December 13, 2018

Fun Team Building Exercises Any Business Can Do Right Now

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Before you hear your team groan about having to complete another team-building exercise, you may want to try these exciting and engaging activities. After all, the purpose of team-building activities is for employees to learn more about each other while having a great time. Here are some that you may want to consider the next time you need to lead a team.

Employee Bingo

Start by drawing a Bingo card on pieces of paper. Find out something unique about each of your employees that are going to be in the meeting. For example, one employee may have been born in a foreign country while another one may have four dogs. Then, label each square with a different notable characteristic while making sure each sheet is unique. Have participants ask each other to sign the square that applies to them with the first one who gets five in a row winning the game.

Related: http://www.howdoyouplay.net/icebreakers/how-to-play-people-bingo.html

Egg Drop

Gather many different office supplies. Divide participants into two groups. Assign each group to use the office supplies to build a contraction that when an egg is dropped in the middle of it, the egg will not break. At the end of the assigned time, drop the eggs with the winner getting a prize.

Name the Office

If you have several people who normally work in different offices in the same building, then you can play “name the office.” In order to play this game, have your employees come up with names for your conference room and then as a group, decide what the final name will be. Naming an office space or conference room as a team makes your employees feel like they have some investment in their workplace and it reflects the interests and humor of your employees.

Related: https://blog.davincimeetingrooms.com/workplace/100-plus-conference-room-names/

Office Scavenger Hunt

Make a list of unusual items found in your office. For example, it may be an employee’s chapstick that they always keep in an unlocked office drawer or a plant that has died from being long neglected. Divide the participants into two teams and give the same list to both. Set a timer and yell, “go.” The team returning with the most items is the winner.

Related: https://www.goosechase.com/blog/team-building-scavenger-hunt-ideas-for-the-office/  

There are many different team-building activities that you can do with your crew. Ensure that everyone feels free to participate. Sit back and watch the fun abound as people learn to work together as a team.

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Nail Your Short Presentation at Work with These 5 Tips

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Making a brief presentation at work may seem like a no-brainer, but preparing one can prove to be challenging. It’s always a good idea to iron out the details of your presentation well ahead of time so you can nail it when the time comes. Here are five easy tips that can help you give an informational, inspiring and persuasive presentation in the workplace.

Keep the Audience Interested

Few things are less interesting than having to sit through a presentation that’s given in a monotone voice. Use voice inflections and intonation to emphasize important words and transitions, and pause momentarily to let important ideas sink in. If the occasion is informal or semiformal, you might address the audience directly rather than discussing the topic in third person. Use examples and details that relate to listeners so they can feel included, making references to daily life or demographics that connect with people in the audience. Also be sure to make eye contact occasionally with the audience throughout the presentation.

Resource: https://minutehack.com/guides/5-ways-to-keep-your-audience-interested

Pace Your Presentation

Rather than choosing to simply wing it and hope for the best, practice pacing your speech beforehand. Make an outline with key points and rehearse the talk smoothly from one point to the next. Keep an eye on the time to ensure your speech stays on track. A good rule of thumb for giving presentations is that every minute is roughly 125-150 words spoken, so a 5-minute speech would usually require 625 – 700 words. That being said, it’s always a good idea to plan for a few extra minutes in case audience members wish to ask questions afterward.

Resource: https://wordcounter.io/blog/how-many-words-is-a-5-minute-speech/

Incorporate a Story

Everyone loves to hear a good story, so aim to include some type of story in your talk that illustrates one of your presentation’s principles. A good choice is to draw from current events in the news that many in the audience will have heard of and perhaps identify with. You can also use personal experience or observations about the lives of others in certain situations. Using characters, real or fictitious, and a narrative format often encourages the audience to listen more attentively, and it can stoke their interest in your topic.

Resource: https://blog.slideshare.net/how-to-tell-great-stories-during-presentations

Use Humor

Like smiling, humor is a universal element that everyone can relate to. Many successful speakers start a presentation with a humorous anecdote or a comical remark about the context for the presentation. Use lighthearted humor rather than a sarcastic tone. However be sure to avoid slapstick comedy, which can dilute the seriousness of your topic and cause the audience to feel more entertained than educated. Self-deprecating humor is another easy way to start the presentation and often helps to put the speaker on par with the audience.

Resource: http://totalcommunicator.com/vol2_2/funnymeeting.html

A short talk can feel like it is over much too soon for audiences who enjoy and appreciate what they hear. Practice beforehand and give listeners fun and interesting things to consider. By following these steps you can ensure that your talk will not only be interesting to hear but also have the desired impact on your audience.

If you feel a little lost on or anxious about leading or running a business, then let Shannon Gronich help you out!

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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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