Planning an Outdoor Company Event

A sure way to add some excitement to company events, as well as to make them more pleasant and amusing, is to plan and host an outdoor event. Nice weather and fresh air are perfect ingredients for having a relaxed and festive atmosphere, and it is more likely that attendees will look forward to coming to this event, instead of just showing up out of obligation. However, planning an outdoor event can be challenging, simply because it is somewhat different and more difficult than organizing indoor events. So many things to take care of, starting from weather and logistics to safety and sanitation, but worry not. Here are some helpful tips on how to plan this event like a pro.

Set the location

Not every outdoor area is event-friendly, so be smart when choosing the right location. Outdoor events offer countless possibilities, from a picnic by the lake to a cocktail party on a luxurious ranch. However, if you hesitate to bring guests, equipment, and suppliers to the uncommon area, perhaps it would be best to stick with existing outdoor facilities. It will simplify the entire process, while you will get the best of it.

Get all permissions you need

The last thing you need is some people with badges shutting your event and sending people home because you didn’t get the permission from local authorities to organize an event on the specific premises or to supply alcohol. Same goes with the broadcasting of copyrighted material. Make sure to obtain relevant permits as soon as you know the location and the date of the event.

Learn more about local restrictions

Every town has its ordinances, so find out what are noise restrictions as well as if there are any regulations on the number of seating, selling tickets, etc. Keep in mind that noise restrictions apply to loud music, but also the equipment (generators), audience, fireworks, etc. Events, especially big ones, are a source of noise disturbance. See if there are more permissions to obtain, or it is more of following regulations.

Logistics

Make it visual and put it on a paper. Sketch the premises and mark everything, starting from parking to guest area. Plan every detail and make sure to know each spot, where you will place equipment, toilets, food, drinks, as well as if there is enough space for parking and unloading suppliers trucks. Also, understand that it will take time load in and set up power and arrange other elements, as well as to load out and clean up.

Electricity and the right equipment

Since you need to have access to electricity on site, make sure to get extension cords, cables, duct tapes and a portable power generator in case something goes wrong. Determine how many power stations you will need, for instance, a DJ and sound equipment, food stations, coolers, coffee makers, lights, outdoor air conditioners, etc.

Hygiene standards and sanitation

Same as with any other venue, you should provide your guests with decent restroom facilities and sanitation units. Ensure there is plenty of hygiene accessories like sanitary bags and bins, and make sure you get at least one easy accessible toilet that offers more space for wheelchairs or those guests who attend the event with small children.

Make your event safe and secure

If your event is out in the open, consider making use of portable temp fence panels to enclose the area. Regardless of the size of the event, it would be a clever thing to hire a security company. Not only it is one less thing to worry about, but rest assured that your attendees and equipment will be safe, while uninvited guests will remain outside. Also, take necessary measures in case of emergency and make a thorough safety plan.

Make your guests feel comfortable

Comfort is not only about having a place to sit or soft cushions on your guest’s backs. Being outdoors brings the number of annoyances like direct sunlight, bugs, mosquitos, heat, etc.  Provide shade and sunscreen and keep the drinks cold and at hand. Also, hire exterminators to clean the area and have electric fans that will keep flies away.

Check the weather, but expect rain

Always have a plan B when organizing an outdoor event. Make use of portable pavilions whether to keep your guests out of the rain or to provide shade during the day.

Conclusion

Although planning an outdoor event is demanding, know that you have a great advantage on your side – outdoors. Remember that planning event is not only about creating a space for people where they will meet, but also creating an atmosphere. Follow these tips, but dare to come up with more ideas in the process. Take care of the basics, and the rest will fall in the place.

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The Correlation Between Office Design & Productivity

Productivity is a fickle little thing and if you’re not careful, one bad decision can ruin all your efforts of making your workplace a thriving, fruitful community. Everything, including your office design, has to create an optimal atmosphere for getting work done, and dim, cluttered spaces certainly won’t cut it. But there is more to it than just keeping the space neat and organized. Studies have shown that many other factors matter – and they affect not only how productive you are but also your health and well-being. So let’s see some of the factors of office design that are related to the productivity of employees.

Office design plan

Several studies concluded that the layout of the office is of the essence. However, the tricky part is that the “best” office plan varies from company to company. You have to weigh your objectives, priorities, your company culture and a slew of other factors when deciding on the layout. If work in your office requires a lot of communication among your employees on a daily basis, your company might benefit from having an open floor plan that encourages teamwork. On the other hand, for companies where employees have to focus in order not to make mistakes in their work, the same plan would drive everyone mad, not to mention completely diminish productivity and ultimately be detrimental to the whole business. Thus, you have to think carefully about what the needs of your business and your employees are and plan accordingly.

Noise and lighting

There are some things you can control about your office, and there are some you simply can’t. Noise is a serious detrimental factor to productivity and morale. If your office has been blessed by being located in a quiet neighborhood, outside noise is not a problem for you. If not, however, you might want to turn to some soundproofing solutions to reduce the distraction the surrounding traffic or nearby construction work creates. Noise-canceling headphones work well too, also for those employees who share their workspace but are distracted by others talking etc. As for lighting, it’s another one of the top three environmental factors affecting productivity. Natural light is, of course, the best since it has a positive effect on mood, resulting in better productivity. If you don’t have plenty of that, you can make up for it with appropriate (preferably layered) artificial lights to keep your employees awake and alert.

Ergonomic furniture

The comfort of your employees is another major factor that affects their productivity levels – and also health. Palm rests and screen support for those working on the computer will prevent pain in their neck and wrists, so the morale remains high in the office. Even more importantly, ergonomic desks and chairs are essential in preventing back pain and all the health consequences it will bring. Nothing diminishes productivity like an aching back, and finding quality office chairs in Sydney, New York, or anywhere else in the world is a walk in the park, so don’t skip this step. Moreover, a designated place with comfortable furniture such as sofas or lazy bags where employees can take a break and relax can also give them a boost. Lounging for a couple of minutes and taking their mind off work and their eyes off screen will renew their energy supplies to finish their tasks.

Equipment

One of the most frustrating things in an office is old, malfunctioning equipment. Having to spend ten minutes getting the printer to work or waiting for a page to load not only slows down your employees but it’s also annoying and will destroy the creative mood they were in and disrupt their workflow. Invest in up-to-date, high-quality equipment if you want to prevent this from taking a toll on your business’s productivity. Something as little as faster Wi-Fi will do wonders, but it’s also possible you’ll need to make a bigger investment, such as buying new laptops better suited to what your employees do.

Embracing biophilic design

An all-around approach that should be considered by all business owners is implementing elements of biophilic design into their offices. Basically, all of the aforementioned positive changes, including plenty of light and ergonomic furniture are important elements of biophilia, but there are so many more fronts on which you could take advantage of this nature-centric approach and give a boost to your employees’ productivity. If your office has not been blessed by a scenic view (let’s face it, few have), it is your job to bring nature in and elevate the mood. Green office spaces “generate physiological responses such as increased brain activity and lower stress hormones”, so it’s more than clear that a couple of potted plants or, if you want to go big, a living wall or a green roof can double productivity if implemented right. Don’t underestimate the power of nature and humans’ connection to it.

 

In today’s competitive market, employers need to make the most of what they have in order to stay afloat. Maximizing productivity in your workplace through office design is not a huge investment, but it will hugely reflect on how your business is doing. Takes these pieces of advice and your office productivity will soon thrive.

Polishing These Skills Will Improve You As a Leader

Being a leader is not a state one finds himself in, but the number of actions he performs every day. And before each action, there is usually a difficult decision which must be made according to personal and organizational values. That’s why it can be very hard to become a good leader, not to mention excellent one. And as a leader, you need to achieve excellence if you want your company to blossom with accomplishment. In a turmoil of today’s dynamic organization, the role of a leader is critical – you’re the one who must have a clear vision of the values, the knowledge how to implement and establish them, and the power to sustain them. You need to stand behind everything your organisation presents and to be passionate about it in order to motivate other employees to follow your example. Sometimes this enormous task seems impossible for one person to carry, but there are some basic powerful skills which can make the task much easier. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there is a strict set of rules you need to follow to become a good leader – one of the most important leadership components is the ability to perform authentic actions. Nevertheless, polishing these skills will definitely improve you as a leader.

Walk the talk

As a leader, you have a role of a general in a modern war that rages among strong competition. But that doesn’t mean all you need to do is shout orders and observe from the distance. If you’re sending your ‛army’ to march ahead, that means you’re sending them to unknown, to the territory you’ve never been to. That’s why you should always say ‛follow me’ and lead your employees by example. They will follow your every move as long as they are certain that what you do is equal to what you say. By setting up an example for them you earn their trust and confidence. They’re not the only ones who must prove their worth, it’s also the other way around. And once you’ve set an example, remember to make your actions according to it. Without consistency, all your words will be gone with the wind.

But still, talk

That doesn’t mean that words are not important. You can’t act on the principle ‛I’ve shown you how it’s done, now shut up and repeat’. You’re not a god or a statue of an idol – in order to lead people you need to be a man of flesh and blood. You need to be a part of the group and you need to know how to communicate with them in a transparent and respectful way. Fear and intimidation have never been good motivators, so you need to lock up your ego and throw away the key. If you’re able to understand your employees you will also be able to encourage them and boost their problem-solving and creativity.

And occasionally, listen

Communication is a two-way street. You’re not the smartest person in the world and if you’re in need of advice that doesn’t make you weak. As the matter of fact, fearing to ask for advice is a sign of the lack of confidence and that is certainly not good for leadership. You need to set an example and show your employees that there is always more things to learn in order to encourage them to develop their skills further. You can always turn to a trusted colleague, but today’s highly competitive nature of business usually requires a mentor, for it’s not only about gaining knowledge but also about deciding which way to go. An experienced executive coaching professionals can help you determine your clear goals using a variety of behavioral methods and techniques. That way you’ll require advice, but also feedback and guidance, which will establish a fresh view on issues at hand.

But, most of all, feel

There cannot be a good organisation if all the people inside it are not well connected. And the best way to connect with your employees and develop a strong and unbreakable bond is through emotions. You need to be aware of your employee’s emotional states and to learn how to interpret them correctly because that form of communication can give you far more insight than spoken words. But first, you need to connect with your own emotions, to understand them and control the way you feel and the reactions that feelings produce. Only then will you be ready to pick up the emotional signals of others in order to prevent conflict and improve the workforce.

And then express it

Of course, it is not enough just to become aware of your emotions, you need to express them. If you’re not showing your emotions in front of your employees they will also suppress theirs, and then bye-bye to all that valuable insight and bonding. On the other hand, you need to be careful not to express everything – anger and weakness are not good things for people to see in a leader. You need to show them that you truly believe in the organizational goals you’ve established and to be truly passionate about it. Passion spreads like fire, and when in flames you’re willing to take the greatest risks and take all responsibility.

As we said at the beginning, these are not rules, simply very useful skills. You should always encourage individuality and creativity. Your goals should be to motivate, inspire and engage the people around you. These skills are your best tools for the job, and now the improvisation may begin.

HR Challenge – Ensuring That Both The App and The Development Team Are Working As They Should

Forward Productivity

There are a lot of things which go into designing a software development team. Consider front-end designers, whose coding language handles the basic presentation of your company’s development project. Now consider backend developers, whose expertise is used for a variety of applications on a given page. Now consider mobile app developers, which has its own idiosyncrasies pertaining to compatibility.

Justifying everything together can be very difficult, and you need metrics which will help you to define that which works, and that which doesn’t. According to Stackify.com, when it comes to measuring software development team productivity, there are quite a few different schools of thought; one expert put it succinctly: “Working software is the primary measure of progress.”

Ideally, whatever solutions you bring to bear on your online solution, they should work as they’ve been designed to. In order to determine whether this is the case, as the experienced guys from Picnet like to emphasize – you’ll need to continuously test everything – both in the software development team and in the HR department.

In the development team, they mostly rely on load testing. If you’re not familiar, load testing is exactly what it sounds like: you’re stretching software to its limit to determine the “load” of activity it can handle. Ideally, it should be able to handle things several levels of magnitude higher than statistically traditional traffic. If you do well, you’re likely to have some spikes on occasion; you want to be prepared for them.

Employee Considerations

Still, even if you’ve got the absolute best software solutions around, if you don’t have the right team working with it, you’ll likely see productivity that is inferior to your business’s ability. If those who work on your software don’t have their “heart” in it, you may be leaving money on the table.

There is an old saying: the man who is lazy is a relative of the man who destroys. Basically, this saying is pointing out that a lack of diligence in work can be just as damaging as deliberate destruction. With tech people, you’ve really got to be careful with this. You want passionate, motivated individuals working for you. You don’t want lackluster, antisocial and egotistical techies who hold those that don’t think in programming languages as inferior to themselves.

Such individuals will design something which may work for a while, but should it have a tiny error that is transmitted through dint of simple human imperfection, getting them to fix that error may be like pulling teeth. The egotistical aspect of such an individual’s personality won’t allow them to admit they did something wrong until there is no other explanation for poor software activity.

The Right Team And The Right Numbers

Part of ensuring that your software runs as you intend means getting a design team who will take your instruction. You shouldn’t be having arguments. You’re the boss, even when you’re “wrong”, you’re “right”.

Finding such individuals may be easier said than done. If you’ve got multiple open positions and multiple viable candidates, you might hire two and set them into professional, “friendly” competition against one another within your business. This can facilitate motivation without you having to stand behind either and keep the candle lit, as it were.

Remember to ensure that mobile connectivity and utility are paramount in your forward software designs. This method of web connectivity defines modernity, and avoiding it will definitely hamper the effectiveness of any online solutions you’re able to acquire for your business.

Lastly, keep good numbers on everything. You’re looking for traffic increase that is progressively better, expanded clientele acquisition, and increasing profit. This should rise in a reliable way that you can build your budget around. The right software will help. The bad software will hamper you. Using good employees, keeping numbers, and finding techniques to motivate that are oblique as outlined earlier can definitely help you acquire the best software solutions.

3 Reasons to Implement AI in Your Workplace

There are a lot of misconceptions concerning artificial intelligence circulating in public discourse. Classical works of science-fiction have taught us to think about A.I. either in terms of killer robots, god-like computers, and sly androids, or as the saviors of mankind in the form of automated workers, benevolent star-ship operators, or friendly house servants. The truth is, at least in the present moment, that contemporary artificial intelligence systems are much less proficient at things we thought they would be good at according to works of fiction. However, they are simultaneously pretty skilled and efficient at performing other kinds of tasks, albeit ones which are not as immediately awe-inspiring and spectacular.

There are many websites that deal with improving your business in different ways, such as Bootstrap Business, however, in this article, we will examine how artificial intelligence is being introduced into the realm of everyday business operations. While these applications of A.I. might not seem impressive at first, they are nonetheless transforming the way we work in important ways, and here is how.

Data-Analysis

One of the defining features of A.I., and computer science, in general, is the use of formal syntax. Code is structured according to a strict set of rules, which is what allows it to communicate with hardware in order to perform particular tasks. A beneficial side-effect of the formal nature of code is that it is especially suited for working on problems which are expressed in a similarly formal language. This is why computers are so good at doing math. A less obvious example of where the computational power of A.I. can be used is in the legal profession. The law is also a system of strict rules and regulations, which are expressed in precise terminology. This makes it suitable for machine analysis. For instance, court rulings can be analyzed for particular terms in order to find a common pattern, i.e. that cases which involve a particular offense are more likely to be resolved in favor of the defense. A.I. systems can go through millions of case files in a fraction of the time it would take a person, giving legal experts a powerful tool for understanding and predicting court outcomes.

Document Generation

Not only can A.I. assist with analysis, it can also produce data of the same kind it analyzes. By establishing that there are patterns in the way particular kinds of language are used, the A.I. gains the ability to mimic them. For example, if you feed a large number of similarly structured financial reports into an A.I. capable of machine-learning, it will eventually figure out how to write them itself. To give you an idea of how this works, imagine you have simple spreadsheet document with one column representing countries, and another representing their GDP. We can use this document to reach and express certain conclusions, such as that the GDP of the USA is bigger than Brazil’s for instance. However, doing this for every possible relation between the given data would take a long time to write for a person. Fortunately for us, an A.I. can figure out that the formal relation between columns can be expressed in a natural language such as we used above. This makes it possible to automatically generate things like financial reports, meteorological predictions, email invitations, etc. Should this spark your interest, a plethora of good advice can be found on Infinigeek.

Virtual Assistants

Another area where A.I. found its use is in automating standard office procedures. The functioning of every workplace depends on a host of repetitive activities which are not directly related to the services a company provides, but are nonetheless essential for everyday functioning. This includes arranging meetings, communicating memos, keeping track of case files, finding relevant documents, replying to common customer etc. This used to be the task of various middle management types, but recently virtual A.I. assistants have started taking over this line of work. Keeping track of important but uninteresting information is something A.I. excel at, and people find boring and mundane, so it makes sense to leave this kind of work to them. In other words, A.I. assistants can work in tandem with IT services departments to drastically reduce office busywork and red tape through technological means. This allows employees to focus on solving challenging, creative tasks, instead of concerning themselves with trivial work.

Conclusion

A.I. systems are making more and more inroads into the world of everyday work. And yet a lot of their potential still remains completely untapped. While it is hard to make concrete predictions about what the future holds for, we can at least be certain that it will involve more and more A.I. in the positions of fellow workers, instead of just tools.

6 Tips to Keep Your Office Productive and Happy

The times are such that working hours are long and employees spend most of the day at the office. Consequently, people are getting burnt out because sometimes there isn’t time for breaks. However, this is avoidable.

If working conditions are changed for the better, the employees will actually enjoy being in the workplace. Some global brands have recognised this, like Google. And many start-ups are following suit and setting examples for others.

  • Flexible working hours

Many companies today offer flexible working hours. People can start work in the timeframe between 8 and 10 a.m., and complete an eight-hour shift. This is a great solution for those who are not morning persons and need some time to get active.

This way, the employee doesn’t waste work time trying to wake up and start the tasks. They can come in late, already fresh and ready to begin the work immediately.

  • Be transparent

Share your ideas, goals and results with your employees on a regular basis. This transparent behaviour will boost the morale and help your employees to feel welcome and needed. If they know what the long-term plans are, they’ll be motivated to achieve them. This way you will not only increase productivity, but create loyal employees who can become brand ambassadors.

  • Remind employees to take a break

The reason why your employees are exhausted is that they don’t take breaks. This is simply something they forget or think is unacceptable until the job is done. If you promote break time and remind them to stretch their legs, they will certainly do it.

One of the modern ways is to create a recreation room with games and nooks for break time. Also, you can invite a yoga coach to demonstrate some simple exercises or organise lunch delivery for all. Whatever your strategy, this will sure bring you extra points with your staff and create a positive company culture.

  • Encourage communication

E-mails, chats, message boards and project management applications keep the communication alive, but nothing is better than chatting over coffee. Exchanging actual words and ideas in person is always a better approach than impersonal online communication.

Organise meetings as much as possible and allow some casual conversation during those. Office chatter can be problematic for some because of the nature of their work. But the recreation room, hallways or terrace are perfect to go and talk to your employees.

  • Reward employees

Rewards are always a surefire way to motivate your employees. However, make sure that you carefully plan the matter and see it through. A reward system can easily create a competitive environment among the employees and that can be detrimental to the office morale.

The safest rewards are not monetary, but those that are fun. Invent your own system, like giving funny and inventive titles such as King of Programming or Hemingway pin for best content writer.

  • Create a comfortable working environment

Ergonomic chairs, lazy bags and couches are just some of the things that come to mind for a comfortable office. Some companies go as far as to create indoor Zen gardens or waterfalls to reduce the stress and provide a serene atmosphere.

However, firstly you should take care of the environment. Aircon services will help you create the perfect “climate” during all seasons and make sure your employees are comfortable. A well-equipped and supplied kitchen will take care of their coffee, tea and snack needs. And a water dispenser on every floor and within easy reach will certainly make sure that all basic needs are fulfilled.

In the end

“A happy employee is a productive employee”, goes the saying. So spare no time or money when it comes to creating a positive and creative atmosphere in your office space. It will sure make everyone happy and productive for future tasks to come.

How Good Web Design Can Boost Your Business

How Good Web Design Can Boost Your Business

Whether as a striking web page, or a persuasive package, design can have a powerful impact on the world around us. The craft and creativity of web and graphic designers are practically everywhere – from books, product packaging, to websites, digital advertisements, design for mobile apps, and interactive installations. However, effective design is not just mere appearance. It’s a way to communicate in a contemporary way, to make everything – from logo, colours, to typography, and visuals work together by and large to capture the attention of potential customers and leave an abiding impression.

To be seen in the digital media you can use marketing technology, which offers several ways for boosting the business. However, first and foremost, it is imperative to build a website that brings information about the company, which is simple enough to find via all mobile devices as well as on desktop browsers. Also, while launching your website, you need to ensure you can answer these questions with a “YES”: Is your website easy to navigate? Are your website visitors able to understand what your business is about? Do you maintain high-quality services at a competitive price rate?

If your answer is “No” to all, then you need to improve your website design and layout, because a business owner should not only focus on content or design. What is more, an entrepreneur needs to advance the design, performance and, above all, make sure the web design is responsive. Experts from Web Agency Sydney point out that you need to improve its reach in order to grow your customer base, no matter the size of your business. Luckily, there are hundreds of options to boost your web designing part. We bring you some of these options to help you start.

Simplicity & Minimalism

Web design always opts for the most uncomplicated approach and gives importance to minimalism. Your target audience will not be attracted by a complex design, while the clean and flat design will strike the right nerve. Nowadays, most brands are using simple designs in their online business presence. Therefore, if you wish to improve your options, you should, by all means, avoid stuffing your website with long and complicated animations as well as with bulky website images. Additionally, you should keep in mind that an extravagant website may slack off your website.

Visual Appeal

More than anything, visual appeal can attract attention. It is the key to attain visitors, which will engage with your website. Captivating images and videos enhance the business operation and invite more customers. Some studies show that for users to form an opinion about a website takes about 50 milliseconds. In those milliseconds they are able to determine whether they’ll stay or leave. And, due to the fact that visual aids are 43% more effective in enhancing your credibility than other means, you should think of creating a catchy business logo (if not already) and visually appealing colors, which will help your brand stand out from the crowd.

Do the Thinking

Visitors are coming to your website to solve an issue they might have. Hence, your business website should provide the answer to their question as quickly and as easily as possible. You also need to show your visitors what they are looking for and what value it has for them. Why should they choose to make a purchase from your website? Is there a special offer? Make sure you follow your wording by a clearly visible call-to-action, such as “Find the right product, now!” The users should not try to figure out anything on their own. You need to do it for them.

Relevant Content

Every so often you should consider refreshing the content of your homepage and landing pages. It is the same story as with store window display, consumers don’t like to see the same thing time and again. You can immediately convey the relevant message and become up-to-the-minute retailer by freshening the offerings with some new deals, sales, and new content. On top of that, you should also take into account how important it is to provide your visitors with the ability to share your content. In that way, you will grant them the possibility to become your brand’s biggest marketing emissaries. Furthermore, your ranking on search engine result pages may greatly enhance with the sharing of your content.

There are no other mediums that have such a geographical reach than the website. And, if you do not have a clean, simple and functional design, then your competitors are surely winning your prospective customers. Being that you need to calculate your expenses and budget while developing a striking website you should reach out to a reputable web design company to provide you with an extensive number of business web design services. The website not only boosts your brand’s look, it also makes it alluring and impressive.

The Importance of Social Media for Landscaping Businesses

The Importance of Social Media for Landscaping Businesses

Social media has had a significant impact on the way businesses operate online. While running a website is still the cornerstone of online presence for many companies, it is becoming increasingly important to utilize social media in any serious online promotion strategy. Landscaping companies are not an exception in this regard. Implementing a social media marketing campaign is vital for promoting services such as landscaping, which used to rely on traditional marketing to reach new customers.

Although setting up a social media profile for a company is fairly easy, reaping the full benefits of social media marketing requires time and effort. To achieve maximum impact in the shortest amount of time, landscaping businesses need to understand the specific advantages of social media promotion, and how to best leverage them when developing their online business strategy. The following article will highlight the key aspects of social media marketing every landscaping company should take into account before engaging in social media marketing.

Benefits of social media

Social media promotion works by adding another layer of complexity to traditional marketing. Here is what you need to know.

1. Product Marketing

The most direct way to using social media to promote your business is by introducing your goods and services to users. Think of your social media page as a catalog of that you can update in real time. For example, whenever your company starts offering a new kind of garden layout, this new product should be announced with a social media post. Make sure to include the description of the product, its possible uses, its price, and at least a single picture. Social media users should get all the information they need to make a purchase if they’re in the market for the type of product you are selling.

2. Brand Awareness

In addition to advertising particular products, companies need to work on promoting their brand as a whole. The goal here is to form an association between the company name and a specific idea. A landscaping company like Oztech would, for example, highlight their expertise in awning, making sure to reinforce this idea throughout their social media channel. Using slogans, logos, and other company identifiers is a key component of establishing brand awareness in visitors.

3. Online Word of Mouth

While maintaining a social media presence requires constant work on the part of the company, this does not mean that promotion is wholly reliant on direct advertising. Social media sites are by definition places for discussion. Establishing a social media presence for your company enables it to become a part of the online conversation, giving it another promotion vector. If people online are talking about your company, you stand a much greater chance of reaching the target audience for your products. The goal is that whenever there is a conversation about landscape design, horticulture or earth removal, your companies name is on people’s lips.

4. Search Engine Optimization

The content you produce for your social media profile has one additional use – it can be reused on your website as well. This is important because content is a key component of optimizing your search engine rankings. Specifically, by using targeted keywords throughout your social media posts, you are establishing a regular source of SEO content, which you can then host on the company blog or website. The more content you have, the more likely your company is to become eligible for long-tail keywords relating to landscaping, which have a greater impact on conversions.

Social media platform overview

Each social network has the potential to benefit a landscaping business in different ways. Here are the three major platforms every company should use to their best advantage.

1. Facebook

Facebook is the one network you should be using by default. The sheer size of its userbase guarantees that even a minimal investment in social media marketing can bring tangible benefits to any sort of company, including landscaping oriented ones. As a platform, Facebook gives companies the tools to promote themselves through multiple kinds of content, including text, images, video, ads, online communities, and more.

2. Linkedin

Maintaining a Linkedin profile is essential for establishing connection with other businesses related to landscaping. Arranging cross-promotion deals with these companies is an important step for taking your online marketing strategy to the next level. Linkedin is a great source of business-related information as well, offering guides, statistics, and advice from industry leaders.

3. Instagram

When it comes to image-based promotion, Instagram is the top player in the market. By posting quality images to your company profile, you are establishing yourself as an online taste-maker, which attracts aesthetically minded people. These individuals potentially have a large number of followers, so appealing to them gives your business greater viral marketing potential.

4 Ways to Improve the Quality of Work for Your Employees

While most employers are usually focused on how to increase the productivity of their employees, they usually fail to realize that their productivity level is closely tied to the quality of life they’re having in a company. Recent studies have shown that companies that provide a better quality of work to their employees have much better retention rates, while they also have an easier time hiring top people in their field. Studies have also shown that happier employees are less likely to take a sick leave, which basically means that happier workers are also healthier workers. Whether it’s a team activity outside of work or a fun zone at the office, there are many ways in which you can increase employee’s happiness.

Show Trust Instead of Micromanaging Everything

Trust me, no one really enjoys doing a job where they’re told what to do all the time. While it’s perfectly fine for you to manage and supervise their work, micromanaging is something that rarely has a positive impact on your staff. Instead, try to build your relationship on trust – where you as an employer delegate tasks that require high responsibility, or at least make it seem that way. Let them make some decisions and all of the sudden you’ll have employers who are actually committed to what they’re doing.

Reward Good Work

Constant recognition is something that employers have found to be of vital importance when it comes to quality of work for your employees. Whether it’s a simple recognition, or a reward (a raise, bonus, or an additional day off), employees feel much better when their effort is noticed. Many employers avoid even complimenting their workers because they feel that they may ask for a raise if they do. But if a certain individual is doing more work than average, wouldn’t you say that they deserve to be paid for the extra work? This is also one of the reasons why more and more young people start freelancing – because they actually get paid for the work they do, not the time spent in an office.

Customizable Workspace

People love customizing their workspace, and when it comes to their desks there are almost no reasons to be opposed to it. While some people like having their favorite posters on the wall behind their monitor, other people might want to bring a plant from home. I’ve even seen people who prefer to work on a desktop while standing in order to improve posture. Some of the top performers I’ve seen love working in a messy environment, which required us to hire a commercial cleaning company at the end of each week.  Allowing your employees a certain amount of freedom when it comes to customizing their workspace will positively impact productivity, while they’ll also be happier to work for you.

Set Clear Goals

The best way to improve the efficiency of your employees is by setting up clear goals for them to aim for. Without clear goals, productivity will drop considerably, but also their overall happiness. This is why it’s important to give clear assignments and expected results to the people who work for you. Setting these goals should be taken seriously because if they’re unrealistic or generic they won’t have as much power. Probably the best way to approach this issue is to set individual goals for the people who work for you. If you employ a lot of people, delegate this task to supervisors and make it a part of their job. The more these goals are realistic and attainable the better results you’ll have and thus improve your employees’ loyalty.

Final Thoughts

The most important thing when it comes to improving quality of work is to have your employees feel like a part of the team. Having a company where everyone wants to progress to a certain point is completely different from having a company where people just work their shifts. If the end results don’t matter to you enough, they won’t matter to them at all. So try to set an example and be a driving force for your employees as you all push towards a single goal.

Turn Your Garden into a Profitable Business

For those who enjoy gardening, it can easily be turned into a source of profit, with some luck and dedication, sufficient to support the entire family. Here are some ideas which can help you start and get you going on your gardening adventure.

Grow an organic garden

The only reason why people buy from small-scale producers is that they believe that the food they buy is healthier than what they can usually find in their local supermarkets. This is your window of opportunity and the share of the market you need to fight for. Win the confidence of those who care about their health by producing and advertising healthy food. Mind you, if you enjoy gardening, the chances are that you yourself appreciate nature and you won’t consider growing any other kind of garden but an organic one.

Offer a variety

Think like a customer. They usually go shopping to a place that has everything they need. Try to be that place and offer a variety of fresh food. Grow the vegetables which are the most popular in your area, but not only that, grow herbs and flowers used for tea and spices as well as several kinds of fruit. You can focus on one thing and throw in some of the other ones but a variety of produce will bring a variety of customers.

Have a flower garden

Well, I jumped straight into it without even offering an alternative. Depending on the type of gardening you enjoy, you may opt for growing flowers solely instead of food. You can sell to florists or landscaping companies. You can even have your own stand or a flower shop. Traditionally, flowers go well with bees, so if you are growing an organic flower garden, perhaps you should have a couple of beehives and see how that works for you. Who knows, if your flowers are good for honey you can steer your business in that direction or simply expand. Beekeeping can be very profitable.

Make products of your yield

Apart from the garden produce, you can also make products for sale. Your Home-made tomato juice or jam will probably find their place in many homes. If you are growing herbs, you can dry them and pack them. You can learn a little bit about traditional medicine and make herbal-tea mixtures used to cure different health issues. You can make tiny booklets on what they are good for and why. Make scented candles and potpourri. These are something that people get attracted to and buy even if they do not need them.

Sell seeds and starter plants

Help other start their organic gardens by selling seeds of your plants as well as growing starter plants. You can do this while expending your offer without a lot of additional effort. You will most likely need a glass house for this if you do not already have one. Hoselink suggests making a separate irrigation system for what you are growing in the glass house as plants growing in different conditions require different amounts of water.

Sell compost

Do not throw anything organic away. While you are creating compost for your garden, create some extra to sell. You can offer it straight away to the customers interested in your organic seeds as you know that they will also do whatever they can to keep their garden healthy. Due to the period required for creating compost, the very beginning is the hardest, later on, they will have enough material and enough time to make their own, but in the meantime, you can be there to help them start and prepare the ground.

Once you decide what to grow and how you need to find the way to sell it and advertise it. In order to keep the process enjoyable, I suggest inquiring about the government regulations and taxes. You should take care of that first before you start selling. Once you have that taken care of, you should advertise locally and show off your offer at a local green market, have a roadside stand, sell to health food stores and restaurants. Perhaps you can even organize promotional events such as gardening lessons for children or making jam with elderly and choosing the best recipe.