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StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Workplace Design Tips To Increase Profit Margins

Were you aware that the design of your workplace is important for employee engagement and customer satisfaction? As a business owner it is important to consider and make adaptations to the aesthetics of your premises in order to increase productivity and sales.

Taking on the large financial commitment of a business premises is a big decision, so considerations around the aesthetics are essential right from the very beginning.

The aesthetics of your business premises are important as it is your “shop window” to visiting clients and customers. It is important to give a good first impression and look professional, tidy and organised. Employees are likely to be more productive and happy working in an aesthetically pleasing workspace and staff turnover may well reduce.

This article aims to look at ways of making your business look more aesthetically pleasing.

External

Even if your budget is minimal, it is important to make the external areas of your business premises look tidy and professional. Check that car park areas are well maintained and that pathways are well maintained by taking advice from a professional flooring company. Ensure walking surfaces are safe and free from hazards.

The entrance to your business property should be inviting. Have clear signage and good lighting facilities. Does your door look aesthetically pleasing ie no peeling paint or broken door furnishings?

On entering your building clients should be able to easily find directions to the meeting point. This could be done by positioning a welcome desk visible from the doorway, or clear signs directing them to your office space.

Internally

The internal aesthetics of your premises are important due to the professional image you wish to portray to your clients and visitors, but also for creating an area conducive to good productivity from your staff (and yourself).

Gone are the days when offices were designed by placing dark, dingy desks in uninspiring rows. Much more thought has been given to the modern office, the idea being that different zones can be created for meeting, collaborating, relaxing and working.

Modern offices are light and airy and make use of all natural light available. To make the space appear lighter, if natural light is at a premium, decorate in light colours, but avoid the traditional colour of grey. Try to bring the “outdoors in” by using splashes of colour.

Greenery

The colour green increases production and  performance as well as evokes a sense of calmness. Bringing green into your workspace can be achieved by painting a wall or even better by using plants. If your budget is high you could consider creating a green-space for your employees and visitors to relax in, by building an atrium, filled with plants and fresh air.

Space

If you are at the initial stage of looking at business premises, try to get as much space included as your budget will allow. Cramped offices are not conducive to good productivity and soon become cluttered. Staff need space to move around and change position occasionally. Overly small office spaces could also be unsafe due to trip hazards.

Hopefully by incorporating the above tips your profit margins will escalate and your staff team will be stable.

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article

Improving the Efficiency of Your Business

Countless businesses around the world are operating on a daily basis, with some proving to be more successful than others. Though this is down to things like marketing strategies, sales numbers, and top investors, even these indicators can be boiled down to having an efficient workplace. Higher efficiency leads to a business that is far more likely to succeed, and so it’s best to refine your workforce from within the office to see just how much this can help. Finding ways to do this can be hard, but you can start with small and easy improvements which will ultimately have an immeasurably valuable impact on the efficiency of your business.

Remind employees of goals

It’s almost like having a lesson objective up on the board during class time, but it works in the same way. Whether it be an email at the beginning of the working day, or a brief meeting as soon as everyone gets into work, having a daily reminder of what the goals in the company are for the day can keep workers on the right track. It will also help to clear up any potential confusion over what an employee’s tasks are and will prevent any greater misunderstandings happening further down the line.

It’s important to note that this will keep you as the leader from setting goals that are impossible to achieve in a day’s work, or which can be completed within a few hours. Having a physical reminder of what the workplace goals are will ensure that you can set them to match the fluctuating needs of a business. It will also introduce some variety into working patterns in the daily running of your company, which will keep your employees’ eyes on the prize. The trick is to set goals that are just outside the comfort zone of an employee, so as to challenge and push them to reach their potential.

Invest in better ways to communicate

You might have excellent goals and a foolproof business plan, but sometimes these can become lost when you are conveying them to staff. This could be down to things like overcomplicated jargon, or not using the correct vehicle by which to share these with your workplace. Either way, these factors are both things that need to be addressed. To start with, go over your goals and business plans with a trusted colleague or advisor to make sure that they are easily able to be understood by others in the office, and beyond. It may sound great in your head, but it isn’t your employees’ fault if they’re not able to grasp exactly what it is that you want. Breaking it down in a way that everyone can understand will help clear up any confusion you may be feeling, too.

Once you’ve done this, make sure you have a good way of communicating information to your staff, as well as potential clients outside the office. Having faster internet connectivity, a great landline provider, as well as a regulated email system can all markedly help with this. At the crux of it, companies now rely on the internet to communicate more than ever. To ensure you have the best of the best, and to look about bringing some extra funds in for your business, it’s a good idea to look into having a mobile tower lease.

Implement on the go training

Training is something that takes up a large chunk of time and resources of a company, which can often hinder any progress. Not only does it remove valuable workers from the office for an extended period of time, but it’s not even clear whether the training will positively impact the business. Traditional training requires staff to have training days, with large amounts of information being given out to staff, who are expected to take it all in during the allocated training slot. Not only has this proven to be ineffective, but it can certainly create a working environment characterized by high pressure, which will put workers off.

The key to solving this is through on the go training, where staff can learn at their own pace, in a place that suits them. You could even make use of mobile learning, so that they can do it from the comfort of their own phones, and so that training is not restricted to the workplace. This will not only make it more fun, but will enable the worker to embrace the newest technological requirements. By letting them train in snippets every day, the information becomes more digestible, and they will be better able to use it in a practical scenario.

Track progress

This type of training also makes it far easier to track the progress of workers, which you can do using internet software, or by checking in with staff at the end of every day. It may seem like a lot of work to put in from the start, but it will reap its benefits in the long run. By tracking progress, you will be able to see who is underperforming, and in which areas, and you will be able to spot any trends in the workplace that could be better improved in the next batch of training exercises.

However, progress isn’t always negative, and you can also use it to see just where your business is meeting its targets. This will help you take through a range of tried and tested strategies that you can rely on in the future. More importantly, you can use this information to see who deserves the next promotion, and who can be trusted with new responsibilities.

Reward hard workers

A happy workplace is known to be more efficient than an unhappy one. Incentivizing workers can be one of that hardest parts of running a business, especially on drab days where the hole office seems to be lagging. Though the easy option is to punish staff for not working that hard, the best option is to get to the bottom of why this is the case, and to offer support and extra training where needed. Not only this, but by introducing a rewards system for performance and behavior at work, employees will be more likely to reach for the higher goals, and will be able to see the same potential in them as you do.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Streamlining Your Business To Save Time And Money

Running your own business is no walk in the park. There are a lot of things to think about, and if you have sole responsibility for many business areas, things can start to get messy. Having too many tasks and processes can start to make things complicated, and could be costing you valuable time and money. If you think that your business could do with some efficiency, read on for tips on how to streamline your business.

Cut down your paperwork

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
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Paperwork is the bane of many office environments, whether it’s a home office or an actual office. It builds up quickly, has to be filed and quite often it’s unnecessary. Having a lot of paper around means that it’s likely that important documents get lost, while also slowing down your ability to carry out tasks while hunting around through various bits of paperwork. Assess the paperwork that you have and ask how much of it is really necessary and how long it needs to be kept. If you can combine some forms and do away with others entirely, you might find that you can reduce your paperwork (and workload) easily without having to sacrifice on the quality or output of your work.

Use software to simplify

There is a lot of great software out there that can help make your processes simpler and automate many tasks, saving you time and money. Some good examples include contract management software from this website, accounting software and people management portals. Investing in software may have some initial cost to your business, but having it can free up your time to do other tasks as well as limiting the room for error and inconsistencies between documents.

Join the Cloud

Everyone is moving to the cloud. There are many advantages for those who embrace cloud computing, including more flexible working and overall cheaper running costs for your technology. Cloud computing enables people to work seamlessly on documents, which can save a lot of the time spent going back and forth amongst other benefits. Cloud computing is also better for the environment and reduces how much energy and paper you use around the office and can make your company run more efficiently. It’s also a secure system with backs up your data constantly to prevent any loss of data which could come from a regular server.

Improve your digital offering

If you find that your website is looking a bit lacklustre or isn’t fulfilling its purpose, it might be time for an update. Improving your website of boosting your social media activities could help you to engage better with more customers and give them more of what they want. Think of digital as not only a marketing tool but a listening tool that can help you understand your customers better and build a better relationship with them.

Streamlining your business is easier than you might think. You’ll find many simple changes can reduce workload and costs to make your business easier to run so that you can focus your energies on the more important parts of your business.

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article

Don’t Get Left In The Dust! How Inefficiency Can Cause Serious Problems For Your Business

When it comes to your business, there is one resource that is more valuable than any other. Many people will assume that this resource is money, and while that’s certainly a valid answer, it’s not quite the correct one. The single most valuable resource in your business is, in fact, time. This is because time is the only thing that, once you’ve spent it, you can never get it back. There’s no way to undo wasted time which means the most important thing for you to do is to make sure that you’re using your time as effectively as possible. However, many businesses end up falling into the trap of becoming incredibly inefficient simply because they don’t understand how to manage their time correctly. In order to prevent that from happening to you, here are some ways to make your business more efficient.

Planning and scheduling

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article
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One of the most common mistakes that a lot of new business owners make is that they attempt to jump right into something without planning it carefully first. This desire is pretty sympathetic, after all, most people want to be doing something genuinely productive with their time. However, this actually ends up wasting more time because trying to play things by ear always leads to mistakes getting made and pointless threads being followed. The best thing that you can do is to take the time to plan out every move you make in regards to your business, both on a macro and micro level. Think about the overall trajectory of your business, think about the small, day-to-day interactions that you’re going to have. If you can plan everything down to the smallest detail, then you’re always going to be able to handle whatever new information is thrown at you.

Employee management

There’s no denying that your employees are one of the most important parts of your business as a whole. However, there are plenty of occasions where they can cause issues in terms of the efficiency of your business. For one thing, you want to make sure that you’re bringing in the right people who will always try to push your business forward. Similarly, the use of workforce management software can be incredibly valuable. It allows you to monitor when employees are clocking in and out as well as managing everything from paid leave to payroll.

Delegation

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article
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One of the most common reasons that a lot of smaller businesses end up failing is that the business owner simply attempts to take on too much at once. Because of the level of personal investment, you have in your business, handing over parts of it to other people can be difficult. However, trying to handle everything yourself if not only going to be dangerous for your personal health but is also going to cause serious problems for your business. By delegating tasks to managers and supervisors, you’re able to ensure that each and every aspect of your business gets the attention and care that it requires, rather than attempting to spread yourself so thin that nothing really gets done.