Office Carpet Cleaning – The Truth About Achieving Clean Commercial Carpets

There are many benefits to carpet cleaning other than just removing unsightly stains. The below information provides a wealth of detail that will leave you confident of the best way to keep your commercial carpets clean.

Benefit one is that many more of us these days are suffering from allergies throughout the year. Workers struggle to get through the day with the usual symptoms of a cold, such as a runny nose and or a persistent cough, even itchy eyes. This can all stem from dirt, dust, bacteria and allergens trapped within the carpet threads, which contributes to making it very difficult for office workers to continue with their job.

Dust and dirt often gets poorly folded into the carpet over time. Daily use of a vacuum cleaner will certainly help to keep the allergens at bay but mold spores and bacteria will eventually build up within the fibers of the carpet and result in the steadily decline of your healthy office environment. Professional carpet cleaners these days use high-tech equipment and technology that ensures deep cleaning, which is capable to lift all dirt, soil, dust and allergens out of the carpet with a minimum amount of disruption to the day-to-day running of your business. When we feel good we produce our best work.

Benefit two considers the point that having your commercial carpet professionally cleaned can increase your business performance as deep cleaned carpets keep the office workers safe from allergies, respiratory difficulties and illness. Hotels and office carpets in heavy foot-fall public areas suffer from general daily wear, dirt, mud, odours and stains, which is all very noticeable to your customers and clients. A company will benefit from having well-maintained and professionally cleaned carpets, enhancing their overall professional image.

Benefit three is that carpet cleaning eliminates trapped pollutants. Research carried out through environmental agencies note that dirty carpets can preserve many sources of indoor air pollutants. These include pet dander, cockroach allergens, particle pollution and lead, amongst daily dust and dirt. Particles that are trapped within the carpet can cause toxic airborne particles that will only be removed through the use of specialist cleaning equipment.

Benefit four contemplates the fact that professional cleaning of your commercial carpet urges further damage to the carpet and maximizes its lifespan. Humidity in the air binds the loose soil making it overtime much more difficult for routine vacuuming to remove. Once the hardened soil and grit wears down into the carpets fibers and threads it acts like sandpaper which causes irreversible damage leading to the carpets having to be replaced, which is a cost that can be avoided by the regularity of professional cleans.

As a company, making the great decision to take care of your carpets means that you are investing in your company, its performance, employee's health and the well-being of all office workers by keeping your business promises clean. This is a winning formula for providing your staff with a healthy, pleasant working environment while being the proud owner of stunning chic carpets portraying positive first impressions of high standards.

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Are Economic Factors Changing The Concept of Quality in Small Business Environment?

What exactly does “Quality” mean for small businesses? Has the economic downturn over the past 6 years changed the definition of quality relative to small business's delivery of products and services? Is quality, the major driver in delivering and selling to businesses? Are consumers now willing to compromise on quality, to save money? How much will small businesses and individuals tolerate in reduced services or product quality and decide less quality is more important if they can save money?

I recently met with an acquaintance that operates a small commercial oriented service business. He was lamenting that 10 years ago he launched into a program while he built his company to deliver the highest quality service to his industrial customers. His quality goals were defined based upon what the customers told him were their highest priorities for good product and service qualities. Those attributes were (in order of preferences): timely responses to their requests, error free production / finished product, on-time delivery of the product / service, and fair pricing for their quality claims. It is important to note that fair pricing was not defined as being the cheapest.

Today, he is finding those customers that said, “we buy only quality products and services” are now doing business with vendors offering rock bottom pricing. To get rock bottom pricing quality has suffered; flaws are tolerated. Some small companies are now working with vendors that are moonlighting to pick up a little extra cash and may lack experience working with the latest software technology, equipment, and materials. So, what has happened in the small business sector, relative to the pride a vendor once took in high quality personalized service with a commensurate return? They seem to have vanished; at least for the time being.

Conversely, some large manufacturers found a component of quality to mean, components delivered on-time / just-in-time saves them money and equates into sales. Does this example also apply to small businesses across the board, well, maybe not? But there are disconnects; just look at the GM issue of late, where quality was not worth the expense (at the time). This aside, it does seem quality is no longer the coin of the realm with small commercial service businesses. They may look at quality as a product component that is hard to justify on a revenue basis. Some managers might think they can fine tune the service or product quality in house and not pay the vendor for a high level of quality.

Businesses catering to the end user of products and services still demand quality. But, most of them offer product and services that are focused on high touch and personal attention to details industries. This quality is not inexpensive to deliver.

Could all the changes in small business methods, with pressure on costs, be forcing a new definition of how small business develops their pricing for various levels of quality? I guess if the service or product is not life threatening it could slip on the “need for quality” scale. Offer quality but at a premium; let the customer decide what price quality is worth.

I think discussions about quality from a small business perspective need to be targeted; defining exactly what elements of quality are worthwhile? As standardone considerations, such things as-glitz, glamour, individualized services, and attention to detail may not add anything to perceived quality. For example, the precision delivered in a service product may not be appreciated or needed. Therefore, maybe this is just one example where companies are trading with vendors based on cost and less on quality. Some companies are picking apart the elements of quality being offered to them and settling for a lot less of quality.

It is hard to really understand all the issues involved in small businesses purchasing services and products with the primary consideration being quality. Now the question is: Why does there seem to be a shift in small businesses buying services that are primarily price driven? Quantitative data sees to indicate there is a shift from the holy grail of quality. And, we do recognize, there are still a plethora of companies offering services and product purely based on quality. For example, there are some hotels and car companies having a nice customer niche based on quality; those markets being consumer and extremely large. Everyone could probably agree that any service and product could have such quality if their market would be broad enough to support such quality.

Gucci had a corporate mantra that said: Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten. Of course that was their market and it is still large. Maybe the 1% is enough to support that kind of quality.

For small businesses today, owners must balance costs, revenue demands, market, competition and sophistication of the marketplace. If adding elements of quality to the product line do not generate enough revenue to cover incremental cost, then redefine quality. Quality is in the eye of the beholder. I would imagine a farrier (installer of horseshoes) is not concerned about the packaging, website, product guarantees, or hand polished horseshoes. He just wants horseshoes at a competitive (lowest) price and from a supplier that keeps them on hand.

Some thoughts on quality:

  • Quality has a myriad of definitions and quality definitions are industry specific and customer dependent. Maybe quality in an industry is simply having a human answer the phone … thinking of the DMV.
  • The customer will always dictate quality levels.
  • Do not expect the quality to be free; there are no free lunches. Quality does impact margins.

I can remember in the early dot com boom, as a vendor and customer, quality was measured by such things as how expensive were the give-a-ways, how often were entertainment bills, running online ads no matter the end results and refining expensive tracking programs and site designs for no substantiate reason. So glitz, glamour, service, and value of the end results were components of what we thought was quality. Is that your definition of quality today? Quality in today's business environment is being re-evaluated relative to costs and revenue impact.

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Certification For Your Women Owned Small Businesses?

Quite often one of the topics of discussion among small business owners is “certification”. To push the thought process a little further, I will usually ask; “What type of certification are you seeking and who are you planning to do business with?”.

For example, if you are seeking to grow your business with federal contracting you should explore certificates with the Small Business Administration (SBA). Yes, you can certify with the SBA as a Women Owned Small Business, Economically Disadvantaged Business and Veteran Owned Small Business. The certification process with the SBA is free and you can do it yourself. Since the federal government has 'set asides' for both contract and bid opportunities, certification may be quite beneficial for your small business.

If your goal is to work within the private sector, sometimes with a major corporation, you may want to consider a national certification. However, there are fees associated with third party certification councils including fees for annual renewals.

Your certificates should align with your business strategy. I always stress to business owners that it is important to do their research related to the types of certificates that would best support their business strategy.

Prior to making any investment of your time or money in pursuit of certification, I can not stress the importance of doing your research. Also, as a contractor or supplier, you should become acquainted with the terminology of contracting. If you are pursuing federal contracting, you should become familiar with acronyms. For example, if you are seeking contracts in the private sectors understand the agency's meaning of terms such as vendor, supplier diversity programs and contracting tiers.

Utilize online information and websites to equip you with vital information related to the company, its goals, its commitment to diversity, and any other strategies that can help you prepare for contract opportunities.

View their “Supplier Diversity” programs specifically targeted towards women and minority owned businesses. Leveraging your status as a women owned small business can have its advantages. The Federal government, corporations, state and local governments have established goals that commit a certain percentage of business for women owned companies. This commitment provides you with the opportunity to leverage yourself as a women owned business.

A word to the wise, make sure you are an informed business owner as you enter the world of contracting, there could be a range of opportunities available to help you compete for contracts that can grow your business.

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Qualifying for SBA Loans

For many business owners qualifying for a loan with the US Small Business Administration (SBA) can be quite a challenge. Although the SBA does not lend directly to small business owners, the loans are backed by the SBA. A number of factors are used to determine if a business qualifies for a small business loan. The SBA does encourage lenders to be flexible when lending to small business owners. Although the lender has some degree of flexibility, the applicant must still convince the lender of its possible success in repaying the loan.

The most important factors in qualifying are:

1) Business Plan . Small businesses that apply for SBA loans without a business plan are more likely to be denied. A lender must feel comfortable that the business has the potential to repay the loan. In addition, the business owner must be able to justify the loan and give detailed information on what the borrowed funds will be used for.

2) Cash Flow . The business must show financial stability. Business owners are required to submit credit histories, income tax returns, and financial statements. Some lenders may even use personal credit to determine the business's credit worthiness. Therefore, any mistakes or discrepancies that exist on personal credit should be corrected prior to applying.

When submitting financial records, it should contain the business's cash flow, accounts receivable, accounts payable, balance sheet, and income statement. Businesses are also required to distribute all debt and existing creditors. A minimum of one full year of operating history is generally required.

It is very important for small businesses to display an adequate amount of cash flow relative to the amount requested. If the cash flow is too high, it may be perceived that the loan is not necessary. If the cash flow is to low, it may alter your chances of qualifying for the loan.

3) Repayment History . Lenders seek to help borrowers who they feel will make an honest effort in repaying the loan. A business owner that has demonstrated commitment in repaying prior loans has a very good chance at qualifying. Prior late payments or collection issues could affect the approval of a SBA loan.

4) Collateral . Not all SBA lenders require collateral. Sometimes collateral can play a very important part in the lending process. The greater the risk, the greater the possibility that the lender will request collateral. Some lenders may substitute collateral with a well prepared business plan and a good financial statement. It can also determine how quickly the lender will process the application and the actual loan amount. For example, if you are requesting a SBA loan of $ 100,000 and you are using $ 50,000 of equipment as collateral, a lender will be more likely to assist you with acquiring the desired loan. On the other hand, if the collateral exceeds the loan amount, there is a high probability you will be awarded the loan.

You should evaluate these factors prior to submitting an application. You should also seek out and compare multiple lenders, because each lender has different requirements. Businesses with a solid financial history along with good cash flow usually have great success in acquiring a SBA loan.

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How To Make A Successful Cafe Startup

Fifty-four percent of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee. Coffee is also one of the favorite system-booster of many students and workers. Thus, more and more entrepreneurs are venturing in the trade trying their luck in the caffeine-indulging endeavors.

If you'll look over the net you'll easily find a list of coffee shop for sale or coffee vans for sale. This makes you think though. If a cafe is a good potential business then why are people selling theirs? There are indeed some cafe start-ups that did not fare well. But remember that not only cafe business are experiencing this sort of demise. More often than not, business starters often fail at first attempt regardless of the industry they're in. It takes a lot of willpower, knowhow, experience and strategies to make a business work.

Here are a few things you can start with so to stay afloat when you open your coffee shop.

Before you purchase any existing coffee shop for sale or mobile coffee van, ask the previous owner why he or she is selling it. Some maybe because they are migrating to other place, or planning another venture. Maybe the coffee trade is not just really working for them.

It will cost you a big amount to enter a new venture so ask yourself ten times if this is really the kind of business you want to explore. First consider the resources that you'll need: equipment, manpower, and a reliable supplier. Even if you've found the perfect coffee shop with the latest equipment in tow, success still boils down to one thing – exceptional coffee. Make sure you have the best coffee beans you can find and the most passionate baristas to serve your future customers.

Check every corner of the place to see if it needs necessary repair or renovation. The cafe workstation and layout should be prioritized. Make sure that the baristas have enough space to move around. This will avoid any accidents or spills especially when the cafe starts to get busy and will give them room to perfect that cup of coffee.

Whether it's a coffee vans for sale or coffee shops that you're targeting to purchase, you've got to consider the products that you'll offer. Coffee may be the main item of your cafe but make sure to offer as well coffee accompaniments such as cookies, pastry, and muffins. Multiple options means multiple opportunities of earning more profit.

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Booklet Tips – Info Vs Problem Solving

Your tips booklet has good or maybe even great how-to information in it. It seems a reasonable assumption that your information leads to solving problems for the reader, the buyer, or both (since they may not be the same person). Sometimes the information does solve one or more problems, yet that is not always true. Your booklet could actually be causing problems rather than solving them.

There are several things you as the booklet author can do to increase the likelihood of your information being the problem solver you intended it to be.

  1. Write your tips to be as powerful as possible. That means telling the reader what to do and succinctly adding another sentence or two explaining how to do what you told them or why you are telling them what you told them. The additional 1 or 2 sentences connect the dots beyond simply saying what to do.
  2. Title your booklet so it really represents the content in a simple, clear, and obvious way. Getting cutsie, esoteric, cryptic, or obscure runs a huge risk of mistaken expectation when it comes to what is in the booklet, immediately creating an unnecessary problem.
  3. Expect your reader to have no experience or knowledge of your topic. Providing the most basic information you can means the reader will either have new information, a reminder of something they know and forgot, or confirmation about what they do know. Each function has value and can solve a problem because of its simplicity.
  4. Determine to the best of your ability the problem the reader or buyer wants to solve. You can provide information you think addresses the challenge, and while it's great content, it misses the mark in dealing with the problem itself in some way.
  5. Simplify your process by directly asking the reader or buyer what problem (s) they want to solve. They may or may not have an answer at all. Or they may think the problem is one thing yet it turns out to be something else. Not enough storage space might seem to be the problem when the issue is really learning to make better decisions about letting go of things or pixels.

ACTION – Revisit your wallet content, the feedback you've had from readers and buyers, and the sales results you've had. Each of those activities gives you data to consider, to analyze, to act upon. It is also the process your readers and buyers go through with the information you provide them, although they may do it less consciously and less than the suggestion you just read here. Only you can decide if the information you have is a problem solver or merely information. What will you do with what you discover? You can take action on some or all of it. You can simply notice what you've found. Or you can do nothing further. Those choices are also available to each of your readers and buyers.

“Turn Your Tips Into Products, Your Tips Products Into Moneymakers.TM”

© 2014

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Escalator Helps Small Business Fill Labour Gap With Ready-For-Hire, Fully Trained Youth

The time for a paradigm shift for Canadian small and medium-sized business leaders and owners has arrived.

By 2012, 1,105,972 SMEs in Canada created, on average, 10,000 jobs annually, and spent $ 10.5 billion on research and development. Yet because of minimal exporting efforts, contributed 27% to annualized Canadian GDP, a figure since since 2002. Statistics Canada, Key Small Business Statistics, August, 2013.

Yes, it is and has been a difficult local market for SMEs. And of the 10.2% of small business and 34.4% of medium-sized businesses engaged in exporting, over 80% is shipped to the United States. Business leaders and owners must learn to diversify and tap into the potential purchasing power of a vastly growing emerging markets and beyond.

In Accentures' recent study, many SME business owners suggested difficulty in developing connections and the local knowledge necessary to break into foreign markets. I would expect the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, with over 100,000 members, to assume a leadership role in helping SMEs better understand each market. How to navigate the connections, operational requirements, financing and selling opportunities to markets abroad.

If not the CFIB, there are local chambers of commerce, regional government offices for business and consultants that specialize in navigating exporting.

But business expansion efforts require resources. Resources many owners complain are at a minimum. In order to expend valuable time learning of and chasing export opportunities, owners would have to delegate some day-to-day duties to others. Others who may not be on current payrolls. Others who cost money business owners can not spare.

In some instances, expansion requires skill sets the owner or current staff are lacking.

Fortunately, both the federal government and Ontario governments heard the pleas for incentives and programs, in the form of funding to hire much-needed help.

For those SMEs requiring skill sets in science, math, technology and engineering, Ottawa launched a $ 40 million internship program earlier this year. The national internship program funds 3000 post-secondary students interested in pursuing a career in STEM and skilled trades funds fully paid internships for a six to twelve month period in the hope that business steps forward and hires these students once their paid-for training and learning is complete.

Additionally, the Ontario government created a Youth Ministry and invested a robust $ 295 million for a Youth Jobs Strategy after the recent election.

Civic Action, in partnership with Premier Wynne's Liberals, launched a highly practical program that connects youth with the private sector. A private sector that includes SMEs.

Specifically for small business owners with little time or know-how where to seek prospective hires, the Escalator program assists in posting job listings online. It also provides employer / industry-designed training and internships to close the knowledge gap businesses suggest pregnancies hires. Further, for those business owners who understand the merit and strong benefits of mentoring, it connects SMEs with social agencies that have actual mentoring programs for youth in their relevant communities.

I encourage all business owners to strongly consider the programs listed above. I can tell you from first-hand experience, youth bringing vitality, drive, unaffected zeal and potential. They can also offer a fresh set of eyes or knowledge in a specific area, complementing the rest of your team.

In my business career, I mentored and hired many youth for my teams. We typically bought in and paid one or two cooperative placement students per school year. Those placements were mentored and trained from the day they started, and we hired the better ones on a full-time basis in entry-level roles once their studies were completed.

Because we mentored and trained them during their coop time, when they joined us on a full-time basis, they were ready to tackle the expectations of their new roles, much like seasoned staff. Further, they were also expected to take on a role in mentoring the next year's coop students, strengthening their own leadership skills in the process.

What did I look for in youth, beyond a specialized skill if the specific need warranted it? First and foremost healthy curiosity, both for the new and old. A brightness that can not be taught, usually exemplified in critical thinking. A strong desire to see things through to the end, demonstrating heart. An expanse of interests. Lastly, thriving on a team in any capacity and community participation.

We're talking about a culture change in SME ownership thinking. Yes, valuable time will be required to train youth, time that you will insure you do not have. If you're unhappy with the sales or profit picture of your business, I suggest you can not afford to continue on a status quo basis.

Investing that time now can net positive contribution to your business on a longer-term basis, rather than short-term costly temporary foreign workers or part-time, contract staff. Most owners do not capture the net costs, purely the hourly wage differential. Temporary staff are not invested in your business, rarely making the extra effort required in seeing a problem through to its remedy, recognize a business opportunity when they come upon it, or seek efficiencies and reduction in operational costs.

The investments made in full-time employee hires, training and mentoring will pay off in huge dividends. As will a concerted focus on exporting your product or service to global markets teaming with customers currently with unmet and un-serviced demand.

One of the coop students I brought into Sunbeam arrived as a quiet, shy, awkward young man who was whip-smart in numbers and highly driven to assist our new team in our pursuit of turning around a previously poor performing business unit.

Upon graduation, I hired him full-time. Within 8 months, he developed a comprehensive, complex Excel spreadsheet that allowed the entire company to execute the zero-based budgeting model we migrated to.

He noted the inefficient, highly time-consuming current model that took us away from the business, and worked on his own time to develop the new model. We may have taught him the overall business, its challenges, marketing and supply chain aspects, and allowed him the challenges and space to grow, but you can not teach desire and critical thinking.

The return on this young man, and the many others hired by small businesses I approved, is measurable by the bottom line, the change in office and business culture, and the time business owners free up to either work on business or personal pursuits.

Lastly, it benefits society by saving the $ 1 million each unemployed youth costs, be it welfare, healthcare, or lack of buying power. Buying power which SMEs depend upon. Buying power generated from employment. New employment which requires business in an expansionary, investment, market acquisition mode.

In providing accessible mechanisms, the talent pool, training resources, and mentoring avenues, Premier Wynne, and to an extent the federal government, require business, non-profit agencies, and others looking to hire staff to now step forward and engage in Escalator and the federal internship program.

The time for excuses is over. The incentives are on the table. Reach for them and make the difference for your own business.

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Temporary Foreign Worker Program Can Be Costlier for Small, Independent Business

The Canadian temporary foreign workers' program was recently in the news again.

As you may recall, the Conservative government moved to make changes earlier this year in hopes of reducing the avalanche of applications and temporary workers in Canada. But as Carol Goar pointed out in an article in the Toronto Star, the numbers accepted into Canada between January to June 2013 actually increased by 5%, when compared to the same period in 2012.

While some of these arrivals may include those applications submitted prior to the change but fulfilled this calendar year or represent an outlier in a transitional period, Dan Kelly, President and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business continues to lobby against tighter regulations, as they may negatively affect his membership base.

Mr. Kelly offers sober thought for those SMBs operating within the western provinces' robust economy. Faced with low employment and open positions unfilled for a myriad of reasons, wages have been driven higher by the oil and gas industry, and the businesses serving them. In being forced to pay at times exorbitant wages to attract Canadians to low and high skill jobs in our western provinces, the labor component of a company's balance sheet challenges the bottom line of any business, let alone small and independent business.

Temporary foreign workers, and the previous allowance for a 15% discount on wages, helped fill these available jobs, while propping up profits.

In my role as a business adviser, I help small and medium independent businesses primarily in Ontario improve their top and bottom line. I have observed most owners spending their day putting out fires, with little to no time available nor financial experience to plan and improve business operations, sales, direction, and hence, profits.

This short term focus in turn impacts their hiring decisions, wage scale and ability to train or retain staff, and bears a direct cost to the business most owners do not capture nor measure when making decisions.

I would counsel business owners to spend a portion of their week working towards more medium and long-term planning and implementation. Those may seem like scary terms in small business speak, for big business or people who have time, or so I have been told, but time spent putting out fires might be mitigated if business owners spend even two hours up front considering cost-reduction, revenue-generating exercises, such as the following:

Operational efficiencies:

  • thin-client or zero-client computers vs purchased or leased computers and services contracts.
  • revised purchasing terms with a consolidated vendor base, improving cash flow.
  • review and amend inventory mix to improve working capital. Hidden inventory costs depleted resources.
  • establish formal process to sell old or excess inventory, freeing up space and cash.
  • audit and analyze cash flow, sales, inventory, returns.

Sales:

  • is your pricing model optimized? Can you enhance and communicate product or service differentiation to allow for a price increase?
  • can you improve go-to-market strategy? Are you reaching the right customers? The right industry? What is the cost of servicing your current customer base? What is your cost of customer acquisition, and is it optimized?
  • Introduce a formal promotional calendar mechanism. Track success of each promotion run, capturing incremental price / product (service) revenues, seasonality factors, and failures.
  • referral programs for employees, end-users or direct customers
  • strategic alliances with other key business partners.

Human Capital:

  • develop a mentoring program, linking new hires and junior staff with senior staff, and offer rewards for individuals or teams that suggest and implement measurable cost-savings or sales generation. Create competition for “best” idea and reward with annual prize.
  • establish and communicate performance objectives for each staff member and offer bonus program for goals reached and surpassed.
  • weekly Monday hour long meeting with all staff (or representative from each department), with sharing of successes, failures, issues. Collaborate on projects and on-going issues. Establish priorities for week, month etc.
  • semi-annual review with all staff of overall business and financial performance creates stakeholder connection for all employees, improving loyalty and retention.

I'm sure some of you are skeptical or may complain that there simply are not enough hours in the day to spend on anything other than capturing, filling and shipping orders in a timely manner for product-oriented business or scheduling, delivering and completing contracted services.

My advice rests on the following premise and applications to any small business owner in any country: by enacting these profit-enhancing steps, you are changing your business culture and may succeed in raising the discussion with your (new) customer, strategic partner, ( prospect) employee, vendor or investor above that of low (est) cost or price provider. Anyone is capable of coming along and pulling that floor out from beneath you, and because a response is required, it inevitably leads to a race to the bottom. It's a zero sum game. Lowest price is not a bankable nor sustainable business strategy model.

Why not work, in small and large steps noted above, in improving your financial performance, and investing those newly earned dollars in a loyal, engaged and motivated staff that grows with you. Invest in them by paying fair wages and they will invest in you.

Replacing staff every two years through the temporary workers program is the type of costly and short-term thinking that undermines a business' potential for success and growth. For some business owners, it's a short-term requisite, or an absolute need due to true shortage of high skillset, but the longer-term approach should strive for sustainable, profitable growth delivered by a staff committed to your small business.

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Simple Event Management Checklist

There is a mounting number of companies and organizations that are now putting emphasis on conducting corporate events. As the present times require collaboration and teamwork on a wider network, event management experts have been on the rise as well.

As a business person, you do not want to put the entire event on the events manager but sometimes, you have no choice but to get an event hire company to work with you. Never mindless, it is also important to know all about corporate events and how they are prepared so you can really evaluate if the events manager is having progress or not. It is quite interesting how a single event can take so much time to prepare. As there are different types of events for various purposes, the challenge lies in the details.

Thus, this knowledge of how events preparation is carried out will provide a check and balance so that the event will finally become a success and can help realize the corporate goals being targeted.

Since it's a demanding undertaking, here is a simple checklist of what you are going to do when conducting events:

Budget – Create a budget so that you can start playing with the possibilities for the event. This will determine how big or small the event will be. The budget will allow the event manager to set realistic goals while still chasing to prepare a blazing hot event. Small budgets will not necessarily mean that an event can have no success. It will all depend on the planning and execution, as well as the message to be delivered to the audience and how the audience will act on the message.

Location – An organization that is planning to put up a press conference or a corporate party during their founder's day should look for a venue that could take in all participants of the event. A venue should have good accessibility for the attendees and if not, the company should see to it that transportation will be provided to all attendees so that they arrive on time for the program. It would not be good event if half of the population has arrived late.

Rental for venue is a big expense so, ensure that you have taken this into consideration into the total expenses. Aside from that, ascertain if there is a permission that should be thought for using the venue. In addition, the cost for labor in preparing the venue should be considered as well. It would be essential to consider a few venues before deciding on one.

Food – Some events have a package that allow corporate events to pay a lesser amount for venue rent but the venue management should be the one to cater to the food requirements of the group. This is a good enough strategy to stay within budget while not sacrificing the quality of food served to the attendees. Food will play a big part in achieving satisfaction and good reviews from these attendees. So, make sure that ambience matches the menu.

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Essential Equipment For Starting a Paintball Field

Before purchasing equipment, first decide on what kind of games you want to offer at your field as this will help determine what supplies you will need. If you want to offer speedball, you will need tournament style guns, inflatable bunkers and can hold professional competitions at your field. If you prefer woodsball, you should choose tactical style marks and can save money on purchasing bunkers by using objects such as barrels, tires, hay bails, etc. You can also hold big game scenarios at a woodsball field if it's large enough. If you have a big enough space you can even offer both types of games; This is a great idea whenever possible to cater to more interest levels. Ultimately, the decision to offer one type of game or another is personal, as cost wise both types of equipment are very similar.

If you're not sure of where to begin, start out with basic set-ups for a minimum of 10 players. While you obviously want your field to be much bigger than this, it's better to start small and add to your equipment list as your business grows. When developing your initial equipment list, keep in mind the ways your field will make money. A paintball field brings in revenue by charging entry fees, renting equipment to players and charging for air refills and ammunition. Your basic rental set should include a paintball gun, mask, hopper and air tank. Many fields also include chest protectors however these are not mandatory. Chest protectors help make a player's experience more enjoyable by reducing the pain from being shot. While they are not necessary, they may be worth the extra money so first time players can have more fun with less fear of being shot. Making sure your guests have a good time at your field is of dire importance or they may not want to come back.

When deciding what type of equipment you need for a paintball field, take your time deciding on what type of air refill system you want. A large portion of your initial equipment investment will be tied up in this as well as the decision of what kind of portable tanks you will need. A CO2 system will be considerably cheaper up front but you will be reliant on an outside source for refilling your bulk tanks when they run empty. This means your field must located somewhere near a gas company that can do this. Companies that can refill CO2 tanks are not hard to find in most cities however if your field is located in a rural area, sources may be limited and CO2 would not be a good choice. The other concern about using CO2 to power your rental guns is this gas is very hard on marks and causes a faster wear and tear. You will have more maintenance issues with your rental guns if you plan on using CO2 so be prepared for this. Even though a CO2 refill system may be cheaper in the beginning, it could end up costing more in the long run than paying for bulk tank refills, replacing rental guns and all the trouble.

On the other hand, choosing compressed air for your paintball field's refill station will be more expensive up front although save you much more in the long run. This set up will require a commercial sized air compressor as well as a bulk size storage tank to refill the portable tanks that attach to the guns. While this will make you independent of another source for this ongoing need, a commercial air compressor can run $ 4-7000 depending on the size and type. You will also need high pressure air portable tanks to power the rental guns. The cheapest hpa tanks you will find are aluminum and cost at least $ 50 each. High pressure air maintains a consistent temperature so is easier on the internal parts of paintball guns. They also improve a paintball gun's performance making it more consistent and accurate. Considering this, your field patron's will have less trouble and more fun at your facility if you use compressed air. If you're willing to take the risk, a compressed air system is an expensive start but will pay off later.

The next most important part of your initial investment for a paintball field business is your rental paintball guns. Rental marks must be super durable so they need the least amount of maintenance. They should also be fun, easy to shoot and as cheap as possible. Brands that make the best rental paintball guns include Tippmann and Empire BT. Markers from these companies can be used in any type of paintball game but best matched for woodsball. If you're field is more oriented to speedball and competition paintball, Spyder and the Tippmann Gryphon basic marker are excellent choices. The best companies offer training courses to learn how to service their guns. These are highly recommended so you can save money by doing your repairs in house rather than sending them out. Before purchasing, check out the brand name's warranty information and return policies to make sure you're covered if you need help. All the top brand names produce extremely reliable basic guns specifically designed as rentals with terrific durability. Choose a model of paintball gun with the best combination of performance, sturdiness and a cheap price that will fit in a start-up business's budget.

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Start A Staffing Agency: The Salesperson As a Recruiter

Personality of a recruiter

Clinicians need to know that the person that is interviewing them has a particular knowledge base. The knowledge base must also be coupled with a strong sense of compassion.

Recruiters are sales people, they are the front line representatives for a staffing firm. The attractive force has certain key components to keep and sustain employees. A medical staffing recruiter must be pleasant, nice, in possession of listening skills, communicate, inspire confidence and be trustworthy.

The recruiter is often the gatekeeper that represents the company. That gatekeeper must show an openness to accept clinicians and provide a scene of continuous respect for the clinicians. Nobody wants to work for a medical staffing agency that is “not very nice”

Who actually needs who?

The recruiter's job is to inspire confidence, but that confidence must also establish a moving event for the clinicians. Clinicians are very much aware of their need and value. If you are not respectful and friendly the candidate will not call you again.

Candidates will at times play one agency against another to capture the highest pay rate. This is a common problem amongst full time medical staffing workers.

I have found that you have a better chance of hiring a clinician by providing top level quality customer service and enhanced honesty than paying an extra dollar than your competition.

Medical staffing firms tread a fine line recruiting clinicians. The line can easily be crossed when the prospect is softly guided towards your company. A company that appears desperate will exude that in the recruiting process.

Bottom line is you as a recruiter must be able to convince the candidate to work for your company.

Staying ahead of the game

Two phases in the recruitment process must always be active in order to continuously fill opening.

The first phase requires a constant recruitment that places candidates today. You will have positions that need to be filled continuously; actively looking for these types of candidates is part of the dynamic nature of recruiting.

The second phase is the constant proactive approach to having several candidates in the “Pipe Line” to ensure sufficient qualified candidates are available and being hired to fill potential shifts.

The growth of your business is dynamic, it can not be precipitated and it is dependent on your ability to secure contracts and recruit. Keeping the recruiting phase active to fill positions that are not already found is a common proactive approach among staffing agencies.

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Use Break Even Principles to Assure an Even Break

It was the opening day of the consulting engagement, so my client and I were reviewing costs, expenses, sales income and related activities. In other words, reviewing where his company was on that day and how it got there. The usual stuff.

When reviewing some of his recent jobs, he showed me one that was completed just days before. He said that he just “broke even” on this job.

I took the opportunity to ask him how he defined Break Even. He replied that his customer paid just enough to cover materials and labor costs. I told him that he did not break even, but actually this job was a loss. He asked me because that could be if his company was able to pay for the materials and labor. My response was simple. I told him that yes you did pay for the materials and supplies, and you did pay the employers, but it was your company that did not get paid.

He asked me what I mean by that, so I told him that this completed project that he thought was an even break actually contributed nothing to the fixed expenses such as rent, utilities, telephone, internet, and other expenses that are required to keep the business alive and well. Consequently it was a loss.

My client's understanding of the Break Even Principle and the components required to determine an accurate Break Even price were all too common. Most small business owners are of the opinion that Break Even consist of of covering Direct Costs only and not Fixed Costs and Overhead. To break even, Direct Costs and Fixed Costs must be considered and covered.

But it does not stop there. A Break Even Price strategy must address Volume and Capacity conditions or shortcomings. Volume and Capacity are keys to achieving and maintaining a routine Break Even status that is on or ahead of plan.

Volume and Capacity must be considered in addition to covering Direct and Fixed Costs. Volume is determined by the Revenue Stream. For my client, Volume was supported and maintained by how many projects were running day-to-day, month-to-month, and quarter-to-quarter. For other types of businesses, Volume would be supported and maintained by sales or other revenue producers.

Capacity for my client was measured by how many crews were working. Many business owners and particularly those who depend on union labor want to keep good workers on their payroll. So if four jobs are running and the company has five crews, then somehow and somewhere one crew has to working on one or more of the four projects underway. That adds to Direct Costs of each of the four projects, but also saves good workers. Such are the challenges of the small business owner. The challenge for my client was how and where to absorb or offset the extra costs.

There are ways.

One of the most successful methods is to finish projects ahead of schedule. Projects finished just one day early can have a significant impact on both Revenue and Capacity.

Proper job site management always saves money. Even the best estimates are won or lost at the job site and now else!

But those are discussions for another day.

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Small Business Services – Are You Running Your Business or Is It Running You?

Running a small business can be very rewarding. In most cases, the small business owner starts with a dream and turns that dream into a reality with sweat, tears, money and lots of late nights. While making money by doing something that you are passionate about can be a dream come true, most do not dream of doing taxes and managing payroll. As business increases, handling these tasks can become even more overwhelming than the stages of planning to start the business. Outsourcing some of those mundane responsibilities will allow the owner to focus on the main area of ​​expertise, giving attention to customers which will absolutely grow the business. Let's face it, a plumber is an expert in plumbing. However, a plumber needs to use a computer to keep track of all business dealings. When the computer crashes, should the plumber try to fix it himself? Or let an expert repair it? A community planner running a non-profit would probably want to focus on writing grants instead of dealing with payroll.

There are companies that offer these kinds of services to small businesses. The services can be as simple as an Information Technology (IT) service that will help the business owner with computer and telecommunications issues or as complex as running all aspects of the business including payroll, human resources, benefits, and legal concerns. The purpose of these business services are to allow smaller entities to run as smoothly as Fortune 500 companies without having to spend a fortune. America was built on the promise of entrepreneurship. With an expert handling the hiring and firing, payroll, benefits, tax code, legal issues and things of the nature, smaller businesses are more likely to stay open for business and continue the entrepreneurial spirit of what makes America so awesome.

To determine the scope of the small business services needed, ask a few questions. Is your business stationary or mobile? Is travel out of state or country necessary? Are there multiple employees? Does the business provide healthcare benefits for the employees? Is the mode of communication with customers efficient? Answering these questions and questions like these can help determine the needs of the business.

Whether it is allowing an expert to handle aspects of the business that you are not that great or delegating tedious responsibilities to capable hands that the time can be dedicated to other projects, small business services can be very beneficial. No matter how big or small the task at hand is, delegating those tasks to a reliable and reliable entity can only improve how business is done and increase productivity. Increasing productivity means increasing profits.

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WMD’s – Weapons of Mass Distractions

Hey there entrepreneur! Did you just open up your doors? Are you a newbie to the online world? Or are you a new veteran that has been beat up and abused by the industry? It does not matter what stage you are in your business. You are still vulnerable to Weapons of Mass Distractions (WMD's).

What are Weapons of Mass Distractions? They could be anything that take you away from achieving business success. The main culprits are your family, friends, shiny objects, not having a goal, failure to have a business plan, lack of capital, excuses, fear of competition, and the path of little resistance. They can destroy your business and having you applying for a greeter at Walmart.

Let's identify 9.5 WMD's and develop a prevention plan. Be prepared when these weapons show up.

1. Lack of a Plan: Sadly most people do not have a plan. No business plan, no financial plan, and no marketing plan. They just sign up because someone said they can make money. Poor planning equivalents horrible execution. Worst yet these people do not have a specific money goal. Making some money is not a goal. Be clear and specific on your income goals. Set annual goals ad then figure out how much per month and per day you need to make that hit goal.

Why do people fail at making a plan? Because it takes work. It takes time. Some people fear that they chose the wrong business so they put blinders on. People do not like to admit that they made a bad choice. So they just muddle along until they quit.

You need a plan. A written plan reveals if you are in the right business. A written plan helps map out the monthly expenses, marketing budget, the people, and systems use. A clear written plan determines your “Why” and is a clear path to your goals. Your plan is a deterrent to WMD's.

2. Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS): A written plan will save you from this distraction. This is one of the most deadliest. SOS promises you a path of little resistance, instant riches, and minimum work involve. Push button success. This will leave you broke and frustrated. This WMD comes from all directions. Your mentor, affiliates, Guru's, and marketing. The entry level into your mind looks endless.

The deterrent here is FOCUS Follow One Course Until Successful. This is where the newbie can get trapped. Every product launch seems promising. But perusing these false hopes leads them further away from their goal. Veterans get caught too because they are tired of not making money.

Vaccinate yourself now from SOS You will not reach your goals chasing every new thing. You can not finish if you keep starting over. Look at every successful entrepreneur. They master one niche and then expand. Lebron James mastered basketball first. Now he racks in millions from endorsements because he mastered one thing.

3. Daily Method of Operation: In your business plan you should write down a schedule. WMD's love to attack a business with no set hours. You will get distracted by your friends, family, tv, and that UPS guy.

Having a fulltime job is not an excuse. You become an entrepreneur so act like one. Set a schedule! Look at every business around you. The have business hours. Stores open and close. Run your home business the same way. Make a Daily Method of Operation now.

4. Income Producing Activities: What are IPAs? Income producing activates are the things that produce income. Cleaning your desk is not an income producing activity. Filing papers is not an income producing activity. Generating sales should consume most of your time. Marketing, generating leads, producing content, are IPAs. Spend 70% of your time doing this. Distractions will have you work all day without making sales.

5. Family and Friends: This is the most difficult. Especially if you work from home. Your family and friends do not think you have a “JOB” because you are always at home. Funny thing is if you have a job they will never bother you.

You will get calls to pick stuff up. Someone needs to vent. Why? Well they are “really” working and you are just hanging out. The lack of respect is appalling. People will repeated interrupt you. They think you have all this free time. This is where you set some ground rules. This starts with your plan, setting business hours, and telling people to stop bothering you while you build your empire.

6. Your Spouse and Partner: The is the emotional WMD. Your significant other needs to be rolled into your dream. This is difficult if you have a history of quitting. Partners are fine until the bills are not paid, food is low, and the debt is piling up.

Again back to the written plan. If they can feel, touch, and read your dream they are more likely to go along with it. Do they know where you want to go? Do they know your income goals? How long is the sacrifice? Do they have a part to play in the business? If they can read it they can believe it.

7. Lack of Funds: This WMD makes you procrastinate. Money is tight and you have to make that next auto-ship payment, affiliate fee, or invest in marketing. Being broke is a distraction. Lack of funds leads people to stop taking action. You need action to make sales.

Create a business budget. There are plenty of books that can teach you cash flow management. Begin with a 90-day budget. It shocks me when newbies are surprised that it cost money to run a business. No business in the world is free.

8. Competition: Do not worry about the competition. Compete with yourself. Unlike sports in the world of business you can succeed without being # 1. Avis had a whole marketing campaign about being # 2. They still make millions of dollars.

9. No marketing plan: Distractions from the WMD comes from all off the different marketing strategies you can carry out. Marketing is the life-blood of your business and you need to master a skill. Pick 1-3 marketing techniques that fit your strengths and talents.

9.5 You: Hey get out your own way. Implement all of these deterrents and prevent WMD's from entering your business. You are the only person that can propel you forward. But it's You who can also sabotage your business.

I wrote this article to help You help You avoid Weapons of Mass Distractions.

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Start a Staffing Agency: Decide on Your Niche

Before you begin your staffing business, decide on what is it that your niche will be. It does not matter what kind of agency you are starting, what matters is focusing initially on one area and moving forward within that area to get you started. It is a good idea to be aware of the various areas you can move into within the business model you decide on. Learning the different niches within the medical staffing industry will allow you to be better informed in selecting your area to focus on.

Many larger healthcare temp agencies usually begin to diversify once they are able to capture larger markets within the area of ​​focus. The challenge facing these types of companies is making sure that you do not overwhelm yourself when getting started. Diversification is paramount for temp agencies and can be challenging, yet it is something that should always be in the forefront of your expansion goals for your agency.

You must take into consideration several factors before deciding what niche to enter. If you have experience in nursing: then it is a good idea to start a nursing agency. If you have experience in respiratory or physical therapy: this is an ideal platform for you to enter. Once you establish credibility, your next step is to branch out to other modalities.

If you are an ultrasound entrepreneur, then selecting to staff is this area may be your best choice to make initially. Many larger companies started with just one area of ​​coverage. They ever suddenly grew and became a leading provider of radiology services.

If you are an existing staffing agency that has been specializing in radiology, your next choice to enter may be respiratory. The key to success is knowing your market and understanding your competition. The barriers to entry are essentially not huge, but this makes your marketing efforts much more valuable and the need to be focused.

If you are a staffing company that has been specializing in accounting, your next step may be executive staffing within the medical staffing industry. The choice will depend on your experience and ability to gain insight and formulate a viable plan that can allow you to leave entry into a new area.

Here is a list of the different types of choices you may have when starting your agency.

1. Short term or long term medical temporary help
2. Per Diem staffing
3. Local contracts
4. Travelers
5. Physician staffing
6. Direct Hire
7. Permanent placement
8. Executive search

The above is an example of the many types of placements you can perform once your business is running.

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