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.

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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, 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.

6 Tips to Better Manage Your Landscaping Business

Getting into the landscaping business is a truly rewarding experience as the fruits of our labor are actually palpable. However, as our influence reaches more and more people and our business starts to expand – we are faced with a unique transitionary period where we need not only manage ourselves but others under our wing. Despite the number of challenges we are all destined to face, none of these are insurmountable. In reality, most of the pitfalls of expansion can be avoided by utilizing the previous experiences of others and laying out a solid plan. This turns a turbulent period into nothing more than a smooth ride.

Scale accordingly

First and foremost, a business owner has to understand that management systems are an ever-evolving entity and that every company and situation requires a specific approach. What once worked for a one-man operation will most-certainly not be enough to manage five people, let alone fifty. Ignoring this issue is a surefire way to end up in a logistical nightmare with no way of reliably knowing what transpired within the past month, let alone the fiscal year. By figuring out our needs and hiring personnel to manage employees or come up with systems to keep track of everything efficiently – we pay a bit more upfront but save thousands in the long run.

Hire responsibly

There’s no way around it – your employees will be the face of your company, like it or not. They will be the first, and hopefully not last, face they see when procuring a service. Whatever the task might be, it is an absolute necessity that these people are sufficiently trained and upbeat about their job. Nothing breaks a deal like a general unwillingness to do one’s job and a bad attitude towards customers. A bad employee will get rooted out eventually, sure, but the damage they could do to your brand and company isn’t something that will go away as easily. Tread carefully.

Train your people

When you do actually find people worthy of your trust, make sure to train them in the field. Always offer them opportunities to improve upon themselves and rack up those references for their CV down the line. Any form of training can be presented as a bonus to employees as it increases their skill set while also reflecting positively on the company itself as its workers are trained and have a wide variety of skills. This will also allow you to somewhat tweak pricing to reflect the quality and professional help you’re offering to potential clientele.

Motivate

With an increasing workforce, it can get extremely hard to find the right methods to motivate everyone equally. However difficult and time-consuming it might be, it is imperative that every employee feels appreciated and like they have a higher purpose – a reason to work hard. Make sure any company needs are communicated properly and that every worker knows exactly what their job is and when it is complete. Leave no room for misunderstanding and be as transparent as you can afford – this forms bonds akin to a family instead of an office and makes them feel like part of something bigger.

Invest in GPS tracking

More than just a safety net for rogue drivers, GPS tracking allows for drivers to get from point A to point B more efficiently and improves customer support. Installing GPS tracking isn’t a big deal and you have systems like Teletrac which offer real-time tracking with updates every few minutes. This can help give updates to worried customers, help provide an ETA, find out where a driver has been during his shift etc. This also has the Big Brother effect – employees will know that they have a GPS in the truck and will avoid slacking off.

Quality makes a difference

With all of that out of the way, it’s time to focus on what we’re actually offering to our customers. Simply put, quality service only works if complemented by a quality product. Your employees can be experts in the field all they like if they don’t have the right materials to work with. Strike a deal with a trusted local supplier like Sand4U or other trusted companies in your region to guarantee the best materials and even use their own influence to your PR advantage. With quality personnel and a quality selection of materials, the sky is the limit.

The gist

Handling a company is no easy feat and surviving in this dog-eat-dog world is truly an accomplishment. When starting out, it’s important to look ahead without getting ahead of ourselves. This essentially means that we need to anticipate future problems, come what may, without going so far as to lose sight of what’s directly in front of us. By following these steps, we set up a good set of guidelines to make sure we stay our course through and through while allowing us enough flexibility to adapt and overcome any challenges our business is sure to face down the line.

8 Best Practices to Protect Your Enterprise Network

How to Simplify Your Self-Storage Business with HR Outsourcing

Starting a business is a challenge. It is, however somewhat of a dream for quite a lot of people. Knowing that self-storage businesses are thriving due to the ever-growing need for more storage space, it’s perfectly normal that you are thinking about starting your own self-storage business, and why shouldn’t you? The real question is – how to do it in the best possible way?

We’ve searched the web for you, and we’ve made this short guide that should help you understand how to simplify your business and still keep it professional and on a road to success. As you’re probably thinking about starting small, you must think about maximum efficiency. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and check how outsourcing strategies can help you out with your business.

Why Outsourcing?

One of the most amazing things about self-storage businesses is that they could be run very efficiently with a small staff. As a business owner, even the opportunity to avoid making internal departments and different segmentations of your employees should sound amazing. Well, outsourcing can help you out with this issue significantly.

Let’s take a look at how any employees do you really need. First of all, the main idea behind self-storage is that customers can come and go as they please. This means that you don’t need too many people tend to their needs. You would need someone to take care of security, maintenance, and housekeeping. Other than these staff members, all other parts of your business could be addressed externally.

In order to truly provide the best service and focus on your customers, you should think about hiring a B2B finance company to handle your finances. There are incredibly affordable marketing companies and services that can take care of your advertising and marketing needs and your human resources could be handled by outsourcing professionals. This way you really don’t have to burden yourself with multiple roles, and you can focus on the development of your business.

Hiring New Stuff Personally VS Outsourcing Human Resources

Let’s focus a bit on your employees and the entire process of hiring. When it comes to finding the perfect candidate for the job, you may already know that it can be tricky. One of the worst scenarios is handling employee turnover. There’s quite a lot of time involved in the entire process, as you need to make the offer, wait for the candidates to respond, find the best ones, provide them with the proper training and regulating all the things that follow like tax documents, payrolls and so on. And if that employee gets a better offer after a month or two, and decides to leave, you have to go through the entire process over again.

When it comes to outsourcing an HR company, you only have to find the one that suits your needs, and that’s all. What you can expect from them is that they go through their professional networks and connections in order to find the candidate that suits your needs in the best possible way. They help the employee implementation and some even provide full HR support if needed, so your company has the best possible retention. While they’re doing their job, you can really focus on the necessary tasks needed to help your company evolve and flourish.

Benefits of HR Outsourcing

We’ve explained how outsourcing an HR company can help you out with finding the perfect employees, but there are other reasons why you should consider this move, whether you’re running a self-storage start-up or you’re running a large company. Here are some of them.

  • Keeping the staff count low – As you don’t need so many people to help you run a successful self-storage business, you definitely don’t need an internal HR department. Usually, quite a lot of business owners take the role of an HR manager and they lose precious time on tasks that would have been completed with ease by an outsourcing HR firm.
  • Technological advancements – You would be surprised how many storage owners still use old time tracking processes or paper insurance enrollments. Quite a lot of them still operate using pen and paper, and having an HR outsourcing company take care of some of those things can speed up things quite significantly. With online platforms, time tracking and attendance systems you can really boost your business.
  • Compliance – Having to track everything, from your employees’ medical records and overtime pays by yourself can be quite hard. With an HR outsourcing firm, you don’t have to think about that. We’ve talked about it with a lot of self-storage business owners and Super Cheap Storage professionals from Gold Coast have emphasized how this solution helped them focus more on their customers and their needs.
  • Single solution – Once you replace numerous vendors with a single streamlined process, and once you know that a single team of professionals is handling your affairs, you, as an owner get to focus on your primary duties, while the entire workflow is not disrupted.

Wrapping It Up

No matter what type of self-storage business you’re running, whether it’s a startup or a well-established self-storage facility, you should always look for the ways to make your business more efficient and customer-adapted. Having enough time to complete your tasks as an owner is crucial if you’re planning on running a successful self-storage business. A thorough research and some planning can help you a lot in a long run, so start thinking about outsourcing solutions for your business.