Author Archives: Endre Fredriksen

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Why Rodents Can Ruin Your New Business’ Reputation

Category : Tips

Every day across the world shops and stores are being closed due to pest infestations. Even the most reputable of businesses have shut down in the past year because of a rodent problem.

There can be many reasons why rodents might infest a store. Clean practices may have become lax, or the management have been totally unaware there was an infestation. You can never truly know why a business has been shut down, but you will know for certain that its reputation will have been permanently sullied.

It’s mainly the food service shop that is particularly prone to a rodent infestation, but no business is immune. Rubbish bins, cellars and cafeterias are all the perfect places for rodents who want to seek shelter.

To preserve a company’s good reputation, they must stay vigilant in their efforts to keep rodents outside. They need to train staff in the same practices too.

Change all of your rubbish bins regularly, and make sure they’re emptied on a regular basis. Placing traps discreetly in certain areas can also deter rodents. Make sure any windows and doors are also sealed properly.

If you do see any signs of rodent activity in your business, you need to make steps to control it immediately. Given the chance and a comfortable environment to live in, rodents nests can grow at an alarming rate. The longer you leave it without taking action, the more serious the problem will become.

Here are some of the consequences of having a rodent infestation in your business.

  • Loss – Customers and employees will lose trust in you, and will leave your business. This in turn will result in loss of profits.
  • Damages – Goods, food and your reputation will be damaged by a rodent infestation.
  • Costs – Temporary closure will mean loss of business and it will cost a lot to get an infestation treated, and then replacing all of your stock.
  • Legality – Not complying with health and hygiene laws can carry a hefty fine and results in business closure.

Concerned about your London businesses reputation being ruined by rodents? You may need mouse or rat control and ideally to invest in an Empire pest control contract to protect your store from rodents and other pests on an ongoing basis.

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training and development

How to Use Employee Training as a Retention Tool

Category : Tips

What do you think, how often do people change jobs these days?

It might be more often than you think. As CNN Money reports, a new LinkedIn study revealed that young people change jobs a lot more than their parents did in the past.

According to LinkedIn findings, on average, people now have four job changes by the time they’re 32 years old. Furthermore, some of them don’t just change jobs, but often switch into entirely different industries as well.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest portion of job-hoppers works in media, marketing and entertainment.

employee retention

What’s the Reason Behind this Trend?

These statistics indicate that the era of employment for life is seemingly over, but what’s the reason behind it?

Basically, most millennials want to move up the ranks faster than their parents. And wouldn’t you know it; one of the quickest ways to do this is to change jobs every few years. A new role in a different company often comes with a noticeable pay raise.

According to CNN, people who find a new job can hope for a 15% raise. On the other hand, a person that stay in the same company (and more importantly, in the same role) can only hope for a 3% raise – and that’s the best case scenario mind you.

Looking at these numbers, it’s not hard to figure out why so many business leaders are start to put more and more emphasis on employee retention strategies within their organizations.

How Can Companies Curb the Turnover Rate?

Most organizations are trying to combat this by offering their employees raises, a number of benefits and a multitude of incentives. However, experience – and not just work experience, but life experience as well – seems to be what employees are looking for nowadays.

According to Navigating Ambiguity: Career Research Report, 35% of employees want their employees to provide them with learning opportunities that will help them further develop their skills and careers. This number is up 7% from ten years ago.

Paradoxically, the number of organizations that offer development benefits has decreased by 3% during the same time period. And while some companies are focusing on social networking as way to help their workforce develop, only 20% of employees see this as useful, according to the same report.

employee training

The Benefits of Employee Training

Natural, some employers don’t want to spend too much money on employee development, because they are afraid that any of their employees might take those skills and simply leave.

But this can easily become a Catch-22, because as we mentioned earlier, employees who are not given enough opportunities to develop their skills grow disengaged and dissatisfied over time until they finally leave the company at a certain point.

But there are actually several good reasons you should invest in proper employee training. As the experts from the sales recruitment firm Pulse Recruitment from Melbourne explain, some of the benefits of employee training include:

  • Increased Satisfaction in Your Workforce

Nurturing your top employees to develop more rounded skills will allow them become more engaged in their work and help them contribute to your organization. What’s more, if you create an employee development plan that will help your employees advance within the company; they will see this as the first step toward a future promotion.

  • Added Efficiency and Flexibility

You can easily train your staff members to be capable in more than one aspect in your business. For instance, you can teach them to be proficient in different areas like administration, operations and even sales. This will keep your workers engaged and it will also be helpful when you’re setting up schedules or filling in for absences.

  • Firm Company Culture

Once you start prioritizing employee training and development, you’ll send a clear message to your workforce that their future is important to you and that you want to be a part of it. And if you get involved in the process, and share some of your experience and knowledge with them, you’ll establish yourself as a serious leader, who is willing extra work to keep his employees satisfied.

Final Thoughts

Statistics gathered by the Dale Carnegie Training Center show that worker turnover accounts for more than 11 billion dollars in financial losses for American companies every year.

So if you’re worried about the costs of employee training, just keep in mind that these costs are nothing compared to the money you’d waste trying to discover and hire new employees.

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5 Ways to Ensure Funding for Your Startup Company

Category : Startups

One of the most pressing questions for young entrepreneurs is how to find the necessary funding for starting and running a company. Many great ideas have gone to waste because it takes a completely different skill set to develop a project, than to think of it.

Regardless of the way a business gets the much-needed capital, it’s important to note that it represents a significant change in a way company operates. When there’s another entity involved, businesses need to start dealing with responsibility towards those who loaned them the money in question.

A strategic partner

If you already know that there’s a market waiting for your product you might be able to get an advance on it from a strategic business partner or customer. Forming these relationships early on can put your business on a map, by association alone. However, tying yourself up to a single large client can also be a dangerous way to go because you’re putting the future of your business into to the hands of a single partner. Make sure that the deals you’ve made early on are open for negotiation after you establish your business better.

Business incubators

Incubators have become very popular lately, especially in funding tech startups, but they can be useful for businesses of all kinds. Sometimes, they are organized by community development groups or universities, and often the incubators are run by private companies and investment groups. There are two major ways the incubators operate in. In some cases, they offer resources such as offices, computer equipment and expert consultation in exchange for a percentage of the revenue. In others, the incubators provide a business with cash as well.

fund your startup

Business loans

The simplest way to get funding without any meddling in how you run your business is to apply for a business loan. Financial institutions such as NSW Mortgage Corp can accommodate the needs of most businesses, meaning that the loan could be only a short-term solution. For smaller businesses, you could also use a personal loan to fund the initial expenses. Before applying for one, it’s important to have a good credit score and a comprehensive business plan outlining the future of your business, especially including all the revenue you’re expecting to make.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding campaigns are a relatively new phenomenon, but they have managed to fund a lot of successful projects and businesses. People pledge money to a project you’ve described online and in return, they get an early access to your products or small rewards (like autographed books or T-shirts). Another way of doing it is by encouraging internet followers to pre-order the products you’re offering while they are still in the production (or even design) phase. It’s an effective way to get funds, but it requires a compelling campaign and significant internet following to really make it.

Small business grants

Governments offers grants for small businesses. This is done on all level of government from municipal to national, and the hoops you need to jump through can vary accordingly. Not all businesses can apply for these grants; the government usually allocates funds only for certain fields – such as new technology, medicine, education, social justice ventures, etc. Grants are usually not refundable and can be of great help for a new business. It’s important to note that the recipients of these grants also need to show proof of potential revenues and not operate strictly according to rules and regulations in their industries.

There’s a long way to go between having an idea for a business and actually launching one. Choose the way you get the funding carefully because that is a long-term commitment that will affect the way you run your business for years.

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Retain an Unhappy Employee

How to Retain an Unhappy Employee

Category : Tips

Unhappy employees aren’t just a personal problem. It’s obviously less enjoyable to work with someone who isn’t happy with their current position and responsibilities, but there’s much more to it. Those with lower job satisfaction also have lower productivity rates and make more mistakes. Job-related injuries are also much more frequent with people who don’t like their jobs. This means that an unhappy employee can cost the company a lot of money and, if the word gets out (and in some industries, it’s impossible for it not to), your reputation could also be endangered.

So, trying to retain an unhappy employee is definitely worth it. Talented people are not easy to find and respecting your employees shows that you care about the people making your company work.

Encourage communication

It’s important for your employees to feel comfortable enough to express their concerns openly. The best way to do this is to create a forum designated for that exact purpose. Set up a date on which everyone (regardless of their position in the company) will be able to review each other and talk about their future role in the company. Also, if you know someone is feeling underappreciated but doesn’t say anything – approach them in private and talk about the matter honestly and openly. It may sound too simple, but it’s often enough.

More free time

A lot of employees believe that more free time is a better reward than more money. A longer vacation would be especially appreciated after the completion of a long and difficult problem. Sometimes, a short business trip could serve as a vacation as well. A change of pace and scenery is all it takes to shake things up creatively and put your employee back on the right track. Conferences and meetings in between won’t even feel like work.

retaining employeesGifts and perks

Small gifts and perks are sometimes all it takes for the employee to feel appreciated. To avoid having to choose the right gift for each employee, you can use Eftpos gift cards and let employees choose the gifts themselves. These could be distributed after an important task or just as a random present to boost morale around the office. Simple perks like parking spaces, office gym or a break room could have a similar effect because they’ll make your employees feel like their work is being noticed and appreciated.

Career pathway

Most of the dissatisfaction comes from feeling stuck in the same job for a while without the possibility of advancement. The easiest way to rectify this is to make everyone understand what their career pathway is. That means that promotions should happen on a regular and scheduled basis and that each employee should know how and when their performances are being reviewed. Start by establishing a clear metric of success and be open about it with your employees, especially if you are running a smaller company where there’s no clear division of labor. Everyone should know what their evaluation is based on and how to improve their performance.

Work-life balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a key to productivity and personal well-being. Helping your employees achieve this will create an environment in which your employees will be able to share personal information and create the workflow around it. For instance, a young parent might need more free time as well as someone going through a family crisis. Those who want to pursue a new education path might benefit from full of partial tuition coverage (which could be repaid in numerous ways).

Investing some time and effort into retaining an unhappy employee can be much more beneficial than going through a process of finding a new one and helping them find their way around your company.

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Top In-demand Jobs of the Future

Category : Careers

Unfortunately, we have all seen people being laid off or made redundant over the past several years, due to all sorts of reasons. Perhaps you yourself have lost your job?

The fact that the unemployment rate is higher than ever coupled with the fact that more people are now graduating from college than ever before, which means that making the right call when choosing a career is now more important and more difficult than it used to be. Luckily, there’s now more information available to those who know where to search for it. If you just take a look at some statistics, you’ll be able to see what industries are most likely to be the leading ones in the future.

For the following article, we’ve compiled a list of jobs that are either already very popular or are expected to be.

Interpreters/translators

Despite the rapid development of software solutions aiming to provide these services, it’s safe to say that the demand for excellent interpreters and translators will remain at a high level. The basic reason is that there is more content being created in all fields and if that content is to reach wider audiences, it needs to be translated. Also, for as long as there is literature and entertainment, there’ll be need for translators.

Physical therapists and assistants

The importance of physical therapy in helping people recover from illness or injury can’t be underestimated. This highly rewarding, yet equally difficult job is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. One of the advantages of this profession is that you might be able to look for a job even outside the borders of your country, since the communication between a physical therapist and a patient is minimal.

Geotechnical engineer

This probably comes as a surprise, but due to the shortage of experienced professionals, geotechnical engineering provides almost certain employment, even without a master’s degree. The mechanics of soil and rock (geodetical surveying) is vital for design and construction of foundations, roads, tunnels, embankments, etc., which is why a career in this field might be very attractive for many. One of the best examples of successful geotechnical engineering companies is Douglas Partners.

Information security analyst

The whole IT industry is expected to thrive even more in the future, so any job that is somehow connected to it should bring vast job opportunities. One of the segments that is definitely going to grow is the field of information security. Those in charge of designing and implementing security measures that protect a company’s network and systems will become even more important in the future.

Nurse practitioners

There is already a great shortage of qualified nursing staff in many countries all over the world. People assisting patients’ health needs need to have great communication skills, have to be extremely detail-oriented and able to remain calm under a lot of pressure.

Software developers

Since there’s no end in sight for the need to create more software to assist our private and professional needs, we are going to continue being heavily dependent on those able to produce them. Another advantage of this job is that is doesn’t necessarily require any formal education and qualifications, but is very much skill-oriented, and many people from different professional backgrounds worldwide are re-training to become software developers.

Naturally, this is just a short list of occupations that will most certainly be popular in the future, but there are also many other that will provide decent chances for employment. When making a decision about your career, you do need to be very much aware of your wishes and inclinations, but it would be unwise to neglect some obvious trends.

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Your Personal Boom Bust Cycle – Part 2

As we become more acquainted with the patterns of income we saw from the family we grew up in and the family we currently live in, then we have the opportunity to better understand the points of stress we experience. In our married life it’s especially important to understand how our spouse experienced their family cash flow, and what that meant for them as a family—the things they got to do, the things they did not get to do.

As you think about your life horizon and the planning process that goes on, there are a number of variables to consider. There are some questions that will get answered soon, and some that will remain unknown until further along in growth and understanding.

The personal boom-and-bust cycle often plays out when there are larger variances in family income. If mom earns a big bonus check what does the family do with it—new cars, vacations, clothes, charity—what happens? Then what happens after the money is spent?

What about those families where income expands and contracts on a regular basis—are they able to set aside enough in the boom times to even out life in the bust times? This takes the ability to look into the future and anticipate the bust times to come. A family without a future orientation, may be more subject to having to expand and contract life style as income fluctuates. What stress is that placing on you? What kind of stress is that placing on your partner?

I was recently working with a couple where the husband was not concerned about the home equity line of credit and said they would get it paid off, whereas the wife was very concerned about getting it paid off. Below the surface of their argument lie deeper personal convictions and money scripts that caused them to see the situation from two very different perspectives. This family had variable income from both partners. The husband earned a small base salary with the potential for a big bonus, and the wife was a small business owner and did her own consulting work, which led to variable income. This dynamic ultimately led to a level of uncertainty in the relationship about when and how the home equity line of credit was going to be paid off.

So what’s your personal boom-and-bust cycle? If you don’t receive regular income for any number of reasons, what is that experience like for you, your spouse, your kids and perhaps other people that count on you to produce an income?

Where are you in the cycle?

Do you often have a steep recovery to climb out of the bust, i.e. is there debt that has to be repaid?

If the boom-and-bust cycle is wearing you out, what are those things that you can start to change that would reduce the variability in the cycle?

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How to Improve Your Costumer Communication in 2017?

Category : Marketing

Communication is a two-way street and in order for it to work, you need to learn how to both convey a message and receive it. While this may not seem as such a hard task when it comes to personal relationships, the same could not be said about a B2C connection. Your clients have a set of requirements they expect you to fulfill, but you will have a much harder job without knowing what they are. So, instead of spending a fortune on analysts trying to predict what is on your client’s mind, you could just provide them with the means to tell you this themselves.

Keep Your Inbox Organized

Let’s be completely clear about one thing- giving someone your contact email doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t check it regularly. Unfortunately, over the course of years, you are bound to subscribe to a newsletter or twenty which means your email inbox will constantly be swarmed with a myriad of emails you have no intention of opening. It is easy to imagine how a vital customer email could be lost in this sea of unopened electronic mail. This is why, your first step towards improving customer communication should be organizing your inbox. Clear it regularly, unsubscribe from websites you don’t frequent and spend more time with your auto-filter option.

Make a Forum

Sometimes, there is this one huge thing issue on everyone’s mind, but people are reluctant to start talking about it. This is why making a forum may be so efficient. You see, once a thread is made it practically starts living a life of its own. At first, someone will complain about a particular problem or give a productive idea, but then other people will join in with their own comments and suggestions. Before you know it, you will get a better insight on what your clients really think about your business. In rare cases, you can even let a cat out of the bag yourself, by anonymously asking a question that you believe will bring the most interesting responses.

Better Customer Service

Although corporate email or forum may sometimes seem sufficient, your first line of defense will always be your customer service. It is in our nature to trust a human voice more than we do some words we see on the screen, even if that person could be on a different continent. Still, if these people are to be the voice of your company, they need to be carefully handpicked.

The most important condition they must fill is to have a highly developed sense of empathy. People calling will usually have a problem and they need someone on the other side of that line who can understand how they feel at the moment. Few more improvements you could make is expanding the support hours and even sometimes call them on your own (as a pseudo client), just to see how things work out practice.

Automate Some Processes

Finally, even though personal approach is completely invaluable, you simply won’t be able to have everyone on your team dealing with B2C communication. Even if you did such a thing, chances are you would still be understaffed to undertake such a task. This is why, you may want to look for some software to help you out. For example, you could automate mobile marketing activities and in this way, take at least part of this enormous job off your team.

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