November 17, 2018

It’s Time to Expand! Here’s How to Do It

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Your hard work and sleepless nights are starting to pay off as your business grows rapidly. The expansion stage can bring its own set of nightmares for many businesses. Here are some tips that you will want to keep in mind.

Choose the Right Location

Chances are that you need more warehouse space as your business is expanding. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of different locations before you move your business. Think about the supplies that come into your business and choose a location where you can get those supplies in a cost-effective and timely manner. Take a look at security to make sure that you are relocating to a good neighborhood. Different markets can be loyal to different companies, so be sure to consider if you can adequately compete in the market. Finally, look for local, state and federal incentives to move to different locations.

Equipment

You will need a variety of equipment in the new location. Consider which pieces you can move from your current place and which you will need to secure to make different locations work. One piece of machinery that you may not have thought about but which could be helpful with business automation is a conveyor belt. If your business specializes in products, then creating an efficient assembly system will go a long way to helping you keep up with the growth of your business. The more your business grows the more you will need to implement automation which will smooth the flow of work from production to packaging. While a conveyor belt needs to fit the size, weight, and type of product you produce, it also needs to be the right length and design to work in your new location. You may even want to consider hiring an industrial engineer to help you think through different aspects of making your business more productive.

Workforce

If you are moving to a new area where your current workforce is unlikely to follow, then it is vital that you think about the availability of a well-trained workforce. Moving near a college where there is an active program within your field often gives you an advantage as recent college graduates are often reluctant to move. See if you can partner with a community college to create classes in areas where you cannot find good employees.

Financing

If your company has investors or shareholders, then make sure to keep them in the loop about your thinking as your company expands. If they are experienced businessmen, then they may have valuable feedback on what has worked for them in the past. These people may also have friends or family who can lead you to the right location for your company’s expansion.

Congratulations on building a business that is ready for expansion. Focusing on these four factors will help you make the final decision on where expansion makes the most business sense. You may need to spend some time writing it all out in a business plan that embraces your company’s promising future.

If you’re looking to continue your expansion in other ways like branding, and website design and more, keep us in mind! We want to coach you through this growth and we want to help your business thrive, but also understand that sometimes a little extra help is needed to get you on your way!

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5 Great Countries to Start Your New Business

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Starting a new business can certainly be a daunting task. While you have many decisions to make as an entrepreneur, one of the most important is where you will form your business. The following are five of the best countries to consider based on affordability, access to capital, low manufacturing costs, and low levels of bureaucracy.

Indonesia

According to the World Bank, Indonesia boasts the largest economy in Southeast Asia, making it an attractive location for entrepreneurs ready to capitalize on economic growth and the country’s maturing democracy. Indonesia is predominantly a middle-income nation with a sizeable middle class, yet it offers a low-cost base for production and the perfect launchpad for the Southeast Asian region. Business opportunities in Indonesia don’t end there; they can extend to nine additional members of the ASEAN that enjoy favorable trade relationships with Indonesia. The country also makes it easier than most to start a business with its Program for Eastern Indonesian Small and Medium Enterprise Assistance (PENSA) that educates new business owners.

Singapore

As an entrepreneur, there’s a lot to like about Singapore. According to KC Ha Consulting, Singapore is ranked number one in providing best investment potential and is also ranked number 3 in foreign trade and investments in economic performance. Additionally, Singapore is also ranked highly for maintaining governmental transparency and has a good track record of keeping low levels of bureaucracy. Additionally, Singapore is also ranked highly for maintaining governmental transparency and has a good track record of keeping low levels of bureaucracy. With high regulatory performance and a high-income society known for its infrastructure, public transportation, and English skills, the country offers an excellent framework for starting a new business with a process that can take as little as three days.

Singapore is unique in many ways compared to its neighbors. It’s home to many of the top companies in the world thanks to its central location in Southeast Asia and proximity to emerging Chinese and Indian markets. With an ideal location and excellent global connectivity, Singapore has received the top rating in Asia for logistics. Singapore also offers an attractive corporate tax rate that maxes out at 17% with 21 free trade agreements with 27 economics and more than 70 avoidance of double tax agreements to reduce tax barriers in trade.

Mexico

Mexico has become an increasingly attractive location for entrepreneurs and investors with a vibrant economy and low costs. Mexico ranks among the top 30% in the world concerning regulatory performance and has undergone business registration reforms that have increased its number of registered businesses. It typically takes as little as one week to start a business in Mexico.

Of course, there are trade-offs including high crime rates and a steep learning curve for learning administrative procedures and unwritten rules. Despite improvements in regulatory performance, Mexico continues to perform very poorly regarding corruption. Only ten countries rank below Mexico in the Americas for corruption in government, banking, politics, and business. This corruption can affect foreign companies in Mexico as bribery is a long-held tradition. Even the growth of retail giant Wal-Mart in Mexico involved substantial and systematic bribes, according to the New York Times. Bribery is so common and accepted that it’s practically considered a part of cost analysis when opening and running a business in Mexico.

Malaysia

Malaysia makes it incredibly easy to start a business with a streamlined process that takes around 19 days. In fact, most of the paperwork to register a new company in Malaysia can even be done online. Malaysia offers a stable economy, educated yet low-cost workforce, and a high rate of English fluency. It can also be a more affordable alternative to expand or get into the Southeast Asian market compared to other countries in the region like Singapore.

Of course, Malaysia it does come with drawbacks. Malaysia does still have a problem with government corruption and complicated bureaucracy that can complicate business operation. Malaysia also has a high corporate tax rate at 24% which is the third highest among Southeast Asian nations.

Thailand

Thailand almost ties with Singapore when it comes to fast and easy business formation. It also offers a unique perk: it has a low business density compared to other countries in the region with reduced competition and room to grow. It’s also one of the most affordable countries in which to operate a business although you will face some restrictions concerning acceptable industries as a company that isn’t Thai majority owned.

While these aren’t the only nations that can be considered pro-business, each offer advantages worth considering as an investor including low labor costs, affordable tax rates, and stable economies. And when you finally get that business started, be sure to look to us for your marketing needs.

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5 Strategies for Building Strong Communication in Your Mobile Workforce

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Facilitating effective communication among their employees and associates can provide businesses with a range of potential benefits. For organizations that rely upon a decentralized business model and a mobile workforce, many unique challenges need to be overcome. The following strategies can help to ensure reliable communication within a mobile workforce.

Seeking Ideas From Employees

Arbitrarily dictating policies rather than allowing a communication strategy to grow and develop organically could be a misstep. Employees and workers can provide valuable insight and a range of ideas that businesses might have otherwise overlooked. Encouraging workers to become more involved in the development of a new strategy or policy could prove to be a very smart move.

Cloud-based Infrastructure

Tethering a workforce to one location can hamstring their effectiveness. Cloud-based services and mobile apps allow teams to be flexible and improve communication regardless of their physical location. Investing in the right digital resources and architecture could end up making a real difference.

Unifying Communications

Mobile communication strategies often need to draw upon a wide range of resources in order to be effective. While chat clients and mobile apps allow teams to be flexible and improve communication, failing to properly integrate and unify all resources could lead to an endless supply of problems. Unified communications is one of the cornerstones of any effective strategy.

Leveraging Mobile Technology

Current and next-generation smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices can provide businesses with a variety of different communications resources and solutions. Mobile apps allow teams (virtual or otherwise) to be flexible and improve communication in ways that conventional technology may be unable to rival.     

Soliciting Feedback

Failing to update or fine-tune a strategy once it has been implemented could blunt its effectiveness in the long-term. The needs of a business or organization will continue to shift and evolve over time and strategies may need to be adapted to remain effective. Outdated strategies are rarely able to benefit from the latest technologies.

 

Each business has different needs, and no one strategy can provide the same quality and level of results for every organization. A little trial and error may be required in order to devise or develop strategies that will provide superior results. For businesses that rely on a highly mobile workforce, crafting a strategy that will allow for more effective communication among workers, staff and associates should always be a top priority.

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4 Hiring Principles Necessary to Build a Motivated Team

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The research is clear; high performing employees are the most motivated employees and out produce average employees by 4 to 1! What fundamental principles are necessary to build an effective hiring process that will staff your organization with high performers and motivated teams? The highest performing organizations have cracked this code and here is how they do it.

Determine What Capabilities Will Drive Your Company’s Success

Think about those brands that you admire. What is it that they are very good at doing? Walmart differentiates itself by their expertise in supply chain management while Nordstrom is known for their customer service. How does your company differentiate itself from the competition? What qualities do you admire in the employees you already have, and what are you going to be looking for in the new hires?

Determine What Skills are Aligned with Your Organizational Skills

Personal competencies are a person’s ability, skill, character, and knowledge that develop through life experiences. Personal competencies account for nearly 90% of successful performance on the job. A partial list of the 67 personal competencies from the Lominger organization include:

  •    Action Oriented
  •    Business Acumen
  •    Organizational Agility
  •    Customer Focus
  •    Timely Decision Making

Determine What Technical Skills are Required for a Specific Role

Technical competencies represent the skills and knowledge necessary to perform in a specific job role. The majority of hiring is done with a focus on technical competencies. It is important to note, however, that technical skills only account for 10% of successful job performance.

Establish Objectives for Interview and Screening Processes

First off, you need to have great managers.If you don’t have great managers, you will never have a high performing, highly motivated team. Period.

Most hiring managers make hiring decisions based on:

  •    Their “gut”
  •    The similarity in personalities with the candidate
  •    The degree to which they “like” the candidate

Pre-employment evaluations combined with structured interview processes are critical to the screening process as they remove the subjective human biases of the interviewers while screening all candidates using a common methodology.

High performers have the personal and technical competencies that align with the desired organizational capabilities of the company. If the screening process is built with these principles in mind, the result will be a highly successful organization. For more hiring techniques and advice, check out my blog!

 

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How Veterans Can Leverage Their Communities and Benefits for Success

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If you’re a veteran, you might be wondering what your options are for moving forward after military life. Maybe you want to start your own business. Perhaps you want to return to school. Maybe you aren’t quite sure what your next step will be. Fortunately, no matter which branch of the military you served in, there are several ways you can leverage your benefits for success. Here’s what you need to know.

Resources for Starting a Business

If you’re interested in starting your own business, but you aren’t quite sure how you can afford it, you might be surprised to learn that the VA does offer business loans to eligible applicants. Consider applying for a loan in order to jump start your new business. This can give you the leverage you need to get started doing what you really want to be doing.

Resources for Furthering Your Education

The VA offers educational benefits through the GI bill, which will enable you to pursue a college degree at the school of your choice. You may use your GI bill benefits for either an undergraduate or graduate degree. Note that this benefit covers the cost of tuition. You will also receive a stipend for housing and for books. The rates for these benefits vary based on your location, the type of school you’re attending (online versus on-campus), and the number of credit hours you’re enrolled in.

Resources for Training

Did you know that much of your military training translates to the civilian world? If you’re an expert at something and received solid training in the military, you may be able to utilize this training to pursue a career in a new field. Don’t make the mistake of thinking things you learned don’t apply in non-military positions. They do! Chances are you’re more qualified for local positions than you think.

While the choice to leave the military can be a tricky one, rest assured that you have many available options for moving forward and succeeding in the world around you. Whether you want to start your own business or simply develop the skills you need to become a business professional, it’s possible to find the help and the assistance you need to get started. Begin by considering your personal goals and then explore what particular options and benefits the VA has to offer you. You might be surprised at just how much you’ll be able to do.

If you are looking into starting your own business, check out this site for some helpful advice and coaching opportunities that will take you to success!

References:

VA Low Rates | Veteran Home Loans

Chron | 5 Resources You Need to Succeed to Start a Business

Success | 3 Ways Your Team Can Benefit from Military-Style Leadership Training

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What are the Secrets to Throwing a Successful Seminar?

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Image Credit: Real Estate Elevated

Nowadays, there are seminars on all types of subjects. The purpose of these seminars is to provide quick access to information in a short amount of time. People visit seminars with certain expectations, so it is essential to make it as successful as possible. A significant key to a promising seminar is good leadership and teamwork. Here are other vital secrets to throwing a successful seminar:

Devise a Specific Theme

You will want to select a theme that correlates with the primary objectives of the seminar. The primary theme for any seminar should be to train and teach on a specific subject.

Showcase Leadership Qualities

Effective leadership skills will allow you to take charge of the flow of the seminar. Leaders stay organized, and they work to get the job done. These skills are critical to the success of the seminar. Those who attend and those who work under you will recognize that you are confident, in control, and you know what you are doing, and they will respect you for that.

Identify Keynote Speakers

The speakers that you select should have relevant knowledge on your specific seminar topic. The speaker should be reputable and charismatic. They should also be able to entertain while providing specific information to seminar attendees. Speakers could also be experts in their fields. Some great ways to find speakers are looking on LinkedIn, checking out other seminars and seeing who spoke at those, issuing a call for proposals, and using industry publications. Be sure that speakers have the right accommodations as well. Speakers will need to be able to park as close to the venue as possible. It is also a good idea to provide speakers with information for alternate modes of transportation to ensure they will arrive in a timely fashion.

Plan to Succeed

In order to plan to succeed, you must prepare. Research trends in the area you expect to host your seminar. You must also envision a successful end result for your plan. Plan a specific date, time and place for your seminar to be a success. Notate the specific tasks that you will need to accomplish. Assign a task for every detail to prevent mishaps and mistakes. Consider each and every small issue that could arise in advance.

Choose a Central Location

The location of the seminar is the ultimate predictor of the success of the event. It is best to choose a location that is easily accessible and offers free or low-cost parking. The location should also be functional. Attendees should have enough space to mingle and interact with one another. It is important for the seminar site to be in close proximity to an airport for attendees who aren’t local. This will attract more attendees for even greater success.

Focus on making your seminar as successful as possible by focusing on speakers, patrons and session topics. If these factors are in place, people will flock to attend. To book a complimentary event strategy session go to www.Meetme.so/ShannonGronich

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5 Office Hacks for Improving Employee Productivity

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A work environment where employees seem to lack energy or focus is a business that’s wasting money with poor productivity. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with management. A workforce that’s happy and engaged will produce more, and with better results. Here are five tips for boosting productivity.

Time Management Tools

In a fast-paced environment, it’s better to focus on time management than multitasking. Set aside sufficient blocks of time for priorities. Employees can manage their own time with apps that allow to-do lists and synchronized calendars. Effective tools can also monitor activities so wasted time can be minimized.

According to Common Areas Maintenance Software, in pretty much all instances, having time management tools are essential to get the visibility needed to somehow manage it all. A good arsenal of tools to help with time management will help to remove the panic and provide you with a sense of priority, allowing you to become more effective.

Pay for Performance

Offering an incentive is one of the best ways to increase productivity. Tier pay increase policies or bonuses to performance. You’ll have to work out fair and realistic metrics for each job role to measure results. Those who consistently rank high should be rewarded. Before long you’ll be able to identify those with poor work habits and take appropriate action. This will continue to raise overall efficiency.

A Healthy Work-Life Balance

Often, the best workers are those who try hardest and devote the most time, but the downside is that they burn out more quickly. This impacts job performance as well as employee retention rates. Employees may also have stresses at home, such as troubled relationships or sick children. It’s important that workers are allowed reasonable time to take care of personal priorities, as well as opportunities on the job to regularly relax or have a little fun.

Structure the Workday

Everyone has natural body rhythms when certain capabilities may peak or wan. The workday should be structured to take advantage of these patterns to improve productivity and reduce stress. For instance, mornings are the best time to hold progress meetings so everyone can wake up and get attuned as soon as possible. Analytical tasks should take place around mid-afternoon when energy levels are highest.

In-Office Yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice that helps to de-stress and rebuild energy. In-office yoga also has wellness benefits such as improved muscle tone, flexibility, and respiration. It can be done very affordably and learned easily. Having a yoga instructor stop by a few times a week is a great way to keep productivity high.

Many conservative business owners would rather live with acceptable output than spend precious time and money improving it. However, productivity is directly linked to profits, and affordable means to boost it will pay off consistently.

Need more in-depth instructions on how to improve teamwork and productivity in your business? Shannon Gronich can help with that. She is an experienced coach who can get your team on common ground and help everyone push forward to success!

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Why Customer Service Is One Of The Best Skills To Learn

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Customers rule. After all, they have unprecedented access to products and services from around the world. Customers can also assess other information such as product specifications and prices, putting themselves in control of their shopping experiences.

 

Meanwhile, businesses need customers to survive. For this reason, companies increasingly adopt customer-centric business models that attempt to deliver the products, services, and experiences that their customers expect and deserve.

 

As a result of the modern customer-first attitude, customer service has become an integral part of the success of a business, even if they don’t work in a customer service department. Continue reading to find out why.

Customer Satisfaction

Attorneys say the most important thing with any legal case is your confidence and comfort level with your attorney. Meanwhile, American Express reports that more than half of consumers reconsider their purchases because of poor service.

 

Simply put, the quality of service that you provide has a direct impact on the number of sales you make. If you master the ability to make clients and customers feel comfortable, valued and appreciated, you have a higher likelihood to close a sale. You also will increase the possibility of other desirable outcomes such as repeat business and positive reviews.

Customer retention

Businesses spend a lot of money attracting new customers. When those customers have a terrible experience, they most likely will shop elsewhere in the future. However, customers who have a positive experience will probably buy again with the same company.

 

Companies can serve repeat customers for less than the cost of acquiring new customers. Therefore, businesses with high customer retention rates have lower transaction costs and higher profits.

Reputation Marketing

By learning and exercising excellent customer service skills, you can create a stellar reputation for your brand that inspires others to choose your brand. Shoppers value the experiences of others more than branded marketing messages, so make sure you consistently provide excellent service.

 

Even when you do your best, some people will leave negative remarks online. When this happens, use the situation as an opportunity to demonstrate your exceptional customer service to the world. Always treat people with respect and show a willingness to find a usually satisfactory resolution to every problem.

 

In summary, customer service is one of the best skills to learn because of its impact on every business. Excellent customer service can grow your business, reduce your expenses and lay a solid foundation for consistent long-term growth. Try to see challenges with customer service as an opportunity to improve your business model and your product, which is in actuality an opportunity to grow.

 

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5 Ways to Improve Team Unity and Build Brand Awareness

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People are the lifeblood of your business. With the right people on your team, virtually anything is possible. Without great talent, however, you are doomed to failure. Bad employees can bring the whole company down by doing things in public that shed a bad light on your business. So be sure to have robust vetting processes in place and hire the most motivated and qualified people you can find. If you think you might need help with this, then make sure to check out coaching sessions that will help guide you in building a high performance team.

Don’t Tolerate Gossip

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(Image Credit: Dreamstime)

Gossip is the worst offense of an employee outside of harassment. This is because it sows discord among your ranks. It makes everyone think that the other workers are out to get them. Eventually, the whole team will break down from a lack of trust. Don’t let this happen, cut out gossip whenever you find it to prevent it from growing.

Team Building

wrike

(Image Credit: Wrike)

Build your team up with lunches and exercises. Don’t rely on chance, either. Set aside specific groups each week, month, or quarter to have these events. Whether it is at work or outside of work, it can be useful to bond people together. Then, they’ll feel more motivated to work harder for the brand goals you have.

Daily Meetings

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(Image Credit: Dreamstime)

 

When you have daily meetings, you have a significant advantage. Everyone can feel unified and on the same page. It is a regular way of checking in and confronting any issues that might be brewing under the surface. They will soon find ways to promote the brand in better ways as well.

Branded Apparel

corporate - elevate

(Image Credit: Elevate)

Give your employees some swag to show off. Whether they’re with friends or family, your brand will get more traction. The best part is that most apparel is customizable to your exact business. Therefore, it not only builds team unity but also acts as a secondary marketing channel for you.

 

In the world of entrepreneurship, the brand is what sets you apart from the rest. And without a solid team to back it up, you can’t get far. So don’t make the mistake of ignoring these two crucial aspects of your company. Instead, turn them into one of your most significant assets for a major advantage over the competition.

 

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How To Increase Office Morale Without Breaking The Bank

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Increasing the morale of your business is an important goal to set because it can have a host of other positive benefits for the company. Being a great leader in the office has a lot to do with encouraging input from your employees on how they feel and how the office works. Many times this means providing incentives and other sorts of fun activities for employees to feel motivated by. And while you want to do best to keep their morale up, you also have to keep the budget in mind. Fortunately, you don’t need to destroy your business’s budget to create a more friendly vibe in the workplace.

Offer Refreshments

While you don’t want employees lounging on the couch and eating snacks all day, you can provide them with some complimentary refreshments. You could purchase bagels from the store and have them ready to toast in the office kitchen with spread prepared to go, or you might bring in tacos from an affordable restaurant for lunch every other week. Another option is to stock the break room with beverages and snacks. If you want to let them pick, you could always purchase used vending machines for discounted prices, or you could look into coffee that’s for sale in bulk quantities.

Host Events

You want to encourage employees to work together professionally, but encouraging them to socialize can have tremendous benefits. Employees who feel more comfortable with each other often make better team members. You could host events in the office space to reduce the cost. Also, some local activities, such as paint nights or escape rooms, may offer discounts for large groups. If you want to include food at the event, host a potluck. Asking everyone to bring in a dish also allows your employees to show off their culinary style.

Procure Updated Equipment

Imagine that it took your computer the better part of an hour to load in the morning or that the copier broke every time you needed to make handouts for presentations. Looking into companies that offer corporate discounts can help you to save on the price. Also, you may want to look into having older equipment repaired. While the end goal is likely to replace the machines, doing so might not be possible at this moment.

Provide Positive Feedback

It’s true that offering criticism of your employees is sometimes necessary as you need to let your employees know where room for improvement exists. However, when you constantly criticize your employees or do so negatively, they are likely to start thinking that they aren’t doing any of the tasks correctly. Letting employees know when they succeed is an essential part of acting as a good boss, and if you do have to give some critique, do it well. This strategy will cost you no money whatsoever to implement.

As you begin to think of ways to increase morale, you may see a significant price sticker attached to the plans. Fortunately, you can motivate your employees and make them feel happier at work without spending too much.

 

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