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Weathering Your Business For Disaster

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Weathering Your Business For Disaster

Businesses big or small all face the risk of facing a new, unexpected challenge every day, and what matters is how you deal with it. You can prepare yourself for nearly every emergency, but it takes a lot of time and effort to put those things in place. Of course, there are the required measurements, like office safety features and such, but that’s not going to save you in every scenario. A legal issue might pop up, the market might change drastically causing you to become irrelevant. There’s no real knowing what tomorrow brings, and it doesn’t hurt to make sure you’re ready for it!

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Have a plan to rebrand

Now, it’s not likely that tomorrow all of your customers are going to stop visiting your store, but there comes a time for most businesses where a change is in order. You should always be ready to adapt when you’re participating in a competitive market, as it’s the only way that you can stay relevant. If you don’t have a consistently evolving plan to update your policies and services, then your business is going to slowly fall behind and lose customers. Keep an eye out for what your competitors are doing, and listen to what it is that your customers want from you. You can change your business at any time if your sales start to lack.

Have backup on speed dial

While you can’t prepare yourself for everything, you can still make the effort to deal with things smoothly as they come. Every day, workplaces face faults like the internet or power outages, and it’s helpful to have someone around who can help. Knowing the number of an electrician or an air conditioning repair company can mean getting things sorted quickly and smoothly. You don’t want to be looking through reviews in the time of need, so best sort it out before you actually need it!

When things at work aren’t functioning, you’re losing money, so the time you’re losing is valuable. Don’t spend that time doing something you can have ready beforehand!

You may even see fit to have a generator hooked up to your building, allowing for things to function as normal, should you face a power outage. Depending on your line of work, this might even be essential to have.

Set some cash aside

You’re always going to need money to fund your business, which is why it’s always good to have some backup cash on standby. Even if the business is going well, a lawsuit popping up due to mistakes or conduct can change that completely. If you want to guarantee the financial security of your business, setting some money aside to cover for that can change how these things turn out.

You don’t need to take extra risks when running your business, as it’s already something that could fail at any moment. You have other businesses to compete with and customers to impress, you don’t have time to be reckless with how you run things!

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A Guide To Charitable Donations For Small Businesses

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Charitable donations can benefit your small business in a number of ways. It’s a brilliant way to improve your public image, you can give back to the local community, and there are tax benefits too. But a lot of new business owners don’t really know how to use charitable donations to their advantage or what the laws and regulations surrounding charitable giving are. This guide will tell you everything you need to know, so you can start giving something back and improving your business at the same time. 

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Choose The Right Charity 

If you give a big chunk of money to a random charity, it will still do some good, but you need to think carefully about which charity you choose if you want to make a big difference. Giving to a charity that has nothing to do with your business will just be seen as a cheap attempt to make yourself look good, which it often is. Instead, you should choose a charity that you are passionate about and one that would benefit from a relationship with your business. For example, if you run a computer repair business, why not partner with a charity that gives refurbished computers to vulnerable members of the community? That way, you are giving money but you can also offer expert help. 

Understand The Tax Implications 

Giving a charitable donation has tax implications and in most cases, you can get a tax deduction. That’s great news because it means that you can reduce your tax burden while also giving something back. However, tax regulations can be quite complicated and if you accidentally claim too much, you’ll end up with a fine. It’s best to get in touch with a professional accounting service like Xperion and ask for their help with the tax side of things. Any mistakes could be incredibly costly to your business and it also affects your public image because people may assume that you were just giving to charity to cut your tax bill. 

Involve Your Employees 

Instead of giving a lump sum to a charity, why not have a fundraiser and involve your employees or see if there are any charitable projects you can get involved with? Giving to charity is about putting back into the local community and improving your image, but it’s also a great way to boost morale around the office. Creating the right company culture is important and by giving to local charities, you generate a culture that is focused on responsibility and positive change, rather than profits over everything else. When your employees feel that they are part of something more meaningful because you are using the business to support charities, they take more pride in their work and will ultimately be more productive as a result. Getting everybody involved in charity events will boost morale and it’s a great team bonding opportunity. 

If you want to make a charitable donation through your business, follow these important steps so everybody benefits. If you’re just doing it for the tax benefits, you should think twice about making a donation.

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7 Ways to Deliver Consistently Great Customer Service

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Growing your business and providing great customer service go hand in hand. You can have a brilliant product or service, but if your customer service isn’t up to scratch, is unreliable, and unhelpful, or your customer experience is dire, people will hear about it, and you will lose customers over it. 

Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay 

That means that investing in customer service is the key to your long-term business success. 

What does it mean to be providing great customer service, and how can you ensure that each customer has the best experience with your company? 

Here are our 7 best ways to deliver great customer service: 

Know The Product Or Service

As a manager or owner, you are likely to be very familiar with our products and services, but are your employees? Customer support agents and sales staff will spend their day troubleshooting or assisting customers, and that means they need to be product experts. It is essential for extensive knowledge to be included as a necessary customer service skill. Whether it’s face-to-face service, online chat, or help over the phone, your employees need to have the right training to provide them with the knowledge that they need to provide a high level of customer service. 

Your Website 

Your website is an important part of your customer service. Although, yes, your customer can browse for products, make a purchase, see FAQ’s or even speak to an agent online, it’s not just about enabling them to do this, it’s also about how well and easy it works. There are several elements you have to think about such as providing instant help online, making sure the website is dynamic and responsive so your customers can shop on all devices, and even providing different pages depending on location or login details, etc. One of the best ways to test that your website is delivering the service you want to provide is to utilize tools like click testing software

Creatively Problem-Solve

You will find that the majority of customer losses are due to them receiving bad customer service. This makes it even more important for you to thrive on solving problems for your customers and also make it a focal point in your customer service teams. There are always going to be problems to solve, try giving your employees a little bit of leeway when it comes to solving problems and you will find that customer service experience rating rise. Of course, you need ot set boundaries, however, enabling them to solve problems on the spot quickly and efficiently will go a long way in the eyes of your customers. You should also make sure that your customer service teams make your customers aware that they will do everything they can to solve their problems. 

Have A Quick Response 

People value their time, therefore, resolving customer issues and queries as soon as possible is a crucial part of good customer service. Time is of the essence, especially when it’s a smaller issue that shouldn’t take a lot of time to solve. That been said, if it’s going to take time to get the right outcome, then great customer service beats speed every single time. Just make sure your customers are aware of the time frame for their issue. Often, it’s not knowing the time frame that frustrates customers the most. 

Personalize Your Service

People want to feel like more than just a number in line, and easily get frustrates when they are made to feel like everyone else instead of an individual. They get even more frustrated when someone doesn’t take accountability and they get passed from pillar to post. Customers want to interact with one person, not the entire company. Getting to know your customer names, and building a good rapport, especially when dealing with a complaint can go a long way. It’s the personal touch that counts rather than reading from a script. 

Help Your Customers To Help Themselves

On the other hand, some customers prefer to not talk to someone to solve their problems, they would rather sort the issue themselves. Customers will often try to solve a problem themselves before reaching out for customer support.  Self-service is cost-effective, scalable, and keeps customers happy. Put your help content in focus so your customer can find the answer they need without having to search for it. If they are unable to find the answer to their question, make sure that the help from a real person isn’t far away. 

Could you include FAQs or a commonly asked questions section? Perhaps think about adding a few guides to your website that can be downloaded by your customers. Any way your customer can find the answers themselves without needing to call in or speak online is good to include and make available such as common questions like how to send an item back for a refund. 

Be Proactively Helpful

When it comes ot customer service, going the extra mile is one of the most important things you can do. This is when you have already ticked all the boxes, but you still want to and can do more. Sometimes this means anticipating your customers’ needs before they even have them. Some customer may be asking for one thing without realizing that they need something completely different, just don’t know how to ask for it. 

When your customer feels valued, they will keep returning. Giving them an extra discount, relooking at their contract or service package, offering them a new product will help your customers to understand you are appreciating their business

All of the tips above combined equal great customer service. Customer service is what holds your company together, keeping your customer loyal and only speaking great of you. It’s all about creating and maintaining a fantastic reputation and becoming a company that is known for looking after its customers. Customers like to be treated like people, not just another number in the queue. 

Do you have any other tips that could help? Please share them in the comments below. 

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How Can Your Home Business Establish A Professional Image?

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Building and maintaining a strong brand image is one of the most significant challenges facing any SME. However, the obstacles are even bigger when your venture is a home-based business. 

Thankfully, several steps can be taken to achieve the desired results. Use the following advice for guidance and you won’t go far wrong.

  1. Build a strong team

Employees are the greatest asset you possess. Likewise, they are a reflection of the company. Therefore, assembling and managing the strongest possible team should be the first item on your agenda. It will increase productivity, improve client interactions, and generally make the business better. In turn, it will gain a professional and trustworthy image that increases conversions. 

The harsh reality is that only a small percentage of client interactions will be conducted by yourself. So, surrounding yourself with the right people is essential.

2. Focus on first impressions

First impressions won’t necessarily win new clients. Conversely, though, negative impacts will end your hopes of getting a sale before you’ve even promoted the products. Virtual address services are particularly useful for home-based ventures. Aside from protecting your home address, the prestigious location sets a positive tone. A strong website and SEO strategy will achieve similar results. 

Image dimensions will often carry a huge influence, particularly with younger consumers. If you can’t be bothered to get your social media posts right, people will question other areas.

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3. Go green

Responsible businesses are destined to reap big rewards in the modern age. After all, consumers want to back brands that encourage guilt-free transactions. Therefore, opting for sustainability with ideas like eco-friendly packaging will serve you well. Furthermore, the positive changes are likely to spearhead a change of mindset. In turn, you may be more open to upgrades in other areas. 

When your business is willing to go above and beyond the competition, consumers will respond well. Even as a new home-based business, you can use this to great effect.

4. Upgrade your customer care

Most clients will now research companies before making a purchase. As such, you must invest heavily in customer interactions. A positive experience will enhance your hopes of getting the sale while it may also boost the price. Using VoIP services, chatbots, and other tech tools can transform your approach. In a world where clients demand speed like never before, you must not ignore this.

Of course, if you have remote human staff members handling the interactions, you should train them. Consistency is king, which is why they should all use the same strategies.

5. Get outside of the home

Running a home-based business means that a lot of daily tasks take place at home. However, this should not stop you from ever leaving the property. Marketing your business at trade shows or with pop-up stores can work wonders. Meanwhile, networking events can help you pick up valuable advice on how to run the venture in style. Whether it’s in industry circles or in relation to the customers, your brand image will soon soar.

The fact is that being seen in multiple places will build your reputation. Moreover, as word about the company spreads, you should see an increase in leads and conversions.

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How to Choose the Most Trustworthy Suppliers for Your Business

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Working with suppliers is a big part of what it takes to run a business smoothly. If you want to make sure that you keep your business operating as it should and as it needs to, that task will be made a whole lot easier if you’re working with the right suppliers. But how can you choose the right ones and the most trustworthy ones? That’s the pressing question we’re going to address today, so read on to find out more.

Create a Formal Selection Process

Creating a formal process that your business can consistently follow for finding and hiring new suppliers is really important. If you create a formal process, you’ll know that you always need to look for certain things, and the process can be honed and improved over time as you learn from past mistakes. Never simply hire a supplier on a whim without taking the time to assess the alternatives.

Put Contractual Agreements in Place

When you do find a competent supplier that you want to work with, you need to make sure that the agreement that exists between the two of you is confirmed in a legal document. You don’t want to suffer problems arising from a lack of clarity. When the agreement is signed into a legally binding agreement, it’s clear to everyone involved where you stand and what the terms are.

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Work with Experts and Specialists

Your life will be so much easier when you have the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re working with people who are experts and specialists in their field. If you need niche items such as red diesel drums or supplies for vehicles and equipment, you need to be able to rely on people who understand these things inside out. If that’s not the case, they’ll fall short.

Ask Plenty of Questions

When you’re going through the hiring process and talking to suppliers that you might be interested in working with, it’s important to ask questions. It’s always better to ask questions before an agreement has been put in place than afterwards. If there’s anything at all that you’re not sure about, you’ll want to get answers at the soonest possible opportunity. Failing to do so will run the risk of causing more problems later on down the line.

Create a Way of Monitoring Performance

There should be a solid system in place that allows you to monitor the performance levels of the suppliers you’re working with. That way, you can see when something is clearly not happening as you need it to. There are many ways to do this so explore the options and find ways to assess performance, so you can then discuss issues with suppliers as they arise.

The right suppliers are essential to keeping a business operational, and you should never underestimate the impact they can have in your business, both in a positive and a negative sense. Make use of the advice above and choose suppliers you can trust.

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6 Common Mistakes Made by Small Business Owners

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Photo by Andrea Piacuadio from Pexels

The entrepreneurial journey is full of mistakes, mishaps, and missteps. No matter how good you are in business-ownership experience, you will run into problems most of the time.

To be successful, identify your mistakes quickly, learn from them and prevent the same mistakes from repeating themselves, says Michalowicz Mike, a business expert. Most business owners fall into the same mistakes. These recurrent mistakes could make the difference between owning a viable and successful small business or owning a money pit that has the possibility of leaving you in financial pain for many years.

So, what are these mistakes that small business owners make?

1.  Trying to Get Rich Quickly

 It takes between 15-20 years to achieve overnight success. If you start a business to get rich in a year, you may be discouraged early and prematurely give up on your dream. Know that success takes perseverance, time, and a little luck. Be patient with your business and let it grow. Start something new only if your company stays stagnant for long.

2.  Practicing Negligent Paper Recycling Habits

We all want a clean planet; however, this does not mean that you should toss your confidential documents into the recycling bin. Thieves could scour your recycling bins looking for carelessly disposed of documents with confidential information. Fortunately, there is a secure and environmentally-friendly onsite shredding service that destroys your sensitive documents and sends them to a secure recycling partner for safe recycling.

3.  Assuming Your Business Has No Competition

Even if you have the greatest, latest, and new approach to something, do not assume that your business does not face competition. Competition precedes the direct, obvious business competitors. It is all the alternatives that are available. What course of action should a consumer take if they do not want to use your services and products? The consumer always has the alternative of walking away, which alone is a grave competitive threat.

4.  Being a Weak Leader

The success of your start-up depends on you being an effective and strong leader. However, it does not mean that you have to be authoritarian, but you should not be friendly with everyone. A great leader communicates constantly, inspires his team to achieve the next level, and sets the business course.

5.  Trying to Do Everything

One of the mistakes entrepreneurs make is believing that they can do everything all by themselves. Even though they can do almost everything, they do most of these things poorly. Just like most people, an entrepreneur also has talents. As an entrepreneur, it is your responsibility to identify these talents and fully focus on them. Surround your people who have talents in areas where you are weakest. Great businesses thrive on exploiting various strengths, not trying to master everything.

6.  Lacking a Clear Marketing Strategy

You never know how, when, or where a new client will hear from your company. If you have an unclear message in the market, the prospects will not know what products or services your business offers. Therefore, have a consistent and clear message on all sides.

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How To Ensure Your Boss Notices You

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If you want to progress in your career, you’ll need to ensure that your boss knows you’re there. If they don’t notice you or the work you’re doing, then when it comes time for a promotion it’s going to be hard to stand out from the crowd. 

It’s vital to make a good impression on your employer if you want to advance at work – the only other option is to search for an entirely new job, and that’s not an easy thing to do. If you love where you work and you enjoy what you do, then moving on up where you are makes sense, but if your boss isn’t aware of you, that’s going to be tough too. Here are some useful tips to ensure your boss notices you so you can vie for that promotion you’ve always wanted.  

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Know About Them

Knowing things about your boss is not the same as stalking them and following them everywhere, and you do need to be careful; you don’t want to come across as too much. However, knowing a little about their hobbies and their family so that you can engage in conversation with them when you need to is useful. 

The key to this idea is to listen to what your boss talks about, and notice things about them. If they come into work with cool new golf bags, for example, you can comment on them, talk about golf (if you know anything about it), and engage in friendly conversation. Little things like this will strengthen your relationship, and when the time comes for a promotion or more responsibility, they will remember you. 

Take Bold Steps 

If you want to get on at work and you want to be noticed more by your employer, you should take bold steps when you can – this will help you to stand out and be more memorable. These bold steps don’t need to be risky, of course, unless you have thought things through in advance, and they don’t need to be detrimental to anything that anyone else is doing. One idea would be to ensure you’re the first one to comment or ask questions in a meeting, or perhaps being the first one to answer a question. 

Many people will be cautious of doing this, worried about being criticized or getting an answer wrong, and so on. However, if you can get over these fears and keep your end goal in mind, you should be able to take these bold steps to ensure your boss notices you. 

Always Be On Time 

It might sound like a small thing, but in terms of getting you noticed, always turning up to work – and meetings and training events and anything else you need to attend – on time can make a big difference in how your boss sees you. Those who are late are going to be noticed but not for the right reasons; being on time or, even better, early, will help you to stand out and as a bonus, it will show your boss that you’re dedicated to your job. 

Of course, sometimes people have to be late for work for entirely legitimate reasons, and that can’t be helped, but if this is something you have to do you must tell your boss as soon as possible; not turning up on time and not letting anyone know why is not a good idea if you want to be noticed for the right reasons. 

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Business Management, What Is Important To Address?

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In an ever-changing digital age, it is important to market your business in all relevant media. It is true that the Internet has taken a significant share of the business advertising market, but older media that can still generate revenue must not be abandoned. Advertising on a local business on local bus lines can also bring in a fair amount of customers. While advertising on buses is not mandatory, internet marketing is definitely an absolute must in most businesses, especially in small businesses. The value of a responsive (mobile-friendly) website that meets all relevant standards is invaluable. Serious business consulting firms usually have a dedicated internet marketing and web design consultant. 

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The advice given by an internet marketing expert will be able to run campaigns for you and generate profitability from advertising. Not all advertising is good advertising, sometimes leads from the internet are irrelevant and we pay particularly high amounts of money for them, so it is important to make sure that your marketing campaigns are relevant. Marketing and sales require a different ability from the business owner. One aims to bring in customers and one can enlist the help of a marketing expert, in sales the subject is completely different. In a small business, it is usually the business owner who talks to the customers and is also responsible for sales. Many business owners find it difficult to admit that they have a problem closing customers and lose a lot of money because they do not know how to have a proper sales conversation with a customer, address his objections and strive to close a sale. A quality sales workshop or a number of meetings with a sales coach, can significantly increase the amount of sales and increase the motivation and profitability of the business. 

Managing finances 

What is your business? Who do they sell to? Does your business intertwine with partners. If you work within events management or catering, perhaps you need to look at contract food manufacturing and see what other outgoings may contribute to your finances. Many financial decisions are made based on future cash flow. It is therefore necessary to be constantly with the hand on the pulse. A professional financial manager assists the business in managing and controlling payments, receipts and liabilities of all types and for all parties: banks and non-bank financing bodies, customers, suppliers, local authorities and tax authorities. All of these create a clear picture that allows the business to run in a stable manner.

Family businesses or families in which one or both spouses run an independent business, are often dragged into a mix of business and family finances. An external treasurer will take care of the financial interests of the business while maintaining the integrity of the family. This is done through the day-to-day management of business funds along with solutions that will ensure a fair distribution of funds to family members, the transfer of property from generation to generation, retirement arrangements to the founding generation, maintaining the value of business and private property, distribution and transfer of shares, distribution of dividends and more.

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Things to Consider When Building New Business Premises

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Constructing a new building to house your business is an exciting step. Being in a position to create a new building for your growing company is a milestone moment. There are many benefits to building your business premises from scratch, and it is the best way to ensure that you have a base tailored to meet the needs of your operation. But, before you get started, you need to be sure that you plan the project carefully to make it a success. Here are some of the factors to consider when building new premises for your company:

Decide on Your Budget

Calculating a budget for your new building needs to be done before you start on anything else. The amount of money you are willing to invest in your new site will determine how the whole project pans out. 

Costing out the project before you take it further will help you understand how much your money will buy you. You will also need to have extra money available as a contingency fund to cover unexpected costs during the build.

When deciding how much money to invest in your new commercial building, you will need to consider the potential return on investment. How will your business be able to generate more revenue in a larger building? Will the building be designed to allow for increased output? Making a decision of this scale impacts on your business’ future. Therefore, it requires careful thought and a thorough understanding of how the sums add up.

Pick Your Location

The location of your new business premises is vital for many reasons. You will need to think about many elements that will influence your new location. For example, do you want to be close to your existing building? Can you afford to buy a building plot in the area that you are considering? Do you rely on passing trade in your business, and if so, which location has the best foot traffic?

Choosing the wrong location could be incredibly detrimental to your business, but choosing the right one could see your business boom.

Choose Contractors Carefully

Your choice of contractors will impact the quality of your building. Selecting the best industrial builders for the job will ensure that your premises are of the highest quality. Choosing the right team of builders to work on your new site is crucial. Using unreliable builders could result in you ending up with a sub-standard finished product and delays in the construction process.

Is it Future-Proof?

Deciding to invest in a new building is a big step. You will need to be sure that the building meets the needs of your company and its increasing success. If you plan to expand your services and grow your business in the future, you will need to ensure that your new building can accommodate these changes. Taking time to plan your new premises carefully will ensure that it will be the perfect base for your business right now and far into the future.

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Why Outsourcing Success Takes Effort

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If you are keen to maximize the efficiency and profitability of your business, you need to consider the wonderful world of outsourcing. Outsourcing used to be a bit of an unspoken word when it came to startups. For some reason, outsourcing was seen as admitting defeat when it came to fulfilling business functions. However, outsourcing is now seen as a viable route to ensuring that your venture is producing high quality output at all times. Outsourcing correctly takes effort. Follow this guide and discover how you can utilize outsourcing for the benefit of your startup.

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Payroll

If you have a small team of staff working with you, it’s crucial that you pay them on time and the right amount. Being hunched over a calculator for three days every month can be a chore. You might feel stressed or frustrated having to work out every pension contribution and tax obligation. To relinquish this responsibility, outsource your payroll function to a team of specialists. These individuals will utilize computer systems and software to ensure that you tam are paid directly into their bank account. This admin function is tedious and can result in you not having the time to spend on more pressing business functions. You will be free to work on your digital marketing strategy, your business vision, and your social media presence.

Documentation

If payroll isn’t the only admin function that you have to contend with, explore the freeing aspect of outsourcing translation services. If you work with clients and suppliers across the world that do not have English as a first language, you may receive documentation in French, Spanish or Mandarin. Find a translator to help you decipher the documentation and translate prose into English. This can prevent any small print confusion and will prevent you from falling into a miscommunication trap. 

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Social Media

Some entrepreneurs don’t have time to spend on social media as they feel that updating their status on Facebook or posting content on Twitter is not as important as sourcing funding for their product launch. However, being online and tapping into the millennial market is vital to make a success of your startup in the twenty first century. Consider employing the services of a social media manager to help keep your Twitter feeds and Instagram grids fresh, exciting and readable. With a well designed social media presence, you can enjoy a renaissance in your customer base. You can increase your revenue and sales as you increase your follower numbers. These social media managers will also hone your company voice and help you to be more friendly and informal rather than corporate and stuffy when chatting to potential clientele.

Outsourcing should no longer be feared or not spoken about. The finest business minds are embracing the positives of outsourcing and they aren’t shy about shouting about it. Both Amazon and Apple use smaller companies to help them to complete their analytics and logistics. Be a market leader and a beacon of outsourcing positivity by following this guide.

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Promoting Your Business For A Successful 2021

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Do you have a local business and you don’t know what to do to attract more customers? In this post we will explain the different ways to promote your local business, be it a renovation company, plumbing, a restaurant, etc. So now you know, read on and start to attract those first customers through the Internet. The acquisition of customers through online marketing is something that, although many companies are carrying it out, there are still many local businesses that are not implementing any type of strategy, so if you are willing to invest some of your time or money Wait no more, you are in time to overtake your competition.

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Website

A fairly common mistake on the part of many local business owners is to see their company’s website as an expense, as something that “must have”, but they really do not give it much value and are not aware of the true potential that it may be losing.  Having a website for your business should be your number one priority. It is basically your online showcase. A web page is the main tool to be able to promote your business online and although you can do it on your own, it is worth investing in a professional web design service that guarantees you an optimal result at all levels: design, programming, usability, navigability, security, good accommodation, support for updates, etc.

Advertise in person

Have people see your business or business events whilst they are walking down the street. Through a shop window, on a billboard or at any type of event to promote your business. you could look at www.eventdisplay.com.au to inspire you with this idea.

Advertise in directories and listings 

Another way to get visibility online is by registering your business in local directories and business listings. Registering your company on this type of website will not get great results, but at least you will get some links to your website that will help you a little with the local SEO of your website. But be careful, do not register in all the ones you find, since many of them are unreliable and can even be negative for web positioning. 

Use social networks.

Social networks are a great way to publicize your company, services or products on the Internet, but it is very important to manage them properly. The failure of many companies and entrepreneurs is that profiles are created on all social networks, but then the management and use made of said profiles is not correct: it is not published regularly, the content is not of quality, no a tone of communication is used according to the image of the company, the interaction with the users of your community is null, etc. The best thing is that you have profiles on social networks in which there is a higher percentage of potential audience that is interested in your services or products, and that of course, you can manage correctly.

It is time to make 2021 your year for success and take on some simple ideas to catapult you to success. 

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4 Errors First-Time Business Owners Make

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It is perfectly common to make errors when you run a business, just as it is common in many other areas of life. But if you are keen to try and run your business as well as possible, you are obviously going to want to look at ways in which you can reduce the number of errors you make. A good start here is to take a look at some of the major and most common errors that first-time business owners tend to make, so that you can then develop a strategy for avoiding those yourself. Let’s take a look at four of the most common that you might want to avoid.

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Spending Too Much Too Fast

It is very tempting for newcomers to business to simply spend a lot of money – too much money, in fact, and too fast. This can happen because you are excited about owning and running a business, or because you are working from a mistaken belief that you need to spend a lot upfront in order to make a lot later on. In fact, you do of course need to spend some money, but probably much less than you assume. Be careful not to overspend, and make sure you are not spending it all in one go. A strong budget will help you here.

Managing Tax Alone

Even if you believe you understand perfectly well how to approach tax, you are still going to benefit from getting some help with it. There are so many complications when it comes to business tax, and generally the best approach is just to hire a small business tax accountant to help you out. Many first-time business owners don’t do this, and end up posting an incorrect return or even underpaying on their tax – a big no-no that could land you in deep trouble.

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Not Protecting Intellectual Property

When it comes to your intellectual property, you really do need to lock it down. The last thing you should do is to fall under the spell of thinking that other business leaders will be reasonable and not steal your ideas. In fact, if you are not legally protecting your ideas and product designs and so on, frankly someone out there will steal them at one time or another, and you won’t have a legal leg to stand on. So: use all the legal protections you can from the very start.

Failing To Evaluate The Market

Before you even start trading, you need to question whether you are in a position to sell products at this current moment in time. In other words, is the marketplace ready for you, or are you way out on a limb? It is only by carrying out some genuinely deep evaluations of the market that you can get to the bottom of this, and it’s going to be one of the most important early steps you can possibly take. Be sure you are not forgetting to do this before you start selling, otherwise you could end up regretting it.

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The Power Of Physical Marketing For Small Businesses

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Marketing is something every business has to plan carefully, and knowing what works and what won’t is a big part of ensuring you don’t waste money on the campaign trail. You need to be able to pinpoint what works for your company, and how to implement it successfully, and while it takes some time to do so, mistakes along the way can both be beneficial and costly. 

And that’s why you need to take a second look at physical marketing – it can work for everyone. It still carries a lot of power in the digital day and age, and below we’ll go through a list of reasons as to why. Keep them in mind for your next campaign. 

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A Connection That isn’t Digital

A digital connection is amazing for a lot of things, but it’s not the only thing you marketing budget should be pushed towards. Physical marketing ensures you have a local, tangible connection as well, via the use of flyers and billboards and letters through a person’s door. 

For people who don’t tend to use the net, this is an essential way to get your name out – and there are more people like this than you might think. Not to mention, when your name, image, and message is physically around, it’s going to be a lot harder to get you off of the mind! 

The Opportunities at an Event

Hosting a business event of your own is a great way to bring some attention to your name. People love being able to dress up and network in such places, where a lot of like minded people will collect, and if your name is over the door, they’ll certainly remember the opportunity you gave them. 

However, throwing a business event can be hit and miss. You need to throw the right kind, and depending on a company like Catalyst Event Solutions could be your ticket to success. Most of all, you need to know who you’re trying to attract; customer or investor? It’ll certainly ensure you’re running the right theme, and creating the right atmosphere to mingle within. When you have an aim, and an image to present, you’re guaranteed to have someone to sell to. 

Getting Involved in Your Local Community

Physical marketing is all about selling to your local community, and integrating into it in a positive and effective manner. And that’s why you should get involved – sponsor a project or two, and make sure your brand name is stated loud and clear, or featured prominently, when the projects are complete. 

Pick your projects right, however. Sponsor school clubs, local football teams, new developments that have long been awaited, etc. Just make sure your name is in the right place! 

Physical marketing is as relevant as ever in the modern day and age. It can be used to enhance your small business’ image in a variety of ways, from hosting events to sponsoring local activities, you can really get your name out there!

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5 Things Your Business Should Never Skimp On

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Cutting your costs can be an effective way to increase profitability, but there are some expenses that are critical to your long-term business success. Identifying the costs that will save you money, in the long run, is the key to running a successful enterprise. To ensure you’ve got the resources and equipment you need to thrive, take a look at these five things your business should never skimp on:

1. Equipment Maintenance

All businesses use some form of equipment. From computers and printers to JCBs and cranes, the nature of your business will determine what type of machinery you need. Investing in high-quality equipment allows your business to operate efficiently and keeping it well-maintained allows you to protect your investment.

In addition to this, maintaining your equipment ensures you’re meeting your legal obligations as an employer and reduces the risk of accidents occurring. Failing to maintain machinery can lead to financial sanctions and even legal action, so it’s not an area you want to scrimp on.

2. Business Insurance

Insurance is designed to offer financial compensation if something goes wrong. Depending on the terms of your policy, business insurance can cover a range of situations, including equipment malfunctions, broken water pipes, damaged stock, or cash flow disruptions. By paying a little extra for a comprehensive policy, you can ensure that you have the best level of cover. Although you may never have to use it, taking out business insurance should be a vital part of your contingency planning.

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3. Security

Your company’s security protocols help to ensure that you’re operating within relevant regulations, as well as protecting your premises, equipment, and network. Whether you use solar camera surveillance for construction sites or dome cameras in retail environments, having effective security measures in place drastically reduces the risk of financial loss or property damage. Remember – it isn’t just your physical security you need to consider. Businesses should also ensure they have a detailed cybersecurity strategy in place to prevent hackers, ransomware, or viruses from infiltrating their systems.

4. Staff

The success of your business depends largely on your employees, so you’ll want to ensure you attract the best candidates. Offering a competitive salary, along with an attractive benefits package, can help to ensure top talent seeks out job opportunities with your firm. However, creating a positive work environment and motivating your team are also important ways of ensuring your staff remain happy and productive.

5. Safety Checks

Depending on the type of business you run, there may be various safety checks you need to perform on a regular basis. Ensuring workers have the appropriate certifications on a construction site or supplying PPE to employees in a lab environment, for example, is part of your duty as an employer. Failing to conduct appropriate safety checks can land you in hot water and ruin your company’s reputation, so it’s always worth investing the right resources and maintaining an exemplary safety record.

Cut the Right Costs

Analyzing your expenditure and reducing some of your outgoings is an appropriate way to maximize profitability. However, it’s vital to recognize which costs are essential and which aren’t. By investing in the right areas and cutting superfluous costs, you can boost your revenue and safeguard your business.

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5 Proactive Measures to Prevent Workplace Accidents

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Workers should always feel safe in their workplace since a single accident can negatively impact productivity and employee morale. Additionally, the cost of dealing with accidents is often high, making it more necessary to exercise precaution. Although incidents may not be predicted, taking a proactive safety criterion reduces the chances of accidents in the workplace and also makes it easier to deal with such incidents should they happen.

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How to Prevent Workplace Accidents

A proactive safety measure is centered on minimizing the likelihood of accidents occurring in the first place. It also means anticipating accidents, preparing for them, and reducing response time to minimize losses that may accrue from compensation claims. For instance, it is more economical to use warehouse line marking to improve visual communication and reduce accidents.

Below are some ways you can prevent workplace accidents.

Use the right signs

It is essential to post signs that remind workers of safety procedures. Additionally, employers should ensure these signs are posted in noticeable spaces, especially areas that the procedures are supposed to be applied. For instance, posting a “slippery floor” on the floor enhances precaution when people walk into the room.

Train employees and other staff

All employees should be trained on their roles and related safety procedures. This includes teaching employees how to use work equipment and follow safety protocols when performing their duties.

Buy proper equipment

Employers should ensure that all employees are adequately equipped for their roles. This may include providing PPEs like safety gloves, goggles, and other protective gear to workers. Employees should never be left to work without proper safety equipment, especially those in high-risk roles.

Review safety policies and procedures

It is recommended that you review the company’s safety policies and procedures at least once every year or after a workplace accident. Check if policies and procedures are still applicable. Update where necessary, especially if you have changed some workplace activities or adopted new technologies and equipment.

Accordingly, it is essential to communicate in case of any safety updates. Employers should also consider further training to help employees adapt to workplace changes regarding safety policies and procedures.

Conduct frequent inspections

For some activities like construction, manufacturing, and repairs, using dangerous equipment is always necessary to complete tasks. However, accidents should not be a necessary part of the job. In this case, the best way to avoid workplace accidents is by conducting frequent inspections of all tools, machinery, and equipment to ensure they are in optimal working condition. This should also include protective equipment to ascertain they function well and workers are well-protected at all times.

In case of any breakages, ensure timely repairs and replacements. Saving some money on replacements can cost you millions in lawsuits.

Bottom Line

Every business comes with its unique safety concerns, and paying extra caution is all it takes to prevent unnecessary workplace accidents. Always strive to develop safety strategies to make your warehouse much safer if you have people working there. Unfortunately, no level of preparation can guarantee total safety. Accidents are inevitable, and employees may still get injured, even after observing all precautions. What matters is how you respond to such a situation. This means you must also have reactive safety strategies in place.

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3 Ways to Survive the Economic Pitfalls of 2020

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The unprecedented circumstances of 2020 have taught us several valuable lessons. When lockdowns first began, we quickly learned that our favorite goods or services were no longer guaranteed to be available. Soon after, we realized that our businesses could be deemed inessential and taken away by our governments. With all the economic uncertainty, job loss, and government overreach – we’ve all had to come up with ways to make sure our families stay fed, healthy, and happy. Read on to discover 3 ways to survive the pitfalls of 2020. 

Develop an Online Side Hustle

Unless you already ran an online business or held a remote position for an online company, you likely struggled to continue earning income in 2020. Even for companies that were able to quickly transition their employees to teleworking, layoffs soon reduced the number of available positions everywhere. As we look to the future, it’s easy to see how important it is to have a marketable online skill that you can leverage to bring in some spare cash. 

When you’re considering your online side hustle, you’ll want to ask yourself how much time you have to invest in your new trade. Whether you do freelance copywriting or build an ecommerce store, making money online is not only possible, but profitable. The more time you have to dedicate to your new hustle – the more successful you’ll be. 

Borrow from Your Future

If you were laid off or forced to close your business, you probably scrambled to think of ways to stay afloat. Whether you decide to return to school, visit a loan center, or cash out your retirement, you have to do what makes sense for your survival today. 

If you decide to return to school, there are tons of undergraduate and graduate programs that can help you develop a marketable skill for the future. Consider using the wisdom of 2020 and earn a degree in a field that allows for remote work like coding, bookkeeping, or internet marketing. Student loans are widely available and typically don’t require repayment until 6 months after graduation. 

If you decide to dip into your retirement to stay afloat, make sure you consult a financial advisor. You’ll want to pay the least amount of taxes and withdraw just enough to cover expenses until you get back on your feet. 

Petition Your Government 

If you’ve lost your livelihood due to forced closures and lockdowns, you deserve a leg-up. Do your research and learn if you qualify for unemployment benefits or government assistance. Food stipends, mortgage forgiveness, and rent moratoriums may be available to you. If you find that you don’t qualify for support, it’s in your best interest to reach out to your local government representatives (and news media) to petition for a redress of grievances.

Billions of people have taken a physical, mental, social and economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. Life certainly threw us a curveball. It’s up to us to roll with the punches, look to the future, remain optimistic, and demand what we deserve from those in power. 

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Set Yourself Up for Success: 5 Tips to Make Your Money Work Harder for You

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The uncertain times we live in call for a better financial strategy than the ones you had so far. The months spent in lockdown has given us the chance to get our finances in check. But, if you have not done so, it is time to craft a plan that can help you set yourself on the way to financial success in the future. 

Making your money work harder for you is undoubtedly the first step. However, considering secondary passive income streams and getting started on that side project you had in mind for a while can also be winning strategies. If in doubt about how to improve your financial situation, check the tips below.

Be Clear on Your Budget

Overspending and living above your means are among the two most common causes for financial disaster – in families, in business, and in personal life. Getting started on crafting a budget that works for your income and the lifestyle you intend to live is crucial. But first, you should be honest with yourself and ensure you are recording all of your spendings and earnings. Creating different categories and being consistent with your entries is crucial to have a clearer idea about your finances. You can also opt to use budgeting apps or spreadsheets, but don’t forget to add something to your savings each month!

Get Started on That Side Hustle

Starting a side hustle can be an excellent way to replenish your savings. While it will only take away a few hours of your week, a side hustle or project might give you the chance to dedicate time to your interests and passions, as well as improving your financial situation and helping you get back on track with your life goals

Start an Emergency Fund

Starting an emergency fund is a smarter way to be prepared for situations which might come around one day – even if we try not to think about them. An accident, death, or bad investment can undoubtedly take a serious toll on your emotional health. However, if you are not financially prepared, it can also severely harm your savings and your chances to pursue your life goals. Starting a fund today amidst a pandemic might not seem a smart idea, but there has also never been a more suitable time to do so!

Make Smart Investments

Instead of spending money on clothes or dinners out, you might consider investing your money in a way that will benefit you more in the future. Allowing yourself some exception is always positive, but, generally, you should consider opting for a stricter financial regime for you and your family. This can help you save and invest in a new property – something that ensures you have a material resource you can leverage during rainy days.

Consider Other Ways to Earn

Investing in the stock market or strategies like Forex can be a form of passive income that you should not ignore. While it can take time to understand the ins and outs of this world, the benefits and profit potential of these techniques are undeniable. And, while you can get started on your own today, you can count on the support of a community of experts ready to answer your questions.

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Is Your Office Protected Against Power Outages?

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When you think about the potential dangers to your business, you’re probably thinking about cyberattacks, fraud or burglaries. But have you ever considered the danger posed by power outages? If you lose power to your office, everything grinds to a halt and there is a chance that equipment can be damaged. You’re losing money until you can get things back online again and you may have to deal with serious problems, like data loss. It’s important that you take steps to protect your office against a power outage so you can avoid any big financial losses. These are the best ways to manage the dangers posed by power outages. 

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UCVS Systems 

Using a UCVS (Ultra-Cap Voltage Stabilizer) can protect against voltage surges or drops, especially in data centers. If you don’t already have a system in place, get in touch with a company like gff power and have one installed. This will protect electrical equipment in the event of a large storm or a power outage, so you can avoid damaging things or, most importantly, losing any sensitive data that is stored on your servers. 

Backup Generators 

In the event that there is a power outage, having a backup generator in place is a good idea. If you have a reliable backup in place, it will kick in right away and restore power to the building. This prevents any expensive downtime because your employees can continue working as normal, but you may still lose some of your data if servers are offline for a minute or so. 

Outsource Your IT 

If you are concerned about protecting your servers and preventing data loss, outsourcing your IT is a good option. All of your data will be stored and managed on the cloud by a third party company, so if there is a power outage at your office, you won’t lose anything. A good IT management service will also be able to fix any issues that are caused by a power outage so you can reduce downtime and get things back to normal as soon as possible.

Have A Health And Safety Plan 

You don’t just need to think about protecting sensitive data and electrical equipment from power outages, you also need to consider your employee’s safety. You should already have a plan to deal with general dangers around the office but you also need to have a specific safety plan in place in the event of a power cut. If your backup generators are not working for some reason and you cannot restore power to the building, you need to evacuate your employees safely. You should then inform the local authorities so they can deal with the issue. Having a few battery powered torches around the office is a good idea because the low light makes things a lot more dangerous. Make sure that all of the walkways and exits to the building are cleared as well because trip hazards are increased in low light. 

Power outages can be very costly to your business if you are not prepared for them, but you can protect yourself if you follow these steps.

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How To Reduce Staff Burnout And Increase Productivity

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Staff burnout is a worrying phenomenon widespread in corporate organizations. It is a condition caused by emotional and physical exhaustion, which is a negative response to a stressful working environment. Unfortunately, organizations often treat burnouts as a personal or capacity management concern rather than an extensive organizational issue. This is a serious mistake. 

After conducting an extensive study, Professor of industrial and organizational psychology, Dr. Michael Leiter, suggested that between 5% and 7% of the Australian workforce experience burnout. But what effect does this have on businesses? Although estimates may vary on the impact of staff burnout, the major dangers include a decrease in productivity and an increase in turnovers, which in turn represents an increase in payroll costs. And the financial issues don’t stop there, as the cost of replacing an employee is almost twice their annual salary. So what can HR do to manage the problem? 

  1. Staff education on burnout signs 

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There are several signs before a total burnout. Are your employees struggling to focus when they are at the workplace? Are they sleeping well, or do they appear continually stressed? It is not simple for a manager to identify burnout, so it is practical for managers and supervisors to go over indications of burnout during staff meetings. Organizational leaders must urge their team to seek assistance when they realize they are struggling. Together, they can then build an actionable plan towards helping staff re-adjust to work life. 

  1. Excessive organizational collaboration 

This is a typical ailment in organizations with an excessive number of leaders and many decision-making nodes. Extreme collaborations reveal themselves in the need to meet frequently and hold many conference calls to guarantee that every stakeholder is heard and adjusted. Surprisingly, numerous corporate businesses engage in many collaborations way above what’s needed for work. This overload can be addressed by changing routines and reducing unnecessary complexities in the organization’s structure, which can often slow down decision-making. 

  1. Remote and flexible working 

Remote working and flexible working hours is a simple yet vital tool to promote employee productivity. The increasingly high expectation at the workplace, coupled with the need to be physically present daily, often places undue anxiety and stress on staff. This also often leads to the culture of employees staying late into the night to ‘display’ signs of being hardworking. Advancement in technology means team members can work from home, beating the stress of commuting to and from work and wasting valuable hours. Working parents, for example, shouldn’t miss school run to be present in the office. 

  1. Provision of staff support 

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Businesses are often guilty of placing staff in an aggressive environment with high expectations, without providing them with the needed support to accomplish the targeted objective. Organizations can build the capacity of their representatives, increase profitability, and reduce the chance of burnout by providing the necessary devices and resources. Organizations like Adesso Digital provide automated business solutions that execute recurring tasks, thereby minimizing costs, enhancing staff support, and improving staff efficiency.

Staff burnout was officially recognized by the World Health Organization in 2019, and since then the responsibility for preventing it has shifted towards the workplace and away from the individual. Business leaders are now expected to include a burnout-reducing approach in their work processes.  

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Keeping Your Warehouse Clean During COVID-19

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The battle is not over yet, we have to stay vigilant as business owners. The virus is going to be with us for many years to come, experts say. That means that every business owner has to get used to the fact that cleanliness will need to be taken to the next level, and thus, become the norm. We can do this by implementing some common sense policies and instructing our employees to take care of each other. However, we need to merge the practical needs of this, along with the educational aspects. Here’s how you can keep your warehouse clean during the pandemic.





Wiping becomes a habit

Something as simple as wiping down surfaces has to become normal. This should be done by managers and employees. But how often and where? 

Managers need to know what kind of orders in the warehouse they are fulfilling. In other words, which areas of the warehouse will be used for the day? Some products may not have been ordered so the locations where they are stored, need not be disturbed. By knowing which areas of the warehouse will be used, you can set up a cone of cleanliness. Simply use antibacterial and antiviral wipes to clean the palettes, the pump trucks, the shelves which are storing the products/inventory. It should become a habit for both employees and managers. Employees should wipe them down after use, while managers go around and wipe the areas down every other hour.

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Cleaning thoroughly

Once work has stopped for the day or perhaps a shift has come to the end. You need to use the right kind of cleaning supplies to thoroughly clean the areas that have been in contact with your employees. They have industrial floor cleaning equipment, vacuuming, steaming and generally brushing the area so that no dirt or debris will be left. This is crucial for your warehouse as the hard surfaces need to be cleaned with a little gusto. Your simple home cleaning supplies will not do the trick, you need strong equipment for this type of cleaning. Speak with one of their sales assistants or advisors, as they can demonstrate each product for you and explain how it adds value to your business. In times such as these, you cannot afford to have an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus among your workforce, so don’t skimp out.

Reporting and honesty

If one of the employees is not behaving as they should, i.e. wiping their nose with their hands and touching inventory or other people, they have to be reported. This is a very touchy subject for employees because they want to work in a place where there is camaraderie. And telling each other doesn’t really bolster that. But, it’s necessary. Don’t forget this is a life-threatening virus, you have to will employees, to be honest, and report on those among them that aren’t following correct hygiene rules.

A warehouse is a very valuable business, not just to the owners but to the wide economy. Take these precautions and you’ll avoid being shut down by the authorities. 

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