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How to Create a Greener Business

Becoming an environmentally-friendly business cannot only help to preserve the planet, but it can also improve your brand’s image and increase sales. If you want to develop eco-friendly practices across your organization, find out how to create a greener business.

Utilize Solar Energy

Do you want to reduce your energy bills without compromising on your electricity usage? If so, you should utilize the power of solar energy. You might be surprised to learn that one hour of sunlight can meet the world’s energy needs for a whole year. So, it is therefore an environmentally-friendly way to power your operations whilst reducing your overheads.

Telecommuting

Modern technologies no longer tie businesses to offices. Video conferencing, cloud computing and email has made it easier than ever for professionals to communicate and collaborate, so you can create and run your business from the comfort of your home. You can also outsource affordable talent from across the world to help run your growing business. So, try telecommuting to reduce traffic, your carbon footprint, waste and energy consumption.

Green Procurement

Green procurement is easily one of the most effective ways to make your business eco-friendly. You simply must source both goods and services that are both produced and supplied sustainably. Always try to buy from local suppliers to reduce your carbon footprint.

Always ensure suppliers embark with sustainable manufacturing processes, and that their products and materials do not feature any ozone depleting or toxic substances. Also, ask a supplier if their products are made from recyclable or renewable materials.

Decrease Water Usage

North America has experienced some of its driest years on record recently. It is therefore important to prevent both climate change and drought conditions by decreasing water usage across a business. You can do so by fixing dripping taps or plumbing leaks, and you can hire a plumber to install both low-flow faucets aerators and low-flow toilets in every washroom.

Electronic Recycling

Unfortunately, the US alone is responsible for two million tons of e-waste every year. Items that are not recycled will make their way to landfills or will be incinerated or illegally exported to developing countries, which will each have a negative impact on our planet.

Businesses therefore have a morale responsibility to recycle their electronic devices. Most technology manufacturers, such as HP and Dell, have introduced technology recycling programs to make it easier for individuals and companies to dispose of their gadgets. You may also be able to donate computers, monitors, smartphones or tablets to charities or schools across the local area.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing makes it easy for businesses to store important documents, collaborate online and gain instant access to important files. As a result, it can reduce the need for travel or the printing of hard documents. So, you can reduce paper waste and improve your carbon footprint. Utilize cloud computing software today, such as Dropbox, Office 365 or Google Drive.

Have you got any top tips for becoming a greener company? Share your advice by posting a comment.

Why Technology Is So Important In Business Practice

The information age got itself into full swing about 100 years ago, and we’re still living in it these days because of the amount of new information that can spring up in any sector in any market anywhere on the globe. As a result, it’s such a powerful time to run a business. You can be reached from anywhere and find the market you need instantly with a few search engine terms, and then operate on a larger scale than you ever would have been able to in the past. So with that in mind, here’s some of the mostly wide renowned reasons as to why technology is so important in our business practices.

Our Communication is So Much Better

Let’s consider this for a minute. When you’re able to write things down to send off, instead of speaking it to a person, we can draft out what we’re going to say. That means we can perfect our communicative skills, and make it a lot easier to close a deal with a few emails. Of course there’s no beating the natural charisma of the speech, but if you’re the kind of person who is in a leadership position and struggles with this, no longer do you need to think yourself turfed out because of it!

Not only does this impress possible investors and business connections, but you can also better perform customer service with the written word. No issues with connectivity over the phone, everything about a complaint is set out in front of you to refer back to, and you can focus on more than one task at once seeing as you’re using a screen instead of your voice. You can practice with online programs and apps without ever needing to hire out a service. It’s often a lot cheaper to run business through technology!

It Affects Our Operating Size

So whilst we may be a far cry away from replacing human workers with robots, despite burgeoning AI on the frontier, we can expand our businesses via the use of software. This is because everything is instantly accessible as long as you have an internet connection, and there’s hardly any countries left in the world where this isn’t reliable. Connectivity on a global scale means we can do international trading, conference calls across oceans, and bring in more and more people from the other side of the world with a whole wealth of talent. It’s incredibly exciting when you think about it!

You can even cut out a few hours of work time, or even lower the cost of hiring an accountant when you can do financial modeling on smart spreadsheets. It may still be a good idea to bring on someone who knows the numbers inside and out, as nothing is smarter than the human brain, but programs like this give people with lower budgets a better chance from the get go.

It Often Keeps Details More Secure

Of course in such a digital age you’re going to experience software bugs, and of course sometimes there’s the odd hack or two. However, having firewalls and digital security systems in place make these details you store on a network a lot more secure, plus they’re easier to reach for everyone involved in a transaction process.

On a more local scale, business operations can be kept secure by software from outside intrusion by competitors, and if you’re running a business that has a secret recipe involved in the creation of your product, this is where it’ll be the most safe. Even passwords alone are a great deterrent!

So the general theme is that if you have software systems in place to encrypt the data of customers, you’re not going to lose it in the back of a filing cabinet or need to input the same information everytime it comes to it, plus you’re better protected against any malware willing to get into your data banks. Don’t underestimate the power of technology when it comes to this purpose, and remember that customers always have a choice to either have their details remembered or not; you’re simply providing a better alternative for them to avoid hassle!

Overall, technology makes business easier and safer to conduct, and there’s a whole world of it out there for you to explore as an entrepreneur. Startups have never had such a strong foundation age, and whenever a sustainable business crops up on the block, it means the information age has done its bit for the future.

5 Ways to Keep Your Employees Safe at Work

As a business owner, your employees are perhaps your most valuable assets. Any entrepreneur worth his salt knows that to please his customers, he must first address the happiness of his team – making sure workers are healthy, safe, and fulfilled in their roles.

When it comes to give and take, it’s not enough to provide extra holiday or bonuses to compensate hard work. As an employer, it is your duty to look after your workers, but above-par health and safety regulations will also benefit your business, so it’s worth going the extra mile. With this in mind, here are five ways to keep your employees safe at work.

Be Prepared

With the humdrum normality of everyday life in the office, it’s easy to think that your workplace is immune to danger. The reality is, none of us expect natural disasters or crime, and yet those unfortunate events still happen. The best way to protect your business is to prepare for the worst. Know that a break-in, cyber attack, or other crime could befall your workplace at any time, and have a written plan of action ready.

Follow Preventative Measures

Many people only install burglar alarms or extra locks after a burglary, so stay ahead of the game and prevent one happening in the first place. We often hear about the importance of data security, but it’s easy to forget that leaving your office building vulnerable to intruders puts real people at risk. If in doubt, contact your local law enforcement officials and ask them to run a risk assessment on your premises. Once you’re aware of your vulnerabilities, you can set about sealing the cracks in your defense.

Safeguard Your Vehicles

If your employees use vehicles for work, make sure they are regularly inspected, and that security measures are in place to protect their belongings. If you own three or more company vehicles, consider taking out fleet car insurance to reduce your overall expenses without compromising on complete coverage.

Check In With Your Employees

People are unpredictable, and you can never truly know what’s going on under the surface. Violent behavior often masquerades under a guise of normality until something provokes an outburst; so keep a close eye on each member of your team. If you run a large-scale business, make sure your managers are checking in with their employees regularly and keeping tabs on their mental health.

Follow Health and Safety Requirements

It goes without saying that you should follow health and safety requirements in your workplace, but during busy periods it’s easy to let your standards slip. Make sure your employees and managers are abiding by workplace safety rules, and arrange for regular inspections to make sure no one is cutting corners. It never hurts to be over-prepared, so talk to a workplace safety expert to ensure you have the appropriate measures in place.

Without the people who show up day after day, your business simply would not run. Therefore, it makes sense from a financial point of view (as well as a moralistic one) to keep your employees safe at work.

How to Help Your Business Survive

If you have your own company, you’ll know that there are lots of ups and downs with big challenges along the way, but you get through them, and your business improves. But it shouldn’t just be about coping day-to-day, week-to-week, running a successful business is all about careful planning, deploying some strategic thinking, and making sure you have a sustainable structure in place, which both delivers profits and looks after your staff. Here are some of the key ingredients for building a successful company.

Building or online?

It’s the question most businesses, new and recently established, ask themselves these days. Do we need a big office or a physical store front to run our company and sell to our clients? Or can we just concentrate online, with a smaller office set-up?

Whichever way you decide, you’d be foolish not to get a great-looking website up and running – if you haven’t already done so. It’s become one of those must-haves for all types of businesses. For you, as a business owner, the costs of developing an online shop window is relatively minimal when you compare to how much extra revenue it could bring in, not just locally, but also potentially from around the world.

When you do have a website, make sure it does what it says on the tin, and clearly defines your products and services with company branding. It also needs to take the user, your potential client, on a journey – hopefully netting you a new sale! If you don’t have the capability in-house to get a website up and running, then think about employing the services of a design agency. They can also help with SEO, or search-engine optimization, so that your website stands out online!

Care for your staff

Without the hard work and commitment of your staff, you’re unlikely to have a successful business – certainly not one that is sustainable. So, it’s crucial that you look after all your workers. That means rewarding them with a financial package that reflects their skills and abilities, but it’s also about creating a space and atmosphere, where your team feels respected, valued – and they have room to grow and develop.

If you have an office or store, then you also need to be putting health and safety considerations at the top of your priority list – ensuring that you meet government legislation. Your staff need to know the procedures, what to do in different situations – so that everyone is protected in the workplace. You or one of your colleagues needs to become a safety professional. There are lots of safety training workshops and events out there to help you.

Look after your clients

When you set up your business, you will have no doubt researched the market around you by looking at the opposition and defining who your clients are, and how you need to target them. It’s important that you keep up the momentum during the life-cycle of your company, to ensure that you maintain a healthy interest in your customers’ needs and aspirations when it comes to buying your products and services.

Stay connected with your customers and give them a reason to want to come back to you for more. That could be through a promotion, a VIP offer or an ongoing incentive program. Don’t rest on your laurels. Your clients need to be looked after, nurtured – and they need to feel like you’re in a business relationship for the long-term.

Starting And Running Your Own Restaurant

Do you want to get started in the hospitality services? Whether you’re operating out of a catering van or you’re running a restaurant, it’s a dream a lot of people can afford to do nowadays; years of family recipes being passed down through the generations and you’ve got yourself a time honored tradition that people love to indulge in. If you think it’s time to make money off Grandma’s mashed potatoes, here’s a couple of tips on getting started in the food business.

Make Sure You Love to Cook

Running a restaurant means you need to know your craft and know it well. If you don’t like the ins and outs of cutting up a chicken or frying off your vegetables without getting them brown, and you know inside you’re not willing to learn, this maybe isn’t for you. Of course you can bring in talented chefs and let them go to town with their skills, but if it’s a family run business you need to be personally invested.

Similarly, if you’re not invested in what you do, it’s very unlikely you’re going to be able to grow in the potential you should. You’re less likely to be on the lookout for opportunities, and you can more easily get bogged down.

Find a Good Place to Start

Location is everything in the food business, especially when you’re running a themed restaurant. You need to be able to attract people to your business and have free advertising from your shop front. Thankfully people like to eat, so this usually works in your favor.

Individual growth is also important for an ever growing market sector. Shop around for somewhere affordable that you know you can do something with. You may need to expand a seating or kitchen area at the end of the day, when you’ve drawn in enough customers and got yourself a good following. Plan for this from the beginning and you won’t be able to disappoint yourself or your clientele.

Know Where to Find the Parts

If anything goes wrong in your kitchen, you’re going to want to know what you can do to quickly replace any faults. The cooking area is your livelihood, so if that goes down, so does business! Don’t let yourself panic by doing a little preparation before you get yourself up and running; planning ahead is always the best way forward.

Let’s run through a quick example: for your cooking vats, or any part of your system that takes away waste oil and water, your waste storage systems are a very important part of your working life. Look into something like Simplex Pipeline Strainers when these stop doing their jobs and you notice a difference in the cooking ability of your oil.

Whilst food is serious, restaurants are lovely businesses to start and run, as you’re making good food for a mostly appreciative customer base. It just makes it all the sweeter if you can specialise on your local culture and climate as well.