Hospitality – One of the Most Important Skills Leader Should Have

The hospitality industry is a peculiar field, seeing as how you’re selling a general feeling, rather than just a product or a commodity. You see, there are some hotels or restaurants that simply feel cozy, welcoming and pleasant to be at, without really excelling in anything. We all have that one hotel that wasn’t the cheapest, the most luxurious or the best equipped but that we have fond memories of. Chances are that a person would return to this hotel, even if they encounter a superior offer elsewhere. In the hospitality industry, it’s all about return visitors and the only way to acquire them is to create a positive experience the first time around. Here are several skills that a leader should have to facilitate this process.

1. Communication skills

The first thing you need to understand is the fact that the organization of your hotel greatly depends on your ability to organize everything. However, making a solid plan doesn’t mean much if you can’t find a way to convey it to your staff. Moreover, there are some guests that demand or require special treatment and it’s your job to accommodate them. Either way, in the digital era, communication skills need to be used both orally and in writing. Needless to say, the latter comes in many different formats. Circular emails can replace meetings while IM tools can keep your team coordinated at any given moment. Even when it comes to your marketing, you need to become good at conveying the message.

2. Being a good listener

Previously, we put an emphasis on your ability to convey a message, however, what about your ability to receive feedback. You see, showing interest in what people are telling you is just one of many ways to make them instantly like you. Dale Carnegie talked quite a bit about this in his iconic book How to Win Friends and Influence People, nonetheless, this is not all that active listening is good for.

The problem with your vision of your hotel/restaurant lies in the fact that you know all the details and see all those behind-the-curtain parts that other people won’t be able to see. Therefore, you don’t have a real idea of what your business looks like from the outside. By listening, really listening to people, you’ll get a much more realistic view of your business, as a whole. This will give you an opportunity to further emphasize its strengths and fix all your weaknesses.

3. Willingness to self-improve

Being a hospitality manager takes a lot of responsibility and there’s really no limit to how good you can become in this field. The problem, nonetheless, lies in the fact that learning from experience will be limited to situations that you and your staff have encountered, which is an unreliable didactic method, to say the least. Instead of believing that hospitality is an intuitive career path, you should find a suitable course and enlist on it.

Needless to say, this will provide you with a certificate that you can use with your marketing, later on, as well as the knowledge you can apply on a daily basis. Moreover, it’s completely up to you whether you study just enough to get a diploma or if you embark on this adventure to revolutionize your business. Keep in mind that you’ll also have to be quite resourceful, at times, and provide yourself with necessary hospitality training resources. These learning materials come in various forms and are of varying quality, which is also something you need to take into consideration.

4. Cultural awareness

The next thing that a leader in the field of hospitality needs to understand is the fact that you’ll probably receive guests from all over the world. Now, in theory, a guest is supposed to adjust to the culture of their target country (your culture), however, as a business, you need to go above and beyond to be welcoming and… well, welcoming. This is why cultural awareness matters. This doesn’t mean that you should greet every single one of your visitors in their native tongue but you could, at very least be aware that they’re coming from a different culture and give them some room to breathe. Don’t be too pushy, too talkative or try to engage with them physically (even if you see it as nothing more than a handshake).

5. Multi-tasking

The next important skill you need to master is multi-tasking, seeing as how you might be required to handle several tasks at the same time. In the middle of the season, you’ll have the place full and your staff will work at its maximum capacity. Other than this, you might also employ some seasonal workers, which will require more supervision than your own in-house staff. This is all the more reason why you need to be able to handle several tasks, at the same time and perform admirably under pressure.

6. Emotional resilience

As a leader, you’ll be responsible for every success and every failure of your business. However, you need to understand that you can’t allow either of these two sensations to overwhelm you. Receiving a positive review or comment might help motivate you but becoming overconfident is a negative thing and could potentially set your back, professionally. Receiving a negative piece of feedback might demoralize you and make you start doubting yourself even wanting to quit for good. Keep in mind that different people have different requirements and expectations. This subjective standpoint that every visitor has is the main reason why you’ll never be able to please (or disappoint) everyone.

In conclusion

The very last thing you need to understand is the fact that the field of hospitality is an umbrella term that consists of many different business options. Needless to say, each of these adds another variable to the set of skills that you need to possess for success. Nonetheless, the top six factors are universally important and contribute to the overall level of your organization. Put together, they make you a great host and take your hospitality to a next level.

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How to Throw a Great Office Party

Office holiday parties’ are usually memorable events – but not always for the right reasons. Lack of foresight and adequate planning can result in an office party that’s awkward at best and a complete disaster at worst. This list of things that can go wrong at an office party is a long one, but does that mean you should ditch the idea altogether? Of course not!

Office parties are actually one of the best ways to raise employee morale, improve group dynamic, and help your co-workers de-stress. An office party is also a valuable opportunity to get to know your colleagues better and find out more about how they function as a team.

With some clever planning and the help of these next few tips, you’ll be guaranteed to throw a great office party:

The right time

Don’t let all those epic party favors you have in store go to waste by picking the wrong date for your office party. Choosing the most convenient date is the first step to take when organizing a party for your colleagues. Since it’s practically a given that most of your fellow employees will have a schedule full of events they want to attend during the holiday season, you need to plan your party early and set the date at least a few months in advance.

While Saturday might seem like an obvious choice, keep in mind that not everyone will be willing to sacrifice their weekend for an office party. Mid-week is your best bet if you want to maximize the chances of a great turnout. Make sure you check the calendar in order to avoid conflicts with public holidays, and if you want to be extra safe, you can always set up an e-mail poll and let your guests vote on the date that suits them best.

A fun theme

Is there anything worse than a bland and boring office party? Since corporate parties often get a bad rep for forced niceties, awkward conversations, and flavorless food, you want to give your guests an actual reason to attend voluntarily. So put your thinking cap on and try to come up with a fun party theme that everyone will enjoy.

Theme parties are not just for children’s birthdays. In fact, there’s nothing like an awesome theme party to let you unwind after a long day of being a responsible adult. The theme for your office party can be anything from pop culture and sports to game shows and sports. Set aside enough time to make a list of options and then try to pick a theme that matches your guests’ personalities and interests.

 

Pre-event buzz

Creating pre-event excitement is one of the key ingredients for a great office party. This is also a clever way to gauge employee interest and estimate the number of people who are actually going to show up. If you’re running low on creativity, there are tons of fun office party invitation templates online that you can print out or mail to your guests.

Or simply use the power of social media to spread the word about the party and generate some much-needed buzz. You can create a Facebook event and spark the invitees’ interest by giving them a snippet of what they can expect at the office party – it can be anything from pictures of mouth-watering food to a cool music playlist that are bound to get everyone excited weeks before the actual event.

Food to please everyone

Let’s face it – lousy food can either make or break your corporate party, which means you really don’t want to take any chances when it comes to the menu. Don’t risk ruining your office party with sketchy food items and leave the catering to professionals. But what kind of catering should you choose? While options are many, one thing is for sure – few people would object to a tasty Spanish-inspired menu.

Paellas, tapas, and canapés come in many different flavors that will suit all palates and dietary needs. Hiring a reliable paella catering service such as Tapas Market catering is a foolproof way to ensure your office party is remembered for the scrumptious food. Letting experienced caterers take care of the food and drinks will prevent any menu-related mishaps that can leave a bad taste in employees’ mouths even long after the party is over.

5 Small Business Ideas for Women Entrepreneurs

The reason why running a small business is so hard is due to the fact that it takes too much time and energy for one to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Needless to say, for female entrepreneurs who also hope of starting a family, this might be even more challenging. Fortunately, we now live in a time when there are so many options available, that it shouldn’t be impossible for you to find something that can fit even in the tightest of schedules. With that in mind and without further ado, here are five small business ideas for women entrepreneurs.

1. Home-based catering business

The first idea that comes to mind is to start your own catering business, which you can further specialize by taking only certain types of events. For instance, you can specialize in corporate catering, small business catering or catering for parties. In order to achieve this, nonetheless, you need to compose a menu that you can work with, as well as find suppliers for, have an adequate kitchen facility and make sure that you follow sanitary rules and regulations. Also, the type of the event also mandates the size of your operations. Doing a catering for a huge wedding requires more hands, equipment, supplies and time than doing so for a small office party.

2. Creative freelance work

The next thing you can consider is doing some creative freelance work like writing content, blogging, selling photographs online and similar issues. The advantages of freelancing are numerous and straightforward. You work from home, which means that you can multitask while you’re at it (even though this drastically cuts down on your efficiency and productivity). Second, you get to choose your own work hours, which gives you the freedom to make a schedule with a better work-life balance. Lastly, there’s so much room for growth and advancement. In other words, you can start this out as a hobby or a source of side-income and, in time, turn it into a full-time.

3. Beauty therapy

Another great idea that you could pull off is start a business within your own home where you can meet, greet and treat clients. All you need is to take a single room that you’ll set aside as a home office, get the necessary equipment, purchase a brochure display for some brochures and flyers and get right into it. Offering services in the field of beauty therapy are always popular and quite profitable, yet, they this field is usually quite competitive. This is why getting a degree from a recognized educational institution like Perth Beauty College might help you get the reputation boost that you’ve needed all along.

4. Developing an app

Even though it’s true that this field requires a lot of specialization and technical prowess, the truth is that app-development has never been easier. In fact, there are some app builders out there that work on a drag-and-drop principle, meaning that all you need is a new idea in order to put your plans into action. Sure, sticking to these simplistic tools keeps you somewhat restricted in options, yet, this is still an option and, once you start earning money from this, it might be worth your while to learn a thing or two more about app development.

5. Online tutoring

One more business idea that you could try out is tutoring people online. If you have a skill, knowledge of a language that’s in demand or anything similar, you can find students online and hold lectures via a webcam in order to make an income. For those who are still unsure about how all of this work, they can always find an agency that provides these services and start working from them. Later on, you can find your own clients and enjoy the luxury of not having to share your profit with anyone else. In time, you can even start hiring tutors and make an agency of your own.

In conclusion

As you can see, these ideas greatly differ in business type and model, which leaves you with so much room for customization. This will allow you to make a business model that fits your own lifestyle and aspirations. Also, it gives you a chance to slowly scale your business over the course of time.

Benefits of Partnership Between Employers and Training Providers

The partnership between employers and training providers is important for both small businesses and massive corporations alike. Small business owners find this to be a frugal option, seeing as how they can’t afford to hire experts, which means that they are forced to train their own employees to become experts. As for the big companies, by having a solid collaboration with an RTO, they can customize the training program so that it fits the needs of their company. In other words, they’re not training niche experts, in general; instead, they’re training experts with a specific set of skills necessary for the position that they’re about to assume. Here are several benefits of this partnership that you should know about.

1. The choice of target skills

When it comes to traditional, formal education, its biggest downside is the fact that it gives an uniformed format of education, instead of specializing. This is where RTOs have a much greater advantage. Instead of training your entire staff to do a plethora of tasks around the office, you, as an employer, get to choose courses that benefit your brand the most. Needless to say, this makes your job of delegating tasks much simpler, as well, seeing as how you get to assign functions to your staff according to their skills and abilities. This can also help you avoid a lot about bias in choosing functions for team members.

2. Preparing for the future

The most important thing about the company’s future is the consistency of staff. Now, the problem in this lies in the fact that people leave your employ all the time. They go someplace else, start projects of their own, retire or even go on leave. The latter might not fall under the same category as the first three, yet, it still makes a team member unavailable. So, you need to have someone capable to take their place in order not to allow for an absence of a single team member to cause downtime. Moreover, you need to plan for the growth, which is why you need to start preparing your staff in time. By having assistance from VET professionals, you can easier anticipate these changes and get a better understanding of the process necessary to prepare your staff for this.

3. Setting objectives

Perhaps the biggest advantage, and the most underestimated one out there is your ability to set the objectives for the training. Namely, this training costs effort, time and resources. We’re not just talking about paying for the course but also providing your employees with materials like Compliant Learning Resources. So, you need to know that you’re getting your money’s worth from this deal. You need to know how the performance of the employee will improve after the training. Other than this, you need to know how this will affect your employee retention rate. The last thing you need is for someone to complete the training, under your tutelage and sponsorship only to leave you once a better offer arrives.

4. Including your employees

Keep in mind that while employee training is a positive thing, it’s not necessarily seen as such by an employee who sees it as mandatory and unnecessary. For instance, sending someone on a course that will prepare them to do a task that they don’t really care about might cause the employee to leave or, at very least, underperform. Instead, you need to allow your team members to become an active participant in the decision-making process. This can be much more efficient with the sufficient amount of collaboration with the training provider. In fact, putting in touch the employee in question and the training provider is the kind of networking that works to everyone’s benefit.

5. Internal vs. outsourced training

At the very end, it’s important to mention that there’s another form of employee training, one that’s much more common, yet, also the one that we’ve failed to mention so far. We’re talking about the internal or the in-house training. This either requires you to hire trainers or appoint some of your team members as mentors (start a mentoring program). Such a course of action will tailor your mentoring program to the needs of your company and generate materials to be reused in the future. Nonetheless, by teaming up with the right training provider and learning material supplier, you can achieve all of that with the addition of a much higher quality of training program. After all, we’re talking about specialized RTO.

In conclusion

At the very end, a partnership between employers and training providers is a business world occurrence that takes place virtually every single day. In other words, it’s something that deeply affects your business model and your business plans. Still, until you know all the benefits that you get to reap from this relationship, you won’t be able to tell just how cost-effective it is to invest your time and resources to make it all happen.

Thinking of Building the Right Office For Your Startup? Here’s What You Need to Know

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. The long hours, the work you need to pick up, hell, even the loneliness. But, there are certain landmarks, certain milestones that can really show you that you are on the right track. No matter how banal, or simple, or some would even call trite, you understand what they are and why they matter.

So, imagine just seeing your name on an office. The name of your company, something you prouder your heart and soul into, and there it is. A start-up’s office is a concrete, real evidence that you are moving in the right direction. Furthermore, it’s gonna be your home for quite some time. If you want to push through and achieve real success, well, expect a couple of sleepless nights at the desk. So why not make that desk, and the big concrete box surrounding it, as pleasant as possible?

But, you need to set things up right, and set them up soon. There are many ways you can do this, and while the final choice is up to you, below are some tips you can keep in mind. We of course know that this is something you have been dreaming for ages – what entrepreneur hasn’t already planned out the perfect office in his or her mind. But, of course, reality always sets in.

 

Baby steps

However, this ended up sounding grim, but it’s anything but. These are the great growing stages of your company. You get new employees, you have different sections, areas and departments. Change is coming, and you need to make room for it. You start with just a few members, but soon end up with who knows how many.

But, the grim factors here are money and rules. First, you will need to set up a proper plan. Then, budget everything up, contact good contractors, get good roofers, plumbers, electricians. Of course, you need to find the right location, figure out how to market everything, what to do, who to call… So, what to do first?
Furthermore, you need to get the proper licenses. All inspections, every inch of the place needs to be up to code. Are you renting or buying, or building? If you’re building, contact another entrepreneurial company, like Jonishan civil contractors in Sydney. Of course, if you’re nowhere near Sydney, you should still consider hiring “local talent”. Medium and small-sized companies and startups are in a realm of their own, and you’d be surprised by just how much better they are when compared to mega-corporations.

Space is everything

 

We understand that a startup setting up a new office doesn’t really have the funds to buy a renovated castle. However, the last thing you want is for your people to feel cramped, and for the workstations to start suffocating them.

So, in some areas you compromise, some you completely write off, and for some, well, either be laxer or get more money. Many architects advise that you have a dedicated meeting room, as well as a kitchen and dining area. However, try to set things up in such a manner that if there are any differing parents that they are close together. Don’t divide them with the break room, keep them close. This will facilitate better communication, and will nurture intercompany relations.

Remember that if you are working with clients, that you place the reception area away from the actual workroom. You don’t want your employees losing their concentration. A good layout would be something like this, from left to right: work area, break room and bathrooms, and then the reception area. You can reach the reception area either through a small hall, or directly through the break room, depending on your means.

You are free

A bit of a corny subheading, we know, but bear with us. You are a startup. Not MegaCorp TM. You have a lot of freedom and room to maneuver. You can choose to do what is the most efficient and, quite honestly, fun. As long as your people are doing their job, and doing it well, making them feel better is just a big perk. For example, you don’t need to have a robotic cubicle area. Why not have lazy bags, exercise ball chairs, specialized furniture… You can even invest in a self-serve kitchen in the break room

The point here is to do what is right for you, and your employees. Of course, the reception area should be as serious and as professional as your profession needs it to be. But on the other hand, quite honestly, why not have some extra freedom?

You are not supposed to impress your investors with your office. Sure, a clean, upscale building does signify that you are successful, that you know what you are doing. But what goes inside this building that is up to you and your team. They should be impressed by the products and services you provide, and the manner in which you provide them. Anything more is just being greedy.

 

 

 

4 Reasons Your Business Startup Needs Storage Space

In 2014 over 450,000 businesses were started in the United States. The constant economic growth post the 2008 economic crisis has been showing its face for a while now. One of the costliest expenses in any industry is space. Whether it is for storage, office or a production line, enough space is required for our enterprise to function properly. The ever-increasing prices of real estate make this a problem. Even more so for small businesses that are just getting started. The typical square footage being rented for a new small business usually revolves around 1,000. With the introduction of desks, electronic equipment, cubicles, and other office necessities, we do not have a lot of room left to work with. And renting additional space is not an option, again, because of the expenses involved. Here are the key points on how renting proper, adequate storage space is beneficial to our bottom line.

 

1. Optimizing space

 

When we lease some space, we need enough of it to house everything and everyone we need for business to run properly. And these are just the skeleton crew and the infrastructure. Even then, at the end of the day, we are left with very little room for anything else. In our beginner stage at least, it would not be a financially sound idea to rent additional space. This is the point where we can consider renting dedicated storage units. These are typically characterized by lower monthly rent, which makes it perfect for pure storage. Here we can leave advertising materials, filing cabinets, supplies of any kind, raw materials, desks, chairs, you name it. It is a good solution if you have a lot of assets of any kind that are not going to be immediately used.

 

2. Safety first

 

Another advantage of storage units over our garage is the level security it provides. Most facilities have constant video surveillance, guard personnel, pin-locks, perimeter fencing, and much more. The site manager will be onsite most of the time for any questions or need we might have. Also, we can distribute different pin codes for the locks on our units. What this will do, is provide us with detailed logs on who, when, and why has entered the storage unit. Also, there are contracts where we can ensure the contents inside our storage unit. For an extra fee, of course.

 

3. Redundancy

 

In the event of a catastrophe, heavens forbid, our stored assets will be safe off-site. Fires, especially electrical ones, flooding, and various natural disasters all pose a serious threat to our business. No matter where we find ourselves in the world, there is always some specificity we have to pay attention to. Sometimes it is just some cosmic joke or very bad luck at play. The saying “Do not put all your eggs in one basket” really starts to sound smart right about now. If we store our inventory, valuable equipment, and other company assets in the same place, that is a disaster waiting to happen. By separating our stored assets to multiple locations, we sever the chances of losing everything if worst comes to pass. This way if something does happen, at least we have a base to rebuild on, as we have not lost everything.

 

4. Going vertical

 

Since space is so expensive these days, we can maximize what we already have by going up, instead of to the side. Finding storage space with a higher ceiling, sort of speak will pay in the long run, greatly. By storing our assets vertically, we avoid renting greater surface areas which, obviously, cost more money. Yes, we would need to invest in scaffolding to form our giant storage shelves. Also, finding reliable electric forklifts in Australia, such as NFM Forklifts will prove to be very beneficial. They will save a lot of time and work hours by helping with the storing of assets at higher elevations. These initial investments will cost a bit more at the start but will save you money greatly in the long run. Not being forced to rent a second or even a third storing site can mean the difference between profit and going under. This reigns especially true for smaller companies in their initial phase of doing business.

 

Today’s global market is very atomized and competitive. There is always someone wanting their piece of the industry. By having a competitive advantage, no matter how small, these companies are at an advantage financially. Every dollar counts, especially when starting a business. One of the best ways to save money is to be rational with our leased-out space. Renting the smallest adequate space, but making the most of it is the winning recipe for running a successful business. No matter if your enterprise is a product based one or not, take as much away from these lessons and apply them yourself, today.

Security Measures To Employ On Your Company Property

Disasters and accidents happen. It’s an inevitable part of both life and of doing business. That’s why you should think of any financing of safety measures as an investment. An investment in the future, that will save you a great deal of grief and anger once and if tragedy does strike. Some of these can be introduced once you actually have your business set up, while some are only effective If you take them into consideration before you even open your enterprise.

We understand that this can be costly, but what costs even more, is damage control once you get robbed or once your assets get damaged. And while natural disasters and the malice of other people can’t really be controlled, you should do everything you can to minimize their effects over you. Below are some tips that you may find useful to keep your business safe.

The location

 

The first thing you should do is think about where you want to open your business in the first place. Of course, you need to take into account your budget and means, as well as any local competitors. So, if you can, try to avoid opening your company in a high-crime area. However, this can be more a matter of budgeting. For example, let’s say you want to open a company in Melbourne. You need to decide whether you want to buy quality automatic gates in Australia, and move into a seedy neighborhood, or pay a higher rate and forgo the gates (or whichever security system you choose). It’s essentially a balancing act.

An interesting thing to point out is that high-crime areas, while dangerous, tend to lack many businesses. So you may end up with very weak and soft competition.

What to get

 

Next, what equipment do you need. There are lots of items people get, but the most useful are usually steel security doors, alarm systems, and folding gates. Doors are pretty obvious, but gates and alarms still require a bit more deliberation. Folding gates are metal sheets that cover their storefront. However, these can be an eyesore, even in poorer areas.

Alarm systems are always a good idea, but they can be expensive. Cameras are an excellent choice for any retail, sales business. In fact, they should pretty much be mandatory. However, for office-based businesses, it’s enough to get a camera for each entrance, just in case.

Bullet-proof glass and safes should be set up in very high-risk areas, for business that have very valuable equipment. Furthermore, getting gates, fences, and other protection around the company yard will help ward off any would-be robbers. Hiring a security guard is even better.

Measures to implement

 

It’s not enough to just throw money at the problem, you also need to rethink the way you do things. First, think about all your electronic gadgets. These are very easy and popular targets, because of the ease and price at which you can sell them. Be sure that they are locked away safely. Never leave them unattended. The same goes for handbags and wallets.

Furthermore, promote security measures. If you have cameras or guard dogs, place signs everywhere to let would-be burglars know. This will make them think twice about infiltrating your place. Furthermore, let your staff know this as well. Promote security and safety-mindfulness.

 

Employee focus

 

Besides making your people be aware of all the safety measures you implement, you should also train them accordingly. Now, this is different from business to business, but they should essentially be trained in how to report and record malicious activity, how to follow security procedures (like locking and setting up the safety protocols), and how to deal with any aggressive individuals.

If you can, set up and promote safety training courses. Get an authorized individual safety coordinator to help you out. Here they can teach them how to handle an aggressive individual that may enter the place of work. It will also teach them how to safely handle money, how to stay safe when walking to their cars at night from work, as well as how to handle themselves.

Finally, you should teach them how to handle sensitive information. This is especially important for the IT sector. Essentially, cyber security measures, tricks and tips.

 

Conclusion

 

Getting robbed can be devastating and damaging, both for your finances and for morale. That’s why you should invest properly in setting up your office’s security system. We’re not talking about only an alarm system, but also getting the right gear, blinders, fences, gates. Furthermore, you should train your people accordingly. They should know what to do in case of danger, and how to handle sensitive information. If you follow these rules properly, you will definitely minimize any risk of damage or thievery.

7 Design Tips For Your Startup Office

Workspace is not merely the place where people work, but it is a microcosm of its own. The design of an office space is by all means not trivial, especially for startups. For them, every little detail can make or break the newly founded company. Office space design can be used not only to boost productivity but the much-needed creativity which guarantees that the product or service provided by the startup will be a hit in the market. We have compiled a list of 7 design tips that you can use for your startup.

Colors

Choosing the right overall color is interior design one-on-one. When it comes to office space, then mild colors are the way to go. You can choose a shade to your liking, even orange or yellow. However, don’t implement tacky colors as they will distract the employees from the work beforehand. The safest option would be the color grey and all of its numerous shades. This can be coupled with brown furniture or black and white wallpapers.

Plants

Although office space is usually located in an urban area, that does mean that nature is unwelcome here. There should be plants all around the office if nothing, then at least small potted ones. If you really wish to make the space verdant, then use climbers that can be placed near window areas. They will act are sculptural ornaments and help the employees relax by reducing stress levels. This increases productivity and has many more benefits for the workforce.

Plenty of light

Placing plants in the office will ensure there is enough air, but there should be plenty of light as well. If the office is way high up in a skyscraper, make use of this by keeping the window panes unobstructed. Dim spaces make the workers sleepy or moody which is not the effect you want to achieve. Also, try not to pile up stuff inside the office since the impression of spaciousness and airiness is lost.

Mats

Your office should be trendy and modern. Believe it or not, but floor mats are the latest trend, so make sure they are in front of every door. Their sole purpose is not only wiping feet, but there are anti-slip and anti-fatigue mats as well. If the workspace is dangerous in any way, you might consider placing these around the hazardous area. Also, you can order personalized mats that the best employees could choose the design for each month, for example.

Books

Walls can be perceived as canvases for artwork, but there is an even better way to cover them. Order customized shelves that will be stocked up with books, and a lot of them. This will add to the uniqueness of the space and individuality you wish to develop in your employees. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to peruse through the books they like during the pauses. If you have trouble acquiring the books in large quantities, go to the local library, books are written off all the time. Some of them are even vintage-bound, which is another design point to adhere to.

Vintage and modern

If the office is all vintage styled, then you are turning it into a lounge for hipsters and not much work will be done. On the other hand, if it’s all modern, then it becomes too sterile for any creative work to be carried out. The answer is not in the extremes but in the balance between vintage and modern elements that will add a touch of luxury to the space.

The meeting room

So far, we haven’t discussed particular rooms inside the office. The reception desk and lounge areas have their importance, but it is the meeting room that should receive the most attention. This is the places where important decisions are made and where productivity and creativity should reach their peak. Design this room separately by choosing different colors and furnishing it differently from the rest of the office. If possible, make it more luxurious as well.

From the color palette to wall decorations, a startup office should be all about balance. Interior design should reflect the work-life balance you wish to accomplish in your employees. This way they will have a chance to be creative and show their full potential. Properly decorating the office space should be an integral part of any startup’s business strategy.

8 Financial Tips for Startup Entrepreneurs

Startup entrepreneurs have a lot to handle and for that, they deserve a round of applause. However, there are several things they always need to keep in order to see their business ventures grow. One of those and probably the most important one is paying attention to finances.

In order to keep that in check, here are several financial tips and recommendations that will help you manage your finances more efficiently.

1. Value your time

One of the most important things you can do for your startup is to value your time. This means you will have to organize well and spend less time on things that spend money, like unnecessary meetings.

For example, instead of traveling and paying restaurant bills, choose the meetings that can be done with video chat and conference calls. This is especially useful if you have to travel internationally or have several meetings per day. Although you won’t be able to do all the meetings this way, after prioritization you will notice considerably fewer expenses for this.

2. Expect the worst

Bad things will happen so it’s always wise to have a contingency plan when that happens. Set aside savings that will cover your expenses for at least six months if you experience a financial setback. That is enough to get you covered and give you enough time to resolve the issues and determine what to do next.

3. Manage your cash flow

Running out of money is the most common reason startups fail. Therefore, you must know where your money is coming from and on what you are spending it. This is a basic cash flow management which is an integral part of any business and staying on top of it is imperative for success.

In order to do so, create a financial plan that will include all the expenses and stick to it. Leave some room for unpredicted expenditures, but always make sure that you are within your designated budget.

4. Define your goals

You can’t create an effective financial plan without defining your business goals. They will tell you exactly how much money you will need, as well as help you prioritize your activities. The best way to define the goals is through milestones and deadlines.

This will help you mitigate the risks of wasting time on unsuccessful ideas by providing you means to track your progress. If you notice that something needs adjusting and improving, you will notice it through milestones and be able to fix it in time.

5. Keep an eye on your credit score

During your startup business venture, you will probably have to apply for capital finance loans. In order to approve your application, the creditors will evaluate your credit score. If your credit score is bad, you will probably either be declined for a loan or get unfavorable conditions, like a higher interest rate.

To avoid this, you can be careful with your finances from the start in order to have a better score. For example, pay your bills on time, take care of your debts, and don’t overspend on your credit cards’ balance.

6. Keep records of expenses

Keeping a record of your expenses is demanding, but it is also as important as creating a budget and business plan. First of all, you will need this information for taxes and creditors if you decide to apply for the loan. Secondly, it will help you track your spending habits which you can then change if not appropriate or damaging to your finances.

If you don’t have the time for this even with a bookkeeping software, hire an accountant to do so. They will not only know what to do but will also advise you on the best course of action in case of trouble.

7. Invest in your employees

Depending on your finances, you can invest in your employees in order to boost productivity, but also to prevent bigger expenses. By paying and organizing for regular medical checks, your employees will be able to stay healthy and spend less on healthcare bills. Also, training and education programs can teach your employee’s more effective ways to do their job and get you above the competition.

8. Work on your marketing

A marketing campaign will help you determine your customers and know their expectations. If you want to create a product that is successful on the market, you need to know your potential buyers. This all starts with determining your first customer which you can basically go through a survey.

You can do this through social media, your website or by hiring a marketing agency that will do a complete marketing campaign for you. The feedback you will get will tell you who are your customers and how to adjust your products so they would definitely buy it.

Finally

Every beginning is challenging and needs a lot of work in order to create something stable enough for further development. All startup entrepreneurs go through this process, but the outcome is what counts. By implementing sound financial tips and with a focused strategy, you will be able to create a successful startup that you can grow and expand into something bigger.

How Temperature Affects Productivity

Various studies claim to have found the optimal work temperature, only to be disputed by a new study with new finds. In fact, the issue of how temperature affects productivity is so subjective that a different sample group of test subjects is bound to give different results. You see, there’s only so many people you can fit in a single office and as soon as you have to include one more workspace, you risk tampering with evidence by adding another, unforeseen, factor into the mix. Therefore, instead of looking for an ideal temperature (as in a digit to type into your thermostat), we should instead consider different ways in which temperature affects productivity.

1. A perfect range

Now, before we even start, it’s important to understand one vital thing – when you have to think about the temperature, the productivity (especially creativity) suffer. This goes for both too hot and too cold. The hotter/colder it gets from what you consider a ‘normal temperature’ the greater distraction this becomes. As we already mentioned, this ‘normal’ range is quite subjective, yet, it usually goes between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit (between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius) in favor of the latter. According to the study conducted by Helsinki University of Technology, when the temperature is at about 25 degrees Celsius, the number of typing mistakes drastically drops and the output of work skyrockets.

2. Fluctuations between genders

Anyone who has ever worked in an office empirically knows that different genders have different tolerance to heat/cold. This is due to their physiological body composition and the fact that men have a higher muscle mass than women. This makes them get hot a lot quicker. Females, on the other hand, have a somewhat poorer circulation to the extremities (due to the fact that their blood mostly pools around core organs). This is something worth keeping in mind when your workforce is, due to the nature of the work, predominantly male or predominantly female. Remember, you can’t make everyone happy with the office temperature, so trying to accommodate the majority (despite how vocal the minority is) seems like a good idea.

3. The issue of money

One of the most controversial topics when it comes to office productivity and temperature is the one of frugality. Namely, in certain climates and during a certain part of the year, it may be easier to maintain a fixed temperature. For instance, in spring, keeping an office temperature between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius is much cheaper than doing so in winter or in summer. Moreover, the boost in productivity that comes from this feature is hard to quantify, which makes some of the less ethical entrepreneurs try to save money on it.

The problem is that they take their utility bill at a face value. First of all, you can look for cheaper prices with another utility company. Second, you can invest in maintenance, thus making a greater saving in both heating and cooling. For instance, by finding a reliable AC repairs Sydney partner, you’ll drastically reduce the amount of energy spend on keeping the place suitable for work during summer.

4. Other relevant factors

So far, we’ve only discussed gender as a relevant factor, nonetheless, there are several other issues worth addressing. For instance, the level of humidity within the room is incredibly important for the way in which people tolerate heat. This is due to the fact that a humid air makes people sweat substantially more. This is why low humidity makes the place feel substantially colder. This is also something that affects the subjective feeling of temperature in the workplace. Aside from this, one’s age (the older one gets the colder they tend to be) and their BMI (body mass index) tend to sway the feeling of warmth/cold in a peculiar manner.

In conclusion

As you can see, there’s more to the temperature-productivity correlation than just a number to set on your smart thermostat. With so many factors to consider and weigh in, it’s hard to make a decision here. Nonetheless, once you abandon the ridiculous notion of pleasing absolutely everyone in the office, things will become much simpler and your objective much easier to reach.