Virtual Office Space Provides New Business Owners With Authentic And Substantive Benefits

In this ever expanding internet age we are discovering new and innovating ways of streamlining the way in which we conduct our business. The world is a very big place and yet we are able to work with anyone from anywhere at any given time and that is what makes this day and age an incredibly exciting time to do business; and of course to be alive!

One of the most interesting developments in business is the introduction of the virtual office; A commonly misunderstood and severely underrated way of operating a new business. If you were to have tried to pitch the idea to an entrepreneur in the 80's they would have thought you insane! To have an office that you do not work from and does not physically exist? – Granted without the internet the concept sounds rather farfetched but all of that besides the benefits of renting virtual office space are highly propitious.

A virtual office space is a business location that only exists in the realm of cyberspace. This is the kind of setup that allows business owners and their employees to work from absolutely any location they choose by using technology such as their mobile phones, laptops and computers via access to the internet. Renting virtual office space can provide you with a significant amount of flexibility and financial savings in comparison to the traditional office space setup. Virtual office space also allows the business owner to employ anyone they desire without the restrictions of having to hire those who live within a certain area. This opens up a whole new world of opportunity and allows you to extend your search and broaden your horizons strictly.

When it comes to conducting meetings, this can be done via tele and video conferencing and all documents can be shared and transmitted electronically. This highlights some of the gerner elements that make virtual office space a more viable option to those who are looking to 'do their part for the environment' – by saving on money, fuel and resources.

There are a number of companies out there who are in the business of providing virtual office space to new businesses. This allows people to possess the prestige of an important sounding address in a reputable business district without having to commit to actually renting or getting a mortgage on a physical office location. These companies also provide a number of additional services such as a professional phone answering service and even the occasional rental office space and conference rooms (as sometimes it is necessary to have your employees in the same room together, especially when spit-balling a new and important project for example).

The best thing about virtual office space is that there is very little commitment! You can trial a virtual office space without having to sign up for a 30 year mortgage. This offers you an ideal opportunity to try it out and see if it suits the way in which you wish to operate your business. No strings, no bricks, no water.

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Brainstorming To Start A Small Business – Questions To Answer

Hello readers and potential future entrepreners. I understand the feeling; desire to create, operate, and succeed. Through my professional career, I have learned that there are numerous steps that must be taken in order to organize opening and operating a small business. I have put together a few questions which aspiring entrepreneurs should, at the very least, consider reading over. There are many questions that may arise with opening a small business, and I will address a few of those questions briefly in the following list of questions one may ask while brainstorming.

What type of business do you want to open? There are various business endeavors an entrepreneur could involve themselves in. It all comes down to what knowledge one has, or is willing to obtain. Are you a restaurateur? Repairman? Plumber? Home health / assistance? Do you have experience managing or working at such establishments? Do you need formal education from an institution? Will you work as a sole proprietor, or a partner / member? Research limited liability companies (LLCs) in addition to sole proprietorships and partnerships. S corporations are another option, but they are for business with stockholders, and may not be right for your particular business application.

What types of licensing and / or permits are required? Each business will have different licensing requirements; it all comes down to what the entrepreneur quite chooses to do. A restaurant would need food safety licensing in addition to basic business licensing, and if alcohol is on the menu – there is another right the entrepreneur would need to legally sell alcohol on the concessions. Repair oriented businesses would need at least the business license to repair, but if they sell parts as well, they would need to have “retail” listed on their business license in addition to “repair”. Health care services require at least formal education and licensing as an LPN, RN, or one of several other health care related licenses. Be sure to check your state's laws to ensure what is necessary to operate your type of business.

What training / education / certificates are required to legally run this business? We touched upon this in licensing / permits, however there is much more involved than the required licensing. For example, one can not operate a vehicle collision repair business without the knowledge of performing those types of repairs. There are schools that can be attended to learn what must be learned to effectively operate almost any kind of business. However, there are also businesses where experience is enough to operate effectively without need any formal education (lawn care, house cleaning just to name a couple). Also, there are certificates for training in near, if not all, care industries.

Does this business require a storefront? Retail establishments will unduly need a storefront. Bear in mind, retail business will have a much larger initial investment than a service based operation. That initial investment is inventory. Some service businesses may not need a storefront to operate, as much of the service performed could very well be on-site. If a storefront is necessary, be sure to consider delivery or on-site service if it is feasible for your operation.

How much will it cost? This number will vary wildly based on the type and size of business you are planning. For smaller businesses, this number could be as low as $ 200 for a license and / or permit, or as high as a million dollars or more. Obviously, inventory is very expensive, and so are specialized tools for performing extremely precise work. Calculate the expected opening and operating expenses. Determine what size storefront is needed (if applicable), and research local commercial realty properties, locations, and prices. It is absolutely cheaper to rent in the short-term, although the thought of owning property that is paid off is very tempting. Prices on most things will vary based on your location. Employees are another cost, if your business agreements employees. When employees come into the equation as opposed to sole proprietors or partnerships, one must add extra insurance for the business (unemployment insurance comes to mind). Check with your selected insurance company for which types of additional coverage are required, and if offering health insurance can be done reasonably. Those employees will also need to have taxes paid on their wages – part from the employee's paycheck and part from the company. Another potential cost is repayment of loans, if you do not already have the capital needed to open your business. Basic operating expenses are not to be forgotten, as heating / cooling, Internet connectivity, and utilities will be regular expenditures for any storefront. On-site service operations cost very little when compared to a physical storefront.

How can an individual pay for this? If you do not have the funds available, which is very common, applying for loans is a way to attain funding. Be sure to have a business plan with planned expenses and revenues. There are other ways to gain funds for a business. Look into grants. While they are not very common, they are a potential source for assistance nonetheless. If many people believe in your dream, one could possibly acquire contributions from those individuals.

What about accounting? Bookkeeping is a necessity – research which accounting / bookkeeping software would work best for the type of business you are planning. Point-of-sale (POS) systems are needed for “ringing up” and selling inventory or goods to the customer. POS systems keep track of sales, sales taxes, employee labor dollars spent, and many other items. If you are apt at creating spreadsheets, you may be able to keep track of your own inventory depending on your particular business model.

I hope this brief listing of questions and potential answers has been of assistance to aspiring entrepreneurs. Although there are countless successful entrepreneurs who have little or no formal education in business, it is never a bad idea to research courses regarding administration and management. Be sure to take a look at the Small Business Administration's website at for more helpful information.

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Start A Business With Little To No Money – From Someone Who Has Done It

I was at my wit's end with retail management in 2002. Did I have a hobby or product I was passionate about? Did I have the money to invest in another opportunity? Did I have a college degree? No is the answer to all these questions. I was an associate at a technology store, making minimum wage plus commission. My manager knew I had the potential and experience necessary to co-run the store with him and wanted to make me the new assistant manager for a mere 9.25 per hour. My co-workers were infurated I was his first choice because I only worked there for 3 months. In their eyes I did not earn it and in my eyes I did not want it! I let them squabble while I secretly planned my escape. It has been my most successful and rewarding, confidence boosting and educational leap of faith I've ever taken. Here are some keys that made it possible to soar above my competition with little resources.

Brainstorm ideas prioritizing low overhead

Low overhead returns to the cost to start and run a business. Learning to cut the fat is a business concept that will be used throughout your entrepreneurial career no matter how successful you become financially. You always want cost to decrease and profits to increase over time. If you already have an idea, how can you start and maintain your business for the least amount of money? Maybe the question is not how, but can you? Consider writing a budget listing your start up and maintenance expenses just as you would personally. Including the place of business, legal expenses to start a business, supplies, transportation, etc. Brainstorm ideas that makes these costs lower.

If you do not have a pre-existing business idea you may want to explore low overhead businesses. Many are independent contractors in the service industry. This is how I began in business ownership, as the owner of a housekeeping company. If you plan to sell products low overhead solutions are to have pop-up stores or kiosks to begin, sell door to door or online. Multi-level marketing companies are often low start cost and little to maintain. Do your research.

Become a “leading expert in the industry”

Get to know the business better than anyone. Because of your lack of resources it may seem that you lack the same bells and whistles as your competitors, but being knowledgeable and having integrity is the value your customers will really care about. Really spend time educating yourself on your expertise. Learn what you do not know and commit to continuing your education, if only for 15 minutes per day.

Partner strategically

Again, because of your lack of resources you want to provide the best of what you do have. If that means partnering with someone who has the skills you do not have, but need to run this business then consider partnering strategically. This could also mean looking for investors. In both cases you will want to create a business plan (a document) that clearly states both your roles and responsibilities.


Without a plan you plan to fail is such a true statement. I came up with a few business ideas before succeeding and the difference was planning. My housekeeping company I secretly planned while I worked for a technology store began on a poster board from a dollar store. This was before I knew what a business plan was, but it served the same purpose. I wrote down every task I needed to do before opening for business; researching the rates I should charge, maintenancing my van, obtaining a business license, creating a website, ordering business cards, etc. Next to each chronological task I put a realistic deadline. This poster board was the difference between success and failure. My goal was to open in 3 months and I opened in 1.

Never bite off more than you can chew

If you do not over promise, you will not serve and if you do not under serve you will not have a customer who had a bad experience tell 100 friends. Every customer experience is an advertisement so treat each one with that in mind. Customers are not the only reason for keeping your work load manageable. With little resources you are probably your full time service worker, social media manager, salesperson, tax preparer, etc. You get it. For your own physical and mental health make balance a priority and really understand how your schedule should be planned.

Exercise flexibility

Hurdles will arise. Are you going to run right into them because you planned on running straight? No. You're going to decide to jump over or go around. This happens a lot in business, things not going as planned. You need to think on your toes! I have so many examples of times this happened to me in housekeeping. I had a meeting with a local media outlet that was going to distribute a package deal online (like Groupon) for me for free, but at a very large discounted rate. The benefits were the exposure of my company to the public and that I would receive my percentage of the sales in a lump sum. I agreed to it, but was set to sign the contract another day. Something made me think to reach out to the last housekeeping company that provided them the same service and I'm glad I followed my gut instinct! He told me that they bit off more than they could chew as a new housekeeping company. The pay was so little and they were over booked (like 6 months out!), Dreading each job they took. The plan was to do the deal, I already said I would but I I called my meeting to sign the contract and saved my self the suffering that could have cost me my passion or my business entirely.

Check yourself regularly

Always going full-speed ahead does not insure success in business. Check yourself before you wreck yourself! This is part of working smarter, not harder. Plan to stop regularly to evaluate how things are going, what's working and what's not, find oversights, what needs immediate attention, make adjustments to your plan, make some time for yourself to do something you enjoy and restore your enthusiasm for the business.

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Why It’s Okay For You To Be A Tortoise

Have you ever heard the tale of The Hare and the Tortoise ? It's Jackanory time …

A Hare was making fun of the Tortoise one day for being so slow.

“Do you ever get anywhere?” he asked with a laughing laugh.

“Yes,” replied the Tortoise, “and I get there sooner than you think. I'll run you a race and prove it.”

The Hare was much amused at the idea of ​​running a race with the Tortoise, but for the fun of the thing he agreed. So the Fox, who had agreed to act as judge, marked the distance and started the runners off.

The Hare was soon far out of sight, and to make the Tortoise feel very deeply how ridiculous it was for him to try a race with a Hare, he lay down near the course to take a nap until the Tortoise should catch up.

The Tortoise meanwhile kept going slowly but steadily, and, after a time, passed the place where the Hare was sleeping. But the Hare slept on very peacefully; and when at last he did wake up, the Tortoise was near the goal. The Hare now ran his swiftest, but he could not overtake the Tortoise in time.

I'm sure you've heard the tale of the Hare and the Tortoise before. It came to mind this past week, which I've spent pondering my grubby little industry …

(The world of marketing and copywriting and online gubbins.)

And I realized something. See, I was getting impatient. My little business is growing steadily and I very much enjoy what I do; but I made the mistake of looking around at what all the others in my industry are doing.

There are some very good Eggs out there, and I either work with them or learn from them. But there are some scoundrels and scallywags, too. Naturally, I already knew this; it's the same for any industry. But I'd never really looked at them before.

My recent frustrations with lead generation led me to look at what other people were doing, and what some of the others seem to be doing is bragging about their lifestyles, their “do not give a damn” days, and their piles of cash.

“Humph,” I thought. “How come all these guys are growing their businesses at pace and I'm doing the slow but steady? Why do not I have a bazillion subscribers and 1,001 people in my Inner Circle Membership group?”

Then I looked a little closer, and realized that I'm the Tortoise because doing the hard-sell and the nice-on-the-face-of-it-but … thing is not me. I probably could do exactly what these glassy-eyed scoundrels do if I were willing to change my behavior. If I were willing to give it the big I-Am all over the internet. If I were willing to treat people as if their time is less important than mine, and they are inferior.

It's a trend I've noticed more and more. Or depending I just saw it clearly because I was looking. I do not know.

I'm not knocking it, by the way; if it works for them, that's cool. But it just is not me.

And I think that's probably why you're reading this, right?

I've almost forgotten the point of my Tortoise and Hare story: it's okay if you're a tortoise. Remember, you only see what others permit you to see. As a very wise man once said: “Never compare your insides to somebody else's outsides.” (Actually it was Rob Lowe.)

Be yourself. Be yourself. Yourself is enough. It took me a while to realize it, but it's true.

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Importance of Scientific Laboratory Instruments for Education

Scientific Laboratory instruments are the special instruments and their unique quality is that they deal only with chemicals. The most common scientific tools used from school laboratory to the hospitals or research laboratories are test tubes, flask, water bath etc. The list is long in terms of variety of scientific laboratory instruments. As we say that it is the science and technology that determines the countries development. Let's see how important are these scientific laboratory instruments in an education sector?

Importance of Scientific Laboratory Instruments for education
As we know that science is the growth sign of any nation or humanity. Therefore, for any national development the fostering of future is of prime importance. The schools fulfill this need in students curriculum of learning by providing them with the practical hand on experience in the school science laboratory.

This leads to an increase in the learning skills and enhancement in the thinking skills resulting in the competitive students. The students with the practical experience and knowledge have high probability of achieving goals. In order to fulfill the various school laboratory instruments need various lab equipment manufacturers are ensuring the provision of quality laboratory equipment at the best price. The most common scientific instruments in schools are microscopes, magnifiers etc. Many of the manufacturers are also renamed for the outstanding quality of the laboratory equipment and chemicals, ensuring that they have intense moisture balance.

The hand on experience which is gained by the students in the school laboratory is among the best possible teaching for the simple reasons:

1. Advance learning at all levels and grades.

2. Education curriculum appropriately designed and guided by the qualified teachers / faculties.

3. Doing the chemical task the students are under the supervision of qualified and experienced teachers which ensures complete security and thorough learning.

The biggest challenges faced by the education sector related to hands on studies that is scientific laboratory are to reduce cost, eliminate hazardous waste, safety concerns etc. Thus, the manufacturers and suppliers of all and different kinds of scientific laboratory instruments are continuously challenging to lower down the cost for the pocket friendly instruments without prior compromise to the quality. The reduced cost will ensure that there are better facilities in school laboratories and also the primary level student's access to science lab may become possible. The government and parents also support sustained investment to encourage school to give practical and advance knowledge to the students. As they understand that there is no equivalent substitute to practical learning.

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The Importance Of Having Time For Yourself When Running A Business

One of the nottable benefits of owning a business is being able to take time off whenever you need it. But a lot of business owners spend and devote countless hours to making their business succeed. Time and devotion to the business are obviously important in order for it to be successful, but one only has so many hours in the day to work from. There are a lot of good reasons to take time off for yourself even when you want your business to be a success and this article will discuss a few of them.

# 1: Nothing Is More Important Than Your Health And Well-Being

Your health is important on many levels such as your physical health, mental health, and social health. When you spend so much time on your business and none for yourself, each of these areas becomes affected. Your physical health sufferers because you have not given yourself any rest. Your mental health sufferers because of all the stress you put on yourself by working so many hours. Your social life may suffer because you have not spent any time with friends or family. Your health sufferers in so many ways which will hurt you in the long run. So, you must make sure that you make time for yourself so that your health and well-being will prosper in the years to come.

# 2: Giving Yourself Time Off Gives You The Opportunity To Recharge

As previously mentioned, working a lot of hours without rest causes your mental health to suffer. As your mental health sufferers, you can not think straight and that, you can not always operate the business at the full efficiency that you need. It is always better to take time off so you can step back and see things from a big picture perspective.

Perhaps you've been working a long time on developing a marketing strategy in order to improve sales but you have not been able to put all the necessary pieces together. Taking time off would give you a chance to recover and sometimes gain some inspiration as to your strategy. You may decide to evaluate your strategy from a different point of view or you may decide to simplify things once you return from your time off. The important thing to remember is that giving yourself time off is a great way to think straight so that you can come up with the best business ideas and strategies.

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Small Business Time Management Tips

Time management is always key to success in anything you do whether it is studying, writing papers for a class, or being successful at work. In a small business, time management becomes critical because of the many tasks that you may have to perform. This article will discuss some important time management techniques that you might want to consider.

# 1: Make A List (Preferably Written) As To What The Responsibilities And Tasks Are

The first thing you need to do is devise a list of the different responsibilities involved in the business. This may include managing financial expenses, making calls or writing e-mails, writing article, or spending time on social media. Once you have a list of all the necessary tasks, make note of who is performing each task paying special attention to those who have to perform multiple tasks. If you are a solo professional, you will have to perform all these tasks so be ready for this when mapping out the time spent for each task.

# 2: Decide Which Tasks Need To Be Prioritized Over Others

There are a lot of tasks that go into managing a small business, but not all of them require the same level and amount of attention. Every business is difficult and places an emphasis in different areas. For example, an online business should probably expect to prioritize article writing and social media use since the owner as well as his / her business has to build credibility as well as gain website traffic. A brick-and-mortar store may decide to prioritize advertising strategies or sales. What is important is that the business's priorities be detailed out and be clear to everyone involved.

# 3: Remember That You Only Have 24 Hours In The Day

Success in a business requires intense drive and determination but you can only work so many hours before you neglect your other needs. When you are dropping out how much time you will devote to each task, do not forget to give yourself time for your personal needs. You must devote time to the business for it to be successful, but never neglect time for yourself or for the others around you.

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Attention All Business Owners: Do You Want to Make Your (Working) Life Easier?

01 August 2016

“What helps people, helps business.” Leo Burnett (Advertising Executive)

Attention all business owners: do you want to make your (working) life easier?

Then you may want to check that you have the right set of policies and procedures in your company's documentation.

Policies vs procedures

Policies are a predetermined course of action, or a rule, developed to help your management team run the organization. Policies are the way by which your strategy and your business objectives are communicated to your employees. The main “raison d'être” of a policy is to keep things running smoothly in your business and to help people and systems function better – generally speaking, policies lay out what management want staff to do (or, in some cases, not do ).

Their close relatives – the procedures – describe how a task (s) should be done. Procedures are step-by-step guides, usually describing ways or methods of carrying out task (s) in accordance with the policy (ies). They are like “how to” checklists for completing a task or process – the day-to-day happenings that need to take place to keep your business running.

Why you need policies / procedures

Firstly, there are some minimum legal requirements for documented policies which your business needs to comply with. Most companies will need to have at the very least a Health and Safety Policy, and set out their Disciplinary & Grievance procedures in writing.

It is also seen as good practice to have written policies in other areas, such as Data Protection; Equality & Diversity; Employee Manual etc. Moreover, there are additional legal requirements for some companies to have certain policies in place; This is usually linked to the size of the organization, the type of business and industry, as well as local requirements.

Documinated policies and procedures can assist your business with the following:

(a) Compliance : with government regulations / legislation, insurance requirements and certain audits. They will also help your business comply with best management practices and standards. Moreover, formal policies can outline legal rights and obligations of your staff, and of your company – a word of caution, though: your legal counsel needs to check and confirm that the policies are legal, and legally binding.

(b) Safety : the workplace will be a safer place with proper procedures, which will reduce opportunities for injury.

(c) Quality : well written procedures help improve quality of work and reduce the number of errors / omissions, as well as reducing waste (time or materials).

(d) Training : not only do procedures make it easier and less time-consuming to train new staff, but they're also likely to make new employees more productive quicker. Furthermore, procedures clarify the way things should be done, so there's less need for communication and less confusion about how to do things. Generally speaking, they educate staff about the company; they are useful in promoting the competitive position of your business as an employer of choice – one that provides generous employee benefits, and respect and appreciation for HR management.

(e) Employee empowerment : they give staff a certain degree of freedom to act without constant supervision and to do the right thing, within the limits set by the policy.

(f) Governance : written policies define management standards for making decisions on various organizational or personnel issues. They can also be a useful tool to maintain management control; and to hold staff to certain standards of performance, should the need arise. In addition, they provide a framework for consistency and fairness.

(g) Communication : in addition to clarifying the company's rules and guidelines, they can be used to communicate management's plans for growth. Furthermore, a policy document such as a Staff Handbook will be useful in communicating the company's investment in its employees, providing information on employee benefits and workplace issues.

(h) Efficiency : they help run the company more efficiently and more effectively. For example, a meaningful impact which can be put forward to supervisors and line managers may be the financial loss resulting from failing to implement the policy (or procedures). Well written procedures go a long way in cutting mistakes and improving performance, thus reducing costs. Procedures can also be used as a way to troubleshoot problems with the system (s) and to ensure that production / service delivery goes according to schedule.

( i ) Continuity : they provide management continuity. Well documented procedures are the key to successful delegation: they allow someone else to properly handle your tasks; which leads to …

(j) Business Process Development : finally, having documented procedures will put you more in control – and provide a baseline for your business process improvement, as it frees up your time to work “on” your business rather than “in” your business.

General guidelines for writing policies / procedures

The first step is to clarify your business goals and to start with the policy (ies), linking it to your business purpose and objectives. Then the procedures shall follow ..

All policies and procedures will have the same form and content; a good policy should tick the following boxes:

Clear : written in clear language; easily read and understood by a wide audience. Avoid jargon if possible or define any acronym / abbreviation you're using. Check for typographical errors and spelling mistakes. Make it look good! (appearance and presentation / have a good balance between text and visuals).

Concise : generally no longer than one page; delete unnecessary words or phrases. Do not use clichés. All information must be accurate and expressed concisely.

Coherent : written in a logical way and linked to your business strategy. Some procedures will have clear steps (carry out A, then B, then C); others will need to allow for individual choices or personal jurisdiction (most likely, within set boundaries).

Process for putting policies and procedures in writing

(a) Development : Involve staff who are affected in policy development; those who execute the task daily are best placed to give information on how to do the job. All policies / procedures need to make sense, be easy to follow and they should not interfere with getting the job done. It is a good idea to have someone who's got a limited knowledge, or no knowledge whatever, of the process to “test” the procedure at this stage. Policy development also needs to be coordinated with procedures and standard forms; new or revised policies may need new forms or old forms to be revised.

(b) Control & approval : Documents must be controlled in a suitable manner (usually with a reference number; date of issue or revision; who wrote it; etc.). It is also good practice to have staff who actually do the job review and provide their comments before the policy is finalized and submitted for final approval.

(c) Distribution : new policies / procedures (and revisions) can be communicated in many ways (email; intranet or company website; app; loose leaf binder; etc.). It is highly recommended that all staff agree and sign policy documents, including any new drafts.

(d) Training & implementation : Policy manuals and staff handbook are usually one of the first things given to new employees and will form part of their induction training. However, it is equally important for existing staff to be trained; in some instances, a PowerPoint presentation will be useful so that employees can see and hear about a new policy (or a revised one).

(e) Review : your company's policy manual is a dynamic, living document that is constantly subject to change and improvement, to make sure your business is using best practice. You should carry out periodic reviews and delete any outdated or obsolete laws / procedures. Which means that, regardless of how the policy manual is communicated, it must be easily accessible in its most up-to-date version.

Although it's often seen as a time-consuming exercise, the process of developing policies and procedures for your business will increase efficiency and eliminate unnecessary costs. Moreover, the people involved in writing them will get an opportunity to understand current practices better and will have a chance to improve the process; for instance, by getting rid of unnecessary steps. The whole exercise can be an eye opener for ways to make jobs more efficient (cost and / or time) so you have more time for tasks that increase your revenue. Putting your procedures in writing also provides an opportunity to clearly identify responsibilities for tasks to be performed and to explain any division or distribution of authority.

Good policies are developed in consultation with those involved (employees / stakeholders); they are flexible and adaptable to change; and communicated to all the relevant people. The main thing to remember is that your policies and procedures are about what staff can expect from the company and what the company expects of them; in other words, they need to tell people what they need to know, not just what they want to know.

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7 Ways to Improve Your Air Duct Cleaning Productivity!

Productivity is the name of the game! If you can complete your air duct cleaning project faster two things will happen:
1. You will be more profitable (less labor time and cost) on every job.
2. Your pricing / bids can be more competitive (less labor cost and time) so you can win more projects and grow your business.

In an 8 hour work day there are 480 minutes. If you can improve your productivity by 5% you will save 24 minutes out of those 8 hours. In a 10 hour day, a 5% productivity improvement will save you 30 minutes. It's not always easy to find ways to be more productive. If you look at your work procedures and the air duct cleaning tools you use it's probably hard to see where and how you save a 24-30 minute chunk of time. A more likely scenario is that you can save a minute here and 2 minutes there and maybe 3 minutes there and maybe by the end of the day you'll have your 24-30 minutes.

Here are seven possible ways you might be able to be more productive. Estimate the minutes you could save for each of the 7 ways and see what you come up with for a daily total of minutes saved.

1. Spend less time cleaning up the metal shavings when you drill your 1 “access hole for your cleaning tools (whips and brushes) How many access holes do you drill in a normal day There are tools designed to captures these shavings before they hit the floor so you do not have to spend the time to clean them up.

2. Do you ever waste time waiting for your air compressor to charge up when you are air washing, whipping or using pneumatic tools? There are many compressors to choose from but we recommend at minimum you have a compressor that can deliver 175 psi and 18 cfm of air with a 20 gallon receiver tank to minimize waiting. More air is more productivity!

3. Isolate longer duct runs with each vacuum collection hook-up and eliminate the time required to cut additional access openings and move equipment. This requires vacuum collection systems that are designed to give you longer lasting suction that in turn will let you isolate longer duct runs per hook-up.

4. Agitate and blow at the same time instead of agitating and then blowing. Air whip systems let you do just that. Plus, there is a wide variety of whips (octopus, tri, single, forward, reverse, etc.) so you can choose the best one for your application.

5. Use cleaning tools that have a longer reach so you can clean longer duct runs from each access opening eliminating the need to cut additional access openings and move equipment. This can be critical when ductwork is above a hard ceiling or underground or just with very limited access.

6. Apply coatings quickly and easily and eliminate the need to cut access every 5-10 feet and reach in a hand-held airless spray. Cart spray systems used with an airless spray lets you apply coatings and sanitizers in ductwork ranging in size from 4 “to 36” high and up to 33 'each way from one access opening.

7. Do not take the time stir or strain your coating before using it. Many coatings require stirring and training to minimizeize spray tip clogging but others are ready to go right out of the bucket.

Summary: How many minutes per day can you save? Even if it's not 24-30 minutes any saving are valuable. There are 260 working days a year less 2 weeks' vacation = 240 days. If you can save only 10 minutes a day that's 40 hours a year. 20 minutes saved a day = 80 hours a year and 30 minutes saved a day = 120 hours a year. Productivity is the name of the game!

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Why The Avalara & NetSuite Partnership Is Perfect for SMBs

Over 30,000 organizations around the world have used NetSuite, the world's no.1 cloud business software suite, to integrate their ERP, financials, CRM, and eCommerce business functions on one platform. Yet, although they have streamlined the above elements of their business, when it comes to tax and tax compliance , several organizations still struggle to make sense of varying sales tax rates, regulation, rules, deadlines, penalties, etc. This lack of clarity can consume large chunks of time and internal resources that could have been used more productively elsewhere. Also, it could result in expensive audits and setbacks to the reputation of the company.

To address this problem NetSuite has teamed up with Avalara to present an automated tax solution that can effortlessly be incorporated into the NetSuite system. AvaTax is Avalara's cloud-based sales tax automation software with advanced features and easy usability. Let us take a look at how this partnership between NetSuite and Avalara brings a lot of ease and peace of mind to small and medium business owners.

1. Increased tax compliance in shorter time : In the old way of determining sales tax, one would have to manually enter data, create invoices, and calculate sales tax, all of this being tedious and time consuming. Precious internal resources would have to be assigned to this job, when they could instead be engaged in more productive work. For SMBs, this is particularly remarkable because of their low human resources. With AvaTax, the cloud technology makes it easy to automate the sales tax calculation process and incorporated it into routine business processes, thereby saving considering time.

2. Reduced risk of missing regulatory rule changes : With thousands of tax jurisdictions in the US, businesses that have customers in other jurisdictions can find calculating sales tax and keeping track of tax policies, rule changes etc. daunting. Automation of this process with AvaTax takes care of all such changes, reducing time taken as well as opportunities of miscalculations.

3. Elimination of manual processes : Using ZIP codes for figuring out local sales tax rates was the old-fashioned (and error-prone) way. With AvaTax's modern geo-location technology, it is easy to get precise jurisdictional sales tax rates, thus reducing costs of costly human errors.

4. Diminished danger of audit (penalies) : During manual filing, it is possible to erroneously club disparate categories of taxes together: eg bundling together dissimilar products and services. This could cause complications not only for customers but also with auditors.

5. Simplification of complex regulations : There is significant confusion and ambiguity with regard to nexus in different states of the US. The intimidating chore of determining nexus in a state can be eliminated with the help of AvaTax.

For small and medium businesses, the NetSuite users of Avalara's AvaTax vouch for the peace of mind and security that it provides them. Many users claim to save over 50% of their employees' time after delegating their tax filing process to AvaTax – time that could have better focused on other jobs. Here are a few of the most common reasons for NetSuite users to love AvaTax:

  • Reduced work (workers can focus on more productive activities)
  • Fewer human resources needed (due to automation)
  • Fast, accurate, and dependable tax filing (no human error factor)
  • Multiple returns filing made effortless
  • Reduced risk of missed deadlines and fines
  • Compliance guaranteed!

The best part of AvaTax is that it can be seamlessly integrated into existing NetSuite ERP or ecommerce functions. It provides all the SaaS functionalities that NetSuite users have come to expect.

Because of the ease of operation and, most importantly, the smooth integration with other NetSuite functions, Avalara is a tax automation software product tailor-made for NetSuite users. The NetSuite-Avalara partnership is indeed an advantageous partnership for the thousands of thankful users.

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The Britney Spears’ Approach To Running A Business

You want a hot body? You want a Bugatti?

You want a Maserati? You better work, b * tch!

You want a Lambourghini? Sippin 'Martinis?

Look hot in a bikini? You better work, b * tch!

You want to live fancy? Live in a big mansion?

Party in France?

You better work, b * tch!

Those lyrics are from the song Work, B * tch! by Britney Spears. Britney has the right idea about what it takes to get what you want. The lady speaketh the truth.

Which is not really surprising when you consider that she's been working her butt off since she was a child-star in the Mickey Mouse Club. Has she had some tough times? Made some questionable decisions? Sure.

But you can not question her work ethic.

She's worked damn hard for the success she's had.

Let's take a look at the Beckhams. They come in for a lot of stick, especially Victoria. People sneer at them. Turn their noses up. Moan about their vast success and all their money.

But you know what? A lot of the stick they get is jealousy, pure and simple. The Beckhams have (on the surface at least, and there's no reason to doubt this is the case) a great life, plenty of money and no material worries.

Their kids are happy and well cared-for.

They have the freedom to do whatever they like.


Simple answer, again. They worked for it. Just because someone does not like Victoria's music or clothing line, or David's choice to do loads of ads does not negate their hard work.

The Beckhams have worked incredibly hard to get where they are.

Celebrities are not celebrities by accident.

Oh, they might become celebrities by accident, but unless they work very hard, they will not stay celebrities.

Do not believe me? Just look at the reality TV “stars”. Most of them disappear into obscurity pretty sharpish because they expect to be handed riches on a plate. The (very) few who have gone on to become successful only became successful because they took advantage of that incredibly lucky break and worked hard to build on it.

Jennifer Hudson is a good example. She won American Idol a few years ago – and a few years later left the Academy Awards clutching an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the film Dreamgirls , thank you very much.

Think she got that Oscar by accident? Of course not. She used her springboard from American Idol , determined what she wanted, and worked hard for it.

Together with her success, she also has to put up with a lot of unpleasantness. People attacking her looks, her weight, her achievements.

Jealousy's an ugly trait, do not you think?

Have you ever heard someone say something along the lines of, “It's not fair. Why has that [insert insulting epithet here] got the massive house and all the money? Why do they deserve that, when I have not got it?”

Simple answer. They worked for it.

And, sure, there are lots of hard-working people out there who are not as successful as they'd like like to be – however they measure success personally. But here's the thing: they could be.

It has to be hard work in the right direction.

And it's not luck.

Oh, the initial opportunity might be luck, but guess what? “Lucky” people create the space for opportunities then grab them with both hands and probably a foot too, then wring every last drop out of them.

Consistency, hard work, and jumping on every opportunity that comes your way. Even if it's scary and you think you might fail.

That's how success is created.

There's no magic ingredient, despite what the freeloaders would like to believe. It's all down to focus, pigheaded determination, hard work, and a willingness to fail.

What are you willing to do to gain the success you desire?

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Emerging Workwear Industry

A brief history of workwear

Term workwear refer to the clothing people wear while performing some manual work. The main purpose of workwear is to make the work safe and easy. The start of industrial revolutions witnessed the dramatic development of customized clothes for the labor. Without compatible working clothes, it was hard for workers to carry out tough physical tasks in factories, mines, and construction sites. The industry has been rapidly growing since the beginning of the twenty century; Many manufacturers have been established across the globe to meet the growing needs of customized clothing. Workwear includes overalls, donkey jackets, bib pants, coats and many other items.

Why is it safe and comfortable to wear personalized clothes?

A dustman can not properly perform cleaning and other related activities while wearing a normal dress. A navvy has to be provided with wears that suit his profession; it is inevitable to be professionally dressed in order to make a physical job easy and secure. There are a number of industries which employ the manual laborer. Therefore, availability of safety wear is of supreme significance. Safety wear manufacturers also produced seasonal garments. In hot summer, coveralls are made specifically to help workers with sweat and heat. Professionals who have to deal with fire need clothes which keep them safe from fire and heat. The manual laborer is often vulnerable to injuries. A professional work garments company keeps in mind the risks of injuries different workmen face.

Various types of personalized clothing

Coveralls: are widely used working garments. It is preferred by many professionals such as Plumbers, auto repair mechanics, builders, dustmen, coalmen, and miners. Coveralls manufacturers prepare items according to the needs of customers. Some companies prefer to have a logo on coveralls. Others want additional pockets and expansion waist. Auto mechanics demand different features in coveralls which may facilitate their work. There are a variety of fabric which is used to make more stylish cover all kind of garments. For instance, one of the most famous is Nomex coveralls.

Bib work pants: are another very fashionable wearing items for workmen. It is easy to wear and recommended for many professionals. Some of the kinds of bib pants are insulated indura, polycotton, cotton and hi-vis cotton. Working pants come in different fabric and quality. They are popular among farmers and domestic workers.

Donkey jackets and coats: come in a wide range of designs and fabrics. Working coats and jackets are very useful and recommended. They are worn mostly by supervisors and engineers. It gives them a more professional look and safety. An exquisitely designed logo or sign can help promote a company.

Insulated garments is the best way to protect against severe cold. Insulated garments such as coveralls, parkas and pants are mostly needed in extreme cold where it is tough for the manual laborer to stay warm and healthy. Sportsmen also need special garments which suit their sport. There is a number of sportswear manufacturers who produce pertinent clothing.

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What Is A Business Plan?

What is a Business Plan?

This is a description or statement that shows a business' goals and objectives, including a description of the company's background, its owners or managers and any potential challenges the business may face in achieving those business goals and objectives.

Now, a business plan acts as a guide. A lot of entrepreneurs have their business plans prepared to present to a potential lender, such as a bank, venture capital firm or otherwise. When you have one prepared, it must be able to help convince the lender “why” should they invest in your company. It must show a clear indication to the potential investor, if your business is worth investing in.

There is the popular notification that this type of plan is used only when you are starting a new company. This is not true. Many existing companies may require one if the company wants to expand, and so, they may need a business plan at that stage to seek investors. The company might be thinking about expanding into new markets, or engage in new product development for example.

If you think that you do not need investors for your start-up company or existing company, and you have sufficient capital, planning your business is still important to do, and in this case, it can be used as a gauge for you to monitor how far or how near you are in achieving your business goals.

Part of the plan may include a company's projected financials. This is a critical section that you must take into consideration. It helps you to answer the main question of “How much in sales do you propose to make monthly? What are your proposed expenses? Who are your competitors in the market or industry?” etc. When your company starts its operations, monitor your sales monthly or even weekly to track your progress. Compare your actual sales to your projected sales in your business plan. Are you breaking even, meeting or even superseding on your sales targets? Are you behind? A business plan can help you to check to see if you are drifting from your proposed targets, so that you can make the necessary changes.

There are many articles, books and templates on business plans. There are a wide variety for you to choose from to suit your company and industry. If you are unsure about preparing one, a business consultant can assist you in that regard. So, get started and happy business planning!

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The Best 5 Photo Apps For Small Business Social Media

Taking great photos for your social media accounts is imperative if you want to gain new followers. People love great photos and when you unforgettable new content to post you can then add your content to a range of great photo apps to get the best message out of them.

The following apps offer a variety of different frames, filters and tools for enhancing your photo. They can be used alone or together. In some instances you may use a filter in one app and then the text tool in another to get your message out with your photo. Your aim is to take a great photo, write your business name or brief product description on the photo and have as many people share that as possible. That's why you need all of the following apps in your repertoire – it keeps your content fresh and unique.

Instagram – While Instagram does not have the most elaborate camera, it does have a range of filters to enhance your photos. The best thing about Instagram is that you can post your photos directly to your followers. Unlike Facebook, you can reach a wide new audience by using hashtags. For example, if you hashtag #beautiful under your post on Instagram other users can search via #beautiful and see your post. This is a great way to get new followers and likes for your post.

You can also search for other users who are using the same hashtags as you or create your own individual hashtags for your followers to find what you're posting. It's more of a networking tool than a camera but that's what makes it our top pick for best photo app for small business.

Enlight – While Instagram is free, Enlight costs around $ 6.49 in the iTunes store. Cost as it is a great app for altering photos and giving them a cool edge. Enlight will do what a combination of other apps will do so it is handy to have without having to open up a range of other apps. You can add text or filters but you can also adjust the image by sharpening and decreasing or increasing shadows or highlights. Simply select one of the tools from the extensive menu and drag your finger from left to right to increase or decrease.

Enlight is a photo adjustment suite at your fingertips. There are so many options for overlaying images and adding color to backgrounds to make pictures absolutely pop that you can not go past it as tool that will help enhance your social media presence and provide great photos for your website.

Adding text is one of the best features about this app. This is the tool you need for writing your business name, web address or hashtag on your photos. Alternately, you can type a cool quote on your photo as these have a high share rate and will increase your profile.

Camera + – This app is the 'souped up' version of iPhone's own camera app. Another paid product (about $ 3.79), Camera + has additional features to the Camera app that purport to take crisper, clearer and generally better photos that its free counterpart. If you're taking product photos for your website this app offers extra stabilization and clarity. Other extra features include effects, lightbox and separate exposure and focus.

Camera + is the upgrade you need to have for a small cost. It will help improve the quality of the pictures you are taking for an extra touch of professionalism.

Afterlight – This app goes for $ 1.29 in the iTunes store with in-app purchases. The in-app purchases include different filters and frames. You can pay the extra $ 1.29 for these filters but do not need them. Afterlight is an easy to use photo adjustment app that allows you to quickly brighten or color your photos by selecting the tool and then swapping the adjustment bar left or right depending on your preference. So, rather than applying a pre-set filter you have a bit more control over how you want your photo to look.

There are also some great frame and filter additions to give your photo a 70's vibe like turning your photo into a letter of the alphabet or applying a dust or light filter that makes the picture look like it was taken with an old camera. Tre cool.

Waterlogue / Brushstroke – While these are different apps they offer a similar service and are both worth in their own regard.

Basically, Waterlogged takes your photographic masterpiece and turns it into a watercolour painting. There are a variety of different options for exactly what kind of watercolour you would like and it makes for an interesting twist on the standard photo application.

Brushstroke offers a similar premium to Waterlogue except that it turns your photo into a painting using acrylics and oils. Get set to create a work of art where you can select your painting style and even the kind of canvas you used. The canvas allows texture to the photo like you painted it yourself. Another great feature of this app is that you can select 'ship' allowing you to send it straight to a canvas printing store and hang it on your wall. But, for business purposes this is another great app for creating website content and interesting social media posts.

Using either of these apps allows you to upload your photo into a variety of social media platforms or simply save to photos to use where you like.

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Project Management Fundamentals Overview

Project Management at the very basic and simple level is the art of getting things done.

Here is an overview of the Project Management Fundamentals.

So what are some of the characteristics of a Project?

Projects should give the following:

1. Business Value: Projects should generate or increase business value. This does not always have to financial. Improving a Company's customer service is an example of generating Business Value for the customers.

2. Temporary: Projects should be temporary. All projects should have a defined starting and ending date.

3. Produce Unique Product or Service: A Project's goal is to produce a unique product or service. A Project should not be confused with Processes or Procedures.

A Project can be defined as a finite endeavor, directed to create a unique product or service which adds value.

Projects can have a high level of uncertainty and are not identical. Whereas operational procedures are repeatable with the same end result which creates more certainty about their execution.

Example: Modifying the Emergency admission room process is an example of a Project. Admitting a new patient into the emergency room is an example of procedure and is non-project related.

It is extremely important to understand what a project related activity is and what is not. This is the only way to increase productivity and allocate the right individuals for the appropriate tasks.

If you hire a Programmer for instance to develop a specific Software, make sure you provide all the details of what is required and what is not needed and also the deadline of when you want the Software to be developed by. Not clearly citing the details of what is expected often times leads to many complications and shortcomings leading to the failure of the Project.

Here, Project Management is extremely important.The principles of project management are beneficial for companies and individuals alike.

Imagine if you hired a contractor to paint your house and the painter agreed to start working without giving you details about:

– A good idea of ​​which items were going to be painted

– A detailed break-down of all the costs

– The order in which the rooms have to be painted

That is a scary proposition and not wise decision making. To be part of a team that is working on a project yet not managed properly and does not have a solid plan is very risky.

The Value of Project Management:

Is being able to provide a good idea of

– the cost of the project

– the length of the project

– who will be required to work on the project

– how many people will be required to work on the project

– what resources will be required to complete the project

– understanding the possible issues that could impact successful completion of the project

The Project Lifecycle:

Regardless of the size and scope of a project. Every project goes through the following four phases or stages.

1. Initiating Phase:

The purpose of the initiating stage is to get a common high-level understanding of what the project is expected to deliver. Unfortunately many projects never make it beyond this first stage. It's like having an idea come to mind but if you do not plan and execute the idea just dies.

2. Planning Phase:

In this phase focus is on developing a road map that everyone will follow. Detailed plans are developed for cost, resources required, execution, deadline, communication and risk management.

3. Execution Phase:

This is the Phase where the plans that were developed in the 'Planning Phase' get acted on. This is where execution takes place as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Regular project status communication occurs in this phase.

4. Closing Phase: In this phase the plan is checked to make sure all project outputs were delivered as required, final reporting is performed and resources released.

Approximately 20% of the total project effort is spent on Initiating and Closing.

Approximately 80% of the total project effort is spent on Planning and Execution.

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