If you feel you’re ready for an office of your own, to take your home business or new business idea into, put a brake on the process for a moment. You need to stop and think a little more about what you’re getting into, and whether or not it makes sense for you and your career goals at this point in time.
So, why not take the questions listed below and apply them to your situation? It’s much better to be cautious when spending capital like this, rather than accept the risk and let things fall through much faster than you ever thought possible.
How Long Have You Been in Business?
The amount of time you’ve been in business is key to knowing whether you’re ready for your own office or not. If you’ve got a business that’s at least a year old, and better yet, you’ve been operating for at least 5 years, you’ll have an advantage over someone just starting out and trying to build their brand. You’ll already have done all of the necessary foundation work, and now you’re simply expanding to something bigger and better.
How Many Offices Are Around You?
The amount of offices in the same area as you is a good indicator of the kind of competition you’ll come up against. It’s one of the main reasons why businesses fail in the first year; if you’ve got an overwhelming amount of competition to try and beat out of the water, you won’t have the time or resources to focus on your customers. You’ll be constantly trying to innovate, and do better than the company just down the road, and who knows if you’ll be able to pull that off?
At the same time, you need to be sure there’s enough office space for you to move into as well. You need to look into private office rentals in your area, if you don’t have the capital to outright buy an office of your own (as many small businesses don’t).
Why Would You Need an Office?
And of course, ask yourself why you’d be in need of an office for the future. How many bullet points can you jot down on paper to answer this question? You’ll need at least 3 to ensure you’ve got a viable strategy to work off of in order to pay for your expansion; you may need an office to house more employees, which means you have more customers to service, which means you’re making more profit overall.
And do these kind of profits outweigh the costs of moving into a commercial space? If not, your expansion plans may need a bit of refining before you go any further.
Your own office is something you often dream of, of course. But you need to be sure you’re ready to take it on; you need to ensure that you’ve got the funds and the need behind you for such a space. Don’t rush your expansion process.
If employees are engaged in repetitive tasks that put their bodies under strain, over time, this will show in their performance and in their general wellbeing. This has a negative effect on their work and their ability to achieve in the longer term.
Standard office environments offer many different challenges to the health and wellbeing of employees and, over the last few years, the understanding of this has increased. However, gaining a greater knowledge of good office ergonomic practice is one of the most important ways in which employees can be happier, fulfilled and safer.
Why Businesses Must Take Ergonomics Seriously
Put simply, a good grounding in ergonomic practice can help minimize and prevent injuries and conditions that arise from repetitive office work. The most commonly reported concerns amongst employees are injuries to the musculoskeletal system, caused by sitting or standing in the same position for too long, and repetitive strain injuries from activities such as sitting and typing.
How To Implement Good Ergonomic Practice
These issues need to be addressed, and one way of doing this is by having face to face meetings with employees either via one to one interviews or a larger group conference so that everyone can talk and air their views together and workable solutions can be discussed.
Another good way of gaining a greater understanding is to look at hiring a team of people to come in and observe how employees work and how they interact and move within the office environment, noting any health and safety concerns as well as the types of activities being carried out. Information on how employees sit or stand, how they move around the office are all important, as are looking at what can be done to improve rest facilities and creating spaces so that staff can have separate areas to work and relax in.
From these observations, solutions can be derived. These can be as simple as providing better, and more comfortable and supportive office chairs and desks, to providing better solutions such as wall storage bins that require little in the way of repetitive bending or stretching to use, or office shelves placed at heights all people can reach without having to bend or stretch.
What Results Can Such Practices Offer?
The results of such observations mean that long term both the business and the employee will reap the benefits. There will be less time lost in disputes and sick leave, and employees will hopefully be happier and healthier as a result.
A business that looks after its staff will almost certainly see a rise in productivity levels, and reductions in compensation claims and occupational health appointments. Many companies often overlook the topic of ergonomics when considering staff health and wellbeing, considering it the least of their worries. However, a little time spent on this now can result in a happier, healthier and more productive workforce now and in the future too.
At least, that is the case for those not willing to be smart and creative with their marketing efforts. This is because even frugal spenders can have an effective advertising campaign without needing to splash the cash.
If you want proof of this, read on for shrewd methods to reduce your marketing costs while also boosting sales results at the same time.
Step it Up with Social Media
For frugal marketers, one of the best tools at their disposal is social media. Obviously it is free to set up a business page on the likes of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. It also doesn’t have to cost any money to make posts — although it is recommended to use ads on social media at some point.
Because of this, social media is a fantastic tool with limitless potential. If you manage to strike gold — aka a viral post or Tweet — this could lead to your brand being seen by hundreds of thousands of people. To improve your visibility on social media, consider the following:
- Post regularly. Try and make at least one post per day on each platform
- Don’t prioritize quantity over quality
- Understand your audience and the content it craves
- Build up relationships with customers and other businesses
- Use visuals when possible. Videos and photos always perform better than text-based content
- Monitor performance. Are certain posts/Tweets working better than others? Stick with what works going forward
- Don’t ignore any responses to your social media content. Always reply back as soon as possible
Use a Direct Mail Service
Even though this article has generally highlighted digital marketing tips, make no mistake: there’s still a place for using physical marketing for your business.
This is arguably best evidenced by mail-based marketing. Whether it’s a letter or leaflet, any mail through the post is impossible to ignore. As a result, it has a distinct advantage over emails or other online marketing strategies which can be easily skimmed over.
Sadly, a mail campaign can be a costly procedure unless you go with a direct mail provider. As established mailing experts Washington Direct Mail (WDM) demonstrates, you can receive a full-service mailing campaign at a reduced cost compared to doing it in-house.
If you’re sitting on a large quantity of content, it’s about time you start squeezing every bit of value out of it for your company’s benefit.
In terms of repurposing content, this means taking an original piece of content — say a blog post — and adapting it for different formats. For example, that blog post could be transformed into social media posts, or maybe even a video.
If you have a large piece of content such as an eBook, this is even better. This could be broken up into multiple blog posts, an infographic, audio content, etc. Basically, you have many opportunities to market your business with content you have already created.
Do you want to reduce hiring costs in your company when hiring new employees? In an economic context pushing for the optimization of all resources, recruitment costs now represent an important issue for any HR manager. The search for the right candidate monopolizing numerous resources and proving to be time-consuming, any solution allowing to accelerate the processes deserves to be studied. Investing in the software will save you a lot of recruiting time and budget. You can even use a lot of platforms like artwork Australia that also will help you save recruiting cost in an effective way.
It is never an easy task to find the best talent without a substantial budget. But that does not imply rash spending in the name of top quality rental research. There must be a balance between the recruiting budget and the efficiency of hiring so that the quality of the search for new employees is not compromised. Here are some tactics to consider to reduce the costs of hiring new employees:
Have an effective referral program
One of the best sources of quality hiring can be done with recommendations. This results in much-reduced costs, because it does not involve agency or display costs, nor to devote a lot of time and money to supply staff. So it is a good idea to have a solid referral program that will motivate your employees to recommend others to come and work in your company.
Have talented pipelines
The longer it takes to fill a position, the more expensive it becomes. This implies that if the time required to hire is reduced, the costs would also be reduced. One way to reduce the hiring time and always have quality hires is to build a talent pipeline. These refer to candidates that you have hired in the past and who would occupy a future position in the company. With a talent pipeline, when a position becomes vacant, you can get in touch with them without waiting to post an ad or source for new candidates.
Invest in effective recruiting software
The other reason responsible for the higher recruiting costs is the time spent hiring teams to perform recruiting tasks. There is a lot of excellent recruiting software that can automate most of the functions that normally cause recruiting teams to spend a lot of time. Cutting costs is a top priority. But poorly managed cost reduction programs can do a lot of damage to your company. A poorly implemented austerity program costs time in the fight against falling earnings worsens the mood among the workforce and can even damage the company’s added value. To prevent this from happening to you, you should note the following points:
Name ambitious but realistic goals. Even if you want to save quickly by looking at your falling earnings, do not take hasty measures. Clarify with the respective managers of the individual departments which cuts are possible in the long term.
Avoid lengthy approach
Determine area-specific savings potential and then draw up a list of priorities for the savings goals per department.
Control the project
Put an experienced project manager behind the wheel. So you have a single contact person who knows the details and at the same time ensures that the overall project runs according to the plan.
If you have planned the savings sensibly, you should not accept a “not possible” in an affected area. Reverse the burden of proof. Areas must justify why the previously defined goal cannot be achieved. Allow a slightly extended implementation period, but remain consistent with the target size.
Ask the project manager to update you regularly. Define a project end at which the results are presented – regardless of whether the project is completed as planned or not.
Meet your employees’ subtle fear of layoffs. Explain the upcoming measures to the employees. Factually informed employees will be far less likely to turn negative comments. How to protect the project and the company?
Flexibility in travel planning lowers costs
Even if there is pressure in many companies and deadlines have to be observed, or the business partner has only limited time, it is sometimes worthwhile to be flexible. Flights, train or hotel costs can vary greatly depending on the day of the week, savings of up to 50 per cent are possible here. Therefore, communicate to your employees, specify alternative dates when planning the trip and think flexibly. It is best if your employees can use their internal travel planning tool to book the trips themselves, and the costs are transparent – this creates trust and saves money.
Transparent and simple planning for employees is essential
It would be cost-effective if you were able to plan your employees’ trips in the long term. However, this is usually not the case, since trips have to be started unexpectedly. If the employees in your company book the trip themselves, it can cost you a lot of money. You cannot assume that all of your employees will follow your travel booking guidelines if you have them at all.
Simple and easy-to-implement guidelines help you to act cost-effectively. For example, a few tools can help your employees plan their trip themselves without breaking the budget. Automated communication channels prevent mispricing. It is also important here that travel accounting is also standardized. A receipt for credit card statements says too little. A clear documentation requirement is essential and helps to reduce costs in the long term.
Analyze your expenses
If you document your expenses, you should also analyze them. This can give you some eye-opening effects. Which item on the trip is the most expensive? Which department travels most frequently and for what reasons? Does travelling to a certain city exceed your budget? See your business travel post early so you can respond in the next quarter. Here you can learn more than how to efficiently analyze the expenses?
Everyone is happy to get commendations. It is important that you tell your employees why you are going to cut travel costs, and they may need to adjust them. Praise can be different for each company. Team events organized with a saved amount, a meal together or vouchers – there are no limits to your creativity here.
A poorly integrated recruit could leave you far too soon and force you to start all over again. We can never advise you enough to ensure the onboarding of your new employees. Start by anticipating their arrival by providing a number of points of contact with superiors and an astonishment report to be able to detect any malfunctions.
Prepare a welcome booklet, a tour of the company, a presentation of the teams with which they will be brought to work and be available to answer questions.
Follow the above tips if you really want to reduce the hiring cost. They will definitely help you.
Brainstorming is used as a method to generate ideas to solve a problem. It is a creativity technique done in groups to find a solution for a specific problem. It puts together the list of ideas given by the member in a free-thinking environment. Brainstorming is popular mostly in design teams because they have to think out of the box and in every direction. By brainstorming, we can cover the problems with many ideas given by the members and can have many creative ways. You can have every imaginable solution to the problem.
Some rules that can help your team in brainstorming:
- There should be a facilitator who can conduct the meeting.
- Give a chance to everyone to give their creative ideas.
- There should be a time limit given to them to think.
- Let them ask questions from you about the topic, the clearer they will be about the topic, the more creative ideas you can get.
- You can encourage weird ideas too, do not shut the person down, listen to them. Maybe you can consider their ideas.
- Build on others ideas, make someone else’s idea more creative.
- Do not make it a fish market, allow everyone to speak but one at a time.
- Do not be negative or give immediate judgment.
Brainstorming can be fun for some people, but some people do not like it because they are too shy to speak or introverts. Extroverts can speak too much and can dominate the introvert. The leader of the team should lead it in a solution-focused environment. There are ways by which you can make the brainstorming fun like a pinboard, and everyone can participate.
Give their brains a little break. Your brain should be clear to generate creative ideas. You can give them the activity at the start that can help them in brainstorming. Ask your participants questions that can help them to open their minds. Give them a silly question like what will you do if your sunglasses were x-rayed vision, once they start thinking about the ideas, it means they are ready to be creative.
Outside of the box
Sometimes the office environment can be stressful, and it gets impossible to think creatively. Take your time outside of the office. Take them to a coffee shop, or an amusement park. Take them anywhere that can help them in generating creative ideas and can think outside of the box. Changing the environment of a person can help them in their creativity. It will be a fun and creative trip where everyone will be giving their ideas in a not so boring environment. Everyone can get comfortable and comfy in that environment, and no one will have that office pressure, they can have their time to clear their mind from other problems and think creatively.
Ask for the worst ideas
You always ask your team to give you good and creative ideas but now ask them to give the worst and terrible ideas for the situation. Write the problem on the board and ask them to start giving the worst idea they can think of. The ideas can be stupid, but maybe you can think of something creative from that idea.
- It will create a fun environment; everyone can laugh.
- A positive feeling around the meeting.
- There will be no pressure and time limit.
- People can get more comfortable.
Looking for a problem from an opposite perspective can help you a lot. It can give you real ideas, and you can always make them a little better.
Maybe it has been a long time since you and your team picked up some colours and markers? Give your team colour books and colour pencils. Even if they are not good with drawing or doodling, tell them that it should not be the perfect art piece. A study shows that doodling can help you to alert your mind. Doodlers perform 29% better than non-doodlers. Many people can start daydreaming while doing a boring task. Colouring can help them in being creative. So next time you get a lot of colour books and markers for your meeting.
Walls can talk
This technique is best for boring meetings. Write down the problems or project your team needs to work on each wall. Write questions on the walls. Give your team members the pad of sticky notes and tell them to walk around the room, see the problems and write any solution that is coming to their mind anonymously. Set a time limit of 10 to 15 minutes. Encourage creative thoughts. In the end, you can gather everyone’s suggestions and can work on it as a team. You can ask the team member to vote for a better idea.
Bring an outsider
Your team consists of mostly the same people. There is a group of the same people with the same minds every week. The same ideas, same patterns, and disagreements. Everything repeats it selves when you are with the same people every week. Why not change it a little bit? Bring an outsider in the meeting. We all know a designer will only think like a designer, by bringing another person who is not known to the environment can give their honest opinions and ideas, and he can be work as your customer. You can know your customers’ point of view. You can bring any person from your office, but he should not be the person who knows your work, that is how that person can come up with unique ideas from an entirely different perspective.
Choose any of the ways you want to make your meeting fun and creative. No one likes to sit in a boring meeting and generate ideas like the old style. Take them out, make them think out of the box, give them colours, help them get comfortable. These things can surely help your team to get creative and you can and the best ideas. Everyone loves a little bit of weirdness. Get that creative person out of you and start brainstorming!
Brainstorming is often considered difficult particularly for people who are not creative; however, if all the above-mentioned approaches are adopted, one will be able to expand his/ her thinking capacity and be able to brainstorm the ideas.