives for those who are excelling.

  1. Spend Time Getting to Know Everyone

Your employees want to feel important and valued in your company, so don’t just see them as another body to carry out an important task. Get to know them on a human level and it will work in your favor. You will be able to learn their hobbies, likes and dislikes; this will actually help you to schedule them on shifts, organize business trips and other work related activities. You might find that someone is really interested in travelling, so they would be the ideal person to send on a business trip overseas. Getting to know people and how they operate will work wonders for your business as a whole.

  1. Socialize with your Employees

The time you spend with your staff doesn’t need to be limited to the office. Organize social events and seasonal activities so that everyone gets the chance to blow off some steam after a big deadline. Offer to take everybody out for a coffee at lunchtime, or throw a surprise birthday party on somebody’s special day. Socializing with your colleagues and going that extra mile is really important, as it helps you to build friendships and solid professional relationships outside of the workplace.

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Every entrepreneur has to take huge leaps at some point in their career and now it is your turn. Allow your company to grow and flourish, by hiring people that are going to be excellent representatives of your business. As long as you trust each individual and you treat them with respect you will be able to have excellent working relationships with them all. Over time you will become confident in your interview skills and managerial know how; your employees will grow to respect you and you will be setting yourself up for huge success in the future.

Bitcoin explained – What it is and where you can buy it

Many serious business people and investors have only a vague notion about what bitcoin actually is. If you ask them, there is a big chance that they will say: It has something to do with those cryptocurrencies that come up like mushrooms after the rain. If you’re reading this, chances are that you are a little bit confused too, so let’s get to the point.

Enabling direct transactions

Bitcoin is the world’s first cryptocurrency. It is entirely digital and not controlled by central authorities such as banks or governments. It was invented back in 2009, by an anonymous person under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. This still unknown person (or a group of people) was driven by an idea to enable sending and receiving payments without involving intermediaries, which is the case with traditional, government-issued currencies.

For example, if you’d like to use your credit card while traveling abroad, you will have to pay a fee to the bank that issued your card in order to make an international transaction. On the other side, bitcoin is absolutely independent of national states and banks and serves as a global currency. Given that there are no intermediaries, the transactions are performed directly, without the need for third-party fees.

Built on an absolute trust

A double-spending problem is another thing that motivated bitcoin founders to create the first decentralized currency. It represents a drawback in the standard monetary system; when the transfer of money is performed digitally, the digital files are used, and they can be duplicated or falsified. What it means is that someone with bad intentions can use this flaw to send or spend the same amount multiple times. Bitcoin is based on a technology that completely solves this problem. But how?

Bitcoin is based on a peer-to-peer technology called the blockchain. When someone sends some amount or buys goods and services using bitcoins, everyone in the bitcoin’s decentralized blockchain receives a copy of that transaction record. All the members of the blockchain then verify the transaction in order for it to be approved. Thus, the bitcoin network allows consensus among the members and eliminates the possibility of fraud or double spending.

The members of bitcoin’s blockchain network use very powerful hardware and software to inscribe these transactions into a digital ledger. This digital ledger contains records of all bitcoin transactions that have ever been made. The records about the transactions are called the “blocks”. In order to merge another block with the existing sequence of blocks, huge computational power is deployed by thousands of members (or the miners) that do it simultaneously.

An economic game-changer

Today we are witnessing a staggering rise in the value of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. Many people use cryptocurrency exchange platforms to invest in them. The value of these digital currencies changes every minute and users of these platforms buy them, wait for their price to rise and then sell them to earn a profit.

One of the best things about bitcoin is that you can use it regardless of the country you’re currently residing in. It can be used for purchasing a wide range of goods and services, such as hotels, flights, or even fast food. The infographic below illustrates interesting facts about bitcoin. It is clear that it will have a huge impact on the economy as we know it.

Bitcoin Infographics Kriptomat

A 5 Step Guide For Ensuring Customer Trust

There are plenty of things that go into making your business a success. Always improving your services and offerings is one, as is ensuring that you have the best talent available working for you. And there’s another crucial, sometimes underrated aspect of company success, too: customer trust. While many companies take this for granted, it’s something that can be a deal breaker between a person having a favorable view of your business, or not. But how do you go about gaining the trust of the public, anyhow? We take a look below.

Be Honest

A little white while may make you a quick buck, but it’ll also lose you a customer, so don’t do it. If you’re telling a customer that your absolute best price is X, then they say no, and you go down to Y, then you’ll have lost them forever: you had already told them your best price, and then you went back on it! It’s a much tactic just to stand tall and be honest, even if you think you might lose their business. They can always come back to you if they decide it’s a no this time, but they’ll never come back if you’ve lost their trust.

Always There

Now, no-one will be expecting you to be in the office all the time, fielding the calls from a customer that needs help. But they will expect a certain level of service, and standards. You should be replying to any queries within twenty-four hours, even if it means putting in an extra long day. And don’t forget your website: there’s nothing that will make a potential customer more skeptical of your business than a website that experiences downtime, so use a company like     www.bluehosting.pe and make sure you’re always online. Essentially, if a customer can reach out to you and get their information when they need it, then you’ll be on the path towards gaining their trust.

Undersell, Overdeliver

When it comes to business, you really should let your work do the talking for you. Avoid the temptation to oversell what you can do for a customer, instead opting to undersell and overdeliver. The word of mouth reviews you’ll get from people who were seriously impressed with your work will make it all worth it.

Delivering Bad News

Everyone makes mistakes, and you’re no different. There’s going to be a time when you seriously mess up with a customer, and there’ll be nothing that you can do about it. When this happens, make sure you’re holding your hands up straight away, and letting the customer know. They might not like what you have to say, but they’re not going to lose faith in you if you came clean at the first opportunity.

Treat Everyone the Same

Finally, remember to treat everyone the same, regardless of how much value they give your customer. It’ll show them that they’re more than just a dollar sign to your business. In any case, it’s the right way to be in life anyway!

 

Lock And Load: Your People Are Your Business’s Best Weapon

Creativity. Intelligence. Skills. Attitude. These are areas of the business that you want to excel, but it’s not something you can do alone. At the end of the day, most businesses are a collective of people who bring bits and pieces of these to the table. How they’re utilized, grown or stifled all depends on what kind of workplace they’re put in. As a boss, it should be your number one priority to get the best out of your employees.

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Engagement is your number one priority

Motivation, corporate culture, they’re all tools and parts of the core of any team. Engagement with their work. When people aren’t engaged, they don’t see a career or a calling. They see a list of tasks they have the skills to do. Getting them engaged makes them think more about what they do and what part they play in the whole. It gets them invested in the business and more likely to think creatively about what they can offer. Get your employees engaged by touching base with them. Find different ways to ask them about how they feel about their job and the direction of the business. Ask about concerns from the top levels of organization down to the everyday minutia that finds its way in their working life.

Negative gossip is your number one enemy

Cohesion is just as important to a workplace. Have no doubt, people will disagree on everything from working methods to their life-choices. But those disagreements shouldn’t get in the way of their work. If gossip is allowed to spread, it cuts communication and collaboration on projects. People are less willing to work with one another and more likely to pass responsibility. You need to handle negative gossip and disputes. As soon as you know of any perpetrators, start talking one-on-one. Try to get to the root cause of it without taking sides. Without getting into specifics, talk to the team as a whole, too. Try to get them to understand how it damages everyone in the end. Provide a channel for communicating criticism directly to address it. Not letting it fester under the surface of the working day.

Giving them a workplace fitting their talents

As important as communication is, you can’t neglect the environment that your staff works in, either. The office itself has a huge role to play. Physical characteristics such as more light and diverse spaces to work in improve productivity and morale. Cleanliness, good décor and visual branding increase pride of place. The better they feel about their workspace, the better they feel about the company providing it. Communal break areas also prove an excellent stress reliever for employees. They provide the opportunity for more cohesion, too.

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Showing real care for them

A suitable office space also includes ergonomically designed tables and chairs. This fights the risk of back pain and repetitive strain injury. Above all else, you need to consider your duty to your employees in providing a healthy, safe workplace. This means risk assessments and education on health issues should be common in the workplace. It also means that you should focus on health as being one of the major perks you offer your employees. You need to be looking at offers from places like http://oururgentcare.com/service-category/employer-services/. You need to offer them healthcare help that is more than token. You should be showing that you care for their health not just because it’s expected of you.

Trust is what builds a team

Beyond caring for them, you have to show them that you have some real belief in them as well. This means giving them the opportunity to step up. Giving them the opportunity to show their skills as well as developing new ones. You should have an employee development plan for everyone in your business, no matter their position. As well as providing training and career advice, you should provide responsibility, too. When your plate is full, your team can help you. Learn to delegate responsibilities that you believe someone is ready for. Don’t try to be the boss that thinks they have to handle everything themselves. Learn when to let go of the reins.

Treat them like customers

Far too many employers worry about whether or not their employees are expendable. They fear having someone who would be difficult to let to. Instead, you should be thinking about how to retain them. Treat them like customers. How do you offer them what they need to stay with you? Offering career progression alongside the other points mentioned above is an important part of that. At the same time, you need to recognize when it is also time to let someone go. If someone has no more progress to be made with you, you should even help them find a new position. You never know what they might be in future and they won’t forget how well you treated them.

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Work together towards better results

Let’s look at the conversation is around performance and productivity. In them, too often employers take the role of the wagging finger from above. Telling them they’re not doing well enough and better shape up. That helps no-one. It just makes your employee afraid and insecure in their job. Instead, get on their level, as suggested by https://www.hrbartender.com/2013/employee-engagement/how-to-have-a-performance-conversation-with-an-employee/. If they’re doing well, ask how they do it. See what they’ve brought to the job what you might not have expected. If they’re not doing well, find out the in-depth processes of their work. See if there are methods you can help them change or engagement problems you can help fix. Find measurements you can use together to track progress, like key performance indicators.

You should legitimately care about your staff and put the time into building them. Then you have a lot more than a platform for delivering products and services. You have a team of people dedicated to a cause, with the engagement and skills to keep excelling even without your guiding hand. For any owner, there’s no better indication of how successful a business idea can be.

 

Price Transparency and Healthcare

healthcare_pricingWhether you’re in the healthcare industry or not, it’s always helpful to be upfront with your pricing. Price transparency gives consumers a clear understanding of their financial obligations before moving forward, which is especially important in the medical field.

Here are just a few reasons price transparency is a must in healthcare as well as other industries:

Price Transparency and Healthcare

Nowhere is price transparency more important than in the field of healthcare. Why?

Well, healthcare isn’t a want; it’s a need for everyone. Patients can’t walk away from a critical surgery or life-saving procedure because they want a better price. That’s why upfront, transparent pricing is so important.

When it comes to price transparency in healthcare, there are many distinctions that must be made in terms of cost.

From out-of-pocket expenses to deductibles and co-payments, the more accurate hospitals are with pricing, the better prepared the purchaser (i.e. patient) will be. In the eyes of patients and general consumers, knowing the price of a product or service before purchasing is a fundamental right.

With that said, there are a number of reasons why accurate, upfront pricing is a must for the medical industry and businesses of all kinds.

Customer Satisfaction

No matter what type of business you run, customer satisfaction should always be a top priority. Not providing your customers with upfront, accurate pricing will wreak havoc on your customer satisfaction goals.

Nobody likes being hit with an unexpected bill or surprise fees.

The article “Healthcare Price Transparency: 5 Reasons It Should be a Priority” offers plenty of insight on the topic of transparent pricing.

If customer satisfaction is a priority for your business, then it’s time to put your pricing, costs, and fees in the spotlight – it’s that simple.

Accurate Pricing = Trust

Price transparency goes further than customer satisfaction. In fact, by offering your customers’ transparent pricing, you can build a level of trust that turns one-time shoppers into lifelong customers.

What you charge for your goods and services should always be obvious. Pricing is the driving force behind consumerism. Without it, you could decide to charge your customers whatever you wish, which isn’t fair or ethical.

Without upfront pricing, customers will have a hard time trusting your business. However, by offering price transparency from the start, your customers will know exactly where they stand financially.

Likewise, transparent pricing also means your business won’t waste its time selling a product to customer who can’t afford that product to begin with.

Hassle-Free Transactions

When business transactions are hassle-free, it benefits both the customer and the business.

Price transparency helps clear up any pricing questions before they turn into a cost-related issue. This, of course, makes each transaction much smoother and saves your business countless hours answering questions and calls from unhappy customers.

By putting all of your prices and fees in the spotlight, your customers will know exactly how much they’ll be spending. This will help avoid any surprises at the checkout aisle or when your customers receive their bills.

From the medical world to businesses of all kinds, it’s plain to see that price transparency is a wise move.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including healthcare and customer satisfaction.

Do You Truly Love Your Employees?

Did you know that the average person changes jobs more than 10 times during his or her career?

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People change jobs for all sorts of reasons – including switching industries, moving, being offered a pay increase at a different company or simply not liking the company that they’re at. Here, we’re focusing on the last reason and giving you some reasons to show your employees some love.

By treating your employees well and offering a good benefit’s package, you’re more likely to keep people working for you for the long-term.

Ways to Show Appreciation

Let’s face it – without your employees, you don’t have much of a business.

Once your business starts growing, you have to hire people to take some of the workload off of your shoulders. One person can only do so much.

Your employees can either make or break your business, so it’s important to not only hire the right people, but to also keep those people working for you.

The following article, “14 Stats about Valentine’s Day (plus how to show your employees some love), shares some tips on spreading the love in the workplace.

The benefit to you is that you will have happy employees who work hard and appreciate the opportunity to work for you. There’s no better employee than a thankful one.

Ways to show employees love include thanking your team, trusting them with their own responsibilities (not micromanaging) or giving them something extra, such as freshly baked cookies or an afternoon off from work.

Other ways to show your employees that you appreciate them include:

  • Have team-building activities once a month – Usually, people at the office end up being friends with one another. A great way to foster these friendships is by hosting monthly get-togethers with all of your employees. You can take everyone to a ballgame one afternoon, invite everyone over for dinner at your place one night or go bowling on a random Wednesday afternoon.
  • Keep your employees in the loop – No one likes to attend meetings, but employees do like to feel like they know what’s going on with the company. A good idea is to host a quarterly meeting providing updates with how the company is doing, where the company is headed and what goals you’d like to accomplish over the next several months. Keeping everyone on the same page boosts employee morale and shows you appreciate their work.
  • Keep a positive attitude daily – In other words, thank your employees every day for their hard work. Let them know you appreciate what they’re doing for the company and that you wouldn’t be where you are today if it weren’t for them. Some managers bring in breakfast for their employees every Friday or host potluck lunches once a week. Take a poll and see what your employees would like from you and make sure to follow through.

By regularly showing your employees you appreciate them, you’re more likely to keep your employees for the long-term.

About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, NC. She writes on a variety of topics including small businesses, social media and personal finance.